Get Lost


Remember last week when I thought that recovering from wisdom tooth extraction surgery would include lots of time blogging and being productive?

I had this ideal picture in my head about how I would recover over the weekend. Lazily staying in my cozy bed with books, magazines, Netflix, occasionally being productive and catching up on blogging or researching my next project.

In reality, my body was so angry with me for the anesthesia and pain medications it was circulating that the moments where I wasn’t nauseously holding a bucket to my mouth, I was completely knocked out. After two decades of medical procedures, my body is pretty resistant to any forms of medicine and it certainly didn’t appreciate having four impacted molars pried from my jaw bone.

Originally I planned on returning to work today, but my jaw pain and swelling had other ideas. I’ve taken my antibiotics, aspirin and mouth rinse for the morning so I thought I would finally take up some of that “productivity” on day 4 of my recovery time.


The night before my surgery, four of my friends from work and I went to a local corn maze and pumpkin patch. We wandered around the dead stalks of corn and took pictures of the sunset and pet the farm animals. It was a gorgeous night out, perfect sweater weather but not too cold or windy. We didn’t end up so lost in the maze that we had to call the emergency help phone number so that was considered a win. And at the end of the night, we did what all millennials do, and posted our favorite pictures to Instagram.


Which made me realize: none of us knew each other just 3 short months ago. In fact, 3 of us just moved to Idaho in 2016. We all began working for the same company within 3 months of each other, and quickly became a “coffee group” with our weekly Wednesday coffee shop dates together. Isn’t it crazy how some things work out?


And I am SO THANKFUL for finding these fast friends so quickly after moving across the country.

When I left California this summer, I knew that starting over in a new state wouldn’t be as  glamorous as it’s made out to be in all of the movies and novels. Making new friends after college (especially in this digital age where people are less social to begin with) isn’t exactly a piece of a cake.



Making a change, starting new, exploring and traveling – it’s everyone’s dream, right? We’d all gladly pack up and find our dream home in our dream town tomorrow. But practically speaking – it’s expensive. It’s inconvenient. Sometimes it’s lonely. Navigating new streets and new traffic laws is tricky. (HOW did people relocate before smart phones?!) You start out with the “Vacation Mentality” where everything is perfect and then slowly you start to notice the little quirks of the new environment.

Like how everyone here takes twice as long to bag your groceries. Or the drivers all come to a complete stop to merge on to the freeway. Or how every one has the exact same bizarre haircut. And (hopefully) eventually you go from feeling like you’re on vacation to feeling like you’re “home.”


And four months in, I’m so happy we made this blind leap into Idaho! I have never been surrounded by such beautiful landscape. I swear, I have more pictures of trees on my phone than parents have of their children.


The way my home faces, I get to watch the sun set over our neighbor’s farmland every night and that will never get old. I’m sure some day a commercial investor will come in and start building houses on the land, but for now we are soaking it in.


We left the corn maze and the pumpkin patch after the sun had set and I went home to eat my last REAL MEAL before having my wisdom teeth surgery. It was just one of those fun fall nights that felt exactly like back in college a little over a year ago with my teammates and roommates.

Halloween with the blondies (

2014 Senior Year Throwback

farmstead-sunset-2-stronglikemycoffee-comAnd now I’ve had a solid four days at home with puffy cheeks and applesauce and smoothies, lots of Friends episodes, and plenty of time to think about what I’m excited for next! As the weather starts to turn, I foresee lots of treadmill miles in my future and I want to make sure I have a goal to work towards that will keep me from burning out or falling off the fitness wagon until after the holidays (#beentheredonethat).

Once I’m totally healed, there’s nothing stopping me from finding a springtime race to train for! I haven’t really decided if I’m ready to train for a half marathon or a full, but my best running buddy will be running the Boston marathon this year so I’d have a training partner for whatever I choose.



Now I just have to pick a direction and GO! Okay time for another Tylenol for this girl. Your turn – find a corn maze and GET LOST.

XO Kenz.

A Taste of Stars Hollow

If you’ve read the blog for a while, you know how devoted of a Gilmore Girls fan I am. My mom and I have watched the show since it aired live in 2000 and have since then rewatched the series…oh, half a dozen times. They never get old to me. If only I could live in Stars Hollow. That would be my absolute perfect dream town. Tiny, charming, New England town with one diner and one stoplight and the friendliest neighbors ever.


Well, thanks to Netflix and the Gilmore Girls revival series, I got to have a cup of coffee at Luke’s Diner last week! It was a “pop up shop” event, where 200 coffee shops across the country turned into Luke’s Diner for the morning. The show provided the coffee shops with signs and costumes, coffee cups and beverages.


The closest Luke’s pop-up was about 30 minutes from my house, so I woke up at my usual time. 4:30am. I drove down in the dark and stood in line at 6am. There were easily 100 people in line behind me when the doors opened at 6:30. It was still pitch black outside, but there we were – die-hard fans ready to get our cup of coffee and a picture of Luke’s yellow sign. Lorelai would be proud.


Behind the counter was the infamous “No Cell Phones” sign, and two baristas dressed in typical “Luke” style. Plaid flannel, backwards baseball hat, grumpy face, and a Luke’s apron. Each coffee cup had a quote printed on them with the episode they were from.


It was a quick event but well worth the wait. I love the fact that Netflix and Gilmore Girls included their fans in the countdown to the revival series which airs on Black Friday. I’m more excited to marathon the episodes than I am for Thanksgiving :)


Saturday morning I was able to run around 10:00am, after a cup of coffee and a granola bar. It was chilly enough to wear long tights and a long-sleeve but not so cold that my hands and face needed any layering. Prime fall weather! I ran through the quiet neighborhood, through a golf course, and along a canal which has now turned to still water. Winter is coming. After my 8-ish miles, a family friend invited my parents and I over for a BBQ in the most Halloween-decorated house I have ever seen.


Every picture frame in the house was replaced with haunted photos of skeletons demented children. Hand-dyed gauze draped with windows with spiders and blood. Potion bottles lined the kitchen counter. (Organic Bat Brain was my favorite.) A delicate appetizer of raw heart and brain awaited us at the table.



This is just the start of Halloween festivities! Later this week, some friends and I are headed to a corn maze. Then later, my company is taking a school bus out to a field where we get to defend ourselves from zombies with paintball guns. Then of course there will be a costume contest at work, and lots of pumpkin goodies!


Sunday morning I got in another 9ish miles in the same neighborhood with the most beautiful Autumn weather. I can’t help but stop and take pictures when the trees are this bright. It’s looking like they will be bare in the next week or so, and I want to soak it all up while I can!


It was a wonderful few days FULL of coffee, pumpkin spice and running. This week is looking like a blur with work, some fun evening plans, and one not-so-fun appointment. My wisdom teeth finally need to come out. :( I’m planning a solid three days of being lazy after the surgery. Which, for me, includes catching up with the blog posts!


Happy Pumpkin Spice Season!

XO Kenz.

Gone Fishin’ + My First Blue Apron Meal

Good morning, coffee lovers! In case you missed it, yesterday was National Coffee Day. This is a serious holiday on my calendar which required careful calculation and strategy for hitting up the main coffee shops without over-caffeinating myself ;)

Dutch Bros. is a main coffee drive-thru in the PNW and as part of their National Coffee Day celebration, profit from every drink went to our local Boys and Girls Club charity. PLUS customers were given a full “punch card’ which can be redeemed for a free drink on your next visit. Another coffee hut was offering 4 drinks for $10, and my office even created their own coffee bar in the break room. There were flavored foam pumps (I did not even know that existed!), whip cream, fancy creamers, sprinkles, and coffee-flavored chocolates. My heart was very very happy yesterday.

The coffee love just KEPT ON COMING this morning because a brand new coffee shop literally right down the street from me had its Grand Opening today. They advertised free coffee all day, so of course I pulled in on my way to work. I expected the free drink to be black coffee. Nope! ANY drink, fancy as you want, all for free. They have Oreo Chillers and Rockstar Freezes and Pumpkin Spice Lattes and something called a “Caramel Blondie.” Creature of habit, I went with an iced nonfat vanilla americano but I just might go back after work for something a little more festive. Depends on if I feel like going for a run first or not ;)


Anyways, what I’m REALLY here for is to share the last bit of fun from my weekend that included a fishing trip and my very first Blue Apron meal. Last summer, my family vacationed in Mammoth Lakes, California and went fishing very early in the morning. I caught nothing. This trip, I caught so many fish that I had to take a break to let my dad fish without having to continually re-set my line! :)


We mostly caught trout, and threw them right back in the river (after snapping a picture first, duh. It’s 2016.) It was so peaceful to stand in the river, look out into the forest and just appreciate the autumn day.


That night, we got home feeling drained and lazy. Then I remembered that my first Blue Apron box had arrived on Friday and I had 3 different meals to choose from! I love that they come in refrigerated boxes with all of the ingredients pre-portioned. The recipe cards are so detailed and I really appreciate the photos of each step. I picked the “Summer Pepper Shakshuka” with eggs and za’atar. This was the first time I’ve ever cooked a Middle Eastern dish myself, and I think it turned out pretty dang close to the picture!




There was something relaxing about dicing up all of the fresh vegetables. I threw them into a large pan and added the seasonings that came with my delivery. The best part? PITA BREAD. You know how much I love my carbs. The actual pita was already cooked, but it came in a circle like pizza crust. I got to slice it into triangles, toast in the oven and add the za’atar seasoning. They came out flavorful and toasty, just like they should!



Fresh pea shoots brought some color into this dish! The protein came from farm-fresh eggs that were added to the pan at the last few minutes. It seemed like a savory breakfast-for-dinner meal, but breakfast is my favorite so I was completely onboard for that!



My favorite part of cooking Blue Apron meals is how aesthetic they are plated! I know I’m not the only one who’s always proud when I serve a dish that looks restaurant-worthy. Especially with the Instagram food porn that makes a bowl of oatmeal look like pure art. Taking an extra minute for the presentation is one of those simple little things that is so satisfying, and I think every Blue Apron meal includes a very beautiful presentation.



A little feta sprinkled on top and voila! I think the whole meal took between 30-40 minutes to create. It was bursting with flavors that were somewhat foreign to me. I’d never cooked with za’atar, shallots, or pea shoots before. Cost-wise, Blue Apron meals are considerably less expensive than eating at a restaurant. The meals are less than $10 each, but seasonal specials and discounts are always popping up in my inbox. Plus everything is delivered to your door and pre-measured. I’m at that weird transitional phase between an on-campus college student with a meal plan and dozens of campus dining options to living completely on my own and “fending for myself.” Since health and nutrition are so important to me, I hardly want to get into that bad habit of resorting to microwave meals for dinner every night.

I learned about Blue Apron through fellow bloggers and & I think it is the perfect transition for me to start learning to cook whole nutritious meals!


There are two more new-to-me meals from my last delivery to create this weekend and I can’t wait to try the Summer Udon Salad! (I opted for the vegetarian meal plan.) After a whole week of 5:00am workouts, I want nothing more than a lazy Friday night at home with yoga pants, Grey’s Anatomy, decaf coffee, and some time in the kitchen with a new healthy recipe. Plus all those Udon noodles will serve as my carbo-loading for tomorrow’s long run! Shelby, my running teammate, and I are going to try to get in 13 miles before the weather turns dreary tomorrow morning.


Happy Free-Coffee-Friday!

XO Kenz.


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