Tag Archives: vacation

Day Trip: Helen, Ga.

Photo by Jeff Gunn.

If you’ve started your office vacation and are already noticing the benefits, extend your “time off” with a fabulous day trip! You’d be surprised how much fun you can have by getting out in your own city (or a city nearby) for the afternoon/evening.

On Saturday, my parents and I visited Helen, Ga., and despite the almost unbearable mid-afternoon heat, we had a wonderful time. We enjoyed a complimentary wine tasting at Habersham Winery (and walked away with three bottles), bought buttermilk pancake mix from Nora Mill (which we prepared Sunday morning), indulged in homemade ice cream, browsed the quaint shops in town, sipped frozen daiquiris by the river at Paul’s Margarita Deck, and ended the day with a delicious meal at Troll Tavern.

I pose this question to you glamazons: what are some of your favorite places to visit for a day trip?

Stayed hydrated with a cold Coca-Cola.

Homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream.

The most delicious fudge shop in Helen.

Enjoying a frozen strawberry daiquiri.

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Office Vacation

Are you working at your desk but dreaming of a glamorous summer getaway? Create one for yourself without taking time off by following these four simple tips.

Set your morning mood with summery tunes. Start with a good morning, and you’ll have a great day. Create a playlist on your iPod for the drive to work and get yourself pumped up before arriving at the office. If you need to ease into the jam session, start with Seal & Crofts’ “Summer Breeze” or 311’s “Love Song” before breaking out Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True” or Bon Jovi’s “Summertime.” For more inspiration, you can check out Billboard’s Top 30 Summer Songs here.

Dress in brightly-colored clothes. From reading one of my more recent posts, you know that I am all about the brights this summer. When wearing eye-catching colors to work, be sure to stick to one pop of color in your ensemble. Try a hot pink pencil skirt with a lightweight white blouse or go for a lemony yellow cardigan over your classic LBD. Either look is sure to leave you feeling perfectly sunny.

Pack a seasonally inspired lunch. Take advantage of ripe fruits and pack a fruit salad to pair with a delectable cold cut wrap like this or this, both shared on Kraft’s website. You’ll save money not eating out, and the meal isn’t heavy on the calories either! (Just don’t forget the strawberries!)

Have some fun in the sun. While you can’t frolic at the beach or lounge at the pool during your lunch break, you can get outside for a 15 minute stroll. It will elevate your heart rate and help burn some extra calories (because let’s face it, sitting at a desk for eight hours a day doesn’t exactly do the body good). Plus, whether or not research confirms it, doesn’t sunshine just make you happy?

Beach Essentials

Pack a beach bag with everything you’ll need – sunglasses, sunscreen, iPod with your favorite summer tunes, a good read and water.

Before starting my summer internship, my mom and I decided to make a quick trip to Gulf Shores, Ala. for some quality beach time. Our packing was extremely last minute, but we managed to remember almost all of the essentials (minus a toothbrush and comb but a quick stop at Rite Aid corrected that). If you’re headed on a beach getaway, here are a few items that you won’t want to forget to bring along! And for even more packing advice, check out my previous post here.

Sunscreen: This is obvious, but it is so important that I have to mention it! I always bring different SPFs in lotions and sprays (I like sprays better because the application is quicker) and a separate Neutrogena lotion to use on my face.

Hat: A hat is essential for protecting your scalp from burning. Because getting sunscreen on your hairline is difficult impossible, a hat is going to be your saving grace. I love straw fedoras and cowboy hats when at the beach, but you can never go wrong with a baseball cap either.

Coordinated clothes that layer well: Beach weather typically fluctuates througout the day. Mornings start off a little chilly, afternoons are smoking hot, and the evenings can be breezy. Be sure to pack clothes that you can wear interchangeably and layer when necessary. A colorful scarf and patterned cardigan will work great at night time when worn over a loose day dress.

Comfortable shoes: You’ll kick off your shoes for those long walks on the beach, but if you’re a tourist at heart like me (I love exploring and snapping pics), you’ll want to have shoes that won’t leave you with blisters.

Know the area: When you’re going on a trip, you’ll want to hit all the good hangouts while you’re there. Go online and check out the hot spots. Get addresses, numbers and print off interesting information that you can bring with you. Also, I would advise talking to a local once you’re at your destination – they’re sure to tell you about the places that you wouldn’t know about otherwise.

Lounging at Lulu’s before dinner — Gulf Shores, Ala.

Packing for Vacation

Is there room for one more bag?

Spring break is here, and as we head off to the beach for a week of fun in the sun, it’s beneficial to remember a few key points about efficient packing. It’s as easy as 1-2-3… literally. Check it out:

1. Start with a list. While what you need to bring will vary slightly from trip to trip, there are certain essentials that you will need every time. Type up a general list of essentials that you store on your computer; then, print it off when you’re preparing to leave for vacation. It will serve as an excellent starting point for your packing, and sticking to your list will help to eliminate unnecessary items.

2. Pack coordinated, multipurpose items. Try picking a color scheme for your trip; this way the pieces you pack can be worn interchangeably. Also, pack clothes that you can transition from day to night. For example, a fun floral dress can be worn with a bright-colored cardigan, chunky necklace, flat sandals and beachy waves for an afternoon shopping spree. For an upscale dinner later that evening, keep the dress and throw on a boyfriend blazer, sexy heels and statement earrings. Pull your hair into a posh ponytail, and you’re ready to hit the town.

3. Cut out your “just in case” items. For this recommendation, do as I say… not as I do. I’ll be the first to admit that it is extremely difficult trying to pick a select few pieces to bring from a full closet of clothes. Because of this, I often end up packing way more than I need. Do your best to eliminate these “just in case” items because nine times out of 10 you end up not using them. If, however, you find yourself needing something that you didn’t pack, you have the perfect excuse to go shopping (like you needed one anyway).