Packing Simple | A Weekend At The Oregon Coast

August 24, 2016

packing light / a weekend at the oregon coast

It’s been a while since I did a packing list! As a notorious over-packer, now living with a capsule wardrobe, I’ve been working hard to simplify my packing as well. Although I wear the same things over and over at home, somehow when I go on a trip, I pack as if I won’t re-wear anything during the trip, which I inevitably always do.

This past weekend, we camped at Fort Stevens State Park, just outside of Astoria, OR. B had a golf tournament in Gearhart, a little south along the coast, and we thought it would be fun to make a weekend of it. I had some time to myself while he golfed, and spent it reading quietly, gazing at the ocean, and wandering around the little town of Gearhart ogling the shingled coastal homes. If it sounds idyllic, it kind of was. We had dinner at Fort George Brewery in Astoria, and the next night, drove the truck onto the beach and BBQ’d by the ocean listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival. Needless to say, we took full advantage.

This packing list is inspired by my time at the Oregon coast. It isn’t exactly what I brought; I adjusted it a little bit to accommodate those who might be camping or staying in a hotel or rental. The weather is all over the place on the Oregon coast, so I say come prepared. Have something to wear if it does get warm, but you’ll likely spend your time in layers, as it’s usually cooler with a lot of wind. Here’s a simple packing list for a summer trip to the coast…


Tank top (similar) | Good for layering, and for tan shoulders if the sun makes an appearance.

Flannel Shirt (similar) | A great layering piece for those in-between temps.

T-shirt | A basic piece that every trip needs, this time with an Oregon twist.

Hoodie | Stay warm, and look like you belong in the Pacific Northwest. The coast here is casual, no need to get dressy.

Boyfriend Jeans (similar) | I don’t own a pair, but I’m always craving a pair with a little more room than my skinnies when I’m on the beach or camping.

Raincoat or Windbreaker | Necessary for blocking the wind on the beach, and for impromptu rain showers.

Shorts | Just in case it gets warm!

Leggings | A travel necessity.

Sandals | For walking along the beach or around town. Swap for a pair of boots in the colder months.

Baseball cap | To keep the sun out of your eyes and hair out of your face.

Sneakers | I love my old, dirty converse for walking on the beach. Bring a cleaner pair for around town if you don’t plan on wearing them in the sand.

Sunglasses | Even cloudy days get bright!


I wore my denim jacket a bunch this weekend, so I might add that or another lighter coat to this packing list. Would you add anything else to this list?

Weekly Reading

August 22, 2016

woman at the beach

No weekend in photos today – I’m off camping near Astoria, OR. B had a golf tournament out this way today, so we made a trip of it. After 3 straight days of 100 degree heat in Portland, the temps have dropped everywhere and it’s a chilly 65 out here – trading in my shorts for pants! This is our first camping trip in a while, and my first time hanging out in Astoria since I was a kid. I’m excited to rediscover the town (and he’s excited for the breweries).

I couldn’t leave y’all with nothing though, especially because I found some great articles this week about minimal closets, sustainability and more. Hope your week is lovely!

+ Lazy sustainable fashion tips.

+ Decoding cosmetic ingredient labels like a pro.

+ 5 tips for simplifying your wardrobe & buying fewer clothes.

+ Olympians teach us what to focus on instead of our goals.

+ Eco-fashion myths, debunked.

On Shoes & Making Your Own Rules | Summer Capsule

August 19, 2016

capsule wardrobe shoesAs I’ve mentioned before, and you may have noticed, I don’t include shoes in my capsule wardrobes. I did in the winter, but in the spring decided it was just a little too much to bother with. The weather is all over the place around here, and I need shoes for both work and weekends, plus athletic shoes, and ones I can get dirty.

Plus, if I included shoes in my capsule, where would these beauties fit in? Meet my favorite pair of shoes, that rarely get worn. Capsule wardrobes tend not to leave a lot of room for sentimentality, but I’m a sentimental person. If I’m counting up my shoes and limiting my selection for an entire season, these red cowboy boots certainly don’t make the cut. But every once in a while, I want to wear my great-grandma’s boots. Yes, these boots came straight from my great-grandmother’s closet.  Justin Cowboy bootsMy grandparents were moving her out of her home, into assisted living, and as a woman who loved to shop, her closet (and garage) were overflowing with garments, many of them never worn. While her clothing may not have been my style, we’re the same shoe size and my dad discovered these Justin boots, purchased in Dallas, hiding in a corner. They’d certainly been worn several times, and my 16-year-old self was horrified. Red cowboy boots? When would I ever wear those? I was in a stage of my life when I was pretending not to like country music and begging my parents for Hollister polos (insert eye roll at my younger self here).

Then, I went to college in Eastern Washington where I was able to fully embrace my country-lovin’ side, and the color matched our team’s jerseys. They made their way to football games and nights at the bar, and in little ol’ Pullman, no one batted an eyelash at a pair of boots. These shoes are so comfortable and always make a statement. They are so well-made, which means I can wear them for years to come, and these babies won’t break down. I don’t wear them quite as often, rarely having an occasion where bold cowboy boots are appropriate, but I pull them out a few times a year, just for fun.

This time last year, I wore these to my great-grandmother’s funeral. Having not seen them for nearly a decade, my grandparents’ faces lit up when they saw the boots, immediately recognizing them as hers’.

I just don’t believe in throwing out something sentimental, or hiding it away, even if you rarely use it. For a while, I had these boots in the back closet, since I wore them so rarely, but one day I opened that closet and was surprised by how much joy just looking at them brought to me. So, I keep them in the closet with all my clothes and shoes I wear regularly, and get to see them every day.

If I stuck to capsule wardrobe rules, these wouldn’t make the cut.

I made up my own rules instead: no shoes in my capsule. More joy in my life. 

Stowaway Cosmetics Review

August 18, 2016

Is it just me, or is everything cuter when it’s miniature? Baby shoes, scale models and travel-sized anything are just so irresistibly cute. This explains the initial appeal of Stowaway Cosmetics products to me. Mini lipstick? Yep, I’ll take three.

Stowaway Cosmetics Review / reviewing the Stowaway Cosmetics basics kit and essential eye paletteIf you haven’t heard of Stowaway Cosmetics before, they’re a really interesting makeup company that focuses on products in a smaller package. The reasoning for the smaller products is that pesky expiration date (yes, your makeup expires!) The founders realized that most conventional products expire before they can be used completely, which is incredibly wasteful (or bad for your skin, if you ignore that date). In additional to creating small, travel-friendly products, all Stowaway products are EU compliant, meaning they are much safer to use. The EU has banned about 1,300 harmful ingredients from cosmetic products that the US has not (we’ve only banned 11!) and Stowaway chooses to formulate their products to comply with these, much stricter, guidelines.

It’s easy to see why these smaller, safer products would be a minimalist’s dream come true! After ordering several of their products and testing them out for a few weeks, I reviewed them to help others out there who might be curious about trying their products. So far, they only sell online through their website, which is always a scary way to try new makeup! Hopefully this will help anyone out there who is looking at their products.

The products I reviewed are the Basics Kit and the Essential Eye Palette, which I received free with a coupon code from being on their mailing list. If you’re planning to place an order for a few products, I suggest signing up for their mailing list as they send out codes for free bonus products all the time!

The Basics Kit includes:
:: Radiant Complexion Beauty Balm
:: Creaseless Concealer
:: Cheek & Lip Rouge
:: Effortless Eyeliner
:: Mascara
:: Creme Lipstick

Stowaway Cosmetics Review / reviewing the Stowaway Cosmetics basics kit and essential eye paletteMy favorite products are the beauty balm and concealer. I like the lip & cheek rouge, but the color isn’t quite right for me, and I can’t get it to look good on my lips, just my cheeks. For my full review, check out the video above! (I apologize, it’s a bit long – feel free to skip ahead to any products you’re more curious about!)


I’d love to know if you’ve tried Stowaway Cosmetics products and what you think! If you have any other questions about these products, just let me know in the comments below, or on the video!

Neither this post or the video are sponsored in any way (I wish!) and all opinions are 100%, honestly, my own.

DIY Yarn Wall Hanging

August 17, 2016

I feel like I haven’t done a proper home DIY in quite some time – at least not one I love as much as this! Making a woven wall art piece has been on my to do list for quite some time, but weaving requires a little time and patience to learn and create. Fortunately, with the rise in popularity of woven wall art, DIY bloggers everywhere began creating similar, but much simpler, yarn wall hangings. This twist on the classic, 1970s-style woven and macrame wall art gives that same textural element but with a lot less work and skill needed.

DIY Yarn Wall Hanging

The piece I’ve made was inspired by two yarn wall hangings I saw. The first was this DIY piece from Homey Oh My. I loved the use of the brass rings and how thick and fluffy the yarn looked. I wanted something a bit different though, maybe with another color mixed in, and wasn’t sure what direction to take it in until I saw some pretty yarn art in the cafe below my office. Everyone in my office frequents this particular cafe for their amazing food, and they always have a rotation of art on the walls for sale. I believe these particular pieces were created by one of the staff members – if she had a website I’d show you!

Anyway, the piece that caught my eye was a simple one with two layers, similar to what I’ve done here. Both the top and bottom layer were single strands of yarn looped around the dowels, cut straight across the bottom, with the bottom layer being longer than the top. I messed around with a few different ideas in my mind and ordered some yarn, then last weekend while watching What Women Want (for the first time, don’t judge) I put it together! It took about 2-3 hours total, so it’s perfect for a Netflix binge. Here’s how to make it. DIY Yarn Wall HangingSupplies:
2 colors of any type of yarn you’d like (I already had the navy, this is the cream one I used)
Brass rings (I bought these)
2 wooden dowels (mine were 12″)
Pieces of cardboard to measure the yarn

DIY Yarn Wall Hanging

How to make a DIY Yarn Wall Hanging 

Start by measuring and cutting the yarn. For the top layer I used a piece of cardboard about 12″ in length. I wrapped the navy yarn around the cardboard 10 times then cut all the yarn at one end (so it created 10 strands of yarn about 24″ long). Each set of 10 strands created one loop for the top dowel. I created 7 sets. You can adjust the length of the yarn and how many loops depending on the size of dowel and how big you want the overall piece to be. Tie each set onto the dowel using a lark’s head knot. If this is confusing, refer to Amy’s instructions here.

Repeat the same process for the bottom layer of yarn, but instead only wrap the string twice around to create a 48″ long strand. I tied the bottom layer on one strand at a time instead of creating bundles of 10, so that the bottom layer wouldn’t be too bulky, allowing the top layer to lie more flat. I tied on the bottom layer strands as I went since I didn’t know how many I’d need to cut. I cut enough so that the bottom layer was slightly wider than the top. This was the most time-consuming part.

With all your yarn tied around the dowels, we can assemble the entire piece. Using a longer strand of the navy yarn, I tied a lark’s head knot around the brass ring, then tied the ends of the yarn to the top dowel. This was a tricky process to get it even. I tied the string between the bundles to hide the knots, then cut the excess yarn. Then, using the navy yarn again I tied a lark’s head knot to the top dowel, and simply knotted it to the bottom dowel to attach the two. Getting the two even was difficult, and came with a lot of untying and retying, but I got it eventually!

DIY Yarn Wall Hanging

Once it was all assembled, I hung it up and got to trimming. I liked the pointed shape of the Homey Oh My piece, but trying to cut two layers at the same angle sounded disastrous. I opted to cut the top layer into an angled point, and cut the bottom straight across. Since I didn’t measure things very accurately to begin with, I ended up cutting off a lot of yarn.

Once it’s all attached and trimmed, your yarn wall hanging is complete! I love the way mine turned out. That tweed cream yarn is just so interesting – I love the combination of the pattern with the solid color above. I hung it above our tv, a neglected wall, and moved a couple prints to that wall. Our living room finally feels more complete! You can see a sneak peak of it in these photos actually.

Let me know if you create this yarn wall hanging or if you’ve done any similar. I have a couple dowels, rings, and lots of yarn left over so I’ll probably make another for our bedroom.

DIY Yarn Wall Hanging