5 things I always buy at Ikea

I haven’t been to Ikea in about six months and yet, within the past three weeks, I have shopped there three times.  Go figure.

Just like at Costco, there are a few staples that I usually buy at Ikea.  They are always in good supply and the price is always right!

Clockwise from top right:

  1. Toilet brush cleaner/holder – it’s only $1 and it gets the job done.  Enough said.
  2. Kitchen dish scrub brush – again it’s about $1, comes in 3 colours and lasts a pretty long time.
  3. Ribba frames – these vary in size and price, and come with a mat.  These frames are frequently used for gallery walls in many of the magazines I read.
  4. Roll of paper – found in the children’s section.  It’s about $5 and we use it for colouring, drawing, making signs, table runners, etc.
  5. Fantastisk napkins – they are fantastic.  Cost is about $3 and I usually buy the standard white, but they often have seasonal colours and a few patterned ones throughout the year.

Obviously, my shopping cart is filled with more than these five items anytime I go to my favourite Swedish home store.  Am I missing anything?  What do you buy when you go to Ikea?

linking up with: Design Dining & DiapersThe Fab JourneySincerely, PaulaA Little Bit of EverythingShelbee on the EdgeCurly Crafty MomClaire JustineI Should Be Mopping the FloorGood Random Fun

My top 5 clothes for travelling

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Last month, we returned from a three week trip to Europe, which included stops in England, France and Germany.   We knew ahead of time that the weather was going to be mixed; cooler temperatures and rain in England, but sun and heat in Germany and France. So, as you can imagine packing was complicated as I wanted to make sure I had the right clothes for the right weather and the right cities.  Oh, and I didn’t want to look like a tourist.

Throughout our trip, I realized I was wearing 5 items very regularly.  I was surprised that these items were working for all the cities, countries and weather we were experiencing.

What are they you ask?  Check out my list below – I’ve linked the exact or similar items for reference.

#1 – This denim shirt was great for layering over tanks, t-shirts and dresses.  It wasn’t cold where we were, but often there was a breeze or chill in the air and this denim shirt kept me comfortable.  A linen shirt would have also worked, but this is what I bought as I thought it would transition well into Fall.

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Denim Shirt

 

#2 – I had never taken a scarf when I had travelled in the past, but Pinterest and friends of mine assured me I needed to have one.  So, I packed one along and I am so glad I did!  It added a little interest to my basic wardrobe and was used as a pillow by one of my kids on the flight.  My scarf was in shades of grey and blue and it went with 90% of my wardrobe.  After this trip, I will always pack a scarf on my future travels.

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Plaid Scarf

 

#3 – I wanted a comfortable yet stylish running shoe (sneaker) to wear for our long days of sightseeing, but I didn’t want to wear an obvious sporty shoe.  Converse were an option, but I found the Superga shoe fit better and had slightly more support for my feet.  At the end of the day, my feet felt great in these shoes.  I bought white, but grey was my second choice (surprise, surprise).  This is an Italian brand of shoe and I saw many women wearing these all over Europe.

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Superga shoe

 

#4 – I wanted to have some pants that would be comfortable for travelling, walking and just hanging out and I knew these joggers would be perfect.  I have them in this greige colour and black.  They are 100% cotton, so they breathe and don’t feel too hot when the temperatures heat up. They were easy to style and wear with a tank or t-shirt and made me look less like an obvious tourist.

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Jogger Style Pants

 

#5 – Lastly, a white t-shirt.  I don’t go anywhere without one or even two of these.  This shirt has a more relaxed style and looked great with both my pants and skirts. This is basically my “don’t leave  home without one” shirt.

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Basic White T-shirt

 

What do you think of these choices?   Is there something from your closet that you always pack?  Let me know in the comments below and happy travels!

linking up with: Happiness at Mid-lifeCurly Crafty MomElegance and MommyhoodThe Fab JourneyHigh Latitude StyleSincerely, PaulaFashion Should Be FunJaymie AshcraftJo-Lynne ShaneFriday FavouritesNancy’s Fashion StyleShelbee on the EdgeFine WhateverBeauty101 by LisaMore Pieces of MeSincerely, Jenna Marie,Elegantly FashionableNot Dressed As LambStyle NudgeElegantly Dressed and StylishByBmgGaray TreasuresTwo Peas in a BlogA Good Hue,The Mummy ChroniclesThe Pleated PoppyShopping My ClosetThe Blended BlogJersey Girl Texan HeartSydney Fashion HunterGet Your Pretty OnPosh Classy Mom

Target $10 Finds

 

Oh, Target, how do I love thee? Let me count the $10 ways…

Unlike my sister (who I share this blog with), I have not been to Europe lately (like in 21 years) and have not laid eyes on the Parisian Target. Instead, I happily shlep to my local Target on a weekly, sometimes tri-weekly basis, to purchase both necessities and justifiable finds for $10 and under.

Who doesn’t love a good dollar section? While my youngest likes to point out that the dollar section sometimes has things for $2 or even (gasp!) $3, I LOVE how you can grab everything from flash cards to napkins, socks, toys and more. I always take a quick peruse through here.

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White towels frighten me. I fear the process of having to keep them white so maybe it’s  bleach that frightens me. However, more frightening are the medicated skin care products my daughter uses that suck the color out of anything she touches.

These stacks of washcloths are a staple in my daughter’s bathroom. Are they super soft? No, but she has yet to develop an opinion on the fluffiness of her towels and they stay relatively white.

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It’s true (I’ve heard) that retailers put items near the checkout stands for impulse purchases. Who doesn’t love a movie for under ten bucks?!

On several occasions I have grabbed an oldie but a goodie for my viewing pleasure including some “classics” I thought my daughters would enjoy. Clueless, anyone?

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IMHO, there are so many reasons to love Target, $10 or otherwise.

linking up with: The Fab JourneyA Little Bit of EverythingShelbee on the EdgebyBMG BlogSincerely, Paula

 

 

 

 

Shoes for Days

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This picture represents the shoes my family took on our recent trip to Europe.   Four people, 3 weeks, 17 pairs of shoes.  That averages out to roughly four pairs each, but in actual fact I ended up with 6 pairs in my suitcase.  This was no beach vacation, so I knew we needed comfortable shoes.  Our plans included walking – lot of walking!!

Here’s the breakdown of who took what:

Daughter:

  • Flip flops
  • Native slip ons
  • Sketcher slip ons
  • Under Armour runners

She only wore the Natives once, so I probably could have left this pair at home.  Same with  the Under Armour runners as she preferred her Sketcher slips ons most days.  I wish I had bought a pair of Birkenstock sandals for her as the selection and price in Germany was way better than here at home.  #missedopportunity

 

 Son:


  • Flip flops
  • Vans black slip ons
  • Under Armour runners

My son wore exactly what he brought exactly when I thought he would.  He didn’t complain about sore feet, so I deem his shoe packing a success.

 

Husband:

 


  • 2 x pairs of Adidas
  • Flips flops
  • Running shoes  (for running/hiking)

Husband rotated through his shoes each day as we did a lot of walking.  He didn’t end up wearing his flip flops at all, but since they didn’t take up much room it was still worth bring them along.  #justincase

(note:  couldn’t find the other Adidas to put in the picture as he was wearing them)

 

Me:


  • flip flops
  • tan coloured sandals
  • Black Nike runners
  • White Superga runners
  • Black espadrilles

I am pretty happy with the shoes I packed and I wore them all.  I wish I had swapped out my white laces on the Nikes to black so that they would have looked more like a fashion runner than a workout runner. That said, with a white tee and black jogger pants they were just fine.

The Superga were a new purchase before we left and I was surprised how comfortable they were.  Of course I bought white and they got dirty, but I was ok with that.   I also bought a pair of black espadrilles before we left and I’m glad I did!  Very comfortable for walking around and went just fine with my jeans, jogger pants and both my dresses. My Mat & Nat sandals were also quite comfortable and easy to wear with all my outfits.

And while in Germany, I purchased these:

The Birkenstocks were purchased because I have a lot of friends who rave about them and since I was in the land of Birkenstocks…I had to have a pair.  They have been on trend for a few years now and while I used to shun them, I’m now happy to have a pair.  If you haven’t tried them, you should.  You might be surprised.

I would use this shoe packing guide again for any other long trips that involve a lot of walking.  What do you think?  Did I forget to include anything?  Let me know in the comments what shoes you take on your trips.

linking up with: Jaymie AshcraftFashion Should Be FunHappiness at Mid-lifeJo-Lynne ShaneNancy’s Fashion StyleNancy’s Fashion StylePocketful of Polka DotsPosh Classy MomPosh Classy MomMore Pieces of MeSincerely Jennna MarieStyle NudgeReasons to Dress,The Pleated PoppyShopping My ClosetThe Blended BlogGet Your Pretty OnJersey Girl Texan HeartClassy Yet Trendy

 

$10 at Target

Well, I guess I should clarify this.  I spent 10 euros at Monoprix.   What’s Monoprix you ask?  Well, I had been told that Monoprix was the French version of Target.  It’s a French department store that is all over the country.  It looks like this:

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I recently returned from a trip to Europe and while I was there, I was more than excited to check out this chain.  But I have to say I was a little dismayed by the two stores I went into.  The store I visited in Paris was small, had a food market on the lower level and women’s clothes and accessories on the main floor.  The clothing section had some good deals, but it was a mess and I really didn’t see anything worth trying on.  #disappointed

The second store was much larger, but I had only a few minutes to get what I needed.  And what was that, you ask?

This:

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We had forgotten our nail tools at home, so I needed to get an extra set.  These two items totalled €10.  I’m not sure about you, but it seemed like a lot to me.

So, although I didn’t get to really experience the French Target, I got the feeling it did not have the deals and selection that the real Target has.  Did I mention I’m still sad that Target left Canada?

linking up with: Garay TreasuresA Pocketful of Polka DotsSincerely Paula

What I saw – Fashion in Paris

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Our family recently returned from a vacation in Europe and the last few days were spent in Paris.  I was in Paris about 21 years ago with my sister (who shares this blog) with me.   It was 1995, September and the weather was quite cool.  Here’s what we wore:

 

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You may want to know why we were wearing XXL sweatshirts?  Umm…we have no clue!!  We both laugh and shudder to believe we actually dressed like this in Paris!

Fast forward to this year and I think I have improved my travelling wardrobe.  I’ll do another post about what I packed, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t stand out as an obvious tourist.  But I also didn’t look like a Parisian.  These women have an effortless style about them that is hard to describe, but I’ll try.  Chic, classic, simple, confident, basic, put together.   Just a few words that come to mind.

Before I tell you my favourite Parisian looks, I’ll tell you what I didn’t see:

  • really distressed denim
  • boyfriend jeans
  • off the shoulders tops (only worn by tourists)
  • too many patterns

I’m not saying these items are not being worn in Paris, but I just didn’t see them.

What did I see?

  • tailored pants/jeans – cigarette style in dark denim or black
  • cropped and flared pants – in linen
  • white tops – blouses and tees
  • simple dresses in solid colours
  • scarves
  • classic and simple purse or bag
  • ballet flats (yes, they really do wear them)
  • stylish sunglasses
  • dark blazer or fitted cardigan
  • solid colours or colour blocking

 

During our travels around the city, there were two Parisian women that stood out to me.

The first  wore a white tee, dark jeans, black and tan ballet flats and a dark blazer and carried a simple cross body purse.

The second had on a sleeveless dress, more of a tank style with a full skirt.  It was in a bright coral colour, and accessorized with a necklace and carried a classic tote style purse. The sandals were flat but with that slightly thicker sole that seems to be on trend right now.

Both women looked fantastic and although I couldn’t see myself wearing the bright coral dress, I could see myself recreating the look being with a more subtle colour.  I wasn’t able to take a picture of either of these ladies, but I found a few images on Pinterest that will show you how they looked:

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Shannon from Gamine & Stripes

 

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There are lots and lots of images and ideas on Pinterest (of course) if you need more inspiration.  I thought this this article summed it all up quite nicely.  I’m going to try and add a little more Paris to my wardrobe and since it’s actually quite simple, I should be able to find everything in my closet🙂

 

linking up with: More Pieces of MeSincerely Jenna MarieElegantly FashionableHigh Latitude StyleGaray TreasuresStyle NudgeTwo Peas in a BlogFine Whatever BlogA Good HueWalking In Memphis in High HeelsThe Mummy ChroniclesPosh Classy MomThe Pleated PoppyThe Blended BlogGet Your Pretty OnSydney Fashion HunterClassy Yet TrendyElegance and MommyhoodThe Fab JourneyHappiness at Mid-life,Curly Crafty MomFashion Should Be Fun,Jo-Lynne ShaneNancy’s Fashion StylePosh Classy MomShelbee on the EdgeMs. Toody Goo Shoes