Tag Archives: italian

Duolingo Update

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Duolingo Update

Yo! It has been a while since I gave an update on my language learning festivities, so here we are. This past month, I have added Czech to my trifecta of languages that I have been working on with French, Spanish, and Italian. And, let me tell you, it has been about a bitch. I decided to start Czech because of my halfsies heritage with my mom being one hundred percent Czechoslovakian. And, I plan on starting German in another month or so as my dad is almost one hundred percent in his nationality.

Being fluent in French made Spanish and Italian fairly easy to work on, since the Romance languages are pretty similar. I also took Spanish from kindergarten to eighth grade and some of that (But not much!) is definitely coming back. Italian has proven to be more challenging than I thought it would be, but I finally think I am getting a better grip on it after over three months of working on it.

The real difficulty lies in Czech because it sounds SO different than any of the other languages that I am familiar with. None of the words in Czech sound anything like English, which is so helpful in my Romance languages because you can make an educated guess even if it sounds vaguely like something you have heard before. I went into Czech blind or, deaf, I should say because aside from a few random words I’ve heard from my mom and grandma, I’ve never even heard it spoken before.

But, Lil Red never backs down from a challenge and I plan to continue working hard on Czech as well as the other three languages in my arsenal. In the meantime, does anyone have any tips on learning a new language? Czech in specific? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Duolingo Progress

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Duolingo Progress

Hi! For those of you who don’t know, one of my favorite hobbies is learning new languages. I would say that I am fluent in French and, thanks to Duolingo, I have spent the past few months working on Spanish. I was going to just focus on those two languages for the time being but, then, I watched a fantastic film over the weekend called The Green Book and it was absolutely impossible to not start learning Italian afterwards!

Every day, I try to practice for at least thirty minutes between the three languages and it makes me feel so good. I love to learn and it feels awesome to gain a new skill as well as do something that makes me genuinely happy. I really do stand by the phrase that I loosely toss around on here that “knowledge is power”. Learning a new phrase in a language or a fact per day is empowering. You don’t have to be in school to continue your education and it makes it even better when you are teaching yourself.

I am so thankful for Duolingo, 1) because it’s completely free and 2) because it allows my skills to flourish. And, did I mention that it’s fun?! So much fun, that I think I will go practice my trifecta of languages now. πŸ˜€

Who else uses the Duolingo app? What languages are you learning? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Delicious Baked Ziti Recipe

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Delicious Baked Ziti Recipe

Hiii everyone and happy Tuesday! So in yesterday’s Monday Update I mentioned that I made my boyfriend a baked ziti dish for our six month anniversary. It turned out amazing and my beau and family really enjoyed it. The recipe I found on allrecipes was way too good not to share so I thought that I would post it for your super cheesy pleasure today! You’re welcome! πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups ziti pasta, uncooked
  • 1 (26) oz jar marinara sauce (Instead of plain old Ragu, I used a specialty sauce with extra garlic and herb flavoring to kick things up a little)
  • 1 (14.5) oz can diced tomatoes, undrained (I used a can that had additional oregano and Italian herb seasoning)
  • 6 oz cream cheese, cubed (The blocked cream cheese usually comes in 8 oz packaging so I just used the whole thing)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 8 oz package of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Ingredients That I Added:

  • 8 cloves garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • basil
  • parsley
  • oregano
  • Italian seasoning

Ingredients I Will Use Next Time:

  • More seasoning
  • Onions
  • Green pepper
  • Zuchinni
  • Yellow squash

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cook pasta, using the directions on the packaging. Once the pasta is done cooking, remove and drain.
  3. After you have removed the pasta, turn the burner down to medium heat. Add the rest of your ingredients in the pan and let it cook for about 5 min. or until the cheese is completely melted.
  4. Add the pasta into the sauce and mix thoroughly.
  5. Layer the pasta into a 13×9 in. baking pan and then top with extra mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for 20 min. or until heated through.

*** A word to the wise: This recipe made a GIGANTIC amount of food so be prepared for left overs! Here is the link to theΒ recipe that I used, if you would like to reference it for any reason! Special thanks to whomever posted it, it was delicious! πŸ™‚

The baked ziti was a hit for my family and my boyfriend so I hope all of you enjoy it as much as we did! What is your favorite food to make? What is your favorite food to eat? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Birthday Fun Edition

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Monday Update: Birthday Fun Edition

Heyyy everyone and happy Monday! So this weekend was kind of a big deal because of October 17th which is both my boyfriend’s and my brother’s birthday! I had the best time celebrating with my man this weekend and enjoyed some mother daughter time when she helped me prep Kyle’s birthday dinner. Sorry that I was away without warning, BTW, because I like to give you guys notice when I’m not going to have a Saturday post of some kind! But I’m back from being birthday MIA so let’s discuss:

My oldest brother, Peter, celebrated his 28th birthday but unfortunately he lives in Atlanta, Georgia so I didn’t get to ring in his new year with him. So this weekend it was all about the boyfriend who turned the big 2-7. Besides from some awesome gifts (if I do say so myself), I wanted to cook him a special dinner too so before I headed to Canton for the weekend my mom helped me with something that I deemed a “must”: a fresh loaf of French bread to go with a Fettuccine Alfredo dish.

My mom is an incredible bread baker and has been doing it for forever. I can remember watching her bake and knead her loaves of bread when I was younger but could never do it quite like her. That was about to change this weekend though because my mama dearest walked me through how to bake my own French bread and it turned out amazing! My mom was an awesome teacher and I liked how she explained the process to me rather than doing it for me so I felt like I was still the one making the bread. She taught me how to knead the dough and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy I found it because I remember it being so hard when I was younger! According to mi madre, I’m a natural and here’s how my French bread turned out:

bwead

While my bread baked I whipped up a quick chocolate lava cake as well and left shortly after everything was baked to perfection. I loaded up my car with gifts, an overnight bag, dinner ingredients, my cake, and my bread on a cooling rack and headed to Canton. The thing about bread is that it can’t go into a bag until it’s completely cool and my mom refused to let my first time bread creation go soggy so she insisted that I drive with the naked loaf on a cooling rack. I was SO terrified to drive quickly or break heavily for the fear of the baguette flying off the rack. Lucky for me, my bread baby sat just fine and we made it to Kyle’s in one piece!

I had the pleasure of meeting Kyle’s brother, sister-in-law, and their two children on Friday night and then we went home for gift opening and Dexter watching. Unfortunately on Saturday Kyle had to work for half of his birthday but during that time I was able to finish some homework, get an article edited, and spend some quality time with Kyle’s mom. Once the evening rolled around I started cooking a surprisingly easy Fettuccine Alfredo recipe that I found online. It turned out nice and creamy and my bread was delicious, if I do say so myself!

After dinner, we were going to see Crimson Peak but we were both so full and sleepy after our Italian meal that we ended up just lounging around for the night. But seeing the movie is on our agenda for when I see Kyle next! I had such a lovely weekend with my beau and it was such a joy to meet his brother and his family!

^^^ This one’s for you, Kyle!!! Happy birthday to both of my favorite boys!!!! ❀

I have a lot of exciting posts coming up in the near future including an article for a dear friend’s Trades Of Hope store and a piece for a wonderful musician fresh out of Kent, Ohio – John Patrick Halling. Keep your eyes peeled for those as well as all of the usuals throughout the week like #WCW and my American Horror Story reviews! Until then, how was everyone’s weekend? Did anyone else have some events worth celebrating? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah