How to Pack for a Warmer Climate

I’M GOING AWAY! ON VACATION! TO SOMEPLACE WARM!

Not that there’s anything wrong with the cold, but it *will* be nice for one week to be in mild temps so I can do stuff without bundling up or my face hurting. But it can be a BEAR to figure out what to bring to a warmer climate when you live in a cold one. So I made a little video about how I whittled down from Many Items to Fewer, More Practical, Items. It’s practically a little baby capsule wardrobe.

It can be especially challenging when there are multiple people involved and you don’t know what everyone is going to want to do, so you sort of have to prepare for every possible contingency…WITHOUT having your suitcase go over weight (50lbs in this case).

And since I just did a video and no still shots from my wardrobe brainstorming (thinking pretty highly of my methods right about now), I will share a few pics that I never shared from last fall, of a cute’n’cozy sweater from Gwynnie Bee.

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This is *not* something I’ll be packing to go away. It’s by Rachel Roy, who does a really nice plus size line. One of my favorite summer dresses is from her, you can see it here.

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I loved that this cardigan was exactly the same length as the dress below it. It’s like they were made for one another. But it would have been equally cute over blue wash or black denim.

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Look at all the pretty colors that are in it! I’m just wearing a solid black base layer underneath – black dress, black tights, black booties – but the outfit looks very colorful just because of this one item. The beauty of the base layer.

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Ha ha, funny story. For some reason, I don’t remember now why, I took the sweater off part way through shooting, oh I think I wanted some pictures with it just over my shoulders, which looks cool when I see other people do it but when I do it it just looks like I have no arms. But when I put it back on I turned the shawl collar to the inside so it looks like there’s no collar…and I love a nice shawl collar cardigan. I’m such a derp.

Okay, so it wasn’t that funny.

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Look, no collar. D’oh.

And now our time together has come to an end. Almost.  Take a look at the video. Tell me if you think I’m not taking enough stuff. I did just order a pair of white jeans that I hope will fit so they can go with me. I think they’ll “warm weather-ify” all my black and grey tops. Do you find you usually end up with too much on trips…or not enough? Or the right amount but just of the wrong things…???

It’s Not All Good

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So. I have to talk about The Cancer today. Through most of this time I think I’ve been pretty good at keeping my Game Face on. I am not by nature a perky, positive person. I consider myself more of a realist and prefer to face *all* things, good and bad, and not pretend bad things don’t exist. But I *have* really tried to find the good in the situation…to find some beauty along the way…small joys, blah blah blah.

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But yesterday I hit a brick wall. With all the rashes and diarrhea and queasiness and infections and sores and exhaustion and other joys that I have mostly kept to myself…the thing that I’m having the hardest time with is…losing my hair. I knew it was going to happen. I knew the particular chemo drugs I’m getting have that as a side effect. But I still hoped I would somehow escape it.

Nope.

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You know how a little hair always comes out in the shower? That’s normal. But yesterday…it just wouldn’t stop coming out. Big clumps and handfuls. And tears. Then when I tried brushing it out…it wouldn’t stop coming out. My brush was full of hair, my hands were full of hair…if I touched hair, it was coming out. I finally just wrangled it all into a messy bun and called it a day.

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I don’t know if it’s really noticeable yet because pulling hair back into a bun is sort of like a glorified combover (ha ha) but I’m sure in bright light it’s visible. And is only going to get worse.

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I’m afraid to take a shower this morning because so much more is going to come out. I’ll just wash my bangs in the sink. And hope for the best.

So I’m seriously stressing out about what I’m going to put on my head. I KNOW there are 12,000,000 options…but I don’t really see anything that looks like ME to me. I don’t feel sick, I don’t want to LOOK sick. I don’t want to look like someone ELSE. I’m not a hat person EVER – not in the winter to keep warm and not in the summer to shade my face…so this concept of having to put something on my head in the morning and leave it on All Day Long – at work, shopping, etc, just feels so awkward and foreign to me and I DON’T LIKE IT. I DON’T WANNA. WHAAAA.

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There. This is my time I’m allowed to be mad and sad and bitchy and complainy. I’M ALLOWED. I don’t want anyone trying to cheer me up, cuz you CAN’T. No one’s words can change the way I’m feeling. I’m terrified and angry. And I’m just gonna roll around in that for awhile.

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So, now that I’ve alienated half of you (ha ha), I can proceed with my outfit. I LOVE this dress. It’s by Rachel Roy via Gwynnie Bee. It’s dark dark grey and feels like velvety slinky silk. And it has this cool drapey effect on the front that hides EVERYTHING. It’s light and flowy. It’s EASY. Which is exactly what I needed yesterday.

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And we found the perfect location to shoot – this abandoned movie theater. Crumbly and littered…and yet even it had a little spot of wild flowers still growing. Even when I only WANT to focus on the ugly, I find some beauty. Damn it! Ha.

When It Rains It Pours, Part I

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So, I’ve been wanting a denim/chambray dress forEVER. I’ve been coveting the Rachel Roy light wash tencel denim dress all season, but at $115 it was not for me.

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Last week Old Navy dot com was having a sale and their very VERY light wash denim tencel chambray dress was marked down so I finally just ordered that cuz I knew I was never going to spend over $100 on a denim (or any, really) dress. Matter settled.

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Til I was at TheCurvyCon this weekend and who had a pop-up shop there? Rachel Roy! And what dress did they have there? The much longed-for denim dress! And was it $115? No, it was marked down to $30!!! I tried on two sizes and quickly plunked down some plastic and grabbed that baby right up.

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It wasn’t til I was driving home later that afternoon that I remembered the Old Navy dress. Ooh.

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The ON dress arrived today. Now I love them BOTH. They both have good and bad points. They’re both right about the same amount of money. I could send one back…or I could keep them both. Today I’m showing you the RR dress, and tomorrow, the ON. Maybe you can help push me off the fence cuz I’m walking right on down the line with this one.

Pros for the RR dress.

  • It’s a modern sihouette
  • It has pockets (!) though they’re a little awkwardly low. Or maybe it’s just my short arms
  • The fabric is very comfortable

Cons for this dress

  • The v-neck is a little low for comfort…and I didn’t even DO The Sitting Test, when all v-necks go EVEN lower. It’ll be cleavage for days at my desk at work
  • It’s got that too-big armhole thing going on

Til tomorrow…