Four months and counting plus a little baby thrifting

I can’t believe that we are almost to the halfway point with this pregnancy.

At this point I am going to warn you. I had a funny post planned for today. And then I forgot what it was I planned to write about.

And that pretty much describes the general pregnancy brain fog I have been in for the last 3 months.

My husband says the fog makes me less neurotic. So I guess that’s a plus if you live with me.

A negative to this pregnancy thing is that I can’t seem to brush my teeth without throwing up. I have to strategically plan when to brush my teeth so I don’t projectile vomit.

Sometimes my strategy works and sometimes it does not.

TMI?

In other baby news, I started a baby registry last month, but then quit 10 minutes in because all the unnecessary baby stuff was stressing me out.

We have spent so much time this year de-cluttering our house that imaging all the baby paraphernalia I was going to need was depressing :)

My sister and sister-in-law are going with me this week to finish out the registry. I am hoping the moral support will keep me from having a panic attack with all the options :)

But I have found a few great deals for baby necessities that I could not pass up.

I purchased a white metal crib, the exact mattress I wanted, and a MamaRoo baby swing all on the thrift..

For a grand total of $130. Saved myself several hundred dollars for items that I really wanted.

I may end up painting the crib (with baby-safe paint) but at this point I have no idea.

With all the stress of listing our home to sell, finding a new home and then moving the one thing that I keep looking forward to is decorating a nursery in our new house.

The fun/stressful part is I have no idea what the room will look like because I have no idea what house we will be in.

Which is also why we will be finding out the gender of the baby next month. I can only take so many surprises at once.

Happy Monday!

Monday Randomness: Painters, Realtors, Renters

The next few months are going to be a little nuts.

I can feel the craziness already.

And because of this I am really thankful for a little book club I did this past fall.

During our study we discussed “saying no.”

Saying no to the unimportant things.

The things that will cause more angst in my life than good.

Things like “great opportunities” that are great, but that aren’t necessary to give me life.

So as I train my replacement at my day job in the next 3 months, grow a baby, host Airbnb renters, meet with realtors, finalize details on our home to sell, find a new home, and keep my design business going I am probably going to say no to some commitments. Even good commitments.

But that’s okay “because any new yes I give right now means a no to my family and sanity.”

And my family and my sanity are my priority for this season of life.

Pregnancy is not for wimps and baby scurvy

That’s right.

After a long wait, we are finally expecting a baby late in the summer. We surprised family and friends over the Christmas holiday. Excited and a little overwhelmed is the best way to describe the whole experience.

But I have to say pregnancy is not for wimps.

I have never been more confused and frustrated by so many strange pregnancy symptoms. I expected the moderate symptoms that others have shared with me. But the NAUSEA,  HEARTBURN and EXHAUSTION. It is the worst.

Turkey, eggs, tomatoes, salads, vegetables, iced tea and most cheeses are dead to me. Of course until I crave them. Pregnancy makes no sense.

Please tell me this goes away. Clementines are the only thing that sound appetizing right now. At least the baby won’t get scurvy.

And more than one evening I have fallen asleep at 6:30 after eating a super-food dinner of a Wendy’s baked potato and french fries. #givemeallthestarches #doublepotato

Anyway, all this to say. LIFE CHANGES are coming. New house, job change, both boys at college, and a new baby. It’s enough to give me a panic attack. But it will be worth it.

 

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I hope!

By the time this posts, I will be through my first trimester. I am looking forward to sharing our house hunt, nursery decor and lots more this year.

Happy New Year!

2015 Unique Gift Guide plus a free HOLIDAY Organizer

http://www.hubspeanuts.com/chocolate-peanuts.html

These are so good. I ordered about 15 cans of these this year. They are budget friendly and seriously delicious! Grown and made in Virginia. 

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Cuisinart AMB-14PP Chef’s Classic Nonstick Bakeware 14-Inch Pizza Pan

These pizza pans are the BEST. If you struggle with soggy bottom pizza, this is the solution. They really do the job well! Combine a pizza pan with your favorite marinara and good pepperoni for a unique gift.

Stitched Pendant
Hue Low Cut No Show Sock liners

These cotton socks are so great. Breathable but still keep your feet warm when wearing flats in the cold.

Birthstone Bangle, Stackable Bangle Bracelet $9

 

Snap-On 870930 LED Pocket Sticklight $6
Craftsman Quick Release Tear Drop Ratchet $15.99

My husband owns both of these items. The Craftsman ratchet “is the best designed tool ever” according to my husband. And the flashlight is perfect for storing in a glove box or in a nightstand for power outages.

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Paint Your Own Porcelain Vases

Pompom Throw $16

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3D Globe Puzzle

 

And if you need help getting organized this month go over to Day Designer to download a free gift organizer. I used it this year which hopefully means I didn’t forget any gifts like I did last year :(

click here for the free Holiday Gift Organizer

Gluten Free Sausage Balls and a Baby Shower

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We had so much fun showering my sister-in-law a few weekends ago.

For this lunch time shower we served pear chicken salad, mini potato rolls, veggie and humus, apples and caramel sauce, sausage balls, chocolate covered almonds, and lemon bars.

And we actually cheated by having everything made by professionals with the exception of the caramel sauce (click here for the simple recipe) and sausage balls.

I used gluten-free Bisquick. You can find it at some Targets and a few grocery stores. But I just order it from Amazon. 

Bisquick Pancake and Baking Mix, Gluten-Free, 16-oz. Boxes (Count of 3)

Gluten-Free Cheddar Sausage Balls

makes 30 appetizers

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free Bisquick
  • 16 oz pork sausage (hot or mild is fine)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk or half and half
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Combine all the ingredients with an electric mixer. Roll into 1 inch balls.

Place on a baking sheet to bake immediately or flash freeze and then transfer to a freezer safe container. Keeps in the freezer 60 days.

Bake for 22-25 minutes (increase baking time 2-3 minutes if baking from frozen). Serve warm or at room temperature.

 Gluten Free Sausage Balls

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 Gluten Free Sausage Balls
 Gluten Free Sausage Balls

Meal Delivery Services: Are they worth it?

So a few weeks back I signed up for Hello Fresh, Plated, and Blue Apron.

Over kill much?

Well yes, but I wanted to really do my research on the best meal delivery service.

I rated them on a couple things.

Recipes.

Ingredients.

Organization.

Price.

If you are not sure what these companies offer I will give a quick synopses.

Basically, you sign-up for the service, pick the recipes you like that week(3 max), the frequency of ingredients delivery, pick your food preferences (vegetarian, gluten free, no seafood etc) and the day you prefer it to be delivered.

The ingredients and recipes come packed in a box with lots of freezer packs to keep everything super cold.

You unpack the box and cook the meals at your convenience. The only ingredients you are expected to have on hand are salt/pepper, butter and oil.

And you can cancel your subscription at any time. No extra fees etc.

Hello Fresh

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Plated

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Blue Apron

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And here is how they rated in my opinion.

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 So are they worth it?

I say yes, but with a few disclaimers.

If you are feeding yourself and one other person, this is for you! I throw out so much food that my husband and I never get around to eating. I love that they give me exactly the amount I need and no more.

If you would like to learn new cooking techniques or new recipes, this is for you.

If you would like to learn to cook lighter dishes, this is for you.

If you are single and don’t mind eating leftovers, this is for you. Or use it as an excuse to host someone for dinner!

If some weeks the thought of meal planning, grocery shopping and THEN cooking makes you want to cry, this is for you.

If you are feeding a bunch of hungry teenagers, this is not for you. The ratio of portion size to price is not worth it.

If you are a bargain or coupon grocery shopper, this is not for you.

If you are not much of a foodie, this is probably not for you.


So which service did I pick?

I really like Hello Fresh. It was also the first one I tried.

While some of the recipes are not my favorite it does get me in the kitchen rather than in a drive-thru line for dinner.

And for healthy convenience food it’s totally worth it.

I won’t do it every week because there are certain recipes that my family really enjoys that I still want to make, but as a filler for weeks when the thought of thinking through a grocery list makes me want to pluck my eyes out this meal delivery service is perfect!

If you want to try it out use my discount code 6QLT9N for $40 off  your first box from Hello Fresh.

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My sister gets photo credit for these hello fresh meals she prepared. :)

Master Bathroom Overhaul- Finished!

Click here to read the Part 1 and Part 2 of this project.

I am so glad to finally have our master bathroom done!

I just wish we had done it sooner.

We had two goals on this bathroom.

Stick to a tight budget.

And make it universally appealing to home buyers since we will be putting our house on the market soon. 

We converted the fiberglass shower stall into a tiled walk-in shower with glass doors to give the bathroom a nice upgrade.

I had the installer take the tile all the way to the ceiling which makes the bathroom feel SO much bigger.

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Sink photo Toilet Photo vanity photo PicMonkey Collage

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Now you may ask how much did this all cost? Well we spread the cost out over about 9 months. Here is the budget breakdown.

  •  free b/c we did it ourselves- Demo
  • $900- Tile and Materials (Lowes and overstock.com)
  • $1800-Tile Labor and Light Fixture Wiring Installation (Nathan Wolfe and ACEP)
  • $180- Plumbing Fixtures (wayfair.com)
  • $320- Vanity with Granite Top (found on craigslist)
  • $5- Mercury Glass knobs for Vanity
  • $650- Glass Shower Doors
  • $20- Light Fixture (found on consignment)
  • $30- Paint
  • $50- Trim

Total: $3955

Our Trip to Bozeman

Joe and I had a great time last week in Bozeman, Montana.

I knew this trip was going to be great when we got off the plane, walked to the car rental counter and got a full-size SUV comped b/c they ran out of the cheap cars. :)

And it just got better.

We had no schedule; so we slept in, took naps, did some sightseeing, fishing, and had lots of great food.

Bozeman is very similar to Asheville, NC.

They have done a great job at maintaining the small town feel while still growing leaps and bounds in the last few years.

The loft apartment we rented ended up being great!

We were within walking distance of lots of great restaurants and shopping.

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To see the rental listing click here. 

We were within walking distance of lots of great restaurants and shopping.

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We did go to the hot springs in Norris. It was quite the experience. Definitely out of our comfort zone, but so fun.

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Grizzly Lake, Yellowstone Park

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We ate a lot of bison burgers. They were delish!

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Snow on the peaks in Belgrade.

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Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Park

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Fishing in Yellowstone

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We took a tour of a fancy-smancy fly fishing rod manufacturing shop in Twin Bridges.

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Sitting in Yellowstone just enjoying the view.

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The last day we did a lot of driving around and just enjoying the country-side.

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But now it’s Monday, we are home and back to reality.

Have a great week!

Monday Randomness: Trips, Enchiladas, and Leaf Bags

Well we are really globe trotters this month. Sort of.

In an introvert/we really don’t like flying sort of way.

Bozeman, MT and Beaufort, SC are both destinations in October.

Long weekend will be spent in Beaufort just because.

Hurricane Joaquin canceled our plans…

And then we are spending a week in Bozeman just hanging out, fly fishing, going to Yellowstone, shopping and sitting in some hippy dippy hot springs.

Joe and I kept discussing this trip out West that we were going to take someday.

And then I finally said, “What are we waiting on? Let’s just go.”

So we are going.

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Norris Hot Springs

We got a sweet place to stay in downtown Bozeman.

For the cost of two nights in a hotel, we got this whole place for a week.

Go check out some of the amazing listings on Airbnb.com (including our apartment listing!)

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Then last weekend I tried out this SUPER simple recipe on The Pioneer Woman blog.

It’s called Mexican 5 for 5.

It’s genius I tell you.

5 ingredients, 5 recipes.

I whipped up these enchiladas in 30 minutes flat after church last Sunday.

Go check out the recipe here. 

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And I know some people choose to put leaves in their leaf bags, but I put clothes in mine.

Seriously, I filled 3 leaf bags with clothes and cleaned out a whole closet this week.

Every time I send stuff to Goodwill for donation I think, “Well there is nothing else left in my house that I don’t need.”

And then I wait a few weeks and find more stuff.

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Recipe Index

I have had several people mention that they are having a hard time finding recipes on the blog.

And without paying a website developer to come in and revamp my blog, it’s quite difficult.

There is a search feature on the front page, but it still seems to cause issues.

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So I came up with an alternative.

I REVAMPED pinterest.

Or at least my pinterest boards.

All the recipes I recommend or review on the blog will be pinned.

Plus you will see extra recipes that are just my favorites.

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You all.

I have a board for just mac and cheese.

And a pizza board. It kinda makes me salivate just looking at it.

So go over to my boards and look around.

There is something for everyone.

Thanks for reading,

Rene’