It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these. My last update I told you all about our new apartment in Brooklyn. Since then we’ve settled into our new place, took a month-long trip to my hometown, and booked a camper van for our anniversary in a few weeks. I’ll admit, life hasn’t been easy lately. But being home, which is a five-minute walk away from the ocean, has truly been a breath of fresh air after being cooped up in our Brooklyn apartment. Needless to say, I’ve gotten really good at hunting for the silver lining in everything.
Having extra space has been nice, especially when we can walk outside into the yard and not have to worry about wearing a mask. I’ve been enjoying almost every meal on the back deck, bike rides around the neighborhood, and happy hours on the beach. I’ve cooked a lot of food in my parent’s large kitchen—to the point where I’m so set on blog posts, I’m confident I can move to a schedule where I have one post go out a day. It’s nice to plan ahead—I’ve always been a girl who needs a plan.
As you read, life hasn’t been easy lately, and I know I’m not the only one feeling this. I’m feeling incredibly frustrated and sad at the spikes of COVID-19 cases in our country. I’m exhausted by how much change has already happened because of it. People I love are losing their jobs. Things for my job are changing drastically. Friends are packing up and saying goodbye to NYC. Every facet of my life has felt unsettling, and I long for a sense of feeling grounded.
But then I think…in my experience, life gets good when you get a little uncomfortable. That it feels exhausting and hard now, but that really, really good things come of it later. Maybe it’s naive of me to still think this way. But hey, as I said, I’m always looking for the silver lining. And boy do I need it after so many months of uncertainty.
At the end of June, I took some time to contemplate all of those silver linings right now. While there seems to be doom at every corner, I’ve also found unexpected joy. So for this update, I’m sharing my bits of joy—with some photographs to pair.
First, this blog. In this online space, I’ve found so much creative freedom and joy. I love taking beautiful pictures, sharing recipes, writing my thoughts. It’s nice to have an outlet that can simply be for me, and it surprisingly has been a source of grounding these days. I wake up, put on my workout clothes, and even before I workout or drink a cup of coffee, I write a blog entry. It’s been such a nice routine to get into, and one I plan on continuing when I get home to Brooklyn. When the world feels inconsistent, I like having something consistent and repetitive every single day.
My mother is the queen of Chex Mix. There’s always a container of it in the pantry, and around 11 a.m. every day, I crave a small bowl of it as I reheat my coffee. I’m not sure why I like the salty snack with coffee, some followers admitted how strange the combo was over on my Instagram. But hey, don’t knock it till you try it (a.k.a. try it, I shared the recipe here).
Another source of grounding for me has been my husband. Talk about consistency, you can always count on marriage being consistent. I mean, you wake up and fall asleep next to the same person every day. You’ve probably picked up on the fact that I don’t talk about my marriage much on this blog. It’s something we’ve agreed on as a couple, and I’m perfectly okay with keeping it private. But I will say this: We had a date day and took a trip to Harkness Memorial State Park. We snapped some pictures, then got some burgers, which was our first time dining out since March! We ate outside. It was nice to have a date day with him, and I’m thankful he also loves to run around and take pictures as much as I do. Here are a few from our day trip. Feel free to save some one and use it as your phone background.
To wrap this up, a few things I’m loving lately.
My Dad makes a yummy gin fizz, and I’ve been drinking lots of them lately. Here’s a recipe I found that’s similar to what he makes.
I joined the Bakers Against Racism initiative in June, and it was such a lovely way to bring my hometown into an opportunity to donate to others in need. We raised $350 for the Boys & Girls Club in New London, CT. I’m so proud of this town, and my family, for stepping up to the challenge to help those in need.
You know me, I’m all about picnics. My life motto: “Picnics are always a good idea.” I’ve been enjoying taking down a container of lunch “snacks” to picnic on the beach during lunchtime. Cuts of deli meat and cheese and fresh-cut bell peppers have been the snack of choice.
Lastly, we’re going camping! We rented one of those Escape campervans and we’re taking a week-long road trip for our anniversary. I’ve been solidifying a full menu and I’m loving every second of the planning process. Probably because it gives me something to plan and look forward to, because the rest of life, well, I can’t really plan anything right now. Taking one day at a time. And figuring out how many cast-iron skillet recipes I can pull off in a campervan.
Happy July everyone, I hope this update helped you to feel like you have a friend in the messy muck that the world is right now. You’re not alone—I’m always here to share a meal with you.