5 Gifts for Travellers

I was fortunate to take a few trips this past year and recently,  a friend asked what were the best things I used for packing and travelling.  It was such an easy question and considering the time of year, I thought I would share my favourites with you.

Packing cubes:

I found these at Marshalls for $30 and I picked up another set at IKEA for $10.  They keep your shirts separate from your socks and your workout gear doesn’t get mixed up with your everyday t-shirts.

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A Luggage Scale:

A must have!  With many airlines now charging extra if your bag is overweight, it is handy to check how much your luggage weighs before you leave home.  For less than $20 you should pick up this.

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Packing bags:

My sister gave me these before our Europe trip and they made packing pretty efficient.  All the little things were in their own place and easy to find in my carry on and in my suitcase.

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Passport holder:

This case is so handy to keep your passports, itineraries, boarding passes, etc.  It’s great for families and solo travellers.   I paid about $25 for this particular style.

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A reusable shopping bag:

I always take one or two of these with me.  They come in a handy pouch, are easy to pack and ready to be used for anything!  They usually cost less than $5 and can be used for groceries, souvenirs, etc.  Carrying one of these will make you look more like a local and less like a tourist.

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All of these items are pretty affordable to give as gifts or use as stocking stuffers.  Is there anything you take on a trip that should be on my list?  Please let me know in the comments and happy shopping!

linking up with: A Little Bit of EverythingSincerely, PaulaDesign Dining and Diapers,Mom Home GuideNot Dressed As LambGood Random FunClaire JustineI Should be Mopping the Floor

Not so ugly Christmas sweaters 

What do you think of Christmas sweaters?  Have you seen these on Amazon?

While I am the first to admit that pictures of families in ugly Christmas sweaters are funny, I rarely see anyone showing off some cute holiday sweaters.  Until now, that is.

Look what I found at Marshall’s!


  
  

These are the not so ugly Christmas sweaters that most of us could wear and feel festive.  My daughter loved the one with the dog and my fav is the Christmas tree. Any surprise it’s grey? 😉   And they are all under $40 – not bad, eh?

There really is a Christmas sweater for everyone , isn’t there?

linking up with: More Pieces of Me,The Pleated PoppyCurly Crafty MomHappiness at Mid-LifeJaymie AshcraftThe Jenny EvolutionJo-Lynne ShaneFashion Should Be FunShopping My Closet

 

 

 

Holiday Packing – Follow up

This past week, my blog feed has been filled with posts about about Thanksgiving, snow, Christmas and holiday decorating.

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I interrupt these festivities to bring you an update about  what I packed for a trip to Hawaii.

What to packor not...

 

The rainy weather comes fairly early here on the West Coast and with the Remembrance Day holiday in early November, many families take a holiday to a sun destination before the real cold and rain sets in.

A few weeks ago, I lamented about what to pack for this trip.  I do this for most trips and always pack just a few too many things.  So, to move this along so that you can get back to your blanket scarf and holiday decorating,  here is what I packed:

  • 3 pairs of shorts (black, khaki, distressed denim)
  • 2 black & cream short patterned dresses
  • 1 long black & grey maxi dress
  • 2 tank tops (orange & blue)
  • 1 skirt (grey)
  • 4 tees (white, black, graphic and purple)
  • 1 pair of lululemon athletic pants (to wear on the plane)
  • 1 cardigan (black)
  • 1 sport jacket (black – to wear on the plane)
  • 3 bathings suits
  • 2 cover ups
  • exercise clothes
  • 1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of flip flops and Nike fun runners

 

Are you wondering how much of this I wore?  You might be surprised.

  • 1 pair of shorts  – the black ones only. Realized that I don’t like the distressed denim ones and didn’t need the khaki ones.
  • 1 short dress – made by Columbia with a built in bra in a forgiving pattern for wrinkles and spills.  The other dress was an impulse online order and never fit well or looked good.
  • 1 long maxi dress – wore a couple times for dinner – love it!
  • 1 tank top – the orange one added colour to my shorts and fit better than the blue one I dragged along
  • 1 skirt – this grey t-shirt skirt goes everywhere with me and pretty much any top goes with it.  Super easy to pack and wear.
  • 3 tees – I wore the white one the most, then the graphic one and lastly the purple one.  The black one stayed in my suitcase the whole time, which is surprising for me.
  • 2 bathing suits were worn and both cover ups.
  • All the shoes were worn regularly.

 

So, as you can see I slightly overpacked.  Not by a great amount but there were about 8 extra items that hooked a ride on my trip and weren’t needed.

These hot tropical type vacations really don’t require a lot of clothing.  You rarely see the same people twice, most condos have laundry facilities and with the exception of the odd dinner out, it is a pretty casual trip.  Bring along a few pieces of jewellery and voila your outfit has changed.

We now resume our regular programming.  Cue Christmas music, elf and holiday decorating.

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linking up with: Pleated PoppyHappiness at Mid-lifeFashion Should Be FunCurly Crafty MomJo-Lynne Shane

 

Holiday Packing in the Fall

It’s hard to believe that November is here!  The balmy weather has quickly turned to rain, puddles and cooler temperatures.   I still haven’t bought a blanket scarf, but I have been wearing my booties and last year’s plaid scarf.

Just a peak of plaid.
Just a peak of plaid.

We are fortunate to be taking a trip to Maui next week.  It was booked about 6 months ago when there was a seat sale on our favourite airline, so we decided to take advantage.  We have a couple sets of friends who will also be there, so it will make for a fun family time.

But while I am looking forward to our trip, I still have to pack.

If you have read this blog over the past couple years, you will know that I don’t like packing.  I can pack for the kids with my eyes closed and both hands tied behind my back.  But when it comes to my own clothes, I tend to freeze and get overwhelmed.  With time, I would say it is getting better and for beach holidays, you really don’t need to pack a lot.  Do you?

When in doubt, head to Pinterest.  Here’s what I have found to make my own packing experience easier:

packing tips spring break
This list looks like it would be easy to follow.
packing tips family beach vacation
The visuals in this picture look simple and would be easy to pack.
beach packing
I like this grouping with all the options for what you pack.
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Lastly, this grouping looks so simple that you could probably pack the day before you leave!

Wish me luck over the next few days as I bring out the suitcases and start to pack. I’ll post my struggles and success and show you which packing tips I used.  If you have any tips for warm warm holiday packing, please let me know!

linking up with: Fashion Should Be FunJaymie AshcraftJo-Lynne Shane

He’s Back…!!!

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  It’s the time when our little Elf on the Shelf returns and boy, could I use his help.  Our little elf came into our lives two years ago, and the kids named him Rex (not sure how that came about).  Since then, they talk about Rex during the year and anxiously await his arrival on December 1st.

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So, in just 3 short sleeps, Rex will be once again here to make life at our house a little easier for the next month.  Or will he make things easier?  I know a lot of families don’t want to resort to using this type of help.  They feel it’s a little sneaky and isn’t in the true spirit of Christmas.  That said, everyone is entitled to their opinion and each family has to do what  is right for them.

But I know that it’s fun for my family.  The kids are excited to wake up each morning and search for which spot Rex has landed in overnight.  I have used Pinterest in the past for ideas on what to do with Rex. There are so many fun and cheeky ideas, like these:

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(pinterest images)

If it makes it easier for me to get them to think about their manners, sharing, not yelling, getting along, et cetera then I am going to take the help.  It takes a village to raise a child and I am going to use the village of the North Pole to help me in December.

Besides, I think this little elf idea is fun. Who wouldn’t want to wake up and find an elf in the sugar bowl, or the bathroom, or swinging from a light? 😊

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Packing 101

So, we are off to our lakeside resort and the annual dilemma of what to pack is again upon me. From previous posts, you may have guessed that I don’t like to pack for trips. I always feel like I am forgetting something, not packing the right clothes or packing too little or too much.

But this time is going to be different! Why you ask? Well, I’ve been pinning enough Pinterest pins on how to pack and now I am going to put it to the test.

Before you pack, you need details on where you are going. Here are our deets:

– This is our 6th trip in as many years to the lake.
– We will be gone for 9 nights and that includes travel time.
– The weather at the lake is in the low 30s (which is high 80s for our American followers).
– It is a fairly casual vibe at the hotel and the small town where it is.

Based on this info, here is what I am packing:

3 tank tops
3 tshirts
2 pair of shorts
1 skirt
2 dresses
3 pair flip flops

All fairly coordinating with mostly neutral bottoms and a little splash of colour with my tops.

This list obviously doesn’t include bathing suits or work out clothes. It also doesn’t include the capris and tee I will wear for traveling.

I am really hopeful that I am turning a corner on this packing stress. Wish me luck as I go with the “less is more” strategy. 😎

I wonder how much my sister is packing?!?