Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Things To Do & Happy Thanksgiving Week

Hey there!

I have things to accomplish today.  First stop is Wegmans to get the ingredients for the pumpkin pie I'm making from Vegan Pie in the Sky.  It will be the first time I make a pumpkin pie, and vegan!  I'm excited.  Next stop is Home Depot to get my dad the drill he wants for Christmas.  It's on sale for another few days while supplies last so Sage and I need to get over there quick.  And lastly I need to get to Babies R Us to exchange our baby monitor because it won't charge and I want to have it for when we visit family for the Thanksgiving.  A day of errands...

But right now Sage is napping.  I'm trying to wean him from the swaddle because we want to start the transition to sleeping in the crib at night very soon.  This is the first time I left an arm out so we'll see how it goes.


Last night I made a new favorite meal of mine.  Creamy Vegan Butternut Alfredo.  You must try it!  The recipe makes a ton of sauce so I have enough leftover to last me the week.  Here's the link for the recipe.  My husband thought the nutmeg flavor was a little strong, but I loved it.  You can always go lighter on the spices.


Yesterday my mom visited and we took a glorious walk.  It was 70 degrees out!  It's back in the 40's today, but man it was wonderful.  I hadn't gotten out with Sage for a walk in a while due to the cold.  He was so happy.  


I really just wanted to pop in and say hi and wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving week!  I probably won't be back until after the holiday.  I hope you eat lots of amazing food and enjoy the loving company of family and friends.  

I'll keep you posted via Instagram on all my vegan eats of course!  

Talk to you soon =)

What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Holiday Nog Pancakes (vegan!)

Hi there!

Saturday mornings are all about pancakes.  It's rare that I don't make pancakes on the weekends.  There's just something so comforting about them.  I'll recap my Saturday morning which started at 6:30AM when Sage got up (well, you could say it started at 3AM, but luckily he went back to sleep by 4 o'clock and mama got a few more hours of sleep!).

GOOD MORNING!


This was my view from breakfast.  Lincoln wanted my breakfast and Sage was no longer amused.  Basically he was ready for his 8AM nap which happened just after I scarfed down those pancakes and chugged my kukicha tea.


These pancakes were everything I wanted.  Light and fluffy and rich with flavor.  I don't even consider them a splurge.  They have a lot of healthy goodies for your body mixed in with that holiday spirit.


Main ingredients:


And now, onto the recipe (serves one)...


You'll need:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tbsp. coconut sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog (I know Silk makes a vegan Nog as well)

1.  Heat pan on medium.  I greased mine with a tsp. of coconut oil.

2. Mix dry ingredients. Add in the Nog and mix.

3.  Pour batter onto heated pan and cook until bubbling on first side (about 3 minutes).  Flip and cook another three minutes or so.

4.  I topped my pancakes with pecans and maple syrup, but do whatever sounds delicious to you!  A hearty pat of earth balance also does the trick.

Would you try these?  I swear they are so good!

What's your favorite holiday food?

Also, if you missed it, check out my list of cookbooks that make great holiday gifts :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Holiday Spirit + Cookbook Gift Ideas

Hi there!

I got a 6 1/2 hour stretch of sleep last night; therefore, I'm feeling energized like I can do anything!  Sage hasn't slept that long in at least a week, so I am very thankful.  I was so spunky this morning that I decided to dress Sage up for the day.  I know, I know...it's not even Thanksgiving, but I couldn't resist.  And clearly Sage didn't mind.


It's that time of year when everyone starts running around like crazy looking for gifts.  This year we are keeping it very simple at our house.  I got a treadmill (which is really more a family gift) and my husband got a weight bench.  We went with what we really wanted and needed.  We also did some outlet mall shopping a few weeks back where I got a new purse and my husband some sneakers.  Some years we go crazy with gift buying, but this year we're trying to save, and really baby Sage is the greatest gift of all.  


TREADMILL IS ON THE WAY!!!

That being said, if you know someone who likes to cook/bake and needs some cookbook inspiration, here are a few of my favorite cookbooks that would make great gifts.  I've linked them all to Amazon for easy purchase.  They are all vegan, but trust me even if the person you're shopping for is a meat eater, these recipes will satisfy!








I haven't mentioned it much, but my poor pup Jax has had a really rough time adjusting to baby Sage being around.  He used to be the spoiled baby of the family and he just doesn't get the same amount of attention that he used to, but we tryyy.  I can tell he's just a bit sad.  I tried to cheer him up today by taking a selfie with him, but that didn't seem to do the trick, so we just cuddled instead while Sage napped.  I love you so much, Jax!


Tomorrow I am getting an eye exam that is extremely overdue and new glasses!  I'll still wear the old ones, but it would be very nice to have an extra pair just in case something were to happen to the one pair I have and which my seeing clearly heavily relies upon.  Besides that, I hope to just relax with family and cook a bunch this week.  I cannot believe Thanksgiving is next week.  I'm making this sweet potato casserole.  It looks delish!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

What are your plans?

What's your favorite cookbook?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Winter Wonderland + Sage Cuteness

Hey!

Is it snowing by you?  The ground is a beautiful white here.  It's just flurrying right now.  I made the mistake of not putting my car in the garage last night so I get to brush it off later.  Learned my lesson.  I'm functioning on more sleep that I was a few days ago.  Sage has gotten me up at 2AM and 5AM the last two nights, so at least I got a solid 4 hour stretch to start me out.  Before that I had like three nights when I was up every two hours.  I was really starting to feel crazy and emotional.  It's amazing what just a little extra sleep will do for your mental health.  Thank you, Sage.  I still don't know where my 5-7 hour stretches of sleep disappeared to, but I will now take a 4 hour stretch any day!


This morning when Sage woke up I put him on my pillow for a few minutes because he likes to stare up at the light and fan.  Such happiness.


We then got up for the day while my husband was getting ready for work.  I've been making my husband and I smoothies every morning.  This morning's smoothie was organic chocolate soy milk  + chia seeds + oats + almond butter + spinach + banana + ice.  So tasty!  Smoothies are the perfect breakfast if I want to multitask.  I can feed Sage and get my breakfast at the same time.  It's a win-win.


I'm working on letting Sage fall asleep more on his own rather than me always rocking him.  Just now he played in his crib looking at the mobile for about 30 minutes, I heard him start to get fussy, I swaddled him, and he immediately fell asleep.  Now I just need to work on him sleeping without being swaddled.  Mamas:  Any suggestions?

Today I want to make these festive brownies.  Peppermint Black Bean Brownies - yes please!  I'm yet to make a black bean brownie where I can't taste the black beans and I really like them, but I have full faith that these are going to be incredible.  I've also got a few Thanksgiving recipes I wanted to test out, but I'm not sure I'll get around to that today.    

Sage is going to the babysitter's for an hour this afternoon so she can work with him on taking a bottle and I can once again practice leaving him.  I've got six weeks of maternity leave left.  I spoke with a Lactation Consultant about our bottle troubles and she didn't seem overly concerned.  She said babies generally eat less when they are away from their mama and they'll make up for it later.  I suppose that made me feel better, but really I just hope Sage will take a bottle.  I want him to be happy and well fed while I'm at work.


I bought Sage a new hat yesterday because he definitely needs one in this snowy weather!  I wish I had one of my own because it's so cute.

Lastly, but not least, we bought a treadmill from Nordic Track!  We saw that Sears was going to have Black Friday deals on Nordic Track treadmills, but my husband called them directly and they were willing to give us a comparable deal.  It should be here within two weeks.  I'm SO excited.  I don't think I've ever been so excited about getting on a treadmill before.  I just want to run and sweat, and starting training for my half marathon.  If you missed it, here's my plan.  Clearly I'm a bit behind, but oh well.  I really can't wait to get running...

How's your week?  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Quick Life Update

Hi there!


It's winter.  I'm not ready for it.  This picture does not show how hard the snow is coming down.  The ground is now covered as I type this post.


Sage is back to getting up a lot in the night, but he has been napping on his own which is new for us.  He used to take all his naps in my arms and I am working to transition this to him napping alone.  First step, rock n' play in his bedroom.  He has napped in his crib a few times now too.  The last few nights he's been up close to every two hours.  Growth spurt?  However, when he does get up to feed he's really good about going right back to sleep.  I do miss those 5-7 hour stretches he was giving me for weeks though.  I hope they come back soon.  I am really working hard to get him on a napping schedule and bedtime routine.  


I still can't believe it is the holiday season.  I swear it was just August and I gave birth to Sage.  Where did the time go?  Anyways, Sage seriously enjoyed Christmas shopping with his Grandma.  Let's just say he was more than sufficiently entertained at Target.


 My husband and I have decided to look for a treadmill on Black Friday.  I wasn't pleased with what I saw on Craig's List and I'm just not sure joining a gym will be helpful when I'm back at work.  I need to be able to go down to the basement, run, and then be available for Sage.  It just makes more sense all around especially since I want to start training for the half marathon.

I successfully just got air pumped in my tires at Valvoline, grocery shopped with Sage, Sage fell asleep for his second morning nap on the way home, and stayed sleeping when I brought the car seat in the house.  Success!  Now I need to decide what I want for lunch...

I'll definitely be having some of this which I just spotted at Wegmans.


This afternoon we are visiting my husband at work because he has to stay late.  And that just about sums things up for now.

How are you?

Is it snowing by you?

Friday, November 14, 2014

I Signed Up for a Half Marathon + My Basic Training Plan

Happy Friday!


I took a big step.  I signed up for a local half marathon at the end of March.  That's a solid four months away.  I can do this.  Maybe.  I need these months to get back into running, and a race is the PERFECT motivator.  The last half I did was in April 2013.  Wow, two years flew by!  This will be my first race post pregnancy and with baby Sage in our lives.  Yay!


I'm not looking to be super fast (although that would be wonderful), I'm just looking to bring out the runner in me again.  She's been hibernating for quite some time now and she's ready to see the world (well, road and treadmill) again.

Check out my very basic plan.  It's meant to accommodate my life, which come the New Year will be very busy once I'm back working fulltime.  Sometimes being busy makes training easier though because you get the run in at the only free chunk of time you have.  Right?  At this point I can't really predict when that will be, but for now I'm home on maternity leave so hopefully it will be a little easier.  And I'm out of shape so it may be a bit painful at first.


Click on it to view larger

Let's start with the short term goal of really starting running next week.  I'm not going to do most of the runs in terms of miles, but minutes instead.  I'm not sure if it will be treadmill or outdoors as I see snow in the forecast.  I need to start small and progress slowly...

Have a fantastic weekend!

Are you up for training with me?!  Any race plans in your future?

Mamas:  How do you make running fit in your life?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday: Feel Good Eats

Hey hey!


I've been fighting a cold.  This post from my blogger vegan guru came at the perfect time.  I've been drinking lots of smoothies and hot teas.  My voice has taken on this low not-so-sexy sort of manish tone.  Sage doesn't seem to mind though. 

Anyways, here are my Monday eats.  I use food as medicine.  With breastfeeding I can't/don't want to be taking any medicine anyways, so healthy, happy, nutritious food it is!

7:30AM


Miso broth - 1 cup vegetable broth + 1 cup water boiled then I added in 1 tbsp. miso (don't boil the miso though, good stuff you don't want to destroy) and then I put it in travel mug as to not risk spilling it all over myself and Sage.

It's very soothing and a great way to start the day even when I'm not feeling under the weather.

9:45AM

Sprouted wheat toast topped with Vegenaise, 1/2 avocado, sliced tomato, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.


Around noon I started to get hungryyy.  Sage was sleeping on my lap and I was browsing The Kind Diet book for some food inspiration.  I started daydreaming about food because these days when I get hungry, I'm famished!  I also was thinking about how the book changed my life and how thankful I am for coming across it five years ago on a lunch break at Barnes and Noble.  Life changing, for sure.  I still recommend it to people trying not to be pushy, while trying to just say, "Hey!  This book changed my life! Read it!  It's awesome!".  


Back to food.  Sage woke up and I ran to the kitchen.  That's the short story.

1:30PM

I wanted something basic.  And fairly quick because I was really hungry.  I ate a handful of pumpkin seeds roasted in tamari while I waited for the quinoa to cook.  I love quinoa because it's high in protein and so fluffy.

Lunch was quinoa and spinach (mixed in at the end to wilt) with a tbsp. of olive oil and more pumpkin seeds were sprinkled on top.  Nothing fancy, but just what I needed.


1:45PM

I'm still eating up the pan of Gooey Pumpkin Spice Latte Chocolate Pudding Cake.  A serving a day is just right.


I topped the cake with this ice cream and pecans.


3:30PM 

Smoothie time!  My Feel Good Orange Smoothie hit the spot.  Two oranges + 1/2 banana + 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk + 5 ice cubes 


Sage and I played, he napped, my husband arrived home from work, and it was dinner time!  Easy supper because we had leftovers from a family get together on Sunday.

5:45PM

My Favorite Vegan Chili from Oh She Glows with whole wheat penne.  Pinto and kidney beans + veggies + spices.  This was the first time I tried this recipe and won't be the last.



I also munched on some tortilla chips.  It was a filling dinner and I was set for the night.  

What's your favorite meal so far this week?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sage: Month Three Baby Update

Hi there!

Time for Sage's three month update.  Three whole months - wow!!  This has been such a fun month.


Sage has developed so much and become much more interactive.  Like a little person!  He's growing fast too.  We are quickly moving out of three month clothes and solidly into the six months.  Every month is special in it's own way, but this one has been a blast.  He's just so fun with his chatting, smiling, giggling (daddy really gets him laughing!) and happy personality (except if tired or hungry!).  


Likes:  Blankets, blankets, blankets!  Sage LOVES cuddling with a blanket, moving it with his hands, and feeling how soft it is.  The little lightweight swaddle blankets are perfect for him.


He's not a pacifier baby, but a blanket soothes him. Sage loves his mommy and daddy's attention most and has such fun communicating through smiles, giggling, kicking... Sage's favorite toy is his ladybug which he stares at and grabs.  His green reclined chair that vibrates has become his favorite place to hangout this month when he's playing.  


Dislikes:  Sage is a very happy baby.  He's even coming around to bath time.  He doesn't like being hungry though and he cries when he's overtired and needs a nap.  Sage isn't a huge fan of tummy time, but he does a good job at it and then is ready to be done with it.


Sleeping:  What a difference a month makes.  Sage generally only gets his mama up once in the night between 1-4AM to eat, but often he doesn't get her up at all and wakes up between 5-6AM.  Sage's bedtime is between 8-9:30PM each night.  Naps are every 1-3 hours during the day from 20 minutes to two hours in length, generally closer to 45 minutes though.  He still sleeps in the Rock n' Play next to our bed at night.  I'm most comfortable with that right now.  I would like to start transitioning to the crib in his room soon though... 

Right now we have a bedtime routine: bath time at 7:30ish, feed at 8:00ish, and Sage sleeping by 8:30-9ish.  I swaddle and rock him to sleep after nursing.  It doesn't always go exactly like that, but it has worked well this month overall.


Great sleeping dates:

Oct 19th - Sage slept 8:30-5
Oct 30th - Sage slept 8:30-5
Nov 3rd - Sage slept 9-5:30
Nov 5th - Sage slept 9-6


Eating:  Sage loves to eat.  He nurses every 1-3 hours during the day and goes longer stretches at night.  He even took a bottle this month!!! This is something we are still working hard at even though Sage does not care much for the bottle.


Playing:  He is a playful baby boy!  He generally wakes up and plays (then will eat, sleep).  He plays mostly in his green vibrating chair and reaches for the toys we have hanging.  He loves his Eeyore and ladybug most because they are colorful and make nice sounds.  He enjoys grabbing at his toys and wrestling little blankets.  When Sage gets upset, generally his favorite stuffed animal, Piglet, can cheer him up.  Sage also loves to play with his parents and have their attention.  


New this month:  Sage is so much more alert and playful.  It's at a whole new level this month.  He loves lots of attention and is awake a lot more during the day.  Also, Sage is much happier on car trips and often just falls asleep on the drive.  He's gone grocery shopping (full shop!) with both his parents twice this month and hungout in the Moby Wrap.


Key dates:

Oct 22nd - looking in the mirror with mama and saw reflection laughing and smiling 

Oct 27th - fell asleep on own in car seat 

Nov 4th - Sage took a bottle from daddy for the first time since September 


I'm home with Sage for another seven weeks and I'm loving every minute.  Being his mama is the most incredible gift and he's a very special baby boy.  It's been a wonderful month and I look forward to all the fun to come!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nutty Chocolatey Overnight Oats

Hi! 

Let's talk breakfast.  I started my day with a juicy smoothie from the Oh She Glows cookbook because I've been feeling a bit under the weather all week.  Can't go wrong with oranges, lemon juice, ginger and a pinch of cayenne pepper!


Sage is sleeping on my lap, but as soon as he wakes up it is time for my real breakfast.  Enter:  Nutty Chocolatey Overnight Oats.

I tend to only make overnight oats each time I have a little bit of peanut butter or almond butter left in the jar.  Getting those last scrapings of goodness just calls for overnight oats.


Then I started thinking about the Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk I had in the refrigerator, because chocolate is always a special way to start the day.


Overnight oats come together so simply and so magically I can hardly call this a recipe, but here I go:

In to the jar:

2/3 cup quick oats
1-2 tbsp. almond butter (or jar remnants)
1/2 banana 
1/2 cup Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk
1 1/2 tsp. chia seeds
2 tbsp. pecans (add in the morning)

Mix it up, mashing that banana with everything else! 

Put in the refrigerator overnight.


Morning = ENJOY!  I add more milk in the morning, plus the pecans, and give it a quick stir before eating.

Now if only I had another jar of almond butter almost at its end. All in good time.

What do you think of chocolate at breakfast?  

Have you been hit with a cold this fall?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cloth Diapering from a New Mama

Hi there!

For starters, have you made this dessert yet?  

Topped with So Delicious soy chocolate ice cream and pecans for extra fun!

I had to make another pan of this Gooey Pumpkin Spice Latte Pudding Cake for myself.  Yup, all for me.  My husband doesn't like coffee and Sage certainly won't be snacking on it, so I'll be enjoying this dessert all week.  Definitely the best dessert I've had all fall.  I'm writing this post while my sweet baby boy is at the babysitter's for an hour.  Practicing taking him.  She just sent me a picture of him laughing though so that makes it a little easier on my heart.  Moving onto the subject of this post though!

This cloth diapering post is overdue.  Sage is just over 12 weeks old and we started using cloth diapers when he was two weeks old.  Ten weeks later I can happily say that I think cloth diapering is awesome.  I'm very happy we chose the cloth diapering route because things are going very well.


When I was pregnant, I was totally overwhelmed by the thought of cloth diapering even though I knew I wanted to do it.  Turns out it is way easier than I thought.  My biggest question was which ones to buy.  BIG thanks to fellow bloggers because I read A LOT of posts. After reading many positive reviews, our final decision was to go with the Bum Genius 4.0 cloth diapers.  In short, they rock.  We started out with 10 and now have 18.  Right now that's enough for about a day and a half so I do laundry each night.  Not a big deal.  But I'm getting ahead of myself... Here's our system and why I love cloth diapering:


Type of diapers: Bum Genius 4.0.  Check them out here!  They are high quality cloth diapers, there are a bunch of colors, and best of all they are one size that accommodates baby as he grows.  Each diaper comes with a shell and two inserts.  

When Sage was about eight pounds we started using them because that's when they first fit him.  Right now he's around 12-13 pounds and they continue to work fantastically.


Why did I choose to cloth diaper?  To save money, because it's better for the environment and better for baby (and bonus: super cute!).  We weren't going to start using the cloth diapers so early on, but we ran out of disposables and were having leaking issues with them anyways.  Also, Sage was getting a rash from using disposables.

Cost: They cost about $18 for each diaper.  So that would have been a $324 startup cost, however, we used all giftcards on them.  We were veryyy lucky to not have any startup cost.


Laundry:  I wash 8-12 diapers each night at this point.  Therefore, I have a few for the night and following morning that are already clean.  Since I am exclusively breastfeeding right now, the entire diaper can just go in the wash.  First, I do a cold prewash cycle.  Then I do a warm (or hot) regular cycle with an extra rinse and I add a scoop of the Bum Genius detergent.  Then, once the cycle is done, the shells are hung on a line my husband setup in the laundry room and the inserts go in the dryer on medium heat for 50 minutes.  This process seemed like a lot to me before I started actually doing it.  I promise that it's really simple.


Room setup:  We have a wet bag that hangs on the door (this one!).  When I change Sage's diaper, the diaper goes in the wet bag and the disposable wipes go in a garbage pail that is in Sage's room.  


Side note:  I use both disposable wipes (Seventh Generation, Earth's Best, and The Honest Company wipes which are my favorite) and also cloth wipes (these ones!).  I use one cloth wipe (we have 12) after using one wet one for further cleanup and to dry his booty.  The wet bag and cloth wipes go in same load with the cloth diapers each night.

Out of the house:  We pack a bunch of cloth diapers and keep a smaller wet bag in the diaper bag.  The soiled diapers just go right into the wet bag and when we get home I dump the diapers and wet bag into the washer.  I also keep some Earth's Best disposable diapers in the diaper bag just in case we need them.


I'd say a downside to cloth diapering is the initial startup cost, but really you'll spend that much on disposables in no time.  Also, doing the laundry each night is a commitment, but worth it to me.

This is obviously just my opinion based on my experience with cloth diapers so far.  I hope it's helpful.  Let me know if I missed any details that you're interested in and feel free to email me at lovalatte1@gmail.com.


What do you think of cloth diapering?