I have known Charity for 10 years and we have grown close over the past few years. Our daughters are only a few months apart in age! When she asked me to take her wedding photos, I was truly honored!
This was such a beautiful, perfect day and I am so glad I got to be a part of it! Congratulations, Charity and Mark!
Guys..... Mark's ring is "the One Ring" (yeah, THAT one, from LOTR!)
We love our fur kids. Any trip that will involve mostly outdoor activities, we will probably bring them along with us.
Any time you travel with your dog, always remember to bring their immunization records, licenses, and that you know their microchip number.
When traveling with your dogs, it is best to have them trained to ride in the back. A seat cover/hammock like below is a great way to contain your dogs and give them their own space.
Another important thing is to make sure your car has proper airflow back to them. Dogs can get dehydrated very quickly when traveling - so be sure to make many potty stops too!
We always have one of these on a leash since we live in an apartment, but it's a cheap accessory if you don't need one all the time:
Other good things to have with you when bringing your pet along:
- Benadryl if your dog gets carsick.
- a collapsible water bowl
- nylabones or rawhide
- towels for snuggling into
- all of your dogs other daily needs: food, dishes, crate, medication, leashes
Indy would be so upset if I forgot his bowl!
It isn't that hard to find dog-friendly hotels these days. We prefer La Quinta, because they don't charge extra for dogs and wifi and breakfast are free!
Bringing your dogs on a trip can be a lot of fun, as long as you are aware of your surroundings and know your dogs limitations. For instance, if your dog doesn't like kids, taking them to a park that has a big playground isn't the best idea. The same if your dog is a barker - you may not mind the barking but it could really upset someone else's vacation.
We all want our fur kids to have a good time - so always take in to consideration if you will be able to spend enough time with them, or if the trip will cause more anxiety for them than if you get a dog sitter.
Suitcases. Some prefer to pack a huge bag because they can, others bring the bare minimum and usually regret it. I used to be both of these people. I have realized the importance in finding a good balance in my packing.
This balance was found in the rolling carry on suitcase. I'm setting off on my 6 day vacation in a carryon. That's not as advantageous as those girls who can stuff three weeks of clothing into a case the same size, but it's a start for me.
I pack camera gear, school books, and snacks in my bag.
When going on a trip, I like to pack a shirt of some kind for each day, and then one extra. I can't rewear a shirt multiple days, without washing it. Not sure why.
So a typical packing list for me looks like this for a 6 day trip:
- 4 shirts (plus the one I travel in)
- 2 tank tops
- a light hoodie for summer evenings
- a pashmina
- two pairs of comfortable shoes. For me, that is one pair of vegan toms - I can't wear the classics long term. Something about the leather on my feet causes blisters. The vegan ones have canvas insoles that are much more comfortable. And, for the other pair, some plush Bobs. We will see how this goes. I bought these shoes for this trip and hopefully they perform as well as the vegan toms.
- 1 pair of flip flops for the pool, beach, and running down to get continental breakfast.
- swim suit and cover up that could work as a dress if we end up going out somewhere for a nicer dinner.
- 2 pairs of shorts and one pair of jeans - you never know!
- pajamas (1 pair is good enough for me for a week. No need to pack a pair for each night.
- aforementioned cosmetic bags from yesterday's post.
-full size Chi straightener and thermal bag. I know they make smaller ones but I can't justify throwing down the same amount of money for a full size as a mini.
The hotel will have a blow dryer. I don't need any fancy brushes.
- Underwear. My rule of thumb - 3 more pairs than the amount of days you will be gone. Underwear doesn't take up a lot of space, and it's much better to always have fresh underwear available if you need it! If you don't, less laundry to do when you get back!
- full chargers for all electronics. Ipad, phone, camera. I like to bring a travel strip as hotels usually don't have more than two or three outlets available in the whole place, bathroom included.
The next part - Your roadtripping car packing.
I have so many fond memories of loading up the family van with my parents, my sister, Great Grandma Velma and the two dogs to trek into the great unknown! I learned a lot of important things from my dad over the years when it comes to necessities you need in your car for a trip (I keep them in the car at all times).
- steering wheel lock. Always use.
- sun shield for your car
- as you always should, don't leave valuables in your car.
Other things you should have:
- first aid kit. Mine is complete with gloves and a CPR mask. I don't want to perform CPR on a stranger on the side of the road without a barrier between me and her/him.
- jumper cables. I took off on my first solo road trip in my 1997 mustang and got to the first gas station, turned off the car to fuel up, and then couldn't get the car to start. Thank goodness I was in west Texas, where everyone in the world will help you out if you ask nicely. I had to get four different jumps on that trip until I could get to the place we bought the battery in Waxahachie (thankfully that was my destination!)
- if you have one, a portable battery charger could save you from the same issue if you are driving somewhere a little more remote.
- spare tire and jack (and the car manual if you don't know how to change the tire!)
- car plugs for your USB cables.
- umbrella, panchos, rain jacket
I keep a bag in my boot that has: a change of clothes, a towel, a blanket, leather work gloves, a spare leash (more on traveling with fur babies coming soon), socks, a pair of tennis shoes, a hat, and a bandana
Also important is your glove compartment: vehicle registration, current insurance, a small memo pad with the vehicles history on it, as well as information for your emergency contacts and any medical info that may be needed in case you are, God forbid, incapacitated. Better to be safe than sorry.
Food and drink:
- cam and I bought a hard sided, canvas bag cooler for road trips. It's great for just the two of us. We freeze some bottles of water, and put everything else in cold.
- we also bring snacks. Chez mix, goldfish crackers, and granola bars are good go-tos. This trip I will be making sandwiches the morning we leave for some more sustaining fuel.
- trash bags!!! I like to loop a plastic grocery bag off the e-brake and drape to the side of the center console. This usually shouldn't disturb the passenger. Another option is to tie a bag behind the driver's seat.
- music!! CDs, mp3, audiobook, whatever your fancy. Don't let the car go quiet - this could create sleepy conditions for the driver.
- if your trip is extremely long, make frequent stops to stretch. Change drivers if possible. Keep the conversation going! Have fun! Laughter is a great way to make the time pass by quickly.
- make sure to have your camera readily available. You never know what you could see!
This concludes my basic suitcase and vehicle packing tips.
What do you do to help keep things organized in the car?
This is part two of my series on packing and travel. For part one, please go here
My travel beauty routine isn't much different from my daily routine - the only difference is that I use primer on vacation to compensate for humid and hot climates.
Concealer - Benefit Boi-ing helps cover up undereye circles, which I was blessed by genetics to always have. It's a bit pricy but I made a whole pot last two years with almost daily use.
And, my favorite of all:
My Mary Kay Compact - I was lucky enough to learn about the awesomeness that is Mary Kay from my matron of honor, Kara. She gave me a huge goodie bag full of Mary Kay stuff, including two different compacts. I love the magnetic compartments where you can switch out different products.
As for the rest of it, I will just list it all:
Shampoo, hair oil, dry shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, brush/mirror compact, more sunscreen, eye makeup remover, face wash, deoderant, nail clippers, and saline solution.
I probably don't need the nail clippers, but if I don't bring them, I will be certain to chip a nail. When it comes to road tripping, sometimes it doesn't hurt to bring along things just in case instead of having to buy it all as you need it when you get there.
This concludes Part two. Stay tuned for part three: Suitcase and vehicle packing
Ok, I should start out this post by admiting I am not the best organized in the world, but I PLAN to be organized.
I make lists of my lists, from the biggest detail to the smallest possible "may-happen". So, the minute we decide to possibly go on vacation, I have a list going to plan the trip. I had my 2014 vacation list started before we even got on the plane for our honeymoon in 2013.
If you aren't like me and have to plan out every detail, no worries. This post may help with some simple vacation planning tips if you usually just take off and end up forgetting socks, to buy an important ticket or to reserve a car.
This will be a multi-part post. I will start off with some simple stuff, some of my essentials for my "carry-on" bag:
Camera, lenses, extra battery, SD card and iPad card reader - I carry my Nikon D3200 with my 35mm 1.8, 18-55mm and my Lensbaby Spark. If the trip will involve a lot of nature and hiking, I might switch out the spark for my long 70-300mm. The battery life on this camera is fantastic, but I always bring a spare (charged) in my bag just in case.
iPad - loaded with books, music (Amazon Prime Music downloaded for free!) and for this upcoming trip I am utilizing "NextIssue", a magazine reader/downloaded app I got a free trial of. I don't really play games on my iPad. Since we will be road tripping with a lot of down time (aka, no internet available), I will also do some school work on my iPad and laptop.
Vapur water bottle - this doesn't hold a lot of water but I love that it collapses when you drink all the water! I don't like using disposable bottles if I can help it.
Other electronic stuff - phone, ipad chargers, headphones
Cosmetic bag - I always carry a smaller bag in any purse that has my go to Fresh tinted lip balm, a pocket knife (if flying, def don't bring this! And if you are going into a theme park or museum or government building, leave it at the hotel!), sunscreen, hand lotion, perfume (I am loving Aroamas solid stick perfume right now!! I highly recommend these for any frequent flyer), a hair tie, bobby pins, sunscreen, a pen, a few band aids, band aid blister block, dental floss and some safety pins. I love having all of these items in one small bag I can easily transfer from backpack to laptop tote to purse.
Glasses and contact cases - in the event I want to sleep on the trip or my eyes get dry.
This is a good example of my "daily carry", minus the camera. That is Cameron's J1. I carry my DSLR.
I do want to mention the bag in the picture, my Healthy Back Bag. It holds just enough, and I love the way the zipper lays against your back for extra security. This is my favorite bag to use day in and out.
This concludes Part one of Packing Tips and Tricks.
Two of my biggest motivators joined me for the Color in Motion 5k yesterday. If you don't know what a color run is, you are definitely missing out! You start out clean wearing white and get various colors thrown on you as you go through the course.
This wasn't a very serious race - I wouldn't even call it a race. So we enjoyed a fast walking pace most of the time, adding in some running every ten minutes or so.
We ended the course covered in color, and thankfully we researched ahead of time. Sunscreen (which I always have to wear outdoors anyway) was recommended to help the color come out of your skin, as well as coating blonde hair in coconut oil.
It did take us all a few attempts to scrub off the color, but for the most part, I would say it is all gone now! I wore my wedding ring and have a pretty prominent blue "tattoo" still.
All in all, it was a neat event that benefitted the Make a Wish Foundation. A very laid back 5k with a huge crowd.
I am so very happy I have family who are willing to join me in this journey of finding myself as a runner. My momma is amazing, and so very inspiring. I look forward to running more with her for years to come! My husband pushes me to do my best, like my own personal handsome trainer. Getting fit together has been a great way to encourage and grow our marriage.
Stay tuned for more running updates. I am beginning my half-marathon training on September 8.
I have never been a runner. I have never been in shape, for that matter. Don't get me wrong, every year or so since I turned 16 I have had a few weeks or days where I would work out and eat healthy with the goal to get in shape, lose weight, etc.... All of that changed in the beginning of June when I decided I would complete 150 miles by the end of August.
At first, I was just walking. And then, I ran for 30 seconds at a time. And, it was HARD.
But I kept it up. I have been running at least 3 miles in a workout - yet running 3 straight would prove to be difficult at this time.
48 workouts in 40 days lead me to yesterday, when my mom mentioned she was participating in a 5k that evening.
I thought - and then blurted out without thinking - "I should join you!"
And, 5 hours later, there I was, suited up with a number and my tennis shoes...
We ran together, we walked together, and finished in 41.45 minutes. This put my mileage at 80.4/150.
This was so much fun to do with my mom, and it has opened up a new world to me - I CAN do this. And it isn't going to be something that I forget about once I get to 150 miles... I'm going to be a runner.
Mom, my husband, and I are going to run in the Color in Motion run in August. I hope I have completed my 150 before then - and I hope I can run the whole 5K non-stop. All I know is, fitness is important. And Fun! And doing it with loved ones, well, that makes it that much better.
Joy is a photographer, wife and mommy based out of Albuquerque, NM. She is available by appointment for weddings, events and sessions in New Mexico.