Tagged: english muffins

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??


I Am A Snack Machine – WIAW #14

Hello, friends. I have a confession to make today. My name is Jen, I am 25 years old, and I am a snack machine.

I can’t help it. This silly baby is growing inside me at a rapid rate annnnnnnnnd all she wants me to do is nom nom nom on everything I see!!

Oh well, at least it’s finally Wednesday!! Huge thanks, as always, to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for making midweek more bearable with her fabulous link-up party!! Don’t forget, tomorrow I will be hosting my very first link up, too!! I shared the deets in last week’s WIAW post, so please check them out! Now it’s time for my What I Ate Wednesday Monday noms!!

Breakfast: Breakfast Monday was a serving of my Scallion & Red Pepper Frittata with a super toasty half of a Wegmans brand whole wheat english muffin with 1 tbsp of smart balance and decaf tea. Scrumptious!

frittataSnack: My first (of many) snacks on Monday was an ounce of pepper jack cheese on 6 triscuits and a clementine. Gosh I effing love cheese. We bought a food scale over the weekend to help with our portion control and apparently, I already portion control like a boss!! My first attempt at slicing an ounce of cheese was PERFECT! Woot! (It’s the little things in life, right?)

cheese and crackersLunch: I’m really trying to do what I can to get my veggies on this week. This weekend was certainly not the healthiest (such is my life lately) so I’m trying to make sure that during the week I’m a good girl and eat some salad. So I did! It was spring mix with orange and yellow bell pepper, red onion, tomatoes, and cucumbers with a tiny bit of balsamic and olive oil. I also had two of my Turkey Meatloaf Muffins that I prepped over the weekend! They’re super moist and delicious – though they probably would have been a little better if I added some salt when I made them. Oh wells! Next time, Jen!

meatloaf muffinsSnacks, Snacks, Snacks: Boy do I snack a lot lately. Not gargantuan amounts of food, clearly, but in the afternoon I feel like I’m almost always munching on something. First,  I had 4 of these little banana protein bites I made! They are essentially the same thing as my banana oat protein bars, only I ground the oats into oat flour and didn’t use any baking mix and added 1 tsp baking soda instead. And I made them in a mini muffin tin so they are perfectly snackable. These little guys are sooooo delicious and addicting and have 3g protein each!! Johnny loves them, too, which makes me sooooo happy!! Maybe an hour later I had an apple. I was so hungry I almost forgot to snap a picture, which is why there are a few bites taken out of it. OOPSIES!! Then about 30 minutes later I had a handful of raisins, and another 30 minutes or so later I had some carrots and roasted garlic hummus! SNACK MACHINE!

protein muffins

appleraisinscarrots

Dinner: I’m doing quite well sticking to my meal plan so far this week! Monday night we had a pretty late dinner, actually, because Johnny and I had to attend out Baby Pre-Hospital-Admission class right after work. In addition to filling out a bunch of paperwork now (so we don’t have to do it when I’m in labor) we got to learn about car seat safety and shaken baby syndrome. Not gonna lie… was noooot expecting that. It was a little heavy for me. But ya know, I took no shame crying about it in a room filled with other pregnant women! Even Johnny was like “Welp – I guess we’re never letting anyone else watch our baby…ever.” Heh. We’re also taking a Child Birth Prep Class in March, a Breastfeeding Class in April, and a Baby Boot Camp Class! I’m really looking forward to learning more. But ya know…that has nothing to do with my dinner…which is why we’re here after all, yes? Dinner was Minestrone Soup (based on the recipe in the link – minus the ravioli) with the other half of that english muffin from the morning rubbed with some garlic with some melty mozzarella on top. In lieu of dessert, but needing something sweet like the crazy preggo I am,  I opted for a peach mango sparkling juice to go with my dinner. By the time I ate, cleaned up, and got our lunches together for Tuesday it was 9:30 annnnnd I was sleepy. So I put on some pjs, snuggled with Q and my book (reading Allegiant right now) and fell asleep by 10!

minestroneSigh. I’m so irritated by the lighting in our kitchen. I’ve been meaning to construct a light box to improve my photos at home. Granted, I take my WIAW pictures on my camera phone for ease and the ones I take with my camera come out much nicer. But the perfectionist in me is always super annoyed when I see how nice all of my daytime pictures come out and how my dinner ones always look like butt. #FoodBloggerProblems.

What are some of your most obnoxious #FoodBloggerProblems?!

Are you reading anything good right now? I would LOVE a few recommendations! 

Do you food prep and meal plan? Send me a link to some of your ideas!!

Don’t forget my Real Food Recipe Roundup starts tomorrow!! I hope you’ll join me!!!

 

My Brilliant Idea & What I Ate Wednesday #14

Hey Ya’ll! Happy Wednesday!!

Are all of you East Coasters hunkering down for the next storm we’re supposed to be getting tonight?? Maybe I’ll actually have a snow day tomorrow??? I won’t hold my breath, but a gal can dream, can’t she??

Anywho, I had a brilliant idea this week and I’ve decided to share it with all of my favorite What I Ate Wednesday Bloggers.

For a while now, I’ve looked forward to Wednesdays more than any other day of the work week because of the What I Ate Wednesday link up!! Jenn at Peas and Crayons is awesome for having started such a simple thing and having acquired so many participants. I love spending my time going through blogs, drooling over delicious looking food, finding inspiration in others, and interacting with the WIAW community.

Although I love sharing what I eat in a day, my primary focus when I started Twenty-Something & Starving was not just to share my eats, but to share recipes!! I still do, of course, as often as I can anyway. Sometimes, though, convenience outweighs creativity. For the last month or two I’ve found myself stuck in a sort-of-but-not-quite-rut using the same few recipes in rotation every week.  After a long day at work and a super sweaty workout I really just want to come home and put food in my belly as soon as I can. My staples, as of late anyway, include things like Chicken and Black Bean Fajita Burritos, Sesame Chicken Stir Fry, Tilapia Tacos, and Tortilla Pizzas. Johnny and I both enjoy them, they are quick to throw together (always important for me) and they are nice, healthy post-workout meals.

So where’s the brilliant idea?? I’ve decided that I am going to start my own link-up party! One where other healthy living bloggers can share recipes for some of their favorite things using real foods. I shall call it  – Real Food Recipe Roundup with Twenty-Something & Starving!! It’ll be a Thursday thing, so as to not take away from What I Ate Wednesday, which I love so very much. It also gives anyone who chooses to particpate until  Thursday to have their recipe together. I know personally I’ll make something on the weekend and be lucky to have it ready to go for Thursday.

Now, I know there are loads of different ideas as to what constitutes “real food” out there.  What do I mean when I say “real Food?” The way I see it is that real food isn’t complicated. As a woman who, more or less, considers herself a healthy living blogger, I think everything is about balance. I cook with loads of veggies and lean protein, but I also cook with butter and cheese. What I’m looking for in this Real Food Recipe Roundup are real foods made with real ingredients. Other than that, the sky is the limit!! For round one of this round up – which will be next Thursday – let’s start with a recipe in your repertoire that you make again and again and it never fails you! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert doesn’t matter!! Let’s all just share our recipes!

Now, FINALLY, let’s get to What I Ate Wednesday Monday!

Breakfast: I’m sure you’re shocked by my banana/chocolate chip/oat combo. If it ain’t broke, right?? Anywho, this is actually a new recipe I tried out and it’s quite simple. It’s 2 super ripe bananas (mashed), 1 whole egg and 1 egg white, 2 1/2 cups of rolled oats, 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (I used Vanilla Almond Designer Whey), 1/3 cup of whole wheat baking mix, 1 cup of lite vanilla soy milk, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Mix it all up and bake it at 350 for 35 minutes or until it’s set. Let it cool for 15 or 20 minutes before you slice it into 8 portions. Each portion (according to the calculations on MyFitnessPal) is 206 calories, 33g carbs, 4g fat, 11g protein, 4g fiber, and 8 g sugar. I was actually surprised this was under 300 calories, but I’m totally cool with it, because that leaves more room for the calories in the peanut butter I smear all over the top of it.  I enjoyed this with a mug of decaf earl gray. Noms!

proteinoatsSnacks: Monday’s AM snacks were simple. I had a gala apple and some triscuits with a french onion laughing cow cheese. The triscut picture is recycled because I’m lazy and reallly just wanted to munch.

applesnack2Lunch: Since Sunday wasn’t the healthiest day (though it was quite delicious) I made sure to get my veggies in for lunch Monday. I had a nice big spinach salad with cherry tomatoes, peppers, onions, and black olives with a wee bit of italian dressing. I also has a leftover turkey burger with some 2% american cheese on a toasted whole wheat english muffin. Beige food is so unphotogeneic. Oh wells, it was so tasty either way. I load my turkey burgers with garlic, garlic, and more garlic. It’s impossible for them to taste bad OR take a good photo.

salad turkey burger

Snacks: Afternoon snackage included a spoonful of Mighty Maple…which I need to replenish my stock of very shortly as I am scraping the jar. Annnnd about 1/2 cup of chocolate cheerios with some skim milk…which I proceeded to drink when I finished the cheerios because calcium and who doesn’t love chocolate milk?! And later I had some carrots with chipotle hummus…which I will also need to resupply with soon. *sigh*  I feel like my appetite is really starting to kick into high gear these last few days what with this whole baby growing inside me thing. I also has two hershey kisses when I got home, which are unpictured…because I was preparing apple crisp for our dinner later on.

 

pb cheerios carrots and hummusDinner: For dinner on Monday we finally got the chance to check out the brand new home of our friends Ashley and Jared. Their house is perfect and adorable and I love it!!  Ashley made a suuuuper yummy white pasta fagioli soup, which I’d never had before and LOVED!! Really any soup you can top with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes is a winner in my book, but this was so tasty. And as it is still FREEZING outside soup for dinner always makes me happy! We also had salad with some avocado and mushrooms and apparently (this totally blew my mind) there is a mix available for purchase to make your own Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits. Well… we had some of those, too. And they were amazing. And I ate two of them. Because I love them.  We brought Quincy with us to play with Oliver and they were running around like little crazy men while we ate. They are too cute for words!

Ashley's soup and salad

the babiesDessert: Since I threw dessert together in 20 minutes before we left to head to their place I decided on my Honey Walnut Apple Crisp. I pretty much followed my recipe exactly except I had to use vegetable oil instead of coconut oil and I added a wee bit of brown sugar to the mix just for fun. Johnny and Jared are really cut from the same cloth, as they were more excited for the Ready Whip that went on top than the were the crisp I think. Silly Boys.

apple crisp

So there you have it!! I hope you’ll choose to partake in my Real Food Recipe Roundup next week!! Do you have any fun plans for Valentines Day this year?? Do you even like Valentines Day?? Johnny and I are just staying home, snuggling up with some movies, and making a “fancy meal”. I’m pretty sure shrimp scampi for dinner and crepes for dessert are what’s on the menu, but who knows!! Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!