December is here and the spirit of winter has settled into my mind. As the end of the year approaches it brings with it reflections on life. I turned 28 a few weeks ago and while it doesn’t really mean a whole lot, it does mean the end of twenty seven, the year I got married, which is kind of a thing. Time just passes by and brings new things and experiences and as always I’m looking forward to what the future will hold, while still being gratified with my present. These days are filled with contentment.

With the holidays just around the corner I’ve got gifts on the mind and it keeps occurring to me that I want to give so much to people that I feel lucky to know, whether in real life or through twitter or blogs or whatever. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. It’s never easy to pick the perfect gift but this year I really want to show friends and family how much I care for them. I hope I can make that happen.

This past weekend was filled with celebrations for friends and in some small personal way it was momentous for me. These days I often find myself plagued with anxieties to a degree that makes some simple things uncomfortable. Riding in someone else’s car for instance causes my heart to palpitate. My awareness of these minor phobias and easy rationalization can often get me through it, to calm myself, but they don’t go away altogether. The next ride I’ll have to face the same fears.

While some of these fears have been around forever and have just become more dramatic over the years, others seemed to never exist until now. Like singing. Did you know I used to perform, in bands, in musicals, in plays? As youth faded, my ability to get up in front of others in any capacity diminished until it turned into an almost paralyzing fear. I’ve often asked myself why my inhibitions have grown so strong over the years and I have no answers. This weekend I went to a karaoke birthday and in my mind there was no way I was going to participate. At the same time I knew that was ridiculous. After much debate, I just did it. I sang a crazy pop song in front of a group of mostly strangers. It was terrifying, and yet it happened. Even though my hands were shaking, a bunch of people got up and danced and sang along and it was okay.

Also this weekend, a friend of mine had a put on a puppet show for his 40th birthday. It was so cool. I just felt so fortunate to be there to see his performance for his nearest and dearest. I feel genuinely lucky to have creative and talented friends who follow their dreams. Growing up in the sprawling city that is Los Angeles, I’ve often felt disconnected from people. Here people seem to waft into your life and exit in the same manner. In the past few years though I have really grown to appreciate the people around me, for the first time feeling like I have a place and it is here whether I like it or not.

bread and butter

Dear readers, this post has a split personality. But that’s kind of just how I am. I’m leading you, just momentarily, to a more personal place.  A place of bread and butter.

I was reading this post the other day about following your dreams and your passion and it really resonated for me. Now, while it may seem that I spend most of my time in the kitchen our out photographing fun stuff with Shawn, the truth is I have a full time, totally not creative job,* just like tons of other people out there. I spend most of my day calculating things and making a lot of spreadsheets.

Then I get to go home and bake and blog and photograph and sew for the few hours I have before I am too tired to function. It’s been going like this for about the past few years with a few variables. At some point there was a lot of script writing. Sometimes there are a lot of night time bicycle adventures. At one point there was a lot of watching edits of Brainwashed Love.

It hasn’t been easy. It’s been a lot of work, to keep up all these interests and paths. Sometimes I hate that I can’t just decide on one thing. I know it won’t ever be like that for me. I want to make movies. I want to bake cupcakes. I want to do it all. Of course all these creative endeavors come at a cost. So that’s what the day job is for in the mean time. It’s the bread and butter.

In 2009 Shawn and I took that crazy leap of making a feature film. We completely produced and financed it ourselves. It was something we both knew we had to do. I’m sure it was one of the best decisions we’ve made even though it was scary. I’m still so proud of what we’ve accomplished by making a movie together. It’s something that many people dream of doing and never get the chance to do. We did it, and we did it well. Not to mention it just gave us that much more confidence for the next one.

So here I am, a bit over a month out from the first time we screened our film, thinking about how to follow my dreams. I know I have to devote as much of myself to these creative endeavors as I can stand.

I’ve realized that I love this blog. I don’t just enjoy blogging, I LOVE cute & delicious. I love that it is a place where I can sprinkle bits and pieces of all the things I create. So I’ve recently invested more time into it, trying to post more often and make it as cool as possible because it makes me happy.

I’m loving planning our wedding. It’s like the biggest excuse to craft and design ever. How could I not love that?

The one thing I’ve had to let fall to the wayside recently is Vegan Bake Sale. It will return. In a grander more splendid form. Cross my heart.

I’ve been really into practicing photography lately. I’ve always taken photos for this blog (although, in the past, all the good photos were taken by Shawn). I’m really trying to step up my game. It helps that I have a good teacher.

I’m still trying to figure out how to turn all these loves, these things I’m truly passionate about, the things that I live for, into my bread and butter. I know somehow someday this will happen, I just haven’t figured out how to make it happen yet. I’m ready though.

So I’m leaving you with these thoughts and some insanely good Beer Bread from a mix I bought at Trader Joe’s. I know I said I don’t usually buy boxed bake goods but sometimes you have to make an exception. This is one of those times.