TRAVEL – what to pack for a two month USA adventure

travel - whats in my suitcase

Tomorrow I fly to New York to start my trekamerica adventure!

It’s come around so quickly! As a helpful guide for future trekkers, or for anyone travelling to the USA in general, I thought it would be a great to show you guys what’s in my suitcase, and what I’ve packed for a two month trip!

hand luggagetravel - whats in my suitcase - hand luggage
new look backpack/cross-body / glamour magazine / New York guide / mini hairbrush & comb / samsung camera / watch / passport


It may be small but this New Look bag is very versatile. With a handy strap, the bag can either be a backpack (perfect for days when we’re hiking) or a cross-body bag (great for when we’re in the city). The tassel also adds a cute touch. My in-flight essentials include my samsung camera (I have to say it’s not very good, but it does an okay job at taking photos if my iphone ever runs out of battery) and my New York guide, which was given to me as a leaving present from the guys at F&F. With fold out maps and information on the main attractions, places to eat and entertainment, I can’t wait to use it!

the essentialstravel - whats in my suitcase - essentials

snow & rock XL trek towel / trespass packaway waterproof jacket / torch


A small torch is a must for walking around the campsites at night (and more importantly for not getting lost whilst searching for the toilet). I bought a handy packaway Trespass jacket from Argos which is waterproof and has a hidden hood. This will be a great lightweight layer for when it rains, and for our visit to Niagara Falls. I left it quite late to get a towel for the trip, so for £17.99 I bought this XL one from Snow & Rock. It is really thin, but apparently it dries 10x quicker than a normal towel, so we will have to wait for the verdict on that one! It is however really compact and that means more room in the suitcase for clothes!

toiletries galoretravel - whats in my suitcase - toiletries

t-zone face wash / razor / toothbrush / mini toothpaste / carex body wipes / paracetamol / plasters / face cloth / mini batiste dry shampoo / insect repellent / full size radox shower gel / full size garnier shampoo & conditioner / full size sure deodrant / nivea 50+ sun spray / nivea moisturiser / mini gilette shaving foam / mini body shop hand wash


I’ll be taking these in a large see-through bag, alongside my very little amount of make-up. Some important essentials to shout about here are insect repellent with 50% DEET (apparently there are mosquitos and ticks in America), sun cream (factor 50, gotta protect your skin), carex body wipes (there are apparently no showers at Yosemite, groovy) and the of course plenty of plasters and paracetamol (for those nights out and long walks!)

tops and teestravel - whats in my suitcase - tops

vila sequin top / river island nyc tee / next embellished vest / asos grid vest / river island sequin vest / primark lace kimono


I’ve packed more tops than shown above (about 15 in total), but here are a few of my favourites. As you can see I love all things black, white and er, embellished! The sequin tops are perfect for nights out, the kimono is a great cover-up and I couldn’t resist visiting New York without my River Island NYC tee (yeah, I’ll be that tourist).

short storytravel - whats in my suitcase - shorts

river island denim shorts / primark linen shorts


Once upon a time, there lived a girl called Sarah, who loved her shorts as much as she loved black, white and all things embellished. Shorts are my wardrobe staple, and as the weather looks to be getting rather hot in America, I thought it would be best to pack a variety of linen and denim shorts. Great for the day and the evening!

shoes shoes shoestravel - whats in my suitcase - shoes

f&f flip flops / gelert walking boots / converse / primark flatform sandals


I’ll be taking four pairs of shoes on this trip – these must-have flip flops (for showers, trust me you do need them), walking boots for hikes and long walks (extra points if they’re waterproof), converse for everyday wear and flatform sandals for nights out (and the extra height).

home comfortstravel - whats in my suitcase - home comforts

topman mtv jumper / topdeck hoodie / primark leggings / primark blanket scarf


What’s a trip without some home comforts? Clothes-wise it’s these above. Jumpers can take up a large amount of room in your suitcase, so I thought I’d pack one jumper and one hoodie. Two pairs of basic leggings are great for the cold weather too, as well as a blanket scarf (which will be pretty handy for the 8 hour flight.)

Other nifty things to pack are: underwear (including cosy socks for those extra cold nights), face wipes, swimwear, jeans (I’m taking one pair), make-up (eye liner, lipstick, lip balm and mascara) and a sleeping bag if you’re camping.

So there you have it – my packing guide for America. If you want to stay tuned into my American adventure, follow me on instagram – @sazwatson.


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Follow me on twitter - sazwatson Keep up to date with my adventures on instagram - sazwatson Find out what inspires me on pinterest - sazwatson

Follow me on twitter - sazwatson Keep up to date with my adventures on instagram - sazwatson Find out what inspires me on pinterest - sazwatson

This feature is a popular one in the blogosphere, so I thought that I should tick this one off the ‘to do list’, and show you guys what’s in my bag!

From L-R: Water, notebook & pen, rail card, Urban Outfitters purse, Sony Ericsson phone, laptop (in Union Jack case), Make-up bag (containing: Impulse Tease body spray, nail file, Lancôme Juicy Tube in Toffee, Simple Moisturiser, Glasses, mini hairbrush, Rimmel Kohl Eyeliner in Jet Black & Inecto Coconut and Vanilla hand & nail cream), Glamour Magazine & camera (in camera case).

Yesterday I went to Colne, in Lancashire, to get some more information for a feature, for my journalism portfolio assignment, hence the camera (my beloved Samsung 500), laptop and my ‘reporter’s notebook’! Needless to say I didn’t really find what I was looking for, but as a ‘budding journalist’ I’m going to work with what I have. I always carry water, glasses (I can give Ugly Betty a run for her money in that department), a notebook, pen, and my make-up bag with me – every girl has her essentials right?  My bag is from a charity shop – some of you may have seen it here – but it is slowly falling apart, probably from being used too often! And my make-up bag was a birthday gift from a few years ago.  Hopefully when I get my dream job – fingers crossed for a fashion journalist – I can buy my dream bag! Yes, that’s right, I secretly lust after a designer number, and this Juicy Couture ‘Ms Daydreamer’ tote is perfect for my future days as a ‘journo’.  I am in love with the bows and cute detachable charms!

So there you go, that’s my bag ‘mystery’ revealed. What’s in your bag?

These past few weeks have been so crazy, so I thought that I should post a few pictures of what I have been up to! Enjoy!

From L-R: O1. Vegetable Fried Rice, O2. Valentine’s Day gifts, O3. Valentine’s Day Meal, O4. February’s Glossybox, O4. Five ‘Daily Mail’ newspapers for an assignment, O5. Smallville Season 5 box set, O6. Yo! Sushi Blue Mondays, O7. Catching up on the glossies, O8. Work (my Republic ID tag), O9. Law books for an assignment, O10. Me & Ali, O11. Night out with friends, O12. Me before the night out, O13. A ‘Source’ lunch with Ali & O14. My new haircut.

Work, work, work
I have been overwhelmed with assignments and shifts at work these past few weeks – hence the small hiatus on The Live Scene. But fear not, as I am back this week in full force with plenty of post ideas (I need to stop procrastinating by watching Smallville and start writing) so don’t forget about me just yet!

Summer is coming
Preston is having summery weather for a change, and this is making me oh-so-excited for my holiday in September with Ali! If you follow me on Twitter, then you might know that I’m going to Malta for the week. We are staying in a 5* hotel free of charge c/o of Ali’s nan and granddad – how nice! My late grandma used to go to Malta all the time for her holidays and would bring me back lots of little Maltese treasures, so it’s nice that I’m going to the same place, despite not being able to share the experience with her.

I have a few assignments due in the next couple of weeks but I will try and post more, I promise! What have you guys been up to recently?

This Week’s Nails is all about polka-dots!

Polka-dots were featured a lot in London, Paris, New York and Milan Fashion Weeks, with Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs and David Koma, including this spotty print into their Autumn/Winter 2011 collections.

So when it came to This Week’s Nails, I had to incorporate this big trend into my ‘nail art’.

I chose a deep, dark red for the base colour and ‘dotted’ my nails with Luscious white nail varnish using the blunt end of a cocktail stick.

Here is the nail varnish I used to achieve my look:

L-R2 in 1 Top Coat & Nail Hardener Superdrug, Nails Inc. London Nail Varnish in Tate, Free (RRP £5) via Glamour Magazine and Luscious Nail Varnish in White, Free  via a magazine I bought ages ago.

Similar to the last nails post, I used Superdrug’s 2 in 1 Top Coat & Nail Hardener as my base and top coat. I then applied two coats of the Nails Inc. polish. I have to say, I love the colour! Dark red is one of my favourite colours and I didn’t have this colour in my nail varnish collection, so thanks Glamour for the freebie!

Here is the finished look of the nails:
As you can see I went for ‘big polka-dots’, and tried to cover my nails in them, rather than just having two or three. The Nails Inc. varnish had an average drying time, and I am pleased with how they turned out.

However, when I went wrong with one of the nails, the polish left a pink stain and despite using numerous amounts of  nail varnish remover and cotton balls to remove the ‘pink stain’, it was still visible. This may be due to my nail varnish remover (which is Cutex by the way), or to the nail polish itself. I will have to wait and see what the state of my nails is in when I take it off, but for now, I love them!

That’s all for This Week’s Nails, look out for next week’s post on them!


Every budding journalist has something which inspired them – or still inspires them – to go into journalism. For me, it was magazines. Specifically, Glamour magazine.

When I was little I was a magazine-hoard. I used to buy the latest issue of Girl Talk, Sneak, Sabrina’s Secrets and (blushes) S Club 7 magazine. All of these magazines I used to read cover-to-cover, and unlike most girls who simply threw them away, I kept mine in chronological order (I’m a bit of an OCD freak) in colourful folders under my bed.

When I started to hit my teens, I soon moved on from girlie-children’s magazines onto ‘teen’ magazines such as Bliss, Sugar, Shout, Teen Vogue and Cosmo Girl. I was fascinated by their features, pictures, oh – and the freebies! I then moved onto sticking the covers onto my wall like the picture above.

It was these children’s and teen magazines which paved way for my aspiration to work at Glamour magazine.

Fearne, on July 2009's cover of Glamour.

My First Issue
I first purchased Glamour magazine in July 2009, which featured blonde-bombshell, Fearne Cotton on the cover. From then-on-in, every month, hit-and-miss, I religiously bought this magazine and started to rip out features and pictures to put on my wall or stick into my scrapbook.

I wanted to write my own features, conduct interviews and discover the latest fashion-buys. I wanted to write for Glamour.

A History of Glamour
The UK version of Glamour magazine launched in April 2001 with Kate Winslet gracing the cover. This first issue was not only a major milestone for the Glamour team, and their publishers; Condé Nast publications, but Glamour magazine pioneered the popular ‘handbag-sized’ format. This new format was the answer to the prayers of thousands of women who wanted to carry a magazine in their small designer handbags.

Kate Winslet, on the cover of the first issue of Glamour, 2001.

The magazine then set up the prestigious, yearly event: the Glamour Women of the Year awards. An awards event where role-models in the arts/music industry are given awards for their aspirational place in society. One Glamour Women of the Year award event which took the media by storm was the infamous 2010 James Corden-Patrick Stewart spat. This provided Glamour magazine with even more publicity for the event, even if they did not expect two actors to swap insults on stage.

Editor Envy
Not only that, but the age of the editor Jo Elvin, who was 30-years-old at the time of Glamour’s launch, suggests to all budding magazine-journalists that you don’t have to be an Anna Wintour, who was nearly 40 when she grasped the reins of American Vogue,  to be an editor of a highly regarded magazine.
Jo Elvin is also one of my idols, and I would love the chance to work with her. Jo has even been the editor of one of my all-time favourite teen magazines; Sugar. At what age you ask? Well, she was only 23 when she got the top-job! That in itself is something to aspire to.

My Dream
Working at Glamour magazine, as an editor, whether that may be of fashion or features, would be a dream come true. As cliché as it sounds, and no matter how many The Devil Wears Prada and The September Issue movies I watch, nothing will put me off my goal.

Imagine, in three years from now, I could be the editor of one of the best-selling teen magazines in Britain. Well, we can all dream….