Clever Travel Packing Tips

Clever Travel Packing Tips || Runway Chef #travel #traveltips I don’t get to travel nearly as much as I’d like to (because in my dream world I’d like to travel every other day), but I still do my fair share of flying, road tripping, and weekending away. When I first started traveling, I would pack a giant suitcase, a mini suitcase, a carry-on, and one bag….just for myself. To say I was “moving in” would be a gross understatement. Over the years, through necessity (aka someone *cough* Mr.RC *cough* forced me) I’ve narrowed down my packing to half of a suitcase and no carry-on. It was no easy feat (Hello! Of course I need 10 pairs of shoes to go to the beach….What if I decide to go running? What if it gets cold? What if a shark eats one of my flip-flops? I mean…..a girl has got to have her options!), but these packing tips have helped me learn to make the best use of my suitcase space, and, ultimately, make traveling a whole lot easier.

Clever Travel Packing Tips (How to pack Socks & Shoes) || Runway Chef #travel #traveltips 1// Store socks inside of sneakers

Clever Travel Packing Tips (How to pack Earrings) || Runway Chef #travel #traveltips 2// Attach earrings to a button to keep the back and earring together

Clever Travel Packing Tips (How to pack Hats) || Runway Chef #travel #traveltips 3// If you’re traveling with hats, fill the hat with smaller items (like tshirts and underwear). Then roll another tshirt and place it into the ridge on top of the hat. Gently pack other soft items around the hats to help them keep their shape.

Clever Travel Packing Tips (How to pack Necklaces) || Runway Chef #travel #traveltips 4// Use a straw to prevent necklaces from tangling

Clever Travel Packing Tips (How to pack Liquids) || Runway Chef #travel #traveltips 5// To keep liquids from spilling, remove the cap from the bottle. Place a small piece of plastic wrap (or a piece from a plastic bag) on top, then tightly screw the lid back on.

Clever Travel Packing Tips (How to pack Rings) || Runway Chef #travel #traveltips 6// Place rings on a large safety pin to keep them from getting lost

Clever Travel Packing Tips (How to pack Bracelets) || Runway Chef #travel #traveltips 7// Clutches pull double-duty by providing bracelet storage

Clever Travel Packing Tips (How to pack Clothes so They are Wrinkle-free) || Runway Chef #travel #traveltips 8// Wrap items that wrinkle easily in tissue paper (can be used or new) to prevent excessive wrinkling while the items are packed in a suitcase. Once you arrive at your destination, immediately hang the clothes on hangers, and be sure to hang them in the bathroom when you take a shower so that the steam can remove any other wrinkles.

Clever Travel Packing Tips (How to pack Alcohol in Your Carry-on) || Runway Chef #travel #traveltips 9// Did you know you can actually bring alcohol on a plane? Yeah, I didn’t either (until recently, thanks to my blog friend Jess and my bestie for both letting me know). While I would prefer a horse tranquilizer prior to flying (Can you tell I hate flying?), a drink (or two) is better than nothing. As with other carry-on liquids, the bottles must be less than 3.4 ounces (most nip bottles are around 1.7 ounces) and they must fit into a quart-size plastic bag. Mr. RC and I each took 4 in our carry-ons on our recent trip to Punta Cana.

I’d love to know, what clever travel packing tips do you have?

Happy Hour

Palm Tree || Runway Chef Happy Hour {Palm tree views}

We got back from the Domincan Republic late Monday night and by Tuesday afternoon I was already buried deep in hundreds of emails, several work events, and piles of luggage. Because we were gone for such a short time I chose to completely go off the grid (I may or may not have had Instagram withdrawals for the first 24 hours). I had forgotten what it was like to eat food as soon as your plate arrives (as opposed to 15 snaps, 7 edits, 2 filters and 1 Insta later). Getting dressed is a heck of a lot easier when you aren’t perfectly arranging every accessory you own to get that perfectly perfect shot. I know nothing says romance like a sunset, the beach, and those three little words (best. instagram. filter), but trust me when I say, sometimes those beach sunsets are better without the 3rd wheel (aka phone). No guy wants to lean in for a kiss, only to hear you say “Babe! What Instagram filter do you think makes this sunset look the best?….Oh. You were trying to kiss me? Ok, lemme just finish up this Instagram real quick. Give me like 6 shots, a few edits in my editing app, 10 minutes to think of a good # (can you help me with that? Like, can you maybe look up some good words that would make funny #’s?), and basically 10 centuries to determine if my picture is good or not, k? Kthanksloveyouyourethebest!” Suffice it to say, shutting off was good for the soul. But it certainly made getting back into the swing of things extra difficult. Good thing me and my gypsy soul are always plotting the next getaway….

Frankie's Spuntino Cookbook || Runway Chef Happy Hour {A new cookbook from one of my favorite restaurants}

Punta Cana || Runway Chef Happy Hour {My happy place- turquoise water and white/pink sand}

fork and knife wall art || Runway Chef Happy Hour {Loved these giant silverware pieces hanging in the kitchen at My Cooking Party}

plaid scarves || Runway Chef Happy Hour {New plaid scarves for cooler weather}

Happy Hour - A Weekly Round-up of Happy Things on Runway Chef {Quote via}


Spooky Halloween Cupcake Toppers

Spooky Halloween Cupcake Toppers || @runwaychef #halloween #dessert While I often craft ridiculous schemes to festively celebrate a holiday, the sad reality is that I never have time to properly execute any of my plans. Staying festive is a must for me so I like to come up with ways to celebrate holidays that don’t require much effort or time. This year, Halloween snuck up on me like a ghost in the night (pun intended) so I haven’t even had time to do my last-minute Halloween decorations. However, haunted dirt cake and spooky cupcake toppers are something I can definitely squeeze into my schedule (because who doesn’t have time to eat dessert?!). The only requirements- cupcakes, candy and a huge sweet tooth. Feel free to use any type of cupcake (homemade, mix, pre-made) you wish. For my cupcakes I made my Never Fail Chocolate Cake, but baked it in cupcake shapes, obviously, (bake for 20 minutes at 350; makes 12 cupcakes), and then I made a salted caramel buttercream to frost them with. Keep scrolling to see how I created the spooky halloween cupcake toppers.

Spooky Halloween Cupcake Toppers || @runwaychef #halloween #dessert Spooky Halloween Cupcake Toppers || @runwaychef #halloween #dessert Ghost // Meringue ghost (read how to make them here) + cotton candy (found in the Halloween section of Target)

Spooky Halloween Cupcake Toppers || @runwaychef #halloween #dessert Spider // Black raspberry gummy + thin black licorice cut into pieces

Spooky Halloween Cupcake Toppers || @runwaychef #halloween #dessert Bloody Mummy // Cherry candy ribbon (use a little extra frosting to help the pieces stick in place) + black sixlets

Spooky Halloween Cupcake Toppers || @runwaychef #halloween #dessert Tombstone // Meringue tombstone (read how to make them here) + cotton candy

Spooky Halloween Cupcake Toppers || @runwaychef #halloween #dessert Spooky Eyes // Half of an Oreo cookie + sixlets

Spooky Halloween Cupcake Toppers || @runwaychef #halloween #dessert Tombstone II // Same as the first tombstone, except I cut this cupcake in half, attached some gummy worms with frosting, then placed the top back on to make the worms appear as if they were crawling from the dirt


Old Sport

Old Sport || Dressed-up with a touch of sporty @runwaychef Old sport. I always love when Gatsby says that line in “The Great Gatsby”. Side note- do you know that it’s said 40 times (yes, 40) in the movie?! That’s one way to make sport old real fast! Anyways, since I seem to be on a role with finding outfit inspiration from movie quotes, I figured why not keep it going? I still haven’t had time to do much fall clothes shopping (Oh the horror!) so the closet creativity skills are being put to the test. While the blouse and Theory pants are reminiscent of the attire of my office days (something I like to forget), the leather jacket and baseball hat add enough sportiness to the outfit to keep my cubicle nightmares away. Old clothes + sporty touch = old sport. Or something like that…..

Old Sport || Dressed-up with a touch of sporty @runwaychef Old Sport || Dressed-up with a touch of sporty @runwaychef Old Sport || Dressed-up with a touch of sporty @runwaychef Old Sport || Dressed-up with a touch of sporty @runwaychef Old Sport || Dressed-up with a touch of sporty @runwaychef Old Sport || Dressed-up with a touch of sporty @runwaychef Vintage Jacket (similar) // H&M Blouse // Theory Pants via Crossroads Trading (similar) // Zara Shoes (similar) // Chanel Bag // French Connection Hat c/o (similar)

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Haunted Halloween Dirt Cake

Haunted Halloween Dirt Cake || @runwaychef #halloween #desserts The theme of this week’s kitchen adventures has revolved entirely around easy and fun Halloween treats (secondary theme- becoming the Michelin Man for next Friday’s costume….because after eating all these sweets that is exactly what I will look like). The first “spooky” treats are these haunted dirt cakes. Wait, don’t run away. They’re only haunted with dreams of 6-pack abs, vegetables left untouched, and forgotten workout clothes. They aren’t actually haunted. I never know if you guys know not to take me seriously like ever so I thought it best to clarify. Moving right along….So dirt cakes. Everyone loves them because it’s basically cookies, cream and chocolate and who doesn’t love those things?! And if everyone doesn’t love them, well, more for you (or me)! This recipe is a bit different than the one I used for the edible flower dirt cakes, but it’s still just as tasty. Also, this recipe doubles or triples really well in case you’re having a Halloween party (or just a party of one, either is fine by me).

Hope you all have a great weekend! If you need me, I’ll be hiding out on a beach drinking away the fact that I’m in a swimsuit after a week of dessert recipe testing…oy vey!

Haunted Halloween Dirt Cake || @runwaychef #halloween #desserts Haunted Halloween Dirt Cake || @runwaychef #halloween #desserts Haunted Halloween Dirt Cake || @runwaychef #halloween #desserts

Haunted Halloween Dirt Cakes

2/3s of a package of Oreos
1/2 package of cream cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup of heavy cream

Gummy worms
Cotton candy (I found some in the Target Halloween section)
Meringue ghosts and tombstones (see recipe below)

For the “dirt”- In a cuisinart, pulse the Oreos for about 10 seconds. Add in the cream cheese and continue pulsing until the ingredients have combined. Make sure not to pulse too long or the mixture will form together and become pasty. Also, the cookie pieces should be somewhat chunky and not too fine. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. This should equal about 2 cups of whipped cream. Gently fold the cookie mixture into the cream mixture until combined.

To serve- Scoop the dirt into serving dishes. I really like using martini glasses as it allows the “worms” to hang over the edge. Bury a few gummy worms into each dish, draping them over the edge. Top with cotton candy and a meringue or tombstone ghost. Serve right away. The meringue will soften slightly and the cotton candy will start to “melt” after it sits for a little while.

To make the meringue- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat together 3 egg whites in a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a mixer) on medium-high speed until frothy. Add in 1/2 cup of white sugar and increase the speed to high. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Transfer the egg whites to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe large swirls and tombstone shapes onto the baking sheet. Bake until dry, about 1 hour. Turn the oven off and let the meringue cool, in the oven, completely (you can even leave them in there overnight).

To make the eyes and RIP lettering, melt a few chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. I did a little less than 1/4 cup of chips, which was more than enough. Microwave the chips until they are melted. Using a toothpick, gently dot eyes onto the ghosts and spell out RIP.  FYI, it looks better if it’s a little messy.