On the eve of my birthday, only an hour and a handful of minutes before I’m well into my third decade, I can’t help but sit in reflection. Contemplating the things that I’ve learned, the experiences I’ve had, the journey of this life of mine. I can’t help but feel thankful for where I am on this very day. I have definitely experienced some ups & downs over these last 12 months, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to find the positive in every situation, find the love in the hardships, embrace the beauty that is to be found, and to remember that we are all connected, we are all one. As I sit in reflection, looking back at ‘how far I’ve come’, I can’t help but feel excited about looking forward towards what’s to come. As I remember that I manifest my own reality, co-create with the universe, I’m reminded of the value of living consciously and with intention. And how can I not be excited to begin a new year of life full of hope, possibility, adventure, happiness, passion, compassion, and most important of all, LOVE.
I wanted to let everyone know that I will have my rootielicious jewelry for sale this coming Friday, December 3rd, from 12 – 8pm at the Kirkman House Museum. They are hosting a Christmas Bazaar featuring locally produced artisan fabric and wool creations, jewelry, baked goods, and art, and I am very excited to be a part of it. I’ve been a busy one, having fun creating some festive pieces for the holidays and for every day. Come get something special for someone on your Christmas list, or pick up something special for yourself. Because we all need some bling in our lives, right?! ;)
It’s officially Fall in my mind now. I woke up this morning thinking, “Pumpkin. Pumpkin. I need something with pumpkin today.” So I promptly consulted my Whole Foods Recipes App on my iPhone in search of recipes containing pumpkin. I narrowed down my choices until I finally decided upon the Pumpkin Streusel Bread. Although the recipe was not originally vegan, I only had to substitute the butter and eggs with a vegan butter and egg replacer – no problemo! Oh, the delicious smells that filled my house! Quite delightful. Once baked and cooled, I packaged up the extra loaf and hand delivered to some friends for a little afternoon pick-me-up. So, in order to share this delicious Fall pumpkin delight, here is the recipe. Enjoy!
Vegan Pumpkin Streusel Bread
Makes 2 loaves
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) vegan butter, melted
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3/4 cup canola oil
equivalent of 4 eggs, using vegan egg replacer
2 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/4 ground cloves
2 cups chopped apples
1 cups chopped walnuts
For the topping, put walnuts, sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter into a small bowl and mix with your hands, pressing the butter into the other ingredients with your fingers until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Set topping aside. For the pumpkin bread, preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 8 1/2-inch x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, egg replacer, and sugar until well combined. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a large bowl, then stir into pumpkin mixture. Fold in apples and walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pans. Divide streusel topping and sprinkle evenly in both pans. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool slightly in pans then transfer loaves to a cooling rack.
I love unexpected surprises, when things you had planned suddenly change. Maybe not for the better, not for the worse, just a change in plans. One of my best friends and I used to call it ‘stolen time’, when we suddenly had extra time together that neither of us had planned for. Usually this was because she would notoriously miss her flight back home, and we would get an extra day together, thus ‘stolen time’. I am experiencing this today, as Stacy and I were planning to go to Seattle to see a show tonight, and shortly before we were about to hit the road, we found out the dates had changed and the show was actually last night. Oops! And hurray! Suddenly I found myself with a completely free extra day, a day in which I can do absolutely anything I want! Already I have been quite productive with my rootielicious jewelry (new jewelry at Liberty today!), I’ve taken Hank on a walk, had an impromptu coffee date with a dear friend, have run errands with Stacy (with Hank in tow), and it’s not even 5pm! I am so thankful for some ‘stolen time’, indeed!
I just want to give a big thank you – acknowledgement – shout out – mad props – appreciation to the universe for all that is my life. I have an amazing existence that I find so much joy in every day. I’m glad to be aware of my own reality and the blessings of my life. Not to sound cheesy, but it makes every day that much happier when I can see, acknowledge, and be aware of the good in my life. So on that note, I want to share a shot of my two most favorite things ever: Stacy and Hank. (photo taken with my brand new iPhone 4 – so excited to finally have it!)
Tomorrow I’m off on my annual voyage to Alaska, my second home, my heart home. Commercial fishing awaits, long days and short nights. Dirt, grime, fish scales in unexpected places. No running water, no electricity, pond water and out houses. Tundra, salmon berries, moss berries, tundra cotton. Moose, caribou, foxes, grizzlies, birds that sing “I love you”. Mud, water, sand, agates. The steam house that I can pronounce, but have no idea how to spell. Connections made with family, friends, and the land. Nature, spirit, beauty, peace.
I love to call this my ‘candy necklace’. The big white beads with speckles of color have always made me think of bubble gum balls or some other fun candy. Now available at http://www.etsy.com/shop/rootielicious, it’s a great necklace for the warmer months ahead!
I love it when things come full circle. There is such a beautiful feeling that everything really does happen for a reason. This is how I felt when I got the opportunity to start selling my very own rootielicious jewelry at Liberty in Walla Walla. I have a very special connection to Liberty, as I used to work there, starting in October of 2000. I was twenty-years-old at the time, and I had always loved to admire the fascinating and beautiful jewelry inside this tiny hole-in-the-wall store. I was excited to see the “help wanted” sign during one of my visits, and filled out an application immediately. My excitement grew when I was hired shortly afterwards, and it quickly became the best job I’d ever had. I loved all the unique gift items that we would pack into the small space, making it a magical closet of sorts! But what I loved the most was the stunning one-of-a-kind jewelry, all handmade by the two owners, Kathy Nelson and Jayne Eacker. I would admire their work, day after day, and daydream about making my own jewelry someday. I started playing around with making jewelry, always inspired by their unique and ever-expanding creations. I eventually left Liberty in 2005, when ownership changed, and I went on to have other experiences. I continued to learn and explore and expand my own jewelry-making hobby. All the while, I dreamed of one day selling my own jewelry in a place “just like Liberty”, but never knew how or when that might happen.
Over the past few years, I had done several private events and shows, such as “Wine and Bling” in 2008-2009, “The Art of Walla Walla’s Craft”, as well as selling in the tasting room of Watermill Winery beginning in the fall of 2009. I never quite lost my dream of selling in some boutique as well, always thinking, “I’d love to sell in a place just like Liberty”. As luck, or fate, or whatever you want to name it, would have it, in April of 2010, I started selling my rootielicious jewelry at Liberty. Ten years after my dream started, I saw it realized. Sometimes it feels like a dream still, and I can’t believe that I am so lucky to have my own creations for sale at the very place that inspired me to learn to make jewelry. I believe it is an example of how we really do create our own reality, and that we do have the power to make our dreams come true.
I want to give a special thanks to Kathy Nelson and Jayne Eacker, for hiring me and sharing your lives, your friendships, your families, and your passions with me, and starting me on this wonderful path. And to Krista Treffry, for your willingness to let my dream come true, your kindness, your support, and your friendship, and for keeping the spirit of Liberty alive and thriving. And to all of my friends and family, for supporting me ALL along the way, encouraging me to keep creating, keep dreaming, and “keep up the good work”. I am so blessed.