gluten free st. pete {craft kafe, st. pete, fl}

the day was long, but excitement over our shared project fueled us through hours of chopping, stirring, glazing, staging, styling, lighting, and shooting.  at the end of it all, my friend lauren casually mentioned, “oh!  there’s a new bakery with gluten-free offerings in st. pete!  you should go by!”  gluten free st. petersburg, my old stomping grounds?  i had my brunch plans for the following day.

 

craft kafe st pete angela sackett  gluten free bread restaurant florida angela sackett

the little storefront, cleverly nestled next to my old favorite health-foods store, was bustling with customers, filled with the sound of the milk frother on the espresso machine and the aromas of both sweet and savory offerings.  gazing somewhat childishly at the marble-and-glass display, i asked the owner, “what, exactly, is gluten free here?”

 

gluten free quiche angela sackett

 

(understand: the platters and racks were brimming with flaky pastries and baked goods like these ones, which reminded me of this recipe i created a while back, and which i tasted after the proud baker insisted i take it as his gift.)

 

quinoa cupcakes angela sackett

 

“i think i’ll have a latte,” i said.  “do you have almond milk?”  the barista gleefully described the house-made, pressed-that-morning, organic almond milk.  she asked for my feedback, as they’d been tweaking the recipe.  um, well, wow.  so my sweet friend and i indulged in sweets and better, deep thoughts and wise words (mostly hers, the last), me thankful that i could do so and know i was eating “safe” for my body.

 

florida restaurant photographer angela sackett

 

restaurant photographer angela sackett

 

teddy, the owner, a new york native, was gregarious and still humble as he told me he’d been longing to open a gluten-free restaurant for decades.  “my dad thought i was crazy,” he said.  “what language is this – what is gluten-free?”  but he doggedly pursued his passion (i’m encouraged for my own dreams), and the result is near-magical.

 

lbi photographer angela sackett

 

i am the tiniest bit embarrassed (well, not really), to admit that i returned the next day with another pair of heart-friends, and we shared a feast for lunch.  crisp-bread pizza with gooey-warm cheese and melty tomatoes, pulled barbecued duck with a bright herb-y salad, and a ridiculous finish of an affogato… buddy brew espresso poured over house-made gelato; no need for dinner after that.

 

affogato dancing with my father

 

gluten free pulled pork sandwich angela sackett

gluten free restaurant st pete angela sackett

a few days home in nj has me both longing for the food and the fun experience, and at the same time thankful that it’s not just down the street.  my waistline might not could handle it.

 

gluten free pizza angela sackett

do you have a favorite local spot that’s full of passion and flavor?

 

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alone. {five minute friday}

there are times when the world, full of faces and voices, feels like a desolate place. my little self, so full of passion for expression and connection, feels solitary in a great big world. there are times when i am energized by that alone-ness, and there are times when it just feels uncomfortable; when being me seems too much different from being everyone else.

sometimes i stand in a crowd and i think, “does anyone think like i do? does anyone at all see this, hear this, feel this the same way i am?” and with a resounding “no,” the uniqueness of each person around me echoes back in waves that overlap one another. i know i’m not the only one, and i mourn the times i see others scramble to change themselves, to morph into something more muted, more bland, more like-everyone-else.

 

light of the world

 

because we’re each one unique. we’re created in the Image of One who intended our reflection to be one of grace, and of beauty, and of the utter other-ness of Him. over time, i often would mourn my uniqueness, and long to be just a little less different… because sometimes, different is lonely. and yet, as i study the lives of those around me, and i seek to see them with new eyes, i celebrate the beauty that is that different-ness.

there’s been a public hijacking of Truth that taunts us, and i especially long to speak against the lie that tells women, my sisters, my friends, that they must change, that they must stray from their Original design and calling and run after something “other…” something that betrays their beauty, their loveliness, their reflection of the One who loves them without fail. because even when we are alone, we are not alone. it is our very striking difference from one to the next that draws us together, and it is our sameness in womanhood that makes us beautiful.

sometimes i embarrass my kiddos when we’re in line at a store and i blurt out to the lady in front of me, “did anyone tell you today you’re beautiful?”  and sometimes the receiver lights up, and sometimes they look at me strangely.  because no one says it, do they?  but sister, you are.  you’re beautiful, and you’re not alone.  just wanted to say it in case you might need to hear that as much as i do.

 

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p.s. – i’m writing as part of a beautiful community of creatives who share each week for five minute friday. go take a peek at what they have to say!

today. {mom of a college freshman}

tomorrow before it is fully light outside, we will all seven pile into the SUV with the little trailer attached, and we will become road-warriors, taking our first arrow to his newest mark.  i will wrap my arms around the chest that’s now as high as my face, and i will bury myself there for a moment.  i’ll hold him just as long as he will let me (and i think i’m spoiled – it’s longer than most boy-men his age), and i will thank my Papa for the privilege of watching him grow this far.  i’m officially a mom of a college freshman, and two days from now, it will be move-in-day.

 

brooklyn bridge senior portraits legacy seven studios a

 

i will watch him walk the aisle and sign the history book of his college of choice, and i will see his life begin to meld with the lives of a new community, where he will hopefully soak in Truth and plant it as well, as together a body of students and instructors seek Wisdom in age-old books and “new” research.  (and i’m betting i will glimpse his feeling too big for his britches, as my grandma would say, and also that i will notice him shaking in his boots a little.  because i can relate to all-at-once feeling so big, and so small.)

 

ralphs coffee shop nyc legacy seven studios

 

i’ll go back to our hotel and i’ll smile at the other four, some of whom will be more transparent in their trepidation at leaving the biggest somewhere new and strange.

 

central park boy senior portrait photographer angela sackett

 

i’ll put my head on a strange pillow and try to calm the questioning thoughts, the ones that say i didn’t do enough, i didn’t teach enough, i didn’t pray enough.  the ones that wonder if he will be “safe” as he spreads his wings.  if he will make the “target,” if he will fly straight, if he will leave Grace in his path.

 

central park senior portraits legacy seven studios a

 

i will pray, as always, that he will treat women and children and old people (and ok, everyone, really) with kindness and respect.  that he will not be swayed by what the world tells him is acceptable, but will be driven by what his Father whispers is Loving.  that when things are hard, he will run first to Him, and then always feel freedom to come to us, but that along the way there will be those around him who will offer wisdom he can trust.  i will hope he studies hard, and sleeps, and eats green stuff, and makes memories and learns all he can in this time.  that he honors his team and makes his profs proud and above all, that he will point others to the One who made him.

 

central park senior portraits legacy seven studios b

 

and i will know, as i already do, that likely he will lose a few feathers, that his path may meander.  i will be reminded (thanks to a few wise friends who speak truth gently and firmly to my mama-heart) that i haven’t done enough.  or prayed enough.  taught enough.  or been enough.  and that is the beauty of Grace… that God is full of it, and He knows we have to depend on Him to fill in the gaps.  one sweet sister said, “this is where you get to see God be big.”  and this is my desire – that where i am small, the One who made us will be big – and especially in the lives of the ones He has entrusted me to love.

 

and isn’t that true about all of life?  it’s when we come to the end of “me,” that we see what is bigger.  so after i hold tight to this tall one who still has much growing ahead (and oh, so do i!), i will open my arms and i will send him off.  i’ll be praying for every opportunity to embrace him again along the way.  i’ll be praying that he listens for Truth and acts in Love.  and i will be thankful for the moments leading up to today – the day the first one takes flight.

 

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