5 Non Electronic Ways to Keep Yourself Entertained on a Long Flight

I am traveling soon and while I’m looking forward to arriving at my destination, I’m not so fond of the long boring flight. One of the disadvantages of traveling from the west coast to Europe is that we have to fly across the United States and then fly across the pond (aka: the Atlantic Ocean).  I’m a bit jealous of you east coasters who only have to fly across the water to your European destination.

In order to keep myself entertained, I will bring my favorite electronic gadgets + a charger, although I know that these items are only as good as their battery life.  Sure, I can re-charge during our connections, but I don’t want to be jockeying for a position at the public airport charging station.

Here’s how I plan to stay busy on a long flight ~ without relying on electronic devices:

Adult Coloring Book:

Pocket Adult Coloring Book + Colored Pencils

Pocket Adult Coloring Book + Colored Pencils

I found this cute pocket coloring book and small color pencil set at Stein Mart.  Large adult coloring books are all the rage and easy to find.  If you can’t find a pocket version, check out this one on Amazon:  Pocket Kaleidoscopes: Travel Size Mini Adult Coloring Book.


Learn something new:

I saw a segment on Dr. Oz about intermittent fasting and I’m curious to learn more about how delaying food for a certain period of time affects weight loss. Plus, I just love learning new things about health and nutrition.


Solve a few word puzzles:

Variety Puzzle Book | Barnes & Noble

Variety Puzzle Book | Barnes & Noble ( Also found on Amazon, Variety Puzzles & Games Vol 29 )

I found this fun puzzle book in the magazine section of Barnes & Noble.  I looked for a travel size, but there were only single subject books like crossword puzzles (I’m terrible at crossword puzzles) and books on sudoku (ugh, math!).  At least the light weight magazine style puzzle book has a variety of games to keep me busy.


Pick up a few magazines:

Misc Magazines

Misc Magazines

I have always loved reading magazines.  I don’t buy too many magazines anymore as I do prefer to read information on the magazine web sites, but for a trip, I picked up a few of my favorites. When I’m done with the magazines, I will leave them at the gate. I’m sure someone will be happy to flip though a magazine while waiting for their flight.


Start and finish a book series:

The Grisha Trilogy

The Grisha Trilogy

I really enjoy reading books in a series ~ especially if the story line is good.  I’m currently reading The Grisha Trilogy which is the story of a Russian kingdom that is torn by dark magic and a young girl & boy who try to bring peace to the region.  I’ve finished book, Book 1 (Shadow & Bone) and I’m currently reading Book 2 (Siege & Storm).  Book 3 (Ruin & Rising) will probably be tucked away in my luggage.

A little side note:  I’ve been reading young adult books ever since I took a college course in Children’s Literature.  At the time, I was working toward my degree in Liberal Arts to become an elementary school teacher.  It’s not the career path I ended up taking, but I still love reading kids books.


How do you occupy your time on a long flight?

Cheers, Monica


Summer to Fall California Style

Sleeveless Top (Kohl's) | Skinny Jeans (TJ Maxx)

Sleeveless Top (Kohl’s) | Skinny Jeans (TJ Maxx) | Sandals (Clarks)

As summer comes to an end, I’m starting to add richer colors to my closet and since I’m in SoCal, I still have to consider warmer temperatures.  That’s why I chose this sleeveless top from Kohl’s.  This top is a light and breezy rayon, spandex material that will definitely keep me cool while running errands during the day.

The skinny jeans that I’m wearing were a complete surprise find at TJ Maxx.  I’ve never heard of the Miss Poured in Blue brand, but I will say that these jeans are phenomenal ~ especially for this curvy gal who usually can’t get skinny jeans past my knees in the dressing room.

Miss Poured in Blue Skinny Jean (front) | TJ Maxx

Miss Poured in Blue Skinny Jean (front) | TJ Maxx

As you can see, I’m fairly curvy in the hip area, but these jeans smooth over my hips and the waist band fits perfectly ~ no gap in the back.

Miss Poured in Blue Skinny Jeans (side) | TJ Maxx

Miss Poured in Blue Skinny Jeans (side) | TJ Maxx

These jeans also offer tummy control that isn’t restrictive or binding when sitting.

Miss Poured in Blue Skinny Jeans (back) | TJ Maxx

Miss Poured in Blue Skinny Jeans (back) | TJ Maxx

Best of all, these jeans offer butt lifting!!  And who couldn’t use that 😉

I purchased these jeans, in a size 8 at TJ Max for … $19.99… Cheap !!  This was the only pair on the rack and if there were more, I would have purchased two pairs.  While not all TJ Maxx stores will stock this particular brand, you can look online.  I found three pairs on the TJ Maxx site:

And lastly, my sandals are the Florine Sashae from Clarks.  I purchased these shoes for a wedding that I’m attending in September and I’m wearing them a bit to break them in.  Not that these soft leather shoes need much stretching.  I did want to make sure there wouldn’t be any ‘pain’ points while wearing these shoes and I’m happy to report that they are perfect.

I hope you all had a wonderful summer.  I’ve been stepping away from social media to enjoy my summer, hence the lack of posts, but I’m usually more active on Instagram.

Link up with: Alice (Happiness at Mid Life), Nicole (High Latitude Style), Dawn (Fashion Should be Fun)

Cheers, Monica

Getting ready to travel

Samsonite 4 Wheel Luggage | Macys

Samsonite 4 Wheel Luggage | Macys

I haven’t traveled out of the country for business or vacation in about 2 years.  So when I went to assess my luggage for an up-coming trip, I realized that it was time to go four wheelin’.  Yes, the new Silhouette Sphere II from Samsonite has 4 glorious wheels.  And while this technology isn’t new, I’ve been carting around a two wheel suit case for a decade and it’s definitely time to upgrade.

Samsonite Luggage (interior) | Macys

Samsonite Luggage (interior) | Macys

Other than the 4 wheels, there’s nothing too special about this new Samsonite bag other than I’m so looking forward to wheeling this around the airport with ease.

In order to pack with organization, I also decided to purchase packing cubes.  I picked up the Eagle Creek Pack-it cubes from the Container Store. While these cubes were rather expensive, I’m hoping these will keep my smaller items (undies, bras, socks, t-shirts) organized into one neat and compressed block of clothing.

Packing Cubes | Container Store

Packing Cubes | Container Store

Next was a much needed makeup & toiletry bag by Eagle Creak.  I have been using an old bag from Target for years and I’ve never found the darn thing very functional so now seemed like the time to try something new.

Wallaby Toiletry Kit | Container Store

Wallaby Toiletry Kit | Container Store

Wallaby Toiletry Bag (interior) | Container Store

Wallaby Toiletry Kit (interior) | Container Store

I’m going to try to be the minimalist hair, makeup, and skin care gal traveler (ha!).  Ok, maybe not, but my goal is to pack all that I need into this toiletry bag.  I’d like to use the detachable pouch for my makeup.  The detachable bag will travel with me, not in my luggage, in case my luggage “misses its flight”.

I also purchased the Echo Backpack from the Container Store.  This backpack is replacing an old one from REI which is an outdoor adventure type store.  I purchased a backpack that was made from recycled materials, only a few years later, the material started to flake from the inside and I’d have this flaky plastic residue all over my items.  So much for being an eco-conscious buyer.

Anyway, the new backpack is a little more contemporary than sporty and I’m pretty happy with the purchase.

Echo Backpack | Container Store

Echo Backpack | Container Store

Lastly, I purchased this cute owl luggage tag.  I’m hopping this critter will help me spot my black luggage in a sea of black bags rotating on the baggage carousel.

Owl Travel Tag | Container Store

Owl Travel Tag | Container Store

Do note that this post is not sponsored by The Container Store – all items in this post were purchased by me.

Feel free to add your travel tips and tricks in the comment section below.

Cheers, Monica.

Linking up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style

Where to buy:

Small Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Purchase

Amazing Grace Firming Body Emulsion Duo | Nordstrom Sale

Amazing Grace Firming Body Emulsion Duo | Nordstrom Sale

My post today was suppose to be about the new Lucy Walkabout Pants and Graphic Abstract Bar Tee that I recently ordered.  However, those photo’s did not come out all that great and I’ll have to try again later.

So today’s post is about the small purchase that I made at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  I did go to Nordstrom and look at everything, but there really wasn’t anything that I needed so left empty handed which is never a bad thing.

I recently ran out of my Amazing Grace lotion that I purchased on QVC – literally years ago – and thought the Nordstrom sale was the perfect opportunity to re-purchase since it was on sale and Amazing Grace is my favorite Philosophy fragrance. The Amazing Grace duo was $52.00 (regular price, $78.00) and the shipping was free so thought this was a good purchase.

I won’t say that this lotion does any ‘firming’ .. but it sure does smell nice.

Cheers, Monica

Lets Jet Pant by Lucy

Lets Jet Pant (photo from Lucy.com)

Lets Jet Pant (photo from Lucy.com)

In one of my Instagram posts, someone suggested that I check out Lucy for athletic wear.  I checked out the clothing line and signed up for their promo emails.  Their clothing line is perfect for me, not too sexy, not too flashy, and just enough eye catching prints and graphic tee’s to make me go Hmmm, I need that!

So when they had a 30% off flash sale, I decided to try the Lets Jet Pants.  I’m going to be traveling soon and I’d like to wear a stylish, yet comfortable pair of pants on the long flight and I thought these might do the trick.

So let’s chat about the details:

These pants are made of a soft, quick-dry, stretch material which will be so comfortable with all the sitting I’ll be doing on long flights.  I also like the drawstring at the waist for an adjustable fit. The style is a relaxed fit, but forms close to the body.  No baggy sweatpants here.

Lets Jet Pant Hidden Zipper Detail

Lets Jet Pant Hidden Zipper Detail (Pant Color: Fossil) | Lucy

The pants have two pockets and the right pocket has a hidden zippered pocket.

Lets Jet Pant Adjustable Runching at the ankle

Lets Jet Pant Adjustable Runching at the ankle

Lucy clothing is also sold at Dick’s Sporting Goods stores.

Let's Jet Pants in Fossil (Lucy) | Merona Tank (old) (Target)

Let’s Jet Pants in Fossil (Lucy) | Merona Tank, old (Target)

The Lets Jet Pant retails for $89.00 and I got them on sale for $55.30 (Discount + 30% off).  I really want to buy these pants in dove gray, but will have to wait for another sale.  I’m still doing fairly well with my 2016 goal of not buying anything unless it’s on sale.  Well, have slipped here and there, but .. doing well overall.

If you’re in Dick’s Sporting Goods store, check out the Lucy clothing line !!

Cheers, Monica

Linking up with Patti, Not Dead Yet Style

Other cute items from Lucy:

Casual outfit when dining al fresco in SoCal

Tee (Target), Jacket (Macy's), Shorts (JC Penny)

Tee (Target), Jacket (Macy’s), Shorts (JC Penny)

Well, hello there.  I’ve returned to the blogging world.  I’m now home in San Diego, but it always takes me a week or two to get back into the swing of things once I’ve been out of town.

Anywhoo, here is an outfit that I wore while dining al fresco at a local Italian restaurant.  It was just the typical Friday night pizza dinner, but we decided to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air. Since I’m in southern California, where it is super casual, I wore a pair of white denim shorts, a black & white stripe tee and brought along a jacket in case the night air became too cool for me.

Casual Summer Outfit

Casual Summer Outfit

While the white denim distressed shorts and denim jacket are a closet staple, the t-shirt from Target is new as are the black sandals (similar style).

Jacket by KUT

Jacket by KUT

I’m amazed at how fast time flies by now that I’m older.  In just a few weeks it’ll be August and I’m wondering where June went.

Hope you are enjoying your summer while it lasts.

Cheers, Monica

Link up with: Alice (Happiness at Mid Life), Nicole (High Latitude Style), Dawn (Fashion Should be Fun)

Let’s shop!

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Protein Cookies

Protein Cookies w/ fruit and green tea

Protein Cookies w/ fruit and green tea

I posted these protein cookies on instagram and the post received good response and interest so I thought I’d add the recipe to my blog.  The recipe is adapted from the Dr Oz web site.  You can find the original recipe here.  I changed the recipe slightly as someone in the comment section on the Dr. Oz site mentioned that 3/4 cups of ground flax seed was overpowering in the recipe, so I reduced the flax to 1/4 cup and added 1/2 cup of almond flour.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Protein Cookies:

  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups oats (I used quick oats)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed meal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 scoops of chocolate protein powder ( I used AMP Women’s Advanced Protein in Chocolate Cupcake ).

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix together eggs, brown sugar, applesauce, peanut butter and vanilla. Add protein powder, oats, flax meal, salt, and baking soda.  Drop spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes.  Recipe should make about 28 cookies.

Estimated nutrition (depends on the protein powder used):

Calories: 114 per cookie
Fat: 6 g
Carbs: 10 g
Protein: 5 g

Happy eatin’ !!

Monica.

J Lo Boyfriend Denim Shorts

Casual on a hot day in JLo Boyfriend Shorts | Kohls

Casual on a hot day in JLo Boyfriend Shorts | Kohls

This post may look fairly similar to my last post and you’re right.  I’m finding that jeans shorts are my summer staple even in super hot weather.

These cute shorts are the Jennifer Lopez Boyfriend Shorts and a great fit for the pear shape.  I like the subtle distressed material, and the gold hardware details (button and rivets). I find these shorts a bit baggy in the rear end, but they are a ‘boyfriend’ fit so they are meant to be roomy all around.

Jennifer Lopez Boyfriend Shorts, Size 8 | Kohls

Jennifer Lopez Boyfriend Shorts, Size 8 | Kohls

The sleeveless tank that I’m wearing is from Simply Vera and it’s from a few years ago. Have no fear, the Vera line always has these fun print tops in stock at Kohls.

Simply Vera Vera Wang Print Tank | Kohls

Simply Vera Vera Wang Print Tank, 12 prints available| Kohls

I’m still enjoying my time here in Palm Desert although I’m getting a little antsy because I would love to do some yard work, but it’s so darn hot in the evening (still in the 100’s) that it’s impossible to do any digging.  Oh, well at least I have some landscaping ideas that I’ll be working on in the fall.

Cheers, Monica

Link up with: Alice (Happiness at Mid Life), Nicole (High Latitude Style), Dawn (Fashion Should be Fun)

Where to find shorts, top & similar items in this post:

Flutter Sleeve Tee, Simply Vera Shorts and Silver Sandals

Silver sandals, denim shorts, flutter sleeve tee

Silver sandals, denim shorts, flutter sleeve tee

Greetings from hot as heck Palm Desert where the evening temperature doesn’t seem to go below 90F / 32C.  Not that I’m complaining, I love hot weather, but it is hard on the camera and difficult to get pictures outdoors, but as you can see .. I did manage .. so let’s start from the top:

I have on an old flutter sleeve tee that I got from Old Navy last year.  This poor tee is on its last leg as it has developed three holes right in the middle which is why I have the shirt tucked in.  I keep saying that I’m going to turn this tee into dust cloths, but I always wash it and hang it right back up.

The denim shorts that I’m wearing are the Simply Vera – Vera Wang Roll Cuff Jean Shorts that I featured in my last video.  Even though the weather is hot, I find these denim shorts perfectly comfortable.

Simply Vera - Vera Wang Roll Cuff Jean Shorts, Size 8 | Kohls

Simply Vera – Vera Wang Roll Cuff Jean Shorts, Size 8 | Kohls

The sandals that I’m wearing are a weekend purchase.  I decided to stop by DSW to look for gold heels (to replace those unstable costume heels) and instead I found these cute flat silver sandals.

Benniee Silver Sandals, Size 8.5 by Madden Girl | DSW

Benniee Silver Sandals, Size 8.5 by Madden Girl | DSW

DSW was having a wonderful clearance sale this weekend.  The sandals were $24.95, marked down 40%, (-$9.98) = $14.97.  I had a $10.00 off DSW coupon so with tax the sandals cost $5.37! Whadda bargain !!

Hoping your area of the world is cool and comfortable.

Cheers, Monica.

Linking up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style, Rania at The Wardrobe Stylist

Shop for similar items discussed in this post:

Hawaiian Print V-Neck Cut Out Tank from Old Navy

Hawaiian Print V-Neck Cut Out Tank | Old Navy

Hawaiian Print V-Neck Cut Out Tank | Old Navy

I’m back in San Diego for a few days as I had to check on the house as my spouse was once again, sent offshore to deal with this never ending project.  Everything at the house is a-ok, so I decided to shoot this outfit photo.

In my recent post & video, I mentioned that I purchased the Hawaiian Print V-Neck Cut Out Tank from Old Navy.  I didn’t see this print online, so hopefully it’s still available in stores.

For a quick and simply outfit, I added gold accessories and white pants to complete the look. The white trousers are from Worthington Curvy fit line at JC Penny ~ perfect fit for the pear shaped gal.  I’ve had these pants for years and they look as good as the day I bought them.

Cute Cut Out on the back of shirt | Old Navy

Cute cut out on the back of shirt | Old Navy

The gold shoes that I’m wearing were a cheap purchase for a Halloween costume (I was a Greek Goddess) and while these shoes are pretty, they are “wear from the car to the restaurant and back to the car” type of shoes.  These shoes have no real structure to support a casual stroll. They are meant to look cute and that’s it!

Gold Heels - meant for looks, not comfort

Gold Heels – meant for looks, not comfort

Do you have a pair of 1 hour wear heels for special occasions?

Cheers, Monica

Linking up with:
Link up with: Alice (Happiness at Mid Life), Nicole (High Latitude Style), Dawn (Fashion Should be Fun)

Let’s shop!