Best Coffee Shops in Every State

top coffee products and tips

Below is a list of my favorite coffee shops in every state, plus a few international destinations.

Here’s a link to a PDF file if you want to save the list of ➡️ coffee-shops.

✨Read the bonus content below to find my favorite tools, products, and resources for drinking coffee or espresso at home.

Alabama

Arizona

Continue reading “Best Coffee Shops in Every State”

Best Coffee Products and Tips for Home Baristas

top coffee products and tips

Here’s a list of my favorite tools, products, and resources for drinking coffee or espresso at home.

When coffee is made with the right equipment, technique, and coffee beans, it’s worth the investment that pays for itself rather quickly.

Breville Oracle Espresso Machine: About five years ago, I purchased a good quality espresso machine. I did a lot of research and decided to buy The Breville Oracle. The Breville Oracle is straightforward, despite how complicated and fancy it looks. It also comes with everything you need, including a built-in grinder.

Beans: Some of my favorite roasters are Temple Dharma EspressoPanther Coffee East Coast EspressoTartine’s ’04 Latin America blendHeart Stereo Espressoand Vesta Goosebumps Espresso Blend.
It is essential to buy espresso beans if you use an espresso machine. Espresso is roasted for a longer time, usually past the second crack, so it has a toasted and deeper flavor. The beans are also roasted for longer, removing a lot of the acidity while releasing more oiliness. This creates a heavier, fuller feeling in the mouth.
It is also essential to buy a bag of beans within two weeks of the roast (this date will be written somewhere on the bag), so you can drink it within one month of roasting. This is when it will taste the best.

Beanz.com: Find local coffee beans from small-batch coffee roasters and deliver them directly to your door weekly or monthly.

Breville Bambino Plus or Bambino Regular Espresso Machine: The Breville Bambino Plus or Breville Bambino Regular Espresso Machine is the best for beginners. You can explore three heat and milk texture settings without a device taking up half of your kitchen counter. It’s ideal for apartments, offices, and small kitchens.

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine in Pink: The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine in Pink is on my wish list. Silvia Pro X is available in 4 colors: stainless steel, black, white, and pink. This is the machine to purchase if you are a little more advanced. It’s a reasonable price for the espresso quality it can make. It’s easy to use, simple to clean, fast, reliable, and light to maintain. It’s also the machine many barista pros use at home.

Baratza Encore GrinderNever get your beans pre-ground. Invest in a grinder at home and grind your beans before you make your pour-over or espresso. This will allow for optimum flavor. Many baristas recommend the Baratza Encore grinder. I use the Rancilio Coffee Grinder.

Coffee Vault Canister: I keep my beans in a stainless steel coffee vault canister to keep them fresh.

Acaia Pearl Scale: I use the Acaia Pearl Scale. For precision, it’s best to use a scale to confirm that you’re doing each shot (measuring the coffee grounds).

Pour-Over Coffee: Invest in a V60 Dripper, V60 Filters, a Burr grinder, a digital scale, and a gooseneck electric kettle to make the perfect pour-over coffee.

Nurtamilk: Nutramilk makes a variety of nut butter and milk in a short amount of time. After a few months of use, it will save money and is worth the investment. You can use a VitaMix to make a variety of milk, but you have to soak the nuts overnight and then strain the milk, which does everything for you.

Nut Milk Bag: This nut milk bag is perfect for homemade nut milk.

NuMilk Home Machine: The NuMilk home machine will be available soon. It is easier to use than Nutramilk, but you cannot make nut butter. I have sampled the oat milk at Tandem Coffee Roasters in Portland, Maine. I liked the taste, and the baristas gave their product a thumbs up.

Nutrabullet Pro: I use a Nutrabullet for making smoothies and Bulletproof Coffee. I also use the Magic Bullet personal blender for travel.

Yeti MugsYeti Mugs keep my coffee warm for hours at a time. I love how the handle feels on my hand. It’s available in a variety of colors.

MiiR Mugs: I think MiiR makes the best-insulated coffee mugs. I like their line of Camp Cups because they come with a lid, but I also have their Flip Traveler for long walks and car rides.

Drift MagazineDrift is my favorite coffee magazine. Each issue highlights a different city.

StandartStandArt is a print magazine about coffee culture and lifestyle.

RDY App: The RDY App is a must if you like supporting local coffee shops. You can skip the line by ordering on the app and earning rewards. In my guide below, most coffee shops I list are featured on the RDY App.

Roasters App: This app helps you locate coffee shops around the world.

Coffee SubscriptionShop the best specialty coffee subscription from the nation’s best roasters on Trade. Fresh coffee roasted to order and delivered right to your door. A coffee subscription makes a great gift.

NuMilk: NuMilk is my favorite brand of non-dairy milk. You can purchase NuMilk at some Whole Foods locations.

Minor Figures Unsweetened Barista Blend Oat Milk and Minor Figues Barista Blend Oat Milk If I do not have time to make homemade milkI like to use Minor Figures Unsweetened Oat Milk. Some of my favorite coffee shops also use Minor Figures Barista Blend Oat Milk.

MCT OilMCT Oil is an energy source found in coconut oil, which provides quick energy that lasts, and aids in the absorption of caffeine from coffee. It also reduces the coffee’s acidity so you can drink it on an empty stomach! I’m not sure how valid those claims are, but I notice that I feel significantly less jittery and more focused, and it works as an appetite suppressant. Start with some MCT oil and work to the recommended one to two teaspoons.

Mr. Black Cold Brew Espresso Coffee Liqueur: The best liquor for espresso martinis.

Táche Pistachio Milk. This pistachio alternative is subtly nutty and froths well.

Royal Rose Cardamom-Clove Syrup. I use a teaspoon of Royal Rose’s syrups for a cardamom latte.

Milk Frother: I use this milk frother if I am traveling and will not have time to go out for coffee.

Nutrabullet Immersion Blender: The Nutrabullet Immersion Blender is a great budget buy. It can be used to make Bulletproof Coffee.

Aeropress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press: I use Aeropress for Espresso if I’m traveling and will not have time to visit a local coffee shop.

Taika Latte: Taika is an adaptogen-infused coffee that’s designed to provide a boost of energy without making you feel wired. Taika offers four drinks: black coffeeoat milk lattemacadamia latte, and matcha latte. The oat and macadamia lattes are sweetened with allulose and monk fruit.

Bulletproof CreamerBulletproof Original Creamer is a keto coffee creamer made with grass-fed butter and MCT oil. Combining these quality fats with coffee gives you Bulletproof Coffee: a rich, satisfying drink that kick-starts your day and keeps you strong. I like the vanilla flavor. I also use Bulletproof Vanilla Collagen Protein Powder. The creamer tastes better in coffee. I prefer collagen protein powder if I make a protein shake.

How to Make the Best Coffee at Home by James Hoffman: Coffee guru James Hoffmann is a former world barista champion and runs Square Mile Coffee. James knows everything about coffee. If you want to improve your at-home barista skills, this book is for you. James teaches you everything you need to know to make consistently excellent coffee at home, including how to grind coffee; the basics of brewing for all major equipment, understanding coffee drinks, from the cortado to latte; the perfect espresso, and more!

PUQpress Mini: The PUQpress mini is the world’s first precision coffee tamper. Any professional barista will tell you that to enjoy the best coffee at home, you need a proper machine, a sharp grinder, and many hours of practice tamping coffee. Tamping is 95% technique and can lead to all sorts of hard-to-find problems like channeling or uneven pours. Remove and automate the whole variable with the PUQpress Mini.

 Tips

Learning how to pull espresso involves a lot of trial and error, tasting bitter coffee, and trying again.

Some great tutorials include Whole Latte Love’s machine-specific tutorialsSeattle Coffee Gear’s videos on making specific drinksBarista HustleBreville Tutorials, and European Coffee Trip’s how-to on making latte art.

Scott Rao’s The Professional Barista’s Handbook contains espresso theory and science.

Check out this video tutorial for espresso and milk steaming.

Follow Morgan Drinks Coffee, the 2022 United States Barista Champion, on YouTubeTikTok, and Instagram for great tutorials.

Follow James Hoffman, the World Barista Champion 2007, on YouTube and Instagram for great tutorials and product reviews.

The best training is taking a hands-on class taught by a barista pro. A barista pro will help you understand what changing variables like grind size, beans, temperature, extraction time, and pressure can do to your coffee.

Function Coffee offers private classes and coffee equipment repair if you live in Philadelphia.

Counter Culture offers classes at various locations, including Dallas, Miami, and D.C.

Check with your local coffee shop about classes for the at-home barista. You can also hire a barista pro to come to your home.

Bulletproof Coffee

I make my version of Bulletproof coffee. I started drinking an espresso version of Bulletproof about four years ago. I began because I’d heard that it keeps you full for longer. Strict Bulletproofers have coffee as their breakfast. I also heard that the high-fat content is supposed to help the caffeine release gradually. MCT oil is an energy source found in coconut oil, which provides quick energy that lasts, and aids in the absorption of caffeine from coffee. It also reduces the coffee’s acidity so you can drink it on an empty stomach! I’m not sure how valid those claims are, but I notice that I feel significantly less jittery and more focused, and it works as an appetite suppressant. Start with some MCT oil and work to the recommended one to two teaspoons.

You can follow the original recipe, but here’s what works for me. I make espresso, steam ¼ cup of non-dairy milk, add one teaspoon of MCT oil or brain octane oil, one tablespoon of Bulletproof Vanilla Collagen and blend the contents in a Nutrabullet or use an immersion blender. You can also use Bulletproof Hazelnut or Vanilla Creamer and omit the butter and MCT Oil.

RECIPES

Go Get Em Tiger’s Famous Almond Macadamia Milk

BulletProof Coffee

Cardamom Syrup

Espresso Martini

Oat Milk Latte Espresso Martini

Coffee Ice Cream

Cashew Milk

My Favorite Coffee Shops:

best coffee shops USA

Alabama

Arizona


Arkansas


California


Colorado

Delaware


Florida

 

Idaho

 

Illinois


Indiana


Kentucky


Louisiana


Maine


Maryland


Massachusetts


Michigan

 

Minnesota


Mississippi


Missouri


Montana

 

Nebraska


Nevada


New York


North Carolina


Ohio


Oklahoma


Oregon


Pennsylvania


Rhode Island

  • Providence / Bolt

South Carolina

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Virginia

Washington

Wisconsin

Washington D.C. Lost Sock / Somewhere Cafe / Baked and Wired

 

Puerto Rico

Aruba / Island Grind

 

Mexico

Turkey

Istabul 4L

Download this PDF to save the list of coffee shops ⬇️

coffee-shops PDF

I’d love to hear more about your favorites in the comments below!

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Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide

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Portland Travel Guide + Favorite Things

Dental Care, Jacksonville City Guide

Party Planning Resources and 30 A Florida Travel GuideFind out some of my favorite online party supply stores, entertaining cookbooks, and event planning tips. I have some great suggestions for gatherings outside the home, including an ice cream social! 

What’s in My Carry-on Bag 

How I Plan for a Trip

Favorite Things

Favorite Beauty Products

Waco City Guide

Waco travel guide

My Waco City Guide is the only one you need to plan your trip to Magnolia.

Waco has been a popular tourist destination since Chip, and Joanna Gaines debuted their show “Fixer Upper” on HGTV. The Gaines have several businesses in Waco, the most famous of which is Magnolia Market at the Silos. In addition to shopping and dining, there’s a beautifully restored church on the grounds.

Waco is a lovely city to visit, so get busy planning a day trip with all my recommendations.

I suggest starting your day with a cup of coffee at Common Grounds or breakfast at Magnolia Table. Next, visit the shops and grounds at Magnolia. Don’t forget to try the cupcakes at the Silos Bakery Co. The classic flavors include cute themed names like Shiplap (vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream icing) and Silobration (vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream icing). After you visit Magnolia, drive outside of town to Heritage Coffee. It’s a beautifully designed coffee shop on a ranch. For the rest of the day, check out the antique stores and boutiques downtown or go on a tour of Waco. For lunch or dinner, I recommend Harvest and Cafe Homestead.

Keep in mind Magnolia is closed on Sundays. Waco is about 90 to 100 miles from the Dallas and Austin airports. You can easily plan a day trip from Dallas or Austin. Here is a link to my Austin City Guide. It’s jam-packed with links to all the best places.

MAGNOLIA AT THE SILOS

Waco city guide

Magnolia Market at the Silos (home decor)

Magnolia Home (furniture)

Shops at the Silos (Jo’s shops ranging from bath + body, men’s provisions, bags + jewelry, women’s clothing, and books + paper)

Seed and Supply (garden accessories)

Silos Baking Co. (sweets) *GF cookies

Magnolia Press (coffee)

Magnolia Table (breakfast or lunch)
It is located a few miles from the Silos. The best time to visit Magnolia Table, the restaurant, is between 6 am-8 am. The restaurant is only open till 3 pm.

Magnolia’s Little Shop on Bosque is the original home of Magnolia Market that offers last-chance items at a discount.

SHOP

January Letterpress is a collection of paper goods and gifts.

Brazos River Supply Co. is a men’s store featuring lifestyle items and gifts.

Clasé Vintage & Goods sells thrift and vintage fashion.

Cultivate 7Twelve is a small art gallery offering local art and artisan goods for sale. Also hosts farm-to-table dinners, yoga, dance classes, live music, and art workshops.

Fabled Bookshop & Cafe is an independent bookstore and cafe.

Gather carefully curated items for hosting and entertaining at home.

Harp Design Co. is handmade furniture and handcrafted home goods.

JDH Iron Designs is a metal art design from wall art and home decor to custom projects.

Roots Boutique is a boutique selling clothing, accessories, and unique gifts.

Spice Village features a collection of over 60 clothing and decor boutiques under the same roof.

Wildland Supply Co. is a clothing and gift boutique in downtown Waco.

DO

Fixer Upper Tour of Waco is the best tour in town. See many homes from HGTV’s Fixer Upper and enjoy learning about Waco, Texas.

Cameron Park is over 400 acres of forest and walkable trails overlooking the Brazos River.

Cameron Park Zoo is a natural habitat zoo the whole family can enjoy.

Waco Suspension Bridge and Riverwalk is an excellent spot for a stroll along the Brazos river.

Waco Hippodrome Theatre presents new and classic movies, plays, and concerts, plus in-theater dining in downtown Waco.

Dr. Pepper Museum is where you can learn about the oldest soft drink in the United States and how it started in Waco.

The Mayborn Museum Complex is Baylor University’s natural science and cultural history museum with fun, interactive activities for kids of all ages.

Waco Mammoth National Monument is a paleontological site and museum showcasing the fossils of 24 Columbian mammoths and other mammals.

Waco Downtown Farmers Market features local artisans and vendors offering fresh produce, coffee, and food. Note: only open on Saturday in downtown Waco.

Waco Escape Rooms is a team-based game where players solve puzzles and find clues within one room to escape in a limited amount of time.

Waco Tours explores the hidden gems that make Waco unique with its guided tour options.

EAT

Cafe Homestead is a farm-to-table concept restaurant.

Harvest on 25th is my favorite restaurant in Waco. *GF *V

Helberg Barbecue is a traditional Central-Texas-style barbecue joint.

Mac House sells mac ‘n cheese, grilled cheese, salads, and more.

Mamaka Bowls sells smoothie bowls, smoothies, and juice.

Moroso Wood Fired Pizzeria is an artisan pizza restaurant offering Neapolitan-style, thin-crust pies.

Olive Branch Bakery & Cafe sells coffee, pastries, and breakfast and lunch bites in a relaxed, warehouse-style space.

Revival Eastside Eatery is a lunch spot for salads, sandwiches, and burgers in East Waco.

Schmaltz’s Sandwich Shoppe is a local favorite for sandwiches, salads, and soups.

Sironia is a cafe and boutique under one roof.

Union Hall is a community eatery offering 20+ diverse dining options under one roof.

Waffle Chic is a food truck that sells waffle fries.

310’s Kitchen is an open-air BBQ bistro.

DRINK

best coffee Waco
Heritage coffee is the best coffee shop in Waco, Texas.

Common Grounds is located near Baylor University. Really good espresso

Heritage Coffee is a few miles out of town but worth the drive. It’s located in a restored barn surrounded by beautiful pecan trees.

Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits offers a unique coffee and craft cocktail experience.

Luna Juice Baris the best juice bar.

Pinewood Coffee Bar is a local’s favorite that also serves draft beer.

Oh My Juice offers cold pressed and fresh made juice, smoothies, salads, and acai bowls.

Thrst Coffee is a coffee cart located in downtown Waco. Pick up a bag of beans to take home or for gifts.

SWEETS

Lula Jane’s is a bakery with limited quantity so go early.

Heritage Creamery is a handcrafted ice cream shop.

Hey Sugar Candy Store is a candy store with old-fashioned ice cream, gourmet popcorn, retro sodas, gourmet chocolate, and a large selection of bulk candy.

Mo Cookies sells cookies.

Nightlight Donuts is a mobile donut truck that pops up all around Waco.

Pokey O’s Waco is an ice cream parlor.

STAY

Hillcrest Estate is a historic home turned vacation rental renovated by Magnolia.

Magnolia House is a historic home turned vacation rental renovated by Magnolia.

Carriage House is a historic home turned vacation rental on the Magnolia House property, renovated by Magnolia on Fixer Upper.

I did not like the Hilton hotel. I think Air BNB is the best option for lodging or stay in Austin or Dallas and drive to Waco for a day trip. The Gaines are planning to open a hotel later this year in Waco.

GETTING AROUND

Silo District Trolley is a free trolley to get around the Silo District in downtown Waco. It picks up in front of Magnolia Market.

Texas travel guides: Austin and San Antonio.

What are some of your favorite places to visit in Austin? Leave your responses in the comment section.

P.S. You May Have Missed:

Austin City Guide

Fall Bucket List

What to Pack on Vacation

Favorite Things

Favorite Beauty Products

Marla Young’s Newsletter

A newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations. Sign up and get my newsletter delivered right to your Inbox!
By MARLA YOUNG

Best Totes and Backpacks for Travel

Best Totes and Backpacks Travel

Below is a list of the best totes and backpacks for travel that I recommend.

  1. Briggs & Riley Tote: I use Briggs & Riley’s luggage for work. This tote has lots of compartments to keep me organized. It’s worth the investment for the lifetime warranty.
  2. Cuyana Zipper Tote: I use this carry-on bag for day trips and weekend getaways. It’s a classic tote that is stylish and holds up well.
  3. Aer Travel Sling: The Aer Travel Sling is designed to keep your travel essentials close at hand. It features a padded laptop pocket, a quick access pocket for travel documents, and a versatile sling strap for multiple carry positions. This one is great for men.
  4. Briggs & Riley Extra Large ToteThe Briggs & Riley Large Tote has lots of extra room if you travel with young children. I also like this tote if I go away for longer than a week.
  5. Packsafe Ultimatesafe anti-theft BackpackPacsafe makes backpacks and bags loaded with simple and effective anti-theft features to help protect you from pickpockets and thieves.
  6. Longchamp Tote: This tote is ideal for a day trip or weekend getaway. I recommend using an insert to keep your items organized.
  7. Aer Travel Backpacks: This is my favorite backpack.
  8. Briggs & Riley Backpack: The Briggs & Riley Backpack is perfect for the business traveler.

Continue reading “Best Totes and Backpacks for Travel”

Fall Bucket List

Fall To-Do LIst

I put together a fall bucket list with some ideas for the upcoming season.

I always think of each new season as a fresh start. I love going for a run and savoring the cooler mornings. I am intentional about a few things in the fall, including shopping at farmer’s markets, baking everything pumpkin, a new candle, fresh flowers, a playlist, and reading a good suspense thriller by a warm fire.

I hope this list inspires you to create a list of your own to celebrate this time of year. Continue reading “Fall Bucket List”

My Favorite Things

The latest installment of my favorite things includes products for health, wellness, travel, and fashion.

MiiR Mugs: I think MiiR makes the best-insulated coffee mugs. I like their line of Camp Cups because they come with a lid, but I also have their Flip Traveler for long walks and car rides. It’s not as heavy as my Yeti mug. The best part: it doesn’t leak! I also get many compliments about the design from baristas and other coffee snobs like me. So join the cool kids club, and get yourself a MiiR Mug!

Port and Polish Pill and Vitamin Travel Cases: I ordered a couple of these cases for travel. This one works perfectly, and it’s pretty. So many of the pillboxes don’t stay closed. Other colors are available. Continue reading “My Favorite Things”

My Favorite Beauty Products

Beauty Favorites

Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite beauty products.

1.   Travel Size Makeup Mirror: The best solution for hotel lighting. It’s about the size of a tablet with soft dimmable lighting. Makeup artists design the product.

2. Living Libations Breast Massage OilLiving Libations Breast Massage Oil has all the essential oils and other extracts good for the breasts already balanced for you. The massage oil ingredients are broccoli seed, cumin seed, calendula, Saint John’s Wort blossom, frankincense, grapefruit, rose otto, laurel, cypress, yarrow, ylang, and chamomile. There are few companies with ingredients this pure. Continue reading “My Favorite Beauty Products”

How to Plan for a Vacation

Travel Apps

Here are some travel tips, tricks, & tools I use to plan for a vacation.

Google Sheets: I use Google Sheets to create a spreadsheet with all my travel information. This is best done through your desktop/browser. If I end up without WiFi or data, I can still access any vital information or make updates on my trip.

I use the Google Sheets app on my phone to access the spreadsheets.

If you are traveling in a group, everyone can edit the Google Sheet once they have access to it.

Here’s a copy of my Ashville Google spreadsheet.

U.S. Department of State Website: This website is another excellent resource for travel planning. They indicate the level of safety in each country based on the local political and health situations, including COVID-19, laws, general country information, current COVID-19 restrictions, border closures, and more. It’sIt’s also a good idea to enroll in their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) when you travel, which will notify you of any dangers or exceptional circumstances.

Pinterest is great for finding travel tips.

BLOGS & WEBSITES

I’ll do an internet search for my travel destination and add the word “blog.” I think blogs offer the best itineraries and travel recommendations.

I save articles using the Pocket App and Pinterest. Continue reading “How to Plan for a Vacation”

Essential List of What to Pack in a Carry-On Bag

carry-on-bag-essentials

Below is a list of what I pack in a carry-on bag to keep me entertained, hydrated, and feeling my best when I travel.

Cuyana Leather Zipper Tote: The Cuyana Tote is elegant and relatively affordable, costing less than $200 for a bag that’s made in America out of Italian leather. I also purchased the matching tote organization insert to keep my bag organized.I use Briggs and Riley exclusively for work trips due to the lifetime warranty. Airline crew are eligible for a discount. Email Briggs & Riley customer service to verify your airline employment for a discount code.

Cuyana Wallet: I purchased the Cuyana wallet to match my Cuyana tote. I also love the zipper wallet. I pack multiple credit cards and a debit card. I usually wait until I arrive to get local currency from the ATM. I also like the Zoppen Multi-Purpose RFID-Blocking Passport Holder Travel Wallet. The trifold design allows you to store your passport, boarding pass, vaccination card, ID, SIM card, cellphone, cash, a key, a pen, and more within its slim design. Plus, it’s got RFID-blocking material to keep your private details safe.

Cuyana Travel Case Set: I purchased the Cuyana travel set to match my Cuyana tote and wallet.

Apple Noise Cancellation AirPods: These are my favorite noise cancellation earbuds for travel.

Passport Case: If you are traveling out of the country or an airline employee traveling out of uniform, you will will likely need your passport along with your Global Entry Card. I can’t recommend this investment more highly and downloading the Mobile Pass if you’re flying from the U.S. Be sure to store your credit cards, passports and wallet in a RFID blocking pocket to keep your personal information safe.

Anker PowerCore+2100 Charger: I travel with multiple backup chargers. Anker is my go-to iPhone charger. If I’m out all day and don’t know when I’ll be able to access a wall outlet, I pack an Anker PowerCore portable charger. It can juice my iPhone to full capacity five times over before needing a charge itself. I also like Mophie chargers.

MacBook: I use a Macbook for writing, editing pictures, taking online courses, and watching programs away from home. Like iPods and iPhones, the MacBook can be charged from a portable battery pack, as long as you have a USB-C to USB-A cable. I use the Charmat Power Bank to charge my MacBook. I also like the Anker 537 Power Bank.

Twelve South AirFly Duo: The AirFly Pro is a tiny wireless transmitter that allows you to connect two wireless headphones to any headphone jack. You have to pair the AirFly Pro with your wireless headphones and then plug in the AirFly Pro to any headphone jack.

Friends Headphones: They fold up into a small pouch and rest over your ears so you can wear them throughout the entire trip.

iPhone: I read articles I saved on the Pocket app. I download podcasts ahead of time to listen to during a long flight. I use the Pocketcast app to listen to podcasts. If I am going on vacation, I download travel guides and maps. I use Spotify to listen to music. Depending on your data plan, you may be able to turn your phone into a mobile hotspot and supply Wi-Fi to other nearby devices. This can save money on hotel Wi-Fi charges, and chances are you’ll have a faster connection to boot. On iPhone, you’ll find Personal Hotspot under Settings > Cellular. On Android, you’ll find Hotspot and Tethering in the Networking and Internet section.

iPad: I prefer to read on my iPad or Kindle. I use the Texture app to read magazines. I also use the Inflight Reader app to download free magazines before a flight. My local library offers free books that can be downloaded using Overdrive and the Libby app. Don’t neglect entertainment, either. For video, both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video allow you to store videos for offline playback through their mobile apps. Look for the download button next to the video you want to save. You can also download music for offline use if you subscribe to Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Pandora, Amazon Prime, or Amazon Music Unlimited. For games on your smartphone or tablet, I’d suggest launching them in Airplane Mode before leaving to ensure they don’t require an internet connection.

Logitech Keyboard Case: I like to use this keyboard with my iPad if I don’t pack my laptop.

Kindle: With an e-reader or tablet, you can enjoy endless entertainment in a slim package.

Silent Pocket Faraday Sleeve for iPhone: I use the silent pocket Faraday Sleeve for privacy protection. A Faraday Cage is simply an enclosure designed to block electronic signals and radiation. Silent Pocket’s Faraday line was inspired by creating privacy and security protection for our wireless devices. Once you drop your tablet or smartphone into one of our Faraday products, ALL signals to and from the device are cut off from the grid. It’s as though they are turned off with the battery taken out.

USB data blockerUSB data blockers let you charge your devices from other peoples’ USB ports (including charging kiosks) without the risk of their accessing your phone’s data or infecting it with malware.

Lightning-USB Charger: Most Apple chargers have lightning ports on both ends now, but many planes have USB chargers at each seat. Be sure to grab a lightning-USB charger if you have a newer Apple device you want to charge.

TravelCard Charger: This mini-charger is the best portable charger to carry with you for a bit of battery boost.

Small Solar Charger: A solar charger is helpful to charge gadgets and stay connected in an emergency.

Apple Air TagsApple Air Tags are a super-easy way to keep track of your stuff.

Belkin Portable Surge Supressor: Carrying a portable surge protectorwith you when you’re traveling makes it easy to turn a single outlet into several outlets.

Travel Adapter: I pack an international travel adapter any time I go abroad. Mingtong’s universal adapter has four USB ports and four retractable plugs and works in more than 170 countries. I also like the Epicka Universal Travel Adapter.

Anker 32 Port Charger: When I’m in an airport, hotel, or coffee shop, I’ll plug my iPhone into the compact Anker 32W port, which goes from zero to 50 percent in 25 minutes. Even better, I can use the second port to simultaneously charge my MacBook.

Electronics Organizer: I use Peak Design’s Tech Pouch. It has plenty of storage pockets for all my tech. This one is similar for a lower price. I also like the Grid-It organizer and the Incase Nylon Tech Organizer.

Captivator Energy Mist: A quick spritz mid-flight instantly makes me feel like I’m in a spa.

Unibazl Vision Elite Pens: They’re the only pens I’ve ever tried that don’t explode on planes!

Cashmere Scarf Travel Blanket: I always pack a travel blanket. It keeps me from freezing on a plane.

Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bars: The vanilla ones are my favorite. They taste like cookies and are full of healthy fats and collagen protein (read more about collagen here) and very low in sugar (2 grams).

Slip Sleep Mask: The Slip Sleep Mask is one of my carry-on bag essentials for red-eye flights. I love this brand of silk pillowcases and sleep masks. Slip pure silk sleep masks are 100% pure silk, inside and out. They’re made with pure silk filler, internal silk liner, and a silk-covered elastic band. Make sure your sleep mask and pillowcase are 100% silk.

Truffle Clarity Pouches: Truffle’s pouches provide a simple solution to staying organized. The clear plastic means you’ll never dig through multiple bags to find your lipstick or essential documents. All of the pouches keep products upright and intact. The Petite Clarity Purse is ideal for transferring from a carry-on to a handbag. The Large Clarity Pouch is for beach essentials (keeping their water and sand-free) or for more oversized items that you want to keep tidy in your suitcase. The Clarity Document Case is for toting travel documents, magazines, and even an iPad.

Somavedic: I use a Somavedic to negate the effects of 5G. The smaller model is ideal for airplanes, hotel rooms, cars, and small spaces.

Osmosis Harmonized Water: I like to pack one of these osmosis harmonized water kits when I travel internationally. The kit includes four minis to boost your cells into action. These waters are frequency enhanced for health. They are non-toxic, effective for all ages and improve your health on a cellular level. There is no expiration date on any of the Harmonized Waters. The energy is in the form of scalar waves, which means the water molecule always contains that energy until used by the body. As long as you do not put anything into the bottle once opened the water is always viable. This kit is the perfect way to get started on Harmonized Water. Find out more about Osmosis Harmonized water here.

de Mamiel Altitude Oil: Altitude Oil is the perfect travel companion to support and protect the immune system. Altitude oil is a mixture of essential oils with antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties, including Lavender to ease tension, Eucalyptus to help clear your head, and Franconia to bolster immunity, and the antiseptic properties of Pine. Put a drop under each nostril or a few drops on a tissue and inhale deeply several times. This oil is not just for travel. Use it on any form of public transportation. Please keep it on your office desk when the room or your head needs cleaning. Sprinkle it onto your pillow when you have a cold or can’t sleep. Shake a few drops into the bottom of the shower when you wake with a stuffy head. Pop a few drops in a humidifier when feeling nasally or under the weather.

Jao Hand Sanitizer: Most sanitizers use a synthetic antibacterial agent called triclosan, which is controversial for its damaging effects on marine life and its peculiar tendency to spawn resistant bacteria. To prevent drying, the formula draws on a blend of essential oils, including Eucalyptus, geranium, Lavender, sage, and tea tree. Jao was tested against seven of the most likely hand contaminants. The “kill rate” was less than one minute in all cases. Unlike every other commercial antibacterial product I’ve used, this one didn’t make me want to rub my hands on a towel to get rid of a wet residue or an overpowering scent. I also like Osmosis Hand Sanitizer.

Compression Socks: I wear medical grade compression thigh high stockings when I am working. For personal travel, I usually wear compression socks. Sox Solution offers a great selection of compression socks for travel, work, medical and sports uses and has added more fashion-conscious designs. All their socks are made in Italy and have patented designs. I especially like the AB-X padding, which helps provide an additional cushion, which I like when I wear them as walking socks. I tried their new TSS6000 Soft Padding OTC and like the new softer fabric. They also include their Silver DryStat antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, which reduces foot odor and are quick-drying, minimizing blisters meaning you can wash them out in the sink and be ready to go the following day while traveling.

Travel Pillow: I like to pack an inflatable travel pillow for a red-eye flight. Go Sleep has released an upright sleep system. It includes an adjustable elastic cord with toggles that secure the seat or adjustable headrest, comfortably supporting the head in place.

Dr. Singha’s Travel Tonic: It’s a magic potion to help win the battle against jet lag. Travel often brings on various forms of stress caused by poor eating, disrupted sleep patterns, high speeds, and general apprehension. This great travel buddy can help you arrive calm and collected instead of tense and exhausted. Contains Organic extracts of Ginger Root, Eleuthero Root, Lemon Peel, Sheep Sorrel, and Wild Harvested Yohimbe Bark in a base of Organic Grain Alcohol and Distilled Water.

Airplane Seat Covers & Tray Covers: These are helpful if you are traveling with children.

Water Bottle: When you travel, bring a BPA-free water bottle with a built-in filter to fill it up at any water fountain once you’re through security. I like the Hidrate Spark PRO Smart Water Bottle Tritan plastic or stainless steel. This rechargeable bottle links to the HidrateSpark app via Bluetooth to track how much you drink and remind you when to drink, and it even features a locator, so you never misplace it.

Argentina 23: I never travel without colloidal silver. It’s the best way I know to heal cuts, scrapes, sores, and burns quickly. It can also treat a host of common illnesses such as colds, flu, and sore throats and kill nasty germs. Read more about the many uses of colloidal silver here.

Paris Nasal Ointment: It’s a must for anyone who travels due to the dry environment in airplanes. When your nasal passages get dehydrated, you get tiny tears or fissures in the skin. When that happens, viruses can get inside. If you keep your nasal passages moist, there’s a lesser chance of airplane viruses getting into your nose. I use a few drops of this in my nose when I fly. The astronauts use this product!

Organic Lip Balm: My favorite organic lip balm is from Living Libations.

Ear Plugs: The best earplugs I found are from Ear Peace if you do not have noise cancelation headphones or noise cancellation iPods.

Hand Lotion: My hands get very dry when I am flying. This hand lotion by Karen Herzog works so well and does not leave a greasy residue.

Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Dr. Tung’s products are the best. I use Dr. Tung’s Ionic Toothbrush for travel.

Books: I always download several books before a trip. I recommend reading Robin Benson’s Travel With Vitality and The Healthy Conscious Traveler for great tips on staying healthy while traveling.

Eye Relief: I use BioTears or Dry Eye Relief to treat dry eyes and keep them moist.

Goodwipes: These handy little items are a large, biodegradable, hypoallergenic body wipe you can take with you on the go.

Snacks: I always pack extra snacks in the event of delays, I like to make a hearty salad which I’ll pack in an old takeout container that I can toss at my destination.

MegaHydrate: Take 3-5 capsules on long flights to increase hydration and reduce free radical damage. Read more about MegaHydrate here.

Zumread In-Ear Earphones: These teeny and comfy earphones are powerful enough to tune out all peripheral plane noise.

Cord Taco: A cord taco is a genius tool for organizing charges, earbuds, and other wires. The premium leather significantly changes the look from messy to cool and organized.

Pure Essence Labs Ionic-Fizz Magnesium Plus Raspberry Lemonade Sachets: Magnesium is said to calm the nervous system and prevent leg cramping, so I like to dissolve some in a large bottle of water for drinking throughout the flight.

LivOn Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C Sachets: It’s no secret Vitamin C provides essential support to a healthy immune system. Downing a few packets of this potent, hyper-absorbent formula before takeoff boosts my immune system when needed most.

Skin Care Products: I save travel size packets of moisturizers and serums for long flights. DNA Skincare, Living Libations, and Osmosis Skincare are my favorite product lines.

Athletic Greens Travel Packs: Athletic greens give you a full foundation of vitamins and minerals, and probiotics to support your health and well-being.

Restore Sinus Spray: Restore Sinus Spray is designed to help you cleanse, soothe, and hydrate the delicate membranes lining your nasal passages.

Sunglasses: I always pack sunglasses in a travel case. I like this monogramed case from Mark & Graham that holds 2 pair of glasses.

Self Defense Flashlight: I also carry this around in my bag in case of a power failure so I don’t waste my iPhone battery.

Stasher Reusable Food Storage Bags: I pack a lot of food to eat when I travel. The Stasher bags do not take up a lot of space and allow me to heat food on the road. Stasher bags are safe for use in the microwave, a standard oven, or a pot of boiling water up to 400F. Stasher can take the heat, the cold, and anything else your kitchen dishes out. Thanks to the patented airtight seal, your food’s nutrients, flavors, and juices stay locked in.

Nature’s Way Supplements: I keep this brand of cold and flu supplements on hand during cold and flu season.

Travel Containers: I use travel containers for my beauty products and toiletry items. I purchase my containers at the Muji store and the Container Store. I recently ordered a set of Cadence capsules to store my skincare products. The magnetic capsules are leak proof, air tight, and super cute too.

Weatherman Umbrella: If you don’t carry your umbrella in your carry-on like I do, you need to pack one in your suitcase. I like the Weatherman Travel Umbrella. I also use the Carrot weather app.

Ziploc bags: I always keep a few plastic bags in my carry on bag and luggage. The mini plastic bags are great for vitamins.

Face Mask: Some airlines may require a face mask. I like the Scough face covering.

Camera: I shoot with a Nikon DSLR mirrorless camera and lenses.

Kleenex: I always pack a travel size pack of Kleenex. It also comes in handy if there isn’t any toilet tissue in the public restrooms.

First Aid Kit: I pack a small first aid kit that includes tweezers, nail clippers, small scissors, eye drops, cotton balls, cotton swaps, moleskin, blister Pads, itch reliever, adhesive bandages, gauze, waterproof bandage tape, thermometer, cough drops, lozenges, rubber band, Salvon Antiseptic Cream, Niflugel Niflumic Acid 2.5%, Ibuleve Maximum Strength Gel, Germolene Antiseptic Cream, CicaSedermyl Skin Repair and Disinfecting Cream, and Arnica Bruise Gel.

Medicine: Always pack prescription medication in a carry on bag.

Supplements: I use these pill boxes from the Container store to store my vitamins. I also like the Ellie Grid Smart Pill Box. Ellie organizes your pills in seconds, reminds you to take your pills, and uses sensors to track your progress over time.

Caddis Blue Light Blocking Glasses: I like this design of blue light-blocking glasses to protect my eyes from screen time. Caddis lenses block 45% of harmful blue light at and surrounding, the most harmful wavelength (455 nm). This is more than other brands. The lens is nearly clear, which is hard to do. The anti-reflective coating helps to mitigate reflections and glare. The coating is designed to prevent smudging.

Caddis Eyewear Readers: I wear the Caddis Miklos tortoise reading glasses. They fit great and include blue-light-blocking HEV-coated lenses. This protects against eye strain and potential issues like headaches, tension, and sleeplessness.

As you pack and prep, create a morning checklist on your phone for items you may leave, or that would be terrible to forget. Here’s what mine generally looks like:

  • Passport, IDs, documents
  • Wallet
  • Glasses/contacts
  • Headphones
  • Water Bottle
  • Headphones, Apple Watch, iPad, phone (fully charged the night before)

I started using an app which allows me to create a master list I can use for every trip and just add the special items I need for that specific trip. You can even create lists for different seasons so you can make sure to bring those winter boots and gloves in the winter and your sunscreen in the summer.

This article has several packing apps you can check out.

Here’s a selection of my top resources for packing.

  1. Save this illustrated guide for folding socks, underwear and tees.
  2. Travel Outfit Planner PDF.
  3. Printable International Destination Packing List
  4. Printable Vacation Packing List
  5. How to Pack Two Weeks in a Carry On.
  6. A fabulous Packing Guide Ebook

Best Totes and Backpacks Travel

Here are my favorite totes and backpacks for travel.

  1. Briggs & Riley Tote: I use Briggs & Riley luggage for work. This tote has lots of compartments to keep me organized. It’s worth the investment for the lifetime warranty.
  2. Cuyana Zipper Tote: I use this carry on bag for day trips and weekend getaways. It’s a classic tote that is stylish and holds up well.
  3. Aer Travel Sling: The Aer Travel Sling is designed to keep your travel essentials close at hand. It features a padded laptop pocket, a quick access pocket for travel documents, and a versatile sling strap for multiple carry positions. This one is great for men.
  4. Briggs & Riley Extra Large ToteThe Briggs & Riley Large Tote has lots of extra room if you are traveling with young children. I also like this tote if I go away for longer than a week.
  5. Packsafe Ultimatesafe anti-theft BackpackPacsafe makes backpacks and bags loaded with simple and effective anti-theft features to help protect you from pickpockets and thieves.
  6. Longchamp Tote: This tote is ideal for a day trip or weekend getaway. I recommend using an insert to keep your items organized.
  7. Aer Travel Backpacks: This is my favorite backpack.
  8. Briggs & Riley Backpack: The Briggs & Riley Backpack is perfect for the business traveler.

What about you? Does this look like your packing routine? What packing tips do you have to suggest I haven’t mentioned here?

P.S. I write a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations. Sign up if you like and get my newsletter delivered right to your Inbox via this link. Here’s a link to the travel planning edition of the newsletter.

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What to Pack on Vacation

Favorite Things

Favorite Beauty Products

What to Wear on a Resort Vacation

 

Please take a peek below for my latest finds to take with you on your next resort vacation.

1.     L’Agence Kenzie Blazer in PetalI usually pack a blazer for cool evenings on vacation. The right blazer can make any outfit look instantly polished and pulled togetherOne of my favorite brands is L’AgenceI like to wear the Olivia Ribbed Tank from Nati with blazers. I usually buy designer items at consignment shops, eBay, and Poshmark.

2.     Sky Blue Pearl Necklace: This pearl necklace will look great with a maxi dress, blazer, or a pretty top.

3.    The Best Hat: This hat really is the best! It sells out fast and is currently out of stock. You can add your email to the waitlist. Continue reading “What to Wear on a Resort Vacation”

Favorite Things

Here’s the latest installment of a few of my favorite things that I’m currently enjoying or coveting. I hope you find some inspiration for your gift-giving and new things to discover for yourself!

1.    LeBon Socks: These are my favorite socks. I’m into the cute design and the cozy factor. I like the Boyfriend Socks Vintage Pink and Blue GreyGirlfriend Socks Bellini and the trouser sock style, Her Socks.

2.   Eastfork PotteryEast Fork combines rustic, handmade beauty with dishwasher-safe, microwave-friendly ease. The Everyday Bowl is the one I use the most. The perfect size for pretty much anything! The 7-Piece You’re-All-Set Set makes a great wedding giftSome of their colors sell out, so if you see something you love, snag it. East Fork has stores in Asheville and Atlanta.

3.   Dilo CandlesDilo candles are good quality, the fragrances are well-curated, and the price is very reasonable. The monthly candle subscription is only $10.00. Many retailers stock the candles. You can visit the flagship store in Philadelphia or order online.

4.   Nati Ribbed Tank Tops: The perfect accessory to pair with a blazer. Tank Tops are a must-own layering staple. The Olivia Ribbed Tank from Nati comes in several colors. The tank is a fitted ribbed finished with a high crew neckline for a clean look. It’s a timeless style that works with just about everything in your wardrobe.

5.   Spicewalla Spices: My favorite ground spices created by Chef Meherwan Irani in Ashville, North Carolina. The 10 Pack Spice Essentials Collection makes a great gift!

A few of my favorites include Sicilian Sea Salt  / Cyprus Flake Salt / Himalayan Pink Salt, Extra Small Grain / Kashmiri Chilli Powder / Za’atar / Herbs De Provence / Amore Pizza Seasoning.

6.   Living Libations Essential Oils: My preferred choice for essential oils is Living Libations. The oils do not contain fillers, diluters, artificial colors, or petrochemicals. My favorite essential oils from Living Libations include: Frankincense First Friend / Illume Hotberry /  llume Classic / Zest the Best.

Here’s a link to an article about how to know if your essential oils are top quality.

7.   FinaMill Spice GrinderThe FinaMill Spice Grinder means one grinder for all of your spices. It comes with reusable pods that you can fill with the spices and herbs of your choosing.

8.   Stanley Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler 40 OZ: I’ve purchased many water bottles over the years. This one is   my favorite. This design is trendy and sells out fast. Check the website for a restock. Amazon has a limited stock.

9.    Taika Latte: Taika is an adaptogen-infused coffee that’s designed to provide a boost of energy without making you feel wired. Taika offers four drinks: black coffeeoat milk lattemacadamia latte, and matcha latte. The oat and macadamia lattes are sweetened with allulose and monk fruit.

10. Breville Bambino Plus or Bambino Regular Espresso Machine: The Breville Bambino Plus or Breville Bambino Regular Espresso Machine is the best espresso machine for beginners. You can explore three heat and milk texture settings without a device taking up half of your kitchen counter. It’s ideal for apartments, offices, and small kitchens. I like the Baratza Encore grinder.

As an added bonus, it’s a popular machine so there are tons of tutorials online around it. Some great tutorials include Whole Latte Love’s machine-specific tutorialsSeattle Coffee Gear’s videos on making specific drinks, and European Coffee Trip’s how-to on making latte art.

Check with your local coffee shop about classes for the at-home barista.

11. Cast Iron Conditioner and Chain Mail Scrubber: I use Field Company Cast Iron Skillets. It’s essential to care for cast iron properly. I use this cast iron conditioner and chain mail scrubber. If you are looking to invest in quality cast iron, I recommend Field Company.

12.  Bulletproof CreamerBulletproof Original Creamer is a keto coffee creamer made with grass-fed butter and MCT oil. When you combine these quality fats with coffee, you get Bulletproof Coffee: a rich, satisfying drink that kick-starts your day and keeps you going strong. I like the vanilla and hazelnut flavors. I also use the Bulletproof Vanilla Collagen Protein Powder. I like the vanilla flavor. The creamer tastes better in coffee. I prefer the collagen protein powder if I make a protein shake.

P.S. What are some of your favorite things?

You May Have Missed:

Favorite Things

Favorite Beauty Products

P.S. I write a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations. Sign up if you like and get my newsletter delivered right to your Inbox via this link. The latest issue includes a list of non-alcoholic spirits.

Latest Newsletters:

Newsletter #1: Health and Wellness, San Antonio Travel Guide, Supplements for Immune Support

Newsletter #2: Best Buys 2021, Savannah Travel Guide, Rum Cake Recipe

Newsletter #3: Favorite Books, Movies, Shows, Podcasts, Apps, Food of 2021, Portland, Marine Travel Guide, Green Smoothie Recipe

Newsletter #4: Morning Routines + Santa Fe Travel Guide + Recent Purchases

Newsletter #5: Home Gym + Best Streaming Apps + Philadelphia Travel Guide

Newsletter #6: Super Bowl Dip Recipes + Valentine’s Day Recipes + Non-Alcoholic Spirits + Laurel Miss Travel Guide

My Favorite Beauty Products

 

Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite beauty products.

1. Varis Boar Brush: The Varis Boar Brush works great on my fine hair because it does not pull out my hair when I blow dry it. The brush is ideal for all hair types due to the mixture of natural boar and nylon bristles. This brush helps smooth flyaways and speeds up drying time. For additional shine and moisture, hydroionic crystals are infused into the bristles and barrel. I use a medium brush.

large | medium | small

2. Kusshi Makeup Bag Organizers: These bags are an excellent investment. They have a zip-out interior liner that is machine washable. This is great for removing makeup stains. They are designed to work with organizers that snap in for extra protection of your products. With zippers on three sides, the makeup bags open wide so you can see all of your makeup and skincare. There are even mesh pockets for easy access to your sponges and eyelash curler, along with a zipper pocket for anything you want to keep secure. The organizers are antimicrobial, mold resistant, stain resistant and water repellant. I use the Kusshi Brush Organizer with my Kusshi Makeup Bag.

3. Milbon Blowout Primer Repair: My hairstylist, Anh Co Tran uses this line of products. I like to make a cocktail with Milbon Restorative Blowout Primer and Milbon Luminous Softening Oil. This combination works great before a blowdry by softening the hair and optimizing heat protection. I use the primer for fine hair. Available in two formulas: Fine for fine to medium hair and Coarse for coarse hair.

4. Westman Atelier Blend Brush: Gucci Westman is the makeup artist behind some Hollywood A-listers like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Gwyneth Paltrow. She launched her line of clean cosmetics in 2018. I was not planning to purchase any of Gucci’s brushes until I tried them out. They are expensive but work so well. Each brush is handmade in Kumano, Japan. The blender brush is my favorite and works great with cream, liquid, and powder products, and it picks up, deposits, and blends to perfection. I use it with Osmosis Finish Press Base or Sorme Believable Finish Powder Foundation The brushes are easy to clean and do not shed. They are a great investment piece that will last a long time with proper care.

5. Kinesiology Face Tape: I use this tape with Danna Omari’s  Face Aesthetic Taping 101 online course. Facial taping is particularly helpful for people who are beginning to show the first signs of aging. The tapes resemble the structure of the skin and, because of that, when they’re stuck onto the skin they create a lifting effect by gently lifting the epidermis upwards, which creates space under the skin. The space that has been created gives an opportunity for circulation to flow better. The uplifted area creates the space where blood and lymph will flow much more effectively, and as a result, the treated area will regenerate much quicker. The combination of unique techniques of manual face correction and face self-modeling with the help of the tapes treat  fine lines, wrinkles, and sculpting the face. Tapes are an extension of manual therapy and allow results to last longer by strengthening the muscles and retraining them and improving the function of the skin. Follow Danna on Instagram for more instructional videos. Read more about Face Taping here.

6. Living Libations Seabuckthorn All Over Lotion: I am very particular about what body lotion I use on my skin due to the chemicals and parabens in most lotions. Living Libations products are free from artificial colors, preservatives, fragrances, and petrochemicals. I apply this lotion to alleviate dry skin. It is expensive, but a little product goes a long way. Read more about the chemicals your skin does not need here.

I also use the Best Skin Ever Seabuckthorn Serum for facial massage and Living Libations Ozonated Healthy Gum Gel.

7. Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick: My favorite Westman Atelier beauty product is the blush stick. I use Petal. I apply it with my fingers, but you could use a brush or sponge to blend it out further. The line is free of silicones, uses no parabens, no PEGs, no talc, no phthalates, and no synthetic fragrances. Their formulations meet the European Union’s rigorous standards for clean beauty.

8.   A313 Vitamin A Retinol CreamA313 Vitamin A Retinol Cream is a potent vitamin A ointment that helps with acne, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines. It is one of the most popular beauty products in France and is very affordable. It has been called the European version of tretinoin or Retin-A. This is the most potent over-the-counter treatment I’ve found on the market. For that reason, I recommend starting slowly to give your skin time to adjust. For more information about this product, see this in-depth review here.

I also like  Osmosis Skincare Calm Gentle Retinal Serum. It is $92 and combines Retinal with calming, nourishing ingredients. The Palmitoyl Tripeptide in the formula smooths out the appearance of wrinkles. Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) offers a high concentration of nourishing omega-7. Prunus serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract is known for its potent anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, so your rash, psoriasis, or eczema is soothed and detoxified. Apply a couple of pumps of this formula to clean skin in the morning and evening using a gentle massaging motion.

9. Ialuset Hyaluronic Acid CreamThe Ialuset Crème is another popular beauty product made in France. It is a white, water-based serum that plumps and hydrates the skin. It is best used in the morning to enjoy the benefits throughout the day before applying makeup or sunscreen. It contains 0.2% Hyaluronic Acid. It is not paraben free, but it is considered one of the few pure hyaluronic acid products on the market. It is a very affordable product with proven results.

10. Style Edit Root Touch-up Powder: This is my favorite root touch-up. It works so much better than the spray bottle touch-up formulations and blends well to match my base color. Style Edit is a powder that binds to the hair follicles and instantly blends unwanted grey roots or helps cover the new growth between base color appointments. All you have to do is sweep a minimal amount of powder over the roots and work outward. You re-apply as necessary, and it washes out when you shampoo your hair. They have red, light/medium/dark blonde, light/medium/dark brown, and black. These products do not use peroxide, parabens, ammonia, or permanent dyes.

11. Dr. Remedy Nail Care: I like this line of nail products because they  do not contain the ten most harmful ingredients used in most nail polish formulations. Dr. Adam Cirlincione and Dr. William Spielfogel are board certified practicing Podiatric Surgeons based in New York who founded Dr.’s Remedy to address the needs of their patients. I use three products from this line.

Dr. Remedy Hydration Nail Moisture Treatment: This clear coat helps moisturize, strengthen, and protect my nails. Wear alone as a treatment or as a base coat under your favorite shade.

Dr.’s Remedy Therapeutic Caress Cuticle Oil: I use this formula to help with dry, cracked cuticles. It can be used to prevent fungal infections from developing on the toe nails.

Dr. Remedy Total Two-In-One Base And Top Coat Nail Polish: Dr.’s Remedy base and top coat polish combines the nail barrier of a base coat and the wear protection of a topcoat.

12. Gerda Spillman Bio-Fond Foundation: I have used this foundation for over 15 years. The Gerda Spillmann Bio-Fond Foundation is available in 21 shades.

Before applying the foundation, I spray a small amount of Osmosis Mineral Hydrating Mist and pat the mist all over my face. I use my fingers to apply the foundation and touch up with a beauty blender sponge. It takes a little practice to get the technique for the application down, but it creates a flawless finish. I follow-up with Osmosis Finish Press Base or Sorme Believable Finish Powder Foundation for a flawless finish.

I also like Westman Atelier Foundation Sticks. The foundation is available in 21 shades for most skin tones, and I wear shade Atelier 1.

If you would like to sample the Gerda Spillman Bio-Fond Foundation, contact the customer service team here.

Click here to find out more of my favorite beauty products.

What are some of your favorite beauty products?

P.S. I write a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations. Sign up if you like and get my newsletter delivered right to your Inbox via this link. The latest issue includes a list of non-alcoholic spirits.

Latest Newsletters:

Newsletter #1: Health and Wellness, San Antonio Travel Guide, Supplements for Immune Support

Newsletter #2: Best Buys 2021, Savannah Travel Guide, Rum Cake Recipe

Newsletter #3: Favorite Books, Movies, Shows, Podcasts, Apps, Food of 2021, Portland, Marine Travel Guide, Green Smoothie Recipe

Newsletter #4: Morning Routines + Santa Fe Travel Guide + Recent Purchases

Newsletter #5: Home Gym + Best Streaming Apps + Philadelphia Travel Guide

Newsletter #6: Super Bowl Dip Recipes + Valentine’s Day Recipes + Non-Alcoholic Spirits + Laurel Miss Travel Guide

You May Have Missed:

Favorite Things

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Here’s a roundup of Valentine’s Day gift ideas for your best friend, mom, main squeeze, or even something you might like for yourself. Valentine’s Day is a sweet occasion to celebrate with loved ones.

1.    Michelle Watch is a stunning investment piece. They have many different brands, including one for the Apple Watch.

2.    Passenger Coffee gift subscription is a great way to enjoy coffee at home all year round. I also like TemplePantherVigilante, and Tandem coffee roasters.

3.    Champagne, Brut Premier Cru by Aubry NV is a smoky, floral, vibrant, and citrusy Champagne, a delicious alternative to the big brand names. It’s an impressive entry-level that retails for about $45.

4.    See’s Candy has something for everyone, including this heart filled with milk chocolatesI also love the chocolate walnut squares for gifts.

5.    Eliza Page Jewelry is one of my favorite jewelry designers. The flagship store is located in Austin, Texas. I also love the fine jewelry collection from  Gorjanaand Sidney Evan. For charms, I recommend James Avery.

6.    Venus ET Fleur Eternity Roses are luxury roses that can last more than a year with proper care.

7.    Outsider Black Flag Hat is perfect for the outdoorsman.

8.    Cook the Book by Molly Baz is a modern guide to becoming a better, faster, more creative cook, featuring fun, flavorful recipes anyone can make.

9.    Satin Serenity’s Silk Pillowcase provides anti-aging, skin, and hair benefits. Lake Pajamas and these slippers are also great gift ideas.

10.    Franklin BBQ by Aaron Franklin is a complete meat and brisket-cooking education from the country’s most celebrated pitmaster and owner of the wildly popular Franklin BBQ in Austin, Texas.

11.  Brooklyn Candle Company Love Potion Candle is an exotic blend of jasmine blossoms, calming lavender, and bright mandarin reminiscent of a freshly picked bouquet of wildflowers.

13.  Yeti Rambler Mug is my favorite travel mug. It’s the perfect gift for everyone on your list.

14.  Gucci Marmont Mini Bag is a great investment piece.

15.  Canon Portable Printer allows you to print images directly from your phone. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is a fun camera for creating instant memories if you are looking for an instant camera.

16.  Inku Cocktail Glasses by Sergio Herman for Serax are delicate, tulip-shaped glasses. They are so popular and sell out fast.

17.  Sprinkles cupcakes can be shipped nationwide. The Red Velvet cupcakes are the most popular.

17.  Solo Stove Outdoor Fire Pit is easy to light with an almost smoke-free burn.

A few more ideas:

Theragun Mini ($199) is perfect for tight muscles. It’s so lightweight and fits in the palm of your hand.

OURA Ring is a fitness tracker you wear on a finger. The third-generation Oura ring adds SpO2 blood oxygenation readings. These are taken through the night, not during the day. If you are looking to improve your sleep habits, this is a great tool. It’s also an activity tracker.

Dessert Recipes for Valentine’s Day

I think baking for others is an act of love. Here are a few of my favorite dessert recipes.

Pink Champagne Cake is a gorgeous cake for Valentine’s Day.

Red Velvet Cake is another great cake choice for Valentine’s Day. It does take the entire bottle of red food coloring to make the cake really red.

Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcakes are super moist and has a mild cocoa flavor, with a bright red color. This is the original recipe from Sprinkles Cupcakes.

Sprinkles Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes are delicious. This is the original recipe; I use Cup 4 Cup GF Flour or Auntie’s Gluten Free Flour.

Ted Lasso’s Shortbread Biscuits: If you watch “Ted Lasso,” you know Ted makes his boss, Rebecca, shortbread biscuits every day. Here’s a shortbread recipe that tastes better than the show’s version.

Check out this post for more gift ideas.

P.S. I write a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations. Sign up if you like and get my newsletter delivered right to your Inbox via this link. The latest issue includes a list of non-alcoholic spirits and more ideas for Valentine’s Day.

Latest Newsletters:

Newsletter #1: Health and Wellness, San Antonio Travel Guide, Supplements for Immune Support

Newsletter #2: Best Buys 2021, Savannah Travel Guide, Rum Cake Recipe

Newsletter #3: Favorite Books, Movies, Shows, Podcasts, Apps, Food of 2021, Portland, Marine Travel Guide, Green Smoothie Recipe

Newsletter #4: Morning Routines + Santa Fe Travel Guide + Recent Purchases

Newsletter #5: Home Gym + Best Streaming Apps + Philadelphia Travel Guide

Newsletter #6: Super Bowl Dip Recipes + Valentine’s Day Recipes + Non-Alcoholic Spirits + Laurel Miss Travel Guide

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Favorite Things

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Favorite Things

The latest installment of favorite things that I’m currently enjoying or coveting. I hope you find some inspiration for your gift-giving and some new things to discover for yourself!

  1. Gorjana Diamond Pavé Heart Necklace: Treat yourself, or a loved one to a 14k gold heart necklace that shines thanks to an array of pavé cut diamonds.
  2. Veronica Beard Dickey Jacket: I have a pink Veronica Beard dickey jacket that I pair with jeans. The dickey jackets have great structure and are so well-tailored to the body. They elevate any simple tee and denim look and are a great addition to a corporate wardrobe.
  3. Mignonne Gavin Wynnive Crystal Hoop Earrings: I have several pieces of Mignonne Gavin jewelry. I love the vintage design of the crystal hoop earrings. I also have a pair of pearl hoop earrings.
  4. Lake Pajamas: I have a few pairs of Lake Pajamas. I purchase mine during their annual sales. Not only do they offer some of the cutest pajamas, but the pima cotton is so soft. They do shrink a bit so keep that in mind. Machine wash with like colors on the delicate cycle in cold water. Do not use bleach or OxyClean. Lay flat to dry. Your pajamas should be treated as delicate and should not be washed with heavy items such as jeans and towels.
  5. Rolla Jeans: I constantly get asked about my Rollas East Coast flares. They are so comfortable and flattering.
  6. Caddis Eyewear Readers: I wear the Caddis Miklos tortoise reading glasses. They fit great and include blue-light-blocking HEV-coated lenses. This protects against eye strain and potential issues like headaches, tension, and sleeplessness.
  7. Bulletproof Vanilla Collagen Protein Powder: I use this collagen protein powder in my coffee. I like the vanilla flavor.
  8. DÔEN Wyatt Belts: I have both the conga and black designs. These are investment pieces that can be worn for a long time due to their high quality.
  9. Bhu Foods Keto Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips: These keto chips melt properly for baking and taste delicious.
  10. Nature’s Way Supplements: I keep this brand of cold and flu supplements on hand during cold and flu season. Umcka (Pelargonium sidoides) roots, a member of the geranium family, have long been used to relieve respiratory and digestive ailments.
    Nature’s Way Cold and Flu Chewables
    Nature’s way Cold ChewablesNature’s Way Cold and Flu SyrupNature’s Way Cold Care Soothing Hot Drink Mix

    Nature’s Way Cold Care Drops

  11. Athletica Winthrop Glove: I use this running glove to keep my hands warm on my morning runs during the winter.
  12. Coconut Milk Dark Chocolate Bar: This dairy free dark chocolate bar is delicious.

P.S. What are some of your favorite things?

P.S. I write a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations. Sign up if you like and get my newsletter delivered right to your Inbox via this link.

Latest Newsletters:

Newsletter #1: Health and Wellness, San Antonio Travel Guide, Supplements for Immune Support

Newsletter #2: Best Buys 2021, Savannah Travel Guide, Rum Cake Recipe

Newsletter #3: Favorite Books, Movies, Shows, Podcasts, Apps, Food of 2021, Portland, Marine Travel Guide, Green Smoothie Recipe

Recent Blog Posts:
Best Buys 2021

Austin Travel Guide

*Products purchased through Amazon links may earn a very small commission. This is used to pay for the expense of running the website. I only share products I use or recommend.

Austin Travel Guide

Austin City Guide

Austin ranks at the top of my list for places to visit. The capital of Texas has all of my favorites including Mexican food, Etsy style boutique shopping and a variety of outdoor activities. Austin is famous for it’s “dive joints” – eclectic, funky, mom and pop businesses that have a one-of-a-kind feel plus some of the best Tex-Mex and Barbecue in the state. Are you getting hungry? The city is a food lover’s paradise with no shortage of dining options. What once was a small hippie city has transformed into something much slicker thanks to big events like the SXSW music festival and celebrity sightings. Continue reading “Austin Travel Guide”

Best Buys 2021

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Here are the best products I purchased in 2021:

1.  Aurora Liposomal Glutathione: I started supplementing with Liposomal Glutathione after reading Dr. Ben Lynch’s book, Dirty Genes. He’s a brilliant doctor. I have not been sick in a long time. It works. It also helps with the detoxification of the liver. This article published in Science Direct explains the efficacy of glutathione in the prevention of COVID-19 pneumonia.

2.   Caddis Blue Light Blocking Glasses: I like this design of blue light-blocking glasses to protect my eyes from screen time. Caddis lenses block 45% of harmful blue light at and surrounding, the most harmful wavelength (455 nm). This is more than other brands. The lens is nearly clear, which is hard to do. The anti-reflective coating helps to mitigate reflections and glare. The coating is designed to prevent smudging.

3.   Somavedic: This is a fantastic product to use in your home, hotel room, car or office for protection against harmful EMFs. I also place a glass or plastic water bottle next to the device for the night. I’ll drink the water room temperature the following morning and during the day. It helps with detoxification.

4.   Sauna Space: My favorite sauna for gentle, effective detoxification.

5.  Living Libations Ozonated Healthy Gum Gel: I use this gel to help receding gums.

6.  Ice Cream Maker: This machine is easy to clean. I love the old-fashioned ice cream makers, but they require salt and ice. This device makes ice cream without salt and ice.

7.  GE Opal Ice Maker: I purchased this ice machine on Amazon Prime Day. It makes ice fast and makes a drink cold, quickly. I use the ice for lattes, smoothies, and other beverages.

8.  Lululemon Fleece Running Tights: Since I like to run, I needed some warm tights for Baltimore and my layovers in the winter months. This pair from Lululemon is not only warm but comfortable.

9.  Panther Coffee East Coast Espresso: This is the espresso I use at home with my Breville espresso maker. Panther Coffee is located in Miami.

10. Thera O3 Bubbler: I use this device for food and water sterilization.

11. Silent Pocket Faraday Sleeve for iPhone: I use the silent pocket Faraday Sleeve for privacy protection.

12. Thera O3 Air Tech: This portable device is an affordable option for ozone therapy. There are so many benefits to ozone therapy. Read more about ozone therapy here.

P.S. I write a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations. Sign up if you like and get my newsletter delivered right to your Inbox via this link.

Latest Newsletters:

Newsletter #1: Health and Wellness, San Antonio Travel Guide, Supplements for Immune Support

Newsletter #2: Best Buys 2021, Savannah Travel Guide, Rum Cake Recipe

Newsletter #3: Favorite Books, Movies, Shows, Podcasts, Apps, Food of 2021, Portland, Marine Travel Guide, Green Smoothie Recipe

You May Have Missed:

Recent Posts:

Link Love: Coconut Milk Coffee Ice Cream + resource list for menopause and perimenopause + hiking tips + more!

Note: If you buy something through some of the Amazon links, I may earn a very small affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I recommend only products I use. Thank you so much.