Monday, September 29, 2014

Motherhood is my Muse

Hello, all! And Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend. We went up north and visited family, I'll post more pictures later this week! 

I'm also really excited for today's post because I absolutely love the message and mission of this company I'm wearing. I've teamed up with the fabulous ladies of Blanqi Girl's for a giveaway on Instagram. If you aren't following me already hop on over and find out how you can enter and win a Motherhood is my Muse tee !

These ladies know about support wear! If you haven't heard about them they are all about staying true to a person's style by providing high-quality support wear for before, during and after pregnancy. And now they have this wonderful line of tees and lounge-wear and I'm totally in love. I have a few items on my shopping list, including their amazing support leggings. I hope you check them out! 

For this post I paired my super comfy tee with this amazing camo jacket. I've been debating between camo pants or a jacket for this season. But when I saw this one at Old Navy I knew I could get so much more wear out of it. The drawstrings are perfect for adjusting since it is non-maternity. I bought it a size larger than my normal size and it will be perfect for post-pregnancy layering as well! 

I hope you have a great beginning of the week!

Motherhood is my Muse Tee | Blanqi| Camo jacket (on sale now!) |Old Navy | Booties | Target


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Quick and easy pasta dinner!

Hello, all!

I posted my quick dinner last night on Instagram and a few of you lovely ladies wanted the recipe. It was very simple to make and after my husband's rave reviews I'll be making it more often!

I bought the stuffed cheese ravioli from our local grocery store and followed the directions for cooking them. These were the tortellini stuffed with cheese. They are usually in the refrigerated section and are  more of the 'fresh' variety that expire quickly. It was about 2 cups.

I hope you love them as much as we did- I was out of tomatoes but I'd totally add some to this too!


Makes 4 servings

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup shredded romano cheese
1 small chopped white onion
2 bunches fresh spinach
optional - chopped small tomato 
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt & cracked white pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup milk ( I used rice milk, really great if you can't have dairy) 

To make: 

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; sautee onions (add the tomatoes now if you are using them). Sauté for about 3-5 mn. They'll turn a nice golden color. Stir in flour and seasoning until it is well blended. Continue to cook and stir until thickened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. It'll be a bit thick at this point. Increase heat to medium and whisk water into roux until smooth. Stir in milk; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes more. Add the fresh spinach (it will wilt) Season with white pepper & salt. 

After I made the sauce, I added the strained cooked pasta. Mix it up and enjoy!

 ¡Buen Provecho!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

family maternity shoot

I was so excited when my sister and sister-in-law offered to take our family maternity pics and get me all dolled-up. :) The hard part about family portraits for us is working around my husband's schedule and of course the unpredictability of a toddler! During these pics the only way to have Gabriel cooperate was to give him a banana, haha! And well in most of the pics he has a banana in his mouth or on his fingers. But I wouldn't change them for anything. We had such a great time and we will cherish these pictures for years to come. And it was also so great taking some sister pics :)

I hope you're having a great week!


Monday, September 22, 2014

apple orchard

Hi, all! I hope your weekend was fantastic! After a week of all of us being sick we are finally feeling better. YAY! And we were well enough to visit our favorite apple orchard, the elegant farmer. We've been able to visit this orchard since we moved to the area and it's become a fun little tradition for our family. And it was so neat to see Gabriel so active this year, running around and eating apples, haha! 

Have a great week!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

This weeks' moment

Hi all! I hope your weekend and beginning of the week have been great. We've been battling a nasty bug these past few days after our long weekend with family. But all in all we had such a great time and we miss them so much. I posted extra pics on IG and even a dance video, haha! 

When we got back I was able to look at all of the pics that were taken. And this one especially captured Gabriel's silliness! I sometime's look at Gabriel and he seems like such a big boy. He is becoming so independent. But he is still my 7lb 3 oz newborn that I held on my chest for hours. And I want to be able to appreciate him while he is little even though he will be a big brother soon.

Thank you for making me a mother Gabriel and I am so excited for you to meet your baby brother!

I hope you have some time to capture a silly moment with those you love. Have a wonderful week!


Monday, September 08, 2014

Fall booties

I hope you all had a great weekend! We spent ours enjoying this warmer weather even though everyone keeps saying it's Fall?! I've also been on the hunt for a comfy and cute pair of booties. And the thing about booties (for me) is that they have to be comfy, have a bit of heel, and be easy to put on. I can't have a ton of buckles when I'm running after Gabriel! But they also have to lengthen my 5'3 legs haha! So I was super excited when I found this pair at Target! They hit all of my requirements and they were at a great price point too- win win :)

I hope you have a great rest of the week! 

haha that face! xoxo

Booties|Target via in store (brand is Merona $34.99) for whatever reason they aren't on their website  | Maternity Dark Wash Denim | Target | Dana Buckman Top via Thrifted @MadCityCloset on IG | similar tops


Sunday, September 07, 2014

this weeks' moment

I have many emotional and touching moments during the week especially with all of these hormones rolling around. It's always a good idea to live in the moment but when you are able to capture one on camera then you can hold on to it a bit longer. I've wanted to capture a silouette moment for quite some time and I was so happy when my husband was up for the challenge. It only took a few snaps and this is what turned out. All I could think about when I saw the finished product was this quote by Carrie Fisher: 

"Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be."

I hope you are both able to live in the moment but know that it's okay to capture them as well.


Friday, September 05, 2014

labor prep

*Disclaimer I am no longer an allied health professional. I am a mom who chose to have a med-free birth at a hospital and this is what helped me along the way. As with anything new during your pregnancy, consult your Dr./OB/Midwife/DO before you begin any new regimen.*

Now that I'm almost in my 32nd week of pregnancy, the idea of labor is becoming very real! If you've been following my blog or IG, you know that I had a med-free natural birth with Gabriel at a hospital/birth center. My hope is to do the same with this little nugget on the way. I'm not dedicated to one single 'program' of laboring naturally. I like to mix it up and I feel that if I focus too much on only wanting one thing so badly, I lose sight of the bigger picture. And that is the safety of both baby and me. I hope these are helpful tips for you, and even if you aren't planning to have a med-free birth some of these might help you during the process as well! 

If you want a med-free birth and are opting to have it in a hospital setting, it is possible. Please remember that you are your greatest advocate, and it helps to have your significant other or support person there to also share your wishes. 

I also highly recommend to take a birthing class if your hospital offers it (most do). And take a tour of the facilities. It is so helpful to know where you will be laboring and this really helps paint a better picture. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions! Not only is this one of the most important days of your life, but you deserve to have answers. Most classes explain what options you have for pain and what they can offer if you opt for a med-free birth.

Before labor

As I mentioned in Gabriel's birth story the most difficult part for me was not being able to push when every ounce of my being wanted to push! It felt as if I had this huge bowling ball that wanted to escape forcefully from my entire pelvic area. Sorry for the graphic detail but just keeping it real! I had to focus all of my energy on holding back, breathing and not pushing. So for this part my greatest challenge was keeping a steady breath. 

~I practice my meditative breathing every day, and before I go to bed. I take some time to hold my bump and talk to our growing baby boy. I also breathe in deeply and try to clear my mind for about 10 minutes. It is seriously invaluable in the process of birth and ultimately daily living. Practice listening to yourself breathe, in and out slowy. Here is a great video that can help you get started! I also love this entire video for prenatal yoga.

Guided Relaxation 

~ I watch what I eat. Your food is your energy, it gives you life. If you are only putting sweets, high fats, and processed foods you are depleting your natural energy. Do I always eat super clean and healthy? No! (In fact, I am currently dealing with the after effects of that brat burger I posted yesterday on IG haha!) But I am very mindful of what I eat throughout the day. A good way to start your day is with a healthy bowl of oatmeal and fruit. It's sweet, filling and will give you that boost you will need to start your day.

~ Birthing balls are a great way to build strength and help with contractions. And if done carefully you can use it to help induce labor naturally. One part of opting to give birth in a hospital setting is that your OB has probably told you the amount of time that they are willing to go beyond your due date before they explore induction methods. Based on evidence based medicine my OB opts to not go beyond a week after my due date. This means that I have already spoken to her about the natural methods I use to induce labor. Per her recommendation I do not begin any of these methods until I am 37 weeks.   

Once I am 37 weeks, I begin bouncing on my birthing ball for 10 mn, three times a day. I make sure to hold my bump (as in the picture) and gently bounce up and down. I also start pelvic rotations. As you sit hold your bump and rotate right and left, you can do this for about 10 minutes as well.

If you don't own one, I highly recommend picking one up (shop here for one).

~Red Raspberry Leaf tea. This tea has been known to help induce labor naturally. (Buy it here) I drank about 1-3 cups a day. When I told my OB that I would be doing this she was on board but she was also concerned that I might be one of those moms that respond very well to it. Therefore, she reiterated that I should begin around 37 weeks.

~Dates! No not that kind of date but the kind you eat! Yes, I know it sounds cray BUT there has been research (here's a link)  done that there are huge benefits for women that do:
"The women who consumed date fruit had significantly higher mean cervical dilatation upon admission compared with the non-date fruit consumers (3.52 cm vs 2.02 cm, p < 0.0005), and a significantly higher proportion of intact membranes (83% vs 60%, p = 0.007). Spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of those who consumed dates, compared with 79% women in the non-date fruit consumers (p = 0.024). Use of prostin/oxytocin was significantly lower in women who consumed dates (28%), compared with the non-date fruit consumers (47%) (p = 0.036). The mean latent phase of the first stage of labour was shorter in women who consumed date fruit compared with the non-date fruit consumers (510 min vs 906 min, p = 0.044). It is concluded that the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome. The results warrant a randomised controlled trial."
Once I read this, I said BRING on the dates haha! If anything else, they are tasty and provide a little extra fiber in your diet ;) I usually start eating them around this time. 

~I also walk a lot, at least 30 minutes a day (some days I'll walk 3-5 miles) I feel that it both strengthens my legs and breathing. 

During Active Labor

My birthing center made sure to provide a birthing ball for me. It was amazing how much it helped me during the more intense contractions! They also offered for me to sit on the toilet, because that also helps release pressure. My birthing center also has a whirlpool that can be used to help during the contractions, but since my water already broke I wasn't able to use it. Ask your hospital what items they have to help you with your natural birthing process.

~HOT Packs! It's amazing how much these helped me with my back labor. They were very hot, but they even helped me to get some sleep in between my contractions and once I was transitioning. 

~Music. It is so therapeutic. Before going to the hospital I started a playlist of some of my favorite songs. And while I was in active labor at the hospital I was able to listen to the music and it helped take my mind off of the intensity. At one point, I remember "Faithfully" the Glee version came on, and I just began to cry. I looked over at my husband and he started getting teary-eyed as well. The emotions took over and it is a moment I will never forget! As cheesy as it sounds haha! 

We planned a few other methods but once we tried them it didn't help me with the pain. But these are the few that I was able to try and I hope it helps you along the way as well!

I sincerely wish all of my preggo reader's a happy and healthy rest of your pregnancy. But also a beautiful labor experience! Whether, you are having a c-section, a med-free birth or a medicated one, being able to be a part of creation is a gift! And each and every one of you are doing beautifully.

Best wishes to you, momma!


Wednesday, September 03, 2014


What is it about waffles that make everthing better?! I've had this recipe for quite some time (my sister passed  it along to me). And it's been my go-to ever since! You can literally replace the ingredients with whatever you use. Now that I am eating less dairy and a bit more "clean" I replace the milk for organic rice milk, and use a different type of oil, sugar and flour. Yet it still tastes amaze :)

Hope you love 'em!

Makes about a dozen (depending on the size of your waffle iron)


2 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs
1 3/4 Milk
1/2 cup veggie oil 
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix up in a food processor or blender and pour into your waffle maker. Enjoy! ¡Buen Provecho!


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Labor Day Weekend

I'm on a roll today with my posts! But when I have time to type up these posts, well I just take advantage and do them all at once ;) #momlife 

Here are some more pics of our Labor Day weekend, it was so great to have honey bun home! We ate, we laughed and now that Gabriel is becoming more independent he is able to enjoy more of the park! It is amazing to see how much he has grown and experience his personality blossom.


The moistest cranberry, banana nut bread recipe!

I hope your Labor Day weekend was amazing and long! I'll be posting some pics of ours in a separate post :)

This weekend I altered an old banana bread recipe I had and in turn made the most moist banana bread ever! It was fanatastic I could live off this stuff! It was also pretty easy to make- win win!

Hope you love it as much as we have!


 1 - 9x5 inch loaf
 1/2 cup butter (softened)
 1 cup Raw Sugar
 2 eggs (I used caged-free vegetarian)
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon baking soda
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/2  cup Honey Greek Yogurt
 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
 1/2 cup craisins 
 3 medium bananas mashed

To Bake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the butter mixture until smooth. Fold in the greek yogurt, walnuts, cranberries and bananas. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.