What to Wear in Tokyo, Japan Outfit Options

What to Wear in Tokyo, Japan Outfit Options 1-12 Packing Light List #packinglight #packinglist #travellight #travel #traveltips #livelovesara

White T-shirt • J.Crew | Black Dressy Top • Mango | Pink Long Sleeve • Mango | White Classic Blouse • Topshop | Black Blouse • H&M | Black Sweater • H&M | Grey Sweater • Mango | Cardigan • Chico’s | Moto Jacket • H&M | Dark Denim • Gap | Casual Denim • H&M | Black Trousers • H&M | Skirt • Zara | Dress • Marks and Spencer | Scarf • Mango | Hat • Vince Camuto | Sunglasses • Rayban | Sneakers • Converse | Flats • Jeffery Campbell | Boots • Sam Edelman | Purse • Fiorelli | Clutch • Asos |

What a gloriously beautiful day it was yesterday. I literally saw people wearing t-shirts with no jackets and sandals. T.shirts. No Jackets. Sandals……in February. As many years as I have lived in Southern Ontario I cannot remember one winter where we had weather like this. February is generally the coldest month and if it is this nice now, I am not looking forward to summer.

Yesterday I posted a What to Pack for Tokyo, Japan packing light list after several people have requested one. The list is for April which is a prime weather travel time and the month of the Cherry Blossom Festival. In that list I included a few more pieces than usual and I explained this is because you will find most people dress up for dinner in Japan when dining out (or at least swap out their jeans for something a little dressier). For this reason I included both a skirt and a dress in the options, but if you don’t think you will be frequently dining out, or don’t mind wearing the same dinner outfit on repeat then you can easily omit a few pieces. Access to laundry will also help you to pack less.

I noted that it is a good idea to pack easy to remove footwear since it is customary to remove shoes upon entering one’s home. Flats, slip-ons, easy to tie sneakers are all good choices. Knee high, lace up boots may not be ;)

The Cherry Blossom festival was where I got my colour palette inspiration from with a nice light pink accent but if pink isn’t your thing it’s easy to accent another colour since the rest of the pieces are quite neutral. I think a nice yellow or jade green would work well too especially for spring. I hope these selections give you some inspiration.

Is the weather totally bizarre where you are too?

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What to Wear in Tokyo, Japan Outfit Options 13-24 Packing Light List #packinglight #packinglist #travellight #travel #traveltips #livelovesara
White T-shirt • J.Crew | Black Dressy Top • Mango | Pink Long Sleeve • Mango | White Classic Blouse • Topshop | Black Blouse • H&M | Black Sweater • H&M | Grey Sweater • Mango | Cardigan • Chico’s | Moto Jacket • H&M | Dark Denim • Gap | Casual Denim • H&M | Black Trousers • H&M | Skirt • Zara | Dress • Marks and Spencer | Scarf • Mango | Hat • Vince Camuto | Sunglasses • Rayban | Sneakers • Converse | Flats • Jeffery Campbell | Boots • Sam Edelman | Purse • Fiorelli | Clutch • Asos |

What to Pack for Tokyo, Japan – Packing Light

What to Pack for Toyko, Japan Packing Light List #packinglist #packinglight #travellight #travel #livelovesara

T-shirt • J.Crew | Dressy Top • Mango | Long Sleeve • Mango | Classic Blouse • Topshop | Black Blouse • H&M | Black Sweater • H&M | Grey Pullover • Mango | Cardigan • Chico’s | Light Jacket • H&M | Dark Denim • Gap | Casual Denim • H&M | Black Trousers • H&M | Skirt • Zara | Dress • Marks and Spencer | Scarf • Mango | Hat • Vince Camuto | Sunglasses • Rayban | Sneakers • Converse | Flats • Jeffery Campbell | Boots • Sam Edelman | Purse • Fiorelli | Clutch • Asos |

I received this request multiple times so I figured I should probably do one. The month of April is arguably the best month to visit Japan. It is sunny with spring flowers and the start of the Cherry Blossom Festival which attracts people from all around the world who want to see first hand the beauty of it. The end of April is what they call Golden Week which is are a series of 4 national holidays in spring. They are on non consecutive days but many people use this time to take holidays for the entire week (note that costs of flights increase during this week).

With a daily average around 19°C and one of the lower months for rain, April is a perfect time for travel. The weather becomes chilly at night so extra layers and a light coat will be necessary. Also note that while anything goes clothing-wise for sightseeing (generally speaking, proper attire for religious places may be required) people tend to dress up more for dinner. That means change from your jeans to a skirt/dress/dress pants and your good to go. I’ll also point out that it is customary to remove your shoes before entering people’s homes, this should be taken in to consideration if you are contemplating bringing shoes that are hard to get on and off. I’d stick with slip-on style flats, easy to tie sneakers, or short, easy to get on boots to avoid any issues.

April isn’t usually too rainy so rain gear isn’t necessary. You can always pick up an inexpensive umbrella almost anywhere along the way if necessary. I also wanted to point out that I included more pieces in this list than I usually do. This is because of the dressing up for dinners custom, I added the skirt to have more dressy options. You could easily omit that plus several other pieces if you have access to laundry regularly and it will cut down the list significantly. Remember that your travel outfit comes out of these pieces as well, you do not wear other clothes in addition to the pieces in the lists. It’s all about mix and match pieces and creatively pairing.

Outfit options for these pieces can be found in this post.

Have you ever experiences the Cherry Blossom Festival first hand?

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Ancestry DNA Results

After about 2.5 months from the date of ordering to now, I finally got my Ancestry DNA results. While I am not a patient person to begin with, it was my fault in hindsight. I took advantage of the Black Friday sale and placed my order along with a huge amount of other people. This tied with it being given as gifts for Christmas made a huge influx of DNA samples arriving at the lab at the same time which caused longer than normal wait times. If I was to do it again I would choose a time that did not revolve around a big sale period or Christmas.

In this post I detailed the steps from receiving the sample kit to mailing it off. It was really quite easy if you follow the steps. Just don’t pull a Sara and keep forgetting you are not allowed to eat/drink a certain amount of time before providing the sample. I had to restart my timer three times.

I got the email telling me results were ready while I was just opening my eyes the other morning. I always check my emails before I get out of bed but when I saw that my results were in I flew out of bed and started my computer.

And my results were……drumroll please…….

Ancestry DNA #ancestrydna

To be honest I  had no idea what to expect going in. You hear your parents talking about things over the years so you kind of cobble together some ideas. My dad being adopted left one side of my family blank although we knew his last name before adoption was Abrahamson. This made us believe that there might have been some Scandinavian in there but as you can see Scandinavian is only a small percentage. What I’m truly shocked about is the high percentage of Great Britain, tied with the Irish (I had no idea that I had even a bit of Irish so this was a pleasant surprise) that equates to over 68% of my genetics. It’s pretty crazy that most of my ancestry seems to come from those two neighbouring islands.

Ancestry DNA #ancestrydna

When you click on your results you can see each segment in more detail. Each genetic breakdown is shown on the map with different circles radiating out from the strongest point of your genes. The Great Britain gene seems to stretch out to cover Denmark as well which makes sense since my maternal Grandpa’s family seem to come from that area (still trying to figure all this out). I also seem to have a significant portion of Eastern European that doesn’t pinpoint an exact location, which is probably because of all the shifting of borders, countries, and people over the last 2000 years. Because yes, this genetic study goes back as far as 2000 years. I’m currently taking advantage of my 2 weeks free on Ancestry trying to decided if I want to get a membership. I discovered a lot of information on my maternal Grandfather’s side last night to add to my family tree (I thin kI have found ancestors all the way back to 1474 so far) , tonight I am going to try my maternal grandmother. Women aren’t as easy to search as men (unless they were a big part of history, but even sometimes) since they were generally considered property to be passed from father to husband so the searching is a lot more difficult to find records for.

Ancestry DNA #ancestrydna

When you do the DNA the site immediately begins to update you on all the genetically connected people that have also taken the test (it also updates every time a new connection arrives in the lab). They range from close family, all the way to 8-10th cousins (which are not as easy to find connections and prove you are related). I have 93 people who are listed as 4th cousins or closer so far. One of those connections is for a second cousin, which was shocking to me and through my quick and poor investigative searching I believe that this person may be from my dad’s unknown side. This is very exciting for me as well as him to finally have some information. I am looking forward to see how much I can dive into this.

I think one of the most interesting parts is that while I knew I was European, I didn’t realize that I was almost genetically full blood European. 99% to be exact with 1% to break that up from the Caucasus. So much history comes from this area like the Trojan War (Homer’s Illiad), The Battle of Thermopylae with Xerxes, Constantinople, the Crusades. The history lover in me wonders if that 1% possibly came from some big historical event that I have read about. I’ll probably never know, but it is fun to think about.

Have you ever had any success using Ancestry to find out your family history? How far back were you able to go?

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What I Wore This Week

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

Outfit 1 – Jacket • Zara (similar) | Sweater • H&M | Pants • H&M | Boots • (similar) |
Outfit 2 – Sweater • Zara |
Outfit 3 – Cami • Mango | Cardigan • H&M (similar) | Jeans • Gap | Boots • Topshop |
Outfit 4 – Cami • Mango | Jeans • Gap | Army Jacket • thrifted (similar) |
Outfit 5 – Sweater • Zara (different colour) | Jeans • H&M (similar) | Shoes • Adidas | Purse • Zara |
Outfit 6 – Sweater • Zara | Jean Jacket • Really old (similar) |

I’m taking a break right now from researching some genealogy to make a quick post. I got my DNA results back from Ancestry which is why I am researching. I plan on making a separate post for that this week.

This weekend the weather was glorious. So beautiful and spring-like I could almost believe that winter was over but since it is still only February I know that we are still in for cold and snow. It was nice to only have to wear a sweater out though and leave the windows open. I love spring and wish that it lasted longer. Its seems to go from cold to hot rather quickly without much in between so I am thankful for these nice couple of days. I even enjoy the mud and slush from the rapid melting even though I had to play hopscotch over the puddles.

Tom’s at Value Village right now (Sunday morning) , and he always sends texts of things he finds on his solo shopping trips to see if he should get it. He just sent me a picture of an amazing pair of red Puma’s and I was so excited, but they ended up being too big for me when you convert from men to women’s sizes :( Now I’m super bummed and want to search online for a pair of Puma’s in that colour, even though they won’t be the $5 they were at VV.

Something that I am looking forward to as winter starts to wrap up and summer gear floods the stores is a new pair of sandals. I have no idea what style I am looking for this year (I think it’s been 3 years since I bought a new pair) so I am excited to see what styles are out there. I usually only have one pair of sandals that I wear through the summer since I also wear my Vans slip-ons a lot and/or sneakers and flats. One or two pairs is all I need. I can’t imagine having so many shoes that I needed to dedicate an entire closet to them. I’d have no place to put them, and I’d rather save the money for a vacation anyway ;)

Have you spotted any great sandals yet? 

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What to Wear in Amsterdam Outfit Options Plus Size Edition

What to Wear in Amsterdam, Berlin, and Paris Outfit Options 1-12 Packing Light List #packinglist #packinglight #travellight #travel #livelovesara

Blush Camisole • H&M | Black T-shirt • Athleta | Striped Long Sleeve • Simply Be | Blue Wrap Blouse • Violeta by Mango | Black Tunic Top • H&M | Black Sweater • Violeta by Mango | White Lace Front Sweater • Violeta by Mango | Blazer • Violeta by Mango | Moto Jacket • Violeta by Mango | Dark Denim • H&M | Grey Casual Denim • Violeta by Mango | Black Trousers • H&M | Dress • Modcloth | Navy/Grey Scarf • Nordstrom | Floral Scarf • Vera Bradley | Hat • Maison Scotch | Sunglasses • Express | Flats • Topshop | Boots • Steve Madden | Sneakers • Adidas | Black Purse • Fiorelli | Brown Crossbody • Fiorelli |

I’m kind of excited to coast in to the weekend for two reasons:

1. The weather is supposed to go up to 10°C + which means we can spend some real time outdoors and open all the windows to air everything out. I hope this means we will get an early spring. I love spring.
2. It is a long weekend. Monday is “Family Day” which is a designated holiday to spend time off work with your family. The only bad part is that everything we may want to do as a family is going to be filled with a million other people with the same idea.

On to today’s post. These are the 24 outfit options that I put together from the What to Pack for Amsterdam packing list. The list was by Instagram request, for a 14 day June trip to Amsterdam, Berlin, and Paris. The selections are plus size as per request and the 24 outfits (with room to make more) will take you through all kinds of activities (minus really formal or adventure tourism wear). The options do cover dressy dinners, walking, sightseeing, shopping, and a variety of temperatures. I hope these suggestions give some good ideas of what you could wear and pack for Amsterdam.

How is the weather where you are right now? 

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What to Wear in Amsterdam, Berlin, and Paris Outfit Options 13-24 Packing Light List #packinglist #packinglight #travellight #travel #livelovesara

Blush Camisole • H&M | Black T-shirt • Athleta | Striped Long Sleeve • Simply Be | Blue Wrap Blouse • Violeta by Mango | Black Tunic Top • H&M | Black Sweater • Violeta by Mango | White Lace Front Sweater • Violeta by Mango | Blazer • Violeta by Mango | Moto Jacket • Violeta by Mango | Dark Denim • H&M | Grey Casual Denim • Violeta by Mango | Black Trousers • H&M | Dress • Modcloth | Navy/Grey Scarf • Nordstrom | Floral Scarf • Vera Bradley | Hat • Maison Scotch | Sunglasses • Express | Flats • Topshop | Boots • Steve Madden | Sneakers • Adidas | Black Purse • Fiorelli | Brown Crossbody • Fiorelli |