Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rules by Jules #TopTenThursday

Welcome to this week's #TopTenThursday. This is a fun writing challenge, that is hosted by Tamara of Confessions of a part-time working mom. Her, myself, and other bloggers, come together and post weekly Top Ten lists, which we create based on a chosen topic. I hope you enjoy reading my list, as much as I loved creating it.


Last week, we made a list of our Top Ten Things You NEED To Know About Me. This week, we are revealing our Top Ten Rules. I don't know how you guys feel, but I LOVE rules, especially the ones I get to make. So, for this week's list, it could be the rules we feel are outrageous, or ones we think are the best, or ones we think should exist. Basically any list of ten rules, in any category of rules we can think of. So, I had two types of rules pop into my head, and I have actually decided to share top ten lists for both. So, this week, you are getting a read one, get one free from me! Hehe. You'll thank me later, I hope.

Without further ado, in random order...


I present my top ten rules I wish were ALWAYS obeyed in my house:

1. No shoes. Please take your shoes off at the door, come in, relax, and enjoy your visit. It is definitely my preference. Shoes are SO dirty, and I would just rather they not spread the dirt and germs on my floor. 

2. Absolutely no interrupting my sleep. This one, I think, is self explanatory.

3. Put it back where you found it. So often, I find things in places where they do not belong, when it would have been very easy to return it right to where it was found. 

4. Always, ALWAYS, listen to me. Actually listen to me. Really and truly listen to me. Take heed to what I say. Actually KNOW what I said. If I could suddenly never have to repeat myself ever again, that would be AMAZING.

5. Pay attention to and respect all my OCD quirks. I have certain things that upset me greatly, if they could NEVER ever be done in my home.... fabulous. No leaving wet clothes or rags wadded up. Let the hang and dry, and then put them in the hamper, or wash them immediately. Put the clothes in the proper hamper section. Wash hands frequently. Do not put food in the sink or leave food on dishes/stover/counter overnight. Etc etc etc

6. Pick up your toys every single day, preferably multiple times. Obviously, this one is directed at Gigi. 

7. Do NOT make a mess in my car. Do NOT touch the ceiling of the car. Do NOT put your feet on any surfaces other than the floor. Wash your hands before getting in my card. Do NOT leave greasy handprints everywhere. Keep it CLEAN.

8. Do not interfere with me getting/drinking coffee. Do not touch my coffee. Do not even look at my coffee the wrong way.

9. Do not cook things at a temperature higher than the 5 setting.

10. Do not put anything around the sink. The sponge goes in the sponge holder, and the brush stays in the sink. No dishes should be left around the sink, near or behind the faucet, or on the side counter. Do not put empty jars or containers back in the fridge. Do not double dip or east out of bags without washing your hands. Do not move things around on the shelves. <<<<Basically.... You know how I like things to be/be done.... So, just do it my way. 


I present my top ten rules, I would like to impose on all humanity...

1. Be a genuinely good person. Do good, not evil. Be nice and kind, not mean and rude. 

2. Pay it forward. Always. 

3. Do not judge others.

4. Kill all spiders. Always. No catch and release. No ignoring.

5. Do not eat or cook bacon. Don't create bacon. Abolish bacon.

6. Read at least one book every month.

7. No drugs. None. I want them to cease to exist. No making them, selling them, or using them.

8. No drinking Pepsi. Coke only. 

9. No lying. Honesty always.

10. Volunteer at least fifteen hours a month, every month. 

So, there you have it, both of my top ten lists about rules! I hope you enjoyed reading them, as much as I enjoyed creating them. 

What about you?! What rules do you want to make, or do you wish were obeyed always, or maybe what rules do you think are the most outrageous?! Do you possibly think some of mine fit into one of those categories?!

Don't forget to go check out the top ten lists, created by these other amazing bloggers:





Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ten of Me #TopTenThursday

Welcome to this week's #TopTenThursday. This is a fun writing challenge, that is hosted by Tamara of Confessions of a part-time working mom. Her, myself, and other bloggers, come together and post weekly Top Ten lists, which we create based on a chosen topic. I hope you enjoy reading my list, as much as I loved creating it.


 


Last week, we made a list of our Top Ten Favorite Italian Foods. This week, we are revealing our Top Ten Things You NEED To Know About Me. I don't know how you guys feel, but I think I'm a simple person. I also think I'm kinda complex. I've often said I'm a walking contradiction. In many, many ways I am. Still, I'd have to say, knowing certain things about me, could definitely make it easier for us to get along. 

Without further ado, in random order, I present my top ten things you really, probably should know about me. 


1. Coffee. I love it. I drink it. It's my favorite. It's my life source. 


2. Spiders. I hate them more than anything. I'm terrified of them. I will flip the f&$% out, if one is anywhere near me. By near, I mean within fifty feet. I've jumped from a moving car because of one. I've left the driver's seat, and lept into the passenger seat, while driving, because of one. I lose my mind, when I see one. 


3. I'm a freaking crybaby. I wasn't always a crybaby, but I am now. One of the things Chad LOVES to tell people, is Adam Sandler movies make me cry. What can I say?! I'm able to empathize easily, and my heartstrings are easily tugged. So, I can be genuinely happy and okay, and still be bawling my eyes out. 


4. I'm bluntly honest. I genuinely believe honesty is the best policy, and adhere to it. I'm a horrible liar, and avoid it at all costs. In general, I only ever lie to protect people and/or their secrets. I do try really hard to avoid it though. 


5. I have OCD. I hate odd numbers. I hate germs. I have PTSD and social anxiety. I genuinely hate crowds, and if I'm in one, it's guaranteed that I'm beyond miserable, even if I seem okay. I'm a social person, by nature, and most that knew young me, would say I'm a "social butterfly" and a "life of the party" type, but certain experiences changed me. 


6. I'm fat. I used to be much fatter. I used to be much skinnier. I've experienced the size spectrum. I'm comfortable in my skin. I love myself and know my worth. When I say I'm fat, it's because I'm fat. It's not a sign of low self-esteem. I don't hate myself. I'm just honest. I may have "big bones", but those big bones are covered in fat. I've lived enough years, to realize my value isn't based on the size of my clothes, but on the quality of my character and the size of my heart. So, don't mistake my honesty for low self-esteem. I love myself. I've strived to be a person who is beautiful where it matters most. Some of the best gifts under the tree, may not have the best wrapping paper, but it doesn't stop them from being the best gifts. You can quote me on that. 


7. Matt Damon. He's the best. He's my favorite. He's mine. Mine. Understood?! Good. I don't want to be intimate with him. I don't want to marry him. I just want to be his CO-BFF with Ben. I adore him. Not only is he an amazing actor, but he is an AMAZING human being. The world is a better place, because he is here. I adore him beyond words. He's the best. 


8. I've literally stared death in the eyes multiple times, but I'm still here. I may not be here tomorrow, but I'm here right now. I'm grateful for every single day, even my worst ones. I'm not sure why I'm still here, but I know God has his reasons. I live each day with gratitude. There are many things I need, but don't have, and that's okay, because I have life. I've made peace with my life, my failures, my successes, my choices, and my mortality. I hope to live decades more, but if I die tomorrow, it's okay. Honestly. I genuinely hope people celebrate when I die. Not celebrate my death, but celebrate my life. My life has been simple and I've had a lot of negatives, but I've also had joy. I've been able to live thirty-three years, and some people don't even get hours. I've know failure and success. I've loved and been loved. I've traveled a bit. I've learned so many things. I've known the joy of motherhood. I'm good. I could have done more. I could have been better. It's okay. I lived. Celebrate it. My life will have been way more, than my death ever will be. 


9. I'm a firm believer in treating everyone well. Do unto others, as you'd wish them to do unto you. I pay it forward every chance I get. I'd genuinely give the shirt off my back, or my last penny, if need be. I believe we are all equal. I believe we are all God's children, and he loves us all. I believe we should not judge others. I believe in spreading love and joy, and in ending hate. I believe in being a good person. 


10. I'm Gigi's mom. It's what I'm most proud of. It's what I'm most grateful for. She's a living, breathing miracle, and I'm forever grateful. She's my number one. I'll always put her first. I believe she's destined for amazing things. I genuinely believe she's going to be an amazing human being. She will be so much more, than I'll ever be, and I'm lucky to be her mom. She's my best friend. She's the love of my life. She's my everything. 





So, that's me. I hope this has helped you know me a little better. What about you... What do I need to know about you?! 


Be sure to check out the other Top Ten Thursday lists:









Mandy of With Love





Friday, August 12, 2016

Stable Layne Pt 2 #UseYourWords Aug 2016

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.




If you read last month's Use Your Words post "Stable Layne", then you know I used last month's words to tell the start of a story. Originally, I wrote it because the words just formed into the story in my head. I really had no idea if I would finish it, even though I already have the entire basic storyline in my head. To be very honest, I even have an offshoot storyline in my head also. Well, enough people seemed interested in wanting to know more of the story, I decided to continue it. I figured it would be best to do it with this month's Use Your Words post, and then I saw the words I was assigned. I almost chickened out. Well, here we are, and I decided to just to do it. I am up for a challenge. Right?! I hope.

My words are:
Scooby Doo ~ Shaggy ~ (your name- Jules) ~ Marty McFly ~ Professor X
They were submitted by: http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/ (Thank you for such challenging words!!)


Layne took a deep breath, and tried hard to focus back on the task at hand. Following Mr. Gorgeous to whatever room Gwyn would be giving her the physical therapy session in. "Sorry," she squeaked out, trying to hide her obvious admiration of the man before her. "I must have stood up too quickly."

Then it happened. He touched her. The gorgeous man reached out and gently gripped her shoulder. "Are you okay?" he asked, concern showing in his voice and gorgeous blue eyes. "We can stop for a minute, if you need to get your bearings."


"No," she said quickly, her cheeks burning bright crimson. "I am fine. Really. I just had a few moments of dizziness, but it is gone. I am right as rain, honest."


He smiled, slowly continuing down the hallway, his hand remaining on her shoulder, supporting her. "Okay," he said, the warm buttery smoothness returning to his tone. "Just let me know if anything is too much for you, and we will slow down. The goal is not to do too much, it is to do just enough."


Layne tried not to focus on his smile, the sheer beauty of it, or the way it lit up his already bright blue eyes even more. She tried to get her thoughts to focus elsewhere, and not on him. Mr. Gorgeous. Yes, that is definitely what she would call him. Call him. Man, she would love to have his number, so she could do just that. Right after she called her best friend Jules, and told her all about him. 


He led her into a large room, that had various pieces of exercise equipment all around it. Some of the equipment she was well acquainted with, and others she had only seen from afar. She did her best to exercise and stay fit, but riding and working with horses, was definitely her main form of exercise. Over, in the far corner, she saw a man that looked like Professor X lifting weights, but other than that, they were alone. His resemblance to one of her favorite movie characters wasn't just because he was bald and in a wheelchair, but he had the same overall look as well. She wondered if he shaved his head because of the strong resemblance he had to Patrick Stewart, or if it was just a happy coincidence. 


"I don't want to start off too crazy," Mr. Gorgeous was saying, his voice breaking through her thoughts. He led her over to a cushioned bench and stopped. "We won't do much today. I will mostly assess what you are capable of doing, and what limits you have. Then each appointment, we will work to lessen and eliminate your limits" He finished with a warm smile, that made her body tingle.


"Ummm," she stared at him, confusion filling her eyes. What did he mean by we? Would he be working with her and Gwyn? "Where is Gwyn?"


"Oh!" he said, a frown briefly adorning his beautiful face, and she found herself longing for his smile. "I forgot! You were one of the clients I took from Gwyn! You were expecting her huh? I am sorry! Forgive my lack of manners. I am Damon." He reached out his hand towards her. "Usually my clients come here expecting me. I am sorry that I forgot you were originally scheduled with Gwyn."


She quickly shook his hand and pulled her hand back, biting her bottom lip. This was not going how she had planned. She thought she would come and workout with some chick named Gwyn, possibly finding out some information about her history with Zayne, and then get back to riding horses as soon as possible. Now, she was going to be stuck here, appointment after appointment, with the most gorgeous man she had ever seen. Not at all what she had planned. 

"I am sorry," he said, his voice showing concern and possibly disappointment. "I assumed Gwyn had told all the clients she gave to me about the switch. Otherwise, I would have called you myself. Is this going to be a problem?"

"No," she said, trying to hide her nervousness. "Not at all. I was just taken by surprise. No big deal. I mean, if you work here, you are obviously qualified, and that is all that matters. I just want to get back on my horse." She turned around and busied herself with taking off her jacket, and laying it over the bench. She should have worn something more than sweats and a tank top. She took several deep breaths to steady her nerves. 

"I will give you a few minutes to get situated," he said, his voice having returned to his normal tone. A mix of sultry and energetic. She could not remember a time she had been this affected by a voice before. She kinda liked it, and kinda just wished he would never speak again.

She turned and watched as he walked over to a cabinet, and watched as he went through boxes of supplies. She took a seat on the bench and gave herself an internal pep talk. She could and would do this. This was the next step in getting her back in the saddle, and that is all she wanted. So what if this step included a man that looked like a Greek god. She hadn't felt this instantly attracted to a guy, since the time she was instantly attracted to Marty McFly, the very first moment she saw him on her TV screen, when she was a kid. Now, she was a grown woman. A thirty-three year old woman. Yes, she could do this. She would come to every appointment, do the necessary physical therapy, and get her clearance for Doc W. 

She had been so lost in thought, she had not noticed him returning to her side, and jumped just a little bit, when his voice broke into her thoughts again. "So, ready to start?" he asked, his voice showing amusement, "Or do you need a few more minutes with your thoughts, Miss Deep Thinker?"

"No, I'm fine," she quickly answered, looking down, hoping he could not see the full effect of her blush. "I was just thinking about Back to the Future."

He laughed loudly, so loudly Professor X looked their way. "Why on Earth would you be thinking about a movie from the eighties?"

"Oh," she mumbled, trying to think of a reason, that did not involve the words gorgeous or crush. "I was just thinking about time travel. How I wish I could go back and change things. Go back to before the accident, and avoid it all together."

He looked at her, a mix of concern and understanding showing in his eyes, he reached out and gently rested his hand on her arm, sending an immediate flame to her very core. "I can understand that, and I am sorry that you can't. I am sorry that we cannot change the past. We can however shape the future, and I will help you to get back to where you were physically. I may even be able to make your better than you were."

She laughed, relaxing a bit, looking up into his eyes. "I doubt that, Damon. I'll happily settle for back to where I was though."

"Doubting me already?", he asked, showing mock shock and outrage.

"No," she said, standing up to stand next to him. "I just know to be better than I was, habits would also need to change, and I have no intentions of giving up pizza or ice cream, or my Saturday mornings with Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, and nearly an entire box of Lucky Charms. I also don't intend to step foot back into a gym, once my physical therapy is over."

"Well, we will see about that last part," he said, a mischevious grin playing across his lip. "Seriously? An entire box of Lucky Charms?!" He quickly looked her up and down. "Where do you put them? You don't look big enough to hold an entire box of sugary perfection."

"Oh," she said, trying hard not to blush under his gaze. "It's all there. Trust me. It has been a tradition for over five years now. I have not missed a single Saturday morning, and I have watched most episodes of Scooby-Doo at least twice."

(to be continued)

Well, there you have it. Stable Layne part deux. I hope you enjoyed it! I will probably reveal more of the story in future posts. It was tricky to use this awesome assortment of words, but I did my best! Now, go and see what words my blogger friends received, and how they used them! I will see you there, right after I get another cup of coffee!

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Southern Belle Charm            

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Buon Appetito #TopTenThursday

Welcome to this week's #TopTenThursday. This is a fun writing challenge, that is hosted by Tamara of Confessions of a part-time working mom. Her, myself, and other bloggers, come together and post weekly Top Ten lists, which we create based on a chosen topic. I hope you enjoy reading my list, as much as I loved creating it.



Last week, we made a list of our Top Ten Life Hacks. This week, we are revealing our Top Ten Italian Foods. I don't know how you guys feel, but I LOVE Italian food. I do have a ton of Italian recipes pinned on my Pinterest page, and I enjoy making new recipes, or tried and true recipes. Sometimes, I like changing small aspects of tried and true recipes, just to see how small changes can make huge differences. This was not an easy list for me to make, because just like with my Top Ten 80's Songs, I have way more than ten to list.

Without further ado, in random order, I present my top ten Italian foods. I have included some links to some recipes, just in case you want to try any of these using a new recipe! With a few of the dishes, I use the term pasta, rather than a specific pasta type. This is because in our house, we use different pastas regularly. Ziti and spaghetti and rotini and bow tie, are among our most used pastas. Be sure to check out the other Blogger's favorite Italian deliciousness, using the links at the bottom.

1. Pasta with meat sauce (either meaty or meatballs). So, Gigi is not a picky eater, but she is also not a great eater. We often have to be very persuasive to get her to eat, and by that I mean we use bribery and begging. She LOVES spaghetti/pasta with meat sauce/meatballs, and so it is one of our most frequently eaten dinners. Plus, it is great as leftovers. For the longest, we never made actual spaghetti, because Chad isn't a fan, but since Gigi loves actual spaghetti, it is becoming our go to pasta. I am happy about this. Yes, I love basically all pastas, but when it comes to pairing it with meat sauce, I kinda prefer spaghetti. We actually had this tonight (Wednesday) for dinner. I thought it was appropriate, since I was working on this post for tomorrow (Thursday).


Hearty Meat Sauce (Stovetop or Crockpot) from Baking in a Tornado.
Meatballs a la Jules (basic meatballs) from The Bergham Chronicles (Yes, me!)

2. Lasagna. I love Lasagna. I can still remember the first time I ever had lasagna. My Aunt Jackie (who is really my cousin- I was born in the South, and respect of your elders/adults is a BIG deal. Well, my dad had me late in life, so most of my first cousins were already grown and had kids, by the time I came around. I always knew my Aunt Jackie was my cousin, but I never felt right just calling her Jackie, so she was Aunt Jackie. Side note, she is battling breast cancer currently. She was like a mom to me growing up, and one of my biggest role models. If you could please pray or send positive thoughts her way, I would appreciate it!) made me my first lasagna, and it was love at first bite. I would say her lasagna is my favorite. I am not sure if her lasagna is just that darn good, or if it is just that you never forget your first lasagna. All I know is, she made me fall in love with lasagna. When she first put it in front of me, I had no desire to eat it. I thought it was weird, but she was a wise chef, and boy am I grateful she introduced me to one of the best foods EVER. 

White Pizza Lasagna from How Sweet It Is
Turkey Sausage Lasagna from Chow Hound
The Best Lasagna Ever from The Pioneer Woman Ree

3. Pasta with pesto sauce. This is probably the newest addition to my list of favorites. It was years and years before I would actually try pesto. Once I did, I loved it. My first time trying it, I actually had it on an Italian Turkey Sandwich. I LOVED it. I was actually upset with myself for waiting so long to try it. It did not take me long to try it on pasta, and of course I was in love. 

Spinach Pesto Penne with Shrimp and Peas from Delish
Pesto Penne from Salu Salo
Healthy Pesto, Tomato, and Broccoli Pasta from ifoodreal

4. Cannoli. Okay, okay. I have to be honest... This one should probably be number one, but I did it in random order. Now, I am not sure if it would be my number one, if I got to eat it regularly, or if it is my number one because I have not gotten to eat then in years. I am not even big on desserts. If I am honest, I could genuinely go the rest of my life, never eating another sweet or dessert, and I would be okay. Now, certain days of the month might be harder than others, but I could definitely survive. Cannolis though... My my my. My mouth is practically watering just thinking about it! For the longest time, I had very traditional cannolis, and I LOVED them!! Then I discovered that there are varieties. I was able to try just enough to fall madly in love, and then I moved to California, and there has not been a cannoli in sight since. I am too scared to try to make them on my own, because the pastry shell scares me. I have found alternatives, that seem easy to make, but I am worried they may not fully satisfy my craving, but only work at making the craving worse. Luckily, my bestie Jade is a culinary genius, and has agreed to help me make REAL cannolis. SO, YESSSSSSSS! I will be eating real cannolis soon! I may even have to make a post about my adventure in cannoli making!! 

Pumpkin Pistachio Cannoli (homemade) from The Great Cake Company
Cannoli with Peppermint Mascarpone Filling from Life's Ambrosia
Black Forest Cannoli from Diethood
Birthday Cake Cannolis from The Domestic Rebel
Easy Cannoli Cups from Will Cook For Smiles
Cannoli Cones from Martha Stewart
Amaretto Lace Cannoli from The Brooklyn Ragazza  
Cannoli from Brown Eyed Baker

5. Veggie lasagna. To be fair, there are many variations of most Italian dishes. Some are traditional variations, and some are non-traditional (probably not even really Italian) variations. Several of these dishes with many variations made my list, but I only made one post. Well, veggie lasagna had to have it's own entry. I love just as much, maybe more than traditional meat lasagna. It is a LOVE/FAVORITE of its own. I love it with all sorts of veggies or just a few. I even like it if you just make it with various tomatoes, herbs, and various cheeses.

Garden Vegetable Lasagna from Tastes Lovely
Vegetarian Lasagna from My California Roots
Butternut Squash, Zucchini, and Spinach Lasagna from Coffee and Crayons
Veggie Alfredo Lasagna from Pinch of Yum
Hearty Vegetarian Lasagna from Eating on a Dime

6. Eggplant Parmesan. I love love love eggplant. Eggplant Parmesan is probably my most favorite way to eat it. I love it baked. I love it fried. I love it friend and then baked. I just simply love it! I do not eat it nearly enough. I really need to make it for Gigi, and get her to LOVE it, so we can eat it much more often.

Eggplant Parmesan from Table for Two
Baked Eggplant Parmesan from Gimme Some Oven
Eggplant Parmesan (fried) from Make It Do

7. Chicken Cacciatore. This is another dish, that I remember the first time I had it. My adoptive mums Pam and Rosemary, had taken me out to dinner, to our favorite place (which just happened to be an Italian restaurant), and I decided to try something new. Prior to that I had always ordered spaghetti or eggplant Parmesan. I LOVED it. I mean I really, really loved it. That actually started me on a road to trying as many dishes on their menu, as I could. I found a lot of new favorites that way, some that probably should have made it onto this list, but I could only pick ten, so I stuck with the ones that eat most often. Actually, you might could say that Chicken Cacciatore started my love affair with Italian food, or it at least opened my mind to trying new things. One of the things that I particularly love about it, is the different variations. You can eat it traditionally, where it is like a stew, or you can eat it with pasta, or even pair it with rice or polenta. 

Favorite Cacciatore from Baking in a Tornado
Chicken Cacciatore from The Domestic Man
One Pot Chicken Cacciatore Pasta from Jessica Gavin
Classic Chicken Cacciatore with Polenta from The Daring Gourmet

8. Chicken Parmesan. Listen, all you really need to know is that I LOVE this dish. It is one of those dishes I will never turn down. I could be craving sushi, and you could offer me Chicken Parm, and I will happily accept. I just love it. I will say, I prefer when the chicken is really pounded thin. I am not sure why, but I just like it better, but won't turn down thick chicken either. This is another one, where I can remember the first time I tried it. It wasn't long after I tried Cacciatore for the first time. It was definitely a love at first bite situation. 

Baked Chicken Parmesan from SkinnyTaste
Chicken Parmesan Meatball Skillet from Delish (serve with ziti = YUM)

9. Fettuccine Alfredo. Now, I honestly should have listed this one sooner, but like I said, I listed them in random order. It should be higher, not because I love it the most, but because for a long time, it was my favorite Italian food. Now, don't stone me to death... My roots are very Italian, and yet for a big part of my life... Well, I hated Italian food. Not necessarily hated it, just did not appreciate it, and really never ate it. The problem was tomato sauce/marinara. I hated the stuff. My family has secret family recipes for the stuff, and I could not have cared less. I may have even insulted a few family members, by refusing to learn how to make the sauce. The truth was, if it was a sauce LOADED with meats, or a lasagna LOADED with cheese, I really did not want to eat it. Now, Alfredo was a different story. I LOVED it. For a long time, I would eat spaghetti with it. I would have to have some Alfredo made just for me on spaghetti night. While living at boarding school, and having no option but to eat the dinner prepared or go hungry, I did learn to tolerate spaghetti sauce. Slowly, the tolerance built, and my taste buds changed, and now I probably prefer meat sauce to Alfredo, but for a long while, Alfredo was definitely my go to.

3-Ingredient Fettuccine Alfredo from Martha Stewart
Broccoli Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo from Tastes Lovely
Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo From Closet Cooking
Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Fettuccine Alfredo from Yellow Bliss Road

10. Manicotti. Yet another one, where I remember the first time I tried it. My oldest sister Luci made it for me. Love at first bite. It is hard to go wrong with a dish where cheese is the star. I was actually upset I had not learned of it much sooner. I loved it. I do not eat it often, but I enjoy it when I do have it. It is one of my go to Italian dishes for special occasions. It is a comfort food for me. It reminds me of good times with my sister, plus it is just plain delicious. 

Meatless Manicotti from Baking in a Tornado
Easy Three-Cheese Manicotti from Pip and Ebby
Chicken and Spinach Manicotti from Go Go Go Gourmet

Well, there you go, my favorite Italian foods. What are yours? Do we have some in common? Are you not a fan of Italian? I would love to see any recipes you may think I would enjoy! Thank you for taking the time to check out my top ten list!!


Here are the links to all the other bloggers sharing their Top Ten Italian Foods:



Pamela at The Wrights' Days of Fun

Mandy and Justin at With Love

Karen at Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wacky, Weird, and Poetic #PoetryCollaboration Aug 2016

Welcome to this month's poetry collaboration! For this month, we chose the theme 'Wacky and Weird'. Hopefully you enjoy my contribution! Don't forget to check out all the other contributions!



So, this month, we celebrate bad poetry. That is basically my inspiration for this post. I had the hardest time coming up with poetry for this theme. Usually, I am inspired, even if just a tiny spark of inspiration, and I build on the inspiration, creating poems. This month was not a month for poetic inspiration, but then I realized we celebrate bad poetry day. So, at the very least, you can file these poems under that! LOL


Poem 1: 

Weirdly interesting.
Always entertaining.
Cooky and crazy.

Kid at heart.
You always make us laugh.

Poem 2:

Wonderfully unique.
Entertaining.
Interesting and quirky.
Radiating intrigue and individuality.
Drumming your own beat of life.

Poem 3:

Your love is like bad poetry. 
You make me crazy.
I love to hate you.
You make me happy one day, and wacky the next.
One moment things are good, and the next they are weird.
You are not consistent at all.
One moment you say you love me, and the next you want nothing to do with you.
I am tired of the bad poetry between us.
I want to make poetry that inspires.
I want to be happy.
I want to be fulfilled. 
I am over this.
I am over us.
I am over you.
I want to meet a new poet, to collaborate with.
I want to write sonnets that rival Shakespeare's most beloved pieces.
I want to write happy endings every single day.
I am done with this collaboration.
I am moving on.
You can stay in your own wacky world.
Find someone new to be weird with.
Happy writing.
Farewell, good bye.

There you go, my gift of bad poetry for you. I hope you enjoyed at least a little bit. Now do yourself a favor, and check out the other poets, contributing to this month's Wacky and Weird poetry!

Karen of Baking In A Tornado

On the Border

Sarah of Not That Sarah Michelle

Dawn at Spatulas On Parade

Candice at Measurements of Merriment





Friday, August 5, 2016

Location, Location, Location #SecretSubjectSwap Aug 2016

Welcome to this month's Secret Subject Swap. This week thirteen awesome bloggers submitted a secret subject for someone else turn into a blog post, and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today, we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and publishing our posts. 




My “Secret Subject” is:
You have the option to move anywhere in the world. Where would it be and why?
It was submitted by: The Diary of an Alzheimer's Caregiver - Rena (Thank you for such an awesome subject! <3)

For being such an easy, straightforward subject, it sure has been hard for me. I think at certain points during my life, I could have answered this question in under two seconds. At this point in my life, it just is not that simple. I have so many places streaming through my head, as I ponder this subject. So, the job is trying to figure out which location I most want to live in. 

Bear with me here. Let's work through it together. 

The very first place I ever truly wanted to travel to, was Australia. For many years, it was my favorite country. Then I realized the brutal truth about all the horribly terrifying creatures that live there. So, it slipped down the list of my favorite countries. Then the internet became huge, and my exposure to internet videos started. Now, Australia is one of my least favorite countries. I doubt I will ever travel there. It is sad, because I do still think it is an amazingly beautiful country, and the accent is my favorite. So, it is safe to say Australia is not where I will be moving to.

Belize. One of my dorm mothers from high school, Sister Marie Lucette, was from Belize. She would show us pictures, and I fell madly in love with it. Such a beautiful place. You can sit in her mother's kitchen, and see gorgeous tigers right outside. They would come out of the rainforest, and walk through their yard. That was both captivating and terrifying for me. I could imagine how awesome it would be to enjoy the local wildlife. I also can imagine how dangerous it could be. Plus, I wonder what critters are there that I don't know about. So, I probably should not live there full time, but I definitely think it will remain on the list of places I want to visit.

Ireland. The beautiful scenery, the lovely music, the Pubs, the castles, the heritage, the accent... I can think of so many reasons to go there. In fact, I genuinely hope to spend time there before I die. I also know there is some issues there. So, Ireland is a place I am probably firmly on the fence about wanting to reside in permanently. Definitely a possibility though.

Scotland. I have basically the same feelings about Scotland, as I do Ireland, so it is safe to say it is a firm possibility.

England/Great Britain/The UK. I can think of a million reasons I should pick this option. So many reasons. I have even grown fond of the Royal Family. So many reasons to pick this option.

As a quick side note... Anywhere in Europe would be awesome. I often hear stories of traveling throughout Europe, easily and happily. So, if I did choose someplace in Europe, my future vacations (holidays/travels) would be amazing!

Switzerland. Now, I am currently probably slightly obsessed with Switzerland. From its infamous neutrality, to its overall safety and peacefulness, to the physical beauty of the country, to its location. So many things to genuinely love about Switzerland. Plus, as an added bonus, Tamara from Confessions of a part-time working mom, lives there. Unfortunately, I do not speak any languages other than English fluently. So, adjusting could be hard.

France. I love France. Visiting the Eiffel Tower is near the top of my Bucket List. I studied French in high school, and did really well. I have not used it in years, but still understand it when I see it written, and most of the time can understand it when it is spoken, so I feel I could quickly relearn the language to a level of comfortable communication. 

Italy. First of all... The food. That alone is really reason enough to choose Italy as my permanent home. Plus, I have often talked about retiring to Tuscany, and enjoying the immense beauty of the local country and culture. Yes, I think I could LOVE Italy, despite the obvious lack of knowledge of the native language. Plus, cannolis, lasagna, spaghetti, FRESH pasta, and homemade sauces.... The food. 

Do you see why despite how easy this subject is, how truly hard it is? I mean, so many options. The possibilities are vast. 

Which one do I choose? One we have discussed? One of the other ones running through my mind? None? Do I just choose an amazing location within the United States? There are plenty of awesome places right here in my native homeland. Right here in California, there are many awesome options. 

Part of me feels like I should pull a Mermaids type move. Have you seen that movie? Cher and Winona Ryder. No? Yes? Well, when Cher wanted to move, she would close her eyes and pick a random spot on the map. I could do that. I could just pick a place at random, move, and make the most of it. The problem with that... Too much up to chance. I think if I am going to make such a huge and permanent change, I need to have some control. 

Ireland. UK. Switzerland. Greece. Scotland. Mexico. Hawaii. San Diego. France. Italy. Malta. Boone, North Carolina. Canada. Jamaica. Miami, Florida. Sweden. Japan. Norway. Boca Raton, FL. Poland. Martha's Vineyard. San Francisco. Iceland. Denmark. New Zealand. Hong Kong. 

So many places and thoughts are flooding my mind. Unfortunately, moving day is quickly approaching, and I have so much to prepare, so I need to pick my location.

Well, if I could move ANYWHERE in this world, I guess I would pick.... I honestly think my top three contenders are: France, Switzerland, and Italy. I am possibly leaning most towards Italy, there is just something about Tuscany that has always appealed to me on a massive level. So, I pulled back and really thought about. The reality is that any of those would be great, and they are close enough, that I could vacation easily in any of the ones I don't choose as my country of residence. So, then I am brought to the thought that Switzerland is in the middle, and centrally located between them. Then I think about the language barrier, and admittedly, French would be the easiest language for me to transition to. Both France and Switzerland have French as an official language.

Decisions. Decisions.

Location. Location. Location.

I choose Switzerland. It is a great country, from what I have been told and read. It is safe and beautiful. It has Starbucks. It has the most delicious chocolate I have ever tasted, and I am not even the biggest fan of chocolate. It is close to France. It is close to Italy. They speak French. Tamara is there. The culture is lovely and kind. I think it would definitely be the best choice for me to make.

If I did stay in the United States, I think I would move to Ripon, California. It is really close to where I am now, so I would still have the same amazing weather, and be located near to everything and everyone I am now. It is just nicer, and a place I would actually really like to live. It would be a change, without being drastic. 

So, there you have it.... If I could move anywhere, I would move to Switzerland. Final answer.

What about you?! Where would you move to? Why? Do you have a huge list of possibilities, or are your options less bountiful than mine? Thanks for taking this journey through my thoughts with me. I hope is was as painless as possible. I hope you enjoyed my post! Now go check out what subjects my fellow bloggers got, and what they have in store for your reading pleasure!!

Here are links to all the sites now featuring this month's Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a drink, and check them all out. See you there:

                   Baking In A Tornado