Best Camping Tips You Will Read This Year

Once the weather gets warm and drowns out the chill from the winter air, I am ready to go camping! I have only discovered my love for camping in the last two years, but I can’t get enough. I love the smell of a fire pit, roasting marshmallows, and the sound of nature, along with the fresh air. So I’m going to share the best camping tips you will read all year.

I will admit I have an air mattress and a small battery-operated fan I take with me. I can’t help it, the ground is hard, and I like sleeping with a fan for the light noise and to help keep it cool inside the tent.

Let’s dive into the best camping tips you’ll read all year. Some of these tips are from me – who is pretty much a beginner, and my boyfriend, who’s a veteran when it comes to camping. Keep in mind these are tips for tent camping. Once we get the truck bed camper remodeled, then I’ll make a post about that (which I can hardly wait for either).

The Best Camping Tips You’ll Read All Year:

  1. Waterproof your tent – Mother Nature can throw a few surprises, and it’s best to have everything you need while you’re out in the middle of nowhere. So, you never know what the weather will do. It can be a sunny 75 degrees one minute then pouring down rain the next. Spray your tent with a silicone sealant while spraying top to bottom and left to right. Don’t forget about those zippers too.
  1. Take advantage of campsite amenities – Now, I know it’s camping, but you’ve got to have a few amenities to make it enjoyable instead of miserable. I can’t go without a shower, so a bathhouse is a must. It’s also great when you’ve got to head to the restroom; this comes excellent when you’re there for a few days or a week like we usually go.
  2. Find level ground to set up your tent – It’s no fun to try to relax or sleep in a tent that isn’t level. Sometimes in some campgrounds, you can’t help but be a little crooked, but most of the time, you’ll find spaces to accommodate tents. 
  3. Make camp-friendly meals – I can’t express this one enough. It’s so easy to find recipes for easy meals even when you’re camping. I’ve got an entire Pinterest board dedicated to it. It’s also fun to have a good meal but don’t get me wrong-a sweet peanut butter and jelly sandwich will do a lot of the time.
  4. Pack Snacks – When hitting the trails, you’ll need your energy, especially if you’re camping in the mountains (my favorite!). Water and trail mix bars are perfect for having space and being easy to carry. No one wants to lug around a ten-pound backpack while hiking to 5,000+ feet. 
  5. Line your backpack with a heavy-duty trash bag – This will help keep the things you put in your gear dry if you get rained on.
  6. Firestarters – did you know hand sanitizer works great as a fire starter? I know, right! You can also use paper towels or toilet paper rolls stuffed with lint or paper towels to start the fire. If you bring along trick birthday candles to help light the fire, these will help from burning your hands while trying to keep the lighter lit.
  1. Make a grommet – if your find yourself with a torn tarp from where the eyehole has torn out, you can use a heavy rock. Secure the stone with a rubber band or zip tie to keep it in place.
  2. Make your lantern – if you find yourself without batteries, you can make your lantern until you get a chance to make another run to civilization. Strap your headlight to the bottom of a transparent bottle or jug for all the light you need. We’ve done this plenty of times, and there’s enough light to fill the campsite.
  3. Don’t forget the utensils – when cooking, you’ll want a fork, knife, or spoon, but you leave them behind, you’re stuck with your hands. it sounds simple, but when trying to pack everything, something is bound to be forgotten.

Here are a few photos from our favorite trips:

I hope you’ve learned something from this post; it’s always fun to share knowledge and learn from others. Getting a different perspective is always good.

I’d love to hear your about your camping trips! Where did you go, what did you see, what was your favorite? My boyfriend and I love to travel, so that we might end up there on a recommendation.

My Guide to Confidence in 6 Steps

Wow…This is my first guest blog!

When I first started blogging, the thing I was most excited about was having other people read my thoughts and hear my advice. But then, when I started writing, I was like ‘woah.. this means I am totally vulnerable to criticism!’

This, I’m sure, is relatable for so many people – not just bloggers! If you’re applying for a promotion and you’re asked to present to a group, you may feel vulnerable and insecure about your ideas in the same way.

Nonetheless to strive for what we want, we absolutely must remove ourselves from our comfort zone and remind ourselves of a few very important things.

For my first ever Guest Blog post, I’d like to share with you some advice on confidence. It’s something we; lack, build, lose and encourage. But how? And why?

My Guide to Confidence in 6 Steps

Confidence is a feeling of belief or faith in someone that you can rely on. It is a mindset and ‘someone’ can be yourself or anyone else.

We are encouraged to be confident from such a young age, but the methods to attain it are often never mentioned. One seemingly timeless piece of advice is to ‘imagine everyone is naked’ when giving a speech – has this ​really ever worked for anyone?

So, since lockdown, I’ve chosen to take some time for reflection. I have reflected upon who I believe I am as a person. Some traits I am sure I can use to describe ‘me’

– such as organised and conscientious. However, when it comes to confidence, I can’t quite make my mind up.

It is so natural to be confident in certain settings over others. You may find that in the office you are comfortable chatting with lots of different people and have no trouble with being the centre of attention, thus, confident. However, when faced with your In-Laws, it may be a different story and you may feel less confident in your own abilities to hold a conversation.

 This is normal! We often find ourselves changing our persona depending on who we are surrounded by and our confidence may fluctuate depending on how comfortable we are in any given social setting.

You may be reading this and ask yourself ‘but how do I become more confident?’ You may be quite introverted and want to put yourself out there a little more.

Well, here are my tips on how to become a more confident person. Some may come across as blatantly obvious – but I feel it is important to remind yourself of these things. Others may be less obvious – I hope you make a mental note of these and remind yourself when needed.

Your goals surrounding confidence will differ, as will your reasonings. Nonetheless, I hope you find my advice useful! Here goes…

  1. ALWAYS Stay True to Yourself

It is so important and possibly my number one piece of advice for just about anything you want to achieve. In this case, you want to gain confidence. The most effective way to do this is be sure of yourself and what you stand for. You’re going to need to know what it is you want (I’ll come back to this later on) but most of all, you needtoknoww​hy.​Whydoyouneedtoportrayconfidenceinasocialsettingwith high profile members of a particular organisation? ‘​To make an impression, make yourself known and to put you in good stead for a career.’ ​Whatever the reason, you need to understand your motives and stay true to who you are and what you wish to achieve.

  1. Write Down Your Goals

A major factor in confidence is the belief that what you want to achieve can actually come to fruition. I know it sounds cliche, but you really can achieve what you set your mind to. The moment you start doubting this is the moment your confidence lacks and you begin to falter or deviate from your goals. So, by writing them down in an assertive way, you will be able to more easily envisage yourself achieving them.

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If you are creative, make your page colourful and pretty. If you are more pragmatic, organise your goals into; personal, relationships, work and exercise, etc. However you choose to write down your goals, you must articulate it in a way that sounds as though it is already your reality. For instance, ‘I will get a promotion’ or ‘I will save enough money for a house.’ This allows us to more easily visualise ourselves living our goals with confidence…

  1. Visualization

This is an age old technique but it is so effective and has certainly worked for me. To visualise your goals, you are imagining your life as though your aspirations are achieved. This makes the goal more realistic and allows you to see the good in what you want to achieve. Visualisation of your goals may motivate you to push that much harder for what you want. But not only this, it will help you grow in confidence to work towards what you want. It will leave you in no doubt about what and why you want your life to take a certain path.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid of Rejection or Failure

Part of growing in confidence is to strive for things, however, what holds a lot of people back is the idea of rejection or failure. This is totally understandable, however, it is something we must overcome to grow in confidence and achieve our goals. So, how do we do that? Although easier said than done, we must not be afraid of rejection by others or failures. To be rejected by a new employer or by failing to achieve what we wanted to, we are simply creating new learning experiences to carry forward to your next venture. For instance, you apply for a new job at a different firm.

You are successful in your written application but do not get the job after your interview. This is not a failure because you have gained invaluable application and interview experience for a job that you will get elsewhere at a later date. (Always try to receive some feedback in this instance, too!) One handy tip is to walk away from your interview and write notes and tips for your future self! Whatever form rejection may take, you need to remember that you’re still progressing towards your goals, and

 this experience will give you the confidence to do so in the near future. Don’t give up!

  1. Build Positive Relationships

I have spoken about this in my previous blogposts on’​ Protecting Your Energy,​’ however, it is so important to build positive and meaningful relationships. Why would we ever choose to be friends with people that try to knock our confidence? Please, please p​ lease s​ urround yourself with people that want to see you succeed and who help you along the way.

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This could be in the form of inviting you to coffee when the know you might be stressed about upcoming deadlines or simply dropping you a message to check in! Likewise, try to b​ e ​this friend to others. You’ll find the world to be a happier place when you build others up.

  1. Do What You Love (But Not Always)

My most ambiguous tip.. but an important one, nonetheless. Simply put, it is important to do what you love to build confidence because you are assured in what you are doing and passionate about it, too. However, you should always try to edge yourself out of your comfort zone. You never know … you might just find a new passion or fill your mind with new information, equipping yourself to achieve your goals!

Here I have only scratched the surface in what you can do to build your confidence. Simply reading this blog post will not help you, either. You need to internalise this advice and carry it with you. If you ever feel inadequate or under qualified, you need to remind yourself of these six steps. You are brilliant, you are valuable and you are confident.

Grace x

5 ideas to spark creativity

We all fall into a creative slump from time to time but that’s no reason to let yourself down. I’m sharing 5 Ways To Spark Creativity!

I took a month off from blogging and even my freelance business. I was in a rut, I didn’t feel like doing anything but being by myself usually sleeping.

I needed a break, a break from the stressors that helped me dig into this rut. Neither of these were the root to the rut but as life goes on things happen and sometimes we need a break.

I’ve taken a month to get myself emotionally and mentally ready to get back into real life. The entire virus scare didn’t help at all either.

As someone with high anxiety I drew back from going out and also asked my mom to social distance by staying at home. She did because she thought it was a scary time too.

If you’re in a rut or feel yourself sliding into one there are things you can do to help keep yourself creative and keep those other monsters at bay.

This post isn’t about sadness, loneliness, or Anything other than getting creative. Brush all of those other emotions aside to allow room for your creativity.

5 Ways To Spark Creativity

There is a myriad of ways to find your work once again. Give these ideas a try, you’ll be back at it in no time.

5 Ways To Spark Creativity

  1. Keep an idea book close
  2. Create an environment that encourages creativity
  3. Create a vision board
  4. Explore what you don’t know
  5. Join other creatives

Keep an idea book close – when you have an idea you can write it down so you don’t forget. These ideas can help spark creativity when you’re trying to decide on blog posts, journal prompts, and ideas to ponder.

Ways To Spark Joy

Create an environment that encourages creativity – make things mobile (if possible), this helps to spark creativity by keeping the mind and spaces open to new ideas. Put creative tools in view because out of sight out of mind.

Create a vision board – this is one of the things I love! It helps keep me focused on my goals. When you stay focused you’ll help manifest those goals too. Your board can be digital, collage, visual or all three.

Explore what you don’t know – exploring things you don’t know to me are exciting but then again I love to learn new things. You can never have enough knowledge regardless if it’s a subject you know all about or nothing.

Ways to spark joy

Join other creatives – when you have a group you can count on makes everything easier. With a creative group you can bounce ideas off of each other, draw inspiration from others, and have a place to talk when you’d need.

If you’re in need of some creativity give one or all of these ideas a try, I’m more than sure you’ll have a great session and have a few new ideas.

What do you do when you want to be creative but don’t know where to start? I am always looking for new ideas to keep in my toolkit.

3 Ways To Curb Driving Anxiety

I have really bad social anxiety but over the last few years it has manifested in other anxieties too.

Over the last year, I’ve occurred driving anxiety. Not your typical I’m scared of driving because highways are scary. Nope, this is a full on nightmare (I drive out of state a lot and I’m terrified most of time but these tips help a ton!).

I’m ok if I’m going somewhere that I know like the grocery store, work, or my favorite places but take me outside my city limits (see what I did there, trying to lighten the mood a little) and I become a full blown anxious mess.

Curb driving anxiety #anxiety #driving #tips

I get this anxious feeling and the cars are so close on a 6 lane highway with the speed limit of 75mph and everyone is going well over while trying to push you out of the way and into the car in front of you, like you’re a ghost or because the have the ability to make the car in front of you go faster.

I am worried about getting into an accident and hurting or killing someone. I know that sounds crazy but I am terrified someone is going to die because of me. I think what if I have a panic attack while I’m driving, what if I lose control, what if I get trapped. All of these and more are swirling around on repeat in my brain.

3 Ways To Curb Driving Anxiety

Here are 3 ways I curb my driving anxiety:

1. Use affirmations – this is a huge one for me! It may sound like a bunch of woohoo if you don’t believe in it like affirmations but they help me. I repeat something like “I can only control my vehicle” or “you are fine, everything is ok and will be ok”.

2. Take slow deep breaths – When you feel your anxiety coming on. Relax your shoulders, sit back, and relax your jaw. I’m a huge jaw clincher myself, that’s a tell sign I’m anxious.

3. Practice being mindful – being aware of your surroundings can help de-escalate the situation. Take into account how you feel at that moment and let yourself let it go. Also try to be aware of what makes you happy in a moment you’re not anxious. Are you feeling excited because you’re going to see a friend, your favorite restaurant, or you’re headed on an adventure? Let that feeling guide you throughout your journey too.

As I said in my affirmation, you can only control yourself and your car. If someone travels into your lane, don’t panic just give the other driver a moment to correct themselves. You don’t need to keep the trend going by drifting into someone else’s lane because that person may not be paying attention.

The trick is not to add to your anxiety and take the steps needed to make yourself feel safe with your surroundings. Checking your blind spots, using your blinker, and traveling in the slower lane can make you feel safer when you’re surrounded by lanes of traffic or just 2 lanes of traffic.