It's starting to feel as though we've lived in Yamhill, Oregon forever but we moved into the little house just less than a month ago. The house is tiny (literally, a mere 160 square feet plus a loft for the kids' sleeping area) but the land is magnificent, 20 acres in the heart of Oregon Wine country. Our home is at the top of a gentle ridge with rolling hills, hundred year old oak trees and valley views abound! All the fresh air and endless projects is just what my family needed and we have fully embraced the dramatic change in our life.
And amongst those endless projects, settling into the little house (for now, a proper farmhouse is to come!) and making ourselves at home on our land, we do have a few things on our summer to-do list.
We are currently in the middle of Swiss Family Robinson, such a perfect book to set the tone for fearlessness and adventure!
I found the complete collection of Beatrix Potter's stories, all 22 little books and those amazing illustrations, we can't wait to dig in.
Plant a herb and flower garden. We're a bit late to plant a summer garden this year. We may get around to a winter plot but in the meantime the kids and i started a handful of plants including white swan echinacea, calendula and arnica. I love the interesting seed selection from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Work in our field journals - paint, sketch and collect! This will inspire you.
Foraging. Our property is filled with treasures. We're identifying which trees produce what, where the best blackberries and truffles are and how to harvest those hazelnuts! This book peaks my interest, so much to learn.
A rope swings for the kids! We have a grove of ancient Oregon White Oaks where it's thought the first homestead site was. We've put up a few hammock chairs for mom & dad but a few rope swings for the kids is in order.
A visit to the Oregon coast, our middle son's 8th birthday request! It's only an hour away and makes for a beautiful day.
We live in the heart of Oregon's Wine Country. Countless vineyards growing Pinot Noir dot the countryside and I'm convinced there is no place more beautiful place that this. We visit vineyards regularly, a few favorites are Willakenzie (child friendly and the estate is lovely), Eyrie (Oregon's first vineyard and such a treasure) and Argyle (a fun spot in Dundee with the most amazing sparkling wine)
I'll save our list of summer projects and recipes to share on another day. Have a wonderful weekend filled with intention and love.
When I think of early Summer i'm inspired by all the little things popping up, the strawberries and mint and and who can resist the lightness of baby in off-white and linen? Early morning walks while the day is still warming up and late evening soaks in the bath before the sun sets...
We have many special new things coming into the shop this next week including an organic cotton L'ovedBaby layette (natural kimono onepiece), new swaddles from Little Unicorn (those berries!) Root & Coco bath soak for Mom and a handful of new bandana bibs by Ollie & Tate, perfect for summer. And your favorite pixie dolls and wooden animals are back in stock!
Happy Mother's Day!
Enjoy 12% off with code MOM at checkout.
For details, click here.
Sale ends Friday, May 13th. Midnight pst.
A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.
There is the common motherhood sentiment that time needs to slow down. Time feels like a thief and how does one arrest it, if only to slow it down? So desperate are we to soak up all these moments, to enjoy the time that feels so fleeting.
Just hold them, that is the answer.
In a mother's arms is tenderness and rest, understanding and grace. You will never regret holding your child too much, too often, so close and sweet. Forever you will have the way your child feels in your arms engraved on your heart. So much satisfaction and fulfillment comes from simply embracing all the moments.
Your arms are made of tenderness.
Happiest Mother's Day to you.
ps. The youngest of my four children, my daughter Lucy & I. You can read more, here.
I love hand-me-down clothes. Wrapped up in a bit of nostalgia, previously worn clothing & essentials are economy at it's finest. If you plan on having more than 1 child, it's inevitable that you'll have to consider what to do with all the clothes, shoes, coats and essentials.
Ten years and four kids later, I've become a master of the hand-me-downs with a method focused on saving the essentials and not loads of unnecessary extras.
- Sort and store by size & gender, not season.
- Only save a specific number of each item type per size (6 tees, 4 leggings, 3 blankets etc). It's likely you'll be adding new clothes with each child and too many clothes equals too much laundry.
- Donate or sell clothes that your child never wore, was uncomfortable or fit funky.
- Save only the best quality essentials! Unless you are specifically saving for play clothes, do not save clothes that are overly worn, stained etc.
- Store clothes in a large plastic storage containers with tight fitting lids. I love to throw in a few lavender sachets to keep the bugs away and to keep clothing smelling fresh. I've found it best to store clothing away from the closet as it's too tempting to dig back in, which ultimately creates an even bigger mess. Make sure your long term storage is sufficiently dry (no mold!).
- Get in the rhythm of sorting before every season. For me, this is 2x a year: early spring for spring/summer and early fall for fall/winter. Storing what I want to keep, pulling out what is needed next, selling what is still good and donating the rest. I then take note of who needs what for the season in order to fill in any wardrobe gaps.
- Make sure that everything you save for later is clean, folded and in good order.
- When buying new clothing for my children, I choose quality over quantity. This doesn't necessarily mean expensive, isn't it just the worst when fancy brand name clothes wash up horribly? Clothing made of quality fabrics that wash up well are the ones to stick with.
- The less you buy & have, the less laundry you'll do and the less you have to store, go through and re-sort! I know it's easy to overstuff our children's closets but it' ok to become an essentialist.
I also have an ongoing keepsake box for each child, saving special pieces of clothing or item that distinctly reminds you of your child at a certain moment in time. For me, this has been my boy's pajamas, albeit worn out, I'll snip off a square to keep. I've also kept my oldest son's messy shirt he wore to toddler art class and all my boy's lamb booties. Having only 1 daughter her keepsake box has grown a bit large, but so be it! You'll be glad you kept these items later, so much wrapped up in this short bit of time when our babes are young.
Donating, selling and giving:
If you have a handful of clothing and essentials that are no longer needed, consider your options.
- Give. I have blessed many expectant families with baby clothes, essentials and gear. Being generous is a good seed to sow and always welcomed.
- Donate. Donate to a local thrift shop or other meaningful organization. For me, these are usually the items i know i will not be able to sell.
- Sell online. I have had great success selling (and buying!) on eBay, Kidizen and ThreadUP. My favorite is Kidizen.
- Sell local. Consignment shops take all the work out of it and are a great community option.
With a method in place, keeping all the hand-me-down clothing and essentials organized is simple and you'll find joy "shopping" for the next season in your well stored collection.
Heirloom and handmade goods often might seem spendy, but in living simply you only need 1 wood bowl (not 5 plastic ones for the same price) or one quality hairbrush (instead of having to replace because the bristles fell out). One beautiful rattle or one bonnet for the season (even though all those patterns are tempting!). Plus quality items for children will hold sentiment and graciously make their way from baby to baby instead of being discarded.
A few of our spring favorites:
Heirloom Beech Wood Baby Hairbrush
Maileg Mary Bunny
Porcelain Bird Nightlight
Briar Handmade Natural Stripe Bonnet
Solid Wood Baby Bowl
Heirloom Animal Baby Spoon
Maple Wood Turned Baby Rattle
Nomilu Crochet Teether
Heirloom Silver Barbell Rattle
Nothing quite beats wooden animals that don't make a peep other than out of the imagination of your child! Plus, have you noticed that little hands like to hold little things? My favorite European made wooden animals are available here.
Your children will likely need no prompts to play, but I love this idea of adding wool felt elements to the scene.
Starting today, a free gift for all our wonderful customers! A pack of heirloom flower seeds by Botanical Interests, free with every purchase. Just for fun, because it's spring & flowers are irresistible! Growing flowers with our children is a joy no matter where you live!