Category Archives: Essentials

Generally speaking, November – March is not a friendly time period in Seattle, weather wise. It being January, I still have two and a half more months of cold ickiness before the temperature even starts to sort of rise. During this time I take my running indoors to a treadmill, stop gardening, and mutter obscenities to myself as I make the short but bracing trip from my front door to my car, where it is still cold, but not wet (hopefully). I also can’t wear certain shoes without freezing my tootsies off. In short, blergh.

But! The wintery months are not totally without their pleasures, either. I quite enjoy spending cold nights inside reading, watching movies with M (we’ve been on a Carey Grant kick lately), and leisurely enjoy a nice hot bath. And because I want to be cozy on the inside, too, a nice hot cup of tea is always helpful (it’s like a hot bath for your stomach! Or something!).

Along with a nice book, movie, or TV show, these are my cozy nights at home necessities that are sure to ward off the brrr:

Cozy Winter Nights


This year is a big(ish) one for travel. In March I went to Chicago for work, then a few weeks later to California to visit family. M and I just got back from our honeymoon where we went to Costa Rica and DC for two weeks (!!!), and tomorrow I’m going to New York for work. We’re also probably going to California again for Thanksgiving. I’ve also traveled a fair amount in the past, and being the world-wise, savvy traveler (ha) that I am, I’ve been able to streamline my carry-on packing list to what I consider the essentials only:

Travel Essentials

  1. Moisturizers. I get really dry up there and my skin gets parched. My favorites are Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Neutrogena Norwegian Formula. A tiny dab will do for fly-aways caused by static-y hair, too. I also always make sure to have some heavy-duty chapstick with me, like Carmex, as my already chap-prone lips have an especially hard time at 35,000 feet.
  2. Entertainment. This usually means whatever book I’m reading at the moment, a few magazines in case I need a break from my book, and my iPhone for listening to music.
  3. Earplugs. If I’m not into listening to music (like if I’m reading), I’ll put in my earplugs to keep out the cries of babies or annoying co-passengers.
  4. Light cardigan or scarf. I love me a cardigan or scarf anyway, but these babies come in handy if you get chilly on the flight (I don’t trust airline blankets – who knows how many couples have joined the mile high club under those bad boys). They also serve well for pillows if you wad them up real nice.
  5. Gum. I typically hate gum (For reasons mentioned in my first post, but also because it loses its flavor too quickly and starts to hurt my jaw.) I always get some for flight take-offs and landings, though, because I hate it when my ears get plugged (though the ear popping is an incredible feeling!).
  6. Medication. For obvious reasons, if you take an OTC medication, it’s wise to have it in your carry-on in case your checked baggage gets lost or delayed.
  7. An extra pair of underwear. See above. Nothing is worse than being bumped from your flight, having to spend the night in an airport hotel in Denver, getting up at 3 AM to make your new flight, and discovering the only underwear you have (because your checked baggage didn’t make it to Denver with you) is the underwear to wore yesterday.
  8. Reusable water bottle. Bring your empty water bottle with you (I like BPA-free ones) and fill it up from the drinking fountain or with bottled water when you get past security. Again, it gets super dry up there in the sky and it’s important to keep hydrated (though this means having to get up to pee more)!
  9. Hand sanitizer. Planes and airports are filthy.
  10. A great big handbag. Since we’re allowed one personal item in addition to our carry-on, I typically find a bag that’s even bigger than my regular purse to put my purse in and any of the above things that won’t fit in my carry-on.

Happy trails!


I have started keeping a list of things I want to write about, but they all require some time, something I am sorely lacking these days. I plan on tackling that list after the honeymoon, though 🙂

In an effort to keep this blog going (thought it seems like it shouldn’t be an effort after one post), I’m going with the tried-and-true “what’s in my bag” post. Let’s do this!

The bag itself:

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I got this in January at Nordstrom Rack. It’s by Makowsky and is the first big leather handbag I’ve ever owned. I have smaller leather ones from Coach and Hobo International, but wanted a big giant one for lugging around all my very super important stuff:

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  1. Lime green leather wallet. I got this from Target years ago and I love it. It fits all my wallet-y things like my debit and credit cards, driver’s license, money… you know, wallet stuff. Also a ridiculous collection of frequent buyer cards and various gift cards with approximately $.37 on each one.
  2. Earbuds and earbuds case. For music. And pretending I’m listening to music so people won’t talk to me.
  3. Scientific calculator. M teases me for carrying this around, but you’d be surprised how often it comes in handy.
  4. Snazzy star coin purse. For coins! I got this from Hot Topic years and years ago when I worked there. (My stories from there will be added to my to-blog-about list for sure).
  5. Altoids. Because I like hummus and Mexican food.
  6. Neosporin. This is not a regular in my purse, but I took a really nasty spill last week on a run and am all scabby. I slather this stuff on whenever I feel necessary.
  7. Ear plugs and case. I hate it when people make too much noise in movie theaters whether it’s from crinkling cellophane, slurping drinks, or making stupid little comments to their friends like “OH I DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS WITH THEM. DID YOU?” or “BITCH GET OUT THE ROOM!!!!” I used those head phones you can get at the customer service desk for the hearing impaired when M and I went to see Cabin in the Woods, and it worked wonderfully, but embarrassed M. So now I just bring ear plugs, which keep out the noises of annoying movie-goers, while still being able to hear the movie. Same goes for annoying people on planes. Also M snores and if we go somewhere overnight, I don’t have to worry about forgetting ear plugs.
  8. Gas-X. This is rather self-explanatory and not something I want to go into, or you want to hear, I’m sure. Use your imagination.
  9. Bobby pins. I leave a trail of these wherever I go. M finds them in his truck, in bed, steps on them occasionally… it’s a sickness.
  10. Keys. For opening locks! One for my house, the shed behind my house, my car, my mom’s house, and work. Also included is a rape whistle a friend gave me when I moved to Seattle, an adorable pig keychain from China, and a badass dalek flashlight keychain.
  11. Lots of pens. For writing.
  12. Pile of trash that was in the bottom of my bag.
  13. Leopard pouch that contains the following:
  • Ibuprofen. For headaches and various pain.
  • Aquaphor. I get dry hands. M gets really dry hands.
  • Hand sanitizer. Because it’s a dirty, dirty world out there. And I like to touch all the things.
  • MAC lipstick in Dubonnet. For when I’m feeling feisty.
  • Some ULTA lip gloss that the name has rubbed off of. For when I’m feeling glossy.
  • Chapstick in Cherry. For everyday. Because my lips are always getting chapped.
  • Nail clippers. For nails and other things like errant threads, packaging, etc.
  • Kleenex. For runny noses!
  • Moist towelettes. I think I got these from a BBQ place or something awhile back, but they seemed like they could come in handy.
  • Mirror. For checking out the money-maker.
  • Nail file. For sharpening my claws.

I typically carry an emergency tampon or two, but I lent them out to friends and have yet to replenish. I also always carry my phone, seen here:

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My eyes are really sensitive to the light, so I always carry a rotating selection of sunglasses. Today it was these ones (along with the book I’m currently reading, which I take with me places where I might have time to read):Image

The end!