Wednesday, October 29, 2014

11 gadgets that make traveling easier

I love technology; I get it from my dad, he is the type of person that always has the greatest and latest technology out there. Technology is such a great thing, if it is used properly it can make everything in life so much easier and convenient.

When I started traveling for my job almost two years ago I was not a very big fan of it. At first it was very inconvenient, I remember my first time traveling my purse was filled with all kinds of cables to charge my multiple electronics and i couldn't get anything out because it was such a jumbled mess. I have come a long when since that moment, and there are a lot of gadgets that have helped me enjoy traveling week after week.

The following are in my opinion some of the best gadgets/apps that can make traveling easier:

1) Mophie Juice Pack Helium: I actually own this for my iPhone 5 and I love it!! I can go two days without charging my phone and it is not bulky like other phone chargers I've seen before. This is especially helpful for when I forget to charge my phone the night before I travel, with my Mophie I know I will have enough power to get through my travel day. It also comes in 6 different colors so you have options to pick from (I have mine in pink!)

Image Source: Mophie Website

 2) Mophie Space Pack: I know what you are thinking, this looks just like the case I talked about about above. Not so fast, this neat case actually charges your phone AND provides you with up to 32 GB of extra storage. This Space Pack is available for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s.  I love this because i always have a hard time with my iPhone running out of space, this is definitely on my wish list!! (if I don't upgrade to the iPhone 6 of course)

Image Source: Mophie Website

3) Smart Technology Gloves: Since I travel to cold weather places for work I like to have my winter accessories handy around this time of the year. One of the problems is that when I was wearing gloves they were usually bulky and I couldn't use my iPhone or tablet. Then I realized that there were gloves specially made for touch screens and I was really excited, so last winter I started looking for the perfect pair of slim, fashionable, reasonably prices smart gloves and I didn't have any luck! Finally this year Target; one of my favorite stores, had the answer for my freezing hands! The have a great variety of smart gloves, they are reasonably priced and super stylish. I actually bought a pair of Houndstooth smart gloves this year and I really like them!! They fit your hand like...well no pun a glove should fit, they are also super warm so my hands are never cold :)

Image Source: Target Website
More options here, here, and here.

4) Grid-It Organizer: This is an amazing product! You can organize all of your cables, mouse, USB drives, portable hard drives, anything you can think of and keep it all in one place without getting lost in your bag. It is not bulky so it fits anywhere, and it is light enough that it won't weigh your bag down but sturdy enough that it won't bend once you put all of your stuff on it. This company called cocoon has a lot of options to choose from, they even have one where you can put your Mac book air inside. I had a coworker that used it inside her purse to keep her phones, lipstick, make up, car keys, etc organized!

Image Source: Cocoon Innovations

5) FlightStats App: This is one of my favorite apps on my phone (after pinterest of course!) This app allows you to track your flight based on airline and flight number. The reason I love this app so much is because it is very accurate, it tells you if your flight has been delayed or cancelled, if the gate has been changed, average percentage that this flight is usually on time, and you can track you flight at any point during your travel. You might think, well all airline apps let you know that; and yes you are right but this app informs you of your flight status even before an airline so you will always be ahead of the curve :) You can also track your flight through their website.

Image Source:

6) Noise Canceling Headphones: When I first heard about this I didn't think they actually worked, then I got some Bose noise canceling headphones and I am never going back to regular headphones!! A couple of weeks ago there was a crying baby in my flight, and I don't mean just crying, I am top of his lungs screaming baby during the whole 1hr and 45min flight! Right after I got on the plane I put my headphones on and I wasn't able to heard the crying baby anymore! The reason I like my Bose headphones is because they go inside your ear, but they are not uncomfortable or painful when you lay on them  (I always take naps during my flights!) I know some people like the all around headphones; so some other good options for noise canceling headphones can be found here, here, and here

7) Mac Book Air: I recently bought a 11 inch Mac Book air and I can't believe it took me this long to get one. It is so light and compact that it fits in my purse, but the screen is big enough to work or watch movies on the plane. One of my favorite parts about this laptop is that the battery lasts so long that I don't have to worry about finding a plug while I travel. 

Image Source: Apple Website

8) Hotstop: I know most airports offer free wifi no-a-days, but I like to travel with my hotspot just incase I need internet access somewhere that there is no wifi available. This has been very helpful because most of the time client sites don't offer wifi, or their wifi is for employees only so in those cases I am able to use my hotspot and get things done! The hotspot I own is AT&T Unite and I really like it because it has great connectivity and it's tiny so i can carry it in my purse. Here are some more hotspot options for different carriers.

9) Multi-outlet surge protector with USB chargers: I always run into the issue that there are never enough plugs for everything I own, this multi-outlet connection is as efficient as a outlet strip but it is less bulky. Another upside to this is that is also comes with USB connectors, which is great for me because I am always losing my plug in boxes! It comes in 1, 3, or 6 outlets so you can chose the one that fits your needs.

Image Source: Pinterest

10) xScale: One of the worst things that can happen is when you get to the airport and your bag is overweight, you have to options; either pay the $100 fee or take stuff out of your suitcase. This company Heys came up with a solution to avoid oversize luggage. The xScale is a portable scale that you can use to weigh your luggage even before you get to the airport, it can weigh luggage up to 110 lbs and it is accurate within .5 lbs.

Image Source: Shop Heys

11) Gate Guru: This app will alert you if there has been any gate changes, delays, or layover time adjustments. Gate Guru provides you will a detailed itinerary of your current and future flights, it also provides you with an 'Airport Card' which contains information about amenities, airport tips, weather forecast, maps of the airport and more. You can also rent a car from Avis at a discount rate using this app.

I hope these gadgets will make your traveling easier and more enjoyable! :)

Love, Isabel

Monday, October 27, 2014

Stick to the Basics

Even the best planned outfit can failed on a Monday morning. I hate Mondays as much as the next person, that is why on Monday mornings I like to keep it simple and stick to the basics. Keeping it simple doesn't mean that you have to be boring, it just means that a classic shirt, neutral pants, and a great statement necklace can go a long way!!

This morning I didn't want to think too much about what i was going to wear, but I knew I wanted to wear a statement necklace to show off my new haircut!!! So over the weekend i did something i didn't think I could ever do...I cut 10 inches off my hair!!!!! Ever since I can remember I've had long hair, i loved my long hair and after my mom gave me a bowl cut at the age of 11 (I had broken my arm during that summer and couldn't do anything with my hair, also the long hair and humidity were giving me awful headaches!) I bowed that I would never have my hair shorter than shoulder length ever again!! Well this past weekend I got really close to shoulder length hair...

After a couple of days of getting used to my new hair I actually love it, it is so much faster to get ready in the morning!! I also feel that this shorter hair is very professional and a lot of fun!!

My New Hair!! :)

I wanted to show off my new hair to my coworkers, so I decided my hair should be the focal point of my outfit/look. A black and white ensemble with a pretty statement necklace was the way to go :)

Also I got to wear my new Trench Coat!! (Exact here)

In order to show off my new haircut I needed something that would bring attention to my face, and what better frame than a pretty statement necklace and a striped shirt! The best part of this necklace is were I got it are not going to believe it! One day I was getting groceries at Walmart and my sister pointed out these beautiful statement necklaces and they are only $10!!! (talk about win-win)

Statement Necklace (Exact here) || Striped 3/4 Sleeve shirt (Exact here)

Black Heels (Exact here) || Pants (Similar here and here)

Michael Kors watch (Similar here) || Texas Bracelet (Exact here) || Nail Color Revlon Color Stay Envy in High Stakes

I hope you had a lovely Monday and have a great week!!! :)

Love, Isabel

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Monogram Madness

Source: forchicsake

I hate to admit this, but I have a problem. I am obsessed with monograms!!! I love the way my monogram looks on scarfs, clothes, rings, bracelets and of course monogrammed necklaces. I own quite a few things that are monogrammed, but now that I am engaged my monogram will be changing soon! This is a so exciting because one - I get to marry the love of my life, and two - I get to shop for brand new monogrammed stuff.

Even though our wedding is still a year away I decided I should start a wish list with all the monogram things I want, that way I will have them by the time I get to use my new initials next fall :) Also it is a great way to give my fiancé some ideas of what he could get me for Christmas!!!

Here are a couple of things on my wish list, they are all from one of my favorite stores Marley Lilly:

Images Source: Marley Lilly

1) Monogrammed Luxe Cross Body Clutch: I actually own this in pink. I really love it!!! It is the perfect clutch for a night out or for date night. It is roomie enough to fit my wallet, my two phones, lip gloss and a compact mirror. 

2) Monogrammed Sunshine Satchel Duffel Bag: I own this bag in navy with my current initials, this bag is great for traveling. It is very roomy and it is carry on approved size. The materials are durable and high quality, once i fit two laptops, 4 magazines, clothes, wallet, a pair of shoes in this bag; it held everything I needed to travel with and it didn't hurt my shoulder!! :)

3) Monogrammed Baseball Hat: Baseball hats are the best way to hide a bad hair day. I actually own this hat in black with my current monogram. The reason I love this hat is because it is flexible and it doesn't look like a 'boy' hat. You can dress it up with a plaid button up and some booties or dress it down with a t-shirt and jeans.

4) Monogrammed Navy Striped Vest: Puffer vests are one of my favorite staples for far. They are great for the chilly Michigan weather, they keep me warm without having to wear a huge bulky jacket. They are also very functional for the bipolar Texas weather, in the morning is in the 50s and in the afternoon is in the high 80s, so a vest is the perfect wardrobe staple for this crazy weather. This vest from Marley Lilly is a great choice, they pattern and color is very flattering! The best part about it is that you can monogram it!!! :) 

5) Monogrammed Floating Filigree Necklace: This is one of my jewelry staples! It goes with everything and you know what they say the pearls always go with the monogram :)

6) Monogrammed German Silver Taylor Bracelet: I own this in silver and I love wearing it with my silver and gold Michael Kors watch! I love that this bracelet is not too lose around your wrist and it can be worn with other chunky bracelets.

Here are some more things that I will have to replace once my initials change:

Tank, bottle, clutch and rain jacket all from, picture from my instagram

Also I will need to paint a new wooden monogram in the near future: Tutorial for painting your monogram like lilly first impression print coming soon :)

I will start slowly building my monogrammed collection again thanks to Marley Lilly. Be sure to check out their Flash Sale on Tuesday to get the best deals!! Also they are great about the turn around time that it takes to get your monogrammed items, talking from personal experience it has never taken them more than 3 weeks for me to get my products. I highly recommend them!

Love, Isabel

Friday, October 24, 2014

Plum Perfect

One of my favorite colors this fall is plum!! It's so pretty and flattering on every skin tone. I had been on the hunt for the perfect pair of plum dress pants and I wasn't having any luck. Then a couple of weeks ago I was at the J.Crew Factory store in Michigan and they were having a huge sale! Little did I know that the pair of pants that I had been looking for was there and best of all 40% off!!! :)

One thing you should know about  me is that I hate boring pants! One of my favorite parts about dress pants is that they come in a lot of different colors, patterns and textures but thy still look professional enough to wear to the office. My staple "safe" outfit for work is always a colorful pair of pants and a neutral top (yes, leopard/cheetah print is a neutral!), and great heels.

I decided to wear my super comfortable plum pants with a cheetah print shirt and black pumps. The shirt was the main focus of this outfit because the plum pants acted like a neutral and complemented the shirt. Plum is the perfect accent color, it commands attention but it doesn't overwhelm your outfit. The shoes I wore with this outfit are just black pump, but the are so cute and SUPER comfortable!!!

Black Pumps (Nine West), Leopard Print Shirt (LOFT 50% off right now!!!) Plum Pants (these are the pants but they no longer have plum - JCrew Factory,  some similar; and i actually have these as well  - LOFT, more here JCrew)

Here are some of the things on my wish list for this fall - and guess what...they are PLUM!!! :)

1) A plum pea coat: As far as I am concern Plum is the new black, and this coat is to die for :)

2) Plum Winter accessories: gloves, scarfs, thights!!! Everything we need to keep warm :)

Scarf Source: Marley Lilly
The best part about this scar is that it can be monogrammed! Everything is better with a monogram!! :)

Plum Tights! This picture is actually from last winter with my handsome fiancé and my sweet dog :) I love the pop of color in the tights with the navy dress! It was the perfect Christmas outfit. I believe i got these tights at target a couple of years ago but there are some good choices here, here, and here.

3) Plum Lipstick: I have been obsessed with plum lipstick for quite sometime now (thank you pinterest). It is as classy as red lipstick, but with the fun look that pink lipstick offers. I like to wear my plum lipstick with a winged eye and lots of mascara.

The one I am wearing in this picture is from Bite and I got it at Sephora, you can find it here. Some other good options are here and here.

Also I decided to go back to my dark hair for fall!! I am really liking it so far!!! :)

Love, Isabel 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Leopard and Lace

I really love my job, one of the many reasons why I really love my job is because I get to dress up every single day!!

Now let's talk about Monday, oh Monday.....Mondays are those days that everyone hates, and for me it is always harder to get out of bed on Monday mornings. This week it was particularly hard to get up on Monday morning (I landed in Michigan late Sunday night and forgot to eat dinner), so when I got out of bed I needed something that would get me through that day....something stronger than coffee! I needed the perfect outfit!!

The way you dress can dictate the way your day goes (at least that is true for me.) If you don't like what you are wearing then you don't feel comfortable and that can cause you to be in a bad mood or have a miserable day, on the contrary if you LOVE what you are wearing you will always have a great day or turn a bad day into a good one!! :) A great outfit can do wonders, it can make you feel confident and beautiful, when you are confident you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

Another thing that will put a smile on your face an a pep on your step throughout the day is great accessories! Accessories always complete an outfit, jewelry can turn an ok outfit into a great one and a killer pair of shoes can make you stand out in the crowd and walk taller. The right outfit and accessories combo can make you command attention when you walk in a room (the good kind of attention)

With all of that in mind I decided on a pair of express lace pants, leopard pumps and an emerald sweater with a jeweled collar.

Similar Lace Pants (Express), Similar Shoes (Nine West), Similar Sweater (LOFT)

First let me talk about the pants, they are my favorite pair of pants, they are classic, wrinkle free (which is very important for when I pack for the week), but still have an edge to them. The front of the pants has a lace applique that makes the pants stand out but it doesn't overwhelm your outfit. These pants are professional enough that I wore them to a client meeting on Monday afternoon :)

Now let's talk about the sweater, I have been in a green kick lately when i found this emerald green sweater with an embellish collar I was so excited; and the best part it was 40% off!!! :) This sweater is 3/4 sleeve and thin enough that you are not sweating when they turn on the heater inside the building, but it is warm enough that you can throw on a jacket and you wont be freezing in 40 degree weather (thank you Michigan I am rolling my eyes at your fall-feels-more-like-winter weather)

Last but definitely not least, the shoes!!!! I am so excited about these shoes, they are super cute, classy and surprisingly comfortable!!! (YAY! That's the dream) I got these shoes a couple of weeks ago and I have already worn them plenty of times. These shoes are the type of shoes that can complete an outfit or be the focal point of an outfit. They were also comfortable enough that my feet were not killing me after walking 6 blocks to a meeting downtown :) Even though my outfit consisted of a lot of different elements (leopard, lace and sparkle), it didn't look busy, all of the colors and patterns complemented one another.

To keep warm in the chilly Michigan October weather I decided on a short leather jacket with tweed sleeves and a Target Zara Inspired plaid scarf! :)

Similar leather Jacket (Ann Taylor), Similar Plaid Scarf (Zara)

Love, Isabel 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bite Size Pumpkin Pies

Let me start this by saying I love the holidays, but you know what I love even more than the holidays? Holiday treats :)

Now the the weather is cooling down family and friends like to gather and eat good food. I love eating like any other person but i really really love sweets. I would choose a dessert over a regular meal any day!!

My love of sweets and obsession to Pinterest means that when there is a party going on, or even if i have extra time on my hands I am going to bake something. This weekend my best friend was having a Pot Luck at her house, so I decide to make one of my specialties Enchiladas (more on that later) and something sweet that reminded me of Fall...of course I chose pumpkin pie!!

One of my favorite Fall desserts is pumpkin pie, but I always end up eating too much and feeling sick. I really wanted to avoid this at my bff's potluck but I really wanted to enjoy my favorite Fall dessert now that the weather is cooling down! After a little while of browsing on Pinterest (lets be real it was a couple of hours) I found a recipe for mini pumpkin pies and immediately knew that was the perfect recipe for the pot luck! After browsing the recipe and following the instructions I learned a couple of tricks that helped me make the perfect bite size pumpkin pies.

Things you will need:

Mixing Bowl
Cupcake Pan
Rolling Pin
Mason Jar Lid (or anything you can find to make the mini pie shells)

Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Filling: 

3/4 of a cup of Sugar
1/2 Tsp of Salt
1 TBSP of Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 Eggs
1 Can of Pumpkin Pure
1 Can of Evaporated Milk
(2) 9 inch pie crust dough
Cool Whip (optional)


Step 1:
In the mixing bowl add the sugar, salt, and pumpkin spice; mix them together until they are all incorporated.

Step 3:
In a separate bowl beat the two eggs until the yolk and egg white are incorporated, then pour the eggs in the large bowl and mix with the spices until you have a paste.

Step 4:
Pour the Pumpkin Pure into the large bowl and mix it with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.

Step 5:
Slowly start pouring the can of Evaporated milk into the big bowl, as you pour the Evaporated milk mix all of the ingredients together. Once you have poured the full can of Evaporated milk the consistency of your pie filling should be a little runny.

Step 6 :
If the pie dough that you bought is frozen let it thaw out before you begin this step. Once the filling is done, start making the shells. Using one of the pie crust dough and the mason jar lid, make four circles and expand them a little bit using the rolling pin. Once this is done, put each circle into the pre-greased cupcake pan and press them in just a little bit. Scratch the bottom of the shell with a fork to prevent the filling from bubbling. Roll the left over dough and make two more circles. You should be able to get 6 shells from each 9-inch crust dough, this recipe makes 12 bite size pumpkin pies.

Step 7:
Pour the pie filling into each individual shell. Preheat the oven at 425* and cook the pies for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350* and cook for another 25 minutes. After this is done let them cool down and add cool whip on top of the pies.

**I had quite a bit pie filling left so from the leftover I made another regular size pie, but you can use the leftover pie filling to make more bite size pumpkin pies.

If you want the classic pumpkin pie recipe I recommend Libby's Pumpkin Pie

The Finished Product :) - without the cool whip

Love, Isabel 

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