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Traveling Tips & Tricks – A beach day

Summer is here! That means lots of travelling. In the summer we head to the cape and day trips to the beach. We also head to Italy but that is another post. So of course, packing the right way is essential. I did decide to get the Yeti cooler.

It really is a must if you plan to stay at the beach the whole day. I was debating between the backpack and the full zipper one. It really does hold a lot and keeps everything very chilly. We have had many soft side coolers over the year but this one really is the best.  The one thing I have to point out is if you have greasy, white sunscreen it may come off on the fabric of the cooler – ha, ha, last trip we had handprints all over and eventually it did come off, so just be aware.  Happy beach day and happy shopping!

THE Yeti Cooler
The must have cooler for the summer season!

 

Categories
Travel

Traveling light and on a budget

We all know I love to travel! Most recently at the last minute we went to visit friends in Florida (as my older daughter was going there with friends and it was nice to see her and her friends for a bit anyway!) For the record no matter what trip I take I never check a bag. Yes, even for our 11-day Italy trip we all brought carry-on luggage.

This trip I had to be strategic as we didn’t pay for a checked bag or a carry on so all of my items had to be in my “personal” bag. I used packing cubes and my newest purchase my “neck pillow”. Yup! I had two dresses, my bathing suit, two shirts stuffed into that sucker! SO with my personal bag (it was 17 inches) and my neck pillow I was good to go!

I found my personal bag, compression bags and the neck pillow on Amazon. You can use the link to purchase *Affiliate Link – I receive a small payment when you purchase.

I love the neck pillow because in addition to storage, you can use it as pillow so make sure you purchase one that is soft velvet – there are others that are more nylon based so those are not great. The tote bag is key as if you do use it with luggage, it has a sleeve to pass through the luggage handle. Plus, there are mini compartments in the bag itself. It really does store a lot of items (well for me anyway with the compression bags it stored 6 days worth of outfits) My outfits consisted of black and white and cream colored styles as yes, you can’t pack everything, so color blocking and styling is the way to go. For the record I had packed 5 dresses, 1 pair of shorts, 6 tanks/t-shirts, one white pant and two skirts and one pair of sandals. I wore black pants and a white tank top and shirt over that on the plane and with a sweater over that – layers people!

My wardrobe for a 6 day tri
My wardrobe for a 6 day trip!

The compression bags are great as you can put a full days outfit in them or store like items together. Plus this one zips up again so it further compresses!

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Happy Travels!

Tote bag and travel pillow
Here is my sleek travel tote and travel pillow, which doubles as storage!
Categories
Travel

Oh Italy I miss you! Thinking of summer travel

Just as the weather in Boston is starting to get a bit chilly, I think back to those warm, sunny summer days in Italy! Our last-minute end of the summer trip to Sorrento, Capri and the Island of Ischia was magical! I love all the sites, walking, pasta and no weight gain! The food is so fresh and tasty. We had gelato every day and sometimes twice a day and the pizza and pasta was amazing. I did book the trip at the very last minute – about 4 weeks before and so glad I did. Italy – we will be back!

Ischia Islqan
This view of Ischia was taken at the top of Argon Castle!
The view at the top of Capri Island!
Shopping at night on the fun streets of Ischia
Relaxing in Sorrento
The beautiful waters at Marameo Beach Club in Sorrento Italy!

Categories
beaches Travel

Summer Travel – a spontaneous beach day?

I think I see the sun! This weather so far this season has not been the greatest and that is why I am grateful for day trips. As we live close to Boston a quick day trip to the beach is a quick drive. We have to prepare for a beach trip – as in get your parking space in advance as many local beaches have now implemented this system. However, there are still many places to go where you can just show up and park without prior reservations. My two favorites are:

Ogunquit – A quick Sunday morning trip entails getting up at around 6:00 am and heading to the parking lot right at Ogunquit beach where we walk Marginal Way, have breakfast and then plop down on the sand. Make sure to check the tides before you go as at high tide the sand disappears. Prices on the weekend can be as high as $35.

Salisbury – At the state reservation you can just pull up and pay. I do believe it is $14 dollars. After your beach day head to Browns for a lobster or clams!

Happy Summer!

Beach trip to Cranes Beach in Ipswich.
A day at the beach – Cranes Beach in Ipswich Mass.
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Travel Uncategorized

Winter trip to #Paris and #London

It may not be the ideal time to travel but our trip to London and Paris in January was perfect. It was a bit cold but there were less people and less lines and it was a blast. We flew direct to London on Jet Blue and that was super easy. If you plan to travel internationally, I recommend Global Entry. It was so easy heading home and going through customs. All the sites, museums and restaurants were great as well. While I’ve always wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower and we did just that, I loved the Arc de Triomphe and the photos we took near there were so fun. We did climb to the top and that was a challenge but the view at the top was breathtaking. In London we hit all the sites – Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, London Eye, Westminster Abby. I loved our Harry Potter tour and the Changing the Guard of the best! Here are a few fun photos!

Lights, camera, pose.
Glad we took this photo mid-week as there were lines to take photos as some of the booths!
View from the top of the Arc de Triomphe
My Paris dress – A fun, leather dress that I purchased years ago saying that is a great dress to wear to Paris! This was in the Louvre!
Categories
Travel

Our Italy Trip! Five Tips for Traveling internationally during COVID #Italy #travel #travelblogger #travelingduringCOVID

We had a great 12 days traveling through Italy during April school vacation week! It was a bit stressful with all the paperwork and figuring out tests to come back to the U.S. but all went well. We started our adventure in Florence and then visited the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, the Tuscany region including Sienna and San Gimignano and Venice. I will need to go back to visit Rome, Milan and Capri! Every trip was an adventure and the sights just got better and better. We did cover a lot of territory which meant getting on many trains at 7:00 am but I wanted to see as much as I could! Here are my tips if you plan a trip to Italy or any international destination.

  1. Try to fly direct – While there was no direct flight to Florence I would recommend flying direct into the bigger cities such as Milan or Rome as Florence is a few hour train ride away. While we were lucky that we had a 4.5 hour layover in Paris, due to our flight being delayed, customs, long lines we made it to the gate with less than one hour to spare!
  2. If you have to test to come back to the U.S bring the emed covid tests Home (emed.com) While there are many Farmacias in Italy the day we needed our tests was a national holiday. We were lucky with the help of a local friend to find the one pharmacy that was open! Brining the test just provides an extra layer of backup.
  3. Certain airlines have the fly ready documents – if they do download your documents before you leave. There was a lot of uploading of documents so get your COVID vaccines, passport information and if you need a negative test – have it all ready! We didn’t check bags on the way there but our airline required us to go to the ticket counter to show all our documents. Bring the original card, not a flimsy copy like my husband did! Or have a copy on your phone. We did need to show our vaccine card on trains and before we went into restaurants.
  4. Get global entry – We were able to go through customs on the way home very easily and with no line at all. It is a program through the trusted traveler program so you’ll have to have an account for each family member and then have an interview at an airport – the process does take time but its so worth it.
  5. Book any transportation or tickets to museums in advance – Because we went during the Easter holiday week most attractions were sold out – meaning that I had to see fake David and not the real one!

Buon Viaggio

Positano is my favorite spot!
Categories
Travel

What’s the new normal? Travel adventures and more

As we are heading into February….I know I cannot believe it…..and digging our from under snow, I am imagining sun, sand and the beach. As the holiday season and January was filled with COVID, I hope we are able to turn a corner and see less of the pandemic and more of a new normal and getting back to seeing people and more travel.

Even if it is a daily adventure out to the local coffee shop, a walk outside with a few friends or a day trip to the beach – do something each day that makes you happy! Wear your mask and of course social distancing is still in effect but you can so somethings that are safe while enjoying a meet up here and there! We have fun trips planned down the road so there is that to look forward to as well!

So looking forward to beach trips with friends, family travel and day trips as well!

Fun times with friends on February school vacation pre-COVID
Categories
Holidays

Happy Holiday Season! #holidays #HolidayDecor #Christmas #Travel

It’s the holiday season! But it’s still COVID season sadly. We had a nice quiet Thanksgiving and stayed home. On the agenda is to potentially travel in New England for an overnight during December. I always like a staycation. Why not enjoy the sites and places locally this season? I also like decorating for Christmas early. Like super early….this year the decor came out the weekend of Halloween. Why not! Studies show it makes you happier. I tried to add a bit of color in this year as I generally gravitate toward all white. So we have buffalo plaid, pops of pink and silver and gold in the mix this year. What decor do you all like?

Image of a holiday gift - a mini car staged on holiday themed set with pillows
Holiday Mini Car
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Uncategorized

HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR HOME WITH EASE – A FRESH START NOW!

As we approach the final couple of months in 2021, we need to start preparing for the new year. I believe that now is an awesome time to work on getting your home in tip top shape. Today, I want to talk about how to get your home organized. While it might seem overwhelming to organize every single room, there is a strategy to help you get this accomplished! The biggest struggle for many of us is finding the time (hello, never-ending to-do list) to do this. Having an organized home is a huge project so don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to finish quickly. Instead, enjoy the brief moments of time you have to put things in a spot or a ‘home’ and celebrate the small progress you make each day.

1. Create a List: Before you even begin organizing, go through your home and create a list of what rooms need what done to them. If you’re like me, I forget a few things especially by the end of the day so having this list helps me stay on top of what I need to get, organize or purge in each room. Having it all ready to go also helps me create a plan of how I want to tackle the mess. For example, the kitchen is always a disaster and consistently has several areas that need to be addressed, so I’ll simply write down KITCHEN and then underneath, I’ll write down the areas I want to work on such as the pantry, junk drawer, and coffee station (my favorite nook minus the wine rack haha). This helps me look at things from a smaller perspective.

2. Have a Donation Bin: Having a donation bin makes it SO much easier to get rid of things you no longer need without feeling wasteful. Also, I found that if I have a bin to toss no-longer-needed items in, I am much more likely to actually get rid of them rather than stuffing them in a closet or basket somewhere. Trust me on this one! And then, once it fills up, drop that bad boy off at your nearest thrift shop or donate items to a homeless shelter. Let’s help out others and free up some landfill space!

3. Grab and Go Cleaning Station: I can’t be the only one that hates running up and down the stairs to clean multiple surfaces, bathrooms, and more. Having a system is key to keeping life and your home organized which leads me to tip number 3 – I  love to create a grab-and-go cleaning station so I can keep the supplies I need in one confined unit. I store it in a caddy and add the items I need such as a cleaning toilet brush, rags, disinfectant wipes, and towels. You basically can put anything you want in yours so you aren’t searching for items or running up and down flights.

5. Color Coding: It can be easy to throw our unfolded laundry in piles but one way to help your closet look and feel its best is color coding your closet. Many professionals love doing this and not only is it visually appealing but also keeps things in their place. You can also color-code your books, craft supplies or any other category of items that has multiple things.

6. Add Drawer Dividers: One easy tip to maximize storage and organize your drawers is using drawer dividers. One drawer divider instantly creates separate categories for your space so everything has its own little home. It can make things so much easier to fit more items because the dividers make it easier to stack things vertically as well. I use them in our bathroom, my kids drawers for their clothes, and in our kitchen.

7. Get Rid Of Old Furniture: As you declutter and organize your home, you are probably thinking so much about the small things that you are forgetting about the large items, too. First of all, small items add up. If you are really taking on decluttering and organizing on a major scale, you will probably have a lot of boxes to get rid of, or put into storage. Second of all, if you are getting rid of large furniture items, are you prepared to move it yourself? If not, have a back up plan ready to go, such as getting help from a local moving team, such as Fresh Start – The Moving Crew. They can help you with storage, if you need a place to store items that you cannot fully commit to letting go of (yet), or they can help you move your furniture around your home, or even out of the home entirely. They are a local New England moving crew that prides themselves on great customer service. Their team lives and works in New England, so they are very familiar with each and every one of the region’s neighborhoods. They do local moves, long-distance moves and they can help with other services such as Worcester MA gun safe moving, if you have any large safes in your home, that you are ready to move to a new spot, or part with completely. They get most of their business via word of mouth and have built their business on trust, compassion, reliability, diligence, and care. They are proud to be one of the most highly rated moving teams in the area…if not the best…and they can help you move out your old furniture with ease.

There are many other easy organization ideas to keep you and your family on top of the new year to come. Again, take your time and go through each room carefully. Pick out what you want to keep and from there figure out a way to display the item or put it away neatly. What are some projects you want to tackle to keep your apartment or home organized this year?

Categories
Uncategorized

How to organize your home with ease – a fresh start now!

As we approach the final couple of months in 2021, we need to start preparing for the new year. I believe that now is an awesome time to work on getting your home in tip top shape. Today, I want to talk about how to get your home organized. While it might seem overwhelming to organize every single room, there is a strategy to help you get this accomplished! The biggest struggle for many of us is finding the time (hello, never-ending to-do list) to do this. Having an organized home is a huge project so don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to finish quickly. Instead, enjoy the brief moments of time you have to put things in a spot or a ‘home’ and celebrate the small progress you make each day.

1. Create a List: Before you even begin organizing, go through your home and create a list of what rooms need what done to them. If you’re like me, I forget a few things especially by the end of the day so having this list helps me stay on top of what I need to get, organize or purge in each room. Having it all ready to go also helps me create a plan of how I want to tackle the mess. For example, the kitchen is always a disaster and consistently has several areas that need to be addressed, so I’ll simply write down KITCHEN and then underneath, I’ll write down the areas I want to work on such as the pantry, junk drawer, and coffee station (my favorite nook minus the wine rack haha). This helps me look at things from a smaller perspective.

2. Have a Donation Bin: Having a donation bin makes it SO much easier to get rid of things you no longer need without feeling wasteful. Also, I found that if I have a bin to toss no-longer-needed items in, I am much more likely to actually get rid of them rather than stuffing them in a closet or basket somewhere. Trust me on this one! And then, once it fills up, drop that bad boy off at your nearest thrift shop or donate items to a homeless shelter. Let’s help out others and free up some landfill space!

3. Grab and Go Cleaning Station: I can’t be the only one that hates running up and down the stairs to clean multiple surfaces, bathrooms, and more. Having a system is key to keeping life and your home organized which leads me to tip number 3 – I  love to create a grab-and-go cleaning station so I can keep the supplies I need in one confined unit. I store it in a caddy and add the items I need such as a cleaning toilet brush, rags, disinfectant wipes, and towels. You basically can put anything you want in yours so you aren’t searching for items or running up and down flights.

5. Color Coding: It can be easy to throw our unfolded laundry in piles but one way to help your closet look and feel its best is color coding your closet. Many professionals love doing this and not only is it visually appealing but also keeps things in their place. You can also color-code your books, craft supplies or any other category of items that has multiple things.

6. Add Drawer Dividers: One easy tip to maximize storage and organize your drawers is using drawer dividers. One drawer divider instantly creates separate categories for your space so everything has its own little home. It can make things so much easier to fit more items because the dividers make it easier to stack things vertically as well. I use them in our bathroom, my kids drawers for their clothes, and in our kitchen.

7. Get Rid Of Old Furniture: As you declutter and organize your home, you are probably thinking so much about the small things that you are forgetting about the large items, too. First of all, small items add up. If you are really taking on decluttering and organizing on a major scale, you will probably have a lot of boxes to get rid of, or put into storage. Second of all, if you are getting rid of large furniture items, are you prepared to move it yourself? If not, have a back up plan ready to go, such as getting help from a local moving team, such as Fresh Start – The Moving Crew. They can help you with storage, if you need a place to store items that you cannot fully commit to letting go of (yet), or they can help you move your furniture around your home, or even out of the home entirely. They are a local New England moving crew that prides themselves on great customer service. Their team lives and works in New England, so they are very familiar with each and every one of the region’s neighborhoods. They do local moves, long-distance moves and they can help with other services such as Worcester MA gun safe moving, if you have any large safes in your home, that you are ready to move to a new spot, or part with completely. They get most of their business via word of mouth and have built their business on trust, compassion, reliability, diligence, and care. They are proud to be one of the most highly rated moving teams in the area…if not the best…and they can help you move out your old furniture with ease.

There are many other easy organization ideas to keep you and your family on top of the new year to come. Again, take your time and go through each room carefully. Pick out what you want to keep and from there figure out a way to display the item or put it away neatly. What are some projects you want to tackle to keep your apartment or home organized this year?