Saturday, September 28, 2013

outfit post: celeb stalking at Paris Fashion Week

On the last evening in Paris with the bestie we managed to figure out (with google's help) that there was a Lanvin fashion show happening just a few blocks from our hotel at 8 pm. As entertainment before dinner - we wandered over about 7:45 to camp out at the entrance like complete stalkers - mostly hoping to see Kristin Stewart (who we saw pictures of from the day before in Paris on google) because we are both big Twilight nerds.

The area we were waiting in was a scene and a half. The entrance was set back from the street inside a courtyard/parking lot area. There were piles of photographers, people dressed in all kinds of crazy outfits (ridiculously high heels on cobblestones, weird suits, sparkly dresses, bright hats), lots and lots of people only wearing black, a group of women sorta dressed like stewardesses handing out some kind of big booklets, people with clipboards, lots of chauffeurs and more photographers - all milling around this courtyard area.

When a car would approach the entrance to the courtyard the mob of photographers would surge toward the car and the flashes would start to go crazy. The crazier the mob surge toward the car and amount of flashes got - the more famous the person arriving.

We had a pretty good spot because the attendees had to get out of their cars, make it through the photographers and then around a car we were standing next to - to get inside. So we just hung out on this car for about 30 minutes watching the funny circus and being stalkers.

Here is what I was able to capture with my iPhone:
Photographers mobbing someone at front of courtyard.

Panoramic shot of courtyard.

Anna Wintour's blur of a blond bob. (Blurry head just to the right of the silver chevy's windshield.) Couldn't get as good a picture of her because the crowd was going nuts.

**Update - here's a real paparazzi shot of Anna Wintour arriving to Lanvin show.**

Grace Coddington- creative director Vogue

Grace Coddington - creative director Vogue

Not sure who this person was - but photogs went crazy. We were guessing French actress but we had no idea. **Update -Laura Smet - French actress - real paparrazzi shot of Laura Smet.

Anna del Russo - editor at Vogue Japan. **Update - real paparazzi shot.**

Again, we weren't sure who this person was. She was really pretty and photographers were going crazy. **Update - Yao Xingtong - Chinese actress - real paparazzi shot**

Hope you enjoyed my stalker camera work. :)

I'm flying home Sunday and will start normal daily outfit posting again on Tuesday and will get Paris One Suitcase post up as soon as I can manage after that!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

outfit post: black 3/4 sleeved dress, studded gladiator sandals

Inspiration - Piperlime Splendid

(Crazy psychos please disregard this photo of my head. Please pretend I'm still anonymous.)

Paris with the bestie has been totally amazing so far! We have walked and walked and walked around the city taking in the sights & sounds & wonderful atmosphere - and chatted each others ears off from living apart for so many years.

I love this dress because I think I can style it a billion ways. I wore it with a fun strong necklace and gladiators for sightseeing today. But I could dress it up with a pretty necklace and heels just as easily. Will definitely show options I come up with when I do my One Suitcase post when I get back.

We just realized it's Paris fashion week here and at some point we want figure out how to celebrity stalk famous people going into shows. But we're dummies and can't seem to figure out where the shows are actually located. What bad stalkers. Whoopsie. :)


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

outfit post: cream cardigan, black camisole, black pencil skirt

Inspiration - H&M

*Out of town queued up post*

Sometimes simple is best. Easy neutrals in classic cut.


Monday, September 23, 2013

outfit post: chambray button down shirt, mint cardigan, black pencil skirt

Inspiration -

*Out of town queued up post*

Love the unexpected chambray as my button down shirt mixed with the mint.  The inspiration photo comes from a fun article on how to roll your sleeves like a J.Crew stylist. 


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Outfit post: striped blue & green shirt, bootcut jeans

Inspiration - Kendi Everyday

Sorry for the sporadic posts this week. I've been playing catch up at work and trying to get back on track from work trip to Argentina while simultaneously preparing to leave Sunday for vacation. I was also weirdly jetlagged and add that to my husband being sick, which means I had a huge baby in the house, and I just couldn't seem to get ahead with life.

So to apologize in advance - the posts will be a little choppy next week. I have a few old work outfits that never got posted that I'll queue up to start the week and then I'm going to add a few compilation posts of favorite pieces. BUT when I get back I'm going to do a detailed carry-on luggage & accessories packing checklist (like I did for the carry-on tote for the flight) for an international trip! And a One Suitcase Paris! I think they will be fun posts! Yay! 

I am beyond excited for this vacation with my life long bestie I never get to see.

Top worn previously:
  • Rebel pendant necklace - Stella & Dot

Thursday, September 19, 2013

outfit post: teal shell, grey cardigan, black wide legged trousers

Inspiration - Zara & lost suitcase

Photo on the left is what I bought and ended up wearing on the first day to big client meeting in Buenos Aires after my carry-on luggage got lost. Pants are soooo long with the flats. They dragged and puddled on the floor. But it was much much better then showing up in the smelly three day old button down and jeans I had been wearing.

Photo on the right is how I wore it again this week. Added heels so pants were right length and different necklace. Much better result!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

outfit posts: packing carry-on tote for a long flight


**Updated to include pinnable checklist below**

Looking back at my travel posts thus far (one suitcase series and how to pack for work travel) they give a lot of inspiration and information but they don't quite have the easy, no brainer now how do I actually do this myself type help.

So I thought it might be useful going forward to summarize, item by item in checklist form (and I looooovvve checklists so this makes me really happy), what I actually pack. That way it'd be easy just to follow the list to confirm you're on the right track (maybe not 'right' but at least what works for me) when you try to pack yourself.

And of course a checklist will answer the very important question that I get after every. single. One Suitcase post... Do you pack UNDERWEAR?? I don't see them in the picture!! OMG where are your BRAS!!?

To start off my first checklist type post, I think I'll do a shorter list to help me get the format right. I've had quite a few questions around what I bring in my carry-on tote for a long flight. (I'll do another post with end-to-end list of what's in my suitcase.) This is the list of things that I pack to use while on the plane. Below is what I bring that works for me - of course you may need more or less.

Hope you like this format & find this list useful! :)

ESSENTIALS - This group of items are the absolute essential things to bring list. Without this stuff the trip isn't happening. If you forget items from the rest of the list you can just buy another version in transit or at your destination.
  • Wallet/Wristlet - I like to bring a wallet that does double duty. It holds all the essential items in my carry-on tote but can also be used as a small stand alone purse once I arrive at my destination. A slightly bigger wristlet is also easier to find in the bag then a small wallet.
  • Passport/ID - Necessary. Also it's good to leave scans/copies of these with loved ones at home in case of loss/theft.
  • Cash - I don't bring too much cash but it's nice to have some in case you come across a cash only vendor. Small restaurants, street food and taxis seem to be the places I used cash the most.
  • Credit/Debit Cards - They way I pay for most things while traveling. Good idea to call them before you leave to let them know you'll be traveling. Otherwise the fraud department will freeze the account thinking it's unauthorized activity.
  • iPhone/smart Phone - I use my iPhone for everything. I store my tickets/reservation info. I use as a translator in countries I don't speak the language. It's my map. It's my currency converter. It's my camera. I typically turn on the international data plan before I leave the country. That was I can use all the online functions while I'm traveling. (I clear the data usage count in settings before I go so I can track my usage to make sure I don't go over the international data allotment.) And I use Skype to call home instead of paying international minutes.
  • Tickets/Hotel Reservations - I usually keep these (flight & hotel info) on my phone in an email/doc that I can get to without internet connection. But in case of phone battery running out - it can be nice to bring the printed version as well.
SLEEP/COMFORT - Sleeping on overnight/long flights isn't the easiest thing to do. Noise, temperature and being stuck upright all make it difficult to get shut eye. But I find the following items help as much as can be helped to get me comfortable as possible.
  • Sweater - I'm cold on every plane. Sweater is a must. I bring one even when I'm traveling somewhere tropical. I usually like to bring a warm fleece type jacket because those are so cozy - unless I'm headed somewhere really cold - in which case it's my winter coat. Bunched up it makes a good pillow too. (I personally don't use those u-shaped neck pillows - some people love them - but they don't really work great for me.) It's typically a dark color so that if it gets dirty it doesn't show and also black/grey seems to blend in better in other countries.
  • Scarf - Again, I get cold on planes so scarves are wonderful around your neck. Scarves are great on trips in general. They double as blankets. Wadded up as pillows. If they're colored - they can change the look of outfits. I typically bring a black one for my tote to use plane and another colored/patterned one in my carry-on suitcase for the trip.
  • Socks - Nice to keep those feet warm. Air drafts are often blowing under the seat - even while wearing flats my toes get cold. So a cozy pair of socks are great.
  • Eye Mask - Not everybody likes/uses these. But they're great when they decide it's time to illuminate the entire cabin for food service. Or when guy next to you decides to watch the sunrise and the rays are shooting directly into your eyeballs. Or as a great signal to chatty person that you are done discussing every detail of their vacation. When I forget mine- I just wrap my scarf around my head. :)
  • Ear Plugs - These are great when there are loud talkers or crying babies nearby.
ENTERTAINMENT - Long flights mean lots of time to kill when not sleeping. Also delays and getting stuck in airports for hours on end isn't uncommon. Nice to have something to keep you occupied while you wait.
  • iPad/Kindle/Book - I love to be in the middle of a good book while I travel. I'm a huge reader and dropping into the book world lets me forget delays, annoying people and lines. I use my kindle all the time because it's so much lighter then lugging around a few big paperbacks. I also suggest whatever digital entertainment suits your fancy. I like to download movies/tv shows on my iPad.
  • Chargers - Chargers for whatever devices you decide to bring. Don't want those electronics dying on you. My recent international flights had USB plugs in every seat. That was awesome. Otherwise I usually find myself huddled around those charging stations at airport gates to grab some juice on the go.
  • Earphones - To listen to stuff. :)
  • Notebook - There is something about having some time to myself that lends to writing down lists. I prefer to have a notebook to do this instead of on a digital device.
  • Pen - For the notebook but also for custom forms in flight.
  • Print reading - Nice to have a magazine or book that you can read during the 'no electronics allowed' times for take off and landing.
TOILETRIES - This is my list of toiletries that I find make my flight most comfortable. You may need more or less.
  • Make-up - When I wake up on a red eye flight I personally like to have powder, under-eye concealer and maybe a little multifunctional compact with eyeshadow & blush to make me look a little less greasy zombie. 
  • Eye Drops - My eyeballs get dry when I fly. Love to have eyedrops on hand.
  • Moisturizer - Skin gets dry when I fly. Moisturizer is great to have. 
  • Hair Elastics - After hours and hours of travel, there's pretty much no question my hair is in a ponytail.
  • Chapstick - My lips get dry when I fly. Chapstick is great.
  • Hand Sanitizer - Confined space. Lot's of people. Sanitizer is great.
  • Tissue - I don't always use these but they are great to have when you do need them. Sometimes I find myself allergic to person next to me perfume or if something spills in my liquid bag.
  • Prescriptions - Don't forget to carry any important prescriptions on you. 
  • Pain Killers - It's the worst if you get a headache and don't have these. Great to have when they are needed.
FOOD/DRINKS - For long flights it's nice to not be at the mercy of the beverage/meal service of the airlines. If it's not a super long flight you have to pay like $9 for a little snack box.
  • Bottle of Water/Reusable Bottle - Sometimes I buy water once I'm through security. Other times I'm more responsible and bring a resuable sports bottle and fill it up at the water fountain. Either way it's great to have a drink with you and not have to wait on the tiny cup beverage service. 
    • I have this bottle in blue. I love how the straw seals into the top. Great for not dripping all over your bag.
  • Gum/Mints - Great for gross breath and sitting close to people.
  • Snacks - I usually like to bring some kind of non-perishable, non-squishable food in my bag in case I get really hungry. Things like protein bars, nuts mixes, chocolate or granola bars.
TRAVEL BAGS - Now you've got all of your stuff laid out you need to be able to easily carry it, find it and access it while traveling. Here is a list of bags that I use in my carry-on tote. (For my full suitcase packing - I have a few more.) Other then the tote itself and the wallet - ziplock bags work pretty great for organizing liquids, makeup and cords. So while I happen to have bags for the other stuff - a few plastic baggies will get you pretty far.
  • Tote - I bought a Longchamp tote bag on my first trip to Paris in 2006. It has held up remarkably well through a lot of abuse as my travel bag and sometime beach bag or gym bag. It's super helpful that it folds up really small - so sometimes you can just stick it in your suitcase in case you need another bag on the trip.
  • Wallet/Wristlet - All the essential things go in here. Plus usually the pen so I can find it.
  • Liquid Bag - 1 quart sized bag for liquids. From the list above - the moisturizer, eye-drops and and hand sanitizer would have to go in here.
    • For a studier option the a normal ziplock you can buy TSA approved bags with reusable bottles.
  • Make-up Bag - I keep/collect all those bags they give you when you get free gifts at make-up counters. I always use one of those for my makeup.
    • There are one million options for makeup travel bags. If I were buying a new one - I would play with the in person somewhere like Target to see if it has zippers & pockets that would suit my needs.
  • Electronics cord bag - This is often just a ziplock for me. But great to have your cords separated out from the rest of your stuff so they don't tangle up and prevent you from getting stuff out of your bag.

Here's an image with everything pointing to the bag it blogs in. And click here or the graphic below to access a printable list of all the info in this post.


And here is my stuff freshly unpacked from my trip to Argentina and about to be repacked to head to Paris.
My stuff all laid out.

Into smaller travel bags.

Smaller bags into the tote.

Sweater, scarf and tote ready to go!

outfit post: cream color block cardigan, black pencil skirt, black pumps

Inspiration - L.K. Bennett

Monday was a catch up day. Catch up on work, catch up on sleep, catch up on life - laundry, cleaning, groceries, friends, family, errands... phew. Trying to get back into the swing of things for the week before I turn around and leave for Europe this weekend. Exciting but a little exhausting! :)

As far as this blog - I am also sooooo far behind on responding to comments & emails. I am so so sorry! I really appreciate every comment, question and email I get and I feel terrible when I haven't replied/acknowledged them for this long. I will definitely catch up by the end of this week!!

I am working on a few posts to put up while I'm traveling next week. So far I think it will be what I packed for Argentina, packing list for Brussels/Paris, outfit I bought while in Buenos Aires and carry-on packing tips. Let's see what I can get done.

Cardigan worn previously:

Monday, September 16, 2013

outfit post: grey pencil skirt, blue pattern tie-neck blouse, white cardigan, black pumps

Inspiration - Extra Petite

(Pix from before I left the US.)

25 hours of travel and I'm home safe & sound. I'll post the outfit I bought in Buenos Aires sometime this week. Phew. I'm beat.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

outfit post: bright floral dress, burgundy cardigan, purple pumps

Inspiration - Pippa Middleton

The rest of the work week in Buenos Aires went well. (Sorry if I sounded whiny in the last post - I was beat.) My presentations to client big-wigs went well and in the remaining meetings & training sessions I tried to pass as much info as I could to the implementation team here. I think it was a successful trip, especially considering 95% of all conversations around me were solely in Spanish. I hung in there & contributed as best I could. :)

This is an older outfit photo that never got posted. I think this dress is so fun and bright. Although I don't wear it as much as I would like because I get a little confused trying to figure out when to wear it. It's got a relatively conservative silhouette and high neck - so I would initially think a more conservative event. But it's really quite short on me which takes it out of the modest arena. So I think it is so pretty - but confusing. :)

Silly link my little sister sent me: Jimmy Kimmel Pranks New York Fashion Week


Thursday, September 12, 2013

outfit post: white buttondown shirt, cream cardigan, grey 'editor' pants

Inspiration - Kerry Washington

(Pix from before I left the US.)

The start of this week was a long one! Monday I got up at 5:30 am to go to the gym and then spent the morning cramming in as much work as I could before I had to leave to the airport at 2:30. Some last minute running around and bag packing and I was out the door.

It was a 2 hour drive to the airport. Trying to get my ticket there was a little confusion around the fact they told me I needed to pay reciprocity fee to Argentina government (which isn't a visa and wasn't mentioned on the sites I checked beforehand because it's new this year) before I could fly. At first it seemed like I wasn't going to be allowed to go. But I managed to figure out how to do it online with my phone without missing my flight. Disaster averted.

The flight was incredibly overbooked. The  overhead bins filled up by the time my zone boarded so I had to check my carry-on at the gate. I was told my bag would meet me in Buenos Aires.

Flew 2.5 hours to Houston. There the next flight was delayed due to mechanical difficulties. They ended up switching planes and about an hour late we were able to board. It was a 10 1/2 hour flight from Houston to Buenos Aires. I ate dinner, watched Monsters University and then tried to sleep as best I could. (I was lucky to have the seat next to me open so I had some space.) My typical sleep pattern on long flights is to crash for about an hour in one position until some body part gets pins and needle, wake up, readjust and then fall asleep again. Repeat for many hours.

I arrived in Buenos Aires Tuesday morning but my luggage did not. It took me a little while with my poor Spanish to figure out where the airline office was located to report the missing bag. The airline rep was super helpful and spoke perfect English. Reported bag missing and found out it was still in Houston. They would put it on that evening's flight to arrive on Wednesday mid-day. Not very helpful for my very important Wednesday morning presentation.

After making report, I went to ATM to get Pesos and the found a taxi to take me to the hotel. Dropped my laptop in my room and headed back out to find some make-up, toiletries & clothes for Wednesday at work. No way I could go into the office of important client in three day old jeans & shirt.

Walked and walked and walked around Buenos Aires near my hotel trying to find some work appropriate clothing. I was lucky to be staying right near a huge shopping area. There were tons of stores of men's work clothes with suits & ties in the windows. But I could not for the life of me seem to locate the female equivalent. There were lots of cute clothes for women but just not the boring office kind I wanted. And my attempts to ask people were misunderstood by either my question phrasing or my interpretation of the response. I realized my clothing vocab is very limited - couldn't seem to figure out the translation for 'wide legged dress pants' or 'women's suit'. I just wanted an easy stop at a Banana Republic or an Ann Taylor.

After hours of exploring I came across a Zara. At least it was a store I sort of know. Problem was the kinds of work clothes Zara sells are super-cool-people-fashion-type suits. Not my normal slightly-boring-take-me-serious type suit. After fumbling to ask sales girl for help - I tried on a trendy jacket and super skinny dress pants that she brought me (definitely intended for a 9 foot tall supermodel in platform heels) and looked totally ridiculous in my flats and curvy figure. And everything else I found that seemed a more flattering cut/fit was in size XS tiny human. At this point I was pretty exhausted and starting to give up hope. But on the very last rack I found a pair of wide legged pants that fit over my butt (they were way too long but I didn't care), gabbed a plain teal top and grey cardigan and got out of there. Stopped at two more stores to buy some basic make up and basic toiletries.

Back to the hotel to take a quick (and absolutely amazing) shower. And then into my two day old clothes, brush my hair with my fingers and go meet my project team for the first time in person for dinner. They were really nice and spent a few hours discussing the project issues for work the next day. My brain was starting to leak out of my ear by this point but I did my best to pay attention.

Finally, after dinner, I went back to the hotel and 41 hours after waking up at home I laid down in bed for a real night's sleep. Ahhh.



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