Monday, June 25, 2012

Menu Monday

Here's what was cooking in our kitchen last week...

Cilantro Lime Shrimp served over Black Beans and Brown Rice

This is one of my favorite Skinny Taste recipes. It's super simple and the flavor is great. 

Grilled Chicken Sausage, Grilled Squash & Yellow Peppers, 

This was the perfect summer meal. My friend April shared the recipe for the grilled avocados on her Menu Monday post last week and I knew we had to try them. They were excellent!! Very different, but great! I made mine with pepper-jack cheese.

Crock Pot Peperoncini Beef Sandwiches with Fresh Cucumber and Onion Salad

I made these sandwiches a few months ago, but had forgotten all about them. So glad I remembered this recipe, because y'all, it is easy and so good! I love an easy crock pot meal. I broiled my sandwiches in the oven with pepper-jack cheese before serving. For the salad, I just chopped a cucumber and small onion and mixes with red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. An easy, fresh, summery side dish!'re turn to link up! 
What did you cook up this week?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

22 Weeks

22 weeks! With a little help from Minnie Mouse...

How Far Along: 22 weeks

Size of Baby:  She's a papaya this week and finally weighing in right around 1 whole pound!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I weighed myself earlier this week and I'm at +8.

Gender: Still a sweet girl

Movement: More and more each week. Some days she feels like a total ninja in there, but then other days are more sporadic.

Sleep: Not so great. I've had several nights where I've woken up around 3 or 4 and just tossed and turned for several hours. I'm not a fan of this.

Maternity Clothes: Still a mix. I'd say about 75% maternity, and 25% regular. The skirt I wore around Disney today is not maternity has an elastic waist band. Items like that are still working well.

Symptoms: Back pain (upper back and lower back), dizziness when I get out of bed in the morning, headaches...I'm definitely pregnant

Cravings: Fruit! I think the extreme heat this past week has made me extra thirsty and fresh fruit has sounded so good at every meal. 

What I miss: Nothing in particular this week.

Best Moment this week: Being in Disney!

What I'm looking forward to: Getting started on the nursery

And one more pic from today...
This one shows the belly a little better!

Friday, June 22, 2012

One Year in the Queen City

This weekend we're celebrating our one year anniversary in Charlotte. It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year since we moved here, but at the same time, Charlotte definitely feels like my home.

To celebrate one year in the queen city, 
here's a list of my top ten favorite things about Charlotte, in no particular order...

1. The food! I have to say that we definitely moved up restaurant wise when coming to Charlotte. I absolutely love so many of the restaurants here. Most have been introduced to us by friends, but we've discovered a few on our own. Some of our favorites include Soul Gastrolounge, Good Food on MontfordCowfish, Revolution Pizza, Mimosa Grill, Aria, Roosters...I could keep going and going! If you ever come to visit Charlotte, I promise that you will eat well!

2. The Greenways...J and I have taken the dogs to several different parks and greenways in the city over the past year, and we're always pleasantly surprised with how nice and well kept they are. I can't wait to take the baby out with us next spring!

3. My job. I was really lucky to find a job at a GREAT school last year. My friend Sarah who I grew up with was the counselor there, and she was absolutely right when she said I would love being a part of the staff. I worked with some of the nicest and most supportive people this year. I had a tough time leaving my last job, again, mostly because I loved the people I worked with. I couldn't have ended up in a better spot this past school year.

4. Cheerwine! I have always loved drinking Cheerwine when I'm in the south, but didn't have easy access to it in Virginia. Now I can get it whenever I please!

5. Hills...this one is a little weird, I know! But after living in the coastal plain of Virginia for the last four years, I have missed hills and terrain that wasn't completely flat. I grew up in an area with similar terrain to Charlotte, then went to college in the Shenandoah Valley where I was surrounded by hills and mountains. While the beach life was fun, it wasn't my favorite. I got tired of the the "flat."

6. The shopping is amazing here. This city has MUCH more variety in their stores than we had in Hampton Roads. I have so many stores near me now that required me to drive 2-3 hours to visit before. Examples? Ikea, Crate and Barrel, Anthropologie, Container Store, Whole Foods (SOON!), and my new favorite, Buy Buy Baby...there is so much more here!

7. Medical care. I feel like I can speak highly of all the medical professionals we've dealt with in Charlotte. From all the doctors I've seen dealing with my eye problems, to my OB and the staff at his office, and then most recently, all the doctors and physical therapists J has seen for his knee injury, I feel like we are in very good hands. I also love that it's all so close to us. 

8. REAL sports teams. We are by NO means serious fans of the Panthers or Bobcats (heck, we didn't make it to a single game), but it's fun living in a city that has teams to cheer for. We've never experienced that before. If only we had a professional baseball team. Then it would be the perfect city!

9.  The beer. This city is full of people, restaurants, shops, and bars that love craft and local beer. I have learned so much more about craft beer since moving here, and I have learned to love it more. The pregnancy has definitely put a stop to that, but I still have fun picking out beer for J when I visit some of our favorite beer shops.

10. The people...of course I have to mention all of the wonderful people who have become my new friends over the last year. There are so many great friends I've met in this city, many of whom I've met from the blog world. And every single one of them have been SO helpful to me as I learn to navigate my way through this new city. I am so thankful for them!

I read this article a few weeks ago and it did a great job summing up my thoughts on my new home. 

So, who wants to come visit now?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

by the numbers...

It's been awhile since I broke it down by the numbers...

6...the number of ten pound bags of ice I've brought into the home in the past week for J's cold therapy unit for his knee. I'm pretty tired of purchasing ice on a daily basis.

10...episodes of Girls that I watched last weekend. Yep, I watched them all. Still not quite sure if I liked it or just thought it was super strange.

2...number of new stores I visited in Charlotte this week, both of which I loved! (Paper Skyscraper and The Milky Way for those of you who are curious!)

125...days left in this pregnancy...that's a crazy number

4.5...hours I've spent this past week searching for fabric and other nursery items and ideas online. It's my new favorite past time.

2...number of Slurpees I've had from 7-11. They're just the perfect pick me up with this hot weather.

40...hours until I leave for Disney World!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Menu Monday is BACK!

Finally....I am back with Menu Monday! It's been about 3 weeks since I did my link up, and I'm late getting this posted today, but it's up!  I hope some of you will still participate!

This is a big mix of the meals we've made since moving in two weeks ago. There have been a few others, but I've forgotten to take pictures on a few evenings. 

I made this the day after J's surgery as his first "real" meal after all the anesthesia was out of his system. I've made it many times before, and like always, it was delicious. This is one of my favorites by Pioneer Woman. I love that it's served cold. Perfect to eat outside on the deck on a hot summer night! ( cute is that new tray my mom got me?)

Grilled Chicken and Peppers and Onions

A few weeks ago when I had the intense back/upper abdomen pain and I thought it might be related to my gallbladder, I ate a very bland diet for about 48 hours. This meal is exactly what you see with a little salt and pepper. No marinades or oils. I haven't had any awful pain like I did on this night, but I have had some moderate pain. I still don't know if it's gallbladder related or just a growing and stretching baby. Either way, I felt like eating bland food with very little fat can never hurt.

It just never gets old!

Gnocchi with sauteed Peppers, Onions and Sausage

I basically sauteed the meat and veggies in some olive oil with salt and pepper, cooked my gnocchi, and then threw it in the pain for about 5 minutes so it would get a little brown. Nothing special. Just something easy on a night when I didn't want to run to the grocery store and we had no more "meals" planned.

J made this while my mom was in town last week and she seemed to love it as much as we do. This is the PERFECT summer sandwich, y'all!

Orecchiette Pasta with Brussels Sprouts in a Cream Sauce

J found this recipe in a recent copy of Taste of Home, but I can't find a way to link up to it....but honestly, it wasn't that great. I liked the sauce, but the combo with the brussels just wasn't my thing. it's your turn! I really hope you guys link up! I know it's been awhile, but I'd love to see what you've been cooking!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Happy Father's Day to my own Dad. 
Words can't express what I a great dad I have.
He has the worst jokes, but I still think he's the best.

And I can't wait to see him in his new role
as a grandfather in a few months.

And then a happy Father's Day to this very important, dad to be!

 I know that he is going to be an awesome dad to our baby girl. 

He's been able to feel her move in my belly about 4-5 times now, 
and whenever it has happened, his eyes get big and his whole face lights up.

I cannot wait to see him holding our daughter.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

21 Weeks

My darling photographer is in bed recovering for the weekend. He's doing quite well, but can't walk or put much weight on his left leg, so this self portrait via instagram is going to have to suffice as my weekly shot this week.

How Far Along: 21 weeks

Size of Baby:  A pomegranate!

Total Weight Gain/Loss:  I have no idea. I haven't been weighing myself at home, mostly because I don't even know where our scale is after the move. I'm guessing 6-7ish pounds?

Gender: Girl! Who now owns one super cute swim cap!

Movement: Still seems to be the most at night, but I'm getting more and more during the day. J has felt her a few more times this week. 

Sleep: Ask me about sleep when I'm not waking up every 4 hours to administer pain meds and help someone get up to use the bathroom.

Maternity Clothes: I went by an Old Navy in town that had a maternity section and bought a few more items plus some long ribbed tanks from the regular section of the store in a size up. So many of my normal tops are just getting too short.

Symptoms: I think she's growing a lot this week; my belly has had some odd stretching feelings in the past 2 days. Still experiencing the strange tingling feeling right below my bra. Several of you commented about that on here and twitter, and that made me feel much better about it. Sounds like I'm not the only one experiencing that!

Cravings: Cherries! I'm on my second bag for the week. They're my go to snack these days. 

What I miss: My husband who can walk. I can't wait for his knee to heal.

Best Moment this week: At the hospital on Friday for J's surgery, so many of the nurses asked me when I was due, what I'm having, etc. I love when strangers ask me about her!

What I'm looking forward to: Her shower in Richmond this good friend Jeanne called me about it on Thursday, and I can't wait to celebrate her with so many wonderful women! We have a few months to go, I just got all excited after our phone call this past week!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Staying Busy!

We are in week one of summer now that school is out, and while life is very busy, it's great! I apologize to anyone who wanted to link up to Menu Monday this past week. You probably noticed I didn't have my post up. My mom was here visiting, and I just didn't get the time to sit down and put together my post. We'll be back on track next week!

Speaking of my mom, she was here Sunday through yesterday morning. She came down to see the new house and to help me pack up my classroom. I couldn't have done that by myself. She was SUCH a big help and I'm so glad she came! She took this picture of my with her phone on Monday. This was about half way through the day. We got everything packed up, cleaned, and finished by the end of the day on Monday.


On Sunday afternoon, we went with a friend of my mom to check out some puppies.  Her friend also lives in Richmond, but came down on Sunday to check out this litter of Aussie Doodles (Australian Shepherds and Poodles). They were PRECIOUS!

This is me holding one of the bigger puppies. The little guy sitting on my knee was the breeders family dog, I guess he wanted in on the photo fun!

Seriously...look at that cute face!

This is my mom's friend with the puppy she picked out. She's only 4 weeks old now. They get to come back and get her in a month. I couldn't believe how little she was!

When my mom and I got home, my dogs went bananas
They could smell the puppies on us, and they were quite jealous!

My mom also took this picture of J and I in front of the new house. 
We're loving it here as we slowly unpack.

And Monday my mom and I went shopping. I have been really good (ie...trying not to spend all my money) and haven't bought this baby girl any clothes. It's been hard, but I'm trying! I saw this adorable swim cap on sale at Janie and Jack and I just couldn't resist. I knew it was a necessity for the pool next summer!


This afternoon I'm meeting up with Ashley and Michelle for a lunch date (have I mentioned how much I love all the blog friends who have become my real friends in Charlotte?), and then tomorrow J goes in to have his knee surgery to repair his ACL. We like to stay busy around here!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

20 Weeks...half way there!

How Far Along: 20 weeks

Size of Baby:  A banana!

Total Weight Gain/Loss:  +5 pounds last week...who knows, I'm sure it's gone up.

Gender: A little lady

Movement: Lots and lots this week! J also got to feel her move!!

Sleep: It's either great and I sleep like a rock, or horrible and I'm up for a few hours at a time. 

Maternity Clothes: Still a mix

Symptoms: Still dealing with back pain/rib cage pain. Also...a new, very odd symptom, I get this numb, tingly feeling on the top of my belly, right below my bra. It's so weird.

Cravings: I needed a slurpee pretty badly the other day!

What I miss: Not much

Best Moment this week: When J got to feel her move! We're also done with registering. That was quite the experience!

What I'm looking forward to: Sleeping in this week because school is FINISHED!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The old 'hood...

One of the many reasons we're happy to have moved out of our old neighborhood...

Yes. This is someone's front yard in the last neighborhood.
They had carved this in their front yard.
And in case you're curious the eagle was also hand carved.

Sadly, our new neighbors have no hand carvings on their lawn.
Just flowers and trees. How boring!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

19 Weeks and Baby Registry Help!

I know a lot of you skim these posts...I would too! But for all the moms out there, please read my last line in this post, I need your registry help!

How Far Along: 19 weeks

Size of Baby:  A mango!

Total Weight Gain/Loss:  +5 pounds

Gender: A GIRL!

Movement: Yep...some days it's more than others. I had a crazy kick one night last week that I could feel really well from the outside. J hasn't been to feel her move yet.

Sleep: Now that we're settled into the new home, I am sleeping very well. Having a bathroom attached to our bedroom and about 3 feet from the bed is nice for all the middle of the night bathroom trips.

Maternity Clothes: Making my regular clothes work is getting interesting. I usually have to try a few things on in the morning till I find something that works.

Symptoms: I had some AWFUL pain under my rib cage yesterday, pain that actually extended into my back. I am worried it might be related to my gallbladder? Anyone experience this while pregnant? I am planning to make an appointment and get this checked out because it was a stabbing pain that practically had me in tears for about 3 hours.

Cravings: Still lucky charms! 

What I miss: Not having to find someone to cover my class every hour so I can go to the bathroom. Luckily, only 4 more days, and then I can pee whenever I want!

Best Moment this week: Finding out that we're having a GIRL! 

What I'm looking forward to: We're going out Saturday to register! All new moms out there, I'd love to hear your thoughts! What items are a must? Anything you registered for that ended up being a waste? We've already purchased our big stroller (we got the BOB Revolution CE from REI during their anniversary sale two weeks ago), but other than that I would love input. If you've done a post on this before, feel free to just share that link!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Catch up...

I have so many things to catch up on. This is going to have to be a bullet style post!
  • Thank you all for your sweet comments on my last post about our baby girl! We're pretty excited. I cannot wait for the bows and dresses and putting ruffles on her bottom. J can't wait to take her camping and to CiCi's for pizza. 
  • We moved! And all went pretty well. Our movers were amazing. This was a million times better than our move to Charlotte from Norfolk a year ago. This time the whole process was done in under 4 hours. If you're moving in Charlotte and need movers, let me know! These guys were great.
  • Not so great part of our move? Our 4 month old plasma tv is dead. The glass was broken and now we're in the market for a new tv again. And this was entirely our fault, not the movers. Definitely a bummer, but what can you do...
  • We're slowly getting unpacked. Very, very slowly. Our bedroom and bathroom are mostly done, and the kitchen is workable, but we still have a lot to clear out of there. Once school is officially done, I plan to get to work. This week there won't be too much unpacking. I have way too much on my plate.
  • Sorry for no Menu Monday today. Our internet was supposed to be hooked up here last week, and then again Saturday, and was eventually bumped to today. I promise to be back with a link up next week. Sorry for those of you who are regular posters!
  • Only 4 more days with students. Only 4 more days with students.....