Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rain, Rain, Wind and more Rain (and meal planning)

The theme of our weekend was rain, thanks to Hurricane Sandy.  I think we have a few more days of wind and rain ahead of us but as of right now, we are not in the direct line of the storm.  Chris did stock us up on canned goods and water, just in case we loose power.  Our neighborhood is filled with old trees so if it gets windy, we may end up with downed trees and power lines.

Needless to say, Max and Lila have been doing a lot of this:

Rainy Day Lila
Rainy Day Max

All this cold, rainy weather makes me want soup so that will be on the menu for the week.  I'm hesitant to go grocery shopping just in case we loose power and I don't want a fridge/freezer full of food to worry about so I'll be using what we have on hand for this week's meals:

Monday-Beef and Black Bean Taco Salads
Tuesday-Pumpkin soup and grilled cheese
Wednesday-Roasted Chicken (remember when we bought two chicken's at a family reunion auction?  They are ready for dinner!) and butternut squash
Thursday-Not sure yet
Friday-Homemade Pizzas (kale and roasted chicken maybe?)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin cheesecake dip

Last night, we had out neighbors over for dinner and I made this dip for an appetizer, it was delicious, light, fluffy and perfect for fall!

15 oz can pumpkin
8 oz whipped cream cheese
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 container cool whip free

Optional garnish-spiced nuts (pumpkin seeds, pecans)

Dippers-apple slices, cinnamon pita chips, graham cracker sticks

Combine all dip ingredients (except cool whip) and mix well. Carefully fold in cool whip until just incorporated. Put in serving dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, top with spiced nuts and serve with dippers. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nashville girls weekend

Over the weekend, I made made first ever trip to Nashville to get in some much needed girl time with some of our Ft. Bragg friends. Alison and Steve welcomed baby Colin about 6 weeks ago and we needed to meet this little guy! They are stationed at Ft. Campbell in Clarksville, TN, which is almost an hour from Music City. We spent Friday night in the city having dinner and checked out Broadway Ave, where all the bars are. Every place we walked into featured live music...so fun!

On Saturday, we hung out on post visiting my friend Caitlin's SIL and her kids, who are so, so cute! We even played some freeze tag in the park while we were there.

After picking up new momma Alison for a quick lunch and Starbucks run, we spent the rest of the day catching up, drinking wine and Steve's homemade beer (well, some of us) and holding the baby. Our other friends Brice (in town for training), Christie and Patton (who were driving cross-country) came over later, such a fun reunion for our group! We did miss Kendra and Mike, Brice's wife Missy and Chris but this is a tough group to get all together as we are scattered across the country. Here are a few photos of the trip:

Me, Lea and Alison in Nashville/ Holding baby Colin in the quilt I made him/Cait and Colin:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wedding Weekend (and Week 23)

Over the weekend, my first Ohio University friend and later roommate got married!  Yes, Jen and I met on the first day of Freshman year in Mod 3B of Martzolff House and we shared an apartment with Brandon and Jim our Junior and Senior years.  We walked to many a parties together, watched musicals on our southwest themed sofa and made late night runs to Dairy Queen for ice cr  My OU experience, which I loved, wouldn't have been the same without this girl and I'm so blessed to still call her one of my dearest friends. I was so honored to be a part of her and Josh's very special day.

I couldn't find any photos of our time together at OU but here are a few from after graduation:

Chris and Jen, Drinking $1 beers before a Reds Game,
Leave 2007
Jen and Sonya, Labor Day 2007
Kelly, Sonya and Jen-Halloween 2007 in Columbus
A few weeks ago, I made the 5+ hour drive to Cincinnati for her bachelorette party.  What a great time!  Over the years, I've gotten to know Jen's friends as well so I really enjoyed catching up with the bridal party.  We stayed in downtown Cinci and Brandon (the Man of Honor and another one of my college roommates) planned a very fun photo/video scavenger hunt that had us running and laughing all over downtown.  I even managed to stay out with the group until about 1pm and didn't make it to sleep until well after 3am....not too bad for being 5 months pregnant!

Jen and I, at the start of the Bachelorette Party,
I've got my "mocktail" in hand!
Angie, me, Carissa and Tracey checking off one of our
scavenger items: a photo with a horse
Jen met her fiance in high school through mutual friends and even though they weren't dating during the start of our time at OU, I remember her saying she was going to marry Josh some day.  I guess that day was October 12, 2012.  Jen and her mom did an amazing job planning a "Cincinnati" themed wedding and everyone was more than gracious to us out-of-towners.  The evening ceremony was beautiful and the reception full of joy and dancing (gotta love a live band!)  I did a terrible job with photos but here are a few I did manage to snap at her fun, fun reception!

The bride, this photo does NOT do her justice,
she was stunning in her gown!
Chris and I at the reception
Here are a few photos of my bridesmaid dress and hair from the wedding.  I was fitted and ordered the dress BEFORE I was pregnant and anyone that has bought a bridesmaid dress knows that once you place the order, there is no going back.  Thankfully, Jen chose a style that had an empire waist and I found a really good tailor to make a few alterations for me.  There was no way I was getting into my pre-pregnancy size at almost 6 months pregnant.
Week 23 Baby Bump
Loved my hair, the stylist did an amazing job!
All in all, we had a great weekend in Cinci and I was so thrilled to be a part of Jen and Josh's wedding day.  Here's to many, many years of blessings and happiness for the newly married couple.  I'm excited to see what life brings in the next phase of your life together.  And many, many more years of friendship with my dear friend.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Week 22-Painting the Nursery

Last weekend my Mom came up to help me paint the nursery.  The room was painted blue and was the home to two little boys before we moved in so it really needed to be freshened up!

The nursery-Before paint
We painted the walls Nantucket Breeze by Benjamin Moore.  If you think this color looks familiar, it's because we used in in the half bath remodel in our last house.  I loved it and wanted to use it again!  Also painted the ceiling and the trim.  It look us almost an entire day but it was worth it, the room looks so fresh!  As soon as the paint was dry, I couldn't wait to layout the rug that Chris and I purchased for the room from the Arhaus outlet.  It's not a traditional nursery rug but I wanted something that was versatile and would grow with our baby.
The nursery-After paint
Rug Close Up
We thought it was appropriate to take the 22 week belly photo in the nursery:    

Week 22-Baby Belly
Chris installed the smoke alarm in the nursery today and our next step will be picking out our crib, stripping and repainting the dresser we are using for a changing table (Chris) and to start sewing the linens (Sonya.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Meal Planning-What we're having this week

Last week, Mom and I spent Saturday painting the nursery and then C and I spent Sunday with his family so I didn't get around to meal planning or grocery shopping (except for the farmers market)...big mistake!  I felt like I was scrambling all week to come up with meals.  We keep a fairly well-stocked freezer, most of the time, but I just wasn't inspired by anything.  This week, even after being out of town for a few days for a wedding, we are back on track!

Sunday-Roasted chicken and veggies (potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots and celery) and crustless pumpkin pie
Monday-Crustless sausage and broccoli quiche and avocado and cranberry salad
Tuesday-(leftover) Chicken burritos and Cuban black beans
Wednesday-Tilapia and mashed butternut squash (instead of mashed potatoes)
Thursday-homemade kale pizza
Friday- Chris is on his own, I'm headed to Nashville for a girls weekend!

You may notice that our menu is carb light as I mentioned last time, Chris is  reducing his carb intake and following a primal diet.  Carbs are my favorite pregnancy food so I'm not joining him but am trying to be supportive and make recipes that are low-carb for him.  Hey, I can always microwave a baked potato :).

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Baby Quilt for Paige

I seem to have lost the cord to connect the camera to the computer in the move so vacation posts are on hold until I can figure out where it is or another way to move the photos (I've tried the SD card, I'm having issues with that too...technology is NOT my friend) so in the mean time, I thought I would share a baby shower gift I made for my friend Abby's pending little one, Paige!  I met Abby in college, we were both retail merchandising majors at Ohio University involved in our college association, Fashion Associates and we were both in Alpha Phi Omega (co-ed service fraternity).  We both moved to Columbus after graduation and started up the ritual of monthly brunches with another friend, Amy, to stay in touch and keep up with what was going on in the retail industry or just to talk about life.  Abby told us she was pregnant shortly after she found out at our last brunch before we moved! 

I did a few things differently on this quilt than I 've done in the past for Case, Kolt, and Molly using strips of fabric instead of blocks and I also used the same print in three different colors.  I loved the outcome!  I've got one more quilt for a friend to work on and then my focus will shift to preparing the nursery to our little one (crib skirt, quilt, wall art, glider cushion, curtains....I'll be busy this winter!) 

Attempted free-hand scalloped edge!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Meal Planning after a week or weekend away

I know I owe you all a vacation post or two....and it's coming!  Just a quick pop in to offer some suggestions on meal planning after being gone.  If you are like us, we try to leave our fridge as bare as possible because I hate wasting food.

1. It's a great time to take advantage of all those items in the freezer!  We usually have a few meals prepped in the freezer that I can pull out for a quick defrost or pop in the oven.  Or at the very least, some frozen chicken breast or meat and veggies waiting to be turned into a quick dinner.

2. Ditto for the pantry.  I always have soup ingredients on hand for a fast, delicious and healthy dinner.

3. Make a quick run out for the essentials.  When we got back from California, it was 10pm so I wasn't up for a trip to the store but the next day I headed out for milk, eggs, coffee creamer, lunch meat and fresh produce.  Not tons but just enough to get us by.

4. Ideally, meal plan BEFORE you go and fill the freezer with meals.  This didn't happen for us but maybe next time away :)

So what are we having this week?  Well, Chris is trying to limit is carb intake so I'm trying to be supportive (really hard when most of my pregnancy foods involve the starchy stuff)!

Monday-Grilled chicken breast and kale and sweet potato chips
Tuesday-Mexican chicken and rice soup (pulled from the freezer)
Wednesday- Ground beef chili
Thursday-left overs
Friday-Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Apple Cider Waffles

One of my latest pregnancy cravings has been waffles!  My waffle maker was under repair (thanks Chris for fixing it!) but now I'm back in business.  I prefer to make waffles at home so I can control the nutritional content and I top with fruit and nut butter or syrup.   

Adapted from: Stephanie Cooks
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs ground flax meal
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1. In a mixing bowl combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flax meal and cinnamon. Stir well.
2. Beat in the egg, oil, milk, and cider.
3. Set aside and let stand 5 minutes while heating your waffle iron.
4. Spray the waffle iron and cook according to waffle iron directions.  Enjoy them hot or prep for the freezer!
5. Let extra waffles cool and divide into halves.  Separate with wax paper and put into a freezer bag.  Freeze to enjoy later (just pop them in the the toaster/toaster oven to reheat).

Waffles cooled, separated and in waxed paper
Ready for the freezer!