I'm 22, and live off of spaghetti. Spaghetti is a generalized word for me, meaning penne, vermicelli, macaroni, basically any sort of pasta falls under the category, 'spaghetti'. I love it. Slap some ground beef in a frying pan with Classico sauce to pour on top, and I'm a happy gal. You know the whole "if you were trapped on a deserted Island and were forced to eat one item of food, what would it be"? You can count on my answer consistently being spaghetti.
Spaghetti and I are married. We'll never sign divorce papers, but I've realized I need to take a little break; Separate myself for a short period of time to have an 'eat, pray, love' kind of experience (in this case, mostly the 'eat' part). Our love will never die, but expanding my horizons is crucial. Otherwise we may get sick of each other.
"My great adventure has begun." (Little Women).
It all started with a casserole.
Pinterest comes in and out of my life in waves. I'm capable of spending over seven hours scouring different boards for my unannounced wedding, my 'future home', recipes I know I'll never make, and perhaps a funny quote or two. Recently, I came across an amazing website called pinchofyum.com that has a killer casserole recipe. How do I know it's killer? The picture looks really cool, which is reason enough.
I learned a couple of things as I delved into the unknown world of casserole making. I'm happy to share with you a few tips for when you make your own casserole. Take what you will:
▸ Don't read the recipe on your phone while stirring the mixture. You are liable to drop your phone in it...
▸ Do not slice raw chicken in the vicinity of your phone. You are liable to get raw chicken on your already-cracked screen...
▸ If you're using a disposable baking pan (I don't have the luxury of a real casserole dish), double up the pans or you may end up accidentally pouring half the mixture in the burning oven...
▸ If you're listening to music, make sure it's not too loud or else you'll miss the timer beeping...
▸ Keep the cooked broccoli far away while it's suppose to be 'set aside' (If you're like me and LOVE these little trees, they might convince you to eat them)
▸ Early lunch + very late supper + a cup of coffee IN BETWEEN = shaky hands and unfocused brain...
▸ Like the broccoli, keep the grated cheese FAR, FAR AWAY
▸ Friends always have the one ingredient you're missing (Thanks, Seal)
▸ Dance while cooking. It's way more fun.
And my personal favorite:
▸ After you turn off the oven, prop it open jussssst a smidgen. Keep a safe distance, hold your shirt open like you're on "The Biggest Loser", and let the heat rise to your tummy. I pretend it's a scorching hot day at Basin Head... I know I'm not the only one! (Thanks Sam Smith).
These are all great lessons I've learned from trying something new! I can make spaghetti with two hands behind my back, blindfolded, with a distracting monkey flailing about. Cooking is like an acquired taste. The more you drink coffee, the better it starts to taste, right? Just like painting or singing, the more you cook, the more comfortable you become! I'm happy to finally cross a recipe off my Pinterest list that doesn't require 40 pounds of sugar (AKA yummy, yummy deserts).
Here's a link to the "Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole" I made! I highly recommend it! The only thing I would change is to keep it in the oven longer than 30 minutes, otherwise it's a little too liquidy. What I also love about this recipe is that most of the ingredients are already on my grocery list! No weird intricate ingredients like '1/2 tsp. low-fat powdered asparagus'. Does that even exist? I don't know.
As I write this, I'm gobbling down some of the casserole I proudly forged today. I can taste the satisfaction :). What's your favorite recipe?? I want to try it! I love ALL food, so nothing is off limits (especially deserts)! Comment below, and let me know if you try the casserole recipe!
Lots of Love xo,
My playlist writing this weeks post:
All Grammy Nominees for Song of the Year! Getting ready to fill out my ballot!
▸ Stay With Me - Sam Smith
▸ Chandelier - Sia
▸ Take Me To Church - Hozier
▸ Shake It Off - Taylor Swift
▸ All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor (Watch my cover video of Lips are Movin here!)
P.S. Anyone confused about the difference between "Song of the Year" and "Record of the Year", like I was? Weeeeeell, Song of the Year is for the writers and Record is for the engineers! Happy Thursday!
It's MOVIE MONTH in my apartment! Since nominations are out and about, we've been cracking down on every film we can before the Oscars roll around. My apartment is also infested with sickness, so what better time to sink into your crusty couch cushion than with a bunch of sneezing/coughing/sweaty/ shivering friends!
This has been a year of biopic films: Foxcatcher, Selma, The Imitation Game, just to name a few! I always hold my breath when "based on true events" pops up at the beginning of a movie. As a performer, I can't help but think about how challenging and exhilarating it must be for the lead actor! It's one thing to live and breathe as a completely different character, but for someone like Reese Witherspoon to have Cheryl Strayed on the set of Wild EVERY DAY watching her?... How intimidating would that be!? It also makes me think... Who would play Jessica Gallant in the biopic film, "Ruffled Girl- The true story of a girl who ate herself to death with Ruffles Regular chips." If YOU had to choose someone to play you in a movie, who would it be? Would you even trust someone enough to take on that task? I have to say, it's not a hard decision for me. My top four would easily be Margot Robbie, Reese Witherspoon, Rachel McAdams, or Beyonce.
I tried to pick my three favourite movies this year, but it was impossible. Instead, I made a list of movies that I LOVED and think YOU should see- if you're into the whole movie watching thing:
1. Gone Girl (Freakishly amazing)
2. Whiplash (Anyone who was a band geek in high school will especially love it *Alto Sax*)
3. Birdman ("The actors movie")
4. Into the Woods (One word, Sondheim)
5. Wild (Reese's Pieces)
6. Foxcatcher (Steve Carell was scarily convincing)
7. Selma (So powerful, a must see)
8. The Imitation Game (Benedict Cumberbatch ROCKS)
9. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Never thought I'd enjoy a movie about apes other than Tarzan)
10. X-Men: Days of Future Past (The only X-Men I've ever seen and enjoyed every second)
11. Interstellar (My boyfriend is OBSESSED with Christopher Nolan, you should be too)
Movies I still need to see: Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Theory of Everything, Still Alice, Big Eyes, Cake, Hunger Games (how have I still not seen this!?), and American Snipper!
If you can't make it to the movie theatre this week, check out "The Hollywood Reporter Roundtable" interviews. Watching it kind of feels like you're spying on a bunch of celebrities having coffee, but it's beyond intriguing. Click here to watch!
What were your favourite movies this year? Are there any missing from my list that I MUST see? Comment below to let me know! Also- if you're bored- you can check out my new series on Youtube "Singing in the Shower With Jess"! I've been having way too much fun working on it.. Click here to watch!!
My playlist writing this week's post:
▸ I Can Love You Better (Dixie Chicks, Wide Open Spaces)
▸ Bennie and the Jets (Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)
▸ Lets Fall In Love (Ella Fitzgerald, The Cole Porter Songbook)
▸ Uptown Funk! (Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars)
▸ Paperdoll (Celine Tsai, Champagne EP)
▸ Relapse (Celine Tsai, Champagne EP) *** one of my amazingly talented friends!
Lots of love xo,
My family is naturally competitive. Whether it's a soccer game, playing Mario Kart, calling "shot gun" first, or debating the correct lyrics of an Ariana Grande song, baby.. We were born that way. BUT... There is absolutely nothing that beats the competitive nature in my house than a board game. My sister, Brittany, and her husband, Jordan, own a zillion board games. Every Sunday they visit Portage Road, we find ourselves sitting at the table till 12 AM screaming and laughing over who gets the point, who cheated, or how stupid an answer was. This past holiday season was no exception. The only difference was that we didn't just play on Sundays, we played every single day. That is why I've created the ULTIMATE BOARD GAME LIST OF 2015. I'm telling you, if you're finding yourself awkward when you have a group of people over, these games will break the ice like you're in the opening sequence of Frozen. So without further ado, here are my five favorite board games for the new year.
1. Catch Phrase
I cannot count the amount of laugh attacks I've had playing this game. I'd like to think of it as hot potato meets Taboo. The objective is to make your teammates guess what word/phrase you're given before the buzzer runs out. Whichever team ends up with the buzzer in their hand, loses that round. You'll get a great ab work out laughing at the explanations people come up with (My mom likes to ramble on with stories). Try it, see if you crack under pressure (say crack again) Crack.
Oh, Scattegories. How I love thee. A decent way to describe Scattegories is a fun Acrostic Poem. A card is chosen containing a topic and a word or phrase. For example, the topic may be "Things that float", and the phrase might be "NO GRAVITY". You need to come up with a "thing that floats" for each letter of the phrase. A- airplane, I- ice, etc. The tricky part is if two people have the same word under the same letter, they cancel each other out. Ergo, no point. You're also on a time limit. First person to 25 wins the game (we usually go to 50)! If there was a way to make this game my day job, I would do it.
WARNING: People who think they will be horrible at it are usually amazing.
3. Even Steven's Odd
DICE GAME. Looking for a way to get your heart rate up while sitting down? THIS IS IT. I'm not sure when in elementary school you learn about 'even' numbers and 'odd' numbers, but I must have missed that week... Because I'm really not great at this game. It requires a little mental math, quick reflexes, and pure luck. Each player is given a color coated set of dice, and a card from the deck is chosen containing a combination (ex. All Odd Numbers, All 5's, Two 5's and Four 3's, etc). Everyone starts rolling their dice at the same time, and the first person to get the correct combination grabs the "Even Steven" squishy-dice-thingy. It's exhilarating and you accidentally get smarter playing it.
4. Spot It
The tip-of-the-tongue game. There are a couple different ways you can play Spot It, but it has the same objective either way. There are eight items on each card (a snowflake, an apple, cute lil things like that), and ANY TWO cards have EXACTLY ONE symbol in common. How that is possible, I will never understand. Once you see a match, you blurt it out and take that card as a point. That's usually where T.O.T.T.S flairs up (Tip of the Tongue Syndrome). See you local Doctor for info.
5. Dutch Blitz
This game was invented by a guy named Werner Ernst George Muller.
WERNER. ERNST.. GEORGE... MULLER.
HOW AMAZING IS THAT NAME??
Buy Dutch Blitz and play it. My bro-in-law Jordan always explains the rules perfectly, so call his Game-Explaining Hot Line at 1-800-555-6789. You really don't want me trying to describe it, I'll ramble on for hours. Just trust me when I say you'll have a hoot of a time playing.
So, what's you're favourite board game? Please tell me! We're always looking for new games on Portage Road! For now, I challenge you to get off the internet, invite your pals over, and have a blast laughing your butts off playing one of these five games. Let me know when YOU try one!
My playlist while writing this weeks post:
▸ Quit Playing Games with My Heart (Backstreet Boys, The Very Best of the Backstreet Boys)
▸ Wildest Dreams (Taylor Swift, 1989)
▸ Bless the Broken Road (Rascal Flatts, Greatest Hits)
▸ Bloodstream (Ed Sheeran, x)
▸ I Want It All (Queen, Greatest Hits)
▸ What It Means to be a Friend...... (13 The Musical.. L.O.L)
Lots of love xo,
Welcome to 2015!! How did this happen? It feels like yesterday I was watching Beyonce's Superbowl performance.. That was in 2013?? Like.. What? By now, I think I've watched it around 50 times... But who could blame me?
It's scary how intimidating a "New Year" can be. It's sort of like looking at mountain before you take the big hike. 365 days? 4 seasons (in Canada)? Where will I be working? Who will I meet? What bad things are going to happen? Will I get my letter to Hogwarts? Will Hanson come out with a remake of "MMMbop"? Am I going to go vegan, or continue eating pizza, chips, and chocolate for every meal? You really don't know what the future holds, and that's scary... or is it?
I've been thinking... This whole "New Years Resolution" thing is crazy. Don't get me wrong, a lot of people actually follow through with their resolutions, but a lot don't. Why is that? Well, I think a better phrase to approach the New Year would be: "My New Years Goals". What's a goal, you ask? A goal is when you shoot a ball in a net, and run around with your shirt over your head yelling, "GOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLL"! Maybe that's just me.. But a goal is also a dream in action. The exact definition according to the almighty Google is, "the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result." Pretty cool eh?
What I've learned is that I've unknowingly been a goal setter my whole life. "Vision Boards", To Do Lists, and day dreaming have all been regular pastimes of mine. These three combined have taught me that you can hope and dream for something as much as you want, but if you don't take action, it may always be a distant fantasy. I truly believe setting goals and challenging yourself is so important. Every person is capable of it, and there are a lot of people who would be much happier if they did!
So, figuring out YOUR goals. Everyone does this differently. Some people write a journal entry in the present tense of what their life will look like in ten years. From there, they work there way down. What will my goals be in five years to accomplish my ten year goal? Then, what are my goals for this year to reach my five year goal? Etc. Cool, eh? Lululemon has an amazing worksheet of this on their website, here's the link if you're interested!
Some people create vision boards with pictures of things that make them happy/will make them happy. Slowly but surely, these things start becoming a priority. I like to put my vision board right beside my bed. That way, I can look at it every single night and imagine those things as I fall asleep! The best part of this is that there's no right or wrong way to make a vision board. It's your creation, so have some fun with it! It kind of freaky how the things on your board randomly start popping into your life.
TELL PEOPLE WHAT YOUR GOALS ARE! A friend, a co worker, a member of your family, your dog, anyone! They will be the ones to hold you accountable if you're veering off-track. I know what you're thinking.. You're dog? Ummm.. YEAH YOUR DOG. Imagine those big puppy eyes giving you the look of shame when you say, "I didn't go to the gym today". My dog only has three legs, so that would make it even worse. Yes, you read that right.
Remember: Out of sight, out of mind. Write down your goals, whether it's three or fifteen, and create some sort of plan as to how you can accomplish it.
For now, here are some of my personal goals for 2015. It's a little scary posting them, but that means you ALL can hold me accountable! And you know what, here's the Beyonce Super Bowl Performance... Just to start the year off with a BANG! ☺︎
✔ Launch a website
- Travel somewhere I've never been
- Read eight new books
- Knit a scarf
- Release an EP
Lots of love,
Hi! I'm Jessica. I love beaches, ice cream, onesies, and cuddles. I try to follow my instincts in all aspects of life. I love hearing peoples stories; How they got to the exact moment they're in. The glass is half full. I love the big dipper. The Secret changed my life. Love is w o n d e r f u l. August 24th is my favourite day (No, it's not my birthday). YOU. ARE. ENOUGH. Yolo-ing through life, but mostly singing.