Monday, April 30, 2012


sorry, it's been a while since i last updated things! i've been a busy bee helping to make my life more financially organized.

we just got back from a lovely two-day trip to virginia to see a prospective montessori school. we loved the uniqueness of the eastern shore (water on both sides) and all the farmland. the extreme rural-ness might take some getting used to, shops like trader joe's and whole foods are a once-a-month trip to mainland virginia. i'll keep you updated as i make my job decision ... but excited to be moving forward after a year of being out of the classroom. it's where i should be. and waking up to nothing but a glorious sunrise, marsh view, and bird calls of all sorts was really something.

this week, i might experiment with making hamburgers from the pastured ground beef we got, and salmon fillets from whole foods. i'm still not sure whether meat/fish eating once in a while is something my body needs and/or wants. just saying, trying to keep things simple. our town's first farmer's market is this saturday, so saturday night's meal will probably be based on what i can throw together from that early-season bounty.

i have plenty of photos to share but (no surprise here) can't locate my uploader cable. we did get some local strawberries from a farm stand in VA (hoping they were organic and thinking so as i didn't react in hives like i do normally) like the ones above. we also stopped at a local antique shop (the affordable, non-snooty kind, there are tons down there!) and i picked up a nice, but chipped (more authentic!) vintage bowl for $12. actually john bought it for me. what a sweetie.

i'm just finishing up a green smoothie right now after a few days of eating badly on the road (though we did pack a "travel basket" of homemade goodies for one meal and a few snacks). gonna find out how to cook hamburgers and maybe come up with a side dish for it, that will be wednesday night's meal. wednesday i'm hoping to escape the people crush of jersey/philly for a bit, as it's my day off, and go find some nature.

hope you all enjoy your week and find the simplest moments pleasing.

love and light,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

untitled, self-discovery

have had a bit of a creative rebirth going on the last few days. fully embracing that, even if it's making me stay up very late into the wee hours tonight, as my brain spins and reconnects with i think ... my heart chakra through creative desire.

i am currently actively taking steps to::

eliminate debt by entering into a debt management program

finish a knitting project for a dear friend and have a goal of knitting all summer long, a rarity but the past year's been so transitional i never had a slow, long winter (never mind the crazy weather)

create a homemaking binder filled with recipes and inspiration for the kitchen

read more and be online less (again toying with the idea of leaving a certain social network behind .. )

start freelance writing online! this is exciting to me on three fronts: financial, professional, and, well ... i've just always been plum passionate about (and good at!) writing. it's about time to put this practical, enjoyable skill to good use. maybe i have my head in the clouds about it a bit, imagining myself paring down to four days of work outside the home instead of five (at least while i'm not teaching), being more independent in terms of dictating when and how i work, and supplementing what will eventually be a teacher's salary (please let me be hired by the end of april!). I've been doing a bit of research just to get started.

through all of this, i'm realizing that i need to stay grounded because if i get too fanciful and giddy, well ... it's a hard fall. i'm trying to take a few moments for myself each morning to get grounded and centered, usually this means just a cup of coffee on the porch in the sun but sometimes it's a long walk. you get the idea. sometimes it's late nights up with a second cup of peppermint tea (a la right now) visualizing how the morning will go (green smoothie, cup of coffee, spot of knitting, then getting down to more organizing business, kind of how this particular week of inspiration to "get things moving" has been shaping up!).

Have you heard of a Web site called Yogaglo? Streaming yoga classes from a real-time studio in California that you can take from home. $18/month, plus free lectures on meditation and such. As opposed to, oh ... $120 or so per month at a local studio. Now don't get me wrong, nothing beats the good energy of a good studio now and then ...

I have a yen to start listening to gardening and unschooling and simple living podcasts again. Preferably while knitting. I need headphones. Do they still make those? The ones that go OVER your ears? My fiance is very prone to normal bedtimes. I can join him some nights, but others, like this one ... marathon energy. Born night owl, that's me ;-) Definitely going to need a quiet room in our future spaces away from the sleeping room ....

finally, my ever-evolving journey with food. i've been at the extremes, they don't last long for me. suffice to say they've taught me that when i swing back a bit off the ends, I'm able to see more clearly and make more responsible, sane, healthy choices. less being more, animal products being re-introduced but less and i'm super picky about the word "pastured." had a salad with some wild-caught salmon on it today that was incredible, i had energy for hours. i'm still experimental, a bit unsure, a bit guilty (comes from the vegan days, oh do i struggle with that one), a bit happy to support people doing it "right"/right, super energetic and healthy and feeling like 95 percent of what's going in my body is supporting everything and is balanced and is not overly skewed and i feel like i sit on a throne of plant foods. i'm feeling so grateful for participating in Heather's whole foods workshop. so much learned when i thought i had nowhere else to grow.

amazed at my openness. happy for it. my fiance has the best words (and let me tell you, i'm a huge words of affirmation girl, they STICK): self-assured is sexy. looking deeply into the windows of my soul, uttering it with such genuine-ness and love it can't help but be utterly what it is. i AM sexy. why not be self-assured? look at all that goodness above. we all falter, we all compare, we all worry. but when we counter those things with balance and perspective, and take the time to appreciate and accept those we love as they do us, well then ... it's easier to accept the SELF, to celebrate the self doing all the things it must needs do, but to be gentle on the body which contains it. long days on a blanket in the park, stopping for that hot tea or coffee, taking that long walk. allowing things to accumulate, grow, settle, fade, as necessary. being an apothecary for the soul in any and all ways possible.

thanks for reading. you are the best.

Friday, April 13, 2012

getting more organized.

Hollis, New Hampshire. I LOVED this place.

there's nothing like a short trip away from your everyday life that gets the self going again -- mentally, emotionally ... organizationally to benefit the latter two things.

there are some things on my mind:

paying off credit card debt, once and for ALL. i signed up for a debt consolidation program today. i'm committed to a set monthly payment for a set number of months over the next couple years. i kept my lowest-balance card open so once that's paid current, i can use it to build up my credit score again. this was a HUGE relief even though it is still an important monetary commitment.

finding some freelance writing jobs (work from home things) online. extra pocket money toward debt payoff? ability to have flexibility in hours? hmmmm.....

sitting down with john in a stress-free environment (like our local coffee shop) and figuring out a budget for the four months prior to our mystery move (depends where i am hired) so that we have enough to move and live on and all that ....

really making time for creative endeavors, especially one or more of the following: learning banjo, knitting, sewing.

making more time to just read good books (my friend Cate over at Liberal Simplicity -- see link at sidebar). I can't seem to fly through them when I devote too much time to the all-consuming computer

doing a HUGE spring clean. I know we live in a tiny place but it gets cluttered so easily. what do we really truly NOT need? I'm always finding ways to minimize. I like SPACE not STUFF. when i feel overwhelmed by STUFF i have an accordingly overwhelming desire to run away from it. not always good. your home should be comfortable, despite the size.

more oxygen. basically, more getting out and walking, walking, walking. and somehow, more yoga. maybe not the pay-for-it kind, but more yoga all the same. asanas.

learning that my grandma was a stay-at-home mom until her seventh baby was in first grade. and that she likes that i want to do the same (umm not seven babies lol). YES. i can start my own school when i feel more ready. yes indeedy.

thanks for listening.
crossing my fingers i'll get to live and work in beautiful new hampshire!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

thinking of space, all kinds.

Hi, everyone.

Spring is progressing nicely here, although there is still a chill in the air most days.

I am getting to New Hampshire and the eastern shore of Virginia this month for job interviews. Hoping something good comes out of it ... I am beyond ready to be in a classroom again.

I am making peace with the fact that once again due to the not-knowing of where we'll be in a few months, I will not attempt growing anything this year. Sigh, maybe next. Hoping to be more settled for the next 2-3 years at least ... !

The kitchen is not quite at the cold salad phase yet .... still plenty of cooking and baking going on. Today I'm making (from the whole foods workshop) a spring pea and parsley pesto pasta. And a green smoothie (has become a staple around here) for lunch.

Been into my favorite lately, peppermint tea (hot). We are planning a hike/walk and picnic tomorrow, probably will bring along a big jug of homemade black mango iced tea, and some popcorn made with coconut oil. I love these days the very best of all. When we can get away from the crush of people and development around here, it's a very good thing indeed.

Life isn't perfect around here. Some bloggers seem to pretend it is, but I tell you, it just isn't. There are times when a tiny apartment can get filled with just .... crap (dirty laundry pile, paperwork, etc.) ... so fast it makes my minimalist head spin (i like a TON of space, just most of it empty from material things ... so a tiny space is very hard for me to deal with). And I'm making dinner at 10 p.m. because of my work schedule. And we are eating it in the living room on our laps because we don't have a kitchen table (oh how I dream of a table to eat at! however we do have one on our little outdoor porch ... so soon dinners will def. be out there!). But you know what? Several nights ago, I had this little yet powerful realization that I am still trying my best, within these parameters, to live intentionally. I'm still cooking from scratch. I'm freezing cooked dried beans, I'm soaking legumes and grains and nuts, I'm menu planning, I'm keeping things tidy most of the time. Money is very tight right now, that stresses us out quite a bit and it's hard to think about even the near future (yikes ... wedding!) when bills themselves are just so hard to pay and have any "surviving" money left over at the end of it all. I think the thing to do is just keep on. Make the most of the imperfect. So what if dinner's so late, if it's home-made with love and healthful? Pack a pretty lunch to enjoy in the chaotic break room at work (for those of you who don't know, I currently work at Trader Joe's). Get out to the woods, nature, the park, the ocean, whenever possible. I'm trying to get to bed earlier and have an intention of doing two good, somewhat brisk walks a day (once in the morning and once in the evening). My yoga practice should happen where and when it can, even if I can't always afford class. I need to figure out a space for that.

Through it all, I'm blessed to have found a beautiful man who loves to read, and plays guitar and has the most gorgeous singing voice. And eats my food and loves it, mostly (he's not too fond of goat cheese, bless him for trying it though!). He also loves the long drives out into the country with me. We argue sometimes and we can be annoyed with each other for a day. But he makes me grow in ways I've never grown before, and vice versa. We are struggling, but we are with each other and our love will prevail over challenges and doubt and temporarily difficult life situations. Over the last five months, we've been through a lot together already. He always says, "I just want a simple life." I hear you, love. I do. Each step we take on this journey is a step closer to clarity and throwing out that which doesn't serve us.

If you've made it this far in, you certainly deserve some pictures. I wish you all a blessed Easter if that's what you celebrate. We will be celebrating nature, each other, and the privilege of good food.

this is the setup for our recent "godfather" watching date. food from a local italian restaurant (I made the olive oil and garlic mixture) and bread from a local italian market. 

a blurry close-up of my gnocchi (so not the world's best photographer!)

 brown rice salad from the whole foods workshop. this was excellent cold but i think i'd double the lemon-cumin vinaigrette dressing next time!

my new half-gallon jars from lehman's finally arrived! i'm in love! 

finally broke out the new "emeril" saucepan my parents bought me for christmas

mmmm sweet potato and black bean quesadillas (with some leftover goat cheese) .. coming right up! (we topped with salsa and guac)

putting away pinto beans in the freezer

prep for spring parsley/pea pesto pasta (which just finished and tastes divine!) - also from the workshop

love and light, friends,