From Our Blog

Cheap Smart Bulb for You and Your Family

The market is filled with a great variety of lighting options. And among those that have become one of the favorites is the smart light.

Considering the features of these smart bulbs and their plugs, even the light switches and wall panels, these smart lights can significantly make even a small home entry point quite stunning.

Knowing that there is a huge selection of these lighting option in the market, you might probably be thinking of buying more than you actually need. Before you do, make sure that you are fully aware of the choices available before actually buying those smart bulbs.

Why won’t you be excited in the first place? Perhaps, you really should. Considering that there are a lot of things to be said about this unique lighting system, other than those that meet the eyes, and these features will definitely make you want to change your existing lighting setup if you can just do that in an instant.

Well, maybe you should! Considering the number of features that these smart bulbs offer, such as quick interconnectivity of the whole lighting setup, color-changing capability, automated vacation-mode lighting, voice command feature, and so on, you will be surprised to see just how these best cheap smart bulb can make a big difference in your home lighting setup.

How Do You Choose the Best Cheap Smart Bulb?

Cheap Smart Bulb

As there a great selection of these bulbs that offer most or all of the features that you may be looking for from a smart lighting system, you will need to be fully aware of all the facts related to the design and functionality of these smart lights to ensure that you will be able to get the best bulbs and switches that will help set up your smart home.

  1. Choose the most suitable platform. You will need a platform that will let you set up and manage the lighting system just as how you’d want it to, but according to the options available on the app settings. For instance, you can have the smart bulbs turn on or off at designated times, group lights together, change the color scheme, and more.
  2. Pair your smart lights with a voice assistant (Google Assistant, Siri or Alexa). It will make it a lot easier to manage all other connected smart device with this app.
  3. Install a reliable w-fi hub. This Wi-Fi hub will relay the signals from the device to your router and then to you via the cloud.

That may sound one classy piece of lighting system that may cost a whole lot, but they actually cost less than you think. … Continue reading

CAMPING TRIP & APRICOT LANE FARM UPDATE (WWOOFING)

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Hello everyone,

Today is Sunday April 2, 2017. I have just started my 4th week on the farm. The days are long but the weeks fly by. I work 6 days a week with Saturdays off. Sundays tend to be a bit more relaxed with chicken chores followed by helping the livestock crew with the animals. We only have 1 day off a week to explore and relax so I’ve been trying to make the most of it. Last Saturday I went rock climbing with another wwoofer and Trevor (farm director). This weekend I went on an overnight surf camping trip. I’ll cover that a little later.

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Adjusting to farm life has been great so far. I live in a house with 4 other interns and 2 full time staff members. My roommate is from New York. We get along great. Everyone in the house is awesome and it feels like a home more than a dorm. The best part is the girls are always baking something. Even though some days are full of backbreaking work we come home to great amenities. This includes daily home cooked meals from our awesome chefs. The duplex overlooks a beautiful hillside full of horses to the east. To the west you can see beautiful sunsets over the farm. The duplex is tucked away in the corner of the farm. The house has everything you could possible need. Not to mention it’s updated and beautiful.

The past 3 weeks I have worked with chickens, ducks, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, cows, and dogs. I have picked and sorted fruit with the orchard crew. I have worked with the the garden team – turning beds, planting, and thinning rows of crops. I have put up miles of fencing for sheep, cows, ducks and chicken for rotational grazing. I have unloaded trailers of compost. I’ve been apart of many lamb births. I’ve worked on soil testing and irrigation. I’ve set hundreds of gopher traps and hit many concrete posts with a sledgehammer. I have learned so much in so little time but still have so much more to learn.

The culture on this farm is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Every person on this farm respects and cares for it. You won’t find anyone standing around or being lazy. The farm is run by people that care. It’s not full of machinery found on many industrial farms. Almost all the work is done by hand. You can look at the surrounding farms and see the difference. The diversity on Apricot Lane Farm is incredible. The symbiotic relationships between the plants and animals make this place special. Every single inch of the farm is cared for. It creates a spiritual feeling that cannot be found on other farms.

The animals on the farm are treated like royalty. The farm uses no fertilizers or chemicals on the grass. The chickens and ducks are grass pastured. We move the coups to follow the cows and sheep. Using sustainable practices we get great tasting food with a cult like following.

I will continue to update on the farm and talk more about what being biodynamic farm means. In the mean time please check out our website and video series in the link below. I promise you will fall in love with the animals on this farm. John and Molly are doing some incredible things here and I’m so happy and grateful to be apart of it.

This weekend (Friday night – Saturday day) I went to Carpinteria, CA. Also known as “Carp”. I’ve been missing camping. I decided to stay at the beach front state park. I stayed here previously and enjoyed it so much I want to go back. The park offers a great surf break less than 100 ft from the campground. I packed a small bag, surfboard and headed for the coast after work. I was lucky enough to get a spot without a reservation. I set up my hammock, started a fire, and cracked a beer. It was nice to sleep with the ocean waves crashing in the distance. I slept like a baby and woke up to solid waves. I spent the morning surfing and the afternoon exploring nearby places. I highly recommend Carpinteria State Park for a weekend surfing trip.

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Big Bend National Park – Solo Backcountry Adventure

Hello everyone,

After spending the last few days in Dallas, TX with my good friends (the Bogott and Perozzi children) I continued on towards Big Bend National Park. The park is located in Southwest Texas on the US/Mexico boarder. The park includes the entire Chisos mountain range and part of Chihuahuan Desert. The drive from Dallas was 9 hours long and the scenery was flat dessert land. As I got closer to the park the Chiso Mountains started flexing their power. What started with a few rocky formations ended up a giant wall of mountains in the middle of the desert. This was my first real scenery change that made me feel like I was no longer in the east. The drive in was spectacular. The feeling of solitude was real.

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I arrived in the park shortly after 4:00 pm and headed straight to the first visitor center to sort out my camping situation. I told the Park Ranger I wanted to see both the dessert valley and the mountains. I applied for two backcountry permits. The first night was for primitive roadside campsite. This was something I was not familiar with but it ended up being incredible. A 4×4 high clearance vehicle is required. The road to the campsite was not developed and the last .5 mile was not maintained. I thought my truck could handle the challenge. The second was for a backcountry backpacking permit in the Chiso Mountains. I thought this would be the best way to experience complete solitude and push my limits. Because I was a solo backpacker in one of the most remote places in the lower 48 they photographed me wearing my hiking clothes and pack. They also took pictures of the bottom of my boots. I’ll let you guess why they did this. This kept me humble but also started pumping my heart with the thrill I was looking for.

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I double checked my fuel and supplies then started off towards my primitive campsite. I entered the park through Persimmon Gap and drove 26 miles to Panther Junction where I made a left. I continued 5 miles down there road until In found the turn off for Glenn Spring Road. The pavement ended and the a cloud of dust was the only thing that followed me. I quickly realized why they stated a 4×4 vehicle is required. The primitive improved road turned into the unmaintained road. The sun was getting lower and almost under the South Rim. I couldn’t find the side road to my campsite. I was out here 10 miles from the paved road and started feeling uneasy. I thought I overshot my turn but couldn’t find a place safe enough to turn around.

No cell service or GPS. Just my map and I. I decided to continue up the road until I found a point of interest on my map. I marked where I was calculated the miles to my camp and reset my truck odometer to calculate where the turn should be. I made a 3 point turn and headed back in the direction of my camp. The sun was now below the mountains. My plan worked and I found the turn out for my camp GS1. The final stretch of road was called Black Gap Road. This was not fun and I was worried how I was going to make it out in the morning. I pulled into my campsite and was greeted with incredible views. I made dinner and hiked up to this point overlooking my site. I was finally out here, alone.

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I woke up 3 times throughout the night to complete darkness and strange noises but slept decent. After brewing a cup of instant coffee I walked back up the road to scout out the way out. On my walk I stopped and closed my eyes. I took in a deep breath and exhaled. I felt amazing. I ate eggs and potatoes and washed it down with the mud I brewed earlier. I packed up camp and started the journey out. With the sun sitting high I was able to enjoy the backcountry from the view of my drivers seat. Primitive road side camping is a great way to camp in the backcountry without having to backpack. If you are looking for incredible views and solitude I recommend doing this. You will not have any comforts out here but you will have something better. A night under the stars with out the crowds of a campground.

With pavement back under my tires I set my heading for the Chisos Basin (5000′). This is where I would park my truck over night while I hiked into the mountains. I arrived around 10:00 am and started preparing my backpack. Among a group of other parked cars about 4 backpackers were doing the same. Food, water and clothing preps with gear laid out all over the parking lot. It took me about 45 mins and a double check to be sastified with the way my backpack was packed. I had everything I needed to spend the night alone on the mountain. I set off towards the trail head.

The plan was to hike to my campsite and set up my tent then drop some gear in the bear box and summit Emory Peak (7832′). What a brutal hike up those switchbacks with a full pack. I loved every second of it. I made it to the top of Toll Mountain and dropped my pack. I had some water and took a picture. I was half way there. I met another hiker from Boston. He was doing 3 nights in the backcountry and I decided to hike with him for a few miles. He was doing a similar month long trip like mine.

I stopped and said my goodbyes to the hiker and went to find my primitive campsite in Boot Canyon. I didn’t realized how far off the trail I would be when I got my permit.  I knew I would enjoy the solitude once my nerves of my first night backpacking solo calmed. I cleared some sticks and rocks and set up my tent. It was time to peak Emory.

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I started up the trail and halfway up it turned from trail to a rock path. My legs were tired and my body was exhausted but I wanted to make it back to camp before sunset. As I finished climbing the last section with my hands I saw a group of teens at the top of the mountain. We started talking and I told them my story. A few were inspired and wanted to do the same thing. I felt like I was able to motivate them and that’s the best feeling I’ve had so far. … Continue reading

03/07/2017 – MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK

Hello,

I’m currently writing this blog from Hot Springs, Arkansas. Since leaving the Smoky’s I have travelled through Kentucky and Tennessee to Arkansas. While in Kentucky I visited Mammoth Cave National Park rel=”nofollow”. This was the first time in my life I have been in a real cave system. And by real I mean the worlds longest known cave system. The park ranger told me explorers have mapped over 400 miles of continuous cave. An astonishing fact is they believe the cave has many miles that haven’t been found yet.

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Less than 4% of the cave is open to the public so I immediately opted for the longest tour available. It was a gloomy day and the rain started as I arrived at the visitor center. The park features TV screens with tour times and availability. I chose the 2 1/2 hour tour. A bus drove us 4 miles to the cave entrance. It felt like we were entering a underground bunker. The cave door is pressurized so we had to enter a chamber and neutralize the air before entering. Because the weather was bad my tour group was very small. This gave me extra time to explore the caves.

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We started off down a 280′ stair case that naturally winds the caves system. I had no clue how narrow the passages were going to be. I had to duck and squeeze my way through the passages. We finally made it to the famous Snowball Room. Here we took a break and the Park Ranger gave us some history on the park. The Snowball Room was used for parties and opera performances in the early 1900s. The caves ability to echo the sound made for a great venue. I couldn’t imagine getting there with only lanterns. The cave has no natural light and is very dark. The temperature stayed around 60 degrees throughout the tour.

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It was raining hard 250′ above us and water was finding its way through every crack and crevasse. We turned off the cave lighting and listened in pitch black. You couldn’t see a thing. I have never seen darkness like that.

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As we continued on the cave started to open up. The cave is completely natural and only a fraction required human work. Mother Nature created something amazing here. … Continue reading

02/06/2017 – GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

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Hello everyone,

First I want to say thank you for reading my blog. I have so many views and subscribers. I am thrilled. Creating a blog has allowed me to document my cross country trip. How cool will it be to look back at the end of my travels? It has also helped me push my photography to the next level. I’m no pro but I am getting more confident in my photos everyday. Every photo is captured with a Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 Lens or Rokinon 14mm f/2.8. The 50mm is on my A7S 90% of the time. Having only a prime lens requires me to get creative with every shot.

After staying the night urban truck camping in a downtown Asheville, NC parking garage I arrived in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was a freezing cold morning and the night before ended up being the coldest night so far. My truck windows were iced over and I was frozen too. I didn’t realize I parked in such a cool spot until the morning. Overall I had a peaceful night minus sirens and train horns.

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Heading into GSMNP from the south allowed for some great views from the Blueridge Parkway. I entered through the Cherokee Indian Reservation from the east. I was greeted by park elk at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. They had blocked traffic and it looked like a Kanye West LA spotting with all the paparazzi taking pictures.

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I traveled inward towards the Sugarland Visitor Center on newfound gap road. The scenic views on this stretch were incredible. I climbed more than 5000′ to have some of the best views of the park. The sun creeped out from behind the clouds and I quickly lost all my layers. I made coffee at the Newfound Gap and enjoyed the views.

I stopped at the Sugarland Visitor Center were park rangers told me a few camping options and hiking trails nearby. I learned the park has more biodiversity than any other place in than all of Northern Europe. After being threatened from logging in the early 1900s GSMNP became the first National Park assembled from private land.

I turned right out of the visitor center and continued on the little river road that turns into laurel creek road and eventually hit Cades Cove Campground. The drive along the river was one of my favorites yet. The road winds with the river and feels as if it was naturally there. I enjoyed this drive so much I decided to exit the park the next morning from this same route.

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Cades Cove Campground had 4 trailers, a rv, a popup camper, and a lone tent camper. I paid my $17 via honor system and made camp. I had a great clean sight with a few other campers nearby. The campground has no electricity or showers. It did have a nice restroom in the heart of the campground. I ate lunch and set off for my first long hike of the trip.

I decided to choose a hike that I could walk to the trailhead from camp. I set off with my pack, camera and clothing layers for the unpredictable weather. I walked 1 mile to the trail head and started up Rich Mountain. This was really the first time I had been alone in the backcountry. Less than a mile into the hike I stumbled across a family of whitetail deer. They were just off the trail path and I was able to get very close. It is one thing to see deer from the road off in a field but to be within 10 yards of a huge buck really gets the adrenaline pumping. I snapped a few shots and continued up the mountain.A few more miles into the woods my nerves calmed. I knew I was the only person out here and the feeling of happiness overcame my entire body. I always thought I would be scared alone in the woods but the high I felt was like nothing else I have experienced. I am in love with the backcountry. … Continue reading