Tortellini Pasta Salad

Alright. So I’m going to 2 different 4th of July parties this weekend, and I’m bringing this dish to both! It’s a good side dish for cookouts because you can make it ahead of time, it serves alot of people, and it can sit out at room temperature for awhile while everyone chats and grazes.

So I definitely recommend it for an easy go-to side dish for a potluck or a cookout. And it’s tasty too!

Here’s the recipe if you’re interested in trying it yourself.

I actually don’t follow this recipe exactly but use it more like a guideline instead. I usually just add all the ingredients per my tastes – so I tend to go overboard with the pepperocinis and the red onion bc I love them. And I personally skip the olives bc I’m not a fan. So you can make this your own…

I hope you enjoy it! I’m on my way to my 1st cookout now! I wish you all a fabulous 4th of July holiday!

{{And don’t forget that I’m drawing for my first Subscriber Spotlight in just a couple more days, so don’t forget to sign up below if you want to be included in the drawing! The deets are in my previous post and you can link here. Good luck!}}

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg fresh tortellini pasta
  • 1/2 cup ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup Pepperochini peppers, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup salami or pepperoni, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup olives, green or black – optional
  • 1/2 cup dressing of your choice (for example Italian, Parmesan Peppercorn, Caesar or a Sweet Basil dressing). I personally use Italian dressing here.

Instructions:

1. Cook tortellini per package instructions. Rinse briefly with cold water to stop the internal cooking. Set aside.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Cover and refrigerate a few hours to let the flavors combine. Serve cold.
4. This pasta salad dries-out very easily. So keep extra dressing handy and you can stir it into the dish when necessary to quickly revive it.

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Launching My Subscriber Spotlight

Subscriber Spotlight

So, I’ve never sent out a newsletter before but I just saved my very first draft of my very first one! And I just sent a test one to my email address and I GOT IT!!!! Holy smokes I can’t believe it worked!

Lol, I feel so accomplished that I managed those 2 little things. But we all have to start somewhere right? 🙂

I’ve been thinking that a quarterly newsletter might be the right schedule for me – since I don’t want to bombard everyone with email. And I’ve also been trying to come up with something that would make my newsletter valuable to my subscribers, otherwise, nobody will care and I definitely WANT people to care.

So perhaps my new Subscriber Spotlight would be valuable enough?

This is where I’ll randomly draw ONE of my subscribers immediately prior to sending out this quarterly newsletter. The winner will be announced IN the newsletter. Then this subscriber will have the next 3 months to redeem my promotion of their blog, social media, giveaway, product, etc. They’ll get a dedicated blog post titled the “Subscriber Spotlight” for that quarter, and a shout-out on my social media.

This promotion is subject to my discretion however, just in case it doesn’t align with what I’d like to present to my audience. For example, I would decline promoting something illegal or something that may cause controversy among my audience. I hope that’s agreeable to us all.

Anyhow, I hope all that made sense. I tried to keep it simple.

I’ll be sending out my newsletter for Quarter 2 of 2021 immediately after this holiday weekend.

Be sure to go ahead and subscribe now so you’re in the drawing for my very first Subscriber Spotlight, where you can promote something important to you! Good luck everyone!

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No spam. Just occasional news, giveaway announcements, and Subscriber Spotlights where you can win a promo. Don’t miss out.

The Island of Malta

So I had the opportunity to visit Malta a few years ago, prior to covid of course. It was incredibly lovely, and I wanted to share some photos and tidbits.

For the official scoop on Malta, you can certainly check-out its Wikipedia page here. Otherwise, my casual interpretation of its info will be scattered throughout this post.

Malta is an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea, very close in proximity to Sicily and Italy. I had a great view of the sea from my hotel. There are small pockets of sandy beach to be found if you are determined, but most of the oceanside is rocky. It is still beautiful however. Some photos from the balcony of my hotel:

Since it is an island, there were impressive marinas as well as some navy ships to see…. Historically, it was considered a critical naval base for many ruling powers such as the Greeks, Romans, and now Europeans – so there is alot of nautical activity almost everywhere you go.

And as you can tell from the buildings in the background, there is historical significance here in Malta worth preserving. And one thing I’ve noticed of this city, is that they’ve kept their historical buildings very well-maintained which adds greatly to the impressiveness.

Malta has been inhabited since 5900 BC so there are many older sites, monuments, and buildings to view. There definitely is not a shortage of site-seeing here. You’ll be very busy.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my quick description of my Malta trip. I would love to go back sometime soon with my daughter. And I would highly recommend it to others as well. Let me know if you’d like to visit too!

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I Miss Having a Best Friend

Now that I’m thinking about it, I’ve been without a best friend ever since covid happened. That’s a long time to be without one. And I do believe that the absence of this person in my life is one of the biggest contributors to my negative mindset lately.

The reason why covid interrupted our friendship, is that work was the major facilitator of our friendship. We met for lunch at least twice a week (sometimes more) and then we met for happy hours after work at least once a week (also, sometimes more).

We used to work in close proximity to each other so this arrangement was incredibly convenient. We do not live in close proximity so we’ve only seen each other twice within the past year and it was an effort to coordinate.

But we used to talk about everything during these times! Every miniscule detail of our lives, we shared with each other. We laughed together, got angry and sad together, and gave each other support and advice. I never realized how significant this friendship was to me until it was gone.

And it’s gone now bc we both have to work from home, where there is no longer any privacy for us to chat with each other like we used to. For example, I can no longer confide in her any difficulties with my family and have her support me through it, when my family is literally at home in the same space with me all the time. And vice-versa.

So I do have that void in my life now. And it’s sad and lonely here.

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Thank Goodness it’s Friday

Holy smokes this has been one heck of a week at work. I need this weekend!

When I’m overwhelmed at work, I fantasize about quitting so I can finally relax and enjoy my life. It makes me sad that my most active and productive years are being spent at a corporation that doesn’t care about me. Because we all know that we are just headcount to these companies and nothing more.

It’s also sad that we dedicate 5 full days per week to work, while only 2 days are left for ourselves. The more I think about it, the more depressing it seems.

I would love to quit, but honestly, I can’t afford to. Until I can replace my salary with other income instead, I’m stuck. And I don’t want to just move to another company, where I experience all the same issues but just in a different building. I want to be my own boss.

I just need to figure out how to make this happen for myself. And soon. Before I miss out on any more of my life while I’m still able to enjoy it.

My Scary Experiences with Sleep Paralysis

Has sleep paralysis happened to any of you before? Where you are asleep. You start to vividly “see” and “hear” things in the dark that make you want to move. But you can’t move. You start to panic about not being able to move. You try to turn away. You try to scream. But you can’t. You are literally frozen. And scared to death. And just when you think you can’t take it anymore… you finally physically break free. Shaking and sweating. And those sights and sounds are finally gone.

This actually happens to me. Not all the time, thank goodness! Maybe about once a year. I’ve googled it before and it’s officially called sleep paralysis where apparently you are partially awake while dreaming. Your brain is awake but your body is still locked in it’s dream-state which prevents you from physically acting out your dreams.

This blog post from “The Strange Ways” by Lenny Wall describes this experience much better than I can, and even includes the scientific and paranormal explanations of it. So definitely check it out if you want more information.

But that specific post got me thinking… My experience with sleep paralysis is always scary!

It’s always a demonic entity whispering to me. I never understand its whispers. I can see it slowly approach me. Sooooo freakin’ slowly. And the whole entire time I watch it approach me, I am frozen. Not able to move or scream, even though I am violently attempting to do so. And at the very end… when it’s at the closest possible point… it JUMPS at me! And THAT’S when I finally wake up!

And all the movies/stories about this are also always scary! The most recent movie I watched featuring sleep paralysis was “Mara” on Netflix and holy cow it freaked me out! Definitely don’t watch it unless you love horror movies.

But my major question is… Why is this experience always scary? Why can’t I be stuck at an all-you-can-eat buffet? Why not be stuck in bed with Zac Efron? Why not be stuck at Target with a $10,000 gift card? Why does FEAR make this happen?

What do you all think? Have you experienced this as well?

P.S. I can’t believe I posted this at bedtime. Now I’m thinking about it. Wish me luck tonight!

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Down the Rabbit Hole of Google Search

So we got a new kitten a few weeks ago, and what started as a very innocent search on Google ended up being WAY too informative. And yes, sometimes too much information is NOT a good thing.

What happened was… one night last week, the kitten was oddly being very sleepy. We were accustomed to it being a little tasmanian devil non-stop in the evenings, so this seemed quite weird to us.

And like we all do, I went to Google for answers and found a range of possible causes from everything’s fine / kitty is just tired to omg / kitty is dying! Thanks for all the help Google. *sarcasm*

But the REAL story is what happened next. Google had a section called “People Also Asked…” and listed out some more questions and answers that other people searched and I got sucked into it and couldn’t stop!

I couldn’t believe some of these questions like “Will my cat eat me when I die?” (the answer is YES btw) and “Why does my cat keep putting it’s butt in my face?” etc.

So I learned WAY too much about cats during that session. I feel like I know it all now.

And I can’t stop thinking about my cat eating me when I die – starting with my face! I wonder if it thinks about doing that now. I do catch it staring at me weird…