Thursday, November 5, 2015

tasting fall

Over the past year, learning about food and it's ability to heal has empowered me. I can't seem to gain enough knowledge about all the little nutrients that can change our bodies and lives.

Eating is about preserving our bodies, caring for the powerhouses that can do so many incredible things. If eating keeps us alive, why are supermarket shelves filled with little death pills?

Food should taste good. Health should taste good. I'm learning how to create this, and currently, fall is what I'm craving.


Nutrition wise, winter squash is a powerhouse. It's chock-full of beta carotene (which our bodies convert to vitamin A), vitamin C, manganese, potassium, fiber, and even omega-3 fats. It is one of the richest sources of plant based anti-inflammatory nutrients, perfect for pesky winter colds. Winter squash is also a prebiotic, helping to support the HEALTHY bacteria in the gut.

roasted red kabocha squash

1 small red kabocha squash (about 1 pound)
1-3 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
cinnamon
sea salt

preheat the oven to 400 degrees. slice the squash (the more thinly you do so, the faster it cooks). brush with the melted coconut oil, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sea salt. roast for 25-30 minutes, or until tender and most delicious. enjoy the party in your mouth




Friday, October 16, 2015

compliments of character




"those boots are perfect"

"your hair looks beautiful today" 

"you have lovely eyes"


Very often, I seem to find myself repeating similar phrases. The fact that they frequently escape my mouth does not belittle their meaning: I genuinely see beauty in people and feel the need to tell them.


Lately I've been thinking. What is beauty? What does it mean, and why does it seem to be so coveted in our world?

To me, beauty is Cinderella. Beauty is her courage and kindness and all the lovely things that make up her soul. Beauty is the way she smiles, the way she treats others, the way she forgives those who have wronged her. The story enchants me: instead of wanting to look like her, it leaves me wanting to exude the grace and loveliness that comes from her heart.
Beauty truly starts on the inside.




I'm excited to start contibuting on the blog of a wonderful company with a wonderful mission. Read the full story here!


VERITY VAREƉ






Friday, October 9, 2015

sage

Cooking is my thing. I love being in the kitchen, experimenting with different flavors and textures. Good food brings me so much happiness, and lately, I haven't even had the desire to go and eat out. Making food is so much more fulfilling: using real food and real ingredients makes me feel, well, like a real girl!

On Saturday mornings, I love to stop by the farmers market. I could spend hours there, looking at beautiful, fresh things that have just been plucked from the earth. There are so many interesting people, so many stories to be told! About a month ago, I discovered the treasures that are fresh herbs. These recipes are the result!


sauteed zucchini with beef and sage 

2-3 teaspoons coconut oil
1/2 lb lean, grass fed ground chuck
2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage, divided
sea salt
3 lbs fresh zucchini, sliced
optional: garlic, extra sage leaves for garnish

heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat (at this point, you can also add a little minced garlic, if desired). add the beef, breaking it up into bite-sized chunks with a spatula. add 1 tablespoon of the sage and a pinch of sea salt, and cook until it is no longer pink (but still tender). turn burner to low and remove beef from pan.

in the same pan (the beef flavor makes the zucchini delicious!), melt 1 more teaspoon of of coconut oil. Add the zucchini, and saute about 8 minutes, or until almost tender. add the last tablespoon of sage, a pinch of sea salt, and the beef. saute for 2-3 more minutes or until heated through and delicious. serves 2 (or 1 if you're really hungry...)





lavender sage roasted pumpkin seeds

raw seeds from 2 medium pumpkins (or about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon real maple syrup (NOT Aunt Jemima, it makes a difference)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon dried lavender
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
(sometimes, I like to add a little extra of all the spices)

preheat oven to 300 degrees. spread seeds on a foil lined baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes.
remove from oven, and melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan. turn off heat, and add the maple syrup, spices, and salt. once mixed well, add pumpkin seeds, stirring to coat. spread on the cookie sheet, and bake for 20-30 more minutes, or until crisp.

*pumpkin seeds are even more nutritious if you soak them first! add the seeds to a bowl of salted water, and soak for 5-7 hours. they may need to spend a few more minutes in the oven.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

the distance between

Thoughts, ideas, and countless lightbulb moments, floating around to be forgotten in the confusion of far too many ways to express what I'm really thinking.

Sometimes, days are like that for me: a hodgepodge of things that, in theory, sound wonderful and exciting and promising in my mind. Why then, do none of these moments become true, hard reality? I've wrestled with the thought myself. I am not an idle person, accomplishing is something I do particularly well. I am also confident in the fact that I am not the only person who battles this.

How is it that we often have nothing to show for our seemingly brilliant ideas?

The enemy of creativity is fear.

Fear speaks of failure, whispering in our ears, destroying us somewhere in the distance between idea and implementation. How can we possibly crush it?

Write your thoughts. Carry a little notebook wherever you happen to go, jotting down ideas and moments as soon as they are understood in your mind. The most significant thing you can do is what has been put right in front of you.

Be more than a caged bird, afraid of leaving your little space and exploring the power of our talents.

You can only go up.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

lazy



Doing nothing in particular is particularly hard for me. I am a firm believer in the fact that doing hard things is good for you, so yesterday was a lazy day.

I sat on a quilt
drank tea
ate almond butter with a spoon
and watched 4 episodes of law and order
while knitting a blanket.

I never took my pajamas off. It was bliss.

Getting caught up in little tasks can turn into a day of never-ending errands and emails. I hate that. Choose to fill the space between moments with things that bring you joy. 

Joy can change your world if you let it.

Read a book. Take a bath. Play the piano. Turn off your phone and take in the real world around you. "Live in the present" is a quote that many strive to live their lives by. How can that be possible if our heads are filled with to-do lists and thoughts about the five o'clock traffic. How can we fully be where we truly are if our minds are busy peeking into photos of what that boy in anatomy class is eating for breakfast. Ponder that.

Turn off your phone, open your eyes, and give yourself the excuse to do whatever the hell you want.

Have a lazy day.



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

9:37 am


The other Saturday, I tried something worth sharing.
When put into words, it seems quite simple. I promise it is a message we have all heard dozens of times, but hearing does not indicate listening just as listening does not indicate acting. 

I sit at the kitchen table on a hot August morning, using my thumb to flip through articles on a tiny phone screen. Mindless, thoughtless movement, filling the space between bites of breakfast.
9:37 AM. My thumb stops. Eyes follow a string of words on a page. The words turn to sentences, paragraphs, pages. Mindless and thoughtless no longer describe my actions. I process writing that will decide the course of my day.

The idea behind these words I am reading is that I (Maddie) can decide my world. In saying this, I do not mean that I can control it, but rather the opposite. The same happening can can be detrimental or joyous, drab or exhilarating, plain or radiant. The key is attitude.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

I decided that my Saturday was going to be glorious. It was. If death comes with sadness, life should bring lots of happy.

Choose life.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

being a real girl














Growing up is delicate process. Growing up teaches lots of important things. Growing up is beautiful and Neverland isn't real but it took me a long time to realize that. As I child, I had an irrational fear of numbers higher than eleven. I never wanted to be a pimply teenager or overworked soccer mom. Instead, I longed to freeze my chicken-legged seven year old body in a state of constant eggo waffles and hide and seek tag. Boy did I have the million dollar idea.

I started Bits and Little Pieces in the same summer that I started college. Remember what I said about growing up? Since then, I've done a good ammount of it. Part of this was due to my blog. It allowed me blossom. It made me into the Maddie that I am now. Like most twenty-year-olds, change has been the biggest constant in the past two years of my life. Lately, I've made a lot of changes. Different things have become important to me. Different things have challenged me. I got a tattoo. I started living a more purposeful life. I made choices based on what I believed to be true about the world. I have become less afraid of what others think and more afraid of what I am doing with my life.

But you know what? None of that actually matters.

I used to feel an invisible, yet constant, tug on my body. It pulled me. It whispered in my ears. Sometimes I would give in, stopping to listen to its harsh voice. The voice told me to keep pushing, to be better, to not feel, because working and pressure and perfection are what have become of the world. Recently, I stepped on that voice with bare feet and a wild look in my eyes. I realized that what happens isn't worth worrying about, because guess what: there's nothing you can do to change it. God weaves a million intricate patterns into the stories that become our lives. Who am I to tell the master creator that he has made a mistake? I would be a fool.

So what is all this?

growing up
change
weaving blankets

I have this inside joke (with myself) about growing older. I call it "being real girl". Here's the idea: one day I wake up a changed person. I suddenly know all the things that grownups know and do all the things that grown ups do. I am free to make important choices and am not at all sick anymore. As I am writing this, I laugh to myself. Thinking about it, being a real girl seems like the opposite of real. I have decided to stop plotting out my life, spending hour upon hour peeking through the keyhole at the master creator weaving my tapestry. I will not give him advice on the colors or suggest patterns or request a beaded trim. The only thing I know for certain is that it will be beautiful. I am perfectly okay with that.


My most creative self emerges without guidelines. My most creative self is not a bit or little piece. My blanket is becoming more worn, more beautiful, and more complete with each passing day. Now, I am a real girl. I always have been.

Maybe my blog will become a place to write more nonsense or jokes or recipies. I want this space to be free in expressing the things that I love and believe. I am chosing to be a real girl.

No rules.

Maddie




top: Urban Outfitters (get it fast!)
shorts: Urban Outfitters, similar here
bracelet: The Purple Fern