Glamping - Packing Edition

So as you may know, I’m a chronic overpacker - I even wrote some blogs about it when we went to Europe last spring (1, 23, 4, follow up). For that trip, it was super important that I was able to fit everything in a carry-on backpack, so I did tons of research, made lots of lists, and ended up coming up with a pretty decent capsule wardrobe, and totally succeeded in saving space.

The packing process can be very chaotic

Cut to a couple weekends ago - we went camping for four days. We drove, so we had an entire car to pack into, so I didn't feel the need to limit myself too much, as long as I didn't pack more than my duffle.

As far as toiletries and makeup go, I think I did pretty good! I didn't bring any makeup at all, since we were in the middle of the desert and it was just with friends and family who were all doing pretty much the same. I only brought a few toiletries that I didn't use, but I will say that those things took up minimal room, and all could have come in handy, so I might pack things like that the next time we camp anyway.

Used
Didn't Use
Hairbrush Moroccanoil
Wide-toothed comb All-purpose soap
Toothbrush (Sonicare, battery lasted all 4 days) Tampons
Toothpaste Wash cloths (2)
Deodorant Body towels (2)
Face wipes Large hair clip
Multi-purpose wipes Powder sunscreen (for scalp)
Dry shampoo Wide fabric headbands
Hand sanitizer Bandana
Sunscreen
Skin Trip (lotion that's particularly nice on sunburns)
Pack towel (small, super absorbent)
Hair ties
Bobby pins

I probably brought twice the amount of clothes I needed, but with Utah and the desert, the temperature can potentially swing wildly. It can rain (it did a little on us). It can be super hot. It can be quite chilly at night. So, for just 3 nights/4 days of camping, here’s what I brought vs what I actually used:

Item
  Brought  
  Used  
PJ Pants
1
1
PJ Shorts
1
0
Hoodie*
1
1
Zip up sweatshirt
1
1
Long Sleeved athletic shirts
4
2
Long Sleeved button-up shirts
3
3
Cotton Tank top
1
1
Athletic tank tops
2
2
Athletic shorts
1
0
Sports bras
4
2
Bralette
1
1
Underwear
8
4
Socks
7
4
Long warm wool socks
1
1
Shorts
2
1
Sweatpants*
1
1
Baseball hat
1
1
Floppy hat
1
1
Beanie
1
1
Long leggings
3
2
Capri leggings
1
1
Buff
1
0
Swimsuit
1
0
Gloves
1
0
Open-finger Mittens
1
1
Sunglasses
2
2
Down jacket
1
0
Rain/wind layer
1
0
Trail runners/hiking boots (water resistant)
1
1
Crocs (for water)
1
1
Flip flops
1
1

*worn by the fire so they could get embers on them

Of course there are always the odds and ends, too:

Odds & Ends
iPhone & charger
Apple Watch & Charger
GoPro & Charger
Extra battery chargers (+ car kit battery)
Instax & film
Headphones
Large ziplock bags (water protection)
Journal & pen
Glasses
Yoga mat
Ukulele
Books

Why did I bring so many chargeable things? Well, my iPhone doubled as my main camera, the GoPro is super fun, and, while I probably could have let the Apple Watch fall to the wayside, I really liked seeing how far we went and I like to keep reaching the daily goals it sets for me (we got up to 26,000 steps one day!!)

I learned that I could re-use a lot of what I brought, and I probably could have gotten by with even less than what I used. Some things, though, I wouldn’t leave behind just because I didn’t use them this time. We don’t typically go camping for more than a few days (because of our schedules, and because it gets difficult to live out of a car and cooler for much longer without finding more modern amenities). After this experience, I think my ideal complete packing list would be the following (and this is not including things like tents, kitchen gear, etc. - that’s hubby’s job)

As I grow older, I find myself more at ease in the middle of nowhere. I used to be so concerned with how I presented myself and I wanted to be perfect all the time. Camping with my husband has shown me that I really don't need all that much, and that it's good to disconnect a little now and then. While I do still want to look cute (because pictures last forever), a more natural approach to that seems to fit into my lifestyle as I get closer to 30.

One Month of Disneybounding

I'm a HUGE Disney fan - at any given moment I'm probably wearing at least one Disney-themed item, I've been to the parks more times than I can remember, and I live and breathe Disney song lyrics. As you may or may not know, Disney Parks don't let adults wear costumes, so this lovely Canadian Blogger, Leslie Kay, came up with Disneybound, which basically makes outfits that pay an homage to a character or movie, which allows the wearer to dress up, without necessarily being super in your face about it, and without breaking any rules. Plus, you can do it away from the Parks, adding some Disney magic to your hometown. 😜

In March, she does a challenge, where she comes up with a different theme for each day. I decided that I needed to participate, and I learned quite a few things along the way. Check out the calendar below (or go to my Instagram, @katcamilli) to see how I interpreted each day. Below it are my discoveries.

1
Fav Disneybound Accessory - Minnie Mouse Bow Ring
2
#TBT to fav Disneybound - Ariel from The Little Mermaid
3
Sidekick Characters - Flower from Bambi
4
Snow White Characters - Snow White
5
Fav from Childhood - Cinderella's Castle
6
Mulan Characters - Cri-kee
7
Disney Villains - Yzma from The Emperor's New Groove
8
Disney Heroines - Rapunzel from Tangled
9
Disney Channel Original Movie - Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century
10
Fab 5 Friday - Minnie Mouse
11
Princess and the Frog - Tiana
12
Inspirational Character - Princess Leia from Star Wars
13
The Little Mermaid - Ursula
14
Disney Heroes - Walt Disney
15
Alice in Wonderland - The Queen of Hearts
16
The Muppets - The Swedish Chef (and his pie)
17
Beauty and the Beast - The Enchanted Rose (had to wear green because of St. Patrick's Day)
18
Pirates of the Caribbean - Captain Jack Sparrow
19
Fantasia - A Centaurette from the Pastoral Symphony
20
Birth Year Character - 1987 only had Benji, and I was nearly born in 1988, so I picked Dodger from Oliver and Company
21
Mary Poppins - Throwback to Halloween 2015 - DIY
22
Disney Parks Attraction - The Haunted Mansion
23
Disney Princess - Cinderella (and her birdy helpers
24
Moana Character - Pua and Hei Hei
25
DIY Disneybound Accessory - A satin clutch I made for my wedding (matches the bodice of my wedding dress) - it is a great compliment to many different Disneybounds!
26
Disney's One Saturday Morning - Eeyore from The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
27
Marvel - Captain America
28
Peter Pan
29
Pixar - Carl Fredricksen from Up
30
Share a Fellow Bounder - @PiDayCosplay
31
Wildcard
  1. Like a stereotypical female, I’ve got a fairly large collection of clothes, but I don’t wear most of it. I already knew this, I suppose, but digging through my closets each morning to try to find something that fit the day’s theme had me looking at neglected items day after day. I did end up pulling out a handful of pieces that hadn’t seen daylight in a while, which was exiting, but it made me think about how these clothes would be so much better used if I found more ways to wear them, or if I donated them.
  2. I don’t have a lot of color versatility. I have a ton of pink and some red/purple/blue, but beyond that, it’s pretty monochromatic black and gray. I have zero orange, and only one yellow skirt that I made a while back for a Pooh costume. And maybe two green things? What little choice I was left with made me feel like I was re-wearing pieces for several different Disneybounds, which isn’t inherently bad, but I was wishing for super simple solid colored shirts/skirts/jeans, because certain characters were just out of the question based on my color choices. I think I’m going to keep my eyes open when I go shopping so I can find inexpensive ways to add pops of color in.
  3. Piggy-backing on that thought, I feel like my wardrobe lacks basic pieces that would have gone well with multiple outfits, like said solid colored shirts, jeans, cardigans, etc. I think I need a Disneybound focused wardrobe overhaul. Hubby will be thrilled 😉
  4. There were a couple days where I would put an outfit together, take a picture, then tweak it a little (or a lot) for work. Sometimes it is because the weather did not match the amount of skin an outfit showed. Other times it was because the outfit was far too formal for my work environment - I typically go with a bit of an athlesiure style, sometimes wearing super stretchy jeans rather than yoga pants. I like to be comfy at my desk.
  5. I’m not very adventurous with my jewelry and accessories. If you go to the Disneybound website, a lot of the outfits come together with small accessories. While I like the jewelry I have, not a whole lot of it is quirky or that versatile in color. Another thing to keep my eye out for when I’m shopping. I wouldn’t buy anything that would break the bank, but maybe I’ll find some fun stuff at odd shops and thrift stores.
  6. I went to Target for ONE THING about halfway through March, and I ended up buying 5 pieces of clothing, too. However, my mindset when browsing was geared a bit toward Disneybounding, and I ended up wearing them all in outfits for the challenge! That was kind of fun. While I know I don’t need to go shopping that much, thinking of uses like this could be a fun way to challenge myself when I do shop. Oh - I also bought a clear dome umbrella for my Enchanted Rose 🙈
  7. A lot of my clothing doesn’t fit me like I want it to/like I think it should. Part of it may be that it never did - I think we’re all guilty of buying something because we liked the idea of it - and part of it is that I’ve had a pretty big body transformation in the past couple years, so things end up fitting differently than when I bought them. Sometimes it’s better, which is always a pleasant surprise, but other times they just don’t do me justice anymore. Unfortunately, I’m a bit of a pack-rat, and even when I don’t like the way something looks on me, I find it very difficult to actually get rid of it.
  8. I need all my clothes in one place. Before we bought our house, we shared a MASSIVE walk in closet, and all of my clothing was in one place (and all outerwear was near the front door). Now, because our house was built in the 1950s, each bedroom has small closets that don’t really work great for me, so my clothes are split between the bedroom and my craft room, while outerwear and shoes are in multiple other places, too. With all my stuff in so many places, it can be hard to find specific things I’m thinking of, and it makes it harder to improvise an outfit since I can’t see everything in front of me at the same time. So, adding to my massive to-do list, I am going to re-organize my clothes somehow so I can see everything in one place. I even want to come up with some way to display all my scarves!
  9. Disneybounding is a good conversation starter! A handful of people asked “What’s this Disney thing you’re doing?” and a couple have even told me they looked forward to seeing what I did each day. My cousin told me she was going to be sad once March was over! 😂
  10. The social media aspect is really interesting. The hashtags helped some of the posts be my most liked in a while (I don’t really get that many likes, so it’s not that hard to do 😜), and it was interesting to see which outfits did the best. By far my most popular was a throwback to my Mary Poppins Jolly Holiday costume (part 1, part 2, part 3), but Snow White was a close second, while the Haunted Mansion, Zenon, Flower, Jack Sparrow and Eeyore were a bit farther behind. I was surprised my Enchanted Rose didn’t fare better, and one of my favorites, Walt Disney, too. Instagram is weird lol. And on Twitter, I found that @thedisneybound herself was very good at liking tweets she’s tagged in - it’s cool to be that interactive with your audience. She also retweeted a couple of my outfits which was exciting! Social media also helped me find a few more Disneybounders to follow, which adds some pixie dust to my feed ☺️

While I would say that Disneybounding everyday isn’t something I’d be totally up for (I’m feeling a little drained because I’m a perfectionist and I also want to somehow be unique in my interpretations), adding a bit more into my life sounds really fun. I look forward to diversifying the color palate of my closet, to making more pieces (good challenges for sewing and crafting!), and to being inspired by others in this fun, nerdy community. 💜

Learning to Slow Down

I spent my sick days drinking cup after cup of tea and/or soup, reading, journaling, watching TV... it was practically perfect, minus the whole cough part.

I've never been good at taking time for myself. Not to just sit and be still, at least. It's partly because I say yes to (probably too many) things, and partly because my mind is constantly spinning with new ideas. I tend to overbook myself, albeit with fun things for the most part. I mostly enjoy my life, but I find myself constantly tired, and my to-do list never gets any shorter. You should see my list of passions/hobbies. It includes so many songs to record, ideas to write, outfits to sew, projects to craft... That's why I had to work on my creative space - it wasn't working in my favor.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago I got sick - nothing major, don't be too alarmed. It was just a really annoying cough, and it came at a super inopportune time, because I had choir concerts the next weekend, and as a singer, it's rough not being able to use your instrument.

I slept as much as possible the first night of this sickness, hoping it would pass quickly. I had been hoping the pesky cough was just because we went to a loud concert the night before. But instead, I woke up the next morning and it was WORSE! So I decided to skip everything, even my routine Saturday morning yoga class, sleeping more than I have in ages, and asking hubby to bring me soup because I was pathetic 😜 JK, but he was super sweet and helped me as much as he could. Sunday was a little better, but I still took it easy, skipping my workout, and instead catching up on some journaling, reading and TV.

You don't need daily recaps from the rest of my illness, but what I'm getting at is that I think my body was telling me something. I pride myself in how little I get sick, actually. Before this, I don't specifically remember the last time I had a cold. I used to get sick a lot, especially when I was in school. I think it was because of stress, lack of sleep and not taking proper care of myself. I didn't prioritize my fitness or my nutrition, on top of having a full-time school schedule and a part-time job. Once I really started on my fitness journey a couple years ago, yes, I started to fit in my clothes better and I gained confidence, but I also felt more energized, and I got sick a lot less.

I think maybe this cold came about to tell me to slow down, sleep more, and focus on me a bit more. Even though I've been doing my best to keep up with my fitness routine, it isn't leaving me as energized as it used to, and I definitely haven't been eating as many veggies as I should be. On top of that, I don't sleep enough (it's soooo hard to wake up in the morning), and almost every day has something planned.

I'm better now, but I think I need to re-work my daily routine so I get to sleep more, and I need to re-assess what is important right now. For my own sake (both physically and mentally). Taking time for myself needs to be more of a priority.

Letting Go

I've always been a bit of a pack rat. I'm super nostalgic, and I find sentimental attachment to all sorts of things. I have lofty aspirations to do creative, crafty things with ticket stubs, cards, letters, other random pieces of paper, drawings, old pictures, funny cutouts from magazines... I wouldn't say I'm a hoarder, because I don't like clutter, either. Things get put away, and on a good day, I'm actually pretty proud of how nice my house looks. But in rearranging and reorganizing my craft room, which was kick started by the amazing mirror I got at Ikea, I have decided that I need to be better about letting go of things. Odds are I'm not going to start a project around a picture I decided to print out eight years ago, so why keep it?

Things are slowly looking better in the craft room! Now I can see all my fabric, and the space is feeling more functional than ever. Eventually I think I want to paint it white, too!

Anyway, while cleaning up my space, especially after hanging the mirror, I was thinking that I want the room to be even more functional. I have a nice big table, and my fabric is all neatly folded (for now), and I have a sketch book I use to try to flesh out my ideas, but I don't have a place to visually put things together, leave them there, add to, change, and then re-do for the next project. Sounds like I need something like a cork board, right? Would you believe that there are already TWO hanging in my craft room? But Kathryn, how do you have two big beautiful bulletin boards that do not help you creatively? Isn't that what bulletin boards are for??

In high school, I bought a cork board, which ended up turning into a sort of scrapbook that hangs on my wall. I liked it so much, and kept acquiring stuff, that I bought a second one (same exact size/type), and did the same thing. Remember that list of things I keep from above? I covered these cork boards with odds and ends like movie tickets, fun pictures with friends, silly jokes, etc. Oh, and Disney pins instead of thumbtacks for the most part. I worked hard to cover nearly every square inch of these boards. I tried my best to create a seemingly random layout, though it took me way longer than true randomness ever would, because I was deliberate about my randomness...

A lot of good memories here 

While I love the work I did on these boards, I realize they don't fit into the aesthetic I want my creative space to have. I've thought about just buying a new cork board, but then I would have to find new places for these to hang, and I don't want them in our living room, kitchen, bedroom, guest bedroom, or any other place in the house, really. So I've come to the conclusion that it's time to press forward. They've served their purpose, and now they move on to their next purpose: helping me cultivate craftiness in my life, being more adaptable, not just permanent fixtures on the wall.

After stripping the boards of their adornments, I painted the frames black, and lined the edges with sparkly black washi tape. The tape doesn't stick to cork super well, so I used flat gold thumbtacks to keep it in place (I used a tape measure to space them as perfectly as possible). I bought some mini black clothespins and hot glued them to some thumbtacks so I could hang up pictures and inspiration without punching holes in them. I thought it was kinda cute. All in all, it was a fairly inexpensive project. I needed 2 rolls of the tape ($3 each), a pack of thumbtacks ($3), acrylic paint (about $2, but I had some already), mini clothespins ($3 for a pack of 20), a paintbrush and a hot glue gun (I already had the last two supplies). I'm pretty happy with how these turned out, and I'm excited for how they might help my creative process!

Yes, I'm creating a deeper meaning from cork boards from high school. I've never been good at letting go of things, and tackling what to some might be a trivial project feels like a good way to show myself that this is ok. That I can rely on memories and pictures (of COURSE I took pictures of these to immortalize my teenage-self's hard work), and that it's ok for life to change and that sometimes we do need to let go in order to grow and flourish.

So here's to letting go of things that don't serve a purpose anymore. Here's to the fond memories created. Here's to new endeavors, and allowing my creative wings to stretch a little bit farther and easier.