Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Favorites 7/21/17

Happy Friday, friends! Today I am linking up with ErikaAndrea, and Narci to share my favorite things from the week.
My first FAV from the week is a pic from last weekend: Baby's first boating trip to KY Lake. Lee grew up boating, and has spent the last 5 years or so teaching me how it all works. Now I love it too, and I can't wait for our little boy to grow up boating, and maybe learning water sports if he's interested. We took a trip to the lake last weekend with some friends, and it was a great time. It was so nice to relax and disconnect for a few short days. I know our weekend trips with friends will be much different once baby boy gets here, so we're soaking this all in. We've gone boating several times this summer on the Ohio River, but this was our first all weekend boat trip for the summer. I'm looking forward to returning to the lake in a couple weeks with Lee's side of our family.
Baby's first boating trip
My second FAVORITE from the week is this dish: Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes. YUM! This side dish was so good, and maybe somewhat healthy. Lee and I both decided it would go in the "make again" list of recipes.
Bacon, veggies, garlic, cheese.. what more do you need?!

My next FAVORITE for the week is another food item. This one is not healthy by any means, but I like it anyways! Coffee mug muffins... so easy and something yummy I can snack on at work. They come in packets about the size of a hot chocolate packet. There's 4 packets per box, and you just dump one packet into your mug, add water (or milk), and microwave for a little over 1 min., and then you have a warm muffin! So far I've only tried chocolate chip, but I like it. I'm going to try blueberry next. According to the website above, they have all kinds of other flavors, too! I'm going to have to watch for those.
My last FAVORITE for this week is another boating pic from last weekend... this time, with Flat Jesus in the pic. Our church gives out these flat Jesus cards and you can color him if you want, and then take him with you on vacation. That way, if you can't make it to church on Sunday, you take a pic with Flat Jesus and use our church's hashtag on social media. Then the next week, before church service, everyone can see a slide show of all the fun places Flat Jesus has been this summer. I love this idea, and have enjoyed looking at every one's pics from this summer.
Flat Jesus went to KY Lake! Also notice our Cardinals hats... love it!! 

This weekend we are planning to mark some things off our to-do list around the house, finalize a few baby registry items, order our nursery furniture, and I have a prenatal massage scheduled. I got a gift certificate for my birthday, and I am so excited to finally use it! This will be my first massage since getting pregnant. I have a feeling this will be the highlight of my weekend. Happy Friday, friends!! 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pregnancy Month 5

Month 5... how is that even possible?! Has it really been 6 months since Lee and I were praying that our upcoming embryo transfer be a success? Time is FLYING by. I am now 24 weeks pregnant and am feeling lots of kicks and movement from baby boy. Lee is starting to be able to feel him more too, which is so exciting!

In addition to baby moving, this past month has brought plenty of feet and ankle swelling, and a new found appetite for vegetables. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a sweets, bacon, cheese, and junk food loving girl. I have been trying to eat a more balanced diet since being pregnant, but at the beginning, the only new thing I had tried and loved had been asparagus. This past month I've also found that I love Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and zucchini! I'm hoping to keep eating more fruits and veggies and less sweets once baby boy gets here... we'll see how that goes! I'm also noticing baby boy's growth is making bending over a little more difficult, but not unmanageable yet. I've also noticed that my sleep pattern has changed. I still get tired here and there in the afternoons, but pre-pregnancy I was pretty much always sleeping about 9 hours a night. Now I am sleeping more like 7-8 hours a night, and I feel like I'm functioning just as well. I realize that 's only 1-2 hours difference, but for me, that's progress. I feel like my body is already starting to adjust to less sleep, which I suppose is good prep for when baby gets here.

At our last doctor appointment, our doctor said my blood pressure is still good, baby boy's heart beat is strong, and our impromptu ultrasound showed he is growing right on track. I had a little spotting prior to my last appt and even though we didn't have one scheduled, my doctor suggested an ultrasound just to double check that all is well. I appreciate that my doctor is so cautious and caring with our pregnancy. I feel like she really 'gets it' that it took us a long time to get to this point, and we are so excited, but also a little nervous. She really does everything she can to make sure we are comfortable with all that is happening with our pregnancy. 

At my next doctor's appointment, I will do the dreaded test for gestational diabetes, but the upside to that is we have an ultrasound scheduled and should get a good view of baby's face if he cooperates! We got to see his face a little with the last scan, but our doctor said this next time should be a great time to see him, given his size around that time. We are really looking forward to that. I am praying over these next few weeks that the testing go well and that I will not have gestational diabetes during my pregnancy. 

Our little guy still does not have a name, but we have began choosing a nursery theme and picking stuff out for his room. We are going with an adventure/outdoorsy theme, and I think it is going to be so cute! Here is a pic of the fabric for part of his bedding.
Other than that, we don't have much news to report, so I'll leave you with some bump pics. :) 
21 weeks and getting ready to celebrate my cousin's bridal shower!

22 weeks during 4th of July! My shirt says "Baby You're a Firework!" 

23 weeks and barely able to squeeze into a few of my non-maternity shirts like this one! 

24 weeks and going strong!

This is not the best pic of my face, but you can definitely see how by Baby F is in this front view pic! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Baked Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes

I never imagined I'd try Brussels sprouts OR sweet potatoes and like them! Pregnancy is doing all kinds of crazy things to my taste buds. I went to my friend Jenna's for dinner one night a few weeks ago and she served sweet potatoes, but not the kind you see at thanksgiving covered in marshmallows. Hers were prepared sliced, salted, and baked. I really liked them! Then I came across some Brussels sprouts at Aldi and decided to give them a try. So when I asked for recommendations on Facebook on how to prepare my sprouts, someone suggested pairing them with sweet potatoes, and a few people suggested olive oil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and bacon... so that's how this recipe came to be!

1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
8 oz brussels sprouts, cut in half
2 slices raw bacon
Olive oil
garlic salt
sea salt
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

To start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line your baking sheet with foil for easy clean up (optional). Spray your foil with cooking spray. Spread out your Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes across your pan. drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle your salt, pepper, and garlic salt on your veggies. I don't have measurements for these seasonings bc I used a grinder for all of them. Cut your raw bacon into small pieces and spread out over your veggies. Bake for 40 minutes (or until crispy), turning halfway through.The last 5 minutes, sprinkle on your Parmesan. This side dish was so easy and so tasty! I've made it twice in the past 2 weeks!

I usually get my garlic sea salt grinder at Aldi, but recently mine ran out and I couldn't find a new one there. I found this one at my local supermarket. I use this grinder on almost everything! 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Favorites 07/14/17

Happy Friday, friends! Today I am linking up with Erika, Andrea, and Narci to share my favorite things from the week.

My first fav... this pic is from a couple weeks ago, but I never posted it, so... my two FAVORITE guys. You can pretty much expect that between now and when baby is born, I will have a bump pic as one of my favs for every single week. This pregnancy has been such a blessing and I am so very thankful.
Relaxing with my 2 favorite boys <3 td="">

Another of my FAVs from the week was making 'zoodles' aka zucchini noodles for the first time. I'm always excited when I can make meals using veggies I've grown from my garden, and this meal was a good way for me to sneak in some veggies that didn't even taste like veggies bc they were covered in alfredo sauce. If you haven't tried zoodles yet, give them a whirl! I know my local Schnuck's (grocery store) even has spiraled zoodles in their produce section.

Speaking of veggies from my garden, Lee and I got to spend an evening with our niece, Littlecjc this week, and she was a big helper in the garden. She helped us make 4 trips to the garden to water plants and pick veggies. It's so sweet that she loves being helpful. I know that once our baby boy gets here, we won't have a lot of one on one time with our nieces and nephews like we are used to, so quality time with this cutie was definitely a FAVORITE.

We've not done too much to prep for our baby's room yet, but we are brainstorming ideas of what we want to do in there, and we've decided on a theme. This week I ordered part of our bedding from Etsy, and I am SO excited! I have a feeling this "Adventure Awaits" theme is going to be a FAVORTIE of mine... We ordered a blanket in this print with tan minky fabric for the back.
I'm going to *try* to make my own crib skirt with the same 'adventure awaits' fabric, and I have a few different crib sheets that I've registered for that will mesh well with these. I can't wait to show you all the blanket once I get it in the mail!

If you know me, then you know Starbucks is a definite FAV. of mine. I'm not a huge coffee drinker... I'm kind of a coffee snob. If I'm making coffee at home, It's usually some type of latte packet/kit for the keurig, or I really love these Chai Lattes from Trader Joes... most of the time I'm splurging at Starbucks. Is it really splurging if you go every week? Idk, but I'm going with it... 

This week I tried the Peach White Tea Infusion, and the Strawberry Green Tea Infusion (pictured above) and it both were so good! The Strawberry was great, but the Peach was my fav. I'm especially excited because Starbucks is giving away free tea this afternoon, and I'm debating if I should indulge in the peach again, or try a different flavor. Either way, free drinks from Starbucks could easily be anyone's favorite!!
P.S. These drinks are low calorie, AND low in caffeine! win/win!

Lastly, this guy has to be my number one FAVORITE for the week. My hubby is always so positive! From a bad haircut, to a cracked/leaky toilet, to a dead lawnmower battery, he's  had one heck of a week. I realize none of these things are important in the grand scheme of life, but still frustrating nonetheless. I am thankful Lee has pushed through and made the best of things all week! He deserves a gold star for best attitude, that's for sure.

We have plans to go boating with friends this weekend, and I am looking forward to some sunshine, rest, and relaxation with a few of my favorite people. Happy Friday, friends! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Zucchini Noodles aka Zoodles

Have you guys had zoodles before? Apparently its a trendy thing right now for healthy eating people. Normally I would not consider myself a health-nut... far from it, really, but since being pregnant, I am eating a more balanced diet than normal. I planted zucchini in my garden for the first time this year, and it is really taking off. I knew that if I only used the zucchini to bake bread that Lee and I would be tired of it quickly, so I gave zucchini noodles, aka zoodles, a try.

Making the zoodles was super easy. Here's what I did:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Cut off both ends of the zucchini, and *spiral it. See below for spiraling instructions.

Once my zucchini was spiraled, I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out the zoodles on it. I sprinkled garlic salt and parsley on them and baked at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. I ate one of the zoodles prior to baking it, and the texture was good. I probably could've gone without baking them if I were in a rush, but I didn't want my zoodles to cool off my sauce, so I baked them.
Here's what my zoodles looked like on my baking sheet. 
I bought this garlic salt and parsley combination from Aldi, and this is what I sprinkled on my zoodles. 
After my zoodles were done baking, I separated them onto two plates for Lee and I, and topped them with grilled chicken and spinach garlic alfredo sauce. I had the sauce pre-made from a few days before, so I just threw some leftover grilled chicken, 2 handfuls of spinach in a skillet with olive oil, and then added my sauce to the skillet until it was all warmed up.

One medium sized zucchini was enough for Lee and I, but we didn't have any sides or bread with it (which we normally would when eating pasta), so I'd say one medium zucchini can feed 2-3 adults.If you're pairing it with my garlic alfredo sauce recipe, I would say you probably want 2 medium zucchini to use up all of the sauce, and that could serve 4-6 adults depending if you're serving your 'pasta' with a side salad, garlic bread, etc.

Here's my final product: Chicken, spinach, and zoodle alfredo.

*I ordered this spiraler from Amazon, and so far I really like it. It is small, so it doesn't take up a ton of room in my cabinet, and spiraling my zucchini was super easy. It also comes with this little brush that makes the spiraler easy to clean. The only downfall is that because it is small, I will not be able to spiral my larger zucchinis unless I cut them into smaller chunks. I haven't tried that yet, but I'll follow up and let you know how it goes once I do.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday: My Favorite Recipes

Today I'm linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday to share some of my best recipes. I have all of these recipes posted on my blog already, so I'm going to link to them. I will warn you that I'm not a professional blogger, nor am I a professional photographer. I do this all for fun, so beware that all of these pics are iphone quality, but the recipes are delish. I have 4 that I want to share, so let's jump right in:

Italian Meatballs
These meatballs are a staple at our house. I have a little dry erase board on my fridge that I plan our meals each week before I grocery shop, and we have meatballs or some time of simple red sauce pasta close to every other week. I love that I can whip these up, stick them in the oven, boil some noodles while they're baking and dinner is done in about 30 minutes. These meatballs also freeze very nicely... so if you have some extra time, make a double batch and have half for dinner and freeze the other half... then the next time you have a busy night, all you have to do is bake the meat and dinner is served. Sometimes I'll even serve them with a side of risotto instead of pasta to switch things up.                 

Stuffed Peppers
Another fav recipe of mine are my Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Peppers. I make these all the time for family gatherings, and very rarely do I have to bring home leftovers. The cream cheese & cheddar cheese filling is divine, and then add in bacon and a little spice with the peppers... YUM. Next time you need a new appetizer to make, try these peppers!

S'mores Pie
My next favorite recipe is a dessert for you...S'mores Pie.This one is delish. A perfect recipe to try out in the summer when you want a s'more but its either too hot, or rainy for a s'more over a fire. This pie is super easy to make. If you like graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallow, you will love this pie.

Spin Dip
The last recipe I want to share with you is actually two recipes... Spinach Dip. I have a hot version (baked), and a cold version. I love the hot version with tortilla chips. My hubby prefers the cold version with wheat thins. The baked spin dip is my idea of comfort food, and Lee thinks the cold version is refreshing. If you need to make something up the day before and have it ready to go for company, then go with the cold dip. If you need to indulge in a warm, gooey snack with chips, then try it baked. The recipes are slightly different, but a large majority of the ingredients are similar. These recipes can be an appetizer, snack, or even a side dish. 

This post has officially made me hungry!! Try out these recipes and tell me what you think! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Garlic Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo sauce... this one is garlicky, rich, creamy, and full of all things good. My sister-in-law introduced me to a similar recipe when she made her lasagna alfredo roll ups for dinner, and I believe she found that recipe here.  The blogger who posted this recipe hasn't posted anything new in almost 3 years, but I'm so glad her blog is still up, because her alfredo lasagna roll ups are divine. Once my sister-in-law made this recipe, I had to copy her ASAP! I'll be honest and tell you that the lasagna roll ups are amazing, but they are a lot of work, so I don't make them very often. More commonly, I just use this alfredo recipe and mix it in with noodles and chicken/seafood. If you have extra time to spend on dinner some night, try the recipe I linked to above. You will not be disappointed. I've adapted her alfredo sauce recipe to my own liking, and have used it to create several of my own recipes. So here's how I do my version of Mmm... Cafe's alfredo sauce:


2 cups heavy whipping cream (1 pint size carton)
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 heaping tbsp. pesto
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 block cream cheese (2 oz.)
Garlic salt to taste... I use a garlic salt grinder, so I don't have a measurement on this one

*I highly recommend a garlic sea salt grinder... I usually buy mine from Aldi's but I haven't seen them there lately, so I've also purchased from Wal-Mart. I also recommend using a fresh pepper grinder if you can.

*This makes a batch of sauce to serve a pasta dish to 4-6 adults. 4 adults if you like your pasta more saucy.

Start by melting your butter in a large skillet on the stove on medium heat. (While you're making your sauce, you may want to also bring some water to a boil and cook up your pasta so your sauce and pasta can be done cooking at the same time.) Add your cream cheese to the melted butter and let it melt as well, whisking the butter and cream cheese together. Whisk in all of your seasonings: minced garlic, pesto, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Next, whisk in your heavy whipping cream. You will need to whisk until thick- probably about 8-10 minutes or so. The whisking is the worst part, but the sauce is so good that it's totally worth your time. Last, add in your Parmesan cheese, turn off your burner, but let your sauce sit on the hot burner for about 3 minutes while it thickens up.

Then you can add your sauce to meat and pasta, veggie noodles, put it on a pizza crust, use it as a bread dip, or anything else that sounds good! I love to double this recipe and make two batches of sauce. I'll use half of it for pasta one night, put the other half in the fridge, and make an alfredo pizza with it later in the week.


Monday, July 3, 2017

B.E.A.S.T. Sandwich

The BEAST... Lee and I got creative this week when we needed a quick,simple dinner. This sandwich was so good! This post is not so much a recipe, but more of a quick meal idea. The BEAST is like a jacked up BLT... its Bacon Egg Avocado Spinach and Tomato.

Here's how you make it:

2 eggs
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
4 slices of bacon
a handful of spinach
2-4 tomato slices
4 slices toasted bread
Mayo (optional)

*This makes two BEAST sandwiches.

To make it, fry up your eggs and bacon. Make sure your egg yolk is cooked most of the way through, unless you don't mind a messy sandwich. Toast your bread, and spread mayo on if you like. Lee loves mayo, but I do not, so we make our sandwiches both ways. Cut your bacon slices in half, and stack your egg, bacon, tomato, spinach and avocado slices on your sandwich. Top with your second piece of bread. This sandwich could be served anytime of day! We have also made a similar sandwich before with bagels instead of toast, and it was delish. If you're like us and you enjoy quick, easy stuff like this for dinner, serve with some fruit or a side of chips and enjoy!