Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Where Have I Been?!

Sorry for my lack of posts. Unfortunately the internet here in Bolivia is very unpredictable and this past week has been practically gone. I just wanted to make a quick post while the internet was working for probably only a few minutes. We have been doing a bit more traveling throughout the country since we can see the end of trip approaching. I have just a few pics to share.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Easy Granola Bar Recipe

I was looking for a good granola bar recipe because they aren’t available here in Bolivia. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and I love it. I did make 2 small changes to it. Instead of 3/4 cup of brown sugar I used 1/2 cup and instead of the raisins I put dark chocolate. When I am back in the states I will try using agave syrup in place of the honey to make it less sweet. It’s crazy how little things like this can make me feel more at home.
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fertility Basics: Ovulation

Okay so I had to make myself write about this because I think most would agree, it's a little bit personal. When planning to get pregnant one of the first things to look into is when you are ovulating. There are some great ovulation calculators out there and counting methods. These would be extremely helpful to me if my cycles were regular. But unfortunately they are not. This causes a problem for me. Any tips?

For those of you who are regular, check out my ovulation calculator

Monday, May 23, 2011

Celebrity Mom: Jessica Alba

JESSICA ALBA photo | Cash Warren, Jessica Alba

Pregnant with her second child, Jessica Alba is absolutely RADIANT. She is definitely my inspiration for maternity style. Below are some pics from her first pregnancy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Getting Pregnant To-Do List: Update #1

1) Kick the soda habit I started while in Bolivia
2) Look further into our health insurance policy

3) Figure out how to properly track my ovulation
4) Find a townhome or apartment we both like to move into when we get back to the states
5) Meet with an ob/gyn to talk about fertility (because of past health problems this is a must)
6) Actually find and ob/gyn that I like (mine moved to another state)

There's progress people! We finally figured out the whole insurance thing to make sure we are insured the way we want to be. I'm doing wayyy better with the soda thing. I still have a couple of sips from my Hubby's cup from time to time. The ovulation thing is going to be a problem but I'm working on it.

One reader suggested that I get the book "what to expect before you're expecting" and I think that's a great tip. The only problem is that I am in South America which makes getting the book a little hard. I will be looking for it as soon as I get back though. So thanks a bunch for the tip ;)

I'm working on my diet and looking for vitamins out here. I hope I can find a good one. That's all for now. Please keep the tips and advice coming!

Fun In The Florida Sun

I have to admit that while I was living in Florida through the hot summers all I wanted to do was go somewhere colder. Now that I am somewhere cooler, I can't wait to feel that Florida sun on my skin again. I can't wait to throw on shorts and sandals and run out the door. This outfit is very similar to something I would be wearing right now if I were back at home. For those of you who are experiencing hott n sunny weather, enjoy it for me! :)

Fun In The Florida Sun

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Blog I'm Loving: Lipstick and Rattles

I wanted to share this blog with everyone who hasn't stumbled upon it on their own already. Her name is Ava and she is a brand spanking new mama to a beautiful little girl - and one hot mama at that. A few things I love about her blog are her fantastic fashion sense and how organized her blog is. I feel like I'm just trying to figure things out and she has it all together already. If you haven't already, be sure to check her out. I'm sure you'll be a dedicated reader just like I am in no time!  ;)

Check out her perfect nursery here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baby on a Budget: Home-Made Baby Food

Home-made baby food is a great way to save money and feel confident about what you're putting in your baby's mouth. I found a few recipes for sweet potatoe baby food here at wholesomebaby food.com. The recipe I like the most is the sweet potatoe apple mash.

First you need to steam the sweet potatoes and for this recipe, apples too.

Sweet Potato Apple Mash (4)6 months +
1. Steam or bake apples and sweet potatoes together until tender.
2. Puree as needed, adding water to thin if required.
3. You may also chop or dice for a finger food salad.

You can also add formula or breast milk instead of the water to thin out if desired. There are tons of baby food recipes on the web to choose from. It's great because you can choose organic ingredients, choose a recipe based on what fruits or vegetables may be on sale, and make extra to freeze and use later.

Great tools:

Beaba B2150 Baby Cook Latte Mint
Beeba BabyCook Processor
Bed Bath & Beyond Baby Cubes 2-Ounce Food Storage Containers with Tray
Bed Bath & Beyond Baby Food Storage Cubes

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Down The Aisle, Down With Debt

I've been thinking a lot about my wedding and all of the planning that went into it and it reminded me of something I wrote while I was in the middle of it. Just like most women out there, I wanted a beautiful wedding but being the bargain shopper that I am, I wanted to get the best price on everything and not spend a fortune. Now I have to admit that my parents paid for 100% of our wedding and then some but it was still important to me that we got the most for their money. Here is what I wrote a few years ago hoping that it would one day help other Brides to be. I actually feel a little embarrassed sharing this but here goes...

Down The Aisle, Down With Debt

Who says the elegant wedding of your dreams needs to cost you the down-payment for a home? Sadly, for many this is the case. But why start your marriage off with a bad start? And by bad start, I mean in debt. It’s proven that most divorces were the result of financial difficulties. Knowing this, every couple who is brave (and in-love) enough to head down the road to Holy Matrimony should take the necessary precautions to avoid a bank-breaking wedding. Here’s how.

First you need a plan. You and you’re fiancé should sit down and discuss how much money you can really afford to put into a wedding. And be realistic. If you always dreamed of a 35,000 dollar wedding with 300+ guests but you will have to take out a loan to get it, forget about it. Instead, consider different options like a wedding on a beautiful cruise ship. The good thing about it is that you can get the royal wedding feel without having to shell out a ton of cash. Chances are that only the people who you are really close to will attend, making it extra special. Later on you can always throw a party for everyone who missed it, and since it’s not an actual wedding the price tag will be significantly lower. Think local restaurant instead of the city’s best caterer for your food. Other decisions you should make include whether or not you want a lavish location, large guest list, or a drool-inducing menu. Decide which one you cannot live without and sacrifice in the other areas.

Now that you have your basic ideas for your wedding, get savvy.  It will be easier to get wedding vendors to give you deals once you’ve figured out your definite budget. Just throw a few offers and counter-offers out there. Even if they refuse to meet your price request they will almost always come somewhere in the middle in order to keep your business. Instead of using highly advertised companies, look for the little guys by surfing different search engines. There’s sure to be a few good ones that have fallen through the cracks.  Plus, the less people they have knocking at their door, the more likely they are to do whatever it takes to keep you. Offer to speak about their business with everyone you know who is getting married. You can even see if they will slash prices if you are willing to put up a small sign at your wedding with their info. Again, this works better with smaller companies who may not be able to afford good advertising. Don’t be afraid to let them know that they need you and that other companies are competing for you. You can say things like, “ABC catering told me to give them your prices to see what they can do”.  At that point, 123 catering may make you an offer that is too good to refuse so that you can walk away with a signed contract. Also, rental facilities may be willing to lower prices if you are picking an off month or day; such as, a holiday, a Sunday/weekday, or even better a Holiday that falls on a Sunday or weekday. This is a good option since most people will be off work or out of school. The key idea is to ask.

Finally, stick with it. Whenever the temptation to add something that is sure to crush your budget comes up, get rid of it by reminding yourself of the most important thing. That is- when your wedding day is over and 90% of guests don’t remember which invitations you used or if what they ate was filet mignon or just plain beef, you will still be married to the same person and it is now your job to make your relationship work.
So when you think of the wedding of your dreams, think of the moment that you and the love of your life will kiss for the first time as husband and wife. Think about the fact that when you walk down the aisle to your groom, the flowers you are holding will hold no significance and no amount of money in the world could amount to the feeling in your heart. When thinking of your wedding day, make it your goal to take, have and hold, all the while, ridding yourself of potential debt.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Yesterday my Husband and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. It was such a great day. My husband didn't tell me what we were doing so everything was a surprise. This is how our day went...

When I woke up Phillip had cooked breakfast. It was simple but so sweet. There were red roses in a vase on the table, eggs, fresh cut fruit, bread and coffee.

After breakfast he gave me my "first gift" - a bathing suit. I had no idea what it was for since Bolivia is land-locked and I have never seen a pool here.

We got ready, he packed our bag and after grabbing lunch at a local cafe, a taxi pulled up and drove us about 30 minutes outside of the city to a place called Villa Norita. It's like a day resort with pools and saunas. So we spent our day there relaxing... it was just what I needed.

Afterwards we headed back home to get ready to leave for dinner. He didn't tell me where we were going; just that it was a restaurant that we haven't been to before. So I was completely surprised when I walked into our apartment to see that our bedroom was completely covered in red roses and our tabled was set up with dinner, candles and wine glasses.

He had hired 2 women to set up the room and cook dinner. Everything was perfect and SO DELICIOUS. I wasn't expecting anything except for dinner at a restaurant since we are in an unfamiliar country with not a lot of options.

I can't believe it's been 3 years since we said our vows. I feel like I fall in love with him again every day. Go here to see a few pictures of the day I married my knight in shining armor.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Having a Moment... again

Every time I turn around I see a pregnant woman. I know a lot of that has to do with the fact that we are in South America and having big families is part of the culture but even back home, it seems like EVERYONE is pregnant. It makes me constantly ask the question, "is everyone pregnant but me" or "will my time ever come to be a mother". While seeing or hearing of a pregnancy is always a joyful moment, sometimes I feel like a piece of me dies every time. Don't get me wrong, I am still happy for all those pregnant mommas out there, I just wish I could be one of them and it terrifies me thinking that i might never be. I just don't understand how soooo many women get pregnant without wanting to and without trying and then so many of the ones who want it so bad try and try with no success.

Oh well, I just needed to vent a little. Thanks for listening.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spotlight Saturday Blog Hop

Go here to link up your blog and a blog you would like to spotlight. I love this idea! You can also click on the Blog Hop button in my side-bar.

Happy Hopping!

Friday, May 6, 2011

I just stumbled on this today and I just had to post it. It's a more practical take on the Jennifer Lopez nursery I wrote about earlier today. I love it!

Nesting - Petit Tresor  - Babies"R"Us
                            Babies R Us

Loving: This Neutral Nursery

I fell in love as soon as I saw the pictures of Jennifer Lopez’ nursery a few years ago. I would definitely change a few things to make it more kid friendly but I love the neutral color pallet and the overall style.

What do you think? 

Other things I’m loving…

Shaggy Raggy Cream Rug
This Shaggy Rug

Sleigh Highchair in Leopard
This Fab Highchair

Royal Loose Cushion Adult Glider
This Cozy Glider

Satin Velvet Bumper in Choice of Color
This Lush Bedding

All from Poshtots.com

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baby on a Budget: Diaper Coupons

I found these coupons last night and just wanted to share with you all. The cost of diapers can be a very big one, especially when using disposable. Coupons make me happy and if you're anything like me and a mother, these coupons will make you very happy too. :)

$3 off Huggies pure and natural diapers

$3 off huggies diapers at Coupons.com

Total of $6 off when shopping at target for Huggies pure and natural diapers.

Now I don't know too much about these diapers but I do know that if I weren't going to do cloth diapers (which I am) I would probably go with something that said natural on the wrapper. What a great marketing tactic. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Getting Pregnant To-Do List

I wish this post could be to announce that my husband and I are officially TTC but it's not. Instead it's just a glimpse at what's on my to-do list before we start trying. It feels so far away but it's actually only 2 months now.

1) Kick the soda habit I started while in Bolivia
2) Look further into our health insurance policy
3) Figure out how to properly track my ovulation
4) Find a townhome or apartment we both like to move into when we get back to the states
5) Meet with an ob/gyn to talk about fertility (because of past health problems this is a must)
6) Actually find and ob/gyn that I like (mine moved to another state)

Another thing that is extremely important to me is to be as fit as possible before I get pregnant so I have been trying to be more physically active.

Is there anything you think I should consider that is not on my list?


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