How to pack for a trip

Ladies, we have all committed the sin of over-packing for a trip.  There is an easier way to be covered for all circumstances without it resulting in heavy luggage and excess laundry.  Here’s how:

  1. Take a realistic look at where you’re going and the type of trip you’re taking.  You will not pack the same clothes for a business trip as you would for a vacation although some clothing choices will overlap.  Do not pack for activities you can not guarantee you’ll be engaging in (I’m looking at you disco-ball-club-outfit on your job interview weekend).
  2. This is not the time to experiment or wear something new (especially shoes). Wearing what you have may seem boring but hey, no-one at your destination has seen you in it.
  3. Hopefully you have developed your signature style and you’ve built your wardrobe around a neutral color.  Your suitcase will be a mini-version of your wardrobe.
  4. Wardrobe staples (dark jeans, dress pants, crisp white blouses) and solid colors combined with unique accessories (scarves, bangles, necklaces) will allow you to mix-and-match to come up with new combinations.  Keep the shoes and belts simple and to a minimum.  If needed, try on outfits ahead of time and take photos so that you’ll know what to pack and how to combine it at your destination.
  5. Pick clothing that will perform double-duty, like that cute suit jacket that can be paired with jeans for warmth and class on a night out.
  6. Choose fabrics (silk, rayon, etc.) that will dry overnight if you have to wash them in the sink overnight.  Bring two plastic hangars with clips on them to hang on the shower rod.
  7. Lay out and match up your clothes before packing.  Roll your clothes (in tissue paper if you don’t have an environmental objection to it) and pack in cubes (preferably ones that hold their shape rather than being crushed in the suitcase).
  8. Pack in a sensible order, keeping outfits together, and putting what you’ll need first on top.  Unpack when you arrive and iron anything that needs to be ironed immediately.
  9. Always pack anything that can leak in a zippered plastic bag.  In fact, pack several clean, spare bags in your suitcase for anything from new perfume to wet swimsuits.  Check the hotel website to see what amenities they offer (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hairdryer) so that you know what you don’t need to include in your packing.
  10. If you don’t want to dirty your cubes or the inside of your suitcase, bring plastic bags for packing your dirty laundry and your shoes in.

Do you have any tried-and-true tips for packing?  Please leave them in the comments.

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Casual Friday and then some

Stroll into any public place and you will see an amazing number of poorly-dressed people.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for dressing comfortably (where appropriate) but lately we seem to have become a nation of slobs.

So before you think that those pajama bottoms and that stained “nice rack” tee are appropriate for meeting your friends for coffee, consider how you’re being portrayed to the people around you.  Is that what you want them to think of you?  What if one of them was a potential boyfriend/employer/client?

What reaction are you going for?  Sort through your clothing and start building yourself a wardrobe around the impression that you want to be projecting.  Then learn to take care of what you have so that you’re not making a clothing compromise at the last minute.

I’m not saying that you need to become a fashionista or that you should be overly concerned about what others think of you.  However, if you’re searching for career advancement or a significant other, how you present yourself will hold a lot of sway over the other party and you never know when that opportunity might be showing up.

Omg, I’m turning into my mother!

At some point in your life, words will fly out of your mouth and you will come to the conclusion that you’re turning into your mother.  Even if you love your mother dearly, this isn’t something that you’re looking forward to.

The good news is, you’ve recognized what is happening so you can start to shape it before it shapes you.  Take a good, long look at your mother and how she has influenced your life both for the good and the bad (you may not be perfect, mom, but we love you).  Decide what you would like to keep and what you would like to pass you by. Start cultivating the good parts and correcting the bad – this will require actual work on your part!

Everyone is defined by their experiences but we are not held hostage by them.  You have the power to determine your future.

I hate you, no wait, come back

Everyone has had the experience that they ended a perfectly good relationship on a whim or for a rather small reason, only to change their mind and attempt to get their ex back.  Understandably, if you break up with a guy and then try to get him back, the relationship isn’t going to bounce back to the pre-breakup level.  The more he holds back, the  more you get frustrated at his lack of enthusiasm, the more he thinks that breaking up was the right thing to do.

Don’t be that girl.  When you orchestrate a break up, make sure you mean it.  Do NOT do it on impulse, on your friend’s advice, or because you got scared.  Break ups should be made with cold, hard logic (this is not the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with because of x, y, and z) and not with passion (omg, I can’t believe you just said that, we’re through!).

If you have done this, please be aware that you have a very small window to admit your mistake and make it up to him.  Realize that you’re going to have to do a *lot* of work to get him to trust you again and it probably will never be the same again (which may be a good or a bad thing).  Also, be prepared to suck up your pride for a bit but not forever – 0nce you get it back on the right track, you will both need to agree to move past the break-up and not bring it up again.

The bad news is, it may not work.  He may decide that you’re more trouble than you’re worth.  If you really like him though, you can try to endure a long wait until you both become different people and then try again.

How to booty call a guy

If you have read my previous blogs on booty calls, then you’re well aware of my thoughts on them.  However, “how to booty call a guy” seems to be a key search term to find my blog so I might as well answer it.

In general, I’m against booty calls and I advocate taking a lover if you really aren’t looking for a relationship, you just want your itch scratched.  However, as a modern woman, I do realize that sometimes that itch does get quite, er, persistent.  So it’s best to have a game plan.

  1. Choose your target wisely.  You don’t want this to be a good friend (very very messy) or a guy you’d want a relationship with (you can’t change the dynamic once it’s established).  Obviously there needs to be some attraction but also a degree of safety, both in terms of health and security.  Remember, most guys will tell you what you want to hear rather than the cold, hard truth.
  2. Get his phone number.  You could email him but then you’ll spend a tense few hours waiting for him to respond while your head goes through any number of ludicrous theories as to why he hasn’t written back.  Oh, and most guys aren’t going to find it quite as creepy as girls do if you just happen to get their phone number from a friend, their social media page, or even a directory.
  3. Pick your time.  Are you scheduling your booty call?  It risks sounding like a date.  Are you dialing at midnight?  You risk him not being available.  Try to figure out what type of guy he is before determining when to approach it.  If you’re looking for an easy A, I recommend that you go for the studious type over the stud type, at least the first time out.
  4. Decide what you’re going to say.  This is not the time to stumble about verbally.  You want to be suave, not sweating.  Keep it short and direct without being vulgar.  If words fail you, you an always use the international code for booty call.  Ask the question, then wait for a response.  Do not fill in the silence with mindless prattle or your top ten list of why he should say yes.  He might be in shock, give him a chance to process it and formulate a response.
  5. If he rejects you, put on your big girl panties and suck it up.  For whatever reason, he’s not the guy.  Delete his number and move on.
  6. If he accepts (and it is shockingly easy to get a guy into bed – go figure), then you should have everything prepared ahead of time.  Have a good exit strategy and keep it vague (I have to work in the morning is pretty universal for you gotta go).  If you’re kind enough to let him stay overnight, I had a friend who used to prepare his booty calls breakfast, deliver it to them in bed, then tell them that their taxi would be there in about 30 minutes, prepaid of course.  What a gentleman!
  7. Afterward – do not be a clingy girl!  You slept with him.  He’s not your boyfriend.  He may or may not cuddle.  Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t call (in fact, keep the ball in your court – booty call him, do not allow him to booty call you!).  Instead, plan a girls night out to celebrate and share most, but not all, of the details…of how you did it.  Gosh, I would never instruct you to kiss and tell!