Here’s a way to kill two birds at once. The Saucony Zealot Sneaker is great for back to school and travel. These are excellent travel shoes because they are ultra light and so comfortable my son can walk in them all day without the first complaint. They don’t take up much room in the suitcase (we use mostly carry-ons), so they are the perfect second shoe.
The Saucony Zealot combines contains a unique “floating finger cage” design using the same ISOFIT technology found in adult styles that is designed to make the shoe fit like a glove. They breath and are great for warm weather and active travel. Find the Saucony Zealot Sneaker HERE.
We still have over a solid month of summer weather left in the PNW, longer in other parts of the country, and I plan to maximize the sunny weather. One of my favorite things to do after a long day is head to the park with my kiddo, hang up a couple of hammocks, and watch the sun set. It’s hard for me to sit still, but the sway of a hammock somehow allows me to unwind like nothing else. Every time I go to the park, I notice several, and even seeing someone else in a hammock instantly makes me feel calmer.
Camping is another ideal situation for hammocks. Bringing one or two (or several if you are going to be with a group–people fight over these things) is a way to force some relaxation. Sometimes camping trips can seem like non-stop work and if you brought a hammock, you’re kind of obligated to chill out for a little while. A lot of people take that a step further and camp with hammocks now, using them instead of a tent system. There is just something so awesome about hanging there in the quiet embrace of forest.
I have several hammocks from different brands, and they all vary in design. Recently I tried a Hammock Bliss Double hammock. This one does not have a carabiner, so you just tie the rope like a shoe lace. Here is a video showing how to do it, it’s not complicated or hard. It threw me off at first, but now it’s fine, tying a bow works and saves you the weight of carabiners.
Hammock Bliss also makes Tree Straps to go with their hammocks to protect the tree and make it easier and faster to hang your hammock. Straps are a great way to extend your hanging space between two trees that are otherwise too far apart. The built-in stuff sack makes the hammock very portable, there’s no reason not to toss it in your backpack on the way out, or keep a couple in your car for spontaneous moments of hammock bliss. It’s a good looking hammock, the purple is a beautiful color, it’s imperial purple. I also like the lotus logo. They come in many other colors and in single, double, and even triple size. Find the Hammock Bliss Hammock HERE.
I’m a movie person and I’ve got a major affection for films that involve an adventurous journey. Recently I saw Duma, and I totally fell in love with this movie. It’s not new, it came out in 2008, but I’d never heard of it and found it by chance on the HBO app. It’s about a boy and his cheetah friend and the journey they take resulting in a lot of heartache, but also joy and growth. If you’re looking for something entertaining for in-flight entertainment or movie night at home, check this one out.
If there’s an animal in a movie, that’s a heads up to me that it will likely make me cry, and this one did. With the little boy it was a double-whammy, but it was worth it. Normally, I will avoid watching tear jerkers, but some movies are worth exception. The cover above makes it look a bit cartoony, but it is not. It is family friendly though and my ten year old enjoyed it (though I think I enjoyed it more). Find out more HERE.
The new Eagle Creek No Matter What Flatbed Duffle AWD comes in bright colors like this pretty purple. I love it! There’s no way you’re not going to see this bag on the baggage carousel, and it comes in a 28-inch and two carryon sizes as well, a 20-inch and 22-inch. Normally, I carry on. But there are times you need to check a bag. Better make sure it’s durable.
Abrasion resistant water repellent fabric is tough and made to withstand weather and a whole lot of schlepping. And speaking of schlepping–my favorite thing about this suitcase is that it’s AWD. This means four beefy wheels that glide along easily. You can still tip it and tow it like a two wheel bag behind you. But I have found that over time, this can cause an achy lower back. The four wheels eliminates this and just gives you that option for an easier time of it. I really never want to go back to the two wheel bags again after experiencing four.
The Flatbed Duffle loads a little differently. It’s like a duffle bag-suitcase hybrid. It doesn’t open like a clam shell with storage on both sides, it unzips with a soft top, and there is a ton of open space inside, in one large compartment. Eagle Creek’s Specter Packing Cubes work particularly well with this. It’s lockable and has side straps to really keep it together when it’s going through baggage belts and carts. On the carry-ons, there is a top panel for your toiletries. A handle tray, runners and bumpers also protect the bag–it’s not going to fall apart on you. But if it did, like all EC bags, it’s backed by the No Matter What Guarantee, so you basically have a bag for life.
They come in Cobalt, Black and Grape, and I usually go for sleek Black, but if I’m checking bags, I like to have something to stand out. If you are traveling in a family, you can color code. Bottom line: it’s a comfortable bag with a lot of open space that can accommodate things like bulky sports gear or toys. Find the Eagle Creek No Matter What Flatbed Duffle AWD HERE.
After a month of wearing Bolle Everglades Polarized Sunglasses, I wonder why I’ve never had Bolle shades before. I’m a new fan. It’s an uber comfortable fit, I love the rubberized temples that help them stay on my face when being active. I’ve worn them horseback riding, cycling, river tubing and at the beach and they don’t budge. If I’m looking over the side of a boat, I don’t have to worry about them falling off into the water.
The polarization cuts down on glare to ease eye fatigue. This makes a big difference for me. I wear contacts and often have sensitive, irritated eyes from staring at the computer and dealing with everyday glare. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and with all the rain, you would think glare would not be an issue. But that’s not he case. Gray-sky is full of glare. It’s just a different kind of glare than what you get with bright sunny skies or light reflecting off water. The Polarization in the Bolle Everglades helps with gray sky glare too.
So far I’ve worn them mostly in bright sunny weather and often near water and love how they perform. They come in different colors and I am partial to the blue lens with gunmetal frame. The Bolle Everglades was designed for people with average to small faces and has flattering lines. Find them HERE.
Need a way to leverage your phone so that you can use it as a GPS in your car? Check out the Nite Ize Steelie Vent Mount. It’s small and portable, so you can travel with it easily and use it in rental cars. It works with magnetism.
You attach a magnetic disc on the back of your phone (I attached mine right to my case), then it sticks to the ball on the Steelie. It goes on and off easily and you don’t have to struggle at all to get it off. I really like the minimalist design and the shiny silver ball looks cool. Great for road trips and slipping in your bag to clip to a rental. It also works great as a stand to watch movies, type with an external keyboard, and face time. Find the Nite Ize Steelie Vent Mount HERE.
(Guest Post by Scott)
After spending a couple of weeks in Bluff Works Pants I can imagine they will soon be standard issue for James Bond. You could wash these pants in the sink, throw them over a chair, and in a few hours they will look like you just picked them up from the dry cleaner.
Let’s talk about pockets; Lots and lots of useful pockets. These pants swallowed my wallet, keys, pocket-knife, money clip, huge phablet phone and lip balm and still managed to retain their great looks. The hidden phone pocket keeps your phone up closer to the waist-band so you aren’t sitting on it. The discreetly zippered pockets will present a real challenge for even the most skilled of pickpockets. These pants will take you from the trail to the restaurant and are perfect your next adventure and looking great when you arrive. You can find them HERE.