• • • My Favorite Things • • •

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“We don't need to have just one favorite. We keep adding favorites.
~ lloyd Alexander

I pack light when I travel. I've spent three months in Europe and traveled with only a carry-on bag and a personal item. There are certain items I take whenever I travel. Some of them I need, and some of them are conveniences I just like to have.

Hedgren Style

I hate purses, and there are times I'd like to talk some sense into the person who decided women have to carry them around.  Men are supposed to be stronger, so why not saddle them with 1000-pound weights that hang from their shoulders, arms, hands?

I do like that some purse designers are taking us into consideration when they come up with new lines. Hedgren, a Belgian company, has a collection that I like for its versatility, style, and weight. The company sent me a number of bags with which to travel for a few months, and I really liked two.

Their crossover Leonce (top left photo), is lightweight and comfortable. I liked that it had an assortment of pockets—zip, velcro, phone, and even a hidden one in which I kept my passport. Weighing less than a pound, it was comfortable to use all day. I have had similar bags by other manufacturers that weighed more than 1.5 pounds empty, and with added items, they were too heavy to be comfortable all day.

While I could carry most tickets and such in the Leonce, I had to fold them to get them to fit. Hedgren's 13-inch Adela tote (top 3 photos at right) solved that problem. Like the Leonce, it has several pockets for organization, but also has a dedicated laptop sleeve. I could actually fit my Macbook, iPad, iPhone, and Nikon camera in the Adela, although I don't recommend it since the thing then weighed a ton. The Adela has an adjustable shoulder strap, so you can carry it in your hand or over your shoulder. 

One of the things I liked best about the Adela was the fact that it had a smart sleeve. A smart sleeve allows you to put a luggage handle through the sleeve so you can transport the bag on your luggage. What is great about the Adela smart sleever is that it has a zipper, so if you don't need to use it on your luggage, you have another pocket. 

Hedgren sent me a second tote, the crossover Myth (photo center left). While I loved the look of the tote, it was not as functional for me. Yes, my laptop, iPad, and iPhone fit in it, but the bag has one interior zip pocket, so everything just jumbled together. I found that it bunched up and, at times, hung strangely. Like the Adela, it has a removeable shoulder strap.

The 12-inch Vogue backpack is small (bottom 2 photos right), and would probably be great for someone who doesn't need to carry much. I found it difficult to maneuver because I want things in front of me and accessible all the time. It has two zip pockets—one interior—and my camera fit in perfectly. That said, I want my camera where I can get it easily., and since the Vogue is a backpack, it just didn't work for me.

​Each Hedgren bag came with a RFID pouch (photo bottom left) in which I kept my passport and credit cards. I liked that the pouch was removeable (I could carry it in my pocket) and that it had a clip so I could secure it in the bags.

All Hedgren bags come in a variety of colors.

Hedgren bags are well-made and stylish, and I don't mind carrying them. Bottom line, my favorite bags were the Adela and the Leonce for my personal travel needs. You may like some of the other bags in their line, which you can find here
MBT Shoes
I have tried a number of different shoes when traveling, but the only ones I've found that help keep my feet from becoming balloons at the bottom of my legs are MBTs.  The shoes have a rocker bottom that take the pressure off of the balls and heels of my feet.
I freely admit that I'm addicted to technology. I always carry my iPad with me because I can use it to read (with my Kindle or Nook apps), write (with Pages), draw (Paper 53), or play games to keep me occupied on long flights.  I really like having an English-Italian and Italian-English dictionary with me.
Lolly Zip
Lolly Zip was my favorite TSA-compliant bag and gets a 10-out-of-10 points. Owner Jill Dybdahl designed kits that are both functional and sturdy. The containers are easy-to-fill, leak-proof, and reusable, and the TSA-compliant bag stands on its own and has a lot of extra space due to its design.   READ MY REVIEW.
Mio Water Enhancers
I am now shooting with Nikon 5100D. I'd considered getting a more professional camera (I used a Canon EOS Pro when I shot film.), but this one offers everything that I want, has features that I like, and costs a lot less than the pro cameras. I upgraded my lens to a Tamron 18-270mm.
I am not a big fan of drinking plain water, so I carry Mio water enhancers with me wherever I go. Mio offers a variety of types of enhancers (original, electrolytes, vitamins, energy) in dozens of flavors. 

​Cabeau evolution cool pillow

All too often the flights we take are more than a couple of hours long, and that usually means that my head bounces left and right and forward and backward as I doze off. I've tried travel pillows galore, but nothing worked. They were too hot. Too flimsy. Too big. Too useless. Last year, I discovered the Cabeau Evolution Cool Pillow, and when the company sent me one to sample, I figured I had nothing to lose. The flat back allowed me to sit in a comfortable position since it wasn't pushing my neck away from the seat back. The drawstrings made it easy to position the pillow so that it supported my chin when I needed it but loosening them made it comfortable when I didn't try to sleep. The pillow, made of dual-density memory foam, comes with a carry-case and ear plugs, both big pros. I had hoped that the air holes would help the pillow stay a lot cooler than most travel pillows, but I found that the difference was not as much as I'd hoped. That said, it was still cooler than other pillows. 

Iphone 7Plus


Let's face it. I'm a fanatic for fan of Apple products. The only thing I don't own—as of this writing—is the Apple Watch. I recently upgraded to the iPhone 7Plus from the 6S, mostly because of the new camera features, and in my opinion, they live up to the hype. I've taken a lot of the photos on this website with both the iPhone 6 and the 7Plus.
My MacBook Air has been dying for a few months, and I decided to replace it with the MacBook. It's not only lighter, it's faster, has more memory, and it's PINK. What more could I want?