We’re enjoying some quiet time on the Washington coast, bundling up and heading out to let the dogs run on a big wide windy ocean beach then scurrying back to our cottage to warm up and play board games while the winter weather howls outside.

I came out here earlier in the week with only our dog Lizzie in tow. My plan was to make and photograph a whole slew of recipes for the months ahead. Unfortunately my old friend Anxiety visited and while I powered through and was productive enough, I really didn’t feel whole or right until my family arrived. Now they’re here and all is good in my little world again. Meanwhile I am dealing with the unsettling new reality that maybe I don’t have the power to stop all panic attacks in their tracks as I thought I did.

I started having panic attacks about 15 years ago, but after about 5 years, I had acquired enough tools to nip them in the bud without having to resort to pharmaceuticals …  breathing, hand-warming, grounding, all of it. Usually it works. And now I know that sometimes it doesn’t.

I think it also has to do with my baseline of health – how much I’m taking care of myself (or, um, not), how much I’m burning the candle at both ends, how I feel in the winter in general, and not to mention what’s going on in the world (um, and our country) today. It’s a tough time for me and a tough time for a lot of you, I know. Hang in there, guys. We’ve got this. Somehow we’ve got this.

Have you ever read this book? It’s Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and it was written some 60+ years ago. I read it many years ago and kind of forgot about it. How could I forget about it?! There is a copy here at this ocean cottage and I have started reading it again. The author was a mom of 5 who retreated to a primitive Florida beach shack for a couple of weeks – alone – and pondered the mostly self-imposed complications of modern life. I don’t know if she dealt with anxiety or not while away but I do know she emerged with this brilliant, contemplative book that still applies in so many ways today. I can’t wait to grab another cup of tea and crack it back open.

So: Feeling a bit introspective as we head into the weekend. Oh, and I guess there’s some sort of football game or something going on in a day or two? 😉

Here’s what I’m loving this week!

These Comforting Shrimp Curry Noodle Bowls from Gimme Some Oven can be customized with your choice of protein – love the idea of cooking the protein separately then adding in at the end, perfect for mixed-diet families.

Amanda went to Santorini and came back to share so many jaw-dropping photos that I am drooling. Like, literally drooling right now.

Rosemary Almond Meal Bread from Sprouted Kitchen. Comfort in a pan.

54 Vegan Chili Recipes from Connoisseurus Veg. Enough said.

Rainbow Farro Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette from Love & Olive Oil. This is just glorious.

More colors! Rainbow Rice Bowl from Well and Full. So. Pretty.

Turmeric Miso Soup with Ginger, Garlic, and Tofu from Vegan Richa. Perfect for kicking that cold to the curb!

Oh, and for that game, you need to make these Buffalo Cheddar Soft Pretzel Twists with Everything Spice so that I can live vicariously. From Half Baked Harvest.

Or. OR! These Soft Beer Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip from Fox and Briar. Oh my.


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