20 Before 21 Update

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

photo source

At the beginning of each year I make a list of goals to complete before my birthday in September. This year I'll be turning 21 so therefore the list had to include 20 goals because you obviously can't turn 21 before being 20. Feel free to play along and make your own list of birthday goals! Check out my list reveal post and stay tuned for more updates, everything is due by September 18th, 2014.

1. Take More Photos
          I haven't done much that warrants photo taking but I have been playing around with iPhone photo apps.
2. Get Serious About Blogging
           I'm working hard. Well, trying to work hard. I have a blog calendar that I've put together and have organized in a way that makes sense to my brain and I'm posting more often that I have before (although it may not be consistent day to day, overall it is more) and I'm making more connections in blogland.
3. Plant An Herb Garden
          In progress! Check out my tutorial for DIY: Chalkboard Herb Pots, I'm going to buy lots more pots in various sizes to paint via the tutorial as well as tons and tons of herbs. My kitchen is going to smell so wonderful and I have the perfect space on my countertop as well as on the kitchen window sill to display all of the pots.
4. Have a Wedding Photo Book Printed
          Why are photo books so darn expensive? I have a coupon for Shutterfly so perhaps I'll try to put one together that doesn't cost an insane amount.
5. Learn How To Knit (again)
          Um, I thought about starting to knit again...does that count?
6. Be More Social
          Despite the fact that I am very, very pregnant and off one of my usual meds and dealing with diet changes and have insane hormones, I do believe that I have done quite a wonderful job at being more social. Since Seth is officially on staff at church I felt like I needed to make more of an effort to reach out and at least talk to people on Sunday mornings. Done. Also, Seth and I have been helping with the new Young Adults ministry and believe it or not, at last month's event I actually talked to strangers. Multiple times.
7. Buy Another Camera Lens
          I haven't put this into the budget yet. William obviously comes first.
8. Get Blog Business Cards
          Now that I finally have a layout/template that I love, I can now start working on business cards. Maybe that will be a fun activity for me to work on during those first weeks that William is here and I don't/can't leave the house.
9. Lose the Baby Weight
          I have gained a nice amount of weight but it honestly doesn't look bad so I'm hopeful that most of it will just disappear after giving birth or go away due to breast feeding. Then I just gotta tone up. Here's to hoping.
10. Try Riding Bike Again
          Since the last time I road a bike I fell off of it, I think I should wait until I'm no longer with child to try riding bike...just sounds like a smart idea to me.
11. Create a Date Night Jar
           I know exactly what I'm going to do for this project, I just haven't actually gone out and bought the supplies that I need.
12. Break Out the Sewing Machine More Often
          I have no excuses for not working on sewing projects...
13. Create and Stick to a Weekly Meal Plan
          Did that and I'm now following the meal plan set forth by my doctors to combat gestational diabetes. I'm more interested in seeing how things go after William arrives. I guess you could say that this one is half done.
14. Learn More About Coding/HTML
          I think that I can officially say that I have learned a bit more about coding/HTML. Some thanks  to my friend Morgan who is awesome at things like that. So, thanks Morgan!
15. Read At Least One Book Per Month
          January - Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
          February - No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Cromble
          March - I watched too much television in March...
          April - Pines by Blake Crouch
16. Get A Tattoo with William's Birth Date
          I don't know his birth date yet so I can't get the tattoo yet. I did do some research and I can get a tattoo while breastfeeding, most websites just suggested pumping and dumping just in case.
17. Learn How To Use Chopsticks
          I haven't had the opportunity yet and now with the diet change it doesn't seem that I will have the chance until after William is born.
18. Practice Hand Lettering
          I did this for about a week and realized that it's just not going to be one of my talents and that's okay! It was fun to try but it's just not my thing.
19. Go To a Spa
          I really, really need to fit this in before William is born. My body feels like a hot mess.
20. Try A New Food
          Beets. Beets are on my list to try asap.


That's four items out of twenty completed in just the fourth month of the year! So far, I'm doing much better than last year and once William is born many more of these items will get completed. Do you have a birthday bucket list or list of goals for the year? If you do, share them below! Which of my goals are you most excited to read more about??

Love, 
Abby

Recipe: Smoky + Sweet Ground Beef BBQ (No Sugar Added)

Monday, April 14, 2014


Are you all enjoying this amazing weather?! Finally the US is thawing out from the insanely long winter. I keep thinking that it could snow like tomorrow despite the 70° today. So far we're safe, but I am having a hard time trusting that forecast, snow could sneak up on us anytime (ha). I spent a good hour walking around outside taking some photos for upcoming posts and I just couldn't believe how gorgeous it is outside. This is just the kind of weather that I love. I even went out and got two new spring dresses because of all this exciting weather.

Now that I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I am on a fairly strict diet with a minimal amount of carbs/sugars and absolutely no desserts. At first I was bummed because pretty much all of my recipes include sugar including ground beef bbq (also known as sloppy joe's) which I have been craving at random times throughout my pregnancy. But then, I found no sugar added ketchup and the day was saved! So there is a minimal amount of sugar in the recipe from the ketchup but it's something like 3g of sugar or something. And my diet does allow me some ketchup as a "free" food. If you are on a low-sugar diet just be careful because there is some sugar but I didn't notice it raise my glucose levels at all when I tested after dinner. So eat at your own risk.


Recipe For: Smoky + Sweet Ground beef BBQ (No Sugar Added)
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes          Cook Time: 10 minutes          Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup no sugar added ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 clove crushed garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Take all of the ingredients except for the beef and mix in a large measuring cup or bowl. 
2. Place the sauce mixture and the beef into a frying pan. Brown the meat and mix around the sauce until the meat is cooked thoroughly and sauce has been mixed through completely. 
3. Serve on a lightly toasted whole wheat hamburger bun and optionally top with a sliced or shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Love,
Abby

Spring in the City

Saturday, April 12, 2014





Spring has sprung! It was an amazing 70° today so I headed downtown to take some photos for a guest post on Foreign Room that will be coming soon and I had some photos that I didn't use for that post so I thought I'd share them with you today. The sunshine has me so cheery today, I feel like a little emoticon smiley face. I spent about an hour walking around downtown by myself and it was so relaxing and wonderful. I hope you had a wonderful day as well! 

Love,
Abby

Taking Stock vol iii

Thursday, April 10, 2014

my growing belly. 15 weeks, 23 weeks, and 28 weeks. I can't see my toes no more.


Taking Stock is a monthly series. Check out Volume One and Two.

making: myself get up and make our house feel semi-clean.

cooking: nothing fun. My diet feels so limiting right now because of diabetes.

drinking: water. Water. Water. Water. Water. Water. Oh, and more water.

reading: nothing. I'm in between books at the moment. Just finished a really crappy book that I only got because I wanted a book for my Kindle app so that I could read in bed and it only cost $2...it wasn't even worth $2. 

wanting: my son to be here already. Honestly, being pregnant isn't the most fun thing ever for me, I just can't wait to meet my baby boy. Some women love being pregnant and others love giving birth and having the kiddo. I'm pretty sure I'm the latter.

sewing: nothing.

wishing: I was not in pain every day. William goes through these spurts for a few days in a row where he doesn't stop moving and kicking and then he'll be chill for a couple of days and when he's being chill my back hurts so badly that I can barely walk because of everything he did during his monkeying around days.

enjoying: this amazing spring weather.

waiting: for William's due date. Just 75 days to go!

liking: the sunshine.

wondering: what giving birth will really be like.

loving: my bed.

hoping: the chicken breasts that I pulled out of the freezer will be thawed in time for dinner.

marveling: at how beautiful it is outside! Finally!

smelling: nothing in particular.

needing: my back to not hurt so that I can walk without looking pathetic.

wearing: dresses! Finally! Well, I only have one casual maternity dress but I'm hoping to get more next week!

following: the rules of my meal plan set by my doctors. Even though the rules suck.

noticing: how big my belly is getting.

knowing: how much I need to get done in the next 75 days. It's a little overwhelming.

thinking: about all of the items on my to do list.

bookmarking: anything that has to do with being a first time mom or giving birth.

opening: my eyes. As in, not closing them. As in, trying not to sleep right now.

giggling: at those Muppets/Toyota commercials. The songs always get stuck in my head. I know, I'm strange.

feeling: exhausted. Drained. In pain. Huge. Very pregnant.


Love,
Abby

P.S. Feel free to copy and paste and play along!

What's New

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I bought these beautiful flowers at Market this morning. I just couldn't pass them up!
Hello friends. I hope you're enjoying the spring weather, I know I am! Today is in the 60°s, although windy, but sunny and just beautiful. I will admit that I am currently enjoying that weather from the comfort of my bed and looking out the windows. But I did go to Market this morning and enjoyed the wonderful weather, I actually waited to go to out until the sun was shining, and bought some pretty fruits and veggies as well as spoiled myself with some gorgeous flowers from my favorite flower/plant stand. Seriously, this weather is just making me so happy.

Working on decorating on a pot for my Pesto Basil Herb. Tutorial coming next week!
Although the weather is wonderful and makes me very happy, it has been an overwhelming week for me. Last Tuesday I had my 28 week blood work done which includes a glucose test. And the next day I got a call saying that I am anemic but also that I have gestational diabetes. In fact, my glucose levels were so high that they did not feel a need to do the three-hour follow up test. But not to worry, William is doing perfectly fine, has heartbeat was 143 that day which is perfect. Needless to say I was quite upset after finding that out. And by quite upset I mean I cried for awhile until Seth came home to sit with me and comfort me. Thank you Sethy for being so sweet and understanding.

Gala Apples have been so delicious lately!
My immediate reaction was one of guilt and fear. I felt like it was all my fault and I felt that I failed my son, my son who isn't even born yet and is 100% dependent on me alone. I texted my friend Leah who is pregnant with her second little one, who is due just a few weeks after William, and has dealt with a few complications as well and I knew she would understand completely. It is so comforting to have a friend who knows what I'm going through and who can comfort me and remind me that I am not a terrible mom just because I now have diabetes. The diabetes isn't my fault. It's just how my body is processing all of the hormones that are currently flying through my body. It took a couple days but I can now say that I have accepted the diagnosis and no longer feel guilty. The main thing is that William is healthy and with a change in diet I'm going to keep him that way.

Yesterday Seth and I attended a class at the diabetes & nutrition clinic where they gave me a glucose monitor, taught me how to use it, and went over a meal plan. What surprised me was that Seth was the only husband there! There were three other preggo women there and only one of them has had gestational diabetes in the past. I am so thankful that Seth was able to come because it would have been hard for me to remember all of the details to relay to him later that night and he genuinely wanted to know more about the diabetes and what it would mean for our family. People, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for a husband who cares so much that he came and sat in a two hour class about diabetes. Not exactly a fun time. At the class the dietitian gave me a meal plan and basically the biggest and only thing I really have to watch in my diet is carbohydrates because those obviously turn to sugars. At breakfast I'm allowed 30g of carbs (15g = one serving), lunch and dinner I'm allowed 45g, and at my three snack times I'm allowed 15g. In the carbohydrate family they include starches (like breads and pastas) but also milk (but not cheese, that's considered a protein) and fruits. With every snack and meal I have to have a source of protein (hello, peanut butter and cheese) and there isn't much of a limit as to how much protein I can have with a meal. That might be the best part. They know I'm pregnant and hungry all the time so they're only limiting things that affect my glucose elves. Oh, and vegetables are completely free. I can eat as much of them at each meal as I'd like!

Hello new best friend for the next 11 weeks.
This diagnosis has brought a lot of change into my day to day life but I'm doing my best to not feel too overwhelmed or out of control. I've typed up charts and things to keep track of everything in a way that makes the most sense to me and I'm going to keep a handy little healthy binder with me so that I feel organized and therefore a bit more in control of the situation.

Experimented with a sugar-free ground beef bbq. It was okay but not quite perfect.
What does this mean for the blog? No baking recipes for the next 11 weeks. I am not allowed to have any desserts. I work at a bakery so you can imagine how much that sucks. Maybe I'll post a few more meal style recipes rather than dessert recipes to show women who also have gestational diabetes a few ideas for what they can eat. Once I get settled into my new cooking routine I'll play around with a few ideas. Also, I'm just straight up exhausted and a little bit lazy now that I'm on the home stretch of my pregnancy so posting may be a bit sporadic until after William is born. I just have a few things to do between now and then (yes, that is sarcasm).

That's what's new with me, how about you?

Love,
Abby