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What Are The Advantages Of a Composite Wood Deck?

Adding a porch or deck to your home can open up a world of possibilities for outdoor living. A 2018 study by the National Association of Realtors and National Association of Landscape Professionals ranks a new deck in the top 5 of outdoor projects that adds value to a home. 81% of homeowners who have installed a new deck, say it makes them want to stay home and enjoy their space more than before the deck was installed.

When making the investment in a deck or porch, you want to work with high quality materials that will stand up to the weather and that is where composite decking materials shine. Whether you are installing a deck as a DIY project or hiring an experienced contractor, using composite decking materials are head and shoulders about traditional wood decks.

10 Tips for Camping in Hot Weather

Camping supplies10 Tips for Camping in Hot Weather: Beat the heat and learn what to pack, how to set up camp, and how to avoid the sun all while making fun camping vacation memories
For our family, summer is always camping season.   Here in California there are local, state, and national parks where you can camp year round, but typically the summer months are what fits our busy schedules best. While the kids are out on school break and we often head to the mountains or beach and tent camp. The problem with summer camping is that daytime temperatures can exceed 100 degrees.   Unless you head high into the mountains, the inland areas of California can be really warm and dry.
San Luis Resevoir Camping
When camping as a family we want to make sure it is a fun and enjoyable experience, which isn't the case if we are suffering in the heat.  Fortunately, even on some of the hottest days, there are things you can do to make your camping adventure enjoyable.  A little good planning, bringing the right supplies and modifying your behavior can make all the difference when it comes to staying cool while camping in the hot summer months.  

10 Tips for Surviving A Camping Trip In The Summer

How to Save Drooping Hydrangeas after Cutting

How to save wilting hydrangeas
The trick on how to revive cut hydrangea flowers if they start drooping.  It isn't too late to save those wilted mophead flowers! This is the secret!
There is nothing more frustrating than cut flowers that wilt or droop too fast.. and one of the WORST culprits for premature drooping are HYDRANGEAS!  
It never fails, you can bring home perfectly perky cut mop head blooms from the florist or even cut your own in your back yard and within hours of putting them in water, they have fallen into a lifeless slump.  Wilted and droopy.  So sad.

These are some stems I cut in my own back yard. I IMMEDIATLEY stuck them in water, and within 2 hours they looked like this:
What to do if your hydrangeas are limp
I have very alkaline soil.. so the hydrangeas from my yard are very pink.  If your flowers are blue.. you can actually make them pink by adding lime to the soil!  Alternatively, I could turn my pink flowers blue by adding acid to the soil (peat moss, sulfur or ammonium nitrate.)

Okay.. but what about the droopy blooms?

Fear not! Hydrangeas are actually pretty easy to revive.. even once they get to the point of where you think they cannot be saved.  Mine looked like they were near death.
How to perk up dying hydrangeas

Pottery Barn Burlap Stars (Knock-Off Tutorial)

Today's post is just one of MANY patriotic projects on a Red, White and Blue Blog Hop:
To see more great ideas, make sure you scroll all the way to the end of this post!

How to Prepare Your Child for Summer Camp

The start of summer means the end of school and for many kids, the start of the age old tradition of summer camp. 

For many children, this also can mean fear and anxiety about the unknown, especially if it is their first time away from home.   Fortunately, parents aren't helpless when it comes to dealing with these fears and preparing kids for their first time at camp.

Summer is Here! End of Year Teacher Gift

Summer is Here Gift Basket
I know teacher appreciation week *JUST* ended, but this is the last week of preschool for my four year old, and so we are prepping end of year teacher gifts.

If this seems like a familiar gift, that is because it is.  We previously put together a “School's Out for Summer” gift basket with very similar items, but this year since I have my Silhouette, I kicked it up a notch.

The first thing I did was gathered up all things ’summer’ related with my budget of $20.
Teacher end of year basket
Here is a breakdown of what is in the basket, and where I got it:

Preventing Package Theft: Arlo Ulta 4K Home Security System Installation and Review

Package theft from front porches has become an increasingly large problem in the U.S.  As many as 20% of people have reported a package lost or stolen from their front porch since 2017.  I live in California which ranks number 3 in the nation for porch piracy.

Law enforcement agencies are now encouraging homeowners to use package tracking and notifications, as well as tighten up surveillance of their front porches.  Just the presence of cameras can discourage package thieves from targeting your house vs. one which lacks security systems.

10 Crocheted American Flag projects

10 crochet project ideas featuring the American Flag. Adding stars and stripes can give any crocheted project a patriotic twist.10 crochet project ideas featuring the American Flag. Adding stars and stripes can give any crocheted project a patriotic twist.Summer isn't usually considered "crochet season" since you typically think of crocheted projects as cold weather ones. Hats, scarfs and afghans.  But today I'm turning that notion on its ear.   There are lots of great ideas for crocheted projects you can use year round.   And if you add an American flag motif to your designs it fits perfectly into the fourth of July or Memorial day. 

Now that you have an excuse to crochet in the summer, to grab your crochet hook, some red, white and blue yarn and start your first chain!

10 Patriotic Stars and Stripes Crochet Project Ideas 

15 Patriotic Woodworking Projects

15 Patriotic woodworking projects
Patriotic woodworking projects in red white and blue. The perfect wood building projects for the fourth of july.

Summer is the perfect time for woodworkers.  Warm weather and long daylight hours gives you more time outside. If you are looking for some fun woodworking project ideas that embraces that fourth of July spirit, look no further. 

These project ideas range in difficult from basic beginner to more advanced woodworker.  There is something for everyone.  Don't necessarily look at the list of things you could replicate exactly, but as a jumping off point for new ideas of your own!  Get inspired and head out to the wood shop! 

15 Patriotic Woodworking Projects

PVC Pipe Vertical Garden

PVC Joint Vertical GardenYou may already know that my house has pretty much ZERO yard space.  I’ve written about the trials and tribulations of a small yard, combined with living through the California drought and so it may come as no surprise that when I wanted to plant a spring garden this year, i had to do a little bit of thinking outside the box.

12 Summer Projects You Can Make With Your Cricut

12 adorable summer themed cricut projects that you can make! Most include the free cut files! Summer is here! And that means time for those fun summer and beach projects! So drag out your Cricut machine, wipe off the dust and get ready to get crafty!
This month’s craft and create challenge had some fantastic ideas from shirts and hats to party supplies and signs.
 Bring a little summer fun to your life with these project ideas:
unicorn splatter art
flocking fabulous flamingo

Drying Rack From An Old Crib Rail

Portable drying rack from old crib
I’m so excited it is finally Summer!  The kids are out of school and we’re able to slow down a little.  It also means that this month’s Power Tool Challenge, is all about SUMMER as well. Power Tool Challenge Team Summer Themed Projects
Frozen Treat Stand by My Love To Create
Red White And Blue Cornhole Game by Create And Babble
Drying Rack From Old Crib rail by The Kim Six Fix
Chair Spindle Wooden Garden Caddy by Interior Frugalista
Star Clothes Drying Rack by A Piece Of Rainbow
Farmhouse Bench Building Plans by Refresh Restyle
Vegetable Gathering Basket by Designs By Studio C
Reclaimed Wood Bookcase by Confessions of A Serial DIY’er
DIY Footstool by Virginia Sweet Pea
DIY Hose Hanger by My Repurposed Life
This month I came up with an upcycle for the old side of the baby’s crib, which we are no longer using.  (He is using the rest of the crib!)Old crib drop side upcycle
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