Paper Gardening: How to Grow a Successful Garden Now

Maine Garden HodJanuary and February – traditionally the coldest, bleakest months of the year – have one highlight, something like the gardener’s version of the swallows returning to Capistrano: the arrival of seed catalogs in the mail. Continue reading

Ways to Simplify Your Life – Part One

baking bread“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
– Leonardo Da Vinci, brilliant Renaissance artist

I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. Why should there be only one day a year when you are encouraged to make a fresh start?

That said, the beginning of a new year does make me think of ways to improve myself and the world in which I take up space. Because we stand for a simpler life, allow me to share some simple living thoughts running around my already-crowded brain this January. Continue reading

January is for Homemade Soup (Recipes Inside!)

chicken and gnocchi soupHappy National Soup Month! While we can’t avoid the cold weather, we can surely find ways to make it more tolerable, and homemade soup is the perfect remedy.

Today, we’re sharing with you a recipe straight from Lehman’s newest cookbook, The Sapphire Cookbook Collection. We hope you enjoy! Continue reading

A Simple How-To: Making A Winter Wreath

finished-wreath

We had just trimmed our tree to help it fit into our tiny home, and what we were left with seemed too good to just toss back outside: branches and sprigs of fresh, soft pine with a fragrance incredibly befitting of the season.

Continue reading

Pfeffernusse: Tiny, Spicy Bites of Christmas Tradition

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We all love the soft, fluffy, iced and decorated sugar cut-out cookies – and it wouldn’t be Christmas without those, am I right? But, if you’re looking to add something a little different to your baking this year, step back in time and make some peppernuts!

The history of these tiny, spicy, crunchy cookies is varied and vast – and most of the modern recipes contain neither pepper nor nuts. But it appears peppernuts are a centuries-old Christmas tradition in several European countries. 

In the Netherlands, the cookies (called pepernoten) are linked to the feast of St. Nicholas (December 6), when children receive treats in their shoes left out overnight. In Germany, pfeffernusse are more closely tied to Christmas itself.  Continue reading

Creative Celebrations for Christmas 2020

family video callAs if 2020 hasn’t given us all enough strangeness and unfamiliarity, the year is coming to a close with a holiday season that, for most of us, is going to feel anything but normal. We can acknowledge the changes we’re making this year, and how inconvenient and even sad they can be, while still making the very best of it. Continue reading

The Tradition of Advent

advent candlesEditor’s Note: Happy December! As Christmas nears, we’ll be sharing with you some of our favorite holiday traditions. So cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy!

Many people have fond childhood memories of advent calendars and candles marking the days in anticipation of Christmas time. A calendar of the month of December was proudly hung in many kitchens and family rooms to share the excitement of the coming celebration. Advent begins four weeks before the week of Christmas and includes two parts: candles and the calendar. Each Sunday of Advent, a candle on a wreath is lit to mark the nearing of the holiday. In some traditions, on Christmas, the final candle in the center is lit together as a family to celebrate the holiday’s arrival. Continue reading