Our Summer Yurt Camping Trip & Campfire Hot Dogs Recipe

We love camping because it gives us the perfect opportunity to truly disconnect and spend quality time with each other as a family and with nature. It’s a moment to breathe and find some stillness in a world that has gotten way too fast paced. This past month, we packed up the car and headed only 30 minutes away to Fort Yargo State Park in Georgia to do some yurt camping. This is our third time camping in a yurt and let me tell you…it’s a much easier way to camp with young kids.


We had a great time! We did lots of goofing off…


and hiking…


and canoeing…


and crafts…


and reading…


and sleeping…


and swinging in the hammock…


and eating, of course! No camping trip is complete without s’mores which we packed into a container. Unwrapping all of the chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers and placing them in a big container makes the whole process of making s’mores much easier so you can just enjoy each other’s company around the fire.



Oh and eating them is nice too! 🙂

We also made Campfire Dogs, which are a twist on the boring hot dog and so much fun to make! Here’s how you make them.


Campfire Crescent Hot Dogs


  • 1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls (8 count)
  • 8 hot dogs
  • Condiments (mayo, ketchup, mustard, relish, etc)

1. Unroll the crescent rolls into separate triangles along the perforations. 2. Place the hot dog on the edge of the widest part of the triangle and roll the hotdog.

Campfire Dogs


3. Skewer your crescent dog and roast it over the fire until golden brown. We like to roast over indirect heat (not directly over the fire) so the crescent can completely bake through and then at the end we place it over the fire to get it a little crispy. 4. Serve immediately with mayo, ketchup, mustard or other condiments.

If you want to read more camping with kids tips activity ideas, make sure to read my Camping with Preschoolers post too!


Celebrate the Great American Campout

The summer is a great time to take the family camping. Plus, the Great American Campout Day is in a few days on June 27th! Below are some fabulous ways to celebrate Great American Campout Day in Georgia or make sure to visit National Wildlife Federation for additional ideas throughout the country.

Amicalola Falls State Park- The Hike Inn

A five-mile hike from the top of Amicolola Falls will bring visitors to the 20-guest room Hike Inn. Guests have access to hot showers, but there are no outlets at this backcountry getaway. The Hike Inn serves breakfast and dinner every day in a family-style setting and is perfect for Appalachian Trail hikers or families looking for a wilder kind of vacation. gastateparks.org/AmicalolaFalls

Smithgall Woods State Park- Luxury Cottage Camping

If you have never seen a chandelier in the middle of the woods, stay a night at Smithgall Woods State Park’s Smithgall Cottage. Rustically opulent and built of smooth Montana lodge pole pines, the cottage features immaculately decorated rooms, including a great room with a large stone fireplace, an exercise room, a kitchen, a dining room and four bedrooms (2 Kings; 1 Queen; 1 Double/Double) with private baths. Nestled at the heart of the park, the cottage’s large decks overlook the surrounding bubbling brooks and gorgeous forest scenery. gastateparks.org/SmithgallWoods

Stephen C. Foster State Park- Suwanee River Eco-Lodge

Run by Stephen C. Foster State Park, the Suwanee River Eco-Lodge in Fargo, Ga., consists of 10 cottages and a conference room that can seat up to 100 people. Perfect for hunting or paddling vacations, business meetings, retreats, reunions and weddings, the eco-lodge sits just 18 miles from the beautiful Okefenokee Swamp. gastateparks.org/StephenCFoster

Yurt “Glamping”

There’s no need to pitch a tent when High Falls, Tugaloo, Red Top Mountain, Fort Yargo and Cloudland Canyon State Parks offer the glamorous camping (“glamping”) option of yurts. Made of wood and canvas, yurts sleep up to six people and come with beds, futons, screened windows and locking doors, as well as an outside deck, picnic table and grill/fire ring. Yurts will also soon be added to Sweetwater Creek State Park. http://gastateparks.org/Yurts

First-Time Camper Program

For those who have never ventured into the woods, 13 state parks offer loaner gear through the First-Time Camper program. The program’s equipment was donated to the parks by Coleman, REI and The North Face, and, for just $50, first-time adventure seekers can spend two nights in a modern campground with a tent, sleeping pads, chairs, a camp stove, lantern and marshmallow-roasting sticks. Park staff and volunteers can help set up the tents and provide “Camping 101” instructions. http://gastateparks.org/FirstTimeCamper


Father’s Day Gift Ideas for the Grilling Dad + Homemade Kansas Style BBQ Sauce

Disclosure 1

Both my husband, Mike and my dad are kings of the grill. They love spending time cooking outdoors for the family during the warm spring and summer months. So for Father’s Day, I always know what to get those two. BBQ anything. This year, I will be whipping up a homemade BBQ sauce to give the special dads in my life. Today, I’m sharing one of our favorite BBQ sauce recipes that is super simple to make and so much better than store-bought!

Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

Homemade Kansas Style BBQ Sauce


  • 1 1/3 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tsp natural hickory liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions: Mix all of the ingredients together into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Make sure to stir the sauce every few minutes. Take off the heat and allow to come to room temperature and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

I like to package the BBQ Sauce in a nice personalized mason jar that can be reused in the future. Plus, I like to add a little something dad can use with his yummy BBQ sauce.



Some ideas include (pictured above):

King of the Grill Kitchen Towel

#1 Dad Grill Tongs

Smoking Hot BBQ Cutting Board

All of these personalized Father’s Day items and more are available at PersonalCreations.com.

The Classic Cheeseburger – Remixed! (Recipe) #RanchRemix

I love scouring the web for new recipes. Looking for a new twist on an old classic. One of our

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new favorite recipes? Original Ranch Cheeseburgers.


Original Ranch Cheeseburger



The burger meat is mixed with Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix and shredded cheddar cheese. The result? A delicious, juicy burger with a twist. Plus, they are so easy to make! Read below…


Original Ranch Cheeseburger2



  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted
  • Lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions

Preheat the grill or broiler.
In a large bowl, combine seasoning mix with the beef and cheese and mix with clean hands until incorporated. Shape the meat into four ÂĽ pound burgers about 1-inch thick. Grill the burgers about 5 minutes on each side for medium doneness.
Serve immediately on the hamburger buns.

Recipe from HiddenValley.com.

Enjoy! Oh, and make sure to check out Hidden Valley’s new recipe hub, which features other bloggers’ recipes and their Ranch Remix Recipes! Plus, enter the Remix with Ranch Sweepstakes, which features new prizes every month! April’s prize is a $1,500 Visa Gift Card!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hidden Valley Ranch Remix. The opinions and text are all mine.

RO*TEL Party Recap & Best Burger Recipe EVER #FiestaROTEL

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! We had a great time spent both relaxing and celebrating! On Saturday night, we had family over for a cookout sponsored by RO*TEL.

The kids immediately headed for the yard to play with the water toys and playground…

The adults headed to the deck for some good conversation and cold drinks…

…while Mike manned the grill…

On the menu? Fiesta 7-Layer Dip and chips for the appetizer…

RO*TEL Burgers, pasta salad, and corn salad for dinner.

Both the burgers and the dip are made with RO*TEL and were very simple and quick to make. Check out the recipe for the Fiesta 7-Layer Dip from last week HERE and keep reading below for instructions on how to make RO*TEL Burgers.

RO*TEL Hamburgers

1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
1 pound ground sirloin beef (90% lean)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
4 slices American cheese
4 hamburger buns
Green leaf lettuce, washed
Tomatoes, sliced thin
Condiments (mayo, ketchup, mustard)

Combine ground beef, drained RO*TEL tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Shape into four patties, about a 1/2 inch thick.

Grill patties 3-4 minutes minutes on each side.

Top each patty with 1 slice cheese; melt slightly. Place patties on bottom halves of buns. Top each patty with lettuce and tomato and any desired condiments (I like mayo). Close with tops of buns. Serve immediately.

The Fiesta 7-Layer Dip was a huge hit, as always! The RO*TEL Hamburgers were honestly some of the best burgers I have ever had in my life and everyone at the party agreed. Everyone raved about how the burgers were juicy and bursting with flavor from the RO*TEL. Several of the guys even ate two burgers! These are now permanently a part of our go-to Summer grilling recipes! Please try them — you will not be disappointed!
After a little dessert and goodies…we called it a night, but it was the perfect way to spend a holiday weekend!

Thank you, RO*TEL!

Visit www.ro-tel.com for more recipes, join ROTEL Nation at www.facebook.com/roteltomatoes, and make sure to check out ROTEL on Pinterest!

This is part of a compensated campaign with RO*TEL.  However, all opinions expressed are mine. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information. 

Easy & Delicious Tailgating Menu Idea: Grilled Gameday Buffalo Wings (Recipe)

A couple of weekends ago, we hosted a Falcon’s football party. Mike’s parent’s, my parents, my brothers–everyone came over. We had a great time spending time together, watching the game, and of course–eating!


The Falcons played the Packers. Unfortunately, the Falcons lost. The good news is that while our hearts were sad, our bellies were very, very happy! The menu consisted of Grilled Gameday Buffalo Wings with celery and Bush’s Maple Cured Bacon Baked Beans and Chivitos al Pan with Bush’s Onion Baked Beans.

I will be sharing the recipe for the Grilled Gameday Buffalo Wings and homemade Blue Cheese Dressing today, but make sure to check back next week for the Chivitos al Pan recipe. The cool thing about today’s recipe is that it is super easy to make and the entire meal can be made on the grill. This makes it a perfect tailgating meal!

Grilled Gameday Buffalo Wings
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup {or as much as you prefer} of Hot Wing Sauce
salt and ground black pepper to taste
10 chicken wings

Wash chicken wings in cold water and pat dry. It is important that the wings are dry. Combine the olive oil, garlic, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix to combine. Put the marinade and chicken wings in a large, zip top bag, seal and shake to coat. Marinade over night or at least 30 minutes before grilling.

When the wings are done marinading, preheat the grill on medium heat. Place the chicken wings on the grill cross-wise so they don’t fall through the grates. Grill, turning every couple of minutes, for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the wings are crispy.

While the chicken wings are cooking, heat up Bush’s Maple Cured Bacon Baked Beans in a pot on your grill’s sideburner or use the grill itself. Since the beans only have to be heated up, it is a real time and sanity saver! You can focus on the grill, the game, and your guests and NOT have to worry about making another dish. The best part? Bush’s Baked Beans are delicious! I honestly don’t know of anyone who doesn’t love them!

Once your yummy beans are heated up and the chicken is cooked through, remove the chicken wings from the grill and place in a large bowl. Add the hot wing sauce and toss to coat. I like them lightly coated–about 1/4 cup, but how much is up to you. Of course, you have to serve celery and blue cheese dressing with wings and I have the BEST blue cheese dressing recipe EVER. It’s so good, that I have seen people eat it with a spoon LOL.


Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

Âľ Cup Sour cream
½ tsp mustard
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1/3 tsp garlic
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/3 cup Mayo
4oz Blue Cheese Crumbles

Blend all ingredients except mayo & blue cheese in a bowl with a handheld mixer for 2 minutes on low speed. Add mayo and blend for another 30 sec on low speed. Then add blue cheese and mix for 2 – 4 minutes on low or med depending on how chunky you want the dressing.

Enjoy and go Falcons!

This is part of a series of posts compensated by Bush Brothers & Company. However, all opinions expressed in this article are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information.