Stay organized with packing cubes

Keeping organized while on the road can be tricky and can cause a lot of stress regardless of whether or not you're constantly jet-setting or taking a trip once a year. Last year, I jumped on a plane 17 times for both work and pleasure. One of the greatest travel hacks I picked up during my travel were packing cubes!

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Packing cubes are pretty standard in the world of travel, but not many travelers have managed to pick up this little life hack. I get it! It's not the prettiest when you try to recreate the many blogger photos of open pieces of luggage filled to the brim with the most Instagram worthy travel accessories. But packing cubes have been a stress saver for me and personally, I'd rather be mindful of my mental health by staying organized. 

The benefits of packing cubes

Organize

I like to separate my workout clothing, my regular outfits, bathing suits, and underwear/PJs. This keeps my luggage neater and more organized especially if I need to zip it open during a layover. This also helps me from not overpacking when I can keep track of where things go in my luggage. 

Compression 

You can use packing cubes to compress your clothing for any trip. This is especially helpful if you're using a carry-on size. 

Versatility

Although I only use mine for clothing, you can also use them to separate camera gear, electronics, shoes, or anything else you want to store.

Environmentally Friendly

I know some people separate their clothing items with plastic bags or Ziploc bags. Nothing wrong with that, but we've slowly become a greener family and haven't bought plastic Ziploc bags for over a year and a half.

Efficiency

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A majority of my travel these days has been for work and are typically short trips. What I love about my packing cubes is the ability to literally throw my packing cubes into the drawers of my hotel or AirBnb and I'm off to whatever adventure is on my itinerary. If there are no dressers available, all my clothes are neatly organized in my packing cubes and I can pull out what I need based on which cube is holding which clothing category.

 

 

How I pack with packing cubes

So now that I've shared why I love them and why I think it's a must need for everyone let's get into getting all packed up!

One other organization hack I recently learned was to store all my travel essentials in clear containers in my closet. This just helps with time management and efficiency because let's be real, NO ONE HAS TIME to dig out toiletries and beauty products from all their cabinets. I also store my packing cubes in another clear container. We have several packing cubes as everyone in the family uses them in their luggages as well.

 LIFE HACK: Store all travel essentials in a labeled clear container so its easy to find and access.

LIFE HACK: Store all travel essentials in a labeled clear container so its easy to find and access.

Step 1: Lay out my clothes

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I lay out all my clothes so that I know what I'm packing and can do a quick overview what I need to pack and what I don't need to pack. I tend to overpack on the bikinis/bathing suits anytime I'm heading to a beach destination, hope I'm not the only one. 

Step 2: Get packing

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As I mentioned above I like to separate my clothing. Activewear goes in one cube, regular clothes go into another. Skivvies, PJs, and socks will go into a smaller cube, and then my bathing suits will have a cube of their own.

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3. Compress down

The beauty of packing cubes is the ability to literally press everything into a sweet little container. So fold your clothing neatly and pack it down.

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4. Zip it up

Zip it up and call it a day, the toss it into your luggage! 

5. Play a quick game of Tetris

The best thing about packing cubes is how neatly they fit into any luggage. You might find yourself playing a little game of Tetris if you prefer to have all of your clothes on on side of your luggage like I do. 

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Packing cubes are a life saver. The other thing that I love about them is that when its ready to pack up and go home, I separate the dirty items into one or more packing cubes and leave the clean items in another. This just helps when it comes to unpacking and doing laundry when I get back home. Last year I had some trips I had to take back to back so I left a packing cube filled with clean items in my luggage, washed the dirty clothes in one, and repacked it with a whole new set of clothes for my next trip! During trips when I have 2 or 3 days at home in between, this was such a game changer. 

A few other travel must-haves

Travel sized cosmetics/toiletries

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Stash all your travel cosmetics/toiletries for travel in other zippered bags. I like to compartmentalize everything when it comes to travel. My hair products will go in one little cosmetic bag and skincare will go into another. This is extremely helpful when it comes to unpacking at your destination or finding things in your luggage.

GUA SHA/JADE ROLLER

These are a must bring on every trip regardless of the duration. You can read all about the benefits of Gua Sha and Jade Rolling in a previous blog post. 

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Lo & Sons Fanny Pack

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Fanny packs are back! I love them and this one, in particular, is great for traveling! You can use it as a clutch and remove all the straps. What I love is that I stash my lipgloss, ID, phone, and credit cards in it and it's easy to access at the airport. 

Hope you enjoyed this travel hack. Share me your favorites in the comments below. 

 

 

 

Hotel Review: Even Hotels Seattle, WA

Hotel Review: Even Hotels Seattle, WA

I love to travel, its probably one of my favorite hobbies and self-care practices and I'm so grateful that in 2017 I had the opportunity to really put on some miles and travel 17 times! As many of you guys followed along on Instagram I was just in Seattle, CA with EVEN Hotels checking out one of their latest property in Seattle, WA and let me tell you, they nailed the entire wellness centered hotel property to help #KeepYourGoodThingGoing.

Live Out Loud Every Day with Lolë Women

Ever since nearly facing a divorce with my husband I’ve had to re-shift my thinking and redefine my overall health perspective. It’s not that I don’t believe in fitness or exercise these days, but I’ve had to evolve the relationship with it and change some things in my day to day life to make it work for me, my busy schedule, and the new family life we want to create.

When I first started this fitness journey I thought fitness meant working out 5 days a week eating clean all the time and performance performance performance! Little did I realize, I was becoming addicted to exercise and sacrificing personal time for meal prepping and personal records at the gym. It's so easy to become consumed by something that gives us results. I mean, of course, its no surprise that exercise makes you feel better, "Hello endorphin rush!" But what I didn’t recognize then was I was so hyper-focused on fitness goals that I didn’t realize what I needed to Live Out Loud Every Day was a combination of exercise, eating well AND living life outside of work and the gym.

Once weekends were consumed by multiple workouts in the day, are now replaced by finding hobbies outside of fitness like plant shopping and exploring my new neighborhood. This past weekend I went to Temescal Alley here in Oakland, CA. 

Here’s a little day in the life (weekend edition):

7:00AM - wake up. Yes, I'm that crazy person who loves to wake up early on the weekends. I don't really remember the last time I slept in. #momlife

10:30AM - Check out the local plant shop Crimson Hort and to add some new additions to my growing collection. I have this growing obsession with plants. 

Window shopped at a few other stores in Temescal Alley and found a jewelry that I loved from Marisa Mason which I walked away from because furniture > jewelry at the moment. 

Toting around the perfect gym/everyday living bag, the Lily Bag by Lolë Women. The bag converts to a backpack and has a slot for a laptop and is durable enough to withstand adventures both in and out of the gym. Which is perfect for me because when I’m out an about its typically right after a morning gym session after seeing my kids off to school and there’s no time for swapping bags.

OUTFIT DETAILS: 

The Maelle Sweater by Lolë Women is one of the coziest sweaters I own. It;s lightweight and perfect as a transitional piece from winter to spring. I love the oversized look of it which is great for throwing on with a pair of jeans. 

The Cayo Leggings are made from post-consumer waste such as fishing nets and is from their swim line which is Chlorine Resistant, Sunscreen resistant and has sun protection up to UPF 50+.

Piper Jacket, a packable rain jacket that's been my go-to for these spring days. Living in the SF area you never know when rain is going to roll right in.

12:31 PM - Lunch break, because exploring can make a girl hungry!  Dona Tomas is a great little Mexican restaurant in Temescal Alley and of course, I ordered the Chilaquiles Verde because it's my fav! You can check out my recipe here

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2:00 PM - Get home and work on a few emails. The hustle never stops, but these days it doesn’t seem to bother me because I’m so in love with what I do. I have a standing desk which I love and from time to time you’ll catch me doing stretching or barre moves just to re-energize for the day. 

4:35 PM - Get a little bendy and do a little yoga. One of the things I've realized is my body craves the deep stretching. So I roll out my Air Yoga Mat and bust some moves. The Air Yoga mat is made of eco-friendly material and has a non-slip surface on both sides perfect for the floors in our new house.

Yoga is one of those practices that I struggle with. I'll admit, I think it terrifies me because of the act of sitting still and quieting the mind. I used to have a meditation practice that I was deeply invested in, but moving took over our lives these past few months.

Now that we're settled into our new house I'm rededicating myself to more self-care, more physical movement, and more meditation. Lolë Women has a 21-day meditation challenge that I'm joining to reconnect to that piece of myself. You can sign up here.

The evenings are often reserved for family time, a little disconnection from the digital world, and trying to just BE. We often define LIVING as the need to be in constant motion. These days I feel like Live Out Loud Every Day means to be present, connected to those around you and your self, and to move freely through life loving and honoring your body. What does it mean for you?

MY LOLË WOMEN EDIT

This post was sponsored by Lolë Women and I was compensated to write this post, but all the opinions are 100% my own.

Photography by Encarnacion Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Travel Essentials

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. We moved into our new house, move to a new city, the girls transferred to new schools and we're just finally finding our groove back in our new space. Somehow it feels as if we finally found this feeling of home and happiness that most people talk about. Sadly, shortly after moving into our dream home I've hit the most amount of travel I've done in a month.

With all this travel coming up I was packing up some of my must-haves and quickly realized there are a few things that I cannot leave home without. 

1. MY LE LABO

This might be super silly but I feel more at home when something familiar hits my sense of smell and for me that's my shower/bath time essentials. I recently became obsessed with Le Labo Fragrances, Santal 33 is my jam. Soulcycle recently collaborated with Le Labo and came out with this amazing gift set, which has now been in my bag any time I leave home.  

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2. SUNSCREEN

I love the sun and thankfully my complexion can soak it in. But lately, as I've started to age I've noticed that the sun and I aren't as close as friends as we used to be. My snowboarding trip last weekend was a reminder that I need to always carry a good sunblock with me. I recently got turned on to Supergoop. Supergoop makes this really awesome setting mist that sets your make up and includes an SPF 50. Perfect for touch ups on the go.

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3. YOGA STRAP + RESISTANCE BANDS

My body has been craving a lot more gentle movement rather than super intense sweat induced exercise. I'm not sure if it's because I'm getting older or because I've begun to shift my thinking into exercise being an optional action, but movement an essential one. I love to stretch my body after a flight or long road trip which is where my yoga strap comes in. I use the Align Strap from Manduka, but honestly, any yoga strap will do. Not pictured are a set of resistance bands that I love using. My go to are from a brand called X-bands that I do with this booty workout. 

4. SNACKS

Eating healthy while traveling can be a challenge. Airport food is rarely nutritious or good for you and of course, one airport meal won't set you back drastically. However, packing a few healthy options like fresh fruit, veggies, or even a meal will help keep you on track. I love packing proteins bars as my in-flight option.  A few of my favorites lately have been Perfect Bar and GoMacro. Both are made with simple ingredients and packed with lots of flavor.  

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5. MY

BULLET JOURNAL

I often travel without my husband and kids for work which is often the perfect opportunity for me to spend some time planning, writing, and reflecting. 

6. TECH GEAR

One of the best things about working for yourself is the flexibility you have to create your own schedule, but one of the downfalls is that you typically start your business as a team of one and you're always working nonstop. I love my Away luggage because it comes with a portable USB charger. During the holidays they release a mini Away luggage which was perfect for all my cords, chargers, and everything I need to keep my tech alive and strong!

What are some of the things you can't leave home without? 

Soul seeking in Baja, a Todos Santos Travel Guide

Soul seeking in Baja, a Todos Santos Travel Guide

Somedays your soul is screaming to take you away from the life you're living, not because you hate it or because you're so done (well maybe) but other times your soul needs a quick 3 day break to become re-inspired with life.  One of my good friend and fellow creatives, Meg,  sent me a text one day back in spring and it said, "Flights are on sale on Southwest to Mexico, let's go!" and without any hesitation I said, "Ok, FUCK IT, booking flights now." And so was the start of a spontaneous getaway with little to no planning on what we would do, see, or eat in Cabo San Lucas. Months passed after booking our flights and we still hadn't planned a place to stay, so again with little research, Meg called me one day and said, "I booked Hotel San Cristobal, I'm not really sure what's around there, but figured it's better for us to have somewhere to sleep, than nothing, and Vogue said it was cool."