7 Tips for a Long Drive by Yourself

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I’ve been making longer drives by myself for awhile to my hometown in Kentucky and to my college and know these drives are going to get more frequent after starting school.  I’ve never driven longer than seven hours by myself but any long drive can get rough by yourself.  Luckily, through trial and error, I’ve developed some strategies for making the drive easier on the mind and body.

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1// Be Prepared Mentally

If you start the drive by accepting that it is going to be long and could be rough in parts you’ll be much better off.  Yes, you probably will run into traffic and no you don’t have control over a lot of what goes on along the way so it’s okay to play some things by ear and be ready to change gears.  Alternate routes might become necessities and as long as you know that’s a possibility you’ll be fine.

2// Snacks and Drinks

I make sure to have easy to open snacks within an easy reach, generally in the passenger seat.  I also always have water in the cupholder, again in an easy to open and drink out of bottle.  I don’t want to have to be fiddling with wrappers or water bottle lids while on the interstate.

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3// Good Music

A playlist is the way to go.  You don’t want to be fiddling with the radio every time you change cities and you don’t want to deal with commercials so developing your own personalized playlist is the way to go.  Make sure you update the playlist the night before so every song is something you’ll want to hear because you don’t want to be skipping through every song you own trying to get to a good song.  I use Spotify and have different playlists for every trip I’ve gone on.  I can share those in a later post!

4// Podcasts

The last drive to Centre I listened to a podcast the majority of the drive and let me tell you it made the ride go by much faster than I expected!  I prefer podcasts with a storyline and not just interviews or information.  The last one I listened to was S-Town and I would highly recommend it!

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5// Stop When You Need To

This is something I’ve struggled with.  The very first long drive I did by myself I had to drive through a horrible torrential downpour for 45 minutes and by the time the rain stopped, I had no desire to get off the highway so I never ate dinner and just barely made it to my destination with the gas I had.  Since then I’ve made sure to take care of myself and my car by trying to coordinate when I ate and got gas.  Luckily for me I’ve been making the same long drive so by now I know the best exits for stopping.  That’s something you’ll probably have to discover along the way.  It’s hard to prepare for this sort of thing.

6// Give Yourself Plenty of Time

If you are trying to get somewhere by a certain time, make sure you give yourself at least an extra hour and a half for stops and random traffic jams.  Hopefully you won’t need that much extra time but it’s better to be early than late because you didn’t give yourself enough time.

7// Wear Comfortable Clothes

I would hope this goes without saying, but wherever you are headed you can wear comfy clothes.  Even if you are driving straight to some formal event, there will always be a bathroom to change in.  I’m all about comfort when it comes to driving on mini road trips.  There is hardly ever a time when comfortable clothes won’t work.

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Traveling is what you make of it.  If you let yourself get stressed out or nervous about it, it won’t be fun.  Long drives by yourself don’t have to be horrible!  Jamming out to your favorite songs in the car without fear of embarrassment can be the one thing making the drive bearable!  I wouldn’t say I look forward to long drives, but I’ve learned enough to not stress or be worried about it.

xo Carolyn

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What’s In My Purse

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I basically have two purses that I alternate between using, a cute pink Kate Spade and a small purse my mom got me at a craft fair.  They are both super small and don’t fit too many things so the pressure is always on to keep my load small when I go out.

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Absolute essentials include my phone and wallet.  I can’t leave the house without either of these, for obvious reasons.  Another essential is chapstick.  I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to chapstick.  Whenever I don’t have it I feel like I need it really bad and can focus on nothing except my lips.  Not fun if I’m going to be gone for awhile.

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I try to also have a pen on me at all times.  It seems like whenever I don’t have a pen, I need one.

Because my purses are so small, most of the time my sunglass case doesn’t fit so I always have sunglasses on me but I generally just hold them or hook on my shirt.

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Another little thing I almost always have on me is gum.  I love gum after almost every meal so having it with me is always handy.

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With this little amount of stuff in my purse, it doesn’t normally get cluttered.  A clutter-free purse makes life a lot easier, however going forward I will be looking for a larger purse.  If you have a purse you absolutely LOVE, comment it below! I have a large Longchamp I love but it’s too big to be practical as an everyday purse.

What are some things you can’t leave home without?

xo Carolyn

Perfect Travel Outfit

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Traveling seems to be the theme of the week!! I find myself doing a lot of traveling in the summer and fall with my family so I’ve pretty much figured out some staple pieces for any kind of travel, whether it be a flight or a long car ride.  It always amazes me to see how some people dress for travel.  I definitely go for practical and comfortable any time I’m traveling.

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I pretty much always wear leggings.  Super comfy and also warm which is great for those  cold airports and planes.

In the summer I wear a tank top or t-shirt with a sweater or sweatshirt over top.  Like I’ve mentioned, airports tend to be cold but the destination can be warm so the sweater/tank top combo is practical and comfortable.

If I’m going on a plane, I like to keep my shoes easy to slip on and off through security.  It can be a pain to take off and put back on a pair of tennis shoes so I stick to my Birkenstocks.

I’d love to hear other tips and trick for traveling outfits!

xo Carolyn

Top (similar)// Sweater// Leggings// Shoes

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Carry-On Essentials

 

Image-1.jpgIn my opinion, the carry-on bag(s) is the most important bag you bring with you.  You have it with you the whole trip so you have to make sure everything you are going to need the whole time traveling is included.  I always bring some sort of big bag and my purse.  Generally the big bag is a backpack but on a couple trips I’ve opted for my Longchamp bag instead.  Whether I take a backpack or tote, here are a few things I always make sure I have, no matter how long the flight or drive is.

 

Headphones//

One of the most important things to remember.  I just use the earbuds that come with my phone, nothing fancy, but they get the job done!

Chapstick//

The dry air in planes can really take a tole so I always make sure to have chapstick on me.  Honestly, chapstick is something I have with me no matter what.  I believe it is a life essential.

Book//

I like to have something to read, especially on short flights.  Listening to music and reading can be the perfect way to kill time waiting for a plane or on the plane!

Water Bottle//

I always take an empty water bottle through security and then fill it up at a water fountain or get water somewhere once I find my gate.  Staying hydrated is definitely important during travels.

Laptop//

For longer flights I like to rent movies on my computer and other times I can be super productive during flights!  Either way, it’s always a good idea to have your computer with you for work or entertainment.

Sweater/Sweatshirt//

It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 degrees outside, I can always guarantee the airport and plane will be cold.  Sometimes big sweaters can double as blankets!

A lot of times, people will write about how they bring a change of clothes and basic toiletries, maybe I’m too trusting but I’ve never done that.  I try to keep my carry-on bags light and at the size where I can just shove them under the seat without having to worry about overhead storage space.

What are some things you always make sure to have with you during flights?

xo Carolyn

 

My Bullet Journal

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This summer I discovered the greatness of bullet journaling!  I’m an organizer so the idea of creating my own agenda, planner, to-do list, etc. combo notebook is right up my alley!! I bought new pens, found a great notebook, read the official blog, and just started my bujo (“bullet journal”)!!

Before I dove in, I did a lot of research.  Pinterest, Instagram, and many blogs display the prettiest and most creative ways of journaling and at first it’s super intimidating!  At the beginning of my journaling, I tried to make the pages as creative and pretty as the ones I had seen on Instagram but that proved to be impractical for me.  I was spending more time decorating than I was actually organizing my thoughts and plans in order to get them done.  So by now I have resorted back to a simpler way of journaling.  I try to stick to basic lists and keep the decorating to just enough to inspire me to look at the page for what I need to get done.

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I’ve found that my bullet journal is most helpful in planning my blog content.  I use it to keep track of the content ideas I have, the posts coming up, and what I need to do to get posts completed.  However it has also been useful to keep track of running lists.

Supplies//

A notebook- Any notebook works, however I would recommend a Leuchtturm.  I use a blank one and it works beautifully.  The notebook’s pages are thick enough that pens don’t bleed through and it comes with these little inserts that have a grid and lines so you can stick them behind the page to keep your writing in line without the hinderance of lines you may or may not need on a certain page.

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Pens- I use Staedtler triplus fineliner pens and love them! I have a pack with a ton of different colors to keep my bujo colorful and fun!

A go-getter attitude!- A bujo only works if you utilize it!!

Typical Pages//

As you’ll read in any blog post about a bujo it won’t take long to discover there are a couple pages everyone needs in the notebook.

Table of Contents- The great thing about Leuchtturm notebooks is all the pages are already numbered and the notebook already has a blank table of contents so you don’t need to worry about setting up your own!  I like to only put things in the table of contents that I will want to come back to.  Daily to-do lists are not something I’m going to be looking back on weeks later.  To be completely honest, the table of contents is one of the hardest pages for me to keep up with.

IMG_8447.JPGKey- A key helps with task lists and helps keep the notebook consistent.

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Spreads- You’ll see talk of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly spreads.  These can be laid out in whatever makes sense to you!  A spread I’ve started using that isn’t pictured below is a habit tracker.  You can look up “habit tracker” on Pinterest to get an idea of the sorts of things people include.  Super helpful!!  Pinterest can be great when you’re just starting out to give you some ideas of spreads for trial and error purposes until you discover what works for you!

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Bullet journaling can get super overwhelming when you look at how artsy some people make theirs but it doesn’t have to be scary!  A bullet journal at it’s core is a way for you to create the most functional notebook for you!  It can take some time getting used to, and it might not fit all your needs, but it can be worth it to try!  I still have an agenda and use my phone to keep important dates so my bujo basically helps me keep track of everything my agenda and my phone can’t.

Happy bullet journaling!!

xo Carolyn

 

The Last 5 Books I’ve Read

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I love to read and it seems like this year I have started reading more than I used to read.  The last five books I’ve read are all books I would highly recommend!! You’ll see there’s a bit of a theme to the books I’ve been into recently…so here goes!

The Partner by John Grisham

Following typical Grisham style, this book centers on the partner of a law firm who finds himself in a bit of trouble when he is kidnapped and then convicted of numerous offenses.  I was engaged in the novel from start to finish but was very disappointed by the ending.  I won’t give anything away but let’s just say I was not expecting the end result.

The Testament by John Grisham

With a much better ending than The ParterThe Testament was an amazing book!  It starts with the surprise signing of a will and follows the execution of the will all the way to Brazil! I loved every character of the book and would definitely recommend everyone read it!

Camino Island by John Grisham

I have to say I was disappointed with this book because it was so different from everything else I have read by John Grisham.  It felt like more of a summer romance novel than a legal thriller and I was not expecting that.  If you are looking for more low-key mystery and adventure this is the book for you.  I would still recommend it but not to people who go in expecting a typical Grisham book.

The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva

My dad got my hooked on this series and so far I love it.  The narrative style is different yet still easy to follow and exciting from start to finish!  The central character is an Israeli operative who is called on to complete a mission.  The suspense and excitement throughout the book make it very hard to put down!

English Assassin by Daniel Silva

I have just started this book and so far I love it!! It’s the second in the Gabriel Allon series.  So far, so good!!

After taking an english class with a lot of assigned readings, it’s been fun to read when I’m interested in before going back to the many assigned readings for school!  I love to read so any recommendations you have, leave them in the comments section!

xo Carolyn

 

A Day in my Food Life

 

Image-1-3I love food.  I love trying new restaurants and eating great food.  Sometimes I stick to a food routine but most of the time I mix it up.  Getting burned out on food is something that tends to happen to me so the more I can mix up my diet the better!  I chose a random day to log all the food I eat so here goes!

Breakfast//

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I try to always eat breakfast.  Sometimes that means eating a granola bar and other times I go all out like I did today.  I made a mini quiche from Trader Joe’s in the oven with some strawberries.  My sister was also kind enough to share part of the smoothie she made.  And of course I rounded out the meal with a cup of coffee.

Lunch//

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For lunch I had leftover homemade pasta salad with some cut up chicken pieces.  The chicken was also leftover.  Super simple, filling, and tasty!! I’m a strong believer in making the most out of every leftover dish!

Dinner//

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Dinner consisted of chicken cooked in an InstaPot, rice, and green beans and asparagus topped with sliced almonds and parmesan cheese.  Super simple but tasty at the same time!!

There’s so much variety in the food I eat that this exact progression of meals will almost certainly never happen again!  Everyday is different and so is every meal!

xo Carolyn