New obsession: Blueberry Salsa!

Throughout my pregnancy I’ve noticed significant changes in my food aversions. During this third trimester I find that I can’t look at red meat and I’m eating more fruit than ever! I still need to eat chicken, beans and turkey for protein and iron so when I found this recipe to smother them in fruit I was ecstatic!

Below is the original recipe and a second version I altered for fish.

Original Recipe: Great for tacos, chicken and protein bowls. This version is Paleo, Vegan, Whole30 and low carb

  • 2 Cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 Cup cilantro, fresh and finely chopped
  • 1 Lime, squeezed
  • 1 Red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 Red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Jalapeño peppers, seeded and membrane removed, finely chopped

Recipe for fish:

  • 2 Cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 Cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1/4 Cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Lime, squeezed
  • 1/2 Red onion, chopped
  • 1 Cup watermelon, chopped (also works with mango!)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Jalapeño peppers, seeded and membrane removed, finely chopped

Baby Shower Decorations

I promised I would include links to all my decorations and favors. I also included some advice about ordering some of these items.

1. Succulent “watch me grow” attendance gift. Found these on Etsy they’re from SuccItUpSucculents. They come wrapped in plastic so make sure you get them a few days before your shower to prepare them. The sign is optional but I added it so our guests would remember where their new house plant came from.

2. Letter blocks

Got these cuties from Etsy. There were a lot to choose from but I wanted larger blocks. These are 3” x 3”. From: Punkins4Corners on Etsy.com

3. Safari animal balloons

I bought these on Amazon and Etsy. Tons to choose from!! We also got ‘LEO’ balloons from Party City and some accent balloons to make the arrangement look more full.

We had a jungle theme so we had a giraffe, a lion, a tiger, zebras, a monkey and an elephant.
The stuffed animals were from HomeGoods but I have seen them on Pottery Barn kids and a multitude of websites.

4. Diaper cake centerpieces

I had these customized on Etsy. They were a lot smaller than I anticipated and a little more expensive than they should’ve been for the size. Use your own discretion when purchasing. They were really cute but in reality a waste of money for overpriced diapers! They were made by LovelylittlesLLC

Fitbit sale!! Up to $50 off!

What a great way to track your activity and heart rate throughout the day! I personally wear the fitbit charge because it’s a more slender version that meets all my needs.

Follow this link to shop the sale! I am not an affiliate of this company just love the product

https://www.fitbit.com/store?utm_source=ET&utm_medium=EM&utm_campaign=20200115_JSR_US_FM_M_SU_FT_00_NA&linkname=HeroCTALink

How to heal cracked & dry lips!

I get this question a lot so I’m giving a very quick step by step guide!

1. Stay hydrated! Make sure you’re drinking enough water (8-10 glasses a day) or more if you’re exercising, talking a lot or pregnant. Dehydration shows quickly in the delicate lip skin.

2. Exfoliate. Before you apply any lip treatments you have to remove the dead skin. I like Bliss Lip Scrub for this. You simply apply, leave it on for a few minutes, wipes with a damp cloth and run away the dead skin. This product also contains a lip conditioner to help smooth and plump the lips. You can visit my Amazon favorites to find the Bliss lip exfoliation that I use weekly myself.

3. Moisture lock. Now that you have fresh skin to work with you want to keep it healthy and moist. Apply an emollient based treatment and leave it on over night. You can use coconut oil, vaseline, shea butter or beeswax based lip treatments.

4. Maintain. The best way to maintain your fresh lips is to apply a treated coating throughout the day. Especially after eating! A lighter emollient such as jojoba oil based lip coatings can be used during the day over your lipstick.

If you notice the dry skin creeping back start the cycle again!

Nutrition and Pregnancy Apps I’m living by

I feel strongly about getting as many nutrients out of my food as possible before adding a supplement. To follow my own guidelines I had to figure out just how many calories, iron, folic acid, vitamin D etc I was getting in my regular diet. This lead to hours of research and I want to share the basics with you.

A large number of prenatal vitamins are laced with fake sugars, unnecessary additives and micronutrients with no scientific evidence of helping your fetus grow. After reviewing the research the only vitamin essential for fetal safety is Folic acid. In second place is Vitamin D and there are mixed results in the published studies. Lastly, Iron is only essential if you have confirmed Iron deficiency anemia. All the other vitamins and micronutrients you see published have no scientific evidence to back them up. Many you can get from a healthy diet.

One way to check on your diet is to see a nutritionist, ask your doctor or use an app to track your nutrient intake. No app is 100% accurate but it can give you an idea of how you’re doing. I chose the Wholesome Pro App to track my nutrients and Lose It! App to track calorie intake.

My results: I was shocked to see that I wasn’t getting enough iron or vitamin D! I had incorporated more chicken, lean beef and lentils into my diet and was sure I was absorbing enough iron. Turns out even with my new diet I was still missing about 70% of a day’s worth of iron! For vitamin D I was using a supplement so I was sure that I had enough however the intake I was getting from food was close to nothing. Turns out Vitamin D fortified orange juice has very little of your daily required dose. Vitamin D can only be found in fish and fortified products making it difficult to consume the recommended amount. I personally avoided fish due to the hidden mercury and heavy metals they carry.

What do to with your results: Make sure your OB is testing your blood frequently to measure these essential vitamins. Consider taking individualized vitamins for your deficits. You could take the full pre-natal vitamin if you can tolerate it and you’re not concerned with the extra vitamin intake. My choice to avoid pre-natals is a personal opinion. You should discuss your nutrition with your doctor to make your own informed decision. Should you decide to use a more food based method consider using these apps to help you track the nutrients rather than guessing.

Unique & Meaningful Gifts for those that are grieving during the holidays

In the last year we’ve lost my grandmother, my dog and now my grandfather is on his death bed. My mother has suffered the unimaginable loss of both parents and has had a emotionally stressful year.

What do you give someone that has everything they need or want and is grieving during the holiday season? I wracked my brain over this for weeks. I searched google, I read blogs about grieving and I asked friends. Then I found a unique gift on Etsy that perfectly fit the bill!

My grandparents we’re both known for their cooking. My grandmother specialized in what she called traditional Italian recipes and my grandfather for items only. The first, was what he called “jumbort” which basically means a mix of things AKA eggs over whatever last nights dinner was and the second was his famous apple pie that he made from scratch.

Knowing that mother was moving into a new home in just a few short months I wanted to contribute something to her new house that would bring the essence of my grandparents. I decided to have my grandparents recipes, in their own handwriting, printed on kitchen tea towels. Luckily, my cousin had kept a book of their recipes and I was able to get them authentically translated on to beautiful towels.

Tea towels are nothing special but the little hint of my grandparents living on in my moms new home was the most thoughtful way I could think to incorporate them in her life. I can only imagine the emotional distress and void of not having a parent around. I’m hoping every time she feels that grief she can look at the tea towels and remember the good times of cooking with them.

These tea towels can be purchased on Etsy.com from BlueMountainBags

Baby Registry!

Being a first time mom I read all about the safety inspections and requirements for all the baby gear on the market. Months later I came up with this list! Almost 100% of what I put on my registry is available on Amazon. If you create a registry with them you can earn two great bonuses!

You’ll find safety spoons, bathtubs that check the water temp and your babies weight, safety certified mattress and accessories and organic diaper materials!

1. 20% off diapers for a year if $500 worth of baby essentials are purchased from your registry

2. 15% off everything left on your registry 60 days before your due date.

Here’s a link to my list!

https://www.amazon.com/ideas/amzn1.account.AGFCZTWMQY2HX2K3KAW234I3KB4A/1T0EVFHVBVJ2Y

Spring Cleaning: Tackle Your Closet!

Spring Cleaning: Tackle Your Closet.

It’s a new season which means that it’s time to re-organize your closet! Although it may seem like a daunting task, if you keep the below tips in mind, you should have a sparkling new closet in no time. Here are 4 ways to tackle your closet for spring.

1)        Thin it out.

If you haven’t purged your closet in a while, it may now appear to be bursting at the seams. The most important part of spring cleaning is thinning your closet out and getting rid of what you no longer use. A great way to do this is to ask yourself when last you’ve worn the item, if it still fits and if you still like it. In doing so, you may just discover hidden gems that you forgot were there! Goodbye ugly, ill-fitting sweaters and hello pretty springtime dresses and tops!

2) Clean.

The next step is to give your closet a good once-over clean. After you have taken everything out, give it a good dust and wipe all surfaces down with a gentle detergent. Your killer heels, favorite t-shirts and pants will look great displayed in a clean closet!

3) Organize.

Now is the time to re-assess the arrangement of your closet. It may involve investing in some more hangars and some useful storage bins for odd items (such as socks, underwear and scarves). Make sure that you hang up as much as possible as this reduces the amount of wrinkles that occur. A shoe tree or shelf is also a brilliant way to display your shoes neatly and conveniently. If your closet is on the small side, consider using the back of the door for additional storage.

4) Fill ‘er up.

Once you have a good system for storing all your garments, you can begin to fill your closet up again. Be sure to place the items you use regularly (eg. work suits, favorite dresses and shirts) within easy reach and store items you don’t wear regularly toward the back of the closet. For instance, since the weather is now warmer, you would pack your winter coats, hats and gloves on one of the top shelves. 

Eating before bed: What’s the deal

The key is Protein! In many studies it shows that women who consume protein before bed had zero negative metabolic consequences. In active women the benefits included increased muscle building. Where can you find this protein? The best form of protein before bed comes from casein. Casein can be found in in dairy products like cottage cheese or yogurt. Be sure to focus on the sugar free, low fat versions of these products. Casein is a slow digesting protein that won’t spike your blood sugar and is slowly digested. If you’re vegan try plant protein with low sugar.

What to avoid: Fat and sugar. Both can cause an insulin spike and affect your sleep pattern. Some people feel stimulated after eating sugary products and it keeps them up.