My new home and quinoa rolls

I became a homeowner this month. I signed my name approximately 35 times, and nearly burst into tears when I pulled the keys from the mailbox. My new house comes with tired oak floors, retro countertops, and a backyard where everything feels calm.

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The last two weeks I have focused on finding my rhythm in this new house. I have painted and planted and cleaned and gawked at how much my dog sheds (it’s insane.) I have found joy in picking out house plants and cleaning supplies. I hem and haw over the perfect place for my throw rugs. You know, general adult-ing.

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It’s also the first time that I have felt truly settled and truly alone.

I was never a girl that dreamt about weddings or white picket fences. I spent most of my time being weird with my best friends. Choreographing dance routines in our living room and playing “office” for hours. We created HPIMHC (Harry Potter is my hero club) and BAKOA (bad ass kids of America) which basically meant we thought we owned the neighborhood and only cared about hanging out with each other. And as I transitioned into teenage years, I fell hard for boys that ignored me and ran away from boys that were kind.

Not a lot has changed.

Because of that unexplainable wall around my heart, I have found myself very much alone for the past few years. And now, I bought a house all by myself. It’s a very big life decision that I’m told you’re supposed to do with another person.

A person to help you pick out paint. A person to mow the lawn while you make a picnic on the floor.  A person to go to bed with, knowing you’ve created this little world together.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love that I am a bad ass babe who bought a house solo, and I love that I move through the world with “independent woman” stamped on my forehead. I am proud of what I’ve done and this place I get to call mine.

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But as I fall into a new life in this beautiful place, I have had a lot of time to think. I spend hours painting, listening to my records and thinking about men that I so casually walked away from. I thought there was something else I needed to walk towards. Something brighter. These were men who cared. They fought for me. They were kind and thoughtful and took the time to get to know me.

These are the ones that terrify me. So I did what I’ve always done. I ran as far away from them as possible because my distrust in men is so deep that I can feel it tickling my feet. If you’re reading this and you’re one of those people, I am so, SO sorry for treating your heart like it was disposable. You deserve so much more than that. You are a light.

So, to solve for this dilemma of being scared of stability, I go for the fellas that are distant. Or cruel. Or disinterested. Or taken. I spread myself thin across multiple potentials, all of whom are unavailable or unkind. That way it’s much easier to prove my point that men are the worst while simultaneously protecting my heart.

Real talk, am I right? Fuck it. I’ve been all about vulnerability and embracing honesty these days. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that vulnerability (while mind numbingly terrifying) only brings about truth and greatness. Why not put all those feels on the internet? I’m sure there’s a person or two out there that can relate to this madness in my brain. So… this one’s for you.

I am not sure what the solution is for this situation I’ve found myself in. This new life makes me want to channel my inner nester and it makes me want to do all of this with someone important. My tiny home with big windows encourages me to open up my heart and maybe share myself with someone who deserves it.

Bottom line: I’m looking for men with big hearts and kind eyes.

Please and thank you.

Quinoa Sushi Rolls

From Oh My Veggies

Now that I’m done lamenting about being alone, I want to celebrate the fact that I’m a 10-minute walk from the cutest little farmers market in Tacoma. I’m excited to spend my Saturday mornings there, perusing new stalls and picking out the best produce. This weekend it was beets and carrots, which are two of my staples.  I’ve noticed that having this little house gives me a reason to reset and find my way back to healthy eating. These summer “sushi” rolls fit that category swimmingly, and are best enjoyed in a backyard filled with sunshine, with a lazy hound dog sleeping at your feet.

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 sheets Nori seaweed
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into slices
  • 1/2 large cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 medium beet, peeled and grated grated
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks

Add the quinoa and water to a medium saucepan set over high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cover. Simmer until the quinoa is mostly cooked through but still on the undercooked side, 20 minutes. While that’s cooking, set a small saucepan over medium heat and add the rice vinegar, honey and salt. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup rice vinegar and it made for a very strong flavor. I would maybe cut the amount down next time. Bring  to a simmer and keep warm until the quinoa is ready. Pour the vinegar mixture into the pan with the quinoa, stir well, cover and let sit until the quinoa absorbs the liquid. Remove the quinoa from the heat and let it cool completely.

After it’s cooled, spread a spoonful of the quinoa on the Nori sheets and pack with vegetable goodness. I didn’t have the fancy bamboo mat, but I just rolled with my hands and it worked fine. I also reheat some delicious peanut sauce for the dipping, but soy sauce would be delicious too. It was filling, healthy, and delicious. What more can you ask for?

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