Top Five Travel Snacks

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A whole post dedicated to snacks. Silly? NOPE! I’ve done it before besides, I’m the grumpiest grump when I’m hungry, not only that, but I’m pretty much incapable of any sound thinking let alone making a decision so snacks are important. We need to talk about them. I conferred with my buddy Erin, who joined me in Thailand this past March, and we agreed on our favorite travel snacks. Erin showed up in Bangkok with a child’s daypack stuffed with snacks and teabags. I immediately gave her the props she deserved then we talked {snack} shop.

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Our Top Sun & Water Essentials for Toddlers

I’m so excited for summer with the boys. They are 2 and 4 years old, and I can already tell that this is going to be a really active summer for us. From the moment they wake up until they pass out, we’re riding bikes, playing in the baby pool on the back porch, and going for hikes in the woods. All that time outside in the sun requires good gear, and a dip or two in the water to cool off. So, below we’re sharing our favorite sun and water gear, because the two go together like peanut butter and jelly (obviously).
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Packing for the Annapurna Circuit Trek

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Namaste, I’m leading a trek on the Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal this November. If you’re coming with me, here’s a quick list of what you should bring and why. If you’re headed down up the trail alone, stay tuned for a more comprehensive Annapurna Circuit trekking guide to be released here this summer. You’d have more fun with me though, check out the details of my Meditation and Trekking in Nepal trip here.

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Easter Basket Idea : Bugs!

I’m so excited about this post! It may leave some of you squirming in your seats, but this sort of themed gift with unexpected items makes me so happy.

If you’ve been following us for a little while, you know that the boys in my house are really into bugs (and any animal, really).  They like looking at them, holding them, talking, and reading about them. Our boys are 2 and 4, so I geared this basket theme for that age, but I do think this basket could easily be scaled up or down depending upon the books you choose.

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The basket above looks innocent enough, right? Look closer, and you’ll see the edible insects!

When I saw packs edible of insects at our local nature center, I was so excited to pick up a few boxes for the boys! And since Easter’s right around the corner, I realized that they would make perfect crazy treats for their baskets.

I love the idea of introducing them to edible insects at this age because they are adventurous eaters… they already think that they’re eating worms when they eat long pieces of pork in the fried rice from our local restaurant. (We’re either awesome or horrible parents.) Anyway, I’m hoping these edible insects will be well-received and lead to conversations about eating bugs and how people in different parts of the world eat bugs every day. And, it’ll also give me a good excuse to show them some of Sarah’s photos from the Thai markets!

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A few of my favorite things…

Oh Amazon, how I love you 364 days a year, until Amazon prime renewal day when you swipe a hundred bucks out of my bank account. I’ll show you! I’ll just order a bunch of stuff and get free two day shipping. Hah! Makes sense, right? I know, I know, but really, I always end up ordering a bunch of stuff the day after my account gets renewed to justify it all. It’s called Sarah science guys. Here are some items I ordered, some items I want and a few others that I already own, but use pretty much every day. Most would make great gifts. Fa la la la la la la la la…

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My essential travel gear includes a well-made backpack, a hydration system, a sleeping bag to stay cozy and a light to guide the way. Here’s a gift list for the adventurer in your life.

While adventuring, I’m either hiking, practicing yoga, bouldering, or simply being.

If I’m simply traveling around town for the day, I always take my mason jar, cuppow and holdster.  My phone of course, handy dandy chapstick & balm, and a camera.

If I have no errands to run, it’s likely I’m inside trying to stay warm, dressed in a onesie, under my blankets, reading a good book or coloring this hilarious (for adults only) coloring book.

If my friends are stopping over, I’ll light a candle, prepare a cheese plate and pour some wine. To keep them occupied, I’ll put on a record and set out some of my favorite coffee table books – one, two and three. We may even get into a game or two.

If we’re talking gifts, you can never ever go wrong with a nice pair of socks, comfortable slippers, blooming tea and duhhhh luxorious body oil – although you may have to provide the massage.

At the end of the day, as much as I loooove Amazon, I’m a total sucker for local, handmade goods. If you can meet the maker and purchase items made with love and intention, you’re the real winner. This past weekend, I bought some Christmas presents from these lovely makers and shakers : Haand . Gather Goods Co .  Lo & Behold . Shop Wind Blown . JaxKelly . Kate & I also stocked the Live Seasoned Etsy Shop for the holidays – there are even some goodies for the littles in your life.

I also make an effort to buy beautiful goods from thrift stores and vintage shops. There are always treasures to be found, you just have to dig a bit. I don’t want to give away any surprises here in case my siblings are reading, but oooo did I find some sweet steals from half a century ago. More on that after Xmas.

Full disclosure : if you purchase anything through these links we’ll get a few cents from each purchase. It doesn’t increase the price on your end, but it helps us out a little bit. Cheers!
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Our Camera Equipment – Sarah’s Camera

We often get asked about the cameras we use to take pictures for the blog and our instagram account, so today we thought it would be fun to do a series of posts where we each talk about our equipment and how we use it. This won’t be a lesson in photography, rather just a discussion about what we use and why it’s worked for us.

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Sarah here:

I use a Nikon D300s with 24-70mm f2.8 & a 35mm f2.

If I’m being honest, (which of course I’m always striving to be) I’m due for an upgrade. I’ve had this camera for over five years, but I truly love it so the years fly by and I keep clicking with this babe.  The tricky thing about shooting with DSLR cameras is that the lenses are just as important (some would argue more important) than the camera body and the good lenses tend to cost more than the camera body itself, so it’s always a struggle, for a frugal freelancer like me.

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Our Camera Equipment – Katie’s Camera

We often get asked about the cameras we use to take pictures for the blog and our instagram account, so today we thought it would be fun to do a series of posts where we each talk about our equipment and how we use it. This won’t be a lesson in photography, rather just a discussion about what we use and why it’s worked for us.

Katie here :

I use the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7. And sometimes my iPhone 6s.

In the best of ways, I sort of fell into my camera. Calder gave it to me for a gift about five years ago (maybe longer!), and once I started using the LX7, I’ve never wanted anything else. Below I’m listing some of the selling points for me, together these may not seem worth the ticket price for this camera, but what I’ve left out is that this camera is just f’ing amazing for its size. It’s packed with features, and I’m only highlighting a handful.

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Gifts for the Adventurer

I’ve traveled plenty, most times with the wrong gear, but when it’s right, I’ve never felt more comfortable and relaxed in an unknown environment.  Today I’m sharing my most beloved travel companions, in the way of gear, so you can scope out a great present for the adventurer in your life.  All these items are highly practical and while they may be on the expensive side, they’ll last for half a decade or more.  If you want your wanderer to think of you while they’re abroad, scope out one of these premium gifts and have them travel in comfort and style.  I’ve traveled without most of these items at least once, but never again, never again.

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lightweightdown A quality, packable down jacket. I was absolutely unprepared and frozen in this photo (and for the next few days) taken in Halong Bay, Vietnam.  On my recent trip to Nepal, I made sure to pack a down jacket and it’s a good thing, because I wore it for a week straight on the Annapurna Circuit.

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Sarah’s Fall Uniform

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Hello, hello, here we are again, in the throws of autumn, spiraling towards winter hibernation.  From time to time, I like to share my seasonal uniform.  I tend to wear basically the same thing every day.  In the spring, I rocked this duster daily, in the summer I lived in my bull’s cap and this vintage bathing suit I found at a thrift store, and this fall it’s all about my new poncho.  Whether I’m walking dogs, taking photos, or curled up in my office chair working from home, I’m living inside this beautiful poncho.  Who wouldn’t want to wear a blanket all the damn time?!

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I have always admired ponchos, but I never found the right one for me that is until about a month ago, when I was supposed to be shopping for a dress for the final ceremony at yoga teacher training.  I’m hot, exhausted, and stopping in every single store I see looking for a dress. Nothing special, just a dress, preferably plain and flowy, but nothing looked right then I see this poncho peeking out of a dark corner of a store full of yak’s wool and knitted mittens.  Not exactly a dress store, but I shuffled out of my shoes and went inside anyway.  As I’m sifting through the rack and telling myself the last thing I should buy on this eighty degree day is a yak’s wool poncho, I see the perfect one.  I pull it over my head, do a little twirl and that’s it, I’m sold.  After a few rounds of bargaining, I paid the agreed upon price of $12.50 and I’m the newest owner of the most perfect poncho in Nepal.  I skip all the way back to the hotel with the poncho tucked safely in my bag.  I won’t wear a new dress for the ceremony, but I will wear a new poncho every single day of autumn.

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I only ever own one or two pairs of jeans at a time. It takes a lot of water to produce a pair. These are my current blue jeans, I’m not disappointed, but I’m also not impressed. You can probably tell that I wear these jeans every day too.  I bought them a couple years ago to replace my old favorites.  Besides the jeans and the poncho, I’m usually wearing some type of basic tank top or simple t-shirt.  Every outfit needs a sensible pair of shoes (I can hear Katie laughing in agreement..) and these Merrells are my most favorite for fall.  I just realized I bought them three years ago and they are honestly in the same condition (maybe a little dirtier) as the day I walked out of the store. (Update as of 07/31/17 – I’m buying a new pair of boots today!)  These Merrell boots hiked up a volcano in Costa Rica, ran across deserts in Utah and crossed the Thorong La Pass in Nepal – so sensible they are.  Hope your fall uniform keeps you as cozy and comfortable as this get up.

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Eight Fall Fair Trade Favorites

Every so often we highlight brands and products we love. Did you catch Katie’s fall favorites from last year? Here are my fall favorites from 2014 too.

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Happy Monday! I knew when I came back from Nepal that it would feel like autumn, but brrrr there is a chill in the air that I didn’t fully expect.  While I’ll probably just shop around in my existing closet to stay warm this season, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the stylish fair trade options on the market right now.  Check out these shops for some threads you can feel great about buying.  The prices might surprise you too!  For instance, the zip up hoodie is only $40, the same price as its American Apparel counterpart and those sweet moccasin boots? Only $40 as well. I’m sooo tempted to pick up a pair, but I’m trying not to spend any extra money until February! Quite a goal, I know, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here are the details on all these lovely fall frocks:

One – The Root Collective is simply a heartfelt company.  I love these flats and although they are way out of my price range, I can admire the goal of the company and respect the price tag for what it represents.  The Root Collective partners with small-scale artisan businesses to handcraft vibrant ballet flats. The Root Collective strives to create a kinder world, and they are passionate about spreading the word about the positive impact that companies can have in the world.

Two – Eileen Fisher produces large lines of clothing all aimed at changing the way the world buys clothing.  Their three aims? Supporting women through social initiatives that address their wellbeing, practicing business responsibly with absolute regard for human rights, and guiding their product and practice toward sustaining the environment.  Who can argue with that?

Three – I’ve always had a thing for Good Society. Originally founded in America in 2007, with headquarters in Germany and an office in Italy, Good Society combines fashion and sustainable lifestyle. Good Society strongly believes in fair incomes for workers and they don’t use pesticide-intensive or genetically-modified cotton crops, only 100% organic cotton for their denim.

Four – This company is near and dear to my heart. Why? Because elegant tees and dresses are designed in NYC and sewn by women freed from sex trafficking in Nepal. Elegantees creates a positive source of income that reinforces independence, a healthy self-image, and confidence. I love how casual and cute this dress is and their other designs are just as basic and beautiful.

Five – These comfy looking zip ups (and everything else they produce) are 100% cotton.  Pact is a certified B Corp that goes to great lengths to make sure their entire supply chain, from the growing and harvesting of the organic cotton to the final sewing of the garment is as clean and responsible as possible.

Six – For how often I practice yoga, I only have one pair of yoga leggings!  My sister actually lent me a few pairs for my recent yoga teacher training in Nepal.  Ridiculous I know, but anyhow, if I had some extra dough, I would purchase these Good Cloth leggings. Good Cloth is outspoken about the lack of understanding in the fashion marketplace about the people that make our clothing and what conditions these workers may face. Good Cloth offers customers a space where they can purchase clothing and accessories that are produced in a way that is kind to workers and the planet.

Seven – I love the simple elegance of this dress. Shift to Nature sources the best of eco friendly brands and they do a damn good job of it.  Their products are made from certified organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and other sustainable textiles and that are also made through sustainable and ethical fair work production and business practices. Shift to Nature is a stock pile of basics in luxury organic cotton leggings, t-shirts, dresses, and active wear.

Eight – I am in deep, deep love with these moccasins and I know I’ll be thinking about them all fall, but I’m at the point where I can be happy something exists and that someone else can buy it – you should be that someone and then you should dance around in my living room so I can enjoy these beauties, but I digress.. Oliberté is the world’s first Fair Trade Certified footwear manufacturing factory. They make every single pair of Oliberté shoes at their factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Does it make you feel all warm and tingly inside to to know there are companies out there with big hearts?  Even if I’m not a place in my life where I can support them right now, I feel inspired knowing someday I may through my work or my wallet. Shop responsibly friends. XO

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