Monday, January 6, 2014

Reflection, Future + Aphrodisiacs | From Side A --> Side B


It's the night after the loveliest of lady friends gathered for one last celebration before I leave Boise.  I'm so incredibly touched by their generosity + thoughtfulness.  I never thought I'd have such a supportive crew of gal pals, but I've been super fortunate to discover the best of friends. + They've raised me up with all of their love.  Looking back on the past 5 years in Boise, it hasn't always been this comfortable.

Wine Cork Idaho handmade by yours truly! A gift to my grandparents for Xmas 2013.

 I've endured through 5 and a half years of some major growing up and transformation.  Prior to my return to Boise, I spent a few of the wildest years of my life in Orlando where I experienced the best of times and suffered the worst of times.  I enjoyed going out to the best dance clubs, meeting so many interesting characters, partying in VIP - sometimes with a celebrity, and a lot more that I'll never remember.  I also lived a seriously dark life.  I dealt with a mentally + physically abusive friendship, an eating disorder, a drinking problem + depression.  I lived in a 24/7 party atmosphere that in my heart was un-welcomed, but peer pressure prevailed.  I drank most of my problems away, or so I thought.  I literally saw no other way to do handle my life at the time.  After two and a half years, my personal belongings stolen + room having been destroyed not once but twice by my "best friend,"  losing almost all of my self esteem + hope for the future, I moved to New York to get "it" together (it being my life).  I quit drinking for 10 weeks, started journaling + saved up for a new start back in Boise.

In 2008 I returned to Boise with almost nothing.  I didn't tell anyone about my plans to return nor my arrival except for my family + one friend.  I wanted new friends that I could choose based on their positivity, loyalty, + ability to be a friend without the influence of drugs + alcohol.  I lived in a studio apartment off of 5th + Franklin, close to downtown for the first 3 years where I dealt with a lot of hard times as I was trying to better my life.  I found myself alone with my journal, writing my way through a lot of painful events.  I found myself falling back into old habits + making those same friends that I thought I could avoid.
One fourth of July morning, I decided I wanted a garden + roommates.  I moved out of my studio apartment that summer + into a home with a lady I found through Craigslist.  She was older than me + was everything I had hoped to one day become.  My new roommate Jen, with time and a whole hell of a lot of patience, has opened my eyes + heart to see + feel what real friendship + love truly is.  She's helped me through a few bad dudes + some shady lady friends.  Not to mention, Jen encouraged me to start this blog and was my biggest food fan, helping me recognize my passion + potential with growing and cooking food.  She provided a very warm + safe environment that made me truly feel at home.

All smiles as I've put the past behind me.  I choose to love who + where I am in the present.
I'm now living on my own in the best one bedroom apartment in the same neighborhood where I started my new life back in Boise.  I continue to seek Jen's advice, but it's more often that I'm calling her over to thank her or to fill her in on all of the happy happenings in my life.  Recently, I've been reaping what I for many years have sown. I now have a pretty fantastic, supportive + loving circle of lady friends I wouldn't trade for anything in the world!  Restorative yoga + cycling have replaced the long-gone days of binge drinking and hangovers.  My heart has guided me to the farm + to the kitchen where I'm happiest.  Farming + gardening allows me to connect with nature + know that what I'm putting into my body is good, clean food.  My inner artist comes alive when I'm in the kitchen bringing recipes to life, transforming my harvest into a fancy dish.  I thrive while educating others on the importance of organic, non-gmo food for your body + the environment.  I encourage others to find their passions, love themselves just as they are + have no regrets.

Life is strange + super difficult at times, but through diligence + strength, everything will work out.  Trust yourself + the situation.

And then I found LOVE

Never before have I been so in love, so sure + ready to go through anything + everything with a partner.
I love you, Ryan M. Simmons! 

My first visit to SLC!
With that, I'm happy to announce that I'm about to start a new chapter in my life.  After years of learning to love myself and accept love from others, I've found someone who makes me so incredibly happy, loves me more than what I thought was possible + wants nothing more than to be with me.  With my heart completely open + trusting what the universe has presented me, I will be moving to Salt Lake City to be with the one I love the most!

I have less than one week until I'm beside the one I love, Ryan, with all of my belongings packed + on our way to Utah.  I will say a loving goodbye to the past 5 years - the good and the bad with forgiveness + thanks.  I will miss my old life here in Boise but embrace the new challenges + adventures that will be in my new home, Salt Lake City!

With the new year, which Ryan + I have rain checked for the 31st - which turned out to be the Chinese New Year (HELLO, MASCULINE WOOD HORSE!), there are many beautiful things in store that I have yet to discover.  I'll share what I do know + give you glimpses into my new chapter!  The rest, we'll have to let unfold as the Universe chooses when and what to reveal.

Nothing but love for the birthday boy, Ryan - or is it George? Kisses xoxo 

2014 --> Making the Move

Sent me the keys in the mail.  He knows how to make me swoon! 

1. New Home | BOI --> SLC

About to use my growing power for the little meow meows!!
I'll be moving to a condo close to downtown + everything else I could ever need!  My new roommates include one handsome man (Ryan) + his two precious felines (Snow + Tabitha).  I can't wait to make fancy meals for my man + give endless amounts of love + my own Adri-grown Catnip from Earthly Delights (my old farm!) seeds to purring kittens.

I have a new city to explore.  New flavors to enjoy + new restaurants to visit.  I'll be able to bike new streets, take the TRAX, wander around every which way.  I'll be able to get a taste of the local hotspots.  Browse the antique stores + discover new thrift stores.
Meet my new fancy feline babies! Snow + Tabitha!

This pretty princess is Snow B! She already owns my heart!
Fancy cat Tabitha in her little castle! EEE! 

Franz + I kickin' it in Park City, UT!

Ryan + Franz tolerating each other at best in Park City, UT!

This is the view along Ryan's riding got to be kiddin' me!! Gorgeous change of scenery.

2. New Ride | Dump Loop --> Canyons

Boy, I'll tell ya, I was a bit overwhelmed when I looked down the Avenues while up on the bench, in a car, safe + sound with my seat belt fastened.  The Avenues are just the ride up and out of the neighborhood.  On a ride up to Park City, Ryan showed me his normal riding route.  Let me just tell you, he's got better legs than Tina Turner + now I see why!  I'm in for some wild rides!  After a couple months of training, he says it gets easier.  I conquered most of my riding goals by completing the Dump Loop about 5 times + going on weekly rides with some lady friends over the late summer/early fall.  By the end of February, Ryan + I will be hitting the road on our bikes looking to conquer new goals together!

Modeling as much of my new gear as possible!  Santa Simmons is TOO good!!

Lazer helmet + glasses, knee warmers, Smartwool arm warmers, Terry short shorts + leggings, a riding shirt, Shimano shirt, shoe covers for my Pearl Izumi shoes (not pictured!) + a nice jacket!  WEEE!!! 
This big sexy is my man on a Sunday ride this past fall! :) :) :)

His + Hers bikes!! We'll be hitting the road this spring!!
3. New Practice | Yoga Tree --> Avenues Yoga

When I started my practice at Yoga Tree, I was looking to build strength + tone up with little impact.  I was hoping that I could also hop on board with the non-physical mental fine tuning as well.  Like I've mentioned in other posts, it was love at first pose! My practice has exceeded all of my expectations + hopes with the help of my instructors, inspirations, + friends Jennifer + Colbie. Colbie, has guided me towards Avenues Yoga in Salt Lake City were in my new chapter in life, I will start a new chapter of my practice.  One of the areas we've been working on from the start is my heart.  Well, I think it's safe to say we opened that one up, 'eh ladies?!

Right outside of Liberty Heights Fresh (my new SLC version of the Boise Co-op). Easy transition! 

4. New Farm | Earthly Delights --> BUG Farm

I will always be a part of the Earthly Delights Farm Family.  Though, this year I won't be crashing the new crew's lunch with any birthday party surprises.  Instead, I have found the equivalent of Earthly Delights Farm in SLC, BUG Farm.  I'm not sure if there's a "Casey" of the farm + if they like to talk about sex while referring to all things growing, green, + farming, but a girl has got to get her hands in the dirt + have the freshest, local, organic produce!  Without a space of my own, I hope to bring my Earthly Delights-influenced, Adri-powered growing skills to a new farm.  Let's see what we can grow in Utah! YEEHAW!

My last hoorah with Earthly Delights Farm! Packing up my great grandkids! ;)

APHRODISIAC FOOD | What Love Tastes Like
Dining + drinking with my love.

Grilled Goat Cheese Ricotta + Spinach w/ a lovely Bordeaux!

Squash Quesadilla!

Dirty Girl Scout + the Saketini at The Red Door in Salt Lake City!  12 Martinis of Xmas!

Someone had a birthday!  Cake made by his friend Sara!

I'm always down with a new organic beer!  Ryan's friend Deb has great taste!

These pizzas are from Settebello Pizzeria in Salt Lake City.  Absolutely divine!

Birthday Paella made by yours truly! Seafood Paella w/ mussels, calamari + shrimp.  Saffron + seafood are ultimate aphrodisiacs! 

Aphrodisiac dessert.  Chocolate!

Birthday Cava 

Spanish sparkling to go with the spanish dinner!

High West Whiskey made in Park City!  Gotta drink like the locals!

Rye Knot + The Pickpocket at Red Feather Lounge in Boise, ID

Ryan is the bartender for my grandparents!

White Russians!

Pizza Naan for Xmas Eve!

Left - Ryan + I's bottle after 4 days.  Right - My Grandpa's bottle after one night.

Santa Simmons sitting on Santa Sandra's lap!  Precious moment!

Until we meet again Boise, I will miss you!
I leave behind a fine city with incredible citizens.
I'm off to embrace the changes + opportunities in 2014.
I am happy to start this new chapter with Ryan.
May you all find love + positive changes in the new year!
Stay tuned!