What I Would Pack with HomeAway

Happy Thursday!

First off, thank you all for reading yesterday’s post — I received a ton of great comments on social media and so many of you read the post, which is so much appreciated it.

I’m excited to have worked with HomeAway on a fun post talking vacation essentials– I mean, who’s NOT excited about getting away this summer?

First, I picked a place to go and I chose the Florida Gulf Coast – specifically, Navarre Beach! You can check out some other beautiful locations along the Florida Panhandle here. I’ve been looking at places in hopes of getting a chance to sneak off to the beach of a long weekend and found some beautiful options there–the white sand and blue-green water?! Sign. Me. Up.

Here are my essentials:

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Bobble water bottle: I’ve talked about Bobble’s products before, but having water out by the beach is essential — especially if you’re sipping a couple of cocktails. It’s all about balance, right?! I will always love Bobble’s products since they filter water as you drink it, help cut down on the amount of plastic water bottles used and make life so easy when traveling.

Budget-friendly floppy hat: As I get older, I practically hide from the sun — so much for all of those days of throwing tanning oil on and trying to get as tan as possible! I’d love to get a beautiful, expensive hat, but reality sets in when it comes to the wind, the water and the salt. This Forever 21 option is fantastic! I bought three when we went on our trip to the BVIs and wore two of them out during the trip. When I’m having fun with family on the beach playing games or going in the water, I don’t want to be worrying about getting my hat wet!

A great book [or series of books!]: I’ve shared my Hunger Games obsessed before and the series is one of my favorite beach reads. Sitting by the water with a book listening to the waves crash — my favorite place on Earth!

BB cream with SPF: When CC and BB creams started becoming popular, I bought a sample pack for the above mentioned trip to the BVIs thinking it’d be great to have some coverage — especially with a high SPF — and have the chance to even out my skin with minimal work before hitting the beach, pool or heading out on the boat. This one by Dr. Jart is fantastic — such great products, coverage and protection from the sun.

The perfect beach chair: Last, but maybe most important is a good beach chair. Tommy Bahama makes some great chairs (and sometimes you can find them at Costco or B.J.’s for a steal!). This chair is my tried and true – lots of pockets, a cup holder and it’s a backpack. We sneak our towels in there, as well, while we’re walking out to claim our spot. I’ll take my chair down by the water and let the waves hit my feet, while I enjoy my book and a drink…can I go to the beach right now, PLEASE?!

I hope you enjoyed this post — I’ve always been a beach girl, so it was fun teaming up with HomeAway to share some of my essentials. Now, I just need to book the vacation.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

-Lindsey

Links to Love

IMG_3531Two sweet puppies snuggling in front of the tree…missing our holiday decor already.

A few fun links to brighten up your day…or inspire your next trip!

Grilled cheese…yes, please! May have to try one of these at home this weekend!

Likely going to be doing some studying this weekend to learn more about using my new Apple Watch.

I feel like I’ve seen a ton of these charts, but they never cease to amaze me.

I’ve bookmarked this article twice…ha ha! Definitely want to utilize it to try and get my life together over the next fwe weeks.

Was doing some research before my mom came in town and stumbled across 16 Must-Visit Spots in New Orleans. Adding these to my list of places to visit.

Dreaming of summer vacation and obsessing over a new place every week. This week: Canada.

Jason got me some great trail shoes for Christmas. Found my first hiking destination in Mississippi.

Have you checked out Wild Safari Live yet? Do it.

Best part of my mom dragging me to the French Quarter (other than beignets, of course), was picking up a few new candles from Orleans Candles. They didn’t have my favorite – Orleans No. 9 – but I am LOVING the Garden District and NOLA scents.

Have a great day!

-Lindsey

Wish Lish Wednesday: Travel Edition

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After traveling this weekend, in true Lindsey-fashion, I had to analyze what travel necessities were missing from my collection and figure out if there were any upgrades I needed to make. I was in better shape than I thought — I don’t travel as much as I used to — but there is definitely room for improvement!

We’ll start with carry-on luggage. I’m a little neurotic when it comes to packing my carry-on bags. I usually take a big tote that houses anything I would need in-flight and then my laptop bag that’s branded as an ‘overnight laptop bag’ that goes in the overhead bins that houses any additional work items, all of my toiletries, including makeup, my jewelry and my DSLR camera, if I bring it on the trip. It may seem like a lot, but I want the things most valuable with me at all times.

1 – I forgot to pack  it this time, but I usually bring my Bobble water bottle with me to fill when I get to the airport. Traveling is expensive, so if I can avoid throwing money away on bottled water, I will. On this trip, I bought one bottle of water for my first flight and then refilled it all weekend. The great thing, too, is most airports have areas with filtered water to refill bottles — cost efficient AND good for the environment! Bonus: the new version has a cap that’s attached! I’ve already lost my cap, so I’m always nervous it will leak. I’m excited to buy the new one even more now!

2 – When I purchase travel size bottles, I usually go cheap, but I’d really like to invest in good ones like the GoToob ones pictured here.

3 – When I booked my trip, I knew it might be a little chilly and I’m ALWAYS cold on planes. A few years ago, I bought a poncho from Warehouse, a UK-based store. I brought it with me on the plane and it was one of the items I used the most. I used it as a blanket on my first flight, wore it over my turtleneck sweater to dinner when I landed, wore it over a dress to the rehearsal dinner and then used it as a blanket again on the flight home. Best part — it’s less than $40. I love this one, but they have a few other designs as well. The best part about this one is that it would go with black OR brown.

4 – I’m a horrible packer. I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m just one of those people that likes my things with me–beauty products, the same shower products I use every day–just, my things. We have a luggage scale at home that I use before I leave, but it’s too clunky to travel with…this little one is perfect!

5 – My daily purse is organized by pouches and one of them contains frequent-shopper cards, little discount cards, etc. and is super nerdy of me. I love these little card books — add this to my Christmas list, because it would eliminate a pouch and make it easier to browse through all of my little cards!

6 – The amount of germs on the bottom of shoes TOTALLY freaks me out. Lately, I’ve been packing my shoes in plastic bags, but I’m open to an upgrade. Do I need $58 shoe bags from Bendel’s? Probably not. Are they super pretty? You betcha. I’d probably still use plastic on the inside, but shoe bags are a complete necessity.

7 – I have this eye mask at home, but I had to put it on the list because I’ll definitely travel with it next time. It’s filled with lavender to boot, so it’d be great for falling asleep in a hotel room. I LOVE mine and use it when I need a little help getting to sleep.

8 – A few years ago, we vacationed to the British Virgin Islands and I purchased a new Sonia Kashuk make-up bag for all of my toiletries. It’s awesome — it holds everything I use day-to-day (unless I bring full-size items) and it’s held up really well throughout the trips I’ve taken over the last few years. I have this style currently in a different pattern, but the one pictured seems like it’s a more compact version. Definitely going to have to check it out. For more pics of the sections, click here.

9 – I couldn’t find the exact laptop bag I use as my second carry-on, but I like this one even better because it has spinner wheels. The top pouches are my work areas and the big back pouch is great for everything else I want to have with me at all times. It ends up being SO heavy with my laptop, jewelry, makeup and toiletries, but it makes me feel so much better that everything is in one place.

10 – Slippers. This is one of the items I’m adding to my wish list after this last trip. I usually just throw socks on to walk around the hotel room, but I want to get some rubber-soled slippers that pack easy for future travel. These look SO comfy!

11 – This is another item that’s on my list. I usually drag an extension cord wtih 3-pronged outlets along with me when I travel, but this guy would be awesome to have!

12 – Luggage tags are something I always get lazy with. I usually buy cheap ones because I feel like spending a ton of money on one is a waste (I could TOTALLY be wrong on that, but we switch luggage so often that it just doesn’t make sense for us). I love the idea of buying some cheap plastic ones and then getting some vinyl monograms made to put on them. The luggage tags pictured are around $1 a piece and the monograms are so inexpensive and can be added to anything (pictured is an iPhone charger with a monogram added; apparently, parents with multiple kids are adding monograms to their respective chargers because siblings are stealing each other’s — who knew?!). Two of my friends recently started Lagniappe Crafters and make awesome items — check them out!

13 – Lastly, this is on my list for ASAP. I have really thick hair and usually drag my huge hairdryer with me when I travel. This one folds up, is light and has the same wattage as my one at home. Sold.

As everyone prepares for the holidays, I hope this helps map out your travel needs. What are some of your must-haves when traveling?

Have a great day!

-Lindsey

 

 

Weekend Trip to North Carolina

Happy Monday!

This weekend was so wonderful… I kind of wished it would never end! Fair warning: LOTS OF PHOTOS in this post. But, if you like beautiful scenery and happy occasions, you will enjoy them!

As mentioned on Friday, I was in the Charlotte area for a wedding. It was so great to be there for Bob and Amber’s big day, but also to see so many friends from home that I haven’t seen in years. It was a busy, but amazing weekend!

I arrived on Thursday night and we went to Bob and Amber’s for dinner and had the chance to meet her family and visit with everyone. It was an absolute blast! After that, we just went to the hotel – I was exhausted!

IMG_2290Makeshift office at Ramsey Creek Park.

On Friday morning, I tried to get up semi-early and get going. I went and grabbed some coffee, stopped a little boutique, Sweet Magnolia, and, after asking at Starbucks and in the hotel, settled on visiting Ramsey Creek Park to set up my computer and knock some work out, all while enjoying the beautiful lakefront (more pictures here). It was perfect — right off of the parking lot, I walked down a short path and went out to a little landing-type area that housed a picnic table. It was a little chilly, but I wrapped myself up in a blanked and got some of my work done. It was perfect! I visited with a few friends after at a condo that they had just bought down the road from the park, which was wonderful! I don’t think I had seen them in almost five years, so it was great to catch up and see their beautful new condo as they enjoy retirement.

IMG_2300The entrance to the path at Ramsey Creek Park was so beautiful it didn’t look real.

Friday night was the rehearsal dinner at the The Peninsula Club. It was so beautiful! It was such a great way to start the weekend. The view from the clubhouse was gorgeous and the company and conversation even better. Following the dinner, everyone went to the Fox & Hound in Birkdale Village. It was a blast talking and catching up with everyone!

IMG_2550The bride gave the sweetest speech about Bob’s traditional Southern rehearsal dinner gift – a cake with loving, personal touches.

Saturday was wedding day! I had hoped to hike in the morning, but my mom and I didn’t get moving fast enough. We ended up grabbing coffee and headed back to Birkdale Village to visit Yappy Hour Bakery’s setup. I always bring a gift back for the pups and try and find a local dog store or bakery to check out when I travel. The owner, Heather, was so nice and helpful–and the dogs have LOVED the treats so far. I think they’re liking the Honey Vanilla ones best, so we may have to buy some more online. After the shopping was done, I dragged my mom to another park. We went and checked out Blythe Landing. It was beautiful and it looked like they had tons of sailing and paddleboard lessons to offer. We didn’t stay too long so we could sneak in a pre-wedding rest, but I still had time to snap a few pictures. I couldn’t get sick of the beautiful fall foliage.

IMG_2315Fall colors at Blythe Landing.

IMG_2316Another beautiful day with the sun peeking through the trees at Blythe Landing.

As if the scenery around the hotel wasn’t beautiful enough, we then headed to the wedding. Amber and Bob, nice work. It was gorgeous. Every detail was wonderful and you could feel how much love all the guests had for the bride and groom. The ceremony and reception were held at Vesuvius Vineyards. It was so beautiful! Thank you to those on our shared album — I borrowed a few photos.

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IMG_2344Former co-workers, Brian and Courtney, were also at the wedding. So nice to see so many friends!

Amber did an amazing job on all the details – everything was beautiful!

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IMG_2395High school friends from North Canton.

IMG_2414Bob’s mom tasked me with capturing the bride and groom’s sparkler departure…I was so nervous! Thankfully, I got one good shot…they look so happy!

On Sunday, I woke up really early – both because I was anxious for the Saints game, but also because I REALLY wanted to get a hike in. I had done some research before the trip and Lake Norman State Park was my target hiking area. The park was about a 25-minute drive from the hotel and I arrived around 7:40. I hiked until about 3.5 miles on the Lake Shore Trail. It was pretty cold – about 31 degrees – but once I got going, I definitely warmed up. The trail was a little more up and down than I thought and was a good workout. I took A LOT of pictures – it was just so gorgeous!

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Sorry for the picture overload… kind of! Ha ha! When I got back to the hotel, we had brunch with the guests staying over and the bride and groom. After saying goodbyes, showering and packing up, my mom and I headed to Charlotte to meet up with a group to watch the Saints’ and Panthers’ games at Duckworth’s. When I lived in Charlotte for a summer, Duckworth’s was a Fox & Hound. It was fun to be back in the city – it’s still as great as I remember.

IMG_2526.jpgSaying good by to Bob, Amber and Greg after a wonderful weekend.

IMG_2476Courtney and I were definitely in the minority as Saints fans.

After watching the Saints game, Courtney, mom and I headed to the Hornets vs. Trail Blazers game. It was a little odd cheering on the Hornets. When I first moved to New Orleans, we were the Hornets and now are the Pelicans. As an intern in 2005 in Charlotte, the team was named the Bobcats and the arena where the now-Hornets play was being built. Lots of connections! The arena looks great post-rebrand and it was fun to be there to support Brian.

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I flew out VERY early on Monday morning and enjoyed the above view as we took off. The fog over the water was amazing – it was just a gorgeous way to say good by to North Carolina.

Sorry for the long post — if you’re ever in the area, you’ll love it. It’s a great, small city to visit and just 25 minutes outside, you can find great hiking and beautiful views at Lake Norman.

Hope everyone has a great start to the week!

-Lindsey

 

Five Things for Friday

Happy Friday!

I’m in North Carolina for the weekend for a wedding (a couple of the pictures are from my first outing this morning). One of my best friends growing up, Bob, is marrying SUCH an amazing woman in Amber and I couldn’t be more excited for them. I grew up next door to Bob and his brother, Greg, and have known him since I was two. I don’t know if there is a more genuine person on the planet — he would do anything for anyone and is the best non-blood brother a girl could ask for. I can’t wait for the weekend and to post about the wedding and some of the places we visit (hopefully, I’ve been doing some research!).

Image-1PurpleStride New Orleans 2015 Opening Ceremonies. #WageHope

IMG_2267Late night snuggles with Dad. It is VERY clear these pups were happy to see him. IMG_2289Stumbled upon an adorable boutique in Sweet Magnolia and bought a pretty necklace.

IMG_2292With the beautiful weather in the Lake Norman area, I was dying to find an outdoor office. Enter: Ramsey Creek Park.  Best. Outdoor. Office. Ever.

IMG_2294The view to the right of Friday morning’s outdoor office at Ramsey Creek Park.

Couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the weekend!

Have a great day!

-Lindsey