Beach Weekend Packing List

Summer = Beach Days.
I’ve been heading to the beach a lot the last few months and it just fills my heart with so much joy! I can admit that I’ve been completely spoiled with being born/raised/always living near the coast so beach life is just normal life to me. Since moving to California I often find myself just spending some spare time lounging on the beach catching up on reading and soaking in the sounds of the waves.

Recently I went back to my hometown to see family and friends, do some work on our house, and head to the family beach house for a few days. I shoved my essentials into this glorious vera bradley bag (similar one linked below, I could only find that pattern in the store) and soaked in all the fun times at the beach.

I’m sharing some of my favorite things to take with me when I’m traveling, especially to the beach. Y’all sunscreen, hats, light towels, books, and some amazing essential oils are a must to make me feel at home. I try to keep all of my items compact so that they don’t take up much room in my bags and this compact Diffusor% from SAJE paired with the Happiness Diffusor Blend Collection% made my space smell and feel so much lighter and brighter; it’s definitely a must when traveling.

I figured EVERYONE would love a good beach idea & packing list so I’m providing you with both, soooo you’re welcome! I’m a huge fan of lists myself so my OCD brain just screamed for me to make it! I would love to hear what some of your must-have items are for heading to the beach!

beach weekend, a loved life blog, a loved life,

Travel Diffusor% | Happiness Diffusor Blend Collection% | Travel Bag | Bathing Suit |  Hat | Sunscreen | Water Bottle | Sandals | Turkish Towel




Beautiful Airbnbs in the PNW

The PNW (Pacific North West) has been on my bucket list for a really, really long time.
I find myself scouring the Airbnb website saving homes throughout the country & the world for future trips I would love to take.
I wanted to share with y’all 9 finds that make my heart flutter while browsing through the the PNW area.
***PS – You can get a $40 travel credit for Airbnb using this link!


What are some of those dreamy places you can’t wait to cross off of your bucket list?
Anyone want to plan a PNW trip with me and enjoy the beautiful area?!?

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The Little Owl Cabin at Mt. Rainier

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Odell Get House

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Sun-Filled Detached Studio – SE Portland

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Portland Tiny House (Alberta Arts)

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House In Rosyln

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Roslyn Digs

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Red A-Frame

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Laurelhurst Guest House

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Handbuilt Alberta Arts Cottage


San Diego Days

Reading new books.
Feeling the loneliness of the separation when Eddie is gone and filling my time up.
Hitting up Orange Theory Fitness Classes.
Marketing to new photography clients.
Cooking up some new meals.
Getting in the car, getting lost, and exploring new areas.
Creating blog content.
Spending time with new friends.
Hoping to minimize and purge things. (updating my poshmark soon!)
Missing my family.
Learning to budget and stop frivolous spending.


It may sound like a lot of fun around here and trust me, most of the time it is, but I know it’s all for a season.
The last year (and almost a half!) of my life has been full of crazy changes, different states, loosing friendships, gaining friendships, loss, joy, challenges and so much more. Being able to take a breather, figure out who I am as a person and as a wife in this new area has been such an interesting transition. I’m slowly working on some more “here’s what my heart has been processing” posts but I’m just not ready to hit publish yet.

Which means today I’m giving you a small glimpse of what the days could look like around here, and trust me, Netflix is always on the table.

Cabrillo Tide Pools

Eddie was telling me the other day that he “loves San Diego Amy” because I’m truly thriving out here.
I made him walk me through it because it was the first time I had heard him mention something about “San Diego Amy” and I’m a woman who needs more explanation! He said that back when we lived in Maine it was my first time away from Charleston and I’m I arrived during the dead of winter, I knew absolutely no one, and he found my inside a lot. Connecticut I went out exploring more, hitting up new towns, and even making a few friends through The Rising Tide (a creative community) and a few other Navy Wives. Now that I’m In California I really have gotten myself used to the pattern of, find a place, get in the car and go explore it! I also have made some amazing friends here, my tribe, and we hike together, do movie nights, coffee dates, and just see new areas of San Diego (and beyond). My calendar is full again and I’m back to that place of shuffling things around to fit in more things with more people.

I will fully admit, I needed this. I NEEDED this place that I’m at now, to show me what all is possible.
I thought I would only be able to really thrive back in Charleston; that would be my home base and everywhere else, well I would just make work. I’m so glad I was wrong. Personally I think it comes from being able to be vulnerable, letting people in, and building those friendships. I think my tribe is what is helping me to enjoy this new town, annnnddddd the weather helps too! One of the many things I’m loving about San Diego is the ability to get out side, explore, and stay active all year long.

Take for instance this past weekend, the husband and I took a day-date out to Cabrillo National Monument and walked the path along the tide pools. Cabrillo has quickly become one of my favorite places to go spend time and walk around; I was actually there a week ago to just lay on the rocks and read a book because it’s so dang calming. The morning started with this brisk chill that always seems to linger on the coastline. That’s something that I’m still getting used to out here, the lack of humidity paired with a cold breeze makes it hard for me to figure out how to dress; so I’m always either wearing pants + a tank or carrying a cardigan. I recently received this tank & pants from prAna and this was the perfect weather day to wear them out while strolling along along the coastal cliffs at the tide pools. It definitely helps when my clothes are super comfy, breathable and ethical!!
(**Use Code “TRELS18” for 15% off your prAna online purchase!)

Learning more about prAna’s mission makes me even more motivated to purchase clothes and accessories from their company; prAna uses 100% organic cotton & implements a lot of fair trade and sustainable values throughout their products and company, basically a win win here. Fun fact: Knowing that I would be doing lots of walking/climbing this outfit was the perfect choice and I finally took my new Chacos out for a spin and am super impressed (thanks Meg & Beth for introducing me to Chacos!).

A Quick Run Down On Cabrillo

You’re able to go down to the tide pools and walk the path that takes you up around around the cliff area, visit the small museum telling you all about the importance of the monument, seeing the monument itself, and then going on a few other trails that are in the area. You also pass the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on your way into the monument and it is like being in the presence of a small Arlington Cemetery; it is truly humbling and reminds you the price of freedom.

There are bathrooms at the far left entrance as well as a guide that normally stands there to ask any questions you may have regarding the tide pools.

The museum part is normally open right after you’re able to enter the park. It’s a quick little walk through that explains the history of the area and personally I found it to be super informative. ((there are also bathrooms and a gift shop right by the museum)) The Monument itself is a super short walk from the museum and is breath taking to look at with the San Diego skyline behind it!

There is one main trail that goes to the right of the monument and all the way down to the bottom (It’s about 2 miles) and it’s really beautiful; I also think there is another shoot off trail from this main one but haven’t tried it out myself yet.
There is another trail at the tide pools.

* I suggest bringing a towel to sit on, pack a lunch (or snacks), and wear some great fitting shoes.


Outfit Details

Foundation Scoop Neck Tank% | Shala Pant% | prAna Tote% | Chaco Maya II Sandals 

**PS – Don’t forget you can get 15% off of prAna when you shop online using the code: TRELS18

Joshua Tree & Pioneer Town

Joshua Tree is a desert oasis.
The more I look back on these pictures and think of driving through the park I’m reminded of the odd and stunning beauty that this patch of desert holds. When Beth and I were looking at all of the scenery I found myself repeating “this looks like another planet, or a movie set”. Being able to see a landscape that I’ve never seen in real life before was completely marvelous. One of my favorite things about visiting national parks is hitting up the history behind it and learning how they came about, what makes them national park worthy and learning more about the history behind it. The Joshua Tree National Park is actually two desert ecosystems meeting in the middle (WWHHATTT?!?!). The Mojave and the Colorado dessert merge within this park and they bring two very different landscapes, plants, and animals along with it; and trust me you notice a difference between the two park entrances! I actually learned on this trip that the Joshua Tree name came from the mormon immigrants living in the area who thought the tree resembled Joshua; I found it super interesting that they felt an individuals appearance strongly resembled this tree. You can read more about what a Joshua Tree is, it’s purpose, and the history here.

A few tips to remember if you’re planning a trip to Joshua Tree:
1. This is not a pet friendly place. With all of the cactus, wildlife, and dangers your pet could be seriously injured or injure something else.
2. BRING LOTS OF WATER. Especially if you are going in the warmer months as the park averages only 25% humidity. You can get dehydrated easily and there are not many places in the park (if any) to stop and buy food and drink.
3. Do NOT feed the wildlife. Keep the wildlife wild.
4. There is so much to explore, if you’re a hiker, bird watcher, star gazer – this will be such a joy for you! Make sure you plan out the places you want to see as the park is vast and make it happen!

North Entrance

This entrance is further north (obviously) and is definitely more desert when you enter. There was a small visitors center off to the right of the road before you enter the park but it was closed when we went in (it was around 5-530PM). There is not much near this area other than the visitors center so you’ll want to check times to see when it’s open for that last minute bathroom break and to get any maps you may require.

West Entrance

This is the main entrance to the park. There is a visitors center with gift items and hiking trails, and rangers to speak to about the park. It’s in the center of downtown Joshua Tree so it’s the best place to grab some food/drink/restrooms before heading into the park itself. Since this is the more popular entrance it can get super crowded and backed up. When we went (during the off season and on a week day) there was a small little line of cars and since I am a National Park Pass Holder we were able to just hang up the pass and go into the pass holder line and get into the park more quickly.

Now a quick little blurb on Pioneertown.
This was actually recommended to us by our Airbnb Hosts to check out. This is probably one of the coolest hidden gems in the desert area! It’s an Old West Town built in the 1940s as a movie set that filmed more than 50 films and tv shows during the 1940s and 1950s! Now it’s home to some local shops, a restaurant, and it looks like the do some live shows. When Beth and I went there was only the pottery store open but I think that’s because it wasn’t a weekend and nothing was really planned; I imagine it’s a lot more busy and lively on a weekend.

Cactus Mountain | Joshua Tree Airbnb

Have you ever been to Joshua Tree?
It’s been on my list for a while and while I’ve now seen this beautiful national park It won’t count towards the pact Eddie & I have to hit all the National Parks together. Mainly because he has seen a handful of parks that I haven’t, and vice versa – the pact means we can’t count them unless we’ve seen them together! Which simply means that I’ll be able to go back to this beauty with my husband in tow and do some more exploring, I count that as a win in my book!

When Beth and I decided to do a short trip to Joshua Tree we didn’t realize when we were heading there during the time of Coachella which meant that SO MANY PLACES were booked solid; but thankfully not the stunning @cactusmountain!!! It was the perfect studio space for girls getaway one night and two day exploration of Joshua Tree. It was set back on the dusty desert roads and offered serene views of the surrounding area; it was truly secluded and peaceful. After booking the place the hosts of Cactus Mountain sent us a list of great hiking spots as well as local restaurants and grocery stores to hit up for food while we were there. It ended up being perfect as we were able to go to a grocery store and stock up on items to make dinner and breakfast while staying at the house…it made it feel more like home.

When packing for our little stay I knew I would end up taking my Edens Garden Ceramic Ultrasonic Diffuser and Guardian Synergy Blend Oil to have running while we were there. It helps to ward off nasty germs, cleanse the air, uplift the mood, and overall it just smells warm and heavenly. It’s actually become quite hilarious how I travel with my favorite oils to help me feel grounded and healthy when I’m seeing new places, maybe i’ll do a post about some of my favorite things to take with me while traveling? Hmmm….I’m going to think on that


More Saturdays Tee | Green Yoga Pants* | Weekends Tee* | Crossover Slide Leather Sandals | Oil For That Enamel Pin | Cactus Enamel Pin | You Do You Enamel Pin | Worry Less Roller

Get $40 in travel credit towards a trip on Airbnb! *
*this is a referral link and you can read more about what that means here.