simple life


In our modern time of gadgets and things I find myself often wishing for a simpler life, something more serene and connected to each thing that I do. I also fully realize that this is pure fantasy, but a nice one nonetheless. We visited a Shaker village in New Hampshire and I was in awe of their lifestyle. Separated from the outside world, they spent their time working and creating. Despite living in a closed community, they were innovative and early adopters of new technologies, being the some of the first to have electricity and running water.

The Shakers were also highly organized: everything had a place and a number, everyone had a job and a schedule. I imagine some might find this tedious but I adore this sort of order. While on the outside it seems more complicated, it does make everything simpler. Order in every day tasks leaves room for creativity in other places.

I imagine many think the Shaker lifestyle is extreme, which is easy to say for a celibate community that separates men and woman in all things. Yet in their separation there was equality between the sexes, something that was much more radical in the late eighteenth century when they were founded, but is still lacking in our modern culture.

Visiting this historical homestead was enchanting and provoked much contemplation on more modern intentional communities. I wonder if there is a place for such lifestyles in the world today or if we will forever be relegated to cities and small towns.

stormy weather

One of the things I miss the most about summers in the North East are the unexpected storms. Los Angeles weather is usually the same all the time. I love the lightning and the intense downpours that start without warning and end soon after, nature in it’s full glory.

Almond Cake

I originally shared this recipe as a guest post on the wonderful Glitter and Ganache, but thought I should share it with you all in case you missed it. Mainly I just love this cake and think about eating it all the time. It’s a great summer recipe because it pairs well with fruit and coconut cream, but you could also have it with simple powdered sugar or frosting and chocolate ganache.

Vegan Almond Cake

1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vinegar (apple cider or white)
1 cup plus 2 Tbs all purpose flour
1/3 cup almond meal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour your cake pan. Whisk the vinegar into the almond milk and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, oil, extracts and almond milk mixture. Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Stir until just combined and only a few clumps remain. Pour into the prepared cake pan and cook for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the edges brown and pull away from the pan. Let sit for about 5 minutes before removing from pan and letting cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

joy of baking

I love to bake. I love to bake because I love to eat sweets. I love it because I enjoy experimenting and trying to create things I’ve never made before. I love following instructions and coming out with something a little bit magical. I like to try recipes until I find the right one. Baking is relaxing for me (mostly).

Sometimes when you love to do something you have to step away in order to find your love for it again. If it becomes to routine, the joy is lost. So there hasn’t been a whole lot of baking happening in my life of late. And yet these cherry hand pies called to me to be made. After my last cherry pie, which left me unsatisfied, I had to tackle them again. So small pies were the plan, something a little different, something a little more fun.

I didn’t worry too much how these looked in the end. I just put them together in a way that pleased me. They weren’t perfect looking but the filling was almost divine. I admit, I made a mistake or two in the preparations, but I learned something wonderful: tapioca makes an amazing pie filling.

So here is to adventures in baking, whether they yield glorious or disastrous results.


The past few weeks I’ve been longing for quite. With warm summer weather and holidays celebrated with outdoor BBQ’s, I feel like I’ve been the unwilling audience to recent neighborhood events. Sound echoes against all the nearby buildings and most often it’s difficult to escape the sounds of my street. Never before have I wanted a yard, but now I’m longing for a private outside space of any kind.

Yet again, Los Angeles and it’s strange places comes to my rescue in the form of a giant park. It is big enough to still have secluded areas, but close enough that I don’t have to drive over half an hour to get there. It’s amazing what a small walk on a quiet trail can do to improve my mood. I’ve lived in Los Angeles, my whole life, but I feel much more myself in more natural areas, away from the frenetic environment of the city. As usual, I need to remind myself to get away a little.

More so, I’m really looking forward to an upcoming trip to New England for a friend’s wedding. Can’t wait to explore more rural areas and traverse new places.