Picking apples at Avila Valley Barn

Sep 15, 2014



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Remember when Farmville was a huge thing on Facebook? Well, I don't know what people saw in that game but personally, I've always preferred real farms. All that time people spent playing that game when they could've been growing the real thing! But, kidding aside, farms are so great. There's such a comforting feeling about them. Almost every year, when I was a kid, we'd go to the local pumpkin farm and do the hay ride thing, pick out the perfect pumpkin, pet the farm animals and snack on caramel apples on a stick (which, by the way, I only liked because they were pretty- otherwise, they were a bit too sticky for me!).

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I recently heard of Avila Valley Barn and just had to visit. It had been way too long since I was in this kind of environment. And even though I was quite literally the only 20-something person there (apparently people wouldn't visit places like this if they didn't have kids), I had the best time taking it all in. I pet the goats, stared at the chickens, said hello to the one brown cow. I got lost in a daydream surrounded by all the homegrown fruits and vegetables, flowers and baked goods. I had way too much fun playing around with the camera settings trying to take the best photos I could so that I would be able to come back here and share them in the hopes that you, too, could get a feel of how splendid this place is.

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The main attraction was, before I forget to mention, taking a hay ride into the fields where we actually got to pick our own apples straight off the tree. I hadn't done that since I moved away from my childhood home, which used to boast many fruit trees and a large vegetable garden. I may or may not have gone a little crazy picking 5lbs worth of apples but I regret nothing. Supermarket apples only wish they could taste half as good!

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I hope to go back to the farm really soon just in time to get a pumpkin or two! By then, I hope it'll feel a little more like Fall (I'm looking at you, strange weather!)

If you have a farm similar to this near you, you should definitely go- whether you have kids or not! It's such a fun way to spend a weekend!

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Day trip: Avila Beach

Sep 10, 2014

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Avila Beach. If you're not familiar (and let's face it, many people probably aren't since the town is home to a population of only about 1,627- thanks, Wikipedia, for that random fact), it is located on California's central coast- or as I like to say, the underrated space between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Avila Beach is a bit of a hidden town, a secret that seems to float among Californians. Last weekend, I visited for the first time. It was the most perfect day- the skies were just as blue as the water. My first impression, though, was that Avila Beach was ridiculously crowded for being such a small beach (so this is where all the young'uns from SLO county hang out). And you have to PAY for parking in most spots- why is this even a thing? I wonder if the person who invented paying for parking actually enjoys paying for parking? That aside, Avila Beach is a perfect little getaway for a day or even a few days. It's so alive, colorful, fresh, peaceful. Admittedly, though, not my favorite seaside town (she says after she just listed all the positive attributes) but still, definitely worth a visit if you're looking for a new place to unwind.


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DIY: a dog house for Djinn Djinn

Sep 8, 2014
I first saw THIS beautiful little Nantucket colonial-inspired dog house a few months ago floating around the web but had immediate sticker shock when I saw the price. I started brainstorming and with a little help from Pinterest, I became inspired to try to make a similar dog house with my own two hands. My dad also enjoys projects like this so I enlisted his help and in a matter of two days, we had completed the perfect little home for my rat terrier chihuahua Djinn Djinn. Below, is a picture of the dog house I loved so much but not enough to spend over $300 on!




I knew right away I didn't want a house made of wood because Djinn Djinn is an indoor dog and wood is just not really practical for inside (too heavy to move, might damage floors, etc...). I came across an empty cardboard toilet box (who knew a toilet box would be the ideal size for a dog house!?) and set to work creating a "masterpiece". I literally just used materials I had around the house and didn't need to buy a thing. Bonus: using the empty toilet box proved to be ideal because it has little built in handles which makes it super easy to move the dog house around when needed.

What I used:
Cardboard boxes of different sizes
Glue gun
Acrylic paint/Interior wall paint
Shelf liner paper with back adhesive (for the interior wallpaper)
Scraps of white cardboard (for window trimming)

If you're thinking of making a house for your pet, I'd encourage you to be creative and just make whatever shape of house you think your dog might like best (usually dogs like to be able to stand/or stretch out lying down so make sure it's nice and roomy and appropriate for the size of your dog). I originally intended to make one similar to the colonial dog house but it turned out more like one of those pretty little houses by the water in Amsterdam.

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I measured everything as well as I could though not perfectly. I get a bit impatient trying to measure- it seems like the ruler always moves! I knew that Djinn Djinn wouldn't mind if a few of his windows were a little off. ;)

I definitely felt more rewarded after I completed this little project. Not only did I save a ton of money, I also got to customize it just the way I thought Djinn Djinn would be most comfortable. It was also super fun to make. I have plans to add a little chimney, as well.

Have you ever made a house for your pet?

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