Midlife Loves

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Midlife Loves

Packing For The Unknown

So my big day has finally been & gone & wow what an amazing time I’ve had.  As I mentioned in an earlier post I had no idea where or what we were doing for my actual birthday as I had left all the planning in the very capable hands of my hubby & son.  Now whilst I had joked that we might end up at a Star Wars convention I secretly knew *prayed* that I was in safe hands as hubby had arranged a surprise trip for our tenth wedding anniversary six years ago when he surprised me with a trip to New York so I felt pretty confident that whatever we were doing would be fantastic & that there wouldn’t be a light sabre in sight!!! And I have to say he didn’t disappoint :-) 

Of course having to pack when you don’t know where or what you’re doing is a complete & utter nightmare.  And with wanting to travel light in the hope that part of our trip would involve shopping made things even harder.  All I knew about our trip was that the weather could be up to 14 degrees if we were lucky. 

Now initially when beginning the packing process I looked in my wardrobe & pulled out enough clothing let alone accessories to easily do me for a fortnight away let alone a few days.  It’s so hard to pack a capsule wardrobe when you have various favourite pieces that you’d love to take away with you & in my case that is particularly true with my love of jackets & accessories.  But when travelling with only hand luggage and one checked in holdall between three it was a case of HAVING to be sensible & only take what I thought I’d need plus a few options just in case, well a girl has to be prepared ;-)

So having been relatively successful & pleased with my packing for our summer hols I decided to stick to the same formula & pack a mixture of separates that could be mixed & matched to create a variety of outfits to suit the weather & our travels & cover both smart & casual options.  Of course if I suddenly discovered I hadn’t brought a vital something or other then that would just give me the valid reason *coughs excuse* to shop J

So after much deliberations here’s a list of what I took, apologises there's no picture...I did mean to take a piccie of clothes before packing but forgot...remembered & meant to take when unpacking & forgot....remembered & meant to take when packing to come home.....& forgot.....remembered & meant to take when unpacking back at home......but forgot!!!! Can you tell I'm now forty?!!! Think I might be suffering from memory loss now I've gone to the other side lol!!!

- Boyfriend jeans (light denim)
- Skinny jeans (dark denim)
- Faux leather leggings (black)
- Leather biker jacket (black)
- Double breasted blazer (beige)
- Tartan scarf (multicoloured)
- Woollen snood (grey)
- Faux Fur Stole (black/blue)
- Lightweight polo neck jumper (black)
- Thick warm polo neck jumper with button detailing (cream)
- Lightweight over-large jumper (navy)
- Camisole (cream)
- Lace effect blouse (cream)
- Long sleeved top (cream with splashes of blue)
- Furry cardigan/jacket (cream)
- Hi-top pumps (a soft gold effect)
- Shoe boots (black)
- Captain's cap (black)

As you can see I basically stuck to a neutral colour scheme with just a small injection of colour.

From a bag point of view (holdall not woman…although our seriously early start did mean I could have been described with the two words ‘woman & haggered’ but not in that order!!) I thought we’d most likely be visiting a city so decided to take a small bag that could be worn across my body that I couldn’t fill with a load of nonsense just the essentials….lippie, sunnies & my ‘flexible’ friend.  I don’t know about you but if I’m carrying a heavy bag for the day I start to get shoulder ache & if it’s crowded & busy you’ve also got the added worry of pickpockets & I find a small bag easier to keep nice & close.

Having been well & truly trained from my Brownie days, I decided to be well prepared & in case it rained took my H&M captain's cap as I find a hat so much easier for keeping dry (let alone warm) when walking in crowds than carrying an umbrella which you’re forever lifting up & down as you try to avoid taking people’s eyes out.  It’s also a great accessory if you’re having a bad hair day a.k.a. can’t be bothered to wash your hair & will hide a multitude of sins ;-)

H&M Captain's Cap

Of course scarves & gloves were essential & I have to say my Zara tartan scarf has been such a fab buy…..lovely & soft not to mention huge so perfect if cool on the plane & so cuddly for wrapping up in.  I also took along my fur stole for a bit of glamour (well if you can’t be glamorous on your fortieth then when can you?!!!) & my Sandwich snood.

Zara Tartan Scarf

Sandwich Snood

H&M Faux Fur Stole

Because of our likely destination I thought it best to stick with trousers for my bottom half as they’re so easy for dressing up or down & also easier for keeping footwear to a minimum.  Boyfriend distressed jeans for a casual relaxed vibe, a pair of skinnies if I fancied being a bit smarter & my faux leather leggings for evening. 

Zara Boyfriend Jeans

Zara Faux Leather Leggings

From a jacket point of view my biker jacket was a no brainer for warmth & simply throwing on in the day with a smart thick blazer for the evening along with several tops including a camisole that could be worn with both my navy ‘V’ jumper & my cream fluffy jacket/cardigan.  A black polo neck (useful), cream pretty blouse for smartening my jeans up, a cream top with a pop of blues & a cream chunky polo neck for warmth & style (I absolutely LOVE the gold buttoning).  Of course even I knew I wouldn’t need this amount of tops but I wanted to take something that would cover all eventualities & weather conditions.

Zara Double Breasted Blazer

H&M Fluffy Jacket

Zara Cream Polo Neck With Button Detailing

Zara Oversized Jumper

Topshop Cami

As I mentioned in a previous blog when deciding on what to wear for my day trip to London I have to have comfy feet & no matter which city we would be visiting I knew it would involve walking a LOT of miles & spending the day on my feet so I needed to ensure my feet & I were still talking to each other.  So I opted for my comfy M&S shoe boots that I wore to London for a smart look for evening & my hi-top trainers for pounding the streets of a day, which were also great for hiding my cankles which would no doubt spring up as a result of too much time spent upright!!

M&S Shoe Boots

So did I pack the right clothes for our trip & did I need as much as I took???  Well if you’re anything like me you no doubt already know the answer to this question!!  But will we ladies ever change?  Hell no, that’s what’s makes us so special ;-)

I’ll be back next time with a round of up my outfits from my wonderful birthday trip together with where we actually went & what we got up to in my next blog.  But in the meantime here’s what I’ve been wearing these past few days since our return.

Outfit One

Pearls - Birthday present
Shirt - Zara
Grey Snake Print Belt - Massimo Dutti
Vest Top - Zara
Jeans - Zara
Ankle Boots - Oasis

Outfit Two

Pearls - Birthday Present
Jumper - Primark
Skirt - Zara
Shoe Boots - Next
Stole - Zara

Outfit Three

Grey Pearls - Handmade
Vest Top - Zara
Jumper - Zara
Sequin Skirt - Zara
Boots - Oasis

Outfit Four

Necklace - Zara
Top - M&S
Blazer - Zara
Bracelet - J Crew
Jeans - Zara
Boots - Next

Outfit Five

Camouflage Scarf - Zara
Jacket - Zara
Denim Shirt - Zara
Jeans - H&M
Boots - Oasis

A HUGE thank you to everyone who has sent me such lovely birthday wishes....I can honestly say I'm LOVING being forty :-) so if you've got your 'big' birthday fast approaching embrace & enjoy every second.

Right seeing as my birthday has been & gone, I really need to get on with getting in the festive spirit…..so I’m off to wrestle with a tree & hang a few baubles.  In the meantime I’d love to hear if you’ve ever trusted your other halves to plan a surprise trip away not to mention your trips for travelling light when only going away for a few days.  What would you take?

See you at the weekend.

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  1. Oh yes - he is a far better planner than I am!! He surprised me pre-children with a trip to Hong Kong and then NYC for my 40th - he has set the bar very high!!! Can't wait to hear where you went! xxx

    1. Oh wow Joanna your hubby certainly knows how to spoil a girl, both trips sound perfect locations xx

  2. p.s. I'm rubbish at packing so no tips from me - I always want to take EVERYTHING just in case

    1. LOL that's the trouble isn't it. It's always nice to have a few extras for the unknown...there's always something I think I should have brought with me no matter how much I try to think of all eventualities xx

  3. Your packing tips are awesome Jane! That has to be the perfect capsule travelling wardrobe! Thanks to you, I now need the H&M fluffy cardigan in my life....how versatile?!
    Glad you had a lovely time and look forward to hearing more about it.....I need details Mrs!! And would I trust the hubby to plan such an amazing trip.....only time will tell, as he normally leaves the planning stuff to me! xx

    1. Aww thanks Michelle. I'm loving my new H&M fluffy cardigan...I didn't get round to wearing it for my birthday so thinking I should save it to wear at Christmas but we'll see!! xx

  4. Where did you go the suspense is killing me? Sounds as though you packed perfectly Jane and all your outfits look lovely as ever xx

    1. Thanks Sharron, I promise to reveal all at the weekend xx

  5. oh I thought you were finally going to tell us, like Sharron, the suspense is killing me. Great packing tips, there is always something I wish I had packed but left at home! xx

    1. I think everyone leaves at least one item at home they wished they taken with them & probably takes a good handful of things that didn't need to be packed....well I do anyway lol!! xx

  6. Arrrggghhhh - what a cliff hanger - the suspense is killing me - when's the next episode!! :0) - Love your outfits, especially three and two - love your pearls in outfit two (and 1?)

    1. LOL sorry Paul didn't mean it to be such a cliff hanger.....will be revealing destination on Sunday, can you wait?!!!

      Yes pearls are the same in outfits 1 & 2 (one of my birthday presents) they're actually much longer in length but I'd wrapped them round my neck a couple of times....one of hubby's surprises as I'd admired them in the summer when on holiday, didn't know he'd snuck back & brought them! xx

  7. I never know what to pack - this all sounds fab! Can't wait to see and hear more about your trip! Love your stripy jacket in the last pic. Lynne x

    1. Thanks Lynne...I seem to make hard work of trying to pack light for holidays...always takes me an age to decide & edit it down! xx

  8. Just clicked on your site to see the H&M faux fur stole! What a good one! i am LOVING the look at the mo! xx

    1. It's gorgeous isn't it Alex.... I could sooo buy lots of faux fur stoles at the moment that I will definitely be putting a few on my sales list. They're just so versatile not to mention cosy! xx

  9. Oooh, Jane, I can't wait to see where you went. I love the Zara sequin skirt you're wearing xxx

    1. Thanks Liz, I'll be revealing all (destination, not my birthday suit ;-) ) at the weekend xx

  10. I've got much better with my packing over the years but I do still do the old put in & take out at the last minute thing! Lol! I think you packed so well! I just love that Zara tartan scarf & you look fab in the first outfit! Those pearls are gorgeous! Ax


    1. Oh gosh so do I Andrea & then generally regret taking out the items I did & wish I hadn't brought some of the items I don't get round to wearing lol!! Jane xx

  11. Great collection of fashion dress!

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