… so, I finished “Party of One”.

I’ve never been one of those people that say “do you remember when MTV used to play music videos?” because, by the time I got on the MTV-watching-bandwagon, that wasn’t really happening anymore. I started watching MTV when “The Real World” already had a few seasons under its belt… dating shows like “Next” and, uh, the others were happening.. and there was a lot of other types of”original content” that had nothing to do with music. Except for TRL.

If we want to talk about TV shows that defined my early teenage years that is definitely one of them. “Trading Spaces” on TLC, all of the teenager related TV shows like “Saved by the Bell”, “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, “Boy Meets World”, “Blossom”.. “Dawson’s Creek”, “Gilmore Girls”, “Buffy”, “3d Rock from the Sun”……. and ,of course, TRL. Back then it was the only way I could follow some of my favorite music artists. We didn’t have YouTube, we didn’t have as many gossip sites as we have now… and, honestly, we didn’t get as many of the magazines that were available to American teenagers back then. So I relied on MTV to provide me with as much information about my faves as possible. Back then my VCR was my best friend. And to this day I still distinctly remember how excited I was to record Backstreet Boys’ music video “Show me the meaning of being lonely”…. but not really watching it again on tape because of how sad it made me at the time. I will always remember liking Hanson in spite of MmmBop’s video (I still remember how many m’s it had… and I remember the lyrics as if I’d learned them just yesterday), not really understanding what all the fuss was about Limp Bizkit and thinking they weren’t that great to begin with…. being excited to see artists like Pearl Jam and Radiohead and Foo Fighters on the countdown whenever it happened and even if it didn’t happen more than once. Needless to say both MTV and TRL were a huge part of my life.

… so, I finished “Party of One”. I wanted it mostly for the MTV tidbits and to get a behind the scenes look into a big part of my teens, from one of its protagonists.. but reading about his life was very interesting anyway and I’m glad I requested it for review. It was an easy-to-get-into read.. and I finished it in one sitting.

Did you watch TRL as religiously as I did?

Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

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Homemade granola FTW!

Baking for hours when it’s 38ºC is nooot really my idea of a good time. But, even then, a good time was had.

  1. Guess who just learned to make homemade granola? Yup. I’m so excited! Half the price, all the yums.. and, most of all, personalized. The first run burnt a little bit (you can see it in the header photo) – just because the recipe says “20 mins, stir, 20 mins” it doesn’t mean you should do exactly that. Next time around I did “15 mins, stir, 10 mins” and it was peeerfect. So, I combined both batches, and it’s yummy and crunchy and awesome.
  2. I haven’t been yogaing as much as normal lately.. last month was a weird month in general, which meant I only practiced about three or four times in the whole month.. and then this month I started with one of those colds that put you in bed rest for at least a weekend. Not good. But I’m finally getting out of it and I expect my practice to resume in a matter of days.
  3. Also, I just got an offer for a $20/year membership to the latest Yoga app I’ve fallen in love with: Down Dog. It was hard to delete that email but I don’t need the member-exclusive options right now… and I need to save my pennies. I might’ve regretted my latest ColourPop order when I had to pay off my credit card this month. I did destash all of my other lipsticks, though, and made a small profit.. so I don’t feel that bad. But, yes, back to saving cents and pennies. Or however the thing goes.
  4. I just finished another book I have to review but I thought you all needed a break from all of the reviews. I read it in a day. It was interesting, and fiiiinally a non-fiction book I don’t regret purchasing. You’ll hear about it soon. 🙂
  5. Candy Crush Saga addiction still going full force. Anyone still playing this? Anyone ever played this? Level 1,164 and crushing it. It’s so much fun. I’ve also started doing Jigsaw Puzzles on my phone.. the lack of actual, physical, real-life, catless space has made me make lemonade out of lemons. It’s not the same but it’s soo portable, and soo comfortable.
  6. What TV shows are you guys watching? I saw Stranger Things.. nostalgic and fun, but with all the hype it got I was expecting something better, to be honest. I also might’ve marathoned a show called UnREAL…. about TV producers in a “Bachelor” type show. It’s not even that good but I saw it in about a week. If that’s what producing is really like… then….. man. Poor reality show contestants, that’s all I’ll say.
  7. Also, during my recent sick weekend I marathoned “The Great British Bake Off“. Oh my goodness. Obsessed. I’m so sad Mel, Sue and Mary left, though.. Paul Hollywood is ok and all but Mel & Sue were hilarious, and Mary made the show. Also, one hour of uninterrupted baking and challenges was great. I think it will lose its charm when it moves to Channel 4, with the commercials and cliffhangers and… meh.
  8. I don’t usually follow the Olympic Games so closely, but I did this year. It was easy to do since my cable company decided to have about 14 channels dedicated to it 24/7. It was exciting.. I can only imagine what it felt like for the athletes!
  9. I finally feel like life has restarted for me. September was one of those months I lived as an ostrich.. with my head below ground. Between issues here and there, professionally and personally, I just dug my head and did what I needed to get through it. I got through it. Back to life!

… so, I finished “The More of Less”.

First of all, I will apologize if all you’re getting lately are just book reviews. Honestly, it was my main motivation to start a blog, but I did intend it to have sixes and nines and I promise I will focus more on sixes and nines in the future. However, when this book came along in the Blogging for Books website I couldn’t pass it up. I’ve been thinking about minimalism and living a minimalist lifestyle for a while now. Although I have no real attachment to most of my material belongings, I tend towards collecting….. “tend to” might be mild. Uhh, hello, my name is Elisa and I have hoarding tendencies. I like to save things “for later, because I’m sure I’ll use it eventually“. Specially crafts. I watched three videos on weaving baskets out of magazines… I didn’t have any magazines then…. so now I have 5 magazines ready to be turned into baskets buuuut I’ve moved on. Why don’t I throw out the magazines, you say? Well, what if I want to weave the baskets tomorrow? So, this book.. it seemed perfect. It did. But, remember how I don’t like to be indoctrinated?

I failed to do my research thoroughly. The author is Christian. I have absolutely no problem with religions, with religious people or with religious life… but I. don’t. like. to. be. indoctrinated. In this case, it’s my mistake for not going on Amazon and reading more about it – heck, it made it on the Christian Books and Bibles best sellers list. The book has their story, as well as other peoples’ stories, of everyone’s path towards minimalism. It was ok to read their stories – I skipped the religious parts – and it was an easy read while in a crowded mall waiting for my friends to show up. I did finish it in one sitting but only mostly  because I found myself skipping pages and pages at a time.

… so, I finished “The More of Less” and I expected to at least be able to “craft a personal, practical approach to decluttering your home and life” but I still don’t know exactly what to do. I didn’t see myself in any of the stories and I didn’t feel particularly inspired to keep looking. Maybe I should’ve just bought Mari Kondo’s book.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

… so, I finished “America’s Best Breakfasts”

If I had to choose, I’m about 65% sure that breakfast food is my favorite food ever. Pancakes, waffles, fried eggs, sausage, bacon, milk and cereal, bread with coffee… plus other traditionally Dominican breakfast dishes I’m not sure you’d know of. Mashed plantains with fried salami, for example, plus a sunny-side-up egg right on top of the mashed plantains. I would eat breakfast food any time.. all day, every day. In fact, I often have breakfast for dinner.

However… for some inexplicable reason, I barely eat breakfast at the time you’re supposed to. Something about not being able to eat any solids before 10am when I was a kid/teenager.. and now that I can eat at 5am if I wanted to, since I’m not used to it, I never count it as a part of my morning routine so I never save up enough time to cook breakfast. It usually means I get to work and either buy a toasted ham and cheese sandwich or freshly baked bread (used to be butter bread, now it’s whole wheat), or just don’t eat breakfast at all and wait until mid-morning to eat a snack. This is something I want to change. I want to eat breakfast in the morning, when you’re “supposed” to! Not just for yummy reasons but for health reasons, too. So I figured a recipe book full of breakfast ideas would be a wonderful thing to have.

… so, I finished “America’s Best Breakfasts” and, uhh, I think these are “breakfast for dinner” recipes. Some take way too long to prepare (I don’t have enough time in the mornings) and some use weird ingredients I don’t really wanna eat so early in the morning, know what I mean? Still, it’s a good book to have just to have.. and to make breakfast for dinner – doesn’t that sound like heaven?! But I might have to start looking for a recipe book with “frozen breakfasts to defrost in the mornings”……

What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Obsessed.

Ob. Sessed.

We interrupt our usual programming just so I can tell you I am OBSESSED with Queen Bey’s new album, “Lemonade”. Where the love came from? Not sure. Do I usually react to Beyoncé’s music like this? Nope. This album, though.

Have you guys heard it?

… so, I finished “The Tabasco Cookbook”.

Ok, you might think I’m nuts.. specially after my last cookbook fiasco… but I just had to try again. You may or may not know already, but I’m determined to find perfect cookbooks for my future kitchen. So I just closed my eyes and clicked on the “order” button without a third thought (’cause, after the fiasco, a second thought is always given).

This book IS ONE OF THE PERFECT ONES!! I’m serious. First of all, the book itself is 144 pages long. Foreword has two pages, Preface has two more and the Original Introduction has 4… plus four more pages of random information at the end. And then, guess what? RECIPES. Glorious pages full of recipes. 80 in total, and the majority fall in the “oooh, I definitely wanna make that!!” category. There aren’t even many pictures, which is kind of a good thing, since what I want are recipes. They’re divided into specific sections, which makes it easier to browse.. and there’s a clear graphic to differentiate the different levels of “spicy” a.k.a. the “piquancy scale”, which is just so fancy that I might start using it in my day-to-day vocabulary. In the spirit of full disclosure, the only thing I would change is to add a differently organized index in the first few pages of the book. Just something to list the recipes with their respective page number so I don’t have to go through a whole section to figure out what I want to make from that section. Does it make sense? I’m nitpicking, really…..

… so, I finished “The Tabasco Cookbook” and I recommend it 100%. Even if you’re not a fan of “spicy”, you will find that the recipes in this book work perfectly even without an extra kick. And there’s such a variety of recipes…. dips, soups, sauces, desserts…… you seriously can’t go wrong. And if you don’t like too much spice, I recently bought a Mango + Habanero sauce that is to die forrrrr. A subtle spice with a sweet and tangy tone…? Yum. Just putting it out there.

Do you like spicy food food with a high number in the piquancy scale?

Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

A list for Monday!

Lists are fun! Are you a list person? I like making lists.

  1. Ridiculously excited about my inversions. I can now successfully do a bound headstand, feet on the wall. I kick my legs upward and they get to the wall easily, without my upper body collapsing. Nothing hurts.. when I get out of it, it’s usually because I try to hold it without the wall, which I still can’t. As long as I keep one foot on the wall, I’m good. I am so ridiculously excited that it’s all I can think about now. If I could use the computer while inverted, I would.
  2. I’ve been reading weekend books for the past few days now. I have seriously started and finished four books since Thursday. Not the kind I recommend to others…. and not the kind I go on record as having read…. but fun, stupid, romantic weekend books to get out of your head for a few hours. I’m probably ready to go back to my usual books now, though. Probably. These weekend books are too damn fun.
  3.  I think I’m ready to go back to making healthy eating choices. Hunting for yoga videos on YouTube, I came across someone who said a few things about fat yogis. While I don’t agree with 99% of what she said, there was something that resonated with me….. she said people who take yoga seriously don’t have unhealthy eating habits. Now, as you should all know if you are smart people who don’t assume things without investigating, unhealthy eating habits doesn’t mean fat, and healthy eating habits doesn’t mean thin. There are people with unhealthy eating habits that are thinner than you, me and everyone in between. “Thin” and “healthy” are two different concepts that don’t necessarily have to go hand in hand. I do agree that once you start taking yoga seriously and you start understanding many things about the practice, you don’t want to pollute your body, so that’s what I want to stop doing. More specifically, less sugar and carbs, more vegetables and protein. My goal is to be a fit yogi… whether it means fat or thin, I couldn’t care less.
  4. While in the topic of yoga, GUESS WHO WILL SOON BE THE PROUD OWNER OF A YOGA WHEEL??!?!!??!?!? Well, I’m already the owner, I’m just waiting for it to roll its way down to me. I got a Seigla yoga wheel (Amazon link) in a gorgeous aqua+black combination.. at 51% off I couldn’t not, know what I mean? I blogged about wanting one on February 29th.. I’ve been wanting one for even longer than that.
  5. I’m happily writing away in my “Instant Happy Journal” daily. I blogged about it back in November and mentioned I wanted to start it in 2016, which I did, and I’m still going strong. I believe in positive thought, and the book reminds me of it. It’s the first thing I do when I get to work.. and it sometimes works at setting the mood for what the rest of the day will be like.
  6. Also, maybe I haven’t learned my lesson, but I just ordered “The Tabasco Cookbook” via  Blogging for Books. It has 144 pages and 80 recipes. I am focusing on the “80 recipes” bit. I’m determined to find pretty cookbooks for when I have a kitchen of my own.
  7. Ok, I’m about to confess to something that might change the way you see me: I’m obsessed with Dr. Pimple Popper‘s YouTube channel. Click at your own risk.
  8. …. speaking of obsessed, my crush for Chris Martin has resurfaced. I’m not too in love with Coldplay‘s latest album “A Head Full Of Dreams” (Spotify link).. I like a few songs, but it isn’t like “A Rush Of Blood To The Head“(Spotify link) where I liked every song on it. Or “Parachutes” (Spotify link), where I liked almost every song on it. Still, for some reason, after watching his Carpool Karaoke video and clicking on a few interviews and such, my crush is back. His smile is very genuine.
  9. The Night Manager” was fuuuun. It will premier in the US on April 19th. Make a point to watch it (or let the 6 episodes accumulate and binge-watch) because it’s seriously fun, and there’s lots of eye candy – gorgeous people and gorgeous landscapes. And a very fun plot!