Save Space In Your Suitcase And Leave These Things At Home For Your Next Trip

I’ve been having a crazy busy week with shoots. Yesterday we shot the Luca Magazine Fall 2017 beauty stories, which was a huge shoot. It was wickedly fabulous, but for me an enormous amount of work because as Beauty Director of the magazine I have to concept the shoot, research everything, write the story, put together my crew, organize a location, book my models – and then direct the shoot as well as do the makeup. I could hire another makeup artist, but I feel so close to the project and am so specific about what I want that I just have to do it myself. And I love it!

Anyway while I was in my car for the hour + commute home I was listening to a podcast with Kirbie Johnson from Pop Sugar. She is fascinating! All day today I was thinking about what she had to say, and then this evening instead of writing the blog post I had planned I fell down the rabbit hole that is Pop Sugar and read post after post. Four hours later its too late to write something new, so I’m going to share this cool post with you, written by Hedy Phillips for Pop Sugar.

Save Space in Your Suitcase and Leave These Things at Home For Your Next Trip

By Hedy Phillips

There’s a perfect formula for properly packing for vacation. There are also a handful of things that it’s important to remember that you definitely don’t need to bring along. When you’re traveling, you don’t have a lot of space in your suitcase for anything unnecessary, so I highly recommend really considering what goes in while you’re packing. You also want to leave room to bring stuff back with you, because I don’t know about you, but souvenirs are one of my favorite parts of traveling. Keep reading to find exactly what you should leave at home.

1. Your laptop

I’ve brought my computer along on a couple vacations, and even though I have a MacBook Air, which is really small and light, it still ends up getting in my way and not being worth it. There are very few vacation scenarios where I feel like you’ll need an actual computer, especially considering how smart phones are these days. I invested in an iPad last year to bring along as a computer substitute on trips where I feel I might want a bigger screen than the phone, but I don’t even feel like that’s necessary.

2. More than one book

You don’t want a bunch of heavy books taking up room in your bags while traveling. Having one along is fine, but chances are you won’t have a lot of time to read more than that unless you’re going on a beach vacation where you plan on doing a whole lot of nothing but relaxing. If that’s the case and you have an ereader or tablet, consider bringing that along instead and stocking it up with reading material before you leave. Otherwise, leave your stack of books at home.

3. Toiletries

If you’re staying in hotels, you’ll have soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion at your disposal, so unless you require specialty toiletries, don’t bother bringing them along. At the very least, don’t bring any full-size bottles. Either buy travel-size bottles or buy refillable bottles and put your own selections in them.

4. More than two pairs of shoes

I always travel with a comfort shoe and a fashion shoe, however, my fashion shoe can always double as a comfort shoe. Generally I bring sneakers and sandals on every trip, unless it’s a cold-weather one, then it’s a sneaker and a boot. If I know I can get away with it, I’ll just bring one pair.

5. Something you’ll only wear once

If you’re going on a trip that’s a week or longer, don’t bring any outfit that you only plan on wearing one time. Space in your suitcase is at a premium, so you want to pack things you can mix and match and wear multiple times. That dress that is super cute but only really appropriate for a fancy dinner? Don’t bother. If you know you need something slightly more fancy, pick separates that can also function with another piece for another day.

6. Pillows, blankets, or towels

I get that everyone likes their comforts of home, but when you’re traveling, you don’t need to worry about bringing things from your bed or bathroom along. They take up too much space and most likely you won’t use them. Trust that your hotel has sufficient bedding and bathroom supplies that you’ll need. Who knows? The hotel’s supply might even be better than what you have at home.

7. Anything valuable

Don’t wear your expensive jewelry, just in case you lose it somewhere. Also don’t bother with anything that cost you a lot of money, no matter how much you love it, because you have a much higher risk of losing it or damaging it when you’re traveling. Leave it all at home where it will be safely waiting for your return.

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10 Nordstrom Secrets Revealed

Are you a Nordstrom shopper? I am. I shop online at all the time, mostly because I am always working and hardly ever get time to go to the store. Their return policy is so amazing that I never have to think twice about ordering something and not liking it/needing to exchange it/wanting to return it.

I get emails everyday from PopSugar, and this one, written by Nicole Yi was in my inbox last week and is too good not to share!


10 Nordstrom Shopping Secrets, Straight From a Former Employee

Written by Nicole Yi for PopSugar

Nordstrom Storefront

This post contains affiliate links

Even before I started working at Nordstrom, it was one of my favorite stores to shop. And after working there for nearly two years in my late college years, I loved and respected the company even more. Employees go above and beyond to provide the customer with an experience rather than just a shopping trip, and I got to see it from both sides. There’s a number of fascinating facts behind the scenes at the beloved department store, but I’m zeroing in on the ones that will help you get the most out of your visit. Without further ado: 10 secrets that will practically make you a professional Nordstrom shopper.

1. Nordstrom’s liberal return policy is truly unbeatable.

The well-known tale about Nordstrom accepting a customer’s Good Year tires is totally a myth. You are, however, able to get away with a lot. Their computer systems will recognize some form of receipt (tag, physical or electronic receipt, credit card) for up to five years from the purchase date. Even if it’s clearly worn with stains, we have to accept the return, no questions asked other than “Was there anything wrong with the product?” Even if you say that you changed your mind (four years later), they can’t press any further.

You don’t even need a form of receipt, either. Though it makes the process easier for the employee, they can find a similar item to refund you if you really make a fuss. Many customers do take advantage of this, which has made Nordstrom’s return policy stricter recently. Now all returns must be refunded to the original form of payment, whereas before, customers were able to cash out on goods that were even clearly stolen.

2. New products arrive almost daily.

You’ll want to check back regularly because many departments get shipments every day. That also means that the floor layout is constantly changing, but there’s a way to beat feeling overwhelmed. The floor is typically organized into distinct looks like casual, department staples, dressy, and “going out,” for example. It makes it instinctive for employees when returning their “dump” (or go-backs) and hopefully easier for customers to shop if the manager did a good job.

NORDSTROM - Shop Free People New Arrivals

3. You’re allowed to take hangers home.

Some customers want to keep their clothes hung so that they can easily add them to their closet when they get home. Ask to keep your hangers and they’ll throw them in your bag or wrap your items in a garment bag, no problem. Limit your request to the plastic hangers, though, because the wooden ones are more limited. I’ve had customers even ask for a bag full of them before.

4. Utilize your sales associate.

Don’t be afraid to form a working relationship with a salesperson you really hit it off with. They make commission so I promise they won’t mind any requests. Some of my customers became regular clients who would personally call me for items they wanted. I would text them pictures of newly arrived products that suit their style and ship it directly home to them. They never even had to step foot in store. You can also ask him or her to bring you items from other departments like shoes or accessories to complete the look all at once. Just be mindful that they’re the ones putting everything back when you leave.

5. Take advantage of (free!) personal stylist appointments.

Most customers assume that there’s an extra fee to work with a personal stylist, but it’s completely free! Whether you have a special occasion you need help shopping for or just need to refresh your wardrobe, they’re there for you and they know what they’re doing. You can also do the same with any of your favorite salespeople. They’re often just as qualified and love taking time off the floor to personalize a dressing room just for you.

NORDSTROM - The latest from IVY PARK. FREE shipping. FREE returns.

6. The Nordstrom debit card is definitely worth the perks.

When checking out, the cashier will probably ask if you’re part of the Nordstrom Rewards program. We’re all forced to get as many customers as possible to apply for a debit or credit card, and though I felt uncomfortable soliciting when I first started, I learned once getting one myself that you’re only missing out if you refuse. I understand when people don’t want another credit card, but the debit card links to your existing account and is completely free. Not only do you earn $20 back in Nordstrom Notes (basically a gift card) for every 2,000 points, but it also comes with alterations, early access to the Anniversary Sale, and more. If you’re a regular Nordstrom shopper already, you might as well get rewarded for every dollar you spend.

7. Check out the Anniversary Sale on the first day.

If you don’t know already, Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale is around every July or so and debuts brand-new Fall products at incredible discounts. It’s the store’s biggest sale of the year, and for good reason. Designer goods are marked off by hundreds of dollars and other items are discounted around 25 to 40 percent off. This is the best time to stock up for the new season because prices go back up once the sale ends. Because stores get products in limited quantities, most of the best stuff disappears after the first day. Make sure you have a Nordstrom Rewards card to gain early access to the sale one week before the general public gets to purchase.

8. Ask an employee to take an item to alterations if it’s stained or wrinkled.

You know when you’ve found the last top in your size but it’s covered in deodorant stains or makeup? Let an employee know and they’ll gladly take it back to alterations and have them steam and spot-treat your item on the spot. They use a special, gentle lavender soap (that’s available for purchase in the lingerie department) that can seriously get anything out.

NORDSTROM - Shop Women's Statement Makers: Workwear

9. There’s not much a salesperson will say “no” to.

Nordstrom is best known for its incredible customer service, and the company does not take that lightly. I’ve done everything for customers, from running iced waters to their dressing rooms from the espresso bar downstairs to carrying their bags to their car across the mall. But if you truly are an All-Star employee (an actual company recognition for outstanding customer service), you’ll have offered those things before the customer even thought to ask. Though Nordstrom employees have the freedom to do what it takes to make the customer leave with a memorable experience, don’t take advantage of them if you’re not planning on recognizing their services.

10. Everything eventually goes on sale.

All items reduce significantly over the course of a few months. If you have an item on your wish list you simply can’t justify purchasing, wait it out. Although there is a risk that it will be sold out by the time you’re ready, an employee will most likely be able to track one down in the store-wide system. I’ve been able to find the last top in the entire company for a customer before. When the price marks down over time to end in .97, it means it’s time to be sent to Nordstrom Rack. Occasionally, customers will find missed .97 sale items on the floor and score a great deal, and more rarely, we’ve had to honor items that literally devalued to $0.01.

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How To Style A Black Sneaker

One invaluable item to travel with is a great sneaker.

Great as in it has to be comfortable enough to walk the length and breadth of a new city in, but sleek enough that it still looks chic.

Great as in it has to go with multiple outfits, look fashionable, not make your foot look giant, and not look like a running shoe.

Black Superga sneakers

All the cool Italian and French girls wear Italian made Superga sneakers, in black, white and various fun colors. They make them look so fabulous!

Jennifer Aniston in Superga

Stateside celebs including Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Aniston, and Karlie Kloss swear by them too.

Karlie Kloss in Superga

Alessandra Ambrosio in Superga

I bought my first pair of Superga a few years ago in Sicily. They are hot pink with white. I’ve since bought grey Superga as well as a white pair and a black pair. I wear them on set when I have long shoots, I wear them around town, and I wear them when I travel.

Although I bought my first pair when I was away, I’ve bought my subsequent pairs online at

Here is a little video about how cool Superga shoes are:

I wear my pink, grey and white superga all the time, but haven’t been wearing the black pair so often largely because I have a harder time styling them.
I saw the following article on How To Style A Black Sneaker on and now am pulling my black Superga sneaks out of the closet and putting them back into rotation.

You need a really cool black sneaker – you need a pair of Superga!

Here is the PopSugar story:

You swore to yourself you’d wear them, but a few months later, your black sneakers are still sitting in your closet, waiting for you to break ’em out and rock them with the perfect look. The only problem? You have no idea what said look is, and you’ve come to realize that these shoes are trickier to style than you thought.

No worries. As always, bloggers are here to save the day — or, at the very least, your outfit. Scroll through to gather some inspiration, then shop the pairs they love to wear.

1. Striped shirt, denim cutoffs, wide brimmed hat

Follow Sincerely Jules

2. With a light long sleeved top, loose pants and a wide brim hat

Follow by_annna

3. With a white dress and a leather jacket

Follow black_palms

4. With a graphic tee, boyfriend jeans and a fedora

Follow mija_mija

5. With a duster, black jeans, white shirt

Follow joandkemp

6. Chambray shirt and jeans

Follow  Vivaluxury

7. Black tee, black jeans, knotted jacket

Follow Glenzyfeliz

There are 18 more black sneaker blogger Instagrams in the original Pop Sugar story. Check them out here