Friday, January 30, 2015

Five on Friday!

Super Bowl is on Sunday and although I probably won't pay attention to any of the game (outside of the commercials) I will definitely be taking advantage of all of the sales at the grocery store and making a few yummy things. So today, I am going to share with you 5 of my recipes that are perfect for serving on Sunday!

- ONE - One of my favorite appetizers to serve is Loaded Baked Potato Dip {recipe here}. My mom shared this recipe with me years ago and I've been making it for parties ever since!
- TWO - Another yummy and popular appetizer - Hot Caprese Dip {recipe here}. I love this recipe but it definitely cannot sit out all afternoon because the cheese will get hard. So if you make this you'll need to serve immediately and eat quickly which shouldn't be a problem once you've had the first bite! I usually make this recipe when it's just Matt and I looking for a yummy snack.
- THREE - If you're planning to grill out, I have to highly recommend Cabernet Burgers {recipe here}! We love this recipe so much that we don't make burgers any other way. This is also one of the top recipes that I receive emails from readers saying how much they loved these!
- FOUR - If you need a delicious side item to serve with burgers, Potato Casserole {recipe here} is easy to throw together.
- FIVE - Last but not least, if you're hosting a larger group of guests for the game I would suggest a Taco Bar {details here}. Everyone loves tacos and this is such an easy meal to prep before guests arrive and leave out for second and third helpings. For my taco bars I offer crunchy and soft shells, black beans, shredded chicken {recipe here}, seasoned ground beef, corn, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, sour cream, cilantro and guacamole. Always a hit!
Wanna join Darci, April, Natasha and I on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...
1.) Write your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!).
2.) Share the logo on your blog and link back. 
3.) Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!

Photobucket

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagrambloglovin

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Baby M2 Update

Thank you all so much for all of the sweet comments on our pregnancy announcement. You all are truly awesome! We are due on July 19, 2015 and Caroline and Baby M2 will be 14 months apart. We are are really excited about it, a little terrified, but mostly excited. We always wanted our kiddies to be close in age (my siblings and I are each a year apart) but we definitely aren't naive to the fact that we have some tough diaper-filled years ahead!
Anyway, some answers to the most common questions I've received since sharing our news...
 
How far along are you and how are you feeling? I am 15 weeks pregnant and the first trimester was exactly like my last pregnancy - terrible. Fighting through nausea, frequent dizzy spells and extreme exhaustion while chasing around a very mobile baby has been tough! But thankfully I am feeling better these days now that I am in my second trimester.
 
How did you find out? Even though I stopped breastfeeding a few months after Caroline was born my cycle was all out of whack. I began tracking, charting, testing, temping, etc. for a few months to see if things were getting back to "normal" and they definitely were not. So a few days before my routine mammogram {I get these very often due to my family breast cancer history} I took a pregnancy test - negative. When I arrived to my appointment the technician must have asked me a million times if I was pregnant and I assured her that I had just received a negative pregnancy test but that we were in fact "trying". She made me sign a waver stating I wasn't pregnant, informed me of all of the terrible risks associated with radiation exposure to a fetus and then decided to dress me with a lead apron just in case. I knew I wasn't pregnant but felt very nervous throughout the entire screen and even throughout the next few days. She really scared me. By the weekend I ultimately decided to take another pregnancy test. POSITIVE.We should have been jumping for joy but were immediately crippled with fear thinking about the mammogram I just had 5 days earlier and the warning from the technician. I called my doctor first thing the very next morning and he squeezed me in on his lunch break for an ultrasound. Despite a positive pregnancy test the ultrasound showed NO baby and we were devastated. A few days later we went back in for another ultrasound - still no baby but my uterus appeared to be doing something. We continued to go in for ultrasounds every few days to check on the progress and were getting really discouraged (no fetal pole, growing too slowly, not progressing, etc). The doctor informed us that there was some risk that we could lose the baby in the coming weeks due to the radiation exposure from the mammogram. We spent a lot of time in prayer during the weeks that followed. Finally, after 8 long weeks of doctor's appointments and ultrasounds my doctor informed us that he was confident that the baby was healthy, was safe from any radiation exposure and confirmed me for a July 19, 2015 due date! 
 
Will you find out the gender? Yep! In fact, we already know! At 13 weeks my doctor referred us to a specialized maternal-fetal medicine physician who told us with 80% confidence the gender of baby M2! We will receive confirmation at our 18 week anatomy scan and then I will share the news! 
 
Do you have a name? Yep, that's picked out too and I can't wait to share. 
 
Are you going to post weekly bumpdates? Oh heck no. And you're welcome. I barely have time to keep up with the blog as it is and towards the end of my last pregnancy I was so sick of writing those things (and taking pictures)!  I still can't believe I posted 28 updates on my pregnancy with Caroline. Twenty Eight! I will try to scratch some highlights down on a monthly basis this time around just so #2 doesn't feel neglected but nothing nearly as detailed as the first time around. Six updates is much more manageable.
 
Will you return to work after #2 is born? Sure am! Although the thought of a second daycare payment is nauseating, I really enjoy being a working mom and contributing to our family. Also, we love Caroline's daycare (and so does she) and I love my job so this works out perfect for us. More thoughts on this subject here. 
 
Nursery plans? Haha.
 
  Will you do anything different this time around? Oh yes. Here are the top 5 things that come to mind...
 
1. I'll throw in the towel on breastfeeding much earlier. I wanted to exclusively breastfeed Caroline so badly. For months I experimented with every single recommendation from friends and bloggers, old wives tales from the internet and guidance from doctors and lactation consultants in an attempt to breastfeed. It was exhausting, disappointing and extremely frustrating. I even committed to pumping at work despite only getting an ounce or two {at most} each time. Finally at 4 months I threw in the towel and I was a better mom for it. I'll give it another shot this time around but I'm not going to kill myself over it again.
  
2. I'll splurge on the very best SIDS monitor there is. Feel free to send recommendations. I'm leaning towards the Snuza since it's portable and has rave reviews.

3. I won't feel guilty about co-sleeping. Everyone does it but no one admits it. For us, it was a life changing decision and we bed-shared with Caroline until she was two months old. Our doctor and lactation consultant also recommended co-sleeping.

4. I'm going to try my hardest not to gain a million pounds. I am really hoping not to use the "but I'm pregnant" excuse to fuel bad donut habits again. My baby weight didn't magically melt off like it does for some. It took me 6 long, hungry months to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. That being said, the day I found out I was pregnant I ate a box of pop-tarts...so...

5.  I'll give myself grace.

Did I cover everything? Any lingering questions?
Photobucket

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagrambloglovin

Friday, January 23, 2015

Five on Friday!

  What a great week it has been. Thank you all so much for your sweet comments on our pregnancy announcement! We really are so excited and I have so much to fill you in on! In the meantime, here are five other highlights from the week.
 
- ONE -  Matt, Caroline and I all had Monday off for MLK day so we enjoyed a nice long 3 day weekend and caught up on a million errands and checked off overdue to-do's. We got my car serviced and also took Matt's truck in for the 534,523,453,145 time for yet, more repairs from the accident. Fun times.
 
Matt and I also got hair cuts at Great Clips. Yep, we are so not fancy when it comes to hair cuts. In fact, it's been years since I've had a cut over $15. That's just the one thing I can't bring myself to splurge on since I don't get color, highlights, layers, etc. Anyway, I was feeling impulsive and cut off 3 inches. Matt was shocked and so was I. Hours later I started regretting 2 of those 3 inches. Oh well, it's "healthier" now is what I'm telling myself. Later that night we attended an engagement party for our friends.
Oh, and I made a TON of baby food! What a labor of love, truly. Glad that's done...for the next two weeks anyway.
- TWO - Cleaning tip! When we purchased our upholstered rocker from Pottery Barn I couldn't decide on color. The sales associate talked me into a cream color because "spit up is white" and the stains aren't so obvious. Made sense to me so I took the plunge on a cream rocker. Anyway, I later learned that spit up is only white for 6 months...and then it's green, blue, orange or whatever other color baby food you fed your mini last. So I called PB back and asked how in the world I was supposed to clean my overpriced upholstered rocker. The answer -- Mr. Clean Magic Erasers! I was skeptical but picked a few up and went to town on my rocker last weekend. Guess what? These WORK! I was so excited that I went on a furniture cleaning spree to rid our house of spit up stains...which lasted all of four hours until Caroline projectile vomited sweet potatoes across 3 of our couch cushions. I'll be purchasing Magic Erasers in bulk here.
- THREE - Easy dinner of the week - veggie flat breads! My sister turned me on to these awhile ago and they are super delicious (and healthy).  I throw a 90 calorie Flat Out into the oven at 400 degrees for a few minutes to toast it. Add mozzarella and goat cheese then throw back in for about 5 minutes (or until melted). Top with spinach, tomatoes and avocado. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze (my favorite part)!
- FOUR - Last weekend my sister hosted a bachelorette party and I had to share her cute drink station set-up! Those balloons took her forever to make but they turned out fabulous.
- FIVE - Make sure to stop by the end of season sale over at Sugar Bit to save 40-70% off everything from fall/winter!!!
Wanna join Darci, April, Natasha and I on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...
1.) Write your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!).
2.) Share the logo on your blog and link back. 
3.) Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!

Photobucket

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagrambloglovin
Blogging tips