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January 18, 2018
The Winter Blues

fun in winterWe’re here (with our winter coat, hat, and gloves on!) for our final installment of our Ways to Beat the Winter Blues blog series. We hope you enjoyed Parts 1 and 2 and they’re keeping you just a little bit warmer, inside and out!

There is still plenty of cold weather left this season so we’re here with our final tips to keep your mind, body, and soul warm as can be for the rest of the winter!

  • EMBRACE THE SEASON! They say if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em - and we agree...we’re throwing in the towel! Go skiing, take the kids sledding, build a snowman, “enjoy” your time in the crisp cool air. The kids will love it, memories will be made, and you may just forget how much the snow days and blizzards cramp your style.
  • JOURNAL! Sometimes it’s easier to write down your feelings rather than saying them out loud. It’s therapeutic to sit for a few moments to jot down what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling. We’re always so busy, going 100 mph, it’s nice to sit and connect with yourself. You may actually learn something or, at the very least, find yourself in a better mood!
  • PLAN FOR SPRING! Warm weather, flowers in bloom, a cheerfulness in the air. We have two words...CAMPING SEASON! Don’t wait; plan that camping vacation now. You and your family deserve it - especially after the winter we’ve had! Campers wait all winter long for opening day. We have a great idea….celebrate the spring with us at our resort!

We hope you find it easier to beat the winter blues with our 3-part blog series! We’re really looking forward to camping season and we are so excited to see our resort full of happy, joyful families and friends - memories await you!


January 12, 2018
How To Beat The Winter Blues

How To Beat The Winter BluesWe hope you enjoyed Part 1 of our Ways to Beat the Winter Blues blog series. At this point in the season, we’re still willing to try just about anything to stay warm, cozy, and sane! We’re trying to appreciate this chilly season while dreaming of the colorful, warmer days of spring.

Since it’s still so cold outside, we want to share more tips and tricks to help you keep your ‘cool’ during winter. We’re here with Ways to Beat the Winter Blues: Part 2.

  • STAY ACTIVE! Movement creates warmth in the body; it’s true! When you’re cooped up inside, it’s easy to feel unmotivated. You will feel better physically and mentally when you stay active. If you can’t get outside or to the gym, get in a workout indoors! Walk the mall or follow a free YouTube workout video. Put on some music and dance with the kids (like nobody's watching)!
  • LOOK AT OLD PICTURES & VIDEOS! Nostalgia warms the heart. Sitting around the kitchen table with family and friends reminiscing about the past feeds your soul. Try it!
  • EAT RIGHT! It’s easy to get into a slump. Comfort foods taste pretty darn good - hence the term ‘comfort’ foods. And, like we always say, once in a while, it’s OK. Moderation is definitely key. Make a grocery list with lots of fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and protein and only shop off of your list! Also, don’t go shopping hungry. When you make a meal, prepare enough to last a few days so you have leftovers easily accessible. You feel better from top to bottom when you’re eating good-for-you foods!
  • ENJOY HOT FOODS & DRINKS! A great way to warm the body? From the inside out! Hot cocoa, tea, crockpot meals...they’re all delicious ways to warm up. Stick with clean, healthy options that will keep you feeling light and fresh!

We hope you enjoyed Parts 1 & 2 of our Ways to Beat the Winter Blues blog series. Stay tuned; we’ll see you next time with our third and final installment!


January 4, 2018
Cold Winter Weather Blues

Cold Winter Weather BluesLet us start off by saying: Happy New Year to all of our awesome camping families! We are very excited for 2018 and we hope you are too!

We’re getting really sick (no pun intended!) of this cold winter weather, but spring is still over two months away! That means a lot more snow, ice, and frigid temps. Winter can be, well, sad and dampen the mood. The gloomy, cold weather can affect your mind, your body, and your spirit! So, we’re going to try to help you fight the funk!

We’re here with Part 1 of our new blog series, Ways to Beat the Winter Blues.

  • MEDITATE! Even if only for a few minutes when you first wake up in the morning, you will benefit from a moment of silence and reminder to be more mindful, grateful, and present. There are apps that you can download or books you can purchase if you need some guidance in this department. Even if you just sit with your legs crossed, your eyes closed, and try to clear your mind, you’re meditating!
  • STAY CONNECTED! Text, call, or use social media to stay in touch with family and friends around the country. It’s easy to want to pull away (especially from those living in warmer climates!), but it will definitely brighten your mood to catch up with people, near and far.
  • PLAN INDOOR ACTIVITIES! Cards, board games, tackling a DIY home project that you’ve been avoiding, starting a new book….these are all great ways to plan your time indoors!
  • STICK WITH A ROUTINE! It’s easy to be lazy and want to stay in your pajamas all day. And, once in a while, that’s totally OK! But you’re more likely to feel better when you keep with your normal routine. Give yourself a purpose to get up, get dressed, and leave the house. You’ll be happy you did!

We hope you enjoyed Part 1 of our Ways to Beat the Winter Blues blog series. Stay tuned; we’ll see you next time with Part 2!


December 27, 2017
2018 Resolutions

2018 New Years ResolutionsThe holiday season ends with a giant leap into the new year! While we can’t believe 2017 is already over, we’re excited for the new adventures that 2018 will bring. It may sound cliche, but January 1st is the perfect time to make and implement new resolutions to feel, act, and be a better version of you!

  1. Put Down Your Electronics!

Social media, emails, texts….they’re important, we understand that. But just as you do for your kids, you should limit your own screen time. We’ve become accustomed to having our smartphones available 24/7 but when you’re at the dinner table, family game night, or in the car, you DON’T need your phone out. Otherwise, you’ll miss a lot of important moments in 2018!

  1. Make Better Choices!

Water instead of sugary sodas, grilled, lean meats instead of fried foods, we know which are the better choices; it’s following that is the true challenge! Recruit family members and friends for accountability so you can help each other in the process.

  1. Move More!

A healthy body, a healthy heart, a healthy mind! There really are only positive benefits that come from starting an exercise program. Start small, like walking around the block, and build up to more substantial workouts; maybe set a goal to run a 5K by the time fall hits!

  1. Learn To Say No!

When we overextend or overwork ourselves, we get overwhelmed. That causes stress, stress, stress! We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to say yes to everyone about everything. Set the tone for a less stressful year and learn to say no when it’s appropriate!

  1. Camp More!

We think this one’s pretty obvious! Make more memories, have more family time, laugh more, bond more, relax more...CAMP MORE! We want to say THANK YOU to our entire camping family for a fun, adventurous, memorable 2017. We look forward to another great year at our resort - we hope to see you there!


December 22, 2017
Party Time For The Holidays

party time for the holidays2017 is almost coming to a close and the next few weeks are busy with Christmas and New Year’s Eve. That means a lot of fun, a lot of celebrating, and a LOT of food and drinks! It’s party time! Whether you’re planning to be the hostess with the mostess or you’re in charge of bringing something to a soiree, you need to find dishes that are festive, delicious, and easy-to-make - we are running seriously low on time these days! We’re here to share HUNDREDS of recipes that will be sure to leave a smile on every face in the room! Apps:

  • Taste of Home has some seriously festive recipes with bacon and cheese and salmon and more! There are 40 awesome options to choose from - you’ll find something for everyone on this list.
  • Even if you wait until the last minute, any one of these 60 recipes will do! Little on prep, big on flavor, and very sophisticated! Perfect for your NYE party!
  • Spice up your options with these 50 New Year’s Eve party-approved appetizers. These may just be the highlight of the bash.

Entrees:

  • With about 90 festive recipes, you’re sure to find a few entrees that will be perfect for your Christmas dinner! Don’t feel obligated to do a big main course, though. These holiday parties are usually all about the apps and drinks!

Kid-friendly:

  • Appropriate for the kids but delicious for all ages. These simple recipes will please everyone around!

Drinks:

  • Deliver festive cheer in the form of delicious drinks! Try these specialty holiday cocktails this season.
  • These drinks may put you on the naughty list; you’ll just love ‘em! Or, if you’d like, you can make them without alcohol. Either way, they’ll taste great!

No matter what you decide to put on your holiday menu, togetherness is the most important part of your party! Everyone will enjoy WHATEVER you put out. We promise you that!


December 14, 2017
Holiday Traditions

holiday traditionsFamily, friends, holiday traditions...memories that will last a lifetime! Special family traditions are a great way to celebrate the holidays, spend time together, and link across generations. Every family has different traditions, unique in their own way. We’re here to discuss some holiday traditions that your family may or may not celebrate. Maybe you’ll pick up some new ideas to start this holiday season!

Family Pictures There is no better way to capture the holidays! Taking family photos are a wonderful way to get the family together and document those special moments. And you can print out the pictures and put them up in your home to enjoy all year long! It’s wonderful to look back and see how each person has changed over the years.

Gingerbread House Contest You can buy fairly inexpensive gingerbread house kits. Pair up your family members and friends and build away! The family gets to spend good, quality time together - laughs and a bit of a mess are almost guaranteed, but it’s all part of the fun!

Cookie Exchange Everyone makes a few dozen cookies and then you get together to share them with your friends! Each person gets a taste of each cookie. It’s a delicious way to spend time with friends. And, don’t fret - you can find super easy-to-follow and easy-to-make recipes online!

Elf on a Shelf This one is a BIG one! Kids just love the idea behind Elf on a Shelf, and parents do, too. Santa’s elf spends the month in your home, watching the children to make sure they behave and that Santa can put them on the ‘Nice List’ so they get lots of awesome presents. After, all the Elf reports right back to Santa!

Holiday Movies Marathon Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone (1 and 2!) are just a few of the movies to put on your must-see list! Plop down on the couch with pillows, blankets, and popcorn and let your errands and chores wait. It’s all about relaxation and togetherness with this tradition! Tell us: What are your family traditions during the holiday season? Happy Holidays!


December 13, 2017
Holiday Desserts

holiday dessertsHello December. We’re so happy to see you as we are SO ready to welcome the holiday season! The holidays are about a lot of things….family, friends, traditions, memories, presents, and delicious food, just to name a few! We will touch on a handful of these topics in later blog posts this month but today we’re talking desserts. We’re sharing some scrumptious sweets that will be perfect for your family and friends. We’ll even throw in a few options that you can prepare for Santa and his reindeer!

  • Decadent is the theme for these holiday desserts! Real Simple shares 25 very different options that you can choose from. Cupcakes and cakes are a perfect dessert option for an intimate dinner or a big party of guests! Check out the easy to follow recipes here.
  • What’s better than 25 recipes? Double that! Woman’s Day is ready to make your holiday even merrier with over 55 easy holiday recipes that are fun, very festive, and delicious! Check them out here and pick your favorites to test out this holiday season.
  • Other than buying it, what’s the easiest way to make dessert? Follow no-bake recipes! Less time, less effort, but same big flavors. Check out 12 easy, no-bake recipes here - hey, that’s one recipe for each of the 12 days of Christmas!
  • Rumor has it that Santa loves cookies! We want to make the most delicious cookies for him this season so he’s sure to leave the best presents under our Christmas Tree. Follow our lead and check out these recipes from delish...they’re guaranteed to make Old Saint Nick extra jolly. Remember to leave Santa a glass of milk, too!
  • And last, but certainly not least, a little something for Santa’s reindeer! Rudolph and his friends are flying all over the world in one short night; they must be tired and hungry. We’re happy to report that carrots are like candy to reindeer! So, remember to put out a few carrots next to Santa’s cookies on Christmas Eve.

We hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season. We send good holiday cheer to our entire camping family!


November 28, 2017
Awesome Gift Ideas

giftsNow that Thanksgiving is over, we’re excited to move on to the most wonderful time of the year! We hope you’re in the holiday spirit because we’ll be touching on some fun, festive topics over the next month or so. Today, we’ve compiled some awesome gift guides to help you start your holiday shopping. We’re sharing dozens of must-have gift items for everyone on your list this season! Let us know what you think of these ideas.

  • FOR THE CAMPER:
    • The “outdoorsy” type on your list will love these gifts from REI. Check out the new tents, chairs, accessories, and more: http://ow.ly/nYsG30gRCGj
    • These gift ideas are perfect for your favorite RVers - or get a little something for yourself! These suggestions are too cute to miss: http://ow.ly/BhsO30gRCYl
  • FOR THE TECH LOVER:
    • This gift guide gives you 50 AWESOME ideas for the techie! From toys to watches to accessories, there’s literally something for everyone on this list! http://ow.ly/TIDl30gRDLa
  • FOR THE PET LOVER:
    • The true pet lover considers their pet to be a part of their family. They treat their dog or cat like a child, and we think that’s pretty cool! Here are some awesome gift ideas for the pet lover in your life! http://ow.ly/VF0S30gRDWN
  • FOR THE FOODIE:

    November 17, 2017
    National Family Literacy Month

    National Family Literacy MonthWe spend a lot of time here on our blog talking about light & fun topics like holiday decor, sweet treats, and camping tips! Today, we’re taking a bit of a detour because we think this issue is too important to ignore. Many of us take our ability to read for granted. It’s like being able to breathe or speak - it just happens. Unfortunately, illiteracy is a very serious issue in our country.

    Statistics show that over 30 million adults in America are considered to be illiterate - that’s over 1/8 of the entire adult population that cannot read.

    So, since November is National Family Literacy Month, we are shedding some light on this issue, why it is so important, and what you can do to help, or get help!

    What is family literacy?

    Family literacy programs use a family-focused approach to education, increasing the skills of both the parents and the children; it’s the wonderful idea of parents and their children engaged in learning together! It encourages parents to prioritize their own education so they can be more involved in in their children’s learning and literacy.

    There are three basic components to a family literacy program: adult education (such as reading, writing, GED and ESL programs), parenting education (which helps families participate in their children’s education), and early childhood education (for preschoolers).

    How can you help or get help?

    You can donate to ProLiteracy here to support awareness and advocacy programs. "The National Center for Families Learning’s mission is to address our nation's literacy challenges by engaging all family members in learning, with a primary focus on parents and children living in poverty."

    To help you celebrate National Family Literacy Month, click here to view the National Center for Families Learning’s most-popular educational tools and resources designed to help families, educators, community leaders, and librarians facilitate two-generation learning.

    Sources: http://familieslearning.org https://proliteracy.org http://www.readingrockets.org


    November 10, 2017
    November Decorations

    thanksgiving decorationsBy now, your Halloween decorations are already down. It’s on to the next chapter of the holiday season: Thanksgiving! It’s hard to believe that there are only a couple of months left until 2018. Either way, we’re knee deep in the holiday spirit - and ready to put up some new festive autumn decorations! There are plenty of easy, inexpensive ways that you can decorate your home this month. Who doesn’t love a little DIY project, or two? We’re here to share some of our favorites!

    You can do these on a lazy Sunday afternoon, with the kids, with items you may have around the house or that you can grab from any craft store. It may take more effort than just buying the decorations, but they mean more because you took the time to craft them yourself!

    LEAF GARLAND: This garland can be placed on your mantle, in your kitchen, or on your front porch! Fabric scraps, scissors, and string are all you really need to create this decor! Click here for step-by-step directions.

    TIN PUNCHED VOTIVE CANDLES: This is a fun one, looks very expensive, and can be completely customized! These votives are the perfect centerpiece for your dining table or decor on your mantle! Click here for the step-by-step directions.

    CANDY CORN ART: If you still have Halloween on the brain (we do!), this piece of art is for you! Orange, yellow, and white buttons - along with a few other items - are used to create a gigantic (non-edible) version of one of our favorite Halloween treats! Click here for the step-by-step directions.

    PUMPKIN SPICE CANDLES: Pumpkin spice is a MAJOR reason for the season! Fill your home with this delicious fragrance with these scented candles. Use amber-tinted glass jars to get the full fall effect. Click here for the step-by-step directions.

    Decorating for the holiday season is a foolproof way to get everyone in the spirit! Tell us your favorite fall decor or let us in on which DIY project you plan to try!

    Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess


    November 3, 2017
    World Vegan Month is All November Long!

    vegan monthWorld Vegan Day was on the 1st, but we’re celebrating World Vegan Month all November long! Veganism is becoming more and more popular across generations, but what exactly IS a vegan? What do they eat? Are they constantly hungry because they ‘can’t’ eat much? We’re here to debunk the myths and set the facts straight on this popular diet plan!

    WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE VEGAN?

    A vegetarian doesn't eat meat or fish, but may allow eggs and dairy in their diet. A vegan takes this practice a step further, cutting out EVERY food that originated from an animal including meat, dairy, eggs, honey, etc. Some vegans extend their practice to exclude products and items that originated from an animal, as well, making it more of an overall lifestyle transformation. This would include leather, wool, fur, cosmetics, toiletries, and more.

    WHY BECOME A VEGAN?

    Animal welfare and environmental concerns are two big reasons to follow a vegan-based diet. A vegan diet can also reduce the risk of certain diseases, including hypertension, heart disease, and certain cancers.

    WHAT CAN A VEGAN EAT?

    Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and grains are all on the OK list. There are also various types of almond-based or soy-based products, such as cheese, meat, and milk, that are vegan-approved. There are tons of foods that vegans can now enjoy!

    FAMOUS VEGANS:

    "It's basically no dairy, no meat, everything is just plant based and just from the ground. I love that I'm eating more greens. It makes you feel so much better." - Jennifer Lopez, Singer/Actress

    According to GLAMOUR Magazine UK, other famous vegans include Brad Pitt, Beyonce, and Ellen DeGeneres. The list goes on and on.

    For more info on the the vegan lifestyle, click here to see PETA’s very helpful infographic!

    We’ll end with this note: People have different interpretations of being a vegetarian or a vegan. Everyone is entitled to follow the diet/lifestyle plan that they are comfortable with. We are just here to give some commonly found information on this specific diet plan.

    Tell us: Are you a vegan? Is this diet plan right for you?


    October 26, 2017
    Halloween Candy

    halloween candyHalloween is so close, we can almost touch it. If we haven’t told you already, we just LOVE Halloween. There are so many ways to enjoy this fun, festive, spooky (or not-so-spooky) day! We’ve covered Halloween decor, party treats, costumes, and party beverages in our recent blog posts. These posts are packed full of ideas to help you have the most successful, exciting Halloween adventure!

    Today, we’re wrapping up our series with the final piece of the Halloween puzzle: CANDY! Which candies are the most popular? What are the healthiest options? We’ve got all the answers.

    MOST POPULAR OPTIONS:
    According to POPSUGAR, kids ranked their favorite candy and the top 8 results were pretty surprising (ie: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups did NOT make the list!). Sweet treats like Smarties, Starbursts, Skittles, and Nerds made the cut, as did some chocolate favorites like M&Ms and Twix. To see the full list, click here.

    HEALTHIEST PICKS:
    Not all candy is created equal - in terms of heart health and calorie count! There ARE better choices that you can make. You’ll be happy to hear that tons of delicious & popular options made the Greatist list of 20 healthier Halloween candy. Dark chocolate, Twizzlers, even Reese’s made it on the list - click here to see the healthiest Halloween candy choices!

    THE “LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT” CANDIES:
    We have 2 words: candy corn. We could debate all night about it but if you love it, you love it, and if you don’t, there is no changing your mind - and there’s no in-between! Same seems to be true for some nostalgic Halloween treats: candy buttons and circus peanuts.

    NON-CANDY OPTIONS:
    Candy isn’t the only option; there are plenty of other things that you can hand out to trick-or-treaters. Play-doh, temporary tattoos, stickers, and bubbles, just to name a few, are great ideas. Consider joining the Teal Pumpkin Project movement, which raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season. Make your home a safe spot for all kids!

    We hope you have a very Happy Halloween! Tell us: what is your FAVORITE Halloween candy?


    October 21, 2017
    Halloween Party Ideas

    Ready to party? We are (almost) ready! We’ve published some recent blog posts with great tips and inspiration for your Halloween decor, treats, and costumes. Which got us thinking...you’ll need something to wash down all of those delicious recipes we shared, right? So, we’re following up with some spooky - and not-so-spooky - Halloween-themed drink ideas for your upcoming soiree!

    halloween party ideasKid-friendly:

    • A vanilla milkshake with whipped cream or, as Martha Stewart calls it, a Boo-Nilla Shake! You can use a small paintbrush to paint a melted chocolate face on the inside of your glass before you pour in the drink. Adorable & delicious!
      • Here’s another quick tip from Martha! Put gummy worms & water into ice cube trays and freeze. Then, you can add these worm ice cubes to any clear drink & watch the kids squirm!
    • When the weather is cool, make the drinks hot. (Or, for the kids, make them lukewarm!) This Halloween hot chocolate recipe from This Grandma Is Fun looks really cute. Change it up with different food coloring and various toppings - perfect for kids of all ages.

    21 or over only:

    • These Glowing Jell-o shots will be the ‘shinning’ star at your Halloween party - pun intended! These shots have vodka in them so make sure your party attendees are of age to drink alcohol!
    • Everyone loves pumpkin spice - so consider serving this Pumpkin Spice Punch recipe from HGTV! Serve in a pitcher, punch bowl, or, for more flavor, a pumpkin!

    Dessert drinks:

    • This Hard Cider Pumpkin Float is SO easy to make and looks the part of a spooky Halloween treat! Use your favorite ale and your favorite gelato or ice cream, and you’ve got a winning Halloween dessert drink!
    • Let’s face it...when it comes to candy corn, you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em! Fortunately for the haters, these candy corn Jell-o shots only LOOK like the famous Halloween candy; they taste like a delicious creamsicle.

    Are you thirsty yet? Tell us: What are you planning to serve/drink at your upcoming Halloween party?


    October 12, 2017
    Halloween Costumes

    Halloween CostumesWith less than three weeks until October 31st, we are officially in the Halloween spirit! We hope you’ve enjoyed our last couple of blog posts where we talked about Halloween decor and DIY treats. But, if you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about your costume! Here are some tips to help you outfit the entire family with the coolest costumes of 2017!

    COUPLE/GROUP COSTUMES

    • Grab your friends and dress as the gang from a popular TV show, like Stranger Things or Game of Thrones, or movie, like It or Star Wars. Buy your costumes or get creative and DIY!
    • Superheroes are ALWAYS a win! There are so many great options to choose from and you can dress up as one superhero or do it as a big group.
    • Costumes that continue to be popular every year: sports teams, witches, ghosts, Disney characters, the cast of Grease or The Addams Family, just to name a few!

    COSTUMES FOR THE KIDS

    • Occupations, like police officer, firefighter, mailman, or construction worker, are an awesome option for kids of all ages because they love to play dress-up and wear a uniform!
    • Animal costumes, like lions, cats, or mice, are adorable - the younger the child, the cuter they look!
    • Disney characters make great costumes. Princes and princesses, the cast of the Descendants or Despicable Me, or good old Mickey and Minnie are sure to excite your child and make for great photo opps!

    PET COSTUMES

    • What is cuter than a dog in a costume? We’ll answer: not much!! From sushi rolls to cowboys, here are some outfits that will make you smile! http://ow.ly/qivs30fNVaR
    • As long as Fido is up for it, we say get him in on the trick-or-treating action (minus the treats - chocolate is poisonous to dogs)! Here are some more pet costumes for your dog or cat: http://ow.ly/b1Pb30fNWir

    We want to know: what are you and your family dressing up as for Halloween this year?


    October 5, 2017
    Halloween Treats

    Hello, October!

    Halloween TreatsWe’re just getting our feet wet with our ‘All Things Halloween’ series on the blog. Last week, we touched on decor with some great tips and options to decorate your home. Today, we’re coming in with delicious do-it-yourself treats that will satisfy every ghost, ghoul, and goblin that RSVPs to your Halloween party!

    We found some delicious, easy-to-make recipes that you and your guests can indulge in before you head out to trick-or-treat on October 31st!

    APPETIZERS

    SWEET TREATS

    FRUIT

    Tell us which treats you plan to make to celebrate Halloween this year!




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