Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!  I hope you've had a great week.  We did some fun Valentine's Day crafts, ran some errands, did some house hunting and are looking forward to a fun weekend at home.  No big plans and lots of relaxing.  I got a much better report from the doctor this week saying my blood pressure looked much better and baby boy is doing GREAT!  Don't have to go back for two weeks.  Hooray!

My favorite parts of the week were:

// 1 //
I got a sweet Valentine's Day care package in the mail this week.
These cookies were amazing!!  Now I'm motivated to start working on making our valentines for friends and family.  I also picked up some Valentine's Day sprinkles so I'm ready to make some cute desserts.  I'm having trouble finding the Valentine's Day Funfetti - have you seen it anywhere this season??

// 2 //
I've been lucky enough to collaborate with Marley Lilly for two years in a row and love their personalized products.  They've got tons of jewelry and accessories to choose from.  I'd like one of everything they sell and they have great sales throughout the year.  They sent me this monogrammed gold pearl necklace and it's so sweet!  I love the dainty necklace with my monogram and really loved stacking it with two of my other favorite gold necklaces.  It's perfect for layering and so classic with that pearl charm.  You can order it in silver or gold and I bet anyone would love getting this for a gift.
clear stone necklace - Dillards

// 3 //
My sister sent me some ADORABLE boy moccasins for Fletcher.  I can't wait to have him wear them.  His big sister wore some adorable gold bow moccasins when she was a baby, but they aren't really gender neutral so it's nice to have a boy option for him.  Aren't they cute?!?!  I haven't bought any shoes for our little guy so it was fun to get a pair in the mail.

// 4 //
My Dad came up for a quick day trip to help us with some house hunting this week.  He did all the things that Dad's are supposed to do... ask questions, poke his head down into the crawl space, look at the foundation and look over our list of potential projects.  It was a really productive day and we made him some cookies to say thank you for his help.  Olive was thrilled to have him around and skipped her nap to watch out the window for him to arrive.

// 5 //
We met some friends at a local bounce house facility and Olive climbed, jumped and played for a few hours.  It was so fun to see her being brave and figuring out how to climb to the top of things.  She's not afraid of anything and that kind of makes me afraid.  I enjoyed visiting with the other moms and she had a good time with her friends so I'd call it a win-win for both of us.  Note: this is the only time where I can convince her to wear socks and she insists on taking them off as soon as she's done bouncing.  Oh toddlers...

Be sure and check out my favorite posts from this week if you haven't already read them:
 
My best recipes from January including this delicious salsa dip

with tons of delicious recipes and fun crafts to do with kids

I hope you have a WONDERFUL weekend!!
Do you have any fun plans??

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Baby BOY Weeks 25-28

Here's my monthly baby update for weeks 25-28:

Week 25 – cauliflower – December 28:
Kevin told me this week that he’d be perfectly fine if I stayed this pregnant for the rest of my life.  He claims I look cute and the baby bump suites me.  He’s sweet, but no thank you.  He’s also good for my self esteem since pregnancy is kind of rough on that.

We enjoyed a low key week at home and watched tons of college football bowl games.  It’s always bittersweet when it comes to this point in the season since we enjoy football filled weekends so much.

I had a routine doctor’s visit that included my glucose test.  Here’s to hoping I pass it with flying colors and baby and I get a great report.  I always love going to my doctor’s appointments because A. my doctor is the nicest and B. I get to have an ultrasound and check on our little guy.  My blood pressure was lower than normal (high for the average person, but good for me), good amniotic fluid levels, strong heart beat and an overall great report.  Check back in 3 weeks.

Week 26 – head of lettuce - January 4, 2016:
Middle of the night Charlie horses have started.  I also seem to be STARVING 24/7.  Nothing fills me up for very long and I feel like eating all day long.  I woke up in the middle of the night and had to go get a granola bar.  Baby must be growing.

Baby boy is moving more and more.  He’s kicking and rolling around all day long.  Olive continues to give me daily check ups announcing that the baby is “Doin great mama!”  We made Fletcher's name official and shared it with everyone this week.

We lined up things with Olive’s pediatrician so she’d see little brother in the Spring so that was nice to get that taken care of.  We house hunted and are hoping to find a great home to move into later this Spring/early summer.  Also, house hunting/looking with your realtor + your toddler is exhausting.  I almost always take a nap afterwards :)

Week 27 – rutabaga – January 11:
My cravings have all switched from meats and comfort food to SWEETS AND CARBS.  I’ve been eating lots of fruit, carbs, ice cream and lots of cereal – just like I craved with Olive.  Picking up after a toddler is getting harder so we’re working on teaching Olive to do more of this herself.  She loves to help so it’s a good task for her.  I find myself grunting and groaning doing tasks like bending over and putting on my shoes or pants.

Fletcher is moving, kicking and stretching out like crazy this week.  My belly changes shape all throughout the day.  I’m carrying much lower than I did with Olive at this point.  She was up high poking my ribs until the very end.  Baby boy is much lower and someone told me that they thought my belly was already dropping.  Seems a little early for that, but he’s definitely hanging out low.  I’ve caught a few glimpses of my belly hanging out of my shirts so I need to retire those and only wear my longer shirts from now on.

Olive pats my belly as says hello baby.  When I rock her for her nap or at night she says I snuggle baby Fletcher and will use my belly as a pillow.  Guess she’s making lemonade out of lemons since my lap is shrinking as my belly is growing.  Sometimes I’ll say that baby brother is in my belly and her response is no mama no eat baby.  I guess that would be a little confusing.  We're also talking a lot about this big sister business.

I ordered the first things for Fletcher’s nursery this week.  We’ve decided on a theme and are looking forward to pulling it all together.  Baby boy bedding options are slim pickings so it forced me to get creative and pull together my favorite things from several different places.



Week 28 – egg plant – January 18:
Hello 3rd trimester!!  What an exciting milestone.  The last 28 weeks have flown by and it’s hard for me to believe we will have a new baby in 11 weeks.  I don’t feel too anxious about Fletcher’s arrival, but I do find myself reliving Olive’s birth and wondering how his will compare to hers.  They always say every baby and birth is different, but it’s nice that this isn’t my first rodeo.  Any anxiety that I do feel usually revolves around Olive and how she’ll deal with us being at the hospital for a few days, having someone other than us taking care of her and having her routine disrupted.  It seems common for 2nd time parents to worry about the adjustment/transition for their first borns.  Most days I don't stress about it a bit and am excited to see her as a big sister, but occasionally I worry that she will not appreciate having to share us.

I’m craving cereal, ice cream and candy.  My skin has been feeling itchy which means baby must be growing.  I’m sleepier than usual and not sleeping great at night. Olive has been waking up during the night which never happens so we’re all getting a good dose of sleep deprivation prep.  

Fletcher seems to already be more mellow and calmer than Olive was so it'll be fun to see if that's true once he gets here.  He moves most when I'm sitting still or in the evenings.  He's been doing some crazy acrobatics and I regularly see my stomach changing shapes.


My hands have been feeling tingly and I’ve noticed myself feeling clumsier than usual dropping things or tripping.  My routine doctor’s visit this week landed me in the labor and delivery unit for blood pressure & baby monitoring this week.  I took Olive along for my appointment and my blood pressure was really high.  It always runs high during my pregnancies, but it had gotten high even for me so my doctor thought it was best that I go in for some more tests.  I called Kevin to come to my rescue, asked him to come home and stay with Olive and then I headed into the hospital.  I felt fine and baby got a great report (growing, healthy and looking great), but it’s always nerve wracking to go in for monitoring.  Four hours, blood work and monitoring later, I got discharged with a good report.  My blood pressure had calmed down significantly, baby was looking great and I go back later this week to see my doctor.  I’m going to try to take it easier (while taking care of a toddler haha...), monitor my blood pressure from home and hope we can keep chugging along for several more weeks.

We got about 4 inches of snow this week and enjoyed playing out in it.  It was really powdery and reminded me of the snow we used to get when we lived in Utah.  I can’t wait for Olive and Fletcher to be big enough to play together in the snow.


Pregnancy with Olive
Weeks 23-26
Weeks 27-30

I'm currently in my 29th week 
and it's crazy to think that we've got at most 11 weeks left before Fletcher makes his big debut.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What I Wore Wednesday: Maternity Faves

My maternity wardrobe the 2nd time around has consisted of nearly everything from my 1st pregnancy and just a few new items.  I'm pregnant at the exact same time of year as my first so I consider myself lucky to get to wear my maternity clothes twice.  I do my best to mix maternity and non-maternity items for as long as possible which is easier to do with tops than bottoms.  I stick with basic maternity pants, stretchy maternity tops and then accessorize with fun cardigans, capes, scarves and jewelry.

Here are a few outfits that have been on repeat lately 
with some of my very favorite items at 29 weeks:

// 1 //
Non-Maternity Cardigans are on repeat at my house! 
I LOVE these jeans and these gray booties.
cardi - Kohls (NEW)
ruby scarf - Limited
top - Motherhood tank (NEW)
jeans - Indigo Blue Motherhood (NEW)
booties - Meijer
bow earrings - Kate Spade

 // 2 //
Loving capes since they allow room for the growing bump.
cape - Kohls (NEW)
turtleneck - Motherhood
gold earrings - Kohls
black pants - Secret Fit Skinny Pants Motherhood (NEW)
leopard flats - GAP

 // 3 //
Lace top - Motherhood
bow earrings - Kate Spade
 black pants - Secret Fit Skinny Pants Motherhood (NEW)
Olive's wearing a Southern Tots dress

Thanks for stopping by my blog!!
 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday Talk: Valentine's Day FUN

I searched through my archives to pick out my favorite Valentine's Day ideas for you today.

V-day is just a few weeks away and we always enjoy heart/love/valentine themed things during the whole month of February.  I've got lots of yummy treats and fun ideas for you to do in the coming weeks with your family and friends.  I just love the holidays so I am planning to try a few new recipes, toddler friendly crafts & activities and a few special things for my husband.  I'll keep you posted if I find anything really great.

My FAVORITE ways to celebrate Valentine's Day: 


BABY LOVE ART
Is there anything cuter than a tiny baby doing art projects?!?!




I just made my usual recipe and reshaped the rolls into hearts.
 
These were so easy and made for great neighbor gifts last year!
Everyone loved them and I really should make them again.
 

My regular recipe is linked and I just added a bit of pink food coloring to the dough
 

I just made our favorite cake and then topped it with tons of hearts!
You could easily do this with cupcakes too.


What types of Valentine's Day treats
do you enjoy eating or baking??

I'm linking up with Too Cute Tuesday
Foodie for a Year,

It's time to link up with my favorite Tuesday Talk ladies again this week!
Join us with your best post of the week.
Be sure to hop around and read some other great bloggers.

The most clicked on post of the week was from
Holly @ I Will Serve While I Wait
Can the Kon Mari Method of Tidying Really Change Your Life?
It's a great read!
 Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Michelle at Grammie Time | Pinterest | Instagram 

Polka-Dotty Place

Monday, January 25, 2016

Recipe Round Up: January

I'm so excited to share my best recipes with you from this month.  I mentioned on Friday that I worked really hard this month to plan delicious meals for dinner, eat leftovers for lunch and to try a mix of old & new recipes.  It was a great success and we ate well all month.  I picked six of my very favorite recipes to share with you today.  It was great to cook big dinners and eat left overs for lunch all month.  It made lunch prep so easy for me.

Hope you find a new recipe or two you'd like to add to your menu:

BAKED SPAGHETTI
 My husband is not a fan of pasta dishes and rarely requests them.  I, however, could eat pasta for every meal.  So this dish is our compromise.  We both love it and it's soooo easy to make.

1/2 box angel hair pasta cooked
1 lb ground chuck browned
(with chopped yellow onion, grated garlic, salt & pepper)
 1 large jar of your favorite pasta sauce
1 2 cup bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
6-10 slices swiss cheese

Put the half of the cooked pasta in a greased casserole dish, stir in half of the cooked ground beef mixture.  Stir together until well combined and spread out in the dish.  Pour in about a cup of pasta sauce and spread around.  Add in the layer of swiss cheese slices.
Repeat the noodle/meat/sauce mixture one more time and put on top of the sliced cheese.

Top whole thing with shredded mozzarella.
Bake at 375 until cheese is fully melted and then turn on the broil feature for 1-2 minutes to put a crisp on the cheese.  Heat the remaining pasta sauce on the stove and add a little more to the servings as you dish them up.  It's easiest if you use a sharp knife and cut this like you would lasagna.

This recipes easily serves 6-8 people and is delicious left over.
We ate ours with strawberries and green beans.



CHICKEN SUMMER SALAD
(recipes serves two dinner sized salads)
bed of your favorite greens
2 cups bite sized strawberries
1 can drained mandarin oranges
1 can shredded chicken coated in poppy seed dressing
handful of almond slivers for each salad

 This salad takes likes summer and brightens up dinner anytime you eat it!!


QUESADILLA EXPLOSION SALAD
(a knock off from the salad at Chilis)

Finely chop and combine the following ingredients several hours before serving the salad:
SALSA INGREDIENTS:
1 green pepper
1 handful of little red/yellow/orange sweet peppers
1 drained can yellow sweet corn
1 drained can white corn
2 drained cans black beans
1/2 purple onion
3/4 cup finely chopped purple cabbage
1/2-3/4 cup Zesty Lime Vinaigrette

Side note:
This salsa makes a delicious dip all by itself and we ate it for lunch several days.

Bake the chicken for the salad.
I love the frozen, boneless, skinless, THIN chicken breasts from Kroger
(cook one per person or you could do 4 and have the chicken ready for two dinners in a row)
I put them in a baking dish frozen.
Sprinkled them with Ortega taco seasoning on both sides and then olive oil.
Baked for 45-60 minutes covered with foil for 30 or so of those minutes.
Then sliced them into bite sized pieces.

 Assemble the salad:
a bed of your favorite mixed greens
many generous spoonfuls of salsa
add cooked chicken
sprinkle on thick shredded cheese
crumble some tortilla chips on top for a little crunch
drizzle with an Asian Sesame dressing and/or a tiny bit of ranch

Serve with cheese quesadilla slices on the side.
It's one of my very favorite salads and isn't it so pretty :)


CHICKEN & RICE COMFORT FOOD 
My mom used to make this for dinner regularly when I was little.  We tease her that we used to eat it once a week.  It's tasty, easy and is the perfect comfort food when it's cold.

1 chicken breast per person
1 box of Rice-a-roni chicken rice
1 can of chicken broth
salt and pepper
cheddar cheese to top each chicken breast
recipe serves 4-5

Grease a 9x13 pan
add in the rice & flavor packet
pour the chicken broth over the rice
top with chicken breast (I usually just use frozen, boneless, skinless ones)
sprinkle salt and pepper on each chicken breast
Cover whole dish with foil and bake for one hour.

Remove the foil, sprinkle on the cheese and return it to the oven to melt it for 4-5 minutes.
Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.
The leftovers are delicious and make great lunches.

 
EASY CHICKEN STIR FRY 
Kevin picked up this Thai Basil stir fry sauce on clearance so I was anxious to find a recipe to use it on.  I probably would never buy a sauce like this so it's good that he's more of an adventurous eater than I am.  We loved it and it made my stir fry prep so easy!

1 bag Deluxe Asian frozen veggies
1 cup edamame
1 can shredded chicken
1-1 1/2 cups of stir fry sauce
2 bags of boil in a bag white rice

Cook the veggies and chicken together on the stove top and add the sauce.
Cook the rice and then serve.
It comes together really quickly and was so good.
We ate ours with a side of fresh pineapple and the leftovers were good too.


 PEANUT BUTTER GREEK YOGURT SNACK DIP
1 - 5oz container vanilla greek yogurt
3 T your favorite peanut butter
small handful of mini chocolate chips
Dippers - apple slices & pretzel sticks 
Mix the greek yogurt and the peanut butter together until well blended.  
Add in the chocolate chips and start dipping! 
Makes 3-4 servings.


I'm teaming up with
&
 in a RECIPE ROUND UP of our best meals of the month.
Head over to their blogs to see what delicious meals they've been preparing.

We've also started a Pinterest Board called
New Recipes We've Tried and Loved!
Be sure to check it out and get some great ideas for meals at your house.

What's the best recipe you made this month??
Leave a comment below with a link to it 
because I'm always on the hunt for new recipes.