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{Friday Favorites} Favorite Finds and Help Us Win!

Another day, another train. I am headed to NYC to watch my third graduating class of MBA students give their capstone presentations! It’s always so cool to see the growth and work our students complete over two or three years with us. Congratulations class of 2016!

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We’re Falling Behind  –  We Need Your Votes!!

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If you’re stopping by today from the AndreaErika, or Narci’s blogs and are new around here (Hi! and Welcome!), we would love your help! We have a photo that’s a finalist in a photo competition – we were neck and neck all week for 1st place and now we’re falling behind. Please VOTE DAILY on your computer here through May 15th: http://bit.ly/1W2WBPt Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Happy Buttery Coffee

You all know I am a Bulletproof Coffee junkie – I also love fun coffee mugs. A few years ago I purged when we received our new dishes as wedding gifts, but they’re starting to creep back in. I loved these mugs that I picked up last weekend at HomeGoods. You never know what you’re going to come out of that store with! I appreciate the happiness reminder first thing in the morning.

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What makes me less happy, though, is turning the mug over to see this. Seriously? Who makes things that don’t go in the dishwasher or microwave these days?! Even fancy china is dishwasher safe. And the HomeGoods price stickers that you can.not.get.off. Those always put a cork in my snorkel. But, in keeping with the happiness message, we’ll just put them in the dishwasher until they’re just plain white mugs. We’ll probably avoid the microwave since it is metal paint.

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Overstock

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Ok, guys. Have you ever used Overstock.com? I know I’m 10 years late to the party here, but I had a hoarder roommate when the site launched who would order boxes and boxes of crap “because it’s so cheap.” Everything he’d get was such junk that I never thought to look on the site, but this week I was looking for an inexpensive duvet cover for our guest room and stumbled onto this beauty – for $178! I’ve been planning to build my own headboard for years, so I’m acknowledging that’s not going to happen and giving this a try. It’s got good reviews, so fingers crossed that when it arrives, it’s not junk! Have you ordered from Overstock? How’d it go for you?

New Curtains

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I posted about this earlier this week, but we are loving our new curtains. They really add an unexpected sense of coziness to our living room!

Spring Flowers

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This has been a super weird spring in the Hudson Valley. We had a mild winter and late freeze that caused some serious crop destruction and seems to have screwed up the arrival of spring. The early flowers (daffodils and crocuses (croci?)) barely bloomed, many of the leaves on the big trees are just starting to pop, and the forsythia never showed up. It’s been rather dreary around here. All that is to say, when I walked into work and saw these flowers this week, it totally made my day. I have no idea what they are, but aren’t they happy?! 

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And, this is my favorite view of the year, from my office, when the spring trees bloom. These pictures never fully capture how pretty this is, but trust me, it’s awesome.

And and, just to leave with the cuteness from Monday’s update on The Homestead Garden, here’s my field mouse buddy:

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{Friday Favorites} Lawn and Garden Edition + VOTE!!

Well…it’s Friday and another week flew by! I am looking forward to spending the entire weekend on building that giant garden I overcommitted to last weekend. Plans for the weekend include weeding, buying lumber, weeding, building raised beds, amending soil, weeding, and getting a few crops in the ground. #wishmeluck Today’s Friday Favorites will be quick, because I have to get outside (in the rain) and…you guessed it…weed.

We’re Finalists  –  We Need Your Votes!!

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If you’re stopping by today from the Andrea, Erika, or Narci’s blogs and are new around here (Hi! and Welcome!), we would love your help! My family and I have three photos in Steamboat Ski Resort’s Then and Now photo contest and if one of them wins, we win a ski pass (which is a huge deal because they’re crazy expensive)! I made the handy dandy map above so you know which photos are ours. Here are the links to vote. You can vote for all three photos every day until May 15th. Thanks for your help!! XOXO
Pic 1: http://bit.ly/1W2WBPt
Pic 2: http://bit.ly/1Y3Ltjb
Pic 3: http://bit.ly/1QOrfnH

Magnolia Home Paints!

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Chip and Joanna from Fixer Upper have some serious business savvy and are actively creating all sorts of product lines as their show continues to gain popularity (stores, B&Bs, furniture, rugs) and now they have paint! I was so excited to see this come out – now we don’t have to guess what color palette Joanna used…we can just go get it. I can’t wait to try some on our next project!

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Ryobi Electric Mower

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Our new yard is substantially smaller than our old house (we have more land, but less grass …yippee!!) and because of all the stumps and hills our old-school riding mower won’t cut it. Cut it. Hehe. Get it? We needed a push mower and having previously worked for a sustainable lawn care company, I wanted to go back to electric equipment. There are definitely limitations to the electric (mostly in terms of how long the battery can hold a charge), but you have substantially reduced noise, emissions, smell, and weight on the mower. I did some research and picked up the 40 volt 16″ Ryobi electric mower and then grabbed their 40 volt string trimmer (with a 2nd battery). For the same price as their 16″ mower with two batteries, we got a mower, trimmer, and two batters! The two batteries provide enough of a charge to get through our lawn if you’re efficient (~80 minutes of run time). I LOVED the mower! I rarely mowed the lawn at our old house because TimTheFarmer loved his riding tractor time (and the mower was a bit touchy), but I have mowed lawns my whole life and have always had to fight with the big, heavy gas mowers. This Ryobi was SO light and SO maneuverable. It’s deck is small at 16″ and while I thought that would be a problem, it actually allowed me to get in and out of tight spaces where other mowers wouldn’t fit. And, it’s super easy to start! Nothing to prime, no cord to fight with. I am super happy with this choice!

Garden Planning Tool

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I mentioned this Monday when I laid out my crazy ambitious plans for our home garden, but I love the garden planner from The Old Farmer’s Almanac. It’s making this huge project feel totally doable. We’ll see how I feel about it in early June 😉

Ok, I’m off to weed! I’ll see you on the flip side 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!

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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!

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Thistle Farm Candles

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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! 

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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!

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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!

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