Road Wardrobe

Overpacking... again.

Overpacking… again.

I spend a lot of time on the road.  Airplanes, hotels.  I am admittedly an overpacker but I am also a pro at laundering clothes in hotel sinks.  Clothes on the road can be tough – how to look presentable and be comfortable is always the challenge.  I thought I might share some of my favorite tips on what to pack.

Disclaimer:  all of these items I either bought myself or covet.  No one has paid me to tell you that I like/ love them.

1. JEANS – In my opinion, THE best jeans for traveling are AG‘s Jegging.  They are real jeans with a button and a fly and pockets that work (read: they have structure) but they are SUPER stretchy and feel like pj’s when you’re wearing them.  I have 3 pairs and always travel with at least 2 of them.  On long trips, these are the only clothing items I send to the hotel laundry.  I’m not the kind of girl that will wear yoga pants in public, so these are a great alternative on the long haul (and even short haul) flights.

2. BLAZER – I love a good blazer and have a few that travel with me a lot.  They give you a polished look and with a pair of jeans offer an ideal blend of casual chic.  On a recent trip to London, I picked up a little black blazer with a faux leather collar at Zara.  (why are Zara’s in Europe SO much better than here in North America?)  This jacket has literally traveled around the world with me.  I’ve definitely recouped the £100 odd it cost me and I love it!  I am also a mega fan of the super luxe Smythe jackets (as you’ve heard me lust for these before).  The cut and fit mixed with some incredibly fun fabrics makes Smythe a great investment and a unique wardrobe piece.  PS – Buy Canadian.

3. SCARVES – LOVE a good scarf.  Have a pile of them and always travel with at least 2 or 3.  They give some variation on outfits, cover up spilled soup and keep you warm on the plane.

4. SWEATER – I have a black v-neck cashmere sweater that I love to travel in.  Its cozy and comfortable and usually looks pretty good.  I picked it up at a very exclusive boutique called Costco.  Seriously.  I am also partial to a good, drapey cardigan because why wouldn’t I be.

5. BOOTIES – Ankle boots are good for the road.  They pack small (hello Frye Motorcycle Boots, I’m looking at you and your 5lbs per boot), go with everything and can roll in warm or cold climates.  Mine are from Steve Madden, relatively cheap and cheerful and get the job done.  The ones I really would love are these from Rag & Bone.

6. SNEAKERS – Of course you need sneakers.  Non-white, super-comfy.  Preferably they are stylish enough for the tooling around, but sensible enough for the gym.  Or they’re Converse Chuck Taylors because they are just freaking awesome.

7. BLACK DRESS – Every girl on the road needs a great black dress.  Mine is called Black Magic.  You may recall my love letter to this favorite and perennial wardrobe item.  A great black dress can work for dinner out or as a pool cover-up.  Just make sure its in an easy to travel fabric.

8. BLACK ANYTHING – Working in the entertainment business, black is standard issue.  When following an artist on the red carpet or standing in the wings on stage, black is a must.  My job is to blend into the background and black does the trick.  PLUS, it goes with everything (except maybe brown) and it doesn’t show the dirt.  Black is ALWAYS the new black.

9. TOTE BAG – When on airplanes a lot, you need a big purse.  The Longchamp Shopper is a perfect example of the ideal travel bag that holds everything – iPad, ziploc, spare t-shirt and a laptop.  Plus it folds up small, so you can pack it away if you don’t need it.

And here’s what not to bring on the road:

1. ANYTHING THAT WRINKLES – as if you’ll have time to iron with 18 hr days.

2. EXPENSIVE SUITCASE – go mid-range on the suitcase.  Spend enough that it won’t fall apart on the first use but not so much that the nicks and dents will make you cry.

3. HATS – because, why would you unless you’re Johnny Depp.

So there you have it.  Another bossy R&R Mom post, telling you what to do.

 

 

 

Get A Move On

Who needs toys when you have BOXES!

Who needs toys when you have BOXES!

I am sure you have been losing sleep, wondering what happened with our house.  You can tell I’ve been kinda busy with this whole moving thing that I haven’t even had a chance to post an update.  Well, the good news is that we sold our house on the first showings.  The fact that we didn’t have to clean the house for multiple showings was a Godsend and I could kiss those buyers for simply saving me from the complete nightmare it would have been to forensically clean the house one more time.  I mean, come on.

So we’re sold, we’re messy and we’re now waiting for the next horror show – the actual move.  Luckily, the purging and storing plan we were on helped a ton so we only have to pack up the remaining half of our belongings.  J has quite aptly pointed out that the Storage Pod we used could now effectively be tossed into the ocean as we have clearly not missed one thing in there.  (Well, I have missed my red jeans.  Those are in there and I wanted to wear them the other day.)  Don’t worry, we won’t actually throw it in the ocean, we’ll just pile it all into the new basement and look at it the next time we move.

All this aside, the nightmare of packing is still upon us.  It absolutely amazes me how many boxes it takes to pack it all up.  Linens and pantry items, clothing and dishes.  Its a lot of stuff that we need to live everyday (ok almost everyday) and when you start pulling it out of the closets and cupboards and putting into boxes its a crap-load.

The actual move begins a week from today.  Will we be ready?  Will everything make it to the new house relatively unscathed?  Will I make it through the process relatively unscathed?  Will our kids make it through the process and not want to kill us at the end?  Ugh.  What were we thinking.  The old house was great, wasn’t it?  Damn you society for making us want to go bigger and better!

Wish us luck.  We’ll probably need it…

 

Be Prepared

My Dad was a Queen Scout.  He taught me to always be prepared.  He has a direct line to Canadian Tire and can outfit a car, apartment, house, boat – you name it – with every bit of safety gear in the event of calamity – batteries, flash lights, fire extinguishers.  I remember him stocking my first studio apartment in Vancouver, I had 6 flashlights in 600 sq feet including the closets.

Dad’s preparedness is clearly genetic.  My Grandparents were legendary for their pantry.   This was Cold-War era stockpiling at its best.  Dad definitely got this from them and he passed it on to me.  Our pantry is borderline hoarding territory.  But truly, my need to be prepared is most evident when I’m heading out on the road and all supplies need to be carefully packed in a suitcase and paraded around from home to taxi to airport to taxi to hotel lobby for the whole world to see.  I admit it, I am a chronic overpacker.  Most recently I was heading out on a three day trip and I’ve packed an oversized Samsonite that is tipping the scale just under the 70lb limit (phew!).

Disclaimer: I was traveling to the Canadian Prairies in the “spring” so I had to be prepared for any sort of weather pattern.  AND it was 12 celsius when I left home and I landed in a -14 celsius windchill.  To be honest I still froze my ass off all in the name of fashion.

Nevertheless, its good to be prepared and sometimes being prepared is just having wardrobe options.  What if I have been traveling for the past week and the hotel food bloat creeps up – you need to have your fat pants or at least Spanx for moments such as this.  What if that dinner is a little more formal than you expected and the red heels are so much cooler than plain old black boots you’ve been wearing all day.  Or what if you spill coffee all over your one pair of jeans during a little turbulence.  Options are always important to be suitably prepared.

Now we need to factor in the other comfort items required for life on the road.  If you’ve read some of my previous blogs you’ll know I’m not such a fan of hotel rooms.  So to beat the travel blues, I bring some scented Voluspa candles.  I’ve also invested in a pair of lightweight Nikes so I can hit the gym.  If I’m really lucky and have the space, sometimes I’ll throw in the yoga mat.  I’m not saying I actually use all these things.  But what if I have a spare hour in the hotel and I can finally take up meditation????

We haven’t even gotten into the gory details about the food I bring just in case room service can’t accommodate my dairy, gluten and sugar free regime (UPDATE: so far so good on sticking with the plan with only the occasional cheats – thank GOD for rice cakes).  Whole food bars and packets of almond butter can save the day.

I take full responsibility for my over-packing, proudly schlepping my bag in all its glory.   The real truth however is if you think this is bad – you should see what happens when I travel with the kids!