Friday, November 30, 2012

slow cooker meatloaf

Slow Cooker Meatlof
this was definitely a first for me.  i've never made meatloaf before because from what i remembered, i don't like it.  decided to give it another try and wouldn't you know...i liked it!  maybe it was just my moms that i didn't like before.  sorry mom. :/
2 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 sweet onion
bbq sauce
salt & pepper
italian seasoning
2 eggs
carrots and celery for flavor
season meat and add diced onion and mushroom.  mix in a little bbq sauce, i used sweet baby rays.  lightly beat 2 eggs and add to meat.  add breadcrumbs {i can't tell you how much to use because i forgot to pick some up from the store so i used leftover stuffing.  worked just as good}  mix all this together, i used my hands.  mold it into loaf form since you won't be using a loaf pan.  place in crock pot, cover top of loaf with ketchup and surround with carrots and celery.
cook on low for 6-8 hours or until done in center.
serve when ready.
this was so easy to make and turned out better than i expected!  hubbs loved it too, which is always a plus.  this serving size made a pretty large amount.  i would have probably been ok with 1 pound of ground beef rather than 2 for just the two of us.  (use 1 egg if using  1 lb of meat.)  luckily i had a lot of plans for leftovers.
meatloaf sandwiches
Metloaf sandwich
i used rye bread, munster cheese, ketchup, mashed potatoes and a little bit of creamy horseradish.  i put some pepperoncinis on mine because i was craving them :)
meatloaf leftovers #2 on the menu for tomorrow.  you'll have to check back to see how different this meal will be!  using an ingredient i have never cooked with before, another first and pretty excited about it!

happy friday!
here is what mine is consisting of...
IMG_0507 17 wks 6 days
a little christmas spirit: miracle on 34th street, a movie i watched so many times when i was younger, popcorn, a little chocolate, long janes and a baby bump :)


Thursday, November 29, 2012

week 18: boy or girl?

i usually like to wait until saturday to do my weekly post so that i can put my picture in it but i couldn't wait! 
Week 18
one week from today i will be at the doctor looking at the little babe in my belly.  i can't wait!  at the last ultrasound we had they told us what they "think" it is.  i can't 100% percent accept it until this ultrasound just because i've heard so many stories along the lines of "oh just kidding, it's actually not a girl/boy!  hope you didn't buy anything yet!"  i couldn't even imagine. soooo, we will wait one more week.  other than the ultrasound, i think this will be a regular visit.  a lot of poking around at my stomach aaaaannd...the dreaded blood work.  i hate having my blood drawn so much, i could cry right now just thinking about it.  hopefully it will be quick.
this tag is by far my favorite!!!  i am honestly obsessed with it!  i usually buy the ribbon closer to the week of so that i can coordinate it with whatever the tag says.  i saw this ribbon when i was buying the ribbon i used for loyal's "we're pregnant present"...
BW Ribbon
i just had to have it.  so, i bought both!
right there in the middle of the store my mind started racing with all of these ideas for baby stuff.  it was then, at five weeks, that i planned out this particular tag.  finally, it came to life!

well, i have always wanted a girl first.  i don't know why but i just have.  i do want a boy but i also want two little girls just like me and my sister. :) i have definitely warmed up to the idea of either.  just going to let whatever happpens happen the way it's supposed to.  we have names picked out for both and i have a collection of boy and girl things that i have fallen in love with.  here are a few of the things that inspire...
Baby girl Baby Boy

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

crock pot chili

Chili Bowl
green chili pepper
2 stalks of celery
green pepper
1 can corn
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can rotel
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
1 large can tomato paste
lean ground turkey
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper
dice onion, jalapeno and green chili.  set aside a small amount for the meat, throw the rest in the crock pot.  dice celery and green pepper and add as well.
drain corn and black beans (rinse also) and add.
add rotel, stewed tomatoes, sauce and paste.
heat a little evoo and garlic in a pan over medium heat.  add onion, jalapeno, chili and ground turkey.  season with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and tony's.  cook until brown.
once cooked, drain and add to crock pot.  cook on low for 8 hours.  serve when ready.

great meal for a rainy day and this ended up making quite a bit so i was able to put half in the freezer, which is great for those lazy days.


so a couple people have asked me about the slow cooker disposable bags.  i absolutely love them.  i would use them occasionally for those extra messy meals, but now that we have a very small sink with out a garbage disposal they are a MUST.  no more soap and scrape for this girl!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

quick and easy stir fry

Stir Fry
this meal is super easy and turned out great.  to start, i cut a piece of steak into strips and marinated it along with a diced onion.  i had some left over marinade (it was a ginger sesame flavor) and added garlic and sriracha.  mix it up before you pour it over the meat.  let that sit for a little while, i think i did a couple hours.  for the veggies, i bought a stir fry mix that comes in a bag and added fresh mushrooms and baby corn. 

heat a little evoo and minced garlic on the stove.  add the veggies and cook for a couple minutes.  add about 1/3 cup of water, cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes.  remove from pan and set aside.  heat up a little more evoo and garlic and add marinated meat to the pan.  cook until it reaches the temperature you prefer.

i served this over sticky white rice and for left overs the next night, i cooked some spaghetti noodles and turned it into lo mein.  both were delish!
Lo Mein

Monday, November 26, 2012

thanksgiving: crock pot chicken

as i said in my previous post, we went to ruth's chris for thanksgiving and forgot our leftovers.  i had been waiting all week to stuff my face with thanksgiving food for a couple days so i was completely bummed when i realized that would not be happening.  i had to pick up some chicken the next day at the store and while i was there i passed a big display of thanksgiving cooking items.  the second i saw the box mix for stuffing, and it happened to be for chicken rather than turkey, i was sold.  my plans changed immediately.  i still bought chicken, but this time i bought a whole chicken rather than breasts like i usually do.  stuffing, carrots and gravy to go with and i already had some leftover potatoes in the fridge.  oh did this meal hit the spot for me.
crock pot chicken:
6-8 hrs cook time
i diced up an onion and a few stalks of celery and threw it in the crock pot along with baby carrots.  i drizzled a little evoo onto the chicken, seasoned it and threw it right on top.
cook on low for 8 hours.
{i did mine on high for 5 or 6ish}
unfortunately i don't have a picture of the whole chicken when it was done because i was way beyond the "ready to eat" phase.  the chicken came out great, much better than i expected.  mine was a little dry on top, i think because i cooked it on high.  the meat on the inside, and especially the bottom, was oh so tender and juicy!!!
i threw out the celery but the carrots and onion turned out awesome, as they always do.  as i said before, the potatoes were leftovers.  now the stuffing turned out much better than i had expected.  i didn't get my hopes up about the 5 minute box kind but, with some gravy on top...perfect!
fyi: i had this for lunch AND dinner the next day too :)


Sunday, November 25, 2012

week 17: thanksgiving

Week 17
i started feeling a little bit of movement inside my tummy this week!  i wasn't sure at first.  everyone kept asking if i felt "flutters" but i didn't.  what i experienced was more like bubbles popping or popcorn.  luckily, i happened to be reading one of my pregnancy apps and this is what it said...
What will those first movements feel like?
Women have described the sensation as being like popcorn popping, a goldfish swimming around, butterflies fluttering, a tapping sensation, and bubbles.
yay!! that described what i was feeling exactly so i was very reassured after i read that.  i usually felt something if i were sitting down shortly after i ate and ONLY if i were focusing on it.
well since these tiny little movements had me thinking of popcorn all week, how could i resist?
seriously i wait all year for these.  yum.

i fell in love with the picture i used for this week.
i just have to share the full one.

in other news, for thanksgiving this year we decided to go to atlantic city for the evening.  we initially intended to go in the afternoon and hang out at the casinos for a little while before dinner but loyal ended up having a lot of paper work to do.  oh well.  we ate at ruth's chris this year.  everything was great...until we forgot our leftovers.  bummer.  and then realized on the way home that we didn't even get a picture together.  double bummer.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

august 30, 2012

here we are on thanksgiving day.  i have been thinking all week about how different this thanksgiving is.  i am thankful for so many things: the obvious being family, friends, good health and so on.  but what i am truly thankful for, more than anything, is the blessing in my belly.  i have decided to share something so very personal to me.  our pregnancy journey.  many people don't know this but loyal and i were trying to get pregnant for a little over a year.  we started out just "winging it" and after a couple of months of nothing we decided to dive in a little deeper.  that led to numerous apps on my phone, a precise schedule, etc, etc.  at the time, loyal was in dallas and i was in atlanta.  every month i would strategically plan my trips around ovulation time, according to my apps.  still wasn't working.  i stumbled upon the idea of tracking your bbt (basil body temperature).  now this was super confusing and still is.  apparently, your body temperature rises right before ovulation.  after a few months of tracking my temperature every single morning, i realized that i ovulate earlier than normal.  without going into to much detail, you are supposed to ovulate about 2 weeks after the day you start your period and you are fertile about 4 days before that.  well, i was ovulating before those 4 days even started and in my case, before i even left for texas.  talk about a blow to the stomach when i figured that out.  so many months that seemed like wasted time.  together, we decided to consult with a doctor just to talk about options.  come to find out, just the tests to see if there is a problem runs for about $3,000.  we just couldn't bring ourselves to spending the money just to hear "everything looks fine, keep on trying!"  at this point, something had to give.  i ended up getting so involved in trying to get pregnant that i felt crazy.  i wasn't happy for people that were pregnant.  i cried every time i found out someone else got pregnant.  this was no way to be.  i realized that this would never happen for me if i couldn't learn to be happy for other people, because who knows what they went through.  i deleted all of my apps, decided to stop caring and get my priorities straightened out.  i also decided to see a phychic.  i've tried everything else at this point so what the hell?  it was march of this year and to sum up what she said: everything was fine, don't see a doctor, it will happen when the time is right and that time would be closer to the end of the year, before october and when i least expected it.  so, i figured that i would give that a try and if i wasn't pregnant by january, looks like we would be spending the 3 grand after all.  much to my surprise, she was exactly right.  just as she said, it happened to be the month that i least expected it.  so from here i figured the best way to tell the rest of the story is to share a piece of the journal that i started the day i found out i was pregnant:

I have learned my lesson far too many times to read into anything.  I have taken so many pregnancy tests, month after month, and nothing.  So here we are, another month and another week of waiting for another period.  At this point I have set rules for myself: don’t think about it, don’t read into it and whatever you do, DO NOT take a test.  That became my golden rule.  I would not take a test until I was a full week late, 7 complete days.  Too many times I was fooled by a period that was 2 days late, 3 days late and sometimes even 5.  That was one emotional roller coaster I refused to ride again.
August 30, 2012:
     Today my period is 5 days late.  No sign of it but yet again, that means nothing.  Not yet.  Saturday will be a complete week so that’s what we are waiting for.  Right?  Not so much.  Loyal says to me right out of nowhere “are you pregnant, or what?”  What other answer would I give him other than the routine response?  ”I don’t know babe, we’ll see.”  He went back to work and I went to pick up some groceries...and a pregnancy test.  I have no idea why I went back on my word, but I did.  I stood there in the aisle, holding the box, just thinking.  Rationalizing and trying to convince myself not to buy them.  Or should I buy them?  Oh what the hell, there’s a free one in the pack of two so I might as well waste the free one this month.  I’ll eventually need the other two.  So that was that, I bought them.
     I get home and of course, go straight to the bathroom without even putting the refrigerated items in the fridge.  That’s right, back on the roller coaster I go.  I take the test, leave it on the counter and put the groceries away.  3 minutes goes by, maybe even 2½ because I’m obviously impatient.  I look at the test and I see something I have never seen before, a positive pregnancy test.  My mouth drops, my eyes grow wide and I pick that thing up for a closer look.  I could not believe it.  I was in absolute shock.  I thought I would have been jumping up and down but I definitely wasn’t.  The tears welled up, the sobs came and I couldn’t do anything but stare at the test and cry.  I sat down, right on the floor and just cried.  I cried so hard, tears of joy, happiness, relief and shock.  This was the month I least expected this. 

i'm sure some people remember when i posted this picture.  i took it right after i finally stopped crying, you can see that my eyes were already puffy.  sweet maxer bear was so worried when he saw his mommy crying.  he's so cute.
So I’m pregnant, now what?  I guess I need to tell Loyal.  I know better than to invite him on the emotional roller coaster that I insist on riding every month.  He didn’t even know I was taking a test.  I felt nervous and giddy and a little weird being that it didn’t seem real.  Nevertheless, off to Hobby Lobby I went.  I knew just the perfect way to tell him.  That night, when we got home from work we followed our usual routine of feeding the dogs, taking them out and discussing the day.  I was having the hardest time trying not to smile ear to ear like I wanted to.  All I could think to myself was to not say too much or I’ll give it away for sure.  After we finished doggie duties I told him to sit on the floor because I had something for him. 
inside the box was a note and 3 frames
Note 2 yes 2 i do 2 three 2
There it was: the final picture, our future.  As we sat face to face, I wasn’t sure of the response I was going to get.  I guess I expected the same reaction out of him that I expected out of myself, jumping up and down, but what I got instead was the exact reaction I experienced myself.  He just sat there.  He sat there for a long time, just starring at the picture.  Finally, he asked “are you sure?”  Yes.  I explained to him that I was positive that I was pregnant but then again, I had only taken one test.  We agreed I would take another one first thing in the morning since that is the best time.  So what do I do?  Go straight to the bathroom and take another test.  Positive.  I show him and we repeat the same process, just starring at it.  The next morning he woke me up before he left for work, which I didn’t realize would be at 5:30am, and we took yet another test just to be triple sure.  Positive.  That was that, I was definitely pregnant.

i usually don't post such long and very personal posts.  not only did i want to express how happy and very thankful i am to be pregnant, but i also wanted to share my story to hopefully help someone along the way.  no one ever told me that maybe i ovulate at a different time than normal but everyone is different and anything is possible.  so with that being said, keep trying, keep your head up and explore all options. 
Happy Thanksgiving

weeks 15 & 16: naval orange and avocado

wow, i guess i have some catching up to do!  i swear, the weeks just keep flying by, which ends up putting me more and more behind.  making these tags and taking pictures the week of is about as far as my pregnant scatter brain allows me to go.  the "pregnancy brain" is another story, so for now...
week 15:
Week 15
this week our little babe is the size of a naval orange, and speaking of oranges...i am eating tons of fruit!  so good!  i usually always have an apple or a banana in my purse, some times both.  i also try to have a fruit smoothie every day and a few other fruit snacks in between.  another snack for me is almonds.  the smokehouse ones, which i would have never bought before i got pregnant.

thanks to my sis for getting this pic :)
week 16:
Week 16
at the beginning of this week i had a doctors appointment.  just a check up, no ultrasound this time. doctor said that everything looked great and the babe was looking very healthy based on the last visit.  she used the doppler thing on my stomach to hear the heartbeat and also some "swooshing" which apparently meant movement.  little babe is moving around in every visit.  little monkey in the making, i can already tell.
and unfortunately we missed our 16 week picture.  what can i say, my life is in the weeds these days.
in other news, i am soooo ready for thanksgiving this year!  we have decided to skip the cooking and go down to atlantic city for dinner and some gambling!  super excited.  and not to mention, we definitely have a lot to be thankful this year.  more on that tomorrow!
see ya then! ;)

Friday, November 9, 2012

a day in DC

while we were in maryland earlier this week, we decided to take a day trip down to washington, dc.  it was only about an hour away and neither of us had been.  it was definitely a cool city.  we parked and walked everywhere.  so much walking.  it reminded me of new york city based on all of the walking.  we didn't want to be gone too long and were trying to avoid driving back after the sun went down (which didn't happen) so needless to say, we did a super quick tour/overview of the main sites.
first up...the white house:
1 2 3
this was our first view of the white house.  we kept saying how we remember it looking a lot different and this was not at all what we expected.  we finally figured out that this was the back of it.  oopsie.

can't remember the name of this next building but we really loved it:

loved this too:

the front of the white house:
now this is more like it ;)
once we made it around to the front there was a huge amount of people in front of the gate, which is what we would have expected (not the 2 other couples around back)

washington monument:
thanks to the awkward angle that loyal captured, i look huge and weird :/

world war II memorial:

i love this picture, one of my favorites:
washington monument, reflecting pool & the capital

lincoln memorial:
loyal was super excited to see this.  it was pretty much all he talked about.

here is another shot (from my phone) of the washington monument, taken from the top of the lincoln memorial.
in this pic you can clearly see why it's called the "reflecting" pool.  so cool!

lastly, on the walk back to the car, a got this shot of the US capital:
i really wish we had gone to see this building but we were just way too pooped from all the walking.  not to mention, mama and the little babe were starving!  oh well, next trip.

after we got back to the car we drove over to the shoppes at georgetown park.  amazing!!! we absolutely loved it!  it was such a cool little area.  so much shopping and eating and site-seeing to do.  we definitely want to go back when we have more time.  we just grabbed a quick dinner before driving back.

georgetown cupcakes:
as seen on TLC, "DC Cupcakes"
so cute.  we really wanted to go but it was way to cold to wait in that way!

that's about it.  we had a great day in DC and can't wait to visit again!

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