Hello, hello! It feels so good to be back tapping away in this online home of mine as we get back in the swing of familiar routines. You know that tugging feeling when you’ve got heaps to catch up on with a dear old friend, and you don’t quite know where to start so you just break the ice by giving one another a hug? Well, that’s exactly how I feel with you! I have an exciting amount of content to lean into and write about here, and I feel more inspired and renewed than ever to keep curious, to create, and to share it. But because I don’t know where to start, and my brain is bubbling over with stories and recipes and rhythms, I’ll share a preview of things to come, because sadly, I can’t exactly give you each a squeeze.
I’ll also say that the kids are not yet in school (we start late here) so life right now is still very much all over the place with regard to what our days looks like. However, I’ve learned that despite the chaos, keeping a few steady beats helps keep things fairly content and chipper. Blogging is one of my personal steady beats, I am going to keep plugging away in the middle of the mess and all over the place schedules, because this is indeed soul-work. So here’s a bit of an outline of what I hope to share with you dear readers, with some wiggle room of course, because life:
- France! | For those who followed our adventures abroad on Instagram, you know how connected I am to the magical city of light and all things Parisian. I’ll be sharing quite a bit about what we did, ate and saw as a family, plus many photos of our travels around the city and in Annecy, France. This will most likely be a two to three part post, because I love, love, love you, Paris.
- Running | I’ve started running to get my body moving and I want to share this wellness journey with you. Running does not come easy to me, like it does my husband, so I think writing about the trials of running as a non-runner could help some of you who want to give it a go.
- A Rhythm at Home PDF | I am in the middle of creating a Daily Rhythm at Home PDF, similar to this one, to share with you as we move into autumn and school seasons. We do part-time school and homeschool, so I am going to make this PDF adaptable for families who crave rhythm but have overlapping schedules.
- August & September Book Club | Don’t worry, I’ve been reading and I hope you have been too! More to come this week as we finish up our two books, Upstream and Big Magic.
- One Day Farmhouse Bread | Do you have a one day bread recipe? While I love this simple, rustic no-knead recipe by Mark Bittman, I do not love the time involved. I have a recipe to share that I started at 8 am and finished after church in time for supper around 4 pm. It is a game changer, you guys.
- Gardening with Your Local Community | I have partnered with Harvesters this year, a Kansas City food bank, and I have some great ideas on how to get your kids and garden involved in helping feed your local community.
- Morning Reading Rituals | With hopes to freshen up our mornings and get back into the groove of reading, I have a few new morning rituals we are going to implement this season involving books!
- Weekly Book Themes | In keeping with my passion for reading, the kids and I are going to start up weekly library visits again, but this time with weekly book themes. This is something I did when I taught 4th grade and ESL and the kids loved it. It gets them involved in a intentional way that gets us talking together about what we are reading.
- A Simple French Meal from Start to Finish | Inspired from our travels to France, I have a simple French meal to share with you from start to finish. It can be made in under an hour and is perfect for couples and large families.
- Things I Learned at a French Cooking School | Each year for Christmas in Andrew’s family the adults draw names for gift giving. Last year Jim, Andrew’s dad, drew my name and he got me cooking lessons for our family trip the upcoming summer. Our travels abroad were to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary, so all of us traveled together, however this was a solo excursion. This cooking class was possibly the best gift I’ve ever been given, so thank you Jim! I learned so many new techniques and tips, and had a memorable day at the market, in the kitchen, and around the table with new friends.
- Creating Homes within a Home | As you know, I love nesting and rearranging to liven up spaces within our home, so this post will give you some ideas on how to create nooks and cozy crannies within the rooms of your home as we move into the colder months.
- Tips on Planning an Autumn Harvest | Our summer garden was pretty blah to be honest, especially after two weeks of travel, but I have high hopes to plant soon for autumn. I’ll share the process with you.
- Traveling Abroad with Kids | Travel with kids is both crazy and wonderful. I am going to share it all with you, plus some general travel tips for planes, trains, and automobiles if you have kiddos in tow. Tip one: suckers.
- Puppy Training With Kids | Many of you have emailed me and asked how puppy training is going and all I can tell you right now is that it’s going. Details to come!
- Canning and Preserving Basics + Simple Summer Recipes | One of my favorite things to do come late summer is preserve the bounty and beauty of this tasty season. I’ve got some simple canning techniques you can use to make canned tomatoes, sauces, pickles, and more.
- Zero-Waste at Home Part II – Packing Food to Go and Packing Lunches | This will be more of a back to school post showing you how to can practice zero-waste living on the go.
- Morning Granola | There is something like 530,098 granola recipes out there, and I will be adding mine to the bunch. It has cinnamon, coconut, dried blueberries in it!
- Painting Tricks for Kids | The kids are all about painting and I have a few tricks up my sleeve to make this craft really fun for them.
- Why Simple Acts of Love Matter | This is more of a reflection on current world events today and why I believe, more than ever, that simple acts of love and kindness are essential.
- Age Appropriate Chores for Kids PDF | Chores for kids? Sign me up. I have a PDF in the works detailing age appropriate chores for kids from 2-10 that will hopefully help everyone out a bit more at home.
Whew. That’s a lot, but I am energized and happy to get the ball rolling over here! And I’ll leave you with these sacred words by Anne Lammot taken from the last page of my forever favorite, Bird By Bird. She articulates the beauty and importance of writing, and shines a light on why I believe in blogging and making the work that I do:
“So why does our writing matter, again?” they ask. Because of the spirit, I say. Because of the heart. Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and explained our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truth, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again.” – Anne Lamott from Bird By Bird
Anna - If you use 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast, Mark Bittman’s bread will rise in 4 hours. I’ve been doing it for years.
I use 2 cups bread flour and 1 cup white whole wheat flour to increase the fiber a bit.
admin - Anna, well holy moly. I am going to try this ASAP! Thank you for sharing, dearest! x Amanda
Sarah - Love this! Love you! Can’t wait to read your magical words on all these topics xo
Melissa - Yay! I am so looking forward to all these amazing blog posts. Woohoo!
Jessica - Wow! I’m looking forward to reading all of these upcoming posts.
Do you have any suggestions for activities for toddlers? My little one is 14 months and sooo busy; I would love to hear some of your favorite things to do to keep the littlest ones happy and occupied. 😉
Laura - love reading all of your posts. love the inspiration you share through your writing. thank you bunches!
Evee - You are an inspiration! I am constantly turning to my husband and swooning over all of your creatively simple and beautiful posts. “She is so amazing!” and “How gorgeous is her home?!” are common outbursts of mine 🙈 Can’t wait to hear more about all of these topics!
Hannah - How wonderful, I cannot wait to read these!! I am most looking forward to the posts about running and about puppy training with kids, both things I am attempting to do right now!
Kayla - Amanda! You go girl. I’m so excited to read each and every one of these posts. It’s amazing what a little time away can do for the spirit. Can you remind me again how to join your book club? I’m in a summer reading slump and need some motivation and accountability to get back on the wagon!
Amanda - Yay! All looks lovely and happy to have you back!
Meagan - I would love to hear what you learned in cooking school! I’ve always been drawn to the French style of simple cooking and healthy meals. I’d love to hear what you took away from your classes, especially in regard to cooking for kids and mid-sized families. Thanks!!
Susan - So glad to see a new post up, sounds like you have been super busy.
Emily - I can’t wait to hear about your travels! I am trying to convince my husband that it’s do-able to go to Europe with two young kids. I’d love your honest review of sorts and tips and tricks.
Grace Winkel - This simple list post is beautiful 🙂 Thanks for sharing your plans for content – I’m excited to read more about your canning tips + recipes (since I’m trying to get into canning this year) and your Why Simple Acts of Love Matter thoughts!
Always a fan!
Katie - I am so excited for all of this! Much of this is right in line with what I’ve been searching for online lately! Yay!
Laura - Can’t wait!!
Adrianna - As I was reading through the list of topics I was getting so anxious to read all about all of these things! So excited. Thanks for all of your time and hard work putting these posts together. They have helped me in so many ways 🙂
amy - Oh yay I can’t wait to read all of these! Especially excited about your rhythm at home PDF! my oldest is about to be six and we are officially starting our first year of homeschooling! I’m actually out at my favorite coffee shop doing some planning now 🙂
kathryn - I am currently under the weather and am catching up on your blog. I can’t wait to read about running(my daughter and I are training to run a 5k later on in the fall), a simple French meal… all of the above actually! Can’t wait!♥
Jacqueline Beach - Lovely as usual! Your blog is my favorite. So excited for these posts!
Wondering if you’ve read Writing From the Heart and If You Want To Write. Both are amaaaazing and in similar vein as Bird by Bird. ❤️
Erin - So very excited for all those topics you’re planning to share on! Your blog helps me see beauty and great joy in all things done here at home as a stay at home mom. Thanks for sharing your heart!
Ruby - I can hardly contain my excitement! You are an incredible light, Amanda.