Just Start

I remember exactly where I was when the college love of my (then) life and I broke up. I was sitting on the couch at my mom’s then boyfriend Brian’s house. I was so in love with him and had no reason to end it other than the fact that I was stuck. I was at a full stop in my life and he was moving full speed ahead. Honestly, I only know that last bit now. His full speed ahead attitude was magnifying my lack of any type of motivation. Until now it was probably the healthiest relationship I’ve ever had and he changed my life. It was one thing he said.

Just do something.

Wow. It really hurt at the time, but do something I did. I moved to California. I’m a big time talker. A dreamer. But I’ve never really been a do-er. I have lived in a constant state of fear and doubt and even more fear. I don’t even know where to start because I’m too scared to fail or look stupid that I don’t even try.  So last spring I had made the choice to do something again and I’ve kept doing somethings ever since. I refocused on my therapy, saw a doctor about my depression, swore off dating and I made a list of things I wanted to do.

  • Go on a camping trip alone.
  • Hike alone.
  • Go skiing alone.
  • Go see a show alone.
  • Go to a yoga class alone.

Do you see a trend here? I was so lost in my life that I had no idea what I actually liked to do which then led me to ask myself, who am I?! I wanted, and still do, to try everything. I haven’t done all of the things above but I did end up starting somewhere and booked myself a 6AM hike at Hanging Lake on August 8th, 2019. I’d wanted to hike it since I moved to Colorado in 2014 but never did because nobody I knew had ever planned a trip. Oooooookay. Did you hear me?! Plan your own damn trip, Taylor! So I did. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that it was nearly a 2.5 hour drive to get there until a few days before my solo adventure. Getting up at 2:45AM was not fun, and the drive there was a bit sketchy in the dark but it certainly kept me alert. Every single bit of the hike was worth it. I was also one of the first people at the lake and was able to enjoy all of its majesty in solitude.

Two weeks ago, after I lost my job due to COVID19, I decided that I’m going to start my own business. I’ve been overwhelmed and unsure where to start so my boyfriend held me while I cried and shared all my fears and simply whispered, “Just start.” Yes I’m absolutely terrified and I’m scared to fail or look stupid but I’ve come to far and accomplished too much in my life to not even try. We all need a little something to believe in right now and I’m choosing to believe in me. I’m taking all my big time talking and dreams and starting to do something.

SPS Header

Here goes nothing. Or… maybe something huge.

Send Flour

Let’s just pretend that it hasn’t been months since my last blog, shall we? We are eyeballs deep in COVID-19 and no matter where you fall on the spectrum of supporting social distancing and stay at home orders, I think we can all agree that this is getting hard. Real hard. As a longtime sufferer of anxiety and depression, my extra outlets no longer exist. I can’t go grab a drink at the bar with my besties and my boyfriend and I can’t just walk into a coffee shop and sit together while he draws, and I work on my resume. Those things might seem silly, but we are all struggling in our own ways and this isn’t easy on anyone. People are dying, unable to pay their mortgages because they lost their jobs and it’s nearly impossible to get on the phone with your local unemployment office. We are all doing the best we can and trying to find ways to cope. This shit is hard.

I’ve been living in all the stages of grief through this. I go in and out of denial since this all started because I’ve been living in the bubble of my home. I’ve been angry since I found out that I was getting laid off from what I thought was my dream job and found out that I am not eligible for unemployment. Even angrier when I realized that I was replaced at work and have since felt helpless and unworthy, especially when every application I’ve submitted for a new job usually ends with the “Thanks but not thanks” email. The depression and feeling of disconnect has probably been the worst of it all and as we’ve all turned to a more digital sense of community it’s easy to feel even more disconnected than ever. We’re using FaceTime, Zoom, House Party, Marco Polo but those can’t replace a huge hug or being able to hold the hand of a friend as they mourn some loss in their life. Those moments are so precious and I’m holding onto the memories that flood my mind fiercely.

Okay, so bear with me as I try to pull this all together. I know at the start I said that we should pretend that it’s hasn’t been months since my last post but let’s be serious. I haven’t written in months and I’m a bit rusty.

Alright, so a longtime friend of mine and her husband decided to send me some money to help me with my bills.


I have so many memories from back home of the two of us baking holiday treats and recreating our grandmother’s Christmas cookie recipes. Well, as you all know baking essentials are incredibly hard to come by these days so while I was experiencing all this gratitude, I was also feeling so disappointed that while y’all are over there baking banana bread, I’m disappointed that I can’t participate and bake something. #firstworldproblems

Well, a week later another friend sent me a care package with a bag of flour and a few boxes of sugar. I’d been commenting all the drool emojis on every single post about her baking adventures in Southern California and she knew I’d been unable to get my hands on any sort of baking essentials in the grocery shops here in Denver. I mean, I cannot. I’m even crying as I write this because both of these incredibly kind gestures reminded me that even in times like this, people are there. In large and small ways, people will show up for you. People will help you find joy.

The world is changing, life is changing, and now there’s no looking back unless it’s to see how far we’ve come. Dream big, reach out and ask for help, be honest, chase your fantasy. It’s time for all of us to rise up for each other. I’m in this with you and ready to help you find your light too. Oh, and share this recipe with you because it was damn good and we can all use something damn good in our lives.

Send Flour


Banana Bread:

Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the pan

2 cups flour, plus more for dusting the pan

1 TSP baking soda

1 TSP kosher salt

1 cup granulated sugar

5 very ripe bananas (I’m talking hella brown)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 TSP pure vanilla extract

2 eggs

Cheesecake Swirl:

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature

12/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 TBSP lemon juice

2 large eggs


  1. For the banana bread: Preheat to 325 degrees F. Generously spray a 13×9″ pan with nonstick spray.
  2. For the cheesecake swirl: Combine cottage cheese and lemon juice and puree with a food processor until smooth. Then blend the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg in a large bowl and mix until well combined; let that star of the show hang out on the sidelines for a bit.
  3. For the banana bread: Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Mash the granulated sugar and bananas in a large bowl to a paste. Whisk in the oil, vanilla and egg. Whisk in the flour mixture until just combined.
  4. Reserve 3/4 cup of the bread batter. Spread the remaining batter in the bottom of the prepared pan. Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the batter and put the reserved 3/4 cup batter in a line down the center of the pan. Insert the tip of a paring knife into the batter and drag it through and up to swirl 5 to 6 times.
  5. Bake until the top is cracked and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. But every oven is different so make sure you keep an eye on the goods. Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, then carefully invert onto a platter or cake stand and then flip upright. Cool completely but I definitely recommend you refrigerate that magic overnight and then share it with friends.