Gluten Free, Life

Made this a while ago…

I was going to post this long ago. It was something that I decided I was going to make one night. Simple shrimp and creamy tomato sauce. All you need are your favorite form of pasta. Though after my most recent blog you know not to expect a lot of pasta after what recently happened to me. Anyway, in addition to the pasta find your favorite tomato sauce/or make your own and your favorite alfredo sauce. If you’re gluten free make sure you check the labels very carefully on the alfredo sauce. After you have found the two different sauces you need then find whatever size shrimp you like. I tend to go towards the medium sized shrimp that are already peeled and deveined. You can buy the ones that have the tales left on as this is easy to remove once you thaw shrimp out.

Side note: Once you thaw shrimp you should cook them right away. It’s not good to keep thawing and re-thawing shrimp. Or make sure you only pull out of the bag just the amount you want thawed and instantly return the rest back into the freezer. Also, remember this shrimp cook EXTREMELY fast so medium heat is best and keep an eye on them. If they start to form something that looks closer to a circle than a letter c they are overcooking.

Step One: Boil the water for your pasta and add a dash of salt for a little flavor to the noodles. I tend to cook mine only for about 8 to 10 minutes in boiling water so they come out more al-dente. If you like them on the softer side leave them in for just a few minutes more than that. You don’t want to over cook the noodles either.

Step Two: Once the noodles are done drain them and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Once you’ve done that time to pull out your sauces and get those into a pan.

Step Three: You want to start out with the cream sauce first. Then pour in your tomato sauce. Be careful to make sure you get the right balance that you get a nice tomato cream sauce going on. You don’t want it to taste too much like tomato sauce or too much like cream sauce. That’s the trick is getting the mix just right that it taste perfectly creamy with a hint of tomato sauce. When it comes to tomato sauce a little bit goes a long way in this case because it is such a powerful flavor.

Once everything is all combined it should look like this. A nice light pink creamy color and that means that it’s mixed just right

Step Four: Take the noodles that you had drained and rinsed and pour them into the sauce. Mix that all up and leave it on low heat to make sure the noodles are warmed up enough for you to eat them. No one likes cold pasta when they are expecting it to be warm.

Step Five: Take the shrimp that you cooked and pour that into the pot as well. Heat everything together for a few minutes until everything is evenly heated and up to the temperature you want it to. Be sure not to turn the heat up too high because you don’t want to cook the shrimp all over again. You just want to warm them up a bit so you can eat them.

That’s it…that’s all you need to make the dish.

When all is said and done it should look like this
Life

What do you do?

What do you do when you come home from work and feel so alone you just want to cry? Do you pull out a book and start reading? Do you put on one of your favorite go to movies? Do you go in the kitchen and find anything that you know is bad for you but will make you feel good? That last one I used to do that a lot. So much so that now I’m in a whole new health problem of a world. On top of being gluten free I now have to alter my diet again.

So yeah I now feel like why me? Why does shit always happen to me. Just when I start to get some sort of positivity and hope back in my life something else comes along to set it back. I had to be in the hospital on Tuesday because I was in so much pain and vomiting (sorry it’s gross) that I couldn’t stand it anymore. So now I also have hospital bills to stress out over. The end result. It was my gallbladder. I have what is called biliary sludge. That caused me to have the pain and what I ate that day a few hours before caused my gallbladder to make me sick.

So I have to go on a low fat diet and have a follow up with a doctor to talk about where I’m at and how I’m feeling. They said it could be a one time thing or it could occur again so it’s best to make the diet adjustment now. The upside is that there are options out there to eating a fat free/low fat diet. More veggies is a must and less dairy. Though we need a little dairy to survive so that is why they make fat free or skim milk for those that need it. Now it takes even more of an effort for me to plan what I’m going to eat.

So now you will see more low fat and gluten free options on my blog. The good side is low fat and getting back to the gym should help me lose the weight I really want to lose. Now back to my Christmas movies because when I’m sad that’s what I watch even though they tend to just make me more sad.

Gluten Free, Life

Melting Pot of Pasta

Time to post another yummy meal that I was able to make. This time I had some help making it from my 4 year old nephew. However, as this is a public space I will not be posting any photographs of him. I call it the melting pot of pasta because that’s what it really is. It’s a melting pot of different things.

So to make this dish if you want to do it the same way I did you will need the following:

  1. Red Potatos
  2. Gluten Free Pasta or regular if you don’t need the GF
  3. Sweet Italian Sausage
  4. Tomato sauce of your choice or get creative and use homemade sauce if you have the time to make it
  5. Garlic powder or fresh garlic your choice
  6. bay leaf
  7. basil
  8. rosemary
  9. parsley
  10. crushed red pepper flakes
  11. broccoli
    Spice Bottles
    These are the spices used for the dish

    Now when it comes to the broccoli what I like to do because I find that it really brings out a lot of flavor is roast the broccoli. Take out a baking sheet and spread the broccoli out. Sprinkle the broccoli with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. If you want to add even more flavor you can absolutely and I recommend it if you want to add Parmesan to this as well. It goes into the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. That is just the right amount of time to roast the broccoli perfectly.

    Broccoli

    While the broccoli is roasting I suggest you get started on the rest of the meal. The sausage is going to take you a good ten minutes depending on how many people you are trying to serve to get it done right. While you are doing the meat don’t be afraid to get that pasta water going because the noodles are going to take 10 minutes to get cooked right. Don’t forget when it comes to your noodles to add the salt to the water to add some flavor to the pasta noodles.

    The potatoes that’s another ball game in itself. They have to also be boiled and then at the very end quickly pan fried to be added to the dish. I don’t suggest combining everything with sauce at the end because this dish can be done with red sauce or if you just want to do a simple butter or olive oil sauce it would taste good that way as well.

    Dinner 1
    I suggest mixing the sausage, potatoes, and noodles all together without sauce. Let everyone decide on the sauce.

    Now when it comes to sauce. If you follow my blog you know that I don’t just make plain Jane tomato sauce. Even if I do it store bought I always add spices and things to the sauce. The spices I listed at the beginning are what I add into my tomato sauce when I make it for my pasta dishes. That is if I’m not doing it homemade, that is an entirely different ballgame.

    Spices
    The spices in the sauce before it’s mixed together.

    When serving make sure to have the main mixture in a separate bowl. Then have different sauces depending on your crowd in separate dishes for them to be able to choose which one they want to put on the pasta. This is just an example of the dish on a plate that we had when I was down visiting my family.

    Dinner Plate.jpg
    Doesn’t it look delicious? 

    The reason I call this a melting pot is because you can add anything you want really into this dish. The only thing I don’t suggest doing is adding broccoli into it. The broccoli is made to just be that little extra side dish to accompany the pasta dish. It’s not meant to be part of the main dish itself.

    All the photos in this post are credit to my sister in law who I am very lucky supports my love of doing this blog and posting about my food that I cook. Thanks Nikki!

    I hope that if you try to make this dish at home you have as much fun as I did making it and the people you make it for enjoy it as much as my family did when I made it for them.

Life

Disney trips

I read a blog recently and it was very condescending against adults who enjoy Disney World vacations. There is absolutely no need to condemn people for what they happen to enjoy. I don’t enjoy tattoos and horror movies but I don’t walk around condemning people that do. I know people that do and that’s fine. There is no law that says we all have to enjoy doing the same things. That’s what makes society interesting is that we all our different and enjoy different things.

I happen to enjoy going to Disney World and I’m lucky that I have family members that do too. As I’ve gotten older I think I appreciate it more than I did as a child. Now it’s more of a nostalgic feeling when I go to see things. It’s always changing and they’re always adding new things. In a few years there will be a Star Wars world that I can’t wait to go to.

This year I got to go with just my sister in law and we went through three different parks that day. We were there all day until after midnight and it was amazing. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing the castle lit up at night.

To the person who said Disney is almost for children. Let me tell you something about what I saw when I was at the park. There were more groups of just adults that were at the park than you would believe. Of course there were families because part of the joy is seeing how the kids faces light up. We saw multiple sets of bachelorette groups there. We saw a couple that was spending their honeymoon there. Disney is not just for kids and it is absolutely ridiculous to think that adults can’t just go and enjoy it to. Why do you think they now serve alcohol in every park except Magic Kingdom? Because they want to cater to the adults that visit too.

I had a great day at Disney but I don’t share extremely personal photos on a public blog.

Life

Vacations are important…

One thing that I have really learned in the past few years is how important taking a vacation really is. There are some companies that if you have PTO they will let you just take some pto in pay instead of taking vacation and your pto will roll over if you don’t use it. There are other companies that do not roll over or pay out your pto because they want you to take a vacation.

When you work in a high stress job or really any job it is super important when you are not at work to NOT be at work. When you go home leave work at work. Don’t check your work emails, don’t respond to work messages unless they are super important. It can wait until the next day when you come back.

What is really important in jobs that you sometimes feel constantly stressed out is taking a real vacation. I’m not talking about taking 3 days off and just staying home. I’m talking about find an airline/train ticket and go away for a week. Get out of town and go somewhere where you can completely be away and unavailable to get your mind refreshed. Make a conscious effort on vacation to be completely away from work. Do not open your work emails. The more that you let your job know that you are still going to answer even when you’re away the more you stress yourself out but you let them think it is okay to be contacting you.

When you are away from your job you need to be away. It is the only way that you are going to remain healthy in your mind. Your job is a job and it should never be in complete control of your lifestyle. You should be in control of your life. When you are on vacation be present on that vacation. Take pictures and go explore things that you didn’t do before. If you are visiting your family be present with your family. Spend time with them and make memories. Your job will be waiting for you when you get back and everything can be taken care of then. Your mind needs time to reset itself when you’ve been working so hard for long periods of time.

If you work in a good company they will be able to survive a week without you. If you have a good team in place they will manage everything without you being there. I am lucky enough that I didn’t need to feel constantly worried about work while I’ve been away. I know that I have good people there and I have a good boss who can take care of any issues with my department while I’m not there.

My suggestions is that no matter what happens at work and how stressed out you are at least once if not twice a year take time to really reset yourself. Take a vacation and go somewhere that you are completely away and unattached to work for a week even 5 days.

When it comes to my blog don’t get me wrong to me that is also “work” but it’s fun work and it’s work that I can do from anywhere but it doesn’t feel like I’m working. The beauty of a lifestyle blog is that I’m posting about my adventures and things like that. Eventually I will have posts about my vacation because I got to go to Disney World and I got to do some cooking while I was with my family. So definitely look for those in the next few days even maybe by the end of today.

Life

We need to come together

Togetherness. One of the definitions of that word is the quality, state, or condition of being together. 

State: the particular condition that someone or something is in at a specific time. 

This country right now is sadly very far from a state of togetherness. I see it every day just how divided we are becoming. We all complain about how divided we are becoming but what are we doing to prevent it? What are you doing to prevent being part of the problem instead of the solution?

We need to start seeing beyond race, beyond gender, beyond size and start seeing each other as human beings. We all have the same organs inside of us. Our bodies all operate the same way on the inside no matter what the outside looks like. Tearing each other down all the time is not solving any of the problems that this country is having. It is doing the exact opposite and it’s intensifying them. 

Ladies, if we want to be treated as equal to men we need to start acting like equals to each other. We need to stop with all this nonsense of mommy shaming and body shaming. We need to start celebrating being women! Being a woman is a blessing. It’s powerful and beautiful. We have the ability to do something that men can’t do. We have the ability to birth life into the world and that is something magical that only we were given. 

Stop looking at women who don’t look like you and judging them because of it. Stop saying every girl that has plastic surgery is a slut. You don’t know their story. We all have body issues so don’t pretend that you never have. Stop saying that if you date a lot of guys your a slut. You don’t know if they are sleeping together or not. 

Stop looking at young moms who still dress sexy as sluts. Instead celebrate that these moms still feel sexy. Becoming a mother should not make you stop wanting to be sexy. Sexiness is a feeling that women need to embrace not shame other women over. Yes there is always a line but if they want to dress sexy in their own home let them do it. 

Women will not get anywhere unless we stick together and we back each other up. That’s what I have to say. 

Intending to sound every bit cliche. In the words of the Clinton campaign all of us men, women, and children are “stronger together”. So we need to come together. 

Life

Me too

So there is a hashtag going around for people to say me too if they have been the victim of sexual harassment or assault. To raise their voices. To let it be known that it happens a lot. It happens to everyone every day. It doesn’t just happen to people who are trying to build a successful career. 

I know that it’s causing controversy. People are saying things like victims don’t owe anyone their story. They’re right I’m a victim and I don’t owe people my stories. I can choose to share them or not share them. People close to me don’t know all of the stories. I’ve kept them inside. This is not about sharing their stories. It is about making it known that it happens. They make the choice to share if they want to. 

This is not just a male versus female issue. It is a human issue. It is a societal issue because it happens to everyone. It happens male on male, male on female, female on female, and female on male. I know they last one is hard to believe by men can be sexually harassed and assaulted by females. Every male singer who has had their butt or crotch grabbed by female fans that is sexual assault. You might not think like that in the heat of the moment but it is. 

The only way that we as a country and as human beings can fight it is by raising our voices. Is by letting it know that this is a common thing more common than is talked about. That is what this is about. It’s about letting it be known just how many people out there have had it happen to them. Maybe one day I will share my stories and maybe I won’t because some of them are very upsetting to me. One thing I will never do is stay silent about it. I will never pretend that it didn’t happen or that it doesn’t happen. 

Agree or disagree but we need to accept that it happens and we need to get our voices heard as victims of it. 

Life

Why is a powerful woman so threatening??

I watched a documentary film on Lady Gaga. In the film very briefly she mentions that when she has had huge successes in her career her boyfriend have abandoned her. As if they are threatened by a strong female. My question is why would that even matter and why should it?! If you truly love someone that deeply wouldn’t you want to celebrate their success? 

I am a movie buff and I will admit I pay attention to that kind of stuff. There is absolutely no way that you can deny that men in Hollywood get paid more than women do. It’s been a never ending battle and it rages on to this day. What we need is more powerful men throwing their support behind women. 

I’ve seen it first hand in my job field. I have witnessed the men getting paid more than women for the same job. I know that it happens. We as women can not be ignorant to it happening. Now more than ever we need to stand together for our rights. 

It’s up to us as women to come together and support each other. It’s up to the men in the world to say hey you know what women can be powerful and we will stand behind them. We missed our chance with Hillary but one day we will have a woman in power. This is the year of women and we need to make sure that our voices are heard. We need to make sure that our mark is left. 

There is no reason that women being powerful should be a threat. Just because a woman holds the same power position as a man doesn’t mean that she is any less capable of it. We should be supporting each other and not tearing each other down. The only way as a society that we are going to progress is by getting rid of the hatred and everything that comes along with it. 

Life

Put yourself first

The title says it all. It is time to put ourselves first. So many of us put our jobs, our friends, our families above our own happiness. How can you really understand what it’s like to be happy if you don’t do things for yourself that make you happy. I’m not saying that we need to be selfish because we don’t. I am simply saying that sometimes we need to take a step back and worry about ourselves first. 

I know I struggle with this topic a lot. I’m used to always putting myself dead last. I worry about making sure everyone else is okay to the point that it ads extra stress on myself. That is not healthy to do. You should never be dead last in your own life. You should be first. 

It’s easy for people when it comes to work work to put work first and become a workaholic. That is not good either. Your job should not impact your state of mind so much that it becomes your entire life. A job should not cause you to have no social life. It shouldn’t cause you to not be able to go out and enjoy life now and then. If you are stuck in that position maybe it’s time to consider a change. 

I’m slowly learning how to take a step back and put myself first. Sometimes I still catch myself going back to that “well I won’t do that because I want them to be happy” place. I need to learn to be in a place of will this help me? Will this make things easier for me? Will this make me happy? I need to base my decisions in my personal life off of what is going to be the best thing for me not for anyone else. My work life I need to base them off of what’s best for my job and for me. 

This is probably also why I don’t have time or want to make time to find a boyfriend. I don’t want to spend my days right now having just another thing to worry about. I have enough things that I worry about unnecessarily. I also am just in a good place with my independence right now and I’m not ready to give that up yet. Haha! 

There is a movie I watch quite often…and by often I mean once a week, called the Holiday. There’s a scene in the movie where two characters are talking and one of them tells the other she is behaving like the best friend and not the leading lady. Her response is “you’re so right. You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for god’s sake.” So that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to be the leading lady in my own life story. You all should be trying to do the same thing. Be the leading lady or man in your own story not the supporting cast. 

Life

Bye bye Instagram

I gave up on Instagram almost a week ago today. I completely deleted all my photos from it and then I decided to just delete it entirely. I honestly haven’t looked back. I don’t even miss it at all. Instagram had become a source of my self punishment.

I would go on Instagram multiple times a day looking at celebrities and my friends and constantly use it as a tool to put myself down. I would look at everyone on the beach or out having a life and realize how little of a life I have. I don’t have the luxury to just go places.

I also used it for sure as a way to punish myself for how I look. I would look at all these skinny models and celebrity women and tell myself that I will never look as good as they do. I’m never going to be a size zero. I’d use it to beat myself down every day by comparing my life to everyone else’s life that they share on Instagram.

Finally all that self hatred and beating down finally just grew to be too much. I thought about what I could do to change that and the answer was as simple as just getting rid of that app. I haven’t even thought about Instagram since I did that. I don’t spend countless minutes surfing an app only to use it as a source of self hate. I don’t miss posting photos on there. If I want to share photos with friends and family I can easily do it through emails or text messages and not on an app.

Will I ever activate my Instagram again? I don’t know. For right now probabaly not. It really isn’t a huge deal to me. More and more lately I’m keeping my life private and off of social media and it seems to be going much better that way. So my suggestion for any girl like myself who finds herself constantly scrolling Instagram and comparing yourself and your life to these women…take a break. Deactivate your account, delete the application. Just take a breath from it all and you will find how much easier it is for you.