Entries from January 2014

52 Dishes: The Favorites

Friday, January 24, 2014

52 dishes in 52 weeks banner

This was the third year I did a 52 in 52 project and it was by far the most challenging to get into and stick with. The first two years (read 52 books, take 52 photos) were pretty easy considering I love reading and photography is easy with an iphone… but cooking… cooking has always been something I’ve meant to fall in love with but never made the effort. I’ve had a pinterest board dedicated to Delicious Food and Drink that I don’t think I used a recipe off of until this year. It started out rough, I found myself with a stomach that didn’t really feel like eating many things and I thought about scrapping the project many times. But something, maybe my pride, stopped me from quitting, and about half way through the year I found myself in the thick of it, cooking, baking and catching up on the weeks missed.

I chose 52 dishes because cooking has always been something I wanted to do, but never something I wanted to give time to. It’s like exercising, I go through phases of loving it and doing it a lot, but then months and months will go by with not a single dish (or push up). I think my hesitance was born out of inconvenience and lack of confidence. I haven’t had my own kitchen in a while and I’m not good at using other people’s (even when I’m renting and allowed to) and while I know I can make a mean pancake, I’ve been scared of cooking meats, doughs and things not from a box. This project was meant to push through all of that.

Cooking over 52 dishes brought me a new found confidence in the kitchen, it taught me a little more about loving the process and it also added a couple of cook things to my pantry. It brought about a curiosity. The growth that I have made in the cooking department and the confidence that I have acquired is what made this project so worth it.

Below I’ve provided links to my favorite dishes of the year. Enjoy!

Lemon Ricotta Poppyseed Waffles

Orzo, Corn and Avocado Salad

Baked French Toast

Lemony Asparagus and Orzo

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pan de Muerto

Biscuits and mushroom gravy

Pumpkin Donut

Light Green Bean Casserole

Cinnamon Roll Donuts

Nutella Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Muesli Bread

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken with Biscuits

Baked chicken, sweet potatoes and onions

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Next year I will not be holding myself to 52 dishes, but I will continue to cook, and to bake, and to enjoy.

xoxo

Lovely Links

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Unicorns Exist

Lately I’ve been putting my sharable links at the end of The Weekly posts, but I have just collected so many in the past few weeks of my blogging silence that I’m putting them in their own post. I’m excited to be sharing them now!

lady james has inspired me to try some breads again this year /// weekly bread, no knead
loving Manda’s word for the year /// empty
a project I really want to do this year /// leaning blanket ladder
James Altucher has inspired me with his book Choose Yourself and these two posts ///  Why 2014 is the year you change & The Cure for the Emotional Flu
Srsly Liz has inspired me to try aerial yoga /// clear your mind of can’t
So many new things to try this year, like knitting /// Bleubird’s Knit 101
I want to grow in my photography this year, Merrik’s Art gave me some ideas /// Tripod Photography Tips

Well, I’m sure there are more but I’ve been through an episode and a half of Friday Night Lights writing this so I’m going to save the rest for my Weekly post.

xoxo

New Look

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Now that I’ve been able to mind dump on you a little about the transition from last year to the new year I think it’s time to rave about how awesome my new layout looks! My wonderfully talented friend (who I met through blogging!) Brandi Bernoskie put a new, gorgeous look on this space AND took butwewillstay on the transition from blogger to wordpress. So many hearts and appreciation go out to Brandi, my heart is so full.

If you are in need of a new look or a completely new website go talk to this lovely friend of mine!

You can find her here:
twitter
blog
website

xoxo

Hello 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hello again blog world. Hello again readers. It’s 20 days in to 2014 and it’s just gone by so fast. I’ve done so much, I’ve felt so much already and this year, oh this year is shaping up to be a good one. I spend the end of last year with my boyfriend and family, doing holiday things and then counting down to the stroke of midnight.I spent January 1st in bed, not hung over, but relaxing, reading, and planning.

By now, the me of years gone by would have had a list of resolutions and a game plan that would fall apart somewhere into month two. Last year changed my mindset a lot, I learned to slow down (a little) and to appreciate. I learned that no matter what you plan, life’s going to just make other plans.

I also learned that life making other plans is okay, in fact, most of the time it ends up better.

I started last year jumping into something full of miscommunication and unmentioned needs. I ended the year with a fantastic man that is no doubt the calm to my storm. He’s also my partner in adventure crime. He turned out to be everything that I wanted, everything that I was afraid to even think to want. So, like I said, sometimes life gets it better.

With that in mind, I allowed the obsessive compulsive side of me write lists of resolutions, but I haven’t held myself to them. Things like, floss daily, 52 in 52 projects and wake up at 6:00am weren’t necessary. They weren’t do or fail. I just let them sit, let them ruminate and just let myself be.

Last year I managed to cross more things off my life to-do list than I even realized, and I did it all after the hardest time in my life. Through health issues, a broken heart, the loss of a friend, the loss of my grandpa, my first accident that I was responsible for and a look down the end of depression, somehow, I turned myself around like I never have before. And despite my brains ruts in negativity I’ve managed to build myself a decent foundation of mental strength and confidence that I’m not sure I’ve ever had. I’ve also started making new paths in that brain, paths of positivity.

Needless to say, it was a hard year, but it was not without great reward.

This year while writing possible resolutions and thinking of things I want to do I had a word come to me. It was with little effort, it just popped into my head one day and I thought, that’s it, that’s what this year is about. I’ll share that word later.

The point is, this year is about making plans, and letting life mold it as she will. It’s about being gentle with myself, kind even. It’s about further building upon that foundation that 2013 gave me.

I am so excited to see what’s in store.

 xoxo

A Look at 2013

Thursday, January 2, 2014

This past year surprised me. Completely. From the beginning right up to the end. It started out rough, like really rough. Like losing my good friend to depression and my grandpa to old age within 24 hours of each other, like being in my first car crash that I was responsible for, like cutting my finger open at work on Mother’s Day and needing 10 or more stitches. Like thinking you’ve found someone that you might start a relationship with and learn that they aren’t the one. Like going from loving food to eating only bananas and toast, with an occasional side of chicken or apple sauce for a month.

But then it shifted, or I shifted. I starting really believing that things happen to people. Things happen to people. Good things, bad things, doesn’t matter if the person is good or bad, things happen. People hold in their grief and decide this life isn’t for them, other people grow old and their body just can’t do it anymore. I believed in the beginning of the year that the stars might just have aligned, and that this was going to work, that the universe owed me this one, finally. I was proved wrong again. I was mad, so mad, not only that, but I was disappointed, in myself and it took me most of the year to pull out of that fully. But one step at a time I did. I started trusting the Universe, not just saying I did. I started understanding that you have to go through things in life because that’s what life is. I started really believing that you learn from the harder times, that you grow from them.
I grew, and the pessimistic side likes to say I only grew a little… but I’m starting to let my positive side have the last word and she says I’ve learned, and therefore grown, a lot.

This year I went on two trips, one up to San Francisco and back down the California coast, and then another, to Nashville, a place I have wanted to go to for probably four years now. I went to a conference, I fell in love with Franklin, right outside of Nashville and best of all I felt like I’d found a new place that I wanted to explore.
I went from three jobs, to two jobs, to one. Just one. It’s full time, with benefits, and it pays my bills. It’s made me see just how much I need to figure out how to lead my own unconventional life. But it’s stable for now, and that’s what I asked for.
I fell into a relationship with a great guy. This time I didn’t think the Universe owed me but I did finally believe that I was worthy of it. I had stopped my usual courting techniques, I had learned what I really wanted someone to like, and within weeks we found each other. I’m not saying that’s how it always works, but this time it did.
I prepared over 52 recipes and found myself somewhat addicted to cooking. I did not expect that to happen, but it did, and I’m very glad.

Most importantly, I started enjoying the process.

////

What else did I do in 2013…

watched /// Friday Night Lights & Girls

read and loved /// You Are a Badass, Packing Light, The Little Prince (while sitting in a children’s chair at Barnes & Noble), Love Does, The Graveyard Book, The Science of Getting Rich, Lean In, Daring Greatly, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, The Gifts of Imperfection, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

listened to /// the story so far, Paramore, Zedd, and fell in love with Country

+Bungee Jumped!!! 
+ celebrated my sister’s 21st birthday
+ adopted some succulents… didn’t kill all of them
+ swam with sharks (well, I think I did… the visibility wasn’t so great that day)
+ did two photoshoots for a friend
+ hiked three trails in Torrey Pines

All in all, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it was a good year. I’m incredibly blessed.

xoxo

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