Packing for the Beach

In the past, I’ve posted about a few vacation outfits, just for fun, but here’s what we’re actually packing for the beach this weekend…

J.Crew swimsuit: When I was pregnant with Toby, I was shy about wearing a two-piece swimsuit, and I still am a little bit. I mean, there’s just so much belly. But for our babymoon trip, I decided just to go for it and chose this pretty one. I’ve been loyal to J.Crew swimsuits since I was in my early 20s. The cuts are always flattering, and they actually cover your bum:)
Straw sunhat: Four years ago, on our honeymoon, Alex gave me a sunhat and insisted I wear it everyday to protect my alabaster skin from the harsh sun. Have you ever worn one? They’re great for reading on the beach. Ever since, I’ve toted one on every trip.
Yellow tote: Obviously, you don’t want your nicer bags to get wet and sandy at the beach, so this $35 tote comes in handy! It’s the ideal size for a picnic, books and towels.
Natural sunscreen: I wear Josie Maran’s face moisturizer with SPF 40 everyday. It’s chemical-free, goes on smoothly, and makes your skin glow. (We use Badger for our bodies.)
NARS multiple stick: You can look instantly pretty with pink rosy cheeks on the beach.
Leather flip flops: Flip flops are the perfect beach shoes, but plastic pairs can look cheap. Then, SEVEN YEARS ago, I bought a leather pair, and they’ve lasted every summer since then! They look pretty with sundresses and you can wear them to restaurants without feeling like a five-year-old.
A good book: Have you ever read The Newlyweds? I just picked it up at a bookstore this week and can’t wait to dive in!

What do you always pack for a trip? Any other book recommendations?

  1. I when to the beach just the day before my soon birth, with my gigant belly ; )

    and my bikini, love bikinis + bellys

  2. I have been eyeing that paisley print suit from j crew for a few days now and I’m taking this as a sign that I should order it :) Have a wonderful time on your babymoon! Can’t wait to see pictures!

  3. Good for your for wearing a bikini pregnant! Pregnant bodies are beautiful so why not show it off! I went to Hawaii when I was 29 weeks pregnant and I never felt more confident in a bikini. Haha – but now that I’m not pregnant (for 3 weeks), I have funny tanned spots randomly on my belly from my stretched skin getting all tanned and then shrinking back. :)

  4. I’m sure you’ll look adorable!! Can’t wait to see a picture or two!
    My packing list for a getaway is almost the same as yours, but my swimsuits are mostly Victoria’s Secret… now that you mention J.Crew I must give them a try!

    Have a super nice weekend!


  5. Have a wonderful babymoon! You are going to look beautiful in your two piece, with your sweet baby bump:-)


  6. S says...

    I hope that you and Alex have a wonderful time on your babymoon, and I LOVE the idea of taking a beach holiday while you’re pregnant! You’ll look great in your two-piece.

    I wish that J Crew made suits for different body types…none of their designs ever cover the upper thighs. I bought the Becca by Rebecca Virtue colorized one piece this year for my beach vacation, and it’s gorgeous.

    There are many healthy and beautiful pear-shaped women in the world, yet everything (most clothes, editorial photos) is made for the slender! I would love to see differing healthy body types as a norm in fashion and on the blogosphere.

  7. What color NARS multiple do you use? I’ve never thought to put it on at the beach! Great idea.

  8. I wish I were headed to the beach this weekend! Have a blast. I have been needing a new book to start, so will look in to the Newlyweds. Have a wonderful weekend! :)
    X, Allison

  9. I love the Josie Maran sunscreen too (the smell!) and had been using it for a while until I started getting weird sun spots on my face (and I don’t even spend that much time in the sun). I talked to my dermatologist about this and he had me switch to Blue Lizard, an Australian sunscreen that also uses Zinc Oxide. It’s a lot stronger because it adheres to Australian standards for sunscreen, which are much higher than in the U.S. I’ve been using it for over a year now and no longer have any problems. It’s been extremely effective for my fair skin. It may not be as “natural” as the Josie Maran (I haven’t really looked into it) but I’d take more protection over natural ingredients any day. That’s just me though. You should give it a try.

    • just looked into it and am happy to report that their products are chemical-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, oil-free, and propylene glycol-free. So you can feel good about putting it on your skin.

  10. I may have to try the JCrew swimmies out. I have a rather large bottom and find that nothing EVER covers it all the way so I’m always hanging out and I dislike that. It’s cute :)

  11. I would of thought a cool Brooklyn gal like you would be coveting a Malia Mills bikini. Nothing compares!! Check her out…..but once you do you will NEVER wear a J.crew suit again. meh.

  12. Love your blog since first sight, Joanna! :) It’s -10C outside here and even strange to imagine being at beach dressed in swimsuit so I can just suggest one more great book: “On Chesil Beach” by Ian McEvan (author of popular “Atonement”, “Comfort of Strangers” etc.) Have a great time!

  13. Leather flip flops look so chic, but I hate it when they are covered in sea salt. If you do not carefully remove it, the leather is cracked all over, and they do not look so nice. My preference is for the good old tevas at the beach.

  14. I always take a big thin scarf, to cover myself when in shade or gets a bit chilly in the evening, also some fresh frits and water!
    Enjoy the trip!

  15. I’m so happy for you! Wow!
    I always pack extra large shades and a candle to burn (dyptique)

  16. Love this! And I believe you would love what we have in-store at Spaces and Gems. Check us out:

  17. It will be a bliss for both of you!

  18. The Multiple is my travel secret too!

  19. I just finished reading “The Best of Youth” by Michael Dahlie, and I loved it! It’s a brand new book about a young writer in Brooklyn who, in spite of (or because of?) his heart of gold ends up suffering through all sorts of heartbreaking and hilarious mishaps. It is an engaging and quick read, and I think it would be a perfect for a weekend getaway! Have a great time, and I can’t wait to see your pictures.

  20. I generally hate flip flops, but those are great! Hope you have a great trip!

  21. aD says...

    “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” is very accessible. I was hooked after the first several pages. It moves quickly and covers a lot of time. Also, there is a beach vacation in the book!

  22. the Josie maran moisturizer is not chemical free
    Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Hexadecene Copolymer, Decy Oeate, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isopropyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Organic Argan Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Capryl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Camellia Sinesis Leaf Extract, Organic Aloe Barbadnesis (Aloe) Leaf Extract, Organic Chamomilla Recutina (Matricaria) Extract, Organic Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Oil, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Natural Fragrance (Apricot Oil).

    • Although it is not chemical free, the active ingredients used to protect the skin are physcial forms of sun protection–zinc oxide and titanium dioxide–rather than the chemical forms of sunscreen that are more common, as of late. These include avobenzone, octinoxate, oxybenzone, etc. So you are correct, but at least the form of sun protection is of the physical, not chemical kind.

  23. How exciting that you are taking a baby-moon! :) I love the leather flip-flops by the way…might just have to buy a pair for myself.
    { Ellies Wonder }

  24. Love this – my leave just got approved for a BIG mid year holiday and I’m so excited! I’ll have to start shopping for these essentials asap.

    As for books, I’ve just finished reading Cloud Atlas and it blew my mind. A little hard to get into but then so good. The last paragraph made my heart burst. Two Brothers by Ben Elton is great too – very moving and heartbreaking but plenty of his trademark humour. Loved it.

    Bea x

  25. A great book (or 5), my favorite Ray-Ban Vagabonds, and a suitcase full of swimsuits. Done!

  26. I’m 33 weeks pregnant and I bust out my bikini at least once a week (I live in Australia) :) There’s just something so wonderful and free about a big belly in all its summery glory. You’ll rock it, I’m sure x

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. I always looove it when you do these collections of what to brings.
    I hope you have the most refreshing little trip!!!!!!

  29. Hi, I m very confused. The cream contains Titanium Dioxine and Zinc. I was reading that they did some tests recently and they discover they can also create cancers. See the articles..
    So, what we gonna do?

    I m trying to find the perfect cream but it seems impossible ! Help

    • For the face, the best organic product I have found so far is a company out of Hungary, but you can buy it in the usa, I found it at a local salon here in CT, it’s called Eminence (hope I spelled it correctly) and it is a powder, not a lotion, which I love, and it comes in a tube, it is only 30 SPF though, it is the best I have found.

  30. Ahhh, I live in Rochester, NY and now have to read this book!! Thank you! And have a wonderful time in St. Lucia. Dying to know how that Viceroy resort is because we were thinking of going there next year.

  31. I wore bikinis during all 3 pregnancies! Love all your picks! Have a great trip.

  32. You go Mama with your bikini! Rock it and have fun! I’m a fan of a sun hat too, but never wore one when I was younger and worshiped the sun! Now I don’t go to the beach without one.

  33. I always pack a big soft scarf that works as a sarong, beach blanket, and wrap for your shoulders when the sun goes down… actually I pack 2 or 3- they don’t take up much space!

  34. Have a fabulous trip! I love this packing list… I am going to take your NARS recommendation as I have wanted to try a liquid-y type blush for a while, but haven’t gotten a tip on a good one!

    And flaunt that belly lady! I am sure you will look beautiful!

  35. I just read The Night Circus and it is Amazing! Great book to lose yourself in : )

  36. HUGE fan of the Josie Maran Argon Oil, and LOVE this one with the SPF! Summer staple.

  37. You will be gorgeous and totally rocking the belly! Have a wonderful Babymoon

  38. The Newlyweds is one of the best books.

  39. I disagree on the plastic sandals – I love my havaianas flip flops! It was the first Brazilian thing I fell in love with when I moved to Sao Paulo. Now that I am moving back to the states I am taking a whole suitcase of them back with me, they are much cheaper here so why not have one in every color and style. So so comfortable! and perfect for the beach!
    PS. my rainbow sandals died at the beach, I dont recommend anyone using those as beach sandals!

    • My Rainbow flip flops turn 10 this summer! Maybe it was just a fluke!

  40. I just read The Newlyweds and LOVED! Enjoy – the book and the trip :)

  41. That moisturizer is the best. I can’t get it in France but we have visitors coming and I always have them bring me a bottle :)

  42. It just occurred to me that perhaps there’s belly button plastic surgery available. My belly button certainly doesn’t look that cute, even though I’m slim! Or maybe it’s a prerequisite for modeling?!

  43. jm says...

    Such great vacation items! Now that I have a kindle, I always take that with me. :) ps I love NARS lipsticks.

  44. Love this list! Can’t wait to try out the natural sunscreen — my pasty self would love a nice alternative!

  45. Rachel’s Holiday is a fantastic book.. so funny! There are also a few other books written about the other 2 or 3 sisters in the family. It’s been a while since I read them but super good! Have fun!!

  46. I just read I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, I think it could be a good beach read…

  47. Summer at Tiffany! (by Marjorie Hart) It’s a light read, perfect for your vacation. It’s a memoir about being one of the first women to ever work on the sales floor at Tiffany in 1945. It’s heartfelt but will also make you laugh out loud.

    Have a great trip!

    And Then The Doorbell Rang

  48. Love your packing lists, and your reading recommendations! Enjoy your babymoon!

  49. This is a great packing list!!! Would love to read that book…maybe on my trip to NYC this weekend.

  50. Nice list!! I JUST did a posting on my love for some of Josie Maran’s recent skin care products which include that same moisturizer! You should check out her Illuminizer lotion as well that you can add to your skin for a naturally luminous look – it’s the bomb. Have fun this weekend!
    Best, Jennifer

  51. Such a great packing-list! I’m flying to Bermuda soon and want to bring my big straw hat like yours… How do you pack it?


  52. I love having a big hat to keep the sun off me at the beach, but I’m always reluctant to pack one because it will get crushed, and I am definitely too lazy to have to think about wearing it on the plane… Do you have a crushable one? What’s your technique for traveling with hats?

    • A friend of mine this summer had an adorable straw-looking but crushable hat. I’ve been on the look out for one of my own, but no luck! Would love to hear if anyone has a good one!

  53. Great choices! I have been wanting to try Josie Maran’s whole line for a while! My pale skin would benefit from this product :) Have a great time!! :)

  54. oh, enjoy wearing the bikini with your belly! i did so last january for our babymoon, and it was amazing! i found my daughter would respond (wiggle and flip) whenever i took off my shirt and the sunlight hit my belly. ( :

    • how sweet! I never thought about the baby knowing the difference in the light. I’m heading to the Amalfi Coast for my babymoon in May (i’ll also be six months), and I think you just convinced me to bare my belly in a bikini… just to feel her move! :)

    • do it, allyson, and take lots of pictures so your wee girl can see how lovely her mama looked!

  55. If you need another good beach read, consider Jennifer Weiner’s The Next Best Thing. So good.

  56. Ah, I love all of these items. I’m definitely going to look into the NARS multiple stick – brilliant. I’ve also been pining over “good” flip flops from Rainbow for a year or so now. I think this is the year.

  57. Great post! I have been loyal to J.Crew suites since my early twenties too (though I am ten years your senior:) They are the best swimsuits, so well made, and always cute! Have you read “Happy All The Time?” or any of Laurie Colwin’s books? I think (and of course just based on the books I’ve seen you post) you will LOVE. Let me know! xo

  58. My favorite book ever and one I’ve read and reread on vacations: One Day by Dave Nicholls (the movie was not that great but the book moves me to tears every time!!)

    • Agreed! LOVE that book.