I had every intention of writing a post about packing fun and frolics a week ago, alas 'stuff' got in the way, so I bring this to you from a cottage in France, a slab of Conti and Red Wine to my right, a patter of light rain on the shutters to my left… Mmmmm.
These meanie airlines have been knuckling down on luggage allowances of late. Yes you Ryanair. 2 little people Mr G and his latest fishing obsession *yawns* to accommodate packing space for mummy was limited to say the least.
That woman you see frantically shoving flip flops and trilby's last minute into her son's gruffalo trunki at the check in desk was indeed me.
I had no choice but to be smart about what I'd bring on this holiday. 2 weeks in Ile De Re just off of La Rochelle, I knew weather could be changeable and that our days would be spent cycling, playing in the pool or on the beach with the kiddies, perusing the incredible markets and meandering around the cobbled back streets, the tricky thing being maybe all of the above the same day. This means some editing of what to take needed to be done. Having the children we're more into enjoying long lunches out as opposed to fancy dinners, so I could safely leave the killer heels and clutch bags at home, that saved a bit of decision making.
After some painstaking deliberation I narrowed it down to the following. …
1 x Vero Moda Jeans, a £32 miracle worker for the bum! What Sarah Did,
1 x Cut Off's, I made from a beloved pair of over worn Levi's,
1 x Cardie…I know, just 1!! Reiss
1 x Knitted Maxi Dress, so flattering and easy to wear, Hush,
3 x Scarves, Twenty8Twelve, Vintage, What Sarah Did,
1 x Pale Denim Shirt, Whistles,
4 x Vest Tops, Various Colours to layer together, Topshop, Asos
1 x Khaki Slouchy T Shirt from, Asos,
1 x Marl, Raglan Sleeve Slouch Top, Topshop,
1 x Slouchy T Shirt, All Saints
1 x Bikini, Asos,
1 x Pair of beaded flip flops, H&M
1 x Pair of Khaki Espadrilles, H&M
1 x Pair of Biker Boots, Ash
1 x Tote, for carting the kids stuff around, Alphabet Bags
Ok, so listed, this doesn't look particularly restrained, and I've not included underwear but seriously this little lot when you think for 2 weeks is actually not a huge amount. I spread it between 2 cases having to keep checking the weight. Clothes were Rolled, folded and poked into teeny spaces.
I thought carefully about what I wanted to wear, what I'm likely to wear day in day out. How I wanted to feel comfortable when cycling from A-B but still feeling nice enough to sit down to a fancy lunch.
All pieces work well with each other whether that be textures, colours or styles, for example. You have your own style and taste so its more than likely the colour pallets will work. Most of my wardrobe is greys,khaki, pale pinks with a punch of ocre, orange and red.
For example….A Slouchy All Saints t shirt over the knitted dress worn with espadrilles and a hat during a day meandering around the markets. Another day, the dress and a scarf either in the hair or around the neck for something a little smarter for a lovely lunch out.
I've worn the cut offs to the beach and around the pool, then out with a vest, cardie, scarf in my hair, bikers on my feet and its worked. My jeans rolled up a little with a pretty vest and beaded sandals, the next day with bikers, denim shirt and slouchy t shirt and hat…. You get the gist.
The scarves are doing a grand job of acting as a little beach cover up for Edie, accessorising, whether tied onto my bag or in my hair for a punch of colour and pattern. The hat likewise, given to me by a friend. I love the colours on the band, having quite short hair it's been a life saver for hiding beach/cycling Doc at the clock tower hair (Back to the Future, for you young bucks) in terms of jewellry I've just bought along a couple of statement rings, nothing too sentimental.
As a purse, I'm using my Whistles wallet, it's big enough to double up as a clutch, and my Mulberry counted as hand luggage great for the flight with kids changes of clothes, nappies, wipes, formula (100ml per bottle), few toys and snacks it was bursting at the seams. Worth bringing along, as a good bag alone can make a change to the simplest of outfits.
For everyday carting around of children's things for the holiday my Alphabet Bag Tote (E… For Edie & Euan) has worked a treat, machine washable and folds down to nothing at all, a mum's holiday must have.
Bringing the Ash beauties, was non negotiable, they're my second skin. I had to wear them to travel in as they're so bulky. If you have clonky boots be prepared to have to take them off for security, with a 1yr old on your hip whilst simultaneously tasting formula under the security man's intimidating stare this was no mean feat.
On the beauty & toiletries front, other than dry shampoo and my Elemis illuminating balm, I'm at a loss here. Best off nipping on twitter to ask @faithfulfringe she's a bit clever with the beauty stuff.
So to roundup on a few tips to pass on …
- Lay out all your pieces before you pack, see how they could work together, you'll find a new combination you've probably not considered before that will get you more wear out of your wardrobe, not just for your holiday,
- Get yourself a Tote bag, Alphabet Bags have a fab summer range,
- Get your little one a Trunki, if they're old enough to have a hand luggage allowance, use it to your full advantage, and it makes a great airport que distraction whilst giving them the option to have a seat, airports keep you waiting around, this is no fun if you're 3,
- Express and priority board where possible, £3 each to fast track through security with 2 small kiddies isn't arrogant, it's saving your stress levels and patience, you're on holiday, it's not worth it putting yourself through 40mins of queing,
- If you have space take a small blanket for your little ones, budget airlines don't supply them, the cabin can get chilly for little legs, I have one from Bob & Blossom, but have recently stumbled across this delight from Archie's Boutique,
- Take something for the little ones to drink or eat for the descent, to help with their ears popping,
- …download Angry Birds, it's your airport saviour!
Off anywhere nice this year?, Tweet me or Tag me on Instagram, @Cardies_Crumbs would love to see suitcase pics, packed with military operation…. or with children jumping on them to hold it all in and broken zips!
Happy Holiday's you lovely lot xx