June Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

I can’t believe June is already over. I know I say that every month, but seriously, where did it go? I have a lot of to-dos to accomplish before school starts again, and I feel like the sands of time are slipping away from me quicker than I’d like. At least I have lots of yummies to munch on as I’m whittling down my list.

The Lean Green Bean

Thanks to Lindsay for another month of foodie pen pal fun. This month I sent a box to Nicole, and I’d tell you to check out what I sent but she dropped her phone in a pool and all the photos were lost. Pray to the phone gods that the bag of rice trick works and her phone is salvagable! But you can still check out her blog anyway 🙂

Lindsay matched me up with Racheal, which was really exciting because I had just found her blog via What I ate Wednesday, and she recently revealed that she is pregnant too! It has been fun exploring her blog and following her pregnancy over the past month.

The day my package arrived I eagerly ripped it open to discover a very sad strawberry situation.

Bummer!

Luckily the jar that broke was near the top, so the jam didn’t infect the rest of the foodie goodness.

Racheal sent me lots of Trader Joe’s treats including:

almond cocoa butter (because I love tasting new nut butters), 21 seasoning salute (for veggies or meats), eggplant garlic spread (for sammies or apps, I think it would also be great slathered on some chicken and a slice of provolone while on the grill),

a bunch of keurig pods (I’m drinking the chai latte flavor right now – it’s wonderful!),

and my absolute favorite: zucchini chocolate chip bread made from zucchini in her garden! I was very excited to receive this because I saw her eating some on this week’s pregnancy update and I was so jealous her zucchini were already up! I’ve already eaten half the loaf!

I was so excited to dive into the bread that I forgot to grab all contents from my box for the group picture. Racheal also included some gummy tummies, and some orange citrus seltzer water – which I’ll be drinking en route to Yakima this afternoon.

Thanks again Racheal – everything was wonderful!

Do you want to participate in the July edition of Foodie Pen Pals? You should, it is a lot of fun and you get to meet new bloggers!

If you’re interested in participating for July, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by July 4th as pairings will be emailed on July 5th!

*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send Lindsay an email (theleangreenbean at gmail dot com) and she’ll see if there is enough interest this month!

What is your favorite zucchini bread recipe?

I love the one Racheal used, which I think is the same she talked about in the pregnancy update post – a blend of two Gina’s Skinny Taste recipes. I’ll have to get the full recipe from her because it is pretty amazing!

Fauxbux Passion Iced Tea Lemonade

Yesterday I promised this recipe. If you can even call it a recipe. It is a no brainer, really, but that doesn’t stop me from pulling into the drive-thru and paying $4 for a refreshing cup of this summery goodness.

So this is really more of a method post, than a recipe post.

I start the process when I wake up (or if I plan ahead, right before I go to bed) – boil 8 oz of water and let my passion tea bag steep for 4 minutes. Any more and it will be bitter. Smash bag with a spoon and pop it in the fridge for a few hours. I like to top my cup with a ventilated lid so my fridge doesn’t get covered in steam. If my fridge wasn’t tiny I’d brew up a big batch of tea, but that is sadly not the case.

If you like your tea sweetened you should stir in a teaspoon of sugar before letting it cool. You can also whip up a batch of simple syrup (water to sugar in a 1:2 ratio, boil water, add sugar, and once sugar is dissolved remove from heat. Let cool and store in the fridge.), but I find regular sugar to be just as effective. The benefit to simple syrup is that you can easily stir it in cold drinks.

Once your tea is cold, stir in 1/3 cup lemonade and pour over ice. I like mine with raspberry lemonade. Julie subs the lemonade for pineapple juice, which I think is a brilliant idea!

What is your favorite summer drink?

Summer’s here! [WIAW]

Not that you’d know it by yesterday’s weather. It was a whopping 50 degrees and rainy. Gross.

Now that I’ve recovered from my bronchitus-like-caugh-for-10-days cold, I’m attacking each day with a goal in mind. It is too easy to fall into the sleep til noon/laze around all afternoon mentality if I don’t. Not that sleeping until 10 is much better…but I’ll take any improvement I can get. The reality will be a huge slap in the face when Baby Spinach arrives and I’m up around the clock if I don’t reign things in now!

So far I’ve attacked the following goals:

Monday – sweep/mop living room, dining room, and kitchen (omg this took forever – any tips to make this go faster? Vaccuming is much quicker!), and clean/organize the pantry

Tuesdaygo into school and get organized and clean basement family room

Wednesday – go into school and get organized

In addition to these goals I have a daily goal of 30 minutes exercise in any shape or form and walk the dog. I also need to add read for an hour to this list, because it is too easy to get sucked into blogs and pinterest and not my ever growing book pile.

And of course, one goal that never leaves my list: eat healthy!

Thanks Jenn for the sensible snack goal for June, I’m excited to see what you cook up for July!

Monday’s eats:

BFauxbux bacon gouda breakfast sandwich

Salmonds pre-elliptical

LFauxbux passion iced tea lemonade (recipe tomorrow)apple and saladThe hubs grilled a bunch of tenderloins and I froze them for easy lunches. My Hugh Jass salad was quite colorful and delicious. In the bowl: lettuce and chives from the garden, yellow bell pepper, tomatoes, avocado, toasted pecans, dried cherries, grilled chicken, and homemade dressing.

S

DSesame soba noodle salad and a green saladThis soba salad was delish! It is great hot or cold.

DWarheads sour cubes…I’m not proud of this. But 80/20 rule, right?

How do you attack goals? Daily, weekly, monthly?

25 weeks

How Big is the Baby?

Roughly the size of a head of cauliflower: About 14.5 inches and 2 pounds.

 

How I’m Changing

I have very, very faint linea nigra showing up. Aside from that I am carrying pretty low, as always, and my bump is getting harder.

 

How I’m Feeling

I’m still recovering from my summer cold. Bleh. I’ve had a lingering cough that is really a pain in my lungs. I’m attacking it with my inhaler and pregnancy approved cough medicine, but they don’t help all that much. Baby spinach really doesn’t like all the coughing, either. After each intense coughing session (when the medicine has worn off, but it isn’t time to take another dose), she kicks like crazy. Not the fun, playful kicking that I’m used to. Full on, leave me alone! kicking. Poor thing 😦

 

What I’m Eating

I’m drinking a lot of homemade passion tea lemonade and eating a ton of salad from our garden. The hubs grilled a bunch of tenderloins a week or so ago and I froze them for easy lunch salad toppers. I’m also still loving fruit: apples, grapes, watermelon.

 

Odds and Ends

I’ve been nesting like crazy lately! I’m also making great plans for the nursery. I fell in love with a crib that is redonkulously expensive.

 

Oeuf Sparrow Crib

I found a knock off at Target that is currently the top condenter, unless I find one that looks even more like my first love.

Also, the hubs is feeding my elephant obsession.

Things I can’t wait to eat again:  I’ve had a hankering for sushi lately. Not the fake stuff, the real, raw, good stuff.

# of times I get up to pee each night:  usually once, but last night I made it all the way until 6 a.m.! #smallvictories

Days until my next appointment: I had a chiropractic appointment this morning – I’m making good progress! She has a bomb.com massage chair that I get to sit in while I wait for my appointment – totally worth showing up early! As for regular doc appt. I have one, accompanied by the glucose test, in two weeks.

Total weight gained: 12 pounds

Cravings: sweets! What’s new? I’m currently adoring Warheads Cubes. OMG, could my craving get any more unhealthy?

Aversions: bending over. I attempted painting my toes this week. I think it will be the last time until she’s born-pedicures for the next 3 months. #firstworldproblems

What I miss we’re going on our short babymoon this week, and while I’m excited to get away and relax, it will be a very different experience to travel and not center our activities around wine and beer tasting! We’re making it a foodie trip instead 😉

What is your favorite unhealthy sweet treat?

Nesting begins

This weekend nesting really kicked in. The hubs actually jump started it, as he and his dad have spent the majority of their free weekends renovating our 4th bedroom – turning it into a finished bedroom/office. I can’t start decorating the nursery until this room is done. So until then, I’m attacking other projects around the house.

What really kicked nesting into high gear this weekend was the fact that we ripped out the carpet in the dining/living room and had the hardwood floors underneath refinished.

Before:

After:

So.Much.Prettier.

The dust from the floors was all over the walls, so I googled homemade wall cleaner, ran to Wal-Mart for supplies, and spent 3 hours washing walls with a simple solution of 1 TBS baking soda, 1/8th cup baking soda, 1/8th cup lemon scented clear ammonia, and water in a 32 oz spray bottle.

Then I hit up Pinterest, looking to tackle my kitchen.

First up – clean the fridge.

Once it was emptied, I was struck by how disgusting the shelves were.

gross

I washed the inside and out with 4 cups water mixed with 1/4 cup baking soda and some essential oil (lemon juice would work if you don’t have any essential oil).

Tada!

And now it is organized, hallelujah, I can find my food.

(later that night I fixed that empty fruit drawer problem)

After dinner I tackled the stove top with help from this pin. I filled 4 gallon size freezer bags with 3 TBS lemon scented clear ammonia and put one stove top grate in each.

Look at that grime. Gross.

I let them sit 12 hours and rinsed them the following morning with water and scrubbed a bit with an SOS pad. Well, the hubs did that part. The ammonia smell was pretty overwhelming, and I decided it wasn’t good for me or Baby Spinach to be inhaling the fumes.

And BAM! We have GREY stove grates, not black grates like I originally thought!

I’ve tried everything under the sun to clean these bad boys, but this cheap and easy solution worked better than any of them. I was shocked with the result.

I rounded off my weekend with some pictureless pins by cleaning the tub with a 1:1 ratio of warmed up white vinegar and blue dawn dish soap (yes, it really worked – better than CLR, Scrubbing Bubbles, or any other tub cleaner I’ve tried), and washing my towels with one cycle of 1 cup vinegar, followed by a second cycle of 1 cup baking soda (pin called for 1/2 cup baking soda, but I forgot to double check the pin). The dingy towel smell is gone!

I still have a TON that needs to be done, but I’m very pleased with all the work the hubs and I accomplished this weekend. 🙂

What is your favorite homemade cleaning solution?

24 weeks

24 weeks – just in the nick-o-time! I’m 24 weeks 6 days today, ha!

How Big is the Baby?

via

According to my apps she is about the size of an eggplant – 9 inches and 1.7 pounds. And according to yesterday’s ultrasound she is measuring at 1 pound 9 ounces, which puts her in the 45th percentile.

 

How I’m Changing

I feel like while I am all belly in this pregnancy (yay!), it isn’t growing much(?). This week’s top is the same that I wore in week 17:

 

 

And now:

I think I look barely any bigger now than I did then. But looking at other bloggers photos, the mid-20’s is when the belly really starts to grow, so maybe my bump is about to hit a growth spurt.

 

How I’m Feeling

Remember how I went to the chiropractor for the first time last week? Well, let me tell you, all round ligament pain is GONE! I had a follow up appointment yesterday and my pelvis had started rotating back again on the left side, so she adjusted it.

via

Aside from that I’ve been struck by the summer break cold that I get every year. Uggh, so annoying. I am a major baby when it comes to being sick and am a slave to Dayquil/Nyquil. Not being able to take my beloved meds has made me a sad panda.

 via

What I’m Eating

My mornings generally start with a monster protein smoothie, followed by a lunch of leftovers (I miss deli meat!), and something grilled for dinner. I’ve also been enjoying a lot of kale and lettuce as both are taking over our garden. And by our, I mean the hubs…he has a green thumb, mine is black.

 

Odds and Ends

 

First, we celebrated Tim’s first Father’s Day (fun fact: Father’s Day was founded in Spokane). My parents sent him a card and I got him a card and fun book.

 

And second, above I mentioned that Baby Spinach was sitting pretty in the 45th percentile. You have no idea what a huge relief this is. As you may recall, I’ve had 4 anatomy scan ultrasounds between May 4 and this week. Baby Spinach was not cooperating at all!

At the one on Friday the 8th her head circumference was only measuring in the 8th percentile and her femurs were only measuring in the 12th percentile. Anything under the 10th percentile is worrisome, so my midwife ordered a 4D ultrasound at the Maternal Fetal Medicine wing at the hospital, with a follow up with the Perinatologist.

I was freaking out, thanks to Dr. Google, and spent the last week and a half very stressed out. Turns out her breech position and the fact that her head was wedged up next to my placenta made it impossible for the machine at my midwife’s office to get an accurate reading and now that she’s flipped the ultrasound tech was able to get a much more accurate reading.

Forty-fifth percentile sounds pretty great! The Prenatologist also said she’s in the optimal birthing position, so if she can just remember how she is positioned right now and can get herself back into it when the time comes labor should be easy breezy. We shall see.

Baby Spinach was, of course, not entirely cooperative again, and we didn’t get a cool 4D shot of her face. Her hands are always covering it and this time her face was toward my back. The doc said we’ll have to hold her down for family portraits, haha.

Here are some pictures from the ultrasound on the 8th:

I think she has my lips.

Things I can’t wait to eat again:  Deli meat (I’m really craving Jimmy John’s) and cold meds.

# of times I get up to pee each night:  1-2

Days until my next appointment: 3 weeks – and it is the glucose test, ick!

Total weight gained: 11.5 pounds

Cravings: sweets, sleep without interruption by cough

Aversions: packing up my classroom/moving it to a new room…but I don’t think that is a pregnancy thing.

What I miss: Dayquil/Nyquil

Have you ever freaked out due to a mis-diagnosis from Dr. Google or WebMD?

It’s the week of school [WIAW]

Phew! It has been a whirlwind 177 days. Just 3 to go…well 2.5, not that I’m counting or anything. And although it is June, Spokane surely doesn’t know it.

Yeah, that is me, rocking a scarf. My building turned off the heat, even though it has been in the 40’s and 50’s, and I’ve been freezing the last few weeks. Luckily it warms up as the day goes on, but man, this is ridiculous.

Thanks to Jenn for hosting another round of What I ate Wednesday.

B

Monster protein smoothie

and a leftover MSP snack – oatmeal to go. Real oatmeal is so much better.

L

big ol’ salad (that’s a dinner size plate) that someone brought to the staff room – yay for healthy treats!

leftover lemon olive oil pasta topped with basil & and apple

S

2% cottage cheese with strawberries

D

Ground turkey tacos with avocado, bell pepper, tomato, sweet onion, Colby jack cheese, hot sauce, a little 2% Greek yogurt, & a side of Lactaid

D

An orange roll from The Spokane Club

Is the weather wonky where you live?