Let’s waste no time and dive right into my Pinterest Projects!
I’ve been on a cleaning, purging and organizing tear the past few weeks. No area of the house is safe, no object immune from my scrutiny. With our impending move this fall, we need to lighten our load. As of 2013, Ryan & I will have moved EIGHT times in FIVE years. Some stuff we’ve been dragging around that whole time without getting much use. Well, no more! If we haven’t used or worn the item in the past year, it’s gone. (for the most part)
This post got me started, I think.
I use green onions in spurts. Often I’ll buy them and they go bad without me ever opening the bag. (for shame) This has saved those poor onions. It works! The onions remain green and fresh and what’s best- you only have to chop once!
These always look so yummy when they pop up on my feed. Not sure if it’s cause I used frozen and then thawed squash but they were a dud. I squeezed every last ounce of water out but still, they were soggy. Sad.
I’m eating mostly primal/Paleo these days and always on the hunt for a new fun way to eat my old favorites. This one was ok. More of a pizza stir fry than salad. I think I’ll stick with my cauliflower pizza crust instead.
(No picture for this one as the website won’t allow it.)
Yes! Make these! They are A-W-E-S-O-M-E! Granted, I did tweak the recipe a bit using Paula Deen’s since I found the ingredient list rather boring. I used a small can of crab and basically halved the recipe. I stuck with the coconut flour, red onion, garlic and salt & pepper. I used regular mayo and since we didn’t have chipotle powder I went with Paula’s spice combination and added: Worcestershire sauce, lemon, cayenne powder and dry mustard powder. I fried them up in coconut oil and WOAH. So delicious and moist inside, crispy on the outside. I made a Remoulade sauce to go along with it and served it to myself on a bed of shredded romaine lettuce. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
I don’t know that you should ever include the words “cheap” and “meat” in the recipe title because that’s what this tasted like. Maybe I cooked it wrong? Probably not though since I know how to follow directions. This was a disappointing meal. I’m just glad I wasn’t serving it to Ryan or we both would’ve gone hungry! Don’t recommend trying it.
One word- Yes. One thousands times, YES. I made this using leftover spaghetti squash from a meal we had earlier in the week. I’d estimate I had about 1/2 squash, maybe a little less. I eyeballed the measurements, used a combination of sour cream and Chobani Plain Yogurt (for added protein) and maybe a pinch too much cayenne pepper. But this came out delicious. I ate the whole loaf pan for dinner. I’m considering going to the store today just to buy another squash so I can make it again. It’s that good.
As with zucchini bread, once the squash is cooked in enough sugar and other yummy stuff, it loses any flavor it once had, which is not necessarily a bad thing. You can hide zucchini in a plethora of food items should you have a picky eater. Ryan was definitely fooled. To quote him, “Stop tricking me into eating healthy food!”. I cannot do that honey. Sorry.
These turned out yummy. More cake-like that I typically like from brownies but I’m wondering if I added too much baking powder or not enough zucchini (I only had 1 cup, not 1 1/2 as the recipe calls for). Regardless, they were delicious enough to make again and add to my growing repertoire of favorite Paleo recipes.
These I made using coconut chips from Tropical Traditions instead of the coconut butter it calls for. I do have the butter, but I wanted to use the chips since I had them on hand. I also added chopped hazelnuts instead of walnuts because I like the flavor combination of hazelnuts and dark chocolate. So, I didn’t really follow this recipe at all except that I credit it for giving the idea in the first place! Basically, melt chocolate, add nuts or whatever and freeze. Done!
Despite the lovely picture below, mine were not this pretty. They leaked while cooking and fell apart after cooling. Next time I’m going to shred the coconut chips in the food processor before attempting again.
I know, I promised more “projects” instead of just food but this is what I’ve been doing lately- eating! Also lots of working out and being a mom. Hang tight… in a few more weeks Liam will be SIX MONTHS OLD!!!
In this edition of Pinterest Projects I’m going to share my successes as well as failures. Thankfully I’ve had more of the former and less of the latter. So far I’ve been focusing more on the food portion of Pinterest but I’m hoping with Liam becoming more independent, I’ll be able to do some house projects as well. Already this week I’ve painted the dresser that we use as the downstairs diaper change staging area. It’s been sitting on my To Do list for, oh… 7 months? Back to Pinterest-
I am obsessed with cauliflower. I probably eat 1-2 heads a week. Usually I just roast it with olive oil and salt, sometimes I also add curry powder, but when I stumbled upon this low-carb alternative to rice, I had to try it. And I love it! It’s quick and super easy and I prefer it to the taste of rice.
This is one of those “recipes” on Pinterest I’m often like… DUH. Who needs instructions for this? But Pinterest is not just instructions, it’s also a place to organize ideas. Seeing the picture of this reminded me I wanted to make some flavored water. I made a half gallon of this and drank it all within the day. I used lime instead of lemon and added it individually to the glasses because I find when lime sits in water it gets really bitter. I forgot the mint and it was still yummy!
Chocolate Covered Katie has a ton of yummy dairy-free milkshake recipe ideas. I’ve used many of them since cutting back on my dairy intake. This is one of my favorites. I also love the strawberry. I have the pineapple float with coconut ice cream on my list for the next round of Pinterest Projects.
Emily is one of my dear friends and my go-to for many recipe and food ideas. These zucchini boats have been a regular in my lunch rotation for months now. I make 4-6 and freeze them. This way if Liam needs a lot of holding that day and I can’t cook, I can still have a super delicious lunch that is healthy and full of protein.
More cauliflower? Yes! Another low-carb swap that is delicious and Ryan approved! The crust needs to be baked completely before you try to top it and I’ve found flipping it after it’s cooked on the bottom really helps the consistency of this crust.
Loved these!!! I mentioned to Ryan a few weeks ago that we never have cooked carrots as a side for dinner. I don’t know if it’s cause we didn’t really eat them when I was a kid, but I figured I’d give it a shot. These are delicious! I’m obsessed with roasting anything and everything and these have been added to that list.
Ryan loves to make fresh salsa but often spends an hour doing it between chopping the tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, etc. We used the food processor this time and yeah… never chopping again. This recipe calls for canned tomatoes but we used fresh. It’s delicious and a more even taste than a chunkier pico de gallo type salsa we used to make. Highly recommended!
I wish I would’ve taken a picture of the atrocity that my strawberries were because it was bad. They were black and gross. Recipe says 3 hours at 210` but I ended up having to cook them for closer to 5 to get them dried but then they were burnt. Don’t make these, it’s a waste of food.
This wasn’t very good. I think the egg included made it taste gross but I ended up trashing this because it wasn’t what I expected. The website says it’s more of a “custard” type dish, which it is, so just be prepared for that.
This didn’t do anything. The grapes were still coated with gunk and the apples were waxy after soaking. I usually wash my fruits & vegetables with Dr. Bronner’s castille lemon soap. You can pick up a jug of it at Trader Joe’s for super cheap.
That’s it for now. Happy Pinning! And get out there and make some of those pins!
Not sure how many of you out there are as obsessed with this wonderful tool as I am, but I love it! It’s so much easier to keep track of my “To Do One Day” than with various folders on my email. It’s visually stimulating and not as much of a time suck as Facebook or Twitter. I’ve made it my goal the past few weeks to actually do or make the things I pin and not just forget about them. Once a week I’m going to try and share the things I’ve done to keep myself motivated to blog and provide my readers with some good ideas and yummy food recipes!
Here are some recipes I’ve made in the past few weeks with my thoughts. I’m linking rather than re-typing the recipes so you’ll visit the original poster’s website. Scrolling through, I’m starting to realize how I’ve put on 10 lbs!
Yum. Yum. YUM. Make these. Mine came out lighter than those pictured above, probably due to the almond flour I used. I ate them without powdered sugar but that was because I brought them in the car. These were not only a hit with me, my mom and my grandma but also my dad. THE DON liked these grain free doughnuts. This is a big deal for those who know my Daddy and should show you how “normal” they taste. They’re much more filling and satisfying than your typical Dunkin’ Donut or Krispy Kreme, in my opinion. Of course, they’re not as sweet either but I actually felt good about eating these donuts.
There are a few other recipes I’m hoping to try out since getting my new pan.
Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts with Creamy Horseradish Sauce by Food Strong
I love Brussels sprouts. Like LOVE them. I have a favorite recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking and I’ve made many, many times over. You can find it HERE.
On to this recipe. I thought I would love it. I really wanted to love it. I did not love it. I’m not sure if it was the fact the bacon ended up not being as crispy as I’d hoped but it kinda ruined the dish for me. The roasted Brussels sprouts were yummy but didn’t have much of a flavor until the sauce came into play. I used sour cream for the creamy horseradish sauce and it was delicious. I could eat the sauce alone by the spoonful. I probably wouldn’t make the dish again as the recipe stands. I’ll cook the bacon separately and add it at the end, once it’s already crispy and delicious.
These things kick ass. Ryan ate about half the pan, even after finding out they’re Paleo. I halved the recipe and it was a big enough pan for us. It uses a lot of almond butter (calls for 16 oz) but it’s worth it. I used agave syrup and Hershey’s dark chocolate chips. My mouth is watering just thinking about this. I need another pan. It’s healthy, right? The only thing I missed while eating these was the tall glass of cold milk to go along with it.
I’m kind of an Amazon addict. There I said it. I buy anything and everything on Amazon. You would get a kick out of my 30 day shopping history- oil filters & car oil, granola bars, trail mix, baking mix, razor blades, doughnut pan, vitamins, dog food, almond butter, nursing pads, and a case of gluten free cake mix. The last item is the important one in this featured recipe. It’s a quick and easy way to make cookies but they do taste kinda weird. Not my favorite. They’d do in a pinch but I won’t be making it again.
If you’re still interested in using cake mix to make cookies, try Adventures of a DIY Mom’s recipe for Cake Batter Snickerdoodles. For some reason, the cake batter flavor works better with the snickerdoodle cookie than the chocolate chip.
Toted on Pinterest as “Texas Trash”, this stuff is good. I brought it as an appetizer for a dinner get together and everyone loved it. I used the leftovers for burritos later in the week. The only things I did differently was making the refried beans from scratch which was SUPER easy with canned beans and leftover bacon grease. I also bought a shredded blend of Mexican cheese. As long as you’re not trying to cut back on dairy like I am now, this is bound to be a hit with everyone.
Some of you might not know that I worked at Starbucks for a few years back in college and again when we were in Nashville. I’m a bit of a coffee snob and most things I try to make a home do not stack up. This recipe does. I guess it’s the cold brewing of the coffee that makes it so delicious but if you’re like my dad, you won’t even need milk with this coffee. There is no bitterness like when you hot brew a cup and let it cool. It was messy when the time came to strain the coffee grounds but after a few times, I’m sure it gets easier.
I wasn’t a fan of the cream featured on this recipe and ended up using some vanilla syrup and half & half. I want to try this Vanilla-Almond Iced Coffee using almond or coconut milk instead of the half & half. Sweetened condensed milk seems to be ok for me, I had some in a Cuban coffee and a Thai coffee without issue while in Richmond last week but I can’t use that as my sole mixer since I’m also trying to cut back on sugar! Oye… I’m still experimenting with my morning coffee ritual since cutting milk dairy. It’s tough for me, I won’t lie!
So I hope this post has introduced you to some new recipes you’ll try after my experimentation and reviews. This next week I’ll continue to focus on primal/Paleo and gluten-free recipes which are still delicious and easy to make.
Yep, this Friday Big L will be 4 months old. He’s the light of our lives and grows and changes on the daily. He’s babbling like crazy, loves to watch Daddy sing and play guitar, blow bubbles, play with Sophie, go on walks with Momma, be carried in the Didymos wrap or Ergo or Boba (though front carries are getting harder these days). I think he’s around 17 lbs? Definitely outgrown 3 month clothes and probably fits into 6 month if I ever dressed him. He’s so much happier in just a diaper. He’s been using his little potty regularly now after naps and when I notice him making his cues. With Ryan still on midnight shift, we’re not able to use the room for naps so I’ve been getting by downstairs but he does sleep so much better in bed where it’s dark and quiet and comfortable for him.
He’s getting better at standing and balancing. No real signs of crawling yet but he’s got great head control and is overall a strong little guy! He loves being read to already and really looks at the pictures when I hold the book in front of him. We read Goodnight Moon every night and he really responds well to the routine. When the book is over, he knows it’s time to nurse and he starts making his snorting “I’m ready for milk” noise. It’s really quite adorable. We’ve been blessed with a wonderful night sleeper. Since Ryan leaves for work at 11:30pm, Liam and I sleep in the bed alone. We usually go upstairs around 9 or 10 every night and he’ll sleep hard (waking to dream feed every few hours) until at least 8 or 9 the next morning. Since our tv got fried in an electrical storm, I’ve been reading a lot in bed!
I’ve been getting out and being more active the past few weeks. I cut out gluten again and my energy level sky rocketed! (I slipped back into a bad diet after our move.) Now I’m focusing on Paleo recipes and trying to eat that way whenever possible. With my inactivity, I put on about 10 lbs after dropping down quite dramatically after Liam’s birth. Time to get serious about my weight loss again. I feel yucky and look yucky so I’m back on the straight and narrow with some specific goals I’m working towards. They’re in a scattered order but you get the idea.
1. Fit back into ALL of my pants. That means you size 4 Lucky’s!!
2. Walk/jog 5 days a week for at least 45 min. Already on week 2 of this and going strong!
3. Insanity workout with my Navy wife buddy, Brittany 3 times a week (is that enough Brit??)
4. Diet plan- Cut out sugar whenever possible in my foods, make more things ahead of time so I have them on hand when I need to eat but L is fussy. This was my biggest downfall when it came to gluten… Crackers and cheese don’t require two hands to prepare or eat and when you’re nursing ’round the clock, you have to eat eventually. Now I have real food to make sure I still eat well. Emily at Joyful Abode has some of my favorite recipes. Already in my kitchen are grain-free Graham crackers, egg frittatas, and fixins for dairy free piña colada smoothies.
Which brings me to my next dietary change- cutting out milk. I’m still allowing myself cheese, butter, and mayo but for now no straight dairy like yogurt, ice cream, or milk. I’ve been struggling with a weird stomach thing that wakes me up at with severe nausea and pain for a few months now, which I think might be related to a dairy allergy. I cut out milk three days ago and haven’t had the pain since. I’m hoping it also helps with Liam’s spit up problem but I’m not counting on it!
So that’s it for now. I’ll work on these things for the next few months & am confident I’ll notice a change quickly. I just got lazy… Imagine that with a newborn, part-time working from home job, two dogs and a house to maintain that I wouldn’t have time to work out! Of course, those things are all still my responsibilities but after a few months, I think I’ve got the hang of it a little better now. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself!
Since today was our “official” due date, I figured it would be appropriate to write our birth story as best I can remember it. Parts of it are hazy but I tried to take notes during the early stages so I could recant it accurately. Here goes-
I started prodromal labor on January 30th around 2pm. It was the first time I’d had steady, painful contractions for more than a few minutes. I had an appointment the following day and the OB confirmed I had started early labor after hooking me up to the monitor. Of course, I didn’t know that I had two more weeks of nonsense before Liam decided it was time to arrive. You can read my prodromal labor lamentations in earlier posts.
Fast forward to Valentine’s Day. I woke up with contractions pretty strong that morning and started saying to myself “You are going into labor” “You are going to have your baby today” over and over again. I noticed when I said the mantras to myself the contractions would get stronger and not fade out like they had been doing the previous weeks. I tried to put the eagerness in the back of my mind as Ryan and I ran errands and attempted to stay busy during the day. Thankfully his job the past month has been pretty relaxed so he has been able to be home with me which was really nice for walking the dogs and helping me with stuff around the house. We made chicken parm that night and I kept having contractions. These were definitely different but how different? I didn’t want to sound the alarm and go to the hospital, only to be sent home. I had seen the OB the day before and I was dilated a bit more but labor hadn’t kick started or anything. At about 10pm I told Ryan we should probably head to the hospital.
Side note- some of you may be wondering why we went to the hospital since we had planned on a homebirth. A few weeks prior to me going into labor, Ryan & I made the difficult decision to switch our care to the OB team and birth at Highland Park hospital instead of at home. Most of the reasons are personal having to do with the midwife and NONE of them have to do with homebirth in an of itself. We still believe it is the best way to birth a baby and after Liam was born, found ourselves on many occasions wishing we were home. However, you need to be 100% on the same page with not only your spouse but your birthing team and bottom line: we weren’t. Fortunately I’d found the OB team who I was really comfortable with and while making the switch was hard and definitely stressful for me (I worried about interventions out of the OB team’s control) I’m really happy we did it. As I said before, the only downside the birthing in the hospital was the interruptions after Liam was born. It felt like someone was always coming in and out of the room to check on me or him or both of us. We left as soon as possible the next day and had a much better time relaxing at home.
Ok… so we arrived at the hospital around 11 and I was 3cm dilated, about 1/2 cm more than at my appointment the day before. My contractions were steady at about 8 minutes (since this is my second baby, and Aden was born early they wanted me to come in when the contractions were 7-8 min apart instead of 5). After they hooked me to the monitor, Ryan & I walked the halls for about 15 minutes until I was tired. Checked again and I was dilated to 4cm. They decided to admit me at 2am since it was clear active labor was just around the corner.
I tried to sleep but was pretty amped up with excitement and the contractions were impossible to ignore throughout the night. They slowed down around 5am and I worried that I was going to be sent home but the nurse assured me we were on our way to having a baby and they weren’t sending me anywhere. Ryan left around 6 to take the dogs to the boarding facility and I went for a walk in the halls. At 8am my water broke. Ryan showed up at 8:15. I got in the shower and was having what I would call painful period cramps. Nothing too difficult to deal with but definitely worth paying attention to. I got out of the shower and walked around the room a bit, sat on the birth ball and felt the contractions grow stronger with each minute.
I think they checked me again around 9 and I was at 5cm, my cervix had completely moved forward and things were moving along nicely. It was quite painful at this point. I used groaning and swaying with Ryan to try to and ease the pain at the height of each contraction. I remember having the urge to pee over and over and being glad there was a bathroom so close to the area where I was laboring. During the really painful points, I visualized running a marathon and how it feels to be halfway through- utterly spent and wanting to give up but then, how amazing it feels to cross the finish line. I tried to envision that and work towards the goal of crossing the finish line. Temporary pain for long term gain.
At 10am they checked me and I was at 6cm. Transition hit. Here’s where I start to lose it. I’m crying with every contraction and telling Ryan “no, no”, shaking my head. I’m sure I said “I can’t do this” a few times. I would groan when the contraction started and then be crying by the time it was over. The nursing team was in and out of the room this whole time, whispering and getting things set up to deliver. Never once did they ask me if I wanted pain medication. Never once did they bother me except when I was hyperventalting and the nurse got in my face and helped me breathe slowly. Ryan was steadfast in our birth plan- “You CAN do this. Remember why we chose this. Do it for our son. You can handle this. It will be over soon.” Those are the phrases that stick out to me a week later. He didn’t cave, despite the fact I was in obvious agony, and for that I am so, SO thankful. To be honest, Liam was born so fast by the time they would’ve gotten drugs in me, it would’ve been too late but I’m so proud of myself for not even asking for them. I wanted to, believe me. But part of me didn’t want to let Ryan down and the other part knew I was doing the best thing for our child.
I vaguely remember the nurse telling me to let her know when I got the urge to push. I have no idea what time it was but probably 10:30/10:40 and I REALLY needed to push. Dr. Wong rushed in and said “Are you ready to have your baby?” or something to that effect. I think I probably just cried.
With Ryan on one side and the nurse on the other, I pushed through three contractions. I probably could’ve gotten him out in two but I was hoping to not tear too badly and knew he needed to essentially help me push him out so I took breaks even when they were telling me to push. Someone had grabbed me an oxygen mask because I was having a hard time breathing, probably due to my asthma and heart PVC’s but I’m SO grateful it was there because I needed it a few times during the pushing stage. Ryan was right next to me, telling me how great I was doing and that he could see the head. Next thing I knew, he was out. After two weeks and two days of pre-labor and 3 hours of active labor Liam Angelo was born on 2/15 at 10:58am, weighing 9.2 lbs! and 20.5 inches. Our little bundle of joy.
They gave him to me immediately and we waited for the cord to stop pulsing. Ryan cut the cord and they took Liam over to the table to “pink” him up a bit. I forgot to ask what his Apgar score was but they gave him right back and I laid him on my chest, skin to skin. Dr. Wong put in a few stitches, helped me deliver my placenta and it was all over. Minutes later, I got Liam to latch. The room cleared out and it was just us.
We were able to leave the hospital the next afternoon. The boys were understandably very curious when they were introduced to their little brother but have been absolutely great with him. They get concerned when they hear him cry but don’t bark like they used to when hearing babies on tv. They come up to us when I’m nursing and lick his head and try to sit on my lap. They seem very protective of him.
So that’s it. The story of Liam’s birth. I am beyond proud of myself for doing it completely drug free including labor augmenting pitocin and any pain medication. I wish I’d been calmer during transition but I’m not ashamed at how I got through the pain. It was purely instinctual. My birth experience was SO fast and for that I am thankful because I’m not sure I could’ve taken more than a few hours of the intense pain. Bottom line: I delivered a 9 pound baby without drugs. I AM AWESOME!
I’m going to try and post weekly Liam updates/milestones as we go but no promises. I was pretty good about keeping up with the pregnancy posts but it may be a little difficult some weeks. I do want to document our journey as he grows and believe this is the best way to do it so I’m hoping I can be consistent with it. They grow so fast and I want to remember each and every step of the way. Here are some pictures from Liam’s birth day-
Here you go! You cannot tell me there is only one child in there. Look at the size of my stomach at WEEK SEVEN!!!
Now that I’m officially showing, I’ll have a less ghetto set up for my Baby Bump pictures. Ryan promises to set up the tripod so we can take it in the exact spot every week but we’ve both been beat so it hasn’t been a top priority. But now that I’m showing it totally is!
Okay… now the winners from the Bands by Becky giveaway!!!
#7 & #2 - Jessica & Clara!! CONGRATULATIONS! (Send me an email or Facebook message with your address & which one you’d like to have so I can forward the info to Becky)
For those that didn’t win, remember to check out Becky’s website and buy one for yourself. I promise you’ll love them!
A few years ago we bought a juicer on eBay for pretty cheap. We love to make all types of concoctions but my personal favorite is “green” juice. Here’s what I do:
Juicing is hard work!
Juicer in action.
Our Olympic juicer is actually an older version of an Omega 4000 but works like a dream.
Changing the filter halfway ensures the juicer doesn’t bounce around like an unevenly filled washing machine.
Finished product- delicious and healthy!
Have you heard about Instagram? It’s amazing and I think everyone should join. If you do, look me up!
In progress pillow project. Ryan thinks it looks like a boob but I see potential where he sees nipple.
Gluten free treats arrived from Jennie’s! Can’t wait to test and review them.
My favorite snack on the way to work. Have you read my Ode to Chobani yet??
I am thankful for my cruciferous vegetables. Not to be confused with carnivorous. I absolutely L-O-V-E cauliflower and broccoli and Brussels sprouts. I know my parents probably think I’ve lost it, but since going vegetarian, I cannot get enough of these delicious recipes and now, I will share them with you.
Originally by The Barefoot Contessa, The Amateur Gourmet has a great step by step recipe that I followed to get create magnificent dish. I am hooked. I’ve already made it two days in a row, it is just that good.
This is such a quick and easy recipe that is done in the crockpot. You just “Set it, and forget it!” Super delicious, even your biggest hater will love it.
From my most favorite restaurant in the world- Sweet Water! The only things I change with this recipe is I use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water as it seems to give it more flavor. I also add half & half instead of sour cream but it also depends on what I have on hand.
So there you have it. My most favorite vegetable recipes I cook pretty much every week. Yay veggies!!