Yesterday I received this in the mail.


And this is how it made me feel.

4065542227_bf9c6ef1f0_bIn fact that dopey grin will most likely cover my face for at least a week after this unexpected gift from a dear friend – whom I’ve never met. Inside this box was a tightly wrapped loaf of apple bread.

4066293146_954bf1181e_bYeah, that’s right. I’ve never met her. Don’t be frightened – it’s not daily practice that I receive and consume baked goods from strangers. You see in my mind Sara is anything but a stranger. First of all check out her gorgeous site ( and tell me you wouldn’t eat anything that comes out of that delicious kitchen. We have our blogs and Twitter to thank for making us fast friends – kind of nerdy but it makes me happy.

The loaf was delicious by the way – nutty grains created a creamy and hearty interior that was made light and tart by the addition of apples, perfectly spiced and not overly sweet (the recipe is on Sprouted Kitchen). Of course I off set the  healthy aspect of the loaf by warming a slice in the oven then nearly drowning it in cultured butter.

Sara included a quote on the bottom of her hand-written note. “It is always the simple things that change our lives. And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen.” Don Miller

This simple gesture of a home baked gift has indeed made an impression on my life. First of all it has made me even more eager to meet Sara so I can thank her in person and secondly it has spurred in me the great desire to return the favor so that someone else could feel this joy.

I know it’s just a loaf (a very tasty one at that) but it represents so much more. Sara took the time to think about me and how this gift would make me feel, she took care when baking it, wrapped it tightly, placed a sweet note next to it’s side and sturdied into a box to make the overnight journey to reach my front door on an sunny Saturday afternoon. A selfless act of kindness with no expectation of gift in return – the definition of love.

An act of love catches one off guard and they are forever changed.

Thank you Sara for your loving kindness.


16 Responses to “Thank you, sara”

  1. El

    What a wonderful gift. I have yet to see a recipe on her site that I don’t want to make myself. Now, I’m hooked. Because I just stocked up at the orchard, I have no choice but to make the apple bread! BTW – your photos are great.

  2. Kate at Serendipity

    What a great way to open your month of daily blog posts! I’m traveling this month, but when I’m home I”m planning to stop by every day to see what you’re up to. BRAVA!

  3. Optimista

    What a lovely and inspiring post – now I want to send a surprise to somebody! It brought a smile to my Monday morning – thank you!

  4. Sara

    Ashley!!! This made MY week! I feel famous to be a part of your marathon blog month. Such a gorgeous written post, and not just because you confirmed our nerdy internet friendship, but because you too, agree with how special it is to love people. Classic picture of your face!

  5. Mélanie

    Wow, it’s such a nice gesture from sara, and you write perfectly the happiness that comes when you give or receive for no accosion in particular, it’s the best!

  6. Johanna

    Wow! That looks delicious. Thanks for steering me in the direction of her blog. I will definitely try this after a trip to the apple orchard.

  7. Joan Nova

    The loaf looks moist and delicious, the gesture was quite thoughtful, and your reaction/post was very profound and well-expressed.

  8. Divina

    A personalized gift is the best gift in the whole world. And that loaf is extra special with a written note and knowing that it tastes really good because she baked it specially for you. That is so touching.

  9. Shannalee

    Sarah is such a sweetheart, and I totally agree about the quote she chose and about the writer it’s from (just heard him speak last Friday night – so good). What a sweet story and this bread looks fab (of course!).


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