Tom Turkey Sandwiches!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guys, I love Thanksgiving. It's such a relaxing day and there is so much food. This year we are going to my mom's house for the holiday and it's gonna be a big dinner filled with family and fun! I am really excited. REALLY EXCITED. But as much as I loooooove Thanksgiving Day, there is a day I might like just a smidgen more: the day after.

Why? Tom turkey sandwiches. It is my favorite sandwich, hands down. And this year, because I am pregnant, I haven't had a stitch of lunchmeat in over three months. I can't wait to sink my teeth into my favorite sammie! I'm gonna eat a tom turkey, sip a virgin mary and just love life.

I am so stoked on my favorite sandwich that we make our own turkey despite going to a fully stocked Thanksgiving meal at my mom's house. Actually, this duty falls to my husband who goes to a friend's house where they deep fry turkeys together. It's great because I relax and then a turkey magically appears on my doorstep, cooked a delicious and ready to be eaten! That's bliss, right?

Anyway, I wanted to put this out there nice and early so that you guys can prepare for the Tom Turkey extravaganza.

Here's some lovely leftover turkey. Heeeelllllllooooo. 

Then I made a box of Stove Top. That's right--no frills ladies and 'gents, just all goodness. 

The no frills continues with a lovely can of jellied cranberry! I don't normally buy things in cans, but for these sandwiches, I will make an exception. 

Slather mayo on some bread (I like mine soft, my husband likes his toasted) and then stack it all up: 

Turkey, stuffing, cranberry! 

Doesn't that look perfect? Let's get closer, shall we? 

Yes, that's right where I wanna be: in the thick of the sandwich! 
Nom nom nom! 

Tom Turkey Sandwiches 

Time: You got 10 minutes? | Makes: 4 sandwiches | Difficulty: Easy! 

You will need: 

8 pieces of bread, or 4 sub rolls 
1 box of Stove Top stuffing, cooking according to manufacturer's directions (or leftovers) 
1 can of jellied cranberry 
Leftover turkey, sliced 


Toast bread, if desired. 

Slather your bread with a healthy helping of mayonnaise. Stack the turkey, two slices of cranberry jelly and a big old helping of stuffing on a slice of bread. 

Top with the other piece of bread. Cut in half. 

Eat and try not to swallow all in one bite. (I know, that's a toughy!) 

Sex In The First Trimester

So, before I got pregnant I heard a lot of people talk about how “great” the sex was when they were pregnant. This post seeks to clear up this misconception. Like a doe-eyed gal, when I became pregnant, I figured, “Oh I can’t wait to have this awesome pregnancy sex.”

You know what I kept picturing in my head? That scene from The Back-Up Plan with J. Lo where she first finds out she’s pregnant and she begins dating this guy. They are basically making out and he’s on top of her and she’s “so sensitive” that she practically has, like, three orgasms. Now, before you yell at the computer screen about how dumb my vision of this was, save yourself the trouble. I know, especially in hindsight, how crazy dumb this vision was.

And yet....

I really thought that it might sort of be like that at least a tiny, weeny eensy bit. It wasn’t. Not even a bit. What I found out instead was that my sex drive took a distinct nosedive over the highest libido cliff that ever lived. Of course me being me, I didn’t let this deter me. I just said that this was a “mind over matter” sort of thing.

Boy was I wrong. By about week nine, I ended up sobbing into my morning coffee and when my husband asked me what was wrong, it came out something like this (through tears): Everyone lied to me! Everyone said that pregnancy sex was going to be so good! It’s awkward and I have no sex drive and I feel sick and I’m exhausted. They are all lairs!!!!!

My husband was very sympathetic to my entire sex tantrum and he reassured that it was going to be okay. I, however, did not feel like it was going ot be okay. In fact, I felt really devastated by the whole thing because I really do enjoy sex with my husband under normal circumstances. Even though I didn’t want to have sex, not having sex was making me wonder if my body was changing and my husband found me unattractive. Now, I know that the logic here isn’t completely sound, but when those hormones start talking, it’s all a lady can do to drown them out.

About week 10, I was more able to let the whole sex thing “go” and settle for less sex which seemed better suited to what my body was telling me. This was hard for me swallow (no pun intended!) But it was reality. The truth is that not every woman will want to have as much sex in the first trimester....she, like me, may not be feeling well. Her libido may be low and on top of it she’s turned off by food and exhausted. IT’S OKAY!

And here’s the silver lining: about week 13, I started to have sex dreams ABOUT MY HUSBAND! I knew it was surefire sign that my libido was on its way back to town. It came a relief to me, as I am sure you can imagine. BUT, if you don’t feel it, don’t worry. There are essentially no rules to how this “sex thing” works during pregnancy. Some will want it, and some won’t.

Here is my suggestion though: if you are finding that your libido is especially low and it’s geeking you out like it was doing to me, find other ways to connect with your partner. Cuddle. Do massages. Kiss more. Hold hands. Ask him to tell you that you look beautiful (I know, it may sound unappealing to ask, but sometimes you just gotta ask for what you need.) There are other ways to forge intimacy until your sex drive comes back!

Stuffed Shells Recipe

I love love love me some pasta! And that goes double for shapes pasta. There is just something about a shaped pasta that makes my heart sing. Anyway, I have been meaning to make stuffed shells for literally weeks...but a few weeks ago when I went to the grocery to get them, they were out of jumbo shells! Can you believe it?!

Well, I was too lazy to take myself down to another store, so I just waited. Last week, I finally got around to getting back to the store and what do you know, they had restocked my beloved shells. Now, I could've just made a casserole, but you know me--I'm a rebel. I wanted to do something a bit different, so I made individual casseroles. I adore these individual casserole dishes. 

This works out perfectly because you can make a little or you can make a lot. I've included the recipe for 4 dishes, but as you will see, it's easily halved. Me? I made four because then I could eat them a second time. I am crazy for stuffed shells and all their cheesy glory!

Start by lining your dishes with a good layer of sauce. (Keeps the shells from sticking.) 

And while I'm at it, I'm also boiling those shells according to the manufacturer's direction. But that's happening behind the scenes. 

Then, mix up your filling. I've got some ricotta cheese, some provolone/mozzarella cheese, an egg (beaten),  pepper, dried oregano and two cups of fresh spinach that I cut up (which is code for I tore it up with my hands.) Hehe. 

Once my shells were cooked, I drained them and allowed them to cool a bit until they were cool enough to handle. Then, let the stuffing begin! I used about a tablespoon per shell. About seven shells fit per individual casserole. 

YUUUUUUMMMMMMM! Check these out! 

Then, top with more sauce and we're ready to bake! 
OR you can wrap these and save them in the fridge until you are ready to bake! 

Bake for 30-35 minutes on 350 degrees and then top with parmesan cheese if you like. 

If you aren't going to eat all the casseroles at once, you can either bake them off and then reheat them in the microwave or you can leave them in the fridge and bake them when you are ready. 

Billie's Stuffed Shells! 

Time: Prep 25mins, Bake 35mins | Makes 4 servings | Difficulty: Easy! 

You Will Need:

28 jumbo shells 
16 ounces ricotta cheese (I used whole milk) 
1 egg, beaten 
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (I used a blend of provolone and mozz) 
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
pepper (about 10 fresh grinds)
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped small
3 cups pasta sauce

4 individual casserole dishes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook pasta shells according to manufacturer's directions.

While shells are boiling, line each casserole dish with a couple tablespoons of sauce (it keeps the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the dish.)

Next, mix up the filling for the shells. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, beaten egg, shredded cheese, pepper, oregano and spinach. Mix well to combine.

When pasta is done cooking, drain and allow to cool until you can handle it (just a couple of minutes should be good.) About seven shells fit per dish. Fill each shell with about a tablespoon of filling and place it in the casserole dish. Repeat until all the shells are filled and the casseroles are all filled.

Top with the remaining sauce. Bake the dishes on top of a baking sheet (just in case they bubble over) for 30-35 minutes. Serve with a salad and a smile and top with parmesan cheese!

If you prefer to eat them later, you can wrap them and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to bake them. Or, alternatively, you can bake them all off and keep them in the fridge and reheat them later in the microwave!  

Some Pregnancy "Rules" I BREAK!

Me at 11 weeks! Check out my little bumpity!!! 
As any pregnant woman will agree, there are a ton of rules when it comes to being pregnant. There are things you can't eat (lunchmeat, sushi, brie cheese!), things you can't drink (caffeine in the first trimester, alcohol which is questionable....), and things you can't do (super cardio workouts, heavy lifting).

With all these rules floating around, sometimes it's hard to say what is or is not "in bounds." In fact, many other moms have told me, "you just have to decide for yourself." Every woman will be different. Some will be very strict about some things and loose about others. You just have to do what is right for you in the end and people telling you what you can and can't do only goes so far.

I get it, though, really I do because people really like to be all judgy-wudgy about parenting and it begins before you are even a parent....some of friends without children know what I mean because they are constantly getting questions about when they are going to do it (it's annoying, right?!) So, to make my fellow preggo friends breathe a sigh of relief, I wanted to share my little list of rules that I am a-breaking.

I didn't get a flu shot 
My primary care physician's assistant acted like I was doing something truly horrible by not getting a flu shot while pregnant. It made me uncomfortable, honestly....she actually used the words "life or death." Dramatic, right? I have never in my life gotten a flu shot and my motto is: if I didn't do it while I wasn't pregnant, why would I start now?

I eat raw honey 
Yes, I do! You'll find raw honey on the "no no" food list and I get it...there is a slight risk of botulism. But every time I walk out of my front door, there is a slight risk of all kinds of things that I don't want to get into. I believe in the homeopathic value of raw honey during cold season...and well, since I didn't get that dang flu shot, I guess I better keep up on the honey!

I'm not making a "birth plan." 
Seriously? What would be the point? I can tell you now that I am planner, so this isn't the most in character thing for me to pass on, but I feel there are some things you just can't plan for. My plan? To show up when I go into labor and have a baby--however that happens. Sure, I have hopes of how it may turn out, but the ball is definitely not going to be in my court. So, eh, not doin' it.

I'm switching back to regular coffee
Sure, I could go sans caffeine for the entire pregnancy. I'm a half a cup of coffee a day kind of gal, so I am sure I'm not addicted. But let's face facts...I have given up enough! Since I am in the second trimester, I am switching back to regular coffee. The only reason I haven't yet? I bought this decaf for the first trimester (because the intake of caffeine in the first trimester is riskier) and I'm cheap, so I want to finish it.

Well it's a short list, but it's a list nonetheless. I hope you all will share with me what rules you are breaking, or broke, during your pregnancy in the comments sections below! 

Kale & Potato Quiche Recipe

I love me a gooooood quiche! It's just a good way to start the week, don't you think? I like to make one up and eat it alllll week for breakfast. Or you can make it and serve it to a crowd. 'Round these parts, I have tended to make a quiche or two....there was this egg white quiche. Then there was this Italian quiche. And there were these mini egg white quiches. Oh yea, and this quiche with hash brown crust!

Today I am whipping up a kale and potato quiche using some leftover potatoes from pot roast, and some yummy yummy kale. Kale is so good, it definitely deserves two yums, as I am sure you will agree. Any-who, I have been obsessed with potatoes for a good part of my pregnancy; mashed potatoes, tater tots, potatoes in pot roast, hash browns--you name it!

When you think about it, potatoes and eggs just go together sooooo well. So this is a match made in eggy potato heaven. I didn't take a bunch of pictures of how to mix it up and make it, so if you want those goodies, reference one of the above linked posts. What can I say? Pregnancy has made me more casual than I used to be.

Let's take a moment to briefly discuss two things: 1) my obsession with Jiffy Crust and 2) the fact that you can throw just "whateva" in a quiche. First, the Jiffy Crust. I love it for these types of recipes, but as I always say, use what you are comfortable with. If you prefer a premade crust, I am not one to judge. Whatevet gets the job done works just dandy. But if you mix your own crust with crust mix, Jiffy Crust is awesome.

Now, when making a quiche I feel like my "recipe" is mostly a "suggestion" of ingredients that you can use. I mean, yes, kale and potato and onion and cheese is an awesome combo, but if you have some lunchmeat you need to use up, or some great broccoli, throw it in there!! There are rules!! Be free!

Okay, now that we got that covered, let's go ahead and get to the recipe! Happy quiche everyone!

Kale and Potato Quiche 

Time: About an hour | Makes 1 awesome quiche (Serves 4-6) | Difficulty: Easy! 

You Will Need

1 package of Jiffy Crust (or any pie crust) 
8 eggs
1 leftover potato (that is already cooked, of course and peeled too!), diced 
2 tablespoons sour cream 
1/3 cup almond milk (you can use regular milk, too) 
1 small onion, diced 
1 cup of shredded cheese (I used mozzarella/provolone mix) 
1 big old leaf of kale, chopped pretty small 
2 dashes cayenne 
salt and pepper (just add as you feel compelled) 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Line your pie pan with your crust. 

In a big mixing bowl, whisk together your eggs, sour cream and milk until combined. I use my big whisk for this job! Add your potato, onion, kale, cheese cayenne, salt and pepper. Combine fully and then pour into your prepared pie shell. 

Using a fork, gently situate the kale and other fillers so that they are evenly distributed. 

Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. 

Serve with a smile!!!! 

Potato & Beet Puff Pastry Recipe

In February when my friend Jenn and I went to visit my sister-in-law Laura in Scotland, we were in this pub (I think in Edinburgh?) and Jenn ordered something that came with something like what we've tried to duplicate here. Okay, I know that sounds a bit vague. Have pity on my pregnant mind and the way it works. 

What happened is this: I woke up last week and wanted to put beets in puff pastry and thought I remembered that it should also contain potatoes. Carbs with carbs and a little veg? Heck to the yes please! So I called Jenn and convinced her to come over and help me with this and then we ate it. 

This was actually really yummy, and if you want you can totally add some cheese into it. Just in case there aren't enough carbs in it for you and you want to add a little fatty fat to it. I love it. Jenn and I liked it so much that she started work on another incarnation of this same it's possible you may get some variations on this theme on here in the near future. Anything is possible. 

Now for this recipe I use my beets that we steamed and froze in season. They are awesome because you just take them out of the freezer, thaw or microwave and cook with them as you please. You can also use fresh beets, which will add a bit to prep time, but it'll be totally worth it. 

Also? I have a sort of obsession with putting things in puff this torta which is another way I like to cook potatoes in puff pastry! 

Potato and Beet Puff Pastry 

Time: Prep 20 minutes, Bake: 45 | Makes 4-6 servings | Difficulty: Easy 

You Will Need:

1 puff pastry, thawed for about 20-30 minutes 
3 potatoes, peeled 
1 cup of steamed beets, diced 
2 tablespoons butter 
1/3 cup milk 
2 eggs 
2 dashes of cayenne pepper 
1 clove of garlic, minced 
12 grinds each fresh salt & pepper 

Special equipment: springform pan 


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

To cook potatoes swiftly and without fuss, wrap the peeled spuds in a wet paper towel and microwave them for 10-12 minutes or until they are soft. I learned this trick from Jenn, and trust me, it totally works and is awesome! 

When the potatoes are soft, throw them in a bowl with the butter and milk. Mash them up. I like to use my old fashioned potato masher, but hey, whatever floats your boat. 

In a separate bowl, beat one of your eggs. Add it to your mashed potatoes along with your beets, cayenne, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir it all up. 

Grease your springform pan with a bit of butter. Drape your thawed puff pastry over your springform pan. Place your potato/beet mixture into the puff pastry and drape the top of the puff over the mixture to fully cover. 

In a small bowl, beat your other egg. Using a brush, brush your puff pastry with the egg, and then place the whole thing in the preheated oven. Allow it to bake for 45 minutes or until it's all puffy and awesome. 

Enjoy with a good friend and maybe a salad! 

Finding The Right Prenatal Vitamin

Finding a prenatal vitamin....sounds simple right? That’s what I thought. Oh boy was I wrong! Finding the right prenatal vitamin was a challenge for me. Luckily, I worked with my providers to find the right fit, and now I am on my fifth prenatal that *shew* I am happy with!

Whether you are on the search for the perfect prenatal, or have already found yours, I am hoping that you will share some of your favorites (or least favorites) in the comments section below so that others can gain helpful information!

One A Day Prenatal Vitamins with DHA 
I went and picked up a package of One A Day prenatal vitamins with DHA when we decided that we were going to try and have a baby because I read that they help with conception. Well, I was pretty darn fertile and we got pregnant on the first try! So for the first several weeks, I took these, and I was happy with them.

The only problem with these prenatals was that they were pricey (about $20/bottle). However, if you don’t have insurance, they are a great option. I fell in love with the DHA (which became the crux of my issue).

Citranatal Assure & Citranatal Harmony 
My doctor gave me these as samples a couple of times in the very beginning, and these were the bomb! They have a stool softener, which let’s face it, is a god-send with all that extra iron you’re taking with the prenatals. They, again, had the DHA and never made me feel sick. The downside? My insurance company didn’t want to cover these because they were “too expensive.” UGH.

So, I had to go with a generic prenatal.

Generic without DHA/ Generic Chewable without DHA 
When I got the generic without the DHA I cried at the pharmacy. Literally. I was so embarrassed, but I was also distressed because I knew I needed that dang DHA. The DHA helps with mood swings and I knew that without it I would turn into the princess of darkness.

When I called the doctor’s office back, they just gave me a generic chewable instead...again without the DHA. UGH! I was so frustrated because I knew what I needed. BUT, I also didn’t want to become known as the pain in the ass patient. So, I asked my pharmacist what she would do if she were me, and she encouraged me to buy an over the counter prenatal with the DHA to tide me over for a month.

Nature’s Bounty Your Life Multi (with DHA) 
This was a good prenatal, chocked full of a ton of vitamins including A, C and B-12. It’s got the DHA and the prenatal all in one so you’ve only got to take one pill a day, which was convenient. They were affordable ($12.99/60 pills) and on sale (buy one get one free!) For about a week, these were doing great, and then they started to make me throw up. I figured out that if I waited 30-40 minutes after a meal to take them, they didn’t make me throw up. They did make me pretty constipated, so I have been eating a ton of fiber.

Once I got back to the doctor at the end of the month, I asked for another option, preferably one with DHA, they gave me one!

PreferaOB plus DHA 
Finally! I got one that really, really worked for me. Chocked full of iron, but not loaded up on other vitamins, this prenatal comes in two pills, but they are small, so it’s no biggie. My insurance covers them, and they don’t make me sick at all. Also, I noticed that after switching to these, I had less anxiety (another side effect this first trimester has had on me!) I think some of that may have had to do with the large amounts of vitamins in the other prenatals--that has happened to me before.

I’m sticking with these vitamins, and I am so happy to have finally found ones that work for me!

Ricotta Meatballs Recipe

I love meatballs. Regular meatballs, spicy meatballs, or turkey meatballs--if it's meat in the shape of a ball, it's for me, plain and simple. So for a while now, I've been brewing this recipe in my head to make ricotta meatballs. I mean, who in their right mind doesn't love cheese and meat all together in one great bite? Crazy people, that's who.

I only had one problem: morning sickness. It was keeping me from wanting anything to do with the cooking end of my kitchen for about a month. It was a dark month filled with *gasp* ramen noodles and caesar salads and apples. I would honestly like to never again speak of this, but it's not like I have to be ashamed...I'm growing a human here, and it gets a little strange sometimes.

Anyway, now that I am officially out of that god-awful phase, I have been getting back in the kitchen and the first order of business was making some meatballs! This is a very simple meatball, I assure you. Simple is good. Simple is great, actually.


Simple round-up of ingredients here: a pound of ground meat (I used venison, but you can use beef or turkey or whatever you fancy!), 1 egg, 2 cloves garlic, ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, cayenne pepper, oregano, salt and pepper. 

Basically you are going to throw all these ingredients into a medium bowl and then you are going to remove your wedding rings. Or any rings that you may be wearing. 

Because the only way (I repeat ONLY WAY) to properly mix a good meatball is with your hands. Your. Bare. Hands. Mix it up. 

Now, normally I would put down some parchment paper on my pan, but I was out and so I just greased my pan instead. Do what you will. 
Now make your meatballs into nice rounds and lay them out on your pan. I like mine about the size of my palm. I always take a nice picture to give you perspective. But this is my personal preference. Heck, you can make these suckers the size of softballs if you want. 

Then, I popped them into the oven on HIGH BROIL for 12 minutes. This gives them a nice brown and I think it helps them to stay together. 

If you want to talk about this further: I know that some people (eh-hem, some people in my family) like to fry their meatballs, which gives the same effect. However, my thing is, the less I can move these meatballs around, the better. Plus, this does them all in one shot which is generally easier for me. 

One more thing: when I pulled these out of the oven, I got a big whiff of them and it was GLORIOUS! To me, these smell like Christmas, which I guess means that I think they smell like love and family. I feel all warm and fuzzy. 

Next? Pop them into a big old pot of pasta sauce. 
I used a recipe of THE Marinara Sauce but I want to also note that I used my home canned tomatoes, not store bought. You can use canned sauce, too--no shame and NO judgments!!! 

Let these suckers simmer away for at least 40 minutes or until you are ready to serve them.... 

I served mine with rigatoni. Seriously though, is it just me or does anyone else love shaped pasta?! I just feel like it tastes so good. Because of the shape, obviously. 

Billie's Ricotta Meatballs 

Time: 1 hr | Makes 15 meatballs | Difficulty: Easy! 

You Will Need: 

1 pound of ground meat (I used venison, but feel free to go with whatever you like)
1 egg 
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of ricotta cheese 
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (mine were seasoned) 
1 teaspoon oregano
10 grinds each of fresh salt and pepper 

A pot of sauce, which can be homemade or store bought (NO JUDGEMENTS!) 


Combine the meat, egg, garlic, ricotta, breadcrumbs, oregano, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Remember to take of your rings. Mix it up reeeeeaaaaalllllly well with your hands. Do not use a spoon. Only with your hands. 

Grease a pan or line it with parchment paper. Roll that nicely mixed meatball meat into palm-sized rounds, and place them on your greased pan. You should get about 15. 

Place your meatballs in the oven on a high broil for 12 minutes. 

Get a pan of sauce heating on the stove if you haven't already. When the meatballs are done in the oven, they should have a nice crisp layer on top and smell delicious. Plop them into your sauce and allow them to simmer for about 40 minutes or until you are ready to serve. 

Serve over your favorite pasta with parmesan cheese on top!!!! 

Notes From The First Trimester

Me showing off my lil tiny bump (10 weeks)

I am 12 weeks pregnant now, which means that I am nearly out of the first trimester of my first pregnancy. I have to say, I am totally relived to be out of this first trimester because it was HARD for a number of reasons (one being not telling anyone about the pregnancy!) It was also a learning experience for me as a woman, a wife, and a person.

I wanted to share some of my experiences in the hope that others can relate and/or feel better (or just good) about whatever is going on in their first trimesters. I hope you will all share your experiences with me in the comments section below!!!!

Oh the morning sickness
Call me crazy (it wouldn't be the first time) but I thought that I wasn’t going to have morning sickness...that is probably because my mom bragged about how she never had any! If you are one of those women who don’t get morning sickness, you are lucky honey! But for me, at seven weeks, I was not only nauseous, but I threw up a number of times. It was crazy-terrible because nausea, for me, is an awful feeling.

The only way to beat it? Eat. I kid you not. Eating every two hours helped a ton, but it wasn’t the easiest thing to get used to. Luckily, about week 10 or 11, the nausea began to ebb. So if you have morning sickness hang in there, it gets better.

The idea of food was unappetizing 
The strangest part of being pregnant was that the idea of certain foods made me feel sick. It wasn’t actually the food itself. Often, once I started eating, I was just fine, but thinking about eating made me grimace, literally. This led to some funny eating the week I ate spaghetti with clam sauce five days in a row because that was all that sounded good. Or the fact that I have eaten more caesar salad in the past month than in my whole life.

I just went with it. Whatever sounded good was what I ate. Period. I tried to keep it as healthy as possible, but honestly when you can’t stomach much, it doesn’t much matter.

Exhaustion like I’ve never had
I sleep a lot anyway, but the type of tired I was: insane. Somedays all I did was watch television in bed because anything else was too taxing. I fell asleep at 8:00pm on the regular. I skipped workouts because I just couldn’t get out of bed. It felt like it was going to be forever, but it wasn’t. My energy started to come back as I approached the second trimester. So don’t worry, your energy will come back, too.

Why am I crying? 
I would cry for no reason at all. One minute I would talking normally and the next, I would be crying. It made no sense. Other times I would be angry over something so simple, I seemed like a crazy person. The emotional roller coaster of those hormones hitting my system was not pretty for a couple of weeks there...even my mom told me I was being, eh-hem, bitchy. Worst part? I couldn’t disagree with her!

Meditation helped...but so did alone time. If no one is around, there is no one to get mad at!

Side sleeping....ugh! 
I have always been the type that slept on my stomach, until now. The first week I was pregnant that went out the door because my breasts were so sore I couldn’t lay on them. I’m learning to side sleep, but it doesn’t come easy. Here’s a tip: pillow between the knees, and one down the side. I’m getting the hang of it, and I’m getting one of those pregnancy pillows soon too!

Putting the pants on 
I have read how women hold out on getting in the maternity pants, but at 12 weeks, I had to give in as my lil' bump popped out. My pants were just uncomfortable. And wearing them unbuttoned just didn’t make sense to me. Maternity pants are COMFORTABLE and hey you’re pregnant, so why not? I get it ,though, because I was a bit reluctant. I got a much-needed confidence boost from my husband who said, “Put them on, it’s fun!” and then he added, “You should be proud!” I AM proud!

I was also lucky because a friend of mine gave me a ton of maternity pants. So check with your girlfriends who have children--they might be willing to help you out and get you in some maternity pants!

Bossy Italian Meditation Review: Creating Abundance with Deepak Chopra

If you read my review of the Perfect Health meditation review, than you already know that I am HUGE fan of Deepak Chopra's guided meditations. They are a great way to get your meditation in and have a little structure in doing so...I can always use structure, and honestly, I thrive on it. So I was thrilled to be moving on to Creating Abundance Challenge, which is (again) a 21-day challenge.

Can we just take a moment to talk about abundance? I don't know what it means to the rest of you, but for me it's a feeling. You have to be able to FEEL the abundance in your life in order to see it. No matter who you are, I guarantee you that there are things that are abundant in your life. I feel that abundance always thrives with the power of positive thought.

I used to be very big into actively using the power of positive thought. I used it for everything and it made me so happy and it genuinely allowed me to see the magic of life. I am sorry to say that it took me doing this 21-day meditation challenge to realize just how far off the mark I had gotten. It wasn't so much that I was in a "negative" way, but I wasn't working my positivity...and that was getting me down a little, I think.

This was the PERFECT time in my life for me to do this meditation challenge. I'm pregnant, as you all might know, and the first trimester? It's an ass-kicker. So cultivating a little joy and abundance? Priceless. I credit this meditation challenge with making me a generally more tolerable human in the last several weeks. That's not to say you have to be a grumpy preggo to benefit from this challenge. In fact, I think everyone should do it....we'd all be a lot nicer and more positive!

I loved it so much that I think I'm going to do it again. BUT, first, there is a new challenge coming up with Deepak and Oprah! It's called "Desire and Destiny" and it begins on November 11th!!!!! I'm really excited about this one because it's FREEEEEEEEEE! And I'm not going to say that I manifested it with the power of positive thought or anything, but I will say that I was hoping for a new program to come about and I am feeling pretty darn happy about it! CLICK HERE to get registered for the new challenge, or to learn about this one!

*This was not a paid review. The opinions I've expressed are my own and I love these programs so I thought y'all should know about 'em! 

Stuff I Use: Bodem Electric Water Kettle

I am a big fan of hot tea, but if you can believe it, up until this past August I didn't own a tea pot. Now, I have tea pots that you pour the hot water into....but I didn't have a pot to boil water in. I know...the irony is rich. What I used to do was boil water in a pan and then make the tea in the tea pot. Not exactly stone age technology, but there was distinct room for improvement.

When I went to visit my sister-in-law in Scotland in February, she had an electric water kettle that was amazing to use. It wasn't long until my mother-in-law got a Bodem one in her own home, and I was like, "Oh my god! I must have one too!!!" But I ONLY wanted the Bodem one that my mother-in-law has because it was an awesome green one and it would match my kitchen.

My champagne tastes on my ramen noodle budget prevented me from going out and getting one. I would stalk them online, but I just couldn't click and purchase. Lucky for me, I have awesome family. For my birthday, my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law went in and got me my very own Bodem. I am totally in love with this thing.

It boils water SO FAST! And I swear, I use this thing so much, I have no idea how I lived without it before. Lately, I have been using to make my instant coffee in the morning. During my first trimester, I have been caffeine free, and rather than brewing a whole extra pot of coffee (and battle my husband over that point) I figured instant would be the way to go. So every morning I use the Bodem to get my cup o' joe on!

Also, I use to make a quick broth from bullion when I am making soups. And I have been making a ton of soups lately because they seem to be one of my favorite things during pregnancy. Can we also just talk about how positively cute this thing is?! It's modern, and lovely, and sleek and it matches my Kitchen Aid Mixer. I swear, this point makes me sooooo happy. So. Happy.

If you are looking for an electric water kettle, I have to say that this is the cream of the crop. You will love this sucker.