It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Daily Life post and it’s for good reason. However, I’m starting to feel pretty disconnected from all of you and I’m sure if you’re a long time reader you’re feeling the same.
I’ll just lay it out there..
I am scared shitless right now and I think that’s exactly how I’m supposed to feel. I’m working my buns off to really make my blog the primary source of my income which is not easy when you have to constantly put yourself out there and pitch to companies only to be told no A LOT and the yes’s are few are far between. I’m also launching a vintage clothing Etsy shop with my close friend.. oh and then launching another shop with my mom this fall. Did I mention the part where I’m also selling through over half my closet on eBay to fund a two week road trip through the southwest in September? And selling most of my furniture and decor on Craigslist to prepare for my cross-country move back to Iowa?
Yea… we all have a lot to catch up on.
Since the day that I left Iowa to set out for Oregon, I’ve felt ripped in half. I made the choice of leaving my closest friends and family so that I could experience living in a new city and try to find what we’re all after: happiness. I was really happy when I got out here, but I also felt constant guilt and the fear of regret. I kept thinking.. what if I’m not there and something terrible happens to a member of my family? What if my nieces, nephews, and friend’s kids forget who I am? How many small, but significant moments have I missed out on with the people I love?
After five years and countless airport goodbyes that never get any easier.. I’m ready to come home.
Oregon has been such a crucial part in shaping me to be the person I am now, so I in no way regret leaving or staying gone for as long as I did. The experiences I’ve had, the places I’ve been able to see, and the people I’ve met here who have become like a second family to me, have truly changed my life forever. Now I get to have more tearful goodbyes when I head back east which tells me that I either love and care intensely or I’m a glutton for punishment and heartbreak.
Another reason for my silence on the blog and the decision to go back home is that Josh and I have decided to get divorced. This past year has been quite the roller-coaster and definitely not the fun kind. A lot of tears, arguments, tension, and heart breaking conversations of will we or won’t we. We thought a little bit of space would be good and the plan was for me to only spend a few months back home, but as things progressed we realized we were just moving forward on two different paths.
After one last calm, but still heartbreaking conversation we decided that it was the best choice for us to end things. We love and care quite deeply for one another even still and rather than turn into monsters and hate the other person because we’re forcing it to work, we can simply step away, appreciate and cherish all of the amazing moments we’ve shared, and continue to love and support each other as friends.
Our relationship and marriage doesn’t look like anyone else’s, therefore our divorce isn’t either. Oddly enough it makes the love that we share feel truer in the sense that we care and respect each other enough not to run it into the ground. Even though we’ve been very civil and calm about it, we still ask that people respect our privacy and feelings as a marriage and the dissolution of one is an intimate and painful thing to go through.
Josh just opened a tattoo shop here in Portland (go see him!) and I’ll be starting over fresh in this adorable little farmhouse on two acres of land in Iowa just 20 minutes from my parents. My life is about to look completely different than it does now which is terrifying and weirdly comforting knowing that I get to rebuild it exactly the way that I want.
Hang in there with me because it’s about to get interesting!
It’s the most wonderful time of year… National Rum Day! If you’ve been a reader for awhile, then you know I’ve got no shortage of rum recipes and cocktails for you to choose from, but I thought I would share a few of my favorites to spark your appetites and help you celebrate!
A prime example of it never being too early to crack the rum open! This fluffy stack of rum spiked pancakes is a great way to start your day!
Smashed summer cherries and healthy dose of rum make this the perfect end of summer cocktail.
This mouthwatering glaze has just the right amount of sweet and spicy to make these wings irresistible!
With fall right around the corner, I can’t help but daydream about baking a couple dozen of these to devour!
Another fall favorite.. these are best enjoyed with good friends while sitting around a campfire.
You’ll never make brownies the same way again after consuming the boozy decadence that these provide!
As always.. celebrate and enjoy responsibly!
One of my favorite spots in Portland serves up this Hot Fuzz cocktail using vodka, fresh jalapeño, peach bitters, & lemon juice that I can never get enough of, so I thought I would make my own version right at home! The jalapeño I chose was packing some major heat, because all it took was an hour to create some of the spiciest jalapeño infused vodka I’ve ever made. I used fresh juicy white peaches, lemon juice, and a bit of honey blended together to create the perfect end of summer martinis!
With busy schedules and a lot of moving pieces in my life right now, I’ve been feeling very disconnected from cooking. My dinners have been about what’s quick and affordable, which doesn’t provide a lot of variety or creativity. Rather than watch one of my passions slip down the drain and become just another chore I said..
I have the ability to take cheap ingredients and elevate them to something flavorful, new, and exciting and once I reminded myself of that, the wheels got turning and I got cooking! Aside from a baking sheet to roast the peppers on, this entire meal can be made in one skillet, saving you from a sink full of dishes to clean later. Cream sauces can often end up feeling too heavy or tasting too rich, so I added fresh squeezed lemon juice and white wine for something a little lighter. Toss in some garlic, shallots, roasted red peppers, and basil and you’ve got yourself a decadent and balanced dish!
I can’t tell you how many over-sized t-shirts that I wind up cutting, sewing, pinning, and altering to finally get them looking and fitting the way that I want to, but this is one instance where I purposely went for a large shirt. I always need tote bags for the beach and couldn’t resist turning this classic Sailor Jerry t-shirt into a custom bag. I added fringe and wooden beads to complement the hula girl design and I can now proudly (and literally) tote around one of Norman Collin’s original designs. It’s simple, quick, and doesn’t require any sewing if you don’t want it to!
As much as I love to explore new places, I find myself always going back to Blue River Reservoir. Our friend, Alex, was kind enough to share the location to this gem when Sailor Jerry sent me out for an off the grid camping trip a few years ago. Alex hand drew a map and provided a drop pin near the location so that we could find it easily. About 2 hours and 40 minutes Southeast of Portland, located in the Williamette National Forest, the Blue River Reservoir was created for flood control and irrigation. The water is a stunning shade of turquoise and perfect for swimming in the summer, but you can also boat and fish there. Camping along the rim of the reservoir and creek that runs into it is free, but there’s also neighboring campgrounds. Our camping location is a secluded one, but it comes with a few challenges to get there..
With temperatures on the rise this week I felt like it was the perfect time for tiki drinks! I put a new spin on this classic by adding tart summer raspberries and sweet mandarin oranges. Head over to Dream A Little Bigger for the recipe!
Portland has warmed up this week and I couldn’t be more grateful that I made this ice cream the other day! Crunchy toasted coconut, chocolate chips, and a blend of cream and coconut milk made this a simple and satisfying summer treat. And no ice cream maker required!