A couple of weeks ago, I took the kids to Arkansas and Dallas with me for business and pleasure (mostly pleasure). We had an incredible time. We never felt the anxiety of being away from home, which was a sign of a fantastic trip! And my children behaved like perfect angels (well, almost) on the plane. They earned their wings for the next couple of trips to D.C. and Minneapolis/St. Paul scheduled in August. As to not get behind in product testing, I decided to take a plethora of skin care products along with me for review. Unfortunately, that's not always the best idea, as climate and water type play a significant role in how your skin behaves. And my skin was not happy. It was a mess!

Since I brought all of my testing products, I left behind my go-to products. Seriously, of all people, I should know better. However, once I arrived in Dallas, I took over my mom’s lot of Theraderm and my skin thanked me for it. And speaking of Theraderm, sadly I did not get the opportunity to meet with Dr. Beckman in Arkansas. Though, he was certainly on my mind the entire trip. Remember: venturing outside of your geographic footprint for more than a couple of days means you need to be prepared for anything. Word to the wise ... pack your go-to skin care products, as well as a blemish control product, such as Origin's Spot Remover.

jennbI had the pleasure of working with my beautiful sister, Jennifer, as her Personal Stylist during my travels. We started with a closet purge and got rid of what wasn’t working for her body type. I coordinated at least a dozen or so outfits and made a shopping list of the items that were needed to complete her wardrobe. The following days were spent shopping. And I am proud to say we got everything on the list (including a trench for Fall). Two exceptions, though — a geranium colored top and green shoes. (Now that’s not to say I didn’t find the green shoes for her, she just wasn’t ready for them.) Shoes are such a big part of accessorizing, so Jennifer ended up with four pairs: black patent peep-toed heels, black flats, cranberry patent stilettos, and grey patent pumps. As for my other beautiful sister, Kelly, she has me scheduled in August in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Whiletb-booties.thumbnail personal shopping for Jennifer, I stumbled upon these Tory Burch boots. Really, was there any doubt I would make them mine? I was thinking I would find an outfit for my upcoming High School reunion. Instead, I am making the boots my outfit (yes, I plan to put clothes with it ... just from my existing wardrobe). It was a delight to meet Angela in the Tory Burch boutique located in Highland Park. She made the shopping experience so great that I cannot wait to do it again! I also met with a skin care specialist who is getting ready to launch her new line, and spoke with a jewelry designer and a couture fashion designer. Very excited about what they all have to offer!

If you are going to Dallas, you must go to the Mesquite Rodeo. What a blast! We were entertained the entire time. And we couldn’t leave without T-shirts and paraphernalia to attest to our attendance. And if you have a daughter, you must also visit the American Girl store. I consider myself lucky for getting off relatively easy (financially speaking), as my daughter was more interested in outfits for her Bitty Baby versus getting another doll. We enjoyed lunch upstairs, and I have to say, the food was surprisingly good. The portions were huge (almost too big). My mom treated my sisters and I to spa services at the Crescent Spa. I opted for the oxygen facial. It was wonderful. I was impressed to see that the spa used my favorite Clarisonic brush for facial cleansing. We were also treated to manis and pedis. We all sported OPI’s Vancouver Ice on our toes! Perfectly suited to go with absolutely anything in your wardrobe. As a belated birthday celebration, my sisters and I took my mom out to lunch at the Chocolate Angel (total yum!) and then to the Hermès store for the scarf of her choice.

hermes1She picked out this gorgeous scarf in one of her best colors, periwinkle. Hermès makes the best scarves, hands down. Truly an investment purchase — and in my opinion, an item every woman should have in her wardrobe. I love that you can wear the full size scarves in so many different ways, like seen here as a capelet!

While I was definitely busy on the road, I enjoyed every minute of it. And I can't wait to do it all over again in two weeks! Stay tuned.

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