Pack Your Bag! Everything You Need for the Beach

Have you been to the beach yet this summer? Unfortunately, I haven’t, but I’m hoping to rectify that soon!

Of course, I have already started to think about what I’ll wear and pack. A cute swimsuit and coverup are a must, plus a fun hat, sunglasses, sandals, and roomy tote. Depending on my mood, my style might veer preppy, flirty, or just plain old fun!

Here’s everything you need for the beach … there’s something for every style!

Everything You Need for the Beach | Hello Little Home #style #fashion #summerPreppy



What is your beach style?

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something from one of these links, I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). I only recommend products that I love, and your purchase helps to support the free content offered on Hello Little Home (thank you so much!).


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Travel Style + Carry-on Essentials

I’m heading to Wisconsin later this week to visit my sister and niece, and I couldn’t be more excited! I haven’t seen them since the fall, so a little girl time is long overdue.

My sister lives in the same town that we grew up in. It’s always interesting to go back, run into old classmates, eat at the restaurant where I had my first job, and check out all the changes. Some things never change though, particularly when it comes to small town Wisconsin!

Of course, this got me thinking of travel style, especially what to wear to the airport and what to pack, including my carry-on essentials.

Travel Style + Carryon Essentials | Hello Little Home #fashion #outfitThis is the out fit I’m planning to wear to the airport. It’s easy, comfortable, and will get me through the day without any distractions.

Travel Style | Hello Little Home #fashion #outfitCardigan: J.Crew (color is no longer available); T-Shirt (old): similar, similar; Jeans: Loft; Flats: Lucky Brand; Sunglasses: Ray-Ban; Scarf (old): similar; Bag (old): similar, similar; Earrings (vintage): similar

Travel Style | Hello Little Home #fashion #outfitMy travel style always involves layers, especially when it’s by air, and I could be steaming hot one minute and freezing cold the next.

Travel Style | Hello Little Home #fashion #outfitThis outfit makes it easy to strip down to my tee if I get too hot, like I did when taking these photos. It’s been in the 80’s here the past few days, and I’m not quite ready for summer yet!

Carryon Essentials | Hello Little Home #travel #style I have my carry-on packing down to a science:

  • Big tote or bag. I like to pack everything in a large tote, or for a shorter trip like my upcoming one, I’ll carry a bag that I can use throughout my vacation.
  • Small wallet. Instead of carrying around every card I own, I pare them down to the essentials and use a smaller wallet. Less to lose!
  • Sunglasses. For the blinding sun that will inevitably be streaming through my window at some point.
  • Entertainment. This takes up the most room in my bag. I like lots of variety, since I never know what will hold my interest. I’ll pack a book (something fluffy, like The Next Best Thing), 3 – 4 magazines, book of games (love my Pocket Posh Crosswords Book), iPad (loaded with games and eBooks), and my phone (my new Fine Fellow case is a favorite).
  • Snack. I always pack a couple energy bars, and once I get through security, I buy bottle of water. That way, I’m not dependent on the attendant for a drink or starving and forced to buy an expensive meal on the plane.
  • Zip Lock for liquids. Once I get through security, I’ll pull out my lip gloss, hand sanitizer, and eye drops and throw everything else into my carry-on suitcase.
  • Extras. Gum, oil blotting sheets, sanitizing wipes, scarf, tissues, etc.

Now I just need to pick out the rest of my outfits, pack my suitcase, and take off!

Do you have a favorite travel outfit? What are your carry-on essentials?

I’m linking up with Tres-Chic Fashion Thursday, Monday Morning Gossip, More Pieces of Me, On the Daily Express, Funday Monday, Monday Must Haves, Random Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, Transatlantic Blonde, and Monday Mingle.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something from one of these links, I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). I only recommend products that I love, and your purchase helps to support the free content offered on Hello Little Home (thank you so much!).

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NYC Holiday Tour 2013

About a week ago, my husband and I spent the day walking up Fifth Avenue, taking in all the holiday decorations. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the photos I took.

The windows at Club Monaco were some of my favorites! They were very traditional and draped with magnolia leaves and greenery.

Club Monaco Holiday Windows | Hello Little HomeA few random windows that caught my eye.

NYC Christmas Decorations | Hello Little HomeThe windows at Lord and Taylor featured vintage New York scenes. I loved these eclectic windows!

Lord and Taylor Holiday Windows | Hello Little HomeWe stopped into Grand Central Station. It was beautiful and crowded!

Grand Central Station Holiday Decorations | Hello Little HomeGrand Central Station Holiday Decorations | Hello Little HomeThe NYC Transit Museum is located inside of Grand Central. Their model railroad was decorated with holiday touches. Can you spot the Santas?

NYC Transit Museum Holiday Decorations | Hello Little HomeAfter touring Grand Central, we stopped by Rockefeller Center to get a picture of the Christmas Tree. It was insanely crowded there, so this was as good as I could get!

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center | Hello Little HomeMore decorations around Rockefeller Center: the left picture is St. Patrick’s Cathedral; and the top right picture is Saks. The windows at Saks featured a yeti, but it was too crowded to get good pics.

NYC Holiday Decorations: St. Patrick's Cathedral, Saks, and Rockefeller Center | Hello Little HomeThe windows at Henri Bendel’s were so cool and were definitely a favorite of mine. They were based on the drawings of Al Hirschfeld and included the faces of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Woody Allen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Carol Channing, Whoopi Goldberg, Liza Minnelli, and Bernadette Peters.

Henri Bendel Holiday WindowsThe facade of Bulgari featured a giant light-up snake. It was pretty amazing and different!

Bvlgari Holiday Decorations | Hello Little Home A little further along, I spied The Peninsula around a corner. It was hard to miss!

The Peninsula Holiday Decorations | Hello Little Home“Holidays on Ice” was the theme at Bergdorf Goodman’s. The windows featured all the major American holidays, from the traditional Christmas to the Fourth of July (seen below in the upper left). They were amazing!

Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows | Hello Little HomeA few more random windows … from the top right: Tiffany’s, Bottega Veneta (the lights on the tree were mini purses!), DKNY, and an unknown store window.

NYC Holiday Windows | Hello Little HomeMy favorite window was at Hermes on the Upper East Side. I loved the vintage ski lift!

Hermes Holiday Window | Hello Little HomeOur last stop was at Laduree, where the windows full of gilded macaron trees lured us in for a treat. It was a great way to wrap up our tour!

Laduree Holiday Windows | Hello Little HomeI have to give a shout out to my patient husband, who indulged me on the long, cold walk up Fifth Avenue. I’m pretty sure he would have rather have stayed home with a beer in hand and sports on TV!

What is your favorite window? Do you tour the holiday decorations in your town?

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Traveling for the Holidays? Plan the Perfect Outfit!

This year, more than any other in recent memory, really flew by. Our move had a lot to do with that (new things to do and see), but it’s been an eventful year even without a cross-country schlep. I’m not sure where the time went, but now the holidays are just around the corner!

The holidays come with a lot of travel. I know a lot of people hate flying – including my husband who gets nervous at the slightest hint of turbulence – but I actually enjoy it. When else do you have so many uninterrupted hours to disconnect?

I also enjoy packing my bags and picking the perfect outfit! Here’s what I’d wear and pack:

Traveling for the Holidays? Plan the Perfect Outfit!What to Wear

Whether you are traveling by plane, train, or automobile (remember that movie?), the key is to dress comfortably.

  • Start with a cardigan. This Apt. 9 Cashmere Open-Front Cardigan is lightweight and has a beautiful pointelle pattern. I love cashmere for traveling – it’s like a soft hug – especially when it’s this affordable! Bargain tip: the sweater is from Kohl’s, which always has great sales. Before checking out, search for an online promo code and use it on top of the sale price.
  • Under the cardigan, layer a lightweight t-shirt like this V-Neck Tee from Old Navy. If you are flying, remember that security may make you remove a sweater (especially if it’s oversize), so avoid skimpy tank tops.
  • Wear leggings or skinny jeans with lots of stretch. J Brand’s Stretch Denim Leggings are super comfy but look really sharp.
  • Choose shoes that can be easily slipped on and off. I like the ease of ballet flats in warm months, but my feet get too cold in winter, so I prefer booties like Sam Edelman’s Petty.
  • A wrap or large scarf is a must! Apt. 9’s Twill Wrap comes in a ton of colors. Wrap it around your neck, use it as a blanket, or fold it up to use as a pillow. Just don’t forget it at home!
  • Keep your jewelry simple. I prefer to wear a simple pair of hoops. These Sequin Studded Hoop Earrings are just right.
  • Don’t forget a classic watch. I have the cheapo version of this Michael Kors Chain Bracelet Watch, and I love it so much. It’s time to upgrade though, because my inexpensive version is tarnished and turns my wrist a greenish-gray every time I wear it!

What to Pack

I usually only pack a carry-on and a large tote when I fly, so every inch counts! This is what I carry in my tote bag.

  • Select a bag that will fit under the seat in front of you. Le Sportsac’s Le Zip Tote is ideal. The foil snakeskin print is attractive, and the fabric is durable and washable (who knows what’s under those seats?). Plus, it’s just fun to say the name!
  • Pack a tablet. I always pack my iPad when traveling, and it provides endless hours of entertainment. Play a game (I like Yatzee), read a book, make lists and get organized, or watch a movie. Not to mention, you can connect to WiFi on most flights.
  • Headphones are a necessity. These Frends Over-the-Ear Headphones are super chic. They are definitely on the pricey side but worth the upgrade. Santa: are you reading this?
  • Keep germs at bay. When it comes to flying, I’m a total germaphobe. The minute I sit down, I wipe down my armrests and tray with Hand Sanitizer Wipes. I also carry Bath & Body Works’ PocketBac Hand Sanitizer. It’s small and comes in great scents.
  • Bring a book. On my next trip, I’m looking forward to reading Wally Lamb’s We Are Water. Stock up on trashy magazines at the airport bookstore, too!
  • Pack a snack. Food can be really hard to come by when traveling, and there is nothing worse than being hungry on a long flight or being stuck in an outdated terminal with no food options. I always pack a couple Lara Bar Roasted Nut Rolls (so good). Grab a bottle of water after you get through security, too, and you won’t get dehydrated waiting for the flight attendant to serve you.
  • For long-haul or red-eye flights, you’ll need a few extras. Even the most comfortable shoes are unbearable when you’re trying to sleep, so take a pair of warm slippers. Old Navy’s Sherpa Moccasins are cute and cuddly. You’ll need a comfortable sleeping mask, and the ones the airlines are scratchy and constricting. This Cat Eyes Sleep Mask from Mary Green will put a smile on your face before you doze off. Finally, ward off the plane’s dry air with a good Nasal Spray. Your nose will thank you later!

Are you traveling over the holidays? What are your must-haves?

Linking up with Karly Kim’s Totally Posted Tuesday, 52 Mantels’ Thursdays Are Your Days, Live Laugh Rowe’s Live Laugh Linky, Vodka Infused Lemonade’s Tre-Chic Thursday, Simply Lulu Style’s What I’m Loving Fridays, Style Elixir’s Friday’s Fab Favorites, The Life of the Party’s Fashion Informant, Get Your Pretty On’s I Feel Pretty, Glitz and Gold’s All Things Thursday, and My Girlish Whims’ Your Whims Wednesday.

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Field Trip: Rockaway Beach

My husband and I took the day off Monday and headed to Rockaway Beach. We’ve been talking about going for months, but our trip kept getting put off due to train problems, weather, etc. I’m not one to spend all day sunbathing,  so I’m glad we waited. The weather was perfect (high sixties) and the beach was practically empty.

Rockaway Beach is in the far, far reaches of Queens, and it was quite the hike from Manhattan. It took three trains and about an hour and a half to get there.

On our way: Rockaway BlvdAlmost there?

It was worth it when we arrived though, because this was our first view of the beach:

View of Rockaway BeachSee what I mean about the perfect day?

The Rockaways sustained a lot of damage from Hurricane Sandy, and most of the boardwalk was closed. We spent most of our time walking down the beach – it seemed like it went on forever!

Looking down Rockaway Beach We did take a short detour off the beach to find Rockaway Taco, which was sadly closed. It was an interesting* walk, and along the way we saw this guy below. I think he was warning us to turn back, but we didn’t get the message. The area was a little sketchy, and a few minutes later we witnessed a crazy fight. Needless to say, we hightailed it back to the beach after that!

Skeleton Near Rockaway BeachThe sand was full of shells, so of course I was searching for the perfect one during our walk. They were mostly crushed, but I did find some beach glass and this heart-shaped rock.

Heart-Shaped RockHow cute!

Doesn’t this look like the perfect place to spend your day?

Bench on Rockaway Beach BoardwalkWe ended our trip to Rockaway Beach by grabbing a couple slices of pizza and hopping back on the train to home. It was an absolutely relaxing way to spend a warm fall afternoon!

What is your idea of the perfect day trip?

P.S. Follow me on Instagram for more pics from my travels and day to day life!

*My mom had a habit of using the word interesting when she didn’t really like something but didn’t want to say anything mean (example: “That’s an interesting shirt.”). I’ve definitely picked up this habit. #TurningIntoMyMom

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