10.18.14

today is our four-year wedding anniversary.

i remember the day so vividly – the crispness of that early fall morning we shared; the way the october sun illuminated our ceremony, nestled in the cliffs; how my heart beat when i laid eyes on him, my hands in his; our first moments spent as husband and wife, the vastness of the ocean before us, a harbinger of a bountiful life to come.

it goes without saying that this day evokes a host of emotions for me. it was magic and love, and had a pulse of its own. it was ethereal, really.

…and that’s exactly how i will ever know it. because it was us.

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happy anniversary, my love.

 

in my fridge

confession: i’ve always loved those series on blogs/websites that showcase the daily happenings of well-known people. series like “what i keep in my purse” or “what you can find in my pantry.” one of my favorites is “Sunday routine” from the new york times, in which people describe just that: how they spend their sundays. i think what i love most about these series is that they capture the everydayness of people’s lives. it’s a glimpse into how others live, their philosophies, and values, however big or small.

when i read the answers to the questions or fill-in-the-blanks, i can’t help but imagine my own answers. if someone were to interview me, how would i respond? what are, in fact, my philosophies?

so with that in mind, i am interviewing myself. below is a series i enjoy reading, but with my answers. it’s a peek into my life now, the simple things that make up a piece of me and my everyday.

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here’s my version of in my fridge…

food philosophy in one sentence: everything in moderation.

always in my fridge: lemons, grapefruit, almond butter, eggs, kale, sparkling water.

7 recipe staples always on hand: dijon mustard, garlic, lemons, sardines, hearty greens, quinoa, lentils.

must-have munchies: I’m not much of a snacker, but when i do need a little something, i reach for castelvetrano olives or unsalted pistachios.

favorite condiments: stone ground dijon mustard, chipotle tabasco, hummus.

ingredient that makes everything taste better: sea salt and GARLIC!

go-to proteins: sardines, lentils, chicken livers, wild alaskan salmon, almond butter.

best bargain: a trip to the farmer’s market 10 minutes before it closes. vendors are trying to sell everything they have so they don’t have to pack it, which means bargain prices on produce. we go once a week and buy enough produce to last several days. not only do we save money, but we also get the added perks of buying local, seasonal, and at-its-prime food.

best-label reading tip: eat things that don’t have labels! and if there are ingredients, the fewer the better…no artificially added shit.

fave veggie & what you make with it: depends on the season! but a year-round favorite will always be kale…roasted, blanched, sautéed, raw, juiced. so many possibilities.

craziest thing i buy: good-quality loose leaf tea…can’t compromise there!

sweets and other indulgences: brownies, chocolate avocado mousse, tea cakes. i never go a day without a treat, and because i make a ritual out of tea time and treats, they must be great quality…preferably from gjusta, erewhon, susie cakes, huckleberry, or made by yours truly. absolutely no packaged shit.

dairy or non-dairy faves: siggi’s plain yogurt, manchego or goat cheese, almond milk.

skip labels that read: try to skip ALL labels in general.

favorite splurge: wine, green juice from erewhon, good quality crackers for cheeseboards.

for last-minute entertaining: good wine, a giant salad with a shallot vinaigrette, and a hefty cheeseboard, complete with bread and crackers, several varieties of cheese, prosciutto, olives, nuts, honey, dried and fresh fruit. for dessert, cookies and ice cream.

favorite places to shop: farmer’s market, erewhon, Whole Foods.

simple go-to recipe: stewed tomatoes and red lentils. so easy, so comforting!

best food memory: too many to choose! most recently, eating in the food stalls in Peru. there’s nothing like the energy and bustle of the markets. and the food! the most authentic (and cost-effective) food you’ll get…almost like being invited into someone’s home.

 

in october…

october is without a doubt my favorite month. it marks the beginning of a magical time of year, not so much for the holidays, but more so for the way it feels. i’ve waxed poetic about my eagerness for this season, what this time means. but october. may i praise this month specifically, even for just a bit? (and, no, the revered pumpkin spice latte will not be on the menu.)

in october…

the light shifts, softening as the day progresses, warming as evening sets.

stews and braises, pasta and baked goods.

oven time, every day.

a bounty of gourds, every which shape.

socks, to be worn without abandon.

to warm the spirit, chai and cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

robust reds and smooth whiskeys.

introspection. letter-writing. podcast-listening.

knits and layers. cozy in, cozy out.

s l o w i n g down.

celebrating the greatest commitment i made to be a wife and life partner.

shorter days, longer nights, more rest, and endless cuddling.

deep love, quite possibly of the deepest variety. soul-filled kind of love.

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cheers!

e q u i n o x

“when you accept what you have, you see all you have received is more than enough and you are overwhelmed. i desire other things because i fear to be content with what i have…I have seen what matters is to be humble enough to admit i am content with just this. leave the rest to God.”

— thomas merton

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it’s something i want to carry with me as we transition into fall, a gratitude for everything this precious life is. yesterday was the equinox, marking the beginning of a deep shift. when outward energy is focused inward. when time is intentionally set aside to stay in, wind down, and connect. it’s approaching every new day a little slower, a little more centered, doing the ordinary and seeing the extraordinary.

i have yet to know what my legacy will be or how it will look, but i welcome this season to just be. to settle in and praise this day for what it is – all imperfect and wildly uncertain. here’s to autumn.

the fifth season

i certainly feel the seasonal shift happening these days. when the warmth of the summer sun eases into the chill of an almost-autumn night. when the market’s vibrant tomato reds transition to toned-down hues of golden squash. when the days get shorter and my introspection grows deeper. it is a magical time, a palpable change that is best described by jenn tardif, founder of 3rd Ritual :

“in traditional Chinese Medicine, there are five seasons instead of four, the fifth of which begins mid-august and concludes with the autumn equinox. this fifth season is associated with the element of earth and represents an ideal time to slow down so that we can mindfully transition from the expansive energy of summer to the introspective quality of fall and winter.

we like to honor this short but notable season by spending time in nature (i.e. hiking, picnicking, wandering through parks) and creating space for more meaningful connections (i.e. cooking for friends instead of going out, leaving our phones at home when we do, and sharing stories vs. updates). seize this moment to let the earth element work its magic by spending time with the people and in the spaces that leave you feeling most grounded.”

i don’t think i’ve ever paid attention to this particular time, the eagerness for the autumn equinox always looming large. however, this fifth season is so unique in and of itself, it should be celebrated.

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i’m grateful for a few leisure days spent with girlfriends in mammoth, where we practiced the art of settling in, fully embracing what these days have to offer. going on hikes and cooking at home, working on puzzles and chatting by the fire, we were immersed in the fifth season without really identifying it. and so it goes, what a gentle reminder to slow down and ease into what’s to come, just as the earth is already doing, just as nature always intended.

beauty is born from patience, that i am sure of.

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it’s alright

three months after making the decision to reduce my percentage at work, i have never felt better. more time to rest, more energy to build relationships, more freedom to explore my interests and dive deeper into my sense of self. yes, i’m making a financial sacrifice, but what i gain in life is priceless.

surprisingly, it was not an easy decision – to work less and live more. it’s been engrained within the fabric of our society that while we are young, we work! save! BUY! we then have children and continue the quest for working! saving! BUYING! in so doing, little to no time is made for responding to our inherent desires, those things that complete the wholeness of being. 

it’s not until we believe that it’s alright to steer from expectations that we can live the life we’ve only dreamed about.

enter Fiore.

somewhere, packed in the depths of my persona, is a florist. in that dream life of mine, i own a flower shop where i’m surrounded by wild varieties, making arrangements and evolving creatively with the passing of time. it would be my heart’s desire, manifested.

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far from owning a shop, i am now interning at one. one day, i walked into Fiore and asked the shop owner if there were opportunities for someone like myself – with no formal floral experience, just a passion for them – to be involved in any capacity. two weeks later, she offered me a chance to intern.

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a few days into it, and i am overwhelmed with gratitude. at Fiore, i learn and feel inspired. i am surrounded by women with a passion for florals and beauty and nature’s abundance. i am removed from the impulse to work, save, buy, and i’m instead fulfilling a dream that can only be lived by letting go of self-imposed expectations.

ultimately, i am honoring the desires of my heart, celebrating its ability to strengthen a passion that has always existed within. for these reasons alone, in this season in my life, i am open to wherever this leads.

…because in the end, i’ll be better for it.

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freedom

do you ever think about the moments you feel most free? you know, those times that are marked by an undeniable, honest, pure-of-heart feeling of living without abandon?

we tend to do a fair share of complaining – about busy schedules, time commitments, stress, idleness, the list goes on. however, we give little attention to the things that ignite our spirits, the things that free us from our self-induced burdens. the commitments will inevitably always be there, but so will the opportunities to release. let go. inhale.

freedom looks different for everyone, and i am certainly no expert on “how to live a good life.” but over time, especially in these longer, slower days, i’ve been intentional about noticing the moments when i feel untethered and totally me, not some version of me overshadowed by to-do’s and expectations.

to me, freedom looks like a gathering of girlfriends for a patio dinner. running seaside or on a canyon trail. it looks like taking my bikini top off as the sun slowly sets, the last bit of warmth on intimate places. freedom looks like napping outside after reading a chapter, maybe two. and climbing into bed after a workday, sometimes with dinner in my lap. i am able to take a deep inhalation while walking through the farmer’s market every sunday, assured that we’ll be nourished seasonally and abundantly for the next week.

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it’s absolutely a work in progress, to identify these moments and validate them for their worth. it’s also a lesson on introspection, a personal education on how  to illuminate our quest for peace. it all might sound foo-foo or granola-y, but i can attest to the absolute freedom i feel, merely by being open to the idea that it’s all around us and capitalizing on its healing capacity. even in the everyday.

may you be free, today and always.

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