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…

chai waffles with sautéed pears and berries

The gifts are wrapped. Our school work is finished. Mark is home, and yesterday marked the final Sunday of Advent, meaning Christmas is merely four sleeps away. Our family welcomed this week with a leisure breakfast of Chai waffles with…

handmade salt dough ornaments

These weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas seem to pass too quickly each year. Between the fluster of finishing our school work, giving or making gifts, visiting family, and joining local celebrations with friends, time feels so…


Although, like most children, you all have always loved the Christmas season, we're bridging new years as a family, years where you enjoy the giving of gifts and crafting just as much as receiving. You are also beginning to understand the…

essentially styled | a warm cashmere sweater

Once upon a moon, I shared simple basics from my closet here. It was a way I celebrated what I already owned and some of the ways I reinvented these essentials with a new piece or two each season. (And yes, these are inadvertently the…

keeping a snug winter home with dignify

I've said it before, but I love how this season full of early darkness and cold winds brings a slower rhythm to our home. Like the leaves on our tree, our school routine is beginning to fall apart, leaf by leaf. A season of rest is looming.…

a gift guide for the homeschool

We tend to keep the holiday season in our home fairly simple in terms of gift giving, both the quantity and expense. This isn't from a desire to be Scrooge-like or withholding, but instead another way we've learned over the years to simplify,…

week 48 | finding our Christmas tree

Every year on the weekend following Thanksgiving, we pack into our car and pick out a tree together. It's a simple tradition really, one that's not particularly unique to our family, but something we look forward to every year just the same.…



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


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. 🍉
Some people bring home t-shirts and bumper stickers from family trips. We brought home a ladder for the bathroom. 😂
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
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