"Traffic Ahead. Expect Delays."
Pack Ahead of Time.
Mentally Move Your Departure Date
Take a Deep Breath
Tis the season to spend time with family, and for most of us recent graduates, that means traveling. Whether you're driving, flying, or taking the train, holiday travel is a huge stressor. As someone who's flown home for Christmas for the last four years, I've learned a thing or two about holiday travel. Sure, every airport experience and road trip is sort of a production, but there are just a few extra things that can throw a wrench in your travel day.
"Traffic Ahead. Expect Delays."
Whether its a road sign or an announcement at the airport that the lines at security are just a little bit longer, I live by the mantra that there's traffic ahead when dealing with any kind of holiday travel (yes, even if it's just to the grocery store for egg nog mix). Not only are more people out and about, but they've also got more stuff, and more distractions. So add a buffer time into all of your holiday travel, whether you're on your way to the airport, on your way to the highway, or even just heading to the grocery store.
Pack Ahead of Time.
I'm usually a "throw things in the suitcase" kind of girl, but when it comes to the holidays - I'm making a list and checking it twice. Being packed and ready to go well before traveling will ease the stress on your travel day, and also make sure you're not forgetting anything. Plus, if you're traveling with gifts, you definitely don't want to forget those! Packing ahead of time also helps you plan your space - if you need to check a bag, plan for that in advance, so that all you have to do when you get to the airport is drop it off.
Mentally Move Your Departure Date
Pretend like you're flying or driving one day in advance. This forces you to follow the "pack ahead of time" rule. It also ensures you've got your bases covered at home. If you're boarding your pet (like I am) drop him off the day before, even if you could do it the day of travel. This frees up some time, and also ensures that you're not going to pull a Puppy Home Alone and forget the dog (I'm only half kidding when I say this is one of my biggest fears). This rule doesn't just apply to pets though. Be sure you've cleaned the house, finished laundry, and run the dishwasher so that you're not leaving a mess for when you get back after the holidays.
Take a Deep Breath
Try to relax! Sure, that seems obvious, but sometimes I need to hear it again. And again, and again. Remember that if you're prepared for traveling, it's all going to be fine, no matter what snags may come up! Plus, there's always a glass of wine and a comfy couch waiting for you at your final destination!
Here's a little (not-so) secret about me...I am obsessed with cute workout clothes. Unfortunately, however, brands like Lululemon and Nike can get pretty pricey at times. Enter, Fabletics.
You know that ad you keep seeing on Facebook? That one that promises a 2-piece workout outfit for only $25? Yep, that's the one. A few weeks ago, I had a little extra cash and decided to take the plunge. I wanted to share my experience with you all!
First, a little history. Fabletics was founded by Kate Hudson as a line of high quality, low cost workout clothes for women. Her lines feature new designs each month, fun colors and prints, and high quality fabrics that aren't see through when you bend over (big plus!). The tanks are reminiscent of current styles, with built in bras, strappy backs, and flowy fabrics. Hudson has also created a wide range of bottoms from tennis skirts to yoga leggings to running shorts, all in durable fabrics. A smaller collection of sports bras, tees, and jackets round out the collection for a workout outfit that can easily translate to class or coffee with friends (guilty as charged).
Your first order is also 50% off with a new membership! So I figured, why not? I ordered the Leon Tank and Salar Capri and absolutely love them! The colors are so pretty and so far, they have washed really well. I had to do a return/exchange (warning, they run a little small!) , but the process was fast, easy, and free. In less than a week I had my new outfit and was ready to hit the mat!
So what's the catch? If you look at the comments on the Fabletics Facebook page and other reviews, you may notice a group of disgruntled costumers who are greatly displeased with the policies of Fabletics' VIP membership. You can ignore the screams of "Scam!". True, a Fabletics VIP membership is necessary to receive discounts, but if you read the policy carefully, there are no extra charges - if you pay attention. On the first of every month, Fabletics emails out your "Outfit Picks" based on previous purchases and survey results (they actually survey your workout habits to tailor their picks!). You have five days to "skip" the month...a simple click of a button from the website. If you do not skip within the allotted time, your card will be charged a $49.95 outfit credit, that can be redeemed for a purchase at anytime. No need to be disgruntled if you're on top of your email!
Of course, I live and breathe by my computer, so catching that email is no problem at all. It is a personal choice, however, if you think that you would frequently miss the five days. The membership design certainly isn't for everyone. No one likes unwelcome credit card charges! Luckily, you can still order without the membership...there is just an increase in price.
Sold yet? If you are thinking about signing up and getting your (super cute) workout on, do a friend a favor! Shameless plug - Fabletics also has a great rewards program that includes credits for referrals. Check out my link below:
Happy shopping, y'all!
*This is not a sponsored post. I purchased the outfit pictured and have not received any other promotional merchandise. The opinions and information provided are solely from my own experience.
Confession: I could spend all day on the couch. As long as my computer charger is within reach, there would only be a few reasons I would even have to get off the couch (and even less if Chris is willing to bring me food...) Between the blog, Chloe + Isabel, and the black hole that is Pinterest (find us here), I'd have plenty to keep me busy. Plus, if Chris is playing video games, there's no way either of us feel any motivation to get out of the apartment. Even though I can, and definitely have spent plenty of afternoons on the couch, I always hate myself for it later. Sitting on the couch means that we've missed prime fall activities, the chance to explore, or even just a little vitamin D. So I'm making it my goal to try to get off the couch more on Sundays (and Saturdays).
My list of 10 things to do instead of sit on the couch:
1. Go hiking. Day hikes are an awesome way to explore a new area, or just get outside and stretch your legs.
2. Explore the local farmers market. Grab your re-usable bag and head to your local farmers market, then cook a delicious meal with what you've found.
3. Check out local lunch specials. Going out to dinner can get expensive, but lunch specials are a great way to try nice restaurants in the area and still stick to your budget. Bonus points for walking around town before or after lunch.
4. Rent kayaks at the lake. There's a lake not too far from my place that rents kayaks, which sounds like a great way to get some sun and exercise!
5. Go to the mall. Whether you're just window shopping or real shopping, the mall is a great place to go, especially on rainy days! Chris and I are both bad at shopping, so using shopping as a motivation to get out of the house might actually mean I replace the pair of jeans that I cut off into shorts this summer!
6. Pick pumpkins or apples. Picking apples is a great way to get outside, explore, and get great apples out of the day! It's a super cute date idea, and who doesn't love the idea of taking a hayride?
7. Volunteer. Depending on the organization, some places love extra help (think Habitat for Humanity). While this may require a little more planning ahead, volunteering is a great way to spend your time!
8. Start a DIY project. There's always another project to try, so instead of sitting down to pin more, try crossing one off the to do list. Update from Chris: Finish a DIY project. I'm pretty good at starting projects, but sometimes I have a hard time finishing them.... So there's that.
9. Visit a museum. While the local museum may be a little more crowded on the weekend, learning something new beats cabin fever.
10. Just go for a walk. Starting the morning out with a walk instead of bee-lining for the couch may be all it takes to feel like you've had a more productive day. Walking to a coffee shop or to the grocery store helps you stretch your legs, and gets you some fresh air! After that, you may feel more inclined to keep moving (or maybe you've earned some couch time!)
One of our original ideas when we started LL + CS was to do monthly coffee shop reviews of places we frequent, or visit on vacation! Obviously, we love coffee and love sharing with y'all so this seemed like the perfect way!
I have decided to kickstart it with a local hideout near my apartment - Chelsee's, on Trade St in Winston-Salem, NC! Yes, I love it because we share a name, but there are certainly some other things that make it stand out from the crowd. In a coffee loving town like Winston (seriously y'all...I think we replaced tobacco with coffee around here and I am 100% cool with that), it can be difficult to set yourself apart! Chelsee's, however, has quickly become one of my favorite go-to spots for studying, meetings, or hanging out with friends!
I was first introduced to Chelsee's by a local publisher I was meeting with and I was struck by the versatility of the space.
First of all, the atmosphere is perfect for reading...which let's be honest, is about 90% of my life right now. Toward the back of the building, there are big, comfy leather couches that scream, "snuggle up with a sweater, latte, and Shakespeare" (or maybe that's just me?). A wide assortment of other tables, tall and short, are better suited to a coffee date with a friend or co-worker. There are even outside tables for a sunny day!
While seating, location, and lighting (bright, but not harsh!) are all very important, let's talk about what really matters - the coffee. I've tried the iced coffee, hot coffee, and espresso drinks at Chelsee's and they're all fantastic. The coffee is rich tasting without the acidity you can find at some coffee shops. Their hidden gem, however, is a drink that the owner made up and it is TO DIE FOR - white chocolate dirty chai. Holy crap. One sip and I was a life long fan. Delicious!
So the next time you are in Winston Salem, check out Chelsee's! Well actually, call me first so we can hang out, and then we will go to Chelsee's!
Attention Bloggers! Help us expand our map! We would love to include reviews from across the US, but unfortunately we don't have that kind of airfare :)
If you have a local coffee shop that you adore and would interested in reviewing, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
With all of this talk of pumpkin spice lattes and scarves, we've forgotten about one of fall's premier events...football.
Leah and I are both recent college grads, and I am still attending our alma mater as a graduate student. College football is a big thing here in the South...anyone attending a university in the ACC or SEC can attest to that. In fact,the only thing bigger than football might be the tailgate parties.
Tailgates were a huge part of my college experience, but as I learned, planning a good one can be even more stressful than that 10 page paper you have due on Monday. Leah and I were frequently put in charge of planning the tailgate for the Rowing Team...so frequently, in fact, that we gained status as "team moms". That being said, I am no stranger to the "you forgot extra plates" stare down, or the exasperated sigh from the vegetarian friend you forgot about.
I recently went through my phone and found a list of "Tailgate Must Haves" left over from many a Saturday morning trip to the grocery store for burgers and charcoal. I have edited, condensed and compiled some of the more important points...along with some more "adult" additives ;)
With Homecoming coming up this weekend, Leah and I will be back at the stadium, koozies in hand (Go Deacs!). Look for pictures of our reunion next week!
Tweet us a picture of your tailgate this weekend and let us know who you're cheering for, @llandcs!
A little bit about us:
Chelsea and Leah here of Life, Love and Coffee Stains!