...style is more than what you wear, it's how you live your life

April 12, 2014

Mexico in Two Bags

I'm in the process of unpacking from my two weeks in Mexico. The first week seemed to pass slowly...but the second week flew past...way too quickly. That's always the way with my vacations.

For the first several days, we stayed at the Loreto Bay Golf Resort on the Sea of Cortez.

A good book, beautiful scenery, ocean breezes and a comfy chaise lounge in the cool shade of a palapa...is my idea of decompressing. I can't remember the last time my husband and I had a vacation where nothing is required...except relaxing.

April 1, 2014

My Cruising Essentials

What would you choose as your top ten items to bring on vacation? What if it's a cruise?

 We've done several cruises on the Windstar Cruise Line, which are the perfect size ship for us. Less than 200 passengers.  They can get closer into small ports...which is great... but don't have the resources and shopping opportunities that are aboard the huge ships.

Cruising Mediterranean

There are several essentials that I never go on vacation without. But for a cruise...that list becomes more  critical  because you're on the move...almost constantly...often in exotic places.

kindle paperwhite

1-  A Kindle Paperwhite loaded with several new books I've been anxious to read.  At home my preference is paper & ink books.  But for travel, the Kindle is far more convenient.  I can also download other books anywhere I find wifi.  It's not always easy to find a book you want to read, written in English, in a foreign speaking port.

La Roche-Posey sunscreen

2-  Multiple bottles and brands of sunscreen.  I had melanoma in my late 30's so I take my sunscreen very, very seriously.  These are some of my current favorites.  The La Roche-Posay is a physical block, but virtually invisible on the skin.  Most mineral sunscreens are nasty white pasty things.  Not this one!  The Shisedo one is a combination mineral/chemical sunscreen and also very clear upon application.  I always keep this Neutrogena stick in my purse...for instant back of hand protection.

polarized sunglasses

3-  I always bring at least one extra pair of prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses.  Obviously, they couldn't be replaced on a cruise and my trip would be worthless ruined if I'd only brought one pair and they broke or were lost.  Another benefit is the ability...along with my hats and accessories...to make the same black dress look different.

4-  I like to bring an over-the-door toiletries holder/organizer. A clear over-the-door shoe organizer works just as easily.  Counter space is usually quite minimal on cruises unless you're traveling Silversea or equivalent.

5-  For a cruise I like this hat from Coolibar because the brim is wide and the strap will keep it on my head in a strong wind.  Mine is the far one you see in this photo in cream.  I stack multiple hats inside each other and pack them upside down in my suitcase.

6-  This is coming with me every time I travel from now on. I can't take credit for finding it.  That goes to our always inspiring and brilliant friend Slim Paley.  I was guilty of bringing a far inferior product until she mentioned this in her latest post.  Thank you Slim!  My alternative was pathetic.

Wardrobe Workhorse

7-  A black Jersey Dress...the workhorse of my travel wardrobe! I'd bring at least one.

7-  My cell phone.  Ugly as it looks and sounds...all my contacts' information is stored on it.  Plus it's smaller and lighter than my camera so I'm more likely to take it everywhere.  My camera is a heavy production to haul around, so I frequently leave it behind.

8-  Although I don't do water, I would bring a bathing suit.  I don't sunbathe, I don't swim and I don't use public hot tubs...but for a cruise, I would always bring a couple of bathing suits.

9-  A beautiful caftan to slip into at the end of the day.  Loose fitting and elegant, it's perfect for having drinks on the deck or relaxing in our cabin.  

10-  Scarves, sarongs and wraps.  I travel with tons of them.  I'm currently lusting after this one from Hermes.  I have a predominantly black and neutral wardrobe so I like to add my punch of color and pattern with scarves, 

I've been invited to join By Invitation Only this month at Marsha's, Splenderosa.
Please go over and see the what the other ladies' must pack for a cruise or vacation.

Do you have essentials you always bring on a trip?

March 27, 2014

Packing Logistics

I was asked to demonstrate how I can travel for multiple weeks using carry on baggage only.  
This is how I packed my bags for a two week trip to Mexico...which starts tomorrow.

This packing style works best for cruises or trips where you arrive...and stay in one place for a more than a day or two. Everything needs to be taken out upon arrival and hung up or put in drawers.

In my experience, rolling clothes does not prevent wrinkles. Nor does layering plastic dry cleaner bags between the clothes. In fact when I tried the plastic, everything slid into crumpled disasters. 

organizing clothes for packing

My clothes get organized on my rolling rack. Shoes are packed in soft cloth bags and hats are chosen for outfits and climate. Lingerie, socks and accessories are all out and visible before anything goes into the bag.

March 21, 2014

Shades of Spring

ROUND TWO, in which Polyvore doesn't publish a post until I'm finished writing it.

Shades of Spring

I have several vacations coming up so I've been perusing new shapes in sunglasses.  I'm particularly loving round. These Prada ones are very sweet but not polarized, which cuts them out for me.  I squint without polarized lenses, which makes them pretty worthless in my book. 

Valentino tortoise glasses / The row sunglasses, $445 / Prada round eyewear / Lilly Pulitzer polarized cat eye sunglasses / Polarized aviator sunglasses

~ I have some random bits of nonsense to share this weekend~

On the subject of shades:

After collecting everyone's opinion...debating the pros and cons...weighing all possible outcomes...ignoring all advice...I finally bit the bullet and had my hair colored on Friday. My hope was to camouflage the ever increasing gray. I was convinced it looked mousy. I was apparently, the only one who saw the gray.

In a bizarre twist of fate, my hair looks grayer now than it did before. 

On the left is my natural, uncolored hair, on the right, my new colored gray hair. It now has that subtle hint of lavender that's so charming on older women. 

This firmly falls into the category, some of the my worst injuries are self inflicted. I'm now in the market for a new hairdresser.


If you haven't been reading Jen Lawrence's blog, do yourself a favor and pop right over to join the conversation. When I first found her, I went back to her beginning so I could catch up and get to know her. I'm not sure how I found her blog, but it's delightful and beautifully  written.
Last week she tagged me for a round of 11 Random Things About Me , so here we go...

March 15, 2014

How To Organize Your Travel Wardrobe

It's an easy mistake to make. I made it for years.  

Over packing for travel. 
You plan what goes with what, the shoes you need, the special occasion needs, the accessories to take, and before you know it... you've got an enormous bag, or two packed for one week away. Then you start on your toiletries, which must go carry one if they're liquid, and you end up traveling like a Sherpa.

It took one too many a few lost and delayed bags to convince me that flying with carry on, was the quickest, least painful way to travel.

Taking a wardrobe of predominantly black clothes has been helpful, but using a Travel Wardrobe Chart also takes the guesswork out of it. 

Choose one base color to predominate your travel wardrobe.
Mine was black for this past trip, but yours might be blue, or red, or taupe. Whatever you have key pieces in, can be your base color. For example, I'm organizing my wardrobe for a trip to Mexico in a few weeks and my base will be white and taupe.

Pack mostly unmemorable clothes.
It's wonderful to own and wear distinctive clothes. I don't bring them when I travel which allows me to wear things several times and use my accessories to change up my look.  I'm typically an under packer now...unless I'm driving, then all bets are off and I pretty much bring everything.


Wendy's post this week on her travel wardrobe, what she wore vs what she packed for her trip to the Magic Kingdom, brought up memories of my last trip and what I didn't wear.

Sometimes, like this time, it didn't matter how many clothes I brought, I ended up undressed.

On my trip to Vancouver last month, I packed:

coordinated accessories
No point in showing the black clothes, so here's the velvet scarf and suede gloves.

-Black Trench coat

-2 pair of black cigarette pants

-black skirt

-black tights & black fishnets

-black riding boots

-black ponte knit dress

-black cardigan

-2 black V-neck sweaters

-black fedora

-pale gray & pale taupe cashmere V-neck sweaters

-2 pair black flats & low heeled black dress shoes

-black jeans

-2 black, J Crew knit tops

-gray sweats...always hopeful I will be motivated to work out

-black workout shoes

-Teal velvet scarf and gloves & Teal Pashmina

-black patterned Hermes scarf

-3 pair black socks

I started to fill out this packing worksheet but decided it wasn't necessary... bad decision.

This was one of the tools I used with my clients, to organize their wardrobe for travel, simplify packing and remind them what to wear with what. There's a link at the bottom of this post to print a blank copy.

I should have finished filling it out...it might have prevented an embarrassing little wardrobe malfunction.