Monday, February 29, 2016


Weeks along: 18

Baby Size: 5 1/2 inches

Biggest Craving This Week: meat, salad, sandwiches

Morning sickness: Only threw up twice last week!

Other Symptoms: Kinda tired and I feel heavy. My hips also start hurting after doing things like breathing.

Exercise: Still jogging a little and going to my weekly kickboxing class. I always have an extreme urge to pee when I run. Awesome.

Baby Kicks: The baby is definitely stronger this week. I get to feel the kicks throughout the day. Every morning the kids wake up and get in bed with me and baby #3 starts doing flips - super sweet!

We are two weeks away from finding out if this baby is a boy or girl! Here are some fun old wives tales results...

I really feel like I don't have much of a clue. I've only had one dream about the baby's sex and it was a boy. This time around I feel more prepared because I have one of each and they are both so much fun and full of life and joy so I really don't care. Just excited to find out!

Check up update:

Weight gain: a whopping 9 lbs. total
Baby's heartbeat: 154 bpm

Monday, February 22, 2016


 Weeks along: 17

 Baby Size: Turnip (Does anyone actually buy those?)

 Biggest Craving This Week: Hotdogs, Fruit, Meat

Morning sickness: Still most mornings, but I didn't throw up this morning and Isaiah clogged the toilet first thing and I DIDN'T. EVEN. GAG. Can I get an "AMEN!"

Other Symptoms: Brain fog. Getting fat.

Exercise: Still jogging a little and going to my weekly kickboxing class.

Baby Kicks: I feel the baby wiggle probably between 5 & 10 times  a day.

New This Week: We are nearing the end of February. Every year the shortest month of the year ends up being the busiest - birthdays, special days, Valentine's day, meetings - and I am so ready to have a weekend with nothing scheduled.

Blueberry, Banana Oatmeal Bake

There are a lot of baked oatmeal recipes floating out there and this the version I made. It's basically modified from what a bunch of other recipes are but I changed it up based on what I had on hand. It is really good - tastes and smells like banana bread and is full of fiber and antioxidants so it's actually filling. It's also made from cheap ingredients so it's a very inexpensive way to feed a crowd.

{Pairs well with coffee and Sunday mornings.}

Recipe |

3 cups oats
3/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix. Put half of the mix on a greased baking pan. Layer with two sliced bananas and 1/2 cup blueberries. Sprinkle second half on top.

2 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 Tbsp melted butter

Whisk together and pour over dry mixture. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes at 350. (10 minutes before it's done, sprinkle a little extra brown sugar on top for added crunch and sweetness.)

Friday, February 19, 2016

24 meals for $145

I haven't loved my crock pot the last couple of months because, hello, pregnant and nothing sounds good but also, I've had a lot of trouble stomaching food in the mornings. Now that I'm 16 weeks pregnant, I'd like to say I'm over the morning sickness but, alas, I'm still throwing up most mornings. So, for this round of meals many of them just need to be thawed and cooked at night. Hooray!

For this round, turn this...
Into this:
In less than 90 minutes and for less than $145.

Here it goes...

Menu |

Grilled Caribbean Jerk Chicken on Ciabatta Bread
Chicken Pad Thai
Turkey & Bacon Club Sandwiches
Greek Meatballs on Pitas
Mojito Lime Chicken
Sausage & Potato Bake
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Roasted Red Pepper & Sausage on Texas Toast
Montreal Round Steak
Brown Sugar Salmon
Simple Spaghetti & Meatballs

(I made 2 of each for a total of 24 meals)

Grocery List |

3 bags of chicken breasts
2 packages of smoked turkey breast
2 packages of bacon
2 lbs. ground beef
3 smoked sausage links
1 bag of uncooked shrimp (detailed if they have it)
2 lbs. of ground Italian sausage
1 bag salmon
2 bags of meatballs
2 packages of round steak (the ones I bought had 6 steaks each)

1 small container of feta cheese

1 bunch of green onions
2 zucchinis
1 sweet onion
2 carrots (yes, only 2 - you can buy these in the bulk section at Winco)
1 bunch fresh mint
2 limes
1 bunch cilantro
1 celery bunch (the smaller size)
2 green bell peppers
3 lemons

Seasoning & Marinades:
2 Caribbean Jerk marinades
1 bag brown sugar
Lemon Pepper
Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Smoked Paprika

Sauces & Canned Goods:
1 bottle fish sauce
1 bottle rice vinegar
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 carton chicken broth
2 jars roasted red peppers
1 bottle teriyaki sauce
3 jars of marinara sauce

Dry Goods:
1 bag brown rice
2 packages of dry broccoli cheddar soup mix
2 packages of spaghetti
2 packages rice noodles

3 bags frozen broccoli florets
2 boxes Texas Toast

2 packages of ciabatta bread
2 loaves of French bread (sliced)
2 packages of pita bread

Ziploc Bags
Slow Cooker Liners

As always, the easiest way to get through the meals is to lay everything out on the counter and label bags for every meal (note: I used a total of 4 bags for the pad thai meals - 2 for sauce, 2 for veggies and chicken). Then just work through all the ingredients one meal at a time.


Grilled Caribbean Jerk Chicken on Ciabatta Bread

1/2 bag frozen chicken breasts
1 bottle Caribbean jerk marinade
(make two)

Freeze ciabatta with this. Thaw and grill (usually 7 minutes per side on a medium-low grill). Serve on ciabatta bread.

Bag 1:
2 chicken breasts sliced thinly
1 large carrot sliced thinly
1 zucchini sliced thinly (season with garlic powder, salt, & pepper)
(make two)

Bag 2: {the sauce}
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
(this is doubled from my original recipe...I like extra sauce)
(make two)

Store rice noodles in pantry. To prepare: soak rice noodles in hot water. Thaw sauce and chicken and veggies. In a small pot, warm sauce. In a large wok or skillet, add 3 Tbsp. olive oil and sauté chicken and veggies until cooked through. Scramble an egg. Drain and add noodles. Toss. Add sauce. Toss. Add a squeeze of lime and top with chopped peanuts.

Turkey & Bacon Club Sandwiches

Freeze turkey, bacon, and bread.
(make two)

Really, that's it. To prepare: thaw errythang. Cook up bacon, toast bread, add turkey and top with tomato, avocado, lettuce, and all your favorite sandwich fixings. I heart sandwiches.

Greek Meatballs on Pitas

In a bowl, mix:
2 lbs. ground beef
1 package feta
1 bunch of mint, finely chopped
2 T flour or bread crumbs
2 tsp oregano
3 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1 tsp salt & pepper
Juice of one lemon

Hands mix and roll into meatballs and divide into two bags. This will make about 26 meatballs total, enough for my family for two meals. If you have a larger family, adjust the recipe. Serve with pita bread and tzatziki sauce (plain Greek yogurt, dill, zest and juice of 1 lemon)

Mojito Lime Chicken

1/2 bag of frozen chicken breasts
1/2 of the chopped cilantro
1 lime, squeeze and drop in
Season with lemon pepper & garlic powder
Drizzle with olive oil
(make two)

Thaw and grill.

Freeze smoke sausage with a bag of broccoli florets.
(make two)

To prepare: thaw sausage, add cubed red potatoes, sweet potatoes, frozen broccoli and whatever other veggies you'd like. Drizzle with olive oil, rubbed sage, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss. Bake at 415 degrees for 45 minutes.

1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 carton chicken broth
1 chopped green pepper
1/2 of the chopped celery stalk
1/2 bag of shrimp
1/2 sliced smoked sausage
A few dashes of Tabasco (or however many you prefer)
1/2 tsp Cayenne or more if you want more kick
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
(store rice in pantry for this)
(make 2)

 8 hours on low in the crock pot. Add 1 cup of rice 30 minutes before it's done cooking, stirring well.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

1/2 bag broccoli florets
1 package broccoli cheddar soup mix
8 cups of water
(make 2)

8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

Roasted Red Pepper & Sausage on Texas Toast

1 lb. cooked Italian sausage
1 jar roasted red peppers
1/2 jar of marinara sauce
Season with garlic powder and basil
(make 2)

6 hours on low or simmer in a pan. Cook Texas toast according to package instructions and top with red peppers and sausage. Top with parmesan..

Montreal Round Steak

1 package round steaks
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
Drizzle EVOO
1 Tbsp. Montreal steak seasoning
Season with garlic and Lawry's
(make two)

Thaw and grill. These are thin so they cook up fast.

Brown Sugar Salmon
3 Tbsp. Brown sugar
3 Tbsp. Olive oil
3 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. Garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste (I use about 1 tsp. of each)
(make two)

Thaw and bake. About 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Simple Spaghetti & Meatballs

1 jar prepared marinara
1 bag meatballs
(make two)

8 hours on low. Serve with spaghetti noodles.

And there you go! 24 meals, less than $145, and in less than 90 minutes. {Also, please note: I am not a photographer. I take these pictures on my cell phone with poor lighting but hopefully they can give you an idea of what to expect.}

Monday, February 15, 2016


Weeks along: 16

 Baby Size: Large Avocado

Biggest Craving This Week: Meat, tangerines, and cheese & crackers

Morning sickness: I haven't gotten sick in a couple of days so I may have just turned a corner - woop! Still nauseous here and there though.

Other Symptoms: Tired and cranky.

Exercise: Still jogging a little and going to my weekly kickboxing class.

New This Week: Definitely feeling movement. I've been feeling flutters in the middle of the night for a few weeks now (like crazy early, I know) but now they are more consistent and they are still my favorite.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Weeks along: 15

 Baby Size: Apple

Biggest Craving This Week: Pasta Salad and Hamburgers

Morning sickness: Still throwing up most mornings. I don't even know - ready for it to be over.

Other Symptoms: Same - headaches, tired, hungry, crampy.

Currently Reading: Sweet Ember by Barbara Delinsky

Exercise: Still jogging a little and going to my weekly kickboxing class.

New This Week: We bought a van! Woop! And I love it...seriously. I just want to drive places all the time. There is so much space and function and it drives so smooth - I love it! It only took one day to get dirty though. I took the kids to the beach and park and by the end of 24 hours, it had fruit snack wrappers and sand everywhere. Also, Isaiah turned 5 this week and as if on cue, he started saying things like, "That's SICK!" (the good kind) and "Dude" and "Whatever, man." Back atcha buddy - whatever, man.
They see me Rollin'...

Friday, February 5, 2016

My Go-To Pasta Salad Recipe

I'm a fan of pasta salad. It's great to make early in the week and have ready to go for lunches all week, it's the perfect side for a BBQ or potluck, and it's easy, fresh and healthy. This is my go-to recipe for pasta salad. I make several variations but this is the basic one, and we love it.

Ingredients |
1 box tricolored rotini
1 bottle Greek Vinaigrette or Zesty Italian
1/2 Feta cheese
1/2 diced cucumber
1 can sliced olives
1 can black beans
1 small container of halfed cherry tomatoes
1 sliced and halved smoked sausage link
(Other things to be added or substituted: kidney or garbanzo beans, green olives, red onion, cubed cheddar cheese, etc.)

Cook the pasta, strain and let cool. Mix all ingredients together and add about 1/3 of the bottle of dressing. Refrigerate for at least two hours to cool and let the ingredients soak up the flavor. Give it a toss and add a little more dressing if needed.


Monday, February 1, 2016


Weeks along: 14

Baby Size: Lemon (though, Isaiah said my stomach is the size of a watermelon. Thanks bud.)

Biggest Craving This Week: Blue Gatorade, watermelon, steak, and this sausage bake (which includes a lot of things that just taste so good to me right now - meat, sweet potatoes, potatoes and broccoli.)

Morning sickness: This week I started throwing up AFTER I ate my morning toast so I gave that up and have been doing so much better. Woop!

Other Symptoms: Headaches and tirrrrred and hungry. So hungry. Maci decided it was a good idea to wake me up in the middle of the night the other night to tell me she had a stuffy nose. After I she went back to bed, I couldn't sleep because I was so hungry. I got out of bed around 3 and ate goldfish in the pantry. So not ready for these midnight snacks. Also, my skin is breaking out all the time. Pregnancy really isn't my friend. It's a complete out of body experience for me. Nothing behaves the way it's supposed to - my skin, my body, my brain, nothing. Every pregnancy for me,  the biggest thing they've all had in common is that I just don't feel like myself. Just being honest!

Currently Reading: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Exercise: Still jogging a little and going to my weekly kickboxing class.

New This Week: I found out I'm low iron this pregnancy. I've never had low iron but I guess it explains my meaty cravings. I see my doctor on Wednesday - we'll see what she suggests.

14 Week Check-Up Update:
Heartbeat: 153 BPM
Weight Gain: 3 lbs.
20 Week Ultrasound: March 14th!!
Iron: It was flagged for low but it is not low enough to need an additional supplement. In fact, it was most likely low because I had my blood drawn when I could hardly eat anything, let alone take my pre-natal in the mornings.

Smoked Sausage & Potato Bake

This is one of my favorite meals to make for our family and for friends that have just had babies, etc. It's easy and inexpensive to throw together, kids will eat it no problem (smoked sausage resembles hotdogs for those with super picky eaters), it's packed with veggies and protein, and, this might be the best part, it only takes one dish to make.

Ingredients |
5-6 red potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
1 package smoked sausage (I usually buy Hillshire)
1/2 bag of frozen broccoli florets
1 green pepper
2-3 handfuls of Brussel sprouts
Rubbed Sage
Salt & Pepper
Garlic Powder

First prep your veggies: cube potatoes, chop peppers, half Brussel sprouts, and slice smoked sausage. The great thing about this dish is you can use any vegetables that you have or like - zucchinis, onions, butternut squash, asparagus, anything really. The above ingredients are just what I used most recently (though, I'll admit I'm the only one in my family that likes Brussel sprouts. Sad face.)

Once everything is chopped and prepped, lay on a baking sheet, drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with rubbed sage, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper. You can also change out the herbs for this - oregano and basil are two of my other favorites. With your hands mix everything together to make sure everything is coated with EVOO and herbs.

In a 400 degree oven, bake for 45-50 minutes are until the potatoes are cooked through and everything has a good crunch. I like to eat mine with BBQ sauce because I'm addicted to sauce.