Thursday, October 23, 2014

travel tips: how to survive a red-eye

red-eye flights always seem like the greatest idea 
when i'm booking them. you basically get an extra
day somewhere without paying for a hotel because 
you fly overnight! so smart- right? right, until you 
are actually sitting on the plane for 6 hours unable 
to sleep, willing to give ANYTHING for a bed, and
 then landing early in the morning feeling like you 
were hit by a train...has this ever happened to you?

i still believe in red-eyes and love waking up to
a new place and not wasting any time during the
day flying, but you have to do them right.
since we are leaving on one of these tonight,
here are my tips for surviving a red-eye...

make it a direct flight
it will be really rough if you've booked connections during a red-eye. even if you sleep on one flight, the ordeal of getting out, walking through an airport and to a new plane will really throw you off. if it's possible, book nonstop red-eyes.

dress comfortably
this goes for most flights, but don't try to wear anything fancy on a red-eye. don't wear PJ's, but wear stretchy, comfortable clothes that will help you relax. i never wear earrings, makeup or jewelry on red-eye flights either, because i don't want to be uncomfortable or lose anything while trying to sleep.

book the window seat
especially if you're traveling alone, the window seat is a secret weapon. you can bunch your jacket or pillow up against the wall and feel a lot more comfortable than sitting straight up in your seat. this way you also avoid awkwardly dozing off onto your neighbor's shoulder :) i always prefer the aisle on every other flight, but overnight i pick the window.

come prepared
don't expect an airline to tuck you in for the night! some provide more than others, but come prepared with things that will help you rest and sleep. ideas are: a sleep mask, earplugs, music + headphones, sleeping pills (i've never taken one in fears that i won't wake up and they'll have to drag me off the plane, but lots of people swear by them on flights), and definitely a blanket / sweater/ scarf. planes get cold and there is nothing like trying to sleep while shivering!

pick a pillow
there are some amazing (and hilarious) inventions for plane pillows. from basic neck pillows to the ostrich pillow to the relax ally headband to the skyrest (chase's DREAM haha) there are lots of options. our most recent favorite is the hoodiepillow because it is two-in-one comfort and warmth! it inflates so it's easy to pack, and it has helped us both with sleep on flights.

limit food + drink
everyone says to HYDRATE on flights, and this is true -- but for a red-eye, i stop eating and drinking a few hours before. it's hard because i LOVE snacking on flights, but it's not fun to have to wake up for bathroom runs after finally getting yourself to sleep. eating a good meal before and then getting on the flight an hour or more later helps your body realize it's sleep time. eating always keeps me awake! 

do your bedtime routine
even though you're clearly not at home, your body will be more in the sleep mode if you follow some of your regular night time routine. wash your face, brush your teeth (but DON'T use the plane's bathroom water -- use bottled) take contacts out, etc.

have a backup plan
there are always those flights that are just rough. you might have a baby crying, you might not feel well, it might not be a possibility to fall asleep which can really drive you crazy. in case of insomnia or other factors that prevent you from sleeping, bring a loaded movie or book to at least focus on...i bet it will make you fall asleep anyway, but it will help you feel less desperate if the whole sleep thing isn't happening.

take it easy
often we take red-eye flights to places like NYC or busy cities where we want to hit the ground running -- don't overdo it. plan accordingly that upon landing in the morning you won't feel too refreshed, so plan a relaxing breakfast, a stop at a juice store, or something to get your energy up and help you recover before taking on the day.

^^ jetBlue is a good airline that hooks it up
on the red eye so!

i hope these help on your next red-eye!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

we're starting a non-profit!

"you are good. but it is not enough 
just to be good. you must be 
good for something. you must 
contribute good to the world. the 
world must be a better place 
for your presence. and the 
good that is in you must
be spread to others."
-gordon b. hinckley

this summer when i had a break between jobs
and chase turned 26, we both had a mini quarter
life crisis...but not the normal kind. we were
happy with where we were in life, but we both
had the nagging feeling something was missing.

we were feeling like we had accomplished a lot of 
our goals and started to build the life we want, but 
with the opportunities & experiences we've had, we
felt like we weren't giving enough back. very cliché,
and if you think this is cheesy you don't have to
keep reading :) but it is very genuine for us! one
sunday we went on a walk and talked about how
so far in our lives we had been able to focus on
ourselves -- our education, jobs, experiences, etc.
setting up a life for ourselves and being responsible.
chase talked about how the one thing he's learned
in his first 25 years is that he wants to spend the next
25 years focusing on others. we obviously want
to have fun and keep living the life we love, but find
ways to make things more meaningful and not all 
about us. we tossed ideas back and forth...i said that
along with working with hotels/ restaurants/ tourism
companies when we travel, we should also work with
great non-profits and organizations that are helping
the communities we travel in. we built on this idea,
and by the end of the walk we were dreaming BIG.

(lots of late nights have gone into working on this, and
turns out those big dreams are becoming a reality!
we're actually starting a non-profit spin off of the
 blog called where we can highlight the
efforts going on around the world in areas we visit.

basically, it's a non-profit to help other organizations
raise awareness by donating time & talent to help them
with marketing, websites, social media, etc. it's been
months of preparation and work with lots more to do,
but as of now we're actually an official 501c3
organization. filed, signed, sealed, delivered! we've
invested our money in this with the hope that it helps
us focus outward on the great people and orgs that
make this world we love even more beautiful.

we chose WellCared because we want these non-profits 
that care for the world to be well taken care of as well. 
now that it's formed, we're recruiting different 
professionals and people to donate their time to 
non-profits that we've partnered with. just like we
love to share an amazing travel experience or meal,
we are excited to share organizations that are changing
the world, making a difference, and contributing to
their communities. this way we can touch many 
different organizations and have exposure to a lot of 
diverse causes rather than just one. we hope this can 
be an avenue to bettering the world through partnering 
with other non-profits and helping them better achieve 
their missions. we're excited to set up service trips in
the future, feature great events and causes, and work
on this as a team. i love being in a partnership with
my favorite person! he's a good co-founder :)

the excerpt below from thrive, one of my favorite books 
of the year, said it perfectly and woke me up to this 
desire. we pride ourselves on being go-getters 
which is good, but being go-givers is better.

we hope that if you know of any great non-profit 
organizations who could use help with their marketing/
websites/ outreach, you'll send them our way! 
we're just getting started but excited to build this together.

"though we travel the world over to 
find the beautiful, we must carry it 
with us or we find it not."
ralph waldo emerson

^^ here's hoping this will help us carry more beauty with us
on our travels and leave places better than we find them!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

tea time in san francisco

in celebration of living here in SF for over 2 years,
and of our engagement here almost 3 years ago...
we had a little outing to the famous rotunda
restaurant inside of neiman marcus at union square.
like you can see, it is way too beautiful for words. 
i am such a sucker for anything gold & cream.
it's the classiest of the classy and takes me right
to paris or london...and rotundas remind me of
DC and my favorite buildings there. clearly these
things made the rotunda my dream come true!
a few months ago, we walked by neiman marcus
{which we have walked by hundreds of times} and
found out there is a RESTAURANT inside up in
the gorgeous rotunda! i loved hearing this and knew
we had to we made reservations and used 
the excuse to celebrate and have a little outing!

it feels like you're dining at a palace in europe,
but you're right in neiman marcus. the space
is unlike any other, and so well done.

it was the crab & shrimp louie for me,
and the lobster club sandwich for him.

not to mention .. every meal starts off with
their famous popovers + strawberry butter.
popovers have always equaled a special occasion
to me, and so i love them {and love making them!}

not your typical club sandwich!
when you come to this city you must
have seafood, and these two dishes
were so fresh and delicious. there are
less expensive soups and lighter items
on the menu as well, so lots of choices!

and..though we're not official "tea" drinkers, 
we did order some herbal peppermint tea
to polish off lunch. after london life i can
never turn down an afternoon tea...there are a
few places i love like the orangerie there, and
our favorite grand america in salt lake city!
yay for having a perfect place in san francisco!

i never wanted to leave!
for dessert they brought out the famous
neiman marcus chocolate chip cookies 
packed up in a shopping box with the recipe.
cutest thing to take on our way after a lovely lunch.
if you're feeling fancy while in SF, visit the
rotunda. whether it's for a lovely lunch between
shopping, a tea party with friends, or an event,
it is always a treat to eat at the rotunda. it's a little
bit of magic in san francisco, and definitely memorable.

**WTW was welcomed as a 
guest of the rotunda.
all opinions are my own.