Camping without the C, just add a G!

Stick with me as you read this post because there is a fun giveaway involved.  But first, let give you a little background.

I got my first taste of camping, not to be confused with glamping, when I was a Girl Scout.  I can still remember my mother helping me compile all of the gear that she thought I was going to need before sending me out the door to some God forsaken place in the middle of nowhere.  The place where I’d live for a week without running water, my nice comfy bed, less than average meals, and my younger sister to antagonize, or vice versa.

It always seemed like the planned group camping trips were like living nightmares.  Too many bugs and humidity, what seemed like never-ending rain storms, burnt marshmallows (and food), and back aches from sleeping on the ground for one too many days in a row.

It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I realized that camping could be fun.  Especially, if you were the one planning the adventure.  A few of us girls would occasionally load up our backpacks and hike into the wooded hills behind my house.  Once we located the perfect spot to set up camp, we would build temporary shelters, start our own campfires, cook our own meals, share ghost stories,  and experience our first real taste of independence.  Looking back, I’m surprised our parents let us go, but I am so glad that they did.

Now, fast forward about thirty plus years.  One of these days (soon) I hope to experience my first taste of glamping.  Camping without the C, just add a G!  To glamp means that you don’t have to live without some of the comforts of home. When I glamp it will be in the Pink Paradise.  I’ll have bed with comfy warm blankets to cuddle in, a small kitchen to cook in, a table to play cards and games at, a stereo to rock and roll too, lot’s of wine in the fridge, and yes – even a flushing toilet.  Running water – yea!

So, what does a girl (like me) that wants to glamp do to prepare for her first glamping trip?  She seeks out expert advise on the subject, more specifically – advise from the popular MaryJane Butters.

Most of you are probably very familiar with MaryJane Butters.  She is a very impressive and successful lady.  I was amazed as I read about her life and all of her accomplishments.  So, trust me when I tell you that she is the authority on glamping.   And I know this because I just finished reading her book – Glamping with MaryJane!

MaryJane’s book covers (pretty much) everything you will ever need to know if you want to glamp – seriously!  She will tell you how to buy and restore a camper, hitch one up, and winterize it to boot.  If you don’t have a camper, don’t shy away, she also has a section on backyard and tent glamping too.  And if you’re looking for tips on housekeeping, laundry, bathing, decorating, crafting, what to pack, safety, mechanics, cooking, recipes, entertainment,  junktiquing, places to glamp, and traveling with kids and dogs you will find it in this 224 page book.  Need I say more?

MaryJane recently sent me a signed copy of her book to scour through.  I am so grateful for the chance to have read it.  As part of our agreement, I am ready to pass this book on to one of my lucky readers.  While I’m sad that I will be parting with it; I’m as equally excited that I will be passing it on to one of you.  And I know the lucky winner will appreciate it as much as I have.

To enter this giveaway simply tell me this…  What is the one thing you could not live without if/when you camp or glamp?

This giveaway is open to US residents only.  The giveaway will end on Sunday, July 28, 2013.  The lucky winner will be announced sometime thereafter.  Spam comments will not be published. Good Luck!

*Please note that when I opened the box that this book was packaged in, I found slight shipping damage had occurred to the top right corner of the book.  I just wanted to let you know this so there isn’t any misunderstanding when you open the package that I send to you,  you find the same damage, and want to scream at me.  Just saying…

I received this book to review and giveaway.  I was not compensated for this post, and the opinions herein are all mine.

Comments are closed, and this contest is officially over.  The lucky winner is Wrangler Mama.  Congratulations!!!

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Baby’s Got A New Pair Of Shoes! And…

With the interior of the Pink Paradise (nearly) done (I feel like I’ve said that before!) we have started to work on the outside.  The other day I spent a couple hours (no exaggeration) scraping old bumper stickers off of the siding. 

Side note: Gradually, I’ve been picking up vintage items for the camper. I’m a thrifty shopper and nearly everything I’ve bought so far has come from auctions, estate sales, thrift stores and the dollar store.

The new cedar bathroom below smells so good!

The first thing we replaced on the exterior of the camper was the tires.  The old ones were seriously dry rotted and there was no way they were going to take us very far from home.  And besides the tires, we had to replace the jack and install the propane tanks and holder. 

It does seem that some days the work on the Paradise will never end.  Yet to come, exterior lights, prep and painting, awning, and God only knows what else…

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The 72 Frolic Bathroom Remodel Is Nearing Completion!

Today I told my husband that I had been thinking back to that day last May when I had him pull the “72” Frolic Camper, now known as the Pink Paradise, out of the weeds.  You remember that day – right?  It was the day that I seriously questioned my sanity.  He admits he clearly remembers.

I suppose that what I never confessed to anyone was the pang of guilt that washed over me as I looked at this poor neglected camper and thought (for a minute, or thirty plus) about abandoning it. 

The thing is, I couldn’t stop thinking about this little camper’s past.  I was certain it had once seen it’s share of  fun and adventures.  I was also certain it provided a lot of good times and lasting memories to it’s former owner’s.  And here I was selling it short, just because it was filthy, rodent infested, and in need of some serious repairs.  Guilt is a powerful thing!

From that point forward it was full steam ahead, but don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy.  There have definitely been many more hours and dollars spent on the Paradise than what I had originally planned.   And there were days that we had to think, and  rethink our remodeling options.  Now that the inside of the Frolic is nearly finished we are beginning to think ahead to what needs to be done to the outside.  I’ve ordered new tires for her (I’ve decided she is a she) but she still needs new fenders, an awning, and a shiny new paint job.  More work, yes.  More money, yes.  Lingering guilt, no.  Still questioning my sanity, umm – yes.

The bathroom has proven to be the most time consuming part of the entire project.  It needed to be completely torn out out due to rodent and water damage.   This meant it needed new studs, insulation, wall and ceiling coverings, a counter and sink base, plumbing (drains, water lines, and faucets) and electric.

I haven’t posted much about the bathroom remodel because progress was slow and tedious.  Now, that it’s finally starting to look like a bathroom I thought I’d let you have a peek.

The two pictures above are of the bathroom BEFORE we tore everything out. 

The wall and ceiling were soft and spongy.  After we removed the paper (above) you can see why.

Here is a picture of the bathroom being (carefully) torn apart so we could reuse the original shower insert, toilet, and stainless steel sink.

This is the shower insert and the holding tank that sat under the toilet that we had to remove to work in there. 

Above is a picture of the bathroom floor and walls after the tank and shower insert were taken out.

This picture above shows the new insulation we installed. 

We installed Luan plywood on the exterior wall.  We will be finishing it off with tongue and groove cedar.  The cedar was hubby’s idea.  I was sold on it because It will withstand moisture and it  looks nice.

The insulation in the ceiling was installed after each cedar board was secured.

Hubby made a new counter using the old one as a template.  I landed a remnant of white Formica at Lowes for dirt cheap.  There is white (washable) wall board below the counter and behind the toilet.  Here the sink and the holding tank have been reinstalled.

I opted for wainscoting (that I painted pink) on the inside wall of the bathroom.

I applied Danish oil to the cedar to provide a water resistant finish.  The light fixture was a reuse from our house and it saved us from having to buy one.

Yes, we have water!

The original toilet has been reinstalled. And yes, it works! Notice the nice and neat plumbing job hubby did?

The old shower floor insert was in need of repair just as you walk into the bathroom. Hubby fixed it with fiberglass and Bondo – it looks great now. I spray painted the insert with a sand paint by Rust-Oleum. This covers the old discolored floor and also provides an anti-slip surface. I will put one final coat on the floor once we are completely done installing the cedar, the base cabinet for the sink, the shower faucet, curtain rod, and trim work.

And there you have it, a glimpse at the Pink Paradise’s (almost finished) bathroom. 

Stay tuned because I will be sharing more updates as we progress.

Kahlua Chocolate Chip Cake – A Vintage Style Dessert for Glamping

When we finally get to go glamping (soon I hope) I’m going to make vintage style desserts and fresh perked coffee on our adventures.  

This dessert is perfect for glamping because it’s quick and easy to throw together, calls for common ingredients, and bakes in less than 30 minutes.  I’m so excited that one of these days I’ll be able to bake in my little gold vintage oven.

This recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of one of my favorite liquors – Kahlua.   I promise the flavor is subtle and it won’t overwhelm you. 

Kahlua Chocolate Chip Cake

Grease a 9×13 pan.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1 c. margarine, softened

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

2 eggs

1tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 tbsp. Kahlua

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl,  cream together margarine, sugars, and eggs.  Beat in baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, Kahlua, and flour.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.  Allow to cool before cutting.

This cake is moist and doesn’t crumble easily.  You really don’t even need a fork for it.  That’s a good quality if you want to cozy up in front of a campfire and eat your dessert. 

Do you have a favorite dessert you like to make when you’re camping (glamping)?  How about crockpot desserts, ever tried one of those?   Also, I’d love to know what you consider a good vintage style dessert.

FV

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Vintage Camper Bathroom Remodeling Challenges

The bathroom in the Pink Paradise (1972 Frolic) was in horrible shape and it has required (almost) a complete tear out and rebuild.  It needed some new studs, insulation, wallboard, plumbing, and electrical work.  Some of which we are still in progress of finishing.  But in the meantime, I thought I’d give you a little glimpse of before and during.

Frolic bathroom (above) before cleaning.

Frolic bathroom (above) after cleaning.

Frolic bathroom (above) during tear out.

Frolic bathroom (above) after tear out.

Frolic bathroom (above) with new insulation.

Frolic bathroom (above) with new studs, Luan plywood, electrical work, and insulation.

Working in there hasn’t been what I’d call a real joy either. For starters, it was so dirty and nasty that I was initially leery about going in there to clean it.  Yes, that bad!  We’ve since been faced with the dilemma of what kind of materials use in it too.  There are very limited choices of building materials available for use in a camper where there will be a functioning shower in use in a very small space.  No nice fiberglass shower kits to choose from…  And while we did think about using tile and grout, we decided against it since the camper will be moving and shifting as it is pulled down the road.

Originally, I thought we were going to end up using a waterproof white plastic wallboard that I felt was quite utilitarian looking and I wasn’t particularly excited about.  Instead, we have spent some time looking for another option – which we’ve found and I’m very happy with.

As soon as the bathroom is finished I’ll be posting pictures of it, and won’t you be surprised!

Frolic Travel Trailer -Pink Paradise Update – 2013

At last, I’ve made my way back to the Pink Paradise!

If you’re new to my blog,  you might be wondering what the Pink Paradise is.  The Pink Paradise is a 1972 Frolic Travel Trailer that I decided to rehab early last summer.  When this little travel trailer is finished, it will be all that I expected, and then some.  The best part is knowing that I salvaged a camper that might have otherwise ended up in the scrap yard.

When I buttoned the camper up last Fall it was plagued with a nasty leak in the bathroom.  My husband and I have tracked the leak and we hope we’ve gotten to the bottom of it.  Now, it’s time to proceed with the bathroom rehab, finish a few things on the punch list that still need to be done inside, and then outside here we come!

I am so excited to finish her up and go glamping.  Today, I hung curtains (that I made) and started the decorating process.  I’m also sharing a picture of the bench seat that hubby built.  The bench hides the ugly wheel well and still allows for some practical storage and more seating.  My father in-law is going to make a cushion for the bench seat that will match the booth cushions.

There is a lot more in-store for the Pink Paradise.  So,  subscribe to my blog, or follow me on Pinterest or Twitter to stay updated.

If you want to read more about the transformation of the Pink Paradise CLICK HERE

What color would you paint the inside of a camper that you were going to rehab?  If you’re re-doing a camper then we’d love to see your handy work too – be sure to leave a link to your latest post in the comments section on this post. 

A Book, Photo’s, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

I’m dreaming of spring.  I want sunshine, warm temperatures, budding flowers, and green grass.  I want campfires, picnics, and days on the water just rowing our canoe to nowhere in particular.  I want to be able to open the windows and let loads of fresh air in, without letting all of the heat out.  I want to work on the Pink Paradise, and once she’s road ready I want to camp, or should I say glamp.

I’m not asking for much considering I live in upstate New York and we’re not even through the month of February yet. 

To help the cold winter months pass more quickly I’ve been reading and walking more.

I just started to read a book that I won during a giveaway hosted by the blog Pixi Wishes & Forehead Kisses.  It’s too early to give a  review, but I have to say that I was so glad to have found out that the author, Sandy Ward Bell, grew up a little less than an hour away from where I did.  

And as for the walking, it’s being done in an effort to help burn off some of the calorie laden treats that I can’t seem to stop making.  To make my walks more interesting I’ve been taking photo’s.  I thought I’d share a few.  If you’re looking for anything that resembles spring you won’t find it in these pictures.

And as long as I’m sharing – here is one of those calorie laden treats I was talking about.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Pretzel Bars

1 c. chopped pretzel pieces

1/2 c. creamy peanut butter

2 tbsp. margarine

2 tbsp. sugar

1 c. mini- marshmallows

1/4 c. powdered sugar

1 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided into two

1 tbsp. vegetable shortening

Lightly coat an 8”x8” pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large a saucepan on low heat, melt peanut butter, margarine, and brown sugar.  Add marshmallows, half of the chocolate chips,  powdered sugar,  and stir until completely melted and mixed. Remove from heat and press mixture flat into prepared pan.

In a double boiler, melt other half of chocolate chips and shortening.  Spread melted chocolate over top of peanut butter mixture.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

What are you most looking forward to this spring?

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