The winning combo + T minus 2 months!

Hi friends!

I cannot believe May begins tomorrow. The months are flying by faster and faster it seems. What did you guys do over the weekend? We caught up on a few errands and things around the house, did some relaxing, and had a nice little date night.

Our Friday night involved Longhorn Steakhouse –> we had one of these restaurants near us in Houston but we never went. This was actually our first time eating there together (my friend Bernice had a lunch here last month, so I went for that, but Joel missed out because he was out of town).

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The margharitas on that drink menu looked pretty darn incredible. Can’t wait to sip a margharita on the patio after the baby comes. :)

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Soft, delicious bread, warm and fresh from the oven. They know how to do it right at Longhorn.

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Salads to start. Joel’s dressing of choice was olive oil. My favorite dressing of all time is THIS ONE <– you have gotta try it.

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I went with chicken and asparagus for my meal, and Joel opted for steak. There were chopped jalapenos in the pico on top of the chicken, which I was not aware of until I bit right into a big one and set my mouth on fire. Phew!

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Our date night continued with a movie! I am pretty sure MoviePass is one of my favorite things. We tried to see the new Avengers movie but it was sold out, so we went with Rampage instead. I have to admit I had my doubts on whether I’d like it, but I ended up really enjoying it. I suppose the best way to ensure liking a movie is going in with zero expectations haha :)

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Our date didn’t end there… we then grabbed ice cream at Wentworth :) Chocolate with salted caramel and oreos for me (yess), and rum raisin for Joel. He’s always been a big rum raisin fan, and I gotta say, I just don’t get it..?

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Saturday afternoon bump. T minus 2 months till this little guy makes an appearance! I’m feeling big for sure, but surprisingly good still. No issues to speak of, just happily pregnant over here :)

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My book club book has finally arrived. The German Girl (find it here!) looks like it’ll be an interesting read. I’ve heard good things so I’m looking forward to diving in :)

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We finally had a day that was warm and dry enough to oil up our teak furniture –> the oil works best above 50 degrees –> something about the pores in the wood opening up…

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I love Spring! It feels so good to sit outside. I am pretty sure that the amazing Connecticut Spring is our consolation prize for surviving the winter hah.

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Berks + socks on the patio once again –> probably one of my more stylish moments to date :)

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This very cool guy took care of the entire furniture set himself. That’s right — the big table plus 8 chairs. And not only that, he also spent some time trimming our rose bushes and getting all the plants around the property nice and ready for the season. He’s the best.

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After a long day of strenuous yard work (Joel), cheerleading of said yard work (me), and some couch surfing (also me) we were ready for some Thai dinner. Joel opted for a papaya salad with pineapple rice and chicken.

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I went with garlicky salmon, veggies, and some of that very delicious pineapple rice –> it all made for quite the awesome experience for my taste buds. 10 out of 10. This will definitely be a repeat dinner.

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Sunday morning involved church –> we arrived late and ran into a friend in the lobby so chatted out there for a bit. There were a few paramedics around tending to a young woman who had passed out during the service. She was sitting up, talking, and seemed fine by the time we saw her so I hope everything was ok. Since we were super late by the time we made it inside, we headed up to the balcony where we found Jeff, Jessica, and Mike. Yay for having friends to sit with :)

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Post-church lunch happened at Tandoor with Jessica and Bernice :) It feels like forever since the last time we saw them, so it was nice to catch up.

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The Tandoor buffet lunch is pretty stellar, and the place was super busy this time around, the busiest I have ever seen it! There was a big line for the buffet, which I suppose should not be a surprise, judging by how good the food is. This week the goat curry and tandoori chicken were the stars of the show. :)

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I also very much appreciated the gulab jamun dessert –> they also had rice pudding, but man oh man, the gulab jamun simply cannot be beat. It’s probably my favorite Indian dessert that I have tried.

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We stopped in at the store to pick up a few food essentials, and while we were there, we also picked up our first watermelon of the season :) Last year we planted watermelon seeds in our garden, but they didn’t do too well –> we think there may have been too much clay in the soil, or maybe too many rocks? Maybe we will try again this year since we have some nice rich soil from our compost…

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I picked up some Crystal Light in the pink lemonade flavor (here!). It tastes very similar to the regular lemonade flavor which I love, so of course I am a fan. The only difference as far as I can tell is the color :)

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Leftover Thai food for Sunday dinner hit the spot. There’s nothing better than having yummy leftovers waiting for you when dinnertime rolls around.

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The very best way to start a Monday is with a big bowl of perfectly ripe watermelon for breakfast. This is a fact.

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When I got home from work, I found Joel cleaning out the grill in preparation for having Joseph and his wife over next week. Joseph and Joel have been friends since freshman year of college –> they were in the same engineering program and had most of their classes together. They went to Burkina Faso on a mission trip during one of the summers, which was a really amazing time for them (I missed him very much while he was gone but it was very cool to hear all about the experience when they got back!). Joseph and his wife currently serve as missionaries in Burkina Faso –> they are temporarily back in the USA and driving through Connecticut on their way to Boston, which is a perfect opportunity to for us to have them over for dinner!

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An early dinner happened –> white pizza with the winning combo of toppings: extra pineapple, extra ham, and light cheese. I also added a good amount of red pepper flakes for an extra kick. Yum!

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Are you a rum raisin ice cream fan? Do you add red pepper flakes to your pizza? What’s your favorite type of cuisine?    

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Our first baby class + a non-fruit breakfast!?

Hi friends!

Happy happy Friday :) I’m excited for some weekend relaxation up ahead. Got any fun weekend plans coming up?

Yesterday was a gorgeous spring day and I could not resist sitting on the patio after work. It was one of those days where the socks + berks combo was perfect (the berks were calling my name but it was on the chilly side for bare feet hah).

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This pot used to be home to one of my fiddle leaf figs. It didn’t do so well in the cold dry winter air, and ended up throwing in the towel. :( Thankfully my other fig is still going strong and even managed to sprout a couple new leaves this spring! I am pretty happy about that.

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The other night Joel was out at a meeting when he realized his car had a flat tire. He tried changing the tire but a couple of bolts broke in the process, so he had it towed to shop. By the time I picked him up it was pretty late and we were hungry. Lucky for us, Ruby Tuesday came to the rescue!

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Joel started his meal with a salad. By the way, the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday is AWESOME! I don’t know why it has taken me so long to come around to Ruby Tuesday — I think it’s because the one we used to go to back in college was located in a weird little mall and always made me feel a little gross to go there. But the one near us now is great and I will definitely be back for more of that amazing salad bar!

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We got matching salmon dinners with steamed broccoli, grilled zuccini, and mashed garlicky potatoes. It was all very very tasty and we left stuffed to the gills.

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I stopped in at Target to pick up a few essentials –> their swimsuit section is rather large and impressive. I have never purchased swimwear from Target but there were quite a few cute little numbers. Good job Target.

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We had our first baby-related class yesterday! Boy did we learn a lot about breastfeeding. Of course since this is our first child, breastfeeding (and all things baby) is a whole new world to both of us. The class was incredibly informative and we learned an absolute TON of information!

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The instructor of the class had lots of props, and it was helpful to be able to visualize what she discussed. She also showed us a video showing proper latching which was incredibly helpful as well. Both Joel and I feel much more prepared after this class, and definitely recommend it to other expecting couples out there! A lot of hospitals/clinics offer them for free or at low cost :)

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A few of these honey pretzel twists made an appearance for a snack –> I used to love these things in college. They are such a nice alternative to regular pretzels because the honey adds a touch of sweetness. I don’t remember them being as strong in the sesame department (maybe Snyders changed the recipe?) but they are still really yummy! (find them here).

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Last night was Mike’s night for smallgroup snacks –> he brought over a few flatbread pizzas (fig and margharita), salads, spring rolls, and chicken from Eli’s. The fig flatbread was the standout in my opinion… it came with fig jam, arugula, prosciutto, goat cheese and mozzarella… it was SO GOOD. I have already made a mental note to get that the next time we go to Eli’s, it was insanely delicious.

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After smallgroup, Joel sang a few songs to the baby. Did I ever tell you about this guitar? Back in college when Priscilla was teaching me how to play the guitar, Kristi knew a guy who had several guitars –> she put us in touch and he ended up letting me borrow one of his many guitars for the summer. Later, when I went to return it to him, he told me I could keep it because he never used it anyway. And that’s how I got my very first (and only) guitar! It has moved with us to Houston, Boston, Delaware, and Connecticut, and is still going strong :)

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Today has been quite the rainy day so far, but I’m hoping the grey skies will give way to sun for the weekend. Joel covered our teak patio furniture with tarps in efforts to keep it as dry as possible. If we have a nice warm sunny day tomorrow, we are hoping it will dry out so that we can get it all oiled up for the season.

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Almost every day since I got pregnant, I have had some sort of fruit for breakfast (cantaloupe, grapes, smoothies, and pears are pretty high up there). Sometimes I forget about non-fruit breakfast options like cereal and granola. We ran out of fruit this morning so I opted for some granola and almond milk –> my taste buds sure were happy about that! We’ve been getting THIS kind of granola for years (it’s so good), and THIS is our favorite  almond milk that is always in our fridge. :)

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I was scrolling through old photos and came across this sweet lil gem of my nieces and nephew. This photo has got to be at least a year old, but these smiles never fail to make my heart happy. The two kiddos on the right are my brother Kenny’s kids, and the little girl on the left is my sister Mumbi’s daughter. My brother David also has 2 older kids (one in college, one in highschool) and Mumbi has since had a second lil boy, so there are quite a few nieces and nephews to keep track of! The perks of coming from a big family. I can’t wait to introduce our little guy to all his awesome cousins! :)

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My brother David is quite the world traveler — his job is based in South Africa but I swear he is on a different continent every other week. He texted me this morning from the UK where he was enjoying some fish and chips. I haven’t been in the UK in a while but it would be fun to go back again someday soon.

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What do you have planned for your weekend? Ever been to Ruby Tuesday? Do you come from a big family?        

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Sharing 8 thoughts with you + I once put this in a pie!

Hi friends!

The past couple days have been absolutely gorgeous in New England — nevermind that it’s raining today, at least we’ve had a taste of spring! My friend Grace and her little boy Asher enjoyed the nice weather over in Boston – I can’t get over how cute his hat is (although she said it didn’t last long on his head!).

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Meanwhile my friend Priscilla’s little guy Edgar sprouted his first tooth over in New York. :)  He’s growing up so fast. He will be walking around any day now!

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I was out and about when those hunger pangs struck. If I had thought ahead I would have put a granola bar in my bag, but alas! Sometimes a burger in the car is exactly what you need when you are between errands and too hungry to wait till you get home. It hit the spot.

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Our little kiddo has officially received his first gift from his registry! I’m sure he’s very excited to find out what is inside! We are putting all his gifts in the corner of the dining room in preparation for the baby shower. I’m excited to celebrate his arrival with friends and family — not too much longer now! :)

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Now that we’ve reached the last stretch of pregnancy, I thought I’d share a few thoughts :)

  1. The belly is a conversation starter. Strangers will strike up a conversation with me when they catch sight of the belly. These have all been the sweetest of conversations. Babies make people happy and lovely, and I’ve enjoyed seeing this side of humanity.
  2. Cravings are real but not overpowering (for me). You guys know I’ve had my love of cantaloupe and grapes over the course of this pregnancy. :) I’ve noticed that for me, cravings are more of a “suggestion” instead of an immediate urgency. Sometimes we run out of grapes and it’s not the end of the world.
  3. Pregnancy is different for everyone. You never know what symptoms you’ll have until you’re pregnant. I always pictured lots of nausea, misery, and food aversions, but didn’t really experience any of that. I had fatigue, heartburn, and headaches during the first trimester, but it was totally manageable. The second and third trimesters so far have been super smooth sailing, with only a couple random nights of restless legs along the way. It’s been an easy pregnancy and I’m so thankful for that! I’m definitely not taking that for granted — all you amazing moms who have been in the trenches with symptoms are serious superwomen.
  4. Maternity clothing is the best. I was hesitant to buy maternity clothing because I didn’t want to spend money on things that would get used for such a short time. When I reached my 3rd trimester, a friend from church gave me all her maternity clothes and saved me from having to shell out. Turns out real maternity stuff is kinda the best! Super comfy and flattering on the belly :)
  5. People will comment. For whatever reason, the belly attracts all kinds of comments. In the same week I have heard “you’re barely showing” AND “that’s a big belly”. Thankfully most people I encounter are incredibly lovely, so I try to shrug off the less-than-encouraging comments that come my way.
  6. Pillows are your friend. Believe the hype – pillows are a pregnant gal’s best friend. I don’t have a real maternity pillow, I just use regular pillows to prop up the belly when I’m lying on my side, and also to go between the ol’ knees. All of this helps to keep my back and shoulder muscles from pulling in weird ways, and helps me get some decent sleep in-between trips to the bathroom. :)
  7. Parents help other parents. Joel and I have been amazed by how helpful and generous other parents are. My mommy friends are so supportive and non-judgmental, and I know I will have plenty of people to turn to when I need advice or just need someone to listen.
  8. Priorities change. I suppose every parent knows this, but this little baby in my tum is changing our lives. We could not be more thrilled. :)

I will probably have more thoughts along the way, but let’s catch up on other things in the meantime:

My breakfasts lately have included pears. This reminds me of the time I decided to make a pear pie in Houston when I saw that pears were on sale for 77 cents per lb. The pear pie was pretty yummy – Joel and I agreed that pears should make an appearance in pies more often. I haven’t made another one since then but maybe I should. :)

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Another very good addition to the week has been these chocolate Greek yogurt bars. I am going to keep my eye out for other flavors the next time I’m in the store :) These things are way too delicious.

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Dinner the other night consisted of pad thai with chicken and veggies. The dish could have used more chicken, but overall it was pretty darn good.

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More signs of spring in the yard! This makes my heart happy. <3

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My friend Colleen is an awesome baker and made this incredible cake for Amy’s little boy’s birthday! She made the tools from chocolate – I am so impressed. Jack was completely enamored with his cake. Check out more of Colleen’s amazing creations on instagram: @tuzos_portions

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The book club gals came over last night and we had baked potatoes for dinner! Each person brought different toppings which made for the most awesome meal.

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Everyone really enjoyed the book (Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng) and it was a lot of fun discussing the plot, characters, and themes. If you have not read it yet, you should give it a try, it’s a good one! I found the author’s writing style so palatable that I am definitely interested in checking out more of her books.

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My late night snack was a new-to-me chocolate that I thoroughly enjoyed. Joel prefers dark chocolate, but I think I am the only person on earth who does not like dark chocolate (I vote milk chocolate all the way) — so any time there is milk chocolate in the house I know it is all mine :) The almonds and toffee chips added a super delicious crunch — yum — and I am quite the fan! Find it HERE.

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Do you prefer milk or dark chocolate? Any good books to recommend? Ever tried pear pie?     

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Calypso music + naughty squirrels + cookies!

Hi friends!

Dare I say it… Spring is finally here! And it sure is welcome after the long months of cold. I love spring, summer, and fall in Connecticut, but I’d be fine with fast-forwarding straight through winter. A few spring blooms are showing up in the yard and I could not be happier about that.

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Dinner Friday night consisted of salmon, broccoli, zucchini, and a spring roll while working on the ol’ blog. I have been sticking contentedly with my goal of having salmon (or some kind of pregnancy-friendly seafood) twice a week, and will probably continue this indefinitely.

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Saturday morning meant yard work. Hey stud :)

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He’s done a good job getting that enormous woodchip pile spread out amongst the trees. It looks great! I’m glad he knows his landscaping stuff.

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The birds (and a few naughty squirrels) have been enjoying the seed we set out for them. This is supposed to be an anti-squirrel feeder but those cheeky little things still manage to get into it. Anyone know how to prevent squirrels from stealing your birdseed?

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Another one of our spring traditions is underway: the annual oiling of our teak furniture! Teak is one of my favorite types of wood –> it’s extremely durable in all weather conditions, lasts forever, and looks beautiful. Applying oil to the wood with a cloth or sponge helps to keep it looking supple and conditioned year after year. We get an oil made specifically for teak, like THIS. The oil isn’t necessarily mandatory –> we could just leave it alone and it would still be fine (left alone, the teak eventually takes on a patina aged finish which is also quite lovely). We got this patio set about a year ago at Jordan’s – it was our very first time buying patio furniture and we have been extremely happy with the purchase!

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For lunch, we headed to Olives and Oil in New Haven. The last time we were there was for my birthday over a year ago, so we were long overdue for another visit.

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The menu looks like a vintage magazine, which I loved. I also thought it was cute that they call their wines “grapes on tap”. :)

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Bread, green olives, and olive oil with seasoning for the starter –> we chuckled over the flower pots :) Love that creativity :)

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Joel went with the olives panini, which came with tapenade, arugula, and faro. It also came with a pastina soup – he enjoyed every bite of his meal thoroughly.

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I went with the “day trippin” pizza, topped with mushrooms, shallots, truffle oil, fig, balsamic, and smoked mozzarella. It was one of the most interesting pizzas I’ve ever had. The flavor profile was quite… complex… I felt like there were so many unfamiliar flavors on my taste buds that my brain didn’t quite know what to make of it!

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After lunch we strolled around New Haven — it was a lovely sunny day, but the wind was chilly enough that we both wore coats. These bubble teas were perfect fuel for our walk around town — Joel got the taro flavor and I opted for Thai tea flavor. I prefer bubble tea on the rocks instead of slushy-style, but it was a nice change. Both flavors were good but I think Joel made the better choice, because the taro was a little yummier…

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We happened upon some live music on the Yale Green. There’s nothing like calypso music to make you feel like you’re on a tropical island.

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There were a few little kiosks set up where people were selling things. It was nice seeing so many people out and about enjoying the spring weather.

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Saturday night involved a redbox movie –> The Commuter. It wasn’t Joel’s favorite (he kept falling asleep), but I enjoyed it! Liam Neeson never fails to bring it. Note to bad guys, do not ever threaten Liam’s family or he will come. for. you.

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Sunday dawned bright and early with more yard work.

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We worked up quite the appetite and were excited to head to Lenny’s in Branford for an early lunch.

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Joel started with a cup of clam chowder. Fun fact: I used to despise chowder of any kind (clam, fish, etc)… it was all super gross to me. But my tastes have changed and I am now squarely on the clam chowder bandwagon. Yum.

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I went with a lobster roll for my meal –> they were quite generous with the lobster which made me happy! Lobster is another one of those foods I didn’t used to like but definitely do now. So good. Funny how your tastes can change, right?

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After lunch we walked along the Branford River. It was another lovely sunny day but those coats made another appearance on account of the brisk wind coming off the water.

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Sunday afternoon meant a good mix of relaxation, catching up on work, and running a few errands. I popped into Target for a few essentials and after meandering through the shoe section, came away with a new pair of kicks for just $8.50. :) What a steal! I love the clearance section at Target.

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Another errand I ran was picking up a few groceries, which included the impulse purchase of these frozen chocolate Greek Yoghurt bars –> they are gooooood!

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When Sunday night rolled around, we both had salads on the brain, but neither of us felt like going to pick up salad stuff from the store, so we decided to stop by Eli’s. My salad was topped with corn, beans, cherry tomatoes, and guacamole (so darn good) and Joel’s salad was topped with 2 kinds of beets, goat cheese, and salmon. I seriously feel like guacamole goes with anything, it makes everything better!

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Our dinner concluded with cookies and ice cream split between the 2 of us. Prior to this, I had not eaten a chocolate chip cookie in quite a long time… they haven’t sounded particularly appetizing to me since getting pregnant, but I’m happy to report that I enjoyed every last bite.

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What did you do with your weekend? Any tips on how to prevent squirrels from getting into the bird feeder? Do you have any spring traditions?   

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Thoughts from the week :)

Hi friends!

Happy Friday :) And what a good one it has been so far. After feeling under the weather earlier in the week I’m thrilled to be back to feeling 100%.

I am glad to see that WordPress seems to have corrected whatever glitch was happening a couple days ago, so we are back to our regularly scheduling posting! :) Here is a collection of photos and thoughts from the week!

Joel picked up some of these Kind bars at our grocery store. They are pretty tasty! We had these on the brain after seeing them for sale in the airport. Fun fact: if you want to buy ONE Kind bar at the Hartford airport, you will have to part with $5 (aka highway robbery). They are pretty tasty though. Get ’em HERE!

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Dinner included Broccoli rabe, grilled chicken, and a small piece of lasagna on the side. We eat regular broccoli all the darn time, but I have decided that we need to have more broccoli rabe in our lives.

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Another dinner consisted of salad, lasagna, and homemade bread. Joel put a ton of olives on his salad. I inwardly cringe when I see olives –> I’ve never understood his love for them. Are you a fan?

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We set up our anti-squirrel birdfeeder and are happy to see that the birdies are enjoying it! We sometimes still catch squirrels trying to steal the seed (cheeky!) but it seems to be a little tougher for them to get into this one compared to our other feeder. I am excited about watching the birds from the patio when it is nice and warm.

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Chicken noodle soup was a welcome delight when I felt under the weather. There is nothing like a nice hot bowl of comforting soup when you aren’t feeling 100%.

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Our hearth cushion finally arrived! We had an upholstery fabric person make the cover to go on the cushion, and he dropped it off yesterday. :) We love it! It is exactly what we were envisioning for extra seating in the living room. Our small group came over last night and a couple tushies gave it a test-drive –> they confirmed it is quite the comfortable spot to sit! Money well spent indeed. In case you are looking for something similar, HERE is the cushion we got (we cut it to size ourselves), and we picked up the upholstery fabric at Joann Fabric.

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We have had this little chair since we got married –> we brought it back with us from Kenya after our wedding (we honeymooned in Singapore). The leather seat comes off and the legs fold up for easy storage, and it is all hand stitched and hand carved. I have been using it as a footstool, and it’s been great for keeping those pregnant feet elevated. Joel was joking around with me last night and went to sit on it, and the poor chair completely gave out under him! We both busted up laughing! But man, what a sad day for our faithful little chair. I sent my dad a note right away requesting a new one (they are coming over from Kenya to help with the baby this summer).

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Joel got up early and went to the grocery store so that I would have Crystal Light and grapes when I woke up. He knows the way to this preggo gal’s heart, and I happily confirm he is the very BEST OF THE BEST. <3

Good news! My fiddle leaf fig is growing a brand new leaf! This fig has managed to grow one or two new leaves every spring. I’m pretty happy to see this, especially since I always worry about our house being too cold and dry for this fig!

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Joel is working on landscaping the area next to the driveway/house, and had a huge pile of wood chips delivered for that purpose. He definitely gets his exercise out there with all the work he does around the property.

This has been a week of clementine lovin. These little suckers are so darn good. I’m convinced all the vitamin C helped me get better that much quicker. Clementines have a special place in my heart.

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A couple nights ago I started wedging small pillows under my belly at night, and let me tell ya –> it makes a world of difference! I never understood why preggos always talked about needing a lot of pillows (hah) but I can 100% say that I completely GET IT now! My head isn’t the only part of me that needs a pillow… nowadays the belly and the knees have joined the pillow party too.

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Last night all I wanted for dinner was a big salad, and all Joel wanted was some seared tuna. We each got exactly what we wished for from Eli’s! This salad disappeared into my tum in record time. All the toppings went together so perfectly that I didn’t even need to add any dressing. Joel very much enjoyed his seared tuna –> side note: years ago in Houston I ate some awful sashimi tuna and have not been able to eat raw/seared/sashimi tuna ever since. Just thinking about it turns my stomach. But I still do happily enjoy sashimi salmon, yellow tail, etc (when I’m not pregnant hah).

Our smallgroup came over last night and Jeff brought over some very tasty pizza. We also played a couple rounds of Taboo before diving into our discussion. You guys know how much I love our smallgroup. (also, if you haven’t played Taboo, you should, it’s super fun –> Find it HERE!).

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We have a humidifier in our bedroom to help ease the dryness of the winter air. It was due for a cleaning and I was very thankful that Joel stepped up to the task. Friendly PSA: keep your humidifiers clean folks – they can harbor bacteria and gross stuff.

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A very good bowl of chili happened at some point…

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…and so did a brownie (leftover from smallgroup –> Jamie made this and it tasted delicious!).

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Remnants from a Panera lunch with Natasha. I am perfectly content talking with her for hours on end – she is the bestest.

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Last night was a restless leg kind of night (aka not the most fun pregnancy symptom), which meant a lot of tossing and turning until I finally gave in and cracked into my book. Have I mentioned that my book club is reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng? It is so very good and made my sleepless night that much more enjoyable. I love her writing style, and find myself pulled into the story and caring about the characters. Highly recommend! Find it HERE.

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I’ll leave you guys with a quick bump update: Here we are at almost 30 weeks! This little boy is super active and kicks quite a lot, especially the ribs on the right side. The cutest thing on earth is when I feel his tiny hiccups. Can’t wait to meet you little guy!

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What do you have planned for your weekend? How do you deal with nighttime restless legs? Got any good books to recommend?

*This content uses referral links. Read my disclosure policy for more info.

A short one

Hi friends!

My wordpress is glitching and won’t let me upload photos or do much of anything. Not sure what is going on but I hope it gets fixed soon! Anyone else having the same issue? I’m currently typing this from my phone because I can’t get it to load on my computer.

In any case, I’m feeling a bit under the weather today, so this will be a brief little check in.

How is everyone’s week going so far? It’s been a pretty good one here (despite feeling sick today) and we are settled back into the routine of life after our indy trip. Trips are always fun, but Igotta say, it feels pretty good to be home again after being away.

I sure do hope you’re enjoying your day, and that you’re having some sunny skies wherever you are!

Tell me something about your day!

Our Indianapolis excursion

Hi friends!

We’re back in the Northeast and recovering from our Indianapolis excursion. It sure was a fun change of scenery, even if it means feeling like I need an extra day of rest to get back into the groove.

If you didn’t see my last post about the first part of the trip, it is HERE :) and now let’s recap the rest of the trip!

My friends Terril and Erin (they both lived in Indianapolis) suggested that we check out the Broad Ripple area for its trendy vibes and good food, so we did exactly that! We debated a French place versus Thai, and the Thai place won when we found a primo parking spot right in front of it.

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I could hear the salmon and veggies calling my name. I would 100% go back for this dish again. It hit the spot! After dinner we walked around the Broad Ripple area and saw lots of cool restaurants and bars –> we made mental notes to go back to Broad Ripple the next time we are in Indy.

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Hotel bump shot. Fun fact: I found this super comfortable shirt while out shopping with Natasha. The fabric is ridiculously soft and makes me wish all my clothing was made from the same material.

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Not sure how much longer I’ll be able to see these toes of mine :)

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After a full day of walking around exploring all the city had to offer, we headed to Upland Brewing Co for dinner.

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I am not normally a pork chop kind of gal but the apples and asparagus that came with it sounded like an enticing combo. It was an “ok” meal –> I can’t say I was particularly wow’d, but at least I tried something new to me.

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In our explorations of Indy, we happened upon this bar on wheels. I have seen one of these rolling through the streets of New Haven –> the people on it always look like they’re having an absolute blast. I wonder how much of a workout it is, and how difficult it is to pedal (whilst drinking) when there are only a few people on board?

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One of the places that was recommended to us was the Bazbeaux pizza place :)

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We ordered a small margharita pizza with pineapple and spinach added, and a small “Roma” pizza with artichoke hearts added. I was a fan of the margharita, probably because it came without tomato sauce and had my all-time favorite pizza topping on it: pineapple! We only managed to eat our way through a quarter of each pizza, so the rest was stored in the hotel room fridge.

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A siesta happened for Joel. He is a much better napper than me –> if I nap, it ruins my night sleep, so I tend to avoid naps whenever possible.

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We then relaxed by the fire. The hotel has an awesome firepit, and since the temps cooled off in the evening, it felt great to sit by a nice warm fire.

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I can’t wait to replicate this scene in our backyard in Connecticut. Nothing beats a relaxing fire on the patio.

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More fireside snoozing for Joel :)

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The trees in Indy are showing signs of spring a little quicker than our trees in Connecticut. I can’t wait for all the spring blooms to overtake our back yard!

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Not sure what was going on with the weather or the heater –> when we went to sleep the room was a comfortable temperature, but around 4am we both woke up SWEATING. The room felt so hot and stifling. Even after blasting the AC and getting the room back to a good temp, neither of us could go back to sleep. Joel decided to use the time wisely by getting some early morning work done.

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While he was busy being productive, I ordered breakfast –> a slightly depressing looking omelet with mushroom and spinach on the inside. It tasted a lot better than it looks :)

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We swung into a Meijer real quick and wowiee, we need to get one of these stores in CT. Meijer is like if Target and your favorite grocery store had a love child. All the cool home stuff plus all the produce/food you could ever need.

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While checking out more of Indy, we came upon this vintage McDonalds. Apparently this is what the original McD’s used to look like with the two arches. Do you have one of these near you?

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All that exploring, the random early morning due to a hot room, and a few late nights meant we were pretty tuckered out by the end of the day. Rather than go out for dinner, we opted to eat at the hotel and turn in early. Dinner consisted of this plate of perfection: salmon, asparagus, and zuccini for the win.

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It’s amazing what a full night’s rest can do! We felt totally refreshed and ready to soak in our last day in Indiana. It was slightly drizzly and a little cold, which felt very different from the warm sunny days earlier in the week, but that didn’t stop us from getting out and about. The engineer in Joel is fascinated by all the ethanol fuel stations in the area. Drivers of ethanol vehicles definitely don’t have any trouble finding places to tank up in Indy!

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Lunch happened late in the afternoon and involved Bubs Burgers, another spot that came highly recommended to us by friends. I’m sure this is a super cute place to eat in the summer when it’s nice and warm, and we can take advantage of the outdoor seating.

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We both ordered elk burgers instead of beef –> our first time trying elk! It is leaner than beef and has a slightly different taste. Joel thought it tasted more like a turkey burger. I could tell the difference but it was similar enough to beef (to me) that I’m not sure that I would be able to taste a difference if I didn’t already know it wasn’t beef.

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We had a bit of extra time before our flight, so we moseyed at a relaxed pace through Indy on the way to the airport.

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Our first flight was uneventful, but our layover was longer than expected due to our second flight getting delayed. We grabbed some eats at the BWI airport –> hummus, carrots, and pita. Turns out airport carrots are super dry but it made for some fairly decent grub.

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We finally made it home around 2am and although we weren’t pumped to see snow, it sure felt good to be back in our own bed again.

What is your ideal temperature for your house? Is your city accommodating to ethanol and other non-gasoline cars? What did you do over the weekend?         

*This content uses referral links. Read my disclosure policy for more info.

Hello from Indy!

Hi friends!

Hello from Indiana! We are here for a few days, but before we discuss Indy, let’s first back up to the past couple days :)

These little balls of goodness are still making my day over here. A friend suggested putting grapes into the freezer, so that may have to be added to the to-do list –> have you tried frozen grapes? I’m not sure what to expect but I am certainly intrigued!

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Joel’s very big bowl of Sopa de Mariscos (shrimp, scallops, and tuna in a spicy broth with cilantro and onion). I’m not the biggest fan of shrimp or scallops… shrimp is one of those things I’ll eat if that’s the only thing available, but it’s not my primary go-to –> so I passed on the soup, but he very much enjoyed it.

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One of our friends works at Deep River, and he once brought over a ton of chips to a party –> that is how we first got introduced to these chips, and we can confirm: they are pretty great! Joel’s favorite flavor is jalapeno. I picked up a bag for him at our local deli.

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Anyone else an enormous fan of clementines? They are so so good, and I love that they are so easy to peel. It’s impossible to stop after having just one :) I feel like I regularly eat 3 or 4 at a time. Fun fact: I used to think clementines and tangerines were the same thing. They are not. Clementines > tangerines.

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Before leaving for Indiana, we had a couple meals comprising leftovers in efforts to use up random foods in our fridge. It sure feels great to not to waste or throw out perfectly good food.

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Bacon may not seem like a traditional taco ingredient, but you guys know that doesn’t stop Joel. He is quite the experimenter when it comes culinary combinations.

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Another meal aimed at using up leftovers: rice, scrambled egg, cheddar cheese, and grilled chicken, cooked in coconut oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. It turned out to be one of those “beige” meals that tasted far better than it looks :)

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There’s nothing like getting into a pair of compression socks at 3am in preparation for a flight. My compression socks served me well during marathon training, but have since been sitting unloved in my dresser. It’s nice to put them to good use once again. I’m happy to report that this preggo gal did not have any lower-extremity swelling from the flight!

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Joel got me a pre-board pass so that I could be sure to secure an isle seat on the plane. This made it easier on me when I inevitably had to get up to use the bathroom, and it was also super handy for taking a quick walk when the ol’ legs felt restless. Side note: who knew restless leg syndrome was a pregnancy thing? I don’t get it often but when it strikes, it is not fun. I suppose I should thank my lucky stars that I haven’t had any of the dreaded leg-cramping at night –> my sister had those during her pregnancy, and she said they are the worst!

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We touched down in Indianapolis after a smooth trip. I suppose we should enjoy traveling just the two of us since those days are surely numbered! :) We decided that instead of doing one big babymoon, we’d do multiple smaller trips. So far we’ve hit NYC and Indy, and we have plans to head to DC, PA, and possibly Montreal too!

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Joel is an expert traveler and got us into our rental car in no time. Did I ever tell you guys about the time I was in North Carolina for work, and the rental car company ran out of regular cars so I got upgraded for free to a cherry red mustang? That was quite the fun ride :)

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If I wasn’t currently pregnant I probably would have indulged in a glass of wine at the hotel.

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Instead, I stuck with the ice cold lemon/lime infused water. I can’t think of anything more refreshing after getting off a plane!

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This gorgeous fiddle leaf fig in the hotel lobby puts mine to shame. It is so full and glorious. I sure wish mine would plump up too, but I’m pretty sure the air at home is too cold and dry during the winter for that. I’m just glad my fiddle hasn’t called it quits yet! :)

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A late lunch happened at Bru Burger. This is a spot that came highly recommended by a couple friends, and boy were they right :)

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We were not disappointed! Joel’s lunch consisted of the classic Bru Burger, which came with taleggio cheese, bacon, tomato jam, caramelized onions, spring mix (he substituted this instead of chopped lettuce) and mayo. Now that’s a pretty goodlookin burger.

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After lunch we went for a nice walk to enjoy the lovely sunshine and explore some of the local sights. We came across a cool little ice cream parlor that makes the ice cream (and whatever mix-in’s you choose) right in front of you using nitrogen. I don’t know how his hands aren’t frozen!

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We split some coffee flavored ice cream –> it surely had quite the smooth and silky texture, yum! I wouldn’t mind going back for other flavor combinations the next time we are in Indy. This ice cream fueled out afternoon walking perfectly.

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Joel took some time in the evening to catch up on work and prepare for a big meeting while I got all caught up on emails.

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He felt like Japanese food for dinner so we looked up a few spots. We drove past one place, but their menu mostly included ramen (which we do love, but Joel was specifically in the mood for sushi), so we instead headed over to Naked Tchopstix.

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I briefly thought about ordering a cooked roll, but decided I was not all that hungry (the burger from lunch kept me full for the longest time!), so I stuck with a seaweed salad. It was exactly what I was hoping for, and I thoroughly enjoyed every bite. Joel’s choice of a “Sushi Set” was undeniably stellar –> it came with a spicy salmon roll, and one of each nagiri piece: crab, yellow tail, tuna, salmon, shrimp, eel, egg, and red snapper. Yup, I cannot wait for my first post-baby spicy salmon roll!

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What are your recommendations for places to check out in Indianapolis? Have you ever had frozen grapes? What do you have going on in your week so far?         

*This content uses referral links. Read my disclosure policy for more info.

A long overdue lobster roll!

Hi friends!

Welcome to another Monday! I heard a rumor that it’s going to SNOW again tomorrow… I can’t say I’m over the moon about that. But you know what? It is supposed to be in the 70’s by the weekend, and THAT is some pretty welcome news :)

My belly band arrived over the weekend, woohoo! I figured it would be good to have around for when we do hikes, longer walks, or just working out in general. I tried it on –> it took me a minute to get strapped in right (probably should have read the directions first haha) but once it’s on, it really does take that belly-pressure off the ol’ hips and back (find it HERE).

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Grilled chicken, broccoli, and pasta for the win! Grilled anything sounds good right now, mostly because grilling reminds me of summer. :)

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My on-and-off relationship with beauty blenders is back on again. I love these things, they are quite the game-changer :)

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Another oldie but goodie that I recently re-discovered: Crystal Light Lemonade! It tastes so darn refreshing, and is a nice change from plain water.

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A very pretty sunset happened while we were out running errands. I must say though, for the record, the very best sunsets in the world can be seen from the Rift Valley in Kenya. This is a fact. :)

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I got a new bronzer from Ulta because I am out of my other one (Nars Laguna) and do not feel like dropping $40 for another one. (side note: why is makeup so expensive?). Anyway, I’ve heard good things about this Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer. The first time I opened it, I caught a strong whiff of pina colada, which isn’t unpleasant but definitely got me by surprise. The scent has since grown on me –> I’ve used it a couple times and so far I’m into it (find it HERE). I added the mascara to my cart because I needed a new one and figured I’d take advantage of Ulta’s buy 1 get 1 50% off deal. So far so good! (mascara is HERE)

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While out running errands, I spotted this Fanta and was instantly reminded of the sugary orange juice I had to drink before my blood test on Friday. Spoiler: I passed the blood test! No gestational diabetes for me (phew!).

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Also spotted while out and about: this Eva NYC hair mask. I was gifted a tub of this stuff years ago in Houston and loved it! It has the most incredible scent. I used it when my hair was chemically straightened (thermal reconditioning). The straightening process was pretty harsh, which meant my locks were in need of extra moisture –> this mask helped to bring some of that hydration back. It’s good stuff.

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I feel like not a week goes by that Joel doesn’t go to Home Depot for something or other. This time we stopped by to pick up some bar oil for his chain-saw. He’s been putting it to good use on the trees that were felled by a nor’easter a couple months back. We will definitely have plenty of firewood for years to come.

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Date night attire – pregnancy edition. My regular t-shirts still fit over the belly –> I tie them at the hip so they don’t hang funny. I wore a long skirt that I’ve had for years (with leggings underneath because it was cold hah), plus an old cardigan and was good to go!

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For our date night, we went to SBC Restaurant and Beer Bar in Milford. We’ve been there once before and knew we were in for some good food and even better atmosphere. :)

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I went with the lobster rolls and truffle fries… I haven’t had a lobster roll since last summer, and was definitely long overdue for another. I had one roll for dinner and brought the rest home for lunch the next day.

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Joel thought the carrot cake looked good for dessert so we split one. The taste was good but it was a lot more dense than I was expecting –> not my favorite cake texture, so I only had a bite. But Joel surely enjoyed it.

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We stopped in at Target to take a peek at their waffle irons. They had a couple options but we will probably end up ordering the one we want online. I’m excited to start a new waffle tradition in our household :)

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Sunday brunch was at the State Street Cafe in North Haven. While we were there, Jamie let me use her hand lotion and I proceeded to fall head over heels in love with it –> I am 100% buying this so I can keep it with me at all times. It is super moisturizing, non-greasy, and has the most incredible chocolatey scent. Win-win-win.

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I don’t know how they get their French toast to be so perfectly FLUFFY –> do they whip the eggs? Add water to the eggs? Natasha’s theory is that they must cook it in butter. I need them to share their secrets so I can re-create this magic in my own kitchen.

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Joel went with a gyro and fries for his meal. This sparked a conversation about how to pronounce the word “gyro“. Joel and I both say “yee-roh”.

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Sunday afternoon meant a nice long walk for Joel and me. I bundled up (it was cold and windy!) and also wore my belly band. I can confirm that it is awesome. Being back on this trail reminds me of my years of marathon training. I have logged many a mile here. My longest run on this trail is 20 miles. It’s crazy to think about that kind of distance right now. I’m amazed at what the human body can do, and can’t wait to get back into a running routine again.

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On our walk, we came across some ponies, sheep, and chickens. The pony was super cute, but must not have been feeling very social that day, because it stayed in the corner and eyed us from a distance.

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When we got home, I rolled up my sleeves and got to baking! Butterscotch nutella muffins, as well as banana cream choc chip muffins. Extra batter (and there was quite a bit of it) was baked in bread pans, so we ended up with lots of muffins and breads. Our freezer is pizzacked.

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While all the baking was underway, Joel was outside man-handling piles of wooden logs, branches, twigs. What a guy.

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He was pretty excited about the muffins when he finally came inside. :)

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What is the proper pronunciation of the word “gyro”? Thoughts on how to make fluffy french toast? What do you have coming up this week?        

*This content uses referral links. Read my disclosure policy for more info.

Orange soda and a blood test

Hi friends!

We made it to the end of another week :) I’m excited for a weekend of relaxation and fun. But first, let’s rewind…

Last weekend, while browsing the isles of Ulta, I picked up a new-to-me lip gloss. It’s marketed as a lip plumper but honestly I don’t think it does much plumping. But that’s totally ok, because I didn’t buy it for its plumping claims, just its glossiness! It definitely delivers that shine and is actually rather moisturizing. I find that it lasts a long time and is quite comfortable to wear. Some glosses, like the MAC ones, can feel drying to me, but this is one that actually makes my lips feel hydrated. At $10, I wouldn’t call it cheap for a drugstore gloss, but it’s a solid choice that I am currently here for. This is the box it comes in (the actual gloss is in my bag hah) –> it’s got quite the name, right? But let me tell you, it has quickly become a favorite.

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I met up with Natasha for some shopping. I was running late and needed some quick sustenance, so dashed into McD’s for a couple of their chicken tenders. They got the job done (needed that protein) and worked wonders to fuel the next couple hours of shopping.

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We did some damage at a few different stores, including a quick stop at Old Navy to pick up some sandals for Natasha’s 2 year old daughter. I snuck a peek at the little boy stuff — so super cute! Those little shoes are so adorable.

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For dinner, Joel was in the mood for lasagna, so I picked some up from Sergio’s on the way home. I like that they put their food in a cardboard box – it’s easy to carry and we can recycle the cardboard.

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When I arrived home, I found him tending to the leaning trees by our driveway. He used steel cables to secure them so the leaning isn’t nearly as pronounced as it was before. We are hoping they will re-root and be strong enough to withstand future storms. He’s also prepping the area for wood chips and mulch –> it’s going to look pretty darn good.

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He was pretty hungry after all that manual labor. He enjoyed his lasagna entree, complete with a side salad and garlic bread. We are fans of Sergio’s! They also do some really good pizza, but Joel’s favorite thing to get there is their lasagna.

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Later that night we cracked into the chocolates that Joel brought back from France. It’s technically cooking/baking chocolate, but it tasted pretty great on its own as a dessert :) If I remembered that my Glucose Tolerance Test (blood test for gestational diabetes) was taking place the next day I probably wouldn’t have indulged quite so hard. :/

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The following day, I was on the way to my doctor appointment when I passed this billowing column of white smoke/steam pouring out of the ground. I am not sure what was happening but there were lots of security cars and they blocked off the entire street. Thankfully I was still able to get to my appointment on time, and they seemed to have fixed the issue by the time I was leaving.

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Before my blood test, the nurse gave me a sugary beverage to drink. I have heard terrible things about this drink – that it tastes awful or makes you feel sick –> but I actually enjoyed mine! To me, it tasted like orange soda except without the carbonation. Give me a straw, some ice, and a warm summer’s day and we have ourselves a golden afternoon hah :)

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I had an hour to kill after drinking the orange stuff (they draw blood exactly an hour after you drink it to test how much sugar is in your blood). I tried to focus on reading my book but only managed a couple pages. My favorite time to read is at night before falling asleep, and I had a hard time focusing on the book in the light of day (hah!). I ended up mostly texting friends and catching up on emails during that hour wait. But the 2 pages I did manage to read were good ones :) For the record, I am very much enjoying this month’s book club pick: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I love her writing style and find myself very interested in the characters. Can’t wait to make my way further into the book tonight :)

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After finishing up the blood test, we went in for our OB appointment. While waiting for the doctor, I sent this photo to Kristi who promptly called us dorks for kind of matching :) Totally unintentional, but we’ll own it!

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Date night happened in the evening at the Amici Tavern in North Haven. It was our first time here and we give it two thumbs up!

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They have a popcorn machine right in the entryway, so freshly popped popcorn is the first thing you smell as soon as you walk in. Yummm. They brought over a plate of it to the table for us to munch on while we perused the menu. So good.

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I had a salad to start off, with balsamic vinaigrette on the side. I love a good house salad, especially when the tomatoes are perfectly ripe. You guys know I stay far away from tomato sauces of any kind, but fresh tomatoes, yes please!

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For my meal I had the salmon with spinach and rice. It was exactly what I hoped for and I am 100% going to order this again the next time we go back. Joel got the ribs, which were cooked to fall-off-the-bone perfection. I eyed his corn-on-the-cob with only a small amount of envy –> I am already looking forward to grilling corn when it warms up.

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Our date night continued at the movies, where we saw A Wrinkle in Time. I remember reading the books when I was in 6th grade and loving them. As usual, I thought the book was better than the movie, but we both enjoyed the movie. Side note: are there any movies that are actually better than the book? I feel like the book is always better? Anyway, the costumes and makeup for Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling were quite dramatic which made for some cool visuals, and the younger actors did great.

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Do you have a favorite time of day (or location) to read a book? Can you think of a movie that was better than the book? What are you up to this weekend?      

*This content uses referral links. Read my disclosure policy for more info.