Archive for March, 2010

TOday Rudy reminded me that I have a review and a giveaway to do!  Back in December the kind folks at Divine Foods send me 3 boxes of their Prana Bars and Boomi Bars.  Since I had recently been told I should follow a gluten-free diet, I was excited to try these gluten-free bars made of various nuts, seeds, and fruit.

I was floored by how generous they were in sending me so many samples and decided I would give one box away.  I tucked that box away and promptly forgot about it!  That is until this morning when Rudy started playing in some of the cardboard boxes that had accumulated in the guest room.

Before going on…let me just say:  There is never any need to spend money on pricey toys for a cat.  Jack and Rudy have every toy under the sun and their favorite things are still paper bags and cardboard boxes.

I digress…. Rudy uncovered the box of Boomi Bars I had tucked away and I decided today was the day to give you my review and to giveaway a box of these bars.

When I started a gluten-free diet I was so sad to give up my favorite cookie dough Balance Bars and so many of my favorite Cliff Bars.  But these bars eased the transition for me!  I love these bars!  I have said before that I don’t like nuts.  I love nut butters, but I don’t like nuts.  That means that gluten-free bars, many of which are heavy on the nuts, have taken some getting used to.  These bars, however, crush the nuts so finely that I don’t notice that I am crunching nuts.  They are very soft and have a melt-in-you-mouth consistency.  The Prana Bars are my favorite and are much softer, but the Boomi Bars are also good.  Both tout impressive nutritional stats.  They range from 180-230 calories, have around 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.  And because of the nuts, these bars have staying power in terms of hunger.

Now I have a box of 8 Boomi Bars to giveaway to you!  Inside are a variety of Boomi Bars, as well as a 4 of the Prana Bars.  You can taste both and let me know which you prefer!

I find I skip over a lot of giveaways because I am trying to read so many blogs and each giveaway has so many steps.  I just don’t take the time to leave a comment, then go follow the person on twitter (come back and leave a comment), then add them to my blogroll (then come back to leave a comment), and on and on and on….   I just don’t take the time.  So I’ll make this really simple.  If you’d like to win this box of 12 bars, just leave a comment.  Say hi!  Maybe come back again and visit again!  🙂  But I’ll leave it at that.  Leave a comment and you’re entered to win!


Tomorrow is another big day for us.  We have the inspection of our new house!  My mom is going to drive up to see it which I am excited about.  And I hope to take some pictures so I can show you where we’ll be living!

Thank you all for your kind comments about my belly pictures!  It is amazing to see these changes in me, and it is such fun to share it with you!   🙂


Read Full Post »

Big Day for Me!

As seems to be the case here in Boston…if its a Monday its raining.  And boy is it raining….again!  But that’s okay because today is a good day for another very important reason.  Today, I begin my second trimester!  According to my first ultrasound, at 8 weeks, Wednesday would be the official start of week 13.  But according to the more recent on, I was measuring 12 weeks, one day last Tuesday.  That make today 13 weeks and the second trimester.

This is improtant to me from an emotional standpoint because I have been a nervous wreck for the last 10 weeks or so!  But my doctor told me last Tuesday that I was allowed to worry for one more week, and then I wasn’t allowed to worry anymore!  🙂  Of course she was joking, but the miscarriage risk does go down significantly now.  And having seen an active baby, with a strong heart beat, his/her chances are that much better.

I am still nervous (Dave says I can stop being nervous in a little over 18 years!!), but I am starting to accept that this is most likely really going to happen.  And that is just thrilling to think about.  It also means that I have spent 0 time reading your blogs over the last several days, and hours looking at baby gear, cloth diapering options, and decorating ideas.  If I fail chemistry this semester, I’m blaming the baby!  🙂

For those who might be interested, and for my family, who is most definitely interested, here are the first belly shots:

There is a definite bump there.  I have gained only about 1 – 1 1/2 pounds, but I feel huge!  I am not someone who carries weight in my stomach.  I have fought fat from my thighs and butt, but my belly has always been flat.  I’m not really huge, but I feel that way because it is so strange to see any roundness in the belly area.  By the way….I realize that in several months I will look back and what to slap myself for feeling huge at this point.  This is nothing!

I’m not going to turn my blog into a pregnancy blog, but I also want to be able to look back on this year and see all of the changes.  I hope you can bear with me.  Regularly scheduled food blogging will return tomorrow!  🙂

But just so that I don’t leave you craving a food post…I will show you what pregnancy craving drove me to this weekend…  I have a very vivid memory of Easter time in my senior year of college.  I was asleep, but heard my roommates in the kitchen laughing hysterically.  I woke up, stumbled to the kitchen, and found them in hysterics, blowing up Peeps in the microwave!  Its possible that they had had a little to drink too…  Well it’s Peep season now, and I got a hankering for some of that marshmellowy goodness.  But remembering my friends’ discovery, I had a little fun with my Peeps.

On some gluten-free bread, I spread some peanut butter.  Then I placed on bunny Peep on each slice.

Into the microwave they went…and this is what I got!

Ooey gooey marshmellowy goodness.  Pregnant or not, this was delicious!  Its like peanut butter and Fluff, but better!

On that note…I’m off to check on dinner.  Have a good night everyone 🙂

Read Full Post »

You Convinced Me

Well, after months of reading all about the many bloggers making savory oats, I finally gave it a try.  This was a tough one for me because in my mind, oatmeal is supposed to be sweet.  But the blogworld has rarely let me down when it comes to good food ideas, so when I realized I had all of the ingredients, including an opened can of beans in need of eating, I decided tonight was the night.

Last night, I used some of the beans in another bowl of spaghetti squash, spinach, tomato, artichoke, broccoli slaw and Laughing Cow.  It was delicious, as always.

But because it is dangerous for me to have too many beans, I still had a lot left after last night’s dinner.  Those remaining beans were the star in my savory oats tonight.  Inm the mix:

  • 1/3 cup oats with
  • 2/3 cup water
  • a handful of spinach
  • several large scoops of salsa
  • 1/2 cup beans
  • 4 diced artichoke
  • 1/3 cup egg beaters

I mixed it all together and microwaved it for 2 minutes.  After stirring, I microwaved again for another minutes.  Finally, I topped it with a scoop of plain Chobani.

This was incredible!  The beans are gone now, but I think I will be making this again tomorrow.  That’s how impressed I was!  Perhaps tomorrow I will try adding some Laughing Cow…..  It works in everything else.  Why not savory oats?!  I was very skeptical, but I’m sold.

This hit the spot and topped of a very boring and tedious afternoon of chemistry homework.  Now, I am half way though 3 episodes of Private Practice.  Dave has been traveling so much lately that our DVR is close to overflowing!  He had to grant me permission to watch something in his absence so that we wouldn’t run out of room….Private Practice was the show he was willing to sacrifice.

Jack is glaring at my laptop, willing me to put it down to free up my lap.  So I will wrap up this post for the night.  It’s so funny, but Jack and Rudy have always shunned my lap, curling up right next to me, but never on my lap.  However, since becoming pregnant, they both want to sit on my lap and lie on my tummy.  Pretty incredible!

Happy Friday everyone!  🙂

Read Full Post »

Well, we’re 2 for 2 this week.  News of a healthy baby yesterday morning, and then late last night, news that our offer on the house has been accepted!  I am so excited!  This is our first time owning our own house and the timing is perfect with a little one on the way!  Thank you all for being so excited for us.  When something good happens, I love the feeling of wanting to share the news with my blog friends!  🙂

Many of you asked me if we would find out the baby’s sex.  Oh yeah!  I am such a planner.  I need to know.  I have always wanted a little girl…I love the idea of buying cute little girl clothes and having a relationship with my daughter like the relationship I have with my mom.  I remember growing up and going to lunch and shopping with my mom and grandmother.  All the girls!  Great memories, and I look forward to having a daughter one day so that my and I can share “girl days” with her.

All that being said…. I have been so nervous throughout the first trimester that something will happen to this baby, that I don’t care anymore if its a boy or a girl. I just want him/her to be healthy.  Also, since my sister-in-law’s twin boys were born last fall, I have had no doubts that I will be equally in love with a baby boy.  I just adore our nephews so much and it breaks my heart that they are all the way in Seattle.  We have wed video chats sometimes, but its not the same.  😦     Bottomline:  Boy or girl, I don’t care.  Just be healthy!


That’s enough baby news for today.  Lets move on to the food!  I have been on such a cheesey kick lately.  I go through a lot  of Laughing Cow!

Last night, I really wanted mac and cheese.  Trader Joe’s makes a rice mac and cheese and I like it a lot.  But it is twice the price of their regular mac and cheese.  So instead of splitting the box with Dave, I made 2 different boxes.

His and hers!  Mine was mixed with spinach tomato and broccoli (and topped with parmesan cheese…I just can’t get enough cheese!).

Dave passed on the spinach and tomato, but he had some of his favorite vegetable…broccoli!  And a couple of crescent rolls.  🙂  He was hungry and was almost done by the time I got a picture.  It must have been good!

Tonight included more cheese.  I made my new favorite…spaghetti squash with spinch, artichoke, and tomato and Laughing Cow.  I just love it!  I always include the same things, but add different protein sources.  Tonight it was black beans.  Yum!

Time to unplug for the evening….  Thanks you all again  for your kind words and excitement.  It is so fun to share this with you!  I hope I can get some pictures of the new house that I can share with you when we have our inspection next week.  I’d post the listing itself because it has so many great pictures of the house and property….but I don’t want any crazies out there to know our new address!   Internet safety, you know!

Read Full Post »

From Blob to Baby

Four weeks ago our baby looked like a blob on the ultrasound.  The doctor pointed to certain spots, but nothing really looked human about it.  This was 4 weeks ago.

Today, he/she looked very much like a little person!  It was absolutely amazing to see.  We could hear the heartbeat, which was a strong 150 beats per minute (That’s down from 180 bpm 4 weeks ago), and he/she was dancing all over the place!

This appointment was a Nuchal Translucency Screening.  It is basically an early risk assessment where they measure a portion of the baby’s neck, and combine those measurements with a blood test at 12 weeks and another blood test at 15 1/2 weeks, in order to assess what the baby’s risk is for Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18, or Cystic Fibrosis.  The neck measurement was perfectly normal.  1.3 milimeters.  Anything above 3 is a risk factor.  We have to wait for the second blood test in a couple of weeks to get the entire risk assessment, but its good to know that the measurements of the neck are not at all worrisome.

Honestly, I am not overly worried about any genetic disorders.  What I wanted most today was the ultrasound.  My biggest worry was a missed miscarriage.  When this happens, the baby dies quiety with no  bleeding or cramping.  It is only discovered by the next scheduled ultrasound.  I was so scared to go in there and find out that the baby had stopped growing weeks ago (the size of my belly should have been enough evidence that the baby is indeed growing!, but I worried anyway!).  I wanted to have this 12 week screening done mostly so that I could have another ultrasound.  Waiting another month would have been horrible!

I am so relieved to see that the baby is healthy and growing!  Here are the pictures we got today.  I apologize for how many there are, but I know our families will be checking them out too!  🙂

Look at those hands!

Arms and legs!

Look at that profile!

Flipped around the other way.

Jack looking less than pleased about his eventual competition!

This was quite a day!  We are crossing our fingers that it is topped off with news that our offer on the house has been accepted.  But either way, this is a day I will remember!

Thank you all for your positive comments and support.  When I am nervous the way I was heading into this appointment, it truly helps to hear someone else say “Its going to be okay.”  Thank you so very much!

Read Full Post »

I love when one night’s dinner can be another day’s lunch!  Last night I made one of my favorites…Rice Chex encrusted eggplant with noodles, spinach and marinara.  I just don’t get sick of this!

I roasted the rest of the egg plant slices along with the ones I had rolled in Rice Chex, and I used them today in my lunch.  On two slices of gluten free bread, I spread some tomato sauce, and placed a couple of eggplant slices.  Then I toasted it all with a little mozzerella sprinkled on top.  Delish!


I had planned to clean and work on chenistry today.  I got through the cleaning and everything looks much better, but I am feeling daunted by the chemistry.  Last week was a week off of classes, so I feel like I have forgotten everything.  Add to that some major distractions, and I am starting to accept that not a lot of school work is going to happen today.

What is distracting me, you ask?  Well, for one, we decided to put in an offer on one of the houses we liked.  We saw a couple this past weekend that we liked, but neither measured up to the charm of the first house we saw.  The only negative is that one side of the house faces a relatively busy road.  But in the end, that really shouldn’t be an issue as it  is  set up on a hill, behind a fence, and has a big tree also blocking the street.  I think we would be really happy there if we got it.  The house is great, the yard is big, and the neighborhood is wonderful.  All we can do is wait and see…but the thought of it is very distracting!

Distraction #2?  Tomorrow is my second ultrasound.  I am so nervous!  I have no reason to think that things aren’t going just they way they should be.  But I am nervous nonetheless.  There are so many stories of miscarriage and it really scares me.  I will be 12 weeks on Wednesday andwhen I see that  things are going well tomorrow, I will feel much more confident that everything is going to be okay.  But the first 12 weeks are so scary with thoughts of something going wrong.  Fortunately, the appointment is first thing in the morning, so I don’t have to get through a whole day of lecture and chemistry lab waiting and worrying.

So there you have it.  There’s so many wonderful, exciting things happening in our life right now.  Its all good stuff.  But it sure does distract me when I am trying to concentrate.  I think I’ll just plan to be super productive after we get a double dose of good news tomorrow….a healthy baby and a house!  Cross your fingers for me!  🙂

Last but not least, Dave just mentioned to me the other day that his mom sometimes reads my blog!  So if you’re reading Jan, Happy Birthday!!  Dave and I are so lucky because both of our moms are great mothers-in-law.  I don’t have a single mother-in-law horror story.  The only bad thing is that she is so far away.  I wish we were there to celebrate with you, Jan, but we’ll see you in just a couple of weeks in Vegas!!

Read Full Post »

Last weekend, we were out house hunting in the driving rain.  We came home looking like drowned rats!  This weekend….gorgeous!  It was 70+ degrees yesterday and we were able to take a walk around one of the neighborhoods.  Much more enjoyable.  We went back tot he house we liked last weekend, but seeing it again, we were just really worried about how much traffic there is on the steet.  I wish we could pick up the house and put it somewhere else!

We did find one house we really liked yesterday.  Its small, but big enough for us.  Its been newly painted and updated which is really nice, and there is a small rec room in the basement that has been finished off.  It also has a good yard for us….not big, so there wouldn’t be pressure to do a lot of landscaping, but still enough room for a small garden, a swingset, and a shed.  Its in a quiet neighborhood where there were kids out playing and it is only a short walk from the bike trail I love to run on!  I should also mention that it is less than a 5 minute drive to Trader Joe’s!!

We have a couple more open houses to go to today, and then I really hope we have a strong feeling about moving forward on one of them.  The end of April is going to come up quick and we sure would like that credit given to first home buyers!


I seem to be having 2 strong cravings lately.  One, for salty things.  This one is strange because I am generally a sweets person all the way and have no desire for chips or other salty snacks.  (Don’t misunderstand…the sweets cravings are still there too.  I dreamt of cupcakes last night!!)  My other craving is for veggies.  I can’t get enough spinach and salads!  That’s a good craving to have and I’ve been taking advantage!

Here’s Friday’s shirataki noodles with spinach, artichokes, mixed veggies, tomato sauce, and shrimp.

Some people really don’t like shirataki noodles because of the smell.  But I add so much to the noodles, that I really don’t notice it.  Plus they are low cal (which in my mind simply means I can add more to the dish and have extra volume!).  And of course, they are gluten-free.

Here’s Jack waiting for dinner last night!

I made another veggie heavy dinner, cooking up 1/4 cup dry quinoa and adding diced tomato, spinach, artichoke, canned salmon, and Laughing Cow cheese.  With a side of broccoli, it was a huge plate!  This is what 1/4 cup quinoa looks like when its bulked up with veggies (this is a large dinner sized plate)!

This dinner reconfirms….again…that Laughing Cow Cheese can be added to just about anything!

Dave had one of his famous North Dakota Burritos with a couple Pillsbury Crescent rolls on the side.  (For any new reader, that would be chicken, cheese, and rice, in a flour tortilla….very white!)  But yesterday I smuggled some broccoli onto his plate.

Amazingly, Dave has come to really like broccoli….to the point where he will even order it as a side in restaurants!  Just proof that you can develop tastes for things later in life.  I try to push only one thing at a time, so I didn’t give home a whole plate full of veggies, but very slowly, we’re expanding his repertoire.

I plan to do the same thing with our children from the very start!  I want them to be exposed to all kinds of foods so that they develop tastes for different foods.  A wide variety = More nutrition!  It takes something like 20 exposures to a food before a child will decide he/she likes something.  So my plan is to keep serving a variety veggies, fruits, hummus, grains, etc., and make sure they see me (and Dave!) eating these foods too, so that they gradually develop a taste for healthy foods.  I am big on treats and will be the first to take the kids out for ice cream, but I want our kids to also have a healthy variety of foods in their diet as well.

That means that Dave needs to eat more veggies, and I will incorporate a healthy amount of meat.  I’m not a big meat eater, but I will certainly expose them to meat as well.  I want our kids to come to their own decisions on how much meat they consume and I don’t want them to be biased because “mom doesn’t eat meat.”  I might not eat it often, because I really don’t crave it, but they will see me eat chicken or 97% lean beef burgers. All that being said, when it comes to meat and growing children, I feel very strongly that the meat needs to be organic and hormone free.  It makes me nervous to feed developing bodies hormones.  Sure, we ate meat growing up in the 80s that wasn’t labeled “hormone-free,” and we turned out just fine!  But I also don’t think we can compare how meat was produced in the 80s with how we feed conventional cattle and chickens today.

Enough on that.  It is another beautiful day!  I want to get in a workout and then hit up the last houses on the list for this weekend. Wish us luck!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »