Hi! I’m Toni. I decided to start up this website in order to share my perspective, recipes, and ideas with others. In addition, I am hoping to establish a community where like-minded individuals can come to relax, unwind, and share their own perspectives, experiences, artwork, and gifts.
In a nutshell, I was raised in New Mexico. Grew up loving all sorts of food. I’ve dabbled with cooking lots of different recipes from all over the world for health as well as for comfort. I enjoy making up recipes that seem to work for the family’s tummies, and I will share them with you on the Recipe section of the site.
I have been an elementary school teacher in Germany for more than ten years. It has afforded me the opportunity to travel. I have visited various countries and enjoy observing and being affected by the mindset of different cultures. I have enjoyed teaching during this time. My training in working with speakers of languages other than English allowed me to see into the world of those who are daring enough to see refuge in countries and cultures that are not their own.
My personal life is…interesting and has also allowed me to form pretty unique perspectives. Gave birth to my oldest at 19. Began my teaching program. Gave birth to my second. Began teaching. Moved to Germany. Got married to a man I knew for three months (I was turning 30 and had never done it before). Experienced the thrills and the unfortunate destruction of a blended family. Began dating an incredible woman with two children of her own (that are the same ages as my own). Once again attempted to make the blended family work…and it DID! I developed the ability to identify the “right” and the “wrong” way of stepparenting. Trial and error, man.
In 2014 we lost my wife’s youngest daughter to suicide. The experience left the family feeling rather numb. We have since been seeking opportunities for growth from the situation. It has been unbelievably painful. I feel the need to act as a positive presence for those who are either contemplating suicide as an option to escape from their current situation, or for those that are also coping with the loss of a loved one in the same way. It’s so important to know you’re not alone. It’s also important to know that in every day there are sparks of joy that will creep up. Once you find them, catch them and hold on to them. They will lead you to a place of beauty and depth.
Enjoy reading and taking part in the community. Know you are loved.