Friday Favs: 1 2 3

HAPPY Friday! Today I’m playing along with Katie’s Friday Favorites! The date is 1/23 hence my post title. #nerd

FAVS

1. I’m noticing a trend in my phone photos in that they are 98% all of Bode. Not surprising right? He is my #1 favorite this week and every week. He is now officially in the crib and is a total rockstar! More sleep for mama makes for one happy lady. He is growing so quickly and changing every day. He amazes me.

2. Healthy meals. I am thrilled to have gotten out of my post-partum no-cook slump. This may go hand in hand with the fact that I am getting more sleep?!

kabob

3. The crock pot. The glorious crock pot. We were friends before but now we are BEST friends. I made a pork roast the other day and it couldn’t have been more easy thanks to my buddy.

 

 

pork tenderloin crock pot

4. Bridesmaid dress shopping for this beautiful girl’s wedding! I am insanely excited for this wedding and for the events leading up to it!

 

 

bridesmaid dress shopping betsy melanie

5. Rose ointment from Young Living. Unfortunately I have been dealing with dermatitis on my face and not only is it terribly embarrassing but it’s just annoying. My skin is so darn dry. This rose ointment has helped tremendously with that. And the smell, oh the smell is beautiful. Young Living in general is a Friday Favorite. This company rocks my socks.

 

 

rose ointment young living

 

6. I am limiting my gluten and dairy intake not only for my own health but to experiment with the little man and his reaction to my milk. This cream cheese is surprisingly delicious. It tastes darn near close to normal cream cheese and tastes great on almond crackers!

 

go veggie cream cheese

I hope you all have a super weekend! Relax and enjoy!

xoxo

Currently…

Currently I’m…

…typing with one hand while holding baby in the other.

holding baby

…drinking Wild Harvest jasmine green tea. So good!

wild harvest tea

…cranking the humidifier. My skin is so darn dry! Yuck.

…working on getting little man to sleep in the crib. Why oh why does he hate it so much? Mom’s arms are way better I suppose. :smile:

…still eating clean and have added peanuts and soy back in the mix. Three days without my beloved peanut butter? Such a travesty.

apples with peanut butter

…getting sad about going back to work although reminding myself I am incredibly lucky I am only going back part-time. I’m in total disbelief that this little guy is 11 weeks old already.

…thinking I should fold the laundry, but a shower is going to take priority.

…getting the itch to redecorate the living room!

…trying to decide what to make for dinner on Friday night. Something easy and clean. Any ideas?

Gotta love the randomness right?

Happy hump day!

Clean Eating: Back At It

Helllllooo! How are you all?!

I finally found my way back into the kitchen and I am stoked about it. After 11 weeks of eating whatever the heck I wanted, including loads of chocolate, ice cream, and Christmas goodies, my body was less than thrilled. I was starting to just feel pretty blah. I decided it was time to get back on the clean-eating train.

I’m doing a bit of a “cleanse” where I am removing caffeine, alcohol, dairy, soy, peanuts, processed sugars and gluten for a little while. I plan on sticking to this for at least a few days to give my body a jumpstart, and then I will continue with a much cleaner eating plan versus what I had been eating! I will definitely add soy back in eventually and a little bit of dairy, but I do know that I am somewhat intolerant to cow’s milk so I will continue to moderate my dairy intake.

Here is what I have been eating these last few days!

Egg salad: This time I left out the capers though because I forgot.

egg salad

Raw “brownies”–I can’t keep my hands off of these.

fudgy brownie bites

A lentil salad from the book, “Clean” by Alejandro Jungers. I wrote a bit about the Clean diet back when. It’s full of lentils, veggies, and pineapple. It’s definitely different; not my favorite but not terrible.

Homemade gummy snacks with grape juice, gelatin, and a drop of lemon essential oil. A nice little treat!

grape juice gelatin

Katie’s buffalo chicken quinoa which I made for dinner last night! This was so delicious and so easy to make! I used red quinoa which is why it look different from Katie’s.

buffalo chicken quinoa

I stocked up on veggies and made sure they were cut up and ready to go:

  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • celery
  • broccoli
  • asparagus
  • spinach
  • romaine lettuce

Mini mini burgers with grass-fed beef from the local co-op.

Cashews to snack on as well as brown rice cakes. I also made sure to buy a bunch of brown rice tortillas.

Almond butter and sunflower seed butter. Not as good as peanut butter but just wanted to give my body a bit of a break from it.

Frozen fruit, frozen spinach and almond milk for smoothies.

We have LOTS of good food around here!

Needless to say our grocery bill was a little high this week but it is SO worth it. I need to get my body back into a clean state. I’m already feeling better after just a short time of eating better. The saying is true, “you are what you eat.”

What are your favorite healthy whole food snacks?

Homemade Baby Wipes

Hey you all! How’s everyone doing after the holidays?! We were very busy and had so much fun with family and friends, and Bode did a pretty good job with all of the attention! He’s got to get used to it. :wink:

This is just a quick post to let you know that I posted about how to make your own baby wipes on my oily blog. Here’s the link if you want to check it out if this interests you!

baby wipes

https://coconutladies.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/homemade-baby-wipes/

I love making my own baby wipes. They are so easy to make, quick, cheap, and natural!

*****************

Off subject, but someday I hope to get back in the kitchen and get creative, but for now things are looking pretty boring around here:

Smoothies for breakfast, something quick like an egg sandwich for lunch, and meat, veggie, and whole grain for dinner if I get ambitious. Food is fuel—half the time I don’t even taste what I’m eating. Yikes! It’s so worth it though!

Beautifully Nutty will look delicious again someday hopefully!!

Take care my friends!

It’s New to Me: Top 10

It’s new to me…

1. Buying pre-chopped fruits and vegetables. You know, the ones with the jacked up prices? Yes, I’m buying those right now. Until I can really get into the full swing of being a mom, convenience is a must.

2. Walking around with spit up on my pants, shirt, etc.

3. Referring to my sleep as “legs.” Leg one, feed baby, leg two, feed baby, and hopefully get a leg three. That’s when I know it will be a good day for mom.

4. Feeling accomplished after showering and even more so when I get out and run errands or go anywhere, and am on time!

5. Getting stronger by the day simply by carrying the little one around.

6. Being amazed daily by the changes I see in Bode.

7. Learning never to leave home without the diaper bag.

8. Forgetting where I put things, what I’m doing, what I was going to do…pretty much losing my mind.

9. Functioning on much less sleep.

10. Playing nursery songs on my Pandora radio and singing along to every song.

Hope everyone is well! We are doing great over here! Learning lots every day.

xoxo

I’m linking up with Katie today for Friday Favorites because I am LOVING being a mommy and all the craziness that comes with it.

Bode’s Birth Story

Being a parent is the most exhausting yet rewarding job in the world.

Bode is now three weeks and we are all getting pretty used to each other. I think he’s going through a bit of a growth spurt over the last couple of days though because he has been extra hungry and fussy. Those poor little joints are probably achy!

Anyway…lots to catch you up on. First, I want to tell you that I plan on keeping the little guy pretty private for now, so I won’t be posting photos or talking baby too often on the blog. This isn’t to say that this won’t change over time, but for now that is what I have decided to do.

I do however, want to share his birth story because I know personally I love to read other’s birth stories and I really enjoy sharing it.

First of all, a photo that was taken at our annual Halloween party the day before I went into labor…

halloween melanie and dana

And my final pregnancy photo…

pregnancy week 38

Bode’s Birth Story

Water breaks…

Very early Monday morning (October 27th) at 12:40 I woke up with a contraction. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for months but this one felt a bit stronger. I tried falling back asleep but kept thinking to myself, “could this be it?” and then talking myself down from that possibility. As I lay in bed with my brain in a whirl, I felt a little trickle. I ran to the bathroom and sure enough my water broke. This was 1:00 am.

Contractions…

Immediately we called the midwife on call as well as our doula. We started timing contractions and at this point they were about 11-12 minutes apart and mild but my back was really starting to hurt. They both told me to rest if possible and even try to go back to bed but because my back was hurting so much, I couldn’t get comfortable enough to go back to sleep. So, I got up and showered as we continued to time contractions.

The only way to get through the contractions and the back labor was for me to be on my hands and knees. When my contractions were about 6 minutes apart, we called the midwife again. She talked to me and told me to try to stay at home and labor at home as long as safely possible (this is what I had wanted too) but at this point my body was telling me I had to go to the hospital. I had such excruciating back pain and needed to go in. So, Dana (bless his heart) packed up our stuff into the car, let the dog out, managed to comfort me through contractions and drove me to the hospital. The car ride was one of the worst parts as I was going through the transition phase of labor. He got us there fairly quickly (one of the benefits of going into labor in the middle of the night is no traffic) and our doula met us at the hospital.

Immediately I ran out of the car and hit my hands and knees in the grass to get through a contraction. Eventually we made it through the ER doors and lo and behold another family walked in right next to us and so kindly went in front of us to check in. How sweet right? So, I got down on my hands and knees right inside the ER doors and really stirred up the security guards. Haha! They got me a wheel chair to wheel me to labor and delivery but I couldn’t sit because of my back. So we ran down two long hallways, stopping frequently for contractions.

Dilated…

By the time we got into triage, and they checked my dilation, I was completely dilated! I couldn’t believe it.

Push…

I finally got into the water birth room about 20 minutes later. They hooked me up to the heart monitor and told me they had to get a good reading and listen for 20 minutes before I was allowed to deliver in the tub.

I tried pushing in the tub for over an hour with little progress, and was wearing out so dramatically that the midwife told me it was time to get out and change positions. So, we moved to the bed.

Mind you, my back is still screaming through this whole thing.

On to the bed I went. I’ll spare you all of the details but I pushed for another hour or so and Dana caught our little baby boy. He was put on my tummy immediately and stayed there for the next two hours. He screamed after about 20 seconds and it was the best sound ever.

Bode Gregory

Our little Bode was born at 6:13 am on October 27th (2 weeks early), weighing 7 lbs 8 ounces and 20 1/4 inches.

We texted our parents who didn’t even know I was in labor, “happy birthday, Bode.” It was the best Monday treat they could have asked for and they were totally shocked.

He is everything we dreamt about and more. I still look at him in awe as I realize he is ours. Everyone tells you that the love that you have for your children is completely indescribable and they are so right. He is our sunshine and our bundle of love and my heart explodes with love for him.

He’s Here!

Bode Gregory, our precious little bundle is here! He was born on October 27th, bright and early. We are all doing well; healthy and happy. I will more than likely be away from the blog for a while.

I hope all is well with you all!

Love from my family to yours!

 

Cinnamon Roll Waffles and Blueberry Pie

Happy FRIDAY! My favorite day of the week has arrived! Ahhhhh….

I am definitely linking up with Katie and Clare for Friday Favorites because I have lots of goodies to share from the week (as if you couldn’t tell from the post title)!

1. Moose definitely got in on the Friday favorites this week when he got to clean up an empty jar of peanut butter. Lucky pup!

Moose peanut butter

2. The beauty of fall makes me so insanely happy I can hardly explain. I love fall.

 

 

 

 

fall

3. Blueberry pie while celebrating my mom’s birthday. I can’t tell you the last time I had blueberry pie but I can tell you I wish it would have been sooner because this stuff rocked.

 

 

blueberry pie

4. Mind you the sweet tooth is in full force….this cinnamon roll waffle. OMG this thing was no joke. Cinnamon waffle with cream cheese icing. Um okay!

 

 

cinnamon roll waffle

5. Going through old bins and finding gems like this one. The fabulous four roomies from college at Mankato!

 

 

 

melanie angela heidi katie college

6. Weeknight dates with Dana. We kept putting it off because we have been so busy remodeling our upstairs bathroom and would really like to finish it before baby arrives, but we decided this is something we really wanted to do. We went to Ciao Bella in Bloomington and I got spaghetti and meatballs. I cashed the whole plate except for a couple of bites. I loved it.

 

 

spaghetti and meatballs caio bella

7. Crock pot meals. These were simple chicken tacos made with chicken breast, salsa, chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder. They were set in the crock pot for a little while and were ready for us when dinner came around.

 

 

crockpot tacos

8. New Larabar flavors. When we were in La Crosse we went to this ginormous grocery store called Woodman’s. We stumbled upon the Larabars and loaded up on some seasonal flavors like snickerdoodle and gingerbread! YUM!

 

 

larabar

 

I told ya–lots of goodies in today’s Friday Favs!

 

No updates on the baby front; I am definitely still very pregnant. It is so exciting to know it could be any day now that we meet our precious guy!

 

I hope you all have a great weekend!

 

What were some of your Friday favorites?

What’s your favorite kind of pie? 

I usually go for French silk pie but this blueberry pie opened my eyes to fruit pies again!

Quick Black Bean Burgers

Happy Monday to you all! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Mine was great! We got a lot done around the house and finished up some last details in preparing for baby’s arrival.

We had our last prenatal meeting with our doula over the weekend which means the next time we see her I will be in labor. Yay! We are getting so close!

So this weekend I was a rollercoaster of energy; pretty typical at this phase in the game. I would go nuts in the kitchen, go through old bins I haven’t touched in literally 10 years, clean, organize, and then all of a sudden, whoa, I need to sit down and have a snack because I am wiped! By the time dinner time rolled around, I was hanging on to only a few last bits of energy, but I still wanted to make something healthy for dinner.

One of my kitchen tasks completed earlier was making black beans (from dried). They were still out and needing to be put into zip-loc baggies and then into the freezer, so I thought I would incorporate some of those into dinner somehow.

I decided on black bean burgers. Here is what I came up with! My apologies for the photos in advance, I was too hungry to really get any good ones.

black bean burgers black bean burgers black bean burgers black bean burgers black bean burgers

I literally whipped these up in a little over 15 minutes. This recipe is incredibly easy! (recipe inspiration from The Pioneer Woman).

Black Bean Burgers
Print
Serves: 4 patties
Ingredients
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (I used fresh from dried and measured 1 and ⅞ cups to equal about 15 ounces---it's not exact, it's okay!)
  • ½ c. oats processed in food processor into smaller crumbs (bread crumbs would work great too)
  • a few sprinkles of garlic powder
  • a few sprinkles of onion powder
  • a sprinkle of chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. salsa
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, smash beans using a fork. Some bigger pieces are ok. You don't want it to be a complete mush.
  2. Add remaining products to bowl. Mix well.
  3. Warm a skillet over low-medium, to medium heat. Spray heavily with olive oil. Let pan warm.
  4. Form four fairly flat patties with hands. Place onto skillet.
  5. Cook for 6-7 minutes on the first side, and 5 minutes on the second (or until both sides have darkened slightly).
  6. Serve warm on a bun or with a salad. Add cheese, onion, tomato, and whatever other toppings you would like!

**To make this dairy-free and gluten-free:

  • replace egg with 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed and 3 Tbsp. water
  • make sure to use gluten-free oats
  • serve on a salad with a side of quinoa and eliminate cheese

And then I crashed…:smile: It was a very nice productive weekend!

What is your favorite way to use black beans?

I love tossing them into salads, into soups, and into tacos or nachos! Num.

Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast

Following along with my beef cravings, I made one seriously delicious and SUPER easy meal last night.

I was inspired by this recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast!

crock pot beef pot roast

I let the crock pot do the majority of the work. All I had to do was brown each side of the beef roast, and cut up garlic, onions and potatoes. I used baby carrots so no need to chop there. To season I used worcestershire sauce, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper.

crock pot beef pot roast

Eight hours in the crock pot on low. crock pot beef pot roastcrock pot beef pot roast

Top with gravy if you so desire!

crock pot beef pot roast

Botta-bing, botta-boom. An insanely delicious, satisfying and comforting meal!

Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast
Print
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 potatoes, chopped in large pieces
  • 1-2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 small onions, chopped in large pieces
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp worcestershire
  • 2 lb chuck roast
  • 1 beef bouillon cube in one cup hot water
  • sprinkle of thyme
  • sprinkle of paprika
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large crockpot, toss in potatoes, carrots, and onions. Set aside.
  2. In a medium pan, sauté garlic in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add worcestershire to pan. Turn up the heat to medium/medium high.
  4. Add roast to pan and brown each side of roast; about 1-2 minutes per side.
  5. Add beef and sauce from the pan to the slow cooker on top of the veggies.
  6. Add bouillon water, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper to the slow cooker.
  7. Set slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours.
  8. Serve hot with gravy if you wish!

ENJOY!