January 19, 2012

How to: Cure Chipotle Cravings

I am currently on Day 19 of my healthy eating and it's been going pretty decent! I've also found some yummy healthy things to eat when I eat out as well...thankfully it looks like each restaurant now offers more healthy choices for all the people whose New Years' resolution was to eat better. I've been seriously wanting the chicken salad bowl at Chipotle but the cold weather (-9 degrees!) is keeping Noelle and I in the house. So last night I thought I would just recreate it at home with ingredients I already had in the fridge and the cupboards, and I'd have to say I was successful! It was pretty easy and I thought I'd share it.

Super Easy Chipotle Chicken Salad Bowl

Chicken (since it was only for me, I only needed 1 chicken breast.)
Lemon/Lime juice
Minced garlic
Diced tomatoes
Romaine lettuce
Black beans
Pepper and salt to taste

Easy steps:
1. Cut up chicken, cook on stove with minced garlic and lemon/lime juice. Cook until chicken is blackened.

2. Heat up beans and corn per directions on can. Add cilantro to the corn.

3. Serve it up!

I could have made some rice too but I'm currently eating very little carbs. Also if you wanted the chicken to be more spicy you could add some spicy seasonings like Mrs. Dash, but I skipped it last night. I'd have to say my salad come out really good and next time I'd add some guacamole too. It wasn't easy making dinner and bouncing Noelle with my foot at the same time (Joey had band practice) so I didn't want to make myself endure too many steps!

January 8, 2012

Working It Out

We all have New Year Resolutions and I'm pretty sure a large majority of people's resolution is to lose weight/get fit/get healthy. And I'm one of those people. Being pregnant, I abused the excuse "I'm eating for two!" Although I knew that "eating for two" really just meant eating an extra 300 calories. Even though I knew that, I really loved having an excuse to eat what I want and I let myself enjoy my pregnancy cravings a bit too much.

For everyone that knows me, they know that before my pregnancy I was a vegetarian. I was even vegan at one point in time but had a really hard time not eating dairy. I was a pretty devoted vegetarian too (a lot of you used to read my old blog, which was mostly dedicated to being a vegetarian).  Being a vegetarian, keeping my weight stable was really easy. The last time I had to lose weight was 5 years ago when I was an undergrad, eating lots of Cheese Chilitos and chips and cheese from Zantigos at 11 pm with Joey.

When I became pregnant I was very ignorant about my weight gain. I didn't even think about what was going to happen to me afterwards. So I indulged. I had not even drank pop for 6 years but everything flew out the window with my pregnancy. I had root beer floats constantly, ice cream every night, tons of donuts and rice krispie bars and yes, I'm guilty...meat. It was bad. I could not get enough bacon cheeseburgers. I went from a person not consuming any meat to someone drooling and craving for pig fat on top of cow on a daily basis. (Oh did I mention I liked a fried egg on top of that burger too? And don't forget the cheese and mayonnaise.) Needless to say I gained more than the recommended weight. You are suppose to gain 25-30 pounds when you are pregnant...I gained 50.

So now we embark on my journey back to my previous body. I'm mostly writing this post so that I have to be accountable. If I get it out there to the public that I'm going to lose this weight, then I have to. I'm also slowly reverting back to my old diet. I don't think I can quit meat cold turkey but I am trying the Paleo Diet right now which is basically the caveman's diet: natural/organic meat, plants, fruit and water. I'm cutting back on sugar, salt, dairy and carbs. (All my favorite things of course.) When I'm comfortable  I'll go back to not eating meat because deep down I still feel terrible for the animals. Mostly the cows. (I love cows.) I'm also starting to work out again since my doctor okay'd it. I'm starting out pathetically slow but a little is better than none. I already got in my 45 min cardio and 15 min strength training in today! (Thank you daddy for taking care of Noelle!)

I don't really have a goal weight, but I do have a goal. Joey's birthday is April 1st and we're planning on throwing him a party so I need to fit into a little black dress by then! I imagine that date should be a good benchmark, and by summer I should be back to my old body.

Okay here goes. Now if I slack, you guys can yell at me!

How To: Make a Hair Bow Holder

Noelle has everything in excess...tutus (11 counting), dresses, shoes, hats, tights etc. This does not exclude hair accessories. Noelle has more hair bows and headbands than any child I know (well besides my niece Vivi). I was feeling a little crafty so I decided to make her a little hair bow holder.

I got all the supplies at Target. Total cost: $5
Because she has so many more hair bows, I'm going to make a second holder, maybe with a bigger frame. 
I've seen these done on Pinterest in various ways...with painted canvases, large picture frames hung on the wall, large ribbon strips hanging from name plates...the ideas are endless. I liked this smaller frame because I wanted it to fit in her dollhouse bookcase. 
Next up: Headband Holder

January 6, 2012


Today Noelle and had a special visit from our best friends the Mikkelsons, Willow (9 months) and her mommy Dawn. Dawn and I have been best friends since we were in middle school and have stayed close and gotten even closer as the years have gone by. I was in the room with Dawn when Willow was born and I was in my first trimester with Noelle. Willow had her much anticipated and long awaited surgery to repair her cleft palate this past week, so we wish her a fast recovery! xoxo

Here's a picture of Noelle with the Mikkelson's a week before Willow's big surgery!

Willow wishes that Noelle would hurry up and grow so they can play!

Noelle with "Auntie" Dawnie!

Willow, only 3 days after her surgery! Super star!

The card Noelle made Willow:

Noelle Update - Two Months

A lot can happen in a matter of weeks, especially when you are a fast developing little baby! Last month Noelle had just started going to the chiropractor to have adjustments to help with her colic and immature digestive system, and had changed formulas due to her allergies. There were definitely some hard days where we weren't sure what to do to make her feel better. Mom, dad and baby were all stressed and exhausted.

"Oh, life is tough!"

As of recent, Noelle is better on so many levels. Although we haven't had the magical 8 hours of sleep since the one rare time it happened, Noelle can usually snooze for an undisrupted 5 hours at night. The formula has helped out significantly and the 2x weekly chiropractor visits also seemed to help. Although there is no true evidence of her crying less due to chiropractic visits, it surely didn't hurt. Of course a lot of these results could also just be from Noelle becoming older and getting more adjusted to life outside the womb.

In the last 4 weeks we have had many "trial and errors" as I like to call them. We've tired everything to "fix" our baby...including schedules, feeding on demand, co-sleeping, sleep training, etc. Someone would tell me the schedule was the best thing to do, then another would say never to do that, then someone else would tell me in shock that it was bad she wasn't getting 16 hours of sleep, then another would tell me to keep her up all day...SO MUCH INFORMATION. Basically what we have learned in the last month is that there is no rhyme or reason to any of the madness and instead of trying to "fix" everything we need to just enjoy our baby and do whatever work for us. We are going to take this next month to figure out what works and stress less about what others tell us is right or wrong. Frankly, there is no right or wrong. I'm confident that things will work themselves out and by Noelle's 3rd month things will all be easier for all three of us.

In other news, Noelle has had a busy month adjusting to our world. She has had plenty of visitors and has gone on many extrusions with us. She is now a veteran when it comes to venturing out into the real world and has already gone to a handful of restaurants, stores, the dance studio a few times and quite a few people's houses. She does incredible in the car, relaxed by the bass of the stereo as well as the bumpy ride and likes to go to places with lots of light. She is fascinated by Target and other places that are very well lit with fluorescent lights. Sometimes she stares at the lights so extensively that I think she already needs sunglasses! She responds well to loud places (she falls asleep next to the stereo at the dance studio) and is pretty adaptable when it comes to being passed around. I think we worry about her getting overstimulated more than she actually gets overstimulated.

Noelle and Gavin on their first date at Bruggers. Noelle is thrilled.

Play date with Gavin and Amelia. It must have been really fun; they are all in tears.

At 2 months she still really doesn't care for many types of entertainment. She once loved her swing but now can only stand it for a few minutes at a time. Her favorite thing is this toy I got her for Christmas that she can kick or reach for overhanging toys. When she kicks it, it plays music for her. It also has a mirror dangling in her face, which she LOVES. She has smiled at herself quite a bit. She doesn't really smile at US, but I suppose she IS cuter to look at than we are. ;)

She doesn't enjoy much but she does enjoy Skyping with my parents daily. We usually Skype with them every day at least once. She usually stares at them on the computer screen and you can tell she really is looking for them. She follows their voices and will coo back at them. She can last for 10 minutes, maybe 15 minutes before she is bored and wants to move on.

She has developed some weird preferences as well. Her absolute song of choice is "It will Rain" by Bruno Mars. In one of my early attempts at soothing her while she screamed, I played for her various music...classical, child lullabies, piano tunes, techno (for the bass) and then resorted to listening to my own music when nothing could satisfy her. She took a liking to Bruno Mars, and ever since then, whenever she screams I can turn this song on and she will calm down. It sounds crazy, but it is true. Now Joey and I even sing it to her. It's become Noelle's song.

As you can see in Noelle's playlist there are various white noises, nature sounds and Bruno Mars. Do you see how many times we have listened to "It will Rain?!"

We have also established a really great night time routine which consists of bath (which she LOVES), lotion/massage, swaddle, bottle, rocking, bedtime. She sleeps to obnoxiously loud white noise which plays on my iPod all night long, has a humidifier running all night, and also sleeps with a "night light" that I could use as a reading light. We used to do this in our bedroom, where she has slept with us for the last 2 months. This is an amazing change for us since Joey and I weren't getting much sleep listening to the sounds of a hair dryer all night. It stinks that we have to get out of bed and go to her room in the middle of the night but overall it's worth it to get her used to sleeping independently.

She's either really enjoying herself or she's peeing in the water.

"Excuse you. I am taking a bath."

Noelle is a beautiful, thriving, sweet baby and as exhausted as we (all) are, it is worth it!

January 4, 2012

It has happened...

I have gotten the mom haircut. 

For anyone that knows me, this is huge for me because I adore long hair and have had long hair for years and years. But I figured, why not?

It's a new year, I don't have anytime to do my hair, it's tangled from being in buns and ponytails every single day, it is too thick and long for my 3 minute marathon showers...Thinking it will be a good change!

Goodbye 15 inches of flowing locks, hello mom crop! ;)
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