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.|
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!|
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 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 route...you got to be kiddin' me!! Gorgeous change of scenery.|
2. New Ride | Dump Loop --> CanyonsBoy, 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
|My last hoorah with Earthly Delights Farm! Packing up my great grandkids! ;)|
APHRODISIAC FOOD | What Love Tastes Like
Dining + drinking with my love.
Dining + drinking with my love.
|Grilled Goat Cheese Ricotta + Spinach w/ a lovely Bordeaux!|
|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!|
|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!|
|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!|
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!