Hi! I’m Brande. I’m a proud homebody, reluctant career girl, and happy wife to a nearly flawless husband. I’m not afraid of spiders, getting dirty, ill-advised kitchen experiments, or lofty ideas. I can't wait to get to know you!
Sometimes, people call me “industrious”. I’m always getting into something, working on a new project, or reading about my next hobby. While some might consider being industrious a virtue, I adopted it as more of a coping strategy years ago, when I found myself feeling restless and bored with my existence. I was working in a demanding career that paid the bills but was leaving me feeling stressed out, unhealthy, hurried, and as if my life was really getting away from me.
Rather than looking outside for answers, I turned inward, to my home. At the time, home was an apartment in the Little Italy neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland. I got permission from my landlord to paint the walls, and I began hosting gourmet Thanksgiving dinners. When spring came, I filled my balcony with so many flowers, I barely had room to sit. Suddenly, I became interested in things I wouldn't have been bothered with before. I thought that cooking meals from scratch, going to a farm to pick up a chicken, canning tomatoes, or planting window boxes was for other people, and not for a busy career girl like me. But, what I found was astonishing. I found that transforming my humble place into a needed respite from the crazy world gave me immense satisfaction.
Years later, I bought my first home and systematically turned its tiny yard into a perennial garden. I cooked homemade meals for one that I savored at a little table adorned with antique milk glass candlesticks and fresh flowers. Now, I share a home in suburban Philadelphia with my husband, Rob, and our four cats, also known as “the girls”. We are proud homebodies, using our house as a place to relax and make memories with family and friends. These days, when I’m not at the office, I’m probably trying a new recipe in the kitchen or getting dirty in the garden. My sometimes unhealthy focus on getting good results can cause me great frustration, but I keep trying.
Since I was young, I’ve been interested in nature and preserving the environment. As an adult, I became more aware of the connection between how we live and the Earth. Particularly, I started to pay attention to food choices and how they affect the health of our bodies, agricultural workers, local economies, and the planet. I believe that a better world doesn’t require everyone to be an environmental extremist. Rather, it requires that more and more people learn to make small changes in how they live and eat.
I’m not an “official” expert on the topics I write about. That’s why I share my triumphs as well as my failures. If I can teach you one amazing meal to enjoy at home or inspire you to start your own herb garden, then I’ve done my job. It’s a really fun journey that I’m on, and I’d love for you to join me.