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June 2021 Reading List

Hey guys! I am BACK with another reading list because I’m tackling my HUGE TBR list that just keeps growing and growing one book at a time. Last month I was watching a ton of book recommendation videos on YouTube and just doing research on which books to read and guys, there are SO MANY good ones out there. Like so many.

I’ve also just been going to the bookstore once in a while to just look around and soak in all of the beautiful books. It’s so calming and I love seeing all of the new stuff- and the old stuff that they put on clearance. I got a book on psychology for six bucks, and a combined hardcover copy of Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey for twelve. I’m going to need to keep finding deals like that because all of this reading is going to make me broke. Anyways, I definitely recommend just going to a bookstore and chilling if you need some time to chill!

I picked three books for this month that I think will be great for summer, and are all super highly recommended online. Last month I read A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab which I enjoyed- I wanted to read the second one this month but they didn’t have it available in paperback. But I think A Darker Shade of Magic was my first foray into adult fantasy. Up until a few months ago I thought all fantasy books were either for kids or teens, so this opens up a whole new world! I’ve included an adult fantasy read on this list:)

I also have kind of a darker fiction/fantasy novel that should be interesting, and more of a summery teen mystery as well. So as usual there’s a pretty good mix going on! I just need to start reading more intensely because I’ve been slacking a bit by watching history videos on YouTube before bed lately….

Hope you enjoy this list!!

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

What a cover, hey? This book follows a middle aged man who come back to his hometown in England for a funeral, and basically begins reminiscing about his childhood and all of the weird and kind of haunting things that happened to him when he was seven and met a girl named Lettie Hempstock. Lettie lived at the end of the lane where there was a duck pond that she claimed was an ocean- and takes the boy along for a pretty wild ride. This book was supposed to fit into my prompt of “Less that 200 pages”, but then I realized this edition has more than that!! I might just use it anyways lol. I’m about fifty pages into The Ocean at the End of the Lane and it’s alright so far. Neil Gaiman is also the author of Coraline which totally creeped me out when I was younger (and still kind of does), and I can definitely sense that kind of vibe going on in here so far. Should be an interesting read!

We Were Liars

This book was actually recommended to me by my cousin a while back but I haven’t picked it up until now- and I’m so excited to read it! A group of friends is summering on a private island in Massachusetts, and they each have something to hide. That’s, like, almost all of the info about this book that I can glean off of the internet and the back cover. But I DO know that it’s a mystery/thriller novel and it seems like it will be a great summer read! I also heard that there’s a bit of romance going on, so that’s kind of fun. And apparently there’s a revolution and a secret and an accident, so I don’t know if that means a murder???? I guess we’ll see! I’ll keep you guys updated.

The City of Brass

This is the longest book so I thought I’d save it for last, but it might be the one that I’m most excited for. It’s an adult fantasy novel and it’s set in the Middle East which I think is so unique, and it just looks amazing!! It follows Nahri, who is a con woman in eighteenth century Cairo, struggling to survive. But she accidentally summons a djinn warrior named Dara, and is forced to flee with him away from Cairo in search of the city of brass, Daevabad. It’s full of magic and royalty and an epic adventure and just such good stuff!!!!!!! Also I believe it is the first book in a trilogy so if it’s good y’all know what I’m reading next month:) If you’re looking for something that’s fantastical but are a bit bored of your typical fantasy story lines, definitely give this one a try!

That’s all for June! Hopefully I get all of these done by the end of the month, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable, and I have all of the time in the world to get through my TBR list.

Have a great week and happy reading!! Let me know what you plan on reading this month in the comments:))

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Hi friends! Whenever I post a pancake recipe it is a GOOD DAY, and these pancakes are high in protein, super easy to whip up and very delicious, so make that an extra good day:)

After being at the grocery store twice in two days I STILL managed to forget to buy Greek yogurt, which is usually a staple in my breakfasts. However we did have some cottage cheese in the fridge, and while I’d never really tried it before because usually I have an aversion to cheese (unless it’s melted), I decided to add it to some pancakes because it would mask the taste and texture- especially since I was blending up the batter. So in my blender I added the cottage cheese, oats, some banana, cinnamon, an egg, and baking powder to make a super smooth batter. I then let everything sit for about five minutes so the oats absorbed some liquid and the whole thing got a bit thicker, before cooking them up in a pan.

I’ve been making my breakfasts the night before lately, which really saves me time in the mornings! Let me tell you, having a big plate of these pancakes waiting for me when I came downstairs was very nice. I ate them with some frozen blueberries, apple chips, and peanut butter, but they would also be delicious with maple syrup and other fruits. Hope you enjoy!!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Ingredients

-1/2 cup cottage cheese (I used 2%)

-1/4 cup quick cooking steel-cut oats

-1/2 a ripe banana

-1/2 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp baking powder

-1 egg


Directions

1. Add all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Let the batter sit for about 5 minutes so that the oats absorb some liquid and the batter thickens.

2. Scoop the batter by tablespoon fulls into a pan over medium heat. Let cook for about 2 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate and enjoy immediately, or freeze for a quick breakfast later!


June 2021 Bullet Journal Set-Up

Hey there! I’m back after a bit of an extended leave of absence- I just haven’t been feeling super inspired lately and got off track when it comes to blogging, and actually bullet journaling as well. I started my May set-up but I didn’t have a clear vision for it and was making it WAY too complicated, and it all went downhill from there. So I took a little break from journaling this month, because I just wasn’t feeling it. And it’s all good; even though it bugs me a bit that I now have a month missing, I have some extra pages to play around with later:)

I’m excited to come back to my journal though and I love my June spread! I tried to keep the doodles simple so I can just quickly make weekly spreads and I don’t feel like I’m spending 3772839302 hours bullet journaling each week. Since it’s almost summer time I went with a cherry theme! I absolutely love cherries- they’re one of my favourite fruits, and the bright red and green is such a fun colour palette for some fun summer spreads!

I kept some things the same and changed some things up from previous months, so it’s a good mix of old and new:) Everything looks so cute though and I can’t wait to fill out all of these spreads! Planning definitely helps me feel in control and ready and inspired, and I’ve been missing that the past month. So I’m ready to get back into a routine and kick some butt.

Here’s my journal for the month of June!

Title page first! These cherries were so easy to draw, and I used a bright red and dark red shades of Crayola Super Tips, and my green zebra mildliner. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the font; to give it that hombre look I used an eraser to kind of fade away the bottom of the lettering, and then went over the top half again to make it darker. And I finished it off with some white highlights, which I put on the cherries too- it makes them look so juicy! I did some little sparkles as well to fill up the space.

I haven’t done a calendar spread like this for a while, but I think I’ll try it out again. I’m going to use it to plan events and tasks and blog stuff, so that everything is in one place, so hopefully it doesn’t get too full. We’ll see! I also have a goals box and a box to write down the books I read in June.

Kept my trackers and everything the same because I love how easy they are to fill out, and also how the charts and graphs look:) Although I did add another tracker to track my workouts! I drew some more cherries on the side too, and it looks so good.

This page is so gorgeous too! It’s got my gratitude log, and then on the opposite page is a spot for me to journal a bit in the mornings. Especially since it’s so bright and nice outside in the mornings now, I’d like to start doing a bit of meditation and journaling each morning next month. Definitely a goal that I’m going to try and stick to! Underneath I made myself a little gas tracker just to keep track of how much I’m spending and when;) I cut the edge of the page around the cherries and outlined it in green, which looks cool too.

First weekly of the month! I think it came together really nicely. I outlined that curvy edge of the page in my three main colours this month, and drew in those cherries and those sparkles around the days of the week. We’ve got space to write down any events and to-dos, and also to plan my workouts. Love it!

The colours and doodles just all came together and this set-up is the perfect way to get me back into the groove. Hope you gathered some summer inspo from this post!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Chicken Sausage and Sweet Potato Skillet

Hey guys! I know that usually I post plant-based or vegetarian recipes, although I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian. I just love my veggies- and honestly never really learned how to cook meat! I do eat meat almost every day though, and have recently started branching out into cooking more animal proteins. So far I’m just cooking pretty easy stuff, like shrimp, and today I’m sharing the recipe for this Chicken Sausage and Sweet Potato Skillet. If you do prefer to omit meat from your diet, you can always substitute the meat in any of my recipes with plant based alternatives (like tofu or plant-based sausage in this case), or just omit them altogether. It should still be delicious! I’ll always have plenty of plant-based recipes on my site and will continue to post new ones as well, I just wanted to give you the heads up that I might be cooking more meat in the future:)

Lately I’ve been into really quick, simple, and delicious recipes, and this Chicken Sausage and Sweet Potato Skillet hits ALL of those points. We’ve got three simple steps- chop, cook, and EAT. First you’re gonna chop up all of your amazing veggies- sweet potato, broccoli, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes, as well as your sausage. I was thinking about the kind of carb I wanted to include in this meal, originally wanting to make it into a kind of stir fry with quinoa or brown rice. But I didn’t feel like getting out an extra pot and waiting for any grains to cook. And also I really love sweet potatoes. So I thought, WHY DON’T I ADD THE SWEET POTATO RIGHT INTO THE SKILLET? I usually don’t cook sweet potatoes in the pan, but I diced them up really small so they cooked quickly, and it turned out SO GOOD.

I love all of the other veggies in here too- there’s such a nice rainbow going on! The sweet potatoes and the broccoli go into a hot pan with a bit of olive oil first since they take the longest to cook. After a few minutes, the rest of the skillet ingredients go into the pan until the sliced sausage is nice and browned on both sides. Lastly, the some spinach, garlic powder, red chilli flakes, salt and pepper, and a splash of water go in to finish everything off. Yum!

The kind of sausage that I used was a chicken, spinach and feta sausage from Costco. They’re really good and have pretty clean ingredients. Costco just rocks! When picking out a chicken sausage, look for one with simple ingredients and that doesn’t have preservatives.

This meal is super delicious and super simple! Perfect for meal prepping or a speedy, protein filled dinner. I added some sprouts and hummus to finish it off. Enjoy!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)

Chicken Sausage and Sweet Potato Skillet

Ingredients

-1 chicken sausage, sliced

-1/2 tbsp olive oil

-1/2 cup broccoli florets

-1/2 a bell pepper, chopped

-5 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

-1/2 a medium sweet potato, peeled and diced

-1/2 cup packed spinach

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-2 tbsp water

-Salt and pepper to taste


Directions

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the diced sweet potatoes and the broccoli and cook for about 4 minutes, until the sweet potato begins to soften.

2. Add the rest of the veggies, except for the spinach, to the pan, as well as the chicken sausage, Cook everything for 8 more minutes, until the sausage is golden brown on both sides.

3. Add the water, garlic powder, and spinach to the pan and cook until the spinach is wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Serve warm with some hummus and/or sprouts and enjoy!


Carrot Oat Cake

Hello! I’ve got another delicious oat recipe for you guys today. I already have a stovetop Carrot Cake Oatmeal recipe up on here, but this recipe is definitely more cake like and is faster to make! It cooks in the microwave- not the oven- because although baked oats are so tasty, I’m waaaaay too impatient to wait for those.

I love love LOVE oats if you couldn’t tell- they’re such a fast, healthy, and filling breakfast. Not to mention that they’re the perfect blank canvas for any delicious flavours you’d like!

I feel like carrot cake is kind of a spring thing, right? People make carrot cake for Easter all the time. We don’t need any justification to enjoy these oats right now though because carrot cake is delicious any time of year. To make this delicious breakfast/snack/dessert, you only need a few ingredients that you for sure already have on hand. And if you don’t then GO PICK THEM UP because this recipe is one you don’t want to miss.

I started by mixing together some grated carrot, apple, oat flour (just blended oats- this really helps with the more cakey texture), baking powder, vanilla, water, and a bunch of great spices together in a lil ramekin. And then BOOM the hardest part is over. The microwave will take over from here. The microwave is so underrated, honestly. It makes oats, SWEET POTATOES, and….. warms up your food. Ok I’m sure there are many uses for it that I haven’t discovered yet but for now, oats and sweet potatoes are enough for me because they’re two of my favourite things.

So yeah, two minutes in the microwave and you’ve got a BEAUTIFUL little cake that is perfect as a quick breakfast, a healthy dessert, or a snack anytime you’re craving some carrot cake! I love how the carrot shines through because it’s not too sweet. If you like your carrot cake a bit sweeter though, you can add about a tablespoon of maple syrup. Plus- get creative with some add-ins too! I went very classic with mine, but chopped nuts, raisins, or even pineapple would be very tasty in here. Those things would all be great as toppings too! After I took nice pictures of this I scooped it into a bigger bowl and ate it with lots more yogurt, the rest of the apple, and some peanut butter.

Hope you love this super delicious and quick carrot cake recipe as much as I do!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Carrot Oat Cake

Ingredients

-1/4 cup oat flour (blended oats)

-1 small carrot, grated (about 1/4 cup)

-1/2 an apple, grated

-1/2 tsp cinnamon

-1/4 tsp allspice

-1/4 tsp ground ginger

-1/2 tsp baking powder

-1/4 tsp vanilla

-1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water


Directions

1. Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl or ramekin.

2. Microwave on high for 1 1/2-2 minutes, until a cakey texture is reached.

3. Top with yogurt, apples, and more cinnamon and enjoy!