Our Own Green

Two or so weeks ago, at the end of April, even though we were having a mini cold snap (40s/50s and grey and raining/snowing/sleeting), Spring had really and truly sprung. The trees were in full bloom, the air smelled like cut grass, and I was missing my garden in PA. Our balcony actually gets very decent sun, so I figured that planters were the way to go. Nothing too ambitious -- honestly there was enough going on anyway, without anything else living to consider -- but some green that was all ours.

I've talked before about figuring out something I want, and wanting it right that second. There was so much going on in that week, and I was fighting my normal impulse to do all the things right now. I was ready for the green, but didn't want to plant things too early so that I was going to end up with a planter in my living room when the inevitable next snowstorm hit. 

Once May hit though, and it popped up into the 70s and 80s (and showed similar temps for the next few weeks), I was really having trouble holding myself back. A free morning arose, and I was off to the nursery! 

Gwen and I worked together in the afternoon, and it was a quick job to get everything set up. 

Peppers (habaneros and sweet bells), lavender, and mint; then a pretty pot of flowers to even it out. 

It's so nice having our own bit of green to enjoy. I love the smell of flowers and earth! And I look forward to cooking with some lavender. 

Daisy approves. 

I love the way it looks from below too. Little pops of color on our balcony!

Its just so nice to have some green, all our own, to do with what we want.
Who else has a garden -- of any size! -- going this year? 


A Birthday Surprise!

Well, originally it was going to be a surprise, but in the end it seemed better to let people know beforehand. Still a weekend trip to Pennsylvania to visit with my parent's (for my Dad's birthday and Mother's Day) is as good as any surprise!

Back in March, Trav was scouting out some airline trips and realized that there were some really inexpensive, non-stop flights to Philly in May. It was just too good to pass up, and that's how I ended up heading to the airport on Thursday the 12th, after Yoga Teacher Training to grab my first red-eye.

Frankly, the timing was perfect. We all needed a bit of a break from each other. I'm going to be honest, the last week or so, we'd been at each other's throats. Bickering, picking, and loosing all patience. So it was with gratitude and relief that I said goodbye to my boy and my girl, and boarded the plane.

I'm not going to lie, it was a bit exhausting sleeping for a interrupted 1-hour over the course of 3 hours on a plane, but it was made easier by being greeted at the airport by our amazing PA neighbor, Joe! Not only did he pick me up, but he let me borrow a car for the weekend as well. Have I mentioned how much we've missed those generous people?!

I headed straight up to my parent's place, then we headed out for some much needed breakfast. A little hot chocolate, and a big plate of eggs benedict, and I was ready to rally!

We spent a few hours relaxing, then headed into Bethlehem where we walked around some shops, ate a late lunch, then headed over to drive around Lehigh for a bit. I directed my parent's through campus, showed them the hall named after my Mom's Grandfather, and enjoyed that Lehigh is just as beautiful as ever! 

After that we headed down the hill to Godfrey Daniels, to catch a really wonderful show. We were back to their place just after 11 o'clock, and after almost 40 hours awake, I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow!

The next two days was a mix of reading, eating, relaxing. There were some errands with my Mom thrown in, and a little bit of yoga...

And we baked a cake I'll tell you more about later...

And we just enjoyed each others' company.

Monday it was time to start the trip home. I dropped the car off with the neighbors and walked to the same train station I'd taken to work everyday for 10 years! It was a little surreal. As was my subsequent visit to my old work, and getting to squeeze my Tally-le! It was great to catch up, however quickly, before it was time to hop on the train to the airport.

My train ride out was right on time, and my time in the airport went quickly, as I made a friend over some Chickie's & Pete's Crab Fries and a Cheesesteak! The flight itself was a bit bumpy at times, but otherwise easy. A girlfriend picked me up at the airport and I was walking in my door a little after 9, almost exactly 4 days after I left.

Overall, it was such a lovely trip, and only makes me more excited for July!


Wordless Wednesday {Mothers Day}

New necklace!

What did your Mother's Day look like?

I hope you had a very happy Mother's Day: whether you carry your baby in your hopes, in your womb, in your arms, in your thoughts or only in your heart, my wish is that you felt loved and appreciated on that day and everyday.


Curried Chicken Salad

The other week as I was reading through Good Life Farm, I also had a mind to what I would be eating at yoga teacher training the next day (one of our weekend days). Because of vacation travel (and recovery), I hadn't made my normal quinoa salad and I'd already finished the cole slaw that had fed me during the week. 

I encountered Sarah's Curried Chicken Salad, and knew that an adaptation of that would hit the spot perfectly. We already had roasted chicken in the fridge, just waiting to be used up, so I knew it would just be a quick job to shredded that up. 

My normal chicken salad prep involves a bit of mayo, some salt and pepper, some shallot, and TONS of dill. I mean, I add enough dill, and then I add two times more. I love dill. So that is my go to. But Sarah's recipe peaked my interest and I had to give my own version a shot. 

I gathered a container of one of my new favorite yogurts (coconut - Icelandic style, as thick as Greek, less sugar), as well as the spices I wanted to use: curry powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom (I'm officially addicted), and my favorite garlic parsley sea salt grinder.

Throw in enough of the yogurt to cover all the chicken, then start adding seasonings. Here's the thing: I never measure for things like this. Generally speaking, for my single serving, I only did one good shake of cinnamon and nutmeg, two shakes of cardamom and garlic/salt/parsley, and three or more of the curry powder. Taste, and add more as needed.

After that I added a small scoop of raisins, one small carrot sliced and diced up, and a small scoop of crushed pecans. It's not pretty to look at, but it was amazingly delicious and pretty healthy too, as far as chicken salads go! I ate it with a few almond crackers, and it filled me up nicely.

What's your favorite chicken salad recipe?