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The Ultimate Camping Kit: Part 2

On Monday we looked at a few fun pieces for jazzing up the tent and around the fire … now it’s time to move on to the camp kitchen and table. Let’s go camping!

camp gear - the kitchen

Keep things neat and tidy by stowing trash and recyclables in this rubbish bin with stand (no.1) from Snow Peak. For cooking, all you really need is one good pot (no.2), a classic cast iron skillet (no.9), sharp knife (no.7), cutting board (no.11), tongs (no.12), oven mitts (no.4), and a few tea towels (no.10) for drying dishes. For coffee and tea, you will also be needing a kettle (no.5) and french press (no.6). And when the food is ready, a few of these net food covers (no.8) would come in quite handy for keeping flies away.

camp gear - the table

And now for the table! A pretty cloth in a dark hue (no.7) is a must (or try a cute + wipeable oilcloth version). Fancy cloth napkins (no.2) would be fun, but you could just as easily snag a bunch of cheap-and-chic cotton paisley bandanas in black (no.9) and use those. Real flatware (no.3) and enamelware dishes (no.10) are essentials (don’t even think of using plastic!), and a large bread board (no.6) is a great versatile tool for serving.

For storage and organization, I love the idea of using french market baskets (no.1) to store dry goods by meal (one for breakfast, one for lunch, etc.). Just be sure to put all food away in a bear box or locked car promptly after meals … you know what happened to us when we didn’t! One of these caddies (no.4) would be lovely to store silverware in at the table between meals, and of course a flask (no.5) to take nips from, and a lantern (no.8) to illuminate the table after dark are no-brainers, right?

Whew! I think that about covers it. Did I miss anything? I hope you enjoyed these roundups as much as I enjoyed putting them together!


The Ultimate Camping Kit: Part 1

Following up on the glamping inspiration board from last week, I thought it would be fun to put together a virtual camping kit. We are big campers, so the items I picked are all ones I would love to use — and FYI, this is not in any way a sponsored post, I just love this stuff! Today I will be covering gear for decking out your tent in style, and getting cozy around the fire.

camp gear - the tent

1. Wrap a strand (or two) of battery-op string lights around your tent poles to give your site a warm glow at night … and help you find your way back to your tent in the dark!

2. While I usually prefer a higher tech, family-size tent, this canvas range tent from Kaufmann Mercantile is so charming I would be tempted to give it a try. And speaking of high tech, no matter which tent you choose, I highly recommend investing in an air mattress to go in it. Unless you are backpacking, there’s really no reason to make due with a lightweight (read: thin and uncomfortable) sleeping pad.

3. This fabric and burlap bunting would look totally adorable strung across your tent.

4. I would put a battery operated candle inside one of these Ikea lanterns and hang it inside the tent. (Never use a real candle in your tent — but I didn’t even have to say that, right!?)

5. In fair weather, I sometimes like to skip the sleeping bags and just make up the air mattress inside the tent like a real bed. It’s so comfy, and such a treat to come ‘home’ to after a long hike. I’m loving this painterly stripe bedding from Schoolhouse Electric.

6. You definitely need a cute doormat in front of your tent.

7. This is a trick I recently learned that is so helpful: bring along a lightweight, collapsible laundry basket and put it in your tent to collect dirty clothes. It makes a world of a difference!

camp gear - around the fire

And now a few things for gathering around the fire…

1. If you will be building a campfire, you need a hatchet! Don’t forget this — you don’t want to be the lame campers who can’t get a fire started because they are trying to use gigantic logs!

2. Speaking of logs, how about a chic carryall for toting them from the car to the fire pit?

3. When it comes time to roast marshmallows, instead of hunting for sticks, use a set of these telescoping forks to get the job done.

4. I am a big fan of being a well organized camper. One thing I am dying to add to my own camp kit is a nice big trunk like this one from Ikea to stow gear in. Once at camp, the trunk itself can double as a fireside table.

5. A collapsible cot is great for naps, of course, but also works splendidly as a bench seat for two beside the fire.

6. If you are going to remember one thing, make it extra blankets! Honestly, you can never have too many — the warmer and woolier, the better.

7. You’ll have to check regulations first (some camping areas do not allow hanging hammocks) but if you are able, how awesome would it be to have a hammock at camp?

What about you? What’s in your camping kit? I would love to hear!

I’ll meet you back here on Wednesday for part 2: the camp kitchen and table! xo Laura

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Follow Your Bliss Friday: Journaling 101

Do you keep a journal? If not, I think you should consider starting, and here’s why: keeping a journal can help you reach your dreams. Honestly. Now, I’m not talking about keeping a diary, which to my mind is a simple record of the events of your life — which can be great if that’s what you want to do, but that’s not what we’re discussing today. To keep a journal is an entirely different proposition.

Follow Your Bliss Friday | Lolalina

Journaling is about examining your life as you live it. Writing in your journal can help you pay attention to what’s working and what’s not working in your life, and brainstorm things to do about it. Your journal is a safe place to explore and nurture new baby dreams and ideas without judgment. It’s a place to record and track goals and focus your intentions.

How I Journal

Each day I aim to write three pages in my journal. I adopted the practice of 3 pages per day from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron — in the book, she recommends doing three ‘morning pages’ before starting your day. For me, it’s usually easiest to do my journaling after everyone else is in bed, right before drifting off to sleep. Sometimes I skip a day (or a week), and sometimes I only find time to write one page, but most days I write. What I write tends to be a mix of diary-style rehashing of events, brainstorms, lists, and thinking through things on the page. I often flip back through and read what I have written over the past few weeks, and this helps keep me on track. When you have a busy life, it is so easy to let good ideas, intentions, and goals get left behind! Rereading my journal reminds me of the things I want to be working towards.

Every so often, I go back and peek at what my journal looked like six months or a year ago, and I am always amazed at what has come to pass since then. Little seeds of ideas that were planted in my journal, I have sown and watered and are now growing. Some issues are resolved, and others not so much — but the point is not that everything you hope for in your journal will come true — the point is that it will help you do what you can to make those things come true.

Finding Your Journaling Rhythm

If you have never kept a journal, or if you’ve fallen out of the habit, I encourage you to give it a try! Journaling is different for everyone, so experiment until you find something that works for you. You may like journaling in pretty journals, simple spiral bound notebooks, or even jotting a few notes on postcards (I’m in love with the Shabby Chic postcards shown above). You may enjoy writing first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee or tea by your side; jotting in your journal on a park bench on your lunch break; or squeezing in a page or two while you wait for your child to get out of a lesson.

As far as what to write about, there are many things you can try: list-making; mind mapping (draw a circle with a word in the center, and write out ideas that come to you on ‘arms’ coming out from the center); goal or intention-setting; stream of consciousness writing (keep your pen moving and write about anything that pops into your head); or writing about your day, to name a few. If you thought that journaling wasn’t for you, perhaps that’s just because you haven’t found your way of journaling!

Your Homework

If you choose to accept it…is to find yourself a journal, and write three pages over the weekend. Use any or all of the techniques described above, or invent your own.

Happy weekend, my friends!! xoxo Laura

Follow Your Bliss Friday = Taking a step towards your dreams every week!


Inspiration Board: Glamping


(images, clockwise from top left: mitts from Neeka Knits; The Guardian; Oh So Lovely’s Instagram; camp cot from Now Vintage; recipe from the Etsy blog; Farmhouse Wares)

What I love about glamping (glamour + camping) is that it’s so easy to make the camping experience more fun and comfortable. Think scrumptious meals served from enamelware plates, a tablecloth and mason jar of wildflowers on the picnic table, and cozy blankets to wrap up in while sitting around the fire. Real silverware, twinkle lights on the tent, and candles on the table at night. It’s the best!

i heart campingI’m sure some will disagree, but I do think that glamping can go too far — when I’m camping, I don’t want to sleep in an actual bed, or hang a chandelier over the campsite, and the only screens I want to see are the screened windows of my tent. I want to smell woodsmoke and see stars at night, feel sore muscles from hiking (nothing a few nips from a flask won’t cure), and hear the sounds of woods animals while I drift off to sleep. But why not make it prettier, more comfortable, and more fun? That I am all for!


(images, clockwise from top left: Oh So Lovely Vintage; Sunset Magazine; Oh So Lovely Vintage; Sunset Magazine; Neeka Knits; Oh So Lovely Vintage)

Glamping is the perfect opportunity to use those cute, but slightly wacky vintage afghans, quilts, and cushions you know you secretly love. It’s an opportunity to express your creativity, and even (if you wish) allow your inner tackiness to come out to play. Plastic flowers in a soda bottle? At home, tacky … at the campsite, it’s just cute! There’s a whole lot of leeway when it comes to glamping style. Shabby chic, colorful and retro, or organic and natural — what appeals to you?

Tell me: Are you a camper?

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Follow Your Bliss Friday

The weekend is here, and that means it’s time for Follow Your Bliss Friday! Grab yourself a slice of cake, a cup of your favorite thing to drink, and settle into a comfy chair.

Follow Your Bliss Friday

Since we are just getting this series going, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about what it means to ‘follow your bliss’ exactly, and why it’s a good idea to do it. Bliss, to me, means feeling a deep contentment with what you are doing — feeling at home in your world, like you are on the right path, the stars are aligned, and you are exactly where you need to be. Of course, what does it for you will be different than what does it for me, but that’s what makes being human so awesome — we are each totally unique.

So how do you know what your version of bliss is? You follow it. I think of it as being akin to tracking an animal (not that I know how to do that, or would want to, but for the sake of discussion…). You have to be hyper aware, so you can keep an eye out for clues. But instead of following a scent or animal tracks, you follow your curiosity, feelings of butterflies in your stomach, daydreams, and by noticing what feels easy and natural to you.

Following your bliss is not just one big thing. It’s not just writing a book, or starting a business, or traveling the world — it could include that for you, but it also should include all of the thousands of little things that make your life worth living. Sometimes reaching for one big, all-consuming dream is overwhelming. But if you make following your bliss a daily practice, you will see that all of the tiny decisions you make naturally add up to something bigger.

Think of each choice you make throughout the day as an opportunity to follow your bliss.

Grace Lee Illustrator

I was reading SF Girl By Bay the other day, and Victoria mentioned in a post that she used to draw and paint in a similar style to illustrator Grace Lee, whose work is shown above. She went on to say that seeing Grace’s work inspired her to consider picking up her pens again. That’s what I’m talking about! You can imagine the little tingle Victoria must have felt in her tummy when she saw Grace’s illustrations, right? Well the next time you feel a tingle like that, promise yourself that you will do something about it. You don’t know where it will lead … and that’s sort of the point, isn’t it? Life is a grand adventure, and none of us know exactly where we are going. But you can make the journey as interesting and blissful as you like. It’s up to you.

(images, from top: Madewell’s Instagram; illustrator Grace Lee, found thanks to SF Girl By Bay)

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