Our Favorite Henri Bendel Travel Accessories

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Henri 3If you’ve read any of our traveling/packing posts (here and here), you know that we are both extremely organized when it comes to preparing and packing! We always have everything ready ahead of time and everything has its own spot. So what do we use when we travel to keep us organized? Henri Bendel Travel Accessories!

Seriously these are the best travel accessories of all time and we keep going back for more! Not only do they just look cute; they are practical, stackable, durable and have a compartment for everything under the sun! We are sharing some of our favorites below that we use all the time and promise that they are worth the splurge!

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Jewelry – Centennial Stripe Small Travel Jewelry Case (here)
Traveling with jewelry can sometimes be scary. You don’t want your expensive items to get lost and you definitely don’t want necklaces getting tangled or the backs of your earrings ending up at the bottom of your suitcase. This jewelry travel case has been in a lifesaver as it allows for all types of jewelry – rings, earrings, necklaces; however it is durable and tiny!

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Makeup – Henri Bendel Packable Trio (here)
This is a MUST! It comes with 3 cases in one (amazing deal!) but the packables are different sizes and can have multiple uses. We use the medium size for our makeup when traveling and the smaller one for our makeup brushes. The largest case allows us to put any bigger items like sunscreen, hairspray, perfume, etc that might not fit in our toiletries case.

Also, the material is flexible so you can shove it between shoes and clothes and can wipe off any makeup that might stain! They are also so easy to grab on the go such as the beach or gym!

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Toiletries – Large Hanging Weekender Bag (here)
We always had trouble finding the right toiletry case until we came across this one! Most of the past ones we used never had enough room for everything or took up too much space in our suitcase. Our favorite part of this bag is that it zips both sides securely closed to make it compact. There are also two compartments on each side to put all of your items in. We organize it by putting hair products on one side and all of our face creams on the other. There is even a smaller pouch for items like contact cases or your toothbrush!

Oh and did we mention that you can hang this just about anywhere?! When you get to your hotel room you can hang it on the door or towel bar to make it easily accessible but also so it’s not taking up all the counter space. Genius!

What are some of your favorite travel accessories?!

Our Perfect Staycation with Crane & Canopy

What does the perfect staycation mean to you? It might be time spent alone, relaxing with a good book or inviting some family and friends over for a fun BBQ! We are sharing what our perfect staycation looks like, which includes time with friends, and of course food and drinks!

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To make it feel like we were at some tropical resort and not in our own backyard, we set up this beautiful table scape with drinks and refreshing fruit. Can someone say #pinterestgoals ?! We set the table with some decorations we had laying around the house and made a refreshing frosé drink to help us keep cool in this sweltering heat! The recipe for our drink by Bon Appetit can be found here. We then added a tray of fruit and macaroons (yum!) so our friends had something to snack on. Flowers completed the table to add pops of color and we even added petals to the ice bucket, which looked so cute!

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One item we couldn’t forget was our Crane and Canopy Fouta towels (here). They are 100% Turkish Cotton and feel sooo soft. They also absorb water quickly (which was much needed on this hot day!) and the best part is they matched our color scheme perfectly! Relaxing in the backyard and catching up with friends over drinks and food was the perfect staycation for us. We were able to kick our feet up and not worry about having to go anywhere!

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As the sun went down and it was time to get ready for bed, we made sure that the guest bed was perfectly made with Crane and Canopy’s Mirabel duvet cover (here) and that they had fresh bath towels to use. The Fouta towels have so many uses and the bath towel even has a cotton loop to hang up and dry properly. How great is that?! But just like any other vacation, staycations must unfortunately come to an end. We are feeling recharged and less stressed that we didn’t have to travel far and we were able to still have an amazing time!

This was a collaborative with Crane & Canopy. All opinions and thoughts expressed here are our own.

 

3 Day Juice Cleanse with Jus by Julie

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Sweetness: I’m so happy that I was able to do this juice cleanse – I felt like I really needed it and it was the perfect start to summer! For the most part I enjoyed every juice, however did have some effects from the sugar. The juices have no added sugar, however fruit does obviously contain natural sugar, which is just something my body wasn’t entirely used to. Day 1 started out great, I really enjoyed the first juice, which is the same each day. My biggest struggle were the juices that were a little on the sweeter side but boy did I love allllll of the green juices. Weird I know but the more “green” the juice, the more I enjoyed it. Day 2 was definitely the hardest day for me. I had a headache and felt the need to eat food even though I stayed strong…. okay I might of had 1 pretzel but shhhh! By day 3 I felt like a pro juicer – it could have been my new full time job. I usually do intermittent fasting on the regular s I’ll admit that I’m happy to have food back in my life, but I’m looking forward to doing this cleanse again the next time I need a refresh!

Sass: Overall I had a positive experience doing the juice cleanse! If you watched our stories you know that the first day I struggled a bit because my juices were not thawed properly and I didn’t realize how much that affected the taste of the juices until day 2. That being said, on day 2, I really enjoyed the taste of the juices much better but I physically struggled the most. I felt fatigued, hungry and a little queasy from the sugar. I also had a little trouble falling asleep from the sugar rush. I won’t dive too deep into that since Sweetness already explained the sugar situation! Otherwise, by day 3 I was feeling lighter and less fatigued and motivated to get my Breville juicer back out! I used to be an avid juicer and after this cleanse I remembered how much my body enjoys the the break from food. I like to incorporate juicing with food, for example, I used to have juice for breakfast every day, sometimes at lunch, but then I’d always have a balanced dinner. I think that is a realistic way of incorporating the health benefits of juicing without feeling the deprivation that you feel when you are doing a cleanse. The cleanse, however, is an excellent jump start and I would definitely do another 3 day!

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How To Be a Great Father

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This Father’s Day is a little extra special for Sass as this is the first time I am celebrating my husband as a father. I am fortunate enough to have had amazing examples of what a wonderful father is throughout my entire life but how I relate to what it means to be a father has taken on a different meaning now as a mother rather than simply a daughter.

Being a great father is all of the things everyone always says – father’s should be attentive, nurturing, loving, supportive, moral, etc etc, however, this father’s day I am going to go ahead and say that being a great father starts with being a great husband. Now, being a great husband is going to mean different things to different people but I’m going to share my 5 and a ½ months experience on this and how I came to believe it.

During the first few months of parenthood it is pretty easy to do right by your kid. I’m not saying that by any means it has been easy being a new parent but basically as long as she is fed, rested, burped, changed, and bathed she’s pretty happy and healthy. When you think of it as simply as that, as long as those things are happening you are a great parent.

Now in my house I generally do more of the feeding, burping, changing, and bathing because that is how we have it set up and what we have agreed upon. My husband definitely does a fair share of the duties but considering I am with her all day and most of the night before he gets home from work, one of the best ways he can be a great parent to her is by making sure that I am fed, rested, bathed, perhaps not burped and changed, but you get the picture!

When you become a mom your needs become secondary and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is when my husband responds to my needs when I am unable to do so for myself. Especially really early on when I was breastfeeding around the clock, my body was recovering, and I was extremely sleep deprived. There is no time to breathe, eat, bathe, or make a phone call let alone care about what’s for dinner! He was so great about stepping in when I couldn’t hold my head up, when I was breaking down in overwhelmed tears, and about ordering me to eat even when I didn’t have the energy to. Nowadays, he gives me time to see when my friends when possible or take a few hours to run errands….by myself 🙂

I’ve come to learn that being a great father can mean knowing when to not start a fight with mama! It’s giving mama a break when she needs it, sending her to get her nails done, or making dinner. Being a great father is letting mom off the hook when he’s out of clean socks or when our routine doesn’t go as planned. My husband is a great father to our baby girl and I am happy to say that that is in part because he is a great husband to me. 

I wanted to give him a few things to let him know how great of a job he’s doing taking care of his girls! My husband speaks Spanish fluently and we definitely want our daughter to learn so I found a really cool website that makes personalized books in Spanish. The site adds in his picture and all three of our names to the pages of a story about a little girl and her daddy. It’s too cute and he can’t wait to read it to her! (The books can also be personalized in English!)

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Knowing that we would be traveling to see my husband’s two brothers and many cousins this weekend, I thought a game would be perfect! These guys play more games when they get together than the kids do! They are so competitive but always have a great time. I picked up Bean Bag Bucketz from Dick’s Sporting Goods. There are four ways to play this game but I am certain that no matter how they play it will turn into a drinking game LOL. I’ll post some videos to our stories of them in action!

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My husband LIVES in tech shirts! He lounges in them, works out in them, cooks in them, and even goes out in them on occasion. They are the perfect shirt for him because he is a pretty big guy and these allow him to move and be active without any restraint! The material is perfect! I picked up a couple of new Under Armour Tech Shirts from Dick’s Sporting Goods – they are even on sale right now!

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And lastly, my husband loves his Qalo ring but lost it and needed another one! If your husband resists wearing a ring because it’s uncomfortable or because his type of work makes it dangerous or annoying to have metal on his finger YOU NEED A QALO. What is it? It is a silicon wedding band, as seen on Steph Curry, Sam Hung, Bryce Harper, and many others! They are very functional, my husband can barely feel that it’s on! We call it his “work ring” because I still like him to wear his nice wedding band for special occasions or a Saturday night out (because those have become special occasions too)! There are many color and personalization options that you are sure to find something he likes, you can even create your own! And the best part is, when he leaves it at the gym, it’s only $20-30 to replace! Woo!

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So keep some of these gift ideas in mind for next year or for his birthday and we hope all of the dads have a wonderful Father’s Day today!

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Top Tips for Traveling with a Baby

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baby travel 7Lucia is only 5 months old but we have traveled quite a bit! We’ve traveled to Maryland to visit my in-laws several times and we’ve also traveled #DTS (down the shore aka to the beach) quite a bit to my family’s beach house! That being said, I have a few tricks up my sleeve for traveling with her that I want to share with you that will hopefully make your first or continued travels with a baby a little easier.

Also I should note that all of our travels so far have involved staying at someone else’s home so some of these tips are helpful when you are trying your darndest to not impose your baby life all.over.someone’s.house. I do my best to keep our baby belongings together and minimized so we are not vomiting baby supplies all over every room of their home.

Anyway, one of the overall tips I can share is to have duplicates or travel versions of as much as possible, especially if you take long weekends as often as we do. Because if you’re like me, you’ve set up your baby’s room for ultimate function – everything has a place and for anything that needs to be plugged in, the cords and wires are tucked away out of sight and out of the way, etc. There is nothing I hate more than undoing the way a room is set up because I need to take half of it with me. It also eases the coming home process. If your baby’s room is untouched, no matter what time of day you get home, his or her routine can go as it normally would.

So, here are a few items I have travel dups of:

  1. Baby Monitor: I have the full video and sound monitor perfectly set up and positioned at home so when we’re on the go, I have a durable sound-only monitor. While it can be annoying to not have the video, the sound only version does the job. I also find that when we’re traveling I’m closer to her when she’s napping and usually sleeping in the same bedroom as she is when we go to sleep for the night so I am not as inconvenienced by not having the screen.
  2. Bathtub: I have an inflatable tub that fits easily in my bag and is quickly blown up and deflated.
  3. Bottle Warmer & Sterilizer: At home I have a large sterilizer that I can sterilize all of her bottles at once; I also have a separate warmer. However these items are large and difficult to pack. To consolidate, this sterilizer and warmer are combined but only fit two bottles at a time. It makes for a little bit more work when we’re away but I’d much rather efficiently pack and lug less stuff around!
  4. Drying Rack, Bottle Soap, and Bottle Brush: I have a travel-size drying rack because it’s easier than stacking paper towels or borrowing a towel when drying bottles. I also bring a travel size bottle of Babyganics bottle soap and bottle brush. I can be flexible about some things but when it comes to the cleanliness of her bottles, I am a bit regimented. I make sure to use a brush I’ve only ever used for her bottles and soap that is specifically meant for babies. I know she would survive a few days with regular soap but why bother when Babyganics makes travel size!
  5. Sassy Diaper Sacks & Large Garbage Bags: When we’re away I set up a place where I change all of her diapers, usually in whatever room we are staying in. I bring a large garbage bag with me so that for the duration of the weekend I can dispose of the diapers in the large garbage bag without stinking up the homeowners trash bins. The Sassy Diaper Sacks are baby powder scented bags with ties that mask the smell of #2! This way when the diapers are in the garbage bag they don’t stink up the room. Or if you do dispose of the diapers in someone’s trash, you aren’t staaaanking up their kitchen, bathroom, etc. I even use these at home for the doooodie diapers before I throw them in the diaper pail.
  6. Sound machine: Lucia sleeps with a white noise machine every night and rather than pull ours out from home, which is perfectly placed and cords tied, etc I have another one that comes with us. It also means when we get home she can go to sleep without a hitch since her room was left untouched.
  7. Pack N Play: We have several Pack N Plays; one we keep at my in-law’s house, one at the beach house, and another that for right now just stays in my car. They pack so quickly and easily and tuck nicely into any room. Lucia sleeps just as easily in the Pack N Play as she does her crib! If you travel to a place often enough, for example an in-law’s house, keep one there! It makes set up and travel much easier!

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And finally I have a few preparation type recommendations to make:

  • Have a list! Mom brain is real and you are likely to forget one of the 8 million things you need to bring with you when going out of town without one!
  • Keep anything travel related together and in one spot. Just about everything I’ve listed above is kept together in a bag in Lucia’s closet so when it’s time to pack, I know that everything is right where I need it. I don’t worry that I’ve forgotten something and I’m not scrambling around collecting items we’ll need from every room in the house.
  • I use boiled water for Lucia’s bottles. When we’re about to travel, I pack enough bottles to get through the day in a cooler with the ready-made boiled water. This is helpful because I would hate to walk through the door and feel like I need to immediately use someone’s kitchen to boil water for her. She’s also usually ready to eat again the second we get anywhere so to have it ready is quick and easy.
  • Lucia sleeps in, usually until 10am or so. She also sleeps anytime she is in the car. That being said, we’ve found it easiest to leave very early in the morning when she would otherwise still be sleeping so her long sleep in the car doesn’t throw off her schedule. It’s not a perfect science but it’s worked pretty well!
  • I bring a cloth sack for dirty clothes, hers and ours. Babies can sometimes create dirty laundry every hour so having the separate bag for dirties makes it easy to keep track of what’s clean and what isn’t. But more importantly it makes laundry SO EASY when we get home. I just dump the contents of the bag right into the washer when we get home.

I hope you find some of these tips and products helpful! The bottom line for me with traveling with a baby is preparation, timing, and duplicates! What are some of your best baby travel tips?!

10 Tips to Stay Healthy and Germ Free While Traveling

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Traveling is such a rewarding experience, however can definitely take a toll on our immune system. I’ve compiled some of my top tips on how I stay healthy while traveling to make sure I don’t catch whatever germs might be floating around. Read tip #6, it’s a personal favorite!

  1. Before you even leave, load up on vitamin C. I like to drink a few packets of Emergen-C a few days before I leave so that it is in my system already. I also bring some with me to drink while I’m away, especially if I’ve had a few late nights!
  2. Wipe.everything.down. Sooo many people don’t do this and it is crucial! Not only while traveling but just in life. I always carry disinfecting wipes with me and wipe down the seat, seat belt, tray table, etc the second I get on a plane. I also wipe down the hotel room too! Crazy? Maybe. Less germs? Yes!
  3. Never lay on throw pillows or decorative blankets in your hotel room. Like never. These things don’t get washed and who knows what types of weird things were going on with previous guests (yikes). I always pull back the comforter and make sure that I only sit/lay on the sheets.
  4. Piggybacking off the previous tip, don’t put your suitcase on the bed! This is my biggest pet peeve and I don’t understand why people do this. Your suitcase was just dragged on the ground and thrown onto the dirty baggage claim. Use the luggage rack that’s provided or the floor – please!
  5. Don’t forget about your feet. If you are wearing shoes without socks to the airport, always keep a pair of socks in your carry on bag to put on when walking through security. Also, hotel floors can be dirty and you definitely don’t want to pick up any fungus from the carpet. Dramatic, probably but I always bring slippers to walk around in, plus it’s more comfortable!
  6. When we get to hotels, we often unpack our toiletries and leave our toothbrush out on the counter. When the maid comes in, our items get moved around to clean and they might just touch your toothbrush. Yup – dirty hands, maybe just scrubbed the toilet and now it’s on your toothbrush about to go into your mouth. I bet you’ll never leave your toothbrush out again…
  7. Get to the gym – at least once! Maintaining your same routine that you have at home is important when you are traveling too. Foregoing all the hard work you have put in would be so sad just because you are traveling for a few days. Try to get to the gym at least once (if not every day!) so that you can still maintain your healthy lifestyle, especially if you’ve indulged more on food and drinks!
  8. Eat at least 1 healthy meal a day! It can be tough when traveling to eat well for a number of reasons, however if you try to keep at least 1 meal healthy, this will help you better stay on track. My personal favorite meal is dinner so I would rather eat light for breakfast and lunch and indulge later. If you decide ahead of time what meals you want to keep healthy, you are less likely to make an impulsive unhealthy decision!
  9. Drink a whole bottle of water on the plane. I always have a bottle on me wherever I go and when I’m on a plane, I can literally feel the water being sucked from my body. My goal is to drink an entire bottle of water while flying to stay hydrated and keep my skin from drying out.
  10. This final tip is something that I do everyday, even when I’m not traveling, however I think it’s important. When “touching” things, like the elevator button or the touch screen on a place, I always use my knuckle. Your knuckle is less likely to touch your face like your finger tip would and it will prevent germs from spreading!

 

National Rosé Day – Top 2 Rosés Under $20

Here at Sass and Sweetness we do not take national holidays lightly, especially national holidays that encourage sipping rosé all day! Yup, all day. It was really tough work but we sat around and taste tested a bunch from our local wine shop and are happy to report that we’ve narrowed it down to two favorites!

The first is the Meiomi Rosé. We are already HUGE fans of the Meiomi Pinot Noir so this was pretty much a no brainer. The Meiomi Rosé is light and crisp and not too sweet. Although we look sweet, super sweet rosés are not our favorite. So, this is our top choice for sipping all day. The only downfall we see about the Meiomi Rosé is that it is a little bit more difficult to find than our second choice, Whispering Angel.

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Whispering Angel is everywhere and is pretty synonymous with basic biddies drinking rosé on a Sunday at brunch, no? Well, there’s a really good reason for it…it’s delicious! It is a little bit sweeter than the Meiomi but not too much, just a tad fruitier!

And while the Meiomi Rosé is a twist off (major brownie points earned!), the Whispering Angel is easily opened with our magic Rabbit! No, we are not referring to a cute animal that comes out to play on Easter, we are talking about the most amazing tool in our kitchens – the electric wine opener…ah-AH-ah-Ahhhhh (a white light shines around it). It seriously makes popping open a bottle so easy! The electric set comes with a preserver, an aerator, 2 stoppers, and a foil cutter. It makes a great gift for your bestie, your hubby, or let’s be serious, for yourself. Just get it, it will change your life.

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And lastly, we’d just like to wish you all a Happy National Rosé Day! Enjoy it, slay it, and please drink responsibly!