New Years Brunch !!

Hello everyone!  It’s my one year blogaversary!!!!!!  Ok, I just had to get that off my chest before I start.  My first post on this blog was of my New Years Brunch that started off 2018.  Now, I am going to share with you my 2019 brunch.  Last year the whole spread was vegan.  This year, I wanted to make each course a little more personal.  I asked each person attending what one word they would use for 2019.  The words were: prosperity, triumph, unstoppable, fun, peace, and growth.

For ‘prosperity’, I turned my eyes to Southern traditions.  In the south, they believe luck can be brought into your life with three foods.  Cornbread, collard greens, and black eye peas.  For this dish, I made cornbread muffins, hollowed them out, filled them with a black eyed pea purée, and sautéed balsamic kale (hey, kale is like the Pacific Norhtwest version of collard greens right?)

Next up: ‘triumph’.  When I think of triumph, I think of strength.  And red is often associated with strength.  So, I made a strawberry (red) sorbet.  It was reallyyyyyyyy good.  I also made broken chocolate shells which I sprinkled over the plate.  In my mind, the chocolate represents all the dark shadows you want to leave in 2018 while the strawberry sorbet represents the strength you will have in 2019!

For ‘unstoppable’, I made two things: juice and soup.  Unstoppable is associated with health.  I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing like freshly made soup and warm soup that makes me feel better!  The juice was a mix of apple-pear-carrot.  The soup was a coconut milk corn chowder.  Pretty tasty.

‘Fun’ was a dish I was pretty excited about.  The main thing I wanted for this course was it to exciting, fun, and delicious!  I made focaccia, cream cheese, and pepper jelly for the savory part and rainbow angel food cake, whipped cream, and lemon curd for the sweet part!  Pretty fun 🙂

When I heard ‘peace’ was chosen for one of the words, I looked up foods that help with peace of mind.  According to google, blueberries are one of the best foods for promoting peace.  I made wild blueberry breakfast rolls with a chamomile icicng.  I chose chamomile because it’s known to be a very calming flavor.

And finally, for ‘growth’, I wanted the dish to resemble a garden.  I filled the dish with a herb filled green goddess dressing and covered it with edible dirt.  Yep, you read that right.  I ground up mushrooms, leeks, and mixed nuts to resemble dirt.  I then assembled roasted vegetables so that they looked like they were growing out of the ground!

If you made it to the bottom of this post, thank you so much!  I am so grateful for this blog and all the ways I get inspiration from it!  Here’s to many more posts in 2019!

grateful, maya | @caringcollectivea23b8498-d121-458a-87ae-3f6282b7c112ce1cc959-5b66-4fe1-bf18-602baf4a177e153d402b-0b0b-4a93-a54d-355485b483b655a43217-c75f-435e-aa85-e7cbafae42d2b943af6f-616e-4ec8-99de-bab65ab8f9d138d1f15e-85dc-4980-82eb-9eef8f5c953e7ca98ce6-7822-4bb2-894b-826d1bbd5ef1b917de00-7f78-47cc-95df-b19d297e9732d41e0cc2-aac6-46a0-a40d-f8cb70d3ae3a4e7b791e-1c9c-47ac-b142-e79db8836d13ac883db7-377f-422b-b88f-e14cb591833879ed27ea-9500-40a9-a9e6-ba7d5f24a80640c93980-b068-42bf-9a93-d43c88800483727eff76-3b4c-4509-a4fd-e49ed3753cf413c52454-f4bd-475a-86b7-56646efd11a1d489a15b-f228-4e3d-8855-227426720344a7aa50dc-d1eb-42c3-9b7a-2eae09400945d313b5e5-c438-4619-8364-a90db9f688bb802bbbf3-9905-4567-ac9d-b26ae8810c7d6e8e3603-623d-4005-9730-ff6a41923999af400d76-386f-4190-9288-5581e9f24a8730be0e60-4cc6-4a79-a952-a001260b83d816e3455e-daf3-4f84-b6b6-55a8aa801a19a8d7c2ca-029d-486d-a118-bfe693040df6

What 2018 Taught Me

Hello you wonderful reader you!  I am baffled that 2018 is coming to a close, so I decided to write about all the things 2018 taught me.  This post is my thank you note to a very transformative year.

Lesson One: Starting off the new year with a vegan, delicious brunch is pretty cool.  Let’s just say that in 2019’s brunch, there will be even more food!

Lesson Two: Creating a blog might be one of the best decisions I made this year.  Being able to share my musings online has inspired me in so many ways!  If you are looking for a creative outlet, I definitely recommend starting a blog!

Lesson Three: One word: yoga.  That’s it.  Try it out sometime.

Lesson Four: Everyday, there is a possibility for a good day.  Don’t let ten or twenty “bad” minutes of your day make it a bad day!  Happiness is a choice you make.

Lesson Five: The month of July was probably the most transformative part of my year.  Long story short, I made lifelong friends, backpacked 20 miles, and finally realized my strength and independence.  If you want to learn more about that trip, you can read my last blog post!

Lesson Six: A busy day is not always the best way.  Sometimes, reading a good book and drinking nice cup of tea is enough.

Lesson Seven: Hawaii is one of the most healing places on Earth… even in the midst of a hurricane.

Lesson Eight: This might be the most generic saying ever, but: Be kind, you never know what someone is going through.  However, it might be the best advice.  No matter what, be kind.  It always, without fail, brightens someone’s day.

Lesson Nine: I heard these wise words very recently, thanks to my mom.  Just because something is difficult, it does not mean that it is bad.  Growth happens during challenging moments.

Lesson Ten: Get excited for what’s to come!  Yes, it is very important to stay present.  But it is very important to take a minute and think of all the sunsets you will see and all the experiences yet to come! 74334CBA-0993-4780-BC5D-2D0513549239FF136701-39DC-4EED-826F-5A51E12575AFCE9804D9-24B3-498E-A48A-AF95F1EC84E7EC34EE75-D185-4121-AF24-D87499C520A26CD328A4-D0CE-4C85-9FB8-095B3065741C3D6CC4B5-230E-4986-B7BA-1F584F8B7E1B990A07DF-8DE4-4440-918E-BA5733F905CE8806ECBA-B39D-4014-BF48-031298111668D19CFB6D-B96B-4706-9892-3E6CB42105CA69E1E5D2-905A-4084-A8BB-67377A794AC4D58B935C-DB8F-434B-9644-EEED9B7B2CDA0B8D90DF-FCEB-491C-AC5D-851220193A9CADF7C4CE-E776-40A5-8730-0382362A18E064558645-93D2-4805-9ED3-A36CBB2A6991E9D7480D-95E0-4D48-8295-DFD1CA97B89CF0B685A4-7A06-4212-B444-39FA3FAD6C27E769143D-78BB-4E4C-A693-CC48F24E17BD1BA98767-291A-4DCA-A62B-F8EA832CCFED47BFCE47-5292-4C7E-ACF3-37B29E6D15737A096F74-BAE6-462E-AB39-7F5C9FDE6420

I wanted to end this post with a little reminder.  I know it’s pretty popular to put all your attention on the year that is approaching and how you’ll change and yada yada yada.  But please, spend these last few days of 2018 reflecting on how you’ve grown.  Just be yourself, and growth will come to you.  I trust that 2019 will teach us all many lessons, but now, let’s stay in the present!!  Above are some of my favorite pictures of 2018 ❤️

grateful, maya | @caringcollective

Lessons Learned During My Stay In Montana

Hello!!  It’s me.  It’s good to be back.  Today, I might be writing my favorite blog post to date.   This is the story of how two weeks spent in Montana changed my life.  It’s taken me so long to write this, and I still don’t have the words to fully express my gratitude towards this experience (and the people I met along the way).  Let us explore the lessons I learned, day by day.

Day One:

Sometimes, you find yourself crying on a composting toilet.  Yes yes very glamorous indeed.  It is easy to doubt yourself and the situation.  But if I would have done that, what good would that have been?  I remembered all the scenery I had seen and the little glimpses of the friendships I would soon form.  As I went to bed in the tent, I reminded myself: Things take time.

Day Two:

Step outside your comfort zone.  White water rafting is fun!!  Also, trying to get into a wetsuit could be a start of a friendship.

Day Three:

It’s hard to believe that one of my favorite memories of this trip is singing “You Got a Friend in Me” in the back of a van.  The most wonderful, fun filled moments can be found in the smallest situations.  Backpacking requires a lot of work (who knew) but it’s all worth the little slice of nature you get to call home.

Day Four:

The most magical place on earth goes by the name of Mirror Lake.  It is a place where mountains and crystalline waters and wildflowers meet.  Sometimes, all it takes to get outside of your comfort-zone is Irish step dancing around a group of people while blowing a whistle (you had to be there).  Also, the feeling of community is the best thing in the world.

Day Five:

Alpenglow is enchanting.  That rosy hue set behind the mountain ranges will stay captured in my mind forever.  Friendship brings a sense of security.

Day Six:

Leaving the backcountry is bittersweet.  Hello civilization, goodbye wilderness.  But the ice cream sandwiches from that gas station and the showers (even if they were only for four minutes) were very comforting.  Even though West Yellowstone is kitschy, I still fell in love with it.  I think it will always hold a special place in my heart; it reminded me of my independence.

Day Seven:

Kayaking on the Snake River is very peaceful.  Three moose greeted us on our little adventure.  And when I felt sick, a friend so very kindly rowed me to shore.  People In this world are filled with kindness.  In our little community, we all looked out for each other.

Day Eight:

Horses are majestic creatures.  They let me rest while still showing me the beauty that is earth.  The mountains, rock formations, creeks, forests.  Horses also like to eat a lot.  It takes some effort getting their attention back to the task at hand.  But, who could blame them?  Montana is DREAMLAND for them.

Day Nine:

I think Yellowstone might just be one of my favorite spots on earth.  Watching the power of Old Faithful, learning about fumaroles (?), viewing the multi-colored geysers was pretty spectacular.  And doing yoga by a creek?  Can it get any better than that?  I mean Yellowstone is a pretty magical place.  Bison roam the campsites.  A man from a faraway place gives you freshly baked bread which tastes like a warm cloud.  I learned group hugs fix just about anything.

Day Ten:

Rock climbing is hard.  I learned the importance of doing my best.  Swimming in a chilly river is pretty cool.  Swimming in hot springs with live music is also pretty cool.

Day Eleven:

Ice cream is the best thing in the entire universe after you’ve exerted almost all of your energy.  And, since we are on the topic of food, sometimes all you want to buy is a bottle of huckleberry lemonade and a ciabatta roll.  Pizza fixes just about any heartache about leaving Montana the next day.  Hmmm, I guess I relate day eleven with food.  And when you get back to your campsite (that is now a second home) it’s ok to cry and let it all out.  It shows others how much you care for them.  It’s not goodbye, just goodnight.

In conclusion, I am eternally grateful.  I am grateful for every single person I met, for every piece of scenery I saw, for the opportunity to go on this trip, and for the things I found out about myself.  Okay, I’ll stop now before it turns into too much of an acceptance speech.  Here’s to us sisters, until we meet again ❤

EXTREMELY grateful, maya





Greetings!  Montana is a magical place (in case you didn’t know).  I was fortunate enough to spend most of my July exploring this state.  Today, I’m going to share the exciting things I discovered during my first week.

The first day, my family and I explored Flathead Lake.  Dotted with cherry orchards, this place is so charming!  And, not to mention, the lake looked magical with light reflecting off of it.

The next day we headed to Missoula.  My mom and I went for a walk and found an osprey nest!  Beautiful.  That night, we had really yummy pizza.

We also visited two ghost towns which was so cool!  I am a lover of all things vintage, so when I found myself at an old fashioned soda fountain, I was a happy camper.

The last few days were spent at a dreamy ranch in the middle of nowhere.  Situated on five hundred acres, it was filed with fun activities!  We took a ranch tour and learned how to fly fish.

Next time, I am going to describe the *life changing* few weeks that followed these adventures.  See you then!

grateful, maya B30FD627-58BE-421B-B15C-5FC5C8AD5D4BCFF88B5F-5546-424F-8BEC-95AF06A184744B94F2DC-78F3-444E-AEDF-FF082724FE8858DB0056-CFB8-48EC-A220-DE446DE1CB90F6844188-EDB0-4EA7-9C77-8DA0C8D77375E0B3DEC0-AEB5-4530-8F9C-C90BD5C69FDFF64D3B73-0B40-4D76-B1EC-71738906E636A6AF8C7B-2B47-4890-B10A-AA35844400A093B51108-3207-4A57-90A4-5DE10A684912B5A8B926-D15D-4C51-B1CC-B79BCDE8B0FD56EE57B4-BD1F-46C5-A860-5BA3FC8521FB1A3CAA1D-EC24-4A72-BB57-AF10422EA9C6

Caring Collective

Hellooooo!  It’s Maya.  Today, I am super excited to share with you something I have been working on.  You ready?

Okay, social media.  Some people love it, some hate it.  For quite some time, social media left me feeling drained.  I mean, it’s really not healthy to be staring at someone else’s saturated highlight reel 24/7.  Not to mention all the negativity, hate, and cyber bullying that fills the internet.  Now that I have gotten all that bad stuff out of the way, it’s time to talk about the positive effects of social media.

Just a few weeks ago, I decided to begin an Instagram account called @caringcollective.    It’s filled with real, uplifting, unfiltered, and inspiring images.  My goal is to make it a gathering space for folks aiming to live a happy lifestyle.  Every time someone posts a picture with #caringcollective, I repost that little slice of joy.  I love to show the beauty of sunsets, flowers, and positive quotes.  So, are you up to join this challenge of making the internet a little happier, one post at a time?

grateful, maya @caringcollective

Hawaiian Hurricane | Part Two

Hello again!  I have been back home for the past few weeks but just remembered I never updated you all about Hurricane Lane.  My family and I were staying on the Kona side of the island, which wasn’t the side with a lot of damage.  The Hilo side, however had flooding issues.  The media definitely hyped up most of the news, and I am very grateful that we ended up on the west side.  I am sending love and happy thoughts to anyone suffering from the consequences of a natural disater.  One thing that I learned on this trip that hurricane weather makes for really magical sunsets.

grateful, maya 59E1D687-82D4-4EF4-9AD7-EDF2A7363C390C9F7032-DBD7-4BBD-ADD3-A08D6A4E2D6C67327717-55A8-47D2-A00F-EA6116475BB4

Hawaiian Hurricane | Part One

Aloha!  I know, I know, it’s been a while since my last post.  I spent most of my July backpacking in Montana (blog posts coming soon!)  Right now, I am sitting in a hotel room located in the Big Island of Hawaii, looking out on the stormy sea.  In case you missed it, Hawaii is expecting a category 4 hurricane.  You may be wondering, “Maya, why are you writing about this subject? You aren’t a meteorologist.” And yes, that is true. But, there aren’t many articles written about Hurricane Lane by vacationing teenagers, are there?

My family and I arrived in sunny Hawaii just a few days ago.  With the threat of a hurricane looming over us, we were all a little cautious.  Now, I was oblivious to the severity of this matter.  Maybe the rain will limit me from swimming in the pool for a day, but it will all pass.  How wrong was this thought!

We called a seventy year old, farmhouse home for a few nights.  It was in the dreamiest little town called Hawi.  This morning, when I emerged from my slumber, I finally understood that we needed to make changes… fast.

You see, a seventy year old farmhouse is an amazing vacation home, but it begins to lose its charm once you learn a hurricane is on the way.  Too much wind and BAM the roof might blow off.  That’s a no thank you from me.  We made the decision to drive down the hill to a hotel with more structured plans and plans of action.  I sort of snapped out of vacation mode at this point; after all, we packed up all of our food, water, and belongings.  After saying goodbye to the ranch, we took a detour up to Waimea, a sleepy little mountain town.  This helped my mind wander a bit off of the subject of 30 MPH winds.  We then checked into the hotel, and here I am!

If you have any other questions and want the perspective of a tourist, comment down below!  If you are in Hawaii, and just so happen to come across this post, stay safe!  And to everyone out there, please keep the islands of Hawaii in your thoughts!  I will continue to update and write more posts on this subject, so stay tuned.

at the ranch
calm before the storm
packed up

grateful (and a little nervous), maya

Banana Nice Cream!

Hello everyone! Who wants to know how to make a dairy free, healthy, and oh so delicious ice cream? This recipe is a game changer. You can eat it for dessert, you can eat it for breakfast. And, it tastes just as good as traditional ice cream (maybe even better).   Here’s how you make it!

You are going to need a high speed blender or food processor for this one!

First: add 3 frozen bananas to the blender. I like cutting up the bananas before freezing them so that they are easy to blend! F8D48978-AD70-4B98-99A7-53EA3C8F4016

Second: it’s time to add the nut butters! My favorite combo is peanut butter and almond butter. 6CD4C874-921F-4EEC-A8A2-8657703F545E

Third: splash in some coconut milk. This makes it extra creamy 🙂


Next: shake in some cocoa powder into the mix!42C65E1F-E52B-43F5-9729-ED1AAA059530.jpeg


I also love including cinnamon and ground flax seed.

And the final step is to blend! Top with coconut flakes and granola.


Also, I want to finish up this post with a big thank you!  When I was logging in to my blog, I saw that we hit 1,000 views!  I am so grateful for every single reader out there.  I hope you have an amazing day!

grateful, maya

Santa Fe

Hello everyone!  Today, I am sharing yet another blog post about travel; as you can tell, exploring is a huge part of my life!  Anyways, I have a new goal of writing a blog post for every state I have visited.  Ever since I was a little kid, one of my dreams has been to see every state of this country before I turn 18!  I am well on my way, so i thought it would be fun to share with you all my favorite memories and pictures form each state!

New Mexico is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  We spent our time in Santa Fe, and all I can say is go buy plane tickets now!  It is absolutely breathtaking here. The art filled streets, dusty red and orange scenery, the most gorgeous sunsets, and the best guacamole you will ever taste all make up this city.

My favorite thing to do in Santa Fe was shop around the town.  This place is a crystal lover’s dream!  In one of these shops filled with Earth’s jewelry, I got a beautiful sphere of rose quartz!  Close to the crystal shops, there was an oxygen bar that my family visited.  Because of the high elevation, we all felt a bit light headed; but this place pumped oxygen into your nostrils (and served delicious smoothies!).  It was definitely a unique experience!

We stayed at the plaza, and close to our hotel was a stunning church.  Inside of this masterpiece, there was a mysterious staircase that was not supported by anything.  It literally just spiraled up to the second level of the church.  No one knows who built this; I guess it was a miracle!  As I am typing this, I am only now realizing the sheer weirdness of this.  Mind blown.

The food here was so amazing!  We spent most dinners on a rooftop overlooking the city. Here, they served quesadillas and played Despacito pretty much every other song (I’m not complaining about either of these things).

Another beautiful part of our trip here was visiting the Georgia O’Keefe Museum.  She was such and inspiring and talented woman, and her art blew me away!  If you are ever in Santa Fe, visiting this museum is a must!

The last thing that stood out to me on this trip was the vast expanses of land.  There were so many beautiful hiking trails here, and I wish we could have explored more!

I didn’t get too many pictures here; hopefully my words can paint the picture and make you want to travel to this beautiful slice of Earth.

grateful, maya