Monday, July 30, 2012

Visiting Naples, Florida

My family and I are big fans of Florida (with the sun, sand, and beaches, who wouldn't be?) and have visited there many times. Recently, we were able to go to Naples, Florida and stay at a friend of the family's place who so generously let us invade for a week! This vacation was more of a laid-back, relax in the sun kind of a trip (one of my favorites), so we didn't really have set plans. Sometimes, those are the best! 

The forecast for the week was looking good, partly cloudy and in the upper 70's. We went in May, so the weather wasn't too humid at this time. We spent our first day unpacking and laying by the pool, listening to some music and enjoying drinks. The pool area had been recently renovated and included a swim up bar, jacuzzi waterfall, and a beautiful grill and bar area. Being from the Midwest, we were not used to this type of luxury, so we took full advantage of it! My dad took the role as bartender and made some awesome drinks while us girls enjoyed some pool floats. This day was also my Graduation day from college (which I didn't mind missing), so we took a moment to do a mock "ceremony" complete with my latest read Mockingjay as my diploma. We ended the day a little earlier than usual, exhausted from getting sun all day (not a problem I mind having). We ended up ordering Chinese food for dinner from a place not far (Jasmine's, if you must know) which had AMAZING general tso's chicken. I'm not kidding, it was the best I've ever had. I could probably eat that stuff every day of my life. Anywho, after dinner we chatted a bit about what we'd like to do during the week and went to bed.

Soaking up the sun!

The next day turned out to be more cloudy than expected, so we went to the Naples Zoo. Original ticket prices were $19.95 per person, but you could purchase online for a discount of $16.95, which we ended up doing. We got there pretty early so it wasn't very crowded (yay), and we began the day with a show in their Open Air Theater, featuring a baby sloth, an owl, and some more fun creatures. 

What's sweeter than a baby sloth holding a teddy?
We also got a chance to see a live feeding of alligators which was so awesome; those guys were huge!! And to my amazement they responded when called by name! After that, I really wanted to check out the Primate Expedition Cruise which for me was the highlight of the zoo trip. We got on a boat and our guide took us on a 15 minute cruise past some different islands all filled with various primates. They were all pretty active during our cruise time and it was so fun to see their natural behavior. 

Primate Expedition Cruise

After a few hours of being there and seeing a LOT of animals, we decided to head to Joe's Crab Shack for dinner. I'd never been before, so I was curious to check it out. I actually got it confused with Dick's Last Resort for some odd reason and was prepared to be insulted by our waiter, but it never came (obviously). We enjoyed each other's company, the food, and the great view from the deck. 

View of Naples Bay
We then went to downtown Naples to do a bit of shopping. It was fun to check out the cute local stores, and we happened upon one of my favorites, Pucci and Catana. Pucci and Catana is a luxury pet boutique, and I just so happen to have a puppy of my own I love to spoil. We stopped inside and had a lot of fun looking at all the cute accessories and we even got to talk to the owner for a bit. I signed up for their email list and awhile later found out about a photo contest they put on in search of a new face for their website. I entered my dog's photo and he ended up making the top 10 with this picture (yes I'm a proud mama):

My Benny Boy

We ended the night at McCabe's Irish Pub and Grill for a drink and enjoyed people-watching amid the twinkling lights that were set up around the street. We were amused by a street-dancing extraordinaire, earbuds in and loving life, truly dancing like no one was watching (though we all were). One of the things I enjoy most is being outside on a beautiful summer night with good food, drinks, and company, and this was one of those nights. 

The next day we enjoyed another day at the pool, and then went downtown to Roy's for happy hour (called Aloha hour). The special was $5 specialty cocktails and a variety of their appetizers. The girls got a Hawaiian Martini (pineapple, vodka, coconut rum, YUM) and we all shared Beef Sliders with sweet potato fries; double yum. We chatted with our waiter for awhile and enjoyed the scenery outside of the Naples Bay. 

Outside of Roy's-Downtown Naples

We then finished the dining experience at Naples Boathouse, which was truly waterfront dining. The decor was just right and they had not only amazing seafood but steak as well. Being so close to the water, we were able to see boaters going every which way, and some wildlife too. It was a great experience! 

After that, we decided to check out some local real estate (aka being somewhat creepy and driving around posh neighborhoods). I'm so glad we did though, because we saw some humongous monsters of houses. I did notice that a good 50% were on the market, and I couldn't help but imagine what it would be like to own one of those things, and how much the mortgage alone would be. Daydreaming aside, the sun was about to set and I remembered that we were told to get to the Naples Pier for some great pictures. We rushed over and made it just in time before the sun went down (literally with less than a minute left). 

Sunset at Naples Pier

Our vacation eventually came to an end, and I can't wait to visit Naples again. There is a lot there that we didn't get to see, and next time I hope to see as much as I can, after getting my dose of pool-time in, of course!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wine Me Up!

I spent my weekend with a fabulous group of girls for a bachelorette party in Stillwater, Minnesota. The bride-to-be picked a daytime activity that we were all enthusiastic about; wine tasting! Lucky for us, we live in an area thats not too far from some great wineries. 

We started the day at around noon in Stillwater. Stillwater is a cute little town on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border and right on the edge of the St. Croix River. It's just a short drive from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The scenery is gorgeous, and the town has one of the most charming downtowns I've ever seen. We wanted to get some lunch first, and it was hard to pick a restaurant as there were a lot to choose from! We ended up going to Brine's; they had a good variety of food, and the prices couldn't be beat. A lot of us chose a make-your-own sandwich with up to three meats and cheeses for $4.95. Talk about a good deal! 

Inside Northern Vineyards Winery
Our next stop was winery #1, Northern Vineyards Winery. It was right on Main Street, and a short walk from the restaurant. It was pretty crowded when we went in, but we only had to wait about 10 minutes to start the wine tasting. While we waited, we browsed around the store. They had a lot of cute things for sale; apparel, candles, wine accessories galore, and more!

The wine tasting was $5 per person and included 9 wines to sample. They did a great job explaining each wine we were tasting. I personally enjoy both white and red wines, but like a bit on the sweeter side. I ended up loving their "Red" the best as it was just how I liked it; not too dry but with a lot of flavor. 

Tastings of the Day at Northern Vineyards
A few of us purchased a couple bottles and left Northern Vineyards Winery satisfied (and giggly) that we were able to sample so many wines. 

Our next stop brought us to Saint Croix Vineyards, a short drive from downtown Stillwater. The winery was situated on a very charming landscape, complete with picnic tables, lots of greenery and of course the vineyard. 

Outside Saint Croix Vineyards
Once inside, we really enjoyed the rustic-chic atmosphere. There was even live music playing in the corner! We purchased our tickets ($5 per person) and went to the bar to begin our tasting. We were able to sample 7 or 8 wines, and I really liked both the Frontenac Gris (hints of peach and pear) and the Frontenac (robust and earthy with a hint of cherry). Fun fact; both of these wines are developed from the University of Minnesota viticulture program! 

The chilled wine room

Inside Saint Croix Vineyards

After the tastings we went frolicking around the Vineyard for some photo ops. We got some great shots and we left very happy that we could experience both of these great vineyards and they were very bachelorette party friendly. I can't wait to go back (hopefully soon) and enjoy some of the great events put on by both wineries! 

The Vineyard

Are there any great wineries in your area? Let me know!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Does Lemon Juice Actually Work On Hair?

That is a question I've been asking myself for a long time and today I decided to put this question to the test. I was born blonde and over the years my hair has faded from a golden blonde to a not quite blonde, not quite brown color (read: dishwater). I used to get my hair highlighted once every 6 weeks or so, which ended up costing around $80 bucks every trip. Lately, I've been trying to save up money for my move to California, and decided the trips to the salon would have to be put on hold. I haven't gone in about 4 months, and my roots have grown out to the point where it's starting to get a tad noticeable. I remembered hearing about the lemon trick and decided to give it a try. 

I went to the grocery store and bought a few lemons (in hindsight, I should have just went for a bottle of lemon juice) for under $2. I came back home and squeezed two lemons, enough to make 1/3 cup. I mixed in about 1/4 of water, and poured it into a spray bottle. This ended up being more than enough as I was just spraying my roots and not all of my hair. I sprayed enough on to get it damp, then sat in the sun for about an hour. I heard you should really condition your hair after this, so I used shampoo (I use Redken Real Control) and then Redken's Extreme Strength Builder Plus conditioner (it's a 15 min. conditioner and smells amazing). 

After, I blew dry my hair and looked for the results. I found that while it was not extremely noticeable, I did see a bit more shimmer than before and it was a tiny bit lighter. I'm going to continue trying the lemon juice, as it's insanely cheaper than going to a salon. I'm sure using the juice more than twice a week is not good for your hair, so I'm going to try again at the end of the week and continue thereafter once a week for the rest of the summer. I'll report back every now and then and let you know if there are any significant changes!

Have you tried using lemon juice on your hair? Or are there other methods you like to use?

xoxo, Glam Traveler

Friday, July 13, 2012

Homage to Harry Potter-Land

Okay, so I admit it. I have loved and always will love Harry Potter. Ever since my little adolescent hands got a hold of the first book, I've been enchanted by the Boy Who Lived. You can imagine my thrill when my sister and I planned a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. If you're a fan of Harry Potter, either the books or the movies (or both), I very much suggest you go! I daresay you will not be disappointed. 

The excitement began as we walked through Universal to the entrance of Hogsmeade. I looked up and saw this sign and geeked out a bit:

Respect the spell limits!
Once inside, you can take a walk through Zonko's and Honeydukes. Both looked like what I imagined they would, and sold all the candies and merchandise that were mentioned in the books. My sister was tempted to buy an extendable ear. We decided against it. 

We soon spotted the Butterbeer truck and went running to it. We'd only been waiting 10 years to try it! As expected it was quite pricey, I think about $10 bucks for a mug. But, you got to keep the mug, so obviously it was worth it. Even though I use the mug as a junk collector now. Oh, well. The point is it was absolutely delicious and I will genuinely miss the taste. 

It was around lunchtime when we decided to head to The Three Broomsticks for some food. They had a few options to choose from, and I think both of us opted for turkey legs and some sort of potato side. It was a little cafeteria style, but the decor was awesome. 

The Three Broomsticks

We then moved further into Hogsmeade and came across the Owl Post and Ollivanders. The Owl Post was pretty cute, and I think you could even drop off mail there and it would be stamped with some Harry Potter-esque mark. At Ollivanders you could get matched with your own wand, and purchase ones seen in the movie. We didn't have the time to wait in line to get "chosen" by a wand, but I imagine I would have a nice cherry wood with Veela hair in the middle. I'm just guessing, of course...

After all that browsing, we were ready to finally get to Hogwarts! It was a short trek down the path and all of a sudden, there it was in all its glory:

Hogwarts Castle

We proceeded to get in line for the main event, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Thankfully the line wasn't too long and we were inside the castle in no time. We got to see Dumbledore's office, the Dark Arts classroom, and a lot of other fun rooms before getting to the ride. The ride was sort of like an interactive roller coaster, not anything extremely fast, but it had so many twists and turns and things popping out at you that I actually got a bit scared! It was so much fun that we went on it again, and if we had the time I probably would have just kept going. We also went on the actual roller coaster in the park, called Dragon Challenge. You could pick one of two Dragons to ride, and it was definitely a rush! After the ride we decided we'd had enough thrill for one day, and got our Harry Potter fix, so we headed back to the hotel. 

And so concludes my review of Harry Potter-Land, aka The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I give it two-wands up! Okay, I'm done with the puns. 

Have you been to to Universal and/or WW of HP? What did you think?

Using Social Media On Vacation

Vacations come in many different styles and one person's getaway can be completely different than the next person's. No matter what type of vacation you're taking, social media can really come in handy. Below are some ways you can use it to your advantage on your next trip.

There are 901 million active users on Facebook (, which means there's a big chance that wherever you go, you'll likely meet someone who uses it. This also means that there's a big chance that the restaurants, hotels, and stores you visit use it as well. You can use this to your advantage to not only get more information about the area, but to possibly score some deals as well. If you can, do some research before your vacation and "Like" some pages of places you know you will be going to. Many companies have giveaways, and some have deals just for people who Like their page. This will be a lot more useful if you have a smartphone to pull up websites, but even if you don't, they might accept a print-out of their coupon or giveaway. 

In 2012, over 465 million Twitter accounts have been created so far, and one million more are created every day( Like Facebook, Twitter is a great way to get information and connect with businesses on vacation. However, Twitter is the way to go if you want information now. Many companies update their tweets multiple times a day with relevant information. This is a huge benefit to you because you can access any deals or giveaways at any time, wherever you are (as long as you have a smartphone or device to use Twitter). Before you get to your destination, try to follow as many businesses as you can that you're interested in. An easy way to find these businesses is to hashtag the city name (i.e. #SanDiego). Chances are you'll find a few companies in the area that will use that hashtag, and once you start following them, Twitter will start giving you suggestions under "Who to Follow". This really comes in handy! I've personally seen some restaurants offering a free meal for new followers. It really is a great way to get to know the area, and possibly get some free stuff along the way. 

For restaurant reviews while on the go, Yelp is a great App to download. Foursquare is also really helpful while on vacation. You can share your own experiences and get personalized recommendations. What's also neat is that you can "Check-In" to certain places, and sometimes there will be a check-in special, like a free drink or appetizer. Score!

As you can see, there are many ways to use social media to your advantage while on vacation. While some people may enjoy leaving their phone in their hotel room and checking out of the hi-tech world, there is no doubt that using social media is advantageous and can get you some cool stuff along the way. There are many more social media websites and apps that I did not list, so go explore the online social world and see what you find! 

What's your favorite social media application?

Monday, July 9, 2012

How to Have the Best New Year's Eve Ever

If you are planning on spending New Year's Eve in the States, I highly suggest traveling to Miami. Obviously every big city will have over-the-top celebrations, but Miami is perfect if you enjoy warm weather, glitz and glamour. I had the best NYE of my life, and didn't even end up spending all that much. You can too, if you plan appropriately and don't mind taking some risks. Here's how below:

Me and some friends were on vacation at the end of December and had a few days to spend in Miami before boarding our cruise. We ended up staying at a pretty cheap hotel by the airport and it turned into a sort-of nightmare, but we powered through it. Apart from the extremely rude front desk worker who would not accommodate us in the least, our room never being cleaned once in a 3 day period, and most of the room falling apart, we had a pretty good time.

We had decided to stay a few days in Miami before the cruise because we had tickets to a New Year's Eve party downtown with Nicki Minaj and figured we would want some recovery time. Tip: If you're looking to go to an amazing New Year's Party in a big city, go to (I'm 90% sure that's the website we used). I googled "New Year's Eve Miami" and a few sites came up, and this website had a huge list, and a couple clubs that featured big name acts. It came down to Nicki Minaj or Lil' John, and it didn't take long to decide we'd rather party with the Queen Barb herself. We purchased the tickets around the 1st or 2nd of December and at that time tickets were at $50.00 for ladies, and I think around $100 for guys. We were a little apprehensive about these tickets, so we called the club beforehand to ensure they take these tickets we purchased online and they would have them at will-call. They did, so we decided to buy them, and it's a good thing we did because a few days later they went up to $100, and then a few days after that to $150! If you can plan in advance for New Year's, it's always best to do so as it may save you a ton of money.

After spending a couple hours getting ready, we called a cab and headed for downtown Miami. We were staying by the airport, so it was probably a 10 to 15 minute drive downtown, but so worth it to see the lights from the city as we drove over the bridge. The party was at a club called the Mansion, and we probably arrived around 10 pm or so. We wanted to make sure we could take advantage of the free drinks as long as possible. Oh, I didn't mention before they were free?!? Well, they were, and we certainly made use of that. The theme of the party was "All Pink Everything", and Nicki was not kidding. Everything was pink and sparkly and what I imagine heaven looks like. We had a blast walking around and taking everything in, taking a bunch of pictures with strangers, and getting excited for Nicki to show up. We also noticed people from the VIP had masks and hats, and we wanted some as well. We ended up meeting some people that so very nicely gave us the masks, and the hats. Either that or we stole them, I can't remember. That part's a little fuzzy.

It was nearing midnight, and by that time we were in the main room of the club dancing the night away. Pretty soon we heard that Nicki had arrived and the whole club went crazy, and then she made her appearance. She then led the countdown to midnight and it looked something like this:

New Year's Eve at the Mansion

Soon after, me and my friend decided we wanted to get a little closer to Nicki and ended up sneaking our way into VIP. We were already dancing on a platform, so we "snuck" into VIP by stepping down onto a couch and into the VIP area. Pretty stealthy work, I know. No one ended up seeing us, or no one cared, and we got right up to the stage. Nicki was sitting at the side of the stage and I really wanted her attention, so I started jumping up and down and waving my arms and screaming her name. It worked! She looked over and actually stared at me for a few seconds. I was happy with that, so I stopped. She then came to the front of the stage and everyone went crazy trying to climb up and take a picture with her. Naturally, we wanted one too, so we ended up asking some strangers if they would so kindly lift us up so we could get some pics, and they did. Both of us had her sign our hands and got a picture with her, and my friend actually got a hug from her! It was a-maze-ing.

Nicki arriving to the club

So, to recap, we spent just $50 each and got admission into the most beautiful club I've ever been to, free drinks all night, souvenir masks and hats, and meeting Nicki Minaj. It was the best NYE ever, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Why did I get stuck next to this person? And other "ugh" moments

It happens to the best of us; you're excited to take off to your next adventure, when suddenly you notice the person you're sitting next to smells, or talks too much, or takes your arm rest. The list can go on and on. Here are my top "I can't believe I got stuck sitting by this person" type of people. 

1. Crying children

Now, I realize that kids will be kids and some may have meltdowns at times. I also realize that parents may not be able to control their crying child due to illness, or being scared, or what have you. That being said, it is one of the worst things to be seated right next to or in front of a kid that's throwing a temper tantrum. It always seems to be right when you're trying to relax or fall asleep, too. Those ear piercing shrieks make me want an Appletini or two, and fast. 

2. Ew, You Smell

The scene: You're trying to enjoy your packet of pretzels and cup of Coke, when suddenly you are hit smack in the face by a most unpleasant odor. You look to your right and you see the culprit, your seat neighbor eating her egg salad sandwich. Um, ew!?!? First of all, rude! Secondly, where are your manners, miss? Surely it is common sense not to bring something that smells that God-awful onto a plane, or any type of small space that you share with others. And, scene. 

Another version of the Smelly Person was one I personally experienced while waiting at a terminal for a flight out of the country. I was already feeling a bit on-edge as it was my first time flying internationally and I had lots of things running through my mind. My boyfriend and I were seated next to each other and he left to go get a snack, and set his backpack in front of his chair. I started reading my book and a few minutes later felt someone sit next to me. Thinking it was my boyfriend, I didn't look up, until a few moments passed and I noticed this horrendous smell. Sort of like B.O. mixed with garlic mixed with rotten eggs. I looked over and a strange lady had taken his spot. Not wanting to be rude, I took a few moments to think of what to say to not hurt her feelings that she had taken his spot. I ended up with the generic, "um, excuse me, sorry but that's my boyfriends spot" with a meek smile. She tore her eyes from the Michael Jackson special on the TV (he had just passed recently) and gave me a glare. "NO, I am NOT moving" is all she said (shouted, really), and quickly turned back around to watch TV. I couldn't believe she had just said that and I got really embarrassed as everyone seated around us looked at me and gave me the "Oooh, that's awkward, I feel for you" look. Not only was she the rudest person I had ever encountered in my life, but she was the most horrible smelling person as well. This includes the wandering cross-dressing prostitute we encountered in Paris (and that's saying something). WHO was this vile woman and WHY did she smell so bad?? I will never know, but I was able to get back at her after we were called up to the gate over the loudspeaker and told we were upgraded to first class, so naturally I waved the tickets in her face as we were leaving and said "Gotta love karma!"

3. The Talker

Usually I enjoy a light-hearted chat with a stranger whenever it comes up, but normally those only last a minute or two, and are either about the weather, or some type of current event. I'm definitely not anti-social, however I enjoy my peace and quiet when on a plane. I do not want to hear about your latest ailment, where your kids go to school, or your in-depth itinerary of your vacation, unless I ask. Of course, I never ask The Talker, because he/she doesn't care if I really want to know these things or not. They're just talking for the heck of it. At this point I usually pretend to fall asleep, or put on the good ol' headphones. 

4. Ignorant People

There are many types of ignorance, however I'm specifically talking about the ones who do not follow and do not care to follow the rules. When the captain says to turn off all of your electronics, he means it. This does NOT mean that you can sit there on your stupid phone, pretending to not have heard, or worse, thinking you're above the captain's orders. If the plane ends up crashing because your stupid phone or electronic was on the whole time, I am forever blaming you. 

All of the above know how to ruin a perfectly good plane ride. Is there anyone you would add to your list?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Independence Day: How America Celebrates

Every year as the Fourth of July approaches, I always picture my holiday going something like this:

A friend knocks on my door, wanting me to hurry up and get outside to play a game of night baseball. We run slow motion through the neighborhood, while the neighbors enjoy a large barbecue on the street complete with string lights and sparklers. Meanwhile, fireworks are going off, casting just enough light to play in the dark, and Ray Charles is slowly and soulfully serenading us with "America the Beautiful". Yes, I just described the best scene from the movie The Sandlot, and I still wish every year this would happen (although instead of baseball, I think I'd prefer enjoying drinks on a boat). 

Part of the finale-taken by my phone

My usual 4th of July is a lot less glamorous than I'd like it to be. However, this year I'm determined to make it the best one yet. It's already started off on a great foot with our local  fireworks show. It's a big production and music is played over the loudspeakers in time with the fireworks. It was so much fun and exactly what I had imagined. 

The park at dusk

While this holiday is typically marked by fireworks and barbecues, I decided to do a little research and see what some unique and fun traditions are being celebrated across the country. These are my top favorites:

1. Welcome America! Philadelphia's 4th of July Celebration
  • Being America's birthplace, I would definitely expect a big show from this city, and it looks like they deliver! They start festivities a week prior to the 4th, and some events include the Taste of Philadelphia, outdoor movies, a fashion show, and more. On the 4th, you can begin your holiday with a history lesson, listening to speeches and excerpts from the Declaration of Independence. After follows the parade with hundreds of participants. Then comes the Party on the Parkway, an all day event with blocks and blocks of entertainment to enjoy, including three music stages. Finally (and my favorite part), the "Largest Free Concert in America" starts on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and an amazing fireworks show over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
2. Boston Harborfest
  • There are over 200 events going on for the holiday in Boston, and over 40 on the actual day. Some highlights include a walking tour of Boston, USS Constitution Cruises which feature a 21 cannon salute to the Country and an appearance by the Blue Angels, a mini show by harbor seals, a tour of a burial ground, a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party, and of course, amazing fireworks.
3. Fourth of July in Colonial Williamsburg
  • Being the history nerd that I am, I have to include Colonial Williamsburg. I was able to visit C.W. when I was a kid, and it was one of the coolest places I'd ever been to. For those who aren't familiar, it is basically a large village (a few hundred acres) with hundreds of buildings all restored to look like Colonial times. You can go into all of these buildings, most being shops, restaurants, houses, and businesses. There are also people dressed in character that will talk to you like they would have back then. Okay, so this may not appeal to everyone, but like I said I'm a nerd and I think it's awesome. Anywho, back to the 4th of July. It is an all day event, complete with an "old time" parade, multiple bands, a symphony orchestra performance, and ultimately fireworks.
4. San Francisco's 4th of July on Fisherman's Wharf
  • I was 12 the last time I was in San Francisco, and I remember visiting Fisherman's Wharf and can imagine it being a lot of fun for this holiday! There are a lot of live bands going on at Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39, as well as cruises to take, and San Francisco's firework show over San Francisco Bay.

Whatever your plans are for this 4th of July, have a safe and happy holiday!

The Art of Packing

Hello, and welcome to my first edition of The Art of Packing. I call this the first, because I'm referring to packing for trips ranging from an overnight to a couple weeks vacation. This won't apply to packing for a move, a long term study abroad trip, or any other trip lasting over a couple of months (That packing list will come later). Also, please keep in mind that I am a woman in my early twenties, and as my name suggests, I like to travel in style when possible. I am writing this for like-minded individuals, and/or for those who will appreciate the advice.

I like to think I am a pretty good packer (though I do not come close to my mom-the professional. Hi, Mom!) as I have had a good amount of experience. Unpacking is a completely different experience and I am terrible at that part (I still have an un-emptied suitcase from 2 weeks ago).

So, let's get started. I will first begin with overnight trips, as they are the most common, and easiest.

How to Pack for an Overnight Trip

My friends always laugh when I arrive for an overnight trip with my rolling suitcase in hand. "Why do you need a suitcase for one night?!" is usually the response I get. However, I always bring it, because for one, it fits everything, and two, it's always best to be prepared. That being said, here is a list of what I always pack in my suitcase (mind you, it's a small suitcase):

1. Toiletries bag with travel-sized toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner, deodorant, hairspray, lotion, floss, toothbrush with cap, brush, comb, Chapstick, sample sized perfume, hair ties, razor, bobby pins, Q tips, small pack of Kleenex, and nail polish. It's very easy to forget one of these things, and they all come in handy at some point.

2. The "Unmentionables" aka under-things of your choice. I always pack a pair of socks too even in the summer as you never know when cold feet may strike. Also, don't forget a strapless bra!!

3. The bottoms: One pair of dark jeans, one pair of jean shorts, one pair of colored shorts. This can obviously be changed depending on the season, but I'm writing this for warmer weather.

4. The tops: One going out top, one sweatshirt/zip up, one casual top.

5. I always pack one dress, either a going out dress or a summer dress depending on the occasion, and it doesn't take up much room.

6. Don't forget overnight clothes!! This has happened to me one too many times!

7. For shoes, I usually just pack a fancier going out shoe, as I'm usually already wearing some flip flops, and between the two, that's all you should need for a short trip.

8. The randoms: A clutch, eye mask (I am a very light sleeper), book (for car rides if needed), and a pillow if you can fit it. Usually I can, which is great because then you only have one thing to carry.

And voila! You are now done packing for your trip! Easy, huh? You're welcome. :)