Saturday, April 7, 2012

My Tips: Packing/Travelling with Kids

Here are a couple of my tips/things that I have picked up to make travelling with kids a little easier.  My kids have been on numerous plane rides and to countless places all over Canada, the States, and beyond so I'd like to think I know a little bit about what I'm doing. :)

In no particular order:
Drinking cups for the kids to keep their water or juice cool by the pool.  They (hopefully) won't spill when you toss them in the beach bag and I got ones with minimal "bells and whistles" so there aren't a lot of parts to clean and lose.
New toothbrushes for the trip.  These Colgate ones flip down and and become more compact (and protect the brush from germs).  Cool!
I would not be caught dead without these.  Jack still likes a soother, especially before bed or when we are out and he should be in bed.  A lifesaver that I am not going to chance not having enough of!
Body wash/shampoo for the kids.  I got the little travel size but realized that might do one kid for one bath!  This Johnson's stuff is cheap and tear-free and can be used as a bubble bath as well.  Ava has sensitive skin and she hasn't reacted to this one.
Cheapo "Crocs" (or Croc-imposters) for slipping on to go to pool or beach.  They are comfy for short walks, lightweight so they float if the kids wear them in the water and lose them and they are so much comfier than flip flops on tiny toes.
I did little bags up for the kids for the trip.  Little parcels to open every hour or so so they have something to do.   I got Ava a little notebook and some washable markers, an egg with a princess toy inside, a travel activity bag with a colouring book and stickers and a travel pack of Play-Doh.  For Jack I got a toy car, another toy-filled egg, and little magnetic writing board.
I wrapped them all up so they are even more fun to open and I wrapped ribbons of pink or blue around them for Ava and Jack, respectively.
Sunscreen!  A must.  Even Jack had to grab some!  My mother-in-law is so great to us and is bringing a bunch for the adults and the kids but we are there a day or so before her so picked up this SPF 60 on sale and thought I should probably have some on hand.
We are going to Mexico. On an airplane.  We are probably going to be using some questionable toilets, and you try telling a 4 year old to squat!  These are sooo going to come in handy.  You can pick up fun "character" ones at Walmart too (Dora, Cars, Princesses, etc.)
And don't forget the kids!! You don't need a Home Alone situation on your hands!

Happy Trails!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Transparent Mesh Pouch: Chic Clutch from Dollarstore!

Ok, I recently saw in a blog or a magazine or somewhere this super chic woman carrying around her iPhone and wallet in this awesome mesh pouch. I can't find the picture but I swear it's true!

The size and shape of it, and of the similar one that I found, is very much like the American Apparel clutches I have been coveting but cannot bring myself to spend the money on:

 And the clutch reminded me of this awesome Kurt Geiger one:
And was very on-trend with the whole see-thru purse thing that I have been seeing lately:
Even at LV Spring/Summer:
So, you see,  the blue clutch pictured up top that I picked up at Dollarama really is a steal and I will be the trendiest bitch up in here.  As usual.

Pick one up for yourself!!


What I Pack:Toiletries & Cosmetics to Mexico

As I've already posted some things I'll be wearing, I thought I'd show you some of the things that will be on my face :
A must for a sunny climate: SPF lip balm.  I love Nivea and I love their prices.  Picked these SPF 30 babies up for under $2 at Walmart, which is much better than the $11 (at cost!) for SPF 15 Dermalogica version we sell at work.
This is not really hand cream, it's Joico K-Pak conditioner in an Avojuice container.  And the thing with the blue lid is my Paul Mitchell "The One" shampoo.  I probably won't be washing my hair everyday while I'm there, so this should be enough for the trip.
Clockwise from top: cheapy facial towelettes for emergency makeup removal, Lierac face cream, Cetaphil facial cleanser in travel size, Marcelle cream sample from magazine, travel size Aveeno body moisturizer, some dermalogica samples, Nivea cream (from rough elbows to around my eyes) and ontehr body moisturizer sample from a hotel.  I like the idea of using stuff up and leaving the packaging there.  Making more room for shopping....
A big body wash (the travel sizes are good for one use) and this one doubles as a shave cream as well.  And of course, an exfoliating puff and razor!
My new nail polishes (Quo and Essie) and an old favourite (Revlon "Jaded") and some nail polish remover pads.  And my trusty file!
Randoms: a Calgon body splash and my Brocato "Back to the Beach" sea salt spray for my hair!
Bangles galore!! Rattan ones, metal ones, plastic ones and even Spongebob Silly Bands...they all gotta come!
The necklaces and earrings I will be brining.  Some fluorescent, some turquoise, some wood and some feathers.  
As I am going for a bright lip look, I gotta bring my Revlon Lip Butters in these vibrant shades.  Plus a leGloss gloss to make me, you know, glossy.  Duh!
Ok, this doesn't seem likes a lot of makeup but I am trying to pack light! Plus, my wonderful mother-in-law is bringing me an Estee Lauder BB cream and some other EL goodies she picked up for me so I don't want to overdo it.   These are my tried and true!
Pictured clockwise from top: Physician Formula gel eye liner for green eyes, Joe cream blushes in Bloom and Apricot, Tarte face primer, Urban Decay eye primer, Kat Von D concealer, Maybelline Dream Matte face powder, Physicians Formula mascara, and NYC bronzer in "Sunny."
And these are the minimal amount of brushes I'm brining.  The 4 on left are from Forever 21 online and the last 2 are Quo.  And of course, a set of tweezers (pictured at top).

And that's, like, it! Can you believe it!!!??? I can't and will probably start throwing in blushes and eyeshadows at the last minute.  Wish me luck.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

What I'm REALLY Taking to Mexico

A few weeks ago I posted what I thought I would bring with me on my trip to Mexico.  Here is what I, after many hours of deliberation, will actually be brining:
First things first, I make a list of all the things I want to bring.  I make lists like what I think I might bring.  I make lots of lists, mentally and physically, until finally I take out my little purse notebook and write the list of the finalized outfits. I write each outfit out, down to what shoes I'll wear with it and how I will dress it up to go out at night.  Crazy?  Maybe, but I'm hoping it will cut down on my stress and overpacking.
I mentioned that I will be brining my gorge black one piece as it is chic and stays on well while I'm carting the kids around.  I also picked up this cute little tankini at Zellers for 25% off as I wanted to be able to tan my tum if I wanted to.  I think the colours are great and go with the rest of what I have packed.  The bottoms that really went with it were black but had little coloured ties on the hips.  Not flattering for a pear-shaped gal.  But, the bright top and black bottoms will help highlight my top and minimize my bottom.
How beautiful and quintessentially Mexican is this dress.  White eyelet is just so beautiful and this light little shift will go great over my suit for the beach/pool.
I got these great little Liz Claiborne aviators at a discount store and they are so great.  They have a pop of colour in the yellow earpieces and purple on the inside around the lenses but are otherwise neutral and will go with all my outfits.  I think I paid around $7.  Score!
How awesome is this great little dress I got a couple years ago from Winners (with a matching black shrug for around $8--it just needed some hooks and eyes to be re-sewn!).  It's tight up top and fans out at the bottom making my waist look so small.  I get tons of compliments when I wear it, so I thought why not?  I can casualize it with a braided leather belt and some sandals.  The turquoise is not coming out that great in the picture but it is very beautify and will go great with some chunky turquoise jewelry that I will hopefully be picking up there.
A braid-handled stripy beach bag.  Throw some crap in it and take off to the beach.  Matching scarf adds flair to the side and can double as a hair-tamer when you emerge from the waters and the wind hits that head of yours.
Don't forget workout wear!  If you want to take advantage of the free yoga lessons or just think you may want to go on an exercise-y excursion (hiking) then a sports bra and stretchy shorts or capris are a must.  ANd chances are you will have tons of Ts or tanks packed already to throw on with it.
This doesn't look like much in the picture but this floaty little blouse with nautical-theme buttons is great over your suit or over a tank with some pants.  Light and lovely.
The are light and functional and change the look of all your outfits: belts.  I'll take my dresses from day (brown leather skinny belt) to night (black jewel encrusted wide belt) with these babies!
Who sas flip flops (yes, even I wear these sometimes) can't be a bit major.  These comfy Sanuks (make from recycled yoga mats) are the thing to wear down to the pool.
Accessories make the outfit (as previously inferred with the belt comment) so pack a day bag, a beach bag, a town purse and a going out at night clutch (pictured above).
As I am packing I am checking off what I am putting in and highlighting what I still need to clean, find, buy, track down, etc.  Then when I find it, I pack it and check it off.
And like every good packer, I roll all my clothes to maximize the space in my suitcase and to save my clothes from wrinkles.  I wrap my shoes in plastic shopping bags because, let's be serious, those mf-ers are covered in germs.  Then I put my purses on top of that.  I wrap my sun glasses in my cotton tops so they (hopefully) don't get crushed.
The other side of my luggage I reserve for hats, makeup and toiletries.  But that's for another post...