Three Heel Clicks

Style 18

How to Prepare for an Upcoming Trip

DIY, Fashion, How To, Lifestyle, Packing, Petite Style, Travel, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Travel can feel really stressful if you aren’t prepared. For over a decade I’ve traveled on a monthly basis. Sometimes it’s just a few hours away for the weekend and others are longer trips involving multiple types of transportation and hotels. I’ve found that if I stick to the following list I’m sharing in today’s post I have a better time during my travel and thus, lower stress levels. Today’s post is constructed in a chronological order of the things I do leading up to my next trip. I really hope this post is helpful for your upcoming plans for a getaway.

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As Soon As Trip Dates Are Finalized

  • Start with Pinterest. As soon as I know when and where I’m going I immediately look up places to visit and inspiration on Pinterest. I’ve found so many other blogs and trip iteneraries this way! It’s nice to hear an unbiased opinion of other adventurers about their experiences when they visit the same destination. I try to find all sorts of activities from family friendly to outdoors to even local restaurants. My goal with most trips is to experience the destination so I prefer to find small businesses or unique attractions that make the destination interesting.

  • Research climate conditions. You can’t even begin to have an idea about packing without knowing the climate. I made a mistake years ago of not bringing enough heavy items when I traveled to Europe. I was visiting in May and June coming from Southern Texas where this time of year is HOT. I use apps like Accuweather to give me a reasonable prediction but I always pack for multiple climates with lots of layers now.

  • Make arrangements for work, pets and/or children. Some of my vacations I can bring along my dog and others become family fun with the kiddo, but not every trip. Sometimes I travel for work and others for fun. As soon as I know my travel dates I immediately find childcare if needed and pet care. I also put a backup in place. People get sick and accidents can happen so I make sure this isn’t a last minute tragedy.

  • Finalize lodging and transportation. If I need to rent a car, I go ahead and do this as soon as possible. If there is a big event going on sometimes car rentals are sold out. If I’m not renting a vehicle, then I’ll book my flights, trains or other transportation now. I alto not so book my accommodations. I really love booking.com for accommodations because they have an option for many hotels where you don’t have to pay up front and if you give them enough notice, you can cancel a few days ahead.

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A Week to a Few Days Ahead

  • Consider all transportation needs. At this point, I research everything from subways to how I’m planning on getting to and from the airport or train station. I try to take a ride share to the airport if possible so I don’t pay for parking and can leave my car in a place I feel comfortable with. I also look at how I am going to get to my living accomodations once I land. I make phone calls to see if the hotel has a shuttle and also familiarize myself with transportation options available at the destination.

  • Pull outfits. I don’t pack until the day or two before but I do start reserving space for pieces I may want to bring. I use Pinterest again for outfit ideas. I try EVERYTHING on to make sure it fits before leaving. I also like to make sure I have enough variety that can mix and match. Although I will be packing in outfits, I make sure I can wear items different ways depending on the weather and the climate.

  • Manicures, Hair or Color Before You Leave. I don’t like to worry about these things on a trip. I prefer to get them out of the way so I look and feel refreshed without worrying about adding something else to the schedule. Get your hair cut or colored if you are due or go get a manicure a few days ahead. I like to get a powder dip manicure so I don’t chip it during packing.

The Day Before

  • Reserve Time to Pack and Tidy Up. I have found to decrease stress I need a day to get myself packed, my home in order and any last minute errands completed. If it’s a short trip I may only need a few hours, but for longer trips I make sure I give myself a full day (or two half days) to get everything organized.

  • Charge all devices. If you are bringing a tablet, back up battery, laptop or any electronic device now is the time to plug them in and get a full charge. Also, don’t forget wireless headphones if you plan on listening on board. It’s awful to finally make it on a flight and pull them out to listen to relaxing music only to find they are dead and you have no way to charge them. Another thing I charge up is a backup battery. That way if I’m in a pinch or my battery on a device drains I have a backup

  • Download playlists, podcasts, e-books and shows. While your devices are charging now is a great time to go ahead and download things to keep you busy on the road, waiting for check in or during a flight. I always bring a hardcopy book and notebook, but usually also have a few downloads available too. The worst is being bored and not able to fall asleep on the plane.

  • Make sure you have medication and prescriptions filled. Because I have medication that I must take daily I usually let my doctor know if I’m traveling soon so they can refill anything I need in advance. I also make sure to discuss a plan in the event medication is lost during the trip. Walgreens is a really good resource for travel due to the fact they can transfer prescriptions throughout the country if you fill it in your hometown. Another tip is to separate your prescriptions into two sections in the event something is misplaced you can buy yourself a day or two.

  • Prepare your home. If you have time to arrange a housekeeper it doesn’t hurt before you leave. It’s so nice to come home to a clean space after a long trip. At minimum take out trash, make sure there is nothing in the sink and clean sheets so you can crash when you get home. Also, I recommend having a quick meal or two on hand in the freezer so you don’t have to look for something to eat as soon as you return. I also like to make sure the house smells good so I leave plugins on low throughout my home when away.

  • Pack your suitcase. I try not to pack too far in advance or too last minute. Packing the day of can be super stressful. A day or two before I try to get my suitcase completely packed and I sit what I’m bringing on a trip by the door. Unless I’m camping or bringing a ton of things, I do not pack the car yet. I put everything in a space near the door and do a final inventory the day I’m traveling.

  • Pay bills. Any upcoming bills that are not already auto drafted need to be considered now. You don’t want to come home to a bunch of things you have to take care of.

  • Set up out of office notifications if needed. If you’re in sales, business for yourself or a blogger make sure you leave an out of office reply on your email and notify readers and/or followers if you are going to be in a remote location. This is also when I schedule a few blog posts so if I can’t make it to internet there’s some activity going on. If you work in a corporate job make sure to let team members know and also make sure to inform your backup of any information or resources they may need while you are away.

The Morning or Day Of Your Trip

  • Get yourself ready first. Take a shower or bath. When I travel it can be a while from the time I land to the time I can get to a shower so I always take one right before I leave. I usually focus on skincare so I pack my toiletries after I take my bath and get ready.

  • Do your hair, but skip the makeup. I mentioned this in January’s post on How to Perfect Your Flying Routine, but I do not wear makeup on flights. I try to rest if I’m not driving somewhere and I don’t want to arrive with racoon eyes. Instead I pack a few makeup items for when I’m landing or arriving and do my makeup at the destination instead of where I’m leaving. I have found that wearing my hair up for long periods of time makes me uncomfortable so I usually fix it in soft curls so that I can wear it down.

  • No coffee after you leave and eat breakfast. It’s easy to forget to eat. When you don’t feed your body nutrition or hydrate then it leads to unwanted stress. Nobody wants to deal with hangry you so have a good breakfast or meal before you leave. Avoid salt or too much coffee.

  • Pack your carry on. After getting my toiletries together I go ahead and pack my carry on. I always bring a notebook, pen and book but I also usually pack at least an outfit, pjs and swimsuit so that if luggage is lost I have something to change into. I also put my jewelry in my carry on and print flight tickets. I like having hard copies because electronics fail sometimes.

  • Check your flights, rides and arrangements for delays. I like to know if something is behind during travels. Inclimate weather can cause major delays. Also, check the weather to make sure your route is safe and be aware of traffic.

  • Lower or raise thermostats. If I’m traveling with others I go ahead and let them load into the car or wait outside while I lock up. I’ve found the fewer distractions during the last few minutes, the better. I do a quick sweep of the house to make sure things are in order and then lower or raise the thermostat to a low cost temperature but I do not turn it completely off.

  • Relax. Once I get to my travel transportation whether it’s a flight or car I relax. I use the time for skincare, rest and reading. I try to create the best environment possible full of comfort and serenity. So much of having a centered experience begins with being aware of how we feel inside. Sometimes I’ll put on my favorite song or a meditation to clear my mind before I leave.

Well, there you have it! A complete list of how I prepare. Although not every trip do I accomplish everything on this timeline, I use it as a framework and checklist to make sure I am prepared. At the end of the day, remember you can always buy something you forget to pack. Relax and enjoy the trip. Open your eyes to new experiences and have fun!

What do you do to prepare for a trip?

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5 on Fridays - Five Outfits with Stripes

Fashion, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Stripes… the pattern that is simple, classic and flattering. I’m a stripe lover. If I am reaching for a print then it’s usually a floral or a stripe. Whether you choose to reach for a basic striped tee or go head to toe in a stripe maxi dress it’s so easy to put together different looks using stripes. I love to pair stripes with white accessories, jeans and shoes for a fresh Spring look. A stripe tee looks perfect with a trench coat and ballet flats for a chilly day or wear them with shorts and slides for a day at the beach.

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Mix and Match Stripes

You can mix and match different widths of stripes like this outfit by pairing a slim striped off the shoulder dress with a wider stripe tote. Here’s a round up of a few red and white striped dresses to go with a neutral stripe bag. You can add a pair of neutral wedges for extra height or this look works great with flat slides, too.

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Go head to toe in blue and white

A stripe maxi is the perfect way to wear stripes. Blue and white stripes reminds me so much of the classic ticking stripe print of vintage mattresses. Add a cross body and pair of slides for a casual weekend look. This look is great for a day at a festival or any outdoor activity. The maxi length makes the dress so comfortable to sit and relax without worrying you might flash someone.

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Red and white stripes for a french flair

For a chic take on a classic stripe tee, pair one with a short skirt and red accessories. Add a boater hat and bandanna for a french flair. This look is great for brunch or a girl’s outing. You can add a pair of fun shades and this is perfect for a sunny afternoon. A bandanna is one of the most inexpensive accessories you can add. Tie one around your purse, wear as a scarf or you can tie one in your hair to make a ponytail more interesting.

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Wearing pastel stripes for a soft Spring look

Next to blue and white stripes, pink and white is probably my next favorite color scheme. I like to wear pastels in a couple of different colors like this blush and periwinkle blue. Cropped jeans are great this time of year so you can wear flats or heels. You can also wear them for a walk on the beach without dragging your jeans through the sand.

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Jazz up your classic jeans and tee look

Last but not least is what I consider the uniform of stripes. A simple navy and white tee layered over distressed jeans and a pair of booties. Red, white and blue is a favorite combination of mine because it always in style. You can add a simple bag (Tommy Hilfiger makes the best!) for a touch of red without looking like you stepped out of a fourth of July festival.

Which stripe outfit is your favorite? Leave a comment!

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Houston Hotspots: Local Foods

Fashion, Houston, Lifestyle, Petite Style, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Lately I’ve been on the hunt for healthy restaurants around the city that have a great atmosphere. I stumbled upon Local Foods when I was doing research on the Impossible Burger. The Impossible Burger is a plant based burger that tastes like beef! Local Foods which is a Houston based restaurant chain with locations all over the city took the Impossible Burger and turned it into a meatball sub. I was astonished at how delicious this sandwich tasted! Anyhow, the Impossible Burger is made by White Castle - yep the fast food brand many of us already love. You can find all locations that they serve the Impossible Burger to include Local Foods on their website if you are not in the Houston area here.

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Local Foods is a Houston restaurant chain with a selection of gourmet sandwiches, salads and prepared meals sourced from local ingredients. They have a variety of plant-based healthy options each served with such attention to detail and presentation. I visited the Heights location and highly recommend going there if you are looking for a delicious casual bite complete with cocktails. They have the most beautiful tile and navy booths throughout the space. I decided to pop over to visit in a beautiful watercolor skirt from Anthropologie (oldie but a goodie) and an embellished navy blue blouse. This outfit is perfect for the office during Spring time. Just throw a trench coat (this one just arrived for me yesterday and can’t wait to wear it!) for those chilly days.

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An orange skirt is a must have right now! Pantone released their Fall fashion report and shades of tangerine, peach and orange were staples in this Fall’s predictions! The runway was flooded with the warmest color on the color wheel. Orange is known as the happy color and works beautifully with blue since they are contrasting colors. A skirt is a safe way to wear a new color since it’s not next to your face. If you want to add a new color into your wardrobe think about opting for a skirt, scarf or accessory. I’ve rounded up 15 options here for you in all different price points.

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Nude pumps never go out of style and they are the first thing I reach for when I’m headed to a meeting, date or even just to go to church. They elongate the leg, add a little height to a petite frame and go with practically every color. I love this pair from Michael Kors because of the color of leather and comfort. Find a pump that your heel doesn’t slip out of and doesn’t rub blisters.

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Add a beautiful scarf on your handbag or you can tie one in your hair if you are wearing your hair up. Scarves and hats are a favorite accessory of mine because they add drama with a single accessory. Immediately outfits make a bigger statement with a scarf and it’s a classic timeless way to accessorize. I wore a scarf around my neck in yesterday’s post if you are looking for other styling options! I love the way they look when tied around the neck with a casual tee, sweater or blazer.

What do you think about adding more orange to your closet this year?

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Flirty Little Pink Skirt

Fashion, How To, Lifestyle, Petite Style, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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It’s hard to imagine that just three days ago I was frolicking in this perfect pink number with sunny afternoons and a warm breeze on the lake. Fast forward to today and we have bone chilling temperatures. Lucky for me it’s warming up in two days as I start the packing process for Spring Break. I’m heading to both Galveston and then Sacramento for ten days total. I’m taking the next few days to spend time getting organized and ready. The more prepared I am, the more I seem to enjoy things when I’m away. So let’s move onto this skirt.

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Today’s look is all things feminine and casual. This cinq a sept skirt is a new favorite style! It’s fit and quality is unsurpassable. I did a little research on Cinq a Sept and the brand is inspired by that period of time after work between 5-7pm. It’s the golden hour of life with evening walks as the sun casts a golden glow, drinks on a dock or catching up with friends for happy hour. This skirt is tailored with amazing construction and structure. I wore it with a pair of striped espadrilles, a simple white tee and a scarf to jazz things up.

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This is easily going to replace my jean skirt and white tee look. You can add a little cropped jacket or a longer trench coat for chilly days. I dressed the skirt down today but it would look great with a sleek turtleneck or a cable knit sweater. This one comes in at a higher price point, but the quality is well worth it. If you are in the market for a few other options see the round up here:

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Another thing I’ve added as a staple in my accessories is this new watch band. I wanted to be able to wear something a little more dressed up than the typical apple watchband. I like that the leather band is slim for a smaller wrist. I was also really surprised at how easy it was to slip on the new band.

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I plan on wearing more outfits similar to this mixing basics like a short sleeve tee or tank tops with dressier statement pieces. Everything in this outfit works great for a weekend getaway or other travels. You can wear these items together and then split them up with jeans or a sweater for additional options!

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What would you wear with a little ruffle skirt like this? Leave a comment!

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Spring Essentials Every Girl Needs

Fashion, fashion, How To, Petite Style, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Although it’s a whopping 48 degrees today, I’m still over here dreaming of warm sunshine filled days. We’ve had a few in the month of February and it’s got me itching for all things sunny. Well, we can at least start preparing for more Spring like days and today I’m giving you guys the low down on five essentials every girl needs this Spring.

Spring Essential 1: The Perfect Sun Hat

Not just pretty, but also practical a sun hat can do wonders during the bright months of Spring and Summer. They keep all of those unwanted wrinkles from developing due to sun rays and UV light on top of your sunscreen. While I opt for a wide brimmed boater as my go to for a sunny day, there are so many options to choose from here. Try a big floppy sun hat or if you prefer a panama hat.

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Spring Essential 2: A block heel sandal

The particular shoe I’m wearing is from three years ago by LC Lauren Conrad. This line exclusively at Kohl’s has been a favorite of mine for years. There is so much quality and uniqueness of each piece she designs. I am amazed this pair of shoes is still in such good condition. There are still the version available and they are so incredibly comfortable! A block heeled sandal is great for those outdoor BBQ picnics, outdoor weddings (see this post for a few ideas on what to wear to a Spring wedding this year) and walking on uneven terrain. They can withstand dirt paths, gravel or grass. All a win in my book!

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Spring Essential 3: A showstopping dress

Invest in at least one classic and perfectly fitted dress every season. when you are looking for one, flip it inside out and look at the craftsmanship. The best quality dresses have three things in common: fit, fabric and construction. You’ll notice on higher valued items they have additional lining a cheaply made dress doesn’t and the seams will be surged instead of pressed and bound. The better construction a dress has, the better the fabric falls and the fit is more tailored. Right now I can’t get enough of Alexis as a dress line. Although they run a little pricey you can find exceptional discounts during holiday sales and at the end of the season. I assure you their dresses do not disappoint.

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Spring Essential 4: A packable bag suited for day trips and travels

This foldable and easy to pack bag is my new favorite! It’s one of those items I’ve had an eye on for about a year and decided this was the season for the classic pliage Longchamp purse. It folds up so neatly for travel. You can carry it as a tote or pack it in a smaller bag for shopping later. It’s also made out of a durable nylon and easy to clean. I love blue so naturally I gravitated to this beautiful cornflower blue color but there are so many options for more neutral shades if that’s your thing!

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Spring Essential 5: New pair of shades

Sunglasses are a staple for Texas living peeps. You just have to have a pair to withstand endless 14 hour sunny days. I love this retro inspired pair with white details (on sale for under $50!). Try switching up your usual style and opt for a pair of white rimmed or tortoise shell sunnies. You can also look at other shapes and swap out your aviators for a pair of cat-eye sunglasses. Have fun with them and protect your eyes at the same time!

What will you be adding to your wardrobe for Spring? Leave a comment below!

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