If you follow any “mommy bloggers” other than yours truly, you probably couldn’t help but hear about the recent hoopla surrounding conferences geared toward them. Something I’ll call mom-frences.
Having been to one mom-frence last year (ShesConnected – which forever drives me crazy because of the missing apostrophe), and with plans to attend at least a couple more this year (including BlissDom Canada), it’s been a hot-button topic that I’ve followed with mouth-agape over the past week.
And it very quickly reminded me that in a few short months I’ll be packing a carry-on for Chicago (plus a really, really big purse to bring home swag) and heading to BlogHer ’13 – probably one of the most widely known mom-frences in North America. Must insert massive thanks to Maple Leaf Foods whose generous sponsorship is making it possible. Must be shameless and add that additional sponsorships are still welcome.
So, yeah. Packing. I got pretty good at it over the years, having spent most of my mid-20s living out of nannies quarters, a backpackers’ hostel or airplane, train and bus terminals. You learn to pack light.
But then I had children.
And it’s like that part of me that really, really wants to be an efficient packer is gone. (I suspect it’s shacked up with my memory.) I often say that packing for an overnight trip is the same as packing for a week-long trip – save a few extra pairs of underwear.
With kids, I’ve lost my packing edge. But I vow to get it back, with the mom-frence leading the inspiration.
The key, if I can remember from my travelling days, is to:
- Bring only your most-loved toiletries and makeup.
- Choose clothes and shoes that multi-function.
- Pack an extra bag and shop at your destination. (I’ve never been to Chicago, so as a verified shopaholic, I plan to spend at least one non-conference day giving the ol’ plastic a workout. First stop? SCOOP NYC, which I first discovered in Las Vegas while Big B and I were honeymooning. Second stop? The American Girl flagship store. Leave me alone; I just have to do it.)
I love makeup, and my “princess dance” can take up to 1.5 hours if I’m going somewhere really special. But there’s no chance I could pack up all my wares for a weekend jaunt. That means I’ll be getting a fabulous blow-dry the day before I leave in hopes it will see me through the whole weekend. Semi-permanent eyelashes and Shellac nails are serious time-savers and will be out in full force. BB Cream is going to be my best friend. And products that travel well and reliably do the trick (hello, Olay cleansing cloths!) are going to be at the top of my list.
Because I have ridiculous feet that tire even in running shoes (thank you, bunions), I’ll be going for stylish comfort during the day with ballet flats. I’ll also pop them into my evening bag since my feet inevitably won’t make it through the night in heels.
Speaking of heels, wedges work best for me if I want to last longer than 30 minutes, and an open-toed nude pair means I could wear them with everything I’ll pack for the metropolitan July heat. (Nude shoes are the multitasking queen of one’s wardrobe, in my opinion.)
Pieces that easily go from day to night are a must. I wish I had the kind of body that could get away with a jumpsuit; but I love the idea of something so comfortable that can be thrown together with a light scarf and satchel in the morning and then glammed up between a keynote speech and a cocktail party.
Simple but eye-catching jewelry is key for the day-into-night versatility, too – even for someone like me who’s very minimalist when it comes to bling.
Without a doubt, though, my No. 1 packing “do” will be to go with non-wrinkling fabrics. Or, with fabrics that people expect to see wrinkled, like linen (which I always like to freshen up when I land by hanging in the hotel bathroom with a hot shower running for about 20 minutes; terrible for water conservation, I know). I’m loving voile material, and this sleeveless dress from Splendid – one of my favourite brands of all time – is on my covet list for Chicago.
Add a couple of great Ts, some lightweight trousers and a three-quarter-length cardi, and consider this gal packed and ready for the mini-bar.