Camp weekend

// a thousand threads
More than ever, Mark and I know we have so, so much to be thankful for — especially all of you and your kind words these past few days. Thank you, as always, for being there with us. It means so much.

And speaking of thanks, I’m busy gathering my gear — and mixing up some cider and rye — for a weekend of camping with an amazing group of friends, both old and new.

It’s been far too long since I’ve spent a night under the stars. I’m a little sad not to be taking my favorite camp partner along with me — but when United by Blue wrote with an invite, I won’t lie, I might’ve squealed a little. What’s better than camping, hiking, and potlucking around the campfire? Nothing in this girl’s book…

I can’t wait to share all of the details of our badass lady weekend next week!


Eye these beautiful photos of Helen Levi by Nicole Franzen.

Buy these boots I’m coveting.

Make these cute treat boxes for Halloween.

Bake this easy pear tart.

The lazy girl’s (me) guide to de-wrinkling clothes.

We already identify the best schools, what do you think about pointing out the worst?

These great covered bowls.

Homemade corn dogs omg.

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52 dates // 41

barbara fritchie // 52 dates // a thousand threads
The date // Breakfast at The Fritch.

The Barbara Fritchie is a once-great Frederick institution that hasn’t changed in at least 50 years.

The charm of the era it was born in still remains (… along with more than a few of the original clientele) even if it is a little rough around the edges. And it’s become one of our favorite places for a simple breakfast, a cup of coffee, and maybe even a piece of pie.

So this week, with a full schedule on our plates, we decided to wake up extra early and sneak away to our favorite little Frederick diner… still just as great as ever, just maybe in a slightly different way.

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Things to be thankful for

ombre carrots // a thousand threads
I’m guilty of not sharing a real-life update with you all in a while – I’ve been sharing the pretty, easy things instead. But these beautiful carrots reminded me that we’re long overdue.

Our lives are still in limbo, caught somewhere between greatness and complete and total terror… hoping to scratch our way out of the darkness sometime soon.

When we left for Europe, we were certain Mark had a job lined up for his return. But after some time waiting around for the reality to materialize, we’ve found ourselves back at square one. I won’t ramble on about the worry or the stress, because I’m sure you already know. A month, maybe two… that’s manageable. Going on three with no end in sight… suffice to say it sucks.

But, though it might feel a little early for thanks, we’ve also been reminded — so many times over these past few months — why thanks is never really limited to that one day a year.

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paris // a thousand threads
Of all of the places we visited this summer, I feel the deepest connection with Ireland… which should come as no surprise. My grandmother was Irish, and I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. Ireland feels like home.

That said, I have to admit that the place I was most excited to take Mark to was Paris. As a little girl, I always wanted to visit, but as a teenager, my mind wandered off to more exotic places… feeling certain that the Paris everyone carries on about would let me down. Then, in my early 20s, I found myself there…

And in many ways I mean that completely.

I actually had a terrible experience on my first trip to Paris and a huge falling out with a relative that’s never been fully repaired…

But in the moments before and after, I wandered the city by foot and by train, to the catacombs, the streets of Montmartre, and all the way out to Versailles. I sat in Marie Antoinette’s garden and cried for the mess my life was at that moment, and felt hopeful for what I knew it had to become. I sipped wine, smoked at cafes (part of the mess I left behind…), and indulged in the beautiful food and the beautiful shopping just down the street from my tiny hotel on rue Saint-Honoré.

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Salted caramel pumpkin cheesecake

salted caramel pumpkin cheesecake // a thousand threads
Fall in the Heeley house…

Mark: Has he told you what he wants to be for Halloween?

Me: No?

Mark: He wants to wear a red body suit and carry a machine gun and run around screaming.


… that’s what’s in his head.

Austin: [From upstairs, screams like a banshee and hits the bed, again - but thank god it's not the wall - with a light-up sword that only makes the fun noise when it hits something hard.

... because toy manufacturers hate us all.]

Mark [ominously]: How scary is that?

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How to make your own bitters

how to make your own bitters // a thousand threads
Have you ever tried to make your own cocktail bitters? It’s way less daunting than it sounds… all you need is a few herbs, roots, spices, and grain alcohol to make it happen.

I taught a little workshop on the subject at our last Field + Foundry event, and today I’m over on West Elm’s blog detailing the process!

Be sure to stop by, and let me know if you try it out! It’s a pretty fun little science experiment, and we’re sort of obsessed with the orange-cardamom bitters we brought home from the event.

… they’ll be perfect for the long weekend ahead.

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Fall favorites with Joules

fall favorites with joules // a thousand threads

Something about fall always makes me want to start new – clean out the closets, buy a new planner, and especially update my wardrobe. Maybe it’s because no matter how long I’m out of school, I still feel like the first big day is on its way, or maybe it’s because I know the cold hard winter is lurking just around the bend…

Whatever the case, my wish list always seems to be extra long in the fall. So I’ve teamed up with the awesome British brand Joules to bring you a few of my current favorites.

… maybe some sweet person will add them to my Christmas list.

1 // I can never have enough quilted jackets, and I love the deep blue and big pockets on this one.
2 // These Mazama mugs would be perfect for curling up with a cup of cocoa.
3 // Speaking of essentials, this leather tote is everything.
4 // I’m dying for a few new dresses, and this one is perfect for fall.
5 // This perfume is scented with notes of honeyed rose, peonies, dark green tuberose, and tea… does it get any better than that?
6 // I’m not usually one for literal interpretations of the seasons… but this vintage bracelet is definitely an exception I’d be happy to make for fall.


52 dates // 40

taco and pisco night // a thousand threads
The date // Tacos and pisco on a Tuesday night.

If there’s anything we’re out to prove (to ourselves as much as anyone else) with this little series, it’s that not every date has to be a big deal… some weeks just don’t let that happen. Some weeks there’s a market, an event to prep for, a pile of chores, and an even bigger pile of work.

… but at the end of the day, I can’t think of anything I want to do more than to come home and sit down with my guy to one of our favorite dinners and drinks… just us, late at night, eating tacos over the stove and laughing because they never seem to make it any farther than that… mixing pisco sours and feeling nostalgic about our time in Peru.

That, for all the dates and all the places in the world, is my happy place… it doesn’t have to be fancy to be perfect.

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nice // a thousand threads
Our experience in Nice was both better and worse than expected.

The city is gorgeous, of course… a level of gorgeous that’s hard to comprehend, with the charm of Provence and the grit of a bygone Atlantic City Boardwalk all rolled into one.

We spent days lazing on the beach, diving in the turquoise waters and stuffing our faces with out of this world food that is as much Italian as it is French.

But Nice is also a huge city, with all of the accouterments.

Normally, we wouldn’t mind… but something failed us in our planning (a myopic focus on the family portion of the trip, maybe) and we didn’t have the time to really do the research… we just wanted a romantic getaway, and the Nice of Old Town (the one in the pictures) seemed like the perfect place.

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A train ride on the Côte d’Azur

south of france // a thousand threads
On our third day in France – we spent our first two days like this and this – we’d finally recovered from the go-go-go of Ireland enough to explore.

So we hopped a train and headed north, toward Monaco, without really having a plan. We’d spent the majority of our planning time on our road trip, wanting to make it the best it could be for the family. So we decided that this time, we’d just wander, and stop in whatever town struck our fancy along the way.

And I’m so glad we did…

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