June Favorite Songs

Before I share my list, just thought I’d mention that I’m doing Camp Nano this month. Goal is 30K words for a romance novella. It’s something different from the sci-fi and fantasy stuff.

As you know, I love music. I track monthly favorites in my bujo. I do it pretty sloppily but it’s nice being able to flip back and see what I’ve been listening to. I used to track it on this blog but stopped and I’m not sure why. I enjoyed doing that so I’ll continue it.

Here’s my top favorites/most listened to songs from June:

“Aeternum” by John Lunn for The Last Kingdom series on Netflix. The soundtrack for the series is simply amazing. It’s one of the best out there. I’d say it’s just as good as The Last of the Mohicans soundtrack. “Aeternum” is so haunting. The drums and bass from 3:10 on is one of my favorites. In the show, they play that beat without the singing and it gives me goosebumps.

“Enso” by The Alliance. This is a trance song and has a pretty fast beat but at 2:00, it slows down to nothing and then picks up with an epic tune from 2:23 to 2:50.

“Last Hope” by Antoine Heid. I’ve shared this song before but I’ve started listening to it again. Mainly because I’m editing my sci-fi novella, but also because there’s a part of the song that has this really good drum piece that I missed before. It’s from 1:45 to 2:45. It’s sort of like a rolling drum but I’m not sure. It’s just fabulous!

“Zocalo” by Armin van Buuren. This is an old tune but I could never get enough of it. The breakdown from 3:35 to 5:15 kind of takes all my worries away.

“I Should Have Known” by Jovani feat. Jazzu. Love Jazzu’s voice, but also love the rolling drums. I’m a sucker for rolling drums.

Netflix: The Last Kingdom

I started watching The Last Kingdom earlier this month with husband. A friend recommended it a couple weeks earlier but I had forgotten and then husband pulled it up on Netflix and we got into it. I’m so glad. This is one great series.

I didn’t know this until I started doing some research after watching a few episodes, but The Last Kingdom is a novel series called the Saxon Series/Saxon Chronicles written by Bernard Cornwell. It’s about the history of England during King Alfred’s rule during the 9th/10th century. The story follows a Saxon man named Uhtred Bebbanburg as he helps Alfred through many of the wars over Wessex. Uhtred was raised (adopted) by Danes so he follows the Danes’ way of life. However, he also has Christian people he respects and helps. It makes for an interesting story. I enjoy learning this part of British history and love the “fiction” stuff within it. I may read the series one day (my tbr list is way too long) but for now, the tv series will do. It’s extremely well produced.

One cool thing about this series is, every time they show a scene of a town, they include the old spelling and then warp the words into the current spelling. For instance, “Wintenceaster” becomes “Winchester.” I don’t know why, but I love that!

I had also been in a funk with editing the sci-fi novella and this show helped me get back on track. Actually, it helped me write scenes in the trilogy (I had debated as to whether I should do a trilogy or not), and thus, got me excited on finishing the editing of the novella.

Orchids Taken with Olympus PEN E-PL8

These photos were taken in RAW and converted to JPEG. Nothing else was done to them. I should also mention that the setting was on auto.

Olympus PEN E-PL8 Mirrorless Camera

I purchased this camera on Amazon for $280. The original price was $600. The sale is still going on so if you have extra cash hanging around and want a small camera that can do big things, grab it before it’s gone.

I’m not being paid for talking about this camera. I’m just excited. It’s small and stylish. It’s an older camera but it’s still works wonderfully. The newest one is a PL10 and closer to $700.

I’ve been eying mirrorless cameras for some time now but never really needed another camera. I did some heavy research on other mirrorless and because of the price, I went with the Olympus.

Pros: It’s lightweight and takes pretty decent pictures. It’s not meant for pro photography but more so for stuff like blogging and YouTube vlogs. It’s also a good camera to take on trips because it’s light and small so it’s easy to carry around.

Cons: Not a big fan of the WiFi. It doesn’t work properly so I’m finding myself having to use the USB cord to upload to my computer. One reason why I went with this camera was because I wanted the WiFi but I guess I’ll have to try another camera with better connection. I searched everywhere for answers to the issue but there doesn’t seem to be any.

I’ll be sharing photos from this camera soon.

Scallion Pepper Sauce

My mother gave me a handful of scallions from her garden and I decided to make scallion pepper sauce with it.

These were so pretty I just wanted to look at them all day, however, I didn’t want them to go bad so I had to do something quick with them. I also couldn’t think of anything else to make with them since I don’t have a lot of food in my fridge at the moment. With hot pepper sauce, I could freeze it for later.

I had an extra bag of frozen Thai peppers in the freezer and some leftover cilantro from pho last week so they went into the mix. If I didn’t have frozen peppers, I would have used dried peppers.

I chopped everything up.

And used a mortal and pestle to mash it all up. I also added salt, fish sauce, and lime juice.

This made about a cup and a half.

Yum!

I put most of it in a container to freeze for later and put a little aside for the next few days.

But, my daughter and her boyfriend stopped by and her boyfriend loved it so I sent him off with a little bit. I told him he could always come back for more.

Mr. Sunshine

I’ve been watching Mr. Sunshine with husband for almost a month now. There are 24 episodes and we’re at episode 13. I learned about this show through a Youtuber and have since fallen in love with it. When I first told husband that there was this Korean Drama that someone said was worth watching, he was hesitant, but gave it a chance, and ended up loving it too.

Kim Tae-ri as Go Ae-sin in Mr. Sunshine (Photo Courtesy of Hwa&Dam/Netflix)

Mr. Sunshine is a Netflix Korean drama about an American Marine Corps officer who returns to his childhood home, Joseon, and while on duty, falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter. The story is complex with many layers and many characters. This show is done so well that it made me laugh and cry.

The aristocrat’s daughter is no simple princess. I asked husband, of the three main girls, which one did he like most, and he said the princess because she remained true to her conviction. I totally agree. However, I also really like the other two girls: a hotel owner and a tarot reader. The hotel owner is played so well that you want to like her but you don’t know if you should. The tarot reader doesn’t have a big role but she’s so pretty and adds character development to the leader of the Black Dragon Society.

This cast is one of the very best. They speak in Korean and sometimes Japanese with English subtitles. The cinematography is beautiful as well.

Chic Sparrow B6 Slim Folio In Huckleberry

This pretty little thing came in the mail yesterday. It’s a Chic Sparrow B6 Slim Folio in the color Huckleberry. It is from the Crème line, which is a thick leather. The Huckleberry B6 Slim Folio is different from what I expected. I thought it was going to be thick but it’s been pressed very thin. At first look, I wasn’t sure what to think, but pretty quickly, I fell in love.

Here’s a comparison of the Crèmes I have.

Left to right: Deluxe Crème Brûlée Standard Traveler’s Notebook, Classic Crème Chocolate B6 Traveler’s Notebook, and Crème Huckleberry B6 Slim Folio.

I have quite a lot of traveler’s notebooks. It all started with the Midori Traveler’s Notebook which I found through the planner girls on Youtube and Instagram five years ago. What I love about the Chic Sparrow leathers is that they are super high quality. They only sell full grain leather and they have superb service. For instance, I specified smooth leather on the Brûlée and Huckleberry and they came through. I didn’t ask for anything on the Chocolate because I wanted to be surprised and what I got was gorgeous.

The Huckleberry smells devine, like walking into a leather shop.

A comparison of the Huckleberry to the Chocolate.

Wasn’t sure what I was going to use the Huckleberry for but I think I found something that I’ll enjoy doing. As a kid, I used to write down pieces of song lyrics that I loved. Back then, I simply used a notebook and markers, and that’s all I needed. Now, I like to embellish a bit.

The folio doesn’t come with notebooks or inserts. I purchased a Midori B6 Slim for this folio. It fits perfect. I’ve used an A5 Midori notebook before and liked it so it was an easy choice.

First decorated page.

I did make an unboxing video. I’m a lot new to making videos and am pretty nervous about my voice. I write better than I talk, but if you’d like to see it, here it is.

The Tree

I’m trying to stay up-to-date with December Daily this year. It’s been pretty exciting and I think it’s because I’ve got new gadgets: the new computer, new Selphy printer (my previous one died in August), and new Canon 12×12 printer; and new software. I went for it. Got Photoshop CC. It comes with Lightroom which I am clueless to. Not sure how I’ll find the time to learn it. Photoshop is, for the most part, similar to CS6. There are a few things that are different but I just need to explore. I’m mostly thrown off by the size of the computer screen. I don’t normally fill the whole screen with one app. I section it out, otherwise I’d have to sit pretty far back. With Photoshop, I do fill the screen (which I like), but then it makes the photo I’m editing look tiny. Anyway, I’m not complaining. Just getting used to technology.

We went and got a Christmas tree at Costco this morning. Before that, daughter came home from school for lunch. We got a quick glance of her before we headed out and she headed back to school.

Hope this holiday month is treating you well.

Dumplings with Chili Sauce

I’ve been wanting to try dumplings with a really hot chili sauce for some time now all because of the food pics on Instagram. Earlier this week, I bought frozen veggie and chicken dumplings from the grocery store to try it out with the chili sauce I made following a recipe I Googled. It was pretty easy to make: combine dried crushed hot peppers and non-aromatic oil in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes. Let cool completely and jar. I had the dumplings with the chili oil and a bit of soy sauce (pictured). It was really tasty. Today, I made more and added dried shallots. It was even better. I’d say, this is one of the simplest and quickest tasty food ever.