This is a post about morning chasing the shadows away, about nightmares and milk tea flavored French toast. I’ve noticed a curious thing about myself in contrast to my husband. I wake up nervous, almost in a panic, nearly every morning. Many mornings the first words off my lips to him are a bleary “Is everything ok?” I need to hear that everything is okay. While he dreams of singing lullabies to our daughter the day she’s born, I thrash through drownings, fighting tooth & claw, and a writhing sort of pain in my heart that’s almost limb rending. I love to rest, to sleep, but waking each morning to this glorious and still yet new world of placid waters, mundane worries, and a husband that I love and loves me in return is more like a dream than any sleep I’ve known as an adult. Morning is sweet. He brings me coffee, we make breakfast or take it out, and the black water recedes again into my subconscious. Living is a good remedy. So here are my thoughts on the fear & a recipe for chasing it away, namely a recipe for an earl grey & lavender scented French toast topped with sweet summer blueberries.

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My first pregnancy style post (which also happens to be a travel style post because this is what I’d wear anyway…), and the first post that my husband Matt has shot! These photos were taken last week while we wandered the morning streets of Barcelona’s gothic quarter, me at a ever larger 29 weeks pregnant and him with camera in hand. I’ve been intent on not buying maternity wear largely because I’m a minimalist, and I have a hard time stomaching the idea of buying clothes intended to be worn for 3 months or less. Luckily my current flowy wardrobe of largely Elizabeth Suzann pieces has served me well. I’m wearing her Tilda pant in silk crepe and her Georgia dress layered over it also in silk crepe, a Blockshop scarf (on my head), crazy comfy Naot sandals I bought back home, and carrying my leather Ona laptop + camera bag, the Madison. Ona has been generous enough to offer to give one Madison bag away to one of you in celebration of their 6th anniversary! Head over to Instagram for the details. And I have an interview up over on their blog where I talk about everything from my tools of the trade to my advice for aspiring creatives which is essentially this: work hard, build meaningful relationships in your field, and never social climb.

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As many of you who follow me on Instagram know, I’m a cat lady. It all started with my childhood cat, a temperamental, sleek black cat named G. Just G. He was a rescue that upon regaining his strength showed his true colors as a creature that bites that hand that feeds yet desperately wants love & affection. As a teenager, I deeply related to that cat; we were kindred spirits. Over the years since G I’ve had Olive, Critter Lee, Gremlin, and now we have my two boys, the cuddliest of the bunch, that we adopted nearly a year ago as kittens: Kohi & Miruku (their names mean coffee and milk respectively in Japanese—we’re cheesy, I know). They make me happy when I’m sad, calm when I’m stressed, and laugh when I’m angry. So, yes, I had a birthday party for my cats. That’s what you’re looking at here. Well, that and photos of them from kitten to now.

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We’re remodeling our entire home at the moment (pregnancy induced nesting instinct gone arguably awry), and I haven’t been living there since January. Homesick doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling. The white oak floors were finished while we were in Japan which means that while I can’t move back into the rest of the house (no sinks or showers!), I can move back into my work space: the kitchen. These roasted banana & buttermilk cupcakes with Lindt LINDOR truffle filling & fluffy marshmallow frosting (a.k.a. 7 minute frosting) is the first recipe I created in my own kitchen since being back, and they’re a celebration of both truffles (tomorrow is national truffle day!) and of the comforts of home.

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