Thursday, January 25, 2018

Done with January

This month.  Seriously, I have no idea what I was thinking attempting to be productive this month.  Between being sick and spending most of it freezing my behind off...I'm just yeah.  No, it just wasn't happening.  I did manage a couple of videos and a couple of blog posts.  So, that's at least a little productive.  However, I'm currently working on my plan for February.  The topics might change for the days of the week, but I've not yet decided yet, and you and I won't know until it happens! 

So, for now I will be hopping into my planning cave and fleshing out a few things because I need to, for my own sanity and ultimately your enjoyment. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Meal Prep Monday #2

There has never been another time when Jennifer Lawrence was my spirit animal more than the time she asked this question!  Seriously, I am all about the foods, and all about my meal prep now.  

My meal preps are usually done on Sunday mornings, and I am getting into the groove of making my meals for the week.  This is easier for me because I get my schedule for the week on Saturday.  I will be working on making some breakfasts and things, right now, I am waiting to get paid (this week is pay week) and I am going to be working on some new meal preps for next week.  This week's meal prep was super simple, and gave me about 6-7 meals worth, because I do about half a cup to a cup of the meal that I made for each meal.  This will provide me with plenty of meals for a good portion of my week since most of my days start at 930a and go until about 730pm when I finally get home and can have dinner. 

This week I've got a couple of meals that will be my quinoa, chicken and corn paired with some mandarin oranges, I also have 1 meal that will be paired with some pineapple.  I've also been snacking on some almonds and pistachios, and my little indulgence for the week is some red and green M&Ms that were on sale from overstocked Christmas candies. I also have a few containers of Yoplait! yogurt my two favorite flavors are the Whips chocolate and vanilla.  I've also tried some of their mix-ins which are really good as well and definitely have that crunch factor. 

Okay, here is the basics of what I'd done for my meal prep for this week:

Things You'll Need
  1. 2.5 cups white qunioa
  2. 1 14.5 oz can low sodium chicken broth
  3. 14.5 oz water (I filled the can from the chicken broth)
  4. Salt and pepper to taste
  5. 2 small cans of chicken
  6. 1 can of corn
  7. Fajita seasoning, chili powder, cumin, paprika
The Cooking Process
  1. Add chicken broth, water and rinsed quinoa to a sauce pan, season with pinch of salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 15-18 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. 
  2. In a saute pan combine two cans of chicken, can of corn, and the remainder of the spices.  Cook until corn and chicken are warm, and slightly charred.  
  3. Add to the pan containing the quinoa, stir to combine.  
  4. Portion 1/2-cup to 1-cup servings into meal prep containers.  Store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sunday: TBR Pile Update

Welcome to another year!  Which means more reading challenges and more pushing myself to expand my reading horizons, and this year is no exception! At the time of completing this post, and the accompanying video I have already finished my first 2 books of the year, and I loved them both.  The first was The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer and the second was One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake ---which is the 2nd book in a series, and now I'm waiting for the first book to come in! 

The rest of the books I am going to be reading so far this month include: 
1. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
2. The King's Peace by Kevin Hammond
3. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
4. All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
5. The Book of Dust, Volume 1 by Phillip Pullman

Some of these are digital, others are physical.  This will round out almost my first full 10 books of the year.  My first 2 reviews of the year should be going live in the next couple of days (probably Tuesday or as late as Friday), because I'm intending on reviewing at least at some small length all of the books that I read this year.  

Alright, that's all I've got for now, time to get the video up for this blog post! Lots of love and until next week, what's on your TBR Pile?


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Breaking the Silence

I know I had a few posts go live on the 1st of the year, and since then I've not had anything go live.  That is for a couple of reasons, the biggest of which is that I am currently still in shock over the callousness of the Logan Paul video (thankfully, it has been removed) which depicted a body...specifically a suicide victim in the forest known as the "Suicide Forest" in Japan.  The man had hung himself, even though most of the man was blurred out, it was still used in the thumbnail and it was still shown within the content of the video.  This is not something that should be done, the stats on that video, before it had been taken down was something like 6 million views and so many likes.  

I suffer from depression, I have had suicidal thoughts, I have considered ending my life many, many times.  It is the reason I have my semi-colon tattoo, that I got it for my birthday last year.  It is why I will always have my door open to anyone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts, depression, or just need someone to talk to.  I may not have my own issues situated, but I am always willing to be an ear, a shoulder, a presence in someone else's life if it is needed.  I cannot say it enough, I cannot express it enough.  Suicide should never be an option when there is ALWAYS someone who is willing to listen, always willing to help in at least some small way.  Please do not think that suicide is the only option that you have. 

Mental health is something that should not carry the stigma that it does in today's society, it should be treated just like any other illness not negated or diminished just because the symptoms are not always physically manifested.  This is a topic that is near to my heart and the callousness that was shown by Logan Paul and his team, further solidified my decision that he is not a creator that I have the desire to watch, now or ever.  

Please, if you are having suicidal thoughts, or just need someone to talk to leave a comment here, send me an email, DM me on Instagram or Twitter, just don't close yourself off when you have someone who is willing to listen, willing to help, and more importantly willing to keep you here where you can make the most difference. You are loved.  You are cherished.  You matter. 

I am also including links as well as contact information for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline...

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Reading Goals

Hello Lovelies!

So, every January I set goals for myself as far as my reading goes.  This year, is no exception.  I will be setting my goal on Goodreads for minimum 80 books throughout this year, I will also be participating in several reading challenges to broaden my reading habits as well as sampling new authors and hopefully finding new things that I like.  I will also be attempting to tackle some of my TBR list backlog.  I will also be attempting to try and review all the books that I've read this year, either an in depth review, or at least making note of something that stood out for me positive or negative. 

I will be updating weekly with books that I intend on tackling for that week or even for the month as a whole, pulled from my Kindle, Libby (the awesome app from Overdrive), from my local library, or from my personal library.  I will be migrating books that I do not finish to the following week, and my goal is to complete all the books set out through that month within the month.  To meet my Goodreads goal of 80 books for the year minimum, I will need to read about 7 books a month, which is something that I know I am capable of doing and should be able to do.

Some of the challenges that I will be doing as far as my reading goes are, Book Riot's Read Harder challenge, A to Z challenge, 2018 Badass Book Challenge, 2018 Newberry Challenge, PopSugar reading challenge, Pages Read Challenge, and the 2018 Review Writing Challenge.  I will include links to as many of the challenges as I can.  I will also be updating my reading log template with the challenges, books and other information, which I will be sharing in a future post.

The initial template is one that was shared last year or the year before through Book Riot, with my own personal additions to it.  That is the best part of the template, because it is customizable to the user's needs and that is something that drew me to it. 

For the Newberry Reading Challenge and the Pages Read Challenge there are different levels, and my level goals are as follows:

-Newberry: Lowry which is the 60-74 point range for reading Newberry and Caldecott Honor and Medal books.
-Pages Read: Douglas Fir level which is 72,000 pages read in the year. 

Those are my goals for those two challenges along with the total of 80 books and hopefully 80 reviews minimum throughout the coming year.  As for the PopSugar challenge, I've not yet decided if I'm going to attempt the advanced level of the challenge yet or not.

Challenge Links