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How's It Going on the West Coast...

It's the most wonderful time of the year... don't worry, it's not the holidays again -- promise! It's only that Natural Products Expo West is up and running in Anaheim, CA, this weekend! The best, newest, and brightest of natural food products and healthy lifestyle items will be on display and we're off to debut our brand new line of stylish, reusable + eco-chic LunchSkins for 2017... AND to start telling the world about the newest member of our sustainable family (coming June 2017), which has been hand-selected from hundreds of submissions as a Finalist for a NEXTY Award for "Best New Natural Living Product"!

Where is my YAY-ing Kermit the Frog gif when I need it.....?

Our fearless leader Kirsten already has made her way to the Golden State, and I'll be following suit tomorrow morning. Hear that? This East Coast born-n-bred girl is heading to the West Coast! I've never been and people keep telling me there's a chance I'll never come back. I assuaged them by saying the only reason I'll stay for good is if I happen to run into Jason Priestly (90s TV for life), which is unlikely so I think we're all good.

Still, it's a six-hour flight and I've got to keep my stamina up so I can hit the tarmac running when we land. To ward off hunger, cold, and boredom, I've compiled my list of carry-on essentials to share. Enjoy!

What's in my carry-on bag...

#1 - The comfiest blanket-shawl EVER. Even if I'm not on a plane, you'll normally find me curled up in a blanket (I keep this shawl on my chair in the office during the summer when the a/c is blasting) like a cocoon. Airplanes especially aren't great in terms of regulated climate, so I'm either too hot before take-off/when waiting to disembark or too cold during the actual flight. PLUS: this shawl looks amazing, goes with everything, and is made to be seen + snuggly.

#2 - Not only are the newest line of LunchSkins SUPER cute + stylish... they also continue to provide practical, reusable, and travel-worthy alternatives to eco-UNhealthy plastic bags. This snack size bag is holding the most important treat of all... dark chocolate covered almonds. We all need a sugar boost sometimes!

#3 - Another LunchSkins snack bag... this time containing NON-chocolate coated almonds (unsalted). I stock up on these mini protein-boosters at Trader Joe's.

#4 - The star-studded but nothing-is-as-it-seems novel. You can't go to California without some advice from Carrie Fisher (rest in peace, beloved one)... it's the law. The Anaheim Marriott Convention Center isn't exactly the Sunset Strip, but I'm a West Coast first-timer and I've got to get my jollies somewhere!

Apples to apples to tea...#5 - Dried mango slices (unsweetened please -- they're already très sweet naked) to tame my sugar cravings in a healthier way; Pink Lady apples (3!) to have on hand in case I become ravenous or find some peanut butter to pair up with; tea bags to help me keep warm in cold airport terminals and to cut down on coffee costs + waste. Most big chain coffee/tea shops will give you free hot water if you ask and/or bring your own mug. My newest obsession is a ginger + turmeric tea I happened upon at Trader Joe's a month back. It tastes amazing, is naturally calming, and settles upset traveler tummies. Some aren't huge fans of the taste/small, but I can't get enough. Even better: all of these guys fit in my quart-sized LunchSkins bag with room to spare! Tea bags for a coffee/tea cup LunchSkins bag...

#6 - Dried apricots (yes, yes I love dried fruit) in my medium zip LunchSkins blue geometric bag + a handy travel utensil set made of bamboo I got as a stocking stuffer last Christmas. So clever (it even has a clip to keep it from getting lost in a bottomless purse like mine) and better for the environment than using plastic cutlery.

Plantain chips, too!Oh -- and can't forget those yummy roasted plantain chips (can you tell I adore Trader Joe's?) I prefer to use regular clothespins from Target (it's a few dollars for 50 clothespins/pack) as "chip clips" instead of the plastic kind. Plus, those things can get expensive if you don't watch out and I have a LOT of snacks to keep fresh and sealed (I'm a bit of a freak about that...).

CC IMG_3759Last but not least -- my trusty medium zip LunchSkins bag in navy stripe to hold gift cards, coupons, headphones + other odds and ends (including bobby pins and hairbands), and my new small zip LunchSkins bag in blue geometric to hold my business cards -- a girl's gotta network!

Catch you surf-side this weekend, LunchSkins-lovers! Gotta find that Green Room! (Am I using the lingo right?)

Natural Products Expo West, here we come! -- the LunchSkins Crew