Sunday, September 7, 2014


un·com·fort·a·ble (adjective): causing or feeling unease or awkwardness

This is where I am right now…in the middle of uncomfortableness.

And it's all because I took on the challenge of learning one song on the guitar. I didn't expect it to be this daunting, that I would doubt myself this much, or that there would actually be a physical discomfort in the pit of my stomach. This uncomfortableness is so present at times that I just want to forget the whole thing. Who really cares about having a silly goal and trying to accomplish it?

I do, of course, otherwise I would have given up the second my fingertips started getting sore. Don't get me wrong, I'm having fun learning how to play the guitar (finally) and when I imagine being able to play the song perfectly I get super excited, it's just these moments, that come and go, that can be overwhelming.

I'm choosing to write about this now because sometimes I feel like we only hear about people overcoming their doubts, fears, and struggles after they've succeeded in overcoming them. That's great and it's still encouraging, but I feel that it's important to share the struggling part because we all have goals, big and little, and we are all struggling to achieve them. It's during these uncomfortable moments when we're most likely to give up and quit, but that's when we need to continue on the most. Something great is just past the uncomfortableness. But the uncomfortableness gets to be too much and we quit before seeing our greatness. Don't quit before seeing your greatness. I hope the struggle I'm experiencing right now as I try to achieve this silly little goal helps anyone move past their own uncomfortableness to creating their happy.

I'll be honest, I don't know if I will succeed. I really don't. And, that's fine, I guess. It's not always about succeeding, it's about trying. So tomorrow I will try again. I'll pick up my guitar, sore fingers and all, and slowly (very slowly) strum one chord after another. It will not feel good, I will make lots of mistakes, and I most definitely will want to quit but I've just got to fight my way through the uncomfortableness.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

this view

via create.your.happy

It always seems to happen this time of year, right before the weather's about to change, I start to think about all the things I haven't done but still want to do before the year is over. It kind of makes me feel like a creative mess and takes the happy out of creating when I focus too much on what I haven't done. So, instead of doing that, I'm going to remember what I did do and the fun I had this summer. And one fun thing we did was go sailing on the lake. Isn't that view amazing? There's no place like Chicago in the summer time.

Monday, September 1, 2014

summer pies

I've been enjoying the last flavors of summer by baking pies. It has been a delicious experience.

peach basil pie

The peach basil pie was inspired by this recipe. I was attempting a crostata but my kitchen got really warm so the dough started to get too sticky and I wasn't able to roll it out big enough for a crostata so I just decided to throw it in a pie pan. I think it came out quite nice for a traditional pie especially since I usually just bake crostatas. The crust was so buttery and flakey. The recipe called for lavender but I left that out because I just wanted to taste the peach and basil.

raspberry peach pie with a pecan oat crumble topping

The raspberry peach pie was a combination of three different recipes. I don't feel like I've found my go-to pie dough recipe yet so I've been experimenting with different ones each time I bake. For this particular pie I tried this dough recipe. I liked that the crust came out flakey but wasn't too buttery. I also found out that I really like mixing the dough by hand rather than using a food processor or even a pastry cutter. It's just really simple and easy to mix by hand and I agree that it gives you so much more control over your dough. This may be my go-to pie dough recipe. I'll have to try it one more time and then I'll let you know what I think. It'll be a good excuse to bake another pie.

I used this recipe for the filling. The only thing I changed was that I used yellow peaches instead of white. Also, I just measured out 6 cups of the peaches and raspberries and mixed them together. I don't know how many of each I ended up using.

And this was the recipe I used for the crumb topping. I followed this recipe exactly.

Summer…please don't leave. I'm not ready to say good-bye. Good thing I have a few pieces of pie still so I don't have to say good-bye quite yet. I hope you had a fun and relaxing Labor Day!