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Hey you guys! Back for another weekly blog post. Here's the scoop this week...

I was invited to be a guest on Passion Pod talking about all things 'Small Town Me'. You can listen in (or watch the live stream) here! Let me know what you think :)

Brady feeding our friend's alpaca in Colorado - 2017

In 2017, my husband and I loaded up the kids and the icehouse, then headed to Colorado for a little family road trip. Our friends that we stayed with had alpacas just hanging out in their yard. Fast-forward a couple weeks later, we were home and I couldn’t stop thinking about my fuzzy friends over in Colorado. I decided to make a call to a breeder I had met in Colorado and purchased three alpacas… Two of which were pregnant.  Why so many… Because alpacas are herd animals and so I had to do a minimum of three. I don’t make the rules you guys!

So, our new fuzzy friends made the trip from Colorado over to their new home in Minnesota. I’m just learning as I go, but I will tell you guys the joy these alpacas bring me every time I see them running around my pasture is significant - the cute factor!!

Our alpacas getting aquainted to their new home in Minnesota

Jordan hanging out with Snow the alpaca
Our baby Cria

When I originally bought them, I had every intention of having their fiber made into yarn so that I could knit and crochet all the things. That dream started with me making a dish rag and ended with me making a dish rag. I found out fast that I am not a knitter, but that’s OK.  These alpacas bring our family more joy then a hand knitted sweater ever could. I'm so grateful for this impulse buy!

1. I'm super excited for our first 4th of July at our cabin.  I've been on the hunt for the perfect outdoor decorations to make our lakeshore festive. These corrugated plastic stars are going to be perfect! They will stick right into the ground and I’ll be able to easily store them for use again next year.

2. My friends also have a cabin out on Balsam Lake, and they decorate their deck railing with these cute patriotic banners. Super festive and they show up beautifully from the lake. Plus- I love the polished feel. They are really easy to attach with zip-ties and the best part is they can also be reused year after year.

3. These pinwheels are perfect for sticking in planters and making fun and festive centerpieces. Again - any decorations that I can use year after year is a bonus!

4. Adding the smallest accessory to your outfit is an easy way to bring on the Fourth of July vibes. I'm loving these sunglasses!

5. Fun clothing does not have to be all red white and blue. Jordan's swim trunks totally fit the theme for the upcoming holiday weekend! **fish is not linked!

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Hey you guys- I'm back! It's been a minute since my last blog post. If you follow me on social media, you haven't missed much. As for the rest of you- get ready! Every week you guys will get a sprinkling of fun and inspiration from me on all the situations! Specifically:

Current Situations, Currently Loving, Top Sellers, and a Fun Personal Note

I'm so glad you're here!

My Dad & Brady Fishing on the White Fish Chain - Minnesota

Father’s Day is right around the corner and the biggest question at least on my mind is what do I give Jeff. I feel like he is so hard to shop for and anytime he needs some thing, he will usually just buy it himself. Then garage sailing last week, I came up with the perfect idea… I’m going to  give Jeff Garage sale finds for Father’s Day. Yes… I know it’s genius.  

Starting off strong with a yeti tote bag that I had to pay $60 for but hey, it’s brand new - so it’s like  I got it half off!  The fun part is filling the bag… I found a boot brush that he can stick outside to clean his boots off… Because as you know we live in a farm and stepping in poop is a real thing.  As for the rest of Jeff’s surprises, my eyes are now peeled!

To help you guys get started on your own Father’s Day gift bag situation I came up with some fun ideas!  Plus  I’m linking the yeti bag and the boot brush that I picked up at the garage sale.  I absolutely love this grill cleaner because it doesn’t have any bristles… it cleans your grill with a wire coil, which is so much safer. 

This  yeti half gallon thermos is a favorite around our house.  I know the size looks significant but I will tell you both Jeff and Brady have one and they bring this thing everywhere. It’s a must have especially if your guy loves To stay hydrated.   these Melin hats are so great! They are Waterproof  they hold up so well.   Plus they have such a polished vibe to them.


You guys have great taste! Here is what sold the most last week. And I have to say.. I am also loving these recent purchases. From kitchen accessories for our cabin

to holiday style inspo and everything in between.

I love seeing what you guys are most interested in purchasing. 


My early years playing the piano - 1985

Practicing piano at my parents house - 1998

By now, most of you know that I impulsively bought a piano the other day. A piano that my husband has not yet noticed…. Here’s a little backstory on how this impulse buy came to be…

These past couple months, I started feeling really burnt out and overwhelmed. I went to my kinesiologist and said I think I’ve lost my creativity.- Because that’s how I felt.   I felt like all of my creative magic was gone.  After a few cranial adjustments, Dr. Moe asked me if I knew how to play any instruments like the piano… Affirmative.  Apparently playing the piano works a different part of the brain and in my case that part of the brain needs to be exercised. Within one hour, I had my new impulse buy locked and loaded into my car.

Here’s the back-backstory… I started taking piano lessons in about third grade. I mostly played by ear, So the songs I chose to play were ones familiar to me like Fur Elise.  It wasn’t until middle school when one of my piano teachers noticed me playing the song she assigned but in a different key… She started assigning me unfamiliar pieces by Bach and Chopin, hoping to get me to read music a little better… what I ended up learning is that I have more fun dabbling with the piano just like I dabble with craft supplies.

So why doesn’t Jeff know about the piano… When l purchased the piano Jeff was out of town… so it was the perfect opportunity for me to sneak my new piano into our house.  Pulling a fast one on Jeff when he’s out of town is nothing new… When we were first married Jeff left on a fishing trip and the next day I had painter show up at my house to help me give our lbathroom a facelift.  It’s just one of the perks of being being married to me I guess!  As of now, I don’t know if Jeff knows about the piano and doesn’t want to admit it or if he truly is oblivious to the musical instrument sitting in our office. Either way I am enjoying playing again and basking in all of my creativity.

My parent's house - 1988

Piano Recital - 1990


As most of you know, I’m always on the hunt for great skincare/make-up that does all the things! Especially in the summer months when SPF is an absolute necessicity. I like my make-up to feel light, protect my skin and gives me that glowy summer look all day long. 

As of recent, I’ve found myself frequently grabbing these items for my everyday no make-up look and feel. I love how the Revision tinted moisturizer with SPF is light weight with a subtle tint, yet protects your skin from all those harmful UV rays. The Chanel Les beige foundation in B30, gives my skin that stunning summer natural glow. Sisley concealer in shade 2, has been a go-to of mine for a while. It stays on all day and doesn’t crease under my eyes like other brands I’ve tried. These eye shadows are a must for summer! I love the faint sparkles which add that little extra pop to my eyes. Not to mention the Supergoop daydream eyeshadow has SPF in it! Dibs duel stick is a great way to add some natural looking tints of color to your face. I love how easy it is to blend and the compact case is great to throw in your bag for a mid-day touch up. Stila eye liner and Hourglass arch eyebrow stick have been some one of my go-to products for a long time. The small tip on the Stila eye liner makes precise yet natural looking lines at the base of my eyelashes and is so easy to use. Hourglass arch eyebrow stick is how I get my eyebrows looking more full and defined from morning to night. To top off my everyday look, I first use Tom Ford Indian rose lipstick then Dior lip glow oil. I love the combination of delicate pink tones that adds that perfect amount of natural color and glow. 

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As soon as the weather starts to turn nice here in Minnesota, it happens. Garage sale signs start popping up everywhere - and I am here for it! Often times when I'm at a garage sale, people will comment about their sale not having anything good. Have you ever heard the saying "one man's junk is another man's treasure"? I am always finding items at garage sales. From clothing to housewares, you would be amazed the items you come across.

I hit a fair amount of garage sales in 2020. At one sale I picked up nine Barbie Dolls... all in the original boxes. I picked up those Barbies for $10 each and flipped them on ebay for ... a lot more then the $90 I spent. Flipping items is fun, but most of the time I end up purchasing items for me and my family. Here are just a few of the things I found last year:

Gold-dipped leaf pendant

Chanel skirt

Denim Jacket

Coach scarf

Ralph Lauren Camo Shirt

Abercrombie Sweatshirts

Vintage Beer Mugs

Exercise Equipment

Fox Racing Clothes

Redwing pottery

Christmas Decore

... Even my teenage boys favoite Busch Sweatshirt!

So on to my garage sale plans for this year. These pictures show just a few of the items I picked up today. Yes - I hit multiple sales. Sometimes I do leave empty handed, but most of the time I find something worth my while. Today on the blog I'm sharing what's on my garage sale list for 2021.

The crazy thing about the garage sales I hit today, is that many of the items I found are actually items I look for. First, let's talk vessel's / vases. Today I was lucky enough to find a piece of Redwing pottery in perfect condition for $5. I'm always on the lookout for Redwing and Roseville pieces at garage sale prices. This year I hit one sale with a cute Redwing vase priced at over $80. Hard pass. The deals are out there... you just have to look and be patient. Last year I also found a piece of Redwing pottery - super dusty in a box at a barn sale. I bought that piece for $3... it's so darling in my living room.

Another item I'm always on the lookout for is silverware. Honestly - you can never have enough silverware! In my basement I actually have small storage boxes each labled with 'dinner forks', 'salad forks', 'knives', 'spoons', and 'serving ware'. When we host parties, I use mismatched place settings wrapped in either cloth or paper napkins. Not only is it cute, but if silverware goes missing (from eating outdoors or accidentally thrown away), I don't stress. I have a never ending supply (thanks to my favorite pastime)! Today I picked up a decent size box full of mismatched silverware and I paid $4. Just think about how much you invest in plasticware for parties. My $4 investment isn't all that bad.

Next is gift wrap. With the exception of Christmas wrap, I rarely purchase my gift wrap in stores. I find ribbon, wrapping paper, tissue paper, and present toppers at garage sales every year. And the best part is, most of the time the items are vintage. Besides gift wrap, I'm also always on the search for vintage cards. Sometimes I will send out the cards as is... other times I'll remake them into new cards. I even scrapbook with them... because that's just how I roll! Today I found an entire box of unused vintage cards for 75 cents! That is a crazy amazing deal! Honestly - I probably would have spent $4 on that box of cards... but I'll totally take it for under $1!

Lastly I picked up a box of polished rocks. They were actually on a ceramic tray, but I asked the woman if I could purchase only the rocks. Pretty sure she thought I was crazy, but I gladly took them off her hands for $2. She asked me - what are you going to do with all these rocks? Vase fillers! For example, I've taken Potterybarn small faux potted succulents and clustered them in a bowl... I add rocks around the pots to keep them grounded. I keep a box of rocks in my basement for decorating purposes... centerpieces, candles, ... there are honestly so many uses for polished rocks.

Other items I'll be on the lookout for this year while I garage sale:

Clothes for my teenage boys - some of their most worn pieces I actually find in free boxes.

Clothes for myself - As I mentioned, I've picked up everything from Chanel to Abercrombie!

Vintage Christmas, Easter, and Halloween decorations.. it's so fun to place these unique items out on display.

Gold and designer jewelry - My best friend's sister found a David Yurman ring. Total goals!

Skylanders, Disney Infinity characters, disney cars, Ertyl die cast toys - Always check those free boxes and random boxes of toys. These items are out there and usually super cheap.

Weights - because they are expensive, they never go out of style, and they are usually priced dirt cheap.

I hope I've inspired you to check out some garage sales this summer. Always go with an open mind because you truly never know what you're going to find!

Remember to check out my Instagram @smalltownme

Love Emily.

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