One of the most frustrating things that has happened to me is arriving at a hotel after a long day’s journey only to find that I forgot some essential toiletry item at home. Sure, I could run to the store, but it’s late, and cold, and I don’t really know where the store is, and I can’t believe I was so dumb, and, and, and..

I found a simple solution to this problem. Instead of gathering all of the toiletries I use every day right before I leave, I now keep an identical toiletry bag for travel packed at all times with everything I need. Let’s face it:  a lot of what you take are travel-sized containers that you don’t use at home, anyway, so just leave them packed and ready. That way, when it’s time to prepare for your next trip, just grab the bag and off you go.

And ladies: Ann keeps a make-up bag stocked with much of the same stuff she uses every day at home which prevents her from having a meltdown in the morning when, heaven forbid, she might have to leave the hotel without mascara. Personally, I tell her all the time that she doesn’t need any makeup at all.

I’ve kept a travel toiletry bag for years, and, as a man of strict routines, I’m happy to report that I’ve always been able to shower, shave, and style my hair the same way every day no matter where I am.  That, my friends, is a win in my book.

  • We walked in to the @elevatepeople store in Kearney, Nebraska, by mistake. We'd been looking for a coffee shop. Elevate wasn’t a coffee shop, but what we found was a store full of beautiful, handmade leather goods. These ethically sourced products were actually produced around the world by artisans who are working to escape poverty. Elevate, a non-profit, provides them with small, low interest loans to start their businesses. When the money is repaid, it is then re-invested into the same community to help another person start a business. It's a purchase you can feel good about.
  • Florida is a wonderful place to go in the winter. There you'll find sunshine and warmth while much of the rest of the country is experiencing the chill of winter. We love seeing the plants and flowers in bloom when we visit.
  • When our daughter, Meghan, was younger, she wanted an affordable, easy to store souvenir from her travels with her mom. She settled on pencils. Over the years, she's collected a couple hundred pencils from various destinations including the ones that others have given to her. She keeps them in a jar in her apartment, creating a great conversation piece.
  • We won't lie, our cruise aboard the @CelebrityCruise Edge was more about the ship than the destination. We loved sitting in The Retreat while watching others head ashore for excursions. But let's be honest, we really loved just sitting in the Retreat, soaking in the beautiful sun.
  • There is nothing quite like preparing a perfect dish in your own kitchen. Courtesy of @thechefandthedish, Ann prepared a traditional Spanish paella with Cyndi Kane, a.k.a. Ree Drummond's BFF Hyacinth. Sure, learning to make the dish was fun. Savoring the meal, and the friendship that went with it, was the best part of that great afternoon.
  • In the chilly, pre-dawn light of an early spring day on the Platte River in central Nebraska you can be sure of one thing: soon you'll witness one of nature's greatest spectacles, tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes taking to the air for a day of foraging for food. If you have never witnessed this incredible sight, you must make sure you @visitnebraska so you can experience this for yourself. @visitKearney
  • A good cocktail is an experience. Instead of just having a drink to throw back, we love savoring a well-crafted beverage. Something we love about @celebritycruise is that good cocktails are easy to find. We aren't huge drinkers. Instead, we are strong believers in quality over quantity.
  • Something that always impresses us is the sheer size of a cruise ship. The fact that something that large can move and float and provide great service never ceases to amaze. But one of our favorite views is when we're docked next to another ship, and walking down a pier suddenly feels like walking through a canyon.

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