Feeling Thankful + Fall Pinterest Party

by Jenn (eating bender) on November 26, 2014

Well hello there, day before Thanksgiving. Where did you come from?

I didn’t plan to take almost an entire month off from blogging, but the semi-break has been helpful in finding time to cross off at least some of the to-dos in the four months we have left as a family of two. Baby Bender’s nursery is starting to look pretty spiffy, and I am starting to look like I’m basting my own Thanksgiving turkey. :) But I am loving every minute – the bigger my belly gets, the more I get to feel our little dude practicing his karate. At this rate, he’ll be a black belt by Christmas.

We’re looking forward to a Thanksgiving similar to those we’ve been enjoying over the past several years, with an abundance of family, food and feelings of gratitude for the many people and things we have to be thankful for. If you’re celebrating tomorrow, I hope you enjoy every minute.

And just in case your menu isn’t quite set in stone, I thought it would be timely to share the results of our fall Pinterest party, which happened during my trip to Chicago last month. It was amazing to have the chance to plan and prep with Lauren, Kelli and Monica (who flew in from her new home in California!) at least once more before any pint-sized additions are added to our group.

I would recommend any of the dishes and drinks we made for your table tomorrow.

Fall Pinterest Party

Fa-la-la-la Fall Pinterest Party Menu

Beverages: Apple-Pie Spiced Cider and Mock Champagne (pinned here and here)

Appetizer: Apple and Cheddar Cheese Soup (pinned here)

Main Course: Pumpkin and Ricotta Stuffed Shells (pinned here)

Side Dish: Baked Tomatoes, Squash and Potatoes (pinned here)

Dessert: Apple Pie Pull-Apart Bread with Vanilla Glaze (pinned here)

Note: The majority of the delicious food pictures below are courtesy of Monica.

As usual, we divided the tasks and responsibilities. I started out by chopping up the ingredients for our Apple and Cheddar Cheese Soup.

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This soup was truly awesome – my favorite part was the blending at the end.

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While Lauren was cooking the soup’s onions and carrots, Kelli was hard at work on our first drink: the Apple-Pie Spiced Cider.

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It was a perfect blend of sugar and spice. We skipped the brandy, but I bet that’d add a real kick.

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As our true culinary professional, Monica helped with a little of everything, including prep for the Baked Tomatoes, Squash and Potatoes, which Lauren then artfully placed in the pan (her favorite job).

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Monica also got the Pumpkin and Ricotta Stuffed Shells ready for Lauren to stuff. Check out the master hard at work. Such an intense look of concentration.

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Annnnd she sliced the apples and biscuits for our Apple Pie Pull-Apart Bread with Vanilla Glaze!

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Finally, all that was left was to fill our mason jar glasses with Mock Champagne

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…and set the table for a fall-themed feast.

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So, how did it all turn out, you ask?

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I’d say Pinterest perfect. :) The mocktails were deliciously fruity and the soup, shells and baked tomatoes, squash and potatoes were the right amount of flavor and heartiness for an autumn day.

But the pull-apart bread…oh, the pull-apart bread.

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I made another batch as soon as I got back to Arizona. It was quick, easy and amazing!

Big thanks to Kelli for hosting, to Monica for flying all the way from California and to Lauren for just being herself (and hosting me!). I miss you ladies already, but am grateful that we’ve created an abundance of tasty memories to treasure forever – and now a party for every season!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Abrazos,

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Baby Bender: 19 Weeks {It’s a…}

by Jenn (eating bender) on October 30, 2014

For blog

We are feeling blue this week, for all the best reasons. Last Friday, we had our 18-week ultrasound and found out that Baby Bender is healthy, super flexible and most definitely…

Our little BOY!!!!

Baby boy Krenn final-blog

I was so nervous the morning of the appointment, and the waiting room made me even more anxious. Fortunately, our ultrasound technician was really nice and told us what we were looking at as we moved from his hands to his feet to his heart to his kidneys, and beyond. My family was also there for the beginning of the ultrasound, so it was extra special to watch their faces light up as they saw the baby for the first time.

When the time came to learn the sex, we had them leave the room so that we could surprise them later. The technician asked Bobby and me if we had a guess, and we got it right on the first try. There was a hint on screen, so that helped. ;) Bobby told me afterward that he’d had a feeling it was a boy. I was more unsure and leaning toward girl in recent weeks, but as it turns out, my initial instincts – calling the baby “he” and dreaming about a boy – were right! It was amazing to share that moment together and realize that in less than five months, we’ll be meeting our SON.

We had my family open a box that we’d filled with blue candy and a little penguin with blue feet (our other option was a pink monkey). I was absolutely certain my mom had accidentally overheard me say “him” at the end of the appointment. She had turned and given me a funny look when I did, but as it turns out at another point she had thought I said “her,” so she assumed I was trying to cover up that slip instead! It was hilarious, but in the end she was surprised so it worked out!

Spreading the news

We spread the news to more family and friends over the weekend and can’t stop smiling! Here’s a look at some of the other excitement that has been going on lately…

Boy or girl? BOY!

How far along: 19 weeks, 3 days.

Baby is the size of: A mango! He is six inches long and weighs about 10 ounces.

Feeling: Awesome! These last few weeks have been really great. My energy levels are pretty much back to normal (still with the occasional midday nap) and I’m officially hungry all the time.

Total weight gained: Nine pounds.

Exercising: Yes! I started pre-natal yoga a couple of weeks ago and am loving it so far. It’s fun to get some exercise while also preparing my body mentally and physically for labor. Plus, it gives me the chance to interact with other pregnant women (like Nicole, who is the reason I heard about this place!) and hear some of their symptoms, questions and advice. Additionally, I’m doing some workout DVDs with Bobby for arm and leg exercises, and using the elliptical almost every day. I am still walking and running, but haven’t been as much lately with everything else going on.

Sleep: Still going well! I pretty much always wake up at least once now, but no trouble as far as getting to sleep. I can’t get enough of it, so that probably helps.

Showing: Yes! Unless I’m wearing a big t-shirt, there’s pretty much no doubt that there’s a human in there now. I still haven’t been asked by a stranger in public, but definitely think I’m getting some “is she…?” looks. :)

Cravings: I’m really surprised that I haven’t had anything crazy come up yet. I’ve been pretty monotonous in my breakfasts, lunches and snacks. We switch up dinners a little bit but are still sticking to staples. Just give me carbs, cheese and fruit every day and I’m happy.

Aversions: Still not the biggest fan of seafood or red meat right now, although the latter is improving. Just give me all the chicken and I will be a happy camper.

Missing: An occasional glass of wine now and then, but not a big deal. I am also being a little more careful about Halloween candy this year (avoiding food dyes), so I’m missing some of my favorite sugary goodness. But I’ve made up for it by buying this bulk package of pomegranate lollipops. They are amazing. Trust me. I’ve already been through one bag…

Maternity clothes: I wore my new LOFT maternity jeans during my trip to Chicago last weekend (can’t wait to share more about our latest Pinterest party soon!), and I loved them. So comfortable and besides the waistband, they feel and look like my normal jeans. Still wearing my pre-pregnancy shirts but they are reaching their stretching point, so the official switch is coming!

Movement: Another highlight during our Chicago weekend was that I felt my first kick on the outside! Baby boy was squirming like crazy one night (I’m thinking it was because he was enjoying Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza). I put my hand on my stomach and felt a little poke right below my belly button. Cue squeals of happiness. I’ve been feeling them more and more since then, but we’re still trying to get him to perform for Dad. Hopefully Bobby will be able to feel it soon!

Looking forward to: Starting to put the pieces together on the nursery. We have our theme and some ideas for furniture, but still have to decide on a paint color and other small stuff.

Best moment of this week: Telling friends and family our news. Also, a special moment during the ultrasound last week when Baby Bender was flexing his fingers and raised just his thumb, index finger and pinky. Uncle Eric said, “Hey, he’s doing my Spider-Man move,” which Eric did ALL. THE. TIME. when he was younger. We’ve been calling the baby Spidey ever since. He’s already reached superhero status. He also likes to stretch his legs a lot, as evidenced by the third photo.

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It’s crazy to think we’re nearly halfway through this journey. We’ve got one big surprise left: we’ll be keeping Baby Bender’s name a secret until he is born. Can’t wait for that final reveal, as it means he will be in my arms! But for now, I’m soaking up every moment of this mother-son time.

We love you, Spider-Man.

Abrazos,

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Four Years! {Sedona + Flagstaff Getaway}

October 16, 2014

Today marks four years of married life with my best friend – hurray! This year, Bobby and I decided to combine an anniversary and babymoon trip into one fall weekend getaway. After our adventures in Sedona toward the end of the season last year, we thought it would be fun to head north even earlier in hopes of catching a glimpse of […]

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Baby Bender: 15 Weeks

October 1, 2014

I’m excited to share what I’ve been doing to track Baby Bender’s week-by-week progress! I got the idea from combining this post and this post on Pinterest and thought it would be a lot of fun, not just for me and Bobby but also for the little one to be able to look at someday. I […]

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Top 10 Books On My Fall To-Read List

September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! I am ridiculously excited to participate in my first “Top Ten Tuesday.” It probably comes as no surprise that I am a voracious reader of book blogs, and I’ve been wanting to join in on the fun for quite some time (learn more about the weekly meme here). […]

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Feeling Peachy: Baby Bender Details

September 15, 2014

Thank you all so much for the kind words on our big (little) announcement. Being able to share the news has made us feel all the more excited and extremely grateful for the amazing family and friends we are blessed to have in our lives. I feel like there is now so much I want to say! […]

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Hey, Hey Baby

September 9, 2014

“Hey what? Go Wildcats!” We interrupt this period of relative radio silence on the blog to bring you…the reason for said radio silence on the blog! Yep, it’s a good one. I’ve been baking cinnamon buns! Okay, not really.  I did make cinnamon buns a few weeks ago, but this particular bun has been baking for a […]

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The Move From Print to Film: How “Outlander” Stacks Up So Far

August 29, 2014

Source I am so excited to share a guest post with you today on a topic that I am very passionate about at the moment: the Outlander television series! I was initially immersed in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novels more than two years ago, and although I still have a few books in the queue before I’m all caught up, Claire Randall’s amazing […]

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