The Airbnb Traveler's Guide to the Galaxy (...or at least Planet Earth)

My husband, Tyler, and I have been Airbnb hosts for almost three years. We’ve been traveling (almost exclusively) using Airbnb for five years. If I had to guess, I’d bet we’ve stayed in around 40 Airbnbs in about 10 countries & 8 states. We’ve been through the process of choosing where in big cities to stay, going through the booking, actually locating the (sometimes tucked away) apartments, and cohabiting the same space with strangers. 

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four days in paris

Disclaimers aside, I will say, we did a damn fine job milking Paris for all we could in a few short days. From a history rich bike tour to hidden gems right near our Airbnb in le Marais ... we loved Paris. Maybe it was my new camera lens (50mm) or maybe Paris is particularly photogenic, but I was pleased with the shots I got just wandering around! The levels of the roof tops, the textures of stone and metal and wood meeting cobblestones and planter boxes. The overcast white skies. The quintessential quaintness of it all! 

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burnt cauliflower soup with pomegranate and browned butter

I crave veggies all winter long.

Our bodies need the nutrients from veggies to build up our immunity during cold months. This burnt veggie soup is basically a pro-tip for how to get tons of veggies in every spoonful, in a sneaky delicious way. I almost want to call this February Soup because it's perfect for this time of flu/cold season. 

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top ten favorite cookbooks for a seasonal kitchen

I'm a cookbook junkie. Phew, got that off my chest. I can't get enough of them. Tyler knows to scout ahead inside any boutiques or kitchen shops to divert my course away from any cookbook displays. I'm such a sucker for a full page spread of pretty photography - especially when it makes my mouth water! 

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winter roots + radicchio hash with citrus tahini vinaigrette

January: the time of year where you renew your commitment to eating healthy while simultaneously covering your body in thick coats, wrapped scarfs, and boots. It can be tricky to stay away from indulging during the cold season! I'd love to see the stats on my hot cocoa and latte purchases over the last month. 

Thankfully, this is also a time of year where roots, kept warm in the ground are fresh and flavorful.  I have a hard time eating single serving of veggies (raw or cooked), but I can't stop loving on a mixture of vegetables with grains, fruits, and tasty dressing on top. Thereby, this little guy was born. This recipe is as versatile as your farmers market. I'll include flavor pair substitutions in case you'd like to mix it up.  

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treehouse freehouse gift guide 2017

Over the last year, I've made a point to find products and brands that promote creativity over consumerism, encourage me to slow down and simplify rather than accrue more clutter, and enable me to feel I've made intentional choices rather than swept up by circumstances. 

Until recently, I would have turned to bigger stores for my gift giving. They offer plenty of diverting and lovely things to give, however, since discovering the world of small and simple, handmade and homegrown businesses and makers, I've reworked my opinions and tastes on what makes a thoughtful gift. 

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bergen wander guide

Bergen felt a bit like walking through a painting; colors, textures, layers - not a finished work, but rather, perpetually in process. 

While we only romped around this fjord town for a few days, we managed to see a good bit. According to a friend at college here, "there isn't much to see anyways." He was wrong, of course, but I find that attitude in many places I visit! Once a Japanese man informed me that the green mountains of the Kiso Valley were "only mundane, for we see it always." 

As someone who was merely passing through, however, I found Bergen to be a soul searching city. One that enables you to slow down just enough to ask yourself if you really are on the path of life you want to be.

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winter night in a norwegian cabin

Top 5. Maybe even Top 3. Not that I keep an actual list... I just need you to understand that this experience was one of the best in my entire life. Get ready exclamation point... you're about to put in some serious work! 

I can't remember the last time we stayed in a real hotel. It's been so long in fact, that hotel booking websites stress me out. We always book our stays through Airbnb - and we haven't regretted it once. Most of the time, we walk away with even better stories to tell. (quick plug: click here to use our first timer discount and get $40 off your first trip! Just click and register and they'll keep it saved for you - even if you don't have a trip in mind right right now.)

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spicing it up: gneiss spice + radicle herbs (GIVEAWAY!)

Gneiss Spice has graciously offered to give one set of 24 small magnetic jars and one 10 X 12 inch magnetic wall plate to one of our Treehouse Freehouse readers. To enter the Gneiss Spice Giveaway, please comment on my giveaway post on instagram @treehousefreehouse. If you do not have instagram, and would like to enter this giveaway, please send me an email. Winner will be randomly selected from all instagram and email entries on Wednesday December 6th!

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blue hill farm

About a month ago, while on a drive north of nyc, we decided to stop by Blue Hill Farms at the Stone Barn! I'm prone to salivation induced by moar garden and greenhouse spaces... but Blue Hill is next level. Needless to say, it was all I could do to stay socially appropriate in public while walking around their barns, greenhouses, and animal pastures. 

For those who haven't heard of this place... "Blue Hill" could refer to two restaurants (this one we drove by at in a stone barn, and another near Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, Manhattan) and the associated farm that these restaurants source most of their food from. They make the "farm to table" transition flawless by growing and providing most of the food that is served in their restaurants, here on their farm. Blue Hill is a model for smart farming practices and earth friendly business models. They rightfully have earned their place as one of the top rated restaurants in the world. 

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herb drying

The process of drying herbs is quite straightforward, so this post will be too. This was my first attempt at drying my own herbs, and I learned a lot and thought I'd pass it along to you! Late fall/early winter is a somewhat awkward time for a gardener. I keep checking the weather trying to decide when to migrate my children in from frost's nasty bite. But then, nyc decides to have weird heat flashes and bouts with 80 degrees. My little terrace garden is still blooming - I picked tomatoes just yesterday. 

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apples from upstate

My sister + brother in law and Ty and I drove up north last weekend for some apple picking adventures. We didn't get the brisk fall sweater weather I'd imagined - instead, it was 90 degrees and sweltering. We went to Outhouse Orchards near North Salem, NY. They had a nice set up with a cute barn with LOTS of pretty veggies to pick from, apple cider, pies, and gourds, galore! We picked a gigantic bag of apples for about $35. I'm using the verb "picked" very loosely here. We spent many hours just sitting under the shade of the trees, hiding from the heat. At the rate of one apple every 10 minutes, we slothfully (and sweatily) filled our bag. 

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rooftop farm at the brooklyn grange

This rooftop farm spans over 3 buildings' rooftops in Brooklyn. The farm roof we went to hosted greenhouses, a chicken coop, apiaries, a farmers market, huge composting operation, and a farmer's market stand with the seasonal haul. We walked around on a short tour that answered many questions, but left me with so many more! I'm fascinated by the whole operation and hungry to take more classes and get my hands *literally* dirty.

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marrying home design styles in a marriage (for any one who lives together)

It seems like it would be as natural as your love, but combining two individuals different styles and unique tastes into one home is often times more like an arranged marriage. However, no one wants their stuff to feel like it has to co exist; merely tolerating the other persons' things, just hoping one day love will happen! How can we make certain our homes represent the best combination of “us” in their style and design? 

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turning over a green leaf

I am a part of this privileged and entitled group - I'll own it. I didn’t grow up in a home where we recycled. I don’t even remember seeing recycling in my school until we moved to Austin, TX for high school. I have not been one to care about what packaging surrounds a product, let alone what that packaging is made of. I buy what I buy, with no thought to where it was sourced, how it was produced, how the workers involved were treated, how/if animals were involved or what lasting implications this product's plastic packaging may have on Mama Earth. Historically, I have been a very UNonscious consumer. 

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nyc local guide: dumbo, brooklyn

Maybe the most picturesque part of NYC (I should know, I carry a camera everywhere I go ;), is DUMBO on the water's edge in Brooklyn. "DUMBO," an acronym for "down under the manhattan bridge overpass," is a tiny area of Brooklyn between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Flanked by these two giants, and facing the entire skyline of Manhattan, DUMBO is home to some of the best businesses, shopping, and events in Brooklyn. 

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japan: nakasendo trail five day hiking guide

I've organized this by days of the hike, including distances traveled and places stayed. I also included things we learned in Japan, budgeting for this hike, best foods, and mistakes we made at the end of this post. Enjoy! Buckle up, this will be quite the ride. Without further ado.... THE NAKASENDO HIKING GUIDE

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hiking through japan's ancient roads

Always looking for the next adventure, but especially the next HIKE! Tyler and I have a goal to make one long hike a year (long is defined as five or more days.) So far we’re three years strong. I learned pretty quickly that the ancient Tokaido has been covered by highways. However, I discovered another hike through central Japan in the mountains called: Nakasendo (aka: the central mountain road) go figure. 

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brooklyn botanical garden + some amazing news!

My sister, Alyssa, and her husband Jackson, are moving to New York City! This is a dream come true. I can't count the number of times in the last few years, since moving to NYC, that I either silently or out loud wished that I could have a sister near. This solves practically the only problem I have with New York! (now if I can get a decent mountain to snowboard on, I'll never leave!!!) 

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