Friday, July 30, 2010

If I were a man

There are two times in my life where I wish I was a man. Road trips are one of them.

I made it through the wilderness of Cincinnati rush hour traffic.

And then it hit.

You know the feeling...that creeping feeling which says you need to pull over or there will be a mess in your car to clean up.

But I ignored it. You might be thinking to yourself, "she must not have had to go that bad." Well, let me explain: I had another hour to drive and it was getting late and I was alone and I just wanted to make it home. Also, I dislike--no, make that loathe--public restrooms. This fact makes it hard when nature calls.

See, here's the thing. Guys have it easy when it comes to road trips.

If they wanted, they could bring something so they wouldn't have to stop and use the restroom (if you get my drift). Or, if they didn't want to do that, they have the advantage of standing up to do their business. This makes it super easy. For them.

Girls can't do either of those things.

If I were a man, I would stop to use public restrooms.

P.S. I made it home without an accident. I have a really strong bladder.

Monday, July 26, 2010

And truth be told...

I miss:

my friend (and former roommate)

my sister

LP's long legs

this face and nose and teeth and "cute yittle yips"

(even though I don't like cats) this little face, my former roommate's cat was very nice and so soft on her little "pink pillow"

my mom

my dad

And truth be told I'm not lying.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Grilled Shrimp with Lemon Basil Pasta

Do you like pasta? Yes?

Do you like shrimp? Yes?

Do you like cream and butter? Just nod your head and say yes, because you know butter and cream make everything better. (Try saying that 10 times fast).

If you like all these things, then you will really like this recipe.

I found this recipe and this recipe and combined them into...this recipe: a creamy, wonderful, combination of lemon, cream, pasta, and shrimp.

You begin by boiling the pasta. I used penne pasta, because that is what Pioneer Woman used. And I want to be like her, especially the part about marrying a cowboy. But, that's another story.

I know you've all seen a picture of boiling pasta, but I'm including it for good measure:

Then you saute the shrimp:

Don't you love how shrimp starts out all gray and blah looking, but turns into a nice pink color? Yeah, me too.

After the shrimp was cooked I transferred it to a plate and put it in the oven on low to stay warm. You can do this or not. When the pasta is done, make sure to save a cup of the pasta water to use later for the sauce.

Once those are both done, it's time to make the sauce.

Now, I have to give you a warning....

If you are on a diet, don't, I repeat, do not make this sauce. It is not low calorie!

But, we already established the fact that butter and cream make everything better, right?

In the same pot where you made the pasta (it makes clean-up easier):

Melt 1/2 stick of butter

Squeeze in the juice of 3-4 lemons. (I just put in some bottled lemon juice, but shhh, don't tell anyone, especially Pioneer Woman. Thanks).

And whisk it together.

Then add:

3/4 cup heavy cream (I told you it wasn't low calorie!)


1/4 cup half-and-half

Whisk until hot.

Dump in: 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan (or Romano) cheese. Whisk until melted.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Check consistency and if it's too thick add some of the pasta water you reserved to thin it out a little bit.

Now, for the fun part. Pour the pasta into a bowl. Add the sauce. And add the shrimp. If you have fresh basil you can use that, otherwise you can add dried basil like I did.

This would also work with grilled chicken (like Pioneer Woman used) or scallops or some other seafood, I'm sure. What ever suits your fancy.

Bon appétit!

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha M.

Links to Love

Hi, Friends! Any fun plans for the weekend?

Here are my five favorite blogs this week:

Nat the Fat Rat: I really like Natalie's writing style. And she and "holbsmover" are moving back to NYC!

Kind Over Matter: A blog based on kindness. How lovely!

Passports and Postcards: Travel, art, fashion, food.

aura-joon: Beautiful photos!

Where the Lovely Things Are: Art, photographs, jewelry.

Fun finds from around the web:


3.14 -----> pie

Baked eggs in bread bowls.

Wonderful idea for pudding cups.

Recipe: How to bake a dog.

Baskin-Robbins is changing flavors. Get them before they are gone!

Perfect pancakes and strawberry butter.

How to make yogurt in your crock-pot.


Amazing castles from around the world.

Typewriter Symphony.

10 ways to new music on-line.

Adorable, adorable birds.

Pothole gardening. What a great urban idea.

A celebration of all things paper.

Early 1900's in color.

Great forced perspective photography.

Minimum wage machine.

TV museum.


Are you this cute when you are falling asleep?

Have you seen the new Dyson fan? It was made to prevent buffeting. $300 worth of fan? I think not.

All the best for your family.

Great lessons from Abraham Lincoln.

Anti-theft lunch bags. Genius!

New uses for your microwave.

Birthday random acts of kindness! I love this idea.

Lovely printable quote cards.

90 days of kindness challenge. You in?

Popcorn kittens!

Mormon living:

Feast Upon the Word.

Mormon Matters.

What do Mormons believe?

Even though I've posted about this before, Segullah is definitely a blog to discover.

Have you seen the new My profile is there too!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My New Hero

Have you heard of Nick Vujicic? If not, you need to watch this video. He's great.

I want to be like him. Plus, it looks like he gives amazing hugs.

No Arms, No legs, No worries.

Happy Wednesday, (or Thursday depending on when you read this) which is also known as: The Week is Almost Over!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spaghetti with Zucchini and Yellow Squash

Ok, here's the deal. This is the first recipe that I've actually posted on this little blog of mine. It was a new recipe that I saw and decided to try. I hope you enjoy it.

Without further ado....

You will need:

1 box of spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
1 medium yellow onion
1/3 cup oil (I didn't use the whole amount since it is just for sauteing the vegetables)
1 clove of garlic
1 medium yellow squash
2 small zucchini
1/2 cup (10 fresh medium leaves) basil - I used dry about 2 tsp.
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Salt to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

(Even though the ingredients are above, I'm incorporating them into the instructions below so you don't have to re-look up the amounts).

Begin by dicing 1 medium yellow onion. You will saute the onion in olive oil in a skillet over medium heat for 6 minutes.

While the onion is sauteing, chop a clove of garlic. After the onion has cooked for 6 minutes, add the garlic to the skillet and saute for two minutes.

It was at this point that I began to cook one box (13.25 oz.) of whole wheat spaghetti....

Chop one medium yellow squash and 2 small zucchini and add to the skillet with the onion and garlic. Cook for an additional 6 minutes.

Stir in 2 tsp. basil (I used dry) and 1/8 tsp. black pepper. Season with salt. Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixture and add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

A few notes: I thought it turned out a little bland. When I make this again I will probably add Italian seasoning or other herbs to give a little more flavor. I also flavored it with Italian dressing after I tasted it. I'm sure it would be fine with white spaghetti as well.

Bon appétit!

Recipe from Barilla pasta box.

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha M.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hakuna Matata

“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth." Sarah Ban Breathnach, in John Cook, comp., The Book of Positive Quotations, 2nd ed. (2007), 342.

(Hakuna matata is a Swahili phrase that is literally translated as "There are no worries." It is sometimes translated as "no worries", although is more commonly used similarly to the English phrase "no problem.")

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Links to Love

Here are five new blogs I came across this week:

100 Days in Bed: I'm not really sure how to describe this blog. It includes a woman's journey from depression to change. A must read.

Adorable Optimism: This blog includes fashion, food, and great photos.

Embracing Change: One woman's journey to a healthier lifestyle.

A Rowan Tree: A beautiful blog by a textile design student.

This one is not new, but I love it and think you should check it out!

My Ancestors and Me: A blog with wonderful stories (and photographs) about this woman's ancestors.
Wonderful finds from across the WWW:


Amazing things made out of wood.

I would love to live on this awesome Seattle houseboat. It is exactly what houseboats should look like.

A tree dressed in lace? Boy, howdy, what a cool idea. Like graffiti, but with yarn.

Do you write in your journal? Some wonderful ideas to help you start, or keep on, writing.

Paper bride and groom

Which famous author do you write like?


I will be needing to make these garlic rolls soon.

Waffles are wonderful things. Especially when they look like popsicles.

Create your own chocolate bar.

I've been in a lemon mood lately. (Not sour, just craving lemon). I think I will make these.

Free things:

Free Compliments

Free Hugs:

Misc. things:

If I were a man, I would totally change my "voice-male" to this.

Do you ever leave or see notes like this?

A mama otter teaching her pup how to swim at my home zoo:

A blog devoted to the art of bicycle riding. Includes beautiful pictures.

Does your apartment need a little therapy in the decoration department? Well, look no further.

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha M.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Links to Love

I don't know why I never heard of this blog before, but 1000 Awesome Things is, well, in a word...Awesome!

Hilarious School Answering Machine Message:

Beautiful stamped return address labels. I still love getting snail mail.

Inventions for Mormons.

The Seventeen Magazine Project. A high school senior followed the magazine's advice and blogged about it for a month.

Cooking by Numbers. Check off what you have in your fridge and click to find recipes.

Would you like to live in this low impact woodland home? It reminds me of something the hobbits would live in. So cute!

How to tell if somebody is lying to you.

Adorable panda playing soccer:

Send a bouquet of free flowers via the internet!

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha M.

Monday, July 5, 2010

How dating is like communism

I've never talked about dating on my blog before, but here goes.

In the past week (no, make that in the past four days) I have had:

-One co-worker (female) try to set me up on a date (she asked multiple people if they knew single guys).
-One male offer to set me up on a date(s).


-Two guys (who I recently became friends with) asked if I was dating anyone or if I was interested in anyone. Both of them pretty much used the exact same phrasing while asking it too.

So, if you counted, that's 4 people that have asked me about dating in the past four days. Which also means that it is 4 people too many.

I've decided that I have must have a sign on my forehead that reads: "Ask me about my dating life!" OR "Set me up on a date!" I hope I don't look desperate. I know people mean well and I guess I shouldn't be complaining.

I've also decided that dating is like communism: "it's a good idea, but the practical application sucks."

And there you have my dating life in a nutshell.

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha M.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Freedom's Holy Light

"Concord Hymn"

What makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?

It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.

Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.

And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.

Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly...
They build a nation’s pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love America and I'm grateful for the freedoms that I have in this great conntry.

God bless the U.S.A.!

Happy Independence day to you!

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha M.
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