Category Archives: Musings

Thank God It’s Monday

March 17, 2014

Hey bellpeppers!

I was planning to post a meatless Monday recipe from my semi-new Plenty cookbook (Ottolenghi can’t stop, won’t stop), but instead I wanted to offer up a bit of reflection, since today is my birthday!


Birthdays are so strange. We celebrate the anniversary of our own birth, a moment in time none of us remember, yet in fact shape our whole existence.

I was walking around San Diego yesterday just thinking about birthdays, and being born, and coming into the world. Everyday of our lives we are learning, growing, doing, shaping, making, expanding and we do this without ever pausing to reflect on how wonderful it all is!

This birthday I am taking the day to think about all of the amazing things I have accomplished (which I rarely ever do), the places I’ve traveled, the people I’ve met and cultivated relationships with, the work I have done, the things I have created, the moments of laughter and joy, the moments of crying and despair, my truly remarkable family that accepts my never-ending madness, my friends who I care so deeply about, my boyfriend who has been my source of happiness for the past five years, the many many people I meet and move on, the way my body is growing and changing, and how even though we congratulate one another on being born, what we are really saying is- I’m happy you were born and that we came to know one another.

I am taking my anniversary day of myself to congratulate myself on all the successes, the ups and downs, and just being in the world. I’m so excited for the next 26 years of life and all it has to offer. Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes, and for being so incredibly inspiring to me every single day. Here’s to another expansive year filled with creativity, love and happiness bursting at every twist and turn!


Moments from the Weekend

March 10, 2014

I spent the an amazing weekend in the desert at Joshua Tree National Park with six of my fellow fellows. What an incredible weekend hiking, cooking, skill-sharing and rejuvenating in the blissful desert sun. Here are some of the moments from the weekend. I hope you all had relaxing weekends and are ready to jump into the work week :)













March 5, 2014

Have you ever felt like there wasn’t any time during the day in between emails, phone calls, running errands, maybe chasing after your kids or doing homework, catching up with friends, and the many other things that catch our attention throughout the day- to really focus on your craft?

I’ve been feeling this in full force as of late, and wishing that I didn’t need to sleep. Do you ever meet people who somehow fit so much into their day? It’s pretty infuriating.

Daily Rituals, Routine, Artists

I picked up this book about Daily Rituals of artists, writers and other creatives throughout history, and cannot put it down! Mostly it’s helping me realize that everyone- really everyone- goes through rough patches, procrastination, frustrations, road blocks and the like.

Our rituals, whether they are taking a walk around the park, waking up at 4am, standing while writing, or in my case owning up to the fact that writing is useless after the sun goes down- makes us that much bolder, and maybe, just maybe, we can accomplish something that we are proud of.

Here’s an excerpt from the introduction describing Franz Kafka’s frustration with his work:

“Frustrated by his cramped living situation  and his deadening day job, he complained, ‘time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers.‘ …For most of us, much of the time, it is a slog, and Kafka’s subtle maneuvers are not so much a last resort as an ideal. Here’s to wriggling through.”

Here’s to wriggling through bellpeppers! Tell me, what is your daily ritual for work? Have you been able to move past any frustrations in your craft or daily life, from a minor change? I’m so curious to know!


Happy Friday!

February 7, 2014

Bruschetta, Forest Feast

Photo by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast

Happy friday bellpeppers!

Have you ever seen the blog the forest feast? It’s absolutely gorgeous, filled with whimsical watercolor paintings, simple locally sourced dishes and tons of color! I found the above image during one of my daily run through of blogs. Lately, I’ve been so into other people’s blogs that I’ve totally ignored my own (have you noticed??)

I seem to get overwhelmed with the multitude of blogs out there with beautiful photos, perfect photo-shoot set ups, lovely logos and the all around “perfect”- and it’s just stopped me from doing what it is I love doing here on Local Belle.

I am trying to use other blogs as inspiration rather than dissuasion- its a process. I keep reminding myself that everything takes practice, including writing this blog, including photography skills and design skills and cooking skills! If you’re still interested in hearing about the wonderful world of local and organic food, I invite you to continue on this journey with me to dream, discover and of course eat!

So let’s do this! 

An Ode to Coffee

November 11, 2013

Last week I came across this article about the best time to drink your coffee. In my humble opinion, anytime is the best time to drink your coffee. But according to Brain Facts, an organization committed to uncovering facts about the causes, symptoms and outcomes of brain disorders, the best time to drink coffee (the time you really get your money’s worth in terms of caffeine) is between 9am and 11:30am.

As I sit here writing this to you at 7:00am PST, I’m enjoying a hot cup of Nescafe (don’t judge) in my mason jar (again, please don’t judge) and wondering about morning routines. There hasn’t been a morning where I haven’t drank coffee, probably in years. The closest thing that comes to mind is the two weeks I spent at an ashram in India, where everything from coffee to garlic was banned. I remember feeling fine (as fine as I could be waking up at 5am to meditate every morning) despite my morning companion gone, and feeling sorry for the Israeli woman sharing a room with me who just could not function. She too, probably missed her Nescafe.

It should be no surprise to anyone here that I almost feel guilty about this habit (addiction?) While I encourage myself and others to live a healthy lifestyle- eat wholesome foods, lots of fruits and veggies and keep the processed foods to a minimum- I still struggle with limiting my caffeine intake. There are certainly days where I drink my morning Nescafe, hit up Starbucks for an afternoon pick-me-up and end the day with some turkish coffee while reading about Habits.

Ah! How do we get this way? While a nice cup of mint tea at night would certainly suffice, the taste of coffee, the love I have for it just trumps everything else. So what to do, should we embrace our my vices, or shamefully hope no one notices the 3+ coffee drinks per day? (See how the thought of changing my ways isn’t even an option?)

How do you feel about this? Does coffee play a large role in your life or do you just tell yourself that you’re not addicted and just enjoy the taste (like me)? When does habit become addiction and more importantly, should we care? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one, share in the comments!

Happy coffee green tea coffee drinking!



Things I Love

November 3, 2013

I don’t know why I feel compelled to pull this together, but there’s just something about autumn that makes me so happy. Back on the east coast, the beauty of the leaves turning vibrant hues of red, orange and yellow, the crunch of dead leaves on the sidewalk, brisk mornings, and limitless pumpkin spiced treats just does it for me.

Here in So-Cal (that’s southern California for all you non-natives ;)), the weather is still so pleasant, but with a bit of chill in the evenings. Just enough to justify a chunky sweater, boots and hot apple cider. All the beauty of autumn, topped with fruits and veggies I only see in the height of summer back home. In any case, these are just a few of the small things I’m loving.

Speaking of things I love, I’m really loving this new online tool called Canva– it allows you to drag and drop designs for posters, presentations, and blog graphics! If you’re like me and don’t have fancy software like Photoshop, definitely check it out.

So what is it you’re really loving right now?

xx, belle


Happy Friday!

October 11, 2013


This Week I…

+Got food poisoning, spent two days eating rice cakes and dreaming of these semolina cake bites with tahini (yum!)

+Started planning an event for National Food Day (which you all should totally be a part of! Check out the site!)

+Went to the San Diego Hunger Conference and heard a great keynote speech from the Deputy Director of Policy Link about race, equity and access to healthy food

+Met up with a few Mohos for a belated Mountain Day

+Got hooked on this show

This weekend is looking like cafe and beach time, definitely catching up on some overdue writing, enjoying the fact that I live in this gorgeous place and possibly a trip to an apple orchard. I want so bad for it to be “fall” here, but not quite sure apple picking is a thing down here in Southern California. By the way- can you believe it’s October? Ah! Enjoy the weekend bellpeppers! xx-belle

Do What You Love

October 7, 2013

Happy Monday y’all!

It’s been a crazy few weeks here in San Diego. First off, I should probably clarify that I live in San Diego county, and not the city. No, I’m living in the city (town?) of Encinitas, not far from a beautiful beach and always gorgeous weather.

The past few weeks have been really hectic for me, and I thought I would remind myself and all of you lovely people to just do what you love. Whether that means delving into a new book, being active, starting up a new hobby, or doing absolutely nothing at all.

Life’s too short to worry about the small things- so I urge you to start the week off right and do what you love.

More updates on life on the West Coast to come.

xx, belle


Face Your Fears

September 9, 2013

New Heights

I’ve been afraid of heights for as long as I can remember. Roller coasters were do-able, but being too high up without any form of protective barrier-  a definite no go. One of my last weekends in Israel this past year, some friends and I went hiking in the desert. Climbing up a steep rock wall was fine, but when we had to turn around and go back down- I had a breakdown. I started shaking and crying hysterically, I couldn’t help it. It was really awful. I hated that this fear was keeping me from doing things that I love.

Over this past summer I decided I would take on a new practice of facing my fears. I started this by signing up for the camp talent show and singing in front of the camp. I don’t have a great singing voice by any means, but I wanted to perform in public- something I haven’t done in years due to my terrible stage fright.

Taking it To the Extreme

And then one day when my dad (of all people) told me he was going skydiving- I knew I had to join him. Reflecting on skydiving is just so surreal. I’ve watched my video over and over again, but the feeling of falling out of a plane, 12,500 ft. in the air- just cannot be described.

I felt as if I was a bird flying above the whole world- a true out of body experience. More than anything else I felt more alive than ever before. While I cannot say that I have rid myself of my fear of heights, I’d say I did a pretty good job at trying to tackle it.


Have you ever tried to tackle a fear head on? What was the experience like? As we move into the new school year- I urge all of my lovely readers to try something new, something you never thought you could do, or something that you haven’t done in a long time. The feeling, I assure you, is pure magic.

Happy Friday!

August 30, 2013

Happy Weekend Everyone!

At the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

This week I …


This weekend I’m doing something I never ever thought I would actually do and I’m so pumped! (Keeping it a secret for now). I’m also going to meet up with my girlfriends in Philadelphia and take advantage of their long Labor Day weekends! Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend and makes the last weekend of summer really count! What will you be doing?