Book Review: The Silkworm

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The Silkworm is the second Cormoran Strike book by Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling (read my review for book 1 here).

Strike has gained some notoriety and success after solving the murder in The Cuckoo’s Calling. When author Owen Quine goes missing, his wife goes to Strike to ask him find her husband. She believes he is hiding out (as he has done before) and she wants Strike to bring him home. But once Strike begins digging into the case, he realizes the Quine hasn’t just gone off the grid for a few days but is actually missing. He has just written a new novel which is somewhat of a tell all of sorts, and that would offend a lot of people if it gets published, and therefore there are a lot of suspects who could be involved.

 

J.K. Rowling does SUCH a good job with these books. I love a mystery and these absolutely do not disappoint. They leave me on the edge of my seat and have me begging for more. If you haven’t read The Cuckoo’s Calling, definitely read that one first, since it is a series. Then move on to this one.

All Things Striped

I have a confession – I have a serious addiction to stripes. I can’t help myself. Half of my closet is striped. Big stripes, small stripes, colorful stripes, black and white stripes. If it is striped, I am going to want it.

 

This isn’t just in my closet, although the primary collection of striped items is in my closet. I have two striped chairs in my living room and striped curtains that I hope will eventually be hung in the living room as well. Our bedding is striped. I am equal opportunity stripe lover.

 

So today, I thought I would share my obsession. You can thank me later. These are just a few of the striped pieces I have my eye on.

all things striped

 

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

 

So do you love stripes as much as I do?

My Meal Prepping + Tips

meal prepping

 

Meal prepping is one of those things I love and hate all at the same time. I love having most of my meals planned and done on Sunday night. I love not having to worry about my meals during the week. I love that it makes me feel really organized and prepared for the week.

 

I hate having to start planning for the week on Saturday (I grocery shop on Saturday). I hate having to do all the prep work and the (sometimes) hours of cooking on Sunday.

 

For me, I love it more than I hate it. Yes, I despise it when I am doing it, but once it is over, I feel so much better about it. It really is a life saver.

 

I am always looking for great meal prepping ideas. So today, I am going to talk about my meal prep and some of the things I make, in case anyone else is looking for ideas too.

 

Breakfast:

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I am really boring. I pretty much eat the same thing for breakfast every week. The only time I don’t is if I made something for breakfast on Sunday that I can eat on during the week.

 

I normally make these omelet bites. It technically makes 12, but I make 10 and have 2 a day. You can use just about any veggies you want in them, but I generally do onion, red bell pepper,  mushrooms and spinach.

 

Lunch:

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A lot of times, I roast a big pan of veggies for my lunch. Sometimes I will make a soup (I recently made this soup and it was delicious). But typically it is veggies. I worry that I don’t get enough veggies, so this is a good way for me to get a variety. Sometimes I add chicken or tuna on top.

 

I also pack myself a snack, usually an orange, too.

 

So this is what I take to work:

 

meal prepping 2

 

My dad and I work together (I pack his lunch for him too), but usually once a week we eat lunch out. So that is why there are only 4 lunches and 4 oranges.

 

Dinner:

 

Since there is only two of us, I typically make 2 things that will last for two nights each. The other night we either have something that is just enough for one night or we might have something left over from Saturday night that we eat. And Friday night is almost always pizza night at our house.

 

These are a few of my favorite meals to make and that are great for making ahead.

 

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10 Minute Lasagna

Note- I usually add either ground turkey meat or portobello mushrooms to this one.

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Chicken Zucchini Casserole

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One Pan Chicken and Potatoes

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White Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti

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30 Minute Skillet Enchiladas 

I normally make the skillet enchiladas on Sunday night and then we eat it again during the week. Side note – I normally add black beans to it, and I use whole wheat tortillas.

 

 

I realize that most people would probably get bored eating the same thing for breakfast (and sometimes lunch) every week. But it makes things a little easier on me. We do get in a bad habit of having the same 5 or 6 dishes for dinner, which I blame on my husband because he requests them. But I really try to make new things a lot, especially on Sunday nights.

 

A few of my meal prep tips:

Make a plan before you go to the grocery store.

Go ahead and plan out your entire week. That way, you don’t have any surprises like you suddenly don’t have enough food for Thursday night.

 

Set aside a few hours on the weekend to cook.

I just don’t have the time to really do much cooking during the week. I work out when I get home, so if I am doing a little cooking, I make sure it is on Monday when I do my BBG so during my breaks I can check on things. So I know that my Sunday afternoons are spent in the kitchen preparing for the week.

 

Prep your ingredients ahead of time.

Even if you don’t want to prepare your actual meals in advance, go ahead and get the ingredients ready. Cook some chicken, roast some veggies, maybe cook a bunch of rice or pasta that could be used in some things. Chop some lettuce for salads. It doesn’t have to be extensive cooking. You could just be getting ahead start.

 

Do you meal prep? What are your favorite make ahead recipes?

How To: Whitewash Brick

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A few weeks ago, I shared our Fireplace Makeover (here). So today I am sharing how I whitewashed our brick.

 

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I was REALLY nervous about doing it. REALLY nervous. We had spent all of this time and money having the brick done, and I was so worried it wasn’t going to look good. You can’t un-paint brick. But I also knew that the brick was way too red for what I wanted.

 

Whitewash Brick 2

 

This is what it looked like before I did the whitewashing. Aren’t the walls beautiful? You can see where the old mantle was, and where we had drawn where the new mantle would be.

 

So I naturally did a ton of research before I did. The one thing that I didn’t do that I would highly recommend doing if you try this was test it on a spare brick. I just went for it.

 

HowToWhitewashBrick

 

The only materials you will need are paint, a paint brush and some sort of rag (I used one of the hubs’ old t-shirts). Generally you use half paint, half water. I ended up watering mine down a little more after I did some because I wanted more brick to show through. I wanted the whitewashing to be pretty light.

Any paint will work. I am pretty sure that I used our trim paint, which is a semi gloss (Benjamin Moore Dove White). The brick absorbs a lot of the paint, so it won’t seem shiny going on. But you can always use a flat or an eggshell if you prefer.

 

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The process-

First, wipe your brick with a damp cloth or towel. Just like any other paint surface, you want it to be clean. It is harder with brick, and little pieces will probably come off. But that is OK.

 

Once you have your half and half mixture, start painting your brick with your paintbrush. I would take it a little section at a time. Then use your old rag and wipe it some. It is going to go on much heavier than it will end up being. The brick absorbs a lot of the paint, but that is why I suggested testing it on a spare brick. Again, you can’t un-paint it. You can always add more paint.

 

Then just keep going. I took it about 2 – 3 bricks at a time. Our fireplace isn’t enormous, and this took me about 30 minutes. It was so easy, and I am so pleased with how it turned out. I really think it softened the look.

 

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Have you tried whitewashing before? Or are you thinking about it?

 

Have a great day!

Light Layers for Spring

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Happy Monday, everyone. I hope you had a great weekend.

Spring dress

 

This time of year can be really hard. It is cool in the morning, warm during the day, and sometimes cooler in the evening. So what the hell do you wear?

Lilly Pulitzer spring layers

 

This is the time of year that my denim jacket is my best friend. I live in layers most of the year anyway (I am super cold natured), but this is when everybody needs to be dressing in layers. When you go to work, it is in the 50s or low 60s. Then you go to lunch and it is in the high 60s or 70s. You leave, and it may be back in the low 60s. You have to dress in layers.

 

And for me, a denim jacket is the best way to go. It is heavy enough to keep you warm, but light enough to be super spring appropriate. Plus, it goes with just about everything (unless you wear a suit or something to work).

 

Another bonus is that a denim jacket just doesn’t go out of style (as long as it isn’t covered in 80s patches or distressed beyond recognition). I have had this one for probably 4 years. It works with most of my closet and is, in my personal opinion, a necessary wardrobe staple for just about everyone.

 

Lilly Pulitzer spring dress

 

And just to talk about the dress for a second… I ordered this from the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale in January. And I have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to break it out of my closet. That is the worst part about the winter After Party sale. I have to wait so long to wear what I buy! But it is finally time to wear this (and all of the other pieces that somehow showed up at my house…)

 

Light layers for spring

Jacket: Gap (similar); Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (similar / similar); Shoes: Sole Society (similar / similar)

 

 

Have a great day!