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Not Getting Sick Essentials





At the height of cold/flu season, here are a few of my best tips to prevent and treat a stuffy nose and sore throat.  Please bear in mind I am not a medical professional of any kind -- in fact, take all of this advice with a massive grain of salt.

WATER | I try to drink as much water as I can to stay hydrated, it'll soothe any dry nose or throat

ORGANIC 911 | this caffeine-free peppermint blend from David's Tea clears up your sinuses with the first inhale.

HONEY | Raw tastes infinitely better than anything that comes from a bear-shaped bottle.  Trust me.

VITAMIN C HALLS | I don't like the way Emergen-C tastes, and I forget to take supplements, but these taste like citrus Jolly Ranchers.  Sold.

HUMIDIFIER | This Japanese cypress humidifier is the perfect size for my bedroom, and it keeps morning sore throats away.

BONUS TIP: If your throat is sore, gargle salt water as shown in this video.

VLOG: EUROTRIP




12 days, 4 cities, 2 girls and 1 carry on.  I was so, so ready.

A few weeks ago, I booked a flight across the pond to see a friend from high school, and we took off on a jam-packed trip that took us through Barcelona, Milan, Como and Florence.  It was an awesome experience, and I definitely know where I want to spend more time when I go back.  That's right, when -- I will definitely be making my way back.

Check out the vlog above for a few snapshots of our trip, including an outfit featuring some wardrobe essentials (hey there, vintage boots), and a clip of the cooking class where I learned to clean artichokes.  Crossed that one off my bucket list.

Where are you going next?








Capsule Wardrobe: 8 Must-Have Handbags





I can feel the beginning of a shift in my wardrobe -- it's been a while since I've created an outfit of all statement pieces.  Instead of a maxi skirt recycled from 80 pairs of jean shorts (it sounds like a joke but it's actually hanging in my closet), I'm more likely to reach for a pair of black skinny jeans.  Here, I enter into the capsule wardrobe.  I have two muses to guide me: Anuschka and Sophie.

While I'm not ready to give up all of my clothes just yet, I figure I'll tackle my wardrobe in sections, starting with the easiest -- handbags.  It takes me an extraordinary amount of time to debate a handbag purchase.  For someone who owns 8 different white v-neck t-shirts, it's strange to find a section of my wardrobe that's not legally insane.

To pare down your handbag collection and determine what you really need and use, start by answering the following questions to evaluate your lifestyle.

1) When do you carry a bag?

2) How much do you carry per occasion?

I have three major areas in my life: work, weekends and occasional special occasions.

Work
- a neutral leather work bag   for an everyday bag, go for a pebble or a saffiano instead of a calfskin. Make sure it's large enough for everything you need on the daily!
TIP: Get two.  If you’re using something every day, it’ll wear out more quickly.  Switching between two bags will ease up on general wear and tear.   I like having one in black and one in a neutral.  If you can, try and have one fit your work computer. 
WHAT I USE: Furla Papermoon Satchel, Zara Bucket Bag –  this is so worn, it desperately needs replacing.

Weekend
- a messenger bag for errands – large enough for the essentials, and leaves your hands free to do stuff
- a tote for shopping weekends – I prefer these to be fabric, large enough for groceries and my laptop 
- a clutch – for those weekends that are meal-based, and less haul-based
TIP: If you wear 99% black or neutral, get your weekend clutch in a bright pop of colour.  It'll make an entire outfit.
WHAT I USE: Proenza Schouler PS1, Penguin Tote Bag, Proenza Schouler PS13 Clutch


Special Occasion
- A minaudiere – This isn’t an everyday piece, so go crazy with metallic colour or an exotic skin.

WHAT I USE: Nothing.  This is one part of my wardrobe I have yet to conquer. Suggestions welcome!

Extras
- Pouches – in canvas or leather, these help me stay organized and switch easily from bag to bag.
A cross body wallet – the best travel wallet, especially if it's large enough for a passport
Weekender – a zippered carry-all is literally a travel lifesaver, in case you over-shop
- Wheeled carry-on – this + weekender = all the luggage you need.

Anything I’m missing? 

For anyone who's making a bag purchase for the first time, check out this incredibly helpful resource Rue La La has put together; a beginner's guide to handbags!   I've been a bag lady some time, but this was still a great read to brush up on my bag knowledge.

PS: In a perfect world, my secondary everyday work bag would be a reversible cognac and gray tote.  Anyone? 

Airplane Essentials: Packing a 3-1-1 Liquids Baggie


The only exception I will allow to my no checked baggage rule is a suitcase full of vacation purchases on the way back.  On the way there, however, I refuse to check anything if I can help it.  That's why, for two weeks, I will be living off the contents of this bag.

Below, a list of all the liquids that are coming with me on my trip -- since airlines are so finicky about travelling with any sort of liquid, I've had to downsize.  You're allowed to bring as many items up to 3 oz in size, in 1 single 1-quart bag.  This is an extensive list since I'm away for almost two weeks, but for a more condensed / overnight version, click here!

Aesop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash | smells way better than Purell
Antipodes Aura  Mask | decanted into a tiny pot so I can turn my flight into a spa experience

Avene Thermal Water | for planes and other places with questionable tap water

Bioderma Sensibio | needs no introduction

Bumble & bumble Creme de Coco Conditioner | conditioner > shampoo

Dr Bronner's Liquid Soap | mix 1:1 for shampoo, use full strength for body wash

Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Serum | I back this up like a Chevy

Caudalie Vinoperfect Beauty Fluid | this too

Josie Maran Argan Oil | face, body, hair and lip moisture

Murad Acne Clearing Treatment | skin saviour

Salt Water | DIY it here

Weleda Salt Toothpaste | first-time user, will report back

Yu-be Moisturizing Skin Cream | for non-greasy hydration
That's it folks -- all two weeks of skin care.  Wish me luck.

10 days in a Carry-On: Packing List



I hate checking luggage -- especially on the way to a destination!  I refuse to spend any time waiting for my luggage when I could be getting on my way to the see the place I've flown six hours to see. For that reason I'm also restricted to toiletries in a liquids baggie.  Check that magic out here!

I'm also trying not to look like a slob though, so check below for a handy-dandy packing list: 15 items of clothing to get you through 10 days. Let's be clear though, I'm not including socks/undergarments in that 15.  For two weeks That's just...no.  Shoes, accessories, outerwear though -- it all counts.

SIDEBAR: The crazy person inside me hates the fact that I have more items of clothing than there are days in my trip.  If this were a beach vacation and not a European city break, things would be very different.

- To see these outfits in action, check out the vlog here! -

I'm not planning to do laundry because I'm moving around so much that there won't be time for anything to dry.  The list down below contains literally everything I'm bringing with me. Note that folding it all into this Muji packing cube leaves approximately 2/3 of my suitcase empty.

The reason I prefer to travel with close to nothing is that I will inevitably shop. In fact, it's nice to build your wardrobe along the way with treasure you've picked up -- at least you know you'll use all the souvenirs you've purchased.  Caveat Emptor: It's not a guarantee you'll find something, so don't go naked.

PS: You'll notice that makeup and skin care are suspiciously absent.  Next week!
PPS: Yes, everything listed below (and more) fits into the cases seen above or onto my body.  That's it, folks!


DRESSES
- sweater dress

OUTERWEAR
- wool overcoat

TOPS
- 2 tees
- 2 tanks
- silk oxford shirt
- black jersey cardigan
- cashmere sweater

UNDERWEAR
- bandeaus
- black tights
- socks
- underwear
- pyjamas

PLANE
- ginger chews
- headphones
- thick socks
- amusement
- eye mask
- face mask
BOTTOMS
- skinny jeans
- black jeans

SHOES

- flats
- biker boots

ACCESSORIES
- everyday bag
- infinity scarf

OTHER
- flip flops
- towel
- scrubby towel
- meds (charcoal / Gravol / Tylenol / melatonin)

TECH
- gopro + cable
- phone + cable
- sd cards
- wall adapter + dual plug

DOCS
- passport
- travel itinerary
- insurance



*Format stolen from Sophie at The Private Life of a Girl. She is my guiding light towards minimalism

What's In My Bag | Proenza Schouler PS1 Review




I picked up this Proenza Schouler PS1 in Military about a year ago -- while I don't use it everyday, it's one of my favourite all-rounders: deceptively roomy, light to carry, and goes with everything.

This is the medium size, measuring 13" x 9" x 4", is just large enough for me to bring everything I need without giving me too much room to fit in the kitchen sink.  I used to be obsessed with the oversized bucket bags of the mid-to-late 00's, but I'm starting to embrace a more streamlined (ish) approach.

This bag can be carried in hand and worn cross-body, but fair warning: the strap is not quite long enough to be a traditionally slouchy messenger bag.  You'll see in the video that the 16" drop sits very high on me, especially with my freakishly long torso, but I almost prefer it because it reminds me of those one-strap backpacks in grade school.

I feel like I should have treated this bag with some sort of leather care, but I have no idea what products are safe to use on this leather.  Got advice? Leave it below!

The bag closure is a flip-lock closure, with two additional straps to keep the envelope flap down; for a more casual look (read: when I'm in a hurry and can't give a bleep), I'll keep the straps loose, but the straps do give the bag more detail.


5 Halloween Makeup Must-Haves

Whatever costume you plan, here are a few of the make up essentials that I've found extraordinarily handy in the past.  Also bear in mind that I've never once planned a Halloween costume in advance, so I believe most of these products are fairly accessible.

Black Eyeliner -- great for sketching out webs, animal noses, whiskers, pretty much anything.  It's basically a Sharpie for your face.  For pencil liners, I like _________, for liquid liner, I've recently been loving Kat Von D Ink! in Trooper

False Eyelashes -- these are a Halloween costume in themselves.  Pick up an outrageous pair from Make Up For Ever, or a subtle Ardell pair to enhance and add femininity to a costume.

White Base -- Failing that, a super pale concealer.  I usually go for a concealer in the lightest shade available at the drugstore and use it as a base for all zombie / vampire looks. NYX Jumbo Eye Shadow Pencil in Milk

Red lipstick -- I always end up using red lipstick.  I don't even know why.  In a pinch, it could be blood.

Lash glue -- DUO is technically a surgical glue, so it will hold most things together.  I've seen a ton of brilliant Zipper Face tutorials using this glue.  This comes in black and clear, so make sure you know which one you're using!

Depending on your costume, you'll likely need a few specialized items -- fun contacts, specific eye shadow colours, gel blood, scar wax, etc.  What are you for Halloween this year?

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