Category Archives: Bloggers

The Sweet Life

“La Dolce Vita” is an Italian phrase meaning “The Sweet Life” that we picked up on our first visit to Italy. We’ve used it often to describe our life together over the years, but I have to tell you, life over the past six months has been even sweeter than ever. This little girl is such a joy! I don’t know if anyone will even see this post since it has been so long since I last wrote, but if you are reading this and you were one of the many people who prayed for us during this pregnancy, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It still amazes me that we get to be her parents. ❤

Over the past few months I’ve had several people ask if I’m going to start writing in this space again. And the truth has been that I just didn’t know. As I’m sure most of you who follow me on social media have guessed, we are currently keeping our daughter’s online presence to a minimum. Which means that I’m not planning to write about her here. I could write about the same types of things I used to write about here: recipes or fitness or time with friends or travels or photography or DIYs or house updates all without mentioning her or sharing photos of her. But, my friends, that’s just not where my head is right now.

I’m still doing all of these things that I was doing before her arrival, but she is just so much a part of our lives now that I don’t want to blog without talking about her. Maybe at some point down the line I’ll be ready for that or we will decide to share more about her publicly. But for now I guess this is me officially saying a goodbye to this blog.

I may not be writing in this space, but I’m not completely gone! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. And of course if you have questions about recipes or travel or baby things or just want to chat, you can always email me ( I would love to hear from you! 🙂

I started this blog in 2010 and am so thankful for the connections I’ve made thanks to blogging. What a sweet and supportive group of bloggers I ran into in this corner of the internet. Thanks for being part of that and for reading along over the years! ❤

Love Rach

I like to eat buttery pasta

Remember when AIM was a big thing? Everyone had cool names on it that had nothing to do with their real names (Christopher’s was kiwisurferboy… how adorable is that?) . Well, I remember a girl who had the name iliketoeatbutterypasta. And I remember that it made me hungry every time I talked to her. And today I’m thinking fondly of her as I talk about how I really do like to eat buttery pasta. 😉

Last week Jayda shared a photo of a Pioneer Woman recipe that she had made and I was smitten. I knew I needed to make it immediately. So I did. And it was ah-mazing. But I mean, it’s butter and pasta and some fresh herbs… what’s not to love?

pioneer woman pasta

I had some basil growing on my front porch that just begged to be added to this dish and I can’t help myself from adding garlic to pretty much everything I cook. But other than those two modifications, this is pretty much just like the Pioneer Woman’s original recipe.

Buttery Lemon Herbed Pasta


4 oz pasta
1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
handful of fresh basil & parsley, minced
squeeze of a lemon
salt & pepper to taste


1. Cook noodles according to package directions (I used tagliatelle pasta so it cooks for only a few minutes before it’s al dente). Drain and give your colander a good shake to remove excess water.

2. Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and let it begin to sizzle. After 30 seconds-1 minute when it starts to turn golden (just before it turns brown), toss in your cooked pasta and allow it to pan fry for a couple of minutes.

3. Slice a lemon in half and give it a good squeeze over your pasta while it pan fries. Then toss in minced parsley & basil. Add salt & pepper to taste, then toss together. Serve while warm.

Worth making. Over and over again. It’s all ingredients I always have so it’s perfect for a quick lunch when I’m not sure what to make. As always, The Pioneer Woman doesn’t disappoint. 🙂

Did anyone have a fun AIM username? I had a couple of different ones. Usually speck or speckjoy (speck and joy were both nicknames) or dinghaile (my name in Chinese – it means “ocean of joy”).

Do you like buttery pasta?

Love Rach

The Best Cinnamon Rolls I’ve Ever Eaten

Jayda over at Avocado Grove made the most amazing looking cinnamon rolls a couple of weeks ago. As soon as I saw them, I knew I needed to make them. So that very weekend I baked up a batch! My parents-in-law were in town and we all loved them. In fact, even my mother-in-law who seldom has seconds of anything took a second cinnamon roll. They are just that good. I made them again for breakfast today because my parents are in town and they were a winner again so I decided it was time to share the recipe! The original recipe comes from, but I had to adapt it a bit to make it more Rach-friendly (aka I cut the brown sugar in half, used almond milk instead of regular, and nixed the pecans ’cause I don’t like nuts in baked goods). I don’t just love the texture of super sticky things, but if you do then you should stick to the original recipe.

As a side note, both times I made these, I made them the night before and let them do their second rise in the fridge overnight. They turned out perfectly. I didn’t want to wake up 3 hours early just to make cinnamon rolls so this is a great way to do all the work the night before! However, if you have some time and don’t want to make them from start to finish in the morning, be sure to use the directions from the original recipe. 🙂

cinnamon rolls

cinnamon rolls{click on recipe card to be able to zoom up on it}

cinnamon rollsThe cinnamon roll on the left has some of the brown sugar/butter drippings from the pan drizzled on top and the cinnamon roll on the right has the icing on top (as mentioned in the recipe). This morning I ate mine straight from the pan without any extra sugary topping. SO great!

I have had some great cinnamon rolls in my life, but these are hands down my favorite. My mom even said that she would say these are as good as her recipe (which is high praise!) and even my husband who doesn’t just love cinnamon rolls, enjoyed these. He says they are the best he’s ever had. Granted, his were drenched in icing so that could be part of his love for them. A little pure sugar to start off his morning. 😉 Anyway, you should make these. They are fabulous. 😀
Love Rach