Samm here! I am so happy you found your way here! I am hiker, lover of the outdoors, wife, dog mom, kombucha and green smoothie lover. My husband and I co-managed rural lakefront rental cabins in Maine on a wildlife sanctuary for over 3 years and moved to Western North Carolina in 2018! You’ll find that i am passionate about adventure, minimalism and real food.
Let’s get a little bit deeper now!
I was raised by a single mom in Massachusetts, moving 18 times before I was 21. We relied on federal and state aid and were homeless for a while, yet my mom busted her butt to make sure we were healthy and safe! When I was in 5th grade, she remarried and we moved to Cape Cod.
While in college, in 2009 I interned in the D.C. area and in 2010 studied abroad in South Africa. In 2011 I graduated from UMass Dartmouth with a B.A. in Women Studies and in 2013 I graduated with an M.A. in Gender and Women Studies and a Nonprofit Leadership Certificate from Minnesota State University. All of these experiences changed my life and shaped who I am today!
But…the biggest change came in 2015! My then fiancee and I left everything and moved to the north woods of Maine! Read more about our first years living rurally here!
Then, life happened again. It has a funny way of doing that. Although our years on Moosehead Lake were amazing, we were struggling to find life-work balance and needed to find our way to a more simple life. This is how we came to western North Carolina! Here we live a simple, wild + sustainable life through adventure, minimalism and real foods!
These 3 photos remind me of those 3 key points of focus! I now pick wild blueberries and love learning how to forage for foods, I hike as much as possible, eat local veggies from local farms and explore this vast world we live in while making sure I feel balanced and happy every day!
I love hiking! I hiked 68 hikes in 2017! I will admit, I am working up a routine to allow more hiking into my live in North Carolina. Getting outside in every season is a huge priority and a big part of my lifestyle! I also love finding adventure wherever we travel! Often the adventure is the driver for a vacation.
I am a realist when it comes to minimalism and know my trash from a year will not yet fit in a mason jar, however I make small choices that I share and believe have a lasting impact from my reusable water bottles to no take out coffee, a zerowaste period and a plastic free bathroom. We buy package free whenver we can and make most of our cleaning products. I am always evolving my minimialist adventure as it helps with both my sanity and happiness as well as my love for our world.
I eat a mostly clean always gluten free diet that is generally grain free and often vegan. I also pride us in eating local food as much as possible! Stay tuned for WNC local finds!
That’s a quick who I am! Check out my blog and follow along on social media where I transparently share my journey, my meals and so much more! I am so happy to have you here!
Have a question? Comment? Do you just want to get in touch? Feel free to reach out to us on social media or fill out this form. I would love to hear from you!
Blueberry Lemon Bread 🍋 🍞 anyone?
This recipe can be made vegan and is gluten free and grain free! It is delicious and nutritious!
Before I dive into the recipe, this bread was made in a mini loaf pan! If I made a full loaf, I’d eat way too much. I found mine at @thegarageon25, an antique shop for like $2 but you can find them online and most stores now carry them. Once you got one, let’s get baking!
Mix together wet ingredients:
🍋 2 tbsp lemon juice (about the juice from one lemon)
🥚 1 flax egg or chicken egg, either work great!
🥄 1/2 cup vegan yogurt. I used @foragerproject)
🍁 2 tbsp real maple syrup. My fav is @sawyersmaple
Add dry ingredients:
🍞 1 cup @bobsredmill paleo flour blend or 1/2 cup almond + 1/2 cup coconut flour
💙 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (totally could use frozen + could add more if wanted)
🥄 1 tsp baking powder
🍋 Zest from half a lemon (roughly 1/2 tbsp)
Bake 40 mins at 350°F in a mini loaf pan and tada! Let it cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan and devouring! #yum 😋...
Is there ever a sunrise not worth it? I haven’t met one yet! 🌅
Check our this incredible lake sunrise while we were at @tomheganwildernesscabins 🌞 Be sure to scroll to see the ducks 🦆 that joined me!...
What do you see when you look at this woman? 🔍
I see growth 🌱
I see strength 💪
expanding patience 🧘♀️
I see the people who built me
the community that supports me
the experiences that teach me
the obstacles that guide me
I see a future full of beauty 🦋
a past worthy of sharing 📖
a present full of gifts 💝
Now, I invite you to share a selfie and tell me the beauty you see!...
Like usual, because I was making memories, I didn’t get many photos with the loved ones I spent vacation with. But here is a quick slideshow of some incredible humans and memorable moments.
This first one here is after catching this round runner 🏃♀️ before she made it to the lake. 🤣🥰
Also, first time ever Jeff and I didn’t even capture one selfie. I promise he was there with me. 😅 #bepresent...
I have officially lost count of how many times I have hiked this beauty! ⛰️ This Gem on Moosehead Lake is not only an awesome hike, but it has many beautiful memories. 💚
This is one of the first hikes I ever went on with my husband. I have also hiked it with many friends and family. I have done yoga at the overlooks 🤸♀️ and picked so many blueberries. 💙
I have hiked it in spring, summer, winter and fall! 🌺 🌞❄️🍁
My favorite memories though are when this has been his first hike and the kill it!!
I have watched all the kids in these photos make their way to the top! They have all climbed the terrifying firepower, taken in the views and gleefully returned to bathe their tired feet in the lake.
If you visit Moosehead, this is a must, always a must!...
A vacation full of wildlife is a vacation that feeds the soul 🦌🦝 🐸🦅🦆🦗🦂
I don’t know when it happened, my love for wildlife, yet when I watch each of these living beauties, I remember what they have taught me.
Have you ever watch a mama duck protect her ducklings? 🦆
Have you watched an inchworm inching his way back into a tree never stopping to take a break and the wind whips them around? 🐛
Have you watched a raccoon find food for their family? 🦝
Have you ever seen an eagle observing you from a kayak? 🦅
These animals are amazing! They are strong! They go beyond survival and live their best life EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Today I ask you, what animal do you want to live your life as? What wildlife inspires you to live your best life?...
We all rise with the tide so let’s rise the tide together! 🌊 Let’s lift each other up!
Your power, tenacity, drive and downright fabulousness is what inspires me every single day!
Thank you for being 🔥 and tagging me @mjenngordon
Show me your glow 🤩 @megan_bolintiam @heavinshomestead @jcraneo68 @julie_couture @caitlin_lozier @alleradroit @drerinstefanacci @yearroundhomeschooling @lizadouglass @the100acrewood @livicait @amy.marie22 @k.m.farrelldavis @heatherparmley @jotanant_eternallight @emjuhaa @jocilynrae @smilinggnome @joyceelainerein
#womensupportingwomen #werisetogether #lifteachotherup...
Sun kissed 🌞 Have you started to ask yourself, what will your life look like after COVID?
Will you make changes? Will your priorities shift? Will you find more time for family? Will you walk more? Will you change your job? Will you support your local business and restaurants before the large ones? Will a hug be more sacred? Will you visit your family more? Will you spread love like confetti?
I don’t have all the answers for myself, but I do know I will love both myself and my community with more intention. 💕 I know I will prioritize my health and wellness and continue to hike. 🌲 I know I will linger in every hug I receive. 🥰 I will bathe in the forest and soak my feet in rivers. I will catch more sunrises and watch the fireflies at night. I will live with intention.
Share with me what you believe you will change in your life after COVID. #lifeafterCOVID...
Find yourself friends who forage!
Amazing foods live right in front of us. We just have to notice them.
These babies are growing like crazy in a park and very few passerbys enjoy them. Luckily for me, @mjenngordon knew this would be a great way to spend an afternoon together!
Do you forage?...
Nothing beats an easy dinner, especially when it is full of fresh and local veggies! 🍅🥕
This steak, zucchini, carrots and tomatoes are all tossed in avocado oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. That folks, is it! The bottom row is some yummy beets! They were boiled for 20 mins then skewed!!
The kabobs took about 5 minutes to cook, the carrots 10 and clean up was simple. 🧼
What do you like to grill?...
We are getting ready for an adventure! A huge shoutout has to go to @northashevilletailgatemarket for supplying us with many of the necessities!
🌞Summer Sausage from @hickorynutgap
🥕Veggies and herbs from @gaininggroundfarm
🐝Jun from @shanitelixirs
🥒Hot sauce, pickles and sauerkraut from @serotoninferments
What do you pack for road trips? 🧺...
It’s time ⏰ The spark has been lit. ⚡️ What for?
That which you’ve been working towards.
🤸♀️ It’s time to take the leap
🎬 Make the action
💃🏼 Step into it
🏃♀️ Move forward
🙋♀️ Do it
💗 Live your mantra
🧘♀️ Manifest your dream
🎉 Make it happen
Now is the time. The countdown is over. You are ready. Go!...
Have you ever found a spot in nature in just sat? If you have, did anythjng surprise you? Did you know:
🐿 Animals may befriend you
🌳 Trees will share energy with you
🐦 The birds may sing you a song or tell you a story
💗 Your cortisol levels + heart rate will likely decrease
🌬 Your breathing will probably slow
I invite you to find a place, be it in your yard, your neighborhood, a park or in the woods and find a spot. Your only job is to sit, listen and observe. Let nature do the rest. 🥰 #foresttherapy...