Sunday, June 30, 2013

HALF Off ALL Ad Spots!

Goooooood Morning!
Hubs and I are on the road again, heading home from yet another whirlwind NY trip.  This is day two of the journey back, and it is going to be a LONG one!  We are leaving Virginia, and expecting that with all of our stops it may take up to 15 hours (yikessss)!  
In honor of our trip, I thought it would be fun to offer a very special 50% off promo code for ALL ad spots!  Just use the code "HAPPYTRAVELS"!

I am looking forward to getting home and getting back to my normal blogging routine!  Thanks again to all of my lovely guest bloggers this week!  You all rocked it!  XO

***Since Google Reader is about to bite the dust....please follow me on Bloglovin!  Leave me a comment, so I can follow you back!
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 Wishing you all the Happiest Sunday! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Susan @ Adventures in my Kitchen {Guest Post}

Hey y'all! I am so happy to be guest posting for Stephanie today!  I'm Susan and I blog over at Adventures in my Kitchen.  I like to create simple yet creative, budget friendly recipes that are easy on your wallet and your waistline! 
I hope you love these cupcakes today, I save the desserts for special occasions- everything in moderation!  These cupcakes are fresh and flavorful, packed inside with fresh strawberries and topped with a summery basil buttercream icing.  A box mix for the cake makes everything super simple, plus it saves time and money!
I hope you'll come on over and join the Adventures in my Kitchen!  You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!
Strawberry Cupcakes with Balsamic Soaked Strawberries
and Fresh Basil Buttercream
by: Adventures in my Kitchen

Cupcakes:
1 box Strawberry Cake Mix- such as Pilsbury (18.25oz) + water, vegetable oil, and eggs- directions on back of box
Balsamic Strawberries:
1/4 lb of fresh strawberries- diced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Fresh Basil Buttercream:
6 large leaves basil, roughly torn
1 stick butter- divided in half
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
Mix and Bake cupcakes as per package directions. As cupcakes are baking, pour balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and set on medium heat.  Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, or until it coats the back of a spoon.  Let cool and then add in diced strawberries to soak.

For buttercream, melt 1/2 a stick of butter in microwave for aprx 20 seconds.  Combine basil leaves and melted butter.  Combine well and let cool until solid again.  Add other 1/2 stick of butter and whip.  Add in powdered sugar and ricotta cheese, mixing thoroughly.

*Note- if you store the icing in the fridge, you'll need to bring the icing back to room temp to spread on the cupcakes.

When cupcakes are cooled, cut out a chunk of the center to add strawberries.  Drain the balsamic from the strawberries and spoon them into each cupcake being careful not to overfill.

Top with Fresh Basil Buttercream and enjoy!

Friday, June 28, 2013

NTSST Featured on The Mommyhood

The other day I was featured on The Mommyhood blog, and I just HAD to share it with you all.  Do you remember the book review that I did a little while back on Secrets of The Mommyhood?  
Heather Alexander, the author of this adorable book is seriously such a sweetheart!  She wanted to feature me on her blog, and of course I was delighted.  It was fun answering her questions, and I figured I would share it here since some of these questions are frequently asked....


Enjoy your Friday!!! XO

SO MUCH to high five about!

The hubs and I are still in New York, it has been wonderful and BUSY as usual!  I know I mentioned it in my last bumpdate....but I am beyond exhausted!  It is the good kind of exhaustion though.  It's hard to believe that tomorrow we will be making the journey back home.  This trip (just like all of the others) has flown by!  Of course we weren't able to see everyone, and do everything that we really wanted...but I think considering the time crunch, we made the best of it!  
1.  Last Saturday was my shower, and the ladybug theme was just precious!  My Mom did and incredible job!  
2.  Unfortunately, this was the WORST week that I could have picked to visit as far as spending time with my brother goes!  He is a teacher at the School of Rock, and he has been busy with camp ALL week...luckily we got to go out to dinner on Saturday, and I also saw him for a little bit before I passed out on Wednesday night.
3.  I can not WAIT to share my maternity pictures with you all!  Tara of Tara Stephens Photography is INSANELY talented, Stephen and I are thrilled with how gorgeous these photos came out!  
4.  On Tuesday, I babysat the Sergi kiddos JUST like old times!  It was wonderful, I miss these guys terribly...and they are getting SO grown up!  Kaci and I got our nails done, we all went for lunch, and then to see Monsters University (cute)!
5.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I have 3 things on my "NY Checklist" every time I am in town:
-Ralph's Italian Ice (check)
-Pizza (check)
-Bagels (tomorrow!)

Linking up...
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Be sure to follow my travels on Instagram, as we make the journey home tomorrow!   I hope you all have a great weekend!!!
  XO

***There is 2 days left to enter this Smashing Giveaway...you could win 2 months of free Spicy Ad Space, and MORE!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Melissa @ After We Tied The Knott {Guest Post}

Hey everyone!  I am Melissa Knott from After We Tied The Knott and I am so excited to be taking over Stephanie's little slice of paradise for the day.  After We Tied The Knott is a place where I write anything that strikes me as interesting.  I love to cook, share recipes, take pictures (of my main squeeze(s)), and write about those crazy experiences I have in this wonderful life.  Stop on by and say hello!! :)
When I became pregnant last year, I knew I was going to do my very best at being a mom.  I knew I wouldn't be a perfect mom... but that wasn't going to stop me from trying!  Now, I may not be able to control everything my kiddo sticks in her mouth (like my phone or her toes or her thumb), but I can control what food she eats!  I vowed from day one to make all of her food.
When I say her, I am referring to this kid:
I'd say she's well fed, right? 
Now I will warn you: I was faced with a lot of criticism for deciding to go this route from both friends and family. They would say things like why would you do that if you can just buy it?  and how do you find time to do it?!  I let this slide because while they don't understand, I do.  Making baby food is cheaper (per serving), healthy, it takes very little time if doing it in bulk, and you know everything that goes into it!  Yes, once in a while I do go out and get the pouches of baby food for baseball games and whatnot but that's because I don't have a way to always keep the food cold.  Otherwise, while at home or daycare, she only eats mom-made food.  And she loves it!  We do about 1-2 months worth of food in advance and store the cubes in freezer baggies.
Below you will find some recipes for homemade baby food.  Really it's usually only one or two ingredients.  SIMPLE!  I did buy the baby bullet but have never used it (Tyler is real impressed).  I just used my regular food processor the first time and haven't turned back.  If you want to buy it, let me know!

Once the food is cooked, you'll notice we freeze it in ice cube trays or mini muffin tins.  We started with one cube and worked our way up.  Now Kylie eats 3 cubes with rice cereal and it fills her right up!  Know that you can mix and match foods to give your kiddo a variety of flavors and textures.  As they get older and more familiar with baby food, feel free to add more rice to give them a different, more firm consistency.

To warm food, place in a microwave safe dish and heat on high for 30-45 seconds, stir, and return to microwave for 15-20 seconds until melted and warm.  Add cereal and serve!  Some of the recipes we use are:

Broccoli: steam your broccoli until it is very tender (borderline mushy).  When finished steaming, reserve water from steaming to help loosen the consistency of the broccoli when in the food processor.  Place broccoli and some of the water in the food processor and use the grind and chop functions until the broccoli is smooth and creamy (might take a minute or two).  Once smooth, spoon into your ice cube tray or mini muffin tin. Freeze till solid.  To remove, fill a sink with warm water and place only bottom of tray in water for a couple seconds and use a knife to (carefully) remove.  Place in labeled freezer baggy and return to freezer.

Sweet Potatoes: steam or boil your potatoes until they are very tender.  When finished, reserve water from steaming to help loosen the consistency of the potatoes when in the food processor.  Place potatoes and some of the water in the food processor and use the grind and chop functions until the mixture is smooth and creamy (might take a minute or two).  Once smooth, spoon into your ice cube tray or mini muffin tin. Freeze till solid.  To remove, fill a sink with warm water and place only bottom of tray in water for a couple seconds and use a knife to (carefully) remove.  Place in labeled freezer baggy and return to freezer.

Blueberries: boil your berries until they are very tender and the skin starts to peal off.  When finished, place berries in the food processor and use the grind and chop functions until the mixture is smooth and creamy (might take a minute or two).  You may have some leftover skin from the berries so I always run the mixture through a mesh strainer. Spoon into your ice cube tray or mini muffin tin.  Freeze till solid.  To remove, fill a sink with warm water and place only bottom of tray in water for a couple seconds and use a knife to (carefully) remove.  Place in labeled freezer baggy and return to freezer.

Peas: boil or steam your peas until they are very tender.  When finished, place peas in the food processor and use the grind and chop functions until the mixture is smooth and creamy (might take a minute or two).  Add water if mixture becomes too thick. You may have some leftover skin from the peas so when she was first starting with food, I would run the mixture through a mesh strainer. I don't have to do this anymore. Spoon into your ice cube tray or mini muffin tin.  Freeze till solid.  To remove, fill a sink with warm water and place only bottom of tray in water for a couple seconds and use a knife to (carefully) remove.  Place in labeled freezer baggy and return to freezer.

Carrots: steam or boil your carrots until they are very tender.  When finished, reserve water from steaming to help loosen the consistency of the carrots when in the food processor.  Place carrots and some of the water in the food processor and use the grind and chop functions until the mixture is smooth and creamy (might take a minute or two).  Once smooth, spoon into your ice cube tray or mini muffin tin.  Freeze till solid. To remove, fill a sink with warm water and place only bottom of tray in water for a couple seconds and use a knife to (carefully) remove.  Place in labeled freezer baggy and return to freezer.

Avocado: This one is easy.  Peel, core and slice the avocados (make sure they are nice and squishy and ripe). Depending on the squishiness (oh, not a word, Mr. Red Squiggle? I still think it is.), either put them in the food processor, or mash them up so they are nice and creamy.  Freeze this mixture in cubes right away to prevent from turning brown.

Squash: I use Butternut Squash.  Heat the oven to 400*.  Slice squash in half the long way, scoop out seeds, and place in a casserole dish with the exposed halves down in 1-2" water. Bake until the skin collapses or peels (time really depends on size of squash).  Remove from oven and place the halves on a cutting board and reserve water from casserole dish for consistency adjustments.  Cut into cubes and place squash and some of the water in the food processor and use the grind and chop functions until the mixture is smooth and creamy (might take a minute or two).  Once smooth, spoon into your ice cube tray or mini muffin tin. Freeze till solid.  To remove, fill a sink with warm water and place only bottom of tray in water for a couple seconds and use a knife to (carefully) remove.  Place in labeled freezer baggy and return to freezer.

Beans: boil or steam your beans until they are very tender.  When finished, place beans in the food processor and use the grind and chop functions until the mixture is smooth and creamy (might take a minute or two). Add water if mixture becomes too thick.  You may have some leftover skin from the beans so when she was first starting with food, I would run the mixture through a mesh strainer. I don't have to do this anymore.  Spoon into your ice cube tray or mini muffin tin.  Freeze till solid. To remove, fill a sink with warm water and place only bottom of tray in water for a couple seconds and use a knife to (carefully) remove.  Place in labeled freezer baggy and return to freezer.

Peaches: I buy frozen, unsweetened peaches from the frozen berries section because it is SO much easier than pealing and slicing them.  Thaw them in a microwave safe dish submerged in water. When they are soft and room temp or warmer, place peaches and some of the water in the food processor and use the grind and chop functions until the mixture is smooth and creamy (might take a minute or two). Once smooth, spoon into your ice cube tray or mini muffin tin. Freeze till solid.  To remove, fill a sink with warm water and place only bottom of tray in water for a couple seconds and use a knife to (carefully) remove.  Place in labeled freezer baggy and return to freezer.

Pears: Peel, core, and slice your pears and toss them in boiling water until they are tender.  When finished, reserve water from steaming to help loosen the consistency of the pears when in the food processor.  Place pears and some of the water in the food processor and use the grind and chop functions until the mixture is smooth and creamy (might take a minute or two).  Once smooth, spoon into your ice cube tray or mini muffin tin.  Freeze till solid.  To remove, fill a sink with warm water and place only bottom of tray in water for a couple seconds and use a knife to (carefully) remove.  Place in labeled freezer baggy and return to freezer.

Apples: Peel, core, and slice your apples and toss them in boiling water until they are tender.  When finished, reserve water from steaming to help loosen the consistency of the apples when in the food processor.  Place apples and some of the water in the food processor and use the grind and chop functions until the mixture is smooth and creamy (might take a minute or two).  Once smooth, spoon into your ice cube tray or mini muffin tin.  Freeze till solid. To remove, fill a sink with warm water and place only bottom of tray in water for a couple seconds and use a knife to (carefully) remove.  Place in labeled freezer baggy and return to freezer

Bananas: We usually don't freeze this one.  Once in a while we just open a banana, slice it up, and use the back of a spoon to mash it up good and smooth.  Kylie LOVES them!!

As of TODAY, we are getting into big girl food and making her pastas and homemade baby mac-and-cheese.  Stay tuned to After We Tied The Knott for more delicious recipes for both moms and babies!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

29 Week Bumpdate

At 29 weeks, my girly is the size of a butternut squash!  Did you notice that I'm not taking pics in my bathroom for once?  Here is a quick bumpdate from New York!
Changes I've noticed:  The belly button is still an innie...I still say it is only a matter of time!  It is hard to tell how much weight I have gained, I don't have a scale here.  When I get home I'll be able to see what the damage is!

How I've been feeling:  I'm feeling just okay.  The drive up here wasn't too bad, we took a decent amount of breaks (not as many as I anticipated).  I also stretched a lot...
Day 1
Day 2
 Right now, I'm just ridiculously exhausted...most likely because we are running all over the place trying to see as much of as many people as we possibly can!  It's possible that tomorrow, I may have a tiny break to fit in some relaxation.  So far, there is nothing planned for the day...although that can change any moment!  

How I've been sleeping:  Luckily, I've been sleeping like a rock (probably because I brought my body pillow with me)!
The only problem is that I've been going to sleep really late, and waking up really early still.  I feel like it's all catching up to me, and I'm going to crash!  

Food and exercise:  Just as I expected, this has been a struggle!  I've been trying to make sensible choices whenever possible, and watch my portions.  As far as my plan for walking...that hasn't happened yet.  I feel like I've been getting plenty of exercise though running here, there, and everywhere!

Movement:  She has been getting me in the ribs a little bit lately.  It isn't very frequent, so when it happens it really startles me!
   
Best moment this past week:  How do I pick just one, there have been so many...
-My beautiful shower (obviously)
-Seeing all of our family and friends, and getting extra belly rubs (it really doesn't bother me at all)
-Mom, Dad, and Bro all got to feel baby kick over the weekend

Ok friends, taking a little breather...and getting back to my vacay!  :)
Happy "Bump" Day!!!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Angela @ LeMoine Family Kitchen {Guest Post}

Hi!  I'm Angela stopping by from LeMoine Family Kitchen.  I am a wife to my loving husband, a mother to our two beautiful and energetic boys, and a licensed Zumba Fitness instructor.   I love my family, cooking, girls days out, quiet nights in and enjoying the life that I have been blessed with.   My goal with my blog is to spread my love of cooking and maybe inspire others to get in the kitchen and try some recipes out...and share some of my experiences both in and out of the kitchen!  Happy Eats!!!
This is actually a crazy easy meal to make despite sounding a bit fancy!!!  Seriously, who needs to spend the extra $$ eating out when you can make this at home!  The bonus here, slow cooker baby!!! The flavors that come out of this flank steak are incredible!  Simply seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.... the kicker is the liquid smoke!  After 5 hours in the slow cooker this meat just falls apart! Served with quickly sautéed peppers & onions and an easy cilantro lime brown rice!  So incredibly delicious!!!
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Steak Carnitas & Sautéed Peppers over Cilantro Lime Rice
2 lb flank steak
1 Tbsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 onions, divided
1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke 
1 1/4 cup water
3 red bell peppers, sliced
2 green bell peppers, sliced
6 garlic cloves, sliced
brown rice cooked per package directions 
(I made 2 family sized 10 minute bags of brown rice)
2 limes
cilantro
In a small bowl mix the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Rub the seasoning into the flank steak. 
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Place into the slow cooker.  Cut an onion into 1/4 or 1/8 and place into on the meat. Mix the water with the liquid smoke and pour it in. Set to low for 5 hours. 
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Once there is an hour remaining go ahead and shred the meat with a couple forks or tongs. Allow to finish off and soak in those fantastic juices! Finish off with the juice of a fresh lime. 
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Into a large sauté pan, over medium high heat, add a few drizzles of olive oil, the peppers, onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. You are looking to cook them until just a bit tender and a nice light caramelization. (this pic is pre cooking)
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After the rice is cooked, season lightly with salt and pepper, squeeze in the juice of 1 fresh lime and stir in some fresh chopped cilantro. 
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HAPPY EATS!!!!
*this is my original recipe*

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kristin @ With Milk & Sugar {Guest Post}

Hi! I'm Kristin and I blog over at With Milk & Sugar, where I share my adventures in crafting, decorating ideas, life with my husband in San Diego, my love of travel and of course, my favorite recipes.
I like to keep things simple and try for an 80/20 rule for healthy eating, but I have a weakness for sweets and a serious obsession with cupcakes. Baking, decorating and eating them. 
But today I'm sharing something definitely not sweet.  In fact these little bites of goodness have quite the kick. That's right we're talking deviled eggs. 
The right deviled egg recipe can turn you into near celebrity status in one perfectly planned summer picnic.  Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration. But deviled eggs, when done right, are a crowd-pleaser. When wrong, well... you're more likely to become infamous.
The way I see it, there are three types of deviled eggs.
You've got your tangy, vinegar-y egg. 
The spicy, mustard-y egg. 
And then there's the sweet relish egg. Yuck! Let's just say, that's not my favorite. 
My recipe today is for the spicy, make you go "whoa", mustard deviled egg.  The secret? Ground mustard powder.  And A LOT of it.
Devilishly Deviled Eggs 
(makes 24)
Ingredients
1 dozen eggs 
1/4 c sour cream 
3 T mayonnaise 
1-2 T (Tablespoons) ground mustard powder 
salt to taste 
paprika for garnish 

Directions
1.  Hard boil eggs.  Add baking soda to the water to make the eggs easier to peel.  Allow eggs to cool in a cold water bath and then peel eggs and slice in half long ways.  Remove the yolks and place in a bowl. 
2.  Add source cream, mayonnaise and ground mustard powder to the yolks and mix until blended. Ground mustard powder is much more potent than prepared mustard, even compared to spicy dijon types.  So add at your own risk.  My husband likes them with lot's of mustard, but you may want to try it and add more as you go.  Add salt if you'd like. 
3. Add yolk mixture to the egg halves and sprinkle with paprika.  Serve to hungry people and enjoy!
Thanks Stephanie for having me! {Isn't she just the sweetest?}  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Opinions Please {Tiny Prints Thank You Cards}

Good Morning Friends!!!
I hope you are all having a lovely weekend!  Hubs and I are in New York enjoying spending time with family, and looking forward to the week ahead.  We have a lot planned!  Yesterday was my Baby Shower, and let me tell you...it was just PERFECT (thanks Mom)!  I'll eventually be sharing a bunch of pics, but for now here is a little sneak peak...
Let's just say, I have a LOT of thanking to do...this is one extremely lucky baby!
I’ll be ordering thank you cards from Tiny Prints (which is a part of Shutterfly) and I need your help picking some out!  
I've narrowed it down to these four, aren't they just adorable?!  Now you can see why I'm having a tough time.
Option #1
Option #2
Option #3
Option #4
Which one do you like best?!?
Leave a comment...option 1, 2, 3, or 4?!?

Please help me, they are all adorable...I just can NOT decide!!!!  
Thanks! :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Amie @ AmieBelle {Guest Post}

I'm Amie, a 28 year old, aspiring photographer, all things entertainment and beauty obsessed Brit, living in California!  I have a ginger tom named Ollie, who is practically my child, and a wonderful "fur baby dad" in my boyfriend Shawn!  I created AmieBelle as a way to reach out to others, share my passion for all things trendy, and hopefully make a few new friends along the way!  I hope my blog is inspiring!

After "meeting" one of my newest blog friends, Stephanie, of Never The Same Spice Twice, she offered for me to write a blog post for her blog.  If you follow my blog, you know I don't regularly write food related blog posts.  I get irritated and impatient, and forget to take pictures of my final products, and just eat them instead. Thankfully, Stephanie's blog has inspired me to try and chronicle my love of food and cooking too.

As I'm sure you'd all agree, Stephanie's blog is a fantastic chronicle of life, love, food, and her completely adorable baby belly! We have a few things in common, we both work in education, and we are both completely addicted to the A Beautiful Mess app for Instagram.  Stephanie is also a wonderful person, whom I love receiving emails from. This has to be the biggest perk of the blogosphere, meeting great people and reliving the childhood memories of having a pen pal.

Even though it has taken me a while, here is my very quick and easy, weeknight meal post.  It doesn't really have a name, just a concoction of veggies, ravioli's, and some amazing heirloom basil sausage, the boyfriend found at Costco.  It's a perfect meal for a weeknight.  Easily takes less than 20 minutes to make, and you can still use the grill! I do live in California after all!
Ingredients:
heirloom basil sausage or other of your choice (I usually use chicken apple)
butternut squash ravioli
red bell pepper
yellow onion
zucchini
pine nuts
basil
olive oil
sea salt and pepper
Tuscan seasonings (optional)
chili flakes

Prep the veggies. Turn on grill. Heat saute pan with oil, and set a pot of water to boil.  Grill sausages. Saute veggies and pine nuts, adding seasonings of your choice.  Cook fresh raviolis in boiling water. Plate.  Voilà, dinner is ready! So quick and easy!
Love Amie x

Friday, June 21, 2013

High Fiving From NY!

Technically I won't be in NY until later this afternoon, but high five anyway for almost reaching our destination.  Thanks to the beauty of scheduling posts (also "high five worthy"), I'm probably snoozing at Mallory's house right now after a fun night full of yummy food...and lots of laughs I'm sure!
Let's take a look at my eventful week leading up to this beautiful Friday...
1.  For Father's Day, I picked up these adorably onesies for the hubs (well for the baby...you get it).  It isn't easy to hold back, I basically wanted to buy one of everything that said "Daddy" on it!
2.  My Conscious Box arrived, FULL of tons of goodies...I may do a review at some point.  
3.  I know I posted this in my bumpdate, but I literally CAN NOT get enough of Baby Girl's adorable profile!
4.  Since we were going away, I had to do something with all of our basil...I spent Wednesday morning making a bunch of pesto, and even some garlic and basil infused olive oil.  Yum!
5.  My days of painting my own toes have come to an end....it is pedicures from this point on.  I was proud that I got one last self pedi in before our trip!

Linking up...
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That's it for me...I have a bunch of guest posts planned for the upcoming week.  If you follow me on Instagram, expect a TON of updates from NY!   I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
  XO

***Don't forget to enter this Smashing Giveaway...you could win 2 months of free Spicy Ad Space, and MORE!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Boys Behind The Blog {Link Up #1}

The Boys Behind the Blog is a new link-up featuring your husbands, fiances, and boyfriends!  Mallory and I know that many of you have incredibly supportive men behind you and your blog and we want to give them a chance to have their voice heard too.  Ask your man five easy questions and link up with us on the third Thursday of the month!
I'm obviously happy to have my sweet hubby Stephen taking over NTSST today....
1. Does your wife/girlfriend/fiance use your real name or a nickname on her blog?
More often than not, I would say she refers to me as hubby or husband, but I’m sure I’ve been slipped in there on a number of occasions with my real name.  I’m not against either way.  If or when she starts referring to me as “that man” or something to that effect, I’d appreciate if someone could drop me a quick line. Thanks!

2. If you had a blog, what would the title be?
Adventures in Real Life.  That’s a terrible title, and I’ll tell you why.  Let’s rewind a bit.  On Stephanie’s encouragement, I started a blog a few years ago.  It was not long-lived; I got bored.  I think the problem lied in the fact that the title was too generic.  I did not have a focused subject to write about, therefore I wrote nothing because I did not know what to write about.  It became a chore, which this should never be if you’d like to maintain a half interested audience.  If there were a next time, I’d have a more focused title and subject. If.

3. Do you ever feel ignored by her because of the blog?
Sometimes I feel like Stewie from “Family Guy” trying to get her attention away from the laptop screen. Mom. Mom. Mommy. Mommy. MA! MA!
I know she loves doing it, and I’m behind her 110%, especially because of all the delicious meals I get out of it.  So while she’s 
sometimes engrossed, I know it’s for good cause.  Now I just need a man-cave so I can have a place to do my thing while she does her blog things.  Even a garage would do. ;-)

4. How has her blog changed or evolved throughout your relationship?
The blog actually started out as a way for her to document a cross-country trip we took together 4 years ago, before we moved to Florida.  She wanted to be able to show our parents all the things we were doing without having to be in constant contact (since we weren’t sure we were going to be able to out in the Wild West).  After we moved, it evolved into a means for sharing our new life together, since we were so far from our families and everything we knew.  As we built our life together, it changed names and subject again, focusing this time on her (delicious) kitchen exploits.  With all the new changes coming for us later this summer, I sort of expect another evolution, but that has yet to be seen.

5. What is your favorite post on her blog?
I can’t say that there is just one.  I can see how much she loves sharing when we have big news, so I get a kick out of when she shares it with all her readers.  In that way, it’s been a fun time as she posts her bumpdates and we shared the gender reveal.  It will be fun to see what comes of the blog when our little lady finally arrives.

Thanks for reading; I hope you get as much of a kick out of this little project as I do!
Never The Same Spice Twice
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

28 Week Bumpdate

Let's just take a minute and talk about how CRAZY it is that:
1.  I am 28 weeks already!
&
2.  Baby Girl is the size of a small head of cabbage!
Changes I've noticed:  I'm up 22 pounds and my belly is really stretched out.  I'm still fascinated by the fact that my belly button is beginning to turn inside out.  My prediction is that within a month it will be an outtie!  Even though I've still been lubing up with cocoa butter and coconut oil like it's my job, I noticed some more stretch marks on my hips (none on my tummy yet).    

How I've been feeling:  This week I'm feeling pretty good!  Since I've been consistently exercising, I feel like I have much more energy!  Moving around isn't AS bad, either I'm just learning to function with this big belly, or the exercise is helping a little in that department too (probably a little of both).

How I've been sleeping:  I've been sleeping through the night, just getting up REALLY early!  I guess it doesn't matter...as long as I'm waking up feeling well rested!  

Food and exercise:  I'm still going to the gym, and doing intervals at home.  Stephen and I took a walk over the weekend which was nice.  My plan for while I'm in NY is to walk whenever possible in order to stay active.  I think I will be able to convince my mom to come along with me.  I've also been eating well...I'm just trying to compensate because I know this will be my biggest challenge while we are away!

Maternity clothes:  After my doctors appointment on Monday, I went shopping and picked up a plain pink maternity t-shirt for my maternity photo shoot on Monday.  You know how I am a huge fan of leggings?  Well I couldn't hold off any longer, and finally bought a pair of maternity leggings...they basically rock!

Movement:  She kicks me so far off to the side that it tickles!  I didn't even know this was possible, I must be REALLY ticklish!  Baby is so crazy in there, some days are more active than others...but she is still a crazy little lady on an "inactive" day!
   
Best moment this past week:  On Monday we got to see her pretty little face!  Ahhhh, I could just stare at this picture ALL day!!!  We were laughing because her hands were always up by her head...just like Mommy!
I totally forgot to mention this last week, but we found an AMAZING day care option RIGHT by my job, that I feel 100% excited about!  A woman I work with recommended someone who runs a little day care out of her home!  I've been stressing over this, and feel so ridiculously relieved that we could check that off of our "to-do" list!  Everyone kept telling me that it would all come together, and they were right.  We are all registered, and ready to go!  The fact that I am so happy with this scenario, will help ease my mind when it is time to go back to work...but I don't even want to think about that just yet!  :)

Tomorrow morning we leave for our big trip.  Did I mention it is a road trip?  We are taking our time, taking lots of breaks...and yes I will be staying hydrated, I promise!  We have a lot planned...a blog friend sleepover, the baby shower, a christening, a bridal shower, maternity photos, and seeing lots and lots of friends and family!
I'm so excited for ALL of it!  Now it's time to get packing!

Happy "Bump" Day!!!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Curing #NOtivation: Getting Started AGAIN

It's "Curing #NOtivation Tuesday", and I just have to link up with my girl Mal and join in on all of the fun!  
Mal Smiles

Most of you probably do not know this, but in the past 4 years I have lost a BUNCH of weight.  It was so gradual because it really was an entire lifestyle change.  I feel that whole journey is a story that I would love to share with you all in another post, but for today....I'd like to focus on what it is like getting motivated with a bun in the oven.
Needless to say, I've gained a lot of the weight back I've lost over the years since I am now pregnant.  This is obviously to be expected.  (No really...it's in the "What To Expect" book...it's a thing I swear!)
I really struggled with this, and it wasn't because I gave up OR that I was dead set on not "getting fat".  It was tough finding a new balance of nutrition, and exercise while things were changing so rapidly!  How do you change and adjust to an entirely new lifestyle when your body is literally changing by the second?  Trust me, that is how it feels!

After adapting to a new lifestyle, where I FINALLY figured out what worked for me...it was time to adapt to a brand new one.  Where do I even begin?  With all of the queasiness and exhaustion during that first (and a good part of the second) trimester, I could barely get myself going.

I'm not making excuses, I will flat out admit I made a ton of mistakes - especially in the beginning.  Never in a million years did I think I would fall prey to the "I'm eating for two" mentality.   I had my moments, believe me.  There was an entire week of eating fast food, specifically McDonalds cheeseburgers!  Let's also not forget about all of those spoonfuls of Nutella (it's what heaven is like, I'm convinced).  When people would ask me what I was craving, I wouldn't really have an answer because the truth was that deep inside I knew I was just using pregnancy as an excuse.  Trust me, I wanted those cheeseburgers...I just didn't HAVE to have them.  

As far as exercise goes, I went from working out and running at least 4-5 times per week to barely doing anything.  I would lift light weights every so often, and try out some prenatal yoga here and there.  I ran a 5K in March, somehow that was supposed to sustain me the rest of the pregnancy?  "It's ok...I ran a 5k months ago!"  There was just no structure, or routine...it all finally started to drive me crazy.

The real rude awakening came after a visit to the doctor where *according to his scale* I had gained 8 lbs. since the last visit.  Now, my scale didn't reflect anything that extreme...and I still say the nurse is a little quick when she is charting my info...BUT regardless of all of my excuses, he seemed a little concerned that I was going off track.  That combined with the possibility for gestational diabetes (turns out I'm fine), was just the fire under my butt that I needed! 

Bit by bit, I started changing my mindset.  I can't just throw in the towel, I need to get back into things and be healthy for me AND of course Baby Girl!  I plan on being a fit mom, so why would I stop now?  As the school year started coming to an end, my brain started to clear.  It was time to finally find my new balance and get back into a healthier lifestyle!  I've been reading up a lot on prenatal fitness, as well as nutrition.  My trips to the gym are MUCH more frequent.  I've been walking a lot with the incline up, jogging just a little bit, using the elliptical, and doing intervals at home that I've modified to be less intense.  Just like anything else, getting started is the hardest part.
Now in the nutrition department I still have my slip ups every so often, but I'm trying to be more mindful and make better choices.  The problem is that I'm hungry ALL the time, that sure requires a lot of willpower!  Every morning I start off with a good breakfast, those bowls of frosted flakes are MUCH fewer and far between, trust me!  I've also been working on portion control, and snacking healthy throughout the day.  For dinner, I've been working healthier meals back into the menu...baby steps!  

Obviously, I am feeling SO much better!  Don't get me wrong, I was by no means depressed or miserable at any point.   I'm sure if you know me, or have been following my blog it is apparent that I've been enjoying this time, and soaking up every second!   In terms of total weight gain,  I've remained fairly "textbook" as my doctor likes to tell me (besides the 8 lb. incident).  The point is that deep down inside, I knew that I wasn't making the best choices for me!  It is still a work in progress, but it feels good to be on the right track!  Wish me luck, I'll be keeping you all posted!  If you have any tips on how you managed balancing a new healthy lifestyle while pregnant, please let me know!
XO!

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