Pregnancy · Uncategorized

The most addictive snack ever

Granted I’m pregnant, but I can’t stop munching on this snack that a co-worker got me hooked on: pretzel chips + cookie butter from Trader Joe’s.

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Not familiar? Well, not only does cookie butter have its own Facebook page (see link above), the product has such a cult following that a month-long shortage of the stuff caused a national outcry earlier this year. Essentially, it’s the consistency of peanut butter with the taste of puréed cookies. (!)

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I pair it with my other latest obsession, which is mint lemonade from a cafe near my office. I was expecting a few floating mint leaves the first time I ordered it, but instead they pulverize the mint in an industrial blender before adding to the lemonade, creating a smooth flavor that’s very refreshing. And, it has the added bonus of looking healthier than lemonade, which helps me to feel like less of a blimp walking around 9 months pregnant with a sugary beverage 🙂

What about you — what’s your go-to snack? Did you combine any weird things when you were pregnant (or not?)

Baby · Pregnancy

Work Shower & Nursery Pics

Check out some of the goodies OrganicBaby hauled in @ Mom’s work shower Friday! We are lucky to have such thoughtful co-workers:

baby clothes

babyclothes2

These pics also offer a sneak peak into our nursery decor, too. Rug by Pottery Barn Kids and dresser by Ikea. We also got a mod little crib that we love from Walmart online (!) and some fab curtains & tiebacks at Target. Wall color is Chinese Jade by Behr (available at Home Depot) and we put a super glossy white on the ceiling that doesn’t translate well in photos but looks awesome. We’re planning to swap out those dangerous blinds with these child-safe cordless ones in the next few days.

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(Sorry for the low quality image, better ones coming soon).

We bought Tasha a special place to hang in the nursery, since this used to be my home office and she is accustomed to having unlimited access to it. The room gets a lot of bright sun, which she adores for afternoon naps, so we’ve had to gradually cut back on letting her hang out here. So far, she’s been a very good girl about the new limits we’ve placed on the room, including shutting the door every night and barring her from the crib and dresser-top. Our fingers are crossed that she’ll make a smooth transition once baby comes home some time in the next few weeks. Pray for us all!

Books · Pregnancy · Tips and Tricks

Five Foodie Things

Here are 5 foodie things I’m loving this summer so far…even though it’s hot as Hades in the northeast and I’m mostly sitting in front of the AC, floating in a pool, or eating ice cream or slush.

First: these ice cream bowls from Martha Stewart.

martha ice cream bowls

Next: these new healthy snack holders from Cuppow, a company based in Somerville, MA, right near where we live.

This exciting (to me) new flavor of cream cheese, which I spotted at Target while nesting picking up a few things before the baby arrives.

jalapeno cream cheese

This book of Italian recipes for children, which adapts my #1 favorite cookbook from Italy for wee palates. My sister-in-law got me this for my shower a few weeks ago…how did she know? 

(Buy the adult version here…it’s beyond essential).

The new FEED USA collection at Target (including these baby bibs!) The entire collection, which debuted just last week, devotes a portion of each purchase to help provide meals to hungry children and families across America. Hunger in our country is unacceptable. I’m glad a major retailer is pitching in, in such a fashion-savvy way.

Last but not least, I give you a belly shot @ 34 weeks. Don’t know what I’d do without my maxi dresses this summer. They are on trend, slimming, and (this is critical) they hide your cankles. (As long as I can’t see ’em, they aren’t there).

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DIY · Grow Your Own Way · Pregnancy · Recipes

Hot, Boring Monday

Hey everyone! I hope you’re having an OK Monday. I’m definitely dragging today, and bemoaning the fact that I’m pregnant during what has GOT to be the hottest Boston summer in decades. So I’ve turned to the blog to take my mind off. I should be using my down time to, I don’t know, pack a hospital bag or finish my shower thank-you notes, but instead I give you this:

needlepoint

…which my brother MADE for me as the best birthday gift ever. Note the typeface and colors. Does he know me (and this blog) or what? I’m in love with it. He’s crazy creative and makes jewelry, digital photographs, 3D knitted objects and clothing, and has the quirkiest artistic point of view. Can you tell I love him?

The Once And Future Snowman

 Just a couple examples of his seasonal designs.

Pumpkin Knittin'

On another note, what have you all been cooking in this heat? It’s so hard to find appetizing things to make when it’s 95 degrees out, but it’s killing my budget to eat takeout all the time. If you have good ideas, let me know!

I’ve been getting by on soup,  grilled cheese, frozen meals-in-a-bag from Trader Joe’s, and big pots of pasta like this and this. Pasta is heavy, but on the plus side, you cook once and have leftovers for days. Both also go great with whatever vegetables I grab from the garden to sauté on the side. I’m particularly enjoying this cheesy zucchini recipe, which has become a favorite in our house and (bonus) uses up a lot of zucchini at one time! I downsized from two zucchini plants to one this year, and it’s still scaring the life out of us (and nearly cannibalizing the neighboring onions). I think I’ll do a post soon with ideas for using up all the zucchini that’s bursting on the scene this time of year.

Meanwhile, stay cool!

Booze & Beverages · Pregnancy · Recipes

Mango Smoothie

Yum! This closely resembles my tropical smoothie, which is made with pineapple, but here I use mango instead because I love the taste of them. Sometimes you just need to mix things up a bit (but not too much).

mango smoothie

Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Banana, preferably frozen
  • 1 bag frozen mango chunks (12 oz.)
  • water if needed for texture
Directions

Adding liquid to the blender first, combine all ingredients and blend. Drink cold!

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Inevitably, the cat photo-bombs me

I know I’ve been a little heavy on smoothies and drinks lately. The further along in my pregnancy I get, the more I’m loving that stuff to stay hydrated and keep my energy up without getting too full. I’m sure it’s getting boring for you, but baby can’t get enough fruit apparently! 

InstagramPsst — are you on Instagram? I’ve used it for almost two years, but am only recently realizing the power of connecting with folks over recipes. If you’d like to connect, check out my profile! I’d love to meet you.

Baby · Booze & Beverages · Pregnancy · Recipes

Summer Drinks

Are you hosting a cookout for the Fourth of July this year? If so, these tasty summer drinks from Kimberly Snyder are just the thing you need to keep cool and hydrated. I threw in a couple of my own recipes, too!

As she says in her blog post, staying hydrated is really important for both health and beauty in the summer. I personally love drinking water with lemon year round, but am always looking for ways to jazz things up a bit without piling on tons of extra sugar.

Sometimes I make this refreshing basil lemonade for myself:

(Click the picture for the recipe)

It’s simple — you just fill a mason jar with water and ice cubes, squeeze in the juice of one lemon, add a teaspoon of stevia, stir until dissolved and then toss in as many fresh basil leaves as you like. Kimberly had two or three other tasty ideas that I wanted to share by re-posting here. My favorites from her post:

AGUA FRESCA

This popular Mexican drink infuses water with your favorite fresh fruit.

  • 4 cups pure, cold water
  • 2 cups of your favorite fresh fruit (such as berries or papaya)
  • Stevia, to taste
  • 2 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Lime wedges

Place fruit and water in a blender and puree. Place a small sieve over a pitcher and pour mixture into it, straining the liquid into the pitcher. Discard solids. Add lime juice and stevia. Garnish with lime wedges.

CILANTRO & JALAPENO LIMEADE

Cilantro is loaded with antioxidants and aids in detoxification, while jalapeno can help rev up your metabolism. Lime is high in Vitamin C.

  • 4-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup organic cilantro, washed & chopped
  • 2 large jalapenos, seeds & ribs removed, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh lime juice
  • Stevia, to taste
  • Lime slices, for garnish

Pour water over cilantro and jalapenos. Steep for 30 minutes at room temperature, and then cover and chill for 3-4 hours. Strain the mixture into a pitcher and stir in lime juice. Add stevia to taste. Serve over ice garnished with lime slices.

ICED ROOIBOS MINT TEA

Rooibos tea is high in antioxidants and flavonoids, so it promotes youthfulness and great skin. Over a little ice with mint and lemon, it’s a refreshing and detoxifying summer beverage.

  • 6 Rooibos tea bags
  • One lemon, sliced
  • Several leaves of fresh mint
  • Stevia to taste
  • 1 gallon of boiling water

Pour water over lemon, teabags and mint leaves and steep, stirring occasionally, until liquid cools. Remove tea bags, pour into a pitcher, and refrigerate. Serve cool or over a little bit of ice.

I also think the Pioneer Woman has a good basic how-to on making macaroni salad, which isn’t too healthy but does pair well with refreshing drinks at a picnic or barbecue. Another nice cold salad: this one, posted by me, just a few weeks ago. Nice way to get your veggies in on a hot day.

What are you up to for the Fourth? We aren’t doing too much this year…probably taking advantage of the day off to finish our nursery and spend time together as a couple before Miss Bambina shows up some time in the next 7 weeks or so. 

Staying cool in the heat wave the Northeast just endured was no joke for this pregnant lady. I must have burned through three or four bottles of water a day! I’m ashamed to say that I’ve started buying bottled water while expecting, because — crazy hormonal symptom alert — the smell of anything that’s been through the dishwasher turns my stomach. On the plus side, drinking bottled water helps me to see how much I’m having, so I can stay on track to drink several bottles each day. Other good options? Cucumber-infused water, and coconut water.  I’ve also been enjoying this smoothie (and so has baby girl!)

And when I’m not pregnant, I love a good Pimm’s Cup in the summer heat. I’ve been pretty jealous watching the husband knock back ice-cold beers at the cookouts we’ve attended this summer. I’ve already placed my order for a chilled glass of white wine at the hospital!