Pregnancy Recap: Onto the Third Trimester

This week marked 28 weeks of this pregnancy. HOW?! I’m sort of in disbelief that I blasted past the halfway mark and am already in my third trimester. I’m grateful that the time is flying because that means I’m feeling good for the most part (more below), but also wish I could bottle up this time to keep it from passing so quickly.

According to The Bump, the baby is the size of an eggplant this week. Also, we’ve officially entered “melon” territory, which is equal parts exciting and terrifying (you know, the whole “did YOU push a watermelon out of something the size of a lemon?” you hear characters played by Kirstie Alley screaming in movies thing).


Here’s a little about how I’m feeling physically and emotionally this week:

Large. I am a short woman, there is no denying that. So the fact that people are already guessing that I’m in my 8th month of pregnancy because I look like I’m carrying a bowling ball under my shirt isn’t all that surprising (I’m looking at you, guy at Home Depot…). But still, I’m amazed at my stomach’s girth every time I pass a store window and catch a profile view of myself.


I can only imagine how often I’m going to accidentally bump into tables, knock over the fruit display at the grocery store, and get stuck in doorways once I’m in my last few weeks. (Fun fact: we have a swing-out glass door on our shower and I’ve already gotten myself nice and wedged in there trying to climb out. This doesn’t bode well for the next few months, does it?)

Grateful. Donnie and I drove up to Chicago last weekend for a baby shower at my parents’ house. It was so good to see family and friends, and nice to have a change of pace and focus on this new addition to our family instead of work/house projects/etc. I’m so thankful to those who came to celebrate with us, and a few who couldn’t make it but sent us sweet gifts.

I’m also very grateful that my mother ordered a chocolate on chocolate cake for the shower. She knows me well and I did my part to make sure there wasn’t much left over.




Achey. Speaking of our drive to and from Chicago, I developed a new ache/pain in the car. When people warn you that long car rides are terrible when you’re pregnant, my mind always goes to bladder capacity (or rather, a baby forcefully headbutting you in the bladder, making you feel like you’re going to wet your pants at random intervals). And while that is certainly an issue with which to contend, I didn’t anticipate the pain and discomfort.

Granted, I was pretty cocky going into this road trip since we had made the 7 hour drive to and from Florida a few weeks prior without incident. Man, did those couple of weeks make a difference. This time I found myself with a weird, very specific pain in one area of my mid-back that wouldn’t go away no matter how I tried to adjust my position. Getting out of the car and walking around was the only thing that helped (also necessary because of the aforementioned bladder punching going on).

Luckily, we made it home in one piece and now I’m quite ready to stay put until after this baby makes his or her entrance.

Recharged. As mentioned above, Donnie and I snuck away for a long weekend for a little “babymoon” a few weeks back. We stayed in Rosemary Beach, Florida, which is one of the towns along 30A on the panhandle.








It was perfect. We relaxed on the beach, hung out in the ocean, took our time wandering around town and ate plenty of leisurely meals (I hear I’ll miss those once the baby is here). We also both got sunburned because we’re big dummies, but otherwise it was the perfect final vacation pre-baby.

Interestingly, I thought I’d be sort of sad that it was our last vacation just the two of us, but we found ourselves saying “next time we come here with the baby we can do ___!”. Vacations won’t be the same anymore, but I’m so pumped for this next chapter.

**As a note, I’ve heard that Rosemary Beach fared pretty well during Hurricane Michael last week. My heart is absolutely aching for those towns and their residents who weren’t so lucky, and am praying for them to get all the help they need to rebuild quickly.

Nesting. Honestly, I thought I’d be one of those women that never got the urge to nest. In my mind, I’d be 40 weeks pregnant, frantically pacing around Target trying to find last minute baby stuff (which will probably still happen, let’s be honest) but I’m actually feeling pretty good about what’s left to be done. We’ve purchased (or been gifted with) many of the “big” items and have a plan for the rest – not bad!

All in all, I’m going into this third trimester feeling good and, as always, very very thankful. 12 more weeks (give or take) to go!


A Week of Dinners: August 20

I’m back with another line up of weeknight-friendly dinners! Last week was my birthday week, so we went out to eat that night, which was quite special (more below).

Besides that evening, I tried to keep our meals on the interesting but still super easy side. I also try to vary the cuisine – so if we have “Italian” one night, maybe we’ll have something “Asian” the next. My use of quotes is entirely necessary there as I don’t claim any of my meals to be particularly authentic (ain’t nobody got time for ingredients that you’ll only use once every three months, right?).

In terms of actually planning our meals in advance, I don’t put too much time into it. We do our big grocery store haul on Sunday mornings and I usually write up our meal plan on Mondays – how’s that for planning ahead? Ha! In truth, I like the flexibility of being able to shop for what looks good and planning meals around that. I’m actually doing OK with not wasting food with this approach, so hey – if it works, right?

And now, onto last week’s meals:


Garlic shrimp with veggie rice

Donnie isn’t the biggest fan of shrimp in general, but he told me the first time I made this dish that he really liked it, so I think that’s saying something. Also, there’s bacon in it.

I just fried up a few slices of bacon, then quickly cooked the shrimp in its grease (always use your bacon grease, friends) with garlic. Then removed the shrimp, sauteed a ton of veggies (zucchini, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms) with a white rice/cauliflower rice combo, then mixed it all together.



Grilled chicken with cheese and avocado, and Trader Joe’s kale and broccoli slaw kit.

A very simple meal of grilled chicken, on which I melted a slice of grassfed cheddar and topped with avocado. This kale and broccoli slaw kit is one of our favorite prepared salads at TJ’s – if you like broccoli salad, I think you’ll like this slaw.



My birthday! Donnie took me out to a restaurant in our neighborhood that we’ve been meaning to try, Urban Grub. The weather was miraculously mild (not the 90°+ and humid that we’ve been having all month) so we sat on their gorgeous patio and it was perfect.

I had an elderflower/strawberry mocktail, and we split the lobster flatbread. I decided to go whole hog on the lobster and had the lobster cannelloni for my entree. They also gave us a basket of popovers and the best mini biscuits (have I mentioned that I love the South?) and our server gave me a biscuit with a candle so I’d have something to blow out for my birthday. Followed by chocolate cake at home, consumed after we had changed into PJ’s. Perfect birthday for a pregnant lady who has lost the ability to stay up past 9:30pm.



Grilled chicken fajita quinoa bowls

I used leftover grilled chicken for this, which I added to a bowl with fajita veggies (peppers, onions, and zucchini sauteed with chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, s+p), my favorite queso, tomatillo salsa, sour cream, and avocado, on top of quinoa. The quinoa is under there somewhere, I promise.



Homemade cheese pizza

The usual. You know the drill.


We ordered burgers from a great grass-fed beef burger joint in town, Farm Burger

Apparently I couldn’t control my hunger by the time our food arrived so I have no photo evidence of this meal, but I ate a cheeseburger with jalapenos and a side of fries. It was real good, I can tell you that much.


Shawarma chicken pitas with cauliflower tabbouleh and cucumber salad

This was an awesome shortcut meal. The chicken was pre-marinated from Trader Joe’s (it’s a new item, so I highly recommend you go out and buy some so they continue stocking it!), and the cauliflower tabbouleh is in their prepared salads section. I made a simple tzatziki with Greek yogurt, cucumber and spices and a quick cucumber salad with peppers seasoned with oil/vinegar.

This took no time, very little prep, and was SO good.


And that’s a wrap on last week!

Anything good on your plate lately?

Weekly Meals

For as much as I love to cook, I have never been great at meal planning. Or meal prepping.

Occasionally, I’ll spend 10 minutes chopping a bunch of vegetables to snack on throughout the week, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. And if I’m being honest, it really doesn’t happen all that often.

Given this new season of life that my little family is about to enter into, I figure it’s time to change my fly-by-the-seat of my pants ways and start holding myself accountable to the groceries sitting in my fridge and not let them go to waste. Food waste, man – it’s the worst, isn’t it?

I also realize that my days of having all the time in the world to prep and cook dinner are limited. Lately I’ve been experimenting with quick-cooking dinners that involve prepping fewer ingredients and dirtying fewer dishes. I’ve been at it for a few weeks, and I honestly don’t think the variety of our meals nor satiety they provide have suffered.

That being said, here’s last week’s dinners. Most of these dinners are fairly healthy (at least from the nutrient standpoint, if not totally low-cal. I AM pregnant after all), and can be prepped, cooked and on your plate in 30 minutes or less. I hope these give you some ideas for your own week!


BBQ chicken drumsticks with prepared slaw salad

No real recipe needed – I seasoned some drumsticks and we threw them on the grill, basting every few minutes with bbq sauce. Served with Tahini, Pepita & Apricot Slaw kit from Trader Joe’s.



Beef and broccoli with (cauliflower) rice

I thinly sliced a semi-thawed ButcherBox sirloin steak against the grain, then let it defrost the rest of the way in the fridge (<– this is a great way to get super thin slices of meat that stay tender when cooked). I then sauteed it loosely using Just a Taste’s Easy Beef and Broccoli recipe. Served over a mix of regular white rice and cauliflower rice.



Baked salmon with roasted potatoes and sauteed zucchini

I topped some wild salmon filets with salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder and baked at 375 until flaky. I quartered some Trader Joe’s teeny tiny potatoes, tossed them with a little olive oil and TJ’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning and roasted for ~30 min at 425. Last, I sauteed some half moons of zucchini in the same spices as the salmon until tender.

And I totally flaked on taking a picture of it, so here’s an artistic rendering of my plate:



Pesto chicken with cauliflower gnocchi and zucchini

We threw some pesto chicken (packaged, again from Trader Joe’s) on the grill, and I sauteed up a package of TJ’s frozen cauliflower gnocchi with some zucchini, garlic and a sprinkle of parmesan.



Homemade pizza with beer dough crust – we’re going strong with the pizza Friday tradition.



Kung Pao Chicken with rice

We went to the movies on Saturday afternoon and came home full of popcorn, but knew we needed something with a little protein. I cooked up a frozen TJ’s entree (Kung Pao Chicken), added broccoli and served it over rice. We ate a lot of sodium this day, but what can ya do.



Biscuit “empanadas” with sauteed broccoli

Both Donnie and I bought biscuit dough over the course of the last week (this is what happens when you spend enough time with your spouse…you pass food cravings by telepathy), so I sauteed up some ground turkey with peppers, onions, and taco spices and then stuffed that inside split biscuits with a little cheese, empanada/turnover style. Baked those until golden, and served with some sauteed broccoli on the side.


And that’s a full week of dinners! Usually we order in or go out at least one night per week, so don’t think we cook 7 nights every week. Although, sometimes cooking is faster than takeout (Saturday’s dinner, for example), for what that’s worth.

What’s on your plate this week?