HelloFresh Dinners

My husband and I decided that we wanted to try some fresh and new dinners, so we ordered three meals for this week from HelloFresh. On Monday, I cooked Bulgogi pork tenderloin and lime rice. The prep work took a little bit longer than what I expected, but the results were delicious.

Basically, you browned the pork tenderloins–they recommended in a skillet, but I used our electric one–then you cooked the rice and the carrots (seasoned with salt and pepper) for 15 and 10 minutes respectively, then once the pork tenderloins were browned and the carrots were done, you put the tenderloins (also seasoned with salt and pepper) in the oven and was cooked with the carrots for another 10 minutes. I did it for an extra 5 minutes because I didn’t want to sit there and brown the tenderloins as I didn’t see that step until after the carrots were nearly done. While this is cooking, you cook diced onions until they’re very soft, then add bulgogi sauce and a dash of salt. After everything is cooked, you fluff up the rice, added a squirt of lime and you’re all ready to eat.

Bulgogi pork tenderloin, roasted carrots and lime rice.

I’m not much of a cook, but after it was all done, I was quite pleased with myself for how it turned out. The food was delicious; even the carrots weren’t overcooked that much, just right.

Last night, my husband cooked the balsamic fig chicken, so I wasn’t quite sure how it was cooked, but essentially you baked the potatoes in the often, grilled the chicken and made the balsamic fig sauce. It even came with a side of salad. We didn’t like the salad as much; it called for salt and olive oil and since we didn’t have the olive oil, we used vegetable oil as a substitute and it tasted a bit salty, but still good.

Balsamic chicken, salad, and roasted potatoes.

Purple Fields

Some wildflowers alongside the bike path near my home. Again, I’m not sure of the name, but are a bright, cheerful reminder of the good things in life.

The husband asked me the other day when my next blog post was going to be and I said I didn’t know. Thus why this is my second post in two days. I hope these pictures inspire me to keep writing and sharing.

Life out of Sync

I’m a bit out of sync with blogging these days. I seem to say that a lot…both the act of not blogging and saying that I’m not. I wish I had the focus that I did at one point because back then I had that passion. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t know what my niche is right now.

I don’t want to spend my blogging posts ruminating on why one doesn’t write but it’s hard when there’s nothing much to write about. Sometimes I wonder if I just need a new space and start over.

Right now I’m reading The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse and so far it’s been a good read. There’s been enough suspense to want me to keep coming back. I’m not sure if I am as riveted as some others have said they were but I’m enjoying it nonetheless.

The book is also Reese’s book club pick from March. The few choices that I’ve read have been good so far. I’m glad she decided to start the book club. I didn’t realize that she’s had the book club for 4 years now, thought it’d only been a couple years: shows what I know.

What have you been up to? I need inspiration.

A-Z Bookish Questions

I found this questionnaire/book tag over at the Boundless Books blog. Head over there if you want to read their answers!

Author You’ve Read the Most From:

Recently, I’ve read a lot of books by Robert Beatty. I was reading his Serafina quartet and found it to be interesting.  I’ve also read a number of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. 

Best Sequel Ever:

Technically “Divergent” by Veronica Roth has two sequels since it’s a trilogy but I liked all the books in that trilogy.

Currently Reading:

Right now I’m reading Ashfall by Mike Mullin and I’m nearly finished with it. So intense!

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Depends on what’s in the fridge, I suppose. Flavored water or Cranberry/Raspberry juice.

E-Reader or Physical Book:

Right now a physical book. I’d like to give e-readers a go again soon.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School:

I don’t know, since I can’t visualize characters well or think about this question much. I do like Harry Potter, though. Or the Weasley twins because they make me laugh.

Glad You Gave This Book a Chance:

I’m not into romance novels, but I read The Viscount and I (the Bridgerton books) and mostly enjoyed it. There’s a couple of points that really bothered me but generally they’re good.

Hidden Gem Book:

Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson. If someone hadn’t posted about it, I probably wouldn’t have known about it. A wonderful book that brought out some real, intense emotions out of me.

Important Moment in Your Reading Life:

When I started to blog about books…granted I don’t write about books all the time, but it’s nice to talk about the books I’ve read and want to read in my own space.

Just Finished:

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

Kind of Books You Won’t Read:

Erotica, westerns, romance novels (w/ few exceptions)

Longest Book You Read:

Roots by Alex Haley and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Major Book Hangover:

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. And the Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. I wanted to read more….

Number of Bookcases You Own:

In my house, 3. If you count the books I still have at my mom’s house, then 5ish? 

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Harry Potter, A Great and Terrible Beauty, If I Stay.

Preferred Place to Read:

In bed, on the couch, or in the sunshine outside. I don’t really have a happy place.

Quotes that Inspires You/Gives You All the Feels From a Book You’ve Read:

My favorite is too long to post, so here’s the next best one from the same book:
“What have we got to hold onto, Sam?”
“That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”

Reading Regret:

Chime. I don’t remember the author. I read it because some work people wanted me to read it. I don’t even remember the story but it was painful. I also didn’t like The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Too weird and intense. 

Series You Started and Need to Finish (all books are out in series):

There’s a few because I tend to get bored and move on to other books. But, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (even though I wasn’t fond of the first book, I’d still like to finish it), the Bridgerton series.

Three of Your All Time Favorite Books:

Of course, this is hard to rate, but here it goes:

  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

I don’t know…I’ll always read the next Robert Dugoni book (or at least eventually.) I love his Tracy Crosswhite books.

Worst Book Habit:

Check out/buy a bunch of books and only read a couple. Start a series but never finish it.

X Marks the Spot: Start at the Top Lef of Your Shelf and Pick the 27th Book:

Jane Austen: 7 Novels. (so technically 7)

Your Latest Book Purchase:

I’ve had a few. 

ZZZ-Snatcher Book (last book that kept you up Way Late):

I don’t remember since I can’t stay up late anymore. I think when I was in elementary school, one of my books was due the next day and I stayed up to finish it.

The Rapid Fire Book Tag

Lately I’ve been browsing Pinterest and found this little book tag. It sounded interesting so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

(On a side note, how often do you use Pinterest? I can forget about it for months then get in daily finding good stuff.)

1. Ebook or physical book?

Physical. I can concentrate better than on my phone or iPad. I’d like to get a simple ereader one day, you know like a paperwhite or a simple touch that looks like a page instead of a computer screen. That’d be awesome.

2. Paperback or hardback?

Both. Paperback for reading/carrying around. Hardback for collection (preferably.)

3. Online or in-store shopping?

In-store, because I like to browse. Online you kinda have to know what you’re shopping for.

4. Trilogies or series?

Trilogy, because they’re shorter and I don’t have the patience for long series anymore.

5. Heroes or villains?

Heroes.

6. A book you want everyone to read?

Never Let Me Go, because I still think about it sometimes.

7. Recommend an underrated book.

The Serafina series. It gets a high rating on Goodreads but it seems few people know absolutely it. Go read them, awesome new-ish children’s series.

8. The last baby you finished?

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn.

9. The last baby you bought?

Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day

10. Weirdest thing you used as a bookmark?

Piece of paper…usually have a bookmark around.

11. Used books: yes or no?

Yes as long as they’re gently used.

12. Top 3 favorite genres?

Realistic, historical, fantasy. Young adult isn’t a genre people, it’s a target audience (annoys me when they say YA is a genre), but I do read some books intended for young adults.

13. Borrow or buy?

Both.

14. Characters or plot?

Both depends on what I can focus on. Preferably both in one book.

15. Long or short books?

Short-ish.

16. Long or short chapters?

Short usually

17. Name the first 3 books you can think of.

Harry Potter, American Dirt, My Dark Vanessa

18. Books that make you laugh or cry?

Don’t do either much but Beyond the Point made me want to cry so much. A remarkable book.

19. Our world or fictional world?

Ours.

20. Audiobooks: yes or no?

I want to say yes but I never finished one all the way through.

21. Ever judge a book by its cover?

Well yeah, it happens even though you’re not supposed to.

22. Book to movie or book to tv adaptations?

Tv has been popular but it depends on how long the book is.

23. Movie or tv show you preferred to the book?

Jurassic Park and The Book Thief.

24. Stand alone or series?

Stand alone these days.

Things I Love

Because it’s been a rough week, I wanted focus on the bright side of life. Because when we hit a rough patch, we tend to forget about the good things that keep us going. Today I want to share some of the things I love.

  • Snuggling on the couch with my husband watching a show (Amazing Race) or a movie (last movie: Christmas Vacation)
  • Seeing my dog just sit outside and enjoying the first snowfall.
  • Getting into a book that has caught my attention.
  • Learning to snowboard with my husband.
  • Learning a recipe that my husband and I both like. (I was never a cook previously and to cook something and seeing my man enjoy it is wonderful.)
  • Falling asleep with my head on my husband’s chest.
  • Going on new adventures, even if it means going to a new park I haven’t been to yet (especially since I’m in a new area.)
  • Having my house become decorated with Christmas.
  • Finally being able to listen to Christmas music. It’s making me relaxed and happy.
  • Seeing the sunrise or sunset.
  • Stargazing with my husband.
  • My husband in general. I love him so much. I don’t know what I’d do without him.
  • Homemade smoothies.
  • Going for a walk with husband/dog.

What are some things that you love this season?

Halloween Shenanigans

How was everyone’s Halloween?

Mine was decent, we finally carved a couple of pumpkins that we grew ourselves. We then got some lights to put in it. Then we put some spooky music on and watched The Village, which isn’t all that scary but had some interesting concepts to think about. My love didn’t think it was scary, considering he gets scared easily. I guess I do too, but I seem to willingly put myself there in those situations for some reason. We didn’t get trick or treaters but that was okay, I liked cuddling on the couch with my little family.

Anyway. It’s NanoWriMo starting today. I’m not a fan of the concept so I always agonize over whether to participate or not. I tried blogging every day one year but that got tiring after a while. We’ll see how it goes this year.

What have you been up to?

Halloween Shenanigans

How was everyone’s Halloween?

Mine was decent, we finally carved a couple of pumpkins that we grew ourselves. We then got some lights to put in it. Then we put some spooky music on and watched The Village, which isn’t all that scary but had some interesting concepts to think about. My love didn’t think it was scary, considering he gets scared easily. I guess I do too, but I seem to willingly put myself there in those situations for some reason. We didn’t get trick or treaters but that was okay, I liked cuddling on the couch with my little family.

Anyway. It’s NanoWriMo starting today. I’m not a fan of the concept so I always agonize over whether to participate or not. I tried blogging every day one year but that got tiring after a while. We’ll see how it goes this year.

What have you been up to?

Being Better.

What is one thing you wish you were better at?

I could honestly make a whole list of things that I wish I could be better at. But I’ll talk about social media marketing, because that seems to be the thing that gets more people successful in their creative pursuits. I wish I was smarter at marketing my stuff online and truly knowing what SEO is so that I can properly tag my posts and bring in more followers. A lot of social media influencers seem to have gotten off fairly quickly and that’s probably because they know how to work the Internet correctly. I’m not one of those people, but I wish I was.

Some other things I wish I was good at:

Video creating/editing. I was introduced to this when I was in grad school and now I wish I had taken more classes in it. It was time consuming and yet so rewarding at the end of it all. I wish high school and college were designed to introduce people into all different kinds of interests because one doesn’t know if they like something until they tried it. I didn’t know I liked video editing till I tried it. Now it’s all I think about it.

Photography. I have an eye for it, or so some people say, I just wish I had some formal training, particularly in the editing part. That would be great.

Math. I’m not good at it, but I wish I was. If I was good at math, I’d go into all these fields that are taking off right now. Engineering, medicine, science. Pretty much anything that requires complicated math. I’m not wired like that and I wish I was.

Technical writing. Some of my friends are content writers/technical writers/editors and that looks so fascinating. I wish I’d studied that instead of what I studied in college. Much more practical.

Exercise. Because everyone needs to do that.

Writing. I know, this is contradictory, but I wish I was better at it. I wish I could regiment myself to write every day and actually finish projects.