Jetsetting :: How I pack my carry-on

Hello lovelies! I've been jet-setting all week for work. Sadly this left little room for outfit blogging, but it DID give me a little time to think about sharing my packing process with you. I'm basically obsessed with perfecting my packing and am constantly looking for new ways to be more efficient.

For this trip, I needed a combination of work appropriate clothes, something a little nicer and more fun for going out at night, and everything had to be super comfortable since I'd be on my feet most of the time. Plus, I lug a lot of equipment around so I'd have to somehow fit that into my carry-on as well.

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For this trip, I packed six tops, four bottoms, and 2 layers, as well as three scarves. I tried to keep all of the colors complimentary and packed a variety of types of tops so I would be comfortable in a variety of temperatures and settings - since I was traveling to a fairly warm climate in Austin, I chose lighter fabrics. I also brought along three pairs of shoes - a wedge, flat, and bootie. I wore one and packed the other two.

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Before I left, I actually put together several outfits using all of the pieces together to make sure I had something that would work for a variety of situations. There's nothing I hate more than getting to my destination and feeling like I have nothing to wear. If you take pictures or write down your pre-arranged outfits, its a lot easier to just grab something and throw it on.

Alright, so. That's WHAT I packed, let's move on to HOW I packed. I found

this method

recently and was very intrigued. I also saw an opportunity to make it even better. Most people tell you to take scarves because they squeeze into the holes in your suitcase easily and go a long way in making outfits look fresh and put together. I agree, but I also use them to improve my packing process.

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First, I lay a wide scarf out and lay all of my shirts flat on top of it, sleeves folded in.

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Next, fold the scarf and all of the tops on top of it in half, enclosing them inside.

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Now, roll the entire scarf into a nice little burrito and put that in your suitcase. Why this method? Well besides the fact that it takes up a ridiculously small amount of space, it also keeps your shirts from wrinkling, snagging, or moving around too much. I love that I can just place that in my suitcase and then pull the entire roll out when I get to my destination. People who live directly out of suitcases might not prefer this method, but I generally hang everything up when I get to my destination so it's perfect for my needs.

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Do the same thing with your second scarf and bottoms. If I had packed any dresses, I would have put them in this roll as well.

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This is what it looks like all wrapped up and placed in the suitcase. Look at how much room I still have to use! Hurrah! In next I'll put shoes, usually in dustbags to keep everything else clean and protect them. I stuff them with socks, tights, scarves and small items to maximize space and keep their shape.

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Next we add the essential tools. I usually pack this stuff in a series of small bags so they stay together. Don't forget your plastic baggie for the liquids - I keep this in my personal bag until I go through security to speed up the process.

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Side note - I am a little crazy so I usually like to list everything I'm taking and possible outfits for the week in a little notebook. In fact, I recommend you carry a small notebook almost everywhere - I use mine a lot. Bloggers will want to make sure they pack all of their cords and a gorilla pod is perfect for taking outfit photos on the road without taking up a lot of space. And yes, in the bottom corner, that is a travel sized Sticky Buddy. I love it for removing lint/hair/whatever from clothes, and it just rinses clean and is ready to go again.

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So that's it - zip it up and you're good to go. And if you're wondering what it looks like when you put it all together...

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Mine actually looks a little messy because I have to carry so much equipment. It's part of the downside of being a video producer. We don't really travel light, so on any given trip I usually I have 2 or 3 cameras, tripods, lights, mics...and a lot of computer equipment. I like having a mobile office but dang, it's a little heavy.

Feel free to share your travel tips in the comments! I'm literally obsessed with packing blogs. If you want to see the rest of my travel series, I've tagged

them all here

(you'll have to weed through some posts that are just about travel of course).

What To Wear :: Fool Proof Black Friday

Alright guys. I know you're all barely breathing after consuming an ungodly amount of turkey and can-shaped cranberry. I know you're flipping through the channels desperately wondering when the "Christmas Story" marathon is going to start. But FOCUS. Black Friday is nigh.

Expert Black Friday soldiers probably need no advice from me, but if you're just getting in the game, here's the deal. When you dress for battle, you have to keep EVERYTHING in mind. Comfort. Temperature. Ability to try things on. Accessories to block your enemies. Here is my fool-proof Black Friday outfit.

To be prepared for the shopping and crowds ahead, you must first prepare yourself. I like to wear a long camisole with leggings so I can try anything on over my clothes without a dressing room. Long lines? Skip them! Find a mirror and you can do all of your work in half the time. More time for deals (and possibly a Cinnabon).

Shoes are important - I prefer boots because they'll stand up to all of the elements, but ballet flats may be preferable to those wanting to try on pants or other shoes as they provide maximum on-off flexibility. A real rebel may choose to wear nothing at all, like one of those crazy barefoot runners, because "shoes just slow you down". I would not recommend this.

Scarf and Cardi are what make this outfit acceptable to wear in public. Choose a brightly colored scarf so your relatives can identify you. Can double as a tent for camping out if the line at Target is around the block.

Finally - let your accessories work for you. When someone snatches that fur vest right from your hands, just swing your studded bag or clutch directly at their face. They'll know not to mess with you and your posse any more. Choose a bag with a long strap so you can wear it cross-body for maximum comfort, longevity, and least resistance. The more things you have attached to your body, the less you have to keep up with. We don't want any sissy pants who "lost their purse" while trying on some Vince Camuto clearance pumps at Ross. We don't have time for that. Keep it strapped to you or be prepared to be left behind.

And if you need help keeping your sales straight - try Wunderlist for iPhone to make lists of all of the sales you're hitting, who has the best deals, and share it directly with friends so they can pipe in. Or not. The ringleader probably gets all of the best deals.

ARE. WE. READY. TO. SHOP????

Boyfriend Cardi, Target, $30.
Leggings, Tilly's, $13.
Brass Knuckles Clutch of Death, Boohoo, $53.
Quilted Flat boots,  Vince Camuto, $169.

What to Wear :: Three Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

Hurrah! Thanksgiving is tomorrow! For many of you, changing out of pajama pants into leggings will be the extent of your holiday fashion and I do not blame you one bit. But if you're looking for a little t'gives inspo, I've got three ways to stay comfy and cute on turkey day.

The rules are simple - choose stretchy, comfortable fabrics. Dress for the day, not just the meal. Keep in mind what to wear if you'll be cooking, corralling kids, or watching football. And don't forget your bib, apron, or tarp depending on your level of messiness (I'd skip the expensive silks today!).

I love wearing festive fall colors for thanksgiving - oranges, cranberries, and mustard look great in family photos and you'll feel like you're dressing up just for the holiday. I chose this tank and cardi combo so I could shed the cardigan just in case my Grandma's house gets too warm, or so I could get busy in the kitchen without my sleeves dragging. A statement necklace keeps it fun, and wedges are comfortable enough I won't have to kick off my shoes as soon as I'm in the door.

If you plan on spending your day watching the parades or napping on the couch, a cozy sweater dress is just the trick. They're stretchy and forgiving for post-turkey binge belly and you won't have to ask for a blanket when your tryptophan coma commences. I love these slouchy flat boots because they keep you warm without killing your toes. Finish the look with a cute belt and you're good to gobble.

Extra tip - if you plan on shedding your boots at any point in the day, make sure you're wearing tights that don't have holes in the toes like mine. Or bring slippers. I don't know about your relatives, but mine would love poking fun at my toes poking out.

Does your fam love dressing up for the holidays? You can get a little glitzy without ditching the comfort. This particular sparkly skirt has a fabulous elastic waist so I don't feel too constricted. Choose flowing fabrics on top with a stretchy banded skirt (or jersey is great too!) and you're good to go. You can add sparkle in the fabric, shoes, belt, or a fabulous statement necklace to make your get up festive and fun.

Bonus tip! Those of you slaving away in the kitchen Thursday will want to be prepared - I like to wear sleeves no longer than 3/4 so they don't get in my way or drag through anything, and don't forget a fabulous apron to match protect your outfit (mine says "Will Cook for Shoes", of course). Skip rings, long necklaces, and bracelets that will get in the way and opt for some classic studs. Finish off your look with fabulous flats if you'll be on your feet for hours on end.

Happy Thanksgiving! If you guys wear something special for your holiday, make sure you send me your links so I can see all of them. I'm thankful for all of my dear readers and hope you have a wonderful holiday, no matter what you do.

Look 1: Sweater, Top, and Shorts, Forever 21. Wedges, Target. Necklace, BaubleBar.
Look 2: Sweater dress, The Limited. Boots, Bakers. Lips, Tarte LipSurgence matte tint in Lively.
Look 3: Blouse, Forever 21. Skirt, GAP. Shoes, ShoeDazzle