Friday Favorites–Camping

I’m loading my family, the dog and some supplies into the Jeep and heading for the great outdoors next week.  That’s right, we’re going camping.  I love sleeping in a tent, cooking over a campfire and exploring nature.  My very favorite part of the whole thing is no electronics.  Ahh…peace.

Of course, I’ve spent some time searching for great camp ideas to share with you.  One thing I really can’t wrap my mind around is the idea of camp decorating.  I’m not making that up – there are people out there stringing pennant banners and decorative lighting around their camp sites.  People.  It’s camping.  Stop.

These Tent and Campfire Treats from She Knows aren’t so much camping food as counting down to camping food.  They’d make a great pre-trip dessert.


Have you ever roasted Starburst candies over a campfire?  I haven’t, but I’ve seen this idea floating around everywhere lately, including at The V Spot.  I’m definitely trying it this trip – I’ll let you know how it goes.

roasted starbursts

Our dog is a little ambivalent about camping.  He doesn’t like jumping in the creek and he isn’t wild about laying in the dirt.  Yeah, he’s kind of a princess.  But I think the least Max could do is haul some of his own stuff with this Dog Hiking Backpack from Craftster.


I love the idea of a camping-themed party.  TSJ Photography shares some fantastic ideas for just that, but the part I could take with me on this trip is the S’Mores Happy Camper Crunch.


Camping isn’t all about fun and food.  There are some basic necessities that can’t be forgotten.  When you’re roughing it to the point you need to keep track of your own toilet paper, here’s a great idea for keeping it clean and safe from Field and Stream.


There’s also that issue of hand washing.  This Hand Washing Station from Do It and How keeps the whole process nice and tidy.


Back to the fun part – food.  We’ve bought the shake and pour pancake mix before, but I really like the idea of making it ourselves.  We might even be able to substitute a few ingredients in this Homemade Shake and Pour Pancake Mix from One Good Thing and make them gluten-free for the chicklet.


I believe in simple, low-effort camp food, but there’s no reason to forgo the spices.  Especially when you can transport and store them easily using this idea from Skruben.


This Scrambled French Toast from Trendy Treehouse isn’t billed as camping food, but it seems like it would be perfect in a cast iron skillet on the camp stove.


These Tripod Camping Stools from Design Sponge aren’t the prettiest piece of furniture, but they’re handy and functional.  And we are not decorating our campsites, remember?


Friday Favorites–Go Outside

I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of August already.  We’ve had such a busy summer we didn’t even get a chance to go camping.  Our evening walks get earlier and earlier, trying to make it home while there’s still daylight.  Because of when Labor Day falls, school is even starting a bit early this year.  But we’re not done yet, and I found a few ways to make the best of those dogs days we have left.

One of the things we love about where we live is that we overlook a valley with a river running through it.  However, where there’s water, there’s mosquitos and apparently I’m some sort of delicacy to them.  They will ignore everyone else just to bite me.  So, the bats are our friends.  It’s fun to sit on our back deck and watch them swoop around grabbing those little blood suckers mid-air.  We should build them a home, like this Bat House from This Old House.


I love outdoor games, like these Diced Darts from Lowe’s.

These Neck Coolers from Little Birdie Secrets might come in handy for those last few bursts of hot weather.


I love coconut and I don’t mind mixing it with a little pineapple once in a while.  These Pina Colada Ice Pops from AllRecipes user D. Licious sound yummy and tropical.


We had to skip camping this year, but next year I’d love to make these Orange Rolls Cooked in Oranges from Truly Simple


I also wouldn’t mind trying out these Campurritos from Ninth and Bird.


I kill plants.  There are three pots on my front porch proving I’m a brown-thumbed serial killer.  Maybe someone out there with more regard for the life of fauna can make this DIY Organic Vertical Planter from Instructables user FireCGun.


These DIY Paint Can Lights from Lowe’s would be fun for a late summer party.

We’ve all seen the dirt-and-worms style desserts before, but I’ve never seen such an accurate representation of sand as in this Sand Pudding from Ma Nouvelle Mode.  It might actually take some convincing to get this little ones to try this – but only the first bite.


I actually watched two hummingbirds duke it out over a flower in my yard a couple of days ago.  They were going at it so hard I was actually worried one of them might do some damage to the other.  For the sake of peace I should probably make this Plastic Spoon and Bottle Hummingbird Feeder from Shabby Beach Nest.


Now, get out there and enjoy the last of summer before it disappears!

Camping and Crafting

We’re back from our weekend camping trip.  We had a couple of relaxing days of sitting by a campfire and hanging out with some friends.  It wasn’t very warm, but it didn’t rain and, around here, that’s a win. This might not come as a big surprise, but Codi and I brought along some craft supplies.  I’ve learned it’s best to bring something to do because my husband, or Joel-Gyver as he’s known around the tent, will inevitably start building something.  Last time we went camping, he spent hours working on motorized boats using empty Arizona tea cans, rubber bands, and I-don’t-know-what-else.

camp 1

This time he was a little less obsessed.  The only thing I caught him making was a cup holder for my chair.

camp 2

In the meantime, the girls broke out the box of paint and decorated many, MANY rocks.  Ellie and Emma’s parents may have been cursing at me under their breath when it was time to load up to leave.

camp 3

camp 4

I may also be responsible for Caitlyn’s shirt being demoted to pajamas.

camp 5

Codi brought along a big box of beads and helped everyone make beaded key chains and critters to hook onto zippers.

camp 6

We found out Joy is an amazing artist and I can tell you, that notebook in her lap is full of some gorgeous fairy drawings.

camp 7

We went on a camping trip a few years ago near the river, and found stacks and stacks of rocks when we arrived in our campsite.  Underneath one of the stacks was a note, explaining who had made all the rock towers.

camp 8

We thought it was so awesome, it’s become a bit of a tradition for us.  We don’t always leave a note, but there’s usually lots of stacks of rocks by the time we pack up.


This one was particularly impressive.  I was afraid to get too close.  Yes, that big rock is barely touching the one it’s sitting on.


I also made rainbow macrame bracelets for all the girls and Tucker made a couple of paracord bracelets for the boys.  I didn’t get a photo of that.  Sometimes trying to get a photo of a boy crafting is like getting a photo of Sasquatch.  It’s blurry because they’re running from you.

We managed to squeeze another weekend out of the calendar so we can go one more time before school starts.  I’ve already packed the paint.

Friday Favorites–Camping

I get to go do one of my favorite summer activities this weekend…camping!  Because of my hospital-cations, we weren’t able to go last year and thanks to a number of reasons, this is our first, and probably only, trip this year.  I plan to make the most of it.

I’m going to start saving empty peanut butter jars, just so I can make some of these Camping Lanterns from Made by Cynthia Rae.  Not only would they be great for camping, but a fun decoration for an evening barbeque at home.  Luckily, my dog loves peanut butter.


Speaking of peanut butter, here’s a yummy-looking recipe for Campfire Bananas from Come Together Kids.


This Water Bottle Carrier from Pink Chalk Studios would come in handy during those camp hikes.


It’s not camping without roasting marshmallows and hot dogs.  Sometimes I think it’s the only reason I go.  We could roast in style with these Camp Roasting Sticks from Mel Designs.


When our kids were small, Play-Doh was one of our favorite camp activities.  You don’t have to worry about making a mess, and leaves and sticks make great accessories.  With a little pre-planning, these Playdough Dress-Ups from Inspiration Surrounds…Creativity Abounds would be a fun addition.

Picture 081 playdough winter cration mummy June 2011

These DIY Strike-Anywhere Match Jars from Ruffled are meant to be wedding favors and while I love that idea, they would also be great for keeping your matches dry while camping.


This Outdoor Color Match game from Frugal Family Fun is made using paint chip cards, but you could also make your own paint chips using acrylic paint.


Homemade Ice Cream like this version from 2 Little Hooligans would have to be a first-day project, while there’s still plenty of ice available.

memorial day weekend 021

I want a Nature Explorer Bag like this one from Chez Beeper Bebe.  Actually, I want the brown one with the blue plaid lining that’s shown on the blog.  For me.  Not the kids.  Mine.

Nature Explorer Bag2

We have a couple of these in canvas, but they aren’t nearly as awesome as this leather Folding Tripod Camp Stool from Wood and Faulk.


See you again when I get tired of sleeping on the ground!