What is it about that special scent you find in luxury hotels around the world?
You know the one.
The one that all of your clothes smell like as soon as you open your suitcase to unpack. It’s the same one you get a random whiff of and automatically get transported back to the time and place where you first encountered it. Right now, the sophisticated scent du jour is courtesy of THE SCHOFIELD, the latest Kimpton boutique hotel to open in downtown Cleveland.
Over the past few years, I’ve done my fare share of packing guides and lists. They’re a ton of work to put together, but oh, so worth it.
Personally, I’ve always found a visual guide helpful when I’m putting together my own suitcase — no matter what the destination. When I can see the pieces all laid out on my desktop (vs. scattered across my bed, or scrawled on a notepad) it clearly becomes evident that I really don’t need all the stuff I originally thought I did. Combinations come together effortlessly and before I know it, I have 7 days worth of outfits at the ready.
For those of you lucky enough to be home from work today — thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King — grab your coffee mug and your throw blanket and get comfortable. For those of you in the office… well, I feel ya’, girl. Take a minute from your busy schedule and use this post as your brief escape from that ever pressing to-do list.
With only 1 week to go before our annual family beach vacation, my house is currently one large staging area of packing. One of my beach vacation essentials that definitely cannot go forgotten is my trusty beach bag — or tote in my case.
A good beach tote is perhaps one of the most whimsical (and potentially least expensive) bag investments you can make — so why not have some fun with it!?
• Many of the straw beach bags can be slightly structured with a stiff frame and handles. While aesthetically these are an awesome preppy chic look (I LOVE that JADEtribe TASSEL BAG – #8), they tend to be on the heavier side and don’t make for an easy carry, especially if you like to be hands free like I do. For practical purposes I prefer a softer, squishable, packable bag with a longer shoulder strap that can be easily stored away in my suitcase when travelling and conveniently toted around the beach/poolside upon arrival.
• Unstructured and wide open beach totes can become bottomless pits. Keep your bag organized with smaller zip up pouches to keep your liquids and lotions in check and conveniently hold your valuables (you don’t want those slipping into the sand). FYI: That OLD NAVY CROSSBODY POM POM BAG (#11) is an adorable under $30 storage solution!
• Select a beach tote that will work seamlessly with your larger resort wardrobe. Just like I hate switching bags for everyday use, I especially dislike swapping out bags while on vacation. I recommend sticking to neutral colors accented with playful details — stripes, palm prints, poms, tassels, etc. to get the most bag for your style buck. The bag will be practical enough to use during the day, yet still look chic out around town.
Anyone else totally have Spring Fever in a bad way?
Cleveland has had a small taste of spring this week and the sunshine is intoxicating. More importantly, it’s making me excited for our upcoming Spring Break beach getaway in less than 3 weeks!
One of my favorite things about warm weather dressing is actually the price tag. Comparatively speaking, vacation and summer styles tend to be some of my least expensive purchases and the most versatile. When it comes to building an expensive looking wardrobe on a dime, spring and summer are your best bets. Not only are most of my picks under $100, most are actually under $50– I’ve always been an overachiever!!
Good thing, because I’ll need that extra cash to pay for some much needed spray tanning — my body has never been a paler shade of white!
As you can see lace ups and tassels are still heavy in the rotation this season! I love the details they add without being too fussy or overly embellished. How cool are those TASSEL EARRINGS? Not too big, not too small and practically go with everything you might want to wear — all for under $50!
When building a resort ready wardrobe, I aim for pieces that can do double duty from beach to dinner. Take that LOLA LACE UP KAFTAN, for example. During the day, it’s an easy piece to throw on over a swimsuit. Once the sun goes down it becomes a casual dress to pair bare legged with flat sandals or to wear over a pair of SKINNY WHITE JEANS (these are under $40) and NUDE STRAPPY HEELS!
One of the best additions you can make to your Spring Break style is a lightweight leather tote. The ASOS GOLD TOTE is statement making and most importantly, light. When traveling or carrying all of your essentials beachside you don’t want a heavy bag weighing you down. This bag also happens to be stylish enough to grab for sunset pineapple margaritas… which I happen to be currently craving.
Bust out the self-tanner and the sunnies… because today’s post is the long-awaited (and much needed) Spring Break 2015 packing list!
FIVE. MORE. WEEKS.
However, before we get too deep into swimwear and flip flops, I want to share some behind-the-scenes realness with you… I’m currently sitting in my office, staring at the wall and literally watching paint peel. After the official coldest February in Cleveland history (with the 7th largest snowfall), apparently my roof and gutters could use a vacation almost as much as I can.
Homeownership flat-out, sucks. Being an adult sucks. Listening to water drip down inside your interior walls as the ice/snow melts on your roof really sucks.
Keepin’ it real, folks. Just keepin’ it real.
The good news is that everything is repairable. The bad news is that it’s going to take some funding, time, professional labor and lots of new drywall, insulation, woodwork, carpet and paint to repair it all. Oh, and my poor office… my little sanctuary in the midst of chaos. RIP, office. Hopefully, in a matter of weeks you’ll rise again from the dead.
Now, let’s get back to sunshine, sand, surf and all things Spring Break.
When I travel to a beach destination, one thing I learned is that my outfits tend to skew more casual. I almost never bring heels. A wedge is about as fancy as I get! Also, a beach vacation is the ideal trip for multitasking essentials. Most of the pieces that get packed can go from beach-to-town with a shower and a switch of a few accessories. As with any vacation packing, a tight color palette also ensures that everything in my bag can be easily mixed and matched.
Basically, I try to keep it as simple as possible.
Now, for day the majority of my time in spent on the beach or poolside. It’s really helpful to have bathing suits you can mix and match (see look #4 below). For a week’s time, 3 suits is a good assortment for fun combinations.
Don’t you love this striped BEACH BAG? It’s the ideal size/material to hold everything you need while out in the sun, yet it’s absolutely stylish enough to use as a tote out on the town. Well worth the investment, in my opinion.
As for footwear, I’m still going strong with my love for BIRKENSTOCKS. I’ll definitely be using mine again this season- they’ve held up really well even after a year’s worth of wear and tear.
Once the sun goes down, I’m keeping the casual vibe going, just swapping out my bathing suits for a few extra layers. It really is amazing how chilly the shore can get after dark! As I mentioned HERE, a LONG CHUNKY CARDIGAN is coming along with me this year. Gotta switch things up sometimes, you know?
Can we discuss those WEDGES for a minute? Up until now, I have never really loved espadrilles, nor have I loved wedges. The combination of the woven wedge and the strappy lace up leather is just perfection to me. What’s even better is this STEVE MADDEN pair is a steal compared to most similar options. Lace ups and gladiators are going to be huge this summer… trust me.
Lastly, in my sheer exhaustion (it’s been a long day) I totally forgot to include a LEATHER CLUTCH in my packing list collage above. In addition to my striped beach bag, I always throw in a soft leather clutch that can be used to dress up some evening looks. It literally takes up no space and can be used to hold valuables and beach essentials (sunscreen, lip balm, phone, keys, etc.) inside my larger tote, when I’m sitting with a cocktail in hand and my toes in the sand.
While I only put together 4 options for both day and night, the possibilities really are endless. Bonus points will be awarded if you have a strong packing game: you just might be able to fit everything into a carry-on bag. Skills, baby!
Do YOU have a Spring Break packing strategy for your vacation getaway?
Another day, yet another Polar-Vortex school cancellation. Mama needs a vacation. Immediately! At this point, I would consider going anywhere as long as the temperature breaks 80-degrees on a consistent basis and there is actual sunshine for more than a brief, fleeting moment. While jet-setting may not be in my near future, it has been an nice escape simply looking at warm weather clothing and swimwear. My pasty white skin is far from ready for sun exposure, but I’m definitely ready for some of these new fun clothes.
For those of you with an upcoming beach/poolside getaway (#beyondjealous), you’re in luck! I rounded up some of my favorite vacation finds which mix-and-match to perfection. All you’ll need is some great tunes and a good book and I got the rest covered!