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Pack It Up Tight! Tropical Vacation Edition

February 24, 2014
DISCLAIMER: This post was suppose to come out before I left for my Mexico trip, but I had an epic fail.  I thought I'd posted this nearly a month ago, but it's still in draft mode when I look it up! Also please ignore the horrible picture quality, I had to resort to tiny previews of some of the items....

As I said in the last post of this nature, I'm actually doing quite a bit of travelling before the baby arrives.  On Saturday we are flying to Cabo San Lucas for a week of sun and last getaway before 'we' become 'three'.  We knew we wanted to do Mexico because everywhere is all inclusive, and we've done Cancun we decided to look for deal on the other side of the country.  I found a great package through a local travel agent and it included DIRECT FLIGHT!  No layovers!  Now let's just pray that the weather in Chicago in agreeable on Saturday afternoon.....

So, back to the task at hand....packing.  Packing for a vacation is much different than packing for a stuffy conference.  The clothes get brighter, and smaller (yikes!) and for me the beauty products I need go WAY down.  When I'm on a beach vacation I go really low maintenance.

Knowing we were going to do a babymoon, I've been looking at maternity shorts and skirts well before I should have.  Target was a plethora of clearance deals.  Here's the bottoms I'm packing, 3 pairs of shorts and one maxi skirt.  Normally I'm not a 'color on the bottom half' kind of girl, but these were cute and SUPER cheap on Motherhood and Target websites.

Tops I'm keeping pretty minimal, most maternity tanks.....

I've got a 2 maxi dresses I picked up sale/clearance for the occasion and a spring-y pink dress for 'dressy' dinners....
And now to talk about maternity swimwear.  Every woman is different in her comfort level while being pregnant.  Before pregnancy I wore mostly two pieces because while I'm not the skinniest woman, they seem to flatter my body more because tie sides are adjustable and nothing is digging into my hips making me look extra pudgy.  So I picked up two new two pieces that I should be able to continue to wear after pregnancy and I picked up some tankinis on clearance that I'm pairing with a basic black bottom.

*disclaimer that I will NEVER look as good as the models in these suits, but I'll rock it out as hard as I can :)  Plus I'm getting a light spray tan to take the pale off

Shoes are kept even more simple with just flip flops!  I'm going so low maintenance that I might not even recognize myself!

AND....because I pack pretty light, I am able to keep it to one carry on sized bag.  However, we're still checking them because we have to bring like 18 gallons of SPF (curse of being pale).

Beauty items I'm taking consist of mascara, some concealer for under eye circles, and a pink lipstick for evenings.  Bathroom wise I'm taking some travel self tanner for touch-ups and dry shampoo (besides the whole tooth brush/floss/deodorant/etc).  I'm banking on soap/shampoo/etc being at the hotel.

So that's it!  Packing for a vacation is all about how comfortable you want to be.  If you plan on going hiking, what I plan on bringing will obviously not be enough!!

I hope this gave you something to think about when you pack for your next vacation.  Think about mixing and matching to reduce quantity!!

Let me know if there's something you want to see here on the blog or a topic you want me to research!  I'm always looking for new products/services to try!!

See you faithful readers back here in my closet!!

Favorite Polishes for Winter!

February 10, 2014
After reading that one of my favorite bloggers, Kate, at The Small Things Blog mentioned that she got her first monthly Julep Maven box, I other people not know about this?

Right now a lot of my friends get Birchbox....and I LOVED Birchbox when I used it for about a year over a year ago.  My problem with the company at the time is that I started to accumulate samples of things I probably would never use.  I think over time it's gotten better brands, but it wasn't worth the money so I quit.

I like Julep Maven because you get to choose the polishes or products you get every month...and you can skip if nothing catches your fancy.  I have been skipping recently just because I seem to have similar colors.  It seems like one year on a subscription service is it's max shelf life for me.

Below are a few of the colors I like to wear during the winter, along with a variety of brands I use.  I attempt to do my own nails as much as possible since I do pay $8 per bottle and have a pretty steady hand.  I've learned over time that nail prep is the key to having polish that lasts.  I do a 4 stage file once a month to have a smooth surface and I make sure to use a base coat and a no chip top coat.  Tips I've learned in magazines is every few days reapply the top coat...but I've never had to do that.  Polish never really lasts on my nails more than 4-5 days....I get tired of it.

Sephora for OPI - Metro Chic...I was really into the 'grey-iege' thing a few seasons back and this was and has since been my go to color.  I just learned while writing this post this line has been discontinued in leu of the new Formula X line at Sephora.  I do love those polishes as well.
OPI - Russian looks navy in the photo, but actually looks more purple on my nails
Julep - Laura (aptly named)...this has become a recent favorite since it's a muted color I make it into a neutral for cold temps.  Plus I feel like it's camo for my nails (I know...I'm weird)
Essie - Mink Muffs...just a good neutral that doesn't blend in too much
Sinful Colors - Black on Black....nothing says winter like's the way most of us feel dealing with the frigid temps

Besides these 5 colors, I will consistently reach for my go to red no matter the season.  Nothing is as classic as a red nail.  The color looks good on long or short nails and unless you're wearing something really out there, it goes with everything.  Mine is the L'Oreal Paris Pro 'Lady Luck' and as you can see from my husband's practice photo below, I'm nearly half way through this bottle.  

And to end this post, I know I haven't had any OOTD photos in a while, so I'll dump a few below....

I'll try to get a post set up for when we're in Mexico....but I'm just going to enjoy weather that's above freezing!!!  See everyone later, back here in my closet!

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