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In holidays on
December 20, 2013

oh but california

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tomorrow, i’m heading home to cali for christmas!! when i first signed up for this program, i didn’t think i would be able to come home at all, which would be so sad because, like 99% of the world, i think christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and i love spending it with my friends and family. but they changed the schedule of the program and now i’ll be home for a few weeks. last christmas was one of the best christmas’s, and even times, of my life so i’m so excited to come home in the middle of this glorious season. for me, everything about christmas screams LA. weird because most people would think los angeles is as unchristmas-y as it gets but treats at joan’s, last minute christmas shopping at the grove, church services at reality, christmas parties with friends, the just-cold-enough-for-a-sweater weather and long car rides listening to christmas music sums up the feeling of this season for me. i love france but let’s be honest: nothing will ever beat home during the holidays. i just feel so blessed that i get the opportunity to come home because i know there are so many that have to spend the holidays away from home, friends and family. thanking Jesus for my many blessings and remembering that above all, He is the reason for this season.

//photo of our tree from last year//
In holidays, travel on
November 28, 2013

thanksgiving thankfulness

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happy thanksgiving everyone! though i didn’t do anything to celebrate today (besides making pumpkin oatmeal for breakfast), saturday i’m having a french/american thanksgiving feast with some people from the church! i’m pretty excited! look forward to lots of pictures coming soon. in the meantime, here are some things i am especially thankful for:

  • my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles… family in general
  • the experience to live in different countries and places {france, new zealand, ohio}
  • my home in california, both literally and figuratively
  • my favorite treats here: lemon macarons at lac, socca, emilie’s cookies
  • and my favorites back home: veggie grill and native foods, sprinkles vegan red velvet, portola coffee
  • my cell phone, laptop, internet, etc…
  • wonderful friends: here, home and everywhere
  • travel and adventuring
  • Christmas being right around the corner
  • good books, inspiring movies and beautiful music
  • rituals like morning coffee and devos before bed
  • my health and the health of those closest to me
  • Jesus, the Gospel, the Bible, God’s love
what are you thankful for? 
//photos of fall around nice//
In holidays on
July 4, 2013

happy fourth!

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happy fourth of july to all my fellow americans! after traveling often and living in another country, i’ve learned to appreciate america so much more in random ways i never expected (like lower gas prices and our abundance of health food stores)! we americans sure know how to celebrate holidays with a bang and fourth of july is a perfect example of that! i’m in cambria relaxing with the family for the weekend but have a fun and safe fourth and be sure to light up a few sparklers for me 😉

In food, holidays, recipes on
June 20, 2013

raw vegan cheesecake

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for my birthday a few weeks ago, i made a raw vegan raspberry cheesecake from my favorite food blogger my new roots. yes i made my own birthday cake. i actually insisted because since i’ve been a raw vegan, i haven’t had many opportunities to bake and i was missing it from all the baking i did in new zealand. and the best part is i could actually eat this! so it was a win-win… anyways, though this cake was made with all natural, healthy ingredients, it was better than any cheesecake i’ve ever had. the secret ingredient is soaked cashews which makes it extra creamy without any animal products. so without further adieu, here’s the recipe for this delicious yumminess

raw cashew dreamcake
original recipe found here

1/2 cup raw almonds (pecan or walnuts will also work)
1/2 cup soft Medjool dates
¼ tsp. sea salt

1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
juice of 2 lemons
the seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean
1/3 cup melted raw coconut oil
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 cup raspberries (thaw completely if using frozen)

1. Place nuts and dates in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness (process a finer crust longer than a chunky one). Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. Scoop out crust mixture in a 7” spring-form pan (if you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a pie plate lined with saran wrap), and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. Rinse food processor well.
2. Warm coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.
3. In the most powerful food processor / blender you own (you decide which one has the most torque) place all filling ingredients (except raspberries) and blend on high until very smooth (this make take a couple minutes so be patient). If you have a Vita-Mix, absolutely use it.
4. Pour about 2/3 (just eyeball it, you can’t make a mistake!) of the mixture out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Add the raspberries to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling. Place in freezer until solid.
5. To serve, remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to eating. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit. Store leftovers in the freezer.

bon appetit!

In holidays on
May 13, 2013

mother’s day

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my mom is my best friend and my favorite person ever! really! i’m so blessed to have her in my life! i love this picture right before one of my first ballet shows because it shows both how gorgeous my mom was (she still is!) and how supportive she always has been of me! from dance to school to traveling, my mom is always been behind me 100% and i’m so appreciative of both her support and love! someday, i hope i can be an awesome momma like her!

happy mother’s day mom! 
you’re the best
In holidays on
April 1, 2013

happy easter everyone!

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this is my first easter away from home but i’m in good hands spending my weekend in hawkes bay at the best friend kate’s house. while i am missing my mom’s amazing cooking and the fun we have at home, i’m looking forward to making some new easter traditions. hope you have a great day celebrating christ’s resurrection! now excuse me while i go finish my peeps my mom sent from home.

//photo via pinterest//