Things I Forgot to Take Camping

Hey Elisabeth, remember us? No . . . ?

Hey Elisabeth, remember us? No . . . ?

Remember when I blogged about my compact, flexible 10-item camping wardrobe? It was pretty cool, right? I was super prepared for camping. I had checklists! But, at the end of the day, I forgot a couple of .  . . oh . . . minor items. Like my sneakers. And my razor.

Camping in sandals: not fun. There were socks involved. Forgetting my razor was less important (it was camping, after all), but even more frustrating, because I always forget my razor. How many disposables have I purchased over the years in convenience stores in San Diego, Seattle, Dayville? Dozens!

Well, I’ve had enough. From now on, I’m treating all travel like convention travel! I started with some pretty decent checklists, but I left off the things I thought were no-brainers. (Like decent shoes, and oh yeah–a sweatshirt or jacket for Sid. I am usually the jacket Nazi!)

So now I have a Travel Checklists folder in my documents. Right now I have a Camping Checklist and a Go-Bag Checklist of general essentials (you would not believe how much conditioner my husband needs). After each trip, while I’m doing laundry and unpacking, I’m going to review these checklists and add to them as needed.

As god is my witness, I will never be hairy agaiiiinnnnnnnn!

So, how did the camping/beach rental wardrobe go? Pretty good, although I’d make one change and swap the coral cardigan for another T-shirt. My chambray shirt pretty much fills the same purpose, and it would have been nice to have one extra shirt. Although I never wore the dress (we decided to skip dinner out and eat at the beach rental), I was glad to have it on hand just in case.

10 Item Wardrobe

Sorry coral cardigan, you’re outta here!

Do you have any travel tips or travails to add? Post them below!

Happy Monday! Links to Make Your Day Brighter

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope your weekend was good. We just got back from a week-long camping/beach rental vacation and, while it was a blast, I am so happy to be home. My bed! My kitchen!

Fort Stevens State Park was amazing. The campsites were shady and large, there were great bike paths, the lake was gorgeous, and the showers, while slimy and gross, had plenty of hot water. The one bummer? While the Fort Stevens Museum was interesting, the actual Fort Stevens military site was incredibly boring. Everything is preserved, but empty. No signs, no context, no information at all. It was like walking around a huge, empty basement.


I give camping with a baby a C+, maybe a B-. The Pack N Play was essential, both as a clean place for her to hang out in outside, and as her crib. However, while we have a six-person tent, it was a tight squeeze for the three of us plus Sarah in her baby cage. Plus, she kept waking up in the middle of the night and crying. Since crying it out isn’t really an option when you’re surrounded by people in tents, I was up the majority of the first night and finally put her on the air mattress between me and Scott.

But! To get to the point. With all the camping stuff we had to bring, plus all the baby stuff, our (borrowed) truck was super packed. I think next year we’re going to book one of the Deluxe Cabins and forgo tent camping until Sarah is a little older. Plus, I’ve always had a thing for log cabins.

I was actually (for once) pretty good about not bringing too much food on our trip, and making stuff that was tasty, too! We did Hawaiian Grilled Pizzas (note: I actually made them in a skillet), and they are my new favorite camping food.

Wall art at HWY 101 Burger.

Wall art at HWY 101 Burger.

Our next stop: a house in Lincoln City, OR, where I lost myself in the bliss of laundry. My affection for the smell of a campfire goes up in smoke (c’mon, I can’t help it) as soon as we break camp. The house was great, but the real highlight was a trip to HWY 101 Burger. They really are the best, and the closest thing we have to In-N-Out. The meat is fresh, never frozen, the special sauce is solid, and you can get grilled onions on your 101 (one patty + one slice of cheese), 202 (two patties + two slices of cheese), 303, or even 404 (you get the picture). Plus, the man who runs it is great with kids. He got Sid’s name and called it for our order, wrote his name in ketchup in a boat of special sauce, and even gave him some quarters for the video machines and pool table because there was a wait. Sid was psyched.

Sid and Scott at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Sid and Scott at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Weirdly enough, our trip ended up having a shipwreck theme. It started when I picked up a copy of my favorite childhood book, The Swiss Family Robinson, to read to everyone. Then, there ended up being an actual shipwreck of the Peter Iredale on the beach near Fort Stevens. Then later, at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport? The Secrets of Shipwrecks. I couldn’t have planned it better myself!

Phew! I definitely want to write about camping and vacation food, but I have more laundry to do . . .

I Love Camping I Hate Camping


I love camping. Being outdoors, setting up the campsite, cooking outside, reading by the fire–it’s awesome! 

I hate camping. Breathing in campfire smoke for days–gross! Feeling grimy and dirty even if I take a shower every day. Baby waking up in the middle of the night howling, refusing to go back to sleep in her Pack N Play and instead sleeping on my neck. Who needs it?!?

But I love camping. Riding bikes with Sid, checking out the lake and docks. Reading The Swiss Family Robinson to everyone every night. S’mores!

But after three days of camping, what I really love? Is landing at an awesome rental house in Lincoln City. With laundry. And beds. And a hot tub. And laundry. Oh clean clothes I missed you.

10 Item Wardrobe Lobster Spider-Man Sweatshirt

Camping & Vacation Wardrobe

We’re leaving on vacation today–yay!–starting with three days of camping at Fort Stevens in Astoria, Oregon and continuing with three days at a house in Lincoln City. Because I am lazy and haven’t done any packing yet, I’m trying an experiment and selecting my wardrobe by writing this post!

This is a true test of my 10-Item Wardrobe, because these are two totally different environments: camping outside with bike riding and hiking, and relaxing in a rental house, exploring nearby Newport and Tillamook, and going out to at least one nice dinner (to celebrate our anniversary).

Can I do it?!? Since the high temperatures will max out in the early 70s and lows will be in the mid-50s, I’m dipping back into my fall/winter wardrobe. Fortunately, there’s a washer and dryer in the rental house, so I’ll be able to wash the campfire smell out of everything!

So here are my picks for camping:

10-Item Wardrobe

Halogen black T-shirt.

A black T-shirt is good for practically anything!

10-Item Wardrobe

I’ve had and worn this shirt for two years, but . . . everyone loves Archie!

I love this shirt, and it’s a little old–perfect for camping.

10 Item Wardrobe Spider-Man Sweatshirt

Does whatever a Spider can.

Good for chilly nights!

10-Item Wardrobe

Gap navy cargo shorts. They actually roll down about two inches. I swear they don’t look as short on, Mom!

These cargo shorts are again on the older side, and dark–so into the camping wardrobe they go!

10 Item Wardrobe Grey Skinny Jeans

Gap grey skinny jeans.

Good for cool nights–I hope.

And here are my additions for the rest of the trip!

10-Item Wardrobe

Another new item: J Crew Factory “fruit salad” T-shirt.

Something dressier for this part of the trip!

10-Item Wardrobe

J Crew Factory chambray shirt.

I will probably wear this shirt until it falls apart. It goes with everything.

10-Item Wardrobe

Light aqua shorts from J Crew Factory.

Again, something dressier for sightseeing,

10 Item Wardrobe

Coral “Clare” cardigan from J Crew.

Breaking out the new cardigan to combat the lower temperatures.

10-Item Wardrobe

Floral dress, made by me maybe four or five years ago? Pattern by Amy Butler.

Dinner dress!

Phew! I feel so much better now that I’ve chosen my wardrobe for our vacation. Wait . . . crap, I still have to pack, don’t I?

Welp, I’ll let you know how it goes. This blog will likely go on hiatus while I’m out in the woods, so I’ll see you later!


Happy Monday! Links to Make Your Day Brighter


This tray is huge, some of those zucchini are more than a foot long!

Happy Monday! Oh my god guys, it is so hot here in Portland. It is miserable. I believe we just reached 100 degrees yesterday–thank god for the AC in our bedrooms–so I am unashamedly enjoying the much cooler morning temperatures in a bra and shorts. Keep in mind that the shorts are too big and it’s a nursing bra, so no fantasy material here!

Sid’s at BPRD day camp at Trackers this week, so I’m hoping to get a lot of stuff done, including prepping for our camping/beach vacation next week. The highs are 65 in Astoria and Lincoln City, and I cannot wait. I want to wear a sweatshirt!


Sid is carpooling to camp this week with his friend Ernie and stepbrother Zach, so I have a houseful of boys to make breakfast for this week, yay! I plan to use part of our zucchini crop to make this Lemon Zucchini Bread my Mom brought to my attention. Yum!

I’m trying to do the impossible with our upcoming three-day camping trip: I don’t want to bring too much food. I know, have you met me?!? I’ll write it out if my meal plan is successful. Meanwhile, I might make this Sausage and Bean One-Pot Stew to bring with us. Fortunately, we’re renting a house with a kitchen immediately after camping, so any leftover food will be eaten there.

Comics and Books

I was able to get a sneak peek at the finale of Archie vs. Predator, and it was great. There’s something super satisfying about gore and decapitations in that classic “Archie” house style. If you’re not into floppies (individual comics), there’s an Archie vs. Predator hardcover coming out this fall–if you pre-order, you’ll save 20%.

If I haven’t said it before, I am loving the library. Our library is awesome. I’m currently reading The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food by Dan Barber, an excellent look at the present and future of the “farm-to-table” movement, and Style, by Kate Spade. Style was a bit of a disappointment–lots of lists of things without any context (20 artists, a dozen books, etc.)–but still fun.

Fashion (and TMI)

In keeping with the TMI of my opening paragraph, I wanted to let you know that you should buy my underwear. Well, not my actual underwear, but Nordstrom is having a sale on Hanky Pankys. I buy eight every year during their Anniversary Sale (a savings of $52 this time) and they are the best. I heard about them a decade ago from my mom, who heard about them from Oprah, so–clearly well vetted. They’re cute, they’re comfortable (more TMI–I wore them my entire pregnancy), they’re practically invisible under clothes, and if you hang them to dry they’ll last for years. Get the low-rise unless you’re really tall.

Murder, She Wrote

I couldn’t resist this “How Would You Die on Murder, She Wrote?” quiz. Although there’s no skiing in Cabot Cove, BuzzFeed!