We recently purchased two kayaks and having never kayaked before we really did not know what to expect. However, the truth is....we are absolutely hooked!
We love it and can't wait to get out there every chance we get now, and especially to get a chance to go fishing :-)
The Kayaks cost a little money to start with (though these were a relatively inexpensive model), but if we take care of them they will literally last forever so they were definitely a worthy purchase that will be fun for a very long time to come.
They are light-weight and can easily be transported using a small trailer or in the back of our pick up truck so we can just pick them up and go to any local lake or river we choose at any time we choose. Of course, in the Adirondack park there are so many FREE access points for people to drop in their kayaks and go that we could choose a different one every time and never run out of options.
There were a lot of reviews online about these particular kayaks and we took the time to reach through each and every one before deciding that these were still the best kayaks for us. In the video we address the common complaints and show you how we either fixed them, or discuss why we didn't have an issue with it.
Check out our YouTube video review and watch us paddle around for the first time ever!
You won't believe how easy it really was (And how great these kayaks are too!).
Oh, and did I mention the best part? THEY ARE MADE IN THE USA!
Made in the USA clip art from http://www.clker.com/clipart-418724.html
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There is simply nothing that compares to sleeping under the stars (sort of) on your own land for the first time! That is exactly what we did recently and I can honestly say we really didn't want the weekend to come to an end. With no cell phone service, no electric and no running water (other than our little creek) we were in our glory staying overnight. Even with the temperatures dipping down below 27°F our newlywed children were perfectly fine sleeping in their little tent!
None of us can wait until we can do it again! Really :-)
We loved camping out so much that we can't wait to do it again!
Read more about our land
and our future Homesteading Dreams here.
This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com.
Having an RV (recreational vehicle) is awesome! It gives us the freedom to be able to travel and always have a comfortable place to sleep with no worries. It is also super convenient to just pull onto the side of the road if you have to go to the bathroom! No more painful waits for the next rest area or searching for a gas station with a working bathroom. Maybe that's just me. Either way having an RV with all the comforts of home and stocked with just about everything you need for traveling makes traveling simply delightful!
However, our RV, being inexpensive and small, did not come with most of the comforts we wanted nor did it have a lot of space for all of the above, so here is what we did to make it like home for us.
1. The Bed
We chose an RV that had a bed that never needed to be 'broken down.' In other words, in many smaller RV's the bed is also the kitchen table and benches. We made sure this was not the case for us so even though our RV is small (18') it has a permanent bed. The bed also had to be a decent size. Our RV is a queen size bed and this was very important to us.
2. The Entertainment Center
OK, I know it is not camping if you have an entertainment center, but really. It's not exactly camping to stay in a nice trailer with the comforts of home anyway! At our age, we just don't care. We want to travel all around the country and at the end of the day we like to relax and watch some TV. Even if it is just a DVD, we don't care. It is relaxing. So Since our RV didn't come with an entertainment center we had to make our own!
3. The Bathroom
I don't know about you, but this room is pretty important to me! In a small trailer you get a small bathroom. In our case it is really, really small. In fact, it only came with a tiny shower, a toilet, and a mirror on the wall! Nothing else but a door!
4. The Kitchen
Of course this is really part of the bedroom, the living room, and the dining room! Ha Ha. But who cares? It's still my kitchen and I knew I could improve upon it!
5. Key Holder
Now our trailer is always organized, ready, and feels like home no matter where we go!
I used sharpies to decorate my Easter Eggs this year. I wanted to try something different, and I have to say I was happy with the outcome!
Seriously, all you need are some hard boiled eggs, sharpie markers and minimal drawing abilities. If you can draw a simple flower,a leaf, a line with curls at the end, and make a few dots, you are good to go!
Just start at the ends and work your way down to the other end, or do both ends and then fill in the middle. Either way, who cares? Just keep it simple and fun, because in the end it's just an egg you are going to crack open and eat!
And if you feel extra ambitious, you can color it in! They look awesome both ways.
The whole idea is to just have fun! I know I did :-)
Also check out the many other fun DIY Easter Ideas on our Pinterest Board!
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It's that time again....a new year with new resolutions. How many of us actually accomplished all of our resolutions from last year? I know I didn't. But this year I have a plan! FIVE SIMPLE, yet life changing, resolutions! Each of the 5 resolutions is simple and straightforward so they should be easier to follow through with, right? Well, hopefully! But the real plan is that they become lifetime habits that I eventually don't even have to think about!
1. Eat Whole Foods - this is not a diet but if done properly should lead to losing weight and feeling more energetic. Eating whole foods means exactly that: eating fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats instead of anything that is processed. If the foods are all organic, then even better! If the food required some sort of processing in a plant and has ingredients added for whatever reason, then it is OUT! Need some help with this? Then check out the following site:
2. Exercise - Five minutes a day is all that's needed to get started and it can be simple like walking to the store instead of driving!
3. More Quality Family Time - are you usually too busy for your spouse, children, or even your parents or siblings? Then make time for them before it is too late! It doesn't have to cost anything either! You can simply make a plan to do something for 1-3 hours each week. It can be as simple as playing a game like monopoly, or going for a nature walk at the local park. The idea is to make it a priority and schedule it in if you have to!
4. Organize - get the house in order! This will make everything so much simpler this year. It makes it easier to clean, takes less time to find what you need (Don't you hate searching for something?), and of course frees up quality time to spend with your family!
5. Grow Your Savings - even if you have debt, it is important to have some money in a savings account. Having money saved makes me feel protected in case of emergency like when our stove blew up last year. I usually set a certain goal to reach each year. I don't always meet it, but it helps!
I wish you and your family a Healthy and Happy New Year!
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I love gardening and believe it or not, unlike many other gardeners, I love having birds of all different kinds visit all summer long! I don't mind sharing some of my fruits with them as long as they don't take too much and I get to take their picture!
Every morning during the summer I would go out into my backyard before the rest of the neighborhood really came alive. This was the quiet time when the birds liked to come and visit. I loved hearing them sing to each other. I actually learned to recognize several different species by their song alone!
I took pictures and some video of most of the different birds that come to visit and in honor of the end of summer, and possibly migration for some (maybe all?) of them, here they are!
Hope you enjoy :-)
Watch this video of our backyard birds of summer (and a few from the winter too!) and then you can scroll down to our slide show where I try to name them, but am not sure if they are all correct!
I try to name them in the slideshow below but am not sure of a few...
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These DIY trick-or-treats would also be great as party favors!
FREE printable pumpkin cut-out included!
Every year for Halloween I give out candy. Every year for Halloween I eat the candy before Halloween and end up having to buy more. Then I eat that candy and have to buy more again, and so on. I never have leftover candy and it's not because we get a ton of kids knocking on our door. I just have absolutely no willpower. I have even purposely bought candy I don't like so I wouldn't eat it. Guess what? I ate it. Come on, admit it, because I KNOW I'm not alone! Well, this year I was determined to change that pattern and do something different. I wanted it to be fun, so when I saw glow sticks on sale I thought, "Why not? Who doesn't like glow sticks?" Then I realized this year Halloween is on a Saturday and that means kids out after dark. Why not help them be safer by giving them something bright to wear at night? By this time, giving glow sticks as my trick-or-treat give-away was a no brainer. Here's what I did.
Where I Purchased Glow Sticks:
I purchased WHOLESALE PACK of 300 8" LumiSticks (affiliate link with Amazon) for $21.99 and free shipping on orders over $35. They are Non-toxic and they came with connectors so they could be made into necklaces. I purchased so many because I knew I would be using them for other things (Halloween decorations blog post coming soon!).
The 8" LumiSticks can also be purchased in tubes of 100 (affiliate link with Amazon) for $8.99 and free shipping on orders over $35.
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I love tie dyed clothes. I don't know what it is about them but they just make me feel happy. Maybe it's the combination of wild colors, or the designs, but whatever it is I really like tie dyed clothes. That's why I decided to take a day and do some tie dying for fun! Well, a little for fun and the rest to give as gifts for birthdays or Christmas. Despite the fact that I hadn't tie dyed in over 20 years I am very happy with the results.
Check out the kit by clicking the picture above or here: Rit Tie-Dye Kit (affiliate link)
You definitely want to do this outside.
Cover a table with the cheap plastic table cloth.
Rubber-Banding the Spiral Design:
I decided to do the spiral pattern for most of the shirts. I followed the video tutorial below. I did not follow their instructions for dying though because they had way more colors than I did - I only had three tubes with three colors (red, blue, and yellow). The directions for coloring the rainbow using only three colors are below.
Rubber-Banding the Sunflower Design:
I couldn't find any instructions online, so I kind of made up my own based on what I thought might work. I basically just did the front of the shirt with the design by banding a small portion for the brown center. Then I pleated and banded the next section for the yellow flower petals. That was it for the flower. For the rest of the shirt I just banded it however it worked out naturally. I guess you could say I 'winged' it. It really didn't matter to me since it was an experiment.
Dyeing the Spiral Shirts:
Dying the Sunflower Shirts
The Next Day
Using a milk crate, gloves, scissors, and a hose, I simply took out one shirt at a time and hosed it down until no more color ran from the shirt. Then I clipped the rubber bands and removed them and hosed the shirt for a few more minutes to be sure all the color was done washing out. After all the shirts were rinsed I washed them on hot temperature, short cycle, in the washer machine and hung them out to dry! All done and happy with the results :-)
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For as long as humans have been planting and growing their own crops they have been battling to keep the birds away. Scarecrows, at one time found in just about every garden, are now more common around Halloween. Why? Well, frankly, they just don't work that well.
Are there alternatives?
Classic scarecrows can be built with arms that will move in the wind. This is pretty creative and probably works better as long as there is wind to make them move. Adding sound is also helpful as it can help to scare the birds. This is definitely a step up from the classic 'stick' scarecrow.
A newer technological invention is motion activated 'scarecrows.' These do not resemble 'classic' scarecrows at all. Two examples are the automatic sprinkler and an owl with a turning head. I don't know about the sprinkler (birds love when I turn mine on), but the reviews on the owl are pretty good so it's an option. Other options are 'shimmering' reflective ribbons tied to plants or fake snakes. I don't know what is best or if any of them are worth it or not but we just choose to keep it simple. We just anticipate sharing some of our crop with the local birds and if we don't want to share, we just cover those particular plants with netting.
Is it worth it to have a scarecrow?
Absolutely! I still love having a scarecrow in my garden whether it keeps the birds away or not. It's fun to have and, in my opinion, my garden wouldn't feel complete without it!
Make your own scarecrow!
Whether it is for Halloween or to keep in your garden, here are three different plans at different levels so you can build your own scarecrow. Enjoy:-)
Looking for something inexpensive, simple, and fun to do this summer? Then consider having a backyard campfire complete with marshmallows, a sing-along and ghost stories. No matter what age your guests are, it's sure to be a big hit that everyone will want to do over and over again!
When I was growing up we used to go camping all the time. Whether it was upstate NY or on the beaches of Fire Island, there was always a campfire involved. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of singing around the campfire with family and friends. In fact, the picture above was taken just this summer while visiting my parents in the Adirondacks - in their backyard! No matter how old you are, campfires are fun and you don't have to travel farther than your backyard to create new memories!
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
No backyard? No worries! Would someone you know be willing to share theirs? Is there a park or other similar place near you that permits campfires? You can call the local parks you know of and see if they allow fires or find parks in your state using America's State Parks. Many parks already have fire pits ready and waiting to be used!
If you don't already have one then you can either buy one, or even better, make one yourself!
Yes folks, you can't have a fire without something (usually wood) to burn.
There are a lot of options here!
In my opinion a backyard campfire is nothing without being able to roast marshmallows and make s'mores! Making them is pretty easy, but you do need a few things and being prepared ahead of time makes it very simple (And we all love simple, right?).
You can either make your own, improvise, have guests bring their own, or buy them!
What's a campfire without an old fashioned sing-along? If you or your guests play an instrument, then even better! We have a lot of guitar players in my family so besides the classic campfire songs we always sang a few oldies too! You can choose to sing whatever songs you want or even just listen to music, but I am not joking when I say sing-a-longs are fun!
Depending upon the age of the guests, these can range from funny to scary. Either way, ghost stories have been told around campfires for a very long time....
A few important things about fire safety (learn more at Smokey The Bear):
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Hi there! I'm Kathie, the author behind Creating A Simpler Life blog. I'm excited to share our longterm projects (and planning) toward building our future retirement homestead in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. In the meantime I will be sharing all the other little things we do that are part of creating our simpler life!