Monthly Archives: November 2009

Shortcut to Perfect Packing

perfect pacingThe holidays are right around the corner, and many of you will be off to see family and loved ones. With virtually every airline charging for checked bags on domestic flights, it is a struggle to pack everything necessary to maintain fabulosity.  Traveling during the winter months can be even more difficult as a result of all of the heavy clothing and jackets needed. Well, not to worry because we have the ultimate packing list for you right here!

Weekend Getaway

When traveling for the weekend, call ahead to the hotel you will be staying in and ask them what appliances they have in the room. Why pack a hairdryer or iron when your hotel has one in the room. A five-minute phone call can save you ten minutes of sitting on top of your suitcase struggling with the zipper to close it!

Shampoo Sheets- These shampoo sheets save precious space in your quart sized bag for more important liquids. At $2.78 for 50 sheets you can’t go wrong!

Conditioner Sheets- Sheets of conditioner. ‘Nuf said!

Travel Sized toothpaste- Clean teeth…need I say more.

Deodorant- This travel sized deodorant will keep you smelling fresh and still leave you room to pack your favorite sweater!

LA Fresh Shaving Gel Packets- Travel sized shaving gel is still too big for a fabulously packed suitcase. These shaving gel packets are $0.29 each and are absolutely perfect for a weekend getaway!

Razor- You can’t leave home without your favorite hair removal device!

Nail polish remover pads- These are only $0.05 a piece and the perfect travel companion because who wants to walk around with chipped nail polish?

Essie Fall 09 Mini 4 piece set- Buy this set and have mini versions of Falls hottest colors at your fingertips. This is the perfect purse companion not just for travel days but everyday to fix chips.

Shout Wipes- Don’t let a stain on your favorite shirt ruin your trip. Shout wipes are a must-have for every handbag you own, in every drawer in your office, in your car, hidden in every nook and cranny you can think of cause you never know where a stain awaits.

Mini travel lint roller- These sticky lint rollers de-stick sticky objects like hair, lint, fuzz, etc. I am stuck on these pint sized lint rollers.

Pocket sized Kleenex- Make sure you keep these in your purse to stave off plane sniffles and runny noses or to replace the beverage napkin you dropped on the floor!

Travel size umbrella- Getting caught in the rain stinks. This travel size umbrella is so small you can be prepared to sing in the rain and stay dry doing it.

Bath and Body Works Pocket Bac Deep cleansing Hand Gel- While many other hand sanitizers dry out your hands, Bath and Body Works hand sanitizers keep your hands fabulously soft and smooth. My pick: the sweet pea scent, but pick your favorite and stock up!

Off Deep Woods Insect repellent wipes- Probably not high on your list, especially in winter. These wipes are so compact they are worth packing if traveling to a warm climate because you never know where pesky little critters like mosquitoes can pop up.

Tweezerman’s Petite Manicure Set- This teeny set comes with tweezers, cuticle pusher and nail file so you can fix a snagged nail or newly discovered and unwanted eyebrow hair on the go.

Sewing Kit- I don’t know how to sew, but I pack one of these sewing kits on every trip…what good does a sewing kit do for someone who can’t sew? Two words: Google baby! You can search how to sew on a button or fix a torn hem. It may not turn out as well as your favorite tailor’s work, but it works in a pinch.

Pack It Compressor Bags- This set comes with two bags that take the air out of clothes when the bag is rolled up. This is perfect for dirty clothes or bulky sweaters! Worried about popping a hole in the bag…it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Pashmina Shawl- Under $25 and offered in every color imaginable. A Pashmina shawl serves double duty as a blanket on the plane and shawl/scarf  to wear with an outfit.  It can also be invaluable on vacations where church or temple visits are on the agenda and shoulders, legs must be covered.

For a Beach getaway add to your list:

Banana Boat After Sun Cleansing Wipes- These wipes are an ingenious must-have for your beach bag. They wipe off sunscreen, sweat and most importantly sand!!!!

Your favorite sunscreen in travel size

stash flip flopStash flip Flops- These flip flops have a heel compartment to stash your stuff so you can swim with the fishies with some piece of mind!

Oka B- Rubber thongs- This shoe is such a favorite at S2F, we devoted an entire blog entry to them a month or so ago. These shoes are made of a waterproof material…so waterproof, they are dishwasher safe. They come in a rainbow of 23 shades and are designed to massage your feet with every step using reflexology principles.

For trekking for faraway or off the beaten path places add to your list:

WC kit- Each kit contains a toilet seat cover, toilet paper and a pre-moistened towelette.

Pepto Bismal Chewable tablets, Tylenol, cough drops, Echinacea, extra prescription medicine- You never know what medicine will be available is some of the world’s more remote locations. Have some medicine cabinet items stashed away.

Splenda- Sounds silly now, but you want to expand your horizons not your waistline when traveling far and wide. These sweetener packets will come in handy when out and about in the far corners of the world.

Travel Towel- These super absorbent towels are a lifesaver when staying in a sketch hotel with stained towels or for an impromptu snorkeling trip.

For a long flight add to your list:

No Jet Lag- I swear by these homeopathic pills for flights to faraway places.

Your favorite travel pillow

Extra snacks

A good book or a great Kindle!

For a travel outside the United States add to your list:

Produce wipes- Why is fruit outside the U.S. so darn delicious? Ever see the produce in the markets and your mouth starts to salivate? These produce wipes will allow you to safely eat produce on the go while traveling. You will be shocked at how much these produce wipes change the way your travel and eat while traveling. Impromptu picnics in a beautiful parks and locales become part of your routine when you have these wipes. You enrich your travel experience and save money too!

Plug adaptors or convertors- A necessity for charging cameras, phones, PDAs and using electronic devises you’ve brought from home.

Pen- Keep this close-by so you can fill out immigration and custom forms.

Pre-printed address labels- Who doesn’t love receiving a postcard from a faraway place? Pre-print your friends addresses on a page of address labels. Make sure to add USA after the zip code and you will find a great shortcut to fabulous friendship!

Journal and glue stick- Don’t want to throw away that ticket stub from the Louvre? A journal and glue stick keeps these paper mementos organized and preserves memories from your travels.

If you are under 5’ 4” add to your list:

Folding Foot Rest- It seems ridiculous, but this revolutionized long haul flight travel for me. At 5’1”….Okay, okay… five feet, this foldable foot stool creates a much more comfortable seating environment and prevents numb bum from setting in! It folds super flat and can even fit in a purse.

For traveling couples add to your packing list:

Flexible tripod- This will end the twosome “how are we going to get a photo of the two of us without someone stealing our camera” dilemma while traveling. The tripod is flexible and can be wrapped around poles, tree branches and with the timer on your camera…voila!!!

So, bookmark this page, pan your next trip and consult this list before packing for shortcuts to perfect packing!

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Shortcut to Fabulous Party Planning Ideas

party planningCongratulations to Nardelys Bour, winner of our contest for the Target gift card!!!! Nardelys submitted this weeks featured website!!!!

Hostess with the Mostess

Who: Jennifer Sbranti started this website in 2006 bringing innovative entertaining ideas to people via her website and blog.

What: A website devoted to bringing you ideas for your next birthday party, bridal shower, holiday themed party, baby shower. The ideas on this website are so cute and will sure to help you plan a fabulous party or function!

When: Whenever you need party planning ideas or daily if you sign up for the blog.

Where: http://www.hostesswiththemostess.com/

Why: Because this shortcut to fabulous party planning tips is one of the best finds ever!

So, tip your hat to Nardelys Bour and enjoy this shortcut to fabulous party planning!

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Shortcut to Fabulous Fun and Hip Downtown Dining

ceviche_logoHaving lived and worked in New York,  I know what a disappointment downtown Miami has been over the years, especially for foodies. Whenever I see cruise ship passengers strolling Flagler Street, I cringe and hope they don’t think this is all Miami has to offer. Well, downtown Miami is arriving and a hip, new Peruvian restaurant, Ceviche 105, is proof of that.

Ceviche 105 is not the run of the mill, kitsch restaurant serving Latin American Fare. The décor is hip and urban and the restaurant is almost always packed. Could it be the décor, the food, the incredible reasonable prices, the generous portions or the fact that even if you scarf down the whole plate of food you feel satisfied, but don’t have that “heavy….oh what did I just eat” feeling? Or is it the fact that they are open seven days a week,                                                      even Sunday?! This is my new go-to restaurant for weekday lunches with my girlfriends, a prelude to a weekend performance at the Arsht ceviche tableCenter or a concert or game at the American Airlines Arena.

Ceviche is obviously the specialty here, but they have some other Peruvian dishes that are to die for! All of the ceviche is delicious, but the seafood orgy is…well let’s just say it is appropriately named. The perfect thing to do when dining with two or three is to order a ceviche dish, one of the dishes from the “Specialties” section of the menu and for real fun, a dessert, and share all three. The Chicken Aji, Rice with Chicken and Sauteed Lomo Steak are my personal recommendations from the Specialties menu. The Rice with Chicken is so different from other Latin “Arroz con Pollo” dishes. The rice has a green tint and is so full of flavor, it is D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S.

If you have room for dessert you have to try the Sigh of Limena. This dessert left me speechless and fighting for the last bite with my seatmates. The only way I know to describe it is yummy in a bowl.

I give this restaurant five out of five fabs for its fun, urban decor, awesome food, reasonable prices and doing its part to make Downtown Miami big-city-worthy.

So, call you favorite girlfriend, put on a cute outfit, make a reservation and enjoy this shortcut to fabulous downtown dining!

Ceviche 105

  • 105 NE 3rd Ave, Miami 33132
  • (Btwn NE 1st & NE 2nd St)
  • Phone: (305) 577-3454
  • Sun-Thurs. 8 am -10 pm
  • Fri-Sat 8 am-11 pm

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Shortcut to Fabulous Small Space Entertaining- Dinner Party!

dinnerpartyetiquette1So what if I told you that you could have a Martha [Stewart] worthy dinner party in a 700 square foot apartment? You would flip over the fabulosity right! Guess what? I am about to tell you how!

The key to entertaining in a fabulously small space is to think outside the box and be prepared to re-arrange furniture and rent some items if needed. For example, if you want to hold a dinner party for eight, but have a table for two, consider using your sofa as seating. Here is how it can work: I highly recommend every small space dweller buy one of an adjustable height folding table. You can store the table against the wall in a walk-in closet (behind your clothes) or under your bed when not in party mode. This table is awesome because on the lowest height setting it is at couch level, so can use your sofa as seating. (At the highest setting you have a bar!) Move your coffee table to another room and set up the table in front your your couch. Sit on the sofa and pretend to eat to see where you should place the folding table.

dinner partyIf you need seating for the other side, buy some cheap, yet chic storage ottomans for under $30 from Walmart or Target. These ottomans are perfect because you can use them as extra storage and extra seating. They can be stacked in a closet, grouped together as a coffee table or extra seating in your living room.

Don’t have a square inch to spare to store this stuff? Rent it! Or consider having a buffet style dinner party and renting small tables and chairs to seat two to four and placing several tables in your living space. Regardless of what option you chose, moving your coffee table to a bedroom or balcony is probably necessary in a small space.

Now, on to the tablescape. Need to create a fun tablescape on the cheap? Try using candles and curling ribbon like we did in the tablescape here.  Charger plates instantly glam up a table and can double as serving trays when you are having a cocktail party. Try and get something that coordinates with your china and in a neutral, such as a silver or gold, so you can use and reuse with any theme.

Not sure what to serve or want some tips for cocktail parties? Sign up for our newsletter and learn more shortcuts to fabulous small space entertaining in weeks to come!!!!

So, assess your living space, make your perfect dinner party guest list and enjoy this shortcut to fabulous small space entertaining.

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Shortcut to Saving Money

We got an overwhelming amount of submissions for our Target gift card contest….we are still sorting through the entries! We will announce the winner on next week’s Website Wednesday. Thanks for entering!

saving money

Clark Howard

Who: Clark Howard is the sightly nerdy, yet lovable consumer advocate, self-proclaimed cheapskate and man who can find you savings in places you never imagined.

What: A fabulous website with reviews of tips on saving money on everything from phone service o travel.  You can also sign up for the weekly email with tons of fun, money saving tips.

When: If you sign up for the email newsletter, you will find it every weekly in your inbox.

Where: http://clarkhoward.com/

Why: Cause every fabulous girl saves money and looks good doing it!

So, check out this shortcut to saving money and explore Clark Howard’s website today!

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Shortcut to Fabulous Diva Dining, Relaxing and Entertainment in Miami

diva diningNow collective bargaining power isn’t just for unions! A website aptly named Groupon uses the power of numbers to bring you deals for gift cards to fabulous restaurants, spas and more!

Here is how it works: You sign up here and then every day a new potential deal is announced. Usually the deals are for popular or new restaurants or spas around town. On the deal page, the number of people needed to sign up for the deal is listed along with the number of people who have committed to the deal. You only get to purchase the deeply discounted (usually at least half price or more) gift certificate if the requisite number of people signed up for the deal.

Now, how are they able to offer you these deals? Marketing my dears! Groupon guarantees businesses a certain number of customers by requiring a certain number of people to commit to a deal. Businesses eat this up, especially in this economy,  because they are hoping that you will spend more than the certificate amount when you come to their establishment. And if you don’t spend more, they still have the chance to wow you and earn your repeat business. Makes sense right!!!

This week’s deal for Miami readers: Fratelli La Bufala, an authentic Italian (like as in they have other Frateli’s in Italy) pizzeria on South Beach. BTW- The SOBE location is the only U.S. location! $15 gets you a $35 certificate. Oh and check out the website to see past deals.

So, click here to sign up and enjoy this shortcut to fabulous dining, relaxation and entertainment in magical Miami!!!

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