Don’t Quit Your Day Dream

“Don’t quit your day dream.”

I rediscovered some newspaper articles from my childhood this week and memories of my Mom digging up an extra “day job” rushed right across time and back into my head.


We moved out to the country on April Fools Day in 1983. My parents were in their late 20’s, and my brother and I were 5 and 8. My dad wanted to be near more deer & ducks, and my mom wanted room to grow. Annuals, perennials, fruits and veggies- she churned the earth for them all. As a kid, I never understood her fascination with soil and sunshine. Thirty+ years later, I think believe it had something to do with improving a piece of the world…hers and ours.

Triangle Farm

The farmhouse we lived in sat on seven acres. There were six outbuildings, and a million places for my brother and I to dream. Our land was shaped like a triangle, and there was a half acre-sized strawberry patch in the northeast corner of it. Worried a lot of them would go to waste, and inspired to bring in some extra cash for our family, my Mom decided to open the patch up to the public during the third and fourth weeks in June. That’s exactly (and only) when our berries were ripe for the pickin’.

She worked so hard to ready those rows…spreading fertilizer…pulling weeds. We had two varieties: Stoplight and Trumpeter, and when the time was right, my Mom painted pretty road signs and placed a local ad so that people would (hopefully) come to pick them.

Come Pick Strawberries

We were open for business 8 days a year for six years. Two Tuesdays, two Thursdays, and two weekends. Initially, my parents had no idea what kind of crowd to expect, but they learned real quick that Minnesotans love their strawberries, and people come in droves to pick them. Oh the traffic jams on the single-lane dirt road that led to our house! Folks from all around came out and filled their plastic pails full of Mom’s delicious berries.

Berry Pickers

She charged 50 cents a pound, and to this day I can’t see a strawberry without thinking of her. :-)

Picking Strawberries

(My brother and Mother, pickin’ in the patch in 1985)


And speaking of creative and industrious women who inspire me, I stopped by my friend Ashley’s shop on Monday afternoon. If you live in Montgomery, you know it was raining cats and dogs that day. If you don’t live in Montgomery, I put on my waterproof boots and snapped these pictures just for you. :-)

Side Table | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Armchair | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Driftwood Sculpture | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Barr Co Soap | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Beaded chandelier | Nailhead trim headboard | Striped throw | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Candleholders | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Chandelier | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Concrete Side Table | Wood Accent Table | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Gray and white striped ottoman | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Herringbone Throw Blanket | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Honeycomb Rug | Gray Dining Chairs | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Jug Pendant Light | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Nailhead Trim Chair | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Nailhead trim headboard | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Nesting tables | table lamp | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Ottoman | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Parish | Montgomery Alabama | Industrial Side Table | Accent Table

Rattan Jar | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Rope covered candle holder | Parish | Montgomery | Alabama

Round Dining Table | High-backed Chairs | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Rugs | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Stump side table | Nailhead Chair | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Wood Bowl | Moss | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Wood Floor Lamp | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Ashley opened Parish in April of 2010, and just like my Mom and her berry patch, she didn’t know what kind of crowd to expect.

Sliding Barn Door Handle | Parish | Montgomery Alabama

Four years later, and folks are still picking! 😀

Thinking about these gals and their go-for-it-ness has me feeling extra enthusiastic about a new venture I’ve spent a lot of time daydreaming about. It still needs some fine tuning, but the wheels are officially in motion.

Off to ready my “rows” and pull a few “weeds” today. 😉

Psssst- Local peeps: everything is 20% off at Parish this week!

Vintage Style Kids Room / Future Home Office
How To Seal White Paint

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  1. says

    I love that quote!

    What a great story about your strawberry patch! I bet those were fun times and had to be so satisfying for your mom to see so many people enjoying all of her hard work. The store is GORGEOUS…oh the damage I could do in there!

  2. says

    Love your parents property! We raised our boys on the farm and enjoyed operating a BnB there as well…and that was a dream that just happened,but it was a perfect fit for us! Often day dream about doing a “guest house” on this property……Love your friends store, but unfortunately I am a loooong ways from Montgomery…but I can dream about getting to some great places in the U S of A!!

  3. says

    Such a great story! I love taking my kids berry picking in the summer, what a fun way to grow up. I just want to move into that – store oh my goodness, you all (or I should say y’all) in the south have the best places to shop!!

  4. says

    Roadtrip!! I’ll take one of each please! :) Love this story about your childhood, Layla! What wonderful memories you must have, and no wonder you’re so down to Earth. Love it.

  5. says

    Totally needed to hear the words Don’t give up on your day dreams today. It sometimes seems as though my day dreams get pushed to the back burner or maybe more like always seems that way. Life is too short not to reach for the stars & keep day dreams alive. I can always count on TLC to remind me of that. LOVE Parish! Wish I lived closer to visit the shop. After spending the last week at the Atlanta Market, my home really is in desperate need of finishing touches.

  6. says

    I needed to hear this today! I keep second guessing myself and what I really need to do is just go for it! Thanks!

  7. says

    What a beautiful post. I LOVE LOVE LOVE any posts about following dreams because I feel like that’s what 2013 and 14 are all about for me too. I think everyone should be lucky enough to chase after their dreams full force. I hope your new venture proves to be a success and makes you feel like a million bucks!


  8. Jerri C. TN says

    1 of each please from the Parish :). I love that story about your strawberry fields & your momma. Hugs.

  9. says

    Such a precious memory of childhood! I love stories of women through the years who have loved on their families AND helped out with the bills! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Tami B. says

    Thanks for puttin’ on your waterproof boots to take those gorgeous pics for us! I can’t wait to read about your new endeavor.

  11. says

    I love the pics and story of your strawberry patch. What an incredible childhood you must have had. The “Don’t Quit Your Day Dream” quote literally caught my breath. I love it and just might have to borrow it for my blog. Great story!

  12. Leigh in Dallas says

    Oh man, I want one of everything! What a gorgeous shop!

    Congrats on your new endeavor and cheers to fine tuning – I’m in the same boat. It’s so exciting but terrifying at the same time! :)

  13. says

    Love, love, love….the story of your mom and her pickin’ days. Eight a year–I had to laugh. I love it though! And I think she cultivated more than that earth. Like, one of the sweetest women on this planet I am guessing. I base that on what I know from you here and from the radiance, joy, hope, and gratitude that I see in your face and hear in your words. (sorry–a little kooky but how I feel!) And I love the shop! Herringbone blanket, boxwood, nailhead trim, the pouf. Love! Can’t wait to see/hear what you are cultivating!

  14. Kristi says

    I just love you. I’m sitting at my job right now reading this. Yes, I should be working, Shhh… This post IS my dream. That is THE shop I dream of owning and I am currently planning with my husband. This IS a sign. I want to cry right now. I just had to thank you!

  15. says

    Great memories! Oh I wish I had grown up on a farm. Heck, I wish I lived on one now! I have always wanted to live in a farmhouse in the country with a couple of chickens and a horse or two. Dream Dream Dream….
    That store is just gorgeous!

  16. says

    Your photos are so perfect. Can you share camera and setting details, please? When I am out and about, my photos look just so, so, and I took your course. I am always looking to improve them. Thanks!

  17. Gillianne says

    The memories of your mom and strawberries made me smile. The photos of Ashley’s shop made me sigh for the gorgeousness of all those linen-covered furnishings and textured neutrals and natural woods.Thank you!

  18. says

    I love the story of your farm and the strawberry patch! I also love your friend’s shop and hope it’s online as well. I’m off to check out the links, thanks!

    I’m excited about your newest dream too — I have a feeling this is going to be such a great year for you!

  19. baileywife @ irishmanacres says

    Cannot wait to peek inside your dream! That shop would be MY dream! ~Kim

  20. Lisa W. says

    OHHHHHHHHHHH Layla…your killing us. CANNOT wait to hear what rows you have been churning, and watcha are fine tuning. I’m sure its going to be good…real good! If its anything close to your friends store, I’m moving to Alabama for sure:) looking forward for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. says

    I just love this whole post.
    Two years ago my kiddo and I grew strawberries from seeds that we began indoors, coaxing them along and then held our breath when we planted them outdoors (in Idaho). Those were the sweetest berries, and last year they fruited again. Thanks for sharing some inspiration!

  22. karen sunday says

    One of everything in that store please! Beautiful story I hope my kids have nice memories like yours so cool. thanks

  23. says

    I absolutely love that story about your family’s strawberry patch.
    I grew up on land, too, and it was so,much.FUN.

    My kids are totally missing out that we don’t live on land!

    We haven’t been back to Montgomery in a few years, but we have several special friends who live there. If I ever make a weekend trip, I’ve got to meet YOU and visit Ashley’s store!

  24. says

    I like your strawberry story. It sounds like the many stories that are still being written in this area of the country.