travel

Travel essentials you must have in your carry on

 

I love to travel.  I love to fly.  I am one of those people who sit on the plane and sleep for about half the trip, but I have to have something to do for the other half.  I can’t just sit there, waiting for the flight to be over.  And, honestly, I tend to fly on airlines that are too cheap to provider in-flight entertainment.   Just because my flight was cheap doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have a luxurious flight.

Each time I pack my carry on, I have to have these essentials in order to have a relaxing flight experience.

A tablet

Apple iPad

Now that Netflix allows you to download shows, I have to have my tablet with me.  The last flight I was on, I watched 6 episodes of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  The comedy made my flight so much more enjoyable.  The woman next to me kept looking on my screen to see what I was laughing at.

I prefer to fly with a tablet instead of a computer because they are smaller, and for the most part, do the same thing as a laptop.

Headphones


Naztech i9BT Over-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones

Whether you are listening to music or watching Netflix, headphones are a necessity for flying.  I recommend noise cancelling ones so it will block out the sound of screaming babies.  Bonus: if you are sitting next to someone who won’t stop talking to you, pop in your headphones.  It’s the international symbol of “Leave me alone.”

A book

The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story

Yes, you can download books onto your tablet, but there is something rewarding about reading an actual paper book on the plane.  I love going to the bookstore at the airport and picking out something to read.  It’s an airport ritual for me.

Water Bottle

CamelBak Chute Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is important especially on a long flight.  It’s so easy to get dehydrated with the dry plane air blowing on you.  Drinking water will help with jetlag and will keep your skin nice and moisturized, so you don’t have any post-plane breakouts.

BB cream

Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream

I wish I was one of those people who could get off the plane and look like they haven’t been traveling all day.  I am so not one of those people.  When I get off the plane, my skin is splotchy and gross.  Now, before the plane starts to land, I apply some BB cream to look a little more put together.

Brushes

Sephora Collection Sleepover Toothbrush – Pink

I must have a toothbrush and a hairbrush in my carry on.  Both are must haves.  There is nothing more horrible than waking up after a nap on the plane with morning breath.  I quickly head to the bathroom and brush my teeth to feel more refreshed.  At the same time, I give my hair a quick brush to tame my unruly hair.

Lotion

Crabtree & Evelyn Ultra Moisturising Hand Therapy Rosewater

Something about airplane air makes my skin get so dry.  I have to have a nice, thick hand lotion in my carry on to stop dry, cracked hands.

Lip balm

L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lip Balm, Pink Satin

The dryness also affects my lips.  Lip balm is a life saver.  Can’t go on the plane without it.

Eyemask

Plemo Sleep Mask

When I want to sleep, I slip my eye mask and headphones on.  It turns out the entire plane and allows me to get some sleep.

Snacks

SkinnyPop Popcorn

There is nothing worse than being hungry on a plane, so I always bring snacks.  I like to eat snacks that can give me energy and by filling, but not be totally unhealthy.

Blanket scarf

Plaid Blanket Scarf

I absolutely have to travel with a blanket scarf.  It’s one on the most versatile things in my carry on.  It’s not only a scarf, but you can roll it up and use it as a pillow.  If the plane is too cold, you can use it as a blanket.  It’s so handy to have with you.

Tote

Tahari Metropolis Tote Handbag (ROSE GOLD)

No carry on essentials list can be complete without a cute tote to put it all in.  I recommend choosing a tote that has a zipper, so that nothing important accidentally spills out.  You can slide it under the seat and easily grab whatever you want from it.

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DIY

Candle Making

 

A few months ago, my friend and I decided to try to make candles. It took a while, but I think I’ve finally gotten the hang of it. In fact, my husband asked me where I bought this candle.

ESTABLISHED 1856

He was surprised when I told him that I made it. Obviously, my candle making skills have improved since the last time I made a candle, he asked me “What is that supposed to be?”

Now, that I have kind of figured out how to do it, making candles really isn’t too hard. So everyone in my family should expect one for Christmas.

Here are the supplies you need:
A bowl or jar for your candle (I just found a cute bowl in my cupboard)                                  A glass measuring cup
Some wax flakes (I used  these from Amazon)
Wicks (I used these from Amazon)
Essential oils (I use young living essential oils)
Colored wax (optional)

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Step 1:
Pour the wax flakes into the measuring cup.  It has to be a glass cup since you are microwaving it.  I think it’s easier to do about half of what you need, so it doesn’t start to harden before you was ready.    If you are adding color dye chips to the wax, you can add them now.
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Microwave the wax for 30-45 second intervals.  Stir each time.  It took about 3 minutes for all my wax to melt, but it depends on your microwave and how much wax you have in the cup.
Basically, you it to be totally melted so there are no more wax flakes.
Step 2:
Add in the essential oils.  This will give your candle the scent.  So you decide how much you want your candle to smell and what it smells like.  I used my favorite combination of orange and thieves essential oils.  I like my candle to smell a lot, so I put about 35 drops of each into about 12 oz of wax.
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Stir the wax to mix in the oils.
Step 3:
This is the hardest step for me- Putting in the wicks.  You want to dip the bottom metal part of the wick into the wax.
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Then, stick it to the bottom of the bowl where you want it to go.  My bowl was pretty wide, so I used 3 wicks.
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The wicks bend and fall down, so I use tape to make a grid across the top, so they don’t fall over.  This is the easiest way I’ve found to keep them in place.
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Step 4:
Pour the rest of the wax into the bowl.  You want to go slow because sometimes, the wicks can get unstuck from the bowl and start floating around.  I usually pour just enough to cover the metal rings and press them down into the wax.  Then, I wait for that to cool for about 30 seconds before starting to pour again.
Step 5:
If you need more wax, you can repeat step 2 and melt more.  Don’t forget to add in the essential oils and dye flakes if you used them.  You want to make sure you don’t overfill the container your candle is in.  I try to leave about 1/2 an inch of space between the wax and the top of the bowl.  That leaves space for the wax to melt and not overflow, and the flame won’t get too high.
Step 6:
Let the candle cool.  I like to leave mine overnight, so I know it has cooled completely.  Then, I took off the tape, and trimmed the wicks to about 1/2 an inch in length.
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It’s a simple as that.  Let me know how your candles turned out.
books

Heartless Review

This week, I read the book Heartless by Marissa Meyer.  I was so excited to read the book.  I had heard such great things about it.  In fact, I even bought the book instead of borrowing it from the library.  I was so excited to read it, but my excitement quickly turned to disappointment.

Heartless is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland.  It focuses on the girl who would become the Queen of Hearts.

The description on Amazon says, “Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen. At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship. Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.”

Sounds promising, right?

My biggest problem with the book is the main character, Catherine.  ­­­­They say that she is one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, but I didn’t see any reason why she was.  Catherine was whiney.  Everything about her annoyed me.  Seriously.  I know that she becomes a villain, but there was nothing redeemable about her.  I had no idea why the King wanted to marry her.

Well, it seems that the King wanted to marry her because she could cook.  Again, I didn’t understand why he was so obsessed with her.  Was there no one else in Wonderland who could make pastries AND have a decent personality?

I couldn’t believe that her baking was that good that anyone would want to marry that insufferable human being.

Nonetheless, she still wasn’t the villain of Wonderland that I had loved to hate in the original novels.  I kept waiting to see what incident Meyer would create to turn Catherine into the horrible Queen of Hearts.  That had to be the main plot point in this backstory, right?

Wrong.  There really wasn’t anything that happened.  Just all the sudden, she turned evil.  It was like she just decided to be evil.  There was really no explanation.

The best part of the book was Jest, the jester who for some reason falls in love with Catherine.   Since he is a jester, it is quite scandalous for him to start dating a girl who is matched with the King.  Meyer tried to make him Wonderland-like by giving him yellow eyes.   Way to ruin a character.  Even though he was the most interesting part of the book, he was still so boring that I don’t even have anything to say about him.

I loved the idea of this book.  I loved Alice in Wonderland, and the thought of a Wicked-esque backstory for the Queen of Hearts.  There was just something missing for this novel.  It didn’t seem like Wonderland.  It was missing that sort of zany setting.  In fact, if I didn’t know it was a Wonderland story, I probably wouldn’t have figured it out until the middle of the book.  Really, the only Wonderland elements were things taken directly from the original- the Mad Hatter, the Jabberwocky, the playing card people.  Nothing was really added to the setting that made it feel like Wonderland.  I had hoped for more.

The story was slow.  I wanted more from the plot since I wasn’t getting anything from the characters or setting.  There really was no point to the story.  I had to focus myself to keep reading.  Several times, I almost did not finish, but I powered through.  I kept telling myself that it would get better, but it didn’t.  It really didn’t.

Maybe I had too high of expectations.  Maybe I should have just stopped reading when my eyes rolled when the first chapter droned on and on about how good of a baker Catherine was.  Maybe it’s me and not the book.  Regardless, I expected more from this book.

Uncategorized

First blog post

I never really imagined that I would have a blog.  I never really understood why people would want to read what I had to say.  That all changed a few weeks ago when I received the invitation to my TEN year class reunion.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t go.

I may or may not have purposely scheduled a vacation with my husband for the weekend of the reunion.

Even though I tried to avoid it, the reality that I had graduated from high school a decade ago set off my quarter- life crisis.

I thought quarter- or mid-life crises were made up until I experienced mine.  Now, I am very happy with my life.  I have a wonderful husband, a house, a job and a dog.  We are thinking about having children.  I really had nothing to have a crisis about, but it still happened.

Simply put, I wasn’t the person I had wanted to become.  Ten years ago, I had so many dreams.  I had imagined that I would be a writer, living in someplace far from my hometown with a husband and dog.  I wanted to travel and meet new people and have new experiences.

At least, I got the husband and dog part right.  We travel sometimes, too.

Somehow, after high school, I had lost sight of those dreams.  I blame college and the unemployment after college.  It totally made me become a different person.  A grumpier, more in debt person.

Currently, I’m living in my hometown.  My job is mind numbing.  It was something that I fell into by accident.  While I’m happy to be employed, the thought of working there for the next forty years makes me sad.

Of course, I still don’t know what I want to do with my life.  I’m 28 years old and still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.   I thought I would have it figured out by now, but I think I’m further from it now than I ever was.

I had settled for what was easy and simply.  But now, I’m putting myself out there, and trying something new.  I want to get back to that happy, creative person I once was.

So, I’m starting with this blog.  I thought I wanted to be a writer, so I’m going to try it out.  I plan on posting things that I like, or catch my interest.  I like DIY, so you will probably see my experiments and Pinterest fails.  I like fashion and shopping.  I love to travel and plan trips.  It will be a little of everything. And probably a lot of pictures of my dog, Frank.  I also have a big, crazy family, so there will be stories about them, too.

My blog name actually comes for something my grandma always says to me.  Whenever I would say something silly or unrealistic, she would say, “Oh honestly, Sarah.”

For example:

“Grandma, I’m starting a blog,” I said.

She replied, “Oh honestly, Sarah.”