Over the past couple of days, I have made kefir, yogourt, pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, coffee cake and my first batch of goat's milk soap. (Well, my first two batches, really - the first one isn't looking so great. But the second one looks amazing! I can't wait to try it.) I've also touched up some paint on the house (in and out), stacked some firewood, cleaned the entire kitchen, pantry and fridge, complete with drawer-washing, watched Murder, She Wrote while knitting, and finished a book. Oh, and worked and attended a volunteer board meeting, too. You might think that this is impossible, and it would be, except that I've had the house totally to myself for three days. I kind of turn into a crazy person when left to my own devices. I was happily folding and putting away laundry at 10:40 last night.

But you know what? As much as I do love having the freedom to come and go as I please, eat when I want, accomplish tasks the first time around from start to finish, find something exactly where I left it, revel in a tidy house, drink a full cup of hot tea in one go, and sit in complete quiet - being without my boys makes me antsy. It's a vague unsettled-ness that just doesn't feel right. I'm a lucky, lucky lady.


september lettuce

Lettuce! After our first round bolted and became bitter, Phillip and I tucked a few extra seeds we had in the ground a few weeks ago. I love the speckled one in particular. The season's winding down, and that makes me a teeny bit sad.

You know what? I haven't shared many links lately. I think it's because I keep track of most of that goodness over at Pinterest these days. I know, I know - you're thinking "I don't need another thing to keep track of!" But you do. Because, you see, Pinterest keeps track of things for you. It's a supremely simple way of organizing stuff that you find online: like pretty bookmarking where you can see other people's if you want, too. So if you haven't already (and I know that some of you have, thanks!) you can come find my boards over there and see what I'm loving as of late.

In case you're still wrinkling your nose and deciding that it's not worth the bother, here are a few things I've found on Pinterest lately. Just to whet your appetite.

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread which would be so much fun to eat!

Pumpkin syrup. Yum.

And kitchens. I seem to pin a lot of gorgeous white kitchens. Like this one, this one, and this one (that FLOOR!) Oh, and this one, too. With almost the same floor. And this bathroom.

And lastly, miscellaneous things like badgers, oxford commas, and baby elephants abound. Love it!

Have a good week!


the woodsmen & a special day

There are two little ones in this house who live to do what Dadoo does. It's pretty adorable. Did you notice P's little work gloves?

I feel as though I've been neglecting you folks lately. It happens every year - these first few months of school are always extra crazy and all kinds of other things wait. (I did take these pictures on the weekend, and also made some Peach Lavender Jam. Delicious is an understatement.) I also realized a few days ago that today would be a very significant day - it's been six years (six!) since I wrote my first blog post. I had no idea then that I would enjoy it so much, or that I would meet so many lovely people. In all seriousness, blogging has changed my perspective on life. I choose for this to be a place to share beauty and all of the loveliness at hand. In turn, I'm much more aware of all that there is to see, and all that I have to be thankful for.

Thank you, thank you for reading along, and for being so sweet and kind and generally wonderful. If you've ever liked anything that you've read or seen here, please leave a comment and say hi! It would absolutely make my day.


date night

  My sweet husband and I went on a date last night. A fancy one, as evidenced by the fact that a) it was free (well, we did have to pick up some marshmallows) and b) it involved stargazing on the beach. And I took a bunch of Hipstamatic pictures on Adam's phone. It was a perfect way to spend the last Saturday night of the summer.

  How are you spending your last days of the summer?


guest post

 Adam and the boys picked up this gorgeous little mushroom on a walk this week. Isn't it lovely?

I have a little guest post up over at the Canadian Living Craft blog today, with a review of Amanda Soule's new book The Rhythm of Family. If that's where you came from today, welcome! I'm happy you're here.

Happy weekend!


this morning

It is a beautiful morning. I got back from a brisk walk and took a few pictures around the house. Yes, those tomatoes and that little strawberry were promptly eaten. And they were perfect! We have two sunflower survivors after Irene blew through. A new crop of lettuce is looking gorgeous, and our Jacob's Cattle beans are quite lovely, aren't they? I love this time of year.

Hope you're having a lovely morning, too.


a big kid, a little one, and a perfect bread recipe

This is what we've been up to.

 Somehow, it's September 6 already, and Phillip started pre-primary this morning. I've been coping by cooking and cleaning like a maniac, and we've also been squeezing in as much end-of-summer fun as possible. He was so excited (and a little bit nervous) about the whole thing. Truthfully, I was as excited as him - I had waaaay too much fun labelling his things, packing his bag, and writing a little love note for his lunch. He had a perfect drop-off, reports that he had lots of fun, and he's looking forward to going back tomorrow. So all in all, a resounding success. Adam took a picture before Phillip went out the door this morning.

Those red things are rosehips, foraged by P and I. We picked a bag full, and I was planning to make rosehip jelly. It ended up as lemon rosehip syrup, and it is delicious. Don't eat them raw - those little fibres are apparently very unfriendly on their way through.
And in other exciting news, I finally found a perfect whole wheat bread recipe that works perfectly by making the dough in the bread machine, and baking it off in the oven. It's all whole wheat flour, but makes a light, beautifully textured loaf. It's really, really lovely. Phillip took this picture of a loaf for me; I apparently jabbed it in the side when I was loosening it out of the pan. Oops.

Whole Wheat Honey Bread
1 1/8 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey (I've used a combo of honey and agave nectar, and it worked perfectly)
1 tbsp skim milk powder
1 1 /2 tbsp butter
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp yeast

Place ingredients in bread machine, in the order listed. Well, approximately anyway - as long as the flour's on top and your yeast is on top of that, you're fine. Select the dough cycle. When dough cycle is finished (you can even let it sit a bit longer after the cycle is done), turn it out into a greased loaf pan, cover with a clean dish towel, and let rise while the oven preheats to 375. Pop it in there for 40 minutes. Let it sit in the pan for 10 minutes or so, to let the steam loosen it from the pan a bit. Take it out of the pan (without puncturing the side!), let it cool, and enjoy!

I hope you're having a good week getting back into a routine. This bread is great for toast during your morning rush, and excellent for sandwiches to send with the kiddos (or yourself!) for lunch. Enjoy!