Well hi there!! I’m excited to be popping in today with a special surprise — but also with a PROMISE that I’ll be back soon with a very big and looooooong overdue update.
In the meantime, the special surprise! This year I’ve partnered (speaking of that update… can we just talk for a second about pregnancy brain? I just wrote parnerted and patenred and every other option before I finally got around to the correct spelling… yeesh! but back to the point…) with the most ah-mazing group of women for the Dream Shop Collective, a collective of like-minded shops offering 9 giveaways, hosted by 9 blogs over 18 days.
All of the shops are independently owned and primarily run by women who pour their heart and soul into what they do, with a focus on handmade, well-made and vintage… and I’m just obsessed with the shop I get to introduce you all to. Everything Golden speaks my language, with an ethos steeped in the belief that style runs much deeper than a visual quality – it comes from history and creative process.
And basically everything they carry has found its way onto my Christmas list…
So here’s the deal — we’re giving away all of the wonderful things in the top photo above.
So quick, enter the giveaway below! And be sure to visit the Dream Shop Collective website to check out all of our amazing shops and giveaways. As an extra special treat, each will be offering 10% off this holiday season using the coupon code “DREAMSHOPCOLLECTIVE.”
I’ve been writing you love letters in my sleep, dear readers… penning the most beautiful things I can only half remember once I’m awake. Blame it on the mess of a house, the morning sickness, or just a general feeling of malaise and repetition when I flip on my screen, but I’ve been searching for the spark now for months… maybe a year. Feeling stuck and mostly uninspired… but longing for the same drive I’ve felt so many times before.
While backed up against this roadblock, we’ve also set about searching for our next steps… and though maybe they’ve been clear all along, it took some time before we were ready to accept them and move forward. We stepped gingerly ahead, into a rebranding project we knew was the right move, but kept one foot in the past.
That’s not the plan anymore. The sparks are coming… slowly, and sometimes while we sleep, but they’re there.
I’m so thrilled to finally share that it’s going to be a very exciting winter for the Heeley clan – this February, we’re expecting an addition to our crew!
Mark and I are just over the moon – and happy to report that Austin couldn’t be more excited. Lennon is still blissfully unaware of the chaos to come, but we’re sure he’ll be just as pleased as the rest of us when he realizes we’re about to go back to the days of dropped food.
At sixteen weeks, baby is happy, healthy, growing steadily, and letting me know it. I’ve gotten a crash course in intense morning (otherwise known as all the time) sickness these past few months… nausea, headaches, vertigo, and all of the things I now know can come along with the first (and into the second, so far…) trimester. But I hear that means good things for the baby’s development, so for now, I’m sleeping a whole lot more, working a whole lot less, and rolling with the punches.
What’s the best thing a girl can do to a torn-to-pieces, totally pitiful construction zone of a house? How about boil a big pot of apple cider vinegar so it really smells like home…
Okay, I don’t want to hear it — the smell only lasted a few days, at most. And if all goes according to plan, this little stockpile of freshly-made relish will be with us for months.
Minus the flea beetles and, of course, what we’ll go ahead and call “the great squash scourge of 2015,” our first-real-garden adventure has been mostly successful. The blistering heat of late summer has us wishing, despite ourselves, that the rain would return… but the tomatoes are loving the sun. And we may even find ourselves with an eggplant or two by August’s end – having nursed them back to health in a post-beetle world.
… we won’t talk about the squash. They were so healthy… it all happened so fast.
Regardless, we’re still swimming in the stragglers… so I suppose if there was one thing we could spare…
But the bounty — of tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and herbs — has allowed us to get a little more creative.
… and that creativity, thankfully, includes this big steaming pot of homemade relish and the sweet, sweet smell of apple cider vinegar in the air.
August is a lesson in slowing down. The heat and humidity set in and, against our better judgement, we find ourselves sitting longer, stalling more… taking the time to savor each moment as the last few days of summer drip away.
Would I love to have that guest bathroom back up and running after a month of staring at an empty room? I would. Would I like to eat a well-balanced dinner instead of a sweet, crisp, melt-in-your-mouth pile of buttermilk waffles with summer fruit and sweet cream?
… well no, actually I’d much rather have the waffles.
As our renovation drags on, slow as they come, the lessons in patience are piling up. But with the onset of August, it feels almost right that they should. The summer days are few, and the time left to savor them is fading by the day.
Our trip to Newport Folk Fest has become an annual tradition — and this year its arrival was especially welcome.
As it stands now, the guest bathroom is stripped down to drywall and plaster, the floors are sometimes still carpeted, sometimes stripped to the subfloor… to say we’re living in a construction zone would be an understatement. And the weekends are short.
We watch those home renovation shows now with more than a little envy of the team of construction workers and designers somehow able to finish a whole home renovation in 6 weeks. Right now our little two-person team is shooting for something north of 6 months…
But it’s coming together, piece by piece. Our kitchen is organized, our garden is growing, we seem to have won at least the first few battles with the bugs, and the boxes are slowly beginning to disappear – replaced by newer, more exciting boxes filled with tile and vanities and the gosh darn prettiest wood floor I can’t wait to put down. So, we’ll get there.
But I won’t lie — this little excursion provided a welcome escape.
As a little girl, I remember sitting for hours in the grass, making flower crowns from wild daisies, and occasionally from my mother’s nasturtiums… the first time I realized that flowers could be food, it seemed almost too good to be true. Despite a propensity to climb trees and roll around in the dirt, the girly girl inside me knew that something truly special made it possible to put real rose petals on cake.
Flowers are such a simple solution in a time when everything seems complicated… no matter how many obstacles arise – and arise, they do – in our home improvements, the garden continues to grow.
Asbestos tiles? Have some squash. Warped walls? The tomatoes will be ready soon. Still battling bugs? Maybe they like all those vegetables on your counters. Hmm.
The rain has been relentless this year, but I still love this part of summer. Everything is in bloom — from the wildflowers on the side of the road to the herbs in our garden — and the fireflies have just begun to appear.
Our first Field + Foundry event took place around this time last year, and even in the middle of the warm summer rain, the evening was magical.
In anticipation of many more magical evenings to come, I’ve been playing with a few new place settings — and even a few fun new gifts using my HP Sprout. The Sprout makes it so easy to scan in a little bit of nature to use in a design — something I’d never be able to create on my own. And the possibilities are endless. Here, I used a little marjoram — one of my favorite herbs — to create a little take-home recipe book for guests.
Lately it seems like our life is all new – new house, new job, new colony of bugs in our mailbox…
But there’s something exciting about the possibility of it all, so we’re rolling with it – and it’s forcing us to switch things up and try a few things we’ve been meaning to try for years.
Like, for example, making ice cream – maybe Mark’s favorite food on the earth. It’s practically a crime we haven’t tried it before.
For our very first attempt at the cold creamy stuff — ever (it’s just crazy) — we worked with Ford and their super-clever new series Switch it Up to use one of our very favorite summer ingredients – sour cherries. And I have to say, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
Be sure to check out the latest episode of Switch it Up — where in which Food52’s Merrill Stubbs challenges Joanna Hawley of Jojotastic to a new task — right here!
And follow along for our sour cherry ice cream recipe below!
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