Seeking Calm

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This morning I escaped, slipping out the door in search of calm. When worry steals my breath, I often find it hidden in the trees, on the wings of birds, or waiting patiently for me along rocky shores. Where do you go when you need life to pour air back into your lungs? When you need a gentle reminder that the world is as big or as small as you allow it to be?

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Morning light doesn’t always lend itself to capturing surroundings on film, but I took my camera and these images to remember the day’s journey. What I lost in perfect photographic lighting, I gained in solitude and song. The birds were singing praises to the sunlight, calling to each other as they searched for breakfast and each other. I heard a great blue heron’s wings beat against the water as it took flight, a robin’s tiny feet rustling through leaves in search of worms, the whistling upward trill of a glossy brewer’s blackbird. And as I listened to the smooth sound of rocks slipping against each other under the weight of my feet, I was reminded that this is not just their place, it is my place too, so long as I tread lightly and lovingly. Continue reading

Celebrating Four Years + Peeking Around the Bend

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Four years ago, I created this space to share what inspired me. My first post was the account of a wildly fortuitous vintage shopping experience with my sister, and since that day I’ve covered everything from style and culture to love and loss through my words and my photography. The blog’s name, much to my dismay, elicited confused and quizzical responses, but my intention had been simple. I endeavored to say, in a succinct and self-deprecating way, that while I have great love and appreciation for this world’s beauty – from pristine waters and mountains to lovingly crafted plates of food – I am in no way an authority or expert, just a wanderlust-filled dabbler wanting to share it all with you.

My time here has been equal parts joy and catharsis. It has also bestowed upon me an unexpected gift: the act of putting pen to paper here (so to speak) has allowed me to discover what I am profoundly passionate about and given me the confidence to trade breadth for depth. Continue reading

California Wine Country

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Oh Napa Valley, how I fell for you! Your sexy, curving roads thrilled. Your warm October breezes, heady with eucalyptus, rosemary, and grapes intoxicated. Your wine sated and delighted. And your food. Oh, your food! Each ingredient shining but not overpowering, casually lending just-yanked-from-the-garden character. And your insouciant beauty, from vista to vineyard lunch, aroused both inspiration and envy. Don’t tell Chicago, but I’m dying to see you again. Continue reading

Roasted Buttercup Squash and Soba Noodle Salad with Creamy Miso Ginger Dressing

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This hearty autumn salad was inspired by last week’s trip to Napa Valley. On our first day, we drove to Sonoma County and spent a lazy afternoon wandering around Healdsburg. SHED, the foodie paradise market and café, was by far our favorite spot. My friend Domonique, a San Fransisco native, mentioned that it’s probably the most instagrammed place in wine country and after seeing it for myself I understand why. SHED exemplifies Northern California culture – hyper fresh, local, sustainable, organic, simple and thoughtful. The eat-local/organic/farm-to-table movement now prevalent everywhere began in this little corner of the world, and spending time there had a profound impact on me. Continue reading

Wasted on the Way

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With my nephew, a mere six hours old.

My baby sister gave birth to a healthy, gorgeous boy last week. The moment she went into labor, I scrambled onto a plane. My children were every bit as excited as I, practically kicking me out the door and assuring me they would get along fine without me. And so I arrived just a few hours after he came into the world, watching with wonder the essence of life as my sister sat on her sofa and nursed him (yes, she came home five hours after delivering, and yes, she’s semi-superhuman). I was able to hold him, stroke his silky soft cheeks, marvel at his perfect cupid’s bow mouth and teeny tiny hands while he gripped my finger tightly. My heart tugged, pulled close by the invisible strings that will connect us forever as family. I looked at my sister and brother-in-law and remarked, can you even remember what you thought about before he was here? He quickly wanted to return to her, already knowing the warmth and scent of his mama. I watched my sister take him in her arms, Continue reading