Fall Coffee Date - Pinch of Yum
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Fall Coffee Date

Pumpkin spice lattes, Mom life, 12 years of Pinch of Yum, a skin cancer PSA, and more! Let’s talk about life and other happenings!

Fall leaves on the ground

Well hello! I’ve got a coffee in my hand and a smile on my face and it’s time to chat like real people!

These days I’m drinking regular coffee with cream, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt in my little Keep Cup thing (affiliate link), which is my go-to in the fall. Or if it’s evening and I’m sitting in front of the TV, I’ve definitely got my hands wrapped around a mug of Good Earth sweet and spicy tea.

But please note that I’m also averaging at least 2 if not 3 Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes per week at this point in time, and the budget committee would like to have a word with me about that.

If you’re not a PSL person, try my PSL order: medium, decaf (anxious person problems), oat milk, 3 pumps instead of 4, hold the whip. It’s decadent but in a rich coffee-decadent way. And it has to be from Starbucks. Caribou has its time and place, and I know everywhere else has their own knockoff, but I’m a big believer in sticking with the OG on this one. It’s also approximately $15, hence the budget committee. Moving on.

Let’s talk about life. ♡

Mom Life In a Nutshell

Two girls riding in a double stroller

The thing that takes up the majority of my time, energy, money, sleep, and general headspace these days is these two little people.

They are so beautiful and weird and funny and we are so lucky.

I really love being a mom.

Fall highlights in the Family Life category include:

  • Excitement and routine with starting some new school programs this fall
  • The magic of watching new skills and interests develop (friends, dance, swimming, art)
  • Getting outside in our beautiful fall weather: apple orchard, petting zoo, walks in the double jogger
  • Taking a family trip up north with good friends, and having an ACTUALLY FUN, AMAZING TIME! What is life!
  • Solvi’s heart is healthy, and Lena is sleeping like a normal baby after a year of struggles! Gratitudes all around.

Some fall NON-highlights that deserve their spot in this recap as well:

  • Runny noses and coughs and fevers
  • A highly anticipated mom-and-dad-only trip needing to be canceled at the last minute due to kid sickness, which may go down as the heartbreak of the year
  • An untimely broken dishwasher (is it ever timely?)
  • And a toddler obsession with Sage’s fish oil pills, featuring one incident in particular that included squeezing the softgel oil all over herself, tracking it around our home on hands and feet, and intermingling the fish scent and oils with furniture and clean laundry

Life generally feels like this:

Black and white photo of stuff on the floor in a bedroom

But it also feels like this.

Mom holding daughter on couch

And it is exhausting, but the love is just simple and so pure.

It is really, really wonderful.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

New Chapters

Which, I guess, brings me to work.

Kitchen with light coming in through big window

We’ve been working on Pinch of Yum for 12 years now. (And no, this photo is not our studio OR our home – I wish! it’s a workspace we rented for some projects.)

I was going to say that the majority of the last 12 years have been a straight line, with clear objectives and the direction of things feeling settled and set. But when I look back a little more closely, the truth is there hasn’t really been any season that didn’t have some type of transition woven into it.

Change has maybe been the only constant.

So it’s not that unusual to say that I feel the winds of change blowing again. As they always do. As life always does. And so much of that has to do with being a mom.

As an Enneagram 6, I’m constantly second-guessing myself – did I really want to do that? what about that other thing? what does so-and-so think? is there a better way? – and so, as cliche as it sounds, this is a season where I’m really trying to get honest and real with myself. I’m trying to drown out the noise, the assumptions, the expectations, even my own ego, and just focus on my own answer to the theme question from Emily Freeman’s podcast: what is the next right thing?

I remain in love, possibly more in love than ever before, with sharing recipes and spreading ideas out into the world that make people’s real lives better with the joy of a good meal. It is a joy and a privilege to do this and get to call it work.

I’m also hoping that as the winds of change blow, I’ll be able to build the next iteration of that work gracefully and confidently, chasing my own definition of success, and being okay if that looks different than what someone else’s might look like.

Life is so good at keeping us on our toes, right?

Skin Cancer PSA and My Upcoming Plastic Surgery

Woman taking selfie at dermatologist's office

Yes, I said plastic surgery.

At a routine dermatologist appointment earlier this year, I had a mole right on my hairline biopsied that came back as severely atypical. That means it’s at the highest risk for turning into melanoma, and that also means it requires further, more extensive removal.

Since the mole is on my face, that extensive removal needs to be done by a plastic surgeon.

What I found out at my consult with him isn’t super thrilling: they’ll have to shave a bit of my hair down to do the removal, and when this is all said and done, I’ll end up with a 2-inch scar on my face. I’ll also end up having a slightly lopsided face for a while as my skin on one side will be pulled tighter with the stitches – like a facelift, but… not a good one.

And you know what? It’s not a HUGE huge thing, but I’m sad about it. I’m sad to have a big scar on my face and possibly a strange-looking asymmetrical look going on for a while. I’m sad to have my hair shaved off in a weird pattern. I’m also sad that one of my favorite things – being in, soaking in, laying in the sun – won’t really be a part of my life in the future.

What you can learn from my mistakes: wear sunscreen and go to the dermatologist for regular skin checks.

I had been going to the dermatologist for annual checks for a while, but I fell off the wagon after Lena was born so I’ve missed the last two years. But I’m so glad I went this year because without me realizing, something changed with that hairline mole that we had been watching. And while this is all really a bummer and not something I’m looking forward to, I will hopefully be able to avoid a full-blown melanoma because of it.

My dermatologist told me “there’s no such thing as a safe tan.” Outside of a few burns as a teenager, I have always avoided getting burned and almost always wear sunscreen. And since I tan really easily, I never thought that I’d be a person at high risk of skin cancer (unlike my fair-skinned husband). But alas, here I am.

Schedule the skin check! And if you’ve had anything like this done, you know I’d take a positive, encouraging story from you.

A Vote In Favor Of The CSA

CSA box with fresh produce

Today is literally our last CSA pick-up of the summer! It’s been another amazing season of fruits and veggies. The fall produce (squash, in particular) was some of my favorite! And the beets! OMG the beets. I’ve never heard Bjork rave about a vegetable more than he raved about those plain steamed CSA beets this summer. They were so buttery and perfect.

One of the best perks of doing our CSA this summer has been watching the girls start to fall in love with veggies.

I say that with a little side eye because, of course, what they love changes by the minute and tends to be centered on variations of dairy and cheese. But the “unboxing” process every week with a new carton of veggies each week is undeniably exciting. And I absolutely feel like it has helped educate and expose the girls to new vegetables that I otherwise wouldn’t have thought to try. I hugely credit any interest in veggies, no matter how fickle or fleeting, to being connected to our community agriculture!

We’ve done Little Big Sky Farm for the last two years and they’re wonderful! Highly recommend.

Foods That Are Bringing Me Joy This Fall

White hand holding bowl of salmon salad

This lunch salad is delicious and should probably get its own post at some point, but for now, this will have to do: it’s spring / salad mix, cranberries, spicy-sweet pecans, bleu cheese crumbles, baked salmon, and a spicy white truffle dressing made with mayo, white truffle oil, sriracha, vinegar, salt, and garlic powder. Oof! I don’t know if bleu cheese normally goes with salmon but I’m digging this combo of everything. She’s a real fall beauty.

Other things I’ve made and loved this fall:

Thank you for being here! ♡ For one week or for 12 years. I’m glad to share this space, this food, and this little bit of life with you.

Filed Under: Life Motherhood

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you for the skin cancer PSA. My husband has stage IV melanoma and not many people understand how serious melanoma is. Get it taken care of, and you’ll be surprised how well the scar heals! Those plastic surgeons do amazing work.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Lindsey … I read this post in October and thought, “oh, I should get in to the dermatologist.” Procrastinated. Finally made the call, then the wait to get in. Had a new spot on my face they biopsied and literally today got the call to have it removed by a plastic surgeon – like your story on repeat. So… thanks for the nudge in the right direction ! Crazy!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Great skin cancer PSA! I too had a severely atypical mole on my neck and was referred to a plastic surgeon for a Moh’s procedure. Two years later the scar is barely visible, you’ve got this❤

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    FWIW, my dad had a similar spot on the back of his head last year, and they ended up having to go back in three times to fully get the margins. That wound was BIG, and we assumed he would look like Frankenstein after. And he is 81 and totally bald, no combover option. It’s amazing how well the scar healed.

    (I also had a friend die of melanoma, I’d rather have the scar.)

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Amanda H.

    I had a mole I’ve had forever turn into a melanoma on my knee. When that happens, they take so much more than the mole itself in the hopes of getting it all. And for me, thankfully they did. I have a massive, nasty scar on my knee, but I wear it proudly because that scar may have saved my life. That said, I didn’t use a plastic surgeon; the dermatologist did it. They’ll be so much more careful on your face. And I bet will give you some great tips on scar fading creams, which I received but kind of never implemented. It’s 7 years later now, and so far, so good. Hang in there though. It’s a scary reminder how fragile we can be!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Don’t worry about the procedure you’re about to have. I too have had many facial skin cancer procedures and have practically no scars. They know how to do it! Just be thankful that they caught it early.
    Love your site and always look forward to trying new recipes. Always cook from scratch and never buy tinned or frozen veggies or meat. Be safe, be well! xo

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you for the skin PSA! I haven’t gone in a few years but I’m making an appointment right now. I had a mole removed right by my lip and it was also done by a plastic surgeon. I was so nervous since it was on my face, but the scar isn’t very noticeable and I think it’s kinda cool now. You’ll be great!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love these posts. Being a new mother myself I’m feeling all the feels right along with you. The highs are so high (tiny giggles, obsessed with our red wagon, loves cheese) but the lows are rather low (sleepless nights, toddler constipation :/, runny noses). It’s wonderful and difficult and has me questioning everything I thought I knew about work, life balance. I love being a working mama but I need more time to clean my house and maybe I want to talk to my boss about switching up my schedule but I’m afraid to rock the boat…. Anyway, all of that to say thank you. Thanks for creating recipes we love and that nourish our family. Thanks for being you and sharing your goodness with the internet. Much love, Lexy

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Rebecca B.

    Yes yes yes to the dual pictures of what life looks like right now. I have the best little 18 month old boy. Life feels so messy but it’s also the most beautiful my life has ever looked. Lots of self doubt and runny noses around here too! You and your family are a light and I love reading about other Mamas and their babies and what they’re up to this fall! Thank you for your posts like this! Sending prayers as you face the surgery and recovery! ❤️

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Your writing is just so lovely and always makes me feel warm and cozy inside. We are loving our fall meal plan by the way – thank you for sharing your gifts with the world!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I have been following you for many many years and I think you are wonderful. I love your transparency and your yummy recipes and your ability to say it’s not always that easy. Please please please keep doing what you do because you do such a good job at it

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh thank goodness you’re ok bc I thought you were trying to tell us you were closing up shop! Good luck with your upcoming procedure and however the winds shift as you navigate life, we’re here for it❤️

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    All the best for a successful surgery with great margins! A scar from a plastic surgeon can be minimal but still a scar and I do understand your concerns. I will have a warm coffee drink (just not a PSL) in your honor. I am glad your girls are doing well. I’ll stick around for as long as you want to make and share recipes.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Glad you’re getting it checked out. It’s normal to be upset about having that done! Prayers everything is ok. Appreciate the recipes. Making Ang’s tortellini soup this weekend for the first time!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thanks for the reminder! I just scheduled a dermatology appointment, which I’ve been meaning to do for some time. Sending good thoughts for a successful procedure and minimal scarring!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I hope the upcoming changes you mentioned include the creation of a cookbook! I use your recipes all the time and would love to support you (and throw money at you) for all the meal staples you’ve brought into our home.

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you for sharing this – as someone who has followed you for years, I admire and enjoy you and your content so much. When I casually use the name “Lindsay” in conversation, my husband knows I mean you! Pinch of Yum has brought our family sooooo many delicious meals over the years, and as a fellow mom to young children and as someone in a very similar season of life as you, I love reading your thoughts too. (Ever considered writing a memoir or something? I was a creative writing/English major and then a high school English teacher and j think your style is absolutely beautiful and fun and funny and raw and real.) Thanks for doing what you do! It benefits us all in real ways.

    And thank you for being proactive about
    caring for your skin. Your post hit close to home to me – just like you I rarely burn, always wear sunscreen, and tan easily even though I have a pretty fair complexion, and to be honest, I’ve never been for a routine skin exam. This is particularly sad because one of my dear friends and college roommates actually died from aggressive melanoma when we were only 25. Her name was Kelly Cosby – she’s worth a Google search to see how incredible she was and how rich her legacy is, and I miss her so much. She was such a passionate advocate about proactive care before melanoma becomes a threat. After reading your post, I’m realizing that I am not immune to this risk just because I “don’t burn” and need to stop letting her down and get an exam scheduled. Best wishes to you during your procedure and recovery!

    As long as you keep doing PoY, I will keep reading and cooking. ❤️

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I am sorry to hear that you are going through a bit of a scare. The good thing is, you are being proactive! I have been through a similar situation and have skin cancer on both sides of my family. I never wore sunscreen and I tanned all summer, although I didn’t burn too much. I had some suspicious moles (one being on my hairline as well) removed by a plastic surgeon, and I followed their care instructions afterwards, to a t. The scars are pretty much unnoticeable now. If you do end up with scars, they will be a part of your beauty and a story to tell. Be strong and let us know how it goes!

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Alex B

    Do you have any recommendations for supplements that are effective for arthritic dogs? I have an 11 year old golden who is getting stiffer everyday.

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My sister recently had Mohs on the end of her nose. She found a great plastic surgeon to do the Mohs and reconstruction at the same time, and it turned out GREAT. Let me know if you want the name—she’s in the Twin Cities. Find some great sun hats (I like Wallaroo), SPF, and a therapist to talk through your super valid feelings about this change in your life.

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I had missed the coffee dates! I have been following your work for years and love everything about POY!
    Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing such personal stories with this communities, it means a lot!
    Sending you only positive energy for your surgery ♥️

  21. Pinch of Yum Logo

    See if you qualify for Mohs surgery for your mole! I was just diagnosed with borderline stage 1 melanoma on my cheekbone and go in next week for it. It’s less invasive than a wide margin excision. I am also nervous as it’s near my eye and I am not looking forward to the scar. Fingers crossed for you!

  22. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My dad had skin cancer on his nose. When it was removed his face did appear tighter (my mom joked he was actually just getting plastic surgery) but it settled within a few months and he looked back to himself. You’ll be in my thoughts!

  23. Pinch of Yum Logo

    You writing about your skin cancer scare reminded me to make an appointment with my derm for a check, so thank you! I also fell off the regular routine after having a baby, but this freckly girl can’t deny the need for getting checked over.

    Wishing you well with the procedure!

  24. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I am a frequent flyer of the dermatologist— and have had what you are having done twice (not in the same location, though). I’ve also had basal cell carcinoma which required a plastic surgeon as well – but that was right next to my eye (and I was 23 at the time). All that to say, it’s scary but you WILL feel better once it’s done. And I yell from the rooftops to go to the dermatologist so I echo that PSA! Hope everything goes as smoothly as it possibly can.