Tag Archives: summer

Sleep forever and a day *

For my entire adult life, I have experienced sleep paralysis, usually with hallucinations – and not just a random bout, but frequently, often occurring during afternoon naps. I thought this was normal, that everyone had it, and I’d always request that my dating partners awaken me immediately if they heard me make a noise in my sleep, as that would mean I was feeling trapped. Sleep paralysis is as terrifying as it sounds – I have “seen” figures in my room, pulling the sheets off of my bed while I was unable to move.

I’m tired 100% of the time. I can sleep anywhere, anytime, and have fallen asleep during movies, at school, at jobs, and very nearly while driving. Chalked it up to side effects from depression or Gaucher’s.

While we were in LA this summer, we drove down to Redondo to visit my Boston Terrier friend, Tammy and her wife. Through the course of conversation (and a few local beers!), I learned that Tammy used to be a sleep specialist, and it was she who told me that what I was experiencing was definitely not normal. Tammy urged me to get a sleep study done with an MSLT, which I did last month and I was legitimately happy to have a diagnosis. I just started medication and already feel less lethargic and more alert, less cranky & more positive. It’s also nice to be able to say “fuck you” to the ex-boyfriends who thought I was “lazy” because I needed to sleep. 😉

Throughout these past few months, Tammy texted me information, explained the process of the tests, and looked up medications for me. I am so grateful for her knowledge and support, and so lucky to know her. What’s wild about this is that we met through our dogs’ Instagram accounts several years ago – you never know what kind of amazing people will come into your life via the world of social media!

I’m sharing a cool article about sleep paralysis for you to read here, but I’m also going to encourage you do something else. The whole time Tammy was helping me, she was also kicking ovarian cancer’s ass – a fight that’s not quite finished.

Sometimes it’s the kindness of people you may not know super well, or who you’ve only known a short amount of time that can make the greatest impact. Tammy took the time to not just listen, but engage, and support. She didn’t have to do that – we live on opposite coasts and it would have been easy to say good luck and forget all about it. But she didn’t. She stayed present and is the very epitome of present – documenting her experiences through her photos on Instagram, showing us the beauty in everyday life – a cat eating fish on a street in Italy, dragon kites flown at the beach, shadows of palm trees on Union Station. In this way, she forces you to be present. To view what we may feel are our ordinary lives as extraordinary. For me, this is street photography at its finest.

So here’s the thing: Tammy literally gave me free medical advice without having her own medical insurance. It was terminated – without warning – January of this year. While battling stage IV ovarian cancer, and the multitude of repercussions as a result from that – physical, emotional, financial. This is where my ask comes in – a request to join me in showing gratitude for kindness. Gratitude for keeping us present. Gratitude for her joy.

Just click on Tammy, and you’ll know what to do from there. 💙

why yes, I am sunburnt to hell and back

*title taken from the song ‘Night Nurse’ by Dean & Britta.

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Black & Blue – berry!

While we’ve been fortunate to do a fair amount of traveling this summer, there’s been no shortage of baking when we’ve been home!

A few weeks ago, I won some beautiful deep blue linen napkins (handmade by Willow Ship) and black & blue jam (concocted by SQIRL) thanks to the lovely ladies at Design*Sponge and Juniper and Scout. What to make first with these gifts? Should I slather the jam over some ricotta toast, or bake crumbly bars? Spread it on a decadent cheese board (my weakness), or make thumbprint cookies? No matter what, those napkins were going to come in handy! In the end, I went with my go-to: cake.

I chose a buttermilk cake combined with farm fresh blueberries & blackberries, a sprinkle of lemon zest, and a honey cream cheese icing, infused with locally sourced honey. The jam served as a nice layer between the icing and cake! Topped with more blueberries, blackberries, and a sprig of thyme from the garden, it was a sweet little treat for the August new moon.

Buttermilk cake with blueberries, blackberries, black & blue jam, & honey cream cheese icing

Okay, not to sound too much like Ina Garten, but if you can get local honey, it will change your life. I don’t know if I can make cream cheese icing without honey swirled into it anymore! The tiny honey bear bottle didn’t hurt, either!

While summer may be fading into fall, that doesn’t mean much for us – the temperatures are still sweltering, and we’re continuing to take advantage of late summer delicacies. Our garden is in full bloom, and I cannot help but plan our meals around our herbs – and I can’t stop adding more to the pack!

herbs for days!

Next on the baking agenda – chocolate cookies with fresh mint! We have several varieties, so I’m debating as to whether to use a bright Kentucky Colonel mint, increase the chocolate flavor with my beloved chocolate mint, or experiment with a fruity mint, like orange. What do you think?

Many thanks to Design*Sponge, Juniper and Scout, Willow Ship, & SQIRL for the goodies! I’m a strong advocate for small businesses, so please check out these great shops (and get lots of tips from Design*Sponge)!

summer wine

July was wild. It’s my favorite month because we make our annual trip to Hilton Head, the days are rife with summer storms, the gardens are overflowing, and there are many celebrations. This July was particularly full, as we enjoyed the beach, drove into Savannah, toasted a friend’s engagement, and then I flew off to Philadelphia and New York for the DNC and to see two of my best friends. Now that I have a month off from the 2nd of my 4(!) jobs, I will have some time to catch up and actually write! While I get everything in order, here’s a sneak peek through photos of what is to come.

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sunsets at Hilton Head

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sunday morning tea blending

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trespassing through a nearly demolished recording studio in Savannah

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vegan blueberry banana bread

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twilight hour engagement parties

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the shakespeare garden in central park

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celebrating the success of nominating HRC as the first female candidate of a major party

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thrift store finds & birthday surprises

Fingers crossed I can get on a regular schedule here! 😉