Friday, March 24, 2017

February Book Report


I read a lot of books in February and then have taken forever to report on them. My reading was all over the place without any particular rhyme or reason. I read 6 books in this short month due to a short trip I took by myself that afforded hours of airplane reading time. 

The first book I read was Siblings without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. It was comforting to read that we were already doing some things right and horrifying to find out that we were doing some things really wrong. For instance, my girls are competitive and we often fuel it by setting them up against each other. It feels innocent, i.e. "Who can clean the room faster? Oh Maggie is the fast one!" but that builds rivalry so we've been doing our best to stop that and instead we are saying, "Come on Team! Let's clean the room together! Many hands make fast work!" 

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard was an "assigned" book from my Coffee & Crumb's Year of Creativity group. I was fooled into thinking that it would be a short read due to the compact size of the book but Dillard's writing requires deep concentration and often tears me away from the pages with the journey's my mind is encouraged to roam on. I loved this book and took away so much from it. 

I was attracted to Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon because of the beautiful cover artwork which was designed by Yoon's husband. I ended up loving this book. It's a Young Adult novel about a girl with so many allergies, etc that she basically lives in a bubble. The teenage girl soon falls in love with the teenage boy next door and the adventure begins there. 

I am not a money genius but I want my kids to be confident with their money. Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You are Not) by Beth Kobliner was so helpful and one I know I'll go back to again and again. I did skip the teenagers information because we are years away from that. My biggest takeaway was there is no "RIGHT" way to do allowance, one just has to be consistent about it. The other one was to talk about money with your kids. Be open about how much things cost. 

This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel was the Seattle Refined Book Club pick and I LOVED it. The book is about a transgendered child and how the family deals with it. Laurie Frankel is also a Seattle resident and so her descriptions of Seattle were top notch. I also loved how the family dynamics worked and kept thinking, this is how I would hope to parent in this situation. 

I read The Handmaid's Tale by Margret Atwood years ago and decided to re-read it in light of the current political atmosphere and the Hulu Mini Series. It was just as horrifying now as it was a few years ago. The part that struck me the most was where Atwood noted that she didn't want to write about anything that hasn't happened somewhere at some point. 

I read the February chapter in Year Between Friends: 3191 Miles Apart by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes in the nick of time. I loved the February part, especially the recipes. 

Yearly Book Total: 11/52

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means if you buy something from a link, I receive a very small percentage back. 
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Easy Peasy Fish Tacos


Every Tuesday night in our house is Taco Night. I love tacos and wish that every night could be taco night but the other members of my house voted for Tuesday as taco night. Of course after I introduced these tacos, some picky members of my house asked if we could have them every night and even requested them for lunch several times. The best part, these are the easiest tacos I've made in a long time and even my non-cooking husband can make them. That's a serious win-win in my book!


Easy Peasy Fish Tacos

by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2/3 cup cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 lime1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt to taste
  • 16 frozen fish sticks
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Taco Toppings: shredded red cabbage, sliced tomatoes, queso fresco, sour cream and 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
Using a mini food processor, blend together the yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, cumin and salt. Set aside.
Bake the frozen fish sticks according to the package directions.
Using a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, cook each tortilla until brown, about 30 seconds per side. Place inside a clean towel to keep warm.
Serve tacos, "pass around" style. We like to put all the ingredients in separate bowls and allow everyone to make their taco per their liking.
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Design Tips, V Bad Days and Self Defense are This Week's Links From Around the Web


Blogging Tips from Design for Mankind

Alexander and the V Bad, FML Day This is one of our favorite books and something I often say to the kids so this was HILARIOUS to me. 

10 Everyday Photos to Take This Year because honestly the best memories are in the smallest moments. 

Self Defense 101: Give Yourself a Fighting Chance I may have written this but I think this is super important information for everyone. Learn how to protect yourself and hope that you never have to use that knowledge. 

Mason Jar Salad Prep I'm working to get back to meal prepping and this week, I used this site to make some salads. It was seriously the smartest thing I've done in a long time. I'm planning on doing my own post with more salad ideas soon! 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Week in Review 3.18.17

I did not handle Daylight Savings time very well last week. Combined with the grey, un-ending rain, I was an exhausted mess. I limped through the days and decided to give myself some much needed TLC this weekend. We had a weekend without any plans and few items on our to-do list. So this post may be a day late but it isn't a dollar short!



I got in 5 workouts last week, mainly because I did two workouts on Saturday. I made it to four boot camp sessions and then took Molly to a free FitBit Local yoga session hosted by Obsessed by Portia. I've been a fan of Portia's work for awhile but only recently met her in person at a media event. She's the nicest person and has a sweet puppy that I want to steal. I was excited when I heard about the yoga event and when Molly asked to hang with me, I decided to bring her along. She wasn't interested in the yoga but claimed that she had a good time. I was thrilled to get five workouts in since I cancelled two workouts earlier in the week so I could sleep. Sometimes it is best to choose sleep over exercise. 


Peanut Sauce Tofu with Rice

I made an amazing veggie tofu peanut sauce stir-fry for dinner on Friday that I need to replicate so I can share the recipe. It was amazing and Scott didn't even know he was eating butternut squash! I went back for seconds and only held off on thirds because I was so full! 


I posted my recipe for Opal Apple Bars on Tuesday. Maggie helped me test them and enjoyed the taste testing portion the most. I liked pretending that they were perfectly ok for breakfast due to the apples and oats! 

The Girls


On Friday, we took Mel-B to the vet for our Peaceful Preschool field trip. Molly was super excited because she wants to be a vet. While a bit traumatic for Mel-B, it actually made her a little less scared of the girls. They were very sweet with her in the vet room while she was having her examination. Maggie did her best to not screech but since she only has a volume of 12, it was tough for her. 


Last week on the way home from church, Molly started crying that she was never going to be smart because she didn't know how to read. I reassured her that she was smart and that if she wanted to read, then I'd be more than happy to teach her. I got a book called, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons per a recommendation from my uber fabulous hair dresser (who has kids of similar age). I also picked up some BOB: Beginning Reader Books for her to compliment our lessons. She is loving our time together and really working hard to learn to read. Last night she read her first book to Scott and she was so excited. I love watching her learn. 

Other Goings On


Earlier this week, I headed out to take photos with a friend for a story I'm doing. We were hanging out in the park when some ladies asked us if we were looking for a dog. They had found one on their walk and were going to leave it at the park. I couldn't let that happen so we borrowed their leash and took the dog to the vet where we were able to get him back to his owners. He was such a good dog and it was fun to pretend that I had a dog for a few moments. 

Stories Published


Friday, March 17, 2017

Project 52 - Week 52

Project 52 - Week 52

Over the past year, I've posted weekly photos of my children in Project 52. I worked on my photography and had a great time documenting my children's lives. I am, however, thrilled to be done with this project. It was fun and I do plan on making a book for this project.

For this week's photo, I was photographing Apple Bars for a post with Opal Apples and Maggie decided to take her own photos while wearing her swimsuit inside out. She's a hoot!
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