we are adventuring

At the moment, when every other blogger and magazine writer seems to be trotting off to all the festivals and jetting off to different countries, or packing up their posh bell tents and vintage camper vans, we are in the midst of probably the skintest period in our entire lives. Copywriting has peaks and troughs, and while I’ve got enough to keep us ticking over, we’re certainly not going to be buying organic handwash or heading out for dinner any time soon (it was the Husband’s birthday yesterday – we spent the afternoon in the garden, then had a takeaway pizza and a banoffee pie from Waitrose with a candle stuck in it….).

Still, they say that comparison is the thief of joy, so to be honest, I’m steering clear of blogs and websites at the moment; the last thing I want to do is get caught up in that downward spiral of self pity that’s so easy to get sucked into. We might not have much (any!) money, but we have our health, and a home and each other, so we’ve still been making the most of the beautiful weather with plenty of day trips out to parks, gardens and beaches; watching the kiddos is the best possible therapy, as they’re at their happiest with a wide open space, some nature to explore and a scooter to whizz about on. Daisy is utterly fearless; she embraces every experience with open arms and an open heart, diving into water, rolling through long grass and enthusing over everything, while Ben is more cautious and likes to examine creatures carefully, get lost in his own thoughts and read his beloved Lego comics. They both remind me of what’s important in life, and I think the times when you feel like you have nothing are the times when you realise you’ve got the most.

We pack pretty much the same things for days out, regardless of where we’re going; the usual suncream-anorak-hat-wellies combination (because this is England, after all!), and then some other bits and pieces which we almost always use.

  • Being super skint means that we haven’t been able to go out for good coffee for ages, so we’ve started taking our own out with us in a flask (ours is not nearly as wonderful as the vintage one above, but it’s a good representation, don’t you think?), and then drinking from sturdy beakers or enamel mugs – if we’re heading out for the day, we take a cool bag and our picnic basket with us to hold the food (because there’s nothing worse than warm, squashed sandwiches!). 
  • With Daisy being in nappies, we still have to take some spares, wipes and whatnot with us, so the Husband usually carries all this (plus some toys and books) in a backpack; he used to have a Kanken, but the zip broke after about a year, so we’ve replaced it with a Mi Pac – they come in a huge range of prints and colours, and have all sorts of nifty elements, like the waterproof headphone socket and padded laptop section. (This sounds like a sponsored post, but it isn’t – we’re just really pleased with our bag!)
  • We always take at least a couple of towels with us, and the obvious blanket – although the clouds might be out when you leave, the sun can appear at any time, turning it from a huddling-on-the-shore day to a throwing-yourself-into-the-sea-with-abandon day, and you want somewhere comfy to dry off. 
  • We don’t usually take many toys with us, just a ball or scooters, because Daisy and Ben prefer to just run about and explore, but I always take a magazine or two, just in case there’s a chance I get five minutes to myself; I’m currently in love with Cereal and Another Escape, which combine stunning photography with beautifully written articles. I’ve been reading Cereal for a little while, but only just tried out Another Escape – they’re both really interesting, and I find myself coming away feeling like I’ve learned something magnificent and unusual. 
  • Apart from that, we take drinks and snacks (Fentimans for a treat, fruit juice otherwise!) and my huge straw bag to carry any extras and found treasures in. Oh, and of course there’s my camera – I take that on every trip we go on, even if it’s just the local park!

That’s pretty much  my tips for packing for a day trip – what do you think is an essential for a great day out? I always wonder if I’m forgetting something vital!


  1. laura redburn
    June 26, 2014 / 11:45 am

    i totally feel you on the money front, i wish i could say i was skint, but i am actually just poor at the moment. it sucks! being able to get out somewhere nice nearby (or a short travel away) is so so nice isn't it! you always take such lovely photos too 🙂

  2. Vintage Sheet Addict
    June 26, 2014 / 12:20 pm

    I know skint well, but you can actually have a good time and spend nothing or very little, living near the beach is an added bonus too! 🙂 x

  3. jen
    June 26, 2014 / 3:03 pm

    Your day out sounds better than many expensive days out to me! Kids like nothing more than a picnic and a beach, as do I. And takeaway pizza is always awesome. As for the festival, last one I went to it pee'd it down and there were gale force winds. It was like living in The Trenches for 3 days. There were lots of drugs around and someone tried to get into our tent whilst we were in it. Never again! Your kids will remember the sunny days of play more than anything else when they grow up.

  4. Elinor Hill
    June 26, 2014 / 4:16 pm

    Find the best thing for a day out is a quick easy or slow cooker meal to have when you get back. Everyone can sit round the table or however you eat together and sit and chat about the day. Low cost but big time memories. Keep chipper and stay strong. I just got turned down for an article which I thought was fab so feeling rather sorry for myself but that's the nature of the business. Will rejiggle it and resubmit elsewhere. Elinor x

  5. Polly Davies
    June 26, 2014 / 4:29 pm

    ah! skint here too… but the best thing about being skint in summer is free days out at the park/beach/countryside. We always take a flask of coffee and a picnic, tbh those are my favourite kind of days, and they're what I remember from my childhood – not the expensive days out at a theme park, etc.I very very rarely buy coffee out {too much of a tight wad} and we rarely eat out either. If we've been out all day, I'll make some quick pesto pasta and side salad to eat in the garden when we get home

  6. Jess @ Along Came Cherry
    June 26, 2014 / 4:54 pm

    Gorgeous photos and totally with you on the skint front. Matt and I are both self-employed so we seem to either have lots of money (which ends up quickly being spent) or no money. I really need to learn not to spend money as soon as I get it. We don't have credit cards or savings either so there are literally times where we have NO money. Summer is good though as there is still so much to do with no money, apart from when it's pissing down with rain that is, like this weekend X

  7. Halcyon Threads
    June 27, 2014 / 5:11 am

    We're all about the free days out,thermos flasks and picnics too – though my picnic blanket is nowhere near as pretty as your lovely crochet creations! My childhood was all about the outdoors and I want to give my boy the taste for the free and simple pleasures in life too. Happiness is fresh air with people you love!

  8. Anonymous
    June 27, 2014 / 1:26 pm

    These are lovely photos (and words, and times). We're on a huge difficult spending cut-back (as in, just don't spend anything) at the moment too due to various gross surprise banking changes and things but this post and your lovely instagram pics gave me a well-timed reminder to look around at the loveliness of home, the idea of home etc. Nesting is nice, and good, and satisfying and important and FREE. Your penny-saving adventures sound just lovely. Let's all have glorious summers of poverty!

  9. Laura Side Street
    June 27, 2014 / 9:31 pm

    To be honest the best days we have are the ones we spend no money – just simple pleasures, like exploring the outdoors. I think it is so good for the soul to just spend time outdoors, simple and relaxed with a packed picnic and each other.Laura x

  10. fritha strickland
    June 28, 2014 / 1:44 pm

    I'd say that day sounds like complete money can't buy bliss! look at those blue skies! I'm often a little envious when I see blogger pics of rape seed fields as we don't drive to they are not easily accessible. So there you are, everyone wants something that someone else has got I guess! It's tricky being self employed isn't it, I'm not good at saving and so if it's a god month I'm all 'lets eat out for lunch' without thinking about if it might be a lean month the next, it's so unpredictable..thankfully I'm not relying on money from retail as we wouldn't have anything to eat if that was the case! 😉 xx

  11. fritha strickland
    June 28, 2014 / 1:45 pm

    soo many typos! x

  12. Globalmouse
    June 28, 2014 / 3:06 pm

    Picnics in summer are the best – they satisfy all my Famous Five dreams of happy childhoods!

  13. Lori Taylor Arnold
    June 28, 2014 / 6:36 pm

    I don't think you buy blue skies and beach days like these! I know what you mean on the money front although I am always one to spend what I haven't got eek. Everything on your list sounds perfect for a great day out, the only thing we're required to take with us is Superman or a dinosaur… I think that pretty much covers it. x

  14. Adele @ Circus Queen
    June 30, 2014 / 10:58 pm

    It's really easy to feel discontented looking at Pinterest or blogs, but what beautiful things you have around you in these pictures. I'm actually envious of your crotchet throw too! We're watching our money too so usually taking things out with us too.

  15. HannahB
    July 4, 2014 / 8:43 pm

    yep, I hear you loudly! me and Dave are both freelance so there are times that we have been really poor (even post baby which I sort of thought would magically never happen again?!). Things have been sliiightly better recently, and we booked our big trip next month so we are very very lucky. but we have to move house unexpectedly so things are about to get super tight again. Sheesh. But over the skint years we have really learned to live well with less: explore the free museums and galleries, the beach and the woods, to blag free stuff (!) etc. Peaks and troughs. Currently exerting superhuman levels of self control not to buy tons of stuff for our trip. Must. Not. Spend.

  16. KatGotTheCream
    July 6, 2014 / 7:40 pm

    Just wanted to echo the comments here (and the convo we had earlier). Comparison is the thief of joy – it's the only thing I really struggle with in terms of this whole blogging lark but then look what a supportive bunch of blog readers you have too. As a freelancer I always feel like I don't earn enough and am therefore not successful (enough). I always feel guilty spending money or treating ourselves. But the best things in life really are free (I know it's cheesy but it's true). AND I love taking a flask everywhere too 🙂 xx

  17. Michelle - edenfound
    July 9, 2014 / 8:54 am

    I agree with the above! The best things in life really are free – love costs nothing! Your children are healthy and loved and that's better than all the money in the world x x

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