Tuesday, April 19, 2022

I Return With a Big Brain Block!

Look who it is! ME! Yet again making an entry back to my blog after shamelessly having completely ignored it. *sighs* Oh and I return with my head bowed down in shame because I'm coming back with a big brain block. I don't know what to start with. I don't know how to catch up. I don't know when to blog. I just am a big brain-mess right now.

I know! Lets start with the why? Why have I been missing in action? Well, easy. Nobody has given me time to sit down and blog in peace. When you're running around in panic meeting everybody's unneeded deadlines you just aren't in the mental state to be able to sit down and blog. So that is exactly what has happened to me. I am brain-locked at the moment because I just haven't given my brain the time to sit down, calm down, and relax.

Next, let me tackle the 'what'. What is happening? What should I start writing about now that I am trying to get back to my darling blog? Well. I am brain-blocked so I don't exactly know where to begin. So why don't I just dump it all and try and see how that goes.

For starters, I am halfway through Ramadan right now. My tummy grumbles as I type because Ramadan and IBS do not gel well together and I just had a big bathroom episode from which I'm trying to recover from. I know, TMI, but I am literally going to be brain dumping right now. Next important update is the room makeover. I have been missing from my blog so I haven't had the chance to talk about this yet but I have done a full makeover of my room. Everything has been moved and the entire look has completely changed. I sit here staring at my newly rearranged Potterific Corner behind my laptop's screen and I am just so in love with what I see. My desk space and a bit of my bed's makeover is still not complete and some little things remain unsorted on the floor in my room but I will be getting to those after Ramadan.

That's the last picture I took of my bed before moving everything!

Next big update is my heartbreak over not being able to go and watch The Secrets of Dumbledore right now. Bro refused, rather rudely, and mama will never allow Abbie and I on the highway by ourselves so we're stuck waiting for bro to take us. This is the most unfortunate and most helpless feeling ever. I'm trying to avoid spoilers as best as I can and I'm hoping that by the time bro's going to be done with his Eid socials, the theater will still have some kind of movie poster or display up for me to get pretty pictures taken against. It's just sad to not be able to go for no reason at all. It's heart breaking. Just ... so heart breaking.

Finally, third big update is that my foot is still not feeling well. I continue to go for laser therapy seshs though they have been spaced out to try and avoid going in Ramadan. I feel like I'm at a 95% kind of improvement but now the pain has become localized to specific spots under my foot and behind the ankle. I also feel like the pain has changed to like a stiff kind of ache instead of the terrible pain I had before. I keep feeling the need to somehow make my foot stretch and pull and 'click' into place. Not sure if I can explain that last one, but yeah.

Actually, I do have more updates ranging from BIG ones like the fact that I could go to Philadelphia and experience the Harry Potter Exhibition to small stuff like Johnny Depp currently sitting in a court house embarrassing himself further. *laughs* Yes, that last one doesn't really affect my life but I have been following the trial so I do care about it?

See? Brain dumping helps! I came up with SO much that I want to talk about and write about. I just need to find time and get my brain into that zone again where I can blog my heart out the way I want to. I thought about so many ideas where I wanted to return to my blog with a proper blog post but it just wasn't working out so I decided on a brain dump instead. And I'm so glad I did!

Now I am hoping that with the initial brain dump done, I should see some kind of improvement in my brain's block and hopefully I should be back to blogging regularly like I used to ... like I want to! I have so much to tell and so much to show. It's sad that I'm just not finding the time and the brain capacity to be able to do so! I need to fix that! ASAP. And I'm hoping this should do the trick!?

Friday, February 25, 2022

Winter 2022 AwesomeBoard and Desk Decor - Show and Tell!

Just about the last month left of Winter 2022! I am so not ready for the season to end. If you've been here a while you know Spring and Summer are just not for me. So I'm over here living as much of my darling Winter season as I can. I sit here, my laptop opened up in front of me, as I stare at my beautiful Winter AwesomeBoard behind it. This time I was very indecisive about how to style my desk because I keep feeling like I want to change the layout of my room and move my desk to entirely new spot. I'm bound because I've drilled holes in all the walls for the various collages and what not and I don't know anything about the P of painting walls so I'm pretty much stuck! *laughs* That is something I shall keep on thinking about until one day I can actually get to it. For now though, my desk looks like a happy Winter fest for the season!

This season's decor had a bit of old and new stuff. I got Target's famous new snow globe and did a DIY Winter scene with it which I enjoyed very much. At the same time I also got my long lost beloved snowman from the stuff Dad got shipped from my childhood home back in Pakistan. I was so happy when I saw it! It used to be my favorite back when I was a kid and I was delighted that nobody had destroyed or damaged it. He's so happy looking! I displayed all my latest Starbucks cups on the board to keep the happy memories of sipping hot chocolates with my bestie Abbie right here in front of me. There was a LOT of gingerbread men themed stuff all around too! I find it the cutest!

Check out the close ups and details!

One of the new things I got this season included this adorable little pocketbac holder from Bath and Body Works. SO CUTE! I know they're supposed to be holders for sanitizers but when has anyone ever been able to stop me from finding creative uses for stuff? Neverrrrrrrrrrr! I've been using their pocketbac holders as decor for my AwesomeBoard displays and they always look adorable!

That adorable Gingerbread man cookie from last year made an appearance again! Because I love it so much! Right next to it you'll see the new cutie pie sweater ornament I found at Target. I saw it and fell in love immediately! It was MADE for my AwesomeBoard! It is so cute with the authentic knitting all the way to the tiny little hanger it is on! Love it!

Doesn't that look adorable?! I really loved that this year my AwesomeBoard was giving such adorable vibes! It was such a happy sight to look at! Oh and the adorable vibe continued all the way to the desk decor too! Take a look at the cuteness!

THAT SNOWMAN! That's the snowman I am talking about! Super cute and still in perfect condition!

My beautiful DIY snow globe! My first ever DIY of Target's snow globe! I love it! I had a very difficult time keeping things in place when I tried shutting the globe on top! *laughs* But even with that annoying little bit happening I still loved this so much and I can't wait to do more DIYs with this in future! Check out the close ups!

Also! Check that adorable snowflake shaped mat I got from Target! So cute!

LOVE LOVE LOVE! I've thoroughly enjoyed my Winter decor all season long. I know there's a month left before Spring and technically that's a good enough time to enjoy this some more but I still feel sad that I'll have to take all of this down soon to change it up! I don't want to! Can I keep the smiley snowman and Gingerbread cookie and all of this through the Summer heat? *laughs* Then I can just directly fast forward to Fall when I won't be so sad changing the seasonal decor!? Hee hee hee hee!

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Cajun Shrimps and Vegetables

If you know me, you'll know I am not a big fan of seafood - more on that later. But this recipe is such deliciousness I could eat the ENTIRE thing in one sitting and still want more. Not kidding! So delicious and so packed with flavor, you'll definitely be reaching for second and third helpings! I shared this with my brother and he ended up eating like a dozen shrimps in one sitting. I shall take that as a huge compliment! Hahaha!

So. I mentioned not being a fan of seafood. See, the only kinds of seafood I can take are Fish and Chips (fried to my level of perfection, else not!) and shrimps (cooked all the way through so I'm not smelling the ocean!) ... you get the point; not too big on anything from the sea and super particular and picky! I have decided I am NEVER going to touch raw fish to cook it ever in my life, but since I like shrimps I really wanted to brave it and try to cook them. I cannot begin to tell you how much pep talking I had to do in my head to bring myself to touching raw shrimps. It took me months to convince myself I could do it and then several days to be brave enough to open that pack of shrimps and look inside. I thought I won't be able to do it; the smell would kill me or looking at them raw would mean I never eat shrimps again. But I actually enjoyed cooking these so much and then enjoyed devouring them even more! I didn't chicken out ... or should I say, I didn't shrimp out? Get it? *wiggles eyebrows*

This recipe has the freshness of the veggies, the warm flavors of that Cajun seasoning, and the shrimps doing such magic in your mouth ... Mmm mmmmm! The best part is you can adjust everything in here to your liking. You can use different vegetables if you're not a fan of one listed here, you can adjust the heat by tweaking the spices and the Sriracha sauce, and you can choose to not serve it in a dish and eat straight from the pan instead. Nope, not kidding on that last one!

Now, one thing I do want to mention before I send you off to the recipe is about my shrimps. I add the same little bit in the recipe's notes too for those who just skip to the recipe and don't want to put up with my talking! (I know who you are!!!) Just kidding of course. I have used shrimps with tails on in the pictures because those are the ones I had in my freezer. I was planning to try some other recipe that required the tails until I changed plans and cooked this instead. For this recipe I am not going to get tails next time because they were such a disturbance when I was losing my mind enjoying the delicious flavors in here! So get yourselves shrimps that have tails removed! You'll thank me later.

  • Shrimps - Peeled, deveined, and tails removed (see note below)
  • Zucchini - I used about 2 medium sized
  • Yellow Squash - I used about 2 medium sized
  • Bell Peppers - I used 1 Red, 1 Yellow, and 1/2 Green
  • Oil - 1 tbsp. Olive Oil and 3 tbsp. Canola Oil
  • Paprika Powder - 1 tbsp.
  • Cajun Seasoning - 1 tbsp. for the Shrimps and 1 tbsp. for the veggies
  • Black Pepper Powder - According to taste (I sprinkled it generously)
  • Butter - 2 tbsp. Sweet Unsalted Butter
  • Garlic - 2 Cloves chopped finely
  • Sriracha Sauce - According to taste
  • Salt - According to taste
Note about Shrimps, real quick. When I bought shrimps to cook I was planning on trying a different recipe altogether. I ended up changing recipes and making this one. You'll see my shrimps had tails on in the pictures because of my changed plans. I'd prefer I cook this recipe without tails next time and that's what I'd suggest you do too, that's why I say tails removed in the instructions! Also, I had two different sized shrimps' packets but it doesn't matter which size you use!

Start off with preparing your vegetables! Cut them into medium chunky pieces. Do not cut them super fine or they'll just become mush when you get to the cooking bit.

Marinate your shrimps. I used frozen shrimps so I just rinsed them with some hot water for like half a minute so they'd defrost for me. Then add the Oil, Paprika Powder, Cajun Seasoning, and Salt and give it a good mix so the shrimps are well coated all over. If you read the note on shrimps above you'll know I had two different packs of shrimps on hand so I've decided to show pictures of both here! *laughs* Next time I get shrimps I will get the ones that don't have the tails on and I recommend you do the same for this recipe!

Next! Heat up a large skillet over medium high heat and add the shrimps to it. Cook for about four to five minutes flipping halfway to make sure both sides are equally cooked. Remove the shrimps from the skillet and set aside.

Use the same pan with all that deliciousness still in it. Add Butter and Garlic and stir around. Once the butter melts add in all of your vegetables. Add Cajun Seasoning, Black Pepper Powder, and Salt. Cook for about eight to ten minutes until the veggies are tender to your liking.

When the veggies are done, add in the shrimps and stir everything together. Add Sriracha Sauce, as much as you want. Cook together for around a minute or two and you're done! Don't forget to taste and adjust salt according to your liking!

You know how they say a picture can speak a thousand words? THIS ONE speaks a thousand for sure!

... and this one too. Another thousand.

And this.

And this one makes you want to reach out and grab THAT shrimp. You know which one I'm talking about! THAT one. Yes. THAT one.

Okay. Trip to the grocery store needed so I can get myself more shrimps and cook this again!
Try it out and see for yourself what I'm talking about! Even those who aren't a seafood fan will love it! Don't forget to enjoy a little cooking video before you go!

Friday, January 28, 2022

My Year 2021 In Books and the 2022 GoodReads Challenge

In 2021 I truly enjoyed my reading! I successfully completed my GoodReads Reading Challenge and that too with books completely new and different than my usual reads so far. I started the year with a book I had mixed feelings about at first. The story kept me going even though I started developing a dislike for the writing style and the characters within the first few pages. It wasn't a complete waste of time but it was a waste nevertheless. I thought I'd jinxed my entire year's reading by starting with something I didn't like. Thankfully, though, that wasn't true. The next four books that I read were all good ones, with my last read for 2021 being my favorite of the year!

The 'bad' book I speak of was 'When Life Happened' by Jewel E. Ann. I felt so strongly about it that I actually found myself writing a detailed review of it right here on my blog. It was supposed to be my kind of book but I found the author's style of writing completely out of sync with how I like my books. I have already reviewed this one before (with a lot of expressed disappointment!) so I'll stay short and sweet. "I wanted to let 'When Life Happened' break my heart and make me cry but the language made me cringe instead." Read more of where that came from if you want to read a full review by clicking here!

'My Crazy Sick Love' by Drica Pinotti was a sweet read. I enjoyed this one, especially reading it while living through an actual on going pandemic. The book is about a hypochondriac Amanda's love life. I found it funny and sweet to read. However, I would have liked it even more if the book focused more on her relationship than it did on her condition. There was very little of her actual 'crazy sick love' compared to what the title promised. Nevertheless, it was a good read!

'Uncharted' by Lisa Cabrelli was another good read. The reason I liked this one was because I could relate to the Desi culture the characters belonged to. I found it to be one of those books you can easily read, you know? A good story, very good writing style, likeable characters, relatable bits all around, and a fun overall vibe that keeps you wanting to read more until you've read it all and you're left thinking about the characters for several days after.

'The Girl Who Lived' by Christopher Greyson made it to my top two for 2021! It was the second best book I read. I wanted to read something different - something non cheesy and romantic. So I decided to go with this one. Oh and what a great decision it was because the book was great. The author has written it so well you can imagine it all playing in your head like you're watching a very good thriller movie. I could actually feel fear when reading the book the way you'd feel watching a movie. It was brilliantly written and so very exciting till the very last page! I simply have to find more from this author to see if his other works are just as good. Loved it!

That brings me to my most favorite read of 2021! A book I devoured the fastest, I think. Then kept thinking about it for a long long looooong time. 'If the Shoe Fits' by Julie Murphy was that girly, happy-ending, cute, romantic, totally cheesy book that's EXACTLY my kind. I found myself wanting to shout and say things to Cindy, the main character, to tell her what my thoughts were throughout the book. I wanted Henry, the hot guy, to be real. It was the perfect modern day plus size retelling of Cinderella. Julie Murphy has captured that usual Disney magic in her words and written the perfect book for cheesy-story lovers like me. Now can someone PLEASE make a movie out of this book and cast a super cute guy as Henry? Please? Best book I read in 2021! I'm definitely going to go look for more from this author.

Here's a summary of my year 2021 in books straight from my GoodReads!

2021 is all done now and I'm ready to read more goodness this year! Once again I'm setting a goal of reading five books. I'm starting 2022 with a much needed re-read of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - always a favorite! I'm not sure if I'll be re-reading the entire Potter series after the first book though. Maybe? Maybe not? I'm not sure at all! I'm just looking forward to whatever I get to read this year! Hopefully it will be a good year of good reads!

Lets see what 2022 brings my way!
Good luck to me for the GoodReads 2022 Reading Challenge!

Oh oh oh wait, before you leave! Are you on GoodReads too? Come and find me and follow me so we can stay connected! You can find my GoodReads profile here!

Friday, January 21, 2022

Movies I Watched In 2021

In 2021 I had a VERY difficult time watching TV shows and I felt like I completely wasted all the money spent on our Netflix subscriptions! *laughs* However, now that I look back at all the movies I watched throughout the year I actually feel a bit better! I actually managed to watch quite a lot of movies. Even though we watched them in bits and pieces over several days ... we watched them and that's what counts!

 First Time Watches

The movie was good and finding New Girl's Nick was a pleasant surprise! Hahaha! But I have never liked Tom Cruise and I think I never will! Hahaha! But it was a good watch!

One more 'scary' movie that I did not find scary at all. In fact I was laughing at various scenes in the movie. They could have done so much with this but nope ... one more scary movie that failed to scare!

Now here is some serious brilliance! The Fallen Kingdom. The dinosaurs were EPIC and scared me to the point of giving me a stomach ache! Hahahaha! I love Jurassic Park!!! This was just brilliant!

Unlike the rest of the world I was never a fan of the original Jumanji and I had actually never watched it at all. But this one had The Rock and Jack Black so I just had to watch it! It was great! Hilarious and a really good watch!

Ohhhhhhhhh Disney magic! Another good Disney movie. Still doesn't beat Moana for me. But it was a really good movie and I watched it twice too because I watched it again with the nieces. Chunky got scared of the monsters but Gubby liked it! Silenzio Bruno!

Gubby finally agreed to let us all watch this one and then she fell in love with it! I loved it too! It was so good! Really enjoyed watching this one with the Bubbsters!

This was an 'awwww' kind of movie which I really enjoyed watching. I've always been a big Cinderella fan and more than the princess I loved Gus Gus and her Godmother! So I knew I'd end up liking this too! It wasn't as hilarious as I thought it would be from watching the trailer though. But I definitely enjoyed watching this!

I watched a Christmas themed movie in Spring! Hahahaha! But I don't care about Spring so why not, right? This was a cute movie to watch! Funny too! Very festive and definitely a good movie to watch around the holiday season!

Chunky was in love with cows this entire year for some reason so this one was entirely for her and we all ended up loving it so much! We laughed so much!!! It was so good!

I watched this one for Blake Lively and she was beautiful as always! The movie was good! I liked it. It was a good one time watch. Cool concept.

I'm allllllll about girly movies and I had loved the first one so of course I loved this one too! I laughed and cried and had the time of my life watching this! Brilliant movies!!!

Second and Hundredth Time Watches

My childhood movie!!! I watched it with the Bubbsters this time and both Gubby and Chunky agreed I was like Baloo. I LOVE BALOO SO MUCH so I take it as a compliment! Hahaha! AWESOME movie and AWESOME time watching it with the kids this time!

It's Gubby's favorite movie and we all love it too so of course this one had to repeat this year as well. I watch it for Clawhauser! Hahahaha!

Gubby read the book and all so we HAD to watch this classic with her! For me it was a repeat watch! I love Depp and all but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory isn't my favorite ... it depresses me for some reason! I enjoyed it with Gubby though!

Always always always a favorite! I just can't stop laughing!

Another favorite! I love the minions so much and also Gru! LOVE this movie!

Of course the year doesn't happen if there's no Potter marathon! We started the year with a Potter marathon which nobody let us finish! We ended the year starting a Potter marathon too! BEST MOVIES IN THE UNIVERSE!

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