Monday, February 11, 2019

Healthy Breakfast Cookies (Made with Pantry Staples!)

Before I got pregnant, I was one of those people who would grab a bottle of water on the way out the door and not eat anything else until lunchtime.  Needless to say, that quickly came to an end.  While I was very lucky not to experience any nausea during my first trimester, if I didn't eat for more than a a couple of hours during any waking hours, I would start to get very annoying headaches.
These cookies have so much goodness in them, and you can definitely add your own favorite ingredients, too.  I've tried raisins, craisins, coconut, and walnuts.  Also, if you're looking for a gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free cookie - this is it (however, make sure you check with the brands you select for any potential cross-contamination)!

- 2 large bananas, mashed
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons milled flaxseed
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl.  I like to add in one ingredient at a time and mix until that's incorporated before moving onto the next one.
3. Scoop 1/4 cup-fuls of batter onto the parchment paper.  The cookies will not spread or rise when they bake, so I try to round and flatten the batter so that they cook more evenly.
4. Bake for 15 minutes, until the cookies appear dry.
5. Allow them to cool fully on a wire rack and store them in individual bags.  I bring 2 to work each day, and this batch makes enough for a full work week (5 days)!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Predicting Baby's Gender: 10 Old Wives Tales

I found out I was pregnant at about 4 weeks, and we had it confirmed when I was 9 weeks alond.  We decided to find out early what we are having because I am definitely not a patient person.  The way they can collect my blood and do a range of genetic testing on baby (including finding out the gender) at only 13 weeks is seriously so cool.  Well, before we found out the results, I scoured the internet for all of those silly old wives tales that can supposedly predict the gender - I figured, why not, right?!  Here's what they predicted during my first trimester:

  • Chinese gender predictor chart: Boy
  • Mayan gender predictor: Boy
  • Heart rate: Over 140 bpm (Girl)
  • Experiencing breakouts?: Yes (Girl)
  • Having morning sickness?: No (Boy)
  • Craving salty or sweet?: Salty (Boy)
  • Cranky or in a good mood?: Good mood (Boy)
  • Where is your weight gain?: All in belly (Boy)
  • Feet hot or cold?: Cold (Boy)
  • Having headaches?: Yes (Boy)

So, it was 8 for boy and 2 for girl.  A few of these (hello, craving everything sweet and thank goodness the breakouts seem to be behind me) have changed since then, but they all said to measure between 10 and 12 weeks.  For some reason Mike and I both had this instinct that we were having a girl, but it turned out that these old wives tales were better at predicting than any parental instincts that hadn't kicked in yet - haha!

It's true, Baby BOY Taylor will be here in May!  We have finally chosen which room will be the nursery, and coincidentally, it's already painted blue.  We can't wait to start getting the nursery together soon!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

First Trimester Essentials

I'm so excited to finally share some of the post topics I've had in my head over the last four months.  I've had little lists going in my planner, and when I first found out we were expecting, I looked through a bunch of bloggers' posts about what their favorite first trimester products were. 

To preface this, I cannot even tell you how lucky I feel that this pregnancy has been a joy so far.  I haven't experienced any nausea or other symptoms, other than a few headaches (and a little back pain coming on now at 23 weeks).  I've definitely been able to enjoy every minute of this experience and hopefully, if you're expecting, you'll do the same with some of these products:
Pregnancy App: When I found out I was pregnant, I switched my "Flo" app that tracks my cycle to pregnancy mode, but it doesn't have a ton of information.  Instead, I downloaded the "What to Expect" app with weekly updates.  My favorite part is definitely the Baby Size Comparison chart.  I have "'80s and '90s Nostalgia" turned on (size of a Furby this week!), but there's also your typical "fruits" category as well as "Movie & TV props" (imagine: the blue diamond from The Titanic the World's Best Boss mug from The Office).

Vitamins: My PA suggested starting to take these months before I got pregnant, so I've been on these Vitafusion Prenatal gummy vitamins for a while, and I love these in the raspberry lemonade flavor.  I've also tried the One A Day prenatal gummy before, but I didn't like the flavors as much.  Some moms-to-be have experienced upset stomachs with pre-natals, and if that happens to you, make sure you take them with a meal!

Stretch mark cream: This is something that I started at only a few weeks pregnant.  I know I wouldn't have stretch marks yet, but they say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so I figured I would start right away so that when the time comes, I would already be using it.  I love this Burt's Bees Belly Butter - unscented and doesn't feel too greasy!

Food cravings and aversions: Through my first trimester, no smells really made me ill, but I didn't feel like eating anything greasy or sweet.  I was eating every couple hours (and still am).  My life was filled with everything bland: Cheerios, yogurt, bagels with cream cheese, and my biggest source of protein was definitely peanut butter.

Fit watch: Mike bought me one of these for Christmas, but shortly after my 8-week appointment where they confirmed the pregnancy, he gave it to me.  He knew I would still want to exercise as much as possible, but needing to keep my heart rate at 140 bpm or lower, I had to learn my limits.  He saw how much I love it that I actually bought him one for Christmas, too.  We both have the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro, and it pairs really well with our Samsung Galaxy phones.

Letter board: Hello, what mom-to-be doesn't have one of these to take those weekly bumpdate photos?!  Not sure how often I will share mine, but I started taking them at 13 weeks when I felt the first little bit of bump sticking out.  I can remember feeling so giant, but now looking back on it, that little bump was definitely just food - haha!  Here's a link to mine.

Water bottle: As I mentioned, one of my only pregnancy symptoms during my first trimester were headaches.  I have always tried to be good about drinking water, but sometimes you just forget!  My PA told me about these awesome bottles (linked here) that not only make sure you're drinking enough each day but are also marked by the hour to ensure your consumption says on track each hour.  You fill it up in the morning, drink it all the way down by 2pm, and fill it back up for the second half of the day.  Each side of the bottle has hourly tick-marks to make it easy!

Leggings: One of the best pieces of advice I received was to start buying maternity clothes as soon as your regular clothes start to feel snug.  Why try to squeeze yourself into your old clothes when there you'll have to buy maternity clothes in a few weeks anyway?!  Well, I definitely took this to heart and started shopping right away - haha.  My favorites have been Target (for their loungewear), H&M (for their jeans and work tops), and Old Navy (for their dresses).  With a little bump, some pregnancy pants didn't fit during my first trimester, but these leggings were perfect, and I have them in 4 colors now!

Shoes: Comfort has been key for me this whole pregnancy.  I bought my first pair of Toms a couple months age (I know, where have I been?!), and I have these New Balance sneakers in every color I can find. 

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