6 Ways to Show Your Love for Animals


Today's guest post is all about pets! Enjoy! 


If you have a natural connection with animals, you might want to do everything you can to help them live happy, full lives. While welcoming a new pet into your home can be a great place to start, there are other helpful ways to show your support to all sorts of large and small creatures across the world. Here are six effective ways to show your love for different types of animals.

  1. Get Involved in a Pet Movement
As you will know, no animal in the world deserves to suffer, and you could potentially help to save them from it. If you feel passionate about improving the lives of many pets, there is nothing stopping you from getting involved in a pet movement. You can help animals by raising funds for animal shelters, research organizations and rescue groups. You can also help to raise awareness for the health, welfare, and rights of pets across the world.

  1. Go to the Zoo for Education
The zoo can be the perfect place to educate yourself on the different types of animals across the world. What’s more, you can learn about the plight of different endangered species, so you might feel inspired to raise awareness for the survival of many rare animals, such as various tigers, polar bears, panda bears, lions, birds, and insects.

  1. Consider Sponsor or Adopt a Pet
If you want to help to financially support a pet to help them live a happy life, you could always choose to sponsor a dog or sign-up to adopt a dolphin, flamingo, cat, fox, or an elephant. It will cost just a couple of dollars per week or month to help with the care for an animal who has been neglected, abandoned, or abused.

  1. Volunteer Your Time
If you have a little spare time in your schedule, consider volunteering at a local animal shelter, so every animal will receive a considerable amount of love and support while they wait for a new owner. Your presence could be enough to make an animal feel safe and cared for every day.

  1. Donate Food or Supplies to an Animal Shelter
If, however, you don’t have much free time to spare to volunteer, consider donating much-needed food or supplies to the shelter, which will ensure they never struggle to feed or care for various dogs, cats, and other animals.

  1. Connect with Nature by Feeding Animals
In addition to caring for the pets inside your home and donating your time and money into animal shelters, you also should aim to connect with nature. For example, you should head out into the great outdoors to feed various birds, squirrels, goats, or horses.

Conclusion
There are a wide variety of ways you can care for animals large and small. While the best gift to give is your time, you can trust many animal organizations will always appreciate donations and sponsorships, which will ensure their animals live long, happy and full lives – and you should encourage your friends and relatives to do exactly the same.

A Guide to Staying in Shape During Pregnancy


Today's guest post is all about staying fit during pregnancy. This is near and dear to me after my pregnancy with Harrison. With tips like these I've stayed in much better shape and had far fewer problems this round! 

In an ideal world, you’d make sure you were fit and healthy before you started thinking about the patter of tiny feet. However, the modern world can be very unpredictable, and new arrivals are often not planned. It doesn’t matter if this is the case because it’s never too late to start caring for yourself. Keeping your baby and yourself as healthy as possible can start straight away.  Over the next few months, you’re going to be bombarded with advice. You’ll have a list of do’s and don’ts as long as your arm! To help you make sense of it all, here are some top tips.


Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
This tip is very important, and don’t worry about eating for two! During the first six months of your pregnancy, as long as you eat healthily, there is no need to worry about extra calories. During the last three months, an extra 200 calories are all that’s required. So, all you need to do is to increase the size of your portions a little. Your diet should include at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Carbohydrates in the form of bread, pasta, and rice (preferably wholegrain). Fiber is also important, and good sources are steel cut oats and other wholegrains. Don’t forget plenty of protein either animal protein such as fish, lean meat and eggs, or plant-based protein as in beans, pulses, and nuts. Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products also need to be included. Fish should be eaten twice a week, and one of them should be an oily fish such as mackerel, sardines or salmon.

Exercise Regularly
There are going to be days when you don’t feel like doing anything. However, regular exercise is important for you and your baby. You don’t need to worry about running a marathon or lifting weights. Gentle exercise such as swimming, yoga, Pilates, aqua natal classes and brisk walking is good for pregnant women.
You will benefit from regular exercise in several ways. It will help you maintain a healthy weight and make it much easier for you to get back in shape after having your baby. Exercise boosts your mood as well as protecting you against certain complications such as high blood pressure. Keeping fit will mean your body is better able to cope with the changes to your posture and increased strain on your joints. One last benefit, it will mean the chances of a straightforward birth are much higher.

Rest Whenever Possible
Getting enough sleep and rest during your pregnancy is important. You’re bound to feel more tired than normal, and as your bump increases in size, you’re going to find sleeping very uncomfortable. A good position to adopt is to lie on your side with your knees bent. This position will also stop the weight of your baby putting pressure on the large blood vessels carrying blood around your body. It has also been shown to help prevent varicose veins, hemorrhoids and swelling in your legs.

A number of other lifestyle changes will also make a difference. You should aim to stop smoking and cut out caffeine and alcohol. Always be very careful when it comes to food hygiene. Take supplements to ensure your body is getting all it needs. Remember to do your pelvic floor exercises and keep your appointments with healthcare professionals.

From the moment you start thinking about having a baby, until you give birth and beyond, it’s vital you take care of yourself so that you can take care of your baby.

Meal Pinning Monday

Blame it on the move, but I'm having to get to two recipes this week that I haven't toughed yet.

The biggest upside from the downsize... the deep freezer fits in the kid's closet. Insert all the praise hands.

Once I have finished unpacking and have decorated as much as can be decorated then I'll post a home tour. It's interesting to downsize after having double the space we've had in years. That being said, we are clearly goldfish and have grown into our house pretty well.


[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 - Beef and Broccoli (last week)


Wednesday - leftovers

Thursday - Creamy Salsa Chicken with Rice (last week)

Friday - leftovers

Saturday - Eating Out

Sunday - Granny Sarella's Spaghetti Sauce (this is our absolute favorite spaghetti sauce)

32 Week Pregnancy Update

32 Week Pregnancy Update


Size: Baby B is about 17 inches long, nearly 4 lbs, and the size of a squash. 

Due Date: November 2 (measured for Nov 6 at the ultrasound, but they aren't changing it). 

Heartbeat: It ranges from 122 - 166 depending on the day. 

Symptoms: Indigestion, leg cramps, shooting pain near my pelvis (I think it's ligaments). I'm moody as heck. I basically have zero time or patience for anyone who is in my way of whatever I'm trying to do. Essentially... leave me alone and don't ask questions. 

Currently Missing: Not having heartburn.

Cravings and Favorite Foods: Fruit and raw veggies. I bought peaches this week that were amazing.

Sleep: This baby thinks it's out of the womb and needs to wake up all night. If I roll over or get up for any reason it gets to kicking for a minimum of 30 minutes before I can go back to sleep.

Food Aversions:
Eggs aren't that appealing.

Exercise: I absolutely do not have the energy for it at this point.

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

Weight: At the last appointment I had only gained 20 lbs! That's a personal best considering I was massive last time. I also haven't had any sweeling or high blood pressure, which is really nice after the stress of Harrison's pregnancy.

Movement: Constant and painful. The baby books say movement should be slowing down due to lack of space but the baby hasn't gotten the memo.

Maternity Clothing: Yes. Some of it is even starting to not fit.

Gender Guess: Learning towards girl this week.

Side by Side: Still thinking my face is more swollen with Harrison. My belly is about the same this time, only difference is that it might be a touch lower right now.


Chicken and Zucchini Curry Coconut Soup

Not only do I love a good soup. I also love when fall is creeping up and winter is on it's way. 

It just gives me more of an excuse to make soup. 


I recently made this Thai Chicken and Zucchini Curry Coconut Soup and fell in love with it. It came together quickly and was very filling. 


Chicken and Zucchini Curry Coconut Soup



Ingredients:
4 cups chicken stock
2 (14.5 oz) cans full fat coconut milk
1 whole rotisserie chicken (save time with this!)
3 zucchini
1 large red onion
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 tsp tumeric
Juice of half a lemon
3 tbsp fish sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Pick your chicken and set the meat aside. Dice the red onion and saute over medium high heat until translucent. Cut the zucchini length wise and then slice into bite size pieces. Add cut zucchini into the pot and saute for about 3 minutes until softened. Toss chicken into the pot and add in all other ingredients except salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 25 minutes. Add salt and pepper as needed. Serve.

*I found I needed very little salt added due to the fish sauce. 

Meal Pinning Monday

So I did a thing this week.

A thing that I've been a part of the resistance towards.

You see, I've been a big proponent for owning a regular pressure cooker. I did not need another appliance (thanks Alton Brown for influencing my kitchen purchases since before I owned a kitchen).

But the rice cooker died.

The crock pot has been on the outs.

The 8 quart Insta Pot was on sale for less than the 6 qt... so I bought one, and threw away everything else.

All I've got to say is this... that's a massive piece of kitchen equipment.



[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.

Also, I'm behind on recipes this week and playing catch up. 

Monday - Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders with Sweet Potato Fries and homemade Chick-Fil-A sauce. 

Tuesday - Possibly leftovers... if not then the Paleo Pizza Casserole from last week. 

Wednesday - Clearly leftovers

Thursday - Beef and Broccoli


Saturday - Eating Out


Breakfast - My favorite Oatmeal Muffins

Lunch - Breakfast Burritos and a Peach - just homemade sausage, bacon, eggs, onions and peppers, and cheddar cheese in a low carb whole wheat wrap.