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Road Trip Warriors

Road Trip Warriors

For as long as I can remember, I have camped every summer. According to my Dad, they took us camping even when we were so little we couldn’t remember. Even to this day I go camping annually with my family. The only difference now compared to when we were kids? The fiancé comes along for the ride!

Our family is pretty big on using tents. No campers for us! Not that there’s anything wrong with them! There’s just something about the way the zippers sound early in the morning and the smell of the air when the only thing separating you from the open sky is a thin layer of canvas. So until I have the money to shell out for a vintage trailer and the SUV to pull it, tents it is.

I love pretty much everything about camping. I like the detachment from “the norm”. From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep you’re outside. Charging electronics becomes difficult, so sometimes you go without. Cell service may be patchy anyway, so might as well leave it in the car. You forget to check Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and instead focus on the silence and beauty of nature around you, and the friends and family beside you.

I also particularly enjoy the road trip. Our family always chooses a location out of state, and usually it ends up being 8 or so hours away. We shock people with the stories of our crazy road trips. One year, we drove from our home in Ohio all the way to Yosemite National Park in California in only two and a half days! On that same trip, we went to a wedding in Monterey, CA, and hightailed it back to Ohio in just two and half days yet again. People still think we’re insane for that one (and maybe we are!). We’ve also driven to Glacier National Park in Montana, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yellowstone in Wyoming, and Bar Harbor, Maine (just to name a few).

Due to all of this “experience”, I like to consider myself a road trip warrior. I always know exactly what to bring to make the ride a little bit easier. This year we are heading to Cape Cod, MA. From home, it’s about a ten-hour drive to our campsite. Per usual, our family will do a straight shot drive stopping only for restroom breaks and food so we can arrive with plenty of daylight to set up camp and relax for the first evening.

For most people, this is crazy. For us? It’s tradition!

Here are some of my tips for preparing for a big road trip:

Always come prepared with a reading list!

If you’re a book nerd, a road trip is the perfect time to catch up on a series you’ve been dying to read or a novel you haven’t had time to finish. I read quite a bit, averaging two books a month this year so far. Mind you, some of those books are 500+ pages! So yes, I’m proud of this average thank-you-very-much. I’m changing it up a little on this trip by downloading books onto my iPad on the Kindle app to help save space in the car. I normally bring a bookbag with about 5 or so books from the local library, which takes up a lot of space when you’re putting five people in a Toyata Forerunner for 10 hours with blankets, pillows, food, drinks, shoes, etc.

For the trip this year, I chose to download the following books:

 

  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Mass (560 pages) (third in the Throne of Glass series). I picked up the Throne of Glass series after reading her Court of Thorns and Roses series late last year. I actually just finished the third book of that series last month! Even though Throne of Glass is the older series from her, I didn’t discover it until I’d finished the second Court book and gone looking for the third. I’m very excited to see when the next installment comes out! Until then, I’ll be pecking away at the ToG series. For some reason, it’s a little harder for me to get through. Maybe because all of the books are so long! But I do enjoy the story and can’t wait to pick it back up on this trip.
  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Mass (661 pages) (fourth book in the ToG series)
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (863 pages, first in its series). I’ve been torn for the past few years about whether or not to pick up this book. I finally decided that this would be a good trip to do it, given I can get through the others on my list. If not, it’ll be sitting in my Kindle app waiting for when I’m ready! I know nothing about this series at all (although I do notice it is also a TV series), so it’ll be exciting to dive in to something new.

Wear something comfortable!

I’m often wearing leggings and a tshirt or tank top on the road trips (if not for the entire duration of the vacation) and my go-to shoe for the car is obviously flip flops. This makes it easy to be flexible in the car and stay comfortable. It’s always a good idea to have a hoodie in case your driver likes it a little chilly (ahem, Dad). For our trips, we usually leave around three in the morning, so we will also have our pillows and blankets and whoever isn’t the copilot and staying up with the driver quickly falls asleep for the first leg of the trip.

Have a good, reliable pair of headphones!

For longer trips, I don’t recommend wireless headphones. Having a pair die halfway through a road trip and needing to re-charge can be painful, especially if the driver has a taste in music you don’t necessarily love (ahem, Dad with the jazz). This year I’m excited to have my Steelseries Arctis 5 headset. I bought them at PAX East earlier this year, and I love that they can be used for pretty much any device. I primarily use them for gaming on my desktop! Luckily, they came with two adapters: one USB and one AUX. I simply swap out the adapters based on my needs. The sound is really good and they are the only over-ear headphones I’ve ever owned that don’t give me headaches because of my glasses. Also, the cloth strap is interchangeable and comes in a bunch of different designs! I have the black and white geometric standard strap and a hot pink one that I purchased at the trade show.. I can’t wait to have them on this road trip!

Stay hydrated!

Although the potential extra restroom breaks may seem annoying, it’s so important to remember to stay hydrated on long trips. I’m guilty of not drinking water because I don’t want to be “that person” asking to pull over to the next rest stop. Unfortunately being dehydrated is very uncomfortable, and really really not good for you. This year I’m definitely going to try to do better. I’m bringing my 25 oz S’well bottle with me to refill at each stop. I never expected these bottles to actually work as good as they say they do (I’m a skeptic, what can I say). Well trust me, they work. And they’re awesome. I had ice water in my bottle one day and left it in my car on a 90 degree sunny day for four hours, and the ice was still solid when I came back! I was floored. I love this bottle! I have the limited edition S’well bottle that came with my Winc / Societe Summer Water summer club subscription, but I’ve been eyeing this Milky Way design for a few weeks now.

Have healthy snacks!

It’s so tempting to stock up on chips and candy and junk food when traveling. Those foods always come in convenient packaging and taste really good, and hey it’s vacation so why not right? If you’re trying to be a bit more conscious about your health, consider bringing a variety of more nutritious options:

  • Beef jerky (or any jerky). I know it’s not always necessarily “healthy”, but as far as quick snacks go it’s good in protein and generally more satisfying. I always feel fuller after a few pieces of jerky than half a can of potato chips!
  • These are convenient because they can travel at room temperature and still taste just fine. Honeycrisp are my personal favorite.
  • Trail mix. And I’m not talking about the ones loaded with candy. Try finding a mix that has unsalted nuts and dried fruits in it!
  • PB&J. If you don’t mind having a little cooler near your feet, having a PB&J sandwich on hand could really hit the spot. Again, not the healthiest thing in the world. But it sure beats a burger from the drive-thru!

Study!

If you have anything you need to study for, take advantage of this time! I know it’s vacation, but you will feel so much better when you reach your destination knowing you took care of a less-than-desirable task. I’ll be studying for the FAR section of the CPA exam during this trip. I’m sitting on October 16th, so I have a lot of review to do before then!

Play some games!

If you aren’t big on reading, you could always bring a portable gaming device with you. My sister, her fiancé, and my fiancé are all bringing their Nintendo DS and games with them. That’s definitely a fun way to spend some of the trip! And if you’re not into that either, well. I’m not sure what to tell you. Maybe keep sleeping until you arrive at your destination? Play travel games with other people in the car? My family is pretty quiet, so reading, sleeping, and gaming is pretty much the extent of our trip. Obviously, there will be conversation sprinkled in of course to keep the driver occupied as well!

This year will be our second time visiting the Cape, and I couldn’t be more excited! It has been a handful of years since, and my memories of it are waning. I can’t want to re-live some of the experiences we had before, as well as create new memories!

If you want to follow along with the trip, make sure to follow me on Instagram (@stylegeeknaturefreak)!

 

Xo, Karli

 

 

My August Bullet Journal Setup

My August Bullet Journal Setup

 

All my young life I struggled with pre-made planners. The lines were wide ruled, or the boxes weren’t big enough, or the design was just plain boring. Most people don’t give much thought into their planners. Unfortunately for my wallet, I am not one of those people. During college it was common for me to get a new planner for each semester because I’d grown bored of the old one or couldn’t resist the allure of a new one. I always wanted change, be it a new layout, new color scheme, different binding or size, etc. I couldn’t get enough of planners. Then, in 2015, well after college had ended and I had begun my career (but still insisted on buying myself analog planners), I discovered Boho Berry and the allure of Bullet Journeling.

Bullet Journaling is the planning fad that is sweeping the planning community. I discovered it in 2015, and started my own bullet journal for the first time in 2016. It took some time to get used to it, but I very quickly fell in love with the self-designed planning system. There is so much you can do with the blank canvas of a notebook if you really put your mind to it. The possibilities are endless, and now I no longer struggle with being bored of my current planner. I can update it between days, if I really wanted to! But for the most part I leave it to changing up between months.

**if you would be interested in seeing some previous monthly spreads, let me know in the comments!**

I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for August . Last year I tried to organize months by a particular color, usually related to holidays or the season of the month. This year I have tried to do things differently, often choosing two complimenting colors and trying to veer away from seasonal/holiday themes. For July, for example, I did navy and hot pink this year instead of the traditional red and blue. And I LOVED it. It was beautiful and fresh, and matched the washi tape I had bought PERFECTLY. My only regret with July is that I did not reference it enough, and never got to truly take it all in.

When I started August, I sat and stared at the blank spread before me for about ten minutes. I considered the washi tape I had in my collection, checked on the colors of my brush pens, and STILL couldn’t come up with something new. I hate repeating themes if I can help it, and for a while I was stumped on what I would do. Then I dug into my adorable pineapple storage box that contains all of my bullet journaling supplies to find more inspiration. As I was riffling through the box, I stumbled across these Hiedi Swapp stickers that I bought last month at Joann Fabric & Crafts.

The whole line of stickers is to DIE for. It’s as if someone peered in my head and put my design dreams into stationary. I checked out her website and fell in love with a lot of her product line, especially the Storyline memory keeping system. I defnitely see myself digging into that in the near future, but that’s a post for a different day.

When I opened up the pack and saw the floral stickers on the second sheet, I knew exactly what I wanted to create for August. And I decided to change things up by using some colored pencils instead of my brush pens and Staedtler Fineliners. The outcome is one of my favorite spreads of all time.

Each month I start off exactly the same:

  • One to two pages for a monthly calendar or list, depending on what I go with (this month I went with a two page calendar spread)
  • One page for my habit tracker
  • One page for my expense tracker

The rest of my month I usually do a one-day-per-page format with my to-do list, a food tracker, step counter, and weather icon. If you’d be interested in seeing my dailies, let me know in the comments!

Without further ado, here is August! Let me know what you think! Enjoy <3 

 

 

xo, Karli

Fave Finds Under $150 at the Nordstrom Sale

Fave Finds Under $150 at the Nordstrom Sale

Ah, yes. The Nordstrom Half Annual Sale. Where hard earned money goes to be spent on things you don’t need, but for some reason just have to have. Luckily I’m getting a little better at not blowing all my cash so quickly. While shopping the site, I was definitely tempted to start throwing things in my cart. So far I’ve been able to resist, but I guess we’ll see how long that lasts. While I haven’t yet personally taken advantage of the sale, here is a round-up of some of my favorite items available, by category, all under $150 (most under $100)!

 

Shoes:

[from left to right] 

Vince Camuto Cranita Perforated Bootie in Grey  //  Dr.Scholls ‘Original Collection Wiley’ Wedge in Bone Fabric  //  Louis Et Cie Mirin Wedge Sandal in Neutral Nubuck  //  Sam Edelmen ‘Thea’ Strappy Pump in Primrose Suede 

 

I’m a sucker for neutral toned shoes. Block heels are trending right now, and for good reason. These shoes give that added height that legs (and short girls like me) love, while remaining comfortable enough for all-day wear. Wedges will always be may favorite go-to. I can imagine the Dr. Scholls pair are pretty easy on the feet!

 

Clothes:

 

I’m definitely leaning more towards lighter neutrals here as well. I wear a lot of dark, rich colors in the fall and winter so I really take advantage of the more muted and light tones in the spring and summer months. As much as I would love to buy up all of this and throw it in my closet, I really need to work on narrowing it down and picking a few versatile pieces that I can mix and match all season long.

 

Athleisure:

Athleisure is my all time favorite. I have an entire dresser in my closet dedicated specifically to athletic gear, not even joking. I can’t help it! Everything is so cute now. When I first started working out in high school I was just fine with my cheap cotton leggings and cotton t-shirts. Now, I swear by anything sweat-wicking, cool/dry/heat technology, pretty prints, and so much more. This adidas top is so cute because it has a bit of that see-through look in polka dot form, without baring too much. And the Zella Flash leggings have the CUTEST mesh cutouts up the thigh. I adore them.

you may be interested in Trunk Club Review: Athleisure Edit

 

Accessories:

Somehow I manage to pick much more expensive accessories than clothes when I shop these sales. I fell in love with all of the watches that were available, especially the too-cute and wino-approved Wine and Dine watch by Kate Spade New York. Absolutely love that one! Definitely seemed to stick with a pattern of lighter neutral colors for the most part here as well. I definitely have a certain aesthetic I’m trying to attain for summer, apparently!

If you’ve been here for a while, you know that back in February I tried a no-spend challenge. And I did pretty good! Unfortunately since then, I have not done so good. I’ve done bad. So I’m really working on curbing my spending habits. My purchases right now revolve around food, coffee, and books. I really try to wait on clothes until it feels like an absolute necessity (ie. I bought new work pants because mine were old and the clasp was coming off, and I bought some new blouses because mine were all dark fall/winter prints). As much as I would love to buy up everything I’ve listed above (and then some), I’m going to be holding back.

Until next time!

 

xo, Karli 

 

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Calming Down Before Breaking Down

Calming Down Before Breaking Down

When life gets you down, it’s so easy to get sucked into your emotions. It’s easy to panic, to retreat from friendships and family, to lose your cool and lash out and those around you. It’s easy to get angry and blame it on your feelings later. But it also totally freaking sucks. Who wants to look back on a day or series of days and say “wow, yeah, sorry about that. I was just in a bad mood LOL”. NO. This is not okay. While it is understandable to be upset, it’s so important to learn how to handle those emotions, reign them in, and take control back over your head. (note: it is a much different situation if you suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or other severe mood-altering mental diseases. please understand my post is referencing a much simpler form of emotion!)

I have a few fail-safe ways to calm my nerves and my brain after it becomes overwhelmed with stress. I mean, ideally we would be able to counter anything before a total freak out. But let’s be real: you don’t always see the breakdown coming. So, what do I do to calm down?

 

  • Take a bath! There’s nothing quite like taking a long soak after a stressful day, or to just turn around your mood. Add some fun bath fizzies, bubbles, and candles to really set the atmosphere. These Me! Bath bath bombs are my favorite bath bombs from Target! I love the “Love Me!” scent. It’s so fruity and sweet, and my skin feels amazing afterwards too! I usually use two per bath and find that more than enough. Between those and a crisp glass of wine from one of my Winc subscriptions, my mood is significantly better within the hour!

you may be interested in What I Loved In April . Check it out for a review of my new favorite wine from Winc and a link for $13 off your first order! (disclaimer, if you buy, I get $13 off my next order too! Win-win!)

 

  • Read a good book! Reading is so, so important. It helps keep your mind sharp, and it provides a great getaway from reality for a while. Some of my favorite stories feed into my wanderlust, or totally transport me to a different world. I highly recommend Wild by Cheryl Strayed for those of you hiking afficionados. Looking for something more dramatic and, well, fictional? I’m really enjoying this series by Sarah J. Mass. It feels like a mix of Beauty in the Beast, Hunger Games, and a few World of Warcraft references for blood elves that I can’t help but notice! It was slow going at first but I really got into the second book. The third just came out, and I can’t wait to pick it up!
  • Journal! As some of you may know, I’m a journal addict. I’ve loved collecting journals since I was a child, and I’m always using them for some purpose or another! Not only do I use journals for jotting down thoughts throughout the day, but I also use a dotted Leuchtturm1917 A5 journal for bullet journaling! I switched back to this method after using the Filofax for a little while. Never heard of bullet journaling? It’s a great way to mix planning and recording your life into one handy little journal. And with full creative freedom, you can make it look any way you want. Let your creativity soar, or keep it simple. Whichever way keeps you journaling is the best way to go! There are tons of wonderful accounts on Instagram to spark some inspiration. If you’re interested, I highly recommend checking out breeeberry, Boho Berry (who is actually the blog that got me into bullet journaling),  and iamlisajacobs (who has wonderful handwriting and a really pretty Insta feed in general) . Bullet journaling makes me feel organized which really helps calm the buzz of overwhelmed thoughts in my head. If you don’t have to worry about your schedule, that’s a lot less to think about throughout the day.

you may be interested in My Must Haves for FiloFax and Bullet Journaling 

 

  • Hike! Perhaps my favorite recommendation of them all! I love the outdoors. I grew up with my dad taking us to parks on hikes and walks all the time. It’s been one of my favorite things to do as long as I can remember. Pair that with a photography hobby and the cutest dog on the planet (I might be biased), it truly can’t be beat as my favorite way to unwind. Always check the maps at a park to see what trails work best for you, and don’t forget to bring plenty of water! If I’m really in a bad mood, I go on a nice hard trail with a lot of ups and downs and switchbacks. It gets my blood flowing, and it’s hard to focus on negative thoughts when your legs and lungs are pleasantly sore from the exercise. I went on a wonderful hike today with Willow, and at the very beginning is a river. She loves to swim, so I let her go crazy for a while in the water. It warmed my heart and lifted my spirits. I haven’t felt this great in days!

I’ll finish this post here, but keep scrolling if you want to see some photos from the hike! As always, thanks for stopping by!

 

xo, Karli

Treating Mom to Life’s Simple Joys

Treating Mom to Life’s Simple Joys

Mother’s day is coming up, friends! And to those of you who love your momma and want to give her a wonderful Sunday, good for you! My mom has been a centerpiece of my life time and time again. She is always supportive, encouraging, and PROUD of me through all my endeavors. When I told her I wanted to be an accountant like her, she was overjoyed. When I shared my love for photography in high school she surprised me with my first Canon DSLR camera, and still gets me accessories for my hobby. When I mentioned I was starting a blog, she thought it was such a cool idea and discussed ideas she has had about a blog of her own (which I wish she would start because she’s an amazing writer!). All this and much, much more make my mom so special to me. And while I want to give her the world this mother’s day, I’m also a young adult with a starting salary and lots of bills to pay. What’s a girl (or boy, if you guys out there are reading this!) to do with a constricted budget and a mom who deserves diamonds?

One really important thing my mom taught me is that a gift or experience doesn’t have to be expensive to be cherished. So if you’re running on a tight budget, here are some simple, inexpensive ideas to show her your appreciation!

  • Make her breakfast

This one is a given. Who DOESN’T love breakfast in bed? Make your mom a healthy omelette or a yummy berries and yogurt parfait. If you really have time and a bigger appetite in the morning, you should definitely try this amazing looking breakfast pizza recipe from Real Simple! If you do, let me know how it is! I’ve been dying to try it myself, and just haven’t found the time. Bonus points here for a refreshing mimosa and fresh hot coffee!

  • Offer to help clean!

I’m sure most moms will be overjoyed if they walked into a sparkling clean kitchen or living room. Let her kick her feet up while you help handle some of the mundane household chores! Don’t take too long, though! Leave time to spend some true quality moments together.

  • Take her shopping for garden flowers

This one is something my mom and I did for at least three years in a row. We would drive to all the local nurseries and look at all the freshly bloomed flowers. Some years we would buy hundreds of dollars worth of flowers and totally re-do the front gardens, and others we would each get just one little plant and see how long we could keep it alive. These are some of my most cherished days with my mom, even in their simplicity. Flowers can be pretty inexpensive, and it’s a fun way to brighten up a desk or table!

  • Sign her up for a fun subscription box!

Okay, this one could get a little pricey. But how much fun would it be to surprise mom with a box of goodies delivered right to her doorstep? While my subscription box experience solely lies with Trunk Club, the box from FabFitFun looks like a great idea! It runs a little pricier, but it has a nice array of products that anyone would enjoy. They are seasonal, though! So that’s something to keep in mind. If she’s a makeup lover, you could always go for the Ipsy or Birchbox subscriptions as well! There are tons of different themes for subscription boxes now, so definitely look for those as a fun gift idea.

you may be interested in: Trunk Club Review – Athleisure Edit

  • Go for a hike

If your mom is outdoors-y, strap on your hiking boots and go for a nice hike! The fresh outdoor air will make you both feel amazing, and you can fill the time with great conversation and catch up!

While I hope to take my mom on another flower shopping trip and out for brunch, I know she would be just as happy with a big bottle of wine shared on the back deck enjoying the company of her family. And that’s the beauty of some moms, isn’t it? They love you more than any gift you could ever give, because you are their greatest gift.

Happy mother’s day to all the wonderful moms I know. <3

xo, Karli