Perspectives of a Lady, Gentleman & Dane

Monthly Archive:: August 2014

Hannah Sheflyand

An amazing article was posted on Garden & Gun and I am in love with this story about three women who return to their family farm in Tennessee. The way these girls have returned to their roots and started their own business in a beautifully described farming area is a very sweet story and the pictures attached are gorgeous and make me want to move somewhere south with a big property and just buy a lot of goats (I love me a lot of goats!!!). Their business ideas and how they run their business is what I wish most restaurants would strive for because those are the most gratifying and delicious. Some quotes from the article are below but the whole thing can be viewed on Garden & Gun.

The farm:

Riverplains has been owned and inhabited by the Niceley family for generations, four of which still reside there. The farm covers more than four hundred rolling acres, which hug both banks of the Holston River, and has remained so unaltered over the ages that the narrows still hold a primitive fish trap one visiting archaeologist dated back to before the 1500s. The trap is a simple stack of rocks that could have been easily moved at any point, and yet, there it sits as if frozen in some sort
of Southern amber, a literal touchstone offering hope that no matter how messed up modern life becomes, there will always be pockets of the past we cannot destroy.”

The business:

The three of them joined forces nearly four years ago to run an old-fashioned, one-stop, Southern food operation that
 includes select wholesale—local chefs snap up cornmeal, grits, eggs, raw milk shares, grass-fed beef, and pastured pork—a non-GMO food truck, cooking and butchering lessons focusing on historic methods of grain, meat, and dairy prep, and soon, a brick-and-mortar Knoxville restaurant called Mister Canteen. The trio tends every crop from soil to plate—call it seed to table—a food initiative they believe bridges the gap between farmer and chef. “I love being able to bring our food to people in every form,” says Anna, a certified holistic nutritionist. “We are farming it, harvesting it, preparing it, and serving it.””







How gorgeous are these photos? Do you want to be on the next plane to Tennessee with me?

Some other articles of beautiful property can be viewed here, here and here.

Hannah Sheflyand

I have been inspired after our short vacation to Vermont to write about some great weekend getaways. I always believed that for me to feel refreshed and count a getaway as a vacation I needed to travel far and exotically. Yes vacations far away are great, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the little weekend getaways Brian and I have taken and they have been a refreshing change of pace to our everyday hectic lives and I thought it would be great to share some of our favorites and the great things that await when you get there.

First up is Woodstock, NY up in the Catskill mountains. This is a perfect weekend retreat in the summer if you want to get away from the extreme heat of New York and is a great romantic getaway in the fall with all the color changes and fall scenery. Woodstock is about a 2-3 hour drive from NYC and the same for a bus ride from Port Authority ($56.00 Round-trip).

woodstock inn 2

Once you get up there, there are many accommodation options, just understand there are no 5 star hotels, but my favorite is definitely the Woodstock Inn on the Mainstream.

woodstock inn

The prices for rooms are great, there is plenty of gorgeous views from the inn and the biggest perk is that the inn is still very close to everything in town.


Before Brian and I book anything, we first look for the places we will be able to eat in town. The #1 must stop place in Woodstock is the Garden Cafe on the Green. All the food is local, organic, freshly prepared and most importantly, DELICIOUS!


Even though breakfast is provided at the inn, a great spot for something warm, comforting and yummy, Bread Alone is great to take a break and grab a loaf or pastry. Bread Alone now is sold all around New York State, but there is nothing compared to grabbing a fresh warm slice of bread from the direct source.


There are many great cafes all over town, and all in waking distance, but if your still stuck on where to go, my other favorites are Yum Yum Noodle Bar and Oriole9. The Noodle Bar is a romantic little shop with a great menu that changes daily depending on the fresh ingredients available. There is now a Yum Yum food truck and many more shops opening all over NY state. Oriole 9 is a great healthy restaurant, operated by a sweet couple who strive to keep all their ingredients local and organic, and have only delicious food leaving the kitchen. Have you noticed the pattern here with food?


If you want to just have a relaxing weekend without many plans then you will be more then satisfied with just hanging out near the inn or checking out the little shops in town and just relax. If you want something a little more intense then I would highly suggest hiking up Overlook Mountain. It starts at the Buddhist Temple which is also a great little stop, but continues up the mountain for about 2.5 miles until you hit the top where there is an abandoned hotel and a fun water tower to climb and an amazingly beautiful view.


Whether you go on the hike or not, there is always an excuse to spend a few hours at the spa and River Rock Spa is the place to stop at. This spa is not very big but it is intimate and super comfortable with many options for spa packages.

It is so hard to fit all of Woodstock into one weekend, I have now been multiple times and still cant get enough. I am hoping that Brian and I will go spend a weekend there in September and enjoy the fall weather at its best.

What do you think of Woodstock, NY? Have you been before, if not would you consider spending a day or two there?

Hannah Sheflyand

I hope everyone had a great past week and weekend. Our trip to Vermont was amazing and I will definitely post some stories and pictures this week.

Even though today we are just getting back to the groove of things I wanted to share a music post I have been thinking about for a while. I am not a huge fan of country music but the singer who has changed me around on that is Jason Isbell (which I have posted before here & here), and today’s post is all about his hugely talented wife, Amanda Shires.She might not have all the fame like her husband but she is an amazing songwriter and deserves a listen. Wasted and Rollin’ is a favorite of mine from her latest album Down Fell the Doves, but if you want to get an overall feel for her music Carrying Lightning is free for Amazon Prime Members (if you are a student Amazon Prime is free for the first 6 months).

P.S.- If you are in love with this country power couple as much as Brian and I are, then you should have a listen to an awesome interview they did with the podcast Death, Sex and Money.

Hannah Sheflyand

Brian and I are off on a family vacation to Woodstock, Vermont! I have actually never been to Vermont and am very excited to visit a new state. Brian spent many summers there with family and we will be joining his parents and his older sister and husband up in a house they rented for a week.

I am excited for a few days of quiet relaxation, and time with Brian and his family, but I am also looking forward for the long drives there and back. Its 5 hours each way and the perfect time to catch up with Brian, listen to podcasts/music and enjoy the scenic sites out the window. I also feel like it gives the perfect time to just unwind from all the stress and actually arrive at our destination relaxed and ready to enjoy the vacation.


The picture at the top of the post and this one above are of the the house we are staying at and the property surrounding it. It is the Fern Brook House located on Birch Hill Farm right outside of town.


The property is gorgeous and I hope to spend most of my free time exploring,unfortunately Charlie does not get to join us this time.


The girls are planning on a spa day at the Woodstock Inn & Spa… I cant wait for my body wrap and relaxing massage. With us being preoccupied, the boys are planning on spending the day outdoors at a shooting range.

We plan on mostly cooking at the house since it comes with a beautifully equipped large kitchen. However we did make reservations for two restaurants that offer farm to table dining experience, Simon Pearce & Cloudland Farm.

We plan on mostly cooking at the house since it comes with a beautifully equipped large kitchen. However, it is a vacation and sometimes its good to have a break from the kitchen, so we did make reservations for two restaurants that offer a farm to table dining experience, Simon Pearce & Cloudland Farm.

The rest of our time will probably consist of lounging around reading and relaxing and at the lake swimming and kayaking.

I don’t think we will have easily accessible internet access and I promised Brian I would stay away from the computer as much as possible, so I will not be updating on the blog the rest of the week. If you have some time, I hope you browse through some of our earlier posts, and I will be back at it again next Monday with a week full of posts on great choices to spend a weekend away from NYC.