Monday, October 24, 2016


We haven't turned our furnace on yet.

One morning we woke up and the house was 57 degrees.  A bit chilly, but I refuse to turn the heat on until November first.  We actually acclimated a ton, and anything above 64 my kids start complaining that they're hot.

Classy but I cuss a little. Digitally printed on an athletic tri-blend t-shirt. You'll love it's classic fit and ultra-soft feel. 50% Polyester / 25% Rayon / 25% Cotton. Each shirt is printed to order

But the cold will come and this year I've got a new game plan.  Flannel.

I  know that sounds so obvious, but come winter Chris and I have just added more blankets to our bed, not anything strategic.  Before we moved I never had any room for blankets for warmer months and blankets for cooler months.  So I mostly had blankets and covers that would work in milder weather and we just added multiples.

It recently occurred to me that I could put a flannel duvet on my bed and would up my warmth factor a ton.  It was kind of one of those lightbulb moments but at the same time I felt like an idiot, because hello, of course flannel will make your bed warmer.

Behold flannel and plaid.

Dark walls, gallery art and cozy bedding.:

Buffalo Check Duvet Cover & Sham | Pottery Barn:

Pendleton Flannel Glacier Queen Duvet Cover

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

10 Things You Must Bring to the Boundary Waters & Quetico

We just came back from Canada where we canoed into the Quetico (Canada's version of the Boundary Waters only with less people) with friends.  It was gorgeous.  No bugs, fall weather, good friends and food, why would people ever camp in the summer when they can go in the fall?!

gorgeous, isn't it?

In the morning after our first night.

I am not going to give a list on what you should bring with you when you go canoe/camping.  There is tons of that on Pinterest.  I'm just going to give a list of stuff that I felt like was indispensable. (Some which might be on the regular lists.)

1.  Butt Cream
        I'm just going to start with this one to get it out of the way.  You're in the middle of the wilderness, either cleaning by taking a dip in the freezing cold Canadian waters or..... not.  The middle of the nowhere is not the place to get sensitive skin....bring it and use it.  

2.  Baby Wipes
        This kind of piggy backs off number one, but wipes are great to have.  Wipe fish slime off your hands, clean up a bleeding cut, use it to wipe down a bit after you come out and before you get into your car....

3.  Baseball Hat
       Normally I am not a hat person.  And I recently cut my hair off into a pretty severe assymetrical style so when I wear a hat I look like a boy.  But you will want it on the water, especially if it's raining and especially if you wear glasses.

Baseball hat & one androgynous look.

This is what Chris caught...compared to mine above it.

4.  Cheap Prescription Glasses
       The wilderness is no place to take your best pair of glasses.  Hop on to Zenni Optical, buy a few pairs of cheap glasses (like $20 cheap) and use those.  That way if you wreck them you won't be bummed, and if you need glasses I'd recommend taking a second pair, cause you're pretty much screwed if something should happen to them and you need them to, you know, see.

Hipster blue, I could lose these and never feel bad about it.

5.  A Book
        I brought along The Hobbit, because it seemed like a good book to read on an adventure of my  own.  In truth, I didn't get to read hardly at all, the trip was a little quick and filled with stuff, but I always, always carry a book.  I feel like a trip like this isn't really the time to bring a new book that you're interested in.  You're focusing on bringing as little as possible, so I wanted something I knew I would enjoy.  And for the love of all things holy, do not bring a hardcover.  

6.  Ear Plugs
        This is kind of a tough one for me.  At home I need a fan for white noise, but there is something about falling asleep with the wind in the wilderness blowing around you, and I love being in a tent when it rains.  But if your spouse snores or there is an owl that just won't be quiet, you will want these.  

7.  Paddling Gloves
        I actually used weightlifting gloves with the fingers missing.  I don't canoe a lot, and have wimpy hands so these helped in terms of not getting blisters.  They're not a necessity and I actually forgot to leave them out when packing to come home so I didn't use them on the way out.  And what did I get?  Blisters.  

If you look carefully you can see the gloves by the backpack.  Also, this is how you carry your crap when you portage.

8.  Yoga-type pants
        I bought those quick-wicking pants that you see on every outdoor adventurer.  And they worked great, and fit well.  But we spent a lot of time in canoes, and the button pushed into my not-so-flat-stomach when I was sitting and it irritated me after several hours of canoe time.  I actually mostly unbuttoned my pants in the canoe.  My girlfriend had on a yoga type pant and I eyed her up enviously throughout the trip wishing I had packed a pair of those as well.

9.  Lotion
       Your hands are going to be wet, a lot.  Wet mixed with cold leads to some incredibly unhappy hands- think chapped, itchy, and painful.  You will want lotion, cream or some type of salve to rub into them.  You don't need a large container as you don't want the weight, but definitely don't forget this one.

10.  Good Instant Coffee
        Okay, this one is kind of a cheat as you probably would all remember it anyway, but you will love something hot and delicious to drink.  Don't go cheap on this.  Spring for the Starbucks instant mocha, you'll appreciate the better quality out there in the wilderness when you're running only on what you brought with you.  We actually thought a lot about the Voyageurs and how crazy hard their life must have been.  And then I went back to sipping my mocha and being happy for my zero degree sleeping bag that kept me cozy at night.....

Paddling out in the rain- do not, under any circumstance, forget rain gear!  That should be number 11!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Purse Emergency Kit

I've carried an emergency kit of some type in my purse for several years now.  And I've used it a bunch of times.  Here is what I currently carry in my purse.  My current purse is a Duluth Pack Mini Haversack.  It's small.  So so is my stuff.

Starting from the upper left:

The pouch- it was from an ipsy subscription, these bags are perfect for purse kits

1. vaseline mini lip gloss
2. Band Aid Star wars tin, filled with band aids
3.  ibuprofen, just a few pills, go in the band aid box
4.  Peppermint essential oil roll on, in band aid box
5.  Lavender mini essential oil, in band aid box
6.  Mini triple antibiotic ointment, in band aid box
7.  nail trimmer
8.  small shiny container is filled with diy cream for Kembia's eczema
9.  homemade chapstick
10. Bic lighter- I've only used this to heat the end of a needle before removing splinters, but we once asked a DNR what he carried on his belt and he told us all of that but then said "always carry something to make fire with and extra light"
11. Floss, because there will be something in your teeth
12. swiss army knife.  Used it a million times, but mostly things like cutting stray strings off clothes, and trimming nose hair (sad, but true.)

Besides this, we carry a full first aid kit in the car, and a winter emergency kit when it's.....winter.
They have a lot of good ideas on Pinterest, most of the images have tons of stuff, but I like to be able to move the items around in my pouch easily.  If you put that much stuff in it gets hard to find what you are looking for.  I pair mine down and then keep the rest of that stuff in the car.

emergency kit for your's big enough. Why have I not thought of this sooner:

What's in My "Just in Case" Bag | Ashley Brooke | Orlando Florida Beauty and Fashion Blog by Ashley Brooke Nicholas: