What Brings Us Together

Sweet P Loves DThe sun beamed down overhead as the cool ocean breeze lightly brushed away the summer heat. I had taken my ballet flats off and let my toes wiggle around in the warm sand. It would have all been enjoyable if I hadn’t been crouching down behind a long sand embankment in the attempt to hide from a friend that was about to get proposed to, but I’m forever glad that I was able to get stuck hiding in the fetal position on a beach in Santa Barbara with some new friends.

Being a part of the surprise proposal, which took place over the weekend, has been one of the most rewarding things that anyone has ever asked me to participate in. For one, I was trusted with a secret of not telling the future bride, and secondly, because they invited me to be a part of their special day. Continue reading “What Brings Us Together”

Remembering My Cousin

Photo by Mamboman1 via Flickr
Photo by Mamboman1 via Flickr

My grandmother brought you over to my house to introduce you to the family. We were both young kids and had no clue what was going on. We just wanted to play. I showed you some of my favorite toys, and from that moment on I knew you would be someone important in my life.

After spending more time with you at my grandma’s house you became my cousin. And we both felt connected in the thought that we were closer to each other than our other cousins. It was the first time I could ever hang out with someone closer to my age in the family. Continue reading “Remembering My Cousin”

Why Christmas is My Favorite Holiday

Photo taken by jcoterhals via Flickr
Photo taken by jcoterhals via Flickr

I usually get strange looks from people who find out my favorite holiday is Christmas. They wonder why Thanksgiving or Halloween isn’t at the top of my list and ask for an explanation. I usually tell them how I enjoy celebrating all the other holidays, but that I’m a little more emotionally and physically involved with the holidays during Christmas time. Somehow there is something about this holiday season which puts a smile on my face more than any other time of year.

It isn’t the cold weather or the presents that get swapped during this time. Fruitcake isn’t my favorite food, and I was always concerned with how some older, overweight man dressed in an insulated tracksuit and matching hat, was allowed to break into people’s homes while they were sleeping and eat their food in exchange for a few gifts. Continue reading “Why Christmas is My Favorite Holiday”

Easy Peasy Vegetarian Recipes: Spinach Lasagna

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is gathering together with friends and family to reconnect and celebrate at the dinner table. However, for new vegetarians the task of planning the family dinner seems a little daunting.

Below is a recipe for an easy to make dish that even your meat-loving family members will enjoy. Try it out and tell me how it goes in the comment section.

Photo taken by brand0con on Flickr
Photo taken by brand0con on Flickr

What you are going to need:

-3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese (look for the vegan option below)
-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or purchase another vegan Parmesan cheese option here)
-1 large egg 4 cups bottled chunky tomato pasta sauce
-12 oven-ready, no-boil lasagna noodles (from 8-ounce package)
-2 boxes (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
-1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (or purchase another vegan mozzarella cheese option here)
-13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish
-Nonstick cooking spray Continue reading “Easy Peasy Vegetarian Recipes: Spinach Lasagna”

Traveling Back to My Hometown

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by: Petr Kratochvil

As Published in Miss Millennia Magazine

The strangest feeling are the rush of memories that wash over you when you step foot on the old soil of your hometown. It isn’t the intricate arrangement of buildings, city lights or sounds that draw you into that pool of mind-refreshing energy, but the people you cared about when you lived there in your hometown and the many adventures you had that will tie you all forever with that familiar place.

Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts. -Oliver Wendell Holmes

The warm state of mind that is created from the vivid flashbacks of my small town is definitely one of those experiences that beat any new destination. It’s very similar to the moment you find yourself missing the comforts of home while traveling abroad in another city. Just imagining yourself slipping into one’s familiar cozy sheets in their own bed is enough to draw any adventurous traveler back to the place in which they originated in. Continue reading “Traveling Back to My Hometown”

Life’s Lemons

They say when life gives you lemons you make lemonade, but often times you feel as though there aren’t enough sweeteners anywhere else no matter what you do to take the bitterness of life away. It’s in these times where you feel like just dumping the bitter lemonade on the floor and giving up, even though you shouldn’t. In these times you should rebuild this metaphorical lemonade with your own sweeteners and make the best damn lemonade that you possibly can make.

The majority of my friends and family right now are going through some tough times. Financial problems, relationship status changes, health problems, life shifts, or in my case all of the above. They call to tell me their frustrations, and often times they feel as though there is nothing they could do about their situations. Continue reading “Life’s Lemons”