More Summer Series + How Gratitude Can Improve Your Well Being


Hot Summer — Beachy Getaway — Keep It Simple

Let me help you pack for your jaunt out of town — Because too much stuff ruins trips, really.


There are about 4 or 5 more weeks left of summer, officially, but summer can go through October in some places (like So-Cal). In this 5th installment of our Summer Series I want to give you some simple packing tips, so you can enjoy your getaway without being bogged down or confused by too much stuff. It should be easy-breezy and relaxed. Even if it’s a bit longer than a weekend, say a week, there's no need to take more than a dozen items, otherwise it becomes a hassle. You’ll have more fun with less stuff to pack and think about.

Weekend trip — 8 or 9 items. Weeklong trip — maybe 12 items. Combined, these will make multiple outfits and you’ll think less about what you’re going to wear. Note: I’m not including items like sunglasses or jewelry, towels, blankets, etc. Keep these to a minimum also. You should be able to fit everything in a large tote or duffle or carryall. Your other bag will serve as your purse and beach-bag, for daily essentials — a straw bag, light canvas backpack or smaller tote. I have covered so many wonderful summer must-haves and essentials in this series. We’ll revisit some of those pieces to use for your trip. Whether you’re going to Catalina, Santa Barbara, Nantucket, the Hamptons ... these items will work just fine, assuming that you're going to a warm place. And I’ve given you some lovely product links below.

Here we go — pack this — 9 items for your weekend away:

*The perfect little dress — you can wear day and evening (even beyond summer and vacation). I love the versatility of our Liberty-print mini dress. It comes in 5-prints and is made-to-order, it’s comfy, sweet, sexy, and will serve you long and well. But if it’s not your cup of tea, find something similar in whatever length you like, that serves the same purpose.

*1-piece swimsuit or bodysuit — in a tank or halter style. Wear as a top with sarongs, skirts, shorts, pants. Note: if you do not already have a great bodysuit — let me tell you they’re gonna make a comeback and even stay for a long bit. I think they’re fabulous. If you don’t have a bodysuit, (stay tuned) wear a 1-piece swimsuit that might work as well—bonus, you can swim in it. If you wish to travel even more lightly, skip the bikini below and just take one swimsuit, but I love having an alternate in case one is wet.

*Sarong or pareo that double and triples as a cover, skirt, scarf, top … I’ve covered the wonderfulness of this item so often in previous posts, no need to go on and on here again. If you still don’t have one—get one, they’re great!

*Beach shoes — yes, I’m talking flip-flops, because your nicer sandals shouldn’t trek through salt and sand if you wish to preserve them. I love these from VitelloSF. If you want to keep things even more simple and casual, skip the sandal below. NOTE: add sneakers if you’re going to a place where you may be hiking, etc.

*Sandals — that are comfy-pretty and go with most of your clothes. Flip-flops might be too casual to wear everywhere with everything. If you wish to skip the above flip-flops altogether and just take 1-pair of sandals, feel free. I love my new ones from NikolaSandals, they work with almost all my dresses and other summery items, but I would not want to get them wet and sandy.

*Sun Hat  This is truly a must for face protection and good style. Choose one that's foldable, so it’s easy to take anywhere. Because too much SPF can be irritating to have to constantly apply, I like a big brim hat, but then again, I love all kinds of styles — provided that they offer some face protection.

*Versatile shirt — an easy button-down or pull-on style, that can be worn casually over or with almost anything, like shorts, jeans, swimsuit, etc. I don’t have a specific reference here, but feel free to borrow one from your guy (or buy a men’s shirt), not too big. A light, not too long, tunic style will also work well. BTW: this will look fabulous with your sarong, (maybe) tucked in a bit and belted.

*Jeans or PJ pants — depending on your destination, hot-humid-tropical or more sub-tropical with cool evenings, may be too warm for jeans. Opt for light weight, easy pj-style pants, or maybe shorts. Use your best judgement. It’s good to have a solid pair of bottoms on hand, for those times when a dress or sarong won’t quite cut it. NOTE: this should easily work with your shirt, bodysuit, swimsuit, etc.

*Bikini (or 1-piece) this is for swimming and lounging in the sun — in whatever kind of style you love wearing. I love a 2-piece. Go with whatever floats your boat. If your above item is already a 1-piece swimsuit, not a bodysuit, you may not need another swimsuit. Bonus, less stuff. But like I said, I do like an alternate just for swimming.


The perfect-fun-sweet-sexy go-anywhere little dress. Take it on vacation and enjoy wearing it during most of the year, too.

Made-to-order and comes in 5 liberty prints.”


OK, that’s 9 items. You may omit what you like. It's more than enough for your weekend trip. If you’re staying a bit longer than a weekend add the following to the above list. Only if you want to.

*Another dress — add a 2nd dress, a maxi or caftan or whatever style you love, that will work for your trip. Something pretty and fun, maybe long and loose, in a cool fabric like cotton or jersey, that will look both dressed up and casual — that keeps you looking effortlessly cool. This paisley boho-maxi has been my fave go-to lately, it works almost anywhere.

*Light-weight cardigan — for cool evenings, that can maybe double as top. This should also work with most of your pieces — with dresses, bottoms, etc. If you don’t have one or can’t find one, take a shawl instead, or maybe a light denim jacket.

*A 2nd top — T-shirt, tank or blouse that pairs easily with your bottom pieces. Here’s a cool Tee from CausticThreads.

That ought to take care of your needs and keep you looking good and feeling light. Remember, heavy packing is a pain in the you know what. Keep it as simple as you can. You’ll enjoy your trip more, trust me. And while you’re at it keep your make-up and toiletries to minimum too, because your’e supposed to be relaxed and carefree, which does not include hours of primping and trying to figure out your outfits.

I’m taking my holiday in September. It'll still be summer, but it’s a quieter month. In the meantime, we (me and my small posse) are staycation all around LA — enjoying the beach as often as possible in our own special ways. Perhaps I’ll tell you about all this later in some sort of 'what I've been up to' segment or travel diary. But let me say, like I was longing to last year, in my very first issue, that I would LOVE to take a long holiday someplace far, far away ... someday soon.

GRATITUDE … can go a long way … read on.

Can feeling gratitude influence your health? According to a number of studies, the answer is yes.  According to Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, an expert in brain and mind health.

How Gratitude Can Improve Your Health and Wellbeing — "If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world's best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.Link to article

That's all for now, my lovely readers. I’m keeping it brief. It’s a hot and busy summer and I want to make the most of it, even while I’m working. Until next time — Ciao & Enjoy!

PS — Tell us what you did, have been doing (and wearing) so far this summer. Ideas, tips, questions…anything. I'll see you here in a couple of weeks.