Nov 162015

I’ve noticed lately (like within the last two weeks) that when I work out my heart rate is a bit higher than it’s been thus far. I’m guessing that’s the pregnancy stuff. I had the day off and slept in a little bit, then as I was being lazy in bed, cuddling with Bella and Fat Kitty, I got a wicked Charlie Horse in both calves. The left one subsided quickly, the right one crippled me. OUCH! It hurt so bad. It was like my calf muscle just decided to explode. And I felt the effects of it for the rest of the day and it was honestly sore the next day too! :(

I’d had plans to run at the gym but after the Charlie Horse I decided not to. I did upper body weights instead and then 2 miles on the elliptical. Calories burned:

I got home, it wasn’t raining and it was actually kind of sunny out, so Bella and I took a 1 mile walk to enjoy the weather. I burned another 100+ calories on that walk. Burning a lot lately, without even trying. It’s so odd.

For dinner Michael and I went out on a date night. He was craving pizza (as per usual) and I was craving BBQ. Pregnant lady wins. 😀


We went to Podnah’s! One of my favorites. It was a packed house for a weeknight but we got a table for two right away, thankfully. I got the brisket (my favorite), cornbread and collard greens and mac n’ cheese. (I like the mac n’ cheese at Reverend’s better, though.) Michael got the “meat” plate. LOL It was a sampler plate of the sausage, brisket, pulled pork and ribs. Everything was so good and satisfied my craving!

After dinner we headed to IKEA to check out the baby stuff. We got some essentials, of course:


Then looked at their cribs. We both liked this one:


I liked the drawers on the bottom, I liked that the mattress levels were adjustable and it converted into a toddler bed, too. We’re just in the looking phase right now, but we did end up buying the most important things:


Michael recently sent me a link about how IKEA is transforming kid’s art into stuffed animals for charity. It was SUCH a cute idea! The little green guy on the left was one of those creations and even though it’s kind of derpy looking, it was too cute not to get! The shark was Michael’s impulse buy. The little foxes are going to go nicely with our nursery theme. :)


Fat Kitty was super curious AND freaked out by the shark. Haha!

The next night I tried my hand at making a new recipe I’ve had saved for awhile. Sadly, we haven’t been much into cooking the last few months–making basic meals without trying any new recipes or doing much out of the norm. Part of that was two and a half months of me suffering from morning sickness and no appetite and just eating pasta. Part of it was being busy and tired and just making easy go-to meals (like steak and vegetables, chicken and vegetables, salmon and vegetables, you get the picture).


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: Around 400 calories



  • 3 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • McCormick Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Pressed garlic
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lb. red and white small potatoes, in 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 Tbs. flour
  • 1 1/3 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup white wine (or white grape juice)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh thyme, finely chopped


  1. In a Ziploc bag, combine about 2 T. smokey paprika, 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Mix together and add 4-5 pieces of chicken at a time, lightly shaking. Pull the chicken pieces out and put on a large plate. Repeat the process, adding more spices if needed, until all the chicken has been coated.
  2. In a large heavy frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat the process until all the chicken has been lightly cooked.
  3. Add the garlic and onion to the frying pan, stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir another 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  4. Gently whisk the flour into the wine. Gradually pour into the vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the chicken stock; stir. Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover the pan, and reduce the heat to medium-low, simmering until the chicken and vegetables are cooked. Cook for about 30 minutes. Right before serving, stir the chicken and vegetables; add in the thyme. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper. Serve on farro, rice, or quinoa.

I omitted mushrooms, because I hate them. I also didn’t have any carrots so I skipped that. Other than that I followed the recipe pretty closely. It was a spur of the moment attempt at the recipe and I used what I happened to have on hand.


It was pretty easy to make this recipe. After simmering for about 30 minutes the sauce thickened up like a gravy. The gravy tasted really delicious and flavorful. I made some quinoa and topped with all with the chicken/potato/gravy mixture.


I liked the flavors a lot but Michael and I both agreed that the recipe would have been better with the carrots. Next time! I would make this again, but I’d add the carrots and use chicken thighs instead of breasts.

Oct 262015

What a week! Last week was kind of a roller coaster of emotions.

My week started with an annoyance…I had to wear a heart rate monitor for 24 hours. I was having issues with heart palpitations off and on–which my doctor said can be a normal part of pregnancy because of increased blood levels, lower blood pressure, etc. She didn’t seem too concerned about it and gave me the option of either wearing the monitor, or waiting to see if they go away. Michael panicked a little bit. :) So I wore it.

I got fitted Monday afternoon, with electrode pad things attached to various parts of my chest like this:


And then the device hooked to my waist (about the size of an iPhone). I was supposed to hit a button on the waist device whenever I felt a palpitation or got dizzy. Then I had to keep a paper journal of what time the event happened. Of course the 24 hours I wore it, I barely had any symptoms. I got to take it off Tuesday evening–thankfully! The sticky pads kind of irritated my skin, it was a nuisance to wear and I felt self-conscious wearing it. It takes about a week to get results. I’m not too worried. I’ve had my heart checked before (a regular EKG) and everything was fine.

It was a super busy week, Michael was busy and had plans Wednesday night, I was busy with the usual routine…I was feeling tired and burned out and even though we got great news about the baby and feeling happy, I was ready for a little break. The ultrasound was amazing but emotionally draining (which neither of us had anticipated!). And, sadly, we’ve barely had any time for our usual walks and playtime with Bella.  :(


Thursday we finally had some free time and could actually spend it together so…date night! We let Bella stay out of her crate (we’re still testing her again) while we went out to dinner.


We went to Fillmore Coffee in NE Portland. I’ve wanted to go for awhile now because a coworker’s husband is the owner and she’s been telling me about the place for months. She gives me updates on the rotating beer taps (before she knew I was pregnant) and I wished I could actually partake! The rotating taps are great! All local beers.


Michael got the Double Mountain Killer Green IPA. (ABV 7.6%, IBU:96) He said it was outstanding. I’ll take his word for it. Double Mountain is usually a great beer, so I trust his opinion. They also had a few other local beers and a cider on the menu.


So Fillmore is a coffee shop with a little bit more. It’s a big, open space with concrete floors, cool art on the walls, high warehouse ceilings and repurposed wood on the walls and bar. Nice jazz music mellowed out the mood. They have coffee, tea, beer, wine, cider. Plus they have some pastries, bagels, etc. The menu is small and simple–and all vegetarian or vegan. They had half a dozen pizzas on the menu to choose from and a few salads. The pizzas are super cheap, too.

We ordered the spinach salad to share and the White Truffle Oil Ricotta Pizza. My coworker has been raving about this pizza for months and I’ve been dying to try it.

First, the salad. Simple but fantastic. I know for a fact they get all their ingredients from a local organic place. The salad was fresh and delicious, full of flavor. Spinach, tomatoes, red onion, cheese and vinaigrette dressing. Michael raved about the salad–especially the onion. He said it was the perfect red onion (crunchy and spicy, his words). I liked the salad a lot and wished we’d ordered two instead of sharing.


Now, the pizza!

We watched them make it, periodically rotating the pizza in the oven, and as he brought it to our table I could smell the garlic and truffle oil. It smelled heavenly.


I guess the pizza chef used to work at Apizza Scholl’s (Michael’s favorite place in Portland) and the pie was very similar. It was small (6 slices total) and the crust was very similar to Apizza Scholl’s. The dough was fresh, perfectly baked, the truffle oil was amazing (I love truffle oil). There was seasoning and ricotta cheese and fresh mozzarella–it was decadent. I am a HUGE fan of this pizza!

We both agreed that we wished the pizza was slightly larger. While we both felt satisfied and certainly didn’t need any more pizza after eating the whole thing, we both WANTED one more slice… it was that good! 😉 Seriously, loved the pizza! I would definitely go back for this pizza and the salad, too. It was a nice treat.

The place had a cool vibe and lots of local people came in to hang out and seemed like regulars. There was also one of those wooden train tables for kids to play with. There was a cute little toddler there having a ball with the train set. It was fun to watch (and we might need to get one of these things for our little nugget!).

Our stomachs full and satisfied, we got home to discover this:


Shenanigans. I have no idea what they were getting into but I know when I walked in the door Bella and Fat Kitty were racing through the hallway. SIGH. Chaos in our house. Always! Just wait, fur-babies, when there’s a real baby chasing both of you!

I spend the rest of the evening relax, thankfully, thinking about that truffle pizza… :)