Saturday, August 25, 2012

Packing for a Trip (and my obsession with laundry)

I hate packing for a trip b/c I like clean clothes. I am one of these people that does laundry at least twice a week at home. While in college, I did one load of basic (socks, underwear, shorts, shirts) laundry weekly (I know...I was weird). Other weeks while in college I would do my bar clothes or specific colors (red). I learned about washing red from the first episode of Felicity and vowed never to make my whites pink. I remember when I did my first load, I made sure to call my mom and ask her questions. Previously, my mother washed all my clothes b/c my mother is a control freak.

So, I am looking at various websites about packing for a trip. I already know some basics such as roll your clothing like shirts and shorts so that they don't wrinkle. I don't want to forget any items as they will be expensive to replace them since I am going to Disney. The hotel shops aren't cheap.

I did read one of the most forgotten items is sunscreen, razors, toothbrush/toothpaste, deodorant and sunglasses. I can see forgetting the razor and deodorant, but not the toothbrush and toothpaste. I will admit that I think I once forgot toothpaste for a weekend trip. As a result, I keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in my car along with asprin/excedrin.

During my last weekend trip, I forgot my nail clipper. It was awful as my nail snagged on something and I didn't have anything to fix my nail since I usually don't bring a nail file.

Before you Leave, Gather the Following: 
      Personal ID (Drivers license) or passport
Cash or Foreign currency of your destination country      
Credit cards (foreign currencies?)
Travelers checks or ATM card    
Insurance card  
Photocopies of documentation
Tickets & itinerary
Hotel Reservations
Paper printout of emergency contacts

Cell phone, charger, extra battery
Camera, charger, batteries, cords, etc.
Headphones (bud? noise canceling?)
Laptop & cord & battery (on some trips)
Watch (so u don't have to use the cell phone all the time)
Basic Essentials
Appropriate Luggage    
Luggage Locks & ID Tags (Do NOT Lock checked baggage)  
Rain Protection/Umbrella (It does rain in Florida) 
Small Flashlight & batteries (my dad brings this ALWAYS, in this day and age, we can use flashlight on our phone)      
Brimmed Hat or Visor (I don't wear hats, but others might)
contact lens preparations  
Magazines for the plane   
Folding Scissors (place in checked baggage)      
Laundry/Plastic Bag    
Food bars or emergency snack food  
Medication (Allergy, birth control)
First Aid Kit/band-aids are a definate 
Aspirin/Pain Reliever      
Cold/Sinus Medication (didn't think of this)
Insect Repellent       
Nail clipper
Kleenex (I like the little packs)
Q-Tips (a must)
Deodorant (one of the most forgotten items) 
Plastic bags (if carry on, remember FAA limits on liquids & cremes)
Feminine products
Hair bands

Major Clothing
Shirts for every day
Razor (one of the most forgotten items)
2 pairs of gym shoes (one will get wet one day and u'll need the other)
Flip flops (Reef is the best)
Swimsuit (two is needed)

With all of these items, no wonder why people are stressed about vacation. There are so many things to remember.

Some websites for more information:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My CNDc Shellac Manicure

At the Taste of Chicago, I got a free CND (Creative Nail Design) Shellac manicure. I was at the taste early at 11am and was about 10th in line and earned an appointment at 12:30.
Kris from NY did my manicure. She buffed up my nails and filed them appropriately. Then, she added the Shellac. She has a clear bottom coat and then I put my hand/fingers in the ultraviolet machine for it to set.

UV Machine

My manicurist Kris told me how she has been in the nail industry for years and working for the company for about 2 years. She actually went to CNDc camp for a week where she learned about the technique along with focusing on health. She said that they went to health classes to learn proper stretching, yoga along with nutrition. I love when a company focuses on a person as a whole. Sometimes as a teacher, I sacrifice my own health for my job (not drinking as much water as it is hard to leave class and kids alone) and have put my own health more of a priority lately (though getting up at 4:30/5:00 to get an hour in at the gym is difficult and leads to me tired by 4:00pm).

Kris also said that she only works at the salon in NY 2-3 times a week because she is often traveling with CNDc.

I asked Kris about getting this done again in Chicago. She said that it could cost double what a normal manicure costs in the city (possibly $50). Total bummer. She did give me a card of locations in Chicago that perform the Shellac.

Just some of CNDs colors
I had to pick my colors. There are more  colors available than the picture above, but I chose color #16 Romanique which was a soft pink/white color since I didn't want something bold. It reminds me of Essie's Figi or Ballet Slippers which according to the Possessionista, is what Emily Maynard from the Bachelorette wears.
I wanted something that I could wear anything with. After the two coats of the color, (which after each application, my hand again went into the ultraviolet machine), she applied a top coat.
After the polish, she put some oil and lotion on my hands along with some instructions. The manicure should last at least 2 weeks. She gave me oil to put on my nails. She said to use it daily and most people put it on nighlty. She also gave me a packet/instructions of how to remove the polish. She said DO NOT pick at the nail polish as it will be bad for my nails and take more of my nails off rather than just the polish.

My nails looked VERY similar to this
....about 2 weeks later, I a met up with my friend Antonia for Burger Fest on Belmont. She commented on my nails and said how she has NEVER seen my nails look better. A few days later, I get the FIRST chip of my nails, but it really isn't noticeable.

...3 weeks later, really the first really noticeable chip to my nails.

...tomorrow will be 4 weeks. I should take this polish off, but I love it so much though my nails have grown. They are still shiny and look new in some cases. I'll update you on taking the polish off another time.

Now, I need to have this done next week again. This is great. I've been looking on YELP for reviews on shellac, but haven't found ANYTHING promising in Chicago. I would love to have this done next week.

Want to know more, check out these blogs that also reviewed Shellac: Say Hello to the Future of Manicures, Shellac French Manicure, All Lacqured Up, Mini Penny,

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I love craigslist though I haven't used it that much this summer. Last summer, I redid my living room and bedroom.
My living room is a British theme. It has some great maps on the wall of London, a telephone booth DVD holder and a large print/picture from IKEA. I bought all of these at stores and not on
However, I did purchase some itesm for my Paris bedroom from craigslist. I have this huge 5 by 8 foot canvas sold at IKEA a few years ago in my bedroom. I had to pick up the canvas from Hyde Park because it would not fit in my car. When I arrived to pick up the print, I noticed my name Barb on the bottom left hand corner. I thought that they put my name on the piece and thought it was weird and wondered how I might be able to erase it later. Since it was only 10 bucks, I took it off of this guy's hand.
It was a journey to get it home. I took it on a bus and a train to get home. I got many looks on my way home with the piece. A few weeks later, I was able to hang it above my bed with my parent's help. It is such a light canvas that it only needed 2 nails to rest on to hang.
I also bought another Paris piece for my bedroom on craigslist. It is a picture of the Eiffel Tower and it being built. It was $35 bucks from a guy in North Center. There was a slight defect in the frame, but I was able to cover it up with some puddy and black sharpie.

My dining room chairs are also from craigslist. When I moved into my place a few summers ago, I bought the dining room table and chairs from Room and Board from the previous owner for $600 bucks. The parsons table had 4 chocolate brown room and board chairs. I didn't like the brown and preferred the black version. I was able to find 6 Milan black leather Room and Board chairs made in Italy in Berwyn, IL. My mom had to come with me with her car to buy the chairs. The 6 black leather charis were $600 dollars. I eventually, through craigslist sold the 4 brown chairs for $450 to some gentleman.

Size 14

I've lost some weight recently (25 pounds) and I seem to be in between sizes. Either a size 14W is too big or a 14 is just too small. It is frustrating.
I bought a dress from at a size 18 and sold it on craigslist because it was too big.
Instead, I found a nice dress from Ralph Lauren from Bloomingdales.