Packing for Montreal and Miami

If you are reading this you are probably like me: terrible at packing. By terrible I mean we overpack. Period. I could have one suitcase for my shoes, one for my clothes and a carry on for all my cosmetics (but Ray would kill me). Without a doubt I end up wearing 50% of what I bring. Not only do I overpack, I start thinking about what I will pack days before I actually leave on a trip. This time I am going to Montreal and Miami, so packing is even trickier. I started laying out my clothes for my trip and decided to share my packing list.  I hope you find this list helpful xox

Photography by Felicia Lasala

Jean Jacket by Hidden jeans

* Keep in mind I am going to Montreal and Miami. If you are going away to a different climate, make changes to the list as necessary. I linked the actual items I am packing below.

Blouses: I generally pack 4 blouses that I can wear to dinner/nights out. If you have more fancy dinners then bring more. I tend to do half fancy, half casual. For the casual dinners I'll just wear jeans, a tee and pumps with my moto jacket. 
T-shirts: Normally I pack 2 black, 2 white and 1 grey tee. They can be worn during the day as filler pieces or at night when I'm going somewhere casual.
Jeans:  I generally bring 1 black jean, 1 dark blue denim (no rips), and 1 light denim (with rips). This time I am also bringing 1 light pair with no rips. 
Jean shorts: I normally bring 1 light pair of jean shorts and one dark pair. This time I am also bringing a denim skirt.
Dresses or two-piece sets: I normally bring 1-2 from this category. I am bringing this navy two-piece loveshackfancy set and a loveshackfancy dress.
Jackets: I always bring this Moto jacket. Firstly, it is so light and doesn't take a lot of room in my luggage. Secondly, it goes with every outfit.
Loungewear: I always pack 1 comfy pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt (I love to be cozy!)
Pajamas: I only pack 1 pair (comfy shorts and a tee)
Intimates: no need to go into detail on my bras, underwear and socks ;)
Swimsuits: ugh this is a constant struggle for me. I always feel like I don't have any bikinis and stress out before vacations. Then I get too cheap and don't end up buying new ones. Anyway I try and bring 3.
Purses: I bring one purse for at night (normally my small black Chanel) and one purse for the day (alternate between my black Gucci, black Celine and my beige Chanel).
Shoes: I bring 1 pair of black heels, 1 pair of light heels (either nude or white), 1 pair of cute sandals, 1 pair of slides for the beach, 1 pair of sneakers and 1 pair of wedges. This trip I am bringing my black YSL tributes, white Manolo Blahniks, the River Island sandals I posted on IG a few days ago, new adidas sneakers that I'm obsessed with and white nike slides.

The Flowy Blouse

It's Friday! I'm particularly excited because I have one more week of work and then vacation (who am I kidding, I'll likely work on vacation...but at least it'll be on my mom's couch or on the beach). We're heading to Montreal for a few days and then Miami. The perfect combination. I'm trying to negotiate with Ray to bring two suitcases instead of sharing one since we have to pack for two climates. So far I haven't been so successful. 

If my wardrobe was made up of all Storets blouses I would totally be okay. The details are always so beautiful and the styles are so different then what you see in the typical department store. I live close to Neimans, Saks and Barneys and every time I browse the racks I get this overwhelming feeling that nothing seems new (and everything is now over $300!!)

When I first tried this blouse on I was worried it would make me look preggo. Which brings me to a side note. The downside of being married for a few years and not trying for a baby is that everyone always thinks that you're trying. So when you wear something flowy, they think you're hiding something. Annoying! Anyway, tangent over. Once I put on this top I knew I would be obsessed. Just make sure to pair it with skinny jeans or pants and you are good to go!

Photography by Felicia Lasala

Shopping at Chicwish

 I am a firm believer in investing in forever pieces, like shoes and purses, but I opt to spend less on filler pieces. To me, filler pieces are items like tees and blouses. I used to resort to shopping at H&M, Zara and scouring sites like Revolve and Shopbop during sale seasons. Lately I've been wearing a lot of items from sites like She In, Storets and Chicwish. The blouses are inexpensive (generally less than $50) and are pretty good quality. Plus the styles are very trendy. 

I know that browsing sites like Chicwish can be a bit overwhelming since there are so many pieces available. I decided to do a roundup of my favorite blouses, including the one I'm wearing, below. 

Photography by Felicia Lasala

Ruffles on Ruffles

I'm definitely into the ruffle trend this summer. This top is from She Inside. I get asked a lot of if their stuff is good quality. So far everything I have from them is amazing. If I saw this top at Intermix I would definitely buy it (and for way more money). Which brings me to the price. This top is $22! I don't even know how that's possible. I would say read the reviews of each item on the site before you buy them since they usually give good tips as to whether the item runs true to size, small or big. This top is true to size. 

I'm heading to an event at Paige tonight at the Grove. If you're around come say hi! xox

Photography by Felicia Lasala

Things I do to prepare for a Photo shoot

When I first started She Went West I really didn't have an idea of how to prepare for a photo shoot. I knew I had to choose my outfits and accessories, but what else? With each shoot I developed and refined my routine. If you're not a blogger you're not likely in photo shoots every week or two. Nonetheless, there are tons of occasions when you need to get camera ready. I thought I would share with you what I do to prepare, starting a few nights before my shoot. 

-Exfoliate. This is key! Primarily because in step two we will be self-tanning ;). I generally exfoliate two days before my shoot. For my face I use the Dennis Gross exfoliating pads. They were recommended to me by Shani Darden and I love them. I use the regular strength but it also comes in extra strength. Personally, the regular exfoliates while still being gentle on the skin. For my body I use this St. Ives from the pharmacy. 

- Self Tanner. My favorite part. I start applying self-tanner on my face two nights before and apply it on my body the night before. I'm so picky with my self-tanners I feel like I could do a whole post on them alone. My current favorite face self-tanner is these Tarte wipes. They used to sell them in all the Sephora stores but now I can only find them online. For my body I've been using this Tan Ceuticals for about a year. I absolutely love the color but I will warn you that when you apply it there is no color (which is great for your clothes and sheets but can make it a bit tricky if you're new to self-tanning). 

- Dry Shampoo. This is my favorite trick for adding volume to your hair. For a photoshoot you need extra volume. I apply dry shampoo at the roots and work it in (even on clean hair). I'm telling you, it's the best trick ever. I use this Sachajuan dry shampoo.

- Setting Spray. This is essential, especially if you're shooting in LA. After the sixth outfit you're not exactly looking your prime (and your makeup has shifted). This happens in any photoshoot where you're trying to smile for over an hour straight. Setting spray is key. I've been using this Morphe one lately but also love this Urban Decay one. 

- Liquid Lipstick. Forget the lipgloss- it won't last. Use a liquid lipstick and then apply a gloss on top if you want the shine. My favorite liquid lipsticks right now are this Anastasia one, this Kylie Cosmetics one and this Tarte one. 

- Don't use deodorant. I know this is a super weird one but if you intend on changing into a few outfits (or 8 if you're like me and do it in the back of the car) then avoid getting deodorant stains on your clothes. It's just not worth it. 

Let me know if there are any tricks you guys use that I didn't mention xox

 Photography by Felicia Lasala

The Peasant Blouse

This weekend Ray and I were on a mission to find outdoor furniture. Let me preface by saying we have a balcony with a gorgeous view of Beverly Hills. Our balcony, however, is quite small. We've rarely used it in the year and a half we've lived here. 

When my mom was here last week she was on the balcony a lot (since Henry, her puppy, would do his business on astroturf outside). Since she was spending so much time outside we started talking about the space more. We decided that while it's quite small, we should be taking advantage of the gorgeous summer nights. After all, what's better than ending your day with glass of rosé, a beautiful view, warm weather and John Mayer in the background? 

We decided to head to the Valley to do some research. We started at Home Goods (my personal fav) and they had nothing! All they had were a few ugly chairs for $299 each. Very disappointing. Then we made our way to Home Depot. At first we saw nice Adirondack chairs for cheap (if you are looking for them then definitely go to Home Depot, they had a few variations). Then we noticed these Zero Gravity chairs (the ones where you lean back and the foot rests lifts up). While I will admit they are not the most chic, they are insanely comfortable. We ordered 2 on Amazon for a total of  $70. So excited to get them and put them to good use. 

On to my outfit. I got this top and boots from Vici Collection. I seriously could buy all of their items. They have such good buyers! I lived in this peasant blouse in Palm Springs. It's light and airy while still being flattering. 

Photography by Felicia Lasala

Top and Shoes by Vici Collection