Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The details aren't complete yet, but it looks like B will be attending a conference in AZ for work in February.  We were going to take a long weekend getaway the next weekend for his birthday and had talked about NYC or Boston (Hi MCW and kHm!!), but now I'm wondering about flying out to meet him in AZ for the rest of the week (Thurs-Sun).  Neither of us has been before, so we don't know if it would be a great trip or a bust. 

Sooooo, tell me....
1.  Is AZ only old people?
2.  The conference is in Pheonix- do we stay there?  Go to Scottsdale?  Sedona?
3.  Besides playing golf in above cities, what is there to do?  Shopping?  Good Food?  I'm assuming, I'd be able to lay by a pool somewhere which would be nice!
4.  Take the babe?  Don't take the babe?  We're leaning towards no, but then B wouldn't see him for a week and that seems like a REALLY long time!
5.  I'll be 29ish weeks preggers- do I want to be in that hot of weather?  Or do I make B fly twice in one month and go out east instead?  I'm used to the cold, but would we appreciate all that Boston and NYC are in the dead of February?

Thoughts?  Ideas?  Help us out, please!!

Thanksgiving Appetizers

We were in charge of appys on Thanksgiving.  I was pretty happy about this as it's truly a way to be so creative on a day when the meal is usually soooo traditional (and I wouldn't have it any other way!).  I scoured pinterest and Annie's Eats (my go to source!) for ideas and here is what we came up with.

pic from Bon Appegeek

Sugared Cranberries.  I don't really like cranberries, but even I thought these were good.  Spencer LOVED them and would have eaten the whole bowl if I let him!  They were easy to make and definitely added some color to the display.  Plus, they were so tiny, everyone could enjoy them without any added guilt!

Baked Brie with apple compote.  I adore baked brie but usually serve it wrapped in crescent rolls with mustard sauce.  This way was awesome and I would definitely make it for any special occasion.  The apple compote is super easy and so delish that you could serve it up alone!  It would also be great just quadrupled and served as a tart- it's that good!

pic from Martha

Cheese straws.  So good, so easy.  I would add cracked pepper to the top prior to baking next time.  It also would be great to experiment with other cheese.  People really liked them.  We doubled the recipe and didn't need to as we had WAY too much to eat!

Roasted garlic.  I wish I had a pic of what we did.  It was everyone's favorite.  We roasted about 7 bulbs of garlic (could've gotten away with 5 for 14 people) for 45 min at 350 after cutting the tops off the bulbs and  drizzling them with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Then we popped them out of the bulbs, mashed them, and served them alongside of roasted cherry tomatoes, toasted bread points, and arugula drizzled with olive oil and balsalmic.  I would call it a wintertime bruschetta.  And I would also call it one of the best things I ate on Thanksgiving!!  We roasted them in muffin tins and covered them with tinfoil while baking.  The muffin tins were perfect as then they weren't rolling around on the tray. 

I would serve all of the above at any fall or wintertime gathering.  No fails this time around.  Yea!  Any of you have fabulous apps that I should consider for our next dinner party?  I've got one coming up this Sunday!! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Silly things I am thankful for


As all of you, I'm incredibly thankful for my family, my friends, the roof over my head, the God I entrust my life to and the health of those I love.  I cannot express my gratitude enough in just a few simple sentences.

I do have other, silly little things that I am so thankful for that definitely make my life just a tiny bit better by them being present.  So, since I'll never be able to do the first paragraph justice, I'm going to share my little things here today.

1.  Maternity pants.  I can't believe I'm already in them (and was at 15 weeks with this baby), but thank goodness they exist.  Regular pants don't even come close to covering this belly unless I'm wearing a bella band over top.  Buttons are just laughing at me, and belts are a thing of the past. 

2.  The Miami Men's Glee Club.  B sang with them in college, and because of that time, he came out with truly amazing friends (some of our best) and, lucky for me, some truly awesome wives and girlfriends.  He was also in a fraternity, and, while he would rave equally about that experience for him, it's the Glee Club friendships that have lived on so strongly for both of us.  I also am slightly (okay, really) obsessed with the recordings we have of them and listen to the cds a lot in the car.  I need them to put another one out for a little variety :)

3.  Warm blankets.  At night when we are winding down from our day, there is nothing like sitting on the couch snuggled up under blankets watching tv, browsing the computer, etc.  I tend to get cold a lot easier than B does, so it's nice to be able to keep the house set to where he likes it and just throw a blankets over top of me. 

4.  Our kitchen island.  Our kitchen definitely needs an update in decor, but the layout was very well designed.  My favorite part of the kitchen is definitely the island.  It's generous in size and can allow both B and I to work comfortably around it without ever having to worry about space.  This is really important this time of year when we are entertaining, baking cookies, or just making fancy dinners for ourselves at home. 

5.  The public library.  I love to read, and if I had to purchase all the books I read, I'd be broke.  Plus, I would hate spending money on a book I know I'll never read again (I'm a definite re-reader).  To me, I really couldn't make it without the library existing.  I get 95% of my books from the library and, even if I have to sit on a waiting list, the cost savings is immense.

6.  Working with children daily.  I've done it now for 12 years as a nurse/nurse practitioner, and for years before that every summer in BV at club.  I love the joy they bring to my life.  I love the hugs I get from the little ones.  I love that I can make a difference (even if it's only for one minute of one day) in their lives. 

7.  Stain stick.  Now that SYT is in the toddler room at daycare, he comes home FILTHY every single day.  Paint, food, whatever it is, it's gross.  I can't do laundry nightly, so being able to put stain stick on his clothes and then wash it two or three days later, really is helpful!! 

8.  My bed.  Because at the end of a long day, there is nothing like it!!!

What's your favorite silly, little thing that you're thankful for?  I'd love to know!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pinterest recipes.....

I made quite a bit of food from my Pinterest board last week.  Some of it was good, some was a bust (I've removed those from my board).  I thought I'd share the hits over here in case anyone was needing some inspiration!

(pic from meal planning 101)

We made this Slow Cooker Tiki Masala for dinner one night.  We also made tumeric basmati rice with peas and naan.  It was delish!!  B enjoyed it numerous days for leftovers (my reflux couldn't handle it, so I had to forgo the leftovers).  There's also a butter chicken recipe on this site that we'll be making in the near future.  It's a little more work and ingredients than your average slow cooker recipe, but 100% worth it.

(pic from Dine and Dish)

(pic from the Craving Chronicles)

(pic from Taste of Home)
On Friday we hosted our neighborhood monthly party, so I made all of the above recipes plus my favorite brownies for everyone to graze on while we chatted, enjoyed cocktails, and played Euchre.  It was a really, really fun night.  These pretzel bites were a huge hit and I made homemade nacho cheese to dip them in.  I had to adjust the recipe a bit b/c I don't have a bread maker, but it was easy to do, and even though they didn't brown as well as the above pic, they were sooooo good.  I ate WAY too many (so did everyone else!).  Definitely something to have on hand for a party evening!  The pumpkin spice donut holes were a perfect fall bite (says B- I didn't end up trying one before they were all gone).  I didn't have mini muffin tins, so I made them in regular muffin tins and then cut them in half prior to the cinnamon sugar step.  The peanut butter chocolate dessert was decadent and so worth every calorie.  If you like chocolate and peanut butter, you MUST try this.  It keeps well for a few days in the fridge too!!

I'm going to post about our Thanksgiving appetizers next week if they're good.  They would be great for a holiday party too! 

Hopefully you all had a wonderful weekend!! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Upcoming Christmas party??

Work parties, dinner parties, cookie decorating parties, dinners out with friends and family, holiday concerts, and church events are going to be in full force in just two weeks.  Do you know what you are wearing yet?  Here are a few ideas below to help you start thinking about what you already have in your closet and what you need to add to it. 

I could see this with a skinny black turtleneck and a fabulous black taffetta sash (sew it yourself!) tied in a big bow in the back.

This would work for numerous occasions with pants or a skirt.  A pair of sparkly earrings or a great bracelet and a clutch and you're all set!

 Love the berry color (Is anyone with me on how hideously this is styled?  Really, cork wedges and taffetta?  Uggg......)

Pair it as styled above with nudes/ivories or with a black sweater, black tights, and black heels to make the skirt the standout piece

 Classic enough to be used year after year with different tops and accessories.

Definitely worth the price too!!

Any of the above catching your eye?  Are you already awash in holiday invites? 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quick weeknight fall dinner

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and decided to try it for dinner this week as the picture couldn't be more delicious looking.  I think B would agree, it was awesome!!  For a quick and easy weeknight dinner, it really can't be beat.  We made cheddar biscuits to go with it, though it would be equally good with a great storebought or homemade focacia bread. 

I did tweak the recipe a bit.  I added another can of tomatoes, another can of white beans, a little extra crushed red pepper, and 16 oz of frozen tortellini rather than the dried (it's just what we already had at home).  I wanted it to be a little heartier (8oz of chicken broth is a LOT!).  I also had a ton of spinach on hand so used that as my leafy green. 

Definitely put this on your weeknight rotation.  You'll love it!!!! 

(We're trying another Pinterest recipe tomorrow night- Tiki Masala.  If it's good, I'll let you know!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday updates

1.  Hosted a baby shower this weekend for B's cousin who lives here.  It was small and lovely with great food and wonderful gifts.  I made the quiches and the muffins, the other hostess made an amazing fruit salad, and her mom brought her favorite couscous salad (I'll try to get the recipe and post it- it was delish!!).  I was surprised at how many people had never made a quiche or a homemade muffin before.  They're both really easy items.  It's moments like that when I know I am my mother's daughter.  Why would you buy store bought muffins when they're so easy to make at home?  Apparently this is not the norm!!

2.  Friday night B went up to hang out with his aunt and grandma who were in town for the shower.  He took Spencer so that they could see and play with him (he was in a good mood- thank you Lord!).  I was able to run two errands on my way home from work, get all the prep work for the quiches done, and make all the muffins before they got home (B had put Spencer down there as he transfers really well).  I had Glee Cast radio on Pandora while I cooked and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the quiet, alone time I had.  It really recharged my batteries to be able to do that!

3.  If you have little kids to buy Christmas presents for, I would definitely check out your TJ Maxx right now.  Our TJs is one of the worst I've ever been in, but the kids' toy section was awesome when I was there this week.  I saw a ton of Melissa and Doug items (puzzles, paint brushes and paints, blocks, musical instruments, etc), all which were priced really well.  In fact, most were priced better than any of the prices I've seen on Zulily or Totsy.  I was very impressed and picked up a few things for Spencer for next summer when the baby comes and he needs something to do!

4.  Thinking about a double stroller is stressing me out!  They're all really big, and I'm just not in love with any that I see.

5.  B wants a new lawnmower for Christmas.  Really, a lawnmower?  And how the heck am I supposed to pick THAT out???  Why can't he want a few new sweaters, a new pair of pants, and some shoes?  That I can manage.  Alas, I'll now spend the next month researching mowers- anyone want to do that legwork for me??

6.  It snowed here last Thursday.  We had mostly a dusting, but about an hour north of here, they had 3 inches!  I suppose this means that I really need to get Spence some boots!

7.  I can't believe I have to wait until May of 2012 to read Veronica Roth's next book (her first, Divergent, is the best book I have read in the last two years, hands down) (If you don't trust my opinion, don't buy it, check it out from the library) (But I promise you'll love it!!).  With Spencer I would always read as I was nursing him, but I'm not sure that will happen this time as I'll have to nurse and keep an eye on SYT.  I'm going to have to have B put Spence down while I do this baby's nighttime feed so that I can get 15 min of reading time per day; otherwise, how else will I know what is happening with Tris and Four????

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to the week ahead! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Need help hydrating

My hair, that is!  I have used numerous deep conditioners over my lifetime, but I've never found one I love.  My favorite is the one above- Biolage products smell amazing, and this one did hydrate pretty well.  I tend to deep condtion once to twice a week, and I'd like to only have to do it once a week (and maybe even every 10 days in the summer).

I was just wondering what deep conditioner you all use and what you love about it.  Smell is important to me (ie- I cannot use Aveda products- yick.)  Any suggestions??? 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Things I need to write down because apparently my memory stinks.

I have very limited memories of being pregnant with Spencer.  I mean, I remember the big stuff, the highlights, and a few of the not so fun moments, but I certainly don't remember many of the details.  I feel horrible about this.  It's only been two years, and I can't remember how long I was nauseous in the first trimester, when I needed to start wearing a different bra, when showering was painful, when it was a pain to shave my legs, if I woke up 3-4 times every night in the first trimester, etc, etc. 

Since I blog (well at least partially) to keep a journal of my life, I want to document this current pregnancy so that, if we ever decide to have a third, I'll be able to look back on this and remember if what is happening now is normal or if my symptoms are different.  This may be stuff a lot of you don't care about, but I need to do this!

*Found out we were pregnant about 4 days after I should have gotten my period.  I took a few pregnancy tests prior to that and they were all negative.  At my dating ultrasound, I was a week behind where I should have been based on my last period, but that makes a lot of sense as to why I had so many negative tests without a period.

*Within one week of finding out, I was nauseous.  With Spencer, I was never nauseous in the morning.  It always hit around 11 and lasted the rest of the day.  This time I've felt gross at all hours of the day.  I have an occasional day where I'll feel fine but at least 5/7 days, my stomach is acting hungover.  No vomitting yet!!   It is helpful if I eat something every 2-3 hours.  Drinking water does not help- just makes me feel seasick.
     Week 14- I feel so much better.  No nausea at all!!!  Woo Hoo!!!

*I'm waking up 3-4 times a night from dreams.  I don't have to pee (I obviously don't drink enough); I must wake up due to the dreams only.  The dreams are incredibly vivid and incredibly weird.  I do remember having vivid dreams with Spencer, but I don't remember them being this frequent.  It often takes me 30 min at least to fall back asleep which is killing me for total sleep time.  There have been studies that state that pregnant women don't have different sleep patterns than other women their age, but I completely disagree.  I have always been an awesome sleeper (and I do require a good night's sleep in order to be a pleasant, well-functioning lady), and this is just killing me.  I'm in week 10 now, and it's not getting any better.  Week 11 is a little better (maybe because I have a killer cold and my body knows it needs rest??)
     Week 14- No more weird dreams.  Must be a first tri thing for me.  Still waking up once a night, usually between 3:45-4:20 and usually for no reason.  I am still not waking up at night to pee (thank goodness!!)

*I don't know if it's due to this being my second pregnancy or if it's the fact that I rarely work out, but I just feel gross about my body right now.  I'm still in all my regular clothes at week 10 (okay one pair of my skinniest pants are definitely tight) and am very comfortable in most, but I just "feel" yucky.  Week 11 now and I'm definitely struggling to be comfortable in my pants.  This sucks.
     Week 14- Sooo much more comfy in maternity pants!  I've been wearing a few of my "bigger" pants as well, but now, mostly maternity.  I have definitely popped and look more pregnant than fat (at least to my eyes!). 

*I am EXHAUSTED this time around.  I know that this wasn't this way with SYT.  I did get really, really tired with him in week 24 (my iron was way low at that time), but I wasn't at all tired in the first tri.  I even remember talking about that with friends- they'd mention how tired they were in the first tri and I had no clue what they were talking about.  Friends, they aren't talking about "I stayed up too late and I'm paying for it the next day." They're saying, "I'm bone tired, I want to nap in the middle of work WHILE people are talking to me, and I absolutely must go to bed by 8 o'clock at least two nights a week."  I am not a sleepy girl usually.  I am a great 10 p.m.- 5:30 sleeper, and I do like to go to bed, but I'm never dragging during the day (and I don't drink caffeine regularly), and I am much more Enegergizer bunny than Slowsky turtle.  This tiredness is just beyond anything I've ever known.
     Week 14- I am much less tired than I was in the first tri.  The trip to CA that I took last week for a conference wiped me out with the time change, but I'm no longer bone tired like I was.  This makes me deliriously happy!!
*Dinner?  Half the time it sounds good, half the time it was something I was craving a few days prior and now sounds disgusting.  B says this was totally me last time too.  I take a few bites, realize how awful it is (even though it is normally one of my favorite meals), and then hand it over to B to finish.  Good thing he's been running like crazy :) 

*Reflux is kicking my butt.  I do remember eating tums with SYT more frequently than when I wasn't pregnant, but this time is definitely worse.  I am constantly burping air and acid up all day long.  If this continues for another month or two, I may have to go on a prescription med b/c this is soooo yucky.  I definitely feel very bloated with air in my tummy a lot which doesn't help the reflux either. 
     Week 14- It's still bad!  Anything with tomato sauce and I'm still tasting it the next day- UGGG!!  I'm still trying to decide if I want to do a daily pill or if tums are enough for me.
*I'm not quite the emotional basketcase that I was the last time.  I've had a few very minor breakdowns but nothing like the Thursdays of my first pregnancy.  I would just sit on the couch and cry though an entire episode of Gray's, even when they weren't sad.  And it happened every single Thursday without fail.  I feel much more stabilized this time.
     Week 14- Still feeling happy!  Yea!!
I know this sounds like a lot of complaints.  It's not (well, a little bit)......it's just the honest to God truth about the first trimester.  It's usually the worst trimester for most people, and I know it's something I just have to get through.  It's also a very nervewracking time as you're trying to hide everything, worrying about miscarrying, and dealing with all the side effects.  But as B would say, all these side effects are there to remind me that I'm still pregnant AND #it gets better!!!  I also know that weeks 18-40 were fine for me (40-41 was a little rough), and it was so worth it in the end.

21 week ultrasound of SYT
1st day home- I still adore this pic!!

We're so lucky, and I really, really am glad to be pregnant again.  Just 25.5 weeks until this little one makes his or her way into the world!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday afternoon play time with mommy.  Oh, yeah, and I got a haircut, so I can finally see again and no longer have a mullet in the back!!