Staying Organized While On the Go

Holiday travel season is almost here. That means packing suitcases, carry-ons and managing accessories while on-the-go. More than ever, it’s important to be organized.

IMG_9190

I recently traveled for work and before I went to the airport, I prearranged the essentials including my tickets, ID, money and gadgets.  Instead of stashing everything in my purse or computer bag, I kept it all neatly packed away in a rollup bag.

IMG_9069

Great Useful Stuff sent me their TechAway Travel Roll, a tote that has a place for all the basics you need to have handy when traveling, including charging cords, earbuds, passport, sunglasses and other gear.

 

The TechAway Travel Rolls come in three colors: black, hunter green and the cabernet red. I received the cabernet red, a sophisticated deep burgundy shade. The bag retails for $25, an affordable price for keeping all the essentials in one handy, secure place.

IMG_9071

It’s sturdy and held all my gear and gadgets. I’m already planning my next trip and know this travel roll will be making the trek with me.

On Trend: 2018 Fall Fashion

Ready for animal prints, power tailoring and sequins? Sounds like you’re ready for fall fashion 2018!

Autumn is here and I’m excited to show you the hot looks for this cool time of year. Neiman Marcus invited me to their fall fashion preview so here’s what you can expect when you’re shopping this season.

IMG_7873

This season, women are going to be wearing a lot of what Alex Yáñez, stylist for Neiman Marcus at San Diego’s Fashion Valley, calls “peacock colors.” That means saturated blues and greens for a bold, eye-catching pallet.

IMG_7887

The power pantsuit is back too. Tailored suiting, including double-breasted jackets and strong shoulders, is very in vogue.

IMG_7914IMG_7927IMG_7882

Leather is making a big statement this season as well. Whether you choose matte or patent leather, you can rock this look head-to-toe.

img_7903.jpg

IMG_7908

Get ready to roar! Autumn is all about animal prints including zebra, tiger, and leopard, as well as other amazing prints. Feel free to mix, match and layer this wild and sexy style.

Who says sequins or just for parties and night time? Yáñez and his team at Neiman Marcus say you can wear sequins day or night – shine any time you want.

When it comes to accessories, expect to see western wear like cowboy boots a lot this year, as well as lace up boots. It’s a 90’s throwback but a definite must this season.

Top flap handbags both slouchy and structured are going to be the it bag.

Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 11.01.55 PM

And when it comes to jewelry, look out for crystals and jet black jewelry – very dramatic! Finish your ensemble with a glow. Luminous skin is going to be all the rage this fall.

For men, autumn is all about tech tailoring. Thank innovative suits that blend both performance and function.

Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 10.58.39 PM

Guys will be rocking turtlenecks, velvet and velour too. Men will bundle up during cold weather with a performance parka – both cozy and cool.

IMG_7899

For accessories, men will be wearing chunky runner shoes with an exaggerated sole. That’s definitely fun and functional footwear.

IMG_4600

Men’s styling is going to include a lot of utilitarian details including cargo pockets camouflage this time of year. Expect accent colors in shades of wine, burgundy and blue.

IMG_4632

What fall fashion pieces and trends are your “must-have” looks this season?

💍 Ready for the Royal Wedding! 💍

The Royal Wedding is days away and I’m swooning over wedding details for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

I love weddings and royal weddings are no exception. They’re large events where no detail is overlooked! I’m looking forward to the Markle’s dress, accessories and her hair/makeup. She’s always very stylish and I’m sure her wedding look won’t disappoint.

IMG_2678

Oleg Cassini and David’s Bridal are celebrating the royal wedding too. They sent me this sparkly crystal cupcake along with this wedding book, “Oleg Cassini The Wedding Dress.”

IMG_2675

I’ve had fun looking through the book and reminiscing about past royal weddings and other notable I Do’s.

IMG_2676IMG_2682

IMG_2677

The 320-page book details Cassini designs over the years, including runway looks, the history of wearing white, the significance of wearing a touch of blue, and the history of bridal styles.

IMG_2683

Cassini was also the personal stylist to former first Lady Jackie Kennedy throughout her life. After she wore his strapless empire waist design, the style became a hit. It’s a still the number one dress choice for brides.

IMG_2686

The royal wedding happens this Saturday, May 19. It’s an early day with tv coverage of the nuptials starting at 4:30 am EDT, which for me is 1:30 am PDT. Maybe I’ll just stay up Friday night so I won’t miss a thing!

Are you planning to watch the royal wedding?

Chocolate + Caramels = Yes, Please!

Chocolates are my favorite treat. They’re a great dessert, especially for parties and events, like weddings.

FullSizeRender 30

Recently Fran’s Chocolates sent me their famous salted caramels. These Gray and Smoked Salt Caramels are available in dark and milk chocolate, paired with soft buttery caramel and topped with gray and smoked sea salts.

The caramels look pretty and taste delicious!

FullSizeRender 31

An added bonus? The presentation – box and bow – can be color coordinated.

FullSizeRender 32A tasty and eye-catching option for wedding favors.

 

Something to Savor: Wedding Keepsake Solution

Wedding planning is a special time, full of personal moments shared between the couple. The relationships is filled with keepsakes like love notes, the menu from a special date and tickets to a movie. Now add in a wedding and bridal keepsakes can include engagement photos, save the date cards and swatches of fabric, as well as tokens of affection as well, including cards, lists and notes taken during wedding planning.

It’s easy to see how a couple’s mementos could easily stack up as clutter, unless properly organized. It’s nice to keep all these mementos together, as souvenirs of the courtship and the planning process.

IMG_9849.JPG

One stylish storage solution comes from Savor, manufacturers of keepsake boxes. Their Wedding Edition Keepsake Box features two custom-dyed, cloth-covered “You & Me” and “Us” books that open to store away special wedding objects.

IMG_9850.JPG

The five drawers inside are designed to stash wedding-goodies like the ring pillow, dried flowers, the garter and more.

IMG_9851.JPG

The keepsake comes with folders, pre-printed labels and stickers to customize the box. The boxes come in two color schemes: blue/peach and slate/cream. Savor sent me the slate colored keepsake to check out and it’s pretty and practical.

What a practical, thoughtful way to commemorate a couple’s love story and wedding day!

Savor also makes keepsake boxes for curating memories of babies and kids. All the colorful boxes can neatly stack on bookshelves as memories to be treasured.

 

Nailed It! Spring Manicure Time

I love a pretty manicure! I almost always wear nail polish and in a variety of colors. I like everything from soft pinks and sexy reds to bold blues and vibrant oranges, and everything in between.

IMG_8662

This spring I’m loving pastels. That’s why I was eager to try the “Bridal Bliss” collection from Zoya. They sent me the complimentary set of polishes, which are available in so many sweet and subtle shades, ranging from creams like “Chantal” to a classic pink named “Bella.”

IMG_8674

I couldn’t decide which polish to use first so I tried something new – I created a mix and match manicure. I used five different shades, one for each finger and repeated the look on both hands.

IMG_8672

For my thumb, I used “McKenna,” a taupe shade; for the index finder, “Rue” a mauve shade; “Abby,” a lavender for my middle finger; a pastel “Blu” for my ring finger; and “Leia,” an opal-toned white/pink for my pinky.

IMG_8676

I love the colors and I’m really happy with this look! Plus, the mani has staying power.  I’ve been typing, doing dishes and running errands and the polish has held up well.

Staying Organized

I’m old school about keeping track of information. I handwrite notes, keep to-do lists and organize my life with a calendar.

Sure, I track things in my smartphone – from business meetings and appointments to events, date nights and family activities – but I also like having a hardcopy of my schedule.

IMG_7234

I was pretty excited to check out Day Designer, a strategic planner and daily agenda. They sent me a complimentary 2018 planner and I’m loving it.

IMG_7236

First of all, it’s a hardcover, spiral book – nothing flimsy about this calendar! Plus, it has a durable pocket in the front, which is ideal for stashing those post-it notes and do-lists I make.

Here’s what else I love about this planner – there’s a two-page calendar for every month, as well as individual pages for each day.

IMG_7994

On the daily pages, there are prompts to keep me focused: “Today’s Top Three,” “Notes,” and “Daily Gratitude,” as well as “To-Do” and “Don’t Forget.”

IMG_8002There are daily inspirational quotes too, like, Samuel Johnson’s, ”Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance,” and the proverb, “It is better to begin in the evening than not at all.”

Do you keep a hardcopy planner or calendar?

Must-Have Accessory: Fashionable & Functional Hairtie Bracelets

If you have long hair, you know the importance of having a ponytail holder at the ready. Often times that means keeping hair elastics in your pocket, your purse or on your wrist.

Wearing a ponytail holder on your wrist can pinch and that hurts, which is why I’m intrigued about an inventive product: hairband bracelets from Maria Shireen.

IMG_6196

The concept is simple and stylish – wear a bracelet that has a “channel” to hold the hair tie in place. The silver or gold bracelet is fashionable and functional. They even have plastic ones for kids and teens!

I was excited to try one out. Since I frequently write about weddings, Maria Shireen’s team sent me a bracelet from their wedding collection. It’s silver and comes with a baby blue hair tie. I can picture brides and bridesmaids wearing these bracelets throughout wedding planning and all the celebrations, including the reception and after parties.

IMG_5591.JPG

I’ve been enjoying wearing the bracelet which is cute and comfortable. Best of all, finding my hair tie to pull my hair back onto a ponytail is easier than ever!

Think about it: you’ll always have your ponytail holder nearby. No more searching the house, office or your bag for a hairtie because you’ll have one ready-to-go on your bracelet.

The bracelet looks pretty on its own and can be worn separate from the hairtie. When worn together, it’s hard to tell you’re rocking a ponytail with your bracelet.

Valentine’s Day Date Tips for Couples & Families

Valentine’s Day is coming up! Stumped on what to do? I’ve got some great ideas on how to spend Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart.

Since I’m a writer for San Diego Family Magazine, I had the opportunity today to share some Valentine’s Day date tips for couples and families with Renee Nelson at ABC 10News during a FacebookLive. We talked about specific places to go in San Diego; things to do on a budget and to splurge; ways to keep love sizzling, and more.

Get more Valentine’s Day ideas in the February issue of San Diego Family Magazine, which is available for free at Albertsons, Ralphs, Party City and local libraries, as well as online.

Here are some behind the scenes photos from the shoot.

IMG_6842
With Renee Nelson, 10News reporter
IMG_6875
L-R Michelle Hancock, Marketing Director for San Diego Family Magazine; San Diego Family Magazine writer Kristen Castillo, and 10News reporter Renee Nelson.
February issue of San Diego Family Magazine
February issue of San Diego Family Magazine
IMG_6845
With 10News reporter Renee Nelson