Two Years Later

Thursday, February 23, 2017

On February 23, 2015 I started Flight Attendant Training. 

In the last two years, a LOT has happened. 

So many new experiences, adventures, and people have been a part of the past 24 months... Sometimes it's a little overwhelming to think about how much has changed since I walked through the doors of the training center. 

76 Domestic Layovers
7 International Layovers
5 new states (for a total of 41)

This is the morning of the very first day of training. I was nervous, sad, and I had absolutely no idea how phenomenally my life was about to change. 

When you practice together on fake airplanes you end up bonded for life.

With my friend Andre before we left for our initial operating experience! We were hired together on the same day. 

Right before we jumped into a pool to practice saving some lives.

Roommate Kate! 
Two years later at recurrent training: everything changes, everything stays the same. 💖

Yesterday was the most exciting/scary day on the job so far, and I am so grateful for the changes that have taken place in my life because of it.

Thanks stars. 

Happy Galentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2017

I love Leslie Knope. 
More than a few times, I've been compared to her and I'm always flattered. 

One of the best things to come out of Parks and Rec is the fabulous tradition of Galentine's Day.

I wanted to share with you my favorite Galentine's Day tradition.

Two years ago right now, I was walking through one of the hardest times of my life. I didn't have a Valentine but I did have awesome lady pals who were holding my hand as I went through hell. 

So I started crafting cards for them. 

There were some embarrassing mishaps early on involving glitter glue, but now I've got my favorite format down. 
Glitter washi tape. Knope compliments. Heartfelt words. 

I am so lucky to have so many cool, hilarious, strong, and gorgeous women in my world. 
THANKS Chi Omega, Miss America, Girls State, Flight Attending, and other awesome ways I've met cool women. 
I usually can't eat waffles with my gal pals on Galentine's Day, but I CAN spend the day celebrating awesome women and letting them know I care about them. 

Here are a few of the cards that I put together this year:

Valentine's Day is lovely, but honestly, I'm way more excited about a day devoted to inspiring women, glitter, and breakfast food. 

Happy Galentine's Day! 

Packing List: Flight Attendant Training

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Exactly two years ago I was getting ready to leave for Flight Attendant Training, and I was trying to figure out what the heck to bring with me. 

Packing for training is complicated by two factors:
1. You're about to live in a hotel room for six weeks.
2. You don't know where you're going after those six weeks are up. 

Normally I abhor overpacking, but in this particular situation there are so many different factors that can come into play. Location of training, your base, whether or not you'll be able to go home before going to to your base, if you're moving to your base, time of year, weather, etc.  

Here is a general list of things that I packed when for initial training. 

Business Casual Attire:
Two pairs of pants
Trouser socks
Three dresses
Two blazers
Four button down shirts
Three blouses
Two skirts
Ten pairs of pantyhose
Black flats
Black heels (less than 3in)
Additional flats
Additional heels 

Casual Attire:
Workout Clothes
Gym Sneakers
Casual tops
Casual shoes
Flip flops

Seasonal Clothing:
Warm coat

Facial Care routine items
Extra contact lenses
Makeup remover wipes
Hand sanitizer
Enough medications for two months (prescription and OTC)
Vitamin C Supplements
Hair dryer

Class Supplies:
Folder for loose papers/handouts
Post it Flags
Post It Notes
Masking Tape
Flash cards
Tote bag to carry class stuff in
Swimsuit that you can wear a shirt and shorts over

Other Items:
Laundry soap (I brought a baggie of soap pods)
Quarters for laundry
Water bottle
Extra phone battery/external charger
Chargers for phone and tablet
Reusable grocery bags (these are great for laundry)
Plastic baggies
Power strip/extension cord

Things to keep in mind:
-You're going to get uniform clothes and luggage while in training, so be ready to leave with more than you came with.

-Depending on the time of year and your base options, you may want to bring more or less seasonal apparel. I trained in Dallas and got based in Philly over March, so I had to make sure I had some transitional coats etc.

-Honestly, you probably won't NEED all of this for your six weeks of training, especially if you have access to a washer and dryer, but you will probably want most of it when you get to your base. Think through the logistics of getting to your base now. Will you fly home to collect your things before driving to your new city? Will you fly straight from training to your base? If you're flying to your base straight from training, I'm going to recommend that you take advantage of checking as many bags for free as you're allowed to. 

-Store your suitcases under your bed. You can keep a bunch of stuff that you aren't currently using in your bags during training. Use them for storage.

Have more questions? Email me:

Maizie the One Eyed Wonder Pup

Sunday, February 5, 2017

My boyfriend loves dogs. 
He is that guy who points out every single dog we see in public and who will intentionally change his route in order to encounter those dogs and pet all of them. 
(In Vermont, where there are dogs everywhere this can get a little excessive.) 

So, of course, we've been talking about getting a dog together since we started dating.

Let me just say here that I have two cats who still live in Arkansas that I miss very very much. They'll come to live with us (hopefully soon now that the campaign is well over) but the options are to either drive 17 hours in each direction or fly four flights with two cat carriers and other luggage. 
That much travel isn't nice for cats under the best circumstances, and I don't want to make it worse for them by taking it on alone. So for now, they're in Arkansas where they're very loved and well taken care of. 
(Related: anyone want to transport some cats with me?)

Martin and I have been perusing PetFinder for months, hoping we'd find just the right pup who we knew was meant for us. 
We were looking for a dog who liked cats, kids, and were open to a dog with special needs. We particularly wanted to adopt a dog who could be trained to be a therapy animal in a setting with kids, like a children's hospital or a school. 
Martin's school has a therapy dog who his kids just love, and I've seen the wonders pets can work with sick kiddos who are stuck in hospitals. 
Specifically, we were hoping for a Pit Bull because they're such a wonderfully sweet breed. There are so many stereotypes and misconceptions about them, most of which are totally unfair. 

Then, instead of a Pit Bull, we brought home a Maltipoo. 

Shannon posted on Facebook that she had a lead about a sweet little Maltipoo pup who was having a hard time finding a home because she only had one eye that would open.
Knowing how adorable her Noma is, I immediately sent her a message to get some more info.

Ten days later, we became puppy parents to the cutest and sweetest dog in the entire world. 

A photo posted by Maizie Altersitz-Bright (@maizietheoneeyedwonderpup) on

Shannon has been an amazing fairy dog-mother to our little Maizie.
She drove ten hours with Noma to pick Maizie up, took care of her for a week (including taking her to the vet!), crate trained her, helped house train her, and then brought her up to Philadelphia with her husband Aaron (who had literally just gotten home from a deployment) so that she could join our little family.

Noma and Maizie had a lot of fun together. Rumor has it that the Leyko family enjoyed Maizie so much that they want her to visit for playdates very soon.

A photo posted by Noma here! 🐾 (@nomalikesonoma) on
A photo posted by Noma here! 🐾 (@nomalikesonoma) on

The past few days have been filled with so much puppy love...and also puppy parenting.
We are OBSESSED with Maizie. 
We are also obsessed with getting her to tinkle on the puppy pad. 
So far we have about a 75% success rate, and given that we've only had her for three days I'm feeling pretty good about it.
I did think we'd have longer before we were cheering over a tiny creature's poops, but here we are.

We've been taking Maizie on adventures to coffee shops, restaurants, and even to visit her cousins (both human and puppy).
She is seriously amazing.
She's friendly with everyone, she's snuggly, she's playful, she's sweet as pie, her bladder control is so great when we're adventuring, and everyone who glances at her immediately falls in love. 

I did, however, become one of those pet owners who created an instagram account for their dog.
I refer to her as "the baby" far too often to be unembarrassed.
But good sweet lord, your heart would melt too if a 1.5 lb bundle of blonde fur and joy wagged her whole body when you came back to sit on the couch.
And to be fair, her insta mostly exists so that I'm not spamming people with constant dog photos on my other social media accounts. Except for my stories. Those are all puppy action.

She loves physical contact and riding in her sling or whatever article of clothing she can fit in.

A photo posted by Maizie Altersitz-Bright (@maizietheoneeyedwonderpup) on

We have officially become sickening.
But have you seen our dog?!?

If you want to, you can follow her over at @MaizieTheOneEyedWonderPup

As I type this, she's currently in her little bed on the couch with us cuddling her teething toy. I literally can. not. even. 

Heart eyes. 

Dry February

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

I'm not a big believer in New Year's Resolutions. 
I'm also not a big fan of this "New Year, New You" idea. 
Like, I'm pretty great already thanks, just need a few tweaks here and there to be phenomenal but I'm doing pretty well. Kthxbye.

In 2017, I'm not trying to be a different person, I just want to a person who fits more comfortably into clothes I already own and love. My goal for this year is to be healthier so that I feel better and am more physically ready to do things that I want to do in the future.

Each month I'm planning on focusing on a different health conscious goal in the hope that I'll rebuild healthy habits that have fallen by the wayside in the past few years. 
(I mean seriously, it's been a heck of a five years. I ran for office twice, had at least ten different jobs, got married, got divorced, drove all over the country, started a totally different career, and a bunch of other things. Yeesh.)

In January my focus was on starting to physically move again. Getting back on that gym life track with the elliptical, doing a few minutes of yoga or pilates everyday, or even just walking aggressively on layovers, I've been pretty good about being more physically active each week.

Now that February is here, it's time to add another layer.
Dry February.
No alcohol for 28 days. 

I have plenty of friends who don't drink alcohol. 
Whether they just don't like it, they're overcoming addiction, or they're opting out for health reasons, I think it's cool that they're pushing back against cultural expectations that say they should drink to have fun. 

I, however, am not a sober person. 
By most health standards, I'm not a particularly heavy drinker. 
I have a drink or two a few times a week, usually while cooking dinner or at Pub Quiz. 

That said, I do love wine. And microbrews. And sparkling wine. And cocktails.
I'm a fan, and as I learned in my early 20's, I am someone who can hold their liquor and can be relied on to always drink responsibly. It's something I enjoy and something I'm proud of. 

My plan this month is to drink an additional glass of water whenever I would normally have an alcoholic beverage, on top of just abstaining from alcohol. Hopefully I'll come out of this lighter and better hydrated. 

I'm going to give this a whirl and see what happens. 
Did I choose February because it's the shortest month? You bet I did.
Will I be able to go 28 days without a single glass? Let's find out! 

5 Things to Know About LuLaRoe

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Yesterday I was shopping at a craft store when I overheard two women chatting about these leggings one was wearing. 
"It's called LuLaRoe! My daughters are selling them!"
When I brought my fabric over to have it cut, I joined in the conversation about LuLaRoe because I'm basically in love with LLR clothes. 

The woman who was cutting my fabric had never heard of LuLaRoe before, which made me realize that there *are* actually some people in this world who aren't familiar with these glorious leggings yet. 
If you've been one of those people, or you're just wondering about all of these Facebook groups you keep getting invited to or crazy leggings you're seeing people wearing, this post is for you. 

5 Things to Know About LuLaRoe

1. It's a woman owned and woman centered company.
LuLaRoe was founded by a mom. Their origin story is a classic "garage origin", even if in this case it's more of a "sewing room" story. The company was founded by a woman, and I'd guess (without having seen any kind of facts on this) that about 98% of LuLaRoe consultants are women. The company promotes the idea of selling LLR as a way to support families, and I think that's great. I think everyone is entitled to structure their work/life and their family the way they want to as long as they aren't preventing other people from living their lives. So you do you, ladies.

2. It is a multilevel marketing company, but it's different.
Like the Tupperware, makeup, and scented candle parties we've all been invited to in the past, LuLaRoe is definitely a MLM company. Individuals sign up to become "consultants" and they pay for an initial inventory that is physically sent to them. 
You buy clothes through in home parties or (my favorite) through Facebook groups that are organized by a consultant. There are Facebook groups that you join and if you spot an item you like you comment "sold" and you're emailed an invoice. Once you pay that invoice, your items are mailed to you by the consultant. Party hosts get perks for helping the LLR Consultant connect with more clients- usually clothes. 
As someone who has purchased other products from MLM events in the past, I've found it interesting  how the way that the product distribution is structured seems to be less encouraging of competition between consultants, in large part because every consultant has a different inventory from every other consultant. If anything, this encourages collaboration between multiple consultants on events, combo parties, or Facebook group networking events where you're entered to win a prize if you join all of the consultant's Facebook groups in the "circle".

3. You never know what you're going to get.
This is a really really critical part of what makes LLR special and what I think has been driving the explosion of popularity in the last year- no two consultants have the same inventory. They can request specific styles and they can sign up for  special "theme" items like Valentine's Day leggings, but consultants can't put in an order for only teacher themed leggings, or only green leggings. You might find a pattern that you LOVE (if it's something magical you're on the hunt for you call it your "unicorn") and you have to scour multiple groups for things with that theme. For me that's airplane patterns and red/white/blue color schemes. I have friends who are also into this and we help each other by finding items in different groups. The thrill of the hunt definitely adds to the experience. 
The whole line covers a lot of different styles, but not every consultant carries all of them. You can check out the full list here. 

4. This clothing is empowering women. 
Yes, there's the obvious financial empowerment for the consultants who do well at selling things, but I've also seen these clothes empowering the women who buy them. 
These clothes are comfortable, confident, accessible, and modest. The patterns and bright colors are just plain fun, and the fabrics and sizing are very forgiving. For so many women we've been battling clothes in fitting rooms and numbers on tags for our entire adult lives. It's really nice to be able to select something simply based on whether or not you think it looks fun and to know it's going to fit your body. 
It's equally nice to know that everything you want covered is going to stay covered. I'm a big fan of the leggings plus an "Irma" top, because that outfit is comfortable, allows for a full range of motion (useful when you're hanging out with kiddos), and it's modest. 
Personally, I feel most confident in clothes that are considered "modest". That's my thing. If you want to let it all hang out, no judgement. Again, you do you. 
These clothes really come in all sizes and it makes my heart sing whenever I see women get excited about showing the world who they are. 

5. Ohmygoodness, these buttery leggings tho.
My introduction to these leggings came when a Flight Attendant friend came up to me in the Crew Room and told me I had to touch her leg because the leggings she was wearing were so soft. I'm so glad I listened to her because now I pretty much live in them when I'm not working. 
The leggings come in two sizes, One Size and Tall and Curvy. They come in patterns and solids. 
All of them are SO soft, SO comfortable, and COMPLETELY opaque. 
I've said it before and I'll say it again: leggings are pants if they aren't see through. 
I started with a couple of black pairs (which have become increasingly hard to find) and now I'm wearing full on patterns. As I type this, I'm wearing LLR leggings with little red and blue airplanes all over them. SO. CUTE. I even used a picture of them for the background of the graphic for this post. My wonderful friend found them (my unicorns!) and mailed them to me for Christmas. Joy!
Essentially every item makes a great addition to a travel wardrobe, depending on your destination, of course. I always have a pair or two of the leggings in my layover suitcase these days, and they've quickly become essential travel clothes for me. 

LuLaRoe is not haute couture, and I'm fine with that. 
These clothes are practical, comfortable, and fun. I'm totally digging it.

*This post was in no way sponsored by LuLaRoe or any consultant. I'm just jazzed about it*

My 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine

Monday, January 23, 2017

Korean skin care is one of the hottest beauty trends out there right now, and I am so on board. 
The basic idea is that it's a routine that involves a lot of steps, a lot of high quality products, and you're going to end up with glowy lovely skin. 
I dipped my toes in the water gradually over time, first by experimenting with Dr. Jart+ BB Creams, then Tony Moly Masks, and then I finally dove in with the full on 10-step Korean Skin
Care Routine.

One of the things that sold me on it was this article about embracing self-care as a radical feminist act.
The idea that taking care of ourselves as women is a way of fighting back against the misogyny rang so very true for me. I love embracing femininity as a way of fighting the patriarchy, and I want to make choices where I prove to myself and to the world that I value myself because I'm a woman, not in spite of the fact that I am a woman. Self-care is not the same thing as self indulgence. Read the article I linked to. It's seriously good.

But enough of my feminist soapbox rant and back to soap. 

The basic steps of my Korean Skin Care Routine:

1. Remove makeup.
2. Wash your face with an oil based cleanser.
3. Wash your face with a water based cleanser.
4. Exfoliate.
5. Toner.
6. Essence
7. Mask.
8. Eye Cream.
9. Moisturize.
10. Sunscreen. 

I had a lot of questions when I started this little project.

Aren't too many products harmful to my skin? Isn't over cleansing bad? Won't I strip away valuable things my skin needs to thrive? What makes this routine Korean? Am I culturally appropriating here? Isn't oil a BAD thing for skin? What the heck is with all of this aggressive cleansing? Do I have to do every step every day? Am I going to be able to easily lug this around when I fly? Will this clear up my skin magically?

Here's what I found out:

-Cleansing with "oil" helps your skin retain moisture.
-It really does take all that cleansing to get serious makeup off.
-The layers of moisture you add after the thorough cleansing make up for many sins.
-It's Korean because many of the products used are Korean exports and the priorities are traditional in Korean beauty. Here's a blog post about K-Beauty and questions around appropriation that I found informative. Like the author of Snow White and The Asian Pear, I've embraced this because I want better skin, self-care is radical enough without being exotic, and I love that this movement is bringing a little bit of diversity (and a focus on sun protection) to Western beauty standards.
-You don't do every step twice a day every day. I only exfoliate once or twice a week, and the same goes for masks.
-I've made this work pretty easily with my packing routine, but a big part of how I'm able to do that is because I'm a Flight Attendant and we're subject to different liquid restrictions when we're in uniform. That said, it's simple to get these products into tiny portable containers that work with TSA rules.
-This routine has definitely improved my skin. It has also made it very clear that at least 60% of how clear and glowy my skin is on any given day is impacted by my stress level, hormones, and how much water I've had to drink. Thanks, truth telling skin care.

Here are the skin care products that I've been using:

1. 2. 3. 4. 

5. 6. 7. 8. 


1. Neutrogena Hydrating Makeup Removing Wipes.
I have used makeup wipes every single day for almost ten years. They're essential and these are my favorites.

2. TonyMoly Aquaporin Skin Care Kit.
This set has a group of K-Beauty essentials together in one box and I went with it because I'd used TonyMoly sheet masks before and liked them. This comes with an oil cleanser, a toner, an emulsion moisturizer, and a more intense cream moisturizer. I use the emulsion when I'm at home and the moisture cream when I'm on layovers.

3. Benton Honest Cleansing Foam
This cleanser is my absolute favorite product from this whole experiment. It smells so perfectly soapy, cleanses beautifully, and feels great. I'm in love with this product.

4. Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence
I don't know if this is a magical silver bullet for wrinkles yet, but I've enjoyed using it and it's done good work. There's a whole Snail Bee line by Benton that I'm planning on moving to as my other products run out because I've been so impressed by this brand.

5. Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze in Wine
This is a really great, usable exfoliating peel, but if the smell of fake grape flavor makes you feel vaguely sick, this is not the product for you. Try one of the other "flavors" in this same line like lemon or green tea. I've been very satisfied with these exfoliating pads and I don't find the smell unpleasant though it is strong while you're using the product.

6. TonyMoly I'm Real Mask Set
What a deal this set is! My favorites in terms of results have been the Lemon, Wine, and Aloe. I've seen immediate (if not long lasting) results and I definitely plan on repurchasing this to give as gifts.

7. Eborian Eye Cream
This company is so interesting- they're a Korean/French brand and I've loved this eye cream. The other day I forgot to apply it at night and when I woke up the next morning it totally showed. When I do remember to use this (which is 99% of the time) my under eyes are moisturized and the lines are less noticeable.

8. Fresh Rose Face Mask
This mask is pricey but one of the best things I have ever put on my face. When I use it consistently at night, my face looks refreshed and better than ever the next morning. It moisturizes and somehow magically also deals with any spots I have hanging around.

9. Dr. Jart+ Waterfuse BB Cream
I'm in love with this BB Cream. It's pale enough for me, moisturizing, has a good SPF, and my skin instantly looks 100% better when I have it on. It's the closest thing I've found to a miracle product.

I hope you feel empowered to give some of these products a role in your daily skin care line up!