I travel quite a lot both personally and for work and after just completing a 2-week trip to Southern Africa, I realized there are some great little tips to share with you guys to make your travels a bit easier.
1. Roll your clothes
Logically, it makes sense to fold your clothes in your suitcase but I have found that tightly rolling your clothes is the best way to fit more into your bag, reduce wrinkles, and be able to easily see the items you have packed. That being said, it is much easier to roll tops, summer, and workout clothes than winter ones. Heavy sweaters and bulky sweats/jeans are harder, so I normally leave these for the top of the suitcase and lay them flat or I try to wear as much of them on the plane if it’s possible to help reduce the bulk.
2. Quick-zip area in your carry on
In every carry-on bag I’ve had, whether it is a handbag or a backpack, I’ve made sure that the bag has a pocket on the exterior of the bag that is easy to get to and a quick place to store some of my go-to items. I like having it so that I don’t have to dig through my bag (especially if you are in the middle seat. #theworst)
That being said, some of the best things to store in this area are lip balm and hand lotion (nothing worse than that dry feeling). I also like having my phone charger there and since I wear contacts and sometimes they irritate my eyes on the plane, I put my glasses case here too for easy relief if needed.
3. Pack a scarf
No matter where you are going, a hot location or a cool one, having a neutral large scarf is THE BEST way to avoid being cold. On this last trip I packed one and used it about 90% of the time. Sometimes it’s because the plane is freezing, and I need a little warmth, other times, it’s a great accessory to add to an outfit. Either way, I highly recommend keeping one at the bottom (or for me, the top ) of your carry-on.
This one I didn’t do the best job of on this trip. I normally drink about 50-70oz of water a day. It helps me to feel energized and sparkling water especially helps me avoid some unhealthy cravings. It’s tough to always have water with you on a plane since you have to get rid of anything before security but if you purchase it on the other side or fill up your favorite travel water bottle, make sure you get that water in. On my way home from our South Africa trip, I relied on the water served on the plane and it left me feeling completely drained once I landed. Furthermore, it caused a bit of nausea that could totally have been avoided if I just had slipped a bit more on the plane.
My husband loves reading on a plane, but for me, reading is the #1 way to make me fall asleep within about 5 minutes. So, I love listening to podcasts on the plane. Another reason I love them, is because you can “subscribe” to shows on the podcast app on your phone and they automatically download when you are in a wifi zone. That way, when I’m on the plane, I have new, fresh content to listen to and and I didn’t have to remember to download it, which is HUGE for me since I always forget to download music from Spotify for the plane.
6. Long trip – carry on a fresh change of clothes
Along the same lines as carrying a scarf, carrying an extra t-shirt and underwear for a long trip is one of my go to things. On this last trip, we spent 40 hours traveling home and to say that you start to feel gross after the first long flight is an understatement. I like to keep a black t-shirt (cause it goes with everything) and fresh socks and undergarments in the bottom of my bag. Halfway through the long journeys, I see if any of the lounges in the airports have showers. A quick shower and change can renew a journey. If not, then a trip to the bathroom with one of the fresh wipes, and new clothes makes a big difference in your mood and energy.
7. EmergenC Packs
No matter how healthy you try to be, planes are a little bit of breeding ground for getting sick. Not only are you in a small space with lots of people (who may or may not be coughing) but also, the altitude that causes dehydration in your own body also makes you more susceptible to catching a bug. To try help with this, I love using the Vitamin C EmergenC packs. They are easy to pack, don’t take up much space and go a long way. I take them in the morning 2-3 days leading up to a flight, try take on the plane for flights over 5 hours, and then once a day on the trip. They taste great and help keep the immune system just a bit stronger throughout the journey while your other health habits may be a bit out of schedule.
You may have noticed I was a little quiet an the blog last week but if you followed along on my insta stories you know why. My sister got a new job in Seattle and so we took a pup-friendly road trip from San Diego to Seattle.
We started with a 4am wake-up to take Winston for a walk and release some early energy. We then hit the road, thankfully missing most of the LA traffic and stopping in Burbank. for a bathroom break and dog walk. Juliet had downloaded an app called "Bring Fido". It's an app dedicated to sharing pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, and dog parks near your current location. We opened Bring Fido in Burbank for pit stop and it took us to a parks. ride. Oops. Lesson learned to read the description of the location before selecting.
Nevertheless, we plodded on and tried the app again when we were in agricultural central California. This time, we came across an amazing, almost unimaginable place in Kettleman, California called Bravo Farms. It seemed like Bravo Farms took a random pit stop and It turned into a mini road trip Disneyland. Each piece of decor and architecture was completely over the top from the water wheel dog Park to the knick knack shopping center, ice cream parlor, coffee shop and restaurant. Just goes to show that you can find inspiring decor ANYWHERE!
After stretching our legs, we continued on to the highlight of the trip, our NAPA stop. We checked in and refreshed at the newly renovated and gorgeous Hilton Garden Inn. We then headed to some wineries for tasting and relaxation. Starting at V. Sattui, we enjoyed some indoor tasting and Winston was a fan favorite of everyone there. He was literally rolling on the ground getting pet and cuddled like he owned the place.
After a light tasting, we were really excited to go over to Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch to enjoy the 90 degree sunshine and our favorite, rosé, on the patio. The grounds were amazing with a giant farm fresh garden, a green archway and endless details of a modern farmhouse. Even better, was the food with warm burrata appetizer and a wild mushroom and pea gnocchi. This was definitely the highlight of our trip and I must say it was the most stylish and memorable road trip pit stop to date. Back at the hotel we ended the evening with ice cream and a few "Good Bones" episodes on AGTV before another early morning start.
Day 2 was a full day of driving from 5am to 7:3o pm. Listening to podcasts and music we took in the gorgeous views from Lake Shasta, southern Oregon ranches, Portland character and Washington greenery. the entire time finding inspiration for new design projects in the journey. We had such a wonderful trip to both close the amazing year we had living together and also inspiring a new beginning for our next chapters.
So if you ever find yourself with a long road trip ahead of you, I highly recommend planning a few memorable
pit stops, you may be surprised with what you find taking a minor detour.
Bringing the past into future happenings and decor
In celebration of Mother's Day this weekend (and my dad's birthday), we decided to go explore a new part of town. We've been to Liberty Station before, but mostly to stop in at a grocery store or grab a quick bite to eat. I'd never actually walked the property. We accidentally parked on the wrong side of the lawn, and started strolling toward the Public Market. I was absolutely amazed at the gorgeous landscaping, fountains, and plazas that made this oasis a truly remarkable place.
For those of you who don't know, Liberty Station is a former Naval Training Center. With the base closure in 1997, the city decided to preserve the landmark through a modernization plan. Today, the exterior of the buildings are well maintained with their original charm. Plenty of patriotic detailed mosaics, iron framed windows, and plenty of cute lawn chairs and benches lining the courtyard. I told my husband Brad that we had just found the perfect Sunday picnic location. The interiors on the other hand have been transformed into trendy restaurants with bocce ball, vertical gardens and gourmet cuisine and an art center paradise with galleries, crafters and training classes.
Our favorite spot of the day was the Public Market, we enjoyed a delicious afternoon rosé from Uphold Wines and some snacks from a few of the vendors inside the market. The patio lights criss-crossed overhead, while kids and dogs played on the well kept artificial turf. Just around the corner was a vertical garden and through the gorgeous doors a full bar.
It was so much fun to play "tourist" in our own city. Sometimes spontaneous adventures to well known places are the perfect place for inspiration and fun. Hope you get to check it out some time soon!
East Village, San Diego
San Diego is known for it's microbrewery community. I'm not much of a beer fan, but I've heard of all the places, well known and boutique. So when one of my colleagues mentioned a gin distillery in downtown San Diego, I was shocked that of all places, that is where it would be.
As part of my birthday festivities last weekend, I decided to take my family there (mom and sis pictured) and I am SO GLAD that we went. Not only were their cocktails so unique and delicious, but their decor was AMAZING. The way I can't stop describing it is "effortless luxury". It sounds like an oxymoron, but I swear, from the minute you walk in there is a sense of comfort, yet the velvet and leather couches mixed with neutral brick walls and greenery accented throughout, it definitely has an upscale vibe.
We took the behind the scenes tour and tasting and got to learn all about how they make their unique Sunday Gin. Did you know that you have to make vodka in order to make gin? We also learned the proper way to smell a spirit so you don't burn your nostrils! (Keep your mouth slightly open as you breath in through the nose).
From there, we made our way to the bar and enjoyed some really unique hand-crafted cocktails while taking in the view. One of my favorite details was their back wall with an extra long velvet couch nestled against the tall white brick wall and their logo boldly carved into wood. This wall made such a statement while the wall right next door featured a quaint bookshelf featuring fun pieces that your best friend may have. Like I said, effortless luxury mixing grand designs with a comfortable atmosphere.
You and Yours just celebrated their one year anniversary, they are up and coming and believe me, they are coming! So if you are in the area, maybe before a Padres game, you should definitely check them out. And if you're anything like us, be prepared to use your 10% discount from the tour to bring home a bottle that you can enjoy later.
Hope you guys are having a great week! You're welcome in advance for your weekend plans ;-)
Pacific Beach, California
I love getting inspiration from hotels, restaurants, museums and more! I'm one that totally appreciates each and every thought and detail that goes into the design. Not every place brings all the perfect feels together but Better Buzz Coffee, a small local coffee chain here in San Diego combines my favorite shapes, colors and textures to make one seriously awesome place to hang out.
Their combination of bold metals, light and bright wood and marble accessorized with gold accents (my favorite) and spotted with greenery captures a cool and collected vibe. Every detail from the hexagon shaped tiled bar transitioning to the concrete floor to the retro lighting and coffee inspired sayings (that totally speak to my coffee addiction) incorporated in the walls and floors makes you want to just pull up a seat, maybe a laptop, and feast on some delicious avocado toast.
And it doesn't stop there, on their small but WOW factor patio they have cornhole and swing seats to enjoy your coffee and conversation. While I was there I saw families grabbing an afternoon snack, students studying for their next exam, individuals journaling and I swear I even saw a date happening. Honestly, when a place looks this amazing and has a menu to die for (I had their vanilla buzz lite, a blended iced coffee - AMAZING) you can find just about any reason to go.
So if you are in the San Diego area, be sure to check out this spot, they have a few locations and each one is slightly different but just as awesome.
If I sound a little excited, it's because I am, this place has captured one of my favorite design looks with brass, hexagons, wood and white and I'm so glad that it's walking distance from my house. Do you have a local spot that you just love? Bonus if the menu is equally as good as the design!
Thanks for stopping by!
Callaway Vineyard & Winery