Monday, August 25, 2014

Music Monday // Number 06

Happy Monday everyone!

This week I'm throwing it back to Marilyn Monroe singing the song that made her iconic: "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend." It has been stuck in my head for weeks, and I finally decided to share!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cauliflower Crust Personal Pizza with Basil Pesto Sauce

Lately, I've been looking into healthy recipes and healthy ways to curb cravings. I mean come on, there has to be a better way than a steady stream of Twinkies, Cheetos, and Nutella, am I right? So I stumbled across a Pinterest post about using cauliflower for pizza crust and I thought, 'Why not?' I'm VERY pleased with how the pizza turned out. I tweaked with the recipe a bit, but the basic process came from this post.


1/2 head of cauliflower
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 egg beaten
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
olive oil

2 Tbsp basil pesto
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated parmesean


  1. To rice the cauliflower: Take the cauliflower and grate the florets through a cheese grater. Mix with 1/8 cup of water in a medium glass bowl and microwave for 6 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a pizza pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray (I used a metal pie pan.) 
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, and egg and stir until well incorporated. Mix in oregano, garlic, and garlic salt.
  4. Transfer cauliflower mixture to the cookie sheet/pan and spread into about 1/2 inch thickness. Brush the crust with olive oil to help it brown in the oven.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.                                                                                                     
  6. Remove crust from oven. Spread pesto on crust, and top with mozzarella and parmesan. Broil for about 3 minutes or until cheese melts.
  7. Allow the pizza to cool slightly, then cut into slices and serve.

If you cut the pizza into 4 slices, each slice is approximately 70 calories.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Hello, everyone!

I've been fighting a cold for about a week now. I think it's finally tapering off, but I still feel kinda gross. And what do I do when I'm feeling under the weather? Why, I look up funny videos to watch, of course! Here's one of my favorites for your enjoyment.

(P.S. I highly recommend watching the rest of his videos, because they are all hilarious.)


Monday, August 18, 2014

Music Monday // Number 05

This week's selection is the Pentatonix cover of Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea's "Problem." Pentaonix is absolutely wonderful, so expect to see more from them featured here. Please enjoy!


Explore More

     Ever since I was little, I have had a desire to travel. I believe it has something to do with the two-year period in which I moved five times to completely different regions of the country. I was young, but not so young as to be blind to the cultural differences among the different areas of the good ol' USA. My wanderlust has grown though, especially as wonderful resources like the internet and television have allowed me glimpses into new-to-me areas of the world.

     Whether it's reading blogs by people from Scotland or Brazil or watching Andrew Zimmern sample exotic and strange foods in Cambodia on the Travel Channel, technology has allowed me to see even more pieces of our wonderful world. Through the digital platform, I have been enabled to explore more of our planet, natural and man-made; and while nothing compares to experiencing something in person, it's still extremely cool to be able to explore the catacombs of Paris or follow the Kardashians as they vacation in Thailand. I can even explore a more local turf by following along with Guy Fieri as he crosses the country on his show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Through the wonders of technology, I can "travel" anywhere I would like from the comfort of my own home.

     On top of mass-media coverage, there is also the closer-to-home coverage of social media. Friends and family members post photos to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter when they travel, sharing their goofy group shots holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa or, of course, making not-so-appropriate placements of the Eiffel Tower. Many of my high school classmates went on mission trips, and I get to see their pictures with Cambodian monks, or of them giving clean water and immunizations to orphans in Africa. I was able to follow my uncle as he hiked through the woods up in Maine, a fellow choir member as she lived for 9 months in Japan, and long-time friends as they zip-lined through the canopies of Jamaica. There's nothing like peer-pressure, is there? Seeing people I know in foreign lands inspires in me an even deeper craving for experiences of my own to share.

     Many people say that technology is ruining our world. They argue that it makes humans lazy and unproductive. I have to disagree, at least in my case. Being able to see the little glimpses into another part of the world inspires me to want to apply for my passport and jump on a plane as soon as possible. I long to explore the world and divulge into new cultures. I long to feel foreign soil sifting between my toes and breathe in the scent of the air that occupies the atmosphere above it.

      For now, though, I suppose the television and blogs will have to suffice.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Product Review: SinfulColors Nail Polish in Ocean Side (962)

In my most recent VoxBox from Influenster, the #SurfsUpVoxBox, I received many products, including this pretty blue shade of nail polish from SinfulColors, aptly named "Ocean Side." I am familiar with the SinfulColors brand and have one or two other shades of theirs; however I was not as impressed with this one. The blue color stained my nails for a week after removal, even with going over my nails repeatedly with nail polish remover and clean cotton balls. Also, the polish chipped off of the tips of my nails quickly, which is unusual for this brand. It's one of the reasons I love SinfulColors, so I was disappointed to have this issue with this polish. I wore it on my trip to Charlotte and I had to re-paint them multiple times over the course of the 2 days I was on the trip solely because of the chipping.

I wouldn't advise against trying the brand, because I have had very good luck with it (just not with this particular shade.) You can purchase SinfulColors polishes at your local Walgreens. A big thanks to Influenster for sending me this product complimentary for testing purposes!


Friday, August 15, 2014


     Over the duration of our lives, we undergo many changes. Some of these changes are small, some are large; some happen in an instant while some happen gradually over time. These changes can be intentional or simply just a reaction that our minds have to our ever-changing situations, completely unconscious and unstoppable. We don't always like the changes or the process it takes to get through them, but ultimately we have to let them happen, even if we decide to revert back to former ways. The only way to learn and gain new perspective is to experience new things: painful things, sad things, things that make every part of you ache and feel like you're missing something so vital and important to who you are. Sometimes the pain is the only thing that can shine a light on the changes that you need to make in order to attain your own peace and happiness.

     Going through my first breakup has been so hard for me. We both had held on to something that was too broken to be fixed for far too long, and when the plug was finally pulled, it devastated me. It was so impossible for me to understand; I had never done anything but love him and I knew that even if he wasn't in love with me he still loved me. It was difficult and painful and I cried every day since the first inkling of straight-out trouble, when he started talking to me about how he was thinking about breaking up. Out of respect for both myself and him, I won't go into details. All that needs to be said is that there was no unfaithfulness, and even through our breakup, we have been able to remain extremely close. We still try to talk every day. I mean, really, three and a half years wasn't for nothing. We're both even open to possibilities of trying again in the future, just not anytime soon. 

     I digress into explanation of my recent heartbreak because this time has been one of introspection and change for me. Some of the changes have happened quickly, and some slowly. The biggest change has really been my decision to focus on making myself the best person that I can be, and for me. Having nobody to tell me how wonderful they thought I was and how pretty and smart and funny... it made me feel very alone for a while. It made me feel like I had a lot of echoes bouncing around in my head that made no sense at all; and I was sad. I hated waking up and feeling unloved. I couldn't stand the feeling of knowing that there was a very good chance that for the first time in years, I may not have someone special around the holidays, nobody to kiss under the mistletoe or dream up nerdy couples' costumes for Halloween with. 
     After a few weeks of moping and feeling sorry for myself, I decided that I had had enough. I woke up and looked in the mirror and I still saw things I didn't like. My skin was broken out, I was getting really out of shape, and I just didn't have the same kind of happy light in my eyes as I used to. The difference was, I decided to do something about it that day. I put on some shorts and an old tee, pulled on my (mostly unused) walking shoes, put a baseball cap over my ponytail and went for a walk with my dog. I clocked about 1.5 miles that first day. I came home and guzzled a good 2 glasses of ice water and made myself a nice healthy salad for lunch. Then I showered and gave myself a much needed at-home spa day, complete with a manicure, pedicure, facial, and a good marathon of Marilyn Monroe movies on Netflix. 

     The point is, details aside, I made the decision to start doing good things for me, not for anyone else. Sure, I'm not gonna lie and say there wasn't a little chant of "show him what he gave up" in my mind pushing me through the last half mile of my walk, but at the very core of my motivation was my desire to create a happy and healthy environment for myself, one I could escape to alone and be perfectly content with. For the most part, I've kept it up, although the past week has been nothing but thunderstorms (which are not good for walking.) That instant decision has been the beginning of my healing process, and already I have found so much peace. I'm still in love with him, that's not even something I try to keep a secret; but instead of feeling overwhelming pain and loss at this love, I feel calm and peace. 

     The breakup also forced me to recognize many of the flaws and issues I had avoided because I thought if I ignored them, they could go away. I now have accepted that in discussions I can become a defensive and opinionated and argumentative, especially if I feel that I am unable to explain myself properly or that someone isn't "getting" my point. It's not a healthy thing in any circumstance, and I have been actively working to try and improve on my vocal communicating (i.e. my writing is better than my speech.) I also know that jealousy is something to be worked on, and I already know that I have improved in that field, as I have been able to adequately express myself. 

     Besides all of these things, I have been forced to confront my faith, or should I say my reluctance to spend much time thinking about anything having to do with religion or God or the Bible. When I was small, I was Christian, but around age 10 I lost my faith (for personal reasons I will not discuss.) And since then i has been a rollercoaster of me wanting and not wanting, caring and not caring, etc. I have lived a relatively good life, just without accepting Jesus (or anyone for that matter.) My life was lived off of morals I had in my mind rather than ones I had read out of a book (because that's all the Bible was to me for the longest time, just another book) even though they were essentially the same. During the relationship, he had expressed concern for my soul, which confused me and pressured me. I grew to feel resentment for anything to do with God simply because I felt as if I had no choice in the matter. At the same time, I was envious and in awe of his and many of my friends' abilities to have faith and find comfort in God and Jesus. Near the latter days of my relationship but before the split was even mentioned, I was beginning to put real, heartfelt consideration into pursuing a better understanding of God and the plan everyone said he has for me. And I feel as though the breakup itself and my decision to do something for me was the last push I needed to start taking it seriously.

     I still do not consider myself a Christian. I think I still have too many questions that I need answers to before I can call myself a follower of Jesus. Still, I have been keeping a daily devotional journal to help me analyze and better understand pieces of Scripture. I have been looking into books and blogs to read that may help give me some insight. I attended a youth Bible study and have been keeping in touch with the youth leader, who has been absolutely wonderful and open to my questions and understanding of where I stand with my faith. I can feel myself getting closer, even if just a fraction of an inch, every day. I am still confused and upset by many things, but that's what learning is for right? To understand and to clarify. 

     I once read a quote that said "Sometimes it takes a really hard fall to know where you stand." I definitely feel as though this applies to me greatly. It has taken something of a removal (although not really) of one of the biggest pieces of my life to slam me back to reality and make me realize that I have to look out for me and make myself good enough for me. I can't always work to appease somebody else, rather I must always work to please myself. Whether I like it or not, people in my life will always come and go, but I will always be here with me. If everyone else were to fall from the face of the Earth, I would still be around for myself; and I know that I don't want to look in the mirror one day just to find that there isn't a single thing about who I am that I am proud of. I am the most important person for me to impress. I am the only person who has to live with me for the rest of my life.

     And if I'm not happy with me, who will be?


Monday, August 11, 2014

O Captain! My Captain!

From Flubber to Jumanji, from Aladdin to Mrs. Doubtfire, and from Hook to The Dead Poet's Society, Robin Williams was an outstanding and hilarious entertainer. I was absolutely devastated to learn of his passing today, and my eyes were filled with tears. I cannot even fathom the words to say to properly commemorate such a wonderful man and honor such a big part of my childhood. All there really is to say is Rest in Peace.


O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! My Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;

Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

~Walt Whitman, 1865


Music Monday // Volume 4

This week's selection is "Legacy" by Nicky Romero vs. Krewella. I absolutely LOVE Krewella, and this song is a great EDM pick. The video itself is actually very powerful and interesting to watch.
 Please enjoy!


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Life Lately

Feeling: Vastly independent. For the past week, my mom and brother have been out of town, leaving me home with the animals. My friend Autumn stayed the week with me, but it still has been so refreshing to have no strict responsibilities. Of course, the animals have been cared for and the house is kept clean. But I can leave whenever I want and stay up as late as I want and blare my music all day and have guests over. It's revitalizing. We've gone to the movies, seen a play, dyed our hair, gone to the beach at sunrise, had a potluck with friends, attended a youth Bible study (which was very enlightening), gone out to a nice dinner... even though we planned on a really relaxing day or two, we pretty much stayed busy all week. I've been happy to be busy.

Watching: We went and saw The Purge: Anarchy, which wasn't bad. Also, we got to see our friend Emily in a major role in a small play here in town, which was exciting. I've currently been binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix, although considering HuluPLUS's extensive collection of Classic Doctor Who episodes... Buffy may have to be put on hold once in a while.

Reading: Autumn's grandfather recently gave me a ton of old National Geographic magazines, B&W Photography magazines, film camera lenses and film, and books. I'm currently attempting to get into Everything is Illuminated by Johnathan Safran Foer. The format and language used is a bit difficult to decipher, but I am working through it slowly but surely. 

Excited For: I recently sent in my application to SCAD. Now all I have to do is get my transcripts, SAT scores, and letters of recommendation sent in and I should get an answer. Financial aid is a whole different story, especially with even SCAD's online schooling being $32,000 a year for tuition and books (Mamma mia!) I'm trying to keep a positive mind and research as many scholarship opportunities as possible.

Links I Love

  • This Youtube video addresses the issue or sexual harassment of catcalling in a humorous way.
  • This. Just this.
  • A very pressing article on Huffington Post that really makes you think about people who volunteer in foreign countries. (You know, the ones who make you feel like they do it just for the Instagram pictures.) Moral of the story: If you're not able to make a real contribution, don't even go.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Music Monday // Number 03

This week's selection is "Paper Skin" by Any Otherwise. This is a local band and I met one of the members once in passing. Please enjoy! I think it's awesome!