She Sheds

I'm so excited to announce that my photography is featured in She Sheds, a beautiful new book by Erika Kotite available through Cool Springs Press. It was featured in Architectural Digest this week and is available via Amazon. The two featured sheds that I provided photos and contacts for belong to Dinah Lundbeck in Central California and Tymmera Whitnah in Eastern Oregon. Both spaces are so special and totally unique. To see even more She Shed goodness, follow the book on Instagram!






Digging In and Awakening Shakti

I've never been in a book club. I've fantasized about doing a woman-centered, lady-mojo, gypsy-soul kind of book club, but never had the right group present itself. But then, BAM! Another like-minded friend got the ball rolling. Elizabeth from Mystic Vixen, got the party started.

She is in the process of reading Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton and thought that there might be others out there in cyber space who might like to join her. My copy arrived in the mail this week and I'm joining her impromptu book club. You're welcome to join us HERE.

Photo via Mystic Vixen

Want to more know about the book? 
Check out THIS interview with Sally Kempton via Origin Magazine! 


Reading List | Steal Like and Artist

Today on my nightstand is a little notebook for creative kleptomanics by Austin Kleon called "Steal Like and Artist." It's chocked full of little insights and curated goodness. It's also a great resource for those of us who are making art in the digital age. If you need a little injection of inspiration - a little "get off your ass and do it!" - than you might want to pick up Klean's book.






Planning Your 2015 Garden?

Winter is always a wonderful time to browse seed catalogues and gardening books while waiting for the warm spring weather to arrive. Are you planning a garden for 2015? Frances Lincoln Publishers sent me a series of gardening books this winter for review.  Here are five of my favorite books from their collection to inspire your garden this season and beyond.






1)  I was really excited to get Sarah Raven's Cutting Garden Journal in the mail because I'm an avid journal keeper. I journal about everything, including my garden and planting schedule. It's a great way to know when I sowed certain seeds, what the weather was doing at a certain time of year and when my plants flowered (or died). Sarah Raven's Cutting Journal is a treasure trove of flora and fauna. Sarah Raven walks gardeners through the year sharing invaluable information about sowing, growing and properly harvesting flowers month-by-month. The photos are gorgeous and of course, since this is a journal, there is ample space for your own notes and observations.

A page from Sarah Raven's Cutting Garden Journal: A Year of Beautiful Cot Flowers



2)  In Great Gardens of America, leading garden historian Tim Richardson explores twenty-five of America's best-loved and most interesting gardens. The book is richly photographed by Andrea Jones and provides page after page of inspiration. Granted, these gardens are the cumulative of a life time of care and vision, but there is great value in examining our country's garden masterworks. I especially loved Steve Martino's Baja Garden (pictured below) in Phoenix, Arizona. Many of the gardens featured in Richardson's book are open to the public, so this is a great travel guide as well!

A page from Great Gardens of America


3)  I have long had an obsession with the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. His homes and public spaces are a part of my inner being - a sort of American birthright. This is one reason why I was particularly thrilled to receive a copy of Derek Fell's book The Gardens of Frank Lloyd Wright. This book explores the relationship between landscape and structure, nature and man's handmade dwellings. As James van Sweden writes in the forward to this book, "Wright's was committed to marrying the house to the land. Confident and unafraid to obscure his architectural designs with trees or to create bold splashes of color with plants, he created layers of beauty that resulted in a seamless exchange between inside and out." This book has made me think more about my own home and how it interacts with my outdoor spaces.

A page from The Gardens of Frank Lloyd Wright


4)  4)  Royal Horticultural Society Companion to Scented Plants by Stephen Lacey is a classic gardening title which introduces the fundamental aspects of design with fragrant plants, and explains how to achieve effects that please the eye as well as the sense of smell. There are chapters on structural planting with trees and shrubs, herbaceous borders and ground cover, walled gardens and vertical planting, rock and water gardens, rose and herb gardens and gardening under glass. A comprehensive catalogue describes over 1000 scented plants to grow for their fragrance as well as beauty. This is the only major reference work on scent and scented plants and is endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society.

A page from Royal Horticultural Society Companion to Scented Plants.


5)  The First Ladies of Gardening: Pioneers, Designers and Dreamers by landscape architect and writer Heidi Howcraft, is far and away my favorite of the five books. It introduces the reader to a wonderful array of visionary women who pioneered contemporary English garden design. Howcroft writes beautifully about these women (Vita Sackville-West, Beth Chatto, Margery Fish, Beatrix Havergal and more...) revealing their gardening secrets and lasting legacies. These cottage gardens are the stuff of dreams. The photos by Marianne Majerus are especially evocative, showcasing lush garden vistas as well as smaller details of the gardens. The First Ladies of Gardening is a gorgeous coffee table book and I'm so happy to have it in my library!

A page from The First Ladies of Gardening: Pioneers, Designers and Dreamers


My Radical Homemakers Reading List


It's Monday! Time for our weekly installment of Radical Homemaking. Interested in learning more about what that means, check out THIS post and THIS post. 


Last year I shared some of my favorite Radical Homemaking books with you here on the blog. This year, I thought I'd expand this list! When I get ahold of an idea, my first step is usually to hit the books. After a year and a half of reading and perusing books on the subject, here are some of my favorite titles. These books contain a wealth of information, stories and tips. These authors are passionate, transparent, informed and some of them are also fabulously self-effacing and funny. Here they are in no particular order:



Citizen Farmers by Daron Joffe

The Urban Farmer Handbook  by Annette Cottrell and Joshua McNichols

Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen

Homespun Mom Comes Unraveled: And other adventures from the radical homemaking frontier by Shannon Hayes

Becoming Us: 8 Steps to Grow a Family That Thrives by Elly Taylor

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese

Radical Simplicity: Creating an Authentic Life by Dan Price

Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots by Sharon Lovejoy

I Love Dirt: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Children Discover the Wonders of Nature by Jennifer Ward

The Best of Making Things: A Hand Book of Creative Discovery by Ann Sayre Wiseman

The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch

Keeping Chickens by Ashley English

Keeping Bees by Ashley English

The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan

The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making by Alana Chernila

Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture by Shannon Hayes

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter

The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball



Interested in beginning your very own Radical Homemaking library? Please enter our giveaway from Shannon Hayes, homesteader and author of 
Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture. She is giving one lucky La Maison Boheme reader three of her books! Click HERE for more information and to enter the giveaway!







Radical Homemakers Book Trio Giveaway!!



Hello dear readers! Have you been following my radical homemaking efforts here on the blog over the past year, wondering what it's all about? Have you thought about how you might make small changes in your own home towards greater sustainability, green living and financial freedom? Today, I'm announcing a little giveaway to get you started: three books by author and homesteader, Shannon Hayes!

Shannon Hayes, author of the popular manifesto Radical Homemakers, has a wonderful new book called Homespun Mom Comes Unraveled, which is comprised of 29 essays taken from her weekly blog posts. These two books, along with Shannon's inspiring cook book, Long Way on a Little, will go to one lucky La Maison Boheme reader. This is your chance to start your very own radical homemaking library!


photo via Shannon Hayes

The Radical Homemaker gift set includes one copy each of Long Way on a LittleRadical Homemakers, and Homespun Mom Comes Unraveled. Read more about these titles HERE.






1. Leave a comment below and make sure I have a way of contacting you 
either via email, Facebook or through your own blog.

2. BONUS ENTRY - Share this giveaway via your own blog, 
Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


It's as simple as that!
Leave one message in the comment section below, and if you like, a second comment letting me know that you've shared this giveaway link elsewhere.

The contest giveaway is open to US and International readers alike - I'll ship to wherever you are! Make sure that you leave your email or Facebook information so that I can contact you when you win.

This contest ends on Sunday January 18th and the winner will be announced on Monday the 19th. While you're waiting to hear back about the results, please visit Shannon's website: The Radical Homemaker.

Good luck and happy Radical Homemaking!

Book Review | Charles Dowding's VEG Journal



After placing my order with Seed Saver's Exchange last week, I was thrilled to find Charles Dowdings' VEG Journal: Expert no-dig advice, month by month in my mailbox for review from Frances Lincoln Publishing.

The book uses the seasonal checklists, advice and hard-won experience of the Uk's best-known no-dig gardener to plan a year's veg growing. The information is based on the author's successful Charles Dowding Vegetable Course, updated and arranged in a useful monthly journal so that no activity is overlooked and readers can follow his mantra of 'a little and often'.

The journal, which is filled with lush photos, explains how to plan a veg garden, construct a raised bed, sow seed indoors and outdoors in spring, grow on young crops, protect plants from the weather and from pests through the season until you can celebrate the joy of harvesting. The information is organized monthly from January to December, with key crops, activities and essential reminders.

The book is organized in monthly sections, providing simple steps and seasonal checklists to plan a year of vegetable growing that you’ll want to refer to time and time again. Filled with expert advice and planting tips throughout, the book offers detailed information on growing vegetables, herbs and salad leaves, monthly jobs and key dates for sowing and harvesting, tackling weeds and pests, and making sweet-smelling compost (I'm totally going to be using this info).

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and feel that it will be come an essential gardening companion during the next growing season and beyond. I'll be referring to it again and again. The best part is that the VEG Journal is suitable for the absolute beginner (me) while still illuminating for the experienced veg grower. If you're hoping to get the most out of your vegetable garden, this book should be in your library.





Book Review | Hop, Skip, Jump by Marney Makridakis

If the Google or Lego workplaces are any indication, it's clear that play and productivity go hand in hand. Why is it then that we shy away from playful, goofy, fun when trying to get something done? Best selling author and creator of Artella Land, Marney Makridakis' new book, Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life is the perfect antidote for our over-busy, harried and serious work routines. Makridakis' book is filled with wonderful tools to help us manifest whatever our hearts desire from a place of fun, joy and ease.




Having more fun, means getting more done. Just ask any child who has read The King's Stilts by Dr. Suess and they'll tell you that a playful outlet or attitude can keep an entire society in balance. Makridakis uses Hop, Skip, Jump as a blueprint for melding work and play into your everyday life.

Hop - focuses on exploring new beliefs
Skip - helps us harness spontaneity, wonder and love
Jump - spurs us into inspired action






From Marney:

Studies show that kids play less today than they ever have, and its detrimental to their health and development. As the demands of our achievement-oriented society are weighing on our kids, the pressure seems to be hitting adults even harder. Even family vacations, one of our most special times of play, are at an all-time low. In our fast-paced, results-driven society, when we do in fact have the rare opportunity to step away from the oppressive pressure, we are so exhausted that we tune out or turn to numbing activities on electronic gadgets, rather than meaningful experiences of play that truly bring us joy. Our adrenaline is either charged up or checked out. And play - which exists in the sweet spot in between - is completely overlooked and undervalued.

Play can be much more than filling the open spaces between work and daily responsibilities. Animals and children have a deep instinct to play; nobody needs to show them how to do it! But most adults could use a bit of training to connect to playful activities that intensify joy and reduce stress. 

When it comes to the intersection of play and productivity, the secret is quite simple: what moves us is what moves us, which means that what moves us emotionally is what moves us to action. This is why play helps us be productive. Play is many things, but it is never still, stuck or stagnant; it somehow always moves. So when it comes to manifesting a meaningful life, play works.


Get Marney's book Hop, Skip, Jump
and start playing!

Book Review | Modern Country

Jacqui Small Publishing has a new coffee table book on the shelves called Modern Country – Inspiring interiors for contemporary living, written and compiled by journalist Caroline Clifton-Mogg. This beautiful collection of photos highlights a new shift in our collective idea about what "country" entails.

Caroline examines a mix of contemporary country styles in four chapters: Architectural Styles, Materials and Finishes, Country Locations and Country Living. The book is filled with lush images from the French interiors publication Côté Sud, Côté Est and Côté Ouest. The edgy and often raw country style showcased here is enormously inspiring. I think Modern Country might be my new favorite design book.












Tiffany Gant-Riley from Curate & Display did a video review for her readers.
It is so gorgeous, I had to repost here. Enjoy!

Book Review | The Writer's Garden by Jackie Bennet

The Writer's Garden: How Gardens Inspired Our Best-Loved Authors, is a beautiful coffee table book by garden writer and historian Jackie Bennet. Gardens have long been a source of inspiration for artists. While the influence is seen directly in the work of painters and photographers, the effect is more subtle and frequently more personal in written work. The Writer's Garden walks us through the beloved gardens of Roald Dahl, Virginia Woolf, Wordsworth, Austen, Robert Burns, Rudyard Kipling and countless others; 20 authors all told.




I am a writer who has only just begun to explore the joys of gardening. Two years ago, I dug up a small plot in my suburban back yard to create a raised bed for veggies. Since then, I've expanded quite a bit. And while my garden isn't the grand meandering English countryside that inspired Winston Churchill, Bennet's book will inspire even the tiniest literary garden.

I found the biographical and historical anecdotes to be the most interesting parts of the book: the family ties, the eccentric landscape designers and the emotional relationship between writer and garden. The photos by Richard Hanson are gorgeous. The sweeping wide shots are juxtaposed with beautiful botanical detail shots. Definitely check out his lovely book, especially if you're a literary geek like me.


Roald Dahl at Gipsy House

Winston Churchill at Chartwell

Henry James at Rye Harbor

John Clare at Helpston

Thomas Hardy at Hardy's Cottage and Max Gate

William Wordsworth at Cockermouth

Sir Walter Scott at Abbotsford

Culture Maps | Books, Music and Movies



I love getting book recommendations from friends. One of my favorite ways to start a conversation is, "Well, if you liked that book, then you'll definitely want to check out..." A friend of mine just turned me on to a website that recommends movies, music and books based on your preferences.

You enter the title of a band, movie, or book into the respective search, and the results produce a cloud of answers. The closer the clusters are to the center, the greater chance you’ll like them. The closer any two names are, the greater chance someone will like them both. It's kind of brilliant. Give it a whirl!





Here were my results based on Joni Mitchell in the music category,
"Raising Arizona" for the movie category and
Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the literature category.




Books in the Hall

Don't have room in your home for a proper library? What about using the walls of your hallway? I love this idea. Install some built-in shelves along the sides of your hall to accommodate your books! Now that's thinking outside of the box.


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Library Dreams

I have an enormous expanse of wall in my dining room. Someday I would love to build wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling bookcases for my home library, which is spread out all over my home. I imagine that it might look something like this:


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And if I can't have the above, I would settle for something like this:



Book Review | The Life Organizer

Remember when you made your New Year's Resolutions 6 weeks ago? Remember when you wrote, "Be more organized"? Remember when you wrote "Make time for self care"?  If you'd like a little boost to help you reconnect with your goals, this book might be for you.

I am usually a pretty organized person, but over the past few weeks, The Life Organizer: A Woman's Guide to a Mindful Year by Jennifer Lauden has helped me put some of my expectations in perspective. Unlike some of the more rigid, linear GET ORGANIZED! books I've read, this book is slower, more intuitive and ultimately more effective at putting your real needs in a priority position. There are some portions of the book that didn't necessarily apply to my situation, however, Louden's overall premise and her upbeat take on decision making and mindfulness is refreshing. Her book has lots to offer any woman seeking a clear path towards intentional living.





From the publisher: 

We all yearn to have time for personal needs and creative dreams -- after all, this is our life to make the most of. And we all know how hard it is to remember what really matters. With distractions from jobs, aging parents, and children -- not to mention women's perennial fear of being labeled “selfish” -- following our own desires and dreams can become ever more elusive. The Life Organizer aims to help you shift your focus, augmenting traditional goal setting with the ease that comes from steady inner listening and mindfulness. It will become your trusted companion -- and maybe the most important book you'll ever own.

The book's author Jennifer Louden is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement. She is widely known as The Comfort Queen thanks to her first bestselling book The Woman's Comfort Book, has been interviewed by Oprah, and has written a total of 6 books on well-being and whole living that have inspired women all over the world. She believes self-love + world-love = wholeness for all. You can visit her online at www.jenniferlouden.com.


A Book and a Fireplace

With freezing temperatures here in Dallas (and all over the country), I yearn for a book and a warm place to read it. Here are some beautiful spaces that plan for moments just like this, placing fire and literature in close proximity. Brilliant.

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And here are some living rooms I have photographed for Houzz.com that have the same idea:

Home of Scott and Rachel Anderson - photo by Sarah Greenman

Home of Brian and Deanna Pennock - photo by Sarah Greenman

Home of Morgan and Monica Campbell - photos by Sarah Greenman


Book Review: Nurturing the Soul of Your Family

This month, I've been reading Nurturing the Soul of Your Family by Renee Trudeau.  It's a wonderful book filled with all sorts of ideas and ways to simplify your life and focus on the things that really matter - namely personal interactions.

The reason I was drawn to this book is this: while I understand how to create meaningful interactions with my family, I rarely have the personal energy and grounded stamina to do it. I'm always tired and a little discombobulated, which means that I often opt for a shortcut. Unlike other "how to help your family" books, Renee has hit on self-care for parents as a major component of family happiness.

In her chapter "The Transformative Power of Self Care" Trudeau defines self-care as "the art of attuning and responding to you deepest needs and desires."  For me, a work-at-home-creative-entrepreneur-mama-of-two, this really resonated with me. Trudeau writes:

Self-care is the foundation for becoming a courageous parent. It's not about pampering; it's about owning your personal power. It's about self-worth and owning the person you are. I believe this is our spiritual birthright. 

So this week I'm trying to put her words into practice. I want to show myself the same love, gentle care and compassion I offer my little ones.





You can pick up your own copy of Trudeau's book HERE.  
Or you can read her blog HERE.

AND...

Don't forget to enter our current giveaway from Octavia Bloom!
Enter HERE to win a $50 gift card!

I Won "Paris in Color"

Thank you to Milsters, author of the lovely blog Little Pieces of Light for hosting a great Christmas giveaway!  I won Paris in Color - a book of photos by the very talented Nichole Robertson of Little Brown Pen.  I couldn't be happier!  This book is a stunning collection of Nichole's Paris photos organized according to color.  It's breathtaking. Thank you Milsters - what a wonderful surprise!




Paris in Color reminds me of this quote about vitality, generosity and joy by Simone de Beauvoir:

"There is vitality only by means of free generosity... and sensitivity is nothing else but the presence which is attentive to the world and to itself. The reward for these spontaneous qualities issues from the fact that they make significances and goals appear in the world. They discover reasons for existing. They confirm us in the pride and joy of our destiny as man."







All photos by Nichole Robertson.

Speechless

THIS home is ridiculously beautiful.  What was this space?  A ballroom from a bygone era?  First of all, the crumbling plaster on the walls is so beautiful and the soaring architecture - astounding. But the manner in which the inhabitants have filled this cavernous space is brilliant.  I love all the intimate seating areas, dinning area, books, large scale art that sets off the space, rather than competing with it - all of it is so well done. 










Brilliant Bookcases

I'm away from home with my husband on a job right now, and I didn't bring a good book to read. I'm sorely missing my home library. So today, I'll be stopping by a local book store on the hunt for a good quick read. Any suggestions?

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There is still time to enter our current giveaway
you could win a hand woven, silk, Ikat pillow cover from IKATSUZANI!


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