Tag Archives: travel tips

MomStyle Accessory: the big scarf!

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I found this one for sale online, only about $12 and claims to be "Pashmina & silk." Who knows what it really is, but it's a good price!

Good accessorizing can take an outfit’s statement about you from, “I put on clothes.” to “I am intentional about my appearance!”

My winter go-to is a “Pashmina” shawl. I have many colors and different weights, and I wear one nearly every day. It’s such a versatile and functional styling piece that I can hardly walk out the door without one.

Pashmina comes from the Persian word “pashm” which means, “wool.” Pashmina is not actually an internationally recognized fiber, it is a marketing term used to describe different products. Sometimes it is cheaper standard wool treated with resins to make it softer. Sometimes it’s not even wool, but acrylic! Always check labels, as anything with actual wool in it will be labeled as such. Cashmere is the fine wool produced by goats in cold cold high altitudes, and that term is regulated – like Champagne!

I choose a wide shawl instead of a narrow scarf because I can do so much more with it. Since I often use it as a scarf, however, I sometimes refer to it as such. Just know, for the sake of this post, I mean shawl!
I typically start the day with one wrapped around my neck a few times, like a typical scarf. My office gets fairly cold (maintenance is still trying to figure out why the air conditioning comes on at 11 a.m. regardless of the temperature), so the Pashmina gets unwrapped and used as an actual shawl or blanket while I’m at my desk. Our main conference room is always super warm, so off comes the scarf. So versatile!

affiliate linkThey are not just functional, though. I like adding a pop of color, and sometimes I feel like I need something long and drapey to finish an outfit. Or hide behind. You know what I’m talking about! As I mentioned earlier, accessorizing can make all the difference in an outfit.

Here’s my styling tip: Instead of letting the ends hang straight, which kind of cuts across the body, make the scarf longer and hang the edges diagonally. Here’s how:

Here's a typical scarf tie, with the edges hanging straight across. It's fine, really!

1. Hang it from your neck without wrapping it around, so the ends hand pretty evenly in front of you.

2. With each hand, grab the opposite long edge.

3. Pull!

Now your scarf is longer, it’s hanging on the bias so it looks a bit fuller, and the edges are hanging at diagonal angles instead of straight across your body. I think it looks better this way, and you can now wrap, twist or tie it however you like.

See how much longer it gets? I think it's prettier and more flattering!

PURCHASING TIP: Some shawls that have not a hair of actual Cashmere wool in them are marketed as “Pashmina” when they are really viscose. Anything with actual wool in it has to be labeled as such, so look for indications of “70% Cashmere/30% silk” as opposed to, “100% pashmina” which could in fact be anything. For the price, I’m willing to buy and wear other wool blended with silk and marketed as Pashmina, but I really prefer not to wear the completely artificial ones. They pill up easily, and are often treated with weird chemicals to make them softer.

CLEANING TIP: Cashmere can be washed! Put each piece in a mesh bag and wash it in the washing machine on the gentle cycle, with only cold water. Use baby shampoo instead of detergent. Pull them out of the washer immediately so they don’t sit there on each other, and then dry flat. Voila!

TRAVEL TIP: When flying, the shawl can be rolled up as a neck pillow, or serves as a much-nicer-than-airplane-issue blanket.  Or both – just bring multiples!


Filed under Fashion, Travel

Flying with a toddler with style and grace

I pride myself on being a savvy traveler.   I never wanted to be the person in the security line causing the hold up because they had their cell phone in their pocket or forgot to take off their belt.  I travel light, fast and efficient.  Now I have a toddler and I had to fly (with connections) without the help of Papa….. did I mention with a TODDLER… And not just any toddler,  I am traveling with Zephyr, aka Hurricane Zephyr.  How do I  maintain my professional travel status with a two-year old in tow?   It takes  preparation, organization and a pre-flight bloody Mary.  I am currently in Tucson Arizona and I must say our flight  was flawless.  Here is how I did it.  #1.  I brought healthy snacks that Zephyr loves but rarely gets.  I recommend “happy baby yogurt melts”  they are bite size, no mess and yummy.  #2  I stopped  by a local used book store and got fun books about airplanes.  #3 a box of band aids.  They are cheap and he had so much fun sticking  all over him self and me.   #4 I  offered to buy my seat-mate a cocktail.  As any smart mother knows a small drink can make you more tolerant with a toddler, plus it show that you understand sitting on a long plane ride next “the dreaded baby” is not always ideal.   #5  I brought small gifts that he could open every hour.  It was great fun and passed the time.   Remember to take care of yourself  as well.  Avoid sodas, drink plenty of water, bring  yummy face wipes to freshen up with and take a lot of deep breaths.

I only have one kid so I never bring a cumbersome stroller, instead I stick him in an Ergobaby and pack as small a carry on I can get a way with.   I wear slip on shoes, no belt and have any metal in my carry on BEFORE going through the security line.  Before the flight I was nervous that it would be hell, but  now I am looking forward to the adventure of our flight home.  I can’t wait to hear Zephyr say, “More Airplane when we land back home”

Happy toddler,  Happy Mama, Happy passengers!




Filed under Family, Travel