NEW BEGINNINGS: NEW JOB + THE PERILS OF ONLINE DATING + PISTACHIO MUFFINS

On Monday I will embark on a new journey in what I consider to be located at the coolest spot of Fountain Square. It is a marketing agency that not only produces impressive work, but also values their employees. Their name first reached my radar over brunch with Denver around October of last year. I had been battling a cough for months and was popping cold meds like it was my job as I prepared to fly to London in a few short weeks. Denver’s cough never went away, so we were quite the pair as we sat at Louie’s Wine Dive on Mass Ave, hacking and barely able to get our eggs down, while onlookers watched in despair.

I had reached a breaking point professionally; the work was meaningful, but the atmosphere (for lack of a better word) was not a good fit. I did not feel empowered, aka was not encouraged, to improve the status quo. Denver mentioned this agency’s work and said she had even spoken with them about a possible position after her time at the Speak Easy.

Fast forward a few weeks and I left that environment. I boarded a plane to London and did not look back. I gave myself permission to not worry about the next job and simply enjoy this time in my life. Little did I know that the next two months would be my last with Denver and I truly believe everything happened the way it was intended. People are often discouraged when you say, ‘God has a plan,’ but I am a firm believer that he is smarter than me. I kept myself busy with freelancing opportunities, board positions with Dig IN and Junior League, and of course baking. I am excited to work with a new team of go-getters with a similar enthusiasm and love for Indy.

Now onto the perils of online dating, which many of you are already fully aware of as the recipients of my often hilarious texts after a date. I waited a full year after my last relationship before I ‘put myself out there.’ I needed time to myself and I wasn’t ready to let anyone in until I was confident that I could be vulnerable again. One of the last discussions I had with Denver the week that she passed away was about online dating. She helped me with my photos and my little blurb about ‘Libby, the 29 year old PR professional and her furball dog.’

I soon discovered that I did not have what most 20-somethings consider a wardrobe for dating. I was told not to wear blazers, wool, Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, Talbot’s, anything from the kid’s department, oxfords, or anything with a collar. My group of hip friends settled on a striped t-shirt, skinny jeans, and Converse. This became my dating uniform.

Overall, I met some nice guys and had to block a few others for questionable introductory lines via the app. I learned that when a guy asks you for your number in person, you have to actually give him the correct number because he will stand there and call or text you so that he can ensure that you received it. If I had a dollar for every time a guy asked if Winston has eyeballs, I’d be rich.

It took me the longest time to figure out why guys would stare at the striped t-shirt on the first date until a friend finally explained that they were checking me out or rather, looking at my non-existent boobs. Guys do not want to feed you, but they will buy you a beer. I have yet to find a guy that will buy me a sandwich, so I snack beforehand. I must be one of the few women that can discuss cars (mostly German), Top Gear, anything historical, politics, and record players. All of these topics usually surprise the guy if they arise.

I have also been surprised by how quickly they want to kiss you. Call me old fashioned, but how about we share a meal first and I learn your middle name. I’ve actually yelled, ‘This is awkward,’on a date and if you know me, you’re not surprised. There’s a reason I loved my best male friend for eleven years. I need time to feel comfortable and I never had to worry about what I looked like or said. I was just me.

Since my last serious relationship, I dated a guy for a little more than three months. It was a great relationship; he made me happy during an extremely hard time after Denver’s passing, we had our own interests and space, and he taught me that nice guys do exist. He treated me the best I have ever been treated, but we were not on the same path and that’s ok! Goals need to be aligned and it’s better to be honest early in any relationship.

My friends enjoyed his company as much as I did and we shared some great memories in a short amount of time. I met him on my first day on the app and he immediately asked me to meet for coffee. He was genuinely interested in me and now I have the confidence to know I am not damaged goods from the last relationship. He liked that I didn’t wear make-up, that I fell asleep every time we watched West Wing (don’t judge, I have seen them all), that I paddle boarded with a smile even in the rain, and that I compulsively gave him food. So here’s to new adventures and more hilarious stories for my friends.

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My friend Kim, the amazing calligrapher that I brag about in every post, recently introduced me to a gluten free pistachio muffin at a coffee shop in Irvington called 10 Johnson Coffee (it’s also the address). The muffin was out of this world amazing. While I attempted to re-create it, I will admit that their version is still the best. These were good and Kim ate a few, so I am happy with the result. They are ridiculously healthy, so feel free to eat a few or four in one sitting like I did. On a side note, I have been making bi-weekly trips to Aldi for staple items like almond milk, eggs, cheese, and produce. You cannot beat the prices and while I still have my go-to Trader Joe’s items, check out his brother, Mr. Aldi. Take a quarter for the cart, trust me on this one.

GLUTEN FREE PISTACHIO MUFFINS

Inspired by Making Thyme for Health

  • 2 cups Cup to Cup gluten free flour (available at Williams-Sonoma)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, shelled
  • 1/2 cup spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Sweetened coconut flakes and leftover pistachios to garnish the muffins
  1. Heat oven to 350°F and then grease a muffin tin for 9 large muffins or 12 small.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and sift together.
  3. Using a food processor, grind the pistachios into a powder. Add the coconut oil, almond and vanilla extract. Then add the spinach and 1/2 cup milk to the processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Combine the mixture from the food processor with the agave and remaining almond milk in a large bowl, then stir together.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet and gently fold them together. Only mix until combined, being careful not to over stir.
  6. Scoop 1/4 cup mixture into each muffin tin (less if making smaller muffins) then sprinkle with coconut and pistachios.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

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The original pistachio muffin from 10 Johnson Avenue.

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