An Inspiration Update For My Home Office

Yesterday afternoon I made a little update here in my home office.

Pottery Barn Office with Bedford Furniture and Buffalo Check Curtains


You may remember seeing this large decorative clock on the wall in previous photos. (This photo was taken back around Halloween one year so ignore the pumpkins.) I like this clock but I purchased it mainly to help fill that big blank wall. I’ve always wanted to do a gallery of photos there, instead.

Halloween Decorations and New Lamp for the Office


Maybe eventually it will showcase lots of photos from my travels–that would be nice! But for now it’s home to the Scratch-off Bucket List Map I purchased a few days ago. The map arrived on Monday and I immediately took it to a local framing shop, Frame Up II, where Kimberly did a great job framing it. She had it ready the next day.

I hung it kind of low so I could easily reach all the countries for future scratch-off sessions. I’m being optimistic! Hey, they say you have to envision and dream it before you can make it a reality! 🙂  It looks like it’s hanging crooked in this photo, but I promise, it’s really straight.

Office Updates, Scratch-off Bucket List Map


For the frame, I went with a simple black, wood frame thinking that would work well with the black writing on the map.

Bucket List Map


Look at what a world traveler I am! Whoo, Hoo! lol

I’ve visited the states you see scratched off and I only scratched off the ones where I’ve actually spent some time. I didn’t count things like the time I had a stop in Texas on a flight to California. All I saw of Texas that day was one of its airports (forgotten which one) so that to me doesn’t count as having visited the state.

Bucket List Travel Map


That scratched off spot in the middle of the U.S. was my attempt to scratch off Colorado. We went skiing  in Breckenridge for vacation on three separate years. I may have missed a state or two, but I think I got them all. I saw one scratch off map on Amazon that actually had the states outlined individually but unfortunately this map does not. I went with this map anyway because I liked the colorful photos that appear from underneath as you scratch off areas.

Travel Scratch-Off Bucket List Map


I found the easiest way to scratch off the top surface to reveal the pretty pictures underneath is to just use your fingernail and press lightly. A coin really isn’t necessary for scratching it off; it comes off very easily.

Bucket List Travel Map


I also scratched off the Caribbean islands where I’ve visited in the past. Those include Freeport, Nassau, Atlantis, San Juan and St. Thomas. I figured that was enough of the Caribbean that I could just go ahead and scratch off that whole section of little islands.

Travel Bucket List Map


You’ll find this Scratch-off Bucket List map available here: World Scratch-off Bucket List Map

Office Updates, Scratch-off Bucket List Map


Almost every day it seems I find myself purchasing something I’ll need for the trip. I’m eager to get everything ready now even though it’s a couple of months away. Your comments on yesterday’s post reminded me of three more things I knew I needed but had not gotten around to buying.

Yesterday, I purchased this pillow for the plane trip to Italy and back. It has awesome reviews!

Best Travel Pillow for Airplanes


I have a window seat so I’m hoping I can lean up against the wall of the plane, but this appears to work great even without a window seat. Hopefully it will keep my mouth from hanging open all night, “catching flies” as the old southern saying goes. lol

After 2,324 reviews, it has a 4.5 star rating…not too shabby! You can find this travel pillow here: J Pillow, Travel Pillow-Winner of British Invention of the Year, 2013

Travel Pillow for Flying on Planes


Another item I purchased yesterday is a sleep mask. I was glad to see it came with earplugs, too. I liked it because it is supposed to work with all shaped faces/noses and not leave gaps. It has 3,117 reviews and is ranked a little over 4. 5 stars. It looks comfy in the photos online. You can find it here: Bedtime Bliss Contoured & Comfortable Sleep MaskBest Sleep Mask for Travel on Airplanes

And the last thing I just purchased is this package set of adapters. I couldn’t believe the awesome price…5 adapters for just $10.99! It comes with Type B, Type G, Type E/F, Type C and Type I. Type C will work in most of Europe and the good folks at Grand Circle Travel told me it should work fine, but just to be on the safe side, I purchased a Type L adapter separately that was labeled for Italy. You’ll find this set of adapters here: 5 Pk International Travel Worldwide Plug Adapter Set

Set of Adapters for Worldwide Travel

I’m getting close now to having everything I think I will need for my trip. If I don’t lose any of these things, I should be well-set for future trips, too.

Do you have any trips coming up this year? I’ve been eyeing the Christmas Markets Along The Rhine tour I saw at Grand Circle Travel.  Definitely want to do that one some year.

Talk about amazing vacations! Imagine staying here in Giraffe Manor! You can take the tour of this wonderful Scottish-style hunting lodge here: Giraffe Manor, A Unique Travel Adventure

Beautiful Giraffe Manor

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  1. Be sure that your appliances, (hairdryer, etc) are dual voltage or you will need a transformer to plug your adapters into at hotels, etc.

    • Yep, I still need to buy a converter. I’ve heard that most of our current electronics like cell phones and laptops, are dual voltage (or whatever you call it) but hairdryers and curling irons, etc… are not. GCT (travel company I’m using) says the hotel where we are staying has hairdryers, but they are very old. I should probably find a small travel-size blow dryer…and definitely a converter or two. Thanks for that reminder! I can’t believe all the stuff I need for this trip! lol

  2. Looks like you’re so ready! suggestion: keep these things in your carry-on until you’re ready to pack. I’m looking forward to traveling vicariously with you.

  3. Charlotte says

    Really like the travel pillow. Very nifty! That was a good idea Anne had, about storing these items in your travel bag until you’re ready to pack. I certainly am looking forward to traveling along with you, via your blog! (I have a girlfriend (have known her for 58 yrs!) who is willing to pay my way to Europe, but for health reasons I just can’t go. Sad huh!) Love your map! I’m getting excited! lol

  4. Mary from Virginia says

    Looks like you have everything you need!

    I love the map idea. It looks terrific in your office.

  5. Susan, if you’re still considering a new computer, check out the latest edition of Consumer Reports. I just got mine and saw they have an article you may find helpful.

  6. Peggy Thal says

    Love your office and the new map. As they say”The world is your oyster”. Enjoy your travels. You sure are prepared for them. The bee pillow in your office is just adorable. A real focal point. My only advice for traveling is take Airborne and don’t let the air blow on you in the plane. Plus have a little drink to take the edge off and bring a video player or a fabulous book.

    • I purchased some airborne…sure hope it keeps me well. Can you imagine getting sick on a vacation…that would stink! Thanks Peggy for that advice and I’ll pay attention to where the air is blowing. I’m so lucky to have such wonderful folks (like you!) leaving all these great tips! That drink sounds like a good idea, too. lol

  7. You are so ready–this is even more exciting than before!

  8. Like so many other loyal readers, I’m so excited about your upcoming trip! My trip to Italy is amoung my favorites. My coins were thrown into the fountain and I plan to return . As a first-timer, your tour group is probably a good option. I am more of a loner/adenturer who prefers to balance schedule with spontenaity so tour groups aren’t for me. Because you have had a very successful blog for so long I’m sure you have planned for saftey measures regarding your home, BUT, in case you get really excited about your trips as I do, I thought perhaps I should mention that you might hold off on social media vacation talk until you return to avoid tip-offs about your home being empty. The evening news is so filled with crimes we never heard of us younger people!
    On another note some day trip require that luggage, camera bags etc be left in cars, a bus, hotel rooms etc where temperature and weather are a concern. You may want to check out who sells laptop cablelocks also. Don’t trust hotel safes. Also good sites for information are and I always worry about my camera equipment and losing precious photos. I’m the old-fashioned photographer so protecting film, camera,tripods, filters, macrozoom, wide-angle lens etc. etc. are of great importance to me. They also add to weight concerns but I found out the hard way that lesser equipment will simply NOT capture all I wanted. Example: the wedding cake in Rome. It was difficult enough to capture without having hundreds of people in the photo but it is so large that without a wide angle lens it was impossible to capture the entire structure. Boo Hoo.
    I look forward to your photos and reviews because you will be in an area I have not seen and probably never will due to health concerns. My next trip will cover more ground but focus primarily on music and art. I want my sons to see the Sistine Chaple, several opera houses and much more. It is far more difficult today with their varied schedules.
    I will write more as I think of information you may find helpful. Have a wonderful trip!!! Ciao.

    • Thanks for the tips, Norma. Don’t worry, I have someone who’ll be staying here the whole time I’m gone. That’s why I’ve felt comfortable blogging about the trip. Plus, I have a security system that’s monitored. I was counting on the hotel safes as being a good place to leave my laptop during the day. I’ll check that site out for the cable locks. Thanks for telling me about that. So you’ve heard of folks having thing robbed out of the hotel safe?

  9. What fun finds, Susan. I use the old, regular neck pillow but turn it sideways, so that one looks to be a good one.

  10. Hi Susan! Oh, that map is a wonderful addition to your office and I love the cute pictures as you scratch off where you’ve been! I’m so excited for you and your trip and it looks like you’re all ready! You’re going to love Italy. We’ve been a few times. Three times to Rome and Florence, Pompeii and the last time to Italy was Venice. Oh, it’s wonderful. Can’t wait for you to experience it.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  11. I love this room! I love the white or off-white piece of furniture next to the upholstered chair. Is that a large night table or small dresser? Where did you purchase that or did you re-do that?

  12. Vicki Smith says

    My sister and I just returned from a trip. We went to San Fransisco, Seattle and 3 cities on an Alaskan cruise. At your suggestion, I talked my sister into us buying the travelon bags. We also bought the smaller pouch too. They were wonderful. We carried our I-pads and the basic necessities in the larger one. Identification, passport, money and phone fit in the pouch. It was easy. So nice to have your hands free to look. Thanks for the ideas. Enjoy your trip.

    • Awesome! I can’t wait to take mine for a spin in a couple of months. The way you used the purse and pouch is exactly how I’m going to use mine. I’ll put the seriously important stuff in the pouch and wear it under my clothing. It’s so nice to not have to worry about something bad happening to your passport, credit cards, cash, etc… So excited that it worked so well! Thanks for letting me know, Vicki!

  13. That map is the coolest thing! I’m thinking that’s got to be on my birthday list. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  14. I was really liking the scratch-off map, but I live in Michigan and don’t see the mitten. What’s with that??? I’m loving hearing about your trip and all the cool stuff you have purchased. Thanks for making us all part of the fun and anticipation.

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