Hello week 23!

I can’t believe how fast time is passing by. I’m now 23 weeks 1 day and it’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that we will be having a sweet little girl join our family in 17 weeks! Her name will be, Emma Joy and she has already shown that she is going to be my feisty one!

Back at week 8 or so I wrote about the journey so far with Emma, you can read that here, but she wasn’t making the beginning of pregnancy very easy for this mama. A short synopses, she caused me to have a subchorionic hemorrhage that gave us a huge scare, a little bed rest and resting until our next doctor visit. Then she made me sick as a dog. This was no morning sickness, this was all day and night sickness. Nothing really helped and the medicine I could only take at night because it would make me pass out. Can’t do that when you’re at home with a toddler.

By week 17 I finally started to feel better, got back to a normal routine of life and felt more like myself again. I know Titus was finally glad to have his mom be able to function again. Then we were able to have our gender ultrasound at week 19 and found out that we were having a sweet girl!

I was so excited! I kept feeling like it was a girl but Nathan kept reminding me that I had a 50/50 chance of being right.

At that appointment the doctor brought up a concern that I hadn’t gained much weight. I already had a bump but I had only gained about 2 lbs in the entire 19 weeks. But remember I was super sick for a lot of that time and my appetite pretty much didn’t exist. She said that Emma was only in the 15th percentile and that for the next 4 weeks I needed to do my best to put on weight. Her actual orders were to eat ice cream every night. Every persons dream doctor order! But she said if it got lower than that we would have to see a specialist. I was worried after that visit but thought, You just need to gain weight! You can do this! So that’s what I did.

The next 4 weeks that’s what I did. I still ate healthy but added in snacks here and there, ate ice cream regularly and started drinking chocolate milk, sure things to make you gain weight. I was actually worried that she might tell me I put on weight to fast.

Yesterday I had a follow-up ultrasound with my next appointment. I went into the ultrasound thinking and even saying out loud to the ultrasound tech that I was sure my sweet Emma had put on weight. I had gained 8 lbs (which thankfully the doctor said was a perfect amount), I am feeling constant movement and this weekend you could even see Emma moving from the outside. After my ultrasound I had my appointment.

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During the appointment the doctor said that now Emma was in the 5th percentile for her size. She said that the next step was to followup with a perinatal specialist and have a more detailed ultrasound. My stomach sank right then. I thought I have been trying to do everything right. Eating a good amount of healthy food but also pack on the weight for my girl. It all hit me. I felt like my job when I’m pregnant is to protect, grow and nurture this sweet baby and I felt like I’ve been failing at my job. My OB reassured me that it’s very possible that my sweet, feisty Emma may just be small and that’s ok, but we just need to know for sure. That is what the specialist will tell us.

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Thankfully it’s nothing super serious and it seems like Emma is “healthy”. Strong heart beat, tons of movement and looks great in the womb. They are just concerned about her size. Nathan was not able to go with me to my appointment and I felt like I needed to tell him, my family and close friends to be in prayer for us before posting my update. I am supposed to get a call today with my appointment for the specialist and she wants me to see them sometime within a week. So that’s the plan for now.

As her mama, I just want to make sure that I’m doing the best I can for my girl. I’m giving her the nutrition and fat that she needs to grow and be strong and healthy. So we are going into this appointment thinking that we are just going to have a petite little girl. Last night Nathan joked that Titus took all of the fat genes in the family so Emma will just be our little girl! And I am totally ok with that, I just need to know that she is healthy!

So if y’all would, be praying for my sweet family this week. Pray that our Emma will keep growing strong, that the specialist will give us a great report, and that I wouldn’t let it consume my thoughts questioning if I could be doing better as her mama. I am so thankful and blessed that God choose me to take care of these amazing babies of mine!

Love,

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Cheesy Enchilada Bake

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for being so patient with me. I know I’ve been MIA, but up until about 6 weeks ago I was still struggling pretty bad with all day sickness. This little one wanted to take mama on a little bit of an adventure, more than Titus ever did. I’m finally feeling better, cooking for my family again and getting our house set up to add our sweet addition. On Monday you will get a completely updated blog post on whats going on with me, my family and our pregnancy. Until then here is one of my new favorite recipes that I’ve been making. Since Nathan is on a healthy journey and I’m growing a baby, we are both working on eating better.

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Cheesy Enchilada Bake (No tortilla)

Printable Version

Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:IMG_2487

– 1 Rotisserie Chicken
– 1 can of Red Enchilada Sauce; I used Old El Paso brand
– 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 orange pepper
– 1 onion
– Bag of shredded Cheese Blend; Use as much as you need to cover the top of the dish
– Bag of Spinach or Riced Cauliflower
– Taco Seasoning
– Sour Cream and Guacamole

Directions:

  1. Remove Chicken from your rotisserie Chicken
  2. Dice peppers and onion; sauté for 5 minutes
  3. Shred Chicken; You can choose to shred it yourself, or I added all of mine to my Kitchen Aid Mixer until it was fully shredded. While it was shredding in the mixer I added my taco seasoning so it would mix well.
  4. Add chicken to baking dish
  5. Top with Peppers and Onions
  6. Add Enchilada Sauce
  7. Cover with Cheese Blend
  8. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes
  9. Top either your cauliflower rice or spinach with your finished Enchilada Bake.
  10. Use Sour cream and/or guacamole as you wish. ENJOY!!

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we have! Its delicious and you get 2 great servings of veggies!

Don’t forget to check back on Monday for our family update. I will also include another recipe in Mondays blog. Have a great weekend!

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IP Must haves!

So have you bought your Instant Pot? If you haven’t, you should!

Having an Instant Pot makes life so much easier! Now that I have had mine for a while and cooked a wide verity of meals I have found my top 5 accessories that make the Instant Pot even better!

Top 5 Instant Pot Must Haves!

1. Stainless Steel Inner Cooking Pot

Your Instant Pot already comes with one Inner Pot61zteQNThkL._SL1500_but having a second one has been a game changer for me. With an additional pot you can store on in the refrigertor with left overs or when you are cooking more than one thing you can prepare two meals and cook them back to back. You can buy one here .

2. Silicone Lid Cover

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Are you storing your left overs? Or prepared a meal that you’re taking with you to a party? Then you need one of these covers. It fits over the inner pot perfectly with no leaking. I ordered 2 for each pot. You can get one here.

3. Silicone Egg Bite Molds

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This is one of my favorite accessories for the Instant Pot, with it  you can make:
-Egg Bites
-Muffins
-Mini meatloaf bites
-Baby Food; if you have a baby these are the perfect size to make your own.
I would say get one of these as your first purchase for your Instant Pot. Get one here.

4. Steamer Basket

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Any type of veggie, hard-boiled eggs or if you’re making homemade broth. The steamer basket is perfect for this. There are 2 options for the steamer baskets and you can get them both here or here.

5.Silicone Loaf Pan

I just recently got one of these and I’m already loving it. This loaf pan is perfect for making your own bread, cakes and meatloaf. The loaf pan was also very inexpensive. You can get one here. 71Vm8lgdVoL._SL1500_

So once you have your Instant Pot or if you already have it, these are the best most usable accessories to ease cooking. Let me know if you decided to try these and how it goes. Enjoy cooking in your Instant Pot!

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Who doesn’t love breakfast?

Seriously, who doesn’t love breakfast food? Eggs, Bacon and hash-browns. I could eat that kind of meal everyday. But the worst part of breakfast food is most of the time I don’t want to cook as soon as I wake up in the morning. I’m usually pretty tired, entertaining my toddler and trying to get him fed. Once I’ve done all that time has passed and I don’t feel like preparing it, or having to do the clean up afterwards.

So I have started to prep our breakfast food. I’m making some type of delicious casserole that last us the week. I spend one day cooking and then every morning its in the fridge and only has to be heated up.

Below is one of my go-to, Whole 30 approved, healthy breakfast meals.


Ranch Sweet Potato Sausage Egg Bake

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooke Time: 25 minutes

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Ingredients:
-2 Medium sweet Potatoes, cubed
-1 lb Turkey breakfast sausage
-3 cups spinach
-9 Eggs
-1 Red Pepper
-1 tbsp coconut oil
-1/2 yellow onion, diced.
-Salt and Pepper to taste
-Avocado to top

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 400, grease baking dish.
2. Add coconut oil to sauté pan and add diced sweet potatoes.
3. In a different sauce pan add Turkey sausage, brown.
4. Once Turkey is brown, add diced pepper, spinach and onions.
5. In a bowl whisk egg, add salt and pepper.
6. Once Sweet Potatoes are tender, mix them with Whole30 Ranch.
7. In your baking dish, layer sweet potatoes, sausage bake and top with whisked eggs (cover dish evenly).
8. Bake for 20 minutes.


Enjoy!

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My Simplified Life

New year, new you? Was one of your New Years goals/resolutions to be more organized, tidy and to destress your life? If so, you need to read “Simplified Life” by Emily Ley. Even from the first chapter alone, I can guaranty that she has helped simplify my life.

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I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I already tend to be a pretty organized and tidy person. However, I’m always trying to find new ways to help life stay organized and make everyday life less chaotic. This book made me realize I still have many things that add to the stressful nature of my day to day.

I love her explanation on why she has a simplified life:

I don’t organize or structure life just because it’s my job or because I want things to look good from the outside. I do these things because I want a life that is rich, seen, and uncomplicated. I don’t want to be weighed down by day-to-day responsibilities. I want to be able to enjoy Saturdays, making memories with my family instead of folding mountains of laundry. I want dinner to be a calm time to reconnect and enjoy good food with the people I love, not a rushed, chaotic evening ritual I’m just hoping to survive. I want to be able to sit with my kids or with a friends and wholeheartedly listen, not spend my days with stresses running through my head. I want to be able to enjoy this beautiful life, not be constantly overwhelmed by it.
-Emily Ley, A Simplified Life

Then she starts with the first task; simplifying your space. For the most part I’ve always thought my space was pretty simplified. I don’t have lots of clutter, it makes me anxious, I don’t keep a lot of things unless they are being used or will be used regularly in the next few months. And I’m not someone who has lots of sentimental objects. I love pictures and creating memories, I just don’t tend to keep everything that has to do with that memory or experience. This is not the same for everyone and, believe it or not, people give me a really hard time about this; but it helps me feel comfortable in my home and relaxation after a long day.
My husband actually said something to me the other day that probably meant more to me then he even knew. I was processing with him about if it’s a struggle for him that I don’t tend to keep things or that I’m not saving everything Titus ever did. That sweet husband of mine looked at me and said I would rather have a clean, organized house for the rest of our lives than spend 2 minutes reminiscing on something from our past or present.
↑ so thankful for this man, he so gets me!

So the first space I started was my kitchen, since I figured I would tackle the downstairs first. I went through and thought, “Do we use this?” And “does this help make my life easier or harder?” I realized that I had 30 glasses, 16 mugs, and duplicates of many kitchen gadgets in my cabinets and drawers. Then I asked myself at what point am I going to use all of these cups? Lets be serious, if I’m having that many people at my house, we are using plastic cups so I don’t have to do as many dishes at the end of the day. There are 3 people living in this house and 1 of those people is only 19 months old and will not be using glasses anytime soon. So I kept 10 glasses and my specialized mugs and one of each gadget. The rest I either sold or donated. Then I moved to the dining room and living room and went through my craft cabinet and Titus’ toys. Believe it or not, I do feel more relaxed in my house and it seems like I’m not spending as much time during the day cleaning up, doing dishes or thinking of ways to keep it more organized. It just naturally became that way without so much stuff.

Simplifying your space means giving your home potential to inspire and soothe.

-Emily Ley, A Simplified Life

 I’m loving this journey so far! My downstairs has been simplified and I can feel the difference. I am in the process of doing our bedroom and Titus’ room and it has been a relaxing process. I can’t wait to see what the next chapters hold for our simplified life.

If you want to start your simplified life you should check out Emily Ley’s book, Simplified Life.

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Cinnamon Apples: Instant Pot

Another quick and delicious recipe for a healthy snack or desert. It has helped fill our sweet tooth since being on Whole30. The great thing about this recipe is you can use it not only for cinnamon apple dessert but you can also make your own homemade cinnamon apple sauce.


Cinnamon Apples:
Prep Time: 5 Minutes Cook Time: 2 Minutes

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Ingredients:
– 5 Apples ( I used Fuji and Granny Smith)
– Cinnamon
– Honey (If you are on Whole30 OMIT honey)
– Water

Directions:
1. Core and Slice your apples. ( I choose to leave the skin on the apples for a better taste)
2. Put all of your apples in the Instant Pot and cover with Cinnamon, Stir.
3. If you ARE NOT on Whole 30 you can add 2 tbsp of honey.
4. Add 1/2 cup of water
5. Set Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 2 minutes
6. Quick Release and Serve
↑ If you choose to make apple sauce, do a natural release for 5 minutes and then mix apples, you can use hand-held mixer or a KitchenAid. Mix until the consistency your happy with for your apple sauce.

 


 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have! Let me know if you try it out and look out for my next blog post on Friday! Happy Monday!

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Homemade Chicken Jambalaya

I have always loved to cook but I am the kind that once I find something that I really like I will cook it over and over again until everyone is sick of it. Since getting my Instant Pot and now starting Whole30 it has pushed me out of my box and has me testing out new recipes and even creating some of my own. To me, that has been one of the best things about all of it, being able to create new, tasty and healthy meals for my family. So on my meal planning calendar I planned to make Jambalaya for dinner this week but I couldn’t find a recipe that I really loved. I thought one of the points of Jambalaya was a delicious meal with lots of spices and flavor but for the most part you could make it the way you want. So thats exactly what I did, last night we had homemade Chicken Jambalaya and boy was it good!


Chicken Jambalaya                                                                                                                                                                                                    Prep Time: 7 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes                                   
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   INGREDIENTS                                                                                                                                                                              2 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, diced                                                                                                                        4 Chicken Sausages                                                                                                                                                                        2 tbsp. Coconut Oil                                                                                                                                                                    Salt                                                                                                                                                                                           Pepper                                                                                                                                                                                                1 cup chopped onion                                                                                                                                                                     3 garlic cloves, minced                                                                                                                                                                   2 cans diced tomatoes; 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can fire roasted tomatoes                                                                            15 oz can tomato sauce                                                                                                                                                                3 cups chicken stock                                                                                                                                                                        2 tsp paprika                                                                                                                                                                                        2 tsp thyme                                                                                                                                                                                     2 tsp oregano                                                                                                                                                                                     2 tsp garlic powder                                                                                                                                                                          2 tsp onion powder                                                                                                                                                     Cauliflower Rice or Spaghetti Squash 
    INSTRUCTIONS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 1. Dice Chicken breast and chicken sausage, chop onion and mince garlic.                                                                  2. Turn InstantPot to sauté and add above ingredients, until lightly cooked.                                                          3. Turn off Sauté.                                                                                                                                                                          4. Add additional ingredient, stir.                                                                                                                                  5.Cook on Manual High pressure for 15 minutes                                                                                                                6. Serve with Cauliflower rice or Speghetti squash 

Enjoy!!!

The ease of the Instant Pot

Every time I use my Instant Pot to cook something new, I love it even more than when I first got it. What could you not love about a Pot that does EVERYTHING. You can read why I love it so much here. But I am going to show you 2 things that I cook regularly that the Instant Pot has made that much easier for me.

Titus and I both love sweet potatoes, we could both share one every night. So Instead of spending the time prepping them for the oven or having to cook them for an hour, I can put them in my Instant Pot.

Instructions:

  1. Clean Sweet Potatoes
  2. Place 1 cup of water into your Instant Pot
  3. You can either put sweet potatoes on Instant Pot Trivet or if you have a steam basket you can use that
  4. Set for manual high pressure for 15 minutes
  5. Slow Release for 20 minutes once it’s finished cooking

 

I’ve always loved to make recipes with spaghetti squash. I love the taste and it does make me feel like I am eating spaghetti. Nathan on the other hand hates it. But I’ve always looked for easier ways to cook a spaghetti squash. Most recipes tell you to cut it in half and bake, or poke holes in it and bake/microwave. I don’t know if you have ever tried to do either of these, but it is not easy to cut or poke holes in a whole spaghetti squash. So the Instant Pot has made it even easier for you. Doing this you can literally peel the skin off, cut it in half, and then remove the seeds. I am loving this new way to prepare mine!

Instructions:

  1. Place 1 cup of water into your Instant Pot
  2. Place trivet in pot and place spaghetti squash onto trivet
  3. Set for manual high pressure for 30 minutes
  4. Quick release once its done cooking
  5. Your spaghetti squash should be ready to peel off the skin; cut in half and remove seeds

 

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Hello 2018

How do you feel about new years resolutions? Do you make resolutions at the beginning of the year? Do you find yourself just a few months into it and you didn’t stick to anything?

That’s me! I can’t tell you how many years I’ve said “New year, new me!”, “I’m going to start working out and keep it up”, or “I’m going to eat better this year.” I can honestly say that I have never made a new years resolution that has stuck throughout the entire year. I read an article that said 8% of people actually keep their New Years Resolution. That should tell you something about resolutions. So this year I decided to set realistic goals for the year and write them down. But then I decided to take the rest, what would normally be considered a new years resolution and take it month by month.

For example, instead of saying in January I’m going to have me time, I sit down at the beginning of the month to decide what I want for my me time to look like, and schedule it right then or mark it in the calendar to happen. Another thing I want to do is slowly continue to do little updates on our house. So for the month of January I wrote down 1 thing that I want to do in the house that month. Small or big, but only 1 thing. Then I thought about where Nathan and I dream to be financially, So I have it set on a monthly plan; how much we want to put into savings in the month of January.

I want this to be a great, healthy and successful year for me individually and for my family. So I want to be realistic in setting these plans and goals for myself. I want to not only make big plans for the first of the year but things that will stick for the entire year.

Something that has been helpful with this is my 2018 planner. At the beginning of every month there is a spot for your monthly mission board. IMG_0917

It includes: 

  • Me time
  • Be Social
  • Home
  • Health
  • Financial
  • Dream Big
  • Blank: God Time
  • Blank: Volunteering

So at the beginning of every month I am filling in those spots with my monthly goals. I have chosen to use my blank spaces for God time and Volunteering. This mission board is really going to help me think through what I want to do each month, to be more intentional and hopefully help me grow every year. Not a goal planned out for the entire year that I more than likely wont stick to. If you feel like a monthly mission board would also be helpful for you, I’ve created a print out that you can print, fill out and look at every month. There is power in writing it down and looking at it every day!

Your Own Monthly Mission Board or if you want to pick up your own monthly planner you get can it here.

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First meals of Whole30

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope you enjoyed ringing in the new year as much as I did. Titus had his first sleepover at my sister’s house, so Nathan and I went out and had a great time with some awesome friends. We stayed out way to late, ate lots of tasty food and didn’t really get to sleep in. That’s why we decided to start Whole 30 on Tuesday instead. My plan was to get all of my groceries in the morning, cook and let you all know how wonderful my food turned out. BUT life with a kid changes plans sometimes. He decided that he wanted to be grumpy, clingy and needy. Anytime I tried to get some cooking done he wanted to go through cabinets and took out every ziplock bag out of the box and throw them on the floor. Then decided to spike a temperature, very relaxing night.

Thankfully though I was able to get a big chunk of my cooking for the week done. I have our dinners and breakfast for the entire week prepared, Whole30 approved and ready to be eaten.

  1. Breakfast muffins: I didn’t follow a recipe which is probably why I didn’t work the way I had planned. I wanted to cook them in my awesome “egg bit cups” but after talking to a friend and doing some research if you use too much almond milk in the egg bites they won’t congeal when you cook them. So I will attempt this recipe again. After I tried in my instant pot twice I just put them in the oven. So they are still super tasty, but I don’t want to write a recipe up until I tweak them to be cooked easy and perfectly in my Instant pot. That’s the great thing about this blog, I’m learning new things everyday and hopefully you get to learn from the things I mess up.

     

  2. Chicken Enchilada Soup: This recipe was super easy, to the point and tasty. I put all of the ingredients in the Instant Pot and cooked it on Manuel high for 20 minutes, quick release and then I shred my chicken in my new KitchenAid. Then it was ready to eat. You can add Avocado, put it over cauliflower rice, or eat it as is, delicious soup.

 

If you started Whole30 with me, good luck! Remember the first week is the hardest… it can only go up from there!

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