I’ll be heading to Seattle for work next week and since we’re entering in to one of the most traveled times of the year, I thought it was the perfect time to share a few of my Spring/Summer travel essentials.

As a self-proclaimed homebody, traveling.. although incredibly fun, can also feel a bit daunting. Between packing, checking flights, arranging rides to the airport and everything in between, it gets a tad stressful! But if I know that I’ll be traveling with everything that I need, the whole traveling process seems to run a bit more smooth. I did some light traveling in 2016 and noticed there were several areas that lacked. So, I spent the last few weeks scouring the internet for the perfect travel essentials to add to my lineup and I think I’m all set to go!

Travel Essentials

Lo and Sons Catalina Deluxe in Small: One of the biggest areas that was lacking from my travel set-up was a carry-on tote that was big enough to pack all of the necessities, but small enough to bring on a flight. Enter the Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe in size small.

I love this bag for so many reasons, but I’ll highlight just a few. It has a quality canvas material, it’s just the right size with the perfect amount of compartments, the customer service is amazing, it’s super versatile, and it’s the cutest tote that I own! And the BEST part? It comes with a secret compartment. The underside of the bag has a zipper compartment perfect for storing shoes, an extra outfit, toiletries, or basically anything you want to keep separate from the main part of the bag. Genius. Since this will be my in-flight bag while traveling to Seattle, I plan to store an extra pair of clothing in that downstairs compartment (you never know if your bags will get lost…always have to be prepared)!

I am obsessed with this bag and I’m already envisioning all of the fun, Summer places I’ll take her too. The beach? The lake? SF? Tahoe? So many! If you’re looking for a cute, quality bag for this Summer definitely consider the Catalina Deluxe.

Toiletry Bag (in black): I’ve been using my mom’s old toiletry bag for years and years, one of those hanging toiletry bags that rolls up and gets packed full of far too many unnecessary products just because I have the space. Well, I’ve found that not only has it become too bulky but it’s so old and dingy that I needed a new one. I found this one, which is a bit more compact with ample amount of storage because of all the compartments. Are you seeing a theme? Girlfriend luuuvs compartments.

GoToob Travel Bottles: Meet the perfect shampoo, conditioner and soap bottles. These are virtually leak-proof with a large opening making it easy to fill with product. Also, the material of the bottles allow you to easily squeeze out every last drop of your product.

Twisty Ties: Between my laptop charger, cell phone charger, kindle charger, and all of the miscellaneous wires that work their way into my suitcase, these twisty ties will be my saving grace.

Ok friends, that sums up all of my new travel essentials that I can’t wait to use on my upcoming trip! Is there anything that I’m missing? What are your must-haves for travel? For more travel-related posts click on over to this space here!

*I was sent the Catalina Deluxe in small from Lo & Sons at no cost in exchange for a blog post. All opinions are my own*

I’m switching up my favorites feature here on the blog to a seasonal favorites rather than a monthly favorites. So here’s what I’ve been loving so far in the Spring of 2017.

These oversized throw pillows from Target I recently picked up three of these oversized throw pillows from Target for our couch and they are everything I want in a reasonably priced, retail throw pillow. The price point was right where I needed it to be (and there are always coupons with the Target Cartwheel app), so I went for it. You know me and my white-on-white obsession. Well, I wanted throw pillows that were white with a bit of interest. So these were the perfect choice. They are just the right amount of cozy with a nice, minimal geometric pattern.

Klean Kanteen Thermos This may or may not have been my all-time best purchase since….ever. If you’re still in the dark ages toting around a Starbucks thermos that keeps your coffee warm for exactly 12 minutes, then your morning on-the-go coffee experience is about to dramatically change. This thermos is on the pricier side but it’s worth every dang penny. My coffee stays hot for hours and hours in this thermos. Like, just poured out of the coffee pot kind of hot. I purchased the 12oz version which is just the right size for me. I really can’t say enough about how great this find was. Hurry and buy one, thank me later.

Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Bag in Small I received this bag in the mail recently and I have a full post in the works to share about it’s greatness. But in the meantime, if you’re in the market for a weekend getaway bag, then this one is your best choice. Quality product, cute design and excellent amount of storage. Would recommend.

The Little Book of Hygge I came across this cute little book through social media. I saw a few of my favorite bloggers were reading it, the cover drew me in and I’m so glad that I ended up reading this little gem. The term “Hygge” is all about how Danish people define being cozy and in your best state. It’s a guide to achieving your most cozy state of being and that’s something I can support 100%. This was a lovely read before climbing into bed as it was quite a calming read.

Mini Backpacks Remember when mini backpacks were all the rage in 1995? Well, they’re back and better than ever. Hands free and cute? Loving this trend, and especially loving this one that I picked up at American Eagle.

Denim Jackets I have been l.o.v.i.n.g denim jackets this season. Call me trendy but I don’t even give a heck. I loved my denim jacket in high school and I often mourn the loss of that one. So I recently purchased a new one and I’ve successfully worked it back into my wardrobe. I’ve even gone out on a limb and sported denim head to toe… I know, call me crazy.

What are you currently loving? I’m always excited to find/try new things!

Shop similar items below:

Minimal Living Room Home Tour - nicoledianne.com

Starting fresh at the beginning of the year feels so good, doesn’t it? But there’s also this awfully weird gap from like January to March that leaves me in a decorative slump. I’m fairly certain it stems from holiday overload which leaves my brain unable to figure out how one decorates with out a garland for the remaining 11 months out of the year. But then April came in with her sunny skies and decorative energy so I was able to pull some things together in anticipation for Spring! It also didn’t hurt that my boss gave me West Elm design dollars #jobperks or that my grandma decided to clean house on some of her wall art which you’ll see below.

3 Easy ways to update your home for Spring

  • Add a new mirror to your room. Mirrors bounce around light so this is a great way to make your room feel bigger and brighter! It’s also a nice way to take up a large visual space if you’re stumped on what to place on the wall.
  • Bring in fresh greenery. Green Acres is my favorite place to find unique plants for the home. You can find medium-sized plants like the umbrella tree near my couch and fiddle leaf on my hearth for around $45.
  • Update your pottery. If you’re like me, then you stick to the classics like terra cotta pots because their cheap and easy. I love the way aged terra cotta pots look in a home, but sometimes it’s fun to add in some speciality vessels as well. Anthropologie has a beautiful selection of reasonably priced planters that I highly recommend.

Minimal Living Room Home Tour - nicoledianne.com Minimal Living Room Home Tour - nicoledianne.com

Our Living Room Updates

I practice what I preach, so I incorporated all of my tips within our own living room this year! Spring home decor is my favorite because it’s bright and cheery in anticipation of warmer weather. I usually like to accessorize my mantle with lots of bits and bobs, but I decided to go a little more minimal for Spring using this grouping of vases which I love more and more everyday. I also added some new throw pillows to the couch and gathered all of my favorite coffee table accessories in a new tray.

If you’ve been around here for any length of time then you already know I’m no stranger to adding greenery in my home. As I mentioned earlier, I used to run straight to terra cotta pots because they are budget-friendly vessels. But I decided it was time to say goodbye to strictly terra cotta and add in some more sophisticated pottery using this Anthro pot and this mid-century pot from West Elm. I love what a difference these beautiful pieces make to housing my greenery!

I’ve linked up all of my new goodies at the bottom of this post, so feel free to scroll to the bottom if you want to do a little shopping of your own.

How are you updating your home for Spring this year? I’d love to know!

Minimal Living Room Home Tour - nicoledianne.com

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I haven’t always been the most regimented person, in fact I used to pride myself in that. However, since starting my new Job in January it has been absolutely essential for me to keep a routine so that I can maintain order and balance in both my personal and work life! Nothing I do is out of the ordinary, but I love to know what other people’s routines are so I thought maybe you’d like a peek into my week as well!

 http://www.jordwatches.com/#nicoledianne

I’m partnering with Jord Watches today to talk about the different routines I have through out the week that keep me on track and feeling balanced.

Weekdays

I’m not a morning person at all so in order to lessen the morning load I tend to prep most things the night before. After I’ve sufficiently relaxed on the couch for a few hours, more than likely catching up on YouTube or Fixer Upper ;), I start my evening routine. At about 10:30 almost every week night I prep the coffee pot, put my lunch together, and channel my inner Mom by laying out my outfit for the morning ahead. The less decisions I have to make in the morning, the better! Having everything ready for me in the morning sets me up for success and keeps me on time for work. Instead of checking the time on my phone (which always runs the risk of distracting me from getting ready ;)) I love having my new JORD watch to keep me on track with the morning!

 http://www.jordwatches.com/#nicoledianne

 http://www.jordwatches.com/#nicoledianne

Weekends

In order for me to feel prepped and ready for the week I always do a little bit of tidying on the weekends. I really don’t want to think about doing any chores on the days that I work, so making sure I get all of the cleaning/tidying done on my days off makes me feel ready to tackle the week.

Lord knows if I don’t have food bought and prepped for the week there’s no chance I’m bringing healthy lunches to work! So to make sure I don’t get too crazy during the week, I do all of my grocery shopping and lunch meal prep on Sundays.

I know these are incredibly basic routines and it’s probably nothing ground-breaking, but having these simple routines in place has really helped me stay motivated through out the week.

 http://www.jordwatches.com/#nicoledianne

JORD is giving away a $100 credit to their site, and you can enter the giveaway HERE.

Head to the men’s shop to browse for your boys, check out the women’s shop for yourself and here is my watch if you fancy matching me!

 

Luxury Wooden Watch

monthly favorites

The last two and a half months have been a whirlwind of both Jeff and I starting new jobs, and the house being in shambles from a lengthy bathroom renovation. But as most things do, the dust is settling and we’re finding routines in our day to day so I’m excited to make space for this corner of the internet once again! First up on the list is a list of my current favorites.

Tripp Bootie (in cognac)

It’s safe to say that I’ve been on the hunt for a good pair of brown leather boots for ohhh 2 years now, but I’ve either been too cheap to drop $$$ on a good pair, or too impatient to break in a cheaper pair. It was only by mere chance that I found my new favorite pair of boots. I had just finished trying on yet another pair of $$$ boots that I didn’t want to pay for and decided I’d quickly run up and down the Nordstrom sale aisle. I ended up finding one pair of Tripp booties in my size and the color I wanted, for ONLY 45 DOLLARS. The best part? There has been zero break-in period, they have been comfortable from day one and they’re everything I want in a brown bootie. Worth the 2 year wait, I’d say. And now I’m really eyeing that Taupe color linked above.

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

I started reading the 5th HP a few weeks ago and I’ve found myself loving every minute. I mean it’s no secret that I’m a big HP fan, seeing as how it’s my phone ringtone and all… but it’s been a while since I’ve opened up one of the books. Feels good to be back with my wizarding friends.

Juice Beauty

In an effort to put less toxins into my body, I’ve recently switched over all of my makeup to toxic-free, clean beauty products. I knew that I wanted to leap into the world of green beauty at some point, I just felt a little overwhelmed at the task of doing so. So, I turned to YouTube and found the app Think Dirty to help me in the process. Both of these places led me to the brand Juice Beauty by Gwenyth Paltrow. All of her products are cruelty-free (bless) and have an ingredient list that I’m happy to put on my face! Right now I’m currently using their liquid foundation, the concealer pot, and finishing powder. Love them all.

Urban Outfitters Shower Curtain

Our bathroom is just about ready to be revealed here on the blog, just waiting for those pesky baseboards to get installed (ahem, husband ;))…. but one of my favorite details of the room is our Urban Outfitters shower curtain. It’s a super light cotton with tied tassels at the bottom and sage green stripes. I love that it’s neutral with a small addition of color to brighten up the space.

Other favorites here and here.