Gearing up!

So I decided to spontaneously celebrate the first day of Spring by camping. It was a little last minute, so needless to say, I was not completely prepared. In the end, we were fine. We had our tent, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, water, food… not bad! We had the basics. But when we car camp, we tend to like to have a few luxuries. This was definitely not our typical Rocky Mountain Camping Trip. All I kept thinking about was “man, I need to get organized!”

Trying to organize for this impromtu camping trip was a bit hard when things had been stored for over 6 months. Inspired by this ‘rough’ camp out, I went and bought some clear rubbermaid bins this past weekend and labeled them – Fishing, Camp Kitchen, Dehydrated Food, Dog Stuff, Accessories. I’m sure there will be more to come, but these five catagories were a good start!

I highly recommend the Rubbermaid storage boxes with a firm lid, especially if you have a truck and a dog that you travel with… as both of these during the dry summer camping trip days lead to dust, dirt and dog hair being pretty much everywhere!

Fishing Gear was simple – but I admit, I bought the wrong size bin. Everything fits nicely, except my Rod! 3″ too short. What a let down. So plan before you buy! Lesson learned.

Camp Kitchen, not only does it hold measuring cups, pans, dishes, silverware, etc… there’s a nice little box stuffed with all my favorite herbs. Just because you’re in the back country that does NOT mean you need to eat flavorless food! Seasonings are the spice to life and food! 🙂

Dehydrated Food – this is a bin for emergency purposes and backpacking trips only. On my first day of Spring camp out, we ended up eating dehydrated food. Again, totally fine! Just not my ideal car camping food. But always good to have!!

Dog Stuff… well… once I almost forgot the dog food, and that’s not ok. And many times I’ve forgotten the dog food bowl! So its apparent to me that I need to have a bin for my dog Finnian’s camping gear too. Here’s what I include: dog food in seperated out meal bags, dog bowl, dog water bottle (yes, I have one of those, with an attached drinking cup), dog towel (for when he’s wet and trying to get into the truck!), dog camping bed (i’m a sucker, he needs a bed too!), and biodegradeable doggie shampoo (for those off chances where he’s not smelling so good but needs to come into the tent for the night).

Finally, my accessories bin. This is something that will grow with time. But some things that are in there are some additional battery opperated high powered Coleman lights/lanterns for around the campground – especially important if you can’t have a fire, solar charger (this charges our ipods and camera batteries! pretty handy!), and last but certainly not least… Soji Lanterns!! I bring these everywhere… if just car camping, hang them up when you get to your camp ground… if back packing, strap them to you pack on the outside to let them charge up as you hike in! They are always a fun little accessory to have when camping!!

Well… that’s as organized as I can get for now… Hoping the impromtu snow storm that just hit was just that… impromtu and leaving just as fast as it came! As I have high hopes for my camping season this year! And i’m ready to not be freezing in my sleeping bag on my next adventure!

Spring has Sprung!

Well it is official – the first day of spring has finally come!

 Spring cleaning has become an annual ritual in homes all across America. However, as families get together and focus on “de-cluttering” closets and revitalizing their indoor spaces, many overlook to outdoors.  It is time to expand the spring cleaning ritual to the outdoors and give your outdoor spaces some spring time love as well. To prepare for summer have you considered the following?

 Does your BBQ need a cleaning and is your propane tank full and ready for a summer filled of grilling?

 Has your deck seen better days? Does it need re-finished? Now is the time to give it the much needed love before your first BBQ of the season.

 Before you pull out your patio furniture does it need a wipe down from the winter storage? Does your wood furniture need re-finished?

 Most importantly, are you ready to bring out your beloved Allsop Home & Garden solar products from storage for another summer of entertaining? Do you need to update your current products with something NEW? Check out some of our new products!

The newest to the Aurora Glow Collection - Nectar!


Good night sunshine! Sojis in the nursery and beyond…

As the owner of Allsop Home & Garden and mother of one amazing 7 month old baby girl, I find myself  pondering the wonderous ways of solar lighting as both a teaching tool and captivating light source for children! Every child under the age of ten (or over the age of ten) likes a little light shining at bed time to remind them that all sea-monsters beneath the bed were extinguished before lights out! The problem is that the same light is still shining bright at four and five o’ clock in the A.M. when the morning light is just starting to creep in.  In addition, my little one seems to do much better with darkness after she finally falls asleep! This is where Soji lanterns come in…why not make a learning activity out of charging solar lanterns outside in the daytime and then utilizing their soothing glowing power by night as a night-light in the bedroom? Let’s start early by teaching our little ones about how energy or “juice” from the sun can charge a solar cell – then that same energy gets “trapped” in some small batteries and powers a light by night ! Just think of all the fun we, I  mean the “kids” will have with their lanterns as a bedroom night-light, bathroom light, camping light, fairy garden lighting and the list goes on…

The beauty of it is, the lanterns will turn themselves off after 5-6 hours (on a full charge) when the light source is no longer needed inside! These lanterns are also portable for a sprint to the bathroom or mommy and daddy’s room and back.

I recently came across a blog and nursery style resource called with some fantastic and fun tips for babies bedroom styling, inspiration boards and parties of all kinds (credit miguel).  After a brief chat with Adrienne, the marketing associate at Project Nursery about the possibility of inspiring kids with solar lighting, they agreed to review a few Soji’s and possibly post to the site.  Not sure when it is going to be up, but it will likely be in the next few weeks and we are very excited. is definitely a new favorite!


I must confess, I love Martha Stewart…for so many reasons.  I wish I had the free time and endless creativity so I could be a younger, more backwoods Idaho version of her. 

With this being said, I am so excited that Martha Stewart Living has featured our Soji Modern, Soji Silk Effect and Aurora Glow String Lights in their March 2010 issue.  

I mean, look at this picture!  Don’t you wish that was your outdoor space?  I certainly do!  This is by far the best “lifestyle” picture I have ever seen of our Aurora Glow Sting Lights (Clear with Amber is shown). 

Summer Daydreams…

I realize it is only March, so it may seem a bit early to be thinking about the summer, but I can’t help myself. I’ve been traveling quite a bit over the last month and a half to various Gift and Home & Garden tradeshows; Atlanta, New York, San Francisco. While I was there as an exhibitor for Allsop Home & Garden, I couldn’t help but secretly be looking at things to buy for my own home. And there, my friends, is where my summer daydreams all started…

First was the color scheme. I saw some amazing blues and greens being showcased this season. Very trendy indeed, and my favorite color is green! But what won me over the most were the oranges I saw; so warm and welcoming. So now how to apply this color scheme to my life…

I should probably note that I do not have a yard. I do however have a fabulous deck that I try very hard to turn into a little outdoor sanctuary every Spring/Summer.

So now back to my vision… Naturally I must include solar lights from Allsop Home & Garden. Not because I work for the company, but because I absolutely adore them. So my first purchase for my deck this year will be the all new Nectar Aurora Glow solar string lights. The color is perfect! 🙂 I will also be adding some red & orange Soji Original solar lanterns and some poppy Soji Pod solar lanterns – to ensure the warm and fun ambience I’m envisioning for the much anticipated warm summer nights.

From there… I am now in search of some fun and funky/retro type outdoor pillows. This is actually very hard as most outdoor pillows are not that crazy fun. They are pretty standard. I’m looking for something that is far from standard.  So if any of you have any suggestions, please let me now!

I will say, outdoor rugs have finally taken it up a notch, so I will be looking at purchasing a fun outdoor rug. When I narrow down my selection, I’ll be sure to let you all know where to go! 

I am certain I will have even more fun little items that I’ll be adding to my deck as the summer draws closer… until then, I’ll keep daydreaming.

~ Siobhan