Normally I have an easy time putting together each month’s Hit List, but I’ve had curator’s block for the past two months.

I’m blaming it on pregnancy.

These five things though…

I could write individual posts on why I love each item so much.  But unless you’re a space-loving, Game of Thrones-addicted, thirsty woman who’s trying to get back in shape and can only talk about football from Sunday-Tuesday, you would be bored out of your mind.

Thus – an edited version of the monthly Hit List, limited to the 5 things I’ve been OBSESSED with this month.

I’ve been absolutely obnoxious with recommending The Martian whenever I’m asked (and even when I’m not).  Think Survivor, but in space.  It’s just a great book – well-written, addictive storyline, wonderfully developed characters.  I haven’t been able to get into a new book after finishing this one, and still think about it constantly.  None of the books I’ve started since finishing The Martian have sufficiently captured my attention.  Here’s hoping I find a new literary obsession.

The Philadelphia Eagles.  Oh, my wonderful, heart attack-inducing Eagles.  I’ve been glued to whatever screen is at my disposal (TV, phone) to watch this team come back from behind and win in the most terrifying, exciting ways.  I could (and do) talk about them constantly, much to the chagrin of my family and friends.  I spend every morning checking my regular sports websites for the latest news.  Saturday nights feel like Christmas Eve as a kid – I’m too excited to go to sleep in anticipation of Sunday’s game.  I’m incredibly embarrassing in public when the games are on.  I’ve even named the bump CK, after head coach Chip Kelly.

I probably should see someone for this.

Here’s the thing about boobs.  They make layering tops impossible.  (They also make golfing pretty tricky).  But back to layering.  I’ve never been able to pull off the blouse-sweater combo with ease – I’m always pulling down the blouse, readjusting the sweater, and am rendered uncomfortable the entire time.  So I’m eternally grateful for J.Crew’s new layered sweater.  I get the stylish layered look without the hassle of putting it together.  (PS – get 20% off with code SHOPFORFALL).

I’ve never been great at consuming the recommended amount of water a day.  Thanks to this little creature growing inside of me, I’m thirsty ALL THE TIME.  Paltry water glasses just don’t cut it.  This awesome stein, depicting the map of Westeros, does.  If only they had a travel version of it.

I’ve also never been good at exercising with any regularity.  Again, thank you pregnancy for forcing me to adapt healthier habits, like exercise.  Don’t let the flouncy name of Ballet Beautiful fool you – these workouts are NO JOKE.  However, they do allow you to lie down during your leg sequences, and really do demonstrate great results.  I’ve been doing 1-2 of these videos a day, and am enjoying the much-needed endorphins while seeing results.  And, you know, lying down.

What have you discovered this month that you’re absolutely addicted to?  Any fun books, style discoveries, etc?  COMMENT below and let me know!

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For beauty junkies and people with fussy skin or hair, packing toiletries ranks up with bikini waxes and dentist appointments as things they most dread.

Their words, not mine.

Selecting your toiletries.  Start with the items you use multiple times a day, and then once a day.  PACK THEM.  What do you use every few days, or weekly?  Depending on the length of your trip, pack them or leave them.  Next – divide what’s actually a liquid vs. what isn’t.  “Solids” like deodorant, makeup sticks, and super thick balms qualify as solids and don’t need to fit in that tiny quart-sized bag.

The right size.  If you’re reading this a week or so before your trip, invest in your go-to products in TSA-approved sizes.  3FLOZ, Sephora, and Birchbox are great online (or in-person) destinations that you can snag your preferred products.  For your go-to toiletries that aren’t available in travel-friendly sizes, GoToobs are the BEST travel bottles.  I also love this FLIGHT001 bottle kit, which a wide variety of sizes and comes in the perfect bag.  In a major pinch?  Use contact lens cases to pack small amounts of liquids – either daily amounts, or to pack liquids you use small amounts of (hair serum, eye cream, etc).

The right kit.  While Ziploc bags are convenient, they can be a pest when packing your toiletries.  They break, are limited in space, and are just ugly.  Investing in a roomy, beautiful toiletry bag is a much better way to go.  I have both the Hudson+Bleecker Voyager and the Stephanie Johnson ML Traveler and sing their praises – they include a gusseted quart-sized bag in durable plastic, tons of smaller pouches, and fit even the biggest beauty junkie’s toiletry collection.  My kit is always pre-packed, which makes packing and unpacking a breeze.

Where they go.  My liquids bag always goes in my personal item, and always near the top.  Easy to find for security screening and for an impromptu in-flight use.  The non-liquid toiletries go in my suitcase.

You can find more of my toiletries packing advice here and here, and in the video below.

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This Week

September 17, 2014

Bittersweet is the appropriate word to sum up this week.  I lost a beloved aunt last week.  While I’m relieved she’s no longer suffering, the loss is palpable.  More than anything, I wish I could have gone to India to say good-bye.

And to know that my child won’t ever meet her (or the three uncles I lost in the past few years) is decidedly bitter.

That’s life, though.  And it goes on.

But I’m truly overwhelmed (in a good way) at the outpouring of well wishes for our growing family.  All of your comments, tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram comments mean the world to me.  While I’ve never met many of you, I’m truly grateful that you take the time to visit my blog and share in my personal happy news!  Your support and wonderful feedback was a powerful sweet in an otherwise bittersweet past few days.

I’m re-settling back into my usual routine this week, which feels blissfully normal.  A lot of writing and a few social engagements sit between me and a Vegas weekend with two of my best friends from college (and the husbands, too).

Obviously, am packing the smallest bag possible.  Obviously, am very excited.

  • Oh, to have been a passenger during the golden era of flight travel.
  • 6 documentaries you NEED to add to your Netflix queue.
  • It’s incredible that new revisions to the way history is taught is creating such an uproar.  IT ALREADY HAPPENED.
  • Love or hate her music, you can’t deny that Taylor Swift is a woman to admire.  I’ve been playing “Shake It Off” on repeat since it was released.
  • Leave it to Tumblr to provide critical commentary on Harry Potter that is spot. on.
  • With so much horrific news coming out of the NFL, I can’t help but have mixed feelings on being such an ardent fan.  Hannah Storm articulated my thoughts and emotions on the current state of football perfectly.  Also, 5 annoying realities of being a female NFL fan.  HAVE SUFFERED ALL OF THESE.

Your turn!  Found any good reads this week?  What are you looking forward to most this weekend?  COMMENT below and let me know!

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