24 Hours in Munich, Germany!

24 hours in Munich, Germany!

It began as a nonchalant kind of day. Kent had left for work early that morning, and I continued to sleep. I had no real plans for the day but to make some tea and write a little, so I thought. That was until I got a text from Kent announcing he was assigned a flight to Germany! “Wanna come?” He asked.

I had all of 30 seconds to shower, pack my suitcase, get a dog sitter, reschedule my plans (for the following day), and get a ride to the airport. Of course, I made it happen though. It’s Germany we’re talking about!!

The way it typically works is this: A crew of flight attendants work the flight and arrive at their new destination. From there, a bus or van picks them up from the airport and brings them directly to the hotel. Luckily for me, I got to hitch a ride with them! 🙂 They always seem to think its cute that I like to go on flights with Kent when I can. I mean, why wouldn’t I? Anytime he has a cool layover that is 24 hours or longer, I try to come!

This hotel accommodation is so elegant. Ohhh how I love the crown molding detail; it is my latest obsession! It gives me all those Paris vibes that I adore.

We checked in and just as we were about to head up to our room, one of the flight attendants invited us to a celebratory dinner for later that evening. She was hitting her 45 year mark working for the airline! We gladly accepted.

While getting situated in our room, I quickly realized that due to the craziness of rushing the process, I did not pack a single nice thing to wear for the dinner! I dashed over to my suitcase and flung it open, hoping that the perfect outfit would magically appear. Sadly, that was not the case. I managed to pack my kimono bath robe, but no nice outfit. I would be lying if I said I didn’t temporarily consider trying to turn my robe into an outfit of sorts…. That’s the old thrifter in me, I suppose. Next, I considered the idea of turning my over-sized coat into some sort of dress by closing it all up and putting a belt on top! Surely that would look nicer than ripped jeans, a t-shirt and tennis shoes, I thought to myself… 

Kent laughed at the idea, I don’t think he approved! 

There in our room, facing the floor-to-ceiling window with white sheer curtains, sits the coziest and most inviting chair. It’s the perfect spot to sit and drink the Peppermint tea that Kent freshly brewed for me, and write a little.

It is now 10:30 am here in Germany and 4:30 am back at home. We flew through the night, so now Kent will need at least two hours of sleep to function before we go out and explore together. We are only here for 24 hours and I intend to make them count! 

After a short time, I finished my tea and crawled into bed with Kent. To my surprise, he rolled over towards me and asked, “Would you like to go shopping while we are out today? We can find you an outfit for tonight if you’d like.” I giggled with excitement like a little girl and thanked him for being so thoughtful – especially considering “shopping” is his arch-nemesis!

It was very hard to wake up from our nap, especially for Kent. Personally, knowing we were headed to go shopping, I happily perked up and out of bed! 

First, we visited a shopping center called Marienplatz. It was a unique mixture of old building structures on top, and renovated shops or restaurants on the bottom. What a lively, bustling area! It seemed like the place to be. After trying on just a few things, I found my outfit to wear for that evening! 

By this time, we were famished! We walked over about 8 minutes to the outdoor market, known as the Victuals Market. Well, it was supposed to be 8 minutes according to Google Maps, but we took a shortcut. A rare shortcut in history that actually got us there quicker, rather than never. Haha!

There at the outdoor market stood little makeshift shops with beautiful fruits, veggies, wine and olives in every direction. 

We looked around for quite some time before landing on our lunch location. You know, wouldn’t wanna settle for the wrong food place and regret it later when you are too full to eat at the EVEN MORE delicious place! I know, #firstworldprobs.

As we roamed about, we wandered into an inviting little fish market & eatery. Displayed up front was a raw salmon and onion bun/bagel sandwich, I believe it was called a Fichbrotchen. With only a few simple ingredients, the flavor combination was surprisingly delicious! Kent and I shared one sandwich so we would have room to eat more delectable food throughout the rest of the day.

There were so many sample dishes laid out for the customers. I always love that sort of thing! It brings you right back to your childhood of sneaking way too many food samples at Costco. 

After seeing everything we could of the outdoor market, we obviously had to check out the sushi scene in Munich! I will admit, we are a bit of sushi addicts – sushi snobs too, I suppose. And I’m happy to report, it was simply on point over at Maggie’s Sushi Bar! We shared a combination plate of different kinds of sushi and nigiri. Oh, and a nice hot cup of jasmine tea!

To top off our afternoon, we stopped at a juice stand. It was filled with delicious freshly squeezed options of all kinds! Kent got the passion fruit drink, and I got the orange mango.

Rather than Ubering our way home, we decided we wouldn’t mind the walk back to the hotel. It was only a 20 minute walk anyhow! It was slightly freezing, did I mention that already?! Ok, I have been in way worse. But this time, I was not adequately dressed because I was not properly packed… yadda yadda yadda. We managed though! Wouldn’t let a silly thing like the cold keep us from a lovely stroll home!

The views were extraordinary all the way home. After all, Munich is home to many buildings that are centuries old! On our way back to the hotel, we also happened to pass by the world’s largest museum of science and technology. It’s called Deutsches Museum.

Back at the hotel, I excitedly laid out my new clothes and got ready for our evening out with the flight attendant crew! I felt way more comfortable knowing I had an “evening” outfit to wear. Honestly, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world if I rolled up in there wearing scroungy clothes, but it’s always nice to have an excuse to dress up!

We made our way to the restaurant, “Belle Italia.” I loved the vibe there. It had beautiful decor and felt authentically Italian. (Yes, I know we are in Germany! Lol) 

The meal and company was lovely! We talked about politics, love, food and life, etc. To top it off, our meal was covered in celebration of the employees 45th year of working for the airline. An amazing treat! 

With full bellies and sore feet (to be expected from wearing my brand new boots), we moseyed on back to our hotel and decided to call it a night! We were so very exhausted from the whole journey.

As I closed my eyes, I felt an immense sense of gratitude come over me, thinking back on all the events of the day. “The next time I open my eyes, it will be time to head back home,” I thought to myself.

I fell into a deep sleep for about 4 hours.

Suddenly at 2 am, I had a rude awakening when I felt like my stomach was going to eat itself alive! This was an unusual type of hunger pain I had never experienced. I began rummaging through my travel bag, looking for ANYTHING that I could eat! That’s when my “break open the fridge” attempts began! Yes. You read correctly. The fridge was stuck closed!!! I was so desperately determined to open the fridge that while doing so, I accidentally woke Kent up with the noise, oops!

He sleepily asked, “Babeee? Are you ok? What are you doing?”

“I’m hungryyyyyyy and the fridge is stuckkkk.” I uttered in the most pitiful sounding voice. He had a bit of a laugh (surely at how pathetic I sounded). He came over to examine the “stuck” mini-fridge. Indeed, it was not only stuck, it was locked! What kind of hotel locks the mini fridge?! Isn’t it supposed to be here for my convenience? What is the meaning of this nonsense?! 

Kent patiently began to put on his clothes, “We’re going out, get dressed!” He exclaimed!

Here is a little backstory for you: Last year I went on a trip with my sister to France and that is where I developed – what I now refer to as – “FONF.” That is an acronym for “fear of no food.”  Or in other words, fear of getting trapped someplace when you are starving to death and there appears to be no food accessible in sight! If you followed my content during that time, then you know what I’m referring to.

Kent made a promise on this trip that he would not let that happen to me here! Thankfully, he followed through.

After looking on Google maps to see if anything was still open, sadly there was nothing. We went out and started walking anyway, hoping there would be SOMETHING. Along the walk, we did see some non-food looking places, but they appeared to be quite sketchy… One of the buildings we walked by had graffiti all over the outside wall. A lady hesitantly peeped her head out the door to watch us as we passed. I’m guessing she thought we were going to be customers.

Kent: “It looks as though only brothels and strip clubs are open at this hour. I hear that’s a big thing here!”

My mind: .… “But do they have food?”

After walking for about 25 minutes and beginning to lose hope, we finally stumbled upon a hole-in-the-wall pizza place with its lights still on. They welcomed us in, thank goodness for that! I mean, surely someone had to be open… the night-workers have to eat too! Ya know?

I was grateful as could be! A nice warm pizza, a Snickers bar and a Sprite was just what we needed. 

The walk back to our hotel was cold, but so serene. It was quiet out, and the streets were becoming white as the snow gently collected on the ground. 

Morning came early after that, as you could imagine!

While riding to the airport on the crew bus, Kent and I reminisced about the wonderful memories of this whirlwind trip we just experienced. We also talked about how peculiar it is that Autism doesn’t have a blood test to diagnose it, only a checklist…… don’t ask how we got onto that topic!

Thankfully, I made it on the flight and went right to sleep!

Fun fact- apparently an elderly woman told Kent I was “lucky to get on the flight with ripped jeans because sometimes they don’t let you on for that.” HAHA which may have been true… in the 50’s! 🤪 

Thanks for reading!!!

Our Father – Part 1

[Reddit Writing Prompt – You dug up your father’s photo album, you discover that the house you are living in is the house in the photos. There is one spot that has a door to another room, you look around your house and found that spot covered with a huge drawer. You explore the room behind the door that was hidden.]

You can find my original story posted here on Reddit.

& Expect to find more of my stories there in the future!

I hope you enjoy my story response to the writing prompt.

Xoxo,

SJ

OUR FATHER 

Every time I visit home, I am always welcomed with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. I haven’t quite decided if that’s a good or bad thing yet; that would depend on the memories that came along with it. You could say my upbringing was… odd.

Coming home for the first time in two years, I feel that now is my chance to uncover truths about my parents’ mysterious identity. Ever since I was old enough to notice, there would be things that just didn’t add up. When I chose to ask questions about these suspicions of mine, they would get swept under the rug with a vague statement, as if that was enough of an answer for me. “If I’m so curious, then why haven’t I searched for an answer myself?” I wondered. I suppose it might have something to do with the fact that I am subconsciously afraid of what I may find. After all, what if this information changes everything? My brained churned.

There, in my parents’ wooded yard, was my trusty old childhood spot known as the “Thinking Tree.” It hunched way over like a bench, low enough to sit on. I sat straddling the trunk and leaned my back up against it. This is where I would always go for some peace and quiet. My mind wandered off as I thought to myself, “What’s the worst thing my parents could be hiding?” Deep down, I wanted to believe my parents were good people and that they had a valid reason to hide things from me. Yet, I can’t help but wonder, what could be so important that it’s worth covering up for an entire lifetime? It must be something monumental! All I know is, my search for the truth must NOW be a secret from them, and I know just where to start.

My one and only lead is based off of a memory I have from the age of 7 or 8. I was sitting in the same room with my mother when I noticed she took her phone call into the next room; more secrets. Even in my innocent mind, I must’ve thought something was unusual, because I followed her to listen in on the conversation. Clearly, I could tell it was a man’s voice on the phone, potentially my father’s, but I couldn’t make out any specifics. Although I’m not entirely sure what he was saying, I could tell by my mother’s reaction that he was on edge about something. “I know, I know,” she said, “but everyone is relying on us! Jamison must progress, he is our father! We have to make it right this time,” she frantically whispered. Those words burned in my mind, repeating over and over until I had them unintentionally memorized. But what does it mean? It didn’t make sense to me! My grandfather was never mentioned to me before, and I never heard his name mentioned again after the phone call that day. If I didn’t know any better, one might assume I was even named after the guy! Till this day, there was something I never understood: why she referred to him as “our father?” She has no siblings and I was quite sure it was my father speaking to her on the phone. It’s all very peculiar, indeed.

Surely I had misunderstood something; after all, I was only a child. However, deep down I knew what I heard. Sitting here at the Thinking Tree, recalling this old memory, it had never occurred to me before that this was a clue. Not until now, at least.

My childhood home is about one hour away from the nearest town. I enjoyed aspects of this growing up. However, the older I got, the more I realized how inconvenient it was to get anywhere quickly when need be. I considered the distance an inconvenience in almost every situation, except this one. I was going to need all the time I could get.

Shortly after I arrived to visit my parents, they went into town to pick up some groceries for the week. “I need to catch up on some work, go ahead without me,” I insisted, as I shooed them out the door. It was the perfect time to begin my search for old family photo albums, letters, or anything that could be considered a clue! If I could just find a picture of Jamison, maybe it would lead me to find him. I have so many questions I would like to ask, and although no one else has answered them, maybe he would be willing.

My search began in the most obvious spot – the basement. You know, the place where parents seem to hide things while assuming no one would dare look through all their piles. What is all this junk anyway? Potential clues? Or just a distraction from what I truly hope to find?! I could hardly stand the anticipation of the unknown. After looking around for about an hour with no luck, I began to wonder if I had made this whole thing up in my head. Just as I was losing hope, I sat down to rest upon a large stack of boxes. Suddenly, I was caught in an unwelcomed surprise when the sturdy-looking pile collapsed from beneath me. I tumbled awkwardly to the ground. When I came to my senses, I looked over to see which one of the boxes had caved in. All of the boxes were in great shape still, except for one. It was the box at the very bottom, of course: the “callapser.” I pulled the old and tattered-looking box out from under the rubble. Without a doubt, it was the oldest thing I had come across in all of my findings for the day. On top of the box it read the words – “FROM BEFORE.”

As I opened the flaps to look inside, I felt a rush come over me. There it was, a never before seen photo album. I felt as though I hit the jackpot, but yet my stomach was in unbearable knots. To any normal kid, this would mean nothing; to me, it means I’m one step closer to finding Jamison… my alleged grandfather. Looking through all the photos, my mind went into a blur. Each was a new one I had never seen before. So who are these people? Who is this random man… Wait! Is he sitting on my Thinking Tree?? This has got to be him!

Just as my mind was going wild with questions and possibilities, I noticed something: these pictures were all taken here at my parents’ house! I wasn’t certain of it at first, considering all the wall paper and furniture looked different, but it is indeed the same house. Wait a minute, which room was this one taken in? I wondered, as I held a picture up to the light. The layout of the room looked vaguely familiar. After a moment’s time, I came to the conclusion that it must be my fathers’ office! He kept it locked up for the majority of my life, yet I managed to somehow sneak in a time or two growing up. As I studied the picture, I noticed a doorway through the back wall of the office. “How odd, I don’t recall his office having a second entrance”, I muttered quietly in disbelief. Regretting that my memory had faded some, I picked my brain, trying to recall anything else I could. After all, I knew every room in the house and none of them led back into the office. Where did this doorway lead then? Ugh! Why can’t I remember?! I darted from the basement floor and ran up the stairs towards my father’s office. Dang! Is it seriously locked, even now?

Last Summer, I picked up on a trick my friend Tom used when he accidentally got locked out of his apartment. Some may know it as the classic credit card swipe! Could it work in this situation? I wondered. It’s likely I’ve only got one shot at this before my parents get home, so I better make it count. *Swipes the card down through the crack. “I’m in!” I announced, as if I were a character in some kind of mystery movie. I turned the handle – in what felt like slow motion – and flung the door open! Immediately, I peered inside toward the location of the mystery door, according to the picture. In that exact spot from floor-to-ceiling stood a strategically placed chest of drawers. “Could it be….?”

Parents- “Jamison, we’re back!”

_______________________________

Follow me for more of my other writings on Reddit!

Let me know what you think and any constructive criticism would be great, thanks!

“Where it all began” -Mapiful Wall Art

Mapiful Wall Art

In our home, our front room is my office and creative area. The “She shed”, so to speak. The place where I can paint it, spill it, decorate it, redecorate it however the heck I want! As for the rest of our house (which is studio style), Kent and I decided together that it would be very clean, simple, efficient and minimalistic in the way we built and styled it. I knew this specific wall art from Mapiful would be the perfect fit for that room! All I had to do was pick a place to show on the map! Hmm.. it way harder to choose than I realized it would be…

Do I pick from the obvious ones? ..The place we met? The place we got married? Our favorite travel destination? If I’m being honest, right off the bat I had the subconscious thought that India would be the LAST place we hung on our wall. Yikes! Why you might ask? Would YOU want a place that represented a trip full of hard lessons right there on your wall? Of course you wouldn’t!

Where It All Began

I carefully went through every single place we’ve been together, but none of them felt like the right fit for some reason! As I sat and pondered which place I wanted on our wall map, you wouldn’t believe it but I started to think about India again! However, something shifted in my mind this time and I realized that India WAS the place to be on our wall after all. And this is why:

India: the place that brought a tremendous amount of excitement and butterflies during our planning. The place we were so determined to make happen that we practiced extreme frugality, prioritized it above all else and with no shame, asked for all of our wedding gifts to be cash to make India happen! No physical presents please! 😉 (Sorry if that offended anyone btw). It was the first and only time so far in our life that we would have the opportunity to vagabond for 3 months together.

“Sounds amazing, so why the hesitation of putting it on your wall?” Right?!

Here is the honesty of what happened in India.

The rest of the story…

During our time there, we experienced much stress, frustration, hard lessons, trials, and struggle of ALL kinds. We got very ill multiple times, got mal-nourished, got trapped in a bad business partnership, witnessed a cash recall by the government that made all our money worthless. You name it, all kinds of troublesome things!

The “cons” are the types of things we as humans tend to remember about our hard experiences in life, wouldn’t you say? If left un-evaluated, they are the things we dwell on and choose to see negatively for the rest of our lives. But almost always, if you look close enough, you can see the silver lining in hindsight. THE WHOLE PICTURE. 

So now, I have the opportunity to reflect once more and really evaluate what the “pro’s” were while in India together. 

India: the time we got to experience what it was like to be in a foreign place and solely rely on each other. The time in our life that we got to put ALL of our attentions on each other and progressing in our marriage. The place that gave us the experience to learn the importance of communication and team work. The place that gave us self-discovery and helped us realize what we want out of life together. The place that through the hardships, brought us closer than ever! A place where we found new friendships, new purpose, and a never-ending desire to see the world together for the rest of our lives. 

A New Perspective

As I read this to Kent and presented him with the map, I may have cried like a baby…. but overall, reflecting on our experiences in India with this new perspective reminded me that even in the darkest of times, there can still be light. This map shows the silver lining of those experiences we shared together. As it hangs on our wall, it will always remind us how far we’ve come since then and how we truly got to experience the opportunity of a lifetime!

And THAT is what this map represents to me. <3

To purchase your own map with a story significant to you, visit Mapiful! Be sure to use code sj2themoon10 to receive a 10% discount on your order!

Do you have any experiences in life that you could re-evaluate and try to see the silver lining?

Email me at sj2themoon@gmail.com

Xoxo,

Sj

10 Unique Tips To Help you pack for your next Road Trip!

10 Unique Tips to help you pack for your next road trip!

As you may know, I have set out on a 3 week road trip up the East Coast! To some, packing for such a trip might be a daunting task, but not for me! I know it sounds crazy, but I actually enjoy the packing part! (It’s okay if you don’t believe me. It’s true!) As you know from my other posts on packing, I have certain methods I like to use that help make packing easier, more efficient, and even fun! So lets get started!

Road Trip Packing Tips

1- Make a list of all the places you will be going on this road trip and include how many days & nights you will be there.

This will help you know how many outfits to pack for each specific place!

2- Next to each place/location, write down what type of daily activities will be done during your time there.

This is SO important because it helps break down each type of clothing you need to be packing according to all the activities you will be doing there! An evening out- fancy dress. A day of hiking- workout clothes and tennis shoes! The beach- Swimming suit and beach towel! See what I mean? Nothing gets left out.

3- Next to each location, write down the daytime weather/temperatures & night time temps for your time there.

Keep this weather and temperatures in mind while packing for each place on your road trip list! Sometimes I get a certain style in my head for packing and I fail to realize it might be super chilly at night or rainy, etc! It also helps you plan out if you need light weight jammies or full blown footie pajamas for those potentially cold nights!

4- Establish if your hotels or Air bnb’s will have an accessible washing machine.

If not, plan on bringing a pair of jeans that you can wear multiple times to conserve packing space. Or you can pack lighter, more compact things. Sun dresses are always a good idea! (Unless this is a winter road trip, of course)

5- Go down your list of places/activities/weather and start trying on outfits that “fit” that criteria.

Pay attention to all details you have written down up to this point! They are all important! Reflect back to the list each time you think you have decided on an outfit, just to double check.

6- Take a picture in each finalized outfit to reflect back on what exactly you packed later on during your road trip!

You know how we pack all these cute outfits and then get there and BLANK. What did I even pack??? *Proceeds to empty out entire suitcase and throw clothes everywhere. This step is for you!!

7- Once all outfits are put together and all pictures taken, create different photo folders on your camera roll and title them the names of the places you are going. (Put outfit pics in each folder accordingly)

For example: DC outfit pics, New York Outfit pics, Canada outfit pics, etc. Make it easy on yourself, do a little organization of your outfit pics and you will have an easier time getting yourself dressed and out the door!

8- When packing, place the outfits that will be worn last all the way down in your bag/suitcase. Put your outfits for the beginning of your trip up at the top so you don’t make a huge mess when trying to get ready!

It’s all about efficiency! This one seems obvious, but yet, we all forget to do it! If you have already forgotten which outfits come last in the road trip, look at your list of places and then look back at your outfit pictures! See how that is already coming in handy?

9- Bring an empty spare bag to put your dirty clothes in along the way!

No need to mix the dirty with the clean! This can be as simple as packing a grocery bag, a garbage bag, or even a collapsible sports bag.

*Pack the rest of your stuff as needed!

10- While enjoying your road trip, don’t forget to reflect back on your outfit pictures each day so you recall how to wear & style each outfit with ease!

You’ll be the quickest one to get ready! After all, no one likes a slow poke when they are ready to go out and start their exploring!

Where are you going on your next road trip? I hope these tips help!

Xoxo-

SJ

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France Vintage Clothing Haul

France Vintage Clothing Haul

Hello, fellow thrift and vintage lovers. It’s about that time again! I now present to you, my France vintage clothing haul!

 

A Magical Day in France

It truly was a magical day in France when destiny brought me to Strasbourg the same day that the vintage street market was being held! We only had one full day in the area before we would be heading to the next town. My sister had gone out earlier than me to grab us some breakfast. When she came back, she was like “You are not going to believe this! I’ve got a surprise to show you!” At the time, I really had no idea what I was about to see. In fact, even my sister did not know the extent of her own surprise! She walked me to the beginning of the vintage market, which she thought was only one or two streets long. What she didn’t know, was that it basically went up and down almost every street in the whole town!!!! The most beautiful true-vintage clothing I had ever laid my eyes on!! Racks on racks on racks! AND SO inexpensive!!! I had obviously landed in my own little piece of paradise.

Honestly, if I had known that I would stumble upon this glorious vintage market, I would have come to France with two empty suitcases!!! Unfortunately, I came to France with one very full backpack. Three streets deep and one bag full, we agreed we had to peel ourselves away from the market before we got in over our heads! I cannot believe I am actually saying this, but the clothing was so good and so cheap, we literally couldn’t even LOOK anymore because we did not have the willpower to just window shop!!! We walked away in amazement…and concern for how we would be able to carry all of our new finds!

The Goods

Now that I have given you the full backstory, I would like to show you the goods! I will say, it is a MINI haul! (For the reasons I explained above. ^^) I hope you enjoy.

90’s denim jacket with snakeskin print- A fun statement piece to have!

 

Cropped Red jacket from the 50’s- Could be worn for a casual or dressy look.

 

1800’s style blouse from the 80’s- This can be buttoned in a few different ways to create different looks!

 

Saddle shoes from the 60’s- In mint condition!

 

Cream Colored Beret- Perfect accessory to wear in France 😉

 

Vintage Camera- Had to have this for obvious reasons.

 

Faux fur bolero jacket from the 50’s – For a night out on the town!

 

Fringe dress from the 60’s- (Excuse the selfies, I haven’t worn these next ones out quite yet 😉

 

Mini Skirt with pockets from the 60’s- Cute with a casual outfit or even a bathing suit cover up! (Oh, and here is the bolero jacket again too)

Thanks so much for your interest in my France vintage clothing hall! I tend to do a vintage/thrift haul every new place I travel to, so be sure to subscribe to my blog below if you want to see the next!

Also, if you would like to see some of my favorite views and places from this France trip, shop my France photography Prints for sale.

AND subscribe to my Youtube channel! 

Xoxo,

Sj

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What’s inside my backpack + Packing tips

What’s inside my backpack

+ Packing tips

Every time I travel, I always bring my handy dandy backpack! I have been asked so MANY times how the heck I fit everything for a trip inside there!?! I will get to that.

 

Picking out the right outfits for your trip

I’ll be honest, I love wearing pajamas almost as much as I love dressing up (I said almost!) You can usually find me wearing comfy clothes while hanging out around the house, running errands too! So when do I get the chance to give my “pretty clothes” the time of day?! I would hate for them to feel left out, ya know? Well, traveling is the answer!! I already love traveling for 8 million reasons, which makes getting to wear creative outfits the cherry on top!

I consider it a great joy to pick out outfits that “match” the theme of the place I am traveling to! Going to Scottland? Wear Plaid. Going to France? Pack a beret! Etc. It’s so fun!!! It’s like playing adult dress up! I don’t always wear what that place is known for, sometimes I just wear what I think will look good in the pictures I plan to take there!

 

 

To start this outfit planning process, I blast music and put on a fashion show for myself! (You heard me). I pull over the extra clothing rack I have and set it right next to the body mirror. Next, I rummage through all of my clothes, pulling out and hanging up anything that might be a potential fit for the trip!

 

 

Next, try everything on!!!

Check every outfit combination along the way in the mirror and ask yourself these questions.

  1. Do I feel confident in this?
  2. Will this look good with a particular monument or place where I am traveling to?
  3. Is it comfortable enough to wear all day and do a lot of walking in?

*Don’t fret! If you are just dying to get a picture in a certain outfit and it just ain’t that comfy? Plan to wear it for a quick pic and bring a change of clothes with you that day to change into afterward! Yes, this is as extra as it gets, but sometimes it is just worth it!

Go through each day in your mind and find an outfit that works for the events you have planned for that day! For example–> A fancy event, a hiking day, a rainy day, a swimming day, etc. These are all things you need to think about while packing for THAT day. If you do not have set plans for your trip, just try your best to plan for a variety of potential activities and weather.

Don’t forget the add on’s! With the outfit on, take note of what else you need to complete that outfit. Don’t just guess what you think will go with it, try it on to be sure! Nothing is worse than packing blindly, thinking something will look good together and then getting there and realizing it doesn’t! Gasp! Try it with earrings, a belt, a hat, special socks, a certain style of bra/underwear, anything you need with that outfit! You don’t want to show up with a strapless dress and realize you didn’t think to pack your strapless bra! I’m sure you see my point.

Take Pictures

After you have pulled everything out of your closet and have a set idea of what you’re going to bring, put each completed outfit on (accessories and all) and TAKE A FULL BODY PICTURE in the mirror! Do this for each outfit you want to bring. Why you may ask? Simple, when you arrive on your first day and you can’t remember what the heck you packed and everything is all rolled up and hard to see in your backpack, you just look at your outfit planning pictures! Like this, “Oh yeah! I forgot I packed that amazing outfit with those earings. Cool!” It may sound ridiculous, but it works!! You can thank me later.

Once you have designated the correct accessories, underwear AND have taken your final picture of an outfit, set all of it aside in a “ready to be packed” pile.

 

The art of packing

Yes, it is an art. Packing it all in a backpack does require you to be somewhat minimalistic. But not as much as you would think!! People always ask me how I manage to fit cute clothes in my backpack… Like I’m sorry, what? Cute clothes fit in just the same as grungy clothes! Haha, silly people! Yes, you have to get creative with certain things though. Like maybe try not to pack heavy duty jeans with every single outfit! That would take up a lot of room! Try throwing in some lightweight dresses that roll up really small into the mix! You could also do leggings! OR, just be ok with wearing the same pair of jeans more than once.

 

 

I have mentioned this “rolling” thing a few times now. I think most people know this packing trick already, but just in case you don’t, I will go over it. ROLL all of your clothes tightly and then pack them in as tight as possible! This is a more efficient way to pack compared to regular old folding! The bag will fit way more items in this way!

 

What’s Inside?

As for my actual packing list, it looks a little something like this.

Main Carry on Backpack:

-Day 1-7 outfits (including accessories and underwear)

-Laptop

-Electronics pouch (Holds chargers, SD cards, earphones, camera battery, etc)

– Shoes. Pack the flat ones into the side pockets, wear the chunky shoes on my feet for the flight.

-Hats. Giant one goes on my head for the flight, smaller/compactable ones go in the bag.

-Minimal makeup (powder, brow shadow, blush, lipstick)

-A couple meds. -A few Ibuprofen, Sudafed, anti-acid chews, etc. Just in case.

-Mini liquids. (Shampoo, soap, toothpaste, hairspray, dry shampoo, face lotion)

-Neck pillow (hangs on top of the backpack)

-A mini camera tripod (put inside the other side pocket)

-My camera (although this is actually hanging around my neck, not in my bag)

Side note- I try to never bring hair tools. Well, I do bring a brush actually! But most hotels & Airbnb’s will provide blowdryers though! Luckily my hair does fine just air drying. But if yours doesn’t, you can get creative with your hairstyles that don’t require heat! OR….just shove it in the bag.

 

 

Next, there is the “personal item” as it is referred to on the airplane. This can be a purse or a small backpack! But keep in mind, this is another thing you will have to carry around from place to place, so don’t make it too heavy! (Been there, done that!) For me, this looks like one of two things- a small backpack or side satchel that carries a small number of necessities to go out for the day with.

An alternative option that I try not to do too often (because it can be a pain in the butt) is to bring one of those sturdy produce bags! I will use this if I am planning to do a promotional photo shoot in certain items that don’t fit in the main backpack. Ex- giant hats, multiple purses, big jackets, etc. It works if you need to do it, but if you don’t, I suggest making your personal item as light and small as possible.

In the small satchel version of my personal item, this is what you will find inside:

-Passport

-Credit card

-Chapstick/lipstick

-Band-aid

-Pocket tissues (necessary because other countries don’t always provide toilet paper in their bathrooms!)

-Feminine products, because you never know!

-A little cash

-Phone battery pack

-A couple Ibuprofen

 

Why a backpack?

Lastly, I would just like to clarify that I am NOT lugging my backpack around with me all day every day. Wherever I check into for my stay, I leave my main backpack there for the day while I go out and explore! All I bring out with me is my small day bag (satchel or fanny pack) that has the small things I need while out and about. Oh, and I bring my camera everywhere with me of course! This means I only have to “lug around” my backpack in-between changing hotel/Airbnb locations. It’s really not so bad!

I prefer backpacking compared to rolling around a suitcase because it’s just more convenient for me to have something strapped on my back rather than it dragging/rolling behind me on the floor! Especially when you are in a huge crowd rushing through metro stations. The rolling ones tend to trip people…

 

Answering IG Story questions about Backpacking:

(There are a ton of similar questions, so I will condense and answer)

Q: How do you fit everything you need into one backpack?

A: Outfit plan with precision and be sure to roll up everything! Bring mini and compact items. Not huge, chunky ones!

 

Q: What is better, backpack or a roller suitcase? And why?

A: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I personally love having the backpack. It just feels more efficient to me. Plus it doesn’t get super in the way like a rolling suitcase does! And stairs!!! I would much rather have a bag on my back for walking up all those steps in the metro station!

 

Q: Do you get tired lugging the backpack around everywhere?

A: Sometimes, but if the backpack fits correctly, it should have a buckle latch that connects in front of your stomach that holds most of the weight of your backpack on your waist (which is not as tiring). Also, you shouldn’t have to bring your backpack everywhere. Just bring it when you are changing hotels and whatnot. Don’t bring it out with you every day.

Also, if you are not able to check into your hotel right when you arrive, or maybe you are at a hostel that doesn’t have big enough lockers for your backpack, you can usually google “coin lockers” in the area you are staying and that way you have a place to drop your bag safely for the day. You should never have to carry it for too terribly long!

 

Q: Do you have to do make due without some stuff that you might normally want to take in a regular suitcase?

A: I don’t! A lot of people overpack when they bring suitcases…which is fine, just a personal preference. But when I put the proper time and planning into my packing, I always have everything I need!

 

That’s about it, folks! Hopefully this helps the next time you are packing for a trip! Thank you all so much for your questions. I hope I answered everything you wanted to know!

Enjoy your travels!

Xoxo,

Sj2themoon

 

[ALL pictures edited with my personalized sj2themoon presets. You can purchase those here.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Flight Attendant Wife Life

Flight Attendant Grad

He did it!! ….WE did it! Okay ok, I know he is the one who did all the work to become the Flight Attendant, but I feel like I get to say “we” because I had to go without my Kent being home for two whole months!! Luckily, his training was in Atlanta still, so if his class was ever let out early, Kent and I would be able to meet up occasionally! (Gotta love that forbidden romance. Lol jkjk) But still! He had to stay there in a dorm even though we live only 35 minutes away! I get it though, they want everybody to be able to remain as focused as possible. For a good reason too… their training was intense! Like holy cow!

The actual Flight Attendant Graduation was so lovely! Getting emotional wasn’t really something I anticipated on happening, but of course, I did! I freakin missed my husband like crazy, so some emotions were bound to break free! Not only that, but it was also a mixture of me being super proud of him! PLUS, they were showing all these sentimental Airline videos which reminded me of how Kent purposed to me ON an airplane in front of everybody! So obviously I caught a tear or two! After the videos, they had some lovely speakers, a graduation ceremony where each new flight attendant graduate walked the stage, the cutest brunch for everyone, oh! And my favorite part, I got to pin his wings on him! Such a cool feeling to get to do that!

The Flight Attendant Wife Life

I’ll be honest, I did pretty well with maintaining a positive attitude while he was gone. However, you could say I indulged a bit to keep myself happy and distracted there for a while. Hehe! A little ice cream eating and binge-watching goes a long way! So yes, I let my good routine and healthy eating slide for those two months, but it was worth it. I deserved it! Don’t ya think?!

Now that Kent is back home with me again, I have re-committed to my goals with myself and I am back at it! Zero regrets throughout it all, just some much needed TLC while he was gone! Or, you could refer to it as ICBW (ice cream & binge-watching). It definitely feels good to be getting back into my groove though!

I have a ton of learning to do as far as what this flight attendant wife life will be like, but compared to him being away for two months during training, this will feel like a piece of cake! Yes, he may be gone a night or two here and there which sucks, but do you know what that means?! It means I get him all to myself after that for a couple days straight!! THAT makes it all worth it to me in the end.

….Can you tell I have a super crush on him? <3

As most of you know, we took a celebratory trip to a beach in Florida after Kent graduated! It was much needed, to say the least!  We will have our Florida vlog up for ya’ll very soon!

Meanwhile, here are a couple pics from his graduation! (And I say “a couple” because apparently, something has happened to most of the pics from the event. It says they are damaged so they can’t be posted. Sad day. But at least a couple were saved!)

Ps. Thanks to everyone who has been asking about Kent’s training and rooting us on the entire time, it means a lot to us to have your support!

More updates coming soon <3

Love, Sj girl

Valentine’s Day 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s Valentine’s Day ya’ll!! I really enjoy holidays because it gives me an excuse to celebrate! Let’s just say every time there is a holiday, we usually end up celebrating all week long! Kent and I are considered untraditional (per usual) in the sense that we don’t get each other gifts on holidays! I’m not opposed to gift giving… and it’s not like we are Valentine’s Day haters! We just really enjoy getting each other gifts throughout the year instead! This way, by the time holidays roll around, we can just spend time together and go out to do something fun! I like it much better this way because there is no pressure or stress for finding “the perfect gift”. It allows us to just focus on each other!

This year for Valentine’s Day (week), we have a couple things in mind that we wanna do! But who knows what the actual day will bring! So far, we know for sure we are not celebrating V-Day on February 14th like everybody else! Kent and I are still long distance right now while he is away at flight attendant training! But obviously, we are not going to just let the big day come and go while we are apart, no! We will just move it to a different date!! Hello! So this year, Valentine’s Day will be on February 17th! (And like the whole entire week, of course)

On the big day, we are likely going to have a movie marathon of our favorite V-Day movies! …We are big movie people! Then, we will likely find somewhere special to eat for….breakfast, lunch and dinner. We like food, okay?

Later that day we are also planning on hiking Tallulah Gorge to see the waterfall! That’s what our plans are for now, but we always try and go with the flow and see where the day takes us!

I’ll be sure to post pics later for ya’ll from the hike/waterfall!

 

Meanwhile, here are our mushy gushy Valentine’s Day pics!

Enjoy the day of  lovin’!

 

xoxo, Sj

 

Kent & Sj V-day 2018

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