More Than a Party

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A few months ago, while nestled in my bed reading an issue of my favorite magazine, Taproot, I happened upon a lovely little piece written by Amanda Riley about a gathering called a “Swap Party.”  The concept and spirit behind this type of affair really intrigued me and I knew that I someday wanted to host such an event.  I mentioned the idea to my neighbor, Sarah, who was not only on-board to co-host this swap, but she seemed to be just as passionate as I was about how amazing such a function could be.

This past weekend, we held this get-together celebrating all things handmade and homegrown, while also honoring community.  Most women at our gathering had never met prior to this evening, but there was so much magic around the table as this community of makers each showcased her unique strengths and talents.

It seems the news and social media are just exploding lately with all the ways we are different.  Separate.  But what about all those entities that bind us?  Crafting and cooking, yes.  But, those heart felt discussions sharing our experiences of love and loss as well.  Today, let us focus on those things that unify.  It is so much more liberating to search for ways to build the bridges of community than to find ways of destroying them.

Let There Be Light

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A few months back, my girls and I were thrilled to read “Hand-Dipped Beeswax Candles” by Amber Ek in Taproot Issue 7 :: Gather.  The notion of making our very own candles seemed like such fun!  The article drummed up memories from my past when I use to make my own hand-dipped candles in middle school while working as a volunteer at Midway Village, an amazing museum with a Victorian village.  I remember the experience with such fondness and I wanted my girls to indulge in the experience as well.

So, last Tuesday we ventured to the stove, and with a whole lot of adult supervision, we crafted four pillar candles that later lit our Thanksgiving table.  We had such fun that I’m sure candle-making will become an annual crafting experience in our home.

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Early June Happenings

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The Fagan home is abustle now that school is complete, and the long-awaited summer is underway.  We are taking full advantage of the crisp mornings by getting chores done and out of the way well before eight o’clock, and then we spend our time basking in the balminess of the afternoon warmth, sipping citrus-infused water and reading in the warm sunlight.  Sneak in there time for summer homeschooling sessions, baking some ambrosial honey-infused dishes, and testing out new homemade personal-care items, we have truly been filling those hours of extra daylight the summer so graciously offers  us.

Here are the happenings around here during this first week of June…

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~The peonies are in full bloom, painting our landscaping with breathtaking pink vibrancy.

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~Learning doesn’t stop over the summer months.  The girls and I spend the first hour or two of each day completing a few homeschooling lessons.  My heart melts when my little ones say, “I love summertime when you can be our teacher Mommy.”  Love.

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~I came up with a lovely vegetarian spin to a lip balm recipe I found in Long Way on a Little by Shannon Hayes.

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~A. MAZE. ING. “Everyday Oat Bread.”  Better watch out Tyler, because I think I have a new love.  The recipe can be found in Amanda Blake Soule’s The Rhythm of Family.

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~Our first attempt at growing hot peppers seems to be working out so far.  Fingers crossed.

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~I’m not quite sure if there is a better combination:  sun, wine and good reads.

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~My girls actually came up with the idea of drinking “fancy water” (as they call it 🙂 ) while we catch some rays outside.

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~A fairy garden in full bloom.  Such a beautiful birthday gift for a four year old little girl.

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~Salad for dinner with greens from our garden, topped with a dandelion vinaigrette.  The vinaigrette recipe can be found in Taproot Magazine Issue 1 :: Soil.

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~It’s strawberry time!  Woohoo!

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~Oh the garden…Always work to be done, but always a place of peace and beauty.

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~And for a snack after all of that energy is expended in the garden:  “Holiday Rounds” from Keeping Bees by Ashley English.  Another great dessert that uses no refined sugar.  Yummy.

What have you been up to lately?  Share a link to your early June happenings in the comment section.