Friday, May 26, 2017

How to Prep for a Camping Trip

FIRST THINGS FIRST. Tell me this road trip doesn't look like an adventure waiting to happen?! It reminds me of Pete's Dragon, which I recently watched and fell in love with!


Anyways, past several years there has always been a camping post leading up to Memorial Day weekend, and this year is no different. One thing I've never touch on though is the preparation process, which is pretty intense for me. I love to stick with my routine so that as few items are forget as possible. What does that mean? LISTS. Making lists is my favorite, so of course, I will now make a list of my camping lists.

1. Activity list
2. Food list
3. Cooking list
4. Gear list
5. Clothing list

But, there's one thing that needs to be done first, as it will impact all your packing: the weather. Make sure to keep your eye on it a week out to see how precipitation changes. Based on this info you can get started on your lists! (are you as EXCITED as I am?!?)


Activity list
What are you planning to do this weekend? It doesn't need to be really specific with days and times, but you should think of all the things you would like to do. How active or inactive you are during your trip can alter what you wear and how much meal prep to do.

Food list
If you regularly meal plan, this is no different from your normal schedule. Make your list of meals then your grocery list. This year we are keeping things really simple because we want to keep our cooking and clean up time to a minimum so we can do other things. Breakfast will be made on a griddle: eggs and bacon or sausage. Lunches will consist of premade salads. For dinner, we will be cooking all our meat on the grill, along with veggies packets I prep beforehand. Just slice up whatever veggies you want with some seasonings and wrap them up in aluminum foil. Make them personalized and let people decide what they want in their packet, or just do one large one. Carrots, zucchini, green beans, onion, and peppers are great options because they taste good with any meat. I like to put the packets into plastic containers before the cooler for two reasons. It keeps any water from finding its way in, but also it's great to have a container later for leftovers. Need ideas? Try these! (just remember that potatoes do not freeze well and turn color quickly, so that's something to add right before cooking)

Cooking list
Now that you have your food planned, you can make your list of kitchen equipment. You've probably decided how you plan to cook your foods, which makes it easy to determine large equipment like pots and pans, grills, etc. Be sure to think of each meal and what kind of tools/utensils you will need. I have no idea how many times I've forgotten a can opener or a pancake turner. Bringing beer or wine? Don't forget the bottle openers. Also account for extra paper towels, baggies, and dish cloths. Here's a nice kitchen checklist along with some other great ideas to remember!

Gear list
Use one of many Pinterest camping lists, if you're not sure what to bring. I've posted several lists myself. But mostly I wanted to talk about packing the car. This may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure to pack chronologically for how you will set up camp. Bedding and clothes in first, kitchen and food next, then tables and chairs, finished off with your tent, canopies, and tarps. That way when unloading the car, start on the biggest tasks first, then the small stuff. We always pack our food supplies in large totes that way we can easily set them in the car at night if we are concerned about critters poking their nose around! Don't forget to bring a rainy day activity like cards, magazines, or a board game.

Clothing list
Since weather and climate is different everywhere, I can't really advise you on what to pack. But I do know that you probably need less than you think. Consider layers for day time, a jacket or sweatshirt for evening, a raincoat or poncho, and a pair of shoes you can wear to shower. And if there's even a small chance of rain, pack extra socks. Wet socks just sounds like a nightmare, right?! Visit my post earlier this week if you want to see what I'm packing.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

weekend wear





Weather is always tricky around Memorial Day. It usually rains, temperature fluctuates 20 degrees, and sometimes the sun shows up. The best advice is to plan for layers! A three-day weekend of camping calls for a pair of jeans, a couple pair of leggings (great to sleep in as well), and one pair of shorts. A few lightweight shirts that can sit comfortably under a chambray top, a sweatshirt, a raincoat or all three if weather gets really crazy! Tennis shoes are my shoe of choice for walking around a campsite, but if it's really warm, I always want to slip on some sandals. Of course, flip flops to wear in the shower are the most important. Lastly, I like the option of throwing on a sundress or a maxi dress if the sun plans to be out all day and we are taking it easy. It's also easy to top of off with the chambray top if it gets chilly in the evening.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bell Casa

It's official. I've completely lost my mind. The list of summer projects is so long I'm too embarrassed to even discuss it because I know the reality. Reality is, MAYBE half of them will get done. I've set my sights high this year. This fall I'll share the ones that became reality; until then I'll leave you wondering how far off the deep end I've gone.

That being said, I have a very simple one to start off with and the chance of success is extremely high because I've already made my purchases. Sounds promising, right?! The task is to liven up our back patio. Last year I had a darling little table made with mosaic tile but I didn't have chairs for it so it was only used once. We do tend to grill out regularly, so I'm looking forward to making this space more usable. Here's the plan...



1 We have this great little swing set from Lowe's that is petite but also my favorite thing for the patio. I've always loved to swing, so it was at the top of my list.

2 I'm hoping I can store our cushions in this bench and then add some happy plants to the slats. Our current flower beds are in disarray until we have a new patio poured, so I need a place to plant some flowers. 

3 These chairs with the table I currently have will make for a great place to eat dinner as it comes off the grill. Plus they match the blue mosaic tiles on the table! (No longer available on Target's website, but these are similar.)

4 To really punch up the color, some kind of printed rug. This item is still on my "to purchase" list so if you find a great one, send it my way!

Is your outdoor space ready for the season? What are your must haves?

Friday, May 5, 2017

etsy A R T

Quite often I find myself browsing around Etsy, determining things I want need. While I love the fact that anyone and everyone can open up shop on the platform, when looking for something super specific, it can feel somewhat saturated and difficult to find the really great shops. Today I'm sharing a few of my favorite art sources on Etsy. These are all painters, in various mediums, because I love to browse through paintings. Without further ado, in no particular order, lets get to the shops.


Janet Hill Studio - For all you lovers of whimsical art, this shop is for you. Offering both originals and giclee prints, in a variety of sizes, Janet has something for every room in your house. I love to find the best one for each of my friends because she has such a variety of personalities. The one below on the left I've decided is me.




L Dawning Scott Fine Art - Everyone and their brother can do abstract art, or at least they think they can. (Sorry if my nose is showing, I'm picky when it comes to abstract.) However, Lis does abstract SO WELL. It's full of textures, beautifully merged colors, and often times some really lovely metallic. Her colors are bold and vibrant, exactly what I want when I'm looking for abstract.





Color Watercolor - Watercolors have recently gone through a super trendy period, and I must admit, there's nothing better than an oversized watercolor painting. Joanna does a wonderful job of creating really vibrant illustrations that are simple but bold. There's something about watercolor that tends towards feminine to me, but her offering doesn't come across that way



Hope you enjoyed this mini round-up! Now go browse Etsy to find your favorite artists!



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Friday, April 21, 2017

HIS & HERS

The tulips are up and we haven't had snow in two weeks. I think it is finally safe to say, spring is here! However, I do live in the Midwest, so it wouldn't surprise me a bit if we had a blizzard next week.

This past week I spent some quality time in my closest, weeding out the winter clothes that were not worn this past season and making room to bring out the summer frocks and tanks. Summer is my favorite season, so while I await the 80+ degree heat, I thought it would be fun to come up with some ways to transition my wardrobe AND my man's wardrobe. In all the years I've spent blogging, I don't think I have ever discussed KJB's style or done a mood board for him. That is partly because he tends to dress fairly stylish himself; he tends towards athletic and preppy most of the time.

Once I got started on the mood board, I realized how much I loved pulling pieces for him, so I couldn't help but do more than one! Three categories of his and hers to carry you well throughout a weekend together. First getting active, as we love to take walks along the river together on a sunny Saturday. For him, I've pulled his standard workout wear - a bright, Dryfit top, runners shorts, and his trusty Braves cap. KJB has gone through several pairs of these exact running shoes while training for and completing races, so I know they must be good. For her, some bright colors and a bit of floral, which is the perfect combination for spring. I have not yet tried out these spiral hair ties but they seem to be all the rage, so I'll have to pick some up and give them a go.
Next up, is a casual day out. Running errands on a Sunday afternoon is a pretty standard occurrence for us. For him, light colors and seersucker makes for a perfect spring combination. KJB loves to accessorize so I added wooden beads and a pair of classic RayBans, two things I know he considers staples. To add some interest, these burgundy leather sneakers really change the attitude of the outfit. For her, distressed white denim is a staple. Paired with a couple of pompoms and a bow, the look is fresh and casual. The bright colors of the lariat necklace make the look playful.



On to date night, which I must unfortunately claim does not happen all too often for us. We love to be out and about during the day and tend to hunker down in the evenings. But every once in a while we will dress up a bit to tour the town. For her, off-the-shoulder and floral is the way to go. The black background keeps it sophisticated and paired with a simple wedge and clutch, this look is classic and feminine. For him, a smart, straight pant paired with a tan sweater and a derby shoe. The neutrals are perfect for evening and the sweater is just cozy enough for her to lean into to shield the crisp air.


What are your go-to's for spring? What colors and patterns are you mixing into your wardrobe? I think for him, I'm going to hunt for a bit more burgundy accents and perhaps pull him way out of his comfort zone and try a patterned pant. (Like these  or these from Bonobos!! OMG!!! They have some really trendy and classic options.) If I manage to succeed, I'll be sure to update! Happy weekend!