10 Things You Should Never Pack In Your Checked Luggage

I’m prepping two Glam Italia Tours that are running back to back this June, and as none of the ladies have traveled internationally before I’m sending them all kinds of great travel information to get them ready.
Some of it I am posting here for you as well.

Its really easy to make novice mistakes when you’re packing for your first international trip. Actually its really easy to mistakes even when you’ve already done it a hundred times. 

So lets talk about what not to pack in your checked suitcase.

10 Things You Should Never Pack In Your Checked Luggage

1. Lithium Batteries.

Lithium batteries can move around, catch fire, and cause catastrophic damage to the plane while it’s in the air. 
The FAA issued a Safety Alert for Operators to warn airlines “of the potential risk for a catastrophic hull loss due to significant identified dangers associated with the transport of lithium batteries as cargo on either passenger or cargo aircraft.”

They are okay while installed inside your electronics (which should be in your cabin baggage with you), but loose are very dangerous.

There has been talk about lithium batteries exploding inside the hull of airliners and bringing the plane down. 

Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the FAA video of what happens when lithium batteries explode and catch fire inside a simulated cargo bay on a plane.

2. Jewelry and Valuables.

Don’t take the risk of your bag going missing or of someone rifling through it behind the scenes and taking or damaging your valued belongings. Whether it’s your valuable watch or a family photo album, take it on-board with you in your cabin baggage.
Should the airline decide to compensate you for a bag that has gone missing, or items stolen from your bag (most of the time they won’t), they will depreciate the value of your items and the capped maximum on replacement of a missing bag is $3300.

3. Cash and Credit Cards.

Same as above. If you travel frequently you have no doubt found TSA notifications in your suitcase, telling you they searched your bag. Or perhaps you’ve arrived at your destination and found that things are in different places in your suitcase – someone has been in there looking around. 
It happens all the time, and the number one thing that thieves are looking for is your cash and credit card stash. Keep it with you in your cabin baggage.


4. Passports/Identification/Boarding Passes/Essential Documents

Always keep the originals with you, but make copies of them (credit cards front and back as well) and keep a digital copy attachment in your email. You can keep  photocopies in your suitcase, but beware that you may be creating an easy path for identity thieves.

5. Medications

This one is important. Should your suitcase go AWOL you could be in a world of trouble if all your medications/prescriptions are inside. It’s a good idea to separate your medicines and take half on board with you and check the other half through, especially when travelling internationally.
You can take liquid prescriptions that exceed 3.4 fluid ounces in your carry on luggage so long as it is well labeled. I recommend telling The TSA officer, and also having a doctors note to accompany it.

6. All Of Your Clothes

Always pack a couple of days worth of clothes in your carry on luggage. Should your suitcase not arrive with you, you need to have something to change into. 
For most of us spending the first few days of your international vacation in the smelly clothes you flew over in would really ruin the trip. One of my friends spent 3 weeks of her 3 1/2 week trip to Spain last year without her suitcase. Luckily she had enough supplies in her carry on to be able to rotate her outfit each day. You won’t always have enough money to buy a new travel wardrobe, and there won’t always be places to buy things that you like.
Typically airlines will get your bag back within 3 or 4 days, but chances are you will be moving around, which makes it harder to reconnect you with you bag.

Shop Sale Items at Samsonite.com!

7. Laptops/iPads/Electronics

Think in terms of theft and breakage. Your electronics are of course, a very popular item to steal. On top of that you have to know that no matter how many sweaters you wrap your laptop in, chances are it won’t survive being in a bag that is thrown around and has heavy bags thrown on top of it. Just take it on board with you.

8. Flammable Items

Lighters, matches and flammable items are banned from checked luggage. See a full list of banned items on the TSA Website

9. Breakables

Have you ever watched them throwing suitcases or piling heavy suitcases on top of each other? Your breakables don’t stand a chance! Even if you’ve bubble wrapped them and cushioned them with socks and sweaters, how many heavy suitcases stacked on top of yours would it take for the collective weight to break your treasures? Read Confessions Of A Baggage Thrower for more insight into the perils of packing breakables.

10. Film

The X-Rays used to screen suitcases can damages film. If you have been shooting your trip with wet film, put the film in clear cannisters or ziplock bags and take it with you in your cabin baggage. Ask the TSA agent at the X-Ray machine to check your film by hand.

Here is the FAA video of what happens when lithium batteries explode inside a plane:

How To Choose The Right Foundation In 4 Simple Steps


As a makeup artist I get asked all the time which foundations I like best, how to make foundation last all day, how to choose the right foundation.

Walk into any department store / Sephora / makeup emporium and the list of options can be overwhelming. 
Half the time the people charged with helping you make the choice are so overly made-up they look like caricatures of themselves, which hardly inspires confidence. If you look to you tube and Instagram you will find the “beauty experts” favor obliterating any concept of skin by slamming so much makeup on the face it almost looks plastic.
And maybe you just want to look like a pretty, normal, lovely girl.

you use the same 4 steps to choose your model’s foundation for a shoot
as you do for yourself for everyday wear.

Whether I’m getting a model or a movie star ready for a shoot, or whether I’m just shopping for myself, here are the criteria I look for when choosing a foundation:

1. What finish do you need?

What type of skin do you have? If you are oily you will want a slightly more matte finish or a water based foundation to offset some of the shine you are battling.
If you have dry skin you need a foundation with a glowing, dewey finish to make the skin look luminous.

2. How much coverage do you really need?

Rather than hijacking the face and holding your skin hostage, foundation is supposed to create the illusion of a beautiful, radiant complexion.
If your skin is clear you only need a sheer cover foundation. If you have scarring, uneven skin tone, blemishes that need disappearing then you should opt for a more full cover foundation. If your skin falls somewhere in the middle, you need coverage that falls somewhere in the middle.
The worst thing you can do is overload the skin with a foundation that is far too heavy. Instead make creating lovely looking skin your goal.

3. What is your undertone?

Basically foundations come in two color groupings. There are cool toned foundations, which cover ivory, porcelain and pinky undertoned skins, and then there are your warm tones for girls with a yellow or olive undertone.
If you have a cool toned skin and wear a yellow based foundation it will look awful. The same applies to a warm toned girl wearing a pink based foundation.

4. Find your shade

Rather than testing your color on some remote corner of your jawline, test it somewhere where you can clearly see whats going on, such as your forehead or the front of your cheek.
You should be the same color from your hairline to your chest, and your face shouldn’t be any darker or any lighter than the rest of your upper body.

Chic And Healthy Soups To Take To Work (And Make Your Co Workers Jealous!)

This post from Career Girl Daily came into my in box 3 weeks ago and rocked my lunchtime world!

Gluten Free Instant Noodles image from Glutenfreeonashoestring.com
recipe below

I love having soup for lunch in the winter. (or what we jokingly refer to as winter here in Phoenix, where it doesn’t actually get too cold!

Gluten Free Instant Noodle Cup Recipe From Gluten Free On A Shoestring

But when I’m working I don’t want to bring those store bought cups of msg-rich, powdered, just add water soups that are guaranteed to make you swell up by early afternoon, and I don’t want to bring Tupperware containers of soup from home to heat up in a microwave either.

Kelp Noodle Pot image via Career Girl Daily

But how about homemade noodle cups with fresh vegetables and a multitude of options?? In a chic glass container? I am so hooked!

Kelp Noodle Pot Recipe from Deliciously Ella

Homemade chicken and vegetable pot noodles from Kitchensanctuary.com

Homemade Chicken And Vegetable Pot Noodle Recipe From Kitchen Sanctuary

The concept with these soups is that you are filling a jar with wholesome goodness and then when lunch time rolls around you just add boiling water, let it steep for a few minutes, and you are good to go!

The Pho Jar image via Career Girl Daily

The Pho Jar Recipe from Minute-Meal.com

They don’t just taste fantastic, but they are so visually appealing. 
You feel satiated and satisfied and yet you’ve had a low calorie, fat free lunch that is both colorful and nutrient rich.

I bought these French Hermetic Terrine Jars at The Container Store. The middle size is perfect for a lunch soup. It’s important to get glass jars, not plastic. The glass ones look better and won’t stain.


This weekend I’m going back to buy some of these 
Panoply Canisters, because I think they are also made of glass and I think they would look pretty amazing too. 

Panopy Canisters from The Container Store

What I have learned doing these is:
 *You need to soak rice noodles over night. Boiling water on dry rice noodles doesn’t get them soft and edible.
*You can make a bunch of these ahead of time (they look super pretty in your refrigerator) and just throw one in your bag in the morning on your way out the door.
*In a pinch if you need more flavor or don’t have time to prep a sauce-base you can just throw in noodles, fresh vegetables, some kelp a miso paste.

There are 11 more recipes in the original post on Career Girl Daily

While clicking away on every recipe that Career Girl Daily had in their post I found some fab blogs to follow, including Deliciously Ella, Gluten Free On A Shoestring and Kitchen Sanctuary

If you have some good ideas for a chic and healthy soup recipe, tell me about them in the comment section below!