A Look Inside My Suitcase: Family Vacation 2019

Hi all,

I just got back from my annual family vacation and am excited to share the details and what I packed with you guys.

BUT first, I wanted to let you know that I added a new Shop My Looks page to my blog.

Instead of adding links to photo captions within my post, I’ll be linking all outfit details on this new page, accessible in the main menu of my blog.

Ok, back to my family trip. Every year my dad’s side of the family gets a rental house and we all spend a week together there.

About half of the family lives in Massachusetts and the rest are scattered throughout New Jersey and New York, so we try to pick a middle point for the vacation.

This year, we went to Amsterdam, New York, which is up by Albany.

The rental house was beautiful, as you might’ve seen on my stories if you follow me on Instagram, and it was so lovely to spend a week relaxing while surrounded by my loved ones.

As usual, I wayyy overpacked for this trip, but I don’t regret bringing a lot of extra stuff with me.

I believe in packing extra clothing and shoe options for every vacation because you never know how you’ll be feeling on a given day or whether you’ll want to wear the outfits you actually brought with you.

It helps to have additional things with you and give yourself the flexibility to change up the outfits you planned on wearing.

Here’s a glimpse of what I brought on this vacation with me, what was necessary to have, and even something I wish I’d remembered to bring. πŸ™‚

I’m going to start with the shoes all at once. As you can see, I brought a LOT of shoes with me…I had an entire bag for just shoes, toiletries, and my laptop.

First, I brought a few different pairs of sneakers. I knew I’d want to stay active while on vacation, so I had to bring my running shoes. I also brought two of my favorite casual sneakers to go with some of my outfits.

I limited myself to one pair of wedges, because I knew that I would end up preferring to wear flat shoes and be more comfortable most of the time. I just recently got these Ugg wedges and am excited about them, so I chose to bring them along.

Lastly, I packed a bunch of my most-worn sandals. All of my favorite styles are here; I wanted to have options so that I wasn’t wearing the same shoe every day, and ended up wearing all of the flat sandals shown here.

There are a few key hair products that I bring with me anytime I’m staying somewhere overnight: a scrunching spray, dry shampoo, extra hair ties, and an anti-frizz spray (the Uncommon one shown here is something new I’m trying, and loving so far!).

The scrunching spray and anti-frizz are for when I wear my hair naturally wavy/curly, which I end up doing pretty much every day when on vacation because I don’t feel like dealing with blowdrying and straightening. πŸ˜‰

I did also bring my Chi hair straightener along with the usual daily toiletries (toothpaste, face wash, floss, etc).

For trips that are more than a couple of days long, I like to bring extra accessories and change up the jewelry I’m wearing.

For this trip, I brought some new things I’ve been loving, including NY&Company earrings, David Yurman dupe bangles from Amazon, and this awesome skull wrap bracelet from Victoria Emerson.

I also brought a statement band for my Apple watch and the Tiffany & Co. initial necklace that I wear every day.

Ok, now getting into the actual clothes I brought with me. First and foremost, I brought a bunch of different blouse and jeans/shorts combinations.

I varied between tank tops, short sleeves, and long sleeves because I wanted to be prepared for different weather and be able to dress depending on how much skin I wanted to expose to the sun each day.

For the most part, it was really hot and I was outside most of the time, so I ended up wearing more short sleeve and sleeveless tops, but we did use the fire pit on a few occasions and it was nice to have longer sleeve options for cooler/more buggy evenings.

Speaking of cooler evenings. one thing I completely forgot to pack was a heavier shirt in case I got cold, which of course I ended up needing because I ALWAYS get cold.

Luckily, we were just down the road from a Target, and I picked up this super soft and comfy gray pullover. It was only $20 and I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it already.

I usually wear my pajamas multiple times before washing them, so I didn’t need to bring a ton of different sleeping clothes.

Shorts, a cami or tee, and a cute headband for getting ready or lounging were perfect for the late nights and early mornings.

I always try to bring at least one more dressy outfit. This time, I was excited to break out my new tassel dress from Lulus. It is ankle-length and a pretty, summery yellow.

As I mentioned, I like to work out even while traveling, so running clothes were a must-have for me.

I love exercising in bright, fun colors, as you can see from my choices pictures here.

The house we stayed in had a pool, which is where I ended up spending a lot of my time!

I brought a few different bathing suits with me, because I wash them after each use. All of them came in handy, whether I was swimming or just laying out sunbathing.

Of course, I brought a few pairs of sunglasses along as well.

Last, but certainly not least, I never go ANYWHERE without bringing some reading material along.

I brought two books with me on this trip; I finished the one pictured here, which was awesome, and started the second, Frog Music by Emma Donoghue.

I read out by the pool, sitting at the kitchen table, up in my room while getting a break from the sun…pretty much any time I wasn’t playing sports, swimming, or spending time with family, my nose was inside one of these two books.

Just as no two people are alike, no two vacations are, either. What you need for your own trips may slightly differ, but I like to think I’ve covered all of the main bases here.

Shoes, accessories, hair/beauty products, a variety of outfits, something to stay warm, a bathing suit, activewear, PJs, and something else to keep you entertained should be all you need to be well-prepared for vacation.

Comment below to let me know if you agree, or if there are any key items I left out! I hope you all have a great trip or exciting outing to look forward to in the future.

Even if you don’t go far, I think it’s important to give yourself a break from the day-to-day and just get away once in a while.

Until next time. πŸ™‚ ❀

lifestyle, travel

My Top 5 Travel Destinations

Hey everyone,

I’ve done a fair amount of traveling in my life, but there are still so many places I want to see!

I’m narrowing it down to the top 5 places I’ve never been, but want to go to.

Here they are!

Photo by Pixabay on

I’ve been dying to go to Alaska since I was 18 years old. My husband and I are planning to go this year, and I can’t wait to check this one off of my list! I’ve heard so many wonderful things about the amazing views and the parts of nature unchanged by man. I’m also really hoping we’ll get to see the Northern Lights when we go.

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on

New Zealand
On of my college professors spent her honeymoon in New Zealand and I loved hearing about all of the adventures she and her husband went on there. It seems like such a gorgeous and exciting place. I like to be as active as possible when traveling, and that likely wouldn’t be a problem for me at all in New Zealand.

Photo by Abby Kihano on

Glacier National Park
You may be noticing a trend here…when I travel, I’m not just looking for warm weather or beaches to lounge on; I’m all about the views and what type of nature will be there. Glacier National Park in Montana looks absolutely breathtaking, and I’d love to hike there someday in the future.

Photo by James Wheeler on

Banff National Park
Most of us have probably seen that iconic Instagram shot in front of the water at Banff. That is where I first found out about this amazing park in Alberta, Canada, but it’s not the only reason I really want to visit it one day. One of my coworkers goes there regularly to ski and it sounds perfect for winter sports as well as hiking and canoeing. I’ve never been to Canada, but this is for sure my top Canadian destination.

Photo by Ibrahim Asad on

My husband’s family used to go to Aruba every year, so I’m still trying to convince him to take me. I’ve heard from so many people that Aruba is amazing and that the beaches are unlike anywhere else. Even though I like to stay active on my vacations, I’m definitely not against spending some time on these beautiful beaches.

What destinations are at the top of your list?

Have you visited any of the places I mentioned above?

Make me envious by commenting below about how awesome your trips were!

Until tomorrow…<3 πŸ™‚

lifestyle, travel

What’s in My Carry-On

Hi all,

I’m a big fan of traveling, and I try to go to at least two new places every year.

When flying, I try to pack as lightly as possible, but still make sure I have everything I need.

This applies to both my checked bag and my carry-on luggage.

I try to keep my carry-on small, because I prefer to keep it with me at my seat rather than in one of the overhead bins.

I also try to keep it light so that I can move around the airport easily and am not stuck lugging around a huge, heavy bag.

Here’s a glimpse of the carry-on I’ve been using to travel lately, and the key items that I keep inside whenever going on a trip.

Kate Spade Bag

Kate Spade Botanical Satchel: I used this adorable nylon bag throughout my entire trip to California last month.

It’s the perfect size for a carry-on as well as an everyday purse when exploring a city like Los Angeles.

iPad: I admittedly don’t use my iPad as often as I should, but it definitely comes in handy when I’m going to be sitting on a long flight.

I’ll usually add some movies or music to my iPad to keep me entertained during my trip, and I have a few other games that I can play on it without Wi-Fi if I get bored.

Bluetooth Headphones: Because my iPhone doesn’t have a headphone jack, I always make sure to bring wireless headphones with me.

Most pairs link via Bluetooth and are very comfortable/stay in your ears well.

I use the same pair for travel and for running, and I haven’t had any trouble with them.

Baby Lips: I’ve already professed my love for Baby Lips in my What’s in My Purse post, so of course I keep a tube or two in my carry-on, as well!

For those who haven’t read my previous post, Baby Lips is my go-to Chapstick alternative, and comes in a variety of great colors.

Books: Again, I’ve discussed my love for books in several previous posts, so it should come as no surprise that I refuse to travel without some reading material.

I usually bring whatever book(s) I’m reading at the time plus one more, but I’m always secretly hoping I’ll finish every book I have with me so I’ll have an excuse to pick up a new one at the airport bookstore. πŸ˜‰

Top | Joggers

Extras: I tend to keep some extra clothes with me in case my luggage gets lost, because who wants to be stuck without their luggage AND without something comfy to wear?

My favorite emergency outfit consists of a basic tee and the comfiest joggers ever from New York & Company.

I don’t just save these for my carry-on, I own the joggers and matching hoodie in several different colors because they are soo soft and cute.

Water and Snacks: Water is my drink of choice, always and forever, and I like to bring some snacks for the plane ride.

My favorites are plain m&ms and something salty to balance out the sweet; last trip I went with Buffalo Wing flavored Pretzel Crisps (so good).

Phone Charger: The last thing I keep in my carry-on is my phone charger.

Once again, if my luggage gets lost I don’t want to be without a charged phone in addition to everything else.

That’s pretty much all of the extra stuff I keep in my carry-on, aside from the essentials like my wallet and phone, of course.

I try to keep it light and only bring things I need, while covering emergency items and entertainment for my plane ride.

What additional things do you keep in your carry-on bag? Do you keep a small one with you or a big bag with a lot of other items?

Share with me in the comments below, and happy carrying-on! πŸ™‚ ❀