My parents have been married for thirty years.
Can you believe? Thirty crazy years with ten kids, one (or more) dogs, and more papayas and mangoes than anyone can eat in a lifetime. My parents’ anniversary has always been a huge celebration for us because 1) it always falls on a holiday, 2) it's my Dad's birthday 3) they consider it the day our family was born (awww).
So when we were deciding what to do for the big 3-0, they only asked us for one thing—a cruise. It's one of their favorite things because my Dad loves to lie in bed and watch the Love Boat, my Mom loves to swim, and of course, the food. The Mediterranean cruise has been on their must do list for awhile now, so this was the perfect excuse!
Of course, we kids saw it as an opportunity to really dress up. We grew up pointing cameras at each other, so of course you gotta look good.
If you were wondering why I put up a lot of pictures of myself on my own moodboard, it's because I inspire myself. CHOS.
It's mostly because the clothes I buy aren't Googleable--you can't trace them to a brand, or the brand has stopped selling it, making a legit blogger-like board impossible. I did however, have my own pictures of myself in these awesome clothes. So there. The bottom left picture is funny because I ordered that earring online thinking I was buying a pair, when it fact they were selling it per piece. Weird.
The photo on the right is of fabric that my aunt posted, which I then asked if she could turn into a dress.
I don't have a picture of my earrings because I haven't decided yet! How do you choose among your favorites? How do you even pack them for a trip to make sure they don't get damaged? It's still a thing I'm figuring out.
The clothes, in the meantime, came pretty natural to me. I've always lived in dresses, and have been wearing the flowy boho aesthetic since I decided on it in my second year of college. You see the red fabric on the upper left? My aunt turned it into the CUTEST DRESS. I can't wait to wear it.
I've been on enough cruises to know the importance of a tote bag to put all your things in as you move around the boat. Our resident book printer, JMD Copy Prints, does tote bags now! So I had to bring mine.
And yes gurl, she's wearing a bikini! First time! God I hope my boobs don't pop out or something huhu.
I've always been a less is more, mix and match kind of packer. So my bag has (more or less) two formal dresses (with one casual-ready), three regular dresses (including my airport wear), two fun tops, three plain tops, one pair of shorts and one skirt. Hopefully that equals enough clothes for the two week trip?
Now for the more important part--the books and the art stuff. So crucial!
The Art Stuff
I got one of those Japanese multi pocket kits from National Bookstore and filled it with everything I need to paint on the go. My Moleskine watercolor book (with a Hulyen sticker!) a mechanical pencil, an eraser (yup that's not a white pencil!), a ruler, an Isabey size 0 travel mop brush and an Escoda Prado Size 4 Travel Brush are my travel weapons of choice. There's also a little glass jar in there for my water. The palette is all ShinHan colors that I filled in for a workshop a couple of years back, but I like that this palette has the essential colors (and then some) and large wells. I carried this kit around in Hong Kong, and it seemed to do just fine.
See this is one of the reasons why I never understood the 'Death to the Kindle' crowd. Because can you imagine bringing 100+ books on a single trip? I don't think so! I'm bringing along a couple of print books as well, but it's more because I don't have the digital copy. If I did, I would leave my print ones at home. (oh hey they're all written by women!)
- Lucy Parker's Making Up - which I have purposefully not read since it was released, just for this trip. CANT WAIT.
- Jackie Lau's Grumpy Fake Boyfriend - ditto with this one, because honestly I gravitate towards Grumpy Fake Boyfriends like moons to a planet.
- Bianca Mori's Peyton Riley Series - I have read, devoured, loved. Reading again for...research. Can't write anything without seeing what's already out there first, guys.
- Mina V. Esguerra's Young and Scambitious Series - same reasons, and I also love this series. Can't unhear F's sexy voice o.0
- Helen Hoang's The Kiss Quotient - I am literally next in line for it on Overdrive (thanks April!) and when I get it, I will be on it like me on chocolate.
- Tessa Dare's The Duchess Deal - one of my all time favorites, I managed to get an audiobook copy of this! We'll see if I can sit still long enough to listen through the entire thing.
- Anne-Marie O'Connor's the Lady in Gold - bought this years ago, and still haven't read it, haven't seen the movie with Ryan Reynolds and Dame Helen Mirren.
- Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo's Provenance - a continuation of research for a thing.
- Jasmine Guillory's The Wedding Date - this also arrived in Overdrive!! The book gods have smiled on me! <3
- Jason Fry's Star Wars: The Last Jedi - broke my all-women streak, damn. But I adore this movie to bits and have been waiting to read the novelization after I finished the Han Solo book. Let me fangirl. Please.
Obviously I am an overpacker afraid of getting bored at sea, but it's always best to over prepare, don't you think! I CANNOT WAIT to share photos of my trip with you guys, and obviously, these places are going to end up in books, one way or another.