In adventure camping kings canyon national park nature sequoia national forest sequoia national park travel wanderlust

Sequoia National Forest


 The hubs and I took a four day trip to Sequoia National Forest and Kings Canyon over Labor Day weekend.  Before we made plans, I checked the NPS website for the rules on bringing dogs.  The site  states that dogs are allowed on all trails in Sequoia National Forest.  What I didn't realize was that the National Forest is not the same as the National Park. Silly me. We ended up not being able to visit a few famous attractions but we had a great time none the less.  If you're thinking of taking your pets camping with you, I highly suggest reading the NPS website carefully before planning your trip. 


We stayed at the Hume Lake Campground and I can honestly say it's probably the best campground I've ever had the pleasure of staying at.  Each site is spread a fair distance apart and surrounded by towering trees.  The campground itself is secluded, quite, and clean.  If you feel like kayaking or swimming, Hume Lake is within walking distance.  We brought our inflatable boat and took it out on the lake every afternoon when we got back to camp.  At night, the sky is packed with stars peaking between tree branches and it's absolutely breathtaking.

We enjoyed the additional benefit of having a convenience store and gas station a short drive over at the Christian camp. They sell various camping essentials and have recreational rentals for the lake. If and when I go back, I'll definitely be booking here again.

The first day was spent exploring Kings Canyon's incredibly vibrant rivers.  The drive down into the canyon is lined with beautiful rock formations and stretches of speckled granite. I have a fear of heights and the roads were on the edges of some pretty steep cliffs. Needless to say, driving was left to the hubs on this stretch of land.

Once you get down to Three Rivers,  you can stop at the many pullouts along the side of the road and go for a swim! There are signs everywhere with warnings that the water is ridiculously cold and the currents can be unexpectedly strong in certain areas. Make sure to proceed with caution!

That being said, this is probably the most beautiful place I have been to date.  The colors in the river are intensely rich and vibrant. The air was comfortably warm on the day we went and the water was cool. As you can see, the kids thoroughly enjoyed their time there.

There are several waterfalls in the King's Canyon area.  Since we had the dogs, we were only able to visit Grizzle Falls.  It did not disappoint.  The waterfall is only a few steps from the parking area and has several picnic tables where you can eat and enjoy the falls. We had our lunch there and took pictures when the crowd thinned out a bit.



On the second day, we drove around the National Parks and stayed near the main roads where dogs were allowed. There were tons of giant sequoia trees and the pictures we took really don't do them any justice so I've decided to leave those out.  You'll just have to go see them for yourself!

Here's one last picture of dogos in a blanket on a cold mountain morning:

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In decor Design home interior minimalist

The Minimalist In Me

Minimalism is beautiful in theory.  When my room is decluttered and bright, I get the feeling that I've really got my life together.  It's usually followed by a sudden need to accomplish every goal I've ever set for myself.. In practice, it's not easy to be ever vigilant of the endless piles of clutter that seem to add up.  Where does all this stuff even come from?

Tips for a happy minimalist home:

Organization is key.  The whole idea of a minimalistic home is based on this point.  If you don't need it, put it away or throw it out.  Storage boxes are magical and pretty display containers are life savers.  Keep paper statements and other important documents in decorative folders. Hide electrical chords and stash keys out of sight.

Brighten things up.  Direct sunlight is always best but it's not feasible for every room.  Paint the walls with colors that attract and reflect light. Having a minimalist home doesn't necessarily mean basking in bright white all the time. Add contrast with different shades of gray for a calming affect.  You can also add the occasional pop of color if you prefer something a little more exciting.

Add shapes and textures.  Minimalism has a great appreciation for fine lines and smooth edges.  Geometric shapes draw a lot of attention in these otherwise simple homes.  Breaking up the lines with an occasional textured accessory, rug, or plant helps to fill the room and makes it more lived in while still maintaining it's simplicity.

Bonus picture.
Our foster kitty Joey.

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In bedroom breakfast cheap décor Design display DIY easy home marble

Breakfast on Marble

If you follow any design Instagram accounts, you've probably seen at least a little bit of marble.  It's a trend I'm absolutely in love with and also absolutely unable to afford. But who needs to shell out big bucks when you can just fake it? Shh.. No one needs to know it isn't real!  Make marble contact paper your new best friend.  I just bought myself a roll so you'll probably be seeing a lot of it as I go marble happy on every possession I own with a flat surface. Just kidding. Maybe. We'll have to see how this goes.

I had some serious room envy when I saw white marble trays laid out with morning breakfast on a bed overflowing with moody gray pillows. To make my own, I purchased a small sample roll of contact paper off Amazon for $8 (you can get it at my affiliate link here).  Then, I went to Michael's and bought one of their pre-made wooden trays. The trays come in a pack of two, one small and one large, for around $5.  I had some 80 grit sand paper, white acrylic paint, and foam brushes left over from a previous project.  If you need to purchase these things, the total should come out to no more than $10.
I gently sanded down the edges of the tray to smooth out any imperfections, wiped it down with a damp cloth, and let it dry for a few minutes.  Once the tray had dried, I painted on three coats of white paint, letting it dry in between each coat.  You can also add a layer of top coat for a smoother, glossier finish. 

Measure and cut out a sheet of contact paper for the bottom of the tray.  I recommend starting on one side and smoothing out any bubbles with the edge of a credit card as you peel.

And that's it!  It looks very real as long as you don't pick it up. Marble is heavy and our faux tray is convincing visually but lacks the weight needed to pass a feel test. Use it for serving, displaying, jewelry and more!


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