Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Slow cooker link-up

Linking up with Dwija and sharing some of our favorite crockable meals:

Firstly our take on Salsa Chicken

2 pounds of skinless/boneless chicken breast
1 cup salsa
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg taco seasoning
small can corn
1/2 can black beans

Place chicken in crockpot
add beans and corn
add taco seasoning
mix salsa and soup and pour over chicken mixture
cover and cook for 6 hours; add 1 cup of sour cream for the last hour if
you prefer a creamy result.

We usually serve over rice but I imagine could be a stand alone dish.

Fruited Chicken and Barley
from Cooking Light: 5 Ingredient  15 minute Cookbook

1 1/4 cups pearl barley, uncooked
6 cups water
2 pounds skinned chicken thighs
1 lg onion, coarsely chopped
1 (8oz ) package dried mixed fruit
1 tbs salt-free Caribbean spice rub
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a 4 quart slow cooker; stir well
Cover and cook on high setting 4 hrs or until chicken is tender
Or, cover and cook on high setting 1 hr; reduce to low setting and cook 7 hrs

Neither my husband nor I like spicy food so I substituted nutmeg and poultry seasoning in place of the Caribbean spice rub.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Quick Takes #186: Swimming fun, NFP, and lots of mint!

  1. Life recently was super hot and then it wasn't or more accurately the humidity took a dive!! What a relief; cue many an afternoon of backyard water play in the paddling pool, water table and slip&slide. This has also allowed for a bit more reading time for me! 
  2. Our local Y divides swimming lessons into two sessions and we have just started the second. I'm going to need to keep my expectations under control cause they all did great during their first 6 lessons. Lisbeth now routinely puts her face in the water and has even jumped off the diving blocks both things she absolutely refused to do at the beginning of June. Liam has gone from being afraid to swim without anyone holding him to reveling in it; I'm seriously considering 'forgetting' his vest for our Maine trip and seeing how he does with just arm floats. Lastly I'm having such fun splashing around with Caitie; she is not at all afraid of the water and really enjoys kicking and paddling around.
  3. Rosie of A blog for my mom is on a mission to reach the milestone of 500 'likes' for her Facebook page without FB help. In return for which she will model many a romper for us. So if you are on FB and are not already enjoying her wonderful writing and her kids antics ~ please consider.
  4. And on a much smaller scale if I get my little ole page to 100 likes will model a jumpsuit of mine from back in the day aka 20 years ago that has survived every closet purge, and be depicted for posterity.
  5. NFP week ~ I never know what to write ~ luckily these lovely ladies do; please pay a visit to Kathryn's and Haley's for this and this.
  6. Free space to rest after your click trip :)
  7. Last year as a housewarming gift we were given a mint plant which I planted and now we have a LOT of mint ~ any suggestions what to do with it?
Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cover Reveal ~ Chasing Daylight

 As many of you lovely readers know my youngest sister in addition to her day job in finance is also an author of soon to be eleven books. I'm honored to say she has asked me to be part of the blog carnival revealing the cover for her latest!!

Chasing Daylight will be coming out September 21st!

Here is the Goodreads link:

She is sponsoring a give-away of the first two books in the series.
Here is the Rafflcopter link.

Here are the links to the first two books in the series:
The Other Side of Someday

Yesterday’s Half Truths

    Chasing Daylight
Mitch Brooks exists day to day by keeping the world around him at arms length. There is no going back to the man he once was. That man was broken in a way there’s no fixing. Any hope outside of that is nothing but wishful thinking, until he meets her.
McKenzie Williams needed an escape. The last thing she needed was a scary beautiful man beating down her door in the middle of the night. Now, if only their paths would stop crossing, she could convince herself she didn’t feel a connection to him. Life has shown her the dreams she once held dear will never come true for her.
Mitch struggles to get past the walls he’s built around himself while McKenzie works to build hers brick by brick.  When the outside world exposes the vulnerabilities in his fa├žade she abandons her own fears to stand by him. Will she be the one to save him from the darkness within him, or will he forever be chasing daylight?

Congratulations Carey! Thanks for letting me be part of this exciting day!!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Answer Me This: July 12th

1. At what temperature do you keep the thermostat set? Summer, winter, day, night?
     Currently in the summer the thermostat is set at 75 F day & night; during the winter it is set a 68F during the day and 65f at night.

2. What is your favorite frozen beverage?
    With alcohol a Frozen Margarita ~ without a Coffee Milkshake.

3. Where do you keep your keys?
    We have a key hook by the door though in the winter they usually come to rest in a coat pocket.

4. Have you ever really been lost?
      Our house for much of my growing up (9-18) backed a nature preserve which we all explored to some extent. One time my exploring went very wrong with me getting very lost.  I somehow managed to wander back out of the woods miles from my house and was happy to find someone to give me a ride home.  Looking back as an adult I'm beyond grateful that the stranger was a Good Samaritan and actually drove me home.

5. What is the last movie you saw in the theaters?
     Julie/Julia! It's been a while!

Now please head over to Kendra's for more takes on these questions.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Quick Takes #185: Toddler in the House!

  1.  Imagination and vocabulary combine for the thing that currently slays me the most in the cute department with Caitlin. She tells me stories where Queen Mommy & Princess Caitlin go somewhere (usually a walk or a picnic) and are rescue from some peril like crocodiles by Super Liam. Really hoping to get one on tape before this phase ends.
  2. Swim lessons are going well; she is not fond of the back float but otherwise enjoys paddling and kicking; getting the hang of blowing bubbles and in general having fun.  She is definitely getting the hang of peddling her little tricycle; steering less so but all in good time. She has even tried a few times to use Lisbeth's scooter; just another example of how she is forever trying to catch-up with her big sister and brother.
  3. As number 3 she doesn't often get first choice in show selection but when she does (or when she thinks to ask while the bigs are at camp) the top choices are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Wonder Pets.
  4. The routine for books at bedtime now involve her closing her bedroom door and welcoming us to her Library and encouraging us to select a book.  Her second favorite place to be read to is in Mommy & Daddy's bed.
  5. Naps are becoming tough with the big kids out of school and her great desire to be with them I almost have to trick her by leaving her in the highchair a little longer after lunch or putting her in the stroller. At bedtime I'm still rocking her in the glider but now moving her to the crib once she starts drifting, holding her hand for a couple minutes and then tip-toeing out. After a couple of weeks of this routine we are down to a minute or two of crying most nights.
  6. She continues to be a good eater (though I know the pickies may still show-up); not much of a breakfast eater the rest of the day she is largely willing to try most things. Favorites are mac&cheese, string cheese, and eggs. As Liam's parrot she will often ask for a cheese burger when he does with mixed results. Mostly she is very independent but not very tidy as texture and playing with her food is still So Much Fun! Ah well she is washable!
  7. As the last hints of babyhood start to slip away I'm enjoying the loving, fun & feisty little lady she is becoming!

Trying out Lisbeth's bed and Mommy's old phone.

Please head over to Bonnie's (filling in for Kelly) for more 7QT's

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Answer Me This: July 4th

1. How did you celebrate the 4th of July? (Or, for you international types . . . Do anything fun this weekend?)
    We did for the first time this year take the kids to the local fireworks; and overall it went well ~ they were not as amazed as I had hoped but the spot we selected was far enough away that the noise did not both them!! Usually we go the parade a couple towns over but are having friends over and likely won't make it this year. Grilling for dinner and watching "A Capital Fourth" completes a typical fourth for us.

2. Do you sunburn easily?
      No luckily; I do burn but a reasonable effort at precaution does generally spare me a painful burn.

3. Hot dogs. Yay or nay?
    Yay ~ especially at our favorite beachside place in Maine with ice cream to follow!!

4. Have you ever personally set off fireworks?
     No! I remember my dad doing it a few times when I was kid.

5. Have you ever jumped off the high dive?
     Yes; years ago as a kid. Though as a former gymnasts one of my favorite Olympic sports to watch.

6. Do you do anything weird in your sleep?
     I've been known to talk ~ according to my husband and past roommates nothing too embarrassing!

Now please head over to Kendra's for more Answer Me This.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

WWRW: July 1st

Emma by Jane Austen is the fourth of her books I've now read (almost done) and I'm finding it lovely.  I had been avoided the book guessing that I would find her antics and matchmaking annoying but actually I found them very funny as she crashes again and again into the reality almost nothing goes as she plans.  There are not quite the deep mines to explore in characters and language as in other Austen books but all in all a sweet fun summer read that I'm glad a finally decided to read.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: this was a re-read for me but gave me the chance to introduce to mostly Liam (Will try and catch Lisbeth at another time). The short chapters and wonderful illustrations captivated both of us as we followed along with the Little Prince as he told of his planet and the planets he visited on his journey to visit this one.  Would recommend strongly if you haven't already read or it has been awhile especially if there is a special little person in your life who has yet to meet the Little Prince.

Both of these were read in part to complete categories in the Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge bringing my total at the halfway point 5.

Completed categories:
A book I've been meaning to read: Emma
A book published this year: Them by Carey Heywood
A book originally written in a different language: The Little Prince
A book "everyone" has read but you: Dear Mr Knightly by Katherine Reay
A book recommended by someone with great taste: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Next up is A town like Alice for the 'a book my mom loves' category.  As it happens turns out this is a favorite of Anne's mom too.  The category I'm most looking forward too is 'a book chosen because of its cover'; as I imagine wandering around a bookstore and giving myself permission to just pick-up a book and buy it. The category I'm dreading is 'a book in a genre you don't typically read'; I currently don't have any ideas and am not sure I want to give up precious reading time on a long shot but acknowledge the value of exploring far afield.

Now please head over to Jessica's for more WWRW.