Comfort food


It’s that time of year for comfort food. Casseroles are at the top of my list for go-to meals that don’t take long to prepare and will feed the entire family. I’ve created a list of some of the best casseroles to sink your teeth into.




The three main ingredients for this delicious concoction is tuna, egg noodles, and cream of mushroom soup. It is one of the easiest casseroles you can make and it tastes even better the next day.




I tasted corn casserole for the first time a few years ago and I was hooked ever since. It is great as a side dish or as a main entrée. Some of the ingredients include sour cream, corn muffin mix, and corn. This is one of those recipes that are hard to mess up. It doesn’t take much to put together and is well worth it.




This recipe is so delicious and even though it’s a casserole, I convince myself that it’s healthy because it has broccoli and I substitute the white rice for brown rice. Either way it’s really good and savory.




I love the crisp of the tater tots and creaminess of the ground beef mixed with cream of mushroom soup. You layer the meat, soup, and cheese, and it all comes together in a tasty delight.




When I first saw this recipe I assumed it would be really high in calories but it’s a tasty dish with low carbs. After roasting cauliflower in the oven, you add the rotisserie chicken mixed with a few other ingredients and out comes a delicious meal with a little kick from the buffalo sauce. You can also serve it with crackers as a dip.




I’ve had Chicken Tetrazzini many ways but my favorite is with the white sauce. It is such a fulfilling dish with rich spaghetti noodles and sour cream. I have to stop myself from eating it because it’s so addicting.




I am a big fan of stuffed peppers but this casserole is equally as good. You use the same ingredients except you simply chop the peppers and add everything in a pot and it all gloriously cooks together. Top it with some cheese and get lost in the delicious flavors.




This is hands down my favorite casserole. Anything with Alfredo sauce is a win for me. You can use any noodles you like, but I like to use the penne pasta because the sauce and cheese gets stuck inside and it makes it so much better. Plus penne pastas won’t get mushy, making them taste even better as leftovers.


Check out the 1st two books in my YA series called Like a Dream. Tap here for Like a Dream and here for Monstrous Ties. The 3rd book in the series will be out soon!!

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Thursday Thoughts

Poem: You





I wanted more,

embraced everything,

but all I needed was you…


To read more by Shina James check out her YA Like a Dream series here

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Happy Monday!!

Hey guys! Hope your Monday is going as good as Mondays can go. I’m feeling pretty nostalgic lately and this list of classic, funny movies always puts a smile on my face.

8 Funny YA movies

Who doesn’t love a good comedy? Movies have a way of making us forget reality for a few hours so that we can enjoy the works of a creative mind. With so many movies to choose from, I’ve ranked a list of my top favorite funny YA movies.


  1. EASY A


This was a well-deserved movie for my list. Emma Stone plays Olive, a high school student who inadvertently gets named the school tramp by lying about losing her virginity. Suddenly all the guys beg her to say she slept with them and she agrees but there’s always a cost. She gets bullied by her peers and goes through a lot but the comedy was so funny it was hard to stay focused on anything else.




I must’ve watched this at least twenty times. I could never get enough of how funny it was and I found myself laughing at different parts each time I watched it. When their babysitter dies, Sue Ellen, the oldest of five kids decides to keep this information from her mother, whose abroad, and gets a summer job to help take care of her siblings. She finds herself in over her head as things go wrong in a funny way.


  1. 17 AGAIN


I think the title speaks for itself. 17 year old Mike makes a life changing decision to marry his pregnant girlfriend instead of going to college and pursuing his career as a professional basketball player. Fast forward twenty years and he’s divorced and gets fired from his job. When he goes to visit his high school for old time’s sake, he has an encounter with a mysterious janitor who makes him 17 again. Things get funnier from there when he re-experiences high school a second time.




Who knew that playing hooky from school would be so fun to watch? Ferris pulled off the ultimate task of skipping school for a day. He fooled his parents and the entire student body. Of course the Dean of Students, Mr. Rooney, wasn’t buying it but it didn’t matter because Ferris spent an awesome day with his friends and got away with it. This classic movie never gets old.




These not so popular teens, Seth, Evan, and aptly named McLovin, think about nothing but girls and sex. But what makes it so funny is that they want to impress a couple of girls by going to a house party and bringing the alcohol. They hilariously go through great lengths to get the booze in hopes of getting lucky with the girls and staying out of trouble.


  1. JUNO


When 16 year old Juno discovers she is pregnant by her boyfriend, she decides to get an abortion but quickly changes her mind. She endures the judgement of her peers all the while comically dealing with the craziness in her life. Ultimately she carries the baby full term and gives it up for adoption to the perfect lady. I love that she and her crush find peace with her decision and fall in love.




Cady Heron and her zoologist parents move back to the U.S. from Africa. For the first time in her life Cady attends high school and meets two friends who show her the ropes and inform her on all of the cliques in the school. Of course they tell her that the mean girls of the school, “the plastics” are a force and that Cady should get close to them so that they can destroy the bullying click. Cady infiltrates the click but has a little too much fun being a part of them.




This classic movie has been out for years but I can literally watch it over and over and still laugh just as hard. Being in high school is hard enough but through the main character Cher’s eyes it is hilariously funny. The way she handles dealing with friends, boys, and life in general makes this my number one pick for funniest YA movies.


Catch up on Like a Dream and Monstrous Ties before book 3 comes out this Fall!! Tap here for book 1 and here for book 2.



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Book review

I was really into the story from the start. It was a really good read and I like the flow of the novel. It starts off with Chief Inspector Gamache investigating a murder when a body was found in a bistro in the small town of Three Pines. It gets really interesting from there when the inspector and his team needle through the evidence to find the killer. I love a good mystery and this book was full of twist and turns that will keep you guessing all the way through. The only thing that I didn’t care for was the ending. I just didn’t like the outcome. There is obviously still more of the story that needs to be told but I just wished for a better ending. I will definitely grab the next book in the series to see what happens next. Overall, it was an entertaining read.



To read more by Shina James, catch up on the LIKE A DREAM series before book 3 comes out this summer! Tap here for Like a Dream and here for Monstrous Ties!!

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Book review

I recently finished reading the first book in the Fallen series and I thought it was pretty good. I really liked the pacing of the book, it did start off a little slow at first but the more I read the more I wanted to see what would happen next. I thought the characters were well thought out and added a lot of diversity to the story. I found Luce, the main character, to be intriguing and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for what she had to go through as she trudged through life wondering why a certain event happened, which ultimately led her to Sword and Cross. The school is for troubled kids who all have a tainted past. It is there that she meets Daniel for the first time, a hot jerk whom she can’t get out of her mind. As the story continues to unfold I began to understand Luce and Daniels’s relationship and being that this is a series I’m sure I’ll learn more about their tumultuous love story.


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This is a late post but I just wrapped my virtual book tour with RABT Book Tours and it was really great. Today I’ll be giving a shout out to Texas Book Nook for your awesome review for Like a Dream and Monstrous Ties!!! Check it out right here and here



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Into the Water: A Novel by [Hawkins, Paula]

So, I just finished reading INTO THE WATER by Paula Hawkins and although it was well promoted and was considered a must-read, I have to say that I have mixed reviews. It starts off with Jules, the main character receiving news that her estranged sister, Danielle has died in ‘The Drowning Pool”. We learn very quickly that it is a popular spot where women go to commit suicide. Even though it had a slow start, I was intrigued to find out what really happened to Danielle and the mystery surrounding the lake. One of the things I liked about the story is that each chapter was told from a different character’s point of view regarding what they think happened and there relationship with Danielle as well as the town.

My nitpick is that even though we find out that each character has buried secrets of their own, it was still really hard to connect with them. Jules remained mysterious throughout the story because for so long she hated her sister over what turned out to be a big misunderstanding, which is why I found it hard to believe that she was truly devastated by her sister’s death. I did really like the mystery surrounding the lake and how each victim had an intriguing past. At the end of the story we find out what really happened to Danielle and even though it was anticlimactic, I was still shocked. Overall I give it three and a half stars!!


To read more by me, tap here for LIKE A DREAM and here for MONSTROUS TIES!!

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