Zesty Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

I do not have much of a sweet tooth. I have more of what I like to call a “salty tooth”. There are so many amazing vegan dessert options from tiramisu to cheese cake. It’s very impressive! While I am glad to have the options available, nothing can ever seem to beat chips and salsa; I’ll pick it every time.

There is however, one single dessert that I have never been able to turn down. Chocolate, specifically chocolate chip cookies. There are literally thousands of recipes for chocolate chip cookies, so I was posed with the challenge of how to make mine different and this amazingly delicious recipe is what I “cooked up”.

Zesty orange and almond extract; It’s a subtle difference, but it adds a fun and yummy twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie. My hubby said it tastes a lot like the chocolate oranges they sell around Christmas time.

*Continue after my recipe to read about my first experience teaching food styling and lighting.


Zesty Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/4 Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1TBS flaxseed meal + 2.5TBS water. Mix together and let it sit for 10 minutes)
  • 1 cup vegan butter (Softened)
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tsp juice squeezed from an orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • zest from half and orange
  • 1 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (72% cocoa or higher)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix together and make a well in the center.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, Whisk together the flax egg, butter, sugars, orange juice, extracts, and zest.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the center well of the dry mixture. Mix with a rubber spatula. Then fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Use a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon for small cookies, use a 2 tablespoon measuring spoon for larger cookies. Using your measuring spoon, scoop up cookie dough and place the rounded dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. Place the rounded dough about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 10 – 11 minutes. Then take the baking sheet out of the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a rack. *I found that during the cooling process, the chocolate chips were hardening on the baking pan which was causing the cookies to stick. If this happens, grease the pan very lightly with coconut oil. Too much coconut oil will make the cookies essentially “melt”.*



Being a guest teacher

I was asked last month to be a guest speaker/teacher for a high school art class at the school where I work. I was excited and quite nervous. Of course I was excited to share my passion for food and photography, but nervous all the same to get up in front of teenagers and talk about this great love of mine. The reasons I started taking pictures of my food to begin with was because I was sick of talking about my lifestyle and wanted the pictures to do the talking for me. The pressure was on.

On day one I spoke about myself and what I do, why I do it (see my “About me” page to read my personal story) and why I love it. The oddest part of the experience was having to get up in front of people who have grown up in a mid-western rural farm community and explain vegan art. Lucky for me, this group of teenagers seemed to have good heads on their shoulders. They showed a genuine interest and asked respectful questions.

On day two, I brought them homemade vegan chocolate chip cookies to take pictures of and of course, eat when they were done with their pictures. I also brought in most of my props and tools. I gave them free reign to style their picture the way they imagined it, but I did move around the room to try to give lighting advice. I returned the next day for finalized pictures and then editing. The results were pretty impressive.







I was honestly as prepared as I could have been for teaching my first food styling class and I think it went rather well. The students were very respectful and fun to work with. I am so thankful for this experience. It was a perfect learning experience for any future teaching opportunities that may present themselves in the future.

Sweet potato breakfast

Have you ever tried a baked sweet potato for breakfast? I love making all kinds of stuffed sweet potatoes. One the favorites in our house is a south western sweet potato; I bake the sweet potatoes and then fill them with all of our favorite taco fixings.

I wanted to try something new for breakfast and I’ll admit this isn’t an original idea of mine. I saw several other vegan bloggers posting delicious pictures of their sweet potato breakfast. But maybe some of my reader don’t follow hundreds of other vegan bloggers like I do. So I tried my own and it was so good. Very filling! I thought I’d share this clever idea and maybe you’ll have something new to try. Because trying new things is good for you!

*In my recipe I give suggested toppings, but like pancakes the choices for what you want on your sweet potato are infinite.

breakfast baked potato


  • 1 sweet potato (per person)

Toppings shown:

  • Maple syrup
  • peanut butter
  • banana slices
  • blueberries
  • pumpkin seeds
  • chia seeds


    1. Heat oven to 400° F.
    2. Pierce each sweet potato along each opposing side with a fork or a knife. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    3. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Once tender take out of the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
    4. Once the sweet potato is cool enough to handle slice open down the center. And scrape the insides with a fork to break it up and allow the toppings to settle in the potato.
    5. Drizzle with maple syrup or agave for some extra sweetness
    6. Add your desired toppings.
    7. Enjoy!


What friendship looks like to an introvert.


I have always been a shy person, but I haven’t always been an introvert. I became an introvert when person after person I opened myself up to began to burn me and judge me for the things I’d say or the things they knew about me.

Moving across the country to Montana, away from all I’d ever known was especially hard. I had the same close friends since I was 2 and 5 years old, Karen and Cody. I had other friends growing up, but those two girls were my go to. So many friends come and go while you’re a kid or a teenager. Sometimes people move away, sometimes you grow apart, and unfortunately sometimes you get burned. But these two were always there for me and I hope they can say the same about me.

In Montana, I found myself in the middle of a whole new terrain, at 25 years old and not really knowing how to go out of my way to strike up new friendships.

Introverts don’t desire to have as many friends as they can possibly have. Most probably wouldn’t even want as many as ten. They desire a few intimate friendships, confidants, someone they can feel safe to be themselves with and this kind of relationship takes a lot of energy and time. I know I’ve spent months, even years keeping people at arms length while feeling out for a potential friend. All the while wondering “Can I trust this person? Will they stick around or get bored and dump me?” Introverts are typically uncomfortable with surface relationships. Small talk can be especially painful. It pains me that people probably think I don’t like them, when really I am just awkward as hell.

Allowing a person to get to know me is terrifying, but for good reason. Example, I’ve only lived in Montana for 5 years and in that short time have already been burned by multiple people. Maybe they didn’t mean to hurt me, but when I open myself up to someone it makes me feel incredibly vulnerable. It’s a big deal for me and if I thought I had a friend when I really didn’t, it leaves me feeling bitter and I tend to hid away for a while to heal before I go back and give someone else a try.

It’s not all just about trusting people. Fact of the matter is, I love my animals and my hubby and 99% of the time I would rather stay in with them than be around other people. In the rare occasion I am at a party in someone’s home, I typically hang out with their pets. Animals don’t play mind games and they’re good company.

*I need to mention that not every introvert will be able to relate to my story. Everyone has their own reasons for being who they are. My husband for example is also an introvert, but he is not shy. He is simply an introvert because he doesn’t really like people. He has very high standards and a very low tolerance for certain personalities.

So what does friendship look like through the heart of this introvert?

  • Being consistent is a huge start.
  • Being included and remembered. Everyone likes to feel included, but I have spent years at a time feeling like I was invisible and could disappear and no one would ever notice.
  • Don’t assume if I’ve turned down an offer to hang out,that I don’t ever want to. Sometimes it’s scary to leave my house (did you know there are people outside?).
  • Share your interests and respect my own.
  • Spending either one on one time together or in a small group. If the group exceeds 4 I am just going to act like I am invisible and think of a way out. If we do go out with a large group, don’t forget that I am there too! If the relationship is new, don’t expect to get to know me around a large group.
  • If I ask you to do something and you turn me down several times in a row, I’m out. Asking anyone do to something is outside of my comfort zone, I can only take so much rejection before I “get the hint”.
  • If I let you into my home, you’re a shoo-in. My home is my safe place, a judgment free zone and I have welcomed you into my safe place. It’s a big fricken deal. The biggest element of friendship for this introvert is when I get to a place in our friendship where I finally feel safe enough to relax and be myself. In other words, I’ve let my guard down. If you’ve been welcomed into my home, it probably coincides with letting my guard down.

Introverts have a lot to offer in friendship. If you can be patient and understanding long enough to earn the trust of an introvert, you will be blessed with a loyal and loving confidant. Someone who fits the true meaning of a best friend.

strawberry rhubarb muffins & a makeover

I am posting this recipe a little later than I wanted to. I have had family in town, work, and this week I’ve been fighting strep throat. Sometimes life gets so hectic, it gets hard to find time to do the things you need to do for you. Fortunately, I wasn’t going to let that happen to me this summer.

Before summer began, I wrote down a summer bucket list (I love making lists!) and if I could manage to accomplish at least 2/3rds of the list, I knew I would be able to move into the next season with a sense of accomplishment.

One of the things on my list was to repurpose old furniture. If you scroll down past my recipe you can find my summer furniture makeovers and the steps I took to create them.

The other todo on my list was to create some of my own recipes. The very first recipe I created at the beginning of summer was “Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins”.

I grew up on my mom’s strawberry rhubarb pie, so divine. But when a very dear friend of mine gave me a bag full of rhubarb from her garden I knew I wanted to do something a little different, a twist on the traditional. So my first thought was muffins. I hadn’t planned on making my own recipe. I researched for a muffin recipe online, but I couldn’t find anything to liking and whatever I did end up finding I’d having to modify to fit my dietary needs anyways. So I made up my own. A couple of times this summer I have managed to create a good recipe on the first try, what a feeling! This delicious recipe is one of them.


Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins


  • 1/2 cup of chopped strawberry rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries
  • 1 1/4 cups of Raw Sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Pink Salt
  • 2 Flax Eggs (to make one flax egg mix 1tbs of flaxseed with 3tbs of water)
  • 1/4 cup melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Almond “buttermilk” (mix 1 cup of almond milk with 1tsp of apple cider vinegar, let sit for 10 minutes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract


1. Preheat oven to 400 and prep a muffin pan with either coconut oil or nonstick spray.

2. Make almond buttermilk and flax eggs (instructions in with the list of ingredients).

3. Mix flour, baking soda, & salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center.

4. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, flax eggs, and oil until completely blended. Then slowly add in the almond buttermilk and vanilla.

5. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture well and mix. Once the mixture is creamy smooth fold in the rhubarb and strawberries.

6. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to distribute the batter evenly into the muffin pan.

7. (optional) to add a little flair, top the muffins with thin slices of strawberry and then sprinkle sugar over top.

8. Place muffins in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes turn the muffin pan and let bake for another 10 minutes.

9. Take out and let cool and enjoy! . . .



My summer makeover

I have been an avid pinner on Pinterest for a long time now. I can honestly say that I’ve tried at least 90% of the recipes I’ve pinned and  I have attempted quite a few of the diy projects I’ve pinned as well. A couple of years ago I saw a pin for a bench created out of repurposed dinning chairs. I had been looking for two matching chairs ever since. It took me a while since we don’t really have much for antique or used furniture shops in this area.

One day my hubby and I were on one of our walks about town, when we walked by a local shop called “Rustic n’ More”. I’ve checked this shop before for used chairs with no luck. But today as we walked by, there sat the two beat up old chairs I’d been waiting for.


I brought them home. I removed the arms from the chair and removed the cushions. Then I sanded them down. I did not need to prime them because I used Amy Howards at Home One Step Paint. I like to decorate with touches of blue, so I thought it would look nice if I painted the chairs with Amy’s “American Dream” blue. Then I sealed it with “Minwax” Polycrylic Matte finish.

Next we went to Menards and picked up some boards and wood stain for the seat. We cut to size and then I used a dark mocha wood stain. I added the seat and voilà! I finally had my bench. Pretty simple really.


I am sucker for solid old furniture. They just don’t make things sturdy anymore and if you do find something sturdy it’ll probably cost a fortune. I’m sure most people feel this way. That’s probably why furniture repurpose is so popular right now.

Well I have some cheap “put em’ together yourself” end tables that I’ve grown tired of looking at. But there’s no way I can spend a small fortune on furniture right now. So I decided to repurpose my own.

The first step with laminate furniture is to prime it, but you can’t use just any primer or it could bead up. You have to use a shellac primer.

My first set of end tables (for my living room) I wanted to create a weathered look. I used two different colors of Waverly Chalk Paint, cashew for the base and mineral for the weathered effect. After the paint dried, I sanded down edges and a few random areas for a worn look.

My second set of end tables (for my bedroom) I wanted to create a more rustic look. There were a few more step to this process. I sawed boards off of some pallets. Measured and cut them to fit the top of the tables.

I lightly sanded the pallets boards so the edges weren’t sharp. Then I stained the boards different colors of  weathered wood stains.

I painted the legs of the table with the Waverly Chalk Paint, mineral. I attached the pallet boards with a nail gun. I plan on sealing them with a clear matte finish, but for now I like the chalky effect.


Finished End Tables



I have always enjoyed decorating, even when I was a little kid. Don’t be discouraged by ridiculous prices, you are capable of making your home into the paradise you deserve. As an introvert and a hermit, I have always viewed my home as my castle, my getaway from the scary outside world.

Life is what we make it. Sometimes it is easier said than done, but if you try to make the best with what you’ve got, more than likely you’re not going to regret trying. It may just be furniture, but I picked up the tools and learned how use them. I took something old and forgotten and made it into something new and beautiful. The sense of accomplishment from that is worth far more than anything I could have bought brand new at an overpriced store.






Rosemary Potato stew and a Smokey holiday

I just love the smell of rosemary. It always fills me with memories of my family home on Thanksgiving day. I’ll find any excuse to cook with it. Speaking of family, my mom has a recipe for “Rosemary, chicken and dumpling soup”. It’s a great fall/winter recipe, very delicious and prefect for the cold evenings. I do not eat chicken, so I attempted to modify it and it was a success! Now it’s a “Rosemary and Potato Stew” (Meat-free and dairy-free) and it’s a favorite in our house, especially during those cold months. There’s nothing like healthy comfort food to warm your belly and your soul.

 Rosemary & Potato Stew


Stew Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of Idaho potatoes – cubed
  • 4-6 carrots – cut into 1 inch slices
  • 2 celery stalks – slices
  • 1 large sweet onion – chopped and diced
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 3 tsp. of fresh crushed rosemary
  • frozen peas
  • salt & pepper to taste

Dumpling Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tsp of crushed dry rosemary
  • 2 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of nut milk


  1. In a large crockpot (5 quarts at least) add all the ingredients for the stew (EXCEPT the frozen peas). Cook for 6 – 7 hours on low.
  2. Once the stew is cooked through, sir in the peas.
  3. To make the dumplings, combine the flour, crushed rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Make a well in the center, then stir in the apple cider vinegar and nut milk.
  4. After the ingredients are combined, drop large spoonful’s of the batter on top of the stew.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 25 -30 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the dumplings to  insure they’re done cooking, the toothpick should come out clean.
  6. Serve and enjoy!


A Smokey Holiday

My last post I shared about my July adventure to Glacier National Park. Well We went back to Glacier this weekend for our last trip before winter. Sadly, there is currently a large fire inside of the park and a huge one a couple hours away from the park.

We could see the smoke hours away from the park. Normally on our drive in we can see mountain peaks in the horizon, but on our way in this time it was nothing but smog. Our first site of the actual fire was when we arrived at Lake McDonald; it nearly brought tears to my eyes. Lake McDonald with those giant snow peaks in the backdrop is one of my favorite views in the world and there it was burning away.

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park

The fire and smoke were doing nothing to scare visitors away. We arrived at one of Glaciers first come first serve campgrounds (Apgar) and nabbed up the last spot. I could not believe how quiet it was that night. Honestly, not a single sound. My parents took me camping every year as a child and I can remember being scared to death at every pitter patter of a paw or twig snap off in the distance. Maybe it was because our camp site was a tad smoky and the animals were staying away, but the only sound I heard all evening was the breeze blowing through the top of the trees. It was odd to feel such peace in the forest knowing that just a few miles away there was a fiery battle burning and terrorizing this beautiful place I’ve come to love.

The next morning we woke up early and walked the few yards down the shore of Lake McDonald. It wasn’t planned but we arrived to the shore just as the sun had started to rise above the mountains.

Morning trekSunrise over Lake McDonald

It was so peaceful with barely a sound to be heard and the water so still it looked like glass.

Later on in the day we ventured off to hike one of my dream hiking spots, Hidden Lake. I have hiked Logan’s Pass up to the hidden lake overlook a half a dozen times, but I have never been able to hike all the way down to the lake before. You could tell it had been a warm dry summer because Logan’s pass usually has a fair but of snow to trek through, creating more hazardous conditions. There was not a single snow drop on our trip; making the 1.5 mile hike up pretty easy. The 1.5 mile hike down to Hidden Lake is another story. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to trek through that when it is covered in snow and ice. It is basically straight down and there is very little path that is not covered in large rocks. One miss step and you’ll be rolling down the mountain.

But boy oh boy is it worth it! When David and I reached the shore of Hidden lake, I threw my arms around him and squealed, “We made it!” One of my dreams come true!

wp-image-787361239I spent a long time sitting on the shore in awe of what I was present to. Even with the smoke invading the view, it’s still arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world.

To no surprise of mine or anyone who knows him, I looked over to find my fearless hubby stripping down to just his shorts, to dive into the freezing cold waters (It’s a lake high up in the mountains after all). He smiled and said “I just wanted to be able to say that I swam in Hidden Lake. How cool is that?”

I quite agreed with him, so I took off my socks and shoes and dipped my feet in. I am not always as adventurous as he is, not to mention I weigh about 100lbs less. It was freezing, but yes, now I can say I dipped my feet in Hidden Lake.

Fun fact: Not a lot of people have the opportunity to learn that like Lake McDonald, Hidden Lake also has rainbow pebbles. The pictures of these rocks are stunning, but it is something you need to see for yourself! Just mesmerizing!


We stayed at the lake for as long as could before we started losing daylight. The trek back up the mountain was exhausting! 1.5 miles straight up. There were a lot breaks, which meant a lot of opportunities to enjoy the view.

On our way down the mountain and through Logan’s pass. We came across two men in bits of fireman uniform and covered in soot. They were leaning against a slope enjoy the view. I stopped to ask if they had just come from the fire (obviously, Stephanie), they said yes (of course) and with tears swelling up in my eyes I shook their hands and said thank you. I thought about those firemen a lot the next couple of day and all those battling with the fires inside and outside the park as well.


To our surprise we weren’t as sore as we thought we’d be when we woke up the next morning. So we went back to our favorite breakfast spot in the area, Montana Coffee Traders (SO many options for vegans, LOVE!) for a good healthy start to our day. There we decided we were definitely up for another hike. Mother Nature however had other plans.


We were on our way back to the park entrance when we noticed a police officer stopping cars. When he got to our vehicle, he informed us that they were evacuating the west side of the park because the smoke was creating hazardous conditions. They let us through to collect our things from our campsite. There went our plans. It sound like the east side of the park wasn’t as bad, so we headed the 2 hour drive that way in hopes to at least find lodging for the night. The smoke insisted on following us there. Is was incredibly thick and starting to affect our throats. The fun part of the trip was over; we gave up and started heading home.

Anyone who knew me before I moved to Montana knows what a rollercoaster life has been for me the last 5 years. All I knew was life in the Upstate New York city that I grew up in. It’s an understatement that moving to the rural plains of Montana has been an adjustment for me. My first couple years were especially difficult. I will be forever in the debt of a wonderful friend I made my 2nd year living here. She leant an ear and encouraged me to go see the western side of Montana where she grew up. She knew what it would do for me, but knew I had to see it for myself to believe it. She was so right! After Living two years on the plains; everyday staring out my window at the vast nothingness. I remember just standing on that mountain top and being overcome with its beauty. The experience was nothing short of spiritual and hasn’t dulled one bit, no matter how often I return. Glacier Park is my new home away from home, the mountains call to me. So to see it on fire this past weekend really stirred a true sadness inside of me. It has been my refuge the last 4 years and here it was with its tremendous mountains, completely vulnerable to a fiery hell.

A smoke filled mountain view

Once we got a few hours away from the smoke we decided to stay the night in the small town of Shelby Montana; less rural than where we live, but still pretty rural. It was a Sunday night on a holiday weekend so nothing was open. We couldn’t let that stop us from having a good time, so I got fixings to make bean and quinoa burritos right in our hotel room, and the boys got beer. Everything is better with burritos, even being stuck in a hotel room.

A hotel room burrito

Water fall on the Logan's pass trailMake the most with what you can, you won’t regret it.

Green matcha cupcakes and A milestone birthday

Welcome to my very first blog post! Thank you to my friends and family who have been a huge encouragement in pursuing my passion for good food and food photography. To learn more about me and the purpose for my blog, visit the “about me” section of my page.

My first post comes along on a milestone of days for me. Today is my 30th birthday. It is rather surreal. While my twenties were filled with many life lessons and adventures all their own; the last decade as a whole has gone far from what I ever expected it to (as many, I suspect would say.) Not that it’s a bad thing. So long as we look at the road we’ve traveled and find gratitude.


It’s funny, at age twenty I pictured myself living in NYC with a few little ones, by the time I was thirty. Now I am thirty, living about as far from NYC life as possible in rural Montana and I can’t imagine having children at the moment.

Sometimes I think I’ve accomplished a lot in the last 10 years and then sometimes I feel like I haven’t done enough. My most recent favorite dad quote is “You spend more time regretting the things you didn’t do than the ones you do.” I am going to try to carry that quote with me into this next decade as I look forward to my 30’s and all the new adventures they’ll bring.

So what is a girl to do on her 3oth birthday? My hubby took me to get tattoos recently as a birthday present. Then some girl friends of mine took me out for dinner and a wine and paint night. I am not much for partying, so I told my hubby that what I really want is a bonfire and some good food.

Speaking of good food, I have been meaning to bake with matcha powder for some time. I have seen so many great recipes for matcha. I decided on cupcakes and they turned out beautifully. I went with a chocolate frosting; chocolate and matcha seem to complement each other pretty well. I always love it when I can get the recipe right on the first try, these cupcakes are delicious.

I mostly just cook for just my husband and I, so I feel it’s important to note on my recipes when they’re “hubby approved”. Hopefully this will help you decide if you want to try a recipe out on your picky eaters.

– This recipe is hubby approved – I am not going to share how many cupcakes he ate in one sitting, but let’s just say he really liked them!


Green Matcha Cupcakes


  • 1 3/4 cup of flour
  • 5 tsp of matcha powder
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of raw sugar
  • 1 cup of nut milk
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup or vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar

Frosting option:

I used Pillsbury Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting (Surprisingly vegan!)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line one cupcake pan with cupcake liners
  3. Mix together the flour, matcha powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center.
  4. In a second bowl whisk together the milk, oil, syrup, and vinegar.
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the well of the dry mixture. Whisking as you pour. stir until ingredients are combined.
  6. Fill cupcake liners up to 3/4ths with the batter. Distribute evenly.
  7. Bake in the oven 18 – 20 minutes, remember to rotate halfway through.
  8. Check the centers with a toothpick. Once cooked through, take the pan out of the oven and let them cool.
  9. Once cooled, frost with desired frosting of choice and enjoy!

*If you post pictures of your cupcakes, don’t forget to tage me and tell me what you think. You can follow me on Instagram*