How To Pack Like a Pro

If you saw my packing skills (most of the time), you'd laugh at the title.  To give myself some credit, I have learned to pack better.  I'm not quite there yet, but I have some tips that are great and will eliminate the excess (if only I'd follow my own advice!).  Without further ado, my packing tips are below.  I've also tailored some of my comments to our upcoming beach trip.  

{1} Clothing for Me
I like to think ahead to what I know we'll be doing.  At the beach, I know we'll be doing some fun activities like putt putt, a theme park, and maybe the aquarium or Brookgreen Gardens, so I want to make sure I have something appropriate for each of these.  We'll also go out to dinner some, so I want to have something to wear those nights.  Mostly though, we'll be on the beach and in the boat. 

My general rule of thumb when packing for the beach is to take several pieces that I can mix and match.  I like to take a few pairs of shorts in bright colors, white, and novelty prints (J. Crew shorts are my favorite).  If I'm 100% honest, I will pack about 3 pairs of white shorts because I love them.  I think white shorts look good and they are easy to dress up with large accessories when you need to be dressier, but they also look great with a t-shirt just hanging out at night.

I also like to take a few skirts.  I'll take a white skirt, printed skirt, and a denim skirt.  And don't forget at least one dress.  I also like dresses because they're easy.  You can just throw one on and go.

As far as tops go, I like to pack basic tanks, t-shirts, and other cute tops.  These go well with whatever bottoms you decide to wear and are easy to accessorize.

It's self-explanatory, but don't forget bathing suits for the beach! 

I read about a lot of women who have toddlers and have a new way of dressing.  Believe me, when I say KT and I are involved with the boys, we are involved.  We are on the ground playing, running around, and doing whatever it is we're doing, but that doesn't change the way I dress.  Just because we have kids doesn't mean we have to sacrifice our style.  I wear skirts, dresses, heels, wedges, and long necklaces (I do take these off when playing with the boys!) and have fun with my three guys.  I will say that I take a simple approach when it comes to style though.  I like classic pieces like solid shirts and bottoms that I can pair with cute accessories and shoes depending on what we're doing, and when it comes to dresses, you already know my love for the brightest, cutest, easiest dresses in the world to wear anywhere (work, church, out) that I find in Tracy Negoshian's line.   

{2} Shoes
I need to write this for myself: only take what you know you'll wear!  I have a tendency to overpack shoes.  Big time.  This time, I'm going simple.  I am taking my Jack Roger's, a pair of gold wedges, a pair of flip flops, running shoes, and old tennis shoes (for conch finding!).  

{3} Accessories
I try to keep it simple with accessories, too.  I have a pair of sapphire earrings I wear most days, so those will be on my ear.  I'll also take some diamond earrings, a few pairs of cute dangly earrings, chuncky necklaces, a large ring (in addition to the sapphire one I wear almost every day), and a bracelet. 

I'll also take two belts: skinny gold and skinny silver.

{4} Other Things
There are always other important things to take that I always am scared I'll forget.  Things like:
That wraps up packing for me!  When it comes to the boys, this is how we pack:

{5} For the Boys
We plan on two outfits per day for the boys.  We take one outfit (plaid/khaki/denim shorts and polo/cute t-shirt) and one play outfit (athletic shorts, t-shirt) for each day, plus an extra one or two.  

For shoes, we take their new New Balances to wear out, older ones for playing outside, and Crocs (KT and I both hate these) for the beach.

Swim shirts are also a must.  

In addition to clothes, bathing suits, and shoes, we also pack toys and books.  We usually give the boys a bag or two to fill up with toys.  With my family next week, they'll be the only kids and will probably play with their toys more.  When we go to the beach with Kevin's family later this summer, they'll have four cousins to play with.  I think toys are essential because you don't ever know what the weather will be like and just face it, even as adults, we don't want to be stuck inside all day without our toys like our phones, iPads, and books/magazines!  We read stories each night, so we like to take an assortment of books for them to choose from.  

{6} Other Things to Pack
I always have this fear that I'm going to forget something really important like my toothbrush or phone charger.  I actually write those on my packing list!  Here are a few other things you need to remember tailored to our beach trip.