Summer travel has been a mash-up of personal and business this year— fun work opportunities and lots of family time at the cottage. No matter who I’m talking to, stress-free travel is on everyone’s mind, and people are constantly asking me about carry-on must-haves to help ease the stress of air travel.

I do have packing my carry-on down to a science at this point, and have gotten to know just what I need to get from airport to airport, stress-free. Real estate in my carry-on bag is a hot commodity (choosing the right bag is a challenge in and of itself), and every ounce counts as I trudge through security and beyond without being weighed down, so it’s critical to pack intentionally. Here’s some of what’s in my carry-on bag these days— hope your travels are safe, stress-free, and fun.

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This summer, whether it be fashion, tech or home design, it’s been all about blue… I’ve been positively inspired since my trip to Nashville, where I had the pleasure of hosting tours of the HGTV Smart Home 2014. I’m really into blue as a fresh, bold design element that’s as easy to slip into as your favorite pair of jeans.

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Want to save on your electric bill and do something good for the planet? Solar panels, activate! Also known as photovoltaic cells, those sleek, tinted squares can generate electricity for basically nada (after the cost of the panels) and they’re 100% pollutant-free. Even nicer, they can earn tax credits and even power company refunds that’ll help cover your initial equipment expenses. Interested? Here’s what you need to know to go solar.

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Craft and tech mash-up! I like stamping, but sometimes, I can’t find exactly the image I want, or I wish I could create something personalized. Well, Casio’s DIY stamp maker, the Pomrie, is totally customizable, so you can upload any image you like and turn it into a stamp. Just put a piece of stamping rubber into the mini printer, and it’ll instantly emboss your design. This is great for making cards or gift tags, scrapbooking, gift wrapping, or even stamping the kids’ brown bag lunches. And you don’t have to draw your design: you can source an image anywhere, including a photo you’ve taken with your phone; upload it to the Pomrie’s software, and boom, you’ve got a stamp. It’s still exclusive to Japan so far, but if you can’t wait for it to get here, I have spotted a few on eBay.

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Liquid nitrogen ice cream…printable chocolate…inhaled food…sound like Candy Land, the sci-fi edition? It’s actually all real food from the ever-expanding world of food technology.

I had the chance to talk about my favorite new, weird food tech finds at the DIY Network’s Made + Remade blog. First, a highlight: that inhaled food I mentioned. Le Whaf  won’t satisfy your hunger, but its creators hope it’ll cap your cravings for rich dishes like filet mignon and French onion soup by turning them into calorie-free gases you inhale. This gizmo is a glass cylinder attached to an ultrasound; the ultrasound transforms liquid foods into flavor vapor. Voilà: beef juices and other liquid foods can be breathed instead of bitten. Check it out here—plus four more of the weirdest food tech items on the market.

Which high-tech food items would you like to try? Let me know in the comments!

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Carley
Photo by Daniel Collopy, Courtesy of HGTV.
OH, HI THERE!
I'm a digital lifestyle expert, helping busy humans make sense of the technology that's becoming an increasingly large part of our lives. I believe that technology shouldn't be stressful or scary— we can tap and swipe our way to a simpler life. Read more >

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