Photo courtesy of Dreamstime
 My husband loves to camp. As a former city girl, I had never slept outdoors in my life before I married him. Why would someone leave a perfectly comfortable bed to go sleep outside? But he and his family were out to change my opinion! His brother gave us a tent and camping equipment as a wedding gift, and within a few months my husband and I headed out on a camping trip to the Smoky Mountains.

Over the years we've camped in parks from Michigan to New Mexico, North Carolina to Canada, and have added a few kids and pets into the mix as well. Though we truly are rain magnets (I don't remember if we've ever camped in dry, sunny conditions), camping has allowed us to see a lot of country, and experience days and weeks of low-cost, unforgettable family fun.

For the cost of a night or two at a motel, you can get your family set up with camping equipment that will last for years . . . and the memories you make will be priceless!
On The Blog Last Week!
This past week I posted many great tips, techniques, and recipes for you to experiment with. I hope you enjoyed them all. Here is a recap of what all I shared on the blog.
  • Over the weekend, I shared a gluten free post with tons of links for you to check out.
  • Can you believe that you can match a pillow purchased years apart from each other? I didn't think so either, that was until my Weekend Wonders!
  • Have you ever wondered about greenbags? Read this post to find out my research and some links at trying to make your own food storage bags.
  • If you need something to keep your kids busy this summer, why not study art? In this post, you will find a free art study that I posted.
  • Have you ever wanted to make homemade soap, but the task always seemed so daunting? In this post, I share a tip from my email on making homemade soap the easy way.
  • Help your kids practice their writing skills by using these free notebooking pages to write Dad a letter.
  • Low on income but want to landscape your yard? Try this trick that I have been doing lately.
  • Have you ever gone thirty days without spending? Read what I wrote on Thrifty Thursday to find out what I plan to do!
  • Are you just learning how to knit? Read about my very first knitting craft as well as a few other patterns I found.
  • Don't forget about the freebies that I always post on Fridays!
The Weekly Recipe
A New Take On S'mores
Camping... for us ladies it is usually a love-hate relationship, isn't it? Some of us like it, some of us would rather be in a nice hot bath soaking and relaxing instead. But whether you love it or hate it, most people love the traditional campfire food known as S'mores, and you can eat these whether camping or at home for a fun family evening!
This time around, whether you are deep in the woods some place far from home or even if it is simply in your own back yard, why not change up that requisite camping must-have and make it entirely new and exciting for everyone? Here is how we have done our S'mores to make them even more fun:
In place of the traditional chocolate bar, try:
  • White chocolate peanut butter cups
  • Dark chocolate and fruit bar (such as dark chocolate and cranberry or blueberry)
  • White chocolate and coconut bar
  • Strawberry jam (or other fruit spread you and your family enjoy)
In place of the traditional graham crackers, try:
  • Vanilla wafers
  • Peanut butter cookies
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Coconut-oatmeal cookies
  • Cinnamon or chocolate graham crackers
Try any or all of these variations and see which your family prefers as their favorite. It could be the start of a new family tradition, experimenting with new tastes and textures each time you camp out!
This Week's Tutorials
Hiking Necklace
Hiking Necklace
Photo courtesy of Making Friends
Have you ever gone on a hike and realized you were missing certain items that you wished you would have brought along? This week's tutorial is from our friends over at Making Friends. They have graciously allowed us to use their hiking necklace tutorial to share with you. This will make a great craft to put together with the kids!
Idea Center
 I had no idea that there were so many camping websites out there. Each one is full of very useful information. Here are just a few of those links that I found.
  • If you are traveling, and are not sure where the camp grounds are located in that area, check out Reserve America. They have an extensive list of campgrounds all around the United States.
  • If you have never been camping before, be sure to study up on your campground safety.
  • Here is a camping checklist to make sure that nothing is left behind! I know all too well how it is to get to your campsite only to realize that you have forgotten something.
  • If you scrapbook and have taken pictures of your camping trip, here is a set of free digital camping scrapbook pages. 
  • Annie's Remedies offers homemade insect and mosquito repellent recipes.
  • For that last night of camping, why not make it special and make some Coffee Can Ice Cream?
  • While you are hiking don't forget to take your water bottle with you. Here is a really cute craft so that everyone will be able to pack their own.
Molly's Money-Saving Digest

The June issue of Molly's Money Saving Digest will be available for purchase soon. I thought that this week, I would take the opportunity to share with you about my past digests. Each one focuses on a different topic and can be used all throughout the year.
  • The January issue is all about getting fiscally fit for 2009. What better time than right now to work on your finances and find ways to cut expenses and save money? Included in this issue are budget planning worksheets, creating a home inventory binder, and some great tips on breadmaking for beginners.
  • The February issue is all about gardening basics and natural cleaners. Recipes are included in this issue for homemade cleaners that are safe and non toxic! You can also learn how to save $1000 a year. In this issue, I have also included layout plans for a square foot garden as well as more financial forms to help in getting fiscally fit.
  • The March issue is all about making money from home. If you have ever wanted to work from home, but were not sure what all was involved in starting a home business, then this would be the issue you would not want to miss!
  • The April issue is all about making a fresh frugal start. If you have found yourself on the end of the spending rope, the April Digest is full of information to help you start anew with learning how to live frugally. Yard sale tips, cleaning, organizing, and feeding your family are just a few of the topics in this issue!
  • The May issue is all about your child's education--from preschool to college. Even if you don't homeschool, preparing your child for the future so that they can live financially free when they grow up is one of the most important things that as parents we can do!
  • And don't forget about those free binder covers for those of you who like to print your Digests!
We Want to Hear from You
We have some great topics in the works for Molly's Money-Saving Digests, and would love to include your stories and ideas. July's Digest has just gone to layout.  You're in for a treat with this special issue on frugal fashion. August's featured topic is organizing, and in September we will be talking about decorating. Show us your stuff! We'd love to showcase your decorating talent and organizing ingenuity, and give you a free Digest, but we need to hear from you soon! We're always looking for "goal-getter" stories, examples of up-cycled or re-purposed objects, and frugal decorating ideas. Send me your story--Remember, if we include your contribution in a Digest, you'll receive that issue FREE.   

Until next week! 
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