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The 9 Best Made In The USA Drinkware For Your Lake House

Dinner set on a beautiful porch by a lake on a sunset

Glassware is a necessity

We don’t often think of the basic necessities for lake house living, but your drinking ware is an item that you really can’t go without. It is definitely a necessity.
If you plan in advance for your needs, you can secure those items and never get in a crunch when friends and family descend for a visit.
When looking for those items, it is also a bonus for you and your country to look for items that are American made.
So when you are looking at the various choices, you might think that it is just a simple choice of what color, what size, or even what features the product might offer.
However, your purchase choice has far greater ramifications than you might think. Buying American has a huge impact on the economy and the very foundation that our nation is built upon.
Like the ripples you see in the water at your lake house, the positive ripples created when you buy American-made products are far-reaching.
We have compiled a list of American made glassware that will serve you well at your lake house. You can feel doubly glad knowing that it is made in the USA. 


Top 9 Made in the USA Drinkware

Made in the USA Drinkware

SUMMARY

Overall Rating - 4.4/5

US Acrylic produces a wide range of products for the home. From concept to creation, these products are proudly manufactured in Libertyville, IL.

Overall Rating - 4.7/5

From their headquarters located in California, Tossware is committed to making drinkware that is made from recycled material and is recyclable itself.

Overall Rating - 4.7/5

These insulated tumblers will help to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. A generous 16-ounce size, they will be great for lounging around the poolside.

Overall Rating - 4.5/5

Made by Homestead Choice, these 12-ounce tumblers will serve you well and look good for many years to come.

Overall Rating - 4.3/5

Libbey is one of the top glassware manufacturers in America. Most households have Libbey glassware in their cupboards.

Overall Rating - 4.6/5

A fun set of tumblers to have around the house, these Optix 20 ounces are sure to be a favorite with friends and family alike.

Overall Rating - 4.8/5

Definitely a one-of-a-kind whiskey glass, this 11-ounce rock glass is a real conversation starter.
Each glass is hand-sculpted to make a truly unique gift for yourself or someone else. 

Overall Rating - 4.4/5

Everyone needs a set of everyday functional glasses that will go with everything and anything.
Made in the USA Drinkware Glasses for family meals and for when company drops in. These Anchor Hocking glasses fit the bill perfectly. 

Overall Rating - 4.7/5

With simple, straight lines, the Libbey heavy base set of 12 rock glasses are ideal for any occasion that offers the opportunity to celebrate.

Made in the USA Drinkware Product Reviews

1. Classic 9-ounce Premium Quality by US Acrylic

US Acrylic produces a wide range of products for the home. From concept to creation, these products are proudly manufactured in Libertyville, IL.
The clear acrylic of the glass makes it look like glass, but it is made of break-resistant material. Being transparent, these glasses will go with any dinner setting.
The nine-ounce glasses are the perfect size for juice for adults, and just the right size for any drink for the kids.
If the kids drop them, they won't break, and there is no chance of them getting cut by broken glass.
If the kids spill them, there won't be an exorbitant amount spilled. This set of six made in America tumblers will be ideal for both kids and adults.

Pros

  • Made of break-resistant, restaurant quality BPA-free material.
  • Great for patio, poolside, and other outdoor use.
  • Top-rack dishwasher safe.

Cons

  • Water pools in bottom of glass when upside down in dishwasher

2. TOSSWARE 9oz Flute SET OF 12

From their headquarters located in California, Tossware is committed to making drinkware that is made from recycled material and is recyclable itself.
100% BPS-free and guaranteed not to crack or break.
Perfect for any type of party, birthday, bridal showers, graduations, family reunions, and any other kind of party you can think of.
You can forget about the stress of worrying over broken glass around the pool, or broken glass in the sand at the beach.
These nine-ounce flutes are great for toasts with champagne, or cocktails, and mimosas.
The edges of these flutes are rounded for smooth drinking and create a Pop 'n Lock rim for easy storage.

 Take a look at the video to see that Tossware is versatile.


Pros

  • Shatterproof
  • BBA free
  • Stackable

Cons

  • Cannot put in the dishwasher

3. Tervis 4-Pack Tumbler, 16-Ounce, Clear

These insulated tumblers will help to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. A generous 16-ounce size, they will be great for lounging around the poolside.
The tumbler will reduce condensation, so no slippery glasses to fall and break.
Even more convenient, the Tervis can be placed in the microwave or the freezer. Clean up can be done in the dishwasher.
You can use these insulated tumblers with confidence, as this made in the USA product comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Pros

  • Accessories include lids, handles, and straws
  • Fits most cup holders
  • Thousands of designs

Cons

  • Can sometimes get a cloudy appearance

4. 4-pack Insulated 12 Ounce Tumblers - Drinking Glasses 

Made by Homestead Choice, these 12-ounce tumblers will serve you well and look good for many years to come.
Made from an extremely strong material, the tumblers won't scratch, crack or leak. You will not be left with insulated tumblers that go cloudy after a few uses.
Made here in the USA come with a lifetime guarantee that they will not break during regular use.
These handy tumblers can be popped in the microwave or freezer, and are safe in the top rack of your dishwasher.
Set them out for the kids where you are having hot chocolate or use them for a scoop of ice cream and ginger ale.
You won't have to worry about them breaking if they fall, and no one will end up with stitches.

 This video shows you more about the Homestead Choice Tumblers

Pros

  • Reviewer says that the tumblers do not get sweaty
  • Melamine Free
  • Impact-resistant

Cons

  • A bit pricey

5. Libbey Signature Kentfield Estate All-Purpose

Libbey is one of the top glassware manufacturers in America. Most households have Libbey glassware in their cupboards.
This set of four 20.5 ounce wine glasses would make a good addition to your cabinets.
Kentfield Estate stemless wine glasses are balanced and stable.
The all-purpose shp[e makes them easy to hold. Made with a chip-resistant rim, you are sure to enjoy bottle after bottle of your favorite wines in these glasses.
The classically elegant shape has been manufactured with Libbeyu's ClearFire formula that adds brilliance, strength, and clarity.


Pros

  • Can be used for any cold beverage
  • Clear glass will go with any dinnerware

Cons

  • They are glass and will break if dropped

6. Optix 20-ounce Plastic Tumblers

A fun set of tumblers to have around the house, these Optix 20 ounces are sure to be a favorite with friends and family alike.
Your set of eight tumblers will come in four different colors that will appeal to all.
Teal, gray, aqua, and blue will look good with whatever dinnerware you pair them with.
Because of their large size and the prism, twist design, the Optix will be good around the pool or out on the patio.
Teenagers are sure to love the unique shape, and the adults will love the fact that they are shatterproof.
Proudly made in the USA from BPA-free and food-safe materials, these will become your go-to glasses for everyday use.

Pros

  • Colors are vibrant and bright
  • Can stack one inside the other
  • Can be washed in the dishwasher

Cons

  • Some reviewers said the rims were a bit on the sharp side

7. The Original BenShot Bullet Rocks Glass

Definitely a one-of-a-kind whiskey glass, this 11-ounce rock glass is a real conversation starter.
Each glass is hand-sculpted to make a truly unique gift for yourself or someone else.
Made in the USA, each Ben Shot rock glass is made in their glass studio in Wisconsin.
Using decades of glass working experience, they mold a real bullet into your glass. The 0.308 bullet is made from solid copper.
However, there is no gunpowder, lead, or casings, so the rock glass is 100% safe to drink from.
The perfect gift when you are looking for an unusual and unique gift.

Pros

  • Will custom etch on the glass
  • Comes in a branded box, so perfect as a gift

Cons

  • Need to be careful with temperature differences with liquid/ice in glass

8. Anchor Hocking Heavy Base 12.5-oz Drinking Glasses

Everyone needs a set of everyday functional glasses that will go with everything and anything.
Glasses for family meals and for when company drops in. These Anchor Hocking glasses fit the bill perfectly.
They will be handy for all of your gatherings. The heavy base design helps to keep the glass from tipping, but remain upright and sturdy.
The 12.5-ounce drinking glass will serve for lunch or dinner and for juices, soft drinks, ice tea, mixed drinks, lemonade, water, and more.
A set of these dishwasher safe glasses would be ideal for showers, housewarmings, and weddings.
For over 110 years, Anchor Hocking glass has been Made in the USA Drinkware. Not many companies can say that of their product.

Pros

  • Goes with anything
  • Great gift idea
  • Heavy base gives stability

Cons

  • Will break if dropped

9. Libbey Heavy Base Rocks Cocktail Glasses

With simple, straight lines, the Libbey heavy base set of 12 rock glasses are ideal for any occasion that offers the opportunity to celebrate.
These classic tumblers are perfect for serving whiskey neat or with ice cubes.
Great for an old fashioned or any type of spirits, it would also serve well holding your morning orange juice!
The 11-ounce glasses are made lead-free in the USA by Libbey, one of the top Made in the USA Drinkware.
These glasses are the right size for large and small gatherings alike. These make the perfect gift as they never go out of style.

Pros

  • Clear glass goes with anything
  • Heavy bottom for stability
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Not stackable

Why Buy Made In USA Products?

It may seem like a small thing to do. Why bother looking for specific products, you just need some glasses for the cupboards.
Preferably ones that the kids and your company won’t break the first week you have them.
But it is important. And it does matter which products you purchase.
Your lake house is your haven. It is where you are refreshed and inspired. It is the place that you love to have family and friends gather.
You love your lake home and do what you can to protect and preserve it. American is your home, too.
And just like your lake house, you would do what you could to protect and preserve her. That action can be as easy as buying American made products. 

What Kind Of A Difference Does It Make When You Buy Made In The USA Drinkware?

It makes a huge difference when you buy products and goods that are made in the USA.
Here are some numbers that might help to understand the importance of purchasing your needed glasses from an American business.
Over 70% of the entire US economy is driven by consumer spending. That tells you that our economy hinges on the spending that you and I do.
On top of that, 80% of the jobs in America are generated by small businesses. That is enormous!
Small businesses are the backbone of America. When you buy a made in the USA product, you help someone to keep their job and provide for their family, just as you want to do for yours.
The more demand there is for American made goods, the more jobs there are created here in the United States.
The more you buy from your fellow American, the faster the economy grows, and the stronger the economy becomes.

Small Businesses Pay Taxes

We may all be sick of construction on the roads, and the trip to the lake house may take longer because of it.
But those orange construction cones are a sign that buying American made products has strengthened the infrastructure.
Every US manufacturer pays taxes. Those taxes are used to benefit US citizens.
Those funds are used for education, national defense, transportation, social security, and research in both science and technology.
Billions of dollars annually are paid in taxes by small businesses, and those monies go back into strengthening our country.
It may sound simplistic, but the drinking glasses made in the USA that you are using on the patio at your lake house are helping to fix the potholes in the road.

Buying American Impacts Future Generations

The American made product that you buy today will benefit your children and their children.
If American dollars are not spent supporting small businesses selling American manufactured goods, the economy will weaken.
If our children were to inherit a weakened economy, it would undermine their success and independence.
ABC Nightly News Anchor David Muir has had a popular segment on the newcast called 'Made In America.'
His premise is that if every American spent just $64 of their shopping budget on products made in America, the result would be a half million new and permanent jobs created here in the US.
This would be a huge positive impact on future generations.

Final Thoughts

The American made product that you buy today will benefit your children and their children.
If American dollars are not spent supporting small businesses selling American manufactured goods, the economy will weaken.
If our children were to inherit a weakened economy, it would undermine their success and independence.
ABC Nightly News Anchor David Muir has had a popular segment on the newcast called 'Made In America.'
His premise is that if every American spent just $64 of their shopping budget on products made in America, the result would be a half million new and permanent jobs created here in the US.
This would be a huge positive impact on future generations.

Why You Should Be Interested In These 10 Best Lake House Summer Camp Themes

Our world is a bit topsy turvy at the moment. It is a disappointment to both kids and their parents that summer camps are probably not going to be running this summer. And while this is a sad state of affairs, it is also a great time to teach the kids about resilience and making the best of whatever situation you find yourself in. 

This includes putting on a summer camp of your own at your lake house. Here are some of our suggestions for creating memories with the kiddos this summer. 

Nature Camp

The perfect time to explore nature is in the summer! Summer at the lake house is like sprinkles on ice cream.  Start in your backyard. Getting to know the area right under your feet will give the kids greater respect and understanding of their home and greater pride and sense of protection for those creatures with whom they share space. If you want to capture one of the creatures for observation, bring along a jar with holes poked in the lid. 

Remember to keep your fellow critters for just a short time before releasing them back from whence they came. Keep a log of the bugs and other interesting bits of nature along with where they were located. 

Each day, start in a different direction to go on a nature walk:

Take with you:

  • Notebook

  • Pen or pencil and/or colored pencils

  • Bird book (optional)

Directions:

  • Try to see how many different trees, bugs, or birds that you can find.

  • Keep a list of what you see and where you see it.

  • Draw pictures of what you see

If you can’t identify what you see, or if you have questions that you don’t know the answer to, write those down. Look the answers up online and add it to your nature notebook. 

Picture Stones Camp

This is a good practice to inspire creativity. Find stones around your lake house that would be conducive to painting a small object on. We are talking about the size of a quarter or less. Gather as many as you can find. If you run out in the process, you can go out gathering again. 

Clean the stones and make sure that they are dry before you start painting. Divide the stones among the participants and have each person paint whatever object they choose on a stone. It could be an umbrella, a dog, a car, a cloud, a train, or anything at all. Use your imagination to create your set of stones. Each child will also have a pouch or bag or even a plastic storage container with their name on it in which to store their stones. 

Once the rocks are painted and are dry, each child will need to tell a story with their picture stones. They can lay their stones out one at a time, telling the story as they go along to correspond with the picture they have painted on their rock. Try mixing the stones up all together and have each child tell a story from the mixture of stones. 

As the adult, you can have painted your own set of picture stones that teach a lesson. You could also use the picture stones to tell the story of your family tree or how you met their mom. The stories and the picture stones will help to create a lasting memory. Spray them with a sealer once they are completely dry to make the pictures on the rocks last.

 Outdoor Camping Camp

This camp is a lot of fun and can be a great learning experience. You can make it as straightforward or as involved as you desire. Create an outdoor camping experience at your lake house by setting up a campsite in your yard. Involve the kids in the preparation by making a list of all of the items you will need to "rough it" in the out of doors. 

Make it a rule that only the items on the list can be brought, and if anything is forgotten, it has to be gone without. Get together all of your gear, including food items, and make it a rule that indoors is off-limits. (except for bathroom breaks). Everything else has to be done with the implements that you have, and it has to be done at your campsite. 

Put together easy recipes that can be cooked over a campfire or require no cooking. You can make it a learning experience by involving the kids from the beginning. Plan out your meals. Make a grocery list. Be ready to sleep out of doors no matter the weather (unless it is dangerous, like lightning). Kids will love sleeping in a  hammock-like this one that includes a mosquito net to keep the bugs out. Depending on the age of the kids, make them responsible for creating the list of supplies. Include some learning processes for them. 

You could create the rule that once at the campsite, any item that was forgotten has to be done without. The item could be included the next day, but only by being swapped for a thing you already have. It helps kids to problem solve. There are all kinds of lessons that you could include in your summer camping experience at your lake house. 

Pirate Camp

You have water, and you have a boat, why not have a pirate camp? With a little planning on your part, you could create a camp where the memories last a long time! You could make your costumes, and each child could choose their pirate name. While you are engaging in making costumes, you could include some of the histories of the most famous pirates. 

What was there world like back then? What was life at sea like? What kind of hardships did these rouges face, and you could have discussions of what would have made these men choose that type of lifestyle. Beforehand you could set up a scavenger hunt, complete with map and buried treasure, as in Treasure Island style. 

Leaving clues that lead from one point to another, use your imagination as to where to place the clues. Tether a clue to a buoy that you reach by boat and another in a tree. Ensure plenty of "gold" and "jewels" in the treasure chest, which is the end goal of the hunt.

Game Camp

Kids love games, and a camp based on games is sure to be a hit. Devise new ways to play old favorites. The lake house is the ideal spot for playing games. For example, use cardboard as tiles for an outdoor version of scrabble. Write letters on each piece of cardboard and set up your "board" out on the lawn. Twister is another game that lends itself to the yard. 

Make yourself a template by cutting a large circle out of the center of the cardboard and spray paint with various reds, yellows, blues, and green circles on the lawn. A game that would work well inside is hallway maze. Use string, duct tape or yarn, and create a labyrinth down a hallway, stringing your material from one side of the hall to the other in an intricate manner. The objective is to get through the maze without dislodging the material from the wall. Kids are always up for games like volleyball, lawn darts, and hide and seek. 

Ask the kids to participate by coming up with versions of old favorites or even entirely new games. Incorporate the best ideas in upcoming game camps. 

Olympics Camp

This camp might not look exactly like a gold level competition, but it will be fun. Set up some obstacle courses outside and have a series of challenges. Use some of the water noodles that you have at the lake house and make rings out of them by taping the ends together. Suspend those rings from your deck or patio, and the kids try to get a balloon to sail through the ring. 

Play tug of war in the waist-deep water. You could have a complete triathlon using a first round of biking, obstacle course, and water challenge. Kids love anything that keeps them active and moving. Whatever you decide to set up as challenges will keep them happy and entertained.

Bicycle Camp

Life at the lake house is laid back and conducive to a slower pace. Bicycles fit right into life at a slower pace. Incorporate mini trips into your days at the lake as a form of bike camp. Set out on a mystery destination, or do a type of scavenger hunt ride. Set out clues beforehand that will take you from one point to another. Decorate your bikes in a different theme for each day that you ride. 

Take along a picnic lunch and stop along the way to eat it. This would be an excellent time for the kids to learn about the "Laufmaschine” invented by Karl von Sauerbronn in 1817. Laufmaschine means running machine and was an alternative to riding horses. 

Theater Camp

Kids are creative and have wonderful, wild imaginations. Put all of the drama to use at a theater camp at your lake house. Ask the kids to construct a story, one that they collaborate and write themselves. The end goal is to present this story in the form of a play. They will need to keep this end goal in mind as they are writing their story. 

Once the story has been written, and the final version is satisfactory to all, it will be time for the real work to begin. The kids will need to pull together costumes and backdrops for their play using items that are already at the lake house. The stage will need to be set up, and props gathered. Practicing the play will entail a run through or two before opening night. 

Be sure to have tickets for admission and popcorn on hand for the audience members!

Water Camp

It would be amiss for life on the lake not to include a water camp. There are a variety of water games that can be played in the shallows, like volleyball. Onshore, water games are also popular. Get some buckets and sponges at the dollar store, and use them in a game to see who can fill up their bucket using the sponge to fill the bucket with lake water first. Add some ice cubes to that water and marbles to the bottom of the bucket and have the kids see who can fish the marbles out of the icy water the fastest. 

You can also get Alka seltzer type tablets at the dollar store, along with squirt guns. Fill up the guns and have a “reloading” station outside. Put a tablet of Alka seltzer on a string and give one to each of the kids to hang around their neck. Then, on your mark, get set, go!  Each person gets to run around and squirt each other. As the tablet dissolves, that person is out. The one with most of their tablet left is the winner. Use the same buckets that you got at the dollar store and have the kids lay down on their backs in a circle. 

Kids will need to have their shoes on.  With their legs up in the air, have the kids touch their feet together, making a kind of table. Put the bucket on their feet. In the bucket place, any number of things...some water, some deshelled eggs, slime or any other thighs that would feel gross like pudding or rubber worms. The goal is for each kid to slip off one of their shoes while the others keep the bucket steady. Besides these games, there is tubing, swimming, boating, and fishing that can be incorporated into the water camp at the lake house.

I Need A Break Camp

Being your camp counselor can be exhausting! With our list of suggestions, you could use some or parts of the ideas, and you can also look for a bit of help from another avenue. Daily STEAMwork videos from the new National Children's Museum in Washington D.C. are another option to keep the kiddos entertained and learning at the same time. The National Children's Museum now has more than 60 videos on the museum website that will endeavor to inspire the kids with science, technology, arts, math, and engineering. 

There is also a list on the website of materials needed for each video. This summer, there will also be one-day virtual summer camps. Tuesdays will be a day of science. Thursdays will be about making child-size structures with materials that are everyday objects. If you choose to participate, you will receive supply kits in advance of each session. 

In Conclusion

You will be able to give your kids a camp type experience at your lake house and create some life-long memories at the same time. The time spent together will be a bonding experience that you may never have again. 

Although the circumstances are not ones that we would ever want to repeat, it is an opportune time to teach your kids about how you get through life with imagination and ingenuity.  You will also be giving them life lessons that will hold them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

7 Best Closet Concepts for Your Lake House

Living at the lake house is a beautiful place to be. Often you have others that come and spend a day or so with you enjoying the time on the water. The last thing you want to do at the lake house is to be looking for misplaced items or continually sorting through packed closets. 

Clutter and disorganization should be forbidden at your lake house, as it just detracts from your reason for being there in the first place.We have seven of the best closet concepts to use to keep on top of organizing necessary items, but you don't want to waste time keeping track of them.

ONE:

Make good use of the entryway to your lake house. Frequently, items will be brought into the main part of the house simply because there is no storage near the front door. They get sat down in the first clear spot in the house and add to the clutter. Then when you need the item again, you have to sift through piles to find it. 

Set up some stations in the foyer so that these often-used items have a home. An umbrella stand for umbrellas and walking sticks will keep those items handy. Cubes that are stacked become storage units that hold shoes and prevent them from being a tripping hazard. Hooks on the walls will be perfect for hats and coats. They can be hung up immediately upon entering the lake house and retrieved on the way out again. There is no more throwing them over the back of furniture or in piles on a bed.

Here are instructions to Create a Sleek and Simple Coat Rack and Hat Rack.

TWO:

Drawers in a closet are a handy concept. If the room is on the smaller side, drawers in the closet create a place for clothing. Home improvement stores will have drawer units that can be put together and added to your closet space. Or, you could put a small dresser in the closet and free up floor space at the same time. You could find an inexpensive set at a garage sale or thrift store, or you already have one. 

The clothes rod will still hang above, and the dresser below will provide storage for folded items.

THREE:

Having clothes dividers in your closet saves time spent hunting for particular items. You may have a variety of clothes at the lake house, some for each of the seasons or various occasions. Maybe the closet is shared with others, or you have one closet that several children use. You can print out clothes dividers on heavy-duty cardstock. 

To ensure their sturdiness, you can laminate them. Looking much like a hotel "Do Not Disturb" doorknob hanger, you can print a person's name on each divider. You could print any category that you need, like spring clothes or boating outfits. Using these dividers in closets makes it easy to stay organized, and you will know where items belong. Kids can find their belongings, and there will not be the usual hunt for articles of clothing that get lost in the shuffle. 

This is especially handy if you have clothing you leave at the lake house, you will not have to hunt for them upon your return.

FOUR:

A great way to keep your accessories easy to find is to hang them up. It is easy to add a simple chair rail to the inside of a closet or along a wall. It would only need to be about two inches wide and whatever length you choose. Place the rail at a height that is convenient for adding items and getting them down again. 

Add simple hooks to the chair rail, and use those hooks for various things. Perfect for belts, hats, and scarfs, it will keep those items from being misplaced and always accessible. The hooks will also be ideal for jewelry. Necklaces, chains, and bracelets will be at the ready. Hanging these items will keep them from becoming a tangled mess on top of a dresser. 

Your time at the lake should be spent relaxing, and a rail with hooks makes organizing easy.

FIVE:

If you have pants that take up a lot of room in the closet, you can either purchase sliding pants rack or make one of your own. Storing your pants this way gives you better access to them. Instead of fumbling through lots of hangers, slide the unit out, and it is then easy to see all your pants and to choose which pair you want. It also makes it a simple proposition to hang pants back up. Anything that makes keeping clothes under control is a big plus, as it gives you more time to spend on the water!

If you decide you would like to make your own, here are the instructions for a  Sliding Pants Rack.

SIX:

Closet door storage. You might not have thought about the back of the closet door as storage, but it can be! There are a variety of items for storage, like those that hang over the door. Those can be made from different materials like vinyl or coated wire. You could also build your own Closet Door Built-In Storage that you could customize for your needs. 

The back of the closet door could hold board games and puzzles. It could also hold extra towels for the guests that visit your lake house. It could store sheets and other items, like toiletries, that your guests can keep at the ready when they are there.

Whatever way you choose to use it, closet door storage can provide the extra space you need to keep items under control.

SEVEN:

At the lake house, you want to spend your time on the deck, in the hammock, or on the water. You don't want to be spending your time trying to find the missing shoe, swimsuit, or hoodie. If you have a couple of kids, the chances of losing needed items increase exponentially. One of the ways around this is to make sure that there is a place for everything. This Closet Organizer from One Sheet of Plywood gives you the perfect closet organizer for people who might be sharing the same room at the lake house. 

It has the area nicely divided so that there is space for hanging items and for storing folded items. As we said, it will give kids a place for everything, and all you need to do is get them to put it there. Unfortunately, we don’t have instructions for that!

In Conclusion

The first suggestion for getting and staying organized and keeping the closets at your lake house clutter-free is to have an empty box that remains in the same spot in the garage or by the front door. Every time you run across an item that you don't use, place it in the box to be donated once the box is full. There is no reason to keep something that takes up space and adds to clutter. Once the box is full, replace it with another empty box and donate the full one.

The only way that any organizational system works is if you use it. You can have all the coolest containers, systems, and closet organizers, but if you don't use them, they won't work to free up your time. Only have the items at the lake house that you need and use. If you brought something out that you thought you would use but find that you don’t, get rid of it. 

There are thrift stores in practically every town that will accept donations or have a donation box conveniently located. Time at the lake house is precious and special. Using some of the closet organizing tips listed above will help you have more free time while you are there!

Indoor Activities for Extroverts Who Are Lake Living

Extroverts revel in social situations and even deliberately pursue as such because being around people gives them a sense of fulfillment.

Some of the most common traits of an extrovert:

  • Plenty and diverse interests
  • Talking is the primary medium in communicating
  • Enjoys being at the center of attention
  • Impulsive tendencies
  • Flourishes in group works
  • Too much time spent alone leads to reclusiveness
  • Scopes for others and outside sources for ideas and inspiration
  • Comfortable in relaying of thoughts and feelings

It is a nightmare for almost if not all, extroverted people to be put in isolation for whatever reason.  For those who thrive in the company of other human beings, being in seclusion can be tormenting. But if one has to stay home for long periods, it might be intimidating to think of indoor activities for extroverts. So we want to help out by loading you a list of sure-fire ways you can keep your sanity in check. 

Indoor Activities For Extroverts

1. Virtual Interactions

From simple hellos to dinner dates. You can learn (or relearn) spending hours on the phone, not really talking about anything in particular; it is comforting to have a chat with someone we care for. When you are stuck at home, you can ditch the pajamas, shower, and prepare a meal before hosting a dinner meeting with your friends. You can agree upon the theme of the night to make it more exciting. Perfect when you are distanced from your coworkers while you’re vacationing on a lake house.

It isn’t quite the same, of course, but having someone to talk to and a face to look at that is not your own should ward off hysteria for at least a few more days. 

2. Learn New skills

Learning a new skill is one way to keep you stimulated, plus it doesn’t take a lot of time to learn. It may take years to master a new skill, but two to three weeks can be enough for you to grasp the basics and get yourself started. Make the most of your stay by the lake and try some of the following:

  • Foreign Language

Studying and becoming fluent in a new language will significantly increase your value, and you will find a whole new array of opportunities available. You can access a lot of language learning online, and some of them are for free.

  • Musical Instruments

Various websites provide an extensive catalog of free videos in hopes of teaching amateurs how to play musical instruments, and some even feature professional musicians.

  • Coding

As per the Skills Shortage List in many countries, you’ll find that IT personnel,  programmers, and web developers are always on that list. As humans continue to advance technologically, coding is one of those skills that can only become more in demand, and you might want to get aboard.

3. Pending tasks

Everyone has at least one pending task that has been shelved for a long time. From a personal website, a half-finished knitted scarf or a painting lounging unfinished in the corner of your studio.  These are just some of the projects that we often place on the backseat and give way to more pressing matters.

4. Virtual Tours

When cabin fever strikes and you’re far from the city, take heart because there are museums who offer virtual tours of their works, which can be freely accessed for a certain period. You can check out Google Art and Culture, and visit more than 500 museums all over the world. 

5. Indoor Work out

Nature will truly encourage you to get your health back on track. Your city gym might be far but a few mobile applications offer free ready-made workouts that work on specific muscle groups and use ordinary objects that can be found lying around the lake house to perform the movements. Among the options are the Home Training, Nike Training Club, and 8Fit all free and available for Android and iPhone. 

6. Cook your extrovert heart out

Sites such as Allrecipes, Yummly, and FoodNetwork provide thousands of recipes that home cooks can reproduce and even intensify. Cooking videos and text tutorials, enlisting ingredients, and step by step procedure. Take full advantage of the fresh catch of the day form the lake.

7. Get your green-thumb into working

Indoor gardening can be a great way to make yourself productively pass the time. Plants are great companions and have been known to ease anxieties. As an extrovert, staying home might be extra challenging and might cause unnecessary stress. Growing indoor plants can provide a sense of serenity, and if you choose to grow herbal plants, you can get fresh produce as an extra reward.

8. Meditate

Meditation allows you to train your mind into focus and rear your thoughts. It gives you a new and deeper appreciation of quietness. The more you linger in meditation, the more receptive and patient you become. This might not be the most popular indoor activity for extroverts, but we’re sure that this will provide massive benefits on both your mental and spiritual health.

9. Host a Netflix Party

In an attempt to bridge the gap between friends, relatives, even lovers, Netflix offers simultaneous streaming of TV shows and movies on your desktop. All you have to do is invite your friends and make sure they are signed up for Netflix. Everyone in the invited group can pause, play, fast forward, and rewind the movies to ensure that all of you are on the same time frame. To make it closer to reality, a side chat bar lets you and your friends discuss and react to what’s going on in the movie. It’s like having the gang in the same room. Here’s a simple guide to your Netflix Party;

**Make sure that everyone’s logged in on their computers and ready to download the Netflix Party extension. 

1. Open your Google Chrome browser and visit netflixparty.com.

2. Click Get Netflix Party for free.

3. After you’re redirected, download the extension. Click Add to Chrome.

4. A pop-up box will open, then select Add Extension

5. A grey NP icon will appear on your browser toolbar. 

10. Try Listening to Podcasts and even launching your very own.

TV might get too old when you spend too much time on it, you might want to try listening to podcasts as an alternative. With great diversity on subjects such as technology, education, politics, sports, science, humor, celebrities, and a whole lot more. 

But it is also known that one notable trait of an extrovert is talking… a lot. If listening is not enough for you, you can try starting a podcast from the comfort of your home. It will allow you to release stored up knowledge on certain topics that can be helpful for others. While keeping your mind off being indoors, since hosting a podcast requires a lot of planning, research, and preparations. 

At the end of the day, indoor activities for extroverts are not supposed to just keep you busy but rather productive. Make the most of the time you spend alone. We are hoping that these indoor activities for extroverts can somehow alleviate the sorrow of being alone and help bring out a better and happier you.

Make Your Stay-At-Home Experience Worthwhile: Create Your Own DIY Kayak Cart

You have some time on your hands and are wondering what constructive things you could do with that time. 

One of the projects that you could tackle is to construct a do-it-yourself kayak cart to move your kayak on. It is simple, inexpensive and easy to do.

It is a project that is pretty straightforward. Watching this Homemade PVC Kayak Cart video on YouTube made me anxious to get back on the water with my kayak!

With this handy cart, I will be ready when the time comes!

Not all of the components are glued together on this cart. That makes it easy to disassemble for storing. 

If you so choose, you can glue the entire cart together if disassembly is not a factor for you. 

The dimensions used in this project are also a general guideline. You may need to adjust the dimensions according to the size of your kayak. 

List of Supplies for DIY Kayak Cart

Gather the materials that you will need for the project. You will need:

(2) 10″ Wheels with 5/8″ bore:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000J6A4S8/?…

(1) 5/8″ Threaded Rod cut to 26″

(1) 5/8″ Nut & Washer kit 

This kit includes (4) Hex nuts, (4) lock washers, (4) flat washers all ⅝”

(7) 1″ Tee Fittings

(1) 1″ x 10ft PVC pipe

(3) 1″ PVC caps

(1) Large Kids Pool Noodle

(1) PVC Cement & Primer

(optional) Bondo Rubberized Undercoating Spray Can

http://amzn.to/1UYARm0

TOOLS USED

drill with 5/8″ drill bit

ratcheting pvc cutter

hacksaw (fine teeth for metal)

tape measure

DIY Kayak Cart

Once you have all of your items assembled, set up an area to work in, either in your basement, garage or outside.

You will be painting and using glue, so make sure that the area has good ventilation.

Here is the step-by-step process for creating your own kayak cart.

STEP ONE:

Paint first or last?

Before you cut the pvc pipe, decide if you want to paint it before or after you cut the pieces you need, and before or after the cart is assembled. 

The advantage of painting it beforehand is that you will not have a lot of small pieces to paint, and you will not have to protect the tires from the paint once the cart is assembled.

The disadvantage is that once painted, you will have a hard time seeing any measurement making that you make on the pipe. It might also make the parts a bit harder to slip into each other if a coating of paint is on the inside of the pipe. 

In the video, the painting was the last step in the process. That may have been so that the viewer could see the measurements on the pvc, so use your own judgement as to whether you want to paint before or after the cart is assembled. 

If you decide to paint beforehand, induce the T joints and end caps in the process.  Let the pieces dry thoroughly before proceeding. 

STEP TWO:

Cut the PVC

The handle for the kayak cart can be either 20” or 24” long. This handle also acts as a stand for the cart. 

Know that when the kayak is on the cart, this handle is not what is used to maneuver the cart.

Instead, you will wrap a strap around the kayak, sinch it tight and use the strap to maneuver the kayak.

Start by using the ratcheting pvc cutter to cut the PVC pipe into the appropriate size pieces. 

You will need:

  • One piece that is 20” or 24” long
  • One piece that is 10” long
  • Two pieces that are 3” long
  • Two pieces that are 4.5” long
  • Two pieces that are 1.75’ long
  • Four pieces that are 8” long

STEP THREE:

Drill ⅝” holes in two of the end caps. 

These are the caps that the threaded rod will go through to connect to the tires. 

STEP FOUR:

Cut the Rod

This is the type of threaded rod that was used:

Using the hacksaw and a blade designed for cutting metal, cut the rod to the length of 26”.

STEP FIVE:

Assemble the pieces

Once all the pieces are cut into the appropriate lengths, assemble the cart. You will be gluing it together, but it is a good idea to assemble the pieces first to make sure that it all aligns.

Put the pieces lightly in place so that they are easy to remove once you are satisfied with the design and are ready to glue it all together. 

STEP SIX:

Get ready to glue

You will be gluing the pieces together as you go along. 

When using these products, you apply the primer first then apply the cement. Again, you can cement all of the pieces together, or just some of the pieces so that you can take it apart for storage. 

DIY Kayak Cart

In the video, they choose not to glue the entire cart together. They wanted to be able to disassemble the cart for easier storage. The orange dots are the areas that they choose

 not to glue. 

STEP SEVEN:

Put together the axle assembly

Take the threaded rod and start on one end by putting on the pvc pieces. 

Put the first T fitting in the middle of the rod. Next, on either side of the T fitting, put a 4.5” pvc piece and place into the T fitting. Two more T fittings on either side will come next, and place the end of the 4.5” into the T.  

On both sides, place the small 1.75” pvc pieces. They will be the go between for the T fitting and the end caps. As mentioned, the end caps come next.

STEP EIGHT:

Tighten the hex nuts

Place, on either side, the hex nut, the locking washer and the flat washer. The tire will come next, then a flat washer, the locking washer and lastly the hex nut. 

DIY Kayak Cart

The above kit is what was used for the wheels and axel. If you do not use a kit, as mentioned in the parts list, you will need (4) each of ⅝ “ hex nuts, lock washers and flat washers. 

You will put the threaded rod through the tire, and use one set (hex nut, locking washer, flat washer) on each side of each tire. 

Put the flat washer on the threaded rod and move it to the tire, then put the locking washer on and then the hex nut goes on last. 

On the inside of the tire you want the same order. The flat washer will be touching the tire and the locking washer will be between the flat washer and the hex nut.  

Make sure to tighten the assembly down tight.

STEP NINE:

Finish pvc assembly

Work up from the axle assembly to the bunks. 

Fit the T fittings with the two 4” pvc pieces. Place two more T fittings one top of the two 4” pvc pieces and put a 10” section of pvc in between the two T fittings, as shown in the picture above.

In the top of the two T fittings, place the 3” pieces and top them with another set of T fittings.

DIY Kayak Cart

The four 8” pvc pieces go into the T fittings and form the bunk for the kayak. 

STEP TEN:

Paint or touch up

 If you did not paint the pvc pipe first, T fittings and end caps, now is the time to paint your cart.

The Bondo rubberized undercoating will help protect against salt spray, rust and corrosion. 

Before painting, cover the tires and the hardware, the hex nuts and washers. Paint the cart and let it dry thoroughly. 

STEP ELEVEN:

Add the noodles

The four bunks (8” pieces of pvc) will get the pool noodle covering. They will pad the bunks and cushion your kayak. 

Cut the pool noodles with the hacksaw to the length needed to cover the bunks. After making sure the paint is dry, slip the noodles into the bunks.

STEP TWELVE:

Enjoy your DIY Kayacart!

DIY Kayak Cart

Kayak Cart

15 Best Towns For Lake Living

Living on the lake is fantastic, but it is not just about the beauty of the location.  Various factors have to be considered, and deciding on this is no easy task. You need to weigh the pros and cons and err on what would be most beneficial for you and your family.

Imagine waking up with the tranquil silence and picturesque beauty lake living can offer. Moreover, the endless recreation possibilities waiting for you. I think these reasons will tip off the scale.

To help you further, here are our 15 favorite lake towns you can choose either for vacation or permanent residency:

15 Favorite Lake Towns:

1. Sandpoint, Idaho

lake towns

Sandpoint is a small pristine town beautifully placed on the rim of a North Idaho lake. The immaculate beauty of Lake Pen Oreille –the fifth-largest natural lake in the forty-eight lower states, made Sandpoint an ideal choice for lake living.

In recent years, Sandpoint has gained even more exceptional standing as a resort town by its connection to Schweitzer Mountain Resort. Its is a winter ski basin made famous for its quality powder snow.

2. White Lake, North Carolina

lake towns

North Carolina is one of the best lake towns that has the clearest, most pristine lake with a natural, white sandy bottom with artesian springs flowing from deep beneath the earth’s surface.

White Lake is located just outside of Elizabethtown, surrounded by resorts, small theme parks, restaurants, boardwalks, and piers.

3. Blairsville, Georgia

Hidden within Blairsville, Georgia is a small town called Lake Nottely, an awe-inspiring 4,000-acre lake with more than half of undeveloped shoreline that is protected by the United States Forest Service.

This gem in North Georgia is much more serene than some other lakes in the state, and that’s precisely what makes it a perfect place for you to realize your lake living dreams.

4. Lakeway, Texas

25 miles out of Austin, a laid back village of Lakeway serenely located in Lake Travis. Packed with the convenience of being situated nearby a Hill Country paradise at Lakeway Resort and Spa, where you can enjoy many water sports or sailing charters. When you start to get adventure cravings, pack a picnic and hit up one of Lake Travis’ lush parks.

5. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

A quick drive from Milwaukee, WI, is the captivating tourist attraction of Lake Geneva. A resort type of city in Southeastern Wisconsin with lakeside shore paths lined with luxurious and ancient mansions.

Equipped with a variety of adventures and activities that will keep you busy and connected to nature all year round.

6. Eureka Springs, Arkansas

lake towns

Beautifully nestled with winding mountainside streets, Eureka Springs, Arkansas exudes glamour like no other town. With Victorian homes hugging cliff sides, and an entire downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places. Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is lined with unique shops, boutiques, restaurants, spas, to art galleries, craft emporiums, and museums.

As Beaver Lake offers the thrill of water sports and fishing, you may immerse yourself in lake living with a wide variety of outdoor activities they can offer.

7. Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina

lake towns

Teeming with life including several endemic species, Lake Waccamaw is an idyllic place where one can reside. It is not just a vacation destination but a town that reflects its ecosystem that allows specific species to thrive only there.

This town might be the place that you have been looking for, a place that would foster your individual needs for growth.

8. Oakridge, Oregon

Oregon’s second-largest lake and one of the world’s purest is named Waldo Lake,  just half an hour away from the town of Oakridge, which is a world-renown “The Mountain Biking Capital of the Northwest.”

Encompassed by broad strips of the Willamette National Forest, the lakes, rivers, and waterfalls make the wooded land glimmer in the sun.

9. Greenville, Maine

lake towns

Greenville, Maine, is a fitting expedition start-point for Highlands region exploration. Occupying its area is the highest peak, largest lake, and longest river where you can hike.

You can also paddle the rapids and skim across the surface of Moosehead Lake. And be sure not to miss out on Moose sightings or climbing Mount Kineo.

10. Greenwood, South Carolina

lake towns

Known as South Carolina’s “Emerald City,” Greenwood is the economic center of its six surrounding counties. This town has an estimated population of 23,222 (2010).

Greenwood can provide you with a friendly, cozy-town setting alongside its progressive economic growth of a city.

11. Vergennes, Vermont

lake towns

An extraordinary community located on Otter Creek in Addison County. Burrowed between Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains, the City of Burlington and Middlebury College, Vergennes will provide you with deep serenity and peace.

You can stroll through their historic downtown and check their to-die-for restaurants and locally-owned shops. As you sashay through the streets, their architectural structure will transport you back to the 19th century of England.

12. Bellaire, Michigan

lake towns

Bellaire can provide Scenic backdrop for water activities such as swimming, fishing, boating, and a lot more summer activities that leaves you excited for fall and driving tours.

Do not be misled with its 1,200 residents who are more than capable of organizing an astounding Annual Rubber Ducky Festival.

13. Frisco, Colorado

Frisco’s Main Street is wadded with unique shops and boutiques, presenting one of a kind shopping experience and lively bars and restaurants. Frisco organizes festivals such as 4th of July celebrations, also recreation events in the likes of Frisco Triathlon, the Run the Rockies Half Marathon, and 10k. Fascinating adventures that will keep you excited all throughout your stay.

14. Versailles, Missouri

lake towns

If you desire to experience lake living, a beautiful rural gateway to Lake Ozarks will be a perfect fit for you. Composed of only 2,500 population, and vibrant businesses ranging from bakeries to Royal Theatre, Versailles will not fail to meet your expectations.

15. Wasilla, Alaska

Thanks to Sarah Palin for making Wasilla, Alaska, world renown, we should have known earlier. Nuzzled between two lakes and home to the headquarters of the famous Iditarod Sled Dog Race.

Retaining it’s small-town feel while having one of the most accelerated progress in Alaska. It is one of the best lake towns that can surely provide anyone a sense of serenity and security.

10 Tips On What To Put In Your Pocket Notebook for Your Lake Adventures

You are fortunate enough to have time to spend at your lake house and get away from the demands of the everyday world.  Each time you get away is like an adventure, and even if it is just for the weekend, it is still a vacation from the mundane. 

So how do you make the most of that time at the lake? One of the ways to enhance the time at the lake is to include a pocket notebook.  

A pocket notebook is an essential, yet easy, tool to have with you at all times.  It is easy to carry, convenient and helps you stay (or get) organized. 

When thinking about a pocket notebook, consider a study done in 2014 that showed the benefits of hand writing notes  were greater than had been previously known. 

The findings of the study were that people learn and retain information longer if they write notes by hand.  When a person captures information in this manner, it stimulates neural pathways between motor, visual and cognitive skills.  

So, consider that when you are writing something down, you are doing so, not to remember it later, but to remember it now.  Writing it down can make you smarter!

Pocket Notebook Set

We have compiled 10 tips on using your pocket notebook when you are living life at the lake: 

1. Networking:

Your house on the lake might not be your primary residence, and you might be a distance from where the house is located.  It is a good idea to have the numbers and addresses of those neighbors that are in the area when you are not there.  

Yes, you can add those names, numbers and addresses to your phone, but with a notebook you can add other important details.  Make a note of where the neighbor is in relation to your house, and note if this is their primary residence. If not, when do they usually visit their lake house?

This will also be the spot in your notebook where you will record the names of their family  members, if they have pets or any other pertinent information that will serve to create a bond with the people that you share the lake with.

Your pocket notebook is a networking device that can pay dividends.  If there is bad weather in the area, you will know who to call to check on your own lake home.  Conversely, you will be able to get calls from those same people if they see anything at your property that you need to know about. 

2. Projects and Maintenance

Seldom do we walk around our lake houses in search of things that need to be done.  But as you are going about your day both in and out of the house, have your pocket notebook handy to jot down things you see that need your attention. 

Maybe you see that there is a piece of siding that is coming loose as you are swaying in the hammock in the backyard.  While out on the boat, you look toward the house from the water and are able to better notice branches growing too close to the roof line.

Maybe you think of improvements to the dock as you approach the launch.  Making a quick note of it to refer to later will help you keep on top of those small issues that can become major when forgotten.

The notebook is also the best spot to write down phone numbers of local businesses, like the hardware, grocery store and supply stores such as the local Home Depot. 

When visiting those stores for whatever goods you might need for projects, you will have your notebook at the ready for helpful suggestions given to you by these establishments for any repairs or improvements you need to do. 

Write down who you spoke with, any quotes given and what those quotes included.  This takes some of the burden off your shoulders when you are getting advice from several different quarters.  You will not need to remember who said what, you will have it all down in your notebook.

It also makes comparing services and quotes easier when you have it all laid out in front of you.  It is invaluable when the guy at the local hardware tells you how to fix it yourself and you write it down step by step to refer to later. 

3. Fishing Log

 When you go out on a fishing trip, make a note on the top of the notebook page that includes the day and date.  Note the time of day and where you are at on the body of water that you are on. 

Make a note of the weather conditions at the time, such as the temperature, if there is any cloud cover and what the wind speed, if any, is.   Record water conditions, such as the clairity of the water and what its temperature is at the time you caught that prize fish. 

These notes will give you an overall picture of when to go fishing again, and when you might have a better chance of snagging dinner when you go out again under similar conditions. 

You will also want to make a notation of the size and weight of the fish.  Jot down what type of bait and the presentation (choosing a target, casting and manipulating the bait) you were using at the time.  

If you record these items in your pocket notebook, you will be able to match them to similar conditions.  As you continue to note the water and exact areas you are fishing in, you will be able to see, over a period of time, “hotspots” for fishing. 

Add personal details of the day, like losing your hat overboard or the beauty of the day.  These notes will add to the flavor of your notes and give a boost to your memory when you refer back to them. 

4. Develop a Lake Management Plan:

Lake living can be a wonderful adventure!  You will want to protect that special area and keep it healthy for years to come. One of the ways in which to do that is to be aware and make note of the lake and conditions that might negatively impact it.

If you collect, and use, information that your record in your pocket notebook, you will have a good start on maintaining the health of the lake you love. 

Keep track of anything that might adversely impact the water or shoreline. Make a note of any spills, such as gasoline from boat motors or excessive use of fertilizers or pesticides. 

Being able to keep track in your notebook of events that might impact the lake will give you some insight into remedies that might be needed. 

The  Guide to Lake Protection and Management, Second Edition will give you information on the chemistry of lakes and management practices. 

5. Where Did The Day Go?

I ask myself this all of the time.  Take a few minutes and sketch out what the day was like.  Every day at the lake is an adventure; a mini vacation that should be savored.  By jotting down the events of the day, whether big or small, you will be able to look back and reflect on just where the day did actually go.

When you are sitting in your cubicle or waiting for the next interminable meeting to end, discreetly pull out your notebook and flip through the memories.  It will remind you why you do this in the first place and make the next round of meetings a bit more palatable. 

I have found that recording the mundane happenings affords me a glimpse at what is important to me.  I learn what activities and people bring me joy and comfort, and as importantly, I learn what does not work for me and can seek to avoid it in the future. 

6. No Electricity Needed: 

Everything has a plug, needs a battery, or it has to have tower reception or be connected to  WIFI. Your pocket notebook and pen or pencil need none of those things. It is good for the mind and the soul to get back to basics.

A magical contraption, the pencil was invented in 1795 by Nicholas-Jacques Conte.  He was a scientist who was serving in the army of Napoleon Bonaparte at the time. Conte used a form of pure carbon called graphite to supply his invention with the ability to make marks on paper.

The rest, as they say, is history.  The Banks, Son and Company opened its doors in Keswick, England in 1832 and is still in business today under the name of Cumberland Pencil company. Talk about longevity!  

That simple writing instrument will serve its purpose yet today.  You won’t have to plug it in, or recharge it either. It will be handy and at the ready in our pocket to record a phone number, a thought, an inspirational quote, or a grocery list whenever and wherever you need to. 

7. Play Games:

Again, you need no cords or cables or reception.  Just a pen or pencil and your trusty pocket notebook.  I have found that I have learned more about friends and family when participating in a one on one venture, such as playing games. 

There are several that you can do with your notebook while sitting on the back deck or lazing on the lawn near the lake’s edge.  And since you are at the lake, there is no need to keep score, you are just having a good time and enjoying each other's company. 

Pictionary is a favorite, and usually produces a good amount of laughter, as not too many of us are artists.  All you need to do is to think of a word that you want the other person to guess. And you try to get them to guess the word by drawing a picture of it.  

Bulls and Cows will help you stretch your thinking process.  Each player will create a numeric sequence of four numbers that they will keep secret.  Take turns guessing the number with “Bulls” indicating the correct number of digits in the correct place.  “Cows” will indicate the correct number in the wrong place. Try to guess the secret sequence in the least number of turns. 

Categories tests how much you really know about any given subject.  Start with any category, whether it be fruit, vegetable, movies, book titles, things that give off steam, or anything else in a broad or narrow category. 

Each person will list everything that they can think of that comes under that category in a certain time frame, for example, in one minute.  Once the time is up, compare the lists and cross off identical items and see who ends up with the most items listed. 

Close your eyes and draw is a form of Pictionary that is as funny as it is challenging.  Think of an object that you would like to draw, close your eyes and draw it (or attempt to) on the page of the notebook. The other person will then try to guess what it is. 

I have done several of these games with family and friends. As I said before, these games can result in conversations about things that might not have come up in normal conversations and have enabled me to get to know those people better.

The notebooks, with the games recorded inside, have been saved for future gloating, or simply to bring them out and relive the fun and laughter looking over the silly pictures and the good times shared. 

8. Contemplation:

Frank Sinatra once said, “You only go around once, but if you play your cards right, once is enough”.  Another favorite quote of mine comes from Mary Engelbreit. She said “Life is just so daily!”. Exactly.

Life can be relentless.  It does not slow down for us when we need a minute to get our bearings or to catch our breaths. There is little time to think about the big picture when the everyday details and demands of living never allow us time to see ahead.

When you are at the lake, on your mini vacation or weekend adventure, take a few minutes to think ahead.  It does not have to be a soul-searching epiphany. It can be just a moment in time when you pause to consider what should come next.

Where would you like to be in your life five years from now?  Choose a few ideals that will help you to achieve those goals and that will steer you in the direction you would like to go. Write them down in your notebook.  Rather than going with the flow, direct the course you want your life to take.

Periodically refresh your memory of those goals and desires by reading what you wrote in your notebook, and then ask yourself if your actions today will get you where you want to be tomorrow.  

Having put pencil to page, this reminder will guide you in fleshing out a game plan. Your chances of succeeding will increase when you have a firm idea and track your progress. 

9. Sketch and Doodle.

If you are one of those few fortunate individuals who can actually draw a recognizable cat, take a bit of time to sketch your lake surroundings in your pocket notebook.  Draw it at different times of the year, or day, to capture the seasons. Yes, you could just take a picture, but this will be personal. It will be what YOU see, and how you interpret  the world around you.

If you can’t sketch to save your life, then do the next best thing: Doodle.  This might seem like a simplistic time waster, but it actually is not.

Doodling is the brain’s way of staying in the present.  I remember that when I was going to college, there were certain instructor’s in whose classes I would regularly doodle along the edges of my notes.  

It was always in the class that I found just a bit more challenging, and I had thought that it was my way of escaping from what I could not conquer.  I have since found out that the opposite was taking place. 

A study published in 2009 in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology,  has stated that those who doodle during a lecture or meeting remembered more information than those non-doodlers. 

Those of us who are busy with our pencils tips swirling in our notebooks retain 29% more than those who did not.  The key is to listen as you doodle.  

Instead of checking your phone, or looking for the next distraction, take some time at the lake to sit and listen to what is going on around you.  Maybe it is the wind, or the birds, or the water lapping against the shore. 

Get out your pocket notebook and doodle while truly listening to the world around you.  This exercise will help to connect ideas to visuals and help you to remember better.  

10. Lake House Recipes

A small, pocket notebook is so handy for jotting down dishes to prepare at your lake house.  Being at the lake, and away from everyday obligations, can open up time in which to try new recipes.

Mealtimes become more of an event, and less of a necessity, when you are less pushed and pulled by your work week schedule.  

Keep the notebook handy, and when you run across an interesting dish, jot it down...along with the ingredients...to refer to when you are shopping for the lake house.

Ask coworkers if they have favorites that might sound interesting to try. Or even experiment with coming up with your own, one-of-a-kind recipe.

Once you have run across a “go-to” favorite, make sure to note it in your pocket notebook.  If you have any adjustments in the amounts to accommodate a larger crowd, note those in your book so that you have them for future reference.

Don’t forget to note comments from your guests, either pro or con.  Maybe it needed more salt or less rosemary. After you keep adding to these notes for a time, you will develop a repertoire of favorites that will make mealtime at your lake house a delicious and fun event.

To get you started, I have added my own favorite for you to add to your notebook. 

Heavenly Treats

Ingredients:

1 Package White Chocolate Chips               2 rounded TBSP of Peanut Butter

1 ¼ cups Rice Krispies                                 2 cups miniature marshmallows

½ cup Spanish Peanuts

Directions:

Melt chips slowly in a pan.  Add peanut butter, melt chips and peanut butter together and take off heat.  Stir in Rice Krispies, marshmallows and add peanuts. Drop by spoon onto waxed paper or foil and allow to cool. 

Place them on a plate for friends and watch them disappear!

10 Awesome Lake Trout Fishing Gear to Try Right Now

Fishing ranks as one of the most satisfying outdoor activities. Trout fishing, in particular, is a rewarding challenge which requires knowledge of fish habits, stream characteristics and weather patterns. 

Over 49 million Americans fished in 2019.  Way, way up from the 7 million figure that was listed in 2006.  Only running activities had more participants.

These are some of the reasons people listed for why they like fishing:

  1. Camaraderie with fishing friends
  2. To get outside and enjoy nature
  3. To be on or near the water
  4. The adventure of catching our own meal
  5. Fishing is a new challenge every time you hit the water
  6. Reduces stress, and is a healthy activity

It has been said that only 10% of all fishermen catch 90% of all the trout. I would dispute that saying.  Americans are not a nation of people who will continue to participate in an activity that does not produce results or give them something back in return.

For fishing to have garnered 42 million more members in 12 years, more than 10% of anglers  have to be getting some kind of results! 

You might be looking for dinner, peaceful scenery, a good place to go fishing or just some time on the water, lake trout fishing will provide all of those.

We have listed some fishing gear that will be helpful to you in this quest and be in that “10%”.

PRODUCT

SUMMARY

10pcs Fishing Lure with 2 Tackle Boxes: Spinnerbait Kit by Tbuymax

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

Tbuymax 10pcs high quality Holographic Spinner Lure kit comes with assorted bright colors and sizes.

SF Fly Fishing Landing Catch and Release Net

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

The landing net comes in a 2-piece set with a new, strong and durable magnetic net release. The frame and handle is made from laminated bamboo and hardwood.

PowerBait Glitter Trout Bait

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

Add ultimate scent and flavor to your trout presentations with Berkley PowerBait Glitter Trout Bait.

Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest Pack

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

The perfect fishing vest for both men and women.  The vest keeps your fishing gear well-organized and all of your gear is quickly within reach.

Dr. Meter Electronic Balance Digital Fishing Scale with Measuring Tape

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

You can put this scale on the net, set the tear weight and then put the fish back in the net for a clear, easy weight.

FISHINGSIR Fly Fishing Flies Kit

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

Created by fly-fishing professionals and 100% handmade. Flies come in a variety of colors and sizes, so you can match the hatch at any time.

KastKing FluorKote Fishing Line

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

KastKing FluoroKote is a combination of the No.1 selling KastKing Copolymer Fishing Line with high-tech 100% fluorocarbon coating that reduces the line's visibility when immersed in water.

Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

Durable, sensitive fishing rod engineered for Trout angling.

Dr. Fish Fishing Bead Bait Egg Kits

Overall Rating : 4.0/5

Made of high quality plastic material, lightweight and durable. Floats on the surface when dropped in water.

PLUSINNO Fishing Net

Overall Rating : 4/5

Easy to fasten and made out of durable nylon mesh.  There is a special belt clip for easy carrying.

PRODUCT REVIEWS


Life-like swimming actions are irresistible to big Fish. Its classic blades are shaped so as to spin like a propeller when the lure is in motion, creating varying degrees of flash and vibration that mimics small fish or other prey. The two most popular types of spinnerbaits are the 'in-line spinner' and 'tail-spinner'. Machined-brass main body. Steel-stamped blades are silver-plated or painted.

Pros:

  • Less expensive than similar lures
  • Purchasers like the included boxes for carrying the lures
  • Users felt they caught more fish with these lures

Cons:

  • Rooster tails can come off easily
  • Spinner action did not always work


It is easy to grip and feels comfortable in your hand.  There is a special coating on the wooden surface which makes the frame waterproof and resistant to abrasion.  Soft rubber mesh bag is flexible with tough mesh holes so that the fish is not injured in the struggle, and the fish can be released quickly and easily.

Pros:

  • Unit can lay almost completely flat for storage
  • Lightweight, floats and is tangle free
  • Rubber mesh will not catch fly hooks when a fish is caught

Cons:

  • Smaller fish slip through the webbing
  • Users would appreciate a deeper net


This moldable, floating dough disperses Berkley's exclusive PowerBait formula, a scent and flavor attractant that will keep fish biting down longer. It also features crystalline glitter that reflects light and increases visibility, ensuring more strikes. Berkley PowerBait makes novice anglers good and good anglers great.  Berkley scientists have spent over 25 years perfecting an irresistible scent and flavor - the exclusive PowerBait formula. Fish love PowerBait so much they hold on 18 times longer, giving you the time and confidence to feel more bites, set more hooks and catch more fish.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Lasts a long time
  • Floats

Cons:

  • If it dries out, it does not work
  • Falls off if not put on correctly


The vest has large pockets, small pockets, mesh pockets, and water resistant pockets...this vest has a lot of pockets!  The breathable mesh allows air to flow freely so that you can stay cool when the temperature rises.  Adjustable straps makes this vest fit for both men and women.  The vest even has a drink holder.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable fit
  • Comfortable shoulder straps
  • Great product for the price

Cons:

  • Zipper can unzip on it own
  • Some felt adjustable vest was still too big for women

The best part is that you don’t have to stab the fish to get the weight.  The 50kg limit falls well within the requirement for travelers, making this a perfect scale to weigh your luggage.   Weighs up to 110 pounds.

Pros:

  • Night vision LCD display
  • Built in tape measure
  • Can rotate 180 degrees

Cons:

  • Hook can be hard to weigh larger fish
  • Not waterproof


FISHINGSIR large selection of flies includes trusted patterns, such as Adams, Woolly Bugger, Elk Hair Caddis, Griffith's Gnat, Stimulator, Egg Fly, etc. Used by anglers around the world.  The 64, 100, 110 and 120 piece fly kits give you the best value and are great for casting practice.  Choose from dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, streamers, steelhead flies and saltwater flies.

Pros:

  • Good selection in kit and great for a newbie to fishing
  • Realistic looking
  • Compact case

Cons:

  • Can lose feathers easily
  •  Flies are small

The combination of the two materials maximizes the advantage of fluorocarbon invisibility with the low memory and superior castability of copolymer. KastKing fishing line sinks faster with low absorption. Low Stretch makes KastKing a great upgrade from mono line and ideal low cost alternative to fluorocarbon line.The combination of the two materials maximizes the advantage of fluorocarbon virtually invisibility in water. The unique fluorocarbon materials make the line superior abrasion resistance and offer great knot strength.

Pros:

  • Performs like a higher lb. test line
  • Very little line stretch
  • Abrasion resistant

Cons:

  • Inconsistent results with line
  • Line can snap easily at times