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  • Beyond the Plate

    Beyond the Plate

    The days are getting colder and the nights longer. It's time for soups like this NY Times recipe for Red Lentil Soup with Lemon and a surpringly substantial Lemon Chicken Rice Soup that the kids even loved.

    It's also time to put the finishing touches and check proofs on books I designed during over summer. One I'm particularly excited for is Beyond the Plate, a collection of recipes from top food bloggers from around the world. It has something for everyone and I can't wait to share the finished product with you next year!

    Here's a look at the cover and case wrap with trim and hinge guides visible. 

  • Changing Course

    In April 2012 I made the plan, in June I left my job at BuzzFeed, in July I shipped a mattress and some 20 odd boxes in a pod bound for San Francisco, CA. Having said many teary goodbyes I set out on my motorcycle for California with every intention of moving to the bay area and joining my growing group of friends there. Then, somewhere between Ohio and Wyoming, I began having doubts about where I was headed, whether another city hustle was that next step I was looking for. And, after much soul searching and a solo motorcycle trip from Portland, OR down to LA it became clear that the forests of my homestate of Oregon is what I needed.

    Wildwood Trail // Portland, OR

  • Riding Across America

    Holy crap! I rode my motorcycle across America this summer!! I'm not sure how to begin talking about it, except to say that it took 36 days and some 5,000+ miles and was the most fun, scary, challenging, and thrilling experience of my life. There were many moments where I spontaneously yelled "Wahooo!" out of my helmet or laugh out loud; overcome by the beautiful scenery we rode past or the pure joy of being out on the open road, free.

    In the rosy glow of memory the trip was only wonderful and filled with the thrill of adventure; but when I try to remember the hard parts I know that each day was also filled with body aches, dehydration, fatigue, and uncertainty. To sit alone on a bike with your thoughts for that many hours and be tested by the rains of Pennsylvania, the prairie winds of Wyoming, or the baking heat of Utah was definitely intense at times. 

    I set out riding from New York to San Francisco looking for some sort of answer about how best to live my life, but came away with more questions than answers. I do know, however, that I am stronger because of the experience and that I wouldn't hesitate to do it again in a heartbeat.

    Highway 14, SD

    Badlands, SD

    Alpine, WY

    Grand Teton National Park, WY

    Loveland Pass, CO


    en route to Sturgis, SD

    Moab, UT

    Four Corners, MT


    Lolo Pass, ID

    More photos can be found here.

  • A Lady's First (and Second) Motorcycle

    Last year I decided to learn to ride a motorcycle. It was something I had been thinking and talking about for years, but it took the urging of my friend Saba—You've been talking about it forever, but if you don't do it, it will never happen—to make it happen. Not one to back down from a challenge, I made the goal to buy a bike by my 30th birthday. The process was fun, terrifying, frustrating, and thrilling and it wouldn't have been possible without A LOT of help from my friends Chris and Andrew, my coworker Mark, and a very informative albeit unsuccessful internet blind date. 

    I took the safety course, got my license, and bought a 1987 Honda Shadow 700cc all within a week of turning 30—there's nothing like a deadline.

    I rode that motorcycle all around Brooklyn, through Manhattan and up to Harlem, out to New Jersey. I named him Oskar, I dropped him, I picked him up, I apologized to him. I loved that bike—at first intimidating he became a friend who helped me escape the concrete jungle of NYC.

    A year later Oskar was stolen from my street in Brooklyn, disc brake and all. After discovering that my bike was no longer where I'd parked it I panicked, called 9-1-1, and filed a police report with some very friendly police officers. I got to ride in the back of their cruiser and, upon hearing that an older/junkier bike parked next to mine hadn't been stolen, they gave me some excellent motorcycle advice—Well, there's your lesson kid. Park your bike next to a more expensive one.

    Having Oskar disappear weeks before a planned cross country motorcycle trip made me wonder if The Universe was trying to tell me something, give me an out. I had been experiencing a growing anxiousness about the trip and whether I was ready for it. So I tried to imagine my summer differently —what if I flew out to Oregon and spent the summer with friends and family, visiting old haunts? I slept on it, talked with friends about it and came to the realization that this trip was an opportunity I wasn't willing to let go of. 

    So I decided to use the insurance money and some savings to buy a new bike and make the journey happen. A year ago I knew so little about motorcycles that I didn't even know what questions to ask, but this time I knew what to look for. I found the craigslist posting for a garage-kept Honda Shadow ACE 750cc with 3700 miles, got myself to Westchester, test drove the bike, bought it, registered it, and picked it up all on my own. I was scared every step of the way, especially that I would drop the bike during the test drive, but I didn't and everything went smoothly. The couple I bought the bike from were so sweet and even invited me back for a BBQ.

    On July 4, Independence Day, I rode my new motorcycle home and yelled "Wahoo!" more than once along the way. I got to know her and named her Big Mama because of her wide seat and big engine. This is the bike that will take me from New York to California. This is the bike that I am so proud to call my own, not just because she's beautiful (which she is), but because I'm proud that I did the work of getting her on my own, using what my guys had taught me the year before.

    Big Mama and I have already had some great adventures together—she's taken me through farm lands in upstate NY, past lakes in CT, and camping in PA. We even got caught in a nasty storm together in NJ and had to pull off the interstate and stay at a Holiday Inn. And there's still a whole summer out there—oh, the places we'll go!