clinging to summer

Happy Friday, darlings!

I know what you’re thinking. Rana. Summer. She’s clinging to it? Are you sick???? Fear not. This ginger tries her best to stay out of direct sunlight. I mean that I’m clinging to summer break. Because this is my senior year. My last year to stay home. I’m not ready for the new stage of life (or school in general). So I think it’s best if I could live in a land of eternal summer break.


This past week has gone fairly well. We’ve watched Leap Year and Decoy Bride, both of which I high recommend and laughed myself silly over. A dear friend of mine told me that Katie’s sense of humor (from Decoy Bride) reminded her of mine frequently. Amused? Highly. Comfortable with that? Not sure. And Amy Adams plays and adorably awkward, helpless, clumsy American romantic in Leap Year, so it’s essentially guaranteed hilarity.

Monday night…

…turned into alfredo sauce + pasta night. My brother (!) asked for the recipe and I told him it was a secret. Because I came up with a better recipe than last time and I’m not sure if I ought to release it yet… 😉

I decided that my dream is to own a company/restaurant called Luscious Noodles and I will sell alfredo sauce and/or delicious pastas. It will be the bomb diggity.

Alfredo Pasta | The Gingerling

Alfredo Pasta | The Gingerling

On Wednesday…

…we went to town, did some school shopping, thrift shopping at Clothes Mentor (I got an adorable floral dress), and craft shopping at Michael’s + Hobby Lobby! I have a million (read: 10) empty sampler tea tins from World Market and they were simply too cute to throw out.

So I did the natural thing: make candles out of them! Five are lavender scented and five are spiced pumpkin scented. We’re kind of huge into candles.

I guess you could call these… tea lights.

Candle-Making | The Gingerling Candle-Making | The Gingerling

Candle-Making | The Gingerling

Candle-Making | The Gingerling

Floral | The Gingerling Floral | The Gingerling


I made them dang candles (and a mess) as well as Chicken Cheddar Shells. Seriously, go to Publix, find the sample station, and grab that recipe + the Basil Pesto Salmon recipe – they are delicious! And yes. I’m a pasta fanatic. I know it’s not healthy, but life is short.

Chicken Cheddar Shells | The Gingerling


I made Fairy Bites; they taste like magic and hope. It might be because I used my Happy Unicorn Sprinkles… Either way, delicious and addictive.

Fairy Bites | The Gingerling

Fairy Bites | The Gingerling

Love always,


I’m a Happy Unicorn

Hello, darlings!

After a week of uncomfortable conversations (hint: college + figure your life out) and a multitude of tears, the week finally turned around for the better!

On Thursday, I got my hair cut (the layers have made a reappearance on this red head) and am quite pleased with it! I went to Studio G in Lehigh Acres. As per usual, I was told my head of hair was the best the stylist had ever had the pleasure of working on (soft, thick, long, shiny, ginger) and, of course, that alone made my day. Beyond that, Ms. Marisa took a chunk to experiment on. So I’m excited to see what my hair would look like dyed! Also, my hair smells like coconut and rainbows.

After that, my sister and I headed to a friend’s house where I was surprised with the gift of Happy Unicorn Sprinkles from Sweetapolita! This girl is a happy unicorn. ^_^

My brother picked us up later that night and we set off for home to watch the presidential debate. Did you see it? This nerd thoroughly enjoyed it! God really provided some great candidates when we need them most. (Update: Turns out that wasn’t the presidential debate; however, we did watch most of the republican candidates answer questions about what they’d do if they were president, their outlook on certain policies, and speak for 30 seconds about whatever their hearts desired.)

Now, yesterday. Yesterday was the bomb diggity, m’k? I saw Rachael’s sweet babies (twins are the bomb dot com), made vanilla cupcakes with marshmallow frosting, and drank a marshmallow milkshake. Oh, and pizza. Ate that, not drank.

We got a bunch of pictures at the Jones household and I’d like to share them with you; but first, I have to introduce you to the one and only Waffle Shake Addict. I’ve known her since we were two years old. She’s a witty fangirl who has an unhealthy obsession with milkshakes. But you can’t tell because she’s physically flawless.

I'm a Happy Unicorn

Now, on to the cuppy cakes!

We made simply perfect vanilla cupcakes with salted caramel in the middle + toasted marshmallow frosting. It was an ordeal. We labored intensely for multiple hours. But it was worth it because these were the best cupcakes I’d ever had.

I'm a Happy Unicorn

I'm a Happy Unicorn

Doesn’t it look like a belly button? Waffle Shake Addict told me, “No, Rana. Don’t say that.”

I'm a Happy Unicorn

I'm a Happy Unicorn

I'm a Happy Unicorn

Cute cupcake + salted caramel sauce. You can’t go wrong!

I'm a Happy Unicorn

I'm a Happy Unicorn

Chopsticks aren’t just for eating, you know. They’re also used for creating caramel pits of deliciousness.

I'm a Happy Unicorn

I'm a Happy Unicorn

OCD? Me? Not at all.

I'm a Happy Unicorn

Because I'm obviously Inspector Cupcake.

Because I’m obviously Inspector Cupcake.

I'm a Happy Unicorn

I don’t know who that hobo is behind me…


I'm a Happy Unicorn

Look at that gooey goodness!


I'm a Happy Unicorn

And we’re done!

Bonus pictures

I'm a Happy Unicorn

FullSizeRender (32)


Rana a.k.a. Stabbbbbbby the Thrandymellow Chunicorn


Thanks a million, Mrs. Jones! I had a blast and everything tasted amazing. ^_^

Count Your Blessings

Hello, lovely!

I want to take a few minutes to let you know what’s been going on in the world of Rana. My aunt and uncle-in-law celebrated their one year anniversary a few months ago and, because they didn’t really have a party after the papers were signed and their marriage was legally legit, they threw a party at their house a year later.

>>Now, they have a friend who owns a gluten-free/paleo bakery and you really ought to check it out if you live in South West Florida. It’s called Epiphany Gluten Free Bakery and you can buy their goods at Neighborhood Organics (just call before visiting – all the info is on the FaceBook page).

Anyway, this friend made their cake. It was literally the most beautiful cake I’d ever seen and one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever eaten. Seriously. Take a look:

Count Your Blessings | The Gingerling

Photo Credit to Epiphany Gluten-Free Bakery.

I jokingly asked her while she was cutting it up if I could work for her. She laughed and said absolutely. I kept thinking about it and realizing how much I really do love to work in the kitchen. I called her up and asked if she would mind my working there for free. Sweet soul that she is, Ruth said she would love to have me.

Long story short, I’ve been there twice now and have had a blast both times. I’m going to keep going once or twice a week over the summer to see if this is something I might want to do with my life.

Through this, I’ve learned that I need to step up and ask for things if they’re important enough to me. Which is something I’ve always had a hard time doing.

>>In other news, I think I’m leaning more towards not doing speech and debate for this, my senior year. It’s a hard choice because I’ve done it since I was 12 and this is my last eligible year. But like I said, it’s senior year, and I’m going to be incredibly busy succumbing to the pressure and trying not to be committed (to the funny farm).

The hardest part about that is I’ve just started to get good placing 4th and 6th at two different tournaments in debate, getting 13th place in speaker points, and moving on to semi-finals in all three tournaments with my speech. Plus, that’s when people start to know who you are and notice you and I’m not going to lie: That feels good.

But it’s a temporary thing as it’s always been and I need to let it go sometime. It’s either going to be now or next year.

>>For my writing buddies, I’ve started something new. It’s been going on for a while and still has no title. But it’s fun and I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish it. 😉 It’s about a girl from our world who gets zapped into a faerie world (think Tolkien elves, not the Christmas movie, Elf) and everyone thinks she has the power to move the stars (which, in their world, are people who have died or not yet lived). If she can do that, she can bring people back. But she doesn’t believe it and the prince of the fey people is in a perpetual rotten mood, so he’s put in charge of getting her to do the will of the evil king as a punishment for talking back on an issue he felt strongly about (and rightfully so).

Cliche? Maybe in some aspects. Fun? Definitely. And that’s (one reason) why I write. 😉

Fantasy is what I started with as a budding novelist and that crashed and burned. I’m hoping I can revisit it with more success this time, four years later.

Essentially, God has blessed me a lot so far this summer and I’m grateful. ^_^

So what’s going on in your world? What things are going your way?

Love always,


Quick ‘n’ Creamy Alfredo Sauce

Hello, lovely! Pasta. Alfredo sauce. 15 – 20 minutes max. Everyone in this house loves it + all the friends and family who have tried it. I don’t think anyone has disliked it so far. It’s definitely a favorite around here and I’ve made it so many times — not once has it turned out badly (that I can remember anyway…). The Parmesan cheese can easily be swapped for Colby Jack, Mexican cheese, or whatever other cheeses come shredded. Go ahead and give this recipe a whirl if it tickles your fancy. ^_^

Quick & Creamy Alfredo Sauce

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy.
  • Print

  • 1 package of spaghetti, fettuccine, or angel hair pasta
  • 1 – 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 – 1.5 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 5 oz. package of shredded Parmesan cheese (or more)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
  • salt, pepper, parsley, basil, oregano, mint


  1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, chop up the garlic and brown it in the butter on medium heat.
  3. Add the heavy cream (according to your taste — if you like it creamier or just want more sauce, add more cream).
  4. Add the cream cheese and kind of mix it in with a fork. Add Parmesan cheese and mix it in.
  5. Add salt, pepper, and whatever spices you like to taste! I enjoy parsley, basil, oregano, and mint.

Enjoy! God bless! Rana

Mint & Mozzarella Pizza

I think it’s no secret that I have an unhealthy addiction to cooking and baking. As a result of this cheesy passion (is that phraseology corny at all?), I tend to experiment with a lot of recipes. When I was little, I would watch Food Network and help my mom make pizzas (I often got caught eating the cheese before we put it in the oven). Now, I’d like to share a hit recipe (it’s a hit in the home – but let’s spread the love and share it throughout the internet).

My brother (my brother!) likes it.

My father (and he’ll never admit it, but he’s a picky eater) likes it.

My sister told me that I am the best cook (she’ll never live that one down).

My mother, no matter how hard she tries, cannot resist it.

Enjoy this one, kids! And if you want more, I’ve got other pizza recipes for you. 😉

Mint & Mozzarella Pizza

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy.
  • Print

Mint & Mozzarella Pizza

Pizza dough recipe adapted from All Recipes.


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water (more or less)
  • 1 tbsp. and 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) package mozzarella cheese
  • A few pinches of dried mint


  1. Preheat oven to 550 degrees F (288 degrees C). In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until bubbly (10 – 15 mins).
  2. Stir in flour (you may need to add more water to get the proper consistency). Beat until the dough doesn’t stick to the sides. Add a drop of oil to the bottom of the bowl and turn dough around in it until it’s all coated.* Let stand 10 – 15 mins.
  3. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll until it reaches the desired thickness. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured cookie sheet or pizza stone.
  4. Drizzle olive oil on top of dough, spread with spoon. Sprinkle salt on top. Dump that mozzarella cheese all over. Next, dust the top with dried mint and stick that baby in the oven until the edges have turned a golden-brown (10 ish minutes? Keep an eye on it though because it can cook really fast – unless you’re hungry – in which case, it will take 5 centuries.).
  5. Eat.

*If you add too much oil here, the dough will not rise.

If you end up making this recipe, do us a favor, love, and comment to let me know how you liked it!

Oh! And don’t forget to rate this post (on the left just beneath the title).