My diminishing suitcase packing list for a Europe holiday in earlySpring

Well I'm here in France! I never got to publish my packing list before we left Australia, because as per usual I was too busy with work and sick (yes again! This time with the flu) before we left. I guess now I can add some preliminary notes.

Packing light for just over a month away is no mean feat for some one who enjoys dressing up... but it's very important for someone who also enjoys to shop whilst away.

What worked really well for me back in 2012 when we traveled to the USA, was packing a diminishing suitcase. This means, that apart from the staples, I also packed a few items that were on their last legs.

I did the same on this occasion and specifically 'saved' a few bits and pieces from my recent wardrobe cull to take with me, so that as I travel across Europe acquiring new stuff, I will get rid of this old stuff hence making room in my suitcase.  It's also a really good way to just get rid of worn out pieces that you find yourself clinging onto, even though honestly the items belong in the bin.

My packing list (items in red text are the pieces destined for the bin):

Coats and Jackets
  • Etoile Isabel Marant Kady leather jacket in tan
  • Etoile Isabel Marant tweed blazer in dark grey
  • Fleur Wood felt wool blazer in light grey (worn on Day 2 in Nice)
Day 2 outfit

Dresses
  • Etoile Isabel Marant Prewitt dress in black & ecru (can be dressed up or down)
  • Trenery check dress in navy

Knits
  • Etoile Isabel Marant Falk sweater in black & natural
  • Country Road knit in light grey 
  • Indie designer light knit in black

Tops
  • Country Road long sleeved striped jersey top with zip
  • Country Road crew neck long sleeved striped t-shirt
  • 2 x SABA striped breton top in black and white
  • Jane Lamerton striped Breton top in cream and ink navy
  • Country Road long sleeve tee in grey marle
  • SABA white tee  
  • Layering tops
  • Seamless tank tops in black, grey and nude

Jeans/Pants
  • Country Road skinny jeans in blue
  • Nudie skinny jeans in black
  • Zara cropped cuffed trousers in black
Shoes
  • Isabel Marant Dickers in tan*
  • Isabel Marant Jenny in dark grey*
  • Country Road Winona ballet flats in black*
* After walking 20 km around Nice and Monte Carlo I have decided I need to buy sneakers. Walking on cobble stones and up a million stairs is a bit different than walking the streets of New York...

Miscellaneous/Accessories
  • Statement necklace in black
  • Scarf in black
  • Socks
  • Opaque tights in black
  • Undies
  • 2 x bras (one nude and one black)
  • Pyjama pants (with daytime layering tops as pyjama tops)
That's it.  In case you are wondering the above list includes what I wore on the plane.

Toiletries & Makeup Packing List


We depart for our holiday in less than a week! First off, I'm publishing my toiletries and makeup packing list.  Of course these packing lists will be different for everyone, depending on what products one uses, but they are a good start.

Back in 2012 when I holidayed in the United States, I only packed sample sizes or almost finished cosmetics.  This turned out to be a great idea given that within 24 hours of our plane landing I found myself in Sephora hemorrhaging money.

Our first stop on our Europe itinerary is Nice, France, and well, I can almost hear the French pharmacies calling my name in the distance...  I will be packing very lightly in the skincare department, knowing that I will certainly buy a few new products in France.

Toiletries Packing List  
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Floss
  • Dry shampoo (travel sized)
  • Cleansing Oil/Makeup Remover (deluxe sized sample from Biotherm)
  • Exfoliating Cleanser (deluxe sized sample from Biotherm)
  • Facial Oil (remainder of my Kosmea Organic Rose Hip Oil) 
  • Moisturiser (a small deluxe sized sample from Clinique)
  • Eye Cream (a tiny sample tube from Caudalie)
  • Body wash (deluxe sized sample) 
  • Fragrance (a couple of sample vials)
  • Shampoo and conditioner (sample sachets)
  • Comb
  • Hair ties
  • A few bobby pins
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers

When it comes to makeup, I plan to play it safe and pack the items I use on daily basis here at home.

I'm packing my every day favourite cosmetics



Makeup Packing List

Foundation and tinted moisturiser.  A small sample tube of tinted moisturiser and my current foundation (Bourjois Healthy Mix).

Concealer.  I can't live without my Ellis Fass concealer...

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder palette.  This is one of my favourite recent purchases.  I have fair skin, so the powders in this palette work for me as a setting powder, highlighter and bronzer.

Blush.  A small travel compact of a pinky neutral Tarte powder.

Eyeshadow.  I'm taking my Clinque Chubby Stick in 'Ample Ambre' (a favourite), my NARS shadow pencil in 'Skorpios' and Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks in 'Amethyst' and 'Sugar Frost'.  These four colours will create a lot of looks and the products require no brushes for application.

Mascara.  A deluxe sized sample tube.

NARS lipstick.  My favourite YLBB shade for day ('Dolce Vita').

MAC lipstick. My favourite bright shade for night or day ('Vegas Volt').

I am packing the bare minimum make-up brushes with me - just the MAC 187 duo fibre brush which I use for powder and a Tarte blush brush.

I'm planning our European holiday... really quickly

In less than two weeks my boyfriend and I will be relaxing somewhere in Europe...


We have been planning (read: talking about) this holiday for many months. We got to a point in mid January that nothing was booked so I called our travel agent to make it happen. Now all of a sudden, it's happening. We leave in a matter of days and and I'm starting to get nightmares about:

1. My boss telling me at some stage prior that I can't take the time off work anymore
2. Forgetting to pack something really important
3. Forgetting to pack altogether
4. Misplacing my passport somewhere in the house
5. Being stuck in traffic on the way to the airport
6. Missing the plane altogether

What can I say, I'm a worrier...

I hope that none of the above mentioned travel disasters occur and that instead I finally get to try Pierre Hermé macarons.  Back in 2012 I tried Ladurée's offerings in New York and was left a little bit disappointed. Pierre Hermé macs better blow my mind!

Ladurée NYC - March 2012
Of course I'm hoping to do the obligatory 'what's in my cabin bag' and 'packing list' posts (because it's excellent blog fodder if anything).  Some may say that lists like this are anal retentive, but let me tell you that back in 2012 when I came down with gastro/food poisoning (whatever that was) days before we were set to depart for the US, the lists saved me a lot of worry. They allowed me to literally pack in 10 minutes flat - which was all the time away from the bathroom that I could muster.

So now to get through the next fortnight of work without tearing out our hair and/or working until 10pm in the days leading up to our departure.  I also need to get around to booking the rest of our accommodation and internal train travel - yes we are this unorganised!
Map sourced from: www.worldatlas.com

Country Road Autumn 2014 Purchases

In the same vein that I secretly wish for my wardrobe to spontaneously combust (so that I could buy all new stuff guilt free), I secretly wish for my kitchen cupboards to collapse from the weight of my mismatched crockery.  If this unfortunate event had occurred last week, I probably would have used my Country Road Spend and Save vouchers on some new tableware - so many pretty plates, dishes, bowls and platters!  Needless to say my kitchen cupboards are safely intact, and although my wardrobe did not burn down either, new clothes have been purchased.

As per usual, I spent an entire lunch break trying on all the new stock in the store.

I ended up with these pieces after much deliberation:


Print Fluid Dress - Although I have decided to stick to a palette of neutrals this year, this red dress is super flattering on me and suits my colouring perfectly.  I should point out that this dress is comprised out of polyester, meaning that I'll need to wait until the weather cools before I can wear it.  I've been told by Country Road sales assistants that Country Road is using more polyester to keep their price points down, but I would honestly rather pay $50 more for viscose - at least viscose breathes.

Quilted Bodice Dress - I have a couple of events coming up and I think this dress will be easy to dress up with some jewels when worn strapless. I especially like the soft silk/cotton voile fabric - so light and airy.

Texture Print Pant - Apparently these printed cotton pants are selling like hotcakes.  After trying them on, I can see why... they are cut beautifully and I especially like the narrow leg and slightly cropped length.  Of course I wish they came in plain black also.

Crew Neck Stripe T-Shirt - Ignoring the fact that it is a striped top and that I already own close to a million striped tops, I bought this one because the neckline is nicely scooped and it is loose through the body but not sloppy.  It looks very 'cool' on. I can't wait to wear it with skinny jeans and ankle boots.

What do you think of Country Road's new Autumn collection? Have you bought anything?

Hello again...

I have decided to resurect this blog and although it is now apparent to me that I may be culling my wardrobe for the rest of my life (ho-hum), I'm not sure that it's the only topic that I want to be writing about.

So, what other things will I write about?

Quick and healthy mid-week meals

I work in a corporate environment and attend young professional networking functions here and there (even though I'm not so young anymore). One of the constant topics that comes up when I "network" is food and how no one has time to cook. Rubbish I say! I hope to publish some of the quicker recipes I enjoy making mid-week... No excuses!

Our renovations

We have been in our home for just over a year now.  Slowly we have figured out what we don't like about our place and the changes that we would like to implement.

During my blogging hiatus we had ducted heating and cooling installed (bliss) and also put up a motorised retractable awning in the backyard (we did not want any permanent structures blocking out any glorious Winter sunlight). Although both of these projects have been exciting for us, they do not make for riveting blogging content. The next projects on the agenda, however, are more visually stimulating! We are just beginning to plan an en suite to our master bedroom (STCC) and also a new kitchen.

I hope to share my renovation  ideas on this blog, as well as to get input from fellow renovators who may stumble across these words.

Decorating

The amount of small home projects I have piling up is getting to be embarrassing. I won't list them all here (because then I will feel accountable to you all) but I'll try to blog about these projects as I complete them. At the moment I am building up the motivation to repaint the mantle and fireplace in our formal lounge room.

Minimalism

This topic continues to fascinate me, but because I have now admitted to myself that I have a genetic predisposition to hoarding, I may never be able to call myself a 'minimalist'.  Anyhow, I'm really keen to at least get rid of the unnecessary stuff in my life and also to organise everything in our home.

And I will continue where I left off...

Regardless of the progress I have made with my attitude towards shopping (with mammoth hiccups occurring spasmodically), for me the culling process has been fraught with frustration.  I don't think it makes for good or helpful reading when every other post is about a new culling methodology that I have implemented because the old one hasn't worked for me. Nevertheless, because I like fashion and I enjoy this endless quest for the ideal wardrobe (in a very sick and twisted way), this blog will continue to serve as a portrayal of the battles (some) women (me) have with the contents of their (my) wardrobe.

Thanks for reading and looking forward to your comments.