the slow unfolding work of home and heart

We moved into our cozy 1920s home two years ago this month, although it hardly feels two years of work have passed. When we purchased the property, the house was neglected and unsavory, stained from leaky faucets and uncleaned dirt. Indoors,…

our homeschool in pictures | february

“Why else do any of this if not to become who we want to be?” ― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See __________________________ planting potatoes, the first of our spring garden handmade valentines journaling about expectation; working…

for the weekend | a family day hike

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity. ― John Muir, Our National Parks We live in Central Texas, far from foothills…

homemade mayonnaise three ways

Although I've mentioned literary influences in the kitchen a few times in this space, I've been most influenced by my younger [and more talented] sister, Kristen. She has a natural intuition about food that I've learned by watching her…



Cloistered Away is a lifestyle blog, focused on simple, purposeful family living, written by Bethany Douglass.


An hour of quiet for the house. And then back outside. #cloisteredaway_homeschooling
I've grown so much over the years in how I pack for our family travels, shifting away from the "throw it in the car" mentality in the early years to packing with only what we need now. I'm sharing some tips on the blog today on how we pack minimally as a family and also save money using shops like @thredup. I may also discuss my online stash of packing lists 🙈 and share a sweet discount for readers, too. Wink. #secondhandfirst #sponsored
Thirteen summers ago, when I was pregnant with Liam, I remember devouring parenting books like so many other young mothers, wanting to make sure I got it right. But the longer I live in this parenting gig, the more I realize how little it has to do with right and wrong. Parenting has everything to do with seeing them and listening to them. Regardless of educational choices or work choices, parenting is a continual practice in paying attention. ✌🏼
Making demi baguette sandwiches with roasted chicken, spinach, and goat cheese for dinner. But it seems all they want to eat is watermelon. 🍉
Weekend projects. 🌿 #peelsticklove #mywestelm #theslowrenovation
Quieting my soul a bit this morning, listening to Sinatra, reading a little Luci Shaw, and blissfully sipping the last coffee before I get dressed for the day. #weekend #thecloisteredtable
Life is good with him, even on the hardest days.
Olive and I are putting together a small market bouquet to bring a hurting friend this morning. Small generosities do much to mend the soul, especially the flowers and hugs of a friend. / Also the sweetest dress from @munydesign
We returned home today, unpacked, cleaned up, and went to the market to fill our fridge again. Does anyone else feel an enormous sense of gratitude when your fridge is full? 🙋🏼 As always, it's good to be home.
S'mores for the kids. Red wine for us. The last sunset in his thirties.
On the hottest summer day, with cold drinks in our hand and an icy river on our toes. #cloisteredtravels
A special birthday breakfast and blessing time for Mark, just before we meandered out the door to the farmer's market. #cloisteredtravels #gracelacedvistalaplata