Thursday, July 2, 2015

6 Weeks in Europe with a 22" Carry-On

 
Greetings Friends!!!
With only 12 days to go until my BIG Adventure, I'm starting to KIND
OF stress out about trying to fit 6 weeks worth of clothing & other
necessities into a 22" carry on and a shoulder bag! I have done
LOTS of research on this, as that's just how I roll, but looking
at pictures & reading others suggestion's is far different
then doing the REAL thing...
THUS I Packed!
 
 
Let's start with my bag of choice...
after reading many reviews, I decided on the Timbuktu 22" Carry On.
The main  buying features that attracted me to this bag are it's light
weight construction, it's in-line skate quality wheels, it's half &
half opening system with the net closures & it's 22" size
that fits all the International carry on
requirements.
 
 
I went to my favorite source to look at packing solutions, which
is almost ALWAYS, Pinterest! I think we have all heard that the
burrito roll is one of the most practical, space saving ways to pack
our clothes. The one thing I found on Pinterest that I hadn't seen
before, was to layer your like style items before you roll.
This worked perfectly for me.
 
 
Here I have packed...
{grey & blue is kind of my color palette}
2 Skinny Jeans
1 Grey Long Skirt
1 Grey Short Skirt
1 Aqua Capri Sweat Pant
2 Grey Tanks
2 JG Tanks
4 Neutral Tanks
1 Navy Cami Tee
1 Heathered Grey Tunic Tee
1 White Embroidered Blouse
1 Oat Short Sleeve Shirt
1 Black Long Sleeve Shirt
1 Blue Lightweight Cropped Sweatshirt
1 Grey/Blue Embroidered Summer Dress
1 Black Flip Flop & 1 Nice Tan Scandal
{you can't see these as this bag has an area for shoes above
where my umbrella is}
Small Cream Leather Cross Shoulder Purse
1 Grey/Blue Neck Scarf
2 JG Baseball Hats
2 White Socks
2 Wash Cloths, 2 Grocery Bags, 2 Ziplock Bags
Hair Dryer
Umbrella
Medications
& I actually have a little space for more!
 
 
Another thing I liked about this bag is that it has 2 pockets on 1
side of the netting. These were the perfect place to add my
UNMENTIONABLES, which I shall now mention! ;)
1 Black Bra
2 Sports bras
5 Pair of Underwear
In the other pocket I have a...
Brush
Travel Flat Iron
Toothbrush & Toiletries
 
One thing I was SUPER excited about was this cute little
Clear For Take Off  Toiletry Bag, all cleared for size &
you won't BELIEVE what I fit in here!
Shampoo & Conditioner
Shower Gel
Rose Water Spray
Hand Sanitizer
Tooth Paste
 Lip Gloss
Body Lotion
Face Cream & Serum
Face Makeup
Dark Spot Serum
Razor
Bar Soap
Qtips
Bandaids
Toothpicks
Not Too Shabby & completely AMAZING!!!
 
 
Last but not least is my Carry On Shoulder Bag!
I chose the OGIO Messenger Bag for a couple of reasons.
Soooooo many pockets & bottle holders, lightweight, fit over
my bags handles so I can pull them as one & a great color match! :)
In here I will carry...
iPad, iPhone & Charger
Ear Buds
External Charger
International Adapter & Transformer
Inflatable Neck Pillow
Eye Mask
Ear Plugs
Kleenex
Wipes
Hand Sanitizer
Medication
Sunglasses
Wallet
File & Fly Wallet
{holds money, passport, tickets, maps, etc.}
Sudoku
Magazine
Camera
Gum
Snacks
Water
and of course, because I'm always makin stuff...
 
 
my travel journal!!!
 
 
It's ready to start filling the pages full of LIFE'S ADVENTURES!
 
I know I will inevitably forget some things & will also
probably bring things I don't actually use, but when your going
to be gone for 6 weeks, I figure it's better to be safe then sorry.
For now I'm pretty satisfied with my choices, I'll have to let
you know when I get back if everything in THEORY
worked as well while out on the ROAD!!
 
So for now adieu & I'll leave you with this great quote!
 
We TRAVEL not to escape life,
but for LIFE not to escape us!
 
xoxo
vintagesusie


Monday, June 22, 2015

European Vacation...Oh MY

 
 
Greetings Friends!!!
 
I'm soooo very excited about my upcoming trip to Europe
this summer, only 3 weeks until Bon Voyage time & I can
hardly wait! I will be spending 6 weeks traveling through
Germany & England & I am truly exhilarated & terrified
all at the same time, is that even possible? ;)
 
Reasons for my exhilaration are pretty obvious...
 
6 WEEKS IN EUROPE!
 
Reasons for being terrified are more allusive...
 
Fear of Flying is at the top of the list,
but you can never go to far off places if you don't get on a plane.
 
The extended stay is longer then I have ever been away from
my family, my husband, my daughter, my grandson & my cats!
 
Travelling with family that I really don't know all that well, I'm
kinda crazy...do they know this about me. Will I have any freak
out moments that might terrify them & make them wish they
hadn't invited ME? Anything's possible!
 
I have SLEEPING ISSUES...I have sleeping rituals. What if I
never get over my jet lag & can't get on the right time schedule,
it's happened to me before. My father & daughter & I went to
Italy & came back to the hotel at about 3 or 4pm daily, fell
asleep & then woke up every night at 2am. That was an
amazing adventure with insane sleeping patterns. lol
 
Living for 6 weeks out of a 22' carry-on because we will be
taking many trains & buses & need to travel lightly. I'm pretty
low maintenance, not big on make-up, my hair is easy & I'm
very use to camping, this should be the least of my problems.
 
{one of my digital designs from my card line, 'Just Sayin'}
 
One of my very favorite quotes from Mark Twain has
always helped me be braver then I really am...
 
'Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by
the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.'
 
Yeah, now that's what I'm talkin about...be FEARLESS!
Take advantage of each & every opportunity.
Say YES, even if you want to say no.
Travel outside your comfort zone.
 
And remember...
Be Adventurous, shed your ordinary life & in the Journey,
maybe something EXTRAORDINARY might happen!!
Life is Amazing!!!
 
xoxo
vintagesusie
 


Friday, June 5, 2015

Huntington's Disease & Learning to Live

{my family at Disneyland in 1958}
 
This is a very personal post. It's a post for me, a post for others who
 may have experienced this strange phenomenon, a post for those
in the Huntington's Disease community, a post to expose my
weakness, my desire to heal & my prayer to find peace.
 
You see, I've spent most of my adult life preparing to die young.
 
A statement like this requires at the very least, a quick rewind
into my past & family history.
 
My parents were born & raised in a small Midwestern town in
central Illinois. Daddy was the class president & captain of the
football team & Mommy was a prom princess & a diver who
was a standby for the 1952 summer Olympics. Clearly a
match made in heaven & one of countess love stories.
 
After graduation, they married in Vincennes, Indiana & my
mother became pregnant with my brother & my dad enlisted
with his best friend to fight in the Korean War. He would not
see my brother for the first time until he was 1 1/2 years old
& by then he had arranged for his family to be awaiting
him in Long Beach, California, where I would
be born 9 months later. :)
 
 
My early childhood reminds me of my favorite quote from
'Field of Dreams',
"The memories will be so thick they'll have to
brush them away from their faces."
 
Belmont Shore & the feeling of sand between my toes,
the smell of 'Sea & Ski' & searching for the tiniest  of sea
shells. The sight of my Daddy in a lifeguard tower & us
playing right below him, my Mommy, tall & lean & brown
& my brother Johnny...every childhood memory I have
 includes my brother Johnny. All of it so wonderful & sweet.
{now I feel nostalgic & happy & don't want to go on with the story}
 
 
When I was 10, my mother got sick & no one seemed to
know what was wrong with her. She had mood disorders
& was unsteady on her feet. She dropped things & started
walking as if she was drunk, she shop lifted something
from a store & had money in her purse. This was where
my fairytale ended & a frightening, harsh reality came
over me, just as strong as the sweetness of life that had
come before. Something was terribly wrong &
nothing would ever be the same again.
 
My mother was adopted, this was something I was aware
of at a very young age. I loved my Grandma Alma who still
lived in Illinois. Every summer we would drive across the
country to go visit her & our other family there & she would
fly out to see us a couple of times a year. After my mother
got sick, a big emphasis had come from her doctor to have
my grandma try & contact her birth parents & find out as
much as possible about her family history. What she found
out confirmed everyone's worst fears...my mother probably
had Huntington's Disease. An untreatable, incurable, deadly
genetic disease that was passed down by her mother & that
her 3 children would have a 50/50 chance of inheriting.
In many ways, from that moment on I felt cursed.
 
 
I'm going to fast forward a bit, simply because it's still hard at almost
60, to go through it all again. My mother died when she was 36, an
event in my life I feel I never truly got over. My brother Johnny
also died from Huntington's, which permanently broke my heart.
My younger sister & I miraculously escaped this fate, but
certainly not without scars & deep wounds.
 
Huntington's has effected every aspect of my life & still does
to this day. If you can imagine living with an expiration date,
that's kind of how my adult years went by...expecting to die
young & learning to be ok with that. I chose not to spend years
going to collage for a career that I may never have the time to
enjoy. I had a hard time getting married, then I had an even
harder time deciding to have a child. I had one daughter &
tied my tubes immediately after, not wanting to pass this
disease on, but my desire to be a mother was so strong I
had to allow myself this one gift, just for me. I spent my
20's & 30's off & on in therapy seeing psychologists &
psychiatrists & together they helped me find my way to
happiness. I thank God for them, for I'm sure they
saved my life.
 

So, I have learned to dance in the rain! I am beyond blessed
to be a survivor. My life has been so full of wonder
& love & joy & beauty, but I find myself
unprepared for one silly, stupid thing...
getting OLD.
 
I never allowed myself to even think about the possibility
of living to a ripe old age. It wasn't in my vocabulary.
 
{my sister Kris & I in 1964 & in 2014}
 
I know, I know...my fervent prayer has been answered, I
should be filled with light & glory & I am, I really am!!!
I'm just gonna need a second for my mind to catch up to
my body. For the visual image of me to change from a
person who dies young, to a person who might just live
into her 80's, even 90's. I will embrace each & every
wrinkle & sun spot. I will learn to find purpose in my
old age, what a word, & I will learn to live beyond
my expected expiration date with JOY!
 
For all of those in the Huntington's Disease community
who are taken far to young, who die before there lives have
really even begun...I will do my best to make my life worthy
of surviving. I will LOVE with an open heart, I will
DREAM BIG & I will CREATE & leave
something of myself behind that shows
resilience & gratitude &
ABUNDANT BLESSINGS!
 
This is what I work towards today & every day after!
 
xoxo
vintagesusie

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

To Shower or Not To Shower

 
 
To shower or not to shower, that is the question! I know,
what a stupid & silly question that is...of course
the only sane answer is to shower. Or is it!
 
 
Now maybe my aversion to showering can be blamed on being
born in the 'PSYCO' generation. Having seen that movie 100's
of times, it does prove a frightening fact... that you are
quite vulnerable while alone in the  shower. ;)
 
But I can't use that excuse, although I think it's a pretty
good one! No, I have many reasons I have this daily
dialog in my head...what a waste of killing
perfectly good brain
cells, right.
 
 
Most people would never admit this to the world, but since
I've decided to write what ever I want on my blog & I just
don't give a shit about what anyone thinks,
I'm sharing one of my secret quirks.
 
When I was younger & probably most of my life, I did shower
every day. I was an active child, involved in many sports which
makes sense that I'd need a bath everyday. In my 20's & 30's
I always loved to have my hair freshly done & my basic
make-up on just to go about my usual life. In my 40's, which
I think were the best years of my life, I started to shower
every other day or so. The main reason I did this was because
I always liked my hair best the 2nd or 3rd day. Now in my
50's & headed to 60, I have to say...I Hate taking a shower!
Hate it!! To me, it's a complete waste of time & there are
SOOOOO many other things I'd rather be doing then that.
I know, I'm such a fucking weirdo!!!
 
I like to blame this fact truly on genetics. The Brewer side
of my family has DRY skin...I mean seriously dry skin. We
lack oil of any kind on our skin & hair. I remember when
my grandmother was in her later years, she would cry when
she was made to take a bath. Now that my Dad is 80, his
aversion to bathing has him at a once every few weeks
schedule...ha,ha, ha. And now with me, I'm running on
a couple times a week...completely gross, right.
 
Since this bathing phenomenon has me thinking & feeling
like such a loser, I decided to do some research on bathing
to see if I'm completely alone in my ideology.
Here's what I found...
 
               1. If you take daily showers, you may be doing more harm to your body
                than good. A new study shows that bathing too often is actually
really bad for your skin & hair.
 
               2. You are also washing away good bacteria that naturally helps your skin. 
 
               3.  "Cleansing Reduction" is a new trend that happens to leave you with
               better hair and skin. This means bathing only once a week to stop
         stripping the skin and hair of essential oils and good bacteria.
 
               4. Eco friendly, a great way to save water & to create a smaller
Eco Footprint.
 
OMG...I may be on to something here!!! :))))
 
Basically it seems that a large part of the NEED for showering
has to do with your lifestyle & where you live. I live in southern
California, which happens to be in a HUGE drought. I also live
on a mountain top where the average weather is dry & cool. I am
not as active as I know I should be, I spend most of my time
inside creating whatever it is that I decide to make that day. I am
a constant hand washer because I HATE getting sick! {I actually
had a flu shot this year & have not had a cold all season, even
being surrounded by a sick husband, daughter & grandchild.}
I am completely anal, even in the most literal term & don't go
to the bathroom without using wipes on EVERYTHING!
 
There you go...WAY to much information about ME!! lol
That's what I said, Susie tells her truths & talks about what's
on her mind, politically correct or not!
 
I guess this post is geared towards the other dirty people
in the world. As James Taylor says...'Baby, you've got a friend.'
You are not alone, I feel you. And for the haters, just keep
this in mind...Prince Harry says he hasn't washed his hair
for 2 years, so I'm doing GOOD! ;)
 
Loved this article on the Mother Nature Network
 
Peace Out...
xoxo
Simply Susie


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Timing is Everything

 
"Timing Is Everything"
by Garrett Hedlund

When the stars line up
And you catch a break
People think you're lucky
But you know its grace

It can happen so fast
Or a little bit late
Timing is everything

You know I've had close calls
When it could've been me
I was young when I learned just how fragile life can be
I lost friends of mine
I guess it wasn't my time
Timing is everything

And I could've been the child that God took home,
And I would've been one more unfinished song
And when it seems a rhyme is hard to find
That's when one comes along
Just in time

I remember that day
When our eyes first met
You ran into the building to get out of the rain
Cause you were soaking wet
And as I held the door
You wanted to know my name
Timing is everything

And I could've been another minute late
And you'd never would've crossed my path that day
And when it seems true love is hard to find
That's when love comes along
Just in time

You can call it fate
Or destiny
Sometimes it really seems like its a mystery

Cause you can be hurt by love
Or healed by the same
Timing is everything

It can happen so fast
Or a little too late
Timing is everything
 
I LOVE the music in 'Country Strong'...this being one of
my favorites. Ain't it true, Timing truly is Everything!
 
Simply Susie...


My Journey into Blogland


 
That's it right there...that was the moment that I had an epiphany,
sitting in the Barnes & Noble in Baltimore on a vacation to visit
my brother. I picked up my very 1st copy of 'Artful Blogging' &
I was hooked! It was May of 2009 & I read this addition from cover
to cover while sitting & drinking my Mocha Frappuccino & all I
could think of was...this speaks to my inner soul. This is not only
who I am, but it who I want to be. I want to be artful & I want to
share my joy & inspiration with the blogging community & so I
dreamed it & so it was done...that's just the way I roll! ;)
 
June of 2009 I wrote my 1st post & over the past 6 years this
world has lead me on oh so many adventures. Every goal I
had set for myself has basically been fulfilled through my
blogging experience. It introduced me to people & places &
a creative community that I never knew even existed. It took
me to Round Top & a solo trip from the southern coast of
California to Texas on my infamous 'Texas or Bust' tour.
 
I was introduced to the Junk Gypsy's whom I adore & even
sold some of my wears to them for a few seasons. I got to fall in
love with the whimsy of Magnolia Pearl & although I could
never quite afford her...a few pieces hang in my closet from
the kindness of others & a $200 check I wrote for a homespun
vest. I still think pickin threw baskets of doily's was one of the
high points of my trips. I wanted to start doing digital design
& create blogs for others, check! I wanted to be published in
a Stampington Magazine, check, check. I wanted to meet Jenny
Doh, the editor & chief of Stampington at the time...check, check,
check. I wanted to create a blog full of beauty & inspiration
& I think I managed to do just that...a big check.
And then I just got bored with it all.
 
Facebook just kinda took over the world & seemed a simplier
place to find out what friends & organizations were doing. I didn't
have to make a big deal over anything, I could simple click like &
that was the extant of my communication. So much less time
consuming then an actual blog. You have to work a blog, you have
to think about content & all those beautiful images you wanted to
share. Facebook was a one stop shop into the world of everyone
& anyone you ever wanted to know & maybe even into a few
you could care less about. And sooooo, Facebook nudged out my
blogging for a while, but as of late I am feeling ever so disenchanted
by it's lack of intimacy. I'm a face in a sea of faces, a sound bite
in a never ending barrage of sound bites. I'm just not feeling it
& it's time for a change...I think it's time for a BIG change.
 
 Heading toward 59, with 60 right around the corner, I'm looking
for something more. I want a place where I can live my real &
whole truths out loud, not just a pretty & sweet, candy coated
version of me. A place where all my imperfections & madness
can be exposed, along with my beauty & joy for creation. An
open letter to the universe that reveals my tough skin & my soft
underbelly, flaws & all & maybe especially my flaws. There's
a favorite line I have in the movie 'Gone Girl' where the main
character says..."I love to have strangers pick at all my scabs".
I totally get that...she really didn't, but sometimes it's necessary
to be able to share your truths.
 
So from this moment on, this will be my raw & honest blog, 
probably filled with the curse words I use everyday. Probably
offensive to some & not always the happy place I use to try
& give my readers. This time it's for me & anything goes &
if not a soul reads it or comments on it...I am soooo cool with
that. I'm just going to put it out there, my own personal journal
because I've never been good about jotting thoughts down on
a piece of paper & besides...everything is better with a few pics!
 
Simply Susie...