In defense of complicated coffee orders

The following post is sponsored by Little, Brown and Co and the new book Penguins of America -- written by bestselling author, James Patterson and his son, Jack, who came up with the idea for this book when he was five years old. Congrats, Jack and James! 
I wasn't always one of those high maintenance complicated coffee order types. When I started drinking coffee in my early teens, my drink of choice was a cafe mocha (AKA gateway coffee). I, like most beginner coffee drinkers, transitioned rather seamlessly from hot chocolate to... hot chocolate coffee and stayed with that for a beat until... I went ICED. An iced mocha turned into a coffee Frappuccino.

It wasn't until late in high school that I started experimenting with lattes and cappuccinos. I liked SAYING cappuccino aloud because the foam made me feel sophisticated.

"Hi, yeah. I'd love a cappuccino, thanks," I'd say, in a slight accent.

It wasn't until I dated a Vegan barista that my orders started to change... I went from milk-based coffee drinks to RICE MILK based coffee drinks (which were disgusting but impressive to my fellow vegan coffee-going peers). I hoped to acquire a taste for RICE DREAM but sadly, never did. So, after pretending to be someone I was not, I stopped faking and started getting real. 

With soy milk. 

The "soy latte" was my drink for at least a decade before it became too weak for my blood. As a mother of four children, I needed an extra shot of espresso to make it through weeks/months/years of sleeplessness, so my "soy latte" became a "soy latte" with an extra shot.

And then, about two years ago, I discovered whole milk -- and my coffee-drinking life suddenly changed.  WHERE HAD WHOLE MILK BEEN ALL MY LIFE AND HOW HAD I DEPRIVED MYSELF OF SUCH LUXURIES?  Certainly, I could at the very least have some whole milk with my coffee, no? 


The whole milk latte with an extra shot was delicious for a week or two before it started feeling too rich... I'm not big on dairy but also the soy milk was just so... soy-y... I didn't want to go back. SO? I COMPROMISED! 

One day, while making my own coffee at home (which is what I do 99% of the time), I came up with the genius idea of MIXING the two. 


The soy was too soy-y, the milk was too milk-y, but the soy + whole milk? WAS JUSSSSSST RIGHT.

I rejoiced. Soy + whole milk in my coffee was EVERYTHING I had hoped it would be and more. 

And just like that, I became the lady with the complicated coffee order. 
IMG_5828 IMG_5827

The first few times I felt like a jerk ordering said beverage. I didn't want to be "one of those people" who's like, "can I get a skinny frappy no-whip extra-foam extra-hot extra-shot two-cup no-straw decaf half-caf knee-cap..."

But then, something changed... 

I realized, after apologizing profusely the first few times I ordered my complicated coffee drink, that nobody really cared. And beyond that, it made for interesting conversation with strangers about the nature of humans and our various complexities and compromises. 

I was always someone who liked to make things my own, so I learned to embrace my "weird" order and in time, to OWN it.

"Yeah, I'll take a latte, extra hot with an extra shot of espresso and for the milk can you mix the soy with the whole milk, please?"  - except this time, I don't care that I don't sound sophisticated. I'm NOT sophisticated and that's okay.

One of the joys of growing up is finding WHAT WORKS for you and then OWNING it. And while this post is really just about coffee, it's also about so much more. 
Because EVERYTHING is. 

For so many years, when I ordered something and the wrong thing came, I would eat it. Or I wouldn't eat it and starve and say nothing... because "I DON'T WANT TO START DRAMA, YOU KNOW? I want to be liked. I want to be EASY GOING and V. CHILL about all of the things." 

I don't feel that way anymore. 

Now, I just want to be myself. My half whole/half soy/extra hot/with an extra shot SELF.

Because finding something that works for you and then ASKING FOR IT is life-changing stuff. And I feel like, in this weird way, learning to (unapologetically!) ask for what I want instead of going along with what I'm given has become my mantra, not only at the local Starbucks, but EVERYWHERE.
To passivity being a thing of the past... (Cheers!)


Penguins of America is an elaborately illustrated book that features penguins doing absurd yet necessary human things such as... placing complicated coffee orders. If you would like to enter to win a copy AS WELL AS a $50 Starbucks gift card... 
... Comment below with YOUR complicated (or not so complicated) coffee order. I'll choose one winner at random next Wednesday June 7th. Good luck! 

We did it! Because of you. THANK YOU.

A few hours ago, our Pans kickstarter campaign came to an end. I watched the clock as it ticked down and had one last ugly battle cry -- of which there have been many -- over the last four weeks.

Over the course of 28 days, 21 hours and eighteen minutes and with the love of 1501 backers, we made it to $117,579 which is just so beyond incredible. YOU GUYS. 

There are so many people I want to thank -- so many of my heroes and idols, mentors and guides, friends and family that have not only backed this project but reached out to me personally with support. To my sisters and brothers who elevated this campaign REPEATEDLY -- who stood cheering as we pushed past each percentage point.... THANK YOU. 

For every tweet and Facebook post and email -- for every Instagram comment. For EVERY. HARD-EARNED dollar donated to help us make this movie...

I am so grateful. 

Please know that Pans WILL move forward BECAUSE OF YOU. That this project is no longer MINE but OURS. I feel like I have the MOST all-star team behind me and I keep turning around like holy shit is this for real? And then I see YOU ALL and YES, IT IS FOR REAL. YOU ARE HERE. And you were there. And I am tackling you all with gratitude...  now, always... forever. 

Because of your generosity, your spirit, your belief and willingness to invest in this project and in ME as a filmmaker... PANS will exist. Together we will put the  Belle in Rebel(le) and the Wynne in GO, FIGHT...  and release Pans out and into the world.


Over the next several months, I'll be updating everyone on our progress whenever possible -- both here and across Pans' social platforms and of course, through our Kickstarter updates. 

I will also be posting monthly round-ups of creative, female-led crowdfunding projects so if you are planning on crowdfunding your creative endeavor, please drop me an email at rebeccawoolf @ gmail with the HELP ME CROWDFUND in your subject line. I hope the success of our campaign motivates anyone out there with a dream to ASK FOR HELP and MAKE IT GO. 

In the meantime, thank you ALL for allowing/encouraging Pans to happen. 
Thank you for holding us up with love and solidarity. Thank you for putting FOUND GIRLS on the stage. Thank you for helping me rise.

I love you all so much,


sprinting toward the finish line...

We are in the home-stretch with just over four days to go of our Kickstarter campaign and as of this morning we have TWO angel backers who are EACH coming through with 5k if we can get 250 more backers by Saturday, 9:30am PST.  So! If you haven't backed PANS, please consider doing so today for as low as $1. Or ask a friend!? We also have some really incredible rewards for those of you who want to chip in more. 

Here are a few items we have available for the next four days:

unnamed-1 copy
click here for ALL available rewards! 

Massive thanks to my amazing friends and teammates who have contributed their time, art and expertise to our backer rewards, including Angela Boatwright, Danielle Hull, Desiree Falcon, Jolie Ankrom and Sydney Park. Every dollar raised goes directly to the production of our film and the employment of actors, crew, designers, music supervisor and so on... I have been working on this project for ten years, with the goal to employ as close to an all-female crew as possible, to cast inclusively so that girls can SEE THEMSELVES and recognize their stories on screen. I believe that we ALL have the power within us to change the narrative, to flip the script and these last few weeks have been life-changing and inspiring and exhausting and motivating and WE ARE SO CLOSE to making this story come true, thanks to you. 

THANK YOU for giving me the space and support to ASK and receive assistance in making this movie. Thank you for standing with me with love and solidarity. I am so grateful for this community, the love you have so generously offered me and my family through the years. Thank you for rooting me on as I pursue this next chapter. I am so humbled. So excited to make this film. So grateful to have your support and solidarity. Here's to the generosity of 1105 backers so far. Here's to an additional 300 backers by Saturday! Here's to our generous angel donors who have come through for me and my team these past few weeks. Here's to YOU for cheering me on with your kind words and messages and reposts and art. I'm so incredibly grateful. 
With Love and Gratitude,

in transit the scenery blurs

1. He turns twelve tomorrow. An age that is as between as it gets. I remember when he turned ten, feeling like, here we go... and now, here we are, pushing through space between months and years and numbers that mean more than they did, even last year.

It is a strange feeling when you look at your baby and see a man. It wasn't that long ago when I counted his lifetime in days and then weeks and months... even after his first year, he was still twelve months old. When you're a new parent, months hold so many new milestones you feel the need to include them all.
"My son is about to be 144 months old."
The last year of his boyhood. Next summer he will have his Bar Mitzvah. That is legit man stuff right there. How did we get here so fast. That is not a question. I know how it all went down. I was there. It feels like it blurred but it didn't. And I'm so glad I wrote it down. Even the hard parts.
2. I had to stop reading the news. I am reading it again -- now -- after weeks of pulling myself away. Nothing made sense any more. Maybe it's always been like that but I had to take care of myself. I had to focus -- eye on the prize -- on something hopeful.  My children give me hope. I read the stories on the wall of our school -- the politically charged eight year olds in my daughter's class whose heroes are women who dissent. 

Fable wrote a scathing letter to the man we call president. She wrote one to her hero, too. She started a blog of her own. It's about politics and girl power. It's private for now, but we've already talked about her taking over mine. Girl's Gone Riled. 

I found Archer in the adult section of the book store the other day -- after polishing off Animal Farm he wanted to read 1984 on the plane. We read the same kinds of books now. It's amazing, actually, to have a child who isn't really one at all anymore.

Everything is falling apart but our children are learning what to do with the pieces. They are learning and caring and working on strengthening their minds and voices -- they are sharpening their words and finding ways to use them and I am so proud.
What will we call this time in ten years? I feel like I'm staring out the window, somewhere between THEN and SOMEDAY. 
IMG_2741 IMG_2733 IMG_2725
3. I drove by our old house last week. The buyers knocked down every interior wall but left the outside in tact. I knew it was coming. Our house was broken and nobody wanted to live in it the way it was. The property was too valuable for a structure that could no longer sustain. It still broke me -- seeing the backyard through the front door. The archways gone. The bedrooms non-existent. A hollowed-out shell of our former lives.
You cannot cross a bridge without recognizing there will be many things you leave behind.

I say this myself as I fix my eyes on a different path. I say this as I take my son shopping in the men's section. I say this as I put all of my eggs in one basket. As I refresh the Internet and then tell myself to walk away. The harder you push, the closer one gets to falling over but the alternative is what: standing still? I always pick the window seat in the airplane even though I don't know what I'm looking at when I look down. I only see clouds. Or squares in the distance. Specs of neighborhoods I could never guess by name.
4. She isn't real but she wants to be. She's on paper and she's in my head and I know her in myself but she isn't real. I can feel her on one side of me, like an imaginary friend pushing through the wall that keeps her invisible. I can feel her everywhere I go. Wynne. As in GO, FIGHT, WYNNE. Wynne as in the opposite of LOSE. We are so close to reaching our goal, I can FEEL it. But there's still a week to go and I am nervous. It took me months to garner the strength to ASK in such a BIG WAY like this. And even more time than that to believe we could DO THIS THING.

5. In transit, the scenery blurs. You are on the train because you know where you want to end up but when that where is new, nothing  out the window looks familiar. You know you are on a train but when you're not driving, you just have to trust. You have to sit down and say OKAY. WE ARE GOING SOMEWHERE. PLEASE LET US ARRIVE. Faith, some would call that. For others it's just knowing when to pull back and breathe.

And to recognize that even in breath, there is a moment between inhale and exhale that is just...
6. Tomorrow I will have been a mother for twelve years. I celebrate my children's birthdays with more self-reflection than I do my own. I don't remember being born but I remember May 23rd, 2005 -- what it felt like to hold a tiny boy in my arms and search for the future in his eyes... and then my own.

Twelve years later, there is no sign of the baby -- instead a young man, about my size calls me mom. Tells me to sit three rows back at the school concert, to park down the street when I pick him up from school.

It hurt at first -- and then I remembered what it felt like to have a mom in front of my friends at his age. I remember what it's like, I tell him. It's cool. I'll be across the street when you need me. 

Growing pains are for parents, too.  I am learning how not to take it personally when he pushes me away -- working to better understand his signals so I can flash mine in response from across the tracks. Detachment parenting. 

"I'm here. Do you see me?"

He tells me he does.

We are both all growing up.
7. You are all amazing. I'm sorry it's been so quiet here, especially after I wrote about my big plans to continue blogging through the month but, oof, I just... it's been impossible for me to keep up and sustain a Kickstarter campaign all at once.  

Today, I'm taking a breather. This post is my breath. 

Thank you all for your patience and support. Thank you for posting about Pans and sharing and giving and asking friends to do the same. Thank you for being my posse. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. THANK YOU FOR BELIEVING IN ME. Thank you for rallying around me and this project. Thank you for helping us get up the mountain.

We are currently 84% there with 8 days to go...  If you haven't backed us yet, please consider doing so today. We are SO CLOSE. 

PANS on Kickstarter is Now Live! Thank you so much for your support!

photo by Angela Boatwright after our tease shoot in January 

Yesterday, a little after 9am, our Pans Kickstarter campaign went live. 


ED: I meant to post this yesterday but in typical HA HA OH, YOU fashion, I had to pick a "sick" child up from school early and then came home to no Internet access for 8 hours. SO! I am now posting this 24-ish hours later. Also, I barely slept last night. Or the night before. (Or the night before that.)

The last 24 hours have been AMAZING. I am blown away by the support and kindness you have shown me and this project. We made over 11k in our first 24 hours which was completely beyond expectation and I am trying to thread words together in a sentence to convey my gratitude and then I keep deleting those words and now I'm just... I wish there were emojis I could use, here, because words don't seem like enough. Please know that I am just so very grateful.

I also want to thank a few amazing people who I did NOT thank in the Kickstarter page and those people are Christina Soletti, Patty Schemel and her band Upset for so generously allowing us to use their music in our Kickstarter trailer. Endless gratitude to Kathleen Hanna as well for giving us permission to use Le Tigre's song Deceptacon in our tease. Which happens to be one of my all-time favorite favorites.)

I am also so grateful for those of you who have not only donated thus far, but who have posted the campaign on their Facebook pages and Instagram pages and on Twitter. We cannot fund this film without your help and are so grateful for anything you can do to help us get the word out.


I promise I will do my best to post things in the next month that aren't purely Pans related, but I also will be posting things that are. As someone who is bombarded on a daily basis with marketing and promotional asks, I TOTALLY understand the fatigue. However. My #1 goal in life right now is to make this movie and for the month of May I will be doing everything in my power to raise as much money as we possibly can to make Pans possible.

I've gone ahead and embedded our project page in the upper right corner of the sidebar for easy access. You can also go here!

Please think of this Kickstarter as my tip jar. My patreon and/or Amaz0n wish list. Except instead of the money going to me it goes to the many dozens of creative people it will take to make this small but mighty movie... AMAZING people -- many of whom have already donated hundreds of hours, unpaid because they believe in this story in the same way I do.
more photos by Angela who is AMAZING and whose photography is one of our rewards! 
AngelaBoatwright_-1222 Anyway, this was a very long-winded introduction to our Kickstarter page so apparently words do not fail me completely. Thank you all so very much for supporting this project and for helping me spread the word like dandelion fluff into the ether. Thank you for having my back. Thank you for helping bring Pans to life...

We are humbled and grateful for your contributions and support.

With love and gratitude,

Rebecca and
Team Pans 

*she wasn't really sick. She's just really good at pretending to be sick so she gets one-on-one time with me. This is a thing that twins do, you see. They FIND A WAY to get the attention they need and also deserve. Which, I mean... respect.