What’s In My: Road Trip Bag

I have a confession to make… I don’t like road trips. In theory I love the idea of hitting the road and taking in all the amazing sights that our country has to offer. But in reality, I find it really boring and often very stressful trying to entertain two kiddos who are also bored. But, alas, we are headed on a family road trip soon so I need to figure out a way to maintain my sanity while trying to enjoy the start of my vacation. I’m already starting to plan what to pack in my road trip bag to keep things fun and entertaining…

A Feteful Life: What's in my Road Trip Bag

1. JanSport off trail backpack – When it comes to traveling (especially with kids) backpacks are my bag of choice. You can pack it full of stuff and still easily carry it while keeping your hands free.

2. Along the Way App – This handy app does exactly what its name implies – just type in your route and it will show you places to eat, grab coffee, shop, and even sightsee as you go.

3. Audio books from the library – Last time my husband and I went on a road trip we got an audio book to listen to and it was a game changer for me. It made the 7 hour drive fly by and I was even a bit sad when we got to our destination because I wanted to continue listening. Since our kids will be on the trip with us (and since my older son is now obsessed with Harry Potter) we’ll probably listen to something kid friendly like Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets but if it were just me, I’d be listening to Goldfinch which is on the top of my “to-read” list. While audio books tend to be more expensive than the paper or kindle versions, be sure to check if your local library has free ones for you to download!

4. Ray-Ban Aviators – I have the most sensitive eyes to light and I cannot drive without sunglasses. I think aviators are the perfect shades because their frames are light and airy but still give you a lot of coverage. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a classic.

5. Trader Joes Grand Slam Popcorn – This stuff is addictive! It’s sweet, salty and amazing. I love it, the kids love it, and it won’t last in our car for very long.

6. National Geographic Kid’s Atlas – If the kids loose interest in Harry Potter, I’m packing lots of little activities for them to do in the car. Both of the kids are obsessed with maps (just like me) and I think they will absolutely love this kid’s atlas, which includes maps, games, funny facts and silly attractions.

What’s In My: Party Styling Bag

Hosting a party in your home has many advantages, but to me, the biggest benefit is that I always have everything on hand I need to style whatever occasion we’re hosting. Styling elsewhere requires some real thought on what supplies I need to pull everything together. And having now styled in many different types of offsite venues, I think I have the necessities down pat. I don’t use any fancy bag for all the supplies — a good sturdy reusable shopping bag usually does the trick. Here’s what’s inside:

A Feteful Life: What's in My Styling Bag1. So I don’t actually have this Cabotte Hip Pack from Anthropolgie, but I definitely need it. I like to have at least a pair of scissors and several kinds of tape close at hand while styling and my current approach of carrying them in my back pocket is getting old. At a recent baby shower we styled, our friend Beth joked that she was going to get me a fanny pack and I retorted that “it better be Gucci.” That’s probably a bit much, but there are several super cute hip packs, belt bags, waist packs, etc. out there {and no matter what you call it, it’s still a fanny pack}.

2. Essential tools include a flexible measuring tape, an Xacto knife, and a great pair of scissors. No explanation needed there.

3. Striped paper straws are relatively inexpensive and super versatile. Besides being used as actual drinking straws, which can be dressed up all kinds of ways, I’ve used them to make photo props, cake buntings, and party signs. Just to name a few. I usually try to have a color that coordinates with other party decor, plus grey, black + white, and a metallic color to use as neutrals.

4. I’m kind of obsessed with Baker’s Twine. It’s pretty sturdy, but still so cute. I use it for just about everything, too: from hanging decorations, to embellishing favors, to packaging leftovers. And since it’s available in pretty much whatever color you want, you can really coordinate it with the rest of the party. I always have gold and black + white on hand.

5. I carry about 5 different kinds of tape for event styling, but washi tape is the best looking and most versatile. I frequently use clear packing tape to hang decorations (it’s sticky enough to catch Baker’s Twine and generally strong enough to hold most things up), but like to place a small piece of washi tape over it to hide the packing tape, which isn’t that attractive. I also use it to dress up cutlery, tack on labels, and even make cake buntings. I like having both a set of black + white patterns and metallic gold.

6. 12″ bamboo skewers are a staple as well. I’ve cut and embellished them for food styling, drink stirrers, and party signs.

7. There’s not a whole lot that a glue gun can’t fix — at least long enough to last through a party. It helps to have one on hand to quickly put together party signage, embellished skewers, or other decor. Careful though — those little suckers get reaaaal hot. I’ve got the scars to prove it.

What’s In My: Travel Bag

How time flies! It’s only been a little over a week since Jim and I got back from our whirlwind weekend in San Francisco but it feels like yesterday. I love San Francisco but it is just so gosh darn far away for a weekend.

Over the last few years we’ve had a few of these quick trips to SF with friends for a wedding and a law school reunion and each time I keep perfecting my carry-on bag. You need entertainment for the flight that won’t weigh you down plus a few essential toiletries so you can hit the ground running as soon as you land. All while keeping it light enough to not slow you down as you make your way through the airport. Here are some of my must haves…

A Feteful Life: What's in my travel bag1. A great all-purpose tote is my favorite bag to travel with. It holds everything you need during the flight but is also versatile enough to use as a purse when you get to your destination. This Transport Tote from Madewell is just gorgeous. I love it!

2.  Magazines are one of my favorite flight luxuries. I so rarely have time to just sit and flip through a magazine when I’m at home. But, when faced with a six hour flight ahead of me with no kids screaming for my attention, bring on the magazines! Kinfolk is currently my favorite magazine. It is beautiful!

3. I’m always vacillating between hot and cold when I’m flying so it is essential that I wear layers. A scarf keeps me cozy on the plane (and on those chilly SF evenings). I’m a bit obsessed with green this season (and tassels) so this scarf from Old Navy is perfect!

4. On our flight into SF last week my ears were killing me as we landed. This hasn’t happened to me in years and I was caught off guard and had nothing to help pop my ears. I was definitely prepared for the flight home. This Glee Gum is my favorite all natural gum.

5. I’ve read a few books on the Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad but nothing compares to a real Kindle. Jim got me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas and it’s the best way to read a book (aside from, you know… a real book).

6 – 8. These three products are my must have products for when I travel. I never go anywhere without my Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm. It adds sheer color, isn’t sticky and moisturizes all in one. I haven’t tried a color that I haven’t liked. Not only do I love how the Oribe Cote d’Azure hair refresher smells, but it also takes away the static in my hair that always happens when I fly. It’s not really a dry shampoo but it does make you feel clean and fresh. Over the years I’ve become a germaphobe and traveling is one of my worst case germ scenarios. I always have some hand sanitizer on hand and the Burt’s Bees with witch hazel keeps the germs away and my hands stay soft.