How To Pack For Vacation- A Guest Post

twin bearThis is my very first guest blogger, “Twin Bear”. I am so excited to have her here, and I hope that you are too 🙂


One night, I was having drinks with Jillian when a woman approached us and said, “Excuse me- I just wanted to tell you that I love your style, and the pattern and color of your dress. I could never wear that color!”

I replied, “There is a color spectrum for every woman. You just have to find the colors that work for you. You would look great in baby blue crop pants and a yellow skinny belt. Those colors are soft, yet bold enough for you to ease your way into the world of color.”

She smiled and said, “Really, you think? Thanks.”

Jillian whispered, “You should do a guest blog on fashion, because this happens waaaay too often.”

So, here I am- a colored girl who loves color. Color has always held a special place in my heart. Growing up, I could relate seriously with Punky Brewster, and not just because of her back story. PB had serious style. My back-to-school shopping trips were to the thrift store where clothes were purchased by the pound. I found the thrift store was the equivalent of being let loose in a dream world. I was an excitable child (WAS? She still is! ~Jillian), and I would run around touching fabrics, picking colors, and making perfect ensembles.

These days I have a style crush on the imaginary adult PB and Solange. When Jillian wrote her blog on fashion icons, I told her I would love a peep in their closets. So, Jillian walked into mine and pulled out a slew of amazing pieces. We all need a good friend to remind us of our own blessings! I am now, however, overwhelmed with my closet. As I was trying to decide what to pack for vacation, I thought about Jillian’s offer to write a post.

orange suitcases WARNING you may find this less of a fashion post, and more my asking you “What do you pack for vacation?” and “How should I pack my own suitcase (Jillian and I got ours from Amazon)?”

choices narrowing it down
I started by putting on a fashion show for my very own Superman, and snapped photos for Jillian (isn’t this how all women decide what to wear?). At the first dress, Superman looked up and replied “Are we supposed to be going somewhere?” (men!)

stripesI informed him that I was modeling outfits to decide what to take on vacation. His reply “Seriously?! Well, don’t pack more than three pairs of shoes and 10 outfits, and don’t forget a coat.”

Had he been reading up on packing? I did know that I had to be judicious in packing, since the airport luggage fees are killer, 10 outfits for seven days seemed fair (How many outfits do you take on vacation?), and I would need outerwear. I had to agree that he might be right.

blazer I decided I would build my vacation wardrobe around my Ann Taylor navy blue blazer (similar). The price was daunting, but I was won over by its clean lines and beautiful silk polka dot lining. It’s a piece I can dress up with dresses, or down with jeans (I believe 90% of your wardrobe should be able to do double duty; as space, time, and money are too precious for them not to). This blazer will be balancing my bold colors and prints.


I definitely think that if you wear a bold color or print, you must turn the rest of the look down- “Less is more!”

However, that does not apply to shoes! How does one pick three pair of shoes for 10 outfits? Talk about cruel and unusual punishment! I told Superman just that, and his reply was “Well, you own one purse” (men!) I decided to not mention that I indeed definitely own more than one purse, this particular one is just my current favorite 🙂

shoesI went to my shoe closet, stared, and thought- okay, definitely a pair of sandals to show off my vacation pedicure, something comfortable (after all, I have a city to explore), and maybe something Carrie Bradshaw. What do you think?

❤ Twin Bear

The Liebster Award

liebster awardI was recently nominated by Sami at Flowers and Wanderlust to participate in the Liebster Award!

Hey Jillian,

I just nominated you for the Liebster award because I thoroughly enjoy your blog and all the love you send to mine, haha. You can find the link below. Have a lovely day!

The Liebster Award is given by someone who is inspired by or enamored with another website or blog. I know a little German, but I had to Google this.  The meaning: liebster is a German word that means sweetheart, beloved, or darling in English. I believe that blogging is about getting to know each other and building relationships, along with sharing knowledge. Being nominated to participate is very cool! Thanks, Sami!

Since I accepted this award, I now have to follow these guidelines:
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you, then create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs!

11 Random Facts About Jillian

  • I have three tattoos.
  • I live in the United States, and have visited Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, England, Scotland, Spain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Italy. I want to go everywhere, but that is definitely a lofty goal.
  • I used to be an actress, but then I decided I wanted a job that actually paid.
  • I was with my husband for seven years before we got married.
  • My first word was kitty.
  • My natural hair color is dirty blonde. I like it dark brown, so I dye it, but the drama of coloring in my eyebrows everyday is awful!
  • I have too much of an all or nothing mentality. I can train for a half marathon, but if you ask me to run three miles I see no point. The struggle with myself is real, people… 🙂
  • Shiba Inus are such trouble makers, but I love them the most of all of the dogs!
  • I have been vegetarian for nearly 13 years. People think I will give up eventually, but I don’t see it happening.
  • I didn’t get my first car until I was 25, and I am still driving it today. I want to drive it forever.
  • I was home schooled from grades 8-11.

My questions from Sami:

  • What is your greatest passion in life?
    Wow, starting off with a bang here… this is kind of a fluid thing for me. Right now my focus is on how I can better use my time on earth. I want to feel like I was here for a reason and was able to make a difference.
  • What three things make you happy?
    My family, friends, and Shibas. Predictable but true.
  • Are there any favorite places of yours that you have traveled?
    I have different favorites for different reasons, but the place I would most love to go back to is Italy. The weather, the beautiful EVERYTHING, the delicious food, the history- it’s just amazing.
  • When is the last time you tried something new?
    I started this blog in December. This is all very new to me, and I never realized how much work it really is. Bloggers are amazing!
  • Is there a quote or lyric that has stuck with you throughout your life?
    Maybe not my whole life, but for the last several years my friend and I have been living by “fake it til you make it”. It’s tough entering the real world and feeling like everyone at work knows more than you, but I have realized that almost everyone feels the same way. If you just keep trying, you will realize that you know more than you think.
  • Where do you find inspiration?
    Anywhere and everywhere, but mostly through watching others.
  • Have you ever met an unforgettable stranger?
    As in someone that is still a stranger to me? I’m kind of thinking no, because nothing comes to mind. I once met the singer Deb Talan though, and I was unbelievably starstruck. She has the voice of an angel! I made an idiot of myself.
  • What is the nicest thing anyone has done for you in the past month?
    Nominate me for a Liebster Award? 🙂 Seriously, I have been so excited about all of the support I’ve had for my new blog!
  • Where do you want to be in five years?
    That’s something that I’m trying to figure out right now. I’m hoping that this blog and My 35 Project will help me with a little soul searching.
  • How did you come up with the name of your blog?
    I spent a lot of time debating with some friends. I wanted the name to reflect the fact that I am still trying to figure things out, but I also wanted it to be strong. We played around with more girl power type things, but this one really stuck. I like that “how to be myself” can apply to me and also to readers. We’re all in this together.

Here are some gorgeous shots that my friend M took in Rome and Venice- see how Italy is the best?

Rome Venice

And now for the nominees (insert drumroll here):

Here are your questions, should you choose to accept this award (tag me if you do, I want to see your answers!):

  1. Do you want kids? If you already have them, did you always know you wanted them?
  2. How did you choose your blog name?
  3. Do you have any pets?
  4. Do you think it’s smart to blog on a set schedule?
  5. What do you think your best feature is (yes, you have to be positive and pick one)?
  6. How do you feel about iPhones?
  7. Do you have a recurring dream?
  8. What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
  9. What’s your favorite television show?
  10. Do you work out?
  11. Do you believe in astrology?

Thanks to anyone who read to the end of this long post! I’ll post something a little lighter tomorrow. Maybe. It is Weigh In Wednesday, soooo… could be rough!