Beautiful North Idaho has so much to offer! One great thing is all the edible mushrooms you can find. And spring is a great time to find them. But, you need to know what you’re doing and what you’re looking for as there are more poisonous mushrooms than edible ones. Check out some mushroom identification and tips below.
The most common and popular mushroom in our area is the morel. You have likely heard about morels, and may even have had the great pleasure of tasting one, but you want to be sure you know what you’re looking for if you choose to more hunt.
Don’t expect an expect morel hunter to share their secret more picking spots, for many reasons. The majority of morels grow in the wild, so even if they know you well, they will likely keep their spot a mystery. They wouldn’t want to visit their spot and find it picked clean.
But, as a new morel hunter, there are some tips on places to look. For whatever reason, they tend to grow in areas that were burned the previous year. Searching in a recent burn is a great way to get your feet wet and figure out exactly what you’re looking for.
Additionally, morels tend to grow in cottonwood forests, under elms and by rivers. Once you find one, you will likely find more.Unfortunately, the growth of morels are a bit perplexing and difficult to find which adds to the reward when you do find them.
How To Identify
You could be looking in all the right places, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for then you won’t get very far. Below are a few tips to positively identify a morel:
- Honeycomb-like cap with brown pits and ridges
- The cap is fully attached to the stem and doesn’t pop off
- If you slice the mushroom in half, it will be hollow inside
The are a couple morel lookalikes in the area that you will want to keep a lookout for when morel hunting as these mushrooms are poisonous:
Brain Mushroom – The cap of this mushroom is more or less convoluted, round & brain like which come in various shades or brown to reddish brown. The difference between this mushroom and a morel is that the Brain Mushroom doesn’t have a honeycomb like cap. These mushrooms grow at the same time and in the same habitat as a true morel.
- Hooded False Morel – The cap is brown and saddle shaped, it starts out smooth but becomes more convoluted/wrinkled as it matures. So, this mushroom also doesn’t have a honeycomb like cap either. It also grows at the same time and in the same habitat as a true morel.
Both of these morels grow in north Idaho and are poisonous. They can cause adverse physically reactions within 1-24 hours of ingestion and I would advise avoiding at all costs.
When To Look
The basic answer is spring time, so late April-early May. But that all depends on the year, elevation and temperature. Morels like warm soil, so you will likely find them in the lower elevations earlier in the year and higher elevations later on. Morel season could last up to 2 months. The best time to look is on a sunny day, after a rainstorm.
How To Pick, Process, Cook And Preserve
Like it was stated earlier, morels grow mostly in the wild. So you want to be sure to pick them correctly to allow for them to grow next year. Be sure to pinch or cut them at the base. Do not pull them up or remove the root ball. Additionally, carry them out with a woven basket or mesh bag. This allows for them to release and spread spores. Do not use a plastic bag which not only stops the spread of spores but it also makes your mushrooms get slimy quick.
Once you get your mushrooms home you want to be sure to immediately get them processed. First, get them washed. There are a couple schools of thought regarding washing a mushroom. You could just brush off any dirt and inspect for worms/pests. Not using water because that could cause the mushroom to soak it up and dilute the flavor. Or, you could soak them in salt water overnight to get rid of any worms/pests.
To prepare the mushrooms, they do need to be cooked. They taste the best when harvested at just the right time and cooked shortly after they are picked. These mushrooms are choice, highly priced and sought after so be sure to take your time and research the best way to prepare the mushroom to enhance the flavor. Click here for some resources I’ve found.
If you don’t plan to eat them right away, it’s best to store them in a brown paper bag on your counter for no more than a few days. Or, if you’d like to preserve them for longer, you could always dry them. You could use a dehydrator to do this or just thread them on a string and let it dry in an area that is hot, dry and with a slight breeze.
Other Mushrooms To Lookout For
There are many edible mushrooms in North Idaho, some show in spring and some grow in fall. It’s best to do your research to determine what’s edible and how to harvest and cook these mushrooms. Click here for a quick list of some edible mushrooms in North Idaho, and how to identify them.
Here are some gorgeous pictures of some wild mushrooms taken right here in our national forests:
Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! What are you going to do for your sweetie this year? Whether you want to get them something special or do something special, there’s lots of options. We’re here to help make your day exceptional.
Avoid The Same Old Same Old
Do you tend to get your special someone the same thing each and every year? Maybe some roses and a box of chocolates? This is the year to break that trend and avoid the ordinary!! Check out these great gift ideas that are better than flowers and candy. It’s guaranteed to surprise the one you love:
This personalized gift is a great way to look back on your relationship. From the day you met, first date, got married, and the birth of your children.
What better way to capture each and every moment as they happen? You can treasure those moments forever. Stick them on your fridge, in a photo album or scrapbook.
Bring the spa to her! With several different scent options, you can treat your love from the comfort of their own home.
Switch up the usual with this date night bucket list. Lots of creative date night ideas, both fun and intellectual. Avoid the dreaded “What do you want to do tonight?” question.
Remember your special day in this unique way. Pick the best line from your vows and put them on display.
Satisfy their sweet tooth with a twist. So gorgeous they’ll never want to eat it… if they can resist.
You Know Them Best
When it comes right down to it, you know your love the best. This is an excuse to treat them… maybe spoil them with a spa day. Keep them grilling with a BBQ Set. Make them laugh with a silly mug. Keep them cozy with a new blanket & pillow or PJ set. Get them a little buzzed with their favorite wine. Keep things smelling fresh with a candle. Help them feel pretty with personalized jewelry. Even if it’s the classic flowers & chocolates, get them what they want.
A Night on The Town
Want to take your sweetie out on the town? Beautiful Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding area is never short on events, even for the day of love. And also some great date night ideas you could do on Valentine’s Day or any other.
Bourbon & Chocolate Paring – On February 14th at The Bee’s Knees from 4-11:30pm
Wine & Chocolate Pairing – On February 14th at The Culinary Stone from 4:30-6pm
Valentine’s Dinner For Two – On February 12th – 16th at The Coeur d’Alene Casino
Valentine’s Day Cruises – On February 14th or 15th boarding at The Boardwalk Marina, Times Vary
Sock Hop 1950’s Dance – On February 14th at Lake City Center from 6-9pm
Sweethearts Ball – On February 14th at The Best Western from 5pm-12am
Mardis Gras Murder – On Feb. 14th & 15th, 21st & 22nd at The Cd’A Cellars at 6:30pm
Ice Skating at River Front Park in Spokane – Make an entire night of it and have dinner at an elegant restaurant downtown, catch a movie, go ice skating, and then stay at a nice hotel.
Pinot’s Palette Date Night – You paint half a picture on a canvas and your partner paints the other half, making one giant gorgeous picture. Don’t forget the drinks.
Ski/Snowboard Day – Enjoy the slopes at any one of the great resorts near us!
A getaway with the one you love is needed every now and then. And what better time than Valentine’s Day? Celebrate your love together and enjoy a small vacation. You’ll still be close to home, yet in a world of your own.
Located in gorgeous Sandpoint Idaho, this is a must stay. Visitors get to enjoy astounding views of the surrounding mountain ranges and beautifully constructed log cabins. Don’t forget the horseback riding, outdoor activities, and all the history that comes with it.
The Blackwell Hotel is located in Downtown Coeur d’Alene. It’s full of elegance, history, and many unique touches. First built in 1904, it still has the original artwork. A very romantic place, a must see!
Located on the North Shore of Coeur d’Alene Lake, it’s become a top place to stay for visitors. At the resort you will never be bored with accommodations like golfing, spa, pool, restaurants, nightlife and more! Check out their lake front rooms today.
This is a one of a kind experience! Dinner & a movie, then dessert & drinks after the credits roll. Don’t forget the gambling & luxury rooms to stay in. Everything you need in one place.
Located in Downtown Spokane, Historic Davenport Hotel is right in the center of everything. With gorgeous city views, a romantic design, a spa, and even jetted tubs and fireplaces in some rooms you’ll never want to leave! Great balance of modern amenities and a historic charm.
This little bed & breakfast is located just 10 minutes from downtown. Close but away from all the crows. Very peaceful and quite location which makes it perfect for a romantic getaway.
No matter how you choose to spend your Valentine’s Day, make it memorable and celebrate your love!!
Whether you’re buying, selling, building or remodeling – it’s good to know the home features that every buyer is looking for. Especially if you’re remodeling or building and plan to resale, some of these items may make or break your real estate transaction.
What Not To Do
Let’s first start with a quick list of no-no’s. Although the idea and everyday use of some of these items may work for you, they could severely hurt you if you plan to sell you home since they’re not practical for the average buyer:
- Removing closets
- Combining two rooms
- Adding a sunroom
- A garage converted to a living space
- Adding a pool or hot rub
- Any feature that is too personalized such as wall color/texture, too much wallpaper, or lavish lighting that may look dated overtime
What To Do
Below are some home features that will increase the resale value of your home and what most all buyers are looking for.
Since they are much easier to clean, durable, long lasting, and have a contemporary look, hardwood floors are one of the top features a buyer wants. Engineered wood flooring is a good option if you’re on a budget, although it may not last as long it’s still just as easy to clean and has the same look.
Kitchens are where we spend a lot of our time, whether we’re entertaining or cooking. So this feature is obviously going to make the list. A buyer will likely be looking for a modern kitchen with an open floor plan. Specific features that are of importance is a large pantry, an area to eat separate from the dining room (either an eat-in kitchen or island with a breakfast bar), new appliances that are stainless steel & energy efficient, ample counter space & storage, and quartz or granite countertops all with a modern design.
Who wouldn’t want to save money? Buyers look for and are more likely to be interested in a home when it’s outfitted with energy efficient appliances, windows, lighting and HVAC. These items help save money in utilities each month but don’t take away from the buyer’s comfort level.
Having a dedicated laundry room is increasing in importance with buyers. Especially one large enough to sort, iron, fold and stack the laundry until it finally gets put away. The placement of the laundry room in a home is also important. Having the laundry room near bedrooms, just off the kitchen, as a laundry room/mud room combination or even a laundry chute if it’s downstairs are all considered to be good locations
Many older homes do not have the luxury of a walk in closet, but the feature is quickly gaining popularity. Although closet space in general is very important, walk in closets off the master are considered essential for most buyers when purchasing a home. Depending on how large the closet is, it provides a space to showcase your wardrobe & accessories, keeps your clothes organized, and allows for enough room for a couple to store all of their clothes & accessories.
A large 2 car or 3 car garage allows for the buyer to park their vehicle indoors plus adds storage space. Unlike an attic or basement, the garage is much more accessible to store belongings. The space could also be used as a workshop or mudroom with space to build shelves and cabinets. The possibility with a large garage is endless.
Outdoor patios are a simple way to extend the living space of your home. It’s really easy for buyers to see themselves sitting outside playing with their children or entertaining when the backyard is really nice. This is typically an easy and cheaper way to increase the value of your home.
Idaho hunting is some of the best around! 20.4 million acres of the state is National Forest, which is approximately 40%. There’s more than enough room for every type of hunter. There are different seasons for different types of animals, such as big game (deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, wolf, etc.), sheep, goat, moose, turkey, waterfowl and more! Idaho offers a season for 3 types of weapons – archery, rifle, and muzzle loader. Each season, unit and weapon have different rules, regulations, and dates. But there is so much more to the hunting experience
Getting Ready for the Hunt
Lots of planning has to go into getting ready for hunting, no matter which type of hunter you are. Check out the checklist below to get your planning started now:
- Get into shape – hunting is a lot of work as you trek through the forest. And if you get your target, the work continues as you have to pack it out.
- Get maps and start scouting – visit the places you intend to hunt. Get a lay of the land and find out the most visited areas.
- Sight in your weapon & practice shooting – be sure your weapon is on target then continue practicing to make sure you hit the animal when it’s time.
- Practice calling – if you’re going to call, practice before you get in the field, it can be hard to master.
- Break in new boots – don’t want blisters to form during your hunts.
- Buy your tag – buy it early while you’re thinking about it. Be sure it’s purchased before opening day.
- Check the weather forecast – if you know what the weather will be, you can prepare appropriately.
- Check batteries – check them in all your battery powered equipment and just in case, bring spares.
- Sharpen knives – dull knives are more dangerous than sharp ones.
- Get your pack gear together – use the gear list below to help with this.
- Always tell people where you plan to hunt/camp – the more detailed the better. Be sure to let them know how long you’ll be gone, if you’ll ever be in cell range, etc. That way if an emergency comes up, those at home can reach you.
As every hunter know, there is so much gear when it comes to hunting. With all the necessary clothes for any possible temperature, pack gear, weapons, ammo, emergency gear, and then if you plan to camp that adds a whole other lists of gear. Below is just an overview of the type of gear you’ll need to pack and a link to a full list.
- Weapons, ammo and hunting aids
- Food and water
- Unexpected night in the field
- Clothing for all weather
Places to get Gear
Here in North Idaho, there is an abundance of options to purchase all you need for hunting, including clothing, equipment, and weapons.
Where to Hunt
As mentioned, Idaho is 40% national forest, so there are plenty of areas to hunt. A few favorites here in North Idaho are the St. Joe River, Avery and Coeur d’Alene River. But there are so many more options! Click here for Idaho’s Wildlife Management Areas.
Hunting for Visitors
Idaho is a desirable place to hunt and nonresidents are more than welcome to join! Unfortunately, tags and licenses for nonresidents to hunt is more than those of residents, so expect an added cost. Click here for a full list of licenses, tags and permits and how much they cost for nonresident hunters
If you’re not from Idaho or interested in hunting a new area, there are plenty of options for a guided hunt. Below are a list of area outfitters that do just that:
Safety & Survival Information
No matter which season, animal or weapon you decide to hunt, there are general safety guidelines you should always follow. These guidelines are good to follow anytime you’re in the forest, even if you’re not hunting. And if you lose your way, there are also some survival tips you should practice:
- Know the area you’re hunting
- Don’t rely solely on electronics
- Let somebody know where you will be hunting and when you will be returning
- Have a fire starter kit
- Watch the weather
- Know your general firearm safety and how to use your weapon appropriately
- Don’t perform an awkward action while trying to shoot, such as climb a tree or cross a fence
- Store ammunition and firearm separately
Big game is considered deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, mountain lion and gray wolf. This season offers a variety of options depending on where you plan to hunt, which animal you’re after and which weapon you use. There are controlled hunting options, youth only options, private land permit options and so much more! If you’re new to the area and want to get know more about big game hunting options, check out the Idaho Fish & Game Brochure by clicking here.
Moose, Bighorn Sheep & Mountain Goat
Although these animals may seem like big game, they are separate due to different rules and regulations. All moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats are controlled only hunts in Idaho. That means you must apply for these tags and then a drawing occurs. There are only a certain number of tags per area so you are not guaranteed a tag, that’s why it’s called the lottery. If you are interested in obtaining one of these tags click here to read the Idaho Fish & Game Brochure. Please note, due to the smaller number of these types of animals, there are more rules and reporting requirements than other types of game. Interested in what your drawing odds would be, click here.
Idaho Migratory Game Bird
Birds included in this season include duck, geese, drove, crow and crane. There are different and multiple types of species included in the hunts. Check out the Idaho Fish & Game brochure by clicking here.
Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey
The Upland Game, Furbearer and Turkey season includes grouse, quail, Chukar, Gray Partridge, pheasants, rabbits, hares and turkey with a different variety of some species. Certain varieties of the species are closed so you’ll want to know your bird if you choose to hunt. Learn how to identify which is which, as well as your limit and hunting dates by reading the Idaho Fish and Game brochure here.
Buying your first home is a BIG DEAL. But it may not be as “scary” as you thought!
We have helped tons of first time home buyers get into their first homes. Time and time again, the concerns, misconceptions and fears we discuss are the same.
Here are just 3 we hear all the time and often the reasons buyers decide they need to wait or that it “just wont for for them”.
We are here to tell you, its not as hard you think and when you work with someone like us, we will get all of the questions answered and guide you through the process each step of the way. Believe us, whatever you worried about or are afraid to ask, we have dealt with it before and can help you too!
If you are curious about buying and want to know more, let’s connect! We are here to help you Make Awesome Happen.
Also be sure to watch our First Time Buyer Play List on YouTube for more helpful information about buying your first home.
As fire season continues, it’s good to take a moment and review some fire safety tips for both in the home and while outdoors. Having the basic knowledge may help prevent a home fire or a wildfire.
Below are 3 steps to follow when you have a fire outdoors:
- Picking Your Campfire Spot: Be sure you follow any rules or regulations if planning to build a pit in a campground. Ensure you pick a level spot and you are approximately 10-15 feet away from anything that could catch fire. This includes low hanging branches, trees/shrubs, and your own gear. Take the weather into account as well, for example if there will be high wind and which direction it’s going in. Make sure rocks line the pit so your fire stays within the boarder.
- While You Maintain Your Fire: Once your fire is going, do not add dangerous items such as aerosol cans, pressurized containers or aluminum cans. This items could explode, cause harmful fumes or shatter. Keep your fire at a manageable size. If it gets too large it could easily become out of hand with no way to put it out on your own. Also, always watch it. This is especially true if there are pets or children nearby. As a safety precaution, always have water close by.
- Extinguishing Your Fire: If possible, let you fire burn down to ash. Then, pour water over all the embers, not just the red ones, until the hissing sounds spots. You could also put dirt or sand over the fire, if water isn’t available. Continue adding the water or dirt/sand, stirring around with a shovel, until everything is cool. Never walk away or go to bed when your fire is still warm.
General Safety Tips to Help Prevent a Wildfire:
- Be careful while camping and using & fueling fueling lanterns, stoves, and heaters. Make sure it’s cool before refueling. Do your best not to spill flammable liquids and store appropriately.
- Do not dispose of your cigarettes, matches or any smoking material out of a moving vehicle or anywhere near an area that could catch fire. Always put your cigarette out before disposing of it.
- When burning yard waste, avoid burning in windy conditions. Have a shovel, water and fire retardant nearby and avoid all flammable materials from your yard. Follow all fire rules, such as not letting the fire get out of hand, ALWAYS keep an eye on it and put it out completely before walking away.
- If you notice an unattended or out of control fire, contact your local fire department or 9-1-1.
- If using fireworks, consider wetting down the grass and surrounding areas before lighting them. Always have a bucket of water, garden hose or fire extinguisher ready nearby. Avoid lighting fireworks on a windy night.
Below is 6 ways to prevent a fire in your home and help to avoid injury:
- Smoke Alarms: Be sure you have the correct number of smoke alarms installed in your home. Test them once a month to ensure they are still is working order. Have spare batteries in your home so if the batteries die, you can replace them right away. Replace them at least once a year. Learn more about smoke alarms by clicking here, such as how many and where to install in your home.
- Fire Extinguishers: They are a good idea to have to put out a small fire in your home or garage. Go over the 5 different types of fire extinguishers to be sure you have the correct one. Be sure your fire extinguisher is checked and tested regularly by a professional. Also, make sure you know how to use the fire extinguisher by following the P.A.S.S. rule below:
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
- Teach Your Children the Basics: Don’t let them play with matches, candles or fire and teach them that it can be dangerous. Show your child what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when one goes off. If your child is old enough teach them not to touch a door knob if it’s hot, how to stop drop & roll, to crawl on the ground when they see smoke, and not to hide under a bed or in a closet if there is a fire. And if you have the opportunity, go to a fire station and have them meet a firefighter so they can be familiar with what they do and their gear.
- Create A Fire Escape Plan: Draw your home’s floor plan that shows all the windows & doors. Make a plan of escape and go over it with your family, be sure there are at least 2 ways to get out of ever room, if possible. Have a spot you meet your family once outside. And be sure to practice the plan at least twice a year. Click here for a printable sheet to draw out your escape.
- Create A Family Emergency Communication Plan: Be sure every family member knows who to contact in case they can not find one another. This goes for any type of emergency, not just a fire. Also, be sure everybody know how to properly use 9-1-1.
- Stay Safe When Grilling: Do not use your grill unless it’s away from siding, decking or anything that could catch fire. Make sure your children and pets remain at least 3 feet away from the grill when it’s in use. Always stay with your grill when using it and clean it regularly.
Although it’s impossible to guarantee a fire will never get started in your home or your camp fire never gets out of hand, taking the precautions and steps above can help avoid it from happening. Always stay safe!
Who doesn’t LOVE live music? You’d be surprise by the amount of concerts in the area. With multiple venues and a wide range of artists scheduled to play, there is something for everybody. Here’s a few of the area venues & special events, a bit about them, and their headlining shows. Check it out and enjoy the music this summer!
The setting in the Spokane location is one unlike any around. Very intimate venue, it makes it feel like you could reach out and touch the artist on stage and that they’re performing just for you. With a large bar there is little to no standing in line for your drink.
Although the arena hosts a multitude of different events, it‘s also known for it’s concerts. With 12,500 seats in the facility, many different food vendors and plenty of alcoholic beverage options you’re sure to enjoy any show you attend.
Newly renovated to enhance the experience, including new seats. Not to mention, a lounge available for you to sit and enjoy a drink or a bite to eat before the show. Other bars are located throughout the facility for you to grab some beer, wine, or coffee.
The most one of a kind place you could ever see a show, where mother nature crafted the perfect concert location. It’s not about what this venue has, but rather what it doesn’t have. There’s camping (or Glamping if you prefer), food, drinks, views and more!
Enjoy the summer and live music at this outdoor concert venue. It has been newly expanded with a luxury grandstand, bring the seating to 5,000. Unique venue you can enjoy concerts under the stars, not to mention with free parking. Stay and play after the show.
Local Shows You Can’t Miss
Two week event in Sandpoint Idaho which has the goal to make great music accessible to the area. All types of artists are scheduled to play, from genres such as country, jazz, blues, folk, world, rock & pop. Live music with dancing, food and more. Located at War Memorial Field, this is one concert series you have to see.
A Few Headliners:
This year at the Spokane County Fair concert series, there’s two days dedicated to country and two days dedicated to rock! After a day full of fair fun, be sure and join the music festivities at one of the 4 concerts!
Weekly concert held at McEuen Park in Coeur d’Alene every Wednesday throughout June, July & August. This is a great family event with beautiful views of the lake.
A Few Headliners:
Free weekly concerts at Riverstone in Coeur d’Alene every Thursday throughout June, July & August. Going into their 13th year of concerts and with high quality audio sound, it’s sure to amaze every time.
A Few Headliners:
North Point Jazz
The Talbott Brothers
Want to browse all the area shows, take a look at the list of all the concerts coming up by clicking here!
All fathers deserve the best! But sometimes they might be a little difficult to shop for, so maybe treating them to an experience would be more ideal. There are loads of fun activities you can do with your dad this Father’s Day! Check out some ideas and events happening below. And if worst comes to worst, there’s also some out of box gift ideas, which are all below $100.
Take advantage of our local lakes and rivers. Rent a boat and enjoy the water. Maybe fishing or just cruising around. Click here for a list of area lakes & rivers plus some boat launches.
Head out to a brewery. There are a ton of great breweries in our area. If beer is your dad’s thing, check out a list of local breweries by clicking here.
Hike or Bike. Maybe being active is something your dad enjoys. We’re in North Idaho, so there are plenty of places to hike or bike. Check out a great list we put together bu clicking here.
Take him to a live show. Everybody loves music! There are some concerts happening this weekend in the area, check it out here.
Check out some classic cars. You’re in luck! This weekend is the annual Car d’Alene in beautiful downtown. Check out the details here.
Take him to the golf course. Hit a few balls at a local golf course. Click here for a list of the ones in the area.
Just lay low. Keep it simple and make your dad a nice home cooked meal. Or take him to a nice restaurant in the area and have others doing the cooking for you.
Father’s Day Cocktail Class – On June 16th you and your dad can make two signature cocktails at Up North Distillery in Post Falls, plus get 20% off all merchandise.
Father’s Day Buffet – On June 16th at the Coeur d’Alene Casino, dad’s can enjoy a yummy buffet and $3 Manmosas!
Car D’Alene – June 14th and 15th in Downtown Coeur d’Alene, check out some classic cars with your dad.
Out of the Box Gift Ideas
If your dad is a spice lover, this great gift he help can create his own brand of spice.
Personalized Spatula – $24.95
Nothing shows your dad you love him more than your name on an item he uses frequently. He’ll think of you every time he uses it.
BeerLoft – $30
Save some room in your dad’s fridge with this beer loft. Now he’ll have more space for his snacks.
Whisky Wedge and Glass – $18
Help minimize the water dilution in your dad’s whisky but also keeping it chilled. That way it’ll be good to the last drop.
Beer Jelly – $30
Now your dad can eat his favorite beers straight from the tap with jelly infused with craft beers.
Personalized Engraved Glass Decanter – $29.99
Engrave one side or two sides of a glass decanter for your dad and help them savor whisky the way it was supposed to be.
Bottle Opener Slot Game – $70
Make your dad’s house the place to drink with this slot game. Who knew drinking could become even more fun?
Check out full lists of great ideas by following the links below:
Here in beautiful North Idaho, one of the most common past times in the summer is camping! Whether you pull an RV or rough it with a tent, it’s a hobby most enjoy. Although the first camping trip of the year can be exciting, it may also seem a little overwhelming. It’s been months since your last trip and you have nothing prepared. We’ve got you covered! Below are checklists, tips, cooking ideas and more!
Before Your First Trip
First thing on your to-do list in spring is to make sure your tent or RV and all gear is ready ready. Camping would not be very fun if you realized during your trip that something wasn’t working or missing and you weren’t fully prepared. These things can ruin any camping trip.
Tents are pretty easy, but still it is very important to make sure your tent is in top shape and ready to go. Here are a few things to remember when prepping you tent and gear:
- Inspect your tent and tarps for any holes. Apply waterproof sealant where necessary.
- Wash and fully dry all of your gear made of fabric, this includes any sleeping bags, pillows and blankets.
- Check all your fasteners and ropes. Replace any broken or frayed ones.
- Make sure all your tent poles and stakes are accounted for
- Make sure you have a hammer for the stakes and a hatchet for wood
- Be sure all your battery powered gear has new and fully charged batteries and works.
- Wash, dry, inspect, and check that all camping equipment is acceptable working order.
Now, RV‘s are much more complex to prepare. Although every RV is going to be a bit different, the items detailed below will fit most RV’s and will be need to be completed. Always best to check the manual for the specifics on your RV.
- Clean and inspect the inside and the outside of the RV.
- If you winterized your RV in the fall, steps will need to be taken to de-winterize the trailer. This is typically flushing the lines with clean water.
- Fill your water tank, run the water pump and check for leaks.
- Be sure your dump hose is in good and working order, with no holes or tears.
- Check all your fresh water, black and grey valves when at a dump station. Be sure they open and close property and these are no leaks.
- Inspect the caulking, tires, towing equipment, awning, appliances, lights, batteries and A/C Unit.
- Make sure all your safety equipment is on board along with a tool box with most often used items for small repairs
Things to Pack
Although everybody camps a little differently, there are several things we all need to bring on every camping trip. We’ll save you the trouble of writing your own list, because we did it for you. Here are just a few very important items to remember:
1. Bedding – includes pillows, blankets and sleeping bags
2. Clothes – Plan for all types of weather from swim suits to coats
3. Toiletries – includes soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, hair-ties, shaving items and deodorant
4. Lighting – lantern, flashlight and don’t forget the batteries or matches
5. Cook wear and utensils – Stove, dutch oven, griddle, coffee pot, knife, spatula and more
6. Don’t forget packing for your pups. Leashes, food bowls, water bowls, dog bed, dog food
7. First Aid Kit, Stuff to Bug Bites, Sunscreen, Ibuprofen etc.
That list is only scratching the surface. Need a more in depth list? Check out our Camping Checklist!
Cooking At Camp
Cooking while camping can seem like an overwhelming, difficult, and dreaded task. But, it can be easy and enjoyable if you follow some basic steps.
Step 1: Plan Ahead.
Seems a little obvious, but it is one of the most important steps. Creating a list of everything you’ll need, even the little things, will insure less forgotten items. Things to consider in this step: the space and weight the food will take up, how you plan to cook things (stove, dutch oven, cast iron skillet), and that you eat food that spoils first.
Step 2: Choose your Equipment.
This step will mostly depend on how you camp and the amount of work you’re willing to do. If you prefer not to have any work while camping, pre made meals and snacks would be your go to. That would mean more prep work before you went camping. If you’re willing to do a little cooking, foil meals would be a great idea, that would be a little less prep work before you left. If you can manage the extra weight and the extra work, dutch oven or a cast iron skillet would be a great way to prepare your food. Dutch ovens seem to be a popular choice in cookware these days. Check out a video about dutch oven cooking for beginners by clicking here!
Step 3: Know how to Store Food.
A little organization will help big time when storing your food. There is a science behind stocking a cooler or fridge to ensure no wasted space and easy access to items you will need most often. A few ideas would be to bring a separate cooler for drinks, remove items from bulky packages, pack ingredients you’ll be using last at the bottom, and fill every nook and cranny with ice. Others things to keep in mind in regards to storing food is to be sure to keep everything clean, never to leave food unattended, and be aware of the wildlife in the area you’re camping and plan accordingly. Example would be bear proofing.
Step 4: Clean Up.
Proper clean up after your meal is also important, no matter how little we want to do it, as it prevents the spread of bacteria and the arrival of unwanted guests. Be prepared with items you’ll need: 2 dish tubs, dish cloth, drying towel and biodegradable soap. Thoroughly clean, dry and store your items. Store your unused food in airtight containers. Make sure all your trash has been picked up around your camp site and dispose of it properly. Either in the designated receptacle or pack it up and bring it out of the woods with you. Remember, pack it in – pack it out. Leave your camp spot or location better than when you arrived.
Have a great camping season! Be sure you’re prepared, have fun, and always be safe!
Everyone has an idea of their dream house. Maybe it has an elaborate built in shelf for your trading cards. Maybe there is a slide to go downstairs. While these are both awesome, they might not be part of the next owners dreams. When you are ready to invest some money into the house, consider this list of renovations that have the best return on investment (ROI).
Minor Bathroom Update
You’ll see a trend throughout the list. There is a breaking point where an investment will start to cost more than you will get back. That’s why there are lots of items that are a “minor” remodel or update. These are that happy medium ground that still makes an updated room scream that its shiny and new, but it will cost you less in the long run.
To replace tubs, tile and caulk in a bathroom might run a little over $1000 and you can expect a return rate of about 102% (at current market values).
I’m 100% certain that when you walk up to someones front door, you take notice of their grass or the plants growing, if their siding is dirty or if their walk is swept. Everyone does. So when buyers are shopping for homes, you want their attention to be focused on your yard. You want it to yell at them and tell them to come check out the rest of your awesome home! DIY landscaping can be cheaper than paying a professional, but it can take longer and you might accidentally find the sprinklers with your shovel like I definitely didn’t do. There is no right answer when you decide if you want to pay a pro or be a weekend warrior. There is, however a good payoff for your investments when you sell your home, like 100%-good.
Major Kitchen Remodel
If your home is like ours, the kitchen is the absolute heart of it. Maybe because we love food, but that is besides the point. Consider updating your dated appliances, cabinets from circa 1990 and the flooring. Tile is amazing, but even quality vinyl will really lift the rooms appeal. Most of our clients head straight for the kitchen to try and picture themselves slaving over the stove. You try it. Are yo able to picture plenty of work space and uncluttered counters? If not, think about pairing down some of the obstacles. The average ROI for kitchen remodeling is about 91%. Not quite as high as the other projects, but definitely one of the BIGGEST selling points.
Just like the landscaping, a fresh coat of paint or updated shutters and fresh siding can really draw people in. And since you are taking the time to improve your home, do the things that will get you the most in the long run. Current market trends predict a ROI for exterior improvements at about 95%. And let’s be honest, that particle compressed siding the color of avocados… has to go.