November 2, 2016

My Go-To Travel Uniform (What To Wear To The Airport…And Everyday)

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Happy November!!  I’m interrupting Cropped Flares week to talk travel.  Specifically, my very favorite Fall/Winter travel uniform.  This outfit is super comfortable, can be warm or cool depending on airport conditions (or the weather wherever you land), and is cute enough to be worn well past travel days.

In fact, when my mom was packing for her recent visit to Philly, I basically told her to pack this exact travel uniform:  jeans, fashion sneakers, cute tops, a leather jacket.  (Add a scarf, hat and mittens if it’s cold.)

Done.

Add a gorg travel bag and you’re set for a weekend getaway, or a quick trip home to visit family for Thanksgiving.

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By November 2, 2016 6 No tags Permalink
October 17, 2016

What To Pack for London: 12 Style Essentials

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The British have a saying about their weather, “Four seasons in one day,” and it proved to be more than true on my recent trip to London.  We arrived in the middle of a heat wave – hot and sweaty the first few days – but by the time we left, the weather had turned chilly and rainy. And of course, I had packed mostly for colder, Autumn weather, so a lot of my organized, careful packing went out the window.

The packing list below is a combination of what I wore while I was there, plus a few items I didn’t pack but wish I had.  Hindsight is 20/20, right?  Also, in honor of the high street clothing brands, I’m featuring lots of Topshop, River Island, Warehouse, and Oasis, because sometimes it’s fun to see what affordable fashion looks like on the other side of the pond.

So here’s a packing capsule wardrobe for London – versatile, functional, comfortable and stylish.  (Of course, I packed extra items, but I stripped the list down to the items that I truly relied on.  Next time I’ll pack light.)

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By October 17, 2016 12 No tags Permalink
August 29, 2016

Dresses And High-Top Sneakers

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dress (similar) | hi tops | sunglasses | backpack

Hey hey. Can you believe summer is winding down? No, me neither. Most of the country has even started school already. Gasp. Up here in the PNW, we get until Labor Day (this year, a bit before and apparently everyone went insane about that).

Regardless of school starting, it’ still HOT in many places. I don’t typically wear dresses, but this recent stint of living without AC has made me realize that dresses are the coolest outfit to beat the heat. No thank you to shorts sticking to your nether regions (insert covered-eyes monkey emoji here) or heaven forbid pants above 90 degrees. Nah gurl. Put on a dress and feel pretty even though you’re sweating buckets.

My edit?  Balance out girlie pieces (like a dress) with something tougher.  I rely on my trusty black hi tops to add an unexpected element to the ensemble. What I adore about this combo is that it’s great for all-day this time of year…cool enough to get you through the heat of the day yet not overly casual for picnics, BBQ’s or dinner on a patio.

Keep reading to see a few no-fail dress styles that have worked really well with hi tops…..

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August 26, 2016

Airport Style: My Favorite Travel Outfit (Even Works For Nursing)

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We received a reader question about airport style recently.  Specifically, airport style that is comfortable, yet chic enough to go straight from the airport to a party.  Oh and nursing friendly, thankyouverymuch.  Here’s what reader M wrote:

I need an outfit that will survive: nursing, running to the airport, flying (Hello gorgeous naptime, it’s been awhile!), lunch, baby shower, pumping, and flying back. All in 9 hours.   I want to escape my usual maternal athleisure costume & be pretty! But I need to be COMFY, not “comfy”….I’m thinking since you’ve traveled recently you might have some fresh ideas for me? 

Yes!  I do, actually.  On our recent trip we flew overnight to Barcelona, then immediately caught another flight to Nantes (in France), and upon landing there, met the family we’re doing the house exchange with…for drinks.  Obviously I had to be comfortable enough to sleep on a plane (and deal with mad temperature fluctuations and madder children haha), but I wanted to look good, too.

Turns out, I’ve got a dress for that.  It feels a little bit like wearing pajamas, never wrinkles, is nursing-friendly, kind on the post-partum tummy, and dresses up nicely for a party.  Keep reading for pics of my travel outfit, as well as a few examples of how I’d tweak the styling if I were nursing or traveling with toddlers because #momming.  It’s how we do.

Also, traveling with kids of any age is kind of a gong show #extremeparenting, so keep the photo expectations low.  Most look like this:

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Yaaaaassss.

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By August 26, 2016 33 No tags Permalink
August 22, 2016

Touring Normandy Beaches With Kids – What We Learned

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One of the highlights of our trip this summer was taking Raines (age 8) and Pax (age 5) to Normandy.  Our oldest is the type who tends to…focus on one topic, and for the last two years his focus has primarily been on World War 2.  We’ve watched countless documentaries, The Longest Day six times, visited battleships, war museums, even attended a World War 2 Weekend in Pennsylvania (which was amazing), and have, roughly, 15-20 notebooks filled with Raines’ drawings of planes, battleships, tanks, and general war scenes.  For a while there, bedtime stories were supplanted by his favorite resource guide, Weapons of World War II:  “The M18 Hellcat weighs 18.8 tons, it’s max speed is 50mph, the range is 105 miles on road, and there are 3 cannon in the turret, plus one .5 MG….”

I just can’t even.  A girl can only read tank specs aloud so many times.

But we dreamed of bringing Raines to Normandy.  So when one of our options for a house exchange popped up a mere 2 hours from the Normandy Beaches, we didn’t hesitate.

the boys playing in a bomb crater....

the boys playing in a bomb crater….

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By August 22, 2016 16 No tags Permalink
August 16, 2016

The Trunki Ride-on Suitcase – A Review

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Summer! Traveling! Fun! Three year old meltdowns!

This has been our summer so far:  fun and 3 year old drama. While I cannot promise this amazing little ride-on suitcase will get rid of the drama, I can attest to the fact that it makes tromping through airports with kiddos way more fun. Follow me for all you ever needed to know about the Trunki and whether it’s a worthy purchase.

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By August 16, 2016 18 No tags Permalink
August 12, 2016

Mont St. Michel With Kids (What I Wish I Had Known)

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On our way to Normandy, we swung by to visit Mont St. Michel.  Mont St. Michel is a medieval monastery (seriously – over a thousand years ago) that was built upon an island in the bay where Normandy and Brittany meet.

The scope of Mont St. Michel – in both age and sheer physical size – is hard to comprehend. It’s simply awe-inspiring.

However, Mont St. Michel is a major tourist destination, complete with traffic, hoards of tourists, and a staggering amount of junky gift shops and bad cafes.  Here’s what we learned from our trip to Mont St. Michel, as well as a few things we’d do differently next time.

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By August 12, 2016 20 No tags Permalink
June 28, 2016

Travel: What To See and Pack for a Summer Visit to Portland

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Visiting Portland this summer? Ooh, I hope so! Our beloved city does fill up quite a bit in summer months because it’s a great time to explore here (ie. no rain). Today it’s in the 60’s and rainy, again, but soon…soon it will be sunny just about every day for a few months. I’ve rounded up not only my favorite attractions and eats for PDX, but also some packing essentials. There’s SO much to do and see here, so here goes…

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By June 28, 2016 24 No tags Permalink
June 13, 2016

Packing Essentials for a Summer Girls’ Trip To NYC: The 5-4-3-2-1 Rule


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TME reader, Karen reached out to us on Facebook with the following dilemma: 

“In the spirit of ‘inspired by’ posts I’ve seen over the last few weeks, I thought I would submit and ask if you would consider whipping up some suggestions. A few friends and I are meeting in NYC for 4 nights (5 days) of kid-free girl bonding. We’ll be playing culinary tourists (so food baby allowance is a must) but obviously comfort and function trump everything. What basics and stand out pieces should I pack (or buy?) before heading out? Our days are likely to be spent touring (read: walking walking and more walking) while our nights will be cocktail lounges and semi-fancy dinners. My typical jeans and tees aren’t going to cut it! HELP?!”

First off, I’ll just come out and say it: I am completely jealous. How amazing does this trip sound?! A girls only getaway to NYC is the perfect way to recharge your batteries and create memories to cherish for a lifetime. And by “create memories” I don’t mean stand on a convenience store countertop at 4am and serenade the cashier with a drunken rendition of “You are My Sunshine” (because that wasn’t AT ALL what happened on my last girls’ trip to NYC) Ha..moving on…

When I read Karen’s Q, I jumped at the chance to help and maaaybe even live vicariously through her for a minute. Here’s what I discovered: 

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By June 13, 2016 13 No tags Permalink
April 25, 2016

What To Pack: Ireland in Early Summer

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Ireland…oh, dear Melissa who wrote in asking what to pack for your trip there – I am so jealous. I adore that country so. Pinky and I honeymooned in Ireland and Scotland and fell completely in love with both countries. I’m longing to return. I truly believe Ireland has the nicest people in the world. We met an adorable couple in a pub there who extended an invitation to stay with them upon our next visit! (totally taking them up on that). And the green…the rolling green…it’s beyond picturesque. I could go on for days about the coziness there, too. Anyway, packing…

Here’s what Melissa wrote:

Hi!  It looks like we’re taking a family trip to Ireland in June 😁 12 days, one medium size packing cube for me (plus the clothes on my back) and two young kids. What would you be packing??

Spring and early summer weather in Ireland is not unlike early summer Portland weather, so I can definitely say the main thing to keep in mind is layers. (I also checked with a dear friend from Scotland and she confirmed this! Thanks Sally dear!) It will most likely be cool or even chilly in the mornings and evenings, but could warm up to the 50’s and 60’s during the day. Layering tees, button-downs, sweaters, hoodies and of course a rain jacket will be essential for your traveling comfort. Here are some packing suggestions that I hope help inspire you!

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By April 25, 2016 23 No tags Permalink