Tom Yum Soup

I once tried a home hot pot and loved it so much that I decided to just make it over stove top. My favorite was the Tom Yum. I buy the paste and add some lime leaves, galanga slices (if I don’t have it fresh/frozen, I use the powder), lemon grass, whatever veggies I have on hand, and beef or chicken stock. Instead of vermicelli noodles, I use udon. I’ve tried it with rice noodles as well but I prefer the udon. As far as veggies goes, I often make it with broccoli and green beans. I also like it with shredded cabbage and/or bok choy but husband doesn’t like either so I don’t tend to use them unless it’s only me eating it.

I’ve made seafood versions with shrimp, crab meat, and tilapia. In this version, I used sea bass. I’ve also tried it with thin slices of red meat and that wasn’t bad. My my favorite is just with tilapia.

I love this soup because it’s easy and quick to make, and it tastes great, especially on cold wintry days.

FF XV: Kingsglaive

I’m late to the game but I’m so glad I came! I watched Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV and loved it. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This was something husband and I watched because we ran out of Netflix movies to watch. I know about the Final Fantasy games but have never played a game. I’ve watched music compilations of past stories and enjoyed them. I’ll have to share them in a future post, but for now, I’m gushing over this one.

The whole CGI animated movie was fabulously done. I also watched a clip on how the movie was made and enjoyed that too. My favorite character is of course the protagonist, Nyx Ulric. He was asked by the king to protect Princess Lunafreya. The relationship between them was slightly hot. I got the feeling that Nyx liked her but had to hold back. She also liked him too but because of duty, she held back too. That’s just my take. The fight scenes were beyond words. They were so beautifully orchestrated.

Here are two compilation I loved by youtubers. The first one is of Nyx and Lunafreya and the second one is mostly Nyx but with more of his fighting. The music set to these compilations fit the feels perfectly.

March 2021 Playlist

With all that’s been going on in our world, I’ve found myself visiting an old song by Hillsong United that seemed to have helped ease the anxiety. My father-in-law was also admitted to the hospital a few days ago and underwent a triple heart bypass. His situation reminded me of my own dad’s heart surgery five/six years ago. My dad passed away last August from a brain hemorrhage, but I still find myself talking about him like he’s alive. There are days when I’ve accepted that he’s passed, but they are rare. I will get over this. The photo above was taken at a Hillsong concert in 2019 I went with my husband and sisters.

“Nothing Like Your Love” by Hillsong United

Other favorites this month:

“Aura” by Matias Puumala

“Against the Odds” by Matias Puumala

“Smell of Desire” by Enigma

This was a strange mix of music. You could say the same for the movies/tv shows I watched this month:

  1. Colony (dystopian apocalyptic)
  2. WandaVision (sci-fi/fantasy)
  3. The Truman Show (90’s dark drama movie…watched it twice!)
  4. Sonic the Hedgehog movie (sci-fi)
  5. Bridgerton (historical romance)

Book Review: A Man Called Ove

Title: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrick Backman
Genre: Literary Fiction
Year Published: May 5, 2015

Date finished: December 29, 2020

A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Bachman is a story about a 59-year-old man who’s done with life after his wife died and after he was replaced at his job. He comes across extremely grumpy. He’s irritated by strangers and the neighbor who keeps coming to his house asking for help. He attempts suicide multiple times, but his neighbor always shows up at the right time. At first, it’s hard to like him because he’s pretty grouchy and rude. However, there’s a reason for it. The backstory is interwoven throughout the story to create a character that’s understandable, relatable, and likeable.

I enjoyed this book. Sometimes, no matter what you do, life is just not fair. That’s Ove’s life. He just wasn’t blessed with a lot of luck and happiness and he still turned out to have a big heart.

Who should read this: Anyone searching for meaning in life, wondering about their own life, or just want to enjoy a book about love, friendship, and lessons.

February 2021 Playlist

February was a fast month. I felt very productive though. Was able to get the sci-fi novella ready to publish in March. It was a lot of work, but it was worth all the researching and learning.

I finished watching Bridgerton a few days ago. Initially, I had avoided it because there was too much hype around this Netflix show. I then learned that it was a book series by Julia Quinn and that piqued my interest. I started to debate as to whether I should read the books first or watch the show. I currently have a long list of TBRs and husband and I were running out of things to watch so I figured I’d wait on the books and watch the show. I’m glad I made that choice. Bridgerton was so good! I fell in love with the scene where Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Hastings had their first dance. It was the music that captured my heart. I should admit, Eloise (Daphne’s younger sister), was an interesting character. She caught my attention as well. I can’t wait to see where they take her in the next season.

This was the scene that got me 100% invested. At 1:05 is when the dancing starts and that beautiful music. Anyway, if you haven’t seen the show, this is the scene when Daphne and Simon are pretending to be in love to prove to Nigel (the older man watching them) that her relationship with Simon is real. Daphne’s brother (in the clip, he’s the one that goes off with Lady Danbury) had tried to marry her off to Nigel but she didn’t want to marry him. While they were dancing, you can tell that they were starting to really like each other.

Here are the other songs I listened to this month:

“Love Again” by Avaion

“Better Off Lonely” by Nurko

“Angel” by Massive Attack

“Ten Thousand Times Before” by Twelve Titans

“Chamber” by Songs To Your Eyes

Spirit & Opportunity

I just finished watching “Expedition Mars: Spirit & Opportunity” on Disney+ and I gotta say, I was overwhelmed, sad, and happy. The rovers seemed so human that when they died, it felt like I lost a friend. Anyway, I’m happy to say, NASA has sent out another rover that should touchdown on Mars this Thursday (February 18th). This one is going to join the one currently on Mars named, Curiosity. It’s going to be exciting!

Made a scrapbook layout of Spirit and Opportunity. The images and text are from NASA’s website. The template is by digital scrapbooker, Shannan. I’ve made adjustments to the template.

January 2021 Playlist

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since the 2nd of this month. My Instagram is also suffering. I guess I’m going through a phase trying to figure out what’s important in my life right now. I’ve got two books I need to review from December and I have a book I had planned to publish in December too, but because I wanted to get it copyrighted, I wasn’t able to publish. It took a month to get the copyright certificate, which was around the first week of this month. Then, I had to decide if I wanted to get it into the Library of Congress and also if I wanted to purchase only one or two ISBNs or 50. I’ve been struggling with plunking down the money for 50 but I think it would be a better deal than to buy one or two.

I’ve also been thinking about future finances. I’ve got a few debts I need to pay off and then I really want to hit hard putting money away for retirement. Nobody tells you this but when you have kids, putting money away for retirement takes a back seat. The kids always come first. Speaking of kids, my youngest will be going to high school next fall and I think that’s hitting me hard. It could also be why I’m finding it so hard to blog and write and do every day things.

Here’s my playlist for January:

“Prism of Life” by Enigma

“Why!” by Enigma

“Looking Through Patient Eyes” by PM Dawn. The lyrics are crazy amazing. Nobody writes lyrics like this anymore.

“Million Miles” by Angelina Jordan

“Sleepwalker” by Qveen Herby. I have to be honest, I wasn’t a fan of Karmin (the name of the group before they switched labels and went with a solo name) back when they first became big. But I love the style of Qveen Herby!

December Playlist

Hope you all had a happy new year. I had purchased a Huion Kanvas 13 graphic tablet in mid-December to replace my old Wacom Intuos Pro, but after a few days of it working perfectly, it stopped working correctly. I was getting ready to create a “December Playlist” image and the pen cursor and the pen were not aligning. I tried everything under the moon to fix the problem, but nothing worked. I ended up returning the thing and got a Wacom One, which was a lot more expensive than the Huion. It wasn’t all quick and easy to setup either with the Wacom. The tablet required a USB-C to HDMI adapter. For some reason my iMac doesn’t like generic or other brands of adapters. I tried one that was $35 (these adapters range from $15 and up) and because it didn’t work, ended up paying $70 for an Apple one that worked.

I’ve read quite a few reviews on the Wacom One having issues. I just hope mine isn’t one of them. This was what my mind was occupied with in the last few days so my new year felt like an extension of 2020. You know, like one big mess. Anyway, here are my favorite songs of December.

Before You Go – Lewis Capaldi on The Voice (I love the song and his voice, but check out the piano guy. Isn’t he just amazing?)

Only Love Can Hurt Like This – Paloma Faith

Restless – Maddy Hartson

I Hope – Gabby Barrett