A Simple Soba Noodle Soup

I didn’t feel like cooking tonight, but I also didn’t feel like eating a ham sandwich. I was thinking about my dinner and what I would have to settle with while perusing Netflix. There was a new Netflix original – something about Samurai – so I clicked on it, and it was then that I got my inspiration for tonight’s dinner. While watching the main actor slurp down a bowl of noodles, I began thinking how to recreate it.

Thankfully I had purchased some Soba noodles a couple of months ago and I had the ingredient in my pantry. I also (thankfully) had chicken broth. Ok, now what for protein? I had frozen shrimp, but I couldn’t imagine putting those in a chicken broth so I went for poached eggs instead.

I put 2 cups of Chicken Broth in a saucepan and brought it up to a low simmer. Once the broth had a few bubbles I popped in my 2 eggs (timing will depend on how soft you want your egg yolk). Here I turned up the temperature to HI. Once the egg whites had begun to form I added 1 TBSP of Full Sodium Soy Sauce. At a full boil I added one serving of Soba Noodles – cooking these to the package directions which was 4 minutes. Garnished with Sesame Oil and Toasted Sesame Seeds, these are optional but it really adds depth to the broth.

Time needed: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth

2 eggs

1 TBSP Full Sodium Soy Sauce

1 Tsp Sesame Oil

1/4 Tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds

Dash of salt (at the end, if needed)

 

The featured image is from my Instagram and is not professional quality, but it still looks scrumptious. Hope that you get a chance to try the recipe and love it as much as I do 🙂

xo,

Kezia

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I’d like to talk about Redemption

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It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog post. My life has been extremely busy with school and my job search (which I am happy to say I have secured my dream job). In this busy time I have been very centrally focused – which has its positives and negatives.

Speaking of which, today I had a very difficult, but GOOD experience. I realized that I am not a considerate person. This was quite shocking for me because I have lived convinced that I make conscious efforts to improve the lives of others. Whether I am grocery shopping for my family or complimenting a friend on an achievement – I was conscious of my good intentions.

The key word here is consciousI was trying to do what “I” thought was best by this person or that person, but….

THAT WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH!

In anger and tears, I realized that I was interpreting what others wanted through my lens. I was half-listening.

YES – I knew, generally, what my sister, friends, family, etc. liked but when it came time for me to show them I had listened to them I had nothing. Why? Because I hadn’t REALLY paid attention to them.

As I sat in my room this evening, my mind kept returning to the idea of REDEMPTION, especially Redemptive Love.

 Dfn. an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake; deliverance ; rescue
This might be quite a big jump for some of you, but growing up as a Christian and through long (often repeated) conversations with my parents I believe bad habits, like half-listening, have ripple affects that can be disastrous if left un-pruned.
Many of you will be familiar with the Christ Story (this is a link to a great video explaining the gift of Christ), some of you will think he was a great Prophet, or others of you may be indifferent. For those of you who are unfamiliar, I will explain, briefly:
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, this means He is PERFECT and has none of the flaws 
we suffer with. Around 2000 years ago Christ was sent to this Earth
born of a Virgin in a Bethlehem stable he spent the first moments of His life laying 
in a food trough. He grew and remained sinless and when he was 30 years-old 
he began Ministry and established The 12 Disciples. When he was 33 years-old Jesus Christ, was crucified for proclaiming he was God’s Son and a incarnation of God’s faithfulness. 
The Messiah died and was laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, 3 days later he rose again holding true the promises in the Old Testament that God would send 
a spotless Lamb to cleanse the world, once and for all, of Sin. 
Now going back to my theme of “consciousness”. Christ was conscious of his actions, but His actions were pure because he was Son of God. Being who he is, and was, meant that he made no mistakes therefore he did not need to have atonement for his sins because he was the payment.
As a Human, I am made in the image of God but I am not God (sadly, not even close Isaiah 64:6) which means that I am in need of Redemption. My sin has separated me from My Creator, who desires a relationship so much so that He sent His Son to DIE!
I am still astonished by this, even more so on days like today when I realize my frailty or “human-ness”. 
But, despite my failings Christ chose to sacrifice himself to pay for my sins against God. This gift is not something that I could ever earn – I couldn’t even come close to it. Nevertheless, God offers this gift freely to anyone who will confess faith in Him. When we do this our names are written in “The Lambs Book of Life”, which to me is the heavenly equivalent of a Family Tree, but much more beautiful.
Coming to the verse image at the top of this post that says:

“That your joy may be made full”

 ~ John 16:24

 

This verse comes at a time in the Book of John when Christ is preparing his disciples for his death. But it is more than that, this passage prepares the Believers for the Redemptive Gift. Through faith in Christ we can speak with God and be healed of these flaws (i.e. my most recent revelation). All we have to do is ask God to help us break down the walls we have built against Him so that our joy will overflow and renew us through His Redemptive Love.

This type of spiritual growth is a refining process (1 Peter 1:7) and it will be difficult at times, but your life – and mine –  will be so much better when you are relived of your burden and beginning to live a fuller, more joyful life.

 

xo,

Kezia

My Favorite Christmas Present

There are few things better than food on this Earth. It transports us to far destinations – sometimes more exotic and other times (when we live away from home) it takes us back to our childhood and our worldly woes melt away with each bite. Maybe my love for food stems from my belief that food plays a large role in forming identities. Hear me out on this, and I’ll do my best to convince you.

You can easily divide up India into its 29 states and 7 territories , geographically this is simple mathematics mixed with assigning landmarks/rivers to certain borders. But if you began to divide up India by it’s culinary traditions the lines on the map would look quite different. I am no expert on Indian cuisine, I merely took a cultural anthropology class, but if you look at how people eat – or rather what they eat – there is almost a familial link.

Take for example, The South. Fried chicken, mustard greens, biscuits, and potatoes. Now this is what I know. You will find many renditions of the same meal, but there is a connection that all Southerners have with each other – food.

I’m a bit odd, I like to talk to strangers when I am traveling – it’s fun and you’ll find that you have a lot in common with a variety of different people. There hasn’t been one place in  The South (yes, it must be capitalized) that I haven’t found someone who doesn’t love a good biscuit, and even if they can’t make them themselves, they know where to find one. We love comfort food, and more than that we love who prepares it – our mothers. There’s not a Southern Woman alive that wouldn’t kill to get their hands on great-grandma’s chocolate pie recipe (if she had only written it down LoL).

But that’s what I mean, we are connected. Though each state in The South has a few different traditions here and there, we are all connected with the same desire to sit down with our family and friends and feast on the comfort foods we all know and love.

That’s why I was overjoyed when I pulled “Cooking for Jeffery” by the Barefoot Contessa out of my stocking this year. I have been a fan of Ina Garden for years, and to me her most recent book epitomized why I love to cook – just look at the cover (see above link) they are so CUTE! This cookbook is a love story, for both food and your family. There really is no joy like cooking, and especially when you are cooking for the ones you love.

xo,

Kezia

 

Coffee ~

To add a little ambiance while you read this, you might want to listen to this song by Urban Zapaka.

I could (almost) wax poetic about how I feel when drinking a cup of coffee. It’s not that I relish the semi-bitterness of a black cup’o’joe, because sometime it pales in comparison to a warm London Fog (earl grey with milk foam & vanilla). To me, coffee allows you to be single-minded, if that’s the word/phrase I’m looking for, and allows me time for myself.

I am NOT a morning person, but I have had to transform myself in recent years to a mid-morning person. By that I mean I am not cranky at 9am, and yelling “I hate sunshine!” at 10:30 — I really was that bad LoL. But taking time to actually make myself a coffee (no Keurig, though sometimes it’s necessary when I’ve slept in too long).

I have recently purchased 2 coffee makers, a French Press & a Pezzetti. I save the  press for slower mornings when I have time to sit and drink my coffee. The Pezzetti, however, allows me to make my favorite aromatic coffees (I’m enjoying one hazelnut blend now, it’s very festive) on ordinary days. On mornings when I’m especially in a hurry I take my mug into my bathroom and place it on my vanity while I’m doing my makeup. Coffee, to me at least, was made for mornings. It’s very pleasant aroma gently nudges me out of my sleep and even if I don’t drink the whole cup I leave my house feeling refreshed, with all my edges smoothed out.

Ha! I’m not kidding, coffee is an experience for me. Not in the fast, Starbucks kind of way, but in the taking time for a cup in the morning that helps you get through the day. I know that in the coming years my pace may pick up and I may find pressing a button simpler than making my own. But I am a single woman, now, and have little responsibility except what I place on myself, so I have the time to take. However, deep down, I hope that I never lose the meaning of taking time for myself, even if it’s as small as making a cup of my favorite coffee.

xo,

Kezia

 

My Switch to a Mac

Let me first clarify that this was an involuntary switch…since the hard drive on my PC (a Dell) crashed.

I have been resistant to Macs, and I have had choice words for them –> overrated, Microsoft Office won’t work on it, “THE MINIMIZE IS ON THE LEFT?!?”, and lastly their for yuppies.

Even when my PC (the second on in 5yrs) died, I was still looking to Windows to solve my problems. Honestly, my first choice was the Surface 7 – I think that’s the newest model. But hearing reviews of poor interface with the new Windows 10 OS on the tablet I started to doubt that this was the best choice. I was not about to buy another Dell or Gateway, due to my previous disappointments.

Yet, Macs are SO expensive! The starting price for the “basic” MacBook Pro is $1299!!! *be still my beating heart*

I’m still in college, finishing up my MBA, so I don’t have the cash to buy a $1300 laptop. So, when my Dad called me and suggested I look at Apple computers I was a little shocked. This is the man who went with me to buy my first PC, who said they were better than Apple, who said that Excel (FYI my bachelors degree is in Accounting) would work better on a PC. Not to mention that he has a Computer Science Degree from the 1980’s and he’s telling me to get an Apple?!?

Happy Early Graduation to Me! I got an Mac. As I am writing this blog my MacBook Pro is only a day old, and let me tell you I’m never going back.

Honestly, I feel like it’s still a little early to put my full faith in my new laptop, but let me tell you what I like about it.

  • 10 hour battery life (unheard of on PC)
  • A “in-house” email app that actually works (until I added Hotmail, no kid it crashed 2x)
  • Dots beneath my open apps to let me know they are running in the background & the option to quit them entirely.
  • Fast start-up, because their aren’t a MILLION background apps running.
  • Excel works just fine.

I’m sure that as I play with it over Christmas Break I will fall even more in love. And I am a complete nerd, so best bet I’ve already downloaded an ebook that tells me all about the Sierra iOS. Haha I’m not kidding.

This is NOT a blog post bashing Windows or PCs, I have used them my entire life and they have been great (for the most part).

xo,

Kezia

My Love for Bullet Journaling

I have always loved paper and desired to be “organized”, I have literally had a planner since middle school. Each year I have changed the style and the colors… One year I attempted to have different colors for each of my classes, didn’t turn out so well LoL

I have known about bullet journaling for quite some time now, but my first impressions were not so good. My inner (baby) anarchist derided the idea of a “system” for organizing developed by an “outsider”… a bit extreme, I know, nonetheless this was literally my initial impression. But upon further familiarizing myself with the idea of bullet journaling & falling in love with some independent bullet-journalists that created some of the most kawaii planners and weekly logs I have ever seen, turned my head & I began to rethink my conception of bullet journaling.

I began my conversion with total failure. Considering myself a skilled planner and a deep lover of paper, I purchased a blank notebook & started marking the days [initially, I wanted to do an overarching (school/work/personal life) planner and dedicated a massive amount of space to each category]  I DID NOT REALIZE THE PLANNING IT TOOK ~~ Needless to say, this notebook has been abandoned 😦

Realizing my “noob”-ness I purchased a weekly planner from TJ Maxx and set to work incorporating my newly acquired skills *claps for success*

I am so new at this that had no idea they had a website! Which has given me a new respect for the bullet journaling creator and the early adopters that have set this fire ablaze on Instagram and my Pinterest.

XO,

Kezia

Changing Courses

I have been MIA for the past five months. A combination of things, including schoolwork and my personal life, have distracted me from what I had hoped to be a really fun project – blogging.I have been going through a few things, not bad things, just growing pains. It seems that at 22-years-old there is still a lot left to learn.

I have always wanted to have a very “rooted” life. I saw my life reaching in front of me like a large oak tree. Big, beautiful, nurturing, and with huge roots. My life was big because I am a large believer in dreams and capturing those dreams. The life I dreamed was beautiful because it was peaceful and fruitful. My life I dreamed as a child was fruitful because of all the people that I could house under my branches. And my branches were a strong and safe place because I had deep roots. The roots of the tree of my life were deep because of my faith, my connections with family, and my desire to have a connection with my community.

With these big dreams it is not hard to feel like you wouldn’t, or couldn’t, measure up. Last Sunday, our pastor at church was preaching on burdens – fears, anxieties, lack of measuring up. Every member of the congregation was given a smooth, cream-colored rock. As I held the rock in my hand he said, “This rock represents your fears, and you need to give them to God today.” He asked us to stand and said, “Drop your rock.” Moments after I had dropped that seemingly silly rock, I started crying. It seems so foolish that dropping a small rock could cause the stream of tears that cascaded down my face, but I couldn’t help it, I FELT SO RELIEVED!

So, with that, please join me in my journey of discovery. My life of expectations.

xoxo,

Kezia

Me Before You – Book Review

Let me be honest, I have not read many modern love stories. I was raised on the fairytale-like Classics. My first love in literature was Jane Austen, I loved the way she put sentences together and the depth of emotion that she conveyed in a time where a woman’s emotions were often undervalued.  Though I have a great love for the Regency Era, I have not limited myself but have read many mystery novels, books and literature from the early and mid-20th century, along with a hefty amount of Shakespeare (thanks to Ms. Vanhoose, my high school English teacher), and several other plays.

When approaching this book, I was a little wary. I have tried several modern romance novels but to no avail. I never felt connected to the characters and the relationships felt so shallow. So I was elated when I started reading this book! The story was inviting and had poignant characters that gave this story the depth I was hoping for in a modern romance. The connection between Luisa Clark and Will Traynor (this is a link to the movie trailer, in case you aren’t one the million people who’ve watched it LoL) is not only realistically romantic, and quite funny – in a quirky way, which I love!

For those of you who know the ending, having read the movie critic’s review or the book,  all I am going to say is that the book nor the movie condones “Dignitas”. The point the author was trying to make when writing the book is that we must give those who seemingly are helpless the choice to live their lives and let them speak for themselves and that despite our best efforts we cannot change someone.

As a Christian, the conclusion of the book, and the movie is a hard one for me. Because I believe there is always hope and that a handicap or a terminal illness will not impair your life or change who you are, if you combat it with God’s love and grace. I’m not going to say anymore because I don’t want to ruin the movie or the book for those of you who want to read it.

I definitely recommend this movie, you will laugh a little and fall desperately in love 🙂

Much Love xx

~ Kezia

 

Introductions

The above photo is from my first trip to Germany in 2014. I was in Germany in early October for a good friend of mine’s wedding. It was absolutely wonderful, though I was only there for 4 days!!!

The reason for the shortness of my visit was that it was midterms of the Fall semester of my Junior year at the University of Kentucky. I know it’s absolutely crazy to leave, but I did (I only missed one exam, and that was dropped, thankfully). I had thought about staying, but there was no way that I was going to miss my best friend’s wedding. Anyway, I had a lovely time (I’ll do a more detailed post later) and though I was completely exhausted when I got back, it was TOTALLY worth it.

This trip showed me that there are some things in life worth doing and no matter if you miss a deadline or a test, which you can easily solve, there is no solving the remorse you would feel of missing a special  moment or occasion that can never be repeated, no matter how good the pictures are.

I felt strange writing the previous paragraph like I had written something incorrect or unwise. That I possibly might be misrepresenting myself to a sea of strangers out there on the internet. But I know in my heart that I am not wrong and as an accounting graduate and an MBA candidate you are not supposed to make judgements based on emotions, nevertheless I can honestly say that in this, at least, I am not wrong. I know that I owe this resolute belief to my parents, who have instilled in me that when you know that something is right no one can or should be able to sway you. Being raised in a Christian home it reminds me of James 1:8, that says:

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

Which really resonates with me, since I have a history of having a hard time making decisions. But looking at this verse and applying it to my life has really helped me solidify who I am and at least where I want to end up, even if at 22 I’m not sure what path I will take.

Thanks for reading! xo

~ Kezia