also me: 

Sometimes I take myself too seriously. Other times I find myself entirely too amused by characters like Joanne the Scammer and take blurry selfies in an oversized scarf… then take myself too seriously to post them anywhere… and text them to my bougie baby sister. 

• b 

this is my actual life.

so i’m turning twenty seven soon. it’s a thing that’s happening; and if every other age for the last four years hasn’t had it’s own crisis criteria, this year is more just a settled analysis of entering my late twenties. nearing the end of a decade and taking [even more] stock of things before my new life-year begins in which i hope to make a few cognitive lifestyle changes…

i’ve been marinating in a passage from Ecclesiastes that talks about how it’s not good to be too wise because it may keep us from enjoying the short and toilsome years God gives us under the sun. i’ve been considering that life is just hard. for everyone. period. some more than others, but everyone. and i’ve been noticing how often i introduce my work with a string of disclaimers.

but mostly i’ve been thinking about Jesus. and how earth is just a little while anyway. and how he who has God has nothing less than he who has God and everything else… phrases my mind hears over and over and over until one day, they click. they fall into places where idols once stood and i bask in their truth and their freedom. he who has God has nothing less than he who has God and everything else. and earth is just a little while, anyway.

for as long as i can remember, i have been fascinated with the concepts of Aging and Being Alive In Time. and it’s that weight of eternity in my heart that makes me impatient and makes waiting hard. it’s the fact that i age and live inside of time that has created so much angst in me in this season of Being Single. and as deeply as i have yearned and for all these many years… lately, i hardly give a damn. i still want it. i sometimes still think to myself, psh must be nice; still conjure up baby names; still let myself feel all the waves of associated emotions. but this right here is my actual life, and i have come to know such a sweet contentment.

these people i know and choose to live through moments with are my actual friends and my family. these experiences that sometimes feel surreal or entirely scripted are the sequences that make up Who I Am. this desk job i have five days of the week, these moments i freeze, and most notably, the ones that i don’t. when i’m praying over the kitchen sink with still unanswered questions; when my sister-in-law sends ridiculously adorable clips of the family bananas; when a peaceable general store owner three towns over asks if i’d like to be invited to their Patagonia screenings and holiday party; when the kitchen is clean and my carefully curated home goods drip dry; and when i wear boot socks in the rain. all the songs i’ve lived through and the depth of comfort they bring…

me, here, now. unmarried and childless. incredibly loved and fruitful and free. my story has already started and i don’t feel anymore like i am holding my breath. this is my actual life, and it is beautiful.

she who has God has nothing less than she who has God and everything else. 

· b

return unto thy rest, o my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. Psalm 116:7


Bejeweled Breakfast Salad: Tuna + Cycle Seeds

One of the ways that I manage my morning appetite challenge is by having tuna salads or veggie + rice leftovers. This particular salad is both light and filling, and gets your body started with some solid, balanced nutrients. It’s also super simple to make and easy to clean up.

Basically I just prep either albacore or yellow fin tuna [my preference is albacore but yellowfin is usually a good 30-50% less expensive] by adding mayo, salt, and pepper. In the morning I just tear some field greens with my fingers and top it with tuna, cranberries, and ‘cycle seeds.’ The latter references the practice of supporting regular menstrual cycles by consuming pumpkin + flax, or sesame + sunflower seeds during certain weeks of your cycle. In all honesty, I usually forego the flax because some of the women in my family ~ myself included ~ get headaches from flax, but also because I just don’t care for it. I also avoid sesame seeds because why… ALTHOUGH, I do still have plans to make tahini chocolate chip cookies at some point and get some sesame in my life that way.

Loaded Veggie Nachos: Red Quinoa + Black Beans

A few weeks ago I made some good ol’ ground beef nachos, ate a serving or two, then froze the rest. After defrosting, I only ate another serving and ended up tossing the rest…mainly because I couldn’t stomach that much red meat, but had initially been craving it and idk, iron. I realized, though, that I wouldn’t have wasted the rest if it hadn’t had any meat in it. I decided that I’d use quinoa the next time because it has a similar-ish texture to ground beef but is a much better option for me. So I’m kind of super stoked because now I can have this meal however many days in a row and not waste it, but also not feel sick and have a belly full of rotting meat. Although, arise, kill and eat, am I right? haha. Bless.

Cooking is not one of my favorite things, but I find vegetable chopping incredibly cathartic. Plus I love eating all the colors of the rainbow because I am fascinated by the intentionality and intelligence of God’s creation. Today I used the following ingredients:

1 whole red onion  [visually presents as violet], 1 whole tomato, 1 whole green bell pepper, 1 can of black beans [I usually check the ingredients and opt for the ones that only list beans and water. Other types will sometimes have extra sodium or preservatives. I hear soaking your own is best but I don’t have the energy for all that.] The red quinoa was prepped the night before so this meal was ready in about 15 minutes. After chopping the veggies, I just sautéd them on medium-high heat in a tablespoon of olive oil.

Because the quinoa was cold and I didn’t want to eat all of it, or heat a portion of it with all of the newly sautéd veggies, I decided to go the comfort food route and warmed the quinoa in the oven over yellow corn tortilla strips drizzled with Tapatío and shredded cheese. You could just as easily have an entirely ‘clean’ meal and just toss all this on some field greens or kale or something.

Iced Lemon Water + Honeybush Tea 

The other thing I’ve been into lately is lemons. It’s kind of hit or miss, but sometimes an ice cold glass of lemon water satisfies my sweet tooth and gets me back on track after indulging in too much sugar for too long.

I’ve also been adding lemon to my iced honeybush tea. My go-to ratio is 2 honey bush teabags to 24oz of water to 1/2 lemon…Twenty-four ounces because that’s how much my amazing Bubba thermos holds. I got mine on clearance at Target for $9 and am offering an unsponsored shout-out because y’all that thing is legit. Plus mine is stainless steel + teal which perfectly suits my aesthetic. hollapraize.

But yah, last weekend I filled it with my honeybush + lemon brew + ice at like, 9am, traipsed down to San Jose on an 85 [San Jose] degree day and the ice lasted for a good 6 hours, at least. Come to think of it, I actually brewed my tea the night before and stuck the Bubba in the fridge overnight. The next morning, the tea was only room-temperature so the preservation is lit both ways. Enyhoo, I’ve really been enjoying being able to traipse to work with 24 ounces of hot tea. OH. It also comes with an optional straw which makes the cold beverages all the more delightful.


· b

still counting joy

As indicated by my personal life crisis blog-design update, I have been feeling restless again. Trying to find a place in to live in the Bay Area is *the* würst. Half the Craigslist ads are report-worthy scams barely veiled and seemingly designed to lure desperate and unsuspecting women into lewd practices and trafficking rings. And everything else is a million west coast dollars. So there’s that. 

Yesterday on my way back to work from lunch, I was rehearsing all the reasons I have to feel sorry for myself, and thinking about this surprisingly helpful seven-day Bible App reading plan when a back-packed sixth grader stopped me to ask for directions. She’d had a “minimum day” at school ~ meaning they got out at 1PM ~ and was on her way to a friend’s house but thought she maybe took a wrong turn, and it’s hard to tell when you get in the neighborhoods. At first I suggested she traipse down to the library with me and we could have them give her solid directions. Mainly because I am the worst direction giver and couldn’t live with the idea of getting this poor child even more out of her way. Then once I realized we’d be backtracking where she came from for quite a few blocks, I decided to give my unreliable, I-refuse-to-pay-for-more-data Maps app a try. I saw that she was fairly close and decided to accompany her to the main road she said she would recognize. I asked her a few non-invasive What’s It Like To Be A Kid These Days Life Questions [apparently we had  shared frustration with the constant Apple iPhone updates…] and she seemed super impressed that I was from North Carolina. She had never met anyone from North Carolina. She asked me how I liked California and I said I did for the most part, except that it’s super expensive. She emphatically agreed and proceeded to tell me about how the reason they have a pretty nice house is because her dad bought it when it was a crack house so it didn’t cost a lot of money then he and his friend fixed it up and now it’s nice. 

I was reminded of how true it is that the antidote for wallowing in woes is taking your eyes off your self and your problems. And also that I tremendously enjoy tiny and mid-sized humans. And also that God seems to have graced me with particular favor in the eyes of tiny and mid-sized humans. My older brother joked the other day about my tendency to weigh everything on Cosmic scales, which I am entirely prone to do. So yesterday, having come across the path of a mid-sized human that trusted me enough to ask for help and chat comfortably with me for 10 minutes completely re-energized me and gave me a renewed sense of purpose for still working where I do in Berkeley, CA. Because if I had’t been in my feelings and taken the round about way back to work, that orchestrated encountered wouldn’t have happened. But it did and the mid-size human and I were mutually blessed. 

So anyways, this surprisingly helpful reading plan I’ve been following is called Wait and See: Finding Peace in God’s Pauses and Plans. Wendy Pope has some solid things to say, so if you’re into that kind of thing ~ and even if you’re usually not ~ it’s worth at least the first 3 days which is how far along I am. 

So today is another long one. I don’t have to be at work for another hour, though I’ve been up for 2.5 hours already, and I won’t get to leave until precisely 7PM. [In my limited anticipation.]

I feel no less powerless to happen upon a new spot to move into that I can actually afford or meet someone who actually wants to marry me eventually or get to a place where the songs I have written are recorded and well-produced and included in the soundtrack of some grand and elaborately portrayed story. But I should still probably look for a new place to live; and I should probably still be open to God bringing someone into my life who doesn’t exactly match my expectations or my carefully crafted aesthetic of my image for myself. I should keep writing, and God knows I need to practice what I’ve already come up with. 


Our job is not to run ahead of Him or lag behind. We should take natural, commonsense steps that are in line with His word so we will be ready when He delivers our heart’s desire  … Lingering in our field will teach us the trustworthiness of God and the vastness of His ways. | Wendy Pope

happy thursday

· b