What's in My Labor Bag

I have a few essential items in my hospital bag this round, but what I'm really gearing up for is what's in my labor bag.

So here are a few essentials to get me through the tough labor times ahead... whenever on earth that goes down!

1. Yoga Ball

Also called a birthing ball. It helps to open your hips and doing hip circles and bouncing can help get baby in place. It's really the only comfortable place to even sit at this point. During my last labor I spent most of the day on my ball.

2. Labor Essential Oil Blend

I bought the Hosie blend that is already mixed with oil so I don't have to mess with that during labor. It's said to help with stimulating contractions and such. I plan to use it for massage, as well as rubbing on my stomach and ankles.

3. Rebozo Scarf

Or the closest thing I own to one. This will be a great way for Jeremy to use counter pressure on my hips without wearing himself out. Not to mention giggling your stomach and body with it is so relaxing.

4. Tennis Balls

I'd pay someone to massage me with these. They were an absolute lifesaver during my lovely back labor with Harrison.

5. Spray Bottle of Water with Lavender and Frankincense

Lavender is calming and Frankincense helps with focus, the combo mixed with cool water will hopefully help out with how hot I tend to get. As well as just the aromatherapy side of being relaxing.

6. Hot/Cold Pack

I doubt I'll want or use the cold option with this, but it's great for the pain I've had at night so far. Plus I think this will take the place of a warm sock of rice on my eyes. Anything to calm my nerves and help with labor pain.

7. Notes from the Comfort Measures Class as well as my Ina May Gaskin Guide to Childbirth

I've highlighted half to death in an attempt to not forget what sounds like great ideas for comfort measures during labor. Especially since it's up to Jeremy to really guide and suggest, especially if I'm in so much pain that I can't think. That actually happened last time when my epidural wore off while we were trying to turn Harrison's head... it felt like my hips were being pulled out of my body. Funny enough, tonight he wants to go over everything so he has a mini refresher class in what I want and don't want. But really the man is a stellar doula, I should charge and loan him out.

Also, my camera and a fully charged battery! I'm going to be that weirdo though that makes her husband shoot in manual mode and has to fix the settings while I'm being sewn up... I'm not a control freak at all.

Southern Wedding Gifts

Today's guest post is all about Southern wedding gift ideas. I have to say, these are pretty spot on for what to get when you don't know what to gift someone! 

Giving wedding gifts is a challenging task and can be even more confusing if you need to follow certain traditions such as they have in the south. You want your gift to be on point, memorable and truly make a statement with the bride and groom.
Take your time and do your homework, so you don’t have any regrets at the end of the day. Shop around and use the list of ideas below to help you get started in the right direction. Enjoy the process and how great it’ll feel to finally come to a decision about what the perfect southern wedding gift will be for your friend or family member.

Supplies for Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activities and hunting are very common hobbies in the south, especially when the weather is nice. A unique idea for a southern wedding gift is to give archery supplies or hunting gear, which is a great activity the bride and groom can do together after they’re married. Other ideas include camping, hunting or fishing gear so they can embark on new adventures as a couple doing what they enjoy.

Formal China

People in the south love to throw dinner parties for friends and family members and this is especially expected of new brides. The perfect southern wedding gift is to purchase formal china that the newly married couple can use to entertain in their home. Get them a full set so it all matches and they have all they need to look put together and organized. Luckily, there are a wide variety of beautiful patterns and styles to choose from.

Piece of Art

Another excellent southern wedding gift idea is to buy the couple a stunning piece of art or opt to make your own. For instance, purchase colors you know will look good in their home and artists you know they love, otherwise make a gift using memories from the wedding. You can DIY crochet or stitch words and images together that have to do with ever-lasting love and building a happy home and then frame it. They’ll appreciate the thoughtfulness and personal touch of a homemade gift.

Monogrammed Anything

One tradition in the south that is sure to be a hit if you go this route is to gift anything that’s monogrammed. For example, you can engrave and personalize jewelry, towels or a nice vase that they can put on display. Your bride and groom can be proud of wanting to showcase the family name in any way possible around the home. The bride and groom will love any gift that accomplishes this goal and looks nice in their home or that they can physically wear such as jewelry. 


You should now have a good idea of what to get a southern bride and groom for their wedding day. These gift options are not only traditional in nature but tasteful and classy as well. You can’t go wrong with one of these choices, so commit to an item and wrap it beautifully and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

36 Weeks or Commonly Known as 36 Years Pregnant

Let's face it. If I didn't take a photo in the bathroom with wet hair there would be no photo. 

36 Week Pregnancy Update

Size: Baby B is about the size of a tray of lasagna (thanks Ava) and at our ultrasound last week the baby was weighing about 6 lbs. 

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

Heartbeat: Last week it was 188. 

Symptoms: Same ole, same ole. Except I started dilating early and am now 2 cm and 50% effaced. That landed me on Procardia to stop contractions... but made me feel like I was dying. So it ended. Now I've tested positive for GBS and have a UTI so I get to start antibiotics tonight. The GBS is ruling out my hopes and dreams of getting less fluids and having a hep-lock. 

Currently Missing: Being comfortable.

Cravings and Favorite Foods: Frozen blueberries

Sleep: What's that? The Procardia threw me off so badly that I was waking up more than every hour. Luckily after being off of it for a week I have started to fall back into my normal pregnant sleep cycle.

Food Aversions: 
Sugar... it makes my indigestion worse. But honestly eating eggs isn't that appealing.

Exercise: Quit that mess back in August. But I've since been banned to hold off labor.

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: On track with where I should be, last appointment wasn't a good read after I had a big lunch and wore heavy clothing. Y'all might think I'm crazy but I wear dresses and shoes that can be removed easily.

Movement: It never ends. I was actually hurting yesterday from the wild baby movement.

Maternity Clothing: Yup, but I also have a few non maternity dresses I wear. I've come to hate maternity shirts that gather and make everything look larger right now.

Gender Guess: Learning towards a girl... because I'm totally unprepared for it. 

36 Weeks with Harrison vs 36 Weeks with Unknown Child...

Only difference is the swelling you can't see in my legs from Harrison's pregnancy. Plus the fact that it was cold and I'm currently melting. 

3 Key Ways to Prep for Your Big Day

Today's guest post is all about wedding prep! But honestly these tips would work for any big event you have coming up. 

Getting married can be one of the greatest adventures that you decide to embark on. This is because it’s a lifelong commitment that is likely to be full of surprises, twists, and turns. In light of this, ensuring that your big day turns out as close to perfect as possible is key. It’s going to be a day you remember for years to come, so you want to look back and be happy with the outcome of your day. In light of this, you’re going to find three key ways to prep for your big day in the following article.

Plan Ahead
Somewhere in the world right now, a bride is likely frantic and panicking because her big day is a few hours away and she left some key things until the last minute. In light of this, you should try and plan as far ahead as possible to ensure you aren’t missing out on key moments because you’re stressed. Devising a wedding planning timeline often goes a long way as it helps you stay on top of things and tick off boxes like the guest list, food, venue, entertainment, and others as you go along. Also, don’t be afraid to accept or ask for help because you can’t do everything on your own.

Take Care of Your Skin
One of the things that most people look forward to seeing at a wedding is the bride. For this reason, you should try and ensure that you take care of your skin so that you have a stunning glow on the day. Here is a skincare routine that may be worth trying below.

Cleanse - Seeing as your skin is likely to pick up oil and sweat overnight, it’s a good idea to cleanse first thing in the morning. You could decide to wash your face using your hands or motorized oscillating brushes that help remove dirt from pores. Be sure to cleanse with a good facial wash that’s suitable for your skin type.

Moisturize With SPF - Hydration and protection are vital for glowing skin, so moisturizing with SPF is another element to add to your routine. It could help both keep your skin replenished, protect it from the sun and help add a glow as well.

Use Eye Cream - The last thing that you want on your big day is to find that you have tired eyes. For this reason, you should include the use of a good firming eye cream in your skincare routine. This should help your eyes look a lot more rested when you’re walking down the aisle.

Remember to start your new routine as early as possible and avoid trying new products close to your big day just in case of any allergic reactions.

As mentioned above, sometimes you get so lost in preparing for your wedding that you forget to enjoy every moment. Seeing as you’ll hopefully only get married once, try and relax and enjoy the ride. One of the ways that you can relax before your big day is by going to the spa and getting pampered as well as treatments. You should also look into getting the right facials and exfoliating your skin to help you feel as refreshed as possible.
Getting married is a day that many women often dream of. To ensure that your dreams are close enough to your reality, it’s imperative that you put in enough work behind the scenes. As mentioned above, this often means ensuring you are mentally and physically prepare for the many things to come. By doing so, you should find that your big day is nothing short of magical.

Gift Ideas for Men & Women

So true story, I'm awful at gift giving. But with these tips from today's guest post I am much more likely to get my husband something other than... email me what you want and I'll order it items lol! 

Gift-giving is not always as easy as you think. Think back to the last time you had to buy a birthday present or anniversary gift, and you simply couldn’t find the perfect item to buy even after searching for hours. After all, you want it to be special, and will settle for nothing less. The next time you are in a rut and can’t decide what you should purchase, regardless of the occasion, here are four ideas that are transferable for both men and women. First, who doesn’t need clothes? Consider looking for an item that is hobby related, purchase something that is engraved and lastly keep an eye out for practical items.

No matter the season, people often purchase a few new garment additions for their closet. The trick is to simply make sure that the item is stylish, fits the physique and matches the individual’s personality. For instance, if you are shopping for the woman in your life, be that a friend or spouse, there are plenty of boutiques that tailor clothes to flatter different body types, with one example being a curvy plus size boutique, such as Perfectly Priscilla. The same goes for when you are shopping for men – and remember that accessories can be just as well received. Imagine his face when you buy him a beautiful new tie or cufflinks, especially if a fancy event is coming up.

Hobby related
When you are buying a gift, you must always consider the person you are buying it for. In particular, what are his or her hobbies? If he is a fan of hunting, for instance, you should look for closeout hunting gear, or in other words, performance equipment, camouflage, fleece and so on. Whether their interest is sports, music, photography, drawing, painting, traveling, coin collecting or something else, remember to purchase something accordingly. You are guaranteed they will use your gift!

Engraved items
Have you thought about engraving the item you purchase? This will make the it truly personalized, and shows the individual that he or she is one of a kind. Common examples for this type of gift includes watches, necklaces, rings, mugs, photo frames, among others. No one else will have anything like it anywhere in the world.

Practical gifts
The fourth and last option includes useful gifts. This often isn’t thought about as much as it should be. After all, why not purchase something you can guarantee will be used, and you are saving that person money by purchasing it for them? A good example is cleaning supplies, whether it’s for the home or the car. Why not get a luggage tag or a pair of house slippers? Perhaps even an umbrella? As always, know who you are buying it for and make sure that they will appreciate practical gifts, but this is almost always a good idea for those that are particularly hard to shop for.

The most important part of gift-giving is to consider the person you are celebrating, whether male or female, and what their likes and dislikes are. Perhaps they have even dropped hints over some time about what they are keen on receiving. Still, when in doubt, opt for a gift that will make their life easier.

Meal Pinning Monday

Can I admit something?

I've having terrible luck with Instant Pot meals. The one I got from their website turned out great. Now the last two I've tried from bloggers have quickly gone to the burn function and shut down cooking. Any suggestions?

[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.

Tuesday - leftovers

Wednesday - The Creamy Salsa Chicken that I have yet to get to. 

Thursday - leftovers

Saturday - Eating Out

Sunday - I left this day open because I've yet to make it to cooking on a Sunday. 

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.

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

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

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. 

My Month at Pure Barre

This summer I won a free month at the Pure Barre studio in Lafayette, so I thought I'd recap it and give you my take on it.

Especially as a pregnant lady.

(Maternity Compression Leggings from Old Navy)

I actually ended my 2nd trimester during this time and started venturing into the 3rd to give you an idea about how I was doing physically.

Pure Barre does a section of floor core work, this had to be majorly modified to complete. Only because of the stage of pregnancy I am in. Don't let your belly cone ladies... it just means issues postpartum. That mainly meant not stretching my legs in certain ways that caused coning, minimum twisting, and no crunches. Don't worry too much about knowing your mods ahead of time, every instructor I had was insanely helpful and monitored me throughout the class.

I absolutely loved that is was low intensity and yet I'd be sore the next day. This was great for pregnancy since I didn't have to worry about getting out of breath. Which might I add is so easy to do when you're toting a watermelon for a belly around.

The absolute best part was the stretching, oh my word they did stretching between each segment of the exercise and then at the end. The last bit of stretching with the lights off was like the savasana part of yoga. So relaxing.

Plus, we had our anatomy scan during this workout stint. The baby was all out of place and we couldn't get a good view. I went to my first Pure Barre class and that little sucker turned into perfect position to see what we needed when we redid the scan.

I'd recommend it for pregnancy with modifications just from the aspect of it being so opening to the pelvic area and encourage the baby into place.

Alright what else do I want to add? I loved it really.

Oh, the price.

It's expensive.

This isn't something I could afford to do, if I'm being honest. Which means I'm just not their demographic. It's a great workout and I absolutely loved it. It's just out of my price range. But that is common for these boutique workouts. The regular figure-it-out-yourself gym is much cheaper for that reason, you have to figure it out yourself.

There's one cheaper option, they have Pure Barre OnDemand on the website for 1/3 of the price. I'm seriously considering getting it eventually.

Anyway, if you have any questions about it leave a comment and I'd be glad to update and answer it in the post. 

Meal Pinning Monday

I know it's Tuesday, but it's technically Monday... because the week only exists when you're at work.

I'm trying to start working towards cleaning up our diet and taking out all the lovely fatty Southern casserole I've been making. I know as soon as I start breastfeeding again I'll be back on the Paleo train. So I might as well get started now.

[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 - Stuffed Pork Chops (from Shawn's Meat Market) with Parmesan Zucchini and Corn

Tuesday - Bacon Wrapped Meat Loaf with Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Potatoes

Wednesday - leftovers

Friday - leftovers

Saturday - eating out

Sunday - Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders with Baked Fries and Honey Mustard

3rd Trimester Freak Outs & Life Lately

The third trimester is in full swing.

1. I haven't had the energy to workout after work since... well... work started back up.

2. I just feel it.

3. Anxiety is kicking in. I HATE needles, call it a phobia, call me a titty baby. Whatever. It's hell. The anticipation of the IV is starting to get me worked up. I mentioned it to my OB this week and if nothing gets in the way then I can have a hep-lock instead of starting with a true IV. When I had the IV with Harry the nurses were doing a shift change (and weren't excited to be at work) so the empathy levels were down. They were trying to give me magnesium, that I wasn't supposed to have. So I was ticking them off... but I was right in the end. It was a paperwork mistake. So by the time the IV came into play they were done with me and my anxiety about giving birth for the first time. I sobbed like I have not sobbed in years. It was painful and sheer torture.

Hence begging for a hep-lock. Unless you've been in labor you aren't going to understand this, but a labor IV is so different from a surgery IV. Jeremy would get his IV for surgery, go to sleep, wake up, no more IV. With labor you get an IV, are expected to labor and move around. Then grip the bars when you push, and let me tell you that you can feel the needle moving when your muscles move. Now it's time to take the baby to your room and breastfeed while you feel restricted with this awful IV. Nope. All the NOPES.  I'd rather not have tubing attached to me while I'm trying to labor and nurse a baby.

Which, might I add... I had a dream last night about the new baby not latching. I must have breastfeeding on the brain. No clue what gender the baby was in my dream, all white clothing, no name. It kind of looked like Harrison. Or it could have been a generic baby. Who on earth knows. I am just not one to dream and answer my own life questions.

Now on to a more interesting subject...

This one has really gotten into pretend play lately. With an increase in the words he can say (thanks speech) he is a chatter box all evening. The photo above was him "sleeping" after a bath the other night. 

This whole week though we have been playing PJ Masks, against our will. As soon as everyone gets in the door Harrison starts handing out costumes and insists we MUST keep our masks on. He also stops calling us Mama and Daddy and we turn into Cat Boy and Owlette. Staying in character is a must with this game. 

Nothing special here... he just took a photo with me while actually looking at the camera and smiling.

This was recommended to me for the leg cramp issue. True story, it works. As long as I'm not slightly dehydrated this stuff (I drink a cup at night) this has been keeping the 5am calf cramps at bay. 

Oh and this podcast... really good. I love this sort of thing and the Clinton family/admin/everything is interesting. Heck politicians in general seem interesting with all the back deals and odd stuff they do. Either way I was in middle school when this scandal happened so it's interesting to hear this point of view... and not just my science teacher who ranted about it all through class. 

Meal Pinning Monday

I know, I've become a terrible pinner.

I find link are easier anyway. Maybe I'll get back to pinning eventually.

[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 - Breakfast Casserole - this was really good and I'm usually not a "breakfast casserole" kinda gal. 

Tuesday - Slow Cooker Creamy Ranch Pork Chops with Wild Rice ( I used chicken bc I forgot to buy pork chops)

Wednesday - leftovers

Thursday - Ina Garten's Lemon Chicken (I very well expect to have to fly to Spain for the lemons in this recipe knowing how Ina rolls) Also... serving this with sweet potatoes of some fashion that I haven't decided yet. 

Friday - leftovers

Saturday - eating out 

Sunday - Nachos - using Slow Cooker Queso Blanco 

30 Weeks for the Most Undocumented Baby Ever

30 Week Pregnancy Update

Size: Baby B is the size of a zucchini. 

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, I also started having cramps in my calves in the early morning. I can't breathe worth a crap, or at least get a deep breath. With the heart burn though, I wake up with a nasty taste in my mouth from it sitting in my throat all night. Oh and the area around my rib cage hurts like heck. 

Currently Missing: Eating sweets without them making me sick. Ate a small brownie that a kid brought for their birthday yesterday, worst life decision ever.

Cravings and Favorite Foods: Fruit, salads, cold stuff. The Poppy Seed Chicken I made this week was amazing.

Sleep: Depends on the day, what I ate, and how bad my heart burn is. The past few nights I think the baby has worn itself out and hasn't been throwing a disco every single time I wake up. So yay for more sleep!

Food Aversions: 
Things aren't appealing, but I don't know what those things are until they are around. I would really love to start Paleo before I go into labor, but that doesn't appeal. I guess eggs aren't appealing. Oh well, it'll be another Whole 30 the first few months of breastfeeding anyway.

Exercise: With house selling stuff going on my afternoons tend to get hijacked. So I haven't done as much as I'd like since we went back to work. My plan though is to do a Barre workout on Youtube Monday & Tuesday and then follow the weightlifting the rest of the week from Faster Way to Fat Loss. I've cut the running/anything high impact out. Eating gets me out of breath, so that whole jumping around or running is a no-go.

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: I haven't checked lately, but I've been on track with what to gain at each week this pregnancy.

Movement: It never ends. It's like someone is trying to break out of there.

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. It's too hot for leggings and I'm too far along to bother trying to find shorts again.

Gender Guess: At the moment I'm leaning more boy. Carrying same, same pregnancy symptoms, Chinese gender calendar agrees with me. But with all that said it will be a girl lol.

Side by Side: I think I am about the same size in both photos. The major difference being that I'm not as swollen. I had high blood pressure and bad edema with Harrison and you can see it in my face here.

It’s the Personal Touches That Can Make All the Difference in Your Bathroom

Considering I've never actually decorated our bathroom and have been thinking long and hard about actually doing it... today's guest post is really helping me out.
When it comes to decorating a home, there are endless opportunities for adding your own personal touch. In your living room, bedroom and dining room, you can include a few small items or decorations that lift a room completely. When it comes to your bathroom, you have to be a bit bolder, because it’s very rare you’ll find yourself sitting in there admiring the d├ęcor. Bathrooms are often looked at from a more practical angle. They should be easy to clean, ventilate and heat during the winter. Aside from that and the essentials such as a bath, toilet, shower and sink, there are plenty of ways you can add a personal touch. Make your bathroom feel like a place you can relax in with the following tips.

Add Some Color
If your bathroom is on the small side and you want to make it feel like there’s more space, add some light and neutral colors on the walls and floor. For a little bit of contrast add little pops of color in places. The color could be added by using unique shower curtains, colorful towels, rugs, candles, plants, flowers or novelty soaps. Any color that you add will make the room more inviting.    

Add Some Light
There tends to be just one window in a bathroom. Consider yourself really lucky if there’s more. Adding extra light fittings could be rather complicated, especially if you’re a novice DIYer. Instead, you can add some extra brightness by using a bathroom cabinet that has lights around the rim. Can the light fitting you’ve already got be changed for something more appealing, or why not go for the Hollywood look and have lights put around your mirror?

Make it Smell Good
What would you like to smell when you enter your bathroom? Not the previous visitor for sure. It should be a clean and refreshing smell and one that invites you to join. Have you got a favorite scent you’d like to use? It’s easy and simple to make your own air freshener rather than buy one that’s made using chemicals. Scented candles can also be used to add a certain atmosphere when you’re relaxing in the bath.

Add a Natural Touch
Did you know that having plants in your home can have a lot of benefits? They are relatively cheap to buy, are an instant way of adding color, and can bring their own scent. Choose the right plant, and it can even purify the air of toxins. There are plants that will relish low conditions and those that enjoy constant humidity.

Designing your own bathroom is much easier than you think, and because it’s often a small space, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The ideas mentioned above are just a small selection of the ways you can personalize this undervalued room in your home. Even if the bathroom is in a rented apartment or house, there is still plenty of scope for you to make changes for the better.