GUEST POST! By Candice Curry

I am so excited to go live with our next guest blog post!   

And while I assumed her post was going to be about her involvement with Alamo City Moms Blog, her book (The Con Man’s Daughter, which I loved), her spiritual journey (the “Jesus is my jam” phrase makes me think of her, every time I see it), any one of her kids’ amazing accomplishments (they’re all kicking ass in school, in the community, in life!), her trip to Disney this summer (with all of these kids!), or a reference to her much-publicized blog post about co-parenting…

Instead, a sweet, sad, and hopeful look into this summer’s tragedy here in Texas.



“Out Of The Wreckage: A Gift From Hurricane Harvey

Many years ago my daughters’ teacher handed down her dining room table to my family. She was down sizing and we were up sizing. It was perfect. There was a bench on one side, two chairs on the others side, and a chair on each end. Our family of 6 fit perfectly.

Their family got a new table and made new memories.
My family got their old one and began building our own memories.

But then we grew.
We added another kid.
My mom moved next door.
Our dear friends moved next door to her.
All of the sudden, our table no longer held us.

On most nights we either scattered around the house for dinner or my husband had to pull his office chair up to the table. On more than one occasion we ate in shifts or half of us stood around the stove and balanced our plates while attempting to eat with grace.
We like to be together.
We like big family dinners with our friends and family.
But we don’t like sitting in each others laps.
Our table was old and we outgrew what it had to offer.

Then along came Hurricane Harvey. He tore through the Texas coast with a vengeance, twisting everything in his path. He broke the unbreakable and crushed the uncrushable.
He stole.
He destroyed.
He devastated.

Like a lot of hard working handy men, my neighbor, who I’ve been friends with since we were 6, headed down south to help clean and rebuild what Hurricane Harvey tried to ruin. He hooked his trailer to his truck and traveled back and forth from home to the coast, helping where he could but coming home to be with his family as often as possible.

One Friday afternoon after another coast trip, he pulled into his driveway and sent me a text; “Can you come outside please”.
I hurried outside to see what was wrong… and on the back of his trailer was what looked like an old beat up picnic table. It was covered in wet sheet rock, mud, and other stuff I didn’t care to identify.

“Well, here’s your new dining table.”

He had rescued an 8-foot farm table out of piles of wreckage, and the man he was working for said he could have it.
It had a bum leg and was in need of some serious cleaning, but it fit.
It fit my family and then some.  And after a little love, some extra nails, and some Dawn dish soap, it was beautiful.

It’s full of bruises, nicks, and even some crayola marks, but it has character and tells a story of two families, one who lost it due to Harvey and one who gained it due to Harvey.

Their family will get a new table and make new memories.
My family got their old one and will rebuild what was taken from them.

Harvey, try as he might, didn’t leave complete devastation in his wake. He gave little gifts here and there, gifts no one expected.
People helped people and loved on each other in ways we would never have, had Harvey not blown through. Friends were made through sacrifices and giving. Faith was restored through people serving each other and going beyond our normal friendly smile and wave.
We reached down deep, set differences aside.  We emptied what we had to fill up what others needed. Without even knowing it, we passed down things and helped others grow.

I’m not sure I believe anything is ever a complete loss. I believe there’s always something good to be found in anything. I think beauty sneaks up in the places we least expect it. I think there’s bits and pieces o f redemption in the deeps piles of wreckage. When we dig deep we can find a blessing in anything.”






And ALL the places you can find her and her family making waves:

Candice Curry

Her Instagram

Women With Worth

The Con Man’s Daughter

Her interview with The Open Door Sisterhood

Alamo City Moms Blog

An Open Letter to My Daughter’s Stepmom

Bella’s Blessing Bins




My picture of Candice modeling our coconut lemongrass laundry detergent   ——————->



And my take on/my experience with Candice?  She:
1- discovered our healing salve at our very first Boerne Handmade Market (and to this day, uses it for everything and talks about it even during podcast interviews on totally different subjects)
2- has been a HUGE cheerleader for my business (cannot thank her enough!)
3- has modeled for me twice (I pay her in healing salve)  😉
4- has become a friend (who even has my name written on her prayer wall!)  <3
So I’m invested.  I’m a cheerleader for her too.  And I definitely think she is someone to watch!

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Boerne Diva Night!

This evening took months of planning for us local retailers.  Some blood, sweat, tears… and a lot of love.

And the evening went like so:

The check-in stations at Dienger Trading Company and The Flower Shop opened up right at 5:00.  The first 100 ladies at each station got to check in and register to win the two pretty incredible prize baskets that we all donated our products to.  The ladies also walked away with a swag bag containing a boa, a tiara, coupons, pamphlets, chocolate, and gifts.  And then the ladies were set loose on Main Street, all along the Hill Country Mile!


From our end (way up north of most of the happenings), things stayed busy but not crowded.

We had Little Brown Crane join us, with a table set up on our sidewalk to sell her homemade, home-sewn coloring/art folders, diaper clutches, and nap mats.


Hill Country Homestead also joined her on our sidewalk, giving out olive oil dips and samples of her organic, homemade bread.  To some of our shoppers’ delight, she was also selling some of that goodness… so they could take it home with them.


I had decorated the sidewalk area to be an inviting place for girl friends to sit and relax.  We had paper lanterns hung, comfy chairs and couches set out, coffee tables for their drinks, and music playing.


Inside, we had all of our usual homemade products available for shopping (lip balms, healing salves, vapor rubs, body scrubs, warmer melts, and laundry detergents).  Our pink himalayan salt lamps and doTERRA products were all in stock.  We had also our new Monat hair care line for sale.


Our fiesta medals were up for grabs.  ($4 from the sale of each one is going to be donated to Kendall County 4-H and our 4-H poultry group!)


And we had some limited edition Boerne greeting cards available for purchase, made by one of my favorite fellow makers (PolkaDot Paper Company).


We had several of Shutter-Happy Photography’s portrait backgrounds available for selfies.



And we had lots of goodies to enjoy…

I made AllRecipes’ Foolproof Fudge (one of my easiest and yummiest recipes).  Yummy, creamy, decadent, and dreamy!


I made AllRecipes’ Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread.  Moist, spicy, delicious… and so easy to make.


I whipped up Just a Pinch’s Leche Quemada.  Chalky, sugary-sweet, with a beautiful, caramel flavor.


And I pulled together Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Honeycrisp Apple Sangria (which I heard was pretty amazing)!


So we spent the evening visiting, selling, snacking, and totally enjoying ourselves!

{A big THANK YOU to all of our friends, family, and customers that dropped by to support us!}


Now, from what I’ve heard:

There was a great dj and some entertaining singers in front of Joli.  The most exciting food were the donuts at Flashback FuntiquesPixie had a beautiful selfie station.  Some friends were really excited about the cute items they scored at Dang Sassy.  Ladies loved our cute cups and lounge area.  There was delicious alcohol everywhere.  The best things were the shops’ awesome clearance racks.  And everyone had a fabulous time!

We sure hope you made it to fun evening.  If not, watch for the spring date!

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Boerne Handmade Market!!!

I am still sore this morning.  And still SO thrilled.  Wanna shout from the rooftops how wonderful it was to see so many friendly faces and meet so many new people, to have sales like never before, to have a little helper who really wanted to be there with me!

I guess the whole story of Boerne Handmade Market started for us in October of 2013, just three months after starting up the business.



But the story of this particular market began a couple of months ago.

The planning stage is first… going over all of the ingredients, jars, and labels, plus handouts, shopper bags, and extra equipment needed for a booth space.  Next is the ordering/shopping phase that drains the checking account and spirit.  Then I spend a couple of weeks in a sterilization phase.  (You wouldn’t believe how many loads of glass jars go through my dishwasher in those two weeks!)

Finally I get to the fun part!  Measuring, mixing, pouring, and labeling.  It smells amazing!  It’s methodical.  It’s therapeutic.  It’s my happy place.  It’s a little difficult to find space to make my usual delicious dinners, but I can make it happen.  And all of our dining room table gets completely covered in my work, but we have a breakfast table.  So it’s all good!!!



And for this particular market, I decided it was finally time to make a couple of long-awaited adjustments.  I finally switched our laundry detergents over to an unscented version.  And I FINALLY made a whole bunch of wool dryer balls!  Now, this took MANY skeins of yarn and some panty hose, a few movies on Netflix, a whole Sunday afternoon, a hot load of laundry, and a few cycles in the dryer.  It took some guesses on boxing and labeling (in which I goofed on a little bit).  But…

Back to the timeline, next was set-up.  Evan (my 9-year-old) helped me find our space in the Cana Ballroom and helped me carry in my big chalkboard.  But then I needed to get him to his dad’s.  So the rest was up to me.  Three HEAVY trunks filled with t-shirts.  Countless numbers of rubbermaids, filled with product and needed items.  Several trips loading from the shop to the truck, then unloading from the truck to the ballroom.  Quick set-up.  Then home to get a good night’s sleep.

I was up bright and early… and the day was a blur!

I was on my feet the entire day.  Never got a restroom break.  Scarfed down a quesadilla at my booth at lunchtime.  And what else?



I remember being slammed from 9:00 to 1:00.  Some fellow vendors made it over to shop and visit.  Some past customers came by to stock up on their favorite products.  Some of my friends and some of the boys’ teachers stopped by to chat.  I met so many new people.  I got to tell our story.  I got to talk about my favorite product.  I handed out about a hundred copies of Best of TX Hill Country Magazine.  I handed out lots of information about us, Diva Night, Small Business Saturday, and the Hill Country Handmade Market.  I sold out of our new dryer balls immediately!  It’s funny when I remember all of these moments.  I remember trying to check people out as I was packing up their bags, as I was answering a bunch of questions from other shoppers.  It really was nuts!  All while trying to deliver great customer service.

About this time, my parents stopped by and brought me a Steel City Pops carrot cake popsicle.  (yum!)  And I realized I had missed a bunch of texts.  Turns out Evan desperately wanted to be at the market with me.




1:00 to 2:00 was still crazy-busy.  At this point, I was down to just a couple of vapor rubs, only a few handouts, and I was out of our thank you cards.

Evan was with me from 2:00 to 4:00.  He took over all of the checkout process.  So while he was doing that, I was able really focus on finishing off the customer experience.  We wrapped up the day beautifully.  He did an incredible job helping me pack up and get everything back to the truck.  And for payment, I treated him to a crocheted hedge hog (from a neighbor’s booth) and Whataburger (his choice!).

So we headed back to the shop, ate dinner, and unpacked everything.  And at this point, I am sore from being on my feet all day and from all the lifting.  So we headed home for a movie on the couch.  (But thrilled to report that we had a happy dance interrupt our movie when I got the square report that we had 72 transactions in that 7 hour period!  Have never had anything like that happen!)



So… so many thank yous…

To all the fellow vendors.  For following us and engaging with us on instagram, tagging us in posts, for shopping with us, for loving on us!  What an amazing community to be involved in!

To all of our customers.  None of this is possible without you.  Thank you for listening to our story, supporting our little family, trusting me to help you make a change in your buying habits.

And to Alyssa and Beth!  For your blood, sweat, tears, passion, support, time, attention to detail, and love for all things handmade!  Way to go on an amazing new location and a completely flawless execution (from what I saw and experienced).  We had a wonderful time, incredible sales.  So blessed to have your market available to us!

Okay, I just cried a little while writing that.  Changing it up a bit with a bunch of pics that I just snagged off of instagram.  Credit goes to the vendors and customers that took them!  (yay for hashtags on instagram, making amazing things possible!!!)








































Looking to participate in or shop at the next market?  I’ll announce 2018 dates as soon as I hear them!  Or follow Boerne Handmade Market here…





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GUEST POST! By Gabriel Diego Delgado

I’m not sure how many of you know that I’m also a photographer.  For the last ten years I’ve only focused on children and families.  But for the first three years, I photographed everything.  I loved doing artsy prints, landscapes, and macro (where I was getting into the fine details of flowers and bugs).  It was beautiful.  But… I had more fun with little people.  Working with kids brought me joy.  Still, whatever and whomever I’m focusing on, I try to create pieces of art for the families I’m working for.  Hoping that those portraits always bring the parents joy.  

Do you have a passion for expression and love having beautiful pieces in your home?  Please read on.  Our guest blogger is a local who seems to have always had passion for art in his blood…




“How did I get into art?….I believe the art in my veins comes from my father, better yet, as i reflect for a moment on these colorful genes, I know it does. The story that continues to dig a trench in my collective memory;  from childhood and onward is the unbelievable notion of the tales told as to how I came to believe the above statement.

As it was told to me, I share with you dear reader, Gonzalo Delgado, my father, was a Dada artist at heart. The absurd notions of prankish fun among buddies morphed into something far greater, which would impact generations.
In the 1970’s, as I am told, he and his friends were mail artists, pushing the limitations of what the United States Postal Service would do. I heard tall tales of notes written on paper, and placed in old boots- weighed and stamped and dropped in a random mailbox. I questioned the note rolled up and stuffed in a dead fish’s mouth that found its way to a local post office…correctly weighed and postage. Notes rubber banded around bricks that were weighed and correctly postaged for delivery. He and his friends wanted to see how far they could go and challenge the establishment.
Whether it was boredom or the loneliness of third shift security guarded work, I am not sure, but the fascination with postal art grew in diabolical proportions. What came next is only perfected in the mind of the genius.  You see, my father created a fake place, called Hispanic Island, with its own fake holidays, fake historical occasions, fake people, fake national flowers and fake demographic properties. Then, he went about and started drawing his own fake stamps, of this fake place to place on real postal letters; right down to the detail of hand cut decorative edges. His stamps were sent through the postal stamping machine and canceled, becoming collectors items. He did not need to buy his own stamps anymore, he could make his own. His fascination with Hispanic Island gave him regional notoriety….well until that one day.
Again, as it is told and remembered by a five year old child, the FBI and the Post Master General paid a visit to our home. They told my dad, cease and resist doing his stamps or be charged with a felony.
My father listened, he placed his fake stamps next to the real ones so that the postage service would continue to cancel mark his fake stamps.
Well, boredom set in again, this time he has to push his creative mind, facing a felony…he thought outside the box, he taught himself how to carve rubber stamps. So he would carve rubber stamps to reflect the commemorative dates, historical events and the like of the fake Hispanic Island and cancel mark his own fake stamps with his own fake rubber stamp cancel mark.
As years went on he continued to be active in international stamp and mail art clubs, serving administrative roles in his later years.
He was  commissioned by the city of Cleveland, Ohio to do a stamp design for the official opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
A few years back some of his illustrative envelopes made their way into the National Archive in the Smithsonian Institute’s permanent collection of the United States Postal Service Museum.
I grew up around art, I saw it everyday, it influenced me in ways I would not understand.
I eventually would earn a BFA from Kent State University in Ohio and go onto become Museum Curator of Exhibitions at two museums in Houston, TX. My professional career would overshadow my artistic career in volleys as one dominated the other in certain times of my life. I would go onto show my artwork in Texas, California, Madrid, Ohio, New York, Washington D.C., and many other cities in between.
I landed a role as Project Manager at the Smithsonian Affiliate in San Antonio, the Museo Alemeda, which led to more administrative positions elsewhere.
For five years I would be employed by J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art, promoted from Social Media Manager and Art Consultant to Gallery Director of the Boerne, Texas gallery location.
In December 2016 J.R. Mooney Galleries of Boerne closed their doors on Main Street. After five years as Gallery Director, I was at a crossroads as to what I wanted to do. I had returned to school in 2015 to become accredited through the International Society of Appraisers to appraise fine art and still had many connections with previous gallery clients.
In January 2017, I formed Delgado Consulting and Appraising, this consulting firm allows me to consult with clients about art acquisitions, meet with individuals on appraising fine art for estates, divorce, or insurance; as well as act as a freelance consultant for a variety of needs like marketing and promotion.
From solo exhibitions of my own artwork to securing national acclaim and press of local Boerne artists, my base is secure in my ability to confidently guide those that need my services.
In the midst of all this, I published two fine art magazines. I ran Plumage-TX Art Magazine for two years and later, Contemporary Texas Fine Art Magazine. Overall, during the last decade, I wrote art criticisms and reviews for over 19 publications in Texas. This evolved as well, driving me to create my own magazines and publish the content I wanted to write about.
Author, Artist, Consultant, and much more meant I had to split my time writing and creating. From solo exhibitions in San Antonio to a group exhibition at the Drawing Center in New York, to much much more, I would build bodies of artwork that began to be collected.
In Sept 2017, I would have a huge solo exhibition at Gaslyght Modern, run by Gallerieist, James Saldivar.  We would exhibit 86 paintings and drawings and sell 32 on opening night.
This exhibition led to a re-interest in my current work, which would lead to more commissions, and more inquiries.
On November 11, 2017, I will have a select showing of new paintings at Laurie Saunders LTD Antiques & Interiors of the monthly, Second Saturday Art Beat.
Laurie Sanders in located at 179 S. Main Street, Boerne, Texas 78006.”
Enjoy the showing:
Follow along at:
My picture of Gabriel and his daughter, when they modeled our tractor “Fresh From the Farm” tee!

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Camp Drunken Arrow

Last year I was a sponsor.  But this year I got to be a sponsor AND a camper!


My adventure began a few weeks ago, when I had to start sterilizing jars and taking inventory of my ingredients.  Having everything ready, I got to work making dozens of fresh lip balms, healing salves, body scrubs, and warmer melts.  Add to those, a handful of postcards, and I had some great swag bag stuffers for every single gal at camp for this past weekend and in two weeks!  (and that’s a lot of ladies)  😉




After getting those (and our brand new banner) to the camp directors, I had a week to get my alcohol, clothes, and supplies packed and ready to go.

Everyone in our cabin carpooled with someone on the trip in on Friday.  And most of us arrived with plenty of time to settle in.  So drinks started flowing, we were served a frito pie dinner, we participated in a flip cup tournament.  Then some ended up dancing the night away, relaxing in the hot tub, or playing ping pong until midnight.


After a night’s sleep, we were up pretty bright and early.  Breakfast tacos, mimosas, yoga, crafts, and burlesque classes started the day.  Lunch was sandwiches and chips.  Then there was kayaking, a scavenger hunt, competitions, and time for us to finally utilize the margarita machine.  Dinner was sliders, potato salad, and cole slaw.  And then each of our groups performed our prepared lip sync song before the evening wrapped up with a dance party.






Now, I must expand on our performance….

The song that was chosen for us a few weeks ago was Tom Jones’ “What’s New, Pussycat?”  We had time to learn it, think about choreography, plan outfits, etc.  But I think half of us were lazy, and half of us kept considering backing out.  So not much planning went into it.  Luckily, we had one friend volunteer to be Tom Jones (and showed up with the best outfit!) and we had a great group that bonded and were willing to make fools of ourselves together.  So we got up on that stage, sang, swayed, and acted out the words to the song.  It was hilarious!!!  (and no one will ever see the video)  😉

After another night’s sleep, I was the first one up.  Spent at least a wonderful hour on our deck, enjoying the peace and quiet.  Then we gobbled down a great breakfast from 2Tarts Bakery, packed up, and headed back home.


So, there are lots of other happenings and exact competition games that I could describe.  But you should really just experience it for yourself.  Just know that things were fun, hilarious, relaxing, raunchy, embarrassing, out-of-your-comfort-zone, team-building, centering, and glorious!  And you can totally choose what you’d like (or not like) to participate in.  *Camp Drunken Arrow is totally what you make of it*

But I will describe the grounds (Geronimo Creek Retreat, out by Seguin).  Very grassy, covered in beautiful pecan trees.  With a set of tipis, a line of glamp houses, and a few cabins.  There are lots of extra restrooms, picnic tables, fire pits, and a dining hall.  There’s a creek that runs right along the property, with rope swings, a deck, and kayaks to use.  There was a hot tub.  But I was totally missing access to a pool or a pretty river.  (That’s really my only complaint.  All that time we spent hanging out on the warm deck could have been spent in a refreshing body of water.)  😉

Our cabin (Cabin Singing Cloud)?  It was awesome.  The loft had two queen beds and plenty of room.  The downstairs had a bedroom with a king, a living room with a couch, loveseat and cot, a kitchen/dining room with just enough space for all our stuff, and a nice bathroom.  Plus, we had a great deck with a picnic table and plenty of chairs.  But the big bonus to paying extra for the cabin?  A full-size fridge!


And our swag bags?  Each of us got a camp t-shirt.  Us rookies got a necklace with a bead (to mark our first year), while the alumni all got a bead to add to their necklace from their first year.  Every bag got a goody from From Scratch Farm.  We got a lip balm and gift card from Love Shack Boutique, a postcard from The Ink Flamingo, a cookie from 2Tarts Bakery, and a gift certificate from Heart to Hands Healing Touch.  Now, I know how much work, love, and cost goes into providing the swag for gift bags.  So please, check out these businesses’ websites and social media, visit their stores, shop with them!  They would totally appreciate your support!


All in all, when someone asked about attending again, I think most of us were up for going back next fall!

Had such a great time!!!

Interested in attending in the spring (there might still be spots left) or next fall?  Follow Camp Drunken Arrow on social media or get yourself on their e-newsletter list!  Our big mouths are helping to make this camp quite popular, so spots fill up fast!




*Camp for grown ass women*

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The Kendall County Fair

Another fair in the books!  More fun had, more memories made, more accomplishments, more prize ribbons!

The weekend started with me sneaking over to the fairgrounds to check the big chunk of our entries.  It was a great kickstart to the fun!

I did well.  My chocolate muffins won third place.  My pineapple cake won second (I still have yet to beat the Italian cream cake that always wins first!).  My snickerdoodles won a first place ribbon.  And my favorite carrot cupcakes won a blue ribbon and Best of Show!





Evan won five blue ribbons and a Best of Show award for his photography entries.  He won a red ribbon for his Lego construction.  And his collection of blue eggs won a blue ribbon.  He was SO excited!


And Ben got first, second, and third places for his photography.  He won first and second places for his Lego constructions.  And he won a blue ribbon and Best of Show for his collection of brown eggs!


Here, I’d love to explain the collection of eggs competition.  For this, we collected and sat aside eggs for about two weeks.  Then the boys studied, weighed, and compared.  What the judges are looking for is a display of six eggs that are as similar in color, size, weight, and texture as possible.

Next up was Saturday.  We rushed to work, to pull all of our comfy chairs out to the sidewalk, for the best seats in the house during the parade.


After, we rushed back up to the fairgrounds for the egg content contest.

For this, you can only submit one egg.  The judge cracks open each entered egg, drops the contents out onto a plate, and studies the parts for quality.  The whites need to be clear and firm, not discolored or runny.  The yolk needs to be a firm, high mound with a beautiful golden color.  The yolk shouldn’t be runny, flat, or pale yellow.

The trick to getting the perfect egg?  It should be as fresh as possible.  But you should also be feeding your chickens a quality feed.  They should be getting nutritious scraps and treats.  They should be free-ranging in your yard, eating lots of grass, plants, and bugs.  And I’m not above thinking that good loving helps create perfect eggs.  😉

Evan submitted a pretty fresh egg from Rowlf.  Ben entered a much fresher egg (laid Saturday morning) from Kermi.  And Ben’s egg won first place and Best of Show for the teen age group!!!


Then we hit up the vendors and bands.  Of course, grabbing a funnel cake.


Yesterday was the chicken show.  Loaded up everything, got our two hens into their cages, cleaned up their feathers, applied our healing salve to their combs and wattles, and waited.  For this competition, the judge removes each chicken from their cage.  They examine each one against the standard look, coloring, sizing, and features of their breed.





Ms. Piggy didn’t place at this show.  But Rowlf won a second place ribbon for Ben.


All in all, totally felt Ben was the big winner at this year’s fair!  Plus, he was happy to visit with everyone that stopped by the chicken show, talking about our hens, eggs, our 4-H group.  AND, he spent a few hours volunteering for JROTC.  So proud of him!!!

But then Evan and I had fun closing the place down, thanks to the carnival all-you-can-ride bracelet.





And today we picked up all of our entries, our ribbons, and our prize money.  So thankful for the opportunities and the fun our county fair provides.  Such a great way to support our 4-H and FFA youth.


If you want to get involved for next year, there are SO many contests that you can compete in, events you can attend, and ways that you can volunteer!  Mark your calendar for Labor Day weekend.  Ask me any questions here.  Follow the Kendall County Fair’s facebook page.


Facebook page-


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TRAVEL TEXAS- South Padre Island

We did it again!  Our annual beach trip to South Padre!

Lots of sand, sun, and sea.  Froyo every day.  A fun outing.  Lots of great food.  And not a single lick of sunburn.

How do I do it?  Careful planning, budgeting, packing, routine, and sunscreen!



Where do we stay?

Every year, it’s Seabreeze Beach Resort.  Love going back!  It’s an older complex, but….
It’s right on the beach!  The staff is very friendly.  The price is right, compared to other places that are also right on the water.  They have 2- and 3-bedroom condos available.  And each condo is individually owned, so you can sift through photos and find the perfect one for you!  I love choosing from floors 3-6, so we have an amazing view of the coastline and sunrise.  And I love finding the ones with updated bathrooms and cute decor.



What do our days look like?

We have a quick and easy breakfast each morning.  This is usually breakfast burgers or homemade muffins and sausage links, bacon.  And juice.  But one day, Ben (and Aunt Jemima) whipped up a huge stack of yummy pancakes!




Then we are on the beach by about 9:00.  Every morning, I set up our umbrella for shade.  I cover the boys in sunscreen.  And everyone is welcomed to enjoy the beach however they’d like for the next several hours.



By about 1:00, we’ve packed up and headed back to the condo.  Lunches are always lunchmeats, cheeses, and fruits.  Or we’ll choose to have leftovers from the dinners before.  Then we’ll head to Umix for frozen yogurt.  And yep, this is every day (this is one place that I choose to splurge).  Between the four days that we went, we had consumed strawberry, strawberry/kiwi, pink guava, pomegranate/raspberry, chocolate, vanilla, and watermelon (almost all of the flavors!).



Then we hang out in the condo until the heat of the day is over.

By about 5:00, we’re back on the beach.  Covered in sunscreen again, we enjoy our time in the sand and in the waves until sunset.




When we head back to the condo, I whip up a quick dinner (this year they were tortellini, brats, the bacon chicken, fajitas, and pot roast), everyone showers, and we’re off to bed.

Repeat.  😉

What do I pack?

All the normal clothes and bathroom items.

A rubbermaid filled with all of the shovels, buckets, boats, monster trucks, and other sand toys that we’ve collected over the years.  (These kept the teenager busy for countless hours, as he built a different sandcastle village each time we went down to the water.)



Boogie boards.  (I LOVE watching the boys enjoy this activity!)



Beach umbrella.  (Appreciate having some shade during the morning hours, as the day heats up.)

Sunscreen.  (I apply Banana Boat’s SunComfort constantly.  It smells good, feels great, and obviously works amazingly well, if Evan’s white legs don’t even get a little tanned.)  😉

Cameras.  (Our Olympus TG-5 is our magic camera.  Simple point-and-shoot that can fit into any pocket.  Waterproof, so it can be taken anywhere.  Photos have amazing color and quality.  My Nikon D3X also came along this time, since I was wanting family portraits.  With the automatic timer and a tripod, I got some great images of myself with the boys.)





Water.  (Wanting to keep us hydrated, and still wanting to do my part to save the Earth, I purchase the large jugs of water with the dispenser nozzles.  These sit in the fridge, staying cool.  And we can refill our Thermoses any time.  Guaranteed that no one gets dehydrated.)

Food.  (Using a menu and a tight budget, I grabbed all kinds of great fixings, fruits, and veggies from HEB.  This way, I always knew what was in our food and that we were eating well.)

What do we do?

I am constantly jumping waves.  (My one warning about South Padre is that there is always a strong current that is constantly pulling you North.  Be a good swimmer, stay close to your kiddos!)  Evan swam with me quite a bit.  He also spent plenty of time boogie boarding.  Ben was mostly building sandcastles.  I brought along a book to read during downtime.  We watched some TV.  And we had one outing.



One year, we went on a dolphin tour.  Last year we visited Sea Turtle, Inc (and even got to witness a turtle release!).  This year, we toured the SPI Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center.




The center is very small.  Things to see and do are limited.  But it’s only $3 a person!  And we can make fun out of most situations and outings.

We peeked into all of the tanks and read up on all the local/native sealife.  And the employee let me climb into their tortoise’s enclosure, for pictures.  Funny thing about this… by the time I was squatting down to take her picture, she had noticed me and the camera… and she was heading straight for me.  Once I had backed out of the enclosure (and she had followed me), it was clear to see that she owned the place and that she loved humans.  She climbed into my lap, she followed Evan around, she walked all over the building.  She was lovely!  <3



And our one amazing lunch, that is more expensive than any other meal that we have during the entire year?!

It’s King’s Inn (on our way back to Boerne, from South Padre).  It’s tradition.  It brings back wonderful memories of eating there as a kid with my sister, parents, grandparents, all the cousins.  It’s also delicious.  I always order the bombay salad (lettuce, tomatoes, and some kind of mouth-watering, thick, green, avocado-y dressing).  And we always get way too much fried shrimp (big, fresh, tender shrimp, lightly battered, and fried perfectly).  Then we proceed to see who can eat the most.  😉

It’s a wonderful, old, home-y establishment.  Family-style eating.  I assume they have menus, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one.  And I know people rave about the oysters and fried catfish.  But all we care about is that amazing shrimp.  Seriously, best I’ve had… anywhere!



And now I’m sitting here, starting a blog post (which I probably won’t finish until Sunday), sifting through all the photos and the great time had.  Belly is as full as my heart.  And I’m already thinking about next year’s trip!

If you take anything away from this, I hope I’ve inspired you to add a little more fun or structure to your next beach trip, led you to put Umix or King’s Inn on your to-do list, gotten you to check out our Olympus camera (so that you can capture your own precious memories).

If you have any questions for me, let me know!  If you have any suggestions for our next trip, give ’em to me!

Have a wonderful day!  And as always… have a blast when you TRAVEL TEXAS!!!

2 Responses to “TRAVEL TEXAS- South Padre Island”

  1. Amy

    It’s my favorite! Close enough to home. We always have gorgeous weather and beach conditions. Always have such a wonderful time!!!

  2. Candice Curry

    You’re the cutest, I love these pics and the post. I want to take the family there on our next break.

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TRAVEL TEXAS- Hamilton Pool

It has been over two years since I heard about (and have started dreaming about) Hamilton Pool.  Nestled into our beautiful Texas hill country, it seemed like such an incredible little oasis.  But I let that first summer slip by.  Disappointed but curious, I went ahead and just planned on a day of hiking and exploring around the area during the winter.  It lived up to the hype… and was just as beautiful as every picture I had seen.  But then, what did I do?  I let last summer fill up with other activities, I didn’t plan far enough ahead, and we missed our chance at getting one of those coveted reservations (that are now required during the busy summer season).



So I planned early this year.  I was on their website in June.  I paid the $11 for their reservation system and chose the 9:00 to 1:00 time block for this past Tuesday.

The morning of, I was up at 6:00.  I felt like I was making good time in getting myself ready, making the boys’ breakfast, and beginning to pack everything we’d need.  When the boys finally arose, they slowed me down.  And I swear time sped up.  We didn’t leave Boerne until 8:00, so we didn’t get to the park until about 9:30.  By the time everyone stopped at the restrooms, we blew up our tube, and made our way down the .25-mile trail, we had completely lost the first hour of our time there.  But…



After finding a great spot for our stuff (way over on the shaded side of the shore), we headed straight into the “pool.”  We spent the first several minutes adjusting to the cool water and watching the HUGE catfish that swam around our ankles.

Then Evan plopped himself into his tube.  We moved out of the little shallow area (straight into the 25-foot deep spots).  And then Ben and I proceeded to push him all around the pool, to and away from all the waterfalls, under the cold splashes of fresh river water, all around the rocks that surrounded the grotto.  We took pictures and video.  Swam until hearts were pumping.  We studied the plants and ferns growing all over the rocks and cavern walls and ceiling.  We had so much fun!




It ended up getting pretty packed with people.  But, I floated on my back a few times.  With ears under the water, the sounds changed from voices, yelling, and laughter… to sounds of water movement and the waterfalls crashing into the pool.  With eyes closed, I was able to catch my breath and relax.  And every time I opened my eyes again, my breath was taken away by the gorgeous ceilings of the grotto against the beautiful blue Texas sky!  It really was like being in another world!

(My mom texted me at some point to see what I thought of the place.  My reply was simply “magical.”  She asked, “Unicorns?  Fairies?  Rainbows?”  Well, of course not!  But I said, “yes.”)  😉


So, 12:00 came.  And lots of people started packing up and leaving.  12:30 came.  And the park attendant was there to help round up the rest of us…and send us on our ways.  So we gathered our things and made the uphill, uneven .25-mile trek back to the truck.  The awesome thing about it, we had gotten so cooled by the water temperature, walking in the heat of the day was no problem!  It was actually quite comfortable.

So all in all, we had an amazing time!  We never had to apply sunscreen, because we were shaded by the grotto overhang almost the entire time.  No one slipped on a wet rock or got hurt.  No one was embarrassed to be seen with me.  The one float that we carried in was perfect for us.  No one missed the lunch that I didn’t have time to pack.  (But there really was no time to eat.  And stopping at The Pizza Cave on our way home made the boys perfectly happy.)  And if asked, the boys will tell you that the place is gorgeous and that they had a great time!  That’s worth all the world!



Now, my recommendations?  I loved the morning times.  But you sun-bathers might really enjoy the 2:00 to 6:00 time frame.  Bring a camera!  If you’ve got a waterproof one, do not forget it!  If you want to bring several floats, get yourself a battery-operated pump.  That way, you can air everything up when you get to the spot.  Water sandals helped on the rocks and the first few feet in.  But you’re pretty much treading water the rest of the time, and really don’t need anything.  Having goggles along was great.  There seemed to be plenty of life jackets for people to use, so don’t worry about that.  And my only warning?  The restrooms are up by the parking lot!  Once you’re down to the pool, you hold it!  😉  (Please don’t tell me that people pee in the water.  I’ll be blissfully happy if I pretend it doesn’t happen.)

So go!  Make your reservation.  Take it all in.  And ENJOY… every time you TRAVEL TEXAS!!!

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An Interview with Leigh Country

I am suddenly being asked quite often if I would accept guest blog posts, would like to do collaborations, or would like to donate items to a cause or a drawing.  With all of them, I let them know how I’ve been doing things so far, what’s been working well for us, and opening it up to new ideas and ways to do things.

I have to tell you, I was approached earlier this week with an e-mail about a coffee-centered guest blog post, which opened up with “Who doesn’t love coffee?”  I honestly wrote her back with an, “I don’t!”  😉  And I challenged her to find a way to write about coffee specifically for my readers, ways that we would use coffee to benefit our health or our skin, or ways to bake with it.  Totally waiting to see if I hear back from her!

But I digress.  The real point of this post is about my new collaboration with a great business.  One that I have obviously seen around for years.  Just never had a glimpse into their name, their company, their business practices, and their employees.  Until now.

When I was approached by Randi of Leigh Country a few weeks ago, I was totally on board with their business and some type of partnership.  We discussed several options.  We decided on a type of Q&A blog post.  And before I say any more, here is my interview…..



Who are YOU?  And what is your part in the company?

My name is Randi, and I’m the Marketing and Branding Associate for Leigh Country. I oversee all marketing efforts Leigh Country conducts, including our new company blog Authentic Country Living.

What is your typical day like (sun-up to sundown)?

My first alarm – yes, I’m one of those people that needs multiple alarms – goes off at 7. I spend the next 30 min or so struggling to wake up. Then I grab a much needed cup of coffee before hopping in the shower. I head off to work around 8:45, because I’m #blessed with a 10-minute commute. Work starts at 9, and I begin checking my emails and our Facebook page’s inbox for any customer communications.

I spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours just communicating with people, either the Leigh Country email here in the office, or Leigh Country family out there in the world. It just depends on the day. The rest of the morning I usually spend either researching for a blog post or writing on one. It’s our newest project so I’m trying to get it the time it deserves.

Lunch is whenever I’m hungry. I’m lucky to have a flexible schedule, so my stomach dictates lunchtime. Sometimes it’s 11, other days it’s 2. It can also depend on how focused I am on a piece. Lunch is usually leftovers from the night before, but I’m also notorious for forgetting to bring them with me! My go-to places to order lunch are local Chinese restaurants. We’re located near the Chinatown district of Houston so there’s too many good places to pick just one!.

After lunch I tackle other projects I’m working on. It could be an event we’re sponsoring (stay tended to the blog for more info on that), writing product descriptions, or working with our Art Director, Aaron, on specific projects. The project du jour keeps me busy until the work day ends at 5:30.

I’m usually home by 6, either from traffic or running an errand or two. I take some down-time to myself to read, write, or, in all honesty, take a nap, before my fiance gets home around 7:30. He’s the chef in the family so he usually cooks dinner, and we eat while watching wrestling. He’s a big wrestling fan and got me interested in it when we started dating. Our evening tends to end with wrestling, cleaning the kitchen, then crashing by 11.


I know that Leigh Country has quite a legacy.  Could you tell us a little bit about the history of the business?

Leigh Country started in 2004 as an off-shoot of our parent company United General Supply Co., Inc. (or UGS for short). UGS began in 1984 with our CEO and his wife following the American Dream! They went from peddling hand tools at flea markets to having a thriving hardware store. Adding outdoor and patio furniture seemed like a natural expansion. But Leigh Country isn’t your average outdoor pieces: we make solid-wood, all-natural furniture. Each of our pieces is made from actual trees, no MDF, that we sustainably farm. We don’t use forests; we grow our own pine and fir trees.


What are your products?  Which is a best seller?  What is your favorite?

Our log-style rocking chairs are our signature products, and our best sellers. Our wood furniture also comes in double rockers, which seat two adults, swings, bar-height tables and chairs, and more. Part of what makes our wood furniture so unique are our finishes: Char-log, Aspen, and Amber-log. Char-log pieces are made up of just that: charred logs. Each log has been charred by hand for a unique, darkened finish. Aspen pieces are natural wood, sealed only with clear lacquer, which highlights the natural wood grain. Amber-log is our newest finish. The pieces are oiled or stained to a warm, golden-honey finish.

We also sell standing coolers, metal wall decor such as traditional barn stars, and garden benches. We are also proud to offer some officially licensed products with Coca-Cola, and some select NCAA colleges. I’m particularly partial to our Coca-Cola coolers, and our UT Longhorns rocker.


Is there a new product in the works?

We’re always designing new items to meet customer demand. I can’t say too much, but we may have a new style of our log furniture coming soon. You’ll have to stay tuned to our blog to find out more!

What are some of the company’s biggest accomplishments or proudest moments?

Getting to work with H-E-B and create exclusive products for them has really been wonderful. If you’ve seen the movie Heaven is For Real, our H-E-B exclusive furniture is poolside at the family home.

We’ve also partnered with the Sugar Land Skeeter’s for the past few summers. Our furniture is featured on their Distinctive Life Diamond Deck. You can watch all seven innings from our rockers!

We have another big partnership in the works. It’ll be announced on our blog in the next coming weeks.


My kids and I love watching America’s Got Talent during the summer.  Does anyone in the company have a secret passion that could stand up to a talent show stage?

Our Dropship Manager, Porsche, has a wealth of pop culture. She can beat anyone at the Six Degrees of Separation game. You name a pop star and a tv actor, and she’ll have them connected in no time, no Google needed! I’m not sure if that’s America’s Got Talent-worthy, but it’s impressive nonetheless.

If you were stranded on an island with only five things, what you want those five items to be?

Well if I were stranded, and truly wanting to survive, I know exactly what six things I would need: my glasses, sunscreen, a water filter or a pot, flint or matches, and a knife. But those answers are no fun! My “wants” would be a coffee maker, coffee (otherwise I’d be the first one voted off), face mists (they really do keep you cooled off and refreshed!), lip balm, and a copy of Alice in Wonderland (one of my favorite books!).


If you could meet anyone (past or present), who would that be… and why?

I never know how to answer this question! This may sound strange, I’d be interested in meeting my parents when they were teenagers and young adults. I’d like to see how they came to be who they are today.

What are your favorite things about this great state of Texas?

Southern hospitality! It’s real y’all. People truly are nice and kind. Strangers stop to help strangers out. People care. It gives you hope.

Oh, and the food. BBQ, grits, my dad’s ribs and my mom’s fried chicken, pecan pie, anything TEXMEX!


Where is your favorite vacation spot in Texas?

I love going to Austin. Especially if I’m wanting to stay in the city, but keep it weird. Plus, you can visit some beautiful aspects of nature without leaving the city.

What are some of your favorite fellow businesses in Houston?

Well I’ve mentioned I love coffee so I gotta throw a couple of shout-outs to some of my favorite coffee spots: Boomtown and Slowpokes.  I’ve also mentioned Tex-Mex and wrestling, so I have to mention the wrestler-owned Tex-Mex restaurant chain Cyclone Anaya’s. For dessert, you can go fancy with Macaron by Patisse, or Houston classic at any one of the many Arandas BakerySpace Montrose is a really cool local boutique that sells pieces by local artists in Houston. They also hold events with artist in-house making custom pieces. It’s a really great space. No pun intended. I also HAVE to give a shout-out to Plant It Forward. It’s a business-cum-movement. They help refugees by giving them jobs and skills, planting urban gardens all throughout the city of Houston. They were featured on the Houston episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. If you can catch that episode I highly recommend it; it only made me love Houston more.


We’re a handmade small business in a small town.  I’m a single mom.  We’re a 4-H family that raises chickens.  We love photography, our pets, good food, traveling Texas.  I’m trying my hand at blogging.  I’m crazy about essential oils, HEB, buying local, shopping small, social media, being kind, savoring life, sharing recipes, and dinner parties.
What fun or quirky things like these could be said about you?  What about us made you reach out for a partnership with us?

We reached out because we’re quirky and relatable too! Definitely get a kindred spirit from your blog! Leigh Country is a small business in a big city that has a small town feel. We’re family owned and operated. We love and respect family and it flows into our business practices. We also have literal family members working in different departments. We have husbands and wives, sisters, cousins, all from different families, but all part of the Leigh Country family.

We all have different backgrounds, but there are some things we all have in common: We’re all foodies and appreciate a good meal. We all enjoy family time. Company outings always include family members. We might live in the city but we’re all a little bit country in our hearts.

Some activities are enjoyed by a handful of employees: There’s a few of us here at Leigh Country that enjoy pro-wrestling, myself included. We also have some serious self-proclaimed nerds. A couple of our employees have either worked, or currently work for local comic conventions. We also have some weekend soccer players. Some fantasy football players. We have a former touring rock star. We have crafters, bloggers, DIY-ers, and video gamers. There’s fewer than 50 of us working here, but we have all kinds! Just like a real family.


Do you have a favorite family recipe that you could share with our readers?

One of my favorite recipes growing up came from a cookbook my mother’s bowling league compiled to raise money for a bowling trip. It’s definitely not family original, but I associate it with my mom. It’s a simple, strawberry cake, and my birthday cake for many birthdays growing up.


One box strawberry Jello
One box white cake mix
1 c. frozen strawberries, thawed
1/2 c. oil
4 eggs, whole

One 16-oz box/bag powdered sugar
1 c. frozen strawberries, thawed and pureed
1 stick butter, softened


Combine cake mix, jello, strawberries and oil in mixer. Once thoroughly combined, add eggs one at a time, beating well. Pour batter into greased 9X13 pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

For the icing, add all ingredients to mixer and mix until creamy. Pour over cake. This icing is more of a glaze than traditional icing. Pour over a hot for a thinner glaze, or wait until the cake has cooler for a thicker, more icing-like glaze.

Garnish with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.


And, of course… Where can our readers find your rockers, coolers, swings, and more?

Our products can be found online, in no particular order, at Wal-Mart, Houzz, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, and Wayfair. If you prefer to shop in store, you find a local store near you with our Store Locator on our website. Different stores carry different items at their own choice, so please call ahead when looking for a specific item.


So, by now you’ve got to be wondering how you can follow this wonderful company or purchase their great products.  I’ve gotcha covered!





Store Locator


And whether you choose a chair, a rocker, decor, or a cooler… I’m hoping it brings some warm, rustic charm to your home, for generations to come!!!


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TRAVEL TEXAS- Happy Camper

Evan has asked me on a couple of occasions, “Mom, You like old things, don’t you?”  Yep.  I love old furniture and homes.  I love adding vintage touches around our house and yard.  I kinda love old people.  I’ve always wanted to own a vintage Ford Mustang.  And I dream of antique campers.  When we were worrying about finding a new location for From Scratch Farm, I actually began looking for an old camper that I could bring back to life.  I was already in love with the fact that we could glamp… I would have a mobile shop… and I could have air conditioned “booth space” at handmade fairs and markets.

Yay for us, that we found the wonderful space that we’re now in!!!  But that left me still dreaming of campers.  😉

One glamping instagram account that I’ve loved following is the Happy Camper.  They’re very close to us (Wimberley).  I was able to watch some behind-the-scenes pictures of their project.  And I got to see a little bit of their airb&b dream come true.  I was so excited to know that we were going to get to stay there for a couple of nights!

We started our vacation on Sunday.  Packed up our clothes, swim bag, food, and water… and set out, further into the hill country.

Our one pit stop was for lunch.  And thanks to google maps and reviews, we ended up at Jobell Cafe & Bistro.  I LOVED their signature salad (mixed greens, granny smith apples, feta, shallots, caramelized walnuts, and apple cider vinaigrette).  And the boys both gobbled down their chicken & waffles (with sides of bacon).  Seriously amazing food, atmosphere, and wait staff!


And then we headed to our destination!


The Happy Camper is a remodeled 1976 Airstream Land Yacht.  She is furnished with everything you need for the perfect weekend getaway, tucked away on six private acres in Wimberley, but very close everything!

The space (as listed on airb&b):
Tempurpedic queen bed
twin day bed
small fridge
silverware, cookware, dishes, and bbq tools
s’mores supplies
coffee maker and supplies
a few games
bbq pit
picnic table
patio umbrella
and air conditioning (yay!)













The space (as described by me):
The Airstream herself is beautiful.  It’s clean and shiny.  There are lots of touches of my favorite turquoise and green.  And there are pops of red and gold throughout.  If the Tempurpedic mattress hadn’t been so darn comfortable, the adorable turquoise fridge would have been my favorite thing!  😉  We had everything we needed to cook both breakfasts and both dinners.  The boys LOVED having graham crackers, marshmallows, and a Hershey bar waiting for us!  Ben loved asking me questions from the dinner conversations game.  We played checkers.  The bathroom had everything that we needed for the few days.  The air conditioning was very comfortable.  There was an extra fan, if we needed it.  There were a couple of stools at the bar, but we ate all of our meals outside at the picnic table.  We sat around and enjoyed the land quite a bit, thanks to our hosts ordering up the perfect weather for us!  (Really, hosts Jonathan and Brittany have done a beautiful job of creating a cute and comfortable getaway for everyone looking to travel to the Texas hill country!)  The nights got magical, as the party lights came on to light the site.  We all slept well.  We were all happy campers!!!








So, in the time that we weren’t at the camper:
We spent a day at Blue Hole.  Literally hours laying around in our floats, enjoying the beautiful spot.  (clear water, pretty grounds, beautiful cypress trees)  And Ben took his turn on the rope swing a few times.  We ate a picnic there.  We really only left because Evan’s lips had turned blue (it is THAT cold!!!).



Thanks to google maps and reviews again, we headed to San Marcos for Rhea’s Ice Cream Shop.  With flavors like caramel sea salt, avocado coconut, goat cheese & raspberry jam, chocolate milkshake, circus animal cookie, banana pudding, and cookies & cream, how could we resist?!  (Although, we’re not very good at resisting ice cream)  😉  After sampling several of the flavors, Ben ended up getting a few scoops of s’mores; Evan got a couple scoops of brown sugar cinnamon; I got Big Red.  YUM!!!!!!


The next day, I also tried to talk them into Wimberley Zipline Adventures or Schlitterbahn.  But the bums were in such relaxed vacation mode, they turned me down.  What?!  (Next time I need to vacation with someone else’s kids)

But despite my last day blues, it was a wonderful trip!  I would love for you to put it on your to-do list.  As always, tell them I sent ya… and have fun when you TRAVEL TEXAS!


Want to learn more, visit with the owners, or book your next vacation?




Glamping Hub



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