I arrived in Phoenix, AZ on Valentine’s day. I thought I’d stay for a week. But then due to a series of events (and multiple bloggers further down the road being out of town), I ended up staying for three weeks instead of one! Tomorrow, I’m sad to leave, but all good things must come to an end.
I’ve had a blast the whole time I’ve been here. Kendahl and her husband, Ryan, are two of the coolest people I’ve had the privilege to meet and befriend. This has been the most awesome home-stay ever. They are the parents of two bright, active boys, ages 4 and 7. And they live life to the fullest.
I couldn’t have come to Arizona at a better time. Arizona winters are like perfect spring days. EVERY. DAY. Every day, we were outside playing in the sun. Shorts and t-shirts have been the norm, breaking out the sweaters for nighttime only.
Kendahl instantly welcomed me into her daily life, and made me feel so at home. On one of the first nights I was there, she invited me to tag along and see one of her friends get tattooed (shout out to Rachel!). Another night, we had a girls night and saw a movie at the theater with her friends. I got included in a ladies luncheon at a local farm, a birthday celebration, karaoke night, a dinner to celebrate a friend’s graduation, and even went out for a few drinks with people.
Ryan, Kendahl’s husband, is incredibly active and invited me to participate in his daily exercise routines. I’ve been exercising more on this trip than I do at home! Every day, Ryan either runs, goes to the gym, or plays ultimate frisbee. I figured, I have no good excuse not to participate! So I’ve been lifting and running, and I even got adopted by the ultimate frisbee team for a few weeks! Ryan taught me to throw and flick the frisbee, and I even learned a bit about the ho-stack. I got to play a couple points in a game last week, and I really hope to find a coed team in Atlanta, once we move there! It’s a fun game! Just need to get some cleats! ;)
Kendahl and Ryan also live right next to a canal, along which there is a walking and bike path. Every day I’ve been here, I’ve taken advantage of this path and gone walking. Behind their house is a park. You literally just walk out the back gate and you’re there. You can swing, play frisbee, dribble a ball. I feel like I’ve been spoiled with all these opportunities to be outside and just play!
Besides all the great opportunities to play outside, Kendahl and Ryan have excellent taste in books and movies! All throughout their house, they have great bookshelves full of the classics and contemporary literature. I thought I had a lot of books! But they have more than I do! When I first got here, my eyes just drank in the titles on the spines. Just seeing all the classics housed under one roof made me giddy. It’s not every day you see such things!
Kendahl’s kitchen is gorgeous. She has this HUGE 12ft long countertop, that’s great working space. And her kitchen is organized like I would organize mine. The same pans live on her stove, as at my house: two cast iron skillets and an enameled cast iron dutch oven. Always, on the counter, there is grassfed butter. :)
While I was here, I tried my best to be helpful and non-intrusive. I tried my best to keep things swept, clean, tidy; helped move a bookshelf and desk; pulled some weeds; and did dishes and cooking. I tried to give Kendahl a fair sampling of my curries, Indian side dishes, and even made carrot halva while I was here. I’m so glad I traveled with most of my spices! I’ve used them everywhere I’ve been! Also, thanks to DaNelle for the lamb shoulder; Kendahl and I remade the best lamb curry ever, and it was DELICIOUS.
One of my favorite things about spending time with Kendahl and Ryan was hanging out with them at night, after the kids were tucked in. Kendahl taught me how to make cocktails, and Ryan introduced me to the world of beer—both things I hadn’t really experienced before I got to Phoenix. They showed me how to drink responsibly (I don’t really drink at home), and more than that, they gifted me with good taste.
Kendahl’s real food cocktails are truly unique! I literally thought I didn’t like alcohol, mixed drinks, etc. before I got here. But Kendahl has showed me that when you make real cocktails at home from quality ingredients, they can really be delicious, and they don’t make you feel sick from too many sweeteners, syrups, and fake colors, either.
To Kendahl and Ryan: for all those late nights with drinks and good conversation—thank you. I had the time of my life! You guys rock!!
[googlemap id=”two” width=”570px” z=”10″ address=”Gilbert, AZ, USA”]
How long have you been blogging?
What topics do you blog about?
Real food, eating carbs, metabolism, natural cocktails, making food enjoyable, stress.
Describe your family for us.
I have 2 boys, ages 4 and 7, and my husband and I live in a small home outside Phoenix. We sometimes scheme on getting ourselves living on an acre, but for now we are enjoying knowing a lot of other people with farms where we can get local honey, pastured eggs, and raw goats milk.
What hobbies do you enjoy?
Hiking, book clubs, making cocktails, talking in smallish groups, baking, and reading!
If it was your last day on earth, what would you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Junk food totally counts!
Breakfast: full breakfast with biscuits, gravy, eggs, hash browns, juice, and fruit. Lunch would be a mind-boggling amount of sushi, dessert would be some kind of pie. And dinner would be steak and seafood, with greens, really good dressing, good cheese, and good wine and cocktails.
What three posts on your blog do you want to share with my readers?
How/why did you start blogging?
I had been thinking about blogging about real food long before I got up the nerve to do it. I finally started because I knew that I had something to contribute to the conversation: my perspective on health and weight, nutrition, stress reduction and trauma, and real food healing.
What’s the biggest challenge about running a blog?
Blogging with children.
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I love organizing my thoughts, and seeing that they matter to so many other people, too. When I pour my soul into a recipe, it’s so nice to see it shared and appreciated by my readers!