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I've been blogging over at Our Sleeping Flowers these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!

For the last month or two I have been writing and moving a few recipes over to Closing the Gap, a little blog I started a couple years ago as a personal project for myself to "close the gap" between where I was as a photographer and where I wanted to be, creatively and technically. I didn't post much over the two years I was conscious of it. However, lately it has become more than just photographs and I think will continue to expand as I have a long road ahead of me before I become who I want to be, in so many more aspects than just photography.

Join me..


I will not be writing here anymore, and a few recipes will be moved over to the new space periodically, likely (hopefully) as new posts. I love a new clean space.

This last guide is a list of a few favorite things from local companies and artisans here in Utah. This doesn't even represent the tip of the iceberg of talent here in Utah. If you're not in town, you can still get your hands on a lot of these lovelies as many can be ordered online. The beauty of a connected world.

1 - Barely Buzzed cheese from Beehive Cheese, their most popular cheese for a reason.
2 - Handmade granola from Nova Granola, all the good stuff for my favorite meal of the day.
3 - Clifford Farm Honey; beautiful honey coming from the beehive state.
4 - Bee Pollen from Jones Bees, to add to smoothies, salads, or getting fancy with homemade truffles and caramels, among other things. I love Sarah Britton's post about bee pollen.

5 - Wood and support beam A Table from C.G. Sparks; this company has flawless furniture designs.
6 - Fruit Prints from Sycamore Street Press, for a kitchen wall.
7 - A CSA share to a local farm, I especially like the idea of this flower share from Copper Moose Farm.
8 - Utah TrufflesI like them best from the freezer, anyone else?

9 - Gardener Soap from Beehive Soap, even though I'm a failure at gardening, I still get my hands dirty.

For other beautiful handmade furniture look up Ivory Bill and Patrick Davis Design.

Nova Granola is giving my readers 10% off an order! Enter NOVA10 at checkout to get your discount. 

Since I have been spending a lot of my time doing baby and toddler things rather than actual cooking, I thought I would share a gift guide of my favorite kid stuff alongside my food related wish list this year. A few we own and love, and the others we dream to.

When searching out children's toys I am drawn to those that are simple, made with natural materials, promote creative play, and are beautiful (at least to me). I know I've chosen well when my children fall in love with them instantly and forever (well, three years and counting..).

“The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.” Plato

1 - Wooden toy camera from Twig Creative; cheese!
2 - Handmade Wooden Boats by Schoolhouse Electric and Supply Co.; perfect for bath time
3 - Winnie the pooh screen printed pillows from Atsuyo et Akiko; Tigger is little's favorite
4 - Baltic Amber Teething Necklace; parents swear by the natural anti-inflamatory properties of amber for teething. My littlest isn't teething quite yet but when she does, we'll be ready.  
5 - Stockmar beeswax crayons; I might keep these crayons for myself to color..
6 - Home Cozy Home coloring poster by roxy marj; also love the correlating pillow.
7 - *** Wooden Brainbow from Little Sapling Toys; endless fun, ha! got that?
8 - Beeswax birthday candles from Herriott Grace; obviously these aren't for playing with but for birthdays, and other special occasions. They smell wonderful and burn beautifully.
9 - Moulin Roty baking set to go along with..
10 - Camden Rose wooden toy kitchen; because it's important to indoctrinate them while they're young.

I was recently introduced to Kimber, founder of Little Sapling Toys and loved their philosophy behind the beautiful wooden toys they create. She says,"We design modern toys to help young children develop critical thinking, creativity, fine and gross motor skills, and communication. We strive to create safe toys that are personal, with design that appeals to kids and adults. Our line of toys is hand crafted in Sheboygan, WI out of high quality FSC certified hardwoods. We plant a tree for each toy sold."

*** Little Sapling Toys has graciously given my readers a 10% off any order from their shop! Enter the code: DELIGHTFUL10 at checkout for your discount.

Also, Twig Creative has a deal going on over at Brickyard Buffalo for their wooden toy cameras, (not including the stunning zebra wood camera pictured above). Brickyard Buffalo has other great deals on superhero capes, armelle jewelry, and freshly picked moccasins too, among other things.. but only for another day or two.


Friday I am sharing my last gift guide for the holidays, featuring local fare and artistry. Share the Utah love.

Here's a little selection of some beautiful and practical things I've fallen in love with. Have you decided what to get for your favorite cook yet?

1 - Falcon enamelware
2 - Hand carved measuring spoons by Alder + Co.
3 - An Everlasting Meal by Tamar E. Adler
4 - Waterproof Waxed Canvas lunchbag from Kaufmann Mercantile
5 - Japanese Cast Iron scissors from Mjölk
6 - The market backpack from Brookefarm General Store
7 - Neëst linen kitchen towels
8 - A cheese board, servingboard or cutting board from Red Onion Woodworks
9 - Ambatalia linen bento tote from Anaise
10 - Something living and green, like a box of succulents/herbs or their favorite citrus tree.
image credit: succulents; citrus

As we transition from celebrating Thanksgiving to Christmas and Autumn to Winter, I thought I'd share a few pictures of the quick but beautiful transition we saw outside in the last few weeks. Though all the snow has since melted, and the weather has been surprisingly warm, I miss the color and crunching leaves. Autumn in Utah is far too short of a season..

See more above/below posts here.

All photos taken with iphone, edited with vscocam
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A few things I am especially grateful for this year..

Two beautiful, healthy, and happy children.
Four seasons to celebrate and eat.
Acquaintances who have become dear friends.
Learning more every year I attempt and fail at a garden.
Knowing that children go through common developmental stages, (it's not actual craziness).
Having the strength and ability to bear and birth my children the way I wanted.
Trials I have suffered and fought through, altering who I am.
A loving and selfless husband who makes me laugh every day.
Relations who are the best sort of people.
Music to run, cook, bake, and dance to.
A true gospel.
coconut oil, my other religion.
Thoroughly celebrating Thanksgiving before decorating for Christmas.

It's about the little things too.

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I first heard of Waldorf education when I was expecting my oldest, more than three years ago (can we talk about how that seems impossible? Wasn't she born yesterday?!) The depth of it all didn't really make an impression on me as I was drawn more to the beauty and design of their natural, earth based toys. It has only been in the last few months that I've really looked into the details and methods of it, only scratching the surface really, and have adopted some of the approaches that a Waldorf home embraces.

I could spend a long time explaining all I've read and learned, what I agree with and what I don't, even what I found reminiscent of our faith, but you'd be better off learning about Waldorf from others who say it much better than I. So to keep it simple, I love the humanistic and holistic approach of Waldorf education, especially for my little ones. I also love that it is so conscious of the earth and its rhythms (read: the seasons and times), that it is simple, spiritual, and beautiful. It wasn't surprising how well I was drawn to it, I love anything with a natural approach, to movement, food, home, and now parenting and education.

We decided our first Waldorf celebration would be a Martinmas lantern walk. We made lanterns, talked about the changing season and changing light, and how even though it is darker we can share light and warmth with others through kindness and good deeds. Then we lit our lanterns and delivered some cookies to neighbors to (in essence) warm their hearts. When my little one came back and told me she loved sharing her light with others and that her heart felt warm, I knew it was a celebration we would keep. Though we don't really need any more excuses to feed our neighbors..

Is your home a Waldorf home?
more about Waldorf education here and here.

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"Moments are the molecules that make up eternity." Neal A. Maxwell

all photos taken by my lovely sister.

Friends, my most recent days, hours and minutes have been filled with ordinary day to day life-with-a-newborn-and-a-preschooler tasks, and I have been trying to savor every moment, which seems almost impossible because they fly by so quickly. It has been a number of weeks since I gave birth to my second daughter and I love seeing how different she is from my oldest, how much my oldest loves her (when she found out I was in labor she began jumping up and down saying how excited she was that baby sister was on her way), and I love how instantly her needs and smiles have become a beloved part of our family's rhythms.

I can't say everything has been sunshine and butterflies, I am still sleep deprived, worry that big sister will suffocate her with too much love, and I have suspicions that she has the same dairy aversion her sister had, possibly worse. We have faced some struggles that were mountains to climb, but climb we did (we are still climbing!).

Something that disappeared close to the time of her arrival was my motivation to create and enjoy food. Gratefully it has slowly returned over the past couple weeks, just in time for my favorite eating time of year. This week we had the first freeze of the season. Many nearby even got a dusting of snow (!) I don't think I will ever be ready for signs of winter's arrival. I know I wouldn't be able to endure it without first experiencing the brilliance of fall, some good soup recipes, and sweet moments that warm you up from the inside. (and of course I can't forget the holidays too, so excited!)

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