• Life & Family,  Tips & Tricks

    Packing a Carry On

    I just came home from visiting one of my best friends in Atlanta and I wanted to share what I packed in my carry on tote for my flight. Who doesn’t like to see the inside of someone else’s bag?

    Packing A Carry On 1

    I’m a planner, so it seems like every time I’m getting ready to do something, I’m writing lists and going over my options. Having all of the items I might need at armโ€™s reach is really reassuring when I’m cruising at 35,000 feet off of the ground. (My flight was a short, domestic one, so packing needs for other types of flights may vary.)

    The Tote

    Packing A Carry On 2

    1. I don’t have any fancy pants kind of bag that I use. I believe that I bought this big ol’ purse at Target a few years ago and it has been used for a little bit of everything. Diaper bag. Beach bag. Laundry bag. Just kidding on that last one, but you get the point. Find something that is reasonably sized and has pockets and multiple compartments inside to store all of your loot.


    Packing A Carry On 3

    2. Wallet & ID – This is a given, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it. My wallet holds all of my important items, like my license, credit cards, extra cash and change. Don’t forget your passport if you are traveling internationally.

    3. Keys – Wouldn’t want to be locked out of the car or house when coming home from a trip!

    4. Hand Sanitizer – I’m not the world’s biggest germaphobe, but I do know that airplanes and sickness can go hand in hand. A little cleanliness never hurts. (This was originally packed with the rest of my liquids in another carry on bag with my clothes, toiletries, etc.)


    Packing A Carry On 4

    5. Scarf – An extra layer that can be used as a makeshift blanket or pillow in a pinch.

    6. Sunglasses – I rarely go anywhere without them. They are perfect for those times when your seat mate thinks that having the window shade open during the middle of the brightest afternoon ever is a great way to get a tan. Also, they can double as an eye mask of sorts when you want to take a snooze.

    7. Wipes – Perfect for cleaning off tray tables, mopping up spills and freshening up.

    8. Wisps (Toothbrush and Paste in one) – Quickly gets rid of “sweater mouth” caused by the re-circulated plane air.

    9. Lip Balm – Again, to help combat the dry air on the plane.

    10. Extra Hair Ties – Can you ever really have too many?

    11. Pain Medication – Just in case of a headache.


    Packing A Carry On 6

    12. Water Bottle – To fill up after I go through security and keep me hydrated during the flight.

    13. Clementines – Sweet snack. (For domestic flights only.)

    14. Gum – Helps with all of that ear popping.

    15. Almonds in Snack Bag – Washable and reusable dry snack storage. Tutorial coming soon!


    Packing A Carry On 6

    16. Magazine – I love to read something light during takeoff and landing when I can’t use electronics.

    17. Notebook & Pencil/Pen – Great for doodling or making more lists. I prefer the latter of the two.

    18. Ear buds – Used with my iPhone.

    19. iPhone and Charger – Music, movies, games, the Internet and my boarding pass all on one tiny, little device.

    So, that’s what is in my tote. Is there anything extra that you would have included? Excluded? Let us know in the comments below!

  • 5 Minute Projects,  Home Decor,  Life & Family,  Painting Projects,  Tips & Tricks

    Personalized Utensil Crock

    Recently, while sitting at my kitchen table, staring at everything in sight and waiting for inspiration to hit, I saw my boring black utensil crock and asked myself “Self, how can I make that more interesting?” Then, answering myself, I said “I should write something on it. Oh, I know. My mom’s delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe.” After realizing I need more human interaction, I got to work.

    crock 3

    I dragged my entire family with me to Jo Ann Fabrics to pick up one of these handy dandy oil based paint pens. Let me tell you, my husband Adam, is a trooper. My 3 year old was directing us though the store with his pretend Buzz Lightyear laser beam, while our youngest was kicking and screaming and absolutely refusing to ride in the shopping cart. Adam didn’t complain once.

    Crock 1

    Once we were home, and the kids were tucked in bed, I starting writing. I completely free handed the text. To make the letters appear more bold, I went over them twice and let the paint dry in between. There are a lot of mixed reviews about paint pens and I was not sure what type of experience I was in for. This pen is AWESOME! It wrote so smoothly and there was absolutely no mess to clean up.

    This project took no time at all, except for the shopping portion, but for that, I only have myself to blame. I love the handwritten look and every time I am in the kitchen, it brings a smile to my face to see my mom’s recipe.


    What does your utensil holder look like?

  • Cleaning,  Tips & Tricks

    How To Clean Your Make-up Brushes

    How often do you clean your make-up brushes? You should clean them pretty often because they can harbor bacteria and dirt. Who wants that smeared on their face? If you use them daily, then you should really be cleaning them weekly.

    clean brushes 4

    First, put a small amount of shampoo in a dish or like I did, in the built-in soap dish area. Plug your drain and fill sink with a little cold water. Warm water can soften the glue that is holding your bristles in. And nobody wants to go through the process of cleaning your brushes if you are just going to have to toss them when you are finished.

    clean brush 1

    Dip the end ofย  your dirty brush in the water to wet it and then coat it with soap. Gently swirl it around on the edge of the sink or palm of your hand to remove the filth. Continue, until it is free of grime.

    clean brush2

    For your final rise, hold the make-up applicator under faucet, so the water is flowing the same direction as the hair. Holding it any other way can put stress on the shape of your bristles.

    Clean Brush3

    Lightly squeeze from the base to the edge, to remove any excess water.

    Clean Brush 6

    Reshape and lay flat to dry or with end of brush hanging over the counter. Do not stand brush on end. This can cause water to settle in handle and you would be creating a wonderful environment for bacteria growth.

    Brushes 7

    Now how ofter will you be cleaning your make-up brushes?



  • Home Decor,  Tips & Tricks

    Chalkboard Lettering

    Back when I shared my dry erase board turned chalk board, several people had pondered about the process I used to create the lettering. It really is quite simple and probably any creature with opposable thumbs could do it.

    DIY Chalkboard Lettering 1

    Here is what you will need:
    -Print Out (I whipped this puppy up in Photoshop, but you could easily create something in a word document, or physically cut out words with fonts you like.)

    DIY Chalkboard Lettering 2

    Make sure your chalkboard is {primed.} Then start out by using the side of a piece of chalk and completely color over the backside of your print or words. This chalk dust is what will transfer onto the chalkboard later on in the process.

    DIY Chalkboard Lettering 3

    Turn the print over, carefully place it on the chalkboard, and tape it down. I just kind of eyeballed it to make sure it was centered. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

    DIY Chalkboard Lettering 4

    Using the pencil, trace around the outside edges of each letter and image. The pressure from the pencil tip will transfer the chalk.

    DIY Chalkboard Lettering 5

    Here, I lifted up a couple pieces of tape to check and see how things were looking. I decided that I wanted the letters filled in, so I went back and did that too.

    DIY Chalkboard Lettering 6

    Once you are finished, remove the print and you should have awesomeness on your chalkboard. That’s it! Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

    DIY Chalkboard Lettering 7