Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Recipe; Bacon Wrapped Chicken


If you haven't seen my last post, I started making daily youtube videos. Kind of a day in my life type of thing. In my latest video I made bacon wrapped chicken and scalloped potatoes for dinner. I decided to share the recipe over here in case anyone would like to try it.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken
5 Chicken Breasts (or 10 chicken tenders)
1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
2 handfuls of cilantro, seperated
2 tsps of cayenne, seperated and chopped
1 package of bacon
salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken, lemon juice, water, half the cilantro, 1 tsp of cayenne, salt, and pepper into a ziplock bag. Let the chicken marinate for at least 2 hours.

Once you're ready to start cooking preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Drain liquid from bag of chicken. If you're using chicken breasts cut them all in half. Next, wrap all of the pieces of chicken in a single slice of bacon and line up the pieces in a pan with sides.

Once all of the chicken is wrapped and lined up in the pan, sprinkle salt, pepper, 1 tsp of cayenne, and remaining cilantro. You can also pour some extra lemon on top of the chicken if you'd like more of a lemon flavor. You're now ready to bake!

Bake the chicken at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes and enjoy!*

*If the bacon doesn't look like it's cooking as fast as the chicken you can turn up the heat or finish cooking in a frying pan. When I make this sometimes it finishes just fine in the oven and other times I have to finish in a pan. I'm assuming it depends on the type of bacon I buy, but I'm not really sure. Just make sure to keep an eye on it.







Saturday, May 2, 2015

I Made a YouTube Channel!!

This week I did something I never really thought I would do. I made a youtube channel. Adrian and I have been talking about the possibility of making you tube videos (again for him and for the first time for me). We have some big changes coming up in the near future and I decided that I want to film the process. I decided to start now so that I can learn how to edit, etc.

Like I've said before, I really love daily vloggers and those are the only type of videos I've ever been interested in making. So far I've only uploaded two days of vlogs and I'm in the process of editing a third. I'm not really comfortable talking to the camera yet (it's awkward for me and feels kind of fake) so until I'm able to do that I'm doing a more montage type style. Below are my first two videos. Check them out and if you like them I would love it if you'd subscribe! Enjoy.



Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dream Closet; Room Decor

Recently Adrian and I did a complete clean out of our room. We opened every drawer and cabinet and sorted everything into three piles. Keep, donate/sell, and throw away. The biggest project of them all was my closet. I was holding onto way too many clothes that either didn't fit anymore or I had never, and would never, wear. Since then we've realized there's still a lot of stuff we want to get for our room and change about our room. For example, I really want to paint the walls a light grey. If not grey then at least white. The color right now is an ugly yellowish tan color that the previous owners painted while trying to sell the house.

The color scheme we kind of have going on right now is navy blue, teal green, and white. It's kind of weird, because it wasn't intentional, but everything in our room goes along with those three colors. Our bed spread and pillows are navy and white, our sheets are teal green, we have a cabinet that is all three colors, etc. Those just seem to be the colors we liked best when purchasing stuff for our room

Cleaning our room got me thinking of a few things we need/want to make the room feel complete. Here are a few random things I've been looking at to decorate and/or furnish our room.


1. // Locust Angled Wood Headboard. At the moment we don't have a headboard on our bed. While I don't think it's necessary, it would be nice to have one. Especially after we paint the walls. I know we'll want to protect the wall a little better since we mostly use our laptops on our bed and lean against it. I really like the simplicity of the wood headboard and I really like the lighter wood color. I think it would look really nice with our navy comforter.
2. // Sterling Table Lamp. I just really like the look and color of this lamp. However, I would probably go with something a little more affordable seeing as we'll need to buy two.
3. // Regissor Bookshelf. I've wanted to replace our current bookshelf for a while now. It's also an ikea bookshelf, but it's pretty old (Adrian had it before we met) and it doesn't really go with the other stuff in our room.
4. // Picture Frame Set. I really want to do something with the wall behind our bed. Right now we have two really nice Guardians of the Galaxy posters, but I think I'd prefer to do a photo wall. We both have a lot of really good photos that we love of us and our families and friends. It would be nice to display some.
5. // Triangle Trim Jewelry Stand. Before we cleaned our room I had my necklaces hanging from two hooks next to my mirror, but we removed them. So at the moment I don't have anywhere to hang them. I like this stand because it also has spots to hang earrings (I don't really like having my dangly earrings in my jewelry box). It also has spots for bracelets, which at the moment I have in a drawer in my jewelry box but they don't all fit into it very well.
6. // Roland Nightstand. I've been having trouble finding the exact nightstand I want. This one is pretty close to it. I just want something simple with at least one drawer.
7. // Jada Mini Planter. I just thought this planter was cute and I still would like to have plants in my room. Maybe even a fake one... I somehow killed my last succulent, even though I was told they're nearly impossible to kill. -_-
8. // Flatweave Sweater Wool Area Rug. We have hardwood floors in the entire house, which I do like. It would just be nice to have a rug under our bed so that when I step off in the morning my feet aren't hitting a cold floor. I also never realized how hard it is to keep hard wood floors clean.
9. // Printed Tin Candle (Cactus Flower). I actually received this candle as a gift from my sister last year and I really love it. It's almost gone now so I want to get another one. The smell is so good.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Goodreads Reading Challenge | Five



My goal this year is to finish 50 books. After each five books I finish I will be posting a list and short review of each. I will try not to reveal any spoilers in these short reviews.

1. People Who Eat Darkness: The Fate of Lucie Blackman by Richard Lloyd Parry
Plot synopsis: People Who Eat Darkness tells the true story of Lucie Blackman's disappearance while working as a hostess in Japan in the Roppongi district. The book covers Lucie's disappearance, the eight month long search, her remains being found, and all through the trial that follows. 

I came across this book on Goodreads. It was recommended to me as being similar to another book I read, but I can't remember which book. Gone Girl, probably. I enjoyed this book but it certainly had it's problems. But first, I'm going to be honest here and tell you that I actually had no idea this was a true story until after I finished the book. Kind of embarassing... I was 11 years old when Lucie Blackman disappeared and I don't really remember hearing about her story at all. That meant that, once I finished and found out it was a true story, I was even more crushed by it.

Really my only problem with the book was that I felt it should have been much shorter. It really started to drag on once we went into pretty much every characters background. Especially once it got to the suspects story. Hearing the fates of not only Lucie, but what her family went through was absolutely depressing. I'm not sure if you were necessarily supposed to take either of her parents 'sides', but if so I was definitely on the side of her dad and sister. The most fascinating part of the story was when he went into all the craziness of the how and why of what happened to Lucie.

2. The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence by Stan Lee
Plot synopsis: When twelve magical superpowers are unleashed on the world, a Chinese-American teenager named Steven will be thrown into the middle of an epic global chase. He'll have to master strange powers, outrun super-powered mercenaries, and unlock the mysterious powers of the Zodiac.

I feel bad saying this, but I actually had to force myself to finish this book. It's not that it was necessarily bad, far from it, it was just written for a much younger audience than me. And I've read kids books in the past, like I'm pretty sure the All The Wrong Questions series by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) was not written with a 26 year old in mind, but this one was just too young. I almost felt like I was being talked down to. The art was really nice, though. I gave my copy to Adrian's little brother so hopefully he enjoys it more than I did.

3. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
Plot synopsis: Calamity Physics: The resulting explosion of energy, light, heartbreak, and wonder as Blue van Meer enters a small, elite school in a sleepy mountain town. Blue's highly unusual past draws her to a charismatic group of friends a St. Gallaway and their captivating teacher, Hannah Schneider. A sudden drownig, a series of inexplicable events, and finally a shocking death lead to a confluence of mysteries. And Blue is left to make sense of it all with only her gimlet-eyed instinct and cultural lexicon to guide her.

I read Night Film last year after it was suggested to me by my sister Nicole. After I was finished with it I immediately wanted to read another book by Marisha Pessl. Lo and behold, I opened up my gift from my sister on Christmas morning and she had given me Special Topics!

This is by far my favorite book I've read so far this year. It reminded me a lot of The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler, which I read last year and also loved. It was a little hard to get through at times, with all the movie and literary references in the footnotes (real and fictional), but other than that I found the story to be very engaging; especially near the end. I really liked Blue as a character, but she made me so sad at times. Though she had a great relationship with her dad, she also had such a lonely life. I won't get into the mystery part of the plot in this post. I don't want to spoil anyone and I plan to write a full review at a later date. After two books, Marisha Pessl has definitely become one of my favorite authors.

4. Veronica Mars #1: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Plot synopsis: Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She's traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.
Now it's spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is not a simple missing person's case. The house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica's past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

5. Veronica Mars #2: Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Plot synopsis: The Neptune Grand has always been the seaside town’s ritziest hotel, despite the shady dealings and high-profile scandals that seem to follow its elite guests. When a woman claims that she was brutally assaulted in one of its rooms and left for dead by a staff member, the owners know that they have a potential powder keg on their hands. They turn to Veronica to disprove—or prove—the woman's story.

I'm not going to get too much into the story of these books, since they're both mysteries (because duh..) and I don't want to spoil anything.

As a fan of the Veronica Mars tv series (and movie!) reading these books was such a wonderful experience. I read them back to back over a couple of days because I couldn't stop! Every characters 'voice' sounded just like did on the show and it really felt like another episode. While both mysteries weren't very hard to figure out, especially the first one, they were still fun to read. I only wish there was more Logan, but I can kind of see why they kept him mostly out of the books.

Alright, so that's the first five books I've finished this year. As I'm posting this I've only finished 6 books which means I'm 4 behind schedule. At the moment I'm trying to read a book that is over 700 pages and it's also a little hard for me to get into, for some reason. I've been taking breaks from it to read other books, like both Veronica Mars books, so it's going to take me a while to finish. Hopefully my reading picks up over the next couple of months or it's going to be very hard for me to finish this challenge.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My Favorite Youtube Channels.

I'm not sure why, but in the last few months I've really gotten into watching youtube videos. You would think that, since I never would have met my fiance had it not been for YT, that I would have been more into it in the past, but alas I wasn't. My favorite types of channels right now are daily vloggers(!) and booktube vloggers. Here is a list of my current faves:

CulpFiction

You've probably seen Caty's bra fitting video (from her lifestyle/beauty channel) that got shared all over the internet last year, which is how I found her. While I also like that channel, what I really love is Caty and her husband Blake's vlogging channel. Blake is currently serving in the military and they're stationed in Las Vegas, originally from WA. I just love watching their daily lives even when nothing in particular is going on. They are such a sweet couple and their dog is adorable.

Frannerd

I actually first found Fran on instagram where she posts daily illustrations if herself (and her cat). I started following her because I love her illustrations. It wasn't until much later that I found out she had a youtube channel. She mostly makes videos about art and art supplies, but she also uploads some daily vlogs and random videos. She is super adorable and I looove her accent.

HeyItsPriguel

Now this is kind of a weird one for me to be posting. HeyItsPriguel is a daily vlog channel by a couple who lives in San Diego...and it's all in Spanish. Despite my fiance being Mexican I can't speak Spanish at all! But that's where he comes in. We always watch their videos together. Sometimes he will translate the whole video for me and sometimes just the important parts. They're not super consistent with their uploads but their videos are always fun and the editing is different than most daily vloggers I've seen. So if you speak Spanish (or don't..) you should check them out. Priscila also has a lifestyle channel.

I should really learn Spanish one day...

KristinaHorner

You may or may not already know about Kristina as she's been on youtube forever. She makes videos about a lot of different things, but lately she mostly does book videos. She also does a lot of subscription box and clothing hauls. I absolutely love her book reviews. I feel like she and I have very similar taste in books so she's always great to get book recommendations from.

Other notable mentions (vloggers I've very recently subscribed to so I don't have a whole lot to say about them yet):

JesseTheReader (booktube), PeruseProject (booktube), SaidTheStory (booktube), SavannahAndStuff (beauty/lifestyle..ish).

I would love some more channel rec's, especially daily vloggers as I seem to have a very hard time finding them. Also, if you have a channel let me know and I'll check it out!


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Salted Pig


I apologize in advance for the dark pictures. There wasn't a whole lot of lighting in the restaurant and I don't like to use the flash.

My fiance, Adrian, read about The Salted Pig almost two years ago and we've been wanting to try it out ever since. We actually almost ate there once when we happened to be near Riverside for some other reason. Unfortunately when we realized that we were close enough to eat there it was between their lunch and dinner hours and it was closed. Alas, it would take another 11 months before we would get the chance again. It was well worth the wait.

When we arrived on a Saturday night we were told there would be an hour wait, but we didn't end waiting her long. Maybe 25 minutes. We were fortunate enough to be seated on the kitchen side of the dining room at a table across from the kitchen. Adrian and I don't drink very often when we go out to eat. But this was a (somewhat) special occasion and Adrian's dad was driving, so what the hell! Adrian and I had their pilsner and his dad had the blonde ale.

I had a very hard time choosing which meal to get as I had their pork belly sandwich in mind on the way to the restaurant (I didn't realize it was only served at lunch). We started with the 'octopus baby' which is whole baby octopus served with paprika aioli, chopped up pepperoni, and topped with home made potato chips. Adrian and his dad loved it. I'm not really a big fan of calamari so, while I thought it was good for what it was, I was sort of indifferent to the whole thing. Adrian's dad and I both agreed that we would have liked it better if it was more crispy.



As for the entrees I had the Herbed Gnocchi, Adrian had The Pig 2.2, and his dad had the Wild Boar Tamale. This was my first time trying gnocchi and now I know what all the fuss is about. It was topped with fresh ricotta, browned butter, and oyster mushrooms. It had crispy edges and a soft center with just the right amount of herbs. 



I didn't try it, but Adrian was in love with his burger. I did try the fries and the tamale. The fries were incredible and the tamale was really good too. I loved the mole sauce. Overall we had a really great time and enjoyed our food immensely. It's kinda pricey, so while I don't think we'll eat there very often, it's definitely somewhere we'll go for special occasions. I still really want to try the pork belly sandwich, so maybe we'll stop in for lunch one day soon.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Goodreads Reading Challenge | 50 Books in 2015


Around this time last year I tried and failed to get back into reading. I was getting my books from the library but it wasn't convenient enough for me to keep going, so in the end I just stopped reading altogether. For a few months, at least. It wasn't until August that I really started reading again. While I was browsing books at Barnes and Noble the movie cover for The Maze Runner caught my eye. I was like 'Hey, I recognize a lot of those actors!'. ha. Adrian had heard about it and said it sounded interesting so we picked it up. It took me a bit to get into the book, but once I did I became obsessed! I quickly read through the entire series. After that I started reading book after book.

Because of that I decided to start using my Goodreads account again. I noticed they had a reading challenge so I chose to read 25 books by the end of the year. Honestly, I didn't really expect to complete 25 books in less than 5 months. In the end I ended up reading 32, which to a younger Ashley would have been nothing, but to an adult Ashley it's quite an accomplishment.

Since I did so well in such a short amount of time last year I decided to up my books to 50 this year. So far I'm not off to a very good start. For Christmas Adrian and I bought ourselves Nintendo DS's and quickly became obsessed with Animal Crossing. At the same time we were binge watching Community (re watch), then Scrubs (a favorite of Adrian's and the first time for me), and now we're onto Friends (again a fave of Adrian's and a first time for me). Not a whole lot of reading was getting done at all.  On top of that the third and fourth books I've chosen to read are pretty long (514 and 763, respectively). Hopefully the rest of the year goes a little better. I'm going to be doing a recap of the books I've read so far after each ten I read, with individual reviews of my favorites in between.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Three months gone



Wow. It's been almost three months since I took a break from blogging and, honestly, it feels like so much longer than that. I guess that's what happens when you stop doing something during the busiest time of the year. I hadn't planned on starting back up again until we had internet back at the house but I've missed it so I'll just have to work with what I've got (aka the data on my phone).
Instead of writing a seperate post on what I've been up to since November I thought I'd just give you some highlights. I added links to some instagram pictures so I don't go crazy adding all of them to this post. Here we go!

  • We had a short but sweet Thanksgiving, as Adrian and I work in retail and had to be at work at 6pm on Thanksgiving day!! In the early afternoon my younger sister, Kendall, and her boyfriend came over to have an early dinner with me, Adrian, Adrian's brother Gabriel, and Gabriel's friend. Afterwards we were able to squeeze in a quick board game before we had to get ready to leave. 1 // 2 // 3



  • In early December I won a contest on instagram run by Diana Willard. The prize was a beautiful painting by Diana. I've never won a contest like that so it was pretty exciting. I also had a really nice birthday. Again, my younger sister came over. We went to dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory and saw Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One. 1 // 2 // 3



  • Our truck schedule went from 6am to 4am for 4th quarter, so we basically were zombies for a couple of months. Going to bed at 9pm is very weird for us.
  • A few days before Christmas I said goodbye to my sister before she flew back East for Christmas. Unfortunately I wasn't able to go and it was really upsetting, again.. retail. ugh. It was the last time I'm going to see her for a really long time. Almost as soon as she and her boyfriend got back from their trip they moved to Washington. I'm really happy for them, but I miss her a lot. 1 // 2



  • The morning of Christmas eve Adrian and I opened most of our presents since we were driving to Anaheim to spend Christmas with his mom. We got a lot of really amazing gifts and I couldn't be happier. That night Adrian's mom made us dinner before she went to a Christmas party. While she was gone Adrian, Gabriel, and I drank cocktails and watched Home Alone. In the morning I made breakfast and we kind of just lounged around all day. It was nice and relaxing. In the early evening we drove home. 1 // 2 // 3
  • New Years eve was weird because we weren't able to watch the ball drop. I think we ended up making some food and watching Scrubs. Or was it Community? I don't remember.. // 1 //
  •  In mid January we were feeling..weird. I don't really know how to explain it. Antsy, I guess? Or maybe just bored. Anyway, we decided we needed to get out of the house so we rented a hotel room in Ontario, which is about a 45 minute drive from our house. We stayed at an Aloft hotel. It was seriously the prettiest hotel I've ever stayed at. I'm considering writing an actual review eventually, so for now I'll just say we had an amazing time. 1 // 2 



  • At the end of January we bought a new mattress and an actual bed frame. We are getting a little too old to still be sleeping on mattresses on the floor and it definitely wasn't doing Adrian's back any favors. It's so comfortable! This prompted us to do a deep clean of our bedroom and I'm happy to say that we've been doing a pretty good job of keeping it clean. 1 // 2


  • Now that all of the holiday craziness is over we're back to our regular routine. I'm mostly reading and watching a lot of you tube videos. I've gotten really into daily vloggers, although it's kind of hard to find good ones. If you have any recommendations, let me know. I've also started exercising somewhat consistently again. I've already noticed a difference so I'm really motivated to keep going. We're also going to try eating a lot healthier in the coming months. We want to come up with a really good meal plan.


Alright, so that was much longer than I originally intended! Finally, I just want to let you know/warn you that I'm probably going to be posting a lot more book related posts in the future. It's something that has kind of taken over most of my free time so that'll be reflected in my posts. I'm so happy to be back to blogging!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Temporary hiatus.

Unfortunately, for the time being I'm going to be on a temporary hiatus. I don't have access to the internet and I don't really know when I will get it back. I'm able to use the internet on my phone but I dont really see myself posting much from it. Hopefully it won't be for much longer! :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

October 2014 Photo a Day Recap.

You may have already seen my post about it, but over on instagram I decided to do a photo a day challenge during the month of October. I was mostly successful, I only missed two days. I had a lot of fun coming up with things to take pictures of. I definitely don't think I could do this every month, though. I'll probably do it again in December. Below are the pictures I took all month!

1. Something wicked // Hocus Pocus! I didn't end up watching it this year. We were too busy watching 31 horror movies.
2. Childhood costume //  I believe this was a last minute Esmerelda costume. I even carried around my goat beanie baby. The skirt belonged to my mom and I kinda wish I still had it. I loved that thing. 
3. Ghost // I don't know if I've shown our Casper doll before, but it's a 1960's Casper doll that we found at a antique store a few years ago. It's a little dirty but the voice still works!
4. Halloween Snack // I did a lot of Halloween decoration shopping this day but I failed to buy an actual Halloween snack. This worked.    
5. Me // Me in my costume from last year. I'm still really proud of it.                          
6. Leaves // I was very tempted to buy these bags. They were at a really cool costume shop here in town.                      
7. Sweater // I love sweaters so much. I'm so happy it's cooled down enough where I can wear them.
8. Black and white //  Do you guys remember those little izone polaroid cameras from the early 00's?  This is a picture I took at least ten years ago of my cats. I can't believe I've been able to hold onto it this long.      
9. Watching // You have to watch the horror Boy Meets World episode during Halloween. You have to.
10. Homemade // My Halloween banner I made last year.           
11. Cozy // I got the days mixed up somehow. This day was supposed to be 'In the dark' and vice versa. I was still pretty sick so I was drinking more tea. I still have a little bit of a cough, but it's mostly gone.         
12. In the dark // We started making our Halloween Mood Table.                        
13. Mask // I've been looking for a green mask for my Robin costume for a while. This one was perfect.                      
14. Dinner // I was too busy enjoying dinner to take a picture so I took one later of my dessert.
15. Scary Movie // This was pretty much the one night we didn't watch a horror movie all month. Then I forgot to take one the next day to make up for it.
16. Tradition // Making a Halloween mood table is going to be our new tradition. I loved it so much and I was sad to take it down yesterday.
17. Morning // Painting my nails. :)
18. Leaves // I don't know how I missed it, but when I was making my list I somehow put 'leaves' on there twice. Oops.
19. Six pm // Our neighborhood looks really pretty when the sun is setting. 
20. Nostalgia // Our Halloween costumes from 2011. That was a really good Halloween. We had a snow storm which was pretty crazy. It never snows that early in Virginia.
21. Orange // One of many painted pumpkins decorating Fun Corner.
22. Decorations // We didn't really do much decorating outside the house this year, aside from this one headstone. No one was home on Halloween night so I don't think anyone cared. 
23. What I'm wearing // I was only able to wear this sweater for a few hours that morning, but it was worth it.
24. Collection // A few months when these came out we bought all of them. I think they look really cool in this display case.
25. Pumpkin // We didn't buy any pumpkins this year (again, no one was home on Halloween so no point) but I saw these at Ralph's. I love tiny pumpkins.
26. Bake // We have had that can of pumpkin for a while and I was dying to make pumpkin bread. I should have put bake earlier on the month! 
27. Scary // Adrian made such a cool mask for his Halloween costume. He was Professor Pyg from Batman. The costume was super creepy.
28. Black // A ghost pillow that I forgot I had until the month was almost over. I used to have a blanket to go with it.
29. Words // I made this because I love the Haunted Mansion. Adrian did the words and I made the painting.
30. Candy // Another baking day! I made a few treats to take to my sister's Halloween party.
31. Halloween! // My sister and I on Halloween. You can't really tell but I wore this. I was supposed to be Man Bat from Batman and my sister was Harley Quinn. It was the most comfortable costume I've ever worn.