Caravan Sonnet: February 2019


Coming Next Week...

I am so excited to share with y'all something very exciting that is coming next week- my blog posts about our time on Gornergrat and the Gornergrat train ride that we took in Switzerland!

This was such a special time and I am so excited to share more with y'all this next week!

In the meantime I hope you will follow along on Instagram (click HERE), as we are heading out on a special trip these next few days for a very exciting and fun travel adventure and I can't wait to share more with y'all over on Instagram and then on the blog later next week! *smiles* 

Happy Friday friends! I hope that you have a wonderful day!

First Time Camper? Here's What You Should Know

So, you’re a first time camper and you want to make sure your first trip is a success. You’ve come to the right place! Below, we have some advice for people who are in this situation and want to stay comfortable while having the best time imaginable. Read on to learn more!

Make Sure Your Tent Is Large Enough
First time campers famously buy tents that are too small. You absolutely have to make sure that your tent is big enough. You have to fit you in, your campmates (if you’re all planning on sharing), as well as your stuff (unless you’re keeping most of your stuff in your RV or campervan).

New campers often underestimate the size they really need and end up in a super crowded tent. For example, a group of two should probably have a 4 man tent, while a group of 4 people would be better off purchasing a 6 man tent. Your future self will really love your past self for taking the time to buy a tent that’s the right size!

Get To Grips With Your Gear
Don’t wait until you’re on the campground to actually get to grips with your gear. You’ll have a nightmare. You don’t want to spend a ridiculous number of hours attempting to put up your tent, so try setting it up in your garden first. You’ll be really pleased you did this. If you’re pretty sure you’re going to be camping regularly, then by all means buy your gear outright. However, you could potentially save money by renting or borrowing big ticket gear, do that instead to see how you feel after your first trip. There are a few pieces that will likely benefit you regardless, such as the Zero Tolerance knives for sale. Having an everyday carry knife can help in numerous situations, not just camping.
Make A Camping Checklist
It’s too easy to forget some of the essentials when camping - you need a lot of stuff if you’re going to do it properly and stay comfortable. With a great checklist you can ensure you take everything you need, and don’t forget anything on the way back either. All smart campers use checklists!  

Get To The Campground Early On
As a new camper, you’ll be largely unfamiliar with camp site rules and etiquette. Arriving early means you can get a great spot, set your tent up in peace, and then get to grips with how you’re supposed to behave at this campsite. You’ll want plenty of time to get to know the campsite layout during day time, too - don’t kid yourself into believing you can do it when it’s dark. You’ll just annoy your fellow campers and won’t set a very good impression upon arrival.

As well as this, make sure you set up your tent when it’s light (not just for your sake, but for your fellow camper’s sakes). It can be really exciting and you probably want to go and explore, but get the important stuff done first.

Plan Your Meals
You can make things so much easier by planning your meals in advance. You can chop up things like veg and meat, marinate them, and keep them in ziploc bags. For this, one of the greatest things you’ll invest in is a great cooler. You don’t want your food to spoil. Planning your meals in advance will ensure you have plenty of good grub to feed your group and you aren't just left with snacks like chips that won’t really fill you up! Treat this as a priority.

Take The Right Clothing
Camping for the first time means going shopping to make sure you have the right clothing, too. Many new campers fail to take enough clothing with them, and end up too cold or uncomfortable during their trip. You want to head to a great store and ensure you have things like quick drying items and sweat wicking items. A rain suit, a swimsuit, light jackets, layers, thermal underwear, and more. Make sure you’re prepared for various weather scenarios!  

Camp Close To Home
Rather than travelling far and wide for your very first camping trip, consider going somewhere close to home. When you do this, you’ll have peace of mind as you know you can just nip home in case of an emergency or if you’ve forgotten something. You can then learn from your first trip and travel further afield on your next one. It’s also worth mentioning that although camping can be fantastic, it’s not for everybody. You might realize a day or two in that you’re just not cut out for camping. You can keep your options open and bail if problems do arise when you decide to stay close to home.
Keep An Eye On The Weather Forecast
Don’t make the biggest mistake of your life and ignore the weather forecast. It’s easy to do, but you’ll curse yourself once you arrive if extreme weather conditions make themselves known. There’s no shame in bailing on your trip if the weather forecast just isn’t great. You’re not going to get a very good first impression of camping if you attempt to set up your tent and camp in torrential rain! Everything will be soggy, you’ll feel wet to the bone, and it will be a struggle to enjoy yourself. Make sure you know what the weather is going to be like leading up to your trip and you’ll have a much better time. It’s worth noting that good tents can withstand a little rain, and a small amount shouldn’t necessarily put you off your trip. However, if there’s set to be numerous downpours, you should probably reschedule.

Being a first time camper is great, because you get to experience the joys and excitement of camping for the first time. Many people fall in love with camping and do it a number of times a year, which allows them to get back in touch with nature and themselves. Have fun!

*contributed post*


When Calls the Heart Inspired Vintage Junk Journal Video

Happy Thursday friends! Today I am excited to share another video from my new YouTube channel that just recently went live just a little bit ago! Today I am excited to share a video of this When Calls the Heart Vintage Inspired Junk Journal that I shared about yesterday and that is now available in the shop! You can find it HERE!!

With the 6th season of When Calls the Heart quickly approaching on Sunday, this sweet Junk Journal would make a lovely gift that would be a lifetime keepsake.

This one just makes me smile... some of you may know that the song I chose is actually one of my all time favorites- and it has been on repeat here recently. Working on this journal and remembering some of these quotes from my time writing the devotionals back in 2017 has inspired me in new ways on a personal note... to step out and to love fearlessly and to risk and take a chance. Sometimes I feel like I make a bit of a bumbling way of doing it but I am still inspired to try... Anyways *smiles*... I hope this video brings a smile to your face this chilly Thursday morning! *smiles* 

You can find the video HERE (or watch right below) and the new channel by clicking HERE! Thanks for checking it out, liking it, commenting, and following along y'all! *smiles*
Happy Thursday friends! I hope you have a wonderful day!

How Well is Your Health Protected?

Your health is something that you should be thinking about pretty much all of the time. Not to the point where you feel as though you might start to obsess over it, but you definitely do need to be thinking about how the decisions you’re making at the minute, are going to affect the decisions you’re able to make later on in life. But if there’s one thing that we think is a bit annoying about health at the minute, it’s the fact that everyone seems to be going on about it, and everyone has different views as to what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Take dieting for example. Think how many diets there are out there at the minute, and think about how much criticism is facing the majority of them. There will be a group of people who truly do swear by them, the rest of the population which reads all of the negatives of said diet, and says it’ll do nothing but bad to people. The argument for what’s good and what’s bad happens in pretty much every area of health. But, that doesn’t mean you should be put off thinking about your health. Instead, you need to start thinking about what’s going to suit you, and how protected is your health at the minute. Let’s dig a little deeper!
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What’s Your Daily Routine?
Your daily routine is actually so super important to all of this. You need to have this routine set up, so that you can feel as good as possible at the end of the day. Because some people have such a bad routine throughout the day, that when it comes to the evening, they can barely be bothered to do anything at all, and who can blame them. If this sounds like you, then we probably know the sort of routine that you’ve got going on. You’ll most likely start the day with no breakfast, and if you do eat it, it’ll no doubt be a bowl of sugary cereal. You’ll have something like a lunch meal deal for lunch, or maybe just snack on some crisps and chocolate. To finish the hard day off, you won’t be bothered to cook so a ready meal or take away will do. We just know that this is the routine that so many follow, and we wouldn’t be surprised if you’re feeling the repercussions of this. Whilst we know sometimes it’s hard to eat good, you need to be able to prioritise it if you want to keep your health protected. Further along down the article, we’ll give you some great advice on how to keep to a healthy diet without feeling so restricted.

What Happens When You Do Become Ill?
If you do become ill, which may happen at some point, then you’re going to have to think about what you do when you become ill, and if things get in the way of you getting better quicker. Even things like the common cold see people suffering for weeks rather than the normal week because they just don’t care for themselves properly. But what if something a little more serious were to happen? Some people are injured at work, or get nasty viruses that require hospital treatment, but so many aren’t aware of the types of medical malpractice that could happen. Some go through a whole hospital visit not even knowing anything malpractice is happening to them! It only prolong the stay in hospital, and how long it takes you to get better. So even when you think your health is protected, it really might not be! To ensure you’re on the mend as quickly as possible, always make sure you’re following the doctor's orders. It might sound silly, but how many times have you ignored rest advice, food advice, sleep advice, and you’ve just been to take ages to get better! The better you follow, the better you’ll be.

Basic Health Tips
So, we think the biggest basic health tip that any of you need to listen to, is one when it comes to food. It’s no doubt our biggest weakness in life, and it’s so easy to fall off the wagon even after a few hours of being on a diet. So, our simple tip is to use fitness apps to calorie count, but not think you’re restricted to just eating salads and small meals. Eat a balanced diet full of low fat natural foods, and you’ll feel healthier within weeks. The dishes you can create will just be so full of flavour and excitement, that it won’t even feel like you’re on a diet!

*contributed post*


When Calls the Heart // West With the Mounties Vintage Junk Journal

Happy Wednesday friends! Today I am so excited to share with y'all the newest item available in the December Caravan ShopThis amazing When Calls the Heart Vintage Junk Journal is now available for purchase! (You can find it HERE!) 
Do you love the Hallmark Channel Original Series, "When Calls the Heart"? If so than you will love this beautiful keepsake junk journal that has been inspired from the TV show! 
This beautiful junk journal is made with love from my heart! Several years ago I had a sweet connection to the show as I had the opportunity to visit the set of When Calls the Heart with my mom (you may have remember reading about our adventure HERE) which was so fun. I then wrote a series of blog posts (From Hope Valley Devotionals) filled with encouragement based off the series back in 2017. It's fun to see how the Hallmark series has grown & morphed over the years!
So today I am excited to share with y'all a new special "When Calls the Heart" Junk Journal! This amazing and beautifully unique vintage "West with the Mounties" vintage (1950s) book that has been made into a special Hearties Junk Journal is a hearties/hope valley/when calls the heart/janette oak Lovers dream. With approximately 200 pieces of book pages/tags, quality and beautiful coordinating scrapbook paper, adorable vintage and modern embellishments and ephemera, and fun surprises for the owner tucked in secret places just for the owner, this Junk Journal will create a treasured keepsake for a lifetime!
This junk journal (although vintage) was in excellent condition and contains ALL of the original book pages and even includes vintage tags and vintage-looking tags that will create a treasure that will remind generations of the past while creating precious new memories. 
For those that love the show you will see tons of elements that relate back to the show with special details included! This is made a little differently and I did this purposefully - to fit the theme of the show. One of the ways that I have done that is by making "folders" to host everything. There are three main folders and I loved the symbolism of Elizabeth and teaching. In addition you will find quotes, nods to the kids, the widows, town members, and other additional surprises.
In the first folder you can see the traditional look of the junk journal pages that is incredibly popular. Behind each of the folders are surprises that have pockets that include pockets for Elizabeth, Jack, Abigail, Bill, Rosemary, and Lee. 
In each pocket are fun and unique ephemera pieces that match each character from the show: 
Elizabeth's Pocket: 
*tag with vintage brooch
*vintage flashcard
*Vintage looking card that has hats on it (remember the first season with her amazing hats!)
*additional ephemera

Jack's Pocket: 
*tag with vintage brooch
*Vintage looking card that has Jacket on it (the back has the letter J)
*additional ephemera
Abigail's Pocket:
*vintage recipe card
*vintage flashcard
*oven flashcard
*additional ephemera

Bill's Pocket: 
*misc. ephemera

Lee's Pocket: 
*vintage timetable
*additional ephemera

Rosemary's Pocket: 
*vintage hankerchief
*vintage flashcard
*misc. tags
*flashcard with coat on it (red coat - nod to the first season, and has the letter C on the back)
*additional ephemera
Thanks so much for reading about it today friends! If you are interested in this When Calls the Heart Vintage Junk Journal can find it HERE
Stay tuned as a video of this junk journal will soon be on my new youtube channelOr find one of me talking about the junk journal on the shops instagram page by clicking HERE!
Happy Wednesday friends! I hope that you have a wonderful evening!!


Heading to Lake Placid Soon!

Photo Credit: Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort
Hey friends! Happy Tuesday! I shared this on instagram last month, but I am SO excited to be going to Lake Placid soon and staying at the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort!! This is definitely a dream trip! Since moving to upstate New York, I haven't spent as much time in Lake Placid as I have wanted (y'all know how I have shared how special this area is to me before!!) and I am so excited to change that here soon! Can't wait to share with y'all the entire experience, especially the stay at this beautiful lakeside resort! If you have any suggestions of favorite things to do and see in Lake Placid- please let me know! I can't wait to hear all of your suggestions! 


New Addition to the Shop: The Fabric Journal Collection

Today I am so excited to share with you a fun and cute addition section to the shop- the Fabric Journal Collection! These beautiful and one-of-a-kind handmade fabric binders made with quality fabric and coordinating high quality scrapbook paper is ready to be filled with your special and precious memories! 
This Paris Fabric Journal (available HERE) measures approximately 8.25 x 9 and can be used in a variety of different ways including as a scrapbook, junk journal, journal, travel journal, planner, list maker, party decor/guest book, or even as an altered photo album. 
This Paris fabric binder comes with 12 coordinating sheets of scrapbook paper and also 12 archival photo pages in the following configurations: 3x4, 4x6, and 6x8 all ready to be filled with your precious memories. 
This Paris themed fabric journal has been filled with beautiful coordinating paris theme paper and the colors of pinks, blacks, greys, and soft whites. The owner will also receive (as all of my junk journal orders do! *smiles* ) special coordinating ephemera and fun surprises! *smiles*
If you are interested in purchasing this Paris Fabric Journal you can find it by clicking HERE to go directly to the listing!  Or if you are interested in looking at other fabric journals that are available in the shop you can find them in the fabric journal collection section by clicking HERE

Happy Monday (again) friends! I hope that you have a wonderful start to this new week!

A Sunny February Weekend

Happy Monday friends! I hope you are having a wonderful start to this new week! How was your weekend? Mine seemed to fly by with fun and sweet times! And some of you reading this are just going to laugh because you know it is true, but it was chilly and I loved it. *smiles*
Saturday morning I worked on shop details (for both December Caravan and December Lane) and wrapped up orders for the December Caravan shop! Thank you so much for your support sweet friends! I was so excited to share this new Dreamer Tag Journal with y'all on Saturday (you can read more about it HERE)! I can't wait to share some of the other fun items coming to the shop this week!
On Saturday I also spent some time working on wrapping up some orders of this book, When Hope Restores. It is always such a humbling thing to send books literally around the world and I am so grateful for everyone who purchases one. Thank you so much!
It was a beautiful (and chilly!) weekend with sun and blue skies and on Saturday it was the perfect day to take a long drive along the lake. The views were stunning and took our breath away! It was fun to drive along the lake and then head back into the mountains! The fresh white snow was simply gorgeous!

Later that night I watched the movie "Hunter Killer" with friends. Have y'all seen it? It was definitely action packed and I thought it was really well acted. Sometimes you just want a fun "guy" movie full of action and adventure- especially when you have guys watching with you *smiles* and so it was a fun movie to watch. Disclaimer: It is rated "R" ... honestly y'all know I have a VERY sensitive heart and am pretty picky about what I watch. I didn't realize it was rated "R" till after we watched it... I think that there is some definite language and it is a bit violent, but overall it was one honestly one of the "cleaner" movies I have seen and it seemed to me that there are some TV shows with more violence. (Not endorsing that just trying to give an accurate picture.) Let me know what you guys think! 
Yesterday (Sunday) was spent connecting with friends and loved ones, yoga, being outdoors and writing letters to dear ones. I also am busily working to finish a project up for an upcoming birthday! I can't believe that we are already in the middle of February y'all! This new year seems to be flying so quickly. I want to grab onto the moments and just hold time still in some ways, and yet it continues to march forward and with that I know will come new adventures and joys. 

This weekend was also spent busily working on a blog/brand re-design that is taking place (and has been for several months now!). It is hard to believe that this space has been around for more than six years as of January 2013! I want to share more, but thank you for following along, your support and your love all of these years friends. You are truly a blessing and I can't wait to move forward with you!

Did y'all have a good weekend? Did you do anything special this weekend? Happy Monday friends! I hope that you have a wonderful beginning to your new week! 

Shop the Post:
JCrew Wool Jacket (Similar JCrew Wool Jacket HERE, Cheaper off-brand version HERE)
ASOS Blanket Scarf (Similar HERE- under $10!)