Friday Favorites - Vacation Edition | On the Daily EXPRESS


Friday Favorites - Vacation Edition

Time to join up with some blogger friends today for Friday Favorites! I was on vacation last week in Couer D'Alene, Idaho and used a few things that aren't the norm in my everyday life, so today's favorites are all vacation related!

1. Swimwear

For my trip last week I needed some new swimwear. We were going to Silverwood Theme Park, which is an amusement park plus water park where you can go on the regular roller coasters in your swimsuit if you are fully covered. For my kids and husband, that meant swim trunks or hybrid shorts + rash guard, which they already had. I didn't have the female equivalent of that combo (especially the hybrid shorts) so I hopped on Amazon to get something for the trip. Amazon's own Coastal Blue Swimwear line had some reasonably cute and affordable options, so I picked up this top for under $20. I wish I had seen their coordinating "bikini shorts" when I bought this top, but sadly they did not come up on my search for women's hybrid shorts! I only stumbled across them later as I was prepping this post. Amazon can be funny like that! At any rate, I am perfectly happy with the Nike shorts and I used them three days in a row on the trip since we were at the lake for two days after the water park! (Don't worry, we were able to do laundry in our AirBnb!) I'm hoping to use them for a few more local activities before I put them away for the summer.

2. Backpack
Shop Backpacks (Tory Burch Tilda)

How on earth did I go so long without a backpack? I got a little backpack for our trip to Big Bear earlier this year and it was the best way to carry my stuff for during all of our activities. For things like biking, a crossbody bag just doesn't work! I don't really opt to carry a backpack for everyday use or even on weekends, but backpacks have become a vacation staple for me.

3. Belt Bag
Shop Belt Bags (See by Chloe Belt Bag) 

My own belt bag is not nearly as glam as this See by Chloe version, but I wouldn't mind owning that one! Although it's probably too nice to take hiking! At any rate, I converted to Belt Bag use during our trip to Zion National Park and now it's a travel staple. I don't care what stigma they have - even my own family makes fun of me for calling it a "belt bag" instead of a "fanny pack." I will deal with the teasing to have the most functional, hands free small bag option for travel. Even when I hiked with a backpack in Zion, I liked having the belt bag on at the same time for easier access to frequent-use things like tissues and lip balm. It kept me from having to stop the entire group to take off my backpack, dig around in it, obtain tissue, put everything back, zip it back up, and reload it on my back. I've also read they're great for European travel to avoid pick pockets, but I can't speak to that personally as yet. I didn't use mine quite as much on this particular trip since we didn't do any hiking but I still count it as a travel staple. 

4. BeautyCounter Sunscreen

A few summers ago I started trying to make the switch from chemical sunscreen to "safer" physical sunscreen, but it was tough because I really didn't like any of the products I tried. They all applied like glue, took forever to rub in, and stayed ghostly white on the skin. As much as I wanted safer sunscreen it was hard to commit to a product with so many drawbacks! Then a few months back Jill mentioned Beautycounter sunscreen on her blog and said that it blends easily, smells nice and doesn't leave greasy residue. That sounded too good to be true for a physical sunscreen! She offered me a sample and the rest is history! I bought my own tube after the sample and am now happy to have a safe sunscreen I actually like. I used it constantly on our trip and it kept me well protected. I am not a BeauyCounter rep and don't get any kind of referral bonus or commission on these products so my enthusiasm for this sunscreen is an unbiased and unsponsored as it gets!

5. Travel Jewelry Case

I've had my travel jewelry case since July of 2012 so it is indeed a longtime vacation favorite! (Thank you Amazon for keeping detailed records of my purchases.) It is still going strong seven years later. I'm linking to the current option/same brand as my exact case here. Most likely they've made some slight design changes in the last seven years but it's still pretty similar to what I have.

I have to tell you, I did a terrible job of packing my clothes for this trip. I had too many regular clothes I didn't use and not enough swimwear and athletic wear. The only thing I got right was my jewelry! I have my travel jewelry selections and packing down to an easy, no-fuss philosophy: Mixed Metal Everything. It's so easy to mix and match! Here's what I pack in my travel jewelry case:
Two: Shop Watches: (Kate Spade Morningside) 
Five: Bracelet

Since all of the jewelry above packed so easily into my travel case I couldn't resist wearing my two newest favorites so I had them with me as well, my Botanical Filigree Earrings and Anda Necklace:
Necklace | Tank | Shorts (c/o) | Earrings | Sandals (c/o)

I shared these in  my July Jewelry Chat Post along with some budget friendly options for these pieces and some of my other favorites, in case you missed it!

Behind the scenes here I've been going back and forth about doing a trip recap or not. Not only did I do a terrible job of packing (except jewelry!), I did a terrible job of documenting the trip for blogging purposes and capturing the beauty and activity options in the area. I started trying to put a post together for it and I just don't have great photos to show the area or what we did. So it would be a "tell" post rather than "show," and for travel recaps I like a little more of the latter. Otherwise it's kind of like doing an outfit post and describing what I wore without showing a picture of it...the visual is pretty important! So for now I'm leaning towards not doing a trip recap, but I saved the draft of what I started just in case I change my mind.

Since we're talking Friday Favorites, I will mention that finger steaks were one of the foods I wanted to try and I was able to track those down at the Taste of Coeur D'Alene food festival that was happening the weekend we were in town:

They were tasty and I'll definitely get them again if I have the chance. Whatever breading or seasoning they used on them was really good!

That does it for Friday Favorites and I'll be back with another post on Monday!

Linking up with: JoLynne | Erika, Andrea, Narci



  1. Gina that swimsuit you wore to the theme park is fabulous! The bikini shorts would be nice but it sounds like you were fine in your Nike ones. I love a great pair of board shorts on the rare occasion we do some fun water activity! I love my Amazon jewelry organizer and don't know how I used to travel without it - well, yes, I do. I had a tangled mess!
    Sounds like you were enjoying your trip and living in the moment - that's the best in my opinion! Glad you got to try the food you wanted to - gosh I love vacation!
    Have a great weekend!

  2. What a great idea for travel jewelry. Mixed metal...brilliant. Mmmm finger steaks sound great. I always pack wrong for our summer vacay as I too end up in swimsuits and easy throw on shorts and tanks. LOVE your fab swimsuit, prettiest girl there I know! Happy weekend!

  3. I'm so glad you love the sunscreen and thank you for sharing it! Your swimsuit top is really cute! I used a backpack when we went to Disney last year and it was a game changer! I really want a belt bag for fall! I know what you mean about not having enough photos to document a trip. I always forget to take them too!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

  4. Love the Traver jewellery case and really need to get one. Id still love to read about the trip!

  5. So many cute items! I love that backpack and belt bag - so perfect for vacation!

  6. I am so with you on the belt bag. I like to be hands free when walking/traveling and not bothered by a bag. I want to do a trip recap, too - but did not document with photos (or I don't like how I look in some of them) very well - so I hear you! But, I would love to know what you packed - what didn't work - what did work. I think it can be helpful. I hope you have a great weekend (and Friday)!

    Daily Style Finds

  7. I love that swimsuit! I always have such a hard time with those parks that combine amusement rides and waterparks.

  8. Love that swimsuit, how fun! :)

    I like the backpack too! We've switched from a baby bag to a backpack and right now we are using one of the boys old daycare ones but I'd like to get a proper more grown-up backpack instead.

    Hope that you have a lovely weekend ahead of you! :)

    Away From Blue

  9. was looking for safer sunscreen will pick this one up.

  10. You found such a perfect outfit for the amusement/water park! So many amusement parks are adding water park elements this is a good option and cute too! Your pink terry shorts caught my eye. They are a great price and look cute and comfy!


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