Monday, March 21, 2016

Coffee Break!

For some reason, I love the coffee mentality. I don't mean the energy it gives some people (not me, unfortunately), but just the way you feel when you think of coffee. I stumbled upon keurig pods on Pinterest somehow, which brought me down the Internet Hole, this time manifested in Amazon. I looked up basically everything. How cheap could I get keurig pods (a penny! But with $6 shipping :P) to coffee accessories. And I found the cutest single cup coffee maker:

From Amazon. For only twenty bucks!
I will need this for my future dorm room. It doesn't take keurigs, though. We have one in the kitchen, but I don't think I'll be able to take it with me when I move out. ;)

Then I remembered that the last time I got sucked in by the Internet was for coffee syrups. So I googled them again and found a ton more that I love, which I put on my Coffee and Tea pinterest board.

This reminded me that last time I pinned a bunch, I put them on my food board instead. While in the process of moving them to their proper place, I found a link to cappuccino pancakes! And realized that I had all of the ingredients on had. So guess what I keep getting up every few minutes to flip? ;) Maybe I did something wrong while doubling the recipe, but it seemed really thick, so I added about a cup more of milk. And now the coffee flavor isn't strong enough. :P So I just added a little bit more, and we'll see if that works.

EDIT: Pancakes were fine, but the mocha sauce is to DIE FOR. You need this in your life.

I wonder where my next Internet wormhole will take me...maybe into the land of tea.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

While Home Alone

Today my parents get back from a six day trip to Mexico. Two of my younger siblings stayed at my grandma's house, so it was just us older four (ages 15 to 21) and the youngest, a two year old. Here's what I learned while home alone (with a bunch of sibs).

1. No one cleans unless they have to, and you don't have to until the day your parents are supposed to be back.
I was the one who shoveled. 
2. Don't just buy dairy and gluten products when you go to the store. We basically just got milk, eggs, bagels, pita bread, and labne, a Middle Eastern yogurt/cheese thing we add garlic powder to and eat with the pita bread. We should also have gotten meat and snack food.

3. Yes, your other siblings can handle being alone with the baby while one person leaves. I babysat someone else's kids, my sister went on a date, one brother went to school (the rest of us are on break), and another brother went all the way to Ann Arbor to get the Phantom Menace, because NONE of the closer libraries had it. It's not the end of the world.  

4. I make a wicked good caramel sauce.
Pair this with some coffee! Recipe from Ree Drummond
5. Watch all the movies you want, but schedule them. Staying up until 12 two nights in a row was probably not a good idea, especially since one was a school night.

6. Prayers do work--the mom of those kids I babysat is having another baby, and instead of its head facing down, it was lying more like a banana (???). But it's good now! :D

7. Always treat your neighbors well, because you might get stuck in your driveway and need their help.
 
Our neighbors are awesome.

8. It's going to be a relief when my parents get back, but I'm glad they could go have fun. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I'm Not Her

I'm Not HerI'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Woo! First review in a looong time.
“For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel envy…” 

Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?
For some reason, I was under the impression that this book was about how Tess dealt with the aftermath of her sister's death, but instead it's what happens once her sister is diagnosed. So the beginning wasn't what I expected it to be, but that's my fault. :P

I'm a sucker for a contemporary because even when characters drive me mad, that's normal-ish, right? Real people can annoy the heck out of me, so I cut characters a little slack. Still, some things stuck out to me.

MC: Tess
How whiny can she get? And so convinced that everyone is talking about her all the time.
I feel eyes inspecting me. I'm different to them now. I'm the girl whose sister has cancer.
While everyone probably is talking about her, it all was told instead of shown, so I rarely actually heard people talking about her, just Tess thinking they were. Which gave me the impression they probably weren't.
She's also super mean, yet endearing. How can you not feel bad for her? She's always been shoved to the back burner in favor of her older sister, but even more so now that Kristina has cancer. Still, she's so, so mean all the time.
I lean forward so we're almost nose to nose. "You're fat and mean and no one likes you," I hiss. I know what to say to hurt her the most.
She said that to her supposed best friend, who, tbh, was also super mean.

The Romance
Oh my gosh. It was so, so awkward, especially because I couldn't keep track of the four main boys, even though she only has a crush on two or three of them. What happened at the end was adorkable, but before that there was this:
His fingers brush against my cheek and he wipes away a tear I didn't even know was there. And then he does the strangest thing. He lifts his finger to his mouth and licks my tear. It should be gross, but it's so sweet another tear drops from my eye.
"You taste sad," he says and then groans. "Man, Tess. You're just a kid."
Then he kisses her on the lips.
What bugged me the most is how much older he is than her. Yeah, my parents are three years apart, but it's a big deal in high school. She's a freshman. He's a senior. She's not even old enough to give consent to sex! (In Michigan, at least. Tess is 15 and you have to be 16). Yeah, it never went that far, but I couldn't stop thinking about how if it did, the 18 year old could go to jail.

The Writing
Tess's narration is super straight forward, which I love. She says exactly what she's thinking, everyone else be darned! I couldn't put it down. I haven't been reading in a while, but this helped pull me back in. :)

Given how much Tess was into art, I'm surprised there wasn't more about it. She keeps saying it's such a big deal, but she only mentioned it every once in a while. Also, she saw one add for a competition and suddenly it became super important? I don't know how the art industry works, but for writing, there are hundreds of competitions all the time. You have to write the right genre, go through rounds of judging, get your soul crushed a few times, ect. I wanted to know the details about this contest! How does it work for artists? Tell me!

Other
Kristina's struggle with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) felt very real. She had cancer and she hated it. Yeah, she "battled bravely", but what else can you do? I'd love to read this book from her perspective.

I absolutely loved the ending. Spoilers, but no names: (view spoiler) The last twenty pages really made the book for me. OHMYGOSH SUPERMAN IS SO CUTE. Clark Trent (yes, that's his real name) was exactly the bright spot Tess needs in her life.

I have so much more to say (like how Tess's parents are THE WORST), but I've gone on long enough. ;) More reviews to come though. I am officially back!

View all my reviews

Monday, February 22, 2016

Doing All the Things

Reading:
I'm Not Her
I'm Not Her
The main character sure is whiny, and I'm still waiting for her sister to die (I thought this book was going to focus on the aftermath, not the cancer itself), but I'm a sucker for contemporaries. I needed something else to focus on while reading...

WINTER!
Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)
For some reason fantasy novels make me anxious (the stakes are so much higher!) so I'm taking this slowly. But it's so, so good. I love being back with my favorite characters after a long break.

I had to go to Goodreads to get the links to the books...when I typed in "goo" google came up first. :( Goodreads used to. It shall again!

Watching:
The Clone Wars TV show. We're on the last season which is half as long as the other five. :P Also, Ahsoka is fab. I'm so glad she's in the Rebels show, even though the way she envisioned herself is kinda different from how she actually looks when she's older.
from here
Sitting at: community college, waiting for my sister to get out of her class. This semester I'm taking college math and government. Not bad.

Drinking/eating: cherry lemonade from Wendy's. They have the coolest drink machine.

Wearing: a pretty put-together outfit! Purple shirt, favorite jeans, black jacket earrings my friend made, and a super cool owl necklace.

Writing: the conclusion to this post.

Dang, I'm witty.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Random


  1. I hate writing intros to blog posts so I'm just not gonna.
  2. After watching this video by iiSuperwomanii (FYI there's some language), I decided to pull out the whiteboard from my closet to make a "Done" list of all that I did that day. The only problem is that I did a TON that day, which made today seem not as good. Still, I want to keep at it for at least a week to see how it goes. Maybe it will make me feel more productive, or at least realize that I'm not as lazy as I thought. Or maybe it will do the opposite.
  3. My licence arrived in the mail today! It's honestly not what I wanted to arrive (still waiting for the ipod we got off ebay), but hey, I'm not complaining. The picture looks much better now than when I first saw it as the DMV.
  4. I've been compiling a huge list of music in my head to add to said ipod. Hopefully it'll come Monday, since it can't on Sunday. :P But goodness knows the post office employees need a day off.
  5. I painted my nails white, then picked two of my mom's nail polish and made polka dots. My two year old bro calls them "po-ko dots". Such adorbs.
  6. I currently go to a youth group that's slowing failing. The start of the ear was awesome--the guy in charge is 22 and was really honest about his own relatable struggles, so we were all pretty happy with him. But I think SOMEONE ELSE (like, ya know, his employer) wanted him to go a different rout that some call...controlling. And I'd have to agree. I don't think I'll last the year there, but I've been thinking about making sort of an anti-yg the day before, and maybe my friends and I will just do that instead.
  7. I haven't replied to any comments yet, and for that I'm sorry. I suck at that. For some reason comments really stress me out, despite how overwhelmingly positive they were in my last post. I was truly touched, y'all. Thanks.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Real Food for REAL People

As you might have noticed, I've been away for the reading/blogosphere for a while. I haven't been into books or writing at all, so I just dropped 'em and moved on. Maybe I should have left a blog post explaining why, but alas, I am the master of my blog. My blog does not rule me. I walked away, but now I'm back, after noticing a certain kind of blog post that was severely underwriten.

How many of you actually have quinoa in your pantry? Does anyone really care if eating cheezits will bring about your early demise? Most recipes require going to the grocery store for five pounds of something that you'll never use again.

Hence, I'm starting a blog series for real food for real people, using ingredients you can actually find in your kitchen. Hope you find these helpful. :)

Applesauce for one
1 apple, any kind (I think I used a huge Granny Smith--tasted good, but should have gone for a smaller size)
2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar, or however much you end up wanting (c'mon, I have no idea how much I used. I'm just guessing here)
A squirt of lemon juice. This one probably isn't too important, especially if you're going to eat it right away. Lemon juice keeps your sauce from turning brown as it sits out. I like to use a ton so it ends up as more of a lemon-apple sauce.

Peel apple and cut into half inch pieces. Drop into pot; cover with water. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork--or your teeth. Drain and put into a medium bowl. As sugar and lemon juice and beat with an egg beater. Voila! Quick and easy applesauce.




Ciao for now,
J Girl

Thursday, October 22, 2015

NaNoWriMo

I've been away from the blogging/goodreads space for a while. I just haven't really be reading as much, but I'm going to do the youth NaNoWriMo this year. I'm in love with my plot line: When Siobhan starts volunteering at Caring Cors Community (similar to real world Big Brothers Big Sisters), she's not prepared for the difficulties that come with spending time with a little girl, Jayla, who's clearly hiding something, but won't let go of her secret. Coupled with problems at home, can Siobhan find the strength to stand alone? Or is will that only be her downfall?

Siobhan is super Irish. I actually had to look up a youtube video on how to pronounce that name. xD It's like "Shovanne".

Caring Cors Community is based off of Big Brothers Big Sisters corporation. It's basically where you can sign up to get a mentor (or to be one). It's not necessarily like tutoring, but more like just spending time with them--A good outside influence, if you will. I was originally very put off by the website because when you sign up to become a Big Sister, they ask you to try to get some men in your life to sign up as well, because there aren't enough Big Brothers. When you go to the page to become a Big Brother, it doesn't say anything about trying to get your girlfriend into becoming Big Sister. I was like, "Fine! My help isn't good enough for you? Then you won't get it!"

Also, you have to be, like, 18. So, yeah.

Annnyway, in my book there's going to be lots of Latin phrases awkwardly spouted off by Siobhan, scary secrets, and no love story (probably). I love me a good love story, but you can only take so many.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?