July 18, 2017

Summer Adventures

Halpin covered bridge near Middlebury VT
Hello! Our summer has been going great and I hope yours has too. So far, we have spent a couple of weeks in the mountains and plan to spend a few more before the summer ends. Today I thought I would share a few of the pictures I have taken so far this year. I have talked before (repeatedly) about my love of the loons and I was excited (and lucky) to get this shot on Schroon Lake one afternoon. The call of the loon is definitely one of my favorite sounds.
Loon with wings spread on Schroon Lake, NY
And here are two more of my favorites- Matthew and Dax at the lake.
Boy and golden retriever in lake
There is a Hobie Cat Regatta on Schroon Lake each June and it is so pretty to see the colorful sails on the lake.
A stop at Split Rock Falls just off Rte. 9 in Elizabethtown, NY is always fun. This day was overcast so we were the only ones there. The sound is amazing and standing next to the edge always ignites my fear of heights, but in a good way. It can be a dangerous area for sure.
Split Rock Falls in Elizabethtown, NY
Split Rock Falls in Elizabethtown, NY
Billy and I enjoy taking rides in the Jeep after dinner to chase the sunset. Here are a couple of pictures I took along the way.
Sunset over Hoffman Road in Schroon Lake, NY
Sunset overlooking Schroon Lake in NY's Adirondack Mountains
The Strand is the small movie theatre in the center of town that plays one movie all week at 8pm with a few special events throughout the summer. Just another thing that adds to the charm of Schroon Lake.
The Strand movie theatre in downtown Schroon Lake, NY
We also enjoyed a few more day trips to Vermont. We visited two covered bridges. The first is in Waitsfield and crosses the Mad River.
Covered Bridge in Waitsfield, VT
The second is the Halpin covered bridge near Middlebury.
Halpin Covered Bridge near Middlebury, VT
I love seeing the Adirondacks from Vermont. I think they have the best view.
Adirondack Mountains from Vermont
We enjoy exploring around the backroads of Vermont. You just never know what beautiful view is around the bend.
Family rides in the Jeep with the top and doors off adds to the adventure.
Our oldest boy will be going away to college this fall and oh, my heart!!
I am trying to remain positive but it is downright hard to see him go. I remind myself repeatedly that our job is both to provide roots AND wings. The wings part is just so dang difficult! We are all holding onto him a little tighter this summer.
We are home in NJ this week getting things done. Like college dorm shopping. And we also have our middle son taking driving lessons to get his permit. Time marches on. I hope you have enjoyed a peek of our summer adventures. I am just realizing that I never shared our summer family room so I will try to get that post done this week too. Happy Summer!

June 8, 2017

Hello & A Bit of Summer Decor

Farmhouse style summer home tour with Ikea hack coffee table and Birch Lane Montgomery sofa
Hello friends! How are you? I can't believe how quickly summer is approaching. My kids finish school next week and I am looking forward to the slower pace that will bring. It's also hard to believe that we still haven't swam in our pool yet this year. It has been chilly and summer is taking its sweet time arriving here in NJ. I do see some warmer temperatures in the forecast which I am looking forward to. Time to turn that pool heater on. I have a stack of summer books just waiting to be read by the pool.
Summer kitchen window with farmhouse sink
There have been a few life events that are ongoing and have been keeping me busy and away from blogging. My mom's husband fell and broke his newly replaced hip. They live a little over an hour away from us so there has been lots of traveling to help them out. Since my mom's stroke, she no longer drives. His recovery will be a long road to say the least. We also had to say goodbye to a beloved family member, Billy's grandmother. May was a trying month to say the least.
Peonies in summer home tour
I always find that when life gets tough, it is best to focus on the small things. Like the blooming peonies that fill my home with their beautiful scent. Something about their smell reminds me of my own grandmother and a time gone by. Most flowers don't seem to smell like they used to, especially the store bought varieties. But the peonies never disappoint.
Peonies in summer home tour
Billy and I took a drive to upstate NY to escape the craziness on a quiet Tuesday. We visited the town of Hudson, NY specifically to check out a store called Les Indiennes. I had spotted a throw pillow I loved in Holly Mathis' home in Country Living magazine and when I checked out the source, it turned out there was an outlet right in Hudson.
Downtown Hudson, NY
It was a delightful shop and I picked up a few pillow covers. I love the prints and the details like the side ties. I will definitely be stopping back at that store again.
Les Indiennes throw pillow in summer home tour
Les Indiennes throw pillow in summer home tour
Summer kitchen with Les Indiennes throw pillows and Birch Lane Montgomery Sofa
Farmhouse style summer home tour with Ikea hack coffee table and Birch Lane Montgomery sofa
Famhouse sink in summer home tour
There is nothing like time with my boys to feed my soul. Here we are all together on Mother's Day.
We also spent Mother's Day with my mom. We enjoyed brunch at my brother's house and then visited her husband in the hospital. I love this picture of her and my youngest. They are planning to visit Paris someday together. :)
May is also a big birthday month in our house. Dax tried to steal some of my birthday cake before we could even cut it. I think that this picture is a very accurate representation of my life at 43.
And my oldest turned 19. Wow, 19!!!
And finally, a cute picture of a freckled Dax, wet from a very chilly dip in the pool.
I hope your summer is off to a great start!

May 8, 2017

Dining Room Update {New Light}

Millennium Lighting 5 light pendant in famhouse style dining room
Hello and Happy Monday! Today I am excited to share a recent change we made at our house. We decided to give our dining room a bit of an update with a new light to bring things more up to date. Our old chandelier was small for this room and it began to bother me more and more. We had chosen it when our rooms were set up differently. You might remember that we switched our dining area and living room area around last fall. Now that we have decided that having the bigger table for eating works much better for our family, we decided to make a more permanent change. After much debate, we decided on the  (affiliate link) 5 light  pendant by Millennium Lighting.
Millennium Lighting 5 light pendant in famhouse style dining room
We also added a new chalkboard (from Hobby Lobby). My original plan was to put the chalkboard on the mantel. But because I had a "duh" moment, I never actually measured to see if it would fit. So on the wall next to the fireplace it went!
Dining room chalkboard with shiplap wall
Millennium Lighting 5 light pendant in farmhouse style dining room
DIY faux fireplace with stacked wood and tobacco basket mantel decor
I am so excited to have my first bouquet of peonies for the season. Their scent fills the room so beautifully,
Fresh peonies from the garden in chicken wire basket in farmhouse style dining room
Millennium Lighting 5 light pendant in farmhouse style dining room
Chalk painted farmhouse style hutch in dining room with dairy sign
Rae Dunn bowls in farmhouse style dining room
DIY faux fireplace with stacked wood in farmhouse style dining room
Millennium Lighting 5 light pendant in famhouse style dining room
It always amazes me how one change in a room can change the whole feel of the space. Have you made any changes that made a bigger impact than you thought?

April 24, 2017

Spring Patio Refresh

Spring covered patio refresh with porch swing and potted ferns
When the first warm days of spring arrive, I can't wait to get outside and prepare a space to enjoy all of that fresh air I have been craving. I usually begin with our covered patio. When BJ's® Wholesale Club asked if I would like to use some of their items to refresh my space for spring, I jumped at the opportunity.
Shopping at BJ's for spring patio refresh
My husband and I headed to our local BJ's and had fun perusing the outdoor decor/furniture aisles. We appreciate shopping in stores where we can grab some new outdoor decor AND pick up the milk and orange juice that we always seem to need with 3 growing boys in our house. I was especially glad to have him along because he helped me haul the big new rug that we selected. We decided to start our refresh with an outdoor rug. Our old concrete patio has acquired a few cracks and this rug really helps to camouflage that.
Spring covered patio refresh with porch swing, outdoor rug and potted ferns
I like the texture it adds with the natural colors. I enjoy how it really dresses up the space and makes it feel more cozy - more like an outdoor room than a patio. I think our sweet pup, Dax, agrees and has found a new outdoor napping spot. :)
Golden retriever on patio with indoor/outdoor rug
We also picked up some new planters. I love the look of the stone on these planters.
Potted fern in faux stone planter in Spring Patio Refresh
They add such great color and texture to this area. I added a couple of potted ferns by simply plopping them into the new planters. So easy! The beige "knitted" look planter is also a new find from BJ's. It reminds me of a cozy knit sweater. Just perfect to help cozy up our patio.
Potted fern in faux stone planter in Spring Patio Refresh
Potted fern in faux stone planter in Spring Patio Refresh
I also grabbed the striped bag to add another pattern to the space. We are always on-the-go at time of year so this bag will certainly be put to good use this spring.
Spring patio refresh with porch swing and covered patio
I kept a majority of the area open and uncluttered because with 3 boys and 2 dogs, there is a great deal of activity happening in this space each day.
Spring gardening tools for potting
I love to garden so new clippers are a must each year. These are such a pretty mint green color and they came in a package all together. I am so looking forward to peony season and cutting my own bouquets to bring indoors. And let's not forget about the lilacs. I think I can smell them already.
White Adirondack chairs with spring items under covered patio
Golden retriever on patio with indoor/outdoor rug
There is nothing quite like the new beginnings that spring always brings. And now, if you'll excuse me, I am going to head on out to our "new" covered patio and relax for a few minutes with the pups. Happy spring!

Disclosure: BJ's® Wholesale Club provided items for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.