Non-Baby Topics (No Lie…Not Even One Picture)

Let’s chat about something other than sleep, breastmilk, and all other baby-related topics.

First up, TV! Now that I’m home full-time, I’ve been watching more TV (should I be ashamed?), or at least having it on in the background. Brody and I also continue to watch our shows at night.

My daytime TV starts with The Today Show. I was embarrassingly excited when they announced that Carson Daly is joining the team!!!!
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I always defend Carson when Brody pokes fun of him on The Voice and thought he was fantastic when he was a guest host for The Today Show a month ago.

I also regularly watch What Not To Wear and The Chew, both of which I DVR. Sometimes I’ll see an episode of Long Island Medium or The Dr. Oz Show.

At night, Brody and I have a handful of shows we’re into. This section demands a list:

1) Have you seen The Newsroom? If not, you have to watch it.
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It’s in its second season and is SO well done. The writer and producer, Aaron Sorkin, also created Sports Night and The West Wing. The show gives a (fictional) behind the scenes look at producing a nightly news program. The characters are well-developed, and the plot is just smart.

2) Sons of Anarchy started up again, and we watched the first episode the other night. I forgot how violent that show is: anal rape, torture porn, drowning in a tub of urine. Oy! And I’m sure all of the S.O.A. and Fifty Shades of Grey fans out there heard that Charlie Hunnam will be Christian Grey in the film version of the very popular trilogy (which I never read).
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3) The Food Truck Road Race is another one we keep up with. Quite a 180 from S.O.A., right? Tyler Florence hosts this show, and I’m guessing the title gives away the premise.

4) Brody started watched Revolution on Netflix on his own, and I got sucked in a couple weekends ago about ten episodes into the first season. We enjoyed Lost, and this is by the same writer, JJ Abrams. It’s a slightly futuristic setting in which the “lights went out.” No power, no electricity…well, sort of. This is the perfect lazy weekend show.

Second non-baby discussion point, FOOD!

Last weekend, Brody was gone, and a kind friend brought over soup for me. One less meal to figure out? Awesome! The soup (with kale, ground turkey, and carrots) was delicious, and with the cooler temps, I’m ready to start making more comfort foods. I found the recipe my friend used (link above) and made myself a batch. Instead of rice, I added some potatoes that were on their last legs. It was the perfect quick and healthy lunch for me last week.

I was craving something sweet (no surprise) I found this protein powder peanut butter cookies. They were what you’d expect from a healthy cookie, but I actually prefer this protein powder cookie dough. Brody came home, saw the cookies thinking they were “real”, and got excited. I quickly intercepted his reaching hand – he would’ve spit the cookie out and given me that “I can’t believe you eat this” look. Because I’m an awesome wife, I made “real” cookies for him this morning…with peanut butter, and butter, and sugar. Smitten Kitchen has the best cookie recipes, so I followed hers. Peanut butter cookies for the win! I broke my rule (more of a guideline) of not eating chocolate before noon and had two. Then I had two after lunch. I’ll probably have more before the day is done.

This is kind of food related: a commercial was shot at my house on Wednesday. Like a legit commercial that will air on TV (only on the east coast, though). How did this come to be? A neighbor of mine knows the woman who was responsible for finding locations for breakfast sausage company’s commercial. My neighbor suggested my house since they were looking for a kitchen space with a breakfast bar. Out of a handful of houses, mine was one of three selected! A crew of thirty some people arrived at 7:30am and occupied the entire first floor of my house. Lots of cars and an RV lined the streets around my house, camera and lighting equipment was set up inside and outside, and there was a food buffet outside…cause that’s when you know it’s the real deal.
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They left at 8:00pm (after doing a very good job of cleaning my house) and handed over a nice check. Plus, they left a package of breakfast sausage in the freezer for us! It was a very cool and unique experience.

Third and final topic, exercise. I’m kind of back on that horse; this past week I went to kickboxing on Tuesday, Zumba on Wednesday, and ran three miles on Friday. My body feels good, but I can definitely tell something is different with my knees. They ache when I crouch down and stand up, even if I hadn’t recently worked out. Also, I don’t notice it’s any worse after running. Pregnancy can affect ligaments, and I’m guessing that’s what is going on. I also need new shoes. It could be that.

I didn’t even mention “she who will not be named” once. Bet you didn’t think I could do it? It was hard.

Questions:
What show(s) are you into?
What’s the best thing you’ve made recently?
What’s been your go-to way to exercise recently?

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Baby Stuff, Baking, and Time with Friends

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who shared some words of wisdom with me and answered my questions. I took much of your advice:
-Huggies sensitive wipes (448 count) were purchased.
-I picked out three nursing tanks from Target: two of these (same ones Liz likes) and one of these.
-We bought two more crib sheets; they were only $9.99, and since the bed converts to a toddler’s, I’m sure they’ll get used eventually.
-More disposable diapers (Pampers Swaddlers most likely) are needed. It sounds like the poops early on are so nasty, we won’t want to deal with cleaning the cloth diaper inserts.
-I may freeze some meals, or maybe double up on some recipes I make in these next few weeks that freeze well. I also want to bake a couple dozen healthy muffins for breakfast.

I had a very lovely weekend and did a decent job taking photos. Weekend recap starting…now.

Brody’s coworkers had a little get-together on Friday night to celebrate our upcoming bundle of joy. It was super low-key and basically a good reason to have everyone hang out, eat good food, and drink.
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Kids were welcome, so obviously O-Dub (aka Owen, who is 6.5 months!) attended the soirĂ©e. He is such a happy, chill baby – plus he apparently likes the Blackhawks and Brody.

After grading for a couple hours Saturday morning, Brody and I took the dogs to the park. For how nice it was (besides the humidity), it was a quiet walk. The pups were stinky after two days at daycare this week, three trips to the dog park, and just general dog scent. They both got baths and a brushing, and now we have clean, soft puppies.

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Moose’s hair/fur doesn’t dry well; Brody gave the hair dryer a shot. Moose was kind of into it, but it would’ve taken at least twenty minutes to dry him completely.

Saturday afternoon included some intense nesting (hanging of baby clothes, putting away of blankets and odds and ends, and acquiring of more baby clothes), grocery shopping, dropping off of cardboard boxes at the dump (they were taking over the garage), and some baking.

The large vat of strawberries from Costco stares at me every time I open the fridge, and as much as I love them, the acidity gets to me. I headed to Smitten Kitchen for some meal planning and found this recipe.

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Considering I have never made biscuits before and don’t really know what it means to overwork dough, I was quite impressed with myself. They are the best the day off, and rather than eat all eleven myself, I gave two to a neighbor (who gave me the baby clothes) and two to the couple we met for dinner later that night.

Speaking of dinner, our jam-packed day ended with a casual evening out at Ale Asylum with our friends Andrew and Melissa. I ordered the spicy black bean burger, and it was so good. The chipotle mayo played a key role in the burger’s success. We luckily landed a table outside and stayed until 9:30pm chatting. Brody and I recognize it may be a little bit more difficult to see our friends and enjoy dinners out in a few weeks, so we’re taking advantage of these opportunities now.

My interest in baking and strawberries continued into Sunday when I made waffles topped with strawberries (duh), unsweetened coconut, and real maple syrup.

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I made one for Brody too, but he ran five miles outside and was a sweaty mess when he got done as it was (and still is) very humid. The smell of baked dough wasn’t very appealing – it looks like breakfast is already made for me tomorrow!

While browsing Smitten Kitchen’s blog, I had also found this vegetable-heavy recipe. Many of her recipes are more involved (ingredient and skill-wise) than I typically go for. However, I can handle chopping veggies. To be honest, I find cutting up fruit and veggies very relaxing. Meat? That’s another story.

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To appease my husband, I omitted the kalamata olives and will add them to my own servings. Isn’t it so pretty? It’s going to taste delicious next to chicken sausages on the grill. Also, you may notice there is feta cheese in this salad. It is made from pasteurized milk, so I feel safe consuming this soft cheese.

Now I sit here with Brody, on our back patio, with our feet up, waiting for the chicken sausages to be put on the grill.
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Not a bad way to end a great weekend.

Weekend Mornings

Good Sunday morning!

I love mornings, especially weekend mornings. Never in my life have I been able to sleep in; sleeping until nine as a teenager was very rare for me. As I get older, I find it easier to wake up earlier and even more difficult to sleep in, even when I don’t get to bed until 12:30am (ahem, last night). But aren’t Sundays made for naps? I think a little cat nap on the couch is in my future.

Yesterday morning, I took advantage of the quiet morning to sit on our back deck and finish reading The Atlas of Love. Considering I started this book Thursday afternoon, you could say I really liked it.
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This morning, I used my free, quiet time to make breakfast: zucchini bread pancakes. Smitten Kitchen has incredible recipes (including Brody’s favorite cookie recipe) and I stumbled upon this post yesterday. Her witty commentary about zucchini made me chuckle and nod my head in agreement.

Besides accidentally using three eggs instead of two (I spooned a little out), I followed the recipe exactly. As she suggests, I used half a cup of whole wheat flour and half a cup of white.
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The recipe yielded twelve pancakes for me. They were thick, slightly doughy, and golden. I topped mine with plain yogurt mixed with maple syrup and blueberries.
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Eight pancakes remain for Brody (if he ever wakes up).

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Questions:
What do you like to do weekend mornings?
How do you use the abundance of zucchinis in the summertime?