14 Things to Pack in Your Beach Bag

14 Things to Pack in Your Beach Bag


It’s always a crap shoot when you’re headed to the beach. What can you pack that is practical, will keep you entertained and will also keep you safe from the sun?

Well, we know a few people who live near the beach and they have given us a list of what you’ll need for a quick beach trip.

  1. Beach Bag. Keep it light, don’t get too fancy and choose one you’re not afraid of getting wet or all sandy. You can make a pretty rad bag out of duct tape. Wanna? HERE is the simple tutorial.
  2. After sun lotion. This will keep your skin hydrated after being exposed to the hot sun.
  3. Surf Spray. Keep your hair hydrated, too. You don’t want your head to look like it’s sprouting straw.
  4. Lip balm with sunblock. Have you ever burned your bottom lip? Nuff said.
  5. Sun hat. Not only do you look absolutely adorable but this will keep the sun from your face and, most importantly, your scalp. But, seriously, adorable.
  6. Sunglasses. Go for ones that have UV protection. You want to be able to see in your old age.
  7. Sunblock. Duh. Reapply every 2 hours. Here’s some interesting information (from Queen Oprah) about choosing your SPF.
  8. Umbrella. While this isn’t necessary and not something you have lying around, if you’re headed out with the family, this is a good option to create shade when you get a little tired of the UV rays gettin’ all up in your business.
  9. A towel. My mom always told me, ‘When shaking out the sand, make sure to shake AWAY from people.’ Also, ‘Your shoes go on the sand, not on the towel‘. Nobody likes sand in their eyes.
  10. Coconut water. You can bring regular water but coconut water will hydrate the heck out of you. Plus, it tastes really good. Well, not the plain stuff. That’s just gross.
  11. Snacks. Choose healthier snacks or you’ll just feel like a lazy bum eating crap on the beach. Try dried fruit or trail mix. You’ll want to replenish your body and maintain energy so you can enjoy your time at the beach.
  12. Baby powder. Once you’re off the beach, you’ll have sand stuck in places you don’t remember touching the beach. Apply some baby powder and those granules come right off. It’s a cool trick.
  13. Waterproof bag for phone. Better safe than sorry. You can go ghetto like me and put your phone in a zip lock bag or you can get serious about it and buy a CHEAP waterproof cover for that phone. Besides, you’ll need to post beach pics on Instagram.
  14. Kindle or iPad. Read a book or magazine or even watch movies while at the beach. It passes the time and you’re entertained. I always get bored at the beach unless I have a variety of things to do. I’m not an ocean swimmer. Wow, that made me sound snotty. It’s a shark thing. And a ‘people have peed in that water for hundreds of years’ thing.

Items to wear:

  • Swimsuit
  • Cover Up
  • Flip Flops

To get any of the items in the image above and to check out our beach store, click HERE. Kate Spade sunglasses? Yes, please!

tawsha connell

Let’s Go Glamping!

Let’s Go Glamping!


Glamping. What is it?

Glam + Camping = Glamping

Bottom line, glamping is for people like me. The ones who don’t want to “rough it” camping, who don’t want to eat hot dogs night after night, who wants to sleep in something similar to a bed with sheets, blankets and pillows and who wants their site to be clean and cute.

If you’re a real-life camper, you hate me right now.

Glamping sounds pretty perfect. You basically bring a kitschy look to a campsite. Decorate, bring DIY projects, cook great food, allow for luxuries and have a great time with friends. Seriously, how fun would a glamping trip be for all of us? Wanna go?

Let’s break it down on how to plan such a trip and look like you know what you’re doing (FYI, it’s all personal preference).

Guide to glamping - wiley valentine - organizedCHAOSonline

Adorable Guide from Wiley Valentine
(click for more)


Here’s a checklist from GlampingGirl.com.

So, where do you go? First things first: Choose a location.

best camping spots organizedCHAOSonline

(You can even choose a Glamping-specific location. No, I’m not joking.)

Once you get to your location, you set up your glampsite. Make it cute. There are actually resources for glamping-specific decor and supplies. Like Glamping Holiday in the UK.


glamping supplies on organizedCHAOSonline

Source: Glamping Holiday


Glampsite: Sunset

Set up an average tent (taller if you want to hang stuff from the “ceiling”) and add a double-decker type inflatable bed, sheets, pillows, blankets and some bedroom comforts from home.


chandelier with cheap lightsOutside, you’ll want to add your touch of flair. Bring a chandelier and replace the bulbs with outdoor lights. Hang the chandelier from a tree and even add colored fabric to drape from the branches.

As far as the table-area goes, this is where you’ll be spending some time so make it simple to clean yet cute. Buying a pack of mason jars may work out great. Place silverware in a mason jar and then a silverware holder.

silverware holder

Retro dishes can be added to your picnic table. You can get all fancy retro or buy mismatched dishes from a second hand store. Get creative. Also, add a table runner (or wrapping paper) down the center of the table and litter with candles. Citronella candles are probably best.

glamping dishes

Not just ANY citronella candle, though. Try the below DIY candle in a mason jar.

Source: Put It In A Jar Mason jar citronella candle (click for instructions)

Source: Put It In A Jar
Mason jar citronella candle
(click for instructions)

Source: Sunset

Source: Sunset


Now that you’ve got your site all set up, it’s time to rev up that outdoor kitchen.

Pack your spices in a pill organizer.

spices in pill box

Start making your meals over the fire.

Oh wait, starting the fire. Have you ever tried this simple campfire starter?

Source: Sew Many Ways (click for instructions)

Source: Sew Many Ways
(click for instructions)


There’s a quick guide to no mess campfire cooking HERE.

How about a walking taco?

Source: Unsophisticook (click for recipe)

Source: Unsophisticook
(click for recipe)

Six Sisters Stuff also posted 25 recipes here (that includes the below banana instructions – I MEAN SERIOUSLY!!!)

Source: Six Sisters Stuff (click for recipes)

Source: Six Sisters Stuff
(click for recipes)


Duh! You can go alcoholic or non alcoholic. The rule is to make it a bit fancy. Add sparkling water or champagne and you’re set.

Source: Merry Brides (click for recipe)

Source: Merry Brides
(click for recipe)


Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade Source: Erin's Food Files (click for recipe)

Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade
Source: Erin’s Food Files
(click for recipe)

Source: intimate weddings

Source: intimate weddings

The glass? Also fancy (and DIY)

Source: The Blissfully Content Life (click for instructions)

Source: The Blissfully Content Life
(click for instructions)

Or not fancy.

redneck champagne flute(I’d totally fill this with a pre-made margarita or beer. I know, I’m super classy like that.


It’s not a camping (er…glamping) trip without s’mores.

S'mores Bar Source: Martie Knows (Click for how-to)

S’mores Bar
Source: Martie Knows
(Click for how-to)

Maybe individual packs for the girls? Add in a skewer and you’ve got yourself a complete s’mores-to-go pack.

Source: My Life at Playtime

Source: My Life at Playtime

Cheers to you and your glamping trip!

How CUTE would you look in this shirt, some worn jean shorts and Toms?

Source: Campbrand

Source: Campbrand

Have you ever gone glamping? We’re starting a Pinboard dedicated to it. You can pin to it, too. Just comment with your name on Pinterest and we’ll add you. Together, we’ll make the most epic-looking pinterest Glamping board EVER!

tawsha connell

Camping Rule #1: Shut the Hell Up!

Camping Rule #1: Shut the Hell Up!

Camping Rule #1: Shut The Hell Up! {Organized Chaos Online}

It’s summer, which means camping! Have you ever been looking so forward to getting away for the weekend and ended up having a really crappy time because you ended up next to or across from some idiot campers? Most of us go camping to get away from the TV, video games, stress, noise and daily grind. We’re looking for peace, serenity, quiet. A chance to drink in nature and listen to the sounds, get some reading done, have uninterrupted conversations, be romantic.

Granted, we all go camping for different reasons, but it never ceases to amaze me the odd things people do when they camp and how different we all are…

Teenagers and college kids who go camping to get together with 20-30 of their closest friends. They want to party…drink, play their music, play drinking games, have loud sex, pass out, and then pack up and leave forgetting to clean up their empty beer bottles and garbage they’ve left scattered across their campsite for the camp hosts to clean up.

Camping Rule #1 Shut The Hell Up! {Organized CHAOS Online}

Older couples who choose the most beautiful weekend of the year to leave their quiet, childless, squeaky clean homes to drive their gigantic 9,000 foot motor home into the woods with their two yippy sit-in-their-lap dogs in tow, to spend the weekend inside playing cards, not once venturing outside to enjoy their surroundings.

Camping Rule #1 Shut The Hell Up! {Organized CHAOS Online}

Men who go camping with their other men friends, hauling their boats, ATVs, Keystone beer and hunting dogs. They go camping to bond…do guy things…get away from the fam…drink. The more they drink, the louder they get. Although they are standing right next to each other, the alcohol has apparently made them all deaf, and they yell their stories back and forth. They have also become too drunk-deaf to her their dogs barking.

Camping Rule #1 Shut The Hell Up! {Organized CHAOS Online}

It amazes me how a group of people can move into a quiet campground, spend time setting up camp (in the quiet campground), have a couple hours to assess their surroundings (a quiet campground), then throw open the doors to their truck and blast their tunes. WTF? Did you not notice the people across from you taking a leisurely nap outside? The people on the right of you sitting at their picnic table quietly talking while they play gin? Your neighbors on the left kicked back in their loungers reading? Did you somehow think they were all waiting for you to arrive to show them how to have a great time?

One of the things I was taught growing up very early was to “read the room”. When you’re somewhere other than your own home, you respect other people’s spaces. If you enter an area that’s quiet…duh, you also need to be quiet.

Camping Rule #1 Shut The Hell Up! {Organized CHAOS Online}

All campgrounds have rules. Camp hosts (if the campground has one on site) will remind you of those rules if you’ve forgotten them, or another camper complains. If the camp hosts can’t get you to behave, the ranger will be notified and they WILL (first hand experience) come visit your campsite and warn you, and then eventually remove you if you are causing a disturbance. Most campgrounds have a “quiet time” from 10 pm until 8 am. It would be so great if people paid attention to that. More often than not, when we are camping there is some type of obnoxiousness (screaming kids, people using your campsite as a shortcut to theirs, drunk women, loud men, barking dogs, loud music, etc. etc. etc.) long past the 10 pm rule.

Campground Etiquette: Let’s Go Exploring lists some simple camping etiquette, and suggests these tips regarding noise…

Noise happens, but when noise becomes a continual annoyance for neighbors, it becomes pollution. Noise pollution can include loud kids, generators, radios, electronics and even a family preparing/eating/cleaning up dinner at a late hour. Observe campground quiet hours; these times in most campgrounds is between 10 pm – 8 am the following morning. Radios can be a big irritation for neighbors. Most people are nice and never say anything, but the reality is people go camping for the experience of being outside, to get away from the daily grind, and sharing that time with family – they do not want to enjoy another person’s radio.

Well, no shit Sherlock. Is this not common sense? So, short of throwing rocks at your noisy neighbors, what do you do if you’ve chosen your campsite next to a group of clueless, disrespectful, self-absorbed loudmouths?

Camping Rule #1 Shut The Hell Up! {Organized CHAOS Online}

Yahoo Voices suggests:

1. Check the rules

Before you can complain about any noise that your fellow campers are making, you will need to check the rules that are posted at the campground. Most campgrounds have strict rules on what time of night you must stop all noise, and what time of morning you can start making noise.

2. Talk to them politely

This is the first thing that many people often try to avoid doing. Of course you never know how your camping neighbors will react to you asking them to keep it down. Campers however are usually pretty nice, and may just not realize how loud they are being.

3. Let the rangers know

Most campgrounds have park rangers, and there job is to make sure that all of the rules of the campground are followed. If you are having a problem with your fellow campers, and just don’t feel comfortable approaching them yourself, find a ranger and let them know.

4. Switch campsites

In a worse case scenario you can ask for another campsite. You may not want to move all of your gear, but if you are staying for an extended time, this may be best.

Glacier National Park Camping - Camping Rule #1 Shut The Hell Up! {Organized CHAOS Online}

So why do we continue to go camping? Because sometimes, just sometimes, you hit it just right and the planets align. You find a great site and set up. Kids are playing, other campers are busy doing “camping” things…horseshoes, Frisbee, talking, laughing, bike riding, gone to the lake. Then you start to smell charcoal burning, hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks cooking, campfire smoke. People are talking quietly, tired from their day’s activities. Then the campground starts to wind down and you notice you’re not hearing kids voices, trailer lights are being turned off, lamps are being put out, and you can make out silhouettes of a few people sitting around the embers of a dying fire. Then you hear…nothing.The stars are out, you hear crickets and frogs, a slight breeze ruffles the tree branches, you smell pine and fresh air, and lingering campfire smoke. There’s only some far away laughter, muffled voices, an outhouse door closing, and a couple dwindling campfires. Peace. Serenity. Quiet.

Patti signature

Keep it to a Carry On Bag

Keep it to a Carry On Bag


Passengers on major U.S. carriers spent more than US$1.74 billion on bag fees in the first half of 2012, US$78 million more than in the first half of 2011, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports.(via CNN).

I’m sorry, WHAT? Come-a-freaking-gain?!?!? Nuh uh!!! That was just in 2011!

I’m an over-packer. It’s in my nature. Since I never know how I’ll “feel” when I get up, I never know what I’ll want to pack. ‘Is it a shorts day or a skirt day? Should I bring a tank top AND a cardigan or would a cropped jacket be more appropriate? What if I go out and do something fun? I’ll need a nice outfit…but not too nice. Oh no, where would we go? Is it dressy dressy or dressy casual? What shoes will I wear with it?’

This is what goes through my head EVERY SINGLE time I travel.

Now it’s time to put myself to the test.

I’m traveling to my dad’s house in upstate New York. I’ll be outside most of the time so there’s no need to dress up but I also don’t want to look like a total bag lady because we’ll be taking lots of pictures. Oh, and we’re going to two fairs (It’s for my son- I’m sooooooo not the farm/agriculture type. I like makeup and smelling good).

The other thing: I don’t want to pay $25 per bag for each of us. My challenge is to fit 6 days in a carry on bag.


Here are some packing tricks I’ve learned (and will attempt).

An updated report is at the end of this post! Is it truly possible?

Rules for Clothing

  1. Limit yourself to two pairs of shoes and two pairs of pants.
  2. Don’t pack more than a week’s worth of clothes. For longer trips, plan to do laundry.
  3. Pack only garments that can be color-coordinated with everything else in your travel wardrobe. If it doesn’t work in multiple outfits, leave it at home.
  4. Maximize your personal item. In addition to a carry-on bag, airlines allow you to bring a personal item such as a purse or laptop bag. I generally bring a small backpack, which can hold a lot more than a purse but will still fit easily under the seat in front of me. (Pack an empty purse in your backpack.)
  5. Take multipurpose items such as a sarong that can easily become a scarf, a towel, a hair wrap, a pillow case or a picnic blanket.
  6. Pack three tops for every bottom.
  7. Stick with a color scheme so you can mix and match.
  8. Plan your colors around the shoes you want to take. (How about we not wear navy shoes with black capris, mmmmkay?)
  9. Pack underwear for each day…then add one.

Packing Tips

Shoving into suitcase red

  • Set everything out so you can pack mentally. This is like a game of Tetris.
  • Load books on an eReader or bring just one. You can swap en route.
  • Pack socks and underwear inside any shoes you aren’t wearing
  • Wear your bulkiest items on the plane. (All I can think of is Joey wearing Chandler’s clothes in Friends)
  • Roll your clothes
  • Fit tank tops and smaller/thinner items in the crevices of the very bottom of your bag (like, in between the metal handles)
  • Place your shoes, individually, in bags (ziplock gallon bags will do), and line the perimeter of the suitcase.
  • Use packing cubes to keep your clothing compact and categorized.
  • Opt for toiletry bags so you can keep all your bathroom essentials in one place and able to hang easily once you reach your destination.
  • Pack limited makeup. Unless you’re traveling for beauty reasons, choose your most versatile colors and leave behind all the options. Go with what works.
  • Choose accessories that can be worn with everything. Think: Simple.
  • When going through a normal day, take notes of what you typically use. (You can write it on your printable packing list provided at the end of this post.)

There’s a great list on Beginner Beans. She talks about faking low maintenance. I love that. I need to try it.

joey as chandler

Wear your bulk…or anything you can.

Rolling, Folding and Bundling

Click image for a flight attendant's packing tutorial

click for a flight attendant’s packing tutorial

Real Simple has outlined how to roll, fold or bundle clothing for travel.


  • Pants: Fold pants in half lengthwise so that the back pockets face outward. Roll tightly from the cuffs to the waistband.
  • A Straight Skirt or Dress: If the dress has sleeves, first fold each sleeve backward. Fold the entire garment in half lengthwise. Roll from the bottom hem up.
  • A Winter Down Jacket: Zip it, then roll it the same way you would a top, trying to squeeze as much air out of it as possible as you go. Secure it tightly with string or large rubber bands so that it doesn’t come undone. Slip it into a pillowcase and you’ve even got a germ-free headrest for the plane.
How to roll a SHIRT
Another tip: Use a pillowcase to roll your clothing like a burrito. Here’s how.
  • A Dress Shirt: Lay a buttoned-up shirt face-down and flat. Center a magazine below the collar. Fold in the right side of the shirt, using the magazine’s edge as a guide. Take the arm and position it straight down, parallel to the shirt’s body. Repeat on the opposite side. Fold the bottom of the shirt so that the hem touches the shoulders. Slide out the magazine from the top. If you have several shirts of similar shape and size, you can stack them, folding them all as one to cushion the creases.
  • Dress Pants: Fold along the center creases or the side seams so that the legs stack on top of each other. Fold in half so that the waist touches the hem. Fold in half again.
  • A Full Skirt or Dress: Put it in a large plastic trash bag to avoid wrinkles from setting. Fold it in half lengthwise so that the side seams line up—you’ll have an angle down one side. Fold the angled edge inward to form a rectangle. Fold the garment in half horizontally or, if it’s on the longer side, in thirds. Pack it on top of everything else in the suitcase.

How to fold a BLAZER


  • Lay Out All Your Clothes: You can bundle everything besides underwear, swimsuits, and accessories. Each garment should be buttoned or zipped and placed faceup (but jackets should be facedown). You’ll need a core, like a packing cube, to bundle around.
  • Follow the Right Order: Start with tailored garments that wrinkle easily (they’ll be on the outside of the bundle, cushioned by both the other clothes and the core). Then add pieces that are less likely to wrinkle (these will be near the core). To keep the bundle balanced, lay short dresses and tops vertically, alternating north and south, and long dresses and bottoms horizontally, alternating east and west. Here’s the general sequence from the outer layer in: jackets, short dresses, long-sleeve shirts, short-sleeve shirts, pants, long dresses, skirts, sweaters, knits, and shorts.
  • Add the Core: Then, starting from the top of the pile, wrap each garment around the core.


A How-To Video

This woman is referred to as Mary Poppins because she can fit so much in a carry-on bag. Talk about a great tutorial! I watched the ENTIRE thing and her tips on travel cosmetics. Just a warning if you’re not loaded in the finance department: You’ll have to improvise on what you use. As in: Ziplocks over designer shoe plastic bags. You’ll see what I mean. She offers great tips and is likeable on camera. I may want to be her friend. We’ll discuss that another time.

Printable Packing List

Each time I travel, I have to write a list. Duh. It’s categorized by what I’ll need to take (casual clothes, toiletries, shoes, etc.) To make things easy, we created a free printable packing list you can fill out to fit your travel needs.


[download id=”15190″]


[download id=”18″]

Safe travels,

tawsha connell



I did it

I STILL over packed and got everything in there. It’s a true carry-on bag. Nothing oversized or fancy. See the clothing in the picture to the left? You’re seeing the second layer. There’s stuff underneath it, too. Holy crap! This is amazing!

Earring Travel Tip

Earring Travel Tip

Earring Travel Tip - Tip of the Day on organizedCHAOSonline

TIP OF THE DAY: When traveling, stick your earrings through the holes in a button to keep them together and tidy in your bag.

We found a bunch of simple travel tips so stay tuned for “How to travel with just a carry on suitcase” (or some name like that).