how to

#travelbrilliantly

March 28, 2014

Think packing 5 pair of shoes in a carry-on can’t be done? How wrong you are, mon frere. The day was March 7th and I was bound on a Delta flight to NYC in mere hours. Finally, it was time to pack. I was packing for a 5 day trip that included a friend’s bridal shower, blog related meetings + events, showrooms visits, & two full days of my 9-5 grind, including work dinners. It was a fashion & travel miracle I tell you; I pulled a Hitha, & neatly slammed all 5-day essentials into my carry-on.

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When life calls for this type of travel I pack pieces of clothing that can be mixed and matched to make more than just one or two outfits. It’s essential to double up like this to maxmize space. In all likelihood, I could have done with maybe 4 pair of shoes but this girl likes her options. Never underestimate how a shoe or piece of jewelry can completely change a look & make it more appropriate for another kind of occasion.

I was only able to pull off this kind of travel magic thanks to the two pieces of luggage I chose to bring. I suggest a hard-shell suitcase like this one, & a Meaghan-proof carry-on like this Lo & Sons bag [check out their spring sale - today is the last day to save!]. Thanks to the O.M.G. bag I was able to dedicate my entire suitcase to clothing, jewelry, & toiletries. Invest in a quality carry-on bag/purse to help organize the rest like electronics, chargers, documents, & other extras you need to pack. Clearly, fluffy pajamas were not an option on this trip so I’m thankful that plush bathrobes are par for the course at the New York Marriott Marquis!

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What I packed

In my carry-on suitcase:

One suit // jacket + pants

Three pants // printed, jeans, travel

Three tops // printed, button down, sheer black

One scarf

One hat

One winter coat

One leather jacket

Jewelry pouch // statement necklace, delicate necklaces, watch, bracelets

Toiletries // casedry shampoo, travel hairspray,

Flat iron

6 pair shoes // nude strappys, black strappys, after-hours boots, 9-5 boots, 9-5 flats

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In my Lo & Sons O.M.G. bag:

Camera + charger

Laptop + charger

iPad & chargers

Phones + chargers

Current read

Travel documents

Wallet

Clutch

Water

Think about the necessities & what can stay at home. I knew the Marriott Marquis would have amazing shampoo + conditioner plus extras like a hairdryer, lint roller, & sewing kit if I needed it. Any extra room is essential & since my hairdryer is ha-uge I opted to leave it at home & take another pair of shoes in its place. Priorities, people.

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A huge thank you to Marriott Hotels & the Marriott Marquis, aka room with the best view, for making me feel so at home in NYC. Lodging was provided by Marriott Hotels. Per usual, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make District Sparkle possible!

Marriott Hotels’ #travelbrilliantly campaign reflects the lifestyle of the next generation of travelers, who seamlessly blend work and play in a mobile and global world. At its core, the campaign disrupts the traditional industry idea that a hotel is bound by its four walls.

Head to TravelBrilliantly.com to submit your industry-changing travel inspired  ideas & & you could win a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit Marriott HQ!

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[how to] at-home manicure

January 7, 2014

There’s nothing I love more than a fresh manicure. OK, there are many things I love more than a manicure but gettin’ my nails did makes me feel like a million bucks. Unfortunately, those weekly visits to the nail salon quickly add up to just about a million bucks. Every once in awhile I’ll treat myself to professional nail care but I indulge in at-home manis on the reg to save time & money. It’s nothing fancy; Just a few tools & your favorite polish. Follow my easy steps to do your nails at home & cut costs!

Start by taking off all of your jewelry.

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gifted giraffe jewelry dish

Make sure you’re working with clean nails. Trim & file nails to your preferred length then buff. Dab cuticle oil/lotion on your cuticles & gently push them back. Then use cuticle clippers to trim.

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Wash your hands then begin with base coat.2013.1.6_meaghan_005

 

Next, layer on your favorite shade of polish. I recommend two coats for best results.

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Clean up edges with the pointed tip of your emery board or your thumbnail. For excessive outside the line painting use nail polish remover on a q-tip.

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Layer on a quick dry top coat.

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* I swear by this top coat – it stinks & I’m almost positive it’s borderline illegal in California but it’s the quickest drying & hardening top coat I’ve ever used & locks your shiny new manicure for an entire week.

Et voila! You’ve just pampered yourself with an at-home mani without blowing through 25 bucks you can now spend on gourmet mac & cheese. You’re welcome.

Shop at-home manicure essentials:

Photos by Yvonne Rock

[how to] desk to drinks

December 4, 2013

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After yesterday’s post, I received quite a few emails about how exactly to take a work look straight from the office to happy hour / date night / girl party at the local wine bar. Every outfit & destination is, of course, it’s own situation but making 3 subtle changes will make a world of difference no matter what you’re wearing or where you’re going, & most importantly, who you’re meeting.

Desk: Work bag | Drinks: Oversized clutch

You can still pour all of the essentials from your day bag into your happy hour hand-held, just leave the unnecessary bulk at the office. There’s no need for your 3 inch planner & 16 different hand lotions at the local watering hole

Desk: Nude lip | Drinks: Dark [seasonal] lip

If you can get away with a colored lip in the halls of your office then more power to you. If not, leave the dark stuff in your desk drawer ’til it’s quittin’ time & stick with a lighter look during daylight hours. When it’s a little warmer out, I gravitate towards a pop of pink for most outdoor occasions

Desk: Patent pumps | Drinks: Metallic flats

The last thing I’m interested in doing after 8+ hours in 3 inch heels is frolicking around town in another or, even worse, the same pair of heels. Read my lips: Flats don’t have to be dull. Invest in a fun pair to slip into once the bar specials roll around. By closing time, you’ll be thankful that you did!

Shop these #desktodrinks essentials:

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