That’s me, smile-screaming on the kiddie coaster at Happy Hollow this summer. My little girl insisted we sit in the front row, for maximum thrills. I am so not a roller coaster person! But my kids got me on them at least four times over the past few months. And I have to admit, I kind of loved it.
That’s kind of where things are at right now — letting go a bit, enjoying the moment, seeing where things take me. After a loooong summer, we’re all settled into our new house in the Bay Area now (well, the garage is still full of unpacked boxes, but let’s not be concerned with that :-)). The kids have both started their new schools (my little guy finally started today, so I finally sat down for a few minutes to blog!). My family was here to help celebrate my 40th birthday over the weekend — it’s so nice to have nearby family again!
Slowly, but surely I’ve been getting back into a cooking rhythm. There are a few incredible farmers markets near us, which has been very inspiring! We’ve also been dining out a lot, as so many restaurants in the Bay Area are awesome and most are new to us. I’m looking forward to being able to share more of what I’m cooking and eating on the blog again — my Instagram hasn’t slowed down a bit, but I know some of you miss seeing recipes. I’m almost back!
An intermittent little eyebrow twitch reminds me that our departure from San Diego and move back to the Bay Area is a little more than two weeks away. I’ve been a giant ball of stress for the past few months and I have a feeling that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Selling our house has been a roller coaster — in escrow, out of escrow, back in escrow. Finding a new place to live has proven to be a lot more complicated now that we have little kids — and schools — to consider. San Diego isn’t a cheap place to live, but the Bay Area is out-of-its-mind expensive and that’s kind of driving me out of my own mind.
The kids and the move — that’s where 99% of my focus has been lately. There’s been little time for much else…including blogging.
I want to be blogging. It’s a comfort to me to share what I’ve been cooking and eating — and I’ve continued to do plenty of sharing on Instagram. So why no blog posts? I’ve been stewing over that question for a while. I think it stems from pressure I feel — both internal and external — to put forth a “polished, professional and perfect” presentation on the blog. I’ve had arbitrary “rules” about this blog for a long time — a post needs to have a nice, high quality (read: sharable) photo and a recipe (ideally one that can be prepared on the panini press). That’s nice and all…but maybe it doesn’t work for me anymore.
I love iPhone pics. In fact, except for blogging purposes, it’s the only camera I ever use — even on vacation. I like to share what I’m up to in the moment — not a week later, once I’ve cobbled the time together to present it in a polished manner. Scheduling posts ahead of time? It’s not for me. I don’t decide a week in advance the conversation I want to have with my day-to-day friends, and I don’t want to pre-plan my conversations with you.
Recipes — I do think they’re important, especially if any of you are looking to recreate what I’m sharing. But does a recipe always have to be a formal list of ingredients and numbered instructions? I don’t think so. When friends ask me how I made a dish I can usually describe it — accurately — in a few quick sentences of a Facebook comment. Baking? That’s more of a science, so a formally written recipe is probably more warranted. All I’m saying is…my real life isn’t always polished and perfect (far from it) — I don’t think my blog life should strive to be either.
Panini Happy has been a virtual home for me for more than 6 years — and even though my family is moving from one physical house to another, this online one isn’t going anywhere. What’s next? That’s still to be determined. But I do know this: it’s going to be real, it’s going to be comfortable, it’s going to reflect what I’m cooking/eating/thinking/doing and you will always be welcome to drop in and stay a while.