It’s Good to Have Friends

Wow I was blown away by how many comments I got on my last post, The Tall & Short of It.  It was interesting to hear who wants to be taller, who wishes they were shorter, and who likes their height and who doesn’t.  I had no idea that height would be such a popular topic.  Thanks to all of you who de-lurked and commented for the first time, and please do so more often.

And thanks for all your glowing compliments about the pictures of Skylar.  Scott’s already talking about keeping the boys away and her dating.  We’ve got a few years though as I remind him.

Yesterday I was so excited to open a package in the mail and find this lovely gift from Holly!

A few weeks ago I sent her a kombucha scoby so that she could start brewing kombucha at home.  Making your own kombucha is super easy.  This is the formula:  Kombucha scoby + brewed and sugared tea + a covered glass jar + time = kombucha.   Obviously doing it the first few times, there are tons of questions and lots of reading is necessary but one you get the hang of it, it’s so easy.


And, home-brewed kombucha tastes better and costs pennies to make a gallon of.  Why would you ever pay like $3.99 for an 8 oz bottle of storebought when you could make a gallon at home for a quarter but I digress.


I never in a million years thought Holly would send me anything.  But boy, I hit the jackpot.

Holly apparently knows that I love all things vanilla.

Yankee vanilla candles are The Best.

And she knows I love this gum.

I wasted no time breaking into it.

Holly is such a sweet person and great friend.  I feel a special kinship with her since she lives in Minnesota and that’s where I grew up.  There’s an expression “Minnesota Nice” and that holds true with Holly.  She is just so nice.

And if that gift wasn’t enough, blog reader, Michele, sent me this stevia.  She couldn’t use it and offered to send it to me.  I would never say no to free stevia!

I have a whole post with my stevia-containing recipes.  Thank you so much, Michele, for your thoughtfulness!

After all that loveliness in the mail, it was time to eat.

Plants with Vegan Slaw Dressing

And Pumpkin Honey Tofu

If you:

freeze the tofu first

then thaw and press the water out of it very well

then bake it

it will turn out very “bread-like”. 

A spongy, pumpkin bread, of sorts.

Dessert: No-Bake Dark Chocolate Coconut Snowballs (Vegan, GF, Freezer-Friendly)

My old pictures are horrible but the dessert still tastes dark, rich, and wonderful.


1. Do you consider yourself to have great friends?

Junior high and high school were not times in my life where I’d say I had “great friends”.  You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to go back to 8th grade.

Conversely, I have gone through periods of my life where I’ve had great friends, such as my later college years and mid-twenties.

Then, as I got older, married, moved around the country many times, I lost touch with many of my college and early 20s friends and the priority of making new friends sort of fell by the wayside.  Just one of those ebbs and flows of life.

Oh, and becoming a mom does nothing for one’s social life!  You are at home with a small, helpless human being.  You exist for them.  Friends?  Huh? When there’s another nursing session needed, a diaper to change, and cooking to be done, I couldn’t imagine finding time to hang out with “friends” back then.  It would have been great, but didn’t happen much.

But now, Skylar is getting older and more independent and re-connecting with my own friends, both online and real life,  is becoming increasingly important to me.

2. How important are friends to you?

I don’t believe it’s healthy long-term to not have friends.

So even though I am not one of those people who “lives” for being a social butterfly and organizing events, get togethers, or dinner parties with friends, and I don’t chat on the phone with friends that often these days, I know in my heart that I do have some really, really solid friendships with a half dozen women, and that’s extremely important to me.

I could call any of them at 3am with anything, and they’d be there for me.  No questions asked.

I also “know” so many people.  We all do. I would say my acquaintance circle is huge.

As well as my circle of friends that although we don’t see each other tons or we’re not BFFs and joined at the hip, they are still good friends and I could count on them and they could count on me for anything.

3. Have you made any friends via the blogsphere?

Oh gosh, tons!  Some of my closest friends now are women I’ve met blogging!  We share the commonality of blogging (which unless you are a blogger or an avid blog reader, it’s hard to fully “get” this world) so there’s that, but we also have been reading each other’s every post for a couple years now.  With thousands of emails exchanged with each other behind the scenes.

I have met so many amazing people through blogging!  If Katie, Madeline, or Jessica, had a nickle for every email we’ve exchanged, we’d all be rich.  Those women have heard me laugh, cry, and I turn to when the chips are down or when I need a pep talk or I need to non-judgmental place to vent.  Or to laugh hysterically about something.

And there are tons and tons of other ladies who I exchange emails with and we laugh and talk shop and talk life.  You all know who you are.

I used to think making friends on the internet was somewhat strange.  Now, I can’t imagine not having the friends I’ve met via the internet and blogosphere!

Tell me about your friends and friendships?  In real life or in the ‘sphere. Do you have lots of friends?  A tight-knit circle or many acquaintances?


  1. The hubby and I have a VERY tight knit group of friends. Most of them have been friends since elementary school, and then at age 15 some girlfriends and I met them and joined the group (I met the future-hubby at this time). We hung out everyday then, and we still hang out every weekend now, go on trips together, etc.. All significant others that “marry into” the group, just become one of the gang. I feel blessed to have such a great group of fun friends who all like to go out to eat, travel and do all the things that I like to do. I hope that when we have kids all our kids will play together and grow up together.

    • thanks for your previous comment about me and my nails looking good :) i do NOTHING with them or for them other than trim them. I wash sooo many dishes and food all day, it’s amazing i have any nails!

      And you WILL have kids that grow up and play together with your friends. I know how close you are with your core group!

  2. I have a solid few friends that I have had since childhood or high school. Some I haven’t seen in years, but we talk every week. I am a happy loner ( as in, I enjoy time alone. I am not socially inept), but I value my closest friendships. I can’t imagine not having them!

    I haven’t met anyone from the blogosphere (yet!), but I have met people that I have met on other websites! There are three I still keep in contact with – they are lovely girls!

    To the people that I consider close friends, they have my total loyalty and I am protective of them. Many potential suitors are given an assessment by me before I will ever approve!!

  3. I am blessed with some great friends in my life. I’m not always the best at keeping in touch and I tend to fall out of existence every once in a while, and it’s something I’m working on. As a military wife, I have to move and reinvent my whole life every 4-6 years, so staying in touch with friends is something that I really need to be more conscious of. I have definitely made some good friends online, mostly through support forums.

  4. What a cute little gift package I want to brew kombucha at home im addicted and it is not cheap! Where did you get your schoby or did you buy a kit?

  5. I’ve always been mature for my age and never really “fit the mold” in middle or high school, but since being in college I’ve found some truly wonderful friends that share my interests and maturity. I’ve found that I tend to connect more with friends who are maybe 10 or so years older than me, and college gave me the opportunity to find those wonderful people!

    I completely agree about the blogging friends – it’s actually one of the reasons I came back to blogging and I truly consider YOU a genuine dear friend of mine! You are an amazing individual and I have received so much love and support from you. :) SO glad to be back and in touch with you again!


    • thanks heather and our email chats 18 mos ago feel like a lifetime ago for me in many respects…but you..they were another lifetime ago! You went from h.s.’er to ADULT in that time period and i know you have truly found your place in the world and i am soooo happy for you!! xoxoxo

  6. Lucky gal! I must go check out that dessert recipe – yummo! I hope you eat more salad than that girl! – that’s like 2 bites :)

    • clearly my blog isn’t a food journal nor do i show everything. and some days i show things i don’t eat on that particular day. just depends on what I feel like posting.

    • Yikes, sorry! I hope you didn’t take that the wrong way! It was just a comment – no ill intention! Trust me, I know all about just posting some stuff – hence disclaiming everything….ugh.

      You can eat whatever you want! Sorry :(

    • No girl I knew you didn’t mean anything by it. But I know I have new readers who read the comments and just didn’t want to let that one go without saying that of course, that’s not all i ate :) And that some days when i have 3 types of dessert in one post…i dont eat that all on that particular day either.

      Have a rockin’ Sat. night!


    • Thanks Averie. I’ll be more conscious of what I say from now on – trust me, I totally completely understand…and know TOO well how annoying and frustrating it is to have to keep disclaiming oneself. Everytime I post pizza – I’m afraid of what people are going to say. Similarly if I post a sugar-free recipe. No different.

      I say bah – if someone else has a problem with it – it’s THEIR problem, not yours, mine or ours.


  7. i am so lucky to have a wide variety of friendships. i am still friends with two girls i have known since age 2 and age 5, for example! i have a smaller circle of really close friends, a large circle of people with whom i am friendly, and i have recently started to feel like friends with some blogging buddies! it’s really special wihen you connect with people – online or in real life.
    thanks for proposing another really interesting discussion topic, averie! so glad you have special go-to girlfriends in your life!

  8. I have a lot of acquaintances but only a few close friends. When it comes to friends, I am all about quality over quantity. It’s really important to me to have people who I really connect with and not just a friendly “hi, how are you” type of thing…although those are nice to have as well! It’s easy to make real friends and strong connections through blogging. You can learn so much about a person by reading their blog and communicating back and forth with them through comments and e-mails. When people open up about personal things on their blogs, other people can be SO supportive and it brings them together in ways that they otherwise might not.

    • thanks hayley for the comments today. re the one about height and ppl making comments about your stature and size, oh girl, i have had some doosies over the years as im sure you have. anytime one isn’t smack dab in the middle/average, people’s mouths open before their brains fire.

      i have always loved all our emails too :)

  9. My favorite brand of stevia. I love home brewed kombucha!

  10. happy belated to skylar!!!!! hope she had a WONDERFUL birthday and i know you made her oodles of treats :)

    i love having friends! haha although i haven’t seen much of them lately because i’ve been so overwhelmed with schoolwork and what not but still it’s so good to know that i always have them to lean on :)

  11. I looove yankee candle!! Especially their “desserty” fragrances, or anything vanilla :) So awesome you make your own kombucha, too! I rarely have it because I just can’t do that price tag :X
    I am definitely one with a few close-knit friends rather than a million and one acquaintances but no “rock” to go to when I need it. I’d rather it this way, too; I’ve done the whole hanging out with the “just to be cool” group of girls (Ohhh, H.S.) and it’s so not me. I can’t be catty if I try! I absolutely consider people I’ve met through blogging to be my friends, too; whether I’ve met them in real life or not!

  12. awwwwww! What sweet gifties. Love blog world. I have some incredible friends! I feel very lucky that along the way, through all my moves (I know that you know how that is!!), I have made and kept some incredible friends. Enjoy your Sunday

  13. The tofu looks awesome. Love the texture when it’s been frozen first. I have always chosen to have a few close friends instead of hundreds of acquaintances. And I tend to avoid people who are constantly social just to meet as many people as possible. I get that, but I prefer to have quality time with a few people (in real life), as it would be difficult to keep up with or stay close to that many people at one time daily. Plus I really need lots of “quiet” time to study, cook, run, do yoga, and read. I feel like if I was always surrounded by people then I wouldn’t really have anything to “offer” them. And it’s hard for me to small talk. I tend to get straight to the point and develop bonds quickly. Kind of a no bs kind of girl……..

  14. Wow, it’s great you have made such close friends through blogging!

    I was an Army brat and moved a lot as a kid so even once I stayed in one place for the rest of my school years everyone else had been friends since kindergarten and I didn’t fit into that. I also have a little problem of not giving enough time to making and keeping up friendships. But I’m working on it!

  15. I do have some very special and wonderful friends. They are vitally important to me and matter a great deal in my life. I cannot imagine going through life without them.

    I have made 2 friends in the blog world and you are one of them, Averie! I, like you, used to think it would be weird to connect with people over the internet, but I have found that I greatly value you and my other friend that I have made. I look forward to connecting more over time. I am so, very glad to be getting to know you! xoxo

  16. Yankee candles are awesome. Really awesome gifts and glad to see you have such great friends. Woot! :-)

  17. Do you know why the tofu turns out like that when you freeze and thaw? That is so interesting! I can’t wait to try it!

  18. first of all that tofu idea is GENIUS! secondly, I have a few good friends. i believe in quality over quantity :)

  19. I so wish I had a nickel for every one of our email exchanges! I also thought internet friends were “weird” for a long time. Now, I probably have as many people that I consider great friends that I met through blogging as I met in “real life”. Because for me, my blog is my real life. I mean, it is n’t my life, but you know what I mean.

    I’m kind of weird though. I can be super social one night and then the next I just NEED to be alone. I like a good 50/50 mix of hermit and social butterfly. :)

    I bought some kombucha today, but didn’t work up the courage to try it. I don’t know why I am determined to like it. I guess because everyone keeps talking about how great it is. I feel like I am missing out on something. I know I should make my own, but not happening right now….way too much going on in my life!

  20. I have friends whom I’ve met in different phases of my life, high school, college, med school, yoga, etc. some I haven’t seen in so long but when i do see them, it’s like no time has passed by. :)

    I love my friends and I think it’s important to have great friends whom you can count on at anytime during the day or night. I’m blessed to have those.

    Through blogging, i’m not a blogger but I do read food blogs a lot and from that i have met some friends like you and Gina. :) virtual friends but the love is still there! and someday our paths will cross! :)

  21. I have a less is more mentality when it comes to friends. I have a very small group of ladies that I rely on but because of my crazy schedule, we chat over MSN, email, or text. My best, best friend is my boyfriend, Kevin. He’s always there when I need him and is so ridiculously supportive! I just blogged about friendship earlier this week, actually. I constantly remind myself how lucky I have to have supportive and loving people in my life.
    Also, before starting my blog I have NO clue what the blogging community was going to be like. I’ve already made so many new friends and feel honored by the connections I’m making. Needless to say it was a very, very nice surprise!

  22. :) I’m commenting so I can no longer be a lurker! :)

    Stumbled onto you blog as I am a recent RAW convert–well, I’m working my way to full raw/vegan-liciousness… So far, so good.

    Thanks again for the brilliant blog!


  23. Thanks, very thoughtful post – I love it how you characterise good friends as those you can turn to when you’re feeling low, or when you want to share a laugh…true! I’m feeling blue…being inexplicably ill since my early twenties has taken its toll on friendships, and only one has been consistent all through the period. I’ve had good periods, and made new friends, but lost them over worse periods when I was embarrassed to explain myself and how sick I was feeling, and I let friends fall by the wayside while I felt powerless to do anything else. I feel so grateful to be “learning” again! It’s the best part of getting better – being able to look beyond the tiny perimeter of feeling ill, and maintaining my girl relationships again! So important, and thanks for reminding me :-)

  24. my friends are so important to me, they nourish my soul. I am currently living in New Zealand, and I miss my friends back in America. It’s amazing how friends can withstand distance though. true friendship does not need to be maintained. i can’t wait to be reunited with them all!

  25. Wow, awesome prezzies! I’m so glad to have recently met Holly. Hopefully her and I can be friends, too. :)

    I’ve never been one to have a TON of friends–2 or 3 at the most, and looking back I wouldn’t have even considered them REAL friends compared to what I believe now. Other than some online friends, my husband and I don’t have any friends offline! We’re picky about the company we keep. I believe in quality over quantity and will probably never be one of those people that is very social or hangs out with people just to not be lonely. I’m not against making friends, of course, I just consider friendship to be sacred and trust must be earned. :D

    I probably sound like the most antisocial, stuck-up biz nitch ever, LOL. I’m not. I’m actually quite lovable and a loyal person. hehe

  26. Hi Averie,
    I am new to your blog and really love the recipes. I wanted to let you know about the tofu express gadget. I LOVE it. It totally removes all liquid from tofu and does not take long to do so. I saw it on someone else’s blog and immediately bought one since I eat tofu a lot. I highly recommend it. No more squeezing, using paper towels, weighing your tofu down, freezing, etc. :)
    P.S. Your daughter is adorable!

  27. Thanks for the tip on baking the tofu! Can’t wait to try it out!

    I have a tight circle of friends from high school. Although I don’t have any children, most of my friends do, so I totally understand the difficulties of keeping in touch.

    I have made SO many friends in blogworld! It’s funny because before my introduction into this world, I had never had a friend who I had not met face to face. It’s unreal how the connections form just by starting with a love of food! My first get together with HEAB will attest to that!

  28. I would have to say you are a good friend! Tony and I are best friends and have realized throughout the years that we are the two that stick together. I have one friend from high school that I stay in touch with, but I wouldn’t say we are close anymore. Tony has a couple of friends from high school that we stay in touch with and we have some great friends that we hang out with now and that we love dearly. The unfortunate part is that we realize that a lot of our friends are out of site out of mind people. I have come to accept that and it doesn’t bother me anymore, but it used to. I just accept people for what they can give and car about them no matter what. We can’t expect more out of friendships that what people are capable of and that’s ok. It feels strange some time to actually feel closer to blog friends because we talk on a daily basis. I think you all know more of my day to day life than my own family even cares about. It feels weird knowing that my blog friends will check in on me more regularly than my family. Also, I look forward to being able to travel and see friends where ever I go! Great topic Averie! I have my fingers crossed that Tony will decide for us to come to San Diego this summer so I can see you! Have a great Sunday and enjoy your family!

    • “We can’t expect more out of friendships that what people are capable of and that’s ok.” —that is so true and I have had a parallel coming to terms with friends, people, etc as you have Sarena. This comment from friends and their limitations, to feeling closer to blog friends, to family not knowing/caring…yes, we are living a parallel existence!!!!

      And if you came to SD we would have a BLAST!!!

  29. i have lots of acquaintances from moving around so much but only 1-2 really close friends and i’m totally fine with that! to be honest, it would be difficult for me to focus on more than a couple individuals and be a good friend to them back. i think it’s quite important to maintain relationships! we are relational creatures! i love my bloggie buddies! they have been so helpful as i’ve navigated though my allergy to gluten/tummy woes and just giving me good advice in general!

  30. Yay for friends—and fun mail gifts! My playgroup just did a secret sister for the month of February where we sent little gifts to each other every week! It was so much fun! I need to do it more often just on a whim because it’s such a little happy for the receiver!

    I am going to definitely try the pumpkin tofu recipe. I am always looking for good tofu recipes. By the way, the vegan fudge recipe was GREAT! My 2 year old loved it too—I let it ‘set’ in an elmo cupcake tin and she called it her ‘elmo chocolate’.

    And yes, friends are good. I have a few close ones, but they are all long distance as I’ve moved. And another thing, I have “sort of” made friends through blogs too. It’s nice to have another way of communication sometimes! ;)

  31. What a sweet package from Holly and score on the stevia!

    1. Yes, I feel very lucky to have great friends and family.
    2. Very and I love how many blog friends I’ve made in the last year.
    3. Tons, lots of blogs I enjoy keeping up with daily – so many that I need more time to read, I get frustrated when work and other things keep me from reading as many blogs as I’d like. I do have a lot of friends in real life, but it’s hard to spend time with them with busy schedules.

  32. My husband and I always talk about what loners we are! lol He basically has one friend, his best friend of many, many years. And I have one, my best friend of many, many years. Other than that we have coworkers and acquaintances, but no one really that close. It probably doesn’t help that we are both socially anxious people! In fact, I met him online through AOL IMs. But what’s funny, is that we literally lived just down the street from one another! We had probably seen each other around town before and never knew it!

  33. Like you, I know a LOT of people, but I wouldn’t consider most of them good friends. My mom likes to say you can be friendLY with someone, but not be there friend, and that’s a good way to describe it….I’m still friendly with everyone in my HS class, but of those I’d say I only still consider maybe 12 to be friends. Those friends are amazing though. I really don’t think I’ll ever find as wonderful friends as I made in high school in the real world. Not sure what set my HS apart in terms of the bitchiness that seems to plague most teenagers, but in general it was just a wonderful group of people.

    I don’t have a ton of friends, I must say, but I’ve always been a quality over quantity type of girl. I’m pretty outgoing in person, but I much prefer individual friendships to friend “groups.” There are five friends that I talk to on a regular basis and can go to for any kind of advice, and that’s all I need. The less-close friends are still dear to me, but I’ve never been the kind of person who needs to hang out with someone every night!

  34. Up until about 6th grade I was in a great group of friends, a little on the “popular” side, even. Then dreadful middle school hit; two of the girls started harassing me in 7th, I switched a few friend groups through 8th, and wound up in the great group I am in now :) They actually make me feel wanted and care about me, which is the obvious importance of having friends. I love reading blogs because it lets you relate to other people who share common interests and I like that there are always great new recipes to try out :)

  35. Averie seriously this post made me tear up! I love that I have met some amazng people through this whole blogging process (obviously including you!!) — I struggle with meeting people in real life. I tend to do better with communicating with people through letters or email — meeting in real life seems to add so much pressure.

    I am so glad you like the candles — Yankee is my favorite and I thought Vanilla Lime seems like something you’d really like! (Miss Key Lime Pie Gum Lover!) :)

    I have a few really close friends in real life — and what I love about them is that we can all live our lives and not talk for a few weeks, but when we get together it is like we were never apart. We pick up where we left off. And I know I can call them if I have good news, or if I am sad, or if I just want to talk. True friends can be hard to find, but when you do, you need to hold onto them!

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  38. Madeline - Greens and Jeans Reply

    Oh lady, we would be very rich! I could write a novel about how much your friendship means to me. I’m convinced that one of the reasons we both ended up in Phoenix was to meet and become friends. You are amazing and you know I’ll always be here for you!

  39. I would agree with your experience and say that I didn’t have great friends while growing up. In my teens and early 20’s, I thought other women were annoying; catty and jealous and difficult, and most of my friends were guys. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that my girlfriends (all I met since turning 30) have become like sisters, and I would never trade my girls for anything. When husbands are annoying and children break your heard, when parents get sick and siblings fight, when work is beating you up and you just want to escape, they’re there to buy you a beer, make you laugh, and remind you why your life is awesome.

  40. Hi. Really enjoying your blog. I think you have a wonderful perspective on the meaning of friendship.
    Your thoughts on friends you haven’t seen in a while made me think you might be interested in a contest we’re running, where we foot the bill to reunite pals that haven’t seen each other in a while. Take a look at the link below and consider submitting a story. And who knows … you just might win ….

  41. i want to try that gum so bad. i see it on tv all of the time but do not sell it here. i love lime anything.

    the vegan slaw dressing sounds pretty good!

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  43. I have some great friends and have been making many more! Love all around! Hehe

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  45. Awwwe! Love Holly… and you! ;)

    Do you have more scobies? What are you charging for them if you do?

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  47. I have a small group of friends both from high school and now in college. I am still in my first year of college and I still find that I am closer to my high school friends than the college ones. Most of my high school friends seemed to have moved on though and made close friends in college so I feel a bit behind from them. I am in a lot of clubs though at my school so I know a lot of people through that, but those are the only times I see those people. My parents are always telling me fun stories from their college years so I’m hoping that I can start finding more people who I feel like are truly my friends and would be there for me not just to say hello how are you and walk away. I’m enjoying meeting new people though, but it’s not quite the same as my high school friends but maybe that’s because I’ve known them for years not just months. Sorry to vent, :) great post!

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