I never was one for new year's resolutions, and as 2013 came to such an awful close, I took to 2014 in a negative light. So many things had turned to shit for me from October of last year, and although I was overwhelmed and miserable at the time, I now see it was the best thing that could have happened to me in the long run. After getting slapped out of my funk by a good friend, I realised I didn't want all the drama to set the tone for my whole year. I was forced in to a major turning point in my life, so I had set myself a one-month-in-to-the-new-year's-resolution: Get off your ass and do something about your life. Be happy. It has been a difficult adjustment but now, only a few months later, I have been able to see the positive in situations instead of continuously focusing on the negative. I am a better person for learning: It's okay to be alone.
After my big ol' break-up with my boyfriend of three years, I became free.
It was refreshing not needing to answer to anyone, and having the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted without needing to think about the consequences. By not depending or relying on any one individual, I became my own person. I have a wonderful set of friends and that was all I needed.
I made new friends, did new things, and went new places. Being a little impulsive never hurt anyone.
I can't say no to the knick-knacks displayed while walking towards the check-out of a store that I have absolutely no reason to own. It makes me happy, that's my reason.
The feeling of satisfaction I get when I purchase random crap is worth it, even if I'm incredibly likely to abandon said random crap after one or two days of use. A little impulsiveness keeps life interesting. Happiness comes in all shapes and sizes.
It comes any time it wants, it comes unexpectedly. Happiness is something different for each and every one of us. Happiness may not come from the same place for us all, but it feels the same for everyone. To me, happiness is: The little things.
Making the green light just in time
People spelling my name right
When someone tells me I'm pretty
Watching baby ducks walk in a line behind mamma duck
A cocktail on a hot day
Laying in the sun
Catching a perfect moment on camera
Laughing with my best friend until no noise comes out and we sit there clapping like spastic seals
Drop the excuses.
I realised I could not remember the last time I was truly happy.
I blamed my ex, I blamed my family. Truth is, it was no body's fault but my own.
If you want to get somewhere in life, you have to give away your excuses.
Things won't change if you are not pro-active.
DO NOT wear a playsuit out to the club.
I actually am a better person for forcibly learning this. At least, a classier person.
You'd think this shit would be common sense, but seriously, you try peeing wearing a one-piece monstrosity you are too drunk to remove when your bladder's about to burst.
It's nearly impossible to forget when you're carrying around major trust issues, the betrayal will always be at the back of your mind, but dwelling on it, holding grudges and handing out guilt trips never made me feel better. Nor did it fix the problem. I am the bigger person. Although I may not be able to forget, I can certainly forgive.
Everyone has two faces.
Everyone is unique. Be yourself and let who you are shine through. Individuals hide their true identity with a mask. They show the world one thing but behind closed doors they are the complete opposite. Only those who truly love that individual really ever get to experience their true beautiful soul. When someone tells me I am the goofiest person they've ever met, I smile and think of my favourite quote...
"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." - Marilyn Monroe
The past months have been amazing time of growth for me and I am overwhelmed by how much I have matured in such a short time.
I haven't always loved Valentine's Day. Or even really liked it at that. To me, it was just a commercial day where people are supposed to spend money on gifts for their significant others that don't really mean anything other than "I bought you this because I thought I had to." Frosted cookies, flowers and conversation hearts? Nah. I am a strong believer in, if you love somebody, you should show it every day, not just once a year because it's convention. Where's the love in that?!
Over the past year, I've had a change of heart. (I'm hilarious)
Although I do still live by my belief, I'm not so cynical about February 14th. I'm grateful to be living in a world filled with so much love. Whether you're single, taken, or anywhere in between, any good reason to celebrate love is okay by me.
As my boyfriend and I have only been officially together for a month, I didn't have high expectations for Valentine's Day and an evening spent veged in front of the TV, drinking a four pack of Monster Energy as per usual was more than fine by me. I actually felt rather awkward. Do I buy him a present? Will he get mad if I don't? Do I have to plan something elaborate and romantic? What if he laughs at said elaborate and romantic plans? I was a little apprehensive. Then he offered to cook me a nice, candle-lit dinner at his place as he had the house to himself. I was A LOT apprehensive. I am the fussiest eater on the planet. A vegetarian that doesn't eat veggies. Or cheese. Or Seafood. Or eggs. Or anything for that matter, this is a man who burns oven-cook wedges, a man who puts pasta in the pot before the water has boiled, who puts aluminium foil in the microwave. The only thing I've seen him 'cook' successfully is cereal. And even then, the Cornflake to milk ratio is way off. But I'd never had anyone other than my own mother cook for me before, so I was rather excited at the same time, and swooned at the thought of a man slaving over the stove for me for a change.
After a shitty day at work, I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in to his kitchen and I could see by huge smile on his face as he sat down in front of me, he was proud of his work. He cooked us a simple, yet delicious meal of spinach and ricotta ravioli with a tomato and spinach sauce.
Such a prefect date, it fit us to a tee - chilled out, not too corny, and free.
I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day, spent with the one (or ones) you love.
It's been a while since I've shared a recipe with you lovelies, so I thought I'd turn my case of Mondayitis in to an opportunity to do just that. A big weekend and a 5 day work week ahead of me, means two things: I’m tired and I’m hungry.
Quick skillet pasta dishes like this Creamy Tomato & Spinach Pasta are perfect for such an occasion. They require only a few ingredients, cook up super fast, and leave me feeling so full! I make this whenever I need a quick, comforting meal. I literally devour this weekly over winter.
My version uses just a touch of cream cheese and Parmesan to make a regular tomato sauce rich and creamy. If you’re not into cream cheese, you could also add 1/4 cup or so of half and half to achieve a similar effect. I use regular pasta, but whole wheat would actually be pretty good in this and would add some extra fibre and nutrients to make it a more well rounded meal.
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 (15 oz.) can peeled, diced tomatoes
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
pinch red pepper flakes
freshly cracked pepper to taste
salt to taste
2 oz. cream cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan
½ lb. penne pasta
½ (9 oz.) bag spinach - fresh or frozen
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender (7-10) minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander.
While waiting for the pasta to cook, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both in a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-low heat until softened and transparent (about 5 minutes).
Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and some cracked pepper to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and a ½ cup of water, and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce.
Turn the heat down to low. Cut the cream cheese into a few pieces and then add to the tomato sauce. Use a whisk to stir the sauce until the cream cheese has fully melted in and the sauce is creamy. Add half of the Parmesan to the skillet and whisk until it is melted in. Add the remainder of the parmesan and whisk until melted in again.
Add the fresh spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it has wilted (3-5 minutes). Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated in the creamy tomato sauce. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.