confessions of an over-packer

Good afternoon, all! I write to you today from the comforts of our rental beach home. We’re spending the week on the Alabama Gulf Coast for spring break. We’re having a relaxing stay so far–so relaxing that I haven’t mustered up the energy to take outfit photos. Instead, I thought I’d share about my packing strategy for this trip.

To be honest, I’m pretty terrible when it comes to packing. I have a hard time narrowing down my wardrobe options for a week, so I usually end up stuffing as many clothes into my suitcase as I possibly can–without much rhyme or reason. This time, however, I made a concerted effort to pack mix-and-matchable items. Here’s a look at what I packed:


  • white scoop neck tee {last seen here}
  • white lace tee {last seen here}
  • navy + white stripe tee {last seen here}
  • black crew-neck tee {last seen here}
  • light chambray button-up {last seen here}
  • leopard button-up



  • coral blazer {last seen here}
  • denim jacket {last seen here}
  • olive military jacket {last seen here}



  • lace dress with pink underlay
  • black + white striped skater dress {last seen here}



  • black straight jeans {last seen here}
  • dark wash straight jeans {last seen here}
  • black + white gingham shorts
  • light pink shorts
  • pink chevron print shorts



  • black patent leather wedges {last seen here}
  • leopard pumps {last seen here}
  • black wedge sandals
  • metallic pewter sandals
  • white fabric sandals



  • crystal clover necklace
  • pearl stud earrings
  • gold tassel necklace {last seen here}

I’m hoping these pieces will make for easy outfit combinations. The black, white, navy, pink, and leopard will be fun to re-mix throughout the week!

Oh, and don’t worry–I remembered to pack a few bathing suits as well 🙂

What are your best packing tips?



black + white weekend

This weekend marks my dad’s 60th birthday, so the whole family is going down to my parents’ lake house to celebrate. It has been almost a year and a half since I last spent some time there, so I’m excited to swim, take boat rides, grill out, and all the other fun lakeside activities 🙂

I packed my bag for the weekend this morning and ended up inadvertently creating several black and white ensembles. Here’s a look at the items I’m bringing along:


black + white striped tee {Old Navy}, $4

light pink shorts {JCPenney}, $12

gold flip flops {B.O.C. via TJ Maxx}, $25

black sunglasses {Target}, $16

This is one of the two casual outfits that I packed for daytime. I actually just bought several of Old Navy’s perfect crew-neck tees yesterday (I had a 20% off coupon).


black + white striped jersey maxi dress {Max Studio via TJ Maxx}, $30

white crew-neck cardigan {Target}, $15

green wedge sandals {Steve Madden}, old

Occasionally, we’ll head out to one of the restaurants that are actually on the lake–as in, you have to take a boat to get there! I’m not sure if that is on the agenda for this trip, but I thought packing something a little dressier might be a good idea. These green sandals were another discovery from my closet last week, so I’m eager to give them new life in my outfits.


black crew-neck tee {Old Navy}, $4

black + white gingham shorts {Old Navy}, $10

green wedge sandals {Steve Madden}, old

black sunglasses {Target}, $16

If you’ve ever checked out my about page, you’ll see that I have a strong preference for a few patterns, namely polka dots, stripes, and gingham. So it stands to reason that I snatched up these shorts as soon as they went on sale at Old Navy a few weeks ago.


polka dot tankini swimsuit top {JCPenney}, $15

black bikini bottom {JCPenney}, $6

gold flip flops {B.O.C. via TJ Maxx}, $25

black sunglasses {Target}, $16

Of course no trip to the lake would be complete without some swimming, so a bathing suit is a must! I tend to wear the tankini style for water skiing, tubing, and swimming, as they seem to stay in one place a lot better than bikinis.

We’ll be leaving in just a few hours, so I hope you all have a happy weekend!

What are your essentials for spending time at the beach or lake?

Summer Packing List: Moving Edition

Up until this most recent move to Alabama, I had never used a moving company to re-locate–all of my previous moves have been to and from dorm rooms or apartments, so a U-Haul always sufficed. This time was different, however. This was my first “big-girl” move. As you might expect, I’ve learned a few things during this relocation. Among them are:

1) moving is expensive.

2) packing is the least fun activity in the world.

3) your belongings likely won’t arrive until at least a week after the load date.

It is that last lesson that is most relevant to this post. Our movers informed us that our furniture, and more importantly, my clothing would arrive 7-10 days after the truck was loaded. Normally, I would say, “Oh, well then I’ll just tote along all my clothes in my car.” The problem with that solution is that space in my little Mini Cooper was at a premium, as it was occupied not just by me,  but also by my mom and my dog Margot.

Clearly, some strategic packing needed to take place.

As pretty much any packing tutorial will tell you to do, I first chose a color palette. I’ve been on a big navy kick these days, so that was my starting point. I added in some white as a neutral, plus some fun pink and green accents, and ended up with these pieces:

Moving Packing List

  • blue/white cowl neck tank
  • chambray popover
  • navy pindot tee
  • navy/pink tank
  • navy short sleeve polo
  • navy/white striped boatneck tee
  • white camisole
  • jade/navy cardigan
  • white scoop-neck tee
  • navy seahorse dress
  • navy pleated skirt dress
  • white shorts
  • green shorts
  • navy shorts
  • pink shorts
  • navy lace skirt
  • blue pindot skirt
  • nude pumps
  • white sandals
  • gold flip flops
  • tortoise shell watch
  • cream/beige purse
  • tortoise shell sunglasses

I had intended on taking pictures of myself wearing the outfits I created, but various moving-related activities (getting the washer/dryer installed, waiting for the cable guy, and PAINTING) didn’t allow for a lot of free time. Instead, I created slides of the outfits using look-alike images.

day 1 {moving day}

The day we were to have our furniture loaded onto the moving truck was quite a fiasco. Suffice it to say that the movers arrived 4 hours late, and we didn’t hit the road until 9PM. I’m glad I was wearing something unfussy and comfortable.


day 2 {sunday}

Summertime in the South presents quite the paradox: even those it’s blazing hot outside, everywhere you go, there is A/C blasting, which means a cardigan is necessary. Church is no exception to that rule! I wore a white camisole underneath the cardigan.


day 3 {picture day}

I needed to get a student ID card for my dietetic internship and PhD program, so I actually put on make-up and dried my hair for once. The end result was not exactly a glamor shot, but I guess it will have to suffice for the next, oh, four years.


day 4 {painting day}

Our new house is almost perfect–I say “almost” because the existing paint colors weren’t exactly our style. Accordingly, we’ve been spending the past few days painting like it’s our job. After several hours of painting, I was excited to shower and slide on my favorite casual skirt.


day 5 {shopping day}

I must say, shopping for microwaves and kitchen hardware can be fun, but it’s not nearly as enjoyable as clothes shopping in my opinion. We made gazpacho for dinner, and I accidentally spilled a bit of it on my beloved striped shirt–keep your fingers crossed that the stain comes out!


Our furniture, and more importantly, my clothing are set to arrive this weekend. I’ll be so happy to have my whole wardrobe to choose from when I get dressed in the morning!

What are your best packing strategies? Are you a light packer? Clearly, I tend to over-pack!