Five on Friday [summer recipes edition] // 6-30-17

As much as I love to cook, I lose all motivation for it during the summer and am always looking for easy, fresh and quick recipes. Here are some of my current favorites that have proved to be winners (all from my Pinterest page):

ONE // Honey Chipotle BBQ Chicken Skewers. We don’t currently have a grill (thanks to apartment living), but baking/roasting them in the oven on a rack works just as well. I also love to “grill” the corn on the cob in the oven as well.

TWO // Chicken Ranch Wraps. Super quick and easy and the kitchen doesn’t get hot!

THREE // Garlic Balsamic Caprese Chicken. This marinade is the bomb. I love serving this recipe with pasta and fruit salads.

FOUR // Crockpot Sloppy Joes. Don’t want to slave over the stove? Use the slow cooker! I usually like to make a double batch of sloppy joe meat and freeze it for another day.

FIVE // Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros. Another fantastic recipe for a day you don’t want to use the oven or stove.

What are some of your summer go-to recipes?

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39 Week Bumpdate

How far along: 39 weeks

Size of baby: Small pumpkin, mini skateboard or American shorthair cat. 19-21 inches long (head to toe) and 7-8 lbs.

Wearing/Maternity Clothes: Nothing new! I’m just ready to start wearing my regular summer shirts again.

Sleep: Still good – I sneak in naps whenever I can.

Dream of the week: I guess I decided to take a break after last week’s crazy episode.

Cravings: Watermelon, fresh stuff like salad.

Baby movement: She’s running out of room and her movements are less jabs and kicks and more of shifting and rippling.

Gender: Little Lady

Challenges this week: I feel like my bump is stretched to the max and I’m ready to pop. But other than that and struggling off the couch and Braxton-Hicks contractions every once in a while, I’ve felt pretty good.

Best moment this week: Meeting my little niece Pepper! And seeing my sister for a little bit.

Maybe *this* will actually be the last bumpdate!?

Weekend with Sisters and Babies

We keep wondering if this is the last weekend before baby…maybe this one was it!

Friday afternoon, I got to have lunch with my sister and adorable new niece who were in town for a wedding. It was SO good to catch up and meet little Pepper!

Saturday, Loren and I actually attended the wedding Dawn and her family were here for and I snagged a picture because we forgot to on Friday (am I even a blogger!?). Look at those adorable squishy little baby cheeks!! Naturally, I didn’t get any pictures of my nephew who was the ringbearer, but he was adorable in his secret service get-up.

My favorite wedding date 🙂

Later on Saturday evening, Loren got to experience a little bit of baby stuff shopping at Target. Don’t worry – I didn’t take too long and he got some new shirts (not from the baby section), so we can call it a win.

Sunday after church we had lunch with some friends, then worked on various things the rest of the afternoon. We did get out a little bit in the evening for a sunset walk. 

Sometime I struggle for pictures. 😉
Still struggling. Come on, baby!

What I’ve Read Lately

Looks like the last time I did a book review was in March, so I have some catching up to do!

Rating system:
1 ★ don’t even bother
2 ★★ it’ll be a struggle and probably not worth your time
3 ★★★ not the worst, but not my favorite
4 ★★★★ kept me intrigued – you should read it
5 ★★★★★ I would read it again (maybe even buy it) – you should definitely read it

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
Franny is a struggling actress in NYC who is coming up on the last days of the deadline she gave herself to “make it” in the acting world. There are many highs and lows, but Franny’s humorous and quirky take on things makes for an enjoyable read. I did feel like I was reading part of Lauren Graham’s autobiography.
★★★/5

 Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris
In this psychological thriller, Grace and Jack seem to be the “perfect” couple. But we quickly learn that Jack is not who he seems to be. While I have to warn that the content is somewhat disturbing, I always find it fascinating how depraved humans can be.
★★★/5


Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
This was another quick, hilarious read of Mindy’s. She talks about actor and director life, food, relationships and everything in between.
★★★/5


The Chemist
by Stephenie Meyer
Some of you might recognize the author from the Twilight series (which I have never read), but this novel has nothing to do with vampires. An ex-agent is on the run from her former employees, but when she agrees to take on one more job for them, things don’t exactly turn out as agreed. Definitely a page turner that had me finding every spare moment to read.
★★★★/5

Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman
As I prepare to bring my first child into the world, I was fascinated by this French take on pregnancy, childbirth and child raising. Pamela, an American mother living in France, discusses how French children sleep through the night very early on, don’t throw food and generally eat whatever is put in front of them.
★★★★★/5


Dark Matter
by Blake Crouch
This alternate-universe science fiction novel is not a genre I typically read, but someone recommended it, so I picked it up on a library run. Jason Dessen is knocked out and wakes up on a gurney in a world he isn’t familiar with. As he tries to get back to the life he knows with his wife and son, he must overcome several obstacles and open the right door.
★★★/5


Love and First Sight
by Josh Sundquist
A quick and easy read, this story focuses on blind-from-birth Will Porter and his transition from a special needs school to a regular high school. When the opportunity for an experimental surgery that could give him his eyesight arises, Will decides to take the chance and have the surgery. Recovery is not what he expects it to be, but the new friends he’s made help him through the transition.
★★★★/5

What have you been reading lately?

38 Week Bumpdate

How far along: 38 weeks

Size of baby: Spaghetti squash, winter melon, ukulele or Pomeranian. 19-20 inches long (head to toe) and 6-7 lbs.

Wearing/Maternity Clothes: Still all the comfortable things like summer dresses and stretchy waistband shorts!

Sleep: I’ve been waking up a few more times during the night than in the past, but can fall back asleep pretty quickly.

Dream of the week: I was going to a Pure Barre class with Loren who had gone for the first time the previous week. We got to the class location, which was in a nice cabin in the woods. Since you wear sticky socks and no shoes for pure barre, we made sure to take off our shoes and then went inside.  It was my first time so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did know that you had to wear leggings or capris to keep your muscles warm and therefore couldn’t wear shorts, but I was wearing long cargo shorts (yes, with all the pockets!). Loren, who also knew what the appropriate attire was, led me past several bedrooms to the well-stocked “workout clothing room” where he proceeded to select a workout bra and workout tank to wear to class because THAT’S WHAT YOU WEAR TO PURE BARRE. We then picked up the rest of our needed equipment (a ball and some weights) and headed to the actual classroom. And then I woke up. Loren would like me to add a disclaimer here that this was all a dream, and he would definitely never wear this outfit in real life.

Cravings: Again, not really anything, but I’m always a sucker for anything sweet. And cold.

Baby movement: She’s settled down, but every once in a while makes sure I know she’s there!

Gender: Little Lady

Challenges this week: I’ve had a few contractions, but none have been too painful or regular.

Best moment this week: Ordering the last few things for baby like this Solly Baby Wrap and carseat/nursing cover (thanks to major coupon discounts!!).

Will this be the last bumpdate!?

Quality Over Quantity

Welcome to this past weekend’s short recap. We did several things, but only a few moments were photo-documented.

Thursday night, I met up with some girls from work for what I thought was going to be a regular girls’ night, but they had planned an adorable elephant-themed surprise baby shower for me! They were all so generous and baby girl was quite spoiled once again.

Friday night I had another girls’ night, this time with a few girls from church. We ate good food, chatted and had an all-around great time.

Saturday’s highlights included a late-morning graduation party and our annual Daku pancake and cartoon party. Sadly, not all of them could make it, but we still had a good time and ate way too many pancakes.

Sunday was pretty quiet after church, but we did get out to take our annual summer photobooth shots. I have no idea how these became a tradition, but we started them the summer we got married, and plan on taking them every year as long as we can. It’s fun to see how we change every year!

How was your weekend?

37 Week Bumpdate

How far along: 37 weeks

Size of baby: Honeydew melon, romaine lettuce, tackle box or striped skunk (hopefully not as smelly). 19-20 inches long (head to toe) and 6-7 lbs.

Wearing/Maternity Clothes: All about comfort over here – my style for the next couple weeks until she comes!

Sleep: Still pretty good as long as I am surrounded by all my pillows.

Dream of the week: There was one this week where I was trying to save several kids from a witch – but I only had 3 car seats in my car and wasn’t sure about how to legally take the 4th kid. I woke up before my dilemma was solved.

Cravings: Nothing. But fresh, cold fruit is always good!

Baby movement: She’s dropped, so there’s a little more pressure on my lower abdomen, but she still likes to kick around on my right side.

Gender: Little Lady

Challenges this week: I’ve been avoiding emptying the dishwasher and generally anything else that requires bending over. Also, standing up after sitting for a little while isn’t the most fun thanks to pressure on my pelvis. But taking walks almost every day has helped!

Best moment this week: Celebrating my last birthday before we add a baby to future celebrations.

Birthday Weekend

Guys! It’s Monday! And I’m doing a weekend recap! Lately I’ve been slacking on recapping our weekends on time and they haven’t appeared until Wednesday.
Anyway, here are a few highlights from my birthday weekend:

I painted some shelves for the nursery, which we hung up, as well as arranged and set up some other things. It’s all coming together and I think we’re pretty much ready for baby girl’s arrival!

Saturday evening we had a little picnic & ice cream date at Mrs. Curl (apparently we can’t get enough this summer) in the perfect summer weather.

I noticed in the ice cream line that I can’t see my toes anymore. #37weeks

Sunday morning (my actual birthday) we headed to our church’s annual picnic & baptism. It was such a blessing and encouragement to see so many take that next step in their faith and then to fellowship with everyone during the picnic.

Sunday afternoon, I opened my gifts from Loren (these shoes!!), took a nap, then later on that evening we ventured downtown for dinner at Tinker Street. I was pretty set on having tiramisu for my birthday cake, so we found a place that did takeout and went and enjoyed it on the Circle. Eventually we came home and started a movie – the perfect ending to a perfect low-key birthday. 🙂

I hope you had a lovely weekend!

Five on Friday [birthday wishlist edition] // 6-9-17

My birthday is this weekend and we will be keeping it pretty low-key (I think, who knows what Loren has up his sleeve), just how I like it.
Here are a few favorite things on my wishlist:

ONE // Nickel and Suede earrings. I got a silver pair of these adorable leather earrings a few years ago and always get compliments when I wear them. Now I just want to add a few more to my collection!

TWO // Toms sandal wedges. Perfect for summer, cute and comfortable!

THREE // White duvet. Right now we our using our “summer” white quilt my mom made for us, but I would love to get a white duvet to replace our thick blue/gray comforter for the colder months.

FOUR // Leather Toms. I know I already have Toms on this list, but how comfortable-looking and versatile and cute are these leather cognac ones!?

FIVE // Tiramisu. This is super random, but what can I say? I don’t care for cake and tiramisu sounds pretty amazing right now.

Happy weekending!

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36 Week Bumpdate

How far along: 36 weeks

Size of baby: Papaya, cabbage patch doll or chihuahua. 19ish inches long (head to toe) and 6ish lbs.

Wearing/Maternity Clothes: Comfy summer dresses and shorts – anything with a comfortable waistband.

Sleep: Still good overall, even though I wake up 1-3 times during the night for bathroom runs.

Dream of the week: Nothing to report here – pretty boring this week in the dream department.

Cravings: Still icy/cold things.

Baby movement: I’m watching her move right now!

Gender: Little Lady

Challenges this week: Turning over in bed/getting out of bed. Maybe I’ll just stay there and sleep until she comes.

Best moment[s] this week: Joanna and Jeffrey’s visit this past weekend, getting the nursery mostly ready and another good dr. visit (she’s getting ready to make her debut!).