Category Archives: life

The Fault in our Stars


I just started reading this book over the weekend and am a third of the way through. It’s re-inspiring me to get back into reading again. It’s quite wonderful.

Our breakfast Thanksgiving morning. We ate apple pie, bourbon spiked pumpkin chai, and watched Looney Tunes for several hours. My man and I really have a great time together. I am so grateful for him.

Speaking of what a great guy he is, he even lets me sneak in multiple shots of him with my feet on his chest. SNEAKY.

Saw these at a local store over the weekend and couldn’t believe how cheap they were. Makes me feel like my $8,000 kit for hygiene school was a total rip off!

Union/Pine was offering a great liquor tasting sesh for free over the weekend that we took advantage of. Our favorite? New Deal’s Coffee Liqueur.

Scored a new purse from one of my favorite shops, Appetite. It has a black and white Pendleton pattern on the outside and kinda looks like this. I love it. It’s so roomy (the kind of roomy where stuff can get lost way too easily!) but at least it’ll hold my camera which was the whole point of getting something new.

Ok, so I’m not much of a dog person, but I do love pugs now and again. And this little guy runs the shop at Appetite. So ridiculous!

So many books, so little time.

We’re headed to Michigan this weekend for a week. Flying into Chicago and staying around Grand Rapids, Saugatuck, and Holland, then staying for 1 night in Chicago on our way back. I’m so excited! And preparing to pack very warmly. Wish me luck for my first time back in the mid-west in winter time!


My Trip Back Home Away from Home


Last Tuesday I embarked on the long eleven and a half hour drive home to grieve Capistrano’s passing, and to regroup, return to some familiarity, comfort and support. It had been nearly five months since I moved out of my parents house, living on my own in Portland. Many life changes. Many good life changes.

Santa Cruz is what it is. It hasn’t changed much. Pretty much exactly as I expected it. It’s so crazy to be able to just jump in my car and have the freedom to change into a completely different city.  700 miles later, and I am back to my home away from home. It was a long drive, I won’t lie, but once it’s over you think “well, that wasn’t so bad”. It was full of rain, wind, buffalo, rainbows, tumbleweeds, crazy California drivers, traffic, and cruise control. Coming home was exactly the thing I needed and I am so glad I listened to my gut and my heart and what I needed most to help heal.

My stepmom has since redecorated and renovated my bedroom with lovely wall decor and a comfy couch. It was my room, but nearly unrecognizable. The orange and grey walls are no more. Now it’s Edison bulbs, antlers, and Turner prints.

In a way, it was a mechanism of avoidance, just up and leaving my apartment. There was too much space, not enough energy that I’m used to with the little one being around. Every time I walked into my apartment, I was so used to his greeting, him sitting on the couch or hiding under my covers till my return. Walking back in Monday evening, it felt so dead. So cold. So different. The power of space, a space, is not to be underestimated. It can be quite overwhelming, similar to the way that your sense of smell can bring back childhood memories.

I revisited my faithful running trail near the backwoods of our neighborhood, went to my family’s favorite breakfast joint, visited all four of my grandparents, brought home some of my grandma’s homegrown apples from her farm, had home cooked meals shared at the dining room table, cuddled with my Lily, had the honor of participating in my stepmom’s girlfriends “old hen” brunch extravaganza full of boozy french toast, bacon and swedish tea, met up with a former lovely dental hygiene instructor to discuss my current job hunting frustrations and to catch up in general, spent several hours surprising lovely people from hygiene school and assisting my “little buddy” during clinic, had a wonderful dinner with two lovely people dear to my heart, had a great sushi lunch and catching-up time with this beautiful, crafty lady and wonderful mother, tried out a new Italian restaurant with my family that was surprisingly scrumptious, attended a Harvest party (with pumpkin macarons in tow, of course) and reconnected with a bunch of great Santa Cruzans and Shopper’s peeps dear to my heart, met up with my Ayurvedic guru owl friend for another delicious meal and great catch-up time talk, and made a trip to Costco with mom, scoring some apple pie moonshine and my favorite apple pie. Yep, I brought my man home a $10 delicious Costco pie instead of making one. Tis okay though, I’m making a homemade bourbon pumpkin one to make up for it. Oh yes, and how could I forget a meal at my favorite restaurant, Malabar.

So yeah, good times. I felt so much better about coming home, re-energized and inspired to take another go at this. To keep going at this. To not give up or lose hope. To remind myself of all of the lovely people I have in my life, that I have a home base to fall back on, that that place is there. It isn’t going anywhere. And I can come home anytime.

The comfort in knowing that alone is worth the 24 hours and 1,400 miles of travel time.

Tomorrow it’s just me and my man, cooking up our own Thanksgiving feast of feasts. The day after that, we are unplugging. Friday is a “no-electronics, additional consumption or outside communications” day. We’re taking a day off to just be, to be together. Face time. Much needed time. What’s on your menu for your turkey (or Tofurkey) filled weekend?

Mending a Broken Heart


My apologies for the lack of presence around here lately. I have been trying to mend my broken kitty mothering heart.

Capistrano passed away last Monday morning, November 12th around 3am in the living room from natural causes that will be investigated before his ashes are returned. These were my last parting words to him.

My dearest Capistrano, my Italian lover boy, joy of my life:

One hundred and sixteen days ago I fell in love with you the moment our eyes met and you climbed up onto my shoulder and refused to leave. For the first time in my life, I truly understood what love at first sight meant when you captured my heart. There was no question. We came into each other’s lives when we needed each other the most, as you helped me transition comfortably into my new life out on my own, domesticating and simultaneously acting as your faux kitty mother. You were my comfort, my contentment, my warmth, and my purpose.

Whether it was accompanying me as executive kitty baker in the kitchen, observing my every move, waiting for me at the door while I was taking a shower, climbing up my neck and never wanting to leave, showering me with a billion wet nosed kisses, using your little motor boat 24/7 regardless of what was going on, you fostered my life with unconditional love, and I am forever grateful. Throughout the disappointments and hardships, I could come home and find peace with you.

No matter what I did or could do, there was no solution for this unfortunate, unpreventable situation. I did everything I could to make your short kitty life on this planet as blissful as possible and fought for you to my greatest capacity. You were the greatest companion and furry friend I have ever had and could have asked for during this time. Your personality so unique, so affectionate, so incomparable to any other I have met. You were meant to find me, as I was meant to find you. Despite this fate, we made the best of the sweet time we had together and I am forever grateful. I will mourn for your presence, but keep close the tender memories. May your divine kitty soul rest sweetly and peacefully in heaven and fill the cups of other kitty souls with your sweetness. You will live in and have my heart forever.

Love forever and always, your kitty mama Kylie ♥

I have been dealing with this okay. It comes in waves. I decided to spontaneously pack my suitcase and head out on the road to California for a few days to be with family and friends, to be back to some familiarity and comfort. I couldn’t stand the thought of coming home to an empty kitty-less apartment. At this point, I do not dread going back, and I should get back into my groove pretty soon here. Thank you for your patience, and I am sure I’ll be back and baking up a storm very shortly.



Last night we celebrated with the public at the Doug Fir and the energy was absolutely incredible and infectious. And then streamed the president’s speech from all of our electronical devices to make sure we would not miss a beat.

Yes, it definitely looks like it’s going to be a bright sunshiney day, for sure.

Random Old Photographs


Sometimes I like to thumb through my old Flickr photos to see what I was doing exactly a year ago from today. With Instagram being so handy and easy to use, I primarily used that at the time. I was so busy with school that I hardly ever uploaded any actual 4×6 photos from my DSLR. But it’s all good. Instagram is pretty great anyhow. So here are a few photos I particularly like from last Fall. Because nostalgia is fun!

My 6th or so visit to Humphry Slocombe in the city.

Dental Hygiene full throttle!

Fooling around with butternut squash at work.

Hanging out with Elena was wonderful. I miss that girl.

Mantra reminders.

Pumpkin spice owl cupcakes.

My favorite cheesy stuffed pumpkin.

The Fruit Bats live! I can’t believe that was exactly one year ago. How time flies!

Drowning in case studies. SO glad that stuff is over!

Baking butternut squash tarte tatin’s and chicken pot pie casserole for a par-tay.

And a fun little photoshoot with Sharron for this Etsy seller, NYHop. This was so much fun!

Good Things: This Weekend


My boyfriend rules. Yesterday morning he did all my dishes, did all the laundry, took out all the trash, and MADE ME BREAKFAST. I think I’ll keep him…

Pictured above: Roasted root veggies (rainbow carrots, parsnips) with spinach, crumbled country sausage, over easy eggs, and pumpkin english muffins. Oh, and pumpkin chai too! (which I am totally bummed that TJ’s is completely sold out of! Wahhh, I want more pumpkin chai!) I was in heaven.

Look at this little snuggly fox. He’s been such a burrower lately…

I’ve been teaching myself how to draw for the last few weeks, slowly but surely, and this was my latest creation. My first proper rose drawing! I’m so proud of myself.

Pumpkin pistachio oatmeal with pumpkin yogurt, licorice tea, and the new November Bon Appetit on a rainy fall day… my kind of idea of perfection, if there even is such a thing.

Pumpkin apple streudel cake. Recipe coming soon!

Got this little pip squeak a new squeak mouse toy, a new fascination! Blueberry waffles with pumpkin yogurt and pumpkin chai. Chocolate peanut butter eyeball truffles! So spooky and deliciously good! And some spooky sidewalk decorations! Love it!

I’ve been trying to branch out from my usual coffee shop hangouts (ie. Crema) and tried a few new places last week. Both uber hipsterish and a bit overrated, but still delicious. I tried the newish Heart on Burnside and the downtown location of Stumptown. Heart’s soy latte (at a whopping $4) was honestly not the best. A bit watered down and slightly bitter, I’ve had better. Also got a buckwheat fig roll that was decent, but definitely not worth another $4 or so. Regardless, I could’ve had a more substantial meal for those, but it was nice to hang out in and the vintage botany posters were uber pretty.

I didn’t get any decaf at Stumptown, just a fig anise scone supplied by Little T American Baker, which was a definite new experience for my taste buds. Good, but not sure if I would ever try again. What can I say, I’m spoiled with Bakery Bar!

Oh yeah, so this came in the mail a few days ago. An official OFFICIAL copy of my license! That was kinda nice… it’s all sealed and pretty and stuff.

Met up with some friends last night at a neighborhood eatery, Nepo 42.

Had some fried chick’n ‘n waffles with bacon and sage maple syrup with nice, tall, dark and handsome stout. Holy yum!

Love the tongue shots! Yeah super fast shutter speed, GO!

Kitty cuddle time is the best time.

My man also introduced me (finally) to the Batman series and we’ve been watching one a day since Friday. We saw the 1st Friday, the 2nd last night, and we’re about to go out and see the current 3rd one at the Mission Theater this evening. Batman marathon rules!

In other awesomesauce news: I received a complimentary copy of Breakfast in Bridgetown from the author himself for being able to identify a dish at a restaurant on his blog (Swedish meatballs from Broder)! Paul is a Portland foodie writer, specializing in the best of the best brunch places around PDX. Think of it as your Yelp brunch guide in hard copy form. He even includes critical information about expected wait times, the brand of coffee served (hey, this city is practically fueled on the stuff), the best “feel good” and healthy options, and if they have wifi available.  I’ve always admired the book at Powell’s, checked out a copy at the library a few weeks ago, and now I have my own copy. Thanks again, Paul! You rule. Oh yeah, and not to mention a gift certificate for dinner at Besaws was tucked inside the pages too! So excited to finally check them out!

Also, today I did something very special and exciting. A girlfriend of a friend and I connected, and I was able to flex my love for food photography this morning for a very special brunch event. And it looks like this will be a regular thing! I will post about it soon. It deserves its own post for recognition. I’m so excited to look over the photos tonight and the next few days!

Keep Calm and Decorate On


Went a little fall decorating crazy at Trader Joe’s yesterday. They have my favorite seasonal pumpkin peppers! Have you seen these before? They’re the best. They are long stems with mini pumpkin looking peppers hanging off the sides. I purchase a bundle every year!

So stoked to bust out the candles again. I love candle-lit dinners at home, getting cozy away from the rain. And they always smell so amazing! I love rosemary-sage, pumpkin, and coconut ones the best.

Pumpkin smoothies all the time!

We tried this Nosedive merlot last night (only about $8 at TJs!) and really liked it! Not bad for a cheapie. 

Post-dinner cuddle love.

Yep. All these books.

These little orange ceramic pumpkin-like pots with succulents in them are also for sale at TJs! I love the bright pop of orange color, plus the fact that I can’t easily kill these kinds of plants. Although I probably will anyhow.

Slow baked lemon-thyme salmon. Delicious.

This is my all-time favorite salad recipe. Roasted butternut squash in spinach with green beans in a tangy garlic mustard vinaigrette. I also love adding some dried cranberries and some form of nut (candied pecans, rosemary almonds, or pistachios!). It’s a perfect Thanksgiving side dish, also!

How cute is this candied apple? Picked this up at Fred Meyer the other night. I couldn’t resist. It looks way cuter than it tastes though. The green apple was wayyyy too sour. But maybe I’ll make my own sometime soon?

Also, good news! Got the test results back for the kitty and things came back negative, so it doesn’t look like he has the fatal FIP disease. Not 100%, but really giving us hope right now and his spirits are on the mend. We’re just going to take things day by day. I can’t tell you what a relief this is. This past week I’ve pretty much cried at least once at some point each day, worried sick about his fate, not being able to imagine life going on without him. It’s terrible to see the ones you love suffer, especially when they’re so innocent and helpless in every possible way. His fever went away, and he’s eating more again. Purring like never before and being the best cuddle bug ever. This kitten has stolen my heart to the millionth degree.

I love you, Capi.