All posts by aj

Sweetheart- Day Date

I’m so excited to start a new series I’d like to call ‘Sweetheart’ posts. After almost year without University on the forefront of our minds Seth and I have actually entered real life. I’d like to note that real life is tough, full of commitments and responsibilities. If I’m being honest those were still there when Seth was in school but I had an unrealistic idea of what life after school would be like. You know, sunset walks on the beach and endless amounts of time with each other. Needless to say life has NOT gone that way and we’ve had to make even more of an effort to carve out time to spend together.

This lead me to create/start my ‘Sweetheart’ posts. As we try to come up with new and fun things to get us out of the house or get us off of Netflix… I’ll be sharing them here.

For the 1st post I’d like to share a day date we took last week to Santa Fe Culinary Academy. They have been doing pop up lunches and we were lucky enough to make it to one of the last ones. This Thursday, Friday (March 12th 13th) will be the last pop up lunch but they will be starting pop up dinners soon – and I can’t wait to try one of those.

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Last weeks lunch was Asian tapas inspired and this week they are doing Italian!

Here are some pictures I snapped while we dined and totally enjoyed the sunny, open layout….

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The food was truly GREAT, we enjoyed everything we tried. My favorite was the hot and sour soup with pot stickers and Seth’s was the steamed pork bun and we both devoured the lemongrass ice cream with green tea fortune cookies!

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Like no joke though I haven’t stopped thinking about that soup (I like food) and it’s left me wanting to try and make my own. Like this one or this one, theirs had a hint of lemongrass (I think) that made it taste so darn fresh!

Thanks for taking a peek into our Sweetheart day date out in Santa Fe. I’m saying this more to myself than to you but it’s important to take any moment of opportunity and spend it doing something that makes you happy even if that means a 45 minute lunch instead of a road trip to California or baking cookies together or …. dinner and a movie. Look at the time you have and make it worth while, take a look at your community and see what’s going on. You may find out, like I did that your local cooking school has pop up menus with killer food on the cheap. Next on my list is to find some awesome St. Patricks Day events. I LOVE ST. PATRICK’S DAY it makes me think of cute things like this and of course I will be in green for the 27th consecutive year!

For me it’s easy to get down because my life isn’t as glam as some of the people I follow on Instagram, I’m not constantly on vacation and can’t buy myself a coffee every damn day… oh and my nails are either not painted or chipped. THIS IS LIFE. So bear with me while I try to get rid of some of my over the top expectations and start living more presently with what’ve got right here in Santa Fe/New Mexico.

I read this today and L-O-V-E-D it… “Thriving is never a destination, but it’s the way you manage the journey.”




COCONUT muffins!!!

Hi, do you like coconut? I do and so does more than 1/2 the world. To be honest coconut oil is pretty great, it tastes good, it’s good for you and you can use it for skin and hair care. One of my personal secret uses for coconut oil (I’m sure it’s not actually a secret) is to use it as an eye make-up remover. I keep a little jar in the bathroom just for this. Just rub a little together in your hands and rub off your eye make-up, works like a charm!

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The purpose of the blog today is to share more than that little beauty bit. I wanted to share a grain free recipe for coconut muffins.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp of coconut extract, optional you can also use 1 tsp vanilla or almond
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • *extra coconut oil to grease the muffin tin

Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat you oven to 350 degrees. Grease your muffin tin.

2. In a large bowl combine the coconut flour, shredded coconut, beaten eggs, honey, extract and salt. Once oil is melted temper a small portion into the flour mixture, stir then add the rest of the oil.

3. Combine all the ingredients until there are no clumps. Mixture will be like a smooth paste.

4. Spoon into muffin tin and back 30-40 minutes. When a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean they are done. They will be lightly golden brown on top.

*Note: if using muffin liners you need to be sure to spray them with cooking spray as the batter will stick a bit to the paper.

Makes 6 large muffins and 12 small muffins. To make 12 small muffins just fill the muffin tin half way, for 6 large fill muffin tin almost all the way. These batter will not rise very much!

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There you go, grain free coconut muffins! Now, just so we are clear these won’t taste a thing like Sbux muffins… but they’re good, okay! I promise, the coconut just seals the deal.


real talk: decluttering

Hi, I don’t know about you but lately I’ve been in the mood to just GET RID OF STUFF.


Somewhere between moving out of my parents house at 17 and living in 6 different places in 4 states I’ve accumulated some stuff. Some of it came with me from high school and I mean this in the most real way possible. Ain’t nobody got time for that. High school me and 27 year old me are different and thank god! I’ve decided to get rid of that persons junk and embrace simple living.

Apart from me wanting to rid myself of my high school and early 20’s I just really want less stuff. Fewer quantity and higher quality. Bye-bye forever 21 everything and hello nothingness until I can afford it! Bye-bye Texas Country concert t-shirts, nail polish that might be 10 years old and large mix match collection of about 5 boxes of colored pencils. It was great while it lasted but we are over.

Here are the top 5 decluttering principals I’m trying to live by from here on out.

1. Stop bringing stuff in. De-cluttering and simplifying your life will be the biggest waste if you just keep replacing the old with new. I’ve determined to get rid of the excess and buy less.

2. Go through one thing a day. Making decluttering a gradual process will help make it not feel like a totally overwhelming thing. I’ve determined to go through one area of my house till I’ve accomplished the whole thing. I may save bigger areas like my closet for a weekend while I can easily sort out the medicine cabinet on a Tuesday.

3. Do not keep things because you feel guilty. As a reminder your home or your space should only contain the things you love or use. Don’t keep things out of obligation or guilt. If you do not love it and you do not use it find another home for it. Do not be afraid to let things go. The urge to hold on to items we think we might need or wear again is real. But, do clothes from when I was 18 really serve me as a 27 year old. No, no they don’t. Either does the build up of crafts and make-up from back then.

4. Have a disposal plan. Before you start the decluttering process research and decide if recycling, donating, selling is right for you. It won’t serve you if you make give away piles that sit in your basement for 3-6 months. Go through things and then get rid of them.

5. Don’t let ‘stuff’ be a time suck on your life. Everything you own takes some time from your life. The time you spent shopping for it, cleaning it, maintaining it, staring at it wondering why you have it… I’ve determined to sacrifice less of my life on the pursuit of material things.




It snowed in Santa Fe last night and this morning like, really snowed. It’s the 1st time this season we’ve had a really good snow in town. While it has caused some delays and slippery conditions I can’t get over how simply beautiful things look when covered in tons of this white stuff.

This morning I bundled my sick self up in 3-4 layers of clothes and gave myself 30 minutes outside. I keep telling myself the ‘fresh’ air did me good. Is there anything better than being the first to walk through the snow in the morning, I think not. It’s one of my most favorite things about winter.

Here’s what my neighborhood looked like this morning.

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“Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.”
― Sylvia Plath

And now I’ll be laying under piles of blanks watching netflix, drinking tea and taking every vitamin possible.




Friday Funnies

Happy Friday!

Here’s my Friday Funnies for this week!

1. We can’t get away from this song and I don’t think it’s a bad thing, every time I hear it I just have to turn it up and I love this version with Mark Ronson and The Dancing Grannies. It’s noted that all senior citizens in the video did their own stunts! I love it. 🙂


2. THIS – it’s just adorable. Beluga whales are known to be pretty friendly and often pose for pictures. I think I even have my own photo with a posing Beluga at Sea World somewhere (circa 1993). I love the way this Beluga seems to be dancing with the music and Mariachi band…. it’s so cute I might burst!


Cheers to another week down and another weekend to enjoy!

sick day ‘WTF’ soup


I’ve been sick 2 times in a month that only has 28 days. There are approximately 373 tissues in all of my pockets and purse. I look like a worse version of Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer. There is a large orchid plant in my bathtub (because I don’t know what to do with it). There is a stack of mail I haven’t looked through from last week. My sink is clogged. Every dish in my house is waiting to be put away. Seth worked 101 hours this past pay period. My basement is the dustiest place on earth. My bird-feeder has been empty for like 2 months and I’m just sure all the neighborhood birds either hate me or died because I didn’t put food out for them. I’m wearing the same 4 sweaters over and over again because WINTER. My lips are so chapped that they cracked open. My nails and toe nails haven’t been painted in like… 3 months. I’ve been told that (my 27 year old self) is a ‘baby’ 3 times in less than 3 weeks which I mean I guess sounds right since my skin is breaking out like I’m 16 years old.

There you have it. My life as of right now. I can’t even. I can’t even but I can… I can because I have too and my problems could be worse. They could be worse but they also feel monumental right now. I know I need to feel grateful but it’s hard to accept.

All I want is not not be sick, have Seth not working all night and all weekend and have a home that looks picture perfect ALWAYS.



I think the internet made me think this is possible and maybe for some people it is but it’s not my life right now and I’m throwing the biggest pity party you could think of- Wanna come? You have to wear black and be okay listening to the saddest mix of Europop and Folk music I pick out. Please bring cupcakes and nail polish.

Anyway, sometimes it’s a struggle to just have time to go through the mail and go on a date with your spouse. AND THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN A BOOK SOMEWHERE. Screw you Disney Princesses and Tuck Everlasting.

And to get to the point of this post, well here it is:

‘Sick Day WTF Soup’ proudly and most humbly made with the most random things I found in my kitchen. I considered is great blessing because it actually turned out not just to be edible but good. So, I encourage you the next time you have a WTF day to bang around your kitchen and make something, it takes the edge off. Kind of.

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Sick Day WTF Soup 

You need:

half a bunch of kale (Curly Kale)

1 can of black eyed peas

2 carrots, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, minced (have a cold, use 6. don’t have cold use 2-3)

2 Tbs of olive oil

1/2 cup frozen corn

1 can green chile (Hatch and hot)

1 zucchini, peeled and diced

2 dashes of Tabasco

1 dash of worcestershire sauce

4 cups veggie stock

2 handfuls of any pasta you have


Here’s what you do: loudly and with must gusto

1. put olive oil and garlic in pot, once oil is hot add carrots and zucchini and leave for 5 minutes.

2. add drained black eyed peas, green chile and corn leave for 5 minutes

3. add chopped kale and cook till wilted (5 minutes)

4. add veggie stalk and Tabasco and worcestershire sauce

5. add pasta, cover and simmer for 15-25 minutes (however long you can wait to eat, the pasta just needs to be done)

6. put in bowl, top with fancy parm that you bought on sale at whole foods and enjoy.

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Okay, bye! I’ll be crying in the hallway or partaking in shopping therapy or reading sad stories and listening to sappy music!

Real talk: aggression

I’ve had some thoughts mulling around in my mind over the weekend and I woke up to read this article about something Stephen Hawking was quoted on recently. “The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression”  “It may have had survival advantage in caveman days, to get more food, territory or a partner with whom to reproduce, but now it threatens to destroy us all.”

It threatens to destroy us all. Wow. Just think about that for a moment.

The fact that when Stephen Hawking was asked what human trait he would most like to change… and he responds with aggression. My mind is literally blown.

This thought was so perspective shaking to me because I’ve recently been thinking about emotional hurt/pain and the trauma that comes along with that. I recently had to address some of my past emotional hurts. In the end it was so resolving, which was about a total opposite from what I had expected. It honestly was almost pleasant. In my head I thought about this experience being painful and causing bad memories to resurface but in the end it left me feeling more whole, more okay and more resolved in my own head with those past hurts.

Photo © Brad Trone

Photo © Brad Trone


When I read this short article about Hawking, it just clicked for me. Aggression equals pain and hurt either emotional or physical. Any time a human being acts out in aggression (in today’s world) the likelihood of that aggressive expression hurting someone else or even themselves is tremendously high.

When I think back to the significant hurtful moments in my life they all stemmed from someone or myself acting out in aggression.

That’s fascinating to me, something that used to be used for our survival now is a root cause of dysfunction. Perhaps this is why it’s sometimes just unavoidable.

I love that Hawking has the ability to see through time, to see through bullshit and call it as it is… like every time. I admire that and him so much.

For me realizing that my emotional wounds started out as a the flawed human trait of aggression makes forgiving them (people) so much easier. It makes forgiving myself easier. Over the weekend I realized that for the most part no-one wants to create a horrible situation for another person, for the most part no-one wants to or enjoys hurting other people. Seeing and feeling that, experiencing the goodness of another person despite past hurts, it’s life changing. It’s affirming and it makes so many things seem okay now. Instead of isolation it’s a reminder of our connectedness to each other. Pain has a funny way of making you feel like you’re all alone, but empathy, empathy has a way of reminding you that’s the biggest lie.

I feel like this wall around my heart was washed away and that fresh air can get in there now.

Even though human aggression is not going to go away anytime soon realizing that my pain stemmed from it and not necessarily another person makes the world up here on my shoulders feel much lighter.

I think Hawking could be right, aggression threatens to destroy us all. It threatens to destroy us by the burrowing bitterness it can cause when kept a secret, wether we are the ones acting on aggression or having aggression acted out to us. Harboring the pain that causes will just eat away at our hearts and when bitterness sets in, empathy is gone. Hawking says “We need to replace aggression with empathy, which brings us together in a peaceful loving state”.

For me true forgiveness came with learning and really seeing for myself that both aggression and empathy can live in the same person. And wherever empathy is love is also.


Here’s the super short article –

And a few quotes for good measure

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
― Leo Buscaglia

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”
― Brené Brown

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”
― James Baldwin


Modern General

We are half way there! I always feel a bit more cheerful on Wednesday, half way is always better than Tuesday. Me and Tuesday have issues. BUT today was frantic! Was it just me? I ran into 3-4 people who felt like we were all running non-stop, it left me wanting Modern Generals coffee with a side of whipped cream, my headphones and some good tunes. You know, my kind of zen moment.

Since I was craving this place so much today I thought I’d share some pictures I snapped last weekend, if you want to check them out online here’s there website —  Modern General

I’ve quickly fallen in love with Santa Fe’s new cafe, top to bottom it’s perfect.


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^^yes, that is whipped cream in my coffee, it made my life^^

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^^Modern General is serving breakfast/lunch items such as breakfast and lunch sandwhichs, egg strata, granola with fruit, and super cute and yummy Czech kolache. They also have smoothies, wheatgrass shots and  green or fruit juices^^

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^^the ‘Mill’ station has hand soap, dish soap, lotions as well as dried goods/grains which are all organic and sustainable. They will soon have gluten free flours that you can buy in bulk too! One of my favorite things were the bottles you could buy to fill your soaps with and then bring them back to be refilled^^

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^^one of everything….please?! Also, how cute are those tulips which were e v e r y w h e r e <3^^

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Santa Fe has been needing a spot just like this, so if you are a local or just a visitor go check them out, pick up some coffee (with whipped cream!) a garden rake, a cactus, some hand soap – whatever you need or whatever you don’t know you need yet, they’ve go it and you’ll be so charmed by the whole place.

5 reasons I shouldn’t be on social media


Here are 5 reasons I shouldn’t be on social media.

1. It’s a total time suck and for someone (like me) who can and does think of 1,001 things to do before I should actually start the thing I most need to be doing… it’s just a goal killer.

2. It creates a million little tv’s in my head all playing different things at different volumes. I just need one tv, one station and one volume. This means it makes me the most unfocused person alive, that might be a slight dramatization BUT know that’s how it makes me feel.

3. It makes me play the comparison game like nobodies business, all day, every day, all night, every night and I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT. Ain’t nobody got time for that. As mature as I would like to say I am and as much as I know comparison is ‘the thief of joy’… it’s also just like my blood brother and it forces me to play this game everyday. It’s just like part of the contract.

4. It is just like the pesky/draining friend who you don’t have the will power to just stop being friends with, so you let them (it) interrupt your favorite TV shows, conversations with your significant other, time relaxing, sitting at stop lights… because god forbid we actually feel alone for a moment or feel connection and contentment in real life.

5. It makes my slight OCD, over thinking, sensitive brain go into over drive so by the end of the day it often feels like a bomb was dropped and I’ve been hit by a truck. I can’t let go of the thinking, the analyzing, the comparing and the basic…. waste of my life, time I spend on it.

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^^Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bear bad fruit.– James Allen^^ sounds easy enough…

So there is my rant. On one hand I feel good knowing that I’ve figured out that social media isn’t always the healthiest past time for me. On the other hand I know it’s like a drug I can’t quit. I have this fear of deleting it all and then being totally lost by everyone… so basically I think I’m scared of losing ‘friendships’ because it’s not as easy to stay in touch etc… Is that a real fear? I kind of don’t think so but it makes me panic every time I even remotely consider jumping ship from social media.

What is my point? Gosh, I don’t know I just really wanted to tell you that I don’t think social media is good for me. Can you just accept that, nod and we can both go on with our day? I want you to know that I really do have a very over thinking, sensitive and slight OCD mind that makes all of these things true for me : which makes social media a soul sucking time waste.

Maybe one day I’ll quit maybe one day I’ll really realize that it’s not real connection. For now the love/hate relationship  continues and the daily abuse on my mental/spiritual psyche continues (over dramatization again).  Perhaps I’ve just grown so used to feeling bad and comparing my life to everyone else that I can’t give it up, perhaps I really don’t think my voice/opinion matter so I let others loose lips (statuses) really bring me down or annoy me.

It’s all so silly though no matter what is true, social media is one of those things that makes me wish I was born in a different time or a different place. HELLO LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRE! Just kidding, I probably would be the worst pioneer, country girl e v e r.

totes peace, love and hope….



Friday Funnies

Hi, It’s Friday!

We’ve survived another week or we almost have, 3 more hours till 5p.m. here in New Mexico. Do you have any fun Valentine’s Day plans? Do you hate Valentine’s Day? I’m somewhere in-between, some years I love it and some years I hate it and this year I’m indifferent.

But, to pick up your Friday afternoon I wanted to share some Friday Funnies with you:

1. Sophia Grace and Rosie meet Nicki Minaj – if you haven’t seen any Sophie Grace/Rosie videos then you need to get on that stat. I can’t believe that Sophia Grace is 8, she is such a diva!


2. Daddy/Daughter Dance to ‘Uptown Funk’ – these two it’s too cute, I love that this Dad does this with his little girl and they both have some great moves. I can’t watch without the biggest grin!


There you have it, hope these brightened your afternoon because they haven’t stopped making me smile. Cheers to you and the weekend! Have a glass of champagne for me to celebrate or not celebrate Valentine’s!