11.26.2014

Airport Travel For Bloggers

The holidays are quickly approaching - which means, for a lot of people, that it is time to travel. If you are a blogger, travel can be extremely important for your blog - sharing your holiday outfits, favorite recipes, DIY gifts, and more. 

Traveling as a blogger can also be extremely difficult because of the amount of techie stuff you use - ie. cameras, laptops, external hard drives, etc. This is especially complicated if you are flying and don't want to check any baggage. How on EARTH do you fit everything you need into a carry on?

Below I have a list of items that I take consistently when I travel - or at least, items similar to those I use. I've also got some tips to make your life easier while flying, as a female blogger...so read on!
| Old Navy: Satin Tote |
| Raven & Lily: Ashoka Canvas Tote |
| TOMS + Target: Arrow Zippered Clutch
| Buckle: Mint Sunglasses |
| Travel toothbrush, check your local drugstore |
| Apple: iPad |
| Canon: EOS Rebel T3 |
| iPhone Charger: Similar |
| Various Stores: Travel Compact Hairbrush |
| Sugar Paper: Gold Polka Dot Journal |

Tip: Only bring the essentials
I know this sounds difficult. I always overpack when I travel, but when I'm flying, I want to avoid paying for checked baggage at all costs. So limit your bags to one carry-on (I typically use the brown weekender bag pictured above - I love it because you can squish it into small spaces) and a purse (I want that Old Navy tote for Christmas!).

Tip: Bring a purse in your purse
I highly recommend bringing some sort of canvas tote that you can roll up and stick inside your carry-on purse. That way, if you buy anything extra while traveling, you have somewhere to put it. If nothing else, the second purse will make your life easier (you can use the tote as your purse for the week so you don't have to unpack your carry-on purse!). 

Tip: Bring an iPad, not a laptop
Tablets are way easier to pack and take up less space - which is perfect when you are trying to pack light. You can do all your blogging on your tablet and use a family member or friend's computer if you need to upload photos.

Tip: Plan ahead for car rentals
If you need to rent a car for your traveling, I recommend getting this figured out BEFORE you get to the airport. I've only used a rental car once - a co-worker rented it, and the process seemed like a hassle. And it wasted my time when all I wanted was to get to the hotel and sleep. I recommend checking out RelayRides - they are available in many different cities (including Cincinnati), and you can schedule the whole thing IN ADVANCE. Boom. Super quick & easy. You can even make money if you want to let someone else rent your car. Check it out!

Tip: Don't pack hair care items
You really don't need to spend money on travel size shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. If you're staying in a hotel, most hotels provide that stuff (and replenish every day!). If you're staying with friends or family, you can buy some when you get in town. It's not worth the space in your carry-on!

Tip: Roll your clothes
Seriously, this saves SO MUCH SPACE and allows you to pack a lot of clothes in a tiny space. Also, bring items you can mix & match, and wear multiple times. The fewer things you bring the better.

Tip: Always carry a journal, pen & camera
As a blogger, you never know when an idea for a post will strike. You could talk to some really cool shop owner and want to remember details of your conversation. Or maybe you like to make to-do lists (like myself). Whatever the reason, a journal is necessary. And so is a camera, so you can have plenty of pictures to blog about (you can use your camera phone if nothing else, and it saves space!)

So, there you go. I hope my tips will help you a little bit this holiday season!

What are YOUR travel necessities?

11.24.2014

Comfy Monday

Sunday & Monday are my glasses day. Meaning, they are pretty much the only day I ever wear my glasses. On these days I like to get a little dressed up to compensate for the fact that my glasses make me feel grungy.

& sometimes, you need a pop of color to brighten up your grungy Sunday/Monday blues.

sweater, Old Navy |
| shirt, Charming Charlie |
| necklace, Old Navy |

I've been really getting into fashion lately, which is unusual for me. I used to hate statement necklaces; now I love them. And I would be okay with a t-shirt and sweatpants every day. 

Not anymore. 

I LOVE this shirt I got from the clearance rack at CC. It was something like $10 and I now consider it a staple. The shoulders, which you can't see in the picture, are peach colored. 

I feel comfy & cozy in this combo, which is PERFECT for fall.

What are your fall staples? 

See you soon, loves!

11.17.2014

Urban Eden

I've lived in Cincinnati my entire life, but until recently I've never had a desire to explore it. I interned at Cincinnati Magazine for a few months in college, and that was when I actually developed a desire to learn more about my city.

Over-the-Rhine (OTR) is the up and coming part of Cincinnati right now. There are tons of cool bars, restaurants, and boutiques - with more opening shortly! It's a great place to hang out, whether you are looking for a quiet Saturday morning or loud and crazy Friday night.

I recently took an entire Saturday and dedicated it to exploring OTR. I'll be sharing all about my adventures over the next few months, but I'm going to start with what I think was my favorite experience of the weekend.


Welcome to Urban Eden. I walked in and initially just thought it was a cute little shop that sold work by local artists - pottery, paintings, jewelry, jams, notecards and more. It definitely was - but the experience I had made the shop so much more than just an art boutique.


The owner, Julie, greeted me when I entered the store. I asked her if I could take some pictures for Passing Daisies, and her answer was, with a smile,  "Sure, as long as you only post nice things!" Naturally - how could I possibly say anything bad?!

Let me tell you - Julie knows everything. Seriously. I was blown away by her knowledge about the city and her willingness to tell me all the details about everything she sells. She knew every artist, where they lived, and what their most popular pieces are. She could tell me why she decided to sell their work and how their pieces related to Cincinnati history. We also talked about Senate, known primarily for their gourmet hot dogs and creative street food. She disappeared for a minute and came back with her personal, autographed copy of the restaurant's new cookbook (I want to buy it!).


"I wanted to show you this!" she said. She flipped through the pages and pointed various things out to me, all because I had mentioned that I loved food and had heard good things about Senate.

All I can say is that Julie is AWESOME. And check out Urban Eden, even if you don't buy anything. The customer service alone will bring you back the next time you're in town.

10.30.2014

Wanderlust

Life gets kinda crazy sometimes, doesn't it?

A lot has happened since September. Going through a break-up, traveling virtually non-stop for work (Lexington & Frankfort, KY + Farmington, Minnesota), and having to buy a new car (RIP Landon, my '95 Pontiac Grand Am) are what I would consider the top 3. So September and October have left me rather scatter brained and exhausted. Which has actually inspired a lot of songwriting - a new hobby of mine.

Thank goodness I love traveling. I wish it was for enjoyment rather than work, but I still get to explore the city in my free time. I'm currently in Lexington until the end of next week, so I'm doing my best to explore every nook and cranny - especially local favorites. Good thing I've basically been living in Lexington during the week since August because I'm finding tons of hidden gems!

I've learned recently that travel is a part of who I am. I love it. I find joy in exploration. So I keep planning little weekend trips to different, not so far away places. And because I love what I find, I want to share it with you. So PD is now going to take a little bit of a different angle. It will definitely still be about food and memories (which is key to the vision of PD), but it will also be about where I go on my travels. And this gives me a good excuse to practice photography! Soon I'll talk about Lexington, KY and Columbus, OH and Mammoth Caves, KY. 

Pretty things in Mammoth Caves, KY.

Before the end of the year I'll probably return to Columbus, as well as journey to Cancun (so excited!) and do a "stay-cation" in Cincinnati (Over the Rhine, specifically), along with a small Thanksgiving break trip to a place TBD. Next year I'm planning to go to Nashville, TN and Atlanta, GA, as well as a potential trip to Greece and Italy (still only a maybe right now) and possibly a missions trip to South Africa. And I will DEFINITELY be returning to New Orleans in July for the fourth time!

I'd also like to show you some places I went and never blogged about -  NYC & Albany & Paris (VA, not France) & the Bourbon Trail (KY) $ New Orleans.  And did I ever blog about my 3 weeks in Europe back in 2007?!

So many adventures completed, and so many more to come. I've got some wanderlust in me.

Stay tuned, friends. Some good things are coming!



9.02.2014

PB&J Revolution

Well, it's back to school time, once again. Even though I'm no longer a student, it's still back to school for me because I work in elementary schools. When I think of going back to school, I think of brown paper bags filled with lunches. Peanut butter & jelly, specifically.

Can you ever go wrong with peanut butter? 

The answer, of course, is no. So when Peanut Butter & Co. asked me, as part of the Yum Squad, to create a gourmet pb&j, I couldn't refuse. They sent me two jars of peanut butter and two jars of jelly, in the flavor of my choosing, to use for my recipe. 

I chose The Heat Is On (spicy peanut butter) and Mighty Maple, but I also had Dark Chocolate Dreams & The Bee's Knees in my cabinet. For jellies, I chose Awesome Apricot and Rip-Roaring Raspberry.


What I created: French Toast PB&J bites. 


The concept is simple: simply make a pb&j using the peanut butter & jelly of your choice,  cut it into four squares, and submerge the pieces in a mixture of egg & milk (2 eggs and 1 T. milk should work for two sandwiches). Then cook sandwich pieces in a HOT pan, covered in butter, until brown and toasted on both sides. 

Dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with maple syrup for extra yumminess. Another way to think of this is as stuffed french toast!


Here are the combinations I used: 

The Heat Is On & Awesome Apricot
Dark Chocolate Dreams & Rip-Roaring Raspberry
Mighty Maple & Awesome Apricot

Delicious. I encourage you to try out some combinations of your own! I think fig butter or cranberry butter would also be a really good choice for jelly, and you could even make this using Nutella, Biscoff spread or cookie butter! How delicious would THAT be?! I think these bites would be great as a back to school breakfast or as a lunch item. I remember french toast sticks being a popular lunch item when I was in high school, and these remind me of french toast sticks... but better! 

Well, that's all for now. To see more gourmet pb&j recipes, check out the hashtag #PBJrevolution. Thanks Peanut Butter & Co!