Bring Food And Friends Together

Bring Food And Friends Together

Seriously, it's therapeutic.

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I grew up around food. Lots of it. Not take out or frozen dinners. I grew up around fresh, hot, home-cooked, often farm-to-table food. My most fond and vivid memories from my childhood are centered around food. I remember picking fresh vegetables from my family's garden, smelling my mom's freshly baked bread come from the kitchen, and getting burned by the oil that popped out of my grandma's frying pan at breakfast.

When I got my driver's license in high school, my love affair with fast food began. I congregated with good friends in Moe's, Chick-Fil-A, Sonic, or IHOP at least three times a week. For 16-year-old-me, food began to equal "good company."

When I went to college, I was struck by the dreaded ~freshman 15~ and am just beginning to crawl my way out. Living in a city that is known for its great food makes it a little bit difficult to separate myself from my new weight, but I think I've found a solution.

I've started to cook.

It hit me one day when all of my friends wanted to go out, but it seemed like we had already been everywhere worth going and really didn't have the money to spend on food anyways. I decided to cook for them. I invited everyone over and we hit up my local farmer's market. I picked up cherry tomatoes, squash, and zucchini and made a light, summery, healthy pasta for dinner that night. It was to die for.

Since then, I've made "at-home dinner parties" my thing. I've found a way to bring two of my favorite things (food and friends) together and I have a newfound love for cooking. Suddenly, recipe browsing is my new favorite pastime and I look forward to shopping for fresh foods.

I'm saving money, watching what I eat, and learning more cooking skills every day. It's truly been therapeutic. After a long day, I always look forward to cooking a meal for myself and I love when I can share the food I've created with my friends.

Cover Image Credit:

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An Open Letter To My Unexpected Best Friend

You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better.
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“It's so amazing when someone comes to your life and you expect nothing out of it, but suddenly, there right in front of you is everything you ever need."

-Unknown

Dear Unexpected Best Friend,

You were the person I never thought I would speak to and now you are my very best friend. You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better. I can't thank you enough for everything you have done to shape me into the person I am today. You've taught me what it means to be selfless, caring, patient, and, more importantly, adventurous.

You don't realize how much better my life has become and all because you came out of nowhere. I didn't see you coming. I just saw you on occasion, and now I can't see my life without you in it. It's funny how life works itself out like that. Our unexpected friendship filled a hole in my life that I didn't know existed.

I don't even remember what life was like before you came along; it most likely had a lot less laughter and spontaneity than it does today. I can call you about anything and you would drop whatever you're doing to help me in any situation. You know when I need encouragement. You know when I am at my best and when I am at my worst. You always know exactly what to say.

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Woman Has Told Their Best Friend

I couldn't have found a better friend than you if I tried. We balance each other out in the best way possible. You are most definitely the yin to my yang, and I don't care how cliché that sounds. Because of you, I've learned to stop caring what people think and to do my own thing regardless of any backlash I might receive. You are my very favorite part of what makes me who I am to this day.

It's as if I wished up a best friend, and poof — you appeared right in front of me. I am so beyond blessed to have you and I wouldn't trade the world for all our memories. Thanks for coming out of nowhere.

Love you forever and a day.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Medders

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Continues To Save My Life

No one knows me like you do.

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From the day we became friends, we have always had nothing but support for one another. Although we have only really been friends for about seven years now, I feel as if you have always been a part of my life. You know me just as well as you know yourself, and I understand you in the same way I understand my own thoughts and feelings.

You have never made me feel pressured, insecure, or unappreciated. The mutual respect we have for one another is unmatched. We can talk to each other about anything; from some of the most trivial topics to entire life philosophies. We have grown and matured together, and I couldn't be more proud of the person you are today.

We don't always agree on everything, and I always appreciate your fresh point of view, but I have never felt more in sync with another person than I do with you. We share the same birth month, the same age, the same home town, the same anxieties, and many of the same attitudes and values.

I feel as if you know exactly when I want to be alone and when I need company. Since we are both introverted, we understand that the other person needs time to recharge. And when I'm sitting alone with nothing to do, I always get a text from you asking to hang out.

In some of my loneliest, most vulnerable moments, you have been there. When I question how many true friends I really have, you are always sure to make your love for me known.

Through high school, and now college, we have experienced so many life-changing events together. Some that have taught us extremely valuable lessons, and others that have shown us incredible pain and how to grow from our lowest moments.

I want to thank you for showing me what life-long friendship looks like. Thank you for always understanding me and never putting too much pressure on me. I see an incredible future for both of us no matter where each of our lives takes us.

We will always share a unique connection that cannot be separated by any distance. But, for now, I'm glad you're only one text or phone call away.

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