A few snippets







1. Most of my houseplants have  taken a summer holiday out on the back porch and patio. They are all so happy and content out there that I didn’t have the heart to bring one back in for an empty spot on the credenza that was calling for some green. Out on an adventure with my mama yesterday, I picked up a trailing ivy which fits perfectly there. There’s always room for one more plant.

2.While walking down an alley on my morning walk with Harry yesterday I stumbled across a patch of sunflowers. There was a pair of scissors hanging on a cyclone fence with a little sign that read “Please cut me!” So that’s just what I did.

3. A deck of  cards lives on the dining room table these days for impromptu games of Flip(also known as Golf) and Trash. I may be a little addicted.

4.On the same morning walk with Harry, I spotted a hedge of hydrangea in full bloom along the play ground. There were no scissors hanging nor a sign inviting to pick. I did anyway.

5.During these dog days of summer, the pantry is well  stocked with bottles of tonic and seltzer.

6. I found that antique hanging soap dish last week at a fair. I have always wanted one but I’ll have to wait for the cool days of autumn for a hot soak. Nothing but cold showers these days.












I tend to take most of the photos inside my home during the day soaking in the sun light that filters in but last night I looked up to see Hannah drawing lamp-side and had to grab my camera.

After I took the photo I walked around the house to click a few more photos, appreciating the soft light of each room.

Lighting is so very important to me. It sets the mood and tone of a room. I admit that from time to time in the evening I like to cross the street and look into my cozy glowing home.

There are only a few rooms in my house that have overhead lighting, the kitchen, the bathroom and the dining room and all of which are set with dimmers. These rooms also have lamps for the many times I do not want the overhead lights on.

Dimmers are my best friend. Whether I am taking a bath or cooking dinner I can decide how bright or how dim I want the mood to be. There are some in this household who like things a bit brighter than I do which results in the battle of the dimmer. I chuckle sometimes thinking at what the person walking by at night may think as they see the light show inside.

I have quite a collection of lamps in all shapes and sizes, mostly thrifted, some new and even hand made. Chris (the one who prefers bright overhead lighting) sometimes curses me each night as he turns off each lamp before retiring for the evening.

I think I may do a post soon dedicated to all of the lamps in my home. They each have their own story and perform individual roles in my home.

Would you like to see this sort of post?

A few new inventions




Chris and I make a good team. He likes practical and I like beautiful. Lucky for me everything he makes is beautiful!
I enjoy my home when it is neat and orderly which means I like things put away (or hidden away according to Chris).
I am always switching things up around the house which means where things live sometimes changes.
He is always asking me “So where did you hide it now?” about many of his belongings.

His slippers are one of those things. I may put them in his closet, or by his bedside. Sometimes they make their way by the back door on the shoe rack. Or placed in a basket with all of the other slippers.
I knew he was trying to make a point when he came home last week with his newest invention- Slipper Hooks.
As much as I like things put away out of sight, I had to admit I loved his idea.
He came home the next day with a hook to hang above for his pajamas. And there you have it a new “practical” place for his things with no excuse for me to hide them away.

And while we are on the subject of inventions, check out our affordable version of a new recliner for Chris. To back up a bit, we had been searching for a leather recliner similar to this one for a while. Since they were hard to come by in our price range we settled for an Ikea POANG chair. It was the right size and is actually pretty comfortable. Since the matching ottoman was too bulky for the space Chris decided to make a custom one that slants down at just the right angle that he prefers. Not only is the whole combination beautiful but it is surprisingly ergonomic!

A few new things






Just a few new things around the home to share with you…

Chris made me that beautiful coffee table for Christmas which now lives up on the second floor in our loft space. It’s so nice to have a place for our feet to rest upon, stacks of books, a space for board games, and our Downton hot chocolate parties!

My mama gifted me a set of those lovely iron sconces for Christmas this year. She overheard my love for them while we are away at Shehawken this summer visiting here. She’s so sneaky!

I have been on the look out for some new linens and found an amazing lot of napkins with beautiful embroidery work along with that tablecloth while thrifting last week. I will be using my antique wooden ironing board on a weekly basis!

We are off to sunny Florida in a few hours. I will be posting photos here all week.

Have a lovely weekend my friends!


Following the light





Each day I notice a subtle change in the light. I like the pictures it makes in my home. Natural artwork.

Winter Essentials










I so enjoy the holidays and there is always a little bit of sadness that creeps in when they are all over but it hit me today that I think January may be my one of my favorite months.

I love the fresh start of a new year. The deep exhale and peace after the busy holiday season. The rituals that bring us close together. Winter vegetables. A desire to bake and try new recipes. And my tried and true list of essentials to help bear the darkness and bitter cold.

:: Candles. I have a 4:30 lighting ritual when darkness sets. I budget in votives and pillars each month to scatter about. They set a warm and cheery mood.

:: Red wine. A glass of red wine (or two) when I am making dinner warms and relaxes me. I am loving Malbec these days.

:: Citrus. I cannot get enough in the winter. We have a neighbor who always sell boxes of citrus right before the holidays to fund raise for various causes. I always order one or two mixed cases of oranges and grapefruit to get us through the winter. We make fresh squeezed orange juice every Christmas morning. My new favorite breakfast/snack is grapefruit, orange, clementine, kiwi and pomegranate seeds.

:: Fire. We always have a well stocked woodpile on our back porch. We light a fire almost every night before dinner and then gather around after to read, play games and keep warm. On weekends the fireplace will sometimes be lit from morning til night.

:: Wool. I love a winter wardrobe. I love layers, boots, vests, socks and sweaters. I couldn’t live without my wool toggle coat, a 40th birthday gift from my mama.
My slippers, socks and boots are all made from wool. I am always on the look out at the thrift store for 100 percent wool sweaters. They may be a bit itchy but they truly keep me the warmest. I only knit with wool and seek out the softer wools like merino and alpaca.

:: Soup. I’ve written here before about my love of soup. It is my all time favorite winter meal. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner (no lie!) I make at least one pot of soup per week in the colder months and it’s a perfect way to enjoy the winter squashes and roots in our weekly winter CSA share.

:: Greens. I crave dark leafy greens all year long but particularly in the winter. Kale, spinach, tat soi, mache all make their way onto our plates in salads or sauteed with lots of garlic to ward off colds and flu.

:: Fresh flowers. Along with candles I also budget in fresh flowers each week in the winter time. They are worth every penny and bring me joy every time I look at them. There is always a bouquet on my dining table and one in the kitchen. I sometimes add fresh flowers into a arrangement on the mantle as well. I like to incorporate them with clippings from the yard. Right now they are mixed in with evergreens. Lately I have been drawn to ranunculus, tulips and eucalyptus.

:: Forced bulbs. You will always find pots of paperwhite and amarayliss bulbs placed throughout my home starting in December. The green growth is a hopeful reminder that spring will soon be here. I like to create little scenes within the pots of bulbs with glass mushrooms, miniature deer, pine cones and moss. In a month or two I will begin to force branches

Life learning






I have had many readers over the years ask me to share here about our homeschooling path and to be honest I have dodged those requests mainly due to the fact that I thought it may be a complicated/personal thing to write about but truly it is all very simple.

Looking back I am not sure why we chose this path but it has always felt like the right fit for our family and runs in alignment with who we are. Both Chris and I never really enjoyed nor excelled in school. We are self taught, hands-on type learners so it made sense to instill this in our own children by experimenting with the unschooling philosphy although, I prefer to call ourselves life learners. I mean we are all life learners right? Each and every one of us learns every single day in all that we do. There is just no way to avoid learning. It’s innate in humans to want to learn at all times.

It’s empowering to think how much we are capable of in teaching ourselves to do anything and everything. Hannah and Norah have both taught themselves how to do so many things on their own including how to read. We do not follow a curriculum of any sort but rather allow our girls to make their own choices about what they learn and when they learn it which in turn lets them pursue their passions and explore deeply those subjects which most interest them. We are always here of course to facilitate and support them. When we notice an interest beginning to bubble we put on our facilitator hats. For instance when Norah began talking about hosting a restaurant at our home I began to ask her questions, prompting her to come up with more ideas.I asked my cousin who owns a restaurant and catering business if we could come and help in her kitchen one day so Norah could get a feel for the restaurant world.

Now it’s not always our job to help the girls with their learning path. Sometimes it’s beyond us, which is why we like to encourage them to find what they are looking for from outside sources. We live amongst an amazing community of people with a wealth of knowledge and talent. We all learn from a diverse pool of people.

We are so lucky to live in a dynamic and vibrant town and to be so close to Open Connections, a natural learning education center, where both of my girls attend 3 days a week and where Chris also works. The girls attend there on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for programing spending days with their Papa while I work my part time job. Chris works as the property manager as well as a facilitator, teaching programs based on nature, science, woodworking, rocketry, archery, etc. It’s a dream job for him and I love that my girls can be right alongside of him in a job that he loves.

As I wrote in yesterday’s post, Hannah has taken on a internship at Open Connections on Mondays tending to the land,the animals and working on outdoor projects. Norah always has an agenda for our Mondays together which will now include baking.

Fridays have turned into our adventure day where we are off on field trips/excursions exploring new places, maybe seeing a play or visiting with friends.

Our week has a nice rhythm with just the right amount of variety. The girls partake in various classes such as sewing and dance and they like to make plenty of time for friends. They are very social beings.

Now this is all not to say we don’t have our bumps and challenges and that I am always a confident homeschooling mama who never worries or frets over whether she is making the right choices or that she may be giving them too much freedom or that she may not be providing her girls with what they need. Oh I do have those moments for sure. But for the most part we take this journey together one day at a time, learning every bit of the way.

The photos above are of Norah yesterday who wanted to paint while her cheesecake was baking.






Christmas was put away on Sunday morning. We then headed to the Bandywine River Museum for the afternoon and ended the day with a Downton Abbey hot chocolate party. Did you watch?

Happy New Year











Happy new year my friends! 2015 is going to be a good one. Although I am allowing the holiday season to linger just a bit longer than I normally do, I am always ready for a fresh start.
We took the tree down a few days ago but I left all other decorations up. I like that much of my Christmas decor reflects the winter season so it feels ok to leave it all up just a bit longer.
I hardly took a photograph this holiday but did manage to take a few shots of our winter solstice celebration and a few on Christmas morning. We hosted a caroling party the week before Christmas as well as a new years eve party which were both loads of fun. We are enjoying these last few slow days filled with daily fires in the fireplace, welcoming visitors for dinner and tea parties, the last of the baked goods, and loads of board games (the girls have a new found love for chess!). Today we are venturing out for a train ride into the city down to the Reading Terminal.

I look forward to visiting this space more regularly. I have made resolutions for 2015 many of which include a bit more rhythm. One of my top goals is to use my camera daily.
Thank you for continuing to visit me here in this space and for all of your kind words.
Here’s to a happy and healthy new year.

A time of renewal








Happy Autumn friends!
I miss this space. I miss the rhythm and routine of coming here.
Our summer was a beautiful, bountiful and busy one full of many new adventures along with much tradition.
I am ready for fall though. It is a time of renewal for me.
I have begun to bring the gifts of this new season indoors to incorporate into our decor. We are eating squashes, brussels sprouts and dark leafy greens and soon soup will be a weekly meal.
We have a trip to the orchard planned to pick loads of apples to turn into sauce to can for winter as well as for holiday gifts.
And soon there will be daily trips to the woodpile.
I feels good to be back.