October 15, 2012

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. Today we remember all the babies that were lost in pregnancy, the babies that were born sleeping, and the babies that were born but couldn't stay. October 15th is a day of remembrance. You may not know it, but someone you know has been affected.
Miscarriage / infant loss / stillbirth affects 1 in 4 women. 

To all my friends and family who have lost their little ones, this is for you. My heart aches for you <3

October 13, 2012

Pink and Orange 1st Birthday

So my sweet baby [who is not so much a baby anymore] turned 1 on Wednesday! We had her birthday party the previous Saturday, and it turned out great! She had a blast running around with a few of the kids, and enjoyed eating the wraps and her cake. The theme was hot pink and orange polka dot, with black as an accent color. I got most of my ideas from Pinterest and just went with it.

Here's the Birthday girl testing out the cake

October 1, 2012

Freezer meals revealed!!

They turned out great!! We have a small freezer, so I was worried with how much I could store, but it fit perfectly :) So I spent a good 5 or so hours prepping/cooking/cooling and packaging my meals for the almighty freezer (not all of them cooked, many frozen raw for future cooking), but boy was I happy to be done! There were a few times I had to hit pause since Mimi would wake up from a nap, but with that said, it was the BEST 5 hours of my life spent. So far we've eaten 3 of the meals (the meatballs shown below, lasagna and tortellini soup), and they have been great! I got the recipes here at This Lady's House (This George Romney Meatballs pictured below was fabulous)..... I made many of the freezer meals listed here at Ring Around The Rosie's blog,and also loved the one's here at Dreaming of Poultry. Fantastic ideas!!
Here's a few of the meals I made- once you split the meals in half, I ended up with about 15 or so meals ready to be frozen. Not bad for $200 of *organic food right? :) 
Already prepared nightly meals = one happy mama!!
* Our family tries to eat as many organic products as possible (this usually includes meat, dairy and at least the dirty dozen veggies)

September 22, 2012

Part One- Freezer meals in the making

Thanks to Pinterest, I was able to find some great freezer meals to make! I'm so beyond excited to begin this, especially since the only meal I've ever truly frozen is spaghetti sauce. I don't know about you, but my evenings are pretty busy between making dinner, playing with Mimi, helping pick up the house and hanging with the hubs.... I'm wearing myself out!
I decided to make freezer meals that either go directly into the crock pot or into the oven directly from the freezer. I went to the store today and purchased 90% of the foods I need- or $181 worth. Sounds like a lot, but the goal is to get anywhere from 10 to 20 meals out of this, so overall it's not so bad. I then went to Trader Joe's and got the remaining $40 worth (not pictured here)

Sorry about the horrible photo!
Hopefully they turn out delicious! I'm prepping/freezing them tomorrow..... more pics to follow! :)

September 13, 2012

My birthday dinner

So yesterday I turned 34. Yep, another year wiser!! My husband asked me what I wanted for dinner, and I said steak and potatoes au gratin. So he did some research and decided to make me Steak au Poivre, Potatoes au Gratin and a nice big salad. I am the cook in our house- albeit I have had my share of lazy days, but nonetheless I'm the cook. He wanted to make me a special birthday dinner, and I can honestly say it was just as good, if not better than we could have gotten at a nice steak restaurant! Mad props to the hubby there.

It was so delicious, I thought I would share the recipes he used :) I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Steak au Poivre- courtesy of Alton Brown

  • 4 tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and no more than 1 1/2 inches thick.
  • Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Cognac, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
     Remove the steaks from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour prior to cooking. Sprinkle all sides with salt.

     Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or using a mallet and pie pan (we have an automatic grinder he used). Spread the peppercorns evenly onto a plate. Press the fillets on both sides into the pepper until it coats the surface (he just ground it directly onto the steak and firmly pressed them into the meat). Set aside.

     In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil. As soon as the butter and oil begin to turn golder and smoke, gently place the steaks in the pan. For medium-rate, cook for 4 minutes on each side (if you like them more well-done, cook them for 1-2 minutes longer on each side, careful not to burn the steaks).Once done, remove the steaks to a plate, tent with foil and set aside. Pour off the excess fat, but do not wipe or scrape the pan clean!

     Off the heat, add 1/3 cup of Cognac to the pan, and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long match or fire stick. Gently shake the pan until the flames die. Return the pan to medium heat and add the cream. Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk until the sauce coats the back of a spoon (approx. 5 to 6 minutes). Add the teaspoon of Cognac and season to taste with salt. Add the steaks back to the pan, spoon the sauce over and serve!

Potatoes au Gratin- courtesy of allrecipies.com

  • 4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 onion slided into rings
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
     Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C), butter a quart casserole dish.

     Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

     In a medium size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, stirring constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened, then stir in cheese all at once. Continuously stir until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese over the potatoes and cover the dish with foil.

     Bake for 1 1/2 hours and serve.

August 31, 2012


I was diagnosed at 28 weeks with Gestational Diabetes while pregnant with Amelia. It was a total shocker to everyone (not one member in my family has had diabetes). It can honestly happen to anyone- even children. I am walking to help raise money for those who do have it, and to help fund research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes.
Please help me raise money HERE (either to me or a general donation to my team) to help end this. I totally understand if you think diabetes is not as big of a deal when compared to other things in life.... but the costs alone to pay for those who have it should be enough to want to help!
Here are some scary facts*
Total: 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.
Diagnosed: 18.8 million people
Undiagnosed: 7.0 million people
Prediabetes: 79 million people

Under 20 years of age
  • 215,000, or 0.26% of all people in this age group have diabetes
  • About 1 in every 400 children and adolescents has diabetes
Age 20 years or older
  • 25.6 million, or 11.3% of all people in this age group have diabetes
Age 65 years or older
  • 10.9 million, or 26.9% of all people in this age group have diabetes
  • 13.0 million, or 11.8% of all men aged 20 years or older have diabetes
  • 12.6 million, or 10.8% of all women aged 20 years or older have diabetes
Even scarier?

Cost of Diabetes
  • $174 billion: Total costs of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2007
  • $116 billion for direct medical costs
  • $58 billion for indirect costs (disability, work loss, premature mortality)
Factoring in the additional costs of undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes brings the total cost of diabetes in the United States in 2007 to $218 billion.
  • $18 billion for people with undiagnosed diabetes
  • $25 billion for American adults with prediabetes
  • $623 million for gestational diabetes

** All factual information gathered from The CDC

A big thanks to those who have donated or are already walking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 30, 2012

My new blog design

So upon my searching for simple cute blogs, I came across Shabby Creations with some great looking templates. There are some cute affordable premades (such as this one), as well as different packages. Just thought I would throw it out there in case anyone is on the lookout!

Thanks Shabby Creations!

August 27, 2012

Free Cute Blogger Templates

So, I have always enjoyed changing my blog templates. Something about a new face every now and then makes me happy. However, I have the most difficult time finding actual FREE cute Blogger templates that are simple and cute. I thought I would share some of the sites I have found, in hopes of making your life much more simpler. Just make sure to follow the instructions from each site!


Leelou Blogs
Simply Fabulous
The Chic Boutique
Blogaholic Designs
The Cutest Blog On The Block
Blog Designs By Shelia
Louise Franks Blog Designs
Suck My Lolly
made by madeline
Blog Designs by Dani
Delicious Design Studio

And some Free Blogger backgrounds

The Cutest Blog On The Block
Leelou Blogs
Blogaholic Designs
Simply Chic Blogs
Shabby Blogs
The Background Fairy

Here are a few Free Headers

Free Web Headers
The Cutest Blog On The Block
The Background Fairy
Blog Tipz

August 24, 2012

I am now officially a Weight Watcher's member!

So I took the plunge today when I found a coupon for 30% off the first month. Instead of it being close to $43, I only paid $29.95. Love a good deal!

So with this $29.95, I get unlimited meeting attendance and online tools. I remember when I had joined half-assed some years back, that the online recipes helped me out quite a bit. I was able to cook for both my husband and myself, but using healthier options for meals. This time I am going all in.... I WILL conquer being overweight!

Flab to fab, here I come ;)


August 19, 2012

The light is on!

So this weekend I had an epiphany. Like a Whoa, how the eff did I not realize this before!!

I have known in my head that I had weight issues for quite some time now, but I literally had a light bulb go off in my head. I CAN lose weight, I just to limit certain eternal factors in order to complete my goal!
Read: No trying to get pregnant, no late night glasses of wine (or in general no alcohol), and no fatty pick-me-up foods. Add in to this mixture birth control pills, after dinner gym time (after the wee one goes to bed) and meal planning, and VOILA! A happier me.

I have been charting to get pregnant again (My Chart)- for those who don't know my story, I conceived my daughter via IUI (Intrauterine Insemination). It took 4 tries and lots of medication in order to bring this beautiful little girl into our lives. I don't ovulate on a regular basis. Hell, I hardly ever ovulate. My charting has shown this to be true yet again, which brings me to realize we will need to go the medical route again to conceive a sibling. I am not physically ready, nor mentally ready to do this, so what perfect timing to concentrate on feeling better on the inside by losing weight? While I always said I would never go back on BCP's (birth control pills), I feel like this is the only sane way I can focus 100% of my attention on my health and fitness. I always think/dream in the back of my head "what if I'm pregnant", which leads me to go easy on myself.

So here are my goals:

1. Make appointment with OBGYN to get on BCP's

2. Set specific days of the week to workout

3. Try to take the stairs, or do any kind of 'additional' mini workouts on those off days

4. Pack my lunch daily for work

Here's a few pictures from this past week of fun at the fountains that helped me finally get it. While I am not fond of these photos (or sharing them for that matter), they are me, and I am beautiful (I mean that in the most self-loving, non conceited way). I will feel much healthier and be happier once I am at a healthy weight... and sharing these photos as I go will help me get there.


This time is for realsies. I HAVE to make a change for myself, my family, and especially my daughter. I want to be a healthy example for her.

So here I go!

July 15, 2012

Amelia's 1st Birthday Party

So, I love to decorate, plan and just enjoy get togethers. I've been mentally planning her first birthday party for months now. And as time draws closer, I plan to slowly start purchasing things for the big day. The party itself has no theme, just a lot of pink, orange and a touch of black. Can't wait :) I am still on the fence about buying her a cake (or cupcakes) or just making it myself. I'd like to do a sugar free cake for her- or at least one with less sugar, so we'll see.

Here's a few pics of my ideas....

Cupcake liners

Table setting (though I would do an orange table cloth with the pink polka dot over it)

Her tutu (a friend of mine already made it for her)

My original idea came from this... just less black!

Here's my pinterest board with a bunch of ideas -Pinterest Link- Tell me what you think!

June 24, 2012

Let's talk weight

     This has always been a struggle for me in adulthood. Up until high school, I didn't have very many issues since I played sports and my parents made healthy meals. Fast forward to college and beyond, and the weight has slowly crept on. I totally get how people say "I have no idea how this happened". I mean, you see it slowly creep, so it's not like you woke up one day and said "WOW, I'm overweight!". Sadly, it's more like a gradual change that is easy to write off.

     In my head I have been referring to my weight loss in decades. Each 10 lbs = 1 decade :)  I have already lost one decade, and I'm quickly approaching a second.... though technically it's cheating because I started off at a low end of one decade. I would like to shave 5-6 decades off which makes for a long journey ahead of me!
     I've been doing this weight loss challenge with a few friends, and it has helped immensely! It was a $15 initiation fee, and $2 for every lb gained or $2/week if no weight is lost. So far I have overall lost 13lbs since trying to watch what I eat, and it's coming off at a steady 1 to 2 lbs a week. Perfect! (Though I secretly wish I could shave off 50 lbs and call it a day).

So this is me.

     Granted I was 8 months pregnant, but you get the idea. Not only had I started off overweight before getting pregnant, I gained more while pregnant. Not to displace blame, but my troubles trying to get pregnant, and all the medications I took did not help. I had become pretty depressed and drank more often than I should have.

     So, fast forward to today... I am happier and slowly losing decades. While it may take me quite some time, I'm determined to do it for myself and my family. I thought if I publicly talk about it, it may give me more motivation. I'll try and post pictures along the way
I think my next step is to research healthy recipes that helps out a working mom :) Time is not something I have much of nowadays!!

June 17, 2012

Indigo Night

Possibly one of the coolest things I've come across in a long time. Indigo Night is a site that takes the night sky on the date you request, and puts it into picture form for you. While there is just about any backdrop you want (beach, city, country, mountains, lakes etc) I chose to do one over Mt. Hood, the night Amelia was born. They give you a photo, a star map so you can locate each star, and state the longitude and latitude of where the picture was taken. Pretty neat if you ask me!

While somewhat pricey, it's totally worth it! I bought one for Eric for Father's Day, and had it framed. It looks fantastic and I can't wait for us to hang it up :)

 *Updated with a picture*

 Sorry about the quality. I didn't have the good camera, and was getting all glare (this was the best angle believe it or not). It is MUCH more beautiful in person!

June 6, 2012

Time to start budgeting!

So, I had a minor meltdown today when I realized our $500+ car insurance renewal was due this month. It got me thinking about how much I spend on crap. Literally crap- things I don't need. I am what one might call a shopaholic, but please don't confuse this with a hoarder- I tend to clean house often, I just like to try new things in my home (a new comforter, pillows, rugs, kitchen supplies, baby stuff... you name it.)
So then the dreaded cost of food came to me. Ugh, now that's a doozy. Here's a visual of how I feel it looks.

Ok, maybe it's not really that bad, but I do need to buckle down and stop spending so much for lunches, and randomly picking up things for dinner/eating out. Being that I am the main breadwinner (my husband stays home with our daughter), I need to make sure my finances are in order, so I can lead the life we desire.
Currently, I can seriously spend a good $50 each time I go to the grocery store, and it usually will be for two dinners and some snacks. Ooopsies!
Soooooo, I have decided to tackle one thing at a time. Food first!

The plan:
Monday - Friday: Bring lunches to work, allowing an eat out once a week
Saturday - Sunday: Allow one nights dinner for eating/take out, otherwise all meals will be cooked at home.

Go to the store (preferably Winco if I can stomach it) once every 2 weeks to gather up any canned/box foods we might need.
Go to Whole Foods/New Seasons and get meats & veggies weekly for dinners and lunches for that week.

I found a few websites I loved, that I thought I would share. I hope they can add some assistance in my weaker moments!
I'm an organizing junkie, Meal planning mommies, and  What's cookin Chicago

Wish me luck! :o)

June 4, 2012

I Will Be

There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of genetics, or money or that I have read more books but because I have struggled and toiled for this child. I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed. I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover.
I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.
I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that I have been given me this insight,
this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.

Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that I am led to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured.
I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed. I have succeeded. I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life. Yes I will be a wonderful mother.