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Four Reasons to Visit Schenectady County this Summer

Have you taken a ride to Schenectady County lately? While we made a day trip this past winter, there’s something special about this area in the summer - the patios come alive downtown, the window boxes in the Stockade District overflow with flowers, and the summer breeze flows through the open doors and windows of shops and galleries. With a few months left before the snow flies (ah!), here are four reasons to visit this summer and fall (along with some of our favorites along the way!):

Schenectady County NY Travel Guide

One - The History and Charm

Stockade District Schenectady NY

Stockade Historic District: A gem of the city proper, the Stockade Historic District is a favorite of ours and reminds us just a bit of strolls through Charleston or Savannah. The beautiful architecture, the perfectly planted window boxes, the brick walkways, and the streets lined with American flags had me smitten. We loved taking a peek at the plaques on the homes as we walked through, with some homes dating back to the 1700’s. On our list for next time: one of the walking tours of the neighborhood offered through the Schenectady County Historical Society - Tom has his eye on the beer tour, and I’m all about the Stockade Walkabout where you can tour inside the homes!

Mabee Farm: You know we can’t resist a good ol’ barn, and Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam Junction was first on our list. From the 1760’s barn to the riverside historic home, and of course, the flower garden, this is a must for a tour, a picnic, or just a stroll on the grounds! We’re pretty tempted to head back down for their Fall Festival and their Farm to Fork Dinner in October - can only imagine how pretty it is here in the fall!

Two - The Breweries

We’ve heard so much about the awesome breweries popping up in Schenectady County and we couldn’t wait to check them out. We stopped by two of the six on their list, and we can’t wait to get back down to check off a couple more (and if you go, it might be worth it to get a Passport for a flight at each!).

Wolf Hollow Brewing Company | West Glenville: First up, Wolf Hollow. Outdoor patio - check. Adirondack chairs around a fire pit - check. Green space with lawn games - check. A fun atmosphere and great beer to boot (we tried their lemon lime sour - perfection!). Bonus points for their proximity to Riverside Maple Farms for some post-drink sweets!

Great Flats Brewing | Schenectady: Next up, Great Flats. Again, awesome atmosphere with garage doors that open to the street, super friendly people (thanks for the dinner recommendation, Harry!), and fantastic beer. Two thumbs up from Tom on their Skip Day IPA, and the Pink Guava Sour was like a little bit of summer in a glass. Can’t wait to head back soon to beat Tom in ping pong :)

Three - Sweets + Eats

Storied Coffee | Scotia: Our first stop of the day, Storied Coffee in Scotia was the perfect intro to a day in Schenectady County. We grabbed a table by the window in their beautiful, sunny space, enjoyed a cup of coffee and devoured a banana muffin and blueberry scone. We loved that they support other small business owners with their curated shop corner, and that they partner with local favorites Kru Coffee and Rock Hill Bakehouse, too!

Jumpin’ Jacks | Scotia: A staple in Schenectady County, we couldn’t pass through without a pit stop for lunch at the classic roadside drive in, Jumpin’ Jacks. We got a kick out of listening to the regulars joking around with the staff while in line, and if you’re looking for something classic, quick, and fried, this will definitely hit the spot.

Riverside Maple Farms | Glenville: Turns out Maple Season is all year in Schenectady County! We were thrilled to stumble upon Riverside Maple after leaving Wolf Hollow Brewing (and turns out there will be a wooded trail connecting the two very soon!). After a quick tasting, we made a bee line for the soft serve machine and left with one dish of maple ice cream and two spoons. I’m not entirely sure how we made it out of the gift shop without the maple kettle corn and maple cotton candy, but there’s always next time!

Malcolm’s | Schenectady: Run, do not walk, to Malcolm’s. We initially planned on just popping in for a drink after seeing their charming exterior, but once we saw the menu (and experienced the gorgeous and oh so friendly atmosphere inside!), we couldn’t resist staying for just a few bites. We started with the honey roasted carrots, which were fabulous, and we had to try the Elote after seeing it at another table - grilled corn with roasted garlic aioli and pecorino cheese - so, so good. Chef Justin Feliciano outdid himself, and scored bonus points for his celery ice cream. That’s right - CELERY ice cream. Not necessarily something I thought I’d like, but we loved it. Can’t wait to try more of their menu very soon!

Malcolm's Restaurant Schenectady

Four - The Shopping

Shopping was not necessarily on my radar this trip, but after stumbling upon both of these stores, let’s just say it shot up to the top of my list for next time!

Bluebird Home + Gift | Schenectady: Perfectly styled and curated, I knew we were going to be here a while the second we walked in. Bluebird is stocked with the most gorgeous home goods as well as an amazing selection of vintage - including vintage Persian rugs! Yes, please! I’m following along with them on Instagram now and am already tempted to head back down - we’re new regulars, for sure.

B.Inspired | Scotia: Just across the street from Storied Coffee, we were so happy to see the open sign pop up just as we finished our muffin. I wanted one of each as soon as we stepped in the door, from the woven seagrass drinkware, to the gorgeous pillows and textiles, to the perfectly distressed clay planters. Another perfect spot to shop for gifts, or to send your husband to shop for your gifts ;)

Until next time, Schenectady! And with all of the gems we discovered, next time will be sooner than later!

Schenectady Travel Guide Things to Do

*This post is in partnership with our friends at Discover Schenectady. We were so thrilled for the opportunity to share this charming area with you!

Summer of Pie: Strawberry Rhubarb

When it comes to dessert, there’s nothing I love more than a good pie. As a kid, my grandmother would make a chocolate cream pie that I would eat as slowly as possible, willing it to last forever. My dad shares my love for pie in a big way, and it’s been fun to drop him off slices over the last few years as I’ve tried different recipes.

Anyway, you get the point - we love pie around here. And so, I’m declaring it the summer of pie! I’m baking one pie per week, all summer long. That’s the goal anyway ;) Of course, it’s the best time for berry pies, but I’m hoping to try out a bunch of new recipes, and perfect the ones I’ve tried and not quite gotten right. And I don’t hear anyone complaining about being the taste testers.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe

First up: strawberry rhubarb. One of my favorites, but my first attempt at one last year didn’t go according to plan. This time, I went with a recipe from the Red Truck Bakery Cookbook (I definitely judged this cookbook by it’s cover - so cute!), and it turned out much better! This was slightly adapted, mostly because I didn’t have (or have enough of) some of the ingredients in the original recipe, which are:

For the filling

3-4 stalks of fresh rhubarb (2 1/2 cups), sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
4 cups of fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

For the crust

…I always use this pie crust recipe from the Pioneer Woman

The steps:

  1. Prepare the crust.

  2. Prep the rhubarb and strawberries and combine in a medium-large bowl.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the rest of the filling ingredients above. Add the mixture to the rhubarb and strawberries, mix, and let it sit while you roll the crust.

  4. Roll one disc of dough and place in a pie dish.

  5. Pour the strawberry rhubarb mixture into the crust. Over top of the mixture, scatter up to 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into cubes.

  6. Roll second disc of dough and place overtop the strawberry rhubarb mixture. Trim the dough and crimp the edges.

  7. Brush the top with egg wash (1 egg white + 1tbsp water), and sprinkle with sugar.

  8. Bake at 375 for 90 minutes.

My notes + adaptations:

  1. I always bake my fruit pies for 15 minutes at 425, followed by 45-50 minutes at 375 (or until the filling is bubbling). Oh! And I always use a crust shield like this after the first 15 minutes so the crust doesn’t burn.

  2. My 4 stalks of fresh rhubarb only amounted to 1 1/3 cups. I’d definitely be sure I had the 2 1/2 cups next time since I couldn’t taste enough rhubarb in the pie.

  3. I’d cut the rhubarb into 1/2 inch or even 1 inch pieces next time. Personal preference, but I just like the larger bites of rhubarb and think it might help to give it a little more pop.

  4. I didn’t have a lemon, so I skipped the lemon zest and lemon juice - I’d definitely add it next time for a little more zing (…that’s a thing, right?).

  5. Another of my cookbooks (this one) mentions that you can chop and freeze your rhubarb the day before to help release excess moisture, and then thaw it in a strainer before you add it to the pie. Adding to the list for next time!

  6. That same cookbook also adds brown sugar, allspice, cardamom, cloves, and cocktail bitters to some of their rhubarb pies. May have to try mixing some of these into a future pie.

I think that’s it! Overall, the pie was really good, it just needed a little something I couldn’t quite put my finger on - but more rhubarb and lemon juice / zest might just do it! Any other tips?! Can’t wait to try this one again.

Postcard from Rensselaerville, NY

We’ve been more than ready for a cruise on a back country road with the windows down, so when the sun finally came out this past weekend, we couldn’t pile into the Jeep fast enough. This time, we headed south. And while we travel the Northway between Glens Falls and Albany frequently, it’s rare that we venture off the beaten path once we get to the Albany area. So, we were excited to partner with Discover Albany to explore some of the hilltowns west of the city of Albany, especially since it just so happens there’s one town in particular that we’ve got heartstrings attached to…

Rensselaerville NY Guide

Turns out, a love for small towns runs in the family. Tom’s great-grandfather, Dr. Thomas Ordway, was the Dean of Albany Medical College from 1915-1937. During that time, his friend and colleague Edmund Niles Huyck introduced him to the beauty that was Rensselaerville, New York. Dr. Ordway purchased a farmhouse on Pond Hill Road as a vacation home away from the hospital in Albany, which the family enjoyed for years to come. I’ve always loved hearing stories about Rensselaerville from Tom’s mother and his Grandma Jane, and it was clear from our first visit that it’s a truly special place.

So, history lesson aside, we’re excited to share some stops from our most recent day trip with you! Off we go!

EAT + DRINK

Kuhar Farm Cafe Rensselaerville NY

Breakfast, Lunch, + Sweets | Kuhar Family Farm Café: The sweetest people and the best food, this is the place to grab brunch in town on Saturday morning. It’s also the only place, but even if it wasn’t, we’d still be here ;) Tom ran in to grab us a couple of breakfast sandwiches (egg and cheese, loaded up with veggies on a perfectly toasted brioche bun) while I stayed back with the pups, and when I looked at the photos he snapped later, I couldn’t believe he hadn’t grabbed one of those pastries on the counter! Next time, for sure (ahem, right Tom?!). They’re open for dinner on Wednesday evenings and brunch on Saturdays, so if you go, be sure to plan your visit around their schedule if you’d like to grab a bite. And if you’re there for dinner, get the chickpea and spinach fritters - so good!

Post-Hike Drinks | Helderberg Brewery Taproom: Conveniently located right next to the Kuhar Café, this was the perfect spot to grab drinks after our hike (and bonus - they’re dog friendly!). We loved the vintage chairs out on the porch, where we sat sipping our drinks and enjoying the breeze up on the hill. The farm brewery is operated by the Carey Institute as part of their Sustainable Communities program with over 90% of their hops and grain coming from local farms. And, if you’re not into craft beer, they also have New York State wines and ciders (Nine Pin for me, please!).

Helderberg Brewery Taproom Rensselaerville NY

SEE + DO

Hike | The Huyck Preserve: The big draw for us on that sunny Saturday was the Huyck Preserve, a gorgeously maintained nature preserve with over 12 miles of trails, which meander through forests, fields, wetlands, and around beautiful Lake Myosotis. The gem of the Preserve is Rensselaerville Falls - a 120 foot waterfall - and that was the trail we picked for the day, along with a portion of the Lake Myosotis Trail.

Rensselaerville Falls Huyck Preserve

It’s been a while since we’ve taken the dogs on a hike, and the Lake Myosotis Trail was especially great for our (dare I say - senior?!) boys. With just the sounds of the birds and the waterfalls beyond, it was the perfect peaceful afternoon away from it all.

Next time, we’re looking forward to checking out the Ordway Trail, which runs behind Tom’s great-grandparents’ old farmhouse on Pond Hill Road and connects with the Race Track, which his great-grandfather built behind their house for the locals to enjoy horse races.

Picnic | Lake Myosotis: The picnic tables and rustic wooden benches lining the east side of Lake Myosotis were the ideal spot for us to finally dive into those sandwiches from Kuhar Café. The lake was quiet, aside from one couple gliding along the shoreline in their canoe. The lake allows non-motorized boats only, which we love, and we made a mental note to bring our canoe down with us when we return.

See | Carey Institute for Global Good: We were lucky to get a tour of this beautiful and historic country estate, which is now a multi-faceted creative institute housing the Logan Nonfiction Program for writers and filmmakers, the Sustainable Communities Program, the Center for Learning in Practice, an Art and Music Program, and a meeting and retreat center. They host a variety of events throughout the year (like this Historic Walking Tour and this Pub Crawl), as well as hosting featured artists monthly in their Guggenheim Gallery.

Browse | Rensselaerville Library: There’s just something special about a small town library, and this one was particularly charming (just look at that exterior!). We couldn’t resist popping in to browse, and were immediately drawn to the sitting room on the second floor and a sweet vintage yellow sofa overlooking the back lawn, which slopes down to the creek below. Perfect place to curl up with a book for the afternoon.

Rensselaerville Library NY

Tour | Rensselaerville Historical Society: Housed in the old red grist mill on Main Street, it was so neat to take a peek at how the Grist Mill would have run back in the day. That, and we loved the old signage displayed on the walls.

Rensselaerville Historical Society

Stroll | Historic Main Street: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the hamlet of Rensselaerville is filled with historic homes and beautiful architecture. While you can easily drive through, getting out of the car gave us a completely different perspective, and we loved seeing the details of the old homes up close (especially the old door knockers, carriage houses and gardens!).

Rensselaerville NY

SHOP

Art | Way Out Gallery: Just across the street from The Historical Society, it was fun to pop in to see some work from local artists (like this exhibit - Photographs and Schrapnel!).

Antiques | Chipped, Tarnished & Torn, South Westerlo: We couldn’t let the day go by without finding ourselves an antique shop, and we were so happy to stumble upon this one on our way home. I was, of course, drawn to this wall of blue and white, and we were excited to find out that he has a barn sale across the street most every weekend during the summer! We’ll be back for that, without a doubt.

South Westerlo NY

Until next time, Rensselaerville! We’ll see you again sooner than later. And if you’ve visited any of the hilltowns, outside Albany, we’d love to hear your suggestions for next trip!

*This post is in partnership with our friends at Discover Albany. We were so thrilled for the opportunity to share a place that is near and dear to our hearts with you!

In the Mail: Father's Day

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been finding myself wanting to spend a little less time on my phone the past few months, and missing those old fashioned ways of letting someone know you’re thinking of them. What better way than sending an adorable card (and supporting a small business while you’re at it!). And so, this series was born in hopes you’ll join me in brightening up a mailbox or two instead of sending that text or DM.

First up - Father’s Day! Truth be told, I usually just end up writing my dad a yellow note for Father’s Day (this will make more sense if you read this post!), but I couldn’t resist rounding up some favorites for you to give or send this month, and hey, maybe pair with one of our address stamps to send it or as a gift! Here goes…

There you have it, folks! Happiest Father’s Day to all the dads, dads-to-be, hoping someday dads, and all the special guys in between. Cheers!

Spring in Dorset, Vermont

Since the sun actually came out this past weekend, we decided to take a ride over to Dorset - one of our very favorite Vermont towns (no surprise there if you’ve been following along for a while!). We have our favorite stops when we’re in town (we’re looking at you, JK Adams!), and we were also itching to see something new this trip. That’s when I remembered a recommendation I’d heard a few years back - Merck Forest and Farmland Center. And folks, I think we have our new favorite Dorset area day trip itinerary. Read on for some favorites, in partnership with JK Adams!

JK Adams Tailgate Picnic Dorset VT

The Kitchen Store at JK Adams | We can’t pass through Dorset without stopping at JK Adams. You might remember me singing their praises on our apple picking trip last fall, but we were excited to stop in this trip with a different shopping list - picnic supplies! As you might’ve read in my Earth Day Instagram post, we’re trying to cut back significantly on single use products, so paper plates and plastic cups were definitely out. Thankfully, JK Adams had the perfect products to fit the bill, and bonus - we’ll be using them for a long time to come (in fact, maybe we should just keep most of them in a picnic basket in the Wagoneer for next trip!).

JK Adams The Kitchen Store Dorset VT

And, not only did they have the wares for our picnic, we couldn’t resist grabbing a bag-full of foodstuff here as well - from Shelburne Farms cheeses to artisan crackers and the most delicious dipping sauces and jams - they pretty much have it all!

Dorset Union Store | We couldn’t not stop at another of our favorites, Dorset Union Store, for the last few picnic essentials. Namely, their Ginger Molasses cookies. Four to be exact - and we may or may not have been down to three when we arrived at Merck Forest. We also picked up a couple of their sandwiches - the best - and hurried out of the store before we could be tempted by any more baked goods. Next time, we’re getting that cinnamon roll. And the berry pie. And the blueberry muffins. You get the idea.

Merck Forest and Farmland Center Vermont

Merck Forest and Farmland Center | The view as we drove up the hill on the approach to the Visitor’s Center was worth the trip alone, and we couldn’t believe what was waiting for us inside. A quick walk down Old Town Road revealed the gorgeous farm, and of course more of that amazing view. We immediately grabbed a picnic table overlooking Harwood Barn and the sheep and chickens below, and had a little snack before we set out on our walk. The Mini Maple Bar Board and Opinel No.8 Pocket Knife from JK Adams were the perfect size to carry in my tote, and made slicing up our apples an easy task. Pretty sure we’ll be taking this little cutting board on all of our hikes from now on, too, since Tom always makes me nervous trying to cut up our apples while he’s holding them in his hand - yikes!

JK Adams Serving Board

As per usual, I couldn’t tear myself away from the animals (sweet little lambs!) so we didn’t get very far. We mainly strolled Old Town Road and down to Page Pond (and quick note: many trails are closed until Memorial Day due to mud season, so check the map here). We were thrilled to find out that they also have rustic cabins you can reserve as well as camping, and we can’t wait to come back again to explore the rest of the property. Also, we hear Meet the Lambs Day is coming up on May 18, and we may just need to go back for that!

Tailgate | After a couple hours on the farm, our snacks beckoned us back to the Wagoneer. We found a little spot to pull over, pop down the tailgate, set up our old rickety chairs, and partake in a picnic with a view. We are not fancy food people by any means, so we typically just grab whatever looks good, and pile it onto our serving boards. Here’s what was on the menu (and the perfect pieces from JK Adams to serve it on or in!):

IMG_8063-2.jpg

- Veggies and hummus, brought from home stored in Kilner jars

- Crackers, cheese, fruit and dip, served on the Large Artisan Board (which, by the way, you can personalize - and they have so many great options!)

JK Adams Serving Boards

- Egg Salad Sandwiches from Dorset Union Store, served on the prettiest enamelware plates from JK Adams

- Ginger Molasses Cookies, served on the Round Artisan Board from JK Adams

- Bee’s Wrap for the leftovers, a great eco-friendly swap for plastic wrap!

- Water, which stayed cold in this Wagoneer inspired Corkcicle Canteen.

Corkcicle Canteen
Bees Wrap

- Gingham Tablecloth, which doubled as a blanket on this windy day!

- And a little light reading - we had to pick up this adorable book The Picnic at JK Adams - so much inspiration for our next picnic!

Vermont Picnic

I have to say, using the JK Adams serving boards and plates definitely made our picnic feel a little more put together, and even made our simple picnic fare feel just a bit fancy. The setting and this beautiful view didn’t hurt either, and we’re happy to be doing our small part for this pretty planet with our reusable picnic wares in place of single use products.

Until next time, Vermont!

JK Adams Serving Boards

Shop the post and other JK Adams favorites here!

This post was in partnership with our friends at JK Adams, a brand whose products we regularly use and love. All opinions expressed are my own.

At Home: Blue + White Planters

For those of you who asked (aka - my sister!), I wanted to share a little round-up of my favorite blue and white planters and where to snag them. So maybe this is just a really great excuse to do a little online window shopping, however, if it helps you find some inspiration - all the better! Most of mine are vintage, which tends to be my preference - probably the thrill of the (endless) hunt through Etsy listings and antique shops that makes it that much more satisfying to find a good one. That, and I love the idea of giving an item a second chance instead of seeing it get tossed out.

So, without further ado, some favorites are below! You may have to beat me to some of the vintage ones though ;)

Chinoiserie Planter
Blue and White Planters

(And since we’re on the topic of blue and white, this gingham button down is a favorite this spring!)

Blue and White Pots Chinoiserie

Happy shopping!

Exploring Washington County, NY - Antiques Edition

Fort Ann Antiques | Antique Shops in Washington County

We’ve spent many an afternoon cruising along the backroads of Washington County in the Wagoneer. With rolling hills, old barns, covered bridges, and beautiful views, it’s easy to see why we keep coming back. There’s something about small towns that we love, and Washington County just has an extra special combination of charming Main Streets, hardworking farms and the nicest people (we know that even better based on the number of people who stop to help when we’re broken down out there in the Wagoneer!).

We’re so excited to partner with our friends at Washington County Tourism to share more about this beautiful area that’s both close to our home and close to our hearts. And what better way to kick it off than with one of our favorite activities - antiquing! Read on for six antique shops to visit in Washington County (we’re just scratching the surface here - there are so many more!), AND once you’re done reading, you can watch all of our antiquing adventures unfold in our first video at the end of the post!

Fort Ann Antiques | Whitehall, NY

Washington County Antiques - Fort Ann Antiques

We’ve driven by here hundreds of times on our way into Vermont and out to Maine, and each time we promise that we’ll stop on our way home (which, of course, never happens since we’re always so eager to see the pups!). Anyway, we were so excited to finally make Fort Ann Antiques the destination for once, and after our experience it looks like we’ll be doing that much more often (in fact, we’ve gone twice in the last month!).

With a little bit of everything, it’s easy to spend hours here (which, by the way, we did). One of the best parts of antiquing, in my opinion, is the anticipation of what gems might be hiding around the next corner - and here that just went on and on! Some favorites: a great selection of old wooden soda crates, a vintage pie basket that I may need to go back for, a stoneware water cooler that I also may need to scoop up, vintage paint by numbers and oil paintings, and… I could go on. We left with an armful of treasures and can’t wait to go back in a month or two to see what’s new.

While you’re in town: grab coffee and a blueberry scone at Historic Grounds, a - you guessed it - historic 1906 brick building converted into a charming coffee house.

The Village Booksmith | Hudson Falls, NY

A gem hidden right before our eyes on Route 4 in Hudson Falls, we were so happy to stumble upon The Village Booksmith. We love looking to old books for inspiration, and there are shelves upon shelves to flip through here. Ranging from recent “vintage” like Goosebumps (anyone else grow up reading them?!) to antiques, this was another place we could’ve spent all afternoon...which was a fairly common theme this trip!

I’m always on the hunt for a great read, but I’m also always on the hunt for great books to add as decor around the house. Titles like “Adventures to Come” will always have a place on our bookshelves. We left with “Vacationland USA” in hand (a 1970’s guide to road trips and adventures), and a plan to return soon when we have a couple more hours to spare.

While you’re in town: check out the newly opened Hudson River Brewhouse for coffee or beers, and if you’re hungry for dinner, hop over to Forged!

Greenwich Hardware Antiques | Greenwich, NY

Greenwich Hardware Antiques Washington County NY

A favorite of ours, we’ve visited many times before - how could we not with that charming stained glass sign calling us in off of Main Street? Once a hardware store, we love popping in to peruse their two floors of antiques, along with the barn out back.

They have a great mix of more formal antiques along with country pieces, vintage signage, and furniture. A stand out about this shop are the tags hanging from the items - thoughtfully handwritten, you’ll find the history of the item, what it might have been used for, and where it came from. One of the best parts of antiquing is the history and stories, and we love being able to find out more - whether it was picked from an old barn, or came from a farmhouse outside of town - the stories behind the items make them all the more special.

While you’re in town: stop in for a brewski at Argyle Brewing Co., or head to Greenwich Village Cafe or Lynn’s Country Cafe for some lunch.  

Cambridge Antiques Center | Cambridge, NY

With a little bit of everything spanning 2 floors, Cambridge Antiques is another place you could easily spend an afternoon. Some of my favorites are always waiting on the landing at the top of the stairs - vintage signage, rustic wooden trunks, and a bit of blue-and-white chinoiserie. This is another place with a great mix of formal and country / rustic, and a fantastic selection of lighting (perfect for anyone restoring an old home!). Oh! And the vintage rugs - I was bending down to look at one around every turn.

We loved talking with the owner about where some of his pieces had come from and subsequently, the homes or buildings to which they’ve gone. After spending a few hours in antique shops like this one, it’s easy to see that we’d be just as happy (and hey, so would the environment!) if we filled our house with previously loved things instead of buying all new.

Hubbard Block Antiques | Cambridge, NY

Just down the street in Cambridge, Hubbard Block is a smaller shop with a lot of heart. It’s always so great chatting with the owners of shops in these small towns, and this one was no exception. We loved being pointed in the direction of some of her favorites, and we’re always smitten with a good Christmas room (Hubbard Block has a great one!).

Tom’s clear winner here were the old magazines and license plates (which I basically had to drag him away from), and there’s a decent chance I’ll be heading back to scoop up a pretty Delft Blue planter that I had my eye on!

While you’re in town: grab a cookie or three at Round House Bakery Cafe (highly recommend the ginger spice cookie..okay, and the maple cookie!), and check out what’s playing at historic Hubbard Hall.

Eagle Bridge Antique Center | Eagle Bridge, NY

Quite possibly the largest shop we visited this trip, this was definitely a place with a surprise around every corner. When I say there was a little bit of everything, I mean it! Vintage board games, pull-down classroom maps, Hess trucks (Tom’s favorite), lots of blue and white jars and vases (I needed a cart), vintage picnic baskets, old frames, you name it.

Everything seemed to bring up a memory from our childhood - whether it was a toy we played with or finding something that one of our grandparents had at their house when we were growing up. That’s the great thing about shopping for antiques - so much nostalgia. We left with as much as we could carry, and they’ll be seeing more of us in the future for sure!

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We’re excited to have worked with Cornell Digital and 8 of Eight Strategies to bring our antiquing adventure to life through video! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (just kidding), and you’ll roll your eyes along with me at everything Tom wants to buy ;) But most importantly, we’re hoping you’ll be inspired to plan a little day trip to beautiful Washington County, a place that’s near and dear to our hearts.

Until next time, Washington County!


*This post was in partnership with our friends at Washington County NY Tourism, a place we’ve visited and loved for as long as we can remember. You’ll see the Wagoneer winding along the backroads here frequently, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share some of our favorite places in the county with you. Thank you for supporting the businesses and organizations that support The Yellow Note.

24 Hours in the Southern Adirondacks

In partnership with our friends at Warren County Tourism and VisitLakeGeorge.com

With winter winding down (…maybe?), we’ve been itching to get away to soak in the last of this snowy season. One of the best parts of living in Glens Falls is the proximity to places that feel a world away, but in reality are a quick drive from home. Case in point: the southern Adirondacks of Warren County.

Gore Mountain Travel Guide

Within 40 minutes, we found ourselves winding through the mountains, between lakes and along the Hudson River. We were excited to be reminded how much the western portion of the county has to offer, especially in the winter. While Gore Mountain is a major draw, relaxation (okay, and eating) was the name of our game, and we’re looking forward to sharing some of our favorites from the North Creek / Chestertown / Warrensburg area with you!

Fern Lodge ADK

STAY

The Fern Lodge | On Friends Lake in Chestertown | Fern Lodge is one of those places that instantly feels like home (Shadow, the sweet yellow lab as the lead member of the welcoming committee sure helped!). We entered to a roaring fire in the stone fireplace of the great room, a snowy lake view out the back windows, and the cheerful welcome of the owners, Sharon and Greg (and their adorable labs, Shadow and Noche!).

The lodge has just five rooms (each with their own fireplace), which makes it the perfect place for a quiet getaway, or the perfect place to enjoy some wine and conversation with other couples! We opted for a bit of both and ended up having the very best time.

Fern Lodge Friends Lake NY

It felt a bit like we’d rented our very own Adirondack camp for the weekend (and like we’d won the vintage rug lottery - couldn’t get over the amazing collection throughout!). Each room is completely different, and though I hate to play favorites, check out the amazing bed in the Pine room!

We both left feeling like we’d gotten away for a week, despite just staying one night. We can’t wait to go back to experience the property in the summer, with a glass of wine in the Adirondack chairs overlooking Friends Lake below. Oh, and how could I forget - a ride in their boat!

Southern Adirondack Travel Guide

EAT + DRINK

Breakfast | The Fern Lodge | It doesn’t get much better than a delicious breakfast just steps from a cozy fire, with two pups underfoot (the comforts of home!). The smells of coffee and the crackle of the fire lured us downstairs, and we were spoiled with fresh fruit and yogurt, French toast with local maple syrup, and an amazing egg strata. All while sweet Shadow weaved his way around the table, trying to figure out who was the likeliest of the bunch to drop a bit of bacon :)

Coffee + Pastry | Cafe Sarah | North Creek | The first sign that caught our eye on our drive into North Creek, Cafe Sarah was just as cute inside as it is outside. The perfect spot to pop into for a coffee, and once at the counter, we couldn’t pass up a maple glazed cinnamon roll. SO good. Everyone deserves a second breakfast on vacation, right?

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Lunch | Main Street Ice Cream Parlor | Chestertown | A must! Our first time here was this past fall, and their breakfast was so good that I contemplated hanging around until lunch ;) Needless to say, we were excited to come back for sandwiches (and just to spend some more time in this amazing space - it’s straight out of the pages of Country Living Magazine!). We both ordered the grilled cheese, which was perfect with their addition of red onions and tomatoes. We didn’t have room left for dessert, but that gives us an excuse to come back again soon!

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Sweets | Izzy’s Market & Deli | North Creek | We love a good old fashioned country store, and Izzy’s gave us all of those warm and fuzzy vibes as soon as we walked in. From the old tin ceilings to the beadboard walls and creaky wood floor, it’s everything you’d want in a small town store. It looked like the perfect spot for a coffee or a sandwich, but we made a bee-line for the chocolate chip cookies on the counter (which, by the way, were amazing. And huge!).

Izzy's Market North Creek NY

More Sweets | Barkeater Chocolates | North Creek | Since we can never get enough sweets, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to swing into one of our favorites - Barkeater Chocolates. Tom loves their Sea Salt chocolate bars, and after trying a few free samples of the Black Bear bar - we had to pick up a couple (made with black raspberry and black pepper - so unexpected and so good!).

Barkeater Chocolates North Creek NY

Dinner + Drinks | barVino | North Creek | The place to go for dinner in North Creek, we had heard so many great things about barVino and couldn’t wait to try it. A beautiful space, with a fireplace and tables on one side and a lively bar on the other. We lucked out with a spot at the bar and enjoyed the perfect dinner of small plates and wine. Our favorites: the deviled eggs (amongst the best we’ve ever had!) and the deep fried Brussels sprouts (…and the frites..and the hummus..oh! And the bread!). Can’t wait to go back again soon (and we’ll snap some photos next time - it’s easy to forget about photos with five plates of delicious food in front of us)!

DO

Snowshoe | Since I don’t ski (I know, I know), snowshoeing has always been my winter sport of choice. We were so happy to learn that we could just slip on our snowshoes (Fern Lodge has some you can borrow if you don’t have your own), and snowshoe off the beach onto the frozen lake below the Lodge. We lucked out with a gorgeous sunset, and as beautiful as it was in the snow, we couldn’t help chatting about how pretty it must be here in the warmer months as well. And what could be better than catching a glimpse of the smoke coming out of the chimney at the Lodge as we made our way back, and knowing a fire and a glass of wine were waiting for us?!

Snowshoe Friends Lake NY Adirondacks

On our list for next time: ski lessons at Gore Mountain, just about 25 minutes away from Fern Lodge!

SHOP

Deadwood Mountain Trading Company | Warrensburg | Is there anything better than a Bernese Mountain Dog as a shop greeter? Sweet Leica (named after the camera!) the pup met us at the door at Deadwood Mountain Trading, and she was as beautiful as the goodies in the shop! Stocked with gorgeous pieces from local artists, this is definitely worth the stop if you’re in or around Warrensburg!

Deadwood Mountain Trading Company Warrensburg NY

Riverside Gallery | Warrensburg | We spotted this beautiful old building as we headed north to Friends Lake and had to turn around so that we could pop in. They offer traditional framing services (which is great, because we have a pile of maps and prints to be framed!), as well as a room dedicated to items from local artists (loved the hooked wool pillows!). We’ll be back - pile of prints in tow ;)

Riverside Gallery Warrensburg NY

The Foothills | North Creek | One peek in the windows and we knew this shop would be a gem. A perfectly curated mix of new and vintage, and one of those places where each time we walked towards the door to leave, something else caught our eye. Loved those red galvanized trays (and the stools underneath!).

The Foothills North Creek NY

Hudson River Trading Company | North Creek | Housed in a restored 1898 building (with the original horse stable in the basement!), Hudson River Trading is chock full of quintessential Adirondack home goods and clothing. Stocked with favorites like Hudson Bay, Woolrich, and Pendleton, they also had plenty of vintage pieces (like those snowshoes!), and basically everything you’d need for the Adirondack camp of your dreams.

Hudson River Trading Company North Creek NY

Panther Mountain Traders | Chestertown | If you thought the log cabin exterior was beautiful, wait until you see the beautifully curated collection inside Panther Mountain Traders. We love the vintage inspired pennants, and wanted to take home pretty much everything you see on that table below (those wooden bowls, in particular!). Just down the road from Main Street Ice Cream Parlor, this is the perfect place to shop off some calories from lunch!

Panther Mountain Traders Chestertown NY

Can’t wait to re-trace our steps again this spring and summer to see the area in a new light. Have any North Creek / Chestertown / Warrensburg favorites? We’d love to hear!

*This post is in partnership with our friends at Warren County Tourism and VisitLakeGeorge.com, a destination close to our hearts and just outside our door. Thank you to The Fern Lodge for welcoming us as their guests. We’re always thrilled to discover these nearby gems. After immediately recommending this trip to family and friends, we’re thrilled to pass along the tips to you! Thanks for supporting the businesses that support The Yellow Note.

Of Note | January

Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Well, that’s a wrap on January, and I can’t help but be excited that we only have 42 days until spring. It’s not that I’m not a winter person, but I’m so much more a rest of the year person.  

January was all about both Tom and I catching colds, getting over colds, and just being cold in general ;) You know it’s bad when the dogs don’t even want to go for a walk, and we’ve happily obliged. That said, we’re all starting to get a bit of cabin fever, so we’re spending our time by the fire dreaming up some winter adventures to get us out of the house lots more in February.

Here were some of our favorites in January:

Favorite Road Trip | We finally got the Wagoneer back on the road this month (back on the road without spewing a black cloud of smoke behind us, that is), and took our first day trip out of town over to Manchester and Dorset. A few covered bridges, quick stroll by the pond, a general store, and a giant chocolate chip cookie for the ride home. Always a day well spent. Here are some of our top picks from the Manchester area, if you’re headed that way!

Favorite Moment | Starting off the year with a new business partner! Tom joined the business full time late last year, and I could not be more excited. He’s been helping behind the scenes for so long and I’m so happy to have extra hands on deck to be able to take on some new projects (let us know if we can help you!), and we’re also working on a little something special for our own hometown (sneak a peek at what we’re up to with that here).

Favorite Thing | This plaid bag! Not only is it the cutest weekender for winter (or anytime, really), but it’s made of a water resistant nylon canvas - which just so happens to make it also DOG HAIR RESISTANT! A serious life saver when you have two big yellow boys that shed like mad men. They’re sold out in the red/black I have but I love this one just as much. Or this one. Anyway, bringing this on all of our road trips this season for sure. And speaking of dog hair, now taking suggestions for a new favorite vacuum ;)

Favorite Book | One of my goals in January was to read ONE book. Just one! No such luck (insert face palm emoji here), but this book is sitting at the ready on my nightstand and I can’t wait to dive in.

Favorite Seconds | I’m keeping my word from this post and sharing some of our seconds from our One Second Everyday project with you here. It didn’t take long to get back in the habit and I’m so happy to have these little moments documented again, no matter how ordinary.

Happy February!

The Story Behind The Yellow Note

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“So…The Yellow Note. You mean like a post-it?” The conversation inevitably goes there when I introduce myself and business. I figure most people must envision those yellow sticky notes, haphazardly stuck above an office desk, and piling up in the trash can once the task written on it has been completed.

But, the yellow notes I’m referring to are worth keeping. In fact, I’ve got a shoebox full of them that I’ve been collecting since before I could read.

I started my business back in 2013, after a few degrees and a career in social work left me longing for a creative outlet. Deciding to start my own thing was easy, but what held me back was deciding on a name. Back then, I was starting an Etsy shop and selling stationery and custom address stamps. I wanted something catchy and cute, but turns out, so did everyone else. The domains of most of the names I thought of were taken, and when something wasn’t, I just couldn’t commit to it. There was no connection there.

And I wasn’t just looking for connection to a business name. I wanted the shop (and now, creative studio) to actually provide connection for others, be it through a handwritten note that they addressed using one of our address stamps, or now, through our photography and Instagram, a connection to a place they used to know or longed to visit made through a photo we’ve taken. A connection to one another, to the simpler things, the little things, the everyday moments. In a world where we can connect all day via iPhones and Instagram, I longed for sweet and simple connections made the old fashioned way.

Like coming downstairs in the morning as a kid, after my dad had left for work, and finding a note on the table, just for me.

“Can’t believe it’s your last day of kindergarten - feels like only yesterday that I watched you get on the bus for the first time.”

“You’ve worked so hard studying for this test. You’ll do great!”.

“Good luck in your game today - I’ll be there right when I get out of work!”.

“I’m so proud of you.”

And there it was. The notes my dad has been writing for me since I was little. Most of them written on yellow note paper. Connections made, the old fashioned way. Moments captured via yellow note. A shoebox full of nostalgia. Simpler times. Happy moments. Words of encouragement and love.

Just like the yellow note delivery has changed over the years (my dad hand writes the notes and texts me a picture of them, and delivers a hard copy later :), The Yellow Note as a business has evolved as well, from stationery to photography and creative consulting. But, the meaning and purpose of a yellow note will always remain - connection - and one of my favorite parts is connecting with all of you. So, thank you. It means so much to have you along for the ride.

And thanks for all the notes, Dad. Love you!

--

P.S. - After a bit of a hiatus, we re-opened The Yellow Note online shop. So excited to get back into creating address stamps for you to send your own “yellow notes”, and even more excited to launch some new products to help you send more letters very soon. Pop in here, if you’re so inclined :)  


One Second Everyday(ish) | 2018

Typically around this time I share my One Second Everyday video with you and sing its praises as the greatest way to document the everyday since I don’t know, disposable cameras. And while I started out strong this year, for one reason or another, it started slipping my mind and the project faded pretty quickly once I got out of the habit.

Probably the main thing that contributed was that I made a concerted effort to spend less time on my phone in 2018. I got an Apple watch for Christmas last year which meant I was able to have my phone with me less and my real camera with me more, but that also meant I was less able to capture moments with video.

While we’re pretty bummed that we don’t have a full video for this year (seriously, I just watched our 2016 and 2017 videos as I’m writing this and now I’m even more sad we don’t have a full one for 2018!), I did snag enough seconds to piece together a mini video, just about 60 seconds long. Everyday(ish) or not, it’s so much fun to see our years chronicled this way, and as I’ve said in past posts, it makes you realize that bad days are few and far between and it’s the little moments that truly bring us joy throughout the year instead of the big trips and grand scenery.

SO! I’m back on board for 2019 and I’m holding myself accountable by sharing the highlights here on the blog at the end of every month. Seriously, hold me to it! And let me know if you decide to give it a try (or if you’ve done it before). If you can get (and stay) in the habit, you won’t regret it. It’s addicting and gives me all the warm and fuzzies re-watching our videos from years past. And hey, even if you only remember every fifth day, you’ll still have a pretty darn good memento from the year.

I included most of my tips and tricks for the project in my 2016 post here, but my most important tip going into this year is this: just get the second! If you have your phone with you and you remember to take the second - do it then! Yes, there might be a more exciting or pretty second you could record later, but just in case you forget, take one right then. You can always delete it later if you grab another one, but at least you’ll have it.

Happy 2019! Hope your year is filled with the people and experiences that make you happiest (and some video to remember them by).  

Tools of the Trade

iPhone Tripod: So helpful when you want to jump in the shot instead of always being behind the camera (which I highly recommend, by the way!). We also like this one for using when there’s not a flat surface to put the other one on.

Camera Remote: Great for starting and stopping the video recording remotely

One Second Everyday App

Leaf Peeping in Lake George, New York

In partnership with our friends at Cape Cod Potato Chips

Foliage season is one of my favorites. Okay, it’s definitely my favorite. The food, the colors, the cozy fires. If you blink, you might miss it, and that’s why we like to stretch our enjoyment of the season as much as humanly possible. Come September 1st, I’m glued to the foliage forecast websites. We start the season peeping the foliage in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks, followed by Vermont from north to south, and around mid to late October, we’re finally able to enjoy the peak colors a bit closer to home in the Lake George region of New York.

Last weekend, we packed our favorite road trip snack - Cape Cod Potato Chips - and made a day trip up the western shore of the lake. Read on for a few of our stops along the way!

Lake George Picnic

SEE + DO

Hike | The Pinnacle | A popular local hike, this is a quick one with an amazing view. We lucked out with the lookout to ourselves, and as we sat there, the first snowflakes of the season began to fall - pretty magical! Since it’s just not possible for us to hike without a snack, we couldn’t help but open up our Cape Cod Potato Chips to enjoy just a few before we stopped for lunch later on.

Lake George The Pinnacle Hiking

Drive | Prospect Mountain | If hiking isn’t your cup of tea, you can still get a great view of the lake by driving up Prospect Mountain. It’s a 5.5 mile drive up the mountain with a few places to pull over and enjoy the view along the way. And fun fact: this was actually one of the first things Tom and I did together when we started dating :)

See | Sabbath Day Point Overlook | As you make your way up Route 9N (Lake Shore Drive), you’ll pass Northwest Bay (one of our favorite spots for a quick paddle!), and after winding your way through a colorful forest, you’ll find yourself back on the shore at an expansive lookout of the northern portion of the lake. We’ve stopped here dozens of times, and the view never gets old.

What to Do Lake George, NY

Stroll | Silver Bay YMCA | It’s been on my list for ages to pull off and explore the Silver Bay YMCA (founded in 1902 and on the National Registry of Historic Places!). We finally made the stop and I’m so glad we did. With stunning views of the lake and historic buildings dotting the property, this is definitely a place I could spend a full day exploring. We are already excited to come back in the summer months to take advantage of the canoes and kayaks. This trip, we were pretty happy just pulling up a couple of Adirondack chairs and enjoying the view and a few leftover Cape Cod Potato Chips before we got back on the road.

Cape Cod Chips Lake George

EAT + DRINK

Breakfast | Bolton Beans | We love the nostalgia and charm of this 1946 Service Diner. Though we opted for a light breakfast sandwich to fuel our morning hike this time, the pancakes and omelets are in our regular rotation here. This is a popular spot amongst locals and tourists alike, so if you go during busy season, get there early to snag a spot!

Bolton Breakfast Where to Eat

Lunch | Hague Market | While Vermont tends to get all the love for its country stores, we have a hidden gem tucked right into our own backyard. The Hague Market is the Adirondack’s oldest running general store, and the perfect spot to grab a couple of sandwiches, sodas, and peanut butter cookies for lunch. We brought along our trusty Cape Cod Potato Chips, and while Tom had already eaten half the bag, we somehow managed to have enough left to enjoy with lunch (which by the way, we ate in the Hague Town Park across the street while enjoying the prettiest view!).

Lake George Travel Guide

SHOP

Antiques | We’ll brake for antique shops and barn sales, always. A couple of our regular stops in Bolton Landing are Black Bass and Lakeview Antiques, and while we didn’t have time this trip, we’re itching to get up to Longergan’s Antiques in Ticonderoga.

Antiques Bolton Landing NY

Would love to hear your Lake George area favorites! And I’m sure Tom would love to hear your favorite road trip snacks ;) Until next time, Lake George!

This post was in partnership with Cape Cod Potato Chips, a brand we’ve brought along on many a road trip over the years. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that support The Yellow Note!

Roadtrip to Brewery Ommegang

After a summer spent close to home (and an unexpected hiatus for our Wagoneer as it awaits a new engine), we were itching for a mini road trip this month. We made a quick trip to Cooperstown last fall, but the one thing on our list that we didn’t have time for was a stop at Brewery Ommegang. So, with the forecast calling for sunny skies and 80 degrees, we decided there was no better location for a quick adventure.

Brewery Ommegang - Cooperstown Barn

You know your destination is going to be good when you wind up using barns as landmarks along the way. We oohed and ahhed at the farms, fields, and views along our drive, and upon pulling up to the farmstead Brewery, with its welcoming white archway framing the rolling hills behind it, we immediately decided that a trip back during foliage season is a must. If you’re looking for a mini road trip destination this fall, read on for our favorites from our trip to Brewery Ommegang.

Ommegang Brewery Cooperstown Travel

EAT + DRINK

brewery ommegang cooperstown ny

Café Ommegang | First things first - after a couple of hours on the road, we were ready for a bite to eat, and of course, a beer! Brewery Ommegang just recently renovated its Visitors’ Center + Café and we were excited to enjoy it from a table under their new outdoor pavilion, with views of the hills and hops behind us. We picked our favorites after a flight (Witte for me + the Nirvana IPA for Tom), and ordered some snacks, which we quickly devoured before our tour.
Don’t miss: the frites! Served with truffle mayo, garlic aioli, and my fav - the sun-dried tomato pesto - they were gone in an embarrassing amount of time.

Brewery Ommegang Flight of Beer
brewery ommegang cafe

SEE + STROLL

The Grounds | The brewery grounds are a destination in and of itself. With no shortage of space to roam, we grabbed our beers, sipped, and strolled. A quick walk up the back hill had us exploring the rows of hops, and two pretty perches await for you to rest and take in the view of the brewery below. Highly recommend for sunset!

Brewery Ommegang Cooperstown New York
Cooperstown NY Brewery
Cooperstown NY Brewery

Tour + Tasting | It wouldn’t be a visit here without a behind the scenes look at the brewing process and an even more extensive sampling of their beer. We found new favorites (Fruition for me, Hopstate for Tom), and of course, made our way into the shop afterward to grab some to take home. Get there early on weekends, because tours + tastings filled up fast!

Cooperstown NY Travel Guide - Brewery Ommegang

Don’t miss: the events! Firepit Fridays with live music, drink specials and you guessed it - a bonfire; Brunch Bingo on Sundays, complete with a beermosa (yes, please!); and Bed and Brew - an exclusive craft beer experience in collaboration with The Inn at Cooperstown, including a beer and food pairing dinner (sign me up!). I already have my eyes peeled for their concert schedule next summer - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats played there this past summer and I can only imagine what a fun show that must’ve been!

And lastly, please oh please, drink responsibly, and arrange for a designated driver or a ride back into town if you’re planning to indulge. Brewery Ommegang recommends A & D Taxi or Uber.

Brewery Ommegang Cooperstown NY Travel Guide

*This post was in partnership with our friends at Brewery Ommegang, a destination we’ve had on our list to visit for years. We were thrilled to finally make the trip and it exceeded our expectations. We’ve since recommended it to our friends and family, and happily now, to you! Thanks for supporting the businesses that support The Yellow Note.

A Dorset Day Trip + A Homemade Pie with JK Adams

Maybe it’s the pretty white houses lining the streets, with American flags waving in the Vermont breeze... Or maybe it’s the mountains and valleys just beyond with the trees showing just a hint of red and gold leaves in the early autumn sun. Either way, it was clear from our first visit to Dorset, Vermont years ago that this was a special place we’d be coming back to again and again (lucky for us, it’s less than an hour away!). I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about Dorset a time or two (or ten), so I’m excited to share a couple of our fall favorites there in partnership with our friends at JK Adams.

Apple Picking at Mad Tom Orchard | Once you pick apples here, you may never pick anywhere else. The views from the orchard are incredible and the details are so charming (think hand painted signs on the trees, little red wagons, and an apple chart - written and illustrated by hand!). The owners, Tom and Sylvia Smith, are the very sweetest and we loved looking at the old photos of the orchard on the wall and hearing a bit of its history from Tom (his dad purchased the orchard in 1962, and they’ve since purchased it, pruned the old trees, and planted 1200 new ones!).

Mad Tom Orchard Dorset Vermont

We picked a basket of McIntosh, which are a favorite for baking (and appreciated that they let folks bring their own reusable baskets and bags to save on plastic!). Afterward, we lingered on an orchard bench with a cup of local cider and agreed that this is the best orchard we’ve ever been to.

Apple Picking Dorset Vermont

Before we left, we grabbed a half dozen donuts to snack on later (fresh from Mrs. Murphy’s in Manchester!), and I decided that I when I grow up, I want to live in a little red house with white apple shutters next to an orchard. It just doesn’t get much better.

Apple Picking Dorset Vermont

The Kitchen Store at JK Adams | A favorite stop when we’re in town, this visit was all about collecting the essentials to whip up a pie with our freshly picked apples.

JK Adams The Kitchen Store Dorset VT

Not only does JK Adams design and craft all of our favorite cutting and serving boards at their factory in Dorset, they also curate and stock the very best products for cooking, baking, and home right onsite at their Kitchen Store. I was in the market for a new pie dish and rolling pin, but couldn’t help but leave with a few more essentials for baking and entertaining on the porch this fall.

JK Adams The Kitchen Store

We’re huge fans of JK Adams for many reasons, but most of all for their commitment to hand-crafted, American made products, and their passion for creating heirloom pieces that can be used by families for years to come. One of my very favorite quotes from their website is, “disposable is not in our vocabulary”. As we’ve reduced our single use products, we’re finding ourselves prioritizing the purchase of fewer, high quality pieces that will last. Bonus points for their great design! If you’d like, you can see more about their mission and brand here (if you’re a fan of small, family-owned, American businesses like we are, their video will give you all the warm and fuzzies).

JK Adams The Kitchen Store Dorset

Dorset Farmers Market | We love to stop into the local farmers market when we’re traveling, and the Dorset Market was such a treat. From flowers to fresh produce and bread to local artisan goods, we could have easily spent all afternoon enjoying the atmosphere and live music here. Held at the HN Williams General Store during the warmer months, the market is just getting ready to move indoors to the woodworking shop at JK Adams for the fall and winter season beginning October 14.

Dorset Farmers Market

At Home: Bake an Apple Pie | As hard as it was to tear ourselves away from Dorset, we were excited to get home to put our apples and kitchen gear to use. And of course, the pups were on hand to welcome us home and take stock of what we brought them :)

JK Adams baking supplies

First things first, a pie is nothing without a good crust. I’m no expert, but I’ve tried a few recipes, and my favorite is this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. It’s quick, easy, and it comes out perfect every time. I love using the French Dowel Rolling Pin from JK Adams to roll the dough since it helps me to feel more in control of the process than when I’m using a pin with handles. That said, I may have to pick up the Lovely Rolling Pin to try next time, which has edges on the ends of the pin to ensure your dough gets rolled to an even thickness (which usually never happens for me!). The Maple Artisan Board was perfect for rolling out the dough and for keeping my mess off the countertop (because cleaning up after making a pie is always the worst part!).

JK Adams Rolling Pin and Artisan Board

Peeling apples is typically my least favorite step in any type of apple baking. However! We got this apple peeling machine a few years ago, and it is a game changer my friends. It peels, cores, and slices the apples in seconds. I’ve also somehow convinced Tom that this is his job, so it literally takes me no time at all ;) The dogs get excited whenever this little machine comes out of the cabinet, since they always get the leftover apple slices when we inevitably end up peeling too many. These boards from JK Adams are perfect for any further slicing (and for serving afterwards!).

Apple Pie Apple Peeler

For the filling, I mix the sliced apples with 1 cup + 2 tbsp of sugar, 3 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Bake (in this pretty pie dish!) at 425 for the first 15 minutes, then at 375 for the remaining 45-50 minutes.

JK Adams baking

We served the pie with leftover apples and cider donuts from Mad Tom Orchard, and some cheese and crackers that we picked up at JK Adams (they have tons of picnic supplies, by the way!). The perfect end to a perfect day.

JK Adams Apple Pie

Shop the post and other JK Adams favorites:

This post was in partnership with our friends at JK Adams, a brand whose products we regularly use and love. All opinions expressed are my own.