Life

Dipping my toe in

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Life is weird sometimes. You get stuck in your routine – your sometimes super mundane, not-even-particularly-enjoyable routine that you don’t even notice because it is SO routine – and then, when you are shocked out of it – and we are talking electric chair shocked out of it – you are completely at sea.

Sorry – did I say “you?” I meant “me.” “I.”

I feel like I’ve been in nonstop transition since last July. In some ways, even earlier than that, but I feel like my 29th birthday was the start of a particularly transitiony time (that’s a word and we’re sticking with it).

Leaving my job, moving away from the Bay area, leaving almost all of my friends, death and illness in the family, and trying to figure out who I am when I haven’t been told explicitly what is expected of me by someone else has been, in a word, exhausting.

I can’t believe how tired I am.

There are good sides, of course: reconnecting with all of my in-laws in Colorado (this is, thankfully, not sarcasm: they are great), taking on meditation as a daily practice (heretofore unseen and unimagined – nay, abhorred – in this life of mine), and, I guess, if I am feeling particularly wise (which I’m not, really), being shocked out of my happy little comfort zone. As difficult as life in the Bay sometimes felt, I had my people a stone’s throw away. I had a successful career that was basically handed to me (although I worked my butt off for it). I had wine. Always, I had wine.

I’m cooking again. A LOT. Really good stuff. I’ll share it if I have the energy, which I may not. Otherwise, a follow on my Instagram stories should tell you most of what you need to know. But it’s bringing me joy, and that’s what’s most important.

A friend recently commented that she had almost missed my transition to Denver entirely due to the fact that I had been conspicuously absent from social media since the move. It was interesting to hear someone else notice this. I had indeed made a conscious effort to take a step back from social media (and, in some ways, most communication), due solely to the fact that what was in my brain did not feel share-worthy. Nobody likes a bummer, amirite?

Well, I may not be right, as it turns out. As I’m starting to learn, sometimes it’s important to ask for help. As much as it might seem like our struggles are on display to the world when we are suffering, people often have no idea. And when they don’t know, they can’t help.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have family and friends who, when called upon, are rock stars of support. And allow me to be clear: they aren’t mind readers. Nor should they be. That isn’t their responsibility. But stepping up and asking for help these last few months has been one of the most important things I’ve ever done. Oof, learning lessons is humbling.

I didn’t really have a goal with this post, other than to start writing again – because writing is so important to me, and has been so neglected – and to kind of say: hello, world. I’m sticking my head out of my shell. Checking the temperature out there. Looking for signs of life. Showing that I still have mine, and that I should be living it.

So, hi. ❤

 

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Food, Travel

Mambo Italiano, and Tuscan Pici Cacio e Pepe Style

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Oh, baby. We are BACK.

And by “BACK,” I mean that I have been completely incapable of doing anything for the past 5 days due to a nasty, nasty bout of the flu. My mom referred to this as being retribution for taking a long, amazing vacation, and I’ll admit that it feels that way a bit.

Where was I?

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Oh yes. The #dreamtrip. We were lucky enough to spend two and a half weeks exploring a ton of different parts of Italy, which is something I’ve dreamed about for what feels like ever. I’m keenly aware that the origin of this yearning may in fact have been related to the very first time that I read Eat, Pray, Love – call me basic, but that shit was inspiring. Who doesn’t want to take four months off (ideally, with the bill footed by your publishers) to eat tagliatelle and stare at the David all day? I do. I want that.

I’m going to attempt to split our trip up into separate posts, but first, I wanted to share with you our very favorite culinary adventure from that trip: Pici.  Continue reading “Mambo Italiano, and Tuscan Pici Cacio e Pepe Style”

Food

Mind-Melting Chocolate Babka / ARRIVEDERCI!

DSC_0116Well…there’s this. I’ve been drafting this post since the day after Easter (whoops), and that’s mostly because so far, it has been a whirlwind of life and then horrible illness. (Cheery start here, eh??)

Let’s try again. Hi!!!!

The picture above is unusually bad, because if we’re all being honest here, I was taking these pictures in front of a room full of people who were waiting to descend upon the babka. So what you get, as a very direct result of said vultures friends, are sub-par pictures. My B! DSC_0101 Real talk: babka takes TIME, y’all. Serious commitment. My girlfriend Rachel and I agreed that this would be our project for Easter weekend. We got together the night before and made the dough (look at the flecks of orange zest!), and then rolled and baked it on Easter morning. But I’ll be honest with you. When it came out of the oven? I felt like the world’s greatest magician. I know that all we did was follow the directions, but it makes no sense that you can make something shaped like this out of raw ingredients. It is really crazy.  Continue reading “Mind-Melting Chocolate Babka / ARRIVEDERCI!”

Food

Croissant French Toast with Browned Butter Maple Syrup

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Oops.

This is kind of the ultimate definition of #sorrynotsorry.

This past Sunday marked a most momentous event, wherein my husband offered to make me french toast without demanding exercise in return. (We took a long walk with the dog afterwards, but that doesn’t really count.)

While it felt too good to be true, it was very real. And MAN, was this french toast delicious. Let me paint you a picture: french toast. Also, croissants. Are you there yet?  Continue reading “Croissant French Toast with Browned Butter Maple Syrup”

Food

Pimped-out Grilled Cheese

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Well.

You’d never know that I’ve been eating pretty clean recently, huh?

I have a confession. While I lead an unbelievably full and wonderful life in almost every way, I have a very real issue with wanting every meal to be either pizza or grilled cheese. #thestruggleisreal, y’all.

Bread? Bread is my absolute complete and total BFF. GOOD bread, mind you – none of that airy-fairy nonsense or good bread that’s now several days old and frankly, just not that good anymore.

But truly amazing bread? With a thick, crunchy crust and a soft, pillowy inside? Oh, my goodness gracious. I really, honestly, truly CANNOT EVEN. If it’s fresh out of the oven? Stop it. Stop it right now. Shut up and get out of here.  Mmmmmm.

Dogs, Life

Ode to Huckleberry

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Today is the one-year anniversary of us becoming dog owners. I thought about writing a post about the first few weeks of Huck’s life as our dog, but instead, I decided to write a rap (to the tune of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” theme song (any similarities in the lyrics are totally just a coincidence) and THEN to tell you about the first few weeks of his life. Because my blog, my life, my rules, lots of foot stomping, blah blah blah. You know the drill.  Continue reading “Ode to Huckleberry”

Coaching, Life

The Email Project

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[Please note: I took this picture. It’s not a stock photo. I haven’t fallen that far yet.]

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. (I know, I know, cue a collective gasp from the audience.)

I value other people. I value connection. And above all else, I value making other people feel awesome.

Someone told me recently about a project that she’d heard about where a person wrote a letter a day, every day, for 21 days. The idea was to focus on sending someone nice thoughts about how great they are every day. Supposedly, it does really good things for your daily positivity and your general good vibes-y-ness. (You know?)

Well, the truth is, I hate mailing things. Thinking about the post office makes my blood run cold and my cortisol levels spike like none other, and since that’s where you go to get stamps, I just really can’t. (“But, Tess! You can get stamps at the pharmacy or on Amazon!” Don’t you think I know that? This is my blog. Let me live my life.)

But in the last week or so, I’ve received two or three emails (and even text messages!) that just absolutely made my day. The power that your words can have over another person are really astonishing, and when you harness that power for good, you can do some really neat things.

So I am embarking on a little project of my own: The Email Project. I believe in the power of the written word, and in the power of love, and I believe that sending one thoughtful email a day for the next several weeks will leave me feeling totally great. Will it be quite as touching as a mailed letter? Perhaps not. But will it touch other people just the same, and also save some trees? Sure will.

Let’s do it! Who’s with me? And if you’re in, will you leave a comment? Sometimes I start to think that I’m all alone here…