Long Commutes

During the month of July I expect to have long commutes one day a week. Of course my OCD-like behavior (as well the well-known dreadful Atlanta traffic  conditions) has me researching how to best maximize my travel time to/from work. There are lots of services available out there that seek to capture and keep your attention, so how do you pick which services/features to pay attention to? How do you know where to start? Keep reading below for my recommendations!

Since the obvious goal during a long to commute is to get home as quickly and safely as possible, we MUST start with a travel app. There are many available including Google Maps, Apple Maps, Mapquest (yes… that still exists 😳) and Waze. I’ll just jump ahead and tell you right now that Waze wins and will be at the center of my long commutes. Not because it’s such a great app (it is! users report crashes, cop sightings, slowdowns, etc.); but, more so because Waze plays nice with others.

Let me explain. Yes, I will be commuting; but, I also want to do other things to help the time go by faster and ease the pain. I want to do things like listen to music, audiobooks or podcasts. When I say Waze plays nice with others I mean it seamlessly integrates with other apps or services. For music, it’s Spotify. For Podcasts, Stitcher and for books, Audiobooks. These tight integrations or hook ins allow you to select songs/playlists/books right from within the Waze app itself. There’s no need to leave the Waze app itself to start listening to another service.

(By the way, this post is a great synopsis of what I do for a living… software and process integration. I spend my days focusing on optimizing user experience for the software we use to run our business for things like taking orders, billing customers, etc. and automating those processes. I identify opportunities for integration/automation, lead projects to implement them and also streamline (or lean) complex processes to make them simpler #techie 💁🏽‍♀️)

WHAT IS LEAN SIX SIGMA

Now, you may prefer Apple Music over Spotify; but, for me the days of tech giants producing great isolated products/services are over. Partnerships (or tightly integrating with others) will always prevail and Apple is not so good at that part yet. Waze, on the other hand, makes integrating easy. Because Waze will be at the center of my long commutes and I value integration, I choose the following:

Now, don’t get me wrong. All of these services are great and honestly, any one in isolation will do the trick; but, if you want MORE, go with services that tightly integrate with other services/features you also value. Your life will be easier because of it!

5 reasons you’ll use Waze over Google Maps


 

#PackWithMe

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Most bloggers share this kind of information on YouTube. I’ve watched many videos and I’m completely #over watching people take things in and out of bags. 😕

Over the past five (5) years I’ve taken at least fifteen (15) international trips and have had many more domestic excursions. Over time I have PERFECTED MY TRAVEL TECHNIQUE. It’s actually a fun experience for me! So I thought I would share all the fabulous items I take with me on trips (or on holiday as our European friends would say 😘). Before we start, let’s get one thing out of the way: I NEVER CHECK BAGS no matter where I’m going or for how long. I’ve made a carry-on suitcase and a tote/backpack work for two-week trips to Europe so I know you can do it for a weekend getaway or even a week-long trip (with a little a lot of planning).

Travel mantra: Organize! Everything has a place and every place has a thing.

img_0417This is my PERSONAL ITEM (something that will fit underneath the seat). I am currently using the Henri Bendel Jetsetter Backpack. I absolutely ❤️ it and it holds SO MUCH! How much? Everything you see in the picture above! (click the image to zoom in)

gold macbook, gucci zip around wallet, rayban aviator sunglasses, sessa vee pen, marshall headphones, l’occitane hand cream, iPad mini case, louis vuitton pouch, treat yourself pouch & earbud holder (sold out).

from target: gold glitter journal, emergen-c, colgate wisp, glide

in the small black quilted steph & co makeup case: gucci lipgloss, tom ford lips & boys lip color, crem de la mer, dior lip glow, anastasia beverly hills lipgloss, tweezerman tweezer, tom ford perfume

_13475545img_0441Now, let’s move on to the SUITCASE, also known as the meat & potatoes of travel. I use Bric’s Belagio 21″ Roller.

On one side I pack all of my clothes. Mostly solid/plain pieces that I can mix and match. For every 1 pair of pants I will take 2 shirts (remember to count the bottoms you are wearing!) The trip I’m currently packing for is only 3 days (Saturday – Monday) so I packed 1 additional pair of pants besides the jeans I wore on the plane, 2 shirts and 1 jean shirt. See below for the 3 outfits I made from this combination. (see also Meaningful Holidays)

Side 1 of my suitcase was pretty easy. Side 2? Not so much! 😩 This is where my mantra REALLY comes into play (O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E❗️). Take a look at side 2 below. This is where I pack everything else:

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Looks nice and neat right? That’s because it is! ORGANIZE. ORGANIZE. ORGANIZE! On the left hand side:

On the right hand side is:

  • Get ready for this super travel tip: my Gucci Soho Disco Handbag serves as storage for all of my underwear, socks, comb, hair bonnet and my prescription glasses! (GREAT way to help the bag keep it’s shape while on the go!)
  • The Anya Hindmarch In Flight Case has all of my liquids: makeup, skin care, etc. ❤️❤️❤️ this bag and the contents EVEN MORE! This case has two sides: Take Off (deepest) and Touch Down (more shallow). I ALWAYS buy smaller sizes of the products I use everyday to take with me. #justsayno to those clear plastic containers that can all contain what can appear to be  mystery liquid. #nobueno 👎🏽 I absolutely love all of my things and I want to see them in as close to their original form as possible!!! 😍
  • Finally, I have a Tory Burch umbrella (no longer available ☹️).
  • Did you notice there’s no jewelry mentioned? That’s because I don’t wear much. I usually take 1-2 bracelets and it’s on me at all times: a dainty necklace, my pandora thumb ring, michael kors watch, some form of  studs for earrings and my wedding ring – that’s it!

take off side (deepest): first aid ultra repair cream, amazing grace (travel size at ulta), purity made simple (1 oz at ulta), clinique take the day off, lancome eye makeup remover, SK-II facial treatment essence (night only), SK-II facial treatment clear lotion (daytime only, great for oil control), makeup forever matte primer, urban decay b6 spray, l’occitane almond shower oil (travel size at sephora)

touch down side (shallow): toms deodorant, la mer lip balm, dior nail polish, toms toothpaste, jo malone fragrance, la mer hand cream (night only), crem de la mer moisturizing cream (night only)

Whew!!! That was fun! ☺️ And I still had enough space left to pack Christmas gifts for the kiddos! 🎁🎄 Happy packing!!!

 

see also #pampermesunday and #favoritethings2016

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Social Bucket List

“Most people only travel a few times a year 😞, but we talk 👭 and read 📚 and dream 💤 about it all the time 🙋🏽. We realized that every dinner, 🍝 Instagram feed 📷 and glossy mag 📰 is full of inspiration💡, but it all tends to be lost 👀 in space 🚀 when we finally stand there at the airport. ✈️”

 

anVcaaK8Soo very true! Now there’s an app, Soon, that helps you keep track of all the cool places you want see or things you want to try or do! Think of it as your personal social bucket list, stored right on your phone (iOS only). You can add books, movies, restaurants and more!

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Learn more by watching Soon in action below. Happy Sooning (?) !

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quote mashable, picture and video techcrunch

Hyatt Unbound

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 6.14.31 PMThe Hyatt hotel is branching out and launching a new category of hotels, The Unbound Collection, described as:

  • new and existing upper-upscale and luxury properties
  • historic urban gems, contemporary trend-setters, boutique hotels, resorts, and more

The video release is also super cute with the theme, “The Freedom to be Extraordinary“. I love this. Why? Because, as someone once told me, I like to stay in fancy hotels just as much as I love to travel #truestory You may wonder why I care, given that I’m 100% a super Marriott fan. It’s because after participating in a status match program, I’m also a Platinum member at Hyatt #winning Oh and while we’re on the travel subject, today many major airlines announced non-stop flights to Cuba! I would love to add that destination to my list of conquests! Happy traveling!

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