Making a cookbook is hard. Much harder than it would really appear. I have a new admiration for cookbook authors. I know I’m dramatically harder on myself than I ever need to be, but this hasn’t been easy— especially doing this mostly on my own, while still running this blog to full capacity, while still being the one to watch over Marlowe for the majority of the day— feeding her, bathing her, entertaining her, teaching her— you know, being a mother to her on top of everything else—  well, it’s been a very challenging process. Even if I wasn’t a mom or didn’t have any other commitments, this would be a challenge. And even if I had a partner or team behind me, this would be a pretty difficult process— substantially easier, but still difficult.
I put a lot on my plate— literally. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on food in these past three months.  I’ve given up the freedom to full day adventures with my kid and meals with my family. It’s funny that I’ve wanted this for so long— I’ve wanted to share my whole-hearted ideas of how I see food and it’s relationship in my family and how it’s evolved and become even more important with a daughter now.I don’t fight many battles. I’m not the combative or activist type. I like to live my life with empathy and love, and hope that others will gain from that. There are a few things I do feel very strongly about though— like the importance of time with family (and sharing food with your family), knowing where your food comes from, and the importance that food plays in our lives– and more importantly in our children’s lives. I feel very strongly about those things– and I’ve wanted to share those things for so long, on paper, within in a book. Not just by living them, but by giving my bit of knowledge or ideas for the people who care to read them. Hoping to inspire people through a bit of my (and our) story and especially through the easy meals we’ve created or have been taught to us by our mothers and grandmothers over the years.

So yeah, it’s funny, to want those things and believe in those things so badly– and then basically have to give them up for the past few months in order to share them with others. That part has been hard on me. Harder than my self doubt, harder than the long hours, or money spent— I can self justify those things to an extent— The part that has been hard, really hard– has been putting those important things to the side. I’ve very quickly learned, even more than before, how important those things are to my and my happiness. And more than that, I’ve learned, I’m not good at faking it. There’s no fictional story here, it’s not a fairytale. I’ve learned I’m good at sharing what I know, what I do, my life. But staging things to create a story in three months time (or ever), I’m not good at that. I’ve been struggling to share what I love about our growth and the process of our quiet enjoyed days, without the actual process existing anymore. I’ve never been and will never be good at creating a romantic story within a struggle. I’ve gained a new love for my blog in this process. Silly maybe, but as of now, it’s one of the biggest gains— learning more of what I need and what I love, in “work”. I’ve always liked this space, but now, I’ve grown to appreciate it even more. I’ve learned in this process that I am proud of what I’ve created, just by living my life, unchanged, with the people who are in it.

In hindsight, I would not have signed up to do this on on my own. Even without the blog and without the (very loving and patient) kid. Creating each recipe, cooking each meal as many times as possible, cleaning up, styling, prepping, photographing, (or should I say learning to photograph), recipe testing and re-creating, documenting, 70,000+ words, 125 recipes, and some how finding a way to include myself in pictures, when I’m the only one here to take them— well, it’s been a learning and growing challenge. I’m thankful to push myself, I’m thankful to learn more about what I can and cannot do. And I do know I’ve learned (very well) in my lifetime that the struggle is often time a very real part of self growth.

The time is closing in now, and realistically this might be my last progress post for a while here. The time that has passed by, well it’s time passed, there’s no going back. It’s now (very quick) water under a bridge. Will everything meet my perfectionist standards in this book by the deadline? No, maybe not. I’m one person, trying to take on the job of too many. But the love is there— and the yearning for family and the importance of connection to food with family and with our kids (my kid, all kids)— well it’s stronger than ever. I’m so very much looking forward to going back to the things I love the most. To the people I love the most. To quietly spending our time making slow (and quick) meals. To once again actively being part of every single reason I wanted to put this book together in the first place– real meals filled with love and nourishment. I do hope that my time and effort has allowed me to share that with all of you. Those things are important to me. I hope that even through my struggle, that I can help you fall more in love with these ideas too, once they get out there.

I will, without regret, be spending the next three days with my family (and our friends) and in love with our cooking, farm visiting, and travel adventures— before coming back to the last two weeks of the biggest project I’ve ever taken on.

What’s the quote?  “I can’t do this, but I’m doing it anyway”

I’m doing it anyway.

I hope you all have an amazing, inspiring weekend— hopefully doing the things you love best and fighting for the love you believe in.

These pictures were from a few weeks ago when we decided to test out some pizza recipes on some pork and cheese loving friends. It was one of the only times we really planned to have people over in the past few months. I love(d) the idea of being able to have friends come test my meals, but this was really the only place there seemed to even be a little bit of time to make it happen. But they approved. And Cameron always approves of Marlowe. They’re in love. I’m poking forward to more of all of this. xoxo.


  1. Hello Drea, after a long break I'm here again and again fascinated with every sentence, thought and more. This cookbook is a labour of love, that's for sure but somehow in the future when probably there will be a continuation of it, I wish you to do it the way you'd want it – having time for everything. You'll probably laugh out loud and tell me to stop interrupting the work of one cookbook with the idea of another but I am certain you're heading in the amazing direction of only just opening the Sesame. xxx

  2. Wow, that's a huge undertaking! You're doing an awesome job so far – good luck with the rest. Can't wait to see the finished product. These pictures look great!

  3. Let me tell ya, mama. I have read your life story here on this blog and I know that everything in you will make this book amazing. You are doing it from a place of love and any time we make decisions based on love, it's the right decision and the universe will see you through to the end. (at least IMO) I love the fact that you share candidly and you tell the truth; I am no good at creating romance where there is struggle (unless, and there sometimes is, a certain romance to the struggle.) There is a romance in your struggle. You are finding balance and developing a deeper appreciation of life around you. I cannot wait for you to share your cookbook with us, as you have shared your life with us. (My husband is looking forward to a little vegan cuisine in our life, too. I usually adulterate your vegan recipes with a little meat. Oops.)

    Like I said in the little letter I wrote you, you are an amazing mama and it's beautiful to witness your journey in all things.

  4. I am seriously in love with those plates. And your book is going to AMAZING. Trust me, I know. I'm a writer 😉

  5. I can only imagine how crazy it is trying to write a book, run a blog, and be a parent too!! I can't wait to read your cookbook though!! 🙂

  6. Your passion for food and family shines from your writing. The book is going to be such a treat, thank you for all of the efforts your putting into it, I have no doubt that it will be amazing. Have a wonderful weekend, CJ xx

  7. I can only imagine how rough it has been to juggle all the everyday things AND writing a cookbook. I struggle to get much of anything done in my day (with a 17 month old in tow). I can tell you one thing though… I'll definitely be lining up to order a copy of your book. I don't generally buy blogger projects etc but your food is amazing and I'm quite excited! xx

  8. I've been reading your blog since the very beginning (or pretty close to it). I just wanted to tell you that I love reading about your life because you are so truthful. Sometimes blog authors tend to lean toward the "everything is perfect" side of things but you inspire me to keep going through the hard times by sharing some of your own struggles. PS where are the Mango farms you mentioned in your last post? I'm from Fort Lauderdale and want to chow on a few myself.

  9. You're doing great. It may seem like a big ball of stress right now but you'll look back & be able to breathe & sigh with relief. Having a cookbook is a huge feat. You get to know that people are out there cooking up things YOU invented. Uh…awesome! :] // ☼

  10. I can't even imagine how hard it has to be to write a book in such a short period of time, but sure at the end you will be so proud of it! I'm looking forward to buy your book and make your delicious recipes!

  11. This post was incredibly captivating. I Love your message, and the love you are hoping to spread with this book. I cannot wait to see the results.

  12. I'm sure that once this is all over, you'll be able to sit back and reflect on how powerful it was to overcome all of these obstacles. The love that you have for your family and food will shine through and the sacrifice will feel worth it (or at least it won't bother you so much). I'm so excited to read this one day and I'm sending good vibes and energy your way! You can do this!

  13. I truly applaud you for all the work you're putting into your cookbook – just from reading your blog, I know that your cookbook is going to be equally as incredible, equally as intriguing, and just as full of commitment and creativity as your posts. I'm sure it's been rough – you have such an amazing emphasis on family and experiencing the little moments in life and I have no doubt it's been hard on you. But you're so close! The light is at the end of the tunnel! And just think, even though it seemed like an "I can't do this" task, you're doing it! And you're almost done – I'm so excited for you, Drea! Can't wait for your cookbook 🙂
    ~ Samantha

  14. Beautifully written! Even got a little choked up at my desk. Love what you do and do what you love. Sometimes (most times) the hardest things in life create the most beautiful outcome. I'm starting to learn that. Thank you for this inspiration and I cannot wait to buy your cookbook!

  15. Ever admiring and loving what you're doing Drea. I feel so alone in my food standards and priorities sometimes and your blog brings me so much encouragement. Have a beautiful weekend!