The Workweek Start-Off

September 23rd, 2013 - filed under: Furthermore » Feedback


Shooting in my kitchen for a feature with a local organization. Oh hey,that’s what my kitchen looks like!

A few months back, before I went down to blogging once a week, I used to post a “Weekend Send-Off” each and every Friday. I loved it because it provided a great place for this little community of readers to just sort of hang out and shoot the breeze, and it was also a nice way for me to post those random odds and ends, bits of business, and of course everyone’s favorite – Le Love List.

Today in Santa Barbara was the first day of the year that felt like fall. Autumn in southern California is very hot, very dry, and very very windy. Wildfire weather. And today was very much all of those things, with warm bursts of air kicking up the dried leaves as Waits and I worked in the yard. The changing of seasons always makes me extra-pensive (if that’s possible).

Tonight is the first time in as long as I can remember that I don’t actually have any work to do. And although I’m tempted to curl up and catch up on my True Blood, with all the pensive autumn-ness in the air, what I really want to do is to blog. To connect. Plus I have some odds and ends to share, and also I really really miss the Love Lists!

So let’s do that.


Sayward Flyer2

Last week I posted this flyer that I’m putting up around town. Reading the comments on the post, it occurred to me that it may have seemed like I only work locally. So just to clarify – I have coached clients from coast to coast and as far away as Poland! I work entirely via phone calls and emails, so my spectacular services are available for anyone, anywhere in the world.

Oof, does anyone else feel so awkward and awful when they self promote? I hate it! Some people are good at that stuff, but I always feel like a bumbling self-aggrandizing a-hole. But I’m working on that!

And seriously though, I am pretty spectacular at what I do. You should totally hire me.


Waits and I made another Vegan Cuts unboxing video! We have so much fun doing these that I guess it’s just become a regular thing now. The snack box arrives each month, we set up the camera, and then we make a little movie as we unpack all of our surprise goodies!

Mom confession? Sometimes I watch these when Waits is with Damian for a few days. He is just so flippin’ cute, it’s out of control!


And now for the fun part, the good stuff, the one I really miss: Le Love List!

touching Waits. just hugging him, holding him, having him on my lap. I really miss the physical closeness of my child when we’re apart .|. dinner with friends .|. marathon spooning/snuggle fests that just won’t quit .|. coffee to go and lazy strolls around Manhattan Beach, hand in hand .|. I was in the bedroom working and stressing because my new freelance editor is not clicking with me like her predecessor did, and I was getting all wound up and writing blocked and totally tense . . . and then he called me out into the living room, and plopped this amazing plate of food down in front of me, and can I just tell you how good it feels to have someone who does something so sweet like that? Everything melted away. So good. .|. OH HELLO I HAVE TICKETS TO SEE TOM WAITS NEXT MONTH .|. watching Waits play when he doesn’t know I’m there .|. homemade vegan cheese experiments .|. a very special notebook full of kitchen witchery .|. live music, always and forever .|. potential new books to write. two of them! .|. talking on the phone like 10 times a day. long-distance blows but also makes for creative relationshipping .|. OH DID I MENTION I HAVE TICKETS TO SEE TOM WAITS NEXT MONTH? .|. reconnecting with old and dear friends who know you in all your complicated ways. also, when said friends make you delicious pizza .|. this time last year I was preparing to leave Portland, leave my marriage, leave a life that was smothering me. this year has been nothing if not difficult, and confusing as hell as well. and it’s also ushered in more growth and opportunity than I could have ever imagined. and more hope. and more love. and now, there are big changes, enormous changes looming on the horizon and really, I simply couldn’t be more excited. bring it on, autumn. I’m ready!


Alright guys, I would love love love to hear what you’re loving this week. Please leave a Love List for old time’s sake. It’s good for the soul!

A regularly scheduled post will still be going up on Wednesday. Until then, see you in the comments!

  • Sonja

    yeah, another unboxing video! they are so cute and you guys really make me smile :-) Waits song at the end was sooo cute! Confession time: I was kind of jealous of your vegan cuts snack box in the US (I know they ship internationally but that’s not really local and a waste of resources) and now we have on here in Germany, too! Enough said, here’s the love list:

    - the vegan box
    - my new job
    - being closer with my bf than ever before even if we went through some hard times getting there
    - autumn
    - raising awareness for the vegan cause by food-activism :-)
    - weekend trips
    - homemade cinnamon-swirl-bread
    - cleaning my room

  • jenn

    Me and my beau use to live in the Glendale area when our baby was one. We moved from Santa Fe. We only lived there for about a year plus but I loved our trips to the beach and my favorite was Manhattan! Then we recently lived in Hawaii and I have to say that Manhattan beach is better than any beach there. :)

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    the word autumn .|. baking+cooking non-stop for two days straight (no joke – I even had four slow cookers going while I slept), just because .|. watching Nina build a Lego house all by herself, dismantle it, and rebuild it to her own personal specs .|. new cookbooks .|. old cookbooks! .|. planning a huge beach trip in a few months .|. making popcorn in my wok .|. AHS: Coven .|. my best friend watched Earthlings! and it fucked with her head+heart in the best way possible and I’m just so glad that she GETS IT, on her own, without me forcing it on her.

  • Lynn

    1st Day of Autumn, 1-Year Wedding Anniversary, a box of tomatoes waiting to be canned, caramel frosting, a new book I’ve been aching to read, long brunches with friends, playing Cards Against Humanity, laughing, dancing :)

  • Emily

    Love the video! I’m a reader of your blog but I don’t comment too much. I noticed you mentioned you were gluten-free in your video. Is that new or maybe you have always been but I totally missed that. I try to stick to a gluten-free diet too, but I definitely am not great at doing it 100%. I would love to hear more about what it’s like sticking to gluten-free diet with the vegan base. Just a thought if you ever need a future post. Thanks and have a great day!:)

  • Deirdre

    Practicing letting go, but not giving up.
    Unpacking my dislike for the cold weather soon to come.
    Connecting more.

    Oh and I LOVE your kitchen cabinet hardware. Thanks for being here Sayward with your lists and loves.

  • Courtney Bliss

    amazing teachers | wonderful friends | ASL class | an amazing hubby that didn’t care if I had a breakdown in the Meijer parking lot because I needed it and he sorta forced it to happen and held me while it did | getting to go to the OSU football game with my Dad | helping my Dad cross two things off his bucket list | Silent Weekend!

  • bohemianmatka

    LOL! I was making my list for this afternoon’s grocery trip (my husband left this morning for Kurdistan, so we have a month of complete vegan cooking). I was looking up cheese recipes, and thought ‘well, bonzaiaphrodite might have a recipe… then I realized there’s a new post! THEN saw the cheese experiments comment :) Hope there is a cheese post in the near future!

  • bohemianmatka

    I’ve always been under the impression that unless you have celiac’s or a proven sensitivity, a gluten-free diet is useless (via other medical professionals and continual education). Sayward (your of a scientific mind) and others, please comment on this with your opinions. I also would like to know y’all’s thoughts on the gluten free diet.

  • blinkmay

    this is not to any topic, but I just wanted to say how happy I am to see your son with long gorgeous hair. My son’s hair is just like that!! parted on the side and everything, and it’s refreshing to see it because where we live there are no other little boys with long hair. My son Zealand is always called a girl and tho he doesn’t mind or care, it gets tiring explaining he’s a boy, and it is so nice to FINALLY see a little boy that looks just like him! so thank you. In fact, when looking at your zoo blog, Zealand thought those were pictures of him, and I told him it was another boy with hair like him, and he said “well, we’re probably twins though right?” hahah. <3

  • blinkmay

    wow that’s a huge picture. sorry!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Oh man, that little song he busted out at the end, it slays me! And that’s so awesome you got a vegan snack box in Germany! yay, vegan snacks for all! =D

    PS – congrats on the new job!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    It really is such a beautiful area. My beau used to live and work down there so it’s fun walking around with him and hearing his stories. And it’s like, magically ALWAYS perfect weather there. It’s amazing!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Love the Love List, I miss reading yours every week! You make me want to have a marathon cooking session, I haven’t had one like that in a long time. It’s such an *autumn*y thing to do! =D

  • Sayward Rebhal

    So I wrote this post las night and said it felt like the first day of fall . . . I totally didn’t realize that today WAS the first day of fall. I spaced the equinox, I fail as a hippie! Somebody take my crunchy badge away . . .

    Also Cards Against Humanity needs to be in my life again soon.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I’ve been gluten-free since the spring of 2012, when I finally got treatment for my health issues. It’s been magical since then and although I miss the taste of gluten sooooo much (fresh-baked bread! Field Roast and Uptons! waaaah!!!) it is just NOT worth the trade off.

    I don’t even notice being gluten-free at home anymore, and actually I don’t have much of a problem eating out either. I’m just so used to it now. The only time it’s hard is when I eat at somebody else’s house, because I usually feel like a high-maintenance pain in the rear. But hey, it is what it is and neither the vegan nor the g-f can be helped, so I try not to let myself feel too bad.

    Gluten-free vegan is a good idea for a post. What kind of things would you like to hear about? Anyone who reads this feel free to jump in!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    I miss your love lists too, lady! Always so uplifting and inspiring. And whoa, I’m still reeling from this weekend’s marathon kitchen session. I just posted some pics over at WCV and I can’t believe how much I got done!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Yes, absolutely, if you don’t have celiac or a sensitivity, then there’s no point in needlessly restricting your diet. It’s definitely a trend/fad/weight loss ploy in many cases these days. However, non-celiac gluten sensitivity is very real and is pretty widespread. It also effects people in various ways and to varying degrees. For me, I developed the sensitivity during my pregnancy, which I guess is actually a thing (developing food sensitivities during pregnancy in general, not just with gluten). My hope hope oh-my-god-hope is that since it showed up with pregnancy so late in my life, it may go away again some day. PLEASE! Haha

    Anyway, it’s really clear to me that gluten is bad for me. I can see the difference just in pictures. For example this pic is of me in my second trimester – I’ve already gained a bunch of weight, but my sensitivity hasn’t kicked in yet. I look healthfully pregnant (ie, plump) through the arms and face, but not puffy or swollen or anything.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Then this picture, which was taken when Waits was a little over a year old. I was eating lots of gluten and had no idea why I felt like crap all the time. You can see my face is puffy, especially my eyes. I look like this in all of my pictures from the first few years of Waits’s life. Swollen and bloated, bleh

  • Sayward Rebhal

    And then finally, just a few months after giving up gluten entirely. My face immediately thinned out, even though I was basically the same weight. It’s amazing to me how different I look when eating gluten versus not eating gluten – especially in my face and arms. It may not be as noticeable to someone else (ie you may be like, why is this chick posting all these pictures?? haha) but it’s SO clear and just crazy to me. I really should put together a post about this . . .

  • alice

    Sonja – do we have one in Germany? Where? How to get it?

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank YOU Deirdre, I always love your open and insightful comments. <3

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you for sharing your love, Courtney!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    A post to come eventually, but still lots more kitchen play. I use Artisan Vegan Cheese and The Non-Dairy Formulary, if that helps?

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Ahhhh! SO cute! I really adore little boys with long hair, and yes Waits gets called a girl ALL the time. Even when he was wearing blue swim trunks/no shirt at the beach, some guy asked me about my daughter. I mean I know, basing gender assumptions on clothing is pretty much the same as basing gender assumptions on hair, but COME ON! Haha. Luckily Waits doesn’t mind.

    Man your little guy is adorable!

  • Sarah

    You and your blog really inspire me. Like you, I went through a heartwrenching break-up almost a year ago, and I ended up broke, homeless and having to move back to my family home aged 29, which was a huge step backwards for me. It’s been a difficult and trying time, but it has provided a lot of opportunities for growth and learning. I’m still very much a work in progress, which I’m sure you can relate to, but following your journey reassures me that everything might just be ok in the end! Top of my love list this week is this quote from Albert Camus: “Everything considered, a determined soul will always manage.”

  • Katrina Donovan Fleming

    These posts totally fill up my creativity bucket (or whatever you want to call it.)

    I’m grateful for all my students’ parents who gave me amazon gift cards — I finally cashed them in two weeks ago for a Omega juicer, and I’m in love. And I’m noticing that my skin just looks better after drinking all the lovely things from my vegetable garden. I’m not juice fasting or anything (too content with my weight), but all sorts of interesting changes are happening that make me wonder if reverse aging is at play. (Knock on wood!)

    I’m loving that a friend came up to me at my brother’s baby shower and announced that she had gone vegan after picking up Skinny Bitch at the library. (One of those lovely people I just never saw going vegan. But then again I never saw myself going vegan either, so there you go.)

    Loving that so many of my third graders are taking initiative to become learners to please themselves, not me. (That is my biggest goal of the year.)

    I love my colleagues. Such creative, collaborative, talented people.

    I love that my husband finally turned 40, so I don’t feel like I’m alone in this decade. :)

    Ornamental grasses that sprout like autumn crowns; writers who take my breathe away. (Just read Come on Rain, a book for kids by Karen Hesse. Gorgeous.) My hair colorist, who I’ve gone to now for almost 10 years. My amazing Dad who makes me wonder what I did right in a past life to land in this one as his daughter. Unexpected leaps of the heart — when you’re suddenly happy but you’re not quite sure why. Friends who call just as you’re thinking of them. (What is going ON with that? It happens to so many people. It needs to be studied. Though maybe the beauty of it is in the mystery.)

    Commenters who are just as fascinating as Ms. Rebhal. What a lovely community you’ve created here. One of the few special ones online where smart people are nice to each other. :)

  • Lynn

    Nope, you were right, the 1st Day of Fall was Sunday 9/22/13, offically at 4:44 pm, on the East Coast, anyway. I was talking in the past tense ;)

  • skeptk_vegan

    Gah! I love Le Love List! Eee!

    My Love List
    - Starting off with Waits in that video… my face hurts from smiling. Thank you.
    - Salads… salads… and uh.. salads. I just… LOVE salads.
    - Discovering new vegan restaurants!
    - Having fall last more than a month. It’s my favorite season and I finally get to enjoy it in a new state.
    - Watching guilty pleasure t.v shows… again.
    - Making so much progress on my blog and seeing all of the pieces come together. Also wondering if love lists are a Sayward special? Or if they are something like W.I.A.W, where many people do them.
    - Reading! :)
    - Photographing food, exploring food, discovering food, creating food, eating food!!
    - My kitties and dog, oh how they make me smile. Especially when they all sleep on me at night, or all crowd into the bathroom with me. Ha!
    - Rediscovering myself, or at least… trying to. Learning how to be a new person and not keep comparing myself to previous versions of myself.
    - Marilyn Manson and The Beatles.
    - Heirloom tomatoes! – Drinking Tea – Wearing rings – My spiralizer and Vitamix

  • Sayward Rebhal

    The “Le Love List” title is a Sayward original (I think?), but love lists, gratitude lists, and TILT (Things I Love Thursdays) are all over the interwebs. Have at ‘em! And use Le Love List if you want, the more the merrier! =D

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I love that quote. And I relate to what you’ve written. I may not have moved back in with the rents, but I have had to accept more help this year than I could possibly ever be comfortable with. It’s been humbling and hard, but like you said – growth and learning! And gratitude. Lots of gratitude. ♥

  • Sayward Rebhal

    What an AMAZING list, thank you for sharing Katrina!

  • skeptk_vegan

    Sheesh… Thank you for being so generous! Certainly I will come up with my own name for it. Just wanted to cover my tracks! At least if I fail to be creative, I have a back up. ;)

  • skeptk_vegan

    The longest I’ve gone gluten free is about a week to ten days. Which is current.. It would have been two weeks if I hadn’t accidentally eaten gluten at a restaurant this weekend. Gluten ruins my insides, and makes me more cranky than… I don’t know, but it’s bad. My recommendations would be tasty replacement foods. Bread is a big one. Do a gluten free bread post review, wraps, pastas, whatever. (I plan on doing this myself.. But please, you’re the Jedi master here.) Also, gluten free meat replacement choices, hidden gluten in certain unsuspecting foods, and why removing gluten might be a good idea for just about anyone!

  • skeptk_vegan

    Holy shit! I’m not alone!

  • Veronica

    Jeebus, Waits is so cute in that video! I’m gonna have “Macaroni everywhere ev-ev-ev-ev-everywhere” stuck in my head for awhile (and I’m quite happy about it)!

  • bohemianmatka

    Wow! No, I see it! What a difference the diet change made for you just appearance-wise! I can’t imagine how much better you feel. I actually read your response several days ago, just haven’t had a chance to respond (kids and critters are keeping me busy!) I’m pretty interested in this topic and will investigate it further. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

  • pequenoprinceso

    Recently I was really, really low on cash and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money on the internet. I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills! I’m so glad, I did this!! – sev4