for the weekend | eight watermelon recipes

Today marks the beginning of a new month and a long holiday weekend here. We're packing up again to travel and visit family, and also to find ways to keep cool in this Southern heat. When the weather grows this stifling, it seems our family only…

packing light | family travel with economy

Deciding what is essential to pack for each family trip can feel like simplifying a complex math equation, one that includes a limited travel budget, growing children, and shifting weather. Roughly nine years ago, when I had three babies…

saving seeds from the home garden

We didn't plant a spring garden this year, minus a few yukon gold potato plants (which we've already harvested) and a handful of herbs. The spring felt heavy with projects around our home, and I felt the need to let the soil and my management…

real talk real moms | on preschool at home

One of the greatest gifts in my thirteen years of motherhood has been friendship, having other women in my life to hash out the hard questions and celebrate the victories of this beautiful, complicated journey. I also appreciate hearing…

the slow renovation | a small, white bathroom

I realize white for the home may seem rather dull or unoriginal, but I love it unashamedly, especially in small spaces with ample natural light. It always looks fresh and broadens the visual space, and I knew from the moment we purchased…

our homeschool in pictures | april + may

Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.  ― Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air _______________________________ studying…

taking risks, changing course

Mark resigned from his job this week, a somewhat spontaneous decision following months of weighty conversations after dinner or over morning coffee. He and I are generally not the risk-taking types–more often falling into the first-born,…

nurturing the whole self | evening rituals + sleep

At some point I've realized many of the boundaries and routines I create for my children are habits intended for me, for my well-being as well. How often do I manage my children's intake of nutrients and need for rest only to ignore the same…



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


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