Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Surviving the Corporate Travel

I mentioned in my first post that I travel quite frequently for work.  In a typical month, I spend about 40% of my time traveling.  I certainly am not anywhere near George Clooney's character in Up in the Air, but if you think of a month having four full work weeks, I'm usually gone Monday through Thursday two of the four weeks.  Usually, at least one week of that is in NY, and the other is spread between Chicago, Scottsdale, and other various locations as business needs arise.

Despite how much I love this aspect of my role, I will be the first to tell you it is not all rainbows and roses.  I had someone ask me recently to tell me all about the glamorous life on the road and I almost laughed out loud. I am not complaining but just shooting it straight.  Hotel rooms do not sleep like your own bed, eating out is fun and delicious but I miss homecooked meals with controlled calories and portions, and getting on a routine is damn near impossible.

Nevertheless, this schedule works perfectly for the season of life I find myself in.  Lash works insane residency hours with no routine, so I'm glad I am busy, too.  It has made us cherish the time we get to spend together, and make our marriage a top priority.  I love meeting new people, seeing different parts of the country, and being a part of something bigger than myself.  In this post newlywed - prebaby season of life, I'm having a ball devoting my energy into a career.

In the past year of traveling, I've developed a few travel tips I thought I'd share.

1 - Invest in a good carry on bag.  Don't waste your time with a briefcase, buy a small travel tote. 
My parents gave me this Briggs and Riley carry-on, and it is amazing.  It's durable for airport beatings and also has a built in expansion rod that gives you 25% more room for those times when you can't pack light.

When I first started traveling, I bought a large briefcase that I filled to the brim with unnecessary junk I thought I'd need.  The briefcase got heavy as lead and sure enough, my shoulders started to bother me carrying it.  I downgraded to this Michael Kors jet set travel tote and it is a gamechanger.  It has just enough room for my laptop, notebook, wallet, wireless house, and pen.  All you need.

2 - Keep a travel toiletry bag packed at all times.
Even when I am not traveling, this is left in the suitcase so all I have to think about when packing is my clothes. You will not believe how much easier this makes packing.  I keep this bag stocked full of duplicate toiletry items including a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, and travel size items.  (P.S. How much have travel sized items improved in the last few years, finally!?)

3 - Coordinate your outfits and shoes.
Pick a color palette and stick with it.  Go with all black, brown, or navy and add in neutrals that you can mix and match and share shoes.  

4 - Be honest with yourself on how much workout gear to pack.
I used to pack a workout outfit per day.  While I was certainly eager in my intention, it never happened with the frequency I imagined.  Now, I try to be honest with myself and give myself a breather on days I know I probably won't have time and try to make more of a conscious effort to get it in when I can.

5 - Say hello to early mornings.  
I made the mistake once of booking a flight on a Sunday evening to be somewhere early for a Monday morning meeting.  That entire day was spent checking my watch to see how much longer before I needed to head to the airport, and I got to my destination lonely and bored.  It is so much better to have one more night at home in your own bed and get up at 4 am for that 6 am flight rather than kill your weekend.

6 - Spend 5 minutes extra and unpack in your hotel room.

I find spending a few minutes organizing the hotel room makes me feel so much more settled.  I always hang up my clothes, put the shoes in the closet, and set up my toiletries.

7 - Explore!
Even if you are strictly traveling for work, try to see some of the sites or experience some of the fun the city offers!  For example, when you are in Memphis, you can't order a salad.

8 - Never travel on Fridays.

Office days are critical to getting caught up on never - ending emails.  Plus, on Friday, you increase your likelihood for delays and compete with pleasure travelers.

9 - Embrace the chaos.
You are going to have hiccups and delays.  Hopefully not often, but it will happen.  Spend the $7 for a drink on the plane and just breathe.  Sometimes, if you are super delayed, they will give you the drinks for free!

10 - Hygiene is a priority.  Always.
Even if it means brushing your teeth in a sketchy bathroom, it is better than nothing and will make you feel like a new person.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hello, My Name Is . . .

I quit blogging in November 2012, just shy of two years ago.  I never intended for that Monday cocktail cruise post to be my last- but isn't that how things happen sometime?  My husband, Lash, and I had been married a year and a half and were about to experience major life transitions, and priorities ultimately shifted in a way that pushed this creative corner to the bottom of the list.

It's been interesting to watch how the blogosophere has changed significantly over the past 22 months since I put my proverbial pen down.  I've stayed loyal reading the many wonderful blogs I've come to know and love, and it's been remarkable to experience as a spectator.  And at this point, a lot of you are household names around our home - for recipes, fashion, interior design, and various life style recommendations!

I've thought here and there about hitting restart on this treasured space of mine - but have never actually come close to pulling the trigger.  I think the changes the interweb has experienced - including sponsored posts and that horrible GOMI - has probably impeded whatever enthusiasm I had left to give it another go.  There is so much intimidation about being "famous," checking the reader count, tracking daily hits, and getting freebies.

But that's not me and that's not what I want out of my blog. I want to document and share our journey through life together.  I don't know where we are going, but I know Who is leading us, and I'm excited to see where we go.

So I'm bringing this back, for me.

To catch up briefly - life is good and we are blessed beyond measure.

Lash graduated from medical school in May, and matched for a family medicine residency in Charleston, SC.  The match process was exciting and grueling, and we were over- the- moon to open that envelope and confirm our future in the Holy City.

I just celebrated my five year work anniversary with the same company and have been enjoyed a great career so far.  I'm now the director of our customer service team, and travel quite frequently with this role.  I love the challenge it brings me and the reward of providing that unparalleled customer experience.

We purchased a quaint little 1950s ranch home and have settled into a new season of life balancing marriage, family, two careers, home ownership, and our sweet little puppy Collins.

It's been a season of change and transition, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Monday...

that ends with a sunset cocktail cruise with these two
is a pretty perfect Monday to me.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday

- Well, we know how I feel about Facebook lately, but how about the 28 things that are worse than your friends on Facebook talking about the election.  I laughed out loud at #10 and #19.

- World Market has the cutest holiday decorations.  My mom got the felt turkeys to decorate the family reunion Thanksgiving tables with, and I got the owl to place around our house.  Everything is on sale right now so you should check it out!

- I can totally relate to this LEZ BE REAL on 20-something article- sans the sex and relationship section.

- It's been a crazy week - both personally and professionally.  I woke up this morning on 4 hours of sleep with a sty in my eye and a sore throat.  #miserable

- Tomorrow is Friday.  Thank goodness!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: On the menu

with roasted brussel sprouts, and fettucini alfredo for my man
An oldie, but goodie any day of the week.

with roasted broccoli and quinoa
New favorite way to cook salmon.  This recipe is incredible.
via how sweet eats
My aunt's friends founded Starboard, a gourmet seafood company, and mom brought me the Shrimp Scampi and Miso Salmon with Udon noodles to try.  The salmon was delicious, so I have great hopes for this.  I typically do not eat any lean cuisines or frozen entrees, but with a very busy week this week, I have no problem popping dinner in the microwave for 5 minutes and calling it a day.  The dishes are $4.99 and available at Harris Teeter.
My sister made this last weekend and raved about it.  I am drooling looking at the picture, cannot wait to try it!
via oh she glows
What's cooking in your house this week?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Glamping in the Mountains

I did not want this past weekend to end.  We had the best time in Sapphire, North Carolian, relaxing and enjoying great company and awesome views.  Though my body could use another day lights saving, my heart is full and mind rejuvenated.

Friday, we loaded up Collins in the back of the car to go play with Cousin Moe in Greenville for the weekend.  She looks like a queen all sprawled out in the back with her bone, and surprisingly was an excellent traveler in the back without her crate.

With our Greenville detour, it was a long drive, but absolutely worth it in order to catch this sunset view upon our arrival.

While we waited for the rest of the crowd to join us, Lash and I cooked a delicious homemade pizza Friday night - whole wheat crust, bbq sauce, caramelized onions, shredded chicken, bacon, and a four cheese blend.  I wish we had leftovers because I would legit eat it for breakfast right now.

After a late night of laughing, we went on a gorgeous hike on Whitestone Mountain on Saturday.  

The views at the top were stunning.  You could literally see for miles and miles.

After our hike, we relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon and continued our "glamping" - a real house wives reference for glamorous camping - with happy hour in time for another gorgeous sunset.

We ended the evening perched by this cozy fire, laughing and chatting away.

None of us wanted to get on the road Sunday, 

but the trip was a gorgeous reminder of the hand of God, the foliage was just popping with deep reds, golds, and oranges.  For this born and raised Lowcoutnry girl not used to truly seeing "fall," I loved the escape and scenery.

Take me back!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday - Halloween

Halloween is easily my least favorite holiday... bar none.  

Maybe, I will appreciate it more when we have children of our own, but I just do not enjoy the skeleton and goblin themed decorations.  Can we fast forward to more pleasant ones of Thanksgiving and Christmas?  I am ready to put up a tree.

My favorite costume of the night was an adorable referee - his costume clearly made with black duck tape and a white tee shirt.   I asked, "what kind of referee are you?" (assuming football, baseball, etc), and he cleverly responded, "I'm a replacement ref!"  Awesome.

Lash got mad at me because I tried to save the Reese's pieces for us, and give away the Almond Joy's to trick-or-treaters.  #SorryI'mNotSorry It's not if you win or lose, it's how you play the game - right?!  J/k

Can't wait to read about your Halloween experiences and see pictures--- can you believe it is NOVEMBER??!?