I'm Heather - lifestyle photographer & homeschooling mama. We choose simple and slow. Freedom and fresh air. And I like to make things beautiful.

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The SIFTED | Souvenirs

The SIFTED | Souvenirs

There are endless benefits to traveling light, but there is one in particular that is powerful: you can only bring home what you can carry. And in our case that wasn't much. The Mister and I made our way across Italy with a backpack and carry-on each. When we were planning our trip, I was writing in my journal everything I wanted to do, and one of the items was accompanied by a reminder I wisely wrote to myself in blazing capital letters: "window shop - HEATHER YOU CAN ONLY BUY WHAT YOU CAN FIT IN BAG." Noted, sane Heather. Noted.

But this was a great challenge. I find when traveling I tend to buy lots of little odds and ends, mementos that I don't really need and wish I hadn't as soon as we're stateside. This trip was different; this trip space was tight and the real estate in my bag was precious. We deliberated over each purchase, making sure we had room for it, and making sure it was deserving of said room.

Below are a few of the thoughtful treasures we chose to bring home. They are special and meaningful and perfect for us.

  1. Children's books

    Books are our family thing. Before we left, I made a short list of items to look out for when shopping to guide our purchases, and "children's books" was on it!  When we stumbled upon a book shop in Venice with colorful illustrations proudly on display in the windows, I knew we would be ducking in to browse. The only trouble was that every book was perfect and we could only choose a few. Had we a piece of luggage at hand, you better believe I would have bought closer to twenty! Thanks to our packs, though, our backs and wallets caught a break and we only toted three home to our waiting littles.

2. Blank book

I have no idea what I'm going to fill this thing with, but as soon as I saw it in a shop window, I had to have it. Had to, I tell you! I may have had a Gollum moment, mentally whispering "my precioussss." The paper inside is divine and pattern exquisite. It's my favorite find of all.

(And isn't that frame beautiful?! My friend Libby gave it to me. Can't wait to fill it with art!)

Anybody notice the primary triadic color scheme? Please tell me you did. So good!!

3. Stationary

Italy is world-renowned for their paper products so you better believe I stocked up…

4. Olive wood spoon

Bought this from a carpenter in Sorrento by the name of Luigi Landolfi ( who had a studio next door. Love cooking with it! (Ammendment: 2019 and still going strong!)

5. sandals

For five years (5!) I have been waiting for the right pair of leather sandals to cross my path, but never loved anything enough to commit to bringing them home. Until...Amalfi. Oh, Italy, you and your leather goods! You sure know how to make a good pair of sandals. I saw this shop in the street and promptly tried on half a dozen pairs to see which I liked best. My feet were unfortunately wide for most of them but I was - and still am - over the moon with my cognac laced gladiators. The leather upper is buttery soft and the soles comfy and sturdy. I have resolved to only buy another pair when I can come back to this shop, so I hope these will last me til then. They are certainly worth the wait!

6. perfume

Lemon, floral, amber. I felt so grown up buying perfume. Fell in love with this scent in Vernazza and used it while we were there. Now whenever I spray it, I remember the colorful little town it came from, the sound of seagulls and the meandering cobblestone streets full of adventure. (Find it here at Le 5 Terre.)

Are you going somewhere soon? Want to pack lighter, shop lighter, and live lighter?

Do it! You won't regret it.

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