Friday, July 18, 2014

Outdoor Music Festival Essentials

Coachella kicked off the start of the outdoor music festival season back in April.  Live music festivals are everywhere and in full swing as summer flies by us.  You wait patiently for the day to arrive weather it be at a local venue or it involves a road trip.  Either way you are completely stoked for the day to come.  The last thing you want to worry about is getting soaking wet from the rain or having the drunk girl ahead of you spill her 13th beer all over.  Yes, they both happened to me.

So, from past experiences, I've come up with a few essentials you should pack in your shoulder bag. 

The three most important things being a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and a rain poncho. Portable restrooms have improved greatly over the years, but you may get one that doesn't offer a working sanitizer dispenser.  Don't forget some bug spray.

I always pack two sharpies, black and silver.  If you get in on a meet n' greet, it's nice to have a marker handy.  Taking along something for the band to sign?  Place it in a zip-lock for save keeping.  You know, from the rain and/or flying beers.

Do you have any other tips?  Please share in the comment section below. 

Until the next word...


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Gardening Tips & Ideas: Part 1 of 2

This year we planted the garden on Memorial Day.  Why so late you ask?  First, it was the only day my boyfriend (Adam) and I had off together.  And second, it was the first day of the season that Mother Nature decided to give us nice weather.  

Adam did a lot of research into different techniques that could be used in the garden.  He usually tills the garden by hand with only a shovel.  Last year we borrowed my Uncle's rotary tiller.  This year we chose not to do either.  Keep reading.

We spent Memorial Day weekend pulling out all the weeds that have accumulated since last year's garden.

Now it was time for a quick road trip.  I won a contest ($50. gift card to Home Depot) that was hosted by LA's How2Girl, in which I was to submit my favorite DIY projects for the garden. A couple weeks later, my prize was in the mailbox.  They don't have a location here in town, so the closest one is in Cedar Rapids. Well worth the trip.

Everything on our list was on sale.  Perennials for $2.50, vegetable starter plants for $3.33, seed packets for $1.50.  We always do a mix of starter plants and seeds for our garden.

We filled up two carts, loaded the truck, and headed home to get started.

First we positioned the plants in the garden.  Then brought in two pallets.  I had seen several ideas on Pinterest and wanted to try it myself.  I hate weeds and refuse to use chemicals in the garden, so this was one way to control them.  Refer to this article when looking for pallets to use.

Using the leftover fabric landscaping from last year, we cut enough to cover the bottom of the pallet to secure the dirt inside. Leave extra fabric along the edges to staple up the sides.  

Depending on the construction of the pallet you may use less fabric to secure the sides. 

Using a staple gun, Adam secured the fabric to the pallet.

We put the starter plants in first, mixing the dirt with some miracle grow.

All of our leafy vegetables are planted as seeds.

Funny story.  We recycled a dog kennel that my neighbor gifted us to keep the dogs out of the kennel.  It works!  They enjoyed watching from the other side.

I filled the pallets with dirt and then planted one with leafy vegetables and the other with herbs.

The cilantro and basil were starters.  In between we planted garlic chives and green onions (seeds).

Using a sharpie I marked what was in each row.

Next, using a Rubbermaid tub filled halfway with water, we dipped the newspaper in, enough to dampen it, and then placed it all around the plants.  Skip the sale ads, that paper is to glossy.  Instead of cutting holes in the paper it was easier to just rotate the paper around the plants.  Your goal is cover all of the exposed dirt.  Read more here about newspaper weed control.  We did three layers of paper.

After the newspaper was in place we added a layer of straw.  And last watered the entire garden.  That's it! The garden is in.  

I'll be posting part two of this post to show how everything is turning out.  Including a couple more tips to help you out.

Until the next word...


Saturday, June 21, 2014

My Life With Dogs: First Day of Summer

Happy Summer Solstice!

Another season is upon us and we're ready for it.

Enjoy the photos.

Until the next word...


Monday, June 16, 2014

My Life With Dogs: Photography Using the Sports Setting

I'm taking big steps with my photography in regards to my DSLR camera.  I decided to experiment with the sports setting using my dogs.  My comfort zone is with auto, so we'll see how this goes.

I'm aware that there may be a shutter priority setting on my camera.  Which will remove more of the blur. Figuring out how to use that feature is another topic.  I'm pleased on how these shots turned out today.

You'll see that Disco loves to jump off the deck.  He even taught House how to do it.  We don't promote it by any means in fear they might injure a leg or two, but once that door opens...Our next deck will have extra boards strategically placed to prevent this.

*Bonus:  The boys burned off a lot of energy and took an early nap. 

Until the next photo session...



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