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How to Pack for a Warm Weather Vacation
Wendy Woods

After having my first child, packing for any kind of trip felt like a real production. Before kids... more

How to Pack for a Warm Weather Vacation
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After having my first child, packing for any kind of trip felt like a real production. Before kids I had been interested in packing my own bags minimally, but I really only dabbled at it, choosing in the end to throw a few pieces in ‘just in case’. After kids, packing as simply and lightly as possible became a necessary exercise in sanity saving! 

Now I’ve got it down to a fine science and have challenged myself to never pack a bag bigger than a carry-on (we’ll see how that goes!).

Here is my uber-streamlined way to pack for a trip south this winter.

1. Choose a colour palette and stick with it.
I suggest choosing two to three neutrals and one to two accent colours to keep things simple. Three to four total colours is great. Some examples of colour combos that work well: black, white, gray, red; navy, white, coral; army green, cream, yellow.

2. Create your travel outfit.
When you’re heading from extreme cold weather to warm weather, your travel outfit will be complex to figure out. That’s why I suggest creating it first and using it as the base to build the rest of your vacation wardrobe around. There are two key things to think about when creating this outfit: one, you want to layer layer layer so you can take pieces off and on as temperatures change; two, you want to be able to use all your travel pieces when you get down south. This is what I suggest as a great travel outfit:

  • white jeans (a great piece to wear to dinner if needed)
  • tank top
  • thin layer (likely a sweater of some kind)
  • open layer (a loose cardigan works well)
  • a waterproof light-weight jacket
  • comfortable (yet stylish) walking flats
  • neutral-coloured pashmina (worn as a scarf in cold weather and evening shoulder cover in warm weather)
  • sunglasses
  • tote bag (used as purse for travel and beach bag on vacation)
  • stud earrings

3. Lay out the rest of your clothing pieces.
Once you have your base travel outfit, start laying out other pieces that will work while you’re away and will go with all the pieces in your travel outfit. I usually start by choosing bottoms, because I personally have fewer to choose from, then I move on to tops and then dresses and then swimwear. I want all of these pieces to mix and match because I will likely wear each piece more than once. Here are the pieces you might want to consider for a one week vacation:

  • 6 more tops (bring one top per day including your travel top—even though you technically have one per day you will wear each one more than once. You’ll need a mix of day and evening tops.)
  • 2 more bottoms
  • 2 dresses (the easier they are to transition from day to evening the better!)
  • 2 swimsuits
  • 1 beach cover-up

4. Add pops of interest with accessories.
Accessories are one of the easiest ways to change up and outfit, and quickly change it from day to evening wear. Here’s what I recommend:

  • 1 pair flipflops
  • 1 metallic heel
  • 1 sun hat
  • 1 evening earring
  • 1 metal bracelet
  • 1 metal necklace
  • 1 funky jewellery piece
  • 1 evening clutch

5. Consider extra activities. If you know you will be going for a run everyday, you’ll need to pack clothes/footwear to do that. Take stock of any activities you plan to do while you’re away and pack accordingly.

That’s it, all done!

Click here to download a full printable checklist of these items.

Wendy Woods is a Personal Style Coach at THE REFINERY. She is fiercely committed to time-starved women who want an effortless sense of style. Her down-to-earth method allows women to feel accepted and understood while creating a personal style that makes them look and feel beautiful.
Comments | Tagged under travel, vacation, packing
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For an anti-inflammatory, anti-aging nutrient boost, crack open a can of peaches
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“To can or not to can”...that’s what Hamlet should have been asking. But I won’t dare rewrite Shakespeare, instead, I will ask whether canned food should have a place in your healthy gourmet kitchen. 

I am working with the California Cling Peach Board, so I wanted to figure out their health benefits. I already know that I love peaches, and waiting 11 months for my fix isn’t fun, so in the winter months, I find myself turning to the canned variety.

Here is what I discovered: canned peaches (which are picked ripe, at their peak) deliver a promising amount of nutrients that are actually enhanced by the canning process.  Vitamin A, folate, lycopene and some anti-oxidants are made more bioavailable by the heating and canning process. But the truly impressive nutrient is Vitamin E.

Vitamin E is a fat soluble anti-inflammatory, anti-aging nutrient that is usually associated with nuts and seeds.  And while those little bites are great for you, a small handful is all you can eat each day because of their caloric punch. Fruit sources, on the other hand, can be layered in without worry and consumed in satisfyingly high amounts.

There is even research to support that the canning process actually enhances the eye-protecting nutrients of leutin and zeaxanthan, as well as lycopene.

Some of the other cans that I always have on hand include:

  • evaporated milk for coffee, hot chocolate and smoothies. It has all the creaminess and twice the calcium and protein but none of the fat found in cream.
  • Low sodium chicken broth for quick soups.
  • Refried beans for quick burritos or nachos.
  • Clams for stirring into pasta with garlic and parmesan cheese

February was National Canned Food Month and March is Nutrition Month, and I see no reason why the two can’t get along.

Curried Peach Pork Tenderloin
This is one of those mildly curried dishes that takes no time to prepare and is a family-friendly quickie.

Makes 4 servings

Takes: 30 minutes

Recipe developed by Theresa Albert

You’ll Need

  • 1 pork tenderloin (1.5 pounds) cut into 4 equal pieces
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can clingstone peach slices, juice reserved
  • 1 cup sweet white wine
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • Pea shoots for garnish, optional

Prep and Cook

  1. Combine curry and chili powders, one clove of garlic and olive oil in a large freezer bag. Add pork tenderloin and rub spice mixture into meat. Set aside on counter for a few minutes, or place in fridge to marinate for up to 24 hours.
  2. In a small pot combine juice from clingstone peaches (but set aside peaches themselves until later), wine, vinegar and remaining garlic. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10–20 minutes to reduce into a sauce. Stir in peaches and reduce heat to keep warm until pork is cooked.
  3. Empty pork into a casserole dish and bake at 400F for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Add the peach sauce and cook for 5-10 more minutes.  Garnish with pea shoots or other herb greens.

  4. Image of peaches from Shutterstock.

    Theresa is a Food Communications Specialist and Nutritionist. Her French Canadian influences are a part of her 'no bologna' style as everything is on the table...not just the dinner. She has the unique ability to distill complex health concepts into simple, savvy steps to improve any lifestyle choice. Theresa is a sought after media commentator and lifestyle pundit on many topics with a particular fascination with human relationships with food and culture. She has two books published in Canada and the US: Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day and Ace Your Health, 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck. She can be found on Twitter as @theresaalbert and at
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