With summer only a month away, we’ve got traveling on our mind. If you’re anything like me, the hardest part of planning for a vacation, is packing for it. I know how tempting it can be to pack your entire wardrobe, but chances are you will only actually wear a fraction of what you bring. So if you suffer from chronic over-packer disorder (yes, I just made that up), then try these 10 tips on packing lighter:
1. Buy a smaller suitcase. This will force you to narrow down your choices and be more selective in what you decide to bring. Tricky.
2. Plan your outfit for each day in advance. Think about what activities you’ll be doing, check the weather forecast, and only pack the outfit you’ll need for each day. Don’t pack a separate pair of jeans or shorts for every single day, people aren’t going to notice if you wear the same pair multiple days on your trip…just pack a different top so it’s not the exact same outfit. If you’re thinking about packing something that doesn’t fit into any of your planned outfits, leave it out.
3. Make a list. This way you won’t pack a bunch of stuff you don’t need, while forgetting the most important things. Plan what you’re going to do on the plane. Don’t bring a bunch of books so that you can decide on the plane which one you want to read, make the decision in advance and just bring the one book. Or better yet, an e-reader. When it comes to shoes and accessories, pick one or two that will go with any of the outfits you packed rather than bringing a separate pair for each outfit.
4. Choose your most lightweight clothing and shoes. If you’re trying to decide between outfits, or over-packed and need to narrow it down, start by taking out the heavier items.
5. Avoid “just-in-case” items. If there is only sun on the forecast, don’t pack “rainy day” clothes just in case. If worst comes to worst, you can buy something new at your destination. Bring only one jacket for chilly nights and to have on hand. When possible, wear those heavier items such as jackets, jeans, and chunky shoes, on the plane to keep your bag light.
6. Use travel-size bottles for toiletries. Don’t pack your full-size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, etc. Especially if you know the hotel is going to provide those things. Buy travel-size bottles and fill those with the necessities before the trip.
7. Try to leave extra space! Don’t be that girl that has to sit on top of your suitcase while trying to zip it shut. Leave room in your suitcase so you can easily open and close it, while having space for souvenirs from your trip! If you plan to buy souvenirs, but absolutely cannot leave extra room, pack a small bag that you can use as a carry-on on the way home if you need to. Stuff your accessories and toiletries in the shoes you’re packing so they don’t take up extra space.
8. Coordinate with your travel-buddies to see if there’s anything you guys can share. For toiletries this is a given, but maybe you’re going with friend or sister who wears the same size shoe as you or wears the same size shorts, plan to do a clothes-swap on certain days to cut down on the amount you pack separately.
9. Don’t bring your laptop. Appalling thought, I know. Unless it’s a business trip and you absolutely need it, your laptop will just weigh you down when you can use your phone or tablet just as efficiently. Not to mention most hotels have computers for guests to use if need be.
10. Roll your clothes. Rolling instead of folding not only leaves more space, but prevents creases in your clothing. Seriously, check out how tidy it looks ——————>
Once you’ve put all these tips into use, find out if it worked by carrying your suitcase up and down the stairs a few times! If it’s too much for you to handle, re-evaluate what you packed and cut it down a bit more.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Stores are having sales, our app is full of gift ideas categorized by budget, and mom is patiently waiting to see what her beloved children will surprise her with to show their appreciation for everything she has done for them over the years. Do you know what you’re gifting mom with this year? If it’s something from the list below, then we suggest you think again!
Gifts that are actually for you (or anyone besides Mom).
Gifts that point out Mom’s flaws.
Gifts that are more work for mom.
Do you know why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo? If you guessed “Mexico’s Independence Day”, you would be…wrong. If you guessed “to drink excessive amounts of tequila and corona”, well…that’s partially true. At least in the eyes of many Americans who throw on a sombrero and head down to the local cantina for “Cerveza!” and “Más Tequila!” The real reason Cinco de Mayo is marked as a day of celebration is because of the Mexican Army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. In America, May 5th became a day for celebration of Mexican heritage and pride in honor of that victory. Alright, today’s history lesson is over; let’s get on to the good stuff…the art of CELEBRATION. Here are five ideas for celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year:
1. Throw a fiesta. Instead of a night on the town, invite your friends and family over for a Mexican style potluck, dancing, and margaritas. You could even toss in a piñata for good measure! You can find cheap Cinco de Mayo themed piñatas, decorations, serveware, and costumes at Party City. You can whip up some tasty Mexican appetizers and entree’s such as burritos, tamales, salsa, guacamole, tostadas, and more! Check out Allrecipes.com Cinco de Mayo recipes for some ideas.
2. Volunteer at a charity event or marathon. There are a lot of fundraisers and events to raise money and awareness around the country on Cinco de Mayo, so before you use the line “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere”, lend a helping hand to support a good cause. If you’re feeling really generous you could host your own fundraising event by throwing a fiesta (as described above), and charging per plate or per margarita and then donating all of the proceeds to the charity of your choice.
3. Support your local Mexican restaurant. Round up your family and eat out at an authentic Mexican cuisine restaurant (as opposed to a chain restaurant). Eating at a privately owned Mexican restaurant not only shows your appreciation for the Mexican culture, but helps support the local economy as well. Most Mexican restaurants will have Cinco de Mayo specials going on, nothing beats cheap tacos and margaritas!
4. Go Salsa dancing. Get into the Latin spirit by learning how to swing your hips and salsa your way through the night! Whether you take lessons at a dance studio, join in on the lessons at a Cinco de Mayo event, or teach yourself by imitating the moves of a live performance at the cantina…you’ll reach a whole new level of appreciation for Cinco de Mayo after you learn to salsa!
This could be you by the end of the night
5. Attend a festival. The best way to learn about the Mexican culture is by heading down to a festival where you can browse through all of the vendors. This is often where you’ll find the most authentic food, arts & crafts, live music, and fashion accessories.
How will you celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year?
If you spend as much time on YouTube as we do, then odds are you’ve seen the Harlem Shake videos…amiright?! If you haven’t, you should probably slap yourself. BETTER YET, you should make up for your slackery by making your own Harlem Shake video. Why? One word: YOLO. Don’t know how? I got ya covered. Here’s the recipe to creating a tasteful Harlem Shake video:
1 – person dancing alone for 15 seconds wearing a motorcycle helmet or mask of some sort while everyone around them goes about their business not paying any attention.
3+ – people dancing erratically for the second half of the video (another 15 seconds), the more people the better!
1+ – prop or costume per person (think: superhero costumes, masks, animal costumes, swords, light sabers, wooden stick animals, beach balls, sombreros, morph body suits, etc.)
1 – video recorder (anything that takes video works: digital camera, webcam, tablet, iPhone)
1 – person with basic video editing skills to blend the two 15-second videos together and add the “Harlem Shake” song by Baauer. The video often ends in slow motion with a lion’s roar, but that’s optional.
What’s the point of the Harlem Shake you ask? It gives you an excuse to dance around like an idiot and be awesome for doing it, it’s fun, it’s a bonding experience, and above all else, it’s hilarious to watch afterward. Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t have surpassed the 1 billion views mark in 40 days if it wasn’t worth trying. Below is a compilation of the 10 biggest Harlem Shake videos, with the largest involving 5,000 people at the University of Texas! Tell me that’s not impressive?!