Chili and Lopez Island


Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated – Terry Tempest Williams.

It is hard to explain Lopez Island.

To some people, it’s just another beautiful place in the Pacific Northwest. A tiny speck in a state already decorated in shades of green and grey, awe inspiring no matter if you’ve lived here for 30 years or are exploring for the first time. This tiny speck is where a large portion of my heart belongs.

For the past five years my best friends and I regroup on this island. For a few days we forget that we are adults with big decisions and real responsibilities. When we are on Lopez, all that matters is what time we’re going to get our morning coffee. These ladies have lived in my soul for a span of 10-28 years… They get me.

Last year, their dreams were of houses and babies. They’ve figured out half of the equation, and they’re now imagining little feet and sticky hands leaving pint-sized prints everywhere they look. Not wanting little ones of my own, I have gladly volunteered to take the title of Aunty C. Someday I will steal my nephew for a summer and show him how to build a fire and make the perfect s’more.

So much can change in five years. The first year, our dreams were to graduate college and figure out what it meant to be a real adult. It has been a beautiful shift towards a greater sense of self and the stability we needed to settle our hearts. Through all the moves, broken hearts, new loves, and careers, these ladies have been the constant thread. They have been my touchstone and my sounding board. I have seen them fall in love, get married, question their life plans, and I have witnessed them settle into their beautiful skin and embrace it.

This year we found ourselves on the very southwest tip of the island. We sat at the edge, in a quiet grace and thankfulness for each other. Celebrating the fact that we will always have people in our lives that understand us. The world is meant to be celebrated, and I wouldn’t want to do it without them.

Until next year, Lopez. It’s-Finally-Raining Chili

It has been a very warm summer. The grass was brown before July 15th, which is shocking and somewhat scary for our forever green state. We woke up to rain the last day on the island, and I couldn’t wait to get home and make chili. I haven’t had the desire to make soup in months, and all I wanted to do was nest and spend time in my kitchen. This will stick to your ribs and is delicious with some tortilla chips or cornbread.

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup water

Warm one tbsp. of coconut oil on medium high heat. Add in chopped onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in minced garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add in all the beans + spices and water. Mix everything together and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn to low and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Last but not least, add in the kale and let it wilt for another 3 minutes. Serve with some goat cheese and tortilla chips. Yum. Just all the goodness, perfect for a rainy summer day.

Banjo Peanut & Raspberries

Seattle is burning this summer. Normally, we move through June in a cloud of grey, grumbling about the rain and our late start to bare feet and popsicles. This year, I have thrown my jeans deep into my closet, and sleep with the sheet crumpled into a tangled mess at the end of the bed.

My lawn is a wasteland, and every morning the temperature sneaks above 75 before I have a chance to walk the hound. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the rain. You know you’re from the Pacific Northwest when, after a week of sunshine, you find yourself doing a rain dance in your backyard so you can stop worrying about your dying blueberry bushes.

The only thing to do is make the most of it with BBQs, lake swims and having an excuse to eat one more scoop of ice cream. This summer, my baby nephew was born. Coming into the world stubborn and furrowed, he’s perfect. While waiting for his arrival I spent time daydreaming about where I’ll take the little Peanut, and what trouble we will get in.


His first few weeks of life have been sweaty and probably a bit uncomfortable. I think it’s good for him. Coming into a sun filled world will make for an adventurous boy who knows his place is outside, playing with bugs and getting dirty. While I don’t plan on having children of my own, I envision spending summers with my nephew, showing him how magical this time of year is.

We will spend hours picking raspberries and blueberries, and I will take him to the spot where the rivers meet so we can wash off the dirt and sunscreen. We will go to Alta Lake and run away from bees, climb to the top of the mountain, and spend hours upon hours swimming in the warm lake. My family will show him the joy of hiking and camping, where you walk away from the weekend with the smell of campfire on your skin. He will love dogs, as my slobbery hound will be ever present for adventures in the first few years of his life.

He will grow up with evergreen air and saltwater wind, and he will be better because of it. My city is on fire this summer, and my baby nephew is dancing in sunlight from 5 am to 10 pm. Hey kid, welcome to the world.

Hello babies. Welcome to earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—god damn it, you’ve got to be kind. – Kurt Vonnegut

Raspberry, Watermelon and Mint Salad

Summer means not wanting to get anywhere near your stove. I have been juice cleansing, drinking lots of smoothies and living off of giant salads. This is a perfect salad to bring to a BBQ because I’m fairly certain there isn’t anything quite as summery as watermelon and fresh berries.

  • 5 cups watermelon, cut into small cubes
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 12-14 mint leaves, chopped.
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Toss everything into a large bowl and combine. Let the salad mingle and soak up flavors for 15 minutes and serve…. Yeah, summer equals SUPER simple recipes.


Whatever-Is-In-My-Fridge Soup & Confidence

I have decided to dedicate my spare time and energy to the people in my life who are confident. You know the ones… They shine. Stop for a moment and collect the faces of the people who build you up. The people who leave you feeling electric. You leave them and you feel like the glass half full. You leave grinning like a fool and humming along to whatever, because you know no other way to move through the world.

These are the people to spend your time with.

I recently rode my bicycle around an island that I someday want to call home. Riding down hills with the ocean on one side and my dear friend on the other, I felt like I was flying. Giggles bubbled out of me like a fountain, and every single part of me felt alive. I was glowing, I was radiant, I was strong.

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Wait. I am glowing. I am radiant. I am strong. I endlessly fight off that terrible little monster on my shoulder telling me I fail in one way or another. And then I spend my weekend embodying happiness, and that voice becomes muted, like a radio signal losing service. My silly little monster has been especially chatty these days as my body has gone into a weird, soft place that I don’t recognize. With long hours at work and my inability to say no to snacks and whiskey, I have lost sight of my strength. I berate myself daily, even though I know my broad shoulders and wide hips are a thing of beauty. The little fucker on my shoulder needs to shut the hell up so I can continue to move through the world with my head held high, because deep down I know my body is goddamn treasure.

“Kiss your own fingertips and hug your own curves. You are made of waves and honey and spicy peppers when it is necessary. You are a goddess, I hope you haven’t forgotten.” – Emery Allen

I will live a bold and adventurous life, surrounding myself with confident and kind people. I will get loud about things that matter. I will do epic shit. I will be brazen and flirtatious and hopefully a little careless.

We only have one crack at this, so we might as well do it all with some spirit. Shine on my loves, shine on.

“Oh my god, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.” – Anne Lamott

Whatever is In My Fridge Soup

When all else fails, make soup. I am headed out of town on Tuesday, so buying groceries seemed silly. I also felt like nesting, so I wanted to spend time in the kitchen. Enter: whatever is in my fridge soup. It actually turned out super tasty, which is one of the reasons I adore soup. It’s hard to fuck up. Basically, take everything you have in your fridge that you THINK might go together, and call it a day. Yum.

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts (chopped)
  • ½ bunch asparagus (chopped)
  • 2 cups butternut squash
  • 1 onion or 1 shallot (whatever you have!)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pepper and curry powder to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix your squash, asparagus and Brussels sprouts with 1 Tbsp olive oil a dash of salt and pepper and some curry powder for good measure. Cook for 35-40 minutes until the squash is nice and soft. While that is cooking, brown your onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil. Once browned (about 5 minutes), add in your diced tomatoes. Let everything simmer and then add in the vegetable stock and turn heat to low. Once the other veggies are done roasting, throw those bad boys in the pot. Let everything get nice and mingled. I threw in a Tbsp of red curry paste, because why not? I let it simmer for about 15 minutes and then removed from heat. Add in the coconut milk and if you’re feeling fancy, throw in some sriacha (because… duh?) Take out the ol’ immersion blender and blend until smooth. It has a bit of a kick to it, which is delightful, and will make for great meals until I head out of town. Happy eating!

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Women’s Day and Smoothies

My life is full of strong women.


Everywhere I look, there’s a beautiful human being, full of passion and life and fire. I have always had a large group of women friends. In junior high, we made toothbrush bracelets and snuck out to meet boys in the graveyard. We were tragic and awkward and fumbled through life like every other new teenager, but we did it together. Every weekend was spent at the cabin in the woods, staying up too late in AOL chat rooms, talking to random creepers on the Internet. High school was much of the same, just throw in a boy you’d never want to bring home to mom, and you still had those semi-humans trying to figure out how to exist.


In college it was hiding monarch tequila in the laundry basket, and stretching our sexually liberated limbs. Today, my relationships with these women consist of long hikes and coffee dates, realizing that 30 is a few years away, we are figuring out what aging looks like. There’s something so beautiful in knowing that I will grow old with this community of women. We will be in our 80s, walking around Greenlake in bright colors, gossiping about romance, work, life and babies, just like we’ve done for years.

Now that I am settled into my actual self, I can gather with these friends and we can reflect on what it means to be women. We’ve all had people throughout our lives tell us that our self worth depends on whether or not men find us attractive. We are figuring out ways to remove this heavy coat.


As women we are able to own our sexuality and be proud of what that means to us. We are outspoken and loud about being who we are, and daring people to judge our choices. Our lives are never mirror images and we are growing apart and together simultaneously. What is right for her will never be right for me, and there’s such magic in that. In the end, all that matters is that there is still joy in the other’s eyes, and happiness is always at the tip of our tongues.

We have all learned to acknowledge our flaws, and we try and navigate how to be good humans, regardless. We hold out our insecurities out to each other, because to share these burdens is how we survive.


Now that we are adults, not striving for unreachable ideals, we can become the friends we didn’t think we could be. We aren’t perfect, we aren’t going to agree on everything, and we will always do irritating things. But to have a group of women means you have people that will hold all of these broken pieces, these ill-fitting parts, and still be there.

To say that I am blessed doesn’t begin to explain how I feel about my friends. Who I am today is because of the relationships I have with these women. I want to raise a toast and celebrate them, because without them I am fairly certain I would be lost. In honor of International Women’s Day, this post and this life is for them. For all the patience they’ve had with me, for all the adventures, for all the memories and for the years that we have left together. There’s so much of this world to be explored with these beautiful babes, and I can’t wait for the stories we will tell.


My Morning Smoothie 

A part of loving my body and starting that process of self-love and self-care is being healthier. I’m working on it. My work and social life has been hard on my body, and I’m trying to be more mindful. It also helps that my roommate has a Vitamix. Needless to say, I’ve been inhaling these smoothies in the morning, and they are damn good.

  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 handfuls of spinach or kale
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ – 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 dates, pits removed
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional if you want to make it more like a dessert)
  • Hemp seeds (optional, but I sprinkle some on top)

Put everything in the blender and blend! Pretty simple stuff… But who says a recipe has to be complicated?


*beer is almost like a smoothie, right?

The Year of Flawless

Every New Year’s Eve I choose a word. Taking a page from my grandmother’s book, this word is what I aspire to for the upcoming year. Instead of making some grand lofty resolution I won’t ever stick to, I set an intention around a single word. It’s a reminder to myself that at the beginning of the year I had a plan to be a better person.

This year my word is flawless. It should be no surprise that Beyonce is my spirit diva, and so to choose a word that embodies her is practically perfect in every way. I can feel eye rolls from here, so let me explain.

I rang in the New Year on the Costa Rican shoreline. Swimming in the ocean in my skivvies while drinking straight from a bottle of champagne, I had flashes of happiness that felt like I was going to burst. You know that feeling when you smile so hard your cheeks start to hurt? It was one of those moments where life didn’t feel real (let’s be honest, that’s how all of Costa Rica felt) and I reminded myself how full and beautiful my world is.


My definition of Flawless is to find perfection in everything that I’m doing. Making silly mistakes with the wrong men? Flawless. Being bold and daring in my career? Flawless. Finding my way back to yoga, running and cycling? Flawless.

This year is my year to reclaim all of my ambition, strength and confidence that have been chipped away after years of heavy self-doubt. This year is about shaking that off, and asking myself, “what would Bey do?” 2015 will be the year that I move through life with my head held high, presenting confidence like a smile; big, in your face, and ever present.

I grew up in a family that avoided confrontation like the plague. We tiptoe around hurt feelings, and “talking things out” hasn’t ever been our strong suit. This year I will rock the damn boat and get better at wearing my heart on my sleeve. I am going to stand up for the things that matter, and make sure my voice is heard. I am going to tell the people I love that I love them, write off the people that are toxic, and stop being so damn coy with boys that make my heart pitter patter. These things are too important and life is too short.

Can you hear the Beyonce yet?

And while Queen Bey is most often embodying fierceness, one of the biggest things in my year of Flawless will be allowing myself to be vulnerable. As a stubborn, stoic individual, being open and vulnerable is the most terrifying. I was walking on the beach this morning and everything was quiet and sunny and perfect. It hit me like a ton of bricks that maybe (just maybe) I was open to letting someone know my heart again. After two loves that shook the foundation of my existence, guarding my heart has been my forte.

Men have come and gone like the seasons, and it’s been wonderful to keep them at a safe distance; only letting them see that “charming” part of me (that’s what I’m calling it, dammit.) I haven’t allowed myself to be real to any fella in a few years, and I think it might be time. That’s not saying that the great love of my life is going to fall in my lap, but if he did I’d be open to it. Embracing Flawless will mean being less wary of men, trying to trust their intentions, and allow myself be vulnerable with one (or three) of them in 2015.

I spent the first nine days of the year collecting freckles and eating pineapples and mangos as the sun warmed my skin. If that doesn’t set the tone for a flawless year, I don’t know what will.

Costa Rican Breakfast Tacos

Tacos are my favorite food on the planet (aside from nutritional yeast on popcorn, of course.) It might be the thing I miss most about Texas, so while traditional Costa Rican food doesn’t involve tacos, I remedied that by making my own. And you know what I love more than a regular old taco? A breakfast taco. I’m fairly certain that if I start my day with one of these bad boys, the next 12 hours will be magic. Just another part of carrying on the year of Flawless.

  • Corn tortillas, warmed
  • ½ cup, black beans
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • ¼ avocado, sliced
  • Mango salsa (1 red onion, 1 tomato, ½ mango, 1 lime (juice), ½ cup cilantro (chopped), 1 jalapeno, 2 cloves garlic and salt) chop everything and mix together, salt and squeeze lime juice to taste)
  • Tabasco, chipotle salsa, etc.

These are very simple, but who said there had to be anything complicated about a taco? The other great thing about this “recipe” is the only important thing is the tortilla—the rest is whatever calls to you that day. It just so happens that I was in Costa Rica, where the nearby fruit market kept us stocked in tropical fruit for the week. This market was run by two elderly gentlemen selling coconuts from a cooler and mangos from a wood box. Every day I would have at least two coconuts, whacked with a machete and served with a straw. Did I mention that CR is my favorite place in the world and I cried this morning when I knew I had to leave?

I digress.

Needless to say, this tropical paradise set the tone for THESE tacos, but if you’re freezing your butt of in the eastern half of the country, you can scrounge around your kitchen for onions and squash and make something just as delightful.

What really made these was the mango salsa. We used the leftovers on top of the fresh tuna we got from the local fish market, and then used it the next morning for our eggs. Really, you just pop the salsa on everything and you’re set. Can you tell I like it?

No matter what the time of year, it’s always taco time… enjoy!

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Self Love & 2nd Date Soup

Do you remember how when you were little skinned knees and elbows were badges of honor? There was never any doubt about your points and angles—every part of you was perfect because it meant you could climb trees, ride bikes and all the other little girl shenanigans that creates magic.

And then one day you wake up and your body is something to scorn. As a little girl you go from wearing leggings and Minnie Mouse shirts (the early 90s, am I right?!) to worrying whether or not your first day of school outfit would match everyone else. Your strong legs that got you to your best friends house? Now they’re those damn thunder thighs that one kid called “thick” in 9th grade.

My beautiful curves and valleys became something I started to criticize regularly. I promise this isn’t a pity party post, it’s just a reflection on what it’s like to be a woman. Every single girl looks at her body and finds the flaws. We skip over the strong shoulders and beautiful eyes, and focus on the wide hips and less-than-flat stomach.

If you were to head over to my dating blog, it is clear to the internet world that I am a single girl who dates. And (earmuffs parents), as a 27-year-old woman, that implies I also enjoy sex. It’s true! I do! I really, really do! And EVERY part of me wishes that I could drop the heavy shadow that follows me around, telling me I’m not skinny/toned/whatever enough to fully enjoy it.

I am falling head over heels in love with everything Amy Poehler does, says and writes. Her description of negative body image as this ever-present demon is perfect. And while I could try to summarize, it’s best left untouched (side note: read Yes Please… it’s amazing.)

Hopefully as you get older, you start to learn how to live with your demon. It’s hard at first. Some people give their demon so much room that there is no space in their head or bed for love. They feed their demon and it gets really strong and then it makes them stay in abusive relationships or starve their beautiful bodies. But sometimes, you get a little older and get a little bored of the demon. Through good therapy and friends and self-love you can practice treating the demon like a hacky, annoying cousin. Maybe a day even comes when you are getting dressed for a fancy event and it whispers, “You aren’t pretty,” and you go, “I know, I know, now let me find my earrings.” Sometimes you say, “Demon, I promise you I will let you remind me of my ugliness, but right now I am having hot sex so I will check in later.” 

I am so excited for when I get older, and that demon will quiet down. Because hot damn, I am excited to love my angles, points, curves and valleys again. I am excited to turn 30 in a few years and still love sex just as much, and be able to leave lights on and wander around my house naked with whatever fella I happen to have my eyes on. I’m excited to embrace my body for the tall and strong thing that it is. And that boy who called my legs “thick” in the 9th grade? Well… I guess he was right, but what in the hell is wrong with that?

2nd Date Soup

Let me explain the name. My best friend calls this her “2nd date soup”. Back before she met the love of her life, she (like me) was wading through the dating world. When she’d bring a date home, she’d make them this soup. Let’s just say I made my date this soup, and it went well… Maybe we should call it magic soup? Whatever you want to call it, it’s delicious. It’s my go to recipe, and it’s always changing. This time around I added apple, and it was INCREDIBLE, I highly recommend that addition. Enjoy & get lucky!

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6-7 carrots, chopped
  • ½ butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts, chopped
  • 1 tart green apple, cored and chopped
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 + ½ tbsp coconut oil (for sautéing and for roasting the squash)
  • 2-3 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I never measure…)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix your chopped squash with ½ tbsp. melted coconut oil, some salt and pepper and a dash of cinnamon (if you’d like). Pop in the oven, and bake for 30 minutes.

While that is baking, heat up your additional tbsp. of coconut oil over medium heat. Once it’s warm, add in the chopped onion and minced garlic (this is when your date starts to drool, which is always a good sign). After a few minutes, add in the carrots, Brussels & green apple. Add in half of the curry powder, some salt. Sautee for 3-5 minutes, and then add in your 2-3 cups water. Add in the rest of the spices, and let simmer until your squash is done. Add in the squash and throw some more cinnamon in for good measure.. Mix in the coconut milk and then let simmer on a low heat for a few more minutes.

Remove from heat and use that fancy immersion blender until everything is creamy and delicious. Serve with some toasted multigrain bread and smile to yourself when your date/lover/friend goes back for seconds and thirds.


Confused Hearts & Brussels Hash

I started writing a dating blog. I blame that project for taking me away from this space. Over there, I throw GIFs around like they are candy, and write humorously about how terrible I am at dating. It’s fun and cathartic, and my writing partner is such a beautiful light in my life, it’s been nothing but joyful.

Dating y’all, it’s a thing. I am going to be 28 at the end of this year, and I am endlessly single. Eternally single. Painfully single. Remove the rain cloud and tiny violin from your eyes, because I am not sad about this. I am not at a loss for attention from men. I bat my eyelashes and say the right things. I ask them questions and make them feel important. I know how to woo a fella, and never feel lost in how to reel them in. But then they are there. And they want me. And they open their hearts up and everything inside of me recoils.

A few years ago my heart was shattered. Not just gently bruised like lost puppy love, we’re talking broken.

Baseball meets window broken.

Champagne glass broken.

Lost lake in a rainstorm broken.


Contrary to what Don’t Date Us implies, I absolutely want to be in love again. I adore holding hands with that person who makes your heart pitter patter. I am a sucker for comfortable mornings with homemade breakfast, sitting quietly over dog-eared books. I am jealous of people who shop for vegetables together at the farmers market, and then pinch myself when I find myself wanting a romantic comedy romance. That’s not real life.

Broken hearts are callused.

Already known for my stoicism, I’ve now put up so many walls that every single opportunity is met with raised eyebrows and red flags. Think of an excuse, and I’ve claimed it. Any hint of distrust, and I magnify it to the tenth degree. There’s never going to be a fella who loves me for a, b & c. I’m difficult. I am selfish. I don’t want to lose my independence. I want to chase them and have them fall for me, and when they do… well, I disappear into the shadows. It’s much easier to hold them all at arms length, and tangle myself up in a myriad of different situations. A single person to hold my heart? That is far too risky.

So yes, I supposed this eternally single 27-year-old has some issues. Pretty big issues. Until I want to deal with them, I will date and get into trouble. I will craft love triangles and fling with inappropriate men. I will live it up and hope that one day, in all of my chaos, I will accidentally find myself letting my guard down. If only for a little bit.

Carrot, Kale & Brussels Hash

Because I’m a crazy and like to make my life one big challenge, I recently did the Whole30. Don’t worry about researching it. Basically you just remove everything from your diet aside from vegetables, eggs and meat. Seeing as I don’t eat meat, I settled on 30 days of eggs and vegetables. As you can imagine, this got dull after a while. But making a hash was my go to. It was easy and delicious and all you have to do is pop an egg on top. Everything is better with an egg.

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, grated
  • 1/2 bunch of kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • A handful or two of Brussels sprouts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of curry powder
  • 1-2 eggs, depending on how hungry you are

This is basically the easiest of recipes. Chop/grate/mince all of your veggies. Warm up the coconut oil, and add in minced garlic and chopped onions. Once that smells like perfection (my favorite smell in all the world), add in the Brussels. Saute those until they are soft and add in the carrots. I grate mine, because I like the texture. Do whatever tickles your fancy. Add in the salt, pepper and curry powder. Mix in and then add in the soy sauce. Lastly, when you’re about done with everything, add in the kale. Let it wilt and then remove from heat.

I cook my eggs sunny side up, because a broken yolk is one of my favorite foods. But if that’s not your jam, do whatever style egg you like. Either way, pop it on top and call it a day. This is a hearty breakfast that is perfect for a slow morning.


Marriage and Blueberry Jam

My best friend is getting married tomorrow.

15 years ago we shared secrets over intricately folded notes, gossiped about awkward boys we didn’t have the courage to talk to, and spent every weekend in the cabin behind the cemetery. Tomorrow I will raise my glass, shed a few tears and watch as she says her forever with a wonderful man.

There are people in your life that are like breathing. No matter the distance, or the time spent not talking, being with them is like coming home. These forever friends are the ones who hold your hand when you’re broken, and distract you with berry picking and dinner parties. No matter how different my life looks compared to hers, my best friend and I will always meet back in the middle.

Some people collect seashells and old photographs, I collect tattoos. My most recent addition is a reminder of how lucky I am to have best friends. 8 dots to make up a line. 4 larger dots to signify these girls. An arrow to remind me to always come home.


My little dot, my darling Keelin, is marrying a good man. A man who builds kayaks. A man who loves dogs and being outside. A good man with a warm heart who loves her. They have the same idea of happiness; a homemade existence, filled with gardens and moccasin clad little ones.

Tomorrow I will hold my sister’s hand. We will toast to movement and change and this new path of love. Tomorrow we will dance and twirl. Tomorrow we will get drunk on beer and wine and friends.

Tomorrow my best friend is getting married… How lovely.

After Work

The shack and a few trees

float in the blowing fog

I pull out your blouse,

warm my cold hands

on your breasts.

You laugh and shudder

peeling garlic by the

hot iron stove.

Bring in the axe, the rake

the wood

we’ll lean on the wall

against each other

stew simmering on the fire

as it grows dark

drinking wine.

-Gary Snyder


Honey Sweetened Blueberry & Lemon Jam

Makes 12 ½ pints

This recipe is because I have friends that ask for small favors, like 12 jars of jam for their wedding. This recipe is because spending hours in my kitchen making preserves is how I find peace. These preserves are delicious on a scone, biscuit, toast or just straight from the jar.

  • 10-12 cups blueberries
  • 1.5-2 cups honey
  • ½ cup fresh squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 tsp calcium water
  • 4 tsp pectin powder

Clean and sanitize your jars. Set them aside.

Mash the berries with a potato masher and place in a pot. Add the pectin and stir (a lot) on a burner over high heat and bring to a boil. Stir and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the honey, calcium water and lemon juice. Return to heat and bring to a boil again, stirring. Boil for 5 more minutes. Remove jam from heat and add in the lemon zest. Let it sit for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Ladle into the clean jam jars, and use a wet rag to wipe the rims of the jar. Pop on the lids, and screw on the rings. You’ll want to make sure that your canning bath is hot, and put the jars in the water bath. Boil for 10 minutes, and then remove. Place them on a towel and wait for that beautiful POP that lets you know your jam is sealed.

Give as gifts, tuck away for when you need a reminder of what summer tastes like, or bring them to your friend’s wedding. Nothing says celebration like jam.


A PNW Summer & Cold Brew

A Pacific Northwest summer is perfection.

I grew up barefoot and blackberry stained. “Be home by dark!” was the only rule. We made tree forts in the graveyard and slept out on the grass until the dew and sunshine woke us up. My childhood summer was bug bites and campfire hair.

Summer is, and always has been, the most magical.

I spent the weekend with 7 girls who make my heart full, walking through tall pine trees. The river was always on our right, a reassuring noise that we were headed in the right direction. We caught up on each other’s lives and celebrated the beauty that is my best friend getting married in 20 days. While other gals drink and go out on the town, my sweet, precious Keelin wanted a camping bachelorette party, because she’s a gem.

We dipped our feet in the freezing water and ate apples, our reward for our 5-mile trek. We met a group of 50-something women, who applauded our unique bachelorette adventure. We will be those ladies someday, always friends, always taking hikes and moving towards something bigger than ourselves.


Sunburnt and tired, we called a campsite by the river our home for the night. Over beer and tacos, we reminisced around the fire. We talked about growing up together, how we stayed friends, and what our futures will look like when the 20-something dust has settled.

Summer brings everything back together. It gives us an excuse to abandon responsibility, to stay out late and make reckless decisions. It’s the season for late night drives to the beach and creating beautiful scandal. Who says the magic has to stop when you grow up? This season will always bring back mischief, adventure and a sense of purpose.

“This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs: to question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run, dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell, listen, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream, sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh, cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward, circle, hide, and seek.” – Terry Tempest Williams

Orange & Almond Iced Coffee

My apartment is sticky belly hot, which means after my morning walk all I want is something cold. It’s not summer until you have perfected iced coffee. Cheers to hot mornings and cold coffee.

  • 4 cup French press
  • 4-5 tbsp coarsely ground coffee
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dark cocoa powder
  • dash of almond extract
  • 4 cups cold water

Combine the coffee, orange zest, cinnamon, cocoa powder and almond extract in the french pass. Pour in the cold water, and let this delicious concoction brew over night. Press in the morning and enjoy with ice and almond milk. Yum.

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Lopez Island & S’mores

There’s an island in the San Juans that is magic.

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Every summer, the people I hold closest to my heart leave behind their lives and we get on a ferry, 45 minutes later and we’re home. The first year we felt brave and found humor in our ill preparedness as we ate cold veggie dogs and tortilla chips. Each year additions and changes have been made, and while I put my heart back together in the south, they carried on the tradition.

I am so blessed to have these beauties in my life. There is such a comfort in knowing that you have people who know you down to every last insecurity, and love you throughout. Lopez is like coming up for air. Stripping down to my most basic self. Waking up when the sun hits the tent, and watching the fog roll out of the bay. We explore the island by bicycle, making our way past farm stands and curious horses. Everything slows down, from the way we make breakfast to never knowing (or caring) what time it is. Even our coffee is slower, more perfect than the usual morning rush.

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My goodness… how I love this place, these girls.

They hold such strength and grace and humor! While they dream of weddings and babies, I dream of careers and cross country bike trips– and we hold each other up in our differences, an endless stream of support. To have this kind of friendship is a blessing, and I will be forever grateful to know this kind of love.

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We made wishes on stones, tossing them over our shoulders and shouting our hopes to the sky. We stayed up late over our campfire, sinking into those conversations you’ve been meaning to have with someone, but forget to make time for. No matter what we’re doing, it’s right. It can be getting lost on the backroads of the island, or sitting on a park bench over some of the best iced coffee we’ve ever had. We come up with grand life plans: raising our families together, owning houses next to each other, someday buying a farm on our beloved island.

When I leave Lopez I feel whole again. I leave that island as my best self.

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Until next year, Lopez. You have my heart.

“Walk through rivers. Climb steep hills. Stay hungry. Keep cool and good natured always. Possess courage and ingenuity. You will endure to the end. Stake your claim.” 

Handy Dandy Zippy Snippy Snappy S’mores (thanks for the name, Kee)

My darling friend has more dietary restrictions than anyone I have ever met. Because of this, she hasn’t been able to enjoy the quintessential summer treat… s’mores. This would not stand, not on Lopez. Leave it to the three of us to figure out how to make this happen. And while this isn’t REALLY a recipe, it is what summer is meant to be, so deal with it.

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  • Dandies GF/Vegan marshmallows (we got them at PCC, of course)
  • Mary’s Gone GF/Vegan Gingersnaps
  • Theo salted dark chocolate with almonds

Build the perfect fire. Drink cider and talk about the things that make your heart heavy, happy, full or curious. Wait until the embers show up, so hot you can feel it warming your cheeks. Find the best stick you possibly can, stick on a mallow or two, and roast away. Monica always catches hers on fire. I like to brown each side evenly. Keelin wanted to wait until she got the perfect char.

We all have our roasting techniques.

Once you’ve reached your perfection, grab two gingersnaps, pop on chocolate and then enjoy; sticky fingers, the smell of campfire and spending time with your best friends, exactly what summer should be.

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