Wednesday, March 30, 2011

14 Weeks

This post is late, I was 14 weeks on Friday.

At Kate's request, a bump photo! And, um, I look huge. Holy crap. I have a bump, but this photo exaggerates I think. People have started to notice though, even under loose clothing, and I've gotten lots of sweet comments about it's cuteness.

The gender ultrasound was scheduled for May 2nd, can't wait!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blog Love: The Way We Are

I'm starting a new feature here on understated, sharing my most loved daily reads. Here's the first installment, enjoy!

I don't remember how Leah and I crossed paths here in the blog world, but I'm so glad we did. She shares the same eclectic style that I love for my own home and posts really wonderful inspirational photos of things she's found and of her fabulous house! Leah is so sweet and bubbly and shares her time with her readers, keeping up with their blogs too!

Her 'Monday at my Home' posts are some of my favorites! I love watching her home evolve.

{all images via The Way We Are}

Please stop over and see Leah, say hi and soak up all of her dreamy inspiration for your own home!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Recipes: Beef Stew with Beer & Paprika

Another trusty PW recipe here today. I will always love her. My husband raved over this stew. I think it was a tad too bitter for my taste, but it didn't mean I didn't eat it until it was gone. Good and gone.

If you're a beer lover like we are, go ahead and experiment. We used Deschutes Red Chair NWPA for this, and that is exactly why it was on the bitter side. IPA's are hoppy bitterness. Love IPA's, just not in stew I guess.

Beef Stew with Beer & Paprika

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 pounds Stew Meat
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 can Beer, 12 Ounce Can
4 cups Beef Stock (or 4 Cups Water + 4 Beef Bouillon Cubes)
2 cups Water (additional, If Needed)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
½ teaspoons Paprika
½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1-½ teaspoon Sugar
4 whole Carrots, Washed, Unpeeled, And Roughly Sliced
4 whole New Potatoes, Quartered
Minced Parsley (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown meat in two batches, setting aside on a plate when brown. Cut pieces in half. Set aside.

Add diced onions to the pot. Stir and cook for two or three minutes until softened, then add garlic for another minute. Pour in beer and beef stock, then add Worcestershire, tomato paste, paprika, salt, pepper, and sugar. Add beef back into the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

The liquid should cook down to a thicker state. If it gets too thick/reduces too much, add additional water as needed.

Add carrots and potatoes, then cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. (If stew gets dry, just add a cup of hot water at a time to replenish the liquid.) Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Serve in bowls next to crusty French bread. Sprinkle with minced parsley, if desired.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Etsy Love: the Greedy Seagul

I've been enjoying looking through vintage clothing on Etsy for summer ideas. I don't love a lot of the maternity looks I've come across (with the exception of Asos Maternity), and I've been trying to find pieces that could be worn while I'm huge during the warm months, but also after the baby arrives. I'd rather not buy clothes for a short time. Most of the clothes that I currently wear or buy are things I keep for a long time.

I think this would be great for a night out with a contrasting slip dress underneath.

I don't know why I'm so drawn to the "nightgown" look. I love the sheer, flowy fabric. This would be fabulous with a white slip dress underneath. Even altering the length might be a consideration.

I love empire waists. Lots of belly room before and after. Especially after, for someone like me who is already a little belly concious anyway.

Ahh! Love. How great would this be with a wide belt around the waist.

These would be too cute with the floral dresses.

Or these adorable boots. These would look so great with my skinnies.

I don't wear a ton of jewelry, it's got to be just the right piece that I'll want to wear all the time. This is one of those pieces.

Even if you're not preggers, check out the Greedy Seagul. They have tons of wiggle and sheath dresses I'm not remotely capable of wearing anytime this year and someone should give them a home! I hope you love their vintage selection as much as I do.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bump beginnings.

I've always had a little bit of a "pooch". I'm one of those rather thin gals, but have never had a great flat stomach.

I was at my heaviest in at least 5 years when I found out I was expecting our new little one. Lame. I shouldn't have gotten so lazy and slacked off on my running.

For a newly pregnant gal, it's always too soon to be showing. You hear, "Most first timers don't show till at LEAST six months". Cool. So that means I'll be rather thin until then, right? So if I look at all pregnant before then, it's just because I'm "fat" right? Eating too much? Something, I'm sure.

But when you're outside chatting it up with the neighbor, you turn to the side to point at the apple tree (the one that's grown in to his evergreen, the apple tree that loves to share it's caterpillar infestation every summer) to let him know you need a huge ladder to cut that darn thing back, and he excitedly asks you if you have news... I guess you might be showing a bit already.

"That stance you had there for a minute when you were pointing at the tree, totally let on that you might have some news"!

I guess when you're asked if there's anything new, you should tell them you're pregnant. Ha! It's the beginning of the bump, folks. Though I'm only 14 weeks and still a bit in denial, he sure made me smile today.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bootie Cuties!

I signed up for a new online community that shares patterns for crocheting and knitting. I gave a look through baby booties and found a pattern that looked pretty simple. I gave it a go!

Holy cuteness! After 6 hours and many tries, I figured out the pattern. These are so easy and quick. Looking forward to gifting lots of booties and having many to sell at future craft fairs!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Recipes: Breakfast Quinoa

This is my very own recipe I made up off the top of my head during the height of my quinoa obsession in January. I'm not much of a vegetable person from the beginning, and definitely not during breakfast. This was fabulous! You can find my recipe here on Tasty Kitchen.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Etsy Love: liddle

I love Etsy and vintage finds. When I found liddle, it encompassed both worlds. An Etsy shop, with great vintage finds. That includes baby of course!

Check out liddle for yourself or someone you know! There are a few things on here I'd love to snag up for handsome Baby J, who made it by the way! And when I say handsome, I mean it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Good luck M!

I've been talking with my dear friend M all night in regards to her early labor. She's been keeping me updated on her status. She visited the hospital with contractions 4 minutes apart, but as she could still walk through them and minimal dilation, she chose to go home and ride it out.

Three hours later, at 2:57am I received this text: "At hospital. In labor. Getting admitted this time".

I'm excited, nervous, overjoyed and scared for her! I'm so happy that I've been a part of her pregnancy since day 1. I can't wait to meet baby J, her very first child and first son.

Come on J! Don't keep us waiting too long!

Friday, March 11, 2011

12 Weeks

I'm 12 weeks today! It's funny to look at my little calendar and see I have 28 weeks left. When it first said 35 it seemed like I'd never get in to the 20's. The time moves a lot faster than I think it does.

I'd like to count my blessings thus far, I feel like pregnancy has taken it pretty easy on me. I've been tired a lot. I used to sleep for the fun of it, because I liked being lazy. Now I sleep because I'm crazy tired, yet I never get a good solid sleep in because I'm up to use the bathroom way too often. The perks.

Morning sickness has been minimal. I've had my bouts with crazy nausea but nothing that lasted all day. I've had my food aversions and those are sticking. The nausea pretty much went away between weeks 9 and 11, but have returned within the last two days. Things I don't like? The smell of garlic, coffee and bananas. I also found out last night I don't like the smell of pasta and tomato sauce. I also don't at all like the way chicken tastes. All things I had no problem with in December. It's so weird how it works. I dry heaved in to my napkin last night at dinner when I was trying to put my leftovers in to the box. Gross pasta and chicken.

If something doesn't sound good, I just don't eat it. I think that's why I've avoided feeling gross over the last two weeks. I've been craving pizza, sushi (California rolls), fruit smoothies and Mexican food. I've always been obsessed with sushi and Mexican, and I've liked pizza and smoothies, I just really like them now.

No weight gain so far, and my next appointment is on March 17th. Looking forward to the progress and seeing if they say anything about my lack of weight gain ;) I mean, I'm clearly eating!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A new chapter in life.

I'm so very excited to announce to my friends here that my husband and I are expecting our first baby September 23rd, 2011!

One thing I've kept to myself throughout blogging has been my struggle with getting pregnant. The bug to start a family hit us in 2009. After months of deliberation, we threw caution to the wind that September and have been waiting ever since. It's been an up and down roller coaster of emotions as we've watched so many friends and family members bring new little ones in to the world. I just simply couldn't understand why it wasn't happening for us.

In November of 2010 I decided I needed a mental health break. We chose to ensure we had an expected outcome at the end of the month to avoid all disappointment. And would you imagine, just three months later my husband just had this "feeling". His feeling was right. I was pregnant!

During the time of my mental health break, my dear blog friend Kate announced she was expecting her 2nd! I was so happy for her! Then, within a week of finding out I was pregnant myself, blog friend Leah announced she was expecting her 2nd as well! The best part is? Leah is due just two weeks ahead of me! Super exciting!

I'm looking forward to sharing our progress here as the pregnancy continues. We are so happy and blessed! Hoping for a happy and healthy 9 months!