Monthly Archives: April 2016

{Friday Favorites} Girl Power Edition

Women rocked it this week. This week’s Friday Favorites are all about strong women and beautiful things. 

Nashville Floor


As I recapped last week, I LOVED visiting Nashville. Great food, great music, great history. It’s also seen a boom in recent times and as you walk down Lower Broadway there’s an interesting mix of old honkey tonks, new honkey tonks trying to look like old honkey tonks, and restaurants with some amazing interior design. I mentioned we visited Acme Feed and Seed, a newer restaurant/bar which really nailed the vintage warehouse look. Merchants, however, was my favorite for interior design and is in a notable hotel that which apparently put up many music legends over the years. I think I’d call their look ‘vintage glam Southern diner’ — that makes sense right? How amazing are those floors?!

Kelly Rippa


I don’t watch morning TV, but I have always thought Kelly Rippa of Live! was a tiny little powerhouse. She got a lot of flack last week for taking a day off to process the news that her long-term employer kept her—the headliner of the show—in the dark about Michael Strayhan’s move to Good Morning America. Everyone was waiting to see how she handled her return….and I thought she nailed it. She took ABC to the woodshed as much as she could and I hope that she inspired other women in the workplace to stand their ground, demand a seat at the table, and expect respect. Huge props to Kelly #strongwomen. You can watch it here.

Etsy Goes Solar—On a HUGE Scale

A former student of mine who used her capstone project to propose an innovative strategy to take Etsy towards 100% renewable energy—including it’s shipping AND makers—announced last week that Etsy is moving forward on adopting this strategy with a goal of being 100% renewable by 2020. Guys, this is a HUGE initiative because many companies in e-commerce don’t look past their own facilities when considering clean energy when shipping and production are often their biggest issue, but Etsy is taking responsible for its entire carbon footprint and will work with it’s makers around the world to install solar systems on individual homes to work towards carbon neutrality. Congrats to Chelsea and Etsy!! 

After the Rain


I stopped by Rose Hill Farm to see TimTheFarmer and as we were chatting on the amazing wrap-around porch, we got pinned there by an absolute downpour. It’s the kind of porch where you can sit there through a wild storm and stay completely dry – I loved sitting there! Then, as the storm cleared out, the light became absolutely amazing, looking out over the apple orchard and blueberry patch. Otis was clearly less impressed.



I know everyone else is talking about this this week, but Beyoncé dropped a bomb of a record this week. I’m so out of the loop that I had no idea a big album was coming out, but by Monday, after hearing all the hype, I was intrigued. I downloaded it and was blown away. If you take it at face value (and not a marketing ploy as some are claiming) which I’m choosing to do, it’s an amazing tour of her personal journey through infidelity and the experience of black women, “the most disrespected person in America”, to quote Beyoncé quoting Malcolm X. The video that accompanies it is incredibly deep and thoughtful and emotional and beautiful (even at it’s darkest). Every track is something you’ve never heard before and explores all sorts of musical styles. It’s rock and soul and pop and hip hop and brass band. You’ve never seen this Beyoncé before. She’s all grown up. And an aside, it doesn’t matter who ‘Becky with the good hair’ is … why don’t we look squarely at the man at fault here?

Ok friends, I’m looking forward to a weekend of gardening and tag sales. And you can bet Beyoncé will be the soundtrack to my weekend :). Have a great weekend!

Buns and Beiber and Brunch

Somehow it’s already Wednesday – we had a whirlwind of a weekend and before we head into another crazy weekend, I want to make sure to document the fun. Friday was Earth Day—my people’s holiday! This photo makes an appearance most Earth Days, a throwback to when I was 6. #treehuggerinthemaking


I spent Friday running all over picking up kegs…for work…yes, you never know what you’re going to get with my job. We hosted an Earth Day Happy Hour on campus. We had a fun evening celebrating our community’s sustainability efforts and listening to some great tunes. Afterward, we were excited to try out the new burger restaurant in town, Buns. Our town is cute and has an amazing history, but it does not cater to everyday families. This is a town full of NYC transplants and weekenders and it’s hard to go out for a meal and spend less than $100 on 3 people, so we were pumped to have a burger joint open with $8 burgers – – and they were good!!


On Saturday, I had a nice visit with my aunt who was in town for my cousin’s lacrosse game (his college was playing my college). We enjoyed a beautiful spring day watching lacrosse and then rushed home to pull together a last minute BBQ (with more buns). We had a keg of hard cider left over from the Earth Day celebration and invited over work and local friends to work our way through it. It was super last minute and simple, but so nice to enjoy an evening with friends and finally put our porch to use. 


Here’s where things get whacky. As I mentioned Friday, I’d gotten myself roped into going to the city for a Pop Star Dance Fitness Class at Banana Skirt Productions. I’d been promised Beyonce, but when the schedule came out it was Beiber. Ugh. But, we all signed up and headed to the city first thing Sunday morning. I am confident that I was the only person in the room with chicken poop on the bottom of their sneaks. #keepitclassy


It ended up being a ton of fun and the fact that I don’t know any Beiber tunes didn’t matter a bit.


Our teacher was AMAZING – she was super fun and energetic and a great teacher and had.the.moves. Holy cow. It was so neat to watch her dance. We stayed for two hours and “learned” the whole song. There were a few people who totally “got it” in the room, lots who think they “had it,” and most of us were just trying to not get run over. For entertainment value, here is the videos of us dancing. 

On the train home, I watched the video of what it was supposed to look like – hahahaha! OMG – we don’t look a THING like this. The difference between the two is hilarious! The moves are actually the same, but we’re not even close.

Here are the two videos from Banana Skirt. #dontjudge #solost


Part 1 of this weekends “Sorry” class! #JustinBieber #DanceYourAssOff #PopStarFitness #Fitspo #BananaSkirt

A video posted by Banana Skirt Productions 🍌 (@banana_skirt) on


Part 2 of this weekends “Sorry” class! #JustinBieber #DanceYourAssOff #PopStarFitness #Fitspo #BananaSkirt

A video posted by Banana Skirt Productions 🍌 (@banana_skirt) on

We rushed across midtown and rewarded ourselves with an AWESOME brunch at The Smith. It might have been the best brunch I’ve ever had. I had the potato waffle benedict—which I told myself was as close to paleo as I was getting that day—and it came with an stroooong  and good cocktail. I added a few oysters for good measure. The potato waffle combined with the creamed spinach made for a flavorful and unique take on eggs benedict. I hoovered mine and could totally have had a second plate. I have been totally insatiable lately. #justanFYI Everyone else’s meals were amazing too! We enjoyed a leisurely afternoon and then caught the train back upstate and were home in time for dinner.



What a fun weekend! Monday came quick, but it was totally worth it. I’m headed back to the city for the third time this week #bleh! and then we’ll be in the weekend homestretch again. Happy hump day friends!

{Friday Favorites} Wins For Everyone!

Is it just me or did this week fly by? And, I have a feeling this weekend will go just as fast, but it should be filled lots of fun, or absurdity at the least. Tonight our program is hosting an Earth Day Happy Hour at our college’s farm, tomorrow we’ll be cheering on my cousin (against my school) at his lacrosse game – I’m super excited to see my aunt and family, and Sunday, oh Sunday. Somehow I got roped into going to a Beiber dance-exercise class followed by bunch in NYC. I seriously don’t know a single Beiber song. That should be a bonafide disaster. 

I Won, I Won!


I have been skiing at Steamboat since I was three years old and always knew I was lucky to get to spend my weekends, spring breaks (although I definitely did whine about not ever going to to the beach), and summers in Steamboat. I was never more grateful than when I got to college in Montana and could hang on the slopes with the kids who grew up skiing at Jackson Hole and Targhee and in the Chugach. Steamboat’s been running a #thenandnow competition where you recreate old photos on the mountain. When I was home in February, it was so fun to look through all our old skiing photos and see just how much time our family spent on the mountain. Isn’t it funny how you look at pictures of times where you totally remember feeling like you were basically an adult and realize you were younger than your stepson is now?? I submitted this pic and then received this sweet prize pack! Our pic was the March finalist…wahoo! As mentioned, I LOVE swag!

SteamboatMy sister submitted this pic of my mom teaching me to ski and 30 years later wearing the same ski suit teaching my nephew to ski. We have our fingers crossed that this will be the grand prize winner!


Thistle Farm Candles


Our conference in Nashville last week chose Thistle Farms as the local charity to support while in town. Thistle Farms provides housing, on-the-job education, and employment for women who are survivors of prostitution, trafficking, and drug addiction. They began as a home and because many women were unemployable due to their arrest records, recognized the need for job skills and employment, so they opened a number of social enterprises including a coffee shop and bath and body line. We heard the story of one surviror and it moved the room to tears. I was happy to pick up a candle as a small gesture of support: the survivor said during her speech, “Buy a candle and every time you light it, say a prayer that another woman finds her way off the streets and finds freedom and love.” We have burned our candle daily since I’ve been home and not only does it support a good cause, it smells amazing. Learn more about Thistle Farm here. You can buy their products nationally at Whole Foods or online.

Let’s Play Ball!

We kicked off baseball season in these parts in this week and this was the first year the kiddo played on the middle school team. Holy crow! He’s not in Little League anymore. Seeing him with his teammates really made it hit home that he’s about to start high school. #timeflies They’re no longer big kids playing ball, but young men. And, they won their first game big time! 


BEHR features Isn’t That Grand?

There’s been a bit of radio silence around these parts the last few weeks and I couldn’t figure out the source of all this extra blog traffic. And then, the analytics finally cleared up and I saw that BEHR had featured our kitchen makeover on Pinterest! How fun is that!? Thanks BEHR!


Ikea Bench Love

I was checking out Cassie’s super cute bonus room makeover yesterday and came across these benches. I love how she used them as a coffee table. We are currently using a kids play table for our coffee table and I love this idea. And the best part? They’re super affordable! The worst part? I have to drive to New Jersey to get them. Admission: I’ve never been to an Ikea store. These benches might make me finally go…stay tuned!


That’s all folks. Check back Monday to see how this Beiber disaster unfolds.