real life

Something that makes me happy

Exploring with my best friend for my birthday weekend last week:

A sleeping Red Panda at the Indianapolis Zoo. 

Sushi at Mikado not far from the Circle in downtown Indy. We were the only ones there! It wasn’t our favorite sushi, but good and good quality. 

We went to Funky Bones, which I’d never seen before, but was awesome!

We also went to an ice cream place called Lick, which was a strange experience to say the least. First, we got to the address and didn’t see anything but warehouse-like buildings. So, we called the listed number and they told us there was a sign out front, we had to drive around the block again but finally saw the tiny sign poking out in front of a little art shop. We walked into the art store and asked the person working who directed us down a hallway. It had a really school-in-the-summer type vibe, in that it was totally deserted with linoleum flooring, cream walls, and tube lights. At the end of a hallway and around a corner, we finally found it. Just one small room with a kitchen visible in the back. The decor was cool, a counter with vintage ice cream scoops stood in one corner and the wall had posters depicting the same. In the other corner was a small cart with four or five flavors of ice cream in it. The only person working was one of the two sisters who share the business. No one else was in sight. Just as we were thinking, this is odd, the lights flickered and the lady working went, “oh, hmm.” And then she murdered us. 

But not really, obviously, she was just a chill lady who was passionate about ice cream. We got a sweet corn cookie sandwich with salted caramel ice cream. And it was actually really good! 

That was a long tangent on ice cream; it was certainly a memorable experience. 

It was a really good day. 


Cheese & Spinach Stuffed, Bacon Wrapped, Baked Chicken


  • ~2 lb. thin cut chicken
  • 1/2 lb. bacon
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Spinach
  • Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning


  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and line baking sheet with tin foil
  2. Take a piece of chicken and sprinkle with and rub seasonings into it. Place some spinach and a slice of cheese on one end and roll the chicken up around it.
  3. Wrap a strip of bacon around the rolled chicken, going the opposite direction.
  4. (Optional) Sit another slice of cheese on top the wrapped chicken and sprinkle with seasoning. Cut a strip of bacon in half and lay both over the top perpendicular to one another. My pieces had trouble staying together with this on top, but it was still really good 🙂
  5. Bake 25-30 minutes. Broil for 2-3 minutes.

I prepped this, wrapping each piece in parchment paper before placing them in a container and freezing them. Then I thawed them for a day before baking!

beauty, thoughts

A Zen Moment brought to you by Tree Hut

Hey, guys, I can’t sleep. It’s because I fell asleep at 7 pm, but still. So since I’m up anyways, I thought I’d do a quick post while I’m relaxing before I’m actually supposed to be awake.

So to help me with that, I’m doing a charcoal mud mask from Tree Hut. It was sent to me by Influenster free for testing! (If you’re interested in trying Influenster, here’s my referral link!)


The directions say, “apply a thin layer on clean skin and cover face completely.” I like using the e.l.f. mask spatula pictured to apply this, it makes it nice and even and doesn’t get stuff all over your hands. Next, all we gotta do is wait for it to dry, it takes about 10-15 minutes to start cracking. Then, we’ll remove it with warm water.

I really like how this mask feels! It’s very cooling and tightening without being too much. It also smells like sunscreen, but in a good way!

While I’m taking time to relax, I’m thinking about my old standby mantra. Whenever I get overwhelmed I often repeat to myself, “Everything’s gonna be okay.” I’ve done it for a long time, but lately it doesn’t really help. Not that I don’t believe it, I know that everything will be okay, that I’ll be okay. It’s just that lately it hasn’t been what I need to remember. What I really need during those times, is just to breathe. So, what I’m going to try to do now is tell myself to just breathe followed by a big breath in, holding it in for a hot minute before slowly letting it out.

Now, I’m gonna wash off this mask and start my day!



How to tell if they’re the one

I always hated it when you ask someone how you know the person you’re with is the One, and they say “You just do,” but to be honest they’re right.

If you read my Relationship Status essay, you know a little about my boyfriend, Rich, and my story, and how with him, it just felt real. But here’s my list of questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering if your partner is the One:

  • Most importantly, do you feel 100% comfortable being yourself around them?
    • Do they get your humor and your struggles, can you tell them all your secrets? Basically do they get the real you?
  • Can you stand silence when you’re around them? Just hanging out, each doing your own thing?
  • But when you are talking, do you feel like you never want to stop?
    • I mentioned this before in my essay, but for the times we hung out before we were dating up to now, when Rich and I have gone out to eat, we always wound up staying at our table long after our food is finished, just talking and joking.
  • Do they make you feel completely confident and important?
    • The guy I dated in high school made me feel confident in some ways but not in all ways the way Rich does. A couple smallish incidents stand out in my mind where he did not make me feel my best: he told me I didn’t look very good in brown since I have brown hair, he also said my head didn’t look right with my hair in a bun or braid (like the only two ways I ever want to wear it btw).
  • Do they make time for you?
    • Even if they’re busy or would rather stay home are they more than willing to come over if you need or even just want them?
  • Have things that are important to them become important to you and vice versa?
    • For example, I’ve always been into video games to some extent, but since they’re a big part of Rich’s life (he used to compete and has made many lifelong friends through online gaming), I’ve played more, often with him, and talk to him about them frequently. And it doesn’t just go one way, I very much enjoy makeup! He has the layout of our local Ulta pretty much completely memorized, recognizes YouTube beauty gurus that I watch, and remembers the products I mention that I like or am interested in.
  • The bottom line for me is, when you imagine yourself years from now, deciding what to eat for dinner or what to watch on TV or what color cabinets, are they the person you imagine discussing (or maybe even arguing) with  these things? And not some imaginary dream prince who has a vast fortune and rides around on a white horse, we’ve all had those fantasies, but really, really realistically, do you see yourself with them in the far off future?

These are just a few of the reasons I know he’s the one for me, honestly I could name a billion, what are some important factors to knowing they’re the one?



Slow Cooked Cuban Albondigas


Slightly modified for the crock pot from this recipe, which I found, where else but Pinterest.

I usually prep the night before and refrigerate the bowl of my crock pot overnight, popping it in and firing it up the next morning before work, but that’s by no means necessary. I do that with pretty much everything I make this way, but with this on in particular because it has more prep time than most slow cooker recipes.


  • For the meatballs:

    • 1 lb ground beef
    • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • For the sauce:

    • 1 medium-large onion, finely chopped
    • 2 tsp. minced garlic
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 2 heaped tsp. paprika
    • 1 tsp. ground red pepper (optional if you don’t want it to be too spicy)
    • 2 cans (~800g) chopped tomatoes
      • (Note: I almost wanted to half this or use paste/sauce because we don’t like tomatoes, but I didn’t and it turned out great, not too tomato-y)
    • 2-4 tsp. brown sugar
      • (This cuts the tomato taste, so if you don’t like it, use more, or if you do, use less)
    • ~1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
    • 1-2 tsp. salt
    • 1-2 tsp. black pepper


  1. Place all sauce ingredients in crock pot and stir a bit, literally that’s all you have to do.
  2. Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl and form good sized balls (I got about 8 with this size recipe and they were the perfect size). Place them on a plate and refrigerate for about 10-30 minutes to firm them up.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a pan and sear the meatballs so they keep their shape.
  4. Place the meatballs in your crock pot and cover in sauce.
  5. Cook on low for ~6 hours

I also grabbed a day old $1 baguette from Walmart’s bakery and popped it in the oven at 350 for 3-4 minutes. It was the perfect pairing!