"My encouragement for life, never stop dreaming. Always work for change, strive for personal growth, be you, be kind, love everyone despite themselves, be the friend you wish you had, steer clear from arguments (they only make you prematurely age), be happy [no one else can do this for you], find the author of true love {He is unfailing}. Lastly, truly live the moment you're in. For time oh, so quickly fades, and sooner than one realizes we are left alone, pondering our lives, wishing we were yet again young. Someone once said, "youth is wasted on the young." Don't let that be true. Make a difference. Stand against the norm. Know that peace only comes from the Giver of it [peace]. What must be done is this...fight for truth. Fight for honesty. Fight for love"

A friend of mine posted this on their blog this morning and I stole it. I read it and found it amazing and inspiring. Sometimes someone else can put into words what you think or feel better than you can. This is true for the above. In the recent months I have been reflecting a lot on my life. I can say that I am very happy for where I am and the person who I have become. More importantly I have finally hit a point in my life where I can reflect and learn from my past experiences and mistakes. This is a sign of true maturity to me. I believe that everyone has had experiences in their life that they can learn from, it's just a matter of being able to truly learn from them. So in light of all of this I will share a few random words of wisdom from Melissa :-)
  1. Don't let others bring you down. I learned this the hard way from someone at OSU. When people harvest negative thoughts or energy they try to spread it so that others feel this same way. When you are constantly around this type of person it tends to make you start thinking the negative thoughts as well. Try to keep away from these people. Stay positive. Being a happy person is so much better, especially for your health. Try to cheer the person up, if they continue to be that way just let them go. They aren't worth keeping in your life.
  2. Let things go. Like I said before don't become one of those people who hold on to every single grudge. Negative thoughts and energy is so bad for your health and well being. If something is really bothering you, write it down. I'm sure that you have heard about this before. But write a letter to the person and don't send it. Come back to it at a later date when you have cooled off and most of the time it will seem so petty. Be the bigger person and just don't fight. It really does age you
  3. True love is the greatest gift of all. Finding someone who loves you for you, flaws and all is something that is indescribable. I hope that every person can experience this in their life time. Cherish this and make sure that you always let that special person know how you feel. And this isn't only for a romantic type of love. The love that a friend or family member can give you is amazing too. It's one of those things that when you are feeling down you can reflect on and smile about again.
  4. Take time for yourself. Find something that makes you happy like reading, cooking, gardening, any type of hobby.
  5. Be a lifelong learner.
  6. Remember to breathe. Things aren't always as bad as they seem
  7. Send thank you cards. It's a simple classy thing to do. Someone went out of their way to do something special for you, do the same.
  8. Smile!
  9. Lastly...take care of you body. You only have one. Wear sunscrean. Eat well. Exercise.

Ok so I could keep going on and on. But this is my short (and probably obvious) list.


When I get sad, I stop being sad and I be AWESOME instead. True Story :-)

Today is my Grandpa's funeral. Needless to say it's kind of a sad day for me. It's weird because my Grandpa passed away on the 2nd and were just now getting to have the funeral. I guess that's the price you got to pay for a military funeral. You got to wait in line. I'm hoping that after today I can really start to move on. It has really sucked having this looming over head all month. So after today my goal is to stop being sad and start being awesome again (hence the title of the blog).

I'm totally bummed out because I missed two really good TV shows last night. "How I Met Your Mother" and "Gossip Girl". My mom called me in a panic last night and needed my help getting thing finished for the funeral today. So that means that I'm going to have to catch up on the good ol Internet. HIMYM is one show that I am truly happy to see back. It's a show that I don't think gets enough attention for how good it really is. It's smart and fresh. Not to mention that Neil Patrick Harris as "Barney" makes the show (another shout out to the blog title). I have realized that I watch way to much TV. But the thing is, I'm kind of a dork. I would rather stay home and be comfortable watching TV than get dressed up and go out. I am way to much of a homebody for my own good sometimes. But watching all this TV leads to a major problem. Shows that I like start to overlap. It makes for a lot of stress having to choose which show to watch live and which show to wait to watch on the Internet. I think that I really need to get TiVo. Maybe I will ask for it for Christmas.

Lastly it's time for a new recipe! Today's recipe is....

Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

12 ounces (1 box) jumbo pasta shells (approximately 36 shells)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for greasing baking sheet
6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, diced
2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups marinara sauce
2 (15-ounce) containers whole milk ricotta cheese
1 1/3 cups grated Parmesan
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Lightly oil a 12 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish and set aside.
  • Lightly oil the baking sheet and set aside.
  • Partially cook the pasta shells in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly tender but still quite firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. You will continue cooking the shells in the oven after they have been stuffed.
  • Using a slotted spoon, drain pasta shells and place on oiled baking sheet, spreading them out so that they don't stick together and allow to cool.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the red pepper flakes. Add the garlic and saute until tender, about 1 minute.
  • Add the marinara sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring often.
  • In a medium bowl, stir the ricotta, Parmesan, egg yolks, basil, parsley, mint, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spoon 1 1/4 cups of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Fill the cooked shells with the cheese mixture, about 2 tablespoons per shell. Arrange the shells in the prepared dish.
  • Spoon the remaining sauce over the shells, then sprinkle with the mozzarella.
  • Bake in the lower third of your oven until the filling is heated through and the top is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
This recipe was easy to make I made it all last night so I could take it to our family get together today after the funeral. I have not baked it yet, I will do that when we get to my cousins house. You can use store bought marinara sauce, but I used homemade. I find the taste so much better. Plus I make large batches and can my own, thus having jars on hand for things like this. It's very handy


New Blog!

So I have been blogging on myspace for a few years and decided to change it up a bit. Mainly because I have quite a few people who refuse to join myspace and want to read about my oh so very exciting life ;-) This now gives me another distraction from school and life to communicate with people. This blog was supposed to be for Ryan and I. But I know that Ryan will never touch it, therefor it's all me. I've tried and tried to get the boy to become more technically savvy but it's just not happening.

I've been trying to start a list of things to do. I have found that it always helps to have a list. My thoughts are also that maybe if I post my list here that people will ask me about the things and hold me accountable.
  • Learn not to stress over things that I cannot control. I've been saying this for awhile now, but at 25 I really feel that I need to embrace it. I think that this will be a huge stress decreaser.
  • I'd like to cook more creative and new meals. I've gotten in a bit of a rut lately due to lack of time and laziness. So I'm going to try to make at least 2 new meals a week. I will try to post the recipes in case any of you are so inclined to follow my lead or want to try a new recipe yourself.
  • Speaking of cooking...when my grandma passed away she left me all of her cook books and recipes. I have probably over a 1000 loose recipe cards. I want to begin to digitize them so nothing will happen to them as well as make them more usable for me. My thoughts are to maybe scan the cards and then type the recipe up as well. I am also trying to think of a way to store the loose cards. Right now my idea is to buy some photo albums and keep them in there. I think that the recipe cards are about the same size as the photo slots in the album. I will have to look into that. Does any one have any ideas or suggestions for my little project?
  • I want to start working out on a regular basis again. I've been so sporadic lately about it and I think that is one of the reasons why I have been so tired lately. But also Ryan nailing me in the leg with a golf ball and me not being able to walk for a week did not help things. My goal is to get back to the gym at least 4 days a week and doing yoga or Pilate's 4 days a week. Plus this will help me look good for when ever Ryan and I get around to taking our tropical trip.

My weekend has been interesting. I had my BLS re certification yesterday morning. One of the guys in the class managed to make the head of the practice manikin pop off while giving CPR. This truly terrified me. I hope that he never has to give me CPR. After the class I met my parents at my grandparent's house to pick up some stuff that my grandparents left to me. It's so surreal cleaning out there house. Dividing all of their stuff up and putting it in boxes makes it all seem so final. It was really sad. Luckily after that I got to go see Julie and hang out at her house and do some baking. We made yummy chocolate chip muffins and sugar cookies. It was a lot of fun catching up with her.

Well I guess that is all for now. It will be interesting to see if anyone even reads this. But it may just be for my own narcissistic pleasure.