Home for the Holidays: 5 Essential Travel Tips

With the holidays coming up, I think it’s safe to say we will all be doing some type of traveling -- whether that be via the road or air travel style -- so here are a few ideas to make sure your journeys home are full of Christmas spirit and low on stress.

IMG_9637.jpg

Pack Light

If you can swing it, try to pack everything into a carry-on suitcase. It helps reduce extra baggage costs and also helps you avoid those infamously long baggage check-in lines if traveling by air -- but even if traveling by car, it gives you more space to stretch out during the journey. I always find it a little easier to travel light over the holidays -- we usually stay home more, so re-wearing clothing isn’t as a big of a deal and you can do laundry more often -- thus leaving more room for gifts in your carry-on or car!

Stay Hydrated  

Carry an empty water bottle to refill in the airport. Hydration is key for flying! Most airports are equipped with stations to fill your own bottle in order to save the plastic from going to landfills. I also love my non-chemical rose water mist for skin hydration. If you are as fascinated as I am by how dehydrated we get while traveling, I loved this article and this one.

download.png

Go Tech Free

I love reading but often don’t make time for it so I usually try to bring a magazine I haven’t had time to read + my newest book. Bringing a non-electronic entertainment option (how about some adult coloring books or letters you’ve been meaning to write?) is also a good idea for possible delays. Nothing’s worse than fighting over an outlet at the gate when your iPhone dies.  

Don’t wrap gifts

As someone who loves being ahead of the game so that I can fully enjoy myself once I am with my people, this one is hard for me. But, it will help you move quickly through security.

“Wrapped gifts are allowed in both carry-ons and checked luggage, but TSA officials might need to open them during the security inspection, so if you can wait till you get to your destination to wrap, it's probably smarter. Wrapped gifts are less likely to get unwrapped if they're in your checked luggage as opposed to your carry-on, but by all means do not put anything valuable or irreplaceable in checked luggage: If the item is stolen, damaged, or lost, you will have little recourse.” - tip from the CN Traveler.

IMG_0426.JPG

Compression Socks for Travel

I can get really stiff calves while traveling so my newest favorite thing is my compression socks. I know I could be getting laughed at on the other side of the screen as you read this because I might sound like an 80-year-old women, but I’m owning it ha. Compression socks have helped me so much! They were created to keep the blood flowing in your legs and the fabric is stitched in a way that creates pressure and prevents deep vein thrombosis. Highly recommended!

For more great tips on travel, I am loving this blog. I hope you have a great holiday season and that all your travels go smoothly!

 

36 hours in Vancouver

This summer, Aaron and I had 36 hours in Vancouver before we boarded our cruise to Alaska. I had never been to Vancouver before, and as you will see in the pictures that follow, I was not going to let this opportunity pass me by without making the most of it.

To maximize our time, we spent most of our 36 hours in Gastown, as we stayed a short 10-minute walk away, but we also made it to Granville Island and the Capilano Suspension Bridge which was so worth it. I don't regret any of it. I highly recommend a visit to Vancouver as it was one of those rare cities that offers both amazing food and culture and time outside exploring. 

Day 1

Tacofino - Gastown

I've had some good tacos in my time (that sounds hilarious coming from a 27-year-old) but Tacofino takes the cake. I also loved how there was a quick service option on one side and then a sit down option on the other side. The creativity was overflowing in this space. I love it when a restaurant wins at quality of food and aesthetics. 

Nelson the Seagull

Keeping up the theme of quality of food and aesthetics, let me introduce you to the most adorable coffeeshop you've ever seen. Meet Nelson the Seagull. Not only was it a beautifully designed space that welcomed you with a big bear hug when you entered, it serves the most incredible avocado toast. Served on their handmade bread, no other avocado toast stands a chance. It's a must when you visit.

And the best part? Tacofino and Nelson the Seagull are a two-minute walk from each other. It's a recipe for a beautiful day!

Frank + Oak

IMG_0099.jpg

If you need a break from eating your way through Gastown, you're in luck. Frank + Oak is just across the street from Tacofino. You can read why I love Frank + Oak here.

IMG_0262.jpg

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

After lunch, we went back to the hotel to catch a quick catnap. I’ll admit, it was really hard to get up again but we rallied. We then got on the free Capilano Shuttle and enjoyed a gorgeous 30-minute bus ride from the city out to North Vancouver to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. It was such a unique experience and we were really glad we rallied and got out of the city to experience this gorgeous part of Vancouver.

IMG_0130.jpg
IMG_0258.jpg

Granville Island

Granville Island was a must see for me as it's gorgeous but also because it's goal is the be a zero waste island. How cool is that?! Granville Island is a peninsula and shopping district that is located across False Creek from Downtown Vancouver. We ate at The Sandbar and it was such a fun experience as it is located under the bridge of Granville Island.

Day 2

Aaron was a bit worn out from our day before (he was the real MVP putting up with my itinerary) so I had a morning to myself, exploring parts of Gastown I hadn't had the chance to see the day before. Coffeeshops are my happy place and make me feel like a local, so I always try to make it to a few local coffeeshops. The final two I got to see in Gastown were Buro Coffee and Timbertrain Coffee.

They both had such friendly staff, beautiful environments where I could have stayed for hours, and excellent coffee — which is what we’re all after at a coffeeshop, right? ;)

IMG_0366.jpg

Alley Oop

The last stop on my way back to the hotel before we boarded for our cruise was the incredible Alley Oop. I'm a huge fan of redesigning normal spaces and giving them new purpose and gosh, Alley Oop was no exception. They painted an alleyway and made it into a basketball court, making the alleyway a space for the community to gather. I don't play basketball, but I still soaked up the creativity in this space and was inspired by its theme of #beawesomenow.

IMG_0331.jpg

As I made my way back to the hotel, I couldn't help be grateful for our 36 hours in Vancouver. It was short but incredibly inspiring and fun to explore a new place all while making the most of our time there.

There are trips where I choose to rest after arriving to our destination, but with such a tight timeline in Vancouver, I decided sleep would come after we boarded the cruise. I still don't regret taking the time to see just a bit more of the city. If you can go, I highly recommend it and I would love to hear what your favorite parts of Vancouver are!

IMG_0481.jpg

A Chicago Apartment Tour

Growing up, Chicago was far away. It was a big adventure to get on a plane and fly to Chicago so it is a bit surreal to live 5 hours away from it now in St. Louis, MO. It’s even more surreal to have some of my very best friends living there who can make the experience feel like home.

After visiting them twice now, I knew I had to document their gorgeous apartment. Not only is it beautiful with all its character and history with its oak doors and hardwood floors, but they have totally made it home for themselves and their guests. They have filled it with so many special possessions that tell a story of where they’ve come from and all who have been a part of their story.

IMG_9663.jpg

From a basket full of love notes they wrote to each other while dating long distance, an art print of their wedding vows, or date night cards, their home is filled with so many special items to remind them of the community surrounding them as they pave a way in their new city without friends or family near.

I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do and I dare you to try not to go out and buy a plant after looking at all of these. My friend is a plant whisperer. Teach me your ways.

Frank + Oak Style Plan

While in Chicago over Labor Day weekend last year, we made it a point to visit Frank + Oak’s store. Aaron, my husband, has been shopping with them for over four years now--way before my desire to shop ethically. We simply love their aesthetic and the great quality they offer. I always knew that if they carried women’s clothing, too, I’d be in trouble.

But then, while shopping at their Chicago store last September, I mentioned this to one of their employees, who said, “Well, we ARE getting a women’s line! THIS winter!”

Cue my happy dance. I was SO pumped and couldn’t wait to see it.

So, fast forward a few months and here we are. Their women’s line is OUT and their aesthetic is just as amazing and well-made. I love companies who make great fashion and social responsibility coexist together, so you don’t have to choose one or the other.

With the launch of the women’s line, they also launched their “Style Plan” which is a new, innovative way to shop for me. I’m used to the box subscription where you get clothing at your door every month and it’s a total surprise. But that’s not the case with Frank + Oak’s Style Plan.

Even more than control over what you receive every month, here are a few more things I love about their new clothing subscription plan.

Flexibility

The one thing that has kept me from clothing subscription boxes in the past is the surprise element and the commitment. Frank + Oak’s Style Plan solves both of those problems for me. With the Style Plan, you get to pick out what you want your four pieces to be and when you want to receive them. This is probably my favorite feature (other than their quality clothes) and will keep me coming back, along with their free standard shipping and free returns.

IMG_9503.jpg
IMG_9480.jpg

Quality

Like I previously mentioned, I love Frank + Oak’s aesthetic. That’s no secret. But, to give you a little more insight on what exactly I love about their aesthetic, I admire their desire to give us pieces that are stylish, not just trendy, and use limited patterns. Trends fade, but style stays around for decades and my pieces from Frank + Oak can be just that: Timeless and in my closet for years to come.

IMG_9511.jpg

Affordability

The more consumers demand ethical practices from their favorite companies, the more second-nature it’s going to become for factories. Shopping quality over quantity requires more attention to our purchasing decisions, but I don’t find that all bad. Budgeting for quality items over buying ten super cheap items at the mall also means you will most likely love your closet that much more. Which is why I love the Style Plan. You get five tokens with each month and you get 3-5 quality items with your plan, all for $79. With this kind of deal, ethical fashion is going to be the easy choice in no time.

Lastly, I’m so excited to share that Frank + Oak has given me a code for you to get $30 off your first Style Plan order! Let me know below if you’ve shopped with Frank + Oak before and what you think of their Style Plan below - I’d love to know what catches your eye!

*this post is sponsored by Frank + Oak, an amazing new player in the Women's Ethical fashion, game! #frankandoaknetwork

My Favorite Ethical White T-Shirts

For the rule-followers amongst us and with Memorial Day weekend now behind us, I thought it
would be fun to share some of my favorite ethical white t-shirts and blouses, as well as different
ways I like to style them. My most favorite ethical fashion company of all won't be a surprise to
those who've followed me for any amount of time, but — you guessed it — Everlane.

Everlane

I'll lay out a few of my top reasons I love Everlane and then we’ll get on to the shirts.

  1. They are known best for their "Radical Transparency". They believe in knowing who makes your clothes and that everyone deserves being paid a fair wage.
  2. They don't believe in the "mark-up" and are up-front about why they are charging what they charge. (see image below)
  3. A huge part of sustainable fashion is buying quality over quality and Everlane is just that. You buy clothes that last with Everlane and I can appreciate that about them.
  4. Their clothing is timeless and I love how most of their pieces are solid colors so they can be in my closet for years with no sign of "out of style".

With some of my favorite reasons why I love Everlane laid out, I'll now share some of my favorite white blouses/tees.

I'm wearing the The Japanese GoWeave Back-Zip Tee in White and I can't say enough good things about it. It's the perfect summer shirt as it is made from 100% triacetate—making it crease-resistant and cooling, perfect for surviving the heat with a subtle texture and silky drape. It also has a great weight to it that gives me the reassurance it will last for years to come.

IMG_9428.jpg

I am also a huge fan of scoop neck blouses and shirts and all the variety it allows when
accessorizing. I fully believe in working with a variety of textiles and materials when putting an
outfit together. With the subtle texture of this blouse plus the texture from my water buffalo horn necklace or bandana scarf from Noonday Collection, they compliment each other beautifully. 

I also love the creativity of the back of The Japanese GoWeave Back-Zip Tee, and how it elevates the style of the shirt.

My other favorite white t-shirts from Everlane are from their linen collection. Their lightweight linen gives you an easy drape and a breathable feel for warmer days. These are my go-to items when packing for a summer getaway.

Everlane also carries Men's and children's clothes as well so you can get your whole family amazing quality staples and ethical pieces in one shopping trip!

Other Favorite Ethical White T-shirts

I have other white t-shirts in my closet from a few of my favorite sustainable companies that I thought I'd share below - you might not need a new one now, but my hope is that when you have a gap in your closet and you need to fill it, you'll think of the companies I share here on my blog when you shop!

Live FashionABLE

FashionABLE has been a big favorite of mine as I have three of their purses, but they just came out with their new clothing line last week called .ABLE and I'm over the moon for it. I happened to be in Nashville over the weekend and got to try on and personally shop the new collection. I was like a kid in a candy shop. Their new clothing line is all handmade in Peru and is incredibly soft and could be mistaken for wearing butter. They are such great quality pieces and timeless. I'm a big fan of their color scheme and how I can have it in my closet for years to come.

ThredUp

ThredUp is a great second-hand online clothing company. A great way to shop ethically is to shop second-hand to give clothes a new life and ThredUp is my favorite avenue for shopping via thrift stores. You can filter by your size, type of clothing (tops) and color (white), and quickly scan to shop what you are looking for!

Krochet Kids intl.

Krochet Kids intl. makes their clothing line in Peru just like Live FashionABLE and considering I traveled to Peru last summer with Noonday Collection, that pulls on my heart strings. I love their Standard Tee and the Organic Tee.

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 6.26.43 PM.png

Made in the USA

Lastly, I encourage you to keep asking major companies #whomadeyourclothes and if your shopping at major companies such as Nordstrom or Macy's, don't forget you can search "Made in the USA" in the search bar! They make it so easy to make an ethical shopping purchase without even realizing it with the "Made in the USA" note in the details section! 

*this post is sponsored by Everlane, my favorite Ethical clothing line!