Monday, March 28, 2011

Is it spring or summer?!

For all those of you who still are getting snow and cold weather this spring, I hope you begin to warm up soon and enjoy spring time. Spring is here! However, in the desert Spring doesn't always mean "nice weather for outdoor activities" as we approach that triple digit number. Yes I'm talking about the 100. It is nearly around the corner for us.

Here is our outlook for this week. Approaching record temp's this week by Friday with some nice warm weather. I say warm, yes, to most of you this will be a July type weather pattern. Mid to upper 80's here feels great this time of year. Sunny, warm weather to get outside and start hitting the pool. But let's slow down and not reach for that 100 mark just yet, please! It will be here soon enough I'm afraid. Nothing like bringing in April like upper 90's?!?!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekly updates & Pictures of the "Peach" now "Naval Orange"

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 15 Weeks today

Size of baby: size of a Naval Orange (and weighs 2.5oz and is 4.0 inches long :)

Total Weight Gain/Loss: zero, if anything I've lost about 5 pounds.

Maternity Clothes: Starting to wear maternity pants, mine are too tight!

Gender: We don't know and won't know until September when I'm due :)

Movement: Not yet.

Sleep: Have been sleeping pretty good, and super tired!

What I miss: Nothing really.

Cravings: Food?! I'm just hungry now, which is a GREAT feeling!

Symptoms: I {think} I'm done with morning/all-day sickness!

Labor Symptoms:Nope

Milestone: Hopefully passed morning sickness!

Best Moment this week: Had my 4th Doc appt and things are going great.

What I'm looking forward to: My belly growing!

Alright, now on to some photos to share with you all. This week I had my 4th appointment. Crazy to think that I've had 4 appointments already and still have 5 more to go by the time I'm 24 weeks. That's 9 appointments in the first 2 trimesters. I know a lot of women don't have that many appointments in their entire pregnancy. Just gotta make sure baby is doing well and staying healthy baking in there.
These are from my 12 week appointment and also did a NT scan/test. Tested for genetic disorders and down syndrome. I'm happy to report baby looks healthy and great and looks like we won't have any health issues as of now! The ultrasound tech said she could tell the gender with 95% accuracy at this appointment. She kindly asked me "Are you intrested in knowing the gender of the baby before I go down there?" I never thought those words would be so hard to hear or answer to. I kindly said "No thank you". But man, I had no idea they could tell this early. Josh and I have been having a lot of discussion lately about this topic and will decide later on what to do. I can say that we're 50/50 on wanting to know (ah-hem, I still don't want to know but it's killing him!). More on that later.
 There's that baby that now looks like a baby! Last time baby just looked like a sea monkey.
 Looking at baby's back side with the cute little bottom! Great 3D picture of baby!
 I must warn you, I was advised this is not a sign baby has "boy parts", baby's umbillical cord was in the way for the 3D picture. This isn't a for sure sign it's a boy, just a great frontal picture of baby.
Towards the end once baby settled down and wasn't bouncing around so much, baby was munching on some fingers. So cute! I was just having the best time watching baby move and stretch out. Even though I can't feel baby move yet I just knew baby was growing nicely in there.
Sorry for the over-usage of the word "baby" but it's just easier than saying he/she every single time. And I want to try to avoid using "it" all the time. "It" is a person not a thing and a baby is a person. To me anyway...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Quinoa pronounced {Keen-Wah}

Another great dish that was SUPER easy. This could easily be made for 1 or 2 people, and was GREAT as a left over for lunch the next day.

2 cups quinoa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1/2 can garbanzo beans (add more if you like)
about 1/4 cucumber diced
1 1/2 cups beef broth (can use water instead but the beef broth gives the quinoa a great flavor)
Italian sausage (optional, if you want a side of meat)

What I'd add next time:
More garbanzo beans
Bell Pepper
Diced Tomato

Cook the quinoa according to box, basically just like rice, but using beef broth instead of water. I use my rice cooker and it's easy. Get the rest of the ingredients ready. I decided to throw in some cooked, sliced italian sausage because I know Josh likes to have meat with most meals and it was a great flavor addition to the veggie quinoa. This is an easy dish to make and like I said great as a leftover.

This would be a great side dish if you're having a larger meal too.

Twisted Chicken Salad

Coming up with ideas for dinner sometimes can be hard. Usually I think about what sounds good and what I have at home. It also helps to read other food blogs and blogs of friends who post amazing dishs. This brings me again to my good friend Amy's blog which you should all start reading. Man does she post some great recipes and dishs.

This brings me to what I made the other night. It was inspired by Amy's Roasted Veggie and Chicken Sandwich but of course I didn't have all the ingredients and didn't follow all of these directions, but man was it good!

I used about half a block of cream cheese, warmed up. Must be warm in order to mix with the rest of the ingredients. Chopped up a handful of baby carrots, a handful of broccoli heads and about half of a green bell pepper. Cooked about 3/4 - 1 lb of chicken breast, sliced into thin strips in a bit of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Then I shredded it as best I could. Added a few dashs of onion powder and garlic salt and spread this amazing mix on some toasted whole wheat bread.  This reminded me of a chicken salad sandwich. The cream cheese helped "glue" all of the veggies and chicken together.

What a nice and light dinner!

St Paddy's Day Feast & A Special Birthday

Yes I realize this is over a week old and overdue, I've been busy at work and no time to blog! I have tried to get better at cooking more now that I'm feeling more human and not on barf-patrol (sorry too much info!). St. Patrick's Day is always a fun day for me, I love all the celebrations, the green everything and most of all it's my Grandma's Birthday. This year was a tough one for me, very tough, as she passed away earlier this month and didn't get to make it to what would have been her 80th birthday.

 So I celebrated for her. I made Corned Beef and Cabbage and a green lemon birthday cake with green lemon frosting! If anyone knows much about me, it's that I'm not a huge meat person, and especially when it comes to Corned Beef and Cabbage I've never been a fan. I think as I'm growing up (or just getting older!) I'm coming to try new things and like more varieties. So for me to MAKE Corned Beef and Cabbage in my house, that is a HUGE step. I remember my Grams always making corned beef and cabbage a couple times and how badly the house stunk when you walk in. Yuck! I can say when I made it this year, for the first time ever, it didn't stink quite as bad. I think one special ingredient helped with that (Thanks to my cousin D'anne for suggesting it). And I made a green cake with green frosting for Grams' birthday. The cake mix was from a box, lemon flavored. I made the frosting by scratch, which didn't turn out very good. It was more a consistency of icing, practice I suppose. I made the frosting green and lemon flavored. I kind of thought it would be too much lemon but it turned out great!! I've never layered a cake before either, which will take practice but hey it turned out pretty good.

So Happy Birthday Grams! I love you and miss you so much.

All in the crock pot and ready to cook! Layered: potatoes, carrots, onion, corned beef, seasonings, garlic and cabbage. Man it's a good thing I have a large crock pot! Oh and 2 cups water and 3 cups apple juice {SECRET INGREDIENT}. This helped the "juice" or broth be so flavorful and I think it helped tenderize the meat and take away the stink, yahoo!

This was so good, tasted amazing and was a great dish to finally make for my first time on St. Patrick's Day.

Next, on to the cake!

The cake doesn't look very green but it was pretty green. Man it tasted good! Our celebration was just Josh, Lucy and I (well and baby Dewey!). Happy Birthday Grams, we love you!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

This week was a turning point

Not anything major, but somewhat of a big deal to me at least. I think (think being the keyword here) that I might, just might, be over this nausea and all-day sickness feeling of pregnancy. I'm not getting too excited yet, but in the last 3 days I've actually wanted to eat and been hungry. Woohoo! So here's to hoping and crossing my fingers. I still eat pretty often just to try to avoid the feeling but I'm hoping I'll start to really enjoy pregnancy now, ha!

On another note, upon following my lovely friend Amy's blog Eating with my Mouth Open She has been doing a weekly post on Friday called "Random *Ridays" where she encourages people to post something random that has been on your mind all week. I've wanted to post and be involved in this but I haven't been posting regularly and haven't had a whole lot on my mind, besides NOT getting sick. So I encourage you to follow her blog, she's an AMAZING cook and whips up some great meals, and also check out her Random *Ridays posts.

Here's what's been on my mind this week:

{images via here}
 Not necessarily this type of cottage cheese, but cottage cheese nonetheless and strawberries oh my! I'm hooked on them. Pregnancy craving or healthy eating?! Possibly both, but I'm a pretty healthy eater anyway so this isn't really out of the norm for me. Just glad to be eating foods I like and want to eat for a change.

Happy Eating! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The first ultrasound & weekly highlights

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 13 Weeks 1 day
Size of baby: size of a Peach (and weighs 0.81 oz and is 2.9 inches long :)
Total Weight Gain/Loss: zero, if anything I've lost about 5 pounds.
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but my pants are getting a bit tighter.
Gender: We don't know and won't know until September when I'm due :)
Movement: Not yet.
Sleep: Have been sleeping pretty good, except for getting up to pee!
What I miss: Being able to eat regular food that tastes good. Morning sickness sucks, but I think I'm almost done...?!
Cravings: To not have morning sickness??
Symptoms: Just morning sickness so far, and increased peeing! Oh and I smell EVERYTHING!
Labor Symptoms:Nope
Milestone: Started the 2nd trimester!
Best Moment this week: Talking to my mom about baby shower this summer.
What I'm looking forward to: Getting a belly to see that baby growing :)

Again, nothing too exciting yet just another week gone by. My all-day morning sickness has lightened up a bit so I'm hoping I'm on my way out of that. I was actually hungry Friday and Saturday, almost forgot what that felt like! Here's a picture of our first ultrasound from our first appointment back on February 9th. Sorry for the quality it is a cell phone picture of the ultrasound.
  So the baby is on the bottom of that 'blob' and here the head was on the right and the legs/butt was on the left. That tiny bubble above the body was the yolk sac. Josh is STILL convinced we're having twins, even after seeing this photo. We'll see how that turns out :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Easy dinner - enchiladas

Been a bit behind in posting recipes lately, as well as cooking regularly. While food hasn't been appealing to me lately...I mean not at all, I haven't been very creative in cooking. I'm getting better though and hope this morning all-day sickness is just about over (crossing fingers!). Enchiladas sounded good to me and I thought it had been a while since I made them. While searching for this one recipe I have that I remember was super easy, and then not finding it, I think part of the recipe came to me and then I followed part of another. So this is part of probably at least two recipes, but hey it turned out great!

1 8-oz soft cream cheese
1 small 8-oz container of sour cream
1 can 10-oz red enchilada sauce
7-10 tortillas
1 package shredded cheese
1-2 cans 4-oz diced green chiles

**Number of tortillas depend on how full you fill them and how much filling you want to make. This made about 7 med-large enchiladas. This would be EASILY halved to make just a single or double serving dinner.

In a large mixing bowl mix cream cheese. Tip: Let cream cheese sit out of fridge for about 10-15 minutes until it softens. Add to this the sour cream and diced green chiles. I used 1 can, and it was fairly good as far as spicy goes. Feel free to add a second can or even a can of diced jalapenos. Also add about 1/4-1/3 cup of enchilada sauce. Sprinkle in a handful of shredded cheese (about 1/4 cup or so). Warm tortillas in microwave for 20 seconds to warm so they will mold easy. Fill the tortillas with about 1/3-1/4 cup filling and add more shredded cheese if you want. Place seam side down in a casserole dish. I had to use two casserole dishes because I made extra. Top with rest of enchilada sauce and more shredded cheese. Optional: top with black olives. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and starts bubbling.

I hope you get the inspiration to cook up something easy and delicious for dinner one night this week!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The pregnancy trivia begins

I suppose I can start some of these fun questions about pregnancy. Though no pictures will be included as I haven't gained any "belly" yet, but soon enough, soon enough they'll be here! I'll also include an ultra sound once I can get it uploaded from our first appointment. 

Pregnancy Highlights:
How Far Along: 12 Weeks 5 days
Size of baby: size of a Plum(and weighs 2.1 oz and is 2.1 inches long)
Total Weight Gain/Loss:  zero according to the doctor yesterday, if anything I've lost about 5 pounds
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but my pants are getting a bit tighter.
Gender: We don't know and won't know until September when I'm due :)
Movement: Not yet.
Sleep:Have been sleeping pretty good, except for getting up to pee!
What I miss: Being able to eat regular food that tastes good. Morning sickness sucks!
Cravings: To not have morning sickness??
Symptoms: Just morning sickness so far, and increased peeing!
Labor Symptoms:Nope
Milestone: Started the 2nd trimester!
Best Moment this week: 2nd doctor appointment yesterday, all went well & I got to hear the heartbeat again!.
What I'm looking forward to: Getting a belly to see that baby growing :)

Well I know that isn't very exciting, getting to know my morning sickness and peeing habits, ha! It will get more exciting as the weeks go on I'm sure. I'm excited to share this with all of you and to learn about everyone else's experiences with pregnancy and becoming a parent.

Happy Thursday to all :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Silly Hubby Contest Results

Don't worry, I did tell Josh that I entered him...only after it was over :) I entered Josh in a "Funny Hubby Contest" held by a blogger friend Jessie over at I'm a Wife Now?. The contest was such a cute and fun idea! She had her hubby choose the winner. This was a lot of fun. Josh didn't win, but I had so much fun seeing all of the pictures that were submitted -- what a cool idea for a fun contest?!

Go take a look at the final winner page to see the picture I submitted of Josh. Did you find him?! That was a fun night a couple years ago at a friends house and those boys were being SO SILLY!

Picture from I'm a Wife Now? Contest blog
 Go out and take pictures of your funny hubby, family & friends. Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pesto Pasta Dish & Citrus Decor

I've made a return home after being away in Colorado for almost 2 weeks. Sometimes being home feels good, even though you miss where you were and who you were with. So I've been busy planning what to cook this week for dinner. Sunday I made this lovely Pesto Pasta with Chicken dish. However Monday and Tuesday were a no go since I worked evenings and I wasn't up for cooking dinner at 10:30pm. This dish was pretty easy and I just made it up on the go. I was in the mood for pasta, had some chicken and remembered I had a dry pesto mix in the cupboard to use. I love it when it's that easy!

Pasta of choice (I used Cavatappi)
Dry pesto mix (usually in the store in the spice asile)
for the pesto mix you'll need: milk & olive oil (amounts listed on the packet)
Chicken (I had about 2 small chicken breasts)
about 1/3 cup lemon juice
1-2 garlic cloves, smashed & chopped
seasoning for chicken if you want

I started by cooking the pasta and in another pan cooking the pesto sauce. The pesto was super easy to make. Then as the pasta was done, I added the pesto to the pasta and let it sit for a few minutes. In a skillet pan I put about a tablespoon of olive oil and 2 garlic cloves and turned the heat on medium. I sliced the chicken into bite size chunks and just used salt and pepper to season. I kept it pretty simple knowing it was going into a pesto dish. So the chicken cooked for about 5-10 minutes until it turned white and was almost cooked all the way through. I added the lemon juice now just so the chicken could simmer it in a few more minute, about 5, to get the flavor. Then I added the chicken to the pasta and wa-la!

Now here you can dish up your plate and dig in. I decided to try to bake it. Something about baked pasta sounds fancy, maybe?! So I put the dish in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes just to get a crispy topping. I thought it would be good to add some parmsian cheese. Yumm! It was a good idea.

All in all, this was an easy dish with ingredients I had on hand. Of course you can make your own pesto or use a different sauce. It was light and creamy. It doesn't look like much chicken, add more if you like, I didn't have much.

Oh yes, and now the citrus decor. Josh had a great idea to use up our excess Lemons and Oranges. He works in landscape and had come across a lot of lemons. We weren't going to be able to use them all before they went bad. Josh is a genius! He took a string of heavy duty string and threaded it between the sliced lemons and limes. This is so pretty and smelled awesome! The smell has kind of gone away as they dried out, but it is SO PRETTY! And such a festive decor for spring. Very cost effective decor I might add!