grilled cheese tomato soup

Fall has hit strong this year...from one day to the next the air went crisp and the leaves started swirling. Suddenly everything seems to burrow, searching for hidden warmth and companionship. I want to join in and find myself wearing thick socks, staying indoors all day without guilt, and cooking the new foods with its fall smells and, cinnamon, quiet laughter. One particular joy at this time of year is the end of summer produce melding into the beginning of winter heardiness. So here is a Parmesan tomato soup for you to try. Think of a rich and creamy tomato soup with the grilled cheese stirred right in. Also, perks of not having to clean the griddle.

grilled cheese tomato soup | seekthewelfare

serves 4

1 stalk celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 onion, fine diced

saute until just browning and fragrant

6 (28 oz) diced tomatoes

add, cook 5 minutes

1 t dried oregano
1/2 c+ fresh basil, chopped
4 c broth
1/2 bay leaf

add, bring to a boil, simmer until all is soft and thickened (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). Blend until smooth in a strong blender. Return to pot.

1/4-1/2 c butter
2 c almond/cashew/coconut milk
1 c grated parmesan
salt & pepper to taste

stir in until all is melted. Warm to eating temperature. Serve warm.

Yoga for travelers

While in Paris last April and May, it felt as though everything was coming at me all at once from every direction. If you've done any long-term travel I'm sure you understand the feeling. There is so much good and so much difference and so many expectations that it's easy to clam up into an anxious ball. I certainly have to fight against the impulse.

yoga for travelers | seekthewelfare

Something I tried to remind myself to do in those moments was to stretch, breathe, and go through a few comforting yoga positions to ease the tension in my muscles as well as ease the tension in my mind. From days with miles on miles of walking cobbled streets to sleeping every night on a less-than-ideal pull-out couch, there was plenty to work on.

Even the simple act of sitting quietly to determine what in my body needed attention proved helpful all on its own.

walking for miles on miles
sore calves & shins
     -- half splits left and right, up and down.
     -- standing forward bend
     -- one-legged v-splits
sore feet
     -- downward dog moving your feet
     -- cobbler's pose while massaging the bridge of your feet
     -- sitting with your feet under your hips, goes against the floor, heel extended upright

unfamiliar bed
sore neck
     -- mountain pose
     -- child's pose
     -- ear to shoulder neck rolls

heavy bags
sore back
     -- cobra pose
     -- thread the needle pose
     -- lie with your legs up the wall and breathe deeply
sore shoulders
     -- shoulder rolls
     -- cat cow pose
     -- arms pulled across your chest

unfamiliar food
unhappy stomach
     -- knees hugged to your chest, rock back and forth
     -- spinal two leg twist
     -- forward bend, sway back and forth

thirty before thirty

Upon the writing of this list, I was six months and a quarter of a century old. With so much life happening all at once and rushing by, I took a moment to pause and challenge myself to continued growth and write a thirty before thirty list. And, to throw in an element of accountability, here it is, edited as I dream about, plan, and work to complete the list before my 30th birthday.

thirty before thirty | seekthewelfare

Some of these goals will take a great deal of time and effort such as saving for and buying a house. Some of them are more or less out of my control such as being taken on a date (no judgement please). Some of them I've been putting off for years like reading all of the books I own. Some of them totally freak me out (any kind of performance in front of anyone ever). But each one is possible and that is extremely exciting.

thirty before thirty

begun: june 2017
last updated: october 2017
goal date: december 2021



live in a house -- preferably my own

create a vegetable and flower garden -- i've got all of my tools, now i just need the dirt.

care for a flock of chickens

procure beautiful dinner dishes and napkins -- preferably by a local artist



start my own business. in 2016 I opened The Sick Box, a little shop filled with handmade and carefully curated goods to nurture and encourage self-care.

earn a teaching certificate

lead-teach for at least one full year

get paid to organize someone's home. the summer of 2017 saw me designing and creating a room for a dear friend. picking the design, cleaning and organizing, and creating a quiet crafting haven for knitting, weaving, tea, and conversations.

work with a photography client



travel solo outside of the United States

wild camp

drive from one coast of the United States to the other

live in a  foreign country for a month or more. lived in Paris for a month in 2017 with a week in London thrown in the middle for good measure.

skinny dip

take a multi-day cross-country train trip. in june 2017 i took my grandmother on an amtrak train from Seattle, WA to Saint Paul, MN for her birthday. it was magical.

bike from one major city to another -- anyone want to go from Seattle to Portland with me?

return to Scotland

swim in warm ocean water -- Hawaii perhaps? Or Florida? Spain could work too...

go on another overnight boat voyage. june 2017 saw me boating the puget sound from case inlet to everett.



go 30 days with a quart trash jar without filling it up -- because I haven't yet gotten this strict with myself though I have significantly reduced my trash

have my portrait taken or painted

read every book I own -- it's been a goal of mine for about a year now. I've made some progress but it could be much better.



throw pottery

confidently play and sing at least three tunes on the ukulele with someone to witness them

accomplish a difficult yoga pose -- preferably with a balancing element

try oil painting. summer 2017 I took a five week course for beginning oil painters. My goal now? experiment all on my own and see what happens.



write the life story of at least one relative

be taken out on a date -- I believe there will be no judging for this one, thank you.

buy work from a local artist

fix someone else's flat tire

Do you have a goal list going? What's your favorite one? Comment below or share with us on the facebook page.

drinking from the fire hose

There is a huge part of my life that I have barely even mentioned here and that is my work as a paraprofessional and instructional assistant. Surprisingly (and wonderfully) the new school year sees me back in the same classroom that I spent most of last year in...the same one I wrote letters to while we were traveling.


I have been there for almost a year now all told and I have sat down so many times to try to write about it. Yet, even after many attempts, I find myself unsatisfied with the words I've tried to put to it.

How can I write about an experience that feels like five parts drinking from a hose and five parts exactly what I've always been meant to do? How can I convey the excitement of our sticky-note alphabet scavenger hunt and the looks on their faces when they find the matching letter on the board? How do I put words to the day that he walked through the door in the morning beaming, walked from class to class in calm, confident of his safety, and held up his completed star chart with pride rushing through his little body? Or the day where he came to school still charged with fear from the night before and screamed his way through the hallways? How can I communicate that both of those days were beautiful because I got to be a part of them? 

I myself am still discovering the facets of this experience, and working to figure out how to explain it to myself. Every day is a new challenge, a new moment of growth, a new frustration, a new unexpected joy. 

Suffice it to say that feel joy in this place even when I don't feel happiness and that is a gift and an blessing that I do not take for granted.