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last night’s dinner

Well, technically this is the night before last night’s dinner, but it just doesn’t have quite the same ring.

I must dedicate a post to our “it’s a busy night and there’s no time to cook favorite dinner.”  Jon and I love this dinner waaay more than I’d like to admit.  On the health scale it’s only mediocre, but it’s cheaper and healthier than eating out.  These days there are some nights where the stars align (read: the babies both take a good late afternoon nap) and I’m in the mood to cook something fun and fresh.  Those nights usually result in crispy blackened tofu, brown rice and veggies or something similar.  But on many of those other nights, this is our go to.

I simply cut a potato up, spray it with olive oil spray, sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne.  Then I add two Dr. Praegers All American Burgers (the absolute best in veggie burgers) to the cookie sheet.  I broil everything for 8 minutes, flip it, then broil for another 8.

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Sometimes we’ll have steamed broccoli on the side, but on this particular night I had been craving a cucumber salad I’d seen in a recipe book for days.  In the end, I actually used this recipe, but added chopped jalapeno pepper and onion.  It was so fresh…simple and delicious.  And I ate the entire rest of it the next day for lunch.

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The best thing about this meal aside from how tasty it is, is that it gives us more time with these two:)

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What is your favorite easy go-to meal?  I love getting new ideas!

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the packing list

Today was my first day of bedrest that was spent entirely at home alone (aside from a quick lunch visit from the husband).  I’m not going to lie – it got a little lonely.  I think the hardest thing about having to lay around all day is that I have way too much time to think!  Today most of my thinking involved hyper-analyzing my hospital packing list.

I think I’ve realized that I feel really out of control right now.  Everything I thought would be in my control…just isn’t.  Obviously things like organizing our house and going to childbirth classes and whatnot are not happening the way I thought they would.  I also had this ideal dream that the babies would be head down and would stay that way until time to deliver…but no such luck so far.  Not just one, but both of them are breach!  Naughty babies;)

So, subconsciously I’m taking the few things I can have control over and going crazy with them I guess you could say.  So here’s a quick rundown of my “work-in-progress packing list.”  I’ve done a lot of research and questioning of friends, but I’m still open to suggestions from all you experienced moms out there.  I also want to go ahead and establish the fact that I am an overpacker and an overplanner, and I seriously hyper-analyze things.  So, I will no doubt pack items I’m not absolutely sure I’ll need every single time over wishing I had something I didn’t take.  Better safe than sorry is my motto here.

Things for me:
breastpump (in case we have NICU time and I can’t nurse)
Belly Bandit - still researching this, but may be able to buy it from a friend.  Hello post delivery twin baby belly!
robe
maternity yoga pants
nursing tops – so far I have 2 of these, this and this
big, comfy underwear I can throw away later
nursing bra
reusable nursing pads
nipple cream
hot/cold breast packs
camera
comfy outfit to wear home
Tuck’s pads
Mama Bottom Balm
New Mama Bottom Spray
My Brest Friend twin nursing pillow – not sure if I need to take this?
my own pillow case
iPod / mini speakers
cozy socks
slippers to throw away when I leave – I’m sort of a freak about stuff like this
shower flip flops to throw away when I leave – see above:)
Say Yes to Cucumbers facial wipes – love these!

Okay, sadly that is just my part of the list…now for what I’m taking for the babies:
going home outfits – two preemie just in case and two newborn
socks
2 hats for each baby
2 sleepers for each baby- no idea if this is enough
2 onesies for each baby
baby mitts – want to resist buying these, but don’t want to have scratched baby faces!
baby nail file
2 receiving blankets
2 swaddlers
1 pkg preemie/newborn diapers – we’re planning on using disposables the first week
comb/brush – in case they come out with tons of hair…which based on my heartburn level currently…
baby book/ journal

And last, but not least – for Jon:
snacks!

I can’t imagine how I could possibly be forgetting anything. I haven’t actually started gathering this stuff yet, but at least I have a list ready in case something crazy happens (I’m a little paranoid after this last surprise) and my mom or Jon end up packing my bag.  Oh wait, that will probably happen anyway since I can’t leave the couch:/  We’ve been planning on getting a new car before the babies come because, well, while it’s likely possible that both carseats will fit in the Mini, once they’re in I don’t think half this other stuff is going to fit.  My twin breast feeding pillow takes up the entire trunk all on its own!

I feel like this week I’m finally making some good progress toward getting prepared.  Thank you notes are well underway, obviously the packing list is almost done and my mom is coming over on Friday to help me wash baby clothes and organize them in the nursery.  After much thought today, I’ve decided that this bedrest business must be part of the Lord’s plan to help me get used to accepting help from people.  I’m a bit of a control freak, and I don’t like to inconvenience people, so to have our friends come over and be so sweet to make dinner at our house while I sit and watch makes me cringe.  I know I need to get better about accepting help from people, especially because I’m going to need it once two little babies are filling my time!

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Speaking of people helping, yesterday my Sunday School teacher’s wife visited me and brought the cutest little care package.  I just kept pulling stuff out thinking it was never going to be the end – homemade cookies, 3 books, a magazine, a candle, lotion, baby socks (!), etc. etc.  Totally made my day.

And then later our friends Ryan and Elyse and JJ and Seth came over for homemade pizza and cupcakes.  We were originally supposed to go to JJ and Seth’s house, but they agreed to bring the party to us since I couldn’t go…so nice.  They brought all the pizza ingredients, and we provided the cupcakes.  We were having a grand time until a sudden storm blew in.  Good ole’ Oklahoma.  We never even saw it coming, but suddenly there it was.  Elyse and Ryan had to rush home to get their dog inside, and the party fizzled a little early.  The good news is that just gives us reason for a redo!

More excitement ensues tomorrow with our fourth and final shower at Jon’s work.  It amazes me how generous people are and how much we’ve been blessed with help preparing for the twins already.  Babies, you are so loved!

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pink lady

Yesterday I was really feeling the fruits and veggies all day.  Maybe it’s the onset of spring and all the flowery, warm goodness it brings that brought the longing for fresh produce.

It started off in the morning when I woke up craving a strawberry smoothie.  I have no idea where it came from…I haven’t even had a strawberry smoothie in months.  But I could just envision the creamy pink coldness coating my throat as it went down.  I had to have it.

While I normally like to keep things simple, I decided to doctor this lady up a bit by adding a little homemade coconut butter and a half a banana.  I was feeling a little tropical I suppose.

1/2 banana, 1 cup almond milk, 1 handful frozen strawberries, chia seeds and ice

All day long I worked on a cover letter and resume for a job I found the other day.  I’ve been applying for a lot of jobs as of late, all of them jobs I’d be satisfied doing.  But this job is one that I would LOVE to do.  It fits in line with things I really care about, and I know I could be really successful at it.  Needless to say I have a lot invested.  A degree in nutrition is not required, but it is preferred, so I’m trying not to get my hopes up.  But it’s kind of hard to keep them down.  I’ve done all that I can do, so now I’ll just wait.  And keep applying for jobs of course.  The plus to all of it is that I’m getting pretty good at the art of writing cover letters, a task I used to absolutely despise.

Continuing to feed my craving at lunchtime, I pulled out leftovers of a meal I made the other night.  You guys know I love a good stir-fry, and I found this awesome sauce at our local food store the other day.  I always find it really difficult to find a pre-made stir-fry sauce that doesn’t have added sugar, so I nearly jumped up and down in the aisle when I discovered it!

Love teriyaki.  Love pineapple.  That’s all.

At least I thought.  Unfortunately later in the evening, the husband was checking out the ingredients and informed me that it has fish sauce.  FAIL.  I have to be honest – I’ll still continue to eat it until the jar is gone (hello $4), but obviously won’t buy it again.  The search continues.

The sauce really was just as perfect as I thought it would be for my stir-fry, though.  I chopped up a green bell pepper, three carrots, an onion, frozen broccoli and some asparagus, stir-frying it in a bit of olive oil until the veggies were tender.  Then I added about a cup of edamame (protein!) and some raw cashews just for kicks. All served over brown rice.

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One of my absolute favorite meals.  And the husband’s too.  Darn that fish sauce.

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In other news, for those of you who read my post last Friday, you know that I am having a bit of a problem with my blogging workflow right now, and I’m in the market for a new plan.  Yesterday I clicked over to my old blog for a second and happened to notice a post title of a blogger on my old blogroll.  I don’t read Kath’s blog normally, but the title “House Neat Home: Blogging Behind the Scenes” caught my eye, so I clicked on over.

And discovered the coolest little gadget that I didn’t even know existed.

Yes, that would be a wireless SD card.  Aka my dream card.  Am I the only one who thinks it is a huge hassle to constantly be unplugging and plugging in my card? (rhetorical question)  And as you all know, my adapter broke last week, which meant that I couldn’t plug it in at all.  I am so excited about this.

Basically with the wifi card you can take pictures, and if you’re within range of your wireless network (you can program in multiple networks), then the photos will automatically upload to your computer in a folder that you designate.  If you’re outside your network when you take the photos, then it will wirelessly upload them the next time you turn your camera on in your network range.

The only thing I’m still trying to figure out is if it uploads raw images, or just JPEGs.  I need raw, so that could be a deal breaker.  I’ll update as soon as I find out…fingers crossed.

Have any of your heard of this before?  I was so surprised when I found out about it, and I just thought I’d pass it on!

Anyway, this afternoon the husband and I have an appointment with a small business consultation company to talk about some Outbox logistics, so I’m picking him up from work in about a half hour.  There may be a cupcake stop involved later.  Just maybe.

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our first mardi gras

Last night the husband and celebrated Mardi Gras for the first time ever.  I’ve never been to New Orleans, and I’ve never really seen the point in celebrating all the way up here in Oklahoma, but when I found out that one of my favorite restaurants was hosting a shindig (albeit a low key shindig), I was suddenly feeling very festive.

105 Degrees created an entire raw 3 course dinner for Mardi Gras – gumbo, red beans and rice – the works.  Don’t hate on me for saying this, but I’m not a big fan of either of those dishes, so the husband and I went for the parsnip noodles and the lasagna instead. Oh, and the kale chips…can’t forget the kale chips.

There was live music and waitresses (“guides” as they call them) wearing masks as they flitted around from table to table taking orders and explaining the ins and outs of raw food.  This was my first time to order anything beyond a smoothie or a juice, and it was just as lavash as I had anticipated.

The parsnip noodle dish was a mixture of spiralized zucchini noodles and parsnip noodles (which would be so easy to recreate), soaked in a cashew pesto sauce, with tiny half tomatoes, coconut “bacon” and chopped walnuts.  We were most intrigued by the coconut bacon – made by marinating the flesh from a coconut in maple syrup and tamari and then dehydrating it.   It didn’t taste like bacon at all, but definitely looked like it.

Surprisingly the husband liked it more than I did, so I gave most of them to him…while he didn’t care for the kale chips (what?!) so I got the whole little bowl to myself. mmm.  I was surprised how much different they were having been dehydrated instead of baked, and honestly I liked the baked version better.  But that might be just because it’s what I’m used to.  The baked are more crisp and light whereas the dehydrated version is more dense and stiff.  Both delicious nonetheless.

The lasagna was a layered masterpiece of flat zucchini (or cucumber?) noodles, spinach and tomato slices filled in between with a macadamia nut ricotta cheese, sun dried tomato sauce and cashew pesto sauce.  It was beautiful and tasty, and the only downside was that it was crazy hard to eat!  I didn’t want to mess it up, but it was impossible to slice through, so we ended up having to demolish it in the end.

The food at 105 Degrees is fantastic, but I think what I love most is the atmosphere.  Sometimes I wish I could just go hang out there all day – watching the chefs do what they do and soaking in the clean lines and the smells of fresh juice and veggies.  I just love being there.  I actually feel that way about that entire area of Oklahoma City – such a refreshing place to be, about to become even more so as Whole Foods looks to be coming along quite nicely.

It would have been the perfect night, but unfortunately on the way to dinner the Mini got into a scuffle with a car three times its size when we got hit from behind by a big black Expedition.  Having just exited the highway and stopped at the light at the end of the off ramp, we were chatting away when all of a sudden we heard a crunch as we were jolted in our seats. We were kind of in a not so good part of town, which could have been a bad thing, but it worked out in our favor because there was a homeless man, sign in hand, standing about two feet from our car, who saw the whole thing and was quite excited (a little too excited) about being our witness. So that was good.  The cops came and helped us setting things, but the damage was insignificant enough that within a half hour we were on our way to dinner.

Thankfully everyone was okay, and I’m super proud of our little car because it held up quite nicely all things considered.  We drove away with a few scratches and a cracked bumper, and now we play the insurance waiting game until we can get it fixed.

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More to come on lots going on here in the country this week – a peacock sighting by the husband, a run-in with the town sheriff, delicious lemon coconut bar making, and trips to the city for some yogaaaaa!  The husband and I have held strong and haven’t been to see Olive even once since Sunday night (we decided it’s best for her and us if we don’t try to go see her every day).  We both miss her so much and comment to each other every day about what we’d be doing if she was here.  We’re a week and a half down, with fourteen and a half to go until our family can be together again.  Not that I’m counting.


Did you celebrate Mardi Gras? What’s your favorite part?
My favorite part was just having a good reason to go eat dinner at 105.  Oh, and the masks were pretty cool too.

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go get ‘em husband

Good morning!

I honestly cannot believe how quickly the weekend flew by…seems like it just started.

On Saturday things warmed up a bit around here, and some of the snow started to melt off.  By late in the day, many of the streets were almost clear…but there’s still tons of white everywhere else!  Apparently (I never watch the weather) there is more snow headed this way in the next few days, but we shall see!

I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but Saturday and Sunday we spent a lot of time organizing and packing.  The story of our life these days.  I have to admit it feels sooo good to get it done, though.  We are still a long ways from being packed, but I think we did finally finish the office for the most part after being buried in boxes and files for the last few days.

Saturday night I got inspired to make a stir-fry.  When I asked the husband what he wanted for dinner, he said something I thought I would never hear him say: “How about something besides mexican?”

I thought I was dreaming.  Did he just say he didn’t want mexican food?!

So stir-fry it was!

I chopped up bell pepper, onion, broccoli, carrots and cabbage and stir-fried it in about one tablespoon of olive oil until it was tender.  Then I tossed in some frozen edamame (did you know edamame has the same amount of protein as roasted turkey?) for protein.

After it had cooked for a little bit, I mixed together about two tablespoons natural peanut butter, two tablespoons tamari, a couple teaspoons rice wine vinegar and some water to thin it out.  Honestly, I just kind of guessed at the proportions and tasted as I went.  I poured the sauce over the veggie mixture and continued to cook them for another 5-10 minutes.

In the meantime I cooked some buckwheat (soba) noodles, and when it was all done I poured a big spoonful of veggies over the noodles….and that was it!  Easiest stir-fry ever.

Stir-fry reminds me of Thailand so much.  During the last few months we lived there, I literally ate stir-fried veggies in some form every. single. night.  No exaggeration.  Always on top of brown rice.  Granted I wasn’t a vegetarian then, and I used fish and oyster sauce (Thai style) for flavoring, but it was still so good.  Really takes me back:)

cooking with friends in Thailand

Anyway, on Sunday the husband and I went to lunch with some dear friends of ours from our college days.  They are several years older than us and have three of the cutest little kids.  During our time in Campus Crusade for Christ at OSU, Dan discipled Jonathan, and Debbie discipled me.  They have always meant so much to us and have walked with us through some of the most important decisions in our life.  It was so nice today to catch up and spend time with them…we’re really going to miss them when we move.

Debbie and I / Dan and Jon – about five years ago

Other than packing throughout the afternoon, I also made some Super Charge Me cookies for the husband.  While he ate cookies, I enjoyed a leftover vegan cinnamon roll.  This morning someone brought cinnamon rolls to Sunday School, and ever since then I’ve been craving one.  I can honestly say that these rolls are one of the best vegan baked goods I’ve made yet.  The day after I made them, I realized that unless I wanted to turn into a giant cinnamon roll, I needed to put them away for awhile.  So into the freezer they went.  A couple of times since then I’ve pulled one out and heated it in the microwave for about a minute and a half…and it’s always just as good as when it was fresh out of the oven.

You really must make these if you’re a cinnamon roll fan!

So that’s the weekend in nutshell – only two more weekends left until moving weekend!

Last thing – I have to give a shout-out to my better half.  Today is the husband’s first day at his new job, and I am so dang proud of him.  I’m so thankful for all the hard work he has put in over the last several years to get us where we are.  This is just one more step we get to take along the path of our life.  I’m going to miss him now that he’s leaving earlier, getting home later and not coming home for lunch (tear), but I know he’s going to love his new role…and he’s totally going to rock it! Go get ‘em husband:)  I love you!

Did you have a good weekend?
What’s your favorite vegetable?

I think mine would have to be spinach…or maybe snap peas.  It’s really hard to narrow it down, though!

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