Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sydnee's guide to long term packing for travelling.

When I started packing for China, I was freaking out. How can I pack for my entire wardrobe for four months into a suitcase and a half? I couldn't do it.
I tried so hard. I looked up tons of different websites on tips for packing. They helped a little bit. I learned a lot the second I got back from China. A few people were asking me lots of advice on how to pack for an extended stay abroad and since I'm packing again I thought I would share my secrets.

For China I was there for four months. I packed a suitcase and a half (I shared a suitcase with a friend), a carry on and a backpack.
For Germany I will be there for nine months and I'm packing one suitcase, a carry on, and a backpack.

Packing again for Germany has made me realize how much China helped me tremendously.

Here are some small tips:

#1 Neutral colors will be your friend.
If you bring your hunter green jeans, your coral cardigan, and your bright orange skirt, you will limit your outfit choices. It's better to bring things all in the same color palette. Choose one pop color. For Germany, I chose green. I'm bringing a few things that are green and the rest are black, grey, white, cream, navy blue, etc. Also think about patterns. Those black tribal leggings might not go with everything.

#2 Roll your clothes
It seriously saves space.

#3 Invest in a backpack.
My suitcase is a cheap knock-off one from Wal-Mart. I didn't invest in a suitcase. Why? I'm not going to be lugging that everywhere. I'm going to bring all my clothes over in it, unpack my stuff, then shove it under my bed. On my vacations, I'll be packing my stuff into my backpack and lugging it around multiple cities and countries. It seriously is the best thing to invest in. It'll be on your back for hours and it'll be carrying your very valuable things. This is my backpack.

#4 Pack versatile things.
Along with neutral colors, make sure you can wear the item with multiple things. For example, a cropped blouse that you can only wear with your one pair of high rise jeans should not come with you. I don't care if it's your favorite blouse. It stays at home. When I'm deciding what to pack I make as many outfits in my head with the item I'm thinking of. If I can't make it work with almost everything I'm already packing, I don't do it. The more outfit choices is the key. It'll be what keeps you from going insane.

#5 Accessorize!
Bring your accessories!! They take up hardly any room and they'll transform your outfit. Especially statement necklaces and scarves.

#6 Pack durable things.
When I went to China I packed a navy blue maxi skirt (it fell under not versatile category also), I wish I didn't pack it. It was a dry clean only, fragile skirt and now it's slightly ruined. Chinese washing machines also were very rough on my clothes. I got a couple holes in my sweaters. You aren't going to get your amazing washing machines (and dryers! they don't even exist in China). Especially if you're going to do a little backpacking. You might go a couple of weeks without washing your clothes and most likely line dry.
*also white. white gets dirty very quickly. I, of course, am still packing white but if you have the choice, go for grey or black. If you have a lovely white blouse that fits in any of these categories but you'd die if it was ruined, don't bring it.

#7 Don't skimp on underwear.
Just don't. They don't take up any room. You can't wear dirty underwear but you can always wear a dirty shirt. It'll give you a little longer on the laundry loads also. Sorry to get all TMI and real on you but that's life.

#8 Wear your chunky items while you're traveling.
I wore my boots on the plane because I knew I'd want them but they took up sooo much room in my suitcase. That chunky sweater will take up too much room too. if you wear it on your back, problem solved!

#9 If you use it every day here, you will want it too.
I didn't bring a facial mask that I loved. I thought about it a lot and it didn't help my skin either. It probably would've helped me with my insane break outs I had. The point is, there's a reason you used that thing every day. I used that mask to draw out my impurities and because I didn't bring it, my pores clogged and I broke out.

#10 If it makes you feel better, bring it.
Some people would say "don't bring your hair dryer" or "don't bring any make-up, go natural". But no way in helllllllll-o I'm not bringing make up. I feel so much more comfortable with make-up. I would feel self-conscious without make-up and you can tell me that I'm crazy but that's just how I feel! I will make space for my make-up. However, I would never bring a hair dryer BUT you might need to blow dry your hair every day because otherwise you hate your hair if you don't. I'm fine if I do nothing to my hair but that isn't the case for everyone just like how clear skin isn't in mine. You'll be taking millions of pictures and you'll want to at least be somewhat okay with how you look.

#11 Layers
If you're going somewhere, don't pack a huge coat. It takes up too much room. Either buy a cheap one there (they're usually better for wherever you are because they're made for the weather you're going to have there), or pack layers.This not only is just great for more outfit choices, it's still very warm. In the freezing beijing, I wore lots of layers and would actually get kind of get a little too warm. I wore a long sleeved t-shirt, a button up shirt, a cardigan, a leather jacket and a scarf to keep warm. It worked! 

#12 Stuff it in your shoes.
That's a lot of empty space in your shoes. I stuff them with my socks, small leggings or tights (etc....) that way they keep their shape and you get just a teeny bit more space!

#13 Don't bring...
-Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, you can pretty much buy anywhere. Don't bring the full bottles. But do bring travel sizes. They're helpful to have when you first arrive so you can shower ASAP. It's also nice to have when taking backpacking vacations and staying in hostels.
-Towels, pillows, blankets. You can for sure buy towels there for super cheap and then chuck them once you leave. Double check with your program if you're going with a study abroad group, to see if they provide bedding. From what I've read, most of them do. If not, I would maybe buy it when you're there too. That would take up too much room.

#14 Bring...
-Your foundation. It'll be harder to buy it in another country but you could probably buy replacements after staying there for a while.
-Phrasebooks for languages. They were super helpful in China. We couldn't pronounce anything but we could point to the chinese name of something we were trying to find and then bingo! there it was.
-"Just add water" food (very optional). Let's get real, chinese food was not what it was cracked up to be. Since I ate in a cafeteria, I (and other people) brought a few things like soup, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, or oatmeal. All you have to do is add hot water and you have an american meal.
-A sewing kit. You're going to wear out your clothes. You will need something to repair them.
*Some small things I loved having were:
-denim button ups
-long socks
-a small day pack for small day trips

I'm sure I missed a lot of things but that's what I have so far! I'll maybe do an updated post when I get back from Germany too.
If you have any other packing tips, please do share.

Friday, February 7, 2014

buy all of my clothes!!

I am so overwhelmed with gratitude right now.
Thank you for everyone who bought items from my last post. Seriously. This is helping me out so much. I honestly thought I would sell two, maybe three things. Now I have sold almost all of them!!
Since, obviously, that was a big success, I scrounged through my closet one more time and of course I found even more things that need new homes!

Again, here's a picture of the item, an awkward girl wearing it (who is 5' 5" for reference), and then a description.

email me at if you want to stake your claim!

Item #5: Navy linen dress.
Size: Medium $12
I bought this dress at bohme a couple years ago. I used to wear it but I just don't have much use for it anymore. It fits a lot tighter on me than it shows in the picture. It's super flattering. I actually look pretty dang sexy in it. But cap sleeves bug me. It has some deodorant marks haha but that's easily washable. (The belt is included)

Item #9 Cropped black lace blouse
Size: Medium $8
This blouse is gorgeous. I love it. The lace is unique and the sleeves are 3/4. The only thing I don't like is that it's a little bit cropped. I have a really long torso so cropped things and me do not get along. I'm wearing high rise jeans in this picture so it hits me about a little below my belly button. I've only worn it a couple of times. I would wear it with high waisted skirts (of which I have plenty). It's sheer so I'd wear it with an undershirt.

Item #13: Orange scarf.
I wore this scarf in my senior pictures and then I think I wore it one more time after that. It's a nice chunky scarf that is suuuuper long so you can wrap it around yourself like a bajillion times. It's about 8 feet long and 8 inches thick.
Item #1 Old Navy navy dress
Size: Medium $8

So much love for this dress. It's a modest length. It looks so cute when you belt it. You can wear it with your favorite cardigan.I love the top of it too. OH it also has POCKETS! Are there really many greater things than pockets in dresses?

Item #3 Bow tulip dress
Size: Large $15
This is an adorable dress. One time I wore this and this girl said "my heavens, is your closet just full of darling dresses?" It's a tulip skirt. It also has pockets! I have thing with dresses with pockets obviously.

Item #4 Tommy Hilfiger greyish-blue shirt
Size: Medium $10

This is a tommy hilfiger shirt so it's very nice quality. This shirt is seriously soft. I forgot how much it was and then I put it on to take the picture and I was like "oooohhhh". It has really cute flower-y embellishment on the top. It looks like poop in the picture but trust me, it's totes adorbs.

Item #5 Old Navy Coral linen dress.
Size: Large $10

I love this dress. It's a really nice fabric and it's a modest length.
Major confession though. It's a size large but it was really big on me so I sewed the sides. I didn't cut it though so if you wanted it to be bigger, you could rip out that seam no problem and it would be back to the original size. It's actually quite big on me so if you aren't my size, you could still probably fit in it.

Item #6 Cotton On peplum t-shirt
Size: Medium $5
Such a cute shirt.I wore this once and then it met my nemesis: the dryer. It shrunk length-wise and now I, and my insanely long torso, don't agree with it. It still is long enough to wear, it's just difficult for me because it's unflattering on my particular body. It's a super soft cotton and very comfortable.

Item #7 Old Navy cream sundress.
Size: Medium $10
I adore this dress. It's a nice cream color and the bottom of it has the cutest lace. I bought this dress years ago and have just kind of grown out of it. It needs a new home with someone who will wear it often.

Item #9 Old navy black flower dress
Size: Medium $10

Surprisingly, this dress only got a few wears. Sorry for the immodest picture but I wanted to show you how low it drops in the back. It has adjustable straps to this is the longest the straps are. The higher the straps, the higher the length is. The flowers are just plain adorable. I think it just fit me the way I didn't like so I hardly wore it (I'm picky with the fit of my dresses). This one also has pockets!!

Item #11 Forever 21 striped blouse
Size: Medium $8
I bought this as a summer blouse to wear and just ended up wearing it only a couple times. It's another long torso thing.... I'm just noticing there's a spot on it.... That will for sure not be on it when you buy it haha I promise.

Item #14 Charcoal grey high heels
Size:8 $20

I wore these shoes for my senior prom and then I think I wore them a couple of times after but that's it. These have no signs of wear except the bottom of the shoe (which will inevitably be the second you step outside with them anyway). They are quite high (5 inches measure from the top of the actual heel) but the coverage on the top of the foot makes them a breeze to walk in anyway. They're a satin-y type of fabric on the outside which makes them so cute for dressy occasions. They're a Qupid brand which I know sells a lot in forever young shoes so if you know your size in that brand they'll fit you.

Item #15 Red kitten heels
Size: 8 $17
I bought these shoes for my high school graduation and I think that's one of the only times I wore them. They didn't fit me as well as they did in the store apparently.... So they're tight on my feet and hurt when I would wear them. The heel is about 2 1/2 inches and they have the cute ruffle detailing. One thing is that the left shoe has a tiny scuff but it honestly looks like the light is just shining on them and isn't very noticeable.

Item #16 Taupe tights
One size $5
I know what you're thinking... "Gross! I don't want to wear your tights!" True, I wouldn't either. But I have honestly, truthfully, scout's honor, never worn these tights. I took them out of the package, I would try them on with different outfits but quickly take them off because my black tights would look better. They are seriously like new, you can tell  I haven't stretched them out. The second picture is very true to the color and the stripe is a pretty lace detailing.

Item(s) #17 Belts
$2 for each

One is brown with heart rivets and a heart buckle and the other is a coral-pink color. I haven't worn either of these belts ever. They came in a set of three with another belt that I wear all the time.

Item # 18 striped scarf
I wish I wore this scarf more, But I just didn't. One of the sides is fraying ever so slightly but I think it kind of gives it that worn look. I've thought about sewing the ends together to make it an infinity scarf but I just ended up buying one instead that I liked more.

Again, let me know if you want any by emailing me at or facebook message me or text me if you have my number.

If you live in the Pleasant Grove/American Fork/Lindon/Orem/Provo area, I can meet up with you or whatever you want! If you live out of reach I can also ship it to you if you will cover shipping costs.
If you need to try it on, feel free to! Or if you just want to come see it, I won't make you commit to buying it before you see it. I'm very flexible!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I can't stop.
People say I should move on with my life.
Find a husband! Finish school!

You know what I say to that?
Nah, I don't want that at the moment.

I'm young, I'm healthy, I'm single.
When else am I going to be able to do these things I've always wanted to?

February 21, 2014.
Adventure #3.

I'm off to the land of schnitzel and castles.

Fear is creeping up, and I'm pushing it back.

I'm so lucky that I really do get to live out my dreams.
I get to see all the places I've been wanting to for years.

I'll be leaving for Germany in a couple of weeks and I won't be back until November.
I have an amazing opportunity to be a nanny again with a family I hope to call my own.

Pray for me, my jitters are overflowing right now.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

a controversial rant.

I have something I desperately need to get off my chest.
Before I start let me state a few facts that you all need to keep in mind as I rant on a public domain.

I was born in Utah.
Grew up in Utah.
And still live in Utah.
I've lived outside of Utah.
I've been outside of Utah a lot.
I've met many people who aren't from Utah.

In my experience with a lot of people from out of state (and in state), I get negative remarks.
Why do people think it's okay to take an entire state and judge them so harshly?
When someone tells me where they're from,
I would NEVER in my life say to them
"You're from ___? Oh that sucks, that's like the worst place I can think of to be."
"That's probably the last place I would want to live or grow up. I would never raise my kids in ___"
"People from ____ are the worst."
(I'm not kidding, I've been told all of those about my home.)

It is so incredibly sad that I feel ashamed to tell people where I'm from.
In my opinion, it's just wrong.

This stigma has to stop. It kills me every time I hear things like this and I am officially ticked off about it.

You say you feel judged? Try actually talking to people instead of just assuming what they're thinking.
Guarantee they're thinking more about themselves than about you.
If you're getting negative comments from people, in my experience, you're giving more than you're getting.
You aren't going to please everybody in the world.
People are more concerned with their own problems then they are of you.
Unless you're directly effecting me or anyone close to me, I care about you and you are physically or psychologically damaging yourself, I really could not care less.

Even if you think this way, why do you have to say it to my face?
It's a hurtful stereotype.

On the flip side,
I'm not saying everybody in this state isn't judgmental. Of course not.
There are going to be judgmental people everywhere you go though.
I once was asked out on a date while living in another state but was cancelled when he found out I was a "churchy" girl. Was that judgmental? uh yes.
Not everyone will accept you.
But can't we all just love each other? I know it's a lot to ask but I'm asking it.
Is it really that hard to just accept people for who they are?
You could be doing this and not knowing it. Maybe keep it at the forefront of your mind for a week or so and you'll notice a difference.

I'm from Utah. Born and raised.
I'm the least judgmental person you will ever meet in your life.
I'm LDS, I'm not perfect and have made some large mistakes in my life and I've never felt judged for it.
If you have a legitimate problem with what I've said, I would like to hear it.

Utahans, let's be proud of where we live and where we're from please?