Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pregnancy Update- 13 weeks!

It's been a few days since my last post. My husband and little munchkin have been sick, so things have been a little hectic. Thankfully moms don't get sick, so I was able to take care of them and nurse them back to health!

Of course, moms can get sick just like anyone else, but I really do believe in the power of positive thinking, mind over matter stuff. I pretty much just repeated the phrase "moms don't get sick" to myself all weekend and it seemed to work! Still no illness for me *knock on wood*.

Anyway, back to the update. We are now 13 weeks in!! Woohooo!!! Things are still going smoothly. I cannot wait until our next doctor's visit. Unfortunately, that's not until the 27th =(


week 13 pregnancy update

Stats so far:


Weeks: 13
Weight Gain: no change, still down 2 lbs
Stretch Marks: 0
Symptoms: Lack of appetite, bloating 
Cravings: Mexican Food
Missing: Sugar Free Redbull (this was really bad last night!)
Exercise: Cardio 4 times a week, some free weights
Diet: Normal


While I have not gained weight, I do feel bloated. My measurements have not changed, so it is probably all in my head (thankfully, since we're taking pictures this week and I don't want to look pregnant). 

This baby is officially the size of  a Georgia Peach. So he/she is growing bigger, even if I don't look like it yet. It is starting to get a little uncomfortable when I sleep on my stomach, but only if there's pressure on my back (like from my toddler jumping on top of me wanted a horsey ride!).


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Caramel Empanadas--Empanadas de Cajeta

These pregnancy cravings have me all over the place. Sometimes it's spicy foods, sometimes it's sweet foods, today it's Caramel Empanadas (empanadas de cajeta). I thought this would be an appropriate post with all the holidays coming up.

These are great for holiday parties. I typically only make them during the holiday season because they make so many. This would be especially great if you are attending any Day of the Dead festivities in a couple weeks.

These are deceptively easy to make and will have all your friends impressed at your knowledge of traditional foods from other cultures!


Authentic Caramel Empanadas recipe- receta de empanadas de cajeta


Ingredients:



  • 1 package cream cheese (8oz)
  • 2 pounds flour
  • 1 can La Lechera brand Dulce de Leche
  • 1 pound butter, unsalted (softened)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • cinnamon sugar to coat

Directions:

  1. Beat butter & cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Gradually add flour to butter/cream cheese mixture.
  3. Once mixed, knead dough (masa) with hands for 5 minutes.
  4. Roll into small balls (golf ball size-masa should make about 5 dozen), set aside.
  5. For filling: mix 1 can Dulce de Leche with 2 egg yolks [this keeps filling from leaking out of empanadas].
  6. Using a Tortilla Press or rolling pin, flatten ball into a circle slightly larger than the palm of your hand.
  7. Once flattened, add about 1 spoonful Dulce de Leche (caramel) mixture to center. 
  8. Fold circle in half.
  9. Gently press edges of semi circle together with your fingertips.
  10. To seal the empanadas, starting at one corner, use your fingers to fold the edge over about a half inch at a time, allowing folds to overlap until you reach the other side. [If I didn't explain this step well enough, here is a great youtube video that demostrates how to seal them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHByEMavG7U]
  11. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes
  12. Remove from oven and toss in cinnamon sugar
Serving Size: 1 empanada
Macros: 11.7 g fat, 13.3 g carbs, 2.2 g protein 

Alternative Fillings:


  • any canned pie filling (using the fruit only, none of the syrup it sits in)
  • for pumpkin: 15 oz pureed pumpkin, 1 egg yolk, 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 tbs cinnamon, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp ground anise

Side Note: This does make a ton! So I definitely recommend either halving the recipe or making sure you are taking it to an event where they will all get eaten! Enjoy =)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Pregnancy Update- 12 weeks!

I have officially made it to 12 weeks!! Wooohoooo!!! If you are keeping track of your own pregnancy using my Pregnancy Countdown Chain, then you know that at week 12 baby is the size of a plum!!!

This little munchkin is getting bigger and bigger & I just can't wait to find out what it is! When I did the Old Wive's Tales tests to determine baby gender the results were in favor of girl, but who really knows! I am hoping our doctor will let us find out at 16 weeks, but if not our 20 week ultrasound is scheduled for the first week in December.

I know, I know I need to start taking pictures of my "bump" to document this process, but so far it's non-existent so it doesn't seem like much fun. Maybe I'll post one next week as a "before."

Stats so far:


Weeks: 12
Weight Gain: -2 lbs
Stretch Marks: 0
Symptoms: Lack of appetite 
Cravings: Mexican Food
Missing: Sugar Free Redbull
Exercise: Cardio 4 times a week, some free weights
Diet: Normal


So far so good. While weight loss has not been my goal, I have lost 2 pounds in the first trimester. I have had ZERO morning sickness (thankfully) so I attribute the weight loss to my consistency with cardio. I usually do around 30-45 minutes on the elliptical between 4 &5 times a week. The use of free weights has definitely slowed for me, but as I enter the second trimester I plan to keep that going. 

In regards to my diet, I haven't been very strict because I haven't had much of an appetite. So I will eat whenever I am hungry & typically whatever I am craving. If it is something unhealthy, I do limit the amount I eat (ex. ice cream), but I still will definitely let myself eat it. 

This next trimester I definitely expect to see some weight come on. I just hope I can keep it a more gradual process to avoid stretch marks. Wish me luck!



Other posts you may like:




Sunday, October 4, 2015

Picking a Place to Live


We are moving in less than 30 days and we still have not found a place to live!!! I know, I know, we are really living on the edge! The uncertainty of it all drives me crazy. 

The problem we are running into is that so far there is no "perfect" place. This is just a temporary move. We plan on renting for 1 more year before purchasing a home. So this decision won't impact us forever, but it still is an important one. We made a lot of mistakes when we chose our current apartment. The whole place feels very crammed and the kitchen has ZERO counter/cabinet space. We don't even have a drawer that fits our utensils!! It's terrible. So we are trying to be very selective with the next place we chose.

I have decided that there are several factors that are important when choosing a place to live. The problem is finding the balance and deciding which ones you can sacrifice and which ones are the most crucial.

Since we all have different priorities, I will leave that part up to you. But here is what I found to be worth considering when choosing a place to live.

There are so many things many people overlook when choosing a place to live. Dont make the same mistakes!


1. Price

  • This one's pretty self explanatory. A lot of times you will get more for your money if you move a little further away, so you really have to think about the how much that money is really worth. Can you make a longer commute to work? or would you prefer to live closer and pay more for a potentially smaller place?

2. Access to freeway

  • How close is it to the freeway? Will the commute to work take long?

3. Distance from grocery stores

  • I hate long grocery store trips. I typically average around 30 minutes grocery shopping so the last thing I'd want is to add to that with a long commute.

4. Distance from shopping centers (Walmart/Target/Mall/movies)

  • You always want to make sure it is centrally located. Typically I take it as a good sign if I see a Walmart or a Target nearby. If the city you are moving to doesn't have one close, then the grocery store probably won't be close either and I doubt you'd be seeing any Starbucks around town.

5. Square Footage

  • Will all your furniture fit? Will you end up feeling crammed? Will you feel comfortable inviting people over for small get togethers? Scott was just mentioning to me how he never felt comfortable having people over in our current apartment, because of how crowded it all is. We definitely need something a little bigger this time around!

6. Layout

  • This is huge! Check out the kitchen! Look at cabinet space & counter space. Is there a pantry? Will your pots & pans fit? Will your utensils fit? Where's the laundry room? Is it in a convenient location? 

7. Safety of neighborhood

  • Of course safety is important. You can ask neighbors how safe they feel the neighborhood is. I would also check out crimereports.com to see if there's been any theft (or worse) in the area. For me, safety is a huge priority. I have a one year old and a baby on the way. David hates being couped up indoors so I want to make sure we live somewhere I feel safe taking him for walks. 

8. Distance from relatives

  • Some people want to be close to relatives, some want to be far. I would love to be close to my sister, but that's probably not going to happen. We did, however, find a place close to my in-laws. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that one yet..

9. Appliances included

  • Right now we are debating between two different townhomes. Both are in the same neighborhood. One comes with a washer & dryer and one does not. The one that does is a little more expensive. But then you'd have to consider the upfront cost of purchasing a washer & dryer for the other place. It's a toss up really..

10. Age of neighbors

  • This may not matter to everyone, but for me I love a younger neighborhood. When I was growing up, we had tons of neighbor kids our same age. I think it would be so fun for David to be able to make friends and have play dates with kids in the neighborhood. Plus if I see kids playing out in the yard, I take it as a good sign in terms of neighborhood safety as well.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Hot Apple Cider-the easy way!

There are some really great cider recipes out there! My hat's off to the people who take the time to make it from scratch! I, personally, like to make a quicker (just as delicious) version myself. It only requires 5 ingredients & can be made in your crock pot which is nice because it not only makes the cooking process stress free since you no longer have to watch the stove, but it also keeps the cider warm through out the night.

Now that it is finally starting to get cold, I decided it was a great time to make this perfect fall drink! We love taking this in a thermos when we go to the pumpkin patch or really to accompany any other fall activity! I hope you enjoy this recipe as well!

Crock Pot Apple Cider -5 ingredients & super easy! perfect for those cold fall nights!




Ingredients:



  • 1 gallon apple cider (I use Treetop brand)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 orange sliced
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in crock pot & mix until well combined.
  2. Turn crock pot on low, and cook for 2 hours.
  3. Using a slotted spoon remove cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  4. Serve warm =)
Serving Size: 8 oz, makes 16 servings
Macros: 0 g fat, 34 g carbs, 0 g protein 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Surviving a Road Trip with a Toddler

With winter quickly approaching and the idea of having to venture out in 20 degree weather for a gallon of milk becoming much more of a reality, we have been seriously contemplating a move to warmer climate. My husband's work has an office in Phoenix so this past weekend we took a trip out to Arizona hoping to find a new place to live.

First off, can I just say how great Arizona was for this pregnant woman! My home state is California, but unfortunately that is still just a little out of our price range for the time being. But Arizona has everything I have been missing from California: warm weather, palm trees, jack in the box chicken strips, and Thrifty's Chocolate Malted Crunch ice cream! I was in HEAVEN for that brief weekend trip!

From where we live now to Phoenix is roughly a 10-10 1/2 hour drive. I had been dreading it for weeks. I even contemplated sending Scott alone so that we wouldn't need to take our 15 month old on the long car ride. But, Scott insisted we come & so we did and you know what? It wasn't so bad.

To give you an idea of my little one year old's personality type: he is not mellow at all. He is very active and gets easily frustrated if we have to stay indoors for too long. Yesterday he kept handing me my purse and saying "go." And if I don't look like I'm planning on going anywhere anytime soon, he will grab his diaper bag and go without me! He heads straight to the front door with my car keys and tries desperately to unlock the door. Thank goodness he hasn't quite figured out locks just yet!

I think we can agree that no toddler, young child, or even adult likes to sit in a car all day, so here are some things we did to make this road trip a successful tear-free one!

great tips for surviving a road trip with a toddler- on & off the road!

1. Get as much energy out before the trip begins.


  • Get your kids laughing and really just wearing themselves out before you get in the car. The road is really going to be quite a boring time, so try to help them enjoy themselves before begins. This helps so they are less antsy from the beginning.

2. Plan around sleep schedules. 

  • I wanted to drive from bedtime on, but the route we were taking was full of deer so we decided that probably wasn't the safest time to drive. We ended up leaving around 2:30pm which was a hour before David's afternoon nap. This worked perfectly because about an hour in is when he would normally start to get restless, but instead he just got sleepy.

3. Fill up either a half hour after kids wake up, or once they start to get restless. 

  • We get great gas mileage in our car so it made it easy to cater fill ups to David's sleep schedule. We made sure to stop at a gas station near a fast food place where he could run around & stretch his legs before getting back in the car (i.e. McDonald's Play Place).

4. Bring snacks and sippy cups.

  • Here are some of our go-to snack ideas, for this trip we relied on gold fish and grapes and water. He also ate with us whenever we would stop. Even if your kids are too old for sippy cups, any cup with some type of lid is probably a good idea for in the car. Last thing you want to do is have to stop on the side of the road to clean up a spill..

5. Bring some toys.

  • Movies seem to work well for older kids, David's still not quite into them yet so we relied on a few of his favorite toys. We brought his favorite stuffed animal & that thing was a lifesaver on the way home! We also brought a baby version of an Ipad that we got at Babies R'Us and a rain stick. 
  • Toys were a last resort. When he was being good and just sitting in the back talking to himself we kind of just let him do his own thing; it wasn't until he started to get really fussy that we'd hand him a toy. 
  • I definitely recommend bringing at least one that is electronic. If we didn't bring the toy Ipad, we probably would've brought a toy laptop.They definitely seemed to keep our munchkin engaged longer when he's stuck in his seat than the other toys.
Okay, now it's 10 hours later, you've checked into your hotel and your toddler won't sleep! Now what?
  • If your baby is used to sleeping in a crib, ask your hotel if they have one. Most hotels with have either a crib or a pack-n-play that you can use for free. David gets too riled up if we let him sleep in our bed, so having the pack-n-play really helped him at bed time & for naps. 
  • Bring their blanket from home. This was a comfort item that reminded him of sleeping at home & really helped.
  • Bring a stuffed animal. David's stuffed cat sleeps with him every night at home so bringing that along was such a good decision for us.
  • Sing them to sleep or any of your normal bedtime routines. The key is to keep things as normal and routine as possible. David has a song my husband has sung to him every bed time since he was brand new so this definitely did the trick! If your routine is a bath and then a story, do that! Anything that will remind them of their normal routine is so important when everything else is so different.
  • Be patient and let yourself have a break. If you're lucky enough to have your spouse with you or another family member who is willing to help, let them. Switch off & take a break. This road is hard on you too, if you don't have to do it all yourself--don't!
Good luck! I hope you all have successful, stress-free, safe road trips! Let me know some of your road trip go-tos in the comments below!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ways to make your husband's birthday special!

October 1st. Day one of the Post-A-Day blog challenge! Day one of our Countdown to Halloween book read-a-thon! And, most importantly,my fantastic husband's 30th birthday!!

On my birthday I wrote my 50+ birthday freebies post, but this time I thought I'd write about how to celebrate your husband.

My husband is fairly simple when it comes to his birthday. He never asks for much (normally just a bottle of cologne and some Carl's Jr). The problem is, he ALWAYS asks for cologne, whether it's his birthday, Father's day, Christmas, or Valentine's and I, personally, get sick of gifting him the same thing every time.

Here are some ideas of things I have done in the past to add to the typical, boring cologne present and hopefully, make sure he had a great day!

5 ways to celebrate your husband on his birthday plus 2 extra

1. Breakfast


  • A good breakfast is a great way to start the day. My husband works at 7am so it does require me to get out of my warm bed to prep it. I almost feel bad because this is something I used to do for him everyday. I would pack it in a tupperware for him to eat at work, but somewhere along the path of marriage I suppose I grew lazy.. The breakfast I like to make is eggs (omelet style) with diced peppers, onions, ham & cheese. Don't forget the plastic fork! 

2. Love notes

  • I love receiving notes & texts letting me know my husband is thinking of me and Scott feels the same way. I hid some simple love notes in his car for him to find on his way to work to hopefully cheer him up.

3. Birthday Lunch

  • Every year, only on his birthday, my husband will eat a Super Star with cheese from Carl's Jr. He's afraid if he eats more than once a year he will start to take it for granted and not appreciate it's delicious flavor. So every year I surprise him at work with some Carl's. It's a great way to continue the birthday celebration.

4. Birthday Dinner

  • Now, I'm sure most people have this tradition. But the birthday boy gets to pick where he wants to eat. For my husband it is Market Street Grill. When it's my birthday, I pick a Tepanyaki style restaurant. 

5. Recreate his old t-shirts

  • This is a new one that I did this year. My husband has some old band t-shirts that he absolutely loves! They are a little worn down, ripped, & faded and one has a bleach stain on the back. This year for his birthday, I went to a tshirt design place and had them remade. That way he can enjoy his shirts for many more years.

Optional 6th present:

  • Every holiday/birthday one of my gifts to him is kind of a gift to me which is why I didn't totally include it in the list. But I buy myself some lingerie. It makes the night a little more special than just the average night & his reaction always is a huge boost to my self esteem! So it's really a win-win!
I hope you enjoy celebrate your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend! I know I do. I love having a day dedicated to showing him how much he means to me! 

**OH I just thought of another I've done in the past: a massage! Scott has back problems so he loves this one! If you want some extra time with your hubby you can even make it a couples massage & enjoy some of that birthday gift your self!!