au revoir (for now)

Ryan and I are attempting- by the grace of God- a fairly intense media fast this Lent. This means, among many other things, no blog writing/reading. I’ll admit the prospect of these 40 days scares me. A lot.

And that means we’re probably along the right track.

Pray for us; I promise to be praying for you. See you on the other side of the resurrection.

p.s. If you really need to contact me, I’ll be checking the ‘ol email periodically. [Look at the “contact” tab above.]

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recipe: Blueberry Curry Chicken Salad

blueberry curry chicken salad

[I promise this is more appetizing than the awful picture shows.]

This is one of those recipes that I invented back in my single days and has manifested itself in various forms over the years. I’ve adapted it quite a bit to meet the not-picky-but-has-certain-preferences palate of my husband. Mayonnaise [he loves] has been added; almonds and celery have been omitted [but, if you’re so inclined, I think they are awesome in this].

This would be great for a ladies luncheon or a light dinner. Although it’s best when first made, it does keep fairly well for a few days, so make up a batch and snack on it throughout the week.

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Blueberry Curry Chicken Salad

Ingredients

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken

3/4 cup blueberries

1/3 cup mayonnaise*

1/3 cup Greek yogurt*

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup slivered almonds [optional]

1/4 cup chopped celery [optional]

Method

1. Whisk together mayo, yogurt, curry, garlic, salt, and pepper. Taste. Adjust seasonings. Depending upon your palate and the strength of your curry, you may need to add more garlic and/or curry.

2. Mix in the chicken, blueberries, and optional ingredients.

3. Serve on its own, over greens, as a sandwich, or on pita bread with spinach [as we are so inclined].

* Note: you could easily use 2/3 cup yogurt (and no mayo), if you have taste buds like single-Sarah. 

meal plan: week of Feb. 4

Monday- curry-blueberry chicken salad sandwiches [recipe forthcoming] with sweet potato fries

Tuesday- lentil soup (this is an excellent, simple recipe- but I use plain ‘ol green lentils that don’t need to soak and cook much more quickly); I’m trying a new bread. I’ll let you know if it’s good.

Wednesday- family dinner [Amen, Hallelujah]

Thursday- pizza. I keep wanting to do a BBQ chicken one, but haven’t had the chance in a long time. And the second will involve some sort of goat cheese.

Friday- a simple spinach lasagna (perhaps with some mushrooms?)- inspiration here

7 Quick Takes: Newly Discovered Treasures and Tricks

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First, thank you for all your kind words and prayers regarding our loss. We have been overwhelmed by so many sincere emails, FB messages, comments. Seriously. You all have such lovely hearts. It gives me hope. Praise Him.

And now it’s time to be superficial for a little bit. ;) Here are some (very trivial) things I’ve been loving lately.

1. It’s rare that I am “inspired” by style blogs. Usually I just enjoy looking at pretty things and cool styles that I could never afford or would never look good on me. However, for some reason ANMJ’s style resolutions really spoke to me. #3 especially: “…will figure out footwear that doesn’t involve tall boots.” I know I am 100% guilty of falling into the jeans-with-tall-boots rut to look polished. And quite frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, I took her nudging and got a pair of ankle boots from Forever 21. I was *so proud* of my $10 find, and was psyched to share it here, but of course, Grace beat me to the punch with the same boots. Meh, that’s okay. Here they are in their glory:

Why is the picture not of me *wearing* the boots? Well, I tried, but I had some issues with the camera timer. And it’s always a little embarrassing to approach Ryan, “ummm…could you take a picture of my shoes?” I can’t wait for Philomena to be old enough to be my very own personal photographer.

2. #6 on the same list was “…will wear bold makeup like it’s no big thing.” I will never ever be daring enough for turquoise eyeshadow and the like. And I have tried and tried and tried bold lipsticks, but I always end up feeling clownish. I was excited to stumble upon Cover Girl’s “Everlasting”– a plumish red. I wore it for the first time a few weeks ago, when Ryan and I had a “date night” [more like “date 45 minutes.”] I felt very proud of myself, and I could just *sense* people in the restaurant checking me out as if I was a daring, cosmopolitan lady. However….the next day in the daylight I tried it again, and I looked a little less classy, and a lot more, um, “lady of the night.” But, that didn’t stop me from trying to be bold, so I mixed it with my old standby (via PW), Maybelline’s “Autumn Rush.” I really like the result:

lipstick

[I can’t believe I took a cellphone self-portrait of myself *in the bathroom*. Everyone say together, “blogging cliche!”…. Cringe.]

3. This salsa was on sale the other day at Target (Archer Farms Mango Peach Salsa). My, oh, my, it is fantastic. And this is coming from a connoisseur of all things chips and salsa. IMG_6254

4. For Christmas my mom said she would buy me a pair of jeans- even more, she would watch the baby whilst I shopped (!). After coming up dry on skinny jeans that weren’t too skinny and that held their structure and didn’t produce a plumber’s crack, I asked the Facebook world for recommendations. I got some interesting responses, and a friend from high school suggested the Gap’s “Always Skinny.”

I was immediately skeptical, because as many others have noted, over the past 5 or 6 years, the Gap has been *so* disappointing. The prices have gone up, and the quality has gone down, down, down. Nevertheless, since they were on clearance, I decided to give them a shot.

Wow! I am seriously pleased with the jeans. They are exactly what I was wanting. They are stretchy, but don’t stretch OUT, even after wearing them for a couple days. I actually went online and ordered another pair in a different wash. My only complaint is that (as far as I can tell) don’t offer this particular style in a “short” inseam. Soooo, that means I have to cuff them a bit, which I’ve decided looks fine [please don’t tell me otherwise].

I tried to take a picture of myself wearing them, but again, I have issues with both non-awkwardly posing and using the timer on the camera. I’ll be humble and show you the pics anyway, but for a much more flattering depiction, look here. [It seems as though the sizes are limited now. Sorry.]

jeans

5. Yesterday I put a few drops of lavender essential oil in the dryer with some towels and sheets. It produced a subtle, yet lovely effect.

6. Mena’s fake-Robeez shoes attract dirt and black marks at a remarkable rate. The other day, I tried rubbing alcohol to clean them. The results weren’t perfect, but it was a definitive improvement. The one on the left has been cleaned.

photo 1-3

As I exclaimed to Ryan, “I didn’t even see this on Pinterest! It’s my own idea!” It’s the small things, people.

7. I have *ridiculously* dry and sensitive skin, so the winter months are pretty much torture on my face. I’ve tried so many different lotions, but for the longest time I used pure coconut oil, which really worked. And yet, for some reason, it just doesn’t do the trick anymore. A couple months ago, Real Simple did a feature on the best facial moisturizers. This one by Burt’s Bees was recommended for dry skin. [It’s a tad pricey for such a small bottle- I’m a cheapo- but, I was able to use an Ulta coupon for it. And it seems like it’ll last awhile.] I have been using it for about a month now, and I am sincerely impressed. My skin is still dry, but MUCH less flaky. And I love that it’s kinda-natural (at least compared to many lotions out there), and it’s completely non-greasy. 

I just realized I’m at the end of the takes, and I haven’t included any gratuitous baby pics yet. Shameful. Here is one from Sunday, when it was amazingly warm and we went to see the ducks [still pronounced hilariously]. As always, go see Jen for more takes.

photo 3-1