Prized Show Jumper Slaughtered in FL Close to Barn

I hate the negative, I want my blog to be positive and happy, puppies & candy canes, but this story sort of rocked my little world today. I am not even going to link a news story, there are so many now. Just google and pick one, I wouldn’t even know which one to pick for you.

I started riding back in 2007, right around the time that we were fighting in the US to close the last horse slaughter house in Illinois. Well once we shut down the last US slaughterhouse, the auctions didn’t stop, the killbuyers didn’t stop, now our horses just get transported to Canada & Mexico. At least when the slaughterhouses were here in the US, we could go in and regulate them, we could go in and make our PETA propaganda videos! Now why are we slaughtering horses at all you ask? Countries in Europe, Japan, and South America eat horse meat. Its a delicacy in some places, sweeter and leaner than beef. In Cuba especially horse meat is thought to have mystical powers, like sexual potency. Every year we breed thousands of unwanted horses, thoroughbreds that don’t earn their keep at the track, foals from the PMU industry (thats a whole other topic), and just family horses that people can’t afford to keep that are sold to kill buyers unknowingly. Its very sad for horse lovers to think about…..someone selling their horse to someone who they think is giving their horse a new home when they are really just taking that horse to auction for slaughter….sold by the pound.

Many surprising horses have ended up at slaughter houses. One that sticks out in my memory is Ferdinand, a grandson of Northern Dancer, winner of the Kentucky Derby & Preakness back in 1964. Quite a few have been saved once someone realized who they were, like Secretariat’s brother, Straight Flush.

Ok, so thats the history..what happened this past weekend is the horse meat black market in Florida really stepping into the spotlight. Horse meat on the black market is going for up to $40/lb. Thats crazy when you think about a horse being about 1,300 pounds. This past weekend Phedras de Blondel, a beautiful Grand Prix show jumper that I believe had just arrived to Steve & Debbie Stephens’s farm in Palmetto FL was led from its stall, killed, and then butchered for meat.

The person(s) who killed him was experienced, a professional, very precise cuts. I won’t go into too much detail, but I imagine the people who actually saw what was left of him will have trouble forgetting it. I think I read that just this year there has been 17 slaughterings like this in Florida. Florida is home to many horses, and the population of Florida is very diverse. Some have hypothesized that this might be happening in Florida because of the Cuban population in the area.

I just don’t know. Horse barns are usually sort of open. Tack rooms might be locked, but we really rely on people self policing at the barn, asking strangers what they are up to. People live there full time, which is helpful because a person or a dog might hear thieves…motion lights help. Now in Florida people are having surveillance systems set up and hiring security guards.

I feel for the Stephens family….Debbie is an amazingly accomplished rider and her husband Steve is an awesome course designer, and they had big plans for Phedras de Blondel. I can’t even imagine how much money the horse was worth, but I know they have a reward out for any information about the incident.

The attention this is getting will hopefully curb the issue…but part of me can’t help but wonder if this is our fault. Did we do away with horse slaughter that could be monitored and provided lots of jobs just to have the black market make it even more violent and sinister now? Thinking about someone unlatching a stall door, sweetly whispering to a horse, slipping a halter over his perfect velvet ears, and then calmly walking a hundred yards away to do what these people did (because I doubt he/she could have done this alone) is just disturbing.

Anyway, this is certainly not pleasant. I hope that the reward money is enticing enough to catch these people. One of the hallmarks of prep/preppy/trad culture is the sport. Crew, tennis, polo, golf, fox hunting, lacrosse, whatever…..most of us enjoy at least one….and what happened in Florida….I don’t know, it would be like somebody burning down Wimbledon and watching the grass scorch….or taking every 8 in the Harvard boathouse and sinking them in Boston Harbor….

Here he is, in all his glory, just 12 years old.

Photographie Eric KNOLL. Palaiseau 2014. CSI 2*. Jumping. Equestrian Event. Christian HERMON (FRA). PHEDRAS DE BLONDEL
Photographie Eric KNOLL. Palaiseau 2014. CSI 2*. Jumping. Equestrian Event. Christian HERMON (FRA). PHEDRAS DE BLONDEL

Ears forward, gentle but focused eye, perfectly tucked front legs, and muscles rippling. This horse was meant for great things with some amazing athletes.

Alright, this was a rough post to write. Horses have given me more than I could ever give back to them, but paying tribute where tribute is due, and not forgetting this crime is a little thing I can do. Hug your ponies and appreciate them everyday!

End rant, on to the weekend! Love to you all! Here is the latest Matt Bellassai video to lighten the mood here! It’s perfect, the worse things about Halloween….

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REI’s Opt Outside Campaign

I think it was Monday night that I got the email from REI that they were closing on black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. REI is a coop company where once you join the coop, any purchases get chronicled, and you get money back each year on your purchases. I have gotten camping & hiking stuff at REI in the past. Black Friday has become a day of American consumerism like nothing else. The time for stores to open has pushed all the way to basically after dinner on Thanksgiving Thursday. The first year I headed up to NH to be with my fiancé’s family after Thanksgiving lunch with my family, there was traffic. I was shocked, how could there be traffic going through his town? It was because of the Walmart. I was driving to get to dessert with those I love, and got stuck in traffic with people going to get the best deal on a new flatscreen.

REI’s campaign asks us to go outside on Friday after Thanksgiving- get out of the stores, get off our computers, and do something outside. They created the hashtag “opt outside” for all of us to showcase our non consumer driven activities. Its fine with me because we were already planning to hike in NH. I still have to do the Tripyramids, Hancocks, and Cabot this fall/winter.

Will REI reach a new group of people to be customers? I don’t know, its a pretty specific audience that goes to REI. Maybe the campaign will inspire people to go buy new outdoorsy items for their #optoutside adventures. Maybe REI will even toss us some sales beforehand to help us get outfitted for the day. Will other companies join REI in closing on Black Friday? I don’t know. Think about everyone being able to spend all of Thursday & all of Friday with their families. REI’s 143 stores will be closed on that Friday and every employee will get paid to go do something outside! Can someone start paying me to play outside?! Here are the little YouTube videos they have created for the #optoutside campaign:

Opting outside will cost me gas money, and maybe a parking fee depending on which mountain we go to. Sooooo much cheaper than whatever I would ever buy on black Friday. Go outside more, spend less.

c/o Mon

Fruitlands Morning Walk

This past weekend, my fiancé Jon, Mizpah my pup, and myself headed to the Fruitlands trails in Harvard MA. The Fruitlands was the site of a failed utopian society in 1843. Bronson Alcott, a transcendentalist, and father of Louisa May Alcott, moved his family to the site and sadly, the experiment failed in its first winter. They along with others were trying to live off the fruits of the land, hence the name Fruitlands. Clara Endicott Sears moved to the land in 1910 long after it had been abandoned to build herself a summer home. She restored the Fruitlands Farmhouse and started the museum. There is a museum store, a cafe, an art gallery, a visitor’s center, and a Native American heritage museum on the land. We just went to walk the trails. It was beautiful.

Fruitlands Farmhouse where the Alcott family lived in 1843
Fruitlands Farmhouse where the Alcott family lived in 1843

First stop was the farmhouse. I believe the house is a Georgian style home. The roof has very little overhang, the winnows are symmetrical with a front door in the middle, but it has two floors, and is two rooms deep. I know that old houses are a lot of work to own, but I would love to own a historic home.

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This is the Willard Farm site. The farm dates back to the early 1700s, and the Alcotts lived here in 1844. Everyone bailed on the community during the winter of 1843, and eventually sometime in 1844 the Alcotts moved back to Concord. From what I have read, Bronson was very depressed when the Fruitlands didn’t work out and his wife, Abby, actually took their 4 daughters to a cottage in a village nearby. They eventually convinced Bronson to leave the Fruitlands and go back to Concord. The house on this site burned down in 1852 and was never rebuilt.

Loved this red and yellow foliage!
Loved this red and yellow foliage!

The land where we walked also had a brick factory in the late nineteenth century. The railroad was right there going through Harvard which made transport easy. The clay & sand in the area from the glacial beach left after the last ice age gave them plenty of materials. There were bricks and foundations left behind in the area.

Remnants of brick structure
Remnants of brick structure
Foundation from the brick workers dorm
Foundation from the brick workers dorm
Foundation from the home of the brick factory owner, J.C. Richmond, 120 years ago
Foundation from the home of the brick factory owner, J.C. Richmond, 120 years ago

It was an absolutely beautiful place. I love finding these abandoned settlements and spots in New England. It feels like if you let your imagination go for a moment, you can almost hear the crackling of an outdoor fire and the clanging of pots and mugs as workers gathered to share a meal. Hitting the trails at Fruitlands costs $6 a person, and that money goes back into the site. The trails were very well marked and so were the sites along the way. Here are some more pics from the day!

It was not a cold morning, but it was overcast. I wore my Barbour over a sweater & flannel, and my Toggis were huge for keeping ticks off of me! This was my first site on my list that I created, can’t wait to check more off the list!

$6….and I got to spend the morning with my fiancé, my dog, and some history outside….priceless.

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Weekend Eats: Park Plaza Hotel & The Bancroft

This past weekend I went out to dinner on both Friday & Saturday night! Many of you know from reading that I am trying to save money these days, but it couldn’t be helped. Friday night, I went out for a friend’s birthday to Off the Common, the lobby restaurant in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. The Park Plaza Hotel was built in 1925 and actually used to be beachfront property before the bay was filled in to make Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Crazy. There are so many restaurants in that area; we chose Off the Common because we had a room in the hotel and it was really easy for meeting up with people right in the lobby. We had wine and ordered mussels, lobster mac & cheese, buffalo chicken pops, the charcuterie plate, and a chicken & mushroom flatbread to share. From there we went out to Whisky Saigon and had a great time dancing with friends. There was an interesting crowd there, college age all the way up. The music was great and it was really easy to get a bartender, which is a huge plus in Boston. Only thing I didn’t like was the only water they gave you was bottled for $5….oh well.

Here are a couple pics I took off the Park Plaza Hotel website….its a gorgeous older hotel, definitely in a great location too!

Currently they are doing some work to this part of the hotel, this pic is better than mine!
Currently they are doing some work to this part of the hotel, this pic is better than mine!
Here is the Off the Common restaurant. Very casual and lounge-like, I really liked it!
Here is the Off the Common restaurant. Very casual and lounge-like, I really liked it!

Saturday night my fiancé, Jon, and I went to The Bancroft in Burlington, MA. We had a gift card and had a birthday party to go to at Kings afterwards. The Bancroft is the latest restaurant from the Webber Restaurant Group, who also own the Gibbet Hill Grill at Gibbet Hill Farm in Groton and the Scarlet Oak Tavern in Hingham. The Webber family bought the Gibbet Hill Farm back in 2000 and their mission is provide a quality dining experience using sustainable & local food sources. Most of the produce for the restaurants comes from Gibbet Hill Farm and I believe most of the meat comes from Blood Farm in Groton.

The food was so good. I ordered the Reissdorf Koelsch, a delicious German beer, and the seared Ahi tuna with carrot puree. My fiancé got the Kurobuta pig chop with truffle polenta fries. We also got the yukon gold mashed potatoes to share, and their chocolate cake  for dessert. The cake came with their homemade vanilla gelato and was filled with a chocolate espresso sauce. If my wallet/body could handle eating like that every night, I would haha. The bread came in the most adorable little cast iron tray, and the beer came in the correct glass for a koelsch…everything was really just perfect. I don’t usually take pictures of my food, but maybe I should start huh?

A couple of the drinks on the cocktail menu cracked me up. One was “What would Bill Murray Do?” and another was “It’s a baby whale, bro”. Now, the second one is only funny if you have seen the youtube video of two guys with wicked Boston accents talking about a sun bathing sunfish. Totally normal behavior for a sunfish after its been on a deep swim.  I will link it here, but he drops a lot of F-bombs, so beware the setting that you watch it….it is really funny though.

Saturday morning, we went and checked out the Fruitlands in Harvard MA, it was so fun. It was a perfect activity to do with the pup on a nice fall day, I will post it tomorrow! First thing off my list of 50 places to see in MA!

Now as I said, I don’t usually go out to eat this much because eating out is expensive, but Friday was a birthday dinner for a friend, and we all split starters to keep out tab down because we are all saving money for one thing or another. Saturday night was lovely because we had a gift card from my fiancé’s boss for our engagement.

What did you do this weekend? Any good restaurants or outings? I hope so!

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Fun Finds for a Friday


Ohhh the alliteration! Today I am just sharing a few things that have cracked me up from my facebook newsfeed. Buzzfeed lists are hilarious. You can literally lose hours of your life going through them. This one is making the rounds on my facebook feed because for myself and many of my friends, every single one of these is true.

18 Red Flags That You Learned to Drink in Boston

Probably the only one that wasn’t me directly was the hazards of walking on cobblestone because I don’t wear heels BUT I can tell you I have been the support team for many friends struggling down the cutest little obstacle courses in Boston. #13, #15, and #18….oh man. Since I graduated from college, I have done 2 St. Patrick’s Days out of Boston- one was in Mt. Holyoke which was crazy, and one in Manchester NH which was ok, but I def missed Boston.

Another gem that I found on Facebook through my very funny friends is Matt Bellassai and his Whine About It Wednesday videos. They are so funny and usually spot on with what everybody’s REALLY thinking about a topic. He was supposed to take a break this week, but I just heard he posted a surprise video!! I haven’t been able to watch it yet. Here’s his Whine About It for the worst things about fall…..soo good. This is another rabbit hole you can lose a few hours of your life haha. I think there are some swears though FYI…I usually wait until I get home from work to watch them 😉

I have created a new page on my blog: 50 Things I want to See in MA. I am getting started tomorrow, and I can’t wait. There are so many beautiful historic spots and homes in Massachusetts. I can’t wait to see them all and share them with you. Some of the places I actually have been before, but I am looking forward to going again to document the experience!

Hope you all have great plans for the weekend, happy Friday!

c/o Mon

Brand new to me: Equestrianista

This week instead of investigating the latest prep craze to buzz across my social media, I am introducing a brand that I have been checking out. The brand is Equestrianista. The woman that started the company, Julie Frykman, is an equestrian who worked in high fashion in NYC, returned to Chicago to settle down with a family, got herself a beautiful OTTB (off track thoroughbred), and turned her love for fashion and horses into Equestrianista.

Sadly,  I don’t know if they have made it out my way for any horse events. I think they are hanging more in the midwest, and they do have a setup for Rolex in Kentucky every year. Girlfriends should come on out to Equine Affaire in MA! This would be a hot booth there!

Here are my personal favorites…..with the disclaimer that due the nature of a smaller company, items and sizes do sell out. If you fall for something that is out of your size, contact them, they will probably be able to tell you if more are coming! They also have some items for girls on the site, and some saddle pads/ear net bonnets for the horse in your life.

Snaffle Bit Blouse for $75.00

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Fox Hunt Sweater for $110.00- This is such a cute sweater with the foxhunter jumping over your shoulder to find the elusive fox on the back! This piece is a little out of my price range, but might be nice for a gift, a splurge item, or to watch if it goes on sale!

Tartan Plaid Poncho for $45.00- This item has already sold out at least once this fall!!

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Riding Boot Sweatshirt for $60.00- This looks like such a comfy piece to wear over your show shirt to keep it clean or just around the barn/town!

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Navy Herringbone Scarf for $25.00- I get so used to really only seeing black/gray herringbone, its so nice to see it in navy!

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Check Wrap for $45.00

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Riding Sport Black Shirt for $52.00, final sale

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Stock Pin for $18.00- I love this! It would make such a nice addition to your own wardrobe, but also an awesome gift for someone too!

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Equestrian fashion is not just for equestrians anymore. The popularity of many equestrian themed items has some out there saying that many are living a lie. I say wear what you like, like what you wear, and honestly I think the only item in my list that is really more for the sport than the style is the Riding Sport long sleeve. Its going to be 70 today in Mass, so I am hanging on to summer in my sperrys, sockless…..oh and Sterling stepped on me so hard last night, my sperrys are really the only shoes I could put on this morning. #horseprobs.

Which items above would you consider for yourselves or a friend?

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Head of the Charles Recap from Sunday

In my experience, fall head racing is full of amazing rows in gorgeous scenery AND some really cold windy days. I started rowing the summer before my senior year of high school, and rowed in the Head of the Charles my junior and senior year of college. I volunteered at the regatta 4 years, three before the year I rowed in it, and one the year after I graduated from college. The swag for the volunteers has really improved. When I was volunteering, Charles Schwab was the big sponsor and we got long sleeve shirts, and then Nautica took over and we had fleece zip ups. Now that BNY Mellon & Brooks Brothers runs the show, the volunteer jackets are awesome soft shell fleeces. I gotta volunteer next year.

We had a bunch of former and current WPI rowers to watch. There were alumni in the master’s singles races, the Director Challenge quad races, an alumni mens 8, and then the current varsity mens in the collegiate 8. The women’s team didn’t send a boat…..I guess they are going through some restructuring, getting back to basics, and are just focusing on the spring. Kinda sad though because I remember how big a deal the Charles was. I would have been bummed to miss out.

It was really cold and windy on Sunday. My essentials for survival are below:

Barbour Jacket, crew fleece ear warmers,LLBean Flannel & Boot Socks, Woolover cashmere/cotton crewneck sweater, bean boots, & LLBean thermos
Barbour Jacket, crew fleece ear warmers,LLBean Flannel & Boot Socks, Woolover cashmere/cotton crewneck sweater, bean boots, & LLBean thermos

My Barbour was amazing at protecting me from the wind, and we filled that thermos with tomato soup, which was a life saver. It also saved us from buying clam chowder for $10, eek!

I did stop by the Brooks Brothers tent to check it out. The KJP team was there hand painting your choice of oar blade design on leather bracelets. They were cute, but I really want a painted oar bracelet custom made with the oar blade design. It might be possible, I will probably be looking into this for a Christmas/bday gift 🙂 They were all super nice just in case you follow them on instagram and have always wondered what they were like IRL. They also loved Mizpah, who doesn’t though?

In front of the Brooks Brothers tent with Mizpah. Nice single behind me huh? One of a kind!
In front of the Brooks Brothers tent with Mizpah. Nice single behind me huh? One of a kind!

Going to rowing events make me miss rowing so much. The excitement of rowing to the start, the togetherness of the struggle through the race to the finish, and then the camaraderie after the race. Its just something you can’t replicate. We hung out with some of our former coaches, got to see some alumni, and blasted the heat in the car pretty much all the way home to warm up! Here are some more pics from the day!

Harvard's Newell Boathouse...we tried to stop here once for a bathroom break and their sprinklers to keep the geese away turned on!!
Harvard’s Weld Boathouse…we tried to stop either here or the Newell once for a bathroom break and their sprinklers to keep the geese away turned on!!
Me and Miz hangin out
Me and Miz hangin out
View of Northeastern's Henderson boathouse
View of Northeastern’s Henderson boathouse, pretty much at the finish.
Henderson Boathouse, where I learned to row in 2001, and where WPI has the privilege of launching every year
Henderson Boathouse, where I learned to row in 2001, and where WPI has the privilege of launching every year
LLBean everywhere....and Miz chewing a bully stick
LLBean everywhere….and Miz chewing a bully stick
view of the Eliot Bridge, last bridge before the finish...lots of collisions here
view of the Eliot Bridge, last bridge before the finish…lots of collisions here

We did end up paying $20 to park in the Harvard Stadium lot. Without the dog, we would have parked at Alewife and taken the T in, but I don’t know how Mizpah would do with that. We brought sandwiches, water, and the tomato soup in the thermos, so we didn’t buy any food, which was awesome. It was awesome to go support alums, reminisce about past years, and hang out with some awesome crew people. If you are ever in the Boston area for this weekend, I can’t recommend coming out to the river enough. Layers though….warm layers ha. The two years I got to row in it were both choppy, cold days. One year it was so bad, they shortened the course to stay out of the choppy basin. My fiancé asked me if I would have wanted to row in the cold yesterday, and I think the answer is yes, with the cold weather and all. I hope everyone got to do some fun fall activities wherever they were this past weekend!

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Down the Cape: Wellfleet Oysterfest 2015

I love Cape Cod and get down there every chance I can get! During the summer, I wouldn’t really ever do a day trip because of the traffic, so I am super fortunate to have some friends with houses down there. In October though? No traffic. Saturday we breezed on into Dennis, and carpooled with friends over to Wellfleet. We were really lucky and got a free parking spot with this view……

View from our parking spot #capecodlove
View from our parking spot #capecodlove

….and then we caught a shuttle to the action!! It was warm for October on Saturday, high 50s and sunny. I wore my J Crew Factory navy vest, a Woolovers cashmere/merino cable sweater, and a button down with jeans and sperrys. My best friend wore a cream Irish knit sweater and an Emily Bond Barbour jacket. It has a beautiful equestrian scene like wallpaper on the lining. Her friend got it in the UK for really cheap, some girls have all the luck 😉 She also wore her Dubarry Galways in walnut. This two outfits basically encompass what everyone wore to this!! It was really funny, so many quilted vests and Barbours.

Cheesin in front of Winslows
Cheesin in front of Winslows

This festival is put together every year by SPAT, an organization that promotes sustainable enjoyment of Wellfleet’s aquaculture. There were definitely some craft/jewelry tents there, but for many of us, it was all about the food and drink! We had clam chowder, lobster bisque, fried dough, french fries for food…..and then we had beer, wine, and hard root beer from the alcohol tent. There was seafood, sausages with peppers, pulled pork, chewers and bisques, lobster rolls….just everything. OH and there were oysters ha. The line for oysters was kinda crazy so unfortunately we filled up on other stuff while we were waiting for it to die down, oops! We did get oysters later at Chapins though, one of my faves in Dennis. It was so dead there compared to the summer, it was like being in a different restaurant ha.

The whole day there was an oyster shucking tournament going on up on a stage set up, some really fast shuckers!!! It was such a fun day, but very crowded. You have to go in there with the mindset that finding people is hard, waiting in lines in a given, and you will more than once turn around and start talking to someone who isn’t friend because the crowd is nuts haha.

All in all, it was an amazing day! They don’t allow dogs at the festival, so we left around 6 to get home to Mizpah and get ready for the Head of the Charles on Sunday. I would have loved to have stayed over the night, I am sure the crowd at the Woodshed was crazy!!

We definitely spent some dollars on food and beers, but it wasn’t too bad. Tickets for entry to the festival are $5 which goes to SPAT, and then we got free parking. Gas of course has to figure in, but we drive just as far to go hike for a day as we did to get to the cape and back, so its not crazy for us at all. Tomorrow I will post about my lovely but cold Sunday at the HOCR!!! Made it through Monday everyone, woo!

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Prep Craze: Dubarry Galway boots & alternatives

Ok, so I am just starting to see these make an appearance in the blogger/instagram world. In the world of riding, there are riding boots or paddock boots for riding, and then there are rubber wellies, and finally there are basically leather wellies. People call them country boots sometimes? Some people do actually ride in them, but they usually don’t hold up to that because the leather is softer & easier to damage than riding boot leather.

Dubarry carries the most expensive and most enviable options. I have a few friends from the barn that have the Dubarry Galway because they literally wear them every day in the mud, mucking stalls, walking miles in the ring teaching riding lessons, they pretty much live in them. For that kind of wear, the price tag of $489, I can see. Where I live the best place to get these is Dubarry Galway Boot, but they sell them through Tuckernuck & Dubarry too. I would just choose to support a tack shop if I was going to get them. Here they are, one of my friends has them in black too, really nice.

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Here are the Dubarry Longford Boots, slightly higher price point at $529.

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Dubarry’s are popular among some of the bloggers. Sarah Vickers of Classy Girls Wear Pearls and Rachel Timmerman of Something Delightful have featured them. Alright so now that we have addressed some boots that are a few car payments, let me tell you about some alternatives!

Here are the Dublin River Boots at $189. A lot of women at the barn have these, they are really nice and come in black too.

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Dublin also makes the Dublin Ria Boot for $169.99.

There are also boots from Middleburg, the Middleburg H2O Country Boot for $159.99 but honestly the reviews for Middleburg boots aren’t great, so I can tell you they exist, but I wouldn’t recommend them.

Finally, the boots that I own!! Save the best for last right? I love the dubes, but I knew I couldn’t spend that kind of money on boots, and I wanted something different than the Dublin boots. I found Toggi! Toggi is popular in the UK I believe, but really isn’t seen around here much.

Here are the Toggi Canyon Long Leather Boots for $150. I got the brown ones, and I love them. I wear mine around the barn, when I groom for people at shows, and walking the cross country course with friends before it starts.

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The Canyon Boots in action!

I like these ones too, the Toggi Berkeley Country Boot . They are little more expensive though at $199.00. They look pretty similar to the Dubes huh!?

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Toggi Berkeley Country Boots

I love my Toggi boots, and I do get a sense of satisfaction that they were within my budget, they are great quality, and they are pretty much unknown around here. The Dublin boots are awesome too. If you want to splurge and get the Dubarrys, go for it, they are beautiful, BUT know that they aren’t the only option for a nice waterproof leather country boot. Tack shops like Smartpak & Dover have awesome stuff, and Country and Stable has great stuff too that sometimes hasn’t become popular yet in the US.

Dubarrys are awesome, but they aren’t everything, don’t let someone who got their pair for free tell you different 😉

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Hiking the 7th Presidential…Mt. Jefferson & Nat’l Dessert Day!!

My fiancé doesn’t normally get Columbus Day Monday off, but he took it off this year and we are so happy he did. We hiked Mt. Jefferson in probably the best weather you can ask for on the Presidentials for this time of year. We started up the Jewell Trail at the Cog Railway Base Station. Oh my goodness, it was so crazy. I wonder how many people took the train or drove up Mt. Washington this past weekend.

The trail is beautiful, just roots, some rocks but not too bad. The trail eventually pops you out above the trees though and you are exposed with the most beautiful views for the rest of the hike. There were some rocky sections above treeline. It was in the 50s, and a little windy above treeline. It was really sunny, which I love, but you have to be careful with sunscreen up there because there’s nothing shielding you. It was a beautiful hike, definitely a long day after hiking the Osceolas just a couple days before. Jefferson was the last mountain of the Presidential Range that I had to hike, #35 over all of the NH48. The colors in the mountains were beautiful on Monday, I think that was the official peak of colors for foliage in the Whites.

Chocurua Lake- I couldn't resist stopping to snap this on the drive up to the trail head
Chocurua Lake- I couldn’t resist stopping to snap this on the drive up to the trail head
Love fall in New England
Love fall in New England
View on the way up the trail
View on the way up the trail
View from the top looking down over the base station and past that, Mt. Washington Hotel
View from the top looking down over the base station and past that, Mt. Washington Hotel
View from the top
View from the top
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Looking over to Mt. Washington, see the observatory station on top?
Mizpah chillin in the alpine meadow
Mizpah chillin in the alpine meadow

It will be a few weeks before we can head back up to hike again, probably not until November. In other news, today, October 14th is National Dessert Day!!! I swung by my favorite local bakery in my area, Bliss Bakery, to grab a couple dessert items to celebrate the occasion. If I am going to spend money on bakery items, meaning I am not just making it myself, I would always rather go to a nice local bakery. This past Easter, I had a lot of family over for lunch and we got a lemon custard tart topped with berries and a macaron assortment from Bliss. Here are some of the beautiful Easter egg macarons:

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It’s Wednesday, just two more work days until the weekend AND you have an excuse to go get a little treat. Another reason why I like getting my treats at a cute local bakery is that I like to look at the selection and pick something. It’s fun! It’s also good for my diet though because one special cookie is better than buying a whole bag of cookies that I wouldn’t enjoy as much. Happy National Dessert Day! Hopefully you have had a sweet day!

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