If you love pasta salad, and pizza, this recipe will be right up your alley! Enjoy all of the wonderful flavors of pizza in this quick and easy to make pizza pasta salad! This pasta salad is wonderful to bring as a side dish to a BBQ, or you could enjoy it as a side with some grilled chicken, or cut up some grilled chicken and mix it in for a perfectly balanced meal!
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When it comes to developing a lifestyle change and breaking bad habits, I have found that many people often dread the work that comes with change…And to be honest, I completely understand! I don’t know about you, but just hearing the phrase, “breaking bad habits” seems strenuous and down-right uncomfortable to me! This is especially true for many people when it comes to losing weight, or reaching a health or fitness goal.
After years of working with people, and experiencing change in many areas of my own life, I have come to find that the reason change often seems so difficult is that we are trying to make it happen backwards! The bible says in Proverbs 23:7, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” This means that if you are ever going to experience freedom in any area, you are going to have to start to see yourself as free on the inside before you see it on the outside.
I have learned that lasting change in any area truly starts and takes place right in between your ears, or in our minds. We must realize that we have an enemy, the devil, and he can only attack us in one area, in our minds, and he does so with lies and deception. One of the most common lies that the enemy tries to get us trapped in is to make us think that we are, (and will always be) slaves and in bondage to things. He comes at us with this lie because he knows that as long as he can get you to believe that you are a slave to a certain habit, behavior, or thing, you will never be able to break free, which is right where he wants you to stay.
The good news is however is that Christ came to set us free from ALL bondage! In fact, if you are born again, the Bible says you are ALREADY free. “Whom the son has set free, is free indeed” (John 8:36). This means that when you ask Jesus to be your Savior, that you are free from the power that sin once had over you.
I like to think of it it like a person who is in a jail cell with the door locked, and when Jesus comes along, He comes and unlocks the door, and says, “come on out, your free!” But just as we are about to step out, the devil says “wait, who told you that you could leave? You are not really free, and you never will be. You will be in bondage to this thing, habit, or lifestyle forever!” And so, the born again believer stays in the jail cell, with the door wide open, when all they needed to do was take a step out into freedom!
Taking this step into freedom does require action on our part, and it takes effort to Renew our Minds with God’s Word, and learn our identity in Christ. The first step often requires us humbling ourselves before the Lord, and repenting of our behaviors that are not glorifying to Him, and ask for His help to change. He will always be there to respond to our cry, and He is a good Father that loves and desires to take our hand and lead us into freedom.
The next step is getting into the Word of God, and asking God to renew our minds, and help us to see ourselves as the overcomer that He has created us to be. It also means praying specifically about the things that we desire change in on a daily (sometimes multiple times a day) basis!
This process of walking into total freedom can often happen in steps and stages, like peeling back layers on an onion. The reason for this is simply because many of us have lived in bondage to things for many years and it often takes time for our minds to be renewed, and our hearts to respond to the Lord and change. The important thing to remember however, is that God has already given you everything you need to walk in total victory and freedom in every area of your life, and the very first step is to see yourself as you truly are in Christ…totally and completely set free!
My 30th birthday was very special, as I was surprised by my older sister Sarah and her husband Phil this past weekend with a surprise trip to Chicago!
Sarah and Phil picked up my husband and myself, and my younger sister Emily and her husband Brett early Friday morning, and we drove to Chicago! When we arrived, I got the surprise of a lifetime when we pulled into the Trump Hotel in Chicago! It is a beautiful hotel from the outside, but even more stunning on the inside!
My sisters went in ahead of time and decorated the room with banners, sparkling zevia (a stevia sweetened sparkling drink, so good), and Sprinkles cupcakes!
Sarah ordered the infamous Sprinkles peanut butter cup cupcakes especially for me! This was a very special treat, since I don’t eat cupcakes often, much less Sprinkles cupcakes! But hey- on your birthday, everyone can and should enjoy a cupcake! ;)
Our view from the room was simply breathtaking!
Sarah went all out to make sure I felt celebrated and had so much fun!
The weather in Chicago was beautiful! A sunny 80 degrees the whole time we were there! So, we went out to walk around the city and do a little shopping.
For dinner Sarah and Phil took us to a sushi restaurant. I generally don’t eat much sushi, but I loved trying new things, and trying some of the sushi rolls! I had a Thai style dish with chicken which was really good!
Chicago is a beautiful city at night as well! We ended up going back to the room and enjoying our cupcakes and opening gifts. It was such a fun day and evening being with my favorite people in one of my favorite cities!
I woke up feeling terribly sick on Saturday, and I ended up feeling so bad that I stayed in the hotel room the entire day, (I’m thinking it may have been food poisoning). I was so disappointed, feeling like I was wasting the day away in bed, but I knew that God would restore the day to me on Sunday, and He sure did! Not only did we receive countless unexpected blessings on Sunday, but I woke up feeling 100% better, the sun was shining when it was supposed to be raining, and it ended up feeling like two days in one! We spent the day enjoying all that Chicago had to offer on Sunday! We woke up and had brunch, and did a little shopping!
We also took a tour by horse drawn carriage around the city! Such a neat experience!
We also went to visit Millenium Park…
And of course went to see the famous bean!
We also did some shopping at some of the unique shops that Chicago has to offer, such as Hershey’s store! :) My sisters and I took this picture for a tribute to my dad since it was fathers day! We call my dad ‘Mr. Chocolate’ because he loves chocolate so much! ;)
And of course if you don’t know it yet, I am a huge peanut butter cup fan, so I figured what better way to enjoy Reese’s than a cup of coffee in a Reese’s mug!?!
Also, how amazing are these 1 lb Reeses cups!?! They would certainly not make you feel amazing, but pretty amazing none the less! ;)
For dinner we went to Grand Lux Cafe, which is owned by the same company as Cheesecake Factory, so it is very similar! I got the Manhattan salad, which was huge, and loaded with veggies, chicken, and tons of wonderful toppings! We finished off the trip with some frozen yogurt (of course), and headed home with full hearts, (and stomachs)! :)
Thank you every for all the sweet birthday wishes, and a special thank you to Sarah and Phil for blessing me beyond belief with this incredible birthday trip that I will never forget!
As far as turning 30, well I am actually really excited about being in my 30′s! My 20′s were sure a time of pruning, growing, and learning who I was…and boy were there growing pains!!! Not to say that I won’t still be learning and growing pains in my 30′s, but it sure makes a difference when you are learning from a place of knowing WHO and WHO’s you are!!