Monday, February 29

Living and Learning: The Week Ahead...

I found this documentary on Russia's Most Famous Classical Art Institute to be completely fascinating:

In My Knitting Basket
I am beginning to finish up the hat that I have on my needles and am looking ahead to my next knitting project.  I crave the color green in March and am hoping the yarn that I ordered over the weekend is what I've been hoping for.  I'm looking forward to casting on to a Golden Wood Cowl when it arrives.

I wandered into the library the other day to pick up a few books for the children and was confronted with a large display of paperback copies of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson.  The libraries in our area will be participating in The Big Read for the month of March, which means that I can borrow a copy of the book and attend several programs at the library that relate to Dickinson.  I always get the urge to read Emily at this time of year, so I am going to dive in to this opportunity!

Out in the Garden
In addition to the snowdrops that we'll be planting this week, I also have a few lily of the valley roots to pop into the ground.  I am hopeful that the daffodils we planted in the autumn will be up in the next few weeks.  I love old-fashioned flowers and am hoping to add one or two news ones to the rectory grounds each year.

Church in the Home
This is our final week of eating meat before Pascha.  My menu plan for the next seven days reflects that fact and is chock full of delicacies.  Everyone's favorite meals are represented including my choice on Saturday:  I'm hoping for lunch at my favorite burger joint for my 36th birthday!

Sunday, February 28

Wedding Crowns...

Our friends had their marriage blessed today! Their beautiful wedding crowns were fashioned from eucalyptus, laurel, and, in the case of the bride's crown, a few very simple flowers.  I loved them!

Saturday, February 27

Saturday Pursuits...

Our Saturday was mostly spent on the go, but I was able to make pancakes for breakfast.  I was so happy to eat them with my little brioche tin of snowdrops next to my plate.  I'm pretty sure that these delicate little flowers will be featured heavily in my photographs this coming week...  can you blame me, though?  They are magical!

Friday, February 26

Nearly March...

I ordered a Pascha skirt before the Lenten Triodian even began and it arrived yesterday.  It is perfect!  It is a gray midi skirt made of dotted tulle and I plan to wear it with a white 3/4 sleeve ballet-neck top and sandals.  I love catching a glimpse of it's complete frivolity when I wander into the closet to choose something sensible for the last gasp of wintry weather we've been having.

I potted the snowdrops from Autumn as soon as I came home from errand running and violin lessons today.  A brioche tin was the perfect receptacle for these lovely little things and they are now gracing our table.  For the past few autumns, I have been planting daffodil bulbs near the woods and originally thought that I would add snowdrop bulbs in that same space.  Now that I have the snowdrops though, I'm starting to think that they might be nicer in the little garden bed we have near our dining room window.  If they do as well as I am hoping, I will separate them as they begin to multiply and replant them in other places on the church property.

The weekend is here and it's going to be a busy one for us!  Can you believe that it is nearly March?


I wandered into my favorite little local boutique today and left with a very special gift from the owner! Autumn gave me these lovely blooms and their bulbs that she found in an old fairytale wood full of snowdrops and daffodils nearby. I am beyond thrilled to have these little dears for my table and soon, my garden!

Wednesday, February 24

The Time for Home...


Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” 

Edith Sitwell

Tuesday, February 23



Prior to attending the ballet on Sunday, Sugar Plum and I stopped at Terrain, which is a shop that I have wanted to explore in person for quite some time.  I love perusing the Terrain website, but the actual store was a completely different and wonderful experience.  We only had half an hour to look around (Sugar Plum kindly photographed everything for me!), so I don't think that we even saw half of what is offered.  We will definitely need to return for a more lengthy visit soon.

Monday, February 22

Living and Learning: The Week Ahead...


I spotted the trailer for the new documentary entitled Many Beautiful Things (narrated by Michelle Dockery [of Downton Abbey fame] and John Rhys-Davies) a week or so ago and am eagerly anticipating it's release on March 8th.  It is the tale of the artist turned missionary, Lilias Trotter.  Have a look below:


I'm a bit obsessed with Jane Eyre (both this version of the movie and Juliet Stevenson's narration of the book) and now...  the soundtrack is playing all the time and it is amazing!

On My Bedside Table 
I'm in the midst of reading Wildwood, which was loaned to me by a friend.  It is very good, but I keep wishing that I was reading it with the Trio.  I think that our boys may be a little young for it for now, but I know that it will make a great read-aloud in a couple of years! 

In My Knitting Basket
I'm still knitting the Art Deco Hat, designed by Melody of Mandarine's.  I'm savoring every stitch!  Since I knit the body of the hat with size 8 needles rather than size 7, I think that it will make a nice addition to my early spring outerwear.

Church in the Home
This week is Publican and Pharisee week in the Orthodox Church and is fast-free!  We will, of course, be having pizza on Friday like normal Americans, but I'm having fun making yummy things to enjoy this week (like chicken pot pie, beef stroganoff, and cheeseburgers).  What will you be serving?  


Sunday, February 21

Prokofiev's Cinderella...


  My sweet daughter and I had the opportunity to see our first professional ballet!  The ballet was Prokofiev's Cinderella and it was so wonderful.  We are already looking forward to the next time we are able to attend a performance!

Saturday, February 20

Saturday Pursuits...


  The children are in the midst of a little overnight visit to their grandmother's home and I have been taking full advantage of our time apart.  I spent some time deep cleaning the bathrooms and our bedroom, with special attention paid to my knitting corner.  I started listening to the audio version of Jane Eyre and so the time passed quickly and pleasantly.  It may seem silly to spend a break doing housework, but I know that having things clean and tidy is a gift to myself that will last far longer than this little overnight!  My husband and I also got a chance to enjoy some quality time together and I read a little more of Wildwood!

Thursday, February 18

Our Morning Routine...

Here's a little video where I talk about our morning routine.  I'd love to hear all about your morning routine or schedule.  Also, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask them in the comments section!

Wednesday, February 17

Busy, Busy...


Aside from lessons and speech therapy today, we were invited to two house blessings and dinner out with some of our parishioners.  I enjoyed knitting a bit and gazing at the sky while my husband drove us where we needed to go.  I'm in love with the grey and gold landscape surrounding us right now.  

Tuesday, February 16

Amartia and Metanoia...

Here is the second video in a series that my husband prepared for Holy Archangels Monastery!  Enjoy!

Monday, February 15

Living and Learning: The Week Ahead...

Sugar Plum and I looooove Misty Copeland and were very excited to see this video from Bazaar magazine on her recent photo shoot channeling the works of Edgar Degas:

On My Bedside Table
I whipped through Colm Toibin's book, Brooklyn, this past week.  The Oscar nominated movie based on the novel is set to be released on blu-ray/dvd in a few weeks, so I wanted to finish the novel before seeing itBrooklyn is the story of a young woman who leaves Ireland for work in 1950's America.  I felt empathetic toward the main character, Eilis Lacey, in the beginning of the novel.  However, as the tale began to wrap up, I found myself to be frustrated with her penchant to just allow life to happen to herEilis refused to take an active role in making her own decisions and would never stand up for herself.  I was, quite honestly, disappointed.    Have you read it?  

Living Well
One of our goals this year is to try to attend several cultural events.  To that end, we purchased tickets to the symphony!  One of our first outings will be in mid-March for a performance of Peter and the Wolf.  In preparation, we have been listening to our favorite recording of Prokofiev's famous work and have also been scouring YouTube for fun videos (our favorites are from 2006 and 1946).

I enjoy watching Jennifer L. Scott's weekly videos and today's was particularly good.  I feel very strongly about teaching children to tidy and Jennifer's video really gives a good overview of how to begin the process of teaching young children to take pride in caring for their surroundings.  Have a look:  

Health and Beauty
The cold weather has been taking quite a toll on my skin and lips, so I have been positively slathering on my favorite moisturizing products on a daily basis:  Eucerin Skin Calming Body Creme and Burt's Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm. What are your favorite products to fight parched skin?

Surprise Snow Day...


We awoke to the first real snow accumulation of the year today!  The children spent the morning outside to get the most out of the weather.  There is supposed to be rain this afternoon which will melt the snow, but until then, we will be having fun!

On Presidents' Day...

  George Washington was the first President of the United States.  Before he became the president, he was the leader of the United States Army.  He was fighting the United Kingdom.

-Little Man, age 8

Saturday, February 13


Our youngest was looking at a pop-up book of special American landmarks and he excitedly pointed out "The Statue of Italy" to his father. When we corrected him and tried to get him to pronounce "Lib-er-tee,", he proudly exclaimed, "Statue of Little Italy!"

I need a meatball.

Sixty-Five Years Old...

When Father Daniel and Matushka Dunia arrived for the dinner party we hosted on Thursday, they brought a very special gift for us.  This lovely silver tea set was a present they received on their wedding day sixty-five years ago.  They have been slowly giving away treasures like this to people that they think will enjoy them.  I am so honored to be entrusted with something that has meant so much to them.  The tea set looked so gorgeous in the sunlight this morning!  I am busy trying to think of a good spot to display it so that we can enjoy it's beauty all the time.

Thursday, February 11

Dinner Party Preparations...

Show Notes
Crochet Stones (similar
Beef Stroganoff Recipe from The Joy of Cooking (double to sauce and add sauteed mushrooms!)
Carrot Cake

Note:  My children just watched this video and realized that I said that our youngest's dishes were of Mister Todd rather than Jeremy Fisher.  Whoops!

Tuesday, February 9

Sugar Plum's Knitting: A Series of Unicorns...

My sister gave Sugar Plum the amazing gift of a book of Mamma4Earth knitting patterns this year for Christmas.  Our girl wasted no time casting onto a unicorn and by the end of January, she had knit two unicorns and one horse!  Aren't they beautiful?

Monday, February 8

Living and Learning: The Week Ahead...

After posting about the new compilation of selected Downton Abbey music last week, our son's godmother mentioned to me that she had heard an interview with John Lunn, the composer.  Have a listen:

In My Knitting Basket
I cast on to the Art Deco Hat, designed by Melody of Mandarine's.  I really love how it looks so far (I just finished up the ribbing and the twisted stitches are genius!).  I'm using the final skein of Madeline Tosh DK in Great Grey Owl, which was a lovely gift from my father-in-law.

On My Bedside Table
Have you seen the beautiful cloth-bound children's book, Stina?  It is the tale of a little girl of a is very afraid of the cold and invents new ways to keep herself from getting a chill.  Watch this little video with the author below


Living Well
It's been over a year since I bought a few Weck jars.  We have three large and three small and they have been very handy for storing teas and candies.  I was very excited to spot some pretty wooden tops that snap right on rather than the glass ones that are held on with metal clips.  I think that I may buy two for the jars that I use for my tea.

Since returning to lessons in January, we have begun to use the Xtra Math app on my android phone for each of our children on a nearly daily basis (We used the computer version prior to January, but with two children using the computer for Teaching Textbooks Math, the app on my phone keeps things moving).  Xtra Math is a great way to help our little ones keep up with their math facts, plus they think it is a game...  I really like that I can keep track of how they are doing.  Check it out!

Saturday, February 6

Saturday Pursuits...


This week's recipe for a peaceful Saturday was pretty simple:  fried egg breakfast sandwiches and mugs of hot chocolate, pale pink parrot tulips, and a new hat on the needles.   
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