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HOME TOUR WITH NICK & JOSEPH

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourAre y’all ready for this insane home tour? No matter your decorating style, everyone can jive with Nick & Joseph’s love of creating a welcoming space, furniture with a story, and designing a home their friends never want to leave. We would expect nothing less coming from this dynamic duo (hello, prop stylist & graphic designer power couple) but after seeing their space we are itching to pack up and move to Des Moines and create our own little modern bungalow! 

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NICE TO MEET YOU:

Nick Sellers (27) and Joseph Wanek (29)

CURRENTLY LIVING IN:

Des Moines, Iowa

WHAT DO YOU DO?:

Nick: Graphic Designer at Meredith Corporation

Joseph: Freelance Prop Stylist

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WHEN PEOPLE WALK INTO YOUR SPACE, WHAT IS THE FEELING YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE?

We have large windows on both sides of our living room, so we want people to have a sense that they’re sitting outside. We have a large screened-in patio on the back of the house and, in the summer, we fill it with as many plants as possible. Last summer we had about 7 full-sized palm trees out there! It’s partially because we love the way plants make a space feel alive, but it’s also a way to create privacy from our neighbors.

Because we can only be outside for half the year in Iowa, at the end of the season we try to bring in as many plants as we can, so it feels like we are sitting on our patio even when it’s snowing outside. Our neighborhood is full of 1950s “California-style” ranches and that also helps dictate our space’s indoor/outdoor vibe.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWE ARE OBSESSED WITH YOUR LIVING ROOM – TELL US A BIT ABOUT IT

Given the clean lines of our mid-century home, we wanted the decor to feel fresh: decorated, but simple and modern. When we moved in together, we merged our two different styles using the items we had from previous apartments, creating an eclectic mix between mid-century and industrial. While some of our decor items are flea market finds, we have many pieces that have stories behind them. The oversized industrial coffee table was rescued from an old building Joseph’s family owned at one time, while the armchair, credenza, and other wooden mid-century pieces throughout the home are Nick’s grandmother’s original furniture. The great thing is that you could spend thousands of dollars at West Elm or CB2 for similar items, but we got them for free and they have been passed on from family members, making the space much more personal.

Another feature we love is our black accent wall. In a way, the TV visually blends in with the wall, so when it is not in use, it looks like there are just two staghorn ferns offset to the right. It’s a good way to hide electronics that would otherwise stick out.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR HOME?

We love the mid-century character of our house and that it has a better allocation of space than older sectioned-up homes we looked at in the area. For the most part, the living room, dining room, and kitchen all feel like one space, which is closer to the open concept being built in homes today. We also love that the large windows on both sides of the living room are original to the house and that the window supports create mini shelf space, the perfect spot to set more plants!

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST DESIGN CHALLENGE?

One challenge was choosing the right paint colors. Our home’s color palette goes from white to black and what seems like every shade of gray in between. Grays and whites are the hardest because you can end up with a very blue or brown gray, or a dirty beige white. While all the colors work together, each space has its own shade, giving every room its own personality.

Our other big challenge was deciding what to put on the walls. It’s tough because, art is so expensive, we’ve been waiting to find the perfect thing for above the couch and we just haven’t found it. Stuck somewhere between having bare walls and spending a small fortune, we decided to create our own art. We bought the oversized frames from Ikea and went to the Des Moines Botanical Gardens to take up-close, almost abstract photos of palm trees and got them printed on a large format printer for fairly cheap.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourView More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourIF YOUR HOUSE HAD A SPIRIT COCKTAIL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

More like, what wouldn’t it be!? We love entertaining, especially in the summer when we can be on the patio, and the type of gathering usually determines the signature drink. Our favorite mixed drinks are margaritas, mojitos, mules, and martinis but we also show wine and champagne a lot of love.

One of our favorite cocktails is one taken from a rooftop bar in San Diego. “The Cougar” has a ridiculous name, but it’s a summery take on a Greyhound.

 

THE COUGAR

2 shots pear flavored vodka

Splash of St. Germaine

Fill the rest of the glass with Simply Grapefruit juice and ice and do an optional sugared rim.

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/nickandjosephhometourWE LOVE A GOOD ENTERTAINING TIP, DO YOU HAVE ONE YOU TWO SWEAR BY?

The right playlist can make or break a party. Our favorite is Pandora’s Hipster Cocktail Party station because it can work for a dinner party or for a more lively get together.

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DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN STYLE & WHAT INSPIRED IT

Our style is modern but still warm and livable. We have such an eclectic mix of things that it’s hard to define. We definitely think balance is key. Whereas the living room has a lot going on, we balance it out with simplicity in the other rooms. Some of our black accents bring a polished and sophisticated feel to the space and help ground the pops of color and greens from the plants and art.

Our style has many influences and is forever changing. It changes based on the space we live in, places we travel, and what we see at work. Because we both work in the world of publications and design (we both met on a photo shoot) we have the benefit of being around other creative people and seeing what great new trends are coming up.

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WHAT IS NEXT & WHERE CAN WE FIND MORE?

Although we are at a point where we feel good with our home’s decor and renovations, we still have a long way to go. We hope everyone will check out our brand new lifestyle Instagram, @nickandjosephstyle, to see before photos of our house, travel experiences (including our recent trip to Thailand), entertaining inspiration, and upcoming DIY home projects. But let’s be real, you should actually follow it to see more pictures of our cat, Julio!

Joseph and Nick

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Photography by the lovely, Lauren Konrad

SIMPLE BRAIDED UPSTYLE perfect for spring

image6.JPGHi friends! Breann here. Are you as excited about Spring finally being here as much as I am? There’s just something about the welcoming of warmer weather that has me itching for cold drinks, throwing the windows open, and enjoying meals on the porch. It also has me embracing loose, romantic hairstyles to accompany said outdoor meals that hopefully include candles and some slow John Mayer tunes. (Hint, hint husband!) This simple French braid upstyle is perfect for those second day curls that have fallen a bit loose and messy.
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STEP ONE:

Start with curled hair that’s been prepped with a texturizing spray, and tease just slightly at the back of the crown. Make sure to smooth the top.
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STEP TWO:

Begin a French braid just an inch or so south of where you teased the hair. Leave a few loose pieces surrounding your face for some soft framing.
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STEP THREE:

Tie off with a clear elastic, then gently pull the braided strands for the braid to appear more full.
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STEP FOUR:

Lastly, take the end of the braid and tuck it under to the nape of your neck. Secure with a few bobby pins as necessary, then finish off with a firm hold hairspray.

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ROASTED HEIRLOOM TOMATO FLATBREAD

14Hello lovelies! Elizabeth here! As we’re slowly inching into spring / summer I am so excited to change up my flavor palette! I live for those warm summer nights playing cards and never-ending dinner parties! I was inspired by the recipe because I recently re-tried roasted tomatoes and fell in love with the flavor again (I’m not a big raw tomato fan!) This appetizer is basically like healthy pizza. There are few people (if any!) that I know that don’t LOVE pizza. So you’ve basically got a win-win appetizer on your hands my friends! Enjoy! xoxo

19INGREDIENTS:

1 Rectangle flat bread (10×5 inches)

1 – 1 1/2 Pints of heirloom tomatoes

¼ Cup of slow roasted garlic cloves

5 Tablespoons of avocado or olive oil

2 Tablespoons of fresh rosemary

2 Tablespoons of fresh basil

Salt + Pepper

*Cheese optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Toss tomatoes with 3 Tablespoons of avocado or olive oil, 2 tablespoons of minced rosemary and generously salt and pepper. Spread evenly on baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes until tomatoes have bursted. Brush flatbread with remaining oil and arrange tomatoes evenly. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. Top with chopped basil and cut into triangles.

*Note you can find roasted garlic cloves in your local grocery’s olive bar or roast whole garlic cloves drizzled with olive oil for 40 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

*Note for flatbread I used The Kitchn’s recipe

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THE WHISKEY ROSE could anything be prettier?

IMG_3022It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday. Remember that song? Sorry for getting it stuck in your head but to make up for it how about a little inspiration to get through your last work day of the week?! Meet the cocktail that will make you love whiskey (if you don’t already). It’s the Whiskey Rose and we are in love. There is nothing rose flavored about the cocktail, it gets that name because of it’s color (it’s much more pink in person because of the grapefruit juice) and it’s just such a darling cocktail, we can’t help but feel ‘rose’ describes it’s adorable personality.

Made with our favorite whiskey, Michter’s, this lovely lady is smooth, refreshing, and perfect to celebrate the weekend! So make a quick stop to the store, round up some friends, and host a little post-work/pre-weekend happy hour – you won’t be disappointed! IMG_3048

INGREDIENTS:

– Michter’s Rye Whiskey
– 1 Grapefruit
– Spoonful of Honey
– San Pelligrino (or favorite sparkling water)

IMG_3050INSTURCTIONS:

1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle half of your grapefruit & add a spoonful of honey.

2. Pour in two jiggers of Michter’s Rye Whiskey, a handful of ice & slowly shake back & forth a few times.

3. Pour into two glasses, top off with ice, & garnish with rose petal.

4. Sip, serve, repeat!

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lauren and sylviaThis post was sponsored by Chatham Imports. We are obsessed with their products & they are a must-have for our bar carts. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make new content possible!

BIG GIRL SITE someone got a fancy new makeover

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There comes a time in every website’s life when the bubble-gummed & bootstrapped, “I did it myself!” look no  longer cuts it. We had one of those moments at the end of 2015 & decided that if we were going to be taken seriously as website full of thoughtful living pieces, entertaining tips, and killer cocktails, it’s time we started looking the part!

So, like every good creative, we decided to re-create ourself. We ditched the blog-like layout, changed our color palette, revamped the home page, & swapped out our flats for a shiny new pair of gold metallic wedges.

HERE ARE SOME FUN NEW THINGS TO EXPLORE:

– Recipes to impress your Mother-in-Law

– EXPLORE categories

– Meet the team in our ABOUT section

– Easter entertaining essentials

Shout out to the web design wizards, Kelly & Andra of With Grace and Gold. They are fabulous design unicorns that dreamt up the new website look and executed it like a dream. While not only a joy to work with, these girls are freakishly talented and very well priced. If you are in the market for branding, website design, or brand strategy, I couldn’t recommend anyone else more highly!


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LOX: A NEW SATURDAY BRUNCH TRADITION

 

LOX - LAUREN KELPMy husband and I recently made a pact to truly make the most of Saturday mornings. This may sound like the easiest thing in the world, but with busy schedules (everyone out there can relate to this, right?) I’ve learned that everything needs to be reclaimed once in a while. Community is something that is extremely important to us, and while we try our best, sometimes we just can’t make weeknights work for dinners with friends or family. So we’re putting it out there–an open invite for Saturday brunch to any and everyone who wants to join!

Sometimes this will mean going out, and sometimes it will mean inviting all of you into our tiny home–we want to mix it up. For those Saturday mornings back at our humble abode, we’re planning to take it back to the basics. First on the list: lox.

Why? It’s hearty. It’s simple. It’s a crowd pleaser. And my sweet husband requested it…

But in all seriousness, this is the hostess’s dream menu. It allows you to make much of your company while actually still getting to enjoy them. Minimal time spent in front of the stove means more time getting to know your neighbors, laughing with friends, and having meaningful conversations with those you love dearly. It’s pretty much a perfect setup.

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INGREDIENTS (serves four):

-2 plain bagels

-extra virgin olive oil

-1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

-1 teaspoon of fresh dill, finely chopped

-1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

-Smoked salmon

-2 teaspoons of capers

-fresh dill to garnish

-fresh cracked pepper to taste

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INSTRUCTIONS:

-Halve each bagel and brush both sides with olive oil.

-Set your oven to broil and toast bagels until lightly brown.

-In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup of yogurt, lemon juice and finely chopped dill.

-Spread the yogurt mixture onto both halves of the bagels.

-Top with smoked salmon and garnish with capers and fresh dill. Serve and enjoy.

LOX - LAUREN KELPHave ideas for a great Saturday brunch menu? We’d love to hear! Share with us by tagging #LKMakes and #thoughtfulliving on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


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SUMMER SALAD | GRAPEFRUIT & FENNEL

SUMMER GRAPEFRUIT & FENNEL SALAD

Ooh, the summer salad. To me, summer is when a salad is in prime form. Ripe strawberries, fresh mint, oranges and grapefruit straight from the farmer’s market – yes, please! It’s not that I don’t like salads every other time of the year (except winter, I don’t really like them then), I just mean that when the sun is out and with an abundance of delicious fruit to choose from, salads are in prime form.

Today we are whipping up this perfectly delicious grapefruit & fennel salad. I know that we say- “it’s so easy!”-with most of the recipes that we feature, but it’s true! No one has time to spend hours in the kitchen, especially when the weather is so nice outside! These days, I am all about simple meals that are packed full of healthy ingredients. Doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated, just honest & good.

So with that, let me introduce you to your favorite new summer salad: the grapefruit & fennel!

SUMMER GRAPEFRUIT & FENNEL SALAD

INGREDIENTS FOR THIS SUMMER SALAD:

-2 oranges, peeled and split into wedges

-2 grapefruits, peeled and split into wedges

-1 head of fennel, thinly sliced

-8 radishes, thinly sliced

-1 large yellow pepper, thinly sliced

-8 oz. crumbled goat cheese

SUMMER GRAPEFRUIT & FENNEL SALAD

INSTRUCTIONS:

– Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

– The juice from the citrus should dress the salad completely.

– Serve & enjoy!

SUMMER GRAPEFRUIT & FENNEL SALAD


Recipe adapted from The Paleo Fix

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TABLEMAKERS IN THE VINEYARD

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I know, I know, you’ve heard me say it before, but I just love a good dinner party. I mean it! There is something really magical when you put people together and let them connect over great food & amazing wine. This dinner party might top the list of favorites because, truthfully, how often do you get to dine in a culinary garden in the middle of a vineyard?

KJW0229We invited some of our favorite tastemakers in the bay area to our Tablemakers dinner at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens and it was nothing short of breathtaking.

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The evening began with a tour of the culinary gardens with Tucker. We wove in and out of the sensory garden, smelling various herbs and then sipping wine to see how the flavors translated. As we walked through the vineyard up the path, Randy explained the maturation process of a grape vine and painted an elegant picture for how wine is made. Just as he finished explaining the lineage & family heritage of the K-J vineyards, we rounded the corner on this…

KJW0227KJW0251The evening was pure magic.

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I have said it before & I will say it again, I love inviting people to dinner who don’t know each other. While, yes, of course, there is a chance they won’t get along and the whole evening goes south, the majority of the time that doesn’t happen. More often than not, things go off without a hitch. This night was absolutely one of those.

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In true Tablemakers form, the conversation was non-stop, the wine was perfectly paired, the food was divine, and the company was even better. It was one of those evenings where you kind of look down on the moment and say, “this is perfect.”

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The concept of Tablemakers – that entertaining doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be honest – is something very near and dear to my heart. Every time I host a party or have friends over for a drink, I think about the balance between perfect and honest. You want everything to be just so & adorably Instagram-able, but you want your guests to relax and have a good time. This dinner in the vineyard struck the perfect cord. The setting was breathtaking (HELLO, we are sitting in the middle of a freaking vineyard) and the preparations were sublime, but the atmosphere was relaxed, laid back, and incredibly conducive to friendship. It was perfect and honest and it left me totally inspired.
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I don’t know about you, but sadly, I don’t have a vineyard at home, but sitting amongst the grounds of the property really got me inspired to entertain outdoors this summer. You couldn’t ask for better ambiance than flickering lightning bugs or twinkling stars and there really isn’t anything better than a long, relaxing dinner outdoors.

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In partnership with Kendall-Jackson. All opinions are our own.

CULINARY TOUR WITH CHEF JUSTIN WANGLER

KJW0120Over the past couple of days I am sure you’re picking up on a common theme – the details are everything at Kendall-Jackson. For Tucker it’s in the care and dedication to the garden, for Randy it’s the meticulous attention paid to the terroir of the vineyards, and for Kendall-Jackson’s Executive Chef Justin Wangler, it’s all about taste.KJW0102KJW0106

The relationship between wine & food is like nothing else. They are the best of friends & help to draw out some of the best qualities in each other. If they could have matching friendship bracelets, they absolutely would. We’ve seen how dedicated Kendall-Jackson is about creating the best wine, now can you only imagine the love and care they give to everything that comes out of their culinary kitchen? It’s unreal. KJW0098The Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens is a must-stop for foodies and wine-lovers alike & Chef Justin has helped bring it to the next level. He is an absolute magician in the kitchen. Walking outside to pick fresh ingredients, he will bend down, smell something, and start brainstorming the perfect dish. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and boom – magic. KJW0100

Chef Justin’s enthusiasm for creating a story with his dishes is evident and incredibly inspiring.

Constance and I are pescetarian, so Chef Justin was so kind to whip us up a dish that we could taste-test (read as: drool over) as well as photograph. Watching him work was such an education in itself. Normally, I traipse around the kitchen slightly frantic (and usually with flour or olive oil all over my face and hair). Chef Justin was, to say the least, the very opposite of my frenetic self.

KJW0129Seeing someone in their natural element is always kind of magical, but watching Chef Justin was really remarkable. He interacted with the ingredients in a way that let them tell him what they needed. When I asked if he had made this scallop dish before, he kindly laughed and said ‘no’ and that he doesn’t know how it’s going to turn out because he hasn’t finished creating it yet. Oohokay, yea that’s how I cook too.

KJW0101See the recipe for this delicious (and I mean truly divine) seared scallops with celtuce (yep, you’ll learn that that is), carrots, and fave beans, HERE.  KJW0122

During our time at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens, it was so impressive to me at how much care and dedication everyone puts in to their work. Great food and great wine is a lifestyle a lot of us associate with a certain income bracket, but spending time with Tucker, Randy, and Chef Justin has me thinking that’s a total lie. Great food isn’t about the price, it’s about the love and thought you put into it. The same goes for wine. If K-J embodies anything, it’s the notion that love and thoughtfulness are key ingredients to a well-live life.
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This post was created in partnership with Kendall-Jackson. All opinions are my own.

A CULINARY GARDEN TOUR WITH FARMER TUCKER

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Last month, Constance and I took a trip to Sonoma County to learn more about the Kendall-Jackson family, their mission, and what makes their wine so special. Between the fragrant vineyards, the terroir, and their familial roots, the trip was nothing short of a inspirational. Touring a vineyard is one thing, but learning about the belief system behind it, it’s sustainability-driven mission, and dedication to giving back is something entirely different. This week, we are taking you with us as we visit the Kendall-Jackson family vineyards. First stop, the culinary gardens with Farmer Tucker.KJW0001

Meet Tucker, Kendall-Jackson’s resident Culinary Gardener. With the belief that everyone should have access to good food, Tucker & his culinary garden at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Garden grow produce & herbs for over two dozen restaurants in California.

If a restaurant wants fresh, locally grown produce, but doesn’t have the space or time to dedicate, they can reach out to Tucker and his team to request certain vegetables at a fraction of the cost & keep business local.

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The culinary garden located on the K-J estate is magnificent. The love, care, and dedication poured into the grounds are inspiring. Not only is the scale impressive, but the belief in being hosts to the environment and being a good steward of the earth is felt by everyone who enters the property.KJW0046

Tucker wants the Chefs that work with the garden to feel like it’s a gift every time they open a produce box. By teaching his crew to think like Chefs, they are able to connect to the full cycle and it makes gardening so much more rich when you know the flavors an herb produces or how a beautifully prepares vegetable tastes.

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Think culinary gardening is too advanced for you? Think again! If Tucker started his culinary garden off in terracotta pots, we can try our hand at a windowsill herb box or a plot of carrots.

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First tip – start with a good base. No matter what you are planting, it’s all about the soil. Compost is best, but something local to your area works well. Pro tip – grab some organic fertilizer to jump-start your new green thumb.

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Next, don’t be afraid to try something new. Rosemary & basil are a new gardeners best friend, but let’s spice things up a bit and try lemon verbena or pineapple sage. Lemon verbena is terribly easy to grow & phenomenal when muddling a good cocktail. Love well-seasoned meat? Try planting some pineapple sage. It’s a wonderful robust herb that makes a killer seasoning for a roast or a protein on the grill.

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Want to step things up a bit? Try your hand at lettuce or kale. They are easier to grow than most produce and are easy to harvest. Stuck with low light, try “short day” tomatoes!

Ultimately, it all comes down to being good stewards to the earth. Whether it’s in the wine you drink or the food you eat, the care, love, and intention is what matters most.KJW0014


Like what you see? Follow @FarmerT on Instagram to see all the garden happenings!
constanceThis post is sponsored, but all opinions & thoughts are our own.