My little garden helper
Random Thoughts

Five Things Friday

The five little things that made my week…

1. She’s gone rafting and camping, but she’s never been wetter or dirtier than after a day of “helping” me in the garden. This babe is clearly not afraid to get a little dirt under her nails!

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Homegrown pineapple
Fruits, Garden of Eatin', Vegetables

Sleep-Promoting Fruits and Vegetables That Help You “Spring Forward” Easier

I have a love/hate for Daylight Saving Time. On the one hand, I’m thrilled that the days are about to get longer and I can get a little more work done in the garden, finish my bike rides while it’s still light out, and not feel like it’s time for bed when it’s only 8 pm.

On the other hand, “losing” that hour of sleep makes me feel off kilter for weeks as I struggle to nip my late-night habits in the bud. Research has shown that our circadian rhythms never fully adjust to Daylight Saving Time, and the transition is especially difficult for night owls. (Not to stray off topic, but I am firmly in the “let’s abolish DST once and for all” camp. Or maybe I should just move to Arizona.)

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Climbing the Ladder Canyon Trail in Mecca Hills
Hiking & Backpacking, Outdoor Adventures

Climbing the Ladder Canyon Trail in Mecca Hills

When I think of slot canyons, I think of the stunning water-carved walls of Southern Utah and the tall narrow gorges of Northern Arizona. I think of iconic slots with telling names like the Subway, the Zion Narrows, and Secret Canyon. What I don’t picture, however, is a slot canyon just outside of Palm Springs, California, a land more known for palm trees and art deco hotels than its geologic wonders.

In fact, you wouldn’t know this treasure of a hike was only a few miles off the road. It’s not the type of hike you find on a two-lane highway meandering through dramatic mesas or bucolic farm land; on the contrary, it’s accessed by urban freeways through industrial areas full of mines and windmills.

But it’s there, hidden in Mecca Hills, a protected wilderness formed by the convergence of the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. You may be more familiar with one of its most prominent features, the San Andreas Fault — in fact, the active fault line runs right through Mecca Hills.

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Wearing an insulated snowsuit and fleece-lined beanie
Parenthood

How to Dress Adventure Babies for Cold Winter Weather

In her first year of life, Gemma camped in the snow, hiked the Cascades, explored the Colorado Plateau, and visited a variety of terrain from sea level to 12,000 feet above. Through it all, she remained a happy, healthy baby and simply adores being outside, rain or shine.

What’s your secret to bringing a baby outdoors? other parents want to know. And while they think my answer will be one of the many pieces of gear we’ve acquired since becoming parents ourselves (we definitely don’t travel lightly!), I always tell them it comes down to one thing: layers.

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First apple blossoms of spring
Random Thoughts

Five Things Friday

The five little things that made my week…

1. Spring starts much earlier in Southern California than most parts of the country, but a sure sign of the change of seasons for me is when the apple blossoms on our tree begin to appear!

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Planting milkweed for the monarchs
Flowers & Herbs, Garden of Eatin', Insects & Worms

Planting Milkweed for the Monarchs

It’s one of the greatest migrations of the animal kingdom: Every spring, hundreds of thousands of monarch butterflies sweep across the continent from Mexico to Canada and then back again in fall, a journey spanning nearly 3,000 miles and multiple generations. In fact, recent studies show that it takes up to four generations for monarchs to make it north out of Mexico and into Southern Canada!

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