Saturday, May 7, 2016

Hiking Accessory: Patagonia Daypack


I just used the Patagonia Anacapa 20L Daypack on a hike at Lewis River Falls in Cougar, WA.

PROS

COMFORT
I wore the pack comfortably for about 3.5 hours. I could fill the backpack up, and it still closed easily without looking bulky. It maintains a nice streamlined appearance, and the back is padded to protect your spine from jab-by contents. The straps are easily adjustable even while you are wearing it. They are also padded and can be buckled together at the chest.

CONSTRUCTION
The zippers are very sturdy and glide easily. There's a small zippered compartment on the top front of the bag, which is useful, but my Galaxy S6 doesn't fit. It would've been nice to have more easy access to my phone, but there was no service where I was hiking anyway so it wasn't a big issue for me. The material is made of polyester with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish, and it feels durable and well-made.

SIZE
This is the best size for me. I'm 5'4" and a size 2 or 4. I wanted a backpack that was smaller than the standard "school size" bags, which are inconvenient for me to use. The Anacapa is doubling as my daily use diaper bag so I like that it can hold enough supplies for a preschooler and a toddler while being compact enough to easily carry while chasing after active little children.

For people who are looking to use this daypack for school, it does fit a macbook and a 2-inch 3-ring binder. Also, there are pen/pencil pockets and a velcro pocket for um, erasers? a calculator?

PRICE
The Patagonia Daypack retails for $59, but I found a discount code for 20% at BackCountry plus free shipping. That sale isn't going on right now, but I imagine another deal will pop up again.

CONS

NON-ADJUSTABLE SIDE POCKETS
I carried a 28oz bottle of water in one of the mesh side pockets, but it fell out when I bent over to reach for things I dropped. A 1L bottle would fit better and more snugly in the mesh pocket.

FEW COMPARTMENTS
The front pocket doesn't have a zipper so I didn't end up using it at all. Also, the interior of the pack doesn't have a zippered compartment. Adding these two features alone would make the daypack perfect.


Happy Hiking! Or whatever you choose to do while wearing a backpack!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Wood Prints: Cathy McMurray

Source: My Modern Met
Etsy shop: Cathy McMurray

These vibrant wood prints by Cathy McMurray encapsulate the beauty of the Pacific Northwest so well. The first picture looks like a mashup of Portland wilderness and designs you might find in an Anthropologie, which are two things I love! Well, I haven't been to Portland yet, but these beautiful wood prints are definitely making me look forward to my trip next month!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Snackie Snacks: International


My friend went traveled overseas recently, and she came back with some sweet treats for us! The red box is a substantial box of chocolate sprinkles (meant to be used on buttered toast for breakfast. Yes, breakfast!) from Holland. I think it will last us at least a year. The peachy bag of wafers is from Austria. The vanilla filling is thicker and richer than the wafers you find here. Great with some tea!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Let's Go Hiking!: Ahnu

Elsie modeling the boots for me!


Steve and I are planning a trip to Portland this spring, and since we haven't gone on vacation in a long time, we decided to get ourselves fully geared up to look like obvious out-of-town tourists with shiny new gear. First thing's first, footwear. Steve said, "let's be practical and just get hiking shoes that look like regular sneakers." I said, "um, okay" but as I perused shoe upon shoe, I came across the Ahnu Sugarpine Boot in Deep Teal. I have to admit that I bought mine from Amazon for 30% less than retail. I compared pictures and reviews on several outdoor gear sites, and here's what I learned:

ADORABLE: The boots are far cuter and stylish in person compared to any of the images I've seen online. I think the photos above capture the actual colors, which are vibrant but not blinding.

WATERPROOF: The Ahnu boots have a DWR (durable water repellent) finish, but it is only applied up to the ankle. So the boots are only water proof from the ankle down. I will post an update once I have tried them in the rain myself.

LIGHTWEIGHT: Each boot is 11.6 ounces. It really does feel like you're wearing regular sneakers

COMFORTABLE: The inside of the boot is very soft and pillow-like. I ordered a 7.5, and it seems to fit true to size. I don't have narrow or wide feet, and I don't have arch support issues. The only mild discomfort I've experienced is around the front near my shins. I've experienced this with boots in the past where I end up with sore shins. After wearing the Ahnu boots a handful of times while out running errands, my shins are fine!

QUALITY: The boots feel and look like they're made of high quality materials. I've read some reviews that said they fall apart after a month of hiking 10+ miles per day. I can't vouch for that as I would be dead if I hiked that much within a month.


UPDATE: Hiking in these boots was fantastic. I walked through mud and water without any trouble. The weather was temperate in the low 60s and overcast so I'm not sure if these boots would start feeling hot in warmer climates. I've worn the boots with thick hiking socks and regular (GAP) socks, and my feet do end up feeling the slightest bit on the warm side. Minor complaint though! I highly recommend these boots for the lightweight, sartorial hiker.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Yay! Swatches: JOYBIRD


Joybird

After many years of trying to maintain a clean, white sectional and failing miserably, the mister and I decided to forfeit and get a new couch. Anyone who has kept a white sofa clean seriously deserves a trophy made of solid gold or chocolate or chocolate gold.

Steve stumbled onto Joybird when we were considering a different brand. The furniture looks stream lined and well designed. The reviews stated over and over that the sofas are well made so out of curiosity, I requested free swatches in the Blues & Purples range. Seeing the fabrics in person really sold it for us. I want to see couches made with all of them, especially the tweed! Tweeeed!

We placed an order for the Eliot sofa, and I have high hopes that it'll turn out as lovely as I imagine. I'm typically pretty doubtful with online purchases, but Joybird offers free shipping and free returns. We'll see if the couch lives up to the photos on the site!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Wilco: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert


Play List
The Joke Explained
Misunderstood
I'm Always in Love
Shot in the Arm

Source: NPR