Monday, June 20, 2016

Black Bean Soup (With all the Fixin's)

First off, I want to apologize for the lack of posts lately. My computer has been practically unusable and I've been trying to figure out what the issue is. Unfortunately, my technical issues are happening just as my prenatal and chiropractic appointments are moving to every week and Z appears to be dropping his one nap.


When I'm 9 months pregnant.


Silver lining though - as a result of my "I'm too pregnant to feel like doing anything but not pregnant enough to be nesting yet" state, I've been trying to think of super easy but healthy meals. This week I whipped up a simple but delicious black bean soup with all the fixin's. You seriously won't believe how easy this is to put together. It would make the perfect side dish to a Mexican or Southwestern meal, or you can add some rice to make it entree material.  I'll get a proper photo up once my technical issues are resolved!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Update: 35 Weeks Pregnant

Ack! We only have 5 weeks left before Baby L is expected to arrive. We've had a productive couple of weeks.  The hospital bags are packed and the birth plan is finalized and with the doula. We splurged to have the condo cleaned and the car detailed (no 2-year-old crumbs for Baby L). We have the infant seat base installed in the car and, last but not least, I chopped off my hair!

No, chopping your hair off isn't usually a pre-baby to do, but I was desperate. Florida heat and the third trimester do not a good pair make ... plus, I stopped dying my hair red sometime ago so I had an ash blonde to faded red ombre look going on.  No more! Take a look!



I am so glad I finally cut my hair.  I've been thinking about it for the longest time and never had the guts, mainly because I was afraid of my "at risk" chin (you know, when you suddenly get a double chin when you look down to check your watch?)

The thing is, I was just yanking my hair back 24/7 anyhow, so it's not like I was making any attempt to hide it.  Ergo, later hair! It feels so light and healthy now! I'm also getting a chance to rediscover my natural hair color after 18 years of dying it. Thanks TSwift for bringing ash blonde back.

I promise I will get one of my usual posts up soon, but right now I'm going to take a nap.  :)

Did you make a drastic hairstyle change when you were pregnant? I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Caprese Orzo Salad

Whew! I still have 6 weeks go and this baby feels like he's ready to arrive any day! I'm getting everything washed and packed into our hospital bags, finalizing the nursery and getting the car seat bases installed. We also have our Spanish mama in town and a tropical storm hitting as we speak - so it's been exciting!

But now onto the good stuff ... 
A caprese salad is probably the most refreshing, simple, and elegant vegetarian dish I know of.  Hubs and I often enjoy it along with pasta, and we frequently have leftover bits that are difficult to transfer to lunch bags... it just becomes too sloppy! I thought it would make a great healthy lunch option otherwise, so I created this Caprese Orzo Salad. Try it for your next summer cookout or family gathering!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hiatus Over! Babymoon Recap

Hello again everyone!

Thanks for your patience for the past couple of weeks.  As I mentioned before, mid-May is even crazier than the holidays for our family.  We have Mother's Day, my birthday, Hubby's birthday, and our anniversary all within 10 days. After a week of small celebrations with family, we left for a 3-night babymoon while grandma watched Z. We actually booked the trip right before we found out that we were pregnant - and we almost canceled - but I am so glad we didn't. It honestly was just what we needed. The newborn stage was pretty rough with Z and this time around we will have a toddler too. I am looking forward to all those newborn firsts though. :)

Even though I cried a little about leaving Z at first, the ride there alone would have been totally worth the trip. Hubs and I had a chance to really sit and talk more than we have in a long time.

The whole first day there we just stayed in the unit, on the balcony really, and just decompressed - looked at food magazines on my tablet, listened to the waves and dosed off ... it was glorious. 

Our balcony was awesome - we could see dolphins and several sting rays swimming by ... plus an occasional college student yelling "Spring Break! Whooooo!" 
Ahh, wildlife. 

Later on, we swam in the gulf, got a minor sunburn, explored the town and found some great restaurants. We thought about going out for a fancy anniversary dinner, but we opted to get carry out and eat out on the balcony. (Surprised?)  Nowhere in town had a better view. 

Although it was a day early, we took a quick 31-week bump pic. :)

The timing worked out really well because we were able to have a full weekend with Z before going back to the daily grind - so he took Daddy to see some dinosaurs. :)

I'm so grateful for the time that we got to spend away to relax, recharge, and reconnect.  I'm sure it will be a long while before we can do anything like that again!

Now for labor practice, finalizing the nursery, etc.! 
Onward and upward. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Meal Plan Monday: Spanish Gazpacho

This week's meal plan features Spanish Gazpacho!

After "Crazy Week" (Mother's Day, both our birthdays, and our anniversary) and all the celebrating, we are in desperate need of a detox.  Look out veggies, here we come!

Our meal plan for the week includes:

Now that summer weather has arrived, it's the perfect time for gazpacho, the quintessential cold Spanish soup!  I LOVE cold soups when the weather starts to get hot - especially now that I am very pregnant and in the Florida heat. :)  This recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law, who lived in Spain for a few years. 

Gazpacho only takes about 10 min to make with a good blender and it's a great make-ahead option, as it's best after it chills for a few hours. It's a perfect quick, no heat lunch option - plus, all the ingredients are fresh, raw veggies so you get lots of good nutrients.  By making it yourself instead of buying it canned or getting it at a restaurant, you can control the sodium content.  I usually make this recipe two batches at a time. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Meal Plan Monday - Short Hiatus

Happy Monday!

In our home, we call this "Crazy Week". Mother's Day, Hubs's birthday, my birthday, and our anniversary all fall within 8 days!  It's busier than Christmas around here in mid-May!

As a result our menu is a little chaotic too. I'm making a spinach & tortellini bake tonight that we'll also eat on Wednesday, we're ordering in on Tuesday for Hub's birthday, and my parents are coming over Thursday to celebrate with us.

Next week we will be getting away for a little babymoon - so the Meal Plan Mondays will resume in a couple of weeks!

Stay tuned :)  

Friday, May 6, 2016

4 Truths to Remember When Facing Infertility

For those of you who have not read Great is Thy Faithfulness: A Story of Waiting on God, Hubs and I dealt with unexplained infertility when we were trying to conceive Z. It was potentially the most heartbreaking season of my life.  Infertility sucks, and I wish that no one ever had to experience it - but if you are facing infertility, here are 4 truths that it may help to bear in mind.

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