150 posts categorized "Family" Feed

Storybook Woods, A Decade

  10 year give away storybook woods

    Wow, it is Storybook Woods 10 year bloggiversary. 10 years! I do not know what to say. It seems like yesterday when I started this blog. I had NO idea what blessings, opportunities and friends blogging would bring into my life. Of course 10 years ago blogging was just in its infancy and a whole another world. Nobody was famous. Nobody had books, TV shows, etc. Just a simple wanting to share and connect with others.

    It has been interesting to watch the medium grow over the years. Like all things, it must grow and change. Some good, some not but I am proud to be apart of the blogging community. My first post in April 2006,

"Hello friends, welcome,

I am very excited about my new little home. I am hoping to share lots of exciting ideas that I make and find. I truly hope you will find Storybook Woods a place of inspiration. A place to help you play. So get  a cup of tea and something to eat and enjoy, Clarice

"What we play is life." Louis Armstrong

   I still feel this way. I truly hope I inspire you, but I have to say, I get much more inspiration from all of you than I ever give. Thank you for that! I did not realize when I started blogging, how much it would add to my life. I never picture being featured in magazines, let alone editing one. I did not imaging myself writing cookbooks, and definitely did not know I had it in me to write novels.

10 year Collage storybook woods

    Blogging has stretched me and pushed my boundaries in a way I never pictured. It is also a beautiful reflection of my life for the past 10 years. The girls are now 20, 25. I no longer homeschool and it was such a huge part of my life. I will be honest, I am still searching for what this new season of my life will be. Taking care of my home is still a joy for me, but I am not sure what I want to do next. Which may very well just be, keep doing what I already do. It is interesting to be a full time homemaker when you do not have children anymore. I am still finding my voice and not sure what I now want to say on Storybook Woods.

    The biggest thing I am grateful for these past 10 years of blogging is the friends I have made. True, wonderful friends who have been there for me in times of need. You readers bring such joy into my life. Because of that I would like to do a give-away. One reader will win signed copy of Wishes Are Like..., and another winner will win this ring. I bought this nest ring 5 years ago when I started Wishes. I did not know how the book would end (those you who have read the book, will know what I am talking about. You will also know the significance of the 3 eggs). I bought 2 rings, one for me and one for a winner of a give-away. I did not know at the time that give-away would also be my 10 year bloggiversary. Funny how life works. I like to keep give-away's simple (like they were 10 years ago :-).  Just leave me a comment. If you have a preference of ring or book, let me know. Just say hi, tell me how long to have been reading SW, and maybe what your favorite recipe or idea is. That would make my day and I will pick the winners in 2 weeks.

    I am not sure what the next 10 years will bring? Both in my life and on the blog, but I look forward to seeing it. Thank you so much for all your support and friendship over the years. I continue to hope Storybook Woods brings something to your life to make it better, to inspire you and encourage you to dream, to make wishes. Remember to look for the everyday joys if life xox

10 year give away storybook woods 1














A Year of Storybook Woods 2015


    My years list of favorite posts. As you can see there are two months where I did not even post anything. Last year was about finish my novel and trying to stay on track with my lifestyle changes. I am proud to say I accomplished both goals. What is your favorite memory of 2015?

January, Bloom, I Love Food Too Much To Eat That post

February, Luck Of The Irish Pizza

March, Baking Pantry Up Date

April, our trip to McMenamins Edgefield

June, Bloom, Browned Butter Trick

August, Bloom, Being Slayed

September, Autumn Reading Corner

October, My new novel Wishes Are Like ... a sequel to Wren Bay

November, Martini Steak

December, Red & White Christmas theme

Above my favorite instagram image I took from 2015. My home in the spring!




I Have Graduated


The girls were always acting out something. You can learn while you play!

    Well this is a hard post for me to write but I want to reflect these moments on my blog. I have graduated!! Chloe, my youngest has graduated, therefor I am officially no longer a homeschooling mom. I can remember 24 years ago being pregnant, only a month along with Auberne` and reading about HSing (& breastfeeding) and being scared to death (when my sis pointed out I had 8 months to learn all this, I had a HUGE melt down on her. Poor thing!!). Having severe dyslexia and not even knowing it until I was 10, school was hell. I truly can only remember a handful of happy days. So I really was not wanting to put my daughters in that system. (Do not get me wrong, PS is great for some, just not all. I do not want to trash talk PS). I started going to HS support group when Auberne` was 1. Co-leading that group, when Auberne` was 4. By the time we hit school age, I had already be in the HS community a long time. I am glad I started learning and meeting other HSers when Auberne` was little because it saved me from making a lot of the same mistakes most HSers do.

Chloe brace

Chloe 18 and just got braces!!

    I wish I had the words to explain how HSing all these years have changed me. It is very similar to motherhood. It has stretched me, gave me the education I never got as a child, bonded me with my girls and gave me a whole new view on learning. Really life is learning and it never ends. Because of HSing, I now like to read (it is still difficult for me but I enjoy it now), I view nature in a whole new light and I have discovered there are a million ways to learn something. One does not need to be boxed in by a certain “way” of learning.

Sweet girl

Both the girls are working at the local tea shop and LOVE it!!

    All the goals for my girls have been met. They love learning, life, each other and us, David and I. Kindness is more important than anything else. Creativity and learning will be the hallmark of their lives. They do not give one rip about fitting in, what others think or doing things the “normal” way. They deeply know themselves and their day to day walk with God guides them in everything.

C dance

Chloe is still serious about her dancing & plans on doing more teaching.

    I had days where I felt I was not enough for my girls, when I did not know how to help them overcome problems BUT I have never had a day I wished I was not HSing. To do something for basically 22 years and love it that whole time is pretty amazing. I leaned on God, I prayed every morning for Him to show me what my girls needed, also how I needed to change. There were days (even weeks) where the focus was on character, more than math.


Auberne` & I enjoying high tea. For the first 6 years of her life, I was her playmate!!

    What I think I am most grateful for besides having these amazing years with my daughters, is my view on learning. Before HSing I felt stupid, lazy and really ... unable to learn. I view learning so different now. It is a joy and has helped me to be more fearless (for one canNOT HS and be in fear. It will not work long term). I have writen a novel, am a food editor and gosh who know what else will happen ;-) It is sad to see this season of my life end. I know in my gut those years will be my favorite time in life. Wonderful things are in store but nothing will ever replace these past years. Thank you for letting me twattle on about all of this. Yes I have graduated and I think I get a fine education indeed! Now it is time to learn something new!!!

We are always laughing, always!!



    Warning, braggy mom post!!! I am always amazed at my daughters creative, out-of-the-box thinking. This Christmas was no different. Not only are their gifts so creative but always reflect the person it is made for. These are just the ones I got to photograph. There was also a ruffled edge scarf, crochet flower bracelets, cup holder and a zombie lima bean ornament (because David HATES lima beans). Chloe crocheted me a beautiful cover for a canning jar. In white just like I wanted!


Chloe also made her sister a felt doll, Ren from Uta No Prince-Sama anime.


Auberne` crochet this amazing cherry pin. It is a soft periwinkle, very delicate, I just love it.


The girls also made for their father this key chain. Each penny is from the year they were born.


My fav gift, this the bow tie Chloe made for her sis. The packaging was half the fun. Auberne` crocheted Chloe a Harry Potter scarf. Auberne` sold so many scarves this Christmas, it was all she was doing the month of December!!

Grey set

This is not a gift my girls made me but a little gift I splurged on myself. I love Bertha Louise Designs work and when I saw this necklace and earrings I had to have them. I find I am wearing them almost every day. Thank you Angela !!


Dead Lap-top


    Akkk, my lap-top is broken and I am limping along on my hubby's veryyyyy old one. I cannot access my camera, so I am taking a blog break. I will spend my time working on yummy recipes for you and hopefully be back next week. Eat something good for you mind and your body (and think of me) xox

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Mother's Day Fun

  Mother day2

    Well I was suppose to have mother's day last week but it kind of all blew up, so we rebooted and had it this week. David took me and the girls to my favorite new restaurant, Port Gamble general store & cafe.

  Mother dayy

    I have been dieing to have their version of biscuits and gravy: Indian fry bread with homemade sausage gravy: heavy cream, fresh herbs and all. Oh my gosh it was heaven. Biscuits tend to get all mushy (well in my opinion they do, you can disagree with me ;-) but the fry bread was crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. I have got to try to make this myself.

  Mother day meal

I think Port Gamble is just about my favorite place, even though it only consists of two blocks. Port Gamble has been owned by the same milling company for 160 something years.

  Mother day4

Therefor it feels and looks exactly the same as it always has. There is such a sense of history, peace and beauty in Port Gamble. We decided to check out the cemetery. It was a stunning day to enjoy the beautiful views of Hood Canal. Look below, the picture on the right, can you see the Hood Canal bridge that goes to Port Angeles?

Motherday2 Collage

Looks at this stunning iron work. Gosh things were prettier 150 years back!!

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The girls were so sweet to me, they cooked and cleaned all weekend. Chloe made me a beautiful crochet cuff. I need to pick out fun colored buttons for it. Auberne` gave me an old book about English thatched cottages and a salted, almond dark chocolate bar.


Bling, England, chocolate and family = a perfect Mother's Day xox

Storyton Abbey

Thom anna

Welcome to Storyton Abbey (Here we are waiting to meet our honored guest)!


Come this way please! (door hanger)

Mom downton

We are celebrating the birthday of Lady Linda. (Her b-day is tomarrow) Doesn't she look the part?

D town table

Grab a hat and come have a sit.


Thomas and Anna will be glad to serve you.

Ladies downton

While enjoying Downton Abbey music (a youtube play list), please take a look at the wall of quotes.


Downton quoteeee

Of course we have a tea with finger sandwiches, roasted veggie salad, brie baked in lavender honey, chocolates and Mrs. Patmore raspberry meringue pudding (mine is a cheaters version; pre-made meringues, homemade whipped cream and frozen raspberries layered).

Down food Collage

We had fun picking our aristocratic name game!

Table downton

Sweet memories were made, I think my mother loved her birthday tea. I wish I was not sick and could have done a more elaborate tea but the love is the most important thing. Thank you for letting me share our Downton Abbey birthday tea with you xox

Dowton girls

Sick Days


Good day, I hope you are having a better one than me. Well I have been sick for a week and now am fighting not to get pneumonia. I always have this problem when I get sick (I had bad pneumonia one year and now my lungs are always susceptible). Anyhooo I have learned in the past I need to rest for a couple of weeks. So I am taking a few weeks off, until I feel better and have the strength to take photos. I plan to use this time to, well ... write of course but also to reflect on my blessing. I know that sounds so simple. I do not know about you but I really to not stop and absorb all I am blessed with. The bad always seems to outshine the good. So I plan to take sometime and reflect on the good in my life. Take care my sweet friend, have a cup of tea and think of me and I will do the same for you xoxo

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Was a Handmade Christmas


    Our Christmas this year was calm, easy going and special. It is lovely to have a drama free Christmas :-)

    What was most special about this Christmas was all the handmade gifts from my daughters. I am always amazed by their creativity and out-of-the box thinking. I hope you do not mind me sharing with you. Above Auberne` made for Chloe a Merlin doll from the BBC Merlin. He is all hand stitched with his own book. His clothes even come off. Here is the pattern she used.

Girls meCollage

I loved my gifts, crocheted owl pin (Here is a link to the owl pattern ) from Chloe and crochet fingerless gloves from Auberne`.

Pickle two Collage

Chloe made her dad, Von Gherkin the Third, pickle in a jar :-p

Chloe Collage

Chloe sewed her sister a T.A.R.D.I.S and Tottoro.

Gran gifts Collage

For their grandmother Auberne` made her a Christmas pudding with needle felted berries and Chloe crocheted a robin pin!!

Twisty mug Collage

Auberne` created David, Twisty the Pretzel! I love the way she add beads for the salt. The girls always give David and I a his/her gift. What made me smile the most is they did not know if I wanted a glittered mustache or not. So I had my choice. I have chosen to have one on each side so I can express if I feel glittery or not ;-)

Thank you for letting me share the gifts the girls made. I am hoping to inspire them to open their shop again and make some items to sell. Well done girls oxox



Alice In Wonderland

Chloe alice 1

I wanted to share this wonderful Alice in Wonderland necklace I won from a my dear friend Theresa. I have been watching her talent grow and grow over the years, so I was thrilled to win one of her latest creations.

Cl alice

I have to say her Theresa's was perfect because my necklace arrived three days before an Alice in Wonderland party Chloe was invited to. What timing!! As you can see Chloe had fun dressing up as Alice. Isn't she adorable?

Cl alice 6

Thank you so much Theresa for the necklace and bookmark too. Please check out Faerie Moon Creation. Her storybook characters are delightful!!!

Birthday Give-away

1 b day


    Today is my 50th birthday. It is very hard to me to not be real, so I am going to be real with you. I am NOT happy about turning 50!!! I have been grumbling about it for a couple of years. I just do not know how I got here :-O  I mean I still feel like I am 16 and hardly recognize the woman I see in the mirror. Now I realize I am lucky to be 50. I am even sure one day I would love to be 50 again. I also realize this is a new season in my life with it's own set of blessings. I have talked and talked to myself but if I am honest, in my heart I do not like it. I feel invisible. I am sure I am the only one who feels this way but this blog is a picture book of my life and I want to remember how I felt today, warts and all.

    The picture above is me on my first birthday. I love this picture because of the sour look on my face and my father pointing out the cake. I like to think it is me turning up my nose to the pre-packeaged, too sweet snowball. A foodie in the making!!!! As I celebrate today I would like to offer a copy of The Vintage Tea Party Book, a charming British tea book (or if you do not own Wren Bay you would like to win a copy) to you readers who always brighten my day. I will pick a winner on July 25.

 Thank you for listening to my bratty whine. I am sure one day down the road I will read this post and give myself a good talking to but today is a bittersweet day for me and that is how I feel in my heart!

I Love My Wife

Love wif 1

   Today is David's and I 24th wedding anniversary. I have to say I love being married and it is not hard like I was afraid it would be. It does have it moments, especially since our temperaments about as opposite as one could be but I really love being married.

    I have to share a story about this bumper sticker because it is a wonderful example of David and me. When we bought our new car, we decided we would never put a sticker on it. Don’t you hate down the road when all those stickers get old and gross? Well David went to a Promise Keepers (which greatly helped him by the way!!) and came home with this sticker. He got the last one and was so proud. He shows me the sticker saying he knew our promise and would find a way to put it on the car without “putting it on the car”. I tried not to laugh. I mean what girl in her right mind would to stop their hubby from announcing to the world he loved his wife. Rules, shmules, he could put that sticker anywhere he wanted. Heck I am not one for rules anyways but David in his usual way found a way to declare his love without breaking a rule. Every time I see that sticker not only am I reminded how much David loves me but also how different we are. David is exact, I am all over the place. He is cautious and I am go for it. He is my rock and I am his light. After 24 years, I could not ask for anything more!!

Six Year Bloggiversary Giveaway

The girls 3

    Well it is my 6th year bloggiversary! Look at my girls. This photo is from my third post. I wrote about how to make make nests from twigs and moss. Boy, have we come a long ways from 6 years ago. It amazes me all the changes and opportunities that have happened. Blogging is so different now and I hope my voice is still relevant. I have the same passion now as I did 6 years ago to help others (and myself) make the most of what we are gifted with and to find joys in the small things in life.

    I wish I could have each and everyone of you over for tea to thank you for your friendship and support. As a thank you, I am having a give-away of either a copy of Wren Bay or my baking book. If you already have them, maybe it would make a lovely gift. So one week from now, May 1, I will pick a winner of either Wren Bay or my baking book. Thank you again for your support and love, which makes my world go around xox     Give-away is closed!


Sweet 16

16chloe 12

    I want to wish Chloe a sweet 16 Happy Birthday! Chloe you bring such joy and light to our family. Your generous heart, your excitement of life around you and your gentle spirit blesses everyone who comes across your path. Your father and I are very proud of the young woman you have become and know there is a wonderful purpose to your life xox


Keep pinot

    Do you like my "water" bottle David bought me? We were in Oregon, lost in pinot-land, I did not want to come home :-) I cannot think of a lovelier way to spend ones days, than going from one beautiful winery to the next, tasting and discussing wine!

    January always feel like a wakeup call to me. Which is good (I say with a monotone voice) but who really wants a wakeup call? I am really not one for New Year resolutions but I do feel the need for a fresh start. We are on sugar overload (although I am sure that will pass quickly!!), the steampunk theme is so four weeks ago, my freezer is barren and I have a wish in my heart that is lagging. As I said I am not big on resolutions but I am for making ones dreams come true. For me it is easy to know what my dream is, which is finishing my second Wren book but it more of an issue of finding the time to do it. So I am planning on carving out more time to write and less time running around. Not really sure if it can happen but that is my wish. So do you have a wish you carry in your heart? Are you working on making it come true?? It is all in the baby steps. Do not feel like you have to do something big. Just move forword, one step at a time, not over thinking it. Forward gets you to someplace new!!

    By the way, do you notice me using the word wish a lot? It is the theme of this next book. Having wishes but holding them gently. Not all our wishes will come true but they will never come true if we do not wish them!

Steampunk Girl and Edward Elrik

Steampunk 5

Auberne` and Chloe got invited this weekend to a Steampunk/Cosplay dress-up party.

Steampunk 1

I present Lady Willowet of Atheta. Auberne`, as you can see, had so much fun with the whole steampunk look, which is a look she loves.

Steampunk 2

Can you see her copper painted goggles? Which are really plastic welding glasses.


This is Lady Willowet's ray-gun (All ladies need a ray-gun ;-). Auberne' spent the summer making it. You really cannot see all the detail but it is amazing.

Steampunk 3

And aren't these the sweetest fairy wings? She is my steampunk fairy !!!

Animie 2

I also present Edward Elrick. This is Chloe's favorite Animie character from Fullmetal Alchemist.

Animie 3

I tell you I am impressed how I can just buy Chloe some fabric and with no pattern at all, hand sew a jacket with a hood!! Another matching jacket, trimmed out in seam binding, plus stenciled, all by herself. I have nothing to do with any of these costumes.

Anmie 1

Gosh girls, I swear each year you outdo yourself. I am very impressed with your creativity, effort and craftsmanship. Thank you dear readers for letting me share xoxo

Girl Interrupted or How Can One Be on Both Sides of the Road?

St path

Well I cannot tell you how happy I am to see October here. This past month, well ... summer has been a very hard one for me. And September was the tough cherry on the tough cupcake of these past couple of months. I have, as all mothers do, struggled with meeting my family's needs and my own needs at the same time. I find my creativity comes to a halt, when I am stressed and running around a lot. The conundrum is my family needs me and I need to create. The two do not always mesh. Since I have discovered I like to write :-) I am finding myself, expressing what is in my heart through writing more and more. I thought I would share this little piece I wrote about the past few months. I am sure many of you know exactly how I feel but if you are like me, it is nice to know I am not the only mother who struggles!!

Girl Interrupted or How Can One Be on Both Sides of the Road?

     I am standing in the middle of a long, winding road. The sun is shining down on me but there is a crisp breeze, that whips my skirt around my legs. On one side of the dirt road is my family, my heart! They are calling me, pulling me to them. They are hurt, in need and are looking to me for help. Which is my job and what I want them to do but on the other side of the road is a girl, who very much looks like me. She is calling to me, needing me, asking me to not forget her. I stand there arms outstretched, leaning, looking to one side of the road, only to look and lean to the other side of the road. I am torn, both sides need me and I need both sides. But how can one be on both sides of the road?


     I am the heartbeat of my family and they take their cues from me. In times of trouble, they look to me to sooth their wounds, to make the sun shine on black days, to set the beat of our home. This is my job and one I gladly accept. Except, I need that girl on the other side of the road to do my job. She helps me be me, to find the energy, creativity and grace I need to do my job. So I run to one side of the road helping my family, caring for their wounds, diligently loving them until I am empty. Then I run across the road, to the girl and we sit, resting. We chat about inconsequential things like does my plaid jacket really go with my flora skirt. I braid her hair and she shares her chocolate with me. I am refreshed and run back across to my family, ready to cheer and love them on in their struggles and success. And so it goes, one side of the road, to the other side.

     I feel like a girl interrupted! Torn in half! Part of me is on one side of the road and the other part, on the other side. I run back and forth, fourth and back, until I stop in the middle and drop. I cannot keep up this pace. I look to God and ask, “Help me please. Help me be all I need to be for others but myself too!” The breeze gently dies, the sun brightens a bit more and a whisper fills my ear, “Bring them together. Bring them in the middle of the road with you”. Together, I think? How? Again that whisper, “One step at a time.” I reach my hand out to my family and beckoning them to stand in the middle of the road with me. Then I reach my hand out to the girl on the other side of the road and she steps forward, taking my hand. I am still unsuure how to move forward but we start to stroll down the winding road, one step at a time!


Winners and Chicken Pox

Life is beautiful 

I am happy to announce the two winners, Where Women Cook goes to Erin and Molly Makes goes to Wendy. I will e-mail you for your address's. Thank you everyone who participates.

Life is a bit crazy right now. Both the girls have chicken pox, David is sick and we are still doing this crazy, restrictive allergy diet (while having chicken pox's). So I might not be around for a bit but I will be back. I need to remember life is beautiful, even when it does not feel beautiful xox

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My Graduation Gift

Graduation  girls 

Okay do not laugh at me, it took me two years to pick out this graduation gift becuase I am so picky. Yes, it was Auberne` who graduated and yes, it was me who got the gift (she got a laptop). I started looking into homeschooling when I was 3 weeks pregnant with Auberne`. I was a little obsessed at the time!!!!  I remember her being a toddler and David and I seriously talking about HSing. I told him I would do it but he would have to look at it like I had a job. It was not going to be me being a homemaker and then throw in some HSing on the side. No it would be the other way around. If I did this, I was going to fully commit. Luckly David supported me and even promised if I made it the full 18 yrs. I could get a red convertible.

Well 20 yrs. later, no convertible (actually I have one in my yard, molding. Long story). But I did find a gift, with a heartfelt message to myself. You see, I think when a HS child graduates. WAIT, let me take that back. When ANY child graduates, it is just as big of an accomplishment for the parents, as the child. I do not want to take the spotlight off of Auberne`. I adore her and woman she has grown to be but I have been on my own journey too. I am a different woman thanks to my girls and thanks to HSing. They saved me from myself.

Gradution girlss 

I wanted a trinket to remind me of how I have changed, of how I have found myself more and more. Even though I truly love HSing (I have never regretted or hated it), I made it! I completed my goal. I am flaky and rarely stick with anything. To have stuck with HSing all these years and to have enjoyed it to boot, well I am proud of myself. And hope all you mothers and fathers with grown children feel the same way I do.

So I choose a bracelet made from antique, sterling silverware. The setting is called Violette and is from 1905. I then had each of the girl's initial hand engraved on the front and their name in the inside. This way I will always have my girls with me in my heart and on my wrist. I will also have a reminder that I am stronger than I think I am and the joyful journey HSing has been xoxo 

PS. I highly recommend Mon Petit Chou Boutique. They were so easy to work with (they had to make the bracelet smaller), it came beautifully wrapped with a card telling about the setting and year of the silver, the price was great. It would make a special gift for anyone. I will always treasure my bracelet. This is not a paid advertisement I just adore my bracelet.

Mending Fairy and A Book Worm

Auber vikfest 2011 10

Okay once in a while I just have to do a braggy mommy post (even though it adds nothing to your life ;-)    

Poulsbo had it's Viking Fest parade a week ago and the girls were in it with the library. Auberne` was the book mending fairy because she mends so many of their books.

Chloe vikfest 2011 1 

Chloe was part of the book worm. Aren't they adorable???

Boo worm 202 

I have to say the library ladies did a fantastic job on making the book worm.

Book worm 303 

Chloe said it was fun but a bit hard to coordinate everyone walking together.

Vikfest collage 

Of course my girls had to bling and alter their library tees. Thank you for letting me share. It is memories like these that hold a family together xoxo

ps. Can you see my veggie garden in the back. I am going to fill the wheel barrel with basil, when it gets warmer!!

A Mother's Day Plea

Spring garden 00 


I have not posted my Mother’s day plea post for a few years, so I am going to repost it. I feel very strongly about this (which is why I keep reposting). I have a plan myself. I was supposed to have Mother’s day this week but hubby had a family emergency and was out of town. So I am shooting for next week. I will make sure I have some good berries in the fridge and remind my daughters, they need to cook something :- ) I am hoping to walk on the beach and not clean all weekend. So what is your plan?? xoxo



I try not to give sermons on this blog (even though I do it all the time in real life) but I want to write a Mother's day plea. I am hoping this does not apply to any of you ladies but I know too many who do not get the pampering they need on Mother's day. It is usually because they do not ask for it; they do not plan for it. You know if you have a dream, it does not happen without some work. Since most hubbies cannot read our minds (well I know mine can't) we have to ask for what we want. We have to know what we want; we have to make it a priority!

I will probably not be having my Mother’s day this weekend. It will be pushed off until next weekend (I take a whole weekend by the way, not just Sunday !!) We do not have the money. Not that I need a lot but we do not have any money till pay-day. I could just suck it up and say "oh ... it is no problem" but that really would not be true. I would rather wait and do it right. If I have to wait a month I will.

I do it not just to be pampered (although I really like that part) but I do for my girls. When they grow up and (hopefully) are mothers, I do NOT want them to suck it up. I want them to feel honored, I want them to feel loved, I want them to get a break. How I live says much more to my girls, then what I say.

So I have a dream, I have a plan. Before Mother's day I will make sure the fridge has something yummy in it for me, I will have a stack of mags for me to read in bed, I will have let hubby know what I would like (Which will probably be a picnic somewhere and go look at a few antique stores).

So why am I telling you all this? If you always put yourself on the back burner on Mother's day, please not do it this year. For your sake, for you hubbies sake, for your children's sake. Have a dream, make a plan, and ask for what you need. If you need to wait a couple of weeks, please do. Do not let things get in the way of your Mother's day, work around them!!

5 Year Bloggiversary Giveaway

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    Welcome to my 5 year bloggiversary, I wish I could serve you a chocolate dipped violet shortbread and a cup of tea!! I am shocked it has been five years. I remember when I started my blog I had a very clear vision of what I wanted (and how scared I was). I wanted to create a place where I could encourage others, as well as myself, to enjoy making a home and creatively make the most out of the small moments in our lives. Life, homemaking, parenthood, is not easy but I find the best way to get through hard work is to look for the joy, the fun. It is all about where you place your eyes. This is what I wanted Storybook Woods to be about and I am happy to say I think it is, I know it inspires me in my own life.

    I wish I had the words to express how much blogging has changed my life but I do not. When I started my blog I had never taken photos before, struggled to write a paragraph and basically had no clue what I was doing (and still do not ;-). But having a venue to share my creativity has only fueled me more. It has opened my eyes in ways I never would have thought, made me braver, stretched me and given me such opportunities. If you had told me 5 years ago, all I would be accomplishing, I would not have thought it possible. Truly!

   But there is so much more, Storybook Woods has also touched and encouraged my girl’s life in a permanent, lasting way. They have met kindred spirits who have loved and encouraged them, told them to just be themselves and not worry what others think. They see the importance of creativity, home and friendship through all of you.

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    Friendship ... I think is the most important thing I and my girls have gained these 5 years. So many kind, generous readers! I cannot look at a corner of my home and not see a token of love from a reader. You have cheered me on, trusted me with your hearts and made me feel that I too am okay just the way I am. You know as a child, I did not have many friends. I was ridiculed, bullied and told I just was not applying myself. So all this support and encouragement you have given me, helps that little girl know she is just fine and needs to listen to her heart.

    Thank you, thank you ... so much for your support, your trust, your love! As a thank you, I would like to have a little giveaway. It is open to everyone! I made this little robin’s-egg blue dish (I will share next post how to make one) with a vintage velvet flower and would like to offer it as a token of thanks. Just make a comment and in 5 days we will pick a winner.

    I am excited to see what the next 5 years hold. The blogging world has changed soooooooooooo much since I started (I already feel like an old timer ;-). Sometimes I miss the old days, when I think blogging was a bit simpler BUT I still see such love, creativity and support. It is a world I am proud to be part of. My first post I wrote 5 years ago, I said 


"I truly hope you find Storybook Woods

a place of inspiration, also a place to help you play.

So get a cup of tea, something to eat and enjoy!"


     I can say I still feel exactly the same way 5 years later. I want to encourage you, help you to play and make the most of what you have. Also to give you a little respite from your day to day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

                                                                             Love Clarice 



Happy Valentine's Day dear readers. You are part of my valentines!!!

For my sweet, patient man I printed up the lyrics to this song because it expresses how he is there for me, so much better than I can. Actuality this is Wren and Devlin's song too. I am working on a new book and I have a whole new playlist, to inspire me as I write. This is one of the songs.

I wish each of you a happy day, full of love. Make sure you do a little something for yourself too becuase it is important for you to take care of yourself. Your family and friends need you. So have  a chocolate or take a bubble bath or go see if you can find a flower in your yard. I am actually in OR having a Tasha Tudor Valentines tea with a wonderful group of Tasha Tudor ladies. I will be back in a week but until then, thank you for you love and friendship. My life is so much richer becuase of it xoxo


When all the world is spinning round like a red balloon way up in the clouds
And my feet will not stay on the ground, you anchor me back down.
I am nearly world renowned as a restless soul who always skips town
But I look for you to come around and anchor me back down.
There are those who think I am strange, they would box me up and tell me to change
But you hold me close and softly say that you wouldn't have me any other way.
When people pin me as a clown you behave as though I'm wearing a crown
When I'm lose I feel so very found when you anchor me back down.
There are those who think I am strange, they would box me up and tell me to change
But you hold me close and softly say that you wouldn't have me any other way.
When all the world is spinning round like a red balloon way up in the clouds
And my feet will not stay on the ground
You anchor me back down

Happy New Year

Winter chill 

I was not going to write a happy New Year post but I send this note out to all my FB Wren Bay readers and decided to post it here. I hope it encourges you to seek your bliss xoxox   


    I wanted to wish each of you readers and fans of Wren Bay, a Happy New Year! I know for some of you this last year was a challenging year and for some of you going into this New Year, it has its challenges too but like Wren, I hope you can see your blessings among your losses.

    I hope each of you find something this year to ignite your creativity and give you a fire about life. At this time a year ago I never knew I could write. Heck I did not even know I wanted to write. I had very preconceived ideas about what writing is. Then when I read books about writing it only cemented those preconceived ideas. To be honest, those books made me feel I could NEVER write a book. And you know what I could not write the kind of book they think I should!! BUT I can write a book I would love and for some of you, a book you would love.

    I guess what I am saying is follow what is in your heart. Do not think about shoulds, about what others will say, about looking stupid (although I confess I worry about that every day, as I sell a book), do not worry about doing something “the right way”. Worry about making yourself happy, worry about creating something that makes your heart sing, worry about focusing on your vision, no matter how wacky it may seem. You will do much better listening to your heart, then to others.

    Not everyone will support you and you will find people who you never thought would support you, do. It will be an adventure. Adventures are scary but they also give you a sense of peace because you are fulfilling YOUR destiny. So here is to the New Year and all the adventures that await all of us. Thank you sooooooo much for your support of Wren and me, I do not have words to express my thankfulness.

                                                           Love Clarice

Made With Loving Hand

Cameo girls 

Okay warning braggy mom alert!! My girls choose this year to make almost all their gifts for Christmas. I had no idea what they were making (I just supply what I am told is needed) and I was sooo impressed with what they made. I had to share. They made me silhouettes.

Chloe sewed Auberne`, Kirby from Nintendo. He is soo  dang cute.

Birds nest 

Auberne` made everyone little birds nests. Acorns caps filled with moss and little blue beads. Charming!!

Chloe tree 

Chloe made me a blinged out Christmas tree on burlap, LOVE it but we need to glitter the frame ;-)

Cassette necklaceSoda earings 

Auberne` made her sis a cassette necklace and earrings. She cut purple cardboard to look like a guitar pick, found blue soda tabs and added a rhinestone. So clever!!


This is Henry, the Christmas Bacon. Auberne` made him for her dad. His even has his own song Chloe sang (sung to the tune of Santa Baby)

Santa bacon, please hurry up and cook yourself for me, oh please!!!

You know I like you nice and crispy,

Santa Bacon, so hurry up and cook for me!!!


Henry made us all laugh, we loved him. Well done girls, I am soo impressed and proud of you. Love Mom

Black/Red Ninja and Link

I have to share my girls costumes this year. They worked on them for two months. Auberne` is a black and red female ninja named Black Rose.


She has duel Ninja swords and the tattoo on her arm says Willow in Japanese.

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The coolest thing Auberne` made is a hand-guard with darts. You can pull out each dart to throw.


Chloe went as Link from the Legend of Zelda. Her and David made this wooden Highland shield. She painted it by herself.

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I wish you could see all the details she put into this costume, which a lot of it she hand sewed. She made the ears and the long green cap has all this detail on the side. The little glittered creature on her shoulder is a little fairy called Navi.

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Link carries a bottle on Lon-Lon milk and on her glove is the symbol of the Triforce.


Chloe always makes a costume for her doll, Elisabeth. She went as Zelda who gives Link a Ocarina of Time (the blue thing in Chloe's hand. It is kind of like a flute). I am always amazed at how creative and talented my girls are. I have to say they are wonderful at picturing what they want,  figuering out how the end product should be and how to make it happen with what they have. Well done sweeties, I think you are awesomesauce (an inside family joke)  xoxoxo

Salami Dip & The Beach


We had soo much fun at the ocean, Pacific Beach to be exact. I love PB because it is tiny and quite. It is like one block to the beach and one block to the like four shops. Each morning I would get up early, walk to the (new, styling) coffee shop in my nightie (which was cute pink pants with tea pots and a grey hoodie and silver tennis-shoes) get a HOT mocha and go walk across the street onto the foggy beach. There was hardly anyone else around. We just spent our days hanging out on the beach. There is not much else to do but that is why I like it. Where else can you walk down the middle of the street in you nightie and feel perfectly normal !!!

The one thing I hate about PB is there is no grocery stores, just a mini-mart. So you have to bring in everything. We rented a little cabin with it's own kitchen, I cooked ahead and hit Grocery Outlet for cheap, organic junk-food. But the big hit I made is a salami dip/spread. I served it with raw veggies and cracker. But I spread it on romain lettuce leaves and it was deli-sh. You can make a bates, keep it in the fridge and scoop out a bit as you want it. By the way the fancy houses below is Seabrook (down the hwy.) I am already to go back !!!
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Salami Dip

I block, 8oz. of cream cheese

1 cup of mayo

a generous 1/2 cup of finely chopped salami, do not use the pre-sliced salami, get one big piece.

1 garlic clove, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

one jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained, you can also use 1/3 cup olives

In a food processer cream, cream cheese one minutes. Add mayo, salami, garlic, salt and pepper. Process another minute until it all comes together and the salami is chopped up a bit more. You probably will have to scrap the sides a few times. Add artichoke heats and push a few times to mix in artichokes, but keep them still a little chunky.




Oh my gosh, I can tell it is summer (although not by the weather) because I am too busy. Girls have lots of activities, we go to the beach a lot, lots of work on our property and I have been hanging out at my friends farm working on Wren Bay. I am pushing to get this book DONE. I am sorry I do not have a post and I am soooooo behind coming by everyone's blog and saying hello (hopefully this weekend I can). But I promise to be back soon with a supper easy, yummy dish you can make for dinner. I hope you are having a fun summer xoxoxo

Please Pray For Baby Logan

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Hello dear readers, I never ask for prayers but a long time, dear friend of mine needs lots of prayers right now. Her beautiful grandson, Logan was born on Sunday.  An emergency C-section was performed but baby Logan was delivered without a pulse.  Resuscitation efforts went on for 15 minutes with no response. 

Logan was without oxygen for at least 15 minutes.  It could have been up to 24 minutes.

He is a beautiful, 8 lb 8 oz, baby.  He's well filled out and physically healthy and lovely.  His heart and lungs seem to be strong and functioning well, but there is brain damage.  He is currently on a cold cap and will be until Thursday.  On that day they'll do brain function scans.

We are all praying for a miracle. Please hold Logan up in your prayers. Thank you xoxo

Vintage Storybook Woods

Food cover 2

Thank you for all the well wishes, I am still not well but Oregon went fine. Though I am glad we got a hotel room. It was fun, I got to meet family I have never met before. Sadly my husband could not be there but he is now. My mother-in-love was so surprised and cried so hard, we started to worry we would have to take her to the hospital.

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 Since so many of you loved the food cover, I thought I would remind you there is a post of how to make one food cover xoxoxo

A Give-away


I wanted to let you know Auberne` is having a Valentine's giveaway. Oh my gosh Auberne`s "What Would Jane Austen Do ?" stickers she created are totally worth winning.

Also I rewrote my buttermilk biscuit recipe, hopefully it is a bit more understandable.

Lastly I wanted to let you know I finally figured out how to do a search my blog button. It is on the left side and should help you search my 745 posts  ;-o Good luck xoxoxo

A Year Of Storybook Woods 2009

I can not believe it is the end of 2009, this year went by fast. I am grateful for the blog, because it is a wonderful way to see what was happening in the past year. I was freaking out about 2009 because Auberne`turned 18 and I was just not ready. But it really has been a lovely year, both my girls have really grown this year. I see them both becoming amazingly creative and giving women. We are becoming more and more friends, enjoying each other company, kindred spirits. I am not ready to look forward yet, I want to savor this past year for just a bit more. Here is a list of my favorite posts each month. Happy New Year, I would love to hear what you loved about this last year xoxox

PS. I am so embarrassed, I was not asking what of my blog you liked, I mean what about your life this past year did you love !!!

Candy cane syrup

January: Candy Cane Syrup

Cut up sweater
February: I Cut Up A Sweater

Shillotte cakeplate

March: Silhouette Cake Plate

Lavender seabeck

April: Lavender Seabeck

Esprsso sugar 

May: Espresso Sugar

Sewing themed
June: Sewing Themed Party 

Outdoor washing
July: Outdoor Washing Station 

Out apple
August: Out With The Apple Green  

Make popciorn

September: Make Your Own Microwave Popcorn

October: Cosette 

Wool flower 

November: Wool Flower Tutorial

 Woodland box
December: Woodland Box 

Miss. Storybook Woods

Starwar girls

Auberne`  (you should check out her starwars "I got milk" posters !!!) and I decided to dress up when taking Chloe downtown to trick or treat. I usually wear the same costume, "grumpy-mom-mad-at-hubby-because-he-is-always-working-on-halloween-and-I-would-rather-be-snuggled-up-in-bed-with-a-new-mag" but this year I decided to shake things up.

Starwar girl

I bet you can guess who Auberne` is. I thought her idea for the belt was great. She stuck duck tape together and made sort of duck tape fabric that she then cut her belt out. Chloe dressed her doll Elisabeth as Hans Solo.

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But I am mostly posting because I had to share Chloe's costumes, Ashoka Tano. She has been working on this for months. I had nothing at all to do with this. She created, designed and sew it all by herself.


The headpiece is just unbelievable. It is hard to see it has beading on it. I thought the the embroidery she did on the front piece on her skirt was perfect. Auberne` made a baby Hut named Roda for Chloe's Birthday. She even made a backpack for him.  

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I know I am being a braggy mom, but it thrills me to no end to see my girls take an idea, run with it, design it, create it. This was a big goal of mine in homeschooling them. Well done girls. I am sp proud of you, keep creating. By the way I was Miss Storybook Woods ;-)   xoxoxoxo