Friday Favorites

Happy Halloween friends!

I am not sure I will ever say “it was a slow week”. Not now at least. Perhaps when all four kids have gone off to college? Maybe then.

But hey, I had time to discover, love and share my favorites with you guys so let’s dive into Friday Favorites!

 

Favorite Meal

If you see this brand anywhere, currently at my Costco, buy it! It is so good for a quick meal when you don’t have time to cook (which seems to be happening more and more over here). I love it because it’s not a cuisine I normally cook at home so I feel like it’s a perfect splurge (I normally hate buying ready-made food unless it’s really good). All the dishes are really good. Serve with basmati rice and some veggies and you have a warm supper in no time.

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Favorite Snack

I heard these were good and when I went into Target starving the other week, I was forced to buy them. Verdict? I really like them! And the kids did too which kind of surprised me! I will definitely buy these at Costco next time. Snapea Crisps!

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Favorite Jacket

So like I mentioned last week I have been crazy shopping online. The bad part is I have had to return about 75% of it due to sizing/fit issues. See? That’s why I am Stitch Fix lover all the way. The clothes come to me and I can return them easily in the self-addressed bag and the return shipping is free! And the bag always fits in the mailbox drive-through so I don’t have to walk into the post office to return it. Ok, so I might have made one last try at Ann Taylor with this jacket IF it were on sale.

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Favorite Links

Kale Persimmon Salad with Curry Chickpea Croutons from Healthy Nibbles and Bits -a perfect fall salad!

Chipotle Chili with Tempeh and Butternut Squash from Food Confidence – butternut squash is my favorite!

Homemade Spiced Apple Cider Donuts  from the Spicy RD – why oh why do I not own a donut pan??

Spicy Sweet Baked Chicken Wings  from Jeanette’s Healthy Living – I am sucker for chicken wings!

Black Pepper Shrimp from A Doctor in the House – this dish reminds me of PFChangs which I haven’t been to in probably 5 years. Yum!

 

Favorite Photo

We got our family photos done last month, thankfully it was a gorgeous evening. We do annual family pictures 1) because then I can use the group shot for our Christmas card 2) because who doesn’t want family pictures taken every year? I’ll have to wait to share the photo that is going on our Christmas card, but here is a one of me and the hubs.

 

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Ok, quick post for a quick week! Have a safe Halloween everyone!

 

Questions: what are you loving this week? Any favorites? What are you doing for Halloween?

 

 

A Weekend Away

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I needed to get out. I just needed a change in scenery and a chance to relax and not worry about anything. However traveling with 4 kids can easily counteract any sort of relaxing vacation- the packing, the hauling, the new environment, the lack of sleep (which always happens in new places) so we thought we shouldn’t go anywhere that would require too much energy or time in getting there.

What did we came up with? A log cabin on the river a couple of hours away, in the woods with absolutely nothing on the agenda other than to fish (for the hubby), play (for the kids), zone out and just chill (for me).
We found the perfect spot and was everything I needed.

 

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We were the only ones out on the river- not that we spent much time out there but it was so peaceful.

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I pretty much fell in love with the woods upon arriving here and am trying to convince the hubby to buy out this cabin and move there (he by the way is super excited I am on board with living in the woods, but not sure the buying of the log cabin is going to happen anytime soon).

 

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We ate well that’s for sure. I kept it simple with things the kids would love. Applegate hotdogs, burgers, pizza, biscuits, eggs, bacon and veggies from the garden. I think I put back on the weight I loss last week during my stress-out period!

 

Food

We were given a sourdough starter so we tried making sourdough biscuits- I don’t know why I took a before and not an after picture but they were pretty tasty. We used this recipe.

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And this here my friends, is homemade deep pizza that we’ve been making and perfecting over the years. I’ve got to share the recipe one of these days. It’s amazing. This one is spinach and pepperoni.

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Yeah, I ate like a pig. Don’t judge.

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I even got a chance to do my nails! My first full set of Jamberry nails for me and my sidekick.

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Not only was the cabin perfect, the view amazing, the playground a dream, but the enormous vegetable garden was too good to be true!

I was so giddy just looking around this beautiful garden all weekend, pretending like it was mine, picking things to eat for dinner. What a dream. Makes me want to get serious about gardening next year!

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Zucchini twice as big as my foot!

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Picking me some spaghetti squash!! Yippppeeeee!

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My pumpkin picking a pumpkin

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I walked away with some amazing goodies- 5 pounds of tomato, green beans, garlic, cucumber, a pumpkin, an acorn squash, spaghetti squash and some giant zucchini!

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Anyway, we literally did nothing and it was wonderful!

I read one of my Cooking Light magazines and even started a book that I’ve been meaning to dig into since the summer.

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Sometimes you just have to get close to nature to truly relax from the craziness of life. This is for sure our new home away from home. I can’t wait to go back!

Anyone have a similar happy place?

Hawaii Vacation Recap

I am back from our 3 week vacation in Hawaii. We had a fabulous time and ended up with very spotty wifi so blogging wasn’t doable. Sorry to leave you hanging for that long, but I know you understand!

Since it will take me a little bit longer to get into the groove of blogging, I thought I could share some of vacation with you.

Every other year the majority of our family gathers in Hawaii for a family reunion/vacation. This time we spent 10 days in Kauai and 11 days in Oahu, with our family (my husband’s siblings and their families, my mother-in-law and my parents for the second half). There were 16-17 of us (different for different parts of the trip). Not pictured is my brother-in-law and his family who were there in Kauai but not Oahu.

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My family had been to Kauai before, once for a long weekend when we lived in Hawaii, so we had already seen a lot of the island but the rest of the gang had not been there. We decided to take things a little slower since this time we had 4 children as opposed to the first time when we had 2.

I usually take a TON of pictures but this time around I just felt like it was too much to be lugging the big camera around with all the kids in tow. Baby E, being just 6 months, was enough to worry about and my 2 year old needed constant eyes on him so I just accepted the fact that I wouldn’t have as many photos this year. I got out my real camera a handful of times and the rest was dependent on the iPhone.

So instead of rambling on about everything we did for 3 weeks I figured I would highlight the most memorable moments of the trip

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM VACATION:

-Traveling with a family of 6 in general was simply memorable. I am still in shock that it all went smoothly and we fit all this crap into a minivan (not pictured 3 car seats)!!

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-Poipu beach in Kauai was one of my favorites for it’s amazing snorkeling and Hawaiian beauty.

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-Waimea canyon is a must-see while in Kauai. We did the full hike last time we were there so this time decided to hike a short way to a look-out point. We had our 3 youngest with us and while carrying two of the little ones, the 45 minute round-trip hike was pretty tiring!

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Beach time in Kauai was great- lots of boogie boarding and fabulous weather.

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-One of the coolest things for our family was that our two oldest kiddos learned how to swim! In the last year they’ve had some swim lessons but nothing consistent and in Washington you just don’t swim much. Then when daddy returned from his deployment he took them to a pool twice to practice. They improved a lot, but we knew we’d still have to watch them quite a bit. Literally I think it took two times in the pool before they were both swimming real laps, diving to the bottom, holding their breathe for the length of the pool…actually swimming! Terrible picture I just wanted to remember the moment.

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-Visiting the coffee plantain in Kauai was somethings we did years ago when we lived in Hawaii. We have pictures of our two oldest kids there when they were little. In fact my oldest daughter was almost the same age as baby E when she was there last. It was really cool to bring our kids back there, with two more in tow.

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-Our arrival to Oahu was super exciting. We use to live on Oahu and have such fond memories. We couldn’t wait to get back to our favorite Kailua beach.

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-Three Tables beach in the North Shore of Oahu was gorgeous.

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-Something else that we won’t forget was when Roman (2 1/2 years old) escaped our beach house and walked down to the beach by himself looking for his Uncle. Oops. It didn’t take long for us to enforce the “close all gates at all times” rule.

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-We had a lot of daddy time which was awesome. Since we left short after Toby’s return from Afghanistan it was really nice to have 3 weeks of quality time with him.

-Baby Evangeline slept like crap. Literally it was like having a newborn who wakes every couple hours only worse because it was unexpected.

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-Seeing my 7 year old jump off a man-made diving board into the ocean (like his big cousins did) made me a bit nervous but I was very proud of his bravery as he is usually scared of everything, haha.

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-Baby Evangeline had a busy 3 weeks- she started solids (cereal, veggies and fruits), she cut her 3 tooth (top left tooth) which was most likely some of the reason behind her terrible sleeping pattern.

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She surprisingly chowed down on the green veggies- peas and green beans!

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-Evangaline was also baptized at our old church in Hawaii, the same church her older brother was baptized two years ago when we were vacationing there. It was such a pleasure to have a lot of our family present.

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-Two days before we left there was a huge storm resulting in flooding. We were up throughout the night listening to the waves which sounded like they were going to crash into our room at any moment. My mother in law, sister and law and her hubby had woke up at 3 am found the house flooded and found a wet vac to save the place. Crazy!

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-Catching up with old friends is always wonderful.

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We had a lot of delicious food on our vacation. As I started adding some of those pictures in, I realized this post was already getting pretty long and I was running out of time. So I will be back soon with a separate post about food in Hawaii!

Hope you enjoyed some of my vacation photos!

 

Cooking With Kids & Resurrection Cookies

The kitchen has always been the center of our home. My parent’s kitchen has always been THE place to congregate- there is a huge island and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to their backyard. Whenever I go home, cooking dinner with extending family is what we do. The wine is poured, the appetizers are out and dinner in progress. It’s always such a lovely time. Those face-to-face conversations in the kitchen are priceless and always flow so naturally over cooking food.

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Because of growing up with a focus on the kitchen as a place to gather, I love getting my children involved in cooking. There are four of them but only the two oldest (5 and 7) are at the right age for it. They are always beyond excited when I invite them to cook with me. The kids ask a lot of questions and there is always a story to be told. It’s simply good quality time spent together.

There are so many lessons and skills that kids, or anyone for that matter, can learn in kitchen- patience, confidence, respect, listening skills, science and much more.

Since we are a couple weeks into lent, this past weekend was the perfect time to make these resurrection cookies. My kids are already counting down the days until Easter but I wanted them to remember it’s about more than just the Easter bunny and candy. I love that making these cookies incorporates that very lesson.

Cooking With Kids | www.nutritiouseats.com

I could tell, based on looking at the recipe, that this activity would be more about the story and less about what we were actually making. As I told the story of Jesus’ resurrection the kids became so focused. Sure they wanted to know who got to do the next step in the recipe, but they asked so many questions along the way. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have been able to have that connection with them or hold their attention quite as well if we weren’t in the kitchen cooking.

I want to create memories in the kitchen. I think the best way to do that with young kids is to give them doable jobs like peeling fruits or vegetables, measuring ingredients, pouring and stirring, so that meltdowns are minimized. I make sure to praise them along the way, even though sometimes I have to hold back the urge to take over and do it “the right way”.

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Not only can cooking be such a great tool for teaching, but I think when people cook together, whether those people are big or small, there is a chance to relax and guards come down. I want my kids to continue to be involved in cooking because I believe it enhances our relationship and the relationship they have with each other.

I am sharing the recipe for resurrection cookies but linking to the site HERE that explains the teachable moments and appropriate readings to go along with each step in the recipe.

Resurrection Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside. Place pecans in a plastic bag and let the children beat them with a wooden spoon to break them into small pieces.
  2. Place the vinegar in a mixing bowl (preferably a stand mixer), add the egg whites and a pinch of salt. Add 1 cup of sugar and beat the mixture on high for about 12 to 15 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Fold in the pecans.
  3. Drop by spoonfuls onto the wax paper. Place cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn off the oven. Leave cookies in the oven overnight. They will cook from the residual heat.
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http://www.nutritiouseats.com/cooking-with-kids-resurrection-cookies/

Want to know how to build a successful restaurant? Check out BonAppetit.com’s “Out of the Kitchen”, a glimpse into the inner workings of two successful restaurants. Meet the back of the house inner circle and see how face-to-face relationships keep customers coming back for more.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bon Appetit. The opinions and text are all mine.

Evangeline’s Birth Story- Part 2

Thanks for your patience in waiting for part 2 of Evangeline’s birth story. You can read part 1 HERE if you haven’t already!

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So this is where we left off, I went into the hospital Friday night December 27th….

I checked in, got sent back to a room around 5:30pm. The nurse on duty came to chat with me. She explained since my cervix was not favorable earlier in the day, that they would start by giving me a cervix ripening pill called misoprostol. I immediately felt dread. Having a miserable head cold and not having my husband there made me want to go running home….not stay up all night in labor! I basically told her I didn’t want to be induced at that time and that I was hoping to have one more night to fight the terrible cold plus of course wait for the hubs to arrive.

She wasn’t my favorite nurse (luckily she was only on duty for another hour and half!) but she said we could talk to the doctor. The Doctor on call came in shortly after, one of the nicest guys I think I’ve ever met; he said it most cases what they saw in the ultrasound most likely wasn’t meconium, but he still felt obligated to do the induction….but the good news, he was totally fine waiting until the following day and suggested the same thing as my sis-in-law, that we just monitor the baby overnight! Yay! I was so relieved.

I was then striped of my clothing, put into a gown and hooked up to the monitor where they checked baby’s heart rate all through the night. I got little sleep but I was happy that I was not in active labor! I dozed off and on and just prayed. In the middle of the night, around 3am I noticed I started having contractions, as did the nurse per the monitor. They weren’t very strong but they were exactly the way my body starts labor. I wasn’t happy about being induced in the first place so I was very pleased that my body was already contracting on it’s own…definitely a sign.

The hours passed the next morning before the new Doctor on call got a chance to visit. The new following nurses that cared for me were all amazing. The one that took over in the morning suggested we just wait to check my cervix and start the induction when my husband arrived, which was anticipated to be around noon, putting him to the hospital between 1:30-2pm. I had arranged for someone to pick him up and drop him off straight to the hospital, while my parents watched our other 3 kids, so at least that was all in order.

I told the nurse I didn’t mind getting started earlier as I was certain I wouldn’t pop out a baby in 3 hours so she said she’d have the doctor come check me first to see if we needed the cervix ripening meds. She checked me around 11:30 am and said “we might want to wait for your husband afterall” as she I was already 60% effaced and 2 cm dilated! I made enough progress overnight on my own that I no longer needed the cervix ripening meds. Yay! She said we’d just start with a very low rate of pitocin as well as the antibiotics I needed since I am Group B Step+. They like you to be on antibiotics for 4 hours prior to having the baby so I was glad to get that started. In the middle of all of this I got a call from the hubs that he had arrived at the Seattle airportand was on his way!! He had traveled over 2 days, 18+ hours of flying and he was here just in time for our baby’s birth! I wasn’t sure what I would do when he walked into the room, all I knew was I needed him there. I couldn’t imagine going through any more without him.

1:45 pm I hear the sound of a bag being rolled into the room and I look up at the guy I haven’t seen in over 4 months, my sweet husband. I literally had to look away because I knew bawling like a baby would make my congestion so much worse, lol. We embraced, it felt amazing. I was ready to have this baby!

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Over the next few hours they monitored baby as I started having mild contractions. They had to re-do my IV 3 times. Basically the first one wasn’t dripping properly, the screw came undone in the second one so I started bleeding all over the place. It was lovely. The third attempt was when we finally got the pitocin going at a steady rate, this was around 2:30/3pm.

The room had a nice couch so I ordered the hubs to take a nap after he ate a bite to eat. Over the course of the next 4 hours while he racked out this is what happened: I started contracting more regular, but compared to my last unmedicated birth they were pretty easy. Since I was exhausted from the previous nights sleep, being sick and stressed out due to the whole situation, I told the nurse I’d be interested in getting an epidural as things progressed. I just felt this time around I had been through enough already that the last thing I needed, and my jet-lagged coach, was going through unmedicated labor.

I got the epidural fairly early in terms of pain, since the anthesiologist just happened to be on the floor giving someones else one at about 4:30pm. After I got it, the nurse checked me and I was at 4 cm dilated. This is when I made my delivery prediction- 8:30pm.

After about 2 hours later, around 6:40pm, the Doctor came and broke my water and we found what we had been wondering all along- there was no sign of meconium as the fluid was totally clear! The floating object in the ultrasound was vernix after all. She checked me again and I was still at 4 cm and my cervix was still fairly thick.

After my water broke, my contractions started to intensify and I could feel tons of pressure in my lower front abdomen area.  Over the next hour the contractions got stronger and stronger. I was shocked that I could feel them! It was actually quite painful considering I had already gotten the epidural, but it still wasn’t as bad as the last delivery. The nurse checked me about an hour later (at 7:45pm) and I was 5 1/2 cm dilated. My hopes of a 8:30pm delivery went out the window at that point. I thought we might actually be closer to midnight.

Within about 15 minutes, the nurse kept coming and and said the baby’s heart rate was dipping and she kept repositioning me in hopes that would resolve the issue. In the meantime I felt nauseous.  She brought me a bag in case I was to get sick. The contractions were super strong and I felt tons of pressure in my lower abdominal area. Over the next 15-20 minutes baby’s heart rate kept dipping so the nurse called the Doctor in. They said they might need to put monitors on the baby’s head to get a better reading. The doctor said she would check me and was hoping I’d be around 8 cm so that she could place the monitors on the baby and hopes that things would proceed quickly.

She checked me and said well “no wonder, you’re fully dilated at 10 cm, it’s time to have this baby”. The time was 8:36pm and she suggested I do a little test push. The nurse helped me sit up a little and I barely let out a tiny push when the Doctor yelled “stop! the baby is coming” and we all kind of laughed in excitement as she quickly got suited up. Gloves- check, gown-check, face mask on. Cart being wheeled in with all the gear she might need, cleaning supplies for the baby, etc. It was just after 8:30pm, my predicted time and I was about to have this baby! How did it all happen so fast!?

The next part, short and sweet: I pushed twice and my sweet baby was born. I was in heaven. I’ve never had to push very long with my other babies, no more than 25 minutes, but two pushes? TWO! It was a dream. Our baby girl entered the world at 8:44pm. The doctor held her up for us and exclaimed “it’s a girl” in which case I was completely smitten, elated, relieved, etc. On cloud NINE! I had the most beautiful baby girl in my arms.

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So here is the quick timeline:

5:30pm Friday December 27th checked into the hospital for induction- ended up monitoring the baby overnight- no meds given

Saturday, December 28th

11:30am cervix checked- 60% effaced, 2cm dilated so no need for the cervix ripening meds; started first IV with pitocin and antibiotic

1:00pm started having a few contractions. Meds weren’t dripping properly though so new IV started

1:45pm Hubby arrives to hospital, after traveling 2+ days to get home

2:30pm busted IV, bled all over, had to change gown, sheets, etc. Started new IV after that

2:30pm started having regular contractions

4:30pm Got the epidural

6:40pm 4cm dilated, Doctor broke my water

7:45pm nurse checked me, 5 1/2 cm dilated

8:00pm baby’s heart rate dropping, me feeling nauseous, painful contractions with a LOT of pressure lower abdomen area

8:36pm checked by Doctor, 10 cm dilated! Did a test push- baby ready to be born!

8:44pm Baby Evangeline was born after 2 pushes

It’s still crazy to me that I went from 4cm to 10 cm with the baby born in 2 hours! I’d say the whole labor was about 6 hours long since it took a while to get the IV pitocin flowing. When I look back at the way things happened, the timing of it all randomly falling into place with the day we chose for my husband to return home, it amazes me! I am also truly thankful that I was labeled “high risk” even though I wasn’t or else my husband would have never been allowed to come home for the birth.

And the rest, as they say, is history. We stayed two nights in the hospital before eagerly returning home to the rest of our family. Thanks to my parents for holding down the fort with the other 3 as we were able to focus all of our attention on baby Evangeline.

As a new mom, you will likely be seeing a lot more pictures of baby than food, but I probably won’t post a ton here. If you like seeing baby grow, make sure to follow Nutritious Eats on instagram, my favorite place to post photos! Here is my account! I’ll eventually get back to the food, but for now I am just savoring these fleeting moments with a newborn.

Thanks for reading my birth story. The upcoming months will no doubt be one of the most challenging times of my life, but we are beyond blessed.

Hope to be back soon!

XOXO

 

Welcoming Baby!!

Happy 2014 friends! We ended the year with the most perfect gift, our baby GIRL was born just a few days before the new year! She is absolutely perfect in every way.

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Welcome to the world Evangeline May, born December 28th at 8:44pm, weighing 7 pounds 7 ounces, measuring 19 1/2 inches. We are recovering well and I can’t wait to share more about her birth story soon!

Exciting News!!!

I feel like I’ve been away from the world of blogging forever. Truly. Such an abnormal past month for me. Food has been far, far away from my mind. In fact, the majority of food pretty much makes me sick.

And I can’t go another day without telling you my secret and the reason why!

I am super excited to announce that I am pregnant with #4! I know, crazy!! I am still in shock that I will be a mother of four children! Growing up with one brother, when I was younger I always imagined I’d have 2 kids as well, but once I started having them I knew that wasn’t my path. My husband and I are truly thrilled that our family is growing.

Beyond the initial excitement, weeks 5 through 9 have left me feeling nauseous, tired (obviously) and just unable to do normal things like sit on the computer or read or think straight. I have felt blah to sum it up. Now that I am 9 weeks I am starting seeing the light at the end of tunnel. I wouldn’t say I feel good, but it’s more tolerable. From the history of my other 3 pregnancies, the first 10-12 weeks are pretty yucky and then I tend to feel normal entering that 2nd trimester. I am still taking meds to keep the nausea at bay, but I can tell it’s better. Food is still very touchy for me. Most of it I dislike…

But then there are random things that sound ok to me…celery with ranch? Yes please. But mostly food is not my friend. Right now.

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Oh and workouts have been slim to nothing. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I kept up with my runs, even went on a family bike ride at around week 5….but then the nausea got worse so exercise was put on hold. The good news is I did make it to the gym over the weekend and I felt OK! Things are looking up I tell ya! I even managed to write this whole post.

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It’s truly strange how the body works, but for now I am just doing what ever I think will make me feel best and that is a lot of sleep, staying off the computer for long periods of time and eating what I can. I am only down 2 pounds so far which is pretty normal at the beginning. For those of you that I usually chat with more online, now you know why I’ve been a little absent! I know I will be back to normal before long so stay with me!

I basically haven’t cooked a real meal (other than my husband’s birthday dinner) in the last month and I look forward to getting back in the kitchen and sharing recipes with you all!

Anyway I better get back to resting, this post just set me back a few hours in bed, haha. I just wanted to share our excitement and let you know that I’ll be out of my first trimester funk before too long! XOXO

 

Questions: If you’ve been pregnant did you have morning sickness? Any weird cravings? Did food not appeal to you?

Fitness Friday: No-Equipment Needed Workouts + San Diego

Greetings from San Diego! I am so happy to be back here visiting. The last time I was here, over 6 years ago, and I was 5 months pregnant with my first child! I loved my time in San Diego. I originally moved with a high school friend because we were looking for a change. I was just finishing my Dietetic Internship in Boston and she was working in San Francisco. We decided if were going to find jobs in San Diego we just needed to move there. So we did!

I took the first job I interviewed with at Scripps Mercy Hospital with their WIC program. I really enjoyed working with the high risk pregnant women and kids. I also got to experience a little taste of Spanish immersion because I was surrounded by Spanish speakers and clients from Mexico. Plus I think that job totally prepared me for having kids- educating on nutrition for kids, breastfeeding and pre/perinatal nutrition. Really great experience!

After spending a couple years in Mission Valley area, I got married and my husband and I moved a little north of San Diego in a town called Cardiff by the Sea. We lived a couple blocks from the beach in this quaint little neighborhood with a local market, brunch spots and a charm all it’s own. I can’t wait to go back and visit that area hopefully next week.

Before I left for vacation I was looking through old photos and couldn’t resist posting a few from our last 2 years living here. A few from the wineries in Temecula…

Hmm 6 years ago without 3 kids…..I see way less wrinkles around my eyes. Must be all that hollering I do at the kids! ;)

while we are here on vacation (well the hubs is working but me and the kids are playing) we plan on taking the kids to Disneyland which I could not be more excited about! I have only been once and it was actually where we spent our 1 year anniversary. Big kids we are were.

I found these pics from when we went back in 2005! Good to see we actually don’t look that much different 7 years ago!

Watch out ladies, he’s all mine ;)

And this was from our 1st wedding anniversary dinner celebration 7 years ago!

and the top layer of our wedding cake that we froze. Can’t remember what it tasted like a year later, but fun nonetheless.

 

Ok enough reminiscing, but if you have kids you know what I am taking about here- you rarely remember to get in the photos that you are always taking so I am not sure I will have any to show from this year’s trip.

So moving on to fitness friday, you remember my last post on no-equipment needed workouts? I can’t get enough of these. When I am on vacation I still exercise, however I don’t usually do as many days or as long of a duration as usual. I have the kids all week with no gym access and unfortunately I can’t take all three of them out on a run so I am doing a lot of no-equipment workouts in our condo. I will also do a few routines at the beach while they play. Works for me!

 

A few notes on this workout: for the single let squats do 25 per leg, for higher intensity do running high knees. Feel free to repeat this routine or add in a run if you are able.

Here are a few more no-equipment workouts from some fitness bloggers! I will be doing these this week as well. No excuses!

4 minutes of Hellacious Fun from Mom’s Little Running Buddy

Real Time Workouts from the FitKnitChick You Tube Page 

Tabata Combo: 16 Minutes Lasting Results from Badass Fitness

 

P.S. If you’re on instagram feel free to follow me for some fun San Diego snap shots. Just click on the IG up above (instagram name= nutritiouseats)

Before you go, scroll down to the next post and make sure to enter my giveaway! They will make great Xmas gifts! :)

Question: Do you workout on vacation?

 

Getting Caught Up and Sharing Some Link Love

Congratulations to Gretchen H. the winner of the Lululemon & Magazine Subscription to Vegetarian Times (her choice). Thank you so much to all who entered!

Hello friends! I’ve missed you! How was everyone’s Thanksgiving? I didn’t intend to take off this long but I was a little under the weather on Sunday/Monday. I am all better though. My family left yesterday and although it’s always sad to see them go especially since they live so far away, it will be good to get back on track and ready for our next adventure- our trip to San Diego!

We had a lovely visit though- a delicious Thanksgiving meal was prepared by me and my mom, we put up the Christmas tree and did a little sight seeing (children’s museum, tour of the post, neighboring town and the beautiful Puget Sound, mall shopping and the movies).  It’s not often the kids get to spend a whole week with their grandparents and great-grandmother so they were content just playing at home. We had a few days of rain but overall pretty decent weather considering November is supposed to be the wettest month here in Washington!

I really wanted to get a post up today but wasn’t too prepared so where did I turn? To some fabulous bloggers to help me out! Here are some great reads from them and I will be back soon with some more yummy recipes!

P.S. Pictured is my dad, mom & grandma with my three kiddos! Isn’t it awesome that my grandma traveled from Texas to Washington to visit us?! She’d kill me if I even hinted at her age but we are all very glad she made the trip. She’s got that Greek blood working for her.

Link love…..

From some fabulous fitness bloggers:

10 Cold Weather Running Tips from Happy Fit Mama – I am going to read this one over and over until I can learn to love (or like) running in the cold. Great tips!

Kettlebells or Medicine Balls When Training for a Marathon from Fun and Fit – I love both these exercise tools, but only own kettlebells. Good info re the two and now I think I am going to put a medicine ball on my Christmas list.

Healthy Holiday Eating Without Over-Thinking from Best Body Fitness – who doesn’t need this info this time of year? Just because it’s almost December doesn’t mean we need to be unhealthy.

Giant Treadmill Hill Workout from Food, Fitness & Family  – I am still getting used to juggling the schedules of my 3 children so I turn to my trusty treadmill for lots of workouts. I love changing up the routine though so it doesn’t get too boring- don’t forget about the incline button! Time to get that bum in shape with a great hill workout!

From a few fellow food bloggers: 

Green Pea Salad (A Recipe Redux) from the Spicy RD – What doesn’t Greek yogurt make better? I’d take it over mayo any day. This would be a great addition to a salad bar style lunch or dinner.

Eggplant Parmigiana from Flavia’s Flavors – This is comfort food and great for entertaining during the Holiday season. It bakes while you chat and have appetizers and the cook gets off easy.

Apple Pecan Pie from Chasing Delicious – Pecan and pumpkin are the priority during Thanksgiving but Christmas it’s time for the fruit pies. Pecans in the dough? How can that not be fabulous?

Hot Mexican Layer Dip from The Lean Green Bean – I love anything with the name “Mexican” in it. Seriously. This is a healthy version of the ol’ layer dip.

Crispy Lemon-Garlic Fingerling Potatoes – I adore fingerling potatoes. Really I do. I have never made them using coconut oil though, yummy!

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder from Taste and Tell – made with basic ingredients you probably have on hand. This would be a fun one to lighten up. Cut back on the butter and use low fat milk to decrease the saturated fat. I love soup in the fall/winter.

Now it’s time to start Christmas planning. I’d love to have my gift shopping done before we leave for California. I also want to think about a tentative Christmas menu and finish shopping for my daughter’s birthday. Always a ton to do this time of the year! Before I go I have to say since we had such a intimate family dinner for Thanksgiving, we left the kitchen a mess and enjoyed our meal without setting up a large buffet. As I result I was not motivated to take any pictures, but my favorite dishes of the year were the cranberry-apple sauce and turkey gravy. Random I know but those really completed the meal to me.

See you at the end of the week! I’ve got some healthy recipes on the brain plus another fun giveaway coming up in the next week.

 Let’s chat: Are you getting ready for Christmas? What was your favorite part of your Thanksgiving meal?

Meal Planning Monday

I am sitting here wondering what I should write about and I am coming up short, which is funny because I’ve had food on the brain a lot lately. The minute we had these fall-like temperatures, I couldn’t help but think of food….soups, warm baked bread, the Holidays! Then there is my son’s birthday next month (more food), the birth of our third child coming in the next 7 to 8 weeks so I am wondering how I’ll fit it all in.

Now I have so many things I want to cook, that I don’t know where to start. One day it seems like it will be soup weather and the next day it’s a perfect day for grilling. My head is all over the place with the baby’s due date approaching, the “to do” list getting longer and I don’t know what I want to share with you guys! So here is a family picture instead of food- you all know I rarely do that! It was my 4 year olds very first soccer game this weekend and it was so fun for everyone.

I guess that means this will be a short post with my tentative plan for the week. I promise to have some goodies to share later this week. Please tell me….what are you having this week?!

Menu for the Week of September 11th

Sunday
Lemon-Chicken Orzo Soup, Rolls

Monday
Homemade Black Bean Burgers, Slaw (a new recipe I’ll be sharing soon)

Tuesday
Leftovers (soccer practice)

Wednesday
Spinach Feta Quiche, Sauteed cherry tomatoes with garlic and herbs

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
St. Louis- the kids and I are driving out to meet up with my mom and Grandma!

Saturday
out to eat in St. Louis


Have a great week!