Learning to love the transitions

When I was younger I hated the fall.  I also hated spring, both for the same reason:
They are transitional seasons.

My dislike for these seasons stemmed from the belief that they were in-between periods of weather, which meant they were occupying time before the real seasons happened, the extreme weather season.

Fall and Spring are not quite one or the other, they alternate hot and cold until they finally reach one steady temperature. And in my antsy young mind I wasn’t about to bother with the build up months between the dichotomy of winter and summer.

Because if you think about it, spring and fall are the same thing. They are roughly the same temperature happening after a certain period of prolonged weather. So depending on the weather you just finished forging, say a cold winter or a hot summer, the fall or spring will be welcomed as a nice cool down or a great warm up.  But they are the same weather. You just experience it differently because of the circumstances you just came out of.

And I resented that, that wishy-washy-ness, that “light-jacket” period of life (because If I have to carry a jacket around with me everywhere I better have to wear it!). I was more concerned with the final cut, the end result. Be hot or cold, weather, you can’t have it both ways!

I felt like this for a really long time.  Annoyed at the little buds that grew on the apricot tree in my backyard. Blossom already, I thought.

And then slowly, my life began to shift. I grew older and taller and no longer saw the world as black and white or hot and cold; and my allergy to transition seasons slowly faded away.

Because I started understanding the importance and need of in-between periods.

Like in Spring, when new things begin to grow
And in Fall, when the old makes way to prepare for the new.

Both seasons being critical to the outcome of the next.

Which is no different than in our own lives.

We have waiting season and periods between major life moments that can make us uncomfortable and antsy, when the old is making way for the new or the new is starting to grow. Though we might not notice it at the time.

If we could just get to the good stuff, we think
Skip all the build up, we think

How many times can you look back on your own life and pin-point a moment you resented while in the midst of it, only to look at it now and recognize yourself growing and learning through it? Many, I’m sure.

That’s how it always happens. We don’t see the whole picture. And the in-between seasons might be messy and chaotic, but they’re doing something:

They are the paint brushes being dipped in paint ready to brush a canvas
The string being threaded through the tiny needle eye, ready to start a strong stitch.

Each movement tedious and seemingly insignificant, but both the beginnings of something new and good. And necessary. 

I hated the fall because it wasn’t quite winter and I hated the spring because it wasn’t quite summer. But these seasons matter, not only to the progress of nature, but to the souls well-being. It's healthier to grow into something, then to collapse into it. 

In these moments, we learn patience and contentment, to rely on God and not ourselves. And that even in a light jacket, we can raise our faces to the sky and enjoy the warmth it gives without worrying and vying to know what will happen next.

We learn to sit contently, wrapped in a scarf in the Fall sun.


Insta pics

Just a few snapshots from my trip down south. Thought it would be cool to post them here instead of clog up my phone storage.  Such an amazing place to visit. I definitely caught the travel bug after this trip.

 A proper post to follow soon!


Pretzel Crusted Brownies

Sometimes you crave a sweet treat. Sometimes you crave a salty treat.

Sometimes you crave both sweet AND salty, and this is where the pretzel brownies come into play.

I had a whole bunch of pretzels from a recipe I attempted a while ago and through Pinterest scrolling I came across pretzel crusted brownies. I am a huge fan of sweet and savoury dishes; Chicken with fruit, salted honey and avocado toast or Chicago style popcorn- I love the mixing!

So It was a no brainer that I'd try this recipe out. I got super lazy with the baking though, and skipped the brownies from scratch part and used a box (sorry not sorry). I also didn't include the caramel.Which may have been why the brownies were not as stellar as I've made them in the past, but still good none the less.

I lined my baking pan with tin foil for easy clean up, assembled the crust, poured the batter on top and waited a bit till it was all done!

I wil say this about the crust, make sure you crush all the pieces. Again, laziness is my bed fellow and I crushed 3/4 of the pretzels to a fine grind but not all which resulted in the bigger pieces floating into the brownie mixture.

They were still good though.

Give it a go!


The Kind of Woman I want to Be

photo by nor ah 

The kind of woman I want to be:
Inspired by Meg Fee

I want to eat the green stuff that makes you feel good
That gets deep in your bones and makes you feel new
That gives you the energy to wake up and lace up your running shoes
To start the day running into morning light

I want to wear every single piece of clothing I own
To break them in, make them mine
Choose carefully when I decide to introduce something new to the mix
Knowing what will work in the long run and
What is just trend

I want to think before I speak
To consider my options, my audience, my response
So that what I say holds weight and meaning instead of dead words
that fall to the ground after being said
Words that were said but not meant

I want to appreciate what I have and worry less about what I don’t
To live in the moment and be grateful for what God has given me
Instead of whining and pining over what He has not and
Wasting all the good I have

I want

fresh flowers all the time
to learn to make my own lattes
read as many books as possible
to wake up early and sit watching the night being chased by the morning
to laugh that deep laugh that gets in-between your ribs lingering throughout the night
and to make someone else laugh that laugh- the one that heals so many things.

to know that I may not know what I want to do, but I know the kind of woman I want to be. 


Bacon Wrapped Dates

The last time I went to visit my friend in London she bought bacon.
After getting me from the bus station and grabbing a coffee (and some rose for later) we shimmied over to the city market for lunch and groceries.

I assumed the bacon was for breakfast or sandwiches so I didn’t give it much thought.  But I was wrong!

Later on in the evening, after having dinner and being rained on as we walked around, we sat down at home to watch a movie with our rose and…bacon wrapped dates.

I know, weird right? So that’s what the bacon was for!
 But trust me with this, they are so good and so simple to make!
The recipe comes from Bittersweet and even in the book Shauna talks about how everyone was judging her dates before they ate them.  I definitely did.  And now I make them all the time.

The first time I made mine I accidentally used figs (they look the same as dates…sorta) and I don’t recommend it unless you like really sweet things.  I thought they would taste interchangeable but they don’t.  So dates it will always be for me.

Bacon Wrapped Dates
Ala Shauana Niequist

1 pkg pitted dates
4 oz goat cheese
1 pkg bacon

Slice dates in half and open them up.
Scoop a small amount of goat cheese into the center of the dates, and close them back up.
Cut the whole package of bacon in half, so that each long strip is now half as long.
Wrap a half-slice of bacon around the outside of the date.
Arrange seam side down in a baking dish or on a baking sheet with sides to catch any grease.
(A foil pan is really nice for no clean-up)
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until well browned.

Drain on paper towel, and serve warm or at room temperature.


Sleeping habits

The best sleep I've ever had was the night I came home from Europe.

After traveling through the night to get to the airport in Germany, flying 8 hours to Pearson with a 4 hour layover and an hour plane ride home, I was dog tired and zonked out the moment I arrived home.  That was around 10pm.

The next day, though slightly jet-lagged, I woke around 6am. And I was completely rested.

Rested in mind, in body, in muscles.  I was awake early and didn’t mind one bit.

And I crave that feeling every morning.

So I’ve been looking into how I can improve my sleeping habits to mimic that dog-tiredness- awesome sleep I had 3 months ago (without travelling all the time, because that isn’t likely unfortunately).

Getting a good sleep seems like a no-brainer- everyone should know how to do it right? But sometimes it’s good to take a refresher course.
  • I like to spray lavender and/or light my favourite Lavender & Thyme candle while winding down with a tea and a book (or an episode of Arrested Development)
  •  This video  gives good tips about rest and winding down before going to bed
  • This song has been dubbed the most relaxing ever in the history of man which apparently which gradually slows down to 50 beats per minute. Aka a musical sleeping pill?


French kids eat

I have, as of late, become obsessed with food.

I blame the book Bittersweet, but in a good way.

Shauna’s writing and clever recipes made me wake up from my culinary funk and start putting ingredients to good use. Something I have shamefully not done in quite a while.

I’ve been taking time to plan out meals and snacks, so that I have good food I enjoy eating rather than ok food that fills me up. I’ve been experimenting with different recipes and meals and it’s made me think about another food book I read a while ago. I stumbled across Karen Le Billon’s book French Kids Eat Everything (And Yours Can Too) through blog browsing and found myself ripping through it once I bought it.

In her book she talks about moving to France with her husband and little family and experiencing eating through the eyes of her growing children and the French school system.  I was really surprised to read that children eat on clothed tables with cutlery instead of desks with lunch pails; I was not surprised to read that the French eat slower than western cultures (spending a week in France and having a lunch that lasted over 3 hours proved this). And there was a line that stood out to me which I still remember:

In between meals it's ok to feel hungry…The stomach is a muscle. And just like any muscle, it should be allowed to rest. (146)

I never thought about the stomach in this way before reading this book! It made me step back a bit and evaluate my snacking habits a bit(I am a diehard snacker).

I really enjoyed reading about the perspective of food through a cultural lens.If you are into food, food-culture and looking for a good read I really recommend this book!