Travel

3 Practical Packing Tips for the Smart & Stylish Traveler

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Travel with purpose.

As the holidays are approaching many of you are making plans to travel. Snowbirds will be flocking down to warmer weather. And for those of you in the deeper south you’ll be looking for holiday snowfall. Whether you’re getting away for just a weekend or week long stay, packing takes time and planning. With the Christmas rush and long list of to-do’s, things are likely to be forgotten. I want to share some simple packing tips I’ve learned from my travels, especially when it comes to packing light and keeping organized. These practical solutions will help you pack only the essentials and save you the stress, and possibly having to check in a bag.

PACKING TIP #1: How to coordinate your outfits.

Stick to a narrow color palette and build your outfits around that. You’ll be surprised with how much you can do with less. On my recent 10 day trip I planned 5 outfits (and  travel day outfit) focusing around the colors red and black. Trying to figure out what to wear takes thought and can be stressful. So many things go into planning an outfit: top, bottoms, shoes, jewelry and jackets! Narrowing down my color palette helped limit the number of clothes and shoes I had to pack, saving me luggage space for other essential items like my curling iron and hair straightener. I had actually forgotten a pair of pants and a top (not pictured below), and was still able to create additional outfits on my trip because everything I packed was versatile and easy to mix and match.

*Style Tip: Colder seasons are one of the hardest times to pack for. Everything is bulky and takes up space. Save room in your luggage by just wearing or carrying your coat to the airport. For comfort and warmth I wore a workout outfit that went well with my heavy jacket.

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PACKING TIP #2: How to pack delicate items (hats, shoes, accessories)

Shoes :

I find shoes to be pretty durable. But for my delicate or more expensive shoes I prefer to keep them in shoe bags for protection. I typically pack them in the netted pocket inside my luggage. This keeps my shoes organized in one place and makes pulling them out for outfits much easier.

*Style Tip – For weekend getaways I like to use my shoe bags to store my undergarments in or for my dirty laundry. 

Accessories:

  • Jewelry – Velvet jewelry pouches aren’t just pretty, they’re soft and gentler on your jewelry (this may be my personal preference). I’m embarrassed to admit I used to pack my jewelry in plastic ziplock bags. Eek! There are pockets and places inside your luggage you can place your accessories in but for those expensive pieces I suggest keeping them with you in your carry-on.

*Style Tip- Pack ONLY what you need – a couple of necklaces and earrings that easily go with each outfit.

  • Hats – You learn to get a little creative with packing hats. There are a couple of ways you can do it. The first way is the simplest, pack them in your carry-on tote. Or the second way…On my last trip to the islands I brought a sunhat. I laid my hat upside-down on the flat side of my luggage and packed socks inside so it didn’t cave in. You can also pack scarves or a couple of tops inside them too. If you plan to bring more than one delicate hat I recommend packing them inside one another by size. Then place everything else around the crown of your hat in your luggage.

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PACKING TIP #3: How to keep your essentials organized 

Give everything a home. Clear plastic pouches keep like items together and make them easy to find. I can’t tell you the number of times I left behind a phone charger or couldn’t find an item I needed because it was hiding somewhere under a pile of folded clothes. That’s the worst when you need something in a flash. For smaller accessories like nail polish, toiletries, makeup or sunglasses use smaller pouches. For things you need a quick access to like your phone charger, iPad, passport or credit cards use a larger pouch. I love the transparency of clear pouches. You can see what you need and they look chic.

*Style Tip- For higher quality and TSA approved pouch sets shop these favorites! 

Wit & Delight Travel Pouch

Clarity Clutch

clear pouches

In need of trusty carry-on bag? I’ve been very pleased with my classic Samantha Brown travel bag. I used to watch TLC’s “Passport to Travel” with host Samantha Brown. She has traveled around the world and knows a thing or two about travel essentials and luggage. You can imagine my excitement when I learned of her stylish travel collection. I got my bag as a Christmas gift about 4 years ago. It has stood the test of time and travel. This travel bag is versatile and also makes a great weekender bag. I use it all the time. When traveling durability and weight is important. This has both, and its exterior is water and stain resistant.

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These tips just go to show you don’t have to compromise style for being practical. You can purchase Samantha Brown’s travel 3-piece set online at HSN or for a discounted price at the HSN outlet store in Brandon, Florida.

Do you have other travel related questions or tips you’d like to share? Comment below.  I’ll be happy to cover them on the blog.

 

 

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Travel

Look Like A Local : Shopping & Food Guide

LOCATION: Kansas, Missouri & Tennessee | November 3rd- November 13th

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I recently went on a ten day trip with my boyfriend, Jeremy, to meet his family and close friends for the first time, which gave our trip special meaning. I was also excited to visit two states and a city I had never been to before: Kansas, Missouri and Franklin, Tennessee. The Midwest is not all flat land and farms. During our visit I fell in love with some of the areas in Missouri and Kansas. There are gems to be found and beautiful places to admire.

Whenever I travel or go on trips I love to check out the shopping scene. I get so much inspiration and new ideas on how to style outfits as well as insight on what the trends are in other places. Part of that fun is sharing those discoveries with my clients and friends back at home. The places I’ll be sharing will resonate with vintage lovers and those who like to stay on top of the trends. If that’s not you, stay with me! Be open to exploring new things. You may surprise yourself and find something you like.

ST. JOSEPH, MISSOURI

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…Also known as St. Joe. On our second day we went out for breakfast with Jeremy’s family at a place called Le Peep. Not too far from there is a local consignment shop Jeremy’s mom often shops at, The Spotted Dog. The original plan was to make it just a girls shopping trip but to our surprise the men opted to join in. At The Spotted Dog you will find a hodge-podge of things from furniture, home accessories and organic soaps to clothes, shoes and jewelry. I found myself lost in the purses. Near the front cashier desk were a collection of  brand names and higher-end hand bags. I spotted a vintage Dooney & Bourke saddle bag on one of the racks. The leather and hardware was in excellent condition. Jeremy’s mom was so sweet to get it for me as an early birthday gift.

Shopping Tip: Second-hand stores and consignment shops are great places to shop for designer hand bags. You’ll find them at a fraction of the price you would pay if you bought them brand new. I found a beautiful red, genuine leather Furla clutch at the Salvation Army once. But a word of caution, avoid buying fake designer bags by double checking for authenticity before making a purchase.  

LEAWOOD, KANSAS

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We made a stop at Leawood’s Town Center Plaza for a bite at t.Loft before heading to Jeremy’s cousin’s house in Kansas City.  Jeremy lived in this area before he moved to Florida and said it was a must see. When you think of Kansas Dorothy’s home in Wizard of Oz may come to mind. Who knew that Kansas had such a place like Leawood and stylish boutiques? Many of the nearby neighborhoods have beautiful traditional style homes in the craftsman and tudor style. The main streets are lined with colorful trees in burnt reds, oranges and yellows. It made for a nice drive. At the Town Center Plaza there were two boutiques in particular we went to that caught my eye, Alyssa Rene and Etiquette.

alysa collage 1Alyssa Rene is a higher-end boutique but carries affordable designer and brand names ideal for women in their mid to late 30’s. The average price on these items were between the $50-$80’s range. I recognized several collections they carried and took some photos of items I think transition well for the fall and winter season in Florida. The shop is filled with inspiring outfits and beautiful displays. There were two women working that day. I found them to be very helpful and informative. I spoke with one of the women for awhile. We talked about the places we were from, clothing lines and suggestions she had on other shops to visit in the area. If and when you’re in the area I recommend shopping at Alysa Rene boutique for stylish and unique items.  It’s worth investing in a couple of  fun and inspiring pieces to freshen up your seasonal wardrobe.

  1. Antoinette Off the Shoulder Sweater by Minkpink (color: Peach) $70.00 | London Town Thermal by We The Free $68.00
  2. Snakeskin print ankle booties (contact the boutique for pricing details)
  3. Michael Stars Geo Ruana Wrap $88.00

florals

  1. Solistic Sheer Cardigan by Gypsy Junkies $118.00
  2. Michael Stars Cosmic Floral Ruana $88.00
  3. Blue Flower Print Tart Collection Dress (contact the boutique for pricing details)

*If you’re a client of mine and would like to learn more about the lines they carry and placing orders please contact me

etiquette

Etiquette boutique carries styles that are a more on the edgier side. What I did find were some high quality basic pieces I think every woman should own for layering and warmth. The styles were mostly casual with a few evening separates sprinkled into the racks. I pulled my favorites and took some photos. I also put together these cute outfits to show you how they can be worn. The tops and sweaters were between the $40-$50 range. The pants were between $80-$100. You certainly get what you pay for. The fabric on the jeans were very soft to the touch, had stretch and fit very well. When you buy quality over quantity you buy items that give you the most wear for your buck and most often  fit you best. This is especially important to keep in mind when you shop for basics. They go with most of the things in your closet and are worn most often.  So you want them to last.

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On our last night we met with Jeremy’s sister and cousin for dinner at The Oliver in Kansas City Plaza. Its a stylish American restaurant that recently opened up 6 months ago. If you’re a fan of the Oxford exchange I think you’ll enjoy this place.

Other Recommendations:

  • Union Station
  • Q39 (Kansas is know for its barbecue. The locals rave about this place!)

FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE

Main St., Franklin Tennessee
Main St, Franklin, Tennessee | Photo originally posted on http://www.franklinis.com

I fell in love with Franklin. Beautiful foothills and fall trees surround this historic town. The city was established in 1799. Some of the original plantation homes still stand and have been renovated. Downtown is quaint and has it’s old charm. The women are fashionable and dress impeccably. I picked up on a few great styles and outfit mixes during my visit. You’ll find them listed below.

I have to admit I had every intention of taking more photos of downtown and the shops but I got a little caught up in the moment of window shopping. So these will have to do.

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The first shop we walked into was Finnley’s. The styles were eclectic but the boho style was evident. Chunky sweaters and suede skirts were staple items here. The staff was friendly and very approachable. The prices were pretty affordable too! While researching Downtown Franklin before our trip I came across The Iron Gate. The Iron Gate is an interior home store. The shop offers a gallery of well furnished and curated spaces filled with one-of-a-kind vintage pieces with a rustic-chic French flare. I snapped a shot of this elegant evergreen tree dress on display.  It’s a must see!

feathersThe last shop we stopped in was Habit. It smelled heavenly inside. They were burning their own Sweet Grace candle. It seemed to be a customer favorite judging by all the praises I heard as people walked in. Much of what I saw on the racks were in tones of creams, taupes and blush.  I really liked the stylish yet effortless look of the clothes.  Simple silhouettes were dressed up with unique jewelry pieces. I felt Habit captured the style of Franklin and Nashville. Boho Chic. One thing I noticed that was unique to Franklin was how polished the women wore the boho chic style. At Habit the prices are definitely on the higher-end. The average cost of items were between the $100-$200 range. There were a few fur vests and knit sweaters I spotted between $80-$90. If prices like these aren’t in your budget I still like to encourage you to take a peak inside. Part of the fun of window shopping is scoping out some of the season’s trends. It’s also a great way to get inspired and think of new styles or pieces you might like to introduce into your wardrobe.

IMG_6216Trends I Saw:

  • Block-heeled booties in grey or taupe suede with side cutouts
  •  Plaid Capes
  • Kimono cardigans in velvet floral prints
  • Athleisure wear – outdoor wear mixed with workout wear (ex. knit or quilted sleeveless vest over workout top and leggings)
  • Monochromatic colors – cream, grey and blush
  • Feather necklaces and fur vests

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If you like shopping for antiques and vintage items you’ll enjoy The Factory. Not only does it house about 25 different vendors and the Franklin Farmers Market on Saturdays, but it also hosts live music performances every Wednesday night by Music City Roots, “Nashville’s acclaimed roots and Americana variety show.”

Places to Eat in Franklin:

  • Frothy Monkey for coffee and morning bite
  • Merridee’s Breadbasket for lunch (Their chicken salad sandwich rocks! We ate twice here we loved it so much)
  • 1892,  in Leiper’s Fork, for dinner  (book reservations in advance, tables fill up fast)