I just signed up with bloglovin’ to follow all the blogs I love; ones like Lottie and Doof, Refinery29, and A Cup Of Jo. If you are in the market for a new site to follow blogs–I recommend this one, you’ll love the large photo format.
- move the toys; they become new and exciting when they are in a different location (even if that somewhere is the bathroom).
- we get ready for bed when Nora does; then when it’s time for us to go to bed (after falling asleep on the couch for 20 mins) faces are washed.
- we wake up before her, giving ourselves 10-15 minutes of free time (not getting ready, cleaning, or working); we sit and have a cup of coffee by ourselves (or together, depending on the day), it makes a world of difference on the days we do it (maybe twice a week).
- we make everything an adventure; trips to Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, you name it… (this is working for Nora so far, get back to us in 4 years).
- puzzles rock our world–fun for everyone, great at restaurants (Hallmark has nice small ones that I bring in a plastic baggie).
- books, books, books (my mom, who is a literacy specialist, always told me to never skip the big words, they’ll get it); I’m amazed at the words that Nora uses from her books.
- we serve “appetizers” while we are getting dinner ready (carrots, peppers, green beans, grapes…anything healthy when she is at her hungriest). she sometimes eats it (bonus).
- we are trying to talk less about dinner (i.e. let’s eat your sweet potatoes, how about those peas, blah, blah) and just let her enjoy it. I read this tip on a blog and it really makes sense–she usually eats more when we talk less.
- we bought a gym membership at the park district; we try and go 2-3 times a week. I usually prep dinner earlier in the day, we pick up B from the train and then hit up the gym for 40 mins (Nora loves the kid zone). if it’s in the budget it’s a little slice of sanity.
- we stay active; being home can get very monotonous; we have at least one outing a day–it can take the shape of the grocery store, library, arboretum, or park…
I love this chicken salad recipe. It’s simple, yet still very refined. A great meal to prepare if you’re having some friends over for lunch.
Tarragon Shallot Chicken Salad
1 1/4 pounds chicken tenders
1 shallot – minced
1 TBS tarragon – minced
1 lemon – juiced
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayo
s & p
Heat a medium pot with water. Once simmering add the chicken and cook for ~12 minutes or until cooked and tender. Remove, cover with foil, and let rest for 5-10mins. In the meantime combine all of the other ingredients and whisk together. Finally add the chicken and let chill for at least 30 mins. This will last for three days in the fridge.
Serve with fresh rolls, over greens (with lemon dressing) or on a croissant.
Baby number 2 is going to be here before we know it & we could not be more excited! Brian and I think it’s a boy. Nora thinks it’s a girl. Time will tell (we are not finding out–again). It is hard to believe that I am over half way there with this pregnancy. Things are so different this time around…
Everything is so much less dramatic
You don’t care as much about weird body changes–you actually hardly notice them
You no longer are charting the size of the baby in comparison to food items: i.e. kumquat
Unfortunately, the vitamins still feel like horse pills, but you know to take them at night
You forget you are pregnant, way more often
You know what kind of maternity jeans to buy (until your dr. tells you that you need to wear compression stockings (daily) for the remainder of your pregnancy. Come again?!)
You are more relaxed about cheese
You are more active–you have a toddler now (no option here)
You know that even though the first 20 weeks went by fast (ahem, lightning speed), the next 20 are going to be a heck of a lot different (summer is on the way and so is the swelling. Yippee!)
But the BEST, is that you know what’s in store for you! Come on August–we are ready for you!
I thought to celebrate the baby on the way and spring’s arrival I would share one of my favorite recipes of all time. I am pesto-obsessed. I love it on pasta, sandwiches, potatoes, pizzas–you get the picture. Turns out Nora is a big fan too!
2.5 oz basil (the size of the Trader Joe’s package) or a large bunch from the garden – make sure to only use the leaves (no stems!)
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2++ cup olive oil (or until desired consistency)
s & p
In a food processor combine the basil, garlic, walnuts, and cheese. Pulse until completely chopped and combined. Then through the lid, slowly pour in the olive oil (you can add more or less olive oil depending on your desired consistency). Finally add kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Store in an air-tight container with a small layer of olive oil, this will last 5 days.
My current favorite way to serve the pesto is on a chicken ciabatta sandwich (pictured above).
CKT finally joined Facebook! Check us out: goo.gl/Yy1Ks (a thumbs up would be cool too!).
To finish “favorite dinner week,” we will conclude with the vegetable: green beans. These beans are so easy to make and really brighten up the dish. I love cooked vegetables, but nothing over-cooked; I’m looking at you canned anything. This side is a nice balance of cooked and fresh flavors. The lemon and the goat cheese make the beans a really special side. It’s less about having the exact measurements and more about using what you have and balancing the flavors.
Favorite dinner complete! Bon Appetit!
CKT green beans
1 TBS butter + a splash of olive oil
12 oz green beans or what you have around – trimmed and cleaned
1/2 lemon – juiced
s & p
goat cheese–to taste, crumbled
In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. Once hot, add the green beans and sauté for ~5 minutes (you want the beans to be bright in color, and taste slightly cooked, but still crunch). Turn the heat off and add the lemon juice, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Finally, serve with crumbled goat cheese–to taste.