Friday, July 10, 2015

Packing Post: Into the Water

Packing for the beach always gets me a little nervous more than excited. Yes, I love the sunny weather, diving into the water, and relaxing on the beach... but what I don't love so much is feeling self-conscious about my own body.

Prior to a beach vacation with my now-hubby five years ago, I had never even tried on a bikini let alone strut my stuff out in public. I've never been incredibly overweight, but just like most people I've always thought I'd look better if  I could lose an extra few pounds (or 10), maybe tone up my arms or abs, etc. One thing that I really love about my husband is that he really and truly loves me for who I am. He is always giving me confidence to be more comfortable in my own skin. I can't say that I've become so confident with my body now to where I see myself frolicking around the pool with in my tiny bikini by any means. Yet, I've definitely learned to make peace with how my body looks and still strive to be fit and improve my health with a positive frame of mind.

view from our balcony

Last week when I was starting to think about what I would be taking with me on our upcoming trip, I had those same negative thoughts going through my head again. Instead of focusing on being happy about being on the beach/pool and enjoying the vacation, I was more focused on worrying about how I would look in my bathing suit. I really envy people who don't have those perfect bodies, yet are still so confident in their own skin. Sometimes, it's just having that internal confidence that makes them look so beautiful on the outside.

Somewhere along the way as I started to pack and realized that I probably should have been working out a lot harder several months in advance, I finally just threw my hands up and went... "It is what it is... I deserve this trip and I'm going to make the most of it!" I didn't look all that bad in the mirror. Maybe if I found a cute cover-up and started thinking a little more positively, my confidence would disguise my imperfect curves and I'd just have more fun on the trip.

I started with my full coverage bathing suits. All my suits are fairly old because as you can imagine I truly dislike shopping for this category of items. This one piece is in my favorite colors - yellow. The cover-up was a last minute deal from Macy's. They only had one size left and it was pretty pricey when I first picked up. I hesitated to bring it to the cash register, but I got super lucky and it rang up for just $23 bucks (down from almost $50) score! I can't believe that it's still available online. I love the color contrast and I think blue and yellow go well together. I was thinking of buying a straw beach bag and I looked high and low for a one that I really loved, but came up empty handed. I wanted to stick with my new rules of shopping and didn't want to compromise if I really didn't like the item. Then I remembered getting this free tote with my last Victoria Secret order. I was worried about wearing black on the beach... but the little colored tassels and small pink bag made it work for me! It was big enough and it served it's purpose. The shades were a gift from Chirag. As much as I wanted the pricier Ray Ban version, I was very happy that I could be more carefree with these on the water. I loved them and wore them basically everyday too!

You may recall this next suit from my April Budget Post. It was definitely a another great deal at only $10 bucks. I was a little worried about the print & cut, but it was actually very slimming. The tank is also from Old Navy and I really liked the fun pineapple print.

Oh, the bikini! In my mind I still wasn't sure if I'd even wear it on our trip... but I remembered to stay positive. This colorful cover-up from H&M made me super happy! It was slightly pricer than the other one, but it looked super cute on and I needed something to boost my confidence! I actually ended up wearing this outfit on our very first day there. I guess I was ready to be brave and just dive right in! ;)

Cover-up with black bikini

And below is my last ensemble. I think if you are like me and tend be a little self-conscious when it comes to swim suits then a great cover-up is totally worth the money. Although once it was time to jump in the pool I had to take it off... I could hide under the water and quickly slip on my cover-up when I was ready to sit by the pool side to read my book. 

For this trip, I tried to keep the hair, makeup, and toiletries to a minimum and used up some samples I had laying around. The resort provided us with SPF 50 sunscreen for the beach/pool, which was great so that we didn't have to check in a bag for a huge bottle of sunscreen. A couple of my favorites on this trip was the Nars The Multiple Stick and the Smashbox CC cream. I wore these two products pretty much every single day.



As for the evening dinner dates and walks on the beach I choose the following dresses with minimal jewelry and accessories. All the dresses and the jumpsuit were light weight and very easy to pack. I'm enjoying doing these packing pictures because laying it all out made me realize that one item I need to add to my shopping list is a nice black clutch. Since we were mainly staying in the resort I could do without it for now. 

I'm really starting to enjoy doing my packing this way. With my type A personality seeing everything laid out helped me remember the little things might forget. For example, in addition to my toothbrush and razor, I remembered to throw in some hair ties, bobby-pins, and a hair clip after laying out my toiletries. I also added an outfit with some sparkly shorts for a night of dancing. For the plane ride I grabbed my trusty jean jacket and a warm scarf. Everything was neatly packed away in my handy packing cubes and off we went! 

via my Instagram

What are you packing for your beach vacation this summer?


  1. Girl, I'm sure every woman feels that way whether they're thin or not. I definitely would like to lose about 15 pounds before putting on a bikini. But the idea of frolicking around on the beach and being carefree is what it's all about. I love the outfits you put together! I hope you enjoyed your trip!

    xx Yasmin

    1. Thanks, Yasmin! Needless to say after this post I've been on a little bit of a health kick... dreaming of frolicking around on the beach next year! haha

  2. I love all of these outfits!! I'm sure you look awesome in any swim suit that you wear - full or bikini style!! :)


    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, Erica! So happy to have you stop by! :)

  3. It's all about being carefree and just enjoying yourself to the max! I'm glad you feel more confident with your husband. I really enjoyed seeing what you'd packed, it's always interesting to see other peoples packing "habits" if you know what I mean. Glad you enjoyed your holiday :) xx

    1. You're so right, Laila! Sometimes we seem to be our own worst enemy and tend to be too hard on ourselves.

  4. You're not alone. I think we all feel it, more so Indian girls because growing up it wasn't proper to wear a 2 piece.. i actually wore one when I was like in my 30s. Pretty sad. You look amazing.. I love the orange print cover-up.

  5. Great packing post!! Ok I am amazed you're self-conscious at ALL because you're such a beautiful girl! I understand though, because I think everyone is hardest on themselves and always notices their own imperfections, I'm the same way.

    Loved seeing all the looks you put together, and way to go using up your travel size/sample stuff for traveling! That's the way to go!!

    ♥ perfectly Priya

    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, Priya! :) I do agree... sometimes we are our toughest critics.