A Review of the Judea Travel Weekender Bag from Bostanten Bags

I’m not really a *winter* person, so after the twinkle lights of Christmas have come down, I’m basically grumpy, miserable and cold until spring. Which is why I tend to plan little trips here and there… to help me get through the grumpy season. Looking at January and February, I had a girl’s weekend away, visited Great Wolf Lodge with the family for an overnight, and also am planning to take Jack to NYC to celebrate his birthday.

So, it was kind of perfect timing when a nice person from Bostanten bags reached out to see if I’d like to review something from their collection!

They have an assortment of women’s travel bags and travel weekender bags, but I was intrigued by the Judea Travel Weekender Bag:

The Judea Travel Weekender bag comes in two colorways and retails for $149.99. I liked the black/brown version because I feel like it would hold up better long term, and they generously sent it to me at no cost in exchange for my honest review.

I picked the Judea bag, because I liked that it had a separate section on the bottom for shoes, which keeps them away from the rest of your clothing. It also seemed to be a good size – perfect for an overnighter – which fills a hole in my travel gear. It looks a little more high-end, which would be nice for work travel when I don’t want to be lugging around a backpack.

Here it is in person:

It’s a really nice size and has both the handles and an over-the-shoulder strap. Oh and it has a trolley sleeve if I wanted to take it as an airline carry-on (the pocket in the back slips over a luggage handle).

As it turns out, a few days after the bag arrived, I packed it up for a girl’s weekend:

I was planning to wear the same boots both days, so I used the bottom compartment for my pajamas so that they were easy to grab when I was ready for bed. On the right is everything else I fit in the top portion – a full outfit (jeans, sweater, underroos), my toiletry bag, and also a gift bag of stuff for my friend.

And here it is all loaded up! Of course, as soon as I prepare a travel bag Ollie gets nervous and tries to make sure I don’t forget to pack him.

The Judea bag was great for a weekend trip and I even had a little extra space to add in a few things I purchased while I was away. I was curious to see what would fit in the shoe compartment though, so here are a couple tries:

I wear a size 8.5/9 in shoes, so it looks like I can fit one pair of boots or up to three smaller shoe options… which works great since I wouldn’t need more than that for an overnight or weekend trip.

I really like the Judea weekender bag and it will be a great overnight bag for me for when a rolling travel bag feels a bit like overkill. I like that it has that separate bottom section to keep the bag organized, as well as interior pockets and an extra zippered section.

My only caveat is that while it is called the “Judea Leather Travel Duffle Bag” on the website, later in the description it clarifies that it is PU leather. If you were expecting a leather bag, you might be disappointed. However, PU leather (aka polyurethane leather) is vegan, water resistant, durable and easy to clean. So, for a travel bag, it is a good way to get a polished look for a lower price.

Disclaimer: Bostanten provided me with an item of my choice in exchange for my honest review. I picked the Judea Travel Weekender Bag and as always, all thoughts and opinions are all my own!

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!

15 Year Wedding Anniversary Trip: Deep Creek Lake

Travis and I celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary last week (10/19), which coincided with Jack’s school being closed on Friday… so we went to a fabulous cabin in Deep Creek for a long weekend! Over the years, we’ve gone on some amazing anniversary trips, pretty much always taking Jack with us. This year, we decided to keep it relatively close by with a trip to Deep Creek and save our “big” trip for another spring break blowout.

Deep Creek Lake is located a little less than 3 hours from our house, so we decided to pack up after work/school on Thursday and make the trip that night. That way, we could be all settled when we woke up on Friday and have all of Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning for fun before heading home.

We typically have our dog sitter watch Ollie, but we decided to bring him with us since the cabin was dog friendly for no extra fee. He enjoys car rides with us and sleeping in bed with us even more, so it made sense for him to tag along.

Here are some highlights from our trip:

All the cabin snuggly time – we logged into our Netflix account to watch tv, brought video games and books and enjoyed some down time. It was a rainy chilly weekend, so it was perfect to turn on the fireplace and get all comfy in some snuggle blankets. Ollie enjoyed it too.

Checking out Sacred Ground Gem Mining – We purchased an “Emerald bag” for about $20 and Jack took it over to the sluice to dump a small portion at a time into the screen tray, submerge it and watch his gemstones appear. Afterwards, he went through the accompanying photo identifier to figure out all of the different gemstones he found in his bag. This was a HUGE hit for him!

Deep Creek Donuts – Who doesn’t love homemade donuts?! Super yummy flavors and a delicious afternoon treat!

The hot tub – We loved the cabin’s hot tub and got lots of use out of it even though it was really chilly outside. The view from the backyard was beautiful with all the leaves changing and luckily, we didn’t see any bears while we were hanging out in our ‘people stew.’

If you want a little trek through our first 10 years of marriage, I was reminded of this post I did back in 2018 that makes me smile: Celebrating 10 years of Marriage.

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!

Top 5 Favorites for an Active Vacation (or Life)

I consider myself a master-level packer when it comes to vacation packing. I consider it a ‘win’ if I wear everything in my suitcase, so I spend time fully planning out everything I think I might need or wear when I have a trip coming up. Our latest Spring Break adventure was no exception and after our week of hiking, e-biking and lounging, I came away with 5 workhorses from my trip.

Favorite #1: REI Vented Trailsmith Hat (find it on the REI website here)

I really wanted a hat to wear while hiking and exploring that would protect me from the sun. This hat from REI is durable, breathable and has UPF 50+ sun protection. Not only is this important on our active vacations, but I’m also planning to use this all spring and summer when I’m out and about.

I tried on a bunch of hats and this one was my absolute favorite. I like that it has vents at the top and an adjustable chin strap for windy weather. I typically overheat in baseball caps, so it was a pleasant surprise that this one was so well ventilated. I also really like the Walrus Brown color, which to me looks like a clay orange.

Favorite #2:  Allbirds Women’s Wool Dasher Mizzles (find them here on the Allbirds website)

I purchased these sneakers a couple years ago and they are my ‘go to’ sneaker for hiking. They are super comfortable and the merino wool is super breathable. One of the main reasons I brought them on our hiking trip is that they are machine-washable, so when they get covered in dirt or that red clay from Arizona, I just throw them in the washing machine afterwards.

A hidden benefit that I didn’t even realize – the sock-like top of the shoe keeps sand out! Both Travis and Jack had to shake out their shoes when we hiked over a sandy wash, and I was good to go.

Favorite #3: Athleta Salutation Stash 7/8 Leggings (find them here on the Athleta website)

I brought a few pairs of leggings on our trip, including a pair of Salutation Stash 7/8’s and a pair of Salutation Stash capris. Yes, Athleta leggings are pricey ($109 for full length), but they are my absolute favorite because they hold up perfectly over repeated wearings, washings, shoving things in the pockets, and even sliding my butt over rocks on a hike. They are thick enough to smooth any lumps and bumps, but thin enough that I don’t overheat.

After a full day, I just throw them in the washing machine on cold and then hang them to dry. By the next day, they’re back on my body and looking as good as new.

Favorite #4: Athleta Sunrise V-Neck Sweatshirt (find it here on the Athleta website)

I actually own two of these lightweight sweatshirts – one in green and one in navy. I bought the first one on sale a year or two ago, so when I saw the green on clearance a few months ago I scooped it up. This is the PERFECT layer to add over pretty much anything – an exercise bra, a tank top, or a full t-shirt.

It is super lightweight and soft and has extra long sleeves with thumb-holes. It works great for a hike, with a pair of jeans for dinner, or tied around your waist when you get a little warm. I’m typically a true-to-size large, and I like this in a XL for a little extra comfy feeling.

Favorite #5: Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 (find it here on Amazon)

This is a year-round product, but definitely one you should not forget if you are out and about in the sun. I’ve been using Supergoop SPF since early 2022 and it is my absolute favorite because it goes on totally invisible with not even a hint of greasiness or white cast. It has no scent, doesn’t irritate my contact lenses and works great under makeup too. It is a 100% winner in my book and one tube lasts a surprising amount of time before you need to re-order.

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon and ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!