My name is Leslie, and I am excited to become a counselor for Camp Makery. I often find pure joy from being in the kitchen baking masterpieces or making an amazing down-home, homemade meal for my family and friends. I was born and raised in a small town in Kansas and currently live in a little hidden treasure of a neighborhood in Wichita. That's my front porch in the photo above, with my Auntie Laina who is also a blogger here during one of our photoshoots. I live with two dogs dogs, Bentley (7-year-old Boxer) and Carl Wayne (1-year-old American Bulldog).
For as long as I can remember, I have always been a girlie-girl, spending my childhood days playing with baby dolls, playing dress-up, putting on makeup, and sitting on the kitchen counter of my childhood home with my mother, from whom I learned a majority of my cooking and baking skills. To this day, I can still remember the Christmas that Santa brought me my first Easy Bake Oven which I had to take with me to every relative’s house later that day to make treats for everyone. I was raised with great influence from my Grandma Pat who happens to know how to fix any problem you may have with a piece of pie, a bowl of chicken and noodles, or a glass of iced tea. I can still see my Papa Harold sitting on his bar-stool, teaching me how to drink a proper Scotch on the rocks with a grilled steak, while Grandma Pat made the perfect sautéed mushrooms for the steak topping. I can smell my mother’s chicken fried steak, my father’s famous prime rib, and the freshly baked loaves of bread from my great-grandmothers. Looking back on my life, the heartbeat of our family occurred in the kitchen of each home we lived in—where everyone would gather to eat, drink, laugh, cry, and make the greatest memories.
To this I attribute my passion for cooking and baking, for creating joy in the people who surround me—to this I also attribute my life-long struggle with a healthy lifestyle, weight, and body image. I believe that most women struggle with the balance of wanting to make a lifestyle change for clean and lean eating habits, finding a fitness routine that keeps us intrigued and accountable, all the while fighting the cravings for “bad” food choices. It has been a journey for me to find that perfect balance, and I still haven’t quite reached it. Last summer, I finally made the decision to strive for clean eating but allowed myself to splurge in moderation, with the combination of finding a fitness routine that does not focus on the number on my scale, but on my strength. I decided I no longer wanted to be thin; I want to be strong. With the support and encouragement ofmy friends and family, I jumped into a Crossfit gym where I finally feel like I found my groove. I am excited to see where this journey with Camp Makery takes me on spiritual, physical, and domesticated levels. Perhaps I can achieve the greatness of becoming spiritually fed, successful in my career, eating a great diet, developing a strong body, keeping an organized home, creating a fabulous wardrobe, styling gorgeous hair, and applying my makeup perfectly.
Who am I kidding? I’ll be lucky to get the laundry done!