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.

Mar 122014

Over the weekend Bella had her first at home bath! Last time she had a bath I took her to a groomer. Mostly because I had no idea how to wash a dog and also, I was lazy. But paying for that on a regular basis was going to add up fast. I bought some nice dog shampoo (with green tea and tea tree oil because she has some dry skin issues) and then Michael and I debated on how to bathe her.

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We tried luring her into the tub with treats and she was having none of that. In the end I just picked her up and put her in the tub. Michael held her collar and leash and I used the detachable shower head to get her wet. She did so well! She didn’t freak out at all! Not like her first time at the groomer. I shampooed her (super quickly) and she actually seemed to enjoy the little mini massage she was getting. I rinsed off the soap and we were done!

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She did a fantastic job sitting still while we dried her off. Her collar got wet so we took it off to dry. She ran around the house looking naked with the collar — Michael commented that it was like a little toddler running around the house naked after a bath. It was so weird to see Bella without it. 


She smelled so good! Like a clean puppy. :) While she was overdo for a bath, there was an other reason for it. Her foster mom Jen was coming over for a visit. She hadn’t seen Bella since we adopted her and I was more than happy to have her come and play with Bella. I knew both her and Bella would be ecstatic.

Bella barked at her once when she first arrived and then realized “OH MY GOSH it’s my other mom!!!!” She was SO FREAKING EXCITED. Words cannot describe just how spazzy Bella was for the first hour or so that Jen was there. It was so cute. Jen also brought a little gift baggy of dog treats, poo bags, and a new squeaky toy.


It was so good to see Jen! And Bella was so happy to see her, too. It was a nice way to spend a Sunday.

I also decided to make a crockpot dinner just in case Jen wanted to stay for dinner, then we’d have tons of food, but she had to go so oh well–more leftovers! I’ve been stockpiling some crockpot recipes and just haven’t gotten around to actually doing them. This one has been on the top of that list for awhile now. I love chicken teriyaki. It’s a fantastic dish but often times it’s way too sugary. This recipe looked good on paper. Unlike many recipes I saw, it didn’t call for a cup of sugar or 1/2 a cup of honey. That’s just too much!


I added some frozen vegetable blend to the recipe because I like my chicken teriyaki with veggies. I thought onion and pepper mixture would go nicely. Adding that changed the calorie count for the recipe to 420 calories a serving. That’s still an awesome number for dinner. Here is the recipe:

Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 314



  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced for garnish
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together teriyaki sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil.
  2. Place chicken breasts into a slow cooker. Add teriyaki mixture and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken breasts from the slow cooker and shred the chicken before returning to the pot with the juices. Cover and keep warm for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

I didn’t add the frozen veggies until later. I let the chicken cook for about 2.5 hours, then checked on it and flipped the chicken breasts over and let it cook for another 30 minutes before adding the frozen vegetables (they had thawed out for awhile). The chicken didn’t take quite as long as the recipe said it would. Around the 3 hour mark it was looking pretty cooked. I took the chicken breasts out and shredded them then returned it to the crockpot.  So 3 hours or so is the sweet spot for the recipe. I turned the rice cooker on and let the shredded chicken soak up the sauce.


I was glad I added the veggies to the dish. It made a difference. The chicken was tender and flavorful. It didn’t really taste like teriyaki though, mostly soy sauce. I think next time I’d experimenting with using less soy sauce to see if there was a difference.

Despite that, dinner was delicious. I loved it and so did Michael. Will definitely make this recipe again!