5 Reasons I’m Kinda Sorta Beating Stress and Enjoying the Holidays 

I have a confession to make:

It’s the second week of December and the outside Christmas lights are not on our house yet…

… and I am OK with it.

Here’s why:

I’m generally feeling lower stress this holiday season.


A few ways actually.

I’m a list maker so I came up with 5 reasons I’m enjoying the holidays so far and not letting stress take over.

Continue reading

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

There it was, sitting in the corner creaming butter and sugars together. A quiet hum from its motor filled my kitchen as the white paddle went round and round the metal bowl. As I stared at the red Kitchen Aid mixer, my stress level dropped. I took a much-needed exhale.

Hope filled my heart as I embarked on a new recipe – one guaranteed to be “the best chocolate chip cookie” my friend had EVER MADE. I was counting on her Facebook post to not let me down.

Step by step, I followed the recipe exactly. I even leveled the flour before pouring it in, and broke the eggs in a separate container – not over the bowl. Baking is good for rule-following girls like me who’s hearts can’t help but want to follow directions. And in the end, I was not disappointed. In fact, I was delighted. I’d just made one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’d ever eaten. My friend was right. They were really good.


Since that day, I’ve baked hundreds of dozens of cookies with the recipe. They cheer me up when I feel down. They helped send my friend to Nicaragua. So for National Cookie Day and in the spirit of Christmas, I felt it was only right to share it with you.

Don’t get me wrong – I almost held off. I mean if we’re honest, don’t we all want to keep the things we think set us apart and make us feel special all to ourselves?

But, it’s more important to me that others enjoy this deliciousness over and over. Plus, these aren’t my recipes to begin with, I’m one of the many bakers who’s made this recipe a part of my baking tradition.

So in the spirit of sharing, here’s my crowd-pleasing, go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. Enjoy!

Continue reading

To Life! – A Tribute to Dr. Tom

Scroll down past the big trees – he told us on his personal blog – and there you’ll find me. In a picture from one of his hiking trips, surrounded by beautiful tall trunks of some of the world’s tallest trees, there Tom Marsilje didn’t only find himself but introduced himself.


Humble. Happy. Hopeful he was in the midst of something bigger.

As an oncology researcher who’d been inspired by his mom’s pancreatic cancer, his own cancer diagnosis was another leg on his adventure – one filled with molecules and proteins, T-cells and receptors.

To follow Tom felt like we were on the adventure, too.

He helped us discover the colorectal cancer landscape, many of us for the first time. When he faced information that applied either to himself or others, he stopped like any great explorer to examine each finding and take careful notes. (By way of many blog posts, articles, emails and Facebook posts.)

He unpacked the complicated vocabulary of oncology research for all of us following along. He didn’t only explain how clinical trials work, he helped build a tool to help people find them.

It was easy to forget Tom himself was fighting an aggressive disease. He was one of us, yet somehow he seemed light years ahead.

I guess that’s what made life with Tom feel like such an exploration – a plunge into the scariest, most confusing yet most enlightening and cathartic cancer journeys of a lifetime. As a true expeditionary, every scan and doctor’s appointment led to new doors and ways to travel.

And he brought us along for all of it.

Continue reading

Stopping to realize what I’m passing down

Thanksgiving is coming soon! Why am I excited for a holiday I traditionally spend in the bathroom?

Because I now hold the secret key to the holiday:  the recipe for my Aunt Denise’s rolls.


Now, these aren’t just any rolls. These breaded masterpieces are legendary. These rolls are often used as a selling point on why to attend a family gathering.

Denise is making her rolls!” my dad will say as a way to get a “yes” from me about attending the family get together. These rolls do have a warm place in my childhood memories.

With my love for baking continuing to grow, I thought they’d be the perfect next challenge.

I texted my aunt and asked if she’d share the recipe with me. In her graciousness, she quickly texted me a page out of her grandma’s cookbook with a handwritten “good” next to it.


Continue reading

« Older posts