A Look in my Closet: OOTD

I just got back yesterday from a truly inspiring trip to Florida for our Trades of Hope Retreat. As I promised last week, I will be showing you today what I wore each day from start to finish on the trip.  I do have pictures from the actual event, but they all have friends in them that I am not sure would want their faces on my blog. I was so wrapped up in the moment that I didn’t remember to have my picture taken alone in each outfit.  Sorry about that!   Anyway, I put everything back on this morning and photographed it all really quick. These aren’t the best quality of pictures since I did it hurriedly this morning, but you will get the idea.  I will share more with you tomorrow about the experience as a whole, but I wanted to take today just to show you my outfits. Many of these things you have seen before, but I wanted to show you how you can take what you already have in your closet and make it work.

Thursday: Travel

I always want to be comfortable when I am traveling.  I decided to go with a pair of jeans because it is usually cold on an airplane.  I paired it with this cute t-shirt and a pair of Converse shoes, which are easy to slip  on and off when going through airport security. 

Jeans-Cabi (similar-Target)

T-Shirt-Etsy-Joyfully Rooted

Shoes-Converse

Necklace-Trades of Hope

Cuff-Trades of Hope

Thursday Evening: Resort Casual

For the kickoff event on Thursday evening, we were told to come in “Resort Casual.” I wasn’t really sure what that meant exactly, so I decided to go with this floral maxi dress from Lularoe.  I thought the tropical print and laid back style of the dress was casual yet screamed resort vacation.  

Dress-Lularoe (similar-Amazon) (sleeveless-Amazon)

Shoes-Target (similar-Amazon)

Necklace-Trades of Hope

Earrings-Trades of Hope

Cuff-Trades of Hope

Friday: Team Tee/Business Casual

For the morning and afternoon sessions, we were told the attire was “business casual.” However, Friday was the day we were also supposed to wear our team t-shirts.  How do you make a t-shirt look business casual? You add a pair or white jeans, sandals, and a cute silky kimono. The kimono also doubled as added warmth because the rooms were freezing cold! 

Top-Exclusive (Retreat Attendee’s Only)

Kimono-Lularoe (similar-Amazon)

Jeans-Walmart

Sandals-Target (similar-Amazon)

Necklace-Trades of Hope

Cuff-Trades of Hope

Friday Evening: Cocktail Attire

For this night, the dress was cocktail attire.  I got lucky and found this adorable dress from Vineyard Vines at TJ Maxx for a great price.  

Dress-TJ Maxx (similar-Amazon) (similar-Amazon)

Shoes-Walmart

Necklace-Trades of Hope

Bracelet-Trades of Hope

Saturday: Business Casual

Here is my second business casual outfit. 

Jumpsuit-Old Navy (similar-Amazon)

Shoes-Target

Necklace-Trades of Hope

Cuff-Trades of Hope

Saturday Evening: Glam it up

This night was party night with our big gala. My team was supposed to wear something with flowers. After a lot of searching and trying on, I finally found this cute dress at Macy’s. It was my one splurge for the trip. I paired it with a pair of heels that I have had for years.

Dress-Macy’s

Shoes-old

Bracelet-Trades of Hope

Earrings-Trades of Hope

Sunday: Travel

My travel outfit for the plane ride home was super similar to my travel outfit on the way there.  I went with jeans, a t-shirt, and Converse shoes again for comfort. I paired it with another Lularoe kimono to keep me warm on the plane. 

Jeans-TJ Maxx (similar-Target)

T-Shirt-Trades of Hope (Retreat Attendee’s Only)

Kimono-Lularoe(similar-Amazon)

Shoes-Converse

Necklace-Trades of Hope

Cuff-Trades of Hope

As you can see, I kept it simple for easy packing and used many things that I already had in my closet. It truly was an incredible experience, and I can’t wait to share more of it with you tomorrow.  

Anchored,

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Top 3 Packing Tips

Happy May Day! Can you believe that May is here already? I know that the first official day of summer is not until late June, but May has always symbolized the beginning of summer for me.  I think that is because I grew up in the south where school always got out before Memorial Day for Summer Break.  The weather here still hasn’t made up its mind on spring or winter.  We had temps in the 30’s Monday morning and then the high tomorrow is 86 degrees.  Either way, we are headed to Florida in the morning for the big cheer competition where it is certain to be H.O.T. I don’t know if I am ready to be back in the heat of Florida.  I know that it hasn’t even been a year since we lived there, but I very much enjoy not having those crazy hot days.  Since we will be cheering and visiting my favorite characters over the next few days, this will be my last post until next Tuesday.  

Today I want to talk about organization for packing since that is what I am going to be doing today.  We have traveled a lot over the last few years, and I think I have gotten packing down to a science.  They key is to be organized. Don’t wait until mere hours before you leave to start the process. Don’t be a procrastinator. Also, don’t just throw things into a suitcase. You are bound to forget something that way.  You have to think it through and plan it out ahead of time.  Here are my top 3 tips to keep you on track and put-together when packing for a trip.  

1. Packing List

The one thing that helps me most of all is a list.  Whenever we are going on a trip whether it is just a few hours down the road in the car or states away on a plane, I start making a packing list several days before we leave.  I keep this running list on my phone so that whenever I think of something that we need to bring, I have the list easily accessible to me wherever I am.  Nothing is too inconsequential to put on the list, including underwear.  I even have my list divided into family member.  Then I list every single thing  (and how many) that family member needs to bring.  This also makes it easier for when my kids are helping pack. I just cut and paste their part of the list into a text message for them, and then they can easily bring me all of the items on the list so that I can add them to the suitcase. Having a list really does make packing easier, quicker, and more organized.  

2. Zip Lock Bags

My second tip for organized packing, especially with kids, is to use gallon zip lock bags to organize each outfit for each day of the trip.  This is something that I started doing for my kids the very first time that we ever went to Disney World when they were really little, and I still do it now that they are older no matter where we go.  First, I will plan out what outfit each of us will wear each day.  Then I start making piles for each day of the trip.  I put everything we need to get dressed for that day in the pile (pants, top, underwear, socks, etc.). When my kids were younger, this even included the bow for their hair that day. Then I use gallon zip lock bags to keep all of those things together in the suitcase.  I label each bag with my daughter’s name and the day of the week she will be wearing it.  Each child will have a zip lock bag for each day of the trip. This is a little time consuming on the front end, but it saves so much time during the trip.  All they have to do is pull out the bag for that day, take it to the bathroom, and get dressed. This method also ensures that we don’t forget any essential items.  I also pack another zip lock bag with their pajamas for the trip and another one for extras (extra underwear, socks, or even an extra outfit) for those emergency situations.  If the trip involves swimming, there will be a separate bag each for bathing suits, bathing suit cover-ups, and flip flops. This not only keeps you organized, it also really helps to save space in the suitcase.  I just line up the bags in rows in the suitcase. 

3. Travel-Sized Toiletries

My third tip is to use travel-sized toiletries and keep a supply of them at your house.  You should never take full sized bottles of things like toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, deodorant, shaving cream, contact solution, etc. That is just a waste of space.  I keep a plastic box in the bottom of my linen closet that I have tons of travel-sized items in so that we can replenish our travel bags at any time.  This keeps me from having to make that emergency trip to the store at the last minute to buy stuff. Each of my girls and I have a small travel cosmetic bag that pretty much is only used for travel and stores all of their travel essentials.  In each bag we keep a travel toothbrush and other travel sized toiletries.  All I have to do is tell them to bring me their travel bags and everything is already packed. I just double-check that they aren’t low on anything and replenish it from the box as needed.  Again, this just makes packing faster and easier.  Now, if you don’t want to spend the money to buy travel-sized shampoos or your favorite brand doesn’t come in travel size, you can always get the travel-sized containers and fill them up with your faves.  That is totally a personal preference.  Just don’t pack full sized bottles.  Here is a bonus tip that I read on a blog somewhere years ago that I still use now. I have a special scented body wash that I only use when traveling.  It is one from Bath and Body Works that I love, but it isn’t the one that I use everyday. The reason I do this is because that smell now reminds me of family vacations and trips.  It is like a treat every time I open the bottle while we are away. It just floods me with memories each time, and I love it.  It is forever a scent that I will associate with great memories!

Those are my top 3 tips that will help you to pack quickly and easily all while still being very organized. I am now off to get my family packed and ready to leave tomorrow.  I will see you all back here next week. Pray that I survive my first major cheer competition and the heat of Florida! I have no clue what we are in store for.  One thing is for sure, we will be making more great family memories.  

Anchored and Organized,

Whirlwind Travel

What a crazy day I am going to have today and tomorrow! My kids are out of school AGAIN today so that’s always fun! No, really, I am kidding. I barely even saw my kids yesterday. They stayed locked up in their rooms or in the basement for the majority of the day. They only came out when I forced them to come and eat lunch.  If I don’t tell my kids to eat, neither of them will.  I’m not kidding.  They don’t realize on their own that it is lunchtime and that they should eat.  How is that possible? They will be home alone while I’m out doing something.  When I get home I will ask my youngest what she had for lunch (you know I have to keep track of what she eats) and she will say that she hasn’t eaten anything.  When I ask her why, she literally says to me, ”You never told me to.” Are you serious? She’s 11 years old.  Isn’t that old enough to know that you need to eat lunch? The sad thing is that my almost 15 year old is exactly the same, and they both do this ALL THE TIME. Does anyone else have kids that do the same thing? Tell me I’m not the only parent whose kids don’t know when they should eat. It’s insane!

Sorry for the side track there! My days are going to be crazy because my oldest and I are flying to Florida today for a gymnastics meet in the morning and then are flying back home as soon as it is over tomorrow afternoon.  On top of all that, I am fighting a mild case of the flu! Fun for me! It’s really the weirdest flu ever. I had the aches, chills, and fever for less than 24 hours and then have just had a cough (no congestion/sinus issues) and a scratchy throat since. I actually feel fine other than being a little tired and the tight throat, but my voice is all jacked up so I sound like I have the plague. I don’t know if it was because I had a flu shot or that I got Tamiflu the day I got sick or a combination of the two, but this is certainly the mildest and strangest flu I have ever had. 

Because we are only going to Florida for less than 24 hours, we are planning to just take a carry on bag. Now, those of you that know me personally know that I do not pack lightly.  In fact, I pack insanely.  I usually have at least 3 small bags or a giant suitcase that I can barely lift when I travel.  You can imagine that it is difficult for me to pack my daughter and me both into one carry-on bag.  I am very proud to say that I did it.  I am not even taking my hairdryer! <gasp> I know! It was hard, but I have still been sticking to not washing my hair everyday, so I don’t need it.  I am going on 5 months of washing my hair every 3-4 days! I washed and dried it this morning so that I wouldn’t have to wash it tomorrow.  That cuts out shampoo, conditioner, and other products I use when I wash my hair. I only packed one outfit, which was very hard for me.  I typically pack one outfit for every day I will be gone plus at least 1 (sometimes 2) extra outfit. That is all huge for me! The only thing that I am concerned about is the darn liquid rule! I NEED my R+F products and so does my daughter!  Thankfully, I have a travel size that we can share, but the major issue is that I need mousse for her hair for the competition, and I cannot find a travel size of that anywhere! She has so many short baby hairs that fly all over the place and curl up when she is hot that have to be slicked down for competition, and there is a certain kind of mousse that is the only thing that works. I guess we may be “Ubering” to a store when we get there tonight to get some and then throw it away for the trip back.  It’s such a waste! I am heading out in a few to brave the icy roads to look in a couple more places, but my hopes aren’t very high. Wish me luck! Other than that, I think I managed to get all of the other liquids between us into one quart bag each.  I really am proud of myself for getting everything we need into one small suit case. Of course, she will also carry on her backpack with all of her stuff, and I will be carrying my favorite Trades of Hope bag (see below) with my computer and stuff as my purse. With the blog and my small businesses, I really need my laptop with me all the time. Thankfully, it is a small, compact laptop.  I am dreading going through the airport security already.  Having to pull out my laptop, bag of liquid, shoes, and everything else should be interesting.  When my daughter flew to Texas with my husband a couple of weeks ago, security patted her down and she was super uncomfortable with it. I hope that doesn’t happen to either of us this time. I love going to places and we travel a lot in this family, but I really don’t like the actual act of traveling.  I wish I could just blink my eyes and be there in an instant. The packing, the security, the stuffy plane full of germs, the motion sickness, the cramped seats, trying to find the right gate…all of that is just not fun for me. Unfortunately, that all comes with it and we are stuck doing it today and tomorrow. 

Well, that is about all that I have going on here for the next two days. I am going to try really hard to write my post for tomorrow about our February Book Club book, Left Neglect, because I really can’t wait to share my thoughts on it with you. It really stirred some things in me and made me think. Hopefully, I will have time to get it done. Until then…

Anchored and Rambling,