Curly Hair, family, Natural Hair, planner, travel, Uncategorized

Travel – What I pack – Ultimate Checklist

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I receive a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.

All this quarantine has me doing is reminiscing on the times I used to traveled (as if this was many, many moons ago). I know one day, we will all get the opportunity to travel again so to prepare all of us for our upcoming trips to Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico to name a few, I am sharing my travel checklist that keeps me organized and ready to jet.

To begin, I am absolutely nothing without my packing cubes. I bought mine on a sudden whim, but now I can’t travel without them. I went from horrible packing to honestly, a packing genius overnight. You can purchase some on Amazon by clicking here.

Travel checklist is for 7 days for summer weather:

Outfits:

  • 3 Rompers/ Jumpsuits (these are really life savers because they count as an entire outfit)
  • 4 dresses – 2 flowy, comfy dresses and 2 “going out” dresses – keep in mind, you may not use the “going out” dresses but you just never know
  • 10 tops – I get hella sweaty so I need additional outfits to change midday
  • 5 bottoms – rotate them
  • I’m extra and I pack 1 swimsuit per day – soooo 7 total
  • 2 cover ups
  • Cross body purse
  • Wristlet
  • Light cardigan or jacket

Shoes/ Bras/ Underwear:

  • 3 sandals – black, white and tan
  • Regular flip flops from Old Navy
  • 1 pair of high heels – make sure to choose a color that go with the dresses you packed and also consider how many hours you’re getting from your heels)
    • Never underestimate a good wedged heel – these are hard to find, but yeah.
  • A pair of sneakers – ones you don’t mind getting dirty
  • A pair of water shoes – click here.
  • 2 strapless bras
  • 2- 3 everyday bras – black, white and nude
  • Pasties – click here.
  • Underwear – about 10-14 (wash them every day)

Toiletries (embedded with Amazon links for all of my faves):

  • Body wash – I normally bring 2 of these babies (Olay travel size body wash) – click here.
  • Travel size lotion – click here.
  • Full size deodorant
  • Face wash
  • Face moisturizer
  • Nail clipper
  • Nail files
  • Travel size Mixed Chicks –  shampoo, deep conditioner and leave-in – click here.
  • Curling Cream
  • Eco travel gel (hard to find in stores) – click here.
  • Hard brush to slick them hairs back for bun days
  • Denman Brush – for the curly girls – click here.
  • Small pair of scissors
  • Tylenol
  • Benadryl
  • Q-tips
  • Chapstick
  • Shaving Cream
  • Razor
  • Small Vaseline
  • Hair scrunchies
  • Mini witch hazel
  • Toiletries bag (TSA approved) – click here.
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen – click here.
  • Tanning oil – click here.
  • Tweezers
  • Tooth Brush
  • Tooth Paste
  • Floss
  • Mouth wash
  • Tampons and pads if your lady friend is coming to visit

Note: Look at the country you’re traveling to and see how strict they are about toiletries in a Ziploc bag or not. TSA limit is 3.4 oz.

Makeup – I keep this to the minimum!

  • Concealer
  • Powder
  • Blush
  • Bronzer
  • Highlight
  • 2-3 lipsticks: 2 different nudes and a red lipstick
  • Mascara
  • Eyeliner
  • Eyebrow pencil
  • Setting spray
  • Mini eye shadow palette
  • Beauty blender
  • 2-3 brushes
  • Makeup remover

Dassit for makeup!!!

Miscellaneous Must- Haves

  • Sunglasses
  • Wired headphones (for those plane movies) – click here.
  • Wireless headphones
  • Tissues
  • Camera
  • Phone charger
  • 2 portable chargers (this goes with me everywhere) – fully charged – click here.
  • 2 pens
  • Passport
  • Cash
  • Credit cards
  • Book or e-book
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Band-aids
  • Beach bag – click here
  • Gum
  • Hydro Flask (empty) – click here.
  • Snacks

It may look a lot, but a lot of this stuff is small and fits into your personal item, the toiletry bag or one of the packing cubes.

Also, before I had Lasik, I also packed:

  • Contacts – pack more than the amount of days – trust me
  • Contact solution if they are not dailies with the little contact holder
  • Actual eye glasses

This is just about everything I pack! I do try to pack of my things in a carry-on for convenience, but sometimes it’s hard when you’re also lugging around several baby items. Enjoy, and bookmark this page to use as a checklist for your next vacation.

xoxo

Baby, covid19, family, Health, travel, Uncategorized

My Covid-19 Story

This is a sensitive subject for many and I am fully aware that everyone’s story is completely different. I do however know that not everyone has been impacted by Covid-19 in some way, which is why I decided to share my family’s story.

It was all good just a week ago – just kidding (a little humor is needed during these times), this all started when my boyfriend, my son and I were traveling back from South Carolina. We took a mini vacation, but please do not judge – we were very cautious and careful and government websites and news forums still did not have direction or bans in place. This trip took place around March 6, 2020 and our diaper bag was fully packed with a mini soap and loads of hand sanitizer for our travels. It wasn’t on our way there that Covid-19 communication was prominent, it was more on our way back on March 10 when we entered the Atlanta, GA airport from our connecting flight from the Savannah, GA airport. We missed our flight due to a delay from our previous flight; therefore we had to go to the customer service line. This is where we overheard the representative tell her colleague that she was just notified that all flights from Italy have been cancelled due to Covid-19. This was a bit scary and at this point we just wanted to get home. We finally got our new flight info and made it home to Boston, MA.

Our problems had just begun…

The week we came back, Boston’s city officials were already communicating about essential workers, closings, new store hours and making recommendations to stay home. We quickly transitioned into this new norm. After a few days, my boyfriend started feeling the chills, but we really thought it was a bit of paranoia mixed it in with a tablespoon of denial. During these chills, we slept in the same bed, which was a big mistake. We took his temperature and confirmed he had a fever and he then moved to the couch, but the damage was already done. Nos jodimos big time. I then started to feel hot and you guessed right, I also had a fever.

The next day, my fever was gone, but my boyfriend’s was not and he felt worse, which prompted him to go get tested. The next day, his results came in and he tested positive for Covid-19. His doctor stated that he should self quarantine and that both my son and I probably had it as well. We went into full disinfecting mode, and my boyfriend moved to the basement since his symptoms were getting worse by the second and I felt brand new just after 1 day (this does not mean I was virus free). I felt congestion and a headache for about 4 days, but at the end of the day, I’m a mom and that means no days off. I kept on pushing, although i really just wanted to sleep. I called my son’s pediatrician and they stated that he most likely had it due to the exposure from his dad, but that children carried it differently. They are more harmful to others than themselves because they can pass it along, but don’t show symptoms. I can confirm this, my son had a runny nose for about 2 days, but other than that he’s been playful, active, happy and energetic. Super oblivious to the world crumbling around us. I used a humidifier with vapopads and he was breathing like nothing ever happened. Around the same time, I completely lost my sense of smell. I love vapor rub, I mean come on, I’m Dominican and we use that for everything and I could not smell a thing. I burned sage, nothing. My son had a poopy diaper, nothing. I smelled lotions, candles, food, soap, fresheners and nothing. It was pretty scary.

I went about my business, but of course constantly cleaning my surroundings, washing my hands and keeping my distance. I would leave food, teas, Dominican remedies and vitamins on the steps for my boyfriend just to make sure he was hydrated and good to go. It was crazy. After about 10 days of the same routine, we felt he was deteriorating. His cough was bad and he could hardly breathe. We called 911 and off we went to the hospital. The ambulance took him to a local Boston hospital and I called him to make sure he made it alright, but he didn’t pick up. I started getting paranoid and called the hospital and they told me that they had no record of him. I was terrified. I called about 5 other hospitals in the area and  no one had any record of him. Finally, about 4 hours later, he called and guess what? He was at the first damn hospital and instead of them saying that they were delayed in processing patients, they gave me the runaround. Needless to say I was highly upset.

My boyfriend was hospitalized for 4 days (about 10 days into being quarantined, but his symptoms were getting worse) – he needed to be on oxygen, he had pneumonia, he still had a high fever and was dehydrated and weak. When his fever went away and he could breathe without the oxygen he was discharged. One day later, he went back to the hospital because his heart rate was high and he was having chest pains. He was then discharged after 1 day. My anxiety was through the roof.

So far, he has been making progress, but keep in mind that he went over 2 weeks with a fever, coughing, chest pains, etc. and my son and I haven’t seen him in almost a month because after we quarantined and felt better, I left to be with my parents so I can get help while I worked from home. This has really turned our lives upside down as I am sure it has with many of you.

I do not wish this on anyone and it kills me to see people that are not practicing social distancing on different social media sites. Take it from me, this is serious and it is really important that you stay home and only leave the house for groceries and other essential items.

Things that helped my family get better (links to Amazon included):

Other items that you can find at a grocery store that helped us (please be safe)

  • Fresh ginger for ginger tea
  • Lemons
  • Honey
  • Water
  • Gatorade or Pedialyte
  • Garlic

In a snapshot:

  • We’re not exactly sure how we got it – either the airport or the grocery store would be my guess
  • It hits everyone very differently, I was better in about 7 days, while my boyfriend is still recovering after almost a month
  • There were a few things that helped us (linked above), but it’s really important to stay hydrated
  • Practice social distancing and take it seriously
  • My boyfriend took Tylenol at first because doctors were anti Ibuprofen, but then he switched to it because Tylenol was not working for him – this was then recommended by the CDC
  • Check in on your loved ones
  • Take your temperature often
  • Stay informed, BUT don’t get sucked into the media (there is a lot of negativity out there)
    • Many news outlets are reporting deaths, but not all the people who have recovered from this virus.
Baby, New Mom, planner, Pregnancy, travel, Uncategorized

Traveling with a Baby – What to Pack

My son is currently 15 months old and already has traveled to a few cool places, such, as, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina by plane. His first flight was when he was 6 months old to DR… yes an international flight and boy was it a lot. I’m a full blown planner; therefore, it is really important for me to take weeks before the trip to get my life together. I’m also one of those people that would rather overpack than underpack so bear with me while I take you through my process.

There is a slight difference to how I pack depending if it is international or not, here we go:

International (Caribbean) 

I’ll be using a 7 day example in checklist form:

  • 2 – 3 outfits for baby per day
    • Onesies – about 10 (some count as a full outfit because they are the shorts kind) – even some long sleeve ones
    • Tops – 5
    • bottoms – 7
    • Shoes – 2 flip flops/ sandals and 2 pairs of little shoes or sneakers
    • Socks
    • Bibs – about 10
    • 2- 3 swim outfits
    • 2 hats for the sun

Note: I lay my baby on the bed and put the outfits together on top of him to make sure they go and that he has enough variety. lol

  • Other important items
    • 5 diapers per day
    • 2 – 3 packs of wipes (with the heat I found myself using more wipes than usual
    • Medication (Tylenol, Benadryl, baby Vapor Rub, Saline nasal spray) – you just never know
    • Baby soap
    • Baby lotion
    • Eczema Therapy lotion if needed
    • Aquaphor
    • Boogie sucker cleaner thingy
    • Nail clippers
    • Conditioner/ curl cream (my son has super curly hair that needs to be moisturized daily
    • Wet Ones
    • Changing Pad
    • Blanket
    • 2-3 Bottles
    • Bottle Brush
    • Mini Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap
    • 2-3 Bobos (our super Dominican word for pacifier)
    • Pacifier wipes (safe for baby when pacifier drops and you don’t have access to water and soap)
    • A week’s supply of formula (I was not able to breastfeed so this was  a must, but if you breastfeed make sure to pack storage baggies)
    • If baby is over 1 – when my son went to Barbados, he was on whole milk and we put 3 bottles worth in a Hydro Flask with 2 – 3 ice cubes for the trip.
      • When we landed we went straight to a supermarket to find whole milk
    • Snacks – my son loves Gerber puffs and Happy baby Organics fruit pouches
    • Baby safe suntan lotion
    • Mosquito repellant
    • First Aid Kit
    • Ziplock bags or those good smelling diaper bags for the dirty diapers and dirty clothes
    • Favorite toys and books
    • Travel playpen/ playard
  • More important items and International travel reminders
    • Lightweight stroller
    • Car Seat
    • Fully packed Diaper bag
    • Car Seat and Stroller travel bags

Note: The car seat and stroller can be checked in free of charge. The diaper bag is the baby’s personal item. Keep in mind that babies are considered lap infants before the age of 2 and do not need to purchase a ticket; therefore, they cannot have a checked bag. Your packing game needs to be strong to make sure you can fit your things and baby’s things in one piece of luggage. I wouldn’t really recommend to have a checked bag, carry on and personal item when traveling through the airport because it is super overwhelming! Keep it simple and keep the necessary items close by!

  • Baby’s passport
  • If traveling with only 1 parent, get a signed, notarized letter from the other parent stating they are aware and okay with the travel (sometimes the airline asks for it)
  • JetBlue lets you add the infant when purchasing your ticket, but Delta does not, you have to call them after you purchase your ticket to add the infant (this was pretty annoying)
  • If possible, try to get TSA Precheck – this has helped a ton
  • Be prepared to get the diaper bag checked when you go through security (EVERYTIME)

The Actual Travel Part

It’s not easy! I repeat, it’s NOT easy! Picture this… you have your baby in a stroller, with the diaper bag hanging, with your backpack on your bag, with a large checked bag and the carseat in a long line. It’s no fun! Give yourself time, ask for help if needed and keep your eye on the prize. I’ve traveled with my boyfriend, parents, brothers, and cousins, and even with all these people, it’s still super stressful.

Some of my Amazon faves from the packing list above:

Domestic Travel

The major difference when traveling domestically is that I don’t go so hard on packing items that I can find in the U.S. For example, I’ll pack lighter on diapers, wipes, snacks, and formulas. Don’t get me wrong, these things were in Dominican Republic and Barbados, but very different than what I am used to using.

Also, no need to pack a passport, a birth certificate will suffice.

Visit soon. I will be uploading what I pack for myself.

xoxo