English Days































I am in love.  In love with the English countryside.  The architecture of old English farm houses.  The sheep that dot every hillside.  The slow rambles through the hills and farmland.  Traveling can be very akin to relationships.  Sometimes it is love at first sight.  Other times it takes wooing.   England has been a gentle wooing of my heart.  I have always loved my trips to England.  But this is the first time I am absolutely head over heals in love.  May the pictures speak for themselves.

We spent our time in the Cotswolds.  Specifically, Blockley.  A sweet, quiet little town.  Our days in Blockley were spent taking walks through the countryside among fields and farms, woods and villages.  But without question, my favorite place we visited was Daylesford Organic Farm.  Words cannot even begin to express how my heart felt as if it would burst with the perfection of Daylesford.  Every last detail was beautiful, as if being an organic farm was not enough.  A definite recommendation.  But more than that, it is a must visit.  A place of dreams.  Such a delightful lunch and afternoon.  The best meal and coffee we had in England on this trip.

Definite recommendations:

Places to stay:

  • Blockley – we rented a cottage
  • Daylesford Farm
  • Cheltenham – no specific recommendation, but the best city we visited full of good shops, etc

Places to eat:

Places to shop:

  • Daylesford Farm
  • Cheltenham


Naunton Lane Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Next time:

The only town we did not have time to explore that we wished we had time for was Woodstock.  It looked like a charming town.



Flower Fever

If you have stopped by the shop of late, you might have noticed the slow transition from Winter to Spring.  As February begins, so does the thoughts of gardening and the starting of seeds.  This year I am dreaming of flowers:  peonies, poppies, roses, some edible flowers for sure, dahlias, oh the list goes on and on.  I am placing an order for seeds this week for the shop (so stay tuned).  With all these thoughts of flowers, I thought I would share photos from last years Flower Crown Workshop that I cohosted with Maggie Pate of Inks+ Thread and Sarah Ervin. It literally was forever ago, but figured it is never too late to share and inspire dreams of spring and summer and all the potentials for this year’s garden.

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Recipe: What I Am Eating Right Now

So, last year I said I wouldn’t plant so many tomatoes.  And I didn’t.  But I still planted a ton.  Everyday new ones have ripened and are just begging to be picked.  And pick I must.

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Oh, how I am loving them.  They are the basis for most of what I am making and eating right now…galettes, salad, pasta….Nights when I am exhausted, starving, and just want something quick, I end up making pasta (well, not the actual pasta…that is for when I have time and am not exhausted).  So, here it is.  Honestly, it is not even a recipe.  It is just a guide.

Fresh Tomatoes + Pasta:

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Serves 1 (but just multiply according to how many people you want to feed)

  • 1/2 Tbs butter
  • 1-2 garlic cloves minced (I like garlic so I say the more the merrier, but adjust as to preference)
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • small handful of basil, julienned
  • appropriate serving of pasta (whatever you prefer…I like this on everything, but think ravioli is especially nice, particularly a sweet potato ravioli)
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • optional: parmesan, walnuts, freshly grated nutmeg

Start by cooking the pasta according to given directions.  While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter on medium low in a sauté pan and add the garlic.  Sauté until the garlic is golden and the butter begins to color.  If you want a brown butter sauce, by all means, go for it.  Just don’t add the garlic as the butter browns, otherwise it will become bitter.  Remove from heat.  Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain, reserving a slight amount of the pasta water.  Add the pasta and water to the pan with the butter and garlic and toss.  Plate the pasta and top with the fresh tomatoes and basil.  Season according to taste.

Note:  If adding walnuts, I think it is nice to lightly toast them in a separate pan until aromatic.




Stories Told Around Cards

The setting:  our kitchen in January

The characters:  my parents, one of my sisters, and myself

The background: well, I will just start there…

My sister was home on holiday for the Christmas/New Year’s celebrations.  When she comes home, we spend every possible minute together.  That means all sorts of activities that do not fill a typical day or week, including late night movies.  On one such evening, we were trying hard to find a movie to watch, but nothing was tempting.  We landed on an old 70’s movie, Butterflies are Free (some things are just about the name), with Goldie Hawn and Edward Albert.  The movie was not good…we ended up turning it off and going to bed…but we loved Edward Albert!

Now, on to the whole reason I am sharing this little look into our lives…

The next evening my family decided to play a round of cards.  Canasta is our family’s game.  It is rare you will find us playing anything else.


We were all sitting around the table, laughing, talking, and playing cards.  My sister or I (cannot remember who) spoke a simple line from the film…communication between the two of us.  We laughed at how applicable the line was to the conversation (and about the shared secret – only the two of us truly understanding) .  But were immediately taken a back when my father referenced Butterflies are Free.  We were shocked.

“Dad, how did you know what we were talking about!?”  He did not even know we had stayed up to watch anything, let alone that film.  He then began to state the film’s credits, including the actor Edward Albert.

“We know…we watched it last night.  But how did you know what we were referencing?”

“Oh, I met Edward Albert on the set of Patton.  We had dinner together in Spain.”

The things you learn about your father while playing cards.  There is so much to my father’s (and my mother’s) life that I have not even begun to discover.  So many stories, adventures, experiences that I will never know or hear.

It is a reminder to me to ask questions.  To listen to what memories my father shares and to cherish them.  To take the time to sit with him and pull those stories out.  To better know my father and the life he has led – the life that made him who he is today.

*And now, if you want all the details of his dinner that evening in Spain, you will have to sit down with him yourself.