culture, food, lifestyle, stock, Travel

Lighten Up

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If you have read any of my writing, it is fairly obvious that I am a thinker and a feeler. Recently I took the StrengthsFinder test and my number one strength was empathy. It is alarmingly accurate. I spend a great deal of my life looking through that lens. It is often the basis for how and why I write. In fact, it is the reason I started writing to begin with. It has been a way for me to process everything that swirls around in my head on a daily basis. And if you were to ask my husband Chad, he would tell you that it is A LOT. This whole writing thing hasn’t ever been easy, but it has been worth it.

I would like to take a bit of a different tone in this post though! This community has grown a bit so I’m going to lighten up and introduce some of the things I enjoy doing. For now, I’ll pick three. In return, in the comment section below, I would love to hear a bit more about you! I have never intended this to be a place where I talk at you, but rather a conversation starter. You ready? Lets do this!

TRAVEL & ADVENTURE

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I suppose if money grew on a tree, I would spend a large portion of it on travel. Ideally, I would snag my husband and couple of my best friends and hit the road. Or the air. Or the sea. 🙂 I LOVE to travel. To see new sights, taste new tastes, smell new smells. I thrive on it. It sparks creativity and opens my mind to the way others live. You can pretty much stick me anywhere new and I’m good to go. It can be in a tent in the middle of nowhere or a hotel in the middle of a big city. I just love being on the go and seeing this great big world we live in.

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FOOD & COFFEE

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I mean, if we’re honest, how many of us don’t enjoy food? Like the kind that tastes good because it’s not free of all things we have labeled evil in this world (I’m looking at you gluten, dairy and sugar). I love all aspects of food. I love shopping for it, preparing it, cooking it, serving and of course I love eating it. I love the way it brings people together and the conversations we have around it. I love that it points to culture and that it can be prepared in a million different ways. I love that it engages all the senses and sparks creativity. I love that it can be healthy and still taste good and that the simplest of ingredients often taste the best if handled and prepared correctly.

Onto coffee. Where do I even begin? First, it is my favorite meal of the day, and not as much for the caffeine but for the entire process of making it, cupping and sipping it. I’m the kind who prepares it one cup at a time, currently reaching for my AeroPress as a preferred method of brewing. Coffee has become culturally hip in the past 10 years as it has moved away from the mass production at Starbucks and more toward the slow movement of preparing each cup with a whole lot of love. Not to mention that you can easily find it Fairly Traded and handled ethically. I love that it is an industry that has brought about that kind of awareness.

I have secret dreams of owning a coffee shop one day, but for now at home my tools of choice are my Chemex and Hario pour overs as well as the aformetioned AeroPress. My french press bit the dust, but after a few cups in Oregon that just might be my next investment. I buy most of my beans from a local roaster and love trying different varieties. Each method and each region produces a different cup of coffee, much like wine. Much like food, serving coffee to others is a passion of mine. We often have guests in our home and I get strangely giddy with excitement getting to serve them in the morning. There is something about a warm cup of coffee in hand that stirs up a great conversation to start the day!

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RUNNING, HIKING & THE OUTDOORS

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That’s right, I’m one of the crazy people who actually enjoys running. Not because I’m made for it or I’m good at it, but because the second my feet hit the pavement I go to another world. It is my time to unplug and get alone with my thoughts. In fact, I often refer to it as my therapy. I love that it is challenging and a battle of wills and that on any given day you can feel like you’re floating or your feet are made of concrete. I say no to treadmills. It is an outdoor activity only. Because at the pace I run it takes me places slowly enough to take in the scenery. Much like traveling, it allows me to go to places I couldn’t otherwise, and see things I wouldn’t otherwise see. When it is a part of my daily routine I am a much nicer person. No need to confirm with my husband, Chad :).

There you have it. Three things I’m totally into. What are your top three? Give them to me!