Friday, August 29, 2014


I know I'm not supposed to talk about soup right now, but in my defense you guys have been talking about knee high boots and plaid since July so I feel this post is justified. 

You see, I've had it with canned soups. I declare them all disgusting. My mom makes the most amazing minestrone soup and she kind of spoiled me with really good homemade soup. But I need more ideas because I want to become a soup person.

I have a goal of making a big pot of soup on Monday to have for the week. It's filling, low-calorie, and such an easy meal I feel like I'm missing out on an opportunity to eat healthy with minimal fuss. I always say I'm going to make soup every week, but then run out of ideas and inspiration and don't even try.

If you have a favorite soup recipe, would you be willing to share? Here, on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or heck even Instagram? (Let's stay away from Linked-In for this one.) I need ideas to end my co-dependency on Cheez-its. If you do, I'll share my mom's Minestrone recipe. I am not above bribery.

What's your favorite soup?
If you share the recipe, I'll make it and, if I like it, I'll share it with you all here.
(I trust you guys more than the world wide web of social media)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hiking in Virginia

That's Cydney. She's awesome and I swear we are kinded spirits.

I climbed all the way to the top!

Dear Mom,

I promise you I'm making friends out here. In fact, last week I had the best day hiking with a new friend, Cydney. She took me to Billy Goat Trail near Maryland and we scrambled over boulders and rocks for a few hours while taking in the most gorgeous scenery.

I don't know if you remember that one time when I was seven and climbed rocks with Heather while we watched Eric go bungee jumping off a bridge. That was my first experience "rock climbing" and I freaked out so bad when I almost got to the top that I fell. In my mind, I fell two stories, but I'm sure it was only a few feet (funny how big the world is when you're that small).


You're nature-loving daughter

Monday, August 25, 2014

Outfit for Hawaii

Polaroid camera // aviators // sandals // weekender // swimsuit // earrings
Dear Mom,

I heard you're in Hawaii, living it up and getting the rest and relaxation you need. I'm assuming my invite got lost in the mail, so just in case it did I packed my bags (see above). I think I can make the 9 am flight.


Your (favorite) Daughter
ps... don't worry, these sandals have tons of arch support*

*that is a lie

Friday, August 22, 2014

Visiting Wild Horses in Maryland

Hi, Mom!

Dear Mom,

Remember when we used to drive to grandma and grandpa's house in Berkeley and would pass all those farms and horses on I-80? I used to dream about jumping out of the car, hopping on a horse, and riding it the rest of the way. Driving was so boring and riding a horse seemed like so much fun. It may or may not have been the first time I prayed (I really wanted to ride a horse along the freeway apparently).

My dream almost came true when Mr. B and I went to Assateague Island in Maryland to see the wild horses. It's amazing how they just walk, run, and eat along the road like they own the place. I could have easily hopped on one and ridden home, but it's against the law and they supposedly bite.

A dream deferred...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thank You!

Thank you so much for all of your messages, comments, Tweets, and prayers about my mom. I've received an outpouring of recommendations and phone numbers of doctors and clinics and have sent them all to my her, who is incredibly grateful to you all.

I love my Twitter friends, and many have spread the word about my mom's condition to help her get treatment. In fact, she's been trying to get a consult with MD Anderson in Texas but they haven't called her back. MD Anderson heard about her on Twitter and actually contacted me so they could get in contact with her. Amazing, right?

And who's that in the photo? My mom in 1980 when she was my age. My sister found it while going through her things and said to me, "Whoa, this looks like you." I thought that was the best compliment and so neat that she was 31 at the time, just like I am now.

Thank you again. Your help could have just given her a few more years and I don't know how to thank you more for that.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Update On My Mom

Some lavender I picked while on a walk with my sister and mom.

I spent the last few weeks in California with my family. It was good to be home, but also a bit traumatic. During my stay, my mother told my sister and I the doctors gave her a year- maybe more, but that was their best estimate. She has what's called Uterine Serous Papillary Adenocarcinoma and is looking for any doctors or clinics who specialize in it. It's a very rare and aggressive cancer, so time is critical. What's more, the last time she had chemo, she nearly died so we're crossing our fingers this time around she won't have such a bad reaction. 

Basically, anything can happen so we're preparing for the worse. It's terminal but we're hoping to prolong her life as long as possible. As a daughter with a perfect mother, this is a nightmare. 

While I was at her house, I spent most of the time going through her belongings so she knows what I want and what she can give away. As horrible as that seems, it was a powerful way to connect with her through her belongings and the stories they hold.

So things are shifted in my life, to say the least. I live so far away, I'm trying to figure out ways to be close to her. I've decided to dedicate the blog to her. I started blogging as a way to keep my family up to date with my life, but they never really read it (I'm not sure they do now), but since we don't know how much longer she has, I thought it would be a good way to let her know all my travels, adventures, and daily life. It just feels right. 

So that's an update. If you know any good cancer doctors and are willing to give a recommendation to them, please let me know. We're trying to get as much help as possible and it's not easy finding good medical care.

Love you all and thank you for your help. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Summer Guilt

Mr. Branflake and I are headed out to Maryland to see the wild horses roam Assateague Island. We almost didn't go because I told him how guilty I felt having so many fun days this Summer and that I should probably stay home and write and be more productive. Silly, I know. Especially considering how much I adore horses and I'm pretty sure they adore me. I'm just having such a wonderful Summer and there's this strange guilt I can't shake.

But we're going early in the morning. Who knows? We might come back with a horse. That would help this guilt a lot.

Have a great weekend, my friends.

*photos by me and my friend, Abbey, after our berry picking adventure.
She was adamant we find a stream to dip our toes in and I just really love her for that.