Posts Tagged With: DIY

Aloha! Christmas Luau – Part 1

Every Christmas Eve, my family gets together for a wild celebration. It’s super laid back, there’s lots of laughs and a fantastic amount of food and booze. Two years ago, September and I decided to turn our Christmas Eve soirees into a full-blown themed bash! And this year, we’re having a Christmas Luau! (My ukulele was part of the inspiration.) We hunted through the Goodwill stores here in St. Petersburg for Hawaiian shirts for everyone (they’re difficult to find this time of year up in Michigan) and some of them are so tacky! In order to get everyone excited for the luau, we sent them personalized invitations – messages in a bottle.

These little crafts were easy, fun and cheap!


This project was actually really inexpensive! We recycled some plastic bottles from work, snipped a few Sea Grape leaves from a plant in our yard, and used some leftover scrapbook paper from a previous project.



We rolled the paper in Sea Grape leaves, tied them with hemp (thanks Top Knotch Gear!) and put them in the bottles.

We left a string of hem

We left a string of hemp for recipients to pull in order to get their invitations out of the bottle – all bottles had sand and shells in the bottom (sand and shells from our beach!)



Turns out, you can mail anything as long as it has the correct postage! It only cost $2 per bottle for postage.



We fly up to Michigan tomorrow and will post more pictures of the family “hut” and decor. This party will definitely be one to remember – even if the memories are a bit foggy.

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Tip Tuesday

It’s Travel Tip Tuesday again! This week: DIY Travel Medical Kit

Super easy to make yourself!

Whether you’re traveling around the states (or your home country) or around the world, it’s a good idea to pack a medical kit. You can buy them pre-made from travel or outdoor stores but they’re also very easy to make yourself. (Hence the DIY part.) Here’s what we recommend including in your kit:

  • Advil/Ibuprofen – for pain, inflammation, and fever
  • Pseudoephedrine – nasal decongestant for sinus issues, ear popping or runny nose
  • Pepto Bismol tablets – for upset stomach and indigestion
  • Imodium tablets – for travelers diarrhea (A MUST-HAVE or you will regret it. Big time.)
  • Bug spray wipes with DEET (definitely want these if you’re in an area with malaria)
  • Antiseptic wipes – because soap and clean water aren’t always available when you need them
  • Antibiotic ointment – see above
  • Blister treatment – You can substitute Band-Aids but you might want actual Moleskin, especially if you’re doing a lot of hiking or walking
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Electrolyte packets (or something to replenish nutrients due to vomiting/diarrhea)

Optional additions:

  • Band-Aids – you can usually find these in any sort of convenient store abroad
  • Gauze & waterproof tape – more difficult to find abroad but they can take up space in your kit
  • Tweezers – for splinters; I’ve never needed them but some travel sites recommend having them in your kit
  • Thermometer – there are pretty obvious signs of fever but if you prefer to read the numbers, then pack this
  • Icy Hot – a topical cream used to relieve muscle aches – you can substitute a hot shower or jacuzzi if available
  • Safety pins – for repairing torn clothes or making a sling

Depending on who you talk to or what you read, the list with vary. Do your research before you travel to see what the health risks are in the country you’re visiting and plan accordingly. See what you can buy at your destination so you can save space in your pack. And most importantly, make sure your medicine kit is in a WATERPROOF BAG. 

Happy packing!

Categories: Adventure, Backpacking, DIY, Gear, Packing, Top Knotch Gear, Travel Tips, Trip planning | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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