The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Waiting on Wednesday #51: Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory July 27, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Tudor Court #2)

By: Philippa Gregory

Coming: 9 August 2016

Publisher: Touchstone

Summary:

As sisters they share an everlasting bond; As queens they can break each other’s hearts.

“There is only one bond that I trust: between a woman and her sisters. We never take our eyes off each other. In love and in rivalry, we always think of each other.”

When Katherine of Aragon is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure. With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined—with Margaret’s younger sister Mary—to a sisterhood unique in all the world. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland, and France.

United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband James IV of Scotland. But Margaret’s boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son. Mary steals the widowed Margaret’s proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others. As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss, and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.

Why I’m excited:

I love Philippa Gregory’s books. The Cousin’s War series is one of my favourites. I have also enjoyed The Tudor Court series too. I’m very excited to see more of Katherine of Aragon. She’s a fascinating ruler. I’m interested in seeing Margaret Tudor come into play. I recently binge rewatched Reign and I always miss my beloved Scotland.

Why I need you to be excited:

Reign is hugely popular right now, but Philippa Gregory presents a better historical look at the time period. Reign is a guilty pleasure of mine. It kills me how inaccurate it is, but I can’t quit it. I love to jump into the Tudor era and Philippa Gregory is a fantastic author.

 

Top Ten Tuesday #97: Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them July 26, 2016

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them

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  1. Archery. Now, I won archery in high school gym class, but I would love to learn and practice the skill to rival Katniss. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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2. Quidditch. True Harry Potter Quidditch. While the Muggle Quidditch looks entertaining, I would much rather play real Quidditch! Harry Potter by JK Rowling

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3. Epic Road Trip with Friends. I’ve gone on tons of road trips and tons of band trips, but I would love to go on a road trip with friends that doesn’t involve a school bus! Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

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4. Help a soldier/servicemember with PTSD. My step-dad has PTSD and my husband is in the service. PTSD is close to my heart and I think more awareness needs to be raised. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

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5. Explore Prague. I would absolutely love to go to Prague! Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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6. Travel to different Londons. I love our London (Grey London). It would be fascinating to explore the other Londons too. Even if they are fantasy! A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab.

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7. Find Glendower. Not with the intention of obtaining a wish, but just to find him. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.

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8. Explore Paris. I would love to go back to Paris. I would get on a plane in a heartbeat. Die for Me by Amy Plum

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9. Learn the violin. Well, this made me want to learn more. I’ve wanted to learn how to play the violin for ages. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.

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10. Do marching band again. Oh, heavens do I miss marching band! Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols.

What are some things books have left you wanting to learn or do?

 

Friday Feasts #6: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia July 22, 2016

I think it’s only appropriate that today’s Friday Feast post involves seafood while I’m at the beach. Today’s recipe is from HelloFresh and can be found here.

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This was another family pleaser, excluding Bug. She’s still in  her picky stage. I was extremely pleased that I was able to convince Punk to give the tilapia a try. I was the only one who enjoyed the carrots in this recipe. Hubs isn’t a fan of cooked carrots. This was an easy and quick recipe to fix.

Tilapia is a wonderful mild fish. I am not a big seafood fan, but I love tilapia. I really thought I had more pictures from my preparation to show the steps in my post.

I always have a referral code to HelloFresh which takes $40 off of your first box! The code is:

S6RMQS

 

I also occasionally get some boxes that I get to give away for free. Keep an eye out on my Twitter (@armywife2310) for your chance to snag a free box! (New subscriptions only)

 

 

Waiting for Wednesday #50: It’s a Harry Potter Bonanza July 20, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My picks of the week are:

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

By: JK Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne

Coming: 31 July 2016

Publisher: Little Brown UK

Summary:

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

Why I’m excited:

Really? It’s Harry Potter. I don’t need any other reason to be excited! I’m absolutely giddy for more Harry Potter.

Why I need you to be excited:

See above. Nuff said.

 

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

By: JK Rowling

Coming: 19 November 2016

Publisher: Little Brown Book Group

Summary:

J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut is captured in this exciting hardcover edition of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay.

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. Featuring a cast of remarkable characters, this is epic, adventure-packed storytelling at its very best.

Whether an existing fan or new to the wizarding world, this is a perfect addition to any reader’s bookshelf.

Why I’m excited:

While not strictly Harry Potter, but years earlier in the same universe, it’s more of JK Rowling’s wizarding world! I am super excited to see how magical creatures are brought to life. I think Eddie Redmayne is going to be brilliant.

Why I need you to be excited:

It’s more JK Rowling. You should want to read it on that principal!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #96: Top Ten Books Set Outside the US July 19, 2016

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Books Set Outside the US

I decided to go with actual locations other than fantastical realms for this week.

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  1. Die for Me by Amy Plum. Oh, Paris. I love you.

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2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. This book only strengthened by desire to visit Prague!

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3. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. Historical (fantasy) England, but England nonetheless!

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4. Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz. Various locations around Europe, South America, and even Tartarus.

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5. The Falconer trilogy by Elizabeth May. Victorian Scotland!

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6. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. England and Scotland (with visitors from other nations too)

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7. Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. Ireland, England, Russia, and some other locations too!

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8. Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Scotland and France!

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9. His Fair Assassin trilogy by Robin LaFevers. Duchy of Brittany and France.

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10. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Beijing, France, Africa, the Moon.

 

Where have books taken you?

 

 

 

In My Beach Bag July 18, 2016

The kiddos and I are beach bound to Tybee Island this month and I’ve been thinking about what books I’m going to take with me. When we went to Virginia earlier this month, I had books planned too. I always try to have a kindle or physical book on me at all times! You never know when it’ll be needed! So I thought I would write up a post about my beach read choices! I’ve posted about my recommendations, but now I’ll share what’s actually making it in the beach bag. The kiddos have their kindles loaded up with books, games, and movies, so I’ll be able to listen to an audiobook on the drive down again this year. Or even better, I may have the car to myself if they sneak over into Grammy and Grandpa’s car! Whatever the driving arrangements, they’ll have headphones on so it will be blissfully quiet.

First up, I’ll recap what I picked as my reads for Virginia. My hubby’s family lives in Northern Virginia and it’s about a 6-7 hour drive depending on how many stops we need to make. I think it took us closer to 7-8 this year cause we kept getting caught in traffic. So many wrecks! Hubs is big into adult epic fantasy, but sometimes I get him talked into a YA audiobook. This trip, I talked him into:

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

I honestly thought he would enjoy it. It was easily a five star read for me when I read it last summer. I was going to continue on with The Infinite Sea, but decided to wait til The Last Star came out. Now I needed a refresher and I thought hubs would like it. He made it about halfway through before declaring there wasn’t enough action and he wanted to listen to something else. Poo on him. Anyway. I ended up finishing on my own through audio and on ebook. Since he bailed on me, he had me look through my ipod for something else to listen to. He chose:

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Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

I was so excited for this trilogy. I really was. I hated every minute of this book I listened to. I may enjoy it if I read it, but the narrator’s voice got on my ever loving nerves!

We didn’t spend as much time at hubby’s grandfather’s beach cottage as originally planned, so I didn’t do as much reading as I thought I would. I also brought along:

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

I intended on re-starting A Torch Against the Night and reading A Court of Thorns and Roses as a back up, but the mood to go ahead and start ACOTAR hit. I only read about 100 pages though.

Now that we’re Tybee bound and I’m packing our things, it’s time to decide what I’m going to take with me. It’s about a 7 hour drive, so it’ll probably be on the 8ish side with the kiddos and needing to stop for gas. Potentially stopping for my mom to stretch her back some too. She tweaked it recently and it’s still a smidge tender! The kiddos have been with me at the office some and have asked for music in the car instead of one of Mommy’s books, so I haven’t listened to anything since we got back from Virginia. Right now, my plan is either:

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey or The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

I’m really torn on this decision! I should’ve finished The Raven King when I started it, but I got distracted and now I have to start over. Thankfully I’m not too far into it! One of those will be my audiobook. I may be able to swing both of them! At least probably all of The Infinite Sea and part of The Raven King. I need to check times on them.

I also plan on taking:

Gotta have a physical book or two for beach side reading!

If you’re interested in what the kiddos have picked to take with them, you can check it out here!

 

Also! Continuing my three year blogging anniversary celebration, I have another giveaway for you! This giveaway will be international as long as Book Depository delivers to your country. Up for grabs is any 2016 young adult book! It can already be out, or you can pick one to pre-order! I have two more giveaways planned to reveal soon too. Potentially a third! I’m getting so close to 1k followers on Twitter and there will be a giveaway to celebrate that as well! (:

Giveaway!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL (and only open to the countries where Book Depository delivers to) Entrants must be at least 13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open July 18th 2016 (12am EST) through August 20th 2016 (12am EST). No giveaway accounts. I reserve the right to disqualify entries in violation of my giveaway policies (Please see my Site Polices for full polices). All entries WILL be verified. Winner(s) have 48 (FORTY-EIGHT) hours to respond to email/tweet. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor! (:

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Required Summer Reading & Giveaway July 14, 2016

Honesty moment: I HATE required readings. I despise being told what I have to read. I think the only thing in school that I actually read when I was SUPPOSED to read it was my senior year readings. And I didn’t even read all of them! haha. Most things I knew I would have to read a grade or so ahead of time and would read them early. I was big into fanfiction in junior high and high school. I read one about Lily and James during Hogwarts and they did an international magical acting competition. Hogwarts did The Crucible. Enough of it was thrown into the story that I wanted to read the whole play. Eight grade me begged my dad to take me to Barnes & Noble to go pick it up so I could read the whole thing. I did. Not sure if it was over a break or what and my eighth grade English teacher asked if we’d read anything interesting lately. I said The Crucible. She asked if I understood the historical background and all that. (Not only the Salem Witch Trials, but the communism hunt) I did. She was impressed and said a lot of high school juniors didn’t understand it. My thought? They’re idiots! Anyway. That’s one example of one I read beforehand. Others I knew enough about that I could fake my way through it.

Punk is going into kindergarten. He has a required reading list for the summer. Seriously. I was like….. wut? Anyway. While looking at it, I came up with the thought of wondering if I could match YA/MG/Adult books to his list. His are all topics so you could match children’s books to it. I have to admit, this was much easier than I expected except for one topic! Anyway. The topics are Bears, Friends, ABC, Frogs, Fairytales, Ocean Animals, Pets, and Free Choice (this one had me spazzing for a minute until I realised it was whatever book Punk wanted, not literally about free choice!)

Here’s my required summer reading list based off of Punk’s kindergarten list.

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Bears: This was literally the first book that popped into my head. Probably due to me having just finished it when I had this idea. A big theme throughout the book is Sammy’s bear.

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Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Friends: Again, literally the first book I thought of. Reagan and Lilah’s friendship is amazing as is this book. Emery Lord has such an incredible way with words! *sings Emery’s praises for days*

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ABC: This was the one that gave me a the most trouble. I initially thought to leave it at All Fall Down since it’s a children’s rhyme. Then I decided to do books with an A, B, and C in the title. I do have to admit, I haven’t read two of the three of these! I absolutely adore Code Name Verity though. It ripped me to shreds in all the right ways.

All Fall Down by Ally Carter

The Body Electric by Beth Revis

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin

Frogs: Okay, admittedly harder than the others, I finally came up with this one. I remembered the bannerman’s kids who come to join Bran as being from the swamp like area. And I’m pretty sure the boy was good at catching frogs. Or their sigil is a frog. Or something. Anyway. Swamp = froggy in my mind!

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The Hunter’s Moon by OR Melling

Fairytale: Yes, it was incredibly easy to jump to the Cinder conclusion, but I opted to go for a lesser known fairytale series. Woot for Celtic mythology!

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Waterfell by Amalie Howard

Ocean Animals: Obviously I would go for Waterfell! Though it also deals with animals, it talks about the Marianas Trench and various animals in the ocean. Win.

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Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Pets: Pandoras count as pets, right? I mean, they’re pets in a way. At least companions, and let’s face it, cats are not pets. They’re companions at best and definitely supreme overlords.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Free Choice:  Okay, so this one totally fits my initial thought of Free Choice. Feyre is faced with the choice of death or living in Prythian. She’s free to choose. Ha! This also fits free choice as in whatever I want to pick so I went with what I’m currently reading. Double win!

 

Thanks for making it through my post! Also, thank you for three wonderful (crazy) years of blogging. My blogging anniversary was actually on the 9th, but it snuck up on me and I forgot to write up a post. It’s definitely been a rollercoaster ride! Anyway, to celebrate my blogiversary, I have several giveaways I’m going to be hosting in the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled! Up first is a giveaway for any book I have reviewed in the last three years. But! There’s more! I have a list of upcoming reviews that will be posted and those books will be included too. Check out my Reviews tab for a full list of books! Right now there will be one winner, but I might add more winners, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that too.

Giveaway!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL (and only open to the countries where Book Depository delivers to) Entrants must be at least  13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open July 14th 2016 (12am EST) through August 20th 2016 (12am EST). No giveaway accounts. I reserve the right to disqualify entries in violation of my giveaway policies (Please see my Site Polices for full polices). All entries WILL be verified. Winner(s) have 48 (FORTY-EIGHT) hours to respond to email/tweet. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor! (:

 

 

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Waiting on Wednesday #49: Scarlet Witch Vol. 1 by James Robinson July 13, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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Scarlet Witch: Witches’ Road Vol 1

By: James Robinson

Coming: 19 July

Publisher: Marvel

Summary:

Witchcraft is broken – and the SCARLET WITCH is on a journey across the globe to fix it. From the back alleys of Manhattan, to the serene Greek Isles, to the bustling streets of Hong Kong, Wanda will have to face down her foes and find out who her true friends are. But as Wanda solves magical crimes and pieces witchcraft back together, the most important question remains: Who is the mastermind that broke it in the first place? COLLECTING: SCARLET WITCH 1-6, UNCANNY AVENGERS ANNUAL 1

Why I’m excited:

I’ve recently gotten into the comics behind the movies. I liked Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but I really liked her in Captain America: Civil War. I stocked up on comics on Free Comic Book Day, so I started looking into other comics and I found that Scarlet Witch has a new series starting. It’s already out on kindle, but I this is the first few comics in the new series bound in a physical copy.

Why I need you to be excited:

Scarlet Witch was a fascinating secondary character in both Ultron and Civil War. I think this would be a nice break from novels and give you a quick read. (Great if you’re behind on your Goodreads challenge like me!)

 

Top Ten Tuesday #95: Ten Facts About Me July 12, 2016

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Facts About Me

  1. I’m a photographer. I love photography. I really should get off my butt and shoot more photography!
  2. I wanted to get a PhD in French and work as an interpreter for the UN or State Department when I was in high school.
  3. My internet on campus was frozen once when I was researching the Iranian nuclear program for a Model UN assignment. I’m probably still on some watch list for that assignment too haha!
  4. I’m a history glutton. I love studying history. There is so much to be learned from the past to help shape our future.
  5. My favourite colours are cerulean and emerald green.
  6. I hated reading as a child. I liked when people read to me, but I hated reading for myself.
  7. I used to tell people my name was Kimberly cause I wanted to be the Pink Power Ranger so badly.
  8. I’ve been to Europe three times, and want to go back. I love Edinburgh, Paris, London, and Rome.
  9. I want to live on a farm, but I don’t want to work on a farm. I also like living close to town.
  10. Being a mom has been the biggest blessing I never knew I couldn’t live without.

 

Tell me about yourself!

 

Friday Feasts #4: Pan-Roasted Chicken with Dijon Mushroom Sauce and Brown Rice July 8, 2016

This week’s Friday Feasts post is another HelloFresh recipe, but not one that I did as a box. Hubby’s mom came to visit, so we decided against ordering a box that week. However, when I was pausing our subscription, I spotted this recipe. I had to make it. It looked scrumptious and it did NOT disappoint! Once again, this was a family pleaser! The full recipe can be found here.

(HelloFresh’s finished plating and my ingredients!)

Hubs & I love mushrooms, so I did more than called for! I’m enjoying using out herb garden for more than just homemade spaghetti sauce this year. I did have to buy some though since some of ours weren’t ready to start harvesting.

I cut the chicken breasts into smaller chunks so that they could cook a bit faster, and easier to manage once on the plate! The sauce smelled so amazing while it was cooking! I may have taste tested a tad more than necessary. Sheesh. I’m craving this now while I’m working on it! I did also add more garlic than is called for. As usual!

The chicken also smelled good before I let it cook in the sauce for a while. Picky Bug and Punk didn’t like the rice. They’re like their daddy and not a big rice fan. This would be super yummy over some egg noodles or maybe even spaghetti or linguine noodles too. Both kiddos gobbled down their chicken and asked for seconds! My mother-in-law also enjoyed this recipe.

I always have a referral code to HelloFresh which takes $40 off of your first box! The code is:

S6RMQS

 

I also occasionally get some boxes that I get to give away for free. Keep an eye out on my Twitter (@armywife2310) for your chance to snag a free box! (New subscriptions only)

 

What do you think of the Pan Roasted Chicken? Does it sound like a recipe you would try?

 

 
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