Weeks 24 & 25 Baby Update

If my boobs were smaller I wouldn't look quite so large and in charge... but dang the pregnancy boobs.

Yesterday at the gym, 25 weeks.

24/25 Week Pregnancy Update

Size: Baby B is the size of a loaf of bread. 

Due Date: November 2 (measured for Nov 6 at the ultrasound, but they aren't changing it). I'm betting I have the baby in October. 

Heartbeat: At my ultrasound appointment it was about 122 and then at the OB the next week it was back to 166. Also known as, you can't predict gender with my children. 

Symptoms: Indigestion is still bad but manageable. I'm taking Zantac and Prilosec and it really keeps it in check. I also have to watch what I eat, anything sugary makes my indigestion bad. 

Currently Missing: I'd love some Bluebell ice cream or a big piece of chocolate cake. I'm making my favorite chocolate cake for Jeremy's birthday, which is conveniently after my glucose test, and plan on just suffering for the cause.

Cravings and Favorite Foods: I got a recipe for Alabama White BBQ Sauce this week and have slathered it on everything that holds still. I'll post my current favorite salad recipe on Friday!

Sleep: Good, when I get up to go to the bathroom it wakes the baby up. So all the kicking keeps me up for a bit longer. Mom sent Jeremy the My Pillow for his birthday and I got one too... that sucker is comfortable. We also ordered a Sensorpedic Sensor Cool Gel Mattress Topper on sale this week and I can't wait to put it on the bed. Our mattress is at a point of either needing to be replaced or do something like this. This topper should extend the life of it and help up both sleep better.

Food Aversions: 
Nothing really. Toddler food doesn't smell good. Sweets make me sick but they aren't an aversion.

Exercise: We were out of town for literally 15 days visiting family, so workouts weren't happening. Now that we are back I'm combining the Faster Way to Fat Loss Fit Pregnancy workouts with the free month of Pure Barre I won. Cardio makes me want to die, half because I'm so out of breath and half because it's uncomfortable.

Reading/Baby Related Classes and Prep:
Mama Natural Week by Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth
Mom's On Call 0-6 Month

I'm now flipping through two Bradly Method books, Husband Coached Childbirth and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. Any extra comfort and position tips for labor are more than welcome.

Weight: 15 lbs total before the July appointment. I freaked out for a second, but it's within range on the weight gain chart for this point in time. My stomach is out there big time, but my boobs are the problem. I've gone up bra sizes 3 times now.

Movement: All the time. Jeremy is finally feeling it this week.

Maternity Clothing: Yes. I'm loving my non maternity swing dresses from Old Navy that I talked about here. The only issue has been maternity workout clothing. I can't very well wear Jeremy's shirts to Pure Barre like I can at Planet Fitness.

Gender Guess: I've got nothing. Maybe girl because I'm carrying differently, but that means nothing. I might be carrying the same but my boobs have hit the floor and are making my stomach look higher lol! Jeremy and my Mom both think girl though. I think they just want a girl.

Here's a side by side from 25 weeks with Harrison and this baby. I feel like I was lower with him, but my boobs are insane with this one.

Meal Planning Monday

We are finally back home, and y'all have no clue how happy this makes me.

Also, no links this week, just sharing what I'm up to. A no recipe kind of week.

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (using a bag salad)

Tuesday - Burgers with Sauteed Mushroom and Onions, Havarti Cheese, and White BBQ Sauce, served with Roasted Potatoes and Cucumbers

Wednesday - leftovers

Thursday - Meatball Subs

Friday - Fried Shrimp & Catfish, Fries, Coleslaw - working on a few recipes to go with this that will be up soon. 

Saturday & Sunday - I haven't thought this far yet lol! 

Breakfast - eggs, a sweet potato, and a peach
Lunch - a new recipe I'll share later in the week! 

Five on Friday

It is Friday right?

We've been traveling so much I don't know up from down at the moment. But being back in my own bed for the weekend is glorious... over 9 hours of sleep last night.

So this week's favorites:

[ O N E ]

I finally broke down and ordered the Buffet serum from The Ordinary. I've loved every product I've used from them in the past so getting one that combines everything I want in a serum should make me just as happy.

In case you're wondering... I use (in this order) Teddie Organic Rose Hip Oil, whaterver serum, either CeraVe lotion or cream depending on day or night, then Neutrogena 100 SPF during the day. I was also topping off my night routine lately with a sample of Dermatologica Sound Sleep, its's okay but not worth the full price container of it. I'll stick to The Ordinary... and then my beloved RetinA once I'm done with pregnancy and nursing.

[ T W O ]

This made me laugh way too hard.

Harrison has gotten to the fun age of copying us in prayer. He also wants to sing "Jesus Loves Me" before bed and I won't even talk about how I've now sleep trained myself and start yawning when I sing it.


After two grandparents houses and not living what he deems his best life I caught him praying to watch Ninja Turtles before we got home. I looked over and his had his little hands clasped together and kept saying "watch turtles" over and over. So I said: "Harry are you praying that you can watch turtles?" His response: "Yes." And then continued to plead to Jesus that he could watch turtles... 3 year olds.

<blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk3JTomhhBD/" data-instgrm-version="8" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:500px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"><div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:62.5% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"></div></div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk3JTomhhBD/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">When you’re so happy to finally be home that you’re praying you can “watch turtles” driving into the neighborhood. I feel ya kid. #noisylittleharry</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A post shared by <a href="https://www.instagram.com/labride/" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;" target="_blank"> E M I L Y - LOUISIANA BRIDE</a> (@labride) on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2018-07-05T19:25:59+00:00">Jul 5, 2018 at 12:25pm PDT</time></p></div></blockquote> <script async defer src="//www.instagram.com/embed.js"></script>

[ T H R E E ]

This baby is all up in my hip area and sciatic nerves. Some days I walk fine. Other days I might as well be 90. I don't know how much of this is just mom amnesia or what, but I don't remember Harrison tormenting me in this way before my 3rd trimester. This baby also takes zero breaks. I could get up during the night and sway around to knock Harrison back out to get more sleep, if I get up to potty I think I'm waking this one up. It immediately starts moving around and takes me forever to fall back asleep. Fingers crossed this isn't any indication of things to come. 

[ F O U R ] 

I'm something frugal about products, my husband might disagree... but he exceeds my frugality. So with that said it took me months before I broke down to try out the Dry Bar Dry Shampoo. What finally made me do it was the Red Stick Moms Blog Bloom Event. The girl there curled my hair and added some in... and the next day my hair looked just washed. I can get by with other brands of dry shampoo, but this legit makes my greasy head not look greasy. So after a solid two months of using their travel size can and still not using it up I broke down and bought the big can. And y'all, I am not lying, this stuff if Christmas Miracle beauty product status. If you hate washing your hair everyday you definitely need some of it.

On a side note, I used the brunette version of Batiste for ages but couldn't after dying my hair. This doesn't leave the white cast I had issues with in other products so I don't even bother either their colored versions. 

[ F I V E ]

In other hilarious Harry things that I want to remember... he has discovered attempting to distract us by pointing out his "boo-boos." If we bring out the medicine... he points to the immense amount of boo-boos on his legs. Suggest he put on pajamas... boo-boos. Lotion, that just causes boo-boos. Yesterday took the cake though. We were at Chic-fil-a and I wanted him to eat at least one bite of food to play and get ice cream (shocker he got neither because stubborn is more important at the moment). Every time I suggested he eat a bite to go and play he had to display his recent boo-boos. I look like a nut in public because I'm trying to enforce something but giggling at the boo-boo distraction technique that doesn't work. 

Chicken and Sausage Creole

I don't make a lot of Cajun food... don't let people lie to you but North Louisiana isn't Cajun land. No, it's more of a down home country food place. Think Paula Dean food. 

Years ago I made Chicken and Sausage Creole on the blog back in the land of not having to post pictures. I know that might confuse some younger bloggers... but 10 years ago Pinterest, Twitter, and IG didn't exist... so no photo needed in any post you published really. 

Hence the high time for a recipe update...

I really love this recipe because it's insanely easy to make and very hearty. My only warning is to be careful with your sausage. I managed to pick up some really spicy andoullie this time and it was good but REALLY hot. 

Chicken and Sausage Creole

serves 4-6
1 lb chicken, cut into cubes
1 lb Cajun seasoned sausage, sliced
10 oz bag of Pictsweet Seasoning Blend
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp sugar

4 cups of cooked rice for serving

Saute chicken and sausage in a large pot with seasoning blend until meat is cooked through and veggies are softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add in worcestershire sauce, cajun seasoning, parsley, and sugar. Top with crushed tomatoes, stir to combine. Put a lid on the pot and cook at a simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over the rice.

*For those of you who don't live in the where Seasoning Blend is sold, it's just onion, celery, bell pepper, and parsley.

Lemon and Wild for Eco-Friendly Lunches

I was not compensated monetarily for this review but was sent Lemon and Wild's products to test out! 

It almost feels like a resurgence of the 60's right now with the current food and lifestyle movement. More and more people are aware of what they are eating and the products they are using in their homes. 

So when Lemon and Wild contacted me about sharing their products with my readers I knew y'all would enjoy it! 

Lemon and Wild is a newer company that sells eco-friendly kitchen papers out of Minnesota. Right now they are offering a sandwich kit product in two different designs. The kits include 20 sandwich wrappers with 20 coordinating resealable stickers.

I think that resealable would be great especially for school age kids, they almost never finish a lunch. This way they could wrap their sandwich back up and eat it later. Trust me mom's many of them save half of their lunch for a snack later... I see my students do it all the time.

These adorable sandwich wraps are a chic way to ditch the plastic baggies and dull kitchen paper. Plus... stickers. If I use the parchment I have on hand I'm having to use tape from the office to hold everything in place. This solves that problem.

Also, call me a crazy old lady but their entire site has free shipping right now... and I'm the type that will go to great lengths to get free shipping.

Okay, enough of the shipping.

How cute are those patterns? Lemon and Wild is working on a back to school theme for the end of summer and I can't imagine how cute those are going to turn out!

My glorious sandwich all wrapped up tight! 

I really loved how these aren't just cute but are actually functional. My favorite sandwich is banana, honey, and almond butter... their paper actually kept the honey from leaking out or dampening the paper and causing a big mess. 

Alright ladies... and potentially the two guys that read, Lemon and Wild was nice enough to provide a discount code for my readers. You can use LABRIDE at checkout for $5 off your purchase or follow this link < here > to have it added to your cart automatically!

Why Spring Cleaning Boosts Your Well-Being and How to Make it Fun

Today's guest post was submitted by Jennifer Dawson! 

Why Spring Cleaning Boosts Your Well-Being and How to Make it Fun

“We are used to cleaning the outside house, but the most important house to clean is yourself your own house which we never do”. An analogy by Marina Abramovic, suggesting that we focus on our outer appearance as opposed to within. When we work on our inner self/well-being we become balanced; the problem is when do we find the time to do this? A Spring clean can contribute positively to states that make up our overall well-being, e.g. happiness, vitality and calmness. Here we understand why deep cleaning boosts your well-being and how to make your next one entertaining.

It’s a Form of Exercise

The feel-good chemical endorphins are released when you exercise which boosts your mind and self-esteem. A study found that an average of 600 calories are burnt during a two-hour cleaning spree. When combined, intensive activities such as window cleaning, floor mopping or giving the driveway a good scrub, are just as effective as a 5km run. For added benefits incorporate lunges and keep your abs tight whilst cleaning.

It Uplifts Your Mood

Getting your home organized and clutter free has the ability to release negative emotions, lower stress and make you feel more productive. Decluttering gives a sense of control and frees up mind space allowing other thoughts to enter. It eases some allergy symptoms and prevents the spread of illness, making your household feel healthier. 
Using great smelling cleaning products helps to boost your mood, as pleasant smells can instantly remind us of happy times. Lavender-scented cleaning products are great for relaxing you, Pine helps to reduce anxiety and Peppermint promotes motivation. 

Spring Cleaning Fun

There are essential chores, and chores that can wait; to prevent that overwhelming feeling try keeping on top of the essential ones. You could also get your family involved to help out and use as an opportunity for quality catching up time. Listening to your favourite music during a session will really help you get into the flow. Singing and dancing also release endorphins; what could be more fun than pretending to be in the music video of your favourite artist.  
Spring cleaning can be an uplifting, stress relieving and happy occasion, that gets your mind clear and contributes to well-being. Its intensity burns calories saving you a trip to the gym, you get to dance around the house singing your heart out to your favorite songs, and you might find something precious you once thought was lost. 

How to burn 600 calories cleaning your house, Research reveals the most demanding chores (and why two hours of cleaning is better than a 5km run), Mail Online,  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4872006/Good-Housekeeping-research-calories-burned-doing-chores.html

Spring Cleaning: Here’s How Many Calories You Burn During 15 Common ChoresReaders Digest, https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/calories-burned-spring-cleaning/
Best Pressure Washer Reviews, YardCare Gurus, https://www.yardcaregurus.com/best-pressure-washer-reviews/

Spring Cleaning is Good For Your Health, Wilx (NBC News) http://www.wilx.com/content/news/Spring-cleaning-is-good-for-your-health-480742891.html

Spring Cleaning Sayings and Quotes, Wise Old Sayings, http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/spring-cleaning-quotes/
The Secret to Spring Cleaning: Don’t Just Organise Your Stuff, Get Rid of It, The Guardian,  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/15/secret-to-spring-cleaning-better-mental-health,