How to Prepare for a Work Trip

DC Metro

I haven’t been back to Washington, D.C., home to my alma mater, since 2015. So, when a work event came up on the calendar, I jumped at the chance to head south and spend some time in the District that I once called home.

I haven’t attended many out-of-state work events prior to my current job, so I thought I would give a rundown of how I prepared myself—and what I will be packing.

1. Make sure your itinerary is set before you leave: This may seem obvious, but you wouldn’t believe all of the questions that I’ve pondered while packing. How will I get from the airport to the hotel? What if my flight is delayed and I get to the event late? I’ve even thought of questions like, “what’s considered an allowable expense when traveling?” I’ve always operated under the principle that it is better to be over-prepared than under, so I’ve made sure that all of my confirmations are printed out, in a safe place, and that the dates of my travel and stay are correct. If you use a different last name at work, such as a maiden name, make sure that you have the necessary identification in that name—and that all of your documents match up. Nothing could be worse than missing your flight because your ticket was under one name and your drivers license another.

2. Bring extra work clothes: Even though my trip to D.C. will be brief—and I know what I’m going to wear to the event—I still packed an extra set of event-appropriate attire. You never know when a sudden downpour (which is common in D.C.), could ruin your great idea of wearing those cute suede Vince Camuto heels with your black and white dress from Loft (yup, that’s what I’m actually planning to wear). Thus, it never hurts to bring a pair of black slacks along and a chic blouse.

3. Pack snacks: Work events can be fun, but they can also be tiring and stressful (read: leaving scant time for meals). I’ve learned to travel with granola bars at all times, and it is a must when I am going to be on the road for an extended period. I love Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Fiber Bars. They don’t have a tremendous amount of sugar, like others do, and they keep you satisfied. I recently tried an RXBAR in the peanut butter flavor and will be bringing those along to D.C. as well. With three egg whites and two dates per bar, they are almost a meal themselves.

4. Take your vitamins: You’ll need plenty of energy—and coffee—to make it through those 12+ hour days. Between time in the airport, flying, and then hitting the ground running, I always travel with a few packets of Emergen-C. Not only are they great for immune support, which you may need after flying, but with tons of B vitamins, they’ll keep you going strong. I’ll also be bringing a bag of Healthy Delights B-12 soft chews for times when I don’t have water handy (and cannot drink an Emergen-C). Packed with 2,500 mcg and tasting like a Starburst, it’s hard to stop at just one little gummy.

5. Explore (if time permits): Even though I lived in D.C., each time I go back I notice all of the changes that have taken place since I left. It’s interesting to see how neighborhoods have developed over time, but I am looking forward to returning to some of my familiar places. In D.C., Dolcezza in Georgetown, Cheoff Geoff’s, and Z Burger, are all tried and true favorites. On this visit, I hope to check out the cat cafe, Crumbs & Whiskers, and would love to hit up The Spy Museum, if there is time.

How do you prepare for a work trip?

Since I will be traveling, there will not be a post up this Friday. I hope you all have a great rest of the week and weekend!

Spring at Old Westbury Gardens

Old Westbury Gardens 9

This spring, I want to get out and explore all of the gems that are in my own backyard on Long Island. And that’s just what I did over the weekend on a beautiful Sunday when a friend suggested visiting Old Westbury Gardens.

I’m not sure how it is that I have lived on Long Island this long and never visited this site. These majestic grounds are a must-see should you find yourself in Old Westbury in Nassau County, New York (about 45 minutes east of New York City).

For my history aficionados who may be interested in the backstory, the mansion was completed in 1906 by George A. Crawley for John S. Phipps and his family. The impressive mansion sits on 200 lush acres that include a swimming pool, ponds, lakes, and various gardens that contain an array of floral specimen.

I was in awe of the various colors I encountered while strolling through one of the gardens. Everything was so vibrant and stood out against the deep blue sky…well, you get the picture. If not, just take a look at the photos below to get a better idea of this tranquil setting.

Old Westbury Gardens 8

Old Westbury Gardens 5

Old Westbury Gardens 10

Old Westbury Gardens 3

Old Westbury Gardens 11

Old Westbury Gardens 1

Old Westbury Gardens 4

Old Westbury Gardens 7

Old Westbury Gardens 15

If you find yourself heading to Old Westbury Gardens in the near future, be sure to check the website to see what’s in bloom during your visit. And if you have time, schedule a tour so you can learn more about this amazing place!

Gurney’s Montauk Retreat with Fern Olivia

GurneysMtk

If there is one thing I love about spring, it is that the weather is nice enough to take a day trip out to Eastern Long Island—before the official start of tourist season begins. I usually reserve such excursions for the warmer weather (read: beach season), but when my beloved thyroid guru, Fern Olivia, told me she was going to be in town and was having a weekend retreat at Gurney’s Resort & Spa in Montauk from May 5th – 7th, I knew I needed to keep that weekend open.

Last August, I attended my first of Fern’s Thyroid Yoga Retreats (which was held at a private home in Montauk). It was one of my fondest memories from the summer of 2016. I met so many inspiring women, whom I still keep in touch with and who have become friends. Since then, Fern and her teachings have had a lasting influence on me, and she is someone whom I both admire and respect for the important work she is doing to raise awareness and help those of us suffering with a thyroid condition. Her essential oils and morning thyroid yoga sequence have become daily rituals in my life. Through her event at The Ash Center with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon this past January, she taught me the importance of self-love and has guided me when it comes to nutrition.

Needless to say, I am beyond excited to attend her upcoming event in a couple of weeks, and I am looking forward to walking away with even more knowledge about my body and overall health (and making some new friends in the process!).

So, if you find that your schedule allows for a trip out to the beautiful Gurney’s Resort & Spa, or you just need to take some time for yourself and want to be surrounded by incredible women, then join us! The retreat promises to be both restorative and informative with meditation, yoga, and of course, spa time.

You can peruse the schedule of events and register, here. Hope to see you there!

What I’m Loving at Banana Republic

What I'm Loving at Banana Republic

Um, how fast can you say Banana Republic? Well, what are you waiting for? Go on, run there…right now. Fine, after you read this post!

Can you tell that I am having a hard time containing my excitement? There are just so many pieces to love at Banana Republic right now for spring. And I am crushing—hard—on just about all of them. In trying to decide what to write about for today’s post, I thought I would share what I will be bringing along with me to Washington, D.C. for a work trip next week (stay tuned, that post will be coming soon). And then as I was putting the post together, I stumbled upon not one, but two (and then three, four, and five) amazing pieces from Banana Republic, and well, here we are.

It doesn’t take much for me to swoon over BR. After all, I have been shopping there ever since I found that everything in their petites section fits me perfectly. So, please, by all means, keep me restrained in a BR store with these pieces hanging around, because I would buy every one of them (and in so doing, probably blow my budget straight through the summer).

If you are in the market for some transitional pieces, you will like the three jackets I have selected above (actually, I think I’ve pulled that yellow suede moto jacket before, so that clearly means it should be mine, right?). If you’re not in the market for light spring jackets, BR still has you covered with cute off-the-shoulder tops, bold dresses, and oh yes, fun flats and heels.

So, if you just skimmed the post (don’t worry, my feelings aren’t hurt), here’s a quick summation—head to Banana Republic…like, now.

The Weekend Recap: Spring Edition

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a happy Easter (and you aren’t suffering the lingering effects of a sugar coma). The weather on Easter Sunday reached a record high (around 75 degrees) and I was happily able to break out a lacy yellow sundress. Here’s hoping the rest of the week is just as nice, and that I don’t devour all of my Easter candy in the next 24 hours.

Starbucks

{Iced coffee season is here}

Spring

{Beautiful Blooms}

Chocolate

{I think the caption sums it up}

Glow Fish

{These fish got their glow on}

Lindt Gold Bunny

{This Easter bunny is out and about}

Flashback Friday

Spring Flowers

This was another one of those weeks that felt endless. Anyone else with me? Despite almost daily trips to Starbucks, gorgeous spring weather, and lots of sweets (sorry, not sorry), I just couldn’t help but think, is it Friday yet?

This week also left me wondering about something else…time. Thanks to those Facebook reminders, last year around this time I was in Rhode Island. And the year before that, I was in San Francisco (actually, I toured Alcatraz on Easter back in 2015). As lovely as it was to be reminded of those trips, it also led me to notice how fast this year has gone. Can you believe it is mid-April already and tax time? I swear, it was January five minutes ago.

So while I may have wished the week away, here’s hoping that if you are lucky enough to have a three-day holiday weekend upon you, that time slows down a bit—even if only for the next 72 hours.

Happy Easter!

What I’ve Bought Lately

What I've Bought Lately

I vaguely recall posting something a few months ago about trying to save more money…perhaps by spending less? But when it comes to beauty items that I can’t live without, all bets are off. So when I ran out of my beloved Stila foundation over the weekend (thanks to the pretty new packaging that makes it hard to tell when you are running low), I had to make an “emergency” trip to Ulta.

While I was there, I couldn’t help but pick up another tube of L’Oreal’s Voluminous Mascara (if you haven’t tried this yet, it is seriously amazing!). The creamy formula will give you the longest, thickest lashes of your life. You can thank me later!

And since I finally figured out how to properly get that soft-wavy look with a curling iron (thanks to this post), the Triple Sec 3-in-1 texturizing spray from Dry Bar was a must (and came highly recommended by the salon at Ulta). I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but here’s hoping that for the price, it works magic.

If we can change the subject for a minute, I must tell you about the lace-up flats from Old Navy. I saw them in the store about a week ago and decided while waiting on the checkout line that I didn’t really need them. Fast-forward one week, and I had major #FOMO, so I returned and scooped them up on sale. Now, all is right in the world and I am looking forward to sporting these blue beauties.

What have you purchased recently?

Spring Is Here

Now…let’s hope it stays around. It looks like we are in luck, judging by the weather reports for the week, with temps reaching the high 50’s and 60’s almost every day. After last week’s rain, I am elated by this development.

The weekend didn’t disappoint, either. Sunday was too perfect a day to waste, so I took full advantage of it. I went to breakfast with a friend, found my way to a Farmer’s Market in Port Jefferson, NY (where I caught up with two of my favorite people—Linda and Madeline from Chocology), and even took a few minutes to relax and listen to the sound of the water lapping against the shore.

If the weekend is any indication, I’d say we’re in for a good week…at least weather wise.

Here’s a quick recap:

Dessert

{Irresistible treats at a work event in New York City}

Motto

{My new motto courtesy of @thetaylorhouse}

Gym Selfie

{Gym Selfie}

Port Jefferson, NY

{A perfect spring day in Port Jefferson}

Chocology Unlimited

{A sweet gift from Chocology. Check out my Instagram to see what’s inside!}

The April Agenda

April Flowers

It has come to my attention that I completely forgot about documenting my March agenda last month. Perhaps that’s partly because most of March was consumed with figuring out what constituted a low-iodine diet and in preparing for an I-131 whole body scan (which never happened due a snowstorm that hit the East Coast that week). So, yeah, March wasn’t exactly fun, nor did I feel very productive (but I was hungry for most of the month).

Since my health testing is temporarily on hold (through no choice of my own), I have decided to live it up a bit this month. With the weather improving daily, I want to spend more time outdoors and less time in front of my computer.

Here’s what’s on my agenda this month:

Go: I feel like I haven’t traveled much this year, so when I was asked to go on a work trip to Washington, D.C. at the end of the month, I jumped at the chance. Having spent two years going to college in D.C., I am always thrilled at the idea of returning—even if it is only for a day or two. While I won’t have much free time, I see a visit to American University and at least a couple of hours in the Georgetown neighborhood in my future.

Read: I have many books on my reading list, but sadly have not gotten to any of them. A fellow blogger recommended reading The Hopefuls, which happens to be set in Washington, D.C., and with my upcoming trip, it seems like the perfect read to bring along.

Try: I have wanted to try pilates for a while now as it is a nice complement to my yoga classes. So when a studio based in New York City and with locations in the Hamptons reached out to me on Instagram, I was elated. Unfortunately, with my busy schedule I have been unable to allot a day to driving an hour each way and taking a class, but now that the weather is nicer and the days are getting longer, I am ready to give it a go.

See: I never thought I would say this (and perhaps I’m too old to say this?), but I kind of want to see Beauty and the Beast. Is that wrong? I vaguely remember seeing it as a child, but after I heard the soundtrack on my way to work the other day, let’s just say my interest has been piqued. Have any of you seen it? Did you love it? I have been hearing good things.

Do: Two words—cat cafe. Yes, you read that correctly. I have been following Crumbs & Whiskers, a cat cafe based in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, for a while on Instagram. So you know I have to pay them a visit in person when I am in D.C. (trying not to take a cat home will be the hard part). To date, Crumbs & Whiskers has facilitated the adoption of 256 homeless cats, which is a mission I whole heartedly support. With every purchase from the cafe, a shelter pet is able to be fostered with Crumbs & Whiskers while they wait for a forever home. If you need a daily dose of cuteness, I highly suggest you follow them on Instagram.

What’s on your agenda this month?

April Buys

April Buys

After a beautiful Sunday that hit nearly 60 degrees, my spring game is feeling strong. I’m sure we will have a few more cold spells this month that will delay my off-the-shoulder dreams (I’m ready to scoop up that blue striped Mossimo number any day now), so in the meantime I’ve rounded up a few other pieces that will work for the unsteady April days ahead.

Over the weekend, I scored the floral workout leggings (seen above) from Old Navy after seeing a girl in my kickboxing class wearing them. I loved the print, and when she said that they were only $16, I knew where my next stop later that day would be. While at Old Navy, I spotted the field jacket (also seen above) and will definitely be returning for that piece. It will be ideal for the chilly mornings—or impending rain this week.

What is on your must-have list this month?