June’s Favorite Things

Is it just me or did June go by really fast? I feel like I say something about how quickly time seems to pass in every post…maybe I just don’t have a very good grasp on time, haha. Either way, it is already time again for a favorite things post!

1. My Body Pillow

This is one of the best inventions ever. Maybe it is because I am so short, but this pillow is literally just about the length of my whole body, and makes sleeping–especially at 7 months pregnant–sooo much more comfortable! Brinton likes to joke that he has been replaced because I fall asleep cuddling with my pillow now instead of him! Oh well. Just a few more months and we can cuddle again (on the rare occasion that we get to sleep at all when baby comes, haha).

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2. Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eye Shadow

This eye shadow is great! I wear it every day and it stays on really well. I had run out of my favorite primer, Urban Decay’s Eye Shadow Primer Potion, which really helped my eye makeup to not crease all day long. This cream gel is really long lasting and it doesn’t get all gross and creased after wearing it for a few hours. I just wish it would go on sale more often so I wouldn’t feel so badly stocking up on different colors!

"Barely Branded," one of my favorite go to shades.

“Barely Branded,” one of my favorite go to shades.

3.  Yopa Greek Yogurt

Since finding out I have gestational diabetes, I have been looking for some delicious, healthy, low-carb snacks that I can enjoy when I am having a sweet craving. These really hit the spot! My local Safeway seems to only carry the strawberry with granola, blueberry with granola, and vanilla with chocolate chips, but their website says that they have a key lime with graham cracker flavor as well, which I would love to try. Each snack cup has only about 17g of carbs–a perfect serving size–and they are packed with protein so they keep me full longer. Plus, they really do make me feel like I get to indulge in something sweet…especially the vanilla and chocolate one!

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4. Clinique BB Cream

I love this product. I find that it gives me just the right amount of coverage–a little more than a tinted moisturizer but not as much as a foundation. I’ve tried the CC cream as well, but I feel like this one is a little bit better for what I wanted to use it for (covering imperfections and blemishes). It also has SPF 30, which makes me feel like I’m getting just a bit more protection than just wearing my regular moisturizer and makeup alone.

Clinique BB Cream

5. Tory Burch Clutch

This clutch isn’t a clutch at all…it’s an eyeglass case that I absolutely fell in love with. The vibrant orange color is amazing and the lining on the inside is soft and suede-like. It’s the perfect size for a small clutch and big enough to fit my phone, a small wallet, and some lip gloss. Perfect! 

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What were your June favorites? Does anyone have any baby favorites that I should look into adding to our registry or making sure we have before baby gets here? Let me know in the comments!

Linking up with Ashley today!

Favorite Things Link Up

DIY: Baby and Daddy Bow Tie Set

I think these bow ties are adorable. I was so excited when I thought about making matching father/son bow ties for father’s day! They were relatively simple to make and I found the fabric at Walmart for a pretty good price. The nice thing is that you don’t need much fabric at all! I don’t claim to be an expert by any means, but I’ll share a bit of step by step info with pictures if you would like to go ahead and make your own.

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These are the fabric squares I found at Walmart. I got a bunch in all different colors and patterns! Each piece of fabric measures 18 in x 21 in and is the perfect size to make two small bow ties and two large bow ties (depending on what size you want to make them). Best yet, each square was only a dollar or so!

Bow Ties Step 1

Once you have chosen your fabric, iron it well. This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but I found that it makes it way easy to work with. For the big bow tie, I cut out fabric roughly 4.5 in x 10.5 in, and for the baby bow tie 4 in x 7 in. Again, you can change up the measurements depending on what size bow ties you want.
Next, fold over the top and bottom edges and iron flat so they stay put. I folded over probably just about an inch on each side. Lastly, fold the sides in until they meet in the middle and overlap slightly.

Bow Ties Step 2

1 and 2) Begin to sew the fabric right up the middle. I folded it a bit first and then sewed through a few times so it stayed scrunched up. (Like all of my technical terms here?)
3) I failed to take a photo of cutting out the “loop” for the middle piece (sorry!) but you basically just cut out a rectangle as you did for the bow tie itself, only smaller. Fold the edges over as you did before and iron so they stay flat. You can decide how wide you want the middle piece to be. I sewed the tie and loop together, but if you’d like you can sew them separately. I sewed them together to make sure my loop wasn’t going to slide around.
4) There you have it! Your bow tie, big or little, should look like this. Simple, right?

Bow Ties Step 3

For the baby onesie I purchased sew on snaps and just sewed them in place. I liked this idea much better than trying to clip something on that I’m sure baby could easily tear off, and I didn’t feel like a strap around his neck would be safe. Picture two is big bow tie next to baby bow tie. (I did end up making an around the neck strap for the big one…but it wasn’t at all elegant and I kind of just threw it together. If you can find bow tie clips, I’m going to assume that to be much, much easier.)

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Ta-da! A matching set!
If you want a more in depth tutorial, my original inspiration was from this site that I found on Pinterest. I used her tutorial as a guide and found it to be quite helpful!

There you have it! Father/son bow ties in a few easy steps. It takes a bit of practice at first, but once you figure it out you can really speed through them. Now all that’s missing is baby boy…I know Brinton wants him to hurry up and get here so they can finally wear them to church together!

Fiesta Bean Salad

Summer is officially here, which means I have been in the market for recipes that don’t require me to be standing over a hot stove or oven preparing dinner. Of course, living in Hawaii these kinds of recipes are welcome all year round, but there is something about this Hawaiian humidity that really makes summer feel like summer. This bean salad is delicious, light and refreshing. Even Brinton said he loved it, and he doesn’t even like black beans!

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Can you taste all of that flavor just by looking at it?! Not only is this super yummy, but it’s very quick to make and there is no cooking involved at all. I kept a big tupperware full of this salad in the fridge so we could just grab a few scoops here and there to make our meals more interesting. It was so convenient to be able to just put a scoop of this over our taco meat the other night when we had burritos! And of course, once again, this is a diabetes friendly recipe! Low on carbs, way healthy, and crazy flavorful!

What you need:

Bean Salad Collage

Ready for instructions? Chop it all up, drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil (not pictured, sorry!) and season with salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste. Easy peasy, right? If you are interested in proportions, this recipe is really forgiving, and it’s great because you can add more of a veggie you love, not add one if you don’t prefer it, or add another veggie entirely. I personally used one can of black beans, rinsed and drained, half a bag of frozen corn kernels (about one and one-thirds cup), and just under half of the red onion. I chopped up the whole green pepper, cucumber, and all three tomatoes. I would have loved to add some red, yellow, or orange peppers too, but they were way too expensive at my local grocery store and I was trying to keep to a budget. I like the lime flavor as well, so I squeezed the whole lime on top and mixed. I meant to add some garlic too, but I had completely forgotten (what kind of Italian am I?!) and it tasted delicious enough for me to not feel the need to throw it in.

Carb count: about 8 grams of carbs per half cup scoop. My measurements are based off of the specific beans and corn that I used, divided by 13 half cup portions that the salad made. If you add more or less or a certain ingredient, you may want to double check your carb count!

What are some of your favorite light and refreshing summer recipes? Leave me a comment with a link and I’ll go check it out!

Baby Bump: Week 30

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Week 30! In the blink of an eye, it’s here! The weeks no longer start with the number 2…which means these last 10 weeks are sure to fly by. My pregnancy is already three-quarters of the way over, which makes me both sad and excited. Being pregnant is something I am really enjoying (even with all of the aches, pains, and diabetes), but I am beyond excited to be able to hold our little boy and see his sweet face. Yesterday we finally got a box in the mail of a bunch of Brinton’s old baby clothes and blankets. He was so cute as we looked through all of his old things and tried to imagine baby boy wearing them. Our apartment isn’t big enough that baby will have his own room or nursery, but I am so excited to start decorating his corner of our room! We are still putting together our baby registry, but I realized just the other day that it’s starting to get close and we need some stuff! It will be really fun to see it all start to come together so we can have everything ready before baby makes his big debut.

Pregnancy update (physical stuff): this week, just tiredness. I physically get tired by the end of the day, even just working my normal shift. Also, I am carrying baby pretty much only right in front, so it’s starting to make my back ache. Yesterday was the first day that my belly felt heavy, like it was pulling my upper abdominal muscles down, which made them feel pretty tender by the end of the day. I’m feeling better today, but I’m considering looking into getting one of those pregnancy support bands since I still have 10 weeks to go. Have any of you used those before? Did they help?

Also, baby gets the hiccups all the time…usually several times a day. At first it was really cute because I could watch my whole belly twitch, but now I can’t help but just feel bad for the little guy! After he has had them for a while he always starts squirming around, so I can’t help but think that they are making him uncomfortable. Who wouldn’t be? I’ve also heard that babies who get the hiccups in utero a lot have a greater tendency to have acid reflux issues as newborns, so I hope that isn’t the case here. I’ve had my first experience with heartburn during this pregnancy and it’s not fun. I wouldn’t want my little guy to have to deal with that!

Anyway, that’s the update for week 30! Our next appointment is Monday morning, and then the appointment after that we get to have another ultrasound. Hopefully this time we can see him a lot better than the first ultrasound we had!

Tofu “Mac” and Cheese

This meal is easy and delicious. Let me just say…the tofu doesn’t fool anyone into thinking it is pasta, but I love this dinner anyway! Plus, the protein in this meal makes it super filling. Pair this with a side of fresh veggies for a nice balance. Also, keep in mind that there are almost no carbs in this entree, so make sure to include some kind of starch–whole wheat or whole grain dinner rolls, a side of rice, or even potatoes will compliment the tofu and veggies nicely!

Tofu Mac and Cheese Collage

Tofu Mac and Cheese Recipe

What’s your favorite twist on mac and cheese?

Gestational Diabetes: Consultations, Dietitians, and Glucose Meters

After being diagnosed with gestational diabetes almost two weeks ago I have been on an emotional roller coaster. The first few days after I found out, I was up and down, going back and forth between optimistic and depressed. After I had let all of the information sink in, for the most part, I was okay. There were days last week that were really difficult though where I was really frustrated with the whole situation. Honestly, the hardest part was the week and a half between being diagnosed and actually getting to consult with the doctor and dietitian at the hospital. Those ten days seemed like f o r e v e r. I knew I needed to be eating according to a specific diet, but I didn’t yet know what that diet was. I knew I needed to be keeping my blood glucose levels under a certain level, but I had no way of monitoring where my levels were. I knew that if I wasn’t doing these things, my baby and his health could be negatively impacted, but I could only guess and hope I was doing things well enough to get us by.

Finally when Monday rolled around I had my 29 week, 2 day OBGYN appointment where I found out that even though I had abnormal readings on two of my four glucose levels in the glucose tolerance test–enough for me to fail–they were just barely outside the range of where I needed to be. My doctor told me she was fully confident that this was something I was going to be able to control with only diet and exercise, and there should be no negative impacts on our baby as long as I was managing my diet accordingly. She also told me that as long as everything was being kept under control and I didn’t have to go on the medication or insulin, they would continue to monitor my pregnancy as usual and nothing would really change. So, the good news boils down to: I’m not high risk, they will not have to induce me due to the diabetes, and I can still aim for the natural birth I want. I was so thrilled to hear that! We also got to hear baby’s heartbeat again, which was beautiful and strong, and I am measuring exactly where I need to be for this point in the pregnancy. It was all music to my ears!

Later that afternoon I had my consultation at the hospital with the main doctor in charge of the Sweeter Choice program, which is a program specifically designed to educate and cater to women with gestational diabetes. We talked at length about what exactly GD is, my health history, and how this could effect baby. She then gave me a short physical exam as well, and for the most part, reiterated what my OB had said that morning. I then went for one more blood draw (I’m gonna be a blood giving pro by the time this pregnancy is over!) called a hemoglobin A1C and EAG, which basically measures the amount of glucose in my blood for the past 3 months or so. I later found out that those levels were completely normal, which made me feel much better, because it indicates that the diabetes really seems to be due to the pregnancy and wasn’t something that was affecting my body prior to just a few weeks ago. Awesome!

A day and a half later we were back at the hospital for the four hour class to learn about GD in depth and to meet with the dietitian for my specific meal plan, carbohydrate goals, and to learn how to use my new blood glucose meter. While I was really looking forward to the first part, I was definitely not looking forward to having to zap myself with a needle. I’m not a big fan of needles! It was really more of a mental block though, because actually doing the finger stick wasn’t as bad as I had been building it up to be. Phew! My fingers are a little tender, but having done it for a few days now I definitely didn’t need to feel as apprehensive as I did going into it. Meeting with the dietitian was so helpful and really put me at ease as well. I realized I could still have way more carbs than I thought I would be able to! The most important thing is just making sure I am aware of what kind of carbs I am taking in (for example, whole wheat and high fiber is way better than refined white flour or high sugar items) and I need to make sure that I am spreading out my carb intake throughout the day. No saving all my carbs until the end of the day and then downing a huge bowl of pasta or a sugary dessert! I didn’t assume it worked that way anyway, but apparently enough people think so that it was reiterated several times during the class.

For any of you who are super interested or who have perhaps stumbled across my blog because you have also been diagnosed with GD and are looking for more information, here are my personal carbohydrate goals:Gestational Diabetes Carb Chart

Keep in mind that your personal goals may be different than mine are based on your weight, height, other health factors, etc., but this should at least give you an idea about how many carbs you should be consuming. I know I found information like this helpful before I had the chance to meet with my dietitian, so I hope you do too! 

Right now, I need to monitor my blood glucose levels four times per day: a fasting level in the morning (aiming for a level below 90), and then a reading 1.5 to 2.5 hours after the start of each meal, but before my snack (aiming for a level below 120). I have to log my results, and then once a week call or email my record to the nurse at the hospital so they can monitor my progress and make sure everything continues to look good. Totally manageable, right? I’m feeling so much more encouraged and positive about this whole experience! Of course, I wish I could still indulge in all of the starchy pregnancy cravings I have been having (seriously…why are potatoes so amazing???), but this is definitely not as overwhelming as it sounded at first. I’m realizing every day that this is the perfect opportunity for me to make healthy lifestyle choices and be an example to my family and those around me as well.

If any of you have questions about GD, or would like examples of specific meal plans or snack ideas, make sure to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you, and even though I am definitely not a health expert, I would love to share my personal experience with you.

Also, now that I know better what kind of meals I should be eating, I’ll be posting a lot of my meal recipes or meal plans for all of you to check out. I may have to minimize carbs, but I am in no way going to compromise flavor, so keep checking back to see what yummy recipes I’m coming up with that are both healthy and delicious!

(First) Father’s Day

Sunday was an absolutely phenomenal day. The weather was fabulous, the trade winds were awesome (which is soooo important when you don’t have AC!), and we ended our very laid back day with great friends and delicious food.

Even though baby isn’t here yet, I wanted Brinton’s first father’s day to be special. I spent a good few hours working on his gift: a matching bow-tie set for him and baby boy. I was so excited about it that it was hard to wait until father’s day to give it to him!

Regular bow-tie for dad, snap on bow-tie onesie for baby!

 

After church we enjoyed a nice Sunday nap, and after spending the afternoon around the house we headed out to have dinner with our friends Abi and Mark at their place. The food was de-licious. Grilled burgers and wings, hand dipped onion rings, and fresh corn. In moderation, it wasn’t even that bad for my diet either! Double win!

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I’m salivating just thinking about how amazing this was.

After dinner, Abi taught us how to play the card came “Golf”, and after a mediocre start to being in last place, I ended the game with literally the best hand you can get and finished in second.

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This game is super fun! It’s my new go to game and I’m really looking forward to getting to play it again soon.

I’m really glad we had such a wonderful day!

What did you do to celebrate?