Posts from — March 2014

The Crunch 4

March 30, 2014

Do you cook in phases? And by that I mean “get obsessed with making certain foods” in phases. The homemade pasta phase and the sourdough bread phase come to mind for me. I find it hard to rein in the compulsion. Must. Make. X. [Confession: I am currently operating under (through?) a Mexican food obsession. Poor DH has eaten South-Western/Mexican food for the past three nights, and one of those days–and this was not all my doing–he ate burritos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And he’s not the one with the obsession. My only defense is that spring is making me crave light, bright flavours and less stodge. Plus it’s just so delicious.]

So my current (other) cooking phase is granola. This one has been on repeat sporadically for the past five years or so. Why is that? Why do I dredge up a recipe/method for something and then moon over it like an adolescent with a crush? This is not a rhetorical question: do you know why? Anyway, this time I know where it all started. With Ms. Hannah herself, when she innocently sent me a link to a blog post and recipe about chocolate granola. Two great things put together and considered respectable breakfast fare. And dessert fare, for that matter. I don’t have a lot of time these days, but I will make time for that granola.


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In: Food, From Ria

Sweet Little Something 4

March 28, 2014

Hi there, Weekend. It’s time for Sweet Little Something – an end of the week morsel that we would love your comments on. It may be a photograph, a link, a poem…some tidbit of inspiration. Leave us a note or create a haiku for a photograph if it takes your fancy. Like these musings for Homer the alpaca, bless him. We love hearing from you.

From Hannah:


From Ria:


In: From Hannah, From Ria, Sweet Little Something

Good News x 3 3

March 22, 2014

I’ve decided I am a depressive optimist. I was discussing it with a friend and wondering if it was a thing. Even a possibility. We discussed how the concept of ‘Life is Suffering’ is entirely sucky but once accepted somewhat buoying in an inexplicable way (in fact, I’m sure it has been explained but we went on to other topics. We like talking about roll arm sofas and Stephen Fry. Not together. In case you were wondering.)


So, assuming it is a thing, the depressive side of me was satisfied by the post I wrote about life being lonely and hard but the optimist was not. I felt badly that I had moaned about writing when it is such a blessing in my life. I felt badly that I’d not been more reassuring. Or balanced? And as if sensing my concern the world seemed to dish out good and bad news in spookily equal measures. It reminded me of this book we had as kids.


Now, you can go and get bad news any way you turn, but good news can be a little harder to source. Good news is a sneaky, delicious, little truffle. So I thought I’d go ahead and gift you some.


My good news is not mine really. It is the respective good news of three wonderful women I am lucky enough to know. Wonderful, strong, creative women whose jobs are not simple or easy. Women who have taken risks, who laugh easily, who worry and thrive and grin and bear it. Women who juggle their roles as wife, mother, daughter, rockstar, creative genius, sister, good friend. They seem to keep all the plates in the air. {Or perhaps they don’t; but when one drops I’m convinced they would say “Oh *bleep* it, let’s smash the rest and make it a party”}. I have an urge to tell you inappropriate and silly things about them, which I think is because I want you to know that they are not super-human and therefore to avoid envy but be proud, as I am. With women like these there’s hope for all of us.


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In: From Hannah, Writing

Sweet Little Something 9

March 18, 2014

Hi there, Weekend. It’s time for a Sweet Little Something – an end of the week morsel that we would love your comments on. It may be a photograph, a link, a poem…some tidbit of inspiration. Leave us a note or create a haiku for a photograph if it takes your fancy. We love hearing from you.

From Hannah:


From Ria:


In: From Hannah, From Ria, Sweet Little Something

Retreat 6

March 16, 2014

Recently I had the amazing luxury of going on a self-imposed mini writing retreat. Luxury because I have a full-time job, a full-on toddler, an equally busy husband (Equally as busy as me, not the toddler. Although…) and all the other things have would normally keep me from taking time out to only write. Up until a short while ago, I’ve been able to write at home. Before the kid, back when I got so much done I must have had some magical power to freeze time, I was insanely productive. I wrote 2.5 books in the same number of years. Now, and with another kid on the way, I’m lucky if I can write for an hour twice a week. It’s a little depressing and a lot frustrating. But, yes, that’s what I signed up for, right?

So when the chance to go away—be physically not at home and do nothing but write—came up, I jumped. Yes, please. I’d set writing goals for myself and they were in danger of becoming unrealistic. Or maybe they just always had been, but it was time to at least try and fix that.

Retreat copy [

In: From Ria, Travel, Writing