Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A few good pins

Have you guys read the blog Pintester? She’s basically hilarious and tests out pins that people rave about – from food to crafts, she does them all. What is even more fun about it is that she is no Martha Stewart, so she makes the rest of us feel good about ourselves.

While I do not document nearly as well as the Pintester, I have tried two food pins that I wanted to share.

1- Because they take next to no time at all to cook.

2- Because for the amount of time they took, they were really pretty darn good.

Recipe 1: Cornflake Chicken Tenders from Plain Chicken

1/2 cup crushed cornflakes
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp Ranch dressing mix
2 eggs
1 Tbsp milk
1 lb chicken tenders
Heat oven to 450. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.
In a shallow dish, combine cornflakes, cheese, and ranch mix, set aside. In another shallow dish whisk together eggs and milk. Dip chicken tenders into egg mixture; then coat in cornflake mixture. Repeat - dip in egg mixture and back in the cornflake mixture. Place double coated chicken tenders on cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray.
Bake 12-14 minutes.

We had these tonight for dinner and they were super easy and took maybe 8 minutes to prep. Probably a lot less for most of you…I am a super slow cook. If I were to make this again, I would take my left over cornflake/cheese/ranch mix and make little crispy bites to eat. The crust was that good!

Recipe 2: Parmesan Chicken Bake from My Kitchen Escapades

Parmesan Chicken Bake
(adapted from Food.com)
6 chicken breasts
1 C greek yogurt
1/2 c fresh parmesan cheese, plus more for the top
1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray the inside of a 9x13 glass pan. Lay the chicken inside the pan.
2. Mix together the remaining ingredients and spread evenly over each piece of chicken, being sure to cover all the exposed raw meat (so it doesn't dry out.) Sprinkle on a bit more fresh parmesan over all the chicken.
3. Bake for 45 minutes.

I had this last week for dinner and it took about 4 minutes to prep and was really good. I loved the topping and served it with some roasted cauliflower.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bumpdate 30 Weeks

30-weeks

How Far Along: 30 weeks.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 14-15 pounds.

Gender: It’s a girl!

Movement: I can now make out where she is (pretty much horizontal and/or head down) based on her hiccups. She also has her legs under my right rib.

Sleep: For the first time I had very vivid dreams and lots of them. I can’t decide if last night I just wasn’t in a deep sleep, but I had lots and lots of dreams. I also had 6 uninterrupted hours of sleep. That was nice.

Maternity Clothes: Oh, I have to laugh when I said that I was going to not try to buy maternity clothes. Eating my words now. I am still wearing normal dresses, but have invested in some maternity pants/capris and some tops.

Symptoms: Using the restroom constantly. There was another funny “symptom” I had, but cannot for the life of me remember – so add pregnancy brain to the list. :)

Aversions: Fried food, alcohol, the smell of coffee grosses me out.

Cravings: Ah, cravings – basically, if I see it pinned, discussed or talked about – I want it. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sure. (What? I would never want that!) Grilled cheese, yes, please. Pizza, bring it. Cookies, I wanted them like 2 hours ago. (Can you see where this is going?)

Best Moment this week: The room is now painted! Yay! My mom and mother-in-law spent the day Saturday painting and it looks great. My mom also started on the focal wall. Here’s a sneak peek:

bumpdate 30 weeks 010

It’s very subtle, but I love it!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Camera Call

Okay, ladies. I am needing camera help. I have done little (read, no) research on a new camera, so I wanted to poll you guys.

What camera do you use? What do you love? Any great sites to find out comparisons of cameras?

Here’s what I am looking for:

- A high megapixel camera that takes super fast photos. I want to be able to do continuous shooting to get the image I want. Basically, if the baby smiles for a second, I don’t want to miss it because my camera is loading.

- I have very little natural light in my home (ugh), so I want something I where the flash isn’t completely horrific.

- I have no ambitions of being a photographer (ha! – One year from now I will probably love it and want nothing more than to be a photographer – story of my life), so I want something pretty user friendly where I don’t have to spend hours/days/weeks figuring out how to use the thing. I can’t really see myself getting so into it that I want multiple lenses, etc.

- If it could also take video, that would be a major bonus.

Here is what I have been looking at (and when I say “looking at,” I mean I just started thinking about this tonight and did a quick google search on what my friends said they used):

Canon Rebel T3

 

Nikon CoolPix P510

Looking forward to hearing your favorites!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bumpdate 29 Weeks

29-weeks

How Far Along: 29 weeks.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I am now going to the doctor every two weeks, so I guess I will find out this week. Ack. That was fast!

Gender: It’s a girl!

Movement: Baby has the hiccups! It took me a while to figure out what I was feeling. I kept wondering if I could feel her heart beat then I was like – duh – those have to be hiccups! She has had them almost daily.

Sleep: Sleep has been fine.

Maternity Clothes: Sister needs more maternity clothes, but I keep squeezing myself into my normal clothes (See unflattering picture above.)

Symptoms: Basically, the same as the week before.

Aversions: Fried food, alcohol.

Cravings: Sweets and cereal. I try to fill the sweets void with fruit.

Best Moment this week: I passed my three hour gestational diabetes test! I was surprised when I got the call on Tuesday that I had flunked really badly (mainly because I had taken the one hour test 8 days prior and they said they would call in a day or two if I didn’t pass, but that is neither here nor there), so I was a little anxious to take the three hour test. I got the call Friday that passed and was ever so grateful!

When you take the three hour test you have to drink double the amount of liquid. I started to not feel very good and luckily they let me lay down. I talked to a friend and she said she threw up after she drank the liquid and had to go back and do it all over again the next day. Ugh. I don’t think I will ever be able to drink an orange drink ever again.

Edited to add: Huge highlight – my sweet friend Addie offered to take the baby’s pictures for us! She is no longer taking clients and does amazing work, so I am so excited to have her take our newborn photos! Love her!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Weekly Faves

Remember these? Probably becoming more like monthly faves now. Ha!

Also, thanks for all of your prayers and questions on Tommy’s uncle. As of now, he still is missing. There was a sighting of him on Tuesday in a small town outside of where he was last seen, but no news since then. My inlaws went up over the weekend to look and today Tommy’s aunt hired three planes to do more aerial coverage looking for his vehicle. Private investigators are also working on this as well. Hopefully, something positive transpires over the next day or so.

And because I have no good segue here, here is what I have been loving online.

I want these S’mores Bars from The Party Dress. My sweet friend Iris brought me my own s’mores the other night! Totally hit the spot! I apparently cannot get enough! (Though, I only have actually had one.)

And speaking of s’mores, check out this s’mores dip from What’s Megan Making? I am feeling it.

Loving these ombre yarn wrapped letters from My Sister’s Suitcase. Only problem is, I am wondering how much is too much with regards to names/monograms/letters for Emmy’s room. Ha!

Can you tell I am craving sweets? (Luckily, I am able to limit myself and turn to fruit the majority of the time.) But these lemon mascarpone tarts from Positively Splendid look fabulous. And from the recipe do not look too hard to make!

Wow, I definitely have sweets on the brain. Check out this really cute ice cream sundae gift set from The Party Dress.

I am not a big game player at showers, but thought that Tip Junkie had some fun ideas for baby shower games if you were looking for entertainment at a future event.

I guess I loved everything The Party Dress posted the past few weeks. Look how cute, clever and easy these little flower straws are. Just two different sizes of cupcakes liners and a candy.

Okay, this really goes to show how late I am to the party. My friend Ashley through her son Cooper the most adorable Farm themed 2nd birthday party…more than a month ago, but it was too cute not to share. Check out all of her details here.

I love packaging and just thought this packaging was really simple, creative and useful after the gift was eaten. From Honey We’re Home.

Okay, so I think I am all caught up! Happy reading, friends!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Bumpdate 28 weeks

28-weeks

How Far Along: 28 weeks. I think I am now in my 3rd trimester! How did that happen so fast??? If I wasn’t documenting, I swear I would have to go back and double check!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I swear I have “skinny” days and days where I wonder how big I will be when she is born. Ha!

Gender: It’s a girl!

Movement: Some days she is really moving and some days are more chill. She likes to move the most at night.

Sleep: Pretty good this week.

Maternity Clothes: I ordered several maternity tops from the Gap. Still wearing mainly normal dresses and I haven’t even bothered with pants.

Symptoms: I have now moved to all proteins first thing in the morning and more mini meals to combat any faint feelings. Last week that was successful.

I am now also getting swollen ankles if I am outside in the heat after walking the dog. Not too bad, but meh.

Aversions: Fried food still and yesterday I was at a baby shower for a friend and we were talking about how the thought of alcohol repulses me. Ha!

Cravings: I am currently craving smores. (Random!) I want one so badly. I saw this recipe today for smores bars and must have them asap. Then I will follow that up with a real one.

Also, I have been making the lazy man’s version of “puppy chow.” I get my honey nut chex mix and dip it peanut butter and add a chocolate chip. Perfect.

Best Moment this week: I got my invitation in the mail for my first shower! Aren’t they adorable??!

invite-002

How cute is the back?

invite 004

In other news:

As you can see, my the frequency of my posts are struggling. I am going to try to get better! :) It is just so hard in the summer. I feel like we have a ton going on and just no time to blog!

Also, Tommy’s uncle has gone missing. If you happen to know anyone in the IL/KY/OH area, please pass this link on to them: http://www.kfvs12.com/story/19029910/arkansas-man-goes-missing-in-mt-vernon-area-.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bumpdate 27 weeks

27-weeks

Sister has got to take a better picture. And get a tan. But as you guys know, you don’t come here for the awesome photography. Noted.

How Far Along: 27 weeks

Total Weight Gain/Loss: The scale at the doctor today already had three pounds on it, so I am going with up 11 pounds.

Gender: It’s a girl!

Movement: For this picture she moved up to show herself off!

Sleep: I have been really lucky to have a ton of energy throughout this pregnancy, but I have been really tired this past week. I took it pretty easy this weekend and rested more.

Maternity Clothes: Bella band, I wore some borrowed maternity jeans of my sister’s and dresses!

Symptoms: Friday I thought I was going to pass out. I started feeling sick, then started sweating profusely (pretty) and just as quickly as it came it went away. I called the doctor and they weren’t concerned. (Neither was anyone else I told about this…dramatic much?)

About an hour and a half after eating on Saturday and Sunday I also didn’t feel so hot.

When I went to the doctor today I was telling her about what I had been eating and she said I was having a crash from eating too many carbs and not enough protein in the morning. (And to think I thought I was being “healthy” with my Kashi cereal and fresh fruit! ;)

Aversions: Fried food still.

Cravings: I have been wanting chocolate chip cookie cake and my sister was sweet enough to get a slice for me! Also, I HAD to have watermelon and pineapple, which I have eaten in no time.

I also bought one of these pineapple slicers at Target:

Best.Pineapple.Invention.Ever.

Best Moment this week: All big items for Emmy’s room have been purchased! Yay. Now I have to wait 8-12 weeks on her bedding (can you say cutting it close?) and 4-6 weeks on her rocker, but they have been purchased, so I get bonus points for that, right? After trying about a million paint colors to find the perfect gray for the wall, a decision has been made. The paint color for her changing table/dresser have also been chosen. Now, mind you, nothing has been done, but at least I have a color decided on.

Also, Megan came with me to my doctor appointment today and we both got to hear the heart beat. It was fun to share that with her!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Get Organized with this Contest!

About a month ago my friend Hope contacted me about a review and giveaway on a product that her PR firm was working on. The promise was that I would love the product. The only caveat was that I would have to get organized. :)

My sister is a natural organizer. You should see her house. She helped me set up my whole kitchen, organized all my drawers and my pantry can illicit jealousy.

However, I, on the other hand, am more of a stacker, a piler, and a cross-my-fingers-and-hope-I-can-find-the-item-I-am-looking-for-somewhere-within-all-of-my-mess type of person. Let’s be honest, this is mainly because I am lazy. One of the tasks I most loathe in the world is filing. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I especially hate binder filing. Frankly, I feel that it takes too long to open the binder clips, insert the pages, go to a different tab and open the binder to insert more pages.

The only thing is, I didn’t come up with the solution to this problem. (This is the first rule of invention – take what annoys you and make it work for you. Sigh. When will I ever learn?) Enter Hope’s client’s product – MiracleBind.

Basically, it is a notebook/binder combo where you can just pull the pages out and reinsert them without having to deal with a clip, perforation, loose paper or any issues. It is basically my dream notebook! Have you ever worked on a project and just want to take one page out of the notebook and put it in front of another because it would make more sense that way? Well, now you can! (I promise I am not an infomercial…it really is just so easy to do!)

Since I am a visual person, here is a photo visual:

And since the video explains the product so much better than me, watch this 1 minute video to see how easily it works! You will love it!

 

Because I love you and want you to see how great these are I am giving away a set of notebooks for you to get yourself organized.

Just leave a comment below on what in your life needs organizing the most. If you don’t have your email in your profile, please leave it in the comments section!

Contest closes on 7/16/12 at 6:00 p.m. CST. Good luck and happy organizing!

I did receive two notebooks to review this product, but the opinions are all my own.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A little before and after

For the baby’s room my mom found this piece at Home Goods in Kansas City:

bumpdate 26 weeks 001

Spoiler alert – I am going to do a focal wall in her room and on the wall opposite (the one with the bookcase) I wanted to have it reflected somehow. My initial thought was to paint the same stencil design on the back of the bookcase. But on further thought I decided that it would kind of ruin the piece if I ever wanted to use it again. So I decided on a vinyl decal from Designed Beginnings on Etsy. She was able to custom size it to fit my bookcase. I love the way it turned out.

Half way through:

bumpdate 26 weeks 002

All done.

bumpdate 26 weeks 003

The final project with shelves. (Don’t look too close. It’s not 100% perfect!) But the final product looks great!

bumpdate 26 weeks 004

I am hoping to finalize the paint color (some shade of gray) soon!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bumpdate 26 weeks

26-weeks

Baby is a-growing! I swear I have gotten exponentially bigger in the past week.

How Far Along: 26 weeks

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I weighed the other day on my home scale and was up several pounds since the time I weighed before. It will be interesting to see when I go to the doctor.

Gender: It’s a girl!

Movement: I think she has an arm or leg under my ribs. It doesn’t hurt, but I can feel a lot of pressure there sometimes.

Sleep: This week was fine.

Maternity Clothes: I am still managing with dresses and the Bella band, but I am pretty sure the charade is up and I will be needing to get some maternity wear. My sister let me borrow a lot of her maternity items, so I need to go through those and see what works for me.

Symptoms: I am waking up in the middle of the night with charlie horses in my leg. Wowzers.

Aversions: Fried food still.

Cravings: I am dying for a chocolate chip cookie cake slice. Random, I know. Also, still wanting tart things like key lime pie and lemony anything. Sadly, I haven’t partaken in either.

Best Moment this week: We are beginning to make progress on Emmy’s room. My mom and I worked on her bookcase (pics tomorrow), Tommy and I chose a glider for her room, and I am super close to picking out her bedding, which means painting (and progress) can begin!

 
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