Monday, November 28, 2011

Giving Thanks

It was strange being all the way across the country for Thanksgiving this year. I think it was the first time we have been away from family for the Holiday. Feeling a little sad and isolated it was hard to think of things to be thankful for at first but I realized that we have been blessed with so much this year! An awesome apartment in a great neighborhood, a job, friends, a church community, a healthy pregnancy, family visits, fun trips, and each other. Sometimes it is easy to forget that Jeff and I have our own little family now. It was nice spending the day together and preparing a special meal for Jeff, the baby, and our friend Matt.

Jeff played in the Turkey bowl with our church in the morning. I had so much fun watching him play! The moment I got near to the playing field I started hearing comments like "we just need to make a bunch of Jeff clones" and "Jeff is amazing!" He had been looking forward to the game for months and it was so nice to see him having fun.

Jeff is in white shorts to the right of the guy in red, just about to make an amazing touchdown

I ended up cooking a full on Thanksgiving dinner for just 3 (1/2) people so needless to say we had a lot of food leftover! I just couldn't bear to do anything less than everything :)

The hardest part was trying to cook everything at once in our tiny kitchen!

On the menu: Turkey, gravy, sausage and apple stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes,  cranberry sauce, green beans,  brown sugar glazed carrots, and crescent rolls

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Family Visit

Ryan and Elizabeth made the long trek here last weekend for a visit! It was so fun having them here and showing them our town and Seattle. We played games and relaxed on Friday to prepare for our big day out on the town on Saturday. We had sandwiches at our favorite shop Paseo then headed down to the Pike Place Market. We spend the afternoon looking at the bazillions of pieces of gum stuck to the gum wall, window shopping, eating the most amazing mini donuts in the world, looking at all beautiful fruits and vegetable stands in the market and getting our holiday drink on at Starbucks.

After that we drove over to the Seattle Center and walked around the space needle. Such a cool building!!

We finished up the night with dinner at Via Tribunali. It was our first time eating there and we were not disappointed. They serve up traditional Italian pizza baked in their wood fired oven. So delicious. For dessert we enjoyed this little treat. A nutella calzone. That's right, a calzone filled with nutella. It tastes better than it looks. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

24 week update

 Technically Im not actually 6 months along today but this is the last week before Im a full 6 months pregnant. Its pretty crazy thinking about how quickly time is passing. In just 3 weeks we will be heading back to Colorado for Christmas (Yay!!). When we get home it will already be nearly January and we will just have a couple of months until our baby boy makes his appearance. We still have so much to do!

 Today the baby is as big as an ear of corn! Thats about 12 inches in length and just over one pound in weight. His brain and his lungs are developing a lot this week, preparing him for the outside world. Feeling and seeing more and more kicks and rolls. It is so relaxing sitting with my hand on my stomach feeling the little guy swim around in there.  As far as bodily changes go I would say that everything is normal. My stomach definitely gets a little bigger every week and Im always surprised when I see it in the mirror! I have still been exercising almost every day but will probably decrease the intensity soon as I tend to have quite a few braxton hicks contractions when I do a lot of cardio. They aren't painful just kind of uncomfortable.

 I have been enjoying working on little projects and further solidifying my "vision" for his nursery. Its already so fun being a mother and getting to prepare the baby's space for him. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

The healthy breakfast "cookie"

I made these delicious oat cookies today and I think you all should make them too. I found the recipe on Blueberry Girl's Blog and modified the recipe a little because I didn't have some of the ingredients on hand. I had one of these before working out this morning and I felt awesome! It has been especially difficult while pregnant to find food with enough substance to sustain me during my workouts in the morning. This did the trick. I've dubbed them Banana Oaties

Banana Oaties
1 1/2 Cups rolled oats
1 Cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup almond meal (or normal flour)
1 cup dried fruit (I used golden raisins, dried cherries, and dried unsweetened cranberries)

2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 TBS Almond butter (peanut butter would taste good too)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla ( i didn't have any vanilla on hand but I think it would definitely add a little something special)

*Heat oven to 350
*Whisk dry ingredients. Add the dried fruit 
*In another bowl mash bananas. Add oil, almond butter, and vanilla if using. Mix until well combined
*Pour wet into dry and mix well
*Drop batter in large spoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and gently pat down each mound 
*Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are brown and a little crispy

  • The original recipe calls for a 1/2 cup of nuts but I did not put any in. After making them I think walnuts would taste the best but these taste great without them too

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Project Nursery: Flannel rag baby quilt

This was such a fun project. Fun and time consuming. Luckily I have a limitless amount of time to work on my sewing! I decided to make this sweet little quilt as soon as I saw it on Pinterest and quickly followed the link to a fairly easy tutorial on Do it yourself divas. It was a lot of fun picking out the fabric, especially because Jo-Anne's had just gotten a new shipment of flannel in! I have found that Im naturally more drawn to more vibrant colors for the baby's room so the fabrics I chose for the quilt coordinate pretty well with the fabric I used for the flags.
                        Flags                                                                                                     Quilt

It took a very long time to cut out each strip of fabric and batting but the sewing itself went fairly quickly!

It was fun laying out each pattern and deciding what I wanted the quilt to look like

And after several days of sewing and trimming and binding (shudder) its finished!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Almond Butter Biscuits

These are some of our favorite biscuits. They go well with pretty much everything and as an added bonus, they are healthy (and even gluten free if desired). Gina over at The Fitnessista highlighted these a few months ago on her blog, very exciting!
I just use one bowl and a two cup measuring cup to avoid dirtying too many dishes.

Almond Butter Biscuits

*2 1/2 C. Almond flour / meal               
*1/4 C. Oat flour (or spelt)
*1/2 tsp salt
*1/2 tsp baking soda
*1/8 C. grapeseed oil
*1/8 C. almond butter
*1/4 C. agave
*2 large eggs
*1 tsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350.
1) Combine dry ingredients
2) Whisk wet ingredients and pour into dry
3) Drop batter by the spoon full onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet
4) Bake for 10-11 min until a little golden on top and a toothpick comes out mainly clean

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Muffins

Several weeks ago we went to a pumpkin patch with some friends

We didn't end up carving our pumpkin so a few nights ago Jeff cut it up for me and I  made a bunch of pumpkin puree. I love cooking with pumpkin because it adds great flavor and moisture to baked goods. These muffins are delicious with a taste similar to Zucchini nut muffins. They are good for breakfast or a snack. I modified the original recipe which I found at Elana's Pantry . The original recipe is gluten free which I am totally fine with but she mentions in her recipe that the muffins are extremely moist in the center. I wanted mine to have a fluffier quality so I substituted 1/2 cup of the almond flour for spelt flour. I also used turbinado sugar instead of agave (only because I didn't have half of a cup). Here is my attempt at artistic cell phone photography.

 Pumpkin Pie Muffins 
adapted from Elana's Pantry

1 cup almond flour (can also make your own with raw almonds and a food processor / blender)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or canola)
½ cup agave nectar or granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree

  • In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients
  • In another bowl beat oil, eggs, and pumpkin until smooth (if using pumpkin chunks puree ingredients in food processor)
  • Pour wet into dry and mix until combined
  • Pour batter into paper lined muffin tins
  • Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes
  • Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

22 week update: Baby

The baby is as long as a spaghetti squash today which, for those of you who don't know, is 11 inches! He also weighs almost a pound. wow! It definitely feels like there is a pound of baby in there. His lips, eyes, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct this week. Apparently he already looks like a tiny newborn but without the much needed weight that he will gain in the next several months.


  • I never thought it would happen but my belly button is more outtie than innie now
  • poor nights sleep - I have tried everything from pillows to drinking a large cup of sleepy time tea right before bed (which doesn't work for obvious reasons) but a good nights sleep is pretty hard to come by these days. 
  • less intense workouts - My muscles get tired much more quickly than they used to. I have been doing fewer elliptical workouts and more walking
  • stronger kicks from the baby - Jeff and I can both feel punches and kicks all the time now. Apparently I woke Jeff up in the middle of the night a few days ago to feel the baby kick...I can't remember because I was sleeping. 
  • Cranky - Im not sure if its the process of getting ready for bed or the time of night that puts me in a bad mood but every night, as soon as I start getting ready for bed, my mood takes a turn for the worse (poor Jeff). It doesn't matter how how much we were laughing and carrying on earlier in the evening, I always get into bed cranky. yuck!
2 weeks until the 6 month mark
5 weeks until my third trimester 
18 weeks until the baby is born

22 week update: Strange happenings

22 weeks and strange things are happening over here. Last night I had the best idea ever: square eggs. So, as you can imagine I spent the entire night thinking about how to make my eggs square. I even had a dream about Jeff cooking me square eggs. Finally I decided to use our it is the only square pan we have. The process was just as easy as I had dreamed. I only used 2 eggs so they were a tad thin (paper thin really). However, I was surprised by how easy it was to flip them! It was just like flipping over a hot, thin, egg blanket.

I found that our regular sized plates aren't big enough for square eggs so to remedy the situation I made a few well placed folds (square eggs fold like a dream).

Pros: quick cooking, square, easy to fold, never undercooked
Cons: extremely thin in some areas, not very much flavor, dry...

Am I deranged in my advanced pregnant state? Perhaps. What I've learned to say at times like these is: "The baby made me do it". 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pregnancy impulse buy #2

Cinnamon Broom!!

The second I walked into Trader Joe's I knew I had to have whatever it was that was making the store smell so amazing. It wasn't even a decision really. This cinnamon scented decorative broom makes the whole apartment smell like fall and the holidays! Thank you Trader Joes

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The smoothie of champions

This my friends is the smoothie of champions (me and Jeff)

Here is what goes into this little miracle

  • 1 frozen banana
  • frozen fruit of choice ( I like pineapple and sometimes blueberries)
  • handful of spinach
  • 4 leaves kale
  • 4 leaves swiss chard
  • 6 florets broccoli
  • 1/2 - 1 cup Almond milk (or juice)
  • 8 Ice cubes

I love this smoothie because it is so versatile. Sometimes I make it with juice if I want it a little sweeter. Sometimes I add in protein powder or almond butter or peanut butter. It tastes really good with dark chocolate almond milk too! 
Another reason I like it is for its obvious health benefits. Being pregnant I have found it hard to want to eat a ton of veggies. Thanks to all the vegetables you can pack in here there is an abundance of fiber, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and Iron in just one smoothie. Experiment to find the ratio of ingredients you like! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Project nursery: fabric banner

I felt like I had to wait to start working on the baby's nursery until we knew the gender. Now that we know, full steam ahead! Designing the nursery is difficult for me because not all of the elements are present so I have just been moving forward slowly, working with colors that I like and focusing on making the room simple and peaceful. Technically, my first sewing project produced these burp cloths:

But I like to think of these banners as the start of my nursery projects. It was so fun making these knowing that they will be for our little boy. I originally got the idea from a nursery that a friend in Colorado put together for her new baby. She posted all of the photos on her blog: From Colorado with Love. I found some great directions here: Fabric banner tutorial, and got to work! It took a very long time to decide on fabric but I eventually found 5 that I really like. I still have one more to go for a total of two but this should give you a good idea of what the finished product looks like.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


This past weekend were able to go to a fun Birthday party for our friend Phil hosted by his wife Kim. They are a lot of fun as you can see:)

She planned a murder mystery dinner and so we got all dressed up in our best 20s inspired clothes and ate appetizers. It was my first murder mystery dinner and it was so much fun! I hate acting so there was none of that going on for me but it was fun watching everyone else get into character. We also got to see/hold Phil's cool guns. Definitely a fun night. Its so nice to be with friends when we are so far from family. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What pregnancy has taught me

Here at 21 weeks of pregnancy I have learned a few things

1) The number of pillows I sleep with in no way means that I will sleep well

2) While duct tape has its merits, it can't compare to the usefulness of a rubber band through the button hole of my jeans doubling as an elastic waist

3) Pregnancy makes putting on a tight pair of jeans after a hot shower about 100 times more difficult not less so

4) Sometimes a good workout means a 30 minute walk and carrying the groceries up to our apartment

5) My body is not my own - its so fun/scary seeing all the changes pregnancy has brought about in my body. I never thought I, at 23, would have the aches and pains that I do now.

6) Healthy eating habits are more important than I ever understood before. Not only do they keep me healthy and strong but the food I eat and the nutrients I get from it are helping me to grow a human!