If You Show Me Yours...by MARISA

(So you don't get bored of us, every week we post something sent to us by a reader or coerced out of friends and family. Could be a question, a letter, a poll, a picture...we're flexible. See below for this week's If You Show Me Yours post, and see the sidebar for info about how to participate!)

"I'm leavin' on a jet plane don't know when I'll be back again..." seemed to be the tune associated with me for much of my life, from the age of nine to present, albeit a little less now with three children, a husband, a restaurant and a clothing and jewelry line keeping me grounded, but wanderlust and travel are still an integral part of my psyche, my business and thankfully of my husbands' too.

So this is our annual trip to Italy, my other half: my father lives outside of Rome in a small mountain village that I have called home for many a summer and many holidays, and my in-laws outside of Palermo on the island of Sicily. So most every summer this is where we call home.

Needless to say, I've had a lot of practice with the art of packing, though it doesn't help that each year we've had another child and increasing limitations from the airlines on luggage. Our trips are always multifaceted: islands, flea markets, usually a wedding or other dressy occasion, restaurants, religious events, hiking, snorkeling...for a family of five the shoes alone for these various activities meander around 15 pairs, to satisfy only the essentials!!

So as the cliche goes of women bringing entirely too much luggage, I began the process of paring down and bringing only the essentials - but they had to be first and foremost beautiful, then multifunctional, comfortable and washable, in that order. Here are my essentials and non essentials, or things that can be purchased upon arrival. Of course everyone's vacations are different so make a list of weather, activities and differences in culture and environment.

Here's mine:

Weather: July in Italy: HOT, HOT, HOT little to no good working AC

Activities: beach lounging, snorkeling, cliff diving, hiking, walking, restaurant dining, wedding, flea market shopping, city shopping, antiquing

Cultural and environmental differences: Sicily is an island with predominantly island-wear, NOT what you'd be tooling around my local farmer's market in. Breathable fabrics, big jewelry, skin bearing clothing, sandals, subtly cooler evenings. Florence and Rome are definitely more city wear, great flats or heels, well put together outfits, NOT easy-breezy like Sicily.

What To Pack


Pick a color palette and stick too it. Interchangeable pieces are key, not too many prints (maybe just one or two), mostly solids and accessories which take up no space can abound to change things up. Convertible pieces that can go from day to night, scarves, a couple of bags (beach, city day, night, flea market tote) and one, yes, one good pair of heels that match your evening attire...remember 3 kids, one suitcase per person.

Make-up and Toiletries:

Bring multipurpose color pots; think cheeks, lips, eyes in one, add mascara and gloss, done. Or have your eyelashes tinted before you go and ditch the mascara. Creams (I only bring one foot cream for beachy feet), shampoos, toothpaste and all the other bathroom necessities can be picked up where you are and you'll love bringing it all home...foreign languages on the bottles and exotic scents to remind you of your vacation. My favorite cheap finds are at Bottega Verde, though the pricier but awesome Collistar is not to be overlooked, I stock up on their body milk no other scent compares 25 euro a bottle.

Make it feel like home:

Bring a soy candle in a metal pot, I always bring lavender.
Load up your Ipod with summer music and sleepy time music for the kids.

The Details, organized in outfits (see what you can find in the pictures!):

Wearing in photo
-White linen and crocheted dress, Daffy's, $30. Just the perfect neckline for itty bitty titties like mine!!
-Artemisia necklaces, prices vary, see Primadonna

Splurge Outfit
-Prairie organic romper, Arcadia, $108
-Dulce butter soft gladiators, $120, Garnet Hill
-Pyrite watchband bracelets, $60, Primadonna, and deerskin wrap, $24, Arcadia Artemisia
-Beaded wood necklace flea market find, maybe $1
-Handmade buckskin crossbody messenger bag, Artemisia, price upon request.

-Artemisia aloe green a-line linen skirt with bustle detail, $250 upon request
-Missoni tank, $30, Syms
-White Lipari stone necklace, Artemisia private collection
-Calvin Klein Sunglasses, $15, Syms

-Cotton tulle scarf, Artemisia, it goes on and on and doesn't feel sticky in the summer, $30
-Wax seal necklace, green amethyst and cut crystal droplet Artemisia Primadonna, $325
-H&M white elongated asymetrical henley, $24
-H&M Short shorts, $25, great when worn with belted big shirt - very Juliet Binochet in The English Patient look...I am, after all, going to Sicily, desert and sea everyday!!
-Silpada belt, awesome find! I was pressured into trying to find something I wanted to buy at one of these parties where I was less than impressed with what they're known for, "jewelry," $100
-Prada aviator sunglasses, from pre-three kids, total impulse purchase, $250

-Daffy's, $19, embellished by Artemisia
-Victoria's Secret, $50

-The Times of India bag, Marshalls Home Goods, $9.99. It fits clothes for a family of five for an entire beach weekend, is unbelievably still considered a carry on!
-Glowology Hand and Foot Cream, works miracles for beach hardened feet and smells like summer
-Whole Foods Soy Lavender candle, $8
-L'Occitane stain for cheeks, lips, eyelids, cleavage: wherever needed!
-Havianas flip flops (distressed that the ipanema flip flops designed by gisele bundchen have not arrived yet, cheaper better made and more unique, free worldwide shipping!!), $15

PS - Marisa is a clothing and jewelry designer, and her awesome duds are under the label Artemisia. You can see them in the photos above, order directly from her (though not, of course 'til she gets back from Italy!), or find where you can buy in stores on her website.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Marisa, you are too beautiful for words. I love your choices. I hope you guys have a great trip!