Dinner Last Night: Chicken Apple Wraps

This is a quick, easy, throw together dinner that makes for excellent leftovers!  I omitted the mint (since I didn't have any), raisins (because yuck!) and curry powder (mostly because I simply forgot) and added sliced almonds and I think it was even better than the original recipe.  I also used fresh mango instead of mango salsa which gave it a refreshing kick, highly recommend doing that as well.  Al in all, it was a crowd pleaser, even if my children deconstructed the entire salad and ate each component individually.  Oh well!

 image/foodnetwork

Lovely Little Reads

It's been a while since I've mentioned my children's book blog and instagram on this site, so wanted to fill you in about this project I've been working on. 

As a former 1st and 2nd grade teacher, currently on sabbatical for a few years while I stay home with my young kids, one thing I miss most from my teaching days is the reading and sharing of children's books.  Hence, I created my own page to share my favorites, brief synopses, and links so you can check out these books on your own.  I hope you'll follow along!


Weeknight Baking: Banana Bread

We are big fans of snack bread in our home.  Pumpkin bread. Banana bread.  Cinnamon toast.  Basically all the gluten.  My usually go-to is this scrumptious double chocolate banana bread a la Smitten Kitchen, but I figured my kids should have some recognition of banana bread that isn't a deep chocolate brown from the added cocoa powder.  I found this recipe via a quick google search and it yielded tasty results.  I used 1/2 cup of coconut sugar and 1/2 cup of white sugar because mentally I convince myself I'm being "healthy" by doing this.  Whatever works, right?  Well it was delicious, and we've already torn half of the loaf in a few short hours.  Perhaps we'll save a sliver for my dear husband when he comes home.  Or not...

Cookbook Crush: Pull Up a Chair

I really don't need to pine over another cookbook.  But this one, Pull Up A Chair...it's just too delightful to resist.  Perhaps it was her lovable Kelly Capowski alter ego from the Saved by the Bell glory days, but Tiffani Thiessen seems like a much more relatable, dare I saw "normal" celebrity turned cookbook author.   She just doesn't seem to take herself too seriously in the vein that Gwyneth many others tend to do.  

Her recipes are reasonable, inventive but not too complicated, and at first glance, I felt like I'd make more than I wouldn't.   the sound of most.  A few that popped out at me; nectarine caprese salad, pickle and potato salad, and samosa hand pies with apple chutney (which I did make, and it was delicious).

Anyway, it's worth a perusal at the least. Bon appetit!

2018 Goals Recap

Well, here we are again.  2019 is 3 months in, and I'm just recapping my 2018 goals now.  I guess it's a slight improvement on last year, where I didn't get around to documenting until June - halfway through the year!

Here were my goals and how I did...

1. start journaling again 
I started journaling, but not super frequently, however a start is a start, amiright?

2. get outside as often as possible 
Yes, we have improved significantly on getting outside, regardless of weather (rain, shine, sun, and snow)

3. make cinnamon bread (my daughter has been asking to make this since we read this favorite book) 
I'm embarrassed to say we haven't done this yet...

4. paint my nails more often 
Yes, I do.  However, I often "forget" and write a note in my planner that says "paint nails tonight."  Is this a sign of getting old?

5. celebrate the little things 
YES!  With a few acquaintances getting some life changing news this year, I'm definitely striving to celebrate the little things and not sweat the small stuff

6. work out at least 3-4 days a week 
Yes and no. I have done better at exercising, some running, mostly cardio at home, but I find I do this in spurts.  A great stretch for 30 days and then I take time off, and then another 2 months, and then time off.  Need to improve on consistency

7. make smarter eating choices (avoid the sugar) 
Trying, not always succeeding.  Weekly meal planning and avoiding shopping while hungry certainly helps.

8. try and limit checking my email/social media to time before my kids are awake / rest time / after bedtime (i.e. avoid being on my phone in front of my kids) 
Yes, I implemented the new screen time limits on iPhone on my phone, so I get warnings when I'm approaching my daily time limit and have to ask for permission to extend the deadline. 

9. cut myself some slack (underlined three times)
I try...always a work in progress.

10. get a new instagram account for the blog up and running
Yes, come follow along over at @our_lovely_little_life

11. read 70 books (my current goal on Goodreads)
You guys...I was soooo close!  68/70 for 2018.  Which, if I do say myself is pretty damn good.  That's more than 1 book per week.  Favorites included A Place for Us, Educated, This is How It Always Is, and Where the Crawdads Sing.

12. save $--- for my destination travel fund, always inspired by this blog
We have saved, would like to save more...

Yes, I had a very productive last few months of 2018.

14. make montage videos for my kids' birthdays
Still working on it.  

15. try more savory (international) options for breakfast (getting sick of boring ol' granola over here)
We do a lot of sausage + hash browns; yogurt, granola, and honey, and baked oatmeal these day, so widening our palette, though most days they prefer Rice Krispies (go figure)

16. make pita bread from scratch for this favorite dinner which we always have in rotation 
I didn't make pita bread, but I did make a flat bread for a lamb flatbread recipe in Tasting Paris, I'll call that a win.

17. sub a few times this year (getting back in the swing of teaching, as I miss it so)
I did.  Admittedly only twice, but hey, better than nothing!  My hat is back in the ring!

18. enjoy every little moment. stop. look. listen. breathe.
Yes.  Always working on this one.  

Stay tuned for 2019 goals, coming soon!

Dream Crazier

Have you seen this new Nike campaign?  It's awesome. I love how this campaign seeks to reframe how women are seen in the context of emotion. Women showing emotion have been called dramatic, hysterical, irrational, and crazy.  Let them call us crazy.  Show them what crazy can do. 

Currently...

+ just finished this audiobook (highly recommend, her voice is so soothing) and started this one

+ also reading a paper copy of this young adult book - about 2/3 through and really enjoying it

+ been making this banana bread a lot lately

+ looking to make a dairy-free version of this next week

+ eyeing this gorgeous color for my collection

+ loving this essential oil for sleep

+ spending rest time perusing these new cookbooks I checked out from the library

+ dreaming about a vacation and staying here

+ thinking about this, an article worth reading

image/bloom