Saturday, July 16, 2016

Internet On The Go!

Hey Down Home Friends,
So thankful for this time of year to get out and explore a little more of Texas that I have yet to discover. And you can bet I am not going anywhere without some sort of connection. I use my phone a lot but I also take my Surface Pro to get a little work done when we are traveling. Years ago I wasn't sure really how this was possible but it is really very simple. And I get asked this question a lot believe it or not. My service provider is AT&T. A very nice customer service representative told me about tethering. Although I had recently heard of it, I wasn't quite sure just how it worked. She actually sent me directions by email. I was shocked at how easy it really was. I was happy that I also had everything I needed to get it going right away.
Connect your device to the USB port. I used my phone charging cable.
On your phone look for your utilities tab.
Go to settings.
Turn ON your personal hotspot.
Now connect your computer or device to the internet.
And that is it.
When you are finished with your work just remember to turn OFF your hotspot.
I have used this little system for several years now and have had no problem. And it is safe and secure. I have never been charged any additional fees by AT&T. If you are a customer you can call and ask them about tethering before you start. This will eliminate searching for networks to connect to. I am always on the hunt for ideas and hacks to make camping trips fun. I have run across numerous articles and posts about other more complicated or expensive methods. For my family this is the most secure, reliable and inexpensive way to connect on the go. You do have to have an internet signal for it to work. Very few places we have been have poor signal but it does at times happen.

Now all you have to worry about is that perfect camping breakfast.
Happy Trails!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Birthday Brunch!

Hey Down Home Friends,
I came across this great recipe when I was searching around for some inspiration for a make ahead birthday brunch recipe that I could make and take with me for a little celebration on the road. I am a huge fan of brunch and I always love a recipe that is easy to transport and can be made ahead because I am a night owl which probably has a lot to do with loving brunch so much.
Sausage and Veggie Casserole by Jimmy Dean sounded like a winner to me. I knew using the basic recipe I could modify it a little for my family and it could be easily prepared in advance and transported one of two ways. You can assemble it ahead of time and bake the next morning or you could make and bake it and heat it up as needed when you are on the run. And it would go perfectly with some fresh fruit that I can pick up anywhere.
The small pyrex dishes are perfect for dividing up the recipe and making one immediately and freezing one for later. Or in my case a small dish fits perfectly in a small oven in my little trailer. You can easily transport any of these dishes in the cooler bag or in an actual cooler. And I love the fact that they fit in my teeny, tiny trailer refrigerator.
With the food part of my birthday brunch taken care of I was ready to think about the decorations. Instead of paper party goods I always opt for things I can mix and match and use more than once. And as soon as I saw these Pioneer Woman linens at Walmart I just couldn't get them out of my mind. When I finally fell in love with was over for me.
And the best part about this combination is that I can combine it with my favorite color. I ordered these and a few other things from the Pioneer Woman Collection from Walmart because it is hard to find the exact pieces in the store because they sell out fast. The tablecloth was a great price at $14 and the napkins were $10 for 8 which anyone can tell you that is a fantastic price for 8 cloth napkins. I even picked up the teal napkin set...go figure. 

And it all matches with my camping dishes! So once it is time to go I will be looking forward to a day without an alarm and a brunch on my own time while feeling the spring breeze and listening to the sweet sounds of spring.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Caprock Canyon State Park!

Hey Down Home Friends,
We recently had the chance to get away to Caprock Canyon State Park in Texas. I had never been and I did not know really what to expect except for a few internet searches and pictures. I was excited to see a part of Texas that I have never seen before.
As we approached the campgrounds, I could see that this was a going to be a great experience. For miles all you could see was beautiful scenery. I didn't know if I should look to the left or to the right. All I knew was that beautiful scenery was beginning to surround us completely. It sure seemed like a great place to spend a long relaxing weekend after a stressful week.
I do not spend too much time looking at the reviews of the places that we travel to because usually we are looking for something different so the ratings do not work for us. I have my own way of rating a campground. It all boils down to this.
Is there good cell service?
Can I get a satellite signal?
Is the scenery interesting?
Is there something to do?
Is there a body of water?
Is the campsite semi private?
You can laugh but those are the important things to me. And Caprock Canyon has all that and more.
One of my favorite things in the campgrounds was the prairie dog town. There were plenty of prairie dogs to see and photograph and listen to. If you stick around for a few minutes you can capture quite a few pictures. I knew I had to get a few to show my class.
We had a chance to have some hearty early morning breakfasts before the sun came up and while we were waiting for the temperature to rise. Even in the middle of March in Texas it can be cold.
There are plenty of trails to hike and plenty of places to stop and get those breathtaking views. Lots of places to take pictures even if you are just driving through.
A small lake is located within the park and it looks like a perfect place to fish or kayak. There were quite a few picnic areas with nice views. And there is plenty of easy access to the water.
If you are lucky you can get that up close shot of one of the bison freely roaming in the park. The state park is the official home to the 80 descendants of the great southern plains bison. It is the perfect place to view a magnificent animal in a natural habitat.
I have been to many Texas state parks and this is on the list of the top five. It was beautiful, interesting and had a lot to offer. You can take a shuttle car and tour the park, visit the nature center, take amazing photography, see animals up close, hike, bike, kayak or enjoy peaceful quiet time at the many spacious campsites. The cell service was great so you can get that perfect shot and post it right away. The satellite signal was good too but we didn't want to watch a late night movie when we had clear skies to view the stars.
Caprock Canyon State Park provided the perfect backdrop for a peaceful weekend to recharge and energize for a busy week ahead!

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