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Sweet Stuff

It's been a banner week for Brooklyn - plenty of outings and adventures, meeting another Brooklyn who works at Anthropologie (they thoroughly approved of each other), and today she got to hold the stamps at the Post Office (and was so delighted that she forgot to put them in her mouth, and just clutched them tightly with both hands).

Right now she's enjoying a bucket full of socks and shapes, and still persistently snubbing one of two apparently identical green squares (she is convinced that only one of them is acceptable).

I'm enjoying a delicious gluten free/dairy free gingerbread cookie from our morning outing, and doing a little research on the Little Rock local bakery where we got it.

Dempsey Bakery was founded by Paula Dempsey in 2011, after several members of her family were diagnosed with gluten intolerance and food allergy related illnesses. She noticed an improvement in her own health after going gluten-free for her husband, and the bakery itself is free of gluten, wheat, soy, and nuts, and many of their products are also dairy and egg free. When I spoke with Paula this morning, I found that they also avoid corn and tapioca starches - and that she is an avid knitter. I'm thinking this bakery might be a good inspiration for another Local Flavor design (and that would give me an excuse to get one of their cute Tshirts!)

They have desserts,  pastries, pizzas and breads, and serve a lunch of sandwiches and soups. Their inviting seating area is lined with adorable portraits of Dempsey family members, and the windows of the downtown shop have a clear view of the Capitol building. They also create stunning (dairy free!) birthday cakes - I plan to get one for Brooklyn's and my birthday in June, and sample the rest of their menu in the meantime. It will also be a great place to take my parents when they come to visit, since my Mum has Celiac and can't eat out.

It's exciting to find brick-and-mortar businesses here - adventures are so much better when they involve local shops that can become friends in themselves. I value knowing that what I spend there is supporting the local economy, and Brooklyn delights in Going, Doing, Visiting, and of course, stopping people in their tracks to admire her happy sweetness ;)

Anyone in Little Rock or who frequents Little Rock, what brick-and-mortar business should I explore next?


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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…