Monday, September 29, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 27 Weeks

Happy Monday, friends!  It's been two weeks since my last pregnancy update.  Although I don't think it really shows in the photos above, I've definitely gained some more weight and I  definitely feel bigger.  I've gone for a couple of walks in the last two weeks, and I've noticed that at points during my walk, I might feel a little tightness in my abdomen and find that I have to slow down during my walk.  It's also getting harder to do housework (less bending over these days!) and finding a comfortable position to sleep in at night can be a challenge.

Weeks along: 27 weeks.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Meal Planning: Sept 28 - Oct 4

Last week's meal planning idea of creating categories for each night was so inspirational, I'm continuing the theme with this week's meal planning.

Here are some hits from last week's meal plan:
Recipe: Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala (Real Simple)

Soup: Escarole & Little Meatball Soup (I omitted the grain to make it Paleo)
Salad: Apple and Escarole Salad with Blue Cheese & Hazelnuts (I swapped out Feta for the Blue Cheese)

My husband was a huge fan of soup & salad night, so I've kept that for Monday, but I've changed most of the other themes/categories to keep the inspiration up.  Like last week, I'm listing several options for each night's cooking theme in the hopes that one of them will appeal to you (and me!).

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Five: Favorite Fall Activities

Fall is definitely in the air here in more leaving the windows open at night -- it gets too cold in the house if we do that!

Today I'm linking up with CourtneyMar, and Cynthia, the hostesses of a lovely Friday Five linkup.  The theme today is Favorite Fall Activities.

I'm going to jump right into it...I'm feeling fall-ish with the weather changes, the return of pumpkin flavored coffee drinks, and leaves a-changing color.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Travel Thursday: Washington DC Neighborhoods

Hi, welcome to my first installment of Travel Thursday!  This week, I'm going somewhere I visited recently...Washington D.C!

When you think of visiting Washington D.C., what do you think of?  The museums?  The memorials?  The White House?

We were only at our nation's capital for four days, and we did hit up several museums, the Lincoln Memorial, and the reflecting pool, to name a few spots.  I'll probably talk about those places in a future post, but not today.  I mean, people always talk about these popular tourist spots, right?!

One of my favorite things to do when I visit a new place is to try and see where the locals hang out.  Of course, trying to figure out what neighborhoods to hit up when you're not familiar with the area can be a challenge.  I consulted a friend of mine who is originally from the area and she recommended several neighborhoods.  In the end, it came down to accessibility.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WIAW #19: Pregnancy Eats

As I move into my third trimester, I'm trying to pay more attention to what I'm eating.  Weight gain has been good - not too much, and not too little, but I'm already feeling heavy, so I want to make sure I'm putting on weight healthily and making smart food choices.

I've re-embraced meal planning and put together a meal plan I'm loving for this week.  So far, I've cooked two great dinners that the family has enjoyed.

In making food choices, I have my good days and I have a few bad days here and there, but I'm mostly doing well:

Folic acid.  In addition to what I get from my prenatal vitamins, I've discovered that escarole is a good source of folic acid and fiber and high in vitamin A and K.  It's good in salads and in soups... and I've been on a bit of soup kick, so I've been looking for ways to eat escarole.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Supermama Moments

Every once in a while, I feel like super mama.  These moments may be fleeting, but they are worth celebrating.  Being a mama is alot of work - a juggling act most days - and it's easy to feel like the world is conspiring against being a good mama.  Let's face it, being mother to one (or many) kids is a reward in itself, whether we get recognized by those we love or not.

In no particular order, here are some of my favorite super mama moments:

1. I wake up on a Monday and feel ready to take on the day.

2. The laundry basket is only half full.

3. The refrigerator is not a complete chaotic mess.

4. When I think about who I am, "mom" is the first word that comes to mind.

5. I remember to look at the monthly calendar and pay the bills a week early.

6. My son gives me a hug and says "I love you!" for no apparent reason.

7. Dinner ends up on the table on time.  And everyone is eating a slightly personalized plate of food.

8. My husband says "Thank you" for whatever reason: a delicious meal, a clean house, or for just being me.

9.  A total stranger tells you, "You're a great mom," based on observing you in public.

What is your favorite moment (in recent memory) that made you feel like a super mama?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Canneles, Dinosaurs, and a Bike Ride

Fall may finally be here in Colorado.  Although it was hot all week last week (high 80s), there was a definite cool down on Saturday & Sunday, with a crisp feel in the air.

My weekend started on Friday morning with a visit to one of my favorite coffee shops, Aviano Coffee.  They have great tasting coffee, and amazing pastries.  I ordered an iced Angeleno (espresso, milk, and cocoa) and a cannele (a French pastry with a custardy interior and a caramelized crust).  Definitely an indulgence.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Meal Planning: September 21 - 27

I'm back in the meal planning game!  It's been awhile since I've put any forethought into what I might make for the week, but my husband has gone Paleo which means it helps to know what we'll be making for dinner for the whole week.

I'm only listing dinner plans.  If I get better at this, maybe I'll include breakfast and lunch plans. :-)

In the past, when I've done meal planning, I've found that I have trouble sticking to the plan when it gets too specific, so I'm going to try something different and go with "categories" -- or themes -- for each night.  I may still end up mixing things up (grilling on Sunday night instead of Thursday night for example), but hopefully, I'll hit each theme (I've given myself a leftovers night and a night to eat out to keep it realistic).

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Five

It's Friday!  I'm ready to enjoy today --especially given my Thursday: I decided to spend the ENTIRE day with my son, which meant keeping him home from Montessori school so that we could spend some quality mom-son time together: a morning walk, tumbling class, lunch together (hello soup & salad bar, where kids eat free!), and then a nice long nap (he slept from 1-3:30pm!), followed by more time outdoors.  However, all that one-on-one time left me exhausted by the end of the day.

What am I going to do when I have two kids?!

No time to dwell on that right now.  I'm looking forward to the weekend!  I'll leave you with five random thoughts I've got on the brain right now...  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Travel is my Panacea

It's been over a week since I returned from a 10-day trip to the Outer Banks and Washington, D.C.  With baby girl due at the end of the year, the trip was my last plane travel for awhile, and probably my last trip out of state for sometime, so I really enjoyed every last minute of it.

I took TONS of photos to remember the trip by.

I savored every moment, every meal, every view that I came upon.

I didn't want it to end.

When my little girl is born this coming December, this will mark my second time around as a mama, so I know what to expect when the baby comes: very little sleep, very little time for me, and very little time to do anything much except take care of the baby and myself.  I'm sure I'll be missing the opportunity to travel very much.  Whenever I take a trip, near or far, I find myself returning home a happier person.  Travel is my panacea.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Day in the Life: When Hubby's Away

Happy Wednesday, friends!  This Wednesday, I'm linking up with Jenn from Peas and Crayons, the queen of link up parties with her What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) series.
I'm sharing eats from Tuesday along with events from the day.  My husband is out of town this week - his third week in a row of business trips.  When my husband is out of town, I try and mix it up a little -- more eating out and more time away from the house so that it doesn't feel as lonely at home.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Treat Day for Mama

One of the most important things we mamas can do for ourselves is make an effort to take out some time for ourselves.  As my husband likes to say, "If mama's not happy, nobody's happy."

It's difficult to find time for myself on the weekends because that's when we try to maximize family time, so last Friday, I planned a "me" day around a haircut I already had scheduled.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 25 Weeks

It's been three weeks since my last pregnancy update... I'm going to make a real effort to try to get back to providing an update every two weeks.  Vacation kinda got in the way, so I missed the 24 week update.  The good news is the weather is cooling down, so my pregnancy photos will now include shots of me wearing something other than shorts!!

I gained 3.5 pounds while I was on vacation, thanks to all the great food we had while we were in the Outer Banks.  Renting a house means you get to enjoy lots of home cooked meals, and my mother-in-law made some great eats.  The weight gain was welcome, as I am little under the expected weight gain given how far along I am.

Weeks along: 25 weeks (as of 9/12)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Health(ier) Loaded Nachos!

Happy Friday, friends!  With the weekend upon us, I thought it would be fun to share a recipe for comfort food.  After all, the weather is turning, fall is close (or already here), and if you have a football fan in your household, watching a football game at home is always more fun if you have a few snacks on hand.  What better snack to have than a big 'ol plate of nachos?

Now this pregnant mama has been craving nachos for most of my second trimester (read = last three months) and I have been perfecting my loaded nacho recipe.  And not just nachos with cheese, but nachos with the works: beef & beans, pico de gallo, cheese, sour cream, you name it!!

Now I know that when people think of nachos, they think unhealthy.  My version with beef and beans and pico de gallo is certainly healthier than just eating a plate of chips with cheese.  But if you do want to indulge a little, add a little sour cream and a little cheese (instead of mounds of it), and suddenly, we've got an exercise in moderation.  It's all about quantity, people!

Now let's get to how easy it is to make these nachos!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Goodbye, Summer!

For some, summer ended when school started.

For others, maybe it was the start of a new job or moving to a new city to start a new life.

My summer officially ended yesterday, when we returned from a ten day vacation.  It's a hard reality to come to terms with, returning home after vacation.

A week ago, I was on a beach, deciding between reading fashion magazines and doing crossword puzzles.  Today, I'm at home doing laundry, and scrubbing down the house, readying it for winter.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Outer Banks (OBX)

Happy Friday friends!

We're packing up this lovely Friday morning and wrapping up our trip here in Duck, NC. It's been a lovely week, but now it's time to load everything into a car and make the drive up to Washington DC.  My son and I are meeting my husband there for a quick weekend of sightseeing, and then we'll be heading back to Colorado.

Here are some photos from our week here.  Have a great weekend!

Do you like the beach?
If you could travel to ANY beach in the world, where would you visit?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

WIAW #17: Outer Banks, NC

One of the best things about traveling (in my humble opinion) is getting to eat the local food.  So, the further away from home you go, the higher the probability that the food will taste different (or just plain be different).  As you may know I love food, and traveling is just another excuse to eat some delicious (and different) food!

So come along with me for a peek at what I've been eating during our stay here in the Outer Banks (OBX), NC.  We've been here since Saturday, and we still have a few more days at the beach until we drive to Washington, D.C. for more sightseeing and food!  For today's food celebration, I'm linking up with Jenn from Peas and Crayons for…
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