Organization · Travel

The art of packing; the packing cube and the pouch

How do you pack?  That seems like such an easy question.  You throw clothes and toiletries into a bag and go.  It’s not that easy, especially if you are flying and have to contend with TSA.  Enter the packing cube.

 

I’ve become obsessed with the packing cube and the pouch.  It lets me organize, especially small things like cords and chargers for easy access.  I’ve got one cube for glasses, contacts, lens solution and the like.  Another I use for a small dryer, hair towel, flat iron, and brushes.

For cords and chargers, I opt for a small pouch that zips.  Intimates go in a bridal satin pouch.  I have a set of three monogrammed that I purchased from Leontine linens.  The large one is for workout clothes, the medium for intimates, and the small one for belts and scarves.

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The best thing about this system is that with everything in a cube or pouch it all stacks neatly into my carry on bag.

Ready, set, GO!

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Beach · Fashion · Food · interior design · Travel

Charleston, South Carolina

 

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Growing up Charleston was my second home.  My Mom’s family lives there and has for generations.  So when Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or the summer rolled around, I’d find myself in a car headed to Charleston.  There is something special about the low country.  It is like this warm familiar embrace.  A feeling of peace envelopes me when I find myself in Charleston.

One thing I love to do is wander the streets below Broad.  The architecture is spectacular and the secret gardens that peek out from behind iron gates make you want to grab a cocktail and enjoy.

 

Recently I ventured back for the day and enjoyed the Charleston Sympathy Orchestra Design House followed by lunch and shopping on King Street.

The design house was wonderful.  A typical Charleston single house renovated as a fund-raiser.  I walked away with so many ideas.  Next was lunch on the river at Fleet Landing. The food was delicious , location amazing, but service – not so much.  My tip is to call ahead for reservations or pick one of the other fabulous restaurants in downtown Charleston.  There are many.  A long time family favorite is Poogan’s Porch.  Try the crab cakes!

King Street is and has been the center of shopping for generations.  In addition to Louis Vuitton, Talbots, Kate Spade and the usual luxury stops, you can find wonderful boutiques.  This time I discovered Gretchen Scott and J McLaughlin.  If you find yourself in need of a snack while you shop, check out the French Chocolate Cafe on Society Street (think King and Society).

There is so much to do in Charleston. Take a stroll through White Point Gardens and along the Battery.  Jump into a car and make your way to one of the many beaches on Folly, Isle of Palms, Sullivans, Seabrook, or Kiawah Islands.

Etiquette · Travel

The Masters

 

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What a delightful weekend at Augusta National.  I’m not a golfer but my Dad was and he instilled in me a love of watching the game played.  I was fortunate to be his guest at the tournament for several years.  There was something special about those days sitting in Amen Corner chatting with him as the players played through.

The Masters is unlike any other golf tournament.  Etiquette is the name of the game.  Everyone is on their best behavior which extends to creating a delightful experience for all.  The first thing to know is that on tournament days there is a no device policy (that includes cameras).  That means you are off the grid.  How wonderful to unplug for a time.  If you must make a call, AT-n-T has a bank of phones for your convenience.

 The course is beautiful.  Set on the grounds of an old nursery the trees and flowers are exquisite.  This year the azaleas had peaked and bloomed in time for the first Women’s amateur.  How exciting to see the women on the course!  I love to walk the front part of the course and then sit on one of the holes on the back to watch everyone lay through.  That way I get my steps in and enjoy my egg salad and pimento cheese sandwiches for lunch.

Have you heard of the food?  Where can you get lunch for under $5.00?  Seriously the egg salad and pimento cheese sandwiches are $1.50.  Tea, lemonade, coke or beer are the beverages of choice.  Cookies, ice cream sandwiches, chips and other snacks are available to curb the munchies.

 

 

 

 

 

Family · Holiday · summer · Travel

The Homestead

Do you ever need that weekend away to simply relax?  I do! I love that over night or long weekend when you get away from home, sleep in, and simply enjoy some needed peace and quite.  The Homestead, also now known as the Omni Homestead, is one of my favorite places for a quick trip away to recharge.

Nestled in the Virginia mountains, it has been there in one form or another since 1766.  Known for the hot springs in the area it was a place to “take the waters” – and you still can!

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The rooms are beautiful, the people phenomenal and the food a gourmand’s delight.  And, oh, did I mention the spa?  You can hike, swim or ski, depending on the season, golf, enjoy zip lining, falconry, hiking, or, my personal favorite, curl up with a book or a deck of cards in the library or on the front porch.  Then there is the great hall where you can enjoy the fire places.  I’ve enjoyed many an afternoon playing cards – yes, I mean playing with an actual deck of cards – with my Mom and enjoying a refreshment.

The spa is excellent; the garden pool, adult only, features a lovely heated pool and hot tub along with one of the original hot springs.  The aqua thermal suite is the perfect place for an afternoon and then a massage.  There is also a gym, indoor pool, and, in the warm weather, a family pool with a lazy river.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the food.  It is spectacular.  I feel like I roll away when I leave the table.  The breakfast buffet leaves nothing to the imagination.  Dinner options do not disappoint.  The wedge salad at Jefferson’s is a favorite.  I’ve eaten in the dining room, formal, Jefferson’s, casual, room service, and Sam Sneeds.  Each meal was to die for.

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makeup and skin care · Travel

Skin Care and Travel? What’s your regime?

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With TSA limitations and a desire to carry on my makeup, I’m always looking for travel sizes, plastic tubes and a way to keep up my skin care.  I tend towards dehydration when I travel.  My skin seems thirsty and craves moisturizer.  I continue to try to slim down what I use but when I pack, it seems like everything and the kitchen sink.

What do I use?  My everyday routine is the same and I try for simple.  Sunday’s routine is my pamper routine and a bit more complex.  My Monday through Saturday routine begins with the basics

  • Serum – I use the Chanel’s sublimage serum.  I’ve used Chanel since I was in my twenties.  My skin is sensitive to many ingredients and, in particular, some of the more natural ones. That’s unfortunate but rather than feeling like I’ve had a chemical burn and running for meds, I’ll opt for things that work for me.
  • Moisturizer –  My go to is Chanel’s le lift.  Recently I’ve tried La Prairie’s Cavier for night.  It is wonderful but a bit heavy for me.
  • Eye cream – This is an everyday, morning and night, must for me.  Carmen impressed upon me early on the importance of using an eye cream.  I’ve tried many, including Le Mer and Chanel’s but my  “go to” here is the La Prairie.
  • Gel cleanser  – I opt for the Chanel sublimage at night. I love the cleanser and it removes eye makeup easily.
  • Weezie’s towels  – I love the navy towels that are perfect for removing makeup.  Plus, they are fun with the eyelashes embroidered on them.29100D90-9BCE-4510-A45A-1342FFC74408
  • Toner – I follow cleanser with toner.
  • Vitamin E gel – I love the Jo Malone vitamin e gel for my cuticles and hands, especially in the winter.
  • Body lotion –  I’ve used a range from Creme de corp to Jo Maone’s body creme.  I’m not picky here.  I confess that is because I’ve yet to find my “holy grail” of lotion.  It is fun to continue to look.

When I travel, I focus on serum, moisturizer, eye creme and cleanser.  I tend to use whatever the hotel provides for hands and feet.  I also carry Chanel’s handcream in my tote.  Carmen, at BG, is wonderful to me.  She is always up for travel size samples to get me through TSA and travels.  Thanks to her I can keep up my regime even when I’m on the go.

Beach · Food · Skin care · summer · Travel

Packing for a day at the beach

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My love affair with the beach began while I was still in diapers.  Born in Eastern North Carolina with a Dad who grew up spending summers frequenting Cherry Grove, Myrtle Beach and OD and a Mom who spent her childhood summers in pluff mud, salt marshes along Sullivan’s Island and Folly Beach, it was natural that I’d be whisked to the Atlantic Ocean before I could walk.  So what do I pack for a day at the beach?

The chair is key.  I love a good sand chair, one that is perfect to sit in the water with the tide.  Umbrella and straw mat are other necessities.  I typically grab a grass mat at the local beach store. They tend to cost around $3.00 and are great for lying on to sunbathe.  They also serve as a place for the cooler, beach bag and other assorted items to avoid dumping everything in the sand.  As gorgeous as the Carolina coast is with that sugar white sand, I try to avoid bringing it home with me.

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Next up is a cooler packed with ice, drinks, sandwiches and a spray bottle of water.  There is nothing better to cool off with than ice water.  I love Evian but there are multiple options that include just a drugstore pump spray filled with water.  I keep a bottle of Evian in the refrigerator so I always have one cold for tennis and the beach or pool.

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My beach bag filled to the brim with all those things one needs – sunglasses, sunscreen, towels, goldfish, my kindle and my iPod.  This year I’ve got a new beach bag, the Goyard Belharra.  I am loving it.  It is easy to stuff with everything I want for a day walking along the beach, reading in the sun, and swimming in the ocean.  See my post from last summer for What’s in My Beach Bag.