Friday, June 22, 2012

Jet-Setting Survival Must-Haves

I can’t believe in seven short days I will be on my way to Italia!

Sadly Hubs is not coming with, but I will be meeting my family in Roma, and from there we will tour some of the major sites and cities of Italy. 

It will be a whirlwind trip, but it is also the first family vacation we have taken in about 10 years.  It will also be the first time we will have all been in one location in about two and a half years!

As I mentioned in my last post, I got back from Thailand about a month ago, two weeks ago I was in Ohio for one of my besties’ wedding.  After this Italy trip I will be flying back to Ohio for another good girlfriend’s fabulous wedding.

Hubs and I use to run through airports on a weekly basis when we were dating, but since being married, my passport has been gathering dust.  I feel like a jet-setter again!

I’m sure a lot of you will be traveling this summer, so here are some of my travel essentials:

Clorox Wipes

During my last trip, I read in a magazine about all the germies on planes.   I am a bit of a germaphobe to begin with (I consider the smell of bleach an aphrodisiac). After reading the article I quickly bought antibacterial wipes for my flight back.

As I sit, I wipe down the arm rests, the seatbelt, the tray table (top & bottom) and if the seat is leather, the seat … as well as anything else I might possibly touch that could give me Hepatitis A.

(Did I scare you?)

Water Bottle with Filter

As a bikini competitor I drink a lot of water.  Before competing I drank a lot of water. This time I will bring a water bottle with filter, so I can fill up anywhere! It will save you a lot of money, and keep you healthy and hydrated.

Nibbles & Nosh

I have been delayed on planes one too many times. I ALWAYS carry something to nibble on, whether it’s a packet of nuts to a sandwich from the airport deli.  On international flights, vegetarian meal options often leave a lot to be desired in the protein department. I’m usually so over-carbbed and bloated by the time I got off the flight.  This time I will be packing a few packets of tuna just in case.


If I have a long travel itinerary (layovers and long flights), I hate to carry a huge bag.  I also get really bored with books.  I’m usually reading two or three at one time (probably why I never finish any of them!)  My Kindle compresses everything into one small carry-on, leaving lots of room in my bag for:


If it’s a short weekend trip, I try to stuff pack everything into a carry-on.  However, for my international trips, I like to carry on a small bag of make up and a small bag of necessities to make sure I don’t look like Lindsey Lohan when I get off a flight.

Make up bag:
Tri-color palettes give you some variety without
 taking up too much room
(mine is liquid, so I pack it in the quart-size necessity bag)

One neutral-color eye shadow compact
Eye liner
Lip pencil
Chap stick
Teasing comb
Travel size hair spray

Lip pencils can be used to color in the lip, and the chap stick glossies it up a bit and keeps you hydrated.  Also, rub a little of the pencil color on your fingers and blend into your cheeks for a bit of color.

These are AH-MAZE-BALLS.
I never travel without!

Travel-size face wash
Travel-size face lotion
(I also use it for my hands and arms)
Travel toothbrush and paste
(if it’s a short trip, then I will pack Wisps)
Saline eye drops
Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer
Wet wipes

Just enough to keep from being too stinky when I get off the flight.

Happy Flying Lovies! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Eat, Love, Renewed

In my last post I mentioned I wanted to blog more.  I have failed on that one, but for good reason.

Two weeks ago, the hubs and I flew to the other side of the world to celebrate the marriage of my brother-in-law and (now) sister-in-law.

The week in Phuket, Thailand was just what this bikini competitor needed.

Prior to leaving, my body was failing me.   Honestly.  Waking up each morning was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.  I woke up feel like I had been run over by a truck.  My body ached.  All I did was sleep, but I was not rested.  I had no energy to even make it through the day, let alone attempt a work out (but I did). I was holding on to 5lbs of water weight.  Any moment I had to sit and think, I would just start crying out of frustration. 

I know other people have a way worse lot in life than me.  I am truly blessed. 

But when you have spent the last six month only putting pure energy into your body, participating in strength-training and (multiple) cardio sessions on a daily basis, and seeing improves in both strengthen and endurance then to have it all crumble while you attempt to paste it all back together, is just disheartening. 

Another realization out of this trip: Hubs and I have never taken a REAL vacation together. 

Hubs and I traveled back and forth to see each other while we were dating.  I made a 72-hour total round-trip to South Africa for his friend’s wedding.  He brought me to London for my birthday and proposal, then we immediately flew off to Seychelles to celebrate Christmas with his family.  We spent three months working together on the boat, traveling from the eastern US throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean.  Last Christmas was spent in St. Maarten.  And this doesn't include the half a dozen or so trips back to Ohio. 

But even with all that traveling, not one trip was truly a vacation.  The South African trip was a blink.  Hubs was working in London, and when I arrived he was still dealing with boat issues and pre-proposal nerves. And he got so sick he practically was on his deathbed (no fun with an lengthy layover in Qatar and a 14-hour plane ride). Arriving in Seychelles, was the first time I was truly meeting my future in-laws … I also had food poisoning, and was spending my first Christmas away from my family.  All Ohio trips involved something wedding-related ... and for those who have planned a wedding, know there is NO relaxation during the engagement period.

While our mini-moon, a long-weekend at the Ritz, was fabulous, I spent most of my time poolside, studying, not sipping over-priced pina coladas with my new hubs. 

And while we have been to some pretty beautiful places on the boat, it’s not a vacation, as Mark always has on his captain’s hat.  Even if the only people on the boat are the crew and family, he’s concerned about personalities, if people are happy and well-taken care of, and if the day’s event or dinners are planned.  I feed off of his energy.  We both end up being a bit uptight.

… Luckily our trip to Thailand included no captain hats.

Hubs and I spent all week relaxing poolside with family members we haven’t seen (or, in my case, met) in years. 

And of course, the wedding was beautiful, and so much fun.  Both Mark and I walked away hopping for a community of friends and support that both Guy and Shannon have.  Not only did the bride and groom get love, but the Hubs and I experienced nothing but the whole week.  

A quick layover in London allowed me to see my brother

My in-laws the night before the wedding, enjoying Thai milkshakes

Guy waiting for Shannon

The beautiful bride!!!

The hubs, handing over the rings

They had an elephant at the wedding!!!!

It was SUPER windy! 

 And, even more surprising, while I was off diet the entire week (I didn't want to stress out if I couldn't get a fillet of tuna at 2 pm), once I got back home and got back on diet, all water weight and bloat that has been plaguing me these last few weeks immediately disappeared.  

While diet fell somewhat by the wayside for the week, I did workout everyday and actually learned to enjoy the gym again.  I started seeing results from my workouts too.  I also decided to compete again.  

It's amazing how something as simple as relaxing can actually renew the body.