Friday, January 31, 2014

My Week in Food

I have received a ton of comments and emails regarding my Budget Friendly Healthy Meal Planning tips and a bunch of you have said it's inspired you to hop on the meal planning train. Again, I can't say enough about how much meal planning has helped me both in the healthy eating department and in the budgeting department. I thought since so many of you are trying to meal plan I would share what I planned and ate this past week in hopes of giving you some ideas.  

I should preface this by saying I eat pretty much the same breakfast, lunch and snack every day. It's not super exciting but I typically don't get sick of what I'm eating and it eliminates the need to buy ingredients for multiple different lunches thus saving money - I do definitely mix them up week-to-week so I don't get sick of anything. 

1 cup Almond Milk, 1 Banana, 1tbsp Organic Peanut Butter
{I don't use ice because I prefer the creamy and smooth consistency}


1 cup Almond Milk, 1 cup Fresh Baby Spinach, 1/4 cup Frozen Peaches, 1/4 cup Frozen Mango, 1 celery stalk

Chickenless Noodleless Soup {inspired by Erin's Noodleless Chicken Soup}
32oz Vegetable Broth, 2 cans Garbanzo Beans {drained}, Carrots, Celery, White Onion, Cauliflower, 2 cups water, 1.5 tsp Rosemary, 1 tsp Sage, pinch of S&P {makes 12 cups, I have 3 cups for lunch}


1/2 Avocado, 1 tbsp Reduced Fat Feta Cheese, 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar, 1/3 Cucumber, 2 tbsp Hummus

4 5inch Celery Stalks w/ 1 tbsp Organic Peanut Butter


1/3 Cucumber w/ 2 tbsp Hummus

Throw 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts in a crock pot with 1 celery stalk, 1/2 onion (chopped) & 16oz Vegetable Broth. Cook on low for 8 hours, remove chicken and shred. Reserve 1/2 cup vegetable broth from crock pot & throw the rest. Return chicken to crock pot with 1/2 cup broth & 1/2 cup Franks Buffalo Wing Sauce - cook for 30 more minutes. Serve with lettuce, carrots and celery {would be amazing with ranch dressing if your diet allows}.

For Sauce: 1lb extra lean ground beef OR 1lb extra lean ground turkey, 1 can tomato sauce, 1 can tomato paste, 1/2 onion (chopped), Garlic, Oregano, Basil, S&P. Brown meat then add remaining ingredients to taste - let simmer for 10 minutes.
For "noodles": Add 1 bag Broccoli Slaw to pot and add 1 cup of water. Boil until water has evaporated, slaw should be soft but not wilted.

Combine 1lb extra lean ground turkey, 1 package frozen spinach (cooked & drained well), 1 egg, 2 tbsp Coconut Flour, 1/2 onion (chopped), 2 gloves garlic (chopped), 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp oregano, S&P. Form fist sized meatballs, cooked in greased pan for 15-20 minutes (or until inside is cooked) at 400 degrees. Serve with black beans and avocado!

I would say that Jason and I eat 98% of dinners at home, and of course the week I decide to document my meals I had THREE away from home dinners - go figure. Eating at restaurants is so hard when you're trying to eat a certain way, so I'm learning to make the best possible decisions despite the 1,000 calorie + salads and tempting queso dips. This week I did really well with 2/3 of the meals out:

Sunday = Country Club dinner with my step-dad, Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Monday = Business dinner at Raku, California Roll & Cucumber Roll made with Brown Rice & Gluten Free Soy Sauce
Failed to take a picture of my sushi because I didn't feel like explaining to my co-workers and clients that I have a blog and need to photograph everything I eat. #weirdo

Wednesday = Timberwolves tickets with FREE food & drinks, also known as CHEAT DAY, see below:


Everyone congratulate Carrie! She won the FREE 8x10 Canvas Print from Easy Canvas Prints!
Carrie - email me at so I can send you your code!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Trace's Birth Story {06.26.13}

I am so excited to have Kate here today to share the details of her son, Trace's birth. I followed along through Kate's entire pregnancy and remember being so excited when I saw the first photo of baby Trace posted on Facebook. Everyone please welcome the beautiful, Kate.

It was a Monday afternoon and I met my parents for lunch. While enjoying our chips and salsa, I happened to mention that I was feeling cramping in my stomach. Cramping that felt like period cramping... and I hadn't felt that since last September! I knew this was the beginnings of the labor process, but didn't know how long it would take for things to progress.

After lunch my mom and I got ourselves a pedicure. The women doing mine rubbed a pressure point in my foot for a very long time, saying that it helps to induce labor and that I should have my baby in the next day or so.

That night a friend came over for a little girl talk. I was increasingly feeling cramping, but overall fine.

I woke up the next morning not feeling like myself. Just in case we needed to head to the hospital, Bryan worked from home that day while I took it easy.

That afternoon my parents came over to our house. My dad took Cali to her yearly vet check-up. Bryan and I headed to my ob. She told us that I was 1-2 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced. My ob told us that his head was very low... to go home, grab our bags and head to the hospital.

Once at the hospital we were sent to triage -- I was checked in at 5:15pm, put on my hospital gown, got hooked up to monitors and was checked by the on-call ob from my practice. At 8:30pm they had me walk the halls for an hour. By 8:50pm my back labor pain was so strong that I felt like I was dying. After being monitored for 5 hours in triage, we were sent home. I felt defeated. I was in excrutiating pain, but wasn't progressing. The ob wanted me to labor at home and come back when my contractions were even more intense and more close together.

We got home at 10:45pm Tuesday night. It took everything in me just to crawl into our downstairs guest bedroom bed and fall asleep. I didn't change clothes or wash my face... I brushed my teeth and attempted to get some sleep through all of my pain. Every hour I would wake up to an extremely painful contraction, I'd moan and groan and then it'd pass. I had several contractions in between, but for some reason once/hour I had a horribly painful one. Bryan slept on the family room couch and was right there if I needed him.

I woke up at around 5:00am and decided that I couldn't go back to sleep. I threw up quite a bit. We sat on the couch and Bryan helped me get through my contractions until he finally said that we had to go to the hospital. He didn't want me to wait any longer. Bry helped me into the car and off we went.

We were leaving home just the 2 of us, knowing that the next time we came home, we'd be a family of 3!

We got back to the hospital at 6:45am. As we pulled into the parking garage, I threw up. Once in the Women's Center, the nurse who helped us in triage the night before was still on. She welcomed us back and checked me. I had progressed quite a bit and was officially admitted. June 26th would be the day our son was born...

I feel like so much happened from 6:45am until I had Trace at 4:43pm that same day, but mostly I was transferred to my labor and delivery room and spent the afternoon there. Thankfully my ob, Dr. Crosland, was on call, so I had her to deliver Trace. I had been throwing up all morning and after seeing the pain I was in she quickly ordered me an epidural at 10:00am... it's the most life changing drug in the history of drugs. I was so calm once I had the epidural. I wasn't in pain, but I could slightly feel my contractions, of which were terribly irregular. My parents and Bryan's parents had arrived and had come to see us in my room. I was 9cm dilated at 1:30pm, but my contractions were all over the place so Dr. Crosland decided to start me on pitocin and an internal monitor (which is never a good sign) and told me I'd be pushing soon.

At 2:00pm Dr. Crosland told me that I would start pushing at 2:15pm. I pushed for 1 hour. It was one of the longest hours of my life. I tried so hard, but Trace just wasn't budging. She used the suction to no avail. After quite a while Dr. Crosland said that Trace was face up and that, based on his erratic heart rate, she thought the umbilical cord was around his neck. She told me that I "had 2 options, both of which you're not going to like - forceps or c-section." She quickly took the forceps option away from me, so before I knew it my room was swarmed with nurses and hospital staff. They were prepping for c-section.

Through my tears, I remember being wheeled out of my labor and delivery room, through the halls and into the operating room. Bryan was told to put on scrubs while they prepped me for surgery.

I. Was. Balling! I was terribly afraid. Afraid that something was wrong with my baby and afraid of this surgery. I hadn't planned on a c-section and never thought I'd need one. This was the first surgery I'd ever had. Bryan stayed strong for me -- he faked his strength so well, as I knew he was just as afraid as I was.

Before they cut me they put an instrument on my belly and asked if I could feel it. I should have been 100% numb, but I felt it. They increased the medication in my iv and before I knew it I was in surgery. I never stopped crying. I was sobbing uncontrollably. They couldn't get Trace out. He was stuck! Stuck in my pelvic bone. While my l&d nurse pushed my stomach Dr. Crosland pulled the baby. I then heard Dr. Crosland ask a nurse to get the resident ob asap... she needed his help. He quickly came in and before I knew it I had my l&d nurse pushing while Dr. Crosland and the resident ob pulling Trace out. They finally got him unwedged and pulled out.

Trace was born at 4:34pm on Wednesday, June 26th.

Immediately after birth they placed Trace on a ventilator. After 1 minute and 15 seconds he took his first spontaneous breath. This was the longest 1 min and 15 secs of Bryan's and my life! I remember laying on the table, looking up at the nurse who was by my head and asking her "Is he okay?" She said "they'll let us know when they can." I started to cry even harder. That was not the answer I had expected. Bryan and I were terrified! But then we heard that cry. That loud cry at 1 min and 15 secs. Trace was okay. Bryan and I looked at each other, both in tears. We had been so scared, but our baby was okay.

It turns out that Trace was face up, but did not have the cord around his neck. He weighed 6lbs 7oz and was 21 inches long. I'm not sure how my tiny baby wedged himself in my pelvic bone so good -- he didn't want to come out vaginally or through a c-section. But he was here and we were thrilled!

I finally got to see him. I honestly don't even remember when. I think Bryan had him in his arms.

After they stitched and stapled me, they wheeled me into a recovery room where I stayed for about 1 hour. This is where you bond and/or breastfeed for the first time, and this is where I held Trace for the first time!

Once in my recovery room, the room I'd be in for the next couple of days, our parents came in to say hello. This overwhelmed Bryan and I tremendously. We had just been put through hell and back and just wanted to relax... and here come our happy, overly excited parents... dying to meet their grandson. I freaked out. Bryan said he freaked out to, but I beat him to the punches. My room was full and I needed some people to leave. My mom was so worried about Trace and I, so my mom and dad stayed with us for a bit longer.

The next couple of days were spent getting to know Trace, having visitors and learning about our new role as parents. Trace slept in room with us, which was fantastic!

I could have stayed in the hospital until Sunday, but I was ready to leave. After Trace's Friday evening circumcision we headed home. Home to our new life as a family....

And what did I do the second I got home? I dove into a big hunk of salami, of which I had been craving for 40 long weeks :)
And this is where I would normally say "the end," but we all know that this is just the beginning...

Follow Kate at Set This Circus Down 

To submit a birth story, please email me at

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Black & Yellow

Depending on how long you've been following along, you may or may not know that this blog was formerly called Busy Bee. You also may or may not know that Jason and I used to own a coffee shop called Coffee Buzz. If you follow me on Pinterest, you may or may not have seen my Bee Happy board dedicated to all things Bumble Bee

Are you catching on?

Yes, it's true, I love bees. I'm not exactly sure where the love for bees came from but I think it had something to do with the fact that my high school mascot was a Hornet and my high school guidance counselor (who I love and is a close family friend) was named Mrs. B and I used to draw her little bee pictures of bees dressed up in different outfits. OK, that made me sound crazy but I honestly think that's where the obsession stemmed from.

Anyways, the love for bees has evolved into a love for the color palette of black, yellow, gray and white. If you don't believe me...take a look at Kenley's nursery

So last week my mom was in town and watched Kenley during the day while she was home. One of the days Kenley got to go on a Yia Yia & Mou shopping trip where her Yia Yia spoiled her pretty good. My mom knows of my love for Baby Gap and God love her always picks up some little treats from there. So I get home and look through the Gap bag and am pretty giddy with excitement. Either my mom shares my love for the color palette or knows me too well {I'm thinking it's actually both} because here was what was in the bag....
black and yello
Seriously, I can't handle it. {thanks mom! ♥}

So then over the weekend I was perusing Baby Gap's website, because I do that quite often and daydream of the adorable outfits I want to dress my daughter in and found that they have a TON of black, white, gray and yellow clothing this season. It's seriously making me want to dress Kenley in ONLY those colors this Spring {would that be weird?} Just LOOK at some of the other ensembles I could put together: 
Oh Baby Gap, why must you do this to me? If only I could stumble across a couple hundred extra dollars and if Minnesota could just forget winter and hop right to spring, my Kenley would be the best dressed bumble bee on the block. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What I'd Do Different


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.

They say hindsight is 20/20 and looking back at Kenley's first year there really isn't a whole lot I would change. I am so proud of my daughter and proud of the job Jason and I are doing with her. Now that Kenley is over a year old, it's fun to think about what life would be like with a teeny baby around again. I am NOWHERE near ready to add another member to our family, but it is fun to daydream. 

If we are so lucky to be blessed with bambino numero dos someday, there are some things I would do differently based on what I've learned this first time around. 

1. Keep my mouth shut. It was near impossible not to tell people I was pregnant because it was such a shock with Kenley. I think sharing that big secret with just the baby daddy is really fun. You two are the only ones to know for such a short time, that next time around I think I'd like to keep it just between us a little longer. 

2. Save some damn money. This was definitely a plan while I was pregnant with Kenley, but a plan that did not pan out. For #2 I'd like to have a cushion in the bank allowing me to take a longer maternity leave. 

3. Spend more money on maternity clothes. I realize this pretty much goes against the previous point, but the first time around I bought just the bare minimum. I really didn't want to spend money on maternity clothes but I spent most of my pregnancy not feeling cute. I think there's a lot to be said about feeling cute while you have a watermelon budging from your midsection, so next time I will allow myself to splurge a little more. 

4. Take professional hospital photos. I see posts like THIS ONE and it makes me sad that we didn't do a better job of taking photos in the hospital. With #2 I definitely want to have my buddy Sara Jayne visit us with her camera to get some good hospital photos. 

5. Don't get frickin' Bells Palsy. The first few weeks of Kenley's life were so hard on me, mainly because half of my face was frozen in place. I know this is completely out of my control, but I really don't want to deal with that again. I think that taking better care of myself before and during my pregnancy will help with an easier recovery.

6. Don't stress about breastfeeding. With Kenley it was all a learning process. It was new, it was scary and it was hard. I really loved breastfeeding {once I got the hang of it} and was devastated when I dried up, but looking back I just laugh. I know now that the timing was perfect and deep down I was ready to be finished. It's such a commitment and you spend so much of your day with your boobs out. Next time I will strive for the 6 month mark again but I will know that when it's time to stop it means getting my body {and really my life} back and I'll be OK with it.

I asked my sponsors the same question..."What would you do next time around?" They are all at different stages in their parenting journey so it was fun to hear the answers: 

Carolyn from life, love & puppy prints said:

 "My next pregnancy I want to do a better job of taking care of myself. That will definitely be more difficult now that we have Weston, but I'd love to do more yoga, go for more walks, eat better, relax more...I was so busy trying to stay "normal" that I didn't allow myself time to rest and just put my feet up. Weston is such an awesome baby, and I think that Jake and I are doing a pretty great job with him, so it's a little hard to think of things I'd like to do differently. One thing I'd like to make sure to do is to have more time at home with just Jake and I after the baby is born. Because of my long labor, Jake couldn't take very much time off of work. I would really like spending time at home with just OUR family, bonding and creating special memories."

Sara from Sara Jayne Photography said:

"I am currently 32 weeks preggo and looking back on pregnancy so far, one of the biggest things I wish I would have done more religiously is taking bump photos every week, rather than photos randomly every 4-6 weeks."

Celeste from Our Fabulous Life in the Suburbs said:
"Wow...that's a tough one! Hopefully with #2 I'll be able to relax a little more and not worry about every little thing. Also, probably won't buy every single baby item that I've ever heard of...babies need surprisingly little to survive!"

Sarah from Making Babies the Bennett Way said:
If we are blessed with another child, fingers crossed we will be since we have 3 embryos remaining which would mean Madelyn and her brother or sister would be biological siblings, I would definitely change how we put the child down for a nap and sleep in general. We got into a horrible habit of holding Madelyn in our arms when she took naps which has resulted in her taking very short (15-30 minute) naps in her crib. If we hold her she would sleep for an hour or two easily. I should note, she sleeps just find in her crib at night bit there's something about nap times. I'd also "sleep train" her so she could herself to sleep and back to sleep at night. The majority of the time she is able to put herself back to sleep at night but there are some nights when she can't. So any advice anyone has to help with this would be welcomed. :)"

Michele from Baby Bump Bundle said:
"No, I have never had a bun in the oven (yet!) but there are tons of things that I want to do when the time comes! Staying active during pregnancy so I bounce back to my old body in a healthy and quick manner, taking classes and signing up for mom groups but not getting bogged down with too many books and googling everything under the sun, and taking lots of bump pics and keeping a journal of how I am feeling so I can look back at it, are all on my to-do list. I also want to buy just the necessities and items that can be used for years to come, that convert including the "big ticket" pricey items like the stroller, high chair, and crib so I can save money and space! But of course during pregnancy, I believe in pampering the pregnant mom (hence starting my company Baby Bump Bundle) so I am excited to use all the beauty and bath products, fashion accessories and goodies I have in stock from my small biz"

Erica from Charlie Cheeks Vinyl said:
When it comes time for the next baby I would try to breastfeed longer. We only went 5 months with my son because after going back to work, he was getting used to the bottle and preferring that. So I at least wish I wasn't too embarrassed to pump at work, that would have at least helped to keep my supply up. Better luck next time."

Jess from Being Mrs. Beer said:
"When I think about I'd do differently, the main thing that comes to mind is breastfeeding. I wanted to make it much longer than I did and hated that I had to supplement so early on. I really struggled with supply and I didn't respond well to the pump. I think next time, I'll use a different brand of pump or possibly even rent one from the hospital...and I plan on pumping as soon as I can to get supply established. I'm hoping to breastfeed number 2 (when I get there!) for much longer than my first!

What would you do different the next time around?