Camper got a little make-over

The little pop-up camper looked like it could use some customizing, so it got some valances and pillowcases. There’s a quilt top ready and waiting to be quilted before the next season, too!





The last camping trip of the year

I wish every camping trip could be as perfect as the last one we took. We went to Tippecanoe River State Park in Indiana–about a 2.25 hour drive from home, so not unreasonable, and it was a wonderful state park. We rented canoes! And it was great! And the weather was wonderful and so was the company of friends and finding caterpillars was cool as was climbing to the top of the fire tower and watching horses ride by on the trails and oh man it was just perfect. We apple picked on the way home and are still working our way through our 15 lbs of delicious honeycrisps. Just perfect.



Great big camping trip

We camped this past weekend with FOURTEEN families. And the stars aligned and the weather was wonderful and it was just so perfect I can hardly stand it. The days were spent eating, and playing, and eating, and playing, and the nights were spent around various camp fires with family and friends, and it was all just amazing.


And it sure doesn’t hurt that Warren Dunes State Park in Michigan is GORGEOUS. Apparently Michigan’s Lake Michigan really is way better than Illinois’ Lake Michigan because…wow.



Our camper served us so well again and I have thankful that we had a bit of an irresponsible spending streak and just went for it. Our Forester and our popup are going to serve us well for hopefully a very long time, and they have proven to be so well suited for our family.


My parents were able to join us on this great big trip with pretty much all of our friends, and they rented the rustic cabin next to our campsite to accommodate them since their own popup has long since been out of commission. The internet has NO pictures of the inside of this cabin which was a bit of a gamble when booking, but we were all pleasantly surprise and they slept quite comfortably inside for those two nights. It doesn’t hurt that the weather was perfect!

Warren Dunes State Park Rented Rustic Cabin

And here are some more photos just because…






First camping trip of the season

We went camping! It was our first time in the new camper and it was absolutely perfect. I am so happy to have a trailer that will suite us for a looong time. We have absolutely no reason to trade up for something new (unless we get way rich or something, but I don’t see that happening any time soon).


Our camp site was wonderful. It was right on the lake. To the left of the picture below you can see the little path that led to Ottawa Lake, and we were on the east side of it so we watched beautiful sunsets.




The weather was a little cold at night, but we got the most perfect day yesterday. Sunny and warm enough to not wear coats, and even dip our toes in the lake for a few minutes. We chose to come home a day early because there were predicted thunderstorms for Monday, and about 10 minutes into the 2 hour ride home it started raining. We couldn’t have planned that any better!

Camping food ideas

For the sake of compiling my favorite (or favorite-looking) camping recipes all in one place, here they are…

From Food Network’s ’50 Things to Grill in Foil’:

Quesadillas – Sprinkle shredded pepper jack cheese on one half of a flour tortilla; top with chopped rotisserie chicken and cilantro and fold in half to close. Repeat to make more; seal in individual foil packets. Grill over medium heat, turning once, 5 minutes.

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Lemon-Herb Chicken – Toss 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, 1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs and 3 tablespoons each olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Divide among 4 foil packets. Grill over medium-high heat, 12 minutes

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Mexican Corn – Brush 4 ears corn with melted butter and sprinkle with cotija cheese, cayenne and lime juice; seal in individual foil packets. Grill over medium-high heat, turning a few times, 15 minutes.

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Toad in a Hole – Place 1 halved bacon slice on a sheet of nonstick foil. Cut a hole in the center of 1 thawed slice frozen Texas toast and place over the bacon. Crack an egg into the hole and fold the foil to seal. Repeat to make more; seal in individual foil packets. Grill over medium heat, covered, 8 minutes.

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Zucchini and Tomatoes – Toss 2 sliced zucchini, 2 diced tomatoes, 4 smashed garlic cloves, olive oil, basil, and salt and pepper on a sheet of foil. Form a packet. Grill over high heat, 10 minutes. Top with grated parmesan.

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Paula Dean’s ‘Hobo Hamburgers’:

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 cup cracker crumbs
1   egg, beaten
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 teaspoon Paula Deen’s House Seasoning
4   medium red potatoes, sliced thin
1   large onion, sliced thin
4   carrots, peeled and cut into strips
4   slices bacon


In a large bowl combine ground beef, cracker crumbs, egg, lemon juice, cheese, green pepper and House Seasoning. Mix well. Shape into 4 patties. Place each patty onto 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil (enough to cover and close). On each patty, place potato slices, onion slice, and carrots. Slice bacon in half and place both slices on top. Seal aluminum foil tightly and cook on campfire or in a 350 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes.

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Taste of Home’s ‘Three Cheese Potatoes:

3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced chives
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Transfer to a double thickness of greased heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Dot with butter. Fold foil around potato mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 15-18 minutes on each side or until potatoes are tender. Carefully open foil. Sprinkle the bacon cheeses over potato mixture. Grill 3-5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Yield: 4-6 servings.

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Taste of Home’s ‘Summer Sausage Hobo Packets’:

1 pound summer sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 large sweet onion, halved and sliced
1 medium green pepper, cut into strips
1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into strips
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small yellow summer squash, sliced
1 pound chicken tenderloins, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 cup butter, cut into eight cubes
1/4 cup prepared Italian salad dressing


In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Gently stir in the chicken and tomatoes. Divide mixture among eight double thicknesses of heavy-duty foil (about 12 in. square). Top each with a butter cube. Fold foil around mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Carefully open foil to allow steam to escape; drizzle with dressing. Yield: 8 servings.

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Betty Crocker’s ‘Grilled Tex Mex Nacho Packets’:

8 cups bite-sized corn tortilla chips
1 1/2 cups refrigerated taco sauce with seasoned ground beef (from 18-oz container)
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 cup chopped Italian plum tomatoes
3/4 cup diced peeled pitted avocado
1 can (11 oz) kernel corn, red and green peppers, drained
1 cup shredded hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)


Heat gas or charcoal grill. Cut four 18×12-inch sheets of heavy-duty foil; spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Spread tortilla chips in center of each foil sheet. Spoon ground beef in taco sauce evenly over chips. Sprinkle all remaining ingredients evenly over beef mixture. Wrap each packet securely using double-fold seals, allowing room for heat expansion. When ready to grill, place packets on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill 4 to 6 inches from medium coals. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and toppings are thoroughly heated.

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Taste of Home’s ‘Campfire Chicken Stew’:

1 broiler/fryer chicken (3-1/2 to 4 pounds), cut up
3 to 4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 medium green pepper, sliced
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side. Place two pieces of chicken on each of four double thicknesses of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. x 12 in.). Divide the potatoes, carrots and green pepper among the packets. Top each with soup, water, salt and pepper. Fold foil around mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes on each side or until chicken juices run clear. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Yield: 4 servings.

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Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Packets:

1 package Stuffing mix; chicken flavor
1 1/4 cups Water
4 Boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 cups Broccoli Florets
1 cups Shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices Cooked bacon; crumbled
4 tbsp Ranch dressing divided

Spray 4 large sheets of heavy-duty foil with oil. Combine stuffing mix and water. Spoon 1/4 of the stuffing mixture onto the center of each foil sheet. Top stuffing with a 6oz. chicken breast half. Top chicken with 1 c. broccoli. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese and 1 slice of bacon, crumbled. Drizzle with 1 T. ranch dressing Bring up foil sides and fold to seal, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Place packets on a cookie sheet and bake 35-40 mins (depends on the size of your chicken breasts). Remove packets and let stand 5 mins.

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16 Eggs
1 lb. Sausage
1 Yellow Onion
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
6 Med. Potatoes, chopped
2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
4 Green Onions, chopped
3 T. Parsley, chopped
8 or 9 Tortilla Shells
Salt & Pepper to taste
Tin Foil for wrapping
Optional: Salsa and/or hot sauce


Chop potatoes and boil until soft. Chop green onions and set aside. Crack 16 eggs and cook over low heat until you have soft, scrambled eggs. Salt and pepper to taste. Saute yellow onions and garlic in 2 T. olive oil until fragrant. Add sausage to onion mixture and cook all the way through. In large bowl combine Sausage mixture, scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese, green onions, parsley, and Salt & Pepper. Divide ingredients into 8 or 9 tortilla shells. Roll and wrap in tin foil — ready to throw on the fire!

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The Art of Manliness’s ‘Foil Dinner Recipes’:

Sausage and Eggs

1 frozen hash brown patty
2 eggs, scrambled, uncooked
2 frozen sausage patties
spices and seasonings
Cheese (optional)
Crimp the sides of your sheet of foil so that the eggs won’t go anywhere when you add them. First place your hash brown patty on the foil. Then place the eggs on top of the hash brown patty. Then place the sausage patties on top. Season with spices and condiments and wrap up in a tent pack.

Place on hot coals and cook for 15 minutes. Add the cheese when it’s ready (it turns out better than cooking it in the pack).

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Chicken Casserole

1 chicken breast
1 cup of broccoli
1/2 cup of prepared rice
1 can of cream of chicken soup
ranch dressing
cheddar cheese
Pound the chicken thinly as chicken can take awhile to cook.

Mix together the broccoli, soup, and cheese. Add spices and condiments. Place the chicken breast on the center of the foil. Top with the soup mix and then rice. Seal in a tent pack.

Cook on hot coals for about 25 minutes (The thicker your chicken breast, the longer it will take).

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The Classic Hamburger and Vegg-All

½ lb ground hamburger meat
½ can of Veg-all or other mixed vegetables
½ can can of cream of mushroom soup
spices and seasonings

Mix together the above ingredients with spices and condiments to your heart’s content. Place the mixture on the center of a sheet of foil, wrap in a tent pack, and place on hot coals for 25 minutes.

Oh my goodness I CAN’T WAIT TO GO CAMPING.

Tiny Travelin'

I feel like we’ve mastered “livin’ little” in our rather spacious 1,000 square feet. It doesn’t even feel like a small space; it’s probably rather mid-sized depending on what we’re comparing to. But in the vein of “livin’ little” we have now embarked on a camping adventure, which I do believe is best told in photos…



Introducing our teardrop trailer! It’s actually rather posh and not so minimalist with its dressing tent and canopy tent and electricity and spring mattress and microwave (ha!), but it is tiny 🙂 This weekend was our first taking it camping and setup was a breeze. I’m now scouring my calendar trying to squeeze in as many camping trips as possible between now and the end of October.

Oh, the places we’ll (hopefully) go!