Packing Like a Pro | Tips to Avoid Overpacking

Packing Like a Pro | Tips to Avoid Overpacking

Do you pack at the last minute, forget things or throw things in just in case?
Do you pack as soon as you can, forgetting what you’ve already packed because you did it so long ago? Overpacking is real, and even after all these years of practice, I still do it too! 

In the age of budget travel, some airlines are not even allowing a carry-on, excess baggage fees are high, and it is almost impossible to define how heavy your luggage is until you get to the airport. We all know that fitting your life into a suitcase smaller than a stool is an almost impossible task, so here are some tips to make the most of your packing, while keeping it all relevant.


Plan in Advance
I start a week or two before my trip. To me, packing is the beginning of the adventure. I get a rolling rack out to get started. If you don’t have a rolling rack available, find some space in a spare closet and start picking and choosing what you would like for the trip. Don’t judge at this point; have fun with your imagination. Take a look at what you are gathering up, and you might start seeing a color story emerging. Your color story will end up being key. Over time I reevaluate and assess my choices and make sure items can mix and match.


Accessorize Smartly
Pick three pairs of shoes at a maximum – casual/comfortable, smart/eveningwear, and beach/street. Avoid outfits where only one pair of shoes match; this will save valuable room. I get overly excited, and I always have one or two of these outfits on my rolling rack that has to be restyled or deleted! Take multipurpose handbags too. My evening purse can double as a makeup bag.

Check the Weather
Checking the weather for the duration of your stay is obvious, but most people don’t bother. If it looks like it might rain a couple of times, consider wearing a waterproof jacket on the plane to save packing it – Or if the weather is going to be better than you thought, you might want to only bring one pair of long pants with you, plus a couple of thinner sweaters and plan to layer up. The weather really does change everything!

Keep your cosmetics and skincare in mini bottles and leave your miniatures bag inside your carry-on bag. You will not need to pack them ever again (remember to replace them as they run out though). You should also store a few Ziploc bags which you can put your leakables in, and I also keep a spare nylon bag for dirty laundry to order to keep them away from fresh clothes. 


Make A List

Make a list, check it twice. Plus one more for good measure. You’ll find that by the third time you check, you’re still finding things in there that you don’t particularly need.
If you make a checklist, have an “essentials” column and include items you need to bring at all costs, such as passport, medication, specific clothing for activities or a gift for someone you are visiting.


To roll or to fold?
I usually roll my clothes and use packing bags. Eaglecreek has several choices, but I use the super lightweight ones. It is incredible how much you can put in even a small one! My shoes are always in their shoe bags but don’t forget all the space in the toes for socks or other small items like belts and accessories.

Digital Checklist
Inflight entertainment is a must. Don’t forget to pack your earbuds! I also download a movie or a book in case I get stuck at the airport or on the plane with no entertainment. Traveling internationally? Be sure to check in with your phone provider and make sure you have an international plan or turn your roaming off.
Before setting off on vacation, go through your purse or wallet, and leave the cards that you won’t require in a safe place at home. Not only will it make your wallet smaller, but it’s less to worry about if you misplace it, or in the unfortunate event it gets stolen. Smartphones now have mobile payment, and most mobile payment apps store a wide variety of loyalty cards and payment cards – so making the switch will help you in day-to-day life, as well as when you’re away.


Leave a little room
Just because there’s a little bit of room left after you’ve finished packing, doesn’t mean you can add that extra shirt “just in case.” I am extra guilty of this. Firstly, we all know that you’ll never be able to pack your bag the same on your way home, it’s just an unwritten travel rule! And secondly, what about those souvenirs you’ve purchased along the way?

A recent study shows that 62% of Americans overpack when they’re traveling, with a third of the people surveyed admitted that they pack their cases less than 24 hours before they travel! Clothing was the most overpacked item. This does more to justify making lists and placing looks on a rolling rack to find the weakest links in your outfits before packing them than anything else I can think of.
Another interesting thing people do when packing is taking comforts like a favorite tea or condiments; travel allows you to try different things. Don’t deny yourself the chance to try something new.

So, if you’ve got a trip coming up soon, why not try out some of these packing tips and see how much room you can save in your case…for souvenirs!

Annual Breast Screening is Essential | No More Excuses

Annual Breast Screening is Essential | No More Excuses

This post was sponsored by Hologic.


Don’t wait until Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October to prioritize your breast health.
Preventative screening is our best tool in the fight against breast cancer, a disease that affects one in eight women. I was thrilled to know that modern day breast screening technology like the Hologic Genius 3D Mammography exam can deliver a much more comprehensive breast image allowing the doctor to achieve more accurate breast cancer detection, compared to traditional 2D mammography. [i]



Now with the Hologic SmartCurve breast stabilization system which utilizes a curved compression surface, the comfort level has increased tremendously.[ii] I tried it last week and was amazed at how much more pleasant the experience was for me.



North Valley Hospital, Whitefish, MT

I scheduled my annual mammogram right away by using the zip code locator and was thrilled that there was a hospital providing this technology directly in my back yard; the North Valley Hospital in Whitefish, MT was listed as a provider of the Genius exam and the SmartCurve system, and my procrastination was finally over! 


I tested it for all of us and can tell you without a doubt that the comfort level was incredible. I did a little video while I was there so you can see it firsthand. Honestly, I am glad I took the time to put my health first and get my Genius exam, and I encourage You to stop putting it off too! 
Pass the locator link,, and info to all the ladies you know. They will thank you for it!

The Genius™ 3D Mammography™ exam (also known as the Genius™ exam) is only available on a Hologic® 3D Mammography™ system. It consists of a 2D and 3D™ image set, where the 2D image can be either an acquired 2D image or a 2D image generated from the 3D™ image set. There are more than 6,000 Hologic 3D Mammography™ systems in use in the U.S. alone, so women have convenient access to the Genius exam. To learn more about the Genius exam, visit


[i] U.S. Food & Drug Administration Premarket Approval (PMA). accessed June 5, 2017.

[ii] Smith, A. Improving Patient Comfort in Mammography. Hologic WP-00119 Rev 001 (2017).


Summer Launch Party | the Lodge at Whitefish Lake

Summer Launch Party | the Lodge at Whitefish Lake

Welcome to Summer in Whitefish, Montana! To celebrate, the Lodge at Whitefish Lake throws an annual summer kickoff benefiting the Alpine Theater Project. Every year I go to support the local community and arts. This year the theme was 80’s yacht rock, and I was so thrilled with my chic 80’s look that I had to share! Some who attended had never seen the 80’s and some had seen too much of it! But we all dressed the part and had a blast. And the music was great also! Enjoy 

I love getting ready for a theme party! The first step is finding the perfect inspiration images. I was lucky to shop my closet for this one! 

My favorite Jumpsuit is Chic Chic Chico’s

My favorite Jumpsuit is Chic Chic Chico’s

It doesn’t have to cost much to look great. Case in point this incredible, on-trend, paper bag waist jumpsuit by Chicos 

An exceptional fit and easy to care for it’s the “go anywhere “ piece in my closet.

Black can work well for summer, and this time, I chose gold and colorful accessories to make my outfit pop.  You can easily see this in black and white for summer as well, though.

You know how I feel about having a variety of accessories to change up a look, and some of them are pricey.  I believe in investment pieces, but this time I kept it all within budget.

Check out these shoes from Zara. I loved the heel.

The clutch was a gift from my sister after a trip to India.

And the cuff was bought at one of those at home jewelry parties.  Also a bargain!

I have had a lot of comments about these earrings. 

A little backstory.

We took a girls trip to Grand Cayman I did a photo shoot for all the girls involved. The blog from January 2018 shows the wonderful caftans I took for the shoot.  I also needed a large variety of accessories so my friends could pick and choose to style their chosen looks. That is when I discovered TJMaxx. I had a blast!  There was such a variety of inexpensive and fun pieces. This is a pair from that haul.  Under $20 I am sure. 

Don’t overlook those stores.  If you like it but don’t know what to do with it, don’t pass it up.  Especially if it’s under 20 dollars.  That might be just the ticket to turn blah into WOW!

Remember it doesn’t have to cost much to look Chic. 



Cheers 💃 Sonia

Hotel Figueroa | A Boutique Hotel in the Middle of Downtown Los Angeles

Hotel Figueroa | A Boutique Hotel in the Middle of Downtown Los Angeles


We love finding unexpected hotels in unexpected places. A few weeks ago, I traveled to Los Angeles to visit Serena and to shoot summer outfits for the blog. We scouted the most fabulous Spanish style hotel in the middle of downtown Los Angeles; Hotel Figueroa.

We were blown away by the hotel’s rich history. To think that in 1926 the Hotel Figueroa was the tallest building in Los Angeles is pretty incredible considering the ever-changing skyscrapers peppering the skyline now! 

Hotel Figueroa has been a hub for social progress and creative endeavors since they opened its doors. The hotel showcases the work of L.A.’s most compelling female artists and culture-makers, ranging from emerging to internationally established talents. The cohesive art collection was curated to complement each other along with the hotel’s redesign, completed last year.

Bar Figueroa

Poolside at the Veranda is where you should pop in for an authentic (yet light) tropical Mexican lunch. We shared the ceviche de pescado and carnitas tacos. The ambiance of the outdoor patio coupled with the energy of people watching both at the restaurant and poolside was refreshing considering you are in the middle of a very bustling downtown LA.

Lunch at Veranda

I will be coming back to give the rooms a spin at the Hotel Figueroa next time Scott, and I go back to LA to visit Serena. It oozes old world charm and impeccable customer service. No detail was left behind here!