Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 1.36.24 PM

Say “yes” to Tinder dates: 8 online dating tips for singles who want to mingle.

I wrote a post in 2014 about how I’d only ever been on one Tinder date.

I remember writing that post and feeling really insecure about hitting the “publish” button. I was afraid to admit to the world that I didn’t want to be single, that I was taking matters into my own hands to try and meet someone. But the coolest thing happened after I made a heralding battle cry in defense of Tinder dates. More and more people began approaching me and asking me about online dating. That one blog post sparked dozens of conversations. I started getting all these emails from my readers detailing their Tinder date recaps from start to finish.

I soon realized that people want to talk about online dating and whether or not it works because people want to talk about meeting someone in general. It’s something most of us can agree upon: we would like to meet someone to text in the morning and watch Netflix with at night.

While dating is much more than texts and Dexter marathons, the scope of dating and how we date has changed in the last few years. It’s harder to meet someone. You don’t marry the neighbor across the street as frequently anymore. People move away for college. People move away for jobs. It’s much harder to walk into a coffee shop, sit down, and strike up a conversation with espresso man beside you. That, in my opinion, is why online dating helps.

A brief note: I’m talking about online dating here. Emphasis on the word “dating,” meaning “the people who use dating applications and websites to go on actual dates and forge their way through awkward conversation with strangers.” I am not talking about using dating apps for hook-ups.

Date for the right reasons.

First things first, do your best to date for the right reasons. This advice is coming from a girl who dated guys for a long time because she was trying to fill her life with substance. I wanted to feel wanted and beautiful. I thought multiple dates with multiple guys could fix that. I would be untruthful if I claimed I never had an unhealthy perception of online dating.

The thing about online dating, especially apps like Tinder and Bumble, is that you get a lot of options. You should determine before you start conversations with people what your goal is. Do you want to go on a lot of dates? Are you looking to break out of your comfort zone? Do you want to meet someone? Are you serious about that?

If you don’t have a goal or motive for dating online then it is possible you will fall in love with the options instead of the people behind the screen. Online dating can do its damage with making people feel wanted and seen. Approach online dating the way you would approach the grocery store: you’re going into it for a reason but you can’t take everything with you off the shelves.

You’ve got options.

There are a ton of dating applications out there. A million. And not a soul can tell you which one to choose. A few notes: don’t download every single application out there. Try out or two and see how you like the experience. I can’t account for every dating application out there but I can tell you about the following:

Match or eHarmony: these are the big men on campus. They’re like the class presidents of online dating. They started the online dating boom years ago. They’re good, traditional sites but you do have to pay for your profiles and user experience.

Coffee Meets Bagel: Everyday at noon, without fail, a bagel is delivered to you. This bagel is actually a human who you might end up making decisions and babies with if the sparks fly. You get one bagel a day. After you receive your human at noon, you must exercise patience as you wait a full 24 hours for another bagel to arrive. When delivered, you either take the bagel or you pass it on. If you pass it on to someone you know then you rack up “coffee beans” and coffee beans will get you more bagels. It’s basically a game where feelings, carbs, and people’s insecurities of never meeting someone are involved. I still don’t know where the coffee comes in to the equation. I only ever met bagels, no coffee.

Hinge: Lane and I met on this site. This app is great if you’re more comfortable meeting someone through friends. Bustle writes, “Your potential matches will only be friends of (Facebook) friends or third-degree connections.” Mind you, Lane and I’s mutual friend was a guy we don’t speak to. I debate daily on whether I should invite him to the wedding with a note that says, “We have you to thank for this marriage.”

Bumble: Girls run the show on this app. I believe it was created to help minimize the creepy messages sent to girls by guys who act like they’re in the 5th grade. They are the only ones who can initiate a conversation and they only have 24 hours to do so… The clock is ticking, ladies.

Sizzl: This is an app exclusively for bacon lovers. I’m not even kidding. This is a real thing. Some folks are very particular about whether or not the bacon comes out crispy or juicy.

Make a genuine move.

I’ve heard of people sending generic messages to individuals on the other side of the screen just to see what kinds of messages they get back. My best advice: be serious about your prospects and skip the generic messages. You don’t have to send a message to every match. You don’t even have to send any messages if you would rather the men/women come to you. It’s your call.

My personal experience with dating apps was that I would always wait for a guy to reach out to me. It felt chivalrous and right. But there was a common pattern that emerged from me waiting in the bleachers like a preteen at her middle school social: I never went after what I wanted. I only conversed with guys who took an interest in me and my own interest tended to fizzle out quickly.

When it came to Lane, I made the first move. I saw he was my match. I thought to myself, “this Macklemore-esque character is too impossibly cute.” I made the first move and reached out with a pretty tragic icebreaker: What is your biography in 5 emojis. Yes, friends, I said that. That’s how I seduced my husband-to-be. He’s marrying me now. If I can survive whipping out an icebreaker like that one then you can totally say “hi, how are you?” to a cute stranger.

Put your values out there.

There is no shame in the game of letting guys and girls know what you stand for. Faith is a huge element to me. I reached the point in my dating life where I no longer wanted to place that attribute on the back-burner. I wanted a guy who loved God more than me.

In past dating profiles I never made my love for God clear. I wouldn’t add any notes about it and fed on the hope that I would stumble into someone who valued God a ton too. That equation rarely ever worked for me. If you don’t value it enough to talk about it then you probably don’t value it as much as you think.

When I got on the app Hinge I made my profile pretty bold. My first line was, “God is everything.” I want to believe that isn’t too invasive and raw. It’s simple and straight-forward. There’s no threat to follow like, “God is everything and if you don’t think so then move along.” No thanks. I didn’t run around force-feeding anyone Isaiah before they could swipe right on my profile. You want to have a conversation with someone, not scare them.

Lead with your values if they matter that much to you. Be true to yourself. The goal is that the person behind the screen would eventually meet the real you, not an edited version you created so they would like you more. Dating isn’t built on faking it- it’s built on an honesty that needs to begin on day one.

Do not put up with children.

I’ll keep this one short. The internet has a lot of people roaming around in its corridors. Some of those people should go sit in holes with no technology before they be allowed to join a dating site (just my personal opinion). You have every right to block people who disrespect you. You have every right to ignore individuals who say crude things to you. Do not let the words of one person set the example for who you are going to meet by trying out online dating.

This is especially for the ladies out there: if the man cannot respect you when there is a screen placed between the two of you then I would caution the two of you meeting up. Respect is the biggest priority in dating. Don’t date children dressed like adults because they have cute profile pictures. Let them grow up and allow them to do that far, far away from you. Stay hopeful– there are good ones out there.

Try two dates.

I always tell people, “Say yes to the second date.” If the date isn’t a train wreck, you’ve managed to laugh a few times, and you have a few things in common then there is no reason not to say “yes” to a second date. People are lying when they tell you there MUST be fireworks blowing up in your heart after two hours with a person.

People are naturally awkward and not really themselves a first date setting. Give them grace and say “yes” to a second time if you think you could enjoy their company once more and it wouldn’t be the most painful thing in the world. However, if the date reminds you of the time you got your wisdom teeth pulled out of your head then maybe say “no” and move on with tact and poise.

Remember: It’s one date.

You shouldn’t cancel a date with someone because you’re nervous enough to blow chunks in the bathroom sink. Both guys and girls are guilty of this. We talk with someone. We like the conversation. We exchange numbers. We set a date and then someone decides to cancel because they’re too nervous. Everyone is nervous before a first date. It’s a little strange when you’re not nervous before a first date. Go with the nerves. The best stuff in life usually begins with the feeling of your heart falling into your stomach.

You don’t have to go out ever again if you don’t want to. You don’t have to give him babies. You can stay home forever if you so please. You can have dates come to you offering gifts of sushi and pizza (not sure if that would work but you can totally try it and let me know the results). Don’t stay home because something is out of your comfort zone. You might miss out on an opportunity, the greatest love of your life, or a new friend. You don’t know who will be waiting for you across the table until you say “yes.”

Enjoy yourself.

Dating is meant to be a fun thing. I get that sometimes dating feels like the most un-fun thing in the world. I felt that. I ended up taking a break from online dating when I realized I was using the apps to keep me from becoming lonely. I came back on the dating scene a year later with a much healthier attitude. My first and last online match with this new and improved attitude was Lane. It took one date and one pep talk to myself: girl, chill out and just enjoy yourself. It’s one date. You can do this. Laugh. Loosen up a little. 

Get out there and be yourself. Buy a new top for the occasion. Start slow, with a coffee date, if you are too nervous to eat your food in front of someone. Be real. No need to marry the person in your mind before the first date. Just go into it optimistic and ready for an adventure. Swipe right once in a while.



photo cred. 



Last call for seats: Summer Writing Intensive

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 2.10.40 PM

My last writing intensive of 2016 is taking place on Saturday, July 30 from 3-6pm EST. Your chance to grab a seat ends on Tuesday at midnight!

The class will take place online. You don’t have to leave your bed. You can attend naked if you so please. You don’t even have to be available on the date of the class- you will still get the live recording just by signing up! You can expect to dig deep, take a ton of notes, find community, and face a bunch of those liars that try to keep you from writing consistently.

Here are the nitty gritty deets:

I designed this intensive to focus on the individual who wants to take their writing more seriously, get to that next level of discipline and sharing, or just start finding their voice in all the noise. This course will cover (but will not be limited to) the following: 

  • The elements of compelling storytelling
  • Breaking the fear
  • Developing voice
  • Connecting with readers
  • The art of Taylor Swifting
  • Consistency & discipline in writing
  • Vulnerability hangovers
  • Finding direction with a crowded writing world

It’s going to be 3 hours packed with teaching, tips, and all I’ve got regarding the writing process, storytelling and branding your voice within the online world. Right before the class (and for forever after it) you will be added to a FB group full of other movers and shakers who will help keep you accountable, set big goals, and really go after your writing passion with discipline and fire. This class is worth the community alone… trust me.

Get your seat here.

Seats are $100 & limited (first come, first filled). No need to be online & present on the day of the class– all who sign up for the class will also get the recording and presentation from the intensive!

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 11.34.03 AM

A letter to my reader.

Hey you,

You are my reader. I value you as my reader in a way that is distinctly unique and I never want you to forget that. I talk about you wherever I go. I hold you in the highest regard. I feel like I can sit down on days like this and write you a letter you’ll actually read because we’ve been somewhere together. You and I, we’ve sat in heartbreak together. We’ve sought after God together. We’ve gone through transitions together. We’ve tried out tinder dates together and graduated from college together.

You have seen the real me. Not the “internet” version of me. I honestly don’t believe we should be enabled to have “internet versions” of ourselves. Be who you say you are. Be exactly as you are on the screen as you are off of it. The world does not need another double standard. We don’t need to add to that pile, friend.

I want to tell you a little story. It’s short. I will never forget the day I bought the domain name “” It was such a small gesture following a phone conversation with a woman named Lindsey Pollak. My blog was called “Hannah Katy” at the time and she told me I needed to change my blog name.

“Go online and get the domain,” she recommended. “Own your name.”

Before “Hannah Katy” was “As Simple as That.” I thought I would forever live under the banner of “As Simple as That” until I realized that life really isn’t that simple. People are hurt unnecessarily. Heartbreak happens and it doesn’t make sense. People leave us. They don’t leave notes. We give our hearts out in tiny gulps and we endure the choking that comes from a love that doesn’t reciprocate. This is life. It is not simple.

It never felt so freeing— in my then three years of blogging— than the chance to no longer have to hide behind a blog name or an identity I’d grown out of. Something miraculous happened on the day I started writing from You and I became closer. We started to evolve together. We grew trust. You started emailing me about your first dates and your last goodbyes. I pocketed your stories. We both grew thicker skin.

I realized in those formative years of writing that a blog space is just as a home as it is a church. People crave to be invited in. We are all just wandering around, sipping coffee, hoping someone will remember our names and walk us home when the street lights come on.

There is a reason why I love a man named Lane Sheats so much. We got engaged two weeks ago. He filled the yard of my best friend with twinkle lights and familiar faces as he got on one knee and asked me about forever. I love him for so many reasons but I love him an extra layer deeper because he remembers you. Yes, you. He remembers to remind me daily that I exist for people. I exist for this blog space. I exist to demonstrate love, no matter how hard or tiresome that gets on some days.

Today he emailed me these exact words, “Think about all the responses you receive from your readers, friends, loved ones, event attendees, etc.. Follow your Monday morning emails

advice. Dig in, do the work, and see the results afterwards. You could imagine you’re writing your book to yourself, as if you asked yourself a question. I know you said yesterday it’s easier when someone emails you a question and you can unpack it and delve straight in.”

So that’s why I am writing to you so personally today. I sat at my computer, beside a stale cup of coffee, and I asked myself the question, “What would you need to know today?”

The answer was obvious: I need to know that I belong somewhere.

You belong somewhere. You do, you do, you do. You belong in places that know your name and places that don’t yet know you’re coming for them. 

I want you to know that you get prayed for daily. You are thought of daily. You are a priority in my life that people might not ever understand because the internet is scary to some people. All that separates you and I is a screen. And still, I’ve attended your weddings. I’ve visited your cities. I’ve played games at your bridal showers. I’ve attended your high school graduations. To me, the internet is where we fall in love, find God, pack suitcases and move to new cities. You are not a speck or a fleck in my story. You are pivotal. You are the game-changers that make my daily work worth it. I want you to know that even if you don’t know God, even if you question His nature, there is someone in this world who is thinking of you today. She is hoping you feel seen and loved by random people on the street, in the aisles of Target, and through your inbox. She is wanting you to know that you deserve goodness and hope. You deserve a love that is inexhaustible. You deserve rest for your tired bones and people for your journey.

I always, always want this corner of the internet to be a safe place for you. I want you to know that you are always welcomed in my corner. You are sought after here. We think about you in these parts of town.

tying you closer than most,


Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.17.17 AM

When the leaves dance: thoughts on developing your voice.

Dear Hannah,

My English teacher told us yesterday to write in our own voice and not to write descriptively, saying “can I have some water” instead of “may I partake of that liquid refreshment?” This slightly goes against everything I’ve ever learned about formal writing. I love writing descriptively and making the leaves dance between the trees rather than just fall to the ground! Do you have any advice about a balance between voice and still wanting to paint a picture?

Thank you,


Sweet T,

I may have shared this story once or twice before but I will never forget the night I sent the first draft of my memoir to my editor. It was two days before the stated deadline. I pressed “send” on the email and the first thing I did was take a shower. I stood there for a really long time, no concern for the water bill, letting the stress and the angst of 14-hour book writing days fall off of my body. I didn’t know if I did a good thing or a bad thing in writing that first draft but I knew I had given it my everything.

I dried my hair. My boyfriend at the time picked me up. We rode to a burger joint and I laid in the parking lot pretending to kiss the gravel. I was being dramatic but I felt free and accomplished. I ate a burger the size of my head, went to sleep, and woke up at 4am the next morning to catch a flight to New Orleans. There was nothing climactic or big about that day.

A month later, my editor sent back her notes. I remember red slashes all over the pages and many phrases like “cut this” or “change this” or “explain this to me.” I felt defeated when it came to that first draft. I thought a good writer would have had less edits, less slash marks, less “cut this” remarks. My editor wrote in her note to me, “I could be very wrong about this but I wonder if you are hiding behind really pretty words when you could just come out and tell me how you really feel.”

In that moment— because of that one sentence— I became a better writer. Or maybe I finally became a writer.

I was 25 at the time. I treated life like I treated glass: very careful to never left anything break. I wrapped my words in descriptive and metaphorical wrapping paper. I had this thing where I wanted every word and every phrase to sound beautiful and romantic. I thought that’s what you had to do to be a good writer: write sentences people had to read three or four times before they grasped the depths of them.

You don’t have to be the girl who only uses pretty words. You don’t have to be the person who writes so complexly that no one understands them. There is a time and a space for beauty and description. There is a time and a space to just say what you need to say, void of filters and a thesaurus. There is a time to write about the leaves and how they bow and break off of their branches when Autumn comes and calls for them to die. There is a time to write about the collar of his shirt and how you never knew what home smelt like until the day he packed that collared shirt with the droopy stripes in a suitcase and never came back for you. There is also a time to simply write, “He left. It still hurts.” People will get you. People will understand you. People will stare at their palms, and look at the wall, and say, “He left me too. It still hurts too.”

That’s the beautiful thing about writing: it is one of the most rare and sacred ways to connect with other people and help them to feel. People want to feel things even when they are afraid of what those feelings will do to them. If you dress up your language so much that no one understands you— that no one can find you in the sea of adverbs and adjectives— you’ll never really be heard. Or you might look back and wish you’d been heard differently for who you really were.

T, I think your English teacher was simply trying to tell you to be yourself. You could absolutely write, “May I partake of that liquid refreshment” but would ever really say that to someone? Would you stand at a party and offer someone a fruity libation? Would you recite a poem to a person when they ask you not to go?

Language is simple and complex. That’s the beauty of it. I think your English teacher is smart to teach you how to find your voice. Your voice will be different than the person sitting next to you. That’s the cool thing about finding your voice in the writing process: you become different and set apart. We all crave that at the beginning and end of a day: the chance to be set apart and seen.

One last thing on voice: you must do the work, T. So many people create a blog or buy a notebook and just expect for their voice to show up. Like I wrote earlier, you’ve got to develop that voice through practice, discipline, and life. Even more people out there read the words of a writer they admire and then they begin writing just like them.

I once had to have a really tough conversation with a writer who was also a reader of my blog. I read her blog pretty consistently but I watched as more and more of my voice showed up in her writing. Several people reached out to me and told me they felt like she was using my voice. She started to borrow sentences and phrases. It came to a point where I had to email her and ask her to talk with me on the phone.

I felt a little crazy but I had to know, “Are you copying me? Are you using my voice?” I probably wasn’t expecting a straight answer but she didn’t cower in a corner, she was really honest with me. She told me yes, she was copying my writing. She was reading so closely that she was picking up phrases and sentence structure purposely and using it in her own corner of the internet.

What followed from that confession was this really redemptive conversation on voice. She and I were hundreds of miles away, talking over cell phones, but I felt like she was close to me. I still remember pacing the gravel of the sidewalk outside of church as I spoke to her for close to two hours. I still remember wearing a blue dress.

I told her it was a bigger issue when you opt for another person’s voice because it is easier or because it gains you applause. Two things happen when you pick someone else’s voice over your own. 1) You neglect your process. 2) You hijack their process.

For her to pick up my voice and use it was for her to claim she was a girl who used to sit in chapels hoping God would speak to her. A girl who spent her high school summer vacations listening to Delilah’s Love Songs at Night and calling into to request Mariah Carey songs be dedicated to SOS (Some One Special). A girl who once fell in love at the tail end of a semester, spun in circles by a guy who would read her Walt Whitman poetry late into the night and who would come back after a long summer and decide he didn’t want her. A girl who only became a writer because her grandmother told her to and she wanted her grandmother’s life to live longer than it had the chance to. My voice is a combination of sanctuaries, newspaper clippings, pages torn from books, love letters left by my mother, grace, and wisdom. To take that voice from me is to take the most precious thing I’ve ever been given the chance to develop. 

Developing your voice takes time. It takes writing a lot of words. It takes getting honest and getting real with yourself and your readers. Your voices develops in secret places where you scribble for hours on yellow notepads. Your voice develops when you pay attention to how your friends think and speak and act when they are nervous or in love. Your voice isn’t something you find, it’s something you birth. You spend hours in the darkroom, just in the way they used to develop film, and something is birthed out of you that the world gets to devour.

Your voice is a combination of thoughts, feelings and places you’ve gone. Your voice is a 1999 pop ballad and a 2008 heartbreak. Your voice is that beach house you spent every summer at up until you were 16. Your voice is the night you went, and said, and asked, and celebrated. That’s how you make your voice yours and only yours— you live and then you write it down. Go out there, live and then write it down.

If the leaves danced then tell me they danced. If you slow danced in the kitchen then tell me the song. Tell me the tiny, delicate details that make this story your own.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 12.56.28 PM

The valley of pg. 100.

Everyone knows I go to “church” on Monday nights.

There’s a reason for using quotation marks to envelope that word “church.” It’s a different kind of church than the one I attend on a Sunday morning. There are no pews. There are no hymns or flashing lights. It’s just a bunch of girls, sitting in a living room, infusing the air with commentary on the latest episode of the Bachelorette.

Someone will be quick to say, “That’s not church! Rar! That’s not church.” But me? I am in the camp of believing that church is wherever you get united with other people who are struggling and fighting. Church is any place where God gets invited in. It takes only hope and a reason for God to be there to build a sanctuary. This world is crawling with sanctuaries that have yet to know God is hanging on the beams and breathing in the hallways.

So church. Monday night. I went there. There wasn’t a new episode of the Bachelorette so we all just came to hang out and catch up. There’s a new girl in the mix named Mattie. She lives in North Carolina but makes a regular pilgrimage to Atlanta for business. When she is here, the girls of Bachelorette night scoop her up and take her in because we want her to stay. Forever.

Mattie and I talked books. It was refreshing to talk about fiction and our lists and how we wish we had more time to sit on beaches, sip drinks, and just lose ourselves in good storytelling. We talked about the struggle we sometimes face to finish a book. It’s like you’re going strong in the beginning and you are jiving with the characters but then life hits you and the book hits a lull. You’re left crawling back to the pages months later because you just couldn’t finish what you started.

I tell her that’s my biggest fear as a writer.

“When I was writing my first book, that was what I was always so afraid of,” I told her as I took a sip of my kombucha because I am drinking kombucha these days. “I was afraid to not be liked as a narrator. You are always afraid that someone is going to leave you at page 55 or 92 and they won’t finish with you.”

Being afraid that someone won’t finish with you is reason enough to never start moving at all. We’re human so I think that means we crave a doubt, an impossibility, that will keep us standing in one place. We can never mourn the loss of losing people if we never fight to keep them.

Whether you are someone who wrangles words and puts them on a page or not, you’ve probably been fearful of the same thing. A lot of us are fearful that we will start this road surrounded and end up alone. We are afraid we won’t get the invitation to the party. We are afraid we won’t get chosen. We are afraid we won’t find love or our loved ones will leave us. The fears are mounting on top of one another. We want someone to stay.

I told Mattie that I basically have one rule for my summer reading: I will finish the book. I will not abandon the characters. I will follow through even if it’s painful or annoying or not turning out to be the literature I wanted it to be. I want to be someone who knows how to get to the finish line. I want to know that I might stagger and fall across that finish line but I intend to finish.

I don’t have every good word of wisdom in the world to keep you from giving up but I can say this: this world needs more people who finish things. We are good at starting but we are weak when it comes to finishing.

There’s no great secret to this life we are living. There isn’t some answer being withheld from us. You don’t need to roam through the racks of a bookstore to get better at being human. Just be there for people. Just try your best to finish what you start. Just know: we are all afraid of being left on page 156. We are all anxious that no one will care to understand pages 1-155.

Don’t abandon your people on page 118.

Don’t walk away on page 71.

Forge through the vallies of pages 60-82.

Stay on page 99 for however long you need to, for however long someone needs you to be there. Camp out. Make a fire. Put stakes in the ground. Someone’s faith is going to fail soon. Their faith will fail and they will need someone— maybe you—  to bend down and come close enough to whisper, “Page 99 is not all this world has for you. There is more. There is more for you too.” 


For the light + sweet gang.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 12.40.45 PM

I’ve been trying to drink my coffee black for an eternity now. It’s been a New Years goal for the last few years but I’ve never been able to kick the habit cold. I love the “idea” of drinking my coffee black. I recently read this article and really wanted to become a black coffee drinker. I especially love this paragraph of the text:

Black coffee is a synecdoche for life: when you eliminate the excess—when you deliberately avoid life’s empty calories—what remains is exponentially more delicious, more enjoyable, more worthwhile. It might be a bitter shock at first; but, much like coffee, a meaningful life is an acquired taste. Sip slowly and enjoy.

Coffee used to be something I enjoyed daily. Lately I’ve been skipping the caffeine because I don’t want to load up on the cream and sugar it takes for me to think the coffee is good. I’m trying to kick dairy completely and so I scoped out the internet for healthy alternatives that I could make from home. So how do I still enjoy a morning sip without feeling like the dairy and sugar is zapping my energy?

Spending 4-5 dollars at a coffee shop a day (sometimes even twice!) adds up in my budget. I’m not kicking out the prospect of a good almond milk latte but I enjoy the task of brewing from home. So I’ve discovered an alternative and it’s basically everything to me. It’s the perfect find for anyone who isn’t quite at the “drinking my coffee black” stage of their life but wants to knock out some of their light and sweet raw sugar cravings.

This is my own recipe altered from some recipes I found online to fit my taste buds:

  • 1 cup of Almond Milk
  • 1 banana or 1/2 cup of frozen berries
  • 1 packet of Vista Instant Coffee (I go with the Pike Place for a medium roast)
  • 1 scoop of peanut butter
  • 1 tsp of cocoa powder (unsweetened) for extra flavor
  • Add ice if you want more of a frozen coffee drink feel!

You simply throw all the goods in a hand blender and enjoy the mix. I’ve been pouring my mixes into a mason jar, adding a straw, and taking the coffee blend into the office with me. I’m excited about this little drank because I don’t feel the need to chug it down like I do with smoothies. This is a slow sipper that has been lasting me about an hour every morning I’ve made it for myself.

This is the perfect little addition to a summer routine of waking up early, cracking open the journal, and getting in that quiet time.

Looking forward to sharing more of my healthy finds with you!

falling in love, Uncategorized

Hungry love.

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 10.52.22 AM


I’ve been writing a lot about anxiety recently for my book chapters. Without knowing it, anxiety is a bigger character in the story I am telling than I anticipated to be. 

I am writing this story with Lane’s permission. There aren’t many parts of Lane and my’s growing relationship that I’ve shared on the internet. I’ve been a blogger for 5 years now and so I have learned how important it is to separate your life from what is happening on the screen and what is taking place off of it. Relationships can easily be muddied up when two people are invested in the image of their relationship rather than the character of it.

My heart for every reader– as I write my truth– is that you will invest your life in a person who is more of a map to you than a story. Stories are beautiful but maps take you places. Remember to go, and see, and do. Put down your phone and live love out loud, not just through captions and tags. 


I knew really early on that Lane was my person. I wasn’t expecting it to happen that fast but it was our third date that made it clear to me: I was falling in love with this man. He cooked me scallops at his home. He showed up at the door with an easy smile and a flannel. He bought me a bottle of wine with a gold-glinted wrapping because he said the story of the wine, on the back of the bottle, was something I would like. It was all about roots and finding your home. We baked brownies and watched Garden state. It was the first time I knew I could build a life with this man.

It wouldn’t be true if I said it were that easy though. Even with this deep knowing in my gut that I’d found a man to cover my thin places, I had all this anxiety about fourth and fifth dates with Lane. He knows this. He knows that much of his security was met by my insecurity. I’d scripted this untrue story in my brain before I met him that I was never going to be certain when the right one was standing in front of me. I would never have a way of knowing. That story was dangerous because the more I told myself it, the harder it became to undo it. The story gained power. The story had momentum.


Anxiety will have a field day with whatever you feed it. Your anxiety is happy to feed on your love life, your relationships, your career, and your purpose in life. Your anxiety wants to be fed something substantial, something that matters most to you, so it can feel full and still hold a purpose in your brain.

Daily feeding my relationship with Lane to my anxiety was like going to the gym and then eating a number 7 from McDonald’s an hour later (I hope there is a number 7… I’m not so sure!). I would pray in the morning but, by 11am, the anxiety had hold of my brain. I never could have clear thoughts about Lane because I was only looking at our relationship with anxiety brain. I didn’t know at the time that anxiety can be managed.


I felt like I needed to write about this because a lot of us can so easily be governed by our feelings. We want to believe in our feelings but our feelings aren’t always accurate. They trick us. They distort truth. They want you to go on thinking you never need to tame them, fact check them, or test them. Feelings want to be followed. Falling in love is not about following a feeling, it’s about making a daily choice to pick one person and then following through.

I cannot claim to be able to cover all the grey area thats come with relationships. I know it’s not as simple as choosing a person and then never doubting. People choose us and then leave us all the time. It happens and we can’t control that. I never want to belittle those stories or make my story seem like it’s above that. However, the most pivotal point in our relationship was after another spell of doubt and fear that maybe I was making the wrong decision. I would have these doubts all the time. I would let the doubt tell me what it wanted and I would be left anxious and afraid as a result. Love is not about fear. The two don’t coexist. One has to live longer than the other. You decide whether you’re giving the oxygen mask to love or fear.


I had to make the decision, at that point in the relationship, to not feed Lane to the lions of anxiety in my head. I told Lane that yes, I had anxiety but it wasn’t towards him. I denounced the anxiety trying to come at Lane from every angle. I told the anxiety, “After tonight, this is not your home. You don’t get to live inside of this relationship anymore.”

I really said those things. I really kicked out the anxiety from the relationship and spent hours, in the next few weeks, continuing to kick it out. Every time it came back, looking for a home, I turned it away. I wanted Lane’s love for me to finally have the chance to be bigger than the fears I’d let half-love me my whole entire life.

You are allowed to starve out your anxiety and leave it homeless. It’s hard work. It’s constant work. It might not completely release but you can start to make baby steps and micro choices towards choosing what you allow your anxiety to feed off of.

It’s Monday. There are precious things we get each day. We get to the be the stewards of people and things we don’t deserve. You could keep feeding your anxiety or you could look up and see that love is hungry too. Love is hungry to come through the doors and make the comfort food on the stove.

Don’t be afraid to let love in. Don’t be too scared to let love eat.

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 11.57.26 AM