Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

Recently tried a recipe for homemade blueberry muffins to make and take to church - our small groups switch off and provide breakfast on Sunday mornings - it was our small groups turn this past Sunday! And of course I wait until 11:30PM Saturday night - after getting home late from watching fireworks with a good friend and her adorable 2 1/2 year old -  to finally decide what to make. Not the best plan - definitely required a nap the next afternoon! :)

The only thing about this recipe I think is the crumble on top - I am not sure how I feel about cinnamon on top of my blueberry muffins. I want a sugary, crunchy crumble but without the cinnamon. Next time!

And of course they disappeared too fast to snap a picture! :(

From AllRecipes.com


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (will omit next time)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

26 Week Belly Bump Update

How far along? 26 weeks! Under 100 days to till my due date!

How big is baby? She weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures around 14 inches according to all the fun baby bump update emails I get in my inbox.

Maternity Clothes? Not really. I have a pair of maternity jean capris I'll wear if the weather is cooler, but with the high heat and humidity I've been sticking to skirts, dresses and loose pants and tanks layered with a cute cardigan or sweater for work. At home I'll change back into cloth shorts and tank top - wearing my bathing suite 24/7 with just a sarong around my waist or a swim cover up dress is heavenly too. :)

Sleep: The good old pillow-between-the-knees trick is still working out quite nicely! I'm also sleeping with no covers or just a sheet now - which is very unlike me. I like to be wrapped up in a blanket, but it has been warm upstairs and I am zonking out without the covers so...whatever works! I only wake up around 2 or 4AM to use the restroom. Thank goodness she is a daytime kind of gal so far - she quiets down movement wise as soon as we hit the sack.
Movement: Lots of tumbly movements now - like she's doing flips in my belly. I am starting to be able to tell when a jab is from an elbow or from a foot. Usually they happen close together in time and one is a powerful kick and the other is a much softer jab. Feels like she does full body stretches right up against my insides! Eveything gets really tight and I can feel pressure by my belly button or side or wherever she's pushing whatever limb out. Kinda painful sometimes! :) But always amazing!

Food cravings: I eat less in the summer anyways - probably due to the heat and we keep our house pretty warm as well so the thought of turning on the oven or eating anything hot is gross. I am eating up plenty fresh fruits and veggies though! The peaches I got from the farmer's market last Wednesday had to be the best I've had all year - sooo good! And the pint of blueberries only lasted two days. Been craving more chocolate lately too - some days I wish we kept bags of M&M's in the house - thank goodness we don't! Mornings at work are the worst I think - I feel like I am eating every hour until lunch. Been increasing what I eat for breakfast - adding a slice of toast or piece of fruit to my normal toaster strudel or bowl of oatmeal - that is definitely helping combat the mid-morning munchies. Otherwise I try to keep stocked up on lots of little healthy things (granola bars, carrot sticks, celery and peanut butter, etc) to munch on.

What I miss: Being more active. I love spending the summer weeding and planting, bike riding, taking walks, etc. I still do those things, just not with the same get-up-and-go as I used to.  Some weekend afternoons I can only muster out a nap and nothing more. And bending down is also becoming mildly unpleasant. Fitting into my all of my clothes. Every now and then I'll try on something I think will fit and ha! it wont. :( Thank goodness for that belly band and swishy summer skirts and dresses.

What I am looking forward to: Meeting our little girl - seeing what color of hair she has - my blonde or my husband's brown - what color and shape of eyes. Just seeing what she looks like and meeting her in person beyond the kicks and jabs I get everyday. :)

Milestones: Under the 100 day mark till my due date! The nursery is looking more and more like a nursery! Many thanks to my Dad and Cindy for sending us some fun packages in the mail lately! We now have a mattress and crib sheets for our crib and thanks to Nikki for the bumbo and umbrella stroller! :)  And many thanks also to our cousins Jonny & Jenna in Hawaii for sending our little one some love - she is going to love her bouncer seat! And we are going to love the bath temp turtle and the pacifier thermometer! I've also officially switched out my belly ring to a maternity version - thank you, Mom! Not really out of necessity, I think I could have gone a little longer in my old ring, but just to have it in - it has cute little baby footprints on it! :)

Say What?:
Lots of comments lately about how bad it must be being pregnant in this weather. For the most part I don't mind. I love summer! Now I am being smart about it though - not being in the sun for long periods, staying hydrated/in the pool/shade, etc. But I love the warmth and so far knock-on-wood no swelling. Though my toes do get a little toasty and red during my mile long walk to and from the farmers market around 12noon every Wednesday.

Oh, and THIS:  
Pregnancy hormones are definitely crazy - I am still sporting the fun acne despite having switched completely over to a sensitive skin beauty bar and foaming face wash about 3 weeks ago. It is definitely 90% better - but still there. And the emotional ups and downs are no fun - ask the hubby. :) For the most part I am always up - but there are definitely down moments - like last night when I found out my favorite pj pants no longer fit quite right - pretty sure my hips have expanded - not extra cush but physically expanded. And seeing yourself in pictures while pregnant is always a little shocking. Some angles I think I look fine and others I am mortified. Do I really look like that?? Are my hips really that big? What is wrong with my thighs, my face, arms, neck -arg! Look away, look away!

Friday, June 25, 2010

100 Days

Today marks only 100 more days till my due date. Seems so far away, but yet so very near! What color of eyes will she have? What color of hair? Will she look more like me or Matt? Will she born in the morning, afternoon or at night - during the week or on the weekend? So many things going through my mind...

Your little kicks and tumbles in my belly already light up my world and fill me with such indescribable happiness - I know I am going to be blown away by you in person. I can't wait to meet you, hold you, kiss you. Love you, baby girl!

WalkyDog Bike Leash Review

We finally got the chance to install our WalkyDog Bike Leash and snap a few shots of it in use one evening here recently. In between all the storms we've been having and our camera battery dying, I wasn't sure when we'd ever get to use it! But, we've actually been able to test out the WalkyDog a few times since it arrived in the mail last week - and I've got to tell you, I am really impressed!

I was honestly a little worried at first, our Showbiz is a puller. She's knocked me down on many occassions after the random squirrel, bird, goose, rabbit, whatever. She's yanked her leash out of both my brother and my dad's hands - tricky, tricky she is. So the idea of harnessing her to a bicycle and then putting my husband on said bicycle to ride around on very hard pavement with a neighborhood full of very tame bunnies, screaming children and random loose dogs - put me in a bit of a panic.

Surprisingly, my husband couldn't wait to try out the WalkyDog until I got home - so he took the first test drive without me on one of his days off. He loved it and raved about it to me on the phone as I drove home. I still wasn't buying it - just had to see it for myself. So we hooked up the bikes again that evening and went out for a ride. And I was more than pleasantly surprised!

Showbiz really loves the WalkDog! I thought she would be scared or, at very least, timid being attached to a bicycle. But, being with us is her (and any good dog's) most favorite thing ever. Walks are a close second. Adding the bike element to the two is apparently heaven for her. She actually takes off running and wagging with a goofy dog grin! My husband, Matt, has to put on the brakes to slow her down so we can all ride together.

The ultimate test for the WalkyDog was the neighorhood rabbits. We have TONS of them. We are talking about rabbits who sit within two feet of the sidewalk and just keep munching away on clover while you walk by. No crouch-n-hide-motionless techniques for these bad boys - they aren't scared of anything! Dogs? Pshhaw, no!

 Let me introduce you to Exhibit A - or in other words - why I was afraid to try the WalkyDog on our pull-happy pup - bunnies! (This picture is actually from our neighbors backyard!)

Well, our Biz-dog saw one of our cotton-tailed pals, of course, on our bike ride while on the WalkyDog and she TRIED to head full force in it's direction - I flinched as I rode next to my hubby - but the WalkyDog's unique design (how does it do it?!) kept my husband in control and on the bike - not face first on the pavement. Showbiz was a little stunned (just as much as I was!) that she couldn't force her way over to the bunny and drag my hubby along with her. The look on her face was like, "Huh, that didn't work the way I planned!" 

Information from the website explains how it works a little better - "The WalkyDog features a patented internal spring system that acts like suspension when your dog pulls." So, the WalkyDog actually absorbs the pulls! Pretty cool!

I also love how the WalkyDog disassembles, making it easy to store the bikes and easy to take off when you're not going out for a ride with your poochie pal and just as easy to put back on again. The construction is sturdy and the design is excellent! It passed the Showbiz-puller-dog test with flying colors! I never thought it would be such smooth sailing to take her on a bike ride with us. She's the type of dog who has to wear a gentle lead color to stop pulling - and this stands up to the test! I realize I am getting a little on the raving side here - but it rocked our socks off! You can't say that about many products these days.

And to top it all off - the WalkyDog is on sale right now from The Dog Outdoors!

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Or shop for the WalkyDog, and other fabulous dog accessories, from TheDogOutdoors.com!

This post was written as a review of my experience with the WalkyDog Bike Leash. The Dog Outdoors kindly provided a WalkyDog leash for my personal use. No other monies were exchanged and no review or editing of this post were done by The Dog Outdoors. I always give my readers my honest opinion in any review post.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Veggie Garden Update: June 23, 2010

Woah nelly, we need to mow the grass! The constant storms and intervals of sunshine (while we are at work) has caused our grass (and gardens) to grow like crazy!

Above is our "viney" garden bed - sweet corn in the back, cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, zucchini and yellow squash. We actually have about 3 inch long zucchinis and maybe 2 inch long yellow squash already! :)

Garden bed #1 with our broccoli, cauliflower, peas, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and peppers. Peas are done - I harvested and ripped out the vines (after I took the pic) to make room for our giant pumpkin plants that have outgrown their pot (thank you, Dad!). With any luck, our little one with have her very first pumpkin straight from our garden!

I also took out the lettuce and will be taking out broccoli as it comes to harvest here. Broccoli is, by the way, one of the most annoying plants. It grows so big, takes up so much room and only has a tiny little 3 inch wide broccoli stalk. Maybe I am doing something wrong - but not happy with that plant. Plus broccoli is not on my pregnancy diet here lately - makes me burp way too much.

Also haven't had luck with onions or carrots either this year - I think it was the planting time and location. Too close to monster plants like broccoli and tomatoes that overshadowed the seeds - never even saw seedlings. :( That or my seeds are bad. Though two carrots did make it up - but that is it out of two rows I planted - and zero green or yellow onions. :(

And I planted everything later this year - I think that had a lot to do with it. Usually I would start cold weather crops like onions a lot earlier and I didn't this year - they got planted in the same time as my tomatoes etc. I think they need the advantage of being planted earlier so they have time to establish before the other late spring plants start foliaging all over the place blocking the sunlight.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

25 Week Baby Bump Update

Finally made it out to the pool for the first time this year! It was so nice - water was warm, not too crowded, plus they had a fabulous little snack stand - complete with $2 rectangle pizza slices (identical to the ones we used to get for school lunch - yum!). 

At first our little one was completely still in my belly while I was in the water - but after awhile she started moving and kicking about! :) She kicked and bounced my belly all around while I was drying off in sun - even enough for Matt to see from the seat next to me! Loving this little moments!

Reader Question! Fact or Myth?

Are there any similarities in the periods of wakefulness versus sleepiness for babies in the womb in comparison to how they are out of the womb?

I love feeling her move and kick about - always brings the cheesiest of smiles to my face. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pregnancy Survival Kit

Every woman who first sees those little lines show up on her pregnancy test should be given a pregnancy survival kit of sorts. I know everyone's experience is different and each person will need different things - but goodness there is so much to learn about the changes your body is going through!

Here's what is in my kit so far:

  • The Obvious (crackers, small blandish cookies, etc)
    Nothing really sounded good to me to eat, everything was just ick. I didn't get sick - but never really felt compelled to eat much. My faves during my first trimester were those little Chocolate Teddy Grahams - went through 3 boxes! Ginger Ale was no help at all - that even sounded terrible to me - but I tried it. I liked Sierra Mist though.
  • Travel Pillow
    You're going to be out, baby! I am pretty sure I slept 80% of my first trimester. I'd come home from work and go straight to bed. Weekends were pretty much non-existent I just slept them away. If we tried to go anywhere - I would wind up knocked out in the passenger seat before we made it back home.
  • Prenatal Vitamins
    To make up for nutritious things you can't keep down or even think of eating.
  • Hair Ties
    To hold up your blue jeans and pants when you can't button them any longer. Just loop a hair tie through the button hole and stretch it over to the button - viola!
  • Dandruff Shampoo
    Goodness, I though I had lice for a split second the day I woke up to tons of tiny flakes in my scalp. But alas, no - this is another fun pregnancy symptom - blame the hormones for your dry skin! The shampoo helped a ton!
  • Prunes
    Don't think I need to explain this one. Buy the individually wrapped ones and slip a few in your purse each day. They don't taste as bad as you'd expect - sweeter and softer than a raisin and with the individually wrapped ones you can kinda pretend they are candy! (maybe) Either way the results are well worth it.
  • Sticky Notes
    To write your great husband little, loving reminder notes and leave them on his side of the bathroom mirror about the cat litter you can no longer clean, and to remind him to wipe out of the tub, etc to keep you away from those toxic household fumes. Much better than reminding him over and over again in person -  because honestly you're dead tired and maybe a little cranky so things just don't come out sounding nice sometimes.
  • Extra pillow for between your knees
    You're belly just feels weird - there probably isn't anything showing just yet - but you can feel something! I always sleep on my side but things were just not feeling right - kinda off balance. An extra pillow wedged between my knees does the trick - comfy all night sleep! (well, except when you have to get up to pee around 2-4AM)

  •  Dove Sensitive Skin Unscented Moisturizing Beauty Bar (2 for $2.95)
    To battle all the crazy changes your skin is going due to the hormones raging through your body. I found that I can't use anything but sensitive skin formulas or I will break out on my tummy, legs, chest, back, neck, face, etc.) If it's bad enough for your husband to notice - you know it's bad! So say goodbye to that lovely lavender bubble bath and those bottles, upon bottles of Bath and Body Works (which I might just swear off anyway - these little moisturizing bars are making my skin look and feel great!)
  • Clean & Clear Sensitive Skin Foaming Facial Cleaner ($3ish)
    It is way too tempting to try and break out the hardcore acne cleansers on your poor, hormone-induced pimply face, but don't do it! It will only backfire and result in so much more irritation - sigh.
  • Starbucks Insulated Tumbler ($12.95)
    Gotta stay hydrated! I'm not a fan of water bottles, even the nice BPA free reusable kinds. Not sure why, but I do not like drinking out of them - maybe because half the time I spill it down myself. But these nifty tumblers from Starbucks, keeps your drink cold and lets you sip out of a straw. Maybe it's the straw aspect - but I drink water from these little tumblers so much more than I do if I carry around a water bottle. $12.95 at your local Starbucks - I found mine at a local Kroger that has a Starbucks inside!
  • Motherhood Maternity Belly Band (one-size fits all)
    At some point, the hair tie technique becomes useless. That is where the belly band steps in. I've kept wearing all my regular pants - just with the belly band holding them up. It looks like a nice layered tank top under your shirts. I think they are between $15 and $20 - and you can use them with all your pants - much cheaper than going out and buying a new wardrobe of maternity pants!
  • Healthy Snacks
    Fruits, veggies, crackers - things to munch the day away. My faves: watermelon, carrots, sweet pea pods, natures valley granola bars, bananas, peaches, etc.
  • Prenatal VitaminsSome things still just do not sound good - like right now - chicken and other meats - yuck. Maybe it's the weather - but the only thing that sounds good is cool, refreshing fruits and veggies - good yes, but full of protein? No. Peanut butter and other healthy nuts and things like olive oil helps - but prenatal vitamins help fill in for the nutrients I might not be getting otherwise.
  • Avoid too much fiber!
    At least for me, anything with a lot of fiber in it is going to make me pay. Cucumbers? Out of the question. Broccoli - no way jose! Fiber One bars - burn them! Fiber just wrecks havoc on my already slow moving digestive system - resulting in terrible-want-to-crawl-under-my-desk, maybe-I-should-call911 bloating.
  • Summer tips:
    - Keep one of those little plastic kiddie pools filled with cold water to soak your toasty tootsies in on those hot summer days. I can't stand being cooped up inside when the sun is shining - so I've constructed my own little shady oasis complete with foot rest and cooling foot soak so I can enjoy the outdoor without being uncomfortable.
    - Mock-tinis: No, you won't be swigging down margaritas anytime soon - but you can whip up virgin versions of your favorite summer-time drink. My favorite - mixing pineapple juice, crushed ice, grenadine and alcohol-free pina-colada mix!
  • I have no clue - what should I expect, ladies??
  • Any good must-haves that I need to know about?
  • Fill me on your tips and tricks at surviving the last trimester!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Upcoming Review: WalkyDog Bike Leash!

Just wanted to let all my amazing readers know about the great review I will have coming up! I am sure you all remember our recent garage sale find? The cutesy, matching bicycles of fabulousness! Well, one thing about bike riding is that we have to leave our poor pooches all cooped up in the house while we go out and have fun. This always makes me feel so terrible - because they see us lace up our shoes and immediately both start hopping around and getting excited thinking we are going on a W-A-L-K. (We don't say that word in this house - unless you want some antsy dogs)

Well, the wonderful people over at The Dog Outdoors are coming to the rescue and are hooking us up with their WalkyDog® dog bike leash! Now, don't fret everyone, my daring husband will be the true tester-outer here - not 24 week pregnant me over here - so calm down!

And yes, we do have TWO dogs - but I cannot imagine that my pampered Lola-love is going to get a kick out of the WalkyDog®. Being the chihuahua she is, she would much rather ride along in a basket I am sure. And the website says the WalkyDog isn't recommended for dogs under 20 lbs. She might be right on the edge of the weight limit being on the more hefty end as far as chihuahuas go.

But our medium sized pup, Showbiz, is going to love it I think! She's loves going on walks and being wherever we are - so having the capability to take her with us on our bike rides would be awesome!

Here's a little blurb from The Dog Outdoors website:
"Pull Absorbing - Easy to Use - Fun!" The WalkyDog® dog bike leash lets you safely take your dog with you on bike rides. Now you can bring your best buddy along for a bike ride and maintain control. A bicycle dog leash is a great way to exercise your dog and release energy - especially for active dogs. The WalkyDog features a patented internal spring system that acts like suspension when your dog pulls - biking your dog has never been easier. It puts you in control - not your dog. 

Check back in soon for the full review!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Perfect Recipe For Saturday Morning Pancakes

We officially ran out of our dry mix for both pancakes and waffles (how can we go through TWO boxes of that stuff??) - and no Saturday morning is complete without one or the other - so we decided to flex our baking muscles a little this morning and find a recipe for homemade pancake mix!

Here's the our favorite for pancakes: Found on Allrecipes.com - they were perfect! May never go back to store bought dry mix again!

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Early June Garden Update

Here's garden box #1 planted in April - doing great! Soon we'll have peas to pick!

And here's garden #2 planted late April - just starting to get going - this little box will look a whole lot different in a few weeks! Zucchini, yellow squash, watermelon, cucumbers, cantaloupe and sweet corn!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tiny Tea Set

Found our little girl's first tiny tea set at an antique shop in our hometown - too cute!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

23 Weeks: Slowly Being Squished From the Inside Out

I missed updating my 22 week picture here on the blog last week - went by in a bit of a blur. Crazy how a 3 day weekend and then a short week will do that to ya! But, here I am at 23 weeks! A few people are finally starting to notice that my growing belly is a baby and not just too many donuts! :) Yay!

Nothing new on the craving front - still enjoying fresh fruits and anything sweet. I am starting to feel a bit weird in the ribs, tummy and back though - must be that fun hormone relaxin really kicking in - and my equilibrium starting to shift - and the baby moving all around.  Slept on my shoulder wrong last Sunday and it took this whole week for it to unkink - ugh! And the simple act of weeding makes my back ache. :( To help entice myself to take it more easy I practically cleaned out the library here today. A few cookbooks and a lot of novels to read while resting in my hammock in the shade!

Another fun symptom has kicked in too - leg cramps in the middle of the night. Ow!

Weeks 22-24 (Month 5): Papaya
Average size: 10.5-11.8 inches, 12.7-20.8 oz.

Our baby girl is roughly the size of a papaya now! I definitely feel like I am slowly being squashed from the inside out! Especially if I eat a big meal.  Ugh.  She likes to get kicking during the day - especially when I am hungry - around lunch time and dinner or if I am comfy in front of computer she will start into a regular kick and jab fest! But as soon as her daddy puts his hand on my belly to feel her move - she stops! Do we have a daddy's girl in the works? :)

We had a meeting yesterday with our little's future daycare provider! We've been looking into home daycares and haven't had much luck finding someone who was willing to work with our inconsistent schedules. My husband currently has three weekdays off every other week - so he could be home with the baby during those days - so we need someone who can offer more of a daily rate. Most places we've looked into are only interested in taking on full time children. A colleague of mine told me about the person she takes her little one to who had daily rates - so I figured we should give it try! So glad we did! We clicked on the phone - and even more so in person! She'll be saving a spot for us until our little one gets here! It's so nice to have at least one less thing to worry about!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

When Little Brothers Graduate

Nothing makes you feel old like watching your little brother graduate. So proud of him! Can't wait to see the amazing things that lie ahead for him! Congratulations, Kyle!

“Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t Stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.”
—Oh, the Places You’ll Go! 
(Dr. Seuss)

Here's a little glimpse of the kind of talent this kid has - he welded this on his own outside of his shop class - just for fun! Pretty amazing, huh?? :) That's my bro!