Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Greek Turkey Meatloaf

Sometimes I feel like we get in a major dinner rut - eating healthy is great and all but I feel like I have a much harder time coming up with new and fun recipes that don't break the calorie bank. So when I saw this recipe for Greek Turkey Meatloaf, I knew it was one I had to try. I am Greek, so I LOVE Greek food but also had a lot of the ingredients already on hand alng with others to make the recipe my own. Here's what I did....

INGREDIENTS:
 -2 lbs Ground Turkey
-1 cup Reduced Fat Feta Cheese Crumbles
-1 White Onin {chopped}
-2 cups Fresh Baby Spinach
-1 egg {lightly beaten}
-2 cloves of Garlic {minced}
-1/4 cup Coconut Flour
 -1/2 cup Vegetable {or Chicken} Stock
-1 tbsp. Olive Oil
-2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
-1 tsp Salt
-1/2 tsp Pepper
-1 tbsp Oregano
-1 tbsp Lemon Juice


INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 352F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add the onions, garlic, salt and pepper - saute until the onions are soft. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook until wilted. 

3. In a large bowl, combine onion & spinach mixture, ground turkey, coconut flour, vegetable stock, egg, oregano, lemon juice and worcestershire sauce. Mix until well combined. 

4. Place half of the turkey mixture on baking sheet and shape into a flat rectangle about 1 inch thick. Cover with feta cheese, pressing to adhere to meatloaf. Place remaining turkey mixture on top and shape the whole thing into a rough loaf looking shape. 

5. Bake for 1 hour or until inside is cooked - be mindful not to overcook because it will dry out.

6. Cut into slices and top it off with some Tzatziki Sauce. I like to make my own using this recipe, otherwise Archer Farms has a great Tzatziki Sauce if you prefer to buy it.
via

I served it with a cucumber and kalamata olive salad tossed in olive oil with dill. SO YUMMY and both Jason & Kenley approved!




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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Infertility Awareness Week!

It's Tuesday and it's time for....

Here's what you do:
1. Write a post about ANYTHING baby {or pregnancy} related.
2. Add my button to your post.
3. Link your post with the link-up tool found at the end of all of my posts.
EASY PEASY! 


Today I am honored and excited to have Lauren {better known as LO to me and the MN Blogger posse}from our crazy ever after here to share her story with infertility. I know more couples than I care to count who have dealt with or are currently dealing with infertility in some capacity. I love and admire so much that LO is is not quietly fighting her battle. She is sharing it all! And while I'm sure it's difficult to do, she is using her experience to educate others and also encourage other couples dealing with infertility to speak up! It's OK to share your journey and your disappointment and your heartache because it's only then that you are able to find support from others who know exactly how you are feeling. LO has an incredible outlook and incredible attitude and shares all her trials and tribulations with a humor that always has me chuckling out loud. She really is an inspiration and I am so honored that she is sharing her story with all of you today!  

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Hello to all you hot mamas out there. Or hot mamas in the making. I'm Lauren, and I'd like to consider myself one of the latter. I've been trying ever so hard to become a mom for over two years now. And it's just not working. There have been countless doctor appointments. Shots. Sterile cups of sperm. Inseminations. Empty bank accounts. My period arriving like clockwork. More shots (maybe tequila, maybe not). Tears. Screaming. Sadness. Anger. Oh yeah, and hope. I still have that. I honestly don't think I'd be able to share my story if I didn't have hope.
That's Jesse and I the first time we saw each other on our wedding day. I love that man so much. Little did I know exactly a year after this picture was taken, on our one year anniversary, that Jesse and I would be sitting in the office of a reproductive endocrinologist. It would be confirmed that our dreams of having babies wouldn't be realized as easily as we'd desired. Don't worry, we still celebrated our one year anniversary with greasy, delicious burgers at the 5-8 Club after the appointment. I went through a flood of emotions throughout our second year of marriage. I was angry a lot. My friendships changed. People I loved so dearly began to go on to do life in a way I wanted to do life. I was jealous. Being around friends with easily conceived babies was virtually impossible. I felt misunderstood, almost like people thought I was overreacting. I heard every cliche statement imaginable. Maybe it's stress!? You could adopt! Go on a vacation and then you'll get pregnant! Of course I wanted to be gracious, and field their well meant advice with a smile. It got hard, and so I just avoided people like a plague.
The first year after we were diagnosed we did seven medicated cycles, with five of those being IUIs. I like to refer to this year as the time we went buck wild for our baby. What's an IUI, you ask? It's this super romantic procedure where you basically have a threesome with your nurse. Wait, what? The nurse is in the room so she can shoot Jesse's sperm through my cervix with this long catheter thingy. It's definitely NOT romantic, and definitely NOT how one plans to create life. After each failed cycle, I was losing more and more hope. Our doctors wanted us to stop with the IUIs and jump to IVF, something we didn't, and still don't have the money for. IVF can cost anywhere from $13,000-$30,000, but the success rates for a couple with our diagnosis is more than 60%. We ain't poor, but we definitely don't have the dollar bills for that right now. And yes, it sucks that money is basically the one thing getting in the way of me becoming a mom and Jesse a dad.

Finally by November of this last year, we'd had enough, and decided to take a break from treatments. I was weighing in a whopping 20 pounds heavier (can we call that baby weight?) and the hormones I shot myself up with made me super crazy. So crazy that I am convinced Jesse was searching for a one way plane ticket to Canada, and his coo coo loco wife was not invited. I honestly felt robbed of those first precious years of marriage with my husband, and that's why for the last several months we've been trying our best to reclaim our marriage. To remove the infertility blinders, and embrace and cherish what we have until we can more aggressively pursue treatments. We're choosing joy right now. I strive to live my life everyday so that when I do have children, they would be proud of how cool their mom and dad were before they were born. Look at those cool future parents down there, just hanging out in the liquor store. Holla!
I never thought I could be so passionate about something I hate so much. I never realized I could feel a deep connection with women who were experiencing the same thing I was. I discovered an entire blogging community with the same dreams and desires. We support one another. We vent on the tough days. We cry when a cycle fails, and we rejoice when one of us finally sees those two precious, pink lines. The women I have met through this journey have been my silver lining. They make infertility suck just a little less.
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. I am so honored that Kristin, a fellow Minnesota blogger, is opening up her blog to me today. She's letting me share my version of Baby Talk. This year's theme is resolve to know more. Kristin is doing that by allowing the voice of an infertile to be heard on her blog. Thank you so, so much for listening. If you or someone you know is struggling, please don't hesitate to reach out. You are not alone. You are loved. And you matter.

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I want to be sure to mention that while LO and Jesse are enjoying their marriage and "choosing joy" they have also created a fantastic business to help them become the wonderful parents I know they are destined to be. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check out Jbaby Rags on Etsy to shop for adorbale burp cloths and bibs handmade by LO & Jesse! All of the profits go to help them get their miracle! 





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Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had wonderful weekends! We sure did! It was an absolutely gorgeous day yesterday and we soaked up every second celebrating with family. Our day started with Peeps and Easter baskets, then we went to church, and then spent the day up at the ranch with Jason's parents - there was an Easter egg hunt, bubble blowing, lots of good food and general running and playing. 


What a special day! And, if you follow me on Instagram, you saw this little comparison:
It's crazy how much she's grown, but she's still the happiest little kid.




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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Buh Bye Baby Weight!

Can I get a WAH-FRICKIN-WHOOOOOOOOOOOO?

IT-IS-GONE! The baby weight is GONE! Sure after almost a year and a half I couldn't really call it baby weight anymore but whatever it's called it's GONE and I am now 3 pounds UNDER my pre-pregnancy weight!!!
my due date vs last night! -36.5 pounds!
Yeaaaahhhhh buddy!
{please don't judge the fact that it still says "40 weeks! Waiting..." on my daughter's door #momfail}

Like I mentioned in my post last week, there is a number in my head that I am striving for BUT my overall health and confidence is my ultimate goal and I can see and feel all of that coming in to place - FINALLY!

Over the weekend I ran in Goldy's 5k and while I've ran several 5k's in the past, this time I crossed the finish line and felt GOOD! My lungs felt good, my legs felt good AND I got my best time EVER. While I was running I just felt lighter and stronger and BETTER. And that feeling is more important and more exciting than any number on the scale!
why yes I am soaking wet from rain...it's was lovely.


I have to thank all of you so much for your kind words, great tips and motivation on last week's post. I read every single word and it was definitely your comments that FINALLY pushed me past that dang number I just couldn't get past! It was so reassuring to hear that so many of you are in the same boat and to get ideas on how to continue to push myself to be the best version I can be. You rock my socks off! Also, blogging about this has really helped hold me accountable - so I hope you like these posts because there will probably be more coming. I don't want this to turn in to a fitness blog but I definitely think fitness and healthy living is a MAJOR part of being a mom.

Another big victory this week....I wore a pair of jeans I haven't worn for almost 3 years to the date, I know this because the last time I fit in them was during our engagement pictures in April 2011.
yup, those jeans!


Enough rambling for this girl...I'm off to the gym or to drink a protein shake or a bunch of raw eggs or whatever it is that in shape {or close to in shape} people do. ;)





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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Genius Mom Ideas

I've said it before and I'll say it again....what in the heck did we do without Pinterest? I have a board dedicated to "Mama tips, tricks & ideas" and another to "Little Products" and I love looking at them and getting fun ideas for the future. 

Here are some of my favorites:
"Stay in bed until you see the sun!" This clock displays a sleepy star during nighttime hours, and a cheerful sun during the day. Parents choose what time the sun appears, so the child knows when it's ok to get out of bed. 
The "Stay in bed until you see the sun" clock. Perfect when Kenley moves into her big girl bed. 


Bathtub Divider. Saves so much water and time!
Bathtub Divider, so you don't waste as much water - why didn't I think of this?


tooth receipt so you can remember when they lost them. Need to remember this! 
A Tooth Receipt from the Tooth Fairy so you can remember when your kiddo lost which tooth!



great idea for chores 
"Work for Hire"...such a great idea for chores. Clip the chore and the allowance to a board for the kiddos to choose. 



Teaching toddlers right from left. Genius. Except that's Mickey's left hand in the right shoe and his right hand in the left haha... I get the idea though. 
Such a simple way to teach kiddos which foot their shoes go on!



Your child receives a quarter each time he helps out. Then he can "buy" from the house "store."  Teach him about money & responsibility. 
"House Store", your kiddo gets "money" for good behavior and helping out and can use the "money" to buy something from the home store. It teaches responsibility AND money. I will be doing this one for sure!


And my personal favorite...

Zoo Passport for kids to mark off animals they see during their zoo visit 
A Zoo Passport to mark off things you see at the zoo! I am a spaz about the zoo so I'd probably have to make one of these for myself as well! :) 


What are some genius mom ideas you've seen?




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