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Crafts You Carry

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 in Craft | 6 comments

Watercolor

Anytime you see me, there’s a good chance I have my watercolor kit with me. It’s also not unusual to have a roll or two of washi tape in my bag and/or a few ultra fine tip Sharpies. Maybe a partly finished scrapbook. You never know when you might need to craft on a moment’s notice!

travel-scrapbook

My friend Anne always has knitting with her. It has its own little bag. If she has to wait for someone or is in a conference session, she’s working on a scarf or a sweater or hat. Unlike my watercolors, she can knit without looking at her project much, so it’s particularly good for things like sitting in Phoenix Comicon panels.

paper-bag-scrapbook-supplies-ed

Do you carry craft supplies or projects with you? What’s in your bag?




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Olive Oil Soap for Travel

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Travel | 2 comments

When the face wash I used to use started to irritate my skin, I started using olive oil soap.

Phillip has started using it too. Sometimes we get the Kiss My Face brand from Sprouts, and sometimes we get whatever kind happens to be at our favorite middle eastern market.

Olive oil soap

It’s great for travel, because you can also use it as shampoo. That means two things (facewash or shampoo) I no longer have to worry about squeezing into my TSA-friendly quart-sized bag. Phillip will cut a slice off the end to make a travel-sized bar.

Olive oil soap

What I haven’t figured out is the best kind of container to pack it in to keep it from getting slimey (like soap does in a plastic baggie) without taking up a lot of space (why do they make travel soap dishes so big??).

Any ideas?

Olive oil soap


 

P.S. There’s a post on SmarterTravel with some interesting suggestions for packing without liquids. Who knew you could get toothpaste in tablet form?!




 

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Travel Trade-Offs

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 in Travel | 4 comments

There’s no such thing as an ideal trip – or even an ideal itinerary. It’s more like a series of bargains you make with yourself, hoping to get the best deal based on what you value.

United States puzzle

Do you see more sights or spend more time at each one? Pack to be prepared for every situation or have less to carry? Visit familiar places or risk venturing somewhere new? Have the security of making reservations or the flexibility of winging it? Spend extra money to stay close to the main attraction (city center, theme park, historic site…) or spend extra time getting yourself there?

Chiricahua trail

How do you tackle your travel dilemmas?




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Gift Guide 2016

Posted by on Dec 10, 2016 in Travel | 0 comments

2016-gift-guide

Since last year’s road-tested gift guide was a hit, here’s my 2016 list of traveler gift ideas I actually own, use, and love!

Bag at sunset

1. Lo & Sons O.G. Overnight Bag

This bag strikes a fabulous balance between being roomy yet sleek, having enough pockets to keep things organized but not so many you go crazy trying to find things. There’s even a side pocket that solves the ongoing dilemma of how to pack shoes! It’s set up so you can use it for work stuff, craft projects, and/or travel. Sized to be used as an overnight bag or carry-on – it’s slim enough even for budget airlines with restrictive carry-on/cabin baggage policies (like RyanAir).

Lo and sons bag

 

Details:

  • 17″ x 6.5″ x 15″ bag with 9.5″ handles.
  • Removable shoulder/crossbody strap.
  • Outside is made from water-resistant nylon with leather handles and silver or light gold hardware.
  • Available in black, navy, army green, crimson red, burgundy, or heather grey. Lined with poly jacquard (lavender, camel, grey, or azure). Leather handles. Hardware in silver or light gold.
  • Lo & Sons also sells a slightly smaller overnight bag called The O.M.G.

Lo and Sons bag

What I have: The O.G. Overnight Bag, black exterior / silver hardware / lavender interior / black handles.

Where to find it: Order on loandsons.com by 12/11 for delivery by 12/24.

Price: $206.50 on sale (reg. $295)

BlogHer '16

2. h2go Force Vacuum Bottle

Keeps cold water cold – even in a hot car during summer in Phoenix. Apparently, you can also use it with hot beverages, but I haven’t tried that yet. (I have, however, used it as an impromptu vase in my hotel room during BlogHer.)

Details:

  • Colors include matte black, mossy oak camo, matte army green, neon green, neon orange, neon pink, neon yellow, and gloss white.
  • Available in 12, 17, 26, or 34 oz. size.
  • Double wall stainless steel with copper vacuum insulation and threaded stainless steel lid.
  • Marty’s technical explanation of why it works so well: the lack of air between the outer part of the bottle and its inner lining prevents heat transfer, so contents retain their temperature longer.

H2go water bottle
What I have: h2go Force Vacuum Bottle, 26 oz. in matte gray

Where to find it: While manufacturer H2go Hawaii is still building out their online store, you can contact them directly to order. Call (808) 216-7460 or email info@h2gohawaii.com with your shipping address and the model, size, and color of the product/s you’d like to buy. They’ll follow up with online payment information. Shipping within the U.S. is included and typically only takes a few days.

Random individual bottles sometimes show up for sale on Amazon and eBay. They’re also available in bulk from promotional products vendors.

Price: $29.99

 

necklace

3. MyIntent Necklace

Simple yet elegant jewelry personalized with an intention, value, or encouragement. Perhaps there’s an adventurous spirit in your life you could celebrate with a gift of a necklace that said something like “wanderer,” “keep exploring,” or “play outside.”

Details:

  • Classic necklace available in black, silver, or gold.
  • Handcrafted in the USA.
  • They also offer different types of chains, bracelets and gift sets.
  • To DIY, check out their maker kits.

MyIntent necklace

What I have: Classic necklace in silver. (I wrote about the words I chose on Instagram.)

Where to find it: Order on their site, and they’ll hand stamp your word. Order by 12/18 for delivery by 12/24.

UPDATE: $5 off when you join MyIntent’s loyalty program.

Price: $25

 

Action cam

4. AKASO EK5000 Action Cam

Super compact, lightweight wide-angle camera for photos, video, and timelapse. It has a removable waterproof housing, put to the test in Frida’s tank and in the blowing dust at Seven Magic Mountains outside of Vegas. It also comes with more mount options (for helmets, drones, etc.) than I’ll probably ever use. I’d recommend it for someone who wants the flexibility to take video anywhere without worrying about wrecking an expensive camera.

Seven magic mountains vegas

Details:

  • 2-inch LCD screen
  • 170-degree wide angle lens
  • 2 rechargeable batteries
  • 17 mounts

Camera

What I have: AKASO EK5000 1080p WIFI Sports Action Camera 12MP HD Waterproof Camcorder in black.

Where to find it: Amazon

Price: $54.99 on sale (reg. $79.99)

 

Humangear containers

5. GoTubb Containers

These are so useful for containing little odds and ends you’re taking with you – sunscreen, pills, earrings. They’re easy to open, but we haven’t had one leak yet. Humangear also makes the GoTube from last year’s guide.

Gotubb

Details:

  • Sold in sets of 3 in a mix of colors.
  • Food-safe.
  • 100% BPA-free, PC-free, and phthalate-free.

What I* have: Humangear GoTubb .9 cubic inches (14 cc) set of 3 in clear / green / blue

*Technically, what Phillip has. But I borrow them pretty regularly.

Where to find them: Humangear.comREI, possibly Target.

Price: $6.99

 

NoRayz

6. NoRayz Sunglasses

As you may recall from our previous review, NoRayz sunglasses are comfortable, built well, and excellent for blocking the sun.

Details:

  • Polycarbonate, polarized lenses.
  • Blocks 100% off UVA and UVB rays.
  • Handcrafted in the USA.

NoRayz sunglasses

What I have: Sedona sunglasses (Marty has the Yuma model)

Where to find them: Order through the NoRayz site by 12/14 for delivery by 12/24.

Price: $150

Norayz


 

Yes, some of this was free…

  • Lo & Sons provided The O.G. bag for review.
  • NoRayz provided the Yuma and Sedona sunglasses for review.
  • The MyIntent necklace was a gift from MyIntent to BlogHer speakers.
  • The h2go Force bottle came from a BlogHer sponsor event with the GoRVing organization. They were there to promote RV traveling and not beverage containers. However, campers don’t fit in swag bags.

…but it’s all really great stuff that I feel is worth recommending.

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An East Coast Winter Wedding: Figuring Out What to Pack

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Travel | 4 comments

My cousin is getting married at the end of the year in Charlottesville, Virginia, a couple hours south of Washington DC. We’ll head out there, see Charlottesville, and spend a couple days in DC.

airfare-window
For us Arizonans, it’s gonna be cold.

So, along with researching what to see/do/eat in DC and Virginia (and making a pretty serious DC/Virginia/Maryland Pinterest board), I’ve been trying to figure out how to pack light but stay warm!

image

Here are a few articles I’ve found helpful:

Do you have recommendations of winter DC sights or cold-weather packing tips?

Microblog Mondays: Write in your own space

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