Just Checking in… {+giveaway}

Whoa. That’s all I have to say for the month of June. I don’t know where it went. All I know is: I’ve been drinking coffee, sleeping in hotel rooms more often than my own bed, and I can’t remember the last time I smashed an avocado on toast. All of these things throw me way off kilter, but it’s been so worth it.

Is it too early for this?

Is it too early for this? (Gloria Ferrer)


But things are very, very good. And that’s because of you. Today, I want to say THANK YOU. Thanks for coming to this site. Thanks for commenting and emailing me. Thanks for making my recipes. And most of all, thanks to the person (hi Judy!) who emailed me recently to say that I’d been posting too many alcohol recipes and was concerned I have a problem. You guys really care, and that makes me feel so warm inside. (Truth be told, most of my cocktails go to my neighbors. Except when I juice. But that’s just healthy).

Here’s the thing: this year, I’ve been chasing my dreams big time.  In this last year of my 20s, I actually realized what I want to do with my life. At the beginning of this year, with Jessica’s encouragement, I made a list of pie-in-the-sky goals. I taped it next to my nightstand, and I look at it every day. Something about seeing it each morning makes me put energy towards it daily. I do one little thing each day to help achieve the goals. We’re only six months into the year, and I’ve achieved almost all of them. And that is all thanks to YOU.

This website has made me realize my true passion in life. If it wasn’t for my partner taking 3 bites of the first meal I ever cooked for him and telling me ‘this is what you should do with your life,’ I don’t know that I’d be in this state of mind. If it wasn’t for him noticing that after a long exhausting day, I still had the energy to open my laptop and work on this site, I don’t know that I would have realized that I have bigger dreams waiting for me to go after them.

The wedding cake I made for our sweet friends in Cali a few weeks ago.

The wedding cake I made for our sweet friends in Cali a few weeks ago. (Chico)


I believe telling people your goals and dreams is the best way to hold you accountable for pursuing them.  So, I’m going to tell you the last remaining goal on my list. I hope that expressing it will help give it life and float. Please don’t laugh. This is my life, my goal, and my desire. I don’t expect anyone to understand. Maybe, there’s even someone out there who can help. Here goes. Deep breath. I want to replace Giada on the Food Network. Much love and respect to my idol, Queen Giada, but I want to have a food tv show, too. I want to share my love of cooking for two with the world. I have so many tips and tricks to share with small households. Plus, my recipes are easy to scale up if you happen to have a large household. So, I’m putting this dream out there so you can hold me accountable. If you want to help me, push me. Ask me how it’s going. Ask me what I’ve done lately to achieve my goal.

Soon, I’ll be sharing some videos that I’ve been working on of me cooking while talking (side note:  it’s harder than it looks). I’m going to need your criticism. I’m going to cherish your feedback and use it to get better. Then, when Queen Giada gets ready to retire, I’ll take her place and make tiny 6” cakes for all of you who helped me get there. Deal?

Can I help you? Please, tell me one of your pie-in-the-sky dreams. I want to help. I spend an hour each morning lifting up friends and responding to emails to encourage others. I believe we should all spend a portion of each day giving back. I give my time to help others achieve their goals. I’m so grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to chase my dreams, so I want to help you with yours, too.

Thanks for listening to this. Thanks for holding me accountable, and thanks for sharing this journey with me.

The best way I know how to say ‘thanks’ is with gifts. So, I teamed up with some other fabulous bloggers to give away a gorgeous Kitchenaid stand mixer. I heard you like that sort of thing, so I did it. Enter below.  Good luck! And thanks again…………..


Between the olive trees and grape leaves is where I'll be. (Sonoma)

Between the olive trees and grape leaves is where I’ll be. (Sonoma)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to US & Canada – if it’s a Canadian winner – winner must accept $320 paypal payment, 18 years or older. Runs from June 29- July 15th (12 am eastern). Let me know if you have questions or need help!


  1. says

    If you were talking about replacing The Barefoot Contessa I’m not sure I could handle reading your post but as you’re not good luck with your goal, I hope you make it happen!

    p.s I like the styling you did on the wedding cheesecake you made for your friends.

  2. says

    I want to be a writer. WAIT. I’m going to be a writer. (See how I did that?) I’m also looking forward to watching your meteroic rise to fame on the Food Network. I hope there will be cake…

  3. says

    I LOVE this. You know I think you are amazing, but I only continue to admire your drive and ambition. It’s not easy to be honest with yourself about what you want, and even harder to put it out there for the world to see. I’ll be VERY happy to see you cooking on TV one day!

  4. says

    I could TOTALLY see you on the Food Network with your own show!!! No need to wait for Giada to retire….go for it NOW!!! Young peeps need someone to show them how to make all the fun and great foods you make!!

  5. Jessica L. says

    You are just so lovely. I would watch the heck out of your show, and I know a lot of other people would too. I love your site and everything you write, especially posts like this. So real! So terrifyingly soul-baring! You can do it sister, I just know you can.

    Can’t wait to see those videos you’ve been working on :)

  6. says

    I love this post – you have accomplished so much, and that is amazing!!! I have a goal to one day write a cookbook. I have a top, recipes idea in mind, but that is it. No idea where to go from there, and haven’t pushed myself to pursue it more :(

  7. Christinem says

    My pie in the sky dream is to start a food blog for Small desserts….. like for parties… bite size desserts…..
    I think you would do GREAT on the Food Network!!!! All the best!!!!!

  8. Andrea says

    This post made my entire week! You are a beautiful person inside and out. Is great being around and seeing passionate people at work and play, it naturally motivates all those around you. That spark, that drive, goals, and determination-never lose that (or we’ll have AM pep rallies before I’ve had my adderall)!

    Anyway, I can’t wait to see you on TV. It’s only a matter of time, and I can make the celebratory cocktails! Cheers to you mon amie!

    Xx, Dre

  9. Jamie Dunn says

    That is amazing! I wish you the best! Even just getting to this point where you decide to go for it and not give up is really hard and you did it :) My pie in the sky dream is being published and a solo art show.

  10. says

    Jessica is the best when it comes to pushing you to go for your dreams! You are too! Not gonna lie–I might take you up on that email thing ;) I totally believe that writing down your goals and dreams is huge , and having people in your life that push you to go for them. Sometimes, you just need someone to believe in you too and that makes all the difference.

    My biggest goal right now is to work for myself, write/photograph a cookbook, and potentially do some sort of e-commerce business that incorporates design–> Why is writing that so intimidating?

  11. says

    Hi Tina,

    The moment you memento you mentioned Giada, my eyes literally popped open! But that’s an amazing dream to have. It’s a kickass dream and I love the way you openly said that out loud. I am happy and proud of it. After you mentioning about how you see your goals everyday, it is inspiring to do so for me as well. Great experience being a fan of your blog. I wish one day I could express half as much as you do. But whatever it is I must admit that’s ours is the only websites that is out there which gives measurements by just ‘two’ people. And I am sure upscaling the measurement works just fine in your recipes. I am a total fan of yours and you go girl kick Giada out from foodnetwork.com. No comparison, you are awesome anytime. I would be glued to your show if you are on TV. I also searched for recipes of your on YouTube, but I didn’t get much. So finally, I am a total fan of gifts and a tiny 6″ cake is an absolute ‘yes’. So, did I win the mixer yet? :)

  12. gracie says

    I think there is plenty of room for both you and Giada on the Food Network. What about applying to compete on Food Network Star? You have an interesting and different POV and from what I have seen of your videos, an appealing camera presence.I imagine it must be hard to even break into that venue but look at the Pioneer Woman…she went from blog popularity to a couple of one shot Food Network appearences to her own show. Why not you as well?
    However it happens…and it will if you envision it…I wish you all the best and look forward to your show!

  13. says

    I think that is awesome!! I’ll be looking forward seeing you on tv one day :) I love following your blog. I think you have great recipes, photos and a of personality on this website that really makes it feels like you’re reading something a friend wrote even though we’ve never met! Good luck with your goals!! You can do it!! :)

  14. Eden says

    My pie in the sky dream is to one day own my own brunch spot/bakery and just make people happy with good service and amazing food :)

  15. Heather C says

    The hardest part of attaining your dream is that first step, you know its what makes you happy and you’re good at it – so go for it, I look forward to the videos. Have so enjoyed your blog site and recipes.

  16. says

    Christina, from what I’ve seen of you on video, you’re a ‘natural’ with an engaging, friendly, appealing, genuine personality. As for your recipes, well, good heavens girl! I’ve been enjoying them for years, whether I’ve made them for me ‘n’ my man or upsized ’em for company. Your hubby’s 3-bite observation was an affirmation of your ‘path’ — not to mention an indication of the kind of support you can expect from him as you pursue your dreams. (Double blessing!) Go for it!

  17. Courtney says

    I would love to watch you on the food network, I love how your recipes are made for two people and they never sound impossible to make. I hope you reach your goal/dream. And I hope to see you on sooner than Giada’s retirement!!

  18. says

    What an awesome dream! With your determination, amazing cooking skills and celebrity type personality there is no doubt that you will achieve your dream. I always loved watching Giada when I had cable. No need to replace her, you can share the network with her and make a new name for yourself. Looking forward to watching this dream come to life.

  19. says

    I cannot WAIT to watch you on tv someday! Maybe you could have some sort of kitchen spin off on HGTV though…then you’d be one step closer to You Know Who ;) I so so sooo appreciate all of the help and advice you’ve given Kelly and I. I’m excited to see how this all unfolds for you! When you’re famous I’m going to brag to all my friends that I know you. xo

  20. Debi says

    I adore you but I do not adore Giada so if you take her place I will watch. You need to apply for The Next Food Network Star! I’m watching it this year right now and only a few have my attention. You have a very unique point of view and you need to get on this show before someone steals it. I’m a widow so I love using many of your recipes to cook for just myself and especially the baked goods. Most widows I know “cook” frozen dinners or eat fast foods but I love to cook. My kitchen is my favorite room in my house and it’s where I go to play with my food. I do have a TV in my kitchen and I would love to be watching you on the Food Network while I’m cooking or baking for one. Why would anyone laugh at your dream? It’s most definitely attainable for you so go get it! Make it come true for you!
    Big Hugs!!!!

  21. says

    You’re going to do this, girl. I have no doubt. And I personally can’t wait to add your name to my DVR list. I need some accountability to actually taking the time to make some specific goals. I’m good at vision–I have a grand vision where my blog is a space that combines my love of community, justice, and food. I have visions of people gathering around the table to talk about things that matter–to cry and share and pray and hug and laugh our heads off. I’ve got the vision, it’s just the specifics that I have trouble crafting. I know I need to sit down and write out some little steps to get me there. I think my first goal will be putting a reminder about it up by my bed. That’s specific, realistic, and achievable right?

  22. says

    I would LOVE to watch you on the food network! My goal is to get more readers into my blog, but I think I’m starting to help that along by posting more often and I recently revamped the site to give it a much cleaner look. Right now I’d be happy to get up to 1000 followers but maybe one day I’ll be as cool as you and get on tv :) My biggest goal is to be able to retire from law and only work on my food blog (way before retirement age!) Can’t wait to see your videos!

  23. cynthia booker says

    I have a couple of pie-in-the-sky dreams, but the first is to travel to France, and eat wonderful French food and visit wonderful French museums and keep a journal of all my adventures.

  24. judy gonzales says

    Hi back! I Look foreward to seeing you on ” next food network star’ or whatever its called. I would LOVE to see Giada bumped off by someone sweet.
    You are not too young to call it a bucket list. Bravo.

  25. lisa bailey says

    I’m a new follower but I like your no guts no glory attitude. And I love your POV–apply to the Next Food Network Star or even Master Chef. Nobody says you have to go through regular FN pathway. Posting videos is a great start. Enter them in contests on FN. It IS hard I tried it once and it was incredibly difficult. I will be watching. Best of luck.

  26. says

    You know the only difference between a dream and a goal is writing it down! I love your ambition! You inspire me. You’ll make it one day, I know you will! My dream is to one day write (and have published) my own cookbook.

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