little sarah Big World

Tag: cheer

Going Out in Valpo

-OR-

And to think, this all started in a church…

…where we went to hear classical guitar. And eat Oreos. Then we drink wine from mini bottles on top of an overpass. And then we went to a bar/club.

…where we drank more, danced to live rockabilly music, hit on the coat-check girl, got hit on by inexpert boys of all nationalities, and danced ’til the wee hours of the morn.

Then I walked home alone, got lost, and asked some sailors for direction. I was maybe still drunky when Brett woke me up this morning to catch our bus.

Don’t tell Mom.

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Psych!

~OR~

Catchphrases of the 90s: Where Are They Now?

Aw, Friends, you didn’t really think I’d abandon you for 3 whole weeks, did you? Now, I can’t promise daily posts (as though that were the standard that I’ve set…), but I will do my best to treat you to enough catch-up posts and guest blogs to keep you coming back for more.

Because the “more” will be pictures of South America. Argentina, Chile, and Peru, specifically.

In the meantime…here’s a March Round-Up! March was fun, Friends. Or did you not see the two bottles of wine above? That happened! We took two bottles of wine to a dinner for three. This was that dinner:

That was at Pago. For Stephanie Red’s birthday. Also for Stephanie’s birthday, we had cake. In a bar. Because of this movie. It was cheesecake:

Ah, birthdays. We basically celebrated for a week, which is how everyone should birthday.

Also in March, Salt Lake got a new mall! What? YES.

Lindsey Friend works there. We ate Subway about it.

Anyways, that was March! How was YOUR March? I wanna know. No, really.

Also: stay tuned.

Guess What?

~OR~

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!

Guess what, Friends?

I love chia! Who knew, right?

I could drink it probably forever; it is just that texturally pleasing.

Guess what else, Friends?!

I am working harder than ever! Blogging for my Garden City committee and for GNZAP and doing outreach at 7am with Bonnie (pictured above, sunny as always), Rachel (not pictured), and Dees (pictured NOW):

Guess what’s more, Friends?!?!

I’m going to South America on Friday. For 3 1/2 weeks.

Yup. Busy, busy, busy.

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.

Great + Attitude = Gratitude

…sort of. I majored in English, not Math, Friends.

Things I am Grateful for Today:

-Trees in bloom

-My amazing, supportive, and amazingly supportive friends

-My job, and the sunny dispositions of my coworkers

-Salads

-Daiya Cheese

-The work-out room at work

-Afternoon naps followed by hot chocolate and a quick walk

The Dainty Squid

-Randomly catching a movie for free last night

-Making it to work on time

-New Opportunities

And, for your viewing pleasure, I most humbly present a turtle ballerina, garnished with pond flora:

If You Can’t Be With the One You Love…

…Love the One You’re With

I have a very rainbow-centric job…

…and I kinda dig it.

Truth Time: remember when I was not digging it? And not dealing well? (Here ‘s a refresher. Also here.)

And, really, I was pretty all over the place with most things. Emotionally.  Some days my jobs were okay, some days I liked my friends, some days I felt like MAYBE I’d made the right choice…but other days I was just hanging in there. Like a cat on a tree branch.

But…then I decided not to make any more plans. Because making plans was stressing me out. See, making plans meant making A DECISION, which naturally involved re-assessing all past decisions, in an effort not to eff everything up again. But it also meant trying to figure out the future, and what I might want a month or a year from now.

And I just don’t know that, Friends. I just don’t know.

*       *       *

So. No more plans. Just here. Just this. Some other quote from Rent…

Seriously, though, letting go of the past AND the future has done wonders. Guess what? My jobs are awesome. I love kids. Even when they’re little shits. Okay, especially when they’re little shits. They’re just so bad ass. Look at what my kiddos did for the storytime craft last night:

A metaphor:

You know how some times everything sucks and your friends are flaky and your family doesn’t understand you and your job is killing your soul and you don’t want to do anything and nothing is ever going to get better? But then really it turns out you just needed to eat?

I guess I just “needed to eat.”

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.

The Seasons, They Go Round and Round

~OR~

We’re Captive on a Carousel of Time

(Joni Mitchel)

Ah, but where does the time go? It seems not even a year ago that I was making Passover puns in poor taste…

…probably because it wasn’t even a year ago. Sometimes seder  has to be moved up a few weeks, to accommodate world travelers. And–as Joey pointed out–it’s usually “a bit more reverent.” Listen, we do what we want.

But oh, we have fun.

Except…except this year’s (early) Passover seder turned into a metaphor for my life:

Everyone was having a good time eating and drinking and wanting to dance all night, but then they all got distracted talking about relationship troubles and babies and the seasons of our lives.

And I still just wanted to dance.

Baking Give-Away!

~OR~

Seriously, Friends, Why Aren’t You More Excited to Contribute?

 I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, because I haven’t been baking as often.  WHAT WAS IT THINKING?! Guys, baking is awesome. It is so much fun, so soothing, such a pleasant early-morning activity. I listened to my Harold Arlen compilation (he’s the guy who wrote “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”) and threw together a batch of chocolate chip oatmeal lovelies.

I used the recipe from inside the Quaker Oats drum…

…but I changed pretty much everything about it–flax instead of eggs, applesauce instead of butter, less sugar, no raisins, etc. I’ll post my recipe at the end, for those of you into mutant vegan cookies.

At first I wasn’t going to photograph this little venture, because I had already forgotten to document it step-by-step. Then I remembered that I don’t even LIKE doing step-by-step recipe pictures. I just like taking pictures of that which I find to be elegant, graceful, lovely, and delicious. Like this:

I will never tire of the sunlight coming in through my kitchen window. It warms my heart and soul. And my body. In fact, when I have time, I warm up in the morning by having Dance Party of One: Morning Edition in the little patch of sunlight on the carpet between fireplace and kitchen counter. The soundtrack? “My Girl” station on Pandora. Try it.

*       *       *

I baked these little beauties to say “Thank you.” Some for Robyn, who lent me books 2 and 3 of the Hunger Games series (the crack-cocaine of YA lit), and some were for Marcela, who lent me workout pants at CrossFit when I had mistakenly packed my black stretchy workout top instead of my black stretchy workout pants. An honest mistake.

Saying thank you is important to me; I want people to know that when they go out of their way to make my life more pleasant, it is a big deal. It is a cookie-deserving occasion. Plus, you know, I like to bake things and wrap them in brown paper and admire them in the sunshine at 11am.

In that same spirit, I want you to know how much I appreciate YOU, dear Friends! AND I need help. I’m going to ask a favor, and I promise you that your help will be duly rewarded. With baking supplies:

Here’s the deal:

1 – Sister Nikki gave me baking stuff for Christmas, which is awesome. I always need more dishtowels, and now I have a pie crust protector and other fun baking goodies. But now I have two flour sifters and two rolling pins. That’s too many! So I want to give away a 3-cup flour sifter and a wooden rolling pin. To you!

2 – But you’ve gotta do something to earn it. See, I’ll be away for a few weeks in May, unable to keep up my (admittedly half-assed as of late) blogging schedule. I need content, Friends.

3 – I want YOUR favorite vegan recipes! Send me your favorite recipe, along with some notes (if you like) and some photos. Get creative! Do it! The best recipe/notes/picture combo will receive the rolling pin and flour sifter! Yay! But runners-up will receive post-cards from my top secret vacation destination. Everyone loves to get postcards, right?

*       *       *

So that’s the deal–send your recipes, words and pictures to littlesarahbigworld[at]hotmail[dot]com. Also your mailing address. You have until March 31st, winners will be announced April 1st. No joke!

Now get a-bakin!

*       *       *

Sarah’s Super Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

-1 c applesauce (unsweetened)

-3/4 c brown sugar, packed

-2 Tbs ground flax seed mixed with 6 Tbs water

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour

-1 tsp baking soda

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp salt

-3 c oats

-1 c chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

-Preheat oven to 350°F

-Whisk together flax seed and water with a fork. Set aside.

-Mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a smallish bowl. Also set aside.

-Blend applesauce and brown sugar in a large bowl, then add the flax mixture and vanilla, stirring well.

-Add the flour mixture to the applesauce mixture in three parts, stirring well. Then add the oats. It will seem like way too many oats and you will think “This is CRAZY,” but just go with it. It’ll all come together, promise.

-Lastly, mix in the chocolate chips. Then drop by the spoonful onto a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

The Difference a Year Can Make

~OR~

National Pi(e) Day!

…was last Tuesday. How did I not know about this in advance? Anyways, now I know, because it will be every year, March 14th (3.14…). This day, however, is not to be confused with National Pie Day, which is January 23rd. I celebrated that one last year.

Which gets me to thinking about how much has changed for me in just over a year. Last year, I baked that pie at my moms’ house, where I was living in the basement, next to the coal shoot. I baked the pie by myself, because baking is one of my many coping mechanisms, and I had much to cope with–lack of friends, lack of personal space, lack of direction in life, etc. I was taking everything personally, you see, feeling that I didn’t have decent friends or quarters or plans because I didn’t deserve them.

Now, I do have those things:

AND a much-improved sense of self-worth. And guess what, Friends? It was the self-worth that came first. I had to trust that my shitty circumstances were just that–circumstances. That they did not reflect who I was or what I was capable of or what I merited. I had to trust that I could and would have a better apartment, better friends, and better, more-suitable goals. That I was not inherently flawed, but just going through a bit of a rough patch.

And now? Well, now when I bake a pie, I have many lovely ladies to share it with, friendships that continue to grow and develop and deepen all the time. Now I don’t have to use my moms’ kitchen (unless I’m house-sitting), because I have my very own. It’s small, and imperfect, but it’s all mine.

Now I don’t have to feel guilty about dropping out of school, or quitting my band, or looking for a new job, because I know that it’s okay to want better for myself, and that I deserve it. I know that my thoughts and ideas and dreams and aspirations, no matter how radical or half-baked or uncertain, are all mine. I can do what I want, like eating leftover pie for lunch.

Not that there was much left over.