08.31.15moody monday : strength

strengthWhen I was a kid I thought being strong just meant being physically strong but as I’ve grown mental toughness is just as important. Being strong on the outside is one thing but being strong on the inside is a whole other department. Since becoming a parent this has become more a part of my journey. Some days I feel defeated emotionally and on those days is when I use my physical strength to balance it out. Be strong.

Speaking of being strong, looking forward to this read…I love Brené Brown.



08.20.15book club



I recently joined a book club. This has been a long time coming because I love nothing more then talking about books, researching books and reading books. It began when I was in high school and worked at a library shelving books, it was and still is my happy place. I plan to do more book type posts on this blog: reviews, book cover designs and library goodness.

08.17.15moody monday : glow

GlowGlow means to give out steady light without flame. As a mother, a wife and a woman this is something that I strive for daily. Giving off energy and love with a steady glow is what I want… so in giving off that light I will get it in return, right? Treat others as you would like to be treated.


03.09.15moody monday : flow


Just go with the flow — it seems like such a simple way to live life. Typically my gut reaction is to use resistance against things that maybe hard or scary. Then as the thought “just go with the flow” comes into my mind my shoulders begin to relax feeling a sense of relief and I go with the flow.

02.23.15moody monday : peace

PeaceSometimes you are handed a card that seems impossible to play and it takes looking inside yourself to find surprising strength. About 3 years ago, I could not find my inner peace. I was stricken with anxiety and confusion of “what am I supposed to do now…”. I dug really deep, like super deep, and asked for help. And with that help I was able to find tools to help me cope with any uneasy or uncomfortable feelings that I was faced with daily. I am so proud to say that those tools helped me find the comfortable in the uncomfortable. I am able to be at peace.

But as life tends to do, you are handed another card but I am looking inside myself for those tools to help me cope with a very uncomfortable situation but I feel more at peace about it than ever.

moodboard images found via my pinterest boards


TakeTheLeapBy the end of 2014, I wanted to get my freelance career to the level that I could quit my corporate job and do freelance full-time. In June 2014, I began working with a life coach named Julie Serot, she had me create an ideal work day (I still have it hanging in my home office) and a list of what I needed to do to make it happen. I worked on my design work page, did more engaging online and also pictured what it would be like to work for myself. After chipping away at that to-do list and using Julie’s approach I gained confidence, I know that I am on the right path that I have created for myself. I AM good enough and strong enough to be doing EXACTLY what I want to do, on my own terms.

I also launched an etsy shop with one of my closest friends called Hatch Design!

As an avid blog reader, I was so inspired by all these creative entrepreneurs stories of how they  finally took the leap into freelance. Here is the start of 2015, and now I have my story!

photo // death to the stock


this series called food/feeling is where i’m going to introduce a dish and a photo of a feeling it invokes. enjoy!

although the snow falling outside looks fun, it seems like a better idea to sit by the window watching the snow fall while eating a delicious warm meal.

Katie’s quick Shepherd’s pie with roasted garlic cheesy mash

1 lb lean ground beef
1 brown onion, finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef or chicken stock
1½ tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup Worcester sauce
3 tablespoons HP sauce
3 tablespoons BBQ sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Olive or canola oil for frying

For the topping:
3 large cloves garlic, whole, skin on
5 evenly-sized large floury potatoes, peeled, washed and cut into halves
2 tablespoons Natural Greek yoghurt
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated
A few extra fresh thyme sprigs
Extra Parmesan for topping and serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic cloves onto a small baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft on the inside (test with a small , sharp knife) remove and allow to cool then squeeze out pulp and discard outer paper.

Fill a medium-large pot half-full with cold water, add a good pinch of salt then add in the halved potatoes. Bring to the boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium-high and cook at a high simmer until potatoes as fully soft in the middle when tested with a knife. Note: to ensure really creamy mash, always make sure your potatoes are thoroughly cooked, if they remain even ever so slightly firm in the middle you’ll never get them smooth, as you’ll just end up with tiny lumps dotted throughout the mash.

Drain potatoes, tip them back into the pot and using a potato masher, break up the cooked potatoes, then pass through a Tamil sieve or the finest setting on a potato ricer until totally smooth. Add in the milk, yoghurt, cooled roasted garlic pulp, and grated Parmesan and whip together to combine thoroughly along with a very good seasoning of salt and black pepper. Transfer to a large piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle (the one I used measured 1cm/0.4”) and set aside until required.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, deep frying pan or saucepan. Add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to sauté over medium heat for a further 5-7 minutes before adding in the beef, break the mince up using the end of a spatula and combine all together. Fry until meat has browned then add the stock; tomato paste; HP sauce; Worcester sauce, fresh thyme leaves and stir all together. Cook for 30-40 minutes to infuse all flavours together and sauce has thickened. Fill baking dishes (this quantity will fill a single dish measuring 24 x 18cm/7 x 9.5” or 4 smaller 10cm/4” ramekin-style pots).

Pipe mashed potato onto top of meat filling, sprinkle with a little extra grated Parmesan, a seasoning of black pepper and a garnish of a fresh thyme sprig, then bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until top of piped potato is golden brown.

Serve hot with extra grated Parmesan (optional).

Serves 4



latelyBooksCold weather = lots of reading, in my book (pun intended). There is nothing better than getting cozy with a cup of something warm and a book. I’ve always been a book worm and it’s something that I hope that my kids also pick up on. I’ve added more historical and non-fiction to my list for this year, check them out:

It Starts With Food
Well Fed Cookbook
The Signature of All Things

Follow me on goodreads to see what else is on my list.