Adventures of purchasing a new RV

My husband Donny and me enjoy being outdoors and getting away from the house for a little relaxation and down time.   We used to own an used 29 foot bumper pull travel trailer. We sold it and said in a few years we would purchase another new RV.   During that time we started taking trips with friends to ride our Polaris Rzr 1000XP.   The accomodations at the one park we went too were less then desirable so we started our search for a toy hauler RV to travel with our RZR and go camping.

Sometimes purchasing a RV is worst then an automobile.   We spend three to four weekends visiting numerous RV dealerships in and around the Houston area.  We had a specific budget what we could afford and the RZR has to fit in the toy hauler to Donny’s liking.   Most dealerships we visited the sales personnel was very helpful and answered all our questions but we always stated we were just looking and would be ready to purchase within 30 days.   Only one instance where we encountered a salesman who was a bully and really just didn’t want to make the sale.

One night while surfing the internet, I came across a deal on a Heartland Torque T29 in Navasota, TX at T&S Enterprise RV’s.   I contacted the sales personnel via email to see if the unit I found was still for sale. The next morning I received an email that the unit I inquired about had been sold but they had a 2016 model that just arrived on their lot that morning.   After several emails, we made plans to drive to Navasota which was about 2 hour drive from the house to check out the toy hauler. We arrived to meet Tex and Tim, the salesmen at T&S RV’s, they had the unit we want to view all setup with electricity hooked up and all the utilities working on it. We really like the unit, but were hestitate about the RZR fitting in the toy hauler garage.   Tex showed us an email of a prior customer’s RZR fitting in the trailer.   So about some discussion we decided to make the purchase. We had been pre-approved by our credit union so we headed home to finalize all the paperwork.


The next day Saturday we headed to the credit union for sign off on all documents and take the draft letter to the RV dealer and pickup our new RV.   We took our 2005 Dodge 2500 Ram Pickup truck to pull our new thirty-four foot RV Toy Hauler home.   This trailer was five feet longer then our old RV so it was an adjustment for Donny in driving it home.

We were anxious to plan a weekend to go and try our new trailer. We booked a RV site at Northshore RV Resort on Lake Livingston. Our friends Steve and Cindy joined us for the weekend. Thank goodness they were there, Steve helped us a lot on setting up the trailer. We had forgotten a lot of things that go into setting up your trailer. I think that will be another blog post soon.

Below are several highlights to remember when shopping for a new RV.

  1. Establish your budget before going to look at RV’s
  2. Do as much research as you can online on layouts, trailer styles and amentities.
  3. If you shop for RVs in the summer, be prepared to go inside some very hot trailers to look at the inside.
  4. Take a tape measure if you have an UTV/ATV/golf cart or motorcycle you will be hauling. If you aren’t looking for a toy hauler, you can omit this step.
  5. Figure into the cost of your new RV for full coverage insurance.
  6. Haggle on the price and see how much you can get off MSRP.
  7. Finalize paperwork for purchase of RV.
  8. Another cost will be trailer hitches or fifth wheel hitches that you will need to tow your trailer’s with safely.
  9. Plan a local trip camping to get become familiar how to setup your trailer and all it has to offer.
  10. Finally sit back and enjoy spending time in your RV.

We purchased a 2016 Heartland Torque TQ T29. We took a short weekend trip to Lake Livingston with good friends of our Steve and Cindy Griffin.   Had to remember numerous steps in setting up trailer. Steve was a great help to Donny and we enjoyed our little trip to try out our new camper.


Do you own a travel trailer, 5th wheel, pop-up camper or motorhome? Or thinking about purchasing one soon?

Leftover Chicken – Part 1 … Cheesy Chicken Cornbread Chili

Chicken is pretty much a staple around our house.  It is easy and versatile to cook with.  Whether you enjoy grilling, baking, stir-fry or making soup, there is always a great recipe for chicken.   I will usually buy a few ten-pound bag of legs and thighs, and boneless breasts when they are on sale.  We have a large freezer, and I put it to good use.  At least one bag of the legs and thighs will be boiled to be able to have broth on hand for soup and cooked chicken ready for quick meals.  I like to cook enough so we have leftovers for lunch and/or dinner the next day.

Last week I did a few different things with chicken breasts.  One of them was Cheesy Chicken Cornbread Chili.  I saw a recipe for Cornbread Chili and decided to adapt it and use the chicken and other ingredients I had on hand.

Cheesy Chicken Cornbread Chili


1 lb cooked chicken breast – cut into small cubes or shreddedcornbread-chili-in-pot

1 cup grated cheese

2 tsp (or so) Chili powder

1 tsp (or so) Garlic powder
Salt and pepper (to taste)


1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies and onion

1 can ranch style bean

1 box (8.5 oz) cornbread mix (milk and egg needed

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare the cornbread mix according to package directions cornbread-chili-in-oven
    and set aside.
  3. Combine all other ingredients (except the cheese) into a pot and bring to a boil.  If you feel you need a little more liquid, add about 1/2 cup of water.  You want some liquid but not too much
  4. Pour the chili mixture into an 8″ x 8″ pan.
  5. Layer the cheese on top of the chili.cornbread-chili-in-pyrex
  6. Pour the cornbread mix evenly over all the ingredients.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cornbread is cooked completed.  Use a toothpick to test.
  8. Serve hot and enjoy!!     



This turned out great, and my husband, who is not a huge cornbread fan, loved it.

Do you make casseroles?  Post a picture of your favorites on our Living and Loving our Lives Facebook page.  If you try this one, let me know how it turns out in the comments below.


Sausage and Cheese Grits Recipe

I am a southern girl – born and raised in Texas.  Growing up, one staple in our household was grits.  My mother didn’t get too adventurous with it – we ate it for breakfast with eggs.  But, I loved grits and always looked forward to eating it.  My mother and grandmother always made a perfect bowl of grits – adding a little salt to the boiling water and when it was done scooping a huge helping onto our plate.  With just the right amount of butter placed in the middle, melting quickly into that steaming, savory pile of grits sitting next to a beautifully fried egg along with sausage or bacon – it was something hard to resist!

When I married my husband, I found out he did not like grits!  Oh, the horror!!  His family is from up North, so I couldn’t really hold it against him.  So, if I wanted grits, I would have to eat it by myself.  I could never order grits at a restaurant because they don’t prepare them correctly.  Usually, they don’t add any salt and that makes all the difference in the world.  Adding the salt afterward just isn’t the same.  A few years ago, we went to a local restaurant for dinner and they had grits on the menu as a side dish – I was intrigued, especially when I saw it was mixed with andouille sausage and cheese.  I had to try it and I am glad I did.  It was wonderful.  The next week, I made some at home for breakfast and even my non-grit loving husband said it was good.

I thought I would share my recipe for Sausage and Cheese Grits with you today.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  Be adventurous – try it with different sausages or meats, spice it up – make it your own!

Sausage and Cheese Grits

1/4 cup cooked breakfast sausage

1 cup water

1/4 cup grits

pinch of salt (you don't need much since you are adding sausage and cheese)

dash of pepper (more or less to taste - use red pepper or other if you like a little kick!)

grated cheese

Place the cooked breakfast sausage in a small pot.  Add one cup of water.  Add your salt and pepper.  Bring this to a boil.  Remove the pot from the burner and add the grits while stirring.  This is important, otherwise, the grits may not cook correctly and will be lumpy - yuck!!  Turn your burner OFF and place the pot back on the burner and cover it with a lid.  Turn on a timer for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, stir the grits. Put the grits on your plate, or in a bowl, and add the cheese. EAT AND ENJOY!!

Sausage and Cheese Grits

If you have something that your family loves to eat, share it with us in the comments below.




“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”  Psalms 34:8

Best Five Laundry Tips

What is the one chore that all of us do that just never seems to get completed? For me, it is doing laundry. I will do one load every day just to keep dirty clothes getting out of hand. Laundry is a three step process for me which includes gathering and sorting, washing and drying and finally folding and putting away. Sometimes the last step does not get completed and clothes are worn straight from the laundry basket. Does this happen at your house?

The following is my list of my 5 best laundry tips that I use to see my laundry basket empty and all clothes cleaned and put away.

1. Every day I pick up all dirty clothes throughout the house and put in a laundry basket together. This will keep things looking less cluttered and more organized. My laundry consists of all the clothes just what my husband Donny and I wear, but add workout clothes and my husband’s work clothes, it can get overwhelming at times for me. My husband has a habit of leaving his clothes where he takes them off so I just make it a point a gathering all the clothes every evening.

2. Sorting laundry, yes this is still a necessity and needs to be done to ensure that clothes are properly washed and not accidently damaged. I separate light colors and dark colors with our clothing. I separate out Donny’s work clothes because he is a generator mechanic and his clothes are always dirty with grease, grime, and diesel. Last but not least is bath towels, wash clothes and kitchen towels. These are washed together because all my towels are dark colors and I have no white towels.

3. Laundry detergent and stain remover, these items are very important to ensure clothes are clean and stay clean. Take the time to pre-treat stains and use extra detergent for heavy soiled items. I use less detergent for dress clothes. I have used homemade laundry detergent and purchased detergent, I have front loader machines so lately I have been using purchased detergent for washing. I have found that some detergents are very strong and have cause my skin to become irritated. Here is my personal laundry detergent recipe.

Patricia’s Laundry Detergent recipe   

1 Fel-Naptha soap bar – grated

1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (yellow box) – not baking soda or detergent

4 cups of warm to hot tap water

½ cup of Borax

½ cup Blue Dawn Dishwashing soap

2-3 drops of lavender essential oil (optional)

As stated above, grate the bar of Fels-Naptha soap or Ivory soap. Place grated soap with water in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Stirring constantly until it is dissolved. Take a 5-gallon plastic bucket that is clean and fill with 2 ½ gallons of hot tap water.   Add melted soap, washing soda, borax, Dawn dishwashing soap and essential oils. Mix well with a wooden rod for at least 50 stirs. Then cover laundry detergent and let sit overnight.   In the morning you will get a liquefied detergent. I use ¼ to ½ cup in a load of laundry.

4. My next tip is an important one and it is removing the clothes from the washer when the cycles have completed immediately and put in the dryer or hang outside. If you don’t, your clothes will become stagnant in the washer and start having an odor. I have had to wash the same load several times when I leave them overnight or even all day. The extra cost of laundry detergent, water and electricity are not financially sound. The best thing is to set your complete chime as loud and long as you can to notify you the washer is finished. Also, keep a mental note of when the timer will go off and check. Put clothes in dryer immediately.

5. This is the most difficult tip for me to achieve but I have been working on this in 2016 and have been successful at it. That goal is folding and putting away all the laundry as soon as it is finished drying in the dryer. I have a small table in my utility room with a small hanging rack where I fold my clothes and separate to be either put in drawers or hung up in the closet. I keep extra hangers so I can immediately do this step. Once all laundry is folded, I take to the appropriate room and put away.

RealityHanging folded





After completing these five steps I have the satisfaction of knowing my laundry is all completed and all our clothes are clean and put away.

What is your process for handling laundry? Please share your tips in our comment section.


Psalm 51:7

7 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.

Chalkboard Paint Project

I recently decided to change up my kitchen decor and wanted to paint my cupboard/pantry with chalkboard paint.  I got the cupboard for a steal a few years ago when I was helping a friend do some work at her resale shop.  The person who was going to buy it decided they didn’t really want it, so I was at the right place at the right time and I snatched it up.  I have a very small pantry and knew it would be perfect.

This was an easy project that only took a couple of days.  I had all the necessary materials, so I jumped in and did it!   I figured if I didn’t like it, I would just paint over it.  But, I am glad that I liked the way it turned out – I really didn’t want to have to paint the whole thing.  As for the rest of the kitchen, I still haven’t decided on what I am going to do, so that will be another blog post.

DSC_0344I used basic acrylic chalkboard paint and a regular bristle paintbrush found at any craft store.



DSC_0330I taped off the edges of the doors on the pantry.  After that, I lightly sanded the area I wanted to paint.  It does make a difference – so I recommend not skipping this step.  Then, I wiped down the area with a damp cloth and let it dry before painting the first coat.  I let it dry completely and applied a second coat.


I let it sit for 24 hours to completely cure.   After that, I peeled off the tape.


To prepare the chalkboard for use,  I used a piece chalk and completely covered the board. (Follow the directions found on the bottle of chalkboard paint)  Then I wiped it off with a damp cloth.DSC_0354

With that done, the chalkboard was ready to use!  I am not much of an artist, but I gave it my best shot.  I am working on my lettering and hope to get better at it.   I plan on putting scriptures on one side and our daily dinner menu on the other side.


Tell me what you think about the project in the comments below.  If you try a chalkboard paint project, share a picture with us – we would love to see it!



Coffee Cup Bird Feeder

I have had numerous bird feeders over the years and when I saw a few teacup bird feeders on Pinterest, I just had to try it for myself. I had a coffee cup and saucer that I didn’t mind parting with, so I gathered up the supplies and gave it a shot. It turned out cute, so now I am on the lookout for some cute teacups and saucers to make more. The only problem I have with the coffee cup birdfeeder is actually catching a bird on it when I have my phone or camera ready!

These are super easy to make and would make a great gift, along with a little package of bird seed, of course!

Coffee Cup Bird Feeder 8First, find a cup and saucer – coffee cups or teacups – and gather up your supplies – rubbing alcohol, ceramic/glass glue, masking tape and twine.

Coffee Cup Bird Feeder 5
Coffee Cup Bird Feeder 4



Coffee Cup Bird Feeder 7

Wipe down your cup and saucer with rubbing alcohol to clean it.  This will help the glue adhere.

Position your cup so the handle is straight up.
Place a good amount of glue on the saucer where the cup makes contact. I used E6000.

Coffee Cup Bird Feeder 6I used masking tape to secure the cup and saucer while the glue dries.  Let it dry for 24 hours for the best results.

Coffee Cup Bird Feeder 3After it is dry, place the twine (or other string/ribbon) to the handle.  Measure where you are hanging it so you have enough length.


Add your birdseed and let the birds enjoy your crafty handiwork!

Coffee Cup Bird Feeder 1

I put my bird feeder right outside my front window.  The curtain stays open when I am home so I can enjoy seeing the birds.  There is a birdbath close by and another bird feeder.  I can’t wait to see if the birds really like it.  I am thinking about adding a larger plate to this to give them more room.  If I do, I will post an update.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.  If you make one, make sure to post the picture along with your comments.






Tacky Trash Can Transformation

We have a cat. She stays indoors. Therefore, we have cat litter containers that I just can’t stand to throw away because I know they could be used for something else. So far, most of the containers have ended up in my husband’s “Man Cave” for whatever he does out there with his tools and oil and various car parts.

A few days ago I mentioned I needed a trash can for the living room where I put our computer and printer. My husband said, “Why don’t you use the cat litter container?” First, I called him crazy – I didn’t want an ugly yellow and blue container in the living room for all to see. But, as I thought about it for a moment, I saw the error in my ways and said, “I could transform it from an ugly yellow container to something beautiful!” What you will see below is what I have dubbed the “Tacky Trash Can Transformation”…

This is the original container. Just lovely, right?        01

I took the container apart … separating the lid and the handle. I did throw away the handle since I was not going to use it for this project.


03    I found some spray paint I had for a different project.

I ru04mmaged around in my sewing/craft room for some material. I wanted something that would match the living room, which is mostly brown, but add a little color.



I attached the fabric to the container with Mod Podge and a sponge brush.  Make sure to flatten the material as you go so you don’t get any air pockets.

08Put more Mod Podge on the trimmed edge seam – you won’t be able to tell there is a seam when it dries.

Once it was attached all the way around, I cut the fabric so it hung over the bottom a bit.


I snipped the edges so I could glue it down relatively flat.

10      11




I cut a piece to cover the bottom.


More Mod Podge around the edges to seal it and let it dry completely.



I talked my husband into spray painting the lid for me. He is much more patient with the spray paint than I am.

15 16





While he was spraying, I cut a piece of material to cover the top of the container.


I wanted to edge of it to look nice, so I went to my sewing machine and made a nice hem.18




I used Mod Podge to attach the material to the inside of the container. I found out after everything was finished that it didn’t adhere like I thought it would so21 I had to find a stronger glue.


This is what it looked like after attaching the top piece.22



I thought that adding a ribbon would add a nice contrast. I have a small, varied selection of ribbon and was lucky enough to find one to match.23

I let the lid dry overnight since it was humid out the day we painted. It was still a little tacky the next morning, so I brought it inside and let it sit for the rest of the day. That did the trick!

I wanted to cover up the logo on the lid so I decided to add another piece of fabric.


I cut out a piece a little larger than the area and used the Mod Podge to attach it.  I used a craft knife to trim it to fit.


I added another coat of Mod Podge to the top to make sure the material stayed attached.


After that dried, I reattached the lid. I closed the lid completely and when I reopened it, this is when I found out the Mod Podge didn’t work so well on this spot. Thankfully I had a few other choices of glue and found one that worked – Loctite Indoor Glue.DSC_0163_edited-1 DSC_0162_edited-1



I wanted to use a plastic bag inside the container so it would be easy to dispose of the trash. I had some adhesive hooks, so I placed 4 of them inside to hang the bag from.DSC_0205_edited-1

I was very pleased with the result. So much so, that I am probably going to make another one for my sewing/craft room, and maybe another to take back to work in August. The best part is, it didn’t cost me anything to make. Everything I used I already had on hand. My husband was happy about that, too! I have a few other ideas for the containers popping up in my head, but that will be another blog post.

Let me know what you think and what you might like to see in the future in the comments below.



Top 10 Things to Pack for a Beach Vacation

Are you wondering what to pack for a beach vacation?  We thought a fun “Top 10” list would be a great way to share our ideas of what we like to bring on a vacation to the beach.  We both came up with ideas so you really get a “Top 20” …  so, here it is in our best David Letterman voice and background music…

“Top 10 Things to Pack for a Beach Vacation”

*****Patricia’s List*****

As our trip to Galveston, Texas, is fast approaching, I am making a list of all I need to pack and take with us. If you asked my husband Donny, he will tell you I always pack too much when going on trips. But I am one who hates to run to the store and buy things I forgot and have at home. So, without any further ado, I share with you, my Top 10 Things to Pack for a Beach Vacation…

Image courtesy of artur84 at
Image courtesy of artur84 at

#10. Beach Towels. A beach towel is something I use a lot on the beach. I use them to sunbathe when working on that tan. Usually, this lasts only 10-20 minutes before I get bored or get hot and sweaty. Also, I use beach towels to cover my chair from getting too hot from direct sunlight and finally to dry off when getting out of the water either at the beach or the swimming pool.

#9. Sunscreen. This is important as I get older I want to protect my skin. I use 80 SPF or above. Remembering to apply it frequently while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico or the swimming pool is important and sometimes I easily forget. It is nice to have friends who will remind you that you are getting sunburned and to apply. (Thanks, Kathryn)!

#8. Floatation devices. I enjoy going in the water and riding the waves with an inflatable float. Usually, this provides comical episodes for my husband and friends as I try to stay on while riding the waves and dealing with the undercurrent that is always noticeable in Galveston.

#7. Fishing Pole and Tackle. Fishing is something I have always loved to do but don’t get to do often enough. I hope to be able to fish later in the evening with Kathryn, Roger and my husband Donny. Even if I don’t catch anything it is just a relaxing activity to do while on vacation.

Image courtesy of phanlop88 at
Image courtesy of phanlop88 at

#6. Drinking water. Yes, it is extremely important to stay hydrated while out on the beach in the sun, even when it is cloudy.

#5. Swimming shoes. Another must if you swim in the Gulf of Mexico. I have sensitive feet and don’t like stepping on anything. Wearing swim shoes makes it a lot easier to swim and walk. I have tried old tennis shoes and flip flops and all those were unsuccessful due to not being able to move freely once in the water.

#4. Waterproof camera. I enjoy taking pictures of the waves and recording memories of our time on the beach. I usually take 10-20 pictures during our beach time to save the memories. Wave action pictures are my favorite to try and get, but it takes a lot of practice and being very quick. Kathryn is an excellent photographer and takes awesome wave pictures.

Image courtesy of adamr at
Image courtesy of adamr at

#3. Reading material. A good book for that down time on the beach when you are under the canopy out of the sun and enjoying down time just sitting and reading on the beach.

#2. Sunglasses. The sun and the glare can hurt your eyes. Sunglasses are a necessity so make sure you take a pair and, as I do, keep them attached around your neck with a lanyard.

#1. Bathing Suit. I love getting in the water whether it is the Gulf of Mexico or the resort swimming pool. This is a way to cool off, get some exercise and make memories for your vacation. I left mine at home before and we were a distance from shopping so I tried to swim in shorts and a t-shirt, it was not a fun time for me. Make sure you pack your bathing suits and have fun.

*****Kathryn’s List*****

Packing for a vacation is so much easier with a list.  Get a piece of paper and start writing things down a few weeks in advance.  Put down everything that comes to your mind.  You don’t have to take everything – pare it down once you get ready to pack based on where you are going, what activities you will be doing, and how long you will be gone.  I came up with a few things that are great to have for a day, or a week, at the beach…

Image courtesy of winnond at
Image courtesy of winnond at

#10.  Hat.  Having a hat on the beach is a must.  Go find a big floppy hat to keep the sun off of your face, chest, and shoulders.  At least wear a ball cap or sun visor, anything really, to save your face from burning and future wrinkles.

#9.  Cover-Up.  It is always nice to have a cute swimsuit cover-up.  There are so many styles to choose from.  I have a terry cloth cover up that I love because it is easy to slip on and off and it is a wonderful bright green color.  I also got to embroider a cute butterfly on the pocket when we were visiting our aunt in Maine a few years ago.  I also have a large colorful tie-dyed scarf that makes a great wrap-around cover-up.

Image courtesy of khumthong at
Image courtesy of khumthong at

#8.  Ice Chest.  Nothing is worse than hot water!  Get a decent ice chest, ice, and pack a lot of water and any snacks (see #7) you want to keep cool.  Another good trick is to freeze some of the water bottles to help keep things cold.

#7.  Snacks.  If you plan to spend the whole day at the beach, you will definitely need snacks.  Grapes, strawberries, blueberries, pre-cut apples, baby carrots, granola bars, Goldfish, lunchmeat, cubed or sliced cheese – these are all easy snacks that don’t take up a lot of room and are easy to handle on the beach.  Put snacks in containers with an easy open lid to cut down on trash and waste.

Image courtesy of zemicon at
Image courtesy of zemicon at

#6.  Canopy/Umbrella.  These are lifesavers for an entire day at the beach.  Make sure there are not any restrictions on these items and make sure you have properly secured them in the sand to avoid any mishaps.  We have a large canopy and enjoy using it because it is easy to set up and several people can sit under it.

#5.  First Aid Kit.  It is always nice to be prepared for the unexpected.  Have some tummy relief tablets, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, aloe vera gel or lotion, rash/allergy cream or spray, meat tenderizer (for jellyfish stings), gauze and bandaids.

#4.  Beach Bag.  Put your essentials (towels, water shoes, camera, etc…) in your beach bag so you don’t lose anything along the way.  Purchase one that is functional and fun – lots of pockets, a waterproof liner, bright, bold colors, or have it monogrammed.

Image courtesy of fantasista at
Image courtesy of fantasista at

#3.  Clothing for Other Activities.  If you are staying at the beach for more than a day, your activities may include more than just going the beach.  You don’t have to bring a lot, but versatile and matching pieces will go a long way.  T-shirts, shorts, pj’s, undergarments, bathing suits, casual sandals, and flip-flops are good for everyday use.  A nice sundress and embellished sandals make a great outfit for sightseeing or an evening in town at a restaurant.

#2.  Toiletries.  You don’t want to forget your basic essentials while on vacation.  Shampoo and conditioner, brush or comb, hair ties or clips, toothbrush and toothpaste, lotions, shaving gear, medication, contacts and glasses, lip balm, sunscreen, aloe vera gel or lotion, bug spray, nail clippers, and make-up.  Also, please remember to bring any regular daily medications that you may take.  That is something that may be hard to replace while on vacation.

Image courtesy of radnatt at
Image courtesy of radnatt at

#1.  Care-Free Attitude.  You are on vacation!  Enjoy every minute of it!  Get out and enjoy God’s creation.  Turn off your electronics.  Leave your worries behind.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  If you forgot something, you will probably get by just fine without it.  If something doesn’t go as planned, be flexible and go with the flow.  Enjoy the time you have with your friends and family and have a wonderful vacation!

So, these are on our packing lists for our beach vacation.  What other items do you pack that we have not listed?  Share with us your top 10 items for a beach vacation in the comment section.


Patricia & Kathryn

July 4th Decor

Our family loves to celebrate the 4th of July.  We are usually in The Woodlands 4th of July parade with our friends in the Volkswagen clubs.  We decorate our cars and cruise with hundreds of other people, cars, and floats, waving at the spectators and having lots of fun.  Afterwards, our group usually gets together for a picnic and more fun.

Last year, I had seen many projects on Pinterest with pallets.  I decided to make a few flag pallets and it went IMG_0962over very well for the 4th of July.  I even made a smaller one to give away at the picnic with our Volkswagen friends.

Since the 4th is just around the corner, I thought I would share how I made the American Flag pallet to inspire you to get a little crafty this weekend and come up with something for your family or get-together.

First, find a suitable pallet.  It doesn’t need to be “perfect” – sometimes a more rustic look is just what you need.  Pallets that have been treated, will resist bugs and mold much better.  Take a look on Pinterest to find more information that you will ever need on how to pick a pallet.  Pallets are available almost anywhere, and a lot of times for free.  The most I have ever paid for a pallet is $5, from a man in our neighborhood who makes them.  Look on Craigslist, check with your local stores or other businesses.  Ask your friends to check where they work.  You would be surprised where you can find them.  All you have to do is ask.

Flag 01

Next, you will want to tape off the area to spray paint blue.

Flag 2Flag 3

I sprayed every other board red using a piece of Flag 6cardboard to cover the areas I did not want to spray.


After that dried, I taped over the red boards and painted the other boards white.Flag 1

If there is anywhere that needs a touch-up, now is the time to take care of that.  Use a large piece of cardboard to keep paint from getting on any unwanted areas.

After giving it some time to dry, spray your stars white.  My husband is always awesome at helping me out, so he made a stencil for the stars.  He made one stencil with five stars on it.  It was much easier than trying to do one star at a time.

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I recommend spraying a clear sealer over the entire project so it will last longer, especially if it will be outdoors.

This is a super easy project and a great addition to your party decor.

How do you celebrate the 4th with family and friends?  Do you go all out with decorations, food, and buy fireworks or just head to the local park for the fireworks show?  Leave your comments below.

Now, go have a fun and safe 4th of July weekend!