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Showing posts from 2014

Sit Back and Relax, Instacart Brings Whole Foods Market Directly To Your Door!

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The holiday rush begins late November, once Thanksgiving is upon us it's swiftly moving straight through to Happy New Year. It's funny because we all have so many events to attend, concerts, cookie swaps, open houses, work parties, but we still need to maintain our everyday lives. Laundry, grocery shopping, bill paying, how do we make all the moving parts work or heck just coast on through?

Welcome, Instacart grocery delivery service.

The way Instacart works, there's a $10 order minimum, they set their pricing (you pay what you see on the screen and get an Instacart receipt, not one from Whole Foods), first delivery is free and then goes up to $3.99 or $5.99 depending on which option you select based on timing.

Sit back and relax in the comfort of your home and let someone else do your shopping!

I found the Instacart site to be very user friendly, shopping by category and searching items, it had everything that was on my list. The website updates in real time, telling you …

Solidify Our Vibrancy

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There was something about the small white padded envelope that was stuffed into my mailbox that stirred emotion deep inside me. I recognized the handwriting on the envelope, just like I would the voice on the other end of the phone before the days of caller id. Inside the package was a birthday card full of wisdom and a rose quartz heart. Rose quartz represents love, is known to heal the heart, calm emotions, and even help to release suppressed emotions. Sitting on my couch, just in from a long day at work, the small box open, the card still in my hands, I could feel my eyes well up with tears. It was the gesture that caught me off guard, the sentiment.

Technology has graced us with so many gifts, but it's also dulled our vibrant connections. While a constant stream of text based well wishes throughout my birthday lit me up with a smile, none of them brought a rise to my heart like the white padded envelope or a voice on the other end of a call. Even a phone call is a rare gesture…

We Needed Milk

There was no sign of sunshine out my bedroom window. I tossed and turned, knowing I wouldn't fall back to sleep. I have an unspoken rule to not get out of bed while it's still dark out, unless I absolutely have to. Then my mind focused on the fact that we are going on three mornings with no milk in the house. Two days in a row I drank coffee sans milk. TWO DAYS.

So I dragged my ass out of bed and went to the store, at 6:30 am.

It wasn't light out yet and the first sign that I should not be functioning outside my house at that hour, was a car coming head on towards me head where normally two lanes travel east. What in the world was going on?!? Oh just some magically appeared overnight road construction, bright lights, and a glimpse of a ginormous hole dug out in the westbound lanes. I safely pulled into the parking lot.

I tried to focus on what I needed as the brisk air came rushing over me walking into the store. I grabbed a basket instead of a cart, which was mistake numb…

My MasterChef Junior

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Somehow last year we discovered Master Chef Junior, even without having broadcast television. Maybe it was fate, as the girls have become devoted to Chefs Graham, Gordon, and Joe. Not to mention, they are incredibly inspired by the contestants ranging in age from 8 to 12. Granted they've always been great helpers in the kitchen, but now they want to take charge. Tonight, Sj made dinner, full on by herself, the entire meal. Rice which she cooked with turkey bone broth (we had already prepared after Thanksgiving) topped with a sauté of turkey, carrots, onion, kale, and herbs. Of course she even garnished the dish with fresh parsley because isn't presentation just as important as the food itself?


How lucky am I? Trust me, I know. 
Side note, here's a funny interaction I had on Twitter with Graham Elliot because he's awesome!



Welcome, XXIII

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Twenty-three. 23. XXIII. Twenty-three is one of the most powerful prime numbers, only second to seventeen in my opinion. Although, thirteen is my favorite prime number and culturally speaking we could easily agree that thirteen carries the heaviest cloud of superstition over it.
And today, December 2nd, marks twenty-three years J and I have been together. More importantly, December 2nd was the day we picked to mark our anniversary of being together. We were hanging out a lot before the 2nd, but a year into it and I felt like we needed a commemorative date. While the cliche is, in a blink of an eye, I can't really quite fathom how twenty-three years have passed. How do you wrap your arms around that? Two decades and three years. I could think of a hundred ways to make the number and I'm not quite sure it would solidify the magnitude of this milestone.

This human being came into my life when I was a child. While the first sight of him left my heart racing and cheeks red, over th…

December. D E C E M B E R. December.

December arrived with a double take. This morning I was half asleep, did one of those eyes closed blind reaches to grab my iPhone from my nightstand, pressed the home button to see what time it was, when my eyes transfixed on Monday, December 1. DECEMBER. I was instantly awake, December woke me right up. I've found with December, it's sometimes easier to hop up and buckle in, and enjoy the roller coaster ride that ends with Auld Lang Syne.




Winter Swept In

Winter swept in during the night and then somehow in a depressing turn of events, the sun managed to disappear for days. I sat in my chair at work looking at the tree branches swaying in the wind, blowing snow released from the branches in every direction. A dimmed orb was hiding behind the murky clouds trying desperately to break free. Packed snow turned to ice, our new normal becomes timid approaches to stop signs and holding hands to navigate the icy patches together. If one of us goes down, we all go down. Sometimes I see the light fluffy snow for it's sparkles, it's light reflecting properties, and pause to appreciate it. That pause typically turns to rapid movement indoors with a simple, yet forceful bone chilling gust of wind. The sun keeps fighting to come back. I feel like tomorrow may be the day when I'll close my eyes, turn my chin skyward, and welcome the rays back on my skin.

Whole Foods Market, Hostess and Party Go-To's

It's simply that time of year when even an invitation to a party becomes a thing. Does this sound familiar? Oh no we need to bring a side dish, by the way honey I said I'd bring dessert, what are giving your sister the hostess? Our plates are already so full, sometimes 10 minutes is all we have to spare on our way to a party. That's why my holiday party drive by is always Whole Foods Market.

Side dish, gluten free, dairy free, nut free? I certainly can find that at WFM. With out having the pressure of doing the cooking for dietary needs, I trust Whole Foods Market to have an option.

Dessert? Cranberry Apple Pear Crostada is always a hit and at $7.99 I can pick up two! We also love all of their petite desserts and pick up a dozen or so for smaller gatherings, they are so festive.

Cheese and Crackers? Here are some of my favorite picks. A couple unique cheeses always spruce up an appetizer spread. Or if you are feeling really adventurous and have like 20 minutes to peruse th…

Fall For prAna

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Autumn has finally arrived in Colorado, we've had gloriously mild weather, warm sunshine filled days. I felt the need to pull out some sweaters, maybe add a few new pieces to my wardrobe to freshen up my good old standbys. The girls and I took a little after school trip to Pearl Street to do some window shopping. I was lured into the prAna shop, by their window display and arrival of the Fall 2014 line. I walked by once and the second time on our way back to the car, the girls were like, let's go in! The new fall line feels just as good as it looks, the three of us found ourselves touching the sweaters, the cozy fabrics lining jeans and tops. PrAna creates this wonderful balance of progressively styled active wear, made with all my favorite fabrics. Their lifestyle lines are perfect for the office and weekend outings. Here are some of the pieces I tried on and I have to admit, with chillier temperatures in the forecast I am really regretting not picking up the white Mariska ja…

Road Tripping With My Favorite Allies...

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…Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies. It's time to leave this town, it's time to steal away. Let's go get lost, anywhere in the USA. Let's go get lost, let's go get lost.   -Red Hot Chili Peppers (Road Trippin)
There's something about traveling the open highways of the west that just speaks to me, speaks to my nature, speaks to my heart. The car gets loaded, I buckle up, sit back and take in the vast expanse just beyond the window. The sky meets rocky outcroppings, followed by the mountains consuming the sky, dried out plants silently calling for water to fall from clouds that aren't present, a sky blue like no other blue you've ever witnessed. The west is magnificent, full of splendor, captivating, alluring and it's just out my window. A blur sometimes, but my goal is to remain focused.

My eyes leave my handheld device for long periods which fills me with pride, I won't find anything inside a phone that will nourish my soul like nature's…

Non-GMO Awareness Month with $25 Whole Foods Market Giveaway

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Did you know it is Non-GMO awareness month? Back in 2013 Whole Foods committed to providing GMO transparency in labeling of products sold in it's stores by 2018. I must admit, when the announcement was made, it felt so far away, but in this moment it feels right around the corner. 

So, what in the world are GMO's? 

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. A GMO is created in a laboratory by altering the genetic makeup of a plant by splicing the DNA with foreign proteins and bacterias, viruses or other plants and animals. A Genetically Modified Organism can not occur naturally, it is created in a laboratory through genetic engineering by the manipulation of that plant/organism's DNA. Most importantly, a GMO is patent protected by the corporation that created it in their laboratory, which ultimately hinders third party and government research into their safety.

Why label GMO's? 

Unfortunately we can not see what ingredients were genetically modified with our eyes. It ta…

Celebrating American Cheese Makers

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October is American Cheese month and there is no better way to celebrate then by consuming some American made cheese! Did you know that Whole Foods Market employs over 200 Certified Cheese Professionals, which is more than half of the entire world's certified cheesemongers? Beyond all the accolades, I love sourcing cheese from Whole Foods for a variety of reasons. In the cheese department, you can try it before you buy it, just ask for a sample. My top reason for loving Whole Foods for cheese (other than the employees in the cheese department) is that you don't have to commit to the portion that is precut. You can ask someone to cut a portion to your exact specifications. This simple service has allowed us the opportunity to purchase and try a variety of cheeses, even a few that may be out of our normal budget. Confession, I love splurging on cheese.

My favorites and a few new ones we tried!

Haystack Mountain Applewood Smoked Chèvre is a local cheese, we've been buying for…

Total Lunar Eclipse, My Kind of Magic

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4:15 am came faster than my mind had anticipated. I rolled over to look out the window and see if I could catch a glimpse of the moon from the comfort of my own bed. Nope. I got out of bed, pressed my nose onto the cold glass and let my eyes search for a glowing white orb. Nope. Dammit, reality hit me, I was going to have to put on pants, more than likely a sweatshirt, and a hat before heading out in the dark to watch the lunar eclipse. As I was about to open the front door, instinctively I grabbed the wool blanket off the sofa. The concrete sidewalk was cold on my feet, that just moments ago were snuggled under a down blanket. I walked fifteen paces and turned around, there it was, the moon aglow entering into the first phases of the eclipse. The moon magically hung in the clear night sky, the bottom beginning to show hints of a beautiful burgundy meets pumpkin, red and orange melding on the surface, the earth starting to cast it's shadow, the sun coming up from behind our backs,…

Paint Meets The Page: Stay The Course

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Last night, I could've turned on the computer and watched something on Netflix or mindlessly surfed the web, but I didn't. I picked up my cup of murky grey paint water, walked over to the sink, dumped it out, and refilled the cup with clear water. I watched the muddled grey paint leave my brush as I rinsed it clean. I was discontent with not being able to accomplish what I had set out to do earlier, simply fill a page in my sketchbook, so I started fresh. I put classical music on and propped the dj style headphones on my ears. I opened to a blank page and wondered what would happen.

For me, the creative process is not being in love with what I produce. It's simply taking the time, staying the course, remaining on the page when more times than not, my brain is telling me to rip out the page. Be done, let it go. At one point late into the evening I looked down and saw about 3 remaining blank inches on the page. I could see the finish line, I was almost there, and I saw it th…

Paint Meets The Page

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Today I felt the desire to pull out my watercolors and release some paint on the pages of my sketchbook. I wasn't looking to complete a piece worthy of hanging on the walls, I was just giving my brain some creative space, asking it to accept what was spilled onto the page, allowing my hand to move freely and create.  Sometimes when I paint I feel anxious because so many aspects of the process lack control. I can't control how the paint meets the page, already wet from a previous brush stroke, or how the paint appears one way on my pallet, but vastly different in my sketchbook. 
I fought my mind today, a few times. I started panting a purple flower I had taken a photo of last week on a hike. I applied the paint really thick and it almost appeared like acrylic, instead of watercolor. The heaviness of it irked me. I happily drenched my paint brush with water, applied it to the flower, and washed it away. A faint purple wash remained on the page. I moved onto organic lines and bru…

This is Eleven

Some days 11 comes sweeping over me like an unexpected gust of wind. I sit and keenly observe the smallest details of 11 years of life, like how an everyday giggle reveals the dimples I once marveled in during her first days after birth. 11 is just different, it's right on the cusp of the world opening up to a new found independence. For me, I sense the independence when she hops in the shower without needing the water adjusted or when I see her ballet bag packed and hanging on the doorknob for her class following school. Sometimes those tiny gestures just quietly rattle me. They rattle me in the sense of how quickly the last 11 years have passed, but also they delight me in recognizing what a wonderful young woman she is becoming.

We celebrated her 11th birthday with a sushi dinner where she ordered sashimi and a kids meal, which seemed so appropriate for 11, one foot in childhood and one well seasoned foodie foot firmly planted. I sat across the table from her, full of joy throu…

Welcome, Colorado Bento Posts!

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From 2009 to 2012 I started publishing a lunch packing inspiration blog called Colorado Bento. I have decided to close down that blog, but imported all the posts which can be found under the Colorado Bento tag. I certainly feel inspired to start to post some bento lunches on Eat Play Love, stay tuned!


More specific tags (click through on sidebar) can also be found such as:

Adult Bento (2)
bento commentary (13)
Bento Tips (10)
breakfast for lunch (3)
colorado bento (116)
Feature Friday (2)
Food Revolution (3)
giveaways (2)
Green Alternatives (2)
Hot Bento (7)
Kids Bento (58)
Laptop Lunches (24)
leftovers (16)
lunch suggestions (12)
LunchBots (6)
nut free (1)
Panda Bento (14)
Recipes (1)
snack bento (3)
Tiffin (2)
Where to buy (5)

And The Heat Kicked On

I first heard a creak, followed by a slight clattering in the metal pipes, another creak, and a faint bubbling sound almost reminiscent of what one hears when the hose is turned on outside and you are still inside. My nose confirmed what my ears had already caught wind of. It's that mild something-could-be-burning familiar smell, which made my brain automatically think I inadvertently left the oven on. No, I didn't leave the oven on, the heat kicked on. My home is heated with water, running through copper pipes, jutting along the baseboard of one wall in every room. It's 1962 nostalgia at it's finest.

But the simple automated action of the heat turning on, surprised me.

The weekend was beautifully warm, full of sunshine, hiking in tank top weather, and today, the thermostat read 65 degrees in my house. The calendar tells me I should be wearing sweaters and jeans, that it's time to put away my sandals and take out my wool knee high socks and leather boots. While I l…

Happy Seven Years Ago

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Nothing quite marks the milestone of seven years blogging, like forgetting about that oh so special day.  That special day was August 13, a month late, a dollar short? Eat Play Love is not feeling a collective warm and fuzzy hug. Eat Play Love did not get a surprise party celebration. Eat Play Love is more like the balloon in the corner that's slowly deflating, a week after the party (that's inspired by a Ben Harper lyric).

My feet are so grounded in the place I am currently in my life, I should be inspired to be writing more. I am definitely wiser than I was seven years ago, I almost feel brimming over with ideas to share. And yet that most common writer's dilemma is plaguing me, where do I start? I've had this draft page open for a few days now, I click on it, write a few lines, I click on it delete a few lines, close it, open it, think of including photos, delete a paragraph, and decide just post the damn thing already.

Now a visual flashback. Maybe you remember som…

Inspired and Accomplished, Soulcrafting With RedCamper

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There's no purer way to my heart, than giving me the opportunity to dabble. As for my heart, it walked away from one evening Soulcrafting, purring a happy rhythm. I've never really been drawn to one hobby, I like to dabble in many things from DIY home projects to sewing to jewelry making to baking to gardening to painting. I love learning new handicrafts and practical skills, but often find it difficult to self motivate or commit to month long weekly classes.

Welcome, the dreamy, Soulcrafting. Soulcrafting has done the legwork, created the contacts with  amazing local master craftspeople, and set up the easiest way to continue your journey of lifelong learning right in your backyard through their class offerings! Leatherwork, home brewing, metal crafting, jam making, cheese making, kombucha brewing, gardening, tie making, are a just a few ways to dabble with help from Soulcrafting. If there is a skill you've been longing to try your hand at, the wonderful folks over at Sou…

WFM August Giveaway Winner

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The winner of the Whole Foods Market gift card was comment #8! Dee!

DeeAugust 25, 2014 at 9:42 PM
I've never tried grilled peaches but it looks delicious! I love grilled pineapple too. :)

I will be contacting you for your address!

Hello, Summertime! Grilled Peaches & Whole Foods Market Gift Card Giveaway!

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In Colorado we are fortunate to have access to peaches grown right in Palisades, which is on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. High Country Orchards and Kokopelli Organic Farms both supply the local Whole Foods Markets within days of harvest, so they are perfectly ripe and juicy. Even though I grew up eating the most amazing apples picked fresh from a tree, I don't think anything compares to a fresh Colorado peach.

This summer we've been experimenting with peaches and we have fallen in love with grilling them! Grilled peaches have accompanied our dinner, our dessert, and have even found their way into our breakfast!

The way we prepare them is to brush them with a little bit of maple syrup and some butter, than throw them on the grill. Yum! We make this salad with grilled peaches, but the recipe just calls for regular sliced peaches, it's turned into a go to favorite with chicken it makes a meal.

Summer Salad With Peach Walnut Dressing:
Ingredients: Dressing1/3 cup wa…

Best Drinks In Boulder! Bramble And Hare

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Boulder is a great town for food, but when it comes to drinks I feel like I'm always at a loss. I don't have a go to place, but rather a few places that get the job done. It's important to make the disclaimer that I don't particularly care for sugar laden drinks, I do love Prosecco, but you can find that pretty much anywhere, so it becomes more about ambiance. I typically wind up at Pizzeria Locale because well, ambiance, drinks, and fun. Unfortunately their hours are limited for late night enjoyment. I do love the mojitos at Centro, but overall that scene isn't a huge draw for me. The Med has $5 sangria which is fabulous, but OY, the sugar. I really feel the sugar the next day. Plus the Med has the typical retirement crowd, which isn't really my vibe on a fun night out. There's also the St.Julian, meh hotel scene and the drinks are a bit pricey in my opinion, but there is dancing, bonus! We always stop into Japango for a drink, but that's only because …

Steamboat Springs, I Adore You!

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A few months ago friends of ours invited us to the mountains to vacation with their family in early August and of course we eagerly accepted. Due to timing, I had to take the trip solo with the girls, so we opted for a mid week into the weekend getaway. I loaded up the car with mountain bikes, our stuff, and a cooler and hit the road for a 3 hour trip. After road tripping to southern California in July, a 3 hour car trip literally felt like a cake walk. Plus, traveling in Colorado is just as beautiful as you would imagine, the time just passes with oohs and aahs of the view out the window.

We rolled into Steamboat Springs, mid afternoon, for the first time in about three years. My first thought was, my where does the time go? I've always loved Steamboat, it's a very unique mountain town, where the locals may actually out number the tourists. In Steamboat there is no shortage of things to do. There are endless mountain bike trails, hiking trails, an alpine slide, tubing on the …

July Whole Foods Market Giveaway Winner!

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30 comments and #21 was the lucky one!  Dawn D, I will be contacting you for your address! Thanks to everyone that commented, stay tuned next month for the next WFM giveaway.



Summertime Love For Our Pollinators And YOU! A Whole Foods Market Gift Card Giveaway!

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The most recent statistic I read stated bee colonies are dying off at a rate of 30% annually. THIRTY PERCENT annually is quite the dramatic number. Bees pollinate more than $15 billion dollars a year in crops, some which would totally disappear with out pollination, such as almonds. Can you imagine life without almonds. While the decline of the world's pollinators paints a very dark and gloomy picture, every single person can do something to help keep the bees alive.

Whole Foods Market suggests three ways everyone can help at home:

1.  Plant Flowers, isn't that a win-win for everyone?
2.  Make Space, native bees will dig nests in bare soil!
3. Go Organic, organic foods promote healthy ecosystems and a safe place for our pollinators.



Give Bees A Chance

I have a $25 Whole Foods Market Gift Card to giveaway! To Enter:

1. A comment equals one entry, comment as much as you wish, I will transfer over FB comments. Please leave a valid email address if you comment as anonymous.

2. Contest …

I Enjoy My Socially Withdrawn Self

Lately I've been turning inward, examining life, contemplating... As always with reflection, my mind keeps getting hung up on how I've withdrawn socially and wants to pinpoint the exact moment in time when that happened. I don't quite think there was a defining moment. I think it was a series of moments, and simply the result was my lack of attention and energy to maintain a social life. Hahaha, a social life, in this very moment I don't even know how to define that concept.

Related to my situation and what comes to the forefront of my mind is, effort to benefit ratio… 

I think that concept seals the deal. All I understand is that it's much easier to just put on my shoes, walk out the door and hike, than it is text 20 times and settle in on a date and time in the future to go with a friend. I'm that kind of socially withdrawn. It's the casual, we would love to see you guys, and no follow through until you run into the person again at Trader Joe's three …

Hiking Bear Peak Solo, To Scramble Or To Not Scramble

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As my eyes gaze west through out the day, there's a large peak that looms off in the distance. I often find this peak staring back at me, whispering here I am, why don't you climb me. Bear Peak is it's name, it is Boulder's tallest mountain, and it just so happens to be in my neighborhood. I have a direct view of the peak from my office window. Anytime I am driving around town or just staring longingly at the mountains, my eyes roll along the ridges and always stop at the very tippy top of Bear Peak. The ridge to the north is still visibly burnt out and the black tree trunks that remain just have a way of leading my eyes to the prize. 
On my last regularly scheduled day off before summer holiday, I woke up and decided my time had come to climb Bear Peak. I loaded up my Camelbak with water, a few snacks, and headed out. I wasn't quite sure how long it was going to take me, but I thought about 5 hours would do the trick. I am lucky to have a pretty direct route from …

Break The Seal, Break The Seal!

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After school let out, we had family in town, I took two trips in one week (one unexpected), and then we went on a family vacation that we extended because we just couldn't bear to leave so soon. After we returned home I opened up the compose screen every night to write a post. I didn't even get as far as a draft. UGH. I just need to write something to break the seal, so I can let my thoughts free. I have so many things to say, almost too many. I sometimes run into that issue, I can't focus on where to begin.

I'm publishing this dribble, so I can carry on.

My writing break has officially ended, starting now.






Goodbye Knee High Socks, Hello Fresh Air

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For 7 years my blog header was a photo that always contained the 3 girls of my family in knee high socks, preferably with some mountains in the background. I've decided to let go of the whimsy I once felt for socks and mountains. The view from my hike today seemed to be the best way to capture how I'm feeling about my blog.


Far too often I've been contemplating the past and future of this space. I get a nagging feeling that I need to write and then it subsides when I think about just packing it up. Truly I don't want to pack it up, I just need it to evolve and grow with me. 7 years into the blogworld experience and venturing into all forms of social media, I recognize my experience online is for me. This is most purely an outlet to express myself. I watch people tirelessly promote and write crappy content to appease brands and sponsors, hoping someone will read their soulless words in attempt to keep chasing the next brand experience. All of that has faded for me, I ha…