Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Snowy Vacation in Colorado

I've never been to Colorado before and was so excited when TL said a few of our friends from his work wanted to plan a trip together.  The wives only went for the long weekend (Friday - Monday) but the boys are still there boarding.  

We stayed at the Sheraton in Avon, but spent most of our time in Beaver Creek.  We played lots of dominos, ate too much food, and just relaxed.  It snowed on us quite a bit while we were there.  Kimmie, Juli, and I were able to sneak away and get massages - and that was amazing!  Unfortunately, the cold/flu that has been going around hit a few of us, so not everyone was feeling well... but we still had a good time!

More guys joined them as the ladies left on Monday, I am sure they're having a great 'boys' trip!
The first day we were there... not much snow.  But that changed!!
 Walking home from dinner... catching snowflakes on my tounge!
 Big chess board at our hotel
 Some of the boys relaxing in the spa
 The gondola at Vail (which we missed being able to ride by 30 minutes!)
Watching the snow fall while we ate breakfast...
Some of the gang after lunch in Beaver Creek.

Coming home was crazy... Kimmie, her 18 month old daughter, Juli and I drove to Denver in a big storm, hit lots of traffic, and nearly missed our flight... but we made it (and now we have a story to tell about it). :)

Colorado is absolutely gorgeous... I can't wait to go back!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday Thoughts...

I am off for a little adventure this weekend and am so excited, despite waking up with a headache and sore throat.  I am going to try to talk myself out of getting sick!

After a long day, or when I feel down or sad... one of my favorite things to do is look at quotes.  They always have a way of lifting my spirits.  :)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend... it's already the last one of January.  Crazy.

Source: via Tracy on Pinterest

Monday, January 21, 2013

Baby Lesh: 22 Weeks

{this pic was taken a few days ago... we're already bigger!}

How i'm feeling: I've been feeling great... energetic & excited.

How far along: 22 weeks

Size of the baby: About the size of a spaghetti squash (11 inches and almost a pound)

Total Weight Gain/loss: About 5 or 6 pounds

Maternity Clothes:  I switch off between my regular and maternity jeans.  Most of my regular shirts are looser fitting, so they're just fitting tighter these days.

Gender: a GIRL!

Movement: yes... tons of it.  She's very active, especially during the day.  TL felt her move for the first time a little over a week ago and it was incredible!

Sleep: It's hit or miss.  I usually wake up 3-4 times a night, but I don't mind.

What I miss: Taking hot baths, sushi, red wine and guinness... but all worth it.

Cravings: still no big cravings.  But fruit always sounds good!

Symptoms: Still just tummy stretching pains and occasionally over-sensitive/emotional.

Best moment this week: TL feeling her move, her nursery being painted, and feeling her movements get bigger and stronger.  It's truly a miracle.  I also enjoyed shopping with my mom and MIL for her.

Looking forward to: Her nursery furniture is coming this week (crib & changing table/dresser) and I ordered baby hangers so I can hang the little outfits we've gotten so far.

We had her 20 week ultrasound almost two weeks ago and it was amazing to see all of her... she's healthy and everything looked great... that's all we hope for!  We decided on her name shortly after I got pregnant and I am excited to share that soon. :)  We feel so grateful for the love and support of our family and friends.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bean & Turkey Chili

Sticking with my monthly goals... I found and made another recipe in our crockpot last week.

It turned out delicious and TL loved it.  Accompanied with some corn bread, it made for a hearty dinner and lots of leftovers.

I found a few bean chili recipes online, then ended up creating my own, adding and taking away ingredients from the recipes I found.

1 can kidney beans
1 can chick peas (which after 20 mins on the aisle at the store I figured out are aka: garbanzo beans)
1 can black beans
1 can tomato sauce
1 small can of chopped chilies
1 can of tomatoes
1 onion, diced
chili powder (I just stirred in as much as I thought would be good)
ground cumin (just a little)
ground turkey (cooked)

Add all of the ingredients into crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours.  I started out with the crock pot on low, then turned it to high for the last 2 hours.

We mixed ours with gluten free corn bread - I didn't make it from scratch (maybe someday)... I bought a box from Whole Foods and mixed the ingredients together.

I think I may keep the ball rolling and make something new this weekend!

Connect with new bloggers... you'll love 'em:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Shopping, Family, and the Niners

TL and I both love San Francisco.
I went to college there, we began our relationship there, and his mom lives there.  We are fortunate to spend a lot of time in such a beautiful place.

Saturday was the BIG game - 49ers VS Packers.  TL and his brother have been season ticket holders for almost a decade, and are life long niner fans.  They bring my dad to many of the games every year, and they all went to the playoff game on Saturday.  (YAY, niners won!)

My mom, MIL, and I did a little shopping before the game. (but we made it back in time for the game)  

We went to Corte Madera Village, in Marin, and oh my goodness, what a beautiful shopping area.  They had a ton of great stores (including Restoration Hardware Baby... only one in nor cal).  It turned into being a shopping afternoon for our sweet baby girl.  It was such a blessing to be shopping with my mom and MIL together... and we made memories that I will always treasure!  We are so lucky that our families get along and enjoy each other's company.

TL and I are making some serious progress on the nursery... we've got most of the furniture ordered and after some issues with the curtains, I think we found some.  It's so much fun putting it all together.

My MIL in RH, we loved those lamps!
New presents for our girl... why do baby clothes have to be so cute?
Maximus & Zeus enjoying the niner game.
My mom relaxing after shopping & dinner :)
 My dad, TL, Dave, and Joe (My BILs) at the niner game!
Cheesecake to celebrate victory :)

A snapshot of our drive back from Marin... SF is truly a special place.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Breakfast: Steel Cut vs Rolled Oatmeal

Breakfast is always hard for me.  I am never sure what I feel like... and I have read a few reports that say we should eat breakfast like a champion to get our body ready for the day.

I've always liked oatmeal... but steel cut vs regular, what's the difference??  I've done a little research (unofficially reading different posts online) and here's what I have gathered.  {I realize I am probably late to the party on this}

Steel cut oatmeal seems to be slightly better for you because it registers lower on the glycemic index, which means it takes our bodies longer to break down the starch.  Steel cut also goes through a little less processing than the rolled oats, so it seems like it could be slightly healthier because of that as well.  For more info, read this article.

The difference between the two doesn't seem like much to me - steel cut is just cut into little seed-like pieces, and the traditional rolled oats are like thin little leaves.  They taste about the same.

One big difference is that steel cut takes a lot longer to cook (about 30 minutes). But my mom had the brilliant idea of cooking a large pot of it, and storing the leftovers in the fridge to use for a few days.  It makes it fast and easy in the morning if you already have it pre-made.

All of the little research I have done has said both types of oatmeal are much better for you then the instant oatmeal, which is much more processed and has loads of sugar added. 

I bought the organic steel cut oatmeal from Whole Foods and added some raisins (and a pinch of brown sugar, I know... not healthy).  You can find it at most grocery stores.  Either way you go, oatmeal is a great "whole grain" start to the day!!

What's your favorite go-to breakfast meal?
happy thursday

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Minestrone Soup in a Crockpot

One of my monthly goals for January was to try 2 new recipes.
I know, that seems like nothing - but for me... it's truly something.
Here's the first recipe:

My friend Ashley suggested a blog called Skinny Taste.  I started looking around and saw she has some great things to try.

1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
 {for a full list of ingredients, visit this link}

In a crock pot, combine broth, tomatoes, pureed beans, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, herbs, Parmesan cheese rind, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
{for full instructions, visit this link}

I had to make my own changes to the recipe... I used everything except: Parmesan cheese rind, rosemary, and bay leaves.  I didn't have the patience to look for them at the store.  The soup turned out delicious - the first night it wasn't quite as flavorful as it was the second day... I think because everything had longer to marinate.

It's extremely healthy - I bought everything organic - and the veggie broth I used was naturally low sodium and organic as well. 

It was even better for leftovers... and we ate it for 2 days.  Strongly recommended!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Baby Lesh: 20 Weeks

{photo from a friend's wedding on Saturday}

How i'm feeling: Still so overjoyed and happy to have this little one growing in my tummy!  And feeling much better.  I feel like a new person now that the morning (all day) sickness has made it's exit. 

How far along: 20 weeks

Size of the baby: About the size of a banana (10 inches)

Total Weight Gain/loss: I haven't checked in a week, but it was about 2-3 pounds.

Maternity Clothes: My mom got me some fantastic maternity leggings for Christmas and I have started wearing those because they are so comfy.  The jeans and pants are still too big... but I am looking forward to wearing them :) 

Gender: a GIRL!

Movement: yes... it's absolutely amazing.  I love feeling her move and hiccup.

Sleep: It's hit or miss.  I usually wake up 3-4 times a night.  I figure this is just preparation for when she arrives.

What I miss: Taking hot baths, sushi, and guinness... but all worth it.

Cravings: still no big cravings.  I am just happy food sounds good again!

Symptoms: My uterus is growing and stretching and I never realized or thought that it would hurt.  I get cramps and some discomfort, but I have read and talked to other mamas that say it is completely normal.

Best moment this week: Picking out the paint, crib, curtains, and dresser for her nursery... we are so excited and have our old office completely cleaned out and ready to start filling.  These moments we have had picking everything out together have been so much fun.  But my favorite moments have been the excitement TL has when he touches my belly.

Looking forward to: Her big 20 week ultrasound is this week. I can't wait to see her again and learn more about how she is growing and developing.

I can't believe we are half way there!

I hope you have a great week!
Happy Monday.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Dry Skin Care Products

I suffer from extremely dry skin.
Growing up, I fell victim to eczema - I had it on the interior of my arms, back of my legs, and even through college and now I get it on my eyelids and under my eyes.  {thinking about it makes me itchy}

I've always found it important to take care of my skin... but... wearing make up means you have to take it off - which means washing my face.  This has always dried out my face terribly.

I can't wear make up every day.  It's on very rare occasions (2-3 times a year) that I wear eye shadow.  The bronzer I wear is a moisturizer, and mascara and eyeliner are the two main things I will wear when I am out.  I am always envious of the beautiful make up women wear that enhances their pretty features.

For Christmas... I asked for quite a few skin care products from my parents.  I am not a dermatologist, nor do I know the best products for skin care... I have just found a few that help easy my skin's discomfort & itchiness.  I have now found a way to work all of these into my daily routine (it was a goal of mine for the new year to take better care of my skin).

(This is NOT a sponsored post)

1. Pevonia Evolutive Eye Cream my girlfriend Trish is an expert and esthetician and she actually gave me this bottle of lotion for my eyes.  I use just a few tiny dabs of this around my eyes 3-4 times a week.

2. Hands of Hope by Philosophy is my favorite hand cream.  My mom gave me this because it resembles the non profit I work for {Hands4Hope} - but it's turned out to be one of my favorite daily lotions for my hands.  I love it.

3. Foamingly Clean facial wash by Benefit.  My parents got me the big bottle of this for Christmas because I have used up my small size I got at Benefit.  It smells really good and easily takes off my make up.  I don't use this every day, just when needed.

4. Origins Eye Doctor cream.  My mom found this and got it for me for Christmas, and I love it.  It doesn't sting going on and it does a good job at keeping my eyes moisturized.  I put this on twice a day.

5. c. Booth moisturizing body lotion.  My friend Shannon found this and had our friend Trish look at the ingredients and she deemed it pretty good for skin.  It's a natural daily moisturizer with good ingredients.  Plus it smells amazing (in vanilla butter).  I put this on my legs and arms after every shower!  Plus, it's pretty inexpensive for a big bottle.

6. Origins Make A Difference Plus + was also a gift from my parents for Christmas and it works great on my dry face.  I use this once a day, switching of with #8.  It is so soothing on my face.

7. Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula...  I started using this about 4 months ago.  It works great on my belly and it smells good.  I read that genetics are what control whether or not you get marks... but this stuff really helps keep my belly and chest moisturized and I love it.

8. Total Moisture facial cream by Benefit.  This cream smells so good.  I am not sure how healthy it is for skin, but it really does sooth and moisturize my face.  I really like to use this before bed because it can be a little oily.

Again, I am not a doctor, but these are what have been working for me.  In the past, I have gotten so discouraged because I felt like nothing worked to help cure my dry skin.  What I have found works best for me is switching up the products I use on a daily basis (specifically for my face).  Just in the past few weeks since receiving these for Christmas, I have noticed a difference in my face... now I just need to keep it up!

What skin care products do you love/can't live with out?!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Eating Habits {for two} + forever

Moments after I found out I was pregnant (before the morning sickness set in) the first thing I knew I had to do is watch what I eat.  Let me preface this all by saying I am not a doctor {obviously}.

I started googling like a mad woman, reading doctor blogs, and studies about what not to eat.  AND THEN I started getting frightened... holy smokes - the Internet is great, but it can scare the poop out of ya if you read into everything.  New words are now in my vocabulary... the 2 WORST that stand out the most:
+GMO (genetically modified organisms)

My whole outlook on grocery shopping changed.  I knew I needed to avoid sugar (the bad one), and now... anything with the above ingredients too?  How is a girl supposed to eat?  And who has time to look at every label in the store?  Or on a menu?

So I called my mom.  She grounded me - she explained that when she was pregnant many years ago, they hadn't done research yet... and we all turned out fine.  She said the key word "moderation"... and it hit me.  I need to eat a majority of healthy & natural foods.  And it's stuck.

Once getting past the first 16 weeks of feeling icky... I started a new outlook.  Natural is better.  Organic is better.  Do the best I can.  The one food I absolutely cannot stand since getting pregnant: onions.  The thought of them makes me want to yack.

My favorite go to foods now?
+organic fruits & veggies.  my faves: kiwi, pears, pomegranites, bananas, mandarins, carrots, artichokes, avacado, edamame (all great for a snack)
+peanut butter & jelly sandwiches (I get the healthy jelly from whole foods {no gmos}, and a natural peanut putter} and I eat whole grain, fiber filled bread anytime I eat bread (spend time to read the labels and find a really nutritious bread).
+shredded wheat cereal.  that's the only ingredient.  whole grain shredded wheat... it does an amazing job at filling me up in the morning - and I know it's a good kick start for me.
+orange juice (read the labels... it was shocking to see what some of them have - they claim to be healthy and pure squeezed, but they're not.)
+brown rice vegetarian sushi rolls from whole foods
+water with a fresh squeezed lemon... or if I need something really tasty, I do 70% water and 30% cranberry juice.
+vanilla almond milk.  It's so good.  I will still eat some dairy (cheese) but I have cut back.
+for a healthy dessert... I will eat a greek yogurt (check the labels for aspartame)

What I {mostly} avoid?
+Aspartame - I have cut it out completely... that's the one ingredient I have no trouble finding on a label!
+soda - I had sprite for new years so I could have my own bubbles... but have you seen the amount of sugar in those things!?
+all of the "black listed" pregnancy food/drinks (alcohol,  deli meat, raw sushi, unpasteurized cheese, etc)
+sugar... the simple, white, ends in "ose" ingredient that is oh-so-yummy.  I still eat it... but I have cut down a lot!  {candy has been the hardest... it's my favorite!}

When TL is home - we make a lot of eggs and hash browns (read labels), soups, and veggie dishes.  (Nothin' too special).  We eat out a lot, but I have simplified what I order, looking closer at the ingredients than I used to.  Neither one of us are big meat eaters... but I crave red meat when I need a big healthy dose of iron.

I still eat what I like... I have just noticed a shift in how my brain works in choosing what I eat.  Hopefully this feeling of wanting to eat better lasts through pregnancy and beyond!!

The one thing I hear a lot of people tell me is "you're eating for two".  And that's true.  But there's me, and then a tiny person that only requires an extra few hundred calories a day.  But hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do... even if that means I need a milk shake at the end of a long day :)

What are your go to foods?  {pregnant or not}

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cheers, 2013! January hopes...

At the beginning of last year, I came to my own revelation about New Year's Resolutions... they don't work well for me.

Each week, sometimes each day, I write lists.  These are my daily resolutions, and for me, seeing the small accomplishments help me feel like I am making progress.  These aren't just to-do lists for work, I write them for everything.

I like taking things a month at a time.

2013 is going to be a huge year for us.  
I am a little scared (terrified, actually) about pregnancy and pray we have a healthy baby girl.  Of course I am looking forward to all that comes along with having a baby... but first and foremost, I want her to be healthy (and a smooth delivery would be nice, too!). 

For January... I have a few goals:
1. 5 miles a week.  Walk, elliptical, crawl... whatever it takes.  Exercise this month is a priority for me.
2. Eat healthy.  Everyday... Whole grain. Fruit. Veggies.  Don't over indulge.  (I've been doing pretty good at this lately)
3. Take care of my skin... moisturize every day.
4. Clean and organize my closet.  Most importantly... the drawers and shoes!
5. Try two new recipes.  (This is a tough one for me... any ideas?)

We had a fabulous NYE... more on that soon :)

I hope you have a beautiful start to 2013... Cheers!!
Think happy.  Be positive.