As I grow up, the learning never ends. Things change, my point of view and understanding are affected by the knowledge I've acquired. What was once a sure thought, isn't always, and all the same it can be hard to let go of.
The dreams that I dreamt seemed so real - and they were - but now I watch them melt away as out of life's learning, others take form. It's hard to think that I was once overly enamored with something that today, easily floats to the back of my mind. Am I just having a moment of confusion that will pass? Simple as it sounds to turn my back, road blocks stand in my way. A sense of comfort and a fear of banishing old loves, are not so easy to surpass. When you're on the path to what you wanted for over half your life, you feel as though a new dream better be 100% shaped in your mind before any leaps of faith are taken. You quiet those stirring thoughts because the idea of a new goal is intimidating and scary.The thought of starting at ground zero is overwhelming. But maybe life needs to be flipped on it's head sometimes. Perhaps there should be moments when you have no idea what you're doing.
It's almost as though you have to be ten times more sure of this new dream than the last. It has to be worth it one-million times over. At points I have faith that I'm now mature and developed enough to really understand what I want, but who's to say that in ten years I won't experience an all new change of heart? I supposed the conclusion that I've come to is that it's fine. It doesn't need to be such a grandiose problem. Let the dreams come, listen to them. Chase dream, after dream, after dream. Big or little, it will all be okay.
Until you let yourself dream a different dream, you will be stuck. Stop fearing change, let yourself expand and evolve into whatever might come. Dreams will build inside of you over and over again. After all, that's what life is: having new things to chase, a re-evolving passion and desire to accomplish fetes, gain experiences, and build your life path. Dreams are what will power you through this world.
It's that time of year! As with everyone else, there have been celebrations all around. For me: holiday pot lucks with various friends, a fun late-night Chinese dinner with the man, and a family visit in Florence. It was our first Christmas without my grandfather. He passed away earlier this month. Although it was clearly his time, he went in his sleep just two weeks shy of his 91st birthday, there was a hole where his commanding presence was once expected. I'm happy because there was nothing over the top. We came together as family, grounded and laid-back with smiles on our faces despite the loss. After all, the simple things - friends, family, and love (with a little food and booze thrown in) - is what the holidays should be about. Now to head home and celebrate with my parents in a couple weeks. Fingers crossed for a smooth trip.
One weeknight Adam and went to the grocery store looking for some dinner inspiration. We wandered around the Wholefoods produce section with zero bursts of genius, and then turned to the fish station where the brilliant idea hit me, "why don't we stuff something...with polenta!" And so this recipe was born.
I can't tell you that it has any particular health benefit, besides the healthy omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, but it's tasty! Since we wanted to use polenta we decided to go the elevated down home route - we chose catfish as our base, and threw some crab, jalapeno, and hot sauce in there. The polenta mixed with crab renders a creamy filling without the use of any dairy product. It's filling without dense or fatty ingredients, and goes great paired with a simple vegetable. We threw ours over a kale and white bean salad, and it made a great weeknight dinner.
1/2Lb Lump Crab
1 Cup Polenta
1 Jalapeno, seeded & chopped
1 Medium Shallot, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 Tsp Cayenne
1 Tsp Dry Mustard
2 Tsp Mesquite
1 Tsp Onion Powder
3 Tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Hot Sauce
1 Tbsp White Vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. While making your polenta, throw in the jalapeno and shallot, and let the mixture cook down.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together crab, polenta, spices, hot sauce, and white vinegar.
4. First cut your catfish in half, to have two identical fillets. Turn the fillet towards you, and cut horizontally through the thick end to make a pocket for your filling.
5. Spoon the polenta and crab mixture into your pockets, filling generously.
6. Place the filled catfish on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and stick in the oven to bake.
7. After 20 minutes, remove from oven and place a pat of butter atop each fillet. this will caramelize and give a crispy texture to the outer layer of fish.
8. Replace everything in the oven for another 5 minutes or until cooked.
At work I was recently given the fun project of planning/making our holiday gifts for everyone that we've worked with over the past year. I wanted to do something that felt a bit more winter than straight up holiday, so I stuck to a neutral color palette with pops of gold and red. To make them a bit more unique I had the idea to play around and do fun things with the yarn. The first result is dream catcher inspired, and the second features a fun wintery pom pom!
Cream Colored Yarn
1. Dip the tips of your feathers in the gold leaf adhesive and let dry for a couple minutes.
2. Fold a small piece of gold foil around the tip of the feather until it is nicely wrapped.
3. After a few minutes hold the feather tight to the ground and press the leaf into the feather using a paint brush.
4. After 20 minutes of so, you can use the sealer if you want to. It's mostly to prevent tarnishing for things that are meant to last a while, so I did not use it.
It may seem crazy to give directions here, but wrapping is actually an art that takes some practice. Here are some good things to know & steps to take.
1. When you first wrap the paper around your box, you want to get it as tight as possible.
2. Next, fold the paper into a triangle, making a crease along the outer edge of the box.
3. Fold along your previous crease to make the triangle lay flat against the box. Make another crease right at the bottom, holding that triangle tight to your gift.
4. After making the creases on both sides, fold over the edge of your flap.
5. Cut a piece of tape with scissors so that it is straight, fold the flap up, and stick.
*Tip: when cutting your wrapping paper to size, you want to have about 1.5" of excess on the sides. It is important to make sure that you don't have too much because that is where you'll run into sloppy-looking presents.
1. Taking 5 yards of yarn, tie the string around your gift like you would normally in a criss-cross "t" shape. You want where the yarn intersects to be further to one side, and not in the middle.
2. After tying a knot, take the yarn and tie it at 1"-3" intervals around the entire string. Stop a couple of inches right before you get to the final knot.
3. Taking the tale of the yarn that is left, you want to string it through the loops that you've made making a zig zag shape. You really can't mess up here, just loop and pull making a spiderweb effect. At certain points you may want to knot it around the loop to hold it in a certain place.
1. Cut two same size circles out of cardboard. Make a slit going into the center and cut out the center as well.
2. Tie your yarn around the end, and proceed to wrap generously around the cardboard.
3. Once you reach the end, tie off your string.
4. Taking your scissors, cut down the center, in between the two pieces of cardboard. After you've cut 2/3 of the way around take another string and start to weasel it between the cardboard pieces to tie off around the center of your strings.
5. Once you've cut all the way around, tie the string around the center, leaving the tails long so that you can attach it to your gift. Fluff the yarn to get your pom pom.
1. Taking 4.5 yards of string, tie around the package once and knot, leaving one end extremely long and the other short.
2. Taking the long end, wrap the yarn around the gift to the front and tie a knot in the center.
3. Return the yarn to the back, and tie a knot around your first. Continue wrapping & tying knots at the center until you've done so four times. End at the back, tie a double knot, and trim excess.
4. Taking the two long strings of your pom pom, tie the pom pom around the center knot on the front of your package.
5. I suggest double knotting, and then trim your strings so that they are the same length as the rest of your pom pom strings.
I have to be honest, this weekly scenes is more like a monthly scenes. Life has been crazy busy. There have been a lot of journeys and events. My plate has been so full that I just haven't gotten around to posting the little moments. I'm taking it in and powering through. The reward will come and I'll be able to take in a deep breath, looking back satisfied. I'll finally sit down with a book again and will seriously get back to the yoga mat - two things I have not been getting enough of. I'm looking forward to it, but for now, gotta run. I'm procrastinating on things that need to get done!
This past Thursday was our annual work holiday party! We got all dolled up, and goofed around before going over to celebrate. As they say, you can dress her up, but you can't take her out. And I don't mind one bit. :)
These animal portraits and painted headdresses by Amy Hamilton are adorably perfect for this time of year. They feel so soft and wintery, and would make amazing notecards for gifts.