A Big Announcement! (#yolo)

Ok friends, we need to talk. Is it serious? Yeah…kinda, and this post is a little lengthy, so feel free to skip to the end if you just want the big news I’m going to share.

I moved from D.C. to Las Cruces, New Mexico on July 18th, 2014, just barely over a year ago. The decision to move was a hard one, but at the time, it really was the best option, for a multitude of reasons. If you recall, or maybe you don’t because it happened so fast, I packed up my D.C. apartment, with lots of help from friends, and moved within a week. I was ready for a new adventure, and New Mexico was the natural choice.

You probably see where this is going now. New Mexico has been fun: I have seen a lot of great things, met many wonderful people, have eaten the best Mexican food of my life, been on some magnificent hikes, and have seen some of the greatest vistas and sunsets. New Mexico truly is the Land of Enchantment.

However, I also knew from the moment I moved that New Mexico was never going to be a long term home for me. I thought I would be here a few years, maybe 2-4. As beautiful as it was, living in a town of 100,000 after living in cities and metro areas ranging from 1 to 10 million was really, really difficult. Being so far away from my family in the Midwest and the east coast was even harder. New Mexico, as many benefits as it has, also very much has a “mañana” culture, something that I just don’t blend in with very well.

In January, things suddenly started to shift again for us. Moving away from New Mexico, both for Christopher’s job and a new one for me, seemed like again, another natural choice, but we just didn’t know when or where, which you know, are two pretty important pieces to moving.

I am the type of person who likes plans. I like dates. I like lists. I like things being in order. I typically have reports at work written 2-3 weeks in advance. My South of Vanilla blog posts are written anywhere from 2-6 weeks in advance. When I go to the grocery store, my list is organized by category AND by geographical location of items. Maybe its OCD, maybe its because I don’t really like any surprises, maybe its my German heritage coming through, I don’t know. But I really, really like order and planning. Having anything not planned out is difficult for me to deal with.

Oprah once said that:

"…the universe speaks to us, always, first in whispers. It's that subtle…and if you don't pay attention to the whisper, it gets louder and louder and louder… like getting thumped upside the head. If you don't pay attention to that, it's like getting a brick upside your head. You don't pay attention to that—the brick wall falls down…”

Since 2009, I have been in countless situations similar to the one I am facing now. I have strangely been in unstable, unpredictable, un-plannable scenarios. To say I handled this ambiguity with tact and grace would be a huge misrepresentation. Living in a shade of gray without concrete plans would throw me into full-blown meltdowns, overwhelming anxiety, and sleepless nights. I like, I need plans.

Here is the big difference this time: I’ve decided to just surrender to this ambiguity. The fact that I have not learned to modify my behavior after living through these past scenarios, despite my meticulous planning, leads me to believe that there is a life lesson here that I need learn. There is a reason why these patterns keep reoccurring. I have been resisting these seas of gray for years, and at first, it started off small, a whisper. The past few months especially, I have felt like bricks were being thrown at me.  I need to handle this, figure out whatever life is trying to teach me, before the brick wall crumbles down around me.

So it is with happiness, hesitation, pure fear, and exhilaration that I now officially announce that we are leaving New Mexico. Christopher will be traveling around the East Coast, searching for some jobs, finding a landing place where both of us will be happy; we don’t know yet where exactly that will be, or when it will happen. I will be leaving New Mexico (probably) the first week of August, although I don’t exactly know to where. I don’t have a solid job lined up. I don’t have a solid location of where I will be going. I don’t know where I will be living the next few weeks, let alone the next year. I am currently looking into doing some travel therapy jobs, but I might not- whatever job I choose needs to be the right opportunity and fit for both me and the organization. I do know that for the next couple weeks I will be doing some road-tripping around the U.S., seeing some new places, revisiting some past haunts, and hopefully seeing some people that I love. I don’t know how long this nomad, soul-discovering phase of mine will last, but its of course dependent upon things that are just out of my control right now. 

To say that I am terrified is an understatement. My life was more stable and figured out at 17 than now at 27. For the first time, I am embracing this ambiguity I once again find myself in and just going with it: there has got to be a life lesson for me here.

So what does this mean for the South of Vanilla? I will still be posting regular recipes: the uber-planner in me (of course) has worked really hard over the past few weeks to make sure that the recipes will be posted consistently while I am (maybe) away from a kitchen. My Sunday Snaps will probably reflect more of what I am doing on these trips, and I might throw in a post here and there about what I am doing and where I am. I will be posting more regular updates on my Instagram page, so you can follow along with me there. I will still be available via email, and I will be more than happy to chat or answer any questions, paleo or otherwise.

I hope you all follow along with me: this will be quite the adventure, and quite the learning experience! I am terrified, but excited, and I hope I can share it will you all every step of the way.

XOXO,

P.S. Below I have compiled a bunch of my favorite New Mexico pictures. (Which admittedly is a lot.) Feel free to swipe through them- I just can't even believe how gorgeous this state is! Definitely sad to leave these gorgeous landscapes. 












Exciting Announcements and a BIG Thank You!

Happy Monday night! I wanted to write a quick post to update you all on some exciting announcements!

Have you guys noticed a new page on the website? This new events page is a calendar that lists, you guessed it, upcoming events. I’ve recently been asked to teach a few paleo cooking classes and speak at seminars on everything ranging from brewing Kombucha to grain-free pasta substitutes to the link between cognition and nutrition. I’ve added this page so you can see when, where, and what I’m speaking about. I would love to meet and see you if you are in the area! The calendar doesn’t have any events listed yet, but the dates will be finalized by the end of this week. The calendar will list all the information about each event, and it even has a button allowing you to import the event details directly onto your own personal calendar with just the click of a button. (Technology is so cool.) I will let you know when those dates are up!

Second, I’m excited to announce that this week, I will be guest blogging on the fantastic website Health Starts in the Kitchen. The writer of the blog, Haley, is such a kind and clever blogger, and I’m beyond excited that she invited me to post on her behalf. I’ll be posting on this Wednesday, August 20th, and I will let you know when that post is up and ready to read. In the meantime, here a little teaser of what I will be writing about:

Want another clue? This dish is both savory and sweet. Yummm. It will be posted on Health Starts in the Kitchen on Wednesday, August 20th. 

Want another clue? This dish is both savory and sweet. Yummm. It will be posted on Health Starts in the Kitchen on Wednesday, August 20th. 


Guess what? There are even more announcements. I know I know, this is becoming a long update, but I'm trying to not bombard your email inboxes with bunch of small updates throughout the week. I hate junk mail just as much as you do. Bear with me while I tell you guys everything all at once. But first, let me take a selfie…..

photo 3.jpg

My one-year anniversary of becoming Paleo is approaching, and I’m in the middle of writing some posts to celebrate. (How has it been a full year already?!) Among other things, I am now coining the word Paleoversary. Soon, it will make it into the dictionary right next to gazillion and selfie. Webster, watch out.

Lastly, I wanted to take the time to thank each and every one of my readers. I’ve noticed a big jump in subscribers and views especially over the past two weeks, and it makes me incredibly happy that people (other than my mom and my dog) read South of Vanilla regularly. Also exciting? I am now the first result when you search for South of Vanilla on Google. This gives me motivation to keep writing posts, and I’m starting to learn more and more from the site statistics about which recipes readers enjoy reading the most. (Currently, 67% of you love my Paleo Protein Pancake recipe the best.) Thank you everyone so much for reading! Please make sure to post comments or ask questions if you need any help in your cooking or paleo endeavors! I’m always willing to help J

Hope everyone is enjoy these last sun-filled summer days.

XOXO,

Kristina