Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Five Five Star Books

We recently took a fun road trip (which hopefully I'll blog about later) and I took that opportunity to do some reading. This is the biggest streak of 5 star books I've had, maybe ever, so I wanted to share them with you in case you're in a reading rut.

#1 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
I recently started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to Brayden and Brody (they love it), and then I remembered that I had heard about a new HP book. I looked it up and thought, eh, it's a screenplay, not a novel. But then, the night before it released I decided to just go ahead and pre-buy it for my kindle app. I ended up devouring it in about 4 hours. If you've never read a screenplay before (I have) it takes a little getting used to. If you can read it in one setting it will make it a lot easier. 

If you're worried about new characters and how that might make you feel, toss it out the window. This book is FANTASTIC. It's everything you love about Harry Potter. And to answer the inevitable question, NO, I would not read this without having read the first seven books. 

#2 Big Little Lies
This is a case (actually the only case I can recall) where I totally judged a book by it's horrific cover and nearly didn't read it. What a mistake that was. Big Little Lies was amazing and for those of you who like movie remakes, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are making a series for HBO (Reese plays Maddie and Nicole plays Celeste). Some people are very against books that are told from alternating perspectives, but this one just works. If you didn't have that the ending wouldn't make any sense at all, so just stick with it! 

(Also, not on my list are several of Liane's other books: The Husband's Secret is very good and I also love Truly Madly Guilty).

#3 The Pecan Man
I don't even remember how I found this book. It might have been an Amazon recommendation based on other books I read. In any case, this book is generally not one I would pick up (read the summary on Amazon or Goodreads). It's not a subject matter that generally appeals to me, but it was beyond amazing. It's one of the most well written books I've ever read. The writing style is beautiful and I just could not put it down!

#4 The Girl on the Train
Okay, so I actually gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads, but I think I'm going to change it. It's sort of funny - awhile ago one of my Goodreads friends wrote me a comment and said something like "you just don't like anything do you?" because I had gone through a stint of really awful books (and I'm painfully honest in my reviews). That's completely not the case! I love to read but I was just in a rut of awful literature. The tables have turned for me though, and I've finally found some good ones!
So, back to the book. I think its just taking me awhile to process it, and now I'd give it 5 stars instead of 4. It was definitely creative. The mystery was intriguing and kept me guessing. This is another book that alternates narrators, and again, it works here. I will warn you that just about every character in this enter book is awful, but somehow, this book turns out to be a beautifully woven masterpiece.

#5 What She Left Behind
This is another book that Amazon recommended for me (those can be so hit or miss!) that really paid off. I didn't know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised! It's told in alternating points of view and the story is about a woman who was institutionalized in the 1930's and a girl in the 1990's who has found her belongings. I really was kept guessing throughout the story. The author did her homework was well versed on the things that actually took place in institutions during that timeframe. It was a realistic look at life for those poor women. That might make it sound like a book you wouldn't be interested in, but give this one a try. I'm glad I did!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Greek Chicken with Zoodles and Greek Sauce (21 Day Fix Approved!)

Since I'm following the 21 Day Fix, I'm going to start posting more 21 Day Fix approved recipes! If you're not following the plan, these recipes are still great for you - they're healthy and easy! I literally dreamed this easy recipe up at midnight a couple of weeks ago, got up, typed it into my phone and fell back asleep. It's fast become a family favorite. 

If you don't have a spiralizer I would recommend looking for one on Amazon. I'm a prime member so I ordered a $7 one and it arrived 2 days later. Easy!

As always, I'm here to answer any questions about the 21 Day Fix, Beachbody and coaching. Feel free to send me an email at EmailJennasJourney@ Gmail . com anytime! 

Greek Chicken with Zoodles and Greek Sauce
Serves 4

4 chicken breasts
2-4 zucchini, depending on size
1 yellow onion
1 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup water
Cavenders Greek Seasoning to taste

Drizzle chicken with EVOO and sprinkle with seasoning. Bake on a foil lined baking sheet at 375 until cooked, about 35 min. 

Use a spiralizer on your zucchini to form noodles. Boil for 2 mins and drain well on paper towels. 

Mince your yellow onion and cook over medium with 1 teaspoon EVOO. Add in about 1/2 TBSP of seasoning, reduce heat to low and stir in water and greek yogurt. 

Serve sauce over zoodles and you can also put it on the chicken.

2 red 2 green 2 teaspoons 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Eats in Destin, Florida

Edited: I forgot to mention that I don't eat seafood! I received some great restaurant suggestions in the comments, but they were places I ruled out because they didn't have anything that I would eat. ;-) However, if you're a seafood lover, be sure to check out those suggestions!

Hey all!

So, I've been taking a bit of a blogging break (I feel like I keep saying that, but summer has been SO BUSY that I can't keep up with blogging) but I'm back to give some recaps on our trip to Destin!

I'll include the pictures I have (which are all iPhone pics...I didn't feel like hauling my huge camera with me on this trip) and at the end I'll give some bullet point recommendations.

So, one of the coolest places we ate at was called LuLu's. There's also one in Gulf Shores (so I've been told).

This is what makes LuLu's so cool - the back of the restaurant is faces the bay (I think it was the bay).  They have this big sand area and the kids can go play out there. It's a really pretty view.

The food wasn't that great, in my humble opinion. I grabbed a snap of the menu for you! It's mostly burgers, salads and sandwiches. We arrived early because every place in Destin gets super crowded and we didn't want to wait three hours to be sat (yes, that did happen somewhere else!). Unfortunately, 4:45 must be shift change time and we lost our waitress and ended up with another and it caused mass confusion with our order which ended up pretty messed up.

Lulu's saving grace was their key lime pie. It was SOOOO GOOD!

One place that everyone told me to check out was The Donut Hole. Y'all. I was SO EXCITED. I mean, I never use the word y'all so that should tell you how excited I was.

And then I was disappointed. Majorly. I don't know if they were having an off day or what, but the food was awful. I had the french dip with onion rings and it was honestly no good. No one in our group (my in-laws were with us) liked what they had. The donuts themselves were just okay.

Another fun night out was at Uncle Bucks. You can go bowling here, which we did, and if you can't tell by the decor, it's owned by Bass Pro Shops. The food was decent and the kids loved the atmosphere.

 My very, VERY favorite meal was at The Back Porch. The view is phenomenal and they got us seated really quickly. We were on the second story deck and it came with an AWESOME view.

See what I mean? We watched a pod of dolphins playing while we waited on our food. I'm not even kidding. It was the coolest thing ever.

 The last place I have a pic of is Fudpuckers, not to be confused with Fudruckers. Two different things.

And why, you're asking yourself, doesn't she have a picture of the food? Well, because we waited THREE HOURS to sit down and eat, and by that time I was so ravenous that I forgot to take a picture.


Fudpuckers is fun. You can watch a live alligator show, feed the alligators, visit the gift shop and they also have an arcade. All that should have been my first clue that there was a long wait ahead of us.

The food was standard, over-priced vacation fare. It was fine but nothing great and I certainly wouldn't do it again, but I'm glad we did it once.

 So, here's my list (some places aren't pictured) of recommendations:

Definitely go to:
The Back Porch
Bubba Gumps (I've been to several and this was one was by far the very best food)
The Beach House (if you're in Sandestin, it's a great place to eat when actually at the beach)
Fudpuckers - it's a good, one-time experience
LuLu's - if just for the atmosphere and pie

For food and fun:
Uncle Buck's

Not for me:
The Donut Hole

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