Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

A few blogs I follow link up pretty frequently to this Wednesday post at this kind of love. I always mean to do it also and then pretty much just forget. So this week, here is what I'm loving:

I am loving my husband. Yes I do this everyday but lately he has seriously just been the best person to have around when I am not feeling well and takes such good care of me.

Even though we haven't had a lot of sun this summer, I truly am loving that fall is on its way. I may or may not have chosen the above picture of Ben and I because it is from last fall. Love it.
I am loving our garden. Every year I whine and complain that it isn't big enough and Ben always tells me that it is and that we are just two people to enjoy it. Well, not for long, Hub! Anyway we have been enjoying great fresh veggies.

Please excuse the poor quality of my cell phone photo. We have some zucchini, carrots, green onions and green beans here.

I am loving any kind of nursery inspiration.
I am loving this sign I got the other day for the baby's room. All so very true.

Speaking of signs, I am loving this giveaway over at Little Miss Momma today. Seriously, go check it out!
A True Love Story Never Ends Heavily Distressed Sign in Black Vintage Style
I love that Ben has a 4 day weekend coming up. I will be working a couple of the days but I am happy for him to have this time off as I am most sure that he is too!
So, what are you loving this week? Head on over here  to link up! 

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Nice Weekend with a Good Dinner

The weekend started out great with Ben working from home so he was home when I got off work. He worked for a couple of more hours and then we headed down to the beach in our neighborhood and swam around with Holly for a little while. A few friends came over and we relaxed in the back yard for a couple of hours.

Saturday morning I wasn't feeling great so Ben made breakfast and we watched some Dexter that we have been waiting on for awhile. Ben had plans to go to the soccer game and I was just going to relax at home. I ended up going out on my parents boat for a little while and when I got back Ben was home. We cooked some BBQ'd beef short ribs with a couscous salad and relaxed the rest of the evening.

Sunday morning we were up and and out running some errands. We got some paint to paint the changing table/dresser and a side table. We also got some shelves for extra storage in our office. We then headed to one of our favorite grocery stores to get ingredients for dinner.

We decided to make "Greek Tacos" after watching Ben's new favorite Food Network show, Sandwich King.  So off to the store we went in search of the ingredients:
ground lamb
red onion
pocketless pitas
plain whole milk greek yogurt
tomato paste

At home we already had red wine vinegar, oregano, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper.

If you want to see his version of the recipe go to his website. But this is what we did.

To make the cucumber relish, I simply diced the cucumber, tomato and half the red onion and mixed it with a few turns of red wine vinegar and a few turns of olive oil. Just so all the veggies are coated. Then salt and pepper to taste.

For the tzatziki sauce, I mixed a cup of greek yogurt, maybe half cup of crumbled feta, a whole cucumber drained as well as possible, a clove of minced garlic, maybe ten mint leaves chopped and salt and pepper. Stir it all around and make sure you like the taste.

While I was making the sauce and relish, Ben was browning up/crisping up the lamb. We put the skillet on about medium-medium high heat and put a turn of olive oil in the pan. We didn't mix around the lamb until it was brown and crispy on one side. Once it is cooked, remove the lamb from the pan and put in a few minced garlic cloves and the other half of the diced red onion. Let these sweat until they are aromatic and translucent. Add the tomato paste and dry oregano. Stir it all together while the tomato paste lets out its sugars. Add a dash of red wine to the pan, or in our case some broth, to deglaze a little and get a little bit more of a saucy texture and then add the lamb back to the pan.

While the lamb was cooking I heated up our Naan. Naan? Yes, instead of pitas, we got Naan because they were sampling it at the store and it was delish.

Once it was all done, we slathered the tzatziki on the Naan, topped with the lamb, topped with the relish, rolled it up and dug in. So, so good and super easy. I would say it's one of the best gyros/Greek tacos I've ever had!

Friday, August 26, 2011

25 Weeks

I don't know why these weeks keep going faster and faster. With every passing week we just get more and more excited to meet our girl.

I have been feeling good for the most part. I was hesitant to be taking more than one Zantac per day but the midwife okay-ed two per day. Hopefully that brings some more relief because, boy, it gets out of control!

She is still moving around more and more so that's always fun. It was mostly in the morning and evening but now if I sit in the afternoons and relax for a bit she will start dancing around then too.

My parents got us our stroller and a couple of weeks ago we did end up picking up the crib from my cousin. The baby's room is coming together more and more each week it seems.

We had some friends over for a BBQ last weekend and one of the couples had a baby boy in June. It was really sweet seeing how good our pup Holly was with him. We were obviously a little more restrained with her because it was someone else's baby than we will be with ours. The baby was laying on the grass on a blanket and she would just go right up and lay right next to the blanket and look at him. It was really sweet.

We saw the midwife this week and everything seems to be moving right along. we scheduled out 3 more appointments and that will put us into the appointments every two weeks. It's so crazy that we are just 3 weeks away from the third trimester.

The other night after our appointment we went across the street to eat some Mexican food and boy oh boy did that not settle well with me at all. I was up all night and missed work yesterday. Not too fun. I think I may need to tone down the seasonings and spices on my food a little bit to give the tummy a little break. I have always been heavy on the seasoning and spice and it still sounds good during pregnancy but may not be the best idea for now.

Here is this week's picture. Weird posture for me because Ben told me to "elongate." Not a great look.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Babies Galore!

When I found out I was pregnant I think I knew about 12-15 others who were as well. 2 of these include my two best friends. This past weekend, we threw a shower for my friend who is due in October. She is having a boy and although we didn't really have a theme, we tried to keep in boy colors and I made her a banner in the colors of the crib bedding.

I wanted to try my hand at a diaper cake so I enlisted my other pregnant BFF and we dove in headfirst. It was actually really simple. We looked at a couple tutorials online and here is what we came up with:
We were pretty proud of our creation and the ribbon really made the whole presentation. Even though she is having a boy, I thought the green flowers added a really pretty feminine touch. You know, since our friend is female.

I got the idea for my banner from the "One" banner shown in this post and sort of recreated it with my own vision. I gathered my materials: scrapbook paper, a paper cutter, rick rack, newspaper, pinking shears, hot glue and darling mini, mini clothes pins:
I cut the scrapbook paper into triangles/pennant shapes. And cut the newspaper into circles and then cut around the border with the pinking shears for a scalloped edge.

I then glued the rick rack to the fronts of all the pennants. I thought it was cute in the front but you could glue it to the back if you like that look better. Then I stenciled my letters to each newspaper circle. They haven't 100% decided on their name yet so I just used their last name. I then pinned all the letters to the pennants. Easy peasy!

I tried to keep in tune with the bedding colors and she is also using giraffes in the theme so I made sure to use giraffe print. I thought it turned out pretty cute and if she decides to put it up in the room, she can easily switch out the letters to spell his whole name.

Here are some more pictures from the fun day:
Very proud of her fruit pizza.

The gifts from great friends.

The guest of honor in the middle.

Two of four co-hosts. Me and my other pregnant BFF.

Enjoying each gift.

The whole group on what turned out to be a beautiful day.

Now, I just can't wait to meet little, baby boy Mack! So happy for this family!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A "Me" Day

Most of you probably won't even think that this constitutes a "me" day but I do. Because I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And I wasn't in a hurry. I didn't feel like I had anything pressing in my agenda. This morning I got up early, made breakfast for myself, then Hub got back from swimming and I made him breakfast. He is working really close to home this week so that is a nice change of pace for both of us. 

I got dinner in the crockpot, which I know sounds a little weird for the summer but I took out a roast last night because it sounded good and I didn't want to worry about dinner this evening so there we have it. I headed out about 8:30am to go see a friend that I used to work with who had a little girl last May and offered for me to come look through some of her baby clothes. It was really nice to catch up with the friend and see her adorable little girl. Very exciting to get a peek into what my life has in store for me!

I headed to the mall when I left her house to return something and then decided I would wander around a little bit, which I never do. If I go to the mall it is because I have a purpose and a specific purchase in mind. So I walked in and out of stores leisurely and then even treated myself to lunch because I was feeling hungry and didn't want to fight that hungry feeling all the way back home. I had a really good burrito and smoothie, went in a few more stores and headed out.

When I got home, I took a 20 minute nap which I really haven't been doing lately and then put in some laundry. I didn't really feel like I had much other house cleaning to do thanks to getting it done over the weekend for a friend's shower I had here yesterday. {Post on that to come.} Instead, I got out my Sunday paper that I just started subscribing to, to begin my couponing adventure. I have started following Coupon Connections which has been really helpful especially because she is located near where we live so it helps with having the same coupons to understand everything better. I sat outside and clipped away and then read a little bit.

I then decided it was time for some exercises and a walk. Now I am eagerly anticipating the early arrival of my husband since he is so close to top of my great day.

I know this probably doesn't sound all that great to anyone else, but it was a nice, relaxing day and I felt like I was in need of one. So that's that!

What do you like to do on a day you have to yourself? Are you one to treat yourself to a little pampering, a lunch or a new outfit? What is your "perfect" alone day?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

23 Weeks

Here we are at 23 weeks. I feel like over the past week my belly has grown although I keep getting comments about how small it is. As my pregnant, or previously pregnant friends tell me, people are just downright honest when it comes to seeing a pregnant belly and what they say. So even though it bothers me a little bit sometimes about the belly being "small" I just have to take it with a grain of salt and know that everyone grows at different paces and no two pregnancies are the same. I can't explain why it bothers me--maybe because I feel like I want my belly to grow, I don't want people to think I am unhealthy or not taking care of my baby. Anyway, just a little vent I guess.

BabyCenter  tells me that she is more than eleven inches long and weighs just over a pound. It also suggests that I dance more since her sense of movement is well developed. If anyone has seen me dance, I think she would be mocking my moves from the womb!

I definitely feel her more in the morning and evening when I am still. I think me moving around during the day rocks her to sleep.

I wore my B Band to work today but it was feeling a little tight. I folded it down and that helped but maybe its only the stretchy clothes from here on out. I don't know if I will ever quite feel like maternity pants are comfy because I just really don't like anything tight on my tummy.

No really strong cravings this week. I think it may be due to the heartburn. I feel like it gets to the point of almost making me feel like I will vomit. No bueno.

We got our pack and play and our crib bedding last week. I am so, so happy that I love the crib bedding. I kept finding "the one" online and then of course changing my mind. I definitely thought it would come and not be the "right" color and I would change my mind a few times and send it back, etc. However, Hub and I both love it and I am so excited to start some projects to play off the colors. We put together the pack and play the other night and the instructions were awful. Hub said that putting together baby items must be the test for if the marriage can withstand a baby or if our patience can!

I think we will be able to go pick up our very lightly used crib from my cousin this weekend and I am co-hosting a baby shower at our house for my friend's baby boy on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

There are Reasons I Need a Man's Help

Lately I have been trying my hand at bbqing. I use the word "trying" lightly because I still prefer to just have Hub do it. Sometimes if I really want to have dinner ready right when he gets home or if he is running a little late, I have braved the BBQ(s). Also, when Ben was travelling so much, I used the gas grill by myself.

A couple of weeks ago I even learned how to light the briquettes on the charcoal BBQ. Ben prefers the charcoal grill, as do I usually, so it's nice if I can start them and then he can grill when he gets home.

Last week, I wanted to grill some chicken for the Chinese Chicken Salad I was making to take for our weekend away. I had some boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I asked Ben what temperature I should grill them on and he told me. However, I had some huge issues with the chicken sticking and it didn't appear that the left burner was on. I started to get frustrated and I'm pretty sure once I moved all the chicken to the hot parts of the grill it became pretty over cooked. Luckily I was putting it in a salad with many other ingredients and dressing.

Ben knows all the ins and outs of his grills, what temps to cook things on, how long it takes and it doesn't stress him out. For some reason, I have always associated BBQing with being stressful. Having to move things around, constantly keep an eye on it, flipping and turning.

Ben, you can have the grills and I will stick with the oven and stove. I just love having such a balanced marriage!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Perfect Weekend Retreat

This past weekend we headed over the mountains a few hours to celebrate our friend's birthday at her family's lake cabin. We met these friends in college and they live about two and a half hours away and we don't get to see them nearly enough. They are expecting a baby in September so this was also probably the last time we will see them before they have the baby.

We got to the cabin Friday evening and left yesterday afternoon and between the lake, 90ish degree weather, friends, and good food, Hub and I certainly were dragging our feet when it was time to leave yesterday. Friday night, the birthday girl and I (both pregnant) actually stayed up pretty late visiting and playing cards with everyone. We had the pleasure of sleeping outside under the beautiful blanket of stars. What a treat!

Saturday morning we were up bright at early due to the sun coming up and enjoyed a nice breakfast and set out to the deck and dock for the day. More people trickled in throughout the day to celebrate the actual birthday. The day was spent floating in the water, laughing, relaxing and eating.
The boys throwing the football with the dogs closely observing.

Some of the group enjoying the dock.

Relaxing on land in a floatie!

The beautiful birthday girl/soon-to-be-mama!

Ben and I enjoying the nice evening and having gotten a little sunshine!

Saturday evening we celebrated the birthday with a BBQ with her family and friends and then enjoyed cake while visiting in the warm evening. I definitely headed to bed a little earlier than the night before and some others stayed up to keep the party going. Sunday morning we woke up and tried to soak up some more sun until it was time to head home. The drive home ended up taking a little more time than the drive there due to everyone heading home Sunday afternoon at the same time. 

All in all a wonderful weekend in the sun. We can't wait to celebrate in the next couple of months when our friends welcome their baby. It is so fun going through the different seasons of life with close friends. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Friday

Hub and I are off today for the weekend once both of us finish our short days of work. We are headed to some relaxation, friends and sunshine.
Hope everyone has the same type of weekend. Have I mentioned that I love summer?!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

22 Weeks

Well at a little over halfway it sure feels like the weeks are starting to fly by. I am feeling pretty good this week and feeling movements more and more. We were actually watching my belly receive some little jabs the other day. Baby Center says that she is about eleven inches long and almost a pound. She is also looking more and more like a newborn as opposed to an alien, I am assuming.

Our carpet in the bedrooms got installed on Monday so that is exciting. Also, our pack and play came that same day and when Hub shut the door to the room for the night he admitted to feeling a little nervous due to some baby paraphernalia actually being in her room and it starting to morph into a "baby room" as opposed to a spare bedroom.

I have still just been wearing my regular clothes, of the looser and stretchy variety, but getting more comments and questions as to whether I am pregnant. I have yet to say no and make someone feel bad. I did get a knock off Bella Band at Target because I was getting a little tired of wearing stretch pants and gaucho pants everyday. Hub said he wants one so he can leave his pants unbuttoned also. Sorry, Hub, only for the pregnant lady!

I am still loving spicy food. I finally got some Zantac for my heartburn which was okayed by the midwife and it is working wonders! Love, love, love! I still have a hard time figuring out what to eat while I'm at work because it generally has to be cold food. I am a little tired of yogurt, cereal, fruit, etc.

We are headed a few hours east this weekend to spend some time at a friend's family cabin on a lake. I can't wait to relax and float around in the water and be in some warm weather. I also can't wait to see our friend who is also pregnant and due at the beginning of September. So fun having pregnant friends!

Holy moly. Please disregard this ridiculous fake smile, or whatever the look on my face is. My husband forced me into this picture on my way from having fallen asleep on the couch to bed. Awesome. But, in keeping with full disclosure here, I don't want to miss a week of the growing bump.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How We Celebrated

How we Celebrated

We hemmed and hawed about a few different options to celebrate our anniversary. I really wanted to go stay somewhere to kind of make it an anniversary celebration/babymoon type of getaway but this didn't end up panning out due to the fact that Hub or I didn't really get going on the planning front. When I finally did try to book something, everything was either full or way out of the price range because it was such short notice.

We decided that we would go on a hike and go out to dinner. We headed out for the hike Saturday morning with a particular hike in mind. It would be about an hour drive and it was a beautiful morning. We get on the road and realize that our parking trail pass is expired. We find a ranger station and get a day pass. We keep driving. We feel like we have been going pretty far, passed a lot of trail heads and get to the end of the road. I later find out that this is not the end of the road but keeps going as a gravel road for quite a ways. We decided to turn around at this point. We then decide to do a different hike because we have been in the car for awhile with a whining dog and were getting a little frustrated.

The hike we ended up on was pretty short, the trail was paved a lot of the way and there were a lot of families. Not our typical hike. It was nice to get outside and be in the woods but I think we may be trying to find our originally planned hike soon and maybe not go back to this one until our little baby is old enough to walk along a trail.
Yes, there was some snow at the end of the trail.

Holly and I near the end of the hike.
We headed home after the hike and walked a little ways into our town that was having their summer festival and got some street food for lunch. We had a gyro and a BBQ pork sandwich. We headed home and took Holly to the lake to cool down and then relaxed for a bit reading and snoozing.

We headed in to shower and get ready to go to dinner in the city and left about an hour and half before our reservation thinking that traffic may be busy it being a sunny Saturday evening. Well, it took us two hours to get to the restaurant because half of downtown was blocked off due to a parade for this weekend's summer festival in the city. It was really frustrating, we were both getting hungry and actually almost went home because we could not find a way to get to the restaurant. We called and let them know we would be late and finally made it a half an hour late. I had the OssoBucco and Hub had venison, mushroom and spinach ravioli in a veal sauce. Our dinner was good, romantic and relaxing when we finally got to sit down and enjoy it.
A little blurry photo taking by the waitress.
All in all, we had a great celebration of our marriage even though there were some frustrating parts of it. But that's marriage isn't it?! :

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sometimes You Just Need a Cookie

Sunday, Hub and I just kind of hung around the house, relaxing and doing miscellaneous things and all of a sudden I wanted to bake some cookies. Well, I was out of sugar. So I went to the store and got sugar and a few others things we needed and came home and made Chocolate, Oatmeal and Walnut cookies.

They turned out really well. I just took the recipe off the back of the Tollhouse bag. Hub was convinced I was trying to "butter him up for something" by making his favorite cookies. Really, I just wanted to bake and eat some cookies. Now I just need to make sure I don't eat them all myself!

Do you ever just have the urge to bake? What's your favorite go-to cookies recipe? 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy Anniversary to My Best Friend

Two years ago we were surrounded by family and friends and said, "I do." Two years ago we couldn't have predicted where we would be today. These two years have flown by and we are blessed to be expecting our first child this year. There is no one I would rather be on this journey with and that is why we chose each other. I know that this next year will most likely be the most challenging with a new baby, new roles, new responsibilities and making the transition from "just the two of us" to a family of three. I know we are more than ready for this year and can't wait to look back on next year's anniversary to praise our accomplishments.

A marriage to me is about building communication and strengthening it on a daily basis. I love that my husband and I have a life that we love living everyday. Obviously there are better days than others individually and as a couple but those days make us stronger trying to bring happiness to each other. My heart fills with love when my husband comes to mind or when I think of something thoughtful he has recently done or said.

I can't say our life is perfect, because I don't think anyone's is, but we are living our love story one day at a time and I am thankful for that each day.

I love you, Ben, and can't wait to see what this next year of marriage brings. I can only imagine many more days of laughter and happiness.