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. ūüėÄ


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.

Nov 102015


That’s what Portland looks like these days–except more rain and it’s often sideways. So much for a mild autumn! But I can’t complain too much because we got super lucky with a mild winter/spring this past year and honestly, Mt. Hood needs some snow this winter!

Since the weather has been crappy and I’m feeling less and less motivated to do things (I’m blaming the pregnancy nesting), I’ve been catching up on TV shows. First, Bones. I had watched some of the TV show when it was first on TV years ago but never kept up with it and this summer when I was suffering from¬†morning sickness all day long and just not feeling good at all…I spent a LOT of time laying in bed watching Bones. I started from the beginning and grew to love the show.


It took me about 5 months to watch 10 seasons. I’m now caught up but haven’t started season 11 yet. I like the show and the characters, even though Brennan annoys me at times, and I was super bummed out when they killed off a character I liked. :( I’m taking a little break from the show and then will try and find the current season online.

Second, Longmire is back! Once I finished Bones I was able to catch up on Season 4 of my favorite show (also another good book series). Longmire is so great. It’s similar but different from the books so the stories feel fresh when reading or watching. I LOVE the main characters. Growing up I had a huge crush on Lou Diamond Phillips and I’m happy he’s a more prominent character in Season 4.


Season 4 is also¬†dealing with some serious issues regarding rape on reservations and jurisdiction issues and how prosecutor’s hands are often tied in these issues when white men attack American Indian women on reservations. So infuriating and sad, but I’m glad they brought the issue up in the show. I’m sure it happens a lot more than anyone ever hears about. :(

I’m super excited the show will be back for Season 5!

I mentioned a bit ago about starting to read the Wallander series¬†and enjoying it. I had watched an episode of the TV show on Netflix but for some reason didn’t get into the show and gave up. I decided to give it another try since I’ve read and liked a few of the books in the series. I’m glad I did because I like the TV show much better now! It’s really well done. It’s gritty and dark and kind of reminds me of Luther (another fantastic show you must watch!).


Fat Kitty loves it when I have veg-out-watching-Netflix days:


I need some suggestions for TV shows to watch on Netflix. What are your favorites? Anything new and fantastic I must see?

Speaking of chilling, I had a really nice dinner date with my friend Robyn this week. I’d been craving Pad Thai lately. Robyn was sweet to indulge my craving and suggested we go to¬†Sivalai, a Thai restaurant in SE Portland. I’d never heard of it and was happy to check it out. The restaurant was kind of hidden in a residential area but it was pretty easy to find.


The prices were super cheap! Robyn got one of those Thai bubble teas for only $1. I got some hot tea and ordered Tofu Pad Thai. They brought out a little roll for us to share while dinner was cooking.


The food came out really quickly. The portions were not obscene, like most Thai restaurants. It was more of a serving and a half instead of huge family-style 3 or 4 servings to a plate.

pad thai

The Pad Thai was decent but not my favorite. It wasn’t greasy and I liked the tofu. It just wasn’t spicy, like I wanted it, and that made it¬†average. But I ate all of it (hungry!) and it definitely satisfied my craving.

It was nice hanging out and catching up. It had been way too long since we’d gotten together and had lots to chat about. Robyn said she’s going to the newly opened Warrior Room in SE Portland. I’m excited to check it out–someday. It’s a second location and in the old Yoga Union studio space.

Last year I was going to the Warrior Room on a pretty regular basis–2 or 3 times a week, but around January needed a little break. I was starting to have some aches and pains and wanted to avoid potential injury or tendinitis so decided to take a month off. Then a month came and went and I realized I wanted a little more time off. Then I got sick. Then I hurt my back. Then I got sick again and once all that was FINALLY over with and I was ready to get back to the Warrior Room, I got pregnant. I didn’t think that was a good idea since I’d taken 5 months off from it. Had I been going the whole time, it wouldn’t have been an issue. But…yeah…so I am waiting until next year and then I’ll try and get back to going!

Anyways, I got an order of the fresh veggie spring rolls appetizer to-go and I’m having that for lunch today! Looking forward to it. Robyn and I spent a few hours catching up and then I went home and pretty much went to bed right away. I was so tired!