Meal Pinning Monday

Back to school.

If anyone has any extra energy to dole out send it my way. I'm pooped.




[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 - Chicken Pot Pie (it's the recipe I saw Destin Duchess post on IG last week)

Tuesday - leftovers


Thursday -  leftovers

Friday - Grilled Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes, and Salad

Saturday - Eat Out

Sunday - Salsa Chicken Bowl (rice, crockpot salsa chicken, peppers and onions, cheese, sour cream, avocado)

Hi Blog, It's Me... Emily

Can you tell back to school has eaten my lunch?

I haven't workout out.

I haven't blogged.

The house was a disaster so when someone wanted a showing I had to speed clean... which is painful when you're in your 3rd trimester.

I am just a big ball of can't this week.

So let's have a little life update...

I won a free month at Pure Barre over the summer and have loved it, I really need to write a blog post about my experience. Sadly since school started I was kicked to weekend classes this week and can't even go today just because we have a packed schedule that doesn't allow mama to disappear.


This is also going to be a blog post... but I'll likely write about it at Lafayette Moms Blog. 

Last night... or I should start out with during the day Jeremy called me to say that our wonderful sitter had offered to keep kids that night so couples could go on dates. 

He hopped on this one quick and I tried to talk him out of what he wanted to do, but I'm glad I didn't. We ended up driving into Baton Rouge to eat at Doe's Eat Place. I tried to take him for his birthday last week but alas we got a flat tire and those plans were cancelled. 

So last night we went. Now you can split their steaks, the lowest size is a 2lb-er and we are usually a 1lb-er couple... individually. I eat about half of mine and split it with another meal, Jeremy not so much. This steak though, meant to be shared. But with my regulations with food during pregnancy (cough I wanted mid rare cough) I wasn't going to make him suffer. I also wasn't going to follow through and got a medium well, I almost died ordering that... I would have been carried off by ambulance if I had to ask for a well done steak. We worked in a nice restaurant, I refuse to take the side eye that comes with burnt meat. 


Anyway, best steak I've had in the history of my life. 

I made Jeremy get their tamales jus to see how they compared to my Delta Tamales... they were legit... mine are legit. Everyone was happy. Everything here was perfectly seasoned. The fried drop biscuits were to die for. The bread pudding tasted like my grandmother's. 

But hey, it's a restaurant that originated in Greenville, MS. Actual southerners know what is up. 

In the mean time, Harrison had the time of his life while we were away. 


I wouldn't have posted this pic but I think the sunglasses cover up faces well.

Now Jeremy recently mentioned how he'd like to have a big brother/little whatever this is shirt for the hospital. I mentioned that to my mother... so you can see where this is going.



We ended up getting this sibling set from Little Faces Apparel. Perfect gender neutral set and super cute.

That's about it with life at the moment.

I don't think I mentioned my glucose test debacle... I had to take the 3 hour. Luckily I passed, my poor arms did not.

It's also the TDAP Vac time of pregnancy, everyone get's one. It's just not as exciting as Oprah handing out cars.

Other than that, I'll be back Monday with a meal plan... unless I forget or fall asleep.

Thought on Breastfeeding at the End of my Second Trimester

Next weeks marks the 3rd trimester and only 13ish weeks before we meet this next child face to face.

Having successfully nursed my first born for 17 months you'd think I would be ready and raring to go on this one, but not so much.


You see, I know what goes into it. I monitored my calorie intake, fat intake, water intake. I spent so much time hooked up to a pump all the while using hand massage techniques to help with my pumping output. When Harrison finally started sleeping through the night I took advantage of that big supply I had at 2AM and continued to get up at that time just to pump more milk. It was exhausting to work full time, have to supply milk for a sitter, and nurse when I was home.

Lest we also not forget, mama doesn't possess the ability to miss bedtime for over a year.

Our kids will go on all of our dates for the unforeseen future. Unless there's a sitter that doubles at a wet nurse out there. But still, I refused to pump in the car or at a restaurant. I'd rather just nurse the baby and carry it along.

To do all of this again, supplements, tracking macros, water intake galore, pumping... it's an exhausting thought.

But I do it so that 1) my child gets breastmilk 2) it saves us so much money and 3) it's such a nice chance to cuddle my baby, especially since I have to work out of the home.

I'm not at all concerned with pumping so other people can feed the baby. You will never see my pump for a time that I could just as easily whip a boob out. The fact that someone else wants to feed the baby, the them I say "you fed your own, this one is mine." It might not go the same for men, but the extra cuddles are my reward for not sleeping throughout a pregnancy because the child would start kicking at random times. Or reward for how sick I was, or all the blood test... and hello, childbirth.

So while parts of me dread the work that goes into breastfeeding a second baby, I also look forward to the forced time to sit. I'm not a sitter. Usually I'm up doing something around the house.

The only real downside to nursing this second baby... my husband has figured me out.

It was well over a year before he really participated in the bedtime routine, I didn't encourage it. Then one day he waltzes in only to find out just how cuddly Harrison was at bedtime and I have yet to shake him. He's now a bedtime fixture... except that Harrison is no longer cuddly. He's more of a maniac.

So, new baby. Might as well be brand new everything. I know I'll have to relearn the whole shabang... except my art of hiding out to nurse. Because that's mama's time.

Meal Planning Monday

I was livin' la low carb until about 2:40 today. We wrapped up that glucose test, picked up more diapers from Sam's Club... and I got a big fat salty pretzel.

I've actually never gotten one before, I've snacked on what Jeremy had of course, but one all to myself. That was reward to 1) not puking during the test 2) not crying when they drew blood and 3) Jeremy making me pop his back this morning and gagging when it did.

I can't take that sound!

Anyway, here's dinner.




[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.



Wednesday - leftovers


Friday - leftovers

Saturday - Family Reunion... I need a side idea

Sunday - leftovers, it's my favorite guy's birthday and we are living it up at Doe's Eat Place before we come back Saturday. 

Oh and my favorite birthday cake to make for him >>> Plaster Cake
I wish he had stronger opinions about life, like I'm a ride or die Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake gal. 

Cranberry Orange Lemonade with Cape Cod Select

I'm really excited to be participating in the Cape Cod Select Summer Breeze Recipe Challenge. I've not been one to come up with new ways to make things this last year, so having something new on hand and the push to try to come up with something new has been fun this summer. 

So for the next 3 recipes I share they will all be based around using Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries. 

Cranberry Orange Lemonade with Cape Cod Select

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the product, I've never cooked with fresh or frozen cranberries before. I'm such a sucker for buying pre-made cranberry sauce or using dried in more cranberry related recipes. I guess the best surprise was how much I decided I loved frozen cranberries and just how much everyone loved the recipes. 


A little about the company: Cape Cod Select is a women-owned family business. The Rhodes family has been growing cranberries on their 800 acre farm for 75 years and are now in their 4th generation. Their cranberries are Non-GMO verified & they also focus on sustainability and power their facilities with primarily solar power using better growing practices on their farm. 

Cranberry Orange Lemonade with Cape Cod Select

Now for this Cranberry Orange Lemonade. 

I started out just wanting to make a plain Jane lemonade with cranberries added in, but when I started making my no bake cheesecake and had two whole naval oranges left... I had to add something to this. 

The result was a lemonade that is perfect for summer and could easily transition to your table for a holiday... that is if you want something cold. We don't have particularly cold winters here, so this could be incredibly refreshing during Thanksgiving. 

Now keep in mind, the cranberry base/sauce I am making is super versatile. I am using it in all 3 of my recipes for this challenge and you could even use it as the cranberry sauce you pop on the table this year for Thanksgiving. It's simple, tasty, and a great base if you wanted to add more spices. 

Cranberry Orange Lemonade with Cape Cod Select

Basic Cranberry Sauce


Ingredients:
2 lbs of frozen Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions:
Place cranberries, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes until they are soft.  Mash with a potato masher or use an immersion blender to smooth out the cranberry sauce. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes until thickened.

Cranberry Orange Lemonade


Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup Basic Cranberry Sauce
1 cup of fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 cups of cold water
ice
Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries for garnish

Directions:
In a small sauce pan bring the sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil. Turn off the heat. Add cranberry sauce, orange juice, and lemon juice to the mixture. Stir well. (If the cranberry sauce isn't "dissolving" into the mix well just turn the heat back on and the warmth should help it blend in better.) Pour cranberry mixture and remaining water into a pitcher. Stir well and add ice. Pour into glasses and serve with Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries for garnish. 

** Tip: When I juice my two naval oranges they came out to about 1 cup. If you have a little less just add more lemon juice to get to 1 1/2 cups of citrus juice total for the recipe. 

Cranberry Orange Lemonade with Cape Cod Select

To find Cape Cod Select on social media:
Instagram - @CapeCodSelect
Twitter - @CapeCodSelect

Sun Dried Tomato and Feta Salad

When we were in Monroe a few weeks ago I ordered the lunch special at a local restaurant. Honestly I was nervous about sun dried tomatoes in a salad, I've only ever used them in cooked dishes.

But y'all. It was amazing.

So amazing I've eaten it nearly daily for 3 weeks (well the days we've been home in the 3 weeks).


The original salad had arugula in it, but that is a hard to come by lettuce variety at our local grocery store. So instead I have gone between romaine (because it was already in the fridge) and the Marketside Super Blend from Wal-Mart. 

But in an effort to sound like Ina Garten... any lettuce variety is just fine. 


<h2> Sun Dried Tomato and Feta Salad</h2>

Serves 1
Ingredients:
2 tbsp of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp white balsamic
chopped up chicken (I used a few grilled chicken tenders)
1/2 bag 5 oz Marketside Super Blend Salad (this is a blend of Brussel Sprouts, Napa Cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots, and kale)

Direction:
Place salad onto a plate, top with sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, and feta. Pour over the white balsamic (or just use regular). Top with chicken and toss to combine.

I don't add any oil to this just because I use the bit of oil from the tomatoes as my oil. It tastes great, the brand I was able to get had garlic in it so it was slightly seasoned.


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.

Anyway.

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


Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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,

Meal Pinning Monday

It's the last week of June and y'all this summer is flying by!




[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 - Making the Beef Plantain Pie I didn't make last week

Tuesday - Lemon Garlic Steak with Spinach & Parmesan Mushrooms


Wednesday - Spaghetti & Meatballs


Thursday - leftovers

Friday - Breakfast Burritos

Saturday - cleaning out the fridge meals

Family Camping Organization

Today's post comes with a warning for the photo allergic... this post has a ton of photos, but with the intent to share the tips for camping organization I've acquired. Also, I wanted to lug my big girl camera to shoot this but with sketchy weather I didn't want to risk it getting wet or having to leave it in a hot car all week. So phone photos it was. 

So if you're interested... continue. 

If not... don't hate me. 

But without further chatting here's how we organize our campsite. 


As a family this is our 2nd year of week long camping. Before this I've camped with friends and Jeremy has as well. We just never camped together. So while we are new to camping together we aren't new to camping in general. I'm pretty certain the two of us logged more ours in the woods as children than on pavement.

The "It's Been a Hot Minute" Baby Update

Major pregnancy brain, I looked at this photo for a good bit and suddenly realized the first one was week 18, not 19. Oops!  

But whoa at how rounded out I got in just two weeks, hopefully it's just camp food and gets in check lol! 

18/20 Week Pregnancy Update

Size: Baby B is the size of a roast chicken and weighs 12.699 oz according to the Ava app. 

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 appointment last week it was 147. 

Symptoms: Indigestion is a beast. If I get hot, hungry, or worn out I tend to just shut down. Walking to the showers during our camping trip after helping take down the tent had me showering in the handicap stall and sitting... then coming back and sitting in the car. It took a few snacks and a lot of cold air before I felt like myself again. Funny though because setting up didn't phase me. Hence I'm blaming the heat. 

Currently Missing: Sweets. I'd love some cake but if I delve too deep into sugar I feel really bad. It gets my indigestion going and I immediately feel like puking.

Cravings and Favorite Foods: Raw veggies dipped in my girlfriends dill dip is heavenly. The Walmart brand sweet potato and beet chips are even great in it.

Sleep: Good, I just get up 2-3 times to pee. This was only an issue when camping because 1) I wasn't driving to the bathhouse and 2) raccoons were running a muck. I peed at a tree several times.

Food Aversions: 
Mainly just sweets, but that isn't an aversion it just doesn't sit well with me. Chicken isn't my favorite but I can tolerate it grilled now. The Tyson Chicken Nugges my child eats makes me want to fall over and croak at this point though. They just stank. Stink isn't a strong enough term for how they smell.

Exercise: Granted last week it was all mild hiking and swimming because we were camping, but I'm back at it in the gym. Right now I can do slow cardio on the Faster Way cardio days, but I love the weight lifting. I just have to make sure I wear my maternity support belt and get on the massage bed at Planet Fitness after the fact. I'm about to throw in a ton of squats every day though because Ina May suggests 300 a day. I doubt I'll hit that number today, but it's worth doing a ton of them to prep for childbirth.

Reading/Baby Related Classes and Prep:
Mama Natural Week by Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth

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. I'm constantly ear marking pages to prep for what's coming up. I'm about to start reading the Mom's On Call 0-6 Month book to try and find myself a more relaxed way to get on a schedule and sleep train. Baby Wise basically got the job done but I was so entirely stressed out because I felt the need to be so ridged that I want to take a different approach. My girlfriend suggested this, we were both big BW with our first, and she said she felt more relaxed following this schedule and method.

Weight: At the last appointment I'd only gained about 6 lbs and I am shocked. Shocked that it's only been 6, I was a baby beluga on the last go around.

Movement: Anytime I sit still I get kicked half to death. Jeremy hasn't felt it yet, but I can't have anything in my bladder or this child kicks me and I just about wet my pants.

Maternity Clothing: All day every day. I mix in some non maternity but I don't like the restriction of regular pants.

Gender Guess: I honestly have nothing. Not a clue. Heart rate says girl, but it's the same range Harrison was in so that means absolutely nothing. My OB suggested the Chinese Gender Calendar to guess and it's also a mixed bag. Here's why... I got pregnant technically Jan 26 at the age of 31. But I wouldn't have technically conceived until Feb on the verge of turning 32 at the end of the month. One says girl the other says boy. Basically the child will have to get out to see what we landed.

Meal Pinning Monday

After VBS and the week of camping... here are a few actual meals I am actually cooking!




[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.

Saturday - Grilled Chicken with Asian Chopped Salad (easy peasy premade salad kit)

Sunday - Jeremy's choice for Father's Day

Monday - The White Chicken Chili I have yet to make


Tuesday - leftovers

Wednesday - Grilled Chicken with Green Beans and Roasted Potatoes


Thursday - Chicken and Sausage Creole - an old blog recipe that needs an update

Friday - leftovers

Saturday - Chili Lime Chicken with Salad, Rice, Avocado, and Tomatoes


Sunday - Paleo Plantain Beef Pie


Breakfast - Avocado Pudding


Lunch - Burger Bowls

6 Beauty Tips to Do in Advance That Will Have You Looking Stunning

Today's guest post was submitted by Kelly Halls. It's all about beauty tips for wedding day prep, but let's be honest with it being wedding season we can all benefit from a little beauty prep for these big events!
..........................................

6 Beauty Tips to Do in Advance That Will Have You Looking Stunning on Your Wedding Day


The engagement might have only just happened and the wedding is still a year away, but it is never
too early to start thinking about that wedding health and beauty regime that can leave you glowing
on your big day.
We all know it can often take a while to see results from new diets and skin treatments, so there is no
time like the present to start making those little lifestyle tweaks to prepare you for walking down the
aisle.
From growing out your hair to incorporating a lot more drinking of water into your daily routine,
here are six beauty tips to do in advance that will have you looking stunning on your wedding day.

Start growing out your hair now

If you are looking to have long, healthy, luscious hair like Rapunzel, then the longer you can grow it
out for, the better. Start the process immediately and remember that to keep it healthy, you’ll still need
to have a few trims throughout the growing process in the run up to the big day.

Whiten your teeth

The average number of photographs taken at a wedding is a staggering 3,000. That is a lot of smiling
which means your teeth are going to be on show for a lot of the time. Teeth whitening can help them
to look their best and there are many products that allow you to whiten your teeth at home, rather
than seeking the help of a costly professional. Whichever option you decide to take, make sure you
leave yourself up to two months to achieve the perfect smile and avoid any tooth-sensitivity close to
the ceremony.

Have your eyebrows shaped

Just like teeth and hair, your eyebrows are an area that you need to start working on well in advance.
Seek the opinion of a professional who will be able to tell you the shape of eyebrows best suited to
your face. After a few months, they’ll have your eyebrows clean and beautiful which will help in the
framing of your wedding makeup.

Use Epsom Salts on your skin

You are probably wondering What Is Epsom Salt? Epsom Salt is made up of magnesium and sulfate
and can do wonders for your skin. It works as a powerful face cleaner when a half a teaspoon is mixed
into your regular nightly cleansing cream, it can be used to improve the potency of a regular face
mask, it can help you exfoliate when massaged over wet skin and it can help soak up excess oil from
your hair when added to oily hair shampoo.

Drink a lot more water

By drinking a lot of water every day, you’ll be helping your body wash out unwanted toxins which will
leave your skin with a healthy glow. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways we can look after
ourselves.

Adopt a healthy diet

You’ll probably be hitting the gym hard in the run up to the wedding, but if you really want to
achieve that dream body before your wedding, then adopting a healthy diet is a must. You don’t need
to live off salad for the next six months, just avoid sugar, salt and processed foods which aren’t good
for weight loss or clean living.