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Fall Coffee Date - Pinch of Yum

Well hello! I’ve got a coffee in my hand and a smile on my face and it’s time to chat like real people!

These days I’m drinking regular coffee with cream, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt in my little Keep Cup thing, which is my go-to in the fall. Or if it’s evening and I’m sitting in front of the TV, I’ve definitely got my hands wrapped around a mug of Good Earth sweet and spicy tea.

But please note that I’m also averaging at least 2 if not 3 Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes per week at this point in time, and the budget committee would like to have a word with me about that.

If you’re not a PSL person, try my PSL order: medium, decaf (anxious person problems), oat milk, 3 pumps instead of 4, hold the whip. It’s decadent but in a rich coffee decadent way. And it has to be from Starbucks. Caribou has its time and place, and I know everywhere else has their own knockoff, but I’m a big believer in sticking with the OG on this one. It’s also approximately $15, hence the budget committee. Moving on.

Let’s talk about life. ♡

Mom Life In a Nutshell

The thing that takes up the majority of my time, energy, money, sleep, and general headspace these days is these two little people.

They are so beautiful and weird and funny and we are so lucky.

I really love being a mom.

Fall highlights in the Family Life category include:

  • Excitement and routine with starting some new school programs this fall
  • The magic of watching new skills and interests develop (friends, dance, swimming, art)
  • Getting outside in our beautiful fall weather: apple orchard, petting zoo, walks in the double jogger
  • Taking a family trip up north with good friends, and having an ACTUALLY FUN, AMAZING TIME! What is life!
  • Solvi’s heart is healthy, and Lena is sleeping like a normal baby after a year of struggles! Gratitudes all around.

Some fall NON-highlights that deserve their spot in this recap as well:

  • Runny noses and coughs and fevers
  • A highly anticipated mom-and-dad-only trip needing to be canceled at the last minute due to kid sickness, which may go down as the heartbreak of the year
  • An untimely broken dishwasher (is it ever timely?)
  • And a toddler obsession with Sage’s fish oil pills, featuring one incident in particular that included squeezing the softgel oil all over herself, tracking it around our home on hands and feet, and inter-mingling the fish scent and oils with furniture and clean laundry

Life generally feels like this:

But it also feels like this.

And it is exhausting, but it the love is just simple and so pure.

It is really, really wonderful.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

New Chapters

Which, I guess, brings me to work.

We’ve been working on Pinch of Yum for 12 years now. (And no, this photo is not our studio OR our home – I wish! it’s a work space we rented for some projects.)

I was going to say that the majority of the last 12 years have been a straight line, with clear objectives and the direction of things feeling settled and set. But when I look back a little more closely, the truth is there hasn’t really been any season that didn’t have some type of transition woven into it.

Change has maybe been the only constant.

So it’s not that unusual to say that I feel the winds of change blowing again. As they always do. As life always does. And so much of that has to do with being a mom.

As an Enneagram 6, I’m constantly second-guessing myself – did I really want to do that? what about that other thing? what does so-and-so think? is there a better way? – and so, as cliche as it sounds, this is a season where I’m really trying to get honest and real with myself. I’m trying to drown out the noise, the assumptions, the expectations, even my own ego, and just focus on my own answer to the theme question from Emily Freeman’s podcast: what is the next right thing?

I remain in love, possibly more in love than ever before, with sharing recipes and spreading ideas out into the world that make people’s real lives better with the joy of a good meal. It is a joy and a privilege to do this and get to call it work.

I’m also hoping that as the winds of change blow, I’ll be able to build the next iteration of that work gracefully and confidently, chasing my own definition of success and being okay if that looks different than what someone else’s might look like.

Life is so good at keeping us on our toes, right?

Skin Cancer PSA and My Upcoming Plastic Surgery

Yes, I said plastic surgery.

At a routine dermatologist appointment earlier this year, I had a mole right on my hairline biopsied that came back as severely atypical. That means it’s at the highest risk for turning into melanoma, and that also means it requires further, more extensive removal.

Since the mole is on my face, that extensive removal needs to be done by a plastic surgeon.

What I found out at my consult with him isn’t super thrilling: they’ll have to shave a bit of my hair down to do the removal, and when this is all said and done, I’ll end up with a 2-inch scar on my face. I’ll also end up having a slightly lopsided face for a while as my skin on one side will be pulled tighter with the stitches – like a facelift, but… not a good one.

And you know what? It’s not a HUGE huge thing, but I’m sad about it. I’m sad to have a big scar on my face and possibly a strange-looking asymmetrical look going on for a while. I’m sad to have my hair shaved off in a weird pattern. I’m also sad that one of my favorite things – being in, soaking in, laying in the sun – won’t really be a part of my life in the future.

What you can learn from my mistakes: wear sunscreen, and go to the dermatologist for regular skin checks.

I had been going to the dermatologist for annual checks for a while, but I fell off the wagon after Lena was born so I’ve missed the last two years. But I’m so glad I went this year because without me realizing, something changed with that hairline mole that we had been watching. And while this is all really a bummer and not something I’m looking forward to, I will hopefully be able to avoid a full blown melanoma because of it.

My dermatologist told me “there’s no such thing as a safe tan.” Outside of a few burns as a teenager, I have always avoided getting burned and almost always wear sunscreen. And since I tan really easily, I never thought that I’d be a person at high risk of skin cancer (unlike my fair skinned husband). But alas, here I am.

Schedule the skin check! And if you’ve had anything like this done, you know I’d take a positive, encouraging story from you.

A Vote In Favor Of The CSA

Today is literally our last CSA pick up of the summer! It’s been another amazing of fruits and veggies. The fall produce (squash, in particular) was some of my favorite! And the beets! OMG the beets. I’ve never heard Bjork rave about a vegetable more than he raved about those plain steamed CSA beets this summer. They were so buttery and perfect.

One of the best perks of doing our CSA this summer has been watching the girls start to fall in love with veggies.

I say that with a little side eye because, of course, what they love changes by the minute and tends to be centered on variations of dairy and cheese. But the “unboxing” process every week with a new carton of veggies each week is undeniably exciting. And I absolutely feel like it’s helped educate and expose the girls to new vegetables that I otherwise wouldn’t have thought to try. I hugely credit any interest in veggies, no matter how fickle or fleeting, to being connected to our community agriculture!

We’ve done Little Big Sky Farm for the last two years and they’re wonderful! Highly recommend.

Foods That Are Bring Me Joy This Fall

This lunch salad is delicious and should probably get its own post at some point, but for now this will have to do: it’s spring / salad mix, cranberries, spicy sweet pecans, bleu cheese crumbles, baked salmon, and a spicy white truffle dressing made with mayo, white truffle oil, sriracha, vinegar, salt, and garlic powder. Oof! I don’t know if bleu cheese normally goes with salmon but I’m digging this combo of everything. She’s a real fall beauty.

Other things I’ve made and loved this fall:

Thank you for being here! ♡ For one week or for 12 years. I’m glad to share this space, this food, and this little bit of life with you.

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