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peaceful :: simple :: comforting {1}

While looking at our calendar for the month ahead, we both felt grateful for the freedom to choose our own Christmas Vacation from 'school'... yes, we took the liberty to add a few days on for good measure.

peaceful :: simple :: comforting


December is nearly upon us, what a festive time of year it is. I feel like slipping into a posting style this month of a photo or two, and just a few words each day. Keeping things simple seems like a good way to stay present to the magic and beauty of it all.

So please don't mind if things seem less wordy around here... I'm here, just quietly soaking it all in.

Here's to a month of peaceful, simple, and comforting posts.

a simple homeschool visit today

This morning, I'd like to invite you all to join me over at Simple Homeschool. My inaugural post is up! I'm so excited about spending a little time there each month (or so). It just wouldn't be the same if you weren't there too, so... shall we head on over then?

{Oh! I forgot to mention (many of you visit from readers and do not see the sidebars), I'm excited to be offering  a blank slate downloadable coloring page! How fun to add your own quote or poem. I do see more coloring pages of all varieties in the future, so fun!}

New Traditions

{Watching the Senior Class Video, a gift from their teacher}

We hosted a gathering of friends in our home on Sunday evening. It was a wonderful time that left me with two thoughts I wanted to jot down here this morning.

First, having a party on a Sunday evening is the way to go. We started at 4:00, and everyone was on their way around 8:00. Here is why it works so well - everyone can make it!

People don't seem to have many obligations on Sunday evenings. Sports games for the kiddos do not occur on Sunday nights, usually. Anyone who is away for the weekend is coming back into town late on Sunday, being a work/school night and all.

And, if you're a big wimp like me, you will get to bed at a reasonable hour as it isn't a party into the wee hours kind of night.

See how perfect?

The second thing I realized, was that having a gathering the weekend before Thanksgiving was a wonderful way to s t r e t c h the holiday season just a bit, which I love the idea of!

It inspired me to add a little sparkle to my home for the holidays, and I found myself cleaning into those forgotten corners that seem to only get attention when guests are coming. Now I won't feel frazzled and rushed to tackle such things in December.

{The party was a reunion of sorts, in honor of Emily's graduating class of 2010. Her elementary school offered a unique experience for families - we all traveled from pre-school through sixth grade together, always in the same classroom... always the same kids, always the same parents and siblings (with some new siblings along the way!).The bond is deep and we love to gather as whole families, not just the children. All of the kids are in different schools from one another now, but the way they pick up right where they left off is remarkable. It is hard to put into words really, and honestly, the kids have no idea yet how unique their situation was all those years. I imagine they'll get it someday though, and I do hope they feel as blessed by the experience as all of us parents do feel.}

We will certainly be making this pre-Thanksgiving, gathering of friends, a new tradition in our home. What a perfect way to start the season.

Remedies for the Winter Medicine Chest

If my daughter ever returns to regular school, I promise you all... I am going to carry right on with these Home Ec classes - just me, myself and I. They are way too much fun to ever close the book on!

We do a variety of domestic activities in our homes throughout each day, all week long... but there is something sacred about setting aside two hours a week to honor the tradition of homemaking. In working with Emily and her friend, I try to use our time for making or learning something a bit special, indulgent even. It is a wonderful feeling for them to experience working in their own homes, with their own hands... taking care of life's essentials with skill and beauty.


During our time together last week, we were happy to use Herbal Nurturing: A Family Healing & Learning Guide, an e-book written by Michele of Frugal Granola, as our guide. I came across her book a few weeks back, and immediately purchased, printed, and tucked it into a three ring binder. I knew it would be a welcome addition to our wide open afternoons set aside for Home Ec.

We began working our way through the book, starting with Slippery Elm Lozenges and Immune Boosting Syrup (of course they had to be clever teenagers and rename them - Anitgen Away! Winter Warrior!).

The book focuses on simple, traditional remedies, with a special emphasis on "Learning at Home Options" - very sweet (I would say this part is geared toward younger learners). It's a great idea to pair this e-book with a companion herbal reference book if working with older children (or yourself!) to further understand specific herb descriptions, uses, cautions and contraindications.

I'm envisioning little baskets of homemade herbal remedies for holiday gifts this year... and I'm happy to support another blogging mama in her efforts at the same time. Michele's wisdom, hard work and thoughtful collection of remedies, are all things I truly appreciate.

Next up, I think we'll make the Scrapes Soother and Bedtime Tea... wonderful!

If you are interested in picking up a copy of Michele's book for yourself, you may click on the link below. Have fun!

Click here to visit Frugal Granola.

Please order from this link if you feel comfortable knowing I am signed up for Michele's affiliate program. A small percentage of each book ordered through the link above will help replenish our herbal supply basket. Thank you!

Have a wonderful Monday everyone!

Dining Room Redo

dining 1

Remember the dining room? Well, a few months ago we did some painting around here. We've been in our home for six years, some corners were ready for a change. Our dining room was one of those corners, I talked about it a bit here. You all helped me so much with color suggestions, the most popular suggestion being one pretty shade of yellow or another. Being the ever different, not able to do as I'm told rebel (well, not really) that I tend to be... I went with blue!


Buxton Blue to be exact. One look at Alicia's studio and I just had to have some of that color in my home. It is so pretty, and everything she says is true - it indeed changes tone and color twelve times throughout any given day! Also, it is the perfect compliment to the butternut color in the living room. (Which I am ready to repaint too, but my family has denied my request. The troops have rallied and painted four rooms and part of the exterior in the last several months. They would like to put the paint brushes down for now... geez.)


I haven't shared many photos yet, to me the room isn't quite done. I am still in need of curtains (there is a temporary set hanging), and I keep hoping when I walk downstairs in the morning the perfect farm table will be sitting there... but then I realized, when is anything in life ever truly done? Take some pictures of those pretty blue walls already! And so I did.


What do you think? It really is a playful color, looking different with each hour of the day. It has a warmth that can be tricky to find in blue, and it certainly is lighter than the color we had before. I think it's working out just fine, with or without the perfect curtains, or the perfect farm table. 


When I do find the right fabric for curtains however...


I have a feeling it will be deeply inspired by the beautiful pattern on this cake plate. Or maybe the lampshade. I found the plate at the flea market the weekend after the room was painted, feeling it was my fabric inspiration. The man I bought it from really did not understand my excitement, can you imagine?.


Such a pretty combination of warm and cool. In order to balance the few moments when this room feels a little grey, I'm dreaming up curtains (and more art, please) with golden and warm pinkish red tones to cozy it up a bit. And green, of course there must be some green.

That golden honey farm table sure would be a welcome addition too...


I was out of walnuts for my oatmeal this morning. I love a little crunch on the top! Instead, I mixed in some granola and found it to be so outstanding I wanted to mention it to you. It will soften of course (unlike nuts) as it sits in the oatmeal, but oh my, the crunch and the flavor are wonderful! I know, granola in oatmeal, how redundant... but give it a try, you'll see.

Oatmeal to me is like ice cream sundaes (okay, maybe not quite like ice cream sundaes). The endless mix in and topping choices are the best. My current flavor combination reminds me of apple pie: one whole peeled and diced apple, a few chopped dates, pinch of cinnamon, smaller pinch of nutmeg (the nutmeg is key), drizzle of maple syrup... all to 1/2 cup oats and one cup water. Topped with nuts, or granola!

Also today... Adam and I are celebrating 15 years of marriage! After all these years, he still makes the best cards a girl could ask for.

(He's always big on the tree theme, just one more reason to love him.)

And finally... here in the United States we celebrate Veterans Day today. Being one that has strong feelings against war, and even stronger feelings of support for our soldiers (it's complicated, but I trust you understand), I often think of this song on this day.

Take care, make today a good one.

It's all about the Effort


We tried really hard for a mellow weekend, feeling it was long overdue. Indeed, it was a great weekend, and within contained a great deal of mellow, but it wasn't quite the full-on, shut the gate and turn the phone off kind of time we had hoped for. No problem though, we're more than willing to give it another try in five days.

Do you ever plan at home weekends? They are the best! No car, plenty of nourishing, delicious food on hand, fresh library books, movies, craft supplies at the ready, good music, pots and pots of calming herbal tea, a tidy home, clean (and put away) laundry... those sort of things. We love them.

Good thing we have three weekends until Saturday basketball games start up to try and get it just right.

In the Thick of it

Right now, we are steeped in the activities of life.

pinch pots :: coil pots :: buoyancy experiments :: butter making :: soccer season ending :: basketball season beginning :: card playing :: afghan crocheting :: fingerless glove knitting :: infusion and decoction making :: Japanese tea ceremony planning :: map making :: comic book creating :: leaf raking :: marble playing :: November rain watching :: immigration studying :: kimono designing :: slippery elm lozenge making :: apple processing :: holiday planning

It's a full, sweet life. Listing some of it feels good.

Notice I did not list washing dishes. I've got my priorities straight.