la mia bella vita

my beautiful life by Katie


Well, we are home now, we have finally recovered from our jet-lag, and we are seriously missing Thailand.  Missing Thailand?  Did I ever think that I would miss Thailand?  I’m not completely sure.  But after 3 weeks of traveling and experiencing all of the beauties of Thailand, we both feel so blessed and grateful for the opportunity.

We had been preparing and packing ourselves for this trip for weeks.  The anticipation was practically killing us.  So when our departure date finally rolled around, and it was time to board our plane, we were both teeming with excitement.

After 2 (very) long flights, we arrived a little before Midnight in Bangkok.  And the first thing we noticed?  Humidity.  Definitely not something that we are used to in San Diego, but we knew it was going to be hot and humid, so we packed accordingly.

We grabbed a cab, drove into the city, checked into our hotel, and tried to get a few hours of sleep.  Although between the time zone change (14 hours) and the excitement of being in Bangkok, it was a little tough to catch some zzz’s.

Before we knew it, we awoke to the sound of the Monks walking through the streets singing their morning chants.  It was the perfect way for us to wake up.  We got ourselves ready and headed out to conquer some of Bangkok’s “old city” stops.

We made it but only a few feet out of our hotel, and we were already drawn in by the street food.  We had heard that Thailand had amazing street food, and after several airplane meals, we were ready for anything that wasn’t served on a plastic tray.  We started out with this sweet and savory little taco (we think that it was coconut and carrot) and some fresh squeezed orange juice.



We finished our juice just as we arrived at the Grand Palace.  It was only 8:30 in the morning, and we were both already dripping in sweat.  Luckily, I was in a sundress.  Okay, not luckily.  I had forgotten my pashmina at the hotel, which I brought for covering my shoulders during our touring.  Luckily the palace rented clothes for free.  Again, not luckily.  A polyester full length skirt and a men’s short sleeve shirt over my dress.  Even just writing this makes my skin crawl with the intensity of the heat that I felt while wearing this (over my clothing) (for hours).  I truly do not think that I have ever been hotter.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that it was also 112° with 97% humidity.


Regardless of our lack of sleep, the jet-lag, the language barrier and the extreme heat, we are both the kind of travelers who always make the most of our experiences, and this was no exception.  It felt so amazing to be in Thailand, and to experience such a different culture.



The Grand Palace is beautiful.  After you cross through the gate, you are greeted by what seems an unending lay of ornate buildings and statues.  Each building is decorated with the most intricate detail of tiny tiles, no space left unadorned.


dsc09586 dsc09593 dsc09637



After touring the Grand Palace, we were both ready for something that would be a little refreshing.  We dropped off our rental clothes (yes, even my husband had to cover his legs), and we headed outside of the gate where we were greeted by a man selling fresh fruit.  We nabbed up some baby pineapples (the best pineapples I have ever had, might I mention) to enjoy on our walk towards the famous Reclining Buddha.


After just a few minutes walk outside of the Grand Palace, we arrived at Wat Pho, home to the Reclining Buddha and the Golden Buddha.




Even in just the few hours that we had been touring around Bangkok, we already noticed how much honor and respect is given to the Buddha.  The offerings that are laid before the sacred sites are almost as beautiful as the statues themselves.


the golden buddha






the reclining buddha


The Reclining Buddha is magnificent.  It is so much larger than I had imagined it would be.  And for me, it is so amazing to think about how they figured out how to build this in 1832.  I am sure that this was both a huge logistical and financial undertaking.  Unfortunately, or amazingly, it is so large that I was unable to get a picture of the complete Reclining Buddha in one shot.





wat pho




After several hours of touring, the heat started to get to us.  We were in need of a cool place to sit and relax a little.  Luckily for us, right inside of Wat Pho is the original school for Thai massage, where you can still go to get a massage (for very cheap and in a beautifully air-conditioned room).  We sat down for our foot massages, and probably both could have fallen asleep and just spent the afternoon there.  It was exactly what we needed.

After relaxing for a little, the hunger started to set in.  We reluctantly left the massage school and headed towards the river.  We grabbed a fresh pomegranate juice right before we boarded the cross-river ferry to head towards Wang Lang Market, in search of some lunch.


Unfortunately our lunch search was not as fruitful as we had hoped (I personally would not recommend Wang Lang Market).   But we were able to get a few small things, which were all very delicious (it just took quite some time to track some good options down).


After lunch, we both agreed it was time for a siesta. We headed back to our hotel with the plan to take a nap, then head out for a walk and some dinner afterwards.  Well, we woke up from our “nap” around 11:30 p.m. (insert hysterical laughter), and decided it was probably in our best interest to just call it a night.

With the promise of many more exciting days ahead of us, we both quickly fell (back) asleep in anticipation of the journey that lay ahead.

Fall Fun

So, yes, I have been a bit of a list-lady lately.  Guilty as charged.  Although I haven’t always been successful at checking things off of my lists, lately, it has really been working for me; including my list of fun things to do during Fall.  It might be a bit premature to say this, but I think that I am going to check everything off of my list!

  • Burn my absolute favorite candle, Leaves – I am already on my second large candle, this is my absolute favorite Fall scent.
  • Carve Pumpkins – We bought our pumpkins and have a pumpkin carving night planned out with some friends the week before Halloween.
  • Roast pumpkin seeds – I will do this the same night as our pumpkin carving.
  • Go apple and pear picking in Julian (here are my recommendations)
    We went right at the start of the fruit season here, which seems to be creeping earlier and earlier.  (We went at the end of August.)



  • Dress up for Halloween – The hubs and I already picked out our costumes, now we are just brewing up a fun plan to celebrate Halloween.
  • Celebrate Oktoberfest – The building we live in hosted a great Oktoberfest party; German music, bratwurst and all!


  • Make caramel apples (here is my inspo for this year)
  • Eat my favorite store-bought caramel apple, the Happy Apple – The hubs surprised me with a pack of these babies.
  • Go to Boston and enjoy the Fall foliage – I’m in Boston right now, enjoying all the Fall I can get.  Make sure to follow along here!


  • Make homemade applesauce (here is my recipe)I whipped up a big batch from all of the apples and pears that we picked.
  • Go to Disneyland for Mickey’s Halloween Party – Big bummer.  By the time we got home from Thailand and picked out a date to go, tickets were already sold out.
  • Make our favorite pumpkin doughnuts (this recipe is killer) – I’ve actually changed my mind on this.  I am now planning on trying a recipe that I found for Apple Cider Doughnuts.
  • Make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (here is our tried and true recipe)
    These are my absolute all-time favorite Fall, and really all-year cookies.  The milk chocolate chips make them so special.  But let me warn you, they are addictive.


  • Make a Fall soup – I still have yet to decide what to make.  Any ideas?
  • Make pumpkin pancakes
  • Roast chestnuts (thanks to my Father-in-law, who kindly ships us large bags of chestnuts from his trees every year)
  • Try a new pumpkin recipe (this was last year’s home-run new recipe)


What fun things have you done to celebrate Fall?  I always love to hear other people’s ideas and activities…it gives me inspiration for next year’s list ;)


Checking Off My List

Although it has only been a couple of weeks since I posted my 101 in 1001, I have surprised myself by already checking a few things off of my list.  I am starting to think that accomplishing my list won’t be as difficult as I might have imagined.  In fact, I am pretty sure that it is just going to be a whole lot of fun!  Here is what I have accomplished so far:

#1: Swim in turquoise water (Completed the week of September 18, 2016 on the island of Koh Samui in the Gulf Coast of Thailand)





#42:  Watch the sun set (Completed the week of September 18, 2016, also while we were on Koh Samui)





#50: Sing and dance and kiss in the rain (Completed on September 21, 2016)


I sang, I danced, we kissed and we swam in the warm, warm, tropical rains.

#52: Start reading a book and finish it within a month (Completed on September 21, 2016)   

Not only did I start and finish a book within a month, I started reading The Girl on the Train and finished it in 3 days!  I could not put it down, it was so good.  Also, I am really excited by a super sweet birthday gift that I got this year, a book of the month club – it will definitely help me stay on track with my reading goals.

#84: Play in a Bocce tournament (Completed on October 9, 2016)



In just the few weeks since posting my 101 in 1001 list, I feel like I have experienced so many amazing adventures.  I am so excited to see what my list will inspire me to do, and where I will go with it next.


Last Year’s Goals

Did you catch my post this past Sunday celebrating my blog’s birthday and sharing with you my goals for year 2 of La Mia Bella Vita?  Well, I realized that you might be wondering how last year’s goals went, and if I was able to grow and succeed in the ways that I had outlined for myself.  Take a look at how things went:

Goals: I really want to buckle down and become more tech-saavy this year – really vamp up the blog with more information about me, share more pictures, and generally streamline it a bit more.  I would also love to continue to work on my writing and my voice on the blog, and probably have a little more self control when it comes to exclamations!!!!!!  (Sometimes I can’t help my excitement!) 

Outcome: I completed adding more information about myself on my blog, and have also started sharing more personal pictures.  I did work on my writing as well, and had a big breakthrough after the #wits16 conference.  And my usage of exclamations?  Yes, I have used much more personal restraint.

Goals: I hope to start working with more companies that I am passionate about, and get the opportunity to share my experiences with you.

Outcome: I did get the chance to work with some really great properties and companies while traveling this year.  Take a look at a few of my collaborations here: Cinque Terre, Monterosso al Mare, Bologna, Italian Days, Tep Wireless, Palm Springs.

DSC05264 - Copy

Goals: I want to travel to more new places this year.  See even more blue water, and swim in turquoise blue waters without being deathly afraid of the fish swimming with me. I would even love to learn how to surf.

Outcome: We got to travel to a lot of new places this year – Cinque Terre, Bologna, Yellowstone National Park and we are currently in Thailand (follow along here).


Goals: I would love to go to New York Fashion Week next year.  I want to continue studying Italian and get even closer to becoming fluent.  I want to dance even more this year, love more, be goofy more.

Outcome: Well, unfortunately our travels in Thailand overlapped with NYFW this year, so that will have to wait for now.  My Italian studies have continued to go well and I had another opportunity to attend school in Italy (read about it here).  I did keep up with my dancing this year as well.  I am still taking my Hawaiian and Tap Dance classes, which for me is just complete and utter joy.


Goals: I want to spend less time worrying about what other people think, and just be my crazy self :)  I want to continue to find my passions in life, and follow my heart and my dreams without letting anything or anyone get in my way (including myself for that matter). 

Outcome: I have worked on this, but I need to continue to listen to my own voice.  No one knows me better than I do!

What I learned from last year’s goals was that I need to be more clear and specific with myself.  I did have a lot of goals for year one, but I think that some of the things didn’t get done because I didn’t have a clearer end goal for myself.  So for my year two list, I really tried to be specific.  I guess that is another thing that I am working on for year two, clarity.


You might have noticed by now that I like to set goals and create lists for myself, way beyond the typical New Year’s Eve goals.  Anyone else out there do the same thing?  What goals have you set for yourself recently?

Terrifically 2

No terrible two’s around here, just terrifically two!  Today La Mia Bella Vita turns 2!  I can’t hardly believe that two years have passed by since I first started secretly blogging ( yep, I didn’t tell anyone for a good 6 or more months).


#fb with our sweet pup Chelsea – I am around 2 1/2 here

These past two years have been filled with a lot of ups and downs.  There have been different challenges, including finding my voice, growing as a writer and simply growing as a blogger.  There is no simple road to success, and I wouldn’t have these past 2 years any other way.  I’ve still got a long way to go, but I already have so much to celebrate and be proud of.

Each year on my “blogging” birthday, which coincidentally falls on my real birthday, I like to announce my goals and dreams for the coming year (check out my very first blog post here and last year’s birthday post here).  As I’ve mentioned before, “announcing to the universe,”  as my Mom says, is a great practice of putting your intentions out into the world.  So often we don’t say aloud what we want, for fear that it might not happen…but if you announce it, the universe will listen and provide.


birthday party

So, here are my goals for Year Two of La Mia Bella Vita:

  1. Blog more about what I’m cooking, share my own personal recipes and continue to work towards finding a balance with it.  (Click here and here  if you are curious why I need balance with this.)
  2. Travel to new places and work on not having fear of the unknown or fear of missing out.
  3. Follow what brings me happiness and joy in life, and don’t let other peoples’ judgements or opinions get in the way of what I know is right for me and for my blog.
  4. Go to New York Fashion Week.  (This was on the list this past year, but our travels to Thailand overlapped.)
  5. “Summer” in Italy and start blogging in Italian.
  6. Bite the bullet and change the theme of my blog. (I’ve been toying with this for a few months now.)
  7. Spend more time learning about the technical aspects of blogging – html, etc… (Insert concerned face here.)
  8. If I don’t have time to blog as much as I would like, or Instagram or whatever, don’t explain myself.  Everyone gets busy, and that is 100%, completely okay.
  9. Build more relationships with fellow bloggers.
  10. Grow my social media accounts.
  11. Fall nine times, get up ten.  Continue reaching out to companies that I am passionate about working with.  Opportunities will come my way, I just need to keep pushing and never stop believing.


I’ve definitely had style and a creative flair from the beginning.

Fall Fun

Happy Fall everyone!  Today is the First Day of Autumn, and as I’ve mentioned before, Fall is one of my favorite times of year (and probably my favorite season).  Although the leaves may not change color or have that sweet smell in San Diego, the air changes and becomes a little cooler, and the stores become just as stocked with all of the fun candies and costumes.


flash back to fall, when my best friend was the scarecrow

Here is what I am looking forward to doing this Fall, along with pictures from last year’s festive activities:

  • Burn my absolute favorite candle, Leaves
  • Carve PumpkinsIMG_20151031_225954
  • Roast pumpkin seedsIMG_20151031_112944
  • Go apple and pear picking in Julian (here are my recommendations)
  • Dress up for Halloween – any ideas?IMG_20151031_172219

wednesday and fester addams

  • Celebrate Oktoberfest
  • Make caramel apples (here is my inspo for this year)
  • Eat my favorite store-bought caramel apple, the Happy Apple
  • Go to Boston and enjoy the Fall foliageIMG_20151017_192309
  • Make homemade applesauce (here is my recipe)
  • Go to Disneyland for Mickey’s Halloween Party
  • Make our favorite pumpkin doughnuts (this recipe is killer)IMG_20151025_104636
  • Make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (here is our tried and true recipe)
  • Make a Fall soup20151102_192903

julia childs split pea soup

  • Make pumpkin pancakes
  • Roast chestnuts (thanks to my Father-in-law, who kindly ships us large bags of chestnuts from his trees every year)
  • Try a new pumpkin recipe (this was last year’s home-run new recipe)DSC00892


What fun things do you have planned for Fall?  Am I missing anything?  Leave your advice in the comments below, I would love some more great ideas!

On My Bookshelf

It has been a few months since I’ve mentioned any reading going on, and although I have neglected my bookshelf a little bit (I blame it on the traveling), I’ve finally dusted off my current reads and am happy to say, I am back at it.  Yes, remember me talking about my reading style here?  I always have a few good books going at the same time.


I have finally finished “The Magical Art of Tidying Up,” and yes, it was magical.  To be honest, I am actually a very clean and organized person, so I originally thought that this book might not be helpful, but when I first flipped through it, a certain excerpt caught my attention:

“Spare Buttons:  You will never use spare buttons.”

I think that I literally stopped dead in my tracks.  Yes, I have a jar of spare buttons.  Oh no, I am that person with a jar of spare buttons.  I have a jar of spare buttons! Appropriately, I read the book, and really did get a lot out of it.


For example, we reorganized our clothing drawers and have started folding our clothing according to her method and have never looked back.  I did get rid of the buttons, and many other things that were being kept with no purpose.  And I also gained a lot of perspective on why we keep things.  It was a great read, even for some one who is organized.


The other book that I have become slightly obsessed with is “The 4 Hour Work Week.”  I mean, who wouldn’t want to work for only four hours, right?  When I first started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down.  My husband kept gently asking, “are you ready to go to bed now?”  Hours later?  Yes.  This has been a great read for me.  Not everything is a piece of advice that I can use, but it has been great for getting a different perspective on time use and prioritizing.


The final book that I have been reading is one that I picked up while in Montepulciano this past April, Favole al Telefono.  Yes, it is in Italian, and yes, it is a children’s book.  But, you’ve gotta start somewhere, right?  It doesn’t necessarily challenge me in terms of understanding the material, but it gives me the chance to recognize things that I’ve already learned.  And it is a great feeling to read a book in Italian and understand everything (for the most part).  I guess that this is more of a confidence building book.


What have you been reading this Summer?  Do you already have your next book picked out? Next up for me are a few books that I have on loan from family, but I’m also thinking that I need to get around to reading this book before the movie comes out this Fall.


Fall Neutrals

Who else gets excited for Fall fashions?  Sweaters, comfy coats, snuggly fabrics, boots…what could be better?  For me, I mostly keep my eye out for neutral pieces to add to my closet.  For me, they are versatile and much more timeless than colorful or printed pieces.  I like to choose pieces that have lasting power and can also be worn in other seasons.  Here are a few fun pieces that I’ve got me eye on:

Fall Neutrals

woven sneaker  / / asymmetrical sweater / / shift dress

funnel neck sweater / / over the knee boots / / slouchy bag

jacquard dress / / cashmere trench / / wool baseball cap


What kind of pieces are you looking for this Fall?

101 in 1001

So, I’m not exactly sure how this all came to be, but one day, several months ago, I came across some one’s blog post about a super-sized to-do list / goal list / bucket list of 101 things to do in 1001 days.  At the time, I thought that it sounded pretty great, but I didn’t feel particularly determined to do one myself.

Flash forward a few months, when I am saying to my husband, “do you remember that thing I told you about…it was like 200 things in 2000 days….or was it 300 things in 3000 days?”  After a bit of confusion and Google searching, I was able to track down what I was looking for, 101 in 1001.

So what exactly is 101 in 1001?  Well, it is a little different for everyone, but for me, I am compiling a list of 101 things that I want to accomplish in 1001 days (approximately 2.75 years).  My goal was to compile a mix of different personal goals and dreams; things that I might be able to easily accomplish and things that I will really need to push for.

I am excited by my list and feel really enthused about accomplishing everything, and a little bit like I can barely wait to get started and see how these next 1001 days go.  I hope that you enjoy my list, and maybe even feel a little inspired to start your own.  Okay mega-list, lets do this!

Start Day: September 13, 2016

Finish Date: June 11, 2019

  1. Swim in turquoise water (Completed September 18-15, 2016)
  2. Learn how to tango or salsa dance
  3. Visit the islands of Greece
  4. See the Northern Lights in Iceland
  5. Bake Julia Child’s croissants
  6. Become fluent in Italian
  7. Start speaking only Italian in our home
  8. Visit Sardinia
  9. Learn enough Spanish to order my favorite fish tacos
  10. Take a watercolor painting class
  11. Go to Croatia
  12. Find a swimsuit that fits well and makes me feel confident
  13. Finish the photo collage wall in our living room
  14. Go to Pantelleria
  15. Work on my media kit and finalize the changes
  16. Start and finish the photo collage idea I have for my office
  17. Get new bedding and linens
  18. Make our own wedding album
  19. Put all of our loose photos into matching photo albums
  20. Start running regularly again
  21. Run a race
  22. Try the frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity
  23. Fly a kite
  24. Take a pilates class
  25. Leave a 100% tip
  26. Make Grammy’s gingerbread sleigh
  27. Find a new pair of sunglasses that are comfortable enough for all-day wear
  28. Start writing a book
  29. Summer in Italy
  30. Re-design my website
  31. Invest in nice business cards
  32. Go clubbing one last time
  33. Go line dancing
  34. Pick out a new dining room table and chairs
  35. Improve my posture, and be conscious of it everyday
  36. Buy a condo
  37. Organize our new filing cabinet
  38. Find a new wine bar
  39. Purchase new wine glasses (since we have broken most of ours)
  40. Tie a note to a balloon and let it go
  41. Forgive people who have hurt me in my past and let go of those hurts
  42. Watch the sun set (Completed the week of September 18, 2016)
  43. Do 32 acts of kindness for each year I have lived
  44. Host a dinner part solely made from items at the 99 Cents Only store
  45. Dress up for Halloween
  46. Host a house warming party, even if we only have 2 people to invite
  47. Be more assertive: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  48. Stop explaining myself and my choices
  49. Laugh at something everyday
  50. Sing and dance and kiss in the rain (Completed on September 21, 2016)
  51. Save more money for retirement
  52. Start reading a book and finish it within a month (Completed on September 21, 2016)
  53. Fix our pesky and loud water filter
  54. Be more forgiving
  55. Pray everyday
  56. Plan more in advance for trips, not the week or days before
  57. Get back to my goal weight and make healthy choices to keep balance
  58. Get a manicure with a bold colored polish (not my every time bubble bath)
  59. Get a Microsoft Surface and stop traveling with our laptop
  60. Get a motorcycle license and test drive a Vespa
  61. Send some one a card just because
  62. Pick out new bedroom furniture
  63. Learn to surf
  64. Stroll under the Eiffel Tower
  65. List our old coins on Ebay
  66. Sell my old Viola
  67. Get a no fuss, shower and go haircut
  68. Pick out a new camera
  69. Download Italian pop songs
  70. Visit Death Valley National Park
  71. Cover our Christmas Tree in a plastic bag
  72. Attend New York Fashion Week
  73. Start getting paid to blog
  74. Work with a company that I am passionate about
  75. Put away $10 for every goal completed
  76. Get professional photos taken
  77. Find a pair of comfortable, neutral high heels
  78. Start a skincare routine
  79. Be featured in a magazine
  80. Start a housewares line
  81. Keep the house “company ready” everyday for a month
  82. Stop biting my cuticles
  83. Go one month without sugar
  84. Play in a Bocce tournament (Completed on October 9, 2016)
  85. Go roller skating or roller blading
  86. *
  87. Do something active everyday for 90 days
  88. Type slower, so that I don’t need to make as many typo corrections
  89. Fit in my original pair of skinny jeans again
  90. Stretch for 5 minutes before and after exercise for one month
  91. Feed the homeless once a month for a year
  92. Show and express more gratitude
  93. Get a pair of Uggs and don’t worry about them getting dirty
  94. Plan a trip to San Francisco and Napa Valley
  95. Ride the Coastliner
  96. Don’t mindlessly watch TV, either watch a taped or planned show, otherwise read a book, do work, go for a walk, play a game or just be quiet
  97. Unsubscribe from unwanted emails
  98. Start speaking only Italian to my Father-in-law
  99. Study/speak Italian everyday for 60 days
  100. Don’t sweat the small stuff and get caught up in other peoples’ drama
  101. Sleep under the stars

* Number 86 is something that I am not yet ready to share out-loud, but someday will gladly share it.

What I’m Packing

For me, packing light is a major priority.  As much as I love the idea of having a different outfit for each day of my travel, multiple pairs of shoes and handbags, and multiple hair tools for different styles; no longer are the days of me lugging around one giant 75 lb suitcase (yes, it has happened).

I am actually completely on the opposite end of the spectrum now.  Long weekend?  Carry-on suitcase.  Week away?  Carry-on suitcase.  Month away?  Carry-on suitcase.  Yes, I have managed to limit myself to packing everything that I need for up to one month in just one carry-on suitcase, and this includes a bit of extra room for goodies to come home with me as well.


my favorite carry-on

So here are my tips and tricks for keeping you suitcase light, organized, and ready for anything.

  • Check the weather and pack accordingly.  Traveling to a wet climate?  Pack waterproof shoes, umbrellas and ponchos.  Traveling to snow?  Winter boots and all the fixings.  Traveling somewhere hot?  Don’t forget a sweater for those cool nights.
  • Determine how many outfits you will need.  For me, the key to packing light is re-wearing clothing.  No one will ever notice or care that you have worn something more than once.  So if I am going to be gone for a couple of weeks, I will plan on packing 1 weeks worth of clothing, and re-wear accordingly.  Additionally, plan to do some hand-wash along the way or have things cleaned at the hotel.  Worst case scenario: I forget something or something is stained or broken beyond repair?  Pretty much anywhere in the world I will have the accessibility to buy something.
  • Accessories.  Here is the tricky part for me – I always want to bring way more shoes and sunglasses than I have space for, so I have to be really tough with myself here.  I try to limit myself to 2 pairs of sunglasses and 2 pairs of shoes for each trip.  For sunglasses, I pick one nice everyday pair and another pair that I wouldn’t be sad if they broke or got left behind.  For shoes, I try to pick one super comfortable pair / sneaker and a second pair that can be dressed up or down.  For example, for an upcoming trip that will involve a lot of walking, I’m already tentatively planning on these two:shoes

navy loafers  / / new balance sneakers

  • Toiletries.  Long had I been on the hunt for the perfect toiletry bag (here was the start), and you know what?  I think that I have found it.  The trick here is travel size everything (and the Container Store is a great place to find just about every size and shape).  There is no way I could bring all full size products with me, I would literally have an entire suitcase filled with products.  So, I’ve invested in enough travel-size, refillable containers for all of my beauty and health products.  I set out my toiletry bag a week or so before we are going to leave, and as I go through my daily routine, I visually check and make sure that everything is packed and ready to go.  Additionally, when I return from travel, I immediately replace or refill anything that I used.  That way my toiletries are always packed and ready.


find this organizing cutie here

Now for the packing.  Well, here I have tried several different methods – I have tried packing cubes, I have tried the rolling technique,or even just throwing things in on the way home…but for me, tried and true is just traditional folding and setting the items inside my suitcase.

And for a few extra tips, here are a few items that I never travel without:

  • Ziploc bags (gallon and jumbo size) / /  These are great for storing items that you are bringing back that might leak or break.  They are also great for holding extra toiletries.
  • Extra Cash / / Hide a little bit of extra money somewhere in your wallet or elsewhere, so that just in case you are in a pinch with no ATM in sight, you have a bit of reserve.
  • Cable Ties / / Perfect for locking up suitcases or bags during travel or if they are being held at the hotel.  Sure, some one could still cut them open, but at least you would know if they had or not. (Here are the ones I use.)
  • Ear Plugs / / Sometimes for the hotel, and sometimes for the plane, either way, pack them even if you think that you don’t need them.
  • Neck Buddy / / I am a serious neck-bobber on the plane, remember my mention of it here?  Well, now with my new neck pillow, I am sleeping comfortably.
  • Snuggly Socks / / Either for more comfort on the plane ride, or a particularly chilly night, I never ever travel without at least one pair of these.
  • External charger  / / This little cutie is small enough to fit in your purse, but holds enough power to fully charge your phone or camera..


What are your packing tips and tricks?  Do you have any items that you would never travel without?


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