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!

Weekend Getaway

Mom and Babe

I love a quick jaunt out of town. Getting out of the house with baby is a must for this stir crazy new mom.

I headed to Niagara on the Lake, picturesquely snow-dusted and quaint, for four days – while my wife went to Montreal on location for a work shoot.

Travelling with little man is much easier with a solid place to land and since my parents retired in Niagara, it makes for an easy retreat … replete with breweries, trivia nights, great restaurants and all the charm of a turn of the century village – (plus nana and papa’s house has lots of great toys).

Falling asleep early with the moon over the snowy orchards is also pretty sweet. As is having a few extra sets of hands to make showering and brushing your hair possible.

Niagara on the lake, NOTL to the locals, makes for a nice relaxing staycation (with family). And just like that, our little babe is 15 weeks old. We played cards, ate half priced filet mignon burgers and beer tastings. It gave us both a chance to get dressed up to go out.

At Oast House Brewery a gentleman came up to tell us that my son was the best dressed person in the bar. In buffalo plaid, he matched the barkeep and was channeling Gaston (in style only) for an Uber-ironic nod to lumberjacks and small-batch-brewing hipster style.

Side note: If you ever wondered who goes to breweries and keeps them open on a weekday?…it’s a popular meetup spot for nursing Moms. No lie. Seriously… we were at Henderson’s Brewery in Toronto last week, in a snowstorm, on a Tuesday and it was FULL of mommies with babes in arms.

Cheers to another beautiful week with this little guy!

Where is your favourite go-to quick getaway?

Travel with Baby

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Planning our trip to Mexico with a two month old, was a great challenge for these new moms. It was a grand success. Check out the photos at the end. Drumroll…here is what we packed:

  • Infantino Carrier
  • Travel bassinet
  • wipes
  • diapers and swim diapers
  • formula (pre-mixed or concentrate)
  • birth certificate, parent letter and passport
  • breast pads/washable inserts
  • pump (we skipped this since I’m now producing enough milk on my own, with some formula top-ups)
  • bottles and tops, enough to have spares
  • lactation aide (we also skipped this)
  • baby shampoo, creams (diaper cream, lotion, etc.), bug repellent (safe for babes)
  • rashguard, swim diaper, sunhat and sun glasses
  • baby headphones
  • pacifier/soother
  • clothes
  • carseat, base (or learn to safely install without the base), stroller attachment
  • changes of clothes for you
  • I’m investigating, in advance of travel, to see if our destination stocks the formula, diapers and other things we like for baby. If we can avoid taking a week’s supply, that will really save on space 
  • Also, look up whether breast feeding in public is safe/legal/recommended in your destination
  • Sleep Sheep or white noise machine
  • medications (like Domperidone, for me)
  • vitamins for you and vitamin D for baby
  • coconut oil for sun protection for the babe
  • a UV protecting cover for the stroller. Jolly Jumper makes a great one and Milk Snob has a great cover that doubles as a nursing screen
  • Diaper cream and corn starch
  • Baby paper and some simple toys (we ended up getting some beautiful, colourful pompom garlands in a market, which he couldn’t take his eyes off. These now hang over his change table! But careful that he isn’t unsupervised, as with anything that involves string)
  • Nosefrida (for air travel and stuffiness)
  • Infant Tylenol
  • Gripe Water if you have a gassy baby
  •  

We upgraded our tickets and baby’s first trip was in Business Class.

First Class Flyer – extra leg room, wider seats and a bulkhead gave us ample room for him. No tears at all on either flight to and from Mexico! Bravo little traveller!
This was the main entrance to the condos we called home for two weeks.
Watching the sunrise. Three generations.
A boy and his Mama
They see me Strollin’


Sun-protected

For Clothes, we knew we’d have access to in-suite laundry, so we packed:

Bibs

Layettes

Shorts and pants

Short-onesies/rompers (this was the majority of the outfits)

Pajamas – for the plane and at night with the A/C

Burp cloths and muslin wraps

Socks

A knit jacket/sweater for air conditioned spaces and the plane

Swimsuits/rashguard

Sunglasses

Hats

Copy of his birth certificate, immunization record, passport, health card

Swimming with baby was an amazing first.

We loved all the time with each other, with him and with our family. For the rest of the trip photos, scroll down, past the last of the items from our travel must-haves.

MISCELLANEOUS:

Fanny pack, a carry on for us, carry on Diaper bag, small purse, big suitcase x 2 (one for us and one for all the baby stuff), a small suitcase of diapers and formula.

We made a call to set up/confirm our travel insurance/health insurance, etc.

We arranged a cat and house sitter, and also opted to use the Park ‘N Fly valet service (plus detailing) so we came home to a happy cat, safe home and a clean car.

Adios, Mexico and Gracias for a great first vacay with our blossoming family.

 

Now, listen…
Always time for a tasty snack.

Enamoured of pom poms


Stroller styles


Our little global traveller


Nautical vibes

Out at the Tuesday Market


Family photo at NickSan

Baby-wearing

Big Baby-sized Beer

Hot Mama, with our Milk Snob Stroller cover

Babiators. And a babe x2
Hard to believe our little one is 11 weeks old!

What are your travel must-haves? Share your faves in the comments!

Up Up and Away

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Travelling to Mexico … with a baby. The list looks very different from the usual. ‘Remember,’ says my mom, ‘It’s not a fashion show… people dress super casual in Nuevo Vallarta.’

Paring down will be key. Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up.

For the winter arrival at the airport, then to walk the streets in Mexico: brown ankle boots – pairs with jeans and dresses.

For tops and bottoms, everything has to go with everything and it needs to enable nursing. In addition to a few mix and match pieces, I’ll be bringing some dresses.

HM nursing top


Nursing bras from HM and I’ll also be bringing three nursing tanks (which are tops or layers) in black, white and grey


HM Nursing Dress
Easy nursing tank dress (HM)

HM polka dot wrap dress
Kokette long cardigan and some stretch jeans


Anthropologie wrap pant

Woven culotte (Anthropologie)


Wrap Dress/Kaftan HM


Anthropologie Hat
Light tank top with scalloped edge – HM


Orange hues tie the wardrobe together with blues and cream colours. Robe – Urban Outfitters
Swim suit from Urban Outfitters – two bikinis and two one-pieces will be rounding out my suitcase

Aerie one piece

Anthropologie wrap sweater
Tank dress with nursing panel


Athleisure will feature heavily – like this combo from Aerie


Great one piece from Aerie
What vacation would be complete without some crop tops? I just gave birth two months ago and feel more empowered than ever to rock a bathing suit and live the mantra – a swimsuit body is any body with a swimsuit on it.

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

Indulge

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!

Have Shoes, Will Travel – Summer Travel Volume 1

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Summer is finally here. It finally feels real. Although it has been hot as hell here, summer never officially starts for me until school is out and I am left to my own devices. At 26 weeks pregnant the heat is not my friend, but I’m making the most of it with low-key pool days, virgin drinks on a patio and time spent nesting (in the a/c), planning my registry and catching up with friends.

I also, fun-fun-fun, have time now to plan my summer trip with my Mum. I’m very excited. We used to travel together when I was in high school (Italy, France, and weekend getaways). This is our first mother-daughter trip in a decade. Being a real planner, I am eager to map out what to pack. Now the criteria is more stringent than ever – I can’t treat vacay as an extended photo shoot (like our trips to Santorini, Portugal and Spain). My growing waistline and easily-triggered emotions won’t stand for a suitcase that is packed to the gills, nor clothes that are cute, but uncomfortable. This isn’t usually an issue, since I’m pretty much comfort-before-style anyways.

Today: SHOES! 

Here are my top picks to travel with – for feet that will be comfy, well-supported and pregnancy-swollen (nice, right?). Let’s start with Soludos – whose shoes are cheeky, adorable and comfortable. They tend to be very classic, with on-trend details.

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Soludos Espadrilles – these are so comfortable and go with anything. I have spent a few days wearing them in and after day two, no rubbing.

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These espadrilles also come in a variety of colours. Oh, boy! (image: Soludos.com)

As we set out for our destination, the South of England, heading to boutique bed and breakfasts in the countryside, I am keeping in mind that we will not be walking more than I can handle at this stage of pregnancy…but I still want my feet to breathe, handle some serious walking up steps, to see ruins, farms, manor houses, and to handle old-timey streets. Plus, the footwear needs to be supportive and versatile enough to match all my outfits (stay tuned for Volume II).

Cole Haan has some wonderful options in driving shoes, loafers and sporty lace-ups. I went to the outlets at Niagara and found these for $50 less per pair than online/in regular stores, plus they offer a 15% off teacher discount (always pays to ask).

The court shoes I found are in a tan, super soft leather. While I love the idea of white runners, not so much in-love with them getting dirty. Bonus, the tan colour extends the leg line, rather than cutting you off at the ankle. To the right, the Weekender LX Loafer with Stitchlite fabric is breathable and featherweight, and the bottom left is a blush loafer with awesome sole cushioning that fits beautifully and is both lightweight and supportive. I went with the two on the left. All images: Cole Haan and available here.

The last great find, after lots of research, is feel-good company Toms (they donate a pair of shoes to someone in need for each pair purchased). My two faves for a summer getaway are the Honey Leather Camilia Sandal ($120), and the Navy Slub Chambray Clara Espadrille slides ($85). Signing up for a mailing list got me a %20 discount off my purchase and they have free shipping (though returns might prove costly). I have seen women schlepping around Toronto wearing the basic version of Toms shoes , or even wearing the lace version for weddings, so the comfort seems to speak for itself.

The Camilia has a bit of a heel, but not enough to mess with posture (left), the Clara (top right) is casual, but boho and cute/practical, while the lace slip-on is the often-chosen ‘fancy’ version of a Toms shoe (though I can’t vouch for the comfort of the lace on the skin after a day of walking). All images: Toms

I cannot wait to whittle this list down as I choose the clothes that will pair with them for my upcoming trip. I will never be a stilettos on the beach kind of woman, or on the cobblestones, or even (truthfully) from the taxi to the restaurant. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to look adorable from head to toe.

What are your go-to shoes for vacations or long days out in your own hood, enjoying it like a tourist?