Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Looking for a fun Top Chef-like event? Try the Hills Market

Oscar Dinner | 6:30 p.m. | $45

This dinner, served in our Wine Department, is a compilation of courses inspired by all ten 2011 Oscar Nominees for Best Picture. This evening will feature five courses, four wines and three film critics: John DeSando, co-host of WCBE's It's Movie Time, Cinema Classics, and On the Marquee, Johnny DiLoretto co-host of WCBE's Cinema Classics and entertainment reporter for Fox 28, and Kristin Dreyer Kramer, co-host of WCBE's It's Movie Time and On the Marquee and editor-in-chief of

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday like part 2

Favorite Tuesday likey part 2

Blushwear Cream Stick
Love Clinique's blush stick! It's awesome for busy days or post-workout. Love! Especially in the winter when your skin is drier.

Luna Bar, Variety Pack, 24-Count (8-Nutz Over Chocolate, 8-Caramel Nut Brownie, 8-Peanut Butter Cookie)
Luna Bars are great if you need to get a healthy quick snack!

Buik Candy at Yutzy's or Cheese house. Candy for 2.00? I'm in like flint.

Tuesday likey

Feeling blah?
Make this Tuesday likey recipe--Paula Deen's concoction for a yum strawberry sorbet. I used frozen strawberries and fresh lime and it was fresh and yum on a winter day. Use your Cuisinart ($50) ice cream machine maker to make it smooth and creamy and freeze with plastic wrap on top before serving (at least a good 3-4 hours prior to serving).

It's Tuesday, which means a rather blah night for TV, preschool for Ava cakes this morning, and the gym with my little buddy Sophia. I had a great time at the gym, and got in some swim workouts, including working on my breathing (tend to inhale water), power per stroke, and not getting a mouthful of water from the guy swimming like a freakin shark next to me. He was literally making big waves in the water that I got to swim through.

Waves+water=open water tri practice. ha.

I still feel like being prego and doing any exercise can be frustrating.

You cramp if you go too fast. Your poor legs remember their 8-9 min pace and want to go there and sadly they can't. And you want to beat that wave making guy in the next lane and you can't because you get cramps. But, it feels so good after a good workout. Did 650-700 yards and felt good since it was a mental thing of remembering what I was working on from my last session.

I also ran 3.2 miles last night outside in shorts! Shorts I tell you. In the middle of January and it was bliss.

Baby is 24 weeks tomorrow! Feeling good and just get tired after a long day. This week marks our 6 month! Very exciting. Our next doctors appointment will be the glucose test. Gained two pounds this week alone. Whew. Brandon says he can tell my belly is an inch bigger.

Brandon is busy at work and running and maybe thinking about doing the Cap City Half. We are also busy helping out with the Vista Worthington church plant. It's been cool to see how God works things out every Sunday. It's been a really awesome experience.

Ava loves her preschool and loves to show me everything she is doing with her class. Her birthday is this weekend so we are taking in goodie bags for her class. She also has a ballet party, Barbie and the Three Musketeers, on Sunday. She loves to act like she is riding horses or is a big girl. She is really practical and a big helper. Some of her tasks now are washing off the table, turning off TV, lights before we leave or helping me sort laundry.

Sophia is our little clown and literally makes Brandon and I laugh all of the time. She is funny and cheerful most of the time and will share anything. She loves to mimic me and say, "My belly hurts," or "What's that noise?" or "No fair!," with her little pout (that makes me laugh inside). They are really best friends and play together so well and just go up to their rooms and play for hours sometimes. It's kind've making me spoiled. What is going to happen when Ryder shows up and needs 24/7 attention? Sophia is really good at putting her plate away after dinner and helping me cook. The girls really both love to help me cook.

They also love their gymnastic classes on Friday with Coach Karen. Sophia loves to do somersaults and Ava is working on her roundoff.

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie!!

Don't you love to try new fruit? Especially in the winter when everything is blah? The girls and I got some blood oranges last week and had them and they were good! They were purplish/orange and tasted more like grapefruit than oranges. Soph ate them and Ava and Brandon were leery of the color.

Pier One had some cute large white ramekins for 2.50. I purchased four for indiv. chicken pot pies that I saw on the Barefoot Contessa. You could also do individual lasagnas as well. We had the Coffey's over for dinner so I tried it out then. The adults got large ramekins and the smaller ramekins were for the kids.

Chicken Pot Pie!
preheat oven to 400
  • I used Martha Stewart pie crust recipe
  • Sauce-a half broth/bechamel (2 table butter, 2 table flour f0r a roux then add 2 cups broth and stir and cook for 10 minute add 1 cup of heavy cream, with a dash of lemon juice, nutmeg and a bay leaf steeped in it. Season with salt, pepper.
  • For the filling I used sautéed carrots, celery, onions, parboiled potatoes and sweet potatoes, frozen peas and corn for the kids and cooked chicken breast (bone-in chicken breast seasoned with olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes then tear apart. Don't use boneless chicken breast as it can be dry).
  • Fill ramekins and make circle and add little pie crust overhang so that they will completely cover ramekins. Make a little slit on top, brush with milk and add a sprinkle of kosher salt, opt. Put on a baking sheet and cook until middle of crust is completely cooked, around 50-55 min. Let cool for 10 min. Enjoy!
  • Can also make veggie with veggie stock and veggie filling or adding beans.

Swim class!

I kind've feel like Ava and Soph as I had my first adult tri swim class yesterday at 7 am. I used some of my bday money to schedule a coaching session with Tracy who coaches at Aquatic Adventures. I had some great advice from my friend Heather on swimming and swimming in open water and thought it would be good to get some more lessons under my belt.

The Healthy Tipping Point blog has a great series on tris and all three disciplines, including swimming here.

On Wed., I got to the pool around 6:50 am and was a little intimidated after seeing an ironman water bottle at the end of one of the laps of the group exercise class prior to my session.

Tracy was great at talking about the basics and helping me to learn how to effectively exhale in the water, inhale out of the water, stroke basics and kicking. I pretty much unlearned everything I had been doing and worked on making sure both of my arm strokes were "awake" as my left arm was barely working. Also, I guess I was kicking too much and not using my arm stroke to propel me forward.

As a stay at home mom, it was really nice to get out that early and have a chance to work on a hobby. And Tracy was a great coach!

Who I would recommend a coaching session to:
  • Anyone wanting to really enjoy swimming laps and increase their endurance
  • Sprint/Olympic/Half/Full IM/interested people
  • Beginner swimmers wanting to learn how to swim with maximum efficiency
  • Advanced swimmers wanting to become more confident in long swim
  • Great for pregos who have to find alternative ways to exercise or injured runners/bikers
  • For the price ($50/hour or $60/two similar swimmers/hour) I felt like I really got my money's worth as I learned so much from her than almost 6 months of swimming and reading articles on the internet.
Working out is still going really great this week. I ran 3 miles Monday, 3 miles Tuesday/weights, Wed swim class. Running while prego is def. doable and is easier outside where it's cooler. The gym is so hot right now. Literally. :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bday weekend !

So I turned 34! gulp, last Friday the 13th. It was a really nice bday week (yes, bday week around here) with dessert with friends, dinner with family prepared by mom (so good) and dutch blitz, dinner with Brandon and a shopping and lunch date with Ann. It was a great week. Kind've sad it's over. But it's nice to have a slower week and relax and nest/organize the pantry as inspired by the House of Smith blog.

On my actual bday, I dropped the girls at my mom and dads house for the night and they had a blast. Doing things like hanging out with their cousins Ethan and Charlotte (these pics are from yesterday) and getting waffles and ham. Um, their fav.

I met Brandon for a pre-dinner coffee since we were 20 min early and then we headed over to Tucci's (entrance photo). It was so beautiful and relaxed and we were seated right away. And it's our fav. place to eat. We started with the server's suggestion, mussels in a light tomato broth, and they were amazing. I was dredging up the broth with my sour dough bread. Brandon was in the mood for a pizza and salad and I wanted a full out bday dinner so I ordered the short ribs in the kona coffee sauce with sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts. We both had the house salad with their homemade shallot dressing. I once got the recipe out of the server. :)

I loved the food and especially loved the french silk pie Brandon had the server bring out for dessert. The chocolate was a definite craving I had! After dinner we went to our first IMAX movie and watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. It was awesome with the IMAX screening. Kind've want to watch every movie that way. We made sure to sit in the middle so that it wouldn't be too loud for the baby. I included a photo from outside Starbucks since I didn't take a 22 week prego shot. The pre-prego black coat is starting to fill out and pop my buttons. :

23 weeks
This week I am 23 weeks. Brandon and I have started organizing around the house, talking about having the girls take a big sister birth class and planned some baby purchases. I also went baby shopping with Ann and got the cutest boy outfits. We are talking tons of blue baby.

I am still having the round ligament pain and the update says to expect the baby to double in weight over the next four weeks. So those pounds I was gaining wasn't because of the half pan of cinnamon rolls I devoured. Nice to know....I am craving sweets baby. I made Martha Stewart's brownies from her classic blue recipe book and they were...i.n.s.a.n.e. Brandon laughed because I asked him 4 times how much he liked them. Cinnamon rolls, brownies, cookies, donuts, I could marry you all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fresh face

With the new year upon us, resolutions abound. Just going to the gym shows how many people want to look their best, shape up and make a change.

I was swimming laps yesterday and had to wait almost five minutes for a lane. It was crazy. It's never that busy. The treadmills are packed, the weight room is busy as well as the nursery. I am secretly glad that people do those resolutions if only for their opportunity to see how amazing working out can be--both mentally and physically.

Yesterday I swam about 500 yards and worked on my flip turn, pretty much sucking in as much water as possible. It wasn't pretty and at one point I hoped the lifeguard didn't think she had to rescue me as I downed water from the turn like it was my job. If you want to learn more about doing a flip turn, check this out.

After I get out of the water, for some reason my face is usually totally makeup free and it's sometimes intimidating to have no cover up on like these famous stars here.

Today we are going to the library, making some tortilla soup from my fav Barefoot Contessa and facing my nemesis--the laundry.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

House of Shmidts..

I love discovering new blogs that pack loads of fun information into their space--home, family, MAC makeup, which is why I found the House of Smith blog so entertaining. They focus on decorating on a budget and feature product reviews and photography tutorials.

Our iPhones have the Instagram app and HOS featured StickyGrams, a company that turns Instagram photos into magnets for around 14.99/9 pictures. A great birthday idea or just fun thinking of you present.

Use Instagram, Select your pics, Enjoy

House of Smith's

Monday, January 09, 2012

Funday Monday

My first fire! We had hot dogs and chicken sausages.

Ava and Sophia's favorite thing was riding their bikes around a loop that is at Glacier Ridge Park. Saturday morning I had about 30 minutes to drive and get in a quick 2 miles before I was meeting Becca at Piada. The weather was gorg. So beautiful with the clear sky and relatively warm (50) temps so I called Brandon and we decided to have him cycle to the park (20 miler) and we would meet him with food and hot chocolate.

I used to wonder why people used the bbqs at parks when they had them at home. But just getting out in nature and being surrounded by the beautiful park made you feel like you were on vaca.

Besides hot dogs and sausages we had strawberries, hot chocolate, roasted marshmallows and had chocolate chip cookies that we warmed up on the grill. Such a great memory snapshot.

Brandon really enjoyed biking and then having dinner at the end. Now if I can only save up my 600-plus dollars for a bike to join him. :) I am on the way, currently I have $100, so 1/6 of the way there.

Oh, and on the way home the girls were pooped. Ava kept saying, "Best day at the park ever!" and Sophia loved riding her little trike all around the circle and even rode it into the bathrooms. She's becoming such a little comic. She always makes me and Brandon laugh with her funny sayings and her little spunk. Ava is so good on her bike and I bet it won't be long before she gets rid of her trainers.

Happy Monday!
What was something fun you did over the weekend?


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Empty Fridge Giveaway winner

Okay. Big fail. I announce a contest and then wait two weeks to post the winner. But in my defense the holidays and a broken keyboard sidelined my blogging attempts.

The winner was LaRonda Stauffer! She wins a five dollar gift card to Starbucks for her comment.

Today we had a great day. It started off a little later than usual, but we got Ava to school only 10 minutes late since we had slept in (always okay when you are pregnant.:) Soph and I went to the gym and I ran 4.2 miles and then did some free weights. While running, I was not into it at all until Owl City came on my Pandora. I love when songs motivate you to run longer.

I posted some early December photos like when my awesome brother helped us add sconces by the fireplace. After trying four different types of lights, we found these at Home Depot and Luke and Brandon both liked them. Sophia had a birthday and turned 3! She loved getting money from Aunt Rachel and Uncle Myles. And then we found out in early December that we were having a boy! We visited First Expressions at Polaris to do a private screening in a room with a big movie theater screen. The experience was extra special since I had been so nauseous 24/7.

Seeing our baby boy was just a big relief and made it real for the girls. At first the tech was not able to spot anything, while I could plainly "see" what we were having. So I was somewhat disappointed when she said we would have to come back in two weeks until another tech walked in and said she was 100 percent positive we were having a boy.

21 week update
Feeling really good! Sometimes I get tired at night and take more naps, but I am still running and eating normal foods. Baby boy is a straight up kicker. He kicks hard and it hurts. But, thankful that I am feeling good. Belly also is stretching out and getting bigger. This week baby boy is the size of a banana. And almost 1 pound.

Cravings-hmm. I crave chocolate and fruit. And of course the ginger salad from House of Japan. Mmm.