Thursday, July 22, 2021

Planting Grapes in Whiskey Barrels #Gardening

There has been an extreme heatwave in Southern California since late May. However, I have been diligently working on my first-year garden. In March of this year I planted grapevines I purchased as transplants from Tractor Supply and I am happy to report that they are doing very well. The varieties I planted appear to like the heat and grow more when it's warmer. I chose to plant Niagara, Suffolk, and Himrod. Currently, they all have plenty of foliage and they are making their way up the trellises I built for them. Although the Niagara grapevines are not first-year plants, I do believe that I will have production next year. These were very easy to get started and I will have to keep you posted on their growth. The heatwave is still present in the weather forecast, but hopefully, within this next week, we will get a break. I know my fruit and vegetable crops will appreciate it. 

I created a video showing you how I planted them and the soil and fertilizer I used to establish the grapevines. It's never too late to start a garden. Grab some seeds and start growing.

Helpful Resources for Growing Grapes and Other Fruit Trees

Grape Growers Handbook: A Guide To Viticulture for Wine Production


Saturday, June 26, 2021

Resources for Finding Rest and Renewal This #Summer

 Everything heats up when the summer season arrives. People are spending more time at the beach, in their shady backyards, or staycationing in the air conditioning. While settling into one of those perfectly fine places, take along a "Soul Care Resource" from Candace Cameron Bure's collection of summer favorites on DaySpring. Shop Now

DaySpring Summer Soul Care

Friday, April 2, 2021

Planting Blueberries in a Whiskey Barrel Planter #Gardening

I hope you have been well. During my weekends, I have been arranging my backyard garden and it's finally a good temperature to plant my blueberries that I purchased. I have two different varieties, the Aronia and Sunshine Blue. The Sunshine Blue blueberry is one years old and had indications of blueberries on it so I'm hoping that I can get more this year as well. I have been watching out for critters and checking the soil to keep it moist with my fingers. Blueberries like well-drained soil and they are acidic like Indian Hawthorne plants and Azaleas. In the video below, I show you what I decided to use after doing my research and watching others' recommendations. So far this combination of ingredients have been working like a charm. My blueberries are beginning to make new stems and green leaves. They enjoy the full sun too. 

Are you planting blueberries this year and have any tips? Please share them in the comments below.

Gardening Book I'm Reading and Recommend

All New Square Foot Gardening, 3rd Edition, Fully Updated: MORE Projects - NEW Solutions - GROW Vegetables Anywhere (All New Square Foot Gardening, 9)


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Setting Up Whiskey Barrels for Planting in my First Backyard Garden #Gardening

I hope all has been well. It's a couple days from Spring and I have decided to move forward with preparing my first backyard garden for planting fruits and vegetables. Although, I am a novice gardener, I hope to learn a lot this year and share my ups and minimal downs (crossing my fingers) with you. To start, I decided to use whiskey barrels to plant my grape vines and blueberry plants. I learned that they like a lot of space and full sun so they are being set up first in the garden. The backyard is uneven so I will level it out as much as possible and use pavers for each whiskey barrel. In this video, I show you how I did this part of the project. I will be uploading my progress in the videos to come. I have been studying, reading, and trying various things with regards to gardening so hopefully I will have success this year and the videos help you too. If you're starting a garden this year, share your plans and ideas in the comments below. I look forward to reading all about them and if you have any tips I am all ears for those as well. Most of all, please stay safe and be well.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Andrews Seed Company Seeds Review for My First Fruit and Vegetable Garden

I recently purchased a plethora of vegetable seeds from Andrews Seed Company for my first backyard fruit and vegetable garden. I have realized over the past year that I should start living a self-sustaining lifestyle when it comes to my food. I am a vegan and normally purchase lots of fruits and vegetables, a week, from the grocery story so why not learn to grow them instead. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been learning a lot about raised beds, container gardening, and starting seeds indoors from some YouTube channels. CaliKim and Garden Answer's YouTube channels are very insightful if you're looking to get started, just to name a few. CaliKim also has a gardening book for anyone looking to start their own organic garden with no experience.

Organic Gardening for Everyone: Homegrown Vegetables Made Easy - No Experience Required!

I like supporting family-owned, small business and if you're looking for seeds, Andrews Seed Company may be a good place to purchase some. In the video below, I show you the seeds 7 day and 14 day germination. They are growing even more now in their third week. It's still chilly outdoors in Southern California, too cool for them now, so they are cozy in a light box staying warm. 

I used large peat pellets to start my seeds and they have been a huge success. You can find them on Amazon.  

Let me know in the comments, below, if you're growing your own fruits and vegetable and share any pointers you may have. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Wagner Control Stainer 350 #Review

I purchased a Wagner Control Stainer 350 to finally stain the fence panels that I built for the backyard. It's important to stain and seal them from the intense weather. I wanted a stainer that would be easy to use, easy to clean, and did the job efficiently and effectively. I hope the video review, below, helps you learn more about this Wagner product. In the video, I was able to stain one side of each fence panel. I will do the other side once they are all installed for less mess from the stain. If you have used this stainer in the past, let me know where you purchased your air filters from because that's the only con I would say I have for this model. I couldn't easily find it at my local hardware store, but I know the Wagner website should have it to purchase. However, overall I was satisfied.

WAP-OZ Steel to Wood Fence Bracket #Review

I used the WAP-OZ Steel to Wood Fence Brackets over the weekend to install the fence panels I built about four weeks ago. I decided to give these galvanized fence brackets a try because of all the positive reviews, they already came with the screws, and I purchased a twelve pack for a reasonable price from Amazon. I installed metal posts instead of wood posts to support my fence panels and these are 2 3/8 inch brackets, perfectly-suited for my 2 3/8 metal posts. They arrived within two to three days from Amazon because I was working on my fence project only on the weekends so I needed fast, reliable, delivery. This was the weekend to finally complete the fence installation and I needed a bracket that I could maneuver by myself without help. In the video you will see a closer look at the product and how easy they are to install with a 1/2 inch hex head fitting. I used this fitting with a socket attachment on my electric drill. I'm so happy to finally have my new fence up. After a lot of sweat and body aches at the end of each day, I am happy with the final result. It was worth all of the hard work to get this project completed before Spring.

If you have any questions about the fence brackets just leave them in the comments below. Stay safe and be well!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Video Blog: Fence Tear-down and Setting Metal Posts in Backyard

I decided to share with you my fence tear-down and setting the metal posts in the backyard. Currently, the neighbor's fence is in really bad shape so we decided to build another one and they would have the current fence towed away. It was a long, busy, weekend, of digging up huge rocks to get the holes deep enough for the eight foot metal posts. I ended up completing the entire job in two days instead of one, but the posts were set in concrete, as you will see in the video, and now i'm ready for the final step of installing the fence panels I recently built in the garage. Although, Quikrete hardens in twenty to forty minutes, I want to give the cement time to cure deep within the holes. So stay tune for the fence panels installation and any other tips in between. Be well and stay safe.

Previous video...

How to Build Fence Panels:

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Ryobi Circular Saw with Laser #Review

I built some fence panels and needed to trim some of the pickets down before I install them in a couple of weeks. I could've taken them to Home Depot after I did the measurements, but I thought about it and decided to purchase my own circular saw. I didn't have one in my DIY toolkit so it was long overdue.

This circular saw makes straight cuts and angled cuts to the wood. If you're looking for a simple, versatile, basic, 7 1/4 inch blade, circular saw, this may be what you need. I only intend to use it for small wood-building jobs around the house so it fits my needs. In the video below, I show you how to install the carbide blade, included, and then how it functions on one of the wooden pickets. The laser turns on automatically when you press the start button to activate the saw blade. It did a nice job of guiding the cut as I followed my predetermined cut-line. I hope this video review gives you a better idea about this model. You can find it at your local hardware store and on Amazon where Ryobi products are sold.

Selena Thinking Out Loud is an Amazon Associate and this post includes affiliate links. These links can assist your needs and also provide a small commission in return to assist with the development of more content on this blog. Thank you in advance for your support.

Monday, January 25, 2021

How to Make Soy Chorizo #Lasagna #HowToVideo

 There's nothing better than a home-cooked meal. It's been cold and rainy for the past few days so I decided to make a vegan, plant-based, soy chorizo lasagna. I know, you're probably wondering how did it taste. Well, it was a big hit with the meat-eater in the house because he asked for a second serving. Anything made with meat these days can be "veganized" and still be tasty and enjoyable. It also made a nice, fulfilling, lunch too. In the video below, I share with you the steps to making the soy chorizo lasagna. It's pretty straightforward like making an original lasagna and you can find the ingredients and a baking dish at Walmart, on Amazon, and at other local grocery stores. 

Do you have a recipe to share using soy chorizo? If so, leave it in the comments below. I would like to learn more about it.

Hompiks Baking Dish Casserole Dishes Porcelain Bakeware Sets for the Oven 11.02 x 8.35 Inch Baking Dish Set of 3 for Kitchen Lasagna Red Baking Pans

Cacique Soy Chorizo Sausage 9 Oz (8 Pack)

Monday, January 18, 2021

How to Build Wooden Fence Panels #DIY Project

Happy MLK Day! Over the weekend and today, I tackled another DIY project at home. The neighbor's fence is currently leaning into the backyard and it is time to finally fix it. Their fence is old and we have been planning for months to replace it. We decided to do it ourselves. The neighbors are renting the how so they were ecstatic when the owner agreed to help with the tear down. I decided to build the fence panels myself instead of buying them pre-assembled because I read mixed reviews online. Plus, I didn't know if I would have the time to complete the entire project in a weekend, which would be sixty feet of work. As always, I think it's important to share my experiences just in case you have to tackle similar tasks. I ended up completing seven panels and we're expecting rain so I'm definitely glad that I went this route. It's going to be some work, but I'm up for the challenge. I will keep you posted on the next steps! Here is the step-by-step video below for building the fence panels. The equipment you will need is minimal.

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver with 30-Piece Accessories

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

ClosetMaid ShelfTrack Shelving System #Review #ClosetOrganization

Happy 2021! I purchased a ClosetMaid ShelfTrack Shelving System, a closet kit to give my closet a remodeling. This kit came with two four and two feet shelves, perfect for my six feet-wide closet space. Since 2014, I have been living a minimalist lifestyle. I enjoy only possessing what I need and use everyday, which goes for clothing and shoes too. In this video, I share my personal experience putting this shelving system together, some of my hiccups and advice. You can find this closet kit online or in Lowes, which is where I purchased it, but ordering online is good to if you are staying safe at home during these times. Don't forget to get cash back if you're ordering from Lowes with Rakuten. You can find a link to save below. LIKE and Subscribe for more reviews. Share your experiences using ClosetMaid Shelving Systems below to help others too.

Get your Cash Back with Rakuten ClosetMaid ShelfTrack Shelving System

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Arm & Hammer Clump and Seal Slide Review #CatLitter

Happy New Year! We made it to 2021. To kick off this year, I decided to review Arm & Hammer Clump and Seal Slide cat litter. Staying at home has given me a lot of time to see what products really make my life a lot easier. 

I have been using this particular litter for about three months and realized that it was worth a review. We used to use a wood chip type of cat litter and that was driving me crazy with it getting all over the house. My cats enjoy their covered litter pan, but they don't like having litter in their paws so they shake it off and run it off too. I'm glad we came across this litter. We just wanted to try another type of litter and this one is working out very well for us. In the video below, I share an up-close look into my morning routine using this cat litter and how effective it is for my two cats.