Valentine's date night in

I love date nights at home. Honestly, I'd choose a quiet night at home with Mark over going out almost anytime. We started these dates when our children were babies and went to bed early. It felt expensive and tiresome to regularly set…

our homeschool in pictures | January

Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell others. ― Mary Oliver, Sometimes ________________________________ reading lessons on the kitchen floor lettuce snipped from the winter garden a beginning in Latin,…

for the weekend | a winter cocktail

It's Friday, friends! Do you feel a deep sigh of relief, too? The weekend is here, and again I'm ready for it. I'm beginning a new series here this year creatively titled "for the weekend"–I know, how did I ever think of it? Anyhow,…

a gentle beginning to math at home

Although I did well in maths growing up, teaching it is an entirely different story. For me, each class during my childhood to early-adult years was a practice of mastering one section of a puzzle without understanding its connection to…

our family Sabbath meal revisited

Last autumn, our family began practicing a weekly Sabbath meal together, which I wrote about in more detail over here. Six months into this new family tradition, I have a little more to say about both the difficulties and surprises of this…

for the weekend | books on simplicity

For as long as I can remember, Mark and I have used the term simple in relation to some aspect of our life and personal aesthetic. For us it has always been a way to draw attention to quality over quantity, to enjoy having less amid the…

homemade broth | a beginning lesson in economy

Last year, I read Tamar Adler's An Everlasting Meal for the first time. Subtitled Cooking with Grace and Economy, it was those final words that allured me most. Grace. Economy. Those two words have at times felt at odds with one another…

hello, 2016.

Thank you, thank you for all of your patience while this space has been down the last couple of weeks. The re-organization here certainly took longer than I intended and often mirrored the tidying process in our physical home–clearing one…



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


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
I took this image of Olive in our garden a few springs ago in her early preschool years, and I still can't believe how quickly all of my children have changed in such a short time period. Today I'm joining a few other mothers on the topic of education and sharing a few lessons I've learned over the years about homeschooling during the preschool/kindergarten years. I hope it's an encouragement for those of you stepping into this journey for the first time, or even for those who feel uncertain whether you could. Link in the profile. #cloisteredaway_homeschooling #realmomseries
We took a brief afternoon hike with the boys this afternoon, where Liam found part of a snow patrol sled. Naturally we dragged it uphill to a path of snow for a little June sledding.
Every evening while we make dinner, she sings her impromptu songs for all of us. This one was about creation, about how special every living thing—person, plant, and animal—is to God. And to her. 💔 Thank you for the borrowed mandolin @gracelaced. We're taking excellent care. x
He will be thirteen in just a few months and now wears the same size shoe as his father. Also last night just after dinner, we finally found this hidden gem. We're making plans to do it again before we leave. // I'm also honored to share  @lifecapturedinc featured me in their Storytellers interview, where I talk a little bit about everything, from our daily routine to how I preserve the days with cameras and words. You can find it via the link in their profile. Thank you, Ronnie! #cloisteredtravels
Some people love large parties and fancy clothes, but this is where he feels most at home, in the quiet places.