Entries tagged with “vacation”.

Rushing out the door to begin enjoying a vacation can cause people to overlook several easy ways to ensure their homes will be protected. Taking the necessary precautions to protect your home while you’re away will save you those nagging worries so you can thoroughly enjoy your trip!

Ask a Friend to Help ~ Give this person a key so that he or she can bring your mail in, feed your cat, water your plants, mow your lawn, etc. He or she should also have your contact information and a copy of your itinerary in case of emergencies. Ask them to put your trash containers out for pick-up and put them back again when they’re empty and to park their car in your driveway occasionally to give your home a more lived-in look.

Don’t tip off Criminals ~ by posting  the details of your vacation for the whole world to see. Refrain from discussing your trip on social networking sites. It’s like setting up a sign letting criminals know your house is ripe for the picking!

Pull the Plug ~ Unplug your television, computer, toaster oven and other appliances to protect them from power surges. Unplug the power to your automatic garage door to keep thieves from opening it with a universal remote.

Remove Your Spare Key ~ If a criminal figures out you’re away on vacation, it’s likely that he or she will check your porch for a spare key.

Examine Your House from the Street ~ Make sure no valuables, like expensive electronics or artwork, are visible from the street. If a passerby can see your belongings, so can criminals. Use timers on lights, radios and televisions. Leave your curtains exactly as you usually keep them when you’re home. The more normal your home looks, the better.

DON’T Leave a Portable GPS in your Car ~ when you use long-term parking at the airport. It’ll alert thieves that you’re not home and give them a convenient map to your house.

Thanks to IndependentTraveler.com  and OneGoodThingbyJillee.com for the recommendations and photo.




“Travel now is not always easy and with the advent of charges for every extra little thing including checking a bag, a lot of people now travel with a carry on.  For a week-end trip this is no problem; when you are staying for a week or longer this is a challenge!  However, there is a way to make packing efficient and stress-free and still look fabulous!” says Fiona Skelly of Styling You Fabulous.

Here are a few of her tips to assist women in selecting a concise vacation or business trip wardrobe that should take you from casual to dressy and in between!

  1. Select a BASE color – Hopefully you know what neutral color works best for your skin tone, hair and eye color – it will most likely be a shade of grey, brown or black.  So select your best color and make this your base.
  2. Select your BASE pieces – Again this will come down to your personal style and the pieces that you know fit and flatter your body type and lifestyle.  Probably these will consist of a well-fitting pant or legging, an easy to wear dress that can be dressed up or down, a blazer or cardigan and a pair of jeans or shorts depending on weather at destination.
  3. Seasonal adjustments – Obviously, if you are going to a hot climate, your pieces will consist of natural, breathable fabrics – cotton, linen, silk, etc.  If you are traveling to a cold climate, think wool, cashmere, leather, etc.
  4. Layers – If you are not sure of the climate, pack for warmer weather with layers that can be added to accommodate colder spells.
  5. Shoes – The rule here is never take more pairs of shoes than days you are on vacation.  The key is to be practical – take at least one pair of comfortable walking shoes and a ‘dressy’ shoe for evenings out or more formal events.  If you are traveling to a cold weather destination, make sure to wear your boots while traveling–they take up too much space to pack!
  6. Travel outfit – This should be comfortable and stylish-yes,  it is possible to achieve both!  My ‘go to’ travel outfit is a pair of comfortable jeans, a t-shirt, cashmere sweater and blazer or cardigan.  I also always pack a pashmina in my travel tote.  Obviously, the weight of these items will vary according to the climate of your destination.  
  7. Color – You should pick 2 or 3 accent colors to add to your base pieces; again this will depend on YOU and what your most flattering colors are.  Pieces to add to your base should include: a simple but elegant t-shirt (long sleeve and short sleeve), a flirty cami style top that can turn your jeans or shorts into an evening outfit, a blouse that can be worn buttoned up for a more formal/dressy event or opened up to be worn as a jacket alternative over t-shirt or cami, and  a scarf in the colors you have selected to pull together outfits.
  8. Jewelry – I would keep this simple, a pair of hoop earrings in both silver and gold are always very useful.  If you have some fun earrings and bangles in your colors, add those into the mix. I usually try on my outfits and if there is a particular necklace or piece of jewelry that really enhances the outfit, I will take it.
  9. Outfits – This takes a little bit of time to begin with but is well worth it.  Think about your schedule and activities, write down the days of vacation and put together an outfit for each day and evening event you know about.  Make sure you are utilizing each piece several times; hopefully you will have facilities to launder between events.  If not, take a tube of travel detergent with you to launder and hang to dry in your bathroom.
  10. Travel Tote – You are allowed one carry-on case and a personal item – make sure this is a large tote.  You will have plenty of room for  your book or Kindle, iPad, cell phone, water bottle (buy this after security), wallet, Pashmina, socks (slip these on to walk through security or use for sleeping on the plane), headphones (better to take your own than use the airlines as they are often re-used!) hairbrush and your bag of cosmetics/skin care.
  11. Cross over bag – Take a small bag in your base color that you can use for all your outfits. It should be able to hold your passport, credit cards and cell  phone.
  12. Flexibility – Obviously, plans change and unexpected events can occur, but with the base pieces and color pieces you have added you really should be able to mix and match your items to ensure you are always looking fabulous!
Our thanks to photostock and freedigitalphotos.net for the photo.
For more help and advice or to find out your body type, colors and best style for you please contact

Fiona Skelly at 206-788-7718.


Although many of us love to travel, very few of us love to pack. As with most things – if you have a plan things will be easier and less stressful. A good traveler’s goal is to carry the bare essentials and leave the excess at home.

A vacation packing checklist can make your whole vacation run much smoother and be more fun. You can master the art of packing what you need with this check list from Rick Steves.

Here is some more savvy advice from travel guru Rick Steves.

Packing 101:  Spread out everything you think you might need on the living-room floor. Pick up each item one at a time and scrutinize it. Ask yourself, “Will I really use this snorkel and these fins enough to justify carrying them around all summer?” Not “Will I use them?” but “Will I use them enough to feel good about hauling them around?”

Don’t pack for the worst-case scenario. Pack for the best-case scenario and simply buy yourself out of any jams. Bring layers rather than take a heavy coat. Think in terms of what you can do without — not what will be handy on your trip.

Thanks to Lissie at Hub Pages for a short list of what NOT to take with you:

  • Anything you are taking “just in case”. If you happen to get a last minute invite to the Queen’s Garden Party in England ladies will need a hat – take the opportunity to go shopping!
  • A cellphone unless you know it work at your destination and you know what the roaming charges are.
  • Anything electronic unless you are sure you can plug them in and charge them at your destination.
  • Anything you are sentimentally attached to,  particularly jewelery – you may have it stolen, but far more likely you may just misplace it or leave it behind.

One final thing to remember as you prepare for a trip: No one ever came back from vacation saying “I wish my suitcase had been heavier!”

Photo courtesy of  Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net