Category Archive: Products

CabinZero Review: Functional & Stylish

In my fairy tale world of travel, I’d be like Samantha on , who would wrinkle her nose and transport from one place of another, or like Captain Kirk on , who had Scotty to beam him up. That’s no muss, no fuss travel! Since I’m a mere mortal living in a time that teleportation is not yet available, I have to pack and tote my stuff all over the world. Over the years I’ve become an efficient packer, maximizing every inch of my space, but I’m always looking for ways to improve the toting and lugging experience. My packing preference, when traveling for longer than a weekend, is to pack and check a 22-inch roller bag. I know that I can carry it on, and there are all sorts of good reasons why I should, but the reality is […]

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Try These Summer Vacation Reading Recommendations

With the Seattle summer weather set to reach 100 degrees this week, I’m enjoying some time lounging around with a good book or two. Whether you’re looking at hours on a plane, lounging by the pool,  sacked out in a hammock, or hiding away at a cabin, here are some summer vacation reading recommendations. I’ve based these recommendations on the PopSugar 2017 reading challenge. You can find the full list of challenges at the end of this post, and previous book recommendations here and here. There’s some pretty heavy stuff on the list, but for summer, I’ve tried to keep things a little more light and breezy. There’s plenty of time to tackle heavier tomes once this heat wave passes. I’ve included affiliate links in the list below. That means if you opt to click through and buy something, a […]

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Travel Product: Cool-it-Caddy

Travel product development is a big industry, with every product hoping to be the next HOT item.  Cool-it-Caddy, however, isn’t interest in HOT, it’s interested in helping you keep your  cool. How?  With their Icepops line – an insulated cosmetic bag that you pop in the freezer till frozen.  The coolant is self contained, so there’s no drippy mess, and then when you’re ready to head out to the pool,  golf course, on the water, or any other sun activity, the bag will keep your lipstick, medication, sunscreen, and healthy snacks at a cool temperature for up to 7 hours.  No more melted lipstick or other cosmetic products. A few things to know: You can store the empty Icepops in the freezer, keeping it ready for use. Putting a small towel or wash cloth inside the Icepop when in the […]

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REVIEW: Lock-a-Bye Bag Keeps Valuables Safe

I’m a bag gal.  I love bags of all shapes and sizes.  Special purposes bags, all purpose bags, and those quirky bags that are cute, but I’m not exactly sure how to use them.  When you see and use as many bags as I do, you soon learn that bags are not created equal, and once you realize that, you will never approach using a bag in the same way. When I read about Lock-a-Bye bags I was intrigued; it seemed to combined fun fashion with practical considerations, resulting in a bag that held lots of promise.  So I welcomed the chance to put it through its paces. The concept:  A bag with a locking mechanism that allows you the freedom to leave your bag while still keeping the contents safe.  For example, not being able to enjoy the beach […]

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Noblo Umbrella Buddy Aids Beach Safety

There are so many safety considerations on a beach vacation, that sometimes it’s seems like it’s more work than fun.  Sunscreen, water safety, jelly fish, and all the other potential hazards of spending the day on the beach multiply even more when you’re vacationing with children.  The Noblo Umbrella Buddy, created by two moms concerned about the dangers of unsecured beach umbrellas blowing around on the beach, lets travelers enjoy the beach while also enjoying sun protection. Small enough to fit in your beach tote, the umbrella buddy attaches easily with velcro, and the uses beach sand to weigh down your beach umbrella, anchoring it into the sand and keeping it from flying down the beach.  (Those flying umbrellas are apparently not some freak occurrences, not if those reports of legal settlements are true.)  It folds up small enough to […]

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Boat and Tote Bags from L.L. Bean

Can you have too many tote bags?  While I a big fan of specialty bags – there’s nothing like the right tool for the job – a well-crafted, all-purpose tote is the workhorse in any bag collection.  My recommendation?  The classic Boat & Tote from L.L. Bean. The Boat & Tote is made from heavy-duty cotton canvas, with a double layer base and handles.  The reinforced flat canvas bottom and double-stitched overlapped seams give it durability.  The bag has been made for over 64 years, and although originally designed to tote ice, today is more likely to be seen filled with beach gear, groceries, suntan lotion and pool accessories, a change of clothes, gardening supplies, or reading material.  Don’t worry about over-stuffing, it’s been tested to hold over 500 pounds.  And I guess you won’t be packing that much stuff […]

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Best Bag Ever: eBags Crew Cooler II

The eBags Crew Cooler is a very popular bag with Flight Attendants, pilots, and others who spend much of their life on the road.  For a long time it was one of those secrets whispered about on the jump seat as we’d watch – with great envy – as a co-worker would pull out the crew cooler, perfectly packed with delicious food for their trip. Word passed from one crew member to another and we all started ordering a bag for ourselves.  As airlines started eliminating food, and duty days got longer, more and more of us starting filling up the crew cooler with nutritional meal choices and snacks.  I’ve seen coolers packed so efficiently that I swear could feed a family for a week! Then the crew cooler disappeared!  As the bags wore out  or were damaged, we couldn’t […]

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REVIEW: Beyond the Pasta

When I think about Italy, which I often do, it’s not the attractions or the countryside that capture my attention.  Oh sure, it’s beautiful and there are lots of incredible sights to see, but what really speaks to me is the food.  In my opinion, what makes Italy so fascinating and appealing is its food, wine, and people. As I start planning my trip for this year, I’ve gotten together with friends to talk about what we want to see and do.  In no time at all the conversation quickly turns to our favorites restaurants.  The fabulous osso buco, the freshest tomatoes for the delicious bruschetta, the hand-rolled pici pasta, and the soft and creamy burrata.  In fact, I’m already salivating for the delicious mushroom soup at Latte di Luna.  Every time we get started talking about the delicious dishes, […]

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These Are a Few of My Favorite (Travel Gear) Things

Travel means contending with increasing air fares and sourcing the best flight times and pricing, facing the unpleasant reality of ever increasing add-on fees of airlines and hotels, contending with airport security, and juggling the demands of a lifestyle on the road and loved ones at home. What makes it all easier?  Loving what we do, of course, but also the convenience and enjoyment of the travel gear that we pack along with us. Here are a few of my favorite items of travel gear, both high tech and low tech.  These are the things that I never leave home without! Eee netbook from Asus – I bought my Netbook last year wanting something lightweight while traveling in Europe for a few weeks. I relied on a lot of the research that Austin over at Travellious had done, and have […]

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Help for Travelers with Ear Problems

Today I have an important guest post that will be of importance to anyone who suffers from ear discomfort while flying.  I’m a sufferer, as a result of allergy and sinus-related issues, so have to take a lot of precautions when I travel.  And that includes not flying when my ears get too bad! —- As a former hospital nurse and now as a nurse consultant in the travel industry, I have found patient/traveler education vital to success when dealing with health issues. Understanding the function of the body greatly increases compliance and personal satisfaction in preventing or treating ailments. I have found this especially true when reaching out to those who suffer with ear problems associated with flying, scuba diving, allergies, or colds.  Most people are aware that ears can be an issue when flying – and many think […]

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