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How to Food Prep!


Okay I am just starting this post and realizing how much more work it’s going to be than I thought. I honestly can’t believe I’ve never done a blog post about food prep. I’ve been doing this for probably 3 years. I will say there is no way I would eat even anything remotely looking like a healthy paleo-ish diet without food prep. There’s just no way. Eating real food is time consuming ad grabbing unhealthy convenience foods is obviously a lot more…..convenient. 

Now that I’m not working full time, my food prep days look a little different, and sometimes now I will prep food two days a week to cut up the job. When I wasn’t working and I was in full blown food prep Sundays mode, I would go shopping Saturday or Sunday morning and then food prep all day on Sunday. It usually took about 2-4 hours (not hands on the entire time- cooking time included). This routine was a lot harder once I had a baby but still was committed to prepping a least a couple of things. 


Everyone’s food prep will look a little different because we all have different needs. But I promise this is worth it and it will make eating healthier SO much easier. Throw on some music or a podcast or a book on tape and just get in a groove. 

  1. Plan meals – You need to go on Pinterest, look through your cookbooks and PLAN exactly what you’re going to have for breakfast, dinner, lunch and snacks the entire week (or two if you’re shopping for two weeks). This part is actually fun in my opinion! I pin recipes on Pinterest anytime I see something I would like to make then I go find them when meal prepping. It does take awhile. I have a meal planning template I use- if you’re interested click here and sign up for my email list to get it for FREE! 
  2. Go Shopping- Don’t be surprised when your grocery bill grows. But you will save so much money by not going last minute shopping/ordering or going out. 
  3. Start Prepping- Think about what meals you need prepped that you will not have time to took before hand. Perhaps these are your breakfasts and lunches for the week and your snacks. Maybe dinner you will have some time to cook during the week. Or maybe you can spend some time on breakfast and need lunch and dinner quick. 

My “prep” items usually include:

  • Lunch for the week 
  • Husband’s lunch
  • breakfast for the week
  • snacks
  • cut/prep vegetables for dinners
  • baby breakfast and lunch

Items that I would make for each of these things very every week! And if I don’t feel like prepping one of those items, I go with an easier option like smoothies for breakfast or lunch meat for my husbands lunch instead of making him something (normally it would be a pasta casserole, homemade pizza, homemade mac n cheese, etc). I always make my husband granola bars on Sunday for this lunch and I’ve been doing this for 3 years. They are super easy to throw together. 


Pumpkin pie breakfast bake ,

Egg muffins or casserole  ,


Toddler muffins


Paleomg spaghetti squash casserole

Meatballs with a sweet potato and broccoli

Salad with sardines

Toddler mac and cheese


Protein balls

Nutter bombs

Rx bars (when I don’t feel like prepping)



I know that was a lot of info- and like I said food prep is different for everyone and this is just what it looks like for me. Since I don’t work full time anymore I don’t do all of this anymore but I promise the more prep I do the better I feel about my eating that week! Please comment with any questions you have. I could post tons of recipes but I’m sure you know how the internet works. Check out my Pinterest  and follow me there for more recipes because I pin the recipes I like and use and go back to them. 


Some of the books I use regularly for meal prep:




*Some of the links in this post are affiliate!


Our toddler and baby food journey

I am not by any means an expert on baby food or toddler food, but I thought I’d share our experience for those that were interested. 

Our objective was to never be perfect with everything but try to choose the healthiest foods all the time, avoid unnecessary unhealthy foods and ingredients, and to not teach our little one disordered habits or build anxiety around food. This is why I don’t feed her “paleo” or even “gluten free”. She hasn’t shown any sensitivities around any food so far so why exclude foods? I don’t want her thinking any foods are taboo or exclude foods when they work fine for her. Obviously I focus on meat, veggies and fruit first but if she eats peanut butter and jelly or mac and cheese sometimes I’m okay with that 😉

Starting Solids

We started giving her bone broth around 5 1/2 months. This was her baby first food besides breastmilk. I made bone broth by putting old chicken or beef bones in the crockpot with onions, garlic, apple cider vinegar and water and letting it cook for 24 hours. She was not a huge fan and she would always make funny faces!

The purpose of bone broth is to strengthen the gut a little in preparation for real food!


After she had bone broth for 1-2 weeks then we started with vegetables. Butternut squash was her first food! Then we did peas and then cooked and pureed liver and other meats. I tried to focus on meat and especially liver because babies around 6-8 months are losing their iron stores. They need extra iron, especially if they are not having a prepared baby cereal, which is what most doctors will tell you to feed them for first foods. I just figured vegetables and meat were a better choice for us. She ate the liver right up! Might as well get these good foods in while she has no idea any different!

Then I would make different purees for the sitter and for during dinner and she would eat basically one frozen puck of baby food for dinner. At first she just ate dinner. Then I started with giving her sitter lunch around 7 months too. I used this silicone tray to freeze foods! 

I also used this website, Baby FoodE a lot for different puree recipes! It’s great! And many of the recipes are very tasty! 


Obviously we also used pre made pouches a lot especially when I sent food to the sitters. Although I got this pouch maker set last Christmas which was awesome. I could make homemade baby food pouches and send them to the babysitters which seemed easier than using the frozen pucks. 

Moving to real food

We started giving her actual chunks of food starting around 8-9 months. Avocado at first (she would literally eat a full avocado a day if I let her, she hates it now though), then banana, chunks of squash and pieces of ground or slow cooked beef and pork, eggs, chicken (her fav) and flakes of pouched salmon from vital choice.

We also introduced sardines at this point! They are great for vitamin D (especially since she is not getting cows milk), omega 3s and calcium! She wasn’t really a fan when she started them but she loves them now. 

We also started this baby cereal at around 8-9 months for breakfast. I went back and forth about when to introduce gluten, looked at some studies and then decided on this cereal. 

She loved it! So around 9 ish months I started giving her some for the sitter for breakfast, along with lunch as well. We also introduced peanut butter at this time. 


Toddler meals and beyond

Around 11-12 months she loved beyond purees completely and now eats chunks of food. She eats mostly everything now, except we do try to prioritize healthy proteins and fats and avoid sugar. I don’t feel the need to let her have unhealthy sugar laden and processed food especially since she has no idea about it anyway.


Now for breakfast, we usually have one of the following:

  • eggs
  • whole grain or sprouted wheat toast with peanut butter or jelly
  • pre made muffins

Lunch is usually a protein paired with a carb and fat:

  • sardines
  • leftover protein from dinner
  • cheese sticks
  • she is OBSESSED with olives
  • fruit
  • cubed sweet potato
  • peanut butter and jelly
  • healthy lunch meat

Dinner is whatever we’re having- as long is it’s a healthy protein! Her favorites include chicken, fruit, ground beef and burgers, olives, and noodles. 

Snacks- we used to do puffs but then I stopped buying them to force myself to get better options:

  • Dried fruit (available at Aldi’s!)
  • Fruit cups
  • Whole apples

We also at this time (16 months) nurse 3-4X a day still. When we started solids I ALWAYS made sure to nurse before I fed her to prioritize breast milk over food. I stopped paying so much attention to that around like 9-10 months. 

Some other great resources are:

Grazed and Enthused: Alaena Haber

Megan Garcia

Liz Wolfe


Please leave your questions below!! Affiliate links are in this post.


Natural and Non-Toxic Baby Products

Hello again, I’m actually getting on to post this week, go me!!!!! When I think about authentic things to post about, baby stuff comes to mind. I’m always on the search for natural and non-toxic products especially when it comes to my babe. Even though that’s not what you might have originally followed me for, it’s real life! I am just going to share some of the baby products I’ve been using that I’ve researched and gotten recommendations for baby as far as being affordable and non-toxic! 

Badger Sunscreen

I actually lost my tube of badger balm somewhere….typical. But we still have this face sunscreen stick. Great non-toxic brand. It kind of goes on white as do many zinc based sunscreens but i’ll take that over harmful chemicals in conventional sunscreens. 

Beautycounter Diaper Cream

Beautycounter is killing most of the competition in the baby department, honestly. The diaper rash cream is amazing. Baby has not had a diaper rash since we started using it. I use it once a night. If she has redness it’s gone by the morning. High quality!!!! 

California Baby Body Wash/Shampoo

My LO had a bout of eczema around 8 months and I was using Babyganics but then switched to this awesome, super sensitive formula from California Baby. It has no “fragrance” which can be a code word for some nasty chemicals. I’ve had this bottle since March and it’s still going strong. Her skin has cleared up!!

Jack n Jill natural toothpaste

It was after she had about 6 teeth that I was like…hmmmmm, should I be brushing these chompers?? We’ve been loving this flouride-free brand! She’s not super cooperative lately but I’ve read that all that matters is that the toothpaste gets smeared on the teeth. Lately I’ve been brushing my teeth at the same time so she likes to copy me!! Right now she is getting in some molars. It looks super painful but she doesn’t seem to be bothered. I know, I’ll shut up about my stupid easy baby. She’s probably going to pay me back with the bad behavior when she’s a teenager. 


Beautycounter Daily Protective Balm

We started using this daily protective balm and I love the consistency. I just feel like her skin is getting so nourished! It’s very thick and have absolutely no scent, which is a good thing! Every since I was pregnant and started using natural products I am very sensitive and get bothered by scents easily, even essential oils. We use this and combine it with Eucerin eczema when she gets a bad rash.


What are your favorite baby products? 


Facebook Live on Pencils and Pancakes

Hi all! So tomorrow night I’m going to try something that I’ve never done before on the blog- go live on Facebook to share some information with you. 

Are you overwhelmed with trying to overhaul your diet and don’t know where to start? Changing your diet and lifestyle is HARD. Instead of stressing yourself out trying to go gluten free, dairy free, cage free, grass fed, GMO free and 100% organic, take the first steps to overhauling your diet and watch my LIVE Facebook video: 3 toxic foods to cut out now.

This is for people who are interested in transitioning from a standard American diet (sad) to a healthier lifestyle, anyone can tune in! Just make sure you’re following my Pencils and Pancakes Facebook Page.

When I talk about the way I eat, so many people are so drastically difference from me that they are turned off by the thought of eliminating everything from their diet in order to be healthy. But the truth is I didn’t do this overnight. This has been 5-6 years of gradually changing over to what I first considered a “paleo” diet but now has evolved into a diet that works for me. And I always subscribe to the idea that what I do MOST of the time is way more important than what I do once in awhile. 

So some people ask me what the first step is. If you were going to eliminate just ONE really unhealthy food, what would it be? Well that’s what this video will be about- basically the worst three things I think anyone can easily take out. And then I’ll be telling you how to get the written version of the guide including brand suggestions for multiple stores and where to buy them. So I’ll tell you what to buy instead of just leaving you out in the cold. I hope you’ll tune in to maybe see me making a fool out of myself!! 8pm Thursday, October 19th. “See” ya then! 




Life Lately

WOW! I’m here! I can’t believe it……yeah I thought this blog was going to be dead. I thought this part of my life was just done, and I was planning on closing up shop in December when I had to renew the hosting fees and domain name. 

But then I just started having second thoughts. I spent so much time on my blog and it would be sad to just let it all go away. And I’m currently unemployed so I thought reviving it could possibly give me a way to spend my time….

So let me update you on life lately. I basically stopped blogging because I didn’t want to put tons of pictures of my kid on the internet. So I just stopped because if I wasn’t blogging about my kid, I couldn’t be completely genuine. And no one likes to read a blog about someone who is not genuine. I can’t blog about life and keep the most major part of my life secret. I figure I can find a way to balance sharing and privacy. Since I last blogged, I had a baby, quit my job and moved! Ha….only a little happened. 

The move

We loved our house and our little farm, but we always wanted to be closer to family. Where we were living was about 3-3.5 hours away from our family and friends. My husband started applying for jobs about a year ago and had a couple of interviews. It was nerve-wracking to kind of be in limbo about our future at times and wondering if we could even sell our house or if I would get a job, but it ended up working out. We sold our house in two weeks!! I couldn’t believe it. We are currently with my in laws until we move in a new house that we just put an offer down on if all goes according to plan. Moving is a big and scary thing but people do it all the time! And it works out in the end. 


The baby

Well I guess you could say she’s not a baby anymore 🙁 She just turned 14 months old and she’s the best kid in the world. I have no idea how I lucked out and got such an easy going, happy-go-lucky baby considering I’m a ball of anxiety 99% of the time. Not saying everything’s been easy but she’s just such a doll. I went back to work around when she was 4 months old which was hard. Another person we’ll miss if the babysitter we had out there whom we loved and I’m not sure what I’m going to do if I go back to work out here. There are definitely drawbacks and benefits to both working and being a SAHM I’ve learned since I’ve had the opportunity to do both. Working and pumping and not sleeping and taking care of the little one is HARD. But I did tend to cherish every single moment that I had with her. And I liked the routine a lot. She started sleeping better when she was at the sitters all day. And it’s kind of like a break to be honest! But I also was very stressed from little sleep and the regular stresses of work. Now that I’m staying home with her I love to be with her but I’m also bored…since most of my friends are at work during the day. 

She is also ON THE MOVE and just started walking recently and it’s just exhausting chasing after her all day…since the house we’re staying in isn’t exactly baby proofed and she hates being penned in. So I chase her around all day and then try to get stuff done during naps. I have a little to keep me busy since I just started a Beautycounter business. I’m really enjoying it so far and I think sharing things about non-toxic living on there made me realize how much I miss blogging. 

Food and Workouts

So during pregnancy I DEFINITELY went off the rails with any sort of diet lol. Then it kind of just kept going after I had her. I was too busy and tired to do Sunday food prep. I still did it a little but I just started to abhor the thought of cooking which is sad because I loved it so much. That’s also why I haven’t been blogging as well. But I am SLOWLY starting to try new recipes again and recently have been doing gluten free (still eating dairy because it’s just sooooo hard). It’s not so much “gluten” that’s the problem. But when I tell myself I’m being gluten free it’s so much easier to avoid lots of crappy stuff then when I tell myself “just try to eat good”. My main goal is to feel good and know what works for me, not subscribe to one sort of strict diet just for the purpose of being on that diet. I could go on for awhile about this. 

Workouts- HA! Yeah. Not doing much these says. I laugh when I think about how I used to not consider walking and yoga a “workout” because that’s basically all I do now. I had a trainer before I left our old town that was really motivating but it’s hard to get motivation on your own. I do lift some weights while watching Netflix 1-2 times a week and that’s pretty much it. But I feel fine about my body and actually lost all of my baby weight (as if that matters at all). The only reason I lost it I think is because I was too busy and stressed to think about food for the past year. So I don’t have any secrets to help you. 

Okay, this post is getting long enough. Hopefully I’ll be back to elaborate on some of this stuff soon. I’m also thinking of changing the name of the blog and/or rebranding as well. Since I’m not really teaching anymore the “pencils” part doesn’t make sense. 

What do you want to see now that the blog’s back in action??


My birth story

Hello all 1-3 people who might read my blog! I’m obviously not pregnant anymore…. I had a baby girl who was born 7/20/16….yes that’s right, 2 weeks and 2 days after her original due date of 7/4!!! I highly suggest if you are pregnant and especially if you want to have a natural birth you do not read this; come back to it later! I found reading birth stories during my pregnancy to be extremely anxiety inducing….but maybe that’s just me !


My midwife started talking about inducing me if I made it to 42 weeks but I was in disbelief that I actually would make it. I knew it was possible and common for first time moms to be late but I personally never knew anyone who was as late as I was. That was why it was so frustrating. Everyone kept texting/asking me if I had had the baby yet and it just got me even more irritated thinking that something was wrong with me when people were in shock that I was, yes, still pregnant. Now I will never ever EVER ever ask an overdue woman if the baby is here yet!!!! They will let  you know!!!

The “is the baby here yet?” questions sort of tapered off after week 41 because people could probably sense I was getting annoyed, but then they quickly turned to “are you getting induced?” questions. This annoyed me because it also insinuated that there was a reason to induce, which there wasn’t until I started approaching 42 weeks. My midwife had the induction scheduled but I really agonized over the decision. I knew that it would be much harder to go natural with the birth like I had prepared for, and it just seemed wrong to “force” the baby out when he or she wasn’t ready. After talking to people I trusted, I decided to just go ahead with the induction on the day I reached 42 weeks. There were many pros and cons, but I honestly felt like I’d end up with a healthy baby either way and I was so emotionally and mentally ready to meet her. It may have been a selfish decision but I didn’t feel bad about it and I still don’t really after the fact.

So I went in on a Monday night after eating a large meal. The midwife started with the gel that ripens your cervix. I was already 1 cm dilated and almost 100% effaced for the two weeks leading up to the induction so I was confident that the induction would go positively. My big fear was having a c-section. I thought I would just hang out and sleep Monday night and I didn’t really think the cervadil was going to do anything, but I was wrong. I started to have contractions about 2-3 hours later, not too painful but annoying enough that I literally only got like 1 –2 hours of sleep. I already knew I was at a disadvantage going into active labor on no sleep. Can you imagine trying to run a marathon when you haven’t slept the night before?

In the morning my midwife came in and broke my water at about 7:30, she said I was about 2 cm dilated, which I was happy about cause I doubted the cervadil was doing anything. I knew that this would make contractions more painful but I was willing to do everything to avoid pitocin. I got up and took a shower and the contractions started to get a little worse, I started having to concentrate really hard during them. I was surprised that I had no back labor at all, which was what I was prepared for because I totally thought that baby was posterior. All the strategies I had come prepared with were for back labor, so I felt totally unprepared and I just felt like there was no where to go to escape the pain. The only place where the contractions were tolerable was on the toilet, lol.

I also spent a lot of time in the tub, which helped. I probably spent the majority of the day in the tub and on the toilet. I honestly wanted nothing to do with my husband, he was trying to help and rub me, but like I said my back didn’t hurt and I just wanted to be left alone. This lead to me just feeling totally alone and like I could never get through it. When my midwife came back at about 1 pm, I was asking for an epidural. I was just so exhausted from no sleep. She said she would check me and then we would talk. When she checked I was like 5-6 cm so that was encouraging, but I thought I still had to get through transition and I just felt like I couldn’t do it. So they had to hook up an IV because I needed a full bag of saline before getting an epidural.

Knowing some relief was coming calmed me down, and I spent the next hour waiting for the IV bag to drain. When she came back she said “Let’s just check to make sure you’re not ready to push before you get an epidural.” I thought yeah right, but when she checked I was 7-8 already and she said “You could be pushing within an hour!” This was at like 2:30-3 pm. I was so happy and recharged thinking I was actually going to do this!

Unfortunately for some reason I got back in the tub and the contractions kind of slowed down. I had a suspicion this wasn’t a good thing but she said sometimes before you push your body kind of slows down and conserves energy. I wanted to make the contractions stronger by moving around and squatting but it was just so hard. 2-3 more hours passed and I felt “sort of” like I had to push. She checked and said I just had the soft lip of my cervix left and that she could reach around and move it while I tried to push.

So we did….for 2 hours. It was incredibly painful trying to push with her trying to push the lip around and stuff was just not happening. I kept saying it felt like nothing was happening and I think I was right because after 2 hours of pushing I hadn’t made much progress. I felt so defeated and like I was destined for a c-section. My midwife said basically as a last ditch effort I could get an epidural and relax (I was so exhausted…it was 7:30 pm at this point) and let the baby’s head move down more. They had to hook up me to another IV and said the anesthesiologist would be about 20 minutes……

Probably an hour an half later he shows up, full of sass and wanting to read me every risk and scary thing that could happen. I was so out of it at this point I was basically just tuning him out. The process of getting the epidural was scary, I won’t go into detail. After I got it I couldn’t feel contractions but I was shaking uncontrollably and thought I was maybe going to die, lol. My mom came in and held my hand and I just remember being so scared. I tried to relax and after a couple hours I started feeling more pressure so I called the midwife in to push (it was 11:15 pm).

Finally, after two more hours of pushing (which was much easier and less painful with epidural by the way) my baby girl made her way into the word at 12:54. To say I was ecstatic I didn’t have to have a c-section would be an understatement, because that’s where we were headed after nearly 4 hours of pushing. My midwife had called the doctor she works under in and she was very motivating during the second round of pushing and I believe that is what kept me going. She kept saying she could see the head and that I was almost there. My husband was holding one of my legs and I remember him saying “You’re gonna do it!” and finally it was over! I remember her crying really hard and I asked if she was okay!


Even though it was a long and difficult labor I forgot it so quickly once my baby was here. It’s one day of pain for a lifetime of unimaginable joy! I did mull over how labor went and had some regret about how I handled it. I underestimated what kind of support I needed, I probably would have done better if we had gotten a doula. As concerned and helpful as my husband was, I think you just need a woman’s support during that time. My baby’s birth ended up being 100% what I didn’t want- induced, a medical event with lots of pain medication, but I can’t really spend too much time getting hung up on it. I did what I had to do and now she’s here. It was the happiest day of my life regardless.


So I don’t know if I am going to be doing the traditional monthly updates with my daughter. As much as I want to so I can have the information down and go back to it, I just don’t know how I feel about putting my daughter’s name and pictures all over the internet. Not saying anyone who does it is wrong, and I do feel bad because I love reading those updates on other mom’s blogs….but I just don’t feel great about it right now, so if you don’t head from me for awhile, that is why.



Pregnancy Update: 37 Weeks

I know I’ve been slacking on writing updates, it’s been awhile!!! I’ve been kind of lazy. Or busy growing a human. Either one. Anyways we’re full term over here! I thought since the last time I did an update I was wearing this outfit, I would do another one.

37 wks

I’m at 37 weeks and I officially made it to full term. Anytime baby wants to come now is fine with me :). I do however have one week of work left so perhaps I should focus on making it through that. I timed this pregnancy thing quite perfectly if I do say so myself.

Weight gained:

I think I’m topping out around 30-40 pounds, which is fine with me. I gained the majority in my second trimester, and it had me a little scared, but once I hit 34 weeks I was only staying the same or going up 1-2 pounds. Pretty decent since I haven’t had a formal “workout” since March!! My eating has somewhat gotten back to how I was eating before I was pregnant. Somewhat.


See above….stopped formally working out in March because of SI joint. But I have been going to the pool 1-2X a week. It’s better than nothing. My back really started acting up around 32-35 weeks but the last two weeks symptoms have eased (no idea why). Last week and this week I started adding in morning yoga sessions again, and even toying with the idea of going to the gym (!!) to do arms. Not beating myself up about anything though!


All the unpleasant stuff that I’ll spare you of. Lovely swelling in the ankles, and A LOT of Braxton Hicks. They aren’t painful (in the front), but some wrap around and start bothering my back depending on where baby is laying. Right now he’s favoring my left side which is the bad side (of course) so when I have the contraction it only makes my back issues worse. Husband doesn’t seem to get when I tell him to “push harder” during a back rub that I mean he could literally drill a hole in my back and I wouldn’t care.


Of course. Whenever I feel him/her move I am obsessed with trying to figure out what position he’s in!!!! I know from a recent ultrasound that the head is low but I am pretty sure we are posterior (eek) or at least side lying. I just can’t really figure it out! For about a month I have been practicing optimal fetal positioning but I still haven’t felt him move to a fully anterior position. My chiropractor has been working on loosening ligaments down there and I also have an acupuncture appointment scheduled. But I have a feeling the little guy is pretty settled.

Food Aversions: Not at this point.

Food Cravings: I might be all ice-creamed out. Pizza is my BFF, but I have been doing really well eating healthy for the majority of my meals! I can’t wait until my garden starts producing so I will have fresh home grown veggies.

Sleep: Surprisingly has been pretty good since we got our new mattress. Pretty much only waking up 2-3 times a night tops, which honestly isn’t any different then before I was pregnant. Rolling over is quite the struggle though. Cherishing this good sleep while it lasts. Although we have a woodpecker at our house that has decided that the rain gutter is a good place to drill at 5 am. I think he’s getting us ready for having a baby.

Stretch marks?  Nope!

Miss Anything? Sleeping on my back, beer, and bring a normal person, working out,not waddling everywhere.

Baby Items Purchased: We pretty  much got everything at our shower. We are all set and I am waiting for the baby to be born to buy anything else with some of the gift cards we got.


Nursery is really small so it’s hard to get pictures of it.




Looking forward to: Just so excited to meet my baby I can’t even contain myself. I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever. I am looking forward to not being pregnant lol.


Pregnancy Update: 31 Weeks

Hello! Single digit weeks left here! Things are starting to feel real and I am kind of freaking out a little. I just want to feel prepared and ready for baby and there are so many decisions to be made it really stresses me out sometimes! I have to take a deep breath!

31 Weeks


We enjoyed my sister in laws wedding this past week which was fun but extremely tiring. Weddings=way more fun when you’re not pregnant, in case you were wondering. We are supposed to go to another wedding in June when I’ll be 37 weeks and I reeeeeeallly don’t want to miss it, but gosh it was exhausting. I’m playing it by ear and seeing how I feel.


Still feeling generally good and able to get through the days. My main issue has been SI joint and back pain, inhibiting me from doing basically any exercise besides swimming. I plan on going to a physical therapist to get their opinion but I doubt it will help considering it never did when I had this issue before. I just want to know what I should be avoiding and what I should be doing to help this. For example everyone says yoga is so great for pregnant women but last week after my weekly class I was in quite a bit of pain. If it’s just gentle stretching on my own it’s fine but being in a class  you don’t really control the moves you do and I, craving and wanting so bad a decent workout, push myself to do the moves. At least I can still swim and hopefully the pain will subside when baby is born. I knew in my heart this was going to be an issue again since I had it before I was pregnant and at least I can say it didn’t really hit until 24 ish weeks and I was able to workout for the majority of my pregnancy.

Some other symptoms:

*Some shortness of breath and rib pain on the left side (something’s poking me! Hoping it’s a foot and not a head!)

*Random heartburn

*Severe addiction to ice cream


*Sweet tooth in full force. Not hungry for anything but ice cream or cookies honestly.

*Feet swelling- this was lovely- especially at the wedding last week

*Sleep has been better since we got our new mattress!!!!!!! Hallelujah. I’m now only waking up like 1-2 X to pee (!!!!!!) and maybe like 3 times total each night.

*General fatigue when doing too much

After the wedding last week I basically kicked it into high gear with getting ready. I want to get as much checked off the list because May and June tend to fly by under normal circumstances! We got a door for the nursery (the room didn’t have one previously), I did some post partum food prep, and I also ordered some nursing bras and tanks.


Food Prep- homemade frozen pizzas! This idea is brilliant because I’ve been spending like $5-6 on those Amy’s Organic frozen pizzas for busy nights. These are really going to come in handy.


Two chicken dishes frozen and ready to cook! I also made around 30 (un-pictured) twice baked potatoes. I’m thinking I might have to do a massive prep like this once a month regularly. I still do food prep on Sundays but it is really tiring and I generally dread it. If I did this like once a month that would leave less to do on weekly Sundays.Eating healthy is hard work! But worth it. I keep telling myself that it’s worth the money I’ll save ordering out when we have a newborn.

Like I said I just want to be prepared and ease as much stress as possible for before and after the baby is born. I’m patiently awaiting my shower so I can go crazy buying up everything I don’t get. Is this stupid? Should I start buying stuff now? Waiting is giving me extreme anxiety. I feel like I should have had the shower sooner. Like all I have is a crib. With no mattress. In an empty room. And 2 nursing bras.

I’m still trucking along with the Hypnobabies birth program. Can’t help feeling some anxiety however about going ahead with a natural birth, but have to try to stay positive and stay off the internet (ha).

Well this was pretty random and rambling but I figured an update was due. I really am excited and over the moon about baby and trying not to be negative and worried but sometimes my thoughts just take over.

What made you feel most prepared for your first child? Or do you just not ever feel ready?


Pregnancy Update: 20-21 Weeks

Okay here we are half way through!!! Ugh, at some times it seems like it’s going fast and other times it seems like it will be forever until I meet my little baby. Trying just to take it day by day! I think it’s safe to say I’ve had it a lot worse during the second trimester than the first, which is opposite than usual. But still nothing terrible and serious going on so I’m considering myself lucky. Here’s a bump date as of today:


I’m enjoying at little extra time this week for winter break, which is great. And we have another one in four short weeks!! Love being a teacher.

Anyways, we just got back from spending the weekend at our parents’ houses in Syracuse which was a fun time. I got to try out a new-to-me brunch spot in downtown Syracuse that was worth blogging about- called Modern Malt. It was everything I ever dreamed. My sister and I ordered the fruity pebble encrusted (!!!!!) french toast and breakfast tacos, followed by a peanut butter milk shake for dessert.



No mimosas for me :(. If you’re local you should DEFINITELY check it out! I will be back. Okay here’s a little update on how the pregnancy has been going.

Weight gained: I think about 10-12 pounds. I was up nine from the last time that I had only gained three but that was about two weeks ago. It’s really frustrating that none of my clothes are fitting and maternity clothes are SO expensive. I also sometimes really wish that I was one of those cute pregnant ladies with just a belly, but no,  it seems as though my entire waistline has just decided to expand and make me look pear shaped on the bottom. People keep saying “you don’t look pregnant!” and I’m like….so I look like I’m getting fat?!?! Hopefully when I pop out a bit more I will look less like a beached whale.

Workouts: Still doing pretty good! I had been visiting the gym 1-2 times a week and then doing workouts and yoga at home. But I think I might switch it up and try to do shorter workouts at home like 4-5 days a week. We had a case of chicken pox at the high school and although I’ve already had it, it made me paranoid just about germs in general at the school gym. It’s disgusting and never gets cleaned or disinfected (as far as I know). High school and middle school students don’t generally follow the “wipe down after use” rule. I generally wash my hands 2-3 times while I’m in there but I figure if I can get a good workout at home why even take the chance? Thanks to my blogging favs Courtney and Giselle, I’ve had some great ideas for workouts at home during pregnancy!!

Symptoms: Still getting some headaches, which my doctor just said to take the freakin’ Tylenol (which I did) and it helped. Drinking a bit (about a half a cup) of coffee a day I think keeps them at bay as well. Sleep is getting difficult as well, trying to stay on my side. Can’t really think of anything else specifically, besides just feeling “blah” most of the time. Still having anxiety about certain things but trying really hard to keep it under control.

Movement: Yes! Around the end of 17 weeks I started to feel it. Now that I know what it feels like I realize how much he/she moves around! Some days it will feel like he/she is doing somersaults in there and other days it’s quiet. I absolutely love the feeling and it’s great to have another reassurance that I am indeed pregnant. It was hard waiting for just one ultrasound to make sure everything was okay. Here’s a pic from our anatomy scan:


My heart just melts. I can’t wait to meet this little one!

Food Aversions: Not really anything at this point. But I’m definitely preferring cupcakes over broccoli still. Asian/ginergy- lime stuff still freaks me out.

Food Cravings: I’ve been a lot better on the diet front, but weekends are still kind of a free for all, which I’m okay with. Cheese is still a must-have.

Sleep: Been kind of crappy. Waking up anywhere from 2-5 times at night, to pee or just because I’m uncomfortable and my mouth is dry. Getting a humidifier helped a bit and cut it down to waking generally 2 times a night. I really need a bigger bed, and foresee me not being able to sleep in the bed with my husband when I get bigger. We have a full and it’s miserable. We tried going to the mattress store in Syracuse that sells organic mattresses but it was closed 🙁

Stretch marks?  Still none. Still mainly just look bloated rather than pregnant.

Miss Anything? Beeeeeeeeeer. Wahhhhh. And sushi but I know I can have a California roll or something if I want it that bad. Not like there are any good sushi places near me or like my husband would ever go, so it’s not like a struggle.

Baby Items Purchased: I got some cute chevron pattern gray storage canvas boxes at Marshall’s the other day. I have also been diligently adding items to my registry via It’s great because you can add items from any store you want, including Amazon. Since many of the things I want are natural and organic and  you may not be able to find them in stores. I am loving this option. This is not sponsored lol.


Looking Forward To:

Besides meeting my baby….. I guess growing my bump a little more so I look pregnant and not fat? Also, for the warmer weather to approach. We have my sister in law’s wedding in April and all the fun stuff for that will also be happening soon.


What must haves did you have on your registry?


Candida Cleanse Update

Wow! Well three weeks went by fast. I expected to post more, but as you may suspect, this whole cleanse thing has been REALLY difficult and I haven’t really felt like commenting on it. This is the start of week 4 for me. I’ve wanted to quit about 50% of the days so far.


The first week, I came down with a cold. So that was fun. Trying to deal with symptoms without taking Nyquil was awesome. So I wasn’t really sure if I felt like crap because of that or “die-off” symptoms.

What are “die-off” reactions? It’s when the toxins (candida) you are trying to kill are leaving the body too fast and your liver can not keep up. From the Whole Journey website:

“Die-off is a sign that the candida is leaving your body, so it is a measure of progress. It just depends on how much your liver, kidneys, digestive system, lymph, and blood can take to determine the intensity of die-off since everyone has a different current state of health. Die-off symptoms that persist for longer than seven days indicate that you are cleansing too quickly, and your body is having a hard time eliminating the toxins and candida fast enough. This is when colonics and other detoxing suggestions are helpful.”

The second week I wanted to quit and eat pumpkin donuts. The sugar cravings were OFF THE CHAIN. I was sure that there was no way I could do this. I was googling “is candida even real
to justify my desire to quit.

Last week (week 3) I was still dealing with some brain fog. Feeling blah, like the whole world was just underwater. Not to sound cliche, but I feel like I’m living my life in black and white. I think this was the die-off symptoms that everyone kept talking about. Either that or a reaction to one of the supplements. Some days I even felt like I was hungover. I had trouble concentrating. I was definitely ready to quit. Why am I giving up all these foods to feel like utter crap?

fall 2

I decided to look into the program a little and there was a suggestion for a supplement (I was like…..ugh ANOTHER one?) that helps with mood, energy and stress. It’s called Max B-ND and I got it on Amazon (affiliate link). Holy crap did I notice a difference! It’s only been three days but after taking a teaspoon in the morning I am no longer dealing with the “blah” feeling. I feel perfectly fine and even more upbeat. So hopefully this is going to help me get over the hump with the cleanse and finish out strong.

I was able to survive last weekend at home visiting family, without going to my favorite restaurants or going off the diet at all. It wasn’t easy. I faced ridicule by others and temptation. Next weekend I have a Halloween party, and I am worried about what people are going to think of me not drinking. I know it’s so shallow. But I was always the one wondering “why aren’t they drinking”. Hopefully they just assume I’m pregnant or something and don’t ask. LOL.

Planning on going at least 6 weeks on the diet (so two more), hopefully 8. I don’t think I will feel the need to drink until the holidays. I know that’s a whole new topic so for now I will just focus on staying strong these next two weeks.


What do you do when faced with ridicule by your friends/family about your diet?

What would be the hardest thing for you about not drinking?