2017 Favorite Things

My favorite post every year! Enjoy the spectacular items mentioned below for yourself, sister, mother, girlfriend, wife or BFF! As always I only recommend things I absolutely love and have purchased with my own coins! Prices range from $12 to $400+. (See also 2016, 2015, 20142013)

Bath & Body: All things L’Occitane! I am IN LOVE with this company and on my next international trip I will be making a serious extra effort to visit one their SPA’s. I personally use two of their scents: Shea Butter Body and Hand Cream – I keep one in my car, at work, in my handbag and on my nightstand. I also use the Almond line: Shower oil, Supple skin oil and Milk Concentrate. LOVE!!! LOVE!!! LOVE!!! 😍

Accessories: I found a couple of wonderful scarves (Gucci, Banana Republic), a black card holder (Saint Laurent), a black Apple watch band (Casetify) and a gold sparkly pen (Swarovoski).

Skincare and Makeup: These two categories deserve a post all by themselves (stay tuned…) because I WENT IT! For the purpose of this post – gift ideas- I will just mention a fancy compact mirror (Chanel), lipstick (Saint Laurent) and Lila Eyeshadow Palette (Natasha Denona).

Are you still with me? Good! Because this is year FIVE (5) of Bri’s favorite things I am going to do a giveaway!!! The gift will be a Shea Butter hand cream – my absolute favorite!!! To enter, send me an email and tell me your favorite item from this year’s FAVORITE THINGS. The winner will be notified via email on Christmas Day! Good luck!!!!

Small Things (tech, fashion, beauty, accessories and more!)

I am not a fan of large things: from pieces of meat (i.e. steak) to handbags to jewelry, large (desktop) computers, bottles of lotion, you name it. Yes, I know that in most some cases you get a better “value” by purchasing things in the larger size or in bulk as we like to call it – I just tend to not do that. Particularly when it comes to beauty, my Small Things approach allows me to “cycle trough” products faster and try new things more frequently (fun!) without becoming a hoarder! When you purchase the big/value size you are locked in for what feels like forever!!!! 😩 The smaller version also makes for easier travel – you don’t have to spend time figuring out “what fits” in this bag or what fits in that bag, you can just take everything! One other factor that has recently become a bigger influence in my purchasing decision is packaging. For example, beauty products with no pump, spray or that doesn’t come in a tube? Count me out!

This post features a few of my favorite Small Things in tech, fashion, beauty, accessories and more! Some items I own and a few are on my *wish list. Most are also great ideas for Mother’s Day. 🌸 Enjoy!

 

Compact mirror – Yes, darling! A super cute item to splurge on. Keep it in your purse or give it as a gift!

 

 

 

 

 

Key pouch – This is my wallet… really! Why carry around 10 or 20 cards everyday?? On a typical day I only need 3 cards (ID, credit card, insurance card) and they all fit comfortably in this pouch with room to spare. Hook this to my keys and I’m out the door! Need to add cash? Also no problem. (I do own one regular-size wallet but I rarely use it!) #downsize

 

 

 

 

 

Hand cream and hand sanitizer in the smallest sizes available. OK, this one is really a twofer; but, they go hand in hand (get it? ha!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TSA Approved Quart Size Bag. Great for short weekend trips home or take it with you to the beach!

 

 

 

 

 

Bluetooth Speaker – Compact,  cute and the sound is good enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyday Handbag: LOVE! Do I have larger handbags? Yes (a couple)! BUT if I’m not traveling or going to work this beauty will likely be at my side.

 

 

 

 

*Jewelry case. How much jewelry do you own? (I’ll wait…….) How many pieces do you consider to be staples, meaning pieces you wear regularly…. 🤔 For me, it’s 2-3 rings, a couple of bracelets, 2 pairs of earring studs (pearl, *diamond) and 1-2 necklaces, that’s it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laptop – Small, portable, gorgeous! Get rid of your dinosaur and DOWNSIZE!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Moisturizing cream (night time only) – This is 1 of 2 of my pot-type exceptions for packaging; but, I do always buy the 0.5 ounce size for maximum freshness. This is one of very few exceptions for me when it comes to packaging, thanks to these mini disposable spatulas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch box. The perfect size, easy to clean and also includes a fork, knife and spoon. Plus it looks cooler than the typical tupperware 😬

#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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DoD + Silicon Valley > ISIL

  • DoD: Department of Defense
  • Silicon Valley: Tech industry leaders, mostly located in California
  • >: Greater than
  • ISIL: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, jihadist militant group

Now you can understand the title of this post, DoD + Silicon Valley > ISIL? Meaning can a partnership between the tech world and the US government be the key to fighting terrorism? That’s exactly what the Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, suggested this week (watch below).

It really is a crazy time in tech and I can’t imagine how the US government can expect this campaign to be successful, without the likes of Apple, who by the way is currently in a fight with the FBI for REFUSING to unlock an iPhone of one of the SanBernardino shooters. Don’t think this is at all inconsequential. As I told you before, it would be EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to see what side the other tech companies took in this battle. Facebook, Google, Verizon, MicrosoftAmazon and others ALL support Apple’s position.

U.S. Secretary of Defense on Apple encryption: ‘I’m not a believer in backdoors’

So how can the government on one hand, ask tech to help fight terrorism one way, while at the same time asking these companies to completely ignore the privacy of millions of Americans also in the name of fighting terrorism. Sorry; but, that is not going to fly, so saith and judge in New York.

US cannot make Apple provide iPhone data in drug case, NY judge says

Apple Gets Tech Industry Backing in iPhone Dispute, Despite Misgivings

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Apple vs. FBI

The FBI ordered Apple to create a “backdoor” so it can break into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5c. Apple basically said no, challenging the FBI on encryption.

Official_Apple_Logo_2013_Pictures_5_HD_WallpapersSurely Apple saw this coming which is why CEO Tim Cooke started his appeal months ago. I’m 100% convinced that if we were not living in a post-Snowden world, Apple would have never had the “balls” (pardon my language) to stand up to the FBI. Apple must think it has the support of the American people; however, most in the tech community would support its position. The average Joe? We can’t be so sure so an uphill battle is almost a given. This case could make its way all the way to the Supreme Court... oh, wait, we only have 8. So in a tie breaker, the ruling of the lower court stands <== important point here

Supreme Court: What happens in case of a tie? The high court’s ruling is rendered almost meaningless; it leaves the most recent decision intact, usually from a federal appeals court or a top state court. There is no new, national precedent created by the nation’s highest court. USA Today

fbi-sealThe FBI’s case was brought forth in the STATE of CALIFORNIA. Recently, a lawmaker introduced a law that would ban encryption on ALL phones in the state starting in 2017. In essence he wants all phones to be, “capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.” There’s also a similar bill in New York.

It remains to be seen where other tech giants like Microsoft, Samsung and Google will land in this debate. You better believe if Apple is FORCED to do this,  other cell phone manufactures will be on the hook as well. If they all side with Apple, #GameOn. Either way, it’s an interesting dialogue to have!  Regardless of your position on this issue, pay attention people! (I just turned notifications on for Eric Snowden on Twitter… can’t wait to hear what he as to say).

***BTW, do you know how much money do we spend on the FBI each year?? Wikipedia said the number was $8.3 billion in 2014 (2 years ago). If breaking into an iPhone is the only “chance” we have to catch a terrorist network/cell, we may already be doomed.

Watch a preview of Tim Cooke’s 60-minute interview from December 2015 here:

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View the statement issued by Apple last night (click the image to read more)

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