“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”    
                                 -Eleanor Roosevelt-

I don’t know about you, but I love flying. Everything about it. From packing, to driving into the airport, and checking in 2 hours early. For me it’s a window of time to settle down, unwind and indulge myself in a cup of fresh Starbucks coffee and observe planes taking off. I’ve learned to make my flight times and airport layovers efficient and worthwhile and get stuff done without interruption. I’ve compiled a list of 10 simple ways to have a productive flight. I hope you find these tips useful and whether you are flying for the 50th time or this is your first plane trip, use this flight time to your advantage!

1. Organize emails.

We usually travel with our phones and laptops. We have constant access to wifi. And for the longest time you’ve been telling yourself ” I REALLY REALLY need to clean up my email inbox”. Right? Well, now you’ve got some free time to do just that. Tidy up your email inbox, trash all that junk email you’ve been meaning to do for the longest time and feel your email breathe a sigh of relief.

2. Tidy up your wallet or purse.

This usually needs to be done BEFORE your flight. But if you’ve been short on time lately, while you’re waiting on your plane to take off, set aside a few minutes and declutter your purse or wallet. Get rid of old receipts, gum wrappers, your ten pens,and  business cards you don’t need anymore. Not only will you travel lighter, but you won’t have to dig through your things to get to your boarding tickets and passport.

3. Finish reading that book.

The quiet hums of the plane engines are the perfect setting in which to enjoy a good read. If you can’t focus with flight noises, use soft foam earplugs to block out those sounds around you. During my last four hour flight I completed reading the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

4. Clean out your phone or tablet photo library.

You really don’t need thirty of the same photographs stored on your phone. That’s just precious phone storage gone to waste. Go through your phone, iPad, tablet and get rid of photos that just take up space. I had 2400 photos stored on my iPhone. Took a good 30 min to go through each one and trash what was pointless. Got down to 1800 photos. Quite productive I must say…

5. Laptop housekeeping.

I guarantee you. There is SO much junk and unnecessary stuff /files on your laptop that need to be sent to trash. So if you do have your laptop with you, go ahead and do a bit of housekeeping and clean out your document files, photo folders, downloads, desktop, etc…

6. Sleep

The most common way to bypass time on a plane. But really, do your body a huge favor and catch up on some sleep. Take earplugs, a travel pillow and snooze away. You’ll feel more energized and awake when you arrive at your destination.

7. Play a brain game.

Download some brain games in the Apple app store. Some good ones are Tetris, MineSweeper 2, and Lumosity. Have some fun while excercising your mind.

8. Make an agenda.

If you don’t already have one, make an agenda for your trip and the week ahead of you. Plan for your trip, places you want to see, people you want to meet etc..

9. Talk to your neighbor.

This one my husband came up with. He has met some very interesting and cool people through this. He is more of a conversation starter and than I am. But seriously, if you don’t mind talking to strangers, engage yourself in a conversation with the person next to you! Share your stories and travel adventures. You never know who may be sitting next to you. Every one of us has a story to tell.

10. Write

Airplanes are THE perfect place to let your mind unravel and really dig deep into your thoughts. Let your creativity unfold. If you have no journal or paper on hand, ask for a few napkins and just write away. Some of the most brilliant ideas, stories, and creations have come out of doing this.

Sit back, relax and enjoy your flight. Happy travels!!



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Want to save a few extra dollars and carrying weight for your next trip? Start by choosing to travel light with a carry-on suitcase. There are hundreds of articles on this topic. But why? Because after traveling a few times people realized they did not need 6 pairs of shoes, their entire wardrobe, and whole makeup room to feel happy and relaxed on their trip.  And those people want the world to know traveling light is quite freeing. 



  • Packing this way helps you  to stay organized during your entire trip. Since you have small amount of limited space, your things will not get lost in your suitcase.
  • Also, there is less mess of cleaning and unpacking afterwards.
  • There is the chance of the airlines losing your checked luggage. Traveling is a time to relax and explore the world. Last thing you should be worried about is if your luggage arrived at the same destination as you.
  • It saves you 25$-35$ for every checked luggage each way(unless you are flying international, maybe you don’t get charged.)
  • No waiting at baggage claims
  • Less heavy weight to be dragging behind you 
  • You can always wash your clothes at a nearby laundromat 


  • International flights
  • Domestic flights
  • Car trips
  • Bus road trips

travel light with a carry-on suitcasetravel light with a carry-on suitcase


This is a whole subject on it’s own but I’ll quickly skim through what I’ve recently been packing on my trips, and whats worked for me. During my recent 5 day trip to NC, and  I over packed by a few items. This amount of stuff would be good for 2 weeks at least. This is what I fit into my carry-on suitcase. And I had spare room in the front two pockets and inside.

  •  thirteen pieces of regular clothing( 4 of which I wore on my flight)
  • camera gear
  • 3 pairs of shoes( one I wore)
  • straightener
  • light jacket
  • 3 tank tops
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 flannels
  • 1 dress
  • 3 pairs underwear, 3 sock pairs


The rest of my random things I packed in my travel tote bag iPad, wallet, makeup bag etc…Check out my previous article on What to pack in your carry-on personal bag that is part one to Travel Light series.


If you are flying, there are weight limits and size restrictions for carry-ons, and make sure you can at least lift your suitcase into the overhead bin. If you are flying a small airplane most of the time airlines will let you check in your carry-on bags for free at the boarding gates at no charge ( I’ve been doing that recently). Research airline regulations of what is allowed in a carry-on and work from there. This sort of packing is not for everyone. If you’ve never packed this way before, try by heading out on a short getaway. You’ll start by getting an idea of packing what you really need instead of grabbing everything you want. Challenge yourself to pack light this year. Your trips, hands, mind, and body will thank you. Happy travels to all you heading out for your getaways this year !!

Your turn!! How do you pack? What other suggestions would you recommend for traveling light? 


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Tickets bought. Itinerary written. Luggage almost packed. Camera gear ready. Hello North Carolina!!!!!

My travels have included few international flights to Europe, Mexico, and a couple domestic. So I’ve had the trial and error experience of packing the wrong way a few to many times. And so have many others. I’ve learned that the best way to pack and travel hassle free is with two bags: a carry on suitcase and a large tote. Here’s my two cents and lessons I’ve learned on what to pack in your carry on.  This is part one of my Traveling Light Series. Next post will go in-depth about how to pack a carry on suitcase for a five day trip. I’d love to hear from you and how you pack for a flight and what goodies you take with you in your carry ons. And happy travels to everyone out there this spring and summer!

Start with a large tote bag

This bag will be the one you will put under the seat in front of you. This bag is the one that will be easily accessible. So plan smart and fill it with the things you will need within a hands reach. Makeup, lotions, toothbrush, iPad, light sweater, wallet etc… This bag I bought for 29.99$ at TJ MAXX BCBG Paris Convertible Tote

Makeup. But go for minimal amount

Find multiple uses for your bronzer. Use mini size shadow palettes, and double sided brushes. Eye shadows can be used as eyeliner, or even for filling in your brows. Use concealer as a primer for your lids or lipstick as a cream or matte blush. Find a small bag that you can fit your makeup in and also keep in mind you’ll need to shell this bag out at security checkpoints if it contains liquids. This bag will be within your reach for a quick touch up at the airport bathroom or in the airplane.



Skincare items and ziplock bags 

These are items of necessity and that you will definitely use at least once during your flight. Lotion, face wash, facial spray, tooth brush/paste, deodorant, and sunblock. Each of these items in the photo is 100 mL or less. That is the standard amount of liquid allowed in bottles to have in your carry on. To pass through security quicker, have all these items in a clear plastic ziplock bag ready to be inspected.


The basic things

Phone, wallet, glasses, iPad, sweater, headphones, phone charger, journal or book.  Go easy on the books/magazines. If you prefer, buy a electronic book to read on your flight. It’ll save you space and relieve heavy weight.


Fit all these items into a large tote. Easy access, hassle free, and less straining and digging in the over head bin compartment .

Whether it’s getting ready to fly international or domestic, challenge yourself to simplify your packing needs.

What to pack in your carry on

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I am a wholeheartedly a morning person. Yes, I am one of the few that likes to wake up at 5 or 6 am and welcome in the new day. Now, I’ll admit  that does not happen very often. That is due partly to my work as I get home from my job almost at twelve AM. But the days that I am off, I wake up at the crack of dawn and indulge myself in every minute of it.

Many out there are not morning people. Maybe you would like to become an early bird riser or you are looking for ways to make your mornings more desirable. I wanted to share this list I’ve incorporated into my routine of 5 ways to a productive morning.  I hope they can help jumpstart your days and in the long run make you more productive.

1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP. We’ve all heard this over and over and over from  health magazines, medical studies, radio talk shows, news, doctors etc… There is a reason why SLEEP is so crucial to our body’s mental, physical, and emotional state. Now when I say enough sleep, it means 7-8 hours for us adults. For many that is next to impossible to do due to long work hours, stress, health reasons, and daily responsibilities. I could write a whole article on just this subject alone. The amount of sleep you get the night before will determine the kind of day you will wake up to and have. Your body needs rest. Every single night 7-8 hours of it. And no amount of caffeine will make up for the lack of sleep you’ve been depriving yourself of. Sleep should be a top priority right next to eating and exercising. What to learn more about this topic check out an article written by Harvard Medical School or watch the documentary Sleepless in America.

2. PREP YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE. Planning the night before is the key to start off your day. Set goals, make a list of your tasks, appointments etc.. of what you would like accomplish. When you write your goals/ things to do down on paper or type them out, you find yourself actually working towards them. Doing this will help keep you stay when you begin your day. You will find yourself less stressed, less of a procrastinator, and more organized. Find out what works best for you. Is it a paper planner, or a calendar on your phone, or just a note book to jot down your tasks? I know for me a phone planner/calendar doesn’t work. I stick to the good ole yearly paper planners. I like the feeling actually writing on real paper with a pencil.

3. LOOK FORWARD TO DOING THAT ONE MORNING RITUAL. For me it’s two things: the 5 minute process of making my french pressed coffee every morning and enjoying that fresh first sip, and my daily routine of applying my makeup. Even if I wakeup groggy and have to force myself out of bed, I always think of those two things I enjoy doing, and it motivates me to begin my day. In doing these small morning rituals, it gives you quiet time to think and preps your whole self for the day ahead.

4. EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST. This is THE most important meal of the day. Eating a breakfast will give you energy to begin your day. Skip breakfast, and you will feel tired, weak, and just out of it. Drink a glass of orange juice and you’ll feel yourself more perked up and awake. That’s because that sugar instantly absorbs into your blood stream and circulates throughout your body. The key is to eat a healthy breakfast, not just a quick sugar fix of a glass of OJ and a muffin and your set. NO. You need a VARIETY: protein, carbs, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This is an example of my typical breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, toast with mayo, sautéed mushrooms with kale or spinach,a glass of water and a cup of coffee. This meal takes 5 minutes to prep. I boil eggs in batches and half of my breakfast is prepped for the week ahead.The sautéing takes nothing. Hot pan, little bit of oil. Throw in the veggies for a few minutes with a flip or two in the pan and you’re done. Or you can just do a smoothie. Whatever works for you.

5. TIDY UP YOUR SPACE. Having a clean/organized home feels like your life is less chaotic. You can feel yourself breathe easier, and your mind feels relaxed. You’re not running around in the morning like a chicken with your head cut off trying to find your keys, coffee cups, and clean clothes to wear. What I have found up is that if I go to sleep the night before and my home is a mess(dishes not washed, clothes scattered everywhere, random stuff laying all over the house), I just dread waking up the next morning. My day starts chaotic. So now I tidy up my home the evening before, wash dishes, fold laundry, etc.. Give it a try. I bet this will make you more motivated to wake up earlier and be more productive.


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To begin the birthday week festivities, here are my bits and pieces of life lessons I’ve learned over my twenty-six years of living.

1. The perfect remedy for sick days: sleep and a marathon run of your favorite T.V. show.

2. A good night’s sleep is a must if you want to function well and have a good day.

3. Set goals. When you write your goals down on paper or type them out, you find yourself actually working towards them.

4. Celebrate accomplishments. It doesn’t have to be something big as graduating college. Celebrate finishing a work week, getting a project done or even getting grid of a habit. It’s important to reward yourself.

5.Having minimal stuff(clothes, furniture, dishes, etc…) makes it so much less of a hassle to move. Minimal living also makes it much easier to tidy your space.

6. Your sister is actually your best friend in disguise.

7. Living in Los Angeles does not mean you’ll be seeing celebrities swarming the streets left and right. No, far from it. They do not want to be noticed by the public. What you WILL see in L.A is constant traffic, homelessness, very expensive rent, and gorgeous sunsets.

8. Exercise should be a habit in your life. Whether it be yoga, running, weight lifting, or a bit of everything, your body and mind will thank you in the long run.

9. Don’t waste hours and hours watching T.V. shows that bring you no pleasure, satisfaction, or happiness. They just suck up your time. Want to know what happened on the finale of Empire or Nashville?? Google it the day after it premieres.

10. Set aside time for media. If you need to check Instagram, FB, or Twitter try not no go beyond 15 min. Unless of course it’s part of your job for marketing.

11. Revolving your life around the opinions of others will get you nowhere. It is not your duty to be pleasing everyone around you. The book The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck explains this topic very in depth.

12. Don’t be afraid of change. Yes, it’s very scary at first, it’s uncomfortable, but once you adapt, it’ll be worth it.

13. Travel. You only have so much time left on Earth. Discover other countries, see how the rest of this planet lives. Immerse yourself in different cultures.

14. Being married is NOT hard work. When you find that one person you want to spend your life growing old with, marriage will never be work, despite what experts will tell you. It’s not all a honey moon cruise. Sure, there will be VERY hard times, many arguments, and problems you and your spouse will go through. But going through these difficulties together will make both of you more stronger.

15. Try not to resurrect old friendships from the past. IT’S THE PAST for a reason. Those people just don’t care to reconnect. That’s it. Deal with it.

16. You are responsible for your own happiness. Not your husband, parents, siblings, children or pets. YOU and only YOU.

17. Write letters to people. Letters of gratitude, encouragement, or just “Hi! just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you.” This will get so much appreciation and bring joy to someone better than any text or email ever sent.

18. It is OK to question or have doubts about your beliefs and religion. It will only make you search harder for the real truth.

19. It’s good to be open minded. But try not to force what you believe in, when it comes to religion, on others. It should not be your goal to change what your family or friends grew up believing in.

20. Don’t overuse the phrase “I’m sorry.” Use it exclusively for when you MEAN IT. Not as an excuse to please people.

21. Your most creative time is after you exercise or in the morning after you wake up. This is due higher levels of dopamine and serotonin.

22. Having a paper planner beats a phone planner any day. It takes longer to type out tasks and appointments than it does to write them. At least for me it does.

23. Going to movie theaters is just way to expensive. It really does put a dent in your budget. Instead, just wait for new Movies to come out on Redox. It’ll save you lots of $$$$$.

24. You will be bullied in your adulthood. By professional people literally twice your age. It does not stop after you graduate high school. Just report them via chain of command. Also with this point go back to #11.

25. You want to be successful? You have to WORK YOUR BUTT OFF.

26. Read a book. It’s good for the body, mind, and soul.

What are some of your bits of life lessons you’ve learned over your course of life? I’d love to hear!!



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Welcome to my blog! I'm Lena-a nurse by day, lover of nature, yoga pants, tea and coffee in between. This is a place where I document life's moments, along with adventures/travel and little bits and pieces of practical simple living. I'm Thank you for stopping by <3


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