Burrito Bowls (I have no idea if they’re actually healthy but at least there isn’t a tortilla involved)

Lately, I’ve been attempting to either meal prep my lunches for the week at one time or cook enough portions of our weeknight dinners to take leftovers to work multiple days a week… so as not to be enticed with the world’s greatest styrofoam box Chinese joint just a few blocks away from my office.

Sundays is great for meal prepping because I can take my time. On a typical weeknight, I don’t start dinner until after III’s bath while G is giving him his bedtime bottle.  That puts us eating dinner sometimes as late as 8-8:30PM depending on what I’m cooking. On Sundays, though, I get started before bath time – doing all of my chopping, preheating, etc before so once I’m ready to get going in the kitchen, I can whip things up quickly.

Last night, I made healthy(ish) burrito bowls and cooked everything in larger quantities so I would have enough for dinner and 3 lunches prepped for the week (because – let’s be honest – I’m not eating at my desk every single day. I just can’t).

I’m sharing the recipe below. As you’ll learn, I don’t really measure so, um, sorry about that.

1 bag of Mexican rice (because a burrito bowl with brown rice is… meh)

1 can of black beans

1 can of corn (or Mexicorn)

1 can of Rotel

Chopped onions and  bell pepper

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 3 smaller ones)

Taco seasoning, olive oil, red wine vinegar, limes

Lettuce (I used a mixture of arugula and spinach but shredded iceberg is probably more appropriate for this type of dish)

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Marinate chicken in olive oil, red wine vinegar, the juice of 2 limes and taco seasoning. Cook rice according to packaging.  While the rice is cooking, chop your fresh veggies. I mix the beans, corn and rotel (all drained) directly into the rice once it’s cooked. Cook chicken breasts on med-high heat in a non-stick skillet. Mine were on the larger side so it took about 9 minutes on each side (which actually gave them a nice little char on the outside).  It might have been smarter to slice the chicken before browning it but, you know, whatever. Throw in chopped onions and peppers with the chicken for the last 5 minutes.

Combine in bowl, top with cheese. cilantro, salsa, whatever floats your boat!

This made enough for two healthy adult dinner portions and three lunches for myself.

Things I could (and probably SHOULD) do differently… use less canned ingredients (that would definitely take the healthy up a notch), use healthier rice options (but I kind of think that would take all the flavor out of this). I did, however, go low sodium on everything else to make up for the salt in the Mexican rice. Watching your sodium is always a good thing but it’s a habit I’m really trying to enforce around our house. III has a kidney disorder so once he is eating what we are eating for daily meals, we will really have to be in the habit of staying on a low sodium diet.

I got a pack of these bento boxes on Amazon to take my lunches to work. It always seems that I’m taking multiple ingredients that I don’t necessarily want sitting on top of each other getting soggy so I love these  as an alternative to traditional tupperware.

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6 apps for surviving pregnancy and infancy

DISCLAIMER: If having a baby and raising a child was the easiest and most natural thing you’ve ever done, don’t bother reading this post. And, also, check yourself in as an exhibit in the Smithsonian.

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Ok, real talk here. Being pregnant ain’t easy… especially the first time. If you’re lucky, you just feel a little “off.” If you’re normal, you puke for like a quarter of a year, then you outgrow your pants. Then you’re always hot.  Then you’re cold. Then you think you have to pee but you’re really not sure. Then you go out to dinner and someone is like “can you eat that” and you seriously have no freaking clue.  Eventually, you are basically immobile and you know that you’ll get through it as long as there are chips and salsa in the kitchen and someone is around to drive you to the hospital at go time.

Then you have a baby. Like you birth a tiny human. You knew he was growing inside you. You knew he was going to be here eventually but now it’s ACTUALLY happening. And now you feel even more clueless. It’s true – there’s a maternal instinct that just shows up. Somehow you aren’t nervous holding him the way you’ve always been with your friends’ babies. And when he cries, somehow you know it’s because he’s hungry. And then he cries again and you know, this time, it’s because he needs a diaper change. I have no idea where that instinct comes from. God, I guess.

But for every instinct you have, there are about a million things you don’t know. How much should he eat? How long should he be awake? How long should he sleep? Is this red spot normal? Should his poop be this color or that color? How the HELL am I supposed to cut his fingernails? Or know when it’s time to feed him solid foods?

Don’t get me wrong. For every panic-stricken or stressful moment, there are a million sweet snuggles, smiles and giggles. You’ll look at your baby and see your partner in his face. He’ll do some funny thing with this hands that you used to do as a baby. And you will melt. A million times, you’ll melt.

But, seriously, you’ll have a lot questions.

Good news. It’s 2016. And technology is here to save us all.

Having a baby? There’s an app for that. Actually, there are hundreds, maybe thousands.

Here are the ones that saved me.

  1. Glow Nurture – Having suffered a miscarriage, this time around I knew I wanted to pay a little more attention to my body. This app has a cycle and symptoms tracker, forums, and great insights into what’s happening to your body and your baby, week by week. Half the time, this app answered my questions before I even knew I had them.

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2. Contraction Timer – This app is pretty self explanatory. When you start having contractions, you start the timer. When it stops, you stop the timer. Once they are a certain length and time apart, the app will let you know it’s time to get your bags and head to the hospital. I ended up being induced on my due date but I had a few bouts of contractions in the weeks leading up to then and this app was helpful to keep me calm.

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3. Glow Baby – I can’t say enough about the family of Glow apps. It’s like your best friend who is just like you had a baby and then dumped all of her knowledge into an app so you wouldn’t have to figure it all out on you own. When you first come home from the hospital (or birthing center, or super organic natural sulfur springs birthing spa, or wherever you’ve been for the past hopefully 3-4 days… in my case ELEVEN… but more on that later), you’re going to have to keep track of a lot of sh*t.  Literally. You’ll need to log your baby’s freaking poops… and pees… and food intake… maybe even sleep. To say the least, it can be overwhelming to keep up with all of this. But the Glow Baby app makes it so simple. You can even just set the timer when you baby goes down for a nap and stop it when they wake so you don’t have to remember what time it was when they fell asleep. It will tally up baby’s formula intake (if you bottle feed) so you can see when you baby is starting to eat more and you should, in turn, offer more. Like, how would someone who’s never had a baby know these things?! Where is the freaking manual for this thing!?! My favorite part about this app is the forums. You can post questions, polls, comments with moms who had babies the same month as you.  There are so many of us thinking “is this normal?” and now we are all in one place… assuring each other that yes, sometimes poop is yellow. It just is. And, no, we don’t know why.

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4. Sound Sleeper  – WHITE NOISE is essential during infancy. It’s soothing to a baby when they are tiny and it helps block out noise around them when they are older. I would say it is without a doubt my number ONE sleep tip (but we are just now going on week 2 of sleeping through the night so I’m no sleep expert). III had a white noise machine in his nursery but this app was great when we were napping in the living room when he was itty bitty or on the go, in the car running errands, or on long trips. My husband and I tried a few white noise apps but this was one of the only ones that offered multiple sound options and didn’t turn off automatically when you needed to open another app and it was running.  So go ahead and juice up that battery… you’re gonna need it!

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5. Wonder Weeks – After we’d been home a few weeks, I had this exact conversation with my friend Caroline.

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“How is III?”

“Oh, he’s great… so precious and sweet…. Actually, he’s so pissed off lately and just yells at me all the time.”

“Growth spurt. Download the Wonder Weeks app.”

Then I downloaded it, and parenting was like the easiest thing in the world. Ok, not really BUT it did get a lot easier because I had a week by week guide that explained III’s ever-changing temperament. Why is my baby clingy this week when last week he didn’t want to be held at all. Why is he screaming in the mornings when he is usually at his happiest? It’s because he’s… wait for it…. developing. Not the answer you were looking for? Turns out babies are learning new things (whether it’s obvious or not) on the reg. And sometimes, these cognitive and physical developments are taxing on them…. particularly their mood. This app prepares you for weeks or spans of weeks (seriously some of them are 5 weeks long… PASS ME THE WINE!) when your child is learning, developing and may be demonstrating a different demeanor than his norm. Ok, great, there’s science behind his fussiness, but WHAT DO I DOOOOOOO? Well, it has that covered too. Tips like “your baby may want to feed more often than usual this week” or “your baby may be more independent (i.e. too cool to snuggle with you) this week.” It all goes back to the question I ask myself on a daily basis… is this normal? And thanks to Wonder Weeks, we can all be assured that, yes, yes it is.

6. Cozi Family Planner App – Shout out to my best friend Magen at Mayfair on the Square Children’s Clothier for introducing me to this app. This isn’t necessarily a baby-related app but having a baby is what led me to need it. Before III, G and I kept a relatively clean (but not always tidy) house, ate at home a couple nights a week but kept a pretty busy and flexible calendar… with most of our engagements of the voluntary and social nature. It was easy to play almost every day by ear – discussing what we were doing that night as we both headed out the door for work. Now that we had aced survived the newborn phase, I went back to work and III started daycare, and life suddenly needed a lot more planning. I’ve become the person who plans what I’m wearing the next day before I go to bed. I shower at night to make my mornings as efficient as possible. I plan our meals before the week begins or things just SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL. And I don’t “do” out of control very well. Poor G can attest to that. So as a mom with a full time career with a husband who owns his own (very quickly growing) business, I needed to GET. IT. TOGETHER.  G and I needed to understand and agree on who handles what and when. The Cozi app is perfect for this. You can share a family calendar but assign events to certain individuals (event the pets!). You can build to do lists and assign them to each other, set reminders for things like trash day, schedule things like who is picking the baby up so the other one can hit the gym or happy hour or work late. You can even load in your recipes, make grocery lists out of the ingredients and assign them to days of the week so everyone in the family can see what we’re having for dinner tonight. Time stops for a little while when you have a baby. Cozi is for when it starts back again. And it’s a lifesaver.

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Athleisure – because who cares if you’ve actually been to the gym

Thank the {fashion} gods. Yoga pants are now high fashion. Goodbye buttons. Goodbye zippers. You will NOT be missed.

For the record, I do the best I can (with a busy husband, a 5 month old and the occasional desperately needed social outing) to get to the gym pretty regularly.  If I can’t and the weather permits, I at least get a good baby strolling in several times a week followed by an at home workout.  This YouTube fitness channel is my favorite!

Here’s an example of a quick full body dumbell workout I do often after stroller jogging with III or a treadmill run (I desperately hate hanging out on the weight side of the gym… I’d rather just do it in my living room).

Ok, enough about fitness.  I am NOT your guru for that. In fact, my post baby bod has really got me in the dumps (like a truck) but – hey – I’m doing the best I can.  In fact, I’m about to start a new vitamin and supplement regimen along with some new meal planning that I’ll be updating you on down the road.

Anyway, the good stuff.  The clothes… because, now, you can express you inner fashionista at the gym. On the way to the gym. On the way home from the gym. Not going to the gym at all.  Places like Publix, Starbucks, on the couch with wine and a bestie. So basic.

Long before III and athleisure were a thing, I desperately wanted to avoid being the mom that was always in yoga pants and sweats… the epitome of “letting herself go”…. even for a valid reason like having a baby | being covered in formula | not sleeping for more than 3.5 hours at a time for 4 months straight…. and GOD, yes, I know how sexist this all sounds.  Who cares what you look like and what you wear and so on and so forth… not me… you do you.  But the bottom line is… I do care what I look like, how I present… at least a little…most days.

Enter: Athleisure Wear. This fall and winter you’ll find me cozy, comfy and hopefully fit in my new favorite pieces.

 

 

  1. ALO Moto Leggings 
  2. Beyond Yoga Cozy Fleece Convertible Cardigan
  3. Cole Haan Snakeskin Sneakers
  4. The North Face Slacker Turtleneck Poncho

 

Cozy and comfy never looked so good!

So… a lot has happened since we last spoke

Like, alot. Mainly, I had a baby. No big deal.

Turns out that last post from our August beach trip… well, let’s just say that’s the last time I’ve had tequila.

Shortly after we returned from our vacation, I found out I was pregnant – exciting and scary news. And not just scary because “OMG, we are having a baby and am I mature enough to raise a child? Am I selfless enough to put them before myself? Can I actually become a morning person?”  It was scary because I had been in this exact spot before. Just earlier that year… and I didn’t have a baby.

Miscarriage is a horrible, horrible thing.  Learning that you are pregnant, immediately falling in love with and simultaneously fearing your baby, imagining what the holidays will be like with a sweet newborn for the entire family to spoil.  And then finding out that that isn’t going to happen.

It seems as though people are sharing their experiences with miscarriage more freely now than in years past but I was shocked at the number of friends (and I mean CLOSE friends) and acquaintances that had experienced this before…. and I’d had no idea. Even strangers to me who heard through mutual friends were reaching out. And to be honest, I’m not sure I reacted to them all in the best way. Knowing that this had happened to someone else before didn’t exactly make me feel better. How awful for them. And, still, how awful for me. I got flowers that I never sent thank you notes for.  We got meals and the best I could do was a thank you text.  I can’t even go into how difficult it must have been for my husband… who had equally suffered a loss but was having to deal with my grief in addition to his own.

Some days I was fine. Other days, a load of dishes would put me over the edge. Some days I could talk about it and other days, I just needed to pretend it hadn’t happened.  Even now, almost two years later, it’s an emotional thing to think about. I guess it always will be. And I don’t do well with uncomfortable emotions.

But here I am. Mom to an incredibly adorable 5 month old. A sweet, precious, tiny human who wouldn’t be here if my life had gone any differently. I don’t really know why I’m telling this story to the internet (I’m not even sure anyone is reading this) but if my experience is true to the norm, there are so many others out there going through the same thing who might need just a little bit of hope…hope that this doesn’t define you. That is doesn’t mean you will never be a mother. That is something you will survive.  And this is what hope looks like.

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