November 22, 2012

New Photography & Cooking Blog...

Hey Guys,

Please follow me @ 

It's a place where I'm going to be posting all of my pictures & recipes and actually have some direction. I just feel like for once I'm actually finding out what really makes me tick & I want to be able to focus on that 100%!
Don't mind the mess on the new blog right now.. I'll be fixing it up soon!

Thanks for the support!


By the Lake

There's nothing more beautiful then chilled hands & camera settings on a crisp November afternoon! With that cheesy comment aside...

The more I go out & really take a look at all the beauty that is around me, the more at ease & happy I feel.
Yes-Earth can be terrifying...there's a lot of really bad things going on around the world.
But just stop for one single moment and look at the trees, the wild berries, the ducks and you truly have something amazing.

The Earth is a beautiful place. You just have to open your eyes to it's potential.

Jambalaya Recipe by Yours Truly

Recently, my Step Mom just gave us a TON of food that came from her mama's store... Most of it was pasta. I have way more than I know what to do with so I'll probably donate some to a food drive. That definitely seems like the best bet, in my opinion.

Anyway, I was trying to figure out what to do with the pasta, turkey sausage & chicken that was in my fridge and I decided to make a Jambalaya.

It ended up turning out absolutely delicious & folks-this was my very own recipe!

My one complaint was that I don't think I'm the biggest fan of turkey sausage so I probably won't use that again.. However, John LOVED it which is interesting because he was originally the one who was against using the turkey sausage in the first place.. weird.

What you'll need:

  • Cooked Pasta (any kind you want)
  • 3 Turkey or Italian Sausages, diced & crumbled (will crumble more in frying pan)
  • 1 Chicken Breast, diced
  • Tomato Paste, 2 Tbs
  • 1 Can of Diced Tomatoes
  • Chicken Broth, 1 1/2 Cans
  • Sweet Bell Peppers (I used 1 Red & 1 Orange), diced
  • 1/2 Red Onion, diced
  • Celery, 2 sprigs, diced
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced.
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Italian Seasoning
  • 2-3 Tbs of Ancho Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbs Basil
  • 1 1/2 tbs Oregeno
  • 1 tbs Parsley
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil (separated)
What To Do: 

  1. Heat up your olive oil in a large frying pan. While the oil is heating, season your chicken & sausages.
  2. Once pan is hot, add in your meat & onions. Cook until the meat is cooked through & sausages are crumbled. Set aside.
  3. Using a deep pan or a dutch oven, add in 1 tbs of olive oil. Once heated, add in your peppers, celery & garlic. Saute & Add in your diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir.
  4. Slowly, add in your chicken broth, mixing in between pours.
  5. Next, add in your Italian Seasoning, Chili Powder, Cayenne, Basil, Oregeno, Parsley & Bay Leaf. 
  6. Add in your chicken, sausage & onions to the sauce mix.
  7. Stir all together until sauce is thick and everything seems nice & coated (about 5-7 minutes).
  8. Pour sauce over pasta, mix together & enjoy. 

November 19, 2012

A Pretty View: Photography

These are just a few photos I took at one of our parks here in town.
At first I wasn't a huge fan of that last one but after editing it, I've kinda fallen in love. It has this gloomy, dusky sort of look.

I'm so happy that I'm getting out more and practicing with my camera! I've discovered a couple new settings that really make a photo gorgeous. I definitely hope I can keep up with this craft!

On another note, I made a delicious pasta tonight using a yummy garlic alfredo sauce with chicken, asparagus & red peppers. So good!!!

Also, have you gotten the new WII-U?
John & I got it yesterday and we are obsessed! We bought this game called Scribblenauts and lets just say it's addicting!! Def go get one if you can!

Stay tuned for more practicing photography on my end!
And don't forget to link down below to show me your photos as well! I'm always looking for inspiration :)

November 15, 2012

Nature Walk With My Camera

I had a day off today and finally took the time to do what I've been meaning to for a while: take out my camera and snap some nature photography.

I walked through the recreational path by my house and managed to capture some beautiful photos. Today was more of a practice run considering I'm pretty rusty when it comes to F-Stops & Apertures..but I managed to get a hang of it fairly quickly.

Photography is something I've always had an interest in and just now am I finally putting it to practice. Today was extremely therapeutic for me. Walking down a trail, taking the time to focus on the things that are normally passed by in everyday life is a great reminder at how beautiful the world really is.

So I'm making it a goal: I'm going to start carrying my actual camera around with me & take a minute and really look at my surroundings. Anything & Everything that is natural here on earth is beautiful and I want to be reminded of that every single day through photography.

Feel free to join along with me & share the photos you've taken of things you'd normally pass by without notice.

November 12, 2012

A Few of my Favorite Things

It's no lie that I have a daily struggle with what I see myself doing in the future.
I think many of us do.
But give me a nice glass of wine, a festive smelling candle & a good book and you have one happy gal.

November 11, 2012

Thai Red Curry Recipe

I don't know what it is, but lately I've been all about Ethnic Cooking.
Last week I made an Indian Curried Chicken which was delicious.... sadly I didn't take any photos of it but I think I liked it better than this Thai Curry Chicken you see above.

I wanted to post the recipe for this because I actually think it turned out really tasty!
The one thing I would change (and maybe someone could help me out there?) is that I'd like it to be spicier.
I did follow the recipe from the Thai Kitchen website but HEAVILY adapted it to become my very own.
When you read my recipe, please tell me what I'm missing or what ingredients I could increase to bump up the spice? Thanks!

What You'll Need: 

  • Handful of Vegetables (Bell peppers, snap peas, onions, carrots, broccoli, bamboo shoots etc...) (cut into small chunks)
  • Chicken (diced)
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tbs of red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 tbs of  Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbs of ginger (grated)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tbs of FRESH coriander leaves (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbs of FRESH basil (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbs of vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite size pieces)
  • Jasmine Rice (cooked according to instructions)
What To Do: 

  1. Prepare your rice according to the packaged instructions.
  2. Heat your oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven, skillet or wok. Once hot, add in your Red Curry Paste and stir fry until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). 
  3. Add in your fish sauce, coconut milk & chicken broth. Increase heat to medium high & bring to a light boil. Stir in brown sugar and stir until well blended.
  4. Add in your chicken & vegetables and stir until sauce has come in contact with all chicken & vegetables. 
  5. Add in your grated ginger & garlic. Mix well.
  6. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through & veggies are tender. Remove from heat & stir in coriander and basil. 
  7. Serve over cooked jasmine rice & enjoy! 

October 10, 2012


My Grandma died in March and I barely dealt with it.
I was sad. So, so sad. But I didn't let myself actually feel the hurt. I didn't accept it.. so I pushed her death out of my mind and moved on.

I was a weird child growing up and every weekend when my friends would be out playing, I would sleep at my Grandma & Grandpa's house. Somehow, this was always comforting to me and was always where I wanted to be. I had the best time with them whether it was because we were going out to dinner, going shopping, watching TV & Movies or baking cupcakes... my heart always felt full.

Before I was born, my Grandma developed a serious case of lung cancer to the point where they didn't think she was going to live. She pulled through though like the champion she's always been and stayed "healthy" for years later. She never developed cancer again, but she aged drastically and was always very sore & sick.

A few years ago, she ended up in the hospital and we were told she wasn't going to come out this time (too many problems at home for my Grandpa). So she ended up getting transferred to a different hospital in a room where she could stay until she got moved into an "old folks home". She ended up staying in that room for 3 years. No way to live, right?

It started getting harder & harder to go and visit her as her health was really starting to diminish and she wasn't the same person she used to be. I know that's really selfish of me to say as she was my best friend growing up but it was hard to face her and it didn't help that my mom was so impatient when we'd go there too. However, my Grandpa (the sweetheart he is) went and saw her every. single. day. And I believe she truly felt like one lucky woman.

Whenever I would go visit her all by myself, something was different. We would get into the deepest of conversations and she would offer up the most heartfelt advice and it was like I had my grandma back. She always managed to become the woman she used to be when it was just me and her. I think it's because she didn't feel so guilty when we would all be there in a big group and she couldn't do anything.

So going back to the original paragraph, I didn't deal with her death. When she died, it was a huge shock to me... My grandpa told me Grandma went back to the real hospital and was in trauma and she probably wasn't going to retaliate. My sister & I rushed to the hospital and my Grandma was no longer my Grandma. She was hooked up to cords and was fighting and fighting and fighting to breathe. It lasted that way for 24 hours with her breathe becoming slower but stronger.

Then, the time came & I was numb. I said my goodbyes and sat in the visitors room. I couldn't see her take her last breathe and I knew it was coming any minute.

Grandpa slowly walked in the room and sat down beside me, arm around my neck.

"She's gone. It's over." He said as he began to weep silently, knowing that his only wife was now gone forever.

I felt the need to write all of this out because even though her death was months ago now, lately I've been having trouble dealing with it. 
I barely got upset at the time of her death because I didn't want to accept it but I believe even though the month of October brings many happy memories for me, it's all happy memories that my Grandma was once apart of and this is the first year she's not here for them (my birthday, Thanksgiving, my mom's birthday, halloween...) and I'm having a hard time with it. 
My Grandpa came over for Thanksgiving the other day and he kept mentioning things my Grandma used to do & say or things we would do together as a family and my heart broke a little. So I've really felt the need to write out all my feelings. 
Thanks for listening. 

October 9, 2012


I hope everyone's Thanksgiving (Canada) was incredible :)

Mine was spent out at the Lake eating lots of turkey and taking crisp & beautiful Autumn walks...
followed by making turkey dinner at our new apartment! My only complaint is that the Turkey could have been cooked about 20 minutes longer than it would've been perfect.

This Thanksgiving I'm thankful for:

  • Being able to afford food & shelter (seriously.)
  • Our little Minni.
  • The lucky love I have in my life. By no means are John & I perfect, but we're definitely perfect for each other. 
  • Our families who take incredibly good care of us and "let" us raid their cupboards (hehe).
  • Pretty Little Liars. LOL!
What are you thankful for?

October 3, 2012

My Love Affair with Food

I never imagined myself to be a woman who cooks.
When I was in College, I used to make jokes based on the fact that all I knew how to make was toast and Kraft Dinner and sometimes even failed at that.

I used to ask questions about other people's cooking...

"How'd you know how to make this?"
"Where do you find your recipes?"
"I could never make a meal this good. Have you always known how to cook?"

I was never confident in myself when it came to kitchens.
Once I started becoming interested in blogging, my favorite lifestyle bloggers would post a recipe every now and then and the ingredients they used would completely intrigue me.

I had never even heard of an avocado before blogging.

I started to learn more about how important it is to buy local foods.
How fantastic Gouda tastes on sandwich's or by itself.
I learned about the beauty of a roasted tomato and oil based pastas.
I discovered squash.

The more I started to read about these amazing recipes and the more I started to research actual food blogs, the more I started to become more curious.

I was yearning to try the recipes that I had found so I made my family my guinea pig and I had a lot of failed recipes. I'll never forget the time when I attempted to make Chicken Parmesan and it was seriously the most disgusting thing I've ever made. I was so new to cooking back then and probably no one around to answer my questions... and so it flopped. Big time. 

Which leads me to my next point... Questions.
In my first year of cooking (and even a little bit now), I asked a LOT of questions. I would second guess absolutely everything I made whether it was about measurements, substituting ingredients (which I would try not to do because I didn't know what tasted good with what), or what I should make as a side dish. I didn't understand anything so I would hound my mom and step mom about what to do. I seriously think this was the best thing I ever did in cooking rather than try and learn everything on my own.

Now when I cook, I can imagine flavors in my head (or mouth?) and know what ingredients and food products compliment each other.

I know (a little bit more) about measurements and if not, there's always Google!

I know what kind of spices or cheese I can use in place of something I don't have according to a recipe.

Even though I am still learning and would consider myself in a Culinary "Intermediate" level, my questions about cooking go more like this:

"What should I make for dessert? The Lemon Meringue or the Cheesecake?"
"Parmesan or Mozzarella...or both?"
"What type of wine should we pair with this meal?"

Or my personal favorite question....

"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"

October 2, 2012

Culinary Rant

Sometimes, I feel as though I spend way too much time thinking about what it is that I want to do for a living and not enough time making it happen.

My mind is constantly changing dreams & aspirations and I always feel like I'm at a complete loss for what I actually really want to be. What will make me happier than anything? What is that thing that I need?

I read a nice new blog today called Making Things Happen. Have you heard of it?

It basically allowed me to look at my life and really think "what are the things that make me happiest in this whole world?"

The only thing I could really think of was cooking.

Now I don't know if this is just another one of my mind changes. I mean a year ago I thought the only thing that would make me happiest was working with troubled kids. But now... I'm not so sure. I love kids don't get me wrong... but do I really want to turn off all my emotion at the risk of being bullied by children who don't know any better for the rest of my life? I'm the most sensitive person I know and I just don't know if I can do it.

So I really sat down and thought when am I at my most happiest? When do I feel like the whole world is easy and fun? And cooking was the activity that just kept coming back and back and back.

Cooking is by far my favorite thing to do. I love experimenting with new ingredients and recipes and I barely ever make anything that's pre-packaged or frozen besides on the very rare occasion (I love me some Sidekicks!).  And the best part about cooking is that there is almost something new to learn and discover!

I'm still an intermediate cook and sometimes my recipes are complete flops but I feel like it's all a part of the package.

I sometimes think about my future and picture myself working for a small local food service company where the menu can constantly change. Whether it's a catering business (which was an idea I've thought of before) or a small bistro. All I know, is I'd never want to cook for a chain... I'd want to be able to be creative and use real, whole ingredients that make people forget who they are!!!

Sigh... I'm drifting off into my dream land. But who says it has to be a dream?

"Be a fearless cook & never apologize" -Julia Child

October 1, 2012

October 1st!

October is by far my favorite month of the whole year!
I always feel like a giddy little girl when October 1st arrives as throughout my life, it's been the best month for me.

Amazing things that have happened in October:

1. My birthday :)
2. Thanksgiving
3. Halloween
4. Beautiful Scenery
5. Chill, amazing temperatures
6. Delicious Autumn Drinks (Pumpkin Spice Latte obv)
7. Fantastic Seasonal treats (I think I'm going to make a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread tonight!)

and last but not least...

8. October was the month me and John had our first few dates! The past 2 years that Fall has arrived, I've gotten incredibly nostalgic about our relationship. Ha! I'm such a loser :)

Anyway, hope you love October as much as I do! Now go enjoy yourself a delish latte!

September 23, 2012

This Little Monster & A New Career

In recent days, this little monster has basically taken over our lives! She's absolutely adorable but she's also a little terror! She'll nook up against our necks or climb up our legs when we're doing the dishes among other things. We really do love her but she's definitely a daddy's little girl. Isn't that the truth?!

Anyway, last week I mentioned something that I was excited about but couldn't mention it quite yet and while the news is long over due... I got a new job!

I'm an Admissions Director for the Academy of Learning where I basically recruit new students and keep tabs on the current ones (making sure they're going to graduate)!

I'm definitely excited about it and even though I'm not going to school, I'm still helping people who are in need of a boost in morale.

I'm also mega happy about the fact that I have evenings & weekends off again so I can spend time with family & friends. I wish this could have came early on in the summer so I wouldn't have missed out on so much but I'll take it. Plus, Fall is here, the air is cooler and the leaves are changing & I have many fall recipes on the way!

Last night I made an AMAZING lasagna inspired by a recipe I found on AllRecipes. It was delish. I'll post pics & stuff soon! :)

September 15, 2012

Long Time, No Talk!

Well hello everyone!
I'm in the mentality right now where I only blog when I have something interesting to say and since the last time we spoke, I still haven't broken out of that awful rut! Something may look up for me in the very near future, but it's not for sure, so I'm not going to jinx it by saying anything right now.

HOWEVER, we have a new little addition to our family!
Meet "Minni" :)!
If she's not a rut breaker, I don't know what is.

We got her yesterday on September 14th, 2012. :)

Ha! I love that last one. Rawr!

Anyway, Minni is definitely a girl after my own heart!
I've never been a huge cat person but when there is a kitty who likes to cuddle, that's the kitten for me! And boy does this one snuggle! She snuggles hard!
This morning, she crawled up my shirt and fell asleep. Ha!

Anyway, that's my update. Maybe I'll have more exciting news for you tomorrow or something.

August 23, 2012

Stresses & Troubles

My goodness, I've been A-Wall lately.
Sorry about that (if anyone is listening?)

Anyway, life hasn't been easy around these parts lately. Hence the silence.
I can't go to school this fall because I didn't get approved for any of the loans I applied for because I own a car etc. I guess they consider my car tuition money, but I just can't sell it, you know?

So lately I've just been applying for job after job after job in the hopes that someone will take me in.
The only bright side of the situation is that I've been weather anchoring for the past 2 weeks straight so that's a little extra coin in my pocket.

I was really upset a couple of days ago when I found out school was 100% a no go, but the next day I woke up and and realized I'm going to think of this as an opportunity--not a set back. I'm going to use this opportunity to get a job that will make me happy and hopefully be able to settle into my new life a little more comfortably.

I guess being broke when you first move out tends to be a part of life anyway... and I guess you could say it's a little more fun!

Do you like my positive attitude? :)

August 14, 2012

What's Up?

Basically what my life looks lately.
Lots of wine drinking, eating delicious dinners, buying pictures to hang on the walls.. you know.
You'll have to excuse my lack of presence lately, my mind just has not been on blogging at all lately. It's been focused on more important things that I can't really talk about here. Some stresses I'm going through... just hoping it will all get sorted out soon!
Other than that, independence is great! John & I are having so much fun and are still making time to eat together at the dinner table, set a couple hours aside each night so we can finally be caught up on Game of Thrones, and go out on dates together! Mind you, it's only been a couple weeks. Fingers crossed this will stay the same!
That's all for now. :)

August 3, 2012

Moving Update

Hey Guys!
So it's day 3 of us in the new house!!! We are slowly (very slowly) making some progress. The only room that's all decorated and completed (besides a much needed paint job) is our bathroom. All the decor is brown and black and it looks fierce! We have all of our stuff put away in our kitchen but we still need to decorate it.
The day of our move, we had arranged for our couches to be delivered and unfortunately they were so monstrously big that they didn't fit down the stairs. Needless to say, I was in a really pissy mood for the rest of the day but everything happens for a reason, and now we have way better couches on their way tomorrow!  Let's just say I'm extremely excited not to sit on a futon (or have a futon in our livingroom anymore). It's better than sleeping on it though which we've been doing for the past couple of nights because we had no bedding and had yet to set up our bed frame! But that's done now too so we have a bedroom and it looks awesome! We still need end tables and decor (and that's all that will fit cuz it's mini) but I'm really, really happy.
As much as sometimes it's sort of sad that I'm not living at home anymore (I really miss my family and dogs), they're just a phone call away (and a very short drive) so it's not so bad. Plus, I'm living with John now and the privacy is amazing and we're having so much fun. Once we're all settled we're going to have our families over for a barbecue and it's going to be a really nice change.
Anyway, I gotta go because John keeps talking to me from the kitchen and then I keep forgetting what I'm wanting to write down. Plus he's making an amazing steak dinner so I best go help! Plus I'm still in my robe from my shower so I should probably get dressed. I'm allowed to do that now. No judgement.

July 27, 2012

I worked from 3-1030 today and now I'm just sitting here with a crowne and coke watching some tv! As the days go on I'm definitely getting very excited about moving (Wednesday...eeeeppp!) but I also feel stressed when I think about all the stuff we still have to buy. Like once we get our furniture, we have to buy all the decor to go with, namely bedding. I know it'll all work out though. Maybe I'm just nervous and over thinking all the expenses. And also, not to be one of those girls but I haven't been feeling that good about myself lately. I haven't been going to yoga and all I eat is Swiss chalet which is a problem in itself. I really miss cooking my own healthy meals and being encouraged to do so with the help of practicing yoga but I haven't had the ambition lately. I'm hoping that will change once I have my own kitchen. That's all for now, until next time.

July 20, 2012

Ho-Hum/Life Update

I can't seem to break out of this funk I've been in lately! Please help! Just kidding, but seriously.
I think I'm just having a really hard time getting used to working 6 days a week missing everything that seems to be important in my life usually having to do with family which is what I find to be most important. It's really starting to get me down, but such is life. I just keep thinking about how in a couple years once I can get my hands on a job in my field or even once I'm graduated, I will have a stability in my career again and I can start joining in on social activities. Call me a whiner, but I think when you're working in a part time job that isn't your career, you need to remember to make time for what is most important. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't regret quitting my full time office job AT ALL, I'm really happy I did it so I can work towards my goals, but I just can't help but be anxious for the next few years to zoom by so I can start living normally again. Le sigh.

On a different and happier note, t-minus 2 weeks until John & I are official roomies! I couldn't be more excited! I probably won't have any money for anything, but I seriously can't wait to cook us delicious dinners (or NOT cook us delicious dinners), actually be able to sit in my livingroom without the television being taken over by my parents or sisters, get to do laundry whenever I want without having to worry about getting in trouble, putting up my own decorations, et cetera!!! Wooo!

Also, John & I spent the past few nights out at the lake (even though I kept having to come in to work). It actually sort of worked out though because I never worked late so we'd still have our evenings to have fun swimming and reading (which is basically what we did the whole time). I read Catching Fire in like, 2 days. I still can't believe I didn't like the Hunger Games at this time last year, what was I thinking? I'm obsessed now and am already half way through the last book. I seriously can't get enough. We also enjoyed homemade wine from my dad and basically just enjoyed eachothers company.

Anyway, that's a little update on my life considering I never blog ever anymore... have a great day :)!

July 13, 2012

The Basics

I've decided this summer sucks.
LAST summer was amazing with so much time outside and having barbecues, but no not this summer! This summer I am working, working, working. But I guess that's the price you pay when you quit your full time job to work shift work in preperation for going back to school. So I guess for now I just have to suck it up!

But here's a little update on my life:

Yesterday, my Mom and I went shopping for some of the basics me and John will need for the new house! I picked up things like mixing bowls, casserole dishes, spatulas, toilet bowl brushes and more! And I got everything on sale from Canadian Tire. That place may just be my new fave! Who knew all the great deals they would have there? I was getting things for 60-70% off! So happy!

We just need things like bowls, plates, silverware and a coffee machine now!

A little less than a few short weeks and we are flyin' solo! So excited.