Packing for Alt Summit

It’s my first time heading to Alt Summit so I’ve been devouring everyone’s packing list and first-timer tips, like Making It Lovely and Yuppie Love, and don’t forget Design Crush’s packing planner template.
My usual travel-light-or-bust concept is out the window for this style-focused trip. However, I must contain my excitement to two carry-on sized suitcases. One will be checked (thanks Delta medallion status) and the Orla will come with me.

These are just a few things I’ll be tucking into my bag – what am I forgetting? More importantly – what are YOU bringing and can we swap?

business cardsstatement jewelrysuitcaseiPad 2fun heelsday dress

Why are each of these so critical to conference success? I do travel a lot and have figured out through trial and error, mostly painful error, a few things.
1) Cards are still critical. Especially in a design focused sphere. Everyone loves paper, to see the personality expressed through stock, color, size, shape and embellishment choices.
2) Jewelry. It’s far easier to pack 5 necklaces and 2 basics than it is to pack 3 dresses, 2 shirts and so on. A statement necklace or earrings can change the most basic dress or sweater into something special.
3) Light luggage. Regardless of how much volume you think you need, remember you have to lug that damn (excuse) thing around. Not only is this roller from Orla Kiely cute enough to cheer up any flight delay, it’s light as a feather compared to my last roller. Makes a much faster “grunt and shove” into an overhead bin, pleasing everyone with your grace and efficiency.
4) Lighten your tech too. iPad, iPhone, camera, MacAir, plus all the cords… shall I go on? Packing a bluetooth keyboard that connects wirelessly to your smart phone makes long emails (or posts) a breeze and will make you question why you lug that brick of a laptop anywhere at all.
5) Small shoes. Comfy shoes are the key to a good trip – anywhere. I pack patent flats and then a cute pair of heels that compress easily into a big bag. Wedges and platforms are comfy but they add weight to your carry on, and to your day bag, when you’re out racking up experiences.
6) Neutral day dress. Getting dressed with one piece of clothing, rather than five (think: cami, button down, cardi, belt, skirt) lowers stress, no more forgotten pieces and less laundry when you get home. Just drop off all your dresses at the dry cleaner and throw the tights/leggings into a delicates bag. Poof you’re done!

Would welcome other light traveling tips – what have you vowed to never repeat?

See and Doe

On a recent trek north to Milwaukee I was able to sneak away from the pack gathered for a baby shower and do a bit of shopping in the Historic Third Ward district.

It seems most all of my travels in 2011 have been by air, so I rarely get to bring home something that would likely be destroyed by our lovely friends, the airlines. I knew this was my chance, so I proudly plucked this driftwood deer off the wall of a fantastic shop, Embelezar—formerly located in Bucktown (Chicago), and couldn’t tuck it into my trunk fast enough. PS) They had three sizes, this one is the mid-range.

I knew the decor possibilities with this would be wide open, here are a few fun holiday ways of working with him (name still TBD, suggestions welcome).

1) Au naturel.
2) Cozy’d up with a scarf. This one happens to be made of men’s ties from the ’50s. My mother would be SO embarrassed to be mentioned here, but yes, that is her handiwork.
3) Frazzled festive! Just glommed on ribbon of the curling variety for a fun energetic look.
4) Simple and easy, small sparkly balls of any color would do. Match to your other decor.

Whatever will become of him in the off-season? I intend to leave him up year-round.

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Just add air… I hope!

During Shop Small Saturday I just couldn’t help but pick up a little something for myself. I had always been intrigued, albeit a bit freaked out, by air plants since coming across them in a small garden shop in Portland’s Mississippi area, Pistils Nursery. When I saw one of this size in a local favorite garden-focused shop, Seed, in DSM’s East Village I simply had to take it home and attempt to keep it alive. Wish me luck and of course I’d welcome any tips!



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Tiny two

I have been in PDX this week for work and in my walk from the train to the office every day I have passed these wonderful tiny maple leaves as they are falling to the ground. Perfect small to take two of!

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