September 27, 2012

happy fall y'all

We rang in this new fall season with our buddies, the Tingles, at the beloved Lake House. We arrived on Friday night to homemade pizza in the oven thanks to Amanda. We stuffed ourselves silly with this delicious dinner then spent a few quality hours catching up on life. Amanda then made a pumpkin pie that we decided should be saved for an official fall celebration on the actual first day of fall. And that's exactly what we did (: We had breakfast of quiche ... then celebrated fall with pumpkin pie just a couple of hours later! YUM! We lounged around all day on Saturday until the the Tingles had to pack up and head home. We even got a sneak visit in with Mimi, Papa, Steve & Dale (Papa & Mama Tingle) at The Carolina Pizza Co.! They were meeting 1/2 way between Simpsonville and Athens - so they were literally in the neighborhood. We thought we'd grab dessert while we were there and catch the Clemson game...but they closed at 9 (and I'm secretly glad we didn't waste the time watching them blow it).

Me & David
Mikey & Baby Efixin' the lawn mower

September 26, 2012

33 weeks & a baby shower

7 weeks to go

33 weeksHappy Fall Y'all!
How far along? 33 weeks + 5 days
Sleep: One of the biggest blessings of this pregnancy (so far) has been great sleep!
Best moment(s) this week: The sweet, sweet shower that my work friends at Davis & Snyder gave me & Baby M at Brick Street Cafe! Thanks ladies (:
Movement: lots - as always
Food cravings: notta
Symptoms: heartburn from EVERYTHING (including water)
Gender prediction: I've still been feeling a little miss lately - but Mike & I both dreamed on Sunday night that Baby M was a boy ...
Labor signs: nothing
Stretch marks: nope
Belly button in or out: outtie
Looking forward to: Our 34 week appointment and our 3 year anniversary that's sneaking up on us (:
Random facts about Baby M: According to The Bump Baby M had a growth spurt! It is now 4.2-5.8 pounds (that's a huge range that is much bigger than it has been!), is 17.2-18.7" long and may grow a whole inch this week alone! Baby is keeping its eyes open while awake and has started to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing. Bones are hardening and its brain is continuing to develop! Still getting stronger and smarter in there! 

cupcakes! lunch!

all the ladies!
Linda, Patti, Beth, Me, Colette, Mel & Jean 

September 19, 2012

32 weeks & a new recipe

32 weeks


How far along? 32 weeks + 5 days (still measuring 1 week behind)
Weight gain: -0.6 lbs from 2 weeks ago (total of 16.8#)
Sleep: mmmmmm sleeping great (still) - it's been amazing sleeping with our windows open at night! We were just talking last week about how it reminded us in the tiniest way of the trail (the sounds and cool air are as far as that goes).
Best moment(s) this week: Our 32 week appointment - and beginning the "less than 2 months" countdown! And, an amazing weekend with Mike! Our Max Patch trip was just what we needed (:
Movement: Baby M is currently doing flips in my belly and jamming its rear end up under my ribs 
Food cravings: Nothing...but I am still taking advantage of the "you're eating more cake than usual" thing (: 
Symptoms: The heartburn has subsided a little (I'm at least not popping TUMS like they're candy right now). 
Gender prediction: I'm feeling lucky number 7 for our community group! Maybe Baby M is a girl?! (I really have no idea...but my feelings have still been more "girl" lately & I think Mike would agree)
Labor signs: nothing
Stretch marks: nope
Belly button in or out: outtie
Looking forward to: My baby shower this Friday from my work friends! I can't wait (: And, a weekend at the lake with Matt, Amanda, David & Baby E!
Random facts about Baby M: According to The Bump Baby M is still in the same measurement range as last week:  15.2-16.7" long and 2.5-3.8 pounds & is the size of a squash. According to my artist however, Baby M is the size of a "very small kettle bell." He wasn't impressed with the veggie of choice this week, so he got creative! 

baby m = a "very small kettle bell"

Now for the new recipe
 Banana Bread Muffins

banana bread muffins
Ingredients:
  • 3 very ripe bananas (I used 3 very ripe frozen bananas)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour (can use all purpose or whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • *Optional: handful berries or chocolate chips
  • *Optional: 1 tsp cocoa powder
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla with a potato masher (or fork if you don't have a potato masher) – don’t worry about getting all the lumps out. It will look sort of cottage-cheesy.
  3. Add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and stir until almost combined; add raisins,berries and / or cocoa powder and stir just until blended. Divide among muffin tins that have been lined with paper liners, filling them almost full, and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and springy to the touch.Test with toothpick.
*Makes 14 muffins

According to caloriecount.com here's the nutrition breakdown per muffin:  
Calories: 163
Calories from fat: 44
Total fat: 4.9 g 
Cholesterol: 27mg
Sodium: 146mg
Carbs: 27.3g 
*Net Carbs: 26
Fiber: 1.3g
Sugars: 10.8g
Protein: 3.1g 


September 17, 2012

Max Patch

mountains

mikey, me & baby M
This past weekend was one in the middle of about 3 months of busy weekends where Mike & I had no plans except to just be together. We'd talked earlier in the week about heading up to the mountains for the day and decided early on that we wanted to re-hike Max Patch. We hiked it about a year & a half ago while we were on the AT and with it being so close we thought we'd re-visit this little gem. Especially since last time we were there it was March and we got rained / sleeted on. We got up early (for us) on Saturday, loaded up Papa & Mimi's dogs, Clancy & Holly, and headed out (not without stopping at Chick-Fil-A for breakfast, though). We debated hiking a 12 mile loop from Lemon Gap, but with an impending storm on the horizon we settled for a 6 mile loop from the AT trail head at the bottom of Max Patch to the Roaring Fork shelter and back. The hike this time was much more enjoyable than the last. We had one pack, which Mike graciously carried with our lunch and water and a car waiting for us once we completed the loop. It did my soul good to be in the mountains (it's been quite a while since my last venture in the mountains). It is so rejuvenating and refreshing to get away from everything for a while & to remember how simple life can & should be.

 DSC02681
reflections
silo
details

September 11, 2012

31 weeks

growing!31 weeks
How far along? 31 weeks + 4 days
Sleep: sleeping great 
Best moment(s) this week: Celebrating Amber & Tyler at the couple's shower! And, getting the shelves put up in the nursery ... one step closer! 
Movement: Baby M is a squirmer
Food cravings: Nothing - but when asked this question recently Mike chimed in, "you have been eating a lot more cake than usual." (: Silly boy, that cake isn't for me ... it's for the baby.
Symptoms: the usual (TUMS are my best friend)
Gender prediction: Lately I've been feeling girl! (It could be that we've had 3 precious baby girls born within the past month or so in our community group...)
Labor signs:
nothing
Stretch marks: nope
Belly button in or out: outtie
Looking forward to: Having a weekend of NO PLANS with just me & Mike! With this fall weather who knows what we'll get in to?! (:
Random facts about Baby M: According to The Bump Baby M is still in the same measurement range as last week:  15.2-16.7" long and 2.5-3.8 pounds.All 5 senses are in working order and its irises can react to light!

September 10, 2012

Couples Shower

This past weekend Mike & I (and Haley & Kendall in spirit) gave a Couples Shower for my cousin, Amber and her fiance, Tyler! We had such a great time and what better excuse to get stuff finished at the house than to have a bunch of folks over?! Mike was able to work really hard in the evenings last week and finished the deck on Saturday afternoon (about 3 hours before people started showing up). We got shelves put in the nursery (I promise I'll do a before & after of the nursery when it's ready), did a pretty thorough clean up around the house and got to do a little landscaping.


DSC02652
the spread
DSC02656
gift time (yes, we crammed everyone in for opening gifts!)
DSC02671
The Bride & Me!


Counting down 'til the Moore wedding on Oct. 12! (:

September 7, 2012

Liebster Award


I was nominated for the Liebster Award by a sweet friend, Stephanie Lassiter.The Liebster Blog Award is given to bloggers by bloggers. It's a way to acknowledge each other & say, "you're doing a great job." It's for bloggers with 200 or less followers, so it's also a nice way to spread the word about smaller blogs! 

Here's what to do: When you receive the award, nominate 11 blogs that you read, post 11 random facts about yourself, and answer the 11 questions from the person who nominated you. Once you nominate 11 blogs for the award, ask them 11 questions & eagerly await their responses (: 

My nominees are: 
1. For This Child I Prayed
kelli ingram  

2. Afternoons & Coffeespoons
alexa moyer

3.  Just a Vapor
stephanie robnett 

meghan cavin 

anna bargeron 

molly fornadel

morgan cox  

sisters, margaret & jeannie 

mary vandecar

kayla anderson 

amber coley

 11 facts about me:

[1] i am a wife to my very best friend [fairy tales do happen], soon-to-be stay at home mom, and daughter of the Most High

[2] my favorite color is green. any kind of green. 

[3] i am a workout junkie - i love working out

[4] i could eat my weight in crunchy peanut butter

[5] i've hiked 1,400 miles of the AT 

[6] i hated college, but i'm thankful for the education and the life experiences i gained while there

[7]  i want to run / own a bakery & cafe

[8]  i love birthdays - especially my own

[9] traveling is a passion of mine - i want to see the world...all of it

[10] we haven't had tv since we got married 

[11] i  love a good meal from a nice restaurant and think it's absolutely worth the money to splurge

 
My answers to Steph's questions:

[1] If you could be an animal, what would you be?
a monkey

[2] What is your favorite thing about yourself? Any attribute- physical or other.
 this is something that i like about myself, but can also get me in trouble - typically i have a clear picture of what i want & i'm pretty stubborn about doing what it takes to get it
 
[3] If you could ask God one thing right now, what would it be?
when You comin' back?  (Seriously)
 
[4] If you could tell your five year old self one thing, what would it be?
don't bully your little sister so much
 
[5] What is your fondest memory of your childhood?
[for some reason i seriously don't remember many details about my childhood - much to my dad's dismay...he says he wouldn't have spent so much money on life experiences for me not to remember them - haha!] seriously though, i loved our family vacations
 
[6] Who is the one person you admire most. Why? 
 my Mikey. i could talk about what i admire about him all day. he's a hard worker. he's a prayer warrior for our family. he loves life. he has a passion and a heart for people that i don't have. he loves the Lord. he doesn't mind getting his hands dirty. he's super manly. he sees things from a totally different perspective than i do. he's brilliant and such a stud.
 
[7] Describe yourself in three words.
organized, athletic & creative
 
[8] Why did you start a blog?
to keep up with what's going on in life [it'll be much easier to search through the blog one day than it is to search through journals] & share it with friends & family 
 
[9] If you only had one store to shop at for the rest of your life, what would it be?
anthropologie [my guilty pleasure] 
 
[10] What make-believe world out of any book or movie would you LOVE to travel to?
Narnia
 
[11] If you were stranded on a deserted island... just kidding. If someone wrote a book about your life, what actress would play your role?
Hmmmm....I have no idea!!

My 11 questions for my nominees [they're pretty simple] (: :
 [1] What is your favorite cake flavor?
[2] What is your Pandora station on right now?
[3] What was your first blog post about?
[4] What is your favorite holiday tradition?
[5] What was your favorite year of grade school & why?
[6] What's your favorite recipe?! [Do share (:] 
[7] Do you have any nasty habits [burping, nose picking...]?
[8] Where do you do your grocery shopping?
[9] If you could do one crazy, adventurous thing - what would it be?
[10] What was your first car?
[11] What's your favorite month of the year?


 
 




September 6, 2012

Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches

I made the Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches last night (among about 6 other things). I'm quite impressed with these cake cookies! I mean, c'mon - homemade carrot cake in cookie form (I even shredded the carrots by hand). Yes, please! What's even better is that carrot cake is one of Mikey's favorites, so I had a real-life carrot cake connoisseur on my hands and he loved them! Next time instead of using the suggested ice cream scoop to scoop the dough onto the pan I'll use a tablespoon. I made about 1/3 of the batter tablespoon size and like the size of those much better. I'll also use Splenda instead of sugar - I just didn't have any on hand.


carrots
shredded carrots
dry ingredients
dry ingredients
mixing batter

batter 2
shredded carrots and oats added
waiting to be iced!
waiting to be iced

final product
the final product! 








September 5, 2012

30 weeks

30 weeks

How far along? 30 weeks (but according to my doctor I'm measuring a week behind & was @ my last appointment as well) 
Sleep: sleeping great - I feel like this is my consolation prize for the heartburn
Best moment(s) this week: Hearing Baby M's heartbeat at my 30 week appointment -- always such a great reminder of how big our God is and what a miracle this little one is! AND, booking our Babymoon / 3rd Anniversary trip! (AKA the last get away with no kiddos to leave behind (; )
Movement: still rockin' & rollin'! 
Food cravings: nothing
Symptoms: Not much has changed since last week: still breathing fire and my ribs still feel bruised.
Gender prediction: When I asked Mike recently what he thought was "in there" his response was "a baby" (: Haha ... I'm countin' down the days 'til we find out if our sweet Baby Martin is a girl or a boy!
Labor signs:
nothing recently
Stretch marks: nope
Belly button in or out: barely an outtie
Looking forward to: Workin' on the nursery (oh, and the rest of the house). Having less than 10 weeks to go! 
Random facts about Baby M: According to The Bump Baby M is still in the same measurement range as last week:  15.2-16.7" long and 2.5-3.8 pounds. Now baby is strong enough to grasp a finger and its brain is developing more & more! Whoop, whoop -- stronger and smarter!

30 weeks = cucumber30 weeks

September 4, 2012

Fall Food

Well, it's not officially fall (yet) but it's beginning to feel a little bit like it outside and it sure as heck looks like fall (well, winter actually) outside my windows. With fall comes leaves changing, sweaters (or sweatshirts in my case), boots, crisp-air smells, fresh apples (and subsequently crock pot applesauce), a different schedule, darker evenings and fall foods.

Our community group is starting up again this week and Mike & I are down to bring dinner for this first go-round. Our group consists of 9 couples and fixing dinner for everyone (and dessert, of course) is seriously a treat. We made it through the rotation 2x last year before we broke for summer, meaning we got lots of different dinners from everyone. I've decided to kick off our group this year with my very favorite Crock Pot Chili, Fritos, cornbread and homemade Carrot Cake Cookies. You've heard me mention The Noisy Rabbit before (the food co-op that we're apart of)...and I'm trying my darndest to use up all of our veggies - what better way to use those massive carrots than in cookies?! (: Stay tuned & I'll let you know how they are!

If you're interested in trying them for yourselves (or like me, you have a plethora of carrots lying around...) here's the recipe:


Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwich

Ingredients:
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots, (about 3 large carrots)
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe here)


Directions: 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper, and set aside.
  • Combine (brown & white) sugars and butter; beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until well combined. 
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; stir to combine. Gradually add flour to butter mixture; mix on a low speed until just blended. 
  • Mix in oats and carrots. 
  • Chill dough in refrigerator until firm *at least 1 hour*
  • Using a 1/2-ounce ice-cream scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Transfer to oven, and bake until browned and crisped, rotating pan halfway through baking to ensure even color, 12 to 15 minutes. 
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat baking process with remaining dough. 
  • Once cooled completely, spread cream-cheese filling onto a cookie. Sandwich together with a second cookie.