Travel Tips and Essentials

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This post is sponsored by Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant. All opinions are my own.

I’m practically living out of a suitcase right now.

During this heavy travel time, there are a few essentials I just have to keep close while jet setting from place to place.

I always bring a neck pillow to create comfort, headphones of course (and an adapter or extra pair for the plane), essential oils to ease stress, and gum for when my ears pop.

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In addition to these must-haves, one thing I absolutely can’t live without when I’m traveling is deodorant. Isn’t forgetting deodorant just the worst?! When traveling long distance or in the tight quarters of an airplane, you’re going to want to keep yourself feeling fresh. Luckily, my friends at Dove just sent me some in time for my recent travels! I’ve been using Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant because it fights odor and also cares for your skin while keeping you feeling fresh. It provides 48 hour odor and wetness protection and is available in an assortment of classic fragrances.

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After a long flight, I have a routine. First step is to refresh my deodorant, but with Dove’s long lasting protection, I don’t really need to! Something else I always do after that is wash my face and finish with a cold washcloth to reduce inflammation and freshen up after a flight. I picked this trick up from dermatologist Dr. Barba! You can do this right after landing at the airport bathroom (which gives your baggage time to arrive) or you can do this in the comfort of your hotel room. It’s also a good idea to pop some immunity boosters!

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Dr. Barbra also recommends awesome tips for packing! One of her other suggestions is to remember to bring weather-dependent necessities. In addition to the basics, if you’re traveling where it’s hot, humid and sunny you’re going to want to bring blotting papers, a stronger SPF and a lightweight moisturizer. If you’re heading somewhere cold, pack lip balm, a richer moisturizer and a hydrating face mask to help combat the dry air.

Are there any rituals you all do when you travel or special tricks you keep in mind to keep the stress low while you travel? Either way, wishing you all safe and happy travels in 2018!

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Check out more on Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant online here!
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Celebrating Summer with Cinnabon

Cinnabon Chillatta In case you missed all of my squealing on social, I recently partnered with Cinnabon to celebrate the launch of their new Chillattas!

The launch party was absolutely amazing. It was literally in a bar made of ice in NYC, which was perfect for chillin’ on a warm summer night with a cold treat.

I was joined by four other influencers and we were all paired with a flavor based on our personalities! Each flavor was unveiled in a super cute ceremony at the event. Naturally, I was dubbed Peaches & Cream thanks to my “charming, All-American sweetness.” Their words, not mine. 😉


Cinnabon Chillattas

The other flavors include OREO Cookies and Cream, Signature Cinnamon Roll, Double Chocolate Mocha, and Strawberries and Cream. I’m currently on a mission to try them all and highly recommend that you all do the same.

Check out Cinnabon’s website and follow them on social (obsessed with their IG) for more info about these new sweet treats! You can even take their flavor quiz to see which one is the perfect match for you. Then post on social using #ChillattaChallenge to spread the word!

[This post was sponsored by Cinnabon, but all opinions are my own.]

Martinis and Mascara: Behind the Scenes

Katie McBroom TapInfluence

Hi lovelies! I was recently featured by influencer marketing agency TapInfluence on their blog, The Soapbox.

In the article I share some insight into the blogging world as well as tips and tricks for aspiring bloggers!


If you’re interested, head over to my interview on The Soapbox and take a peek. Would love to hear what you think! xoxo

Traveling Solo, Turning 30 & Other Unpopular Activities I Highly Recommend

solo travel

“You’re doing WHAT?!”

That was the most common reaction I received upon sharing my 30th birthday plans. (ICYMI, I did a – gasp – solo mystery vacay via Pack Up + Go!)


But it wasn’t the surprise part that startled most, it was the solo part.

Most people gazed at me with sympathetic eyes, ready to whip out their violins and throw me a pity party because they thought it was such a tragedy that I’d have to go somewhere by my little lonesome. Like it was automatically assumed that I must be sad and alone if I had to travel by myself.

In a world that preaches self-love and acceptance – why is it so unfathomable that one would want to spend time alone? I actually like spending time with myself and I think it’s a concept that should be more widely embraced.

Let me assure you, I have friends. I have a core group of besties that I would die for. I have the best parents in the entire world, a little brother I adore more than anything, and a husband of almost 7 years – all of whom most definitely would have gone with me if I had asked them to. But I didn’t.

For my 30th birthday, I wanted to go on an adventure and have an experience that was solely mine. If you’ve never traveled solo, I could see how this might sound crazy. But I’ve had some of the absolute best experiences of my life all by myself. Hear me out.

Four years ago I took my first solo trip (to LA). My travel companion was supposed to be my husband, but he found himself suddenly unable to go. Instead of canceling the trip, I had the craziest idea. What if I went by myself? And instead of doing all of the couple-focused activities I had on the itinerary… What if I went solo and did whatever the hell I wanted?

So I did. I stayed in beautiful historic downtown Pasadena where I walked everywhere to take in (and fall in love with) the scenery. I attended the IMATS for the first time. I got my makeup and hair professionally done just for the hell of it. I swam naked at a spa with a bunch of strangers. I ate what I wanted to and I drank what I wanted to and I didn’t consult any other soul about where to go and what to do.

It was one of the most liberating experiences of my entire life and I will forever cherish the memory of that trip… and the fire it lit within me. That trip empowered me to be fearless. It proved to me that I can do whatever I want without anyone holding my hand or telling me how. Forever after that trip, I stood a little taller and spoke a little louder and took solace in knowing that I am in complete control of my own happiness.

Since then I’ve embarked on over a dozen solo trips, each one of them exciting, empowering, and enlightening in their own way. And my most recent was no different.

On my solo 30th trip to Denver, I ignored my phone (not completely, but more than I usually do). I wandered with no particular place to go, staring at the mountains and breathing in the mile-high air. I ate elk hotdogs and drank multiple bottles of Champagne. I got a Vichy shower (Google it). I ate pot gummies (legally!), blasted Amy Winehouse and danced around my haunted hotel room in a plushy robe. It was cozy and relaxing and everything I wanted to be. These moments were not only perfect, but completely my own, with no one around to effect my energy. (Except the ghosts.)

Throughout it all, I reflected on the 30 years of beautiful life I’ve been blessed to live. I normally reserve my use of the term “blessed” for sarcastic hashtagging purposes, but in this case, I truly mean it.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t go on trips with people you love. Do that! I do it too. I’m just saying that if one of those people you love happens to be you and you decide to travel alone, you might just discover a new part of yourself and have the best time of your life.

I know I did.

Pack Up + Go Review

Pack Up and Go Review

I did something a little unorthodox to celebrate my 30th birthday.

After struggling to decide what to do to commemorate this milestone, I chose to escape on a solo surprise vacay via Pack Up + Go!


What is Pack Up + Go, you ask? Cliff’s Notes version: Think of them as a surprise travel agency that specializes in three-day weekend trips. The kicker is that you don’t know where you’re going until the day you leave. Yes, you read that right.

I literally told anyone who would listen about it and got quite a reaction. Read on to hear more about my experience and the answers to FAQ’s from everyone I blabbed to…

How does it work?

Nearly everyone I talked to about this, online and otherwise, was like, “Wait, WHAT? How do they know where to send you?”

An excellent question! You start the process by filling out a basic questionnaire that asks for some insight about your travel preferences (and allows you to express areas you don’t want to travel to). 

The survey asks whether you prefer action or relaxation and also prompts you to check off hobbies and interests. See below for a snapshot of the survey:

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In mine, I checked off basically anything having to do with food/alcohol and spas, relaxation, and nature. I skipped all of the fitness and outdoor sports options. (#yolo)

I noted that I did not want to go to Austin or Nashville as I had just traveled to both places within the last couple months. I also requested that I not be sent to Florida, LA, and Vegas as I travel fairly often to all three. 

What is the cost?

The beauty of this service is that you pick your own budget. Full disclosure – I set a fairly high budget for my trip ($1,000) because it was for my 30th birthday and I didn’t mind forking over a little more cash than I normally would.

You could set a budget as low as $400 – it would just mean that you’d likely be traveling by car to a nearish destination vs. flying across a country to stay in a luxury hotel.

How do you know what to pack?

A week prior to my departure, I got an email giving me a heads up on the weather so I would have an idea of what to pack. They gave me the forecast and tips like to bring walking shoes (“you’ll be covering a lot of ground”) and an empty stomach (“this place has some seriously good food – and drinks”).

The email also included necessary information about my departure for planning purposes – “go to LaGuardia airport, terminal B, at 6:45 a.m.” 

Were you afraid you’d hate your destination?

Strangely, no. I trusted that they wouldn’t send me somewhere terrible. I’m also kind of an adventure junkie, so I figured that I’d be able to find something to do no matter where they sent me. If all else failed, my plan was to find a bar and make a memory no matter what.

However, right before I left I did suddenly I have all these panicky thoughts flooding my brain about the travel portion of my trip. What if the flight they book for me doesn’t match my picky travel preferences? What if I have a million layovers? Oh god, what if they fly me on Spirit?! (Spoiler alert: None of that happened.) 

When did you find out your destination?

The morning of my departure! They send you an envelope with your destination and an itinerary inside about five days before you leave with the direction not to open the envelope until the day you leave. Of course, you can cheat and open it early, but I didn’t want to. 

Where did they send you?!

Denver, CO! It was absolutely incredible. Keep an eye out for my love letter to Denver in a future post as it’s too much to write here. 😉

Was it worth it?

The answer – without hesitation – is YAAAAS. I want to do it again! Like, as soon as possible.

Would you recommend this for everyone?

This is a tricky question. Did I love it? Abso-freaking-lutely. Is it for everyone? Maybe not everyone.

If you are a control freak, this may not be for you. Due to the nature of the service, you can’t plan anything ahead. Example: The hottest dinner spot in your destination city might be completely booked since you couldn’t reserve in advance (because you didn’t even know you’d be going there.)

So, you really have to be the type of person that is willing to give up full control and go with the flow.

If you are that person, I recommend it 100%. And btw, if you book a trip, be sure to mention you heard about it from me! :)