F-it Fridays: Hotel Chic Edition

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Happy Weekend and beginning of summer! Is everyone ready to GTFO? I know I am. Whether you are going for a short weekend jaunt, a day trip or an actual vacay, we all know how annoying packing and unpacking is. Here are a few of my favorite essentials to make the trip easier and more efficient. Treat yourself because F-it, It’s Friday, you deserve it!

If you’ve ever put shoes or dirty laundry in a clean suitcase and felt totally uncomfortable with it, you need to get these canvas bags from Miss A. There’s one for shoes, laundry (stop scrambling for plastic hotel bags) and lingerie/swimwear. But, my personal favorite is the bag for beauty tools. The last time I traveled I was so afraid of packing my hot curling iron in my suitcase that I (allegedly) wrapped the barrel in a washcloth I took from my hotel. Luckily, I don’t have to do that again. Did I mention all of these are just $1.00 each? Also, my apologies to the U.S. Grant in San Diego (pictured above, by the way).

I don’t care if it’s old school, I still love Longchamp Le Pliage bags. I challenge anyone to find something better for travel. These bags are light as can be, affordable, durable and available in tons of colors. You can take them to the beach or dinner in Paris, France or Paris, Texas. Take your bag as a carry-on for the plane or stuff it in your suitcase to bring extra things home.

I’m all about Sole Society’s Lacie Faux Leather Duffle Bag weekender. There are lots of reasons why I like faux leather. It’s cruelty-free (yay for bonus karma points). This material also tends to be lighter than the real thing. Isn't your stuff heavy enough? Also, leather bags make me really nervous because I am always afraid it’s going to get scratched and ruin my life. 

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Build me up Baby Buttercup. I love Drybar’s Baby Buttercup travel hair dryer. Don’t rely on your hotel to have an adequate hairdryer and risk having a bad hair vacation. By the way, If are struggling to pack all of your beauty stuff, this post will save your life, or at least your night serum.

There are so many different ways to wear Lilly Pulitzer’s colorful Seaspray wrap. You can use it as a light blanket on the plane, as a scarf with pants, as a sarong or even a dress on the beach. It’s a must-have if you are trying to pack lightly.

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. 

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