little sarah Big World

Category: Baking

…and an Easy Morning

focus on the recipe card

Simple. Kitchen. Baking. Tea. Sunlight. To-Do lists. Writing. A studio apartment. Happy husband. Blue bed. Stacks of books.

focusing on the bowl

It may not be perfect, but it’s mine, and I like it. It fits me well.

I think I’ve heard them call this contentment.

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comin for ya baby snakes

Oh, man. Oh, Friends. Christmas happened. So did New Year’s. And before that, a wedding. And before that, a road trip, and before that finding out about moving to Japan.

Before that it was Thanksgiving, so basically what I’m saying is that things have been a nutso landslide of friendship, family and festivities. Also love. Also the freezing, freezing cold of a Salt Lake City winter, tempered–if only for a brief respite–by 10 days of car ownership.

What I am saying is that we are now one week into the New Year, and I am feeling the opposite of resolved. Burnt out, yes. Behind on my accomplishments?  Absolutely. But you’ve got to start somewhere, so here’s a catch-up. More words (and more pictures) to follow.

Brandi's early-20's apartment is nicer than any place I've ever lived

 

sprinkles in the sink = sinkles

 

(from coworkers!)

 

a few of literally dozens

 

Australians and Americans, together, musically

The name of the game now is “getting back on track.”

No Joke

~OR~

Lately

I will never again acheive this level of baked elegance

Baking cookies. ‘Tis the season, after all, and there are friends to catch up with, no matter how packed our schedules.

Twins n Lights

Catching the light. Twins will be twins, after all, and there are whirlwind weekends to be had, no matter how big and busy the weeks to come.

Ben Lomond hotel, Ogden, UT

Getting hitched. Impulsive as ever, after all, and there are perfect memories to be made, no matter if they’re born of necessity.

*       *       *

But more on all of that later, Friends. For now: Happy Holidays.

And yes, it’s true. It’s all true.

Homesteady

~OR~

City Mice and the Country Mouse

Last Sunday we took a field trip up to Garland, Utah–Bonnie Friend’s hometown.

She grew up on a farm, with horses, sheep, farm cats and apple trees.

We dreamed of petting barnyard animals.

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Inward

 

Sometimes I heal myself through art, Friends. Well…art and a steady stream of To-Do lists. That is life. For me, at least.

This smattering of memorabilia counts as both–something I’ve been wanting to tackle for a long time and something that I thought would bring a better sense of self to my living space and my life.

I call it my “Anti-Anxiety Mural,” and–much like its predecessor–it works like a charm. Like some form of spiritual nesting.

In other news: my very favorite person went out of town, and I’ve spent the weekend at home, making crafts and drinking, or baking and catching up with old friends, or drinking cocoa and watching movies in bed.

Or, you know, reading myself bedtime stories. Because I can. Because I want to. Because this is what being good to myself and living the life I want to looks like right now.

Just don’t ask me what that may look like in the future. I have no idea, and the mural’s only good for so much.

Kitchen Time

I have been working so much, Friends. Too much. Too much work, too much play, not enough Sarah Time, which (honestly) tends to just be Kitchen Time.

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Overhang

~OR~

“You have 15 to 20 minutes before you are bombarded with friendship. Be prepared.”

Last night. I was cleaning house, listening to the Broadway Showstoppers station on Pandora, wearing striped underwear and mom’s embroidered halter top from the 70s, and baking banana bourbon chocolate chip bread.

I turned down plans with a friend, a “friend date,” to do this. “I’ve got a date with myself,” I told her.

But…turns out you can’t just text your Stephanies a picture of you in your underwear and halter top and expect them not to show up at your house. I was making guacamole, anyways.

Told them I was in the middle of cleaning/dancing/baking, that I couldn’t be a great hostess for very long…but in the end it turned out not to matter. Because I don’t need to host them. There is no courting here, just epic hanging out and talking, laughing, complete honesty…

And whiskey gingers. Lots and lots of whiskey gingers.

(I call them that even when I use bourbon. True story).

Incidentally, I started the day off with sauteed chard.

We call that detox, friends. But it was totally worth it.

Bon Iver, A Wedding, and Pride

~OR~

Since I’ve Been Home

The above picture is from the Bon Iver concert at Red Butte, though it is also a great representation of what I’ve done since being home, which is: eat my body weight in hummus and veggies. And drink. That’s ginger-n-bulleit in the nalgene, Friends.

The concert was the night after I got back, and I almost didn’t go due to general crankiness and party poopery, but I’m glad I did, because of this:

Lady Friendships! Oh, how I am sustained by my frienships. I’ve been battling the blues and blahs since getting home (working every day for 3 weeks straight, anyone?), and even just the little chats here and there have really lifted my spirits.

*       *       *

I played a wedding! With Eric! From pianobike! Here’s what that looked like (from my POV):

*       *       *

…and then there was Pride, for which I baked the most failure cupcakes. Actually, they were for Nicole Friend, who loved and accepted them just as they were (you see what I did there?).

Cupcakes before:

Cupcakes after:

Yes, I used pre-fab frosting. Did I mention I’ve worked every day since coming home? The lesson I learned from this is that you can’t take one concept from a favorite blog, superimpose it onto a Bob’s Redmill recipe, make a bunch of vegan and high-altitude adjustments and expect any sort of coherence. That’s just asking too much.

Anyways, Pride:

and:

Rainbows aside, it was a touching, and then painful day. Touching because over 300 Mormons marched in the parade to show their support, reducing many an onlooker (myself included) to tears. Read more about that here.

Then painful because I day drank. OH MY GOSH, SARAH, NEVER DAY DRINK IT IS ALWAYS THE WORST ALLLWAAAAYS!

I really hope that’s a lesson learned. Learning lessons has been a big theme for me since coming home. I may or may not have considered getting “This is how we learn” tattooed somewhere on my body.

I may or may not still be considering that.

Welcome home, me.

How to Sundee (Part 1)

~OR~

Sunday is for Brunches

(and Family)

Oh, it is rare that I take a day to just relax, Friends. A day without non-stop obligations and to-do lists and accomplishments. But today was one of those rare days, where I don’t have “back-to-back plans” (as Kevin said). Mostly because I am not feeling well, but STILL. I’ll take my lessons where I can get them.

So today I rose early, and prepared scones

Then I went to a family brunch at Sister Natalie’s house, because Dad’s back in town, and because the weather’s nice, and also just because.

The weather truly has been amazing this week–in the 80s and sunny, with a pleasant breeze. Sunshine for days.

So of course there was trampoline jumping with the kiddos. Because there is no resisting kiddos and a trampoline, and because Kevin and I are the youngest and most-childish of the “grown-ups.” And also just because.

Later we napped, did laundry, went for a walk. We stopped by a going-away party (of sorts) to deliver some cookies, but I was feverish enough that all I wanted was to dive head-first into the ice-filled beer bucket. So we went home. Easy does it.

Sad that it takes a fever to remind me to slow down, but I think I’m getting it. Well done, Sunday.

Savor

I had to text my Eric friend the other morning to ask him, “…where did all of this self-love come from? Im enjoying it, but i also find myself asking ‘why now?’ ”

Because I don’t fully understand it, Friends. Something I’ve been striving for for so long–a sense of grace, of calm and peace and joy–is suddenly within my grasp. All I had to do was let go.

More and more I spend my time as I please, and every moment–every movement–seems delicate and sweet. Like making lists, reading in bed right when I wake up, tidying the apartment, and baking banana bread.

It was a rare slow morning, a “day off” I believe it’s called, though it’s been so long, who can remember? So I blissed out, enjoyed every aspect of it. The soft sunlight shining in through the kitchen window, circles of brown sugar and white flower. Soothing stirring and pouring motions. Listening to the Temptations and wearing a fancy apron. All of it.

And so maybe you folks will not be as into these photos as I was, but I seriously appreciated every step in the process, every angle and curve. Therefore, I documented:

I like the way everything comes together with baking. You measure, mix, and it’s like magic, the way it turns into something more than the sum of the parts. Except when its a disaster. Then I throw a tantrum. But not this day. This day I had a morning to myself, a spot of sunlight to dance in, and a delicious chocolate chip banana bread muffin.

…which I could only eat half of. So then I stopped. Just like I stopped going to CrossFit, for the time being, because I prefer running and yoga to weight training.

I think this is what they call “listening to your body and your self,” which is also a novel approach for me. Because a easy, peaceful morning can just as easily slide into a 48-hour work week, leaving me with an eye twitch and a need to seriously re-asses my priorities.

Because lately little sarah Big World Traveler would like nothing more than to settle down for a minute, commit to the plans I’ve made for right here, right now. Work less, relax more. Then maybe more mornings could be filled with baking, blogging, and self love.

As opposed to, you know, waking up at 5:30 and working until 9pm. I don’t want that anymore. I want to savor the moment.