What’s your Sick Day Tradition? {Five Favorites Friday}

Check out my series on choosing a prenatal vitamin over on Freckles & Fingerpaint!

Guys… this sickness has kicked. My. Butt.

Seriously. Being pregnant + being sick is no joke. This sucker started out as a dinky cold and turned into what is most likely bronchitis. Lovely. I’ve never been so pathetically miserable over a cold, but this one has laid me out!!

Thankfully, I seem to finally be on the mend, thanks to some meds prescribed by my doc that are ok to take while preggo. Because clearly nothing else was doing it.

So I’m hoping that now I can move forward as a healthy person. No sickness for Christmas (*crosses fingers*)

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So let’s jump jnto a happier topic, shall we? Despite being sick, there were some positive moments this week that I wanted to share!

Linking up with Clare for Five on Friday and Katie for Friday Favorites!

Favorite Package: New Gym Shoes!

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Normally I’m really good at ignoring all of those deal sites like Rue La La and Hautelook. However, the other day Reebok was having a sale and I just couldnt look away! I’ve been in the market for new cross-training shoes and when I saw these babies for $24.99 (yes, you read that right), I couldn’t keep my finger off the BUY NOW button.

I’ll let you know what I think once I get to try them out, but I’m already in love. So. Pretty.

Favorite Sick Day Marathon: Gilmore Girls

(source)

One thing I love to do on sick days is plop myself on the couch with a good TV marathon. There is nothing quite like 6 hours of nonsense TV to make you feel better!

This time around (after clearing out my DVR), I was all about Gilmore Girls. I was so, SOOO excited to hear that they put it up on Netflix a few months ago, but I’m just now getting around to watching it. I forgot just how much I love Lorelai and Rory!

Why isnt real life like that??

 

Favorite Work Moment: Christmas Party

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Earlier this week my office through it’s annual “graze all day” Christmas party. I dont know what it is, but I just love office Christmas parties! Maybe because it’s such a nice break from the normal, everyday routine?

Either way, we had a great time exchanging secret santa gifts, munching on food (my coworker brought this amazing jalapeno popper dip that I had to separate myself from), and hanging out. And maybe getting a little work done in there… ;-P

Favorite Baby Freckle Moment: 17 week appointment

I’m sure by the end of this thing I’ll be saying different, but right now I LOVE going to all these doctors appointments for baby freckle. The more times I can hear the heartbeat or see him/her, the better!! Bring it on!

But this weeks appointment went very well and so far things are right on track and just truckin along! And we’re going to (hopefully) be finding out some more news very soon!!! :D :D :D

Favorite Recent Recipe: Quick and Easy Enchiladas Verdes

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I know I teased you with this earlier in the week, but I recently threw together a recipe for enchiladas verdes that ended up being not only delicious, but super easy. Like throw it all in a bowl, mix, and stuff it in a tortilla easy.

Luckily I thought to write down the ingredients in case it turned out delicious, and now I want to share it with you guys! Except, not here.

Check out my guest post recipe over on Amy’s blog!

I hope you all have a great weekend! We officially have less than a week until Christmas!!! Probably should finish my shopping…

So tell me: What are your sick day traditions? Any exciting weekend plans? Any recent purchases you’re excited about?

How I survive a sick day

Head on over to Freckles & Fingerpaint for my 16 week bumpdate!

Good morning guys!

I wish I could come to you with cheerful news that I’m feeling a million times better and am finally on the mend, but sadly that’s not true. I’m still battling the plague (or the crud, whichever you prefer). And I’m pretty sure it’s winning at the moment.

I was hoping to have something more exciting to talk to you about today, but the truth is that this sickness has really rocked me. It’s knocked me flat on my butt for more than a week now, and all I can really do is wait it out.

Exactly what everyone wants to hear during the holidays, right? “It’ll go away eventually”. Umm, can we make that eventually before Christmas, please? I got things to do, thanks.

Since this is really all that’s been on my mind (I’m even meeting with my OB today to chat about my options), I thought I’d pop in really quick to share a few of the things that I do help me survive being sick.

Get lots of rest

This one seems like a no-brainer, but honestly it’s really hard for me. I don’t sleep very much as it is, and when I’m sick I tend to get even LESS sleep. We’re talking a few hours, maybe.

So while sleep isn’t always an option for me, taking it easy and letting my body rest is something I can do. That means giving myself permission to spend plenty of time on the couch, in my chair at work, lounging on my bed reading a book, etc. I sometimes have a hard time sitting still for long periods of time, so I really have to make a conscious effort to let myself have a TV marathon without feeling guilty.

Go for a walk

That being said, I do like to try to go for walks when I’m sick. I tend to skip the gym when I’m THIS sick for obvious germ and exhaustion reasons, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get a nice walk in during the day. Just 30 minutes can help clear out my sinuses a little and wake up my body.

But the biggest thing for me is not to push it. As much as I’d like to power walk or add in some run intervals, I don’t. Just a nice leisurely walk will do it. My body is already fighting off the plague, the last thing it needs to do is work on repairing muscles and recovering at the same time.

Focus your energy, body! Fight fight fight!

Eat soup

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I’m actually really not a plain chicken noodle soup fan, but I definitely appreciate the benefits when your sick. But Chris ended up finding and making me this ginger soy chicken noodle soup, which was seriously amazing! It was like a mix between regular chicken noodle soup and the old school ramen that we all used to enjoy in college. I topped mine with a hefty amount of sriracha to help clear my sinuses. Yum!

But really, any soup will do. The warm broth obviously helps your throat, but more importantly it’s continuing to add more fluids into your body, which you definitely need!

Take a warm bath

If you’re pregnant, make sure to get the OK from your doc first.
When I’m sick, warm baths have always been my go-to. Not only do they help you relax, but all the steam can really help open up your sinuses and help you breathe.

There you have it – some of the ways that I survive being sick. I’d love to hear your tips and tricks, because goodness knows I’ll try anything at this point!

So tell me: What do you do to survive a sick day?

I’m noticing a trend here…

Good morning guys!

Sorry I’m once again coming at you late. The truth is once again I took some time this morning at home to fight off this illness. Yup, the same one from last week that I thought I had beat, but apparently it had just been hiding, biding it’s time. Until this last night, when it decided to come back with a vengeance and settle in my chest.

So I pretty much spent the whole night up coughing up a lung, having nosebleeds (a pregnancy joy I just learned about), and not being able to sleep at all. It was just lovely. Especially when I’m really limited on what I can take, and how much, to make my symptoms at least go away.

Blahhhhh.

But instead of just listening to me whine about how crappy I feel (believe me, I could go on. It’s been a miserable night), how about we take a look at my weekend instead? It was definitely a busy one – probably one of my busiest in months, which probably didn’t help this whole cold factor. Preggo lady + packed schedule + very little sleep = direct train to sicknessville.

It was still fun though, even if it was pretty exhausting, despite the ill outcome!

Friday

Friday night started with some Christmas shopping (and some maternity clothes shopping) and ended at Chipotle. Baby Freckle has been craving all things spicy lately, so who am I to deny its wishes? So so good, even with the extra spicy salsa I put on top!

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Saturday

Saturday I was up super early, because I had a pretty packed morning. I first headed to a 4 hour dress rehearsal at my church for the Christmas Cantata that we were playing on Sunday. It’s one of the few times a year I get to pull out my french horn, so despite the long rehearsal and exhausting morning, it was still quite fun!

Unfortunately my musical tour did not stop there. I headed straight from dress rehearsal for a performance with my church’s bell choir in downtown Fredericksburg. Because it’s a historic district, Fredericksburg does a candlelight house tour every year where you can check out some of the historic sites in the area. Along the walking tour, they set up vendors and musical groups to entertain visitors with Christmas tunes.

Thankfully it was not too cold, and our time out there passed pretty quickly. Because I was fading fast!

I immediately headed home and hopped into bed for a 2 hour nap. It was too much of a morning for this girl. When I finally woke up, I decided that I probably ought to get something productive done since my Sunday was scheduled to be even busier. So I spent some time hanging out on the couch working on grad school applications with this spoiled pup.

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Until I finally took a break to whip up a quick and easy new enchiladas verdes recipe. Because, you know, spicy! Recipe coming at you soon!

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I still ended up calling it an early night, because I had a 5:30am alarm set to go off in the morning!

Sunday

As I said, I was up early to get to church for our Christmas Cantata performances. They both went really well, but I was spent by the end!

After grabbing some leftovers at home and taking Laney on a nice long walk, I wasn’t feeling all that spectacular so I took an hour long nap (this should have been my first clue of what was to come).

But I did have to get up because we were meeting our friends for a Christmas party later that evening. Some of my girls from book club and their significant others all got together to eat, chat, exchange white elephant gifts, and talk babies. Well, that was mostly us girls. But two of us are pregnant (one with twins!) so it always seems to come around to baby talk!

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It was a great evening, but by the time we headed home I knew that I probably overdid it this weekend. And that I was in for a rough night. I even ended up moving to the guest bedroom around midnight because I kept waking Chris up with all my coughing. Not pretty or fun.

Anyway, I hope you all are having a better Monday morning than I am! I’m working on getting myself together and heading in to work for a bit, because after last week’s sick days I’m running low! Which is never something you want to do when preggers!

Have a great week!

So tell me: Have you managed to escape this winter without getting sick? Do you find yourself super busy this time of year, or does it tend to be pretty chill?

Survey Friday

So I know that usually on Fridays I share some of my favorite things from the past week. But the truth is, between being sick the first half of the week and being absolutely swamped (and a touch overwhelmed) the second half, there are really no products are moments that are standing out as favorites.

Now doesn’t that sound depressing.

So instead of focusing on how stressful this week has been, I thought I’d do something a little different and trade out my usual five favorites friday for survey friday!

I saw this pregnancy survey on Becky’s blog earlier this week and thought I’d take the time to share with you some fun facts about me and baby freckle!

About Me

Name?  Stephanie Claire

Age? 27

Height? 5′ 3″ (on a good day… if I stretch)

Hair color? Strawberry blonde

Eye color? Green

About the Father

Name? Christopher J.

Age? 24, 25 when Baby Freckle is born (and yes, I married a younger man. #Cougarstatus)

Height? 6′ 0″

Hair color? Blonde

Eye color? Blue-green

About My Pregnancy

Is this your first pregnancy? Yup, as far as I know!

When did you find out you were pregnant? October 6, 2014

Was it planned? Yes, but it didn’t exactly happen as planned. You can read more about my crazy journey to get pregnant over on Freckles & Fingerpaint.

What was your first reaction? “Holy crap, that’s a plus sign” (and then tears)

Who was with you when you found out? Chris came into the bathroom with me to check the stick. I flipped it over and immediately knew what it meant, and started crying. Poor thing was still trying to figure out what line to look at, because I hadn’t warned him what the different symbols meant (and I didn’t have an easy one that said “pregnant” or “not pregnant”).

Who was the first person you told?  Technically, the doctor, since I immediately called and scheduled an appointment to get it confirmed and to find out how far along I was (again, see my pregnancy journey post as to why I didn’t know). But other than that, we told his family the next weekend as we were already scheduled to go winery hopping with them, and obviously knew we couldn’t make it through the weekend without me drinking wine! We then called my mom on the way home from that trip too. 

How did your families react? They were very excited. It’s the first grandchild on my side of the family, and the second on Chris’ side, so it is definitely new and exciting for everyone. Although that does me that we’re getting LOTS and LOTS of advice/opinions/thoughts from family, which is all a tad overwhelming. Lots of differing opinions on how to have a baby, raise a baby, and parent…

How far along are you? 16 weeks exactly!

What was your first symptom? Ok, slight TMI here, but very, VERY sore girls. Like, I couldn’t take a shower facing the water it was so painful. And that was not a usual PMS symptom for me, so it was definitely something I took notice of!

What is your due date? May 29th. So we’ll see if we end up with a May baby or a June baby (although I’m hoping for May!)

Do you know the sex of the baby? Nope, but we’ll find out in a week!

Have you picked out names? Haha, no. We’ve kind of narrowed it down to a short list. But so far, nothing is really standing out as a for sure boy or girl name. Naming a child is terrifying! What if they become President someday? Or a TV news anchor? Or an Olympic athlete? Or a celebrity (Gosh, I hope not…)? You need a name that’s going to work for all of those possible professions! SO MUCH PRESSURE!

That being said, I think we’re pretty much set on middle names for either gender, so at least that’s something?

How much weight have you gained? About 5lbs, but it definitely fluctuates a LOT during the day, as I’m retaining a ton of water. I’ve been craving mostly salty, briney foods (which were not big in my diet before), so it has definitely messed with my system a bit. I look significantly more pregnant by the end of the day!

Do you have stretch marks? Nope, but I’m not holding my breath. I definitely have some from my previous heftier days, so

Have you felt the baby move? Maybe? I thought so a few days ago… but then I haven’t really felt it since. So maybe that was just gas? Not knowing what it really feels like, it’s hard to know for sure!

Have you heard the heartbeat? Yup, a couple of times! And we’ll get to hear it again on Tuesday at my 16 week appointment AND on Saturday to find out gender.

About Baby Freckle

Will you keep the baby?  Absolutely!

Home or hospital birth? Hospital. I always want to be prepared for a possible medical situation, as I was born by emergency C-section. You never know!

Natural or medicated birth?  My goal is to go as natural as possible, unless medical intervention is necessary. I’ve never really been a medicine person anyway, and have just always felt called to go the natural route. Who knows, that may change once I’m in the middle of it, but for now – that’s what we’re going with!

Who will be in the delivery room with you? Chris, and the docs and nurses. Honestly, I’m a pretty modest person, so the whole idea of having a million people in there staring at me in the buff kind of makes me want to throw up. I’ve heard that in the moment you really don’t care, but for right now it terrifies me.

Will you breastfeed? That is definitely the plan, for as long as I can.

Do you think you’ll need a c-section?  I’m hoping not, but you never know! As I said, if things are medically necessary then I’m ok with whatever the doctors have to do.

Will you cry when you hold the baby for the first time? Oh I’m sure! It might be from relief that all the pain and pushing are over, but I’m sure there will be tears!

What’s the first thing you might say to her? Probably something super awkward like “Hello, baby!”

Would you let someone videotape the birth? HA! Absolutely not. No one is coming anywhere near my lady bits with a camera!

Are you excited or scared about the birth? Both! I switch back and forth. And sometimes I’m both at the same time and it’s overwhelming. Thank you pregnancy hormones! But since this is the first time and I don’t really know what to expect, it’s definitely scary!

 

So tell me: Any mamas out there, any advice on the whole birth process? I love reading people’s birth stories, so please share them if you’ve got them (the good and the bad)!

My Holiday Workout Plan

Happy Thursday!

I’m still getting over the crud (aka world’s nastiest, grossest, butt-kicking cold), so I don’t have much to share with you in the way or food and fitness. I finally managed to make it back to work yesterday, where I hold myself up in my office and attempted not to breathe my germs on anyone. Unfortunately, about 1/2 my office has been out sick as well, so it’s probably something we ALL caught at our work event last Friday.

The joys of working with kiddos sometimes…

Anyway, I did finally manage to feel well enough for a super quick Jillian Michael’s 30 minute workout yesterday before I had to run out to rehearsal, so I’m considering that a win. This cold knocked me flat on my butt, and considering I’m basically not allowed to take anything for it (unless ABSOLUTELY necessary), I’ll take the extra rest. Sometimes your body just needs it.

So I thought I’d keep things short and sweet over here and talk a bit about my workout plans during this busy (and pregnant) holiday season.

Obviously being pregnant has changed my workout routine a bit, since I want to make sure that I’m giving my body enough rest and enough fuel to do the important job of cooking a baby.

I’m still working on finding that balance and understanding my current limitations, but so far I’m doing most of what I used to do, just on a slightly less intense scale and with a few modifications.

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Currently my workout plans during this super busy holiday season involve the following:

- 2 days of strength training per week (i.e. BodyPump)

- 1 day of longer cardio (i.e. spin class, long run/walk, 45 min elliptical intervals, etc).

- 2 days of cross-training (i.e. Jillian Michaels HIIT workout during busy days, barre, pilates, short runs/walks, etc).

- 1 short yoga session

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Sometimes all of these are definitely not going to be possible. The next few weeks are insanely busy, ad I have rehearsals 2x a week for 2+ hours in the evening, a 3 hour dress rehearsal on Saturday, and 2 weekend performances. On top of the already scheduled holiday parties and family events.

But I’m still going to do what I can to fit in at least short, quick workouts, even on those busy days. Not only so I can continue to have an active pregnancy, but also to counteract all those cookies!

I’d love to hear how you schedule your workout routine during the holiday season, so please share!

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So tell me: How do you fit in workouts during the holidays? To the preggos/mamas out there: Any good DVD workouts that you recommend (either specifically for pregnancy or not)? I have a feeling I’m going to need to amp up my collection as life gets busier pre-baby Freckle!

Healthy Comfort Food

Check out my 15 week Bumpdate over on Freckles & Fingerpaint!

Well hello again! Long time no chat.

The truth is, I spent another day home sick with a nasty cold (I even ended up at urgent care to make sure it wasn’t strep – thankfully it’s not), so I didn’t really have much to share. I basically spent the last 2 days either  in bed asleep or on the couch watching TV. Not exactly excitement city over here.

Although can we just talk about just how much you can clean out your DVR in 2 sick days? I feel like it’s a new beginning!

Anyway, since obviously I have no exciting eats to share with you today (unless you count lots and lots of soup and carbs as exciting), I thought I’d skip over my usual WIAW and instead share some fun, healthy versions of comfort foods with you today. I know that when I’m sick, all I crave are those comfort food classics, most of which don’t really include too many vegetables or good-for-you ingredients.

Let’s be real, they are mostly cheese and carbs.

So here are a few healthy takes on comfort foods for when you’re feeling sick this winter, so you can sneak in a few veggies while you curl up on your couch.

Greek Yogurt Mac and Cheese

Via A Dash of Soul

This Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese is a lighter alternative to a comfort food favorite!

I’m pretty much drooling just looking at this. All that cheesy goodness!! But at least with a slightly healthier, more protein packed dairy option by using greek yogurt. Definitely an easy switch that still has the classic feel.

One Pot Veggie Mac and Cheese

Via 3 Boys Unprocessed

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Keeping with the mac and cheese theme, here is a delicious looking veggie take on the classic. Plus, it only uses one pot. Because who wants to do dishes when they are sick?

Mushroom Marinara

Via Natasha’s Kitchen

A mushroom marinara that’s 100x better than any canned sauce! Perfect for spaghetti, lasagna, chicken parmesan & more! @NatashasKitchen

Growing up, we werent really chicken noodle soup people. We were more the noddles and sauce kind of sick children. And I thought this mushroom version would be a fun take on the classic, with a bit of veggies thrown in. Mushrooms are sort of veggies, right?

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Via Damn Delicious

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup - Chockfull of hearty veggies and tender chicken in a refreshing lemony broth - it's pure comfort in a bowl!

But for anyone who does crave chicken noodle soup, this lemony orzo version might be an even better version of the classic. Get some of that lemony, citrus goodness in you while you’re sick. It works wonders!

Tomato Chicken Basil Stew

Via Gimme Some Oven

Tomato Basil Chicken Stew | gimmesomeoven.com

I’m also a big fan of tomato soup when I’m sick. But this tomato basil stew looks like a heartier, more filling version of the classic. And what’s not to love about that?

Hopefully all of you can make it through this winter season without getting caught by the gross cold and flu bug (or worse), but just in case, at least you’re kitchen is now prepared!

So tell me: What are your favorite sick day comfort foods?

Deck the Halls

Sorry this post is coming at you a little bit late this morning. Unfortunately I’m actually home sick today with a nasty cold (boooo), and I decided to sleep in this morning in the hopes that it would help fight it off. Let me just say, colds when you are preggo and pretty much can’t take ANYTHING to help is no fun. I’m not even a meds kind of person, but I’m definitely missing sudafed right now. Breathing is nice.

Anyway, this weekend ended up being super chill, which is exactly what I needed. Our next few weekend are fairly packed with holiday activities, so I’m considering this the calm before the holiday storm.

Speaking of, I know I don’t talk religion too much on here (because I’m a firm believer that everyone is entitled to their own opinion), but we saw this clip at our church service yesterday that I just felt was SO appropriate for the holiday season, regardless of religion.

I don’t know about you, but that pretty much describes my holiday season perfectly!

Anyway, most of this weekend revolved around getting some holiday things done around the house. I didn’t get home until LATE Friday night thanks to a work event, so it was pretty much straight to bed for this worn out preggo-girl.

Saturday

Chris and I were up early on Saturday morning to head to our church for the children’s holiday event. For the second year we were asked to play Mary and Joseph in the live nativity, although thankfully this year due to the rain and the cold, we got to hang out inside (the animals had to stay out in the parking lot. Not quite as authentic, but I don’t think the kids cared). It was a lot of fun to hang out with all the kids, many of whom were scared of us. haha.

Afterwards we headed home, stopping on the way to pick up our Christmas tree, and got to working pulling out all the Christmas decorations from storage. It ended up being a 2 day process to get everything done, and I STILL haven’t finished. Sheesh!

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We HAD to put Love Actually on in the background. Obviously.

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My favorite part is the mini stocking we found at Target in the same pattern. How adorable is that? Obviously next year baby freckle will get their own REAL stocking, but for now, this was too cute to pass up. Also, yes, Laney has a stocking. Duh.

Saturday night we also decided to have a bit of a date night and headed out to dinner and a movie. We ended up seeing Mockingay part 1, which I LOVED. I know a few people have said they weren’t fans, but I thought it was terrific. It’s definitely the slowest of all the movies, but it’s mostly to set up the very dramatic ending. I was definitely impressed.

When we got home we started to watch the Florida State-Georgia Tech game… until we both fell asleep on the couch. #fail

Sunday

We ended up sleeping in on Sunday, despite our intentions to get up early and see our friend Lindsay finish a local half marathon. Whoops, sorry Lindsay! We had good intentions!

Instead we had a slow morning and used the time to decorate the tree, which got neglected on Saturday while it had time to settle. We took a break around 1pm to go to BodyPump class, which turned out to be one of the WORST group fitness classes I’ve ever taken. She just was not a good instructor at all, had zero musicality, and gave zero direction as to what moves were coming next, the timing of moves, or what was going on. I’ve taken BodyPump a million times, and even I was lost. It was terrible.

Anyway, I was a little bummed out by my less-than-stellar workout, but at least I still managed to get something in!

The rest of the day was all about cleaning and working on grad school applications before heading to church in the evening. Not a bad way to end the weekend!

I hope you all have a great Monday (even though mine is going to be spent on my couch!)

So tell me: What did you do this weekend? Are all your decorations up? Do you find the holiday season to be super busy or super relaxed?

A Break from Winter {Five Favorites Friday}

Check out my Gift Guide for a 1st Trimester Mama-to-be over on Freckles & Fingerpaint

Happy Friday!!!

Or what I should really say is: Happy Weekend Eve!! Today is going to be a ridiculously long day for me, as we have to work a full day and then throw a holiday event for all of our families. So we’re probably looking at at least 14 hours… plus my hour long commute. Yuck.

Luckily I have ZERO plans on the horizon for this weekend (unless you count Christmas-ing up my house and marathoning holiday movies as a plan), so I just have to make it through this terribly long day.

Oh caffeine, how I miss you!

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But let’s focus on the brighter things in life today, ok? How about some Five Favorites Friday love? It’s been awhile since I’ve done one (*cough* slacker *cough), so I’m back today to share 5 totally random things that I’m loving this week!

Linking up with Clare for Five on Friday and Katie for Friday Favorites.

 

Favorite Winter Moment: One day of 65 degree weather

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In the immortal words of Game of Thrones: Winter is coming.

However earlier this week we had one glorious day of 65 degree weather and you’d better believe I took full advantage. Gotta soak up all that vitamin D before the long, cold, dark winter settles in!!

Favorite New Find: theSkimm

(source)

A friend told me about theSkimm a few weeks ago, and since then not only have I become obsessed, but I’ve gotten my coworkers on the Skimm train too!

Essentially theSkimm is a daily email that recaps all the important news stories for you in an engaging, easy to read way. If you want to know more about a story, the links also allow you to click through to find out more. As someone who is terrible about watching the news, this is an awesome way to stay up on current events without taking more than 5 minutes out of your day.

Favorite Food Rediscovery: BLTs

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I bought some turkey bacon when my mom was in town over Thanksgiving so we could do a nice big breakfast, and earlier this week I figured the leftovers needed to be used. So I pulled out an oldie and made myself a BLT sandwich.

Uh, guys? I may have just opened pregnant pandora’s box. Now I cant get BLTs out of my head!! At least there are some veggies in there, right? So I could totally get by eating one every day for the next 6 months, right? Maybe?

Favorite Recent Read: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m really not normally into the sci-fi, cyborg, robot kind of books. But when Cinder (and the rest of the trilogy), kept getting recommended to me, I finally caved and gave it a try. I expected to hate it. I even got it from the library so I wouldn’t waste my money if I stopped after 10 pages.

Well I LOVED it! Yes, it involves a cyborg, but honestly, that is a very, very small part of the story. It is essentially one of those “twist on a fairy tales” kind of book. Except that this is one of the best and most creative that I’ve ever seen. It’s more futuristic than sci-fi, with a love story thrown in. The writing is extremely good for a young adult novel, and I seriously could not put it down.

So I highly recommend you pick it up. Just ignore the cyborg idea of the cover. I promise that’s not what the book is about. Also – if you were a fan of The Selection series, I have a feeling you’ll like this too. Kind of a similar feel.

Favorite New Beauty Product: It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Lite

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I don’t know whether it’s the weather, or pregnancy (or a combo of both), but lately my hair has been SUPER dry. I mean like frizz ball, static cling to everything dry. Which was really getting to be a problem. So after switching shampoos with minimal luck, I decided to finally cave and purchase a product that I’ve been eyeing for awhile: this It’s a 10 Miracle leave-in Lite spray. And guys, it’s been a life changer!

After I hop out of the shower and towel dry my hair, I just spray some of this in my hair and comb it through. By the time it dries, not only is my hair not frizzy at all, but it is also amazingly soft! I’ve heard such great things about this brand before, and now I’m going to have to check out more of their products!

Well I hope you all have a terrific weekend full of fun, holiday spirit! I cant wait to finally decorate my house. It just doesnt seem like the holiday season until the tree is up!

So tell me: what are you loving this week? Any good book suggestions? What is your new favorite beauty product?

FAQ about Baby Freckle

Since this is baby week on MFL, I thought I would take a few minutes to address some of the frequent questions that I have been getting lately, and what Baby Freckle is going to mean for this little blog.

If you have any specific questions, thoughts, or concerns that I haven’t addressed, I’m always happy to talk about it, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me at myfreckledlifeblog@gmail.com

Also, please note that I know that everyone has different opinions on babies, parenting, and major life decisions. These choices are what Chris and I have made for ourselves and Baby Freckle, and while I know that they may not work for everyone, they are our decisions. And I ask you to respect those decisions.

Ok, now that that awkwardness is out of the way, let’s get on with it!

 

When is Baby Freckle due, and are you going to find out the gender?

Baby Freckle is due May 29th. Meaning it could easily turn into a May baby OR a June baby (I’m hoping for May). Meaning I will be 15 weeks tomorrow.

We are planning on finding out the gender, but we will not be able to do so for a couple more weeks. We are actually going to do a gender sneak peak at a place near us so we can find out a touch early, and share with our families over Christmas. However, I probably wont be sharing the news here until sometime in early January (when I’m actually 20 weeks), because we’re hoping to do some kind of gender reveal with our friends.

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How much weight have you gained?

For some reason I get this question a lot (which is kind of strange to ask, by the way, because you would never ask a non-pregnant women this!). But as of right now I’ve gained about 4-5 lbs. However, I definitely have some serious bloat going on, which gets worse throughout the day, making my belly look bigger by evening time. Also, as I’ve learned, you hold water weight like no ones business.

Were you guys trying?

Also a really awkward question, yet quite possibly the most popular one. So for the sake of honesty, I’ll answer. Yes, we were trying. However, it was not quite the journey to pregnancy that we had thought it would be. See below for more info on that one.

Are you going to have a natural birth or an epidural?

I know this is a taboo subject, but again, this is the decision we’ve made for ourselves. We have decided to go for as natural of a birth as possible. Obviously when you get in the moment, things change, medical stuff comes up, and the safety of me and the baby are the most important things – so things might change. But the Plan A is to go in having a no-drug birth.

I’m not really a medicine person anyway, so this was a pretty easy decision for me. I’ve always felt personally called to do things the way women have done for thousands of years, so that is my current plan. Yes, I’m aware it will hurt. And be way less fun. And that epidurals are perfectly safe. But again, this is what I feel like I want to do, so I’m going with it.

Who knows what will change when the time comes? Maybe that wont even be an option.

What about Grad School?

Probably the second most popular question. As you all may recall, I’ve been prepping and planning for a year to go back to grad school next fall. I even wrote a whole post on it. So usually the first question people ask after they hear the news is “Well what about grad school.” And my answer is probably controversial.

Why Graduate School

I am still planning on going back. Nothing in my plans has changed. The baby will be due in May/June, and I will leave my job at that time, and spend the whole summer home with the baby. Basically a 3 month built-in maternity leave. Then school will start in August.

Yes, it is definitely going to be tough. School will most likely mean moving with a 3 month old. And it’ll mean trying to find a balance between class and homework and lab work and spending time with the baby. But Chris and I have thought and prayed long and hard about it, and we still feel like this is the best decision for us. It’s a happy medium between being a stay-at-home mom and a full-time working mom, since a lot of my work will be done at home. It’ll just mean finding a schedule that works for us.

In terms of getting in to school, that is the only tricky part. I will be about 26 weeks at the time of most grad school interviews. So that will be interesting. And the reality is, if schools turn me down because I’m pregnant, then I probably didn’t want to go there anyway. And if NO school accepts me, then maybe it just wasn’t meant to be this year, and we’ll re-evaluate. Whatever is supposed to happen will happen, and I’m ok with that.

Phew, sorry that was so long winded!

What does this mean for My Freckled Life?

Most importantly though, what does this mean for you all. Well I’ve thought a lot about it, and I know that pregnancy is not everyone’s thing (either in general, or right now in their lives). And I totally respect that. A few years ago when I started reading blogs, I typically skipped over blogs that involved pregnancy because it just didn’t relate to me.

So I don’t want to change too much here. I still want to talk about food and fitness. Yes, some of it will relate to pregnancy since that’s where I am right now, but I’m not going to do full bumpdates and newborn gear reviews and all that here. We’re going to try to keep it healthy living related, and maybe just do an occasional trimester recap.

BUT for those of you who are interested…

I do really enjoy talking about pregnancy, and there is SO MUCH that I’m learning that I want to share with you guys. So I decided to create another platform to do that. Yup, I started a second blog.

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Freckles & Fingerpaint is where I’m going to do a weekly bumpdate, talk about pregnancy related products, tips and tricks, things I’ve learned as a totally new mama-to-be, etc. Once Baby Freckle is born, it’ll probably turn into a place where I can talk about parenting, making baby food, and all the life lessons I learn along the way.

At this time, I’m planning on posting about 2x a week over there, and I will always link to those posts here on this blog in case you’re interested. I will also soon have a link in the downbar above that will take you directly there.

In terms of social media, I’m planning on sharing my instagram ( @myfreckledlifeblog) and Pinterest (MyFreckledLife1) between the two. However I have created a new twitter just for Freckles & Fingerpaint – @FrecklesnPaint. So feel free to follow me over there for more baby related tweets.

 

Anyway, I hope you are all cool with how things are going to change around here. I’m really excited for this new blog opportunity, and I hope you all will enjoy it too! I’m still working on getting everything entirely up and running over there, but you can head on over to read my 14 week bumpdate and read about my pregnancy journey!

Hope you all enjoy and Happy Thursday!

So tell me: What other things would you like to see, either here on MFL or over on F&F? Any other questions?

WIAW: Eat the Rainbow Edition

Happy Wednesday!

We’re officially halfway through the week, and one step closer to Christmas. Not that I’m counting down or anything… #22days

This holiday season I’m participating in the Elf4Health program, run by Lindsay and Elle. Elf4Health is a daily challenge to help keep up healthy habits during the holiday season. It’s my first year participating, and so far it’s a lot of fun!

Tuesday’s challenge was to “eat the rainbow”, so for today’s WIAW, I thought I would share my colorful eats with you!

If you’re not familiar with WIAW, head on over to Jenn’s blog to read more! Thanks Jenn!

Breakfast

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I’m back on a bit of a cereal kick right now, since the idea of oatmeal is still making me gag (oh pregnancy…). As per usual, I’ve been topping my cereal with frozen berries to get in a little fruit. I also drink a cup of hot cocoa when I get to work in the morning, a) to warm me up, and b) because hot coffee also is not doing it for me lately.

Colors: Red, blue and purple

Lunch

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This looks different for me! I’m not usually much of a sandwich person, but leftover Thanksgiving turkey makes one of my all-time favorite childhood sandwiches. I topped whole wheat bread with a little bit of olive oil mayo, pepper, and leftover turkey. That’s it. I know, that’s probably going to gross a bunch of people out, but it reminds me of being 12, and I look forward to it every year.

I paired it with celery and some of this DELICIOUS greek yogurt veggie dip, and a clementine (which I didn’t end up eating until later in the afternoon). I also had 2 cookies as a delicious chocolately dessert.

Colors: green and orange

Snack

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Along with my clementine, I ended up eating a cheesestick before I left work. I’m still trying to find an eating balance during this pregnancy, because I always find myself starving by mid-afternoon, even though I’ve recently eaten my lunch. So I’m trying to play around with my timing, my lunch content, and my snacks to figure out what is going to work for me (and keep me from diving into the candy jar out of hunger).

Dinner

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Dinner was a mix of a couple of new recipes, because I was feeling rather inspired. First, I roasted up some potatoes with olive oil, garlic salt, and rosemary. I also made these apple spice pork chops, which turned out amazing, and these bacon and brussels sprouts, which were just OK (but that may have been user error). Overall the meal was quite good though!

Colors: Green, more green, and yellow (onions?)

Workout

Despite the gross, rainy weather, I got my butt to the gym after work. I started off with 30 min of intervals on the elliptical, followed by a 30min full body kettlebell circuit that kicked.my.butt. I’m HURTING today!

Overall, a pretty colorful day of eats. I’m finally starting to get my appetite for veggies back (I’m still having a hard time with most fruits), but it’s still be hard for me to fit them in without my usual lunch salad. But right now those are just a no-go. So I’m doing my best!!

Definitely need to keep the cookies in check though…

So tell me: what did you eat today? What did your workouts look like?