Travel Tuesday: Packing a budget airline personal item

August 28
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I am a sucker for a deal. Like, I will go out of my way to save a few bucks no matter what. It is one of my best and worst traits. So of course, I have flown budget airlines. I just can’t resist $30 flights, can you blame me? But of course, that $30 fare does not include a checked bag or even a carry on. They always allow you to add one on, but for starting at $25 each way you know I’m not buying it.

Anyways, I have become a bit of an expert at packing for a long weekend in a free “personal item.” A personal item is defined as a purse, briefcase, or small backpack.  Below are the size rules on three popular budget airlines at of August 27, 2018.

Allegiant
16 x 15 x 7 inches
Frontier
18 x 14 x 8 inches
Spirit
18 x 14 x 8 inches

For the last few years I have been using an old bag that I was given at at work conference as my carry on. It was smaller than the requirements but it got the job done and was something I had around the house. With a few trips in the works I decided it was time to bite the bullet and pick out a bag that would last and be the exact perfect size so I could maximize my packing. I landed on this bag from Madewell. The dimensions are just right so I can stuff the bag and still fit it on Frontier and Spirit flights. I will want to pack a little lighter on Allegiant, but it will still be fine.

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Below is what I pack for a long weekend in my free personal item. This includes four summer outfits, pajamas, makeup, shampoo, and other personal items. In this trip I brought my large black water bottle to fill up past security, but I could skip that and buy a bottle of water at the gate if I needed the space.

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Note that I have a smaller purse in my bag. When you carry a personal item as your bag you do not get an additional purse. Because of this I throw one in my bag and pull it out later. This is another item I could skip depending on the trip, or I could find a smaller purse for these uses. I also utilized gallon sized zip bag to hold my clothes. I am starting to do this with the personal item bag to help keep things organized. I usually end up searching for something at the bottom of the bag at the airport and making everything in to a mess. This just makes it a little easier. Also please note I am on the small side so my clothes take up less room.

In this scenario the bag is packed for summer with simple outfits. I would wear jeans to the airport and carry a sweater as I always like to bring one when I travel. I’d also wear my larger shoes. If it was winter I’d fly in jeans and boots, carry my jacket, and pack extra sweaters and maybe jeans if I have to.

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I like to be as prepared as I can when I travel, but I also like to think of it as a time to practice working with what I have. I only bring the staples for makeup and often skip simple toiletries such as shampoo if I know it will be available where I am staying. I don’t like to spend a bunch of money on travel size stuff, but I do always have travel sized hairspray. That is one item that I have to have. Your list might be different depending on your needs.

Do you use a personal item as your suitcase when you travel? What are your favorite ways to maximize space in it?

Traveling Spirit Airlines? Read about my favorite tips.

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Friday Faves- Madewell sale

August 24
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Happy Friday everyone!

Madewell is having a big sale right now for insiders, so I wanted to take the chance to share a few of my favorites of theirs with you. Madewell items can be a little pricy, but are for sure high quality so its worth it sometimes. They don’t have sales often, and when they do usually jeans and leather goods are excluded so this is a bit of a rare deal.  The items I am sharing are all ones I have myself and enjoy so you have my seal of approval or something. Note: to get the sale pricing you must be a Madewell Insider. This is totally free to join and with it you get free shipping, returns, personalization, and this sale.

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Lets start with bags. I have been using this Medium Transport bag for about a year now and it is still going strong. The leather is thick but also forgiving and is something I know will last for years to come.

I recently grabbed this canvas transport bag because I’ve been looking for a bag that size for my airplane personal item and this one fits the bill. (More on that next week.) They change out the colors here and there, but I have it in a nice blush pink color that works for all seasons.

I think I have finally found my favorite tank. The Madewell Whisper tank is a new favorite. They are the perfect weight and the V-neck is just right for me. I have one in a pink/purple color and ordered one in gray. I really could just get these in all the colors and call it a day.

I just bought these mules and honestly, I am still on the fence about them. I LOVE them as a shoe, I am still not sure about them for ME as I don’t need another pair of brown shoes. But hey, they are comfortable and adorable.

Lastly, I bought this dress recently and I love it. It is a perfect summer/fall transition piece here in the south and wears wonderfully. Dress it up with a cardigan or down with a denim vest or jacket.

The Madewell jeans I own are no longer for sale on their site, but I do love their jeans. Any tips on the best pair to buy? Leave them in the comments!

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ThriveSteer Planner

August 23
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Created by a therapist, the ThriveSteer planner is designed to be a planner and a life coach all in one. This planner has a strong focus on both helping you plan your day as well as helping you create the vision for the life you want to live.

Before the “planner” starts there are several pages of activities to go through. These activities help to sit back and think about what you really want from your life from six core values.

These values are:
Strategy
Congruency
Synergy
Courage
Inspiration
Transformation
To learn more about these areas visit the ThriveSteer website.

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After you understand the core values, the planner has prompts about many areas of your life. Through these prompts you will learn more about what you are really looking for from life as well as create pursuit statements that will help focus your actions over the next year.

The planner then walks you through the steps to make one goal for the year and helps you plan how to get to it. At the end you will have a chance to review what you’d worked on and you should leave the beginning of the planner with a strong sense of what your real goals are as well as how to get there.

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The planner portion itself it fairly simple. Monthly pages are tabbed for easy access and weeks are put together in a simple hourly vertical layout. Both have areas where you can mark the core value you want to focus on as well as space for reflection.

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At the end of each month there is a two page Monthly Follow Up  where you can reflect on the previous month. There is also a quarterly and year end review as well. These include prompts that will help you decide where you were successful and how you might need to change your pursuit statements to better meet your needs.

Overall, this is a high quality planner with unique insight that I have never before seen in this format. The paper is strong and I love that it comes with two bookmarks and a band to keep the whole thing together.

 

If you are looking for a planner that focuses on wellness and goals this one might be for you. Find out more at ThriveSteer.com 

Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and I was given a free product for review purposes. 

 

 

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Amazon Beauty Favorites

August 22
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So if you haven’t noticed, I’m addicted to Amazon. Honestly, any time I can order something online and have it delivered to my home is a win. It is not that it is so hard to go buy a new lipstick or whatever, it is just annoying to have to remember to do it, to make the stop, and then to not buy the entire store while I am there. Also, I don’t actually spend much time in normal stores like Target or CVS. I buy my groceries at Aldi and Costco so to go buy a mascara is a special trip.

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Anyways, because of this I have been shopping for beauty products on Amazon more and more over the last year. Also, I have been using this as an excuse to try out new drugstore brand products. Hello saving $$!  My newest thing has been to use the Amazon subscribe and save option to subscribe to my favorite holy grail items so I always have them on hand.  The best part? When you subscribe to five items you get 15% off, and the prices are already low to start.

FYI this is not a sponsored post. Yes, a get a small commission if you buy anything from my Amazon links, but I am just sharing because this is awesome. 

So, on to my personal Amazon favorites. These are the items I am subscribed to. I get them every six months and if I don’t want an item one month I skip it.

This NYX concealer is my favorite. It is just as good as a $20-30 product for less than $5.  I have thin pale skin so without a concealer I totally look like I have a black eye.

My favorite moisturizer is a great Amazon staple. Sometimes I cannot find it in the store so knowing I can grab it on Amazon is helpful.

I am always a sucker for a new mascara so having one delivered is great.

This primer is a favorite. Super affordable and just as good as other pricy options.

This eyeliner is less than $4 right now. Cannot be beat. I use a liquid marker style liner on my top lids but I love these for the bottom as you don’t have to sharpen it. I keep one at home and one in my bag for on the go.

Other favorites include this NYX dewey finishing spray, ELF lip exfoliator,

All my Amazon beauty favorites as well as other favorite products are available on my Amazon page. I try to keep this page updated with my favorite things that are on Amazon. Remember, I do get a small commission from purchases, but that does not affect your price.

What are your favorite Amazon beauty staples? Share them in the comments or tag me in a photo on Instagram, I’m @_amberdowns.

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Friday Faves

August 17
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It has been a few weeks since I posted one of these, but I didn’t have anything awesome to share…so I didn’t. You’re welcome. Today I am just sharing a few new things and a recipe I am loving.

First up, I have been doing some shopping at Madewell lately. Did you know if you are a Madewell insider (free) you get a code for $25 off in your birth month? Totally worth signing up. I used that combined with a sale to get this dress for a steal.  I love it with a denim vest. I already have this tank in a blush pink, but I ordered another in gray because it is just that good. The color is backordered, but being that I live in Florida tanks are  year round outfit.

Today I ordered two items I have been eyeballing for some time. The first one is this canvas transport tote in a blush pink color. (It keeps going out of stock, so keep an eye out.)  I have been on the lookout for a new carryon that would count as a “personal item” for Spirit and Frontier flights and this bag fits the bill. It will also be a perfect tote bag for work and busy days.

I also splurged and grabbed these mules. I know a lot of you are not mule fans, and frankly I still might be on the fence, but I want a new “fall” shoe and these are just too cute. We will see, there is still like a 50% chance I will return them.

I have begun putting in seeds for my fall garden and I am so excited. Here in Florida fall and winter gardens often have better luck than spring and summer because it is not as hot. This fall I am planting tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, carrots, and radishes. I’ll let y’all know how it goes. If you have Florida gardening tips PLEASE send them my way.

We have been in a total food rut over here. The same meals over and over again are just getting boring. I’ve been trying to keep to healthy options that use easy ingredients and are simple to make. Tonight I made these Eggplant Pizzas and they totally hit the spot.  If you have other healthy options let me know!

That’s all for today, see you next week!

Agendio Planner

August 9
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If you remember, last year I tried out the new Agendio planner. This is a fully custom planer that is printed just for you. You get to pick the layout, sections, colors, headers, and even add events and tasks. That planner is about to end and I loved it so much I ordered another one for this year.

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I use this planner for work and I use it in an A5 binder so that I can include other papers and inserts in the planner. (Look for A5 binders at Filofax or Michaels.) You can also have yours made with a coil or in a book form. These look nice and professional.

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I have been using a daily planner layout for a few years now and what I always notice is that I don’t use the hourly column.  In my field I don’t have tons of meetings or appointments, and the ones I do have are often the same each week.  Because of this I changed the layout of my planer to just have a small “today” section to record my appointments for the day and then a “tonight” section to jot down evening plans.  Of course, if you need the hourly section, go for it! That is what I love about this planner, you can make it work for YOU.

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Although I love a daily planner for work, you can also create a weekly planner if that is more of your speed. Vertical, horizontal, whatever you want. I saw some where they had the days on the left page and then the right side was for notes and such for the week. Kind of perfect really.

Once you’ve decided on a layout Agendio lets you add in important dates. You can choose from holidays, moon cycles, religious holidays for several religions and more. You can also add your own holidays like birthdays and anniversaries.  Agendio will remember them so you can add them in next year.You can also add reoccurring events like due dates or meetings. A super easy way to ensure things get done.

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One of my favorite parts of this planner is that you can set it to start whenever you want. So many times people decide they need a planner in like April and like no planners start in April so they have to buy one they only have use or wait until Academic planners start in around July.

Want to see my Agendio planner from last year?

Reminder: links in this post are affiliate links. I receive a small commission on each sale which helps me run this site at no cost to you.

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