November 14, 2017

Favorite Things 2017

Hello friends! Today I am excited to be joining Melissa from 320 Sycamore for her annual Favorite Things bloghop. I always enjoy reading these posts from other bloggers but this is my very first time putting one together myself. I hope you enjoy it and maybe get an idea for a gift - for someone special on your list or even yourself!

*Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Favorite Kitchen Tool:

Le Creuset Buffet Casserole with Glass Lid
I originally bought this right before last Christmas to use to serve a potato hash for our Christmas brunch. But I have consistently used this buffet casserole/pot several times a week throughout the entire year. It is so versatile because it goes from stove top to oven to table. The glass lid is even oven safe to 400 degrees. I love this pot so much that I am adding it to my Christmas list for this year in another color. The hardest part is choosing a color!

Find the pot HERE


Favorite Bath Item:

Taking a bath each evening is something I especially enjoy at this time of year when the days are so chilly. I like to read in the tub and this stainless steel rack holds both my book (or iPad) and soap. I even light a candle that I keep on the tray. Aaaahhh...relaxation. Is it bath time yet?

Find the bath tray HERE

Favorite Clothing:

L.L. Bean Cozy Pullover
I love a comfy sweatshirt and this L.L. Bean sweatshirt is the coziest. It isn't oversized and sloppy like may sweatshirts can be, so I feel put together when I wear it. I especially love the collar and the length. It is long enough to comfortably wear with leggings. Add a pair of Ugg boots with a vest and this is my winter uniform. A big bonus - it's on sale this week! I have the Spruce Green.

Find the pullover HERE

Favorite Snack:

Hanging by the fire with my guys is my favorite pastime at this time of year. Add a good cup of coffee and a couple of cookies and I am a happy lady.The warm and cozy mug is a recent find from Target. My husband gave me a package of these socks for Christmas last year and they fast became my go-to socks. Cookie of choice this time of year? Pepperidge Farms Peppermint Milano slices. Have you tried them? Yum!

Find the mug HERE, socks HERE

Favorite Beauty Items:

I read a few glowing recommendations for this very affordable mascara before I bought it a couple of months ago and just had to try it out. It is now my go-to mascara everyday. It makes my lashes thick and defined and comes off easily with makeup remover wipes in the evening. 

Curling Iron - Babyliss Pro 1 1/2 inch
I have been using this large curling iron for most of this year and I love the casual waves adds to my long hair. It heats up quickly and has a heat setting so you don't damage your hair.

Favorite Book:

My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
I enjoy reading both memoirs and cookbooks and when you add the two together, I am a happy reader. This book follows Ruth Reichl, the former editor of Gourmet magazine, through an uncertain year in her life after losing her job. Her descriptions of food and stories, together with fabulous recipes, have made this a cookbook I reach for over and over.

Find this book HERE

Favorite Pet Item:

Dog Collar - RC Pets 1 1/2 inch All Webbing Collar
Of course I had to include a pet item in my favorite's list! It's probably not surprising that I enjoy changing my dog's collars with the seasons. Dax's current buffalo plaid collar is my favorite collar ever. It is a red plaid with a deer motif and I love that it is wide enough to be seen - even with all of that Golden Retriever fur. Dax is wearing a size Large in Urban Woodsman. So many cute patterns to choose from!


Next stop on the tour is Katie at Little House of Four. I can't wait to see what her favorite things are. Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you got an idea or two. I am busy decorating our home for Christmas and am looking forward to sharing that soon!

November 9, 2017

Late Fall Mantel with a Metal Photo Print

It seems I always get an itch to fit in a couple of projects in our home in the fall before ALL THAT Christmas decor takes over. I enjoy putting away all of the fall decor and letting our home breathe a bit for a couple of weeks before decorating for the holidays. But I just can't leave our fireplace mantel empty so I added a new Metal Print that I recently received from Nations Photo Lab. It is an image of a barn in Keene, NY that I took shortly before it was knocked down. It was a sad day when I learned that this iconic barn would be removed due to safety concerns. So I am happy to have this print to remember it by. It is printed on metal and I love the mix of textures with the stone on our fireplace. I adore the cozy vibe it adds to our family room as we hunker down and welcome the colder weather.
As a side note, I woke up with a sudden urge to paint our family room mantel a couple of weeks ago. I have always loved our wood mantel and never even debated whether to paint it. And then all of a sudden, it felt like the only choice. And so the dark wood mantel became white. It really ties everything together with all of the other white trim in the room and I am loving the change. My kids say nothing is safe from a coat of paint in our home and they are right! :)
I had never seen a metal print before and I am amazed by how vibrant and sharp the colors appear. I am always a fan of new ways to add photos from our family adventures to our home and this metal print is "above the mantel worthy".
 Now I am cant wait to order some of our other favorite pictures printed on metal for our gallery walls.
If you're looking for a new way to display some of your favorite pictures, I recommend checking out metal prints. They would be a great idea for a holiday gift too. I am enjoying this new look as I sit by the fire and make plans for our holiday decor.

*This post is sponsored by Nations Photo Lab but, as always, all thought and opinions are my own.

November 2, 2017

Autumn in Vermont 2017

Hello friends and Happy November. Today is the day that everything magically turns to Christmas in blogland. Ha! Not ready for that yet so I thought I would pop in to share some pictures of a recent quick trip we took to Vermont.  It has been an odd fall foliage wise, for sure. But the tradeoff has been some amazing warm temperatures throughout September and October so I am not complaining. On this trip, we visited southern Vermont, an area that is farther to reach from our cabin in the Adirondacks. Billy and I escaped for a couple of days with Dax. We had a blast.
Ever since I first saw a picture of Sleepy Hollow Farm in Woodstock on Pinterest a few years back, I knew I had to experience it for myself. It certainly did not disappoint. It's definitely the stuff Vermont dreams are made of. I read stories of traffic jams and rude people during peak fall season on the road above the farm on the internet. Fortunately, it was just us, as the foliage was past peak. Dax and I spent a few minutes dreaming about what it would be like to live in this setting.
Quite frankly, this area is a bit too upscale for our taste to live in but it was a lovely place to visit. We also came across a covered bridge in Weathersfield that made up for all of the lackluster leaf color.
We headed down to the river's edge and Dax was itching to take a swim.
We stopped for lunch in the village of Grafton.  This quintessential general store is oozing with charm and, more importantly, the people there were friendly and kind. That hasn't been the case in a couple of other general stores we have stopped in. Vermont isn't always so welcoming to us flatlanders, but Grafton made us feel right at home.

 This village had me at their library. Seriously, can you imagine this being your local library??
 I have always dreamed of visiting Vermont in the fall and we will definitely be back next year. Thanks for living up to all the hype, Vermont! We will see you soon.

October 2, 2017

Fall Dining and Living Room

Happy October! Today I am sharing the rest of the fall decor in our home. I already shared our kitchen and family room and now we are in the dining/living area of our open floor plan home.
This gallery wall with hooks and wire basket serves as a landing spot for many items in our home. Please excuse the scuff marks on the stairs and the stickers on my son's door at the end of the hallway. Confession - a couple of years ago I would have photoshopped those things out - but I am so over that level of perfection. A real family does live here :)
This stairway truly is grand central station in our home so I enjoy having it display items that reflect all of us as a family.
I made the pallet sign that is hanging over the faux fireplace a few years back and added some Target Dollar Spot pumpkins to complete the mantel. 
I am loving the small $1 pumpkins - thank you, Target! My husband, Billy, just shook his head when I loaded up the entire front section of my red cart with them. They were an easy and cheap affordable way to update my fall decor with their light colors. I had to add in a few orange pumpkins though because I just can't do all neutrals for fall. For me, fall is all about the golden light and warm colors.
 I am never quite sure what to call this sitting area just off of our kitchen. It is technically the dining room but we have flip-flopped dining and living rooms because a formal living room just didn't fit in with our family's lifestyle. My kids often sit on this sofa with their computers while I am in the kitchen.
These DIY-ed open shelves separate the living and dining areas. We have a sort of coffee bar set up in this location that serves us well.
The big Autumn wreath has found a spot in our front window for at least the last 5 years.
More Dollar Spot pumpkins and dried hydrangea from our yard make up our dining table centerpiece.
The "thankful" runner is yet another Dollar Spot find.
Thanks for visiting our Autumn home! 

September 29, 2017

Our Fall Kitchen

Happy Friday! I am thrilled that we will be experiencing some cooler fall temperatures this weekend. I always find myself contentedly back in my kitchen at this time of year. Adding in some warm colors with the gorgeous syrupy golden light that fills this space in fall makes my heart sing.
The triple windows over our farm sink are probably my favorite part of our home. I enjoy adding a new dish towel or two and even using dish towels as curtains, as I did this year. These are small purchases that go a long way in changing up this space.
Because I enjoy cooking, this is a working kitchen. Not a showplace kitchen. I have come to learn that you can either have a pristine kitchen that is worthy of a magazine spread...or a messy kitchen that nurtures a family. I whole heartedly choose the latter. 
Another new addition to my fall kitchen is a cast iron pumpkin pot. I have had my eye on the Staub version of this pot for years at Williams Sonoma but could never bring myself to pay the hefty price tag. I was thrilled to find a similar pot at Christmas Tree Shops for a fraction of the price. I will proudly display in on the range throughout the fall.
 For me, it's all about the little touches that make a house feel like home.
I am so glad you stopped by to see my fall kitchen. My last fall decor post will include the dining room and living space on this level of our home.