Monday, August 10, 2020



Hey friends! We just got back from our yearly beach vacation at the Oregon Coast. It was so nice to get away from the Idaho heat and enjoy the ocean breeze, playing in the sand and having quality family time.

We've gone to the Oregon Coast almost every year that we've been married. I grew up in Washington, so going to the beach was a huge part of my childhood. It's been so fun to take my kids to the same campgrounds that I remember going to as a child. 

*affiliate links are used in this post.

In the spirit of camping, I thought I would deviate from my regular blog posts and talk about camping today. I also have a camping themed build at the end of the post, so be sure to check it out!

As a child, I loved camping. As an adult, it's tough work. Especially with five kids. It's getting easier now that they are a little older. No more diapers, my 11 year old can take the younger ones to the bathroom and help out with so much, no more having to be back for nap times. 

I will note that we only ever camp at places that have electricity. So if you are a "roughing it" type of family, you will probably laugh at me. If I had my way, we would stay at a beach house every year. Or at least have a travel trailer instead of a tent. But it's worth the discomfort to be able to go to the beach. However, I am determined to upgrade our camping game! 

Here are a few items that have really helped our camping/beach experiences. Plus a few that I am hoping to get soon!

1. This beach wagon has been amazing for us! We bought it several years ago and it's been a beach necessity ever since! The larger wheels make it a tad easier to pull over the sand. Of course, it also helps when you have a dog to help pull the weight over the sand dunes :).  I'm able to pack all of our sand toys, beach towels, sunscreen, snacks and even a couple chairs! It has spots on the front for water bottles. 

I've even pulled the girls in it when they got too tired. They're too big for that now. I love the stage they're in now, but sometimes I wish I could go back. They were so little! 

2. This year I decided I had had enough of air mattresses. We've gone through so many over the years and they are never comfortable. We bought a bigger enclosed utility trailer this spring to carry all our camping gear, so I knew I wanted an actual mattress to sleep on! I searched and finally decided on this one. It's a queen tri-fold mattress. It still takes up quite a bit of room even folded, but we plan on buying a vacuum bag to hopefully shrink it down some. This thing was way more comfortable than any of our air matresses! Such an upgrade! We also bought two of these cots to put it on.

3. I seriously love this electric skillet! This is my second year with this thing and it makes cooking so easy! It heats quickly and I can cook all the things in it. From bacon and eggs, to pancakes, to soups and meats. It does heat a little unevenly, but that's pretty typical for these types of skillets. This would be nice to use around the holidays as well, when your cooktop space is limited. 

4. Another must for me is this beach blanket! We have used this for years and I love it! It's huge, had pockets on the corners for putting sand in to hold it down, and it's so easy to shake all of the sand off (which we do quite frequently with 7 pairs of sandy feet!) This one is currently out of stock but I found a similar one here.

5. These lanterns are great! They double as a flashlight, which my kids loved. The lantern part collapses so that you can determine how much light you want. The lantern is super bright, so we kept it only partially opened most of the time. 

I also thought I would take a moment to share some simple things we've learned over the years. 

1. You can never pack too many emergency supplies. We always think we pack enough and we almost always end up needing something that we didn't bring. Whether it's a thermometer, a spare tire (my daughter had a high fever on our last vacation, our trailer tire burst on the highway getting home and we ended up in the E.R. with her while my husband got the tire fixed. Fun times!), allergy medication (my son had a bad reaction to the campfire smoke one year), bandages, burn gel, etc. We add to the list every year it seems. Thankfully we had an incident free vacation this year! It seems like we always end up with something that goes wrong.

2. You can never have too many snacks! My kids go crazy for snacks when we're on vacation. This year I packed a three drawer sterilite container and packed it full of snacks for them to grab whenever they want. That's a pretty big deal for my kids, because at home we have set snack times during the day. 

3. You can never pack too many clothes for your kids! I don't know about your kids, but mine go through so. many. clothes. while we're camping! From having accidents, to spilling drinks, to sand and dirt and everything in between. 

4. Set up a play tent! Having a space for them to retreat and have a quiet place to read or play legos is a necessity for us. When they're tired or feeling overwhelmed, it's so nice to have this set up to avoid a meltdown. 

5. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but I'm going to say it anyways. Meal prep. I know that there are lots of people who do this on a regular basis. I am just not one of them. But for camping, I make an exception. We always do simple things for lunch, like sandwiches and quesadillas. But for dinner, it's so nice to have it ready to reheat when you get back from a full day of playing in the sand!

Here are few things I am super excited to get for before our next camping trip! There are so many fun things that I want to get, but I've narrowed it down to five. 

1. A screen tent! We always had one of these growing up and it's wonderful! I can't believe we made it this many years without buying one, so this is a must buy this year. I love that this one is magnetic, so it will be easier to come in and out.

2. I would love to be able to have this simple thing in our campsite! 

3. Almost every person on the campground had one of these! Our particular campsite was more dusty than the rest of them so I would have loved to have this! It would have been nice to set this up outside the tent so the kids would have a place to take off their dirty shoes before going in. This would also be nice to have on the back patio too!

4. A collapsible dish drying rack would be a nice thing to have while camping! 

5. Having a couple of these would be great! A place to store food, dishes, games or anything. A nice organizational item for the campsite. 

And now for our new build!
Handcrafted Campfire Chair Viking Chair

We made campfire chairs! There are tons of tutorials online for these, so it was super easy to get inspiration for these. I've also seen them called viking chairs or fireside chairs.

They will be listed for sale starting tomorrow! Make sure to check it out!


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