Fetching Furniture: Our May Road Trip to Littleton, NH

Ryan and I drove north for Memorial Day weekend, leaving Maple in New Jersey with my in-laws, then continuing north to New Hampshire.

We stayed two nights, which meant we essentially drove two days for one day of vacation, but we have so much fun on our route to and from Littleton. We’ve got coffee shops and cafes to stop at every 2 or so hours.

But to understand why we took this trip, you have to hop back in time.

October, 2014:

Last October, Ryan and I had planned another road trip to Littleton. We wanted to buy a dresser for Maple’s nursery from Just L, our favorite mid-century furniture store. When my mom passed away just a day before our trip was supposed to start, we had a quick conversation about what to do. My mom had adamantly stated that there would be no funeral or service, so we had a choice. Go on the trip, and get a few raised eyebrows, or sit around the house being sad with my dad. We chose to travel, and we brought my dad along with us.

It was an unconventional thing to do for sure, but it was right for us.New Hampshire Jane Pop Hiking October 2014

We hiked the White Mountains and found a little peace in nature. We made fires and s’mores in the log cabin. We showed my dad around town and took him to the Mount Washington Hotel.

Omni Mt Washington New Hampshire Winter Cloudy

Gorgeous, even in the gloom of late fall.

Omni Mount Washington Winter

We met the Republican candidates for the upcoming election in the local diner. We were photographed awkwardly by photographers while talking to the candidate who was the former president of our company. My extremely liberal dad gleefully told the candidates he was rooting for their opponents. I think that was the highlight of the trip for him. . . But I digress.

We bought a gorgeous dresser at Just L, but we couldn’t fit it in the car with three adult passengers. We hoped to return before Maple’s arrival, but my back nerve pain was so bad that we couldn’t go back in time.

May 2015:

This Memorial Day Weekend turned out to be perfect time for our first baby-free trip! On Saturday morning Ryan and I left her in New Jersey and hit the road. I was a wreck for the first few hours, worried that Maple would be super stressed without me and my MIL wouldn’t get any sleep.

Spoiler alert: The only one stressed was me.

I’ll be honest – the part of the trip I was most excited about was the sleeping part. No baby to wake me up! I spoiled it for myself, though, because I couldn’t fall asleep at night due to my excitement about the prospect of sleep. And when I did sleep, I kept waking up. Whoops!

Ryan and I had an awesome time, and found that two nights away was just the right length. A lot of things didn’t go according to plan.

It was cold the first night, so we went to Wal-Mart (the only place that was open) for sweatshirts. The only sweatshirts in the entire store said “Vermont.” We were in New Hampshire. We bought them anyway.

The next morning we awoke to beautiful weather, and didn’t need the out-of-state sweatshirts. As we left the motel for a late breakfast, Ryan gestured to the otherwise empty parking lot and said

“See all those people? Those are the ones traveling with little kids.” Ha!

Eastgate Motor Lodge Littleton NH

When we arrived at the Omni Mount Washington for a planned afternoon of cocktails and lounging in rocking chairs on their back porch, admiring the views and relaxing, we were turned away at the gate. Along with every other car that arrived.

Omni Mount Washington Spring New Hampshire

It turns out that a group had rented the entire resort for the entire weekend. So we hiked instead.

And we were turned away at the gate of the first hike we attempted, because it was closing. But we found a better trail and did 4 good miles.

That was probably a lot better than lounging, eating, and drinking – because we did that in the evening at our belated Mother’s Day dinner at the Inn at Sugar Hill. We had enjoyed the 4-course meal here on our honeymoon and enjoyed it again.

There was, of course, some shopping, and most important of all – we picked up the dresser! At 6 feet long, it just barely fit in the back of my station wagon, and I joked to Ryan that maybe I needed a minivan. Not for babies, but for furniture! :)

Dresser Master Bedroom

Monday’s drive back to Maple in New Jersey was good – just like the trip North, during the trip south we appeared to be driving against traffic. Maybe New England is a good Memorial Day destination, when everyone else is heading to the beach?

The time alone to just converse like an adult with Ryan was refreshing , and bringing home the dresser was exciting, but I’ll be honest:

The best part of the trip was when we arrived back in Jersey, and I got to spend all night being woken up by my hungry baby.

Life is funny that way.

Introducing the All New JANERY Website!

Toss the confetti and pop the champagne, because the JANERY website has finally launched! 

Janery Online Store Pet Beds Home Accessories

But before we go shopping, THANK YOU to all of you readers who have encouraged me along the way.  You rock.

Janery Shop Online Pet Beds Home Decor Made in the USA

It feels good to finally accomplish this huge business goal.  When you get to the website, I hope you’ll join the Janery VIP Club!

What does that mean?

  • VIPs save 15% during the Launch Week Sale
  • Access to JANERY sales reserved exclusively for VIP subscribers
  • Monthly updates on the latest fabulous happenings at JANERY
  • I will never share or sell your information

Well, what are you waiting for?  Check out the new Janery.com!

Please let me know if you have any trouble with the site.

JANERY Launches Monday! Want access to the VIP sale?

I’m so excited to tell you that the new JANERY website is finally launching on Monday! 

Janery Opens Monday

I’ve put a lot of time and effort into the site, and I can’t wait to share it with you.  I’ve written and re-written text, I’ve taken and edited photos, and then retaken photos when I wasn’t happy with the results, and honestly – I would like to take even better product photos, but at some point you just have to bite the bullet and say “it’s good enough for now.”

Before Monday comes, I’ve got a request.  I’d love to have you sign up for the JANERY newsletter.  Now I know that many businesses spam you with daily emails once you sign up, and it’s so annoying!

As part of JANERY’s relaunch, I decided I will only have a few sales a year.  They will usually be reserved exclusively for my email subscribers as thanks for letting me into their inbox.

I also decided I will never send daily emails, because no matter how fabulous my products are, that is just ridiculous.

What can you expect if you sign up?  A monthly email (and occasionally more often if I have something extra-fabulous to share).

So do you want access to the private launch-day sale, exclusively for my email news subscribers?

Click here to subscribe.

I respect and appreciate that you’ve shared your personal info, and I promise to never share or sell it!

I’ll see you back here Monday, champagne in hand, for the big reveal!

The Scavenged Garden: Rescuing Old Landscaping from New Construction

Scavenged Garden Title Image

This weekend I set out to do a tiny gardening project, but it quickly got carried away – in a good way!  What started out as me venturing to a house to dig up a few daffodil bulbs ended in my slowly driving home with the trunk of my station wagon open, trees spilling out the back of it.

Scavenged Garden Trunk Load Trees

But let’s back up a little.

My town of Vienna, VA is only 30 minutes from downtown Washington, DC and somehow maintains a small-town, local feel though it’s surrounded by the sprawling suburbs.    For decades our neighborhood was comprised of small brick 1950’s ranch houses, including the one we rent.  I think ours is about 1500 sq ft.  But over the 5 years we have lived here things have changed dramatically.  One by one, the ranches are being bulldozed, and large two or three-story homes are built in their places.

It’s because Vienna is a fabulous town, especially if you’re raising a family.  I should tell you all about it some other time. But I digress.

As a renter, I don’t like to spend a lot of money on landscaping, even though we have no plans of moving anytime soon.   During our first summer in this home, I created this garden out of bricks I found on the property and plant cuttings from my MIL’s garden.

Scavenged Rental Friendly Garden Shade Garden

Lately I’ve wanted to create a “scavenged” landscape by collecting plants from houses that were about to be bulldozed. This weekend our friends got permission from a builder to scavenge the house next door to them, and I popped over to “just get a few daffodil bulbs.”

Did you ever read The Secret Garden as a child? I did, and I loved the idea of discovering and uncovering (literally) an old, overgrown garden.  I found the concept so magical.

As we set about digging up hundreds of daffodils, we started to realize this was the equivalent of the Secret Garden in a way. What was once a very ornate and landscaped garden was now overgrown almost beyond hope.

An old trellis arch led into an area that was surrounded by gnarly old rose bushes that are barely visible under all the honeysuckle and weeds.  (Those rose bushes will be saved when the house is bulldozed, and I’m so glad the builder realized the charm in protecting them!)

Scavenged Garden A Secret Garden Arch

 

Anyhow, I could talk about the magic and history I imagined forever, but let’s get to the point.  While I was digging up a wheelbarrow-full of old Lilies, I realized there were two healthy hydrangea bushes.  My friend and I were able to dig them up and each take one.

Scavenged Garden Wheelbarrow of Lilies

The lilies I rescued!

Then I noticed there were old lilac bushes – and yep, you guessed it – we dug them up, 4 in total.  Here’s my share of the lilacs:

Scavenged Garden Lilac Tree

Two and a half hours later we were dividing the haul and loading my half into my wagon. Fortunately I had brought a large tarp, which protected my car from the dirt

and also helped to hold the plants in as I slowly drove the two miles home with my trunk partially open.

After Ryan and I unloaded the car I realized that I had bitten off more than I could chew.  However!  I’m going to work at planting the lilies and daffodils over the next week.  They’re safely living in moist dirt and tubs for now.

I can’t begin to calculate how much this many plants would cost at a nursery.  My body is aching and I have a feeling tomorrow will be even worse, but I’m pretty excited about the arm workout I got saving these plants, and the free landscaping my rented home is about to get!