Where did summer go?

This summer was full of highs and lows. But mostly it went by far too quickly.

We had our first snow of the season yesterday (on the mountain tops, not in the valley). This morning we woke up to 50 degree weather, and wanted to stay tucked in our warm blankets. I hear the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a colder than normal year for 2015 as well.

Let’s revisit a highlight from this summer, going to the first ALT Summer. This photo is from the closing party, and if you look closely you can see me next to the top table with the yellow balloon (in the black shirt).

ALT Summer
Photo by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

It was a great conference, made even better because of wonderful blogging friends. Oh how I wish I could afford to go again this winter. That would make the snow and cold something to look forward to.

The change in weather does turn my mind towards projects on the inside of the house and putting away the garden for another season. Not completely of course, there are still some warm days ahead, but snow might be here early this year and I don’t want to get caught off guard.

Does anyone else feel that summer got away to quickly this year?

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The island

Weeds

This is one of many trouble spots in our yard. Do you have one? This island always looks like the “before” photo, no matter how often I pull, or even spray, the weeds. They always, always, come back.

It’s mostly grass, and even the all powerful Round Up doesn’t keep it away.

The island is looking great right now, any bets on how long it lasts this time around?

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fashionABLE + ALT: vote, share, win!

Have you heard of fashionABLE yet? They create beautiful scarves, and more, made by women in Ethiopia. The mission of fashionABLE is to not just provide something lovely for people to purchase, but also to help women in Africa become self sufficient. It’s a win win!

fashionABLE-+-ALT-Vote-for-your-favorite-square

They recently partnered with my favorite blog conference, ALT, to send out a call for designs, and now you get a chance to VOTE for the one you love most! The top three were chosen from 100 designs, that were then narrowed down to 10, ending with the final three. There were a lot of factors involved, including practicality of the design on a loom, cost, seasonal relevance, etc. And of course, design!

Which one is your favorite? Go vote here.

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Summer garden tips from ACE Hardware (and a giveaway)!

We have some great mid-summer tips from Lou at ACE Hardware. Mid-summer can be a hard time for a garden, it’s hot, and sometimes things start looking rough. Following these tips can really help.

Pink easy rose in bud

1. If possible, make sure you are watering on a regular basis.  More often than not, people over-water their plants, which actually does not help create a thick lawn.  You want the roots of the grass to dig far into the ground; accordingly, if you over-water, the grass will not reach deeper for moisture.  At this point in the season, you should be watering twice a week for about 45 minutes.

2. Apply more seed to ensure that there are no bare spots.  Use the right seed mixture for your area to fill in thin spaces, cover with black dirt, plus a little peat moss, and water those areas every day for a few minutes.

3. Apply natural soil treatments such as Milorganite, Jonathan Green Magic-Cal and Ringer Lawn Restore.  These can be distributed across your lawn at any time to treat the soil and help promote a healthier lawn.

4. For the garden, turn the soil to eliminate compaction.  Apply natural compost when turning the soil to keep the soil fortified with nutrients so that all of your flowers and vegetables continue growing.

5. If you are noticing any disease or bugs eating away at your plants, try applying a powdered treatment to the leaves.  Such products include Seven or Captain Jacks by Bonide to eliminate the problem and help the plants grow.  Always read the label on the bottles or cans for the correct use and application of the products.

ACE Hardware is offering a $25 gift card to one lucky reader! You can shop for some summer spruce up items to help keep your garden looking great all the way until winter! USA only, enter via the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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IKEA greenhouse “fireplace”

When I was invited to IKEA for a fun bloggers breakfast, I was also given a giftcard to spend. We were asked to do something creative with what we bought. I fell in love with the SOCKER Greenhouse. I’m a plant nerd, and the greenhouse was calling my name loudly. In fact, there were a couple of plants that jumped in my cart too. Did you know IKEA has plants? I didn’t know, but they do, and they are awesome.

Even though I bought the greenhouse with the intention of plants living in it, I wanted to do something unexpected and fun with it first. Hello greenhouse fireplace! A few LED candles, some nice thick tree branch candle holders, a bit of moss, and the effect is awesome! Seriously, I don’t know if my plants will be getting in anytime soon.

ikeahackgreenhouse1And I can see all kinds of fun ways to use this for holidays too! Just look at how fun it is in the dark!

ikeahackgreenhouse2So romantic, like a little woodlands fairy tale!

BIG thanks to IKEA and SNAP for a fun morning, and what will prove to be a lot of holiday fun in the future too!

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