Autumn

There’s something about fall that I am in love with. I love the golden Aspen leaves. Bundling up for football games. Anticipating that spooky goodness Halloween brings every year. I also get to break out my crockpots and soup recipes (making chicken noodle soup out of leftover rotisserie chicken later). But for me, the inevitable change in nature leaves me to reminisce about my own growth in the past year and how its time to take in that growth and build a sturdy foundation of who I am so I can start strong when spring (rebirth) comes around again.

It’s been rough coming to terms with who I was, who I am, and who I will be. A little girl who read and wrote to combat her depression. A teenager who thought that perfection would save her from a judgmental world. A young lady who knows that hard work does not reap reward without sacrifice. And now, a woman, breaking away from that child, who is learning how to live this life with grace. I’ve prayed all my life but in the past year, I especially prayed for inner peace and strength. Peace to my past and strength for my future.

I found out that I could not write until I accepted my traumas. I have found an inner strength that I have never known. I have survived from so much: loneliness, abuse, harassment, rumors, bullies, mental disorders, eating disorders, my sexuality. All of these internal and external events that hurt me to my core, but no one ever knew. I bottled it up. I hid it. I suppressed it. And in the end, it killed my writing.

Accepting what’s happened to me pulled that stopper out of the bottle. For some reason, I was afraid, very afraid, of what would happen if I revisited the past. That bottle shook with rage and sadness when I wasn’t ignoring it. But as I journaled, the tears were inevitable. As I practiced yoga, I exhaled the stress right out of my body. As I slept. As I stopped drinking. As I ate nutritious foods. As I read. As I traveled.

I started to feel like myself again.

For the past few days, I’ve felt a stillness inside of me that I’ve never known. Maybe its the hot yoga I’ve been doing or how I have jobs that make me happy. I’ve been working on myself for a year now and there were several times that I just wanted to say fuck it, move back home to Missouri, and call it good on my career. But there’s this voice in my head that tells me I’m not done writing yet. I haven’t met who I need to yet. I’m not done exploring Colorado. I’m not done traveling the world. I still have this longing to help the poor, to help the animals, to help the environment. Why should I quit on any of that? Because my feelings got in the way?

I know that it’s okay to be human but I should never let that stop me from who I’m supposed to be. I am still trying to be kind to myself after what’s happened to me. I am still hard after my goals to become a sommelier, to become a better yogi, to create a fashion publication. I will enjoy the dying season with people who love me and uplift me, and in turn, will continue to love and uplift myself.

Where to Go When Eating Solo

Here’s what you might guess about the Boulder food scene after a casual stroll downtown: it’s alive and thriving. You might need to trust us on this one (and perhaps erase years of societal conditioning), but the scene is also quite welcoming to the solo eater. We’ve scouted five of the best spots to visit if you’re wanting to immerse yourself in an authentic Boulder dining experience or grabbing a quick bite to eat alone.

Where to go when eating solo – Boulder Weekly

Florence, Italy

Florence among the Apennine Mountains. My Italian instructor had us hike up to San Miniato al Monte for this city view.

Three years ago, I boarded a plane on my way to a study abroad in Florence, Italy, equally terrified and excited for the next five weeks to come. I bought my ticket — my first huge purchase as a 22-year-old — and it would take me from St. Louis to Montreal to Rome and back.

When I arrived in Rome, the plan was to take the train to Florence. However, almost every piece of advice that I religiously followed from Google was wrong. Not every Italian spoke English. You didn’t get your train ticket to Florence from where it said I should. Jet lagged in a foreign country, I did the only thing I could: I followed the signs.

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back to the grind

the Art’s desserts are a work of art on its own: carrot cake with cream cheese icing, candied carrots, pineapple meringue, house-made granola, and edible flowers.

hey everyone! sorry I haven’t written for awhile. I started a new job at The Art, a hotel, in downtown Denver. modern and trendy, The Art is a three-year-old boutique hotel filled with the most interesting art pieces. you can find me at Fire, its restaurant and lounge, where I have a great view of Denver and the mountains. 🙂 besides that, I’ve been getting my tan on and spending time with T and friends.

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Capri, Italy

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MAY 30, 2015

After a nauseating ferry ride from Naples to Capri (what a way to learn that you’re prone to sea sickness), we finally arrived at the base of the famed Mediterranean island. We noticed that everyone was jumping into white vans that shuttled them off, but we opted to walk instead.

Four flights of stairs in, the city was still nowhere in sight. We trampled through makeshift rock steps that trailed up Capri, surrounded by white artsy beach houses (owned by the rich and famous, no doubt) with views of baby blue skies and cerulean waters. We emerged from another flight of stairs and came out into a road, where I spotted a local man. Centro? I asked, out of breath. He pointed up.

Hundreds of steps later, hungry and ready to give up, we were almost to the top when we smelled it. Warm sugary scents wafted down the stairs toward us and instantly, we picked up the pace. What was that smell? we wondered. Was it fresh baked chocolate croissants? Was there some new Italian delicacy waiting for us at the top of the stairs? We finally broke out into the centro of Capri and sped walked past the high-end boutique shops and restaurants when we saw it.

The source of those delicious aromas came from piping hot waffle irons, conveniently placed by an open window, churning out just-baked waffle cones for Buonocore Gelateria. In awe, I watched as they took those thin crepe-like waffles and rolled them into a perfect shape of an ice cream cone. It was the most memorable welcome to Capri.

A Fresh Take on “This is America”

one thing I cannot believe people have NOT talked about yet is the impact of music videos on our youth, especially young black children. we’ve been warned in the past about how too much MTV is bad for you, but what exactly are music videos doing to children? in Childish Gambino’s “This is America” music video, we watch a stream of recurring problems for African Americans (which we are sadly desensitized to at this point), but I feel like the biggest one has flown right above everybody’s head.

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Eating Rights

Three years ago, if you told me that I would be an animal and environmental rights activist because of what I was eating, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. My food writing journey has been an amazing one – sampling, sipping, and telling stories about the best food and drink you could imagine. But along the way, I began to listen to other stories – ones that affect you and me. The “local” eating movement goes beyond supporting local businesses. It’s about supporting practices that are 1. humane and 2. sustainable. And while the concept seems pretty simple, finding restaurants that follow those same ethics are not.

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