Sunday 28 July 2013

big bump at 28 weeks

How far along? 28 Weeks
Total weight gain: 19lbs already (ahhh!) eating healthy & staying active tho (about 1-2 hours of walking a day)
Maternity clothes? YES, finally went to Old Navy and bought some maternity clothes (capri's and some shirts). However, I can still fit my regular pants because I am carrying high. 

Stretch marks? nope and hoping it stays that way
Sleep: interrupted sleep but still great
Best moment this week: officially rolling into the third trimester - very excited to meet baby Gray 

Miss Anything? some of my clothes that no longer fit...especially summer clothes & bathing suits 
Movement: ALL the time, especially at night or after I eat chocolate 
Food cravings: nothing unusual
Anything making you queasy or sick: nope
Labor Signs: No

Symptoms: Muscle spasm in the calf once and dizzy feelings every so often
Belly Button in or out? out
Wedding rings on or off? on!
Happy or Moody most of the time: happy.. and getting more and more excited
Looking forward to: celebrating our anniversary and going camping...although I will have to be finding shade. 

Saturday 27 July 2013

Chewy PB M&M cookies + how to properly freeze rhubarb & zucchini

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip M&M cookies
If you are going to eat something unhealthy it might as well be a good homemade cookie. 

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, slightly soft but still cold
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
    1-2 cups  M&M candies and or chocolate chips
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the peanut butter, butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and vanilla and cream for another 3 minutes. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl often to ensure everything is incorporated.
  4. Add the flour mixture in two parts, mixing until just combined.
  5. Fold in the M&Ms & chocolate chips using a spatula 
  6. Cover dough and refrigerate overnight or at least 18 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Roll out 2 inch balls of dough and place balls on cookie sheet 2 inches apart and press down with a fork in a criss-cross pattern until slightly flattened.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes or the cookie is slightly golden brown. I baked mine exactly 11 minutes, be sure not to over bake. 
  10. Allow to cool on pan for 3-4 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. (Or if you're like me, you'll eat them straight from the oven!)
  11. Keep dough refrigerated between batches so it stays chilled.

the perfect cookie with crisp edges and a chewy centre

How to blanch and freeze rhubarb
 I received some home grown rhubarb from my in-laws (thank you!!) and haven't had time to bake anything with it yet so I decided to blanch and freeze it. 

1. Clean rhubarb, pull any fibrous strings from stacks and cut into 1/2 - 1 inch pieces. 

* this can be done with zucchini as well. Great for in the summer when zucchini is inexpensive... buy several to freeze and use in recipes later on  

 2. Place of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, add rhubarb or zucchini and allow to boil for 1 minute 
3. Remove from boiling water and place immediately into ice water to stop cooking process. 

4. Remove from ice water and spread on paper towels to dry. Place in bags to freeze. I froze 2 cups in each of my bags.  
5. Recipes to follow with what I bake with the rhubarb 

Thursday 25 July 2013

'Over the Hill' ~ a happy 50th party

I would have to say searching for a 50th party appetizer/food ideas was hard so I thought I would share some of my own I came up with. 

Dessert/Snack table  (cake goes far right) 

Chocolate covered pretzels 
See my previous blog for the recipe: 

Fruit Skewers
I found the fruit that worked the best & looked the best were grapes, pineapple & watermellon

Basil tomato bocconcini Appetizer
Wrap 1 basil leave, 1 cherry tomato and half a piece of bocconcini cheese then insert toothpick.
When complete, spray with balsamic vinegar 

I also had greek yogurt spinach dip with whole grain flax chips
and honey garlic sesame chicken

Recipe for honey garlic sesame chicken ~ crockpot style ~
5-6 chicken breasts frozen
salt & pepper
3/4-1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tbsp diced onion
4 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 6 tbsp water

Place chicken breasts in crockpot, season both sides of chicken with salt & pepper. In a small bowl combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pour over chicken.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours
Remove the chicken & cut into bite size pieces, leave sauce, and pour the cornstarch mix into the crockpot. Stir well, re-add chicken and cook for another 10 minutes or so until sauce has thickened.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds 

Over the hill cake! 

Drink bar 

Happy 50th !

Tuesday 23 July 2013

pancake love (hearts)

Started out this morning with homemade heart shaped pancakes!! What a great way to start our day celebrating our anniversary. 

Whole wheat Homemade Pancakes:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup low-fat buttermilk (I use 1 cup milk mixed in with 1 tbsp lemon juice)
1/2 cup non-fat milk
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
blueberries & banana's (or any other fruit)
Confectioners' sugar
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through salt). In another medium bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, non-fat milk, honey and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to combine them. The batter will be somewhat lumpy.
Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to ladle the batter onto the griddle or skillet. Flip the pancake when the top is bubbling and it is golden brown on the bottom. Then cook until the other side is golden brown. If heart shape is desired, cut them into heart shapes with a heart shaped cookie cutter.  Place pancakes on plate and top with blueberries and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Sunday 21 July 2013

hello 3rd trimester! 27 weeks chalkboard

How far along? 27 Weeks
Total weight gain: 17 lbs+ (ahh!! seems like so much, but still on par with healthy weight gain).
Maternity clothes? summer dresses 

Stretch marks? not yet 
Sleep: still sleeping good...just interrupted sleeps
Best moment this week: feeling baby hiccup! and cutting my hair (feels WAY better) 

Miss Anything? iced coffee drinks now that it's summer time would be nice to have a caffeine boost in the morning
Movement: all the time,  seems like baby doesn't stop moving (especially when i'm trying to sleep). I can feel big lumps (either head or bum or foot!) 
Food cravings: chocolate
Anything making you queasy or sick: just windy roads when driving
Labor Signs: 

Symptoms: sometimes back pain, finding my energy is a little bit less now with my heart racing a bit faster
Belly Button in or out? out out out
Wedding rings on or off? on
Happy or Moody most of the time: HAPPY!
Looking forward to: camping this next week 

Thursday 18 July 2013

Overnight French Toast

Started the morning with whole wheat overnight french toast & 
David's chocolate mint tea
6 slices of whole wheat bread
3 eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Place bread in a 9x13 glass dish. Mix eggs, milk, cinnamon & vanilla together then pour over the bread to soak overnight. Cover dish and refrigerate overnight. 
*i thought the bread would become soggy, however it did not! turned out awesome

When ready to cook: spray pan & on medium to high heat cook the bread until golden brown. 

Sprinkle with icing sugar & blueberries

Decided to donate my hair today! 11 inches...gone.
The donation goes to wigs for cancer patients under 19. 
So far loving how light my hair feels! 

Sunday 14 July 2013

Sneak Preview of Nursery

A sneak preview of our nursery.... just waiting for a few more things to complete it. We are going with an 'elephant' theme...with the colors mint, yellow, purple & grey!

drawing by Irene Schat

baby Gray's room

elephant pillow covers- Etsy
elephant sheets - Pottery Barn Kids
*still need twin duvet cover

baskets from Michaels Arts & Crafts 
preparing! I've decided I would rather be over organized. I have bins for boy and girl clothes already. 

Saturday 13 July 2013

Blueberry Scones & Spinach Berry Shake

We started our Saturday morning with homemade
whole wheat blueberry scones & spinach berry shake

Recipe from clean eating: whole wheat blueberry scones

Homemade Spinach Berry Shake
- 1/4 cup milk + 1/2 cup water
- 1 or 2 frozen spinach cubes (see previous blog)
- 1/4 cup raspberries
-1/2 cup blueberries
-1/2 banana
Mix until blended & enjoy!! 

How far along? 26 Weeks (6 months!!) 
Total weight gain: 15 lbs+ (getting bigger & bigger) 
Maternity clothes? wearing leggings most of the time with long shirts. I'll have to get a few maternity tops now that my belly is growing straight out.
Stretch marks? not yet
Sleep: sleeping great - about 8 to 10 hours a night!! 
Best moment this week: The kicking is very hard and strong and I was able to feel babies foot. 
Miss Anything? missing running. I'm still getting a 1-2 hour walk everyday but it's not quite the same.
Movement: all the time, i am so entertained feeling baby move around all the time. Baby is a night owl though and continues to kick away all night long. 
Food cravings: blueberry scones
Anything making you queasy or sick: nope!
Labor Signs: No Symptoms: and feeling great.. no complaints
Belly Button in or out? out out out
Wedding rings on or off? on - glad to say no swollen feet or fingers even in this hot weather 
Happy or Moody most of the time: HAPPY and excited baby is here in less than 3 months
Looking forward to: we are on holidays now, so beach time & just relaxing for 12 days! 

Tuesday 9 July 2013

DIY picture on a canvass

DIY picture canvass
What you need:
 canvass any size 
blown up picture 
mod podge 

1- Paint the edges of the canvass and about 1 inch on the front of the canvas and let complete dry. **choose a color of paint that will match something in the picture for best effect. 
2- Place the picture on the canvass and mod podge over top of the picture (ensuring it stays in place) and let complete dry
3- Mod podge the edges of the picture, let complete dry

The picture will dry clear and looks great!! I used a picture of our wedding flowers, see below.  

Wedding flowers on size 11x14 canvass 

i also did a few pictures from our honeymoon to Italy 

Monday 8 July 2013

Cooked Spinach Cubes

Spinach Cubes are super easy to make. 
Take a few handfuls of spinach and place it directly in a frying pan on medium to high heat.
Cook the spinach until it's wilted then transfer cooked spinach & any liquids to an ice cube tray.
Repeat until the tray is full. 

2 cube is equivalent to 1 large spinach salad
Not many people know that by cooking spinach you get the most benefits and nutrients from the spinach. 

Freeze them and take a cube or two for in shakes, pasta dishes, stir-fry's.. etc 
best part is... you don't have to worry about the spinach going bad. 

Sunday 7 July 2013

25 weeks!!

25 weeks pregnancy chalkboard! 

How far along? 25 Weeks
Total weight gain: 13.5 lbs + today! I go up and down everyday
Maternity clothes? still wearing most of my old clothes. since it's summer I can just wear shorts with long shirts

Stretch marks? nope!
Sleep: still sleeping great, about 8-10 hours a night :)
Best moment this week: we got our Stroller (pictures to come)!! 

Miss Anything? nothing this week.
Movement: all the time, love seeing baby move from outside
Food cravings: still grapefruit
Anything making you queasy or sick: nothing anymore!
Exercise: I stopped running all together about....5 months ago! So now we walk about an hour - two hours a day. I find that helps me keep my energy up. 

Gender: surprise! Although everywhere I go people are convinced and have the need to tell me I'm having a BOY! Either way, we would just be happy with a healthy baby!!
Labor Signs: No

Symptoms: no major symptoms right now, over-all feeling great!
Belly Button in or out? out as can be
Wedding rings on or off? still on
Happy or Moody most of the time: HAPPY! excited baby Gray will be coming in around 100 days (unless i'm early or late).
Looking forward to: completely finishing the nursery and sharing pictures of it. 

Monday 1 July 2013

Passion tea lemonade

A hot day calls for a nice ice cold drink.
I made a Starbucks copy-cat of the 'iced passion tea lemonade'

Ingredients (cheapest at Target USA)
Iced Tazo passion tea

Boil water and steep a teapot of the tea using just 1 bag for 10-15 minutes
Pour into a juice jug (should be about 3/4 full) then top the rest with lemonade.

If the lemonade is unsweetened add a few tsp's of sugar to taste.

serve over a cup full of ice!