i finally had a chance to visit terrain last week, and it was nothing short of amazing. christmas greens and berries and garlands and found objects and candles and soaps and spices and ornaments and any kind of cute gifty object you can imagine. i think this might be the best time of year to visit… of course, i might be biased.  i will have to return in the spring! and, you MUST go if you have the chance.



hello, hello! and happy new year. here we are a couple weeks in already, i can hardly believe it. we had a lovely holiday filled with family and food and so many blessings... it really is my favorite time of the year. we spent new years' out in minnesota-- not the cold we experienced a couple of years ago, but still chilly enough for ice fishing snowy walks and all day fires.

and in a matter of days, the tree was down and the decorations are boxed up once again. the unwrapped gifts are put away and moved into rotation. the sense of new&exciting remains though, and the new year is full of possibility.


 a few notes on what january looks like so far:

roasted veggies for soup
ice cold water out of the faucet
clean eating
thank-yous on fresh stationery
loud creaks from the radiator
new socks and mocs
wishing for snow (but seeing rain instead)
football (playoffs!)
purging drawers and closets
fresh playlists*
hot fires
new books
filling calendars

one of our favorite gifts from christmas is the newest addition to our kitchen-- the vitamix! we've been giving it a workout with smoothies and soups-- and are looking forward to trying some juices and flours next.


here's a recipe for a simple, savory mango pineapple smoothie. the ingredients are casually thrown in-- so it's not specific in the amounts-- and the fruits may be fresh or frozen. (i recommend adding some ice if you are using fresh fruits).

1 cup almond milk
2 T. milled flax
1/2 tsp. cardamom
dash cinnamon

blend all ingredients in high-speed blender, adding more almond milk or water if necessary. season with additional cardamom and cinnamon to taste.

*what are your favorite artists/albums of late? my post-christmas self doesn't know what to do without the holiday tunes! ready for something new.

recent christmas snaps







+ trimming the tree, eggnog in hand

+ the tree, decked out in lights and sparkles, is the star of the show

+ sending christmas cards

+ enjoying a cozy night at home

+ pancakes on a weekend morning

+ the tree's newest ornament from an exchange i did with friends - love the little mixer!

fall is sweeping in

savory apple tart

savory apple tart [caramelized onions, cheddar, prosciutto] - just one of the creations from our many apples.

tall, autumn trees


this weekend was a perfect one for camping. we got away to the woods and soaked up the sunshine and cloudless days one last time. the evenings were chilly enough to bundle up and enjoy barbecue beans & biscuits, made in the dutch oven.



a warmish fall walk.

other items to note:
+ today i watched leaves fall from the trees one by one
+ our house smells like fall, cider and macintosh candles are burning simultaneously
+ a batch of granola is due to be made
+ (and, can you believe it? i've yet to mix up anything pumpkiny!)
+ for some reason, i've got christmas on the brain
+ busy, but managing to give notice to the simple things

what our saturday looked like














a long drive through the country, and a morning spent in the orchard with my husband picking apples... 26 lbs, to be exact. we don't expect to run out anytime soon. we also got mums for the front porch (no pumpkins yet!) and stocked up on some fresh produce.

thank you for your patience as blogging comes and goes (mostly goes, lately). the new job is keeping me very busy... in a good way... but i haven't been left with much spare time. this weekend was the first time i took my camera out in a good while. i plan to pop in with updates here and there, and you can always pop over to pinterest to see what's inspiring me!

september / i took the plunge

summer is winding down. the humidity is at bay (for now), windows are open, and sun is sinking earlier each night. i can't help but begin to have football + cozy socks + pumpkin spice on the brain.



but i am doing my best to stay in the summer mindset for a few more weeks... it is a wonderful season that i wait so long for, so i hate to wish it away at the flip of the calendar. for now, i'll continue to cook on the grill and go barefoot as much as possible.



as you can see, after holding off for as long as i could (because i'd heard of its addictive ways), i took the plunge and joined pinterest. everything i heard was true... it's wonderful and terrible all the same. in my defense, it was in a moment of severe boredom and it seemed like the best solution at the time.

sigh / follow me here.

all is well



my weeks are nonstop. busy is good. making time for the plentiful things. savoring long walks with the dog, and morning runs without a jacket. catching up with friends and longing for the beach. making the farmer's market a routine. reading a chapter on the porch whenever a spare moment strikes. headed to the  lake for a quick northern minnesota weekend. hoping for a few moments of tranquility.

picked cherry tomatoes last friday morning and sliced them to top an english muffin with goat cheese and pesto.

what are you savoring?

herbs and such

our weather has been so warm and beautiful the past few days that all my focus has been on the outdoors. the windows are wide open, chirping birds wake us before dawn, and the breeze is blowing through. it's wondrous... all i want to do is be outside.

while the vegetable garden is progressing, we've also been working on the rest of the yard. one of my favorite little spots is the potted herb garden we keep on the back deck. i was so pleased to see that a few of our favorites from last year were already sprouting again. the chives and thyme are flourishing, and the chocolate mint and dill are just beginning to emerge.




a couple of weeks ago, we picked up some basil and lettuce at the farmers' market. what a treat it's been to step outside, tear a few leaves off, and have a super fresh salad for dinner. i just can't wait until we can add more garden veggies!



i'll probably pick up some rosemary, and definitely some cilantro to plant as well. what other herbs are must-haves for you?

birthday month

{last year's birthday roses}

in our family, march is birthday month. mine (and my sister-in-law's) is on the 5th. my sister's is on the 6th. my dad's is today (10th), and matt's is the 19th. (i take great pride in the fact that i am two weeks older than him).

tonight we are celebrating them all with a big family dinner at my parents'. it is sure to be festive with giving and receiving of simple gifts, a smushed rendition of happy birthday "ashleybrookedad&matt", and too many candles.

happy birthday to all of us.