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. 

F-IT Fridays: Your Weekly Dose Of Detail Therapy (Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Those 3 Days When Basically Everything Is On Sale Edition)

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and you're having an even happier Black Friday. I rarely shop at brick and mortar stores on Black Friday because I don't want to wake up early and save money on something I didn't want in the first place. I'm also short and fear I'll be killed in a trampling incident. I'd rather shop online and save my sanity. So, whether you are about to kick off your holiday gift shopping or just buy yourself a treat, here are some of my favorite items on sale this weekend, as well as deals I've found at some of my (and probably your) favorite stores.

Neiman Marcus Cashmere Collection Classic Long-Sleeve Cashmere Turtleneck

I love cashmere. It’s so luxurious and when it’s on sale, affordable. Turtlenecks are on every must-have list this season, so check out this fabulous sweater from Neiman Marcus. It is available in several colors as well as a plus size version. 

Bloomingdales C By Angelina Solid Cashmere Scarf

No, you cannot have too much cashmere. This C By Angelina Solid Cashmere Scarf is classic so it will compliment any style outwear. 

J. Crew Campbell Blazer in Crimson Plaid

J. Crew’s Campbell Blazer in Crimson Plaid is winter wonderfab. Wear it to dress up jeans on the weekend or to the office. Be prepared to have everyone annoy you with compliments. Oh, and everything is 40% off at J. Crew this weekend with the code HOLIDAY.

Alice and Olivia Mae Wide-Leg Pants

These Alice and Olivia wide-leg pants are a bold choice that is appropriate for many occasions from a holiday party to your office the next day (but hopefully not to both.) They're on major sale this weekend, as is nearly everything else, at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Splits59 Portia Leggings

If you didn't think activewear could be any sexier (and seriously, we all know it is), just add mesh panels. They're the cherry on top. This weekend, Splits59's Portia Leggings are 25% off (as is everything from Bandier) when you use code BF25.

F- It Fridays: Your Weekly Dose of Retail Therapy (Neutral Edition)

Welcome to F- It Fridays, a new series featuring some of my favorite finds of the week because F-It, It's Friday, you deserve a treat. This week, the theme is neutrals you’re going to feel not-so-neutral about!

MRKT Mateo Mini Backpack

Backpacks are back in a big way, even if they are little. The inside of MRKT’s Mateo Mini Backpack features lots of pockets including a removable media sleeve, so you can spend less time digging for your lone lip balm and more time being productive. Made of durable felt and vegan suede, it's equally stylish and practical.

Jac Vanek Perfect Cropped Sweater

I love Jac Vanek’s signature statement t-shirts, but this cropped sweater doesn’t need words to tell you how awesome it is. Wear it with your favorite pair of jeans or throw it over a cute dress on a chilly autumn night.

Pull&Bear Leather Look Biker Jacket

Pull&Bear's Leather Look Biker Jacket is a great example of how a nude color can really stand out. Although it is technically a fall piece, you'll look forward to wearing this jacket again in the spring. 

BP Bell Sleeve Blouse

I love the bell sleeve look because it walks the fine line between elegant and boho. This BP blouse is a pretty ivory color that would look great accessorized with a statement necklace. Light colors not your thing? It is also available in green.

Yves Saint Laurent La Lacque Couture Les Grainés

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You made it through another week, so at the very least, treat yourself to a new nail polish. Yves Saint Laurent's Taupe Grainé 53 is the perfect shade of taupe, packaged in a bottle so chic, you'll want to leave it out, instead of inside your medicine cabinet.