Springing Foward

Last week spring showed up.

It was so refreshing that I caught myself smiling every time I went outside and found myself amongst the sunshine and flowers.

There’s something so magical about transition seasons.

It reminds me that life continues on.

We deal with the mundane and the ordinary every day.

Get caught up in routines and unnecessary details that tend to bog us down .

Then all of a sudden you look up and the trees are in bloom, and you stop short at its beauty.

Its nice to take a break and appreciate the wonders that are occurring around us all the time. Wandering through the woods is oddly calming.Its almost like time stands still… and peace abounds.It’s nice to stop and smell the roses. (or Bradford Pears-sidenote:Bradford Pears, while they look pretty do NOT smell pretty.)Either way, it’s important to slow down and connect with who you are.For me this can come in the form of nature walks…lake driving…and getting lost in a good book or movie.Another thing spring reminds me of is newness.

When the forest comes alive and the ground bursts with color, I become motivated to come out of “winternation” and go out, explore, and try new things.

I’ve been taking ballet classes for a little bit now and I’m in love with it! The first class was scary, not to mention difficult, but now I look forward to class every week-and my turnout is improving!

I’ve been trying and proceeding rather slowly with learning French, all while researching this trip to Europe…

and just last week I purchased my plane tickets for our Backpacking Europe Trip!

It’s incredibly scary and exciting, but that’s the point isn’t it?

Life begins when you step outside of your comfort zone.

Vegan Thai Chili Pizza

Hello all! Sorry it’s been so long since I posted- life ya know?

Anywho! I’ve gotten so many requests for this pizza, so I thought I’d spill my super easy secret recipe! This pizza is bursting with flavor and can be adapted in anyway you wish-that’s the beauty of pizza, and how I came up with this amazing recipe! It’s a snap to whip up and is a go to in my healthy recipe repertoire!

Ingredients:

  • Pizza crust
  • Thai chili sauce (I make my own, but Kikkomans makes a really good Thai chili sauce if you’re in a pinch)
  • Zucchini
  • Greens (spinach, baby greens, kale-whatever you please)
  • Mushrooms (baby bellas work well)
  • Avocados
  • Blueberries-HEAR ME OUT. Much like penicillin, these little gems were discovered by accident and were a product of me being out of pineapple one of the first times I made this pizza. Never the less! These were the most wonderful discovery, and I use them intentionally now!
  • Chili Flakes
  • Hemp Seeds and/or Chia Seeds

First things first!

Preheat your oven to 425°

Prep your ingredients.

Smother your crust with your thai chili sauce.

Use a mandolin or knife to slice your zucchini into thin slices and place on pizza.

Add greens.

Then mushrooms and avocado.

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Bake for 8 minutes and take this piping hot goodness out to enjoy!

Notice how the blueberries get all plump and juicy? Be prepared to be amazed!

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Ohhh!!!

Ahhh!!!

This pairs perfectly with a crisp wine like a Riesling or a Rosé. Feel free to improvise, often this pizza changes based on what I have in my crisper. If you aren’t feelin the blueberries, sliced pineapple or chopped dates make a great addition to the spiciness of the sauce.

I’ve found that rollin with the punches is the key to life-and good pizza.

Hope you all enjoy and have a happy Sunday!

Scorched Earth

Monday Musings:

Oftentimes it seems like you have to go through something to emerge a better person. There are so many “walk through the fire” analogies in literature and it is most likely because this holds true. What remains of our disaster is often the fuel needed to germinate our new way of looking at things.

It’s almost like we are so stubborn that we have to endure hard times to learn a lesson fully & appreciate our very existence in this world-its not ideal, but there you have it. The best people often have a murky past and it is because they have overcome so much that they became the person we know and admire.

Spent this Sunday roaming around the lake and thinking about all the times in my life I’ve gone through a traumatic change that made me the person I am today. Sure, those weren’t fun times, but when I think about the way they had impacted my personal growth and development as a person, I realize I would trade them for anything. Much like a Phoenix, we have to sometimes lose everything and rise from the ashes of our inferno before we can spread our wings.

It’s always easy to be overwhelmed in the situation and think you’ll never get out of it, but I always find that if I look back on my previous triumphs over hardships, I feel much more calm and prepared to handle anything that is thrown at me.

Keep that in mind for your current/future struggles. You are amazing. You are resilient. You have risen from the flames before, and you will do it again.

Lake Lover

I spent the morning at the doctors.

It was one of those super frustrating things where you wait for over an hour to finally see the doctor and they have a 5 minute discussion with you, and then send you on your way with more questions than when you came in.

I understand that doctors have to be super cautious, and warn you of every little thing that could go wrong, but sometimes their enigmatic demeanor  and cryptic diagnoses can leave me with more stress than if I had skipped the doctor in the first place.

That’s neither here nor there, my opinion of the medical model notwithstanding, I needed an escape. And instead of drowning my frustration in empty calories, I decided to take a drive around the lake and take a walk by the water.

I don’t know what it is about large bodies of water, but they’re just so soothing. Maybe it has to do with our spending 9 months in the comforting waters sloshing about in our mother’s womb, or the fact that I’m part mermaid, but I have always found solace in being near water.

So I did just that. I walked around the lake for a bit, taking in the sunshine and counting my blessings. And though life can sometimes throw you curveballs, it’s nice to take stock in what you already have in your life and put things into perspective.

Here’s to counting blessings and silver linings.

Happy Wednesday all.

Spotlight Feature: My Mom

Moms are kind of magical.

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They have this uncanny ability to be there for you at the most crucial times, offer the best advice (whether or not you choose to listen to it, is up to you), and they have this infuriating knack for always being right.

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My mom is all of these things and so much more. She is my champion, my number one fan and always supports me no matter what I endeavor to do. She brings so much joy into my life and lights up the world within which she operates. She is both my friend and my confidant, she keeps all my secrets and cheers me on. She has been here for me through many ups and downs and her strength never falters. She is a grand optimist and taught me to always look for the silver lining (sunshine) in the world.

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She has also known hardships. She has spent much of her adult life dealing with severe health issues and last year, had the added complication of battling TWO separate cancers on top of everything else. The hand she was dealt has not been easy. It’s hard to see someone you love so dearly, someone so completely selfless, deal with debilitating pain every minute of every day. Yet she soldiers on. Her smile never wavers, her head stays held high, she walks with confidence, and her chipper attitude is contagious- even on her worst days.

I hope one day to have even half of the optimism and joy for life she has.

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(Birthday lunch on The Plaza)

This past week we had the immense pleasure of bringing in her birthday with her. This was a milestone birthday, and a day we didn’t know if we would see this time last year when she was receiving her cancer diagnosis.

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(mushroom lasagna with truffle oil at my new favorite restaurant Gram & Dun)

This year has been full of ups and downs and has shown me just how precious time with your loved ones-especially your mom- actually is.

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(there was a suprise mini-snow storm, it didn’t photograph well, but we enjoyed it immensely! it seems like it always snows on her bday-just more of her “momma magic” I guess…she then proceeded to have an impromptu photo shoot with me after lunch-always the encourager that one)

Yesterday she had her one year scans to detect if the cancer she so recently beat is still eradicated from her body; it was a day of fear, but also a day to remind us of her strength and eternal optimism. So I encourage you today to take stock of the blessings you currently have. Look at the loved ones in your life who are your support system. Appreciate every second you have with them as life can be hard and cruel sometimes. Remember to look for the sunshine and know the value of the things that truly matter in life. Keep the sunshine in your eyes.

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Update: as if she could be anymore wonderful, I got home tonight to find this waiting for me from, you guessed it…



My mom! 

Seriously love this lady more than words could ever convey.

Bachelorette Weekend & Meatless Monday Veggie Eggrolls (on a Tuesday)

Hi all! This post is a bit late but I’m still recovering from a bit of the flu that’s been going around; it seems like everyone is dropping like flies from this nonsense!

I spent this weekend celebrating two of my favorite people’s upcoming weddings! Suffice it to say a combined bachelorette party was twice the fun, and taxing enough to require an entire Sunday to recharge!

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Love love love these ladies!

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Selfie crazy.

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This weekend was jam-packed with activities so after a much needed (yet rare) Sunday nap, I decided to juice the plethora of fruits and veggies I had lying around to replenish all those lost electrolytes and what-not! (There is nothing like fresh juice for an immediate pick-me-up!)

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After a green machine juice I was ready for a bit of a project so I decided to make veggie eggrolls! This was my first time making these so I used a derivation of my mom’s classic eggroll recipe and they were spectacular!

Ultimately these were a bit of a project, but totally worth it! I imagine you could use any number of veggies in these, but I opted for bell peppers, zucchini, onions, and jalapeños (I would have used mushrooms too, but mine were a bit too sad looking).

Here we go!

You’ll Need:

Veggies-I used 3 large bell peppers of various colors because you eat with your eyes, am I right?

2-3 zucchini squash

1/2 medium onion

1-2 cloves garlic

2-3 jalapeños (adjust for your heat preference)

Eggroll wrappers

Olive Oil

Canola/Soybean Oil Blend for frying

Salt & Pepper to taste

Step one:

Prep your veggies!

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Chop! Chop!

Step two:

Sautée your veggies.

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First I sautéed the onions and garlic in olive oil for about 3 minutes and then removed them and set aside-be careful not to burn the garlic,I’ve made this mistake before and it is not pretty. I then put the peppers in with a bit more olive oil on medium heat to soften them up a bit first since zucchini cooks so quickly.

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Next add the zucchini and cook till translucent. Finish off by adding the onions and garlic back in for a few minutes to incorporate the flavors. Season with salt and pepper.

*At this point I removed the veggie mixture and cooked the jalapeños separately since not everyone likes things as hot as I do. Also be advised when cutting jalapeños not to touch your face and be wary of any cuts you may have on your hands, because that will burn like the dickens! Wash your hands immediately afterwards people!

Step three:

Prep your station.

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At this point you’ll have to be speedy as the eggroll wrappers dry out quickly! Keep a little ramekin of lukewarm water nearby to moisten your fingers and seal the wrappers. Place about a tablespoon full of the mixture into the eggroll wrapper (add jalapeños if desired) and fold like a mini burrito. Seal last edge with water and place eggroll in a pan on medium heat with the Canola/Soybean Oil. Keep an eye on these guys as they brown and don’t over crowd the pan. Cook evenly on all sides and voilà!

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These lasted all of 30 minutes and paired very nicely with a smokey aioli that was made with Vegenaise and Sriracha-I reccomend slicing up some avocado to balance out the heat factor!

Hope you all have a lovely week!

 

 

Hello world!

My name is Natosha Rose, but I also respond to Tosh, Tosha, T-Money, or Emmanuel if I’m feeling fancy (or wearing a hat). Welcome to my blog! Here I will give you a sneak peak into the caverns of my mind-enter at your own risk.

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About me:

I am a recent graduate with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a minor in Anthropology. I am currently working at the Psychology lab at my alma mater as a research assistant and as a salon manager at the most fantastic salon in the Kansas City area. Eventually I hope to have my own counselling practice working with children, or perhaps be able to work in the academic field in some capacity, but to do so I have to obtain my doctorate in Psychology first. So that’s the current journey I’m on.

For years my sister Makayla and I have talked about starting a blog. We wanted to do a sister’s blog, a foodie blog, a travel blog, a beauty blog, and about a million other types of blogs. Eventually we decided to branch out and do our own thing as our ideas have changed and matured over the years, so this is basically going to be a smorgasbord of all of my interests and life experiences. I guess you could say this is my attempt at baring my soul to the world. Here goes!

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Interests: First of all I am a coffee addict, anyone who knows me, knows I always have coffee in hand. Day or night. It’s a problem. I know. I’m working on it. I am a connoisseur of Wes Anderson films, a bookshop junkie, a crazy cat lady and an all around weirdo. I love all animals and am passionate about green living; over the past year I have transitioned into being a full time vegetarian/aspiring vegan and have never felt better! I also love all things academic- I read till the wee hours of the morning because consuming words is my passion-I’m not picky about genre either, I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. I love working with kids and used to be a nanny for about 4 years, it was an incredibly rewarding time in my life and inspired my current career aspirations. I am a huge family person and spend an exorbitant about of time with my sister-she’s my person. Currently we are in the early stages of planning a backpacking trip through Europe and in the mean time I am attempting to teach myself French (posts to come on this mad idea). I guess you could say I like to keep busy…

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Despite endless editing, this whole post feels a bit like word vomit, so I’ll wrap it up. Thank you for taking the time to read this, in doing this blog I hope to connect with like-minded people and share my journey-for what is life if you don’t have stories to tell at the end of the day? *A word about the name of this blog– Spoiler Alert: I have a rare blood disorder that often causes me to have jaundice in my eyes. It is something I keep private and have accepted and come to terms with a long time ago-but that wasn’t always the case. When I was young I was ridiculed endlessly for my “yellow eyes”- I felt self loathing in a way that was all consuming. Eventually I grew to accept who I am and the fact that I can’t change some things. But I spent many wasted years isolating myself and seeing my illness as a curse. That all changed about 10 years ago; I began to know myself, accept and eventually  love who I am. Since then, every day I remind myself to keep my chin up and find beauty in all things. I came to find that the world is a beautiful place full of beautiful people when you’ve got your eyes to the heavens. I began to see the bad as good-I began to see the yellow in my eyes as sunshine. If you were to take away only one thing from this blog, I hope it would be this-always keep your chin up and look for the beauty in all things-for what is life without sunshine in your eyes?