Saturday, January 30, 2016

Avoiding Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is hard for so many different reasons that I'm not going to get into right now and, unfortunately, your body doesn't just automatically go back to normal right after. There are even a lot of things that change the way your body looks that can be permanent. The best thing to do is embrace what can't be changed and try & address what can.

Today I am going to talk about stretch marks. Not all stretch marks can be avoided. Sometimes it is hereditary, but there are definitely things you can do to help prevent the unnecessary ones. When I was pregnant with David I actually didn't get any stretch marks. Currently, I am pregnant with my second (28 weeks) and still have no stretch marks. I am hoping to keep that up during this last trimester.

Before you tell me that I just have good genes, let me tell you about my sister who just had her baby and gained about the same amount of weight as I did with David. She got quite a bit of stretch marks on her stomach.

Now, I guess there's always the possibility that she got the stretch mark genes and I didn't, but I'm not going to take any chances. Instead I will continue to do what I did to prevent them with my first pregnancy because it worked.

Best tips for avoiding/preventing stretch marks during pregnancy by improving skin elasticity & reducing stress on skin! Great read!


First we need to look at the cause of stretch marks.

Stretch marks are caused when you rapidly gain or lose weight. Factors that determine whether you get stretch marks can be genetics, the amount of stress on your skin, and your skin's elasticity.

In order to prevent stretch marks we need to address the issues that we can: stress on your skin & skin elasticity (we can't do anything about genetics).

Here are some tips to address those issues and help prevent stretch marks!


How to improve Skin Elasticity:

  • Hydration
    • your skin needs to be hydrated for optimal skin elasticity. Aim to drink half your body weigh in ounces of water per day, more if you're exercising. 
      • In addition to drinking more water, try eating vegetables & fruits with high water content like watermelon, canteloupe, oranges, salads, cucumber, etc.
    • Lotion with Shea or Cocoa butter also do a great job of keeping your skin hydrated. Try to put some on every day, especially after showering.
      • If your skin ever gets itchy, resist the urge to itch! Slather on some lotion instead!
      • Remember stretch marks are also caused by rapid weight loss! So continue with the lotion after baby as well. 
  • Improve Circulation
    • Do low impact exercises to help improve circulation. I love the elliptical.
      • Strength training will also help you tighten your skin! 
  • Slow & Steady Weight Gain/ Loss
    • When gaining weight during pregnancy, try to keep it gradual. This will give your skin a chance to grow so that it doesn't need to stretch to keep up.
    • When losing weight after pregnancy also keep it gradual. Not only is it healthier for your body, but it will give you skin time to tighten.

How to reduce Stress on Skin:

  • Avoid overeating-it can lead to rapid weight gain, putting stress on your skin, causing the need to stretch to accommodate the added weight. 
    • While you're "eating for two," it's really not necessary to double your food intake. During the 3rd trimester, it's recommended to only increase your calorie intake by 500 calories/day. 
  • Continue to work out (unless otherwise told by doctor)
    • This not only helps improve circulation like mentioned earlier, but it also helps to slow weight gain. Remember slow & steady wins the race!
  • Eat foods rich in Omega 3's & Omega 6's
    • Omega 3 & 6 promote healthy skin. Try adding fish, eggs, & nuts to your diet.
      • Canola oil is actually very high in Omega 6. If I need to fry something I choose Canola oil every time. I personally prefer it to Olive Oil. 
There you have it! These are the tips I followed during my first pregnancy and am following during my current pregnancy to help prevent unwanted stretch marks! 

Check out my mommy tips page for some more pregnancy related posts!



Friday, January 29, 2016

28 Week Pregnancy Update!

I am officially into the third trimester! Woohoo!! Home stretch!






Weeks: 28
Gender: It's a girl!!!!!
Weight Gain: 13.5 pounds
Stretch Marks: 0
Symptoms: out of breath, tired, emotional
Cravings: sweets and oranges and pasta!
Missing: Energy. Sleeping on stomach, Having a bra that fits properly (I gain weight in my breasts)
Exercise: Cardio 3-5 times a week for 45 minutes. slacking on the free weights. 
Diet: still following IIFYM, eating pretty healthy, but letting myself indulge every once in a while. My go to treats are Chocolate Covered Almonds =)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Healthy Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings

One of the fun things about tracking macros is figuring out how many things I would normally eat, not realizing how good they are for me. Buffalo Wings are one of those things.

If you deep fry them like they do at Buffalo Wild Wings, then no. Not so healthy, but baking them is actually 10 times easier andddd they still taste amazing! You also don't need to make them buffalo style. Did you know that BWW actually sells their different flavored sauces? I didn't, until I worked there for a little while. This time around I just used Franks Red Hot Wings sauce, but next time I might stop by BWW's for some Carribean Jerk for my husband.

What inspired this recipe? Well, maybe the fact that the Superbowl's right around the corner, or it could've been because our grocery store had a major sale on wings and Frank's Buffalo sauce haha but none the less, it made for a delicious & healthy meal full of protein, with next to zero carbs.


Healthy, baked Buffalo Wings! Just in time for the Superbowl! Macro counts in blog post, iifym/macro friendly meal


Ingredients:


  • 15 full sized wings, skin on
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Frank's Red Hot Wings sauce
Directions:
  1. Mix vinegar and spices with a few squirts of buffalo sauce to create a marinade. 
  2. Arrange wings in two 9x13 inch pans and spread marinade over wings. Let marinate for 30 minutes (covered) in fridge.
  3. Heat oven to 400* and bake wings for roughly 45 minutes (or until cooked through & skin is crispy) flipping wings halfway.
  4. Toss in as much Buffalo sauce as desired (we used about 1 cup total)
  5. Serve hot.
** all the fat pretty much comes from the skin, if you want to lower your fat grams, remove the skin (a little healthier, but probably not as good!)

Serving size: 3 wings, makes 5 servings
Macros per serving: 17.3 g fat, 2.9 g carbs, 17.8 g protein

Healthy, baked Buffalo Wings! Just in time for the Superbowl! Macro counts in blog post, iifym/macro friendly meal


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

5 ways to flirt with your husband!

Yesterday my husband and I were talking about when we first met. We were reminiscing about the good times and how things that made us nervous then are extremely easy now.

For example, in the friendship stage for me I always debated "should I hug him goodbye? should I not?," "Scott's gonna be there, should I go? but I don't like watching the fights.. I don't want to seem like I'm just there to see him.. maybe I won't go.."

Everything was so new & slightly nerve racking, but also super exciting. I remember one time he ran into my apartment from the pool waking me up from my nap & he was shirtless. I couldn't help but stare. I was too sleepy to really keep my cool. The most attractive man on the planet ran into my bedroom, shirtless, to come to my rescue (he heard my apartment door was wide open & we had a creepy neighbor so he hurried to make sure I was safe).

I remember all the sparks and electricity that would happen if our hands accidentally touched. I remember the anticipation that built up before that first kiss. I remember hanging on to every word he said & storing it away like it were some priceless treasure.

Now I have him. He is mine forever. We are actually celebrating our anniversary in a couple days.

Because I can kiss him/hug him/cuddle him anytime I want, I find myself taking a lot of it for granted. Sure there are times when I still catch myself staring at him like I did in the beginning (like in the morning when he's all dressed for work, just looking super cute). But I don't make any excuse to touch his arm or hand like I used to. I don't have every kiss memorized anymore.

I want to reignite that fire that we had in the beginning. How do I plan on doing that? I'm going to flirt with my husband. 

I don't mean sending a sweet text or telling him how handsome he is. We really do that every day. I want to do those things you do in the beginning stages, when you're not trying to subtly let the other person know you like them because you're not quite sure how they feel about you.. Those subtle flirts are my favorite!

simple ways to flirt with your husband daily, subtle flirts that will remind you of when you first met!


1. Eye contact- You know what I'm talking about. You look at him & look away when he makes eye contact. Then you look again, he makes eye contact, you smile like you've been caught, and then look away. Maybe since we're married, I'd follow it up by walking up to him with out saying a word & kissing him passionately for a minute then walking away. This really communicates just how attractive you still find him.

2. Playful touching- I used to do this all the time in the beginning. If I ever needed to get around him, I would make sure my hand grazed his back or his arm as I was walking past. Very casual physical contact. I call it the "excuse me hand graze." This works especially well if you can catch his gaze and slightly smile while you're doing it.

3. Voice- We all know the anticipation that starts to build when it's just you & him and you're having a conversation, but then your voice gradually gets a little quieter & the speed at which you're talking slows. That's when the good eye contact starts. You begin looking at his eyes, then his lips, then his eyes again.

4. No logical questions- We often get in the "how was your day" "it was fine" rut. Keep things interesting. Ask better questions.

5. No logical answers- Like the point before, if they ask you a boring/logical question try to answer in a more fun, illogical way. I know in the beginning, I never wanted to come off boring, so I always tried to answer logical questions in the most positive way, possibly with a little story of something interesting that happened. That positivity is truly contagious.

A lot of these are simple and fairly obvious ways to flirt, but after you've been together for a little while you stop doing them. I hope these tips serve as a reminder that you CAN & SHOULD flirt after marriage =)



Monday, January 25, 2016

Ropa Vieja Nachos

As you guys know, I have been slowly trying to add more recipes to my blog, specifically recipes that are "Macro Friendly" since my husband and I have been following the IIFYM diet for about a year now. We are always looking to spice things up because I think the main reason people fail when dieting or trying to eat healthier is because they don't like what they are eating. We LOVE food & being healthy so we definitely didn't want to fall into that trap.

Ropa Vieja is a Cuban dish that is super easy and sooo delicous. The best part is that it's a crockpot meal, which makes it even easier. It's typically served with some white rice, black beans, and fried plantains. We were in a nacho mood so we put ours on top of some homemade tortilla chips, cheese, and black beans. Soooo good!

Crock pot Ropa Vieja is a Cuban dish that is super easy & macro friendly. We served ours nacho style! Macro count included (iifym, diet food)


Ingredients:


  • 1 pound flank steak
  • 3 tbs cumin
  • 1 cup chicken broth (yes, chicken not beef)
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 tbs distilled white vinegar
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt (more to taste/as needed)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper (we used 1/2 red & 1/2 green bell pepper)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • Nacho condiments, if desired (we used tortilla chips, black beans, shredded "Mexican style" cheese & sour cream)
Directions:

  1. Rub both sides of steak with half of the cumin (1 1/2 tbs) and a dash of salt.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium-high heat and then sear steak until browned on both sides.
  3. Add steak to Crock Pot
  4. Chop bell pepper, onion, & cilantro.
  5. Add all remaining ingredients to crock pot and cook on low for about 5 1/2 hours or until meat shreds easily with a fork.
  6. Once finished cooking, use 2 forks to quickly shred meat (still in crock pot) and then let sit for about 15 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve over tortilla chips, black beans, & shredded cheese (nacho style)
**this will cook fairly quickly in crock pot because the meat is typically pretty thin & has already been seared on both sides.

Serving size: Makes 5 servings
Macros per serving: 11.8 fat, 14.8 g carbs, 29.5 g protein (macros for Ropa Vieja only, not chips & beans)


Crock pot Ropa Vieja is a Cuban dish that is super easy & macro friendly. We served ours nacho style! Macro count included (iifym, diet food)


Friday, January 22, 2016

Tepanyaki Style Veggies

One of our favorite places to eat out are Tepanyaki style restaurants, like Benihanas or Shogun. You get dinner & a show AND the dinner is always amazing!!

I have really been craving their food lately, especially those veggies, so I figured I'd make some of my own. Now my recipe is a little different than theirs because I'm pretty sure they don't add Balsamic Vinegar, but the end result is extremely delicious.

This recipe makes 4 generous servings, but between my husband & I there were NO leftovers. This recipe goes great with steak =) Enjoy!

Tepanyaki Style Veggies- so good! Makes 4 generous servings. My husband & I devoured them all in minutes! No leftovers (macro/iifym friendly)


Ingredients:


  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 8 ounce carton sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbs reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste
Directions:

  1. Slice onion & zucchini in larger chunks. (for zucchini cut into spears by cutting off ends, then cut into 3 (2 inch) sections, then cut into fourths lengthwise, don't do circular slices)
  2. Heat saute pan over medium-high heat, lightly coat with Pam cooking spray
  3. Add onions to the pan, allow to soften slightly before adding zucchini & mushrooms
  4. Cover for about a minute to speed up mushroom & zucchini cooking time
  5. Add seasonings, stir, and serve hot
**Zucchini spears instead of slices help to keep zucchini from getting too soggy during cooking process


Serving size: Makes 4 servings
Macros per serving: .5 g fat, 9.2 g carbs, 4.2 g protein

Tepanyaki Style Veggies- so good! Makes 4 generous servings. My husband & I devoured them all in minutes! No leftovers (macro/iifym friendly)

Mediterranean Lemon Chicken


Whoever said diet food had to be boring never tried this chicken! Honestly, if you are trying to be healthier this new year & are sick of the typical bland meals, try this or some of my other Macro Friendly Meals.

This Lemon Chicken is packed with flavor & always turns out super moist! I like to pair it with veggies & a side of my famous Garlic & Herb Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes.

(If you are following IIFYM and need to up your carbs feel free to add a side of rice, but for me this is perfect!)
Easy & diet friendly Mediterranean Lemon Chicken, super moist w/ tons of flavor, macro/IIFYM diet friendly


Another reason this meal is a go-to for us is because it is beyond easy--just combine all the ingredients in a baking dish & stick in the oven! Super simple!

Ingredients:


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat Greek vinaigrette  (I used Cardini's Light Greek Vinaigrette)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 12 ounces (frozen) broccoli florets 
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped

Directions:


  1. Mix all ingredients except tomatoes in a small bowl until well combined
  2. Transfer to a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 9x13 inch baking pan & cover with foil
  3. Bake at 400* for 25-30 minutes
  4. Top with chopped tomatoes, serve with cauliflower mashed potatoes




Serving size: Makes 4 servings
Macros per serving: 9.1 g fat, 10.5 g carbs, 28.4 g protein (macro count w/o cauliflower mashed potatoes)

Garlic & Herb Mashed Cauliflower "Potatoes"

A little while ago I saw a flood of Cauliflower related posts in my Pinterest feed. It seemed like people were using Cauliflower for everything! There was pizza crust, rice, fried rice, tater tots, breadsticks, even potato salad!

It got me excited. So I jumped aboard and used Cauliflower rice instead of white rice in my stir fry recipe. Well. Much to my disappointment, it tasted like Cauliflower. That was fine I guess. I don't mind the taste of Cauliflower, but when you're expecting rice, it's kind of a bummer.

So months went by and about a month ago I decided to give Cauliflower another shot and I made Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes" and you know what? It was a hit! My one year old will even have seconds, thirds, and fourths of these "potatoes." And quite frankly, they're 10 times easier & quicker to make than normal mashed potatoes. I don't need to peel anything or wait forever for them to soften. I just steam, blend, and season.

The trick is to season like crazy. And to omit the milk you would normally add when making potatoes (the reason being that they are already pretty watery when steamed so the extra liquid will just dull down the seasonings making them too bland).

Garlic & Herb Mashed Cauliflower- with iifym macro counts, the key to making tasty mashed cauliflower is extra seasoning! (macro friendly meal, diet food)


Ingredients:


  • 12 ounce bag frozen cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 tbs sour cream
  • 1/2 tbs butter
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp parsley (I used dried, not fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp basil (I used dried, not fresh)
  • salt & pepper to taste


Directions:


  1. To save time I use the frozen cauliflower florets (store brand) and follow the steam-in-bag microwave directions (Typically 6 minutes in microwave).
  2. Once steamed, add cauliflower to a Food Processor and blend til you see no more chunks of cauliflower. Must be completely "mashed."
  3. Pour cauliflower into bowl & add seasonings. Salt & Pepper to taste.  
**I add more salt than pepper, really helps bring out the flavor of the other seasonings.
Serving size: Makes 2.5 servings
Macros per serving: 4 g fat, 7.9 g carbs, 3 g protein

Garlic & Herb Mashed Cauliflower- with iifym macro counts, the key to making tasty mashed cauliflower is extra seasoning! (macro friendly meal, diet food)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Perks of Pregnancy

Recently I've written about some of the ugly truths about pregnancy, but I thought it might be time to change my outlook to a more positive one and share with you some of the benefits. There are a decent amount of benefits to pregnancy after all (and they don't all have to do with getting to have another baby).

When you're pregnant there are definitely a lot of things you want to do, but can't BUT there are also a lot of things you don't want to do and can't or can at least get out of easily..

10 pregnancy perks! that have nothing to do with having a baby!



1. The ability to dress casual for ANY occasion- the excuse that you're at the point of the pregnancy where you are just wearing whatever fits works like a charm every time! Plus, no one wants to make the pregnant mama uncomfortable when she's already lugging around a huge baby. A lot of sympathy going on =)

2. It is easier to drop bad habits (and start good ones) when you are concerned about the baby in your tummy.

3. Better sex.

4. You can get out of doing things- honestly, you can say it's morning sickness, you can say you're just too tired, you can even say your doctor said you should just take it easy. There are excuses galore when you are pregnant.

5. It's okay to be lazy- if I want to nap an hour after waking up from a nap, it's really just fine. I am growing a baby after all.

6. You don't have to help during a move- no heavy lifting during pregnancy. This was great for me. We moved in November and I really didn't have to lift a finger. Granted I was the one who did all the packing & unpacking, but still!

7. You can make special meal requests- whatever you're in the mood for pretty much goes, even if it's Flaming Hot Cheetos at 10 at night.

8. You aren't supposed to clean the litter-box. Although the odds of contracting toxoplasmosis are super low and you're probably okay to change that litter box if you must, you can find plenty of articles telling you it's a no-no if you'd prefer to have your spouse take over the duties.

9. There is no judgement for having seconds or thirds or fourths of a certain food. You're eating for two, people almost expect it.

10. You can take a "sick" day off from work in the middle of the week and no one thinks anything of it. You could even just duck out a few hours early because you aren't feeling well or "get your morning sickness in the evenings" and your boss will usually let it slide. Just don't abuse it.

Now whether or not these benefits outweigh the negatives, it's hard to say.. but at least there are a few things to look forward to during the 9 months you need to wait for your cute baby to finally make their appearance!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Huevos a la Mexicana

I have mentioned before how much I love eating beans & eggs during pregnancy. My body just craves the extra protein & carbs. For me, it really just helps to fuel my body and helps me have  a more productive day.

I used to be one of those people who could skip breakfast, but not anymore! Maybe it's because I follow the IIFYM diet, or maybe it's because someone told me it boosts your metabolism to eat in the morning, either way, this is a great meal to have. One fairly popular variation is called Huevos a la Mexicana.

Basically, it's just Mexican style eggs. It uses onions, green (jalapeño) peppers, and tomatoes because those three colors make up the colors of the Mexican flag, thus it's name. Super simple, super delicious especially if you serve it alongside some pinto beans & a couple corn tortillas!

Easy Healthy Breakfast! Huevos a la Mexicana- Mexican style eggs served with pinto beans, iifym diet/ macro friendly meal, macro count included

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 tbs canola oil for cooking
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Prep veggies
  2. Heat pan over medium high heat. Add oil.
  3. Sautee onions first until semi translucent
  4. Add pepper, cook for 30-45 seconds then add tomatoes
  5. Add eggs to frying pan (I pan scramble my eggs, you can scramble in a bowl beforehand if preferred)
  6. Stir mixture once about every 30 seconds until eggs are cooked through
  7. Add salt to taste
  8. Serve with 1/4 cup beans & 3 corn tortillas (optional)
Serving size: Makes 1 serving
Macros per serving: 20.3 g fat, 6.5 g carbs, 17.6 g protein (macro count w/o beans & tortillas)

**If you prefer spicier, sub the jalapeño for serranos chiles, if you want it milder use green bell peppers


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Reeses Brownies

Today's post will be short and sweet! For years I have been making these amazing (and super easy) brownies. These Reeses Brownies are ALWAYS a hit! Feel free to bring these along to a Superbowl Party, Birthday Party, etc. you won't be sorry!

Honestly, one time I made these for a class potluck and my professor literally stopped mid lecture to talk about how delicious they were and to ask me for the recipe. Safe to say I aced that class ;) haha jk. (Well. I did, but it wasn't just because of the brownies lol)

You will be blown away by how simple these are to make. Since I'm the only one I know who makes them so I figured it was worth a share!


Best Brownies Ever! Reeses Brownies are so easy! and they literally get devoured at any get together I bring them to!


Ingredients:



  • Betty Crocker Brownie Mix
  • Oil (as listed on box)
  • Eggs (as listed on box)
  • Water (as listed on box)
  • Reeses Miniatures

Directions:


  1. Make brownies according to box mix directions
  2. Once removed from oven, press Reeses Miniatures into brownies. Spacing evenly. For an 8x8 inch baking dish I did 4 Reeses per 4 rows. 
  3. Let cool and serve!
Serving size: 1 brownie, makes 16
Macros per serving: 4.6 g fat, 31 g carbs, 1.8 g protein 
** To me all brownie mixes are interchangeable. Use your favorite. I prefer Betty Crocker brand, but that's just me. Also, I usually use their "Fudge" flavor brownie mix, but my store was out. But like I said, to me it doesn't make a huge difference taste wise, so use what you like! **


It's ridiculous how easy these are. If you're not a peanut butter fan you could substitute Rolos and they will also be a hit, I am just in love with peanut butter =) Enjoy!


Friday, January 8, 2016

The Ugly Truth About Pregnancy

Okay so your friend is pregnant. She tells you all about how great and magical it is. Feeling the baby kick, the idea that you're creating another life, I get it. I get it. This is my second pregnancy and I agree. It is magical. It is amazing to think that I can make another human being without really putting much thought or effort into it. Without thinking about it my body is creating another heart, a pair of lungs, etc. It is cool. But. what most pregnant women won't tell you is the embarrassing truth of what it's like to be pregnant.

[WARNING: If you don't want to read a pregnant woman's complaints, don't continue!]

It's not all sunshine and rainbows and it's really more than just weight gain and not being able to sleep on your stomach. There's embarrassing and weird side effects--think GAS! BLOATING! NOSE BLEEDS!

Also, there's a lot going on with your hormones. It's a big adjustment.


I find my self constantly second guessing whether or not I would legitimately feel as annoyed or frustrated with my husband if I wasn't pregnant. Is it just the hormones? or did he really do something as dumb as I think he did? It's really just crazy.. One time I literally started bawling because I thought I pressed the button to unlock my car, but when I went to open the door it was still locked.

A lot of it is really out of your control. You will sit there crying thinking about how ridiculous it is that you are crying but for some reason you can't stop.

Negative side effects of pregnancy that no one tells you--it's more than just weight gain!


Here's my long list of NEGATIVE pregnancy side effects (because everyone already knows the positive):



  • Gas
  • bloating
  • weight gain- gaining weight just sucks. period.
  • back pain
  • constipation
  • incessant crying...over NOTHING
  • increased urination-Honestly, one time I started crying because I had to go to the bathroom 5 minutes after I just went! Such a pain!
  • cravings & justifying eating for two which leads to more weight gain
  • working out-- all that extra weight makes your work outs 10x harder, not to mention you're so tired it is hard to get to the gym in the first place!
  • shortness of breath
  • tiredness
  • no comfortable sleeping position--even sleeping on your side won't help. Your stomach pulls down on you unless you have pillows propping it up.
  • shaving/basic grooming becomes difficult
  • cramping during sex
  • yeast infections
  • having to take prenatals DAILY-I'm not a vitamin person, so having to remember to take this every day is just annoying to me
  • having people constantly give their input on your diet and whether they think you should be eating more or less
  • baby in your ribs
  • sore nipples- this is the worst when the weather gets colder! I'm in physical pain every time I step outside!
  • sore breasts
  • random bloody noses
  • heart burn
  • itchy skin
The list goes on.. Just be prepared. It will suck. There will be times when you wonder why you wanted to get pregnant in the first place. You will be so fed up with everything and will feel like no one really understands what you are going through. But, there really only is one way to end all the madness and for me it takes place in 3 1/2 months after I somehow manage to push out an adorable baby girl. Until that day, I will be trying to focus on the positives and if I randomly start crying because I ran out of oreos or, more commonly, because I was fake crying as a joke and it turned real, well my husband's just going to have to deal.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

20 Ways to Date Your Spouse

A lot of us have present shopping off our radar now that Christmas is over, but guess what holiday's just around the corner?? Valentine's Day! (we also have our anniversary coming up on the 31st-so it's really a double whammy)

Anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's, etc are all great times to shop for your spouse, but for us, our love language is a combination of time and physical touch so we like to celebrate a little differently. (If you haven't read The 5 Love Languages, you definitely should!)

If you are anything like us, please read on for some great date ideas for spending time with your spouse that you will enjoy as well!

Need some more ideas? Check out this post on celebrating your husband on his birthday.

date night ideas perfect for Valentines or anniversaries. love the idea of renting a stand up comedy video!


1. Impromptu "luau" -- it sounds silly, but we live where it snows & can be pretty cold come January/February. Since a tropical vacation is a little out of budget, sometimes it's fun to pretend. Crank up the heat, wear beach clothes, enjoy some pulled pork, grilled pineapple, and tropical smoothies. If you have a hot tub, we like to hit it up & relax, otherwise a nice bubble bath is a good replacement. And if you must travel outside your home, crank up the heat in the car and continue the charade ;) 

2. Have a fondue night--appetizers, dinner, dessert-think Melting Pot!

3. Rent a video of your favorite stand up comedian! 

4. Make a vision board

5. Soak feet in a foot bath & follow it up with foot rubs

6. Eat by candlelight with soothing music playing in the background

7. Do a face mask

8. Eat dark chocolate covered strawberries--both are aphrodisiacs ;) I could even see us doing a night of aphrodisiacs, where everything on the menu needed to be one. Ooh! We totally might do this for Valentines!

9. Write each other love letters & read them aloud (you could even make this a fun time capsule, by making a video/recording them for you/your kids to listen to years later-how fun would that be to play during your 20th wedding anniversary!)

10. Have a picnic indoors (or outdoors)

11. Cook dinner together-- we either split this up, where one person does dinner & the other dessert or we make something completely new together.

12. Ask in-depth get to know you questions (need help? here's a list of questions I guarantee will have you learning more about your spouse)

14. Have a game night! (Check out this post by the Dating Divas for card game inspiration)

15. Take a bubble bath together

16. Look through old photos

17. Head to the gym and play some racquetball or our personal favorite--basketball! (we mainly play horse or around the world, but still fun!) Active dates are the best! Make a bet, winner gets a massage or picks the movie, etc

18. If weather permits, take a bike ride!

19. Have a movie night (boring! but more fun if you make it themed [have dinner, dessert & snacks match the movie])

20. Have a photoshoot-- we can never have enough couple pictures, and frankly when it comes time to pick a new Facebook profile pic it seems like we don't have ANY!


Pick 2 or 3 and pair them together for a great date night in! 


Some examples: 

I might pair the indoor picnic with some candlelight and soothing music while eating take out and follow it up with reminiscing over old photos. 

Or I might do a spa day with a foot bath/foot rub, face mask and chocolate covered strawberries while asking each other in depth get to know you questions. 

If we chose movie night, I'd make sure we bonded while making dinner together possibly Iron Chef style where we each would pick out some ingredients and invent a new recipe together (If it turns out awful we laugh & then order a pizza)

Another example might be to pair a bike ride with a picnic. We did a 20 mile bike ride that ended in a picnic at sunset at the beach! So fun to relax & enjoy the view afterward!

Have some fun with these ideas, get creative, and enjoy your spouse!!


Check out this cute book I recently came across:

175 best date ideas

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