2014!

Woa.

It’s been over a year since I’ve posted on here (sorry to anyone that’s been dying to read about my crazy life)… In all seriousness, I just couldn’t keep up with everything that happened!

When we left off, we were living in the airstream in the beauty of the fall!

And then winter happened, staying in the negatives for weeks..

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And living in the airstream became a little bit difficult lacking water. Joda and I began to realize why mobile homes are most often seen in Arizona and warmer states…

Then, in April, we quit our jobs and headed to Alaska. I was curious of the world outside of traditional jobs and wanted to experience a different way of living. Yes, even more different than the airstream. So we put everything in storage and headed north!

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Our last days at the airstream

… Well, Joda headed north first to do some more serious backcountry expeditions while I visited with family and friends, backpacking and farming on the east coast.

Then we met up in Alaska in May to do some more mild exploring (kayaking out of Homer, exploring in Talkeetna) together and began work in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in June.

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Denali

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Kayaking Kachemak Bay

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Beautiful dumpsters in Seward, AK

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The first of many moose we got to see!

We met amazing people, lived (practically) outside, and took advantage of all that Alaska had to offer!

Right before returned back to the states in October, I got an amazing offer from a friend to start up a café just north of Fort Collins, Colorado. I did weeks of research, business plan writing, and networking only to realize that it probably isn’t a good idea to start a café when you’re flat broke. So, I’m back on the job hunt. We’re back in the central mountains of Colorado. The past year has given me so much insight to business and happiness and work that I think I can make it happen again. And save up enough money until the next adventure comes along!

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quote of the day

I’m often inspired by the various sources of literature (be it blogs, books, editorials, or just musings) on food these days. I saw this yesterday from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef and it spoke immediately to me heart:

Italy feels like a home to us. We met at least 3 Americans on this trip who have moved to Italy. Each one of them said the same thing: I wanted to stop feeling like a freak for caring about great food. Here, everyone loves food. There’s no divide in Italy. There are no foodies. Everyone, everyone loves food. There is no guilt, no withholding, no sense that certain foods are forbidden. There is simply everyday feasting, long lunches with family, produce in season, great ingredients, dinners that stretch far into the evening, and great conversations around the table.

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That’s my wish for the world

With love,

from Jess’ kitchen

blessed

Though I’m not having the best April to date, I am being constantly reminded of the amazing blessings of people that are in my life. And that people really are so genuinely wonderful.

A great friend of mine made the following after reading my last blog post. Because of my fragile state of my emotions these days, I immediately burst into tears. I hope this resonates with your heart as it did mine.

So, thank you to all the friends that have called, hung out, insisted on a visit, and reached out to me this month. We’re going to make it through this together.

with love,

from Jess’ kitchen

Living Simply, Part 2

I’m not quite sure how many parts to this series there will be, but I’m certainly learning more and more each day about simple living.

1. You will engage in long discussions with spouse about seemingly insignificant (but totally significant) items. For instance, yellow onions. I lost. We have none. Waiting until next grocery trip.

2. When forced, you can use up so many ingredients in the fridge and learn to forgo those that simply are not around. Thinking outside the box and letting go of ‘musts’ or recipe-fixations is necessary.

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Living Simply

Though I don’t consider myself a Catholic, I have come to appreciate and observe the Lenten season each year. I believe each has their own personal motivations for participating (or not) in this season and, for me, I see it as a time for reflection on life – perhaps a ‘state of my union’, if you will. This is typically paired with adding or removing something that I may rely heavily or not enough on. Perhaps it is the fact that I enjoy a challenge – I seem to participate in all of these self-bettering holidays – or just the chance to reevaluate the life that I am living and work to make it better. My resolutions for these seasons of life revolve around what foods I will be restricting myself from (meat, animal products, or alcohol), what exercise routine I will be attempting, or how to make my life generally more productive (less tv, more recipe writing, more book reading). However, I am attempting a new approach this time – the broad, and often subjective idea of simple living.

This past weekend, as I bathed in the southern sun and warmth in the quiet botanic gardens of Austin, I could think of nothing else but to start living simply. The impending fate of moving into a remodeled airstream, the realization that working to attain dreams is not free (or cheap), and the need for a cleanse brought this to mind as I sat reflecting on the state of my life.

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giving thanks

This Thanksgiving was certainly one I will never forget. It was the perfect mix of fun and laughter, new and old friends, the calm and craziness of cooking all in time for the main event – the turkey. We started the day with a community turkey trot and ended the day full in hearts and bellies.

Joda and I had expected about 8 people as of Thanksgiving Eve, but the day of brought more guests, more hearts, and more warmth for our tiny apartment than we had originally anticipated. And while I had wanted each guest to share their reason for thanks this year, we let that sometimes forced activity go. Luckily, I have this blog to share my reason for thanks.

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let there be brownies

These pictures speak a thousand words to all of us individually. Maybe it’s knowing the 30 minutes that follow will fill the kitchen with agonizing smells, because what you want to enjoy right this very minute is beyond your reach. Maybe it’s a taste of what’s to come – regardless of the raw eggs, it’s a hint at the decadent baked good that will soon be enjoyed. Maybe the tease isn’t worth the waiting time for you, so you abstain until your baked good is finished (I’ve never felt this way…). Regardless, we know the finished product of batter from this paddle and bowl is going to satisfy the heart and soul, providing a sweetly decadent cap on any day.

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a look back

This summer went by way too fast. From our wedding that kicked it all off, to the honeymoon in Turkey, then a move into the mountains of Colorado, and starting a whole new job, Joda and I have tried to squeeze every last bit of sunlight and warmth from these few short months. Now, even though the calendar says we are just entering November, the mountains of Colorado have hit winter. Ski resorts are opening one by one and the winter coats are pulled – it’s time to settle in for the nice, long season. Today’s post, on the eve of daylight savings, is in remembrance of this summer.

Currently, our living situation doesn’t allow for us to have a garden of any size, but as we moved to our new town this summer, we were able to make connections with a local farm stand that collects the bounty of produce from the western slope of Colorado and brings it to our county. This has been a godsend as we value local, seasonal, fresh produce so much but happen to live in an area where land value is so high so there aren’t many farms.

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Hello friends!

Welcome to my new site! Previously arawharvest.weebly.com, I’ve decide to make this thing a little bit fancier and sleeker with a new title that I like a bit more! The reason for the change is that I have loved blogging about what I am eating and doing, calling for a more appropriate title and a little bit more of a grown up blog!

Though I am still working on getting all the bells and whistles working up here (and maybe a new design/header), I have not stopped cooking, baking, or thinking about food!

So, here are some pictures as to what I’ve been doing these past few weeks and hopefully we’ll have this site up and running in no time!!