I Haven’t Found the Balance, Yet

Morning, y’all!  Yesterday we had a tough time napping and as history repeats itself, Little Miss had a hard time sleeping last night as a result.  You’d think that it would be the opposite, that she would sleep soundly at night since she hardly napped throughout the day, right?  Wrong.  It’s the complete opposite.  On the days she naps well, she sleeps well at night.  And on the days she hardly naps, she hardly sleeps at night because she’s overly exhausted.  Poor girl.

Ryan was home with us this morning because Little Miss had her 4 month doctor’s appointment.  She did great and is growing like a weed – weighing 14 pounds 4 ounces and measuring 24 inches long!

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As a new momma I appreciated reading Jenn’s WIAW post yesterday.  The past couple of months I’ve had a cloud of guilt looming over me because of my inconsistent blogging schedule.  I applaud the new mommas who continue to keep up with posting regularly, but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet without making sacrifices.  I could stay awake after Little Miss goes to bed, but I love our 8PM bedtime just as much as she does.  I could stay awake after the middle of the night feeding, but I’m a zombie so I can only imagine the content I’d come up with.  Or I could skip going to the gym, but I love my endorphins too much.

I’m saying that my life is “ohmygod so much busier” than the other moms out there by any means, I just haven’t figured out how to balance everything yet.  But with time I will.  Over the past few weeks Little Miss has been falling into a more consistent routine in terms of feedings and naps, so hopefully I can get myself into a more consistent routine, too.

That tangent came out of no where.  Sorry, but it’s been on my mind.  Onto my eats from Tuesday that I planned to share yesterday, but due to the reasons mentioned above and two tutoring sessions, it’s a day late.

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Breakfast:  My raisin obsession continues {they’re hiding under the pear slices}.  Last weekend we picked up a package of English muffins at Costco and I’ve eaten one every day since – I love the nooks and crannies!  This one was topped with turkey, two fried eggs, and ketchup.

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Morning Snack:  Because of the freezing temperatures and snow, we enjoyed a slow morning at home.  Little Miss took a two-hour nap which gave me time to do some cleaning and to enjoy a {second} maple almond milk cappuccino and the last few of my Nutty Breakfast Balls.

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Lunch:  Nothing sounded too appealing other than Barbeque popchips.  I’m guilty of shaking the bag to find chips with the most seasoning on them.  But since chips would keep me full for all of 10 minutes, I added some protein in the form of a hamburger {leftover from Monday night’s dinner} on top of a simple salad with lettuce, carrots, and a bell pepper.  Plus an apple and peanuts on the side.

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Afternoon Tea:  When I first started to breastfeed I read up on natural ways to increase your supply and one of them was Mother’s Milk tea.  Many moms swear by it, but the verdict is still out if it really has helped with my supply.  I like to add a little maple syrup to mellow out the strong licorice flavor that comes from the fennel.

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Afternoon Snack:  While Little Miss was down for her afternoon nap I checked emails and snacked on grapes and a bowl of Cheerios with Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk.  Two weeks ago I tried to reintroduce dairy but things didn’t turn out so well.  I’d give almost anything for a bowl of Greek yogurt {or ice cream}.

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Dinner:  After Ryan got home from work I went to the gym and ran the best 3 miles I’ve run in a long time.  It was awesome!  When I got home I was ravenous and needed something filling, but quick.  Ryan requested chicken sausages so I sliced up a few and tossed them into a skillet with Trader Joe’s frozen red potatoes.  We had steamed broccoli on the side.

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Dessert:  I enjoyed baking a cake for Ryan on Valentine’s Day, but there are only two of us in the house which means we each have a half of a cake to eat!  The past two nights I’ve added a slice to my bowl of oatmeal.  Plus, I’ve eaten it while laying in bed while watching HGTV and browsing the housing market…  It feels so sinful, I love it.

P.S.  The winner of the Tosi SuperBites giveaway is Holly Denise Edwards.  Congrats Holly!  Please email your address to me at lifesabowlblog@gmail.com to claim your prize.

Question:  How do you like your eggs?  Scrambled, fried, over easy, boiled…

Question:  What’s been your most recent guilty pleasure?  See my dessert description above.

— Allison

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WIAW: New {Recipes} at Almost Each Meal

Good afternoon y’all!  We have another snow day today – just as the weatherman foretasted, the snow started falling late morning yesterday and continued through the evening.  It’s not snowing today, but the temperatures are bitterly cold – it currently feels like -15*F with the windchill!

Tuesday's Snow

scenes from yesterday

Wednesday Morning's Snow

scenes from this morning

Enough snow talk.  Moving on…  Onto food, specifically my eats from yesterday.  I planned to make meatloaf for dinner (I’ve had an intense craving for meatloaf for days!) but the ground turkey that I took out of the freezer didn’t fully defrost.  I know that I could have put it under warm water to quickly defrost, but I was too caught up watching One Tree Hill so I decided to save it for dinner tonight.  No worries, I have three, yes THREE, recipes to share today!  That said, I’ve learned that I’m not a great recipe writer (no big surprise), so if anyone would like to kindly share their recipe writing tips I’d gladly listen!

Thanks Jenn for hosting another tasty link-up!

Molasses Cappuccino

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 1 espresso pod (or you could grind your own espresso or use instant granules)
  • Water (enough to fill the reservoir)
  • 1/2 cup Silk Light Vanilla Soymilk (or your favorite milk)
  • 1 tsp. molasses
  • Cinnamon
  • Stevia

Directions:

First, froth the milk.  There are a few different ways to do this…

If using a Rivo System (or similar machine), the machine will essentially do all of the work for you.  Just be sure to choose the cappuccino setting, not the latte.  The machine will beep once the milk is frothed.

If using a steam wand, be sure that the wand is pushed down fully into the pitcher – if the wand is too high, large bubbles may form.  Slowly lower the pitcher as the milk rises in order to keep the tip just below the surface.  The milk is finished when the temperature reaches approximately 145*F.

If using a handheld frother, warm the milk in the microwave for 20 seconds.  Make sure the glass/mug is microwavable!  Transfer the milk to a pitcher and hold the frother close to the bottom, slightly angled.  Turn the frother on and begin swirling it around, alternating between high and low.  The milk will quickly start to thicken and small peaks will form.

Next, brew the espresso.  I make a double shot because of the size of my coffee mugs, but it’s up to you if you want a single or double shot.  Traditionally, a cappuccino is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 foamed milk.  Pour 1/2 tsp. of molasses, cinnamon, and stevia (to taste) into the espresso.

While the espresso is brewing the milk should separate, the foam will float to the top and the steamed milk will settle on the bottom.  Slowly pour the milk into the cup of espresso – the steamed milk will pour first and the foam will follow.  Top with the remaining 1/2 tsp. of molasses.

Note:  I use a Keurig Rivo Cappuccino & Latte Brewing System, but a handheld frother works wonderfully too!  Handheld frothers are fairly cheap ($10-20), are easy to find (Amazon.com/Crate & Barrel/Bed, Bath & Beyond), and require two AA batteries.  I used one before I received the Rivo System.

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Brown Sugar Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups water (this is more than the recommended amount, more water = super fluffy oats!)
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. raisins
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 – 2 tsp. brown sugar

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, add all of the ingredients and stir to combine.  Bring oats to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Occasionally stir the oats, scraping down the sides.  Cook for approximately 5 to 7 minutes or until desired doneness.  Top with your favorite toppings.

Note:  My favorite oatmeal toppings include: cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, fresh and/or dried fruit, nut butters, cereal or granola, and a splash of milk.

Cheesy Hodgepodge Eggs

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 1/2 cup Harvest Hodgepodge (it’s a frozen veggie blend from Trader Joe’s, but you could use any blend)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 2+ tbsp. shredded Mexican cheese
  • 2 rice cakes
  • 2 sunny side up eggs
  • Salt + pepper *optional*
  • Hot sauce *optional*

Directions:

Coat a medium skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place on medium heat.  Add the frozen veggies to the skillet.  Once the veggies are cooked, add a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce and stir.  Cook until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Remove the veggies and distribute evenly among the rice cakes.  Sprinkle with Mexican cheese.

Place the skillet back onto the burner.  If the skillet is sticky from the Worcestershire sauce add a second coating of nonstick cooking spray.  Crack eggs into the skillet.  When the whites start to turn opaque, cover the eggs with a lid – the lid helps the whites to cook thoroughly while the yolk stays runny.

A thin white layer will form on top of the yolk and indicates that the eggs are done.  Place an egg on top of each rice cake and sprinkle with salt + pepper and add a dash of hot sauce.

Note:  I know that a lot of people love to hate rice cakes more than they love to eat them (my husband included).  You can easily swap the rice cakes for toast, an English muffin, potatoes, or skip the carbs all together.

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celery sticks + salsa, a grapefruit, & pretzels on the side

Apple & Popcorn Snack

an apple & Brown Bag Popcorn with sunflower seeds for an afternoon snack

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veggies, veggies, & more veggies

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chicken potsticker soup & a buttered English muffin

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Joe’s O’s with vanilla bean ice cream

Question:  Does anyone else think that those Brussels sprouts look like alien heads?

Question:  Do you butter your bread?  I don’t usually becuase my stomach doesn’t do well with butter, but sometimes nothing sounds better than buttered toast (or pasta).  We use Earth Balance butter and my stomach seems to do well with that.

— Allison

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WIAW: Two Thumbs Up for Stubb’s BBQ {Giveaway}

Good morninggg, thank you all for the well wishes :)  I actually typed and meant to publish this post yesterday but my foggy sick brain forgot the last step, to click the “Publish” button.  Whoops.  That said, I’ll save my ZOOMA Annapolis race recap for another day – my Tuesday eats and a giveaway is enough for one day.

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling better but this morning I’m feeling not so hot, er rather, I’m feeling really hot and think my fever is back.  My doctor thinks that I caught a virus because of the sudden onset and my other symptoms – if I don’t feel better by Friday I’ll meet him for an exam and have my labs drawn.  To the average person a virus is never fun, but because lupus suppresses my immune system, anything  that I “catch” is exacerbated and hard to get over.  Boo.

I’m going into work today though because my inbox is bursting at the megabyte and is starting to stress me out.  Yesterday the highlight of my day was this…

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Eeek, shield your eyes!  Charlie is in ze buff!

It took a lot of bribing and coaxing to get him into the tub.  He isn’t the biggest fan of water, so much so that whenever we pass by a lake on a walk, he sticks out his claws to grab the ground below him.  He’s gotten better over time and nowadays he will walk out onto a dock but still refuses to go anywhere close to the edge.

Moving on…  My Tuesday eats.  One perk of being sick is having easy access to the kitchen.  Eggs for lunch?  Heck yes!

Thanks Jenn for hosting another tasty link-up!

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frozen berries & a pancake pile [aka the pancakes didn’t cooperate] topped with Kashi Go Lean + cottage cheese + crunchy PB + blueberry preserves

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cottage cheese mixed with blueberry preserves & topped with Joe’s O’s

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carrots + celery, apple slices, eggs stuffed with shredded light taco cheese + avocado + salsa, & a toasted TJs Berry Mango Bran Muffin

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afternoon snack of an unpictured banana & popcorn

6-5 Park

Charlie & I were antsy from sitting inside all day so we went to the park with Ryan to watch him skate

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Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q sauces, rubs, & marinades

The kind folks at Stubb’s contacted me, asking if I’d be interested in trying a few of their products.  Since summer is quickly approaching and knowing that Ryan is a big fan of BBQ, I couldn’t say no.   They sent me a couple of rubs, bottles of marinade [seen in the picture above] – I was psyched!  Evidently I couldn’t wait because BBQ was what was for dinner.

Stubb’s is the industry leader among small batch sauces.  Stubb’s products are all-natural, certified gluten-free, and contain no high fructose corn syrup, yet retain their deep-rooted, authentic Texas tastes and barbecue cook-off credibility.  They offer a great way for people to add flavor and interest to sandwiches, burgers and grilled meats, fish and veggies, while avoiding the fat, calories or artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, or preservatives often found on the condiment aisle.

Like ants at a picnic, hidden dietary pitfalls are unwelcome – but all too common – guests at spring and summer cookouts.  Condiments from mayo to soy sauce can be the biggest offenders, with artificial ingredients, fat, sodium, and gluten.  Did you know?  A new survey reported that 1/3 of Americans are eating gluten free diets.  Woah!

Check out this link for information about common nutritional pitfalls found on the condiment aisle.

6-5 Dinner

chicken tenders with Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Spice Rub + Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce served with sweet potatoes & an unpictured salad

Sauces:  The link-up includes Original Sweet Heat, Spicy, Hickory Bourbon, Smokey Mesquite, and Honey Pecan.  At an average of 20 calories, 110 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon, and no high fructose corn syrup, Stubb’s is a healthier option with no sacrifice in taste.

Marinades:  From light and tangy Chicken Marinade with brown sugar, onion, garlic, and citrus, to zesty Beef Marinade, made with soy, lime, ginger, and red pepper, Stubb’s marinades [also including Pork and Steakhouse marinades] add interest to everyday cooking and grilling.  Stubb’s injectable marinades in Texas Butter or Chipotle Butter come with their own injector and help create moist, flavorful holiday turkey, summer briskets, weeknight beef and pork roasts, and more.

Rubs:  Stubb’s savory spice blends in Bar-B-Q, Beef, Chicken, Pork, and Steak can be used to prep meats for the grill or used to boost flavor and add a kick to any dish.

The verdict:  Two thumbs up!

Ryan and I thought the Bar-B-Q Spice Rub was full of flavor, spicy but not so overwhelming that we couldn’t taste anything.  The Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce lived up to it’s name, it started out sweet due to the molasses and brown sugar, and packed a punch of heat from the chipotle peppers.

We cannot wait to host a BBQ with all of our friends at our new apartment and try all of the other sauces.  Stubb’s is definitely a product line that I will purchase in the future.

6-5 Almond Butter

an almost empty almond butter jar stuffed with cereal + Silk Light Vanilla

Want to win 3 coupons so you can cook and grill with Stubb’s?  The giveaway is open until Sunday, June 9th at 11:59PM EST and I’ll announce the winner on Monday.  Please note that unfortunately this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.

There are 6 ways to enter.  Please leave a separate comment for each entry.  You can enter once, twice, or all six times – the more entries, the better your chances…

  1. Leave a comment answering:  What’s your favorite thing to BBQ?
  2. Tweet about this giveaway and tag @lifesabowl and @stubbsbbqsauce
  3. Follow Stubb’s on Twitter
  4. Follow Life’s a Bowl on Twitter
  5. Like Stubb’s on Facebook
  6. Like Life’s a Bowl on Facebook

Disclaimer:  I was provided free products from Stubb’s Bar-B-Q for the purpose of this review, however I was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own.

— Allison

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