Summer 2015, Road Trip – Here we come!

150 hours in the car, just me and my 4 years old, and it’s all my fault. I can’t wait!

As I was gearing up for this summer’s adventure I was talking to my mother and she asked me, “Are you excited about this?” My first thought was – why wouldn’t someone be super excited about the summer vacation they planned? Then I thought – who in their right mind would be excited about spending 150 hours in a car with a 4 year old? I quickly realized these were the conflicting thoughts going through her head when she asked about our trip. Despite those contradictions I am absolutely excited. Part of my excitement is the sheer challenge this trip proposes. Does that make me crazy? I don’t think so, but it might be up for debate.
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Coleman North Rim 0 Degree Sleeping Bag

After finding a tent I moved onto researching sleeping bags that would be good as we started camping as a family. I didn’t want to spend money on a sleeping bag that we would feel we needed to upgrade right away. And again I wasn’t looking to spend too much in case these were immediately put to the back of the closet, for when we had overflowing guest, if the first camping trip was a disaster. What I landed on was the Coleman North Rim 0-Degree Mummy Bag. These are great all around sleeping bags. I’m not sure I would use them in the snow, but they are a solid 3-season sleeping bag.
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Travel Snacks

I usually save doing snacks like this just for flying, but since I’ve had to bring my little one to a couple grown up functions recently, I’ve been using this to both entertain and feed her, so I thought I would share it.

When it comes to travel I don’t have my little one help with everything even though I am normally all about including her and having her do as much as possible on her own. When it comes to travel I much prefer taking advantage of the element of surprise! Then the action of just finding out and unpacking what has been packed becomes part of the experience and creates it’s own entertainment (and of course takes more time).
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Expanded Camping Items

Not knowing if this whole camping thing was going to stick we made as few purchases as possible to get me started. Once we knew there would be more camping in our future, we expanded a bit. We still tried to take baby steps in expanding our camping gear. The goal of camping was to save money but with all the gear options out there it could be very easy to spend far more than you ever expected, if you aren’t careful. Below you’ll find what we added to our gear before our next trip; and we have loved every piece!
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Product Review – Coleman Elite WeatherMaster 6 Tent

When I started looking into what we would need to start camping as a family, one thing we desperately needed became obvious – A tent! What I found was a whole lot more than just a tent; I found more categories and types of tents then I had any idea about. The type of tent that I decided was for us (at least starting out) was called a cabin tent. I then narrowed down all the options looking for the right balance of features, quality, and price. In the end I came down to the Coleman Elite WeatherMaster 6 Tent and my thoughts about camping would never be the same!
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Who knew camping could look like this?

Unfortunately we only got one camping trip in as a family last summer before my better half took off for work for several months. Which left me unsure if this is something I would feel comfortable to do without him… something to ponder.

Before I made a call on that I went back to the drawing board to sort out a couple things that didn’t work for me on our first camping trip (since I knew there would be camping trips to follow).
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I don’t camp!

Let’s get a couple things perfectly clear: I don’t camp. I don’t require room service, but I don’t camp. End of discussion.

That’s pretty much been my stance for my adult life, (and no I never camped as a child). Fast forward to coming back from living overseas for 2 years and traveling 50 percent of the time. We now live in southern California, are single income and have a child. So needless to say the weekends in Vegas on two salaries which we enjoyed the last time we lived here were a distant memory. But when my husband found out last April that he might have some time off at the same time our little one was on school break, I thought prefect! Where will we go, because that’s what we had been doing for two years so why would this be any different? Well as it turns out it is different. To start with the cost of living in southern California can’t really compare to the cost of living in a developing nation where a “fast food” meal for a family of 3 would run you $2 and a “sit down” restaurant would run you $20 total.
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Stainless Steel- In a Can!

Apparently my Refrigerator is ‘Almond Color’, I translate this as Dingy White. Mostly because I’m pretty sure my parent’s have Almond in their Kitchen, but their refrigerator looks clean. Where as mine looks dirty all the time. I knew I didn’t want to buy a new fridge-  it was not an expense I had budgeted for. And, also I plan on eventually redoing the kitchen (like 5 years down the road) and I would get all new appliances at that point.

Anyways, I went to Home Depot (because once you buy a house it becomes your second residence) and looked at the appliance paint. White, White, or White. So naturally I asked where was the Stainless Steel paint. They guy give me a look like I just asked to see a Unicorn.

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