Happy Friday! Thanks to The Lean Green Bean for hosting another “Pin It” party! Today, I’m sharing 5 of my favorite RECIPE posts! Click on over to Lindsay’s blog to see all of the other posts that bloggers have created. Pin away!
If you have plums, sugar and water, you can make this “jam”. It has the consistency of apple butter, and doesn’t require any pectin. It is tart and sweet, and we plowed through our first jar in a week!
A perfect soup for nights when you need something simple for dinner. The fire roasted tomatoes really bring a great depth of flavor to this soup, and it’s ready in under an hour with minimal preparation. Just open a few cans, add some spices and you’re ready to have a wholesome meal in no time.
Now that Adeline is chowing down on sweet potatoes, I don’t make them with honey anymore (babies under 2 aren’t supposed to have honey). BUT- this is one of my favorite ways of making roasted sweet potatoes!
There you have it! Some of our favorite recipes Happy Pinning!
Didn’t I just write Adeline’s 7 month post? How has 3/4 of the year passed already?
We don’t go to the doctor until her 9 month checkup, but Adeline weighs right around 16 pounds and I just measured her (with a ruler, so it’s super accurate) and she is 27 inches tall. To continue our penchant for weighing Adeline in strange places, we plopped her on the scale at the groomer when we took Silas to get his summer shave. I wonder where we will attempt to check her weight next?
Adeline really enjoys eating (and making a HUGE mess!) She hasn’t been picky so far and she’ll eat anything (including mulch and rocks, oops!). We started at 6 months with egg yolks (everything was A-OK), and then tried a whole egg a few weeks later. The whole-egg experience left her with a slight rash around her mouth, so we switched back to yolks. However, even with just preparing the yolk for her, she continued to get a slight rash (when she had none before). We’ll try some yolk again next month (eggs are such an EASY food), but we’ll cut it out if we need to!
New foods this month included yogurt, cheese, and Daniel said he gave her a little bit of bread one day when I wasn’t looking. I plan on keeping Adeline gluten-free for a while, just because I would feel really bad if I gave her gluten and she reacted to it. I’m the one with celiac disease, and I think I’m being a little bit too emotional about it. However, nothing terrible happened after Daniel gave her a bit of bread. I don’t know if or how we will go about introducing gluten-containing things into her diet quite yet.
She isn’t crawling, but she’s definitely moving. She can scoot backwards while sitting on the hardwood floor, and she pushes herself backwards and around in a circle on her belly. It looks like she wants to pull up to standing if she’s near a sturdy object but she hasn’t quite figured that one out yet. Adeline is perfectly content with sitting and playing with toys, her favorite toys include wooden spoons, plastic cups and blocks.
Nothing much to say on sleeping (whoo!) She’s still taking 2 naps, and sleeping through the night. I’m crossing my fingers (and toes) that whenever teeth appear that it doesn’t throw her off too badly. We’ll see though!
She loves feeding herself. If you load up a spoon with some yogurt, she will pick it up out of the bowl and get *most* of it into her mouth. Her other favorite way to have yogurt is to scoop it out of the bowl with her hand. It makes for quite the mess, but what is an extra load of laundry?
She’s also communicating more. I can ask for “kisses” and sometimes I’ll get an open mouth on my cheek. She does a high-pitched whiny noise when she can’t get to something, and there are a few noises she does when she gets frustrated.
My sister, Maggie, is living with us this summer. I’m so excited for Adeline to get to know one of her aunts! I’m also excited to be able to leave the house after she goes to bed at night WITH Daniel! Before, we just kind of tag teamed who got to leave the house, but if my sis is around, we can go do something in the evenings TOGETHER! (<– I’m obviously excited about that)
Does time keep passing so quickly as kids grow up? What is something new that YOU (or your little one) did this month?
For the last month, I haven’t really washed my hair. And somehow, I don’t look like a complete greaseball. And my hair doesn’t smell bad. And we’re saving money. For the last month, I haven’t regularly used shampoo or conditioner to wash my hair.
First cleaning my face with oil and now “washing” my hair with baking soda and vinegar. You might think we’re using our bathroom as a prep kitchen. I don’t remember when I first heard about the “no-poo” movement, but my friend Ashley pointed me towards the Crunchy Betty blog.
That blog gave me a great starting point, and the comments on those two posts are super helpful! I have fine, straight, thin hair. Each strand of hair is pretty thin, and I don’t have a whole lot of strands on my head. Like with the oil cleansing method, I was just curious to see if my hair would be pretty much the same without using shampoo and conditioner. I wasn’t expecting miracles, and I wasn’t expecting a drastic change in my hair. And guess what? My hair looks pretty much the same as before, I’ll highlight my changes in a moment.
Standard No ‘Poo Method
Wash: 1TB of baking soda dissolved in 1 cup of water.
Pour/squirt it onto your head and massage into scalp and hair (it feels like you’re rubbing nothing)
Conditioning rinse: 2T Apple Cider Vinegar in 1-2 cups of water.
Only pour the vinegar mixture on the ends of your hair because it can cause your scalp to produce TONS of oil.
Let it sit like you would a normal conditioner and rinse it out.
I followed the standard recommendations for washing for the first two weeks and my hair was starting to get pretty greasy/waxy feeling. It felt like there was always residue in it, and it just looked dull and weird. I had read about the “transition” period when you switch to going without shampoo, but I wanted to see if I could do anything differently before giving up.
What Worked for Me
First of all, I’ve been washing my hair every other day or every two days. Instead of 1TB of Baking Soda in 1 cup of water, I reduced my amount to 1/2TB of Baking Soda. I make sure that I rinse REALLY well after my baking soda wash. I also only used 1TB of vinegar in 2 cups of water, simply because I just don’t have that much hair.
My hair used to tangle easily when I got out of the shower. I was surprised at how easily I was able to brush through it! And, there’s no lingering vinegary smell after you rinse out the ‘conditioner’.
I have used shampoo a few times in the past month. The first time was when my hair was just super greasy/waxy (before I reduced the amount of baking soda that I was using). I just shampooed my roots and didn’t use any conditioner or anything. My hair felt MUCH better. The second time I used shampoo was when we were out of town for my graduation and I didn’t feel like bringing baking soda and vinegar with me.
At home, I’ve been using an old dish washing liquid bottle for my baking soda mix. This allows me to squirt just enough all over my head, and I can make a “batch” that will last for 3 showers. The liquid does go down to room temperature (which feels cold in the shower), BUT, I like that I can tell where I’ve applied the baking soda based on temperature. I made markings on the side of my “shampoo” bottle for each cup of liquid, but I’ve just been going by feel recently.
For my conditioner, I just pour a tablespoon of vinegar into a plastic cup and add water once I’m in the shower. I don’t mind pouring on the vinegar since it only goes on the tips of my hair.
I have even taken my “new shampoo” to the gym, I just pour my solutions into two plastic bottles (20oz) and I’m ready to go!
Well, as I mentioned in the beginning I wasn’t expecting anything big to change with my hair. It looks the same. The color is the same, it is still straight, and it still feels like my hair. However, it does feel a little bit thicker and bouncier. No one has asked me about my hair, so I know that it doesn’t look like Hollywood hair or anything, but it feels better to me.
I think I’ll continue using this washing method for quite some time! I’ll probably still want to do one regular shampoo every few weeks until I can figure out how to get all of the baking soda buildup (that makes it feel waxy/dirty) out of my hair.
Have you ever stopped using shampoo? If you ‘no poo, what ratios work best for you?
I am so happy to announce that I was chosen to be a Liberté Brand Ambassador! What does that mean? It means that I get to represent an awesome company and share all about the delicious yogurts that Liberté makes. My favorite yogurt is their plain Greek yogurt, and as much a I love eating it plain or with a drizzle of honey, I wanted to make something that would take it to the next level.
I reallywanted some granola. I can’t justify paying $4+ for a bag of gluten-free granola so I decided to make my own. I wasn’t about to turn on my oven on this hot, muggy morning (summer is around the corner) and I created this microwave granola recipe!
Granola in the microwave? It only took three minutes and it is delicious! With just a few ingredients, you can make this simple, wholesome granola recipe at home.
3 Minute Microwave Granola
Makes four 1/4c. servings. Make a couple of servings of crunchy granola in a flash. This recipe is easy to throw together, and you can customize your granola after cooling.
1c. Rolled Oats (we used Gluten-Free; Instant Oats may work, but would probably have a flaky texture)
1T Coconut Oil (unsalted butter or any neutral flavored oil may work as well)
I used the regular power on my microwave. If your microwave tends to heat things quickly, you may need to stir your mixture more frequently, possibly every 30 seconds. You will want to stir to make sure that your granola doesn’t burn.
Using a shallow glass bowl works better than a deeper bowl- you can disperse the granola and it crisps better.
I haven’t tried using any other oils or liquid sweeteners, but I’ll update this post if I do.
If doubling this recipe, I would use a glass pie plate to use in the microwave. I haven’t tried making a double batch (I ran out of oats, oops!)
Yogurt + granola is mighty tasty, but I wanted something a little more special. I had a jar of blackberry jam that I picked up at the Montgomery Farmer’s Market, and I thought a blackberry and granola parfait sounded mighty delicious.
*Edited to add: My heart goes out to the families in Oklahoma (and families elsewhere) affected by the tornado. Take a minute to lift up a prayer for everyone involved.*
Grilling season is upon us! We busted out our little charcoal grill last week for dinner. Instead of grilling up chicken breasts, we had the chance to score a few delicious pork chops through BzzAgent! Kroger sells a wide variety of Moist & Tender® pork cuts, and we chose some lean (boneless) pork chops for our grilling adventures. We don’t eat meat too often, but we were thrilled to have a chance to incorporate something other than chicken into our meal.
Asian Style Grilled Pork Chops
I marinated 4 pork chops with 2T minced ginger, 2T minced garlic, 2T soy sauce, 1T oil, 1T water, 2tsp rice wine vinegar and 1tsp honey. I let the chops soak up the goodness for a few hours in the fridge and then we grilled them up. Pork chops should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145° F (medium rare) and 160° F (medium). Serve with a bit of chopped cilantro if desired.
We also got this nifty silicone “Pork, Be Inspired” basting brush that we used to oil our onions (grilled onions are so sweet and delicious!)
We served our chops alongside some steamed green beans and quick-pickled veggies. We loved having the opportunity to grill some yummy pork, and we’re excited to add pork to our summer grill. Not only are pork tenderloin and pork loin chops lean, but they are tender and adaptable to almost any recipe!
Do you eat pork? What is your favorite thing to grill during the summer?
*Disclaimer: I am a BzzAgent and I was provided with a free sample of this product to review. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review. #GotItFree*
I don’t really understand how it has been 7 months since I had a baby. I know EVERYONE says that time flies when you have kids, but it is so true. I find myself just watching Adeline, I feel like she’s growing and developing by the minute, and I don’t want to miss a thing!
My little goofball.
I still have pelvic floor weakness, and I can’t always exercise like I want to at times. For instance, I can’t do abs before I try to go for a run. Doing an abdominal exercise routine fatigues my pelvic floor, and I sometimes have “leaking” issues if I try to go for a run later. I can usually run and THEN do abs, but not the other way around. On random occasions, jumping can cause leaking as well. This doesn’t happen too often, but considering my pelvic floor is back to a “normal” strength, I was hoping to not to have incontinence problems. I’ll go back to my OBGYN in June, and I’ll bring it up with him at that point.
All of the other Good Things
Aside from the occasional (maybe once every week) leaking issue, everything else is going great! I forget what it felt like to be pregnant, and I definitely think my body looks and functions like my “old” body used to! Well, aside from being able to produce milk, I couldn’t do that before
I’m continuing to build muscle thanks to Best Body Bootcamp. I’m definitely not as scrawny as I was at three months postpartum, but I’m really thankful that I’ve been able to put back on some weight! My muscles are still small, but at least they are there! It sure does help to have some strength when lifting up a 16 pound kiddo.
I’m able to do pretty much everything that I did before I got pregnant except run a lot. I’m still doing run/walks or run/jogs (which usually only happen once or twice a week), but I can tell that my endurance and stamina are getting better. I feel like I should sign up for a race or something so that I make the time to run!
Breastfeeding &My Eating
Breastfeeding is still going really well. It has gotten a lot easier since Adeline started eating solids, and we’re nursing 4-5 times during the day with a night-time wakeup every couple nights. It feels good to know that I’m still providing the majority of her nutrition.
I have to admit, I’ve gotten into some not-so-great food habits over these past seven months. Breastfeeding appetite + scarfing down meals has led to some poor food choices and even poorer eating habits. I find myself eating out of boredom or when I’m stressed out. While I wish I was snacking on fresh, crisp fruits and veggies, I keep grabbing handfuls of chocolate chips or spoons of peanut butter. We ate dinner at the table for the first time in WEEKS last night, but most meals are eaten standing up or on the couch.
I’m just trying to keep it honest on here. I don’t want to completely avoid chocolate or other things, but I do want to be more conscious about practicing moderation. Not only for myself (we could all use a few more fruits and veggies), but for Adeline as well. If I’m feeding Adeline broccoli while I munch on leftover Easter candy, she’s bound to notice one day.
I don’t really have a “plan” other than to try to pinpoint emotional eating and to try to make healthier decisions. If I want to have some chocolate, that is OK, but maybe I can try drinking something or eating something more nutritious first.
I haven’t done measurements this time, but I feel great! I think I’m pretty close to my pre-pregnancy weight (I was 5-7lbs under at 1 & 3 months postpartum). We’re getting a decent amount of sleep too (knock on wood). We haven’t had any teething problems yet, so I’m curious to see how those little pearly whites will impact our sleep!
Oh! One other kind of weird thing, I ALWAYS carry Adeline on my right hip, and I’m starting to notice some pretty significant muscle imbalances. For example, I lose my balance VERY quickly when doing lunges and my range of motion on my right hip is quite limited. It’s so awkward to carry her on my left side, but I’ve been trying. I’ve also been spending some more time stretching out both hips and legs so that they are both more “normal”.
Emotionally, I’m feeling really good! Aside from the low around 4 months, I’ve felt so much better. I updated my “Desperate” post a few weeks ago and I reflected on that low time in my motherhood journey. I think a combination of better sleep and LETTING GO of the small things have really helped with my anxiety. I think that seeing the sunshine has also helped, winter always does a number on my emotions. I feel like my mind and body are pretty much the same as they were before I got pregnant, so my main “focus” is to soak up every moment with Adeline while nourishing my body with whole foods and exercise.
Have you ever struggled with emotional eating? What are some of your favorite snacks to grab on-the-go?
I hope that all of the Mothers had a wonderful day of celebration! Not only was this my very first Mother’s day, but it was also the day that I graduated from college!
I got to spend the day with some of the people I love, and I got to close the chapter on my undergraduate college days.
It’s been a long 6.5 years, but I’m finally finished! I began college in 2006 at Denison University, my top choice among colleges. After a rough freshman year, my sophomore and junior years were some of the greatest years of my life! I couldn’t return to Denison due to financial issues following my parents’ divorce in 2009, so I attended the University of Kentucky part time from Fall 2009-Summer 2012.
I was blessed to have been able to transfer my coursework back to Denison, and I am still amazed that I was able to earn my Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the school that I fell in love with many years ago. Although I graduated 3 years later than the rest of my freshman class, I am extremely proud to say that I am now a Denison Alumni.
We spent Mother’s Day at a chilly graduation ceremony, and Daniel won a daddy-of-the-year award for taking Adeline duty on Sunday.
They are adorable and I love them. I think I was trying to say “brrrrr” in the picture below.
Mothers and babies on Mother’s Day. I am so thankful that my mom was able to celebrate with us!
With my mom and my brother Matthew. If my mom and I hadn’t been wearing heels, Matthew would surely tower over us! P.S. Matthew graduates from middle school soon! I can’t believe it!
My “Happy Graduation/Mother’s Day” gift from Daniel- Jeni’s Salty Caramel. It is worth every penny. We had plans to visit Whit’s frozen custard when we were in Granville, but being in 45 degree weather for a few hours kind of makes you not want ice cream anymore.
Sunday was quite a special day indeed. Hope all of the mommies out there had a wonderful celebration! Just a few more pictures, mainly because a baby in a graduation cap is too darn cute!
Did you go to college? Did you graduate in four years? How was your Mother’s Day?
Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean is hosting a “Pin it Party”. I chose 5 posts that I love (and apparently, others do too!) Part of the challenge was to create “pinnable” images & a few of our older posts got a facelift! Did you know that if you hover over an image, a “Pin It” button pops up? I realize that not every post is Pin-worthy, but I installed this little feature to make pinning some posts easier!
I can’t believe we are now closer to the one year mark than to the newborn stage. Weird.
We went on a family grocery trip a couple of weeks ago, and while Daniel & I were loading the cart, I set Adeline on the shelf at the self-checkout lane. The employee told me that she weighed 15lbs! So, whenever I’m curious about her weight, we’ll just take a trip to Kroger!
Adeline usually eats 2-3 meals per day. She doesn’t always care to eat real food for breakfast, but she’s usually pretty enthusiastic about food around lunchtime and she’ll eat a good amount at dinner as well. In addition to fruits and veggies, she has tried egg yolk, chicken & pork. I’ve tried incorporating some spices and herbs into her foods as well, she went pretty crazy over chicken sprinkled with dried basil. We’re plowing ahead with Baby Led Weaning and I really like it. We have moments of gagging, but that just helps me realize that I need to giver her smaller pieces of food.
We’ve been working on the signs for “eat” and “more”, and Adeline has definitely come up with her own way to communicate to us that she would like more- she grunts while flexing her arms and legs. I need to get this on video soon!
Adeline sits very well and she has been doing a lot of rocking back and forth while she sits. She has also learned to “catch” herself with her arms when she starts falling over, and she bends forward (and looks like she’s about to break in half). No crawling. Barely any rotating or scooting when she’s on her belly. BUT- the desire and intention to move is present. Last month, you could put a toy to her right and she would look at it, but she wouldn’t even try to get close to it. Now, you can tell that she wants to figure out how to get to something. She likes standing up, but would rather sit independently.
I mentioned in the 6 month update that we were fluctuating between 2 and 3 naps. We’re definitely down to a solid 2 naps. The morning nap is usually 1.5hrs after she wakes up, and the second nap is 2 hours and 15 minutes (on the dot) after she wakes up. The late afternoon nap is the one that disappeared, although she will sleep in the car if we are in there for a while at the right time.
And… towards the end of the 6th month, she started sleeping through the night about 50% of the time. She goes to bed around 6 or 6:30pm, and she has slept until 7am. Unbelievable. If she does wake up, it’s around 4 or 5 to nurse and then he’s back down. We also haven’t had to “fight” for bedtime lately. This is kind of how the last part of our day goes:
3:30pm Nurse Play, Bath, Take a Walk, Wait for Daddy 5pm Nurse 5:30pm Dinner 5:50pm Diaper Change, Reading Book/Piano Time 6:00pm Bed (occasionally nursing to bed, not often though)
It’s been great. I don’t think we “did” anything to help bedtime. I think getting into a bit of a routine helped, but I think that a lot of the changes (aka not crying for an hour) just came from her maturing and understanding bedtime a little bit better.
Adeline started saying “mama”, but only while simultaneously crying. However, she definitely knows certain words (Adeline, momma, dada, dog, Silas, eat, nurse [she love this one]) and she will try to show you that she likes (or dislikes) what you are saying to her. We think Adeline says “yes” by making this duck-face and blinking her eyes:
It’s ridiculously cute, but I’ve also been trying to emphasize nodding “yes” and shaking my head for “no” just so that others might be able to understand what she needs
I just thought that picture was HILARIOUS! She wouldn’t move once I layed her down on the patio. Her legs stayed off of the ground while her arms were glued down. I guess we can add “laying on concrete” to her “new experiences” list this month! I still want to do a “day in the life” post… we’ll see if I actually get around to it. Till next time!
Hello folks! This is my very first WIAW- What I ate Wednesday!
WIAW is a link-up of bloggers sharing some of their recent eats. The WIAW “party” is hosted by Jenn over at Peas & Crayons (she has some AWESOME looking recipes!) This week, I’m sharing some great recipes that we’ve made in the Cooper home over the last few weeks!
My new “cooking philosophy” is cook once, eat multiple times. I’ve been making a big batch of dried beans each Sunday for us to use throughout the week and any recipe that can be prepped ahead of time is my BFF. We’ve also been plowing through fruits and veggies (we ate 10 mangoes, a dozen bananas and 4 avocados last week!) Here are some of our eats (note, none of the photos are my own, if you click on the picture, it will take you directly to the recipe YUM!)
I think I’ve made these 4 times now. They are delicious and simple and don’t require you to buy any chocolate. Plus, Carmel is a Kentucky blogger, I love reading blogs from places I’ve lived! They definitely satisfy a chocolate craving. The original recipe calls for honey as the sweetener, but we ran out of honey the second time we made them. I made some “date paste” and subbed it 1:1 for the honey. The fourth time we made them, I made about 1/2 c. of prune puree and 2 bananas (~1/2c. prunes, soaked in hot water, drained & blended with a little bit of the soaking liquid). My favorite version was the one using dates! I haven’t made the coconut oil frosting yet, but it would definitely take these to the next level.
These easy burgers were pretty tasty! Brown rice and quinoa make up the base, and zucchini and carrot add a punch of veggies. Since the ingredients are pretty simple, I’m excited to add in some extra spices and change-up the veggies a bit! I had the same problem as Gina (The Fitnessista), my patties fell apart pretty easily after baking. Next time, I’ll try pulsing the brown rice and quinoa in the food processor for a minute so that it sticks together a little better!
This was another winner! We didn’t use as much cheese as the original recipe called for. Next time, I think I’ll stir in a bit of reduced-fat cream cheese into the filling before baking (instead of using shredded cheese). We finished this dish fairly quickly, so next time, I’ll make a bigger batch!
This was another winner! I love how Jodi gives you so much room to play with the spices. She gives a list of spices and orders them according to “copiousness of use”. We doubled the amount of chickpeas and served the curry over brown rice + quinoa.
These look a little bizarre, but they also kind of look delicious. That little puddle on top is mozzarella cheese. This is a savory muffin, I think it might go nicely alongside a simple bowl of tomato soup!
What are some of your favorite “go-to” recipes?
Do you tend to make recipes that have lots of leftovers?