Friday, July 25, 2014

Books Books Books: Simple Thai Food by Leela Punyaratabandhu

I'm finally getting back into the book reviewing! I'm excited and hopefully you are too! Here goes my first book review back from my time off. :P

When I was in high school, we had a foreign exchange student come and visit from Thailand. Until then, I had never really been exposed to the Thai culture, all I knew was they had elephants and spicy food. My foreign exchange brother, as my sister and I called him, had a dream of someday opening his own restaurant, which of course led to him cooking for us once or twice. He also found a delicious restaurant in Milwaukee where we ended up going several times throughout his stay that served authentic Thai food. I think it was at that point that I fell in love with Thai cuisine. Nearly eight years later, this cookbook has fully renewed that love for Thai food.

Leela Punyaratabandhu has done an amazing job with bringing out the beauty and subtle complexity that Thai food offers. As soon as I opened the book, I was struck by the colorful pictures and ended up paging through the book first just to see the bright colors of the food that I could not wait to cook in my own kitchen. Her descriptions of each dish at the start were funny and felt homey at the same time, with a friendly voice to the narrations and optional American alternatives that make each dish more available to those of us unable to order completely authentic ingredients.

As with many different authentic cuisine books, some of the ingredients were a bit more on the pricy side, so for people on a limited budget it is a bit more difficult. It also is not a cookbook that is friendly towards certain dietary restrictions, just as a forewarning. Another thought to be noted is that this cookbook is not for those looking for a quick meal; the recipes are complicated and require several ingredients that most households would not normally have in order to attain the unique Thai flavors. However, the aroma that filled my apartment as I tried my hand at Leela's recipes is one that will bring your friends and neighbors knocking to try a taste.

I hope that you get the opportunity to try out some of these recipes, which I will be posting a few of my own vegetarian alterations as well as possibly some chicken recipes as soon as I get my act together.

Sara :)

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Muisca Monday

It is officially musical h-e-double-hockey-sticks week for many people, myself included. Why? It's dress rehearsal for the musical!! Opening night is Thursday and we have yet to get through the entire musical without stopping or getting confused! Yay!! 0.0 Why do I put myself through this year after year? Honestly, it's goofy. But musical people live for it, we are just crazy like that. So, yea, that's what's going on for me this week...
In other news, I signed up for a half marathon (yes, 13.1 miles) in September and I am super excited to run it, plus kinda scared too. I'm still trying to run more than 6 or 7 miles without my body being done, so we shall see how this goes! :P
Today's music is brought to you by the lovely YouTube (as usual) and by my roomie. She was the one who showed this to me and now I am sharing with you! I hope you enjoy "I'm Ready" by AJR, who are a YouTube sensation who have captured the interest of so many people worldwide!

Sara :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Weekend Links

Since I'm not posting on weekends (and struggling with the posting otherwise) I've decided to give you guys a post of what I've found looking around the internet during my 'free time', meaning while I'm sitting at work between clients, don't tell my boss. I hope you guys enjoy!
  • Found this blog while looking through Bloglovin, and these look delicious!
  • Also this bread sounds like a much better breakfast than my current cereal.
  • Officially adding these countries to my travel list, several were already there, but now the rest are too!
  • As some of you way know, I'm now registered on this site and just got my cookbook in the mail! I can't wait to start!
  • Just because I'm mostly vegetarian doesn't mean I can't appreciate delicious looking chicken like this.
  • If you're looking to travel to the Galapagos, Ecuador, or Peru this could be a great place to look.
  • And you have to admit that a chair like this would be awesome!
  • I have to end on this though, I think we all sometimes need the reminder...

It's amazing how much is really out there if you just take the time to look. What have you guys found recently?

Sara :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Blogging for Books

Due to my recent desire to read, but the lack of actually following through with it, I have joined a website called Blogging for Books. I still plan to finish the books I had listed in my Summer Reading List, but now will be receiving books in the mail to read and review online here. I am excited to get back into the swing of writing reviews for the books I read and really thinking about them instead of just jumping into the next one like I have been doing recently.

The premise of this website seems to be to allow book lovers to read and rate books for free. Which in my opinion, is awesome! I can order one book at a time and need to post a review within 90 days of receiving the book. This review should be posted both on the Blogging for Books blog and on my blog as well, meaning it will show up here! After posting a review I can request a new book.

I am super excited to get started with this and look forward to my first book, Simple Thai Food by Leela Punyaratabandhu, which is coming in the mail! I can't wait to share these reviews. I know this blog isn't very widely read but these reviews are for those who do get the chance to get on and read. You are awesome!

Sara :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Muisca Monday

Changes are good...right? I mean there's a lot to be said for changing little things in our lives like exercising and eating well, and I do not mean to belittle these things at all, but what about changes so big that they require a complete lifestyle change? The problem with being in my head is that I keep thinking about how much things can change and what would happen if things were to change, I'm that annoying student who asks 'what if' in the middle of a class discussion where there should not be a 'what if' asked. Yea, especially in college, I was not much of a talker in high school.
But as I think about it, it's kinda silly to keep asking what if when it is what it is and it's the changes that really make us who we are and make us think. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm doing quite a bit of changing lately and they will only continue to happen as long as I stay on the path I'm going. I hope that you all are willing to take some risks and try something new! This song has been in my head all day, it's called "Change Your Life" by Little Mix. Btw I love her purple hair! Enjoy!

Sara :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Books Books Books: Summer Reading Update

Hey all! So, last month I made a list of the books that I was going to read this summer. I apologize but I haven't been putting up any sore of reviews here, mostly because I've been kinda lazy. Anyways, I wanted to take this time to summarize what I've ready as of now since it's near the end of the first month of summer!

As of now I've read only two books on my list, Divergent and The Lightening Thief. However, to be honest, I got distracted by The Lightening Thief and ended up reading the entire Percy Jackson and the Olympians series in a few sittings. This series was awesome and really held my interest throughout the books. Now, yes I do have the mind of a teenager at times when it comes to books, but I think these are all definitely worth a read. As for the Divergent series, my apartment mate has just finished the second book in the series, Insurgent, and has started the third, Allegiant, I think I may hold off on these two though until she finishes the last one so I can read them all the way through without having to wait. The first one was brilliant and I can't wait to read the rest of the series! I've heard good things!

Instead, next on my list is going to be Game of Thrones. Now, a disclaimer, I realized that the picture I put up on my previous post about this book was a picture of the cover of the graphic novel. I will not be reading the graphic novel, but the actual thick, paperback version of the story. I'm hoping to have this one done before Matt and I head to a friend's for the 4th of July.

For any of you who did look at my Goodreads account, you know that I am also reading a few other books at the same time. I hardly ever only read one book at a time, that's just not my style. I am also currently reading My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire by Michelle Goodman, mostly because I've got this dream of being able to write my own stories someday and I'm a personal trainer (not usually classified as creative, but still a professional for hire!) and knowing how to run my own 'company' or at least hire myself out is something that I think would be good to know! The other book on my reading list is Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, according to my boss, it's a book that every professional should read (even though it was published originally in 1936) and so I am reading it. Lastly, Eating Animals is still not's hard for me to get through.

I put this last picture in here because that is how I'm feeling a bit about my summer reading list, since nearly all the books have been made into movies (nothing to say the movies were bad....but Percy Jackson?), be sure to ready the books if you want to learn the true meaning behind over half the movie and what really happened to the characters! Just because the movie isn't the best means nothing for the worth of the book itself! Remember :)

Sara :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Musica Monday

I had a rough day. Well, more accurately a rough hour and a half at work. It shook me up pretty bad and I'm all ready to hand in the towel and quit. No looking back or anything. I've only been in this situation once before and luckily that was solved and everyone moved on. I'm not sure what it is about this, but I was legitimately terrified for a while and ended up calling my supervisor, who talked to me for a good 5-10 minutes in order to calm me down enough to talk explain what happened. There are certain things I will share here, and there are certain things I will not. All I can really say is that I am super glad that tomorrow is not an early day. I've been considering leaving this job for a while anyways, I'm feeling like now might be a good time.

Have you ever had one of those days? Or one of those times where you just get so scared that you wish you could pause your life and just leave it? It's probably one of the most terrifying things I've ever felt. You can think I'm over reacting and maybe I am, but right now it's feeling pretty real. They say that having no reason to stay is a good reason to go, maybe it's getting close to that time... I'm not sure but I've been thinking that a lot more lately...

The song for today, I'm not exactly sure where it came from, it's just what has been playing in my head the entire time I've been writing this post. It's actually written by one of the bands that got me into alternative music, The Killers, but I feel like this is one of their lesser known, called 'Dustland Fairytale'. Enjoy, dear readers. I hope that your days are much better than mine was :)

Sara :)