Badass lady camping + a special discount!

camping // a thousand threads
You might remember that a few weeks ago, I had the chance to spend the weekend with some awesome (and seriously badass) ladies camping in the woods — and the rain, sleet, and snow — in PA. The trip was organized by the Philadelphia-based company United by Blue, and today I’m excited to share not just the official pictures (and a beautiful film to go along with them) but also a special discount to celebrate!

All day today and Tuesday you can get 20% off of the Camp Like a Lady collection with the discount code CAMPLADIES. And that’s just for you — the code won’t be going out in the email to UBB’s followers, so take advantage!

… maybe get something for a certain special badass lady on your Christmas list?

Just sayin’… she wouldn’t complain if one of those nice warm wool beanies showed up in her stocking on Christmas day.

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Small business diaries // Union Kitchen

union kitchen // a thousand threads
Amazing things are happening to the food in DC. What once was a boring, boys club lunch mecca is becoming a breeding ground for all things local and handmade. Incredible kombucha; chocolate from bean to bar; and whiskey barrel-aged maple syrup are just a few examples of the tasty goods popping up every day. And if you follow them all back to their source, you’ll find one kitchen at the helm.

Upon leasing the warehouse that would soon become the growing empire of Union Kitchen, Cullen Gilchrist and Jonas Singer understood that it would be easy to go with the same old rent-a-kitchen model. But why would they want to? It wasn’t working for them, and even more importantly, it wasn’t going to work for the clients they wanted to foster — tracking hours, fighting for time, leaving your clients to fend for themselves, you could find a million kitchens just like that in the area already, and they weren’t doing much to inspire. So Cullen and Jonas set up a new model. Charge a monthly fee for unlimited hours, let clients work together in a shared, collaborative workspace, and provide the mentorship those clients need to get their business off the ground.

… sound amazing? It did to us too.

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Pumpkin, ricotta, and sage-filled pasta with cream

pumpkin, ricotta, and sage-filled pasta with cream // a thousand threads
There was a time in my life when I avoided pasta like the plague… it probably coincided with my being able to walk a whole day in heels, since I can’t imagine either having ever existed. Those times aren’t so much lost because of old age (despite hitting the big 3-0, I won’t start saying that quite yet) as having hit a point of just plain having better sense.

A life without pasta is a life unlived.

… I’m sure someone said that once.

And if you’re gonna live, cream sauce is most certainly the way to do it.

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52 dates // 46

52 dates // a thousand threads
The date // Catching up on cookbooks, his and hers.

This weekend we found ourselves the time to catch up on some of the things we love most… testing recipes, reading cookbooks, some neglected far too long. (I won’t even get started on my sad little pile of books…)

I’m struggling now with the time to catch up, because that time usually means saying no to something else. Something that I’m certain would be good for our business or our blog. But no matter how hard it is to say no, none of those pursuits will prosper if we don’t take the time to step back and (literally and figuratively) feed ourselves…

I won’t say I’ve mastered the art (far from) but this date, a little bit of luxury in an otherwise busy life, was definitely a step in the right direction.

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Obsession and introspection

// a thousand threads
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about next steps… next steps for this blog, next steps for Dough Uprising and Field + Foundry, next steps for our life. What to prioritize, how to do it all at once, how to do it right… it’s a big lift.

When I started this blog, all I wanted was possibility… now it seems we have nothing but.

As the weather’s turned cold (really cold) here in Maryland, I’m working hard to remind myself how lucky I am to have that possibility, and trying not to dwell on the fear of the leap that we have to eventually take.

… but then, winter does seem like a perfect time to plan.

/////

Eye this black hardware inspiration… I’ve been dreaming of a new kitchen for my own.

Buy this perfect Christmas wrapping.

Make this pretty cowl for the cold… then you can tell me all about it, because I definitely cannot knit one of my own.

Bake these tasty breakfast muffins.

How to be a better writer.

DomicileDC’s holiday gift guide (it’s possible that you might find Dough Uprising inside).

This unique and pretty wreath.

Clinton’s tweet to W. #howareyouSTILLnotontwitter

This crazy tasty-looking pull-apart bread.

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Roasted delicata squash and apple salad

delicata squash and apple salad // a thousand threads
We’re all getting ready for the holidays in the Heeley House — for us, of course, that means decorating, thinking about presents and food. This salad would be a perfect addition to the menu. For Austin it means dreading the boring meal and looking forward to the presents.

But for the scruffiest of puppies, the smallest of the Heeley clan, it means clearing away the muck and mess of a mop that’s accumulated and begun to collect leaves over the fall.

I’m not sure how he manages to get quite so roughed up between haircuts, his days are pretty tame — eat, sleep, patrol the house, occasionally go for a walk and threaten the other dogs with their life.

The only explanation I can think is that he must sneak out at night. Out to take care of those threats the only way a rough and tumble yorkie can. On the streets.

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52 dates // 45

52 dates // a thousand threads
This weekend I went back to yoga, rearranged the living room, hunted for new props, finally hung that new piece of art, and took the time to drive out to the C&O Canal just because…

These past few months have been so rewarding, and I’m already looking forward to the next event and the next market, but right now I couldn’t be more thankful for the calm.

I love the hard work, but somewhere along the way we lost the ability to also lead a normal life. Hard work is one thing, but letting everything else fly by without a wink is entirely another… so yesterday, with a weekend full of little accomplishments (like our rearranged living room that I love) Mark and I decided to purposely stop and take it all in.

We both love to take pictures – and you might’ve noticed we take a ton – but it’s rare that we have the time to pull over on the road and just capture something great that we see… we always seem to be running to the next event. So this weekend, we created our own little Insta-date. We drove out, around sunset, to a part of the C&O Canal where we’ve never been… and we just wandered.

… on the way home we may also have taken advantage of that location’s proximity to ice cream.

But that shouldn’t be any surprise.

P.S. Did I mention that today is our second anniversary? How lucky am I to have this guy?

P.P.S. If you feel like reminiscing along with me, all of our wedding recaps (and the whole leadup to the day) are here. And the rest of our 52 dates are here!

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Grey days and early mornings

// a thousand threads
The days are growing colder, shorter… and suddenly winter feels like it’s just around the corner.

But there’s something peaceful about it all. The early morning air, the snow on the horizon…

I don’t know, maybe this place is growing on me. This beautiful gold, green, and grey country I feel lucky to be able to experience every fall.

Maybe it’s even growing on me enough to look forward to winter.

(… or maybe I’ve said this before.)

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re enjoying the cool fall air as much as we are. Here’s to holding out hope as long as possible that the winter won’t make us miserable.

… it’s all about the hope.

/////

Eye this lovely gathering on The Fresh Exchange.

Buy some soap that smells like home.

Make your own beeswax candles.

Bake your own everything bagels.

… and definitely bake this cake.

Safety tips for your soul-sucking desk job.

Forty portraits in forty years.

The twenty-four best podcasts ever.

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Field + Foundry with Bing // DC // 2

field + foundry // dc // a thousand threads
These first three Field + Foundry events have been a little bit like a dream…

I can’t tell you how long Mark and I have talked about a supper club, someday, somehow. We felt lost for so long in an area that focuses less on creatives and more on Capitol Hill, and we needed a community, a way to gather and share what we loved… but we had no idea how we could do it.

With the help of Bing, Melissa, and so many others, the pieces finally came together in Field + Foundry. We couldn’t be happier with the result, and we’re so thankful for all of the help that we’ve had — if you haven’t already, be sure to check out the end of these posts for a full list of the amazing folks who’ve made each of these events possible.

So what next?

Our third event marks the final dinner in our initial summer and fall series, but it doesn’t mark the end. We’re excited to both continue on and expand to other states to play just a small role in bringing creative communities together in a way they haven’t been before.

So stay tuned, because as excited as I am to share what we’ve done, I’m even more excited to share what we have in the works.

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Field + Foundry with Bing // DC // 1

field + foundry // dc // a thousand threads
At the end of October, Melissa and I were lucky enough to gather another amazing group around the dinner table for our third Field + Foundry event. The event brings our summer and fall series full circle, with our first dinner in Virginia, our second in Maryland, and now our third in DC, and we left feeling energized and excited to see where Field + Foundry goes from here.

It was hard not to be energized… I have to say, it would be hard to top our Virginia event (the farmhouse, the candlelight, the fireflies…) but this dinner might have been my favorite yet.

We gathered at the Loft at 600 F, who were gracious enough to host us in their beautiful space for a dinner of shrimp with cream cheese grits, blue corn bread with handmade honey butter, and so many more amazing items that still have me drooling today.

In the evening, Cullen and Jonas of Union Kitchen and Blind Dog Cafe led us in a conversation that was even more inspiring than we could’ve hoped, detailing their philosophy and the growth of their business and encouraging others, as they do every day, to turn their dreams into reality with a little good sense and a lot of hard work.

In addition to good food and good conversation, we treated folks to a little lesson in salt infusion and invited them to create their own sriracha salt, ginger lime salt, or lavender salt to take home. (We’ll be sharing the recipes over on West Elm’s blog soon!)

But even with all of that said, I’m nowhere near done — Reema’s photos were just too pretty to fit into one post this time, so I have many more details (plus recipes) on the way.

In the mean time, enough talk, I can’t wait for you to see what’s below…

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