Archive of ‘Outdoors’ category

Bailey’s Dipped Toasted Marshmallows

| Cooking, Outdoors

The best toasted marshmallows ever!

The best toasted marshmallows ever!

Bailey’s Dipped Toasted Marshmallows – How about a little something for the adults for a change.  A couple of weeks ago we started our annual summer long camping.  We keep our trailer at the beach for the summer – only about a 15 minute drive from our house. We’re there for most of the summer, until school starts back up. Most nights, as the tip of Mt. Baker turns from white to peachy-pink,  we settle in with a toasty little campfire to keep us warm.  A few years back we discovered Bailey’s marshmallows – all I can say is be prepared, once you’ve had toasted marshmallows with Bailey’s you’ll be ruined for all other marshmallows from that point forward.

Making this is about as simple as it gets. Toast your marshmallow over hot coals, then dip the warm marshmallow into a cup of Bailey’s.  It can be a bit gooey and drippy so be prepared to bust out the wet-wipes.

Be warned… this is highly addictive!

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How To Photograph People Jumping

| Design & Technology, Kids Fun, Outdoors

Tips for taking jumping photographs.

Tips for taking jumping photographs.

How To Photograph People Jumping – Who doesn’t love summer days spent frolicking on the beach.  More than half of our time during the summer is spent camping at our RV on the beach.  That means a lot of time hanging out enjoying the sand, sun and waves. During the past few summer’s there I’ve taken many, many photos, especially of my daughter.  I love capturing all the moments of childhood – digging, burying, throwing, riding, running and my favourite, jumping.

People are often too scared or intimidated to shoot high action jumping photos but there are a few tricks that can help you capture the moment. Most camera’s these days have all you need to take these super fun photos.

Choose your scene

Make sure you have a simple background. Usually something that isn’t too busy so that the jumper will stand out. Also make sure you aren’t taking the photo directly into the sun – always try to get the sun behind you if possible.

Get up close and personal

The closer you can get to the person jumping, the more dramatic the photo will be and the more detail you’ll be able to capture. Often times taking the photo in portrait format (or up and down) helps make the jumper stand out better – remember to leave room at the top of your photo so that the head doesn’t get cut off.

Go low, low, low

The most dramatic and energetic jumps are photographed when the photographer is lower than the jumper. It helps to kneel, crouch or lay on the ground when taking these photos.

Study your camera

If you have a DSLR camera, use a high shutter speed if possible – if you’re not sure just keep on automatic.  If you’re using a point and shoot, test how quickly your camera actually takes the photo after you push down the shutter button.  Many point and shoots have a bit of a lag so make sure you account for this minor timing adjustment.  You can also use the sports or motion setting  if your camera comes with that setting.

Focus

Have the person stand right where you’ll be taking the photo and pre-focus your camera by pressing the shutter button halfway down to prepare for the shot.

1-2-3-JUMP

Count “1-2-3-jump” to help get the timing right for taking the photo. You may have to do this a few times to coordinate with your jumper. Remember that you want to snap the shot at the peak of the jump.

Shoot, shoot and shoot some more

The beauty of the digital camera’s is that you can take as many photos as your memory card can handle and you can delete on the spot, so take as many photos as you can… well, until your jumper runs out of steam anyway.

These quick tips will help you take great jumping photos

These quick tips will help you take great jumping photos

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Summer Fun Activity List – Printable

| Kids Fun, Outdoors, Printables

50 summer activities to keep kids busy and having fun all summer long.

50 summer activities to keep kids busy and having fun all summer long.

No more teachers, no more books… yeah, summer’s here! Oh wait, that means it’s up to me to keep my child entertained for the summer. I’m horrible at imaginary and make believe games like the ones my daughter and husband play – I completely admire the skill to be able to just make up random stories on a whim and have incredible imaginary adventures but that’s a skill I simply don’t possess. Fortunately, I bring my other attributes to the table, mainly creativity. So, with that said, I decided this year to be proactive in my summer fun activities and create a checklist that we put on the fridge to use when we’re having trouble coming up things to do. Maybe if we’re diligent, we can make it through the entire list this summer. I had lots of ideas myself but also found some great activities online.  I’m sure I’m not the only parent out there trying to come up with activities to entertain the kids with, so I’m putting this list on my blog for others to print out and use too.

Download your “Summer Fun List” here.

Also, don’t forget to check out some of the kids activities and ideas I’ve posted previously on my blog:

It’s the first day of summer vacation for us here in Victoria so Noelle and I are off now to go complete the first item we’ve chosen from our list (find smooth rocks to paint and decorate).  Enjoy and have a great summer!

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How to Make Newspaper Seedling Pots

| Crafts & DIY, Outdoors

Newspaper plant pots.

Newspaper plant pots.

How to Make Newspaper Seedling Pots – Well, it’s that time of year to get all the seedlings started. Usually I just get those little plastic seedling trays to start my plants in but I’ve never been thrilled with the result for my tomatoes which grow stronger when started in roomier pots. And well, why not save a few bucks and be environmentally friendly at the same time. Simply use the newspaper you already have in your recycling and you can whip up tons of these little pots in no time.

I found a YouTube tutorial that explained how to make newspaper seedling pots but really, you can figure it out pretty quickly just by looking at these photos.

Materials:

  • Newspaper (the good old Saanich News is what I used – it’s a smaller tabloid size which is great for this)
  • Some sort of can (soup, beans, spaghetti sauce… whatever size you prefer)
  • Scotch tape

Instructions:

  1. Take one sheet of newspaper and fold it into 3 sections so that when you put your can on its side, it’s about 1.5-2″ longer than the can.
  2. Roll the newspaper around the can making sure you have your newspaper hanging over one end (don’t roll too tight or you’ll have trouble getting the newspaper off the can).
  3. Gently put a small piece of tape on the edge of the newspaper once it’s completely wrapped around the can.
  4. On the end of the can that had newspaper hanging over, fold over the newspaper towards the middle of the can until it’s all folded down. Tap and squish down the paper by pushing the can against a table or other hard surface.  Use a small piece of tape to tape it down.
  5. Remove the newspaper pot from the can.
  6. Fill your pot with soil and plant your seeds or seedlings.
  7. At this point I put all the soil filled newspaper pots in a low plastic watertight  tub that fits about 16-20 pots but you can use whatever you want.
  8. Pour water into the bottom of the tub and it will soak up through the newspaper and into the soil.
  9. When your plants are ready to go into the ground, you can either pop them out of the newspaper pot to plant or just put them straight into the ground since the newspaper will decompose (I’ll likely rip off the bottom of the pot to make sure the roots have room to grow).
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