Greek Yogurt Parmesan Chicken

Well, once again the cobwebs have started taking over this blog space of mine.  As much as I love blogging and the community that comes along with it, ever since having Miss Bonnie Ann I have (obviously) found it incredibly difficult to stay current with blogging – both reading others and writing my own.  But I can get better – and I will!
So here I am with a recipe I tried last night and let’s just say it fit in perfectly to my definition of a perfect meal: easy, cheap, healthy and made with ingredients I already have.  As much as I’d love to always have elaborate meals planned and executed, I rarely do.  So easy and healthy are my simple requirements (and, of course, we have to like what we’re eating!)
Greek Yogurt Chicken

The other day before I went to the grocery store I was checking out my fridge and cupboards to take stock of what I had and what I needed to buy.  When I looked in the door I saw the Greek Yogurt that I had bought and for some reason put in the door (and which I quickly forgot about every buying since I never put the Greek Yogurt in the door).  Luckily it wasn’t at its expiration date, but it was getting close.  So what did I do?  Decided to make dinner with it!  A while ago I made Greek Apple Tunafish Sandwiches, but Jake is not a fan of tuna so I knew I had to come up with something else.  Pinterest to the rescue!
Here’s what I came up with – I promise that the picture doesn’t do it justice – it was tasty, super quick and simple and I didn’t have to buy anything special for it!
Win-win-win (and the wins continue!)  This is a super creamy and tastefully rich chicken dish without being loaded with butter or cream – and if you or someone in your family has a gluten allergy or sensitivity it’s perfect!

Healthy Parmesan Chicken

Note: Be sure to use a casserole or other dish with raised sides.  Putting the chicken on just a baking sheet would end in a huge mess!  The topping melts and when you dish it up, the chicken is sitting in a large amount of liquid - if you used just a cookie sheet this liquid would be loose in your oven - so not a good thing!

Does this sound like something you'd like to try?  I'd love to hear your opinion if you do!


Greek Apple Tunafish Sandwich

So I have been gone for two whole months and how do I make my re-entrance to the blog?  What better way than with FOOD!?  

I have no problem admitting that it has been a bit more difficult to manage a clean eating meal plan while having a newborn at home, but that doesn't mean it's impossible.  I just have to find meals and snacks that are a bit quicker and easier to make - and today I found what might just become one of my new favorite lunches!

I'm a big fan of tuna fish sandwiches (though I'm normally not a fan of fish at all!) but the amount of mustard in a standard tuna fish sandwich means it is pretty darn low on the 'good for you' totem pole.  So instead of throwing in the towel on these sandwiches completely, I found a way to still get the sandwich I like but in a healthier version - and honestly, I like the taste a lot more, too!

So, without further ado - here's the recipe!

Healthy Tunafish Sandwich

It couldn't get much easier or cheaper - a lot of these things I have in my house most days anyway, so this will definitely be a recipe I can fall back on for lunches during the week.  There was more than enough for lunch today, so now I happily have lunch already prepared for tomorrow, too!  As quick and easy as this was to make today for lunch, it'll be even easier tomorrow - open the fridge, open the container, eat lunch!  

Does this look like something you'd like to try?  If you do I'd love to hear what you think!


What I Read in October

Books, books and more books!  October wasn't a great month for adding books to my 'read' list, but I at least got a couple done!  I'm pretty sure October was the busiest month I've had over the past year, so the fact that I was able to successfully start & finish any books makes me very proud!

Leaving Rollingstone: A Memoir by Kevin Fenton

Leaving Rollingstone

This was one of those books that I probably never would have read if I hadn't met my husband and moved to a small town - even though it is a memoir set in Minnesota, I don't think it would have caught my eye.  During one of our trips to the mall, though, Jake saw it and thought his dad would enjoy it.  After dad read it, Jake brought it home and I picked it up one afternoon.  It was a fairly quick read and I definitely enjoyed it!

Leaving Rollingstone is Kevin Fenton's memoir of his childhood on a Minnesota farm and the changes that happened to him and his family after they had to leave.  Now, being married into a farming family, I have a greater appreciation for just how important "the home place" can be to a person's identity.  I truly believe it's a deeper feeling than one might have for the house they grow up in.  I didn't grow up on a farm so I can't even begin to explain why I have this opinion, but I truly do.  Leaving Rollingstone did nothing but re-iterate these feelings for me.

Leaving Rollingstone isn't a typical book I read, and I'm not sure that it is for everyone. It got a bit dry in places and I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it as much if it weren't for my new farming family. However, if you enjoy reading memoirs, learning about Minnesota, farming and/or growing up during the 70s and 80s, I definitely think this would be right up your alley!

Rating: 3.5/5

The Oleander Sisters by Elaine Hussey

The Oleander Sisters

The Oleander Sisters was a book chosen for me to read by my book club - and I'm glad it was!  We had already read The Sweetest Hallelujah by the same author and almost everyone loved it - we didn't realize when the book was first chosen that we had previously read a book by this author, but no one complained!

The Oleander Sisters is the story of two sisters, their family, community and how life changes when a new husband is introduced to the mix.  The book kept me interested and kept me flipping the page - which is definitely a good thing!  With being so close to the baby's arrival I have been finding it more and more difficult to concentrate on reading; this book keep me tuned in throughout the whole thing.

I enjoyed her writing, but at times it did seem to get a bit long-winded. Overall, I'd rate this book a 4/5!

What have you been reading?  Any suggestions for me to try??


Week 39 Bump Update

Well I made it - here we are at 39 weeks with no baby so far!  (I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he or she decides to make an appearance soon - but something tells me I'll be having a December baby.)  Hey, a girl can dream, right?  Patience has never been my strong suit and to know that we are this close to meeting Baby K has me excited, nervous, anxious and everything in between!

This past week has been one of waiting - I haven't wanted to make too many plans in case we'd have to cancel them to get to the hospital, and to be quite honest I've been pretty tired and sore so hanging out at home when I'm not at work has been more attractive to me anyway.

In the beginning of the week I had my next ob appointment.  Nothing too exciting to report there - no more progress, so he sent me on my way until this week unless I went into labor first.  Since the appointment is later today, I'm guessing I will make it there :)  It is crazy to think that if I stay pregnant until next week's appointment I'll officially be over-due!  I know it doesn't mean much in terms of how long my pregnancy will go, but I came into the world 2 days past my due date and Jake came in a whopping TEN days late!  As long as baby and I are healthy I'm not interested in getting induced just because of my impatience, so we could definitely make it to ten days over - but I'm hoping he or she decides to meet us before then!

When I wasn't at work this week I tried to do two things: rest and finish things up around the house.  I'm happy to report that I feel pretty darn comfortable with where everything stands in the house now - it's just waiting to have a new resident!!  I never got hit by the big 'nesting' bug that so many people talk about (though maybe that's still to come?!) but it is nice to have most of my projects done and the house cleaned!

One of the projects I finished was my last five burp cloths.  I had purchased a set of 5 cloth diapers and some more flannel fabric a couple months ago but never got around to actually cutting the fabric out and sewing them together; this week I accomplished that!  We now have a bunch in the living room and a bunch in the nursery just waiting to get spit up on ;)

I have been feeling pretty good lately - my late-pregnancy bout of morning sickness went away (and I'm so glad!) and I haven't been nearly as tired as I was a couple weeks ago.  My walking has definitely slowed down a bit, and I've been finding it a bit more difficult to get out of bed but nothing too crazy to report!  Baby still seems to enjoy doing pirouettes now that he or she is head down (to not get into too much detail I'll just say this: ouch!)

I feel like I say this every week, but I'm going to say it again.  I wonder how many bump updates I have left??

For now, here I am as of 39 weeks!


Week 38 Bump Update

As I sit here and write this blog post to update for my 38th week of pregnancy, there is Christmas music playing in the background (too early? not for me!) and it just hit me - this will be the very first Christmas Jake and I will have a little one at home with us.  Last year at this time if you had asked me whether we'd have a child for Christmas 2014 I would have answered with a big ole' NO!  I might've seen us expecting a little one - but I definitely wouldn't have thought we'd have already had our first son or daughter. 

What a difference a year makes!  I couldn't be more excited to meet him or her; we're getting so close to my due date!  I have no idea what to expect but I can't wait to learn - time's getting short now!

This past week was great!  It was relaxing, not incredibly busy and I feel so much more comfortable with the state of affairs at our house that baby could come at any time and I think we're as prepared as we need to be!  The week before was awesome, but with two concerts and everything else going on it was pretty darn exhausting, too.  To have a week that didn't require nearly as much driving was great!

The nursery is, for the most part, complete.  The decorations we have for the walls haven't been put up yet, but besides that (which really isn't at all important in the short-run) it's ready for baby to move in.  Whenever I walk by that room I just can't help but smile - I can't wait until there's a little one living in there.  

Physically I have been doing well, though I can tell my body is starting to get a bit worn out.  It's been more uncomfortable to sleep (I daydream about sleeping on my back and stomach.  Seriously.) and my waddle has definitely become more pronounced!  I have luckily avoided any of the kicks to the ribs that so many women complain about, but I do have one pain that I'm ready to be rid of.  Let's just put it this way - when baby is head down and changes positions, this often changes the amount of pressure down where the head is - and it hurts like the dickens!  (In case you're curious, dickens is a euphemism for the devil.  I had no idea where this expression came from so I just got done googling it - there's my one thing I learned today!)

At my last appointment my doctor checked me and I was 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced; within the week I got to 3 cm and 90% effaced.  Now I know that I could really walk around for another 4 weeks at this point, but it is nice to know that my body is starting to get ready for the baby to arrive!  When will that be?  Only time will tell!

For now, I can tell you this: these baby bump pictures won't be happening for too many more weeks.  Pretty soon I'll be taking baby pictures - and those sound MUCH cuter than baby bump pictures!  Until the baby comes, though, I'm stuck with the bump updates - here I am as of 38 weeks!

I must admit - I am a bit surprised that my wedding ring still fits me at this point in the pregnancy; I assumed I'd be so swollen that they'd be sitting on my bedroom shelf instead of on my finger.  I'm glad that didn't happen!