Sorry guys, this one's for the girls...

Not that I'm that fashionable, but I've heard that every person has their own style.  So I may not have "style", but I do have "a style".

A couple people were wondering how Ironman and I travel so light, so I thought I would open up my suitcase.  I've got a lifetime of knowledge...please say someone recognizes that line from Amanda Bynes in "She's the Man".

packed and ready to head out!
Here we are, in 2013, leaving on Christmas Day for Northern Ireland!  We spent two weeks in Northern Ireland and Ireland and one week in Scotland.  I actually thought that we had brought too much and was worried about weight restrictions because of flying with Ryan Air.  Plus, I had gifts for the bride, Michaela, and mine and Mary Ashley's friend, Jess...

Jess enjoying her American treats!
First things first, our toiletry bag...when we travel, we only pack the basics like shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, chapstick, our favorite essential oils (we share all of these items so that we aren't packing double), each of our toothbrushes (we don't share haha) and I bring mascara for more dressy occasions.

toiletries and other essentials
My favorite shoes in the world...cowgirl boots.  At the last minute I freaked out and threw in the black flats "just in case", but didn't wear them once.  What can I say???...I just really love my cowgirl boots!!!  They are warm and comfortable and go with everything.

my everyday shoes
Next are the scarves, hat and gloves.  The colorful pashmina is a gift from Jess, so I didn't bring it, but I'm going home with it...thank you Jess!  The gloves I actually found on the road somewhere and they are NOT warm (maybe that's why they were left in the road...?).  And the hat I bought in Edinburgh because I forgot to pack one in Florence. Oh well, purple's my favorite color, so it turned out ok!
items to help me stay warm!
Next are for the legs...a pair of black leggings, a pair of black Cuddl Duds and a pair of grey tights.  I actually didn't bring the grey tights, but bought them at TKMaxx (yes TK, not TJ) because one day I wore hose, was freezing and had to buy some tights ASAP!  The Cuddl Duds ended up being my favorite and I want to buy another pair from Sams Club at some point. If you like to wear leggings and don't have Cuddl Duds, buy some...you'll have a new best friend.  No joke.

leggings and tights for layering
Next are the dresses and the cardigans.  A black dress, a grey dress, a hunter green cardigan and a grey cardigan.

dresses and cardigans
So, basically, I started each day with either one of the two dresses, then I would choose leggings or tights, then one of the two cardigans, one of the three scarves and then top everything off with my cowgirl boots, winter coat, hat and gloves!

Of course, I did pack an outfit for the wedding...

wedding outfit
So, that's all I wore (well, I didn't take photos of my underwear...I hope you understand haha).  Well, actually, that's all I wore, but that's not all I packed:).  This is what happens to me every time we travel.

1.  Make a list of what Ironman and I want to pack (Ironman forgets to pack things like underwear when he isn't supervised...true story).
2.  Pack everything on my list, check it twice (or 37 times).
3.  Freak out at the last minute and start shoving things in the nooks and crannies of my poor little suitcase.

So, here are those unfortunate items (I didn't wear them even once):

items I didn't end up wearing!
Two black tank tops and a black turtleneck.  One white tank top and a white turtleneck.  A black Cuddl Duds top and finally the dreaded skinny jeans.  I have a love/hate relationship with skinny jeans. I'll put them on with a super girlie shirt and my cowgirl boots (of course) and think "I love this outfit...look how cute!".  Then I have to do everyday life things like sit down, bend over, ride in the car, etc. and it starts to go downhill really quickly.  I pull them up at the waist since they slide down and around when I move.  But then I have to pull them down at the ankles because they bunch at the knees.  Then, when I sit down, I have to decide whether I want my stomach chunk and love handles to be tucked down and into the sufficating skinniness or if I'll just leave it to all hang out (this is when Ironman will affectionately squeeze these areas and call me "chunky lunky"...his sweet face helps him get away with a lot).  It's these major life crisis' and decisions that make me crazy. When I'm alone I just grin (scowl and clench my teeth) and bare it, but if Ironman is home and he sees me get "the look", he sends me to my room to change.  Yes, this actually happens in our adults only home.  So, all this is to say that each day when I got dressed, my questioning look towards my skinny jeans would quickly turn into "evils" (as Michaela would say) and I would chose the leggings and dresses...I would choose comfort....choose happiness...I choose life.  

So, what's your favorite items to pack for a trip to Europe?  Give me some ideas so that I can store them away for my future trips!

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