Thursday, April 28, 2011

To my mama

Today is my mama's birthday!

My mother is one of the smartest, funniest, and all around wonderful people I have ever known.  Granted, we are two very different people, but that makes our relationship all the more interesting.  There's never a dull moment when I'm with my mom, and I'm always greatly impressed at her ability to work hard, work well, and do for our family more than one would think humanly possible.

My mama is not only my mom, but my teacher.  She's been homeschooling me for most of my life, and I'm generally blown away by her mind and her love of learning.  "Nerd" is a positive term in our house.  :)

To be quite honest, I've always had a secret wish.  I've wished that when I grow up, I could be just as clever as my mom.  If you know her, you get what I mean.  She is truly funny, and comes up with hysterical quips within seconds.  I've been impressed by this ability my whole life, and she certainly keeps us laughing.  But at the same time, she manages to be down-to-earth and hard-working, traits which I also hope to attain in my lifetime.

Mama, I love you dearly, and I wouldn't trade you for another.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Aaaaannnnd we have a winner!

The earrings giveaway has come to a close, and I'm thrilled to announce that the winner of the Venetian glass earrings is....

Comment number 6, Miss Rachel!

Email me at pastaandwaffles(at)gmail(dot)com by Thursday, April 28th so I can get your information and ship your earrings to you.

Have a great day!

Monday, April 25, 2011


So over the months I've been blogging, I've accumulated a few questions and thought I'd go ahead and answer them for everyone!

"Why Pasta and Waffles?" 

This is the most common question I get!  Basically, I was excited to start a blog but couldn't because I was stumped for a name.  I wanted it to have something to do with my travels... but was stuck.  My brother, over email, suggested it be something about pasta, because of Italy, and I just sort of laughed that one off.  At the time, we thought we'd only be in Italy for six months, and thought that wouldn't last long.  So I said it should include Belgium, our next home, too.  My dad shouted from the kitchen of our little hotel, "Waffles!"  Pasta and Waffles just sort of fell into place after that.

Long story short?  Italy = pasta, Belgium = waffles.

"Are you an American?"

I get this one a lot, actually.  Yes, I'm American through and through, I simply live in Europe because my dad is in the U.S. Navy.

"Do you have any European friends?"

I don't have any teenage European friends, but I have several adults that I know and love to be around who are from all over the world.

"Do you go to an international school?"

Well... sort of.  I go to an online school that includes kids from all over the world, but I don't have to "go" anywhere to take my classes.

"What camera do you use?"

I have a point and shoot... a 12.1 megapixel Sony Cybershot.  And it's hot pink!  I'm going to ask for a Canon Rebel T2i for Christmas, though.

"Are you ever going to write that Twilight review?"

Yes!  I'm certainly going to get to work on that soon.  Because, boy oh boy, do I have some things to say about that.

That's it for now, but when I get more, I'll update this post.

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Let's get the ball rolling. Again.

So I've been away.  No, I'm still tucked in my little corner of Rome, but I've been "away" from my blogs, enjoying Spring Break.  Immensely.  But I'm back, and I'm ready to get back in the saddle!

I've pretty much given up on the Venice posts seeing as I for the life of me can't find the pictures I took.  That poses a bit of a problem, you see. So, I'm going to direct you to my mom's blog!  Just scroll and scroll and enjoy.  She's fantastic, that mother of mine.

Now, here's the deal.  I'm thinking that first, you need to enter my giveaways, because they close tomorrow.  So head on over there.

And another thing that I'm thinking is that the last post I wrote went over fairly well, and I want to be doing more of those.  I love to write, I love to inform, and I love to just share little bits of my brain with all of you.

I'm actually beginning to consider studying to be a journalist when I head to college.  I've just lately realized how dear to me words are, and the power of them and the ways in which they can be used to change everything intrigue me deeply.  You can certainly look for more of those sort of posts in the future.

Also, I'm trying to write more poetry.  I may share some of that with you all as well.  Some of it I can't share, because it's how I journal.  Instead of a diary, I simply write poems every night before I go to sleep!  It's become a great challenge, but in a good way.  Structuring my thoughts and feelings into poetry makes me think about what I'm thinking and feeling in a way that I wouldn't have before, because I have to make comparisons to other things, or find descriptive terms.  This simply makes the thought clearer, and helps me sort out whatever it is that was bothering me, or it makes me even more grateful for the thing that was making me happy.

All of this is to say that I'm back, and oh so happy to be.  I've missed posting regularly, but it just became something I physically could not do.  But I'm going to make a little time every night to write to you if at all possible, and so please, stick around!

Happy Easter, everyone, and have a lovely day.

He is risen!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A need or not?

I'm still working on my Venice posts, but those take a long time to put together so I have to do it in little spurts.  Worry not!


I've noticed a growing trend among bloggers.  Niggling at my nerves, causing me to think, this phenomenon is one that I think is a sad fact of today's culture.

Among bloggers, I understand the occasional "Let's be real; it's not all rainbows and butterflies" moments.  The moments where you share bad news, or the moments where you just have to be real.  But is there such a thing as being too real?

Lately, I've been bothered by several blogs I used to love.  Obviously, I won't name them here, because that would be gossip.  I've ceased to even follow a few of them, because it's one thing: depressing.  There's a common idea among Americans today that you'll feel better if you simply "let it out."  Vent.

I've come to disagree with that idea.  Now, I've done it in the past, but now whenever I'm tempted to vent, I get a little bit... twitchy.

My favorite talk show host is Dennis Prager.  He's an incredibly wise Jewish man with great values and an unbelievably intelligent mind.  He's also got a very strong backing of enemies.  The reason for that is simply because he is the opposite of what is taught.  I listen to him while I get ready in the mornings, and I have begun to really think about deeper issues and I've also discovered a great love of politics.

All that to say, he made a great point on one of his shows that really stuck with me.  I'm just going to be paraphrasing, but as he always does, it's important to make sure I am clear about who came up with this idea.  It wasn't me; it was Mr. Prager.

His point was that in the 60's, mainly, there came about this new idea that there are no "should's."  Life became a series of entitlements.  People began believing that however they wanted to live was acceptable purely because they wanted to live that way.  Regard for values became of less import, and feelings became the rule.  Gone were the days of working and learning and living according to a higher standard, and instead, in were ushered the days of "happiness" and "feeling."

I'm going to state that I don't think it's wrong to feel.  However, feelings are something we must reign in. It's great to have feelings, but they are not the rule by which we are to live.  I, especially as a teen girl, struggle with this battle every day of my life.  We can't completely disregard our feelings, but they are something we have to control instead of something that can control us.

But in this new era of feelings being the rule, there came about an idea that we must share feelings in order to be ok.  I will admit that I am guilty of this.  It's so easy to share all of your deepest emotions with your friends and fool yourself that it makes you feel better.  But the only thing that makes you feel better is to put on a brave face and work to fix your own problems.

Now, as Christians, we don't have to do it alone.  We have God by our side to give us wisdom and to take our burdens.  And yet, why do I see so many Christian bloggers venting every sadness and every frustration right out on the internet?

Because the culture has a way of pervading.  Even pervading into Christianity.

I'm simply saying, in all of this, that we must think deeply about what we say and to whom we say it.  It's perfectly wonderful to have friends to put your greatest burdens on who will pray with you and for you.  In fact, it's immensely helpful at times!  But is it really necessary to tell the world about every problem?

Before I wrote my first post, I knew what I was getting into.  I knew that I would write the good things, but that's mostly because I don't want the world to see the really bad.  The really bad will eventually work out to the glory of God.  So what's the point in venting?  It comes off as fishing for sympathy.

Dennis Prager has an hour of his show called the "Happiness Hour."  He's written on this topic and discussed it for years, and I've come slowly to agree with him.  He says that even when we're feeling low, we act happy.  This thought appalls the world.  The world believes that if we are acting something we aren't feeling, then we are going to fill up with bottled-up emotions and finally explode.

Every time Mr. Prager discusses this point, I am reminded of this Bible verse.

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart.  Proverbs 15:30

This is a verse that I must preach to myself today; and I encourage you to do the same.  There is no need to vent feelings on every whim, is there?  And not only does a cheerful look bring joy to your own heart, but it does so for others.  Imagine writing a depressing blog post and having someone read it who was already feeling down to begin with!  Imagine if instead, that blog post had been a happy one full of love and encouragement and bright joy?  It may have added some happiness to that reader's day, as well.  Not to mention the fact that if we keep venting and dwelling on our discomfort, the discomfort only grows.

My goal in posting this was simply to make us all think about what we say.  The culture has begun to believe that it doesn't matter because no one is allowed to judge anyone else.  But I beg to differ.  We as Christians must put on the joy from the peace Christ has given us and display it to the world; because they are, in fact, judging us.  If the world only sees us at our saddest, are they really seeing us at all?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Venice Giveaway!

Wow, everyone!  We've reached 50 followers!  I'm so excited.  I can't believe you guys have stayed with me through this busy, less-blogging period.

In order to thank you, I'm having a giveaway.  I'm working on my next Venice post, but for now, I've got something for you.  This giveaway is geared towards the ladies, but guys, feel free to enter.  You could give the prize to your mom or sister!

Right off of Venice, there's an island called Murano.  On this island live people who blow glass for a living and make beautiful creations with it; no two pieces are just alike.

I picked out these pretty Murano glass earrings to give one lucky winner!

Here's how to win!  Please leave all entries in separate comments.

1.  Leave a comment telling me if you follow this blog. (+1 entry)
2.  Leave a comment telling me you follow my other blog.  (+1 entry
3.  Link to this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or your own blog.  Please leave the link in your comment.  (+1 entry per link)
4.  Enter the giveaway on my other blog.  (+1 entry)

Enjoy!  I can't wait to see who wins!  The giveaway closes on April 25th at 11:30 PM EST.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

Venezia: Part One. Food.

Yes, food.  Because I'm on to you.  I know that's what you all want to know.  Food.

Venice was the most beautiful city to which I've traveled so far.  I'd say I want to live there, but they have terrible issues with flooding, rats at low tide, humidity, and corrosion.  So, no, I wouldn't want to live there, at least not for long.  But we couldn't have begged for better weather, and it was an absolutely fantastic place to visit for the weekend.

And we ate.  We actually went fairly tourist-style with the food because we were occupied with the sights, but nonetheless, we are in Italy and it's not often you eat bad food.  Our first night here we went to a famous restaurant called Florian, which was established in 1720!  It was... unreal.  There was an orchestra playing (we were outside) and the food was to die for.  We had eaten a small dinner in the train station, so I had dessert while my parents had little appetizers.  Are you surprised I went for the chocolate cake and espresso?

Nah, didn't think so.

If you notice the front looks a bit messy, it's because I took a bite of the chocolate piece in the front before remembering to take a picture.  So, I stuck it right back on, because I love you guys.

I dream about that cake.

This was my first espresso since coming back from the states, too, and the deliciousness wasn't lost on me.  Especially coupled with cake.  Cake and coffee are quite amicable, haven't you heard?

 Time lapse between these two pictures: approx. 8 minutes.  Who would have thought one could make a thimble and a half of coffee last for 8 minutes?

We, of course, had pizza during our stay.  I loved the tuna one my mom got, because tuna on pizza is genius.  And anchovies; but unfortunately, I only found one restaurant there with anchovy pizza.  Dad got a pizza with artichokes (carciofi) and some other unidentifiable things on it.  I'd ask him, but I'm too busy drooling.

Let me just say, these pizzas are big.  But in my family, there's sort of a "pizza tax."  Or, shall I say, an anarchy, one in which we just (politely, I assure you) take pizza slices from everyone's plates.  No one is safe.

We found a cute bakery, and because of the crowds, we didn't go inside, but I took pictures through the window.

I'm not sure if i would have liked the taste, but these are so lovely!

These look a bit like shortcake, but covered in chocolate... I wanted to try them, obviously.

There was a golden glare, but I didn't edit it out because it reflects the chocolate-crazed glint in my eye.

I'm not sure what this is, but it certainly can't be bad.

This one made me hungry.  Except I'm not sure I would eat anything from the last picture; but it's nice to look at.

And I'll stop now, because I can hear your stomach growling.  Sorry.