Mini Toiletries

A few months back I shared a few tricks for packing efficiently but  after a generous Christmas (a generous stocking one too) I felt the need to write “Strategic Packing Part II: Toiletries”. If both you and me share the same-sex (assuming you’re female) you know the crap I have to go through before leaving town. If it’s by car, the trunk can only fit so much, it’s by bus, who wants to lift heavy luggage, if it’s by plane, damn TSA throwing away all my this-actually-cost-money stuff, and if it’s by ship, I have no idea, my first cruise is long overdue.  I guess what I’m trying to say is: packing toiletries is undeniably difficult because you always need a lot but have little space. To minimize that problem, here are a few key items I hope will breeze you in (they definitely do the trick for me).

I can downgrade all I want on beauty supplies but if the blow dryer takes up as much space as my bazooka (just kidding I don’t usually travel with my bazooka), I’m not doing myself any favors. Solution? When I bought my Babyliss Pro flat-iron kit it came with a mini blow dryer and a mini flat-iron both the size of my hand (and I have tiny hands). All for just an additional 10 dollars at Bingo!

Next, hair and skin. I encourage everyone to take as many hotel samples home with you as possible. Think about it, you already paid for these guys when the hotel bill hit your account and if you don’t care for the contents just refill with your favorite products. They make awesome travel containers for shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and so on.

Remember samples? Those you got with the beach tote after purchasing just about anything over $100 at Neiman Marcus? Or those your hair stylist stacks you up with after each visit? No? I’d ask for some next time. Hair spray, perfume, and facial care samples are all items that usually come is big containers but if you pack samples instead, you may be saving yourself of a meltdown after security mistakes your 10 oz hairspray can with an illicit substance.

I know I said perfume samples are great. And they are, just not as great as this atomizer from Sephora (top left). It comes with  a small funnel for pouring my favorite scent. I also got an itty bitty,  adorable Miss Dior but the top came off and poured perfume all over my zip lock bag. Safe to say Dior is staying home next time.

The make up part is tough. I’ve made a compromise:  I’ll have to survive with  this travel Mac duo-shadow set and report back. The reason why I love Sephora so much? They sell a mini brush set and mini Tweezerman (makes best tweezers ever) brow-set. And you’re thinking: say no more!

The no-nail-file-in-the-carry-on rule is lame and drives me insane but when I got this extremely small nail file matchbox, with multiple nail files I felt like screaming  (equivalent to doing jumping-jacks in Lulu reaction) and before I could open my mouth, several Nail Polish Remover pads came to my acknowledgement and I was speechless. One is just enough to remove polish from both hands.

Now I’ll get a little personal and show the little things I absolutely can’t live without when I travel but aren’t necessarily everyone’s priority. A small lint roller (duh), at least one moist cleaning cloth from Solstice (handy for cleaning sunglass shades and iPad screens), one Colgate mini-brush to freshen up on the go and lastly, a mini sucralose sweetener imported from Brazil. I like my drinks sweet and aspartame free wherever I go.


US #1 Vintage Boots

Holy cow it’s cold out! That puts me in the mood (and need for) more boots. Anyone familiar with my closet would say I don’t need any more boots, shoes or anything else but I know I can make a case. These vintage cowboy-ish ones sold at US #1 (Wicker Park) are the perfect example. I’m not only confident these will make a good impact over tights but they’ll look great paired with a floral dress/jumper for spring. Look at me! Babbling about Spring when I condemned so many for doing the same. Well, at least I’m making an effort to acknowledge winter is here to stay till march.

If you’re into the western look or if you like to mix it up (cowgirl/urban chic) this a great stop for vintage Frye boots fans as you can see in the photo above. You walk in, and they’ll be right to your right. All, of course with a lower price tag than brand new. Yee-haw!

They also have a pretty large vintage fur rack. I’ve always thought vintage fur shopping is a less harmful alternative for those who don’t wanna let go their furry habit but can’t stand the thought of harming another animal. And some of these were really pretty too.

Boys get their own boot-wall. Uh, how fancy!

But if you’re looking for a real bargain, this is your girl right here: the back wall. You get the look without opening the wallet all the way. Yee-haw times five.

The verdict: This is pretty much a one-objective destination, which is finding the coolest vintage, cowboy-ish looking boots in the city of Chicago.

Where? 1460 N Milwaukee Ave (between a Evergreen Ave and Honore St)  Chicago, IL 60622.



I’m wearing: burlington coat factory jacket, jcrew men’s shirt, echo scarf, seven for all mankind jeans, sorel boots, topshop mittens

Lucky for me, it snowed like crazayyy in Chicago this past weekend. Surely I can affirm to have never seen this much in my entire life. It was seriously beautiful (and freezing but who cares). Other than the fact that I almost smashed my face on the ice twice (can’t tell the difference between soft  snow and slippery ice yet, but promise to pay more attention next time) we had a blast playing in and sampling the powdery snow. It wasn’t yellow though, and that I can tell.


I’m wearing: forever 21 jacket, h&m dress and tights, swatch watch, anthropologie headband, ray ban sunglasses, hellen lima bracelets

People often ask me if I miss Florida. In all honesty? Not really, not yet. But I’m sure that will inevitably change. These photos were one of the “test-shoots” we (Elliott and I)  did in downtown Orlando before I embraced fashion blogging for good. We had just received a new lens from his generous parents and were still figuring out the “blurry background” trick. As for the outfit, I apologize we didn’t capture the shoes (how amateur! Motorcycle boots, FYI). The chick seems so indecisive: sunglasses or headband? Turns out, they were both fine. What I’m not so sure about are the purple tights and the squishy dress. And the cropped jacket. Other than that though…


I’m wearing: topshop blouse and hat, seven for all mankind jeans, dkny coat, arezzo boots

I love when retailers dive into inventive mode with their winter hat designs. There’s not much you can do if the main requirement is as demanding as preserving your body heat in place, but Topshop totally hit the right note with this cat-hat. See how it turns a lame winter ensemble into something more intriguing?

To Go Flats

You know when you hear about a product you think is a great idea but don’t believe you’ll ever actually need it and then someone buys it for you? That’s how my story began with Fast Flats ($14.29) (shoes that were made to replace your heels midway through the night.) But just that statement alone didn’t take me to Walgreens to grab a pair. It took my husband, who reports on hearing non-stop complaints that my feet were hurting during our trip to Vegas. I don’t believe him!

But I did recall my feet stopped hurting after I gave them a try (he had already spent the money, might as well use it). And what a ble-s-sing! Best invention ever, hands down. Let me walk you through.

They feel like you’re barefoot. Is that supposed to be a good thing? Yes, and you know good and well how it feels to touch flat surface after hours of standing on a stick (aka stilettos). Then why not play wild card with your own flats? No need to buy a new pair when you can bring your own, right? If your flats are so bendy they’ll fit in a itty bitty clutch, the one you usually take out on this type of occasion, be my guest. I know my flats won’t fit in anything smaller than a shoulder bag, and I’m a 6 1/2.

Let’s face it, they are kind of ugly. Still better than the next best thing, which are flip-flops, and we don’t wanna go there. Unless it’s summertime and not a special occasion. The last question I asked my husband: Oh yeah? Now where am I supposed to store the shoes I was wearing before? No answer. He carried it for me all night. I’m a lucky gal.

Red Bug

I’m wearing: bloomingdales scarf, h&m sweater dress and boots, zara pants, tom ford sunglasses, sister in law’s glove, swatch watch, trevita and hellen lima bracelets

Alright, I know these photos turned out t0 be more about the bug than the outfit itself, but don’t you just love my mother-in-law’s red convertible? It’s the cutest car ever. I want one! As for the outfit, if I’m being honest it’s just playing a supporting role in this production. Talking about supporting roles, the Golden Globe’s last night were so much fun to watch. In my opinion, Salma Hayek and Sophia Vergara knocked it out of the park, both sporting beautiful gowns and stunning figures. Oh to be a Hollywood star!