My Summer Reading List


Ah, summer. FINALLY. 

I am currently sitting outside on my front porch with my book and iced coffee nicely resting beside me. Oh, and of course, with my laptop on my lap, because, how else would I be describing what I'm doing?  Anyways, I couldn't be in a better mood. Not only is it a long weekend here in Canada, but the weather is no longer gloomy. IT IS FINALLY NICE AND SUNNY. The way the weather should be in May. Canada, please stay like this. No more grey, cloudy, and rainy days. 

I've always loved the sun, the fresh breeze, and the smell of BBQ that neighbours are constantly cooking up. That's how you know it is that time of the year where we can just relax.  

Since finishing school, the majority of my time has had me either working, or cooped up in my room binge-watching ever possible TV show I already watched, just because there wasn't much to do outside. Now, with the weather so nice, I can't find the will to pick up the television remote or turn on my laptop. I just want to sit outside and read all my books I've neglected over the school year. 

So, with the motivation of the beautiful weather, plus the goal I created myself over at Goodreads, I decided to create a Summer Reading List in hopes of reading a total of 20 books this summer!

1. Tell Me Three Things - Julie Buxbaum
2. Bliss - Shay Mitchell + Michaela Blaney
3. Why Not Me? - Mindy Kaling
4. Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Maria Semple
5. One Hundred Names - Cecelia Ahern
6. Finding Audrey - Sophie Kinsella 
7. Me Before You - Jojo Moyes
8. Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard (Triology)
9. Fallen - Lauren Kate (Series -- 4 books)
10. To All The Boys I've Loved Before - Jenny Han (Series - 2 books)

The list above are currently the books I have on my "to-read" shelf on goodreads. As the days/weeks go on, I will hopefully find more books to add onto my list to officially complete my goals of 20 books! But, one step at a time!

Are any of these books worth reading? Let me know some 
recommendations as well!

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Currently in May


READING... Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling
PLAYING... on my phone
WATCHING... The Killing on Netflix
TRYING... clean my room
COOKING... Pasta later... mmm
EATING... nothing at the moment
DRINKING... coffee (what else is new)
CALLING... work
TEXTING...  Jay
TWEETING... nothing... but I'll go tweet something now!
GOING... to work later in the evening 
LOVING... my happy little bunny
HATING... the stress of what's next
DISCOVERING... I have an allergic reaction to something
THINKING... about the beautiful weather for this weekend! 
FEELING... content
HOPING (for)... an easy day at work
LISTENING (to)... Don't Let Me Down The Chainsmokers ft. Daya
CELEBRATING... nothing at the moment
SMELLING... the air freshener in my room
ORDERING... mmm, nothing; but I'm thinking about it now
THANKING... God for a good nights sleep
CONSIDERING... on which agenda I wanna buy
STARTING... to get cramps :/
FINISHING... this blog post!
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Easy Homemade Lasagna

Have I ever told you how much I love lasagna?? Well, I love it. It is probably one of my all time favourite comfort go-to food. The problem was, I just always assumed it was too difficult to make it on my own. So, whenever I was craving lasagna, I was never able to fulfill my cravings. But, on days when my mom was feeling all chef-like and made lasagna, my tummy was always happy! 
No surprise about where this post is going, this past week I've been craving lasagna. And, instead of just craving it, this past weekend I decided to cook my own batch of lasagna! And, to my surprise, it was actually easy! Like, so much easier than I thought. Also, it ended up tasting SO MUCH BETTER than I thought it would! I think that was mostly because I knew what I liked, so I customized and mixed different recipes together! 
PREP TIME: 30 minutes (if you're a beginner cook)
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
INGREDIENTS:
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage 
- 2-1/2 cups of shredded cheese of your choice (I used mozzarella)
- 1/2 cup of parmesan grated cheese
- 2 cups of ricotta cheese 
- 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
- 1 egg, beaten 
- 1 jar of tomato sauce (650mL)
- lasagna noodles (a lot of recipes says 12... I didn't use 12, however)
- 1-1/2 cups of water 

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 °F
2. Place grounded meat of your choice in a large pan/skillet on medium-high heat.
 
3. While the meat is being cooked, mix 2 cups of ricotta cheese, 1-1/4 cups of mozzarella, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, 1/4 of chopped parsley, and egg in a bowl until evening blended.

5. When meat is cook, drain meat using a strainer, and place the drained cooked meat back into the skillet/pan. Pour in entire jar of pasta sauce. Pour 1-1/2 cups into the pasta sauce jar; cover and shake the jaw well. Pour the water in the skillet and stir evenly.


6. In an empty pan or baking dish, place 1 cup of the meat sauce and spread evenly across the dish. (This is your bottom layer!) 
7. Take 3 (or 4 depending on the size of your dish) uncooked lasagna noodles across the pan. 
8. Take 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture, and spread evenly on top of the lasagna noodles. 


9. Add 1 cup of meat sauce on top of the ricotta cheese mixture.

10. Repeat steps 7-9 two more times (for a total of 3 layers).



BONUS STEP:
I like my lasagna nice and cheesy. So, before repeating steps 7-9, I like to sprinkle shredded cheese before adding another layer of uncooked lasagna noodles.


11. On the last layer, you may have some extra meat sauce left over; spread it on top of the last layer of uncooked lasagna noodles followed by shredded cheese and parmesan cheese.

12. Cover the baking pan with tin foil, and bake the lasagna for a total of 1 hour, removing the tin foil after 45 minutes.


Well, there you go! See how much more simpler that was! And, its even more delicious than it looks! Hope you enjoy this recipe!

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Book Review: P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern



My Rating: 
Genre: chick-lit, romance, fiction, adult, contemporary



Summary
According to Goodreads:
A novel about holding on, letting go, and learning to love again. 
Holly couldn't live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other's sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed.  
According to the back of the novel:
Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mates. But not Holly and Gerry.
They were childhood sweethearts - no one could imagine Holly and Gerry without each other.
Until the unthinkable happens. Gerry's death devastates Holly. But as her 30th birthday looms Holly discovers that Gerry has left her a bundle of notes, gently guiding her uno her new life without him, each signed 'PS, I love You'.
With some help from her friends, and her noisy and loving family, Holly finds herself laughing, crying, singing, dancing - and being braver than ever before.
Life is for living, she realizes - but it always helps if there's an angel watching over you.  


My Thoughts



My goodness. What a story.

I cried. I laughed. And, I cried some more.

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous that having watched the movie 100000000 times beforehand would impact my judgement on the novel. But, that was not the case. Like many other movies based on books, they were completely different!

By that, I mean that the book was better than the movie. 

Yes, I said it. Plus, Tthere were many changes that I really wished the movie hadn't done.

For one, I really enjoyed the books exploration of each of Holly's relationship, including Daniel, her mother, her friends, and siblings.  I really did wish the movie showed more of Holly and her family, especially her brothers.  Those were probably one of my favourite parts of the book; those were the parts that made me laugh the most.

Everyone really should read the book. In fact, there were many parts of the book that explained parts of the movie. But, that is usually the case for many movies based on books.

Overall, the story was beautifully written. It honestly touched my heart, and taught me to not only open myself up to those who love me, but to also surround myself with them. Yes, everyone has their own sh*t going on in their lives, but dealing with life with someone else make it that more easier. Especially if there is laugh or two along the way. 


Favourite Quotes (in no particular order):
  • "Finding someone you love and who loves you back is a wonderful, wonderful feeling. But finding a true soul mate is an even better feeling. A soul mate is someone who understands you like no other, loves you like no other, will be there for you forever, no matter what. They say that nothing lasts forever, but I am a firm believer in the fact that for some, love lives on even after we're gone.” 
  • “Shoot for the moon, even if you fail, you'll land among the stars” 
  • “...God leads you to it and takes you through it.” 

Dear (Ex) Best Friend

Dear High School (Ex) Best Friend, 

It has been YEARS since we've last sat down and actually spoke. I want to say it has maybe been 4 or 5 years... but, when I tried to count the years, it actually made me sad. I can't believe we I have even allowed the years to pass without us taking the time to catch up over coffee.

I don't remember how we stopped talking entirely. Maybe I did something wrong? Maybe life got in the way? I don' know. But, I really miss us... I miss you. 

I recently wished you a "happy birthday" over Facebook, because I realized that I no longer have your phone number, and you probably no longer have mine. I thought it would be fun to do a throwback while write you a sweet birthday message and even include the one nice smiling photo we have together.  But, as I was going through the many photos we took together throughout high school, 
I found myself smiling at the many fun adventures we had. We had a lot. I know you appreciated my birthday message, but your comment back made me realize, whatever happened between us was real.

I remember you once messaged me over Skype asking me what happened, asking me what you did wrong within our friendship... I remember replying back that you never did anything wrong.  A few months later, you messaged me again asking the same question... I never responded... I'm still not sure why I never replied.

Our last year of high school was weird, and that was when I felt us slowly going our separate. You and I were so stressed about the next years of our lives, you left the program you and I were once enrolled in and went through a different path in high school. That left us with completely different schedules, completely different classes, and completely different lunches. We were just on different pages of life. 

It sucked. 

And looking back now, I wished I tried harder when it came to you and your new group of friends. I wished I invited you out more with my new group of friends. I wished we made more time for each other.

Anyways... there's no point of dwelling on the past, especially on a great one. Instead, I will always remember you as the best best friend I've ever had. In fact, I can honestly say that you are the one friend who has never betrayed me. You always had my back 100%, and I wished I thanked you more for it.

So, if theres a slight chance you one day come across this letter, I want to stay thank you. Thank you for being an amazing friend to me in high school. My days were so much more funnier and happier because of you and your goofiness. Oh, and thank you for making our dreaded IB classes so much more enjoyable. God only knows the MANY struggles we had when it came to chem and math. 

Wishing you the best and brightest future.

Love, 
Your Asian-Brownie Friend 

P.S. My parents still ask about you; they always wonder how you're doing and when you're ever going to come down to visit. 

This photo was taken in 2010! I remember we were waiting in line to take our school pictures!
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They Grow Up So Fast

Yesterday, my little cousin turned 12 years old. I REPEAT, 12 YEARS OLD! 

In all honesty, I didn't even realize she was just 11 years old the other day. I kid you not, for the past few years, she was always 8 years old in my eyes. Then all of a sudden she became a pre-teen having a 2-digit age; but, I forever thought she was 8 years old. I also didn't even realize she is currently in the 6th grade, and already thinking about which high schools to apply for... which, she doesn't have to do for another 2 years. 

I mean, I always knew I was 10 years older than her; but, it is not like I actually realize that... Does that even make sense?

And, don't even get me started on her little brother. I will forever think of him as a 6 year old and in grade 1. But, NOPE. He is 9 (I think).... see, I don't even know. All I know is that he is older than what I'm thinking. 

The point is time flies. And, it is flying much more quicker than what my head can actually keep up with. 

So, in order to try to keep up with these many changes, my sister and I decided to have a "Cousins Day" with them and just cherish as many memories as we can together. Especially since they have yet to reach the teenage phase where they are too cool to hang out with family.

Anyways, because it was her birthday, she wanted to go to the movies, and we all decided to watch the Jungle Book. I have to say, it was a REALLY good movie. I honestly wouldn't mind going again to watch it. The movie just brought back all sorts of memories from when I was their age reading the book version and watching the cartoon animated version of the Jungle Book. SO GOOD.







Overall, I'd say that it was a pretty successful Cousin's Day. I do, however, wished the other cousins had the chance to join us. But, we still have the entire summer! And, taking them to the arcade at the theatre made them even happier. I'm glad I had the chance to spend time with them. Family is super important to me, and I want them to always know that they could come to me for anything, no matter how big of the age difference. 
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May Goals!


April flew by so quickly! It was a very busy month, but I feel like it was worth it! The majority of the month I was at home or at the library studying for my exams. Although I was fortunate enough to enrol in classes that didn't have exams, I didn't have that many exams to study for. But, I did have a lot of essays and assignments to write. I think those are what took up the majority of my time. Oh, then when I was done my exams, you'd think I was laying in bed catching up on sleep -- but, nope. Instead I was busy trying to take as many shifts as I could at work to make the money I lost due to exams. 

So, yeah. April was really busy, and I will admit... I was really neglecting the blog. When I was looking over my blog, it feel so empty -- like no life. And, that made me sad. Like I mentioned in yesterday's post, I decided it was the right time to launch my new blog name + look to spark things up on here! Hopefully, this will motivate me a little more for May! 

Some of your favourite posts from April:
April Goals Revisited:
  1. Study, study, study
  2. Ace my exams!
  3. Don't Touch the credit card -- haha this is crossed half way because I used it literally three times this month, one as a means to pay for my phone bill! 
  4. Stay healthy.
  5. Pre-plan, schedule and post.
May Goals!
1. Work, Work, Work.
Yes, sing Rihanna's song while reading my first goal. This is probably going to be my main goal this summer. I want to work and make money. A lot of money to spend on myself, and more money to save for school, especially for expensive books. So, yes, my goal this month is take as many extra shifts as I can, and whenever someone tries to give their shift away, I will try my best to take it! Money is definitely on my mind. 

2. Take pictures.
I notice that I don't much photos lately. My goal this month is find the beauty of life and capture it. Capture anything that makes me happy, anything that looks pretty, or anything that looks instal-worthy. I want to capture it all! 

3. Walk more. 
Walking is the best form of exercise. I want to make it goal to walk to work at least once this month. According to google maps, a normal 5 minute drive is approximately a 30 minute walk. Not bad for some daily exercise if you ask me!

4. Study. 
I know what you're thinking... Study for what? Didn't you just say you finished school? Yes, I did finish school. I now just need to study for an entrance exam... some good old chemistry, biology and math. Definitely need to brush up on a few things before just writing the exam just like that! Wish me luck!

5. Don't touch the credit card.
Like I mentioned, I am getting better at this over the months. Hopefully this month I will resort to using my credit card less than 5 times.  

What are your May goals? Do you share any of mine?

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A New Blog Name -- Welcome to Nessa's Bliss!


Notice anything different?

That's right! A new blog name + a new blog look!

My little blogging corner on this side of the internet has completely transformed and I couldn't be any happier and more excited! In all honestly, I was actually planning to launch this rebrand later on, like August, with more warning for you all. But I was a little too excited and couldn't hold out any longer!

Plus, the timing felt right!

I just finished undergrad. Soon I will be attending my graduation ceremony. It is all just a HUGE accomplishment. But, I'm not done school yet. I've decided to do a complete switch of a career path, stepping away from psychology and focusing more toward critical patient care. So, new things are happening for me. One chapter is coming to a close, and I will soon begin a new chapter. So, I thought, why not start out fresh altogether? I mean, it makes perfect sense! And, that's what I decided to do - starting with a new personalized blog name, which includes my name! eek! Super excited!

WHAT ABOUT I WRITE ABOUT YOU?
As much as I loved the idea of keeping a similar name between my Tumblr (She Writes About You) and my actual blog, I just felt that I Write About You no longer meshes well with my current life and what I actually blog about.

I Write About You will definitely stay near to my heart. I always found the name itself to be very unique. But, as I said, my blogging has become more personal, and more focused on what I'm currently loving, or disliking, and what my current interests are.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO?
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I made it completely easy for you! I still own the domain I Write About You. So, to make it easier on your part, I already set up something called URL Forwarding -- which means that whenever you type in my old URL, you will automatically be forwarded here! That simple!

Also, I changed the names from I Write About You to Nessa's Bliss on the majority of my social media! So, again, nothing for you to do on your part! 

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM NESSA'S BLISS?
Well, you will still get a lot of me. Hopefully, a more up close and personal feel. And, hopefully more blog posts! Like I said, I just finished school (for now), so I am hoping that with all the more "freedom" I now have, inspiration will reign over me giving you more posts to read here! 

Overall, I am super excited about this new space! And, I just wanted to thank all of you for taking the time to read some of my posts! Hopefully, you will continue to do so here on Nessa's Bliss!
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