Sometimes, there are decisions in life I have to make all on my own. No one is there to give me the answer. I can spend days gathering information and asking opinions and seeking advice, but at the end of the day, my heart is the one that must act. The choice is mine.

Choice is a gift. Sometimes too many choices are scary, though. It’s hard to listen to myself in the midst of static noise and passionate people influencing me with their own passions. What is my passion? What makes my heart beat? How to I separate my wants with the wants of others?

I’ve some hard choices to make in these next few weeks (days?), and while they are all exciting, sometimes it’s hard to think about what I really, really want out of life. I never knew it could be this hard.


Mo and Sam - a year of married life. //

A year ago from this past Sunday, Sam and I exchanged vows in the middle of a field surrounded by our closest family and friends. For the first time, we were a married couple. It seems surreal that a full year has passed, but when Labor Day weekend hit we realized our one-year anniversary was only a week away. My, how time flies.

Mo and Sam - a year of married life. Bride and mother. // Mo and Sam - a year of married life. I Do crews, right before the ceremony. // Mo and Sam - a year of married life. Sweet shoes, man. // Mo and Sam - a year of married life. The dress! //

Maybe it’s because we’re still newlyweds (when do people stop using that phrase?) or maybe it’s because our wedding was an effing riot and the greatest day of my life, but I still think about our wedding on almost a daily basis. From the start, Sam and I wanted to throw a huge party with our closest family and friends and dance the night away. Dancing is, after all, one of our favorite pastimes (no, we are not even close to being professionals, but we are the last ones to leave the floor wherever we go).

We planned and over-planned and orchestrated everything to host 260-ish of our closest friends and family for this big party. Oh, yeah, and there was a ceremony, too…but that was sort of second in our minds to the fact that it was going to be the biggest dance party ever. 

Mo and Sam - a year of married life. The ceremony. // Mo and Sam - a year of married life. Walking down the aisle. // Mo and Sam - a year of married life. Sam's vows, spelling out my first name. //

But then…well, the ceremony actually happened. And it was beyond anything either of us could’ve possibly expected. Even now, a year later, when I reflect on my favorite memories of the whole day, so many of them are rooted in those moments right before the ceremony and during the ceremony.

As Sam, myself, and our I Do Crews were walking into the woods we’d exit to walk up to the ceremony site, we heard our good friends playing “Animal” by Miike Snow. Sam and I looked at each other, and suddenly everything was real. The moment was palpable. In just a matter of minutes, we were going to be married. The gravity of the moment hit us. I’d never felt so certain about and excited for anything in my entire life.

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I wasn’t raised in a world of girls.

I’m not upset about that. It’s just that when I think about the people in my life (outside of my immediate family) who most influenced me, they were essentially all guys. I never really connected with girls growing up. I had four best girl friends in elementary school, but as we reached middle school and high school I had less in common with them than I did my male friends.

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I gravitated towards my younger brother and his friends (playing roller hockey and building skyscrapers out of Legos was infinitely more entertaining than Barbie dolls) or I entertained myself with long wanderings in the woods on our property, scavenging for bugs and building teepees out of sticks. A peek in my closet–both growing up and now–you won’t find high heels or skirts, but you’ll find plenty of flannel and can pick out my favorite sports teams. I didn’t like the girls’ locker room in high school and I’ve never known how to talk to girls. I know that makes me sound like a thirteen-year-old boy, but the reality is I’ve always felt more comfortable communicating with guys.

When one of my good friends, Rachelle, asked me to be in her bridal party, I was THRILLED. I seriously never thought I’d ever be in a bridesmaid. It’s hard to be a bridesmaid when I don’t have many girlfriends, after all. I was also a bit apprehensive. I’ve never felt very comfortable around women, and now I was asked to make friends with some girls I don’t know and participate in a wedding day of woman-ish things. 

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Recipe: Nanachini bread with white chocolate chips and toasted coconut //

Sweet breads are at the top of list for “favorite desserts.” I feel like I can justify eating sweet breads for essentially every meal, and they have a limitless variety of flavors and variations. So when one of my favorite food bloggers posted a recipe for banana bread with zucchini (with an awesome frosting that I don’t have patience to make), my mind couldn’t handle the awesomeness. It’s banana bread with zucchini. It’s zucchini bread with bananas. It’s NANACHINI BREAD.

I took Averie’s recipe and adopted it slightly, as I had a honkin’ huge zucchini and more over-ripe bananas than I could handle. I also like making double loaves so we can eat bread for days, so the recipe below makes two almost-full-sized loaves (portion control, right? Right. Not.) I’m sure I’ll come back and tweak the recipe a bit to add some more moisture, like using yogurt or some extra zucchini. Feel free to play with some of those things!

Nanachini bread with white chocolate chips and toasted coconut //

Another thing I tweaked was adding more “stuff” to the dough. More specifically, I added walnuts, freshly toasted coconut, and white chocolate chips. First, a word about toasted coconut.

If you’ve never toasted your own coconut, you should go do this right now. I was flabbergasted by how easy it was to toast my own coconut flakes–yes, it truly justifies using the word “flabbergasted.” I thought I was a magician when I first did it, and I’ve kinda become addicted since then.

How to make toasted easy! //

Toasting coconut flakes goes like this: 

- Buy some sweetened coconut flakes

- Heat up a non-stick frying pan (DO NOT GREASE OR OIL) on your stove top at medium heat. Add flakes.

- Stir flakes, not constantly, in the frying pan until they are lightly toasted.


Freshly toasted coconut //

Trust me, you’ll be addicted. If only making other delicious and wonderful things was this easy.

If you’re as into sweet breads as I am and are looking to use up all those zucchinis that are overflowing from gardens and farmers markets right now, try this recipe out. Or, better yet, use the base for the bread and add in your own flavors to make it something totally your own. Enjoy!

(Click “Continue reading” for recipe!)

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Sometimes I’m happy things never change. I mean, things do change, but rarely does the core of something change.

I’m always happily surprised to find comfort in the same friends I’ve had for years, even if we’ve not spoken to each other in months. We touch on the same topics but bring new perspectives. The same arguments and relationship dynamics play out but there is a warmth of friendships that have lasted over a decade. It is old yet new, and every time it feels like coming home to a place in my heart I forget still exists.

Often times, I forget how badly I need people in my life who have grown with me during pivotal and transformative parts of my life. I’m always relieved to still find them close, waiting with open ears and hearts, welcoming me into their lives like they’ve done for so long. Often times I feel that I don’t have someone living nearby who understands me or knows enough about my past to recognize the person I am today, but it’s totally a figment of my imagination: there are people so close to me, I just never chose to see them as often as I should.

If you have these people in your life, hold them close. Hold them closer than I’ve managed to do in the last few years. They won’t ever leave you, but it’s good to make it clear you want them to stay.


Five reasons to still love summer of 2014. And yes, that includes One Direction. //

While I could use the above photo as a total cop-out and claim that Harry, Zayn, Liam, Louis, and Niall (in that order, thankyouverymuch) are the five reasons to still love summer, I’m not going to be that pathetic. There are plenty of reasons to still love summer, even though–NEWS FLASH–July ends today. Summer has been mild up here, with a few days in the low-60s and others creepin’ up towards 90 degrees.

I’m so happy with this  summer, though I do wish I had more days lounging on the beach. Maybe I’ll get some more beach time in August! Even so, this summer rocks. I’ve been active, spent a lot of time outside, worked on the garden and raised chickens, seen good friends and explored with my man, and all-in-all really learned to enjoy down-time and not being stressed out.

We still have a solid month of summer left (I’d argue, now that I’m not in school, September feels so much like a fourth summer month that I treat it that way). I’ve got some things to still look forward to this summer, and I want to share five of them with you today. Hopefully it encourages you to make the most of the next few weeks of sunshine and long days!

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the-world-awaits 8'5x11

It’s been a strange two weeks, for sure. I’m not sure what I was expecting my life to be like after deciding to leave my job. (UPDATE: I won’t be leaving now until the end of September, which is best for my employer and me. I’m able to finish up some big projects for them, and they can keep me health-insured and with a paycheck for the next few months while I sort through things in my mind, out loud, and with Sam.)

I will say the whole process has been a huge learning experience in a lot of ways. I’ve never left any employer without some kind of plan or objective. I’ve either had another job lined up, or I was going back to school, or moving back home. This time, the decision was strictly a personal choice…and I never thought I’d be brave enough to do something like that.

The effects of making this decision are astounding. Suddenly, every day is a gift. I value my time more than ever before. Life feels short yet infinite at the same time. For the first time in my life, I’m comfortable answering questions about my future with “I don’t know” and living in a state of career-ambiguity. The best thing of all, though, is that I’ve allowed myself to dream in ways that I’ve never dreamt before.

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A bit of honesty // modiggity.comvia

Well, folks, my apologies for the crickets chirping around here lately. I completely recognize my neglect of this space, and believe me when I say it’s not something I’m proud of or happy about. There’s been a lot of stuff churning in the back of my mind, and I think that it’s fair now to share those thoughts with you.

Maybe I’m still young and naive, but “do what you love, love what you do” speaks to me on a very intrinsic level. I firmly believe that life is too short to be doing something I hate or despise.

Yesterday, I put my two weeks’ notice in at my job…without a real back-up plan.

Even though I could tell after the first month or so that my job wasn’t quite a good fit, I toughed it out and hoped for the best. I was waiting to really enjoy my work, feel successful, reach a point where I was learning and growing each day…and after seven months, I’ve realized that point hasn’t come, and I don’t think it will come at this job. There is a difference between “I’m enjoying my job but grumbling through some less-than-awesome aspects of it or periods of time” and “I honestly, truly feeling like this job is hurting a lot good things in my life.” I was most definitely in the latter category.

This job started effecting my life outside of work. I consider myself an outgoing and optimistic person, and I’ve never felt so down about myself, the world around me, or my future than I have in the past few months. To be honest, I didn’t even realize it was happening. I assumed it had something to do with outside circumstances–maybe the stress of taking care of four adorable chickens, or just having a lot of really bad days in a row for a few weeks, or trying to keep up with household chores?–but still, there was something in my heart that felt wrong.

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This past weekend felt like my true kick-off to summer. We spent hours out in the sun, cruising on a pontoon, throwing back some beer and whiskey while playing Frisbee in the water. Our day out on the water was followed by greasy food at the local bar in a small town outside of Gaylord, complete with more drinks, making friends with total strangers, dancing to a kick-ass 90s cover band (who, despite our pleas, wouldn’t play any Sum 41 songs), and absolutely losing ourselves in the moment.

I felt liberated and free this weekend in a way I’ve not felt in a long time. I wasn’t calorie-counting each pull of Fireball from the bottle, and I could’ve cared less about my round belly in my bikini because there are so many more important and beautiful things in the world than worrying about how I look in a swimsuit. There is life to be lived! I swam, dove deep, twisted and turned, and relished the way my body moves in water; it is my natural habitat. When the boat ran out of gas on the way back to shore, all eight of us jumped in and kicked it back to the dock, laughing the whole way.

I made a dozen new friends this weekend, and enjoyed the company of everyone at the bar. Strangers bought rounds of drinks, I saw about 25 icings (what kind of bar carries that much Smirnoff Ice?) including my husband get down on one knee on the dance floor by himself and chug one down. The bartender brought it straight over to him and the whole place watched. Is it weird that I was proud?

Dancing later that night brought my soul to life. I’ve always loved dancing, and I always will. It is how I celebrate and appreciate music, and it has taught me confidence more than anything else. Sam and I try to out-do one another in bad dance moves, and if we’re the only two out on the floor, it just means we have more space to do ridiculous things. Lucky for us, lots of folks followed our lead and joined us. Closing my eyes, listening to the music, moving to the beat…that is my happy place, and my mind was relaxed and clear. I could’ve danced all night.

All in all, the whole day made me think good, happy summer vibes, which translates to this sight + sound post. The band Grouplove also gives me good, happy summer vibes, and I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to showcase one of my favorite summer time bands. I first discovered them watching a YouTube video of a friend from high school, who’s made it really big on the national (and international) parkour scene. His dad was my boss for a few years so I was able to keep tabs on his advancements in the sport, including this awesome video that brought Grouplove into my life. Since then, their “Never Trust A Happy Song” CD is one my favorite in our collection, and it is the epitome of summer joy.

I chose “Naked Kids” for this post since it’s essentially a dictation of our past weekend (if you substitute the weed for booze). Listen along while browsing the pics, and if you like what you see, check out my other sight + sound posts. Happy summer, y’all.

“Naked Kids” – Grouplove << click to play on Spotify!

take your shoe off - grouploesplashin in the water - grouplovehot day mid june - grouplovewild and free - grouplovesummer time fun

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Olly Moss is one of those incredible designers that makes me smile every time I see a piece of his work, and I’m a fan of his work through and through. His design style seems simplistic at first glace, and in my opinion, that’s what makes his work so impressive. He understands how people read images and he plays on visual cues to hide subliminal messages, humor, and ingenuity into his work.

While he’s a talented designer on many fronts, his most renowned work focuses on redesigning movie posters. Ordinary-looking images contain small quirks and highly-detailed inside jokes that weave tales deep beneath the surface of the image and reach viewers on an emotional level rooted in their memories. The plot and personality of each movie shines through the most in these five images I’ve featured here, which are my favorites. That said, I wish I could share all his Pokemon artwork here (because, DUH it’s POKEMON).

Jungle Bookstarwars_ollymoss_01olly-moss-sex-in-the-city1totorojpg-1dirty_harry_movie_poster_rolling_roadshow_2010_olly_moss