Tagged: dates

WIAW #27 – A Funny Story with an Adorable Ending

So who wants to hear a funny story?? I, personally, love a good amusing anecdote. This story isn’t just amusing, but it also has a pretty adorable ending. Here goes:

Last Monday was the first day of my maternity leave. The following post contains all of my eats from that Monday. I wrote this post last Tuesday evening, as I typically do with my What I Ate Wednesday posts. I was super excited to actually have the time to get a post up, too!! I knew it had been a while so I made sure I kept a really great record of my whoooole Monday. I was getting a little sleepy that evening, so I decided I would finish this post up the following morning. I hit the hay around 10:00pm Tuesday the 10th.

annnnnnnnnnnnnd I went into labor at 2:00 AM!!

Miss Emma Grace was born one day early at 1:30 PM on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. She weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces and was twenty inches long. Just in case you don’t follow me on Instagram and haven’t been getting blown up with my baby pictures, here is what I shared with our family and friends to let them know she had finally arrived! It’s so crazy that my little munchkin is already a week old today!!

Emma's Announcement

I will be sharing a post with more pictures and my whole labor story tomorrow for anyone who is is interested in that sort of thing. For today, since this post was already ESSENTIALLY finished, I’m sharing how I spent and what I ate the first day of my maternity leave. Also, I’d like to take a moment here to wish my hubby a very happy 27th birthday today!!! He’s absolutely, positively the sweetest, silliest, sexiest, most genuine person I have ever known, the best daddy to our baby girl, and I am overjoyed to be able to call him my husband. Love you buggle. 🙂

Now, here is my WIAW! I’ve left the original introduction I wrote to this post, too, just for posterity. 😉

Well howdy doo!!!

I’m not gonna lie to you, I am absolutely tickled to be able to be getting this post up today!! I know that I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been pretty busy over the last few weeks. Well, Monday was officially the first day of my maternity leave. Baby is due TOMORROW!!!! I have a doctor’s appointment today to check and see how things are progressing that I am super looking forward to.

I’ve spent the last two days trying to be as productive as I can while still making sure I’m rested up and ready to go for labor. Or, well, as ready as I can be I suppose. I’ve FINALLY had time to prepare some freezer meals. I made about a dozen breakfast sandwiches (eggs, broccoli, a wee bit o’ bacon, and cheddar frittata style on whole wheat english muffins) 15 chocolate coconut banana muffins, several packs of frozen strawberries and bananas for smoothies, protein flax waffles, chicken fajitas, and spaghetti sauce with ground turkey. It’s not too much, but I’m sure it will definitely be helpful in the coming weeks.

Here is how my first day of maternity leave went down:

 Breakfast: So I wound up waking up around 6:30 on Monday morning. Technically that’s still sleeping in for me on a weekday, because I was usually up at 5:30 to get ready for work and such. I sat down to breakfast at the table with my latest read – Nick Offerman’s “Paddle Your Own Canoe” (Absolutely hilarious. I love everything about this man.) – a cup of decaf english breakfast tea, a whole wheat english muffin topped with almond butter and some of my latest obsession, that is, Wegmans Organic Blueberry Jam. It’s amazing. Seriously. I also had a hard boiled egg with a lil’ black pepper sprinkled on top. It was pretty delightful.
blueberry jammed

Snack: I’m not usually one for the lil’ fruity greek yogurts because they’re so high in sugar, but I had a coupon for a 12-pack at BJs so I only spent $8 on a dozen. That makes me feel better about them. This guy was pretty delicious.
oikos

Snack time was followed by some Yoga. Melinda bought me this DVD for Christmas and although I used it a bit then, it’s not particularly challenging if you’re an experienced yogi in your first or second trimester. Now, though, I’m so thankful I have it! It’s a really great combination of relaxing and challenging at this point in my pregnancy (ya know…ready to pop).
prenatal yoga

More Snacks: Snack time post yoga was the pregnancy special – 6 dates with a tablespoon of peanut butter and some iced raspberry leaf tea. I’m not usually one to go along with old wives tales and all that jazz, but I figured when it comes to eating dates and drinking raspberry leaf tea, there is no harm in consuming them, so I may as well give it a whirl. There have been studies done linking date consumption in late stage pregnancy to an increased likelihood of spontaneous labor occurring and a decreased likelihood in the need for induction. Date consumption has also been linked to dilation occurring more rapidly. Raspberry leaf tea is recognized for its benefits for women’s health in general. Some folks say it’s supposed to induce labor. Others say it just may make things a bit easier. Regular consumption of raspberry leaf tea has been linked to strengthening and toning the uterus. I’ll let ya know how it all works out for me. 🙂
dates and pb

Lunch: Melinda and I went out for lunch on Monday and snagged some eats at one of our favorite local places – Juice and Java. My go to is the Sun- dried Grilled Chicken Sandwich. It’s grilled chicken, Monterrey jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion with a “chipotle spread” on sun-dried tomato bread. They typically serve their sandwiches and wraps with chips – which are delicious – but they also offer orange wedges on the side if you ask. That’s my personal choice!! I was also delighted to see they had decaf blueberry coffee…which I got and turned into iced coffee and enjoyed every sip of!!
juice and java

Once we got back from lunch Melinda and I sat down and I finished designing her wedding invitations!! But not before snapping of photo of the babies enjoying their bones together!!
ze puppies

Dinner: I almost forgot to snap a picture of my dinner on Monday, but Johnny was kind enough to remind me. It was pretty simple and delicious. Grilled chicken breasts with a bit of bbq sauce, baked potatoes, and some green beans with almonds (thanks, Green Giant).
dinners

Dessert: Johnny went out to do man things on Monday, as per usual, so after dinner I sat down with some strawberries and whipped cream and Battlestar Galactica.
strawberries and cream

And that’s all she wrote!! As usual, a big shout out to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting this fabulous link-up party. The next time I participate, I’ll (hopefully) be a momma!! Ah!!! That’s nuts!!! Only time will tell, right??


WIAW #25 – Asian Foods and Chocolate Balls

Hump Day?Lolz. I hope you’re all having a nice week so far! I can’t complain about mine, really, but obviously I’m looking forward to the weekend! We’re hanging out with Ashley and Jared (and their new fire pit…with s’mores) on Friday night and Ashley and I are taking a barre class on Saturday and hitting up the farmers market and I can’t wait!!! As for the rest of the weekend, I like to think I’ll be spending an equal portion of it relaxing and simultaneously being productive. Hopefully we’ll get the last little bit of the nursery together so that I can start to decorate and get everything in order.

Eeeeeeeee.

I can’t believe how fast this is all going!! I’m 34 weeks pregnant tomorrow!! I really need to post a bUmPdate sometime soon, too. Perhaps this weekend!! Lol.

Anywho, time for the food party hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons. This week let’s take a look at my Monday eats!!

Breakfast: Breakfast on Monday was my go-to bowl of banana chocolate chip oats with some flax topped with peanut butter. It’s really what I look forward to most on the mornings that I have it lol. I also had some *gasp* caffeinated English Breakfast tea because I was all out of decaf. (FYI – Twinings English Breakfast Tea contains approximately 40 mg of caffeine in an 8 oz cup. According to my doctor and every other thing I’ve read about caffeine consumption during pregnancy – 120 mg/day is considered perfectly safe…so I’m good, man.)
oats

Snack: Snack time on Monday was a hard boiled egg and a string cheese. I didn’t snap a picture of the string cheese, but I’m sure you all know what it looks like. Either way, noms!
egg

Lunch: Lunch was leftover Chinese food!! Leftovers are totally the best part of Chinese food, right? We tried out a new place on Sunday night that just opened by us that actually delivers!! That’s pretty amazing for central PA. I’m still sad our favorite place closed down, but I actually really enjoyed this new one! My personal go-to pretty much anytime I get Chinese (and I’m not with people who like to share) is Chicken and Broccoli with White Rice. I like to add just a litttttttle drizzle of soy sauce to my white rice, too. Johnny was a little sad this place doesn’t have Boneless BBQ Spare Ribs on their menu, but he settled for Sesame Chicken and Fried Rice. He liked the chicken, but the fried rice didn’t win him over. No fried rice will if it doesn’t have egg in it! Either way, I was pleased to have enough left for lunch on Monday. Next time we order from them I need to try their Wonton Soup – that’s the true test of a good Chinese Restaurant!
chicken and broccoli

Snack: My afternoon snack was 1/2 cup of plain, nonfat greek yogurt with about 1 teaspoon of honey in the mix, 1/4 cup of frozen mixed berries, and about 1 tablespoon each of walnuts and chia seeds. Gotta get my omega-3s on for Miss Emma’s lil baby brain development… annnnnnd because they’re delicious. Two birds, amiright?
berries and yogurt

Dinner: Well we got take out on Sunday because I reallllly didn’t feel like going to get groceries, so we HAD to get them on Monday night. We opted for a quick Wegmans dinner so I snagged an Avocado Summer Roll and a Spicy Shrimp Summer Roll. They’re probably two of my favorite things Wegmans has to offer in general food wise. Their sushi bar is soooooo fabulous and I love that I have so many options that aren’t raw (for now…muhuhaha). There was SO MUCH avocado in the avocado one it was perfect!! I also felt like I had eaten a lot of beige throughout the day, and I wanted to get my veggies on.
avocado and shrimp summer rolls

Dessert: I finally decided that Monday was the night I would make my own homemade chocolate chip peanut butter larabars/date balls/energy bites/whatever you wanna call em. I took 12 medjool dates, 3 tablespoons of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup of crushed peanuts, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 tablespoon of water, and a handful of mini chocolate chips and whizzed them all together in the food processor. It made about a dozen little balls. I rolled the little balls in some more crushed peanuts just for funsies, too. I wound up munching on two of these. I also wound up taking the tablespoon I measure the peanut butter with and I accidentally dropped it into a jar of nutella…so I had to eat it…obviously. I also did not take a photo of the glass of orange juice I had later on in the evening whilst watching Couples Retreat…which I effing love and watch every time it’s on!!
chocolate pb date ball

So folks…
What’s your go-to for Chinese take out??

What is your favorite weekday breakfast??
Have you ever made date balls? What’s your favorite combination?

Energy Bites and Peppermint Tea

That’s what making me happy today. 🙂

Energy bites and peppermint tea.

For those of you that know me you know that it’s exceedingly rare I ever go a day without a cup of tea…or four. But these days I do my very best to balance between the caffeinated and decaffeinated stuff.  I usually start my day with a big cup of English Breakfast tea, throw some green tea in the afternoon, and I spend my evenings drinking peppermint herbal tea. I’m telling you, even when I’m in the sourest of moods I find it pretty tough to stay angry when I take a sip of tea. Johnny even says I have a tea face…I think it looks something like this.

Anywho

Heh. Get it…because it’s an owl…

Seriously though. When I drink tea I make that face.

Now – onto the energy bites!! I, personally, am a huge fan of Larabars. They’re all natural and come in so many delicious flavors (although Central PA still hasn’t gotten it’s hands on any Carrot Cake  OR Blueberry Muffin ones *sigh*). I love the company as a whole and their dedication towards using all natural/organic/fair trade certified ingredients. HOWEVER – and I may or may not have mentioned this before – I’m poor and can’t justify spending money on them. At least where I shop they’re over $1/bar. Sooooooooo I’ve finally decided to take a crack at making a homemade version of them…with QUINOA!

When I made my Buffalo Chicken Quinoa and Cheese last week, I cooked up some extra quinoa that’s just been sitting around looking for a purpose. Why not throw some extra protein into these energy bites, right?! Right! The dates sweeten everything perfectly, the almonds are filled with protein and healthy fat, the cocoa powder will give you a dose of fiber and antioxidants, and the almond extract boosts the flavor to the next level. I adore these energy bites!

You need a food processor for this recipe and they’re a cinch to whip up! This recipe made 12 squares.

Chocolate Almond Quinoa Energy Bites

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/8 cup unsweetend cocoa powder
  • 4 medjool dates
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Place the dates into the food processor and pulse until they form a sticky ball. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and let it wiz until everything is combined, scraping down the sides once or twice to make sure everything gets incorporated. Spread the mixture (which will be quite sticky- wet your fingers a bit to prevent it from sticking to you) onto a small pan to form an approximately 5×7 inch  rectangle about 1/2 an inch thick (I used the pan from my toaster oven).  Place in the refrigerator  to set – for at least an hour or two. Slice into squares and munch!!

Here’s what you start with…

the lineup

and here’s the finished product!

chocolate almond quinoa energy bites