Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What I Read in July

I'm a little overdue in recapping what I read in July, and hold on to your hats folks, because it's quite a list! I read all of one book in July. One! I was still feeling quite sick all throughout July and was extremely tired, so I wasn't even keeping up with my nightly habit of reading in bed. I did read part of two other books that I'm including as well. Unfortunately none of these books were very good, in my opinion, so it was kind of a lame reading month for me.

The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively // Are you familiar with the five love languages? I think it's both really interesting and really helpful, so I was excited to be able to receive a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. This book specifically talks about the love languages in children: how to discover what your child's love language is and how to effectively love children with each of the five love languages. The first half of the book covers that, and I did find it really interesting. Nothing was particularly earth-shattering if you're already familiar with the love languages, but I enjoyed reading it. The second half of the book took a different turn into disciplining your children, which I thought was a totally unnecessary topic for this book. I also happened to disagree with a lot of what was said, so for that reason I can't fully recommend this book. 2 stars.

I Almost Forgot About You // I got a copy of this book from Blogging for Books because I had heard good things and wanted to read it! I will say I thought the premise of the book was really creative. The main character decides that she wants to find all of the men she's ever loved, because they've impacted her and shaped her in some way. I thought that could lead to a really interesting book! But I just wasn't having it. I didn't like the main character, I didn't enjoy the writing style, and I found there to be an excessive amount of language in the book. I can overlook foul language in a book if it's in moderation and the book is really enjoyable, but that was not the case here. I just couldn't finish it. 1 star.

Britt-Marie Was Here: A Novel // This was the pick for our book club in July, and it was actually my suggestion. I had heard great things about this author and was excited to read this! Unfortunately I just could not get through the book. I read about half of it and just struggled. I found the writing really choppy and the storyline just did not hold my attention. I rarely quit books, but after a couple of duds in a row I didn't want to waste any more time on a book I wasn't enjoying. 1 star.

Thankfully I'm out of my reading rut and have read some good books in August, so stay tuned for the August recap in a few weeks!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Slow-cooker Moroccan-spiced Chicken with Couscous

It's been a minute since I've posted a recipe, mostly because I've been very sick with this pregnancy and cooking has been kept to a minimum! Thankfully I am doing a lot better and the nausea is more manageable now. I'm back in the kitchen and enjoying having a little more energy! I made this recipe right before getting pregnant, and we loved it! I love using my crockpot for really easy dinners, but so many crockpot recipes are really creamy/thick/not healthy. This recipe packs so much flavor and is actually healthy!

Slow-cooker Moroccan-spiced Chicken with Couscous
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp cinnamon
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (I used breasts)
1 (14.5) ounce can diced tomatoes, mostly drained
1 pound large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup couscous

Mix the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add the chicken and toss to coat in the spice mixture. Add the tomatoes and carrots.

Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is tender. Shred the meat and return it to the liquid with the vegetables.

Ten minutes before serving, prepare the couscous according to the package directions.

Serve the chicken and vegetables over the couscous.

source: recipe barely adapted from Real Simple, December 2015

Friday, August 12, 2016

Beach Family Vacation

We just got home from a beach trip! We joined my parents, sisters, and my sisters' families for a week at Corolla Beach in the Outer Banks. It was such a fun week of playing in the ocean and on the beach, hanging out by the pool, eating way too much food, and enjoying our adult time in the evenings once the kids (all 9 of them!) had gone to bed. It was Madeleine's first trip to the beach, and she absolutely loved it! It was such a joy to watch her enjoy the sand and the water like both Caleb and I do. For the first time we stayed at the 4x4 part of Corolla, which is less crowded since it's accessible by 4WD only. There are wild horses that roam that section of the Outer Banks, and they would walk right through our yard! I'm always sad when a vacation like this comes to an end, but I'm grateful for the fun memories we made! Here are a few pictures, if you'd like to see...