Amazing Avocado Chicken Salad

Hey, reader! It’s Tera here this week on the blog. I was inspired recently by one of my favorite go-to recipe sites (Six Sister’s Stuff) when they shared their avocado chicken salad. Being a devoted lover of all things avocado, I of course had to try this recipe for myself…immediately. I’m all about delicious and healthy food that is simple to make, that my family loves to eat, and that I can feel good before and after eating it. Oh, and everything avocado. I’m all about that, too. I tried out the recipe, and with some of my own tweaks to it, I wanted to share my rendition of the avocado chicken salad because it’s so delicious and seriously takes about 5 minutes to whip up!

If you keep up with our page, you may have seen the news that I am expecting our second baby in September! For a little lifestyle update, baby and I are doing well, and I am already nearly halfway through my pregnancy! Aside from some mild discomfort, I have my energy back since my first trimester, and I’m feelin’ good! We recently found out that we are having another GIRL, and we are so excited! Little Norah is especially excited for baby sister to get here, and she’s been telling us from the beginning that it was indeed a sister.

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We’re pretty eager to meet her! Much like my first pregnancy, my appetite has increased a bunch these last couple of weeks, and I’ve been trying to keep healthy snacks around the house, along with some meals that are healthy and easy to prepare. Fortunately for me, my daughter (and husband) both love avocado, so anytime I make a batch of this stuff up, it’s gone in no time. What’s that you say? A healthy meal that my finicky toddler LOVES to eat? Obviously, you can count me in every time!

Let’s eat, shall we?

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I made this avocado chicken salad today for lunch–and seriously, I can’t get over how easy this is to prepare. The avocado is used in lieu of mayonnaise, so it makes for a super healthy and guilt free meal! (I apologize in advance for my poor photo quality; I used my iPhone to take these pictures)! Here’s what I did to tweak this original recipe to make it my own, and I think it turned out yummy!

Here’s what you need: *This makes about 4 servings

-2 cups of (cooked) shredded chicken (I usually use rotisserie because I love the flavor)*

-1 avocado, rinsed, pitted and scoop out the pulp

-3/4 cup diced up apple

-1/2 cup chopped walnuts

-1-1 1/2 tablespoon(s) of lime juice

-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

-salt and pepper, to taste

ps. Here’s a crazy fact about me: I do not like cilantro. I know. Crazy. The original recipe (linked above) has cilantro, and if you love it, it would be a great addition!

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Feta makes it betta! (And, croissants of course).

In a medium sized bowl, add the chicken, apples, walnuts and avocado, and using a fork, mash the ingredients all together until the avocado totally coats them. Then, add the garlic powder, salt and pepper, and lime juice and blend all of these into the salad. It tastes the best when you can refrigerate it for a while after making it, but if you’re ready to eat it right away, like for me today, it tastes yummy at room temperature too!

Would you believe me if I told you that was it?! Because, it is! So fresh, and delicious! My family loves eating this salad on a croissant bun, but you could also add a scoop of it to your favorite spring salad and get some extra fruits and greens in your meal! It tastes great either way. The salad should keep for a day or two in the fridge if you seal it air tight, and the added lime juice is meant for both flavor, and also to help the avocado keep its color for a while longer.

Voila! I will be making this chicken salad all spring/summer long. And in case you are doubting the toddler approval of this meal, here is proof that my 2 year old picky pants loves to eat it as much as I do!

What are some of your favorite avocado recipes? I am always looking for fun ways to incorporate even more avocado into my life, because you know, avocado. Happy weekend wishes to our readers! Follow our social media pages to get updates and stay in the loop with our blog happenings!

Peace, love, and avocado,

-Tera, xo

 

Me & My Big Ideas Happy Planners

What a whirlwind life has been lately…

For those of you who have been keeping up with me here on Oak & Earth, you will know 2016 has been a hard one for me thus far. So, you can imagine my excitement when I recently was informed I’d been chosen for an amazing new position at Kendal King Group! My official job title is, “Project Coordinator,” for a new-ish division of the company called Soapbox Insights & Influence.

The really great thing about it is that THEY asked ME to interview! They saw some of my blogging/social media work and apparently thought I could bring fresh perspective to the table. I don’t know about you guys, but I have NEVER had something fall in my lap like that before. After what feels like an awful lot of setbacks and disappointments, I can honestly say this came exactly when I needed it.

So of course, I took this opportunity to buy a new planner I’d been lusting after for weeks from Me & My Big Ideas. Its called a Happy Planner and I chose the “Botanical Garden” design for obvious reasons (Duh – it’s gorgeous). One doesn’t just start a new job without a fancy new planner, right? Right.

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Now that I have it in my hands, I wanted to give you guys my take on it. Hopefully, if you’re in the market for a new planner yourself, this will be a good reference for you.

I chose the “Botanical Garden” design because it had the floral elements that I love, but also had a lot of metallic accents giving it that bit of pizazz that I find myself quite drawn to.

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I love that at the beginning of each month, there are these (I’ll call them) memorabilia pages. I will easily be able to flip back, and reference what my life looked like during any given month – what my goals were, what I was reading, where I traveled, etc. – I think that’s just ingenious. Life is busy. Sometimes we simply don’t have time to journal about it all. Plus, how gorgeous is that page design?

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Two words for you guys. Disc system. Thats right – you can remove and add pages to your Happy Planner with this innovative disc system. Which is great, because they have tons of options for customizing your Happy Planner. And the discs come in different colors too.

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I also purchased the coordinating washi tape and I am so happy with it. Not only is it beautiful and goes perfectly with my planner, but I love being able to use it on other things too! For some reason it makes my whole life feel more organized.. I have especially liked using it to label the essential oil rollers that I make. (Speaking of which – look for my DIY essential oil roller recipes, coming soon!)

The quotes found on the bottom of the (oh-so-spacious) weekly layouts are wonderful. I’m a sucker for a good quote – throw in a nice floral design and I’m sold!

Probably the only thing I don’t love about this planner is that it starts in July. But, it’s an 18-month planner so thats always nice.

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So there you have it! With a great design, super functional layout, and awesome fun features, I can say that I am a happy planner!

*Note* – This is NOT a sponsored post. I was not paid to or asked to write it. I simply wanted to give my honest opinions about a product I am currently using, in hopes that it would help other consumers.

As always, live healthy, and love hard!

-Shelby

PS: Grab a mug from Sweet Water Decor and enjoy a cuppa while laying out all your sweet plans!

HERBventure is Out There: Starting an Indoor Herb Garden

Hello, readers. It’s Bethany here on Oak and Earth today, and I’m so excited to be writing during a time as wonderful as this—Spring.

Being 25 years old, I’ve been living in various apartments and duplexes for about seven years now. While I am completely enamored by the idea of owning my own home, I don’t hate living in an apartment or duplex either! I mean, simple spaces, low utility bills, convenient amenities at your fingertips etc., there’s really a lot to love. But there’s one thing that is always keeping my apartment from having that homey vibe I long for—not having my own garden! When I was little, Spring time meant dirt on my knees, tilling the soil, and eating grapes with my mom as we showered the garden bed with colorful flowers. I even grew my own corn! I miss this so much. If I were to walk outside of my place right now and grow a little garden, the lawn service would mow over it in five minutes flat. Not ideal.

As I have spent years sulking because I can’t grow a full garden, I had never thought about growing one indoors! Thank you, Pinterest, for giving me gardening hope. Instead of waiting for that perfect little starter home, I decided to start one right in my little duplex window sill! I love cooking with fresh herbs, especially in the spring and summer, so I have been thrilled at the thought of my own little indoor herb garden.

Herb2Below, I have listed some questions that I found to be helpful while starting this process:

Purchasing
»
What herbs will I use regularly?
»How many herbs am I comfortable starting out with?
»How obtainable are these herbs for beginners?
»Where can I purchase these herbs and my gardening tools?
»What kind of container will I need for proper growth?

Care
»
How much light do they need?
»Do I have the proper windows for this light? (South facing)
»What type of soil will I need?
»How often do I water them?

Harvesting
»
How will I know when to harvest?
»How do I prep them for cooking?

I found many sites and blogs that answered many of these questions and more, but here are a few sites that I found particularly helpful in my research:

← H E R B V E N T U R E →

I have never planted herbs before, so this herb-venture is completely new to me, and I am fully aware that I could kill them. Whether they thrive or die, I thought we could go on this journey together!

Choosing My Herbs

Prior to purchasing my herbs, I did a lot of thorough research. Besides the links above, I also asked my girls of Oak and Earth about their experiences! We all have been in a planting mood lately, so it’s been really fun chatting about what works and what doesn’t. Instead of starting from seeds, which can be very challenging, I decided to get the herbs from the garden section at Lowe’s. I chose to plant Italian Oregano, Spearmint, and Cilantro. Cilantro in my fresh salsa, mint in that refreshing Mojito, and oregano in a tossed summer pasta? That’s the goal! If you’re not sure what herbs to start with, both of the sites I linked above give a great list of herbs that are able to thrive indoors!

Potting My Herbs

Finding the proper pots is imperative to growth, and I wanted to make sure mine had a good draining hole (be sure to read up on this). They’re going to be a part of your home, so you also want to make sure they fit your style profile! There are a ton of ideas for different potting, shelving, and re-purposing indoor plants on Pinterest. Should they do well, I’m excited to try some of them. I wanted to keep it simple to start out, so I decided to paint my own terracotta pots! Painting them allows you to add your personal touch, and it made for a really fun project. I really love how they turned out, and they fit perfectly in my South facing window.

As I watered them today, I was wondering what their story will be this summer. Do they flourish? Do they die? Do they almost die but I swoop in to nurse them back to health? My hope is that they flourish enough to harvest! I have eaten my home grown corn on the cob as a child, and I am more than excited to cook with my fresh herbs as an adult. Either way, I am just giddy at the thought of taking care of my little herb babies.

Come summer, I’ll be sure to do an updated post about my herbs (dead or alive). I really hope that this gives you fellow apartment-living folk some great ideas! If you enjoyed reading this, you might also want to check out Shelby’s beginners guide to planting succulents here. Please feel free to keep up with our stories a little bit easier by following us on social media! You can follow me on Instagram @BethanyMPoteet. If you like the “Let Your Love Grow Tall” banner in the background of my photos, I got it from our friend Sarah’s shop @PinAndThreadCo. You should definitely check her out, she has some adorable home decor! We have a lot of fun Spring-themed posts in store, so be sure to keep visiting Oak and Earth! In a home big or small, gardening is for all. Thanks for reading!

Happy Spring!

-Bethany

 

Chasing Our Purpose

 

 

For me, and I feel for many of you who might be reading this, knowing our purpose and feeling like we are fulfilling that purpose can be something of a struggle. There are many days when I am sitting at home with my daughter, that I let my mind wander to all of the things I think God may have for my future: my purpose. My dream of running a children’s bookstore (I blame Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks for this), my passion for women’s ministry, my love for writing…I wonder if someday, one of these dreams will be where my purpose is fulfilled. I wonder if the plan God had made for me even before I was born will come to be in another 10 years from now, 15 years, 5?

I believe that while these may all be great things, there is a danger in waiting around for our moment. It is a skewed perspective and mind set to think that the purpose God has called us to is something that we work toward, and then one day we’ve arrived. I’m not saying that God doesn’t want or allow our dreams to come to fruition, or that if we work hard at something, we won’t be blessed with the fruits of our harvest! What I feel the danger is, is going about our day to day feeling as if there is no real purpose if it isn’t our ultimate purpose, and consequently, often times finding a lack of joy in our lives–especially when we are in a season that is less than joyful.

It’s easy to get in this rut! I’ve been there, many times, and I have to remind myself that there is such a meaningful purpose in every season I go through. As a stay at home mom, the schedule can feel a bit mundane at times, the days can feel doubly long at times, and it can be totally exhausting. Though Norah brings my heart so much joy and I truly love being able to stay home with her, these are the times when it is easy to feel like I am not doing enough; that maybe God has another hat for me to add to my collection (as if I’d really have the time). I lose sight of the great importance my purpose today holds with being a mother, even and especially in the mundane.

Sometimes, if we haven’t landed our dream job, or we’re working our way through college and are unsure about our major, or we haven’t met the one, or we’re a stay at home parent, we can get caught up in this rut. We compare our lives to a standard in our own heads, and when it doesn’t measure up, we start to wonder what our purpose really is. “What am I really supposed to be doing? When will I feel unstuck?”

Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb. All the days ordained for me were recorded in your scroll before one of them came into existence.” Psalm 139:16 (NET)

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When my flesh is tempted to feel this way, this verse reminds me that not one of my days here on earth is unknown to the Lord. That God created every hour of my life with a purpose. I may never have a distinct moment of arrival for my purpose, because my purpose is stitched into each new day, and in every season of life I am in. Sometimes His purpose for me may be a waiting period, so He can stretch my faith and grow me before He unveils a plan with greater responsibility. Sometimes it’s to teach me, sometimes it is to let my heart heal, sometimes it’s to take me out of my comfort zone, sometimes it’s a time of preparation of my mind and spirit- (the list could go on).

I truly believe that God’s purpose for us today (yes, even in that place we feel is a rut) is just as important and imperative as His purpose for us tomorrow and the next day. There is purpose and reason for every circumstance! Whether we are waiting for a new job opportunity, or whether we are discovering our passions and chucking our way through school (one all-nighter at a time), or whether we’re at home with our little ones, where the days can seem so long at times–there is purpose. Shifting our focus from “chasing our purpose” to making God our purpose and our center, wherever we are at, allows us to see how He’s using each season to teach us and prepare us for the next season. Waiting for our “arrival” to our life’s purpose is a never-ending road; you’ve arrived already! Live out each day knowing that God has distinct purpose and importance within it!

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31 (ESV)

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Peace and Love!

-Tera, xo