7 Chic Travel Essentials For Under $45

 

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Whether you are traveling on a 4 hour flight or a 14 hour journey, you more than likely want to be comfortable but if you’re like me you’d like to look somewhat presentable when you land at your destination, not like you just woke up in your pajamas! These travel essentials will keep you feeling cozy while still looking chic and all for under 45!

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#1: Comfy Pants

The first item is a pair of lightweight, comfortable pants. They will keep your legs covered and warm but not hot like sweats. These are like wearing pjs incognito!  The elastic waist also helps with bloating which can occur with the high elevation. {Calvin Klein, $11.40, ThredUp}

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#2: Light Layers

Light layers are perfect for traveling as the temperature can be unpredictable in flight. Stuffy and warm one minute, freezing the next. I paired a tank top with a lightweight long sleeve top. This could also be replaced with a cardigan or light jacket.  It’s easily removable and doubles a light blanket if needed. {Faded Glory Tank, $3.60, Notations Silk Top, $7.80}

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#3: Lightweight Scarf

A lightweight scarf is one of the most valuable items to pack as its the transformer of travel accessories. It can be bundled up and used as a pillow, worn over your eyes as an impromptu eye mask, draped over your shoulders as a blanket, and when you arrive at your destination it can be used as a sarong, blanket or halter top. This one was free with a magazine subscription. The 99 cents store also has a decent selection. {Scarf, Free}

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#4: Sandals

Sandals are the perfect travel shoes because they are easy to remove. You can get them on and off easily going through security. They may not be appropriate for all destinations and weather but onboard the plane they give your feet room to breathe and expand, more so than a tight shoe.  I will admit this particular pair are bit elaborate with the straps. A simple slip on may be more suitable. {Sandals, Old Navy via ThredUp, 6.00}img_8371

#5: Medium Sized Handbag with Long Strap

A medium sized handbag is the perfect size to fit all the essentials for your flight while still being small enough to fit under your seat for easy access. This size bag can fit a tablet, book, snacks, small toiletries, headphones, phone, charger, small bottle of water and travel documents.  It has a ton of pockets for easy storage of items and a detachable strap so it can be worn cross body when you need your hands free, perfect for picking your luggage off the belt! {Urban Expressions Handbag via ThredUp, $11.36}

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#6: Wood Jewelry

While I am a die hard accessory aficionado, I don’t usually wear jewelry on the plane just to be as comfy as possible but this is a great lightweight piece if you are looking to make a statement as soon as you disembark the plane. Wood is also a good option as it won’t set off the metal detectors. Alternatively, you could have a similar piece in your bag and slip it on as you arrive. Instant Chic! {Wood Necklace, Purchased in Romania, $3.00}

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#7: Sunglasses

Make sure to pack a fabulous, cheap pair of sunnies in your bag! They are perfect for hiding bags under your eyes in case you didn’t get sleep on your flight and if you lose them its no biggie as they were a bargain. Add a bright lippie and you will ooze glamour even if you feel like a truck hit you from the jet lag! {Sunnies, Claire’s, $1}

With a little creativity you can also put together a chic travel wardrobe on a budget. All the clothes, bag and shoes were purchased on ThredUp, the largest online consignment shop.  I used their coupon code for 40% off my first purchase to get such great prices on my items. All my items came clean, ready to wear and some were even brand new with tags.  I also snagged a pair of H&M heels for $4.80 for my upcoming trip!

They are offering you lovelies 50% all H&M products on their site. Click here and use coupon code HANDM50 to receive 50% off, up to a $50 discount!

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This post is sponsored by ThredUp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer of Wanderlust – Greece Inspired Look Book

I have always dreamed of traveling to Greece, a land where the blue of the sky dances with the blue of the sea for as far as the eye can see.  This October I am blessed to be able to make that dream a reality so I thought I should get some outfit planning in the works.

This look book is inspired by the iconic Greek colors of blue and white in easy, flowy fabrics, paired with unique sandals and a healthy sprinkling of gold.  Channeling my inner Greek goddess with bare shoulders and billowing silhouettes, I am ready for my island adventure.

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{Dress/Hemant & Nandita via Gwynnie Bee, Sandals/Michael Kors, Bracelet/Bought in India, Earrings/Vintage}

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{Pants/Michael Kors, Duster/Ralph Lauren via The Plus Bus Boutique, Blouse/Thrifted, Bracelets/Sandals/Santee Alley, Belt worn as a necklace/Target, Earrings/Bought in India}

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{Dress/Ross, Belt/JCPenny, Earrings/Sandals/Santee Alley}

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{Jumpsuit/The Plus Bus Boutique, Shawl/Remnant fabric, Belt/Thrifted, Necklace/Bought in India, Bracelets/Sandals/Santee Alley}

 

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Summer of Wanderlust – Bali Inspired Look Book

Bali is an exotic and tropical land with deep cultural traditions.  While I have yet to visit I am inspired by the intricate details of its temples, colorful ceremonies and the spirit of the Balinese people.

These looks are inspired by the traditional batik and lush landscapes found all over Bali.  They are my modern take on fashion inspired by Balinese elements.

I’d love to hear if you have been to Bali and what your favorite memory is!

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{Pants/Michael Kors, Top/Thrifted, Bangles/From India, Shoes/Lola Shoetique, Hat/99 cents store, Earrings/Necklace/Santee Alley}

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{Dress/Belt/Shoes/Thrifted, Durry Bag/Bought in India, Long Necklace/Bought in Romania, Short Necklace/Santee Alley}

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{Sarong worn as a dress/Victoria’s Secret, Shoes/Belt/Thrifted, Bag/Claire’s, Earrings/Bought in India, Mixed Bangles/Thrifted, Ring/Santee Alley}

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{Dress/Kimono/Umbrella/Thrifted, Belt/Target, Necklace/Sistas Jewelry, Ring/Tenzin Beads, Bracelet/Earrings/Macy’s, Heels/Nine West}

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I hope that you are enjoying your summer, whether you are traveling or livin’ it up at home! Be sure to stay tuned to the blog because next week I’ll be sharing all my Southwest adventures from last week from shopping tips to folk art festivals to hidden gems you can’t miss!  Until then, have a great weekend!

~ Sheena

 

 

Summer of Wanderlust – South Africa Inspired Look Book

 

When you mention travel to Africa most people’s first thought is a safari.  While I highly recommend going on a safari (it was life changing for me) there is so, so much more to see and do in the many diverse countries that make up this vast continent.  One of my personal favorites is South Africa.

South Africa has made strides to leave its history of repression and racism behind and is slowly evolving into a melting pot of cultural expression. Cosmopolitan cities are set against brilliant natural backdrops and vibrant neighborhoods are alive with music, food and friendship.

What I love most about South Africa is its vibrancy, its color and textures. The distinct geometric painting of the Ndeble tribe, the beaded Zulu necklaces and intricate basket weaving, the modern street art and rainbow hued buildings of the Bo Kaap neighborhood. South Africa is alive and has a pulse all its own.

This travel look book is awash in color and pattern, inspired by the “Rainbow Nation” and its beauty, in all the forms it blesses us.

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{Jumpsuit/Sandals/Ross, Top/Jones New York, Belt/Marshall’s, Bracelet/Earrings/Thrifted}

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{Dress worn as a skirt/Belt/Scarf worn as a headwrap/Target, Shoes/Ross, Top/Rose Bowl Flea Market, Bag/Buffalo Exchange, Bangles/From India & Kenya, Sunglasses/Santee Alley,  Earrings/Thrifty Upenyu}

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{Dress worn as a skirt/Marshall’s, Top/Macy’s, Belt/Target, Necklace/Rose Bowl Flea Market, Shoes/AMI Club Wear, Mixed Bangles/From Mali & Claire’s}

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{Dress/Thrifted, Bag/Can’t remember where this is from, Shoes/Lola Shoetique, Headscarf/From Mexico, Hat/ 99 cents store, Earrings/Handmade by me, Mixed Bangles/From India & Thrifted, Rings/From the Philippines & Africa}

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If you are looking for more African fashion inspiration click here or here.  Have you ever traveled to South Africa? I’d love to hear about your journey in the comments.

~Sheena

 

 

What I Bought in Panajachel

Panajachel is a small town, nestled on the banks of Lake Atitlan, just a few miles down a winding road from Sololá.  We stayed five nights at Hotel Atitlan which is a two minute tuk tuk ride from the heart of Panajachel.  Santander is the main street in Panajachel where you’ll find most of the shops and restaurants. Cars are not allowed (though bikes and tuk tuks are) which allows you to stroll the street freely.

The cobblestone street is brimming with shops of all kinds, selling clothing, paintings, shoes, jewelry and so much more. It’s a few blocks long and can be visited in a shorter amount of time, though we spent hours there over a couple days really enjoying the atmosphere and all the things to see.

You can take a break from your browsing and have a latte or a scoop of delicious coffee ice cream at one of the cafes or a full meal at the many restaurants that line the street. We spent our time not just buying but connecting with the artists and vendors, learning about the handmade items, about their families and Guatemala itself.   You can create the opportunity for learning and connection at any time, in any place if you allow yourself to be open to it. People want to share their stories. You just have to show you care enough to want to know them.

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I have been collecting masks from my travels over the last 15 years and I have come across these carved, bright colored animal masks a few times in different countries. Of course I was told they were made locally and I bought a few on my last trip to Isla Roatan.  Come to find out they are handmade in Guatemala!! I already had a small collection going so I added to it with the masks I purchased below.  They also had mini masks which I am going to use as ornaments on my travel themed Christmas tree.

I really love the bold colors and varied prints and patterns.  Each one is unique and a beautiful collection of them now hangs in my living room.

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Off of the main Santander street you will find all these little walkways, leading to more shops and courtyards with treasures to discover. Definitely take a look down these little off shoots as these vendors may be more willing to bargain as they aren’t on the main drag.  At the end of one of these little walkways is where I met Majuana and her sweet children.

We spent quite a bit of time with them, her eldest daughter translating for us, while she shared her shop’s blouses and belts with us. She taught me how Guatemalan women traditionally wrap their heads in the most beautiful way. We got so much joy out of connecting with them that we went back and visited them a few days later.

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These are a few of the stunning belts that I purchased from Majuana, that can also be used as head wraps.

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Along Santander you’ll also find many stands and booths selling traditionally beaded jewelry, from earrings to cuff bracelets to bold collar necklaces, the choices are endless.  Guatemalans truly have mastered the art of intricate design, bold colors and patterns and that beauty is reflected in all the items they create. My turquoise and copper necklace and earrings below are still one of my favorite purchases I made.

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Down another one of those side walkways was an open courtyard lined with shops on each side. This is where I found the most amazing Huipil (traditional woven Guatemalan blouses) shop brimming with every color and design you could imagine. Just when I thought I found the perfect one, I found another and another that took my breath away. Each region has a specific design and weaving technique that lets you know where it is from.

I spent a lot of time among all this beauty, not really wanting to decide on just one blouse.  Again, we had fun bargaining with the shop owner and came to a deal for the four blouses you see below. One recommendation I can give is to try them on for size. Many of them had small neck holes and my head didn’t fit through them.  A couple tops I bought were too small in the neck but I just let out the seam a bit and can now wear them.

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I also picked up a few woven leather belts and a super cool fanny pack (wait, do cool and fanny pack even go in the same sentence?) that I thought would be useful for future travels.

We visited Santander a few times in the five days we stayed on Lake Atitlan. Each time I discovered something new and it really is a pleasant stroll through the center of town.

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Sheena’s Side Notes:

~ Definitely pick up some roasted nuts from the gentleman selling them out of a wheel barrel. They were the best peanuts I’ve had and we snacked on them our entire trip. A decent sized bag was about $3.

~ Eat the freshly roasted corn from the grandma selling it on the sidewalk. I know, I was apprehensive to eat street food but covered in lime and salt it was so delicious and for less than $1 you can’t go wrong!! I’ve tried replicating it at home and it is not the same.

~ There are a lot of shops selling similar items, so bargain.  If you can’t make a deal, you’ll probably be able to down the street with someone else.

~ Beware of machine made embroidery. It is usually found on cheaper items, like bags.  The more you look around you’ll be able to spot it pretty easily. It does not have the fine workmanship of the handmade embroidery and the price tag will usually reflect that.

~ When you are buying, be aware that most items in Guatemala are made by hand, taking hours or months to create. This art is how people feed their families and make an honest living. Be fair in the price you negotiate so that everyone walks away winning.

~ If you follow Santander to end you will end up at a platform overlooking Lake Atitlan. It offers a stunning view of the vista and is a great spot to take photos. Below is one we took while there.

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