Category Archives: inspiration

finding {inspiration} & a winner!



The end of the weekend is rapidly approaching and we are enjoying a quiet afternoon reading, napping and relaxing.  This time of year tends to be busy on the planning side and quiet on the execution end.  We are making plans and passing ideas back and forth but our days are fairly peaceful, which works well with the gray skies and cool wet weather.


I do find that during these quiet days I find the most inspiring places to draw ideas from- and as today you, like me, may be looking for something to get you excited, I wanted to share them with you.


While she may be on the opposite seasonal schedule, her posts inspire me to simplify- both in decor, photography and entertaining.

Starting next week I’m going to begin taking part in a “this moment” post.

Inspiring Pinterest boards?  Yes please~

This posts *almost* makes me want to live in Vancouver again…

The dress I bought in Portland last time from here- my absolute favorite.  Love the shop, can’t wait to go back.


Also- Congratulations Sarah!  Your word “breathe” will be put on a necklace and sent out to you!  Please send me your contact information and I will get it going!


Happy week friends.



so where do we go {next}?



There is something amazing about the start of a new year, don’t you think?  I love that no matter how the previous year ends, there are endless possibilities and exciting adventures to be had in the coming one.  It is a time when I look at where my path has taken me, what I would like to change and what goals I hope to achieve as I continue along the road that is my life story.


I have all sorts of ideas for 2013 and I’m so excited to share them with you.


~After doing an ecourse with some amazing friends run by this incredible dearest of mine, I decided that it would be fun to add some videos to the blog occasionally.  I really think that they would give you a better sense of who I am and they would be an opportunity for me to share some of my favorite things with you.

~I have been working on my “good old stand-by recipes” list for some time now and I want to begin sharing them with you.  These are our favorite recipes that we enjoy and that are easy to make in a pinch.  I think it is always a good thing to have a few go-to meals in your pantry and freezer.

~We are really ramping up tiggy & grace and when we stock the shop the first week of February it will be filled with not only rustic one-of-a-kind pottery but even more handmade linens and wood cutting boards- and of course that delicious smoked salt.  I know February seems like a long time from now but I have a trip planned for the third week of January and I don’t want to stock the shop until I am able to get things posted as soon as you order them.  Thus, February it is.

~Speaking of trips, I think this year may be a travel-filled one.  January will take me once again to Vermont where I will be working with this incredible inspirational friend on a number of projects that we are both excited for.  There will be a lot of work but, like last time, a lot of laughter as well.  March will take me south to California’s beautiful wine country where I will immerse myself in two days of happiness and inspiration with some of the most amazing women I know.  I am also hoping to make it to Uganda with my mama next time she heads to the children’s home.  It is my dream to photograph the opening of the home and the beautiful children that will find themselves with a roof over their head and people who love them.  I don’t know that I can put my feelings about that trip into words, and I fear that after I have been it will be even more difficult, but hopefully I will capture it in a way that will help you to understand.

~I have big dreams for the gardens this coming spring and I would love to exchange tips, ideas and plans with those of you hoping to do the same.  One of the things on my Life List is “plant a garden that will sustain us through the summer”.  Now, will this be the summer that happens?  Unlikely- but it will be good practice and I’m sure to learn a lot in the process.

~I think for me, the real focus of this year, the part that will lead all of the rest that is to follow is this: I want to be present, grateful, generous with my actions and words, focused and peaceful.  I also want to work my tail off to make my dreams – and the dreams of my family a reality.  I want to honor them and appreciate the moments we share.  I want to wake each morning with a open and thankful heart.  And I want to go to bed each evening and be appreciative for another day in my journey.

Wishing you magic my friends- and laughter. Always laughter.


I love this video

This friend sprinkles stardust on the words she weaves into beautiful tales

Want to lose yourself in beauty?




another {one word} give away

one word necklace


Can you tell I feel strongly about the benefits of finding a word that guides and inspires you through the year?  This year I’m really excited to have ordered a few of these simple necklaces that, with a glance will remind me of the path I {believe} I will journey along in the coming months.  I’m ready to welcome in 2013 and  I know so many amazing exciting things are going to happen this year.


Liz Lamoreux has donated one of these inspiring necklaces   shown above from her Etsy shop.  One of the great things about Liz – aside from the fact that she is creative and talented and incredibly generous- is that she lives a mere hour away from me.  I love finding someone that is relatively local to support as well as be inspired by. When Liz said she would donate a necklace like the one I ordered- with the winners personal one word for the year engraved on it, I was excited that one of you would also wear your word through the year.


You know the drill- leave a comment with your word – winner will be drawn on Sunday~

Best of luck and happy 2013!


a {one word} give-away

one word bracelet


Hello friends and happy nearly New Year~


Some of you may know how excited I get about my annual “one word“- the word I choose that will serve as my mantra and my guiding force throughout the coming year.  I take my word to heart and much consideration has gone into deciding on that one word.  It must feel “right”.  It must emphasize what it is I hope to accomplish in the next twelve months and hopefully push me along the road a little further.


This year my word is BELIEVE


I also came to a realization today.  Two things really.  One isn’t very flattering, but I am going to share it with you anyway.  Let’s begin with that one first…  So, the truth is I tend to fixate on things.  It is almost as if I need something to focus on in order to be happy.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am generally a happy person, (one of my current mantras is “choose happy” as I know the power of joy) and I feel great gratitude for the beautiful life I have been given.  But, aside from that and back to what is most likely a missing synapse in my brain- I fixate.  I tend to need something new and exciting to wrap myself in.  It can be a new hobby or project.  It can be a trip or a party.  Any number of things fit the bill.  Oftentimes it is about change.  Now this could have something to do with the fact that we moved so much in my childhood and that acclimated me to adjusting to change frequently.  Thus, living in the same place for ten years, with the same basic life- well, maybe there is a part that is so ingrained in me that needs change that it has become a part of my psyche.  Anyway, I need something to focus on, to get excited about, to dream about, plan for, anticipate.  And right now I’m not finding it.  Oh, I *may* have some ideas, but I really would prefer something that doesn’t elicit the “I’m calling the divorce lawyer” response…  ;)  So, I am working on that.  Which leads me to my next epiphany…


I don’t do dull.  I don’t do humdrum or laid back or low-key or boring.  I admit that my craving for excitement and adventure has gotten me into a pickle or two, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I like a challenge and to do the unanticipated.  I like mixing it up and going against the grain.  My husband would say I over-burden myself or spread myself too thin in some areas, but I simply do what feels right at the time.  I am trying to curb that a bit (you know- the divorce lawyer threat…) but it is a precarious balance between staying out of trouble and keeping it lively and interesting.  Please tell me that some of you understand what I am saying here…  Anyway, I think that *believe* will serve as a reminder that I can do anything if I simply believe it.  It may not be easy, but if I believe, it will be.


So, back to the one word project and the give-away.  I have recently ordered a bracelet that will have a word inscribed in it and as I really loved the simple slightly bohemian design, I asked Izzy if she would be willing to donate one of those same bracelets to one of my readers for them to have their word inscribed on – and she said YES!  She is very kind and I am so excited to share one of these fabulous inspirational bracelets with one of you.  However, I’m going to keep the run of this give-away short as I want to get the bracelet out to the winner as early in the new year as possible.  Thus, I will do the drawing on Monday- New Years Eve!  Please spread the word, as I would love to get as many people on board with the one word idea as possible.  If you would like a chance to win, please leave a comment with what your word is – tweet or facebook for a second chance but make sure to come back and leave another comment.  I can’t wait to hear what your words are!

{aspirations} for 2013

cali sunset


Each year I take some time at the end of December to come up with a list of aspirations for the coming year. I love the idea of having things to work towards and even sitting down and writing out the list is cathartic in it’s own way.   It requires me to really sit down and think about what my priorities are for the immediate future and what changes I would like to make in the coming year.  My list tends to be rather broad- travel to someplace I have never been and document it.  Grow tiggy & grace.  Move more.  Invest in my inner bohemian.  Find my zen place.   Eat healthier.  Choose happy.  If I need specifics I tend to refer to my life list.


This past year brought with some significant changes in my life.  After 18 years of having a child at home with me throughout the day, I found myself with 6 free hours to do with what I please, nearly every single day.  At first I was giddy- I giggled.  A lot.  I then settled in to a routine of getting everything that had to be done, which still left me with quite a lot of time unaccounted for.  I began spending more time on my photography- doing actual jobs with actual paychecks.  I worked with a stylist for the first time and was thrilled with the results.  But I still had more time…


One thing you should know about me is that I don’t “do nothing” very well.  I don’t often “relax”.  I like to be productive and if I’m not, I find ways to be.  Thus tiggy & grace was born.  Through my love of being in the kitchen, my appreciation of beauty and function and having a husband who creates beautiful pottery, I found a way to combine it all and share it with others.  While it began with rustic pottery, simple linens and my very favorite smoked salt, I have plans to add some wonderful things in 2013 – all made in the USA.  I am really excited about what will come.


As I also thrive on travel, I have a few trips planned for the coming year.  The one I am hoping most to take is with my mama- to Uganda.  While it is still in it’s “dream” phase, I really hope to make it a reality.  The children there have stolen my heart and I want to go and get to know the country so that one day I can take my boys with me.  There seems to be such beauty and light in the faces of the children and I would love to wrap my arms around them and capture their glow with my camera.  I hope that everything can be finished in the next few months and the children are able to be moved in soon.   If you haven’t visited my mama’s website to see the progress, you can find it here.


Another thing I love to do in the new year is find a word that will serve as my mantra throughout the coming year.  I was inspired by Ali Edwards’ post on it a few years back.  Her post this year can be found here.  This year my word will be BELIEVE.  There are so many things that I believe will become reality in 2013 and I want that feeling of “anything can happen” to help me soar through the year.  I have big dreams in 2013 and I do believe that they all can come true with hard work and faith.


I have a good feeling about the coming year.  There is change on the horizon, but I think it is good change, healthy change, positive change.  I think there is growth in my future and while sometimes growth comes with growing pains, I think that in the end they will create strength and wisdom and contentment.



the spirit of {Christmas}

As many of you know, my mom is currently in Uganda finishing up the beautiful home she has been working on over the past two years.  She and Edwin are spending their days with the children who have visited and working on the structure and property.  Recently they were featured on the local news station in Vancouver, BC but for those of you who weren’t able to see it, I wanted to share it with you.




I also wanted to share a post that she published yesterday with updated photos of the home.  I was amazed at how lush and green and wonderful it is becoming!  Head here to check it out~


Wishing you a very merry Christmas eve eve, and all of the days that follow~




celebrating {love}


Today Louis and I are heading south, to celebrate these two.  Two dear friends whom I love.  I feel honored and blessed to share in a day that will see them married- finally.



It’s here!  And honestly, I think it’s the most beautiful issue yet!  Filled with holiday cheer and wonderful ideas for how to create magic, you won’t be disappointed~

You can order it HERE





Hello friends~


I am happy once again to share my excitement at the upcoming issue of Souvenir magazine!  Souvenir is a seasonal lifestyle magazine featuring gorgeous homes, beautiful ideas for entertaining, delicious recipes, simple crafts, lifestyle and travel stories and amazing shops and collectibles.   With four days before the release date, I hope you will enjoy it as much as we enjoyed working on it.  With an incredible group of contributors sharing their favorite parts of the holidays, I know you will be inspired!



To order your online issue of Souvenir visit souvenir   You can also sign up for our mailing list here.


will {you} be joining us?


There is so much I want to share about this magical trip to Vermont and Montreal.  My time with this sweet friend was so inspiring- I returned home ready to nest as well as to move forward with my journey with photography.  I am excited to work- especially with her~

However, right now, we have one day left until the Creatively Made Home course kicks off.  I am so very excited about that!  The website is up and the conversations about home and what it means to us have already begun.  It is going to be inspiring and I really hope you will join us!  We would love to have you.  Simply click the button below~

Have a wonderful Sunday mes amies~


the frenchy home of {Tracey Leber}


With less than a week to go, we are all getting so excited to kick off our Creatively Made Home course!  The website is up with everyone who is registered online and chatting.  The energy is building and I am already loving the conversations and excitement flowing.  If you haven’t heard from us and are registered, PLEASE LET ME KNOW ASAP.  If you haven’t registered, what are you waiting for??  It is going to be a really inspiring experience and I would love to meet you there.  The new site is amazing and makes it so easy to interact with everyone else in the course.


This week I want to introduce you to Tracey Leber and her GORGEOUS home filled with beautiful treasures she has collected through her travels.  I met Tracey a few years ago and loved her sense of style and her eye for beauty.  I know you will love her home, as even if it isn’t your particular style, it is so well mixed and put together that it is inspiring to anyone who dreams of having a comfortable welcoming space~


Today I want to give you a peek…and just a peek into the content and projects that Tracey will share.

Tracey owns the shop French Larkspur and travels to France multiple times a year to fill her shop.


From the moment…moment…you step into the door you are surrounded by beauty and details.

Comfortable beauty.

Styling and entertaining are Tracey’s creative gifts.  Each room is full of details and little touches that were just right.  She thinks out of the box and incorporates beautiful items that complimented each other in ways you would have never thought of.  She uses white in a way that is warm and inviting.  She has combined white with vintage salvage, linens, wood and furniture to balance it all and create a gorgeous space for her family. She loves to make things beautiful just to make them beautiful….and it blesses everyone that comes in their home.


Here is a peek at the creative projects that Tracey Leber brings to Creatively Made (this is just a peek though)….

Tracey will talk about:

*Her personal journey with her home and family

*Her design influences

*How she found her own style and how she began incorporating it

*Share favorite recipes and photos of her home

*Have a live, online discussion with members of the course to ask whatever they wish about her style, home, passions.

*Share 10 project videos in different areas that are true to how she incorporates her creativity and passions in everyday living.

A peek into her project videos…

Tracey will show you how to incorporate vintage salvage into your home and also talk about what to focus on when you are starting to put your home together.


She will also show you how to make a muslin wreath that can be accented for any season.


Tracey will show you how to make the most perfect gifts for birthdays or Christmas!

She will show you how to make sugar scrubs and how to package up your gifts with all the little details that Tracey is known for.

She will also show you how to bring together a simple and beautiful table and other simple entertaining elements.

All of Tracey’s projects will be about the details, entertaining, gift giving and making your home beautiful.


Each time I get to show all of you what this course will be full of I get so excited for the course to begin!

If you are not registered there is still time!

We would love to have you join us.

To register go HERE

More fun news coming this week about the new site and the fun plans that include YOU!!!

Introducing {Sara Duckett}

I am currently in Montreal.  Yesterday it was gorgeous and I had a wonderful time exploring an incredible farmer’s market with my darling friend.  Thankfully she enjoys making photos as much as I do so we happily meandered between rows and rows of edible goodness, capturing it all.


While I am here life is rolling along in preparation for our Creatively Made Home course.  People are signing on to our website and conversations are beginning!  It is such fun getting to know everyone and find out what it is about their homes that they want to work on.  I really hope you can join us- there is still time!


I wanted to share another of the amazing women that is working on this course with me.  Have you met Sara Duckett, whose blog Sadie Olive is a source for endless inspiration?  If not, I’d like to take this opportunity to do so!


Sara has the incredible gift of combining vintage elements with a modern twist.  She has created her own brand by effortlessly combining her love of vintage, home and photography.  Sara loves the details…and it shows in all she does!  Her creative and decorating eye brings new life to ordinary objects.

I met Sara a few years ago at Farm Chicks and immediately liked her gentle demeanor and amazing eye for detail.  Her blog is an extension of her beautiful taste and ability to pull together collections of treasures in a way that is comfortable and yet beautiful.  I have always been inspired by her simple yet stylish approach to using her vintage finds in her home.

Lucky you that you get to see Sara in action and learn from her style.


Here is a peek at the creative projects that Sara Duckett brings to Creatively Made (this is just a peek though)….

Sara will talk about:

*Her personal journey with her home and family

*Her design influences

*How she found her own style and how she began incorporating it

*Share favorite recipes and photos of her home

*Have a live, online discussion with members of the course to ask whatever they wish about her style, home, passions.

*Share 10 project videos in different areas that are true to how she incorporates her creativity and passions in everyday living.

A peek into her project videos…

Sara will share 10 project videos but here is a glimpse into a FEW of them!



She will share the simple art of arrangement.  So many of us have a difficult time arranging the things we have in a way that we love.  Sara is a great person to help you figure out what would work best for you.

Sara will show you step by step why she chooses a specific piece, talk about balance etc.



Sara loves vintage fabrics like I do and loves to incorporate them into her daily life.

She created an gorgeous bumper for her baby made out of vintage fabrics and she will share all the little details.



Sara is known for her beautiful photography and she will share a bit about how to take better photos and then follow it up with her favorite editing tricks and techniques.

Are you seeing that each woman brings something totally fresh and different into this course?

Isn’t is amazing all the projects and information that you will get out of CMH?

This is just a TASTE of what is to come!

You will have five weeks FULL of advice, inspiration, photos and projects!

The best part is that you will have all the videos available for over 6 months!

This is not including the project e-book and entertaining e-book that you get to download to keep forever!

Add to that the amazing new creative network we have been working on!

Creatively Made Home begins in 12 days!

Be a part of the network and creativity of Creatively Made Home!

To register go HERE or pay below.

We are working so hard to launch the new creative network on Monday.

If all goes well you will be able to begin connecting and creating your own profile page on Monday …a full week before the course begins!

Wish us luck:-)

Introducing the girl that {makes magic}

Making magic.

THAT is Jennifer Rizzo!

She brings crafty goodness to Creatively Made Home.

She is the girl that walks through Jo Ann Fabrics, sees jute ribbon, imagines a jute basket….and then makes it!

Her brain is constantly going and her creativity flows freely.


I think what I admire and appreciate the most about Jen’s creativity is the way that she is always looking for ways to decorate BEAUTIFULLY and ECONOMICALLY!

 Few of us can go out and refurnish a whole room at once, buy custom curtains for the whole house or hang coveted art on the walls.

Jen shows you how to get the look you like and still have some pennies left in the pocketbook.

What she does is….makes decorating FUN!


It is easy to go into your favorite decor shop and buy up their idea of the perfect room.

Let’s create YOUR perfect room.

Let’s get you thinking of ways you can make pretty things you find on Pinterest, in Anthropologie and your favorite store.

Jen’s style speaks volumes to me because it is fun, eclectic, vintage and classic.

Don’t ask me how it can be all of these things but it is!

When you walk into her home you instantly feel comfortable and you KNOW she is so happy you are there.

Her home is comfortable and pretty…so, so pretty!

I don’t know anyone that has a home like hers.

She has incorporated color so perfectly and half of the things you love about her home….she made or upcycled!

She is kind of a rock star like that.

I am so excited that Jen is a part of the team- she brings so much to this course!

Not only will you love Jen’s creative video projects for your home/gifts etc. but  I know you will get so much out of her live question/answer time one of the weeks.

Keep in mind that each week we will pick one of YOUR homes (if you are registered) and all five hosts will give suggestions for your space based upon their style and experience.

So, maybe I could move this along and actually give you a sneak peek of Jen’s projects!


Jen will talk about:

*Her personal journey with her home and family

*Her design influences

*How she found her own style and how she began incorporating it

*Share favorite recipes and photos of her home

*Have a live, online discussion with members of the course to ask whatever they wish about her style, home, passions.

*Share 10 project videos in different areas that are true to how she incorporates her creativity and passions in everyday living.

A peek into her project videos…

Jen’s project videos are full of creative ways to add beauty to your house!

She will show you how to turn inexpensive tablecloths into your favorite curtains.

This project video is really amazing for all of you with huge windows that you can’t find curtains to fit (or can’t afford huge custom curtains)!


Jen will show you what she did with that jute she saw in Jo Ann Fabrics:-)

This basket is so cool and she will give you step by step directions in the video.

You will be wanting to make one for yourself and for gifts!


Have you ever wanted to make beautiful lampshades like the ones you see in Anthroplogie?

Jen will show you how and it will cost you next to nothing!

I can’t wait to try this one myself.

This is only a PEEK of what Jen will be sharing in her project videos!

You are going to learn so much!

I can’t wait to see what you make, how you decorate and what gifts you give because of what you learn from Jen!

There are only three more weeks until Creatively Made Home begins and we can’t wait to have you join us!

The website is new and the community aspect will be even better than before (and our community is what keeps people coming back)!


I can’t wait to have you  join us!!

{Autumn} and the season of change


Autumn has truly arrived in Seattle.  It is absolutely gorgeous, with crisp mornings and beautiful sunny cool afternoons.  There is no question why this is my favorite season with weeks like this.  The chill in the air when I first step outside each morning reminds me that the season of turning inward, nesting and settling into our indoor life is coming soon.  Warm sweaters are pulled from high shelves as layers are necessary when there is such a difference between the 40 degree mornings and 75 degree afternoons.  The gardens are being tidied, bonfires burn odd refuse from trimming back bushes and the remainder of trees that were taken down this summer and pumpkins are taking the place of summer annuals that filled old winebarrels outside the front doors and barn.


One thing I tend to do this time of year is simplify, purge, and re-evaluate.  Bag after bag is taken to charity to clear out things we no longer need, giving me a sense of calm with the elimination of clutter and messy closets.  Meals become simple, being cooked slowly throughout the day, with more legumes, squash and heavy greens.  I also tend to turn inward and have endless conversations with myself about how I can reduce spending, where I can eliminate waste and things that we don’t really need.  I try to plan meals for the week rather than running to the grocery or market endlessly at every whim.  I buy less and try to utilize what I already have instead.


There are times when it is necessary for our family to tighten our belts and work together to find ways to reduce spending.  When these times arrive, my first reaction is often a bit of fear- can we do this?  Will we go without things we need?  However it usually turns to a positive feeling as I love a challenge.  I love going as long as I can without a trip to the grocery, trying to use up things that I have had in the pantry and haven’t found a use for.  Meals get creative and I have more fun with them – something that always reminds me of my time staying with friends in France.


Another thing that happens is that we slow down.  We spend more time as a family, doing things that don’t cost anything but having so much fun doing them, and we really take the time to enjoy moments that would usually fly by.  I’m not always out running around, working on this project or that, but instead finishing things that may have been forgotten or overlooked.  The farm is always run so much more efficiently, with odd jobs being completed and all of us working together to do so.  I honestly love the feeling that comes from these times, even if our stress level is elevated.  It is times like this that give us such an appreciation for the times when life is so good and finances aren’t as much of an issue.


I would love to know what things you do to reduce spending at times such as these.  How do your meals change?  How does it affect your children?  Where do you find the most pleasure and happiness when you are faced with financial challenges?


Have a marvelous week mes amies and enjoy the arrival of Autumn wherever you may be!


happy {autumn} weekend


Ah Friday, so very happy to see you again~

What a week- busy and random and so productive!  Our weather has been absolutely glorious- crisp mornings, sunny days, and the delicious smell of bonfires and ripening apples & Asian pears here on the farm.  This truly is my very favorite time of year~

This weekend we will be hosting a little foodie party for #4 (who told me last night that he wanted to write a book after school today titled “Mommy and Me, a love story”.  Really, could you just melt?)  I am so excited to celebrate him and how much we adore him.

I am also giddy about a trip that I am taking next week.  I leave first thing Wednesday morning to visit this gorgeous friend on her little slice of heaven in Vermont.  We will be spending that weekend in Montreal together, walking the streets of old Montreal and enjoying cafes and a little shopping.  Did I mention I am giddy?  I can’t wait to make so many photos as it is sure to be absolutely divine on so many levels.  I have always wanted to visit the northern east coast in the autumn, to see the beautiful leaves, breath in the crisp autumn air, and slow down enough to really take it all in.  I know that my time with such a dear friend will be exactly what I need to recharge and find clarity in where my journey is going next.

Seeing as this is a season where I feel so incredibly blessed by all that is around us- friends, family, and even the smallest treasures (I found a little wooly caterpillar the other day as well as discovered a ladybug on my sweater!) I wanted to share a few inspiring things~


like this yummy looking soup

and because yes, food inspires me, especially the gorgeous tomatoes at the market these days

this screams “autumn deliciousness” to me

oh how this post brought me back to a year ago- I loved that week so very much


And if you haven’t had a chance yet, we would LOVE to have you join us for this!!  If you would be so kind as to help get the word out, I would be forever grateful~


Have a marvelous weekend mes amies!



join us to create a {creatively made home}

{photo by Tiffany Kirchner-Dixon}

Our Creatively Made Home course begins this month and I can’t tell you how excited I am about it.  It’s a project that the five of us have poured our hearts into sharing with you our love of our homes and what it is about each of our homes that makes them special to us.  It’s not necessarily about decor.  That certainly is a part of it, but for us, it’s about the feeling of our home, and the way that people who enter our homes feel when they are there.  It is about the way our families are happy because our home is a place of joy rather than a place of stress.  For me, my contribution is more a way of blessing my family with food as well as slowing down, appreciating simple everyday moments with them.  It is about creating an environment that lends to cozying up on a sofa and reading books together or watching movies as a family.  It’s about having a table that we gather around as a family, or where we invite friends and extended family to share a meal with us.  It’s a place where people want to come, and stay, and where they take a piece of it home with them when they leave.  For us,  it is bringing the outdoors in and bringing the indoors out.  It’s eating outside when we have the opportunity or gathering around a bonfire.  It’s casual and comfortable and fun—humor is a big part of life in our home.



This course isn’t just about “keeping up with the Jones'” which is a large part of the American culture these days.  It’s not about switching out your decor regularly.  It’s not about creating a home that is esthetically pretty but emotionally empty.  It’s about creating a home that is beautiful BECAUSE the people that live in it and the happiness it has within it’s walls.


There are projects—there are a lot of projects!   Some of them will be home decor projects—fabulous things that you can learn how to do that you will love.  There are projects.  The beauty of having five of us is that it’s very diverse.  It brings a lot to the table.  There will be parts that totally resonate with you and there will be parts that may not appeal to you as much.  The great thing is that there is something for everyone in this course and I’m so excited that this group of friends has come together to create this course.  I think when you create something like this with such a wonderful inspirational group of women that I have been so fortunate to work with, what comes out of it is just a little bit magical.

I so hope you will join us, as it promises to be a wonderful journey~


inspired wall and {a winner}!

{the photo wall at Watson Kennedy}

Oh, this wall.  This wall really sums up how I want our home to feel.  I love that it doesn’t necessarily match, but together it all creates such a sense of warmth and interest.  I took this photo yesterday while in Seattle.  I was fortunate to spend the day with a very good friend and two new friends- Lissa, Becky, and Tracy.  It was one of those wonderful Autumn days where the sun was high in the sky but the air was crisp and cool.  We spent the afternoon playing tourist in the city which was fun for Lissa and I as we don’t often do that.  It was also a day filled with laughter (absolutely FILLED) and friendship.  It reminded me of the value of girlfriends and the fact that after a day like that, my heart feels full and I feel recharged.  Those girls are inspiring, and I am grateful to have had the time with them.


I am excited this morning to announce the winner of my {food in jars} cookbook giveaway!  Congratulations Laura F!!  I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I have and can’t wait to hear what you try first!  Please send me your contact information and I will get it sent out to you~


Have a wonderful week mes amies~


meeting {Ina Garten} ~ a love story


Sometimes you have someone in your life that inspires you.  You have someone that you admire from afar, someone who you may know through their art, or a tv show, or because you aspire to do something in the way that they do.  Ina Garten has been that person for me for nearly ten years.  I first admired her cookbooks- the stories she wrote in them, sharing bits and pieces of her life, the way she shops, the way she feels about food.  I loved that her recipes always seemed to work properly, or that whenever I made them, those I love enjoyed them so completely.  Some of our favorite meals are from her cookbooks- chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, chicken salad, fresh corn salad, sugar snap peas with sesame, and our favorites- palmiers and pavlova!  Her food is delicious, and yet she seems to create meals that aren’t complicated or fussy.  I so admire that she has created a way of cooking that makes it accessible to such a wide range of cooks.



When Ina began her tv show I was thrilled. The chance to get to know her- to see her in action doing what she does best- it was the ultimate opportunity for someone who is forever looking for inspiration when it comes to gathering, feeding those I love, and really enjoying the process rather than stressing over putting delicious and nutritious meals together.  I love that her kitchen is always so calm and that she has demystified so many recipes that could easily be complicated.  I love that she encouraged me to try making boeuf bourguignon for the first time.  It is now a winter staple on the farm.

When the opportunity arose for me to go listen to her talk in Seattle, I jumped at the chance.  What could be better than seeing her close-up, talking food and gathering and entertaining?  Well, maybe MEETING HER at a pre-show meet & greet!  Let’s just say that giddy didn’t really begin to describe how I was feeling when I woke this morning.  My husband – always the level-headed one reminded me that “you never know what she is going to be like so don’t be disappointed if she isn’t what you hope”…  But I had no doubt.  She just had to be wonderful.



And she was, and more so.  Ina is the most gracious, kindhearted public personality I have ever met.  She is quick to laugh with a fabulous sense of humor.  She clearly loves her many (many many) fans and gives them 100% while she is with them.  She is completely grounded and immediately puts you at ease.  I shouldn’t have been surprised and yet throughout the afternoon Lissa and I kept looking at each other, exchanging “isn’t she the absolute best?” looks.  Her story was inspiring, her outlook is inspiring, and her wonderful warmth was the most inspiring to me.  I loved how passionate she is about what she does, and how she really does want things to be simplified for people so that they are encouraged to cook.  I loved when she said “the fresher your ingredients, the less you have to do with them” – how true is that?

I could go on and on, but it may get a little mushy and I won’t bore you with my increased admiration for her.  Let’s suffice it to say that I am looking at things a little bit differently this evening.  I took many things that she said to heart and truly wish I could have recorded the entire talk to be able to listen to it again.  I’m pretty sure the smile on my face is going to last for some time to come~


I also wanted to share this fundraiser with you.  My gorgeous friend Liz is hosting it to help my mom get the wall built so that she can move the kids into the orphanage.  Buy yourself a red cross and know that you are making a difference!

{Ina Garten}


Today I am so excited to be going to meet Ina Garten!  She is speaking in Seattle and I am going to a meet-and-greet before she speaks.  I have to tell you, Ina is one of the people I most admire when it comes to how she cooks, shops, and lives.  I have nearly all of her cookbooks and have yet to try one of her recipes that haven’t turned out well.  Some of our favorite dinners are from her books- chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, chicken salad, and our favorite- pavlova!

I will be bringing my camera but am not sure if I will be allowed to use it.  I will post tomorrow about all of it- but for now- I am going to decide which cookbook to have signed! (although I think Barefoot in Paris is a given…)  :)