free shipping on orders over $40 shop now!

eat lighter with laicie heeley’s simple indulgences: brighten up for spring

Laicie Heeley of A Thousand Threads believes in finding joy in the simple things—from a gorgeous day outside to a sweet snack.  She shares her light & easy perfect pairings to help us all find simpler bliss this spring.

Laicie Heeley

Why we love her:

As writer of A Thousand Threads and weekly contributor to The Everygirl, and oh yeah, policy analyst at a DC think tank, you might think Laicie Heeley is constantly busy and multitasking.  Quite the contrary, Laicie believes simpler is better and her blog seeks just that, finding meaning in the little things she loves.  You can see why she caught our attention!

We love this politically inclined, seasonal ingredient loving writer from Frederick, Maryland—she finds inspiration all around her.  Her interests vary and she ignites her own creative juices from just as many different channels—other brilliant female bloggers, getting lost outdoors, and listening to Bob Dylan.  In an effort to feel lighter, brighter, and happier this spring, we asked Laicie to help us simplify our indulgences with some easy, fun Simple & Crisp pairings.

When did your passion for writing begin? 

I think I have to give the credit here to my mom, who has always been a writer herself.  Growing up, she always encouraged me to keep a journal.  Putting your feelings down in writing can be one of the best ways to work them out.  I’ve never been the best at keeping a journal, but I do still turn to writing when I really need to think.  I’m sure I inherited that habit from her, but ultimately that’s a big part of what makes me love blogging so much.

Why did you choose to start your blog?  What were you doing prior?

I started A Thousand Threads in 2011, shortly after my now-husband proposed.  At the time, I wanted a place to record my feelings and organize my thoughts about the big day, but once I started writing, I guess I couldn’t stop.  Other parts of our life and the things we love began to seep in, bringing us to where we are today.  But even today, with food, style, and everything else mixed in, the blog remains very much about our lives, our marriage, and the things we are most passionate about, hence the name, “A Thousand Threads,” which is loosely based on a quote from Simone Signoret: “Chains do not hold a marriage together.  It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.”

How would you describe your style on the blog? 

A Thousand Threads is all about finding meaning in the simple things in life: family, friends, food, and the little things we love.  My husband and I both love to cook, and we live in rural Maryland where local, seasonal ingredients are abundant.  We like to capitalize on that whenever we can, and share mostly seasonal, from scratch recipes that are easy to replicate.  We also share our home DIY projects, style, and small gatherings with friends, along with the adventures we go on together—even if they’re just around town.

Right now, for example, we’re sharing 52 dates, one for each week.  We’re both as busy as it gets, and when we’re home there’s always a lot to do, so we try to set aside just a little bit of time each week to really be together.  Sometimes it’s just a movie on the couch, but it’s just for us, and that’s what matters.  We want to remind people that to really experience life, you have to stop and savor the little things along the way.

A Thousand Threads

How did you learn to cook?  Do you remember the first time you really stepped into a kitchen and got going?

So I do, actually, because it was in 4-H.  I grew up in a small town on the coast of Oregon, and 4-H was a huge part of my childhood.  From riding horses, to sewing, to horticulture…I did it all (clearly that last one didn’t stick).  And one big thing I did every year was cook in front of a judge, which was a crazy, horrible, picky process where they would watch you like a hawk and call out even the slightest wrong move.  It was stressful, but also apparently really great, because it sowed a lifelong love of cooking in me.  The first thing I ever learned to really make, and made for one of these competitions, was a Belgian waffle recipe that I still love to this day.

What’s your favorite recipe?  What’s the last good meal you ate?

Lately I can’t stop thinking about this egg in a basket french toast.  We were inspired to make it by one of our favorite places in Baltimore, and the combination of egg, syrup, and toasty bread is just brilliant.

As for the last good mean I ate, oh, my mouth is watering with happy flashbacks… we just came back from New Orleans and considering we did little else other than eat (our favorite way to travel), it’s hard to pick just one, but the shrimp & grits at Atchafalaya was out of this world.

We noticed a lot of your photography is set in beautiful outdoor landscapes. Do you love being outdoors & exploring?

I live outside of Washington, DC in Frederick, MD, and although the town is big, it’s also fairly rural.  We have tons of farms, which make it a mecca for delicious local food and beautiful outdoor spaces.  We make good use of both, buying as much local food as we can and seeking out the outdoors every chance we get.  We especially love to hike and go on longer backpacking trips—we even honeymooned on the Inca Trail in Peru.  I think I could spend every single day outside and be as happy as a clam.

Laicie Heeley

What’s it like collaborating with your husband on the blog?  Who does what?

It’s really fantastic; the blog is very much ours.  I don’t know how I could do it without him.  Mark has always loved photography, so he takes most of the pictures for the blog and I do the styling, editing, and writing.  It’s great because in that way, the blog is an outlet for both of our creative passions.  He’s also an amazing cook, and spent almost a decade managing kitchens, so occasionally I take advantage and have him contribute a recipe (which also means he makes me an extra special treat, so it’s win-win).

Where do you get your inspiration?

Oh my gosh, there is so much unbelievable inspiration on the web—so many incredible writers and creatives.  I’m constantly amazed by what I see.  The creatives behind Kinfolk never fail to amaze me, and The Bloggess and Leandra Medine of Man Repeller are incredible writers.  I love Smitten Kitchen—absolutely everything she makes is delicious.  And there are so many more incredible people on the web, I’m telling you; I’m in awe of them all.

Outside of the web, I’m a runner, and obsessed with everything Kenny Moore writes.  I listen to way too much NPR (Radiolab, This American Life…incredible), I love the outdoors, and I love music.  In another life I want to come back as a singer/songwriter—the next Bob Dylan (that’s not too much to ask, right?).  I have so much respect for people who are talented in that way.  I also love to eat, but you’ve probably guessed that by now.

Your day job is actually as a policy analyst at a think tank—tell us more about your work & role! 

In many ways, my day job is similar to what I do on the blog, and of course in many ways it’s not.  I write a whole lot and even blog, but about very different things—mostly nuclear weapons and defense strategy.  I’m a big politics nerd, so it’s really fascinating work!

We love that you’re a contributor to The Everygirl—it’s one of our absolute favorite blogs!  What’s your role there?

Thank you!  It’s one of mine too.  I love what they do to both empower and inspire women.  They don’t leave anything out of the equation or underestimate what their readers want to know.  That’s why I love contributing to their weekly news series, “In the Know.”  I compile all of the information every Thursday night with my co-author, Brooke Klauer.  We use open-source reporting and take notes during the week, and then get together to decide what we think is the most pressing.

Most of us have been stuck in the winter blues.  What are your go-to ways for feeling better & brighter? 

Yes, me more than anyone—I have the hardest time with the dark dreary winters here on the east coast. I try to get outside as much as I can though, and when I can’t, I make sure I get in time at the gym and at yoga to keep moving.  It’s so easy to curl up like a hermit when it’s cold outside; I have to fight the urge.  And as far as wardrobe goes, as soon as we come anywhere near spring, I definitely start to break out the bright clothes and my favorite sandals.  It’s always a little too early, but I just consider it a way to will in the spring.

What are your Simple & Crisp perfect pairings to help us “will in the spring”?

1. Blood Orange Gin Fizz with Simple & Crisp Blood Orange

I love to use seasonal food on the blog as much as I can, and right now blood oranges are at their peak.  This drink is easy to make and so refreshing—I’m sure we’ll be drinking it as long as we can keep them in supply.


Muddle meat of about ¼ of a blood orange in the bottle of a glass, and squeeze in the juice of ¼ of a lime.  Add gin, fill glass with ice, and top with tonic and Simple & Crisp Blood Orange.

Simple & Crisp Blood Orange cocktails

2. Simple & Crisp Apple with homemade almond butter

One of my favorite snacks of all time is apple with almond butter—and Simple & Crisp Apple puts an amazing twist on an old favorite.

Almond butter is easier than you might think to make yourself, and better than anything you can buy in the store.  Just blend 2 cups of almonds in a food processor until they reach the right consistency (scrape down the sides as needed) and add a teaspoon of honey and a dash of salt to taste if you like.  That’s it!

Simple & Crisp Apple with almond butter

3. Vanilla yogurt with cashews and Simple & Crisp Orange

Another of my favorite snacks is vanilla yogurt with raw cashews.  Yogurt is so good with a little unexpected crunch.  Add Simple & Crisp Orange for the perfect bitter bite.

Simple & Crisp Orange with yogurt and cashews


For more information on Laicie Heeley, you can visit A Thousand Threads & follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram.

blog comments powered by Disqus

you might also like:

© 2018 simple & crisp, llc