Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Happies

Happy Friday, friends! I'm thankful for a day off of work today as all of the roads around and into the city are either blocked off or clogged up with traffic. I'll happily enjoy this day from the comfort of my home.

Since it's Friday, and that in and of itself brings with it undue amounts of happiness, I thought I'd share some of my happies from the week!

~While at Target I discovered they sell kid size Honeycrisp apples, and for $6 I got 10 perfectly snack sized and delicious apples to eat my way through this week and into next. Plus, they're way sweeter than the ones at the grocery store are now. It's the little things, people!

~Saturday MG and I are touring the hospital that I'll be delivering our baby at. It's crazy that we're already planning for this--and I hope the whole thing makes me feel more prepared as opposed to totally overwhelmed haha

~I think we are going to try and see our friends' new rescue pup on Saturday after the hospital. The pics have been super cute, and watching them both swoon when they talk about her this week has been really cute to see. Can't wait to meet the new fluffy love of their lives!
~MG was away for a work training this week and since it's hard to cook for just one person (without getting bored of the same leftovers for days on end), I enjoyed Chipotle and Thai food this week for dinners. No shame.
~Speaking of MG being away...several times that Cooper would hear a car door shut at night, he'd rush over to the ottoman and stare at the front door. Much to his dismay, MG never walked through, so I can imagine his excitement and tail wiggles when he comes home this afternoon. #wigglesfordays
~I've been sleeping like a bear this week. Sometimes I wake up 20 minutes before my alarm, and I'm able to fall back asleep enough to have a dream which I'm usually NEVER able to do. Apparently my body is storing up the sleep for baby's arrival because I've never slept so hard in my life...minus first trimester where I slept like 20 hours a day lol
~I'm so proud of all of the women I know who are going to be marching in the Women's March on Saturday. I can't be a part of it due to our hospital tour, plus large crowds+being pregnant doesn't mix very well (especially with the amount of times I pee a day lol), but I'm there in spirit and cheering for all of the things that you are marching for. If you need a list, visit Stephanie's post from yesterday and read number 1.

~During one of the meals that I cooked at home this week, I tried out chickpea pasta which is apparently loaded with protein and fiber, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I will say, it wasn't bad. I'd probably try it again in the future, especially in a dish that wouldn't have protein in it otherwise. (Found this brand at Target)
~I had a parent at work who I don't know randomly stop and tell me yesterday that I look "so cute" and pointed to my bump. So that definitely made me feel good :)

What are some of your happies from the week?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

{Recipe Files}: Twice Baked Crock Pot Taco Sweet Potatoes

As promised from last week, I'm sharing the taco sweet potato recipe I made in the crock pot.
Keep in mind that this recipe is vegetarian, but the original recipe had ground beef/turkey in it. I just omitted it because our meals for the week were pretty meat-laden and I wanted something veggie focused. Plus this meal has sweet potatoes and black beans which are both recommended for a healthy pregnancy diet. Score!
What You Need:
~4 sweet potatoes
~1 small onion, diced
~1.5 tsp minced garlic
~1 C drained diced tomatoes
~1/4 C tomato sauce
~15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
~1 Tbsp taco seasoning*
~1 C shredded cheese

*I recommend adding a little bit more than this amount to add some better flavoring to everything.

What You Do:
1. Scrub and rinse the sweet potatoes clean. Then poke holes all over them so that the potatoes don't explode in your crock pot (that would not be fun to clean up). Place the sweet potatoes in the crock pot on LOW for 5-6 Hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours (I did the low setting).
2. When the potatoes are close to being done, in a skillet, over medium heat, add in the onion and garlic and a little bit of olive oil to prevent burning. (If you're adding in meat, cook it now with the onion and garlic). 

3. Add in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans and taco seasoning to the skillet. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally and add salt and pepper to taste. 
4. Cut into the sweet potatoes (not all the way through) and wedge them open. Stuff each with the skillet contents and top with cheese. Cook the sweet potatoes for another hour on HIGH.
5. Top the sweet potatoes with whatever topping you want and enjoy!
These were even better, and more flavorful the next day for lunch as leftovers. But definitely a guilt-free dinner that was super tasty and healthy for baby!

Check out some of my other recipes on the Recipes Tab at the top of my page!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WHW {#76}

Happy hump day! This day definitely got here a lot faster with having Monday off, and even better that tomorrow is my last work day of the week because of Inauguration. Can every week be a 3-day week? I'd be in heaven!
Anyway, I wanted to do another little bump-date on here since it's been a little bit and I have fun doing them :)

How Far Along: 24 weeks--seriously can't believe that there's only 2 more weeks of my 2nd trimester!
Size of Baby: The size/length of an ear of corn or cantaloupe (depending on the app you look at), and weighs apparently about 1 1/3 pounds

Gender: A girl! We got this adorable outfit from my friend Rachel right after we did the gender announcement and I couldn't be more in love with it
Weight Gain: about 11-12 pounds I think, although I'll know for sure next week at my doctor's appointment

Food Cravings: sweets, especially chocolate. And the nightly ice cream cravings have taken over

Food Aversions: I still don't have any aversions other than cooking fish myself.

Movement: Ohhhhhh yes! Baby girl is a wiggling, kicking machine in there! MG finally felt her moving the other week, and then he SAW her moving when she did a pretty good karate kick in my stomach one night. He's also felt her moving against his arm when we've been spooning in the mornings.

Sleep: Still sleeping through the night, sometimes for more than 8 hours which is so not like me. I will say the crazy preggo dreams have diminished for the most part, though

Clothing: Maternity bottoms all the way now. And some maternity tops mixed with looser fitting shirts. I wore a maternity top the other week and some of my 5th grade girls were giddy when they saw me, saying "you're getting bigger!" haha
This was the day that I looked down and was like "oh wow, the bump definitely got bigger today"

Other Pregnancy Symptoms: I just feel really "full" all the time, especially after dinner. It's like my skin is stretched to the max (well, because it is lol).

What I Miss: I really can't say I miss much other than that delicious turkey sandwich from the deli nearby. I'd have that over a glass of wine right now any day :) Oh, and maybe not needing to pee every 30 minutes lol

Best Moment: when MG got to SEE baby girl moving around--I think he was pretty impressed, and it was a really special moment for both of us.

Looking Forward To: baby shower planning, and getting the nursery set up once we start getting things like the crib, etc.
And we have another ultrasound appointment next Tuesday so we'll get to see baby girl again which we're both looking forward to!

That's it in bump-land for now!
Now it's your turn to link up with Jessi and I to share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Long Weekending

Happy Monday! Hopefully you have off work today to rest, relax, and reflect on MLK day :)

This weekend wasn't filled with too much excitement, but I enjoy my relaxing weekends a bunch so it was still a good one.

The highlights this weekend included:
~Getting dinner ready for our little dinner party, which ended up being smaller than we anticipated when one of the couples ended up not coming. We got a text about 30 minutes before they were supposed to arrive, saying the girl was still in a meeting at work and he wasn't sure when she would be out. So we pushed back dinner start time and then an hour later he said she was still at work and to go ahead without them. We never got a message or apology from the girl, at all, which kind of annoyed me since we'd gone to the trouble of making dinner for them and to not even text and apologize came off pretty rude.

~We still had a great time with our really good couple friends who came over--we always have a great time with these two.
~4 hours flew by, like it always does when the four of us are together. Even Cooper made himself at home with them
~Speaking of Cooper, he got in his time pretending to be a baby this weekend lol
~Saturday was a cold and rainy day and lent itself to staying in, reading and being lazy.

~We did make it out of the house to visit IKEA where we got some ideas for the downstairs guest bathroom, and we also stopped at one of the best furniture stores I've been to and found several dining room tables that we liked. Holding off on that purchase for a bit, though

~Saturday night we went out for sushi (baby safe--no raw stuff) and then came home and watched The Accountant
~Sunday we ran our standard weekend errands and then grabbed lunch at Yardhouse. My cheese-loving self was quite satisfied with the grilled cheese and tomato bisque
~Got pictures of our friends' adorable new rescue dog throughout the weekend which we swooned over--can't wait to meet her!
how cute is she???
~Gave myself a little at-home manicure and combined two Essie colors (Size Matters as the base and In Stitches on top)
~One of my favorite movies, About Time, was on so I had to watch. This movie just makes me feel good. And after what seems like endless crappy news on the tv, it was just what my spirit needed. If you've never seen it, I highly recommend it, and the soundtrack is awesome too.
~Made a solid dent in the new book I'm reading which I'm enjoying 

And the best part about a long weekend is going to bed whenever you want on Sunday and waking up without an alarm on Monday!
Hoping your weekend was less rainy than ours was!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Faves

Happy Friday friends!!

Hopefully your full week at work for the new year went ok--mine went alright and pretty quickly, thankfully, without too many bumps. Praise!! Hopefully the fact that it's Friday the 13th doesn't throw a wrench in the decent week.

Let's chat about some other faves from this week!

~I bought a maternity dress from Zulily the other day that I'm either going to wear for an upcoming wedding, or more likely for my baby shower in a couple of months
And, yes, I love that it has purple in it :) Hopefully it fits as well when it gets here as it does on the model in the picture (who probably isn't pregnant).

~A long weekend and a super short work week is ahead! I have off on Monday for MLK day, and then again next Friday for Inauguration. I'll take the days off, despite the fact that I won't be celebrating the Inauguration.

~We're having friends over tonight for dinner! I feel all Susie Homemaker prepping for it, and am really looking forward to it! Good food and friends always makes for a fabulous night! Just call me Shauna Niequist ;)
On the menu: hummus and tzatziki for appetizers
Mediterranean pasta bake for dinner with garlic bread on the side and salad
Dessert: our friends are bringing dessert (worst case, it will be ice cream :)

~I got this adorable mom and baby elephant necklace last weekend (thanks to Instagram sponsored ads--they got me), but I love love love the sentiment the website had about the necklace.
Plus, I may be going down a bit of a elephant themed nursery (super cute, not over the top), so this kinda fit in with all of that.

~Our weekend last weekend started off with temps in the 20s and snow (a tiny bit of snow), and then Wednesday we got into the 50s, Thursday was in the mid 60s and I was walking around outside without a jacket on, and then tomorrow we're supposed to get icy snow. Doesn't Mother Nature know that snow and ice on the weekends is a no-no??

Before I go, I'll leave you with some funnies:

How I wish Republicans and Democrats could get along
{via} if only it was this simple
How I feel almost every time I turn on the news lately
How I feel as the minutes tick closer to dismissal on a Friday, especially before a long weekend
Here's hoping the weekend is snow-free and fun!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

How to Paint a Striped Accent Wall

I've gotten a few requests for a tutorial on how to paint a perfectly striped accent wall since I posted our nursery wall last week.
I will say, this looks hard, but it's not hard. It's tedious, but it's not difficult, you just have to do things a little differently than when you just paint a room.

What you need for the stripes:
~A yard stick/longer ruler, preferably one with a level
~a laser level
~painter's tape
(and paint obviously, in whatever color you want the stripes in)

We painted all of the walls of the room gray to start. I chose to do this because it required less taping, and I knew I would have fewer white stripes on the wall than gray (aka, less painting of the lines, and I wouldn't have to tape the ceiling or baseboards). 

To start the accent wall, I taped off the sides of the wall and ran over them with a credit card to ensure there weren't any bubbles for paint to run through. I did not tape along the ceiling or the baseboards because my top and bottom stripes were going to be gray and therefore already painted.

Then I measured the distance from the ceiling to the top of the baseboard (mine was 91") and divided that number by 7 (the number of stripes I wanted on the wall). Luckily for me, it came out to an even 13" per stripe.

Height of wall divided by number of stripes=width of each stripe

I started measuring from the ceiling down 13" and made a little mark on the wall, moved over a little more than a foot and did the same thing, until I'd made it across the length of the accent wall.

Then I took the laser level and shot it across the wall to make sure the dots lined up. This is most important during this step because ceilings aren't always level. I made a couple of adjustments to the dots and then drew a light line connecting the dots across the wall for my first line.
(you will need someone to hold the level, and someone to eyeball it, and make adjustments--this is a two person step)
the pencil lines are faint in this photo, but you get the idea
Having a ruler with a level built in helped me with this since I lined the top of the ruler up with the line I'd just drawn, then checked the level before making my dot 13" down from the top of the ruler. This way, I didn't really need the laser level again (although I checked every time, and it was always level).
I continued this process until I had all of my stripes outlined on the wall in pencil.

Now on to the taping. Remember which stripes you're going to paint and then tape above and below the lines you just drew. You can put an x in the stripes that you'll paint so you remember, if that helps. I continued to talk it through to myself so that I didn't mess up.
(example: the first white stripe, you will tape above the line for the top of the stripe, and tape below the line for the bottom of the stripe...and so on).
 When you're done, it will look like you have some smaller stripes and some larger stripes, but that's only because you've taped off the edges of the stripes you'll be painting.
Run a credit card over the stripes to again help get rid of any bubbles that might let paint leak through.
I've labeled where the white stripes will be to help give a visual for what I'm referring to:
Here comes the extra step. You now need to paint along the edges of each of the future white stripes with the gray color (or whatever your wall color is). This seems counter-intuitive since that's not the color the stripe will be, BUT it seals in the background color from any leaks that might come through the tape, so that when you eventually put white paint on, it's already sealed with the other stripe color. Make sense?
Future white stripes, outlined in gray paint
Let this dry well. Then you can start rolling the white paint into the same stripes that you just outlined. Ours took 3 coats since the background wall color was darker, but we were able to do it with 1 pint of white paint.
after one coat of paint
Make sure that when you do your last coat of paint, you're taking the tape off when the paint is still wet otherwise the tape will pull the paint off of the walls. Pull in a downward motion to have the angle help "cut" the tape from the wall.

And voila! A perfectly straight, clean striped accent wall!
Hopefully this helps to explain the process a bit more. It took me a while to figure it out (and several attempts at talking it out to both myself and MG before each step to ensure I didn't mess something up), but I think the visuals here will help.
If you have any questions or anything is confusing, feel free to reach out and ask!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WHW {#75}: Currently

Happy What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday, friends! 
Reading ...
Just One Day by Gayle Forman--only a few pages in, but it had really good reviews on Goodreads, so I'm hoping this is a winner! Check out my post yesterday to find out the other books I've been reading.
Watching ...
The new season of The Bachelor but, you guys, I can almost not take it. There's like 1-2 girls that I don't mind on the show and the rest of them are super stupid. It was slightly painful watching on Monday. Plus, all of the redemption that Nick had from me towards the end of Kaitlyn's season and into BIP is kind of gone when he gave Corinne the rose on the group date after she took her top off, interrupted 3 girls for time to talk to him and was a general B. 
{via} Probably one of the 100 times she said "he held my boobs"
Another example of the stupidity: "You know how you like talk on one topic and stick to that topic?.....Yeah I find that really attractive" can't.
I'll give it another week, but I'm not sure I can hang in for the whole season this time.

lots of Mexican or Mexican-like flavors recently. I was always a fan of Mexican before getting pregnant, and now it's just a decent excuse to get in that fill even more haha. The taco twice baked sweet potatoes on Sunday were delicious (and nutritious), and we have Mexican Quinoa on the docket along with some chili from Chrissy Tiegen's book Cravings (even though that's not technically Mexican, I feel like I put the same toppings on that as I do Mexican so it's in the same realm haha)
Looking forward to ... 
having 2 couple friends over for a little informal dinner party on Friday night. It's been a bit since we had friends over for dinner, and the time for that will probably be nil once we have a kid, so we're looking forward to it. On the menu? My mediterranean pasta bake which is always a crowd pleaser.
that next week's  3 day work week with MLK day on Monday and having off for Inaguration (blech) on Friday gets here soon--these full work weeks are for the birds lol

Enjoying ...
all of my students' reactions when I've told them or had them figure out that I'm pregnant (I played Hangman with the message "Mrs. G is having a baby!" with the ones who can read). The reactions have been pretty entertaining from squealing in my 5th grade girls group to boys who looked shocked, and another group who accusingly asked me "How long have you been keeping this from us???" haha

lots of water still, and coffee on the weekends. Trying not to get baby girl addicted to caffeine so early on!

that MG finally felt baby girl's movements and kicks the other night. Every time she was moving around, and I would tell him to feel, she would stop (tricky little thing!) They're stronger to me since I can feel them on the inside and the outside, but I was so glad he was finally able to feel her moving around.

Wanting ... 
the call with our potential newborn photographer to go well today. She was recommended to us by friends who used her for their newborn photos and oh my word, were they cute! Still, the cost of newborn photos is mind boggling (like a kick in the jimmies), but we'll see what we come up with!

Wearing ...
Layers and layers and layers the last 4+ days as the temps have either been below freezing or just barely above it. Somehow, though, temps are supposed to be in the mid 50s today and in the 60's tomorrow. Mother Nature is obviously having a bipolar moment.
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Grateful For...
having at least 4 other friends who are pregnant and due around the same time, going through this together with. It's nice having people who relate to what I'm going through and experiencing (and freaking out about haha). 
Plus, having friends who have already been through it that I can turn to and ask all of my millions of questions is a HUGE help too!

Now it's your turn to link up with Jessi and I to share what's hap-"pinning" with you!

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