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Easter Weekend Recap

Hi friends – I’m back! I had no intention of disappearing last week, but in typical Katie-fashion, I decided to take on a last minute project that took up all my blogging time. I had a friend coming into town and decided two Fridays ago, that I should use her visit as motivation to makeover the guest room/office. Which, shockingly, did not take one day, like I decided it would in my head. After working on it over the weekend, I was up at 5am and up until 11pm each night painting and painting and painting.  Anyway, it’s almost done, I had a great visit with my friend, and I’m back on the blog…until I take on another last minute project. I’ll do a room reveal when all the details are in place (when the second round of wall decals arrive and all the outlets are switched out etc.), so today is a recap of our fantastic holiday weekend!


Oftentimes, things don’t feel like weekends around here. I travel for work a lot and TimTheFarmer has worked since January. We were so grateful for a visit from a friend to refocus our energy and take a bit of a break from the running around. 

We started out the long weekend with a girls’ day on Friday. After wrapping up work meetings in the morning, we headed out for a long lunch in town, followed by pedicures, and a bit of shopping at local stores. I NEVER do this, so it was such a treat to spend a relaxing afternoon, sipping prosecco while we got foot massages and catching up on the last 6 months with a best friend. We ended the day on a high note, with more amazing burgers from Panzur. They are just so good. And, TimTheFarmer is developing a reputation as that guy who orders a burger with both pig belly AND bacon jam. #gobigorgohome


On Saturday, the kiddo and I woke up early and snuck out of the house to go take care of the pigs at the farm, as a treat for TimTheFarmer so he could sleep past 6 AM one day in 3 months. Two things to note here: the kiddo did ALL the work with the pigs #idontdopigs and he did so good! And, TimTheFarmer totally knew we were up to something, but he still pretended to be asleep and let us do this for him. #thankshoney


We decided to enjoy the beautiful day and go on a local hike I’d been hearing about. We had nothing (paleo) for lunch, so I quickly baked some almond flour rolls and we decided to have PB&Js at the top. Except, we all eat different kinds of nut butter and the rolls were still warm when we left the house, so we also packed up each of the nut butters (peanut, almond, and sun butters) into little containers as well as some homemade blueberry jam. I wish I had taken a picture of our nut butter sandwich bar on the top of the mountain – it was pretty ridiculous, but totally delicious!  I’d heard the hike up Stissing Mountain was a shortish, steep hike up to a fire tower, and they weren’t kidding about steep! Holy crow. We were huffing and puffing after the first 5 minutes. But, it was totally worth it! Once you climbed the rickety tower, you could see the entire Hudson Valley. 


Otis, the hipster from Brooklyn, enjoyed his first journey up a mountain and Taz hung in there like the short-legged champ that he is. And, Otis alternated between rolling in the leaves and dirt, and keeping his tush clean by sitting on my legs #weirdo.


That night we broke out the only store-bought eggs we buy each year and got busy dying eggs. We have a tradition in my family of decorating the eggs with crayons before we dye them. In addition to being cute, there’s a strategy here – after the egg hunt, we have an egg fight where you tap your eggs against each other. Often, the waxier the end, the better your chances are at winning fight.  



We’d asked the kiddo, who is now 13, if he still wanted to do an egg hunt. He totally played it cool, like “Whatever…”, but he finally admitted he’d wanted to do the hunt, so the eggs were hidden. It’s way more fun to watch kids try to collect eggs than I ever would have thought, particularly when they walk right past the most obvious ones over and over (and over and over). It might have actually been worse this year with a sleepy teenager trying to find the obvious eggs.

Post egg hunt, we did some serious meal prep, which included making these ridiculously absurd (but tasty) deviled chicks. 


My FIL joined us and we ate and had an egg fight and then ate some more. The kiddo made the “silver bullet” egg and it was the egg fight champion. It literally took down every other egg in the basket. 


We also revisited my thoughts on how my life is a country song, when ‘She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy’ come on Sonos. My friend and I agreed that men do, in fact, often look good on tractors and that that’s ok. Then, she made this statement, which is for sure a keeper.


All in all, we had a weekend that felt more like a weekend than one has in a long time. I loved spending time with friends and family! I hope your Easter weekend was fabulous as well!

{Friday Favorites} Crowdsourcing Design

Between a blogger milestone and a doggy confiscation, this has been a doozy of a week.

1. Isn’t That Grand? on Our Fifth House!


I was so excited to see Tuesday that Carmel had featured our Design Dilemma as part her new series! I’d submitted our kitchen lighting challenge more than a month ago and while I knew she was going to mention our pendant lights, I didn’t know when and I didn’t know she’d dedicate a whole post to it! The first thought that went through my mind when I saw her post was, “Oh crap. The most recent thing I published was about mayonnaise. None of her readers will ever come back.” I mean, I stand by my love of mayonnaise, but when an influential home design blogger links to you, it’s good to have something a little more topical on your homepage. Oh well, welcome to Isn’t That Grand? I’m Katie and I make mayonnaise. In addition to bringing new visitors, Carmel and her readers gave me some AMAZING ideas for our kitchen: where to put the lights, a chandelier over the table, a subway tile backsplash (which I’d been kicking around), and painting the soffit above the cabinets – brilliant! I love this design crowdsourcing and can’t wait to make some progress on the kitchen! A huge thanks to Carmel!

2. Otis is Home


We had a wild, insane, scary, heartbreaking incident with Otis this week. I’m still processing what happened and will do on a post on it soon. I’m not trying to be weird, I just don’t want to post about it until I’ve digested the whole thing. Otis is back with us now and is OUR forever dog. I’m putting this in my favorites because I’m grateful for people who do the right thing, for things working out the way they should, for my FIL being in the right place at the right time, and for an awesome dog who loves our family (even if he chewed up my ski sock).

3. Putting All our Eggs in One Basket


We’ve got eggs! As I mentioned Monday, we’ve been through a serious egg drought. While our chickens have been making themselves at home since we moved in, they haven’t been earning their keep. It is SO great to see our egg basket finally filling back up and I’ll be selling eggs at work again before long!

4. Vitamin D to the Rescue


I go back and forth about how much of my journey with chronic disease to share. For right now, I’ll say Vitamin D rocks. I’ve long been told to supplement with Vitamin D (often a deficiency for those with fibromyalgia), but I never knew when or how much. My current nutritionist required me to get blood panels (amazing that she’s the first person in 15 years to ask for them) and I wasn’t just deficient (most pasty-white Americans are a little, due to working indoors and sunscreen), I was massively deficient – like less than 50% of the acceptable baseline. I’ve been supplementing for about a month and trying to get a bit of non-sunscreen outdoor time each day, which is hard in the winter. And, it’s amazing how different I feel. I have lived with severe fatigue since I was 18. I power through it and people don’t usually see it. Lately, I’m not as exhausted all the time now and I don’t completely crash in the afternoons anymore. Yippee! I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’ll take any small win I can get.

5. Vintage Mason Jars


I picked up these mason jars at a garage sale this summer and have been trying to find the perfect use for them…I may have found it. I can’t wait to share this whole project with you next week!

I’m looking forward to some crossfit, orchard work, and downtime this weekend. Have a fabulous weekend friends!

He Ate A Glass Ornament

We are so excited to introduce the newest member of our family, Otis! 

Meet Otis

TimTheFarmer brought up the idea of getting the kiddo a dog for Christmas about a month ago. We’ve always talked about a second dog once we had a bigger house, but I still thought he was crazy with timing. I’m busy with work, he’s starting a new job (more on that later), and it’s winter – the thought of house training a dog in the snow sounded like a nightmare. It slowly started to appear that the El Niño predictions they’d made for this region were playing out as expected … 69 degrees and raining on Christmas?? Really?!? So, for the short term, the winter concerns weren’t really an issue. 


We debated adoption vs. finding the kind of dog we wanted (both of which we had very different opinions about) and agreed that we’d start looking, but wouldn’t rush it for Christmas. Then, I was scheduled to be in NYC for work two weekends ago and noticed on Facebook that Best Friends Animal Society was hosting a holiday adoption event when I was supposed to be there. My coworker and I took an earlier train to the city and went to check out to all the doggies. The Super Adoption event brought in shelters from around the greater NYC region and there were lots of dogs to meet. A former student of mine runs marketing for Best Friends and she immediately directed me towards Otis (formerly known as Christopher). I sent TimTheFarmer a few pics of Otis, a black lab mix who was super floppy, very lovable, and loved to play. We decided he was supposed to be ours.

Otis Kennel

Since I couldn’t take him home on the train with me, we worked out a plan to pick him up on Sunday in Brooklyn. During the week, I received some pictures and videos from the foster home where he was already living a with a pug #meanttobe?? This video is really what sold us on him.

TimTheFarmer told the kiddo he needed pick up something for work in Brooklyn and they headed to the city. Even as they walked into PetSmart, the kiddo had no idea that they were there for Otis. It wasn’t until TimTheFarmer asked if he wanted to take Otis home, that the kiddo learned the surprise. By all accounts, he was super surprised and excited – perfect! I got the following selfie-text which was the sweetest.


Taz and Otis got along immediately and have been alternately wrestling, napping, and humping since Otis arrived. 

OtisTaz OtisTaz1

The best part? We’d hoped Otis would really be the kiddo’s dog and they bonded instantly. They slept in the backseat the whole ride home and the kiddo is Otis’ favorite. He’s wild most of the day, but when the kiddo goes to bed, Otis climbs into bed with him and stays there all night #sosweet.


We’ve only had a few minor mishaps in the first 48 hours. Otis had to get used to country life and the fact that dogs pee outside around here – luckily he’s only had a couple accidents on the wood floor, but when he does, it literally sounds like a horse is peeing in our house. TMI? The other primary issue is that he likes to chew things all.the.time … which pretty much makes him a normal puppy … until you leave him at home for the first time for two hours and you come home a half chewed glass ornament. WTF?? I couldn’t believe we me might already have a huge vet bill within 18 hours of bringing him home. I consulted the vet (who’s not even Otis’ vet yet) and they said to feed him lots of bread and keep an eye on him. He also ate Paddington’s legs off, which may have helped cushion the glass in his tummy, because he seems fine. 


So, welcome to the family Otis! It totally feels like you were supposed to be ours. No more glass ornaments though, please.

P.S. Using my dog breed expertise (which would also decide that my puggle (pug-beagle mix) is actually a mini boxer, which is totally a breed), I have concluded that Otis is a mix of black lab and great dane and maybe something else. The adoption sheet says chow chow, but once I looked up what the heck that is, I decided they must have been smoking something. Originally we thought pit bull, but when you study him, you’ll notice a huge head that looks like a great dane, giant paws, a very long skinny tale, a slopey backside with his hips lower than shoulders, and super narrow shoulders/hips. He also walks like a horse, which I associate with great danes. He’s not huge, luckily, but is lanky enough to stand with Taz completely underneath him, which I hope to capture on camera soon. Just in case you wondering what kind of dog I think he is. 🙂