Month: January 2015

Leaving on a Jet Plane, Finally

It has been almost exactly 4.5 years since the last time my husband and I left Canadian borders; back then, we were headed to Mexico on our honeymoon. This time, we’re again headed to Mexico … with two kids (and two grandparents) in tow. Writing all that out is slightly discombobulating because one, I can’t believe how much our life has changed in less than 5 years, and two, I can’t believe it’sĀ been only 5 years. I feel like I’ve aged a decade, at least. Tired cliche is true. Anyway, Mexico. Or, rather, Mexico!

I know many people are not fans of resort vacations, but I find them incredibly relaxing. Sometimes I want adventures from my travels; sometimes I just want to sloth. Reading and eating and sleeping are, literally, the only things I’m interested in at the moment. Of course, kids change that formula somewhat, but I’m hopeful that I can hit at least 2 of my 3 lofty goals on any given day this time around. And having the kids around will add a healthy dose of excitement – this will be their first time on a bona fide beach (Vancouver doesn’t count because we were there in the winter time), and they are bound to lose their minds, judging by their love of water parks and backyard splashing pools exhibited this past summer. You know I will be that mom on the beach snapping a bazillion photos. Call me a documentarian of important childhood memories.

The real point of this post (you were wondering, I’m sure) is the packing. Sorry: my tropical vacation capsule. (Totally on top of blogging trends am I.) Normally, I’m all about packing smart and light; this time, I took a slightly different approach. We’re paying a crapton (rough estimate) of money for our tickets, so you better believe that I’ll be taking full advantage of our checked luggage and carry-on allowance. The kids’ stuff takes up approximately 80% of that allowance, but this did not deter me from my plan to take exactly all the pieces I wanted to wear. That was my guideline: take everything I was really looking forward to wearing in a warm climate. Why wait for summer to come to me, when I can go to it.

First order of business: no pants. Except shorts (and my fleecy leggings/lounge pants for the plane ride). For an 11-day vacation, I am packing:

Eight dresses (but of course) …

beach vacation capsule

Five tops, two cardigans, a denim jacket (not pictured), one pair of shorts …

beach vacation capsule

Three swimsuits and a cover-up …

beach vacation capsule
beach stuff

Seven pairs of shoes (I know, I know) …

beach vacation capsule
sneakers and flip flops not pictured

And a bunch of stuff to wear on the plane. Oh, and workout gear I probably won’t use. Also, 3 books (this is key):

beach vacation capsule
books, books, books

I’ve talked about my approach to picking vacation reading material before, but this time I went with a 2:1 fiction to non-fiction ratio – two novels (one recommended by a BCRL reader, one an impulse buy at Chapters) plus a history book about St. Petersburg I’ve been meaning to read forever. Is a 3-book reading list too ambitious for a 11-day trip with kids? Possibly, but I hate running out of reading material at a resort where my options are really limited, so. Better safe than sorry. That’s why we’re paying the big bucks for all that luggage allowance, right?

Of course, there were some last minute additions. I went out to the outlet mall the weekend before the trip, and $37 later, came home with these:

beach vacation capsule
more stuff

The J. Crew outlet came out with another print version of my fave 5-inch shorts, and they proved to be sartorial catnip to my vacation-obsessed mind. (Never thought I’d write that about shorts, to be honest.) I threw in a couple of tees because they were less than $5 apiece and you never know when a comfy cotton tee will come in handy. The book was a bargain bin find that had me at “entertaining romp for any Downton Abbey fan”. Talk about catnip!

Because the majority of the pieces I packed are lightweight summer clothes (and the rest I’m wearing on the plane), they take up almost no room. The only 2 pieces that might be overkill are the jelly pumps (but I’m not sure where else but Mexico I’d wear them) and the sneakers (the odds of my working out while on vacation are … slight). But we’ll see how good the pack-everything-you-love approach to vacation capsule-ing turns out to be – stay tuned.

For more vacation capsules, see here and here. And read this for my general random thoughts on vacation packing.

Note: I’ve got a bunch of posts scheduled to run next week, so feel free to stop by. I may not be able to respond to comments right away, but I love getting them so, you know, comment away. Or not. No pressure.

This, Again

Zara chunky open cardigan
Cardigan, Zara (thrifted); pants, American Eagle; scarf, Winners; boots, Frye; bag, Marc Jacobs

This is basically The Minuteglass-inspired version of this outfit. Very warm, very comfortable. Call it Northern Alberta casual glam. Of course, I also wore a coat because this is Northern Alberta, and I’m not completely reckless.

Zara chunky open cardigan
coat, Calvin Klein
Zara chunky open cardigan
looks cute from the back too

I enjoyed this look a ton (thanks, Cassie!), and wore it a couple of times over the holidays. I liked it so much, I’m going to try tweaking it for the (Friday casual) office. Stay tuned!

Zara chunky open cardigan
oof, that hair

Iris Love

Tibi iris ikat faux wrap dress
Dress, Tibi (via eBay); tights, Target; boots, Frye; coat, MaxMara; bag, MbMJ
Tibi iris ikat faux wrap dress
missing the (big, chunky, cozy) scarf – in the name of fashun blogging

Yeah, those boots again. This was a date night outfit, so I basically just threw together a bunch of things I love. As a bonus, the Tibi dress has a healthy dose of sexiness to it, which made it very apropos. TMI? Sowwy.

Tiffany Paloma blue topaz necklace
mah joolz (earrings, Swarovski; necklace, Tiffany)
Tibi iris ikat faux wrap dress
see, the tights were blue … and everything looked less all-the-colours-of-the-rainbow

As you can see in the picture above, my tights really were blue – and not purple – and looked less random in real life. Shooting outfits at dusk (4pm, sob!) is always tricky. I took a chance on (matching) blue tights because my default black ones wouldn’t have worked with this outfit. In fact, I’m not sure how I feel about pairing this dress with black, period. I love its print, but it may prove a little difficult. What would you guys suggest?

Tibi iris ikat faux wrap dress
date night, baby!