This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

Friday Favorite: My Laptop

November 30th, 2012

I love my little laptop. My laptop gives me the freedom to travel to Ohio for the holidays and keep up with my work load. It gives me the freedom to work outside on a nice day, or to work by the wood stove when it’s cold. We are an Apple family, so it’s an 11 inch MacBook Air. If you’re looking for a small computer I cannot recommend this little lovely more.

I love that it’s small enough to carry in my purse yet powerful enough to run my photo software. This little machine is worth it’s weight in gold to me!

Do you prefer a laptop or a desktop computer, or do you use a tablet or phone primarily?

Holiday Fun

November 29th, 2012

This week we’ve been in Ohio. We traveled back on Thanksgiving day, enjoyed a big meal on Friday and on Saturday with our respective families. Sunday, Mr Chiots went down to the family cabin to hunt, while my mom and I stayed at her house. This week as been filled with lots good food and holiday fun.

We set up a small Christmas tree and the kids and I made popcorn, cranberry, and gumdrop garland for it. The kids loved making simple decorations for our tiny tree.

Later in the week we made cookies to send to my brother down in Georgia who won’t be able to make it up for a visit this year.

Tomorrow, Mr Chiots and I will be heading over to sign the closing papers on our house, the buyers will hopefully be signing next week. This coming weekend we’re celebrating Christmas with my family, then we’re heading back home to Maine. We’re looking forward to a laid back Christmas at home!

Do you ever celebrate holidays early?


November 28th, 2012

Gardeners are a generous lot, we love sharing plants and seeds with other gardeners. There’s nothing better than passing along a favorite plant for someone else to grow.

I’ve met many interesting gardeners through the years and have received many wonderful garden gifts. Just this past month I was gifted some crosnes from a generous blog reader (thanks so much). I planted these little beauties and can’t to try some next year.

Last week, a local gardener stopped by to pick up some perennial leeks I offered to give him earlier in the week. As any gardener, he couldn’t come empty handed and brought some ‘Jeminez’ pole beans and some ‘Sirviata’ wheat. Today, another blog reader and friend is bringing me some of her father in law’s heirloom pole beans that he’s been saving.

There’s nothing better than receiving gifts like this from the garden. One of these days I hope to have more seeds to share with all of you.

What’s the best plant/seed you’ve ever received from another gardener?

A Worthy Investment + a giveaway

November 27th, 2012

I learned long ago that cheap gardens tools don’t cut it. My first garden tools were purchased inexpensively at the local hardware store, most of them have already broken or desperately need to be replaced. My mom has a wonderful collection of old garden tools, most of them were left in their first home. They’re quality tools, the kind I want to spend my hard earned money on.

I love the old tools, they’re sturdy and well made, but it can be tough to find them when you need them. As a result, I’ve been looking around for good quality garden tools to buy. I know these will last me for the rest of my gardening career. After much searching, I found Clarington Forge tools and added them to my wish list hoping I might receive one for Christmas.

Why did I choose Clarington Forge? Because they are still hand made in England, just like they have been since 1780 (that’s a LONG time). Each handle is made of ash, which is strong, beautiful, and very comfortable to use. Each spade and fork head is forged from a single piece of steel. I know investing a few extra dollars in these tools will result in a lifetime of use rather than just a few years like my previous ones. When you pick up one of these tools you know it’s made to last!

Imagine my delight when cClarington Forge contacted me about a new their affiliate program and offered to give a beautiful garden tool to one of my lucky readers!

I’m more than happy to recommend a wonderful product that I’m willing to spend my own money on. It’s even better when they offer an affiliate program that helps me pay the bills associated with this blog. If you’re looking to upgrade any of your tools or need a fabulous gift for that gardener on your list, consider investing in a tool that will last a lifetime. I know I’d be delighted to find a new spade or potato fork under the Christmas tree on December 24th! Whenever you want to buy new garden tools, click through the link in my sidebar, it helps keeps my hosting bills paid each month!

Comment below, tell me which garden tool you use most and which tool from Clarington Forge you’d like find in your garden shed should you win.

Emily K from Dirt, Dishes and Design is our winner – congrats Emily!!!
Screen shot 2013-01-14 at 12.35.12 PM

If you’d like see other ways to support this blog check out my Support Page, every little bit helps keep this blog up & running.

Cultivate Simple 8: Home Is Where The Work Is

November 26th, 2012

Working from home can be great… or it can be terrible. Today we discuss both sides and give some advice on why we chose to be self employed.

Books of the Week

Season 1: Escape to River Cottage
Season 2: Return to River Cottage
Season 3: River Cottage Forever
Season 4: Tales from River Cottage
Season 5: Beyond River Cottage

Podcast mentioned that deals with herbs: The Human Path

Ritcher’s Herb Specialists
Mt Rose Herbs

Help Us Out


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.