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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!



We Need Your Votes!

Click HERE to VOTE!!

**Update: we just discovered you can vote for ALL our pictures. So, vote away! Links by the photos below**

It’s time to rally the troops! You could either call my family and me super cool or super nerdy. Probably super nerdy. Steamboat Resort posted a photo contest this winter calling for “Then and Now” photos. We have a treasure trove of “Then” photos from the last 30 years of skiing at Steamboat, so over this winter (including while I was home in February) we recreated some of our favorites. And, drumroll….we were finalists in 3 of the months. Which meant we won these sweet swag packs:

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This also means we we’re all finalists for the grand prize – a 15 day ski pass – wahoo!! This is where the nerdy part comes in – our family makes up 3 of the 10 finalists. Here’s where you guys come in – this is a popularity contest, so we need you’re votes!! The trick here is not to pull a Ralph Nader and split the votes. We’re rallying all our peeps behind a single picture. I’ve made you a handy dandy map to help you vote. We’ve chosen this photo of my cousin John and me skiing the trees when we were little.  You can vote once per day until May 15th. **VOTE EARLY AND VOTE OFTEN!!** And feel free to encourage your friends too 🙂 I know, I know. It’s not like you have anything else to do…don’t worry, I’ll remind you.

Click HERE to VOTE!!

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Here are all the photos we submitted with their stories:

This was my submission. This is my sister and I giving some ‘tude at the top of Buddy’s Run after lunch. Notice the pink ski suit and pink goggles. My friend Carol and I recreated this in February. Vote here (after you voted for the primary one) for this photo.

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This is THE future winner, we know it. My mom submitted this classic photo of my cousin John and I taking a break in Shadows, a tree run through an aspen glade for which Steamboat is famous. We were six or seven years old in this picture. I also got chicken pox on this ski trip. #justsoyouknow Carol and I also recreated this in February. See the pink suit and goggles on me this time??

Click HERE to VOTE!!

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This is my stepdad, Larry’s submission and is him and my sister on a chairlift. It seems my sister had a thing for sticking her tongue out. We ALWAYS ski with M&Ms. It’s the only time we had candy in the house. But, we didn’t always put the M&Ms in our nose. Not sure what that’s about, but it’s a funny pic. Pink ski suit and goggles are back on my sister. #thriftyfamily Also, is that a prehistoric selfie?? Support M&Ms in noses here.

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And, this is the picture my sister submitted that we were SURE was going to win the grand prize. And then, it didn’t even get chosen as a finalist. What the heck Steamboat?! It’s my mom teaching me to ski when I was 3 or 4 and 30 years later, teaching my nephew, Benjamin to ski. IN THE SAME SKI SUIT.  

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Ok guys. Go do your civic duty and VOTE!!! 



{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.