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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Perfecting Your 3-1-1 Bag for Spring and Summer

Packing light is a must when traveling and those 3-1-1 bags aren't that big, especially when you're flying during the spring and summer and have to squeeze sunscreen in there, too. While you can buy it once you get there, many resorts, theme parks and grocery stores have outrageous prices on these items. I have ways you can find room in your travel bag for sunscreen and still look great in all your pictures.

packing light

Tinted Moisturizer

You may be used to taking your foundation wherever you go, but a tinted moisturizer can do double-duty as a foundation and a moisturizer. Most even have built-in SPF, so you don't have to bring a second sunscreen specifically for your face.

Powder Foundation

Avoid taking two products and opt for just one with a powder foundation. Not only does it save space, but a good one, like Laura Mercier's Mineral Powder, will be long-lasting and give you a flawless finish over your moisturizer. This can be paired with tinted moisturizer to give you more coverage.

Tinted Lip Gloss

Get a fresh summery look by bringing along a tinted lip gloss that also moisturizes. Leave your heavy lipstick at home and you also won't have to tote around a tube of lip balm. SmashboxO-Gloss brings out the natural hue of your lips, plus it gives you a slight shine and locks in moisture.
photo credit

Trial Sizes

Those fun trial sizes that you get with makeup purchases are your best friend on vacation. Save those tiny tubes of mascara, lip glosses, and eye shadows, and pack them in your travel bag.

Shampoo bars

Shampoo and conditioner can take up a lot of room and also contribute the most to spillage in your bag. There's nothing worse than getting to your destination and having to wash off everything in your 3-1-1 bag because your shampoo or conditioner exploded. Shampoo bars don't ever have to go in your liquids bag, they never spill and are super easy to use. They work just like a bar of soap and have all the benefits of a great shampoo. You can even get solid conditioners which will leave your hair silky and manageable. I like the ones from Lush or Basin.

Want to save money on top of space? Not only will you eliminate baggage fees, but if you use Ebates you can save even more on your beauty purchases, too. With awesome stores like Sephora, Philosophy, Ulta, Drugstore.com and many more, you can find everything you need for your trip, look like a million bucks, and save a few dollars, too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Visit to Mardi Gras World

With Mardi Gras in full swing and Fat Tuesday coming up next week, I though it'd be fun to give you a quick overview of my visit to Mardi Gras World in New Orleans. If a float is being made for one of the parades (did you know there is more than just the one big one?), then it's being made at MGW. Pretty cool, right?

preparing for mardi gras

All the sculptures and flowers and other items for floats are handmade by artists in the warehouse. Most things are made by sculpting foam layers to form 3D images, then they are sanded and painted before they are ever attached to anything. Most of the sculptures are not used again, so they get reused as something else or sculpted into something else later to use on a different float. 

Your visit to Mardi Gras, includes a short film to tell you about the different krewes that run each parade, the history of Mardi Gras and then a tasting of King Cake (the official Mardi Gras treat). Next you go into the different sections of the warehouse with your guide, who explains what is done where, answers your questions and then turns you loose to wander and take as many photos as you want. 

Did you know that krewe members have to pay a hefty fee to become a part of a krewe? 

Or that they have to supply their own beads and other throwaways? 

A parade may last for 6 or more hours, so you have to make sure you don't run out of beads and other throws. 

Alcohol is a given for krewe members, and floats are equipped with (apparently rudimentary) bathrooms. I didn't get to actually go on a float to see one, but I'm told they all have them, and they can get pretty gross. 

All krewe members must wear masks. I'm still not sure why this is, but they all match each other.

I also learned that each krewe runs their own parade and each has a theme every year. Once the current Mardi Gras is over, the folks at Mardi Gras World immediately start prepping and sculpting for the next year. Parades are big business. 

Want to visit Mardi Gras World on your next trip to New Orleans? A tour lasts about an hour, depending on how long you hang around to check out the stuff that you saw with your guide. Prices are less than $20 per adult, and are cheaper for children and seniors. Buy your tickets online before you go, or just show up and get in on the next available tour. The gift shop has a ton of stuff to enjoy while you wait for your tour to start.

Have you ever been to Mardi Gras?
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