All posts by aj

hello, can you hear me?


I haven’t known what to say to you in about 6 months. I’m sorry. I’m really only sorry because I value consistency and I have not been consistent. The thing is, I feel like a hot mess. I’m trying to cope with more tea and less wine, more quite time and less mindless activities. I’m trying to be an adult but my mind often wanders everywhere but where it’s supposed to be.

Have you ever taken a big leap? Like, a leap in a very personal way? Have you ever bargained with your conscious and locked up your negativity to the hope of a newness and success? Well, I have and in lots of little ways I failed. I failed and I got scared so… I put those (silly) dreams away, locked them up tight in favor of the normal 9-5 life. The hardest part of it all is acting like I’m still worth those dreams that I’ve sealed back up. Logically I know that I’m worth it, I know that by just being me I’m worthy of love and happiness and success but… there’s a place inside that doesn’t buy it. And that’s the hardest thing to live with day in and day out. It’s confusing too in a way that it’s hard to let myself feel inspired or moved by things in fear that it might unlock those dreams again.

I see my creativity and inspiration trying to leak out in little ways like getting teary at commercials, enjoying the perfect sunset a little bit more or feeling moved by the generosity of others, whenever I start to really be moved by something, anything I try to just hide those feelings and thoughts away.

The hardest thing to realize is that while circumstance can be beneficial or not, good or bad, confusing or joyful…I’m the one that failed myself. The circumstance didn’t and doesn’t really matter but any failing that happened had much more to do with me and what I believe to be true about myself.

That’s a tough thing realize when your 28 because I always thought I’d have it figured out by now. I realize, I’m not sure if we ever have it figured out but if I do want to both live a life of love and love myself I have to start acting like I’m not my own worst enemy. I kind of have to step of up to the plate. Success is scary to me, scary because you could not succeed. I’d like to start thinking my dreams and my inspired thoughts aren’t silly and put a little more faith and grace towards them and me… just to see what happens and where it all takes me.

I haven’t known where to start with so many things, I over think it and in the process I stall. I have no idea how to stop doing that but going into 2016 I’m going to try my hardest to just go for it… whatever it is.

“Life has been some combination of fairy-tale coincidence and joie de vivre and shocks of beauty together with some hurtful self-questioning.” – Sylvia Plath

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Song that’s on repeat right now: Delicate, Damien Rice




Sweetheart date: Scenic Views

Hello! I can’t believe we are half way through June, 2015 feels a little like a whirlwind. Seth and I have been going in opposite directions lately and trying to soak up any chance we can to spend time together. The other day we had a few hours free around sunset and headed to Cross of the Martyrs in Santa Fe. It’s a great look out for the whole city and surrounding area. We were lucky enough to catch a few glimpses of the rain storm that came in later that night.


^^New Mexico truly does have some of the most dreamy cloud scenes^^


^^look at the color palette, perf right?^^



^^this photo that Seth snapped makes me feel like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff looking over the ocean, when in fact my view was all desert^^



^^he’s my favorite, i made him wear my rain jacket in hopes of a couples photo that didn’t turn out but i got this great shot which may just end up in a frame^^



^^ALWAYS making me laugh…. <3^^



^^Santa Fe, there are moment where i love you and there are moment when i don’t love you so much, this day and in this moment you were pretty great, thanks for that^^



Real talk: Brene Brown

I had originally thought I would post a blog about Glossier today and how much I 1. love it and 2. think it does exactly what it claims… but then I got totally distracted by some clips of Oprah’s Lifeclass with Brene Brown. I’ve linked the video below and encourage you to spare 15 minutes to just listen to these 5 clips.

I admire Brene Brown and everything she puts out there I just totally eat up, it’s so on my level that sometimes I just gush about it. Learning about and talking about the unseen feelings and emotions of life just is my favorite thing.

I loved this quote from the class snippets when Brene talks about bravery. She says something along the lines of “You can’t do anything brave if your concerned with what people will think”.

She also address perfectionism and that was just like a shot through the heart for me. She refers to perfectionism as armor (20 ton shield) that we put on to protect ourselves. Brene says that the big 3 pieces of armor we use are perfectionism, numbing and foreboding joy. Here’s my favorite quote from the clip “when perfectionism is driving shame is always riding shotgun and fear is the annoying backseat driver.” She goes on to say that we struggle with perfectionism in areas where we feel most vulnerable to shame.  “Perfectionism is a way of thinking that says, If I look perfect, live perfect, work perfect I can avoid or minimize criticism, blame and ridicule… all perfectionism is, is the 20 ton shield we carry around hoping it will keep us from getting hurt. When in truth what it does is keep us from being seen” – I MEAN WOW!!!

It’s so interesting to me because sometimes I think I/we use perfectionism as a positive as a trait that lets people know we are good at something and that we don’t stop until something is right when in reality perfectionism is a trait we hide behind.

I know that initially watching, listening and enjoy Oprah’s Lifecalss or Super Soul Sunday’s kind of makes me sound like a middle aged women who lives with a bunch of cats. But, you should just give it a chance. I know it seems cheesy but there is so much goodness and wisdom in these videos.  I was poking around after watching these clips and realized that Brene has teamed up with Oprah to offer a 12 part online class which I’m thinking I’d love to take part in so may splurge the $70 to be apart.

So, real talk for today is Brene Brown. If you haven’t heard of her I highly recommend her books ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’  and ‘I Thought It Was Just Me’ she also has a G R E A T Ted talk that you can google if you have the time.




Oatmeal, my go to.

It snowed here yesterday morning for a good 4 hours. I woke up to the fluffiest snow flakes falling outside my window and was even more surprised when they kept going but by noon they had changed to more of a rain/drizzle and by the afternoon all traces were gone. Spring snow showers can sometimes feel like the strangest thing, I love snow in the right season but seeing it cover all the beautiful new flowers and bits of green made my heart a bit sad. I tell you this to let you know it’s still a bit chilly here in Santa Fe and as I type this I have a sweatshirt, wool booties (my favorite souvenir from Ireland) and a fluffy fleece blanket on.

One of my favorite breakfasts to eat when it’s cold outside is oatmeal, in the cooler months I eat it steaming hot and in the warmer months I eat ‘overnight’ oats which are cold. In the mornings I’m scrambling to get out the door in time for work and make my oatmeal in canning jars and eat it as soon as I’m settled in at my desk. Those canning jars come in handy for SO many things… actually ALL the things. If I’m on point I have my little jar all ready to go and waiting for it’s 1/2 cup of boiling water from the stove in the morning but If I’m not this only takes about 5 minutes in the morning, which I can normally spare.



You can make yours any way you like, bowl, canning jar, coffee mug…

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup oats (I buy the gluten-free rolled oats from TJ’s)
  • 1 dash of cinnamon or cardamom
  • 2-4 dashes of chia seeds
  • 6 crushed up walnuts, pecans or almonds
  • 1/2 a handful of dried cherries or raisins
  • 2 teaspoons of jam or preserves (I put these in, in the morning right before adding hot water)
  • optional: regular milk or nut milk

Here is what you do:

  • place all ingredients in container of choice (don’t use plastic since you will be pouring hot, hot water in there)
  • pour in 1/2 cup + a splash of boiling water
  • cover and let sit for at least 5 minutes (canning jars are perfect for this because you can just screw on the lids)
  • stir and enjoy on the go or at the table
  • optional: small pour of milk once you’ve let oatmeal sit for at least 5 minutes



There are so many variations you can make with oatmeal, the options are pretty endless but here are a few of my other favorites:

banana and almond butter (slice 1/2 a banana and put in oatmeal before adding hot water, this allows the banana to almost disintegrate and creates a great texture and flavor)

chocolate chips and pecans

apples and cinnamon

scoop or two of pumpkin puree or pumpkin butter




Since the winter chill hasn’t left Northern New Mexico yet I’m still committed to my hot oatmeal, my wool booties and a blanket in every room. Not to mention endless cups of strong black tea, it’s my favorite wake me up, pick me up or settle my mind routine. If you like a good strong black tea my two favorites are Barry’s Tea (Gold Blend) and Yorkshire Gold (loose). I can find Barry’s tea at World Market and Yorkshire Gold at Whole Foods.






Real talk: Fear

Photo Ⓒ Brad Trone


There is one positive thing about spending an afternoon in tears. For me, like many, my eyes get puffy after a tear fest but for some miraculous reason they look good, the puffiness makes my eyes pop in a way that feels like it’s the worlds tiny gift for my emotions.

I had a really rough day yesterday and it left me wondering about so, so many things. If I’m normally introspective and adrift in my own thoughts when I cry and am emotional it’s about 10 times more intense.

Yesterday I was thinking a lot about anxiety and how for me it’s so very rooted in fear. It steams from fear of certain things and causes fear, sometimes debilitating fear. I read that when we are experiencing fear that most important thing to do is to act. We need to just move forward with any kind of action because fear itself causes idleness.

I’m so scared of idleness, of the thought of complacency that sometimes I can’t move forward. It’s so hypocritical. I’m so hypocritical. I’ve realized that I’m so stunned with my own fear of not achieving that I’m … not achieving. I’m not really giving things 100%. I’m merely preoccupying myself.

I am the master at filling my minutes, hours and days with the busy work of life and accepting the busyness as achievement. Conquering busy doesn’t deserve an award or our whole society would get one.

It takes so much guts to go after what you want especially as a twenty something year old who really has no idea what they are looking for. I envy those people who seem like it all just clicked so early for them. I could fake it and make it seem like my world has clicked for me, but it hasn’t. I’m reminded in this season of my life that things take time. Time takes time. To each there own. Persistence, loyalty, joy and dedication matter more in the long run then how quick you found your finish line.

Can I just repeat that to myself 342 times a day… “Persistence, loyalty, joy and dedication matter more in the long run then how quick you found your finish line”

Two other phrases that have been helping me out this month are “get okay with it” and “destiny is demanding”.

I need the reminder that life isn’t peaches and rainbows it’s about hard work strung together with humility and grace. Say yes to more of the right things, stop hanging out with negative people, be more in the moment, cook good food, sleep enough, take long walks, ask questions and have goals. I’m trusting the rest will just fall into place when it’s supposed. The timing of life is just that, the timing of life and I just want to set aside my fear and be up for the surprise.

Sweetheart – Surprise Weekend

Did you survive Easter weekend? Are you still on a sugar high from the sweet treats?

Well this morning I felt like I had been hit by a truck and ended up in a sugar crash coma. All signs of a truly great weekend if you ask my head and heart and not my body which has convinced me to go to bed by 9pm every night this week.

I wanted to follow up on my Sweetheart posts with some fun Seth and I had this weekend. I’ve started my Sweetheart posts to help Seth and I have more ‘unique’ dates opposed to constantly watching Netflix or heading to our favorite restaurants. You can see my first Sweetheart post here!

Seth surprised me on Friday by getting off work early and taking me to Albuquerque for a fun night out! He had everything from someone watching the dog to dinner planned out and a massage at a great spa the next morning. Albuquerque may just be 55 minutes away but sometimes you just need a break from your own city routine.

Here are some of my picks from this visit to ABQ: 

Coffee, Zendo – I feel like I’m giving away a secret here but have you tried a Turkish latte? Well, they are my favorite kind of latte (with almond milk) hot or iced they are so mouthwateringly good! Zendo does it right too, they mix the cinnamon and cardamon into the honey pour the hot espresso over that till it’s totally mixed and then dump it into your milk product. If you haven’t tried one I highly recommend it and if your in the ABQ area go to Zendo and try one there, you won’t be sorry about it.

Dinner, Artichoke Cafe – I had the chicken breast with the best pesto spätzle e v e r and Seth the duck with the most killer home-made gnocchi.

Hotel, Parq-Central – SO nice you guys, totally clean and beautifully decorated. It was probably one of the nicest hotels I’ve stayed at in ABQ and I’ve been visiting the city my whole life. Oh and for any ghost enthusiasts (no-one… just me?!) the hotel is a newly renovated building that used to be a hospital and psychiatric facility. We did not have any strange experiences while there though.

Drinks, Apothecary Lounge – It’s a rooftop bar that has indoor and outdoor seating and beautiful views of the entire downtown area. It’s beautiful both at sunset and at night when all the lights start glittering!

Breakfast, The Grove –  If you’re from New Mexico then you have probably heard of The Grove, it’s a very popular breakfast and lunch eatery in Albuquerque. Seth and I find it worth the wait and crowds every time, we’ve loved every breakfast and lunch dish we’ve tried plus they serve mimosas and have kick ass cupcakes and macaroons!

Massage, La Bella Spa – It was my first time getting to try this place out but it was very relaxing and I had a great massage. It’s true to it’s name and your visit is complete with slippers, robes and access to amenities like the sauna and hot and cold plunges.

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Sunday, Easter day we decided to take our time and make a really great dinner. We spent most of the afternoon prepping and cooking but were able to fit in a few long neighborhood walks and mimosas in!

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^^On most afternoon walks you can find me gushing over the neighborhood tulips^^

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^^I have a crush on both of these guys…swoon!^^

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^^If you haven’t been by the Roundhouse lately you should take stroll, she’s looking beautiful!^^

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^^Kaune’s Market is just charming in the Springtime^^

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^^Proper Sunday roast in the works^^

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^^Smiled because all the yellow and blue in this shot^^

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^^And let them eat cake!^^

There you have it a surprising and simple weekend!

Being an adult is hard, it’s full of responsibility, pressure and fears…It’s a struggle. What makes all those scary things more bearable is spending time with the one(s) you love. It’s so easy to stick to what you’ve always done but what’s more fun, thrilling and invigorating to the mundane(ness) of just being an adult is to just step out in surprise and trust that fun and enjoyment of life can come in many, many forms. Sometimes we just need to step outside our heads and our homes and take the smallest steps towards adventure. Adventure could be the next town over or the dive bar you’ve been to scared to check out or even picnicking in a park for the afternoon. Sometimes life doesn’t afford us the chance to jet set to other other countries and experience other cultures first hand but that doesn’t mean adventure is dead it just means you have to look for it and be committed to finding it where you are. I believe that when we do that we start creating a more beautiful and interesting life.


-xox Jane

Banana Muffins (GF + Naturally Sweetened)

I recently heard that it was very Australian to eat a muffin with your morning coffee or latte… as if I needed another excuse to 1. love muffins or 2. love the land down under.

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Honestly I’m sure it’s hard to find a human who doesn’t love a muffin but since they can so often be the size of your head, full of sugar and carbs most of us steer clear.

 This muffin recipe might be able to solve the issue of world peace or in the least it helps you feel better about eating a muffin or two or three.

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It has just a few tablespoons of natural sweetner and gluten free flours. I used a gluten free mix that I had on hand + some almond meal but you could also swap the flour mix for oat flour and they’d come out just the same.

 My favorite thing about these muffins, (besides day dreaming that i’m on an Aussie porch watching the koala bears eat eucalyptus) well they are moist, slightly sweet and totally satisfying. In the morning when I’m on the go I like to top mine with a little bit of almond butter and I’m good till lunch!

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Here’s what you need

  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 small eggs
  • 3 Tbsp almond milk
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup almond meal (almond meal, not almond flour)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp gluten free flour (from King Arthur Flour or Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 4 drops Stevia
  • Optional toppings: walnuts

Here’s what you do

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners, spray liners lightly with cooking spray (I use the coconut spray from Trader Joe’s)
  2. In a large bowl mash 3 bananas, add eggs and stir to combine. Add honey, baking powder, almond milk and vanilla.
  3. Add almond meal and oat flour and stir once more. Add several drops of Stevia to sweeten.
  4. If using walnuts add to the tops of muffins before putting them in the oven.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, should be lightly golden on top and when a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack.


***This recipe can easily be made vegan by using agave or maple syrup and using 2 flax egg substitutes in place of chicken eggs.

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In my kitchen with 1905 Magazine.

Since the beginning of the year I’ve had a monthly drink/food feature in a brand new online magazine called 1905 Magazine. I thought I’d share the a peek into the featured recipes.


1st up in the January issue (page 57) // Home-made Ginger Beer

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This Ginger Beer recipe is non alcoholic but would make for a killer Moscow Mule by adding a few shots of vodka and some lime.

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2nd up in the February issue (page 93)// Bloody Maria

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Tequila makes everything better in my opinion. Meet the Bloody Maria she’s like a Bloody Mary but with tequila instead of vodka.

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3rd up in the March issue (page 85)// Kale Salad

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I recommend pairing with a Vino Verde, tossing on your Kale sweatshirt, Birkenstocks and glossier mask! Peace, Love and Kale.

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And… coming to online viewing soon 4th up (a very special treat; stay tuned!)

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I love spending time in my kitchen and even more I love spending the extra time to make things taste and look that much better. These recipes inspired me with both their taste and color and I hope they inspire you to give them a try or to spend a few more minutes in your own kitchen coming up with your own foodie inspiration.






Spring time thoughts.

Today is the first day of spring for 2015 and I feel old. I remember being told as an 8 year old that once you grow up time ‘flys’ by. I didn’t believe it at the time but they weren’t lying. In some ways I honestly don’t know how it’s not still 2010. I have distinct memories of writing my name, class period and the year as 1997 on school papers. I have distinct memories of sitting in front of a window in 1st grade and feeling the hot New Mexico air blow against me and feeling like the most bored child alive. I have distinct memories of counting ceiling tiles to pass the time sitting outside and literally staring at the clouds for an afternoon. I have distinct memories of not needing to be anywhere and also not being ‘reachable’ by anyone. No e-mails or text messages or facebooks….

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I have distinct memories where it felt like time stood still and now I crave those moments in my mind and wish I found more of them in my daily life.

I’ve been thinking about spring and what spring means in a literal way and in a spiritual way. Lately I’ve just felt the need to grow, to keep learning and keep trying to evolve into a better version of myself. Spring seems like the perfect time to act on that, it’s a transitional season meant to bring awareness and new life. Doesn’t the shedding of ‘old’ things sound so nice? It does to me, if anything I’m most really most passionate about knowing myself and growing as a person and right now more than anything I want to be taking steps towards that.

I feel an enormous need to settle my mind and make more time for myself, for my long drawn out thought process to really percolate and come to some conclusions and actions. For a long time I’ve resented my introvertedness and my need to sit with a question for a long period of time before formulating my well thought out answer… but lately (and by lately I mean in the last week) I’ve realized what a great gift that is and how I should work harder to honor that quality in myself – to just allow myself more time. I’ve never really grapsed what honoring yourself meant until the last few weeks. I guess we all learn things at our own pace.

I’m the type of person who never had to really learn what ‘boundaries’ were. I just had them.

I’m the type of person who never had to really learn what ‘inside voices’ were. I was just quite.

I’m the type of person who never had to be instructed in ‘social politeness’. I was just overly polite.

I’m the type of person who was told every day to 1. Smile 2. Raise my hand and 3. Ask questions. I’ve always been entirely too reserved for American culture.

Too stuck in my head and not bubbly enough, it’s made me hate those parts of myself sometimes and not understand why I felt so unlike other people. It’s the coolest feeling to just know that deep down it’s just who you are and it’s okay… it’s okay to take the time… it’s okay to retreat and make some more space for yourself and your thoughts. I’ve realized that when I allow myself these things I’m just a better human being; I’m more confident and more patient with others.

It’s a truly unique and inspiring thing to figure yourself out little by little and then honor those pieces of you and along the way find people who honor it too. So, while I feel old and a little panicked about making sure my life is a ‘success’ I’m so comforted by the start of spring this year. I’m reminded that things take time and that after the dormant season of death renewal comes. Finding yourself, creating yourself and your life it’s difficult, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I’m reminded now more than ever that hard work pays off.





Irish Soda Bread Muffins (gluten free)

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and for me it’s a clear sign that Spring is on the way. I’ve celebrated St. Patrick’s Day my entire life always wearing green and always eating something inspired by my Irish lineage.

St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in Ireland since the 17th century but it was really just a minor religious holiday that Catholic Priests would honor has a feast day and families would have a big meal. In the 1970’s American Irish transformed it into what we now celebrate. I think it’s at least a great excuse to eat some good food, drink some good drinks and celebrate Spring. – What’s not to love?

Soda Bread is pretty typical in Ireland and you can expect to find it served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s a crumbly quick bread that is slightly sweet and traditionally has currents or raisons in it. This year I opted for a modern take on it and made Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread Muffins. To help transform the traditional buttermilk loaf recipe into gluten free muffins I referenced this recipe from King Arthur Flour.

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Here’s what you need:

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup  raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter (or 1/3 cup vegetable oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup yogurt (full fat)

Here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, line muffin tin with liners, be sure to use a cooking spray and spray the liners once in tin.

  1. In a mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients, gluten-free flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and caraway seeds. Once combined stir in raisins until coated with flour and well incorporated.
  2. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the melted butter, eggs and yogurt.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry and combine just until everything is well incorporated and there are no dry spots. Do not over mix.
  4. Using a tablespoon or a cookie/muffin scoop fill muffin liners. Muffins will not rise very much so be sure to fill liner completely.
  5. Top with large crystalized sugar
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, should be golden brown on top and when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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Hope you wear the tiniest bit of green tomorrow and in the least enjoy an Irish whiskey or Guinness!