Saturday, July 14, 2018

Christmas in July- Presto Photo giveaway!

Last year i  ordered a custom canvas print from Presto Photo. You can read more about my experience with them  here.  The photo canvas print turned out wonderful and we really love it!  

Presto Photo, Previously known as VioVio, Inc., is the place where you can share your life and the wonderful journeys that color your living. They are an online community designed for photographers (professional and novice), scrapbookers, teachers, moms, dads, travel enthusiasts and designers. They offer a variety of products including photo books, calendars, wall art, greeting cards and more! There are lots of sizes and styles, as well as different options for customizing your photo to make it extra special.

i recently had the opportunity to create some holiday cards (x-mas in July!) through Presto Photo. Creating custom cards is easy! You can browse through the different templates and then upload your photos. You can upload  photos from your PC,  Facebook or Instagram. Once uploaded you can place it on your card and crop if the image doesn't fit. The website is very easy to navigate, and there is an option for live help if you run into trouble.

Presto Photo offers a nice variety of holiday card templates. They also offer a nice variety of custom wall art and photobooks.  i found the process of designing the card very easy. Upload the photo, drag it to where you want it and hover your mouse over it to edit or crop the image. Click on the words and it brings up the option to customize the text. You can change the size, font and message.

Presto photo allows you to make your own customized photo products at an affordable price (especially their shipping prices!)! They make it so easy to turn your photos into precious keepsakes including photo books, cards, calendars and more!

You can check out all of their different photo products on
You can also connect with them on social media!

Follow Presto Photo on Twitter 
Like Presto Photo on Facebook
Follow Presto Photo on Instagram


The generous folks at Presto Photo were kind enough to offer a set of 20 custom holiday cards to 3 winners!!   Please enter below using the rafflecopter form, you may have to wait a minutes for it to load! This giveaway is open to US only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

i received a set of cards in exchange for trying out the service and sharing my honest review. My opinions are my own. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Garden Harvest - June

Despite some wacky weather this year (snow in April, non-stop rain in May, July temps and drought in June)  i'm still getting a pretty good harvest. The cold in April and heat in June caused a few things to get a late start and then bolt early, but other things are doing just fine.

End of May-beginning of June. We've been enjoying a few mushrooms from the logs we plugged last year. Oyster mushrooms, Shiitake and Dryad's saddle. Asparagus, garlic scapes and lettuce.  

First week of June we were harvesting oysters mushrooms, shiitake and garlic scapes.

June 10. Second week i started to get a few peas. Broccoli was ready to pick and berries were just getting started.

June 19. Peas and berries are really starting to produce. Garlic scapes are almost done and we are still getting a few pyster mushrooms.

June 25th. Peas and berries are producing well. Starting to get some summer squash, pulled a few root veggies just to check them.  This is the last of my garlic scapes.

We love the sugar snap and snow peas. i never grow english garden peas. These are the Purple tendril, sugar magnolia tendril pea, golden snow pea and sugar snaps.

of course berry season is in full swing! i've already made a few batches of jam and the canes are still loaded! Blueberries, raspberries and black raspberries are especially prolific this year and blackberries are just getting started. So far my tomatoes are doing great and beans are almost ready to pick. Everything is a little behind, but still doing great. Hopefully july brings a little rain.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Bee inspection- replacing a queen and starting a nuc colony

About 2 weeks ago, we did a bee inspection and noticed that the bees in hive 2 (Slytherin) were bearding on the front of the hive and sounded really agitated. Sometimes they do this if it's really hot inside the hive, but once we opened up the hive we realized something else was going on. 

Once we started the inspection we understood why they were so agitated. We didn't find any eggs or larvae, which means their queen was most likely dead. 

This spotty broad pattern is another sign that things in the hive are not okay. Sometimes an unusual broad pattern can indicates a bad queen, but in our case it indicated that their was no queen. 

We checked all frames, but could not locate a queen, but we did find what we believe to be an emergency queen cell. We could have left the emergency queen cell and allowed the bees to raise a new queen, however we decided to move the queen cell into a 5 frame nucleus hive and requeen hive 2 with a local queen we were able to get from the bee association. This way they would have a new queen right away and be able to get back to maintaining the hive much quicker.

The new queen was introduced in a special queen cage (to keep the hive from killing her) and within a few days they had released and accepted her.  She is a marked queen and much easier to find than the unmarked ones. This week we'll be finding and marking all our queens. 

The emergency queen cell was moved to a nucleus hive with some frames of brood, larvae and worker bees. We are hoping to establish a nuc colony.  

Kenan has been building and painting more nuc boxes so that we can create more nucs. 'The term “nuc” is short for nucleus colony. A nucleus colony is just a very small colony of a few thousand bees and a queen. Reasons for maintaining a nuc: If one of your hives goes queenless, you have another queen ready to go. If you wait for your colony to re-queen itself, the population will drop such that you won’t get any surplus honey for that year. You can re-queen at times of the year when queens are unavailable to purchase. You can use the bees in a nuc to boost populations of a weak hive. If you don’t want to re-queen, you can just transfer some of the frames from your nuc into the weak hive. In addition, having an empty nuc box on hand is useful for catching swarms or removing extra bees from an overcrowded colony.' info taken from 

We are hoping to start raising our own queens and have several nucs on hand. We'll be able to sell these or keep them to create more hives.  This has been such a good learning experience and we are constantly learning! Hoping we'll be able to pull a little honey this year, although you don't typically get a lot the first year. This year is more about learning, growing  and maintaining our hives.

We'll be doing another inspection in about a week and i'm hoping to have nothing but good news to report!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Unicorn Party-in-a-box! My baby girl is 12!! #sponsored

Happy Birthday to my baby girl!! i can't believe she is 12 years old!  What better way to celebrate than a rainbow unicorn party??

We were super excited to check out this Party in a box by Partypros!  This 100-piece kit contains all the supplies you will need to throw a magical unicorn themed birthday party, all neatly packaged in one box!

The kit contains 2 large unicorn foil balloons (32”), 4 heart shaped foil balloons (18”), 6 purple latex balloons, 6 pink latex balloons, 6 white latex balloons, 14 pc Happy Birthday foil banner (ribbon included), 1 air pump (for inflating balloons), 1 unicorn headband, 24 cupcake wrappers, 24 cupcake toppers, and 12 piece set of unicorn photo props.

The cupcake wrappers are absolutely adorable! i had to put a piece of tape on each one to keep them from unfolding, but they were easy to fold and really make the cupcakes extra adorable! 

My girl helped blow up all the balloons and decorate. We couldn't believe how big the unicorn balloons are. She loves them and is planning to keep them in her room after the party. 

All ready for our guests to arrive!  This turned out great and we still have more balloons to blow up! 

The photo props are adorable. i decorated this little unicorn jar with my silhouette to hold them. 

They really are too much fun. They are good quality and she'll be able to keep them after the party and pull them out on days when friends come over. 

i impressed myself with the unicorn cake i made. TYpically my cakes look like something you'd see on cake wrecks, but this one actually looks pretty good!  i used fondant to make the horn and ears and cheeks. The horn is colored with a gold glimmer dust. It looks yellow in the photo, but it was shimmery gold. 

As a special surprise my daughters grandpa and almost all of her uncles arrived on her birthday!! They are here for the weekend for a brothers retreat, but showed up in time for the party!  i totally meant to have everyone use a photo prop in this photo, and then spaced it and forgot! Ah well, it was still super fun! i still can't believe my baby is 12!!! 

 You can check out the Party-in--box kit here ->  It made decorating so much easier having everything we needed right in the box! This is definitely the way to go! We were super pleased with everything and my girl is planning to reuse all the unicorn decorations to decorate her room.

i received this party in a box kit at no cost in exchange for my honest review.  My opinions are my own.  The amazon link is a referral, and i may earn a small commision if you click on it and order. #sponsored #freeforreview #referral

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Floyd Friday Artisan Market- things to do in Floyd, VA

It's market season! 
Every Friday night from 5pm-9pm in downtown Floyd, VA is the Artisan Market.  

It is held under the Community Market Pavilion. Featuring local and regional artisans, selling handmade arts and crafts!  There is live music and sometimes food vendors as well. 

 This is the first year i'll be setting up at the Floyd Artisan Market every Friday selling my lampwork glass pendants, beaded jewelry, hand woven dishcloths and more. i also plan to bring any extra farm fresh eggs i have at the end of each week. . 

My glass pendants range in price from $10- $20. i also usually have a few seconds available for $5 each.  i have turtles, mermaids, goddess, dragonflies, hearts, leaves and more!

i also have beadwork and hand woven dish cloths available. i plan to offer my crocheted goods, batik bags and possibly waldorf dolls in the future. i'm still kind of feeling out the market crowd to know what items would sell best.  

There have only been two markets so far this season, and the vendors have changed a bit with each one. You can find a nice variety of products though. Concrete planters and plants, tie dyes, crocheted squid, paintings, batik work and gorgeous hand carved bowls.

Just a few of the things you may see for sale.

You can find original watercolor batik art by Deborah Carrino and original paintings and prints by Starroot. 

The Artisan Market is located across from The Floyd Country store, in the pavillion next to The Station. If you are coming out to enjoy the Friday night Jamboree  stop by and check out the beautiful work of Floyd's local artists and crafters.