Glamping toiletry must-haves

Around the same time as planning the trip to Alaska, a friend of mine floated the idea of staying in a yurt. While the yurt plans never panned out for Alaska, I kept glamping in a yurt high on my list of things to do before the end of the year. Needless to say, my dreams of glamping in a yurt came true a couple weekends ago!

Seattle glamping in a yurt
Glamping on Orcas Island

Since this yurt adventure was the first time in a few years since I had last been off-grid, it took a while to figure out what essentials to pack. My goal was to bring no more than a single backpack for this 3-day trip. This meant packing light and bringing toiletries that would either play multiple roles, or strategically packing complementary essentials. Here were my glamping must-haves:

glamping-must-haves
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Weekend in Alaska: Denali

Hope you all enjoyed your extended, 3-day, Labor Day weekend! I spent mine celebrating at the wedding of one of my best friends here in Seattle, and finally getting around to editing the last set of photos from the weekend trip to Alaska! (Earlier posts of exploring Anchorage here and here, if you missed them!) This post is my best “You should definitely visit Alaska!” campaign because if the scenery here doesn’t say it all, I don’t know how else to convince someone to go!

Denali bus tour - scenes from Denali
Ok! So, if you missed the last post exploring Anchorage, we left off with a 4 hour drive from Anchorage to Healy, AK. This was a solid 4 hour drive through pouring rain and the occasional sunny break between the storm clouds. One of the most challenging things when packing for Alaska was selecting footwear. I usually only travel with a pair of sneakers, but knowing the possibility of heavy rain, I spent a solid 75% of my backpack on a pair of rain boots. Sounds crazy, but it was totally warranted.

Denali National Park bus tour
We started our morning in Healy off bright and early. The Denali National Park bus tours usually last 8 hours, and we were scheduled to fly back to Seattle that same night, which would require making the 4 hour long drive from Healy back to Anchorage after the Denali bus tour. The Denali bus tour promised gorgeous views, the potential for seeing wildlife, and getting to stop off to see some of the scenery up close and personal. Needless to say, it did not disappoint!

Littered around what felt like every corner of the road, we spotted sheep, caribou, deer, and even a bear! The buses running this tour drive super slow. The tour is only 66 miles long, but takes 8 hours because of the slow speed required to keep the animals in the area feeling unthreatened.

Denali caribou antlers
One of the pit stops included seeing some deer and caribou antlers up close. These pieces were found around the park by the staff rangers and collected for tourists to examine up close. It looks like I’m struggling to hold one antler up in this photo, and that’s totally true! These babies can weigh up to 40 lbs a piece! As someone who has zero arm strength, I worked up a sweat for this photo! haha

Helly Hansen rain jacket and rain boots
outfit details:
raincoat: c/o Helly Hansen (exact)
denim: PAIGE denim (similar)
rain boots: c/o Helly Hansen (exact, currently on sale!)

Because of the on and off downpour on the way to Healy, I wore my striped rain boots on the Denali bus tour. I realize how much of a tourist this makes me look like now that I’m looking back on the photos, but it was a great choice at the time! They were so comfortable to walk in and didn’t over-insulate my feet. On the windier pit stops, the Helly Hansen Welsey trench was such a life saver. For the amount of insulation and windproof it provides, it’s surprisingly lightweight! The hood can also be packed to form the structured collar. This jacket is the ultimate fashion-tech piece, which I absolutely love because it makes packing for trips like these easy!

Denali bus tour views
If you’re debating a trip to Alaska, the Denali bus tour around the Denali National Park is a must! Don’t forget to check the weather before going so you can pack appropriately!

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Weekend in Alaska: Exploring Anchorage

Today is part 2 of the adventures exploring Anchorage (all the deets from the first half of the day were dished in this post)! We spent a couple hours wandering around the main strip of the town, popping in and out of every shop that seemed to catch our attention.

Exploring Anchorage
My favourite store was The Mercantile, a beautifully curated and merchandised menswear and accessories store. It may have been biased with the Filson bags that made me nostalgic of Seattle, but I loved the vibe of the overall shop. Not to mention, the dreamy workbench setup at the front window of the store where all the custom leather work and embossing magic happened!

The Mercantile shop
The Mercantile shop
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Weekend in Alaska: Anchorage Saturday Market

Last month, a friend found a great deal for round trip flights to Alaska for about $200. Having never been there before and always wanting to visit, a small group of friends bought tickets for a weekend of exploring in August! Our flight arrived in Anchorage just after midnight on a Saturday. After a quick nap and some googling, we decided to spend the morning at the Anchorage Saturday Market.

We went from sunny skies and 90 degree weather in Seattle to the 60 degree grey skies of Anchorage. To stay warm and dry in this weather, I packed a wind-resistant and water-repellent jacket which came in handy on this particularly gloomy morning. This jacket has also been my go-to “blanket” whenever traveling on planes since it is extremely lightweight and packs compactly. So easy to carry on in a purse or small backpack! (Shared this in my travel essentials on IG a couple weeks ago.)

Anchorage for the weekend
Anchorage Saturday market
The Anchorage Saturday Market reminded me a lot of the Fremont Sunday Market here in Seattle. A beautiful mix of local vendors with handmade crafts, ulu knkives, original art and photography, and – of course my favourite thing to check out – delicious food vendors.

Anchorage weekend market: piroshki stand
My favourite stand was the one serving freshly deep-fried salmon and rice-filled piroshki. There’s nothing like a warm, deliciously seasoned, hot pocket of goodness to keep you happy while strolling through the misty rain! We ended up taking our snacks to go and exploring a bit of the city outside of the market, which brought me to this buddy…

Helly Hansen Astra jacket
outfit details:
Astra jacket (midlayer): c/o Helly Hansen (exact)
blue beanie: c/o Helly Hansen (exact or similar in cashmere)
skinny denim: AG Jeans (exact)

anchorage-alaska-HH

We continued to adventure through Anchorage, but not without a fight from the weather. Trying to stay warm and dry on foot was a bit of a challenge with the incoming rain, but the neckline of this midlayer was perfect! Looked like a stealth ninja hiding out from the rain, and the buttons on the side made it easy to undo for when the clouds were passing and we saw some sun.

Excited to share part 2 of Anchorage later this week!

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Summer essentials

The long weekend is almost here! Any fun plans to celebrate Canada Day (July 1) or Independence Day (July 4)? In the past, my Canadian friends and I here in Seattle would celebrate both (never a better excuse to have back-to-back BBQs or potlucks!), but this year it looks like Canada Day crept up on us and we forgot to plan something. Plus, July 1st lands on a work day, so… to the office it is!

As for the July 4th weekend, this would be the perfect time of year for a quick roadtrip! Today, I’m rounding up a set of Summer essentials to take along on the road in case you’re heading out of town this weekend:

Summer Essentials

Reading Materials: I’ve been listening to the #GIRLBOSS podcast and falling more and more in love with Sophia Amoruso on the weekly. She’s featured in this month’s issue of Forbes that highlights the richest self-made women, which I loved reading and learning more about her story from. I won’t divulge any secrets, but it was so fascinating to see big names like Beyonce and Taylor Swift ranked against all other self-made women in America vs the global market of influential women.

Aside from Forbes, I’ve got Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking on my current reading list. I started this book earlier this month when on a weekend trip to the countryside. It’s written by Malcolm Gladwell, who is best known for his bestseller Outliers: The Story of Success. I guess you can see the trend in my current reading materials, hah! ;) Either way, a good book is never a bad thing when on the road.

Face & Body wipes: When on the road, you never know when you’re going to find a bathroom or shower station next! It’s always handy to pack along some fresh wipes, and these Acure Organics coconut and argan oil wipes are my favourite. Not only are they organic, but they’re also 100% biodegradable! These babies triple as makeup removing wipes as well, so no need to pack multiple sets of towelettes!

Deodorant: I recently found Schmidt’s Bergamot & Lime natural deodorant in Whole Foods and absolutely fell in love. As someone who switched from antiperspirants to deodorant a few years back, I’ve been trying to find an all-natural deodorant that didn’t smell like baby powder or feel like dry soap rubbing against my skin. This one smells like a delicious candle has essential oils that help with disinfecting and skin healing.

Sun block: A few months ago, I was introduced to Block Island Organics face moisturizer with SPF 30. While I found the formula to be a bit on the thicker side for everyday use under makeup, I loved the moisturizer as a sun block. Keeping in line with the all-natural theme for my beauty routine, Block Island Organics covers all the bases: all natural and organic ingredients, scent-free, and moisturizing (shea butter and aloe)! The consistency is comparable to other non-organic products available in stores today, but bonus because there are no parabens, sulfates, dyes, or added fragrance. They’re currently offering 20% off sitewide with coupon code HAPPY4TH.

Bug spray: This is a must-have for me! As someone who is prone to being eaten alive by mosquitoes, I always have to have bug spray handy whenever on the road. This Badger Anti-Bug Shake and Spray is a dream. In the past, I’ve tried to avoid using Deet or OFF because of the awful smell and “bitterness” by only lighting Citronella candles, only to be bitten on random places like my forehead! Badger Anti-Bug is 100% natural and smells like nothing more than the Citronella candles (which I love the smell of… I know it’s not for everyone) and rosemary. Yum!

Coconut water: Always have to stay hydrated! The pineapple Zico coconut water is my current favourite. It’s refreshing and ever so slightly hinted with sweetness and pineapple goodness. I haven’t yet tried all the other new Zico flavours but am excited to explore my options if I ever get tired of this yummy pineapple one!

What are your Summer essentials?

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