Summer Vacation Staples

I’m headed on vacation at the end of this week and there is nothing that I am looking forward to more. We’ll be at the beach so these are a few beach vacation essentials that will be accompanying me. Not to mention the books and magazines I will be bringing! They will be in an upcoming post this week!

  1. Beach towel 
  2. Swimsuit
  3. Beach basket 
  4. Face mist
  5. Lip balm with SPF
  6. SPF 50

Charleston Photo Journal

I’m sitting in the airport as I write this because I got a pinch of energy just now and I know that I might not have that later today as I woke up at 4am this morning. But alas, a very short but very charming weekend has come to an end. My parents recently moved to Charleston (whelp) and I had yet to visit them, the last one of my siblings. So I was more than jolly to make plans to come visit.

The weekend was mostly spent with puppy cuddles, Christmas decorating and spending time with my family but never the less, we headed into downtown Charleston. We went through the Charleston City Market, got lattes and strolled the streets of the French Quarter. I think my parents were happy to have their youngest child back; me, wandering endlessly and them, stopping to turn back and waiting for me after having only just realized that I was a block away snapping away photos. Here are some of those snaps that my parents patiently waited for me to take so, enjoy!

I’ll be back here in only a few weeks so expect more ‘wandering Charleston’ posts and just know that my family was probably standing around waiting for me as I snapped the photos.

Camping Weekend

Our continuing tradition of going camping every fall for Harrison’s Birthday has become one of my very favorite things about fall. All of the rusticism and rugged romanticism of the hiking through hundred foot hemlocks that creek and crack from swaying in the wind, dewy wet grass, waking up early with nothing but the sunrise as our alarm clock, and drinking coffee (and inevitably the coffee grounds) that was made over the campfire. It makes us feel at ease because in those moments nothing else really matters; it’s just us and the great outdoors. And when we return, with our batteries recharged, we feel an overwhelming sense of joy and happiness. The specialness of Wildcat Mountain will forever live in our souls even if we can’t make it back to camp at the same spot every year. Long live Camp Wisconsin!

Falling In-Love with Fall

Shoes sopped with rain. It was worth it.

This past weekend was a little bit of a getaway for us. I say ‘little bit’ because we definitely still had homework to do. According to the map of all time and space, we were do for a long rainy weekend. But this didn’t spoil our plans to go apple picking. We wouldn’t let it, we’re too much of the romantic type and we find way too much earnest in the rain. Per usual I brought the wrong type of shoe to be out in the rain in the middle of an apple orchard. Wet grass, rain, mud. The most idealistic conditions for sporting a pair of ballet flats. You know what we say though, ’tis the season!

We ended up picking the Golden Delicious variety only because you know me, I was going to bake a pie with the apples. Have you ever stopped to think about the way the apples are named? Golden Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith, Honey Crisp. Names almost more endearing then the apples themselves.

My obsession with maple syrup is unrelenting so I made a Maple Apple Pie to satisfy just about everyone of my hopes and dreams this season. I made two batches (one for the bottom crust and one for the top crust) of my favorite pie crust recipe from Joy the Baker and then followed the Maple Apple Pie recipe from Kitchen Heals Soul.

What have you been up to this weekend? Happy fall!

How To Pack For a Month+ Abroad

There’s nothing more exciting than the feeling of an ensuing adventure. Mine in particular is one that I’ve been channeling my every energy into since I left. I’m heading back to France in just 2 days time. It’s been five years since I was last there. That seems like forever ago and then some.

Last time I went, I stayed for two weeks. Which is a perfect amount of time when it comes to packing but not so much for adventuring all around the country. This time I’m staying for 5 weeks. I’m stoked to be staying for that long but I’ve realized it’s a bit of an awkward length of time when it comes to packing. Too long to bring everything I need then just wash my clothes when I return and not quite long enough to pack up my whole life. Especially because I won’t always be able to access laundry easily.

Here is what I’ve done to make packing for a long haul trip a bit easier.

I am bringing one carry-on and one checked bag. My airline allows two checked bags but that just seems like way too much. I’m taking the hard-sided luggage because between the connecting flights and taking little weekend excursions, I’ll need something durable and weatherproof. This one from Rockland is the perfect lightweight and spacious luggage set.

  1. Check the weather. I checked the average weather for where I’m staying as soon as I booked the trip. I wanted to have a good idea of what I would need. I’ve also saved the location to my phone’s weather app and have been checking it every now and again. I know it won’t be as hot as it is here in Milwaukee but I know that it’ll rain a lot more. So rain gear is called for.
  2. Have a capsule wardrobe. If you already have one then, obviously this is simpler. Especially if you are traveling from one season to the same season abroad. If you don’t just make a vacation capsule wardrobe from what you already have. Start with the basics. Denim, tee’s and knitwear. Then add in a few items that a bit more special. I am just gonna take my capsule wardrobe for summer but I’ll be leaving behind a few items that I haven’t been to keen on.
  3. 3 pairs of shoes. Over packing shoes can be detrimental to travelling. I say three pairs of shoes is just the right number for long haul trips. One comfy pair for everyday walking, one dressier pair then one extra pair.
  4. Use smaller toiletries. I am using the travel sized bottles and filling them with my shampoo, conditioner and soap. I found 6oz sized ones that aren’t airline regulation for carry-ons but you can find 3oz ones that are. 6oz should be plenty. I don’t go through that much shampoo or conditioner anyways.
  5. Roll baby, roll. Rolling clothes is the most effective way to save space and prevent wrinkles. I start by folding them half-way then start rolling.
  6. Heavy items in the back. Put the heaviest item in the bottom of your suitcase. This will prevent you from carrying around a suitcase that wants to tip over constantly.
  7. Tech. Make sure you have all of your tech stored in a safe place. Avoid putting expensive things in your checked bag because they have been known to get tossed around and also lost. Make sure you have all the cords and chargers you need and the right outlet adapters! There would be nothing worse then bringing a camera only to find out that you can’t use it because you can’t charge it.
  8. Leave the liquids and tech in hand luggage. Or in the most easily accessed compartment of the carry-on. This way you can easily roll through security without fuddling around with your stuff. Once your through security you can put the into your carry-on and take some of the weight off of your hand luggage.

These are just what seems to work best but if you know of some great packing resources, please leave the down below in the comments!

Look out for my long haul flight travel essentials post coming up on Wednesday! Happy travels!