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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osaka wander guide + a little travel advice wander

Our time in Osaka was short - only two days before we moved on to Kyoto and then our Nakasendo hike through Kiso Valley (local guides to come!). In just a few days however, we had a series of stressful situations that taught us a thing or two! Yet somehow, between all that, we managed to see a lot of this amazing city! 

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oahu hawaii wander guide

I can’t wait to go back to Oahu. Maybe it’s the reality of being on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but there’s something powerful about Oahu. As someone who only has a little experience with the Hawaiian Islands, I’m not the most qualified to recommend spots to see and places to eat, but this is a list I hope to develop and add to as I return to Oahu (and hopefully the rest of the Islands) many more times! 

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hawaii not come here sooner? (plus a video!)

A week in Hawaii and I’m proud to say I went paddle boarding and ate at food trucks every single day! Tyler’s dad, Rick was our amazing host while we beach bummed around. It was the perfect mix of family, sun, salt, and and long drives. We stayed on the North Shore of Oahu and for the most part spent our days between paddle boarding and sitting on the beach

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