the general rule of packing for a trip on the move is if you pack it, you’re carrying it. if you’re anything like me, packing light consists of a back up outfit for every outfit you bring. outfit options are a girls best friend, right? turns out they are a girls worst enemy when on the move. i guess we can call them a frenemy. [hah]

okay, but really. when i travel somewhere new i want to see as much as i can. climb every mountain, search high and low, follow every byway, every path you know.[sorry. i couldn’t help myself]. seeing different sites and exploring nearby cities means lots of moving around and being on-the-go. for trips like this, limiting yourself to one carry-on suitcase and a backpack is the way to go. if you’re prepared and pack smart, it will be more space than you’ll actually need.

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make a list:

for my italia trip i started with a list. i wrote everything i would need — plus a little extra, again.. i couldn’t help myself. i wrote my list about 2 days before actually packing and added to it as things popped in my head. this helped me think of any last minute things i would need such as travel toothpaste, an umbrella, etc.. it also ensured i packed only what was needed. think about where you’ll be going, what you’ll be doing and always take into account what the weather will be like.

remember, if it’s not on the list, it’s not invited on the trip. 

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try it on:

this step can be fun. make the most of it. turn on some music and have your very own fashion show with a girlfriend and enjoy yourself. trying on all of your clothes and outfits before packing them will help prevent you from packing something you won’t wear. if you aren’t feeling those skinny jeans a couple days before you leave, chances are you won’t be feeling them on your trip. so ditch them and bring something you will wear and confidently rock. once you have all of your outfits chosen, fold them up nicely and lay everything out.

outfit tips:

go for more neutrals that you can mix and match. for example, a black tank that you can wear with a pair of shorts or throw it on with a pair of jeans and a jacket and you have an entirely new outfit. if it’s warm, i love packing summer dresses. they take up minimal luggage space and are comfortable to walk around in. i’ve linked some great options below.

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pack it:

i am a huge fan of space saver bags. i love them. first of all, they save space. second of all, they keep your clean clothes clean and lock in any odors from your dirty clothes. this really ends up being a life saver if you’re staying at hotels and don’t have any access to a washing machine.
pack your whole outfit as a group into your space saver bag, so when reaching for the outfit you only need to open one bag, maybe two. this will save you time getting ready and eliminate the need to constantly re-pack your bags. bring along an extra empty bag so you can load all dirty clothes into it and keep them separate from clean ones.

for ease of traveling, i pack all of my clothes on one side of my suite case and shoes on the other. my electronics, valuables and make up bag go wherever i go in my backpack.

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get ready to go:

once everything is packed, clothes, shoes, toiletries, electronics, etc.. cross it all off your list. throw on some comfy clothes, i go for leggings, a loose tank and a sweater. now all you have to do is say a prayer for safe travels and enjoy your trip!

t i p s:

* if you’re staying at an airbnb read the listing to see if there is a washing machine available. take full advantage of the chance to carry around clean clothes instead of dirty ones if there is.

* stick a dryer sheet in your bag to keep everything smelling fresh. just one will do it. two can be overkill.

*pack shoes that don’t take up much space. [of course i’ll always pack at least on pair of wedges] sandals are always a great option and so are bendable flats. i’ve linked some great options for these above.

*if you’re staying at a hotel, skip out on a bringing a hair dryer. if you’re staying at an airbnb type location, message them before hand so you’ll be fully prepared.

*if you’re traveling overseas consider purchasing a cheap hair dryer/straightening iron from the country you will be traveling to. if you can go with out, then power to you– go without it! there are many horror stories of blown out fuses and fried, damaged hair. don’t become a statistic. when you factor in the cost of an adapter and converter [which still runs a risk of ruining your flat iron] plus the valuable luggage space for it all, buying one from a local convenient store may just be the way to go.

*when packing toiletries pack everything in travel sizes. i save up all of my sample perfumes, lotions, etc. and keep them in a bag. they are the best to take when traveling! they take up minimal space and can be thrown away after being used. [they’re also great to keep in a guest bedroom.]

the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

lao tzu


the quaint little town of fredericksburg, tx was such a delight. i was there for less than 24 hours, but they were hours thoroughly enjoyed celebrating a blushing bride-to-be. fredericksburg and all its’ beauty was the perfect place for this group of gals to get together for our beautiful friends’ bachelorette weekend. we wined and dined, chatted endlessly and danced the night away.

fredericksburg is truly one of texas’ best little secrets. there are about 15 different wineries in the area. we visited two, becker and grape creek vineyards.  we started at becker vineyards after brunching and having a limo dance party. we had a group tasting, then toured the winery and awed at its beauty. the staff here were incredible and so knowledgable. half of us walked away with a bottle from the vineyard and all of us got to keep a souvenir wine glass that is now one of my favorites.

the gorgeous bachelorette

feeling good, we all continued our limo dance party and headed to grapecreek vineyards. we tasted and toured then headed outside for live music and entertainment. the wines were spectacular and best of all the views were breathtaking. at one point it seemed as if the heaven’s were going to open up and dump rain on us, but we got lucky and got a spectacular view and skipped out on the brewing rainstorm above. in the meantime, we had our own vineyard photo shoot!

go frogs, always

after our winery escapades we went back to our adorable airbnb to freshen up and get ready for an evening on the town. we quickly learned an evening on the town in fredericksburg texas consists of wranglers and cowboy boots. we stood out like sore thumbs in our dresses and wedges but lived up every second of it. we ended our night at a little bar called crossroads that featured an amazing cover band that brought back every 90s and 2000s song we knew and loved. it was the perfect ending to a fabulous day.

you can find yourself a cowboy here

a quick glimpse of our night 😉

one last picture before calling it a night [ sorry it’s so blurry! ] 

life is a celebration, enjoy it well.

uruj shahid

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the tory burch private sale is going on now through friday, august 15th. but don’t wait, this sale sells out fast! tory’s pieces are timeless and so well made. many are staples in my wardrobe. in fact most pieces i have to talk myself out of buying them in at least 3 colors [i can be tough to bargain with]. below are some of my favorites from the sale. many pieces are up to 70% off [#amen] you can enter the sale here. you’ll have to enter your e-mail address, then you’ll gain access. shoot me an e-mail if you have any troubles! happy shopping:)

music. whether it gets you through your day, workout, a tough break up, or simply takes you away, we all love it. we all love it for different reasons, but we all love it. 

it’s hard for me to specify just one genre of music as my ‘favorite’ because i listen to music all the time and for all purposes.

the moment i hear frank sinatra’s wondrous voice, my mind flies me to the moon and plays among the stars. then there’s the charming pharell williams who never ceases to make me smile and clap along, because i too, am happy. and of course, the ever-so-popular t-swift whom i never want bad blood with. each unique and each brilliantly talented in their own way.

music plays a large role in all of ours lives. it’s a gift and we should embrace it. so, i’ve teamed up with the one and only fitista to bring you a playlist that we hope brightens your day. she’s a blessing of a friend that i met years ago in high school. thefitista is on an incredible fitness journey and is one of the most positive and energetic people that i know. her positive attitude and passion towards a healthy lifestyle is inspirational to all. music helps keep this energizer bunny going and we hope it does the same for you.

we’re giving away a $100 itunes giftcard to one lucky music-loving follower. *head on over to instagram to see all official rules and enter in the contest.

get to know the beautiful girl behind thefitista: 

1. I am 25 years young!

2. Born in Russia, raised in Sugar Land, Texas.

3. Yes, I speak Russian fluently! I throw in the occasional YALL  into the mix!

4. My hobbies include dance, working out and traveling.

5. I am happily taken by the love of my life, Carlos.

6. Sushi anytime, anywhere!

7. My favorite color is yellow. It is so bright! I love it!

8. By day I work as an Oil & Gas Negotiator and by night I am TheFITista!

9. My motto is YOUCAN&YOUWILL.

10. My goal in life is to make an impact in the community through  

 health & fitness.

follow her journey here:


music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.



below are my go-to make up products for everyday wear. these six items are all i need on the go.

| bobbi brown | creamy concealer | $25 | 

i recently picked up this little miracle worker and now can’t go without it. it’s referred to as “bobbi’s secret to the universe” and i am so thankful to be in on that secret.

i use a small amount on my pointer finger to conceal darkness underneath the eye. i stroke from the inner eye and trace my finger under my eye, then blend. it’s the simplest way to freshen up a look. best thing about it? one compact lasts for months and if you put it on in the morning it will still be there in the evening.

| bobbi brown | longwear even finish foundation | $48 | 

i prefer light foundations that don’t leave my face feeling sticky and heavy. this foundation is a medium to full, oil free coverage. 

i use one pump on a foundation brush and stroke from each
cheekbone up, then blend all around my face. it provides a natural look that’s long lasting and leaves my skin feeling light and airy.

| bobbi brown | skin foundation mineral makeup | $42 | 

this mineral powder evens out skin tone and leaves a natural finish. it doesn’t cake and never looks masky.

some days i skip the the liquid foundation and just use the mineral powder. most days, i use both. i apply the mineral powder all over my face with a face brush after the liquid foundation above. this too, is a very light feeling make up.

| covergirl | perfect point plus eyeliner | ~$6 | 

this eye liner pencil requires no sharpening and gives excellent control. i’ve tried many different brands and types and always come back to easy breezy cover girl. the dark color makes eyes really pop. on the opposite end of the eyeliner there is a smudging tip that can also soften the look.

i use black eyeliner on top and bottom. i trace the pencil along my top lash line and lightly trace the bottom outer corners of my lower lash line. i then use the smudge tool on my bottom lash line from the outer eye to the inner eye. 

| lancome | hypnose drama | $27.50 | 

the dramatic black color of this mascara is my favorite. i have been using it for years and it is still my go-to. one coat gives my lashes a full and luscious look. two coats and i have big, battable, flirty eyes.

i apply two coats of this mascara making sure every lash gets a coat. i use one side of the wand for the first coat then flip it around to use the other side for the second coat. this gives me the best look and most lash coverage. i do this on both my top and bottom lashes.

| clinique | blushing blush | $21 |  

this is another product that i have been using for years. i love it so much that i’m hesitant to even try other brands. (i’m sure there are plenty of amazing ones out there). it’s an oil free, long-wearing blush.

i apply using the blush brush provided in the compact stroking from along my cheekbone. for a more natural look, i use my foundation powder brush to blend the blush in.

these products are what you will always find in my make-up bag. for a more glam look i spice things up a bit. but for everyday, this is what you will find me using! 

bobbi brown, lancome and clinique offer a 10-15% discount off your first purchase after joining their mailing club. all offer samples with purchases and other great steals. the samples are a great way to try new products, or as i use them, keep them around for easy travel or store in a jar for overnight guests to use.

the beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. it is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.

audrey hepburn