A Book Lover’s Paradise

Last weekend I found the equivalent of buried treasure for a bibliophile like myself. I read an article about The Book Thing in Baltimore, but I was sure there had to be a catch. A used bookstore where every book is free? My mother was also intrigued, so we made the one hour trek to the city on Saturday.

Believe the hype. And bring lots of bags or boxes.

The backside of The Book Thing

The Book Thing is tucked away on a tiny street. When we arrived at 11am, the place was bustling with people combing over bookshelves. Most of them had boxes or bags to hold their finds, and a few had wheeled carts. Everything is categorized (the rooms are color-coded to help your search), but they’re not in order within their category…so finding a specific book might be a challenge.

Within five minutes of entering the building, I knew this would be a multiple-trip destination. I couldn’t even begin to plumb the depths of their offerings in a single morning. When it comes to books, I enjoy combing the shelves and letting titles or covers “jump out” at me. Even though the place was crowded, most everyone seemed to have the same mindset. No one rushed me during my perusing.

I spent two hours at The Book Thing, and I left with 24 books. I found some great fiction selections as well as a National Geographic from the month and year of my birth. I also picked up some travel books. They may be outdated but they’re a good starting point for my research. The volunteers (who were constantly restocking the shelves) were extremely helpful and gave us pointers on where to look for certain books. Once you’re ready to leave, there’s a sign-out sheet to let the staff know how many books you took home.

Our bags o’ books

If you’re anywhere within a reasonable drive of Baltimore and you love books, I highly recommend The Book Thing. It was a great experience!


Business Trip Packing – Cosmetics/Skincare


I spent most of the month of November in Dallas. It was my longest business trip to date. Packing was a feat because I needed plenty of professional outfits, but I also needed casual attire. When you combine that with cosmetics, skin care, shoes, and accessories…it can be tough to get it all into luggage that is manageable.

I divided my packing video into categories of items, and I’ll be showing you a new category every few days. The cosmetics/skincare packing was a bit of a challenge. The trip was too long to use the travel size version of several things, and the full-size items added extra weight. Plus, the trip was too long to ignore my full skincare regimen, so I had a lot more items than I would pack for a week-long vacation.

To store my cosmetics/skincare/hair care I used an old cosmetic roll-up from Mary Kay and a zipper bag from Ikea. I have a bunch of other options for storing these items, which I’ll show you in another post, but this combo worked very well for this particular trip.

Check out the video if you’d like to see what I packed for cosmetics and skincare!