Skill It Home

creative handmade family cooking


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a simple secret to live a bliss-filled life

Right now, when you visit this website, you see the words “a handmade, home-cooked life.” I think knowing how to prepare a meal and stitch a hem are valuable skills that we, as a community, should practice, share and celebrate.

Over the years, I realized my motivation for this endeavor has always been to help people learn to feed themselves in every way. Not just with roasted vegetables and slow-cooked chili, either.

White Flowers Glass Vase Porch

There are other parts of us that are hungry for nourishment. We crave bliss just as much as a crunchy, sweet, and spicy apple crisp.

Last year I was starving for freedom and joy. All I could see was the struggle. I was more present to the dischord than anything that might have been working. Fortunately, I had built a system of support around myself. And happily, I re-started my gratitude practice, something that had worked for me in the past when times were trying.

Day by day, I focused on the small moments of happiness. The little somethings that made me smile. Simple things or big things, anything is eligible to be recorded in the gratitude journal…
~ delicious, warm and cozy coconut milk latte this morning
~ my husband made dinner and it was ready by 6:30 so I could get to bed early
~ my baby giggling before bedtime while we played and it made me smile, too

My gratitude practice helped turn my perspective around and it helped me find peace. I felt a strong call to share this practice with others, knowing that it has the ability to create and spread so much happiness and joy.

I’ve created a month-long experience to bring a community of women together to cultivate their gratitude practices together. It will be daily emails filled with beauty and inspiration. It will be little videos where I read you love notes from the soul.

It will be a community of gentle accountability and support where you can share what you’re grateful for and meet like-minded spirits.

This journey, A Blossoming Heart, will unfold during the month of February. It’s a leap year, so we’ll have 29 days to cultivate our gratitude practices together. It’s the heart of winter, when our spirits may need the warmth and light of gratitude most of all.

Does it sound like a gratitude practice could breathe some much-needed love, space, or bliss into your life right now?

If the answer is yes, I hope you’ll consider leaving a comment below, telling me your thoughts on how a gratitude practice could support you. And if this journey calls to you, I hope that you’ll consider joining us for A Blossoming Heart, there is a spot ready and waiting for you.


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a gentle, peaceful start to 2016

tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
~mary oliver

It seems the time has come again to reflect on the year past and to make plans for the future that will unfold before us. I had big (as in unrealistic) intentions of filling out workbooks, journaling, and unravelling my experiences of 2015.

Instead, I took a grand pause and practiced the unfamiliar yet deeply nourishing art of not-doing.

I think it’s easy to feel a lot of pressure to get so much done in January, which in many ways is counter-intuitive to the nature of Winter. The earth is hibernating, this is a time of rest and restoration for plants and animals. I feel called to do the same – slow down, drink hot tea, allow my mind to rest, and go to bed early most nights.

It has taken much practice, healing, and personal transformation to arrive into a space where I could feel content with my life, just as it is right now.

Allowing myself to just be present and not strive for more is not a natural skill. It’s something like trying on a new shade of lipstick that feels garish at first while your friends tell you it looks amazing on you. You trust them, so you buy it and start wearing it around the house here and there. Little by little, you realize they were right and now it’s your go-to, feel-good color.

The seeds of slowing down were planted for me last year and I intend to water, fertilize and mulch the heck out of them. Part of this came with motherhood. I think it also had something to do with turning 35. I’m understanding both my power and my limits in new, fascinating ways.

I’ve grown exhausted of pretending, hiding, placating, suppressing, and all the other unhealthy and energy draining “ING” words.

I don’t have it all figured out by any means, but I do have a grasp on a few broad-brush concepts that will guide me in 2016

COURAGE ~ It’s time to take bigger risks to create the bliss-filled, love-drenched life I know is possible for myself and my family

TRUTH ~ I will say what I mean and express how I feel

FREEDOM ~ I am comfortable allowing my work to shift, even if that means radical change or even starting over completely

As usual, I’ve taken on a big, chunky piece of pie, so I will just have to write about these things, piece by piece, in the coming weeks and months ahead. In everything I do, my hope is that sharing these words will provide a measure of comfort, healing, or inspiration to someone who reads them. I whole-heartedly believe we are on this journey together and it is a beautiful gift to travel with your illuminated souls.

The first step for me in 2016 is a new offering that will begin in February. It’s a big evolution for me and I feel so excited to share it with you soon!

Until then, I would love for you to share your intentions or wishes for the year here in the comments below. I promise I will respond to each one and hold space for your beautiful dreams in my heart.


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How to take a mama’s mini-retreat

OrchardI always hibernate a little bit while there is a class in session so I can hold space for the journey we go on together. I have been loving every minute of Season’s Eatings and the amazing group of women who gathered for this session. It feels like a big warm hug every day to chat about food, cooking, and family with other ladies and mamas.

I talk so much here about slowing down and finding ways to be gentle and nourishing with yourself. So isn’t it perfectly ironic that I often try to squeeze just a little too much into my days?

I especially feel the pressure to scurry around and do every beautiful fall activity before the real cold and hard days of winter set in. And all that apple picking and hiking and walking is wonderful but it also left me feeling a bit spent.

So I did something wonderfully selfish.

I took a vacation day at work and left the baby at his awesome school and I spent the day doing things just for me!

I started off with some piping hot coffee and took a long drive in the pouring rain to one of the best yoga studios in the state. I took a 90 minute Yin yoga class that was relaxing, restorative, and had lots of my favorite hip openers. The teacher peppered in a few readings and I swear it was like the Universe had chosen them just for me.

“Have the courage not to resist.”

Beach_Toes

My heart needed to hear those words. They opened me up and sparkled in my mind’s eye. I can be the queen of resisting, working so hard to control things or trying to stop the inevitable. Instead, what if I could be brave and confident enough to allow things to unfold? What if I stopped spending my energy fighting against things that aren’t really about winning or losing?

While I was letting this all wash over me on the yoga mat, outside the gray skies and heavy raindrops gave way to sunshine and bright blue skies. I left the class and went to a lovely market to get my lunch and headed for the beach.

I wanted to commune with the sea. I wrote words in the sand and splashed my toes in the frothy waves. I made a heart out of softly worn stones and whispered my prayers to the wind.

  • Please help me allow things to unfold with ease and beauty

  • Please help me practice trust and connection in my relationships

  • Please help me stay connected to my courage

Feeling restored and nourished, I drove back towards home. I picked up my little man early and we went to the playground together. I was truly a happy mama and so proud of myself for making space for this generous act of self-care.

Mamas, we need these days. We need these moments. What can you gift yourself today, this weekend or this upcoming week to nourish yourself?

If you would like to share it with me by leaving a comment below, I’ll write it on a slip of paper and hold space for you with lots of love.


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Giveaway! Sprang Cleaning with Merrick Weaver

MerrickSprangCleaningI am so excited to have an awesome giveaway for you today! Sprang Cleaning is a three-week online workshop to gain tools to de-clutter your life and your mind. The leader of this adventure is Merrick Weaver, a dynamic woman and mama that I met when she participated in last year’s session of Feathering the Nest.

Sprang Cleaning was inspired by Merrick’s year-long project to greatly reduce her worldly possessions. Together with her family, she eliminated over 30% of their possessions. She feels very good. She wants you to feel very good, too.

Merrick and I have both read, and been inspired by, Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, that has gained a huge following in the past months. Releasing clutter, clearing space, and creating room for what you truly love is an essential part of my life as a maker of a comfortable, happy home!

I recently went through my overwhelming yarn stash with the Marie Kondo method and generated two big bags that I was ready to part with. It felt amazing to pare things down to a more manageable and realistic quantity of yarn that I am excited to work with. Best of all, I reached out to my local Waldorf school and was able to donate my yarn so that it could be used by their young students who all learn how to knit!

IMG_7242This is why I can’t wait for Merrick’s course. I want to bring that same wonderful energy of releasing things that no longer spark joy to our household. It is one of my intentions to make more space in my home and life for my baby boy to grow and play! As Merrick says, “Reconnect with what really matters. Create space for more magic. If you’re looking for more space to be creative or just want to tidy up, this class will get you started or keep you going.”

Sprang Cleaning takes place from May 6th to May 25th. If you want to learn more about the class, you can visit Merrick’s Etsy shop by clicking right here.

Today, I have one spot in Merrick’s lovely course to gift to a lucky reader! To enter, just leave a comment below telling us what you’d like to make more space for in your home and in your life.

You have until Sunday, May 3rd to enter and I’ll reach out to the winner the following day!

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