Friday, May 27, 2016

5.27.16 - Friday Favorites


Happy Friday!!! I hope that your week was wonderful and that you've got big plans on the agenda this weekend for Memorial Day :) What is everyone up to? We're coming home from our babymoon, so I wrote this post in advance. One last getaway before our little lady gets here. I'll have a recap up soon of where we went and what we did! I can't believe that this weekend is the first to kick start summer - I can hardly believe that June is almost here. Now, in true Friday fashion... it's time for Friday Favorites!!

Life In Leggings

Food - 3 Ingredient Pancakes 


These are incredible! I made them in the nutribullet and could eat them everyday. They're high in protein and filling. Eggs + Banana + Chia Seeds. Blend them up and top with your favorite pancake toppings.

Fun - Outdoor Gardening


I plant a garden every year and can honestly say it's one of my favorite hobbies. There is nothing better than digging around in the dirt and watching those plants grow. I stocked up on my favorites this past week, so I'm looking forward to tomatoes, poblanos, jalepenos and basil (including purple basil!!). We added some experimental plants to the mix and also planted broccoli, brussel sprouts, cucumbers and melon!

Fashion - Baby Clothes


I thought shopping for my own clothes was fun (yep, even shopping for maternity clothes!), but shopping for baby clothes takes the cuteness to another level entirely. I picked up this eyelet flutter dress for our baby girl from Gap the other day! I can't wait for her to be here and to wear it. It will be perfect for the end of summer - and maybe newborn pictures ;)

Fashion - Gladiator Sandals


I love these sandals from Target! They're an incredible dupe for that Valentino pair that's floating around the internet. Let's be honest, I won't spend $1,000 on sandals, but I'll happily put down $30 for this dupe :)


What are you loving this Friday? 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Pregnancy: Weeks 17,18, 19

Since announcing my pregnancy on my blog, I realized I haven't shared any updates! I love going back to other blogs and reading weekly updates in the format below, so I figured it was time to share my own. If you aren't down for the baby posts, then feel free to skip on over this one. I'm currently in the 3rd trimester, but here's a look back on weeks 17, 18 and 19! 


Total weight gain/loss
  • I think about 4 lbs total. I lost weight in the first trimester and I'm finally starting to gain. I was worried about it, but my doctors didn't seem to be, so I'm just going by what they say! 
Exercise
  • Mostly sticking to walking and the Suzanne Bowen prenatal barre DVD's. I used to love attending barre classes, but traded them out for lifting and running. Early in my pregnancy, running just didn't feel comfortable or right anymore, so I traded it out for walking. I found that some lifting exercises made me dizzy, so it was the perfect time to get back to barre. 
Stretch marks
  • They say this is genetic, but I'm still trying to prevent them! I do have one tiny one, but I prefer to think of it as a baby tattoo. 
Gender
  • Not any specific feelings either way! Sometimes I feel like baby is a he and other times a she. Only a few more weeks until we find out.
Maternity clothes
  • I ordered these Paige Maternity Jeans from Nordstrom and I'm obsessed. They have side panels in the front and feel just like my normal jeans. I've been on the hunt for work pants and placed an online order with Gap this week - I'm hoping they work! The Bella band has been my saving grace with fitting into normal pants.
Sleep
  • I'm sleeping pretty well through the night thanks to the Snoogle! My husband is obsessed with it too and is always trying to steal it. 
Belly button
  • No changes! 
Food cravings
  • Nothing yet! I have been thinking a lot about soft serve ice cream though....
Food aversions
  • Chicken. I can't even think about it. I've been working hard to get my protein in through other sources, but it's been tough! 
Symptoms
  • Still feeling a little nauseous. Hoping it goes away soon! I'm so happy to have my energy level back and would say that the majority of the time, I feel like myself. 
Movement
  • Yes!! Baby is fluttering around in there :) Sometimes it tickles. I love it!  
What I miss
  • Philadelphia sushi rolls. Sunny side up eggs - I bought Davidson's pasteurized eggs, which I've recommended to immunocompromised patients before. The pasteurization process kills salmonella bacteria, so I know they're safe, but I'm still too freaked out to use them! 
What I'm loving
  • Sleep. Barre DVD's. Workout leggings
Best moment this week
  • Feeling the baby move!
Words of wisdom
  • One day at a time pregnant mommas. Some days I feel like myself and other days are tougher. Don't compare yourself to other people, everyone is doing the best they can!

Total weight gain/loss
  • Not sure! I haven't been weighed myself this week.  
Exercise
  • The usual, walking and barre DVD's - whatever feels good with plenty of rest days as needed. 
Stretch marks
  • Still just one tiny one :)
Gender
  • Not any specific feelings either way! Sometimes I feel like baby is a he and other times a she. Only a few more weeks until we find out.
Maternity clothes
  • I bought a ton of tanks after a big sale at Gap this weekend! They're the best. I'm still wearing some of my normal clothes, but I think those days are numbered. 
Sleep
  • Still sleeping pretty well - phew! 
Belly button
  • No changes! 
Food cravings
  • Nothing major... but a baked potato with cheese always sounds good :) 
Food aversions
  • Chicken. Still. 
Symptoms
  • Sporadic nausea, but that's it! 
Movement
  • Yes!! Baby is still dancing around in there
What I miss
  • Sushi. Red wine - so random, but my husband was drinking a glass the other day and I missed it. 
What I'm loving
  • Sleeping and having a more real looking bump! 
Best moment this week
  • Feeling close to halfway! 
Words of wisdom
  • Trying to enjoy every second because I realize baby won't always be in there! Eventually, he or she will be out and crawling around! 

Total weight gain/loss
  • 5 lbs
Exercise
  • Resting, walking and lots of barre DVDs 
Stretch marks
  • Still just one tiny one :)
Gender
  • Starting to feel like maybe it's a girl - can't wait to find out next week
Maternity clothes
  • No purchases but received a bag of maternity clothes from my friend Elisa. She's a lifesaver! I've been wearing them nonstop
Sleep
  • Still sleeping pretty well - but getting up a lot to use the bathroom
Belly button
  • Starting to wonder if it will pop out eventually..ahhh
Food cravings
  • Salads! Salad all the way. 
Food aversions
  • Chicken. Still. And probably forever
Symptoms
  • None! Occasional headaches 
Movement
  • Yes!! Baby is having a major party all day everyday 
What I miss
  • Sushi. Wine. That's about it. 
What I'm loving
  • Dressing the bump! I met my husband for lunch this week and my maternity jeans were in the wash - my regular ones were so uncomfortable, even with the belly band
Best moment this week
  • Feeling close to halfway, can't wait to find out if baby is a he or she next week
Words of wisdom
  • I'm loving this baby more and more everyday :) 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Best Ever Pasta Salad

Welcome to another week! Is there anything better in the summer time than cold meals? Salads, fresh mozzarella, crunchy celery. As the temperature turns, I gravitate away from anything hot and start to favor cold foods. Soups and casseroles return to the vault and I pull out all of my favorite summer recipes. A few weeks ago, I started becoming obsessed with cold pasta salad. I haven't craved much during my pregnancy other than salads (seriously, not a joke) but I did quickly fall in love with this pasta salad. Look for some baby updates this week - I decided I should finally share some!

But first, back to this recipe - I added chickpeas for extra protein, loads of veggies and went with quinoa pasta for a higher fiber and higher protein option. It's colorful, fun and perfect for the summertime. Enjoy!


If my kitchen walls could talk: Feel free to add in any of your favorite veggies - zucchini or green bell peppers would be wonderful additions as well. This recipe is also amazing without the pasta, feel free to leave it out - just be sure to either use half the amount of dressing or increase the veggie/chickpea ratio.



Best Ever Pasta Salad

Ingredients

1 box quinoa pasta
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
2 cans chickpeas, drained
1 cup black olives
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp oregano, dried
1/2 tbsp minced garlic

1. Boil pasta according to directions until al dente. Meanwhile, chop vegetables into bite sized pieces.
2. In a large bowl, combine carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, chickpeas and olives. Drain pasta and add to vegetable mix.
3. Combine olive oil, white wine vinegar, oregano and garlic, stirring to combine. Pour over pasta mixture. Refrigerate until cold, allowing flavors to meld together.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Memorial Day Magic Bars

Happy Monday! Can you believe the end of the month is almost here? It feels like May flew by in a flash and now summer is only a few weeks away. I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things about this time of year is spending time outdoors with family and friends. I always love to bring along food (surprise!) and so I gravitate towards recipes that are easy to prepare but pack a delicious punch. Leaving the oven on for extended periods of time makes the house feel hotter than the outdoors and I would rather be spending my time poolside! Today, I'm sharing one of my favorite dessert recipes.


This is a fall favorite with a summer twist that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and has only 4 ingredients! Who hasn't spent fall days over a campfire roasting marshmellows for smores in the backyard? Let me tell you, I bet you aren't going to be building a fire in the sweltering heat of summer, but you can enjoy smores with these classic smores bars!


You'll need a few things - gluten free graham crackers or animal crackers, sweetened condensed milk, marshmellows, chocolate chips, a baking dish and about 20 minutes. That's it, friends.


This recipe is perfect for summer parties, so make sure to pin it for Memorial Day, 4th of July or Labor Day! I can guarantee there won't be leftovers, so if you're looking for extras to have on hand, make sure to make a double batch.


If my kitchen walls could talk: Feel free to jazz up this recipes with your favorite fixings. In the mood for peanut butter bars? Use half peanut butter chips and half chocolate. Wanting a more tropical bar? Substitute coconut and dried pineapple for the marshmellows. Don't forget to line your baking dish with parchment paper - otherwise, your bars might stick!

Smores Magic Bars

Ingredients

8 oz gluten free animal crackers
4 tbsp butter
8 oz chocolate chips
2 cups mini marshmallows
14 oz sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper.
2. Using a rolling pin or food processor, crush animal crackers, combine with melted butter pressing into bottom of baking dish.
3. Top cookie layer with chocolate chips and marshmallows. Spread condensed milk evenly over chocolate layer.
4. Bake for 15-18 minutes until marshmallows are lightly browned. Allow to cool, then cut into bars.

What's your go-to summer dessert? 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

DIY Blush Mercury Glass Votive Tutorial

When my fiance (now husband) and I set a date for our wedding, planning mode officially kicked off. I was immediately dreaming of a blush and gold wedding, complete with blush mercury glass votives, table numbers, the works. I quickly fell in love with the beauty of mercury glass and decided that it was something I had to have as part of our centerpieces. Unfortunately, reality quickly set in when I started looking at mercury votives. My jaw quickly dropped at the prices - $25, or more, for 6 votives? We were going to need over 200 and I couldn't see spending over $800 on votives that we would never use again....with wedding season creeping up, I'm sure other brides-to-be are in a similar boat.


So, I started looking into DIY alternatives and unfortunately came up empty handed. I found a few tutorials on how to make silver mercury glass, but I wanted blush and gold. After much trial and error, I came up with the beautiful votives you'll see above and below. You don't have to be a craft wizard to complete this project, but you do need to be open to trial and error. Fortunately, with patience, = time and significantly less cash, you can create the mercury glass votives of your dreams!

One of the biggest things you'll need for this project is the votives. I recommend looking at discount factory candle stores in your city. I paid $0.25 (or sometimes less) per votive by looking up sales and using coupons I found online. The rest was easy! Second, you'll need to run by the craft store to pick up your paint. I used Martha Stewart's Transparent Gloss Glass Paint - pick a shade closest to the pink you're looking for - and Krylon's Metallic Paint. Don't try to do this project all in one day. You'll need time between steps 2 and 3, but you could easily complete it over a weekend. Ready? Let's get started!


Blush Mercury Glass Tutorial

Ingredients

Votives
Alcohol
Spray Bottle
Foam Craft Brush 
White Vinegar
Martha Stewart Glass Paint
Krylon 18k spray paint

Step 1: Prep the Surface
  • Make sure all the tags have been removed from your votives. Using an old dish rag or cotton ball, clean then thoroughly with alcohol and allow them to dry. 
  • Do not skip this step! You don't need dust or dirt in your finished product.

Step 2: Create Blush Glass

  • Pour small amount of paint onto a paper plate. Using your foam brush, lightly cover the inside of each votive in paint. Do not paint the outside. Repeat until desired number of votives are finished, refilling your paint dish as necessary. Use a second coat of paint as desired. 
  • Next, you will need to cure the votives. Let them air dry for about an hour. Line a baking sheet with foil and fill it up with the painted votives. 
  • Set the votives in a cold oven and set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, bake for 30 minutes then turn the oven off. Wait a few hours to remove - they'll be hot! I recommend opening the windows in your kitchen for this step as it can cause an unpleasant odor. 

Step 3: Create Mercury Glass!

  • Fill up your spray bottle with half water and half white vinegar. You're going to use the vinegar spray all over your votives. This will keep the gold paint from adhering in all spots and help to create that "mercury" look. 
  • I recommend completing the rest of this project outdoors or in your garage with the door open - the Krylon paint does have an odor and it's probably best to not breathe in the fumes! 
  • Working in sets of ~4, spray the inside of your votives with the vinegar/water mixture. Don't worry if the vinegar water begins to pool in the bottom - what you're looking for is an even coverage of spots on the side. Next, lightly dust the insides with the metallic paint. You just want to provide a gentle dusting of gold, so that the pink will still shine through. Remember, you can always add more gold, but you can't take it away. 
  • Repeat until all votives are finished, allow to air dry. Enjoy your beautiful votives!

Questions about this project? Feel free to ask in the comments below!