Our first ugly CSA!

While I’ve always been intrigued by CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) the price tag has always been daunting to me. Because I am thrifty. Which is a nice way of saying cheap.

SO. When 412 Food Rescue announced an UGLY CSA for 40% less than your average, beautiful CSA I jumped on that shiz.

I’ve always been happy to see ‘ugly’ food initiatives that utilize food that is perfectly good but most people (or retailers) won’t buy. One person’s ugly food is someone else’s dinner!

We picked ours up in East Liberty at Olive and Marlowe.


So many boxes of foooooood

So many boxes of foooooood


I woke up like thiiiiiiiiis, hence the sunglasses and hat


Yogi "helped". By looking cute.

Yogi “helped”.


Here are the goods!

We got a watermelon, tons of peaches, cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash. And now the fun part: making some tasty food! Recipes welcome.

My First MeetUp.com Meetup

My very first #meetup (I survived!) Why you should try it too! via J Seeks Joy

One of the things I’ve been striving to do is meet new people and put myself out there. I just finished Brené Brown‘s Daring Greatly (if you aren’t following Brené’s work on vulnerability and shame, you should for sure seek it out! She’s amazingly human and her research is wonderful) and you guessed it, the point of this particular book is to dare greatly through taking off your armor and being vulnerable.

I came across Meetup.com through my Google searches for a book club and found that there were TONS of meetups in Pittsburgh for tons of different interests. After looking through what felt like millions of groups, I decided on a 20s and 30s social group for women, which was not a book club at all. Ha! I saw that they were having a happy hour meetup the next day downtown.

At first, I immediately dismissed the idea of going. “Well, that was a terrifying couple of minutes!” Then, I remembered that my schedule was open that evening. Plus, I’d been to the restaurant before, so I knew where I was going. And I’m supposed to be on this journey where I try new things and put myself out there… You know. That thing. Right. *straightens tie, clears throat*

I talked myself into going, reminding myself of all of the GOOD it would do me, and spent the next 24 hours or so nervously anticipating meeting up with a bunch of strangers. LADY STRANGERS! I didn’t let myself think much about what could go wrong, and just channeled my nervous energy into my blog :)

I ended up meeting four women and they were all great. We had good conversation, good drinks, good food, and it was so nice to just be around people.

Since I moved to Pittsburgh 3 years ago, I haven’t made much of a social network. I’ve been busying myself looking for a job in higher ed, moping about not being able to find a job in higher ed, and working at my current job. Those three things have really dominated my life and haven’t had much energy left to get out there and meet people. Being depressed and discouraged is exhausting.

My meetup was a great reminder of how essential it is to be surrounded by people, and the human drive to be accepted and belong. While I may never see those women again (we’ll see!) it was a pleasant couple of hours of feeling welcome, relaxed, and relieved. Which is exactly what I needed.

My First #MeetUp.com Meetup (I survived!) Here's why you should try it! via J Seeks Joy

J Reads: Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang

J reads: #RejectionProof by #JiaJiang #BookReview #Rejection #SelfImprovement via J Seeks JoyI picked this book up on a whim at the library. That’s actually how I come across most books in my life!

This book could not have entered my life at a better time. Jia Jiang, on a mission to rejection-proof himself, set out on 100 days of rejection, purposely trying to get rejected. Sounds a little bit like a few nightmares I’ve had… He bravely filmed these encounters, and posted them to his blog Fearbuster.com.

He says, “I am going through 100 days of Rejection Therapy, aiming to make 100 crazy requests to get rejected. My goal is to desensitize myself from the pain of rejection and overcome my fear. Feel free to send me ideas and suggestions. Three criteria I set for myself: 1. Ethical (no lying or marriage-undermining) 2. Legal 3. Doesn’t defy the law of physics.”

I thought the premise was a little cheesy at first, but I was relieved when he started to not only explain why his rejection  attempts were successful or not, but talked about the psychology of rejection and why it hurts so much. Best of all, he teaches you how to fully rejection-proof yourself if you’re willing to get a little uncomfortable.

To give a small spoiler: The key to successfully being rejected without ruining your life is in how you view it. You can take it personally, believe you’re not good enough or worthy of anything, and take all measures necessary to ensure you never get rejected again. (This is me in a nutshell.)

The better way to look at rejection is to realize that it is personal, but it says more about the other person than it says about you; it should not be used to gauge truths about yourself or your merit; and eventually, the nos will becomes yeses if you try enough times with enough different people.

His rejection toolbox is the most valuable thing I’ve come across in a while. I want to hang it in my house so it’s always there to remind me. It’s really that good.

So should you read it? YES. This book is funny, poignant, and best of all, it gives you the tools you need to stop letting fear of rejection rule your life and to put yourself out there, come hell or high water. There are way more gold nuggets of information in this book (aside from the paragraphs above) and I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever experienced fear before. So… Everyone.