OMG Its almost half over…

Yikes- just 1 month until the halfway mark and I am WAY behind!!  Goal for the remainder of the year is 1 monthly post.

Finished! The Giver by Lois Lowry
Loved this book! A great recommendation from Steph. If you didn’t read this in middle school- pick it up now. An easy read that gets you hooked early.
Currently Reading: Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
By “currently reading” I mean it’s on my nightstand waiting to be opened…

# of Miles run in December: 33 First time to meet my goal!

# of Miles run in January: 38 It’s amazing how much you get done when it’s cold and nobody wants to go out on the weekends.

# of Miles run in February: 12.25 This month is going to be a close one- the shortest month of the year, Beerfest, and a week of work travel. Hopefully I can get some miles in under the warm California sun!

$$ Saved: $155


Spaghetti Squash Boats

My first attempt at Spaghetti squash was a huge success! I looked around on Pinterest for a recipe and decided to go the more traditional spaghetti route- an Italian kind of dish. This was SO EASY to make. People had warned me that the hardest part of cooking spaghetti squash was cutting out the squash itself- and I would agree. After that it was easy-peasy! This is the recipe I followed. I’m already looking for other ways to cook up a spaghetti squash soon!

Cheesy Sausage Tortellini

Tortellini is something that I never eat. I don’t know why- probably because its hard to find in the grocery store… not with the other pasta…. Not with the other cold items like cheese and yogurt… well, I saw this recipe and decided to actually find tortellini in the store and cook it up. This is another really good one! Probably not the healthiest, but it did the trick on a cold weekday night! Again, found on Pinterest:

added 2/19

Lightened Up Pad Thai

I have been having strong, strange cravings for Asian food in general lately, but specifically ramen and pad thai.  Its really odd- I can’t explain it.

Anywho- I went on an internet search to find an easy way to make this at home (and hopefully a TAD healthier than what you get dining out).  I was intrigued by this recipe to swap out noodles for cabbage.  Because of my Eastern European heritage I obviously found the smell of cooking the cabbage familiar and delicious.  Overall, this recipe was super easy and I feel like you could change it up pretty easily (I added tofu).  It didn’t really fulfill my craving for true, bad for you pad thai, but its a recipe that I’ll keep around for sure.  This also made A TON of food- I have enough left over for at least 2 more meals.

Date #6:

Who: Jas
The Hook-up: After basically begging people to find me eligible bachelors, I’m relying on dating apps more than before. Jas was a Bagel, then actually ended up matching on Hinge (yet another dating app) too!
What we did: It may have taken about 5 attempts, but we finally got together for dinner (well I ate dinner) at Vino Vino last week. We live a few blocks from each other, so we obviously picked a neighborhood gem. After dinner we popped over to Grandview Café for a beer.
Tell me more…. Jas and I are kind of in the same industry, so we had a lot to talk about. We are also both Buckeyes, both live in Grandview, both are travel freaks, and both are into bourbon. Jas also seems to not be the biggest fan of blogs, so we’ll just leave it there!

Stay warm!






Ya, I know, its been a while…

Finished! The Hundred- Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
This one took way longer than expected to finish. I just couldn’t get in the groove of reading it, but glad I finished.

Currently Reading: The Giver by Lois Lowry
Recommended by Steph- it’s one of her favorites and somehow I got through middle school without reading it.

# of Miles run in December: 14
Doing better this month but still not great… I’ve been trying to pump more iron and have been checking out some new classes- including this place- it is NO JOKE! Padded bike shorts may be going on my Christmas list…

With temperatures dropping I was in the mood for something hearty and warm last week, and something that didn’t require 100 ingredients or 3 hours to make. I came across this recipe on Pinterest. Instead of calling it “Skillet Lasagna” I’m going to call it Hipster Lasagna (you only need one pot, and the bowties… get it??). This was kind of a perfect recipe for what I was craving. I feel like you could also totally make this your own and switch up your protein, add veggies, add more spices- next time I’ll probably throw in some mushrooms (shocking, right?), peppers and maybe some eggplant! (crazy, right?!) I loved how cheesy the dish was and the ricotta really added that “lasagna” flavor. Another one that will go into my rotation!

I also realized that I haven’t recapped some of my new recipes, so expect a post later this week with the details.

No new dates! You guys- help a sister out!

You know the requirements: 1)isn’t homeless and 2) has a job. Send some guys my way!  I really don’t want to be depending on Tinder in Canton for my next date…

I promise my post won’t take FOREVER again next time!  Thanks for sticking with me!


Back to reality, mon

Finished! Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Not my favorite of the series, actually my least favorite.  Of course I HAD to finish the book, but I don’t think I’ll be spending $10 to see the movie in a few weeks. And they are splitting it into 2 movies?! Big mistake. Huge.

Currently Reading: The Hundred- Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

Really enjoying this one so far, although it makes me hungry everytime I sit down to read. Should finish this one up this weekend, then on to Lena Dunham’s book.

I thought I would get a lot more reading done on vacation, but it took me forever to get through Mockingjay.  I would finish a chapter and think “hmmm a pina colada sure sounds good…”

# of Miles run in November: 9

I realize this is pathetic BUT my cardio on vacation basically consisted of dancing up a storm at the disco.  Don’t forget—the Turkey Trot is next Thursday morning!!  Sign up here:


For some reason I got a strange craving for Chicken Cordon Bleu the other day.  Perhaps it was partially inspired by the book  I’m reading, which is set in France, or all the things I’ve seen regarding Home Alone in the past week (it was released 24 years ago this week.  Let that soak in a bit…)- whatever it was got me looking on Pinterest for a recipe.  This is a dish we had a lot growing up, but I don’t think ever homemade.  If memory serves me correctly this might have been the one thing we consistently ordered from Market Day, and it was delicious.

This recipe was super easy.  I did not make the cheese sauce to go on top, but I will say next time I’ll add more cheese to the filling.  This one is definitely going to go into my dinner rotation!

Date #4:
Who: Mark
The Hook-up: Becky and Jeff have been on the lookout for someone for me since this challenge began. About a month ago Becky had a revelation and thought Mark and I would probably have a good time. I agreed as soon as I heard he could give me more details on the infamous “Jeff lost his jeans in Japan” story. He was game, so we set up a meeting earlier this week.

What we did: Mark lives downtown, so he suggested either a spot down there or in my neighborhood to grab dinner and drinks. We both agreed Third and Hollywood was the winner, so we met up for cocktails, a great dinner, and a Cavs loss. Then we popped over to Grandview Café for my first Christmas Ale of the season.

Tell me more…. Mark is a good time. He has lots of stories of fun nights out, vacations, and that time his car got stolen in Cleveland. He also seems to balance his fun with a great career that he clearly loves. His favorite gin in Hendricks (right answer) and supports the correct Ohio sports teams. #clevelandrocks

As always, keep the recipes/ men/ books coming!


Meatloaf, Bagels, Mockingjays… oh my!

A longer post than usual, but you won’t be hearing from me for a few weeks, so enjoy!

FINISHED!: What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding- Kristen Newman
Sarah- great pick, we could clearly be friends with this chick!
The official Jamaica reading list, mon:

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (have to read it before the movie!)

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (Sis and I both bought this without consulting the other.  Typical.)

The Hundred- Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais (based on a reco from a lady at the pool)

# of Miles run in October: 24

Thanks to Becky and Allison for joining me for the Grandview Great Pumpkin 5K…. and a little shopping and brunch of course!


I’ve never made meatloaf- it just wasn’t something we ate much growing up, and living alone it seemed a little strange to me to whip up a whole “loaf” for myself. I can only eat left overs once or maybe twice if its really good, so it seemed like a waste.

Steph send me a recipe she had from an old “friend”… he actually never let her write it down, so she studied him making it.  Basically, mix a bunch of stuff together and throw it in the oven.  I knew Megan was a meatloaf fan, so I invited her over to try my creation.  Judging from our plates, we both liked it!  This was such an easy recipe, and delicious… and cheap!  And now the joke is on this old friend, as I share his “secret recipe” with the world!  Enjoy!

You’ll need:
1 lb beef
soy sauce
Garlic (3 cloves or so, minced)
Garlic Salt
Yellow onion – not too much (less than 1/2 an onion) diced finely
Onion Powder
1 egg
Regular bread crumbs
Mustard (I obvi left this out)
Mix everything together. There are no measurements, just put a little bit of each and you can be pretty liberal. It’s hard to screw up.
Line a pan with foil and spray the foil or grease it somehow.
Make it into two little loafs that are flat/concave on top. This way as it bakes you’ll have a little “dish” of sorts to put more sauce.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Take it out, turn the oven up to 450, and put a mixture of bbq and ketchup (or just bbq) in the “dish,” enough to glaze.
Put it back in at 450 (as it’s heating up to that temp is fine) and bake for another 15 minutes.

Date #4:
Who: Mike
The Hook-up: So, when I started with this part of the challenge I wanted it to be pretty “organic”- how many people could I meet though other people.  I figured that if down the road this wasn’t working out I could do the Match/ Tinder/ eHarmony/ Plenty of Fish/ Christian Mingles/ Meet Black Singles thing and line up dates pretty easily to meet my quota.  Randomly on Facebook last week an ad come up for “Coffee Meets Bagel” (don’t you hate how good FB is at knowing what you want to look at?), I was intrigued, so I clicked.  Within a few minutes I was signed up for this site that required literally no work on my end.  All I had to do was wait for my “bagel” to arrive each day.  If both people said YES to their daily matches they both got a text with a conversation- starting question.  This is how Mike became date #4.

What we did: Mike suggested Brother Drake in the Short North.  I’ve never been, so I was obviously up for the new experience.  They make their own Mead, so a slight departure from my normal bourbon/ Pinot Noir/ beer selections.

Tell me more…. So that description of what we did doesn’t even scratch the surface.  Little did we know that we would be in the audience of a musical recital (ummm we never had our piano recitals at a bar- I’m sure my parents would have preferred that).  We watched a young sister duo perform an original piece on their violins, another girl cover one of my favorite Adele songs, and a “rock band” made up of a couple middle school boys.  Quite the experience.  If that wasn’t enough we also sat next to a beekeeper from Alabama that told us all about his own honey and mead- he even let us taste his flight.  And on his way out he told us that “marriage is awesome man.  I love my wife.  This is a good thing”.  That could be awkward but Mike took it like a champ.  Mike is some sort of “computer genius” (that was for you SIL) working for IBM.  He’s only been in Cbus for a little over a year, but seems to be in for getting the most out of this city.

As always, keep the recipes/ men/ books coming!



Getting back in the Groove

STILL reading (but almost done!): What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding- Kristen Newman
Really enjoying this book- can’t wait to finish it up (hopefully) tonight.
Next up: Lena Dunham’s new release “Not That Kind of Girl”… on the beaches on Montego Bay… with a pina colada in hand!

# of Miles run in October: 15

This Saturday (10/25) I’m doing the 36th Annual Grandview Great Pumpkin Run!  If you’re interested in joining, you can sign up here:

I really had every intention of cooking a new recipe last night. I had bought an acorn squash originally intended to be part of my cleanse/ diet last week, but then I got to thinking how it would be SO much better with some butter and brown sugar (strictly prohibited last week), so I held on to it for a few more days to cook up post- diet. My plan was make it last night, then enjoy for lunch today and tomorrow.

I’m not mad that my plan didn’t happen. That’s because instead of slaving over a hot stove, I got to spend the evening with my Aunt Kay and Uncle Mark- in town from Charleston SC, as well as my cousin Jeff and his three kids. This was a much better option!
After dinner, piano playing, dancing, and backbends, we could have sat around and talked for hours, but Uncle Mark finally kicked me out and at that point we knew the cooking wasn’t going to happen when I got home. BUT, Uncle Mark insisted on a blog post today, so here you go!

I just pulled the squash out of the oven and it smells amazing!  SUPER simple recipe- I remember my mom making this growing up, so I found a recipe as similar to what I remembered as possible.  I think this will be just as good tomorrow, maybe with a little fresh brown sugar.  Here is the recipe I used, minus the maple syrup because, well, I just didn’t have any in the house- otherwise I totally would have!


Date #3:
Who: Pearse
The Hook-up: My homegirl Kathy and I were having one of our typical “get together and drink red wine and gab” nights a few weeks ago and she said she may have someone to set me up with. A friend of her fiancé who he has known for a long time, and is pretty funny. Kathy thinks I’m funny so I took that as meaning he had a good sense of humor. I said “make it happen!”

What we did: enjoyed seasonal beers and a little Sunday night football. Pumking is seriously the best, right? And obviously I have to mention that my fantasy team crushed it this week #1stdownforWHAT. OK, back to the date…

Tell me more…. Things started off rough… I got to our meeting spot on time (obviously) and got a text from Pearse that he would be late. Not good. I was relieved (and he was probably pissed) that he was late because he got a ticket on the way to the restaurant. All was forgiven at that point.
Pearse has a side job of coaching high school football. Not only does he totally love it, but it keeps him busy and makes for some good stories. We are both suckers for a good beer and have recently discovered that country music isn’t so bad. He’s Bobcat, the next best thing to a Buckeye.


That’s all I’ve got for today!  I’m trying to make Tuesday nights the usual blog posting time, so check back then!



Update: There is no Update

Nothing much to report on this week.  I’m halfway through a cleanse that is keeping me from accomplishing things this week.

No new recipes since I’m currently just feasting on fruits and veggies (adding bananas tomorrow, woo hoo!), hardly any running since I don’t have much energy from said fruits and veggies, and no dates since alcohol is usually involved in dates and I’m on a strict no alcohol ban this week.  Hi, is it Saturday yet??

Since I’m spending my evenings laying around trying not to think about food, I am getting a lot of reading done!  Should be finishing up my current book this week and on to the next one!

I’ve gotten SO MANY good book recs!  THANK YOU!  If you have anything specifically good for reading on the beaches of Jamaica, please leave in the comments.  (and yes, I’ve read How Stella Got Her Groove Back.  Book is better than the movie, in my opinion!)

I promise a better update next week- stick with me!



Update: Oct 8th

Currently reading: What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding- Kristen Newman (thanks Sarah!) Info here:

# of Miles run in October: 5


I have seen on Pinterest a million times this “overnight oats” post that shows really cute little oatmeal creations in mason jars and people enjoying them in a big cozy chair in the morning.  I realized I had all the ingredients just laying around so decided to finally “cook” them up to enjoy as the weather is turning to true fall out there (yes, the real Ohio fall is rainy and dark- sorry to all you people that love “Fall” and by “Fall” I mean a Pumpkin Spice Latte.).  Sorry- rant over.  Sadly, I enjoyed mine at my desk, not curled up with the paper at home.

I used peaches, and it turned out really delicious!  I’ll probably add more fruit next time (1/4 cup?? what?) because I needed a mid morning snack with this amount.  I don’t know the science behind it, but the oats seem to fluff up a little over night- no cooking involved.  People were really confused on the comments on this recipe:

Color Your Own Overnight Oatmeal


I thought a lot about how to post about these dates.  I understand that people are probably a little more interested in this dirt than what I cooked for dinner last night, but I’m also not trying to spill all the deets- not that kind of blog.  So here’s the approach for now- if you have ideas for going forward please leave in the comments!

Date #1:

Who: Justin

The Hook-up (how we met– get your mind out of the gutter!): My former co-worker Kristen Jackson talked to her friend Amanda Gamberale who just happened to have a visitor in San Fran that weekend who lives in my neighborhood and is single!  We both enjoy karaoke, which is all they needed to know to make this happen.

What we did: ate Indian food.  Adventurous choice for a first meeting, but we stuck with a wimpy spice level.  Rounded out the night with a beer at Byrne’s (shocking, I know)

Tell me more…. Justin is a graphic designer from outside Columbus.  He dabbles in stand up comedy and will soon be featured in a web series about bad dates.  He refers to Michael Bolton as “The Bolt”, which I will now be doing as well.

Date #2:

Who: Jerod

The Hook-up: Jerod and I actually met way back in the summer at a July 4th party of a mutual friend.  Apparently I told better jokes than him, or so I hear.

What we did: Cocktails at Oddfellow’s.  Cool location in the Short North and they feature a Negroni Slushy!  What?!?  Note- despite what Alive magazine says, they do NOT serve High Life in a champagne glass.  Also, the bathrooms are incredible!

Tell me more… Jerod is a born and raised Buckeye.  Likes include Laguna Beach, 90s R&B, and the MTV dating show “Next”.  Lucky for me, he no longer works at PNC so he can’t judge me by my debit card transactions.

Always taking recipes, books, and boys in the comments 🙂



Time to get this party started!

Finally my first post!

I wanted to wait until I finished my first book, which happened yesterday, so here is the update:

Books read: 1

New Recipes: 2

OK, so I read Gone Girl and was basically OBSESSED with it the whole time.  If you’ve read it, you know what I mean.  I decided to pick up another of Gillian Flynn’s books “Sharp Objects” next.  Again, flew thru it- didn’t love it as much as Gone Girl but still REALLY good and entertaining.

You can check it out here:

Last week I checked out one of the blogs Sarah Gaver recommended, and came across this recipe.  I rarely cook asparagus, so I decided to give it a whirl.  I’m a sucker for anything with sun dried tomatoes, so this was a no brainer:

Lots of other good stuff on this blog, check it out!  Thanks for the reco Sarah!

Finally, tonight I made a White Chicken Chili… with only 5 ingredients!  Love it!!  Definitely try this one, even if it is still 80 degrees out… Again, great blog all around, and the name- so cute!

I’ll be depositing my extra $31 on Oct 1st AND have 2 dates with cool dudes this week.  I’m thinking I’ll do weekly updates, so check back next week to see how the week went!



Who’s ready for one aMASing year?!

Birthdays are just different when you get “older”.  Leading up to September 17th I had so many people asking me “what are you doing for your bday?!”  For the first time maybe ever in my life my response was a shoulder shrug and “nothing much”.  Gasps and dropped jaws followed.  True, I normally put together some sort of event to celebrate the day I entered this world, but 31 just seemed so “blah” to celebrate.  Can’t really go out on the town with a crown on at that age, amIright?!

I started thinking back to the Big 3-0 and my mission to do 30 things in 30 days before 30.  It was one of the best 30 days ever!  As a 31 year old I don’t know that I have the energy to do THAT again, but I started thinking how I use the same concept for a year long project.  And so, “one aMASing year” was born!

I have selected 5 different “challenges” to complete over the next year, each benefiting a different part of my life.

Here’s the breakdown:

Read 31 Books

Make 31 New Recipes

Go on 31 First Dates I would also be happy NOT completing this one, if you get my drift

Run (at least) 31 Miles Each Month

Save an extra $31 each month

But here’s the real deal- I need YOUR help to complete these!!!  If I knew 31 boys to date, I’d be doing that.  If I had 31 book suggestions, I’d at least  be pretending to read them or have them on hold at the library.  I need introductions, suggestions, encouragement, and knowledge to finish these tasks by Sept 17, 2015.

If you can help me in any of these categories please leave a message below, tweet at me (masita917), FB me, Instagram me (mas917) or DM me at  I’ve love to hear from as many people as possible!

I will periodically update the counts on each task, and write about my experiences.  Thanks advance for your help- I hope you’ll stick around for the whole journey- can’t wait to see where we are one year from now!