Category: Random Recipeless Ramblings

Eating for Two: Emma’s Birth Story!

So yesterday my baby girl turned one week old. I’ve come to discover that it’s quite difficult to comprehend how long you’re pregnant for and how quickly, in comparison, you have a baby. I’ve been told by a number of people how lucky I really am, particularly because this was my first baby, that my labor was only 11 and a half hours from the start of my contractions to baby. It’s so crazy that Emma has only been on the outside for just over a week and she’s already just so awesome and I love her more and more every day. Here is how it all went down.

(Warning: This is a lengthy post…and I talk about all sorts of icky things you may not be used to reading about on my blog…where I talk about food. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

I woke up at 2:00 AM to pee on Wednesday, June 11th. The day before baby was due. I didn’t notice anything too abnormal at first. I noticed a bit of blood, which everything you read about babies tells you she could be anywhere from an hour to a week away. “No bigsie,” I thought. I got back into bed and my back was bothering me a bit – again – not unusual at this point in time – but I also felt a liiiiitle crampy. Like period cramps. In my brain I was just like “Whateves” and the cramps went away so I just wanted to get back to sleep.

“But wait, did they go away? I think they’re back…no they’re gone…wait they’re back again.” After about an hour of my dazed sleepy brain trying to decided if I did or did not have cramps a light bulb went off “Wait a second…I think these might be contractions.” Johnny was asleep, and it was 3 o’clock in the morning, so I sure didn’t want to wake him if this wasn’t the real deal because he had work to get to. I downloaded a contraction timer app on my phone (sometimes, I love technology) and off I went. Time, time, time.

By 5:30 AM – my contractions were already almost a minute long and five minutes apart. If they stayed that way for an hour, it was time to call the doctor. I nudged Johnny to let him know that…well…I wasn’t sure he was going to get to work today…but to keep sleeping and I would get him up in a bit. I hopped in the shower and my contractions were getting noticeably more achy, but nothing too bad, so after I sat down and ate a tasty filling breakfast – just to be on the safe side. If this really was it, I needed energy and I wasn’t getting it from sleep.

Sure enough, by 6:30 AM, my contractions were still going strong at 1 minute in length and 5 minutes apart. I called the doctor’s office. I’m pretty sure this is how the conversation went:

Lady on Phone with Southerny accent: “Cumberland Valley OBGYN Emergency Services. How can I help you?”
Me awkwardly: “Hi there. How ya doing? I’m…uh…I’m pretty suuure I’m in labor.”
Lady on Phone: “Alright, miss, did your water break.”
Me: “No. At least I don’t think so. But I’m pretty positive I’ve been having contractions since about 2:00 AM, and they’re currently about a minute long and 5 minutes apart.”
Lady on Phone: “Oh my. Alright. I’ll have the doctor call you right away.”

The doctor called me back in about 5 minutes. I said the same thing and was told to head to the hospital to get checked!! Time to wake the hubs!!

We both didn’t really think there was much of a need to rush, what with this being first baby and all, plus I wasn’t in too much pain or anything, so he hopped in the shower. I double checked our hospital bag, made sure we had some snacks and our phone chargers, and off we went. (Obviously, Johnny stopped to pick up a bagel and coffee for himself on the way. Lol. I’m just sitting in the car waiting/having contractions.)

By the time we got to the hospital it was about 7:30 AM. They brought me to a room to check and see how far along I was and I was already 5 centimeters! The nurse, Leah (whose praises I will sing a bit later), was surprised by my progress since when she asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how much pain I was in I said “I don’t know…maybe like a 3 and a half.”  She told us she’d be right back with the doctor’s orders to admit me. It was really going to happen today!

So Leah came back and brought us to a Labor and Delivery room. She said the doctor, who let’s just call “Dr. Bologna,”  instructed her to get me on some pitocin to get things moving along. When Johnny and I told her that we’d rather avoid pitocin…since I was already 5 centimeters…and really that I wanted a drug free labor and delivery entirely she was all for it. She also reiterated how impressed she was with the fact that I was up walking the halls and not keeling over in pain.

Upon Dr. Bologna’s arrival around 11ish he said his howdy do’s and decided to check me. During this check…he proceeded to break my water…with no warning whatsoever. Needless to say this caught me off guard. I actually teared up a little, not from pain, but because I was so shocked that he didn’t even say “You’re going to feel a warm rush of fluid.” or “I’m going to break your bag.” Nothing. Zilch. Just POP. Good news was, though, that I was 7 centimeters already!! He, too, said he was impressed that I wasn’t showing more signs of misery.

Dr. Bologna: Okay, so do you want any pain meds. You don’t need to be a hero. You need to let us know now and we can get an epidural ready for you.
Me: No thank you. I’d like to keep this as natural as I can.
Dr. Bologna: Are you sure??
Me: Yes. I’m sure.
Johnny: We both really want to try and do this naturally. Jen doesn’t like to take unnecessary medications.
Dr. Bologna (Skeptically): Ooookayyy. Well, let’s get her on some pitocin to move things along.
Johnny: Do we really need that at this point??? She’s already gotten this far, this fast on her own.
Dr. Bologna: Well it will just speed things up and make her contractions more intense.
Me: Can we wait a little longer for it at least??
Johnny: Give us another hour.
Dr. Bologna: Fine.  Another hour.

Mind you, the conversation above is all from my memory and not EXACTLY word for word what happened. But you can gather that Johnny and I were both a little irritated at Dr. Bologna’s insistence on the use of any medication during the birth. After he left the room, nurse Leah turned to us and said that she really believed that I could do this on my own and that she would do everything she could to keep Dr. Bologna from using the pitocin and said that – legally – he cannot make us do anything we don’t want to. She said to stand my ground and she would do everything in her power to get things done the way we wanted them unless, of course, there was an emergency. We were totes cool with that. Leah – you are amazing.

So we waited another hour and things were finallllly starting to get painful and much closer together. I hung out in the whirlpool tub a bit, since my water was broken and I just felt like I was leaking while I walked around. The hour flew by and when Dr. Bologna came back to check me at noon he said:

Dr Bologna: Well, you’re at 7/8 centimeters and haven’t really progressed. We need to get you on pitocin.

I was really starting to get pissed off. And I was really starting to feel my contractions more. I was pretty resigned to the fact that this guy wasn’t going to let up. Thank goodness Johnny was able to speak up for me.

Johnny: Look, Jen really wanted to keep this as natural as possible. She’s made it this far on her own. We’ve only been here for 5 and a half hours. Can’t we just wait one more hour?
Dr. Bologna: Well fine then. We can wait an hour and if she doesn’t progress any more we’ll have to give her a cesarean.
Me: What?! No. I would rather have the pitocin than a cesarean.
Johnny: Dr. Bologna, that doesn’t make any sense.

At this point in time, I don’t really remember what words were exchanged. I just know that when he left the room I was so mad, Johnny was even more mad, and I think our nurse Leah was maddest of all. She told us that she thought he was being ridiculous, that my progress was beautiful, and that she knew I was totally capable of doing things on my own. She left the room and told the doctor she wasn’t giving me the picotin. Who knows how that went. When she came back she checked me and I was already at 9 centimeters. I was laying on my side so one side was a bit more dilated than the rest, so she suggest I hop on a birthing ball to let gravity speed things along. I did for what felt like forever and no time at all (Johnny said I was on it for almost an hour. This was the most painful part of the contractions.).  She checked me again a little after 1 o’clock.  I almost immediately felt the most ridiculous pressure and need to push. She told me I was at ten centimeters and ready to go!

She called the doctor…who took his sweet time to arrive…and 5 sets of 3 pushes later (Johnny said I pushed for 10 minutes ) Emma was here!!!  They plopped her beautiful little self right on my belly and she hung out there while the doc stitched me up, as I tore a wee bit. I genuinely think getting the anesthetic down there was the most painful part of the whole day. I’m not joking. That was awful. But at least I had my beautiful baby girl snuggled up on my chest and my incredible husband by my side to make me feel better.

The doctor congratulated us both and let me know how happy he was I had proven him wrong.  You’re welcome, sir, that’s what this was all about. *sigh*

And now, the fun part, PICTURES!!! These are all from the day after she was born, and she is the cutest little thing I have ever seen in my life. Sure, I’m biased, but I don’t care. I made her. I love her. And here she is with her family!

Emma1 Jen and Emma Emma, Mommy, Daddy, and Grandpa The Yoder's and Emma Daddy, Grandpa, and Emma Emma Grace

 

Friday Favorites!!

Hey dudes!! I hope you’ve all had a fantastic week and that you’re all looking forward to a fun and relaxing Memorial Day(my birthday) Weekend!! I, personally, cannot WAIT for the weekend. There will be pizza. There will be X-Men.  AND obviouslyyyyyy there will be my birthday celebration!!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe or anything fun. I imagine it may be that way for a while with baby 20 days away!!! (20 EFFING DAYS!!! THIS IS INSANITY!!!) So I decided today I would at least share something fun with ya’ll. How about some Friday Favorites?!?! I haven’t done a Friday Favorites post in ages, and as there are quite a few things I’m looking forward to trying, buying, and watching in the near future I decided to share them with you today!!!

Favorite Birthday Dinner: Shrimp Pad Thai!!!! Oh man, I effing love Shrimp Pad Thai. There are actually a few great Thai restaurants near me, and I pretty much only ever get to them for a girls day or on my birthday. Thai food is not the hubby’s favorite, as it’s a bit more expensive than your standard Chinese take out. I’ve still never tried to make my own Pad Thai because buying ingredients that I will be using for this singular dish always deters me. If I did, though, I would definitly try this recipe from Closet Cooking. It looks perfect!

Pad Thai
Favorite Cocktail I’m Counting Down the Days until I Can Enjoy Again: White Peach and Raspberry Sangria! This little number here is a recipe all my own and it’s seriously my favorite, favorite summertime beverage!! I use a combination of a crisp white like sauvignon blanc, peach vodka, and sparkling peach mango juice a la wegmans and I mix in a hefty portion of frozen peaches and frozen raspberries. That is my personal secret to making the besssssst sangria. Never water your sangria down with ice!! The frozen fruit keeps it icy cold and by the time you’re done drinking it the fruit is just thawed enough for you to enjoy!! NOMS!

sangria
Favorite Breakfast Recipe to Try As Soon As I Can Eat Runny Yolks Again: Jalapeno Bacon Corn Pancakes from We Are Not Martha. Now, I’ve pretty much been following We Are Not Martha since I started blogging back in college, and these ladies always have some AMAZING looking recipes!!! When I saw this, though, I basically died. There is absolutely nothing bad about this recipe. Fresh corn, bacon, jalapenos, and scallions mixed up into perfect little pancakes topped with a runny egg and pure maple syrup. How about pure perfection?? Yes. The only thing missing is cheese…which…I won’t lie…I’ll probably throw some cheddar in those pancakes. And devour them.

Jalapeno-Bacon-Corncakes

Favorite Tank I WILL Own Soon: This tank top, from Pretty Fit Athletics, literally made my LOL. MILF – Mom In Love with Fitness. Uh….yes please. I’ll take one in each color. This other tank from FitnFab Apparel  is definitely a front runner, too….because it’s true…I’d pretty much do anything for peanut butter.

milf
squatforpb

Favorite Show I Cannot WAIT to Come Back: Now, I know it’s still Game of Thrones season, and don’t get me wrong man, I LOVE Game of Thrones, But…I loved True Blood first. And I will always love True Blood first. There was an episode on last night that I hunkered down and watched from last season and I must admit that I am terribly sad that this is the last season, and I am very excited to see how they decide to wrap things up. The show has definitely had some ups and downs, so I just really hope they do it justice and end it well. What would that mean for me…hmmm….well CERTAINLY not how the books ended. (Just sayin; – you disappointed me Charlene Harris) but I’m pretty positive since they’ve been straying from the books for so long now (and one scene in particular last season made it pretty clear the show runners have absolutely no intention of taking the show in that direction). For me…the BEST ending is not Sookie ending up with Alcide, who, clearly (see below) is an effing hottie. But no. Eric. Eric and Sookie belong together. And maybe they could try and do something to make Sookie a little more likable this season. I was always a Sookie Fan, but the last two seasons she has probably been my least favorite character.

trueblood

Favorite Salad I Plan to Live On All Summer Long: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Mexican Salad. Dear Two Peas & Their Pod, Thank you for bringing this salad into existence. Words can’t quite express how much I adore the combination of every single thing in this salad…and I cannot wait to make giant batches of it and eat my weight in it. It’s salad…so that’s okay…right?
Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Mexican-Salad-2

Favorite Book I Plan to Read All Summer Long: Although I haven’t picked it up yet, I know that I will be doing so shortly and I also know that I will probably read it from cover to cover at least twice over given the opportunity. I, personally, really enjoyed going through What to Expect When You’re Expecting throughout my pregnancy, and I think that What to Expect: The First Year will definitely be something that I, at the very least, enjoy reading. Gah. I’m so excited to meet my little muffin!!

wtethy

Favorite Smoothie That Supports Healthy Lactation: I haven’t discussed it too much on here, but if all goes well with baby and such I have every intention to breastfeed. I’ve been reading up on a few things that help maintain an abundant milk supply and support healthy lactation in general. I’m pleased that oats and flax seeds are two ingredients encouraged for breastfeeding moms…because I eat them almost every day already!! This smoothie recipe I found at Whey Beyond the Naked Truth combines those two ingredients with coconut milk, coconut water, mango, and pineapple for a tropical smoothie that sounds delicioussssssssss and I can’t wait to try!!
Perky-Pineapple-Mango-Oatmeal-764x1024

 

And that’s all she wrote for today, folks!!! What are your big plans for the long weekend??!!

WIAW #26 – A Cheesy Conundrum

Hey gang!! I’m back this week for my most favorite post of the week – What I Ate Wednesday (brought to you by Jenn at Peas and Crayons)!

Last week I did actually take photos of my Monday eats, as I typically do for my WIAW posts, and they were ready to go, but I was soooo exhausted on Tuesday I was like…I can’t blog…I need sleep. It’s hard to admit it, but I think this whole being less than a month out from delivering a baby thing is starting to catch up with me! I’m still working out regularly, but I’m definitely noticing that I’m getting tired much sooner than I used to. Also, now that we’ve gone from 50 degrees to 80 degrees and humid…I’ve definitely noticed a little puffiness in my hands and feet. Blergh. But we’re at 29 days and counting until my due date!! The nursery is all set (I’ll share pics soon!), my hospital bag is alllllmost totally packed (just need to pop in some snacks and I’m waiting for some nursing tanks to arrive in the mail) and this little munchkin is doing somersaults ALL. DAY. LONG…so I’m pretty sure she’s ready to make her grand entrance soon, too!!

Anywho, enough baby talk, here is my Monday of eats!

Breakfast: It’s been about a month since my banana chocolate chip muffins have made an appearance, or since we’ve let bananas sit for long enough without getting eaten that I could make muffins. So here they are in all of their muffiny glory! And of course some decaf english breakfast tea. 😀
muffins

Snack: I was really in the mood for some cantaloupe this week….soooooooooooo I bought one. Bam. Delicious.
canteloupe

Lunch: For lunch Monday I had a big bowl of my corn and black beans salad that I made on Monther’s Day. It’s probably my favorite salad ever. And I’m just now remembering I promised to send the recipe to my friend Allison and totes forgot. *sigh* Fail.
corn salad

More Snacks: I’m pretty sure I had a string cheese at some point on Monday, and I’ve pretty much stopped taking pics of my string cheese because honestly…how many photos of string cheese can one person have on her phone? Seriously. But I also nommed on some ants on a log because they’re awesome and a few triscuits, too.
ants on a log

triscuits
Dinner: Dinner on Monday was Mac & Cheese. Oh golly. I wish I didn’t love this stuff so, so much. It’s funny – I always go back and forth on the best time to eat Mac & Cheese. I picked Monday this week because we were taking the night off from the gym. Sometimes I think I should make it on a night we DO go to the gym…ya know…so I’m burning it off. But at the same time I really like to make sure that I’m feeding my body appropriately after a workout. I just wouldn’t feel right eating a bowl (okay…two bowls) of Mac & Cheese after doing a million squats or something. You picking up what I’m putting down? If you’re an avid gym goer and also Mac & Cheese lover…what are your thoughts on this conundrum?
mac and cheese

Dessert: Well…after two bowls of Mac & Cheese I thought this ooey gooey brownie leftover from the weekend was the perfect nightcap before I fell into a food coma…and promptly went to sleep at 9:00pm.
brownie

So, what is your favorite thing you’ve eaten this week?
Are you a mac & cheese-aholic? What’s your secret to your favorite mac & cheese?
Would you rather eat something unhealthy on a day where you DO or DON’T workout?

WIAW #23 – A “Cheat” Day

Ello, loves. Welcome to another lovely edition of What I Ate Wednesday – brought to you by Jenn at Peas and Crayons. This week I’m sharing everything I ate yesterday, which ultimately turned into a kind of “cheat” day and proves that I actually eat like a real person sometimes!! Onward!!

Breakfast: I had my 32 week checkup yesterday morning which meant that we were stopping for bagels before I dropped Johnny off at our friend Nicole’s so she could drive him to work. Typically, I say no to a bagel. Yesterday  was super rainy and dreary, though, so I decided it was time to join in on the fun! I had a garlic bagel toasted with butter!!! Most people I know are everything bagel with cream cheese kind of people. Sure, they’re delicious, too, but for me there’s nothing like a toasty warm garlic bagel dripping with melty butter. Yummmmmm and a half!!
bagelI didn’t have to kill too much time between dropping Johnny off and my appointment, but I still had about 20 minutes before I needed to head to the office, so I stopped at Panera and grabbed a decaf English Breakfast Tea and started perusing my latest issue of Women’s Health!!

tea

Luckily my doctor’s appointment was earlier yesterday and went swiftly! All is well with baby and I, and I discussed “birth plans” with my doctor (and we both agreed they’re just plain silly!). I managed to make it to work at 9:20, but by 10:00 I was ready for a snack, so I grabbed the last few pieces of cantaloupe we had hanging out from my baby shower!!
noms

Lunch: Lunch was simple yesterday, and I tried to keep it a little lighter since I knew I was having a bagel for breakfast. What we have here is some leftover fajita filling (chicken, black beans, peppers, and onions) with a wee bit of cheese and avocado on top. Ugly, but delicious.
lunch

Tea Time: I am such a happy camper because I have sooooooooooooooo much leftover tea from my shower!! This one right here happens to be my favorite!! It’s The Republic of Teas Decaf Ginger Peach. The regular Ginger Peach is delightful, too, but ya know…preggers. With a little drizzle of honey it’s pretty much impossible to be in a bad mood while you drink this stuff. It’s the best!!
more tea

Snack: I had a marathon meeting yesterday afternoon that usually only lasts about 30 minutes but lasted nearly 2 hours! As such, my snack time was a little thrown off. I just nommed a hard boiled egg to hold me over until dinner.
egg

Dinner:Last night, Johnny and I had dinner with Melinda and Kyle before FINALLY going to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier!! There are a few pretty decent mexican places by us, but we frequent El Rodeo this most. We all pretty much always get the same thing every time. Johnny and Kyle both get the Sante Fe Nachos (nachos with beans, cheese, steak, and chicken) – Johnny with no sour cream but with guacamole, and Kyle with sour cream but with no guacamole (but he is kind enough to order it on the side so that I can have it!!), Melinda sometimes gets a veggie quesadilla or the nachos, too. Last night she got a steak quesadilla. Me? I have tried a few things on their menu – but I have gotten to the point where I always order their Carne Asada Tacos. I. Love. Them. So. Much. They’re the perfect portion of steak in three little corn tortillas with loads of tomatoes, onions, and fresh cilantro to devour along with it!! They also come with a side of beans, which I never finish but always smear a bit to my tacos,  and a really spicy homemade hot sauce. All of that, plus some guac. Heaven.
carne asada tacos

tacos
At the Movies: Let’s all be honest, does anyone actually buy their snacks IN the movie theater anymore? They’re so expensive!!! And sure, the popcorn always SMELLS great, but it never tastes as good as it smells. I’ve pretty much stopped bothering with popcorn at the movies all together. Plus, I always wind up with a kernel stuck in my teeth before the movie even starts so then I spend the whole movie sitting there being annoyed by it the whole time. *END MOVIE RANT* Anywho, after dinner we stopped at the grocery store and grabbed a few movie snacks. My husband is a Raisinettes kind of guy. They’re his favorite! I always struggle picking my movie candy. Peanut M&Ms, Goobers, or Reese’s Pieces are usually my chocoaltey go-tos, but I wasn’t feeling chocolaty. So I went with Sour Patch Kids!! Am I the only person who’s favorite are the green ones?! I feel like I am. Captain America was awesome!! And I didn’t eat the WHOLE bag, I promise! 😉
sour patch kids

What’s your favorite movie theater snack?
What’s your favorite dish when you get Mexican food?
What’s your favorite bagel??

WIAW #22 – The South Carolina/Road Trip Edition

Hey dudes!! A very happy Wednesday to you!! This Wednesday is particularly happy for me because I only have 1 work day left this week and tomorrow I get to see Bill, Susan, annnd MY MOMMA!!! Woot!!! I’m so very excited for this weekend!!!!

Imma keep my intro pretty short this week, because, well, the post itself is prettttty lengthy. You’re a real trooper if you actually red the whole thing…but here it goes!! I present to you my road trip and eats from South Carolina. As always, shout out to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting!!!

Breakfast on the Road: We’ve road tripped with Johnny’s parents before and it’s pretty safe to say that we are guaranteed to stop at McDonalds several times for coffee/breakfast/etc. Although I’m pretty okay eating a McDonald’s oatmeal or evvvvvvvvven an Egg McMuffin on a rare occasion I decided not to mess around this trip. I planned ahead to make sure Johnny and I had some substantial and nutritous munchies for breakfast and snacks while on this trip!! I will note, however, that I always get a kids chocolate milk at McDonalds. Yes. There is quite a bit of sugar in it. Buuuuuuuuuuut it’s delicious and went to well with what I brought…that is… a huge container of peanut butter (which, I assure you, I took all four days to eat) that I dipped a perfect banana in (because my perfect banana has lots of spots and is super ripe without a speck of green) and a banana chocolate chip protein muffin. Also, McDonalds seems to always oblige when I ask for a coffee cup filled with hot water so I could brew my own decaf green tea in the car. Perfect!!! I also munched on an apple cinnamon rice cake when I was feeling snacky, probably around 11!
road breakfast
morning muffin
sunny ricecake
Lunch: I suggested we stop at Cracker Barrel for lunch on Friday. I knew everyone (that is, Johnny and my in-laws) loves their coffee, plus it was a Friday so we needed to have some meatless options, which I knew they have. Annnnnnnnnd I love looking around the gift shop! I was delighted when I saw their  “Wholesome Fixin’s” menu, which provided calorie counts and lighter options. I was super excited to see their Egg n’ Cheese Sliders – eggs over hard with some shredded colby cheese and tomato slices on lil’ whole wheat sandwich thins (it also comes with mayo, which I cannot for the life of me understand!!) and a wee cup of fresh fruit. We were already in North Carolina at this point in time, having hit the road at 3:00am, so it was getting hot out, too, so this was the peeerrfect lite lunch for me to enjoy!!
cracker barrel
Starbucks:
So, funny story. I’ve mentioned before in a few of my bumpdates that I swear by my Bella Band. I have yet to purchase a pair of maternity pants and the Bella Band helps me keep all of my pants up! Well, I wore it with my work pants on Thursday, went to the gym, and wound up throwing it in the laundry hamper bundled with my black pants instead of packing it. I’m thankful I remembered while we were driving!! Soooo we made a pitstop at the local Target so I could pick up another one (now I have one in black and in white, which is nice because a lot of my shirts are lighter colors and you could see the black right through it). Obviously, since we stopped at target, I had to grab an iced-decaf-tall-nonfat-latte-in-a-grande-cup-with-extra-ice-and-1-splenda. And obviously I had no choice but to take a photo of myself drinking it. Hehe.
me and a latte

So at this point. We arrived!! We said our hellos to the fam!! Lots of baby talk. Lots of baseball talk (as all 5 of Johnny’s cousins are boys…who play baseball). Lots of lounging. I took a nice long shower (I don’t know about you, but after a day of sitting in the warm car I LOVE taking a nice, COOL shower and just standing there until I feel like moving. Johnny thinks I’m nuts. But cool showers rock!) and got settled in and had a nice dinner that included salmon, baked potatoes, corn, and green beans. We hung out on the covered patio for most of the night chatting and catching up before we hit the hay pretty early since we had such a long day!!

Saturday was the Flower Festival. It’s just a big ol’ street fair with lots of vendors and LOTS of people. This year Johnny and I splurged just a wee bit on some fancy schmancy oil and vinegar from a local vendor, The Crescent Olive. We sampled a whole bunch (like Chipotle Oil and Pineapple Vinegar) and they were all fantastic, but we wound up buying a bottle of Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and Fig Balsamic Vinegar. (FIG BALSAMIC IS LIFE CHANGINGGGGGG!) We also wound up snagging a pint of local strawberries that looked soooo tasty I couldn’t say no to them, and an avocado so I could whip up a tasty salad for lunch. Leave it to me to go to a street fair and buy nothing but food…that I can cook when I get home. Lol.

Lunch: We were pretty hungry when we got back from the Flower Fest as it was suuuuuuuuuuuuper hot and humid outside. I made an AMAZING salad for lunch though. I took some organic mixed greens, the local strawberries, some avocado, and some of the previous evening’s leftover salmon and drizzled it with a little bit of the herb oil and fig vinegar. My goodness. I loved everything about this salad. Sure…I would have loved a gyro or something like that from the street fair…but this salad was so worth waiting until I got home to eat!!
salmon salad

After lunch, we took a nice long walk around the neighborhood (we really did just spend the majority of our trip walking…or eating). There is a huuuuge treehouse at the end of the block with some swings and such. Swinging is my happy place. Seriously. It just makes me so happy!!
swings!

I was actually pretty pooped after our walk – my hands also blew up like balloons. I thought maybe it was a pregnancy thing until Johnny and his dad said the same thing happens to them in the humidity. Dang it was unpleasant. I wound up taking a nice nap before dinner.

Dinner: We ate dinner at a place called The Icehouse. Johnny’s Aunt Amy and Uncle Kevin are big fans, so all 15 of us trucked on over for dinner. I started off with a “caprese salad”. I use the quotes because, although it was tasty, it was really just a mixed green salad with a few tomatoes and some mozzarella tossed in. But it’s totally okay – because my meal was perfection. Shrimp. And. Grits. Actually – their version of Shrimp and Grits may be my favorite to date!! It’s not that I don’t like super creamy grits, it’s that I don’t typically like the ratio of grits to everything else (too much grits, not enough everything else. spoken like a true northerner, I’m sure!). This was so delicious!! It was a “fried grit cake” so it was a bit crispy on the outside and nice and creamy on the inside, topped with shrimp, andoullie sausage, mushrooms, green onions, and some cheese. I ate every bite. Johnny loved his meal too, and who wouldn’t?? He totes carbed out and got friend chicken with mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. OoOoOo and Johnny’s Aunt Maria got cornbread that came with this spicy honey that I could bathe in. Seriously. The fried chicken IN the spicy honey…oh heavens…ridiculous.
caprese salad
johnny carbs out
shrimp and grits

Dessert: After a dinner like that I didn’t want anything for dessert at the restaurant. Grandma Yoder is a BIG fan of having a nice mexican or irish coffee after dinner, though, so she had a pretty steady supply of Ready Whip at home. At about 9 when we were all just chatting on the patio again I sliced up a few more strawberries and added a healthy does of whipped cream…because I was on vacation…duh…and YUM!
strawberries

Sunday was spent mostly walking around Charleston. There’s a fun market there we went to, we walked along the water front, annnnnnnnnnnd I got Nutella gelato. Weee!!!!
blurry gelato

On the Road Home: It was poooouring rain during the drive home, which ya know, as a passenger isn’t really a big deal,  we all really just wanted to get home. We made a quick pitstop for lunch at Wawa and grabbed it to go. I was surprised to see a Wawa that far south, but whateves…I was good with it. I’m still funny with meat sometimes, lately, especialllllly the processed icky kind that you’ll most likely get at a Wawa or what-have-you…so I opted for a cheese quesadilla with some pico and avocado. I also snagged an almond cocoloco chobani flip because they’re deliciousssssss!!
wawa
cho
Our Last Pitstop: It was about 3:00 on Monday when we made our last pitstop at a Dunkin Donuts for coffee and to pee (which, btw, wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. woot!). It was so dreary out and smelled so coffeelicious in there that I couldn’t not snag a decaf toasted almond coffee with some milk and sugar. Noms!!
rainy coffee
Dinner(After scouring the pantry): I really didn’t feel like getting take out Monday night after all of the food we ate out over the weekend, so I looked around to see what I could whip up. What did I find? A box of pasta,  a can of tomato paste, some bacon in the freezer, half a bag of spinach, and parmesan cheese.I was totally good with this. So cozy and homey after being on the road. We ended our evening snuggling with our little Quincy and watching the Game of Thrones premier!!!!!
home at last
 

Are you a Game of Thrones fan?! Did you read the books, too??

What’s your favorite road trip snack??

What’s your favorite “southern classic” dish??