Our Story

Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

I’m Darcel, 36yr old single mother to three… Kiah 11yrs , Ava 9yrs , and Samuel 6yrs.
We have two cats, Mitten Sparkles and James Bond.


Photo by Captured.

The Mahogany Way  was started in May of 2009 and I write about the beauty and chaos of motherhood, our unschooling lifestyle, autism, asthma and food allergies.
I’ve really come to enjoy capturing and documenting the ordinary moments of day to day life, and love having this visual journal to look back on.

We recently relocated to my hometown in Ohio.
It’s been a long road to get here but I’m so happy we finally made it!
There are tons of MetroParks, museums, and farms for us to explore.

The last four years have been a readjustment and journey of reinventing myself.
I became a single mother by way of divorce, but I’m coming out stronger, more determined and focused than I ever imagined.

I write from the heart and share some fairly personal, deep thoughts.
My story is, beautiful, chaotic, encouraging, and far from over.
I want mothers to know they aren’t alone in the struggles they face, and I hope every person who reads here leaves feeling inspired.


So excited to have recently been included in this list of 25 Black Mom Instagrammers.

You can read my recent series on Autism. From diagnosis – unschooling.

I’m also working on an e-book due fall 2016: Unschooling with Autism: A Resource Guide.

My post on Life as a Black Unschooler went viral(for me)on Baby and Blog.

Featured in the Huffington Post with my crew.



Get updates on every new post: Subscribe to my email list.


  1. Cheryl

    I love your selected photo and I love your hair; you are gorgeous! Thank you for this website. I found it in an article about black stay at home moms; I’m looking for stats on just how many of us are out here. Any idea? Thank you for the spirit of this site. Your energy is infectious. Thanks for that too!

    • Thank you! Have you looked into Mocha Moms? That is a group specifically for black stay at home moms. There is also a group called Black Moms Club. There are many more black women staying home with their children than we realize.

      • Cheryl

        I will try Mocha Moms. They were much smaller when my kids were toddlers; that is the age group they were about “back then.” Everyone has grown up, eh? It’s weird being an “older” stay at home mom; I was already “older” when I had my kids. Now that they are near grown, I’m an “old hand” at this being home thing, I suppose. Don’t quite know what to make of that but I’m reflecting….

          • Cheryl

            Ah, indeed I do! It’s funny the things you remember and the things, as it turns out, that make for “family.” It’s in the administration, the details, the tiniest or silliest of things that you do in the moment. My 13 year old reminded me of how I would pretend to be Mrs. Butterworth when making pancakes for her when she was preschool and her brother was in elementary. I’d forgotten all about that! It is a lovely memory for her. She remembers me reading “Runaway Bunny”–I thought I’d lose my mind if I had to read her that book even one more time. Yet now when I think of it, it makes me smile and laugh even at how crazy it made me. Do I miss the money I didn’t make? Yeah. Would I trade it for any of her memories, or mine? Nah.

  2. I’ve been reading your blog since I discovered unschooling in 2011! I never would’ve thought someone from Dayton, Ohio could understand my thoughts on schooling. Don’t take it too personal, I’m Dayton too. <3 Keep up the good work. Also, do you have resources on unschooling from the start, like with an infant. I just became a mama last year and I'm having a bit of trouble keeping my old-school schooling actions from coming to the forefront.

    • Hello! So nice to meet someone from my hometown. I have a ton of resources on unschooling. Since your child is a baby I would put the focus on attachment style parenting. Here’s a link that to get you started and it leads to several other links/websites/blogs.

      • Anita

        Look at me just combing your blog and finding out two people I know and love found each other. 🙂 Ha…the interwebs are awesome.

  3. Darcel, I love your blog and the way you present things. From your “about” I think we have some similar ideas 🙂 I live with my family in Sequoia National Forest in CA and love to homeschool my 5 year old daughter, she’s a hoot! I like what you said about “I’ve become a bit of a birth junkie, natural parenting advocate, and lover of free learning and living.” I agree, and would love to learn to knit, by the way…
    I would love it you visited my blog about homeschooling/unschooling kids projects etc, if you have the time and interest. Take good care and I wish you much luck and good living (at that beach!) along your journey.
    Good thoughts, Karen

    • Darcel

      I thought learning how to knit was going to be so hard. I started about 4-5yrs ago and then quit. One of my friends here convinced me to give it another try and I’m so glad I did! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my blog, hope to see you here again. Off to check out your blog now.

  4. I’m from VA, too. (Northern VA) I started home schooling my oldest boy who happens to have Aspergers. I am looking for a good supportive community. I welcome any advice you have and I can’t wait to read through your unschool posts. It’s nice to meet you. I’m visiting from SITS.

  5. Visionairess

    Darcel! Firstly, I want to congratulate you on a beautiful blog. I was instantly captured by the beautiful pics of your adorable children and your words to express your inner feelings. WOW, my eyes have never filled with water reading any blog, you moved me. You’ve inspired me to want to continue my hobby of taking pictures and capturing the moments that are dear to me and my thoughts and feelings. I can’t wait to read more from you. You’re amazing and keep up the great work.

    • Darcel

      Hi Visionairess,

      Thank you for stopping by, and I’m very glad that you’re leaving feeling inspired.
      Sharing from the heart can be really hard sometimes, but I think that’s because it comes from our raw feelings. I write from the heart, knowing someone else feels the same way.
      Hope you have a great weekend!

  6. Lindsay Edwards

    I love this Darcel! Love seeing the pictures and reading your blogs. Its all very inspiring to me to see another single mother and learning the ups and downs and knowing that im not the only one lol. Love you!

  7. What a breath of fresh air to read about a single mother raising her kids and writing and making do in such a positive way! This isn’t a community of women I once expected to join — who does expect to single mother? – but, gee, are you women inspiring!

  8. Joakima Carr

    Hello! I just wanted to say how excited I am to have come across your blog. I added you to my feedly feeder so I can see all of your updates. I am new to the blogging scene. I am in the process of starting my own business, blog, and more. I recently began homeschooling my son. Thank you for sharing your journey because I can relate to it so much, from Autism to homeschooling. Best wishes to you and your family on your journey and I look forward to reading your posts.

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