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Newport, RI Packing Guide

Newport RI Packing Guide The Heart's Delight

Pack your bags, we’re headed to Newport, RI!

When planning this year’s NYC/East Coast visit, we were looking for a family-friendly destination that was driving distance from NYC and offered enough activities and luxury amenities to keep everyone (including a picky 6 + 8 yo) satisfied. Enter Newport, RI! With its close proximity to NYC (3.5 hrs) and its idyllic New England charm full of scenic cliff walks, oyster shacks and colorful sail boats, this seaside city was the perfect solution.

I’ll be putting together a full Newport, RI travel guide for you later this summer, but in the meantime I want to focus on what I’ll be bringing along with me. Newport is a balance of old-world, “blue-blood” New England and modern, laid back beach town — just like the outfits I’ll be wearing!

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Bermuda Weekend Guide

bermuda weekend guide header

It seems like everyone I know has a different take on traveling.

Some of us like to keep it fresh and exciting and visit a new destination every opportunity we get. Others, like the familiarity and comfort of finding a destination that can become their home away from home. I think that generally I’m somewhere in between — I have a long bucket list of places to explore, but occasionally I stumble upon a special destination that I can’t wait to return to.

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Red Eye Style


Travel, specifically modern-day air travel is not something most of us look forward to… unless you’re flying first class or private jet! In that case, can I tag-along?!


Now, add in an overnight flight component (a.k.a. The Red Eye) and you’re taking it to a whole new level.


I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a great deal both for work and personal enjoyment and even with all of those miles under my belt, flying red-eye is still a challenge. For me, the 6 hour “sleep” window creates added stress to actually get those much needed hours of sleep before the day ahead. The close quarters, passenger voices, jingle-jangle of cabin service and obviously, the limited space keeps me from being able to relax and truly get into a restful sleep.  Equally as challenging is finding the appropriate clothing to wear aboard that will let you comfortable stay seated (and hopefully, asleep!) for the long haul. Aside from wearing pajamas — which I DO NOT recommend, it’s important to find a travel wardrobe that will ensure comfort without sacrificing style.

With an upcoming international trip to Dublin, red eye fashion has definitely been on my mind. Even if you’re not flying overnight, the looks below are ideal travel styles to bookmark prior to your next trip!

Outfit #1:
Zara Oversized Sweater // 3 x 1 Frayed Denim // Acne Studios Booties // Zara Geometric Scarf

Outfit #2:
Forever 21 Ringer Tee // Cuyana Open Cardigan // Vince Slim Jersey Pants // Nike Blaze Sneakers // COS Wool Scarf

Outerwear + Accessories:
Rag & Bone Wool Felt Hat // J.Crew Jill Sunglasses // Zara Double Breasted Coat // Frends Layla Headphones // Perpetual Shade Sleep Mask // Fendi 2Jours Tote

The solution to the red eye style dilemma is a mix of easy, breathable and wrinkle resistant pieces that will hold up to hours of abuse. Strategic layering helps achieve a sophisticated look, while keeping you warm (or cool) in flight.

I always start with a base layer like a t-shirt and add a soft oversized knit on top — that ZARA OVERSIZED SWEATER is my go to and for under $30, it can’t be beat. I own it in the pink marl (more of a camel tone) and light grey.

My bottoms vary from looser fit denim like those 3×1 FRINGE DENIM, or athletic inspired SLIM FIT JOGGERS. Both give me some room to groove and look as good on touch down as they did on take off. Obviously, no flight is complete without an oversized scarf (I recently ordered that ZARA GEOMETRIC SCARF!) to double up as a blanket once in air — because you couldn’t pay me to touch those gnarly blankets they have in flight!  Pop on a pair of FRENDS NOISE CANCELING HEADPHONES and a chuckle-inducing SLEEP MASK (C’mon — how funny and appropriate is that!?) and you’re ready to get into your sleep zone.


In all seriousness, here are some of the other tricks I use to try to get a decent rest on the red-eye route:

•  Decline meal service — It’s really not that good and by the time they finish clearing plates and such, it’s almost time to land.

•  As tempting as it may be, no alcohol — I know… this one is tough. Alcohol tends to screw up my sleep patterns and although it helps me initially fall asleep, I never feel as rested when it’s time to get up.

 Try melatonin —  It’s a naturally derived over-the-counter supplement that can be used as a sleep aid.

•  Dab your favorite perfume or essential oil on your scarf — With all of the assorted smells going on in the cabin, you’ll be happy to have a whiff of a familiar or comforting scent.

•  Slather on the eye cream and lip balm — The cabin air is so dry and there is nothing worse than feeling or looking like a human prune when you land.


Nighty-night and have a great flight!




NYC Holiday Travel 2015 Packing Guide



Jackets:  Veronica Beard BLAZER // ASOS leather JACKET
Dress:  Illia suede wrap DRESS
Sweaters:  Bishop & Young hi-lo SWEATER // Neiman Marcus stripe PONCHO // Ralph Lauren sleeveless turtleneck (SIMILAR) // Vince loose-fit SWEATER
Skirt:  Silence + Noise midi SKIRT
Pants:  J.Crew wide-leg trouser (SIMILAR) // Zara flare JEANS // Rag & Bone LEGGING JEAN
Tops: J.Crew LONG SLEEVE TEE // Topshop striped SHIRT // H&M camisole (SIMILAR) // Rag & Bone tank — BLACK + GREY
Shoes + Accessories: Chloe SHOULDER BAG // Celine TOTE // Fairchild-Baldwin NECKLACE // Vince CHELSEA BOOT // Miu Miu SUNGLASSES // Vince PUMP // Golden Goose SNEAKERS

Yes, it’s that time of year again!

Holiday travel is rapidly approaching and airlines are not doing us any favors with their overbooked flights, insane baggage fees and limited overhead space. My fingers are crossed that Mother Nature cooperates with this year’s itinerary and we have smooth travel days both coming AND going!

You just never know…

As far as packing for our 6-day NYC getaway, the good news is that my FALL/WINTER 2015 CAPSULE WARDROBE is in effect making packing pretty effortless! The bad news is that winter clothes by nature are just bulkier and take up more space no matter how light you pack. To make matters trickier, long holiday weekends call for both casual AND dressier outfit options.

No worries, though. I’ve totally got your back here!

I’ve put together a travel wardrobe that can easily take you through 5-7 days and nights. Just like my seasonal capsule, you’ll see a lot of my favorite looks and trends of the season make their appearance — ponchos, suede, oversized turtlenecks, wide leg pants, monochromatic… you know, all the good stuff!

Here are just 6 looks that I put together for you using my suitcase contents:


While the colors and textures I’ve selected may not necessarily be your jam, use this packing list as a general guide to help put together your own concise travel wardrobe. Just keep the following style tips in mind as you go along:

•  Pick a color palette and stick to it.

If you’re working with a capsule wardrobe, the hard work is already done for you. If not, just pick one neutral (grey, black, tan, brown, etc.) and one bright (red, pink, yellow, blue, etc.) and work around those 2 colors. This strategy will keep you from overpacking and will ensure that no matter what you pull out of your bag, it will all work together.

 Pick pieces that can multitask.

I really discourage packing specific complete outfits for specific days — plans change, weather interferes and sometimes you just don’t feel like wearing what you planned. Chances are, if you pack this way, you’ll be organized but you’ll end up bringing a lot more stuff with you than my method. Instead, I recommend selected multitasking items in your decided color palette and mix and match as you go. You’ll find you’ll have a ton more options and those multitasking pieces really work wonders when it comes to switching a look up!

For example, take that KNIT SKIRT I included. It’s suitable for day with flat CHELSEA BOOTS, an OVERSIZED TURTLENECK SWEATER and tights. Yet throw on the skirt with a GREY TANK, MOTO JACKET and HEELS and it’s instantly a sharp night out look.

•  Limit your footwear.

As a shoe lover, sometimes this rule is a tough style pill to swallow. Shoes are heavy and take up a lot of space in a bag. For a trip that is 5-7 days, I recommend packing no more than 3 shoe options. One for travel — preferably an easy on/off option, one for dressier occasions — like a pump and a casual and comfortable option — like a sneaker. Again, the color palette rule applies to your shoes.

•  Travel in your bulkiest pieces.

The key to a good TRAVEL OUTFIT is layers, but you probably know that already. As you layer, think about the bulk and weight of the items you need to place in your bag. Jeans, blazer, chunky knits, boots… all of those items not only make a really practical (and cute!) travel outfit, but they also can weigh your carry on bag down. Check out LOOK #1 above to see what I mean! By wearing those pieces onto the plane, you’re going to save a ton of packing space in your bags and look great doing it.



Summer Lakehouse Weekend Packing List


I’m back… with another packing guide!

(Make sure you check out my BEACH and CITY packing guides for more weekend getaway ideas!)

This coming weekend we’re headed back to Ithaca, New York where I spent 4 years of my life studying hard (and making other more questionable choices) at CORNELL UNIVERSITY. Go Big Red!

It’s reunion weekend and the first time I’ll be back on campus in close to 10 years… way too long. Rather than bunk up in the college dorms, my friends and I decided that renting a lakehouse would be a really fun alternative.

Between days reminiscing on campus, touring the nearby CAYUGA WINE TRAIL (the Finger Lakes are most well-known for their Rieslings, in case you were curious!) and obviously lots of eating and drinking like we’re 21 years old again, our weekend ahead is sure to be one for the books… and the hangovers.

My packing mantra for this trip is: Keep it light. Keep it layered. Keep it comfortable.


JACKETS: 1 // 2 // 3

DRESSES: 4 (TOP + BOTTOM) // 5 (love the high-low hem!) // 7

TOPS: 11 (the softest, drapiest plaid shirt I have ever owned!) // 12 // 14 // 15 // 16 (with temps in the 70’s during the day and 50’s at night, a versatile cardigan is a MUST) // 22 // 23

BOTTOMS: 8 // 9 // 10 // 13 

SHOES: 19 // 20 (one of the 2 M.GEMI pairs I recently ordered — love) // 21 

ACCESSORIES: 6 (a simple addition to #7 to give a bit more waist definition and shape) // 17 (a hold everything, hands-free bag for daytime activities) // 18

I’ll be sharing all of the live Ithaca/Cornell reunion action on INSTAGRAM and TWITTER, so be sure to follow along!



New York City Weekend Packing List


Every time I do a style presentation, one of the questions that always comes up is about packing essentials:

How do I pack a well-edited, versatile wardrobe without trying to jam my entire closet into my suitcase?

As you know, essentials is a pretty loose term and can be interpreted differently by different people, with different styles. My packing essentials tend to remain consistent with small tweaks based on my destination and length of travel.

In this case, it’s a long 4-day spring weekend in NYC for both work and fun. Casual work days interspersed with business related meetings and cocktails, followed by fun with long-time girlfriends and old colleagues at night! While I generally try to keep my travel wardrobe as tight as possible, with such varied activities and plans, I definitely had to account for a few extra outfits.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 (stock was low, so in case it’s sold out here’s a SIMILAR option!) // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 (unfortunately, my own McQ by Alexander McQueen version featured HERE quickly sold out but #10 is a good alternative!) // 11 (old; here is a SIMILAR STYLE + a STEAL version!) // 12 // 13 // 14 (such a great dress for the price… I’ve been wearing mine for close to 3 years!) // 15 // 16 (these are such a great substitute for the gorgeous splurge AQUAZZURA version) // 17

One thing that I cannot emphasize enough, no matter where your travel destination and the length of your trip: select a single color palette to work with. It makes it so much easier to pick what makes the suitcase cut and once you arrive at your destination, any of your selected pieces will work together allowing you to mix + match. Let’s not forget that one color palette keeps you from having to pack too many shoes– those are definitely the worst suitcase hogging offenders!

For my New York City weekend packing, I decided to go with camel, black, white and blue.

Obviously, I can’t go anywhere with my trusty LEATHER JACKET. This camel one I picked up for a steal at ASOS! Between early-morning travel and cold(er) mornings and late-nights, I have a feeling I’ll be getting a lot of use out of this guy. Regardless of climate, I always recommend traveling with a lightweight jacket. Leather, denim or blazer… they’re all good style options and I promise, you won’t regret having that topper with you when the sun goes down.

Another great packing tip is to travel with a large and durable tote bag that be transitioned to a daytime bag once you get off the plane. I also like to use leather pouches stashed inside the larger tote (like this WHISTLES BLUE CLUTCH) to hold my basics: keys, wallet, lip balm, etc. When it’s time to transition from work to play, I just slip out the clutch and leave the bulky tote bag behind.

Pick up any useful tidbits? Good. If not, sorry… there’s always next time! Now, this girl has got to get some beauty sleep before my crack of dawn flight…

See you on the other side.

XOXO signature



Vegas, Baby: How To Pack For A Las Vegas Weekend

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I’m suffering from a serious case of #FOMO (fear of missing out).

All the ladies in the family are heading to Las Vegas this weekend to celebrate a 50th, a 40th, a 30th, AND a double 21st (twins, y’all!) birthday. For a multitude of reasons, I had to sit this one out and as expected, I’m now kicking myself for not booking the trip.

You’ll just have to pour one out for me this weekend, girls… but enough of my whining!

I’ve got a very important memo to share: How to pack for a Las Vegas weekend getaway.

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Thanksgiving Packing List

thanksgiving packing list The Heart's Delight Stella Compiseno

Last night my husband and I had a very deep and meaningful conversation about how we loathe packing. Actually, I stated that while I loathe packing, I despise UN-packing even more if that’s possible? Since we became a family of four, I’ve switched up our packing routine and now ship our baggage in advance of any flight we take. It’s so freeing to be able to cruise through the airport with literally nothing to hold onto aside from our kids’ hands, my tote and the obligatory grande non-fat latte (once I clear security). Since airlines have started charging for checked bags, UPS ground shipping works out to cost almost the same amount as the dreaded baggage-check fee… but the convenience is simply immeasurable.

The downside to advance shipping is that you sort of have to be on your packing and organizational game to get it right. You have to be willing to part with items that may be clutch in your everyday life for a few extra days. You also have to be a little more thoughtful when putting together your bag because every ounce of extra weight will cost you extra fees. Details, details, details.

So in the spirit of one of the most travelled holiday weekends of the year, I’ve put together a list of some of the most important things I cannot travel without. Whether you’re travelling across the ocean, across the country, or even across city lines, hopefully this list will inspire YOU as you get your bags together.

  1. The obligatory oversized tote is a MUST to keep it all together… at least in a physical sense. If you missed last week’s ode to the carry on tote, get all caught up HERE. This MARK & GRAHAM TOTE is a favorite: roomy, lightweight and the ideal neutral that blends seamlessly with any outfit.

  2. This warmest, softest VINCE OVERSIZED SWEATER (I own it in black) comes with me anytime I travel. In case you were wondering, the oversized silhouette is good camouflage for any Thanksgiving meal sins you’re planning on committing. Another piece of pie? Yes, please.

  3. A portable charger for your electronics is always a good idea. Outlets are in high demand in airports and you don’t want to be left stranded in transit with no juice. This MOPHIE CHARGER ensures that the iPad(s) stay fired up and the kiddos stay entertained.

  4. Delicate gold necklaces for layering have replaced any statement necklaces I used to travel with. So dainty, feminine and LIGHT to travel with! The necklace party is the new arm party and these pretties are the party VIPs. Whether for BALANCEor for a special WISH over the holidays, you really can’t go wrong with DOGEARED.

  5. A bright scarf instantly brings color to a washed out complexion… hey, those airport fluorescent lights do you no favors! I love this oversized version from MADEWELL. So cozy.

  6. A good quality flat iron is my new McGuyver tool. Whether to remove a cowlick or to give myself a headful of soft beachy waves, I’m obsessed with my CHI!

  7. Dry shampoo… because sometimes, it’s just easier than washing your hair and starting from scratch! This OSCAR BLANDI product lives up to it’s “invisible” name and leaves behind nothing but refreshed hair and a clean floral scent.

  8. Denim with a little stretch is crucial for spending long hours in a plane/train/automobile, or at the Thanksgiving dinner table! The extra bit of spandex also allows the jeans to maintain their shape after multiple wears. I recently discovered MOTHER JEANS and have been keeping mine in constant rotation.

  9. Neutral booties to dress up or dress down help keep your load light and your looks chic. I love the little wedge on this COLE HAAN version, which currently happen to be on sale!

  10. A neutral makeup palette is one of the best travel companions you can have. Rather than drag along a big ‘ole makeup bag, this sleek BOBBI BROWN set contains most of the essentials you’ll need for your trip.

  11. Travel makeup brushes are a key accessory when heading out of town. Leave those big, fluffy brushes at home and try this compact SEPHORA set out instead.

  12. Apparently, Mother Nature decided that it’s Winter. We must comply. A CLASSIC BARBOUR COAT has been a cold-weather mainstay for decades.

  13. No packing list is complete without your iPad and KATE SPADE COVER to protect your tablet from getting crushed the 12th time your kids have dropped it. I love the sassy winking eye on this one!

What’s on YOUR packing list this Thanksgiving holiday?

XOXO signature


The Best Carry-On Bag For Any Budget


Holiday travel.

Not exactly a pleasurable experience for most people. Unless you’re Beyonce, of course, and have a private jet, team of hired help and are enrobed in only the finest of luxury cashmeres from head-to-toe, while sippin’ on your perfectly chilled glass of champagne and poppin’ Nobu-prepared sushi in your mouth, as you fade off into the clouds. Bey, you do you, girl. But back to us, regular folk…

Currently, my travel experience consists of hauling a stuffed-to-the-brims carry-on tote filled with assorted snacks (and bribery tools), first aid remedies, toys, books, and the mandatory iPhones/iPads for all! I feel like Oprah when we finally get into our seats and I start handing out the assorted technology- “YOU get an iPad, and YOU get an iPad, and YOU get an iPad!”  Hey, travelling with young children is survival of the fittest time: no judgement.

This bag I speak of must be large, must be lightweight, must be functional, and obviously, must be stylish. I also encourage purchasing pieces that you can use in-flight and beyond. For example, once emptied of the 30 lbs of supplies, my tote then doubles as my daytime handbag for the rest of my trip. Bonus.

If totes and convertible bags are not exactly your thing, I cannot recommend a backpack enough. After years of mocking my husband’s obsession of travelling with a backpack, I’m eating my words and full-on endorsing the trend. You can check out my best backpack picks HERE.

Wishing you all safe (and stress free) travels!

XOXO signature