5/21/2017

5 Things You Need To Know About Audiobooks

So I'm a recent convert to the audiobook. Its not because I can't read, I promise. My coworker knows that I like to listen to podcasts and mentioned that

"podcasts are the gateway drug to audiobooks"

She was right. This week I have demolished the first Robert Galbraith book - The Cuckoo's Calling. And because I've been under a rock I didn't even realize that Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym that J. K. Rowling took on to write the crime novels starring Cormoran Strike. The BBC is said to be making this book series into a television series. So here's my tips on audiobooks

  1. Try it out. There is a really easy and free way to take this for a test run. Audible offers a free audiobook upon signing up. Audible is an Amazon company and they have a ton of titles. So read that next book maybe just by listening.
  2. Join Your Library. You might be surprised to know that your local library has moved with the times. They will most likely use OverDrive, an app that you can download on your phone to borrow audiobooks and ebooks. The books automatically check back in when they are due back so no late fees. There might be a wait list for more recent releases but use this as an opportunity to dig into that backlog that you never got to read. If you don't want to wait get an Audible Membership.
  3. Multi-Task. I'm a major multi-tasker. My husband is always teasing that I'm trying to reach some kind of peak efficiency. This can be noticed in my undying need to carry all of the grocery from the car in one trip - there is no going back! Audiobooks are great for this. I'm time poor, like most people, and I love to read. Audiobooks mean that I can walk the dog, clean the house and drive the car all while 'reading'.
  4. It Still Counts. We've all heard that reading is good for us and that's true. But listening is also really good for us. So don't feel like you are cheating. If you are able to make it through the 15 hours of someone reading out loud to you and follow the story then your brain is still benefiting, particularly if you are completing other tasks at the same time.
  5. Enjoy! Audiobooks are not the only way that I will read a book. But proper reading might end up being reserved for long flights and beach vacations when I have the time. 

5/21/2017

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos!

Preface part one. This is not a fancy recipe. This is an ‘Oh my gosh, is it really that late? I need to make dinner quickly’ recipe. It’s easy, cheap, and decently healthy.

Preface part two. You need an Instant Pot. We’ve had ours for about a year and love it. We use it about twice a week. You will be blown away by how easy it makes busy weeknights and how well it locks in simple flavors. Also if you're looking to incorporate some more tech into your life you can control this one from your phone!

Okay onto the main even. Delicious Instant Pot Chicken Tacos. This will make enough for 4 adults.

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts
1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
½ can of water
1 brown onion (diced)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 packet of Sazon seasoning (linked here but you can also find it in the Mexican Aisle of your supermarket)
1 can of pinto or black beans
1 avocado
1 lime
1 cup of Mexican cheese
6-8 soft corn tortillas

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in the instant pot, leaving the lid off and using the Sauté function. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent.
  2. Add the can of tomatoes and ½ can of water into the instant pot. Add the Sazon seasoning packet. Stir ingredients together.
  3. Turn Sauté mode off by hitting Cancel. Add the chicken breasts to the instant pot and cover with the liquid.
  4. Place the instant pot lid on, turn the Venting/Sealing switch to Sealing. Select Poultry and cook for 35 minutes if chicken is defrosted and 55 minutes if the chicken is frozen.
  5. Walk away and let the Instant Pot do its magic.
  6. Okay now come back once you’ve heard the Instant Pot beeping its completion turn the Venting/Sealing valve to venting.
  7. Use the venting time to make a simple guacamole, use a fork to scrap out the inside of an avocado, add the juice of ½ to 1 lime to taste, add some salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Once the Instant Pot has completely vented remove the lid, scoop out 1 cup of the liquid and place in a warm pan along with the drained/rinsed can of beans. Cook for 10 minutes.
  9. While the beans are cooking, pull the chicken breast apart using two forks and top with some of the tomatoes/liquid. Warm up some corn tortillas in your microwave.
  10. Assemble your tacos! Guacamole, chicken, beans and cheese! Add a little chipotle hot sauce if you’re feeling adventurous!





We purchased our Instant Pot on PrimeDay last year - so keep an eye out for that deal!

5/14/2017

Weekend Wrap Up!

This weekend was a good one. On Saturday morning we stopped by a yard sale / craft fair / bake sale fundraiser and found some great little treasures. One of the best finds was this framed stitch work. I love that movie! And on a bad day, Jon has been known to say this to me a time or two.


The other was some pecan brittle, honestly I'm not sure why anyone even bothers with peanuts.

In the afternoon we started the great house hunt of 2017! We're currently renting while we get a better idea of what areas we like and what we are looking for in a house, that being said, please ignore the renters beige paint from the photos in this post. We're starting to get better at narrowing down the areas and home attributes that we're looking for. I'm currently thinking a split level.. Is that crazy? I just love how connected and separate the floor plans are. Plus the time period seems to lend itself to more established neighborhoods with larger lots and more generous rooms. We'll see how that evolves over the next few months.

Sunday - we slept in! And it was glorious! I absolutely love a relaxed Sunday morning. Nothing beats it. We're still getting the apartment together and we shopped a little then completed this little desk space. I'm kind of loving it. It was dead space before today. Just a place to dump our things when we walked in the door. Now it has purpose and function!



The desk and lamp and new, everything else it old and probably from Target or Michael's. I still think I need a different chair. But this one is so comfy that it might take a while for me to get around to that.

Hope you had an awesome weekend! Lucy x




5/12/2017

Five on Friday!

Mid-Mod Side Table

I recently scored this side table for $25 at Habitat for Humanity Restore. Mine isn’t in as great shape but nothing a little sandpaper and love can’t fix! I wouldn’t say I’m hugely into mid mod furniture, but I’m trying it out as a style. I love the dovetail inlay on this.


Bens Folds

We went to see Ben Folds last weekend at the Red Hat Amphitheatre in downtown Raleigh. He’s the best. I’ve been wanting to see him in concert for years and I finally got the opportunity! We had dinner at Beasley’s Chicken + Honey before the show and it was really good – highly recommend if you are visiting Raleigh!


Instant Pot

We’ve had our Instant Pot for over a year now and we still love it! I’m planning on posting a couple of simple Instant Pot recipes shortly. It’s honestly such a time saver and I think because it’s a pressure cooker it really locks in the flavors!

Bond Brothers Beer Company

One of my favorite things about being in a new city is exploring all of the cool things it has to offer. And I have to say I think we found one in Bond Brothers Beer Company in downtown Cary. It’s such a cool brewery. Its dog friendly and they regularly have food trucks. The best thing is their run club! Firstly it makes you feel like you’ve earned a beer – so no need for calorie guilt! It’s such a cool community idea. So many people come out to participate. And lastly they organize other events in the same vein – like the 1km Flip Flop Run, in which they hope to break a world record by having the most participants.


Originals by Adam Grant

I’m currently Originals by Adam Grant reading this book and it’s so good! My new years resolution was to read one non-fiction book per month (so far so good!). If you work in a professional environment I really think it’s a must read. There are so many good insights. One of my favorites is that procrastination isn’t necessarily a bad thing! The reasoning is something like this, the more you procrastinate on a problem the more time you give yourself to mull over it and the more open you are to original solutions right up until your deadline. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been in the shower (its where I think best for some reason) and a solution to something I’ve been procrastinating over just pops into my head. There also a ton of ‘real world’ super interesting and inspiring case studies. Bottom line – read it!