Holiday Travel: Carry On Bag Necessities

Welcome to December. Is it really the most wonderful time of the year if you have to go to the airport? In any other situation, a complete stranger yelling at you to take off your clothes and shoes is considered a violation. But, there is one way to try and tame travel stress (other than a valium and a glass of wine), which is to be equipped with a large carry on bag that has everything I need to make my flight more comfortable. 

The Bag

I always travel with my MRKT Martin Travel bag. It has enough room for everything I need and more. I also use it on weekend trips. Made entirely of vegan felt and microsuede, it's stylish and durable enough to be squeezed under the seat.

Snacks Snacks Snacks

I always travel with tons of snacks because Terminal 3 at LAX, which is the only terminal I fly out of, literally has zero healthy food options. (Zero! If don’t believe me, read the Yelp reviews.)

I’m really into Perfect Bars right now. High in protein, they’re packed with superfood, non-gmo, gluten-free ingredients. They’re also filling, so I don’t end up eating junk food on the plane. My favorite flavors are Almond Butter and Maple Almond butter, which taste like spooning actual almond butter out of a jar, but in bar form. The Blueberry Cashew flavor is also pretty delicious. I usually bring extras so I can eat them for breakfast on the go.

I also love Heath Warrior Chia Bars. Between 100 and 110 calories each, these small, but mighty snacks have 1000mg of Omega-3, 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of plant-based protein. There are several flavor choices, but my favorites are coconut and dark chocolate. They’re light, but filling, so they're good for before or after working out (which is something I try to do when I travel) or for those times when you know you're going to eat dinner in an hour, but you're starving. 

Purely Elizabeth's Ancient Grain Minis are practically made for travel. Gluten-free, non-gmo and vegan, every bag has 2oz of ancient grain granola. You can mix into yogurt (which is readily available at most airports, even LAX) or pour milk right into the bag. It won’t leak, I promise. 

Cashmere Wrap

When I’m on a plane, I either sweat like I’m taking a spin class or shiver like I’m in a cyrotherapy session. So, I wear a light top and carry a cashmere wrap. It’s a blanket and fashion accessory all rolled into one. The one I'm wearing in the picture is from Vince and I’ve had it so long, it's practically vintage. 

Talbots currently has a beautiful cashmere wrap. While that store isn’t exactly one of my go-tos, there aren't many affordable cashmere wraps available this season. Cashmere doesn’t come cheap, but friends don’t let friends buy wool blends. Treat yourself. Traveling is hard enough. 

Neck Pillow

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I always try and catch a few zzzs on the flight, so a neck pillow is a must. Skip the ones they sell at the airport because they’re overpriced and generally mediocre. Instead prepare early and buy The World’s Best Neck Pillow. It’s comfortable, machine washable, cheap and apparently the world's best.

Decléor Aurabsolu Mist

Nothing makes your face feel gross quite the way re-circulated airplane air can. Decléor Aurabsolu Mist is travel friendly and smells like herbal heaven. You can also spray some on a cotton ball in place of your regular toner.

Thank you to Chin-Chin Hao for the beautiful photos. 

Reflections from Love Goodly’s Do Good Be Green Event & An Eco-Friendly Gift Guide

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending Love Goodly’s Do Good. Be Green. Detox Your Lifestyle event. It was an intimate conference of eco-friendly #GirlBosses in a variety of industries. I connected with so many interesting women whose passion for an eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle was truly inspirational. One issue that several speakers brought up is that there isn’t a perfect way to live a so-called green lifestyle. While we need to be conscious about we put into our bodies, where ingredients are sourced from, and what we’re putting out into the world,  all of us are really just trying to do the best we can. Even the experts agree that we cannot have an all or nothing approach.

One panelist who particularly moved me was supermodel Angela Lindvall, who you might remember from hosting Project Runway All Stars. Listening to her speak about becoming a mother and the effect the environment had on her boys, made me realize that trying to live a more conscious lifestyle isn’t just good for the world around me, it’s truly an extension of self-care. I felt inspired to make some changes in my life and think about things differently. 

The event was also an opportunity to learn about new eco-friendly fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. Here are a few that stood out to me along with some holiday gift suggestions. 

Love Goodly

Love Goodly is a bi-monthly subscription box service featuring vegan, eco-friendly and natural products worth at least $85, for just $29.99. Every box is hand selected by a different guest curator (the curator for the December/January box is Emily Deschanel) and features 4-6 mostly full size products in several categories including beauty, skincare, style, home, food and wellness. Love Goodly provides a easy way to try new products, which you can later purchase on their website. A Love Goodly subscription or even just one box is a perfect gift for anyone who lives a consciencious lifestyle or aspires to.  

Want 20% off your first box? Click here

Lippy Girl

Lippy Girl is a natural, organic and vegan cosmetic line created by Darcey Diehl, a model turned chemist. When I heard her speak on a panel, I was beyond impressed with her honesty about the reality of creating natural cosmetics. Lippy Girl has so many great gift options for the holidays, but my favorite is the Lip Lover Set, which comes with four lip products packaged in an adorable bag.

Hello Mellow

Hello Mellow is a natural body care line started by #GirlBoss/healer/massage therapist/brilliant lady Tracey Feldstein. Joyfully packaged, Hello Mellow offers a variety of products including butters, oils, scrubs and energy shifting sprays (see, I told you she was a healer). There are ten mood-changing scents to choose from, all of which I can only describe as heavenly. The line has a variety of gift sets, but the one that stands out the most to me is the One of Everything Please, which is pretty much self-explanatory. In addition the main line, Hello Mellow has three others formulated for men, pregnant women and kids specifically. 

LVX

LVX is a line of vegan, toxin and cruelty-free nail polish. Designed to have a gel-like texture, it’s available in tons super stylish runway-inspired colors. Perfect for a stocking stuffer.

Hipsters For Sisters

 

Hipsters For Sisters was founded by Debra Denniston and her two daughters, Rachel and Kate. Embarrassed by their mother’s fanny pack, the trio began to design belt bags that you would actually want to show off in public. Made with sustainable, environmentally friendly materials, every bag is manufactured ethically in Los Angeles. My personal favorite is the pearl grey tweed, which easily converts to a chic clutch, so it’s kind of like getting two bags for the price of one. 

Susi Shoes

Susi Shoes is a luxury shoe line that just happens to be vegan. These shoes are absolutely gorgeous. I’m completely obsessed. If you have a vegan person you have to buy a higher-priced gift for, they will beyond appreciate a pair of Susis. The Veronica Naturals and Burgundy Matilda are my personal favorites. 

Kicking It With Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger (M.R.K.T) Handbags

Last July, I was invited to the Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger (M.R.K.T.) pop-up store opening party on Third Street in Los Angeles and my handbag collection hasn’t been the same since. If you haven’t heard of them, M.R.K.T. is a really innovative company that was started in 2010 by Tom Pen, who is a Harvard trained architect. His approach to design combines form and function in a really unique way. The bags are made from felt and other vegan and eco-friendly materials (so bonus karma points-yay!). They also feature lots of pockets and removable pouches so your bag doesn’t became an abyss of lost keys and lip glosses (so, annoying, right?). Another thing I like about M.R.K.T. is that all of their bags are very affordable. My favorite one is even under $100, which we all know happens pretty much never. 

Knowing how enthusiastic I am about the brand, M.R.K.T. asked me if I wanted to collaborate and do a photoshoot with them. How could I say no to that? They sent out photographer Chin-Chin Hao, who you might know from her work with Chanel (yes, that Chanel) and Violet Grey. We hit the glamorous streets of West Hollywood and Hancock Park. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the shoot.

Don't mess with my style!

Don't mess with my style!

Both M.R.K.T. and I are very serious about removable straps. 

Both M.R.K.T. and I are very serious about removable straps. 

How cute are these dogs that just stopped by to say hello?

How cute are these dogs that just stopped by to say hello?

I love that M.R.K.T. can be mixed and matched with other styles. 

I love that M.R.K.T. can be mixed and matched with other styles. 

If I had to choose a favorite M.R.K.T. bag, it would be the  Parker Tote  because it's so unique looking. I literally can't wear it without being stopped in the street by people telling me how stylish my bag is. It's seriously out of control!

If I had to choose a favorite M.R.K.T. bag, it would be the Parker Tote because it's so unique looking. I literally can't wear it without being stopped in the street by people telling me how stylish my bag is. It's seriously out of control!

Yay for grey on grey! 

Yay for grey on grey! 

I heart  Corduroy Magazine.  
M.R.K.T's  weekenders  fit so much stuff. They're also great for the gym. 

M.R.K.T's weekenders fit so much stuff. They're also great for the gym. 

I'm not over it, I'm just obsessed with Kendall Jenner.

I'm not over it, I'm just obsessed with Kendall Jenner.

Makeup By Kevin Spear

Special Thanks to Ali Levine