Glamping Gear: Upgraded Camping Supplies For Your Next Adventure

Adventure and Travel
glamping gear

So you’ve already decided that glamping is your style. But now you need the glamping gear and you don’t know where to start. It should be no surprise that Marie is here with thoughts, opinions and suggestions.

I’ve long loved the idea of camping more than I’ve actually loved the camping. The great outdoors really is great. And a steaming cup of coffee on a chilly morning as you gaze at the canopy of trees – that is perfection. But a questionable night’s sleep on uneven ground? That’s something I could do without. And skipping a shower just makes me worry I’m easier for the bears to smell, which makes sleeping even more difficult.

Earlier this year, I marked a big item off my bucket list and took my mother on a girls-only glamping trip! Let me tell you, I couldn’t believe how much more I loved nature with just one or two creature comforts.

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Lemon Herb Sous Vide Chicken

Food for Grownups
chicken recipe

A couple of months ago I had some very exciting news.  The Oliso company offered to send me a Smart Hub Combo to see how I liked it!!

Hmm…the crickets I’m hearing after my announcement tell me that some of you may not know what a Smart Hub is.

Allow me to enlighten you.

The Oliso Smart Hub Combo (brought to you by the same people who make those marvelous irons) is a countertop cooking system that combines a single induction burner  topped with an enclosed, cordless sous vide water bath cooker.  It also includes an Oliso Vacuum Sealer with heavy duty, reusable bags. continue reading

Book Club Appetizers: Fast & Fun

Books, Hospitality and Entertaining
book club appetizer

I know a number of people who go to book club meetings just for the food and wine. They never, or almost never, actually read the book. They just like the idea of having a party with smart, bookish buddies every month.

I’m certainly not recommending or promoting this attitude. In fact, if you are that girl I want you to picture me right now, pointing my finger and tsk-ing my tongue at you. Life sometimes gets in the way of our reading schedule but this should not be a regular thing! If you aren’t carving out time to read the book, you’re not holding up your end during the discussion and that’s not fair to the group. You’re also missing out on the fun, which is even worse.

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What to Read Right Now: Beach Reads for 2019

Books
beach reads

There have been years when I measured summer entirely in books. A summer well spent is a summer well read. But this summer is different. I’ve spent tons of quality time between pages and also made time for other important things, like making slime with my grandkids during a weeklong visit in June and taking my mother on a proper glamping trip.

Between the books and the activities, this year I feel like I’ve gone above and beyond taking advantage of summer. I’ve been more intentional about the way I spend my time (thank you, Living Well Spending Less planner). And summer isn’t even over yet! continue reading

Paying For College: Advice From A Certified Financial Planner

Grow in Wisdom
saving money for college how to 529

After a bit of a hiatus, I’m delighted to welcome back my friend Peggy Doviak, fierce and fabulous financial guru and author of  52 Weeks to Prosperity, and turn today’s blog over to her. Peggy’s wise and timely advice on financing education is loaded with tips on how to pay for school without loading up on debt

 

Can you believe how quickly the summer ending? It seems like just last week, my family and I were watching 4th of July fireworks, and making homemade ice cream! Now, back to school activities are top priority in everyone’s mind.

In my hometown of Norman, OK, heading back to school reminds us that University of Oklahoma football is just around the corner. In Oklahoma, football is the most wonderful time of the year–Boomer Sooner!

However, if you aren’t a star quarterback on scholarship, college can be insanely expensive. Trying to figure out how to fund a college education can make you feel like you’ve been tackled. Here are a few defensive moves.

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The Best Strawberry Muffin Recipe Ever

Food for Grownups

When the temperatures rise over a certain degree, I switch from my regular hot mug of coffee to cold brew I make at home. I just heap ground local coffee into my French press, fill with cold water, and let it sit overnight. It is a summer treat that I look forward to every morning when Showgirl wakes me up. I rise giddy and excited knowing that I don’t have to wait the two minutes for my hot coffee to brew. It’s like I’ve gotten ahead of the game.  continue reading

How To Plant A Succulent Garden

Creativity and Crafts
plant succulent garden

Succulents are everywhere these days! Oh, wait…You missed the trend? Not sure what I’m talking about?  Well, according to Wikipedia succulents are, plant that have some parts that are more than normally thickened and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions.”

I think this helps to explain their popularity; they’re pretty hard to kill. I’m not saying it can’t be done but if you’ve got a brown thumb, succulents are perfect for you.  But gardeners with thumbs of all colors love succulents because they’re as pretty to look at as they are easy to care for.

You can find whole wreaths made out of succulents, outdoor topiaries shaped like turtles and a myriad of indoor stylings — some with a single plant and others in more of a succulent garden.

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Best Tamale Pie Recipe for Your Next Campout

Adventure and Travel, Food for Grownups

For me, half the fun of camping is the cooking.

Now, I’m not talking about heating up something on the stovetop or in the microwave of a motorhome or trailer.  I mean real campfire cooking, out of doors and over an open flame, like the pioneers did it.

Okay, well. Maybe not quite like the pioneers.  You’re not going to find any salt pork, hardtack, or squirrel on my campfire menu. As I explained in my earlier post I don’t camp, I glamp.  And when I glamp, food is the star of the show.

My carefully planned and executed menus feature delicious dishes made from fresh, flavorful ingredients, served on real dishes with real silverware, a tablecloth, flowers, and candles. Think of it as rustic chic – emphasis on chic.

But the rustic part applies too. When I’m glamping, I can’t cook quite the same way I would at home. I need to make some concessions for the limitations of storage space, equipment, and refrigeration (or lack of it).  That’s why, when it comes to campfire cooking, one-pot meals are definitely the way to go!

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Tomato Couscous Summer Salad

Food for Grownups
summer salad

The old adage of “when it rains, it pours,” holds true when it comes to the delightfully small cherry tomato. As if by their very nature, you never just have a couple. They come in droves – either a big container from your supermarket or a bucket-full from a green thumb friend or farmer.

Wherever you get yours, this is the time of year when those tomato plants just go crazy but in a very good way! While I would be perfectly happy just snacking on them throughout the afternoon, enjoying that juicy taste of summer on my tongue, why not give these tomatoes the glory they deserve?

But what to do with them? There are just so many options…

I could make a Summer Gazpacho to enjoy now and No-Peel Tomato Sauce to freeze for later! Genius, right? I thought so. These balsamic roasted cherry tomato crostini from EasyHealth Living also caught my eye, as did this Cherry Tomato Corn Salsa from Your Homebased Mom. 

But I’m still left yearning for more. I want something so spectacularly tomato-ey that takes advantage of all the ways I love tomatoes. I love them fresh and sweet with a sprinkle of salt. They’re also equally satisfying oven-roasted to supercharge their flavors.

Enough gushing about my unabashed love for tomatoes. Let’s move on to another (related) topic.

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Amazon Prime Day 2019: Deals for Quilters, Crafters, and Cooks!

Celebrate Life

There’s not going to be a lot of glamour to this, but there are a lot of savings!

Today (and into tomorrow) which is July 15th is Amazon Prime Day. If you’re new to that, it means a whole lot of really great deal on Amazon for Prime members. I’ll be covering the deals during the whole thing and updating this as best I can when new items are added and items sell out. Below, you’ll see things loosely broken out into a few categories. Please know that I’m listing prices but I cannot guarantee it will be the same price by the time you click the link. Shop for yourself or shop for everyone else (I have gotten some early Christmas shopping done in years prior!)

First thing to know: you have to be an Amazon Prime member to get these deals. Not a Prime Member? You can sign up for a FREE trial right here and join Amazon Prime!

Ok, so now you’re a Prime member, let’s get to checking out the deals. Happy shopping Monday!

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