Friday, July 18, 2014

Avocados are Yummy

I went grocery shopping and bought four avocados. For those who love avocado, you know that this is dangerous because this lovely, creamy fruit has a very small window of deliciousness.

But I was prepared. I have recipes lined up that feature avocado, and the one I tried yesterday was just an experiment. A delicious, delicious experiment.

I present Avocado Mint Chicken Salad.

And the recipe I threw together was too much for the amount of chicken I made, so I put the rest in a bowl, and is a perfect dip for chips and crackers too.

Here's the recipe. As I said, I just threw it together, so adjust as necessary.

Avocado Mint Chicken Salad

Blend the following in the food processor: 
2 avocados
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
6 mint leaves (I'll probably add more next time.)
Juice from 1 lime
2 tsp garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix with 2 cups of chopped chicken. (I cooked my chicken with rosemary & garlic in the slow cooker.)

Or don't mix with chicken and enjoy with bread, crackers, or chips!

Monday, June 9, 2014

In Our Bookcase

I love books. And, thankfully, Lillie and Dani love books too. Going to the library is a fun activity for them, and I'm slowly building a nice library filled with books from my childhood and books with which they've fallen in love.

I absolutely judge a book by its cover when I'm just browsing at the library, and when it comes to children's books, I think there's nothing wrong with that. We've found some great books this way! We find an author or illustrator we like, and we tend to devour all of his/her work.

I thought I would share a few of our favorites because I truly enjoy spreading the book love.

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds
Lillie absolutely adores this book. When we checked it out at the library, we kept it for nearly nine weeks. I knew I had to buy it. 

Jasper loves carrots, but the carrots don't love that he loves carrots. The carrots devise a plan to scare Jasper out of his carrot-snacking ways. 

There are a handful of reviews on Amazon claiming this book isn't appropriate for kids because it's just too scary. It is definitely a little on the dark side (with carrots hiding in sheds and under beds), but it's all in good fun. Also, my kids love Monster House and Halloween, so this story is perfect for them.

The Dark by Lemony Snicket
If you have a child that's afraid of the dark, this book might help. Laszlo is afraid of the dark, so he visits it every day in the hopes that it won't visit him. One day, though, the dark comes to his room for a visit. 

My girls like it because they think the artwork is cool, but they also like that the dark talks back. I don't think they're particularly afraid of the dark, but this book really helped them realize that it's not as scary a thing as they may have imagined.

Angelina at the Fair by Katharine Holabird
We've read nearly the entire original Angelina Ballerina series, and Lillie and Dani both love this one. It's got rides and a scary house and balloons! (Plus, Angelina is a ballerina, and that's a total win right now.)

Angelina doesn't want to take her younger cousin Henry to the fair with her, so instead of listening to what he wants to do, she drags him on every ride she wants. They get separated, and Angelina realizes that she can have fun while Henry's having fun too.

Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
Gerald is clumsy and falls over himself, but when he finds the perfect music, he floats on air. 

The girls love the story and like seeing all the animals dance.  I love the beautiful illustrations and the wonderful message about being yourself. 

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Warning! The bear eats the rabbit. Some parents may not like to read a story to their children in which the bear eats a rabbit. I am not one of those parents. Plus, this story is hilarious! I probably laughed harder than the girls.

It's quite simple. The bear misses his hat, and he wants it back. The rabbit took it. 

The illustrations remind me of Oliver Jeffers, which is probably why I picked it up in the first place. They're simple and add to the humor.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
I grew up with this book, and it was one of the first books I put on their wishlist for Christmas. I started reading it to them when they were very little, but not until the last year or so did they start asking for it. 

They love Peter (A Letter for Amy is another favorite), and they absolutely love to watch him play in the snow.

OK. Wow. I could go on for awhile on this list. I think I may need to do another one soon!

I'm wanting to get into some longer books with the girls soon. We've read Charlotte's Web, and even though they didn't grasp the entire story, they both listened. Dani enjoyed it more than Lillie, but I think Dani likes to hear me read while Lillie is more about pictures right now.

What books do you recommend? What is your book-picking strategy at the library or bookstore?

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Resolution

I used to be a stickler for organization. I still love walking into The Container Store. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy. But with two little ones ransacking the house on a regular basis, my need to be perfectly organized has been stuffed in the back corner of my brain.

Not anymore.

I find I get stressed when I can't find anything, and I don't want the extra stress. I find I get frustrated when I forget things because they end up hidden under piles of other things. I don't want the extra frustration.

It is time to be more organized. It is time to accept that I will never have a home that looks like a Container Store ad, but I can have a home in which I can find things.

A place for everything, and everything (eventually) in its place.

It will begin with my office. My office is a scary place where everything goes to hide.

I can't actually walk into my office closet. I literally spent about three minutes trying to get out of it when I went in to find a box of something.

I recently found my glue gun which had been lost since last Halloween. It was in my office closet.

I also didn't realize I'd bought brackets for my office shelf. I found them in a bag under the chair.

This is bad. This isn't as bad as Malcolm in the Middle's Hal and Lois finding an extra bathroom when they cleaned out their bedroom closet, but it's getting close. I fear that one day I won't see the floor anymore.

Even though I would love to be more active and be stronger in 2014, even though I would love to cook more and create more and write more, I feel that I cannot do any of these things until I can feel good about where I put the junk in my home.

What are you New Year's resolutions? Anything that you're rehashing or trying for the first time?