The Hate U Give

Summer has been gloriously filled with slower mornings and lots of reading. Although I am savoring it as best as possible, I can feel myself starting to itch for a more consistent routine. I've been working part time at the most fun clinic but working two days a week is definitely not real life. It's a blast but I definitely do better with a more consistent schedule. I have gotten more plugged into the Bookstagram community which is the most fun and have gotten some really amazing book recs from it. One of which is the incredible debut by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give.

From GoodreadsSixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: whatreally went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
 

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it: It is truly SUCH a valuable time to have diverse books that challenge us to re-examine the lens we view our lives through. It is so easy for me to ignore the news and stay in my own little bubble. It's so easy to pass off problems if they don't affect me directly. It's easy for me to refuse to use my voice since I don't know enough about the given topic to contribute. I've been there and I can't stay there. I don't think any of us can afford to stay there. 

“That's the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?” - The Hate U Give

This book was heartbreaking and incredibly real. It was raw and tough to read at times but so very necessary. It taught me to delve a little deeper into empathy and understanding. I truly loved this book and cannot urge you to read it enough. Also read the acknowledgements because HELLO TEARS. Have you read this? Let's chat. 

CSA Week 1

Last week we finally got our first week of produce from the farm share. I have been dreaming about a CSA for a very long time so I'm still pretty giddy about it. It was something we had to plan ahead for because the up front price feels like a ton but Taylor and I both feel like it truly is an investment in our community specifically and a chance to put our money where our mouth is. That said, it is definitely going to be a challenge to use everything and not let it go to waste. I know that we will be using things we've never purchased before, simply because they felt so foreign. I also realize that working at a school and not having children gives me a lot more flexibility to cook more. I know it's not forever but I'm loving it while we have it. I'm hoping to document our weeks and some of the things we make. Not as a way of being showy but a source of encouragement to pick up that semi-foreign bok choy or the mustard greens and try something new. 

Week one included broccoli, mustard greens, kale, chard, mint, and the most beautiful eggs. My very favorite food blog Dishing Up the Dirt is a pretty dang amazing resource because you can browse by vegetable and get ideas based around that single item. 

Collard Green Wrap with Hippie Sauce

Collard Green Wrap with Hippie Sauce

Veggie Fried Rice (An excuse to use up anything in the fridge)

Veggie Fried Rice (An excuse to use up anything in the fridge)

The quiche was absolutely amazing and the spaghetti definitely looked better than it tasted. I haven't used the mint yet and I'm trying to use up the rest of the greens that are semi-wilted at this point. That said, looks like we'll be having a frittata for dinner.  That's a wrap on week one!

Joshua Tree National Park

Perks of working at a school definitely include Spring Break. We cashed in some airline miles we'd been saving up and made our way to California. It was a total blast and such a good compromise for a trip. We spent half of our time at Joshua Tree and half of our time in Los Angeles getting to explore. It's funny because I really wanted time in a new city but ended up loving our time in Joshua Tree the best. 

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Time in Joshua Tree was definitely not without its kinks. We weren't able to get to the park until after 5 that Monday only to find the "ALL CAMP SITES FULL" sign. Luckily there are several private campsites nearby and we were able to find a spot on the first go. We packed up the next morning and drove around several of the sites until we found the nicest Canadian family leaving and grabbed their spot at Jumbo Rocks. Spring Break at the parks is no joke and it was SUCH a great feeling to grab a spot actually IN the park since most of it is first come first serve. 

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Joshua Tree is so beautiful in the strangest and most unique way. It was my first real time to go to the desert and it was INCREDIBLE. Also, the Cholla Cactus Garden is insanely beautiful. Essentially, scientists don't understand why they exist or how they've survived to have a relationship with nature in the desert. They don't "appear" to be valuable but they've become an integral part of the ecosystem. TAKE THAT, WORLD. Something doesn't have to be beautiful to have worth. It doesn't have to be perfect to have value. If that's not a beautiful lesson, I don't know what is 

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10/10 would recommend. We had such a blast exploring new territory and appreciating scenery that was literally unlike anything else we'd ever seen before. Joshua Tree, I love ya!