Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Rocking Chair-a work in progress!

Over the weekend, I started the rocking chair project (I found it on the curb back in November and we picked it up to refinish it for the living room).  I know, at 38 weeks along, I probably should have tackled this project sooner :)

Before photos, holding stuff in the garage:

Work in progress!  I've removed all of the ugly, rotting fabric (and the hundreds of staples holding it into place using a screw driver and some needle-nose pliers and wearing gloves):

 I picked out (the tan and blue handwriting) fabric (the paisley is a pillow case from our living room-my reference fabric) for the seat and cushion and paint color (using the same as in our entryway, the bottom color):

Next steps:
  1. Sanding and painting the frame
  2. Recovering the fabric bottom  
  3. Making a cushion for the bottom (or find one online to purchase) and pillow for the back

 I've never done a project like this before so I'm winging it...any advice?  I've done some research but it's truly going to be a learn-as-I-go-situation here :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Trying some new recipes!

Our living room, mid-installation
C has been busy this weekend installing Ethernet cables throughout our basement and first floor...not an easy task as the house was built in 1940's and the walls are SOLID.  I've been trying to stay out of his way and luckily, his projects have kept him out of the kitchen so I've been trying some new recipes and thought I would share (and okay, this might be a little bit of nesting too): 

I found a recipe to make C some "Primal Fudge" from Practical Paleo and these babies are yummy!  I added a sprinkle of sea salt to each one before they set up.    

Next, I made some No Bake Energy Bites from Gimme Some Oven.  I found this recipe on Pinterest around the holidays and we've had them in our fridge ever since as they are a great snack or I'll grab 2 for breakfast with a fruit smoothie on days I'm on the run.    

I also tried these Breakfast Cookies from Nutrition Nut on the Run except with mixed dried fruit (used what I had in the pantry-cherries, cranberries and blueberries).  Next time I'll add a little more maple syrup as mine weren't very sweet...maybe the banana I used wasn't ripe enough?

For dinner, I decided to spice up our Brussels Sprouts with this Honey-Orange Vinaigrette from Peas and Thank You.  We eat Brussels Sprouts regularly and we both loved this combo!  

Have you tried anything new lately?  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Meal planning

Time to get ready for another week! We've been busy finishing up last minute baby and house projects but I made it a priority to get to the gym and grocery store this morning. Our store had having a buy-one-get-one-free sale on meat and we've been running low so I stocked up on crockpot friendly cuts (pork loins, beef roasts) for the freezer. Our supply was running low as our quarter beef we ordered last year is almost gone.

Here's what we are planning for this week:

Roasted chicken with rosemary roasted parsnips
Italian stuffed peppers
Crock pot beef roast with cauliflower "mashed potatoes"
Something protein....and Brussels sprouts

What's on your list?

Photos from the week

Early morning smoothies, my breakfast of choice for days I've got to be on the road by 6:30am. Hospital bad is packed and ready to go! Emergency vet visit for Max on Saturday night, he's fine. Peanut butter fudge for C...oh it was yummy!

What did your week look like?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Meal Planning-Paleo Style

Chris took charge of the menu this week and he was inspired by a cookbook he received for Christmas. "Practical Paleo".  We've both been reading through the very informative book (it's a mix of a book on nutrition and cookbook) and are ready to give some of the recipes a try!

Monday-Hospital Tour tonight so we'll be grabbing leftovers or take out
Tuesday-Chicken Legs with Brussels sprouts and fennel
Wednesday-Cumin Spiced Tenderloin with root veggies
Thursday-Stuffed Peppers with salad
Friday-Bacon wrapped chicken thighs and sauteed red cabbage

I'm also going to give Paleo bread a whirl this week...let's hope it turns out well!

What are you having this week?  Trying anything new?

Friday, January 18, 2013

One Dish Wonder-Skillet Supper

Last week, C and I were walking the dogs and discussing what to have for dinner as I only meal planned for the beginning of the week.  We decided to do something different and it turned out great!  We used ingredients we had on hand to create a skillet supper filled with green peppers, frozen green beans, bacon, almonds and served with qunioa (which we had already cooked and in the fridge).  The whole meal took less than 30 minutes to throw together and we both loved the flavor of it.

6 strips bacon, cut into pieces
1/2 green pepper, julienned (sliced thinly)
12 oz frozen green beans
1/4 cup slivered/sliced almonds
2 cups quinoa (already cooked)
sprinkle of roasted red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like things)
1/4 t. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large skillet, start by cooking bacon on medium heat until crisp.  Drain on paper towels and remove extra bacon grease from skillet.

2. Add pepper and green beans to skillet and season with pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cover with lid to steam for 5-10 minutes, depending on preferred level of crispness of beans.  You may need to stir periodically.

3.  Add almonds, bacon and quinoa to skillet and saute until almonds are toasted.

4. Serve and enjoy!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Blessings for the Little One

As I mentioned, we have been showered with blessings for our pending arrival!  C and I both come from LARGE families so we did each side separately so I could talk with all the guests.  Both showers involved fun games, gifts and of course, lots of delicious food.  Here are a few photos of both showers (I had a third shower at work but forgot to take a single photo, boo).

Shower hosted by my Mom and Celeste, my brother's girlfriend:

My Aunt Mary's delicious cheesecake
Mini Cheesecakes (we also had soup and sandwiches)
My cousin Erin and I, she's due about a month after I am!
My Grandma (My Mom's Mom)
My Grandma and shower host (My Dad's Mom)
Unwrapping a clothesline gift from my friends
Kelly (she blogs at Willful Design) and
Cari (she blogs at Follies of a Fat Girl)!
Shower hosted by C's Mom, Brittany, Danielle, Alicia:

The girls: Brittany, Alicia, Sonya, Danielle and Sharon
The shower was owl themed-hence the cute
"Baby Whoo" banner!  (you will see this again....soon)
Cute decorations by Alicia
Guessing the due date and gender of the baby!
Looks like most think it's a girl :)
Chris after assembling one of our shower gifts-
The BOB Jogging Stroller.  So excited to use it!
We truly are blessed with amazing family and friends and our little one already has such a network of love and support!  Can't wait to meet this little one!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Week 36-Nursery Sneak Peek

We've officially been baby "showered" three times and this little one certainly has been blessed!  We've been trying to organize the nursery and find a home for all of the new items as well as do a few loads of baby laundry and start packing our bags.  It's still a work in progress but I wanted to share a few photos thus far:

First up, 36 week belly photo (in the freshly painted hallway):

The nursery-this is my before photo :).  Many boxes to unpack...I'm not going to post any whole room photos until we are done.

The crib skirt, I started this before the holidays but just got it finished!  Hoping to post more about it soon:

Changing table (we painted it, added new knobs and I made the topper):

The baby quilt!  I've laid out the fabric but haven't started it yet:

An entire shelf of our linen closet is now diapers.  We have an assortment of sizes ready and waiting:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Meal Planning-for the week

I was so busy over the weekend meal planning for baby that I forgot to meal plan for the week...oops!  Here's what I'm thinking:

Sunday-BBQ chicken legs and oven roasted broccoli
Monday-Mexican Qunioa (one of our staples)
Tuesday-Meatloaf and sweet potato chips (this was on the menu last week but we never got to it)
Wednesday-Stuffed Shells or Pasta (and making some for the freezer)

At least we have a start, right?!?!?!  What are you having this week?

Meal Planning for Baby

We had a really productive weekend here!  C's parents came to stay on Friday night and Saturday and were so much help around the house (the guys worked on TV/cable issues and Sharon and I cooked-thank you Sharon for doing sink-load after sink-load of dishes!)  We were so happy to have them here and to spend some time together.  On Friday night, we took them to our favorite Rocky River restaurant Sweet Melissa and it did not disappoint!  Odds are good that if you come to visit, we will take you to Sweet Melissa for dinner :)

One of the projects on my list this week was to create some meals to stick in the freezer for when Baby Kimmet makes his or her arrival in a few short weeks!  I thought it may be helpful to list the steps we went through and some of the recipes

1. Start with a list of what you want to make
2. Source ingredients (grocery shop, raid freezer/pantry).  I didn't do the best with this and we made three trips to the store but that's okay...I'll do better next time.
3. Plan out recipes to be efficient.  For example, a couple of recipes started with a base of sauteed ground beef with onions so I made all of the beef together and then divided it out for the individual recipes.  Same went for sausage-cooked all in one pan and then divided it out when I needed it.
4. Make recipes and LABEL before placing in freezer (unless you are okay with a mystery meal!)-I just use a Sharpie marker on the foil lid to label.  Since these meals went right into our freezer, I didn't worry about adding baking instructions but if you are making for someone else, that would be necessary.
5.  One last tip, there are tons of recipes out there and you may want to stick with tried-and-true or be adventurous and make new things.  I only made meals we've had before and like.  I made a few things that my husband likes and I don't make on a regular basis-now he can't wait to dig into these!

The final result-11 meals tucked away in the freezer!

So what's on our list?

Meatloaf-to be made
Waffles-Double batch
White Chicken Chili-to be made
Green Bean Casserole-to be made
Bread Dough-to be made
Sheppard's Pie with mashed cauliflower topping
Lea's Ham and Corn Chowder
Italian Stuffed Peppers (I added spinach to the filling this time)
Cheeseburger/Hash brown Casserole
Qunioa Broccoli Chicken Casserole- (from Annie Eats)
Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup
Stuffed Shells
No Bake Energy Bites
Date-Brownie Bites

What are some of your favorite freezer meals?  How to do you plan for a busy time?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Boots for Max and Lila

We've had a pretty mild winter so far but I tried to be proactive and purchase some little boots (they look like balloons   for Max and Lila to keep the cold and salt off of their paws during our walks....they aren't having any of it!  See exhibit A:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Meal planning

Well here we go, it's Monday again! We didn't meal plan last week because it was a short one due to holiday travel and an all-guys ski trip for Chris and out of town baby shower. But now the travel has come to an end as I'm almost 36 weeks pregnant!

Monday-Mexican quinoa
Tuesday-crockpot rotisserie chicken
Wednesday-homemade pizza (roasted chicken and kale, margarita)
Thursday-meatloaf and sweet potatoes
Friday-left overs
Saturday-trying something new... Just haven't decided what yet!

I'll also be whipping up a batch of the date brownie energy bites for quick snacks.

What are you having this week? Are you using old favorite recipes or trying something new?

Friday, January 4, 2013


Inspired by my friend Heather and her one word of 2013 (Alive), I've decided to join 365's One Word for 2013.  

When I look back on 2012, the word "change" comes to mind.  As I was brushing my teeth this morning I was thinking of a word that will describe our 2013 (as I said, I like to set intentions) and I think the word is "balance".  According to here are a few definitions of balance:


  [bal-uh ns]  Show IPA noun, verb, bal·anced, bal·anc·ing.
a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weightamount, etc.
something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise.
mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.
a state of bodily equilibrium: He lost his balance and fell down the stairs.

 Here are a few ways I'm hoping to achieve balance over the next year:

  • my new role of mother with my existing roles of wife, territory manager, runner, blogger, etc. 
  • in fitness, a mix of cardio (running and spinning) with yoga and strength training
  • enjoying the BIG and small moments in life
  • being present
  • healthy, whole foods and chocolate 
  • getting tasks accomplished and getting rest
I tend to get focused on the next item on the "to-do" list (and I have many) and want to truly focus on balance, being present and enjoying our little one's first year while being the best me in 2013.

I recently read "The Happiness Project" and there are so many great ideas and I just joined the 21 day relationship challenge.  I like that the author, Gretchen Rubin, focuses on small, manageable changes to make an overall impact on her life over the course of a year.   

How do you create balance in life?  Do you focus on large or small changes?    

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Goals for 2013

2012 was a busy, busy year for us and I have a feeling that 2013 will be too.  As I think about my goals for the year (I'm a big believer in setting goals/intentions/having something to strive for) the most obvious one is, of course, to have a healthy baby!  I think becoming parents will be our most challenging and rewarding role yet and am looking forward to it and meeting our little one in February.  I'm sure we will have a lot to learn in adjusting to our new roles and attaining balance in our family.  This of course will be our number one priority for the year to come.  That being said, I couldn't help but come up with a few others for the year: 

  • Start running again/complete a race!  I've missed cardiovascular workouts since I've been pregnant and am looking forward to getting back to running (especially with our new BOB jogging stroller-thanks to C's family!).  We've already got one planned, the Cleveland Rite Aid 10k.  C's family is coming into town for the race and to celebrate May birthdays.
  •   Get our house into order.  We've been in our new house for 6 months and there are very few things on the walls.  I don't want to just slap things up so it's ongoing process for us to get settled and to make everything feel like "home".
  • Find a balance between being new parents and our jobs once I return to work after my 12 weeks of maternity leave.  I love my job and want to make sure that I'm able to balance my role of new mother and my current role at work.
  • Continue learning and educating myself.  Just because school is over doesn't mean learning is-but I'm glad I don't have to read any more ops or accounting texts now that I've graduated.
  • Become more involved in our community and volunteer more-I want to focus on giving back to our new community and enjoying all it has to offer.
  • Focus on blogging and learn what our readers are looking for (another post to follow).
I think these goals will keep me busy in 2013 :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Homemade Bread Recipe

I've been meaning to post this recipe for a while, it's now our go-to bread recipe that I use almost every week.  I usually have some dough in the fridge that can easily be made into a quick artisan loaf, pizza dough or naan depending on what we are having for dinner.  One our my (our) goals for 2012 was to bake our own bread so after successfully using the recipe for almost a year, I think it's time to share!

The technique for the recipe and my inspiration came from the book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day".  You can find a link here to the basic technique/original recipe.  I highly recommend reading the original technique before jumping in!  If you are expecting a loaf of bread, this is not it but it is a delicious  

1 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 T granulated yeast
3/4 T sea salt
1/2 cups spelt flour (if don't have spelt, just use whole wheat)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white flour
Cornmeal mixed with onion and garlic powder for shaping dough and pan

Mixing the Dough:
Add water, yeast and salt in 5 qt. mixing bowl and mix (I use my KitchenAid stand mixer with the regular flat paddle attachment)

Add in flour, 1/2 cup at a time until all combined

Cover loosely (NEVER put in airtight container-the gasses could cause an explosion).  Leave at room temperature for 2 hours or until dough rises and top flattens.

Leave loosely covered (I use an inverted plate) and refrigerate.  Dough is good up to 2 weeks.

To bake bread:
Preheat oven to 425F.  Place a broiler tray or pan full of water on bottom rack of oven.

Take out desired size ball of dough, use cornmeal mix to shape into a ball and continue to form ball by tucking under ends of dough.  Place dough on cornmeal coated baking surface (I use a baking stone or sheet pan with a SilPat mat).

Let rise 20 minutes and then slash top using cross or tick-tack-toe pattern.

Bake bread for about 30 minutes or until crust is browned and firm.  (I usually pick up my loaf and check out the bottom to make sure it's done and not doughy on the inside).

Refrigerate remaining dough until ready to use.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012-In Review

Now that 2012 has come to a close and 2013 is underway, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year.  It truly was a year of change for us!  I was happy with our progression toward our goals for 2012 and shopping local, baking bread and meatless meals are all part of our weekly routine.

In January, I took to meal planning every week.  It really helps keep the grocery list (and budget) in check and we get more variety in our meals and I'm not rushing around to throw something together after work.  I'm planning on taking the past year of meal plans and creating a month of meals for February after the baby arrives!  We also worked on some house projects!

In February, we finished our 1/2 bath remodel and announced that we would be MOVING!  I also signed up for a 10 miler and started training again.  C and I got dressed up and spent a night celebrating with the Junior fun!

In March, we listed our little house for sale because we would be moving and I detailed why I run.  

In April, we hit the road to visit C's sister Alicia in DC and got to catch up with our friends Caitlin and Brian. I celebrated my last 20's birthday by spending the day with my Mom and then a wonderful dinner with C at a local wine shop.  I ran (and PR'ed) my 10 miler and detailed my must-have gear.

In May, I graduated MBA school!!!!!  And we bought a house in the Cleveland area.  It was a busy month and we also tried to enjoy spending time in Columbus before the pending move.

In June, I visited my friend Kelly for her bachelorette party and bridal shower.  Chris graduated with his MBA (yay!!!!!) and we moved out of our Columbus house.  We ended the month by celebrating Kelly and Altay's wedding.

In July, we moved into our Cleveland house and announced our BIG news that we would be expecting in February:)

In August, we had our first ultrasound and C celebrated being 29!  We ended the month with a Warrior Dash (C participated and I watched).

In September, we hit up the local Oktoberfest with my parents and our new house started to get into order but we still have a ways to go.  We ended the month with a trip to San Diego, our last get-away as a family of 2 before baby!

In October, my college roommate Jen got married and we road-tripped to Cincinnati to celebrate!  Mom and I painted the nursery and I made one last out-of-state trip to Nashville for a girls weekend and to meet baby Colin.

In November, we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary and picked up our beautiful dining room table.  Nesting also hit in full force.

In December, my Mom came back to paint the entryway/hallway/stairway, we attempted Christmas card photos, spent time with family and celebrated the holidays.

What a wonderful year!  How was your 2012?  Did it live up to your expectations?  What were your favorite adventures?