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Gift Guide for Boys (8-12)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and everyone is bustling around looking for Christmas gifts. People can be hard to shop for, especially if you are trying to find a gift they will actually like. I always have the most trouble buying for the boys and men in my life….what do they even like?! I’ve put together 5 gifts that are sure to be a hit with any 8-12 year old boy in your life.

My first gift idea is a classic…nerf gun. For real, guys never get sick of a good nerf gun. They make so many different kinds, so you can get creative and get one big one or get a set. (Maybe even one for the whole family & have a family nerf war?!)

The next idea is darts and a dart board. Get a set. The boy will like it because it’s entertaining and it looks cool in their room. It also helps with coordination if they practice. This one is under $30!

Next is a little pricier… a lazer tag set. It comes with 4 vests and 4 guns in different colors so you can play as a family or your son can have his friends over for a fun backyard game of lazer tag.

Another pricey but good gift idea for boys is an activity table. This one has 3 table tops with a different game on each one. It comes with foosball, air hockey, and pool. Its a miniature table, so it won’t take up a ton of space in their bedroom, but it will give them entertainment that will last. (I mean how cool would this have been as a kid?!)

The final gift idea is a gaming chair. These are a little pricey, but most boys like to play video games and these chairs make that time so much more fun. Gaming chairs have speakers and a space for your headphones so they can surround themselves in the game and enjoy it alot more. Perfect gift idea for any boy that loves gaming!

Other than video games, gaming consols , or phone gear I think these gifts would be great… pretty much just because most of these can be enjoyed with their friends too. I hope these ideas help when you are thinking of gifts for your son/brother/nephew.

5 mistakes I made at my Bob Ross Paint party.

For my birthday I had my sisters and some of my girl friends over to have a Bob Ross paint party. I had it complete with wine, halloween candy, pizza, and mimosas. I used Google to find which episode to use. There is a list of episodes by painting that has the picture of the finished painting next to each episode. (I thought this was so cool!) Since this was my first party like this, there were a few bumps in the road. So, today I am going to be sharing some things that I would’ve changed.

The first thing that I would have changed is time. I am so bad with procrastinating. I picked my episode, bought supplies, and food the day of. If I could do it over, I would have picked the painting at least a month before and ordered the EXACT colors online. Looking for the colors in hobby lobby the day of was ….oof!!

The next thing that I would have changed is the amount of paint that I bought. I read a blog that said to buy a small bottle of each color for each person…. I did not need that much. We had five people there and we didn’t even go through 1 small bottle of each color. (I also used 8×10 canvases…so this might be why?)

Scrapers!! Oh my goodness the scraper. Bob Ross rarely uses an actual paint brush. I bought paint brush sets for each person and in 90% of the video he was using his scraper. Figure out what exactly he is using and get it for everyone… it seriously would have saved us so much trouble. We ended up using finger nails, butter knives, or whatever else we had on hand.

Next, he talks and moves fast. You, most likely, are not going to follow along easily. We paused it, but we made a mistake. We were using acrylic paint, which dries easily, and when we would unpause we would end up having to “drag the brush across” to smear some of the paint colors. By the time we unpaused, our paint was completely dry and no smearing was happening. I suggest that if you use acrylic or fast drying paint that you wait until he is fully finished and had moved on to the next step of the painting…. if you have to pause. If not, keep it going…you got this!

Building on that, I would change the paint I used. If you have the time, use a slow drying paint or oil paint. It works alot better for this type of party so, if you have the time to let it dry…take advantage of it !

I want to leave this by saying that this party was a blast. None of our paintings looked like his, none looked the same, but we all had fun being creative. Support your friends when you have this party and let them know that it won’t look like his and that is ok.

Thanks for reading along and I hope this helps you if you have been thinking of throwing a Bob Ross party. It is so fun and can be as strategic or relaxed as you want to make it. Just have fun. Until next time, have a great week!

Easy, Budget Friendly Pumpkin Pie Recipe

November is here, which means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Thanksgiving holds a place as one of my favorite holidays. The food, the family gathered around the table, remembering to be thankful (something that I need daily)… how can you not love it? In honor of Thanksgiving and all the yummy food we are going to be enjoying, I will be sharing one favorite Thanksgiving recipe of mine each week. The first recipe is a Thanksgiving must have: pumpkin pie.

I am a firm believer that some things aren’t worth the time, trouble, or money to be homemade… sometimes a cheater recipe is just as good. You can also do this recipe without a crust, in a pie pan to make it gluten free.

INGREDIENTS :

.frozen pie crust (or not if you are making it gluten free)

.15 oz. can of pumpkin

.14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk

.2 eggs

.1 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice

.1 tsp of sugar

LETS MAKE IT !

1.preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.Mix pumpkin, condensed milk, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and sugar in a medium sized bowl.

3.Once ingredients have been mixed well, pour the mixture into the frozen pie crust. (or into the empty pie crust if you are trying the recipe gluten free.)

4.Put the pie in the oven and let it bake for 15 minutes.

5.After the pie has baked for 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for 40 minutes.

6.Once the pie has browned slightly, allow it to cool on the counter or a cooling rack before serving. (& don’t forget the cool whip when you are ready to serve!)

Thanks for reading along. I hope that this pie finds it’s way to your table and can be enjoyed by all of your friends and family. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be hard or expensive… just keep that in mind. Happy baking! Make sure to follow the blog to get updates on future posts!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Teen & 20 something Girls

Christmas is less than two months away. With it coming up so quickly, I figured I would share some gift guides every couple of weeks to help you with ideas if you are stuck. I have four sisters between the ages of 14 and 21. Sometimes buying for them is so easy, but other times it can be hard because their interests and styles change so quickly. So today I will share five gifts that wont break the bank too much (most will be under $20) and will be a home run with any young woman in your life.

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/epdteycxj87 https://rstyle.me/cz-n/epdtsacxj87 https://rstyle.me/cz-n/epdueqcxj87

My first option is the new ‘rock’ pop socket. Pop sockets have been popular for a while now, but this new pop socket looks classy and stylish, while still accomplishing the same thing (preventing you from dropping your phone).

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/epdv39cxj87

The next item on my list is a belt from Pink Lily. It just recently restocked, too! We all know that Gucci Belts are in high demand in the fashion industry, but Gucci is not what I would call affordable, so this is a cute and stylish alternative that your girl will still love. It looks almost identical and is only $22!

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/epdxnicxj87 https://rstyle.me/cz-n/epdymucxj87 https://rstyle.me/cz-n/epdyq6cxj87 https://rstyle.me/cz-n/epdyxdcxj87 https://rstyle.me/cz-n/epdzcjcxj87

Kendra Scott jewelry is a little more on the expensive end, but it is always a hit with this age group. You can buy pretty much any type of jewelry for a good price and it is pretty hard to get something that they wont like. They have so many different styles that you are sure to find something for everyone.

If you are looking for something a little more affordable and you want to support local businesses I highly recommend that you visit @silassistersco or @c.cain_art on instagram for some beautiful handmade clay earrings that are under $10 and stylish.

Fab fit fun boxes are also a really great gift idea for this age group. You could get them the subscription that will give them 4 boxes throughout the entire year or you can also just buy one box per person. It is full of tons of goodies that you can handpick to make the box special for the girl you’re shopping for. You can find these on fabfitfun.com

I hope this post gave you some inspiration when Christmas shopping this year. Thanks for reading along. Have a great week & make sure to follow me so you don’t miss any of my new posts this holiday season.

How to Throw a ‘Killer’ Murder Mystery Party

As you know, murder mystery parties are a favorite of ours. We love to throw them, but they take a ton of work & involvement. A murder mystery is not a party you want to throw last minute.

You’re first step when throwing a murder mystery is to make a guest list. Figure out how many people you are wanting to invite, because each murder mystery package is made to accommodate different numbers of characters. You don’t need to buy a 50+ person package if you are only going to have 10 guests.

Once you know how many people you want to invite, visit any murder mystery website. (My go-to is mymurdermysteryparty.com) Here you can skim through several different packages and you can filter the packages based on difficulty, occasion, and guest number. There are even packages themed for certain holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, valentines day, and so many more)

Now that you have your guest list & your party package, figure out a date & either text or mail out an invite .( I always text, but I still make a cute invitation by using the evite app) As people respond, send them a photo with the description of their character. When you assign characters make sure that you only assign the required characters to your most reliable guests. If you have a guest that is always late or cancels last minute, give them an optional part. (This ensures that all of the important people for the night to carry on will be there and things won’t fall apart if someone doesn’t show up.) Don’t forget to assign yourself a part!

If you are having a large party and run out of characters, don’t worry! You can buy extension packages with extra guests on the website, or if you are a creative with a tight budget like me, you can create your own character and character descriptions. I did this for my first murder mystery party. I typed the character descriptions up to look like the original characters so people wouldn’t know that they were made up by me. (If no one knows that you made them up, they can still qualify as the murderer. If you tell them that their part was made up, they are basically disqualified from being the murderer, so keep it fun for everyone) Only a few people found out that I had written their part… and I wrote over 15 parts, so I would say it was a success. (I also only went off of the characters descriptions and first round when writing, so i wouldn’t ruin the party for myself.) Writing your own parts is a lot of work, so if you opt for it, keep that in mind.

Once everyone has RSVPed and knows their character, all you have to do until the party date is plan. Make sure you know what you want to eat, what you are going to wear, and how you want to decorate (if that’s your thing) We usually go all out for our murder mystery parties. We try to decorate our house to look like the setting in our murder mystery package, we dress for the part that we assign ourselves the best that we can, and we usually have a home cooked meal, wine tasting bar, and dessert. Make sure that you have everyone’s envelopes and name tags ready ahead of time. There is typically one envelope per guest for each round. The envelopes have each person clues for each round. (Don’t forget to label what character the envelope is for and what round it is for…this is super important!)

You made it through planning. That’s the hardest part! The day of the party can be stressful if you procrastinate like I do. But if you followed my advise,(Do as I say, not as I do. I am trying to let you learn from my mistakes) your day will go smoothly. You should only have to worry about getting dressed, having the envelopes and name tags set up, and setting up the food now.

During the party, make sure that you have an order you want to do things in, but don’t stress too much about it. Read the room, talk to your friends, and try to relax. When guests first arrive, direct them to the name tags and let them find their character. (Having a list of everyone’s name and character is a great hack because some people might not remember the name of their character.) Let everyone hangout and snack on some appatizers and finger foods while you wait for the rest of your guests. Once everyone has made it, allow everyone to introduce their character, explain how the party works, and pass out the round one envelopes.

Once round one is over, we usually have a break where everyone gets to eat dinner. At dinner, we pass out the round 2 envelopes and get started with round two once everyone is finished eating. During the rounds you and your guests will have certain conversations and clues that you will have to share with certain characters. For the most part, everyone will be mingling and joking around, just make sure that everyone has done everything on their card before wrapping up each round.

After round two, have one more little break between. We usually let everyone get refreshments and serve dessert before round 3 starts. Round 3 will start with someone finding the victim. During this round, everyone will take time to fill out a card with who they think is the killer and why based off of the information that they gathered throughout the night. Give everyone the chance to read their card before continuing round three. Once everyone read their card and get to say who they think the killer was, allow everyone to read their statements. (The card will tell each person who goes next) At the end, the killer will be revealed. Have fun with it and see how many people guessed right, you can even do a little prize for the people that guessed correctly.

Once the mystery has been solved, you are done. Feel free to get out of character and hangout with your friends for the rest of the night. A lot of time and money goes into these parties, but we have never had anyone say anything but positive things about it. We have also been to other friend’s murder mystery parties and had just as much fun. Just remember that even if you mess something up, most of your friends only came to spend time and celebrate with you, so don’t stress too much!

Christmas Gift Guide for Mom

Parents in general can be so difficult to shop for. For the most part, I still view it as my parents have more money than me, so they can just buy whatever they want. Why would anything I get them be better than what they already have? Thoughts like this usually lead me to not buy them the original gift that I had in mind so that I can buy them the perfect gift when I find it, which usually results in me not buying Christmas gifts until a week before Christmas. Yes, your parents can usually buy whatever they want, but the gift you get them will still mean a lot for a few reasons: it’s from their child, they may not have even known about the ‘perfect gift’ that you were planning on buying them, and most parents choose to spend their money of necessities, bills, and their children, so they enjoy getting gifts.

Before you stop reading and get sassy with me, I am not skipping Halloween or Thanksgiving. I am not just fast forwarding to Christmas. Fall is still my favorite season for way too many ways to name. I am simply trying to help out some fellow gift-givers find the perfect gift for their mom without having to settle or stress because of time restraints.

Birth Flower Jewlery Collection

Charm necklace: https://rstyle.me/cz-n/ekzr7mcxj87 Bracelet: https://rstyle.me/cz-n/ekzr9acxj87 Layered necklace: https://rstyle.me/cz-n/ekzr56cxj87

The first gift that I wanted to share is a jewelry line on mademymary.com. Made by Mary is such a beautiful jewelry shop. They do so many special things. My favorite collection is the birth flower collection. Each month has it’s own birth flower… similar to how every month has a birth stone. Made by Mary engraves the hand-drawn flowers onto their jewelry in such a beautiful way. (Can you tell, I kind of want one for myself?) You can choose if you want gold, rose gold, or silver and even how many flowers you get, depending on the piece you choose from. Any of these pieces would be perfect for your mom, grandma, or any new mom in your life. Just get it engraved with their children’s birth flowers on it.

Recipe Tea Towel

https://rstyle.me/~cz-b7mSS

I found this on Etsy and it is such a genuine gift for any sentimental mom. These towels use a photo of a handwritten recipe from a loved one and have it printed on the towel. You can choose what style you want to do and if you want to add any special touches. This gift is a really good idea for your mom if you have handwritten recipe cards from her mom or grandmother.

Family Photoshoot

This is one that I have been thinking about for years. Moms love photos of their kids. Especially once all of their kids have grown and it is so hard to get them all in one place at the same time. This is something that I know my mom, grandma, and mother-in-law would all enjoy. You can do this one of two ways: You could do a photoshoot of just the children before Christmas and gift your mom the digital copies or a photobook or you could print a card of some sort, letting your mom know that you booked a photoshoot for a specific time or day after Christmas so the whole family can be there.

Massage or Spa Day

We did this for my mother-in-law a few years back. I went to massage Envy in Baton Rouge and got a gift card with $50 on it, which is good for a one hour massage there. Use google to find a local spa or massage therapy place near you and talk to them about a gift card or a package that you could gift someone for the holidays. A good company will find some way to accommodate that request if they don’t already have something prepared. This gift is a good way to tell your mom that you love her and give her a much needed day away from you, your siblings, and your dad after the holidays.

Barefoot Dreams

Socks: https://rstyle.me/cz-n/emxnx7cxj87 Blanket: https://rstyle.me/cz-n/emxn7tcxj87 Robe: https://rstyle.me/cz-n/emxpcncxj87 Pajamas: https://rstyle.me/cz-n/emxpf4cxj87

A Barefoot Dreams robe, blanket, pair of socks, or pajama set would be such a great gift for any mom, especially if she is home a lot. Get one of these items or get a few and make a gift basket for her. These items are all extremely soft and comfortable. I know for a fact that the moms in my life would be all over the socks and the robes. This is a great, practical gift that your mom will use on a daily basis.

There are so many more gifts your could give your mom this year that she will love, but if you were stuck, I hope reading this gave you some ideas for some Christmas gifts. Happy Holidays!

Fun, Budget Friendly Halloween Costumes

October is here & that means Halloween is right around the corner ! Planning Halloween costumes is a huge deal for me I love finding cute costumes every year & when Cody will dress up along with me, it makes it all the better! Today I am going to share some of my favorite costumes that I’ve done with Cody through the years !

INSIDE OUT CHARACTERS

Joy and Anger. Sorry it is so blurry. It’s a pretty old picture.

These costumes were so easy and you can do them by yourself, as a couple, with friends, or as a family. For our clothes, we just went to goodwill and found clothing similar to what our characters wear & then we took a trip to the costume store to pickup body paint and a wig for me. They only had long blue wigs so I had to cut it myself, but that wasn’t too hard…it just made a little mess.

A HUNTER AND HIS DEER

If you live in louisiana and your man likes to hunt, this one will be so cheap and easy. He just needs to dress in camo and find a toy shot gun. For the deer costume you can find one of the animal costume kits that have the ears and tail or you can make them. (like I did) Then, just paint your face & you’ll be set!

STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

This one was so easy and my husband prepared everything by himself! He just needs a shirt with lightning on it . He cut and sewed his own, but you can probably buy one or make one with a cricut if you don’t know how to sew. For the female part of the costume , you will need to actually burn some clothes, so use old clothes or buy some from goodwill. You will also need an umbrella that you can burn too. The secret is to burn small holes in your clothing and all over the umbrella that leave singe marks around the hole. Use lots of shampoo to make your hair stand up and find black makeup to brush on random parts of your body to give the illusion that you are “fried”.

Pocahontas and John Smith

Okay this is really just an indian and a pilgrim, but I like to spice it up and give it a Disney flare. My indian costume was made with a pillow case and alot of creativity. The pillow case just had holes cut for the arms and head. Next, accent pieces were added to the neck and bottom to give the look a more “indian” feel. Finally, a head piece and a belt were made to tie the look together. I recommend wearing moccasins or going barefoot so you don’t throw off the rest of the costume… and don’t be afraid to get creative with face paint.

For the pilgrim, we used a black button-up shirt and black joggers. Both can be found at walmart or the dollar general for super cheap. You can find a pilgrim hat or a tall black hat at the costume store for cheap. Finally, use a white cloth for the neck piece and make a belt with a large belt buckle to tie this piece together. Wear dress shoes with long white socks to keep the pilgrim look.

Flapper and Mobster

These outfits were originally bought for my 22nd birthday murder mystery party, but they can easily be a cool halloween costume. I found my flapper girl costume on amazon. It came with the dress, boa, gloves, head piece, and a fake long cigerette. I found my shoes on amazon as well. I wanted authentic 1920’s style shoes, but I think that any heel would work. Just make sure that the shoes match your outfit. I found my fishnet stockings at the costume store. They were about $10 and I wear them with everyday outfits now too.

The mobster outfit was an even easier costume. Cody already has a ton of suits, so he picked out one that he thought was fitting and he already had suspenders. We found his hat at the costume store and he found his shoes in his closet as well. I even let him buy a fake tommy gun prop from the costume store to emphasize what he was supposed to be.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our favorite Halloween costumes through the years. And hopefully this inspired you for Halloween this year. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a great costume. You just have to open your mind and get creative. (or find a creative friend. )

Favorite Fall Activities

I am sitting outside, on my balcony right now and it is 73 degrees in Louisiana.The cool wind is blowing and I swear that I can smell pumpkin everywhere that I turn! So with this cooler weather, I am going to set aside the travel blogs and the summer ideas and pickup some seasonal topics. This week, I am going to give you a whole list of fun fall activities that you can do even with COVID regulations. There will be a mix of party, stay at home, and day time activities. Let’s go!

My first personal favorite activity is a murder mystery party. I love to throw a good party and this is one that we have started doing every fall. This is a perfect party to have with new guests that may not know each other because everyone plays a different part and has to speak to everyone at the party. This gives your guests the perfect opportunity to get out of their shell and get to know each other. You can also make the rounds last as long or as short as you would like and just hangout or sit at a fire when it’s over. You can find party packages by googling, but our favorite place to get them is mymurdermysteryparty.com

Go visit a haunted house or a haunted maze! I am sure that most places require you to wear a mask during this one, but it could still be so fun. Just bring a big group of friends and grab dinner before hand. These usually aren’t terrifying, but they are a great way to enjoy the halloween season.

Photo by Alyssa Fisher Photography

The next activity is more of a two in one. I love visiting the pumpkin patch and since it is outside it is a perfect place to go during COVID. You don’t have to worry about wearing a mask usually and you can stay as far away from people as you would like. The reason I said that this was more of a two in one is because of what happens after the pumpkin patch. Once everyone has their perfect pumpkin picked out, head to the store and get some tools to carve or paint pumpkins. I prefer to paint my pumpkins because it isn’t as messy and it keeps the pumpkin good for a longer period of time, but to each his own. If you enjoy carving pumpkins, carve to your heart’s desire. If you like to paint, just remember to give your pumpkin time to dry.

This is probably the most laid back and pro social distance idea on this list. Movie night. Get all your girlfriends together or just grab your guy and binge watch your favorite fall movies! I would defnitely have all of the Halloween Town movies and Hocus Pocus on my list!

A halloween costume party is a given at this time of year! Tell all your friends to put on their favorite costumes, get a bunch of fun fall games prepared, gather fire wood, and fill the table with all the yummiest fall snacks you can find. This is another party idea, but this idea is a classic and can be as chill or as put together as you choose. Just don’t forget to do a little costume contest at the end and enjoy yourself.

A bonfire is fall given in the south! Around here, having the first bonfire of the year is a privilege and once someone starts a bonfire, they usually occur every weekend until the weather begins to warm up. Fall is the perfect time for a bonfire because the weather is cold enough to enjoy a warm fire, but it is warm enough to enjoy being outside. I am not a cold weather person, so this is very important to me! hah!

Photo by Alyssa Fisher Photography

Another great fall activity is just going on a walk. For real! I love to watch the leaves change( though that is super rare in Louisiana) and soaking up  all the cool weather. Just find a nearby park and go take a stroll. Take time to look at the sky, the leaves, and the animals.

The final activity on my list is baking! I love to bake in the fall. All of the warm toasty tastes of the fall comfort food just gives me chills. You can get so creative with this and there are even pre made cookies and easy recipes for those who don’t have a talent for cooking.

Alright, so now that our creativity has been awakened and the world hasn’t completely ended from COVID, go out and enjoy fall. Try some of these activities, put your own spin on them, or come up with your own! Comment and let me know what your favorite fall activity is! Have a great day and Happy Fall Y’all!!

10 Best Camping/ Outdoor Products

Camping and traveling are a big part of our lives. Having the right gear can ensure that you enjoy your time…wherever you may be. Today’s post is about our top 10 recommended camping products/gear.

1.Ozark Trails 6 Person Tent

This tent has been a life saver. Before getting this tent, we had a pop-up tent that we absolutely loved…until we didn’t. It always had a problem with the zipper and then it finally gave out in November 2019. The zipper broke and we were caught in a tropical storm. When we got this Ozark Trails tent, we were so over-the-moon happy with it and still are. We can fully stand up in it, it has LED lights inside of it that are battery powered. It is also a pop-up tent, so it is super easy to set up and take down. We have not had a problem with it yet.

2. 2-Person Sleeping Bag

This is really good for couples and has been a life saver for us. We bought it for our 1st camping trip after we were married. It keeps us warm because it holds in body heat and it isn’t much bulkier than a normal sleeping bag. So, you don’t have to waste space with 2 sleeping bags or worry about forgetting one of them. For extremely cold weather, put a blanket inside the sleeping bag and cover your head. It will keep you so warm and toasty.

3. Mess Kit

This is a life saver for any camper! These pots are small, but they can get the job done! Before we got a camp stove, we used to use these on grills and fire pits that were provided at the camp site. We have cooked so many things from pancakes to spagetti. It is a must have if you plan on a longer trip and you aren’t going to be eating hotdogs and marshmallows everyday.

4. Ozark Trails Camp Stove

This has been the ultimate life saver when camping. No more scrambling food over a fire. No! This stove is fueled by the mini propane tanks and it is so easy to use. It cools down in under 30 minutes. You do have to use something to help start the flame. The best thing to use is an electric lighter. The wind won’t stop the flame from blowing out because there is no flame, there is a safety button on the lighter, and it stays charged for such a long time. Thanks to this stove, we have gone from cooking mediocre foods to cooking normal foods that we would cook at home. For example: on our most recent camping trip we had a spagetti dinner with a side of cooked down green beans.

5. Igloo BMX Cooler

This ice chest works so well. We bought it for our most recent trip because we were going to be gone for 3 weeks. We needed something large enough to hold all of our groceries (milk, cheese, meat, etc.), but we also wanted to make sure we weren’t going to be buying ice to refill it everyday. It kept ice for days. We filled it up and 3 days later the ice hadn’t event melted. It also has a drain on it so you can easily empty the water from the melted ice. This cooler was $100 and so worth it. Would buy it again and again if we had to.

6. Ozark Trails Cooler Bag

This cooler bag is one of our favorites for camping, beaching, or just plain traveling. It is small and light weight. It doesn’t hold water for too long. (1-2 days depending on how much stuff you keep in there. More stuff = less ice) When we camp, we use the big ice chest to keep our groceries and drinks and we use the small ice bag to carry what we need into the tent. It is so light weight and doesn’t take up a ton of room. Perfect for a night in a tent or even a picnic.

7. Puppy Water Bottle

I am not going to lie. We just bought this for our most recent trip, but it was a game changer! We got it so we could easily give Zoey water when hiking, but found out that it was also good for our long car rides. All you do is fill the bottom section with water. When your pup wants something to drink, just flip the safety switch and push the button to fill the bowl. So stinking easy and you can carry it anywhere!

8. Tent Kit

We found this tent kit for cheap on Amazon. It has all the little tools we need to help us in rocky areas. It comes with extra tent stakes, a mallet to drive them into the ground, a tool to pull them out of the ground, and a little broom to sweep up any dirt that you may track in. It is easily something we could do without, but we wouldn’t want to because it makes camping life so much easier.

9. Ozark Trails Fanny Pack

I begged Cody for this fanny pack for our anniversary. It is big enough that it can carry our lunches, phones, and Zoey’s water bottle inside. It also has 2 pouches for water bottles on the outside and it feels alot better than carrying a backpack during a hike. It puts no pressure on your back and you can easily grab whatever you need in the moment because it’s right in front of you.

10. First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is a must when camping. You never know when you are going to burn yourself, trip, cut yourself, etc. There are so many ways to hurt yourself outdoors. Having a first aid kit is just a little extra assurance that you won’t get any kind of infection.

Thanks for reading and I hope you found some of these products useful. I linked all of the products below. Let me know if you tried a product and what your thoughts were. Have a great week!

Here are the links to the products:

. 6-Person Tent

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/egqarecxj87

. Sleeping Bag

(This isn’t the exact one we have, but it’s similar and has good reviews.)

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/egqbg9cxj87

.Mess Kit

( These aren’t the exact ones we own either, but they are good price, with good reviews, and one kit even has a few extra pieces you may need.)

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/egqbstcxj87

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/egqbnucxj87

.Camp Stove

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/egqccqcxj87

.Igloo Ice Chest

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/ehgijecxj87

.Cooler Bag

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/egqcmhcxj87

.Puppy Water Bottle

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/ef4swicxj87

.Tent Kit

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/egqb73cxj87

.Fanny Pack

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/ea9ecicxj87

.First Aid Kit

https://rstyle.me/cz-n/egqb6acxj87

How to Plan a Last Minute Road Trip

It’s no secret that Cody and I love to travel. We aim to go somewhere new each month. But, did you know that most of our trips are not long, thought-out trips? In fact, we usually leave within 2 weeks or deciding we want to go somewhere. Once a destination is in our brain, we are ready to hit the road that day. In today’s post, I’m going to go over what goes into planning a trip last minute.

The first step to taking any trip is to figure out your destination. We usually think of a state first and then start googling places to go in that state. I thoroughly do my research for each place. I look up things to do and I look up pictures of the location on instagram to see if it’s actually up our alley.

Once I have our final destination in mind, I usually look at the route to get there. If it’s going to be a long road trip, we usually try to make 1-2 stops along the way. I try to look into the places just as thoroughly . I find cities that we are going to be passing through and google things to do there, places to stay, and pictures on instagram. If the city looks good, I add it to the trip.

Next , I decide if we are going to be staying in hotels, Airbnbs, or camping . The weather plays a big part in the decision. If it gets over 80 degrees, we usually vote not to camp. If the weather is nice, we also have to look into campgrounds. Never assume camping is just available. We have stayed in some pretty sketchy campgrounds because we didn’t do our research. Call and check the prices (do you really want to pay more than a hotel to sleep in a tent?) , look at photos and ratings. Make sure it isn’t sketchy and it lives up to your standards. Tents aren’t that hard to break into, so a safe campground is the best option.

Next, is my favorite part…and most people’s least favorite:making lists. I make a list for what food we are going to eat. ( I don’t research restaurants until we are there so that we can actually look at cool places and get recommendations from locals) Then, I start my packing list. I try to list what we need besides clothes. (Including cooking gear, towels, bath bag supplies, and snacks) Before I list out my clothes I make a list of outfits for each day. This helps to keep me from over packing and forgetting stuff. I also usually add 1 or 2 more shirts incase an accident happens . (If you know me, you know this is necessary.)

The last thing to do is week-of prep: Cleaning the house, double checking the list, cleaning the car, making sure the car is in good condition (tires, oil,battery, etc.), and loading the car.

That’s it. That’s the trick. You are going to run into pot holes during you trip. It isn’t going to go perfect. Be prepared for the worst and find little ways to enjoy yourself.