Moving to Miami

What happens when you take a northern city girl, a southern mountain guy, and move them to Miami?

Culture shock, frustration, excitement, and confusion (amongst other things.)

We’ve learned to adapt.

When a 2016 Tesla cuts you off on the highway going 25+ over the speed limit? “Sorry!”

When the guy at Publix rings you up and speaks Spanish? “Uhh.. gracias!”

When you head to the beach for a relaxing afternoon and strangers pull up directly next to you and blast Russian techno? You can ask, but they won’t move or turn it down.

There’s a culture of HURRY UP/YOU’RE AN IDIOT/I’M BETTER THAN YOU/WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME that gets overwhelming.

We have learned are learning to laugh at these moments.

Plus, an hour laying by the pool or beach usually does the trick. Just avoid the Russian techno.


Butternut Squash Sauce

I have a confession.

Sometimes – on very rare occasions – I get cheesed out.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE cheese. But sometimes I feel guilty. All of these successful food bloggers cook & share healthy foods.

How’s a cheese lover to compete?

I compete with a homemade butternut squash sauce in hopes of tricking myself into thinking it’s cheese.

This is my new favorite sauce. It’s sweet, creamy, and comforting. Don’t let the color fool you – although it looks like cheddar cheese, and is creamy like cheddar cheese, this is a VEGETABLE! HECK YES!

I’ve tossed this sauce with pasta, served it in a rice & veggie casserole, and stuffed it in/smothered it over chicken breasts.

It’s easy, peasy, and (mainly) non-cheesy.

…I put a pinch of parmesan in. Sue me.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
4 heaping cups peeled and diced butternut squash
2 cups chicken stock
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onions until golden, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and butternut squash and sauté for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Add chicken stock, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper and and bring to a boil.
  4. Put lid back on and simmer for 15 minutes, or until you can easily mash the squash with the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Mash the butternut squash with the back of a wooden spoon until smooth. It’s okay if there are a few chunks.
  6. Add parmesan cheese, a dash of olive oil, and serve!
  7. If you prefer something smoother, add to a food processor and puree until smooth. Add water (or heavy cream) to thin if necessary.

Favorite Recipes

Iowa Girl Eats’ Penne with Kale, Butternut Squash and Sausage

Lauren’s Latest Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce

Minimalist Baker’s Butternut Squash Veggie Pizza


Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats and Martha Stewart. 

Welcome to my fourth blog

I’ve already had three blogs.

In the summer of 2010, I created a blog to write about my experience interning at J-14 Magazine. A year later, I chronicled my six month study abroad trip. This summer, I revisited the blogisphere when I took a six week roadtrip across the country.

My goal with those three blogs was to share details of my unique experiences with family and friends. Those three blogs all had deadlines.

This particular blog doesn’t.

…So why am I blogging again?

I am blogging because I have free time and few Florida friends. I like to write, I like to cook, I like to adventure and I like to share what I write, cook, and adventure. I also want to learn more about SEO, photography, driving website traffic, and other blog-related topics.

If you think this is silly, then you can go. Please. Thank you. Sorry.

(What have I done?!)