New Year News (+ a New Project)

Hi, friends, I hope 2017 is off to a good start for you. Life threw me some very big curve balls the past few months (both happy and sad, including a loss in our family) so I’ve been hibernating and just taking everything in. I never know what to say online about somber events whether they’re on a personal or worldwide level so I usually just retreat until I’m feeling better and ready to engage with the world again. That’s where I am now so I want to share with you some of the good things that are happening.


The biggest news is that we bought a farm! Some of you may remember way back when I started this blog, we were looking for a weekend house in the country. Then we moved, our lifestyle changed completely and that idea got scrapped. But in the past year, the idea started to make sense again so we started casually looking. This time, we decided to look for land where we could build something. We weren’t really expecting to find anything for a while but a few months ago, we stumbled on an idyllic piece of land with a cute little farmhouse. So we jumped on it.


We are still thinking of building something at some point but we don’t have to make any decisions now since the house is in very good shape and we can start enjoying the farm immediately. It’s a small 2 bedroom/1 bath that is almost 100 years old. Other than paint and some minor repairs, we just need to redo the kitchen and bath – which I can’t wait to get moving on!


Other long-term plans include a vegetable garden, orchard, vineyard, lavender fields….. but one thing at a time. It’s a whole new world and there is a lot to learn. I literally know nothing about growing anything but thankfully, my mom is a master gardener so I’m ready to have her teach me her ways! There’s even an old barn on the property which I have grand visions of transforming into something like this…..


Isn’t this beautiful? (This and the photo before it are from the Hammersky Vineyards in Paso Robles, Ca. I may need to pay them a visit for more inspiration!)

Being a diehard city person, I never thought I would ever want to live in the country. Like ever. But nothing sounds better to me right now than spending quiet weekends on our own little farm. What can I say? People evolve and life takes a lot of unexpected turns. Never say never, am I right?

I don’t have any good photos yet but I will have plenty in the coming months. I’m so looking forward to sharing the renovations and snippets of farm life with you. I hope you’ll enjoy following along!


And that brings me to one other bit of news. I always like to take stock of things here at the beginning of a new year. (FTRB turned eight in January!) Looking back on all of these years, I see that FTRB has been like a big lab where I’ve experimented with different ideas, new series, etc. FTRB has also always reflected where I am in life, starting out as a decor and design blog then branching out into travel and other topics. I think that was natural since this is my personal blog. But lately, I realized that in an effort to paint a more complete picture of what is going on, I’ve been trying to cover too much territory and not doing a very good job at any of it.


So for 2017, I think I’m going to go back to just focusing on decor and home. It’s not that I’m no longer traveling, making art or exploring ways to live a good life. I’m still doing all of those things. But here on the blog, I’d like to try bringing my energies to just one topic and to hopefully make FTRB better as a result. Let’s see where and how it all goes, shall we?

So that’s all for me for today. I’ll be back soon to tell you about my plans for the interior of the farmhouse. Thank you as always for reading!

(Photos: 1,4,5. Hammersky Vineyards 2.via Pinterest 3.via Pinterest  6.via Pinterest 7.via Pinterest)

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26 thoughts on “New Year News (+ a New Project)

  1. I love the weekend country house idea! Some choose the lake, the ocean, the mountains, but I hope your county farm brings peach and satisfaction. Can’t wait to see your projects!!

  2. Always delighted to see one of your posts pop up, although I’m so sorry to hear about your recent loss. I feel the same way about blogging during challenging times – whether they’re personal or on a bigger level, exactly as you mentioned. On a much happier note, congratulations on the new property, it sounds like an exciting project. And how helpful that your mother is a master gardener! Looking forward to seeing more and wishing you the best as you transition to farm life!

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. If I blogged I would take time off too.

    Glad to hear about the new property! Those pictures look like they should be on post cards. Looks like the most perfect retreat. Make sure to stock up on candles and lanterns. You never know what will happen in the country and power can take longer to get running after a storm or some such.

    Weekly random posts are usually fun and can tackle many misc topics if you feel the desire to post about travel and the like again.

    Looking forward to new posts when you are up for it.

    Take care!

  4. Ally, I’m thrilled for you two. Life takes us in a direction we often didn’t see coming. We sold our 4 bedroom home & are closing on a 874 square ft. 20’s California cottage. I must be nuts!

    I’m sorry for your recent loss. Sometimes, a loss can steer us where we need to be.

    Here’s to possibilities! xx

  5. Congrats on the new place, I can’t wait to hear and see more. Take care of yourself and blog when you want to — whatever the topic is, we’re always here and excited to read. Cheers – CT

  6. I am so sorry for your loss, my beautiful friend. Sending you a warm hug.

    And that is wonderful about your farm. I never thought that I could live out of a city and now I think it would have to be a very particular kind of city (say, Rome) to get me to return to one.

    And will you consider sharing your travels still on Instagram? I live vicariously through you!
    With much love and strength,

  7. It looks beautiful, Ally!

    I’m sorry to hear about the death in your family, I hope you are doing ok and that some time out at the farm will help restore a sense of balance and well-being.


  8. This is sooo exciting!!! And I’m so very jealous. Can’t wait to see it…need a neighbor? ;-))) I’m dying to find some countryside…its getting harder and harder to come by. So happy for you guys! And it was great to hear from you and to hear you are feeling better. Hugs!

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