Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Basil on Basil on Basil

Summer is officially over and it's so bittersweet. Isn't it always? Yesterday was Eliza's first day of 1st grade and it's like she never even left! Even though she's at a new school, she seems completely adjusted already. Kids. They're so resilient. 

I'm kind of bummed that I don't get to sleep in any more though, I will definitely miss that. But I do have a good chunk of the weekdays all to myself again! Which means I can work and clean and exercise and just have time to myself without a 6 year old running around! And it also means that we're back to a more regular routine and one of the things I'm most excited about is cooking. Every. Night. I'm so over fast food. And spending money on sub-par meals that only makes me feel terrible. 

I'm ready for some mouth-watering, so-healthy-it's-unbelievable, crazy exciting, and completely satisfying, delicious food!!!! Sometimes I forget how much I love food guys. And then I remember! And then I totally fan girl over all these recipes that I've just pinned to my pinterest board (called yummy-ness, in case you were wondering) and wish I could cook them all at once but I have to remember that I can only eat one meal a night and that I need to be patient because I've got my whole life to make food so it's totally going to be alright and I just need to chill out. 

Anyways. Moving on. 

So we have this garden that has been almost completely taken over by basil. Which is fine by me. Bring on the basil! But the thing is, the usual pesto pasta and pizza get old after a while. So today I went on a hunt for some fresh (and delicious) ideas to use up all this dang basil. These are the top contenders. I'm working my way down the list as we speak. 

Thai Basil Eggplant 

Caprese Panini
Caprese Panini w/Tomato, Pesto, & Mozzarella

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Ricotta, Pesto and Grilled Haloumi |
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Ricotta, Pesto, & Grilled Haloumi (which is apparently a cheese? and if anyone knows where I can find this "cheese", I would be forever grateful for your knowledge!)

Pesto Lasagna 

Grilled Vegetable Quesadilla 

Shrimp and Veggie Pesto Pasta ::
Shrimp & Veggie Pesto Pasta 

Vegetarian pesto, squash noodles and spaghetti with burst cherry tomatoes -
Pesto Squash Noodles & Spaghetti with Burst Cherry Tomatoes 

One-Pan Spring Tuscan Quinoa Bake | @hbharvest
One Pan Spring Tuscan Quinoa Bake 

Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie - a simple crustless pie featuring fresh summer veggies and melted cheese. 275 calories. | #vegetarian #zucchini #pie #recipe #healthy
Sweet Corn Zucchini Pie 

One-Hour Sun-dried Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Focaccia Bread - Fast, easy & ready in 1 hour so there's no excuse not to have fresh homemade bread with dinner!
One Hour Sun-Dried Tomato Basil & Mozzarella Focaccia

Another that I don't have a picture for but would like to try: 
Roasted Red Pepper & Basil Pesto Pasta 

Annnnnd you can check out a few other pesto based recipes I've tried here. 

Oh man. Basil ya'll. 

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Last Of It.

Last night I went back to the tiny home to get the last of my stuff. I didn't have much left. Just some clothes that I managed to fit into one suitcase, a few plants that were almost dead anyways, my crystal collection, some important files, and a few other random tidbits. 

But guys, it was tough. More so than I ever thought it would be. 

Driving through the neighborhood that I once called home was tough. Driving down the familiar streets that I biked almost every single day was tough. Pulling into the gravel driveway in the spot we usually parked our car was tough. Walking through the tall grass up to the door of the house that I built, was tough. Seeing my cat for the first time in what feels like months, was tough. But sitting on the floor, the ones that I installed, looking around at everything I had worked so hard to create and knowing I had to leave it all behind, was the toughest. 

I had a lot more stuff in there than I thought. But the thing is, most of it I couldn't even take with me.

The last months of building the tiny home, I spent a lot of the time working by myself. Most of the cosmetics on the interior, I completed almost single-handedly. So when I walk in and look around, I see the walls that I spent hours on floating and sanding and texturing and painting. I see the cabinets that I built by myself, the concrete counters that I spent so much time perfecting. I see all the shelving that I installed, the table that I build, the ladder that I thought up and brought to life. I see the floors, which came from my mom's house, that I nailed in while listening to Jeff's talk show the few days after he died. I remember spending hours putting up the tile, gifted from my step-dad, in my bathroom while internally dealing with the fact that my best friend was moving across the country and I was absolutely heartbroken about it. I remember trying to put all the gosh darn wood flooring on my ceiling and how much of a pain in the butt it was. And all of the art that we had collected together to make it's home on our walls. I can't take any of that with me. And while I was sitting there, being flooded with all of these memories and feeling the pang in my chest for all of the things I had to leave behind, I was so sad. 

Sadder than I wanted to be. 

But I stayed a bit longer, as I gathered my belongings and slowly walked around looking for anything I might have been forgetting, and then I remembered why I left in the first place. It didn't take long for the feelings of claustrophobia (not the physical kind) and helplessness and this looming sense of despair to creep back into my conscious. The place oozed with it. And maybe it was just me. Maybe it was just an emotional response to a place that I began to resent because of the situation I made it out to be and now I just can't see it as anything else. Maybe it's all just me. But I knew I couldn't get sucked into that again. 

So I left. Again. And I chose to be grateful for all of the beautiful things in my life right now. I absolutely love where I am. There's no turning back now. 


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Saturday, July 18, 2015


I've been thinking a lot about why I stopped blogging this past year. And perhaps why others choose to stop blogging. 

I was watching a documentary about a certain celebrity and it kind of helped me to understand what they (celebrities) go through, being in the public eye all the time. And why I consequently stopped writing about my life when things took a turn for the worse. 

Not that I'm so popular or anything but there is a certain pressure that comes with being an open book all the time. There is a certain vulnerability you put upon yourself by publicly sharing your life. 

I've said it before, so it's not anything new but I was really depressed for a really long time. And I was really lost. And lonely. And so confused. And to me, when I get that way, I tend to turn inward. I don't mean to shut people out although sometimes that seems to happen. But I have to step away to find silence. To listen to my heart. To think clearly. And to figure out what I want. So I spent a lot of time alone. I didn't talk about it to almost anyone. And I don't know if it was because I didn't want people to know or because I just didn't think they could help me. Or because I didn't want their help anyways. Or maybe a little bit of all three. 

But it got to a point where I couldn't hide it anymore. I couldn't pretend. I couldn't keep living the life I was living because I was really unhappy. I finally had to give up on the ideas that I thought would make me happy. I finally let go of what I thought were my dreams. I knew in my soul that something wasn't right. Like trying to force a puzzle piece into a hole that didn't fit. 

I had to make a lot of really hard decisions. And I wanted them to be all mine. I didn't want people trying to tell me what to do, trying to tell me how to live my life. 

When I decided to separate from Brandon, I only told a couple of people. My mother, my sister, and my best friend. Those were the only people I trusted enough to not try to force me down the wrong path. They supported me and offered me advice when I asked. But most of all, they loved me unconditionally. And that was just what I needed. 

But when it came to blogging, I just couldn't put everything into words. It was too hard. I could barely think about what was happening, let alone put it out into the world for judgement and criticizing. I felt like I had been ripped apart and I couldn't bare to show the world all of my broken pieces. Not yet. Not until I had some time to put myself back together again. 

It's been a hard journey. No part of it was easy. I had to walk away from a life that I had worked so hard to create. But guys, I felt like I was slowly dying, like I could feel my soul withering away a little bit more each day. I couldn't find myself anymore. I couldn't breathe. So I came to the eventual truth that I just couldn't do it anymore. Something was terribly wrong, the life that looked so good from the outside, was empty on the inside. Something so massive was missing and I needed to find out what that was. So I gathered whatever strength I had left and I ended it all. 

So here I am. A few months later. Trying to rebuild my life. It's been so humbling. And I've learned a lot about who I am and who I want to be. And although I'm still very much in transition, this is definitely a beginning for me. I still have hard days, most things are a struggle in fact, but I haven't felt this positive about the direction I'm heading in a really long time. I *know* I am exactly where I need to be right now. This feels so right. It's not perfect. Far from it actually. But it's right. 

Somewhere a while ago, I took a wrong turn and now I'm out to find the path I was supposed to be on all along. 

And I'd like to bring you all with me, if you'd like to follow along. I recently remembered how much I loved blogging, how much I loved taking pictures, how much I loved documenting my life. Not for other people, but for myself. It was once one of the greatest joys for me to come to this space and share bits of my life. To make friends all over the world and create our own little community. I remembered how much blogging helped me to appreciate life. Appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. And appreciate all of the wonderful things we get to experience. And leave my little breadcrumbs so that I can come back later on and remember the things I had forgotten. Remember the things I needed. 

So I've decided that I'm going to shut my comments off indefinitely. Not because I don't want to hear what you guys have to say but because I want to focus on doing this for me. I think subconsciously and even consciously, it's been a huge block for me to consider all of the people that read my blog and then have to worry about what they think or have to say about what I share. So for right now, that's what I'm going to do. But if you really want to contact me, feel free to shoot me an email: 

Haha well enough of my repetitive ramblings. I hope you all have (or had?) a wonderful day. So much love to you. 

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Well I Have A Car?

Life is... Oi. Do you ever feel like you're being tested? I guess it's all how you make it but this past week has been a doozy. So very up and down, it's hard to get a hold on things. Like everything will be going so good but then there will be this one little mishap that just throws me for a loop.  


>> After going without a car for so long, I was *finally* able to start looking around so I can get me a set of wheels! So I picked out this awesome car, it was a great deal and I made an appointment with the guy to go buy it. So I woke up (on time) the morning of but then my dad made us late. And then we got stuck in traffic. We were literally a block from the dealership and they shut down the road right in front of us. And then when finally made it there, the salesman was with other customers! So we waited at least 20 minutes for him to actually get to us. And then by the time that he did and he went to go get the car, he found out that someone else had JUST sold it. Like 5 minutes before. WHAT. I almost cried but I brushed it off. It wasn't meant to be. Let's just leave asap and I'll figure it out later. 

>> So that was a total bummer. But I wasn't going to let it ruin my day. I had my dad drop me off at the Gay Pride Celebration downtown and I ended up having the best day/night that I've had in a while. I got to see some really awesome, old friends of mine and just had fun

>> My dad wasn't sure when the next time he would have off would be so while I was off celebrating, he went to look at another car closer to his house. And he found the *nicest* dealership. So the next Monday, they came and picked me up since I didn't have a car and all. The guy, his name was Austin, was suuuuuper nice.... Although I think part of that was because he thought I was cute ;) He even took us to get lunch before! I wasn't actually hungry because I had just eaten but he bought Eliza a sandwich from the place she wanted to go. Then we went to go check out the car and he drove us around in a little golf cart. He even let me take the car we were looking at (a prius, duh) home for an extended test drive. I loved it and was really pleased with that whole car searching experience. Much better than the last. So the next day I went back and purchased it. I have a car now guys!!

>> The extended test drive ended up being really convenient too. I got to go up to my mom's for the night and visit family that was in town for only one more day (good timing!). And then my brother's car broke down so I had to go rescue him and help take care of that. You seriously never know how convenient it is to have a car until you don't have one! 

>> When I went to my mom's, I started painting with her and it was so nice. I forgot how much I loved painting. It's so relaxing and like an escape for me. When I was in high school, I used to go work with my mom in the summers as a faux painter. It was annoying at the time because I wanted to be out with my friends but it was a really good experience for me I think. My mom would wake me up early in the morning, I would basically sleep walk into the car, and then I would listen to music all day and just tune out and paint. Even during the really hard summers, it was a nice place to go and forget about everything. And just be by myself. So now when I paint, I just slip back into that. It's almost like meditating. But I get to keep my hands busy and make something which is the best. Creating things is like my drug. It fills my soul. It was so nice. 

>> And then my mom acted all impressed and surprised that my painting turned out so good, like I had never painted before in my life! I had to remind her about those few years that she taught me everything I know. Haha. My mother, that crazy woman, I love her. 

>>After visiting my mom, I headed back down to my dad's house so I could buy my car and I ended up on this street I shouldn't have even been on and I got my first ever speeding ticket. It was the last day of the month and I supposedly was going 55 in a 45. But honestly, I have no clue. I wasn't even paying attention and before I knew it, this cop was flagging me down and writing me a ticket. I hadn't even purchased the dang car and I had already got a ticket while driving in it. It was so bizarre, I still can't really believe that happened. I guess I need to take care of that. Ugh. 

>> Anyways, I'm trying to remain positive even with all the little obstacles life keeps throwing at me. Sometimes it's the little things that fuck me up and make everything seem horrible. 

>> But also, I think I'm starting my week of p.m.s so I'm trying not to let my emotions get the best of me. Just taking it one day at a time ya'll. Things are looking up though. Now if I can just make it through this next week, I'll be good ;) 

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Fun

This past week has been kind of a whirlwind as far as figuring out my life goes. Working out all these things like who’s going to get the car, who’s going to live in the house, where we are actually going to live, gets very emotional and draining af. Everything has been so back and forth but I think it’s finally all starting to balance out (thank god). It’s been frustrating to say the least but I really am looking forward to the future. Everything is working itself out, I guess it just takes a little patience.


So I’m in search of a new car. Brandon offered to buy mine since he uses it most of the time anyways. But taking care of Eliza while vehicle-less is turning out to be quite a challenge. So Tuesday, Eliza and I woke up early and started dealership hopping. It’s been kind of fun looking around and test driving cars with her. Single mom life isn’t so bad!

My work life is picking up. I’ve got some really awesome shops solidly stocking up on Sam Wish which is pretty exciting. And I’ve also started working at a mobile boutique which is turning out to be pretty fun. It’s flexible and right up my alley! Now I just need to get a car so I can actually take care of all of that, but all in good time!

I’m also considering going back to school? I’m thinking of getting my bachelor’s in business. There’s a University of Houston campus like 3 miles from my dad’s house, I could bike there! Or even run (if I was that motivated… or fit). I’m a little on the edge about that though. I’m not sure I’m ready to go back to school for another few years. Plus I’m not sure about the commitment that would require from me…. But I mean, I’m here. I might as well, right? We’ll see. I have about a month to decide on whether I want to do that or now. 

Also, I’m planning some fun trips for the rest of the summer. I’ve got a lot of adventures in the works!!  I’m still working out all the details, I’ll post about it soon buuuuuuuut I’m pretty excited about it. I forgot how much I love planning things. And dreaming. Like really big, fulfilling dreams. It’s making my heart feel so full again.

My summer is getting pretty booked up, it should be smooth sailing from here on out! Just a lot of work and play. Until Eliza goes back to school that is! Until then, I’m looking forward to having fun with her and trying not to take everything so seriously. I just want to live in my bathing suit, do lots of cuddling and sleeping in, and maybe make some things along the way. Oh and travel.  And spend time with the people I love. Yes. All of those things. And I will be set. 

Yayyyyy summer. 

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Little Austin For My Soul

This past weekend I took a little mini vacation to Austin, TX with my dad and brother and boy was it
good. Exactly what this gal needed. 

>> As soon as we arrived late Friday night, we headed straight to Trudy's for some stuffed avocado goodness (my favorite) and the most delicious margaritas in town. I left with a fully belly (and minor stumble) but passed out quick and slept very well on my twin sized air mattress. 

>> Saturday morning, we woke up at 6:00am for this 25 mile group bike ride we were planning to attend (wishful thinking) but then made an executive decision to skip it in favor of a closer-to-home neighborhood ride, just the three of us... oh and 2 extra hours of sleep! It was still rough though, those Austin hills get me every time.

>> The rest of our Saturday morning consisted of helping my dad move the remainder of my sister's stuff to storage, grabbing some lunch (sushi, yess), and then heading out to the Greenbelt for one of the best adventures I've had in Austin yet. 

>> So we trekked miles through the slickest of muds, literally gliding across it for a good majority of the way, and made it to two different waterfalls. We jumped off trees, falls, and cliffs (into water of course), found a cave, a few new friends, and even a dog named pig. It actually started pouring on us as soon as we made it to the second falls but it was absolutely perfect. The storm cleared out 95% of the people so we ened up having most of the place all to ourselves! 

>> At one point I ended up sitting by myself in the shallow water, enjoying my surroundings while some small fish hid from the current behind my feet and nibbled on my toes. I actually tried to catch them but turns out my reflexes were no match for those tiny little pests... plus the refraction of the water was definitely throwing off my hand to fish coordination. Oh well, better luck next time. 

>> It was a really, really wonderful little adventure though. So relaxing and so much fun, it was exactly what I needed. There's something about mud squishing between your toes, swimming with all of your clothes on, and walking through the woods in the pouring rain that is so extremely grounding. I loved every minute of it. 

>> When we finally made it back to our home base, I took *the best* hot shower ever and quickly changed into some clean, dry clothes for dinner at my dad's favorite Italian restaurant. I spilt wine all over my brother's shirt (it's ok, I washed it out immediately) and ate wayy to much fettuccine alfredo (which kind of made me sick) but it was fabulous. Then we took a quick rest before heading back out for a night on the town with my daddio for his Father's day celebration. We went to Rainey Street and hit up Lucille's (the name of my dad's mom so of course we had to go), Craft Pride (a bunch of craft beers, not my choice), and Blackheart where we listened to a Nigerian rock band finish out their set. 

>> At about 1:00, my dad was ready to retire so we had him drop us off for a quick dance sesh and last call drinks at Barbarellas. Oh and I bought this amazing necklace from a vendor that was just set up outside! 


>> Somehow we befriended these boys that invited us to play pool. So after the bar closed down, that's where we headed. Oh!! But as I was leaving, this beautiful gypsy man that had been watching me all night (it's so peculiar being single ya'll) stopped me outside, took my hand, told me I looked like a nice person, whispered his name, and slipped me his business card saying something along the lines of, "This is what I do, this is my music, this is me". Then he turned around and disappeared into the crowd. Apparently he's a part of this Eurasian Prog Core band.... don't ask me what that means because I have no idea. If I had to describe him, I would say he looked like the love child of Brad Pitt and Heath Ledger. Not a bad combo if I do say so myself. 

>> Thaaaat was bizarre but not the last strange encounter of the night! So we proceeded to this billiard room to play pool with our new friends. And theeeeeeen this random (and seemingly out of place) group of hippies walk in and with them is this other person that I totally knew!! Well by knew him, I mean I had seen him before. And by seen him before I really mean, he was a performer at the Archaic Revival festival I went to and I had watched him (probably for hours), completely mesmerized by his mad fire poi skills. I had never seen someone, in person at least, with such great rhythm and flow with the poi. It. Was. Magical. And I never thought I would see him again but there he was! And I could tell he recognized me too because I saw him give me the double take when he walked in and saw me sitting there. But I was too shy and slightly inebriated to make anything of it. Oh well. 

>> We ended our night shortly after that and hit the road the next day. 

Besides a few minor hiccups, it was a truly enjoyable weekend. I was accompanied by my brother and dad and it was so fun to just get to hang out with the both of them. My dad has been extremely helpful lately, he's basically been my rock through all of the craziness that is my life right now. And my brother is basically my best friend. He's my partner in crime, it's so easy to relax and have a good time with him.... Sometimes that's all you need. 

Brandon had Eliza for the weekend (since it was Father's day) so I got to have a little break from mommy-ing too. As much as I love that little bugger, it's nice to just be a 24 year old sometimes. 

Well that's all for now. I had a really great weekend and I wanted to write it all down before I forget. It's nice to be able to do that again. It's nice to be able to put my thoughts into words. I've missed blogging. It's so good for my soul. 

Oh and before I leave, I just wanted to express my gratitude for all of you guys leaving me the sweetest of comments. It really touches my heart and I just wanted to say how much I truly appreciate all of the love and support. So much love to you guys!

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Life Lately


// Moving back into my dad's w/Eliza
// Setting up my new studio
// Figuring out how to work (like actually, productively) in this place
// Getting used to our summer schedule aka having Eliza all day long 
// Training for my new job, driving around a fashion boutique (!!)
// Planning lots of summer adventures 
// Thinking about going back to school in the fall
// Binge watching Orange Is The New Black 
// Staying dry and lazy. Tropical Storm Bill ya'll 
// Still working things out with Brandon such as the one car we shared, who's going to end up with the house, who gets to keep our kitty, and how we're going to share our time with Eliza 
// Enjoying my own bedroom and bathroom. Seriously
// Also, a dishwasher?! And gas stove. It's the little things. 
// Hanging out with my brother and dad. They're kind of the best.
// Working on my summer tan 
// Not keeping up with my workout schedule or healthy eating diet #yolo 
// And just adjusting to this new life in general 

Amidst all the chaos and absolute shit storm that this is *sometimes*, I truly believe that this is exactly where I need to be right now. I'm still trying to figure everything out, but who isn't? Despite the hard times, I finally feel like I am where I'm supposed to be. And I wake up happy. And that's something I'm really, really excited about. I've got a lot to look forward to in the next few months. And I really, really love being at my dad's house right now. It's always been like a sanctuary to me, my safe place. It's nice to be here right now, it makes the transition easier on my heart. 

I feel like everything's going to be ok. 


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