2nd Trimester

I am now in my 2nd trimester. It’s been known as the easy trimester, but it’s been anything but easy for me.

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How far along: Week 18 (half way mark for me if I go by Sarah’s arrival!)

Baby is as big as a: Sweet Potato (5.5 in, 5 oz)

Movement: I can now feel baby kick and roll.  Baby got the hiccups for the first time during my 16 week ultrasound appointment.

What I miss: Wine

Cravings: Cesar salads and Talenti ice cream

Aversions: Fish

Symptoms: After being nauseous for a solid 3 months, I am now either dizzy or light headed. I get the occasional killer headache (possible migraine) and I am extremely tired! Fun times! I’ve also lost weight and haven’t gained any weight since becoming pregnant.

Countdown: 22 weeks

Gender: Not finding out!

Happy Thanksgiving from my sweet potato to yours!

Family Photo Session {2014}

Every year our family gets our pictures taken. Check out last years photos here.

I like taking these photos for two reasons. One, I love family pictures. Capturing how we look and the changes within our family, it’s so special. Second, I love getting and giving holiday cards. Something about seeing all my family and friends happy faces brings me so much joy.

 

For the past two years our sweet friend, Erin has taken our pictures.

Here are some of our favorite shots.

  DSC02508 - fixedDSC02519 - favDSC02520 - traditional front pic

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And because I like comparison pictures here is our traditional family pose from the past 3 years. comparissonDSC02516

Happy holidays!

Snow Day

To experience winter as a Southern California resident we drive to a park were truckloads of ice will then be shaven in to tiny pieces so my kid can play in the “snow”. 

And all of this was free!

A park near our home was offering their annual Snow Day program.

There were vendors, food trucks and snow! 

Before heading to the snow area Sarah spotted her favorite princesses, Anna and Elsa!

IMG_3351 - anna and elsaIMG_3352Sarah was super shy! She couldn’t believe she was meeting her favorite princess!

IMG_3353Elsa assured her it was ok and off we went to play with the snow.

IMG_3356IMG_3359Yup, that’s my So Cal girl in a long sleeve shirt and shorts! Got to love the hot 80’s in November.

After some fun in the snow we checked out the slides.

IMG_3362IMG_3363IMG_3364IMG_3365Sarah and daddy loved it!

I wanted to join them, but slippery ice and being pregnant is not such a good match. However seeing her smile was pure happiness!

We walked around some more, made an iceman and played with the snow.

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It got too hot at one point so we left early and went home.

It was a fun morning! Hoping to play with real snow after the holidays.

Camping

Sarah and I went camping with our mommy group for the first time this weekend.

I wont lie. I was super nervous about camping in the winter. I wasn’t worried about camping itself, I was worried about it being really cold while sleeping. The weather forecast showed it would be in the low 50’s at night. That’s cold!!

Luckily my friend, Jen, shared the same nervousness with me so we stayed in constant communication while searching the internet for numerous tips.

Thanks to many conversations with Jen, research online and multiple Wal-Mart shopping trips, Sarah and I were very prepared for our first camping experience.

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It’s funny to think I would ever spend so much time in the camping aisle.

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I literary spent a half an hour just choosing a chair!

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I ended up borrowing a tent and an air bed from friends, but bought the rest of the camp gear.

Our comfy bed!

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We had such a good time!!

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The kids made lanterns, we roasted marshmallows and most of all we hung out with some of our favorite people.

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The next morning was rough. My air bed had a leak which made Sarah and I slide to the middle and woke up with a back ache. Luckily all my planning kept us warm throughout the night. All in all our first camping experience was a great success!

10696360_10152594921917515_3398880539382894528_n10425028_10204807189356221_8967256901458107307_n

10404858_10204800048497704_1803219725747953009_nThanks to our hosts, Holly and Brent for the wonderful time!

Keurig 2.0

As a coffee lover I was super excited to check out the new Keurig 2.0!

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I don’t just love coffee, I might be addicted to it. Without a cup of coffee first thing in the morning I’m not really approachable.

Luckily the Keurig 2.0 solves many of my problems.

1. Hubby doesn’t drink coffee so it’s wasteful if I were to make a whole pot of coffee just for me.

2. The timer is great! I can set one cup of coffee to brew on my time.

3. Since my guests and I have different palates, we each get to pick our own flavor from the numerous K-Cups choices.

4. For big groups I can brew a carafe using a K-Carafe from the same machine I brew a single K-Cup.

This machine is so awesome I invited a few of my friends to check it out.

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I made boxed pumpkin bread and blueberry muffins (recipe can be found here) to snack on.

IMG_3437The kids played while we tested out the coffee.

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We all loved the simplicity of the machine and how it could change from different flavors. Those K-Cups are so easy to use!

Thank you girls for the fun morning!

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This post was written as part of my participation in the House Party program. While Keurig provided me material and necessary resources to complete various activities, the thoughts and statements in this post are my own.

Spooky Shabbat {2014}

For the past 6 years hubby (then my boyfriend) and I have hosted a sit down dinner on the Friday before Halloween. We’ve nicknamed it Spooky Shabbat.

This year everyone was excited that Halloween fell on Shabbat and nicknamed it Shabbatoween.

We still prefer to call it Spooky Shabbat.

In the past years I’ve gotten really creative. One year I sent chocolate witches fingers as an invite.

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Since having Sarah I’ve toned it down and made it more kid friendly. Brighter colors and things have been less dark.

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Due to this difficult pregnancy I’ve been much slower these days. So I planned a low key menu for a few of our friends.

Our menu:

menuI always frame our menu so guests know what to expect.

The appetizers included:

Eye Crusties – pimento-stuffed green olives rolled in thawed puff pastry strips for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

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Alien Larve with Blood Sauce – recipe can be found here.

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Heartbeat Salad – sliced beets and spinach in a vinaigrette sauce.

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For the entree I wanted to make something hearty so we wouldn’t want to eat too much junk later that night.

Monster Meat – recipe can be found here.

IMG_3242Smashed Bones – mashed potatoes.

Sweet Thumbs – ran out of time and never got to make it :(

Since we would be eating lot’s of sweets that night I only made one dessert.

Swamp Trifle – layered brownie pieces and dyed vanilla pudding with gummy body parts on top.IMG_3193IMG_3196

For drinks I made “I See You” lemonade.

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With our full bellies we headed out to trick-or-treat with the kids.

Hope you had a nice Halloween.

Shabbat 1000 {2014}

For the fourth year in a row my family and I have participated in The Jewish Federation’s Shabbat 1000 celebration.

It’s a city wide program were 1000 Jews shine a moment of community togetherness and Jewish pride.

After receiving my confirmation email securing our spot we received our Shabbat box in the mail a few weeks later.

This year our box included:

Shabbat Candles and matches  – Light the candles to mark the start of the Shabbat and signify the break from the mundane to the holy.

Booklet of Readings and Inspirations – In addition to the traditional blessing used before and after the meal, we have included selected reflections to enhance your Shabbat observance.

Havdalah Candles a& spices – The multi-wick candle and fragrant spices are used to mark the end of Shabbat on Saturday evening.

CD – We’ve included a CD produced by the American Jewish University with Shabbat prayers for Friday night, songs, music, and more.

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I had plans to invite family and friends over to our special Shabbat dinner, but unfortunately Sarah got an ear infection which made planning anything hard.

We started the night off by lighting our Shabbat candles.

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We read from the provided materials, the Booklet of Reading and Inspirations.

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We started off the meal with homemade chicken soup (recipe below).

Mama Chit Chat: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

For dinner we had baked chicken, roasted potatoes and carrots and cous cous.

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Thank you to The Jewish Federation for the opportunity to celebrate a special Shabbat with our community and for the kit you so generously provided!

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
5 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
5 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. 5 carrots, peeled and chopped
  3. 4 stalks celery, chopped
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 3 tbsp olive oil
  6. 6 cups chicken broth
  7. 1 cup water
  8. 1/2 thyme
  9. 3 bay leaves
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  11. 2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
  12. 3 1/2 tbps fresh or dried parsley
  13. 1 tbsp lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Add raw chicken breasts, carrots, celery and garlic.
  2. Drizzle olive oil.
  3. Add broth, water, thyme bay leaves and salt and pepper. Cove and cook on high 4 hours (or on low 6 hours).
  4. Remove chicken, let cool and dice into bite sized pieces.
  5. Meanwhile add noodles and parsley to crock pot and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in lemon juice and chicken pieces.
  7. Serve warm.
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