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Merry, Bright, and Oh So Peaceful






















Our girl turned fifteen, just like that. Snow fell through the night on Christmas Eve and we woke to a gentle covering. What a gift. The day was quiet, unlike any other Christmas we've known. It was wonderful and perfect. Now, the house is ready to be cared for by friends while we head north to visit my parents in Maine. They currently have two feet of snow on the ground and another foot is expected on Thursday. Snowshoes for all! 

Wishing you continued joy, peace, and plenty of twinkly lights as we stretch this holiday season through the new year. Thank you for taking a moment to visit here, as you do, it means more than could ever be expressed. I'm grateful.  xoxo

Homeschool Update (the first part of our year, in photos)



























































In closing out some photo folders from the first part of our school year, I couldn't help but to pause with gratitude and awe. The teen years are truly an amazing time to homeschool, it can feel like college in a very "the world is your oyster" sort of way, with the bonus of us parents (mostly) coming along for the ride, unlike college.

In addition to her (not so photo-worthy) academics, Emily has had countless opportunitties to grow, learn, volunteer, be challenged, explore, give back, and so much more. Adam and I try to say 'yes' to as much as we can... while staying mindful not to allow our cups to run over, leaving the three of us feeling depleted. There is never a shortage of amazing opportunities, there is only a shortage of time. 

I'm happy with (and dare I say proud of) this funky little life we're creating, and feel a certain kind of peace looking at these photos. I can only dream of the memories we'll look back on come springtime. But for now, these moments are everything, and I couldn't ask for anything more. 

Whole Food Kitchen ~ Online Workshop

Begins September 16, 2013

~ 8 Weekly Modules ~

Registration opens July 24, 2013 

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Welcome to Whole Food Kitchen, 2013!

There is so much that is new with this workshop! While some of the basic nutritional information is everlasting, the entire workshop has been redesigned and reformatted for 2013. There will be ALL new recipes, menu plans and shopping lists, new and improved cooking videos, fresh and inspiring essays about food and nutrition, and so much more - all of this content will be conveniently delivered via our classroom website through beautiful, weekly ebooks. 



Some of us need a little help getting started in the kitchen, others are looking for inspiration to rekindle their love of eating real, wholesome foods. Wherever you are on this path of healthy eating, Whole Food Kitchen will meet you there, providing recipes, practical wisdom, and wonderful resources.

This workshop is a lifestyle immersion. Surround yourself with healthy living and real food. Take the elements that work for your life, leave what you don't need. 

Whole Food Kitchen will teach and speak to a mostly plant-based diet, but is not exclusively vegan or vegetarian. 

Come spend two months in the kitchen with me!

You will find my classes infused with a non-dogmatic, inclusive approach to nutrition. In life and in food, my focus is on simplicity, patience, keeping it real, and common sense. 




Essential details:

  • two month immersion 
  • eight modules 
  • weekly ebook containing all of the week's content - easy to download!
  • dozens of recipes/food tutorials 
  • weekly menu plan and shopping list
  • weekly giveaways of some of my favorite books and kitchen tools
  • email support as you need it
  • threaded comments for interactive support 
  • video cooking classes each week
  • self-paced (you do not need to be in class at any specific time)
  • virtual classroom remains open for 30 days post workshop
  • a down to earth approach to eating well
  • and more!


Please visit my Frequently Asked Questions page for even more info



You will learn about:

  • Whole food fundamentals
  • Setting up a whole food kitchen and pantry
  • Menu planning and recipe organization
  • Healing fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds
  • Preparing whole grains and legumes
  • Protein, healthy fats 
  • Ideas for breakfast, the lunch box, and dinner table
  • Holistic lifestyle
  • Nourishing snacks 
  • Special occasion treats
  • Tips and resources on sourcing quality food
  • Weekly happenings in my own kitchen
  • And more!


Real food, mostly plants, tremendous support, that is my focus.

Do you feel ready?


If you are ready to begin an inspiring journey of transformation...



Begins September 16, 2013

~ 8 Weekly Modules ~

Registration opens July 24, 2013 


Don't forget to visit my Frequently Asked Questions page for more info. 


Kind words received past workshop participants:

"This has been a wonderful journey, one I would have never been brave enough to tackle on my own. Thank you so much for your inspiration, encouragement and education through out this workshop." - Jessica

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"Thank you Heather for all of the thought and hard work you put into making this workshop so rich for us. I am so glad that I was able to be a part of it,everything from the recipes to the little pearls of wisdom have made this month seem like a truly restorative experience. The weeks flew by quickly but I feel that major changes have transpired that go beyond anything I expected." - Claire

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"Heather - Please let me echo the sentiments of many of my classmates by thanking you for the effort that you put into this workshop. This is BY FAR the best online "class" I have taken." - Joni

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"... you've been a wonderful guide and I really value and appreciate the work you put into making this workshop so complete - a perfect balance of practical knowledge and thoughtful inspiration." - Kim


This day, is everything.


I don't know what to say.

Like you, there is a tremendous amount of grief on my heart and I'm doing my best to honor this dark feeling while still searching for light and beauty in the world, during this magical time of year. It's not easy.

Here in Connecticut, every town is close, we are a tiny state. Since Friday I have heard from four separate people that are closely linked to those who lost their lives. In many ways, it feels like 9/11 all over again. Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody...

I see fellow bloggers and facebook friends posting the most hopeful, positive reflections, talking about everyday life again - moving forward. I'm just not there yet. I feel a certain amount of shame in that, given the yogi within and all. I'm sorry I don't have any perfect wisdom to share, I'm still searching for it myself. I know time will heal. 

Right now, my heart quietly shatters for Newtown, over and over again.

On Friday, a few minutes before the news was national, I posted a link on Facebook from a local news station about the shootings. The only information given at that time was that the school was in lockdown and a woman had been shot in the foot. Imagine. My friend and former Simple Homeschool editor, Jamie, left a comment, "Right down the street, Heather." Oh no. I asked her if Sandy Hook would be the school her three children would attend if they were not homeschooling. "Yes," she said. "Seriously sobering."

(Neither Jamie nor I homeschool from a place of fear, but the gratitude for being safe and under one roof on Friday could not be denied.)

Jamie, usually private to the world about her exact location, shared about her community of Newtown, Connecticut this morning. 

Today, we all continue to feel deeply and navigate carefully. We pray and send love to the community of Newtown. We walk tenderly, love each other completely, and let tears flow as they need to.

This day, is everything. 



I want you to know how much I appreciate your kindness and understanding. Last Friday I was scheduled to open registration for the winter session of Whole Food Kitchen, I just couldn't do it. I thought today I'd be able to, but I'm not there. I will quietly open it up tomorrow however... I know many of you are looking to tuck gift certificates for this healing program under the tree for your loved ones. You will be able to do that tomorrow. Just return here in the morning and I'll have all the details for you. Thank you for everything. xo

Closing a Chapter














It's finally over.

Such a beautiful home it was. For us though, in the very wrong location. Yesterday, sometime around 3pm, our former home was sold and the keys were placed in the hands of the new owners. We are thrilled! It has been a long year living in one home and having another on the market (and heating that old, drafty, empty home enough to keep the pipes from freezing), but all the documents are signed and we finally have closure. 

So now what do we do? Over the summer I shared with you that the home we now live in is actually the one I grew up in. Then, in September I mentioned that we are now officially looking for land in Vermont (though we are thinking of expanding the search to Maine) - some of you were confused. We had just moved here... to this lovely home with land, in the country. Why move again?

To keep a long story short, we don't own this home. We are renting it from my parents as they have recently moved on and are now living in their new home on a lake in Northern Maine. The real estate market, as you likely know, is quite depressed and home values have dropped dramatically in recent years. My parents felt they'd like to ride that out for a few  years (we're all hoping for a turnaround, yes?) and not sell their Connecticut house at this time. So, we moved in!

The timing was funny because right at the time they made the offer to come live here, so much was happening in our own world. We knew leaving our former home was necessary and imminent. It was such a funny place, that town of ours... parts of it so perfect and everything we would hope for a community to be, other parts unsafe and unsavory to the point where we felt it unwise for our growing daughter to enjoy the freedoms and independence she was naturally seeking. Unfortunately, the unsafe and unsavory outweighed the good and we began to form our departure. 

We thought for sure we were going to head up to Vermont. We even started the whole property search again, looking at a few adorable places to consider. Specifically, our plan was to live in Woodstock Village for a year, just for the life experience of it, for our family. Adam and I have lived in the village before, right after we were married, and it was one of the brightest experiences we've ever had. We wanted to offer that to Emily.

I'm not an urban girl, but living in Woodstock Village was my way of enjoying a lifestyle that didn't require a car, where there was plenty to do within walking distance, and where evening strolls were romantic and filled with glowing lights from warm homes. As homeschoolers we thought it would be a great year-long experience, then we'd settle more permanently somewhere rural, in Vermont. 

Right at the time of our many short property searching trips up there, the northeast was struck by a devasting hurricane and everything seemed to come to a hault. Especially in the very place we were looking to move. 

During that time is when my parents offered their home to us. It just seemed like the writing was on the wall (again), and we decided to stay in Connecticut for a while longer. 

But for how long? Forever? 

No, not exactly. Connecticut is a very expensive state to live in, one that many people nowadays  find impossible to retire in. We've never had our long term goals set on living here, and we still do not. Another consideration for us, the level and variety of clean outdoor activity Adam and I enjoy is difficult to find here. We are drawn to places where active outdoor living and good earth stewardship is the prevailing culture. 

But you know, something greater than us seems to have a hand in all of this, for as hard as we've tried to move north over the years, plans seem to always work out differently. I think I finally know why that is. 

Watching Emily connect more and more deeply to her peers during these high school years has shown us that it really does make sense to be here at this time. These relationships forming and memories being made are important, they are what she needs right now. 

For now, we are happy to be blooming and living fully right where we are. It would be great to stay here through Emily's high school years, but if the real estate market jumps and it makes sense for my parents to put this house on the market, we'll move on at that time. It's not a high pressure type thing, however it works out is fine.

Meanwhile, we keep adding to our "Vermont Land Fund," with the hopes and dreams for future mountain living. It's exciting to be actively looking for land right now (to live on full time at a later date), although the search has quieted down for the winter months.

We are grateful for the much needed closing of our quaint craftsman bungalow, and are so excited about the freedom we now have to move forward.

I never did get around to completing the series, but feel free to take a partial home tour, if you're like me and enjoy poking around old homes.