Friday, February 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes

All you need to know is that I am typing this while perched on a yoga ball. We'll get to that in a second...
1. Thank You : Last Friday I thanked you for your prayers regarding Ben's travels to Virginia. This week I am thanking you for the prayers you offered that helped us get the job! That is right, folks - my incredible husband accepted an offer to be a full-time professor at Christendom College! He will be teaching English Literature and I have no doubt that he is going to do nothing but impress!

2. Virginia :  The plan is to move sometime this Summer. We will be relocating from South Bend/Mishawaka, Indiana to Front Royal, VA, which is nestled in the gorgeous Shenandoah Valley. Below is one of the first pictures that popped up when I googled "Front Royal, VA"

I have no idea what the Blue Ridge Mountains meet....

It isn't an area known for epic shopping malls and a swingin' nightlife but Ben and I have never really needed those kinds of things. Don't get me wrong - I love to get my shop on! I'm pretty sure that I will find a way to survive, however. One of many fun things about where we will be moving to is that when I was quite a bit younger I randomly decided that Virginia was the state I was going to raise a family in. Period. I was very vocal about this. I don't know why it was Virginia over North Carolina or Georgia or Pennsylvania, but it was. I guess God took this under consideration. 

3. Buy vs. Rent : Ben and I are having a blast looking at real estate in the Front Royal area and dreaming about what the future might bring. There is a lot of time before we have to decide between buying or renting and right now we are just gathering facts and information, but needless to say it is an exciting time in our lives!

4. Baby : Speaking of exciting times, I have no news whatsoever to report on the baby Leo front. This is why I am writing this post whilst sitting on an exercise ball. Is it comfortable? Sure, at first. But after a few hours there is a definite part of me that would love to do this --


I am basically out of "natural induction" methods. Not that I've minded trying them out (minus castor oil - never doing that). Last night Ben and I got take out from a delicious Asian restaurant around the corner and I got Hot Hot Beef Pad Thai (one scoop short of their "Insanely Hot") and that was awesome! I had an ultrasound at my doctor's office today to make sure that everything is alright and of course everything is. Still, if I do not go into labor all by myself by Tuesday evening my doctor is having me to into the hospital at 6:00 PM to be induced. This wouldn't be so bad except for I literally get texts, emails, and phone calls about every hour asking if I had the baby yet. I am the worst secret keeper of all time so how ANYONE thinks I could go into labor and not go nuts with texting, calling, and internet posting is beyond me. Oh well. No, I have not had the baby. Yes, I realize I'm overdue. Yes, I realize I look "ready to pop." Yes, I have taken to leaving my phone in rooms where I am not. And yes, I do appreciate the fact that people care and are interested and I am not trying to come across like a complete tool.

5. Posture : Using the exercise ball may not have helped me go into labor but it has made it abundantly clear that my posture needs some improving. If there were a mirror in the office I am sure it would show me sitting something like this

6. Cooking : I was planning on making pan-fried chicken tonight for dinner. It is the easiest thing ever and requires almost no effort. But I got a little carried away and by the time dinner was ready it was herb chicken with sauteed onions and carrots and a savory broth. Normally my culinary experiments are disastrous so this was a pleasant surprise (particularly those carrots!). Who knows - maybe my Monday experiments are having an actual positive effect!

7. Lent : Obviously we all know that Lent began last week. Because I will have to return to a mostly grain-free and sugar-free diet once baby Leo is born, I had basically decided that I was not going to give up anything for Lent. I would try to introduce more prayer and reading of scripture but that was it. Well, after a conversation with my wonderful and pious husband I realized this was not going to fly. I am not going to give up desserts (I am only supposed to have one per week anyway). So I have given up my Caffeine Free Diet Coke. I did not realize how much I looked forward to these guys until Ash Wednesday. God knows there are a lot of others who have done and are doing a great deal more than me. Oh well - it's a start! 

Please keep our little family in your prayers! One way or another this time next week we will finally be able to hold baby Leo in our arms! 
Enjoy your weekend and make sure you start it off right by heading over and checking out Jen and the other fabulous Quick Takers

~ Happy Friday ~

Monday, February 18, 2013

Barefoot in the Kitchen (Vol. 3)

Welcome to the third post of Barefoot in the Kitchen!
Quick Reminder
If you feel like joining in then please go ahead and click the bottom at the bottom of the post, add your link, and don't forget to post a link back here in your post! If you don't have anything ready today then no worries - you have all the way until the following Monday to take part! There are no recipe restrictions so whether you made the most amazing dessert anyone ever tasted or one of the worst flops of a side dish that has come into existence I would love to hear about it! 
This past week resulted in three recipes that I could have posted about today, but sadly I only took pictures for one of them. If you feel like checking out the other two just click here and check out #6 and #7. As you will soon see the number of pictures I took this week is slightly obscene and demonstrate a complete lack of self control. I am ashamed.....

Easy Taco Pie
Prep Time : 15 minutes

Cook Time : 25 – 30 minutes

Servings : 6

Ingredients :
  • 1 lb ground beef (we used less)
  • 1 package taco seasoning (we used less due to amount of ground beef used)
  • 1 small can of green chilies (our addition – not in original recipe)
  • 1 – 2 peppers, diced (our addition – not in original recipe)
  • 1 package refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 cup sour cream (recommend using much less – at most ½ cup)
  • 1 cup salsa, drained slightly (we only used On the Border salsa – great flavor and texture and if there's vinegar in it you can't taste it at all!)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheese (we used a combination of sharp cheddar and pepper-jack)

Not Pictured : Green Chilies

Step 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a large deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray (you really could use whatever type of dish you prefer – they're just being difficult because of the recipe name).

Step 2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break ground beef into small pieces and add to hot skillet; cook and stir until the beef is crumbly and no longer pink. Because we wanted a bit more flavor and zing we added the diced peppers in when the meat was about halfway done. 
Step 3. Drain and discard any excess green. Add green chilies and taco seasoning. 

Step 4. Press crescent roll dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread refried beans in an even layer onto the dough. Spread sour cream into a layer atop the refried beans. Sprinkle ground beef mixture evenly over the sour cream; top with salsa and shredded cheese.

Using a glass pie dish helped with determining
when the dough was fully cooked (cheese melts fast and isn't a good indicator)

Ok, we get it, Hannah.....

NOTE : Too much sour cream!!!

Seriously, you're still photographing?

.....You have a problem......

Step 5. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and bubbly and the crust has browned (25 – 30 minutes)

END RESULT (at last)

Verdict : Qualified Success. Despite adding the peppers, chilies, and pepper-jack cheese the flavor seemed to be lacking a bit. As mentioned in the ingredients section, I suspect that using a full cup of sour cream was too much and affected the flavor negatively. I would not omit it entirely but definitely cut down on it in the future. Ben and I found that crushing tortilla chips and sprinkling them on top of the food made for a big improvement. 

Hope you enjoyed this week's recipe and I cannot wait to see yours! Also, Leo's due date was yesterday and it looks like he has selected the "Extended Stay" option. Oh goodie! 

~ Happy Monday ~


Sunday, February 17, 2013

What I Wore Sunday (Vol. 7)

Today is Leo's Official Due Date, folks! And so far there has been no action to report. Since it is my first pregnancy I am not surprised by this and accept the fact that it could be a solid 5 - 7 days from now before he decides that he is ready for his debut. I accept this fact in the vague theoretical way that you accept that eating two dozen cookies will most-likely result in you gaining some weight. The lack of full acceptance comes in where I feel as big as a house and cannot truly fit into any of my maternity clothes and feel awkward going out in public.

Why am I rambling about all this? Because taking part in What I Wore Sunday is becoming a little more difficult wardrobe-wise so I want you to understand that if I have worn this outfit before and posted it I am letting myself off the hook entirely! For those of you who are pregnant or have been pregnant before I have no doubt that you will allow me this indulgence......

Like the Who-hair? Hairspray never stood a chance

Clearly brand spankin' new

Gigantic earrings worn in an effort to offset Who-hair

Details, details...

Purple Shirt : Charlotte Russe (back when they made clothing you could actually wear)
Undershirt : Charlotte Russe (purple shirt impossible without said undershirt - I am sure you wanted to know)
Pants : Macy's/Motherhood Maternity
Shoes : TJ Maxx
Earrings : Forever 21

It is my sincere hope that I will be unable to link-up up with the amazing folks at Fine Linen and Purple next Sunday because I will be overwhelmed by the first few days post-delivery. If not, at least I have something to look forward to =)

Please remember to stop by Monday and check out/join in on my weekly recipe link-up!  

~ Happy Sunday ~

Friday, February 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes

In lieu of an opening paragraph.......

I heard somebody mention 7 Quick Takes....

1. Thank You : Because of your incredible prayers our little family survived a very stressful few days so THANK YOU! Ben left early Sunday morning for Virginia and returned Tuesday night - he had good weather, a smooth (albeit long) drive, and a wonderful time down there! Kiddo was an absolute gem and did nothing more than move (a lot). And so we managed to survive the absence of both Ben and my doctor for a few days without going into labor or having a nervous breakdown!

2. Husband : It is hard to believe how long three days can feel. It was just two summers ago that Ben, my fiance at the time, left for England and was gone for a handful of weeks. While his absence was very unpleasant we were able to Skype every day for at least a little bit and we had daily letters to look forward to (because we both thought of the exact same surprise for each other without consulting each other). Those weeks felt like a long time but were survivable and the days went by fairly quickly. A mere two years later I find that three days is just absurd and doing things like taking naps and vacuuming/cleaning multiple times a day just so the time can go by more quickly. And unlike England we had the chance to talk on the phone for much longer periods of time and exchange texts throughout the day. It looks like I have developed a Ben addiction....

3.  "Oh, I can't do this" : This is the thought that runs through my head a few dozen times a day as the due date gets closer and closer (and closer....). Yes, baby Leo is due this upcoming Sunday (February 17) and despite counseling pregnant women for a few years and doing a fair bit of reading, watching videos, and observing I feel absolutely unprepared for the adventure that awaits me! The funny thing is that the labor and delivery are not the things that freak me out the most (probably absolutely because I have not experienced them yet) but things like, oh, I dunno, MOTHERHOOD! I have been surrounded by great examples of motherhood my whole life and have had the privilege of being around my amazing sister-in-law over the past few years, but I am not them and they are not me. All I can say is that I hope God knows what He is doing (good batting average in general, I'll admit) and that He can provide Ben and me with the grace and virtues we will need to raise this precious soul with the love and care he deserves. Your prayers certainly will not hurt :)

4. Due Date : It occurred to me yesterday that Ben and I (and all you wonderful folks!) had spent the past few weeks praying hard that Leo would not make an early debut and would stay put. Now that we have made it past the "Don't Even Think About It, Kiddo!" phase I am hoping that he hasn't gotten it into his head that he ought to stay put, well, indefinitely. I was talking with a friend of mine on the phone the other day and she asked me how I feel about the possibility of being induced. Simply put, no thank you. While I am totally fine with the option of epidurals and pain medications in labor and delivery (yes, I'm evil and clearly do not love my baby enough) it is my strong preference that the whole process go as naturally as possible. So I guess it's time to switch prayer tactics and start giving Leo pep talks on birth. 

5. Recipes : I stumbled upon two delicious recipes this week and they would have made for a great Monday post but I had another recipe in mind for that and so I did not take any pictures. As a result I will share a link to one of them here; the other is my own concoction so no link need to be involved. 

6. "Maryanne's Cornbread" : I have an unreasonable dislike of 9x13 pans and an absurd preference for 8x8 pans and so I got it into my head that I would scale down the recipe to accommodate myself. That is one of the things that I love about All Recipes - easy scaling up or down for your "needs"! Well, scaling that sucker in half resulted in absurd measurements (why in the heck are you supposed to use 1 1/2 eggs?) so I increased the servings to 8 and it gave me what I needed. If you feel like a good laugh you should check out what that recipe looks like when it is scaled down for 8 servings. My favorite has to be the measurements for milk. Anyways, ridiculous as it was the recipe worked out splendidly and I definitely recommend it :)

7. Weirdest Pancakes Ever : I was bored and/or lazy during lunch yesterday and got it into my head that I wanted eggs and cornbread but not separately. So I mixed two eggs together with a slice of the cornbread and added a slice of Jalapeno White Cheddar cheese and pan-fried it. Um, I know that it impossible that I am the first person to combine these ingredients but good grief, I felt like Einstein as I ate that lunch! It was like some sort of Brunch Nirvana. The cheese was mild enough and cornbread sweet enough that it is one of the few foods out there that you could have with either syrup or salsa (though not both). Anyways, if you ever find yourself with leftover cornbread and eggs do yourself a favor and try it out - I do not think you will be disappointed! 

I hope you enjoy your well-deserved weekend and start it off right by heading over and checking out Jen and the other fabulous Quick Takers

~ Happy Friday ~

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What I Wore Sunday (Vol. 6)

Technically this post should be called "What I Wore to Vigil Mass", but if I had done that then I would have to miss out on the continuity and not be able to add "Vol. 6" to the post title and that was all just a bit too much to sacrifice. Yes, based on that sentence alone you probably have a good idea how well I do during the Lenten season!

I do not prefer attending vigils (excepting Easter and Christmas) but in order for Ben and me to be able to attend mass together we had no other choice, on account of him having to leave bright and early Sunday morning for his big interview. There seems to have been some sort of conspiracy at St. Matthew's today involving pacing : The lector took pauses every few words for dramatic effect, the cantor did not seem to grasp the difference between quarter notes and whole notes, the (very sweet) priest saying mass is foreign, older, and quiet and so that combination alone made things quite a bit tedious, and finally there was the couple who were there to pitch the Spring Marriage Encounter weekend and found a way to make that last for over five minutes (Note : The key to a good pitch is to have good, interesting information that you can relay concisely).

I suppose I was more annoyed affected by these factors because I was (a) hungry and more importantly (b) experiencing real contractions for the first time this pregnancy. Yes, that's right - the night before my husband and my doctor are set to go out of town for a few days is when those bad boys hit. They lasted a few hours after mass but quickly died down after I ate something (Panda Express - because you care) and drank a LOT of water! Here is hoping (and praying!) that they do not return until Wednesday morning at the earliest!

What's that you say? Will I stop my complaining and meandering and actually reveal what I wore? Why certainly!!!

38 Weeks 6 Days



 The Deets....

Shirt : Banana Republic (i.e. eBay, because I can't even afford their socks)
Jacket : Calvin Klein/Macy's
Pants : Motherhood Maternity/Macy's
Shoes : Target (from every WIWS post ever)
Necklace : Gift from my amazing sister-in-law
Earrings : Etsy

Thanks for stopping by and if you could please keep our little family in your prayers - it has the potential to be a very big week for us! Also, remember to stop by Monday and check out/join in on the latest post in my weekly recipe series

Don't forget to head over to check out all of the lovely ladies (and gents) at Fine Linen and Purple!

~ Happy Sunday ~

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Barefoot in the Kitchen (Vol. 1)

Welcome to the first post of Barefoot in the Kitchen!

The title is brought to you by my clever mother and humorous husband. The latter happens to be a much better chef than me at the moment but who knows, maybe this blogging experiment might help even things out! Speaking of which....

The purpose of this series is rather simple - every week I find a new recipe, try it, and blog about it the following Monday. The recipe can be a main dish, side dish, baked good, appetizer/snack, dessert, etc. It does not have to have been a success (failures and cautionary tales are fair game!), just an exercise in homemaking. You see, if left to my own devices I would simply pan-fry chicken with a bit of salt, butter, and basil (favorite spice, hands down) every night, microwave a frozen vegetable, and boil some rice or pasta if I were feeling EXTRA domestic! That or Spaghetti. Seriously, I could live off of that stuff! Anyways, my husband deserves better and my soon-to-be-born son does as well and now that I am no longer working I actually have no excuse!

If you feel like joining in then please go ahead and post a link in the comments section and, if you'd be so kind, a link somewhere in your posting leading back to this page. If I were a more sophisticated or learned blogger I would know how to do the actual Link-Ups like the lovely Jen or the fun folks over at Fine Linen and Purple but alas, I am as much an amateur at blogging as I am to homemaking! 

So, without any further ado, I give you.......

NOTE : Sadly, in my desire to get my Iron Chef on I forgot to take the time to snap photos of the cooking process. The pictures below are provided by the site where I found the recipe (see link above). I hope to do better in the future!!!

Prep Time : 10 minutes (except not really because I cannot prep the ingredients that quickly)

Cook Time : 50 minutes

Servings : 4 (I scaled the recipe down to accommodate just Ben and me)

Ingredients :
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 cups vegetables - chopped carrots, corn, peas, etc. (I used frozen corn only)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones)
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (despite halving the recipe I did use more than 1 t)
  • Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice (Basil!!!!!)
Steps :

1 Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).

2 While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick) in large frying pan.

3 Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat (10 mins). Even if the recipe had called for raw onions I would have sauteed them because my husband does not like them any other way. If you decide to add vegetables, add them according to how much cooking time they will need. Put any carrots in with the onions. Add corn or peas either at the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat has initially cooked.

My onions are a bit more buttery....
Memo to Self : Google "How to Photograph Food"

4 Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink (unless you like food poisoning). Add salt and pepper (and basil!). Add worcesterchire sauce. Add half a cup of beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth as necessary to keep moist.

5 Mash potatoes in bowl with remainder of butter, season to taste. I added Parmesan cheese and some Garlic powder because I couldn't help myself.

If cooking for two, an 8x8 works perfectly
Why do their mashed potatoes look like rice?

6 Place beef and onions in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. I apparently don't know how to use a fork properly because it took me a few minutes to finally achieve the "peaked" look. Oh well.

7 Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown.

Because I am completely uncultured I used ketchup and honey mustard and it was marvelous! Ben is never negative about my cooking (poor man really is a saint in the making) but due to his more laid back personality he does not tend to be effusive in his praise either. With this meal, however, he could not stop telling me how much he loved it and how it was some of the best food he had ever had.

Verdict : SUCCESS!!!

~ Happy Monday ~

Valentine's Day Link Up

As you will soon see I have no right joining my amazing sister-in-law and participating in her
Valentine's Day Cabin Fever Creativity Link-Up and Giveaway, but I am doing it anyway because, if nothing else, it will make you feel like you are Martha-Stewart-On-Crack! 

Most of you are at least vaguely familiar with the online phenomenon known as Pinterest. The best description that I have found so far is this....

"However, a better definition for Pinterest could be made—a one word definition—”addiction.” Users of this site are losing hours at a time scouring over content in an all-out ADHD-storm. People are stuck on pinning; pinned to their seats, if you will. And by people, we mostly mean women." - Huebris

Given the fact that today's post is pertaining to creativity/crafts/etc. it should be obvious why I am referring to Pinterest. That's right - Having spent hours scrolling through and re-pinning the successful projects of others I quickly devolved into something like this...

We have this empty space on our bathroom wall that seems to stare me down every time I walk in or by it, made even worse by the fact that the walls are the dullest shade of dull creams imaginable. Something had to be done! Something creative, something pretty, and something cheap. So naturally I turned to Pinterest for ideas and, after stumbling upon images like this

I decided to hunt down a site where you could print off free monograms. What's that you say? Why not just design your own monogram using something like Microsoft Word? Don't be absurd - I have neither the time nor the will power to decide which font truly fits our home!!!! *ahem* So yes, I downloaded a few monograms and went to my handy-dandy Photoshop Elements to edit and prep for printing. I had a few frames that were free and even had the blank photo paper inside so that I could use them for printing! Short story made long story made short, a little over an hour later I had gone through God knows how much ink, quite a bit of paper (sorry, trees! No, no I'm not....), and still had made no progress. So I angrily exited out of Elements and switched to Microsoft Word, pasted the photo, and printed. Guess what? That worked. First time. I eagerly cut off the excess paper and placed it in the frame with a sense triumph and glee.

That's when I realized the frame is not the kind you can hang. Did that stop me? No way, man! I had just used up over 1 1/2 hrs for one of the simplest projects known to man and I was not going to let stop me!

Yes, the frame and picture are too small to have the effect I wanted. And yes, the frame is precariously perched on a nail and will most certainly fall on my head at some point in the near future. But for an uncreative individual like myself it is a start and the closest thing to creativity I have mustered in a heck of a long time! 

Now, can you really tell me that you don't feel at least a little bit better about yourself? You're welcome.

~ Happy Saturday & Happy Crafting ~

Friday, February 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes

Looks like we made it to Friday, folks! I can only speak for myself but this week seemed to drag a bit and even though weekends don't really have any meaning when you are unemployed and spend the majority of your time at home, it is still nice for the weekend to be here! Due to the increased down time I am going to have to rack my brain a bit to fill all of the necessary slots.....

1. Rack vs. Wrack : Because I do not know how to be a normal person, I felt the need to use Google to determine the proper spelling of the phrase "rack my brain(s)". As it turns out everyone disagrees and I was left more confused than I was before the search attempt. Also, I'm not sure whether or not "brain" should be pluralized and I have half a mind to just delete the last sentence of the previous paragraph so I can put this absurd business to rest.

2. Absurd : I am not sure when it started but I have noticed that lately I have been using the word "absurd" a ridiculous amount (yes, I actually had to fight the urge to write "an absurd amount"). It has become somewhat of a verbal tic. In my defense, life has been a bit on the absurd side for the past few weeks (or is it months?) so it is not wholly unreasonable that such a word would become such a constant in my daily speech. There is the business of my pregnancy brain (i.e. depletion of brain cells, memory, etc.), the rather imminent arrival of Baby Leo (due date is February 17th), Ben's upcoming trip/interview, etc. I find myself forgetting and/or doing all sorts of bizarre things. I feel that this event from yesterday might help to illustrate my point -->

Ben : "Hey. Is that tuna on your foot?"
Me (looking down) : "Oh. Yeah. I forgot about that."

Yes, there really was tuna on my foot (it fell down when I was standing in the kitchen eating, which is my main pastime as of late) and yes, I really had forgotten to wash it off and had been walking around the apartment with it being there for well over an hour. Absurd!

3. Third Trimester : Just in case you weren't already waiting on pins and needles to meet your unborn child and finally see what he looks and sounds like, the third trimester helps spur you on by adding new aches and pains, swelling, more insomnia, nausea, etc. to the mix. In other words, I'm whining again. It's times like these that my guardian angel probably wishes she/he (if they even have genders) could slap me....

4. Valentine's Day : I apologize in advance to anyone reading this who happens to be of a sentimental or romantic nature. I am not a fan of Valentine's Day. I never have been. When I was younger I was convinced it was just me being negative because I was single and awkward and all of that. But now that I am married and actually have a love well worth celebrating I find that my attitude towards this particular "holiday" is not terribly different. Maybe it has nothing to do with being single or married and everything to do with hating the idea that Hallmark, chocolate companies, and florists get to dictate when and how I ought to communicate my love to my spouse. I feel like those candy hearts really ought to read "We Own You" and "Nothing Says Love Like Forced Affection." Ok, ok - I'll back off. And the truth is that Yes, I will jump through the silly hoops of Valentine's Day and I will make sure that I do or get something for my husband because I happen to be married to a romantic. Funnily enough he cannot stand being described as such but I think that's just because when he hears that term he thinks I'm saying he is basically like one of these guys.....

Romance was dead until my pale cold sparkly skin and
creepy red eyes brought it back

5. Tea vs. Coffee : Yes, the battle rages on. I am still drinking copious amount of Red Raspberry Leaf tea and loving every scalding sip of it, but I have been dabbling in coffee again and had a few magical cups this week that make me think our magical relationship will soon be restored. I only wish that this coincided with the very bestest part of the year. That's right, I'm referring to

And the angels sing......

6. Nesting : Is it really nesting if you have been doing it the entire pregnancy? Because what everyone describes as "nesting" is basically just that. I mean, now that I have more time on my hands I can do it more but it's just more of what I was doing before. Seriously, Kiddo's clothes were washed, folded, and put in their place before my 2nd trimester was over! Hmmmm.....

7. Monday Blog : This past Monday was my first successful post in my weekly recipe series! I am prepping my second post already and am happy to report that I actually remembered to take pictures of that recipe so I will have my very own pictures to upload! I hope you will consider stopping by to check it out and even consider joining in =) 

Now that you have successfully reached the end of my meandering post please do yourself a favor and check out Jen and all of the other awesome Quick Takers!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What I Wore Sunday (Vol. 5)

Well it is Sunday, folks, so you all know what that means! Time to link up with all the lovely ladies (and gentlemen, as it turns out) over at Fine Linen and Purple! I have to confess that I have been dreading this for the past week or so. As I have mentioned before, having my picture taken is not something I look forward to with great enthusiasm just in general, but now that I am 38 weeks pregnant it is all I can do not to cover up every mirror in our apartment and avoid all reflective surfaces that I come across so you can imagine how I feel about pictures! I bet you didn't think an adult could muster up that much angst in a single sentence - please, be impressed. I really ought to be slapped.*** Until then and without further ado, here are the pics.......

with awkward arm pose - without glasses
without awkward arm pose - with glasses

(blog will not post picture upright)

Details -->

Dress : Macy's (not maternity)
Shoes : Target (Note : I barely wore these during mass, as they were cutting off the circulation to my extremities.... yay 3rd Trimester!!!)
Earrings : Etsy 

Thanks for stopping by and please don't forget to drop in tomorrow to check out the first post of my Recipe series!!! 

*** In all honesty this week has been FULL of incredible blessings and one long demonstration of God's love and providential care of our little family. And if the price of motherhood is extra poundage then I will take it!!! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes

Well, it seems like this late business is becoming a trend! Really I have no excuse this time. I could have written this yesterday and had it posted right on time. The truth is I don't even remember what I did instead! How absurd is that?

I don't own a cat and I'm not blond, but otherwise it seems spot on.

1. The Recipe Post : As I mentioned before I am planning on starting a blog/post series pertaining to recently tried recipes. I have tried my hand at a fair few new ones lately so I am really looking forward to it! Because I'm scatterbrained and forgetful as all get out these days I did manage to forget to take any pictures of said recipes... So the pictures that will accompany my post(s) may not be pictures of what I personally made. Don't worry, though - I won't choose photos that make it look like I belong on Iron Chef (is that a thing?).

2. Work : This past Wednesday marked my last day as a crisis pregnancy counselor with the Women's Care Center, a job that I have held for the past 2 1/2 years. My coworkers bought me a lovely (and delicious!) cake and baby gifts and even some of my clients stopped by to say goodbye. I think I will have to devote an entire post to express what the past 2 1/2 years have meant to me and how they have affected me. Here's hoping I remember to do it! 

3. Home : Now that I am not employed my time is spent putzing around the apartment, washing and folding laundry that doesn't even necessarily need it (seriously, I am redefining what a "small" load of laundry is), penning a few thank you notes (really I should be devoting ALL my time to this!), and scanning the internet. My relationship with the internet is somewhat like a desperate girl waiting for her crush to call... I don't really know what I'm waiting for or expecting but man, it's gonna be AWESOME! 

New email?! I don't even care that it's junk! HOOBOY!
4. Shopping : Now that I have successfully signed up for WIC shopping is a much more intense experience. I only had to go up and down the aisles 29 times before I successfully retrieved everything on my list. Just so you understand how truly ridiculous that is, when I write my list I break it down by aisle. In other words, I have NO EXCUSE! 

5. Job Search : My incredible and amazing husband is finishing up his doctorate and on the job market. As everyone on Planet Earth knows, said market is not terribly friendly these days. Still, he has managed to snag a couple interviews and that is super awesome! The interview that I happen to be the most insanely excited about is scheduled over a period of three days this month. It is out of state so he will have to leave me for that stretch of time. This wouldn't be an issue at all except for the little niggling bit where that happens to be four days before my due date. I mentioned this to my doctor today and he informed that, as it happens, he also will be out of town for those days....... What!?! I was ordered not to go into labor until after they both have returned. I feel like we ought to use sign language while discussing this because I just bet you that Leo is listening, a knowing smile on his cherubic face, and making plans of his own. Prayers on the job hunt and delivery are appreciated all around! 

6. Tea vs. Coffee : Over the course of the pregnancy I have lost my taste for coffee. This is kind of a big deal. Before I became pregnant I had a minimum of 3 cups of coffee every day. I have become obsessed with Red Raspberry Leaf tea, however, and prefer it over coffee like I prefer Double Stuffed Oreos over beets (I hate beets, just in case that was not clear). The analogy is not perfect because I do not actually hate coffee... I just don't care for it that much. I am hopeful that my love for java will return after delivery and that I will return to my previous state --> 

They're missing the carafe full of creamer and bucket of sugar I require....

7. Weather : Ben and I have been quite good about getting outside and walking throughout the pregnancy. We have braved frigid temperatures, biting winds, and even falling snow on occasion. But the recent weather patterns here in South Bend/Mishawaka have proven to be too much (even for us) and so I have had to resort to exercising with my good friend Leslie Sansone. Yeah, she's crazy annoying. I don't know how anyone that pathologically positive is allowed to make an exercise DVD but she's done it, man. The exercise on her DVDs is great for someone like me because all it really involves is walking in place, with occasional additions thrown in to spice things up. I am actually so uncoordinated that I cannot include the arm exercises she tries to incorporate, but otherwise I can keep up (me and the other 60-80 year olds walking with her. no, seriously). Anyways, since it is as basic as exercise routines go I can mute the video and play my Pandora stations in the background. HUGE difference! So, in other words, the weather really needs to improve. ASAP. 

Now, go check out Jen, Ana, and the others 7 Quick Takers! 

~ Happy Friday ~