5.20.2015

IT'S A.........

 
BABY BOY!

We are thrilled beyond words. I just can't believe we are going to have a son.  
A bouncing baby boy. 

We are 99.9% sure on the name, but we're going to play with it for a few weeks and make sure it feels right.

My mind and heart have been on overdrive since we found out and it truly just feel like Christmas in my little world.

5.19.2015

Bumpdate: 18 weeks

 How Far Along? 18w, 4d - due October 15, 2015

Gender: We will spill the beans tomorrow! 

Weight Gain: 7lbs

Maternity Clothes: Jeans but that's it.

Nursery: June will bring some changes.

Movement:
My friend described the movements as muscle twitches and that's exactly what I feel! I feel twitches a few times a day actually, only when I'm laying or sitting, but it's a very cool feeling. I've also noticed that the left side of my belly is "harder" and sticks out more. When we were at the ultrasound, we found out the baby is breech and what I'm feeling is the round ligaments from the babies head!

Symptoms: As I describe my symptoms, I want to be really clear that I'm not complaining. I've been very, very, very fortunate to have an easy pregnancy, this baby has been very good to me, but I'm taking note of interesting changes for myself for other pregnancies, and for other woman who like to compare notes.

My lower belly is tighter and feels heavier, and when I lay flat my stomach feels almost foreign - it honestly makes me giggle because I don't recognize it. With the growth of my stomach, I've noticed it's becoming more itchy too. Also, if I get too full it is the most uncomfortable feeling ever. After my birthday dinner - and eating a huge burger, too many fries, and bites of cake, I was up all night long with a level 10 stomach ache.

Sleep: Half a unisom gives me the best sleep for sure.
Joel: Smooth and steady. I was nervous for the big ultrasound, but he just kept saying "it's going to be fun", and Thank God, it really was. He loved, as much as, seeing the baby move and check out perfectly. We were both just mesmerized.

Workouts: 2 gym, 1 spin, 1 pool. I bought goggles last week and made it to the pool to swim laps on Saturday morning. I swam for about 35 minutes and it felt great. I'm a strong swimmer (used to be a lifeguard) and I have missed swimming more than I realized. I'm hoping I keep up a pool day from here on out.

Cravings: Arnold Palmer's still always sound good. Bagels were back this week...nothing wild.

What I Miss: A buzz! Ha!

Random Things: Knowing the baby is healthy is just beyond. Honestly....I'm over the moon right now. I'm also measuring about 9 days ahead which is an interesting random fact and I have been since the first ultrasound.


Best Moment This Week: The Ultrasound for sure. The baby was dancing around for us the entire time, I couldn't even handle it. It was amazingly reassuring as the doctor went through every inch of the baby and having her tell us that everything is looking perfect. Seeing the four ventricles of the heart, counting babies fingers and toes, seeing its big head (thanks to me), big lips (again me), and long limbs (all Joel) was pretty damn amazing. As we were leaving, she said to me "just keep doing exactly what your doing", which honestly almost made me cry.

Sharing the sex with our families was really fun too. We were actually surprised (the guess at week 12 was wrong), so we were just about as shocked as everyone else! Our friends and family truly just elevated the pure joy we are feeling and I'm so excited to bring a baby into a family that is so, so, so in love with that baby already.


Looking Forward To: I'm planning on staying in this moment for a good while. My cousin Amanda gets here this week and we are going to shop for this baby until we drop! June will be a month that will bring some legit changes to our house, and we will probably register, so many fun things to look forward to. Our next check up in June 5th.

5.18.2015

Weekend Recap

I wish!! I almost (it was missing like 6 pom poms!) grabbed this pillow from Francesca's because it is just too freaking cute
The best part of my weekend started on Thursday night when all of LA girlfriends got together to celebrate my birthday dinner. A few of us met early for drinks in the hotel lobby at Shutters in Santa Monica and then we all had dinner at their restaurant Coast.



It's hard to get our group together in one place, and when we do, there are never enough hours. I love these girls, we've seen a lot in our 3.5 years of friendship, and I'm so thankful for each and every one of them. They truly make L.A. home for me. I think I ended up getting home just before 11, and it took me like two hours to fall asleep because I was just buzzing with happy energy from our night spent together.


Honestly, the rest of the weekend was relaxing and low key - and I don't have a lot of pictures to show for it (Joel is blaming snapchat). Friday I was totally wiped out and didn't even make it to the gym, so we ordered pizza  when the day was done and I think we both were in bed at 9.

Saturday I made it to the pool to swim laps which felt great, and then Joel and I went to Pitch Perfect in the afternoon. We picked up salad for dinner and watched another episode of Chef's Table.


If you have Netflix, I highly recommend you check this out. It's a Netflix original series from the producers of Jiro Dreams of Sushi (another must-see), and we are loving it. The first episode with the Italian Chef Mossimo Bottura has been my favorite but all of them are beautifully shot, very interesting, and really entertaining.

Sunday after a walk and church, we hung around home, make great jerk chicken pitas on the grills, and called it a wrap on the weekend.

We have a big week ahead - and my cousin Amanda arrives on Wednesday!!!! - so this weekend at home was much, much needed.

5.13.2015

20 Minute Dinner Go-To's

While I have very little to complain about in regards to pregnancy symptoms, I'm still hitting an exhaustion wall around 3pm that wipes me out and takes away all of my motivation to cook dinner.

I normally spend an hour talking myself into just doing it even when it doesn't sound fun or appealing at all. I think Joel gets a text message three times a week warning him that I might not be up for making dinner, but most days I get a wave of energy and end up powering through and getting it done.

One thing that has helped is keeping the dinner plan as simple as possible. My goal is to spend as little time in the kitchen cooking and preparing as possible. I've finally got about ten or so meals that I can crank out quickly, so I decided to group them here in case you're in need of some quick dinner motivation too.

As you may or may not notice, I haven't been much into fish, so that food group is notably missing, and I'm still trying to avoid super carb-heavy dinners so I try to keep sandwiches and pastas at bay during the week, although they've been popping up more and more.

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These have been our go-to's for the last 17 weeks and will probably carry us for the foreseeable future!

Sometimes I cut out the peppers and just turn them into "bowls" (one less step). Everything remains the same except you serve it in a bowl and I add a lot of extra sriacha. 

additional time saver - buy your own tzatzki
Gryos with Greek Chicken & Tzatziki Sauce (also recipe for flatbread pita) | Cooking Classy

 

Chili is a constant around here too. We like to make a regular chili on Sundays to have for the whole week, but I love a white chicken chili in the summer too.

I roasted the chick-peas at 425, coated in olive oil, s&p, for 30 minutes

Taco Bar
I mix up the ingredients based on what sounds good, but staples are corn, beans, jalpenos, pre-shredded lettuce, cheese, homemade guac, and ground turkey
 

Breakfast for Dinner - Protein Pancakes
I'll pick up breakfast turkey sausage to serve with the protein pancakes, or we'll do eggs and smoothies when I'm really desperate.


Meatballs - Buffalo Turkey 
Meatballs are so easy and statifying, so different variations show up on our menu a lot! These are really good, but I did have to omit the blue cheese for now, but I subbed it with plain greek yogurt and extra green onion.

Steak and/or Steak Salad
This is my recipe. It's steak served on a bed of broccoli/carrot slaw (bought at Trader Joes) and cabbage. I add tomatoes, avocado, and chopped pecans and toss it with a wasabi dressing I buy at our local seafood shop.


What are some of your healthy and quick weeknight dinners?

5.12.2015

Bumpdate: Week 17

How Far Along? 17w, 4d - due October 15, 2015

Gender: We find out next Monday!

Weight Gain:
Not looking this week

Maternity Clothes: I'm finding out that more and more of my clothes are not working which is par for the course, but is frustrating.

Nursery: June will bring some changes.

Movement:
Nothing distinct, but twice this past week when I was laying down on my side I felt what I would describe as a goldfish doing a flip in my stomach.

Symptoms: Very solid week actually. I did have a chance to sneak in a few naps but I'm blaming that on the fact that I was up at 4am twice this week and less because I'm pregnant. Besides having to use the bathroom seriously 40 times a day, I'm happy to report that I was really just happy this past week.

Sleep: Half a unisom gives me the best sleep for sure.
Joel: He had a Mother's Day card that he gave to me on the plane ride home from Vancouver which was really cute, and then when we walked in, he had arranged for my cousin to bake my favorite breakfast (Pioneer Woman's overnight french toast bake) and a huge bouquet of flowers waiting for me. It was pretty over the top adorable.

Workouts: 1 gym, 1 spin, and we stayed pretty active in Vancouver but my eating was out of control last week so I've to clock some serious hours this week.

Cravings: Arnold Palmer's. We bought tea in Vancouver so that I can try and make some at home.

What I Miss: Running. It doesn't feel good and I've now gone 17 weeks without it, so it's even harder, so I think it'll be a thing of the past until October. I miss the feeling of coming home drenched in sweat after a really hard run.

Random Things: Getting Mother's-Day-To-Be cards and notes was pretty surreal. To think that next Mother's Day I'll be an actual mom is just mind blowing/world changing/over the moon feeling.

Best Moment This Week: My birthday and Vancouver were just amazing. We spent so much time outside, eating good food, being together....it was a perfect celebration.

Looking Forward To: Next Monday like crazy. I'm ready to see the baby, anxious and hopeful that everything looks healthy and perfect, and to find out the sex. I have to keep it out of my mind because my excitement and nerves do have a tendency to take over, so I'm just going to stay busy until next week gets here. 

5.11.2015

Vancouver Recap


Where do I even begin? 

First of all, we absolutely loved Vancouver and were treated to the most beautiful weather the entire the entire time we were there. The city itself is just beyond beautiful and 48 hours is no where near enough time.



We took the first flight out of LA on Friday morning, think 6:30am, and even though that 4am alarm clock sucked, we landed at 9 and had the entire day to explore. After we dropped off our bags at the hotel (we stayed at the Hyatt Regency downtown), our first stop was brunch at Medina Cafe, thanks to Kate's recommendation.



The wait was about 25 minutes when we got there but we had a cup of coffee and just enjoyed the awesome ambiance. It was the perfect spot to start our trip, not only because I needed a latte badly, but also because it lovely, smelled Heavenly, and was a relaxing and fun place that seemed captured the vibe of Vancouver spot on.


They're famous for their waffles and fancy dipping sauce, so we started with one and tried the milk chocolate lavender and berry compote, and then ordered brunch (Salmon Fume for me and Fricassee for Joel).


Once we were nice and full we decided to walk through the city and see as much as we could. Downtown is very walkable which is nice so we found ourselves in Gastown maybe twenty minutes later.

 

I absolutely adored Gastown. It felt like Boston and Paris had a baby in the best ways possible. At every turn we had views of the water and mountains, there were tons of front patios filled to the brim of people enjoying happy hour and late lunches, and everyone just seemed friendly and happy to be outside. We popped into a few stores, including DavidsTea which we love and don't have in LA, and then made it back to the hotel.

Friday night Joel's company hosted a private concert for their clients. The band didn't allow anyone to bring in their phones and asked us to keep all details (even their name) off the Internet before their tour starts next week. It was an incredible night and experience - but one that I'm going to have to just keep a mental picture of. How did people do it back in the olden days ;)

I did get a chance to sneak in a blow out before the concert which was a fun treat too and I was seriously impressed that we made it out til almost midnight!


Saturday was our only full day in the city so we tried to get in as much as we could. I slept in a little Saturday morning, but after Starbucks in bed, Joel and I ventured out.

Our first stop of the day was Thierry, another great recommendation (thank you!). 


We started with macaroons, the maple pecan and vanilla, both of which were amazing and then Joel was in Heaven with his quiche Lorraine. I'm normally not a huge quiche fan, but this was one of the best I've ever had. 


We enjoyed our little breakfast outside and just took it all in. So many moments in Vancouver reminded me of our trip to Paris, and this one absolutely was one of them.


From there, we continued our journey to Stanley Park. 
 

Stanley Park is walking distance from where we stayed downtown (maybe a mile) and is 1,000% a Must Do when you visit Vancouver. There is a bike shop just a block a way from the park where lots of tourists were renting bikes, so we decided to join the fun too.


I am so glad we did because being able to bike the entire park is just a spectacular experience. I think it's 8 or 9 miles, it took us about an hour to leisurely ride, but it was just beyond words beautiful. The weather was perfect, the smell of the ocean was magical, and the views are just to die for. 

If we had stayed longer I really would have loved to do it every morning we were there.

 

 
 

The bikes were around $8 dollars an hour and the bike trail is really easy to manage. It's totally separate from the walkers and runners so I didn't feel like we spent the entire time dodging people, like you do in Central Park or on Lake Shore trail.

After we returned the bikes we went back into Gastown for lunch. We wanted to spend a few hours just sitting in the center of the town, so we grabbed a prime seat at Chill Winston ordered an appetizer and drinks and played cards.
The people watching was great , the sun was out, the Arnold Palmers were flowing, we split a bison burger.....life was very, very good.


We went back to the hotel around 3ish to rest for a little bit before we hit the town again. 


Dinner was in Yaletown which is another really cool neighborhood we were able to walk to from our hotel. We had a drink at cool gastro-pub before dinner and just took in the scene.

 

My favorite mocktail is a Virgin Moscow Mule....which is basically just ginger beer, lime, and a little club soda, but there is something about that mug that really helps you feel like you're drinking the real thing. 


We walked just a block down for our phenomenal dinner at Blue Water Cafe.

We haven't had a fancy dinner like this in a while, so it was just so fun and indulgent to sit at the table for hours just taking our time and enjoying being together. We ate so much fresh seafood, Joel enjoyed some B.C. oysters,we  stuffed ourselves to the brim, and just had the best time.


We left on the first flight back to LA Sunday morning and spent most of Sunday just relaxing after our fantastic, whirlwind trip. I am so thankful that I was able to join Joel on his work trip, because it was honestly the best birthday weekend I could have imagined. If you have a chance to visit Vancouver, I can't recommend it enough, and I hope that we are lucky enough to go back again sometime soon.

and p.s.

I want to wish my Dad the happiest and most relaxing of birthdays - and for this new year to bring great health, great success, and great happiness. Him and my mom are off to their favorite place in the world - Punta Mita - which is exactly where they both deserve to be and enjoy.