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CONTENT

Filtering by Tag: editorial

Jenn Davis + A Slow Living Conversation

Ben Ashby

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JENN DAVIS

Originally from WHERE WOMEN COOK — SLOW LIVING

Jenn Davis is the creator of Two Cups Flour, a baking blog that showcases classic breakfast, bread, and dessert recipes with her own twist. She shares these food stories through inspiring photos styled with a southern, rustic spin from her Nashville, TN studio kitchen. As a foodie, photographer and baker, Jenn’s work has a nostalgic approach that ignites a love of baking in her audience. Her inimitable artistry captures each recipe with a mood that inspires home bakers to experiment with exciting ingredient combos and helpful—and often humorous—tips.

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“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” 


As a child, if I wasn’t learning about art, I was being instructed on the beauty of nature—my mom was a designer and my dad a horticulturist. I inherited my mother’s creativity and my father’s sense of humor…and I call upon these traits in my work! 


Food was “hands-on” in our family; my parents both shared in preparing meals. Dad had a garden and Mom canned the vegetables, Dad hunted deer and doves and Mom could turn them into a three-course meal, Dad made Sunday morning pancakes and Mom made pies and bread. With no formal culinary training, just good old trial and error home-style techniques, I learned from watching them and grew from licking beaters to being a helpful sous chef.

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We were a suburban family, with deep, country roots. Growing up, preparing food was a special art form, a way to bring people together. Meals were—and still are—a time for us to spend quality time. Even though my mom worked full-time, she prepared everything herself. I learned early that homemade tastes best…and it’s worth the effort! 


In my twenties I was caught up with other things…eating takeout for the umpteenth time, my friends and I decided it was gross and we could make better. This revelation turned into a weekly recipe night with wine, endless chatter, and mini feasts. My renewed interest in cooking and baking grew from there. I bought new cookware and a few cookbooks. We tried new flavor twists, pigged out on warm cookies and cultivated lifelong friendships over the food we made.


Years later, after college, I was living on a horse farm when my passion for baking re-ignited. I wanted to smell and taste all the food from my childhood and I began baking for joy, when time from my equestrian duties allowed. 

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Then, just after my 33rd birthday, I really started missing the artistic side of my life. So, I gave up my career with horses and started over as a photographer, but something was still missing. I wasn’t passionate about what I was shooting, but back in the kitchen I was trying new recipes, perfecting old ones, and enjoying every minute of it! 


So, I started pointing my camera at food. Like magic, creating in the kitchen turned into capturing food images. Now, I bake almost everyday and share how I see it. I live slow and share it.


Slow living speaks to my heart. I’ve done the fast paced, stressful, cluttered, and insatiable lifestyle. It left me feeling tired, unfulfilled, and lonely. I want to have a life full of experiences, not things, I want to eat food made from ingredients I’ve grown or harvested, and have the luxury to soak up the world around me. I want to live an authentic life at a slower pace…without the regrets of—if I only had time, visited, or enjoyed—lingering in my mind.

Slow living is reflected in my work. I encourage my readers to take time for the things they love. Follow their passions. Pursue curiosity. Slow down. Be patient. Soak up the moment.


To live slowly I had to first acknowledge what I value most. I prefer to make choices about my schedule, so I choose to live a creative life and work for myself. This comes with challenges and rewards; I work hard to achieve my goals, but balance work with down time.

Everyone can relate to enjoying something delicious. Whether you prepared the recipe, shared a slice of cake with a friend, or handed a bag of food to someone hungry, food connects us in its traditions, its possibilities and its joys. 


So, I work hard to share that cooking or baking doesn’t have to be perfect; you just need to enjoy it. Anyone can make something from scratch; it just takes a little patience and a willingness to try…and acceptance of the occasional failure! Sometimes I have to laugh and throw an experiment in the trash, other times I do a happy dance in surprise. I want my readers and followers to do the same; I want to inspire them to head into the kitchen to have fun and enjoy the results!

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“Live a life driven more strongly by curiosity, than by fear.” –Elizabeth Gilbert


twocupsflour.com | — wherewomencreate.com


Be Kind // Stella Marina

Zachary Kilgas

Be Kind. 


Kindness in its essence is a trait sometimes undervalued and often forgotten.  
Yet a few words carefully selected, or simply left unspoken can mean the difference between a smile and a tear.  We speak of intention, of gratitude and karma, but a simple act of selfless kindness is all it can take to brighten or soften the days of at least two people. 

 

It is present in babies when they are born, no child comes into this world with a preconceived idea of malice or hatred, we arrive with the capacity to love unconditionally, yet slowly that capability becomes ground down and chipped away over the years. In some minds, the potential for love, charity or altruism becomes crystallised, growing in new forms, in others a sort of calcification takes place, a smooth, hardened shell presents itself to the world.
 I might like to add here, that I do not write this from some rose-tinted cloud of kindness and empathy. I write this from my kitchen table, where I am slumped. I dragged myself here across the carpet because today I had a panic attack and I had to leave work.  I have felt the rumblings of one for the past week or so, but some loose-lipped words this morning sent me over the edge, and as I lay on my bed in that hazy aftermath where you feel completely empty and a little bit numb. I decided that the best thing to do was something constructive with this feeling (I also had to stop the day from feeling wasted).  
 

To draw us back to my favourite analogy, life on a boat actually offers up a wonderful platform for kindness. 

To be at sea grants us a condensed version of the outside world, yes it is archaic and often patriarchal, but it relies on wanting to keep one another alive. We depend on one another, knowing that the task ahead would be so much harder if not impossible alone. That self-reliant entity that is your ship, allows you to shed the skin of daily life, removing all other roles and responsibilities aside from sailing, eating, sleeping and how you will progress from A to B. Each change of direction is predetermined by a greater force, you cannot fight the wind, you can only harness it in order to move forward. Maybe this applies to our emotions, to anger or frustration? Bottling them up inside will rarely relinquish them, you may only harness that energy in order to move forward. Then there are the consequences of careless harsh words in an environment fuelled by broken sleeping patterns and constant movement. Not only are those words magnified but there is no easy exit, you are with those people for better or for worse, so please let's be kind. These words are easy to write, the thoughts are easy to form. The hard part is in the heat of the moment when you are distracted or angry. I do not claim that it is possible to constantly check yourself for thoughts of anger. The freedom to express our thoughts, ideas and emotions in any way that we like is a human luxury, we must try only not to exploit it. If you are granted words, please use them kindly. If you are granted authority, please use it wisely.