Start HereNew to Love Hope Adventure? Start Here!

Latest

Family Camping Essentials

Family camping essentials

Going camping should be a wonderful family bonding experience. But you’ll need to make sure that you don’t forget anything important or that trip could be a long climb filled with the children whining and cranky adults because of it. Here is your guide to all the family camping essentials that you will need to bring with you and remember throughout your trip, so that the memories forged are good ones.

Going camping should be a wonderful family bonding experience. But you’ll need to make sure that you don’t forget anything important or that trip could be a long climb filled with the children whining and cranky adults because of it. Here is your guide to all the family camping essentials that you will need to bring with you and remember throughout your trip, so that the memories forged are good ones.

Entertainment

Even though the main purpose of the camping is to get away from the urban centers and experience nature in all its glory, you will still need entertainment for the children. Doing one thing for too long just doesn’t sit well and will bring on the complaints of boredom pretty fast. Activities while camping is a good way to keep them active and busy.

Even though the main purpose of the camping is to get away from the urban centers and experience nature in all its glory, you will still need entertainment for the children. Doing one thing for too long just doesn’t sit well and will bring on the complaints of boredom pretty fast. Activities while camping is a good way to keep them active and busy.

Put your children to work

There are many tasks during camping that children are capable of doing. For example, perhaps they can help with the fire by finding firewood tinder and kindling. Or, maybe they can man the manual pump for inflating furniture. Or, possibly the hand-crank radio needs charging. By putting your children to some of these tasks, there are less things that you have to do, and they will feel more entertained as well as more involved and curious in what is happening around them during the trip.

Physical exercise games

A lot of families tend to just go camping and leave behind many potential places for bonding with physical games. Not all children learn from just going and doing, and the exercise can help them to work out the extra energy from all of the camping snacks.

 

There are many different sports and games that you can play, such as soccer, football, or frisbee. There are also some different physical, non-sports games that you can play, such as tag and all of its variants, Simon Says and all of its instructional variants such as Red Light Green Light, or sillier games for smaller children such as Duck Duck Goose.

Educational and mindful games

Getting your children curious about their surroundings can save you some burdens of providing all of their entertainment for them – and after all, you have a camp to set up and run. Consider activities that help your children discover what’s all around them, such as a scavenger hunt. If you’re having trouble, just visit your local parks and recreation websites to see what materials are already available for you to print out.

Foods that remind you of home

Comfort foods that make everyone’s belly full is a great way to start the evening once your camp is set up. Especially if they are comfort foods that remind you of home.  You can make a quick simple dinner over the campfire or bring the ingredients for a quick gourmet meal.

Take out the unpleasantness of camping

 

Get rid of those bugs

Insects bother everyone and they can make a nice trip miserable, especially if they are mosquitoes, which also tend to carry all sorts of unpleasant diseases. You’ll want to make sure that you bring along and use an insect deterrent of some kind, or even a few different kinds.

 

Have everyone apply an insect deterrent to their bodies, such as a product with DEET. If you are in one place and not moving around much, you can also try burning a special bug-repellent candle, but be aware that the range is only about 5 ft, or less if it’s windy. There are always new and different ways to repel insects, but you’ll want to bring at least one tried and true method, and try to save the experimenting for at home in the backyard.

 

Don’t forget that most tents have various fine-grain mesh flaps. You’ll want to expose those so that the air can travel to and fro, but not the bugs. Close up all other non-mesh entry ways, such as zippering shut the tent doorway when no one is actively using it.

No sun, you can’t burn me today

Being out camping means being in the sunshine. Most tents have UV and SPF coating to help prevent the harmful UV rays from penetrating your makeshift home, but they can’t protect you if you have to step outside, say, to gather kindling. Sunburns are painful and take some time to heal, so always take along some sunscreen just in case. Remember that even if the skies are cloudy, overcast, or raining, you can still get a sunburn.

Restrooms

One of the common fears and barriers to camping is being afraid of the few times when it’s time to ‘go’. Try to address this as early and easily as possible. If you’re at camping grounds, explain where it is located and the protocol for when to go and who should accompany them. If you’re out in the wild, set up a toilet station with adequate privacy, perhaps even explain how to use it if it is their first time camping.

First aid

Accidents happen, but having a first aid kit can quickly rescue the situation. Along with your typical first aid supplies such as bandages and antiseptic, you’ll also want to bring along aloe vera for sunburns, and various supplies for bugs or poisonous plants, such as poison ivy.

Your guide to all the family camping essentials

There isn’t that much to remember, honestly, it just tends to be easy to forget and overwhelming with the burdens of everything else. Next time that you go out camping, you’ll be able to remember better what to do and what to bring.

Healthy Marriages = Healthy People

Having a healthy marriage matters…it matters to your health. Over the past two years, I’ve walked with several couples whom I dearly loved through unhealthy marriages. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any of these relationships resolve.

What I did see, was the effects of unhealthy relationships on every one of these people. The problems in their marriage caused them to struggle to function at work, eat enough, sleep well, raise their kids, have self confidence, and so much more. They were emotionally spent and it drained every part of their lives. It didn’t just affect their relationship with each other, but every relationship they have.

Austin and I are huge advocates of having regular marriage checkups…and this is why. Just like you go to the doctor to see if anything is wrong, you check the vitals of your relationship. Do you even know if your spouse is having a problem with the marriage? They may feel disconnected from you even if they don’t seem that way.

Maybe things genuinely are fine, but if what if you could have a deeper relationship with that person? Would you do what it takes to get there? Would you put in extra effort so that you can love them more and fulfill their needs more?

Even if you don’t think there is anything wrong in your relationship, it’s so important that you check in with your spouse. Make it a regular thing like date night.

Here’s to healthy marriages. And here’s to the health of people who are married.

Lingerie…Waste of Time or Worth It?

What’re your thoughts on lingerie? Does it play a role in your intimacy? It’s never been a regular part of our intimacy, but I’d love to have a case for why it needs to be. Or maybe I’ll learn from you guys it’s not worth it most of the time and save it for special occasions. You can email me at keelie@lovehopeadventure.com and let me know your thoughts. I’ve already been getting some interesting feedback from you guys. I’m considering taking a lingerie challenge, but I don’t even know what that would look like. Help me out!

 

Other things on my mind this week-

Here’s a great foreplay move that I saw posted on Marriage Bed tips. It was user submitted. If you ever have ideas you want me to share, just send me a message and I’ll do it anonymously.

Have a great day!

Signs There is a Breakdown Of Communication In Your Marriage

I’ve been surprised when I talk with a spouse who is completely surprised they have problems in their marriage. Maybe they knew something was off but didn’t realize their spouse was on the breaking point. How could they not know their spouse was simply dying inside?

I’ve been surprised when I talk with a spouse who is completely surprised they have problems in their marriage. Maybe they knew something was off but didn’t realize their spouse was on the breaking point. How could they not know their spouse was simply dying inside?

Here’s how…there’s a major breakdown in communication.

When your level of communication goes down, then problems arise in the relationship. There are always problems that need to be solved in a marriage. If you are never disagreeing about anything, it probably means you aren’t truly communicating.

Here are a few signs that you are in trouble in your marriage.

1. The only thing you talk about is the kids.

As parents, we focus a lot of time and energy on our kids. But, if every conversation you have is about your kids, then you are missing out on connecting with each other.  

If you notice the only thing you ever talk about or do together has to do with your kids, then you need to re-evaluate. Relationships that are growing and thriving do not need the presence of other relationships to keep going.

2. You think your spouse is always wrong.

We all get frustrated with our spouse at one point or another. The problem comes in when they can’t ever do anything right. If every decision they make causes you to be upset, you aren’t communicating well.

We all get frustrated with our spouse at one point or another. The problem comes in when they can’t ever do anything right. If every decision they make causes you to be upset, you aren’t communicating well.

Things that used to be a minor annoyance become salt in a gaping wound. The more negative thoughts you have about your spouse, the less likely you are to listen to them.

3. You don’t know what’s going on in their life.

If you feel like you are always the last one to know what is going on in their life, that is a sure fire sign that they are no longer confiding in you. It can be very embarrassing to find out information about them second hand. Besides that, it is an indicator that you have grown apart.

4. You don’t get dressed up for them.

This could go one of two ways: either, you are more comfortable with your lover and realize you can be who you are; or you no longer care what they think of you. If you find that you never dress up for your spouse, then you are dealing with apathy at best.

If they have declined in their hygiene or stopped worrying so much about their appearance, it can also be a sign that they do not care any longer. It is one thing to get comfortable with someone, but another to be inconsiderate.

You Need Marriage Checkup

You should always be on the lookout for signs that you and your spouse are drifting apart. This is why Austin and I recommend regular marriage checkups. We developed a marriage course that is built on the foundation of couples communicating.

In each section, we cover how communication effects:

  • Romance
  • Friendship
  • Sexual Intimacy
  • Finances

If you haven’t had a chance to go through the course yet, we invite you to grab your copy today

How To Plan A Romantic Camping Trip For Two

Are you planning to take your loved one to a romantic camping trip? A national park with picturesque views would be a perfect place to fan the flames of love and romance. While planning an escapade on a national park is an ideal choice, you might find it challenging to choose one exact destination out of the many sweet offers online. How, then, do you organize your special trip?

You can decide whether you want to plan the trip with your loved one or leave your partner totally clueless to the surprise. This article will show you some tips on planning a romantic trip. Here are the basic steps to planning that special moment with your loved on

 

Pick a destination

First, look for a place to spend your romantic getaway. Since you know your loved one well enough, you should be able to pick a destination that you both will enjoy. For example, if your loved one enjoys going to the beach, a countryside where salt water is absent might not be a wise destination to pick.

Meanwhile, if your loved one prefers adventurous trips through forests and mountains, a camping trip along the beach might not woe your partner. A peaceful vacation at a national park may also add a different twist to your relationship. However, it may also ruin the intimate and special experience. So pick a perfect destination.

Mark your calendar

After you have found the ideal destination for your camping getaway, you can now mark your calendar. This way, you can schedule ahead of time and avoid the rush of preparations among your other activities.

In scheduling your trip, it is important that you also ask the availability of your loved one. If you want to keep it a surprise, ask your partner subtly. You must get your partner’s commitment or else all that planning will go to waste if he or she is unavailable for the trip.

After you have found the ideal destination for your camping getaway, you can now mark your calendar. This way, you can schedule ahead of time and avoid the rush of preparations among your other activities.

Prepare everything you need for the trip

After you have set the destination and the date, you can now prepare the things you need for your trip. You should have a checklist of the essential stuff and these should be prepared and kept beforehand.

You need to decide stuff like using a hammock vs tent to avoid blames and disagreements later on that may ruin your romantic outdoor adventures.

If you have kids, you should also plan where they are going to stay when you and your partner are away for the trip. If you have pets, you should ask someone to take care of them too. This way, there will be no interruptions due to concerns at home.

Book your reservations

Your next step is to make reservations for your trip. If you want to keep things low key, make sure you use a separate e-mail, credit cards or cellphone numbers. I prefer to arrange the reservations for surprises in the office. And I try not to give away my surprise.

Budgeting

Budgeting is an essential step of your planning. It is always wise to know the estimate of the budget needed to cover all expenses of your trip such as the accommodation. This will take a big chuck of your overall budget.

Here are a few tips to help trim your expenses:

  • Check out country and state parks, national park campgrounds and private sites to compare prices and amenities, like weather shelters.
  • Look into pass discounts at national parks or rewards care from KOA, the campground management chair.
  • If you handle the weather variables, consider camping on the edge of the season.
  • Camping equipment can get expensive fast. If you can borrow a tent or sleeping bag from a friend or neighbor, consider renting.
  • You’ll want to eat more than just marshmallows, so pack your cooler with frozen meats. They’ll last for a while and will keep your other food cold.

Safety

Safety is an important consideration that you need to include in your planning to ensure that nothing interrupts your special trip. If you want to make the experience very memorable and if you want to enjoy each other’s company, you want your trip to go as smoothly as possible.

National Parks and famous camping sites usually provide security and park rangers that you can check to ensure your safety. Some camp sites may not be able to provide the same level of security especially those located in far-flung areas. These may not be safe especially if you do not request additional security measures during your trip.

Communication

Another consideration is communication. Renowned national parks and camp sites have top-quality services that are more satisfactory to clients like providing walky talkies for campers to use. But not all camp sites can provide the same level of excellent service.

Before you finalize your accommodation, you should check the information available online and offline about the campsite. You can also get the number of the owner or the manager that you can call anytime you have inquiries, concerns or emergencies.

Do something special

This is very crucial to note for both gentlemen and ladies. If you want to make the moment really special, you need to do something special. A small gesture that works well is to prepare a campfire and spend a few precious moments gazing at the stars. These small gestures can take you an extra mile.

You can also opt for hiking, backpacking, canoeing, and horseback riding if the site provides it. Remember that your trip should be memorable and romantic.

That basically covers all the essential steps in planning your roman camping trip. Now, all you need to do is do these steps and enjoy your vacation without any worries. Keep in mind that you are doing this to enjoy the company of your special someone and rekindle your relationship.

Your trip could strengthen your relationship further. And if your trip goes well, make sure to share your experience. Good luck!

 

2 Things I’m Doing For Myself This Month

So this month is crazy busy, and I have no earthly idea how I’m going to get it all done. Do you have weeks…months…years like that?


If you didn’t know, Austin and I run a website management company. We handle a lot of web development, marketing, and writing services for our clients. This month we blew up with work…so much so that I have brought on 4 extra helpers to the team making a grand total of 18 of us. But, I still need to bring on more to meet the workload if you can believe it. When we prayed for God to send us more work, He truly opened the floodgates.

So…with all of that being said, I decided to do two things for myself this month that have no benefit to the rest of my family…at all. But, I’m not going to put these things aside because life blew up. Why? Because life is always going to be busy and at some point, you just have to decide you’re going to do things for yourself.

The first thing I’m doing this month is tanning…I know, I can feel all my crunchy followers thinking, “Keelie, that’s horrible for you!”. In my defense, I only signed up for 2 months so I could avoid tan lines this summer. (I tan really fast.) Since I paid for this 2nd month, I really don’t want to waste it, so I’m making time to go every few days.

The other thing I’m doing is a 28 day health and fitness challenge with Stephen. He’s local to my area and running classes for moms in my area. It has been a big commitment because I need to make it to his class 3 days a week. I’ve only been able to make it to the gym 2 times a week, if that in the last several months. So, this has been a huge increase of time. But…I’m going to stick with it.

So much of me wants to bail out on these two things in my life, because they only benefit me and not the family, my clients, or my team. I feel guilty to walk away from all of the piles of work and responsibilities to work out or sit in a tanning bed. However, I’ve learned that if you don’t do something for yourself on a regular basis, you will hit burn out and hate life.

I want to challenge you to do something for yourself. I don’t know what that looks like for you. It could be going out with a friend on a regular basis. Going to the store to buy yourself something new. Maybe working out at home or taking an exercise class. Whatever it is, I encourage you to make it a priority.

Don’t know how to take time for yourself? You can start by tuning into this webinar tonight at 7pm EST. It’s called, How Busy Moms Take Time For Themselves. Maybe you aren’t a mom, and that’s ok. I’m betting this webinar is going to help the dads, and single folks out there. I’m really interested in what they say, because it’s hard to take time for yourself on a consistent basis.


Guys, I’ve known so many people that hit burn out. They work themselves to death and then they walk away from everything in life. They feel lost, they don’t know how to move forward, they lose interest in things they were once passionate about. The only real way to keep from hitting burn out is to come up with something you can consistently do for yourself.

Don’t believe the lie that you don’t have time to do anything for you. Make time. It’s not just going to show up. You have to say no to things so you can say yes to things. Say yes to your mental and emotional health.

Other things on my mind this week:

Btw, just a heads up, Austin and I put our marriage course in a bundle sale called the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. It goes on sale on Wednesday and I’ll let you know more about it then.

My Top Marriage Resource Picks

Marriage is the most risky and yet the most rewarding relationship in life. Taking time to tend that relationship is the key to making it last. The most important way to make this happen is communication.

Marriage is the most risky and yet the most rewarding relationship in life. Taking time to tend that relationship is the key to making it last. The most important way to make this happen is communication.

I have compiled some of my most recommended books on marriage that are certain to help your marriage grow.

Creative Conversation Starters For Couples

 

In this book, 100 conversation starters are already provided for you and your spouse. These starters go beyond surface discussion and help you achieve a deeper conversation with your spouse. Each chapter explores a different topic to help nurture your relationship as you continue to learn more about one another.

Sexy Truth Or Dare

 

If you’re looking to change some things and spice up the bedroom, this book is for you. Each chapter contains erotic questions that are sure to not only spice things up but create a deeper intimate relationship with your spouse.

6 truth cards and 6 dare cards are contained in each chapter. You can play the game any way you want. At the end of each chapter, you can choose to end the round or move on to the next one.

The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex

 

 

 Contrary to popular belief, bad girls do not have more fun with sex. In her book, Sheila Wray Gregoire addresses how sex within marriage is beautiful and enjoyable. Sex doesn’t need to be dirty to be fun. This book focuses on God’s design for sex and answers the hard questions women struggle to discuss.

31 Days to Great Sex

 

If the idea of being frequently intimate with your spouse overwhelms you, this is a great book to read. Sexual intimacy is vital to the life of marriage, but is can become mundane. This book presents 31 days of reading and activities to draw spouses closer together and ignite some passion.

No More Perfect Marriages

 

We all want to have “the perfect marriage.” The problem is that no perfect marriage exists. A good percentage of marital issues occur because of unrealistic expectations. In this book, the authors speak honestly and offer personal experiences of their marriage struggles.

They demonstrate how expecting perfection damages marriages. But, they also demonstrate how to have the right mindset of focusing on intimacy to prevent those struggles.

Sex In Marriage By God’s Design

Sex in Marriage by God’s Design

Today’s culture degrades God’s design for sex. Husbands and wives often don’t even know how to enjoy sex the way God beautifully designed it. J. Parker enlightens readers with the use of humor and Scripture to demonstrate how spouses can enjoy intimacy according to God’s design.

The 5 Love Languages

 

Do you often crave practical ways to love your spouse? This book is a great place to start in understanding how to continually show love to your spouse. Even if your relationship is the best it’s ever been, showing love to your spouse keeps your marriage blooming. Dr. Gary Chapman uses a practical approach to discovering the love language of your spouse and how to use their language to deepen that relationship.

What do Wives Want? 

It’s no secret that husbands struggle to understand their wives. This is often true because women struggle to know what they want. Society’s thoughts and feelings on this subject just confuse spouses even more. This book contains advice and experience from a marriage coach as well as advice from other wives. It contains helpful advice and tips on communicating with your spouse and protecting your marriage.

 

3 Ways You Shouldn’t Ask For Sex From Your Husband and 1 Way You Should

There will be plenty of days when you’re in the mood for sex and you want your husband to know it. I’ve personally tried many things to get my point across and none of them worked. There’s only been one thing that has. Here are some ideas to help you efficiently achieve your goal.

There will be plenty of days when you’re in the mood for sex and you want your husband to know it. I’ve personally tried many things to get my point across and none of them worked. There’s only been one thing that has. Here are some ideas to help you efficiently achieve your goal

I used to think that I could subtly tell Austin I was in the mood and get him to come after me. I had a few go-to moves that I thought would send him the signals that I was hot and ready. To my surprise, he rarely ever got it! What was I doing wrong? Finally, I figured it out, but it took a long time to get there.

Here are 3 ways to not ask for sex from your husband.

Don’t put kids to bed early and wait for him to get the hint

Calling it an early night is a great way to get started on lovemaking if you’re in the mood. I used to think, “If I can just get these kids in bed, then we’ll be able to spend some alone time together”. Seems like the perfect time to be romantic right? That certainly can’t happen when you’ve got kids draping off of you.

However, simply putting the kids to bed early isn’t going to cut it. Your husband may just think you’re tired and headed to bed. He may even assume you’ve got work you need to do.

Don’t come between him and what he’s doing

If you think standing in front of your husband while he’s busy doing something is going to end in you both rushing to the bedroom, think again. You’re thinking, “He’s going to get the hint and jump me”. He’s thinking, “Why is she standing in front of me while I’m trying to watch tv?”.

Getting in his line of sight between his favorite show isn’t going to send the signal, “I need your body”. This one of the worst ways to try flirting with your spouse. Likely, you’ll both end up frustrated because he will ask you to move, and you’ll take it that he’s not in the mood. Your communication is not clear and both of you will end up upset and frustrated.

Don’t dress in something sexy and expect him to get it

Chances are, your husband thinks you always look sexy. So, you taking the time to put on something sexy, still may not hit home yet. While you may think he’ll totally get what you want, that may not be the case. Again, he could just think you’re ready for bed.

I used to put on my most revealing clothes and come sit beside Austin. I would think, “certainly he will know that I want him”. What ended up happening, is he would just cut on the tv like usual. Why didn’t he get it? Because he couldn’t tell the difference between what I considered to be my “sexy” clothes, and my “regular” clothes. They were all sexy to him.

After 15 years of marriage, here’s what I have determined is the best way to ask for sex from your husband-

Do make it crystal clear. Ask him!

It is no secret that women are known for “beating around the bush” to get what we want. This is a complete waste of time. Here’s a spoiler….your husband doesn’t get it.

If you want some intimate time with your husband, just tell him. Let him know, give him a few sweet kisses, and he’ll totally understand what you want.

When I finally came out of my shell and actively pursued Austin, it made a HUGE difference! We had no more miscommunications. He gladly welcomed my simple “come get me” statements over the other actions. I know! I know! It doesn’t seem so romantic to just say, “hey, you wanna have sex?”. But believe me, it’s much more effective.

*I use affiliate links