Be Back Soon

You'd think being unemployed would leave with you with plenty of spare time to blog, but that would be a negative. Between finishing up schoolwork for the semester, job searching, and catching up with friends, I've been left with little to no time to blog.

I'm headed to Miami this weekend for the last race of the 2012 NASCAR season, where I'll hopefully be able to catch up with a lot of people. I'm also working on some changes for the blog, adding some things to better reflect this new stage in my life. I miss y'all, so please bear with me, I promise to be back soon!

Blowing Rock, NC

One of my favorite things about North Carolina is the fact that you have access to the beach, the mountains, big cities, and quaint little towns in just a few short hours. This weekend some college girlfriends and I rented a mountain house in Blowing Rock, NC and had a good ole fashion girls weekend.
We headed out early Friday and spent three days relaxing and doing girly things. You know those weekends? They're the best! I was also a little shocked because we've gotten a little more organized than the college days. We had every meal planned out, so mature of us I know.
I love the mountains, and it never feels quite like fall without taking a trip up there. Lucky for me, we're spending Christmas in Gatlinburg, TN so I'll get a double dose this year.
I can't wait for next year's trip already!
What did y'all do this weekend?

easy pasta bake recipe

It's getting colder in Charlotte, and when the temperature begins to drop, there's nothing I want more than to curl up on the couch with comfort food and a good movie. I baked this dish for my roommate and I earlier this week and it was perfect for a lazy night in.
Ingredients: (makes enough to feed about 8 so split in half if cooking for less)
  • 1 lbs uncooked pasta (Rotini is my favorite, but you can use whatever you'd like)
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 26 oz jar spaghetti sauce (I recommend using a little more because it's a bit dry)
  • 3 oz Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 2 c mozzarella cheese shredded
  • Boil water and cook the pasta. Drain and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook about 5 minutes or until brown, don't drain. Add the salt, oregano, pepper, spaghetti sauce, Parmesan cheese, and cooked pasta.
  • Transfer it all to a casserole dish, cover with mozzarella and bake for 30-40 minutes.
That's it! It's such an easy recipe and perfect to make on a weeknight. You could even prepare it ahead of time, stick it in the fridge, and bake it later. I hope y'all enjoy!

A little sad today...

After last night's elections I woke up this morning feeling so disheartened. I'm truly sad for our country, and the direction in which we're headed. The most important issue we face as Americans right now is our skyrocketing debt, and our incredibly high unemployment rate, that's what this election should have been about. Whether you're black, white, purple, Latino, gay, straight, Mormon, atheist, etc., the failing economy will affect us ALL. Unfortunately I don't have much faith in a president, who finished his term with a higher unemployment rate than when he started, to be able to fix the problem.

It saddens me to hear the stereotypes that Republicans & conservatives have been given over the past years. If you're young and a minority you can't be a Republican! Well guess what? I'm a Latina, and a proud conservative. I don't care how "cool" it is to be a liberal, pop-culture and politics shouldn't be one and the same.

I believe in hard work, it's what our country was built on, and since when was being successful frowned upon? I believe that small businesses help our economy, and we need to support them. My parents are small business owners, who have employees, employees who count on them to support their own families. We need to help these small businesses succeed, not tax them into bankruptcy. I believe that the government should provide the freedom we need to reach our own goals. The government shouldn't become our crutch, providing what we need and taking away our motivation to work hard. 

But, America voted yesterday, which is a freedom we should never take for granted. I'm hopeful that the government can see the financial trouble that we're in, and put party lines aside to come up with a plan.
To Mitt Romney and team, I'm proud of the race you ran. You gave it your all, and conceded with class and grace. Thank you for fighting so hard for the GOP.

Want to know the beauty of it all? Every sunset brings a new day with it, and I'm determined to make the best of whatever comes next.
In other news...Nina and I made it to Charlotte, and we're both feeling a little like this...worn out.
I'm still happy with my decision to move, but I miss my family every day. Don't you just wish you could have it all in one place? Maybe one day I'll figure out how to make that happen.
I'll be back tomorrow with a baked pasta recipe, you won't want to miss it!
*If you feel the need to leave a nasty comment, please save your time. This is simply my place to express my opinion. Don't you love that freedom?

I think I'll have a Cherry Mello Yello!

I'm the kind of girl that likes to have options, the more choices, the bettter! So when it comes to soda, if there's a machine that gives me 100+ options, I'm all in! That's the thing I love about the new Coca-Cola freestyle machines, you may have started to see these at some of your favorite restaraunts around town.
I checked out the Coca-Cola freestyle site and used their easy search tool to find a place near me with the freestyle machine (they also have a phone ap). I was so excited because Fuddruckers, one of my family's favorite "go-to" spots, was on there. I gathered the gang and we headed out for hamburgers and soda! Perfect combo dontcha think?
The touchscreen has tons of options to choose from, and flavors of soda that you can't buy in stores. You also have the option of flavored water, energy drinks, and juices. Really, it has something for everyone.

I love Mello Yello, and have a hard time finding it, so I was thrilled that the Coca-Cola freestyle machine had it! I went with the Cherry Mello Yello, and I can't wait to go back and try the other flavors!
My dad chose to stick with water, but he was impressed that this cool touchscreen machine had that.
I paired my Cherry Mello Yello with a turkey burger and sweet potato fries and it was so good. Our trips to Fuddruckers are always so much fun. I love spending time with my family, and enjoying some comfort food.
Check out the Coca-Cola freestyle site to find one near year, I promise you won't regret it! And for all my Houston friends, the Coca-Cola Freestyle truck will be making stops near you in the next few weeks at the following locations...

November 4th: Houston Texans vs Buffalo
November 10th: University of Houston vs Tusla!!
November 18th: Houston Texans vs Jacksonville

What's your favorite soda? and what do you like to pair it with?

*I was compensated for this post, but all opinions expressed are my own.
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