I’m in constant denial at how fast summer (and 2014 in general) is flying by.

Case and point – I refuse to believe that it’s been over a month since we got back from our Scandinavian vacation.

It may be due to the fact that the trip feels like it was yesterday.  I can still smell the fresh air from the Baltic Sea.  My feet can feel the worn parquet floors of the Hermitage.  I can still taste the delicious Swedish meatballs.  Oooooh, the meatballs.

I’m also still patting myself on the back for packing list during this trip.  Just 9 articles of clothing (not counting pajamas and underwear, of course) for 10 outfits.  2 pairs of shoes.  THAT’S IT.

Don’t believe me?  Check out my outfit snaps from the trip.

It’s amazing how few items of clothing you actually need for a trip.

Every item of clothing was worn at least twice.  I felt comfortable and stylish the entire trip.  And my suitcase didn’t require me to sit on top of it in order to close.

Tops - the weather ranged from the low 60′s to the low 80′s during our trip.  I kept things simple with a two lightweight t-shirts from La Senorita Jolie, a chambray blouse (always a classic), and my favorite travel shirt.  It’d be easy to layer any of the tops with my blazer or cardigan if I was cold, or could be worn alone on warmer days.

Bottoms - I live in Current Elliott boyfriend jeans in the summer – they’re the only pair of jeans that look better after they’ve been worn a few times after a wash.  Naturally, I would bring a pair for this trip.  I rounded it out with my favorite skinny jeans from Topshop, which can be worn about 5 times before signs of saggy butt syndrome.

Dress - since we planned on eating casually or in our rooms in the ship, both my husband and I left our fancy duds at home.  My jersey halter dress, dressed up with jewelry and a nice bag, was elegant for our evenings at Catherine Palace and at the ballet, but also comfortable enough for walking around Stockholm on our last day.

Cardi - calling this item of clothing a “cardi” does it a grave injustice.  I wore it as a cape, a dress, a top, and as a scarf numerous times during the trip.  Is there a better article of clothing for travel?  NO.  Just no.

Shoes – two pairs.  That’s it.  I knew both my flats and sneakers could handle long walking days, and they did not disappoint.  Both pairs were also broken in and could handle rainy weather, which was in the forecast for our trip.

Accessories - two necklaces (a blinged out BaubleBar piece and a simple Julie Vos one) and a silk scarf gave each of the outfits a stylish touch.  My husband surprised me with a pair of Alanna Bess earrings for my birthday, which I wore frequently during the trip as well.  Sunglasses were necessary, given that the sun doesn’t set until midnight in the Baltic region.  My Sole Society tote served me well during the flights and longer days on the town.  My Chanel bag was ideal for the sunny days (no umbrella needed!) and evenings.

And lastly, a few packing-light tips:

  • Pack a clothing refresher spray to make previously worn clothes smell fresh.  I love this one from the Laundress.
  • Vacation chub is a real thing.  Make sure the clothing you pack are still flattering when you’re not feeling your most fit.
  • CHECK THE WEATHER.  Our trip’s weather ranged almost 30 degrees and had both sunny and rainy days.  All of my shoes were relatively weatherproof, my travel umbrella was packed inside my suitcase, and I was comfortable the entire time.  Except for when I fell into a puddle in Tallinn.

Not headed to Scandinavia in the summer?  This packing list would work just as well for a casual springtime or fall trip.

Need more packing tips?  Sign up for my newsletter and snag my clothing calculator for FREE.  I use it to pack for EVERY trip of mine.  No joke.



July 10, 2014

It’s that time again.  Quarterly time, that is.

I’m putting the finishing touches on #HGQ02, which ships early next month.  I’ll be giving you a sneak peek in just a bit, but I wanted to share a couple of reflections on this whole process.

First and foremost – putting together a subscription box is not easy.

It’s certainly FUN.  But curating a selection of items around a theme, with a budget, is tricky.  You want to ensure you have enough physical items, that the color or design of the items will be well-received, that everything arrives on time for assembly.

I received some incredibly positive feedback on #HGQ01, but also came across some pretty negative comments as well.

Lesson learned – you’re never going to make everyone happy.  Second lesson learned – take the constructive elements of negative feedback and get the hell out of Internet Dodge.

Which brings me to #HGQ02.

My two most popular posts were long flight essentials and how to survive long flights in coach.  Given just how painful flying in economy is (especially overnight), I wanted to put together some of my favorite items that have saved my own ass when spending 8+ hours stuck in a flying tin can.

There were a lot of complaints about the number of physical products in #HGQ01.  Noted.  There will be three actual items in my next box, with a retail value of $100.  One of the items is an exclusive design, which you can only get with this box.  (hint – it’s one of these options).

And finally – if you were disappointed by #HGQ01, I’m truly sorry.  My goal was to give you fewer, higher quality items that you would use for the long haul (the foot buffer being the exception).  I’ve maintained this standard of high quality in the next box, but have personally negotiated with brands to bring you amazing, functional items that will last you for ages.

#HGQ02 ships August 8th.  I hope you sign up.


travel diary tallinn estonia

“Where’s Fat Margaret?  That’s where we’re supposed to start the walking tour!”

My poor husband examined the map again, his brow furrowed.  “What is Fat Margaret, exactly?”

It was a tower.  A tower we had apparently walked past twice, in our attempt to find it.

Fat Margaret marked the start of the Rick Steves’ walkng tour of Tallinn.  Given our short time in the city (just 5 hours), I was anxious to cram in as much as possible.

If only we could find Fat Margaret.

Google Maps directed us to the hostel of the same name.  As we looked around, I noticed the round tower flanking the entrance to old town Talliin.

“Honey?  I think that’s it,” I admitted, sheepishly.

We walked back towards the tower and inside the Old Town, to the start of Rick Steves’ tour.  Our search for the cursed tower from the cruise occupied the first hour of our time in Tallinn – and I was anxious to make up the rest.

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