Sunday, August 31, 2014

What's In Your Beach Bag?

Okay, people, it's the end of the summer.  At least, as defined by the fact that it is Labor Day weekend, the unofficial marker of the end of the summer.

I am just a wee bit excited because not only are we spending the last weekend of the summer at the beach...we're spending the entire week at the beach!  After living in California for most of my life, we moved to Colorado last spring.  There are no beaches in Colorado.  At least not any that touch an actual ocean.  Suddenly, I miss the beach.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 22 Weeks

Happy Friday, friends!  It's the Friday before a big weekend -- Labor Day Weekend -- and I hope that you are ready to enjoy the last big weekend of the summer...

I've been a bit irregular about posting my pregnancy updates; I was technically 22 weeks along last Friday so for those of you trying to match up dates and weeks, here are links to previous updates and the "official" date of the photo provided in each update...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WIAW #16: Summer Vegetable Gratin

It's the last week of summer and I've been trying to make the most of summer veggies.  One of the dishes we've really been enjoying is vegetable gratins, and we've been experimenting with all kinds of veggies in our gratin.  Recipe available at the end of this post...

But first, a quick peek at a day of eating.  After all, it's time to link up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

I'm So Glad You Blogged Today

Happy Monday!  Did you blog today?

If so, I want to thank you.

Your posts, your thoughts, your ideas, are what I love most about the blogosphere.  Ever since I returned to blogging at the start of this year, I'm so glad I did.  Sure, there are days where I suffer from writer's block or feel like I don't have anything important to say.  But whether I blog or not, I know that I can count on my fellow bloggers to keep inspiring me, keep motivating me, and keep me company on days when I need it.

So here's a celebration of why I enjoy being part of the blogging community.  I hope this pick-me-up gets your week started just as it did mine, as I wrote down these warm & fuzzy thoughts on a quiet Sunday evening.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Stuck in Bed

Doesn't that sound like fun?  Being stuck in bed?

It was fun.  For the first four hours.

I woke up Monday with what looked like pink eye.  I prayed it wasn't.  By lunchtime, I was pretty sure it was conjunctivitis.  I decided to wait a day and see what happened.  By mid-day Tuesday, I called the advice nurse (saves me a trip to the doctor) and asked if pink eye could be detrimental to my pregnancy (answer: no).

The advice nurse also advised to look out for a temperature above 100.7.  If that happened or I had any pains in the belly, I was to call back immediately.  Otherwise, as long as the contaminated eye did not excrete yellow or green pus, I did not experience sudden loss of vision, or any other serious changes, I was advised that the pink eye should be resolved on it's own in 5-7 days.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Little R&R

Hi friends, I'm out for some R&R as I recover from the pink eye and sore throat combo that has hit me hard.  The doctor suspects a little viral infection.

I was in bed most of Monday and Tuesday... yesterday I had this lovely miso soup and tried to return to "normal life" but wasn't quite ready.  I hope to be back on Friday as close to good as new as possible.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Random Monday

I woke up this morning feeling a little under the weather.  And possible pink eye.  I've been up for awhile now (and I've had my coffee) and I no longer think it's pink eye, but I am still feeling pretty low on energy, so I'm going to keep this post short and sweet: a few scattered thoughts for Monday.

1.  I think I worked out a little too hard this weekend.  Last Friday, I mentioned some of my favorite things about Colorado including the beauty in the mountains.  We spent the weekend in Breckenridge, and this was my first time catching a glimpse of ski resort, without the snow, in the summer time.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Five: Colorado!

Do I Have You Thinking About Winter Already?
It's Friday!  This weekend, we're headed off to explore some Colorado mountain country -- specifically Breckenridge - and I can't wait to enjoy a change of scenery, some scenic hiking, and some fresh mountain air.  

Until we moved from California to Colorado last spring, I can't say I knew much about Colorado except that it has great skiing.  We've only been in Colorado for a year, but there's so much we already love.  Having lived near an ocean at every point in my life up until now, I have to concede that moving to the middle of the country has been an adjustment.

I'm linking up with Courtney from Eat, Run, Pray DC, Cynthia from You Signed Up for What, and Mar from Mar on the Run.  They are the hostesses of the Friday Five Link Up, which you might want to check out!  But let's get to it: What I Love About Colorado...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Eight Dishes I Hope to Master in the Kitchen

Happy Wednesday!  Today, I'd normally join in the What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) link-up party with Jenn from Peas & Crayons, but this Wednesday, I'm going to take a slightly different turn.  Partly because I haven't taken any food photos in the last couple of days (gasp!).

I love food.  Up until I became a mother, my search for good food was limited to the food I could find eating out.  I found it a hassle to try and cook for two people as I hated leftovers (I still do, although not as much), and it was difficult to find recipes that were designed for two.  Cutting recipes in half wasn't always practical, and, honestly, pre-motherhood, I worked long hours and was barely home except for the weekends.  My husband and I both ate our meals out at work and after work on the weekdays.  We did some cooking on the weekend.

Now that I've been at home for three years, I've learned to embrace the quality of food made at home.  Food made in your kitchen is almost always superior to the food you will find at restaurants (except maybe those 3 and 4 star restaurants where a meal costs a small fortune).

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sugar Sensitivity!

You know how sometimes you just have to let go on a good habit and live a little?  Well, I overdid it a little with sugar this past weekend.

One of the most surprising discoveries I made after I switched to a more Paleo lifestyle this past March is how much sugar affects me.  Up until this year, I hadn't really thought too much about how what I ate affected me; I had just focused on the general advice to try and eat a diet with lot of fruits and vegetables and minimize intake of processed foods.  I figured if I was cooking more of my food or eating freshly made food at restaurants, then I was on the right track.

Although it took me a good 6-8 weeks to give up my addiction to sugar, I did it, and I no longer eat much processed sugar.  I've cut most sugar out of my daily diet.  I used to have the biggest sweet tooth, and could not go an evening without a piece of dark chocolate or a dessert (think brownie, luscious slice of tiramisu, chocolate chip cookie).  I now treat sweets the way I imagine they used to back before cane sugar was readily available: I'll generally have a tiny amount of dessert at a birthday or during the holidays, but even then, I really hold back compared to how I used to enjoy sweets.

There ARE days -- outside of holidays and special events -- when I make poor food choices, and when I do, I quickly remember why I no longer eat those foods.  This weekend was one of those times.  I wasn't paying attention to the sugar in what I was eating, and guess what, I ate too much sugar.  Here are some of the sugar indulgences I partook in on Saturday -- all but one of them made me feel awful afterwards.  In some cases, it was a worthwhile indulgence, but in most of the cases, I realized I am better off without processed sugar in my life!

Hot chocolate - I used to be a big mocha drinker (hello Starbucks!) but now I drink my coffee with just a splash of whole milk.  I only had half of my hot chocolate during brunch and before we even left the restaurant, I had a headache from the sugar in my drink, and then an energy slump afterwards.

Pulled pork sandwich - we went to the local county fair on Saturday and the pulled pork sandwich just sounded too good to pass up.  I tend to forget that most pulled pork is often cooked with or topped with barbecue sauce.  Most barbecue sauces are made with sugar.  The question is, how much sugar.  Apparently, this sandwich had a barbecue sauce with way too much sugar, because I had another energy slump after having the sandwich.

Caramel pecan cheesecake - every once in a while, I have a hankering for cheesecake.  I can make a slice of cheesecake last a surprisingly long time.  I ate a third of my caramel pecan cheesecake ever so slowly.  It was delicious.  Every.  Single.  Bite.  I don't know if it's the fat-sugar ratio or the fact that I ate so little of it, but I did not feel awful afterwards.

Fruit smoothie - this one I should have known better.  It was late afternoon and I was thirsty.  I figured I'd order the smallest size possible -- and then here was the worst part -- I poured a third of it into a separate cup for my son to have (he loves smoothies).  I didn't even finish the remaining two-thirds that were mine, when I realized -- again -- the sugar was too much.

I spent the rest of Saturday drinking lots and lots of water to "flush" out my system.  Then I spent Sunday making good Paleo choices and avoiding all sugar -- including fruit.  By Sunday night I was feeling energetic and happy again.

Do you have a sweet tooth?  What is your relationship with sugar?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 20 Weeks

Happy Friday, friends!  Today marks the end of 20 weeks of pregnancy... that's right, I'm halfway there.  Hard to believe, given that a mere month ago, I was just out of the woods (1st trimester / morning sickness hell).  My last pregnancy update was three weeks ago, so we're well overdue for another update.

If you haven't been along for the pregnancy ride, here are the other updates I've posted so far:
Pregnancy Update: 14 Weeks
Pregnancy Update: 17 Weeks

At the week 17 update, I asked you all for guesses on the baby gender...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

WIAW #15: Baked Eggs (Recipe)

I am super excited about sharing my eats this Wednesday because this week, I am sharing food all of which I made myself.  That's right, I am finally back to coking full time!

I'm joining Jenn from Peas and Crayons for her lovely Wednesday link up party where everyone shares their food...and I often get inspired to make new things.  So come and check it out!

One of the big changes this week is I am shifting further to eating more Paleo again.  After a huge shift away from Paleo (thanks to my pregnancy), there is now less bread and pasta in my diet and more veggies and protein.  I am not 100% Paleo, but much closer to the 80/20 approach I was happy with before I became pregnant.  So here is what I ate Wednesday Tuesday:

Monday, August 4, 2014

Weekend in Pictures

The weekend went WAAAY too quickly...probably because it was jam-packed with lots to do.  We've been in Colorado for over a year, and there are still so many places and so many events to go to that we haven't hit up yet!  Although I didn't cross off any of the items on my Summer Wish List, we really made the most of this weekend.

I have to warn you to get your scrolling finger ready, because this post is photo-heavy!

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