How to get the most out of your next Vacation

June 30, 2015

Before you can blink  we will be in full on summer and vacations will be on everyone's calendar if they're not already.  I have  made vacation plans and now it's time to pack.  A little over two weeks from now I will be in Southern California!  Are you going somewhere?  Today I want to share tips on packing which for some is a nightmare.  Are you an over packer?  You know the kind... she has three bags for a weekend getaway. Or what about a last minute kinda gal?  She throws whatever is clean in her bag and hopes it matches.  Or the worst..... The over thinker of your choices? This is the gal who has laid out her choices on her spare bed three weeks in advance, has a diagram as to how it goes in the bag, and is constantly changing out items only to find that the change has a domino effect in other outfits.


Make a List
Arriving at your destination and realizing you have missed packing something vital will ensure a mini meltdown.  Having a packing list will help.  As soon as you book your trip you should start with your list, so that you can add things as they occur to you. Starting your list early offers a fail-safe for your packing; hopefully you will not forget anything important.  Below is a standard list that almost ever trip requires.  You will want to tailor and build your list for your destination. 

So lets break it down

How to Pack:

 
Start by gathering the basic items you can mix and match through out several outfits.  This would consist of your tanks, solid tees, and at least one striped, one LBD, denim shorts,  and a khaki jacket. These items will be the foundation to your travels so having good versatile items is a must.   Depending on the climate of your destination,  this could also consist of leggings, boots and a wool hat for colder, and a cover up, comfy sandals, and a straw hat for warmer temps.  This brings me to the next step.

Check the weather.  Knowing what the temperature will be is your compass for packing correct items.  I will never forget the first time I took the boys to San Francisco.  It was summer and naturally we expected it to be warm and sunny.  After all, we were in California!!  To all our surprise it is windy and colder by the bay with the breeze coming in off the water and we were freezing.  Now it made sense why so many gift shops were selling fleece jackets!  They new dummies would come unprepared like us! If your destination is to a different country, research the culture and styles of what woman are wearing to prevent you from arriving and feeling uncomfortable in your wardrobe. 

Choose your color scheme.  If you are headed to say Florida, you would probably pack pastels or lighter colors.  However, if your destination is say Seattle, you would pack more utilizing colors.  Which ever your coast or destination is, pack a few key neutrals to mix and match.  A maxi skirt is a solid neutral color, a pair of denim or khaki shorts, one long sleeve top (in case evenings get chilly or rain blows in).  Now add a few color pieces that will mix and match.  More than one color is great just make sure they are compatible as well.  Refer to this post on The Color Wheel for ideas of what works.

Shoes for Every outfit.  Shoes are the bulkiest items to pack and you will waste valuable real estate in your suitcase if you don't choose wisely.  If at all possible wear your biggest pair of shoes traveling. Think of the types of activities you will be doing to help you select the right shoes.  A nice pair of classic heels, a pair of ballet or foldable flats, a good pair of walking shoes like tennis shoes, and of course a pair of sandals.  If you are headed to a city rather than a beach destination switch out the sandals for a pair on ankle boots. Tip:  Pack smaller items in the empty space between the pairs of shoes to save room. Roll up your swim suit, socks, undies, any small items are great.  

Lay it out.  This is very similar to how you would plan your weeks outfits.  Lay your selections out on the bed placing items that will work in several outfits side by side with the item between them.  Visualization is key here to a successful outfit instead of a panic in a hotel room.  Count your days and count your outfits.  Tip:  Always have one item that is for emergency purposes, generally a top or shift dress.  You will use this item in case of a spill or tear in what you have planned out.

Accessorize.  Now that you have everything laid out on the bed, start placing your accessories on the outfits.  A nice statement necklace for evening perhaps in clear crystals so not to fight with your color scheme and it will go with everything.  Select two pair of earrings.  One longer... like a hoop or tassels, and one pair of studs like these.  A floppy hat is great if you have the room and even a scarf.    This is great to travel with in your carry on to keep warm on the plane.  Your hats should go in the center of your suitcase with small items in the hat to maintain its shape and other items rolled up around and on the brim of your hat.  You should ditch the bigger purse for vacay and stick with a tote to travel with and a cross body as your smaller bag.  Not only will your cross body allow you the freedom of sightseeing, and not be so heavy, but also a more secure way to keep your valuables while out.  Keep the cross body in front of you.  I see a lot of girls with their bags on their hips or even worse, behind them. You tote doubles as your carry on with your camera, reading material, bag, scarf, snacks, all your chargers  and whatever else you like.  Once you arrive your tote now becomes your shopping bag if you have a kitchenette or do a little souvenir shopping to place your purchases in. 

Beauty.  This can make or break a successful packing.  Try to find travel size items in all your toiletries.  If you can't find them purchase a package of empty travel bottles and fill them with your products.  A flat iron is pretty slim lined and can tuck neatly in the center of your suitcase to help protect it during travels.  Most hotels now offer hairdryers so that's a plus. Don't forget your nail polish.  You can touch up any chips your toes may encounter.  Tip:  Place your makeup bag in your carryon.  If your luggage for some mysterious reason doesn't show up when you do, you will at least be able to freshen up. And who wants to repurchase all of your makeup if it stays lost?!!! Not me!



Now that I have shared the essentials to summer travels, I want to share a few of the little details and my checklists.



Roll it up

Roll your clothes to save space and for items that tend to wrinkle bad, roll them up with a drycleaner bag.  Unpack your suitcase first thing to allow plenty of time for wrinkles to fall out.  A slight mist of warm water will also help on cotton fabrics to drop wrinkles.  Packing your bag efficiently can save you on checked luggage.  Most airlines charge a fee for the first bag and fees range any where from $25 to $75 dollars with a weight limit of 50 lbs.  That may seem like a lot but trust me.... you reach the weight limit quicker than imagined.  I have had to open my bag at the ticket counter to remove enough to reach right under the weight limit only to add to my already heavy carryon. 


The Carry on

To me my carry on is the most important bag of my trip.  Having the right items in your carry on is important especially if  you have ever had a piece of luggage lost.   I always keep my jewelry in my carry on and I like my makeup in my carry-on.  Finally, I keep a scarf, baby wipes,  my glasses and contact case, iPhone charger and ear buds, reading materials, hair accessories, laptop and charger.  

So, where are you off to this summer? 



 

White Chairs

June 25, 2015
I shared my master bedroom recently and though I should share a few of the other updates I have been doing around the house. We added these white chairs and this rug to open up the room a bit more.  Not that a 16 ft ceiling isn't open but the white brightened up the room.  In case you missed my bedroom reveal you can see it here, and my office here.  I thought I would share a few of the other updating that has been taking place in other areas of my home.  This past weekend I hung new wallpaper in the master bath, now I'm searching for the right area rug and a few pieces of art to finish that room makeover as well.  I'm a busy girl these days around the house it seems! 









White Chairs ~ Heart Coasters ~ Pillows (All made by me) Fur hide ~ Rug ~ Mirror side table ~ Silver Initials (similar) ~ Tray (very similar)  ~ 

Things I learned being a Mom of all Boys

June 19, 2015
I have several friends that are Moms to all boys!  Boy oh boy, I can relate to these Moms!  In addition to being a Mom of three boys, I also have three grandsons.  So, I have a pretty good understanding of how life happens with all boys!   I decided to share some things I learned from my experiences.  It's easier to recognize these things now that they have all grown up!  I admit, I am a much calmer, relaxed, and laid back Mimi then I was a mom!  I guess there is something to be said for "you always get to send them home" !




Expect things to be broken.  I remember once having a vase on top of the piano with a floral arrangement in it.  The boys had, at some point, broken the vase but decided to carefully place the three broken sides back together so it appeared to be unbroken.  I was doing my normal straightening and cleaning and when I went to move the vase it neatly and ever so perfectly came apart into three sections.  Of course.... no one knew how it happened!


Plan on the unexpected.  You know the hobby rockets you can find at a craft or hobby store, my boys were fascinated with them.  My brother always enjoyed taking all the nephews out to a field close to my parents home.  Well, boys will be boys and mine sure were curious little guys.  I was in the kitchen when I heard this blood curdling scream and I took off towards their bedrooms.  As a mom, you know the difference between a "I'm hurt" scream, and a "you're not playing fair" scream.  As I rounded the corner, the hall was full of smoke..... now pure panic set in for me!  Screaming still taking place, and my other two boys now in curious mode as well, I quickly surmise the situation and  determine their is no need to vacate the house.  Still not sure as to what just happened, I calm down the screaming child as he professes that he too has no idea what happened!  "So all of the sudden your room fills up with smoke, you begin jumping around, and you don't have any idea how?" Hmmm.... I begin to smell something fishy here!  Clue one) As I look around his room I see these black marks all over the walls, corners, and ceiling. Clue two) Laying on the floor on the far side of the bed is a rocket.  Clue three) When I first came down the hall and found him, he was across the hall in his brothers room standing on the head of his bed against the wall!  Now I have an idea what happened, just not how. It took me a while to figure out all the details but to sum it up, he thought he would try and launch the rocket by sticking each of the igniter wires in the outlet.   I won't mention which of my sons did this stunt but I will tell you his nickname for a while was Rocket Man! 


Clean is a state of mind.  No matter how much you clean and how often they bathe they will be dirt magnets.  Don't fight it... you won't win. Be prepared for bugs too!  Put them in play clothes when you are home or on an adventure and save the picture perfect clothes for just that - pictures!  



No child ever suffered by replacing a holiday meal with cookies and candy. I used to fret about them not eating a healthy meal prior to all the holiday treats and candy.  I finally realized that if they miss a healthy meal and 4 or 5 days out of the year they eat dessert first, it won't harm a thing.

You will make several trips to the ER.  Just that.  There will be dislocated parts, and cuts that require stitches. . .maybe even a few casts.  But if you escape boyhood with only these minor occasions, count yourself lucky! 

There will be love.  One thing is for sure, a brother's bond is a fabulous thing to watch grow.  I wish I could turn back time, if just for a day, to snuggle with these guys!



And if you're lucky.... one day those sweet little boys with dirty hands will grow up to be the best Daddy's to their own little boys.


And even grow to be taller than you too!


It's becoming increasingly harder to get all three of them together to take updated pics, but one thing is for sure..... I wouldn't trade being a mom to all boys for anything!



I hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend enjoying Father's Day.

Pink and Pineapples

June 18, 2015
Summertime means shorts and shorts means casual, at least denim does.  I wanted to dress these shorts up a bit to go out in and still look casual.  It is way to easy and comfortable to throw on a pair of shorts and a tank, slip into a pair of flip flops and out the door you do.  I decided to change it up a bit and with a few pieces to dress this look up.  What do you think?   By adding a structured top I defined my shape a bit more and the shoes with a little flair gave it just the right amount of dressiness I was looking for.  Don't you love the little pineapple cuffs?  

I am mentally preparing for my trip to California next month and thinking of all the fun summer outfits I will wear.  I have some fun outfits and collaborations lined up too.  Next week I am sharing my tips on packing and my carry on must haves! 

  









Top c/o ~ BagLeather Wrap braceletBead Bracelet c/o ~ Bangles ~ Watch ~ Shoes (sold out) ~ Shorts ~ Belt ~ Sunnies ~ Lips ~

Butterfly Cuffs

June 17, 2015
As I mentioned last week, we had our 3 year old grandson this past weekend.  I can pretty much sum up the entire time like this.... "Mimi I need you"..."I not tired".... "Why?" Yup, that's pretty much was how it went.  He actually yawned one time and announced he didn't want to go night night!   I forgot how much energy they have, and the attention span of, well...  a three year old!  He was exceptionally good and we didn't have any problems at all... other than exhaustion by Sunday evening.  Ha! 

Lets get to this outfit shall we?  I wore this to the office last week and received tons of complements on my top.  The butterfly cuffs are the cutest and this top is so comfortable.  I am so happy to be incorporating so much color into my wardrobe besides the standard black and or course pink! Although the pink stripe does give it the flair I love! What's new in your closet? If you need to add black pants to your closet.... who doesn't,  then you seriously need to try a pair of these on.  I have several pair in different lengths and love how well they wear and feel.









Top c/o ~ Pants ~ Bag ~ Leather wrap bracelet ~ Bead bracelets (I want these) ~ Watch ~ Shoes (almost Identical) ~ Sunnies ( I want these)


Weekend Love

June 12, 2015
TGIF!  I don't know if I should be excited or nervous for this weekend.  We will be having a certain almost 3 year old grandson spend two nights with us.  Lets hope I have what it takes to keep up with his abundance of energy.  You can count on us playing lots of cars, pretending to be zoo animals, and if it doesn't rain he will most likely mow the yard with his bubble mower.   My oldest grandson turns 7 this weekend as well.  My.... where does the time go!  It seems like just yesterday my babes were this little!  

On another note...I official have purchased my tickets to Southern California.  If you have any suggestions or ideas of things to see and do please send them my way. I haven't been to this part of California in years. I will be enjoying the sunny beaches of Laguna and Newport beach area for 5 days.  Bring on the summertime! 





Tunic Love

June 09, 2015
I love to be comfortable as much as the next person, so when I first was introduced to the Dizzy Lizzie brand I was impressed.  Her styles are bright, colorful, and scream summertime!  I am a sucker for pink as you know, so when she sent me this bright pink tunic I immediately loved it.  The cotton is lightweight making it the perfect weight for this weather.  How fun are these cuffs too?  Oh, and pockets please and Thank You!   Love it!  I own three Dizzy Lizzie shirts as well and they are so comfortable with just the right amount of stretch... if you know where I mean! I can't speak for tall gals, but I can  say that being short has it advantages in regards to wearing a tunic sans leggings.  Obviously I would not wear it to my office without leggings... although I did pass the length above the knee test with it!  This is definitely going in my suitcase for my trip to California next month!  It will make a perfect cover up for my suit and keep me looking cute all at the same time!  








I added this pic to show you how I actually wore it to the office! 







Pink Bags

June 08, 2015
Happy Monday!  I am starting the week off with a punch of pink!  I mentioned last week that I didn't own a pink clutch!  Are you in shock at that statement?  I know I was...  You would think that I would own at least one... if not two pink bags.  I got straight to work looking for the perfect bag to own.  Perfect is a term that can encompass many things for many people.  I found these to be among my top of the list, and to say I found a few is an understatement.  For me personally, each of these bags below would fit nicely into my wardrobe.    I really have a tough decision narrowing down my favorites.  In a perfect world I would own each and every one of these.  But for now I think I will start with my first one!  Can you guess what bag below is on the top of my list?  Leave me a comment and tell me what you think my favorite is, and which one is your favorite! 





Linmade neon oversize  ~ Marie Turnor Hot Pink  ~Love Courtnie Statement Clutch ~ ~ 4 Kayu Ava ~  5 Valentino Rockstud ~ 6  Rebecca Minkoff Leo  ~ 7 C.A.B Dixie Clutch Metallic ~ 8 Laykh Ostrich bag ~ 9 C.A.B Arden Flap bag ~10 Kayu Jen  

How to style a maxi dress 3 ways

June 03, 2015
Getting the most wear out a maxi dress can sometimes be difficult.  Today I am sharing with you how with a quick change up of a few things you can maximize your maxi!



Let me just start by saying this is a strapless dress too.  First up is the casual... running errands, day look.  So maybe you have a list of things to do and comfort is on the top of the list.  I rolled up the ends and sleeves to my chambray shirt, added my GiGi NY Madison cross body, and slipped into my converse.  Casual, comfy, and hands free! 



For the second look, Let's imagine I have a tan for starters.... Ok but seriously, this is a casual look for an afternoon with your girlfriends, or a day date with your guy! 



For the last look, I dressed this look up by adding a leopard cardigan, a statement necklace, and slid on these fun mules. I took off the removable strap from my Blair Ritchey PAK to use it as a clutch.  Presto... chango!




Look one:  Dress (Similar on sale) ~ Chambray top ~ converse ~ Cross Body bag ~ Cuff ~ Watch ~ Leather bracelet c/o ~

Look Two: Dress(Similar on sale)  ~ cardigan ~ necklace and Earrings ~ Sandals Bag ~ Leather bracelet c/o~ Watch ~

Look Three: Dress(Similar on sale)  ~ Cardigan ( very similar) ~ BagNecklace and Earrings ~  Mules (Sold out ) ~ Watch ~


White Out

June 02, 2015
From distressed jeans to flared, it seems white denim is everywhere right now.  You last saw me style mine here, and you should expect to see them again!  These have got to be the most comfortable pair of jeans.  Wearing white on your rear you would think might make you a bit self conscious, but I felt quite the opposite in these!  These pink sling backs really adds a punch too I think!  Have you tried an all white outfit?  Would you?  I wasn't too sure at first that I would feel comfortable, but for me the scarf really helped. One thing I realized is that I do not own a pink clutch!  What???  I know.  I have started looking for the right pink and have it narrowed down to a few.  Who knows, I may need two!  ;)








White Jeans c/o ~ Top ~ Scarf c/o ~  Clutch ~ Monogram cuffPython Cuff c/o ~ Leather bracelet c/o ~ Sling back shoes ~ Sunnies ~ Watch ~ Lipstick ~


Master Bedroom Reveal

June 01, 2015

This room has truly been a labor of love.  I've put more thought into this room than any other room in my home.  Usually I can pull together the d├ęcor and finish a room up in a relatively short amount of time. . .not this time.  I had a vision for how I wanted my bedroom to look.  This design journey began in my head over a year ago with only a few minor idea changes; different fabric for the pillows here, all white bedding rather than the taupe linen duvet cover there.  All in all, for me, the most important detail remained the same - creating a calming and peaceful place to retreat and relax.    


I have to always be considerate of the fact that this is not just my room.  To my surprise, Joe was completely onboard with the touches of pink.  He would not have been happy with a pink explosion!  We literally stripped the room, from the bed and wall color to the carpeting.  The only original pieces left in the room are our night stands.  However, I do want to replace them with mirrored chests to match my other pieces and as soon as I find them in the right size I will. 

lattice-rug-pink-pouf

  I can't tell you how much I love this wall color.  It truly lives up to its name, Versatile Gray from Sherwin Williams.  It is the same paint we used in my office which you can see the full design post of here.   I used the below colors as my palette for the entire room.  Soft neutral colors with a slight pop of color in the brighter pink pompom throw, the pillows and the abstract art.


woman-art-shilouette




pink-orange-pillows-abstract-art

White-African-juju-hat

During the building process, I had outlets installed for both cable and electric higher up on the wall so that they could be hidden by the television.  Unfortunately, I didn't have a way to hide the DVD or cable box so I made a sleeve out of matching linen fabric to cover the unsightly cords that otherwise stand out.

Mirrored-furniture-console

wall-decor-african-juju-hat

I tried out two other rugs in my bedroom before finally finding this one at Rugs USA.  This is not my first rug from Rugs USA, so I was confident I would receive a rug with great quality and color accuracy.  I was right.  Not only does the color coordinate with my room, I love how it feels beneath my feet.


bedroom-white-bedding




sleigh-bed-decorating

This is my favorite corner to sit with my laptop, to read a book, or catch up on my reality TV. I searched and searched for a lamp perfect for this space and finally found one with a rectangle base and shade from Lamps Plus. I was looking for a lamp that would not protrude too far into the room so this rectangular shape was important to me.  A bonus with my lamp is it has a floor on/off switch!

glider-chair-pink-throw-pompoms

art-silver-love-print


bedding-pink-orange-throw-pillows

pink-pillowcase-silk

Have you tried sleeping on a silk pillow case yet? If not, you should!  I have to admit what they say is soooo true.  It really does make a difference with your hair and skin.   There are several brands out there so be sure to research their silk content.  Slip Silk Pillowcases sent me this pink (of course) pillowcase and I am sold.  I will never go back to a cotton pillowcase.



decor-decorating-bedrooms



king-sleigh-bed-decor

My hope is that you love this room as much as I do.

Lamps  // Bed //  Mirror chest ( almost identical)   // Rug c/o  // Pouf  // Mirror side table (Sold out but I have this one too)  //  Juju Hat  //  Pillows (I made)   //  Abstract art (no longer available) //  Woman Silhouette art ( similar )  //   Slip Pillowcase c/o   // Floor Lamp c/o // Pom pom throw // Monogram pillow  // Love print  // 


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