Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

In the Kitchen: Quick and Easy Cheesy Pasta with Spinach and Kale

Quick and Easy Cheesy Pasta with Spinach and Kale(pasta_spinach_logo)It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a recipe and I could use a change of pace so here is one of my favorite quick meals. When my father-in-law was sick I’d often bring dinner over to my mother-in-law so she wouldn’t have to cook after a day with sitting with my FIL.

This recipe was the result of me raiding the fridge and trying to use up food before it spoiled. Surprisingly, my mother-in-law, who is an excellent cook and sometimes hard to please, loved it. The family loved it. And I can get it done in just about a 1/2 hour. Double score!

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Ingredients:

I try to use organic whenever I can, but you can sub with whatever you have available. If you don’t have time to make your own sauce (me, 99% of the time) then you can use jar sauce.

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 package of whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 -2 jar(s) of marinara sauce (I use the Classico Organics from Costco and 2 jars because I like this meal to be super saucy.)
  • 1- 2 handful(s) of greens (I use kale, spinach or a blend of the two.)
  • 1 handful of light mozzarella shredded cheese
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

 

RevolutionofLove.com - pasta_spinach_2Directions:

  • Boil a pot of water. Add pasta when water is boiled.
  • While water is boiling, cook the ground turkey in a large pan. Drain fat. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Add the sauce to the meat. Simmer for about ten minutes.
  • Add a handful or two of the spinach/kale/mix into a chopper. Or chop with a knife if you are old school. (Watching a Star Wars documentary on your iPad while you’re cooking is optional. The Gilmore Girls or a Jane Austen adaptation are also good choices.)

RevolutionofLove.com - pasta_spinach_3Add the spinach/kale mixture.

RevolutionofLove.com - pasta_spinach_4Add a handful of the mozzarella cheese. Stir.

RevolutionofLove.com - pasta_spinach_5Add the pasta to the sauce. Serve and top with fresh Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Super easy. Super tasty. Okay, but now I need more easy meals! What is your favorite easy go-to-meal?

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo :-)


Mini Book Reviews for 2016 – Part 2 (April – May)

RevolutionofLove.com - goals_2016_booksOne of my goals for 2016 is to watch less TV and read more. I pledged on Goodreads to read 12 books in 2016 and I am following Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge for added fun. It is only May and I have already surpassed my goal and read my 17th book. Yay! Part of that is because of my new love of Audible.

I always considered audio books as “cheating” and not really reading but now I love my audio books, especially the ones that will sync to my ebook. That allows me to read my book but when I have to stop to do laundry or wash dishes or pick up the kids at school, I can still listen and then later pick up with my reader again after the kids are in bed. I especially like that you can now loan audio books out to a friend. I haven’t tried that feature yet but I wonder if my sis is reading this. I’ll try it with her.

Anyway, here are some mini-reviews of books I’ve read on my 2016 reading list. :-)

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

When I was looking for a new book to read it seemed like everyone was recommending All the Light We Cannot See . In fact, this book counts as my “book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller” in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge.

The two main characters were Marie-Laure, a young, blind French girl living with her father, and Werner a young, orphan German boy who was gifted in science and mechanics so he was recruited to a Nazi school. The story followed them in the years before and during the war and we see how their lives, unbeknownst to them, intertwine.

The book was riveting and heartbreaking and at times I couldn’t put it down. My only complaint was that it was sometimes confusing. I found myself starting a new chapter and thinking, “Wait….what??” The book was not written in chronological order. It jumped from one scene and flashbacked to another point in time from a different person’s point of view. Towards the end of the book when the story was the most riveting, the chapters would end with a cliffhanger and jump to another scene. It was a little frustrating.

I also hoped for a sweet happy ending and while there may have been closure after all the years passed, it still left my heart a little broken. However, I am happy for the experience of being swept away to another time and sharing a little of life with Marie-Laure and Werner.  I rate it four stars. (Parental note: The book contains adult situations and some language.)

 

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

When I first the saw the movie trailer for Me Before You I knew it was going to be a movie I would love and I wanted to read the book first. After a few comments about the book on Goodreads, I realized the story dealt with euthanasia. With this in mind, I broke my cardinal rule of NO SPOILERS and found out if the main character died or not. With that knowledge, I read the book and here’s my thoughts.

The story is about Will a driven adventure seeker who is involved in an accident (not of his doing) and as a result becomes a paraplegic. Lou, a colorful and quirky character, is hired to be his companion. In the course of the book Will and Lou are challenged by one another and their friendship draws out different aspects of each another and they eventually fall in love. However, at the core of the story is whether or not Will decides to proceed with his previous plans to end his life.

(Spoiler Alert – Don’t read anymore if you don’t want to know how the story ends.)

The story is well written and every fiber of my being thought it could have been an amazing love story if Will’s love for Lou would have changed his heart and challenged him to reach for the seemingly impossible, as he was always driving Lou to do. Part of me was mad at him for being so selfish but another part of me knew that I could never understand the emotional and physical toll of living as a paraplegic. While my heart achingly goes out to a person wanting to end their life, my Catholic sensibilities knows that I couldn’t condone the deliberate ending of a life without just cause but it did made me wonder… if that was my Brian or my mom in Will’s predicament and although I’d be vehemently against them ending their life, would I stay by their side at the end, even if I disagreed? It definitely left me thinking.

Normally, I would have rated this four stars because it was well written but because I hated the ending and wished love would have motivated Will to let his life end naturally with Louisa by his side, I give it 3  1/2 stars instead. (Parental note: The book contains adult situations, the topic of euthanasia and language.)

 

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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park is a coming of age romance between two misfit teens in the 80’s. Eleanor is a plus sized red head living in an abusive family situation. Park is half-Korean living with a stable family. They hate each other at first but eventually become friends and fall in love. As a mom who grew up in the 80’s, it was nostalgic to relive the all-encompassing pangs of first love, favorite bands and mix tapes. It was sweet to see young love blossom but it was also heartbreaking (and maddening) to read about the abuses Eleanor received not only from bullies in her school but from her own dysfunctional family living in a terrorized state.

It was a touching story that I thoroughly enjoyed, particularly the way the book switched back and forth from Eleanor and Park’s point of view. However, I do have to say that this book is for very mature teens (or adults who like YA) who have already been exposed to some of the issues in the book. There is a lot of crude and strong language (mostly from secondary characters who attend school with Eleanor and Park) and numerous adult themes such as domestic abuse, living in poverty and characters being emotionally abused. I would rate this book 4 stars with the disclaimer that it is only for people who like this type of YA read and who won’t mind the language. (Parental warning: The book contains adult themes such as abuse, some sexual content – the main characters almost have sex – and strong and crude language.)

 

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The Husband Maker / The Matchmaker / The Wife Maker by Karey White

After reading a number of books with heavier content, I needed something light and fun with a happy ending. I enjoyed reading Karey’s White novel My Own Mr. Darcy so I decided to give The Husband Maker a try. The story was about Charlotte who had the unfortunate nickname “the husband maker” because every guy she has dated since high school has landed out marrying the next girl they date after breaking up with her. She desperately wanted to break the cycle and she believed her time had finally come when she met Kyle, an attractive, well off man from a political family.

The book was an easy and fun read and I enjoyed the various characters but it does end in a cliff hanger. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait to read the second installment – The Matchmaker. This book was actually my favorite of the three. I enjoyed watching Charlotte grow and learn more about herself. The character Angus was a sweet guy and the love triangle was an added bonus.

The romantic saga is finally wrapped up in the final The Wife Maker. I wanted to love the final book more but the behavior of one of the main characters kept bugging me. However, there was a happy ending and all three books were a fun diversion from the stresses of life and as an added bonus (well, at least from my point of view) there was no language or sex. Karey White knows how to do a clean and appealing romance and I appreciate that. Comparing it to other romances, I rate this 4 out of 5 stars.

That’s it for now. What have you been reading?

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo :-)

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NOTE: The cute clip art came from GraphicDesignByMia over at etsy.


Mini Book Reviews for 2016 – Part 1 (Jan – March)

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One of my goals for 2016 is to watch less TV and read more. I pledged on Goodreads to read 12 books in 2016. I am following Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge for added fun. Here are some mini-reviews of books  I’ve read so far on my 2016 reading list. :-)

My January book was Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay. I read a couple pages last year but was reading too many books at once and put it aside. However, now that I picked it up again, I couldn’t put it down! It is the story of two estranged sisters who drifted apart after their mom died of cancer. Years later the eldest sister Jane is married with two kids and diagnosed with cancer. The younger sister Elizabeth is a talented chef in New York who has lost the magic in her cooking. She decides to take some time off and visit her sister. Together they attempt the arduous task of healing physically and emotionally in a way that was just absorbing.

I found myself caring about the various characters and was transported into their world – from the discussions of food in classic novels to the feelings of their raw emotions. Towards the end, I had to stop reading the book during the day and wait until the kids were asleep because they would wonder why I was crying.

There is also a touch of God and the lesson that He can bring good out of even terrible situations but it is in no way heavy handed or overbearing. I finished the book last night and although I wanted a little more closure in the romantic storyline, the family healing was beautiful and moving. I definitely recommend the book. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

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The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

I have been a fan of Julie Klassen’s novels for awhile. In January, I read The Tutor’s Daughter, which I enjoyed. After that I read The Painter’s Daughter which I really enjoyed. The story was about Sophie Dupont an artist who helped her father in his art studio. She met a charming but irresponsible young artist named Wesley who eventually wooed her and had his way with her.

An opportunity to study art in Italy opened up for Wesley and he left Sophie, not knowing that she was now carrying his child. In the meantime, Wesley’s brusque brother Steven, who was used to cleaning up Wesley’s mistakes, discovered the predicament Sophie was facing. To atone for his own past mistakes and to spare Sophie and her unborn child, Steven offered to marry her in name only. Sophie, not wanting to risk the severe consequences she must face as an unwed mother and the inevitable shame her child must endure, agreed.

I loved the emotions and drama that came with Sophia adjusting to life as the wife of a man she did not love. Gradually there was a growing relationship and understanding between Steven and Sophie but the eventual return of Wesley turned everything upside down. I couldn’t put the book down until I found out how the situation played out and which man she ended up with. I was satisfied with the way it was all wrapped up. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

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My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White

My Mr. Darcy was a fun and easy read. The story was about Lizzy who watched Pride and Prejudice (2005 version) for the first time at the age of 16. Since then she was obsessed about finding her modern day version of Mr. Darcy. Eventually she met Chad and agreed to go out with him, despite not being anything like Darcy. She planned to break things off after one date but coerced by her best friend, she agreed to 10 dates with Chad before breaking things off. She slowly warmed up to him and started realizing what a great guy he was until she met handsome and rich Matt, a guy who completely fit her idea of Mr. Darcy. The whole situation became an interesting (and clean cut) love triangle.

The story was sweet and fun but also a little annoying because Lizzy’s obsession with Mr. Darcy was maddening at times. I wanted to smack her upside the head when she continually chose the haughty Matt over the sweet, sensitive and unselfish Chad. Maybe if Matt was little more likable and Chad a little more flawed, I could understand Lizzy’s dilemma better. Having said that, I am still glad I read the book and will look for more titles by the author since I loved that it had a modern day setting without any modern day sexual promiscuity. It was clean but not “Christian preachy” if you know what I mean. :-) I rate it 3.75 out of 5 stars.

 

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

It’s been seven years since Seth Grahame-Smith’s mashup book was published and I didn’t have any desire to read my beloved Jane Austen in the light of zombies back then. Fast forward to the current day and my love of The Walking Dead and love of movies, made me curious after seeing the trailer for the movie version of the book. I decided to give the book a try before going to see the movie. Did I enjoy it? My feelings are mixed. On the one hand, it was cool to read all the familiar lines and scenes and see how Grahame-Smith was going to change things up. This line from Lizzy in regards to Mr. Collins asking for her hand made me laugh out loud, “Did this fat little priest mean to take her as a wife? She was horrified at the thought of marrying of man whose only skill with a blade was cutting slivers of gorgonzola.”

The whole concept was interesting and at times fun. However, the book also had scenes that were over the top, campy and beyond tongue and cheek. Some parts make Elizabeth into a mythological type of warrior. For example, there is a scene in which she effortlessly slays a ninja and then rips out his still beating heart and takes a bite. That just made me roll my eyes. There were a few added character changes (like Lizzy’s aunt) that were annoying but minor. Had the over the top scenes been toned down slightly to make Lizzy an incredible but believable ninja slaying warrior, I would have appreciated it more since she already had the drive and spirit to imagine her in such a light.

All things considered, if you love Jane, love zombies and don’t mind people taking liberties with a beloved classic, then by all means, give it a try. Otherwise, just skip it. I rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

That’s it for now. What have you been reading?

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo :-)

RevolutionofLove.com - books_owl_clip

NOTE: The cute clip art came from GraphicDesignByMia over at etsy.

 


Online Daybook & 7QT (5/16/16): Prayers, Family Memories & New Music

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od_logo_quiet2Grateful for…

  • A blessed weekend, even if it went by a little too quick.
  • Blue, sunny skies. (After so many days of grey, I was really missing it.)
  • The body of Christ and the prayers of family and friends.
  • Random hugs and “I love you’s” from the kids.
  • Morning walks.

Praying for..

  • My mom and that we find out her cancer has not spread.
  • Those suffering with illness or life altering disease.
  • The repose of the soul of my father-in-law.
  • All those who have lost loved ones, especially for those struggling with depression because of it.
  • People suffering from violence – whether within their home or their community.
  • All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
  • The souls in purgatory, especially family, friend and those most forgotten.

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Pondering…

My concern for my mom’s health has been a constant occupant in my head. No mater what I am doing it seems to be sitting there and, at times, making me feel guilty when I am doing something “fun.” It is a weird feeling. On the other hand, the worry has forced me to turn continuously throughout the day to God and place it at his feet. I keep repeating to myself, Jesus, I trust in You until the worry subsides. This has also definitely renewed my devotion to the rosary as I place my mom in Our Lady’s hands. Why do we need something bad to happen to shake us up and get us into a better place? I want to be able to get the lessons without the heartache but I guess that’s not always reality. 😉

 

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Around the House…

RevolutionofLove.com - cwa_5_16__16_iWThe view from the couch in our front room. It was a cold and gloomy day but I had a some quiet time to work on an upcoming Blessed Is She devotion. I am truly honored to be part of this beautiful ministry. :-)

 

Family Chit Chat…

My mom had her contrast cat scan yesterday to check if the cancer has gone into her lymph nodes and she will meet with the oncologist on Friday to find out how bad (or not so bad) the cancer is. I’m on pins and needles waiting.

However, there have been some more pleasant family moments that have helped me not to stress out so much. Here are the highlights.

RevolutionofLove.com (ajm_5_2016)Andrew made his First Communion. :-)

RevolutionofLove.com - The Rol Family (fam_5_2016)Our happy little family. :-)

RevolutionofLove.com - Gilroy Gardens (cwa_5_16__16_f)On Friday I went with Andrew to his class field trip to Gilroy Gardens.

RevolutionofLove.com - cwa_5_16__16_aIt is a theme park but they also have an educational science program.

RevolutionofLove.com - cwa_5_16__16_eAndrew likes rocks and gems so this session was fun for him.

RevolutionofLove.com - cwa_5_16__16_cWe also enjoyed the reptile show. This big guy was 13 feet long!

RevolutionofLove.com - cwa_5_16__16_dThe peacock was pretty but it had a loud screech.

RevolutionofLove.com - cwa_5_16__16_bAndrew and I had a great mom and son day out. :-)RevolutionofLove.com - cwa_5_16__16_gThen on Saturday it was a mom and daughter day. Bella’s early graduation gift was to watch Disney’s Broadway musical Newsies live on stage. It was so much fun! :-)

But seriously, I feel like I just need to stay home for once and take a nap 😉

 

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In the Kitchen…

RevolutionofLove.com - pasta_spinach_5I made a super easy 30 minute pasta dish that we love. I’m posting the recipe next week. :-)

 

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Reading…

waiting_on_the_word_marriagePhoto Credit: Blessed Is She

I just started reading a new prayer series this morning – Waiting on the Word: Our Vows. This scripture study is written by Nancy Bandzuch, Nell O’Leary, Laura Kelly Fanucci, and Jenna Guizar. (Nancy, Nell and Laura wrote the much loved Advent and Lenten series that I participated in earlier this year.)  Waiting in the Word: Our Vows is a 4 week, lectio divina based study on our wedding vows. You can get more details and the link to download the study here. I hope you’ll join me!

* * *

I’ve also gone through a lot of fiction books lately, thanks in part to Audible. Since I have a number of books I finished, I will give mini-reviews for those in a separate post later this week. Titles include: All the Light We Cannot See, Me Before You, Eleanor and Park, and The Husband Maker Series.

 

Watching…

(ON TV)

Now that our favorite TV series are ending until next fall, it is time to switch over to some summer shows.

I am especially looking forward to the Julian Fellowes new Amazon original series Doctor Thorne, which will start on May 20th on Amazon Prime.

 

Listening to …

I heard these guys the other day on the iTunes alternative music station and I fell in love with them. Here is Run or Hide by Run River North.

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I feel like I am finally getting back into a blogging routine. Upcoming posts – book reviews, recipes, summer goals, bullet journal Q&A, Spotlight Saturday and more.

 

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In the blogosphere…

There’s not much blog reading time but I’ve recently enjoyed (or have in my reading queue):

 

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RevolutionofLove.com - cwa_5_16__16_hWHere is a shot from my morning walk.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately! What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Any book or movie recommendations? Do share.

I’m linking up with post with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes and Cristina for Lovely Tidbits. :-)

Have a great week!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo :-)


Quick Mom Update (5/13/16)

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Happy feast of the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. I just wanted to touch base, particularly for those of you who don’t follow me on social media but have asked about how my mom is doing. She went for her biopsy  on Tuesday and the doctor confirmed that she has cancer and that it looks aggressive. They don’t know a stage yet. She will get a contrast cat scan on 5/15 (the feast of Pentecost) to look into her abdomen and pelvis to see if it went into any lymph nodes. Then she will meet with her oncologist on 5/20 to get the results and make a plan of action. All things considered, mom is really upbeat and positive and ready to fight.

We all thank you for your prayers so far and humbly ask for your continued prayers. It is very much appreciated! xoxo

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉


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