Anyone want to have a baby with me?

I thought it might be fun to start writing a tiny bit about my single life. I have a lot of ridiculous thoughts that maybe other women might find funny or can relate to, although guys may walk away in horror (which is always the goal as a single girl, huh?).

Most of my days are so happy and I’m constantly appreciative of the fortune I’ve had in life. Then something small will happen, like this picture:

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I was taking a bunch of silly pictures and videos to send to my sister on WhatsApp when I noticed BAGS UNDER MY EYES. (Also, my hair is chunky because I just got out of the shower. I promise I’m not a dirt bag.) (Also again, if you don’t have WhatsApp on your iPhone – get it! It’s amazing!) (I might be turning into a very poor version of David Foster Wallace with all these notes.)

I immediately took about 10 more pictures to confirm that yes, this is the first sign of skin sagging off my face.

Holy crap! This isn’t the first time I’ve had a “getting old” crisis, and only two weeks before the eye bag picture I’d decided I was going to get serious about life, but here I was wasting time making music videos for my sister and spending time with guys who, in the long run, are a total waste of time.

(My videos are awesome, if I do say so myself. I sent her a video of me singing Kenny Chesney’s “The Good Stuff,” which I’m sure you can imagine was almost like the real thing.)

I had decided to get serious because I’d found out two couples I know are having a baby. When I thought back on that day’s biggest accomplishments all I came up with was the fact that I’d spent a good hour planning out how I was going to make one of those newspaper sailor hats without having to Google instructions.

I was super excited about potentially being able to tell people I’d successfully made the hat without instructions. Think about it. It’s hard!

But what’s everyone else doing? Planning weddings, planning babies, going on dates. (Although maybe I’d have actual dates if my priorities weren’t so clearly in the realm of hat planning and related meaningless activities.)

Saw this on Laura’s blog a couple weeks ago:

But under eye bags, man, this is serious.

On the plus side, I’m pretty confident I’ll be meeting a guy this Friday:

“Hey there, sexy. I’m divorced, I have bags under my eyes, I like country music, but God damn it if I can’t make the best newspaper sailor hat you’ve seen this side of the Thames!”

In all seriousness, the only problem with getting serious is that I still have this thing where even if I’m crazy about a guy, the thought of signing the girlfriend contract makes me feel physically sick. It’s a contradiction I don’t quite understand, but hopefully it will go away before the skin actually does fall off my face. Until then I’m sticking with newspaper hats and remaining hopeful for the future!

*Of course, while I do have thoughts about having only a certain amount of time, I’m writing all this in good humor!

Spaghetti with British crab and spicy tomato sauce

Hello from England! We’re all sun these days. I woke up and stared straight out my air conditioner:

Here’s to hoping a pigeon doesn’t fly in during the middle of the night and poop on my face. Or white bedspread. Floor, fine. But for the love of God, spare my face and sheet!

I jumped straight out of bed and stuck my head out the window. If I had any kind of musical knowledge/talent I’d have burst into song.

On to food.

True to my word, I recreated the crab meat spaghetti I had at Jamie’s Italian in Covent Garden a few weeks ago. I couldn’t find a recipe online so I put together the basic ingredients and it worked.

British crab from Waitrose + tomatoes + chilis

I started with a base of vine tomatoes, roughly chopped. I never bother with taking the skin off because I kind of like the chunks in the sauce. Is that weird? Every recipe I see says to take them off, but I honestly can’t see the point.

I added the chopped peppers, along with garlic and salt & pepper to the tomatoes and cooked for about 20 minutes.

Once the sauce was done I added the crab and cooked until heated through, then mixed it with a plateful of whole wheat spaghetti.

This would have looked and tasted better with a bit of rocket, but my mind went a bit crazy when I was ordering groceries and I bought NO greens. How did this happen?? Normally a whole shelf in my fridge is filled with bags of rocket, spinach and kale, but somehow I managed to order an entire week’s shopping with not one green.

Also, Jamie’s was better because the restaurant used freshly made spaghetti. If I’d had the fresh spaghetti I’d used for this recipe it would have been even better.

I thought it was fitting that my cutting board is Jamie Oliver as well!

A place in the sun

A Kit Kat being eaten like this is distressing.

I feel like it says, “Hi, I have no respect for society and I’m a complete psycho.”

In other news, we have sun!!!

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Sunday morning I got up, made scrambled eggs with black beans and smoked applewood cheese and headed straight out to the park.

I spent four hours lounging in the grass, listening to Kenny Chesney/Dierks Bentley and reading a Stephanie Plum book.

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Post park meant cool veggie pizza and a chocolate peanut butter smoothie. I have no idea what’s going on with this picture. It looks like I cut it out and Photoshopped it onto a black background, but I totally didn’t. It just turned out freaky like this.

SO good though because it’s only mildly sweet and non-dairy.

Oatly brand chocolate oat milk (suitable for vegans) + Waitrose wholenut peanut butter (my fav!) + ice + small squirt of agave nectar to give the sweetness a slight kick.

Then the veggie pizza – perfect for one of those summer days where you don’t have an appetite for anything hot. (In England most homes don’t have air conditioning so days seem a whole lot hotter than they are)

It’s one of my favorite recipes, and like everything I make, it’s super easy.

The “sauce” is just organic cream cheese with a little mayo to loosen it up. I mix in garlic powder, onion powder, dill, s&p and it’s done.

Bonus points to whoever recognized the title of this post is the name of one of Tim’s best albums!

Rome: The Colosseum

I might be almost done talking about Rome.

As soon as you walk out of the metro stop for the Colosseum it’s a bit of a shock. It’s directly across the street, towering over you.

It was a hot day, but thankfully there were plenty of fountains around with fresh water. This was one of my absolute favorite things about Rome.

I think my mom actually took this picture.

We didn’t go in the Colosseum, but I’ve heard it’s not essential. Has anyone been in, and if so, is it essential to a short Rome visit (considering all the other stuff to see)?

After walking around in the heat all day we were so tired and hungry. I was hesitant to eat anywhere near such a popular tourist destination, but we were too tired to go anywhere else so we walked down a street and found a pizza place. It was fine. Probably quadruple the price of what it should been, but the pizza was good!

Other Rome posts:

The Trevi Fountain
The Spanish Steps
The food!
The Pantheon
Random Rome 

Easy weeknight dinner: toasted gnocchi + fresh pesto

This isn’t a recipe so much as an idea. An idea that you should go out and try immediately.

I was a crazy, out-of-control rebel this week.

My package of potato gnocchi told me to boil them for 2-3 minutes, and instead of heating up the water I looked that package in the eye and just said no. (D.A.R.E. works for more than drugs!)

Hey, when you don’t have anyone to talk to you have to find something to talk to, right?

I tossed the gnocchi in a pan with a bit of non-dairy butter and heated until they were golden and crispy. Far superior to the boiling method! Crunchy on the outside, soft and potato-y on the inside.

Look at that little dude! He’s so cute and toasted.

I have to admit that I’ve only ever bought pesto in a jar, which is OK, but I find that it’s often too heavy. Yesterday I took a chance and bought fresh vegetarian pesto in the refrigerated section. Holy smokes, Batman!

I’m never buying the stuff in a jar again. Fresh is the way forward.

I justify the extra cost by telling myself that I’m still saving tons of money by not eating out. The fresh stuff cost me only £2 and lasted for two meals, so I don’t think that’s bad in the slightest.

The best part? This fresh, real food, filling, hit-the-spot meal took me literally five minutes.

Random Rome

Most of the 700+ pictures taken in Rome were of the details rather than the sites, although I got a fair amount of pictures of those as well!

This is the only picture I converted to black and white because I just couldn’t see it any other way.

SO many Vespas and scooters. In every color. I could never decide which I wanted, but I think this blue color ended up being my favorite because most of the buildings in the city are a yellowish color, so it would complement them almost everywhere it would be parked!

Graffiti is everywhere.

I can’t imagine the trains in London being covered in graffiti like this, although it looked cool.

Mom!

Other Rome posts:

The food
The Trevi Fountain
The Spanish Steps
The Pantheon

Homeward bound.

I get so excited about vacations that I even take the time to research what restaurants are in the terminal of my layover. I’ve noticed recently that airports are increasingly adding trendier or local restaurants into terminals rather than the standard chains you used to find, so it’s kind of a vacation in itself!

I’m speaking strictly of US airports, of course. Heathrow and Gatwick are so consistently bad with food and service that they really deserve some kind of award. It’s hard to be that consistent with anything, but they manage!

In exactly two months I’ll be heading off on my USA vacation, so in my mind it’s practically here. I can’t wait, and I’m now thinking about it most hours of each day. I probably should have started saving money before now, but you know how it goes.

Does it count as being frugal if your goal is to save money by simply cutting out the eating out?

Every night when I get home I make my breakfast and lunch to take to work the next day. Most times I have to actually prepare three meals for the work day or I get too hungry and end up buying something crappy that I could have made better and cheaper at home.

Today’s breakfast was a three egg cheese omelette with a little oat milk stirred in to make it fluffier. I filled it with a small amount of extra mature cheddar, because you can use far less for the same taste, then added the chopped peppers, salt and Tabasco.

These two little lovers look innocent, but they were so spicy I couldn’t even taste the cheddar!

It didn’t help that I also put a rather large amount of Tabasco in the omelet. Tabasco has it’s place, but it’s not in an omelet. I’m a Frank’s Red Hot fan through and through, so I’m not sure why I used Tabasco over Frank’s!

Still a tasty breakfast. I can’t get enough of spicy food.

After looking at these pictures I realized I need to iron my place mat, but the problem is that somehow ants have gotten into the little water spray thing. So, if you accidentally press it ants shoot out everywhere and get ironed into your material before you know what’s happened. Oh my god, it’s so gross. That’s appropriate material for a food blog, right? We don’t have an ant problem, so I don’t know how this has happened. I’d buy a new iron, but I’m livin’ frugal, remember?

A tropical weekend

Saturday morning I woke up to rain, which is no surprise, but instead of being depressed I decided to pretend like I was somewhere tropical.

I put on a bright blue tube top, made a salad topped with salmon and spicy mango, and then made a tropical drink with ice, coconut milk, lime, pineapple and more mango.

A few months ago one of my friends made dinner for me and topped the salmon with mango that was smashed and mixed with Tabasco. I decided to recreate this in salad form, and I have to say that it’s one of my favorite meals.

Couldn’t get any simpler, either!

Mango + Tabasco sounds weird, but trust me, it’s a treat. The spice of the Tabasco adds a perfect tang to the mild sweetness of mango, which isn’t a fruit I generally like.

I pan fried two small Scottish salmon fillets from Marks & Spencer and added salt & freshly ground pepper, a little garlic powder and a little olive oil.

I smashed half a mango with a few drops of Tabasco to taste.

The other half of the mango went into my smoothie. I’m not a fan of smoothies, but this was really refreshing, tropical, and naturally sweet. No need to add any sugar!

3-4 large cubes of ice, 7-8 slice of pineapple (about half a can), half mango, juice from one lime, 1/4 – 1/2 lite coconut milk. Blend until smooth.

My friend laughed at me for photographing the smoothie, but I had to share it with you guys because it turned out to be rockin’.

Speaking of laughing, my sister just shared this picture with me on Facebook. Remember these drawing books?

Love it.