“Barn’s burnt down —
I can see the moon.”
“Barn’s burnt down —
I can see the moon.”
A few words I’m loving lately:
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ~ Franz Kafka
“I don’t want to be afraid to take risks. I don’t want my tombstone to read “She hid her flaws well on the red carpet”- Mindy Kaling
“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club”.- Jack London
It is not the fear of moving on that scares me, it is the fear of never going back. They never told us just how much it would cost to choose in life. They never told us that even though you can move on from certain things, it may in turn cost you your heart. These decisions we face may turn us into either saints or monsters, but it has to be worth more than becoming nothing at all.
– Mary Kate Teske
I’ve been lusting after this Tartine flourless chocolate cake since I first moved to California, almost 3 years ago. When I bought myself the Tartine cookbook for Christmas this year, the only reason I got it was so that I could make myself this cake for my birthday.
Since I was traveling for almost 2 weeks around my birthday, I didn’t get the chance, but luckily I had four friends with birthdays in the same week and we had a huge joint party for them last weekend, so I was able to make it after all.
It was definitely a bit of work, it’s a souffle cake so it took ages to beat all of the eggs, and I was basically camped out in front of the oven making sure it didn’t stay in too long since apparently over-baking for even one minute immediately renders it inedible, but it came out great, and it was moist and delicious.
The cake itself is chocolatey and delightful, and then you cover it with a chocolate ganache to make it even more tantalizing. I also added some edible glitter since I still have a ton left over from my wedding cupcakes, and it’s so lovely.
I pretty much put it on everything. If you’ve never made glittery fettucine alfredo you’re really missing an opportunity for wonderfulness and joy.
A few things that are making me happy right now:
This list of countries that Canadians are eligible to work and live in via working holidays visas. There are so many amazing places in the world, I want to live everywhere. And if you want something bad enough, you’ll figure out a way to do it. There are a lot of opportunities out there if you are interested enough to seek them out, and brave enough to take advantage of them.
The fact that it is officially spring, flowers are starting to bloom and I can wear dresses and sandals without freezing to death.
I came across The Dictionary of Obscure sorrows when I was creeping around the web one day. It is a dictionary of made up words that aim to define feelings or occurrences that have no real definition.
This amazing Eyeko eyeliner is life changing. I couldn’t use liquid eyeliner before because it took so long to get the tiny, wispy little strokes even, and I usually ended up looking like Derek had punched me in the eye. Eyeko has a nice, thick tip so it’s like drawing on your eyeliner with a Sharpie. It is way easier to get a consistent line, and it stays on all day.
For someone who puts so much emphasis on forward motion, I’m really terrible at saying goodbye to the present.
No matter how many times I tell myself it’s for the best, or at least you had the amount of time with that person that you did, or maybe you won’t see each other all the time but it’s not goodbye forever, it doesn’t seem to help.
Because the truth is, you do make choices, whether you’d like to admit it or not, and those choices lead you towards new things, but also, away from other things.
And that’s OK, it’s good even, because the alternative is being so terrified of what you might lose that you forfeit everything you stand to gain and that you stay in the same place forever and are always the one left behind.
It’s normal to be sad, and to be scared that what’s to come won’t be as good as what came before.
Just be grateful that you had the chance to experience something that was so hard to say goodbye to. Keep moving forward, because really, what choice do you have?
I recently finished reading A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout. The memoir describes her time traveling the world as a freelance journalist, and her eventual kidnapping by Muslim extremists in Somalia, where she was raped, beaten, and held for ransom for over a year.
Amanda is a Canadian girl, she grew up only a few hours away from me, so this story hit home for me even more. She came from an unstable home, and moved out as soon as she was old enough. She spent time as a waitress in Calgary, and managed to save a lot of money. She had never left the country, or done any traveling, but she booked herself a ticket to South America, where she traveled around for months.
She began returning to Calgary to earn enough money to travel, and then spending six months at a time away traveling the world, eventually making her way to the war torn countries of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where she began working as a freelance journalist and photographer as a way to earn more traveling money, even though she had no experience or schooling.
From there, she went on to Somalia, hoping for her “big break” as a journalist. After only 3 days in the country, she was taken.
It was a really great read, I knew what the memoir was about before I started reading, but even though I knew where her story would eventually lead, I was still envious over her travels, and entranced with her descriptions of her adventures and all of the amazing places she was able to visit.
It was difficult to read about her terrifying ordeal, every time it seemed like things were about to turn around for her, they would actually get worse, but she was very brave, and lived to tell her story.
Amanda still travels the world, and she started a non-profit foundation to help provide education and aid in Kenya and Somalia.
You can order A House in the Sky here.
I’m not a very good photographer, that is just a fact. I love to take pictures, I used to go through a point-and-click camera every six months because I always had one in my purse, banging around, being stepped on, dropped, sat on, etc, because I never wanted to be without a way to take pictures.
That being said, I don’t technically know a lot about photography. After I bought myself a Nikon DSLR last January, I thought it would automatically improve my pictures exponentially, and it did, but also it just added more buttons and dials that I had no idea how to use, and I ended up taking pictures on Auto every time.
This year, I vowed that I would learn how to at least use my camera, so when I saw a Basic Photography class in Walnut Creek, I decided to sign up. The morning of the class I was so tired, and the urge to stay home and make a lazy breakfast with the boy was almost overwhelming, but I tried to remember my goal and summoned the motivation to get out of bed and go.
And I’m so glad I did. The class was with Source Photograhy, and the instructor, Gene, is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. We spent about an hour and a half talking about photography; light, ISO and aperture, and then the rest of the 3 hour class practicing and taking pictures.
He had lots of lenses that he was happy to let people borrow, and the best part is that once you attend a class, you can come back to that class as many times as you want for free, if you didn’t quite get something the first time, or just want to practice.
He lets people come in and use their studio to practice lighting and studio photography, even allowing people to bring in their own models, for free if he is in town. I learned so much in the short class, I know so much more about my camera and photography in general, and I feel confident enough to go out and practice on my own.
He also takes his student out on photography field trips, free of charge, where he’ll let you borrow his lenses and help you practice, so I’m going into the city with him this weekend to do some shooting.
I still have lots to learn, but at least I finally feel like I know what my camera can do so I feel like practicing will be a lot more fun, and less frustrating.
As soon as I found out we were going to Point Reyes, and I started telling people in Hawaii, the one thing I heard over and over again was that I absolutely had to go to Cowgirl Creamery, a local dairy and cheese making business. They are located right in downtown on main street, and their cheese is amazing.
I’ve gotten some from the ferry building in San Francisco, my favourite one is called Red Hawk, but I’d never been there before last weekend. We were cruising around Marin exploring some of the little towns, and we stopped at Cowgirl and one of the other cheese makers in the area.
We bought cheese and freshly made ice cream (vanilla bean, caramel truffle and bitter sweet chocolate) from Cowgirl, and the other place, The Cheese Factory, just outside of town had lots of cheeses out to sample and chilled wine for sale, and a beautiful picnic grounds with a pond to sit and eat.
I ate apples and Red Hawk every day for lunch this week, and I loved every minute of it.
I had a bouquet of roses just sitting around, no reason, slowly dying on my kitchen table, so I decided to do something with them.
We tried making rose water the day after my wedding, since we had so many roses to work with, but there was so much going on and so many people to see that we ended up leaving it on the stove too long and it was not a good situation.
For this batch, I used 3 cups of water with the petals from 12 red roses, and put them on to simmer for about half an hour.
Apparently there are lots of things you can do with it, I just plan on pouring it into a bubble bath. It’s a gorgeous colour, and it smells amazing.