The Camping List: My Camping Essentials

August 06, 2019

My Mom, my son and I recently completed our annual mother-daughter-grandson camping trip to Waskesiu and after forgetting a couple of essentials behind, I thought it would be a good idea to make up a list of camping gear that needs to be packed for our future trips. The following are a few of my favourite items that I brought along (and a couple that I forgot).

I wanted a cooler small enough to be able to fit in the trunk of my car without taking too much space away from all the other things that you need for a camping trip, but large enough to fit all of the food that we were taking with us. We didn't need much for the length of our trip, but, for the amount that we ended up packing, we were quite surprised that there was a lot of space left for more! This cooler has thin walls that helps it have more space, but it still keeps food items cold.

I had been looking for a new flashlight that could give off a lot more light than the lanterns and flashlights we had been using in the past for a while, when I found this one on sale. I was excited that it has an incredibly strong beam of light...I was disappointed that I left it behind on this camping trip.

My parents purchased a set of portable cutlery for both my son and I this past Christmas. Not only is each piece solid, but they are also fantastic quality...and I like that they have a pouch to store them in.

The sleeping bag that I use is from my childhood, but I feel like this one is pretty close to the same, and probably has better technologies for keeping you warm.

Normally I have to put a blanket in my sleeping bag to add some extra warmth, but to save some space in the trunk this time I brought along my Sugoi fleece-lined leggings to be able to sleep in. They are my new favourite thing for camping and I will be bringing them on all trips for forever. I even loved them in the cool morning while having some breakfast by the fire.

Like my sleeping bag, my hikers (winter boots, in fact) are from my childhood, but these ones look very similar and make me want to upgrade. I like having hikers on my camping trips because we enjoy going on hikes, and I noticed a huge difference after wearing them on a hike where I had to piggy-back my son through a muddy zone. It was a much better situation than if I had been wearing my sandals. I'm also less likely to hurt myself on roots, and have a lot more control when going down hills.

Not included in the detailed area (as you can find them most anywhere), but still essential to bring along are marshmallows, waterproof matches, a bbq lighter (a back up form of getting fire when the matches don't cut it), extendable fork (for roasting the marshmallows), and my favourite cookies for making s'mores (the chocolate is built in and tastes incredibly delicious).

Behind the Art: Balloons

July 30, 2019

On a whim, I ordered some beautiful wooden bezels from a shop called ArtBase that makes them in their studio in Florida. I initially only bought a few, and made one into a brooch in memory of a little dog name Morran as part of an art project. I submitted it along with another piece of artwork for the Morran Book Project. The other piece of artwork won a place in the book, but my interest in doing more work with the bezels was piqued. 

This little cluster of balloons was one of my first brooches, and is one of my favourites. I can tell you that I was most definitely thinking of the house from the movie UP when I drew it (yes, it is hand-drawn), but I like to imagine other things attached to the bottom of the balloons. What do you think is beyond the bezel?

California Adventures: Disneyland

July 28, 2019

Half way through our trip in California we met up with part of my husband's family to take in the wonders of Disneyland. I have only ever been to Walt Disney World so it was a lot of fun to have the OG Disney experience (though it did make me yearn to go to Disney World and see the things that aren't in Disneyland).

We really enjoyed the new ride experience, like sitting at the front of the Incredicoaster, Mission Breakout (my son is not a fan of the spookyness that is The Tower of Terror, but looooved going on Mission Breakout), and Mater's tractor ride, as well as going on some of our favourites that are in both Disneyland and Disney World (teacups anyone?!).

Because we were traveling with people who have had their own Disney experiences, we also tried out some rides that are in both places that we personally haven't had any interest in but some family members wanted to see, like the Enchanted Tiki Room (which I currently have going through my head as I'm writing this).

There was also a bit of nostalgia involved for myself on this trip, as my Dad grew up in California and spoke a bit about his visits to Disneyland with his family while he lived there. The last time they went my Great Gram really wanted to go on the submarine ride, but it was closed for maintenance. I wanted to make sure that I went on that specific ride in her memory, and I thought a lot about the people that are no longer with my family that would have walked where I was currently walking.

Overall, we had a great time (I don't think our family can go wrong with a Disney trip), and we are eager to start planning our next one.

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