Last summer, I did my Shade of Shay about what I wear/read/take on a trip…and it was the most popular shade to date. So, seeing how I just returned home from a vacation and you lovely ladies have asked me a lot of questions, I thought I would go ahead and do Part 2 of that Shade.
Today, I’m dissecting our recent vacation. You asked, I’m answering!
I was asked this question a lot! And the answer is simply my iPhone. I use a fancy schmancy camera when photographing my food, but I do not know how to use it to take pictures of moving objects (just nice, still food). About 18 months ago, I stopped using my basic camera completely and started only using my iPhone. So…if you see a pic on this blog and it’s not of food, it was taken with my phone.
I kept my phone in a plastic baggie in our beach bag any time I wasn’t using it. I did not want sand and/or water getting into my phone.
Andrew and I both brought $12 sunglasses with us on vacation. We didn’t want to worry about our glasses breaking, getting lost, damaged, or pulled on by little kids. Never bring glasses on a vacation that you will be sad to lose! Click here to see girl options and here to see guy options.
I was asked a lot about what I wore while we were gone…and it was my summer uniform…shorts, tees, and neutral shoes. I feel like with these three things, you can mix and match your summer casual all season long (and that stuff really never goes out of style!). For instance, the tee I’m wearing in the far right picture is five years old! Yes! It’s one of Gap’s essential v-neck tees and I have worn and washed that thing a zillion times and it only gets better.
Here is what I took…
I love me a good pair of shorts and all 3 of these Gap shorts did me well! The eyelet pair also comes in navy and after wearing the white pair all week, I really think I need the navy too. I just loved them! Also, both pairs of denim shorts had stretch to them and were so comfy!
People…you know how I feel about my J. Crew colored chino shorts. They are the BEST shorts out there! I’m wearing the 3″ inseam but they also come in 4,5, 7 and 9 inch inseams as well. And in so many fun colors! These are the orange ones…but as you know, over the last 3 years, I’ve collected pretty much every color they make…because they wash and wear so well and also elevate any old summer tee!
With my shorts…I love a good tee…especially a striped one!
I bought this tee in both the navy and orange stripes. I feel like a light long or 3/4 length sleeve really counter balances shorts…and if you’re wearing a stripe, I think you get to accessorize less. My favorite tees come from Gap…click here to see them all.
All of these tees came from Gap…seriously, they should hire me to be their spokesperson!
I wear a lot of neutral shoes. I just do. When we were packing up in Lana’i and getting ready to leave, I looked down and saw the shoes I had packed for the entire 10 days…every single one, a neutral. I brought one pair of strappy heels, two pairs of sandals, one pair of wedges, one pair of cheap flip flops for the pool and a pair of Toms. I love neutral shoes because they just go with everything! No matter what you pack, they match!
Here’s what I brought…
I love these Steve Madden Strappy Heels. They also come in black and orangish-red too. I wore them with shorts on our trip and then with my Easter dress last weekend. They’re the perfect neutral heel!
My neutral sandals are no longer in stock but I found three very similar styles and colors that you will love! I will be wearing my neutral sandals all summer long!
I bought my white sandals last summer, so they’re no longer in stock but here are two like options…
Of course, I brought a pair of wedges! I wore those babies on the flight going and returning home and then out to dinner with my shorts. I just love me some wedges! The ones pictured above are from two seasons ago, but I found you a few similar styles…
My all-time favorite flip flops come from Gap. I have walked the world in these shoes…seriously. Dozens of countries have felt the thud of my cheap Gap flip flops. They just never let me down. Unfortunately, other than a few select sizes, they are sold out right now. But have no fear! The minute they’re back in stock, I will shout it from the rooftops (or I’ll just type it in a really big font on my blog). You need a good cheap pair of flip flops for the pool and beach when you’re on vacation.
And my Hemp Toms…perfect for walking, site-seeing, lunch or dinner out…just nice and neutral (and comfy too!). I would order a half size down! I usually wear an 8 but these are 7.5.
When packing, I always put out everything that we’re all going to take. Each of us has our own stack of clothes and shoes. Then, I get out all four of our suitcases and divide our stuff between the four suitcases (so a fourth of everyone’s things are in each suitcase). This way, if we only make it to our destination with one bag, at least we’ll all have some undies, a swimsuit, some shorts and a few shirts. Lost luggage can ruin a vacation…this at least helps you out until the rest of your luggage is found.
Oh goodness! I have never had so many questions about earrings until this week! I had to go back and look at my posts again just to see what you ladies were talking about. Apparently, you’re into your colored earrings as much as I am!
Here’s the thing…my mama always told me growing up that earrings were a must. I don’t believe I’ve ever even seen my mama not wearing earrings…so needless to say, I’m always wearing them too. I love these big colored studs for more casual looks and I even wore them in the pool and on the beach. They’re light and you’ll forget you’re even wearing them. They come in 18 different colors…just look at a few other fun choices…
As for my yellow drops, I’ve been eyeing Kendra Scott earrings for a long time now, so I bought me yellow ones for our trip…and I’m obsessed. I love the small oval size because they’re not too big and I can wear them all day without them bothering me. Here are some of the other fun colors they come in as well…
I didn’t want to get my ears pierced when I was little because I was a wimp and thought it would hurt too much. Finally when I was 12, my mom kind of insisted and I instantly fell in love with earrings. I have 4 holes in my right ear now and two in my left. I always fill two of them with random studs and then wear two regular earrings each day.
This year, I changed my whole thinking with swimsuits. I bought all separates and then mixed and matched them to create different looks. This works beautifully with bikinis and tankinis! I got the idea from this Nordstrom ad…
I saw this ad and thought, well geez, I can do that! So, that’s my swimsuit tip for you this summer. Instead of always wearing your coordinating pieces, mix and match them! It would take me FOREVER to highlight all of the different suits you could buy…so instead, I’m just going to send you to a few key places for mixing and matching swimwear.
First, for bikinis, click here.
I paired this pink top with my chevron bottoms (and then reversed it on another day)…and then I could still wear them as a unit and voila…four different swimsuit combinations!
It’s hard to tell but in this pic, I’m wearing the chevron top with pink bottoms :). I really am the Mix and Match Mama!
I know a lot of you love tankinis, so…
…for tankinis, click here.
I really have found my favorite swimsuits over the years at two places…Nordstrom and Athleta. I like that they both offer me free shipping and free returns so that I can order online and try them on at home (because trying on swimsuits in store is about the worst thing EVER!). I also love their big selections but most of all, I love how their swimsuits last. I was laughing when I began packing for Hawaii because I still have an old Nordstrom suit in my dresser from my honeymoon in Hawaii..10 years ago! And I still wear it! A good quality suit that you wash and hang dry will last for years!
Here are a couple of pics I found of me in my Athleta suits…
…these mix and match separates come in both bikini and tankini styles. I bought two solids and one black and white pattern…this way, I can mix and match all summer long!
As for my kiddos’ swimsuits, they are all from Gap or Old Navy. If I wash them in the machine but hang them to dry, they will last all summer long and even look great next year too!
This is the third year that I’ve bought these little rubber shoes for Smith. They are just so perfect for little boys! I feel like he can wear them from March through October, they hose off when they get yucky, they don’t hurt his feet and they’re super cute on his little feet! He wore these every day on vacation!
Needless to say, I have an eclectic taste in books. I love to read anything biographical or lighthearted (two very different genres!). I really loved all three of these books…despite how different they all three were ;).
1. Bring trash bags for dirty clothes. I bring one bag for swimsuits and one for other clothes. This way, when I get home, my laundry is separated for me (you could even do a third bag for whites).
2. Bring a cheap beach bag and cheap beach toys from home. I went to the $1 section of Target and loaded up on cheap beach shovels and such for my kiddos and then left them at the hotel. This saves so much money (because that stuff is pricey at the beach!) and then I didn’t feel obligated to take wet/sandy/gross beach stuff back home in my suitcase.
3. I always put conditioner in my hair before swimming so that the chlorine or salt water doesn’t mess with my color. Just run a glob through your hair, twist it up and swim. It really protects my color.
4. Bring your own sunscreen from home…that stuff isn’t cheap at the beach either!
5. Carry a crossbody bag when traveling because it’s nice to have your hands free.
6. Last year, I did a Shade of Shay on traveling with kids. Click here to read those details.
Whew! Did we cover most of it?! Next week…everything is back to normal :).
Happy Friday! And don’t forget to check out my yummy dinner tonight…
Enjoy your weekend!