Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Baby Shower #4 - Month 8

34 weeks

Baby Shower with my Minnesota Besties

I have some really amazing friends and I was able to celebrate with a lot of them yesterday. I keep thinking about how I moved to Minnesota ten years ago and I really didn't know a lot of people at all. But somehow I was able to make and meet such wonderful people...all because I made a big decision (all on my own), totally stepped out of my comfort zone and took a huge leap of faith. Really great things came from that choice to move to Minnesota. I feel so fortunate and blessed.
Connie, me, Hoover and Kimbra

My friends Kimbra and Angela wanted to throw me a baby shower, and boy...did they throw a pretty awesome shower. I felt like all the decorations needed to be in a magazine or something. They did such a great job putting the whole thing together!
The room set up all cute!

The shower was held at Transfiguration Lutheran Church - my church! And each table had a different centerpiece and pictures of both me and Karl when we were babies. Plus there were a bunch of envelopes on the table too with some dates on them.

This was for everyone to write some words of wisdom to us as we wait for baby! I can't WAIT to open these on the days it says we can!!! Some are specific to Karl and some are specific to me!!!

Kimbra is an AMAZING baker and she whipped up the COOLEST cake ever. I have NO idea how she got the pink and blue on the inside of the cake, but all I know is it was GOOD. And she made these awesome cake pops that were to die for! Seriously, I could've eaten all of them!
I love the little wooden blocks! Christie's Baby Shower!! Awwww!
How adorable is this cake??? Yes, it was as good as it looks!

I'm in LOVE with these cake pops. They had chocolate fudge something in them.
Kimbra cutting up the cake! Yummmy!

Kimbra and Hoover introduced themselves and had everyone say their name, how they knew me and a favorite childhood memory! That was fun to hear some of the stories. was time for games!!! The first one was the poopy diaper game. Kimbra and Hoover smashed different chocolate bars in the diapers and we had to smell them and guess which candy. That was pretty fun! He, he! Looks delicious!
Poopy diaper game!

The next game Kimbra and Hoover brought out their gift, which was a basket loaded with items both Karl and I will need for baby. We had to guess how much each item cost and the total bill. I think it ended up being around $48! Baby is going to be expensive!!!

Soon I was opening gifts. Jeesh. There were so many cool ones!! Feeling really lucky and blessed these days!

As I was opening gifts, Karl came (he was cutting up deer meat)! And afterwards we had some time to talk to everyone. I wish there could have been more one-on-one time, but there's always so much commotion going on! I really do have the coolest friends. They're so down to earth and fun and REAL!!! Love that.
Baby "bumpin" with Amy Fuhry!! Due within weeks of each other!
the TINKS and Kim. Yes, they are playing volleyball with my belly! HA!
I can't believe I once coached these fabulous young ladies! They are all going places!!

What a super fun day! After, I went to dinner with Connie, Hoover and Kimbra and it felt so good to catch up on life and have some girl times. Girlfriends are forever! I couldn't have asked for a greater group of friends.

Huge thanks to Hoover and Kimbra for making me feel so special and for throwing such a great shower!!! Love you ladies!!!

Just five more weeks to go!!!

Parmesan-Crusted Fish

One of Karl's Top Three Faves!

Parmesan-Crusted Fish
serves 4
recipe found in Better Homes and Gardens March 2008
A very healthy, tasty meal! YUM! Will be making this again!

4 skinless cod fillets (1-1/2 lb.)
1/3 cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 10 ounce julienned carrots (3 cups)
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Mixed fresh salad greens

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse and pat dry fish; place on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. In small bowl stir together crumbs and cheese; sprinkle on fish. Bake, uncovered, 4 to 6 minutes for each 1/2-inch thickness of fish, until crumbs are golden and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet bring 1/2 cup water to boiling; add carrots. Reduce heat. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover; cook 2 minutes more. Add butter and ginger; toss. Serve fish and carrots with greens. Makes 4 servings.

Karl's reaction: "Whoa! This is top three fo' sho babe. Fo sho! It's so good. Was it hard to make? Can you make it again?"

My take: This was VERY easy to make and yes, turned out rather delicious. I will be making this again. A very healthy fish recipe! YAY!

Beef 'n' Asparagus Pasta

Healthy pasta!

Beef 'n' Asparagus Pasta
serves 4
recipe found in Light and Tasty Magazine April/May 2006
Lots of veggies in this dish!

  • 3 cups uncooked bow tie pasta

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium beef broth, divided

  • 1 beef top sirloin steak (1 pound), cut into 2-inch strips

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 4 green onions, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

  • 1 large tomato, diced

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 cup dry red wine or additional reduced-sodium beef broth

  • 2 tablespoons sliced ripe olives, drained

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1/4 cup broth until smooth; set aside.

    Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry beef in oil for 1 minute or until meat is no longer pink. Add the asparagus, onions and garlic; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, tomato, basil and oregano; stir-fry 2 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

    Add the wine, olives, salt, pepper and remaining broth. Stir cornstarch mixture and gradually stir into skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Drain pasta; serve with beef mixture.

    Karl's reaction: "It's kind of just okay. Seems like it needs something?? Maybe more salt?"

    My take: I liked it, but yes, felt like it needed something else. I could taste the oregano and I'm not sure if I needed fresh basil in this dish to liven in up a little more? Super easy to make though and healthy!

    Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

    Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
    serves 6
    recipe found on Six Sisters' Stuff blog (amazing blog!!!)

    You're going to love this if you love Buffalo Chicken!

    uncooked traditional lasagna noodles
    4 cooked chicken breast halves
    1 jar of prepared pasta sauce (26 oz)
    1 cup buffalo wing sauce (we used Frank's sauce- it is so good!)
    3 green bell peppers, chopped (you could also use red, yellow, or orange peppers if you want)
    tub of ricotta cheese (15 oz)
    2 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella and cheddar blend)
    1/2 cup bleu cheese crumbles
    1/4 cup of water (add at very end)

    In a large bowl, combine cooked and chopped chicken breast, pasta sauce, and 1 cup of buffalo wing sauce.

    Ladle a big spoonful of the sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker. Cover with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (you will have to break them to get a proper fit).

    Add a smear of ricotta cheese to the top of the noodles. Add a layer of chopped bell pepper. Sprinkle on a handful of shredded cheese.

    Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients.

    Add the bleu cheese crumbles. Put the 1/4 cup of water into your empty pasta sauce jar and shake. Pour the liquid over the top of the entire lasagna.

    Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours, or on high for 2.5-3 hours (if you go any longer than that, the pasta will start to turn mushy). When cooking time is complete, unplug and take off the lid of the crock. Let sit for 20 minutes before serving so that it is easier to scoop out. :)

    Karl's reaction: "I can taste the buffalo sauce. Hmmmm...this might just be a bit to spicy for me."

    My take: Salty with lots of cheese. Probably not the most healthiest but easy to prepare and make and it definitely fed my craving for boneless buffalo wings! 

    Minestrone with Turkey Meatballs and Escarole

    A one-pot wonder dish!

    Minestrone with Turkey Meatballs and Escarole
    serves 4
    recipe found in Fitness Magazine online
    A little too many noodles but still really tasty and healthy!

    2 teaspoons olive oil
    2 carrots, sliced
    1/4 cup diced red onion
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    Pinch plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon tomato paste
    Pinch chile pepper flakes
    1 small head escarole, cored and chopped
    4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
    2 cups water
    3/4 cup whole-wheat elbow pasta
    12 precooked frozen turkey meatballs
    1/2 cup canned navy beans
    1 teaspoon lemon juice
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan

    1. Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the carrots, onion, garlic and pinch of salt. Saute until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and chile flakes; stir 1 minute. Mix in the escarole.

    2. Add the chicken stock and water to the pot; bring to a boil. Add the pasta and simmer 5 minutes. Add the meatballs and beans and simmer 8 minutes or until meatballs are heated through. Mix in the lemon juice, black pepper and remaining salt. Ladle into bowls; top with the Parmesan before serving.

    Karl's reaction: "Wow, there are a lot of noodles in here! This isn't bad. I like it a lot. Has a little bite but I like it."

    My take: Considering I put 3 cups of noodles in versus 3/4 cups (pregnancy brain) this still turned out really good. I'd make this again, especially since it was so easy to make!