Packing for a 10 Day Vacay

Indulge, Mom and Babe, style

Going away with my babe and our babe.

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Itinerary:

Two days with family in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. Two days in Kingston at a wedding. Six days on a resort property.

WEDDING

  • wedding shoes (strappy leopard heels with geometric heel)
  • two dresses (in case of baby barf) – one is a rust coloured crepe and lace maxi with a tie front, the other is a black dress with elaborate back straps, both can accommodate breast feeding
  • gold clutch

BEACH

  • 4 bikinis with mix and match prints
  • 2 pareos/wraps for the beach that can also be sun drapes for the stroller
  • flip flops
  • long black floral kimono for over swim suits or for everyday wear
  • two hats (one floppy, one peaked)
  • sunglasses (2 pairs)

FOR THE PLANE

  • Cole Haan slip on loafer, bike shorts, midi dress in a blue and white print from HM with a tie waist and button front, beige breezy kimono layer

RESORT AND TOWN

Shoes –

  • Tom’s denim slides, Tom’s geometric black and white block heel sandal, Teva platform sandal (black), Cole Haan blush loafers

Dresses and Rompers –

  • blue gingham tie shoulder dress
  • red and navy stripe maxi dress (also for sleep/lounging)
  • white and black graphic print jumpsuit with snap front closure
  • brown and blush button up floral dress with cap sleeve
  • fern print shirt dress
  • rust dress alternate for wedding
  • Black shirt dress layering piece with long sleeves

Underwear –

  • strapless bra
  • nude bra, grey bra, black soft and grey soft
  • 10 pairs underwear and 4 thongs
  • 3 pairs of slip shorts, blue bike shorts and peach bike shorts (for under dresses and bending/sitting with baby)
  • black sleep slip
  • nursing sleep bra

Pants

  • cream lace pant
  • paper bag waist stripe red pant with matching crop top
  • moss green flowy capri length
  • white and blue stripe palazzo pant with tie waist
  • black Lulu legging

Tops –

  • mustard ruffle neck top
  • rust ruffle neck top
  • matching red stripe bustier top
  • white t-shirt
  • cream knit tank
  • navy knit tank
  • grey waffle tank
  • tropical flora and fauna print button up sleeveless
  • white crepe tank
  • white, black and grey nursing tanks
  • black crop t-shirt

 

Jet Set – Travel to Jamaica with our Little One

Indulge, Mom and Babe

K getting comfy for his second trip. Photo: @thisiseyecandytoronto

We are off again, this time to Jamaica for a wedding. Last time we travelled, he was 2.5 months. Now he will be 7 months. Here is our list of top tips from our travels the first time, followed by an itemized (to the last detail) list of what is in his (and our) suitcase.

Our first trip was to Mexico with a 2.5 month old. I was and still am breast feeding, with some bottles to supplement and he is sleeping in a travel crib.  In Nuevo Vallarta, we had a dishwasher while there, but also boiled bottles on the stove to sterilize. We brought a carryon with his formula and diapers and packed his clothes with our stuff.  Since he wasn’t mobile we had his infant car seat and stroller for the car rides and for getting around the condo, amenities and city.

For our Jamaica trip with a seven month old, skip to the next section.

FOR MEXICO

For a 14 day trip, here’s what worked for us:

-our regular infant carseat strapped into back seat of taxis and shuttle, rear facing, using seat belt
-some people hold their babies on transit (don’t know if you’re comfortable with this; I wasn’t)
-beware the cobblestone streets, it made wheeling a napping baby around a bit touch and go
-used coconut oil as sun protection (but kept him totally out of sun/shaded/screened)
-took a baby carrier, but it was quite hot to wear an infant! This was a good option for shorter trips
-people were so lovely with baby and very friendly.
-breast fed everywhere I went – literally everywhere.
-I was nervous for the flight, but fed him while I was going up and down
-take a change for baby (several) and for you (poop explosion on landing made me VERY happy I had a change of top (couldn’t change him due to turbulence)
-took a travel bassinet which was great cause we could drape it (no bugs and shaded) for when he slept indoors and out. It’s a small folding kind that fits easily in a suitcase and under the stroller.
-I took a small rolling suitcase of formula and extra diapers so we’d have what he is used to – ready to serve Good Start (so we didn’t have to mix at all).
-I had a drink while feeding or right after, which meant I didn’t need to dump. Fed him formula if I’d had more than one drink.
-Try not to be nervous. It was a great vacation, but the pace is TOTALLY different than before I had a baby (which I expected).

And I also have a few things to add to the list, now that baby will be older:

  • travelling with a baby I have considered bringing along my nursing pillow for the flight and a large outdoor blanket to use in the airport (one that folds up really nicely – that way when waiting at the airport and at the resort we can let him do floor time)
  • Having a roll of dog poop bags would be handy for diapers
  • Bring a plastic bag big enough to wrap around your baby in case of gate-side blowouts or deplaning incidents
  • quiet activities for the plane
  • hard bottomed shoes for when he wants to ‘walk’ around on public surfaces

FOR JAMAICA

We checked out a great photo popup museum called This Is Eye Candy for these fun family shots

 

GEAR

  • Graco Infant Carseat
  • Diaper Bag
  • Stroller gate-check bag
  • Collapsible umbrella stroller
  • Blanket/quilt
  • Jolly Jumper for playtime at the hotel and my in-laws’ house
  • clip on Inglesina travel high chair (also figure we can leave him in this at the table to play)
  • Inflatable pool floatie/chair with sunshade
  • Milk Snob stroller cover for shade in his carseat
  • UV/solar blocking bug net for stroller
  • Stroller pad with heat-reducing cushion
  • Carabiners for attaching diaper bag to the collapsible umbrella stroller
  • Mattress cover for hotel crib mattress (washable)
  • Beco baby carrier
  • one soft toy, a rattle and a few chew toys 
  • baby stroller clip-on battery powered fan ** a mom friend recommended this!

Health and Care Products

  • Nosefrida and saline drops
  • Camelia and Coryzalia natural remedies for tummy upset and congestion
  • Infant Tylenol
  • Bottles (2) 
  • Formula (premixed)
  • squeezie packs of food, baby Mum Mums, dissolving star crackers, baby oat cereal
  • diapers and swim diapers (plus reusable swim covers)
  • wipes
  • thermometer
  • sleep owl nightlight and sound machine
  • body wash and shampoo, lotion and diaper cream
  • 2 baby spoons, 1 bowl, 1 360 sippy cup
  • noise cancelling headphones
  • sunglasses
  • bibs
  • Change of clothes in the diaper bag (2 for baby, one for mommy)
  • Vitamin D drops
  • Baby sunscreen
  • Anti-mosquito stickers for baby’s clothes
  • Baby cot mosquito net
  • Medication and vitamins for mommy (in my case, daily vitamin and Domperidone)
  • video monitor

Clothes

  • swim diapers (2)
  • rashguard suits (3)
  • towel (if there aren’t ones at the hotel) and washcloth
  • socks
  • 3 pairs shoes
  • bibs (4 for drool, 3 for feeding)
  • 3 footed sleepers
  • 5 pairs of shorts
  • 3 pairs of pants
  • 2 hoodies
  • one long sleeve linen shirt
  • 6 short sleeved bodysuit
  • 13 shorties onesies (rompers). We figure he’ll go through two a day of these.
  • 2 burp cloths, 3 large muslins (1 each for the plane)
  • change pad
  • wet-dry bag
  • 2 swim hats, one cap
  • 1 short romper for wedding. 1 longsleeve wedding ‘gentleman’s suit’

 

Off we go! Wish us luck and let us know if there is anything I forgot on this list!

Country Showers Bring Sweet … Horses!

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Ever since I was little girl, I’ve had an obsession with horses and ponies. When a friend of mine, who just happens to live on an equestrian farm, offered to host a baby shower for us it didn’t actually occurred to me what that meant: horses would be part of our fall shower!

Thank you, Shan, for the most warm and loving day of celebration. I’m grateful – always.

Turns out that my shower dress matches our nursery! It was a short drive out to the country – for cake, food, great friends and an autumn walk around the farm.

Baby Shower in Town

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Maternity leave has started, leaving time for a bit more writing and… waiting. So here come the throw-backs.  Allia and I were so blessed to have two gorgeous baby showers thrown in honour of our pending arrival. The first was summertime barbecue, with beautiful weather, beautiful friends and family. The second was at a friend’s stunning farmhouse Country Showers Bring Sweet … Horses!

We are so lucky to have a warm, wild and fiercely loving group of family and friends-who-are-like-family to help celebrate and guide us as we get ready to be mamas. This was shower number one of two and we already feel so spoiled… all smiles, all day. #thankyou!!! #lesbianmoms #babyshower #rainbowfamily

A backyard bbq, swimming pool and games for the kiddos was a hoot. The weather was cooperative and the decor was handmade by yours truly and my friend Lindsay.

My friends and family are a colourful bunch. My mom, in yellow, is over the moon about the upcoming arrival.

Whether poolside, or the country equivalent, being surrounded by loved ones helps the anticipation build and shows you what an incredible community is waiting to love your little one and support you on that journey.

Cheers! We are officially past-due.

breakin convention

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Yes to a program of amazing international hiphop crews. They took over Toronto and it was amazing. This is an after the fact post, but if similar street dance and hip hop collaborations are coming to a city near you CHECK IT OUT!!!!!

we went for dinner and the. Enjoyed performances from all over the world, including some chandelier swinging (for real), and lots of femme presence.

A hop over the pond: What to pack for 10 days in the UK

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Vacation Packing 101, or 102 if you consider this the upgrade from my trip this weekend (Cottage Trip)

Hot on the heels of a gorgeous cottage getaway (stay tuned for that), I am packing it up for a vacay to the UK. I’m going with my mum, while my lovely wife stays on the homefront. I managed to pack for 4 days of beach and countryside in a carryon (including all my pregnancy vitamins and meds), so this time, the challenge will be taking all those extras, for more than twice the time away, in a medium sized case and soft-sided carryon. I’m a classic over-packer.

The UK is the perfect not-too-hot, not-too-crowded, great healthcare in case of emergency destination for a pregnant gal on the go. So, as I lay out my look book for the days away, what is the inspiration?

Here you go! For all images, links and credits, check out my Pinterest page, Vacation Lookbook 

Dresses will the the staple of this trip, with some basic black pants (one flowy, one pair of skinny jeans) and two skirts thrown into the mix.

Some hats, a classic bag and comfortable shoes are also making the cut. Simple gold necklaces, a few good bracelets and my wedding ring will be the basics that come along.

Can’t wait to get wheels up… I’ll be posting as I go. Cheerio and see you on the other side!

Lula Lounge – Live Music and Festive Fringe

Indulge, style

I’m not the mini-dress, sexy heels type of going-out person. I like to be comfortable, above all else. But when you’re going out to see a live Salsa band at Lula Lounge, to be twirled around the floor by some polite, but persistent Latin man… you have to wear something special.

The music was perfect; the band was so slick and full of life.

Lula Lounge is a club that is friendly and welcoming to both the pros, who look straight out of a movie, and novice dancers. Early evening features a salsa lesson to get things rolling, then the band hits the stage.

It was the perfect night to bust out my new Zara midi dress with embroidery, a comfy t-shirt cut and 6 inch fringe on the hem and sleeves. Total coverage, comfort and swingy details. And yes, there was a Latin man, who delighted my friend and I by partnering us for an entire song, with impeccable leading skills and a gracious end to the song – disappearing into the crowd.

Get out in your city, experience live music, and don’t be shy about stepping out with style and a bit of coyness on the dance floor. 2712007800_6_1_1.jpg2712007800_1_1_1.jpg

Photo credit: Zara.com

What is your going out style?

Ring it in: 2018

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I love nostalgia. Capturing the moment. Journaling. This site has become sort of a living version of this. I was gifted a supremely awesome new book for 2018: it’s a 5 year journal with a small space for each day of the year, where you can add to each ‘same day’ for the next 5 years in a row. Five years stacked on top of each other with gilded pages; you can scan back and compare at a glance how you were doing on each day. I’m very excited to crack the spine.  Blogger, Danielle at verderamade.com just did a really lovely post about journals, methods and content; check it out!

—–

I started the Style Sa Vie site years ago to indulge my own creativity: I used to draw a picture of my outfit every day in high school, then technology came along and made it so much easier to bring that into sharp focus. Like choosing my clothes, I don’t write this for other people, that’s not why I started. But here, and on my other blog, where I chronicle my fertility journey with my wife, I get so much back from the kind emails, comments and encouragement of an online community. I sometimes wonder why I do this still. I’m not going to be an Alexa Chung or Aimee Song. But that was never the point. I have a life and a job that I love, and I have a hunch that I will like looking back at a snapshot of what life has been like, whether it’s the year in review, or a decade from now. Style Sa Vie is about the words: Style with a possessive adjective in front of Life. I want to own my life and curate it in a way that I find inspiring. A life of style. A style of living. Life that is mine.

In the spirit of hearkening back and looking ahead, a question: Do you believe in resolutions? For me this year will be about intention- being intentional. I want some guiding phrases, not edicts for a new year.

*Joy – be more joyful, rather than shredding joy with the tools of perfectionism, anxiety or guardedness. I am pretty comfortable with living and embracing vulnerability, but I can definitely get mired down, perseverating on things that just aren’t important. I’m going to Marie Kondo my attitude; does it spark joy? No? Then heave-ho!

*Let Go – This time of the physical stuff: of clutter, of things that no longer serve me. But also the metaphysical stuff: of the idea of perfect, or fears like ‘missing out,’ things taking too long to accomplish, or wondering what the next year will hold. Also, I’m getting rid of the self-judgement. I don’t judge the people I love; why do I do it to myself? I love me. But I should do it better.

*Start Now – this is the moment. Don’t wait for a ‘good time,’ or the ‘right’ time. If I see a repair in the house, go get the tools. If I think about a friend, call that person when it pops into your head. If I want something, what will I do to get it?

* Keep indulging and seeking new experiences. Don’t be complacent. If what I want is to savour a new taste and have another glass of wine. I will. If what I want is to get back to the Ballet Barre… I will do that, too. Also, Be creative. Remember how lucky I am. Celebrate my relationships. Take a deep breath. Don’t be frugal with your love and affection.

*Invest in people who invest in you. And invest in yourself!

*Create routines, but only if they help you reach these goals. I did 365 days of Outfits of the Day last year (which you can find in the style heading), so I can definitely do more mindful writing. Starting today: Journalling.

See you on the other side,

The Style Sa Vie

Gift List

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For you and for yours. Here are some sure-to-be-a-hit items that might fill the stocking or heart of your special people during the holidays.

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Better than Bedazzling – this Popsocket is functional and pretty. Never drop your phone again, and prop it up to watch something hands-free. Popsockets. 

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Eberjey Violeta Short PJ Set, $102.00, available at Eberjey.

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Bambüsi Bamboo Bathtub Caddy Tray , $27.99, available at Amazon.

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Start fresh with a set of Juniper Ridge Smudge Sticks

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Perfect slide slippers from Anthropologie.com

 

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Uncommon Goods grilling baskets

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Daily Gratitude for your Loved One – Daily Love from Studio Penny Lane. http://www.studiopennylane.org/product_p/mjglnotes.htm

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Moxi Moxi Leather Roller Skates,$299.00, available at Urban Outfitters.

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Junebug and Darlin Nasty Woman Cross Stitch Kit, $20.00, available at Wildfang.

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Stuff a stocking with this calming nighttime pillow spray from Thisworks. http://www.thisworks.com/deep-sleep-pillow-spray.html#sthash.dBYuHwaF.dpbs

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Tech-love marries Nostalgia: Get a portable Instax printer for their phone… or yours.

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Gift Boutique Splash Tunes speaker for in-shower listening. https://www.shopbop.com/splash-tunes-bluetooth-speaker-gift/vp/v=1/1555090551.htm?folderID=13568&fm=other-shopbysize-viewall&os=false&colorId=11784

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USDA Organic Castor Oil – for face, hair and for lush lashes. I’d love this perfect stocking stuffer.

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Amazon Vegan Bath Bombs Kit,$19.98, available at Amazon.

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Something for EVERYONE – H&M 2-Pack Smartphone Gloves,$9.99, available at H&M.

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For the life-long learner: a book that piques their interest.

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A themed tea tree: Thirsty For Tea 

Get personal-ized with some Anthropologie lettered items, but caution- if you are in Canada or outside the US, beward the duties, tax and handling fees!

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Monogram pouches from Anthropologie.com

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I get compliments every time I wear my letter A, so I purchased one for each of my favourite ladies. Anthropologie.com

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Monogram treasure box from Anthropologie.com

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Monogram trinket dish from Anthropologie.com

My personal favourite: a piece that fills a gap in their closet. I have been coveting an oversized plaid blazer. I love this idea so much that I added it to my own wishlist AND added one to my cart when I was finishing a purchase online (to qualify for free shipping). A little bird told me by the time Christmas rolls around, I’ll have two. I just cannot wait.

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The perfect layering piece: Zara has some amazing oversized plaid blazers! 

 

What are you hoping to gift or receive this season? Share your ideas in the comments! Who do you find hardest to shop for?

*featured image from: https://www.instagram.com/p/BOP7xAODVz3/

Festive Customer Complaints

Indulge, Open Letters

I love getting into the spirit of giving, whether it’s giving back to the community, taping a Mariah Carey inspired “All I Want For Christmas …. is youuuuuuuuu” carpool karaoke video (for students to giggle at their teachers playing at late night stunts, or planning and wrapping the beautiful surprises that I hope will light up the faces of my friends and family.

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Anthropologie Lamb Ornament

Unfortunately, in our well-connected, cyber world, the ease is sometimes accompanied by glitches. Case in point: one of my go-to stores, Anthropologie, is usually a place I hit up in person, but the selection of baubles online is far better. Due to some site problems, I ended up finding out part of my order would ship separately, which sucks as a Canadian, with border agents charging a tax per package, flat rate. So, I wrote to Anthro:

Hopefully, in the holiday spirit, I get a solution, or at least they consider this problem for others in the future.

Question:

What stores have the best customer service that keeps you coming back?

What local shops and artists, or causes, are you supporting?

What stores have policies around this time of year that make you reluctant to shop there?

For the rest of December I’ll be posting festive gift lists, wish lists, holiday fashion and featuring hand-made and one-of-a-king artisans whose products are worth the investment.

Hi there, I’ve been a longtime fan of Anthro. Instead of a wedding registry, we made an Anthropologie wishlist. Needless to say, I’m a fan. I was hoping to spread some cheer by shopping for friends this year at Anthropologie online, and filled my cart. Your shipping to Canada is often fraught with problems, like unpredictable taxes and duties, and shipping costs. I figured I’d bite the bullet and go ahead. This time, however, an item that the site said it was available wasn’t. As a result, part of my order is to ship separately. The problem: Canadian customs bills us $10.00 for EVERY order they process. So, Anthropolgie having an out-of-date stock list is going to cost me $10… twice. The remaining necklace that I want is $38.00 and will end up costing me 25% of the cost of the item just to have it ship on its own. This is such an unfair burden to pass on to the customer since there was no notice from you that the item wasn’t available when I placed my order. What can you do to fix this?

Happy holidays to those who celebrate ambiguously, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Hannukkah and wishing you a very Stylish, Merry and Bright season ahead!

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Anthropologie Penguin Ornaments

Yours Truly,  The Style Sa Vie