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We went on a little vacation and I packed a few things

We just returned from a few days away on vacation. It was so, so good.

A group of us camped and boated in eastern Washington at a lake called Banks Lake.

I mean, how pretty is that?!

One thing I love about Washington is that you just drive a few hours east across the Cascade Mountains and you get to a totally different climate from our mild Seattle weather. In Eastern Washington, the temperatures in the summer are always high, the air is dry and the lakes are warm. We don’t like to leave the state during the summer because it truly is the best time to live in the Pacific Northwest so we take advantage of staying close to home to get the best of the west side and a few weeks of the east side, too.

On our 4 hour drive over the mountains, Ryan and I passed the time by asking conversation starter questions. One of them was: What is your happy place? 

You know what I really, really love? Being on a boat. That is my happy place. Or at least one of them :)

That’s not me skiing – it’s my friend Erica. She’s kinda awesome. And look at that water!

I’m not much of a skiier or wakeboarder, but I do love inner-tubbing and I’m quite good at sitting on the boat and cheering everyone on.  One of my favorite things about this mini vacation (besides the boat and warm water and friends) was that there was very limited cell reception and practically no internet connection. It meant I just ignored my phone for 5 days and fully enjoyed the moment. It also meant I rarely had my phone with me which meant very few photos were taken. But, hey, we were present, engaged, relaxed and having fun with our kids and friends. And that is just what a vacation should be.

While away, I was thinking there were a few things I brought with us that were extra wonderful. And, of course, I have to share!

First up, mascara.

I have long lashes, but they are super light and I look about 12 years old if my eyes are completely makeup-free. When we’re out on the boat or swimming, it’s tricky to find a mascara that doesn’t rub off and leave black streaks down your face. For several years, I wore lash extensions and that solved the water+mascara problem. But it’s been a few years since I’ve had those lashes (and I sort of miss them) so thankfully I’ve found a mascara that totally works in the water.

It’s this L’Oreal Paris Double Extend Mascara. You first brush on this white formula, let it dry and then coat with black. The white acts like tubes that make your lashes look extra long and the mascara stays on until you soak your lashes with warm water. I swam all day and the mascara stayed put. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Second, this cup

Ryan thought I was crazy to spend $29.99 on an insulated cup, but I used it all day everyday and think it is the greatest thing. I chose the olive green color because I’m super in to all shades of green right now and I love that ice stayed cold all day even out in the hot sun.

Third, let’s talk about this spray bronzing sunscreen

To be fair, I didn’t actually bring this with me but a friend had it in her beach bag and let me try it and I liked how it smelled, how it looked and how it protected. So if you are pale-skinned like me, this is a nice way to add a little bit of color while still offering sun protection.

Next up, this life-saving lotion. 

Okay, I know this one is totally boring, but it is essential for my kids’ skin during the summer. My two youngest, especially, have very sensitive skin that dries out quickly and they both have pretty bad flair ups of eczema and we’ve never been able to get to the bottom of what causes it. We have tried a million different lotions, soaps, baths, vitamins and the one thing that seems to work for both of them is this ointment. It doesn’t sting and they don’t cry when I put it on them (which is a big win). I like this version with the sponge applicator so you don’t have to get your hands all greasy. It’s messy, but it works for cracked, dry, irritated skin and I’m glad I remembered to throw it in at the last minute because it was well used every night on vacation!

Last one: these flip flops

I basically live in these slim flip flops by Haviana all summer long. They are comfortable, easy to throw on and indestructible. I packed three pairs of sandals for this trip and only wore these :)


Hooray for vacations and hooray for little things like flip flops and sunscreen and a really great cup that make us happy.

Have you found any products lately you’re excited about? Please share!

15 Responses to We went on a little vacation and I packed a few things

  1. Brianne July 19, 2018 at 1:39 pm #

    I grew up camping at Banks lake EVERY summer. I remember loving it but I also remember the bugs being super bad. How are the bugs these days?? Looks like you guys had a blast :)

    • emily July 20, 2018 at 4:15 pm #

      We didn’t have much of a bug problem (thankfully!)

  2. JoAnn Heath July 18, 2018 at 9:35 pm #

    I’ve heard that eczema is almost always diet related. Unfortunately I had to pull dairy out of my sons diet to get his to go away. But it DID go completely away. When we re-introduce dairy years later his eczema came back. He’s very sad about dairy free ice cream but…

    • Maureen Benke July 20, 2018 at 5:09 am #

      The SO Delicious Brand of Cashew Milk Ice Cream is FAB!
      We love the Salted Caramel….YUMMO!
      Give it a try….it makes DF look great.
      Best – Maureen Benke

      • Lauren Bitter July 20, 2018 at 12:22 pm #

        NadaMoo, Revolution, and Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy are also super good!

  3. Jes July 18, 2018 at 7:45 pm #

    Hi, back to the eczema; unfortunately I have had years of experience:(. I’m sorry for your two that suffer with it! I highly recommend using Gold Bond SHEA BUTTER lotion. This has been revolutionary for me!! With semi-regular use I haven’t had any bad flare-ups for over 12yrs! It’s also wonderful on dry hands! (My hands get so bad in the winter they crack and bleed) It’s so healing, makes them feel almost like soft baby skin:) I almost always have a tube/pump bottle near me, and friends are always asking to borrow:)

    • emily July 18, 2018 at 9:33 pm #

      Thank you for the suggestion! I’ll grab some next time I’m at the drug store and give it a try.

  4. Cindy B July 18, 2018 at 5:19 pm #

    Our Brazilian exchange student brought Havanas for everyone she encountered in the US! Eight years ago, and they’re still going strong! One of the best host gifts we’ve received – she brought a bunch in a variety of colors and sizes. Apparently, they’re quite inexpensive in Brazil. Looks like you had a great trip, and that lake is gorgeous!

  5. kim July 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm #

    Have you tried MadeOn brand Hard Lotion Bars? It doesn’t sting, either.

  6. Gabby McGraw July 18, 2018 at 1:30 pm #

    LOVE this!! I have those flipflops in a dark pink and love them. Aquafor is a must in our house. My 13-year-old insists on having a tube of it as a dry skin remedy. Insulated cups are also a fave around here. I have a Hydroflask for my water and a Starbucks one with a lid and straw for my morning iced coffee. Glad you got away. Sometimes checking out is SO good for the soul. I am headed your way in August to see Steve Miller Band. One of my besties lives in Kenmore. I love the PNW summers.

  7. Sara July 18, 2018 at 1:29 pm #

    I love this post and now the Aquaphor and Yeti cup are on my list! We are leaving for vacation on Monday and these items will be in my bag =)

  8. Victoria July 18, 2018 at 1:28 pm #

    In the UK I use oilatum. When my histamine levels are spiking it is the only thing that will stop the itching, even better than e45 or other histamine creams.
    And here’s to forced inactivity with phones!

  9. Teri July 18, 2018 at 11:54 am #

    We live in southeastern wa and love being 5 min from the river! Banks Lake is wonderful as well.

  10. Heather July 18, 2018 at 7:20 am #

    Thanks for the Aquaphor tip for eczema! I will be picking some up for my kids today!

  11. Kacy July 18, 2018 at 6:42 am #

    My husband and I lived in Ellensburg Washington for about 5 years while our whole family was back in the Midwest. When we would visit home, we would always get the questions about the weather. People really think that The West side wet weather was how it was through out the state! I loved telling people that while I LOVED visiting Seattle and I loved the weather there, Ellensburg gets 300 days of Sunshine, and I’m great with that too! :)

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