Jan 30 2012

How To Pack For Vacation

When travelling with kids, what you pack is no longer a dozen pair of shoes and 10 bikinis.

by: Loukia Zigoumis

In less than 48 hours, I'll be boarding a plane, heading for warmer weather, palm trees, and the ocean. Heading to my favourite resort in south Florida with my family is one of my favourite things to do in the winter, because we all need to get away around this time of year.

Travelling and packing for a vacation takes on a whole new meaning when you have children. Gone are the days when you can throw a dozen pair of shoes and 10 bikinis in your suitcase and be set to go. Now, everything that goes in the suitcase has to be carefully thought out. I have been packed for a few days now, in order to avoid the last-minute headaches that come with last-minute packing for the little ones.

 

I had big intentions of packing only one suitcase for my children and myself for this trip, but after filling an entire suitcase of things belonging only to my children, I grabbed a medium sized suitcase for myself, determined to not to overboard like I do whenever I travel. (This has gotten better since having kids, though, and with each trip I go on, I end up bringing one pair of shoes less!)

What I packed for a one-week vacation:

Three dresses: I have packed one maxi black dress, one strapless fun black dress, and one J.Crew ruffly grey dress.( And two over swim suit beach dresses, but those don't count! Do they?)

Jeans: I am bringing two pairs of jeans—the pair I'm travelling in, and an extra pair.

Bathing suits: Okay, so I may have ordered two new bathing suits from Victoria's Secret and had them delivered to my hotel since they wouldn't have shipped to Canada on time...so what of it? I've also brought another 3 swim suits, because I like having a selection to choose from and you know, anxiety about what suit to put on every morning is just what I need on my relaxing vacation! (Sigh.) ALSO IMPORTANT: I always pack my swim suit and my children's swimming shorts in my carry-on bag, just in case our luggage gets lost (knock on wood) so at least we'll be ready to hit the beach and pool.

Shoes: The tricky thing about packing shoes is you never know when you've brought too many pairs. Of course, on almost every vacation I've ever been on, I bring too many pairs. I know this because at least three pairs sit in the bottom of the suitcase, lonely. Most of my really high heels are staying home, because I'm travelling with my children and there won't be any late nights. I've brought my Tory Burch Reva flats, a sensible pair of wedge heels (Burberry, bought on sale, and they go with everything, hoorah!) a pair of brown wedge heels, and a higher, sexier, yet oh-so-comfortable pair of sandals. And two pairs of flip flops, and the pair of boots I'm travelling in. (Is this too much? Now I'm panicking...)

Tops: I think it's almost pointless to really count how many tops you're packing, because it's okay to bring more than you can wear. I simply cannot plan outfits ahead of time! I need to lay things out, the day of, and decide what to wear at that moment. So, I go easy on myself when packing shirts and tank tops. You never know what combo will be the winning look each night of your vacation!

Extra stuff: Bras—strapless, regular, you name it, bring it. Underwear, lulus, pjs—check! Running shoes? Um, no. What else? Books! Magazines! Make-up, suntan lotion, toiletry bag filled with coconut body butter, razors, hair stuff? Already packed! And, of course, laptop. For those late nights on the balcony after the kids have gone to sleep...blogging while listening to the sound of the waves? Pretty awesome.

For the children: I managed to have their suitcase packed in five minutes. I packed an outfit each for every day, and some extra clothes, including a couple of sweaters just in case it's cold at night. I packed them three swimming shorts each, and they each have two pairs of shoes packed (their beloved Crocs!) and are travelling in their running shoes. Each boy has a backpack filled with goodies like ipods and ipads, notebooks, markers, and books galore. They're set!

Moms, my last word of advice when it comes to packing and what to bring with you on your vacation? ADVIL. For you, and for the children.

Now, all that's left to do is: HAVE FUN while on vacation—and don't forget the sunscreen!

Jan 23 2012

How to Get Silky Smooth Skin in Under Five Minutes

Hint: With the help of the new Schick Hydro Silk razor!

by: Loukia Zigoumis

I'm sure you all know by now that winter is my least favourite season. I'm always cold, I'm always complaining about the snow, and no matter how hard I try to stay warm, nothing works. Except, of course, when I take a vacation down south. Somewhere warm, and sunny. That usually cures my winter SAD.

Every year, we try to get away to go to our favourite resort in south Florida. A week away from winter is just what my doctor has ordered for me, and I always listen to my doctor. However, getting ready to go away somewhere warm in the middle of winter is not as easy as it is in the summertime—because there is much more to prepare!

First of all, our poor winter-damanged skin! I go through so much Coconut Body Butter in the winter, to help keep my skin hydrated. Not only is my skin more dry in the winter, but the colour of my skin starts to match the colour of the snow outside—white. Looking pale and white on the beach is not exactly ideal for me, so I will most likely be hitting a spray tan booth before I go away, now that I know I won't die during my Mystic Tan.

And, of course, the most important part about getting bikini-ready? Silky, smooth skin! To get silky, smooth skin you need a really awesome razor. And I've tried them all.  I have to say my most favourite is the Schick Hydro Silk razor. I received the new razor to try and it was the easiest razor I've ever used—so easy to handle, and so soft on my skin! And the results? The smoothest, softest skin, ever.

Whether or not you're going somewhere warm this winter where all of your skin is going to be exposed, I'm giving away 25 Schick Hydro Silk razors to YOU! That's right, 25. That means that the first 25 people to leave a comment telling me how they get silky smooth skin get a razor! (Please leave your email address in the comment so I can contact you!)

And? If you let me know what you think of the Schick Hydro Silk razor after you use it (just email me!) you'll be entered to win a $100 gift card from VISA—only 25 of you will be entered to win the $100 VISA card, so your chances of winning are pretty good!

The contest is open until February 1st, and the first 25 commenters will receive this new razor to try. I'll contact the winner of the VISA gift card once I receive your information!

For more information and to learn how you can win more great prizes please visit www.Facebook.com/HydroSilkCanada I received a Schick Hydro Silk Razor for my review.

 

Jan 7 2012

The Top Five Most Awesome Fragrances

Scents that make sense and smell yummy!

by: Loukia Zigoumis

"What do I wear to bed? Why, Chanel number 5, of course!" No, it wasn't I who uttered those famous words, it was Marilyn Monroe, when asked in an interview what she wears to bed. I can't say with all honesty that I only sleep in Chanel Number 5!

The walls in my bedroom used to be covered in posters of Marilyn Monroe. I considered her to be quite the style icon, along with Audrey Hepburn, who I equally loved. And Marilyn had a point...what you wear when you're not wearing anything at all is almost as important as what you wear when you're fully dressed.

The complete package when you're talking about style is more than just the clothes you wear, the way you do your hair, and the make-up you put on. It also has something to do with the way you smell. (Of course, personality, confidence, and a smile are really ALL that matters, but I digress...)

Smell can be a very sensual part of a person, and often, people will remember your smell. For me, specific smells—perfumes, colognes—can take me back to very specific moments in time, all within one second.

Throughout the years, I've gone through phases of wearing different perfumes: Exclamation, Red Door, White Musk by The Body Shop, Obsession, and Heaven, by Gap. Which, by the way? I totally still love, and every time I'm in the Gap, I spray some on, and am tempted to buy another bottle, but then I'm reminded that I'm not 19 anymore! But, really does it matter? Probably not, since you'll see my top five list of favourite fragrances includes a perfume by Britney Spears!


Chanel Number 5 (tied with) Chanel Allure

Chanel Number 5—the world's most famous perfume—is just the most classic you can get, and the first perfume launched by Coco Chanel. It reminds me of so many things I love, like Paris, Marilyn Monroe, my mother, and so many classic, beautiful things.

I also love Allure by Chanel. In fact, I love Allure a little bit more than I love Chanel Number 5. It's my go-to fragrance, and it's oh-so-yummy. It also reminds me of my best friend because she wears this all the time, too.

Jean Paul Gaulthier

Oh, Jean Paul Gaulthier! I wore this perfume in my early 20's, almost every single day, and I love it SO much to this day. In fact, this might be my next purchase, because it smells divine. I also love the iconic bottle of a woman's bust, in that awesome metallic can.  Instantly, when I put on this perfurme, happy memories from days gone by pop into my head. All wonderful memories...

Fantasy by Britney Spears

Yeah, yeah, I know.... I love a perfume by Britney Spears, but you guys, if you tried it, you'd fall in love, too. I'm not kidding! It's sexy, yummy, and the bottle is super cute, too. But the important thing is it smells great.

Prada Candy

Candy by Prada is my number one favourite perfume right now. As soon as I tried it for the first time, I fell in love. My boys bought me a bottle for Christmas (along with a gift certificate to the spa - are they the sweetest, or what?) and I wear it all the time now. I believe this will be one of the best selling fragrances of 2012, so you should totally go buy a bottle, too! It's an absolute delicious scent.

Burberry Brit

I was happily surprised when I tried this perfume on and loved it. I have actually been wearing Burberry Brit for the last five days now, and I've got to say—I'm in love! Burberry Brit was the number three best-selling fragrance for women in 2011, and this comes as no surprise to me.

Okay, so now I want to know what your favourite scent is! What is your all-time favourite perfume? What's the smell that takes you back in time and evokes special memories for you? Spill it! I want to know!

Need some tips on how to be fashion-forward in 2012? Check this out!

Marilyn Monroe image from my.telegraph.co.uk

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