yarn along….

Bitters and yarn along

Yarning along with Ginny today. 

I started this shawl pattern this morning. We had one of those busy, busy days with lots of driving and waiting. I figured a new knitting project was a good way to pass the time….. and it was. Well, maybe not the part where I was talking to other moms while the kids were rollerskating, because I ended up having to pull the whole thing out and start over. I misread the pattern and totally goofed up the increase. I'm not sure if it would have mattered too much, but I decided to pull it out anyhow. I'm using Handmaiden yarn from my stash. I have three colors that complement each other well, I'll show you the others next week. I'm determined to knit projects only from my stash this year…. it's really gotten out of hand…. the collecting part. So I really need to knit it down a little!

The book was my Solstice gift. It's wonderful! I've made a few batches of bitters recently and gotten into using bitters more for cocktails (and mocktails right now). I love books broken up seasonally, and of course beautiful photography is always a bonus. It's really worth checking out.

Dinner is calling, so I have to run. Hopefully by the end of tonight I'll be back to where I frogged this shawl!





There's been a lot of reading this winter. Cozied up next to the fire book in lap…. watching it snow, snow, snow. As I decluttered our library area a few weeks back, I found myself reading several favorite picture books. We've acquired quite the collection over these 18+(gulp) years of parenting. I was reminded that I've been wanting to pull together a regular list of good picture books. Both from our own shelves and the always heavy library bag.

Here are two recent library favorites…..

The first book is Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads written by Bob Shea and illustrated by Lane Smith. We love this because it's FUNNY! The story is about some bad guys aka "the terrible toads" who are a bit cheeky and "steal your gold, kiss your cattle, and insult your chili". Then Hope rides in on a turtle. Slowly. And while he doesn't seem to know a lot about crime-fighting, he does know a lot about dinosaurs. You'll have to read it to see if he saves the day….. and I'm pretty sure you'll get a lot of giggles too.









You got a bonus cute dog picture in there. That's the face she makes when I say the words "dog food".

The second book is Julia's House for Lost Creatures, written & illustrated by Ben Hatke. I LOVED this book. Julia moves into town and things are too quiet for her. So she puts up a sign to welcome lost creatures. All sorts of fun and unusual creatures begin to show up. The house gets loud and full…. and things get a little chaotic. And messy. (does this sound familiar to anyone else?) Julia has to figure out how everyone can work together…… It's a really sweet story with magical illustrations.

Enjoy. (and feel free to leave your own current favorite)




Farm. Food. Life. {for you!}

Two weeks ago I sat at Kim's dining room table with a bowl of homemade soup in my hands as we finally got the opportunity to share words face to face. She had invited me to stay at her home so we could attend the Broke Arts Fair together the next morning. We had been emailing each other for weeks and a friendship was easily forged, we have so much in common after all. Love of farms, food, life full of kids. It was magic sitting there, thumbing through the pages of her beautiful book. Putting a voice behind all those messages we had sent back and forth. She is a good soul, for sure. Kind, down-to-earth, and generous. I'm so glad that our paths have crossed…..

And because I really want you to get to know her a little better too, I have something special for you. One lucky winner will receive a signed copy of her beautiful newly published book:

Farm. Food. Life. Photographs & Recipes Inspired by Local Farms

by Kimberly Peck

 farm. food. life. by kimberly peck


Through Kim's beautiful photography, you will get to know 12 small farms in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. There is a delicious recipe for each farm showcased in the book and photograph after photograph of incredible farm beauty. The tomato page is my absolute personal favorite….. swoon!

To read more about Kim & her work, you can visit here. To purchase her lovely book, you can visit her shop(perfect for holiday gift giving!)

Leave a comment below to enter. A winner will be chosen Sunday evening & announced Monday. Extra love to each of you who share this book with friends…. I know you will. You guys are sweet like that.




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congratulations Joy! you are the lucky winner of this beautiful book! (comment chosen via random.org)

Thank you everyone for entering & for supporting Kim's book.




holiday reading list……

holiday reading list.....


holiday reading list.....


holiday reading list.....


Last weekend I pulled our holiday decorations down from the attic. One of our totes has all of our winter themed books tucked inside. A few years ago we started putting the holiday and winter books up with the decorations. I wasn't sure how the kids would react to this, but they actually took it really well. It saves me from reading Christmas Farm in July when it's sweltering hot outside, and it's like opening a gift each year when we pull them down.

We add one or two winter books each year, so the collection slowly grows as well. I try to keep a list of what we loved from the library and then purchase them used out of season. I have to make a trip to the attic to put the book away, but it sure is worth the bargain. Also, hardcovers are almost always a better deal… which is perfect for books you want to keep around for years of seasonal reading.

I also try to find books that will resonate with our family. Something that is a passion of the kids or that has a similar story to their life. Last year I was lucky to find The Legend of Papa Noel, a Louisiana based Christmas tale and Lighthouse Christmas, which is very dear to the heart of Coast Guard families. Especially our kiddos, who's daddy once held the key to all the lighthouses in Cape Cod & helped keep them shining brightly to guide mariners. I was in tears at the end of Lighthouse Christmas…. it's a keeper for sure.

I thought it would be fun to share a list of our favorites with you, whether you choose to add some to your collection or library bag, and do share your favorite! It would be great for us all to share.


picture books:

Toot & Puddle, I'll be Home for Christmas

Bear Snores On

Snowflake Bentley

Christmas Farm

The Tomten

Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas

The Mitten

Winter Solstice

The Tomten & The Fox

Stella Queen of the Snow

Lighthouse Christmas

The Legend of Papa Noel

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Owl Moon

Night Tree

The Gift of Nothing

Ollie's Ski Trip


chapter books:

The Greatest Christmas Stories

The Return of the Light


Happy winter time reading to you…..











I’m sure many of you have seen and heard the buzz about this new publication.


My first issue arrived last week and I’ve spent the last few days savoring it’s pages.

I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so in love with a publication….

It resonates within my heart and tells my dreams yes, yes, you can

The images and words within it’s pages are encouraging, beautiful, and heartfelt. The contributers are utterly amazing. If you are striving to live the simple life, to be present, to dig deeper, these are your people. Your community is within these pages.

As Amanda says in the opening page, “what you are now holding in your hands is a chair at the kitchen table.

To be among fellow dreamers, doers, makers.

How beautiful and lovely is that?

After it arrived I upped my one year subscription to two. It’s really that good. And my own little hope is that when it’s time to renew, we’ll be at our someday homestead. With chickens, bees and dirt under our fingernails.

Living fully, living the dream.

Finally planting roots….


The Fox Diaries

I believe in the beginning, my friendship with Valarie started through our mutual love of gnomes. We seemed to become fast friends and when she began sharing her foxes I was a regular visitor to her space to see what those sweet little kits and their mama were up to. It was such a fun few months to see the baby foxes grow and see their mama teach them. I really felt as if I was right there beside my friend, looking out the window with her at these fantastic creatures.

foxes 1


foxes 2

fox photos taken by Valarie Budyar  

The foxes moved on, but my friendship with Valarie has remained. When she announced the upcoming release of her book, The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden Fox, I was so excited for her. Then she asked if I'd like to be a stop on her blog tour and I was quite honored to do so. Valarie sent a copy of her book to our family to enjoy and have we ever! Valarie has woven together a lovely story along with interesting fox information onto the beautiful pages of her book. It's been by someone's bedside since it arrived and my 8 year old daughter has fallen especially in love it. "Don't you just love their names mama." my girl asks, sighing dreamily at the pictures of the foxes. I agree with her, their names are just perfect. 


Fox Diaries flat cover


Valarie has generously offered to give away one gorgeous copy of The Fox Diaries to my readers, you! So please leave a comment below to enter and I will draw a name via random generator on Monday morning to announce it. And as if that weren't kind enough, she is also offering a coupon code for 15% off her book at Audrey Press. Just enter the code "foxes" upon checkout to receive the discount. (good until May 27th)

Congratulations again to my dear friend on her lovely new book. May it bring a little magic into the lives of all who turn its pages.

Comments will close at 8 a.m. central time Monday morning, best of luck to you!

Happy Weekending Friends!


Update, the lucky winner chosen by random number generator is number 3, Rain. Congratulations!


Loving :: This Dress

I am loving this book…..

Carefree Clothes for Girls 

I've been waiting all summer for it. Last Friday it finally showed up and I LOVE IT! The patterns are both practical and funky. I love the vintage inspired style and the photography is fabulous!

I really, really wanted to make something from the book……… but with two Halloween costumes to finish up I tucked it aside…….. waiting to make something from it…….

Until Miss Seven announced that she would need a red gingham dress to be Little Red Riding Hood…….

I pulled out Carefree Clothes for Girls and found the perfect little dress pattern inside. Now, red gingham isn't necessarily my favorite…… but my Little Red was quite insistent on being completely red. 

"And with a ruffle mom!"

Well then, red and ruffled you got……..



The pattern in the book was easy to follow and came out really, really nice. The pattern is true to size in my opinion and the size 7 fit my Miss Seven very nicely. She's been wearing it every chance she could get since its creation! I will certainly be making more of these!!

And with an apron and a mama made velvet cape….. she certainly makes a pretty Little Red Riding Hood!! 

Make that a silly little Red Riding Hood!

Silly Red 

I'll see you all this weekend to share a photo or two of Halloween Kiddos.

Have a spook-tacular Halloween!     (sorry, I couldn't help myself)

Made from Scratch

Last night I just finished up Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich


It's funny to feel like you have a connection with someone you've never met, but I really felt connected to Jenna's experiences as she stumbled along figuring out her homestead. Lot's of humorous parts that made me laugh out loud and she's a terrific writer, so her words flow beautifully making it a quick and enjoyable read. 

If you are interested in doing things yourself, homesteading, gardening, keeping animals & bees……. you'll really enjoy this book too. And if like me, you just can't get enough of this gals wit, your in luck! She's a blogger too! Check out her blog, Cold Antler Farm. I love seeing more books out there for those of us who would rather get our hands dirty and make a mess creating something than pick it up at a bog box store. 

And anyone out there who shares a crazy passion for coffee & dark chocolate, is surely a kindred spirit.

Enjoy 🙂

Jenna was also was featured in the recent April/May issue of Mother Earth News.