Essentials for Traveling to New York City in the Spring

*I’m sharing #SwissHerbs in my life as part of a #Ricola sponsored series for Socialstars™.

This week I got back from a way-too-short trip to New York City for The Makeup Show. This is one of the best times of the year for me because it’s basically my Disney World. The happiest place on Earth!!

To get to the big city I hopped a train for NINE HOURS. It was my first time on an actual train that wasn’t just for commuter purposes. There’s not much out there about how to prepare for this type of travel so I found an awesome bookbag (that’s actually a diaper bag but you can’t tell ????) and stuffed it with the essentials that I felt like I couldn’t live without for that amount of time.

Here are my Spring Essentials for traveling to & visiting New York City!

So many snacks. These are also awesome to have on hand in the hotel room. There may be a drugstore on every corner, but the blocks are long and the weather isn’t always cooperative! Plus, when you want to eat, you want to eat.

Hydration. Water, yes. But also a facial mist. Basically just a skin refresher. I always feel so gross on the train or airplane… even in a car. I like to use one with a pretty, yet subtle scent to liven things up a bit.

Comfort. That train is cold AF. It’s not a plane, you can carry on a lot more… take your blanket and a neck pillow. You’ll use it, trust. Bring sunglasses too… you’re stuck in a seat and if the sun is shining in those windows it’s not pleasant.

Allergy kit. When you’re cooped up on a train for that length of time you need to keep your sinuses clear, your throat hydrated and your immune system up. It’s not the recycled air that you get in an airplane, but it’s definitely not fresh. Plus allergies during a rainy week PLUS a 4-alarm fire (yesss a fire omg you probably saw it on the news) that happens within a stones throw from your hotel you need to keep your allergy symptoms in check.

Ricola Original Drops® are the perfect, natural relief for that scratchy “allergy throat” on the train and when you’re hitting the pavement. Ricola’s “Drop-It” campaign promotes a secret blend of 10 Swiss herbs, called Chrütercraft, that can give your throat an extra drop of soothing relief that works quickly to bring you sanity in a fast-paced city. Pop it and drop it! You can grab them at CVS so if you do forget them on the train they’ll be easy to pick up once you arrive. Read more Ricola stories here and take the quiz for your chance to win a GOLD Ricola drop!

In my allergy kit I also like to have an antihistamine, some tissues and a nasal spray. When I have that type of arsenal at hand it’s a personal assurance that I won’t be suffering from seasonal allergies.

Entertainment. These are your electronics of all kinds, magazines, coloring books, crossword puzzles (yes, even though I have my phone handy I bring all of those things).

Chargers. An offshoot of entertainment but you’ll want to bring things like your phone, laptop, iPad, Kindle… all those things. This is nine hours, you guys! Luckily one of the best parts about being on a train is that they have outlets so you can plug in your electronics. Perfect for getting work done or relaxing with headphones on (which you should also bring… I actually forgot mine on this trip and regretted it immediately).

Umbrella. You guys I really wish you didn’t need this for Springtime in NYC, but you do. I walked from the train station to the hotel and then from the hotel to the train station. I did a lot of walking up there, even in the rain, and that umbrella was essential to me because I wouldn’t have been able to walk around and see so much of the city without it. Since the backpack I used is actually a baby bag the side holders for water bottles are bigger than usually and held a personal umbrella perfectly. Umbrella on one side, water on the other!

It’s lucky I packed what I did for the train because it was a rainy trip in NYC and the allergies were booming (for me, anyway). Plus, everything I took on the train served me well in the hotel room, at the show and walking around outside.

What do you pack for long trips?

*I’m sharing #SwissHerbs in my life as part of a #Ricola sponsored series for Socialstars™. All opinions remain honest and my own. For more info on Ricola visit them on Facebook & Twitter.

What To Pack in Your Holiday Party Handbag

*I felt the magic of swiss herbs in Ricola® Herb & Throat drops as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #swissherbs – All opinions remain honest and my own.

It’s comical to think that I’ll ever be able to make do with just a clutch at a party… or anywhere for that matter. I’ve tried. I’ve even tried a wallet on a chain – but seriously… even when you spend all that money you still can’t fit your powder and lipstick in there. Even blotting papers and a teeny tiny lipstick aren’t cutting it. Then you have a weirdo bulge on the front of your expensive, fanciful clutch and (if you’re like me) that will make you never want to use it again. Because of all of that insanity I’ve graduated myself up from clutch to convertible crossbody.

First of all, wtf is a convertible crossbody? WELL. It’s a handbag (obv) that has a strap (usually a chain, which I prefer) that when pulled a certain way can be doubled up so you can wear it as a shoulder bag or you can let it fall to one strap and carry it across your body. I do have a few of these, none of which are particularly festive, so during a recent sale I used up some gift cards and splurged on the Tory Burch Marion Tweed Medium Fleming Bag.

Burgundy is a huge color this year (YAY) … I mean… it is so Marsala aka the 2015 color of the year. So when I saw this in store I knew I had to have it and HOPED it wouldn’t be excluded in a sale I knew was coming up. It was not excluded when the sale hit, so purchase it I did.

So, what’s in this thing and how much can it hold? Well, I will tell you that just because it’s not a clutch doesn’t mean it’s going to hold a ton of stuff. You can carry all of your necessities but you do have to be practical. After taking this bag to it’s first holiday party for a test run I think I’ve got it down.

Wallet. Because you need to have cash, ID, maybe a card… your medical insurance (you never know!). I chose the Louis Vuitton Zippy Coin Purse in Amarante because it has a lot of little slots and areas to hold what I need. It zips the whole way around so nothing gets lost and it can even hold a little change if you need it to (do pay phones still exist?!).

Makeup. Start off by wearing a lip shade that just won’t quit. In a recent Instagram post I showed the Anastasia Liquid Lipstick in Heathers, which is a super deep burgundy. As vampy as you can get before you border onto goth-land which I can’t pull off. Wearing this type of lip formula assures you that you don’t need to bring it with you to touch-up throughout the night. A less expensive alternative is the NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick, but it doesn’t last as long. What I do bring with me just to keep my lips hydrated is a lip balm such as Jack Black Lip Balm. That along with blotting papers is really ALL you need in your bag. If it’s going to be a long night I do also bring powder and a small brush with me. IT Cosmetics makes my fave brush in a mini-travel size and I just about lost my mind when I saw it at ULTA Beauty!

Little Things. This is basically little random things that are important to keep on you for emergencies. In this little pouch I keep anti-bac, safety pins, bobby pins, hair ties, gum, two band-aids (usually ones meant for Blisters), floss (because food in the teeth isn’t okay), lash glue – you wouldn’t believe how often I have to fix other peoples lashes and plus if you need to fix your own you’ll need this. For some reason NO ONE ELSE will have it. Also, extra battery life for your cell. Capture memories, y’all.

Throat Drops. Usually I put a few Ricola®Dual Action Honey Lemon drops in my little things bag and I also keep two in the outer pocket of the crossbody with the gum and lip balm so that they’re that much more accessible. I’ve been out and about before and either allergies hit me or my body decides it’s time to be sick. These drops use Chrüterchraft (a blend of 10 natural Swiss alpine herbs) natural menthol and a soothing honey lemon syrup center to provide soothing, naturally effective, fast relief so I can continue having fun with my day and/or night.

FUN FACT & GIVEAWAY: it’s the 75th Anniversary of Ricola’s Original Herb Drop! Click here to learn some facts about Ricola® and also be sure to play the “75 years in 75 seconds” game, where you could be entered to win a Ricola Herb drop made of GOLD!

Hair Brush. Okay. This is a maybe item. If you curl your hair you won’t need this, BUT if you’re like me and you hair looks a little crazy when it’s straight then you need to carry around a small brush to get at yourself. Manners, though… not at the table. Go to the bathroom and get it in order. The one I carry pops open and there is also a small mirror on the inside.

This bag carries everything I need and still leaves room for my cell phone and keys.

Are you with me? Convertible Crossbody over the Clutch? Let me know in the comments what you’re packin’!

*I felt the magic of swiss herbs in Ricola® Herb & Throat drops as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #swissherbs – All opinions remain honest and my own. For more info on Ricola visit them on Facebook & Twitter.

Peek Into the Bag of Sylirael the Rogue

If someone asked you: ‘What does an adventuring rogue carry in her bag?’ You might envision smokebombs, hinge grease, lockpics and daggers. You might wonder what an adventuring rogue is, full stop…

Well, wonder no more! Today we’re taking a peek into the bag of Sylirael the Rogue…and the contents might just surprise you! Click the pic to check it out!

What’s in My Makeup Bag for Summer

*I felt the magic of swiss herbs in Ricola® Herb & Throat drops as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #swissherbs – All opinions remain honest and my own.

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a “What’s in My Bag” post but I thought I’d make it a Summery “What’s In My Makeup Bag” post because all of the most fabulous and secret things live in our makeup bags. Well… nothing that lives in mine is really that secretly embarrassing unless you count the stain remover I take everywhere… and not because of my kids =\ … that one is totally for me.

Lately I’ve been using the Breakups to Makeup bag that I got for my last ipsy bag because it’s got all that fun-ness on the front. In addition to that it’s durable and just big enough to hold all the goods but still small enough that it keeps me from getting incredibly out of hand with what I carry around. It’s Summer, we don’t need that much, right?!

Makeup wise I always keep my powder handy along with a good brush to apply it with. I also always keep my brow pencil with me in the Summer. I don’t always like to mess around with a brow gel or stain (which is more waterproof) so I just touch up with the pencil as needed. It’s rare that I even need to go there, but just in case I always have one in my bag. Better to be safe than sorry…. it’s totally my luck I’d be that girl walking around with half an eye brow.

What beauty diva doesn’t have a ton of lip products? This is actually minimal for me to only find four in there. Generally I throw the one in I’m using that day without actually taking any more of them out. In the Summer I tend to stay away from lipstick colors because they get a little too melty. I’ll throw one in if I’m going to an evening event. While the color products change I always keep the Jack Black Lip Balm in there. I keep those every where… coats, bags, pockets, drawers…

Ricola® Herb Drops. This is another one of those products that I stash every where. In particular I always throw a few Ricola in my makeup bag just in case my throat gets dry from seasonal allergies or if I don’t have a drink on hand and there’s no time to stop. The Chrüterchraft (a blend of 10 natural herbs) also keeps me revitalized healthy!

An array of beauty tools. It’s my assortment of “maybe you’ll need this”. A stain removing pen… because I’m that girl. Tweezers because you know that you always find “that hair” while you’re in the natural light. A small nail file for snags or if there’s a break, a hair tie for helping to combat the heat, a comb with a mirror in side and finally a small perfume vial.. because sometimes I forget to spritz myself and when I wear perfume I feel a little more put together.

What products make it into your makeup bag for Summer?

*I felt the magic of swiss herbs in Ricola® Herb & Throat drops as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #swissherbs – All opinions remain honest and my own. For more info on Ricola visit them on Facebook & Twitter.

Tag Post – What’s In My Purse?

Literally 15 minutes ago, as I was scrolling through my blog roll, I saw a fun post by Kayla Shevonne called What’s In Your Purse?

Kayla didn’t tag anyone in particular, just openly tagged all of her readers to show what is in their bag. I thought this sounded like a great idea, and something fun and easy to do while DH is outside washing the cars. Also, my purse REALLY needed cleaned out and organized, so this gave me the opportunity to do that as well.

Instructions: Dump out the contents of your purse, answer the questions, and tag 5 other bloggers to find out what’s in their purse.

I have a lot of purses, and lemmings for even MORE purses. Currently, the one I use the most is the most recent Coach bag that I picked up from the outlets. I have been using this one a lot lately because it’s big enough for everything I need, with a couple of interior pockets to keep things organized. It also has an extra strap so I can wear it cross body when I need my hands free to wrangle kids. The color also goes with everything.

Where did you get your purse, and how long have you had it?

I picked up my purse at the Coach Outlet in Grove City, PA. They’ve been having good sales lately and handing out extra 30% off coupons at the door… so I can’t resist! I’ve only had this one a few months.

What are 3 must-haves in your purse? (Not including keys and wallet)
Phone, Powder, Lip Gloss

What is something you should have in your purse right now, but don’t?
MONEY! But I spent it all. UGH. LOL

What is the thing you have the most of in your purse right now?

Here goes a pic of all of the crap in my purse. I’m keeping it real and showing you all of the garbage (gum wrappers and expired coupons) as well, because it WAS in my purse.

* Keys
* LG Octane Phone.. the only phone from Verizon with a keyboard that is NOT a smart phone. I don’t need that, I’m a stay at home mom… I’m annoyed there wasn’t more options, though, because this phone SUCKS.
* Little Yellow Notebook just in case 😉 and my court of common pleas pen that I took when I had jury duty a few months ago. I’m not sure that we were actually supposed to take those, come to think of it lol
* Gum Wrapper Garbage
* 2 BBW Antibac Pocketbac Gels. I’m surprised there wasn’t more than 2. I always have a ton of these because my kids love to go into play areas in malls. They love antibac tho, thank goodness.
* A Coach wallet purchased at the outlet that has always been too full to shut. I like the shape better than that of the long checkbook wallets. This one I have fits easier. Just wish it held all my crap better lol
* Expired coupons in da house! The Chick Fil A are still good I think lol
* My makeup bag is also Coach and also outlet purchased. Here is whats inside:

* Lipglosses L-R are Dior DiorAddict LipGlow, Sephora Gloss (no idea on the color, it was in a birthday set one year I think), NARS gloss with Dolce Vita and I think Striptease? IDK, it was a freebie with a order, a Burt’s Bees chapstick, LMdB Karla Sugar Sheer Brilliance Gloss, LMdB Kissable Koral Moisture Stain Lipstick, MAC Subculture lipliner (which is a HUGE HG for me and I always keep one in my makeup area and one in my bag).
* on the bottom I have my Lancome Dual Finish Powder and a bunch of odds and ends… bobby pins, little stick it things (my kids took them from my dads office and they never made it back lol), a mini nail file from the Sally Hansen Salon Effects set, a Dior cell phone charm that’s never been on my cell phone, and a little set by Mary Kay that has tweezers, brow comb and a brow color brush – all mini sized and perfect for on the go!

So, that is what is currently in my purse! I think I’ll do this one again in the Fall or Winter too and see how much it changes!

I’m going to do like Kayla did and break the rules and tag EVERYONE! Do this post and come back here and link me to it. I want to see whats in YOUR bag!