Five Things (Good) Friday

Hope everyone is having a spectacular Good Friday!  I know many people who are off work today, but sadly the husband is still working and I actually had to run some errands at the school this morning.  Nevertheless, I am excited about the upcoming Easter weekend!

5 Things I’m Doing This Weekend:

  1. Trying to convince one of my parents to come and visit.  It’s a long shot, but worth a try!
  2. Instead of a fancy Easter dinner, we’re going to have a huge braai (or is it braii? haha not sure – but it’s basically a barbeque or cookout) at another South African friend’s house.  We knew some people who just moved across the country who owned a restaurant and a farm here in town.  So they just left behind a ton of meat in the freezer which is sure to be delicious.
  3. Easter church service.  We’re gonna try and recruit friends to go with us this time.  The Easter service is always spectacular.  I’ll also be volunteering in the nursery this weekend!  Yay for babies 🙂
  4. Trying to scout out some baby heirloom tomato plants.  It’s kindof getting too late to start from seeds, so we’re looking for transplants.  I really want heirlooms though and they are not easy to find!
  5. Finishing the master bathroom.  Blech.  Not a fun job, but it needs to be done!

5 Things I’ve Eaten Lately:

  1. Wraps of all kinds!  It’s my new go-to lunch these days.  April 005 (2)
  2. Black bean fajita casserole.  Original recipe that I plan on posting!  Stay tuned 🙂  April 004
  3. Nutella hot chocolate cake.  Some friends invited us out to dinner but we had already eaten so we decided to stop by for dessert.  It did not disappoint.
  4. Grapes.  Perhaps this is a pregnancy craving.  I love fruit, but grapes have never been at the top of my list.  Interestingly enough, the 2 most common pregnancy cravings are ice cream and fruit!
  5. Mango salsa strikes again!  I can’t get enough of this stuff.  I promise there is a big piece of salmon hidden under the mountain of salsa!  April 001

5 Things I’ve Pinned:

  1. Awesome leggings!  Women leggings, Flower Leggings, Colorful Leggings, Yoga Leggings, Pattern Leggings, flowers  Leggings, tribal leggings, aztec leggings
  2. Asparagus & Ricotta Pizza.  Shaved Asparagus and Ricotta Pizza by justataste   #Pizza #Asparagus
  3. Chocolate Cream Pie.  Chocolate Cream Pie is an easy homemade custard dessert
  4. Nectarine and Burrata Bite Crostini.  So fancy.  Nectarine and Wisconsin Burrata Bite Crostini with a sugared gremolata is perfectly sweet and tangy over creamy cheese
  5. This swimsuit!  Love the crossover top and the print on the bottom!  Want.  L*Space 'Wild & Free Black' Bikini | Orchid Boutique.

 

5 Glamorous Things About Parenting A Toddler:

  1. Boogers/snot smeared on your chest.  They will avoid the tissue at all costs, but can’t wait to get a good wipe in on your clean shirt.
  2. Beans are yummy, but not easily digested by a toddler.  That was not a fun diaper.
  3. Digging in dirt happens every. single. time. they go outside.  Black fingernails are gross.
  4. They giggle at their own farts.
  5. They dig things out of the trash can because surely this is just a giant stinky toy box.  (I think it’s time for a baby-proof trashcan!)

Have a glorious Easter weekend!

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WIAW – Adios, Winter! For Real This Time.

Many thanks to Jenn for hosting yet another What I Ate Wednesday! Before we get into today’s eats, I thought I’d expand on some stuff I discussed not too long ago regarding going back to full time employment. After some reflection I know that, in my heart, where I want to be is at home raising my baby/babies. BUT I also know that I am not in control of when the Lord will decide to expand our family, and I don’t think sitting around just waiting for it is the best option either. I h ave decided to to put myself out there and look for jobs that look like they could turn into promising careers. In other words, I am being picky! I have to make sure that I’m getting paid what I deserve and that it will offset the costs of paying for childcare. And I also have to make sure that it is something I can truly enjoy for the long haul. Right now there is only one job I’ve found that fits the bill… so we shall see where this leads!

On to the foods!  Today is all about warm weather foods.  My cravings seem to go along with the season.  So bye bye comfort food, hello fresh produce and ice cream!

Breakfast was a yogurt bowl again! I know, I know… I had a yogurt bowl last time I posted. But it is a yoga day and this seems to sit the best in my stomach, yet gives me the energy I need to get me though class without getting hungry.

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My bowl was full of strawberries, kiwi, Cascadian Farm ancient grains granola (my fav!), raw oats, whole milk plain yogurt, shredded coconut, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and cinnamon! My husband is the one who contributed this cute little kitchen gadget to the marriage… a strawberry slicer! I actually laughed at him when he unpacked it to put in the kitchen when we first moved in together.

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Lunch was a mega salad! Romaine, cucumber, avocado, tomato, gorgonzola cheese, pesto, dijon mustard, and balsamic glaze all topped with a runny yolk fried egg! I looooove runny eggs on top of my salad! I’ve you’ve never tried it then you MUST.

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Lunch was followed by a little peanut butter – chocolate yogurt in a mug. Almost forgot to snap a pic but remembered toward the end. This stuff tastes like pudding!

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I found myself still hungry about 20 minutes later and looked back and realized that I was seriously lacking in the carbs department! No wonder I was still hungry! I then had a slice of bread with nutella. No picture here because… well, as delicious as nutella+bread is, it is not the most visually pleasing.

I had 2 afternoon snacks today – both a savory and a sweet!  The savory was carrot sticks with Trader Joe’s spinach and kale dip.  The sweet was my modified version of ants on a log – celery topped with peanut butter, craisins, and mini chocolate chips!

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Dinner was my delicious tilapia with mango salsa! This is such a great warm weather dish. We served it with a side of (white!) rice and asparagus (with butter, salt, and pepper). White rice is so much tastier than brown in my opinion. And hooray for asparagus season! One of my husband’s friends does a lot of gardening and he offered to give us an asparagus plant… pretty excited about that! Pretty soon our entire backyard will be garden, and I am okay with that.

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Yeah, sorry about the sideways pic… there wasn’t a simple way to turn it around so I was like meh whatevs.  In case you’re wondering, the salsa has mango, red onion, jalapeno, red pepper, cucumber, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.  Good stuff, y’all!

We had some errands to run after dinner so dessert had to be put on hold for a while.  But you better believe it took me all of 5 seconds after we got back home for me to be in the kitchen whipping up some mug cakes.  I really wanted a milkshake but we didn’t have the ingredients.  These are vanilla cakes topped with peanut butter and more chocolate chips.

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There may or may not have been a couple strawberries consumed before bed…

Incidences of chocolate in my day = 3.  Average.  Hope your day is ABOVE average – both in terms of chocolate as well as life in general 🙂

Tell me what awesome eats you’ve had lately!

What’s your favorite fish recipe?

How many times did you eat chocolate today?

My Vague Attempts at Gardening

I have been casually mentioning gardening in recent posts and people have seemed interested, so I thought I’d share a little more about my new little hobby that I’ve been enjoying lately!

First of all, we bought our house a little less than a year ago as a foreclosure.  We got a sweet deal on it, but man oh man… it was a WRECK.  Due to budget constraints we decided to wait on fixing up the yard and just focus on the inside of this house.  But this year we decided that the yard needed to be cleaned up a bit.  Since I love cooking with fresh produce I tossed my husband the idea of having a backyard garden and he was all for it!  Yesterday construction officially began.

First thing we did was get rid of some really nasty dead/overgrown bushes and trees.  Getting the tree down is one thing, but chopping off all the branches into bundles to be discarded is even worse!  So tedious and time consuming, but it needed to be done.  We also had a Japanese maple tree in the backyard (in an existing plant bed) that we moved to the front yard.  The husband had to have help on that one… he even broke a shovel!  The tree still doesn’t have leaves on it from winter but here’s where it is now… I hope the poor guy survives!

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This is the plant bed that the tree came from.  It is on the side of our yard (that fence is our neighbor’s).  We thought this space would be better used as a vegetable garden.  I am thinking of putting my early spring crops in there (broccoli and kale) since I think they’ll be okay with slightly less sunlight and cooler temperatures.  Last year I haphazardly threw some baby plants that a friend of ours gave to us and they grew pretty well!  We had tomatillos, rosemary, and cucumbers.  I am looking forward to having the extra space from the tree.

The next plant bed we built is in the back yard.  It is up against the back of the house next to the deck.  Our backyard gets a lot of sunlight, so the house won’t really block it until late in the evening.  Our yard also slopes down, so we thought it’d be better up on the higher ground.  It’s actually the perfect location since it’s right between the deck and the basement stairwell.  This is where we’d like to put our summer crops – right now I’m thinking tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash.  The pallets in the back will be helpful for the tomatoes to grow on too!

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We are thinking of building another one of the same size right next to it.  What do ya think??  I really want another one, but we would have to buy more soil… which is not cheap!

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This is also where the all the tree/bush mess was.  Thank goodness for husbands for this type of stuff!  I let him do most of the hard labor… I spent half the day chasing a toddler trying to keep her from eating dirt and pulling rocks out of her mouth.

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I am looking forward to the warm weather and getting to put these little babies into the garden!  I know my approach is far from scientific, and there’s a fair chance it will all be a flop.  But I’m okay with that.  I really enjoy getting outside in nature and am hoping to learn throughout the process rather than spend my days reading gardening books.

Do you like gardening?  What are the easiest crops to plant in your opinion?

What would you most like to grow if you could grow anything?