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What I Packed for a Few Days at the Lake

June 14, 2021

Happy Monday! I’m spending most of the week in Georgia visiting family and friends. Today I’m actually meeting with my new virtual assistant (my daughter Abigail) to map out her job responsibilities. First up, she’s going to help me pull together three beach bags full of pool, lake or beach essentials from Amazon, Walmart and Target for you. I’ll have that post for you later this week. But today I’m sharing what I packed and wore while I was at the lake for a few days last week.

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Casual Lake Vacation Wardrobe

Even as recently as Saturday I’ve had readers emailing me recently asking for outfit and packing ideas for very casual outings and vacations. These ladies are requesting ideas for those daily outfits that you can wear while playing with grandchildren, camping, canning peaches or just visiting with a friend on the back deck. As one reader put it, “I know what to wear to a formal occasion such as a wedding and I can pick out shorts and a t-shirt for a baseball game, but what do I wear for all those in between things?”

I get it. That’s pretty much where most of us live…somewhere in between fancy and forget it.

Last week James and I spent several glorious days at a friend’s lake house. Now I’m wishing I had more photos to share with you, of course. But at the time I just didn’t want to take pictures or post on social media. It was bliss to really take time off. And that’s exactly what James and I did. We completely relaxed and enjoyed our time with friends and nature. You know, it’s not only me that needed to unplug and unwind. My pastor-husband really needed just to relax.

Lake House Dock

I spent time kayaking with James, swimming, floating on a float in the middle of the cove with my friend Candy, paddle boarding, taking evening boat rides and munching on yummy food. And Candy and I talked nonstop from the minute we got there Wednesday at noon to the minute we left Friday morning, stopping only to sleep. Hahaha!

I’ve been going to Candy’s family’s lake house since we were in the 8th grade. And she and her husband, who purchased the cabin from her mom several years ago, have kept it just the same as it was in 1978 (and probably before). I mean it’s immaculately clean and tidy. And it’s very comfortable. But as Candy says, it’s one step up from camping.

Lake House

And I wouldn’t change a thing either. This is where Candy and Randy welcome around a hundred brothers, sisters, in-laws, nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews each summer. For them it’s all about family and making memories and enjoying the outdoors. Oh, and there’s that wonderful southern cooking, too.

Anyhow, I tell you all of this so you’ll know what kind of trip I was packing for. I wore no makeup, barely combed my hair and stayed in my swimsuit most of the day, once I stepped onto the property. We didn’t go out to eat, nor did we stroll through a little town. We just bummed at the lake! And after the year we’ve all had…this is exactly what we needed.

What I Packed and Wore to the Lake

Here’s a graphic of everything I wore and packed. I have just a couple of photos to share with you. We’ll get to those in a minute.

What I Packed for a Few Days at the Lake clothing
sleeveless fit & flare dress // white linen button up shirt (not the one actually in the photo) // Zella camp shorts (available in other colors) // similar green cargo shorts (another similar option) // white tank // black tank // flip flops // red twist front one-piece swimsuit (also in black) // striped crinkle cotton beach shirt // beach bag (similar to mine) // wide brimmed hat (similar to mine) // Tory Burch Miller Sandals (more economical option) // sleep tank // poplin pajama shirt // poplin pajama shorts // poplin pajama pants // Enbliss bralette // Vanishing Edge panties // Momentum tank // Solace Sports bra // Ultimate Stash Pocket 7″ shorts // Adidas Running Shoes

To Travel to the Lake…

Travelling to the lake I wore a sleeveless fit & flare dress very similar to the one shown here. Mine is about five years old, but I absolutely love wearing it for car trips. You can’t go wrong with dresses from Title Nine. In fact, that’s one of the things Candy and I talked about. Ha!

sleeveless fit & flare dress // white linen button up shirt // Tory Burch Miller Sandals (more economical option) // wide brimmed hat

I also wore my Tory Burch Miller Sandals (more economical option) and carried along my white linen button up shirt to wear if I got chilly. Both of these pieces were very versatile. I didn’t wear the sandals out to the dock, so I didn’t mind wearing them on the trip or in the house. And the white linen button up shirt could have doubled as a swimsuit coverup if needed.


We changed into our suits right after we ate a light lunch. I had purchased this red twist front one-piece swimsuit (also in black) earlier in the spring. As usual with swimsuits, I sized up to a 10 in this one. I found it to be very comfortable and functional.

beach bag // wide brimmed hat // flip flops // Zella camp shorts // red twist front one-piece swimsuit (also in black) // striped crinkle cotton beach shirt (suit shown with coverup)

While riding in the boat, eating at the table or going back and forth from the dock to the house, I also wore this lightweight striped crinkle cotton beach shirt. I purchased it last year, but it’s available again this year. And I wore my flip flops from Vera Bradley. Mine (not the ones pictured) are not actually available, but they have several other fun prints to choose from.

red twist front one-piece swimsuit (also in black) // striped crinkle cotton beach shirt (I’m wearing James’ hat here!) // sunglasses

I have a similar beach bag from last year and I wore a wide brimmed hat (similar to mine) or one of Candy’s baseball caps the whole time I was there.

red twist front one-piece swimsuit (also in black) // striped crinkle cotton beach shirt (I’m wearing James’ hat here!) // sunglasses // Candy’s cover-up (similar, hers is from last year) // Candy’s swimsuit (not shown here)


As I mentioned in this How I Really Dressed for My Day post, I like to buy a whole set of pajamas when I purchase them. And since I knew I’d be wearing pajamas in mixed company to some extent several times this summer, I thought this was a smart purchase.

sleep tank // Enbliss bralette // poplin pajama shorts // poplin pajama shirt // poplin pajama pants

I wear the sleep tank and the poplin pajama shorts to sleep in. But I add on the poplin pajama shirt and change into the poplin pajama pants when I’m out and about in the house. I also had my Enbliss bralette if needed for modesty. In fact, I wore it most of the time when I was wearing regular clothes, too.

For Lounging or Playing

When I’d change out of my swimsuit for a boat ride or a meal, I’d wear the shorts and tanks. I figured the grey Zella camp shorts (available in other colors), the green cargo shorts (another similar option), the white tank and the black tank would all mix and match so I’d have plenty of options. But I really enjoyed keeping it simple with these separates.

Lounge and Play
Zella camp shorts (available in other colors) // green cargo shorts (another similar option) // white tank // black tank // white linen button up shirt

Plus, I like that I chose separates in earthy or neutral shades. When I go visit a resort or take a cruise, that’s a good time to wear colorful clothing. But when I’m at the lake or camping or hiking, I really like to wear the soothing and earthy shades that blend in with my surroundings. But a pretty soft blue tank or t-shirt would have worked nicely with these separates, too.

For Exercise

Candy and I always enjoy getting out for a good long walk when I visit. So I took along my Momentum tank , Solace Sports bra, Ultimate Stash Pocket 7″ shorts and Adidas Running Shoes and Bomba ankle socks for exercising.

Bomba ankle socks // Momentum tank // Solace Sports bra // Ultimate Stash Pocket 7″ shorts // Adidas Running Shoes

We were only at the lake from Wednesday morning through Friday morning, but my small capsule wardrobe would have easily carried me through another two to four days. And, by the way, since I didn’t want to lug my larger suitcase – that I’d used to travel down to Georgia – into the cabin, I packed my little travel wardrobe in two small shopping bags. And that included my toiletries, too.

Packing Tips for a Lake Trip

If you’re packing for a similar trip or even camping this summer, I suggest the following:

  • Pack light! Choose pieces that will mix and match instead of separate outfits.
  • Choose moisture wicking fabrics when possible. My Zella camp shorts (available in other colors) wear cool and they dry quickly. I also wore them over my swimsuit at times.
  • Pack pieces that can serve multiple purposes. I could have worn my white linen button up shirt as a topper over my tanks and shorts, a jacket over my dress, a swimsuit coverup or as a stand alone shirt.
  • Enjoy the colors of nature. Choose clothing in the colors you’ll be seeing outside. That doesn’t mean you have to stick with neutrals like I did. You could still wear sky blue, sunny yellow or peony pink. I’d just stay away from neons and brights.
  • Take as few shoes as possible. But make sure you have something with closed toes (for exercise and walking in the woods) and something for the dock and boat, like flip flops or other slip-ons.

I don’t have a shopping widget for you today because so many things I’ve shared come through different affiliate marketing systems. But you can shop for all the items I’ve shown and talked about by clicking through the highlighted text. Anywhere you see pink lettering, you can click through and shop.

Thanks so much for stopping in for a little style inspiration. Indeed, today’s post is about those everyday clothes that don’t really require a fashion statement. But when we at least want to look pulled together and presentable, we can do that with simple separates that combine effortlessly. Have a great day!

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Casual Lake Vacation Wardrobe

Blessed for My Day

Today I pray that you will have opportunity this week to see a glimpse of God’s glory through His handiwork. This past week Candy and I especially enjoyed watching and listening to the birds. One evening swallows were gleefully feasting on Mayflies over the water and one ended up in the lake. Candy’s husband rescued it and placed it on the ground tenderly. We all spoke kindly to it and hoped it would recover.

The next morning Randy got into the water early to find his prescription sunglasses. He’d lost them in the water while rescuing the bird! The bird was still lying on the grass where he’d placed it the night before. Randy spoke to it again. But this time the bird sat up. Two other larger birds came and sat on either side of the little bird (maybe it’s parents?). The swallows “talked” to Randy a bit…and then they all three flew into the air!

I don’t really know what to make of all that. I certainly don’t need to over-spiritualize it. But it was just a sweet blessing to us to see this little bird mend from his fall. I hope we all have opportunity to see glimpses of God’s glory through His creation this week.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. ~ Psalm 19:1-2

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xoxo, Kay
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27 thoughts on “What I Packed for a Few Days at the Lake

  1. Happy Monday Kay…..
    I really enjoyed this post! One that I love is packing for any vacation! I ordered the Sam Eldeman (look alike TB) Sandals and cannot wait to get them! I am going to see my Dad for Fathers Day, so having them delivered there.

    Glad you are taking some much needed time off and enjoying your time with your parents.


  2. Very cute mini capsule with great ideas. Kay, can you share your skincare ideas and toiletries bag? Sometimes I feel they take up as much room as my clothes!

  3. Kay, I am glad that you and James have had some time to totally unplug. I really enjoyed this post and seeing real life outfits. I actually thought that Candy’s coverup was a real dress. It’s so pretty! I have gotten better about packing lighter when it comes to clothes and accessories. Do you find your bralette to be comfortable enough to wear for many hours and even overnight? What a great BFMD! A while back, Larry and I got to help a hummingbird that slammed into our glass front door. After Larry held it in his hand and gently rubbed its back while we softly spoke to it, the pretty little thing flew away. Have a fabulous day!

    1. Hi Ginger. Yes the bralette is very comfortable. Obviously it’s not as comfortable as nothing! Ha! But when you want something on for modesty or comfort, this bralette is a great choice. Thanks for sharing. I love hummingbirds.

  4. We spend the summer at our cottage on the lake and you packed a perfect bag. The only item I would suggest adding is a sweater or sweatshirt for those cool mornings or late boat rides when it can be a little chilly.

    1. Hi Judy. You know what? I just remembered that I did indeed have a sweatshirt with me. I just never used it because it was in the 90s while we were there. But I did indeed carry one. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. I enjoyed the very practical packing tips for a casual getaway! Also loved the bird story! I do have a question! It sounds like you spent some time in the water! How did your self-tanner hold up? I have tried SO many, not yours yet, however, and every time I’ve gone in the water, I come out with spots where the tanner has come off. So I’m curious how yours held up! Thank you Kay!

    1. Funny story. I got things a little out of order as I was preparing to leave for my vacation. I shaved and put on self tanner. And then I got a pedicure. Big mistake! The nail tech scrubbed all my self tanner off the fronts (only!) of my calves as she was massaging in the lotion. Ha! And I never got around to reapplying. Hehehe! But the rest of my self tanner (like on my arms and chest) held up fine. I probably lost some of it, but it didn’t leave blotches. And I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’ve had that happen with other tanners, but not this one.

  6. We live full time on Lake Lanier, in Georgia. It has taken me a long time to learn how to dress casual for lake living. Your post gave me some more ideas on how to simplify my wardrobe. I have always dressed up, I love clothes, and fashion. But I have learned a lot of being more realistic about dressing by following you. Dressing so you still look pulled together, but not over done. Thanks for the post.

  7. It certainly sounds like you had a wonderful time away with your husband and friends Kay, and much deserved I’m sure. For all the effort you put into your videos and blogs, I say a big thank you to you from Australia! You are a very attractive lady helping us to recognise where perhaps we can improve on our appearance in order to feel a little better about ourselves each day. I am also 56 and at times feel every bit my age, but you truly encourage me to remain organised and focused on making wise choices when it comes to presenting myself to the world. Bless you Kay and I’ll remain around for new inspiration from you. Take care.

  8. Hi Kay
    Thanks for all the tips. We are planning
    On going up north and do some fishing
    And relaxing next month. Can hardly wait to get away. Glad you and James could get away for a few days together and just relax. Have so much fun with your friend at the lake. Sounds heavenly
    Love the BFMD What a beautiful story about the birds. We love to watch the birds in our backyard and have many feeders. Nature was created by God
    Once again have a good time

  9. Love this post! My favorite line is “somewhere in between fancy and forget it”!! Ha! That is so true.

  10. Loved the bird story. He watches over us more than the birds and it just shows us how important we are to Him if he will take a little bird and revive it. Love your channel Kay. You bless me each time a watch it.

  11. Hi, Kay – while you are in Georgia visiting family and lake living, I’m in South Carolina visiting family and beach living. I love the “somewhere between fancy and forget it” concept…I packed HUGE because I’m here for a month, but have in reality after one week only worn a fraction of that wardrobe. But we will be going to Charleston and Jacksonville during the trip, so I had to have several “capsule” wardrobes.
    Your story about the bird was exactly what I needed to start my Monday morning. Not to overspiritualize it either, but it brought tears to my eyes, and I thought of Matthew 10:29: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” And then I thought of Genesis 1:26, where God gives man dominion over the “birds in the sky” and just got all kinds of emotional about how y’all walked out both of those verses. Taking care of that little bird was “the Father’s care” of him, AND practicing true dominion over nature. Thanks for sharing that story…it meant so much! Now, I’m off to pick up two of the grandkids for an adventure in the Low Country! Have a great time with your parents!

    1. Welcome to the Lowcountry. I live here and my biggest struggle is trying to look put together in the heat. Sunday morning in the AC is easy but during the week daily dressing is close to impossible to layer.

      1. LOL – I’m learning that! I always forget how much stickier it is here than in Northwest Georgia. Thankfully I can take lots of showers! But my go-to Lowcountry everyday look has been a baseball cap, a swingy tank, shorts that can double as swim bottoms, and a pair of flip flops. I did look cute for church yesterday – wore a wrap dress and sandals…but all that came off as soon as I got home in favor of the “uniform.”

  12. I Iive on the Coast just a couple of miles from the Gulf but there’s just something about a lake or river that I love. The ocean can be intimidating but a lake or rive is relaxing. I love the story of the little bird rescue. A pastor is always on the job. ?
    The wardrobe looks perfect for a week or longer really because most places have the use of a washing machine. Glad you got a chance to unwind. Even God didn’t create every day. He took time off.

  13. I’m so glad you guys enjoyed the lake trip. Daddy bought that cabin in 1965. We have lots of wonderful & FUNderful memories wrapped up in that property. What a sweet bird story…blessed my heart to read about it along with the comments of your readers. The cover-up Candy was wearing was a birthday gift from me last year…Lands End. They have a lot of cute swimsuits & cover-ups! Enjoy the rest of your GA vacation! Blessings…

  14. Great post, Kay! While I’m getting better at it, I still tend to over pack. Your tips will help me on the next trip I take.
    I find that my hair tools and products (even for a beach/lake weekend) take a lot of space. I pare down my skin care routine a bit, leaving the extras at home.
    Thanks for the BFMD. God created a wonderful world full of exquisite everyday wonders anywhere and everywhere – we all need to stop long enough to drink them in!

  15. Thank you for the beautiful story of God’s creation and appreciation of it at the lake. You are a blessing to us all with your fashion work and ministry to the soul.

  16. Hi Kay, great post. First. I like the pink text more than widgets! I can click right from where I’m reading. Second, I concur with the comment about packing makeup and toiletries. It’s a ton. Third, I see the wisdom in a solid color swimsuit with a print cover-up. To die for cuteness!!! I got a print top and solid skirt so not clear on what a cover-up might be. I’ll keep your idea for future purchase reference. Question: what’s a resource for packing choices at mountains or seashore? We went to Pismo Beach and I wore a solid sleeveless slub cotton dress to dinner but everyone around me was in turtlenecks, jeans, pashimas due to evening chill. I was cold eating outside in my levi jacket! How should I prepare to pack for next time?

    1. Hi Nancy. Thanks for sharing all your notes. I think for the mountains you definitely want to take along a sweatshirt and closed toe shoes and socks, as well as that denim jacket. For the coast, the trick is taking into consideration the particular coast and where it is as far as north or south. The Pacific Coast is generally cooler than the Atlantic, and of course as you go further north on either coast the weather seems to get wetter and cooler. For a nice dinner out in either location, mountains or coast those wraps are the best thing going. Cashmere wraps are NOT just for the winter. ? I love the wraps at Garnet Hill

  17. Hi Kay! What a sweet post. I teared up at the picture of you and Candy. What a blessing it is to have a life-long friend!

    1. Isn’t it though? We met in 7th grade. We played French horn together throughout middle school and high school. Then she became a middle school band director. And I sold my horn! But of course our friendship goes much deeper than that and we’ve enjoyed visiting throughout the years. ❤️❤️❤️

  18. Bravo Kay! So glad you had a nice lake vacation with friends!
    But you are right on about layering and neutral/earthy colors in nature. My kids giggle when I show up in sparkles for a hike…you have helped me see the light.
    Thank you!
    I’ll save the sparkles for a cruise!??