Sunshine Smoothie | @thefauxmartha

I’m Buddy the Elf when it comes to winter. I still shriek sounds of joy at the first snowfall (and every snowfall thereafter). Breathing in the crisp, cold air makes my lungs feel alive. And hikes along the snow-covered banks of the Mississippi etch permanent smile lines into my face. But sometimes, even a good streak of grey days can leave me feeling blue (and leave Hallie feeling like a caged animal).  Read more

Peanut Butter Balls | @thefauxmartha

“Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration.” —Donald Knuth, a computer scientist

I added that quote to my email signature after Kev shared it with me. He knows my struggles. As of right now, the number 8855 is barely legible, set in white text on a red background, and hovering to the right of my email application. I’m a minimalist in most areas of life except my inbox. It’s a complete disaster. It gives me hives when I think about it, so I don’t. I have trouble pressing delete and unsubscribing from reoccurring emails. I mark every email as unread. And replies take at least a couple days for me to formulate my thoughts and sentiments. I live a paralyzed life when it comes to email. Read more

Minimalism and Vegetarian Tacos | @thefauxmartha

They called me quirky growing up. Repeatedly. I just assumed they meant to say funny. Miss Sharp, my first grade teacher, reserved the last 10 minutes of class for me to do stand up. Everyday. I thought I was funny, but now I know she was probably just tired of standing up. I’ve never been good at delivering punch lines, and I can’t imagine I was any better at age 6. They meant what they said. Read more

Honey Soy Roasted Chickpeas | @thefauxmartha

It started to show itself in the way I kept my hair. Or didn’t. In high school and college I washed, dried, and straightened my hair daily. It was a thing of beauty. Well kept. Perfectly in place. With no sign of unruly wave, even under all those thick, thick layers. It was a good representation of how I saw myself. Of how I saw the world. I was a straight-laced rule follower. My perspective looked a lot like the scenery of The Giver. Things were orderly. Things were black and white. So black and white. Read more

Big Batch Apricot Muesli | @thefauxmartha

“Thank you.” Tears began welling just above the lower lid of my eyes as we handed the bag of muesli to her. Today was the last day of “school” for Hallie. We made a mega batch of muesli that not every bowl, stock pot, or container in our kitchen could hold. It was our way of saying thank you. But that bag of oats and apricots would never ever touch the deep, deep sentiment we felt in our hearts. I don’t say thank you much, or enough. In fact, I can’t tell you the last time I wrote a thank you card. It’s embarrassing. I never expect it myself, and when it’s given to me, I awkwardly change the subject.  Read more

Sun-dried Tomato Bowl | @thefauxmartha

It’s rhythmic. It’s predictable. Seven days a week, it’s the same song streaming in the background. As much as I want to hate it, I love it. Let’s be honest, I crave it. She craves it too. Hallie’s little 1-year-old body, always in search of a new adventure, craves the rhythm of everything else. The rhythm of breakfast, lunch, and dinnertime. Of naptime, though we can’t seem to hold a decent beat here. Of school time and bath time. The rhythm informs. It lets us know where we are and what’s coming next. The rhythm is a schedule begging to be filled in. Read more

“Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.” —Kid President

I need to tattoo this to the inside of my hand. Most days I’m just making sure I feel like a somebody. We have two mirrors in our tiny apartment—one that’s covered in so much dust I don’t have to worry about the reflection as I pass. The other, in the bathroom, I quickly skirt by until the end of the day. That’s when I usually catch a glimpse of the disheveled person walking by. Read more

Baked Blueberry Donuts | @thefauxmartha

“Take a step back. You’re standing too close,” I texted my mom. She sent me a picture of a painting she was working on, worried that she’d added too much detail to the foreground. It’s a line I’d learned from my art teachers over the years. I’d heard it so often, it involuntarily came out. “It looks fine. Just take a step back. You’re standing too close.” Read more