The Best Way to Pack for Camping

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I spent my childhood camping in Northern California during the summer time with the whole family. Some of my best memories were spent sitting at the campfire roasting marshmallows or jumping in the ocean at the little beach near our campsite. Now, I've started going on camping trips of my own and I'm realizing that it's cheap, a fun challenge, and one of the best ways to spend quality time with the ones that you love. If a trip is budget friendly and adventurous and fun, sign me up! Getting all the supplies may seem like an expensive up front cost, but the good news is that family members or friends probably have some gear you can borrow and, if/when you do decide to buy your own, it is a one-time expense. Since it seems like you're venturing into the wilderness, it can be tempting to overpack and easy to get overwhelmed. The best way I've been able to take the stress out of camping is to keep it simple and actually never unpack from camping trips. All the main supplies can stay in a large bin that just loads in the car day of. Making a little camping kit saves so much time and hassle. Also, keep in mind that if you're anything like me, you will always seem to forget at least one thing, but that most campsites are usually a short drive away from a market/convenience store that will have the necessities. I've found it's better not to overpack, and just make do only using what you absolutely need. It's less time consuming, less of a mess, less stressful overall.


Keep packed all the time in large bin:
Tent
Tarp for under the tent
Sleeping Bags
Air Mattress
Camping Chairs
Lantern(s)
Ice Chest
Camp Stove
Propane Tanks for Stove/Lanterns
Lighter
S'mores Roasting Sticks
Towels
Coffee Pot
Frying Pan
Sauce Pan
Spatula
Wooden Spoon
Knife
Dish Soap
Scrub Brush
Paper Towels
Disposable Silverware/Plates/Cups

Pack on day of:
Pillows
Clothes
Toiletries
Groceries
Ice
Water Bottles

Shop all the camping supplies on this list below:

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Carlsbad Flower Fields

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Did we drive over two hours just to take photos in a flower field? Yes. Did it start raining as soon as we arrived? Yes! Did my good camera die 5 mins after we started taking photos? You bet it did! Did I drop my car keys in a row of ranunculus flowers and panic for at least ten minutes that the keys had been swallowed up forever. Yes!! Did we have the best day? YES! See our favorite moments from the flower fields and outfit details below:








...and I can't end this post without sharing my beautiful friend and adventure buddy extraordinary, Bridget! 


  
Shop bell sleeve sweaters and overalls below: 


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Weekend in LA + Joshua Tree

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I love when friends visit me in LA, because it gives me the chance to show them a highlight real of the city! I've had friends and family visit me quite a few times in the three years I've lived in LA (see here, here, and here), and I have to say, I think this was my favorite weekend itinerary to date. Though what you do is important, it's more important to choose things that allow for quality time and memory making with the people you're with. I had a blast showing my East Coast besties around LA. Our weekend was filled with great food, wonderful conversations, and gorgeous views...whether we were at the beach, mountains, or desert!
LA Weekend Itinerary 





Day One 

Butcher Baker Cappuccino Maker for brunch and the best mimosa flight to share! 
Greystone Mansion for beautiful architecture, Old Hollywood vibes, and views of LA 
Melrose Avenue Murals for people watching and Instagram opportunities 
Forma for the BEST cheese, wine, and pasta
Griffith Observatory for seeing the City of Stars sparkling at night




Day Two 
Joshua Tree for the most incredible views, hikes, and climbs 
Saguaro Hotel for a colorful and fun stay 
El Jefe for great Mexican food in Palm Springs 
In N Out for a quick and quintessential "LA" experience (this was a necessity for my visiting East Coasters!) 
Now Boarding for great drinks and a really fun vibe 



Day Three
Malibu Farm for a beautiful brunch on the water 
Abbot Kinney for window shopping 
Salt and Straw for the world's best ice cream (not kidding! I post about it here, here, and here) 
View of the Hollywood Sign from 3000 Canyon Lake Dr. for the best view of the landmark
TLT for quick and delicious Mexican-Asian fusion 
Culver Hotel for a live jazz band and drinks in the lobby of this famous historic hotel 
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The Perfect Paris Itinerary

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The last time I went to Paris, I feel like I fully got my bearings and was able to do things that extended beyond your typical tourist destinations. There was plenty of picture-taking and site-visiting, but this trip was also filled with unique restaurants, quiet parks, and local markets.

I think the highlight of my entire life was when a French woman started speaking to me on the metro in French asking for directions. She, a true Frenchwoman, thought I was a local! I was HONORED. This was the first time I'd gone to Paris not during the peak summer season, and I couldn't recommend it more. Paris in April isn't teaming with tourists, is sunny but brisk, and full of pink blooms on the trees. Apparently spring here is a phenomenon of sorts; I discovered that there's even a Billie Holiday song called "April in Paris."

I also had the advantage of seeing the city through my best friend's eyes, who had been studying abroad in Paris for five weeks and had definitely discovered her local favorites. I loved everywhere we went so much, that I kept scribbling our itinerary on the back of a crumpled receipt I kept stuffed in my coat pocket the whole trip. That receipt became my most precious souvenir, with close seconds being the flowers I picked from a field in Versailles and the copy of Around the World in 80 Days that I bought from Shakespeare & Co. I figured it might be helpful to copy the scribbled, crumpled contents of that receipt itinerary to a place that won't accidentally get thrown away someday. See below for all we saw, ate, and did!

Day One
Eiffel Tower for classic "first moment in Paris" experience
La Favorite for dinner in La Marais 







Day Two
Shakespeare & Co for a coffee, breakfast, and the most perfect bookstore 
Notre Dame for stunning architecture and history   
Flower Market for roaming through greenhouses and rows of flowers 
La Bastille for delicious lunch and people watching
Momarte for exploring the most unique neighborhood in the city and seeing the Sacre Coure
 La Petite Gone for a dinner of steak frites and chocolate mouse





Day Three
Tulleries Garden for a peaceful walk near the Louvre
Musee L'Orangerie for Monet's "Water Lilies"   
Galleries Lafayette Rooftop for (in my opinion) the best view of the Eiffel Tower 
Angelina for overwhelming hot chocolate (that tastes more like drinking a melted Hersey's bar) 






Day Four 
Cafe de Flore for breakfast, literary history, and outdoor dining in the Saint-Germain
Versailles for a day of palaces, parks, tandem bicycles, and tons of walking  
Eiffel Tower at sunset for beautiful photos and people watching 
La Fontaine de Mars for a delicious and authentic French meal 




Day Five
Les Deux Magots for the breakfast rival of Cafe de Flore (I liked this place better!)
Juice Lab for green juice and smoothies  
Luxembourg Garden for immaculately kept gardens and yellow flowers as far as the eye can see 
Judy's for a delicious and colorful meal
Pont Neuf for a walk along the river bank
Shopping in La Marais for beautiful souvenirs, designer brands, and second-hand treasures (I found a vintage Louis Vuitton tote for 100 Euros!)

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