"Let's have a merry journey, and shout about how light is good and dark is not. What we should do is not future ourselves so much. We should now ourselves. "NOW thyself" is more important than "Know thyself." Reason is what tells us to ignore the present and live in the future. So all we do is make plans. We think that somewhere there are going to be green pastures. It's crazy. Heaven is nothing but a grand, monumental instance of future. Listen, now is good. Now is wonderful." ~ Mel Brooks

Friday, August 30, 2013

Home Educating at Heart, Hearth, and Homestead

Come visit us at our new blog, Heart, Hearth, and Homestead, and see how we plan to homeschool this Autumn. Our schooling officially begins next week and we're so excited! The planning alone has been so inspiring.

How's your planning going? If you don't homeschool, are you ready to send your children off for another year? What's your favorite part of the Autumn school year?

Come join us! 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Introducing: Heartbeat at Heart, Hearth, and Homestead

Part of what our new blog represents, along with our homesteading adventures and the pathways we make to create our home life,  is shining a light on what's at the heart of this life; how we interact with each other, how we create this life together, how we build room for Spirit and God-centeredness within our hearts and our homes.

Lee has spearheaded our new page (tab up top!) thoughtfully named: Heartbeat. Here you will find links to various forums designed to ignite our inner fires to think on and hold and interact with others in mindful and Spirit-led discussions. Currently, there is one forum up. The discussion that has begun has been created to help us identify blame in our lives and how those experiences play out in our daily lives.

From Merriam-Webster: 

Blame: 1. To find fault with 2a. to hold responsible b. to place responsibility for

This particular discussion is also a 10 day challenge! Can you identify and release the blame that has taken hold of your precious heart-space? Join us! Invite your friends! We'd be honored to hear your experiences and learn from you! 

" To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another - that is surely the basic instinct...crying out: High Tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is." ~ Barbara Kingsolver

Monday, July 22, 2013

We're Switching Gears!

Hello friends! We've been on hiatus this summer and as I've sat with the question of blogging and what this blog has been for me, I've realized that what I've needed most is to switch gears.

I've been blogging about many wonderful things here, I've made many wonderful connections and have enjoyed the friendships that have blossomed through this little portal. I've discovered that this space has become muddled: it's been the melting pot of many ideas. For what ever reason, to me, it's just not flowing like I'd hoped. So! I've created a new blog, geared toward the things that make me swoon......Heart, Hearth, and Homestead. These are the three things I feel like I talk about the most. They are my life. My love for family, friends, and all of God's great Earth. Our hearth. Oh, our home. How it holds us and how we fill it up with such joy and memories. The warmth of our hands working together to make our home a haven. We homeschool here, we bake here, we play here, we work here. And then there is our ever-growing homestead. It's little, for now, but we have dreams. Not big ones, but we do have them. Right now it's our garden, sheep, and chickens but one day it will include Shetland sheep (hopefully by this winter!!), honey bees, more canning and preserving, who knows what else!

The idea for the switch is I will be free to talk about these things as often as I like because it will mirror our days better, and I will be joined by my best friend and partner in life, Lee. While A Simple Life has been a wonderful place to fill up with our multitude of crafting projects, recipes, and other random tidbits, I'm looking forward to our new home where we can really just come and be with all of you as if you were visiting in our home. That's my wish.

So please, come join us on our new adventure at Heart, Hearth, and Homestead. We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at Michaelmas time xo

Friday, May 10, 2013

And now for me......

.......a break. Yes, friends, it is time. I'm falling away from blogging for a while. There has been so much on the horizon these past few weeks that I've had to really dig deep and come to terms with the fact that somethings have got to be pushed off to the side for a bit. Writing is so cathartic for me so I will have to discover a new way to put my words out of my head, perhaps journaling will fill the void.

My hope is that during this time of rest, I will be be able to wrap my head around where exactly I want my blog to go, I've been feeling a bit lost, muddled even, about what is most important for me to be writing about. It's been kind of a free for all, and I'm quite fine with that, but something is missing. Not sure what it is. I'm really pushing to disengage from the big world that exists through the computer and use that time to richly engage with the living world that is living around me. How I would love to have each of you present in my everyday life to share  a cup of tea, a chat, or a nice long walk. And because you don't, I'll miss each of you. Thank you to those who comment and to all who come by to spend a moment with me in my world. Rest assured, our little homestead will continue to grow and thrive (we've currently hatched out 12 baby chicks!!!), homeschooling will go on and shift as necessary, our lives will chase the sun and we will continue seek out all the gloriousness of each God given day.

My hope is to be back in the swing of things in time for Michaelmas. But if not, know that I will resurface at some place and time. Until then, dear friends, I wish you a most glorious summer/winter and look forward to meeting you again.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mother's Day Giveaway

In honor of the beauty, the delicate, and the divine in every Mother, I am beyond ecstatic to introduce you to the amazing Maude White of Brave Bird Jewelry & Paperwork based in Buffalo, NY. Maude's work is stunning, breathtaking, mind blowing. Her work is one of a kind, unlike no other, much like ourselves and those who gave us life. Maude gives life to paper (among other things) and has created a magic all her own. Maude has graciously given us an unbelievably beautiful piece of her art for our Mother's Day giveaway.

Maude moved from Smalltown, USA to a bigger, harder city in pursue of dreams and the ability to be more and see more than what might have been possible in her little hometown. After much effort, failures and many successes, Maude seems to have found her spirit in the intricate work of handcrafting fine paper arts and felted jewelry. She is currently a student, in life and at school, and has a power to make the unimaginable happen, like this paper cut below...

Maude's work has recently been published in the most current issue of Carrier Pigeon Magazine, a magazine of illustrated fiction and fine art that believes that by 
"giving full creative control to the writers, fine artists, illustrators, and designers, the magazine deconstructs the singularity of each artistic discipline while setting an uncharted standard for their successful merging."
Each and every cut is made with such precision and with determination. Every line, pregnant with emotion and meaning. By cutting away the blank canvas, Maude is bringing honor to the possibility of what lives within, she sheds light on what otherwise might not be seen.

Amazing, right!! So, here is what you can do to enter ( with multiple ways to enter) to win this amazing piece below. For one entry, simply comment below! For a second entry, please like our Facebook pages:: A Simple Life and Brave Bird Jewelry & Paperwork and don't forget to come back here and tell us you did so. For your third entry, share this giveaway anywhere and everywhere, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram! Where ever you might go please help spread the word so we can shine some love on this amazing artist and her work (and again, come back here to tell us you did just that!)!!
This giveaway will close at 12am EST on May 5, 2013 has closed! Thank you to those who participated!

This is our giveaway piece. It will arrive to you framed and nicely wrapped in time for Mother's Day! (hopefully, depending on our winner's location)


Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. ~ George Bernard Shaw
Like in motherhood and in art, we create each day and the experiences we have and the love that is shared. It isn't found, it already lives inside of us. When we can allow those gifts to shine, either by will or grace, it is a divine creation that we could have never comprehended. I am utterly grateful for all you Mama's out there AND for all you artists. We are really one in the same and could not exist without the other. xo


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Treat for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is fast approaching. In years past I haven't given much thought in to how Mother's Day would go, but this year, as I'm surrounded by my ever expanding brood, I'm realizing that in celebrating this day given to being a Mother, it's important that I, too, experience the day as I wish.

This year, in honor of Motherhood, I will be doing a three part series on how to celebrate the Mothers in your life, including  yourself. Yes, I am suggesting you celebrate just being you, the radical, amazing, beautiful Mother that you are! This series will include many wonderful things including a mind blowing giveaway from an amazing artisan who creates absolutely breathtaking pieces of work! I can't wait for you to see it!

Today, I would like to direct your attention toward a lovely discovery called Treat, a part of the Shutterfly family! Here is their description from their website::


"Welcome to Treat, your online home for making, sending and putting some real love and personality back into greeting cards. Treat is all about customizing, personalizing and making your cards one-of-a-kind creations that could only come from you. We're talking about adding your own words and pictures so your cards stand out from the crowd and the person who receives them will be totally psyched—blown away actually. These aren't your typical boring greeting cards from the drugstore—these ones actually have thought behind them.  Our reminder service will make sure you never miss a birthday, anniversary or important milestone. At a loss for exactly the right words? Our Message Library will help inspire you. Need a gift on the fly? We got you covered with integrated gift cards printed right inside the card you create. Treat is fun and easy to use, but more importantly, helps connect you and all the people in your life in a more personal and caring way."

I was immediately intrigued because I am a sucker for a unique card and because of that, we always make our own cards or seek out those ultra unique ones at our local specialty stores. Our children really enjoy the process of creating a card; thinking of just the right words, what pictures to draw, and so on. Using Treat, you create your own card with the help of various templates available to you that you can make your own by adding your own photos and creating your own personal message. Your littlest ones would need assistance with the process but it would be a cinch for the older ones. Our eldest daughter, who is 11, created one all on her own. She uploaded a photo to the card she liked the best and changed the words in the template to create her own unique message. I also joined in on the fun and created one for my own Mother. We received our cards in the mail just the other day and they are beautiful. The cards are a heavy card stock paper, the photos are matte, and the colors are vibrant. I was most impressed with the quality of the photos. They are clear, no pixels are visible, and the colors are just as I would have hoped them to be. This is quite an improvement as our printer tends to give us photos of an interesting color palette, not like I would have hoped most times. 

If you'd like to check out some of the other templates available at Treat specifically for Mother's Day, click the photo below!

These are our cards! Aren't they beautiful?!

More Mother's Day Cards

There is a card for every season at Treat; birthday cards, holiday cards, and your everyday greeting cards. I can't help but think of the next birthday around the corner with a family of our size! What I absolutely can get behind is the scheduler that is available for your cards. You can create and schedule delivery of your unique card up to a year in advance! For me, that is revolutionary because typically speaking, I'm the one that ends up calling a day to two after the birthday has passed. That's not the most fun place to be and I look forward to growing out of that particular experience :)

I hope you come back tomorrow to see how we've been inspired through our Pinterest board and for a lovely craft idea that we're making for the Mama's we know and love xo 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A New Way to Follow A Simple Life

Google Reader is set to shut down this coming July. This is how blogger creates our following, for all blogs. I've discovered Bloglovin from other bloggers who have used it and find it a successful replacement for Google Reader. It is yet another application to download, another place to look at among the myriad other sites one might check in a day. For me, I find it's one stop shopping! All of the blogs I love and follow I have in one place. Bloglovin organizes all of your posts and keeps it simple. If you have your own blog, once you sign up you can "claim" your blog and update your information accordingly.
I adore each of you who come to visit me here and I hope you continue to come by often. Your comments are so uplifting and I've enjoyed creating many nurturing and supportive relationships with many of you outside of this blogger world.
On this Saturday, the sun is shining here (for the moment). I hope you find peace and joy where ever you might go. Thank you for joining me on our journeys around the sun xo
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