Friday, September 25, 2015

Cruise 101 : Carry On Packing List & Tips

For the next installment of Cruise 101, I am sharing what I usually pack in my carry on bag, and what C packs in his carry on bag. We try to be practical when packing these bags because we know that if we board around 11 AM, we will be carrying them around until 1:30-2 PM when our rooms are ready. We also like to be sure to pack essentials because there is a chance your luggage won't make it to your room before dinner. 

We like to carry backpacks instead of using small rolling suitcases, or even small duffel bags. We have tried several different bags as carry on bags, but these backpacks are our favorite. C has this backpack and I have this backpack. They redesigned both backpacks, so you can see the new version for C's here, and the new version for mine here. 

In general, the rules for carry on bags for a cruise go by the same rules as the TSA has for flights. Now, I don't think they are anywhere near as strict, because we carried on a rather large carry on one year. We have never had a problem carrying on any bag, they just discourage you from carrying on your giant suitcase. The main things is that your carry on must fit through the scanner, so just really think about the size bag you have and how heavy it is because you will have to tote it around until your room opens. 

In our carry on, we have the following things : 

*tennis shoes
*dress shoes
*travel size toiletry kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo/body wash combo, cologne, face wash)
*workout clothes (shorts, socks, boxers/briefs, t-shirt)
*dinner clothes (pants, belt, polo, socks)
*swim trunks
*sunglasses and hat (attached on shoulder strap)
*electronics/chargers for both of us (phones charger, kindles/charger, GoPro/charger, camera, SD cards, batteries)

*tennis shoes
*dressy flip flops
*travel size toiletry kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, perfume, lotion, hair brush, hair spray, hair ties, bobby pins, face wash, minimal make up (usually CC cream, blush, mascara, lip gloss, beauty blender))
*workout clothes (capris, socks, sports bra, undies, tank top)
*dinner clothes (maxi dress)
*swim suit & cover up
*sunglasses & visor (attached on shoulder strap)

When it comes to cruises, at least Royal Caribbean, they are pretty good about getting you your luggage. In all the cruises I have been on, none of the luggage for me or anyone in my party has gone missing and we have not met anyone who has had luggage go missing. Like I said before, your luggage my be delayed though. That is why we pack an outfit for dinner. Ladies, think of something that won't wrinkle, or pack some wrinkle release spray in your carry on. I personally will take a black maxi dress in my carry on because it doesn't show wrinkles. Men, roll your pants to prevent wrinkles. If you have pants that are wrinkle resistant, even better. C likes to take a polo that is rolled and as wrinkle resistant as possible. 

If you are taking wine on board, remember it is one 750 ml bottle per person. You will need to put that in your carry on as well. Be sure to pack any valuables/breakables in your carry on. You will be more careful with it than the people transporting your checked bags will be. 

I usually wear either flip flops or my tennis shoes on, it just depends on how much space I have in my carry on. I do pack a dressy pair of sandals to use for dinner, and pack heels in my checked bag. Usually, the 4 pair are all I will need on the cruise. C takes 3 pair, his tennis shoes, a pair of black dress shoes, and his Chacos. That is all he will wear the entire cruise. 

Lastly, be sure to pack a swim suit, sunscreen, glasses and a hat/visor so you are able to enjoy your vacation immediately. If you are those people, kinda like C and I who want the option of working out, then pack work out clothes. 

Do you have any other items that are must haves in your carry on? 

Cruise 101 will be a series based on mine and C's knowledge of cruising with Royal Caribbean to Caribbean ports. We have been to Nassau, Bahamas, Coco Cay, Bahamas (RC's private island), Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas and Phillipsburg, St Maarten. While the information I share is based off cruises with Royal Caribbean, and to these specific ports, most of the information is transferable to different itineraries and cruise lines. Be sure to do check with the cruise line you choose to see how it matches up with the information I am providing. All information given is based on my own experience, and is my own opinion. To See other posts in this series, click here. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Favorite Youtubers : 2015

I'm quite amazed at the world we live in today. There is so much technology. Before, if you wanted to learn something, you took a class, or read a book. Now all you have to do is Google it. I'll do you one better, just Youtube it! You can learn just about anything from Youtube. That is why I am so thankful for Youtube this month. I feel like I just said Youtube 20 times in a row.

I'm one for constantly learning, but I don't always have the time to sit in a class, and I am a visual learner so books just don't really work for me. When I finally discovered Youtube and the greatness that it is, I fell in love. Seriously you guys, you can learn anything.

So today, in honor of Thankful Thursday, I am sharing some of my favorite Youtuber's since I am grateful for all the things I learned from them!

Pretty Neat Living : Lifestyle : I love Jen's channel. It is just a big grouping of lots of stuff including beauty, DIY, organization, favorites, pregnancy, food, and planners! Her channel is a recent find, so I am still working on watching a lot of her videos, but so far, I love it!

Coffee Break With Dani : Beauty : I just love Dani. She was the first Youtuber I subscribed to. In fact, this video is the one that made me subscribe!

Kathleen Lights : Beauty : Kathleen's channel is so much fun to watch. Her snapchats are what had made her one of my favorites though. She gives some pretty great movie/TV show/music recommendations on Snapchat!

The Online Piano and Violin Tutor : Music Tutor : So, C got me a violin for my birthday. Alison's review is the reason he purchased the violin he did. I've been working my way through her 10 video violin lessons. So far, I can play the violin without sounding like a dead cat. When we finally get the piano form my mom, I want to brush up on my piano, so I will be going through her 10 video lessons for piano as well.

Jaclyn Hill : Beauty : I mean, some people love her, some don't. I like her. 

RachhLoves : Beauty/Lifestyle : I think Rachel is hysterical. I feel like we act very similar and have a lot of the same tastes. She also has an additional channel that she shares other parts of her life on that I like as well. It is RachhLovesLife.

MakeupByTiffanyD : Beauty/Style : I like more of her recent videos rather than her older ones. She has some beauty related content, but she has been adding in vlogs, and I like that she usually talks about fashion (clothes, handbags, accessories) as well. I've discovered several things I really like because of her non-beauty related content.

What are you thankful for this month?
Who are your favorite Youtubers? 

From Bisons to Buckeyes: Thankful Thursday Party

Linking up with Charlene for Thankful Thursday! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall Favorites 2015

Fall is here! Fall is here! Fall is here! Bring on the pumpkin spice everything, yoga pants, and Ugg boots! Typical white girl right here! I love all things fall, and that should not come as any kind of surprise. So today, I am here to share my fall favorites!!!!!!! *insert heart eye emoji here* Technically, this is a YouTube tag, but I'm not ready to get in front of a camera just yet, so a blog post will have to do!

Favorite Candle : Autumn from Bath & Body Works because it smells exactly like fall. I mean the name is even Autumn! It is just perfect. I go through at least 2 of these each fall which says a lot because I never can go through a 3 wick candle.

Favorite Lip Color : Brave by Mac. Oh who am I kidding, it has been my favorite since I bought it in July. It is the prefect you lips but better color for me.

Favorite Drink : Decaf Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks any day, or the Salted Carmel Hot Cocoa K-cups from Archer Farms. I quit drinking caffeine about 6 months ago, but I can't deny myself a pumpkin spice latte.

Favorite Blush : Peony by Burberry. I know it is a super light pink, but I'm just not into bold blush colors. I like just a hint of color and a ton of highlight.

Favorite Clothing Item : White tanks. I love to wear a good white tank under just about everything in the fall. I'm all about layering, and honesty here, I wear yoga leggings basically every day in the fall, and those white tanks look great layered with just about everything.

Favorite Movie : Hocus Pocus, probably like everyone else. This movie is just a classic, and I watch it every fall to get into the fall/Halloween spirit.

Favorite TV Show : We gave up cable, so I have no answer.

Favorite Thanksgiving Food : My mom's homemade rolls. No lie, me and C could probably finish off a full 9x13 pan of them. I'd share the recipe but, family secret ya know.

Favorite Halloween Costume : I haven't dressed up in years. I don't even recall what I dressed up as a kid. My favorite thing to wear on Halloween though is yoga leggings, tall Halloween themed socks, and my Halloween pocket tee!

And because that isn't enough fall favorites for me...

Favorite Nail Color : Fortissimo by Chanel because midnight blue is always a winner in my book. Don't get me wrong, I love a good nude, wine color, or even a burnt orange, but something about a dark navy nail color in fall makes me happy. I've had my toes painted this color since August!

Favorite Eye Shadow Palette : Kat Von D Monarch Palette and it speaks for itself.

Favorite Holiday : Thanksgiving because, food.

Favorite Activity : Grilling out because I can be outside while C grills. Summer is just way to hot to grill in my opinion.

Favorite Way to Spend the Evening : Hammocking with a good book, a cozy blanket, and hot chocolate.

Favorite Place to Visit : This is a hard one. Either Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA or Burt's Pumpkin Farm in Dawsonville, GA. Saturday during football season it just meant to be spent in Athens and who doesn't love a great pumpkin farm?? We have been going to Burt's for 6 years now.

Favorite Perfume : Black Opium by YSL. I just love it! It is a sweet smell, but not overly sweet. It just smells warm to me.

Favorite Cologne for C : Spice Bomb by Viktor & Rolf because yummy. At first, I didn't think I liked the smell, but once C actually wore it, I fell in love. It is the prefect man scent for fall!!

And lastly.
Favorite Ugg Boots : Bailey Button in Chesnut for sure! I just picked these up a  few weeks ago, but I can't stop wearing them. They are my very first pair of Ugg boots and I couldn't be more excited about them. The button detail is my favorite!!! 

What are your fall favorites?? 
Let me know in the comments below! I love hearing what other people recommend! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Home Tour : UGA Edition

A few weeks ago, college football season kicked off. In our house, that means it is officially UGA season, and our living room is full of red and black. Today I thought I would share some of our favorite UGA decor!

I love having UGA stuff right as I walk in the door! It really gets me in the football spirit. I'm putting a picture from my first UGA game with C, my in-laws, and I in the frame when I can finally get around to printing it. The zen garden football field I've had for a few years. I think this might be the last year I out it out too. It can be a mess with the sand. 

I love our mantle. I love the tassel garland, though I wish it was on bakers twine instead of actual twine. It can be a pain to put up. The bucket and cup are from last season when we went to a UGA game.

The UGA Coke bottles were a rare find. I just happened to find them at flea market. I was able to get my hands on 4 for $8, but gave 2 away. These are such a fun addition to our UGA collection. The mini helmet is signed by Matthew Stafford and was a gift to C last Christmas.

The wreath I had made by a friend of mine. Since taking pictures, I have changed to a different handmade wreath. Check Etsy for similar wreaths.

I try to keep all my UGA decor in just our living room. We decorate in the first few days of September for UGA season, and we leave everything up throughout the month of September until it is time for Halloween decorations in October. Below is a list of where you can find some of these pieces.

Picture Frame & Door Mat : Hobby Lobby 2015 // Zen Football Field : Now and Zen4You 
Tassel Garland : Project Paper // Wooden Signs : Appalachian Primitive

Do you decorate for football season? 
Who is your team? 

Monday, September 21, 2015

M+R Goals : September 2015

Last month, my goal was to celebrate C since August is his birthday month. I feel like I celebrated him quite a bit, but I wish I would have done more. I could have celebrated his birthday all day every day in August, and I still would feel as if it wasn't enough though. All in all, I feel like he had a great birthday month!

For September, I decided that my goal for the month is to laugh as much as possible with C. Often times we can get so caught up in the daily struggles that we forget to laugh. I know that has happened to me recently. With so much going on in our life, like work, family, our precious pup, and vacation looming over our heads, I have found myself going to bed at night without laughing once. I'm a firm believer that laughter is the best medicine so I love to laugh. It always puts me in a much better mood. Laughter is such a great stress reliever. My hope is that by making laughter a priority this month, that all the stress C and I have been under slowly disappears.

Do you make a point to laugh every day? 

 Marriage & Relationship Goals

Friday, September 11, 2015

Cruise 101 : Uncommon or Forgotten Packing List

I love this series! It is no secret that cruises are my favorite way to vacation, and doing this series really helps me get in the mood for my upcoming cruise! Often times when I was just starting to cruise, I would find myself searching for uncommon or unique items to pack to make my cruise easier. Also, each and every cruise, me or someone I was traveling with forgot something important. So when coming up with this series, I thought it would be a great idea to put all the uncommon, unique, and often forgotten items all on one list. Now, I am not saying that you need to pack every item on this list; I am just suggesting you look over this list, and decide what you think would help make your cruise better!   

* Travel alarm clock : To make sure you wake up on time for that excursion you booked (or when getting off the ship the last day), or to get a prime pool lounge chair. It also helps when you need to know what time it is but don't want to turn on the TV or try to find a watch since there aren't clocks in the staterooms. Plus no cord to take up cherished outlet space!

* Pop up hamper and fabric softener sheets : To keep all your dirty clothes in one place and smelling fresh! Bonus is it doesn't take up much space!

* Over the door shoe organizer : To keep all your toiletries organized and contained! Bathroom space is VERY limited on cruise ships, so this saves you lots of space. *On Freedom of the Seas, our balcony room had no need for this. There is plenty of storage space.*

* Wire hangers : Because there are never enough hangers. Ever.

* Highlighters/pens : To highlight things you want to do when you get your Cruise Compass. I suggest 2 colors, one for each person. And pens to fill out customs forms, extra gratuity envelopes, etc.

* Post-it notes : To leave notes for your stateroom attendant, or your cruise companion.

* Magnets : To hang up your cruise compass, or appointment cards (for the spa!!) so you don't forget. The walls are magnetic so you can use them to hang up papers anywhere.

* Suction cup hooks : To hang up wet swimsuits. Sometimes there is a string in the shower to use, or a hook or two on the bathroom door, but I prefer these to hand my swim suits in the stateroom so they dry quicker.

* Sunscreen/Unburn : Obviously. Favorites are : SolScents, Spray, Unburn

* Extra batteries for camera or charger : Often forgotten!! Don't miss out on photo opportunities because your camera dies!

* Extra SD cards : So much lighter than carrying a laptop to transfer pictures/videos

* Cross body purse : Great for port shopping. It keeps your hands free, and is great for keeping your purse close to you so you can keep an eye on it!

* Fresheners : Could be a room spray, scent pack or scent circle! I love a good tropical smell! *use a magnet to hold up a circle in the bathroom*

* Surge protector : So you can charge your camera, phone, tablet, and blow dry your hair at the same time! I want to try this one or this one.

* Wrinkle Release spray : You can't take an iron, so this helps get any wrinkles out of your clothes from traveling.

* Lysol wipes : Royal Caribbean is great about encouraging everyone to use hand sanitizer all the time. You can find hand sanitiser everywhere, but I like to wipe down the surfaces in the room at least once a day as a precaution.

* Clothes pins : To attach your towel to the lounge chair, or to hold your swimsuit on your balcony chair to dry quickly, but be sure you are out there when you do this!

* Dry Erase markers : For leaving messages on mirrors, great if you don't want to use post-it notes.

* Hand Sanitizer : Great for use in port.

* Extra bags : For all those souvenirs you buy, or for when you can't get your luggage packed just right.

* Ziploc bags : To help keep liquid items from spilling in your luggage and great for damp or wet clothes when traveling home.

Duct tape : Don't bring a whole roll, just a few strips, because life sometimes happens and you need duct tape.

Tervis or Yeti cup : To ensure you always have a cold beverage anywhere on the ship. Not necessary if you get the Coke package on RCI.

* Battery operated tea light candles : Because the rooms are dark and the bathroom light is harsh. Keep one on the night stand in case you need to get up in the middle of the night.

* Small First Aid kit : Because the doctor is expensive on board, and so is stuff like Advil, Band Aids, etc.

* Sweater Sorter : To help organize your small closet even better (store things like belts, socks, clutches, etc in here). Bonus, they don't take up that much room.

Let me know if you use any of these tips by sharing a photo on social media and use #ChattyCaitCruise101.

Cruise 101 will be a series based on mine and C's knowledge of cruising with Royal Caribbean to Caribbean ports. We have been to Nassau, Bahamas, Coco Cay, Bahamas (RC's private island), Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas and Phillipsburg, St Maarten. While the information I share is based off cruises with Royal Caribbean, and to these specific ports, most of the information is transferable to different itineraries and cruise lines. Be sure to do check with the cruise line you choose to see how it matches up with the information I am providing. All information given is based on my own experience, and is my own opinion. To See other posts in this series, click here. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

[Gift Idea] Push Pin Travel Map

I can't believe how fast this year is going by! C celebrated his birthday last month, and Let me be completely honest with you guys, I had no idea what to get him. He has had a hobby in just about everything. We have tons of supplies for lots of different hobbies. He has been through painting, craft beer, cigars, Crossfit, sailing, and rock climbing just to name a few. So when I say that C had basically everything he wanted, I wasn't kidding. I feel strongly about supporting all his crazy hobbies, and so that means when a new one comes around, he gets all he needs to start it. You can imagine how this is a problem around Christmas and his birthday.

Enter Push Pin Travel Maps. I had been looking at making something similar because C traveled a lot during his childhood and teenage years. I wanted him to have a way to remember all the places he had been. When I looking into making it, I got overwhelmed and went on to search to see if someone had done it already. 

Each map includes some shorter push pins in black, red and white. C & I decided to color code the push pins. Black are for the places we have lived, red is for where he has visited, and white is where we have visited together.

I also went with the name plate. I love the look of it and I love the little touch of personalization. To me it adds a little extra touch to make a gift like this extra special! 

C hung ours buy our front door in the living room. It is the perfect place for it because not only is it great decor piece, it is a great conversation starter. Most importantly, it reminds C and I daily that we want to travel more than we are now.

I hope this helps you if you are looking for a gift for that hard to buy person. And when you sign up for their newsletter, you can get $10 off a purchase of at least $100!

What do you think of the Push Pin Travel Maps?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

IPSY : August 2015

It is that time again! That is right, it is Ipsy time! August was weird month for me, and getting some happy mail, like my Ipsy bag was just what the doctor ordered! For those of you who don't know, Ipsy is a $10/month subscription service where you receive a bag filled with 4-5 deluxe or full size items based on your profile. This is my 5th Ipsy bag. Here is what I got in the August bag!

Jesse's Girl Eye Shadow Primer : $5.99

Ofra Cosmetics Lip Liner in Wine : $13.00

Doucce Ultra Precision Eyeliner in Black : $22.00 

Hikari Cosmetics Lip Gloss in Salsa : $13.00

Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco Oil Treatment : $13.83 for 1.69 oz

And as always, a few swatches.

August 2015 : Prep School
Worth : $59.99
Worth includes only $6 for Marc Anthony product
Rating : ***-- (3 our of 5 stars)

All in all, it was a decent bag. I wasn't a huge fan of the plastic feel of the bag itself, but it makes it easy to clean if something gets on it. I was not a fan of the eye shadow primer, but then again, I'm not really a fan of that kind of product anyway. The only think that I really loved in this bag is the eye liner. I don't use oil on my hair, so I will be passing that along to someone else. The lip liner is a little too brown for my taste, but I can still get some use out of it, and the lip gloss is a little outside my comfort zone. 

Do you subscribe to Ipsy or any other subscription boxes? 
What did you get this month?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

August 2015 Beauty Favorites

August has come and gone meaning we are in football Georgia Bulldogs season! I bought a lot of stuff in August. I don't know why I bought so much, but I did. And when I buy a bunch of stuff, I spend a lot of time trying it out. The things I got really sparked a larger desire to actually do my make up, so I sat down in my beauty room more than usual last month. This also means I have a lot more favorites than usual! Here is what I was LOVING!

Kenra Professional Platinum Blow-Dry Spray : A friend had told me about this a few years ago, and I stumbled upon it again in Ulta. I'm so glad I did because I love this stuff. Every time I dry my hair, I use this stuff! It cuts my drying time in half.

Dior Lip Maximizer in Pink 001 : When you have a specific product that you gravitate towards every single time you walk into Sephora, you just kinda know you need to get your own. So that is what I did. I picked this pretty little thing up and haven't put it down yet! I like mint, so this is perfect for me.

Mac Satin Lipstick in Brave : My very first Mac lipstick! I have not stopped using this. I actually bought this in July, but didn't get around to really using it until August. It is a favorite for sure. It is my go to lipstick. Plus I love the vanilla scent!

Fresh SugarLip Treatment in Rose : I got a small sample kit that had just the non-colored version of this and fell in love. When I went to get a full size of that one, I noticed that there were tinted options, so I went with Rose because it was close to my lip color. You can almost always fine this in my purse!

Chanel Soft Touch Eyeshadow in Fauve : I kept checking my Chanel counter for their new fall nail polishes, and every time I would eye this gem. I didn't want to pay that price for just 1 eye shadow, but I honestly feel like it was screaming "Cait!" It is the perfect color for me. If I had to pick one eye shadow to wear for the rest of my life, this is it.

Tony Moly Bbo Bbo Lip Balm in Honey : At first, I hated this because I felt like I had to use a ton each time I wanted some, but after a few uses, I fell in love. The packaging is adorable, and I love the smell! I keep this by my bed and use it every night and morning.

It Cosmetics CC+ in Light  : I don't know what took me so long to try this. I picked it up on a whim hoping that it would work out. I never imagined that I would love it so much. I found myself reaching for it over everything else. The SPF is a huge bonus for me too.

Two Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Chocolate : This was in the sample kit I got. I thought this might be a little too dark for my taste, but I love it. I will be buying the full size when I run out!

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Rose Gold : Ah yes, my purchase by mistake. I went in to pick up Amethyst and couldn't find it so I picked up this one. Then I looked again and found Amethyst and forgot to put this one back. When I got home, I tried it and fell in love! I use this all the time! I often find myself using this when I'm in a rush but want a little color on my eyes.

I told you there was a bunch!! And now we are getting into fall, and I am getting a little more adventurous with my make up. Who know what September will hold!!!

What did you love in August?
Have you tried any of my favorites?


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