Five Things I Learned on Our American Road Trip

This year’s American road trip wasn’t just the biggest holiday I’ve ever been on, it’s also one of the most thrilling things I’ve ever done, period.

As well as seeing seven states’ worth of towns, cities and wilderness, spending nearly three weeks on the road with my favourite people was massively exciting! It was a totally new experience for me and it’s safe to say I learned a few things along the way…

Research is everything

From rest stops, to must-do activities, to the restaurants you REALLY want to avoid, doing your research before this kind of adventure really pays off. When you only have one day in a town, you want to make the most of it (and not waste any time Googling things to do when you get there!). Prior to our trip, we had a group access spreadsheet showing our timeline in each location and a Pinterest board to get all our ideas down. On reflection this was probably one of the smartest things we did and I would highly recommend it!

Expect the unexpected

You can plan as much as possible (see above), but sometimes you will still be surprised at where the road takes you. For us, it was up the side of a mountain on a dirt track on the way to Aspen (thanks a lot, road closure!), to a cabin in the middle of the woods in Utah (which Gary thought was a ‘rustic themed hotel’ when he spotted it online, haha!) and uh, Roswell generally (!) to name a few. These twists and turns are what made parts of our trip super memorable, and I wouldn’t want it to have went any other way.

Keep your camera charged

A bit of an obvious one, but when you’re using your camera so frequently (I don’t think mine was ever more than a few inches from me at all times…) it’s really easy to let the battery run out. Pack your charger, and make sure you use it regularly! Keeping my camera and phone charged meant I could freely capture the cities, the ghost towns, the insanely beautiful views and the odd selfie whenever I wanted.

The more you buy, the more you need to carry

…so go easy on the souvenirs! During our American road trip we visited more tacky gift shops, malls and gas stations than I can keep count of, and the temptation to buy things was REAL. But, when you’re having to transport everything around with you (there was a lot of car boot Tetris, you guys!), the novelty of shopping wears off fast! As some of you will remember, I picked up very small enamel pins as souvenirs as they were cute and easy to store!

Pack multipurpose clothing & accessories 

Partly to save suitcase space, also because you’re never quite sure what the weather is going to be like from one place to the next. I don’t think I’ll ever truly be a ‘capsule wardrobe’ type (surprise!) but I definitely brought a few things that I could get good use out of. My most-used item was this huge leopard print scarf (£2 from Primark about ten years ago!!), which I wore in my hair, as a wrap on chilly evenings and even over my face when we were in the windy desert.

These are just a few things I learned on our road trip, and I’ll be keeping all of them in mind for future holidays. If there’s anything I haven’t covered here, or if you have a question about something I’ve mentioned, feel free to get in touch or tweet me!

Here’s to adventure and the open road!

DIY Flair Display Board

When we were road tripping across America last month, I didn’t go on any major shopping sprees – the way I saw it, the more I bought, the more I’d need to carry! But I DID pick up an enamel pin from each location we visited. I wanted a memento from the amazing places we were lucky enough to see, and pins didn’t take up much room in my suitcase, which made them very easy to collect over the weeks we were away.

I wear a lot of pins and patches but (as much as I’d like to!) I can’t wear them all at once! So I decided to show off the ones that aren’t currently adorning my lapels – and share how I did it.

This DIY flair display is an inexpensive, easy and effective way to store your pins! Here’s how to make your own…

You will need

  • 1 x corkboard (mine was £1.75 from Amazon)
  • Paint in contrasting colours (I used two tester pots from Homebase, £1 each)
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Something to protect your work surface (I used an old magazine)

  1. Paint your first colour onto the whole board, and leave it to dry.
  2. Using your tape, section off some areas for your second colour. You can be as creative as you like – I made some geometric shapes with mine!
  3. Add your second colour, paint the frame and wait for it to dry. 
  4. Once all of the paint is dry, peel back the tape (so satisfying!) and admire your handiwork!
  5. Arrange your pins and affix to the board. I decided to use my board for just for the pins and prints that I picked up on our trip.

…and that’s really all there is to it – I told you it was easy!

I love walking past this board and remembering our trip. I’m tempted to make a second board very soon for the pins I have by some of my favourite indie designers.

I hope you give this DIY flair display a try, and if you do, be sure to let me know!

Dressing for Disneyland

At the start of this month, Gary and I spent a few days at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. We’ve visited Disney parks in Florida and Paris in the past, but this was our first trip to the one that started it all and we couldn’t be more excited!

As some of you will probably remember, I love to put together a Disney-inspired look for our theme park adventures, and dressing for Disneyland was no exception.

Outfit Details:

Bobble beret & Pinafore Dress | Lazy Oaf x Disney

Striped tee | Primark

Swinton Sunglasses | c/o IOLLA

Shoes | Vans

Tights | Next

Necklace | c/o Truffle Shuffle 

I fell head over heels for the Disney x Lazy Oaf collection at the end of last year and I’d been keeping this pinafore dress unworn especially for this occasion (I now have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the future!).

This red, white and black ensemble is probably (and accidentally!) the most monochrome outfit I’ve worn in ages – but it was fun to try something outside of my comfort zone! It also helped make sure my accessories stood out (like this cute castle necklace!).

Twelve hours after walking through the park gates, this outfit was still going strong. As I’ve mentioned before, I think the key to picking out something to wear at Disney is making sure you’re still comfortable. We had an amazing visit and I’ll be sharing more details of the parks themselves, along with a few handy hints and tips very soon!

Have you ever found yourself dressing for Disneyland? What would it take to push you out of your fashion comfort zone? Would it be monochrome too, or something different?

 

 

 

Final photo from my Instagram