Summer Travel Essentials

My summer travel essentials. The items I need to have with me when I head out on vacation.There is nothing better than travel during the summer. This year I am SO excited to share a place with my kids that my family vacationed every year growing up. Which is also where my dad vacationed as a boy! It is going to be so special. And I CAN’T wait! I’m sure we will also end up in Palm Springs (a few times) and who knows where else! Today I’m sharing some of my summer travel essentials. Be warned. I am not a light packer. You may be able to do without these things, but I know what I need to have a good time. I hate forgetting things at home. And I like to be prepared for just about every possible scenario.  I never leave home without a good sun hat. This one, from Goorin Bros. (similar style) (remember it from Mexico) is awesome because it packs really well. I have to wear a hat in the pool or on a boat or anywhere where there is too much sun. And it’s cute. I also have to bring along a good portable speaker. On a girl’s trip, it is essential for getting ready and setting the tone for the evening. And with my family, music and instantly change moods (thank you, Uptown Funk!!) I never leave home without one.

My summer travel essentials. A good tote bag is a must for magazines, snacks and whatnot. I always have a tote bag with me on a trip. I pack it full of magazines, snacks, water, whatever I think I’ll need depending on the days activity. It’s perfect for a car trip and then the contents change from day to day. It has to be larger than a purse, like this one from RVCA, but smaller than an overnight bag. And I like it to be a darker color so that it doesn’t show the inevitable dirt.

My travel essentials: Yoshirt custom phone case with kids photo (makes a great gift!) and my fave perfume that is hard to find.When I am away from my kids, I really like to have pictures of them handy for when I miss them. I just made this Yoshirt custom phone case and it is awesome. Since you always have your phone with you, you can see your kids adorable faces the entire time you are away. And of course I am going to leave it on my phone all the time. I also recently found my favorite perfume in a travel size and it has changed everything. Years ago I had it in a travel size and then it leaked on a trip and I stopped taking any kind of perfume with me. But I realized that it helps me feel put together for dinner out. I found a site that has some harder to find travel sized perfumes and ordered my signature scent. I have taken it with me on my last few trips and it’s made me really happy. I can’t believe I traveled for so long without any perfume!

Amuse Society bikini and XO, G wine for summer travel.You guys, I’m totally not a wine-o. I promise. But you know how expensive a glass of wine can be at a resort. I’m in love with this XO,G pinot grigio. The packaging is darling, they are super easy to pack and you can just have a glass at a time. You don’t need a wine opener, or a glass. These are perfect for the hotel room as you are relaxing in the evening or to take with you on a tropical excursion (where allowed, of course – drink responsibly…) And you can bring home whatever you don’t drink, which you totally can’t do with a bottle.  And of course you need a darling swimsuit like this one from Amuse Society. I’m in love with this adorable pattern.

Coolibar leggings with SPF for summer travel. Be prepared for being stuck in the sun with comfy leggings that provide sun protection. I’ve recently fell in love with garment bags. This lightweight Cinda B bag in Noir is perfect for quick trips. I wouldn’t check this on a plane for a weekend away, it is fantastic. I love that I can store my clothes, keeping them from getting as wrinkled as they might be in my suitcase, and look chic doing it. There is something kind of fancy about a garment bag, isn’t there? And a small hard shell suitcase with wheels keeps everything super easy.

Coolibar travel umbrella to keep you sun safe on vacation. If you know my history with skin cancer, then you know that I can’t really worship the sun any more. This Coolibar travel umbrella is a must for me when I travel. It easily fits in a tote bag so I can take it with me and I know I am protected no matter where I end up. It’s light and has a vent so that air can move through it making it perfect for a breezy day. It is hard to tell from this picture but the exterior is sort of a metallic silver so it is pretty neutral to match whatever you may be wearing. It feels really sturdy, for being made for travel, so this will last for tons of trips.

Coolibar leggings with SPF for summer travel. Be prepared for being stuck in the sun with comfy leggings that provide sun protection. And you always need a good pair of comfy pants on vacation. What I love about this pair from Coolibar is that it provides sun protection as well. These can be used to work out in, or just lounge. Did you know the tops of the knees are a really common place to get skin cancer? Think of sitting outside in the sun all day at an 8 hour baseball game. Having some protective pants is key. These would be perfect for time on a boat but are just as perfect for wine time. See there I go with the wine again.

What are your travel essentials?

phone case c/o Yoshirt, wine care of XO,G, swimsuit c/o Lulu’s, garment bag c/o Cinda B, travel umbrella and leggings c/o Coolibar

*This post may contain affiliate links.  Read more about my editorial policies here. Some items have been supplied by the brands noted above (where noted “c/o”). As always, all opinions are mine and are truthful and based on my personal experience. 

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Things I Love : November, 2014

Take time to stop and bake mini donuts with your kids. Random things that I loved this month…

I usually work on blog stuff in the mornings. Even the weekend. So it was a really nice change of pace when my son found our mini donut baker in the garage and all but demanded we make them immediately. So we did.  And they loved them. And it was really fun to make something for breakfast and take a little more time with them instead of being on the computer. I guess sometimes you have to stop and smell the mini donuts.

The styling in Bon Appetit Magazine is the best. They get me. I die for food magazines. I rarely make anything from them, but I have to read them each month. Over the last year or so I’ve been falling in love with Bon Appetit and their styling. They just get me. It’s all I can do to wait patiently for the new issue to arrive each month. The creative direction is SO GOOD. Like, I want to rip out these pages and decoupage them on my dresser like I did with bands in high school.

Celebrating a friend who is following her dream. This didn’t happen in October but I didn’t download the photo until now so it missed last month’s ‘Things I Love.” My dear friend, Erika, was an extra on Brooklyn 99, one of my fave shows. So of course we had to have a viewing party at her house and experience it together. It was the Halloween episode. She nailed it. I love watching her explore this new path in her life and think she is awesome. See her on Cougar Town here.

My favorite Erin Wasson for RVCA shirt and vintage necklace. You guys. I’ve only been wine tasting twice now but both times I really felt like I needed to wear this vintage grape necklace that my grandma gave me. Do you really need to have a good luck charm for wine tasting? Because I think this is mine. My grandma wasn’t in to wine per se although she always ordered a Chablis when we ate at the pizzeria. One of the funniest conversations I ever had with my grandparents was them making fun of pretentious wine tasters and the adjectives they use to describe the wine. I will never forget it. I love this necklace. And this shirt. I will die if anything happens to it. It’s Erin Wasson for RVCA and it is my all time fave. If we’ve hung out in person you have certainly seen me in it. And I love my new necklace from Shop Serene Sky. I won it at a blogger event and it’s totally my style! So glad I didn’t win the free month of exercise.

Fried Green Beans from The Habit. Dearest fried green bean, how did I not know about you until now? I saw someone post about these on their instagram account and later that day went to try them. I adore green beans. It’s the world’s best vegetable. And fried?! Yum. This was my first time at The Habit, although it is in the same parking lot as my Joann’s so you know I’ve passed it and smelled it like a gazillion times. The burger was also amazing! Can’t wait to go back and try out more things! I also love that they put a gummy hamburger in the kids meals! Nice touch.

Nerds against bullying! You know I love Nerds, right? They are my fave. But if Nerds and green beans got in to a fight, I’m not sure whose earrings I would hold. That’s not true. I would mean mug the green beans and back my Nerds. And then eat the green beans and then the Nerds.  So when Geeky Hostess posted this it made my heart sing. Candy against bullying. Now that is a cause I can get behind. Well done Wonka.

High waisted jeans changed my life. YOU GUYS! I’m sorry to shout at you but these pants changed my life. So I’m pretty cheap about my denim. I used to buy pricey pants, and they really did fit and wear well. But it just isn’t the right time for me to spend a lot on good denim. So I’ve been hitting the cheapy stores for my pants. These stores usually go for a younger audience so the pants are all low-rise and terrible whiskering. Well, I finally came across that was high-waisted (but not in a Jessica Simpson high-waisted pants debacle, high waist) jeans and they are awesome! The whiskering and details are still not something I would typically go for, but the fact that my muffin top is fully ensconced in these pants is amazing! I instantly felt pounds lighter. Shirts lay nicer. And I don’t constantly have to hitch them up. Because they sit above my hip bones, they don’t slip down much to create saggy butt. Life changing. So now I wear them every day. I apologize in advance.

Kids on the red carpet. This one is also from last month. My husband has a friend who is an artist and he created some custom pieces for a show at the Long Beach Museum of Art. One of the pieces is a sort of team photo from a made up sport and my husband is one of the players. So of course we had to go see my husband hanging on a museum wall.  We took the kids and they were so much fun to have there. My oldest dressed like he was going for an art heist (here he is missing the beanie and hood up). And my youngest was super in to the receptions happening outside including dancing like a spaz to the band and sucking down Sprite from the bar. And, of course, we had to get them on the red carpet. The docents only had to talk to the boys a dozen times to remind them not to touch anything.

My favorite wines from @lorimarwinery/.I have new favorite wines! I fell in love with Trio from Lorimar Winery on my first visit (a red with notes of coconut, yum). But this last visit I was lucky enough to get to taste even more of their wines. Their sparkling wine is my fave sparkling! SO delicious!  And the Grenache Blanc is where it’s at. I can’t wait to crack that baby open! Looks like I’ve got my holiday drinking game plan set.

Tillamook Chef event with Haven Gastro Pub at Provisions Market in Orange. I was invited to attend a Tillamook cheese event a few weeks ago and it was amazing. Tillamook partners with chefs from all over the country and has them create sensational dishes using Tillamook product. This event was in conjunction with the Chef’s of Haven Gastro Pub and Provisions Market in Orange. The servers strolled around with platters of beer and cheese beignets and other delightful cheesey dishes. There was a fantastic cheese tasting spread set out complete with beer pairings and then there was this Mac and Cheese. Best. Ever. For this recipe they used the Extra Sharp White Cheddar and added bacon and other yummy goodness.  The event was awesome but my favorite part is that they are sharing all the recipes! I want to make everything!  Here is the White Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese.  I fell in love with the Black Pepper White Cheddar and can’t wait to find that again in a grocery store. Mmmmmm.

Best Hat for Summer

*I was sent this hat by Goorin Bros. but they didn’t sponsor this post. You know I’m a fan of floppy hats.  And this one is perfect for summer travel! I just had to share it! The perfect travel hat for summer vacations.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI’m going to be honest with you right now.  My head is odd shaped and I have big ears.  I’m okay with both of these things.  However these issues really limit my hat choices.  Similarly, I can’t usually wear headbands.  They pop right off the top of my cone-shaped head.   I’d love to wear a jaunty fedora or cool Panama hat.  It just isn’t in the cards for me.  But I can and do wear floppy hats.  With my basal cell I need something between me and the sun.  And while the hat doesn’t totally protect me, it definitely helps to keep the sun off my face which is really important.  This Sun Kissed black and white striped hat from Goorin Bros. is my new fave (similar style here the Sun Kissed is sold out for the season! Boo!).  Full disclosure: they sent it to me. But guess what, I would have totally bought it otherwise.  It really is the best hat for summer. 

What to pack for a beach summer vacation. Including this cute hat c/o @goorinbros  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI can’t wait to share all the details from my Mexico trip soon but I knew that this hat would be perfect to take with me. I think black and white stripes, like leopard print, are a neutral so it would go with everything.  And look how perfect it went with my new bikini top.  I’m drawn to black and white but this small stripe is a really summery way to wear it.  

The Sun Kissed from @goorinbros.  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI can’t believe how well it traveled.  I’m not the kind of gal to carry on a hat.  So I packed it in my suitcase.  Tip: I crammed the part that sits on your head with all my undergarments and slips to make sure the shape would keep.  I was a little less careful on my return trip and it still held up like a champ! I will be taking this with me on all my summer vacations!  I even carried this in a tote bag one day and it still didn’t get messed up. That is the kind of quality product I need in my life. 

The Sun Kissed from @goorinbros is the best black and white stripe floppy hat to take on vacation!  It's super versatile and goes with everything!  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comIt even looks cute on a cactus.  

This striped floppy hat from @goorinbros travels so well!  Perfect for a Mexican getaway!  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI stinking love this hat and am grateful that Grooin Bros. sent it to me.  Thank you Goorin Bros! Be sure to check out their site to see their full selection of hats.  They literally have styles to suit everyone!  And check out their stores if you happen to be in the area, they have them all around the US and Canada.

Walking by the mission in Loreto, Mexico. #vdplfam

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Gift Ideas for Sports Fans

Leather wallets made from recycled baseball gloves!  // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHow cool are these Fielder’s Choice wallets?!  They are made from old baseball gloves.  Here is the super dumb thing.  This was given to my husband already, by someone else, so it is no longer on the gift giving table for me.  Boo.  But I wanted to share them with you as Father’s Day is right around the corner.  Fielder’s Choice makes great gift ideas for sports fans in your life.

Fielder's Choice leather wallets.  Great gift idea for men and sports lovers! // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis is not an intricate wallet with slots to hold 15 cards, etc.  This is a simple pouch design with a flap closure.  It’s pretty straight forward and simple and would totally appeal to the unfussy guy in your life.  And the story is cool.  These are hand cut and sewn and made in the USA.  To my family, nothing is more American than baseball.  And while I am not a fan of the sport itself (I like to call it, The Devil’s Game), I totally get the nostalgia, the history and the spirit of it.  

Leather wallets made from old baseball gloves!  Great gift idea! //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comRepurposing the old gloves not only makes use of vintage materials but also adds a new chapter to the story of where that glove has been.  How cool to be using something that held many memories for someone else at one time.  And Fielder’s Choice doesn’t only sell wallets.  They sell really great hats, keychains and simple tees with their freaking awesome logo.  I love supporting cool companies like this who are passionate about what they do AND put out a cool product.  So go do some Father’s Day shopping and remember them come birthday and Christmas time.

Fielder's Choice Goods makes some cool gifts for the sports lover in your family.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comBuy from Fielder’s Choice Goods here.  And follow them on Facebook, twitter, and instagram (well, have your husband follow them on instagram – our girly eyes probably won’t love their pictures.  There aren’t any peonies or other pretty flowers, but their aesthetic is really cool).

 

DIY Jewelry Organizer

Super easy DIY pegboard for your necklaces.  \\  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI’ve been dying to share this super easy DIY Jewelry Organizer with you!  I’ve had it done for a few weeks now and I LOVE it.  Not only has it organized what used to be a super messy area in my walk in closet, but I also wear the jewelry more since it is so easy to see and get to.  Last month I came to the realization that I need to be offline more and actually living my life, not just posting about it.  So I decided to start on some projects that I have been wanting to do for a while.  This was the first one.  And I’m delighted with how it turned out.  And it is stupidly easy.

March Loves

Reed's Ginger Candy is my fave! I don’t even remember where I found Reed’s Ginger Candy Chews but I am obsessed!  These are phenomenal.  They are a touch sweet, a bit spicy and have a real ginger flavor.  I spoke of my love for Reed’s Ginger Beer here so of course I had to try these.  Now I just need to track them down since I have only two left.  Two!

Jessica Alba is a rad business woman and mom.

I got a chance to read my newest Nylon the other day and every time I read an article on Jessica Alba, I like her a little more.  I loved learning more about her role in her company (Honest).  This article talks about how hands on she is in all aspects including choosing colors for make up.  I loved that she voiced her opinion on the lip colors not being right, which is due in part to the natural materials used to create them.  She’s not willing to put out a product that no one really wants to wear.  She’s the perfect mix of every woman (except she’s, like, extra gorgeous) and advocate for the health of our families.  And that is pretty cool.

My grandmother's costume jewelryA few weeks ago my mom brought over all of my grandmother’s old costume jewelry.  I finally took a few hours to sort through it all and it was amazing.  My grandmother was always put together with the perfect accessories.  And she loved to travel so there are several handmade items from many of the places she visited.  While I might not wear all of it (but trust, there are some AMAZEBALLS pieces), they will remain treasured memories of a lady I miss very much.

Earth Tu Face is freaking rad.  LOVE their line of products.My husband recently brought home some awesome Earth Tu Face products to try out.  You guys, this stuff is crazy natural and awesome.  It was started by two herbalists who make 100% natural skin care only using plant based products.  All of their packaging is recyclable, reusable and compostable.  And the smells!  While there are no added scents, the ingredients used create these amazing scents!  I’ve always been afraid to use an oil based cleanser since I have oily skin.  But I decided to give it a shot.  It has been great.  I’ve certainly not broken out like I thought I would and I feel like my forehead isn’t quite as shiny as it was before I started using the Earth Tu Face face wash. The Rosemary Salt lotion feels wonderful.  And I love the smell of rosemary so that is a win for sure.  I haven’t tried all of these products out yet but I plan to!  And I think you should too.

Obsessed with the Earth Tu Face balm stick for face, lips and more.  The smell is intoxicating! You may have seen my instagram post but this Skin Stick is my fave!  It is an all-purpose salve for wherever you need it.  I’ve mainly been using it on my lips so far but with the geranium and vetiver, I really should be rubbing this thing all over my face.  Geranium prevents and fades scarring (hello – dumb skin cancer scars, consider yourself warned!) and the vetiver promotes cellular healing.  Duh.  We could all use that.  And I don’t want to offend any hippies but when I wear this on my lips, it smells like a hippie is dancing on my face.  It’s musky and warm while being calming and hydrating.  I definitely have hippie tendencies and this totally appeals to them.  I keep this in the drawer next to my bed and put it on just before I go to sleep.  It is the perfect way to end the day.

sunglass collectionAnd I have to say that it doesn’t suck when your husband works for a sunglass company.  These are so fun to be able to mix and match with my outfits.  And since it is mostly sunny in California, year round, I need sunglasses.  All of these are by IVI Vision.

Color your own Whopper's Robin's eggs for EasterAnd have you guys seen these?!  I saw these Whoppers Easter Robin Eggs Decorate Your Own Eggs
at the grocery store and had to get them.  My boys love this kind of stuff.  They came with three edible markers and a bunch of plain white eggs.  This was a great little snack and craft for us one afternoon.  I picked them up at my local Albertson’s but haven’t seen them anywhere else.  I hope you can find them.  These were very well received by the kiddos.