Radicchio, chickpea & herbed, balsamic quinoa salad
Today I thought I would share a little bit about what has been going on in my world as of late. It has been filled with heartache, twists and turns, some excepted, some unexpected.
As you may have heard I quit my 9 year government job at the beginning of March. It was somewhat a sudden decision but not one that didn't come with a whole lot of thought. Since September of last year I had been going through a really awful work situation one that lead me to go on a medical leave in the middle of December. I am unable to get into the details of the situation right now (I do hope one day to share them because the message is especially important to me) but know it was incredibly trying and lead me down a path I never thought I would be lead down.
I spent the last 7 months no where near myself. I felt as though I was just drifting through life, not in my mind, in a whole other vortex just getting through each day, one breath at a time. I tried to hide it as best as I could because of the situation and being unable to talk about it which made it all the more hard. Only a very few near and dear to me knew what was going on and hands down they have all of my love and gratitude. I would not have been able to get through the last 7 months without Paul and our furbabies. (There were days I couldn't even get out of bed and Solomon would just lay with me the entire time, looking at me with his deep brown eyes filled with love and "its gonna be ok Mom"). Without my Mom and a couple of my most bestest besties. Without my work momma, who has been dealing and going through this situation with me, side by side, the entire time. And without my Hayley, whom I treasure more than I will ever be able to put into words for the new life she has given me.
The decision to leave my job completely was tough and anxiety ridden but also something that had been a long time coming. My government job was nothing more than a job with a stable income. That's it. Essentially it was a dead end. I had no passion in it, no dreams, no areas I wanted to climb. It allowed me to pursue my passions and my creative side but at the same time it was getting to the point where all it was doing was holding me back. It was time to let go, especially after all of the heartache it had put me through over the 9 years of being there and then especially these last 7 months.
So let go, I did. I sent my resignation. Ahhhh instantly the air I breathed tasted different, my chest opened up and it felt as though 9 years worth of pain and anxiety and stress was instantly lifted. Its wild, the twists and turns life will take you through to get you to where you need to be. I had no idea when I started this blog that I was as creative as I am, that I was actually kinda good at photography. I mean I have always loved pretty things, styling, design, food, surrounding myself with beauty and snapping photos of it has always been my thing. But doing it as a job? Is that even real?
The idea that one day I would actually feasibly be able to leave my government job and make a better living, financially as well as mind, body, soul like doing something I thought only my dreams were made of seemed much too far out of reach. But turns out dreams can come true, if you work really hard at something, spend your time and energy building the stepping stones to you dreams they really truly can come true.
Moral of the story, timing is everything, but once the timing is right pursue those passions and dreams, don't let anything or anyone hold you back.
You may have seen my post on Instagram announcing my leaving and entering my new creative directive role at Charlotte & the Quail. Hayley and I have dreamed of working together since I started doing her photography almost two years ago (which ps. started with my iphone whattt? Yes it's true I have only been using a DSLR camera for less than two years). She is my soul sister in almost every way. I have never worked better with someone in my entire life. She pushes me in all the right places and nurtures me in the others. I am crying right now, writing this, thinking of the trust and patience she has in me. She truly just wants me (us) to succeed (as I do in her, which she is already doing) and having that in a partner, business manager, big boss lady, friend and soul sister, is truly what life should always be about.
Paul loves her too, every time I ask him a question he will say "well have you asked Hayley, I mean whatever she says we should do", our trust in her is just as strong as hers in ours. She is the brains of our operation, the magic, the love, the heart, she has it all.
We have big plans. The two of us. We kinda plan on taking over the world, even if it is only within our tiny little portion of it. We actually just started another company together Harp & Sparrow Media & Design...more new to come on that later, it is just in the raw baby steps but the moment it's ready you will be the first to know. Like maybe next week ;)
A little peek into our plans for Charlotte & the Quail include a larger retail section (with an online shop, yes this means everyone can have a little piece of Charlotte even those not near to us), workshops and events (lots coming for those warm summer months ahead of us), pop-up dinners, day-dreaming books (written by us truly), an online (recipe) journal which was just launched a couple of days ago with a recipe for sautéed swiss chard & leek with a basil pesto, poached eggs and crusty sourdough). We will also be sharing stories of some special field trips we make in and around our area and maybe world wide!
Our dreams are far and wide, but at the core, we want to sprinkle magic Charlotte dust over all the lands - because our hearts truly belong there and we know just how special our little place is and we want everyone to experience it one way or another.
As for this space, I will continue to grow it. You might see some simpler recipes coming up soon. I want to get to the heart of food and just let the natural flavours shine all by themselves. Healthy yet comforting, real food. Which has always been my practice here but I want to get deeper.
I am finally getting the nerve and courage up to hopefully host some photography & styling retreats/workshops. If you want to collab with me I would love it, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also starting to write an online photography and styling workshop for those that can't attend in person ones. Sign up to my newsletter here (at the bottom of the page) to be the first to know when they are both available. Which will come first I am not sure but they are coming and I am excited.
Well I feel that is enough rambling about me for one day. I will continue to update you on the comings and goings and all things new, whether here in this space or over at Charlotte & the Quail, truly my other home.
Today's recipe is one that I have been making pretty much all winter long. It is actually inspired by the many beautiful and delicious dinners I have over at Hayley's. It is so simple, absolutely delicious and really healthy. It is part of a three part recipe share I have coming. The other two dishes that go along side this dish will be shared in the coming weeks. All three of the dishes are easy and really really good. Make them all together and you have an entire dinner party meal or make them separate and they still hold their own. Or mix and match them with your favourite dishes. The world is your oyster!
Radicchio, chickpea & herbed, balsamic quinoa salad
1 can of chickpeas
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 radicchio roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp of balsamic glaze
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
squeeze of lemon
salt and pepper to taste
in a pot add in 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water. bring to a boil then down to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
drain the chickpeas and add them to a large bowl. pour in two tbsp of balsamic vinegar and the olive oil, let sit. once the quinoa has cooked mix it in with the chickpeas.
roughly chop your radicchio, cilantro and basil. add to the quinoa and chickpeas. drizzle 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar on top, squeeze of lemon, add pine nuts, salt and pepper to taste, toss and serve.