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Archive for November, 2012

PacSafe MetroSafe 200 Anti Theft Shoulder Bag Nov 13

MetroSafe 200

For those of you who read my very belated birthday post, or my opportunities post, you probably noticed that I went to Prague this summer. One of the biggest concerns for anyone in a foreign location is pickpocketing and the possibility of identity theft. My husband found a company called PacSafe that helps reduce the possibility of this happening.

After many hours perusing the company’s site and several minutes spent searching Amazon, I decided to purchase Pacsafe MetroSafe 200 Shoulder Bag – Grape Wine (affiliate link)
to be used as a flight carryon and as a purse during our upcoming travel. Thanks to Amazon Prime, it was at my doorstep in 2 days, ready for me to inspect it.

I ordered the bag in Grape wine, which is a pretty appropriate description of the color. It’s purple, but with a little bit of red, much like a red wine. I showed the bag off to everyone I knew (almost literally) within the first 24 hours that I had it. They all like the bag, but think it’s too small for a carryon, but would make a great purse for travel. I took this as a challenge and set out to see exactly how much this bag could hold!

(In an effort to get this post out of draft form, please accept my apologies that there isn’t a picture here. Every time I find the kitchen table to create the picture, the tornado that is life comes through and covers it up again. I’m sure you know how that goes!)

I carried on the plane with me:
Neck pillow clipped to the strap
Super size bottle of Advil that also held other OTC medications not available OTC in Europe (which is most)
A spare t-shirt and underwear
Noise cancelling headphones (that I couldn’t use because they’re single input and the plane is dual audio output)
Bottle of water
Gum/candy for take-off and landing
Nook (My husband’s laptop bag carried charging cables for all of our devices, since we have the same)
iPod Touch
Blackberry Torch
ID holder containing driver’s license, debit card, and 1 international credit card
$100 USD for emergencies
1 quart ziploc containing hand sanitizer, lip balm and travel sized deodorant

So that’s everything I remember cramming into the bag, and I’m having a REALLY hard time coming up with anything else that anyone would NEED to have in a carryon. Sure, there’s plenty I could take, but how much do I want to schlep through airports and have to stow on board?

When I walked around the city of Prague, I kept the ID, Blackberry, iPod and payment with me, and was left with plenty of space to hold any small items that were purchased while sightseeing. I was able to have my hands free and my bag secure, so I could be aware of what was going on around me.

Overall, I love this bag and will be using it any time I travel away from home. The features and capacity are a perfect fit for the way I like to pack.

**Disclaimer: PacSafe and Amazon have no idea who am I and I was not compensated in any way for this post. All items were paid for with my own money and I just wanted to share my experience with others.**

Category: review, travel  | Comments off
Oh How I Wish She Could Talk Nov 07

So my baby turned 1. With my first, this was the turning point. She suddenly lost all the remaining annoying infant habits and started to grow up.

The second is still working her way out of the newborn stage. She’s still up at LEAST once per night, altho now we just do a diaper check and quick snuggle and tuck her back in. Somewhere.


She can’t seem to sleep in her bed for more than a few hours. Her best sleep happens in her infant car seat in the office.


Altho she can appropriately use a good half dozen words and another half dozen gestures, once she’s upset, she gives up on using them and just screams until we both need time out.


Despite squeaking out the minimum sleep for her age, any time she ends up in “time out,” she will fall asleep after about 10 minutes.


My darling Emma? Is it your mattress? Your sheet? Your clothes?

The temperature? The amount of light? The amount of white noise?

Do you need more activity during the day? Do you need more food?

Oh, how I wish you could talk and answer these questions… Our days would be so much smoother…

Category: General  | Comments off
An Opportunity for International Travel Nov 06

Sometimes, you’re presented with an opportunity you just can’t refuse, and in March, my husband was presented with just such an opportunity.

He was asked to write a paper and present at the very first SecOnt conference, which was a part of ARES2012 in August.

This presentation? Was to be in Prague. The capital of the Czech Republic. A city that, at one time, was the capital of the entire Holy Roman Empire.

While not nearly as well known to Americans as cities like London and Paris, I was surprised to find that this city has just as much history. As a history and travel geek, I was excited for the travel opportunity.

However, travel isn’t as easy once you have 2 young kids. It took several weeks of near begging to convince our parents to watch the girls while my husband and I went to Prague for 8 days. Yes, folks, you read that right. Eight days on an entirely different continent without my children.

While some will disagree, I was NOT going to drag my girls (at the time, 3.5 years and 10 months) through 3 airports and 12 hours of flight each way. The thought was akin to torture – and so was our return flight. The logistics were the subject of nightmares – and so was the thought of what might go wrong while I was away from my babies.

But we all persevered, overcame our various obstacles and took a fantastic week long trip to a country we’d never thought twice about. We stayed in city center, near the University of Economics where the conference was held, and I had no problem walking the streets by myself. The metro was much like Washington DC’s and made it even easier to get around town. They have a fantastic bus/tram system, but my husband and I (AND a friend!) usually chose to take the metro to the day’s farthest stop and walk back to really appreciate the city.

There will be more on the city of Prague and our experiences getting there and back, but for now, please, capitalize on the opportunities life throws at you. You never know when you’ll get an experience of a lifetime.

Category: travel  | Comments off