Easy Succulent Garden

I have been wanting to plant a succulent garden for a long time. I searched and searched for the right container, and when I finally found it I asked our good family friend, Diana (who loves succulents and cacti) to help me put together a little garden and to teach me a little bit about these fascinating plants.

She took me out to her backyard where she was able to show me about 15+ different types of cactus or succulent plants and even give me a few starters for my little garden. We also went to Cactus and Tropicals, where we walked around and she told me about all of the different plants.

There are tons of different ways to plant a succulent or cactus garden, and since I had some extra plants I made another one to show you how Diana taught me. It's super easy to plant and even easier maintain (totally my kind of project!) and you don't even need very much to get started. All you need is your plants (which you can buy for a very reasonable price at any garden center or even Home Depot or Lowe's).....

...some aquarium gravel (which we bought at Petco, but can be purchased at most pet stores. I like white because of the contrast with the plants) and some dirt (this kind is good for this project, and can be purchased at most of the places where you buy your plants)....

...and a container. Any container will work depending on what type of look you're going for.

I personally prefer clear containers because it allows you to see the various layers.

Once you have collected your materials (plants, gravel, dirt, and a container), you are ready to start! The first step is to simply add your dirt to the container.

Next add your plants (be careful, some cacti are SUPER pokey).

And last, add your gravel on top.

Once you have done this, you might want to take a toothpick or skewer and clear away the gravel from any unwanted spots.

And there you have it! Super easy, huh? and the even better part? It only needs about a glass of water every 2 weeks. This is my kind of maintenance. I think I can stay on top of this.

Now it's your turn! Go try it!



Alturas 2014

This last weekend we took our annual pilgrimage up to beautiful Alturas Lake in Idaho for Jordan's family reunion. This was my 5th trip to Alturas (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), which I'm having a hard time believing. (Time is going so fast these days!) This year was a little bit different than my other trips though because it was the big Sorensen family reunion. Instead of the usual 30-40 people, there was about 90-100. This year we stayed at the Smoky Lodge as opposed to Cabin Creek to accommodate the extra people. Smoky was really nice because it was a much shorter walk to the lake. Even though I only married into the Sorensen Family, I definitely feel lucky to be connected to such a rich heritage and family history. I enjoyed hearing and reading all about Jordan's Great grandparents, Foster and Florence Sorensen, as well as meeting lots of distant aunts, uncles, and cousins. And of course enjoying the beauty that is Alturas Lake.

Jordan's grandpa hand made these awesome wooden boxes as momentos of the reunion. He decided that it would be much more meaningful to have these instead of a Family Reunion T-shirt that you would wear once, and then forget about. He had me design a logo, which we had cut out of vinyl and stuck to the top of the boxes. All of the women over 18 got to take one home. Aren't they beautiful? So fun!

On Sunday, we went into Stanley to go to church. The LDS church has a branch in Stanley that meets at the interdenominational Sawtooth Valley Meditation Chapel. It was an amazing church. I LOVED the stain glass windows. and of course the view!

^^We couldn't resist a quick family picture (unfortunately Steve and Millie had already left) after church with the beautiful Sawtooth Mountains in the background.^^

We had two little firesides where people were able to share their memories of Foster and Florence. One neat thing that we talked about at the firesides was how in Foster's Patriarchal Blessing it said that he would do "much good in setting in order the work of the Lord in many parts of His vineyard," however during his life he rarely left Idaho.

^^So, Jordan's parent's brought this map to hang in the lodge and had everyone put a sticker on the places they had lived or spent time. It really shows that Foster did have an influence all over the Lord's Vineyard, but through his descendants rather than solely himself.^^

^^In addition to the momento boxes, Grandpa also made this fun, huge version of Jenga, which was the perfect camping game.^^

^^To my delight, it took Reagan quite a while to discover the dirt, but after she found it, she was covered! Hands, legs, shirt, face and all.^^

^^This was the trip of the tired baby. She wouldn't take a real nap, so she ended up taking cat naps all over the place. One that was really memorable, was in her highchair, during dinner. It was completely amazing considering how loud it was in there. She also fell asleep in the wagon a lot. That picture above cracks me up. How in the world is she comfortable?^^

And of course I can't forget about the lake. We went all 3 days we were there. I know this is a beautiful place, but for some reason, every year I'm always amazed by just how pretty it is.

Reagan loved the lake, she is a total water baby. She loved sitting on the dock and splashing with her feet, she loved playing in the sand, and she even loved floating in her life jacket, or getting carried out to the water by dad.

I just have to mention, even though we don't have any photographic evidence, that I actually got in the lake this year. For the first time ever, I jumped off the dock. I've never done it before because this is the coldest lake known to mankind. And I'll just say, it was even colder than I thought it was going to be.

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend! I'll end with this fantastic family picture. It doesn't get better than this. Everyone is smiling and looks happy, including Reagan. Perfection!