A Guide to Camping on Assateague Island

March 29, 2017

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you crave a mini getaway and (slower) change of pace. Extra points for very little cell phone reception and no electricity.

That's how my friend and I felt after what seemed like a few draining months. We decided to get away for a weekend and both agreed on one thing: it had to be affordable.


I'm not much of a traveler but I sure know how to pinch pennies, and in my opinion a great way to keep costs down is to take a trip somewhere close to home. So, we planned a weekend camping trip at Assateague Island National Seashore. Yup, we decided to go camping in March. Perhaps we had a moment of crazy when we booked this trip but it was a blast - frozen fingers, high winds, and all!

Here's what you need to know about planning a trip to Assateague - especially in the colder months.

Making Reservations


You can make reservations via recreation.gov. The site is super easy to navigate: you can filter your search by date, and campsite location, and amenities - even down to having pets. Another great feature is the ability to see photos of each campsite. This helped me a lot when picking a site because we wanted a bit of cover instead of being directly on the beach like our neighbors.

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In peak season (April-October) you'll definitely want to make sure you secure reservations as far in advance as possible as sites tend to fill up fast. In off-peak season (November - March) there are many more sites to choose from of course. I booked our trip about three weeks in advance.

Arrival


Check-in is at noon but since we both worked half a day on Friday, we arrived around 5:30pm to find no one there. I mean, the gates were closed and this was about the point that I started freaking out. (Okay, maybe it was when I saw the "campground closed" sign.)

After wondering how we'd manage to sleep in the car with everything we packed, a good Samaritan driving by figured out really fast we were lost and told us there is another entrance during off-peak months. Phew. So we followed him down a different road for about a mile to a separate campground entrance. The ranger station was already closed for the day by the time we got there, but we just set up camp and had to check-in Saturday morning instead. So no need to worry as much as I did, ha!

*I didn't receive any information about this other entrance in my reservation email, so email me if you have questions! I can help now that we learned the hard way. ;)

What To Do


Of course, there isn't a whole lot to do in the colder months, but we still had a blast!

Naturally Me, Maryland, Assateague State Park, Assateague Island, Assateague Island National Seashore, Assateague Wild Horses, Wild Horses

Naturally Me, Maryland, Assateague State Park, Assateague Island, Assateague Island National Seashore, Assateague Island Wild Horses, Wild Horses

The biggest thing we were excited about was seeing wild horses - which is probably the most popular attraction at Assateague. Saturday afternoon we spent a few hours hanging out with a group of horses that just ate the whole time. (Later on in the day a group of about eight horses decided to hang out right by our campsite!)

Just in case you're wondering: visitors are not allowed to feed or touch the wild horses. It's at least a $100 fine. (Plus, they can kick and bite.) But take all the photos you want like we did!

Naturally Me, Maryland, Assateague State Park, Assateague Island, Assateague Island National Seashore, Exploring the Beach on Assateague Island

We also took a few walks on the beach, and made a campfire to cook dinner Saturday night. (For dessert we made roasted apples on the fire and they came out perfectly! It was seriously just like eating apple pie!)

There are three trails visitors can check out: Life of the Dunes, Life of the Forest, and Life of the Marsh. When we went to the ranger station Saturday morning, we grabbed a map and that day we decided to check out every trail. The dune and forest trails were fun - marsh was a bit boring this time of year - but each had little signs along the way with interesting information which I always like.

During spring/summer there's plenty of beach area, bike/canoe rentals, fishing, and much more. We'll definitely be going back then!

Exploring Beyond Assateague


Ocean City is about nine miles from the park and can be seen from the island. Also, the historic town of Berlin is about eight miles away and is full of quaint shops, and small restaurants. Fun fact: Berlin was the filming location for Runaway Bride and Tuck Everlasting!

Due to the fact that we basically slept on the ground (aka sand) Friday night because my air mattress was missing its plug, we ended up venturing out beyond Assateague to find something more comfortable. So, we know for a fact there is a Wal-Mart about 20 miles away, and a Food Lion about 15 minutes away just in case you forget anything like I did.

We also found the most adorable shop called the Assateague Island Surf Shop. The people there were so nice and they had the cutest souvenirs. Sunday morning before we left for home we stopped by there again for our first ever acai bowls and they were even better than they looked. It would be dangerous if I lived closer.

Naturally Me, Maryland, Assateague State Park, Assateague Island, Assateague Island National Seashore, Assateague Island Surf Shop, Acai Bowl, The perfect acai bowl

Also, we discovered the Fractured Prune donut shoppe right down Route 611 so naturally we each got 3 donuts. They were SO good. (Pro tip: the mint chocolate chip doughnut tastes just like Thin Mints - which is why I picked it.)

Naturally Me, Maryland, Assateague State Park, Assateague Island, Assateague Island National Seashore, The Fracture Prune Donut Shoppe, Donuts

And Don't Forget


I highly recommend going in March when we did - it's a whole different experience and we really enjoyed it. Especially the fact that only four other people were camping. It was so peaceful yet still just as pretty as ever. Of course, make sure you pack warm clothes and several pairs of hand warmers. We even used them as we were preparing dinner Saturday night, ha! Also, watch out for those pesky orioles... they'll break into your bag of bagels when you're too busy taking photos of sand dunes and dogs. But seriously.

If you have any questions about visiting Assateague that I may not have covered, please let me know in the comments or reach out via Twitter. (And no, this is not sponsored in any way. I just love camping - and sharing my experiences/funny stories!)


What's your favorite (affordable) weekend getaway?

Life Lately

March 27, 2017

Happy Monday, friends! (I know, not nearly as exciting as Happy Friday but.....)

I figured I'd share a little life update for anyone out there who is curious to know what I've been up to and why posts have been few and far between.

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For weeks, I had a "goodbye" blog post in the works because I was planning to stop blogging. Why?

The short answer: life has gotten very busy, both in a good and bad way. And there have also been some pretty major curve balls thrown my way. Needless to say, I cried way too many times on the phone to my mom each week, telling her about my upsetting days, doctor visits, frustrations, and the fact that I just didn't know how to handle everything. Working out has always been my stress relief, but there were many days I skipped a sweat session.

Between work, side jobs, gym time and such, I felt like any free moments I did get, my mind was spinning over blog content. Planning posts, writing posts, taking photos, and feeling like my work wasn't good enough.

As a result, I cracked under pressure and stopped blogging. I am human after all. After realizing just how much time I put into this hobby, I needed to let it go for a bit in order to breathe and focus on other (more important) things. I immediately felt a weight lifted off me by not having to worry about getting any blog-related work done. And I had actually planned to stop blogging at that point.

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However, what I didn't anticipate after a few weeks was that I realized I missed blogging and sharing my fitness journey, outfits, yoga diaries. I love this little blog and want Naturally Me to continue to be an outlet full of fun, helpful, and motivating content.

Naturally Me, Yogi, Yoga Diaries, Plank pose, Chaturanga pose, Outdoor Yoga

With that said, I'm still planning on blogging as much as possible. I have several posts and collaborations coming up that I'm so excited about, but in the meantime you can catch up on my latest posts below:

~ How to Jump-start Your Yoga Practice (beginner yogi and beyond!)
~ My favorite athleisure items, including the most comfortable Nike sweatshirt
~ Touring the National Gallery of Art with Museum Hack

(As always, if you want to see any specific content/posts - please let me know via blog comments or Twitter! I'd love to hear from you!)

Good news: there's always light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm very excited to share that I'm taking a huge step toward one of my goals this year! At 31 years old, my interests and passions have drastically changed, so I'm working on a new career focus ;) If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (kelllybelllly), you've probably figured it out by now, but I hope to be able to share more in a few months. I want to have a career that I truly love so I'm making that happen for myself.

THANK YOU for supporting Naturally Me. It's my goal in the very near future to share much more fitness + nutrition-related content to help motivate and inspire you every single day. Because we all deserve to live a naturally fit and fun life! ;)


Photos by Rosa

My Style: Nike Sweatshirt

March 17, 2017

Naturally Me, My Style, Nike Sweatshirt, Black Sweatshirt, Athleisure Outfit, How to Wear Athleisure, Black Leggings, How to Wear Black Leggings, Converse, How to Wear Converse Sneakers, Backpack

SWEATSHIRT: Nike [on sale!] // LEGGINGS: Target [love these] //  
SNEAKERS: Converse // BACKPACK: Forever 21 [similar] // BEANIE: Target //

One night last week, I said to my boyfriend, "You know, I just love being in my pajamas." He kinda looked at me like I was crazy, then laughed. (Maybe because I was actually wearing my favorite pajamas....) I may be crazy but as soon as I walk in the door, I always throw on some sort of comfy clothes. Straight from the gym, work, and definitely always on the weekends.

However, for weekend errands or yoga, I try not to look like I just rolled out of bed, so athleisure it is!

When I saw this Nike sweatshirt I fell in love. Ever since it came, it's become my weekend outfit... especially for layering up before yoga class. And I love a good pocket. If you're looking for a cute, comfy, and affordable sweatshirt - this one is it. Bonus: it's now on sale - and comes in three colors!

Another one of my favorite athleisure looks is moto. I FINALLY pulled the trigger and bought these moto leggings I've been stalking for over a year, and they're well worth splurging. In my opinion, you can find the best athleisure selection online at Nordstrom. Seriously..... the best. (PS - I'm sharing all my favorite athleisure picks at the end of this post so you can shop them directly!)

I'm definitely packing ALL the comfy sweatshirts and leggings to take on a camping trip this weekend. (Fuzzy socks and gloves, too.) Two girls, one tent, and one goal: stay warm! ;) Follow along on Instastories and Snapchat (kelllybelllly) to see where we're headed! Happy Friday!

Naturally Me, My Style, Nike Sweatshirt, Black Sweatshirt, Athleisure Outfit, How to Wear Athleisure, Black Leggings, How to Wear Black Leggings, Converse, How to Wear Converse Sneakers, Backpack

Naturally Me, My Style, Nike Sweatshirt, Black Sweatshirt, Athleisure Outfit, How to Wear Athleisure, Black Leggings, How to Wear Black Leggings, Backpack, Target Beanie, How to Wear a Beanie

Naturally Me, My Style, Nike Sweatshirt, Black Sweatshirt, Athleisure Outfit, How to Wear Athleisure, Black Leggings, How to Wear Black Leggings, Converse, How to Wear Converse Sneakers, Backpack

Naturally Me, My Style, Nike Sweatshirt, Black Sweatshirt, Athleisure Outfit, How to Wear Athleisure, Black Leggings, How to Wear Black Leggings, Converse, How to Wear Converse Sneakers, Backpack

Naturally Me, My Style, Nike Sweatshirt, Black Sweatshirt, Athleisure Outfit, How to Wear Athleisure, Black Leggings, How to Wear Black Leggings, Converse, How to Wear Converse Sneakers, Backpack

Naturally Me, My Style, Nike Sweatshirt, Black Sweatshirt, Athleisure Outfit, How to Wear Athleisure, Black Leggings, How to Wear Black Leggings, Converse, How to Wear Converse Sneakers, Backpack


MORE ATHLEISURE TO LOVE:




Photos by Rosa

You Oughta Om:
How To Jumpstart Your Yoga Practice

March 13, 2017

Remember my 2017 Goals? Well, I left out a very important goal: get back to my regular yoga practice. Duh.

Naturally Me, Yoga, Yoga Diaries, Yoga Photos, Yoga Poses, Namaste, Tree Pose

The holidays were such a busy few months that left no time for yoga. In January, I felt the strong need to step on my mat again. I needed a (slower) change of pace and I realized I really missed that hour of balance (especially after realizing yoga is not about fitness). After all, we're just one yoga class away from a good mood! ;)

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My first class was hatha yoga taught by my friend Alison. It was 85 minutes of bliss and just what I needed. I fell in love with yoga all over again and it felt so good to be back!

I immediately signed up to take an aerial yoga class (that’s a natural progression, no?) since there was one spot left and the classes are always full. I LOVED it. We learned the basics, but still played around with shoulder stands and hanging upside down. I could’ve spent the whole day in the silks.

Shortly after that, I signed up for a month of unlimited yoga. Let me tell you: that was the best decision I’ve made to jump-start my practice. If your yoga studio offers an unlimited month pass, I highly recommend signing up. It’s an easy way to try a bunch of different classes, teachers, and to really cultivate a regular practice - whether you're just starting or getting back into the flow like me. And I don't know about you, but since I invested money for a month of unlimited classes, I was determined to go as much as possible!!

Naturally Me, Yoga, Yoga Diaries, Yoga Photos, Yoga Poses, Namaste, Camel Pose

This past month, I’ve taken 16 yoga classes. I'd be lying if I said I haven't missed my nightly gym routine, but you know what? Swapping weights for my favorite yoga flows, and learning new flows, has challenged my body. And my soul is healthier as well.

I've practiced hatha, aerial (is that even a type?), restorative, and of course became reacquainted with my favorite, vinyasa. (A vinyasa + core class is my new favorite Saturday ritual.) These past four weeks were just what I needed to break up my routine and reclaim my inner yogi. It has also felt great to connect with like-minded people and make new friends.

Naturally Me, Yoga, Yoga Diaries, Yoga Photos, Yoga Poses, Namaste, Crow Pose

Naturally Me, Yoga, Yoga Diaries, Yoga Photos, Yoga Poses, Namaste, Plank Pose, Plank, Side Plank

So... where to go from here?

I have seriously loved every class (and teacher) but definitely have favorites that I will continue to take, mainly on the weekends. Another item on my goals slash bucket list is to go on a yoga retreat which may happen sooner than I thought! Time to start saving! ;)

I also treated myself by signing up to receive monthly Yogi Surprise boxes. My first one came last week and I am obsessed. I think my favorite item inside would have to be the healing stones for each chakra of the body. Over the weekend, I did a fun "unboxing" over on Instastories so if you missed it be sure to follow me as I share each product. (Don't worry, I'm also planning on writing a post about the goodies.) In the meantime, you can get 10% off here!

What's your favorite type of yoga to practice? 


Photos by Rosa