Hi hello welcome! This post is not edible or particularly upbeat, but thanks for being here anyways.
Someone commented recently on one of my youtube videos something along the lines of “this channel used to be so good, now every video is sponsored”. Careless negativity like that doesn’t really upset me, but it did leave me with some thoughts…
- Be kind. You never know someone’s situation or story.
- I genuinely love every brand I partner with, and would use their products in my kitchen whether they paid me or not. So just because a recipe is sponsored doesn’t make it any less delicious, and it doesn’t mean I created it with any less authenticity or effort.
- I haven’t been creating and sharing new recipes at the same rate I used to (and want to!), so it’s not more sponsored recipes it’s just fewer recipes overall. But sometimes that happens because LIFE.
I don’t write a lot about my life because I assume you are here for recipes not to read about me. And as much as I love vulnerability, it still scares me too. Life posts especially scare me when they aren’t going to be about how happy I am and spunky things are. Honestly my offline life feels really messy right now, which makes me question if it’s too real? too much? too unpositive?
But in a world of undersharing the not-shiny stuff, I’m going to overshare for a minute and press publish
before I overthink myself out of it after 37 revisions and asking 3 people to read it first.
I’m emotionally just tired
My heart hurts. The past few months have been emotionally challenging like I’ve never known before. I’m a little less idealistic now, a little less trusting, but more sure of who I am than ever.
I’ve learned to validate my feelings for myself even if the world says I’m too sensitive. Sometimes I’m not going to understand why. Sometimes I won’t get the conversation and closure I want, but I can’t ignore what’s said by silence.
I’ve learned that honesty and kindness can’t always solve it. That hope will keep me hurting longer than memories. And that eventually, when I’ve tried as hard as I can and maybe harder than I should, all that’s left to do is let him go.
Sometimes I wish I could be mad beause mad seems easier than so deeply sad. I wouldn’t undo anything even if I could, but I do look forward to a future phase of life that involves less crying.
Again. At the end of August.
And it’s bittersweet. Florida still feels like home and I know I need to go, but there are definitely things I will miss about this place.
Like my apartment with its giant warehouse windows that look out onto the river, exposed brick walls, and open kitchen I love so much. Or the communal porch with rocking chairs where I like to work in the evenings while spying on the resident stray kittens (even if the mosquitoes make all of that a little less lovely than it sounds).
And the little moments that make me smile and think only in a small town. Like the post office that is located inside the health food store and only accepts credit cards if it’s over $9 (which for me is never). Or the ladies who invited me into their sidewalk gossip pow wow just because I happened to be walking by with my dog. Or the way people wave and say hi in a way that feels like we know each other when we don’t.
Although I must say North Carolina, I do not understand your fondness for shoes. In Florida when I am barefoot 90% of the time no one cares or even notices, here everyone comments.
But I found a new apartment in FL that I love near the water (or at least I think I will love it, it’s not actually done being built yet so…fingers crossed!) And I cannot wait to be close to good friends again. And I’m excited for new creative/business developments to come. It feels hectic moving twice in 6 months, but right now it feels most right.
I’m loving lately…
Live music. There’s nothing quite like the energy of dancing in the dark amidst thousands of strangers outside under a perfect 75° sunset. For a few hours no one is stressed, everyone is just present and happy. That’s a vibe. If you’ve never taken yourself to a concert before, I highly recommend it.
Fiction. I haven’t read fiction just for fun in years. But recently I started An American Marriage (in real life non-ebook form) on recommendation from a friend and my sister, and it has reminded me how much I enjoy it.
Kindness. Randomly from strangers. Like shoutout to the man I’ve never met before who struck up a 15 minute conversation with me in my apartment parking lot because he saw me crying in my car. Better yet he didn’t start it with “Are you okay?” He just pretended like I wasn’t crying, and kept talking until that was true.
And, of course, kindness from friends. Old friends who check in, and new people in my life who are down to deep dive and skip the small talk. Getting to know people you just vibe with and relate to is one of my favorite things.
Road trips that let me escape for a moment and make me appreciate home when I get back.
Podcasts that make me laugh. A couple of personal favorites are this one and this one.
Quotes/poetry that eloquently remind me my feelings are not unique, which is beautifully comforting.
Caring less. Overthinking less. Posting more instagram stories of my dog even if no one else finds her as cute as I do. Saying no when I want to just because I want to. Not wearing makup most days. Remembering no one is watching or judging as closely as we think. Just generally embracing IDGAF-ness more than ever.
So no I’m not at my creative best right now, but I know I will get back there. And in the meantime I am choosing not to feel bad about that. I am choosing to accept that sometimes I will be killing it at work/life and sometimes I won’t, and that is perfectly okay.
Meet yourself wherever you’re at, and have compassion for the current you.
And shoutout to Haley for inspiring me to write this post by openly sharing about her own (very relatable) life changes. Also this woman makes crazy good baked things fyi.
Note to brain: If I could ever write one of these personal posts during normal daylight hours, that’d be cool.
Thanks for reading! xo
Kelsey G says
I actually love seeing this post. I always wonder about the girl behind all the amazing recipes. Hopefully this next phase in your life brings you a lot of happiness and peace.
Aw thanks Kelsey❤️ I enjoy writing and sharing these too, so I appreciate you for reading!
Me too 🥰
Thank you for reading this one, much love Kasia💕
Alice Cho says
I LOVE your recipes and your creativity! I have tried a lot of your recipes and as you said, whether it’s sponsored or not, it is always delicious and impressive. I have started to use oat flours, dates, soaked cashews and coconut milk because of your recipe. You are giving positive effects to many people so I really hope to see your posts for a long time 🙂
Thanks for the post. All I can say is keep doing you. I’ve learned that more than anything these last 6 months..no more labels and unrealistic expectations. We need to learn to embrace and enjoy change and that’s hardest for me,but I’m learning to not quite embrace but breathe through the uncomfortable. You got this!!
Now I would like to Ask you remove those green social media balls from the side because you can’t read what you’re saying with them all along the left side..just suggestion. 🙋
Oh no, I just disabled them! On your phone or computer if you don’t mind me asking?
And THANK YOU for reading, your words feel so very true for me too. Expectations are at the root of so much unhappiness. If we can live and do and give without expectations…thats the real magic! So so hard too though. And completely relate to breathing through the discomfort as well. The only way out of feelings is through, and it won’t always going to be fun but it’s necessary🙃
On my phone!
You’re doing great!
Thanks Estee! Truly appreciate you❤️
An American marriage is such a good book! Enjoy!
Yes absolutely enjoying it so far! Thanks for reading Larissa❤️
Here for all of it, Natalie. The recipes have always been SO GOOD, and knowing a little piece of the complexity of the woman behind it all makes it even better for me. It’s been years and I’m still working my way through your index of recipes (it’s hard when my family has so many favorites on repeat). 🙂 I’m so grateful for how you’ve added to my life through food and would support beyond just sponsored content if you gave the opportunity. Not going anywhere and respect and appreciate your need to be human.
Oh Holly, I love that last sentence so very much! Yes we all gotta be human even when it’s messy and hard, and more importantly not hide those bits. Truly truly appreciate your support, thank you and much love💕
I loved learning a bit more about the person behind all those amazing recipes!!!💜
I really appreciate you taking the time, Luka💕 Beautiful name btw!
When I woke up this morning, something told me to hop over here and I’m glad I did ❤️ Thank you for your vulnerability and courage to share a little more about life and what’s going on. The careless negativity will forever baffle me and I was so surprised by that specific comment. I’ve been following your journey (here and YouTube) for years and not once have I felt that authenticity has decreased…if anything, over the years, it has expanded. It makes my heart literally hurt to know what you’ve been going through…especially because I know you’re an amazing human ❤️ I’m glad you have Nolan and good friends……and the kindness of strangers, what a good man for doing that! I read the things you’re loving lately with a big smile on my face – it’s the little things ❤️❤️❤️ And seeing pics of you always makes me happy. I have a REALLY good feeling about this move and know that I will always be here for you if you need anything. Sending the biggest hugs your way and SO MUCH LOVE 🤗❤️😘
P.S. – I’m off to check out those podcasts before Willow finally wakes up! Love you!
Hehe your vulnerability radar is GOOD😂 Even though I’ve already told you much of this❤️❤️ I am honestly somewhat grateful for such comments because they can inspire thoughts like this, and remind me that the opinions of those who don’t really know us don’t really matter. It is absolutely the little things and the love of the people who do know us that makes all the difference. Truly appreciate you and the novel texts and all your support for all these years😘 xoxo
I loved reading this, even though I’m sad for you that you’re sad. You’re a great writer – intelligent with loads of wit – so you should include more of it on your blog! Thanks for sharing with us.
Shelly THANK YOU! That is so kind of you to say and wonderful to know that you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them❤️
Thank you so much for sharing, Natalie. Reading other’s not-so-shiny feelings and experiences makes me feel less alienated in my own and I think posts like these are very important, although I know they’re super scary to put out there sometimes. We’re sensitive human beings, not recipe-making machines! I hope these changes will give you a fresh start and re-invigorate your life in lots of positive ways.
By the way, I know it’s hard to see for yourself, but from an outside perspective, you always look like you’re kicking ass and never come across inauthentic.
“We’re sensitive human beings, not recipe-making machines” 👈 YES!! It is so true, and easy to forget in the world of perfect IG photos and trying to keep up with the daily pace of it all. But I think the not happy, not easy, not perfect parts are the most universal and relatable. Worth sharing, even when it’s scary. And thank you for your objective perspective too, it doesn’t feel that way so I truly appreciate that❤️
Britt B says
Oh my gosh, I’m tearing up!! This is beautifully written. Of course we care about the beautiful creator of these gorgeous recipes. I absolutely love reading these posts, Natalie, so thank you for sharing this side of yourself. You’ve been through a storm, and it’s scary as heck. But you’ve gained so much from it, and moved through it with such beauty and grace. Everyone has a lot to learn from you. I’m so beyond grateful that we’ve connected, and I’m so grateful you wrote this- life really has been freaking TOUGH lately, but you’ve reminded me to keep smiling at the little moments. Thank you so so much for that, and here’s to an even more beautiful season to come <3
Aw you are so very kind, THANK YOU❤️❤️ You were absolutely on my mind in the part about connecting to new people you just relate too so quick, I feel very fortunate that we connected and it’s made my days/weeks brighter chatting with you too! You support means so much to me😘 xo
I love reading more about you! Keep the monthly updates coming! Thank you for sharing your heart and vulnerability, it makes the world a more beautiful place.
Aw thank you Sher! I look up to your photography skills like crazy and have for years, so the fact that you took the time to read this means SO much to me💕 Vulnerability is beautiful.
Shivani Raja says
Every time I see a new blog post or video form you I wonder “how does she do it?” You consistently provide high quality content to people who don’t understand how much time, craftsmanship, stress and effort goes into producing it. And for that, I not only salute you, but COMPLETELY 1000% respect the need to slow down. Forever and always, put yourself first ❤️ I’ll still be here for your next recipe whether it’s in 2 days or 2 years. Thanks for being so awesome and super inspiring to me! x
Ohmygoodness you are the best❤️ Let’s hope it’s before 2019 is over haha, but your support either way means the world to me! I know you know the overwhelming feeling of trying to keep up with it all too, and yes sometimes slowing down and taking care of other life/emotional things is necessary. I really really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment, Shivani. Much love! xo
The Vegan 8 says
Oh Natalie, I literally teared up at the image of the man coming to your car when you were crying. What a sweet man. I’m so sorry to hear you are struggling right now. I can definitely relate to the exhaustion part and lack of motivation to write recipes. I was just talking to another blogger friend yesterday a bout this. This summer I’ve been so busy and overwhelmed with so much going on, but on top of that, as much as I love to create new recipes, I’ve lacked the oomph and fire to get them done like I normally have. I think I’ve just been enjoying a break and not feeling pressured to always have to post, post, post. Allowing myself to just live.
And to the person who said that rude comment, honestly, you have never ONCE come across as anything other than completely pure and real. Never once have I felt you were unauthentic. I know you only share products you use and love. People can be so rude and insensitive and forget we are a human on the other side and not robots churning out recipes.
I love all the pictures you shared here and you know I love your apartment and jeans, haha, since I already told you, lol! And you know how much I love your sweet doggy. Love the pics you share in your stories.
I know you will come out of this even stronger, life’s challenges mold us and make us better, stronger people. xoxo
That is absolutely true, and I already feel the strength and greater self awareness the past 6 months has brought me. And honestly those comments don’t bother me, they just remind me that the opinions of those who don’t know me don’t really matter. It’s the support of beautiful friends like you that matters, so thank you for that. Always❤️❤️ The summer is weird for blogging. I hate ruining a trip or vacation by stressing about keeping up with posting, so I think it is a perfect time to relax and enjoy life and people more. I hope you have been savoring lots of sweet memories with your family and letting the motivation come back naturally☺️ Thanks for reading and for the jeans chat😂 Much love to you my friend! xo
Mel | avirtualvegan.com says
I can totally relate to this. I’ve been going through one of the most difficult periods of my life ever for the past 9 months, with no end in sight, and have really struggled with creativity and keeping my blog going. I go through fits and spurts where I have some great ideas, then struggle to summon up the motivation to make them happen.
Know though that this difficult time of your life will pass and ultimately make you stronger. (I need to remember that myself).
You are incredibly good at what you do and it will all be there waiting for you with bells on when you are good and ready. Until then be kind to yourself and do what you can, when you can, and cry when you need to. Letting it all out is good.
Oh and the people with careless negativity can stick it where the sun don’t shine. You don’t need to answer to them. They aren’t your people. Your people get it, and you, and know that life happens.
Take care Natalie x
“waiting for you with bells on” 👈 this totally made me smile and is a wonderful reminder that I need to keep in mind. Thank you for reading Mel, and I am sorry to hear that life has been extra challenging for you lately too💕 My motivation comes in waves too, sometimes diving into work feels like the best thing and other times crying on the floor is what needs to happen. I hope you are taking all of this beautiful advice and being very kind and compassionate with yourself right now too. Sending you all the good thoughts for a less tear-filled future to you too! xoxo
Mel – you and Natalie are my top fave bloggers – the ones I actually do bother to read!! So, hope you feel better soon too!
Thank you for posting this. It’s important for all of us to know and accept we go through changes. Sending lots of love your way! Thank you for all your amazing recipes and your personal post💗
No worries I gotcha, for some reason I can edit it but you can’t (whatcha thinking wordpress??) Regardless, THANK YOU so much for reading this one Millie and for your kind words❤️ Acceptance for being human is so much harder than it should be, but sharing definitely helps😊
Ugh… how do I edit???!
I meant to say, thank you for “posting” this.
So sorry for my weird autocorrect typo.
Always enjoy your posts. Come as you are us always how I roll.😎 sending positive energy your way.🌻
It really does seem like the best way to do life–how you are right now and without apologizing for it even when it’s messy. Thanks for reading and the positive vibes, Mary❤️
Thank you for sharing your vulnerability and realness. I’m sorry you’re going through a tough time right now. One thing that stands out is that you seem to know yourself really well which is one of the greatest strengths in life. How kind that man was to just be with you when you were wide open. Such a beautiful example of goodness in the world. Gah… I’m not crying, you’re crying 😛 Anyway, I wish you all the best in your move, your new nest and taking the time you need to recenter. <3
First of all THANK YOU for taking the time to read, Bronwyn💕 I don’t know that we’ve ever really connected, but I must say I’ve admired your beautiful photography for some time now (especially with cupcakes…girl you are gifted with those little guys!) And second, I really appreciate that you picked up on self awareness in this post because that is something that is incredibly important to me in life and I try to bring into everything I say/write. It truly is the biggest strength, makes everything else easier. Thank you for the positive wishes, and much love to you! xo
Elinor Weber says
You are so incredible for opening up to your followers and for sharing your feelings. We are just another support group to walk you through this process. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and focus on getting just a LITTLE bit better each day! We all love you and your work, and are here for you every step of the way!
Aw thank you, Elinor💕 I am definitely feeling the support today, and your words mean so much to me! It really is about the little victories and mini progress, isn’t it☺️ Much love!!
Thanks for sharing. I like learning more about the people who have the ability to make my belly so happy. I too am a super sensitive person. One who always dives into books and reads constantly when life gets messy. Someway it seems to help straighten me out. And I just read American Marriage a few weeks ago! What a good book!! I hope you feel better soon <3
I am totally enjoying it so far, and yes reading really does help ground me in offline life in a way I forgot☺️ I appreciate you reading this and relating to the sensitive part. I truly think it is a strength, even if sometimes it’s hard to remember that when things hurt extra hard. Much love to you, your support means a lot to me Sarah💕
Nisha / Rainbow Plant Life says
Okay, I’m not the first person to read this post, like I said I would be…but I am so happy I eventually got to it. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing. In this overly saturated world of never-ending content, it’s to remember there’s a real human being behind it all. A human being with real emotions and real life obstacles. I am looking forward to seeing more of your amazing content once you have time to rest emotionally and get back into the required headspace to churn out the work. And yay for random acts of kindness and nice strangers! Love you!
Hahaha timing is not important, even if you read it a year from now I would still be so very appreciative❤️ I completely agree with you, sometimes you gotta take a pause on cranking out content to check in mentally and emotionally. Which I know you’ve been doing lately too for your own reason and life transitions😊😊 Kindness always, from strangers and beautiful supportive friends like you! xoxo
Kati Robison says
I’m so sorry people feel that they have to bash you for having sponsors supporting your blog. Good grief, in this new gig economy, that’s what it’s all about! The rest of us are blessed and nourished by your posts (especially when we actually go beyond drooling over the food and actually cook it!). We would never have access to so much good content from you and other outstanding bloggers without such sponsors. Ignore the naysayers, I say, Go, girl 😊
I think it it the minority, most people know that sponsorships are a thing and not going away, but I am appreciative for that comment because this post was born of it☺️ It’s the hard stuff and the rough times that lead to the most change/growth, sometimes it just takes me some time to be able to see the positive. I appreciate your kind words and support so very much, Kati💕
Iris Koller says
Keep on keeping on, Natalie. Things will continue to unfold and may you find the blessings even along the rocky road of this moment in your life’s journey.
And, welcome back to Florida!!
Thank you for the kind words, Iris💕 You are so very right, without the rocky times we wouldn’t have the graceful ones☺️ Yes happy to be back soon, it will feel like coming home!
There is nothing more life affirming than an honest (and goodness) post about “the struggle”.
Life is so many, many things and nothing, if not difficult.
Thank you for breaking through the pristine, white walls of your “perfect” confections to let the sunshine in!
While I enjoy reading and occasionally making all of your marvelous treats, I must say, this was the best slice of “humble pie” I’ve had in as long as I can remember.
Be you, you’ve got this!
I couldn’t agree more, “the struggle” is the most universally relatable thing I think😆 And I adore what you said about letting the sunshine in, what a beautiful way to phrase it. Opening up honestly even about the hard stuff is always beautiful in my opinion☀️ I am happy you enjoyed this non-edible one too! Thank you for reading❤️❤️