Love Letter To My Coffee Mug

I like going to Starbucks and watching as people get their coffee. They don’t usually take a sip first. I’ve noticed they sort of “hug” their coffee. They wrap their hands around it. They may “fix it” with creamer, sugar or even just a sleeve. I find I do the same thing when I drink coffee. I am really not sure if it is the warm drink on a cold morning or if it really is the taste of coffee (although I really like mine with creamer and sugar). Somehow, my coffee tastes better when it is in a particular mug.

I have this one Starbucks mug I got from Vail. It is one from the Starbuck’s new You Are Here Collection. I want my mug to be just the right size. It can’t be too small – because then I have to get up and run to the coffee pot too often. It can’t be too big that the coffee gets cold by the time that I get to the bottom of the mug. I wrap my hands around it so that my fingers stay warm. I don’t want it to feel like my hands are simply clasped together nor do I want to feel like I put on Mickey Mouse gloves and am trying to hang on by my palms afraid that it will slip and spill all over.

I once described my coffee paradise to a friend. You know, when the mug is the right size that when you take that first giant sip and your mug is big enough that  you can kind of tune out the rest of the world and all you see is an ocean of coffee. It is your own personal 4″ of paradise.

Yes, I love my coffee mug almost as much as I love what is in it.

Do you have a favorite coffee mug? Why is it so great? Do you feel like peering in to it is a coffee oasis?

Denver Deal: Free Days, RV Show, Taxes and MORE

As a kid, I really loved the snow days. I thought they were great! As a parent, I don’t love them so much. I work from home and it seems to be much more difficult to get anything done on the days that my kids are home despite them being teens and being able to do their own thing. But then again, maybe it is because I am a giant kid too and it is easy to distract me? I have to admit going sledding yesterday was totally fun! Sometimes it’s ok to be an adult on a “snow day” too.

Free Days. Last week, the President announced FREE admission to all National Parks for 4th Graders (and since Colorado has so many of them…Colorado kids win in a big way!). March 1, the Buffalo Bill Musuem admission is free. Tuesday, March 2 the Museum of Nature and Science is free and Wednesday, March 3 is a free day at the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield.  On Feb. 27,  for every paid $4 child admission at the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys, get one free adult ticket (normally $6).

Colorado RV, Sports, Boat and Travel Show. The 59th Annual Colorado RV, Sports, Boat and Travel Show will be at the National Western Complex this weekend February 26- March 1.  We are excited to go to the Show because RVing is one of the least expensive ways to get in a summer vacation or a little get-away. Seeing all the new  RVs, Boats, ATVs and great travel deals is fun. Plus we are looking forward to participating in the seminars and activities through the weekend including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles appearance, kids fishing clinics, face painting and more! Admission is $10 per adult and children 12 and under are FREE.

CU Business School Does Taxes For FREE. The Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder is offering free tax preparation services to low-income taxpayers (income up to $53,000). Taxes are prepared by students who have passed the IRS exam (and reviewed by tax law volunteers). Taxes are done January 31 – April 4 in Room 375 in the Koelbel Building (home of the Leeds School of Business on the CU-­‐Boulder campus) on Wednesdays 5:00pm – 6:30pm and Saturdays 9:00am-­‐12:30pm.  There are no appointments.  First-come first-served basis.

Chick-Fil-A Coffee. Chick-Fil-A invites you to come in anytime through the end of the month (February 28) for a complimentary 12-oz Hot Coffee or 16-oz Iced Coffee all day, everyday.

IHOP. Put it on your calendar for a couple weeks from now, the IHOP free day of pancakes is March 3. It is a fundraiser – so even though the pancakes are free a donation is appreciated.

Redbox. Redbox is offering the daily deal for discounts on their movie rentals. Just text DEALS to 727272 to be sent your code. Discounts vary from free movie (or game) rentals to 50cents off or rent one get one free. Several of the Oscar winners (from Sunday night) are available now on DVD.

Fruitera: Fruitera is a monthly subscription service for ready to blend, organic smoothies that are delivered straight to your door! Take your morning back with our nutritious and delicious smoothies that blend in less than 30 seconds. With no added sugars or preservatives, these smoothies are great for the kids. Use the coupon code: MileHighFive to receive 5 extra smoothies for free with your first shipment! Check out www.fruitera.co for more information on how you can start your day moresmoothly!

Lift Ticket Deals. When you visit a Smashburger and purchase an Entrée and a Drink get a two-for-one certificate for Winter Park. Fill up (10 gallons or more) at a Shell gas station you can get a coupon good for a buy one get one free ticket at Winter Park, Copper, Loveland and more.

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Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter so you can forward these great deals to your friends.

If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

Kids Eat Free Mile High Mamas has rounded up a huge listing of local restaurants where kids eat free or for a discount with a paying adult.

Denver Deal: Free Days, Baby & Kidz Expo, Free Taxes Prep and More

I don’t really “do” TV. But there is one day of the year that I will sit in front of the TV with my computer on my lap. That is the Oscars. My family and I each take our guesses and the person who LOSES the most has to buy ice cream for everyone else when we do our annual summer trip to Crested Butte. My dad has lost for the past three years (we all thought he was throwing it so he wouldn’t make anyone else pay). The Oscars are this Sunday. We have our picks in! Wish me luck…and a triple scoop of ice cream at someone else’s cost!

Free Days. Thursday, February 19 the Denver Zoo is FREE to Colorado Residents.

Colorado Baby And Kidz Expo. Colorado’s longest running indoor family expo is almost here! The 12th annual Parent, Baby, Toddler & Child Expo – Baby & Kidz Expo is on Saturday, February 21, 10am – 5pm at National Western Complex (4655 Humboldt Street, Denver, CO 80216). Admission: Adults: $10 Adults, 65+ & Military: $5 at the door, Kids under 12: FREE. Save 50%! Print this & bring to show or show on your phone at the show to get 2 for 1 Admission for Adults; Kids under 12 are FREE!

CU Business School Does Taxes For FREE. The Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder is offering free tax preparation services to low income taxpayers (income up to $53,000). Taxes are prepared by students who have passed the IRS exam (and reviewed by tax law volunteers). Taxes are done January 31 – April 4 in Room 375 in the Koelbel Building (home of the Leeds School of Business on the CU-­‐Boulder campus) on Wednesdays 5:00pm – 6:30pm and Saturdays 9:00am-­‐12:30pm.  There are no appointments.  First come first served basis.

Chick-Fil-A Coffee. Chick-Fil-A invites you to come in anytime through the end of the month (February 28) for a complimentary 12-oz Hot Coffee or 16-oz Iced Coffee all day, everyday.

Arby’s. When you sign up for their deals email you get a FREE Roast Beef sandwich. Plus, this week I received another coupon for a buy one get one free roast beef sandwich in celebration of National Acts of Kindness Day on Tuesday, Feb. 17. (They send several coupons like that).

IHOP. Put it on your calendar for a couple weeks from now, the IHOP free day of pancakes is March 3. It is a fundraiser – so even though the pancakes are free a donation is appreciated.

Fruitera: Fruitera is a monthly subscription service for ready to blend, organic smoothies that are delivered straight to your door! Take your morning back with our nutritious and delicious smoothies that blend in less than 30 seconds. With no added sugars or preservatives, these smoothies are great for the kids. Use the coupon code: MileHighFive to receive 5 extra smoothies for free with your first shipment! Check out www.fruitera.co for more information on how you can start your day more smoothly!

Lift Ticket Deals. When you visit a Smashburger and purchase an Entrée and a Drink get a two-for-one certificate for Winter Park. Fill up (10 gallons or more) at a Shell gas station you can get a coupon good for a buy one get one free ticket at Winter Park, Copper, Loveland and more.

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Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter so you can forward these great deals to your friends.

If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

Kids Eat Free Mile High Mamas has rounded up a huge listing of local restaurants where kids eat free or for a discount with a paying adult.

Lodge at Vail

I was invited by Vail Resorts to come up to their property, The Lodge at Vail this last week. When I talk about Vail Resorts, yes, I am meaning the same company that owns and operates the ski area. The Lodge was the first hotel that was build along with the ski area when it opened 51 years ago (I missed the 50th Anniversary). It is simple to find as it is the closest you can be to the mountain without really honestly being ON it.

The hotel is situated right at Vail Village and right at the base of Gondola One. Vail Village is a bunch of shops from brand names that we all know to fun kitchy shops found only in Vail. There is also an ice rink tucked into Vail Village (I didn’t go skating though). On the other side of the hotel is literally the Gondola. The gondola has heated seats and wi-fi. Serious love the extras!!!

The Lodge is a Rock Resorts property. Which means it’s all kinds of fancy-schmancy. Upon arrival, I was greeted by the most friendly valets – who informed me that I had parked in the 10 minute check in spots for their neighbor property and he would move my car over to the correct portico. I had realized that my teenage kids had used the last of my cash – and I was sort of trying to avoid the valet – because I feel like a dork when I don’t have cash to tip them. But he was so darn nice.

I walked into the lobby and was greeted by an awesome curved staircase that I’d love to have in a house (maybe when I hit the lotto and can build my own). The check-in desk to the right was clean and the thing I noticed most was the giant screen behind the agents showing news and runs that were open. There were Nature Valley Bars out in-case I was hungry from the 2 hour drive from Denver. The agent there was also extremely friendly. Is it due to the lack of oxygen that makes these people smile all the time or is it that they really love their job?

My room was on the first floor. I didn’t love the look into the portico – and thought it would be an issue as I was right on the first floor. I never did see anyone walking that sidewalk while I was in the room. The room was great. All the modern touches like the USB ports everywhere (in every lamp), the SMART TV, and the Keurig machine (I must have my coffee each morning) along with REAL creamer (YAY! I hate the powdered stuff). My daughter (who was not with me) would have been over the moon at the bathrobes, slippers, yummy smelling bathroom stuff and the scale (apparently she knows that to get a 5-star rating you have to have a scale). The bed was super comfortable with soft bedding and a bunch of pillows. Plus, I just love a king size bed – with so much extra room to roll around by myself. Ha.

The Lodge was recently updated with new technology, art and decor. They have done a beautiful job of remaining thoughful of it’s past but clearly bringing it into the future. They kept saying it is reminiscent of a Bavarian Style lodge – but I have no frame of reference except photos and pinterest. (Maybe I should plan a trip to Bavaria just to make sure). The photos hung through the halls brought the outside in with great mountain landscapes (trees, leaves, mountains, fences, snow fields etc).

The Lodge also has a great restaurants they have Elway’s (mostly known for their steak) and Cucina (which features breakfast and apres ski – meaning after skiing). We ate at Elway’s for drinks and appetizers the first night arrival. The appetizers were both tasty and plentiful. The Rock Lobster Tails were to die for, the calamari tasty and the artichoke good – but difficult to eat in business setting. Seriously, how do you chew an artichoke leaf in business? Would someone please teach me?!?!

We tried Cucina apres ski the next day. They have the most amazing apple cider (I wanted to jug it and take it home), a s’mores bar that made me scream for s’more (chocolate sauce, caramel, toasted coconut, chocolate bits, toffee bits, white chocolate, milk chocolate…and on and on). They also passed small wagyu burgers, elk (which was delish), Colorado Lamb, small size grilled-cheese sandwich and tomato soup, It was yum and happiness on a plate and a MUST next time I’m in town.

SHOPPING For The Best Deal

I recently went shopping with a friend of mine. He is as frugal minded as I am. So it was an amazingly fun day of going to different consignment stores (some of which I had never heard of and others that I had).

I have to sort of admit that the whole idea of consignment shopping is new to me. I usually have a few friends who give me their old clothes or just go to my favorite consignment store, Plum Good in Stapleton area. It feels more like a boutique than it does Good Will. Plus, I love their feature of a wish list. I can tell them what items/brands I’m looking for and in what size – then they send me an email when something like that comes in. Brilliant! And since they are on the other side of town for me, I know that it will not be a wasted trip. Other than Plum Consignment and the couple of times I’ve shopped at online consignment store like Thredup.com, I usually shop at stores like Marshall’s (my favorite), TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack.

My friend, Paul suggested that we go to TJMaxx to get coffee. He said there are great deals there on some different (gourmet) food stuff. So we headed over to TJMaxx. The store did not disappoint, they had some really yummy sounding and smelling coffee (Chocolate Decadence, Triple Truffle Carmel Happiness). The coffee was just $4.99/bag. This is about half the price I might pay for fancy coffee in a regular grocery store. But we had some other shopping to do – so we chose to leave the bags of coffee there on the shelf and head over to Cost Plus World Market. Why wait in line for one measly bag of coffee? Why actually swipe my debit card for just one thing? Cost Plus World Market had amazing coffee. But then we realized that we didn’t know what we were going to do for dinner – so once again we dumped the coffee there too and headed to Sprouts Market (in the same parking lot). Why wait in line for one bag of coffee and just save $3 when we can get everything we need at ONE store. At Sprouts, the coffee has gotten more expensive at $7.99 for fancy flavored coffees…but we could buy all the things for dinner in one location. We had decided to make hamburgers for dinner…only Sprouts didn’t have hamburger buns. So…once again we discarded the bag of coffee (and all the other stuff we had collected into the basket) and headed off to King Soopers. Kings had all of it (buns too) and the coffee was $9.99. But we only had to swipe our debit card one time!

We could have saved money by buying the coffee at TJ Maxx when we were there. We could have saved money on all the gas that we spent going round and round. We could have saved time by just going to King Soopers in the first place. But sometimes saving money or saving time isn’t what it’s all about. Sometimes it is all about the journey with a friend.

What do you shop for in consignment stores? Do you want to make sure your trip is fruitful? What do you look for in discount stores like Marshall’s? What is your best find? Is it about the find or the shopping experience?

Denver Deals: Free Days, Qdoba, Fruitera and More

*This content is duplicated at MileHighMamas.com*

I never quite know what to do on Valentine’s Day. The kids are my love(s) but really do I need to get them all hopped up on sugar? At least this year they can sleep in the next day. This year, I am doing something different, I am asking the kids to show the love to someone else. Hold a door open. Flash a smile. Whatever they can think of to show the love to others. I especially want them to show people who are single that indeed Valentine’s does not have to be about romantic love. However you choose to celebrate (or not), Happy Valentine’s to You and Yours! Know that I LOVE you reading about deals on MHM.

Free Days. Monday, January 16 the Botanic Gardens admission is free for Colorado residents and the National Park Service extends free admission for the entire weekend – February 14 – 16 in honor of President’s Day.

Get Saucy With Qdoba. Qdoba® is giving singles and couples alike a chance to get saucy for a free Smothered Burrito on Saturday, Feb. 14. All that is required of guests is this slightly cheesy, but certainly saucy task: order one Smothered Burrito and share a smooch with a loved one, friend or even a willing stranger and you can dig into a second Smothered Burrito on the same visit for free.

Bass Pro Shops. Free Bassmaster University happening Feb 13-15 with great clinics (11a.m, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday), FREE Carabiner mug to the first 25 people to attend each seminar. They also have a “Fishing and Outdoor Cooking Tips for Women” event on Saturday at 3 p.m. (my snide comments aside about why the heck is the cooking part a “womens” clinic?!??!) Plus, NextGeneration Weekend with fun stuff for the kids (FREE!) Casting challenge (noon to 5 p.m. Sat and Sunday), photos, crafts (color a wooden fish noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) and workshops (2:30 and 4:30 Sat and Sunday)

Chick-Fil-A Coffee. Chick-Fil-A invites you to come in anytime between February 2 – 28 for a complimentary 12-oz Hot Coffee or 16-oz Iced Coffee all day, everyday.

Restaurant.com. Cupid’s arrow has hit: it’s dinner & a movie! This Valentine’s Day, escape the chill and cozy up for a night out with your loved ones! Enjoy a romantic dinner and a blockbuster hit with Specials by Restaurant.com Dinner & a Movie deal. The offer includes two movie tickets and a $100 Restaurant.com eGift card for only $30—an unbeatable 76% savings. Check out hot movies titles like the “The Seventh Son,” “In the Heart of the Sea” or “Jupiter Ascending. Treat your Valentine kiddos to “SpongeBob: Sponge Out of Water. Or grab the gals and gear up for some saucy scenes in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” From friends and family to husbands and wives, Specials by Restaurant.com Dinner & a Movie is the perfect way to say “I e-love you!” Spread the love and take advantage of this deal today. http://bit.ly/1uRbvqQ

I Heart Free Fridays in Cherry Creek North. Cherry Creek North has some fun and FREE things planned in celebration of Valentine’s Day including the Valentine’s Day heART walk on Sat., Feb. 14th 20 local artisans and Cherry Creek North galleries will host an art walk starting at noon. Lovers can sip, stroll,  and see the art throughout Cherry Creek North. Complimentary heart healthy red wine and walking guide provided. 

Fruitera: Fruitera is a monthly subscription service for ready to blend, organic smoothies that are delivered straight to your door! Take back morning your with our nutritious and delicious smoothies that blend in less than 30 seconds. With no added sugars or preservatives, these smoothies are great for the kids. Use the coupon code: MileHighFive to receive 5 extra smoothies for free with your first shipment! Check out www.fruitera.co for more information on how you can start your day more smoothly!

Lift Ticket Deals. When you visit a Smashburger and purchase an Entrée and a Drink get a two-for-one certificate for Winter Park. Fill up (10 gallons or more) at a Shell gas station you can get a coupon good for a buy one get one free ticket at Winter Park, Copper, Loveland and more.

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Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter so you can forward these great deals to your friends.

If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

Kids Eat Free Mile High Mamas has rounded up a huge listing of local restaurants where kids eat free or for a discount with a paying adult.

SNOWmazing Sculptures In Breckenridge

I have to throw out the disclaimer that I love Breckenridge anyway. I think it is one of the coolest small towns in America. But really Breckenridge is like no other when they host the Snow Sculpture Championships each January. The center of town (really the parking lot of the Riverwalk Center) is transformed, for a week, into an outdoor gallery of SNOWmagination.

Teams across the globe (this year there were 16 teams representing 12 countries) carve 12-foot tall blocks of snow (using no power tools or internal supports) into the most awesome and imaginative pieces of art. If you go, be sure to pick up one of the programs as they do a good job of detailing what the piece is about or the “story” behind it. Each year they are different. But one thing remains constant each year, they are elaborate and detailed.

Amour Toujours

Amour Toujours

A week prior to the Championships Breckenridge Ski Resort makes snow that the Town hauls to the site (using dump trucks). Volunteers stomp the snow in preformed wooden molds. One volunteer said. “they blow snow in, then they climb in and stomp, climb out, blow more snow, stomp…it’s quite a workout.” I suppose packing a 10 feet wide, by 10 feet long by 12 foot high block of snow tight would take some work. From that, the artist have just 65 hours to create a masterpiece using only hand tools (think of all that good stuff you have in your kitchen drawers).

 

Our favorites this year? We each picked out separate ones. Mine was Team France’s “Amour Toujours or Always in Love” which depicts a mom kissing her daughter. My son liked Team Alaska’s “Cabin Fever: The Mad Trapper and the River.” My daughter loved Team USA-Breckenridge “The Sculpture” with a Gepetto looking guy crafting a snowflake. 
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The celebration doesn’t just end with the impressive sculptures but also there is entertainment (fire dancers), DJs, Demos, and fun for kids too (they can climb on one of the sculptures and you get to see what one of the blocks looks like when they start. (We did wonder why they weren’t having showings of Disney’s Frozen).20150130_180754

While parking can be a bit of a hassle, there are free shuttles that pretty much run all day (6am to midnight). The sculptures will remain on display through Sunday, February 8.

Elsa (from Frozen), you’ve not nothing on creating amazing out of snow and ice compared to these teams! Really, cold never bothered me anyway.

Denver Deal: Free Days, McDonalds, Chick Fil A and More

I have to say I was a little disappointed by the ads in the Super Bowl this year. My daughter and I usually watch just for the commercials and half time show. While I sit on the couch with my son to actually watch the game (which he miraculously called at 10 am as a 28-24 score in favor of the Patriots). Although there was one great one about what it’s like to do things as a girl. It was a great message for her.

Free Days. The venues below have free general admission. Special exhibits may have an additional cost.

  • Tuesday, February 3 – Botanic Gardens at Chatfield and Children’s Museum of Denver (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Friday, February 6 – Denver Zoo and Four Mile Historic Park
  • Saturday, February 7 – Denver Art Museum and Denver Zoo

Denver Museum of Nature & Science Girl’s Day. Saturday, February 7 the Denver Museum of Nature & Science celebrate girls in science with a special event. Meet women scientists and experience the many diverse opportunities a future in science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

McDonalds Lovin’. McDonalds announced via commercial during the superbowl that McDonalds will be randomly selecting guests to pay for their food with high fives, hugs, dancing and calling home to mom. (I guess I’ll know what’s happening if my son calls me and says he loves me unprompted).

Chick-Fil-A Coffee. Chick Fil A invites you to Come in anytime between February 2 – 28 for a complimentary 12-oz Hot Coffee or 16-oz Iced Coffee all day, everyday.

Yogurtland. Yogurtland celebrates Free Yogurt Day with free yogurt along with toppings on Monday, February 2 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

I Heart Free Fridays in Cherry Creek North. Cherry Creek North has some fun and FREE things planned over the next couple Fridays including:

  • NFL player Zane Beadles Visits: Former Offensive Lineman for the Denver Broncos [currently with Jacksonville Jaguars] on Mon., February 9th 11am-noon, Zane Beadles will visit the Library to create Valentine cards, decorate Valentine cookies, and read a story for children. See attached flyer for details.
  • Valentine’s Day heART walk: Sat., Feb. 14th 20 local artisans and Cherry Creek North galleries will host an art walk starting at noon. Lovers can sip, stroll,  and see the art throughout Cherry Creek North. Complimentary heart healthy red wine and walking guide provided. 

 

Lift Ticket Deals. When you visit a Smashburger purchase an Entrée and a Drink get a two-for-one certificate for Winter Park. Fill up (10 gallons or more) at a Shell gas station you can get a coupon good for a buy one get one free ticket at Winter Park, Copper, Loveland and more. Liftopia has some of the best deals for skiing on Super Bowl Sunday! Plus, since most of the lifts stop at 4 p.m. you can make it back in time for the big game.

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Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter so you can forward these great deals to your friends.

If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

Kids Eat Free Mile High Mamas has rounded up a huge listing of local restaurants where kids eat free or for a discount with a paying adult.

 

 

Five Packing Hacks

This last weekend the kids and I headed up to Breckenridge, CO for the Snow Sculpture Championships (more on that in another post). My kids were with their dad the two nights prior to going up to the mountains. I had informed them on Tuesday night that I would pick them up from school and we would head directly up the mountain (They get out of school at 3 p.m. and I needed to be at an event at 5:30 p.m. – it takes about an hour and a half in good traffic to get from our house to Breckenridge).

My daughter said I could pack for her (a rare chance for me to still pick out her clothes for her) – my son said all he needed me to pack was what was on his bed. He usually totes clothing back and forth between my house and my ex’s, so I figured he would have what he needed. Upon arrival to the condo, he asked for the stuff I packed for him (the tablet and two sweatshirts). I proudly gave them to him. Then he said, “Where’s my underwear, deodorant and toothbrush?” UGH. Good thing there was a WalMart nearby.

I usually don’t have to think much about what I pack – at least when it comes to the essentials. I had a friend in college who was a flight attendant. She told me some of the tips/tricks that they use.

1. Pack a few things that always stay in the suitcase (a separate set from what you use at home everyday) these include: toothbrush and toothpaste; hairbrush/comb; deodorant; razor; make-up (I usually am very basic with base, eyeliner, mascara and chapstick).

2. I usually pack a few sample items that stay in the suitcase as well. A packet of advil, small sample size of pepto, band-aids, febreeze (or other fabric spray in travel size), emergen-C, a couple safety pins (which I just pin to one of the inside zipper pulls), and a small “multi tap” so I can plug in multiple things at once (this was especially helpful when I only had one converter in Germany). If you have an extra charger/cord for your phone. I’d leave that in the suitcase always too.

3. Pack around your shoes. Shoes can take up a lot of space. If you can wear one pair and pack the other – and work anything around just those two you will save a lot of space/time.

4. Think Mix-and-Match. Most of the time people will not notice if you wear black pants every other day and a different shirt. Multiple outfits with fewer actual items.

5. Additional bag. I like to throw a pull string bag at the bottom of my suitcase. That way if I am going out and about – and I need a bit more space than my purse (Like maybe I want to pack sunscreen and a water- bottle) I have it handy and it doesn’t take up too much space.

You could always do what my dad does – with his laminated packing list that he can check off his necessary items every trip. I hope these tips help you. Although maybe if you are packing for your kids (and they are teens) you may be thrown off course like I was.