Book Review – I’ll Be Yours

I’ll Be YoursImage result for i'll be yours jenny b jones

By: Jenny B. Jones

Book Description: 

She’s the coach’s brilliant daughter, clueless about love. He’s the dethroned football star, ready to teach Romance 101. When dark secrets and sparks collide, there’s no playbook for what happens next.

The day Andrew Levin arrives at Washington High, Harper O’Malley knows he’ll make the perfect starter boyfriend. The school’s newest band geek is totally in Harper’s league, yet completely out of this late-bloomer’s reach. Between fitting in with a new family, scoring the first chair in band, and rescuing dogs for the local animal shelter, Harper’s never had the opportunity to hone her dating skills. But even though Harper’s love life is far from perfect, she’s got the perfect plan.

Harper knows she’s insane to agree to tutor Ridley Estes, a notorious heartbreaker and the star of her high school’s football team– but in exchange, he’s offered to school her in the game of love. Just when she sees promise with her crush, a football scandal rocks her family, her town, and Ridley’s entire future. Harper suddenly has everything to lose–her family, friends, and even her heart. When the dust of the scandal settles, nothing will be the same. Including the girl who asked the most popular jock to teach her about love.

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Lasagna Soup

With temperatures starting to head downwards and into the negatives, it’s nice to warm yourself up with a delicious bowl of soup. In making this soup I found it to be one of the most flavourful soups I think I have ever had. This soup is delicious, packed with flavor, and is a sure fire way to warm you up on those cold winter nights. I stumbled upon this recipe while looking on Pinterest. I found this recipe on a farmgirl’s dabbles‘s blog. I did, however, change up just a couple things. This soup pairs really well with a loaf of french bread but is also really good by itself.

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Directions

  1. Place olive oil in a large pot over meat.
  2. Add in sausage, making sure that you break it into small pieces, and brown (about 5 minutes)
  3. Add onions into the pot and cook until softened (about 6 minutes)
  4. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook (about 1 minute)
  5. Add in tomato paste and stir well to incorporate and cook (3-4 minutes, or until tomato paste turns a reddish brown color)
  6. Add in diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted garlic if you would rather you can use just plain fire roasted tomatoes, I found with having garlic ones it adds to the flavor), bay leaves, and chicken stock making sure you stir until ingredients are all combined.
  7. Bring the ingredients to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes
  8. Once the 30 minutes is about up, start cooking your pasta. I found that it is just easier to cook the noodles in a separate pot to prevent overcooking. Also if you like your soup more noodles, I suggest making 1 1/2-2 boxes of noodles.
  9. While noodles cook: start making the cheese topping. In a small bowl, stir ricotta, parmesan, salt, and pepper together, making sure everything is evenly incorporated.
  10. Once noodles and cheese are done, ladle desired amount of broth and noodles into your bowl then add a spoonful of the cheese topping onto the top of your soup. To img_4930finish off your bowl you can sprinkle some basil and extra shredded parmesan on top.

 

Soup:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 28-oz. can fire roasted (plain or garlic) died tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 8oz. Mafalda or fusilli pasta
  • 1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • optional salt and pepper, to taste

Cheese Topping:

  • 8 oz. (1 cup) ricotta cheese (I used part-skim)
  • 1/2 grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pinch of ground pepper

 

ashley

Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year again where we load up our plates and endlessly stuff our faces full of food. Once we are done eating we like to spend the day lazily watching football and spending the day with our loved ones. How can one not love this holiday?

food eating thanksgiving thats so raven turkey day

Thanksgiving to me has always been my favorite holiday. The food is out of this world, and who doesn’t love a holiday in which it’s ok to overeat? But eating isn’t just what I love about this holiday. This holiday is a time to be thankful for all of your loved ones and everyone one you hold dear to your heart. The best times are ones spent around the table eating our Thanksgiving meals and sharing stories. Some of which I have heard hundreds of times. There are too many things to even list that I am thankful for. I am fortunate to have an amazing family that all love and care for each other and I would not trade that for anything.

Many times throughout the year we take so many things for granted. We don’t stop  to think about how much time, energy, and thought goes into someone’s positive action(s). For example, growing up parent’s sacrifice so much for their child. I know this first hand. My parents have always taken time for me they have always attended my sporting events, always were encouraging in any endeavor I have encountered, and have always done everything they can to help me succeed. But yet here I sit and think about how many times I have actually said thank you. In my heart, I have always been thankful for everything they have done but I haven’t always expressed it to them. They would do anything for me and yet many times their actions go unnoticed or my appreciation for the actions not expressed. So, this year I am most thankful for everything they have done to shape and mold me into the individual I have become. Without them, I truly would be a much different individual and I would not trade them for anything. No thank you would be big enough for how much I truly do appreciate what they do.

Another one of the things I’m thankful for would have to be my family in general, I am so very lucky that I get to share this holiday with. Not everyone is as lucky as I am, I get to spend the holiday with a lot of my family members.  I’m one of those lucky people who get to go to my relative’s house to celebrate. I’m very thankful for the time I get to spend with all of the people I have because they all aren’t going to be around forever. Last year I was lucky enough to get to share thanksgiving with my grandpa who later in the year passed away. This year there will be an empty spot in which he had always filled. I am very thankful for the time that I did get to spend with him. This puts things into a much bigger perspective for me. The people that you share thanksgiving with won’t be there forever. Make sure you spend the holiday being thankful for everything and everyone in your life. disney family eating holiday thanksgiving

I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving holiday, filled with family, friends, and of course good food. Happy Thanksgiving!

ashley

 

 

Book Review – The Day That Saved Us

The Day That Saved Us

By: Mindy Hayes

Book Description:

BEFORE life wasn’t perfect. Peyton Parker was grieving the loss of her father. Brodee Fisher was battling for control over his future with his father. But every summer, their families came together to rejuvenate and lose themselves in the salt air of cape Hatteras. Nothing could put a damper on the sun, sand, and surf. AFTER everything changed.

This story follows main characters:

Peyton Parker

&

Brodee Fisher

Story Overview:

The two main characters have been best friends since birth, literally, their mothers were best friends and planned it out so Brodee and Peyton were 3 months apart. The story picks up with the two graduating alongside their best friends Harper and Skylar. Following the graduation the two head off to Hatteras where they have spent every summer of their lives together soaking up the sun and surfing.

However, this summer is different, romance is definitely in the air between the two and can they fight it off any longer? With their summer almost nearing an end the ultimate betrayal may possibly  have made them lose their friendship and any romance that might have sparked between the two. This story is told from both perspectives of Peyton and Brodee. The start of the story is told from Peyton’s point of view, with the halfway point switching to Brodee’s point of view. The characters in this story have to overcome heartbreak, loss, and jealousy.

 

My Thoughts:

Reading this story I found myself pulling for Peyton and Brodee to be together. I wanted to see these two have their happy ever after.

The two characters had to overcome a lot in this book and my heart especially went out to Peyton who had a tremendous amount of loss throughout the book. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good book and would definitely recommend to other readers. My rating of this book would be a 4 out of 5 because at times I got frustrated with Peyton’s stubbornness and her lack to see what was right in front of her. Like I said, though, I would definitely recommend this book!

ashley

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s life without a good chocolate chip cookie? Especially one that comes fresh out of the oven… cue the heart eyes and mouth watering face. Anyway since I have been little chocolate chip cookies are the one thing that has been my absolute favorite. The secret to these delicious cookies is something very simple yet, makes a difference. Usually, chocolate chip cookie recipes call for normal table salt,  but in this recipe, I use sea salt. The difference is subtle but you get a bit more of that sweet and salty mix that will surely make your taste buds do a happy dance. In this recipe, I have also included the double batch which is what I usually make when I make mine. With the double batch, you should get about 20 large cookies.

So here we go…

 

You are going to start all of the necessary prep work before you begin making your cookies. You will start by taking out ingredients, measuring cups/measuring spoons (1 cup, 1/4 cup, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon), cookie sheet(s), and one-two prep bowls (one if you will be using a stand mixer, two bowls if you will not be).

before starting with any of the food you will need to…

1. preheat your oven to 350° F.

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Once you have set your oven next we will begin working with the ingredients.

 

 

2.In a separate bowl, which will become your ‘dry ingredients bowl’ you will need to mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Put this bowl to the side until later on when you will be needing it to mix into the ‘wet ingredients’

img_4852-13. In a stand mixer or your ‘wet ingredients bowl,’ you will need to beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together.   TIP: if your take the butter out of the fridge or freezer, place it in the microwave at 1/2 power (defrost) for 15 seconds. Check your butter to see if it is now softened. If the butter is still hard, place it in the microwave for another 15 seconds at 1/2 power. Make sure that you do not melt your butter in the microwave

 

4. Once you  have completed step 3, add eggs; and beat well making sure ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

5. Slowly add in dry ingredients to your wet ingredients making sure you incorporate all of the ingredients together. If you are using a Kitchen-Aid mixer I like to put it on the first or second setting as I slowly dump in the ingredients.

6. Once the wet and dry ingredients have been incorporated add in the chocolate chips, this can be done with a spoon or on a slow mixer setting (I like to use the speed 1 or 2 on my kitchen aid mixer). Make sure you do not over mix your cookie dough.

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7. Once everything is mixed in I like to take a medium- Pampered Chef scoop (about 2 Tablespoons) to scoop out the cookie dough onto my cookie sheets.

 

8. Place your cookie sheet in the oven and bake 8-10 minutes.

 

img_48729. Optional– once you take the cookies out of the oven take a pinch of the sea salt and sprinkle over the cookies for an even more sweet and salty taste.

While making these cookies I experimented with the pan I used a little bit. For the first batch, I used a Pampered Chef stoneware cookie sheet. This made my cookies very thin with a crunchy outside. If you like your cookies thin than I suggest trying a stoneware pan out. The other pan I used was a regular nonstick baking sheet I believe that I bought it at Walmart. This made my cookies thicker. When I make my cookies I usually tend to like them thicker, but it’s all what you prefer.

This recipe is pretty simple and gives you mouthwatering cookies that everyone in your house will surely enjoy! Make sure you grab one once they had a couple minutes to cool because once everyone hears you made fresh chocolate chip cookies they will surely disappear in minutes. I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you have any comments, tips, or anything else you would like to share, please comment.

 

Ingredient list— Single batch

‘dry ingredients’

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

‘wet ingredients’

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter–do not melt

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups chocolate chips

Ingredient list— Double batch

4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups (4 sticks) softened butter

1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 eggs

4 cups cholate chips

ashley

Book Review – With This Heart

With This Heart

By: R.S. Grey

Book Description:

If someone had told me a year ago that I was about to fall in love, go on an epic road trip, ride a Triceratops, sing on a bar, and lose my virginity, I would have assumed they were on drugs.

Well, that is, until I met Beckham.

Beck was mostly to blame for my recklessness. Gorgeous, clever, undeniably charming Beck barreled into my life as if it were his mission to make sure I never took living for granted. He showed me that there were no boundaries, rules were for the spineless, and a kiss was supposed to happen when I least expected it.

Beck was the plot twist that took me by surprise. Two months before I met him, death was knocking at my door. I’d all but given up my last scrap of hope when suddenly, I was given a second chance at life. This time around, I wasn’t going to let it slip through my fingers.

We set out on a road trip with nothing to lose and no guarantees of tomorrow.

Our road trip was about young, reckless love. The kind of love that burns bright.

The kind of love that no road-map could bring me back from.

This story follows main characters:

Abby McAlliste

&

Beckham Prescott ‘Beck’

Story Overview:

The story starts out with our main character Abby in a funeral home buying an urn. Enter the gorgeously handsome Beck who just so happens to stroll in behind Abby. Beck enters Abby’s life in a whirlwind trying to join her road trip that she is taking around the state of Texas. Eventually, Abby gives in and lets him join. These two complete strangers embark on a journey around the state without knowing much about each other. Throughout the story, the main characters deal with love, loss, jealousy, heartbreak, and overcoming the impossible. This story is told by Abby with the last chapter being told in Beck’s point of view.

My Thoughts:

WARNING THIS BOOK WILL ROPE YOU IN AND YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN!!! I finished this book in one sitting and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning just to finish it. This book definitely ranks on my top 10 favorite books.

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Ok… Beck is definitely my new book boyfriend, seriously he’s gorgeous and such a well-written character. Our two main characters were written so well you instantly fall in love with them. Between our two main characters, there is a lot of joking and seriously laughable moments. I found myself laughing out loud, some of these moments were laughable considering our main character Abby is very inexperienced.

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Along with these laughable moments, there were moments were so passionate that it just made you fall more deeply for these two characters. All in all, I just loved the chemistry between Abby and Beck and all of the moments that they shared during their journey. I definitely would recommend this book to other readers and give it a 5 out of 5-star rating.

ashley