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The List: 14 Shore Things

By Charlotte on June 22, 2014 6:05 AM

May marked Bob and my 36th wedding anniversary. Woo Hoo! To celebrate that and 2 other Hallelujah-worthy milestones, we took an amazing, 10-day Mediterranean cruise that brought us to the beaches of 6 countries.

Whether you're beach bound like us, planning a lake escape or craving pool time, you'll adore these 14 shore things. They're pretty, practical and high in warm-weather style.

Swimsuit Sure to Make a Splash

A hot choice in sizzling lipstick red, this LUXE by Lisa Vogel Tankini set flatters girls of every age.

The sexy Pandora Sway Top has a super stylish laser-cut overlay with a hem that plunges lower on one side. Easy to wear, this Boomerlicious, designer find includes adjustable shoulder straps so it works whether you're tall or petite like me and built-in soft cups with minimal padding. The matching banded bottom has a shape just right for those of us who'd rather not show too much skin.

I discovered this LUXE by Lisa Vogel Tankini set on SwimSpot.com, a fashion-forward site with loads of options that offer more coverage (a must when you're crazy enough to post pics on the internet!).

Swimsuit Front - 400.jpgSwimsuit Side - 300.jpgSince trying on swimsuits can be a huge pain, I was thrilled to find this of-the-moment set online at Swimspot.com. This addictive site has loads of fashion-forward options that offer more coverage. Plus, it helps you picture how a suit will look on you. When you slide your cursor over the arrow beside a swimsuit photo, it turns into a video so you can see the suit from every angle.

You can browse through 100s of pieces by type (everything from coverups to accessories to modest swimwear), brand (such as Athena, Ella Moss and Splendid), hot trends (think lace and free and flowy) and more options. There's also a handy Bikini Builder that makes it simple to see how tops and bottoms from different brands look together.

Still not sure what you want? A fit specialist can help you find selections in colors and styles that work best for your body. Talk about removing the stress! Having Audrie help me was like shopping with one of my girlfriends. (Pandora Sway Tankini Top $115; Banded Bottom $55 at SwimSpot.com  with free shipping on orders of $75 or more and free exchanges within 30 days of receipt)

Trendy Timepiece

Sporty and oversized, this sleek Relic Peyton Stainless Steel Watch has that borrowed-from-the-boys look that's all the rage. It's a natural choice for summer getaways because it's water resistant to 30 meters. Right on trend in white with silver-tone accents, it goes with simply everything so I wore it constantly during our trip.

Water resistant to 30 meters, this sleek Relic Peyton Stainless Steel Watch was my constant companion during our trip. Read on for the scoop on this cute, striped dress from Lands' End.

Watch-600.jpgEven better when you have child-size wrists like me, it's adjustable. I picked it up at Kohl's, where a lovely lady named Christina made short work of removing four links and offered coupons to help stretch my gift card (thank you Christina and Kohl's!). Color me impressed! The last time I had a watch sized it took over an hour. What a relief to have cheerful help and avoid the waiting game here! ($110 originally with no charge for sizing in store. Check Kohls.com for the current sale price. Shipping is free for $75 orders.)

Go-Anywhere Heels

Chic but oh-so comfy, Adrienne Vittadini's Chambray Sandal proved perfect for cruisin'. I fell for this crazy cute city sandal with its wide ankle straps on first sight and it was a dream to wear.

These crazy cute designer heels kept my feet happy whether I was climbing stairs on ship, walking cobblestone streets in port or strolling to dinner.

Sandals-600.jpgThe stylish back zipper and a stretch panel in the ankle strap mean you never have to touch the strap once you've adjusted it for your ankles. Both the ankle and toe straps fit just snug enough, not too loose not too tight. And, besides offering some height, the chunky, two-inch heels felt good whether I was climbing stairs on ship (why wait for an elevator?), walking cobblestone streets in port or strolling to dinner.

Since these knockouts compliment short dresses, maxis, shorts, skirts and much more, I wore them every night and through many busy days during our trip. I discovered these fab designer kicks online at DSW, where I was surprised by the HUGE selection of shoes in my size. Although I wear an often hard-to-locate 5 1/2, I found lots to love there! ($69.95 at DSW.com with free shipping on orders of $35 or more)

Tropical Scent-sation

Made for summer, Crabtree & Evelyn's new Caribbean Island Wild Flowers Eau de Toilette captures the feeling of long, lazy days on a peaceful island. This delightful fragrance blends the scents of delicate spider lilies with whiffs of island wild flowers, night-blooming jasmine and sea air. Ahhhh!

Crabtree & Evelyn's new Caribbean Island Wild Flowers Eau de Toilette is a light, fresh floral scent with whiffs of citrus and sea air.

Eau de Toilette 100mL 600.jpgLight and fresh with a hint of tropical citrus, this addictive scent has a relaxing beach vibe sure to put you in a vacation state of mind. ($45 30mL/$60 100mL at Crabtree & Evelyn boutiques and Crabtree-Evelyn.com with free shipping on orders over $100)

Dress-400 2.jpgLand's Ends' Skye shift made a wonderful maxi dress for touring Cassis, France. I love it with the white boyfriend watch from Kohls'.

Pretty in Pink

When limited to one bag as I was on our vacation, packing pieces that can be worn several different ways is a must. That's no problem with Land's Ends' Skye Scoopneck cover-up. This adorable, sleeveless shift makes a wonderful bathing suit cover-up (perfect for my brown one-piece!), maxi dress or nightgown. Bonus!

In a Petite XS, it falls close to my body but, thanks to the jersey fabric, doesn't cling and show every ripple. Since it's a racerback style, I paired this soft, sporty dress with a strapless bralette (standard straps would show in the back) for shore excursions.

This soft, sporty shift is a racerback style. 

Dress-Back-250.jpgI also added dangly earrings, flat sandals (at 5' 2", the hem hits just above my ankles) and a jean jacket. Although it's a straight fit, the sides are split to the knee so walking is a breeze.

I adore this gotta-have-it style in the pretty, pink-stripe pattern. But you can also choose deep sea blue stripes. ($49 originally but it's on sale at LandsEnd.com with free shipping at $50+.)

A Case of the Blues

Whether you're getting away for the weekend or an extended stay, Stella & Dot's sweet Hang On Travel Case can be a real friend. It boasts:

Stella & Dot's Hang On Travel Case keeps jewelry and cosmetics organized.Navy Ikat Hang On Open 600.jpg

Navy Ikat Hang On 302.jpg

Hung or laid flat, this terrific tote makes it easy to pack and find earrings, makeup and other little things. Once you're ready to go, roll it up, match the Velcro strips to close and it's simple to stow.

I'm wild about this clever case in the seemingly Trina Turk-inspired Navy ikat design, which changes to a blue background with lime green polka dots inside. The nautical Navy stripe is another great choice for coastal destinations. ($39 at StellaDot.com)

I'm wild about this Navy ikat design.

Made in the Shade

Bob and I were thrilled with the weather during our trip. Most days were clear, bright and made for seeing the sights. But I would have been miserable without these stylish sun shields from Kohl's:

Dana Buckman Sunglasses - Since my face is oval and smaller, these rectangular shades are a great fit. Besides offering UV protection, they come in an attractive seafoam green color that works as a neutral. A trendy tortoise-shell design on the top and sides combined with gleaming gold side accents ups the glam factor. ($34 originally but they're on sale at Kohls.com with free shipping on $75 orders.)

Croft & Barrow Hat - Layered with neutral gold, browns and whites, this versatile, little hat flaunts a tweed tie, beaded stones and just enough of a brim to help shade your eyes. It stayed stuffed in my suitcase or Bob's backpack when we were out of the sun. But each time I unpacked it, this travel all-star came out looking as good as it did when I brought it home from the store. ($32 originally but it's on sale at Kohls.com with free shipping on $75 orders.)

The brilliant sunshine in Santorini, Greece was no problem thanks to these shades and hat from Kohl's. The delicate drop drop earrings were a perk from Stella & Dot.

Hat & Glasses - 600.jpgEarring-300.jpgDay to Date-Night Danglers

Simply lovely, Stella & Dot's Kimberly earrings (shown above and at the right) are always a hit.

The clean, lightweight design makes them a chic choice for days spent touring, shopping or lazing at the beach while a 2 1/8" drop means they're also stunning for date night. No wonder they're a bestseller!

You can wear these wardrobe essentials even if you have sensitive ears like my sister Pam because they're lead and nickel safe. They're eye catching in both silver (my bestie on the cruise) and gold (on my wish list!). ($29 at StellaDot.com)

Stella & Dot's gorgeous Kimberly drop earrings are so light and pretty you can wear them day and night.

 

Gems from the Sea

Featuring treasures from the sea, Soft Surrounding's striking Oceana Stretch Bracelet is fun on its own or layered with your watch, other bracelets or both. This charming coastal statement alternates two silver shells with a golden, raised starfish resting on a shore alight with shiny crystals.

Soft Surrounding's fun, two-toned Oceana Stretch Bracelet is a work of art.

Bracelet-600.jpg I adore this artful design because, by mixing gold and silver, it goes with both. I'm also mad about the size of this two-toned trinket. Unlike many bracelets I've tried, it doesn't overwhelm smaller wrists like mine and it stretches for easy on/off. ($29.95 at SoftSurroundings.com)

Cute Canvas Carryall

Sunblock, a hot read, a fluffy towel, an ipod loaded with dreamy tunes and headphones are just a few of the goodies that help me enjoy time by the water. You can tote all that and then some in these cute and affordable canvas carryalls:

Lands' End Medium Canvas Tote - Sized to hold and organize all the essentials, this sturdy classic has an open top, oodles of large pockets (one outside; four inside) and a handy a key strap. It's been revamped with special seams so it stands upright instead of tipping over when you set it down. Imagine that! Plus, you don't have to fear overloading this workhorse because it's made from strong cotton canvas with a reinforced bottom and handles that resist rips.

Lands' End's sturdy canvas tote has special seems that help it stand upright without tipping over.

Land's End Bag-600.jpgThis terrific, natural-colored tote comes with your choice of accent colors (like my sea-licious turquoise) on the handles, bottom and inside pockets. For a personal touch, you can add initials or a seaside design (think sailboat, anchor, palm trees and more). ($25.50 bag + optional $6Black & White Bag-400.jpg for monogram at LandsEnd.com with free shipping at $50)

AMI Cllubwear's Oversized Canvas Tote easily doubles as a handbag.

AMI Clubwear Oversized Canvas Tote - Another super roomy option, AMI Clubwear's sporty, two-tone canvas tote is beige with black accents. This multipurpose fav easily doubles as a purse because it's lightweight with a top zipper.

It also boasts two, mock-leather handles as well as an optional, leather-like shoulder strap so you can carry it by hand, toss it over your shoulder or wear it crossbody.

Inside, there's a zippered pocket for stashing valuables as well as two pouches perfect for your phone, lip balm and other can't-do-without-'ems. ($29.99 at AMIClubwear.com)

 

A Little Romance

Give me a water view, a beach chair and a romantic read and I'm in heaven. This trip, I lost myself in international author Santa Montefiore's The Summer House (a UK top 10 bestseller when previously published as The Woman from Paris).

SUMMER HOUSE Jacket 400.jpgSet on an elegant English estate, this moving romance revolves around the aristocratic Frampton family. When their beloved father George dies in a tragic skiing accident, his wife Antoinette, three adult sons and outspoken mother must rebuild their lives.

The messy situation gets really complicated when a stunning young woman named Phaedra arrives. Claiming to be Lord Frampton's illegitimate daughter, she inherits a sizeable income as well as a fortune in jewels from the esteemed patriarch.

Phaedra's so likeable that before long even Antoinette soon welcomes her to the family. But everyone's loyalties are put to the test when others try to control the girl and want nothing more than to expose her as a fraud.

A fun and fascinating read, The Summer House shows love can bloom when you least expect it. Full of heart, forbidden desire and life-changing secrets, this family-centered drama proves it's never too late for second chances. (Simon & Schuster; June 3, 2014; $15)

Subtle, Sea-Inspired Nail Color

Part of its new Seaside Resort Collection, Crabtree & Evelyn's Opal nail lacquer is a subtle gem. This pearly, translucent shade gives nails incredible sparkle, especially when touched by the sun.

I love wearing this high-shine color alone on my fingernails because it keeps them looking natural only better. Thanks to the light color and this polish's staying power, I wore it throughout our 12-day adventure (including travel time) without retouching my nails. WOW!

You can also layer it over another shade for added shimmer. Either way, it's easy to put on, dries fast and is made without toxic chemicals. ($6 at Crabtree & Evelyn boutiques and Crabtree-Evelyn.com with free shipping on orders over $100)

Crabtree & Evelyn's Opal nail lacquer give nails a pearly, iridescent sheen so they look natural only better.

 Nail Polish-600.jpg

 

I'd like to shout out a big "Thank You" to Bob for being my ever-patient photographer and to the brands in this post for providing free samples for review and testing.

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