Summer Lovin...

The weather yesterday was totally giving me summer vibes, and I'm trying to soak it up as much as possible. We enjoyed some family time outside and basked in as much sun as we could. Oh, and did I mention shopping? Yes, I did a little of that too. I have dress envy for all the cute summer looks out right now. I'm realllllly good at window shopping (my husband begs to differ)...so I have chosen some of my favorite dresses currently. They're not to tough on the budget either - which is always a plus! Shop the looks above & let me know your favorite brands for all things summer as well!

xx,

Ashley

Papaya Smoothie!

Pregnancy has definitely given me a heightened awareness concerning the benefits of eating certain foods, mainly fruits and veggies! Thanks to our Nutri-Bullet, I am able to make awesome smoothies in the morning, loaded with rich antioxidants and vitamins. This morning, papaya was on the menu! Papaya is rich in Vitamin C and E, and is also a good source of fiber and folic acid. It prevents constipation and heartburn, which are both perils of pregnancy. Even if you're not pregnant, these smoothies are a great way to kick start your day! See the ingredients below:
- Papaya juice
- Water
- Half of a banana
- frozen blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries (*Can use all three, or choose two of the three)
*Blend in NutriBullet for less than 60 seconds and enjoy!

Skinny Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Quick, easy, and only about 150 calories each...these muffins are still very tasty and won't start your day off on the wrong foot! There is no oil or butter, but instead applesauce - which gives the muffins a nice, moist (ugh, least favorite word) consistency throughout. 
What you'll need...
  • 1 and 1/4 cups wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • raspberries
  • chocolate chips
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, applesauce, and egg white together and pour into dry ingredients. Mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in raspberries and chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly between approximately 10 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Allow muffins to cool and enjoy!

 

Oatmeal Banana Pancakes!

Two days in a row of food posts....blame the pregnant lady :) 

This morning I woke up a little bit earlier (like 10 minutes) so instead of running around frantically preparing my breakfast/lunch...I had time to put something yummy together! I'm a HUGE pancake fan...anytime we're out to breakfast I order them, hands down. With the flour, sugar, etc...they aren't always the healthiest option UNLESS you make them the way I did this morning. I usually mash one whole banana into mine for extra sweetness, and you can add any berries that you have kickin' around as well. They're very hearty and the oats will keep you full longer throughout the morning!

Here's what you'll need:
*Makes 2 pancakes
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 banana (optional; Can use just berries or have plain)
- dash of water
Directions: Cook in prepared pan on medium heat, as you would normal pancakes. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

 

 

How To Cope With Morning Sickness!

I am almost through my 15th week of my first pregnancy and I must say, I'm feeling rather good now! Not nearly as nauseous as I was at the beginning and I find myself much more energetic. Honestly, weeks 5-8.5 were pretty miserable...so much so that I wasn't truly able to enjoy the initial excitement of our little blessing. I don't know why it's called "morning sickness." That needs to be changed to "all day hellish sickness." I was living off of saltines, ginger ale, and gin gin candies and actually lost a few pounds, which I think it pretty normal in the first trimester for sick mums. I must say, my husband was a GIGANTIC help to me during that time. Even with his extremely busy schedule, he was waiting on me as I needed, making me breakfast, and making his own dinners since I couldn't stand to look at or smell food. His support was so amazing, and it made me even more thankful to have him as a partner. Now that I'm feeling better, we are having a lot more fun and are able to enjoy this time all the more together. 

I wanted to share a few ways that I dealt with my nausea in the first trimester, in hopes that it can help any soon to be moms out there! The biggest thing is, try (and I know it's not easy) to stay positive...remember that it will pass, and just focus on making it through the day at hand. "Survive and advance" was literally my day to day motto...that mentality helped get me through as did the following:

1. Ginger ale - I brought it to work, kept a can in my car..wherever I went I was taking small sips of ginger ale.
2. Gin Gins - My sister gave me a box of these candies and I felt they really helped for a time. I am not a fan of ginger, which was the unfortunate part of this, but I would force myself to suck on these candies. 
3. Sea Bands - I wore these elastic wrist bands on both wrists to combat the nausea. I'm not sure if it was a mental thing, but I feel like it did help a little.
4. Warm Baths - When you're sick, the last thing you want to do is even go through the process of showering, but it's kind of hard to skip many of these :) ...I found myself drawing a lot of baths so I could sit and wash my hair or do whatever I had to do. 
5. Small Meals - Eating small meals and snacks throughout the day (even though you don't feel like it) really helps fight the nausea. Stick to bland foods like crackers and bread. It's easy to miss meals because you feel so sick, but I found that I was even more nauseous on an empty stomach. 
Do you have any ideas to combat pregnancy sickness? 

Baked Apple Crisp Oatmeal

Fall makes me want to cook all day every day! Last night I came across this baked oatmeal recipe on Pinterest and absolutely HAD to try it out with some of the apples I picked this weekend! Chris and I usually eat oatmeal in the morning and I decided it was time to jazz it up a bit since it can get slightly monotonous/boring. Today, I was SO excited to eat breakfast and sample my creation! Wanna know the best part about this dish? It's baked entirely in the crockpot! You just set it and forget it! Chris absolutely loved it (he gave it a 9/10 on the rating scale haha!) 

Here's what you do:

Peel and slice about 5-6 apples and layer on the bottom of the crockpot. Disperse 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 2 cups oatmeal, and 4 cups of water on top. Do not stir. Cook on HIGH for 4.5 hours. For the last 30 minutes, add the topping which consists of: brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and butter. In the morning, heat it up and serve! 

It will look like this before you put the topping on:

oatmeal2

Topping: 

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 stick butter 

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

This morning's breakfast! Yum!!

oatmeal