An Insider’s Guide to Using the Opoli App

There are several ride-sharing apps out there in the marketplace. You know the ones, they rhyme with “rift” & “tuber.” 😉 However what sets Opoli apart is that this app lets the customer & provider do business one-to-one in real time. Once the connection is made, then Opoli lets you do your thing! Plus, all Opoli drivers are commercially licensed AND insured professional providers. Thus making Opoli rides a safer & better alternative.

(Photo credit: Opoli. Photo used with permission.)
(Photo credit: Opoli. Photo used with permission.)

I had the pleasure of using the Opoli app & scheduling a pick-up so that I could be driven to a part of LA that is known for traffic. I’m talking West Hollywood folks! Getting to WeHo from the SFV is no easy task at times. There is a fitness studio in WeHo that offers a cross between boot camp & CrossFit that I had been dying to try! So naturally I thought, if I am going to be super tired (i.e. legs are dead) afterwards, wouldn’t it be nice to be driven home in style like a rock star?

Using the app is easy. I had it downloaded to an iPhone (hubby’s) & also to my iPod Touch. Note that it’s always best to use it on the iPhone because it works better on that particular Apple platform.

(Photo credit: Opoli. Photo used with permission.)
(Photo credit: Opoli. Photo used with permission.)

First you type in a date & time, plus the address that you want to be picked-up & dropped off at. Then you simply wait for the Opoli App to search for available drivers. Once you get the list, you can read their bio & car description. If you don’t like the price that is listed, you can counter & negotiate. You have the power to make reservations, select your driver, the price & the best part – the car! They have limos, Teslas, town cars, SUVs, etc. What does the driver get out of it? The freedom to collect the whole fare & not pay a commission.
I chose a town car for my experience. The driver was polite & had texted me 15 minutes ahead of time, letting me know that he was outside my home & parked at the curb. Since I was finishing up a blog post, I told him that I would be step outside at the prearranged time. When I was ready, I walked to the town car & he opened my door & offered me a bottled water for the ride into West Hollywood. It was so nice to be able to relax during the drive, check out Twitter & answer work emails during the 45-minute to an hour one-way commute.

Here’s a photo of me kicking back & relaxing in the car. Yes, I have pink workout shoes. 🙂

Opoli_KickingBackInSeat

I arrived at Sweat Garage in style, completely relaxed & read to workout! (Note: a blog post recapping my experience at Sweat Garage will be posted next week.)

I had already made reservations for a return trip to my home with the same driver. Thank goodness I did because I was dead-tired after that awesome workout! Let me just say that having someone drive you home after an intense workout was great. I nibbled on this yummy cheese broccoli quiche while my driver dealt with the LA traffic. Yay!

Opoli_Snack

Getting driven somewhere is fun times, let me tell you! Doesn’t this sound like a great thing to try for your big night on the town – date night, movie premiere, prom, wedding, etc? Well guess what, you are in luck! I am giving away promo codes to 20 of my followers who are first time riders. These have a $50 value & expires on December 31st, so you have time folks to take advantage of this sweet ride! To enter, please check out my Facebook page for details!

Also Opoli just launched a #FreeRideFriday sweeps for new riders on their Facebook page. You can enter that contest here (after you enter mine first – lol!): https://www.facebook.com/opoliapp/app_143103275748075

Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I received promo codes for a giveaway & was provided credit for transportation to use at my leisure. All images are mine unless otherwise noted. My opinions (as always) are 100% my own.

Opoli is providing $50 promo codes for readers who will be selected via the Real Mom of SFV Facebook contest. Winners will be contacted by me via email. Giveaway ends July 31, 2014 at 12 noon PST. Please note this giveaway is open only to residents of Los Angeles County.

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Pure Barre – Fitness Studio Review

As you can probably tell, I am addicted to group fitness classes. While I enjoy doing my usual cycle class or TRX class at my local YMCA, sometimes you just have to change up your routine. So a few weeks ago, I decided to try out Pure Barre in Woodland Hills. Mind you, this was the first class that I took after being back from a 2 week vacation to Utah & Arizona. So I was a little apprehensive about taking it.

PureBarre_StudioLogo

The class was taught by Gigi & she really helped me with getting the right technique & positioning of my body. Pure Barre workouts focus on lifting your butt, toning your thighs & burning fat. It is a total body workout that fuses elements of ballet, Pilates & strength training. In this particular class with Gigi, we used these rubber tubes as part of our leg workout.

PureBarre_rubbertubes

After the first class, I did feel invigorated & energized – this was quite an intense class to take after being gone for 2 weeks. Since I didn’t know the moves or understand the technique (I had taken a barre-type fitness class before, but no two barre studios are alike), I felt like I should take a second class to get a better feel for how the Pure Barre method works.

This second class was taught by Rachel. It went a little smoother for me since I kind of understood the idea of tucking your body in a certain way, being laser-focused on a certain part of your body (core, outer thigh, etc.) & making small movements. In this class, we utilized the rubber tube, a small rubber ball & light hand weights.

PureBarre_rubberball

How did I feel afterwards? I felt like I got a nice workout. The difference between this type of workout & something like a “boot camp” type class is that those classes are all about getting sweaty, doing a lot of cardio as well as strength training & getting your heart rate up. Pure Barre is totally different. I think if you go into it with an open mind, willingness to learn & the patience to focus on toning & mindful positioning – then you will do well.

The Pure Barre studio in Woodland Hills is spacious & clean. In the front lobby, you can buy merchandise with the Pure Barre logo on it. There is an area in the back where they honor the members who reach their 100th class milestone. You get to sign the studio’s ballet barre & you are part of the 100 Club. The studio manager & owners do a nice job of keeping the community spirit engaged among their members through social media & also via in-store/off-site promotions with Lyfe Kitchen, which is located in Tarzana.

PureBarre_100Club

For more information on Pure Barre Woodland Hills, check out their website, follow them on Facebook &/or connect with them on Instagram!

PureBarre_socialmedia

Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I participated in two fitness classes via ClassPass. All images are mine & my opinions (as always) are 100% my own.

Meet Debbie Adler of Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats

As a mom of an 8 year old daughter with a sweet tooth, I am always on the hunt for healthier options for dessert. I also have friends who have gluten sensitivities or happen to have allergies to dairy, soy &/or peanuts. That’s why when I came across Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats: Allergy-Free & Vegan Recipes, I thought “whoo hoo!” finally a dessert book that can address those issues.

SweetDebbies_BookCover

This book is filled with great recipes for those who want to cook healthy sweet treats, who suffer from peanut allergies or live a gluten-free & vegan lifestyle! Debbie has come up with some yummy, tried & true recipes that have been honed in her kitchen & bakeshop – Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes. You can buy her baked goods (cupcakes, cookies, brownies, muffins, etc.) online or bake them yourself by purchasing her cookbook! I love that her company is based in the San Fernando Valley!

There is one dessert flavor that I absolutely love & that is red velvet. I’ll eat it as a cake, cupcake, cake pop, you name it! Fortunately for me, Debbie has a red velvet cupcake recipe in her book & it is also sold online at her cupcake shop!

(Photo credit: Carl Kravats. Photo used with permission)
(Photo credit: Carl Kravats. Photo used with permission)

What I really like about this dessert cookbook is that it has exotic flavors that you might not find in a traditional cookbook. Check out this recipe for Saffron & Cardamom Donut Holes!

SweetDebbies_Cardamom

There is also a recipe for Basil Lemonade Cookies! It sounds delish!

SweetDebbies_BasilLemonade

As I had mentioned before, Debbie Adler’s bakery is based in the San Fernando Valley. I am SO excited to introduce to my readers a new feature on the blog! At least once a month (or perhaps more depending on scheduling), I will feature a “Real Mom of the SFV” – someone who lives in the San Fernando Valley community, is a mother & a businesswoman.

I am so pleased to introduce to you Debbie Adler of Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes!

(Photo credit: Debbie Adler. Photo used with permission.)
(Photo credit: Debbie Adler. Photo used with permission.)

How/why did you begin your business?
Debbie: I began my bakery business in 2006 because I was hungry. I was hungry for something that didn’t exist at the time – organic, sugar-free cupcakes. I didn’t think I would be the person to pioneer something like this since I wasn’t a baker per se, but like I said, I was hungry. And when you’re hungry you become very determined. After I developed my recipes, which took many months, I opened up my bakery and it turns out a lot of other people were hungry for the same thing, too! When my son was born a few years later, I found out he had severe and life threatening food allergies to dairy, eggs, nuts and seeds. In 2010, I revamped my recipes, moved my bakery and it became vegan, gluten-free, allergy-free and as always, organic and sugar-free.

As a working mother, what is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to other female entrepreneurs?
Debbie: I remained flexible with my schedule from the very beginning when my son was born, so that I could breastfeed him and enjoy as many milestones as possible. So one tip of advice would be to have someone or someones that you could count on to help you execute your business so that you’re not doing absolutely every little thing. In other words – delegate!

What do you like best about having a business in the San Fernando Valley?
Debbie: The Valley is becoming the mecca for small business, especially in the food arena, and I love that people in the San Fernando Valley “get it”. And what I mean by that is, they understand the value of something that is different, more healthful, and of premium quality. They’re not afraid of ingredients that maybe they’re not familiar with, but are willing to try and learn about.

If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
Debbie: I wish I knew how to expand more quickly because I had to turn down some business at the beginning due to capacity constraints.

Check out Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes Facebook page & follow her on Twitter for new updates!

Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I received a complimentary cookbook which helped facilitate this review. All images are mine unless otherwise noted. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.

Free Children’s Performances at The Madrid Theatre

The Madrid Theatre in Canoga Park hosts a Monday Morning Performance Series for children during the summer. It occurs every Monday morning at 10am. The performance is recommended for children 6 to 9 years old. On the day that my daughter & I attended, I noticed that there was a big group of summer camp children with their group leaders, as well as mothers with their kids.

(Photo credit: The Madrid Theatre)
(Photo credit: The Madrid Theatre)

The concert that we saw on this particular day, July 7th, featured the Teenage Drama Workshop (TADW) from Cal State Northridge. This one hour concert was a little preview of the TADW’s Beauty and the Beast and Cirque des Pirates. The songs were lovely & the acting was entertaining. At one point they even brought kids from the audience up on stage to interact with the performers.

MadridTheatre_Stage

My daughter, as well as the rest of the kids in the audience, was thoroughly entertained. After the concert, the cast members were happy to pose for photos! My daughter was being camera shy that day, so unfortunately I don’t have a photo of her with the cast.

MadridTheatre_Performers

I meet with Doug Kaback, who is the Executive Director of TADW.  He is also the professor of theatre in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communications at CSUN. He explained that the productions that Teenage Drama Workshop (TADW) puts on at Cal State Northridge are geared for young audiences. There is a limited run for both Cirque des Pirates & Disney’s Beauty and the Beast during the month of July.

If you’d like more information about the Teenage Drama Workshop (TADW), including dates & times for their two plays (as well as pricing), then check out their website here.

For info on Madrid Theatre in Canoga Park, including instructions on how to obtain free tickets for their Monday Morning Children’s Performances, click on over to their website.

Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I attended a free community event. All images are mine unless otherwise noted. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.

Daddy’s Beach Kit – Summer Item from Daddy & Co.™

Like many Americans, during the 4th of July weekend, I headed to the beach. On that Sunday, I took my daughter to our favorite beach in Santa Monica to escape the San Fernando Valley heat. We had a lot of fun & although my husband had to work, I know that he will definitely be able to attend our next beach outing. When we do go on our next trip, we will be bringing this fun beach kit with us!

DaddyAndCo_Kit

The Daddy & Co.™ Beach Kit is perfect for any family who loves to be outdoors. It’s great for your next boating excursion, trip to the lake or even hanging out at the local park.

Each Daddy & Co.™ Beach Kit contains:

  • Beach Ball
  • Koozie
  • Frisbee
  • Sunglasses
  • Mesh Beach Bag
  • “I’m The Daddy!” Towel (32” x 66” – 100% Velour Terry Cotton)

DaddyAndCo_BeachKitProducts

Look stylish & protect your eyes from the UV rays with these cool Daddy & Co.™ sunglasses!

DaddyAndCo_Sunglasses

I had mentioned before in a previous blog post that our extended family is expanding. My husband’s cousin recently had a little girl & another cousin is expecting twins later this Fall. If you need a gift for a new dad, you’ll want to check out the Daddy & Co.™ website. They have the perfect items for new dads! The products range from t-shirts, coffee mugs, baseball hats & even DaddyScrubs® that one can wear in the hospital room…so many options to choose from so that the man in your life can proclaim that “I’m the Daddy!”

Tell me: After you check out the website, what item would you buy for the new daddy (husband, relative or friend) in your life?

Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I received a complimentary sample of the Daddy & Co.™ Beach Kit which helped facilitate this review. All images & opinions are 100% my own.

CocoZen™ Coconut Water – Product Review

It’s another hot day in the San Fernando Valley! I’ve learned from living in LA that while many folks like to stay active & physically fit, another very important lesson is to stay hydrated. The intense heat is no joke in the SFV & you don’t want to be caught without water or some sort of liquid that can help cool you down & refresh you, especially after a tough workout. That’s why I’m glad to have had CocoZen™ Coconut Water on-hand after my workout at a barre fitness class in the Valley.

CocoZen_Box

Did you know that coconut water is 95% water & a fat & cholesterol-free drink? It’s also a great source of electrolytes, you know, that stuff that they always tout in sports drinks, like the one that starts with a “G.”  😉  Coconut water is also a good source of B vitamins.

How does CocoZen™ Coconut Water? It tastes great. I personally like coconut water. The fact that each CocoZen™ box contains 100% juice…well, I just knew that I would love it!

CocoZen_100PercentJuice

The other thing that I liked about CocoZen™ Coconut Water is their packaging. It’s packaged in a Tetra-Pak carton that is recyclable.

CocoZen_Recycle

You can buy CocoZen™ Coconut Water on Amazon.com & in select NYC stores. Check out their website for more info!

Tell me: What do you enjoy drinking on a hot day, especially after a workout?

Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I received complimentary samples of CocoZen™ Coconut Water which helped facilitate this review. All images & opinions are 100% my own.

Dog Haus Canoga Park – Attending the “Wurst” Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

It’s Friday afternoon, so cheers to the weekend everyone! I don’t know about you but on the weekends I like to try out new restaurants & eateries. If you are looking to try a new place, you might want to check out Dog Haus in Canoga Park.

Real Mom of SFV was invited to attend a special ribbon cutting ceremony on July 1st. Paul Homayoun, the franchise owner of Dog Haus Canoga Park, was being recognized by the Woodland Hills-Tarzana Chamber of Commerce during this special media event.

DogHaus_RibbonCeremony

Dog Haus Canoga Park is located on Topanga Canyon Blvd, between Victory & Vanowen. If you are familiar with the area, you’ll know that it is directly across the street from the Westfield Topanga shopping mall (my favorite mall in the Valley). When I met with Paul, I mentioned that this is such a great location – minutes from Warner Center, near Westfield Topanga, as well as Westfield Promenade. Paul said that they get tremendous foot traffic from all of the businesses & the proximity to the malls.

But how does it taste, you ask?! It is the bomb!! (Do people still say that…well, I do!). I tried several items from their menu.

DogHaus_Trio

First up…The Pig & the Fig Haus Sausage. Their haus sausages are made from the highest quality ingredients. This particular gourmet sausage is an emmentaler stuffed sausage. It has a fig & onion relish with toasted almonds on top. I was introduced to Michael Brown, who is the Culinary Director for Dog Haus. Michael explained that emmentaler is basically a Swiss cheese, but it is very flavorful. The Pig & the Fig is a new menu item for Dog Haus. They wanted to introduce it first to the Canoga Park location before rolling it out to the Pasadena ones. Yay for the San Fernando Valley!

DogHaus_Pig and Fig

The second item that I tried (AND it was my favorite) was The Little Mule Burger. This is no ordinary burger. It has a fried egg, pepperjack cheese, tomatillo sauce, cilantro aioli & avocado. Honestly they had me at fried egg & avocado! Here is what it looked like…

DogHaus_LittleMuleBurger

The last entrée that I sampled was the Old Town Dog. All of their hot dogs are special, all-beef skinless dogs. The Old Town is a smoked bacon wrapped dog with caramelized onions, jalapenos, chipotle mayo & cotija cheese. It was good & spicy! Not for the faint of heart, but I like my food that way. 🙂

DogHaus_OldTownDog

I also sampled the sweet potato fries, which were yummy. I noticed someone near me had ordered the chili cheese tots, which are tater tots topped with a homemade cheese sauce, chili & onions. It looked delicious but unfortunately I don’t have a photo of it. I’ll just have to go back again & order it next time!

DogHaus_SweetPotatoFries

One thing I appreciated was the global menu of Dog Haus. When you think of hot dogs & hamburgers, you tend to think of it as an all-American classic. For an area that is as diverse as the San Fernando Valley, it was neat to see a hot dog called the Tae Kwon Dog, which has a bulgogi glaze, kimchi, fried egg & Korean chili powder. Another unique item is the Another Night in Bangkok Sausage. This one has an Asian slaw, peanut sauce & spicy Thai red currywurst, as well as crushed peanuts on top.

If those items seem too much for you, you can always “build your own” sausage, dog or burger. According to Michael Brown, in some of the Dog Haus restaurants, the “build your own” sells more than the other items. For my vegetarian friends, you’ll be happy to know that you can substitute a veggie burger or a veggie dog when doing a “build your own.” At the DogHaus Canoga Park, there is something for everyone!!

Tell me: Have you been to one of the Dog Haus restaurants? If not, check out their menu & let me know which item you would most like to try!

Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I attended a media event and received complimentary food & drink which helped facilitate this review. All images & opinions are 100% my own.

First Impressions on the Emmy 2014 Nominations

People often joke in LA that we have four seasons, which are Summer, Fall, Fire & Award seasons. Personally I love the entertainment award season, especially the “big” ones like the Emmys, Golden Globes & of course, the Oscars. I often tell my friends & family that the Oscars are my Super Bowl. I really get into the predictions of who will win by participating in “friendly wagers” with friends, where the winner gets treated to lunch. Usually before an award show, I’ll try to handicap the winners by studying Entertainment Weekly’s predictions or read other online critics write-ups (much in the same way my brother-in-law will read up on colleges during the NCAA March Madness).

RealMomOfSFV_Emmy Noms

So what do I think about the Emmy 2014 nominations? First off, I am pleasantly surprised that Silicon Valley got nominated for Best Comedy Series. I think it is a hilarious cable TV show & I’m glad to see it recognized! Most likely (going by past history) Veep or Modern Family will win.

I love JLD in Veep. Although I really wanted to like her character in the movie Enough Said, I just had to stop watching the movie. For me it was snores-ville. The fact that her character couldn’t be any more different than Vice President Selina Meyer, just shows how great Julia Louis Dreyfus’ range can be.

I think Matt LeBlanc is super funny in Episodes. The show may have jumped the shark in the last season, but he is still great in it & it’s good that he was nominated.

While I’m not a huge fan of Mom, I’m glad to see Allison Janney nominated for it. The Supporting Actress in a Comedy category race is a toss-up for me. It’ll be interesting to see how the actresses campaign for it & who will ultimately end up winning.

The biggest race & hardest to predict for me will be the Best Drama Series. So many good ones! I always root for Downton Abbey & Mad Men. I’m not a GOT watcher, so I have nothing to say about that show. True Detective & House of Cards are top notch.

The Best Actor in a Drama Series will be an interesting race. The fact that the two leads for True Detective were put in this category as opposed to the mini-series one is a head scratching decision for me. Matthew McConaughey would have been a sure bet if placed in a different category. I think we can all agree that it is Bryan Cranston’s year though & this is coming from someone who didn’t even watch Breaking Bad!

I sure hope one of the actresses from Downton Abbey wins in their respective acting categories!!

So what are your thoughts & predictions on the Emmy 2014 Nominations?

 

 

Ocean’s Halo™ Seaweed Chips – Four Flavors to Try!

It’s no secret in my family that I am a “salty snack” person. While my daughter may have inherited her dad’s sweet tooth, I tend to reach for the chips & salsa or cheese & crackers at family parties. As someone who is always seeking a healthier alternative to cheese-flavored snacks, I was thrilled to sample Ocean’s Halo ™ Seaweed Chips!

(Photo credit: New Frontier Foods Inc.)
(Photo credit: New Frontier Foods Inc.)

Ocean’s Halo ™ Seaweed Chips are made from organic, sustainably harvested & nutrient-rich seaweed. It is also vegan, kosher & baked, not fried. I’m happy to report that this product does not contain GMOs, trans fats, MSG or other artificial “stuff” – so it truly is a healthier alternative for me & my family. An added bonus for me is that they are a low-cal & low-fat snack!

(Image credit: New Frontier Foods Inc.)
(Image credit: New Frontier Foods Inc.)

The Seaweed Chips come in four flavors: Chili Lime, Korean BBQ, Sea Salt and Hot & Spicy. I sampled all four & my husband tried some as well. As someone who grew up eating seaweed flavored snacks, we both wondered how it would taste. Well…we BOTH like it! Ocean’s Halo ™ Seaweed Chips have the seaweed flavor that we know & love, but contain extra spices that we really like (such as Korean BBQ) AND you get the added “crunch” of a chip. The crunch is what sold it for me! There is something satisfying about snacking on a crunchy chip as opposed to the paper-thin nori that we have snacked on from time to time.

My personal favorite is the Korean BBQ, but my husband loves the Hot & Spicy one the best.

OceansHalo_Faves

So where can you find Ocean’s Halo ™ Seaweed Chips? They are sold in U.S. stores like Whole Foods Markets, Vons, Super Target, Safeway and Fresh & Easy, as well as select markets throughout Canada. If you are unable to purchase a bag at your local store, you can always buy them online at Amazon.com.

I am very happy to see that New Frontier Foods Inc. (a California based company) which produces Ocean’s Halo ™ Seaweed Chips, practices social good. Two percent of their profits go to organizations like the Monterey Bay Aquarium Children’s Education Fund. Also I love the fact that the seaweed chips are packaged in BPI certified, compostable bags. How cool is that?!

(Photo credit: New Frontier Foods Inc.)
(Photo credit: New Frontier Foods Inc.)

If you are a fan of seaweed or nori-flavored snacks, then you might want to give Ocean’s Halo ™ Seaweed Chips a try!

Do you like seaweed-flavored snacks? Of the four flavors – Sea Salt, Hot & Spicy, Chili Lime or Korean BBQ, which one would you most like to try?

Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I received a complimentary sample pack which helped facilitate this review. All images are mine unless otherwise noted. My opinions (as always) are 100% my own.

My 5 Essentials for Travel

Now that summer is in full swing, I know that many of you will be traveling during the summer break. Last month I was in Park City, Utah – which I hope to recap for you later this month. As I was packing for our vacation, it got me thinking, what are my 5 essentials for traveling?

Cute Carry-on Luggage
I love me some Hello Kitty! Someone saw me wheeling this in the airport once & asked me if it was my daughter’s. Nope, it’s all mine! 🙂  As much as I had hoped to pass on this love of Hello Kitty to my daughter, unfortunately she grew out of it by the age of 6. On the other hand, I am hoping to attend Hello Kitty Con later this year!

HelloKittyCarryOn

Good Books
I love to read books while on the airplane or at the hotel before I go to sleep at night. I brought two books with me to Utah – a fun, fiction novel called Scared Scriptless that I received at a recent book signing event. The other book is non-fiction & written by Tony Horton. It’s called The Big Picture: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life. I should have a review of this book on the blog later in the month.

TravelEssentials_Books

Magazines
It is imperative that I have at least 1-3 magazines with me on the plane. No matter how long or short the flight, I just have to get one of the latest pop culture magazines that you often find at a nail salon. You know what I’m talking about…US Weekly, In Touch or OK magazines – these weekly mags are the equivalent of the online TMZ or E! websites. Yes, I do recognize that these are gossip-filled rags. However, when you want to zone out on a flight, then these magazines filled with photos of celebrities taking out the trash, walking their dog or going on a Starbucks run is just plain ole amusing to me.

This time around though I brought a few magazines that I had stacked by my nightstand at home. I’m one of those people who read People, as well as The Oprah Magazine. In fact, it was that issue of the O magazine that inspired one of my latest blog posts where I asked myself “What do I really want to do all day?” You can read about it here.

TravelEssentials_Magazines

A Set of Extra Clothes
We’ve all heard the horror stories of airlines losing someone’s luggage. So I’ve gotten in the habit of always packing an extra set of clothes for me & my daughter in my carry-on luggage. Hubby does the same with his carry-on as well.

One great clothing item that I recently discovered is Hipknoties®! What I LOVE about this item is that it’s one garment that you can style in 30 different combinations! It’s something that you can dress up for dinner, wear it by the pool like I did in Park City & also in Scottsdale and then throw over some leggings when you need to go run an errand.

(Photo credit: HIP Multi Way Clothing. Photo permission granted by Hipknoties®.)
(Photo credit: HIP Multi Way Clothing. Photo permission granted by Hipknoties®.)

What I also like about this item is that it takes up very little room in your carry-on. Not only that, but it doesn’t wrinkle! I could literally throw my pretty blue Hipknoties® in my handbag, take it out when I arrive at my destination & put it on. Whoo hoo…no wrinkles on this outfit!

TravelEssentials_BlueHipknoties

I met Sarah Yonover, the owner & creator of Hipknoties® last month at a children’s event. She is so engaging, has a great product & I just want to help promote this woman owned business as much as possible. Sarah has many YouTube videos that demonstrate how to style your Hipknoties®. Just check out the website for ideas. How cool is that?!

Neosporin
During our travels in Park City, my daughter got a scrape on her arm. In fact, while I was wheeling my luggage in the LAX airport, I scratched my hand on a broken part of my suitcase (not the Hello Kitty one). So before we even got on our flight to Park City, I was washing my hand in the restroom & applying a band-aid to it. However, before I put that band-aid on, I applied some NEOSPORIN® Neo to Go! Spray on my hand. Fortunately I had packed band-aids & the small Neo to Go! Spray in my purse. Of course since it is a liquid spray, I had to put it in the plastic baggie to show the TSA Agent while going through security check-in.

TravelEssentials_Neo2GoSpray

I have to say that this handy dandy antiseptic spray was used several times during our trip. We were very active in Park City – horseback riding, hiking, zip-lining & my favorite activity…shopping (lol!). Since we were outdoors a lot, I knew that NEOSPORIN® Neo to Go! Spray was an essential item for our vacation.

So those are MY five essential items for travel. Tell me, what are your must-have items for vacation travel?

Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I purchased the Hello Kitty luggage & magazines on my own. I received complimentary copies of both books for review purposes. I purchased the Hipknoties® at a discounted price. I received a complimentary sample of the NEOSPORIN® Neo to Go! Spray from Influenster Inc. as part of their #TLCVoxBox program. All images/photos are mine unless otherwise stated. My thoughts & opinions are 100% mine.