My oncologist cleared me for reconstruction! Yay excitement flooded over me.
I wasn’t going to feel without anymore!
one- dress: h&m, necklace: francesca's, earrings: forever 21, shoes: guess / two- top: forever 21, skirt: jcrew, handbag: ann taylor
Outfit photos I managed to snap in Cancun, as you can see from my packing post, I managed to use the same shoes & necklace for two outfits.
top: old navy, skirt: jcrew, sandals: sam edleman, necklace: francescas, watch: la mer c/o lucky fabb, bracelets: vintage, ring: h&m, pink ring: vintage
If I had to choose to items to live in for the rest of my life it just might be this button-up and skirt. I love Old Navys button ups, they fit good, they are light weight and I love the price. And well what’s not to love about a J Crew skirt?!
Strawberry Shortcake-Cheesecake Trifles…whoa that’s a mouthful. And they are a mouthful…a mouthful of wonderful deliciousness.
I needed to bring a dessert to a BBQ on Saturday and because the BBQ was after a golf outing, my dessert needed to be made a day ahead of time. With it being warm and summery I really wanted to bring something with strawberries. A strawberry trifle was the perfect thing…only trifles get messy so I made individuals. And oh boy were they a HUGE hit!
These individual trifles are super easy to make and there is no last minute fuss. Just make the day before, chill and enjoy :)
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home
Makes 12 individual trifles (could make one large one)
In a bowl, toss strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.
In a bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream; set aside.
Drain strawberries, reserving juice; set the berries aside.
Gently toss cake cubes with reserved juice. Create a cake layer by placing cubes in a bottom of mason jars.
I put filling mixture in a frosting bag and piped it into jars to create filling layer.
Top with a layer of the strawberries.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
I am off to Mexico…hope you all have a wonderful week and weekend. Enjoy my packing how-to!
Let’s face it…women need A LOT of things to get ready, it’s no secret. And going on vacation can stress some people out because they don’t know what to bring and want to make sure they have everything you need. In years past it wasn’t that big of deal, airlines weight limits were higher and you were aloud more luggage. Today they charge you to check a bag and put limits on our liquids and carry-ons. It can be a disaster.
I thought I would photograph and explain my packing system with all of you, because I have it down to an art. Going on vacation a week or less…all I need is a rolling carry-on suitcase…no fees or charges here, and no fear of the airline losing your suitcase :)
5 years ago I was the girl who thought she needed everything, my suitcase was loaded to the brim praying I would be under the weight limit. But countless travel miles later I have it figured out pretty well for what works for me at least. My process takes longer than most do to pack but I promise it is well worth it and will leave you stress free! So just maybe it might take some of the edge off some of you when it comes to packing and you can relax!
To begin here are my tips:
1. Pack at least 2 days ahead of time, do not leave it until the night before. I have been guilty of this many times. Here’s why you want to give yourself a day or two. Packing takes longer than we estimate and before we know it, it’s 3am and your plane leaves in 4 hours and your just finishing throwing things in. That’s a recipe for looking and feeling like crap the first day of your vacation. If you start at least 2 days ahead, you can get a jump on things and then just add in the essentials the night before. Also if there is something you want to buy/need you have to time to do it after you’ve realized it while packing.
2. Look over your itinerary before and while you are packing, it will help you with outfit planning. If you don’t have an itinerary then just try to imagine what you’ll be doing on days, beach? sight seeing? dinner? It’s really important to how I pack, it helps me keep organized.
3. Make sure you know the weather thoroughly where you are going. Learn the highs, lows, evenings, wind. I watch the weather for about a month where I am going before my vacation. You will never be fully prepared for mother nature but watching it will sure help you get an idea.
4. Do not pack your suitcase to the brim. Chances are you will not need everything you pack and I like to leave room to bring things back with.
5. Bring a plastic bag for dirty laundry, or if you forget I use the laundry bag in most hotels. This will help you keep organized and your clothes in your suitcase fresher. When something is dirty put it in the bag so it’s separate from you clothes and that way you know you can’t wear it again.
6. Wear heavy items on the plane such as your jacket or sweater, hats or heavy shoes. Not only will this keep you warm on the plane but it will keep bulky items out of your suitcase.
My packing process:
Pull clothes: Pull stuff out of your closet that you would like to wear or want to wear on vacation. When I start to day dream about my vacations I immediately start to think of things I’d like to wear while there. I bring these things out onto my bed and start trying stuff on. In the process I start to build outfits. I also like to make sure I pull stuff, that is lightweight, doesn’t wrinkle easily and can fold down.
Build outfits: Using the weather forecast and my itinerary I start to build outfits and lay them on my bed. Building outfits used to seem like a lot of extra work for packing but if done right it saves me so much room and keeps things organized. I used to just throw a bunch of clothes together, not creating outfits but I found that by doing that I always over packed. Make sure you try the outfits on so you know you like the pieces together.
Give yourself options: We have all seen the spreads in the magazines where they give you four pieces of clothing, a pair of shoes and accessories and tell you that’s all you need for a vacation. Pack light it says. In my opinion that’s not realistic, and that’s why I didn’t use to plan outfits. Sometimes when you plan an outfit, you don’t wind up liking it and you feel like you don’t have options. Also for me at least, I am not happy wearing the same thing from sun up to sun down while on vacation, I like to give myself day outfits and evening outfits.
Versatility: BUT the key is to make your outfits versatile. In the photo below I have selected three shirts and four bottoms that can all be worn with one another. The pieces can be interchanged. I could create up to 12 outfits from just these items. If you build outfits from versatile pieces you will have options so you don’t feel trapped.
Stick with a color palate: I build my outfits off a color scheme or inspiration. I just bought the pink & orange sandals from H&M and in this case I wanted to create outfits that I could wear with the sandals. These outfits below were outfits I created to wear during the day.
Accessorize: Just like I pull clothes that I want to wear, I then start to pull accessories that I want to wear as well. I put accessories to match every outfit. Using almost the same accessories I match them to my evening outfits.
Keep shoes to a minimum: Shoes take up the most amount of room in a suitcase and add the most amount of weight. I struggle with this the most but it is critical to pick shoes that will go with everything. In this case the flat sandals could be worn with all outfits as well as the nude wedges. This is why sticking to a similar color palate is so important.
Condense: I then condense down all of the outfits so I can see them all in one and take away accessories, only leaving ones that would match everything. In this case I kept the gold circle earrings and white sparkly ones, I kept only the turquoise necklace and simple gold tassel chain.
I did the same thing for stuff to wear at the beach.
Learn to take away: Even I sometimes still get carried away and pull out too much clothes. Like the photo above, I brought out two swimsuits, one with two bottoms. Right as you think you are done, take a step back and think “what don’t I really need?” In this case you will see I decided I only really needed the one swim top with two bottoms. I will sometimes take things away even after I have it all packed in my suitcase.
Fold then roll: I get everything folded up and combined. Obviously add in some pjs, don’t forget bras and panties and look it all over. I put my jewelry in a separate little pouch and it goes in my carry on bag.
Swimsuits, bras & undies go in the side compartments and everything else gets rolled up. I am sure you can find tons of tutorials and videos on how to roll your clothes if you don’t know how. It’s super easy, saves tons of space and prevents wrinkles!
Heaviest things go on the bottom and I will add in my toiletry bag on the top. I will wear the hat and sandals on the plane along with a jean jacket to keep me warm while traveling and just in case of cool nights.
Carry on tote/ purse
While traveling through the airport you want to be as light as possible so I condense down.
Right bag: It’s important that you choose the right bag as your carry on tote, it needs to be functional yet not too large. Since I was going to Mexico I chose one that was perfect for a carry on yet would double as the perfect beach tote.
Empty: If you are anything like me or the rest of the female population you probably feel like Mary Poppins when it comes to all the stuff in your purse. So I empty it out to determine what I need to bring and what can stay behind. Way too much stuff in the photo below to carry around airport.
Purse: You can’t go without a purse while on vacation yet it’s important to choose something small that functions for all occasions and matches your outfits. A small cross body bag is perfect for this but I chose a large neon wristlet instead. by Ann Taylor
Condensed down to everything I needed out of my purse.
Packed all in with money and all :)
I also put my makeup in my carry on tote so I have it accessible for touch-ups in the airport.
Packed & ready to go to sunny warm Cancun!
My world was completely turned upside down this past weekend to learn about the passing of an amazing woman, Jamie Zade. Jamie and I competed in Miss Michigan this past year together, she came in 2nd runner up. Jamie was beautiful, graceful, talented and when she took that stage she shined. Jamie and I only met that once and got to know each other a bit back stage but she left a lasting impression on me. I wanted to be Jamie. She was tall, in great shape and rocked the stage. I assumed she would compete again this year and I would have been willing to bet, would bring home the crown. She will never be forgotten and was loved by the pageant world. Jamie, we love you. My deepest prayers and thoughts go out to your family.
It must've been in a place so dark you couldn't feel the light
Reachin' for you through that stormy cloud
Now here we are gathered in our little hometown
This can't be the way you meant to draw a crowd…
You always played with passion no matter what the game
When you took the stage, you shined just like the sun
Now the oak trees are swayin' in the early autumn breeze
The golden sun is shining on my face
The tangled thoughts I hear a mockingbird sing
This old world really ain't that bad a place
Oh, why? There's no comprehending
And who am I to try to judge or explain?
Oh, but I do have one burning question
Who told you life wasn't worth the fight?
They were wrong, they lied, and now you're gone, and we cried
'Cause it's not like you to walk away in the middle of a song
Your beautiful song, your absolutely beautiful song <3
Tucky wanted to say hi :)
top: h&m, jeans: the vintage twin, necklace: francesca's, purse: tj maxx, heels: kate spade via tj maxx
I feel like Dorothy with my glitter heels! and I can’t gush enough about how much I love them…and how much I loved that I only paid $149 for them!! They definitely are feel good, happy shoes. And on a Monday…lord knows we all need something to make us feel good and happy!
I just about died and went to heaven when I saw this J Crew tank the other day. I mean it’s nautical, it’s got a huge anchor on it, it’s light (which is surprising for the amount of sequins) and it’s covered in them! I really wanted to wear it with my pink pants but I thought I would keep it classic with my favorite white american eagle jeans. How do you guys feel about american eagle jeans, I’ve always hated them but somehow have managed to keep this pair forever. They fit good but then they stretch…like a ridiculous amount :( I swear the only jeans I have found to love are Joes, but I don’t love the high $$$ price tag.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend :)