Hi friends! Sorry I've been quiet the past few days. There has been so much happening that I haven't had time to even process what I'm feeling, much less blog about it. It's really crazy to think that one year ago today – October 21, 2013 – I announced to the world that I was writing a cookbook. And to make sure I stayed committed, I decided to blog about the process, in a 100-day series called The Cookbook Diaries. It took a lot of courage to hit "publish" on that first post, but going public with my intention was the best decision I ever made. Because had I kept my idea to myself, and left things comfortably vague rather than creating a specific plan, there is no way I would ever have gone through with any of this.

And now, a year later, the book is done and I'm on the phone with the printer, scheduling book shipments to 6 locations in 5 states. I'm setting up fulfillment plans to ship out Kickstarter + online shop orders, setting up an Amazon seller account for the holidays (either I'm really dense or that process is NOT easy!), talking to stores about selling my book, and planning book-signing events in 3 states in the coming month, and creating a PR and marketing plan in the hopes of getting the word out. It's all really exciting, and frankly, really overwhelming!! And in the midst of it all, I'm trying to keep up with my blog and other freelance work, maintain my friendships and my marriage, and if I'm lucky, fit in a yoga class here and there. Sometimes it just feels like there aren't enough hours in the day. (For all of you moms out there: I truly don't know how you do all of this WITH KIDS!! You all deserve an award. Or a gift certificate to a spa. I am in awe.)


But this weekend, we took a break and escaped to the Pennsylvania countryside. Our good friends the Andersons had rented the cutest farmhouse on AirBnB, and we joined them and some of their friends for two days of apple-picking, cider donut-eating, leaf-playing, wine-drinking, cooking, and feasting. It was the perfect segue between a busy summer and what is gearing up to be a busy holiday season. We were only out there for 24 hours, but it was good for my soul to be out of the city, surrounded by the magnificent colors and smells and flavors of fall. It was a reminder to slow down, to savor the season, and to take time to rest.

I get so busy sometimes that I forget why I do what I do. Why am I even doing this cookbook? I sometimes have to ask myself. As we sat down to dinner Saturday night – I made sausage ragu and gluten-free gnocchi and a big kale and beet greens salad (recipes coming soon!) – I looked around the candlelit table at the smiling faces, feeling the joy of sharing a meal around the table with friends, and remembered. This is why I do what I do. For moments of togetherness like these. I hope I never get too busy to savor the joy of a shared meal. These are the things that matter the most.


I hope you take time this fall to crunch around in the leaves. To sit in a rocking chair, sipping hot cider and feeling the cool air on your face. To take time to be thankful. I hope you eat pumpkin pancakes on a Saturday morning with your family, and I hope you visit an apple orchard and later go home and bake a pie. I hope you snuggle up under blankets and watch a movie with someone you love. And I hope you fill your table with friends and family, and share a simple meal in the coming weeks. For no other reason than to celebrate this moment in time.

What about you? What are your favorite fall rituals?