Today we said goodbye to our first baby. Bailey made it to her 18th birthday before finishing her 9th life with us. My husband and I adopted her before we were married when we desperately wanted to be parents, but knew we still needed to live a little bit more first.  

She was my first adult pet, and the pet my kids have always known.

She’s just always been here. And now I find myself not knowing what to do with my hands, or how I could possibly open the front door without hearing her meow that harmonized with the creek of the hinges. 

To say Bailey was an odd cat is like saying the sky is blue. She loved being scratched behind her ears and on her cheeks and chin, but only until she deemed it completely rude to be doing so, and would leave you crouched down, alone, like a fool. 

She’d sit on anything square shaped placed on the floor, and I desperately miss waking up to her sitting on my chest staring into my waking eyes like a creep when she lived inside and slept in our bed.

Once she became an outdoor cat, Bailey began a new life and found her true self. She was always meant to be outdoors, and getting to watch her thrive that way was a great gift to all of us. 

She was a beautiful cat, heather grey and pink, and talked more than necessary.

She loved canned peas, my sourdough bread and amazon boxes. 

She was a fearless badass, but had compassion for the neighborhood possum who often shared her water bowl. 

Today, as a family, we helped dig the hole in our yard where she now sleeps in peace. We covered her with wildflowers we collected on our nature walk this morning, and rocks from the creek in the back. 

And we all cried and held each other as we told her how much she meant to us. 

The last time I was with her, she let me scratch her behind her ears longer than she ever has before. 

She was telling me goodbye. 

We love you, Bailey.   



Dear sweet children of mine, 

This is a surreal time in your lives.  You are 12 and 9 and without much warning, you were taken out of school, taken away from your friends, from playdates, from familiar schedules… your entire world was turned upside down.  And I look at you beautiful creatures every day and marvel at your compassion and understanding and maturity during all of it.  

We are learning your schooling together, you are learning more of what it is that I do every day to provide a safe and happy home for you, and you are more than willing – if not absolutely eager – to help me in doing so.  You have made this transition so very smooth and I needed to put it all down in indelible print for you to always remember.  And I wanted to make everyone who reads this know how truly proud I am of you both. 

You have had people in your lives walk away from you because of their inability to realize your splendor and importance as they chose to ignore the things you and I know as safe truths.  I too have had people I know and love choose their personal comfort and routine over me and what is right.  I understand that feeling very well.  But still it is something that even your daddy and I will never be able to explain to you.  I wish that I could, but I think I’d rather be thankful in the knowledge that I’m unable to even fathom such an act of attempting to break it down to something explainable. 

All I can do is tell you that you will never go one single day of your lives without knowing 

how special you are 

how loved you are 

how important you are 

how smart you are

how necessary you are. 

And I will never, ever, ever walk away from you.

You will never be without that feeling of undeniable security.  That, I promise you.

I can’t tell you what tomorrow will look like out there, or next month, or even next year.  I can’t make you any promises about the rest of the world.  But I can promise you that we are in this together and you are safe and loved during every single breath of your life.  And you are never to forget that, my dears.

Yours in wrinkled laundry and cookie crumbs, 



Food + Wine


So, apparently the real name of this casserole I grew up eating is King Ranch Chicken, and NOT King Ranchers Chicken. It has always been King Ranchers Chicken to me! I first had it at the Hogan’s house when I was little. And I don’t know how the title got lost in translation. But, according to the very official recipe found in my very official teenage recipe book…

…I’ve always known it to be King Rancher’s Chicken (thanks, Barbara!!). I used to make it all the time when I was a new mom, and my husband fell in love with it. Then, I stopped making it somewhere along the way… most likely due to me not cooking a lot of casseroles and things made with canned and processed ingredients anymore, as the recipe calls for ‘cream of’ soups. But during this quarantine, we’ve found ourselves cooking and baking a lot of nostalgic things, so this dish popped back in my head!

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Food + Wine

ouzo honey lemonade

So we’ve had this bottle of Ouzo we bought for a Greek themed birthday party (remember parties?), and besides taking the post-party celebratory shot… the bottle has just been sitting there for months.

And I don’t like things without a purpose.

SO! I set out to give it one.

Before I begin, let it be known that I’m pretty sensitive to the flavor of black licorice. It’s not my favorite. I don’t hate it…

But it’s not my favorite.

I love fennel and tarragon and those lighter licoriiish flavors, but when we get right to that strong flavor of black licorice… it’s a bit of a challenge for me.

So, of course I wrote a recipe with it.

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Food + Wine


Yes. You can make a very delicious bagel at home with only 2 ingredients. And you don’t have to wait for dough to rise, and you don’t have to boil anything first. WHAT???!! Yep. Is the texture slightly different? Well, yeah. It’s not a traditional bagel recipe or technique. But they’re so good!! And SO easy. Honestly, the best way I can describe the texture is Bagel with a hint of Biscuit. But specifically those ‘homestyle’ biscuits that come in the tube. Not the flaky layers kind, but the homestyle variety. You know 😉 .

They’re really truly super yummy.

I saw recipes like this pop up last year on a lot of those point-counting diet sites and never gave them the time of day. I LOVE bagels… and I think the fact that they had been advertised as anything diet just turned me off. But I looked into it, played around with it (a lot. We’ve had a LOT of bagels these past couple of quarantined months!) And just tweaked it to my liking… So here we are!

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