Where I’ve Been…and Where I’m Going: Life Update and What’s in my Carry-on


So, you may or may not know that I am an attorney. My practice ebbs and flows as I’ve mentioned and no two weeks are the same. During the month of October I was #blessed with two administrative trials. Both of which I lost. Yay. If it makes you feel any better or less sorry for me, the cases that end up going to trial are usually not the best of my cases as those tend to settle. Anyway, I’ve loathed in self-pity for long enough and I’m back in the game.

Which brings me to the month of November, which is really one of my favorite months now that I’m an adult and I live in South Florida where it is not humid, but still warm. Delicious. I grew up in Jersey and didn’t move down to Florida until I was 22, so I know a thing or two about real fall and real winter. And I’m actually looking forward to jumping in a pile of leaves this weekend when I head up north to visit family and friends.

I thought I would take this time to spread some k-nowledge and share how I travel and some packing tips I’ve gathered.

Personal Item/Carry-On

This weekend, I’m going to New Jersey for four days, so a personal item and a carry-on are all I am toting. When I go to Vegas or anywhere more than 4 days, I bring a personal item and a checked bag. For this post, I’ll share what I always bring with me on the plane in my personal item.

My go-to bag right now is this one from Target. It’s zippered (a must!) and large, but not so large that it it’s awkward to carry around in the terminal, etc. Inside, I pack a lot of those free makeup bags from Clinique which I get “with purchase,” as well as bags from my Sephora Play! subscription. I always bring mints, face wipes, lip gloss/balm/stick, lotion, hand sanitizer, nail file, and Advil.

Another little bag holds my charging cords for my IPad, phone, and headphones.

My last little bag holds my travel-size facial moisturizer, perfumes, and compact.

Everything has its place in my bag so I can easily find what I need.

I always bring a scarf which doubles as a blanket for the plane because it’s always cold. And fuzzy socks ๐Ÿ™‚

Snacks are a must: I try to choose healthier snacks like RX Bars, natural fruit snacks, etc. but let’s be real: I still eat junk now and then.

I buy a large bottle of water before getting on the plane and use the bathroom moments before boarding. On flights longer than 3 hours, using the bathroom on the plane is going to happen. But I have my hand sanitizer, so I deal. And I’d rather stay hydrated.

IPad: I download enough Netflix shows to occupy my flight time so that, at worse, I can watch tv the whole time. But, usually I have lofty goals of catching up on reading, goal setting, working on budgets and other personal tasks, or work-related stuff. I keep everything on my IPad so there’s less bulk.

Carry-On Luggage

Clothes—I STRUGGLE with packing so fu***** much. I guarantee myself that I will need 2-3 outfits per day. Options, baby! But, I’m trying to scale down. So, I lay out my outfits before packing and try to re-use as many pieces as possible. I also take photos of the outfits so that I become my own “lookbook” which actually helps me stay on task. I also have a terrible habit of shopping before a trip, no matter how mundane or short, for new accessories I can wear for photo-ops. Ugh. Trust and believe, my bank account is none too happy with this. So, this trip, I am persuading myself with ideas of shopping while I at my destination (which I probably won’t even do) to curtail this impulse. I also tend to pack way more pairs of underwear than I need, but whatevs. I also pack about 2-3 bras depending on my choice of outfits.

Toiletries/Makeup—I always keep my toiletries packed in a small bag so that I don’t have to worry about that. Another hardship of mine is paring down my makeup. My fundamentals are: one small eyeshadow palette (currently obsessed with these City Mini palettes), one mascara, one foundation, two blushes, one highlighter, 3-4 lipsticks, eyebrow pomade, a couple eyeshadow brushes, blush brush, eyebrow brush, highlighter brush, blending sponge, and MAC Fix+.

Etc.—Shoes are limited to two pairs: one to pack, one to wear. Shoe bags are essential.

I pack small plastic bags from the grocery store for dirty clothes. A tip I saw somewhere else is to pack lavender sachets to help keep smells at bay. I need to start implementing this.

I bring my curling iron for switching up hairstyles, and quite a few earrings/necklaces to switch up outfits.

Packing a small bag is also essential: I used to forget this because I had my carry-on tote. No bueno. You’ll need a small purse for galavanting; not a huge tote.

As they say in Haiti (my in-laws’ country of origin), “Epi, that’s it!”

What a long post. This makes up for the 100 posts I didn’t make. How do you pack? What are your in-flight essentials?


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