August 28, 2015

Girl Diet Snacks

In my previous post I went over some recipes that were good if you are trying for a girl, but not everyone has time to whip something up, so I decided to post a list of snacks that are good for a girl diet. (Remember, you're trying to increase your calcium and magnesium intake, and avoid sodium and potassium!)

Most of these snacks you just buy and then you eat them, some you might have to wash first like fruits and veggies, others might have a few steps like peeling or cutting, but don't require as much work as the recipes I had shared.

Snacks

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries (Not a fan of the berry itself, but cranberry sauce is delicious, especially with turkey!)
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Oranges
  • Orange Juice
  • Oatmeal (I eat this every morning for breakfast, just buy the instant packets and all you have to do is boil some water, a tea kettle is handy for this!)
  • Dark Chocolate 
  • Nuts (I like Planters Mixed Nuts)
  • Tuna (Just eat it right out of the can, yummy!)
  • Tuna Sandwich (Drain tuna, mix with some mayo, mix in some relish and spread on your bread!)
  • Pears
  • Apples/Apple Slices (You can spread peanut butter on them or I have heard from friends that putting a slice of cheese between the apple slices is delicious. I have yet to try it myself, let me know if you do!)
  • Peanut butter and Crackers (Use salt-free crackers!)
  • Peanut butter and Jelly Sandwich 
  • Rice Cakes (I love to put peanut butter on these as well!)
  • Yogurt 
  • Pumpkin Seeds 
  • Dates
  • Raisins 
  • Ants on a Log (Just spread some peanut butter on celery sticks and stick on raisins, enjoy!)
  • Prunes
  • Dried Apricots
  • Watermelon 
  • Yogurt Covered Blueberries (just dip your blueberries in plain yogurt, place on a baking sheet, stick in the freezer, sit overnight and you'll have a tasty snack! Once frozen you can remove berries from baking sheet and store in a Ziploc bag)
  • Milk and Chocolate Chip Cookies (dark chocolate is even better!)
  • Milkshake
  • Ice Cream

Feel free to share your favorite girl diet snacks in the comments!


Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on Canva.

August 21, 2015

Girl Diet Recipes

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Any purchase you make using these links supports this site.

In a previous post I mentioned that we were going to try to have a girl using a couple methods, you can read more about them here. One of those methods is by diet, and since it's one we are trying, I thought I'd share some recipes!

In order to increase your chances of conceiving a girl, you need to eat more calcium and magnesium-rich foods (such as dairy, leafy greens like spinach and kale, berries, rice, tofu, nuts, oranges, oatmeal, eggs, fish, etc) and avoid potassium and sodium-rich foods. 

All the recipes in this post fit that criteria and are not that hard to make in my opinion.  Feel free to share and tweak to make them your own!


Mixed Berry Smoothie

Market Pantry Frozen Mixed Berry, Old Orchard Berry Blend,
Stonyfield Greek Yogurt
  • 2-3 Cups Frozen Berries (I like to use Market Pantry Mixed Berries, but any frozen berries will do!)
  • 1 Cup Fruit Juice (I use Old Orchard Berry Blend)
  • 1 Plain Yogurt Cup (6 ounces)
Place all items in a blender and blend! Once the liquid looks smooth, pour yourself a glass and enjoy! Depending on how thick you like your smoothies will determine just how many frozen berries you use. I like mine to be creamy, but not super thick, so I usually use around 2 1/2 cups. 

Kale Chips

  • 1 Bunch of Kale
  • Olive Oil (Get the good organic stuff for this, not the one you use for cooking)
  • Seasoning Salt or Sea Salt
Cutting Kale - Image Source
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Remove the kale leaves from the stem (I just tear them off, but you can cut them). Wash and dry leaves, then place in a large bowl. Mix in some olive oil (start with a half tablespoon and work from there, you don't want them to be soggy, but you want each leaf to have some oil).  Next, sprinkle on the seasoning salt or sea salt. 

You can also spice it up a bit by adding chili powder, paprika, garlic powder or garlic salt, onion powder, etc. Play around with it and find your favorite flavor. (I personally like to add chili powder every now and then)

Bake until crisp, around 20-25 minutes, turn the leaves once at the halfway mark. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before digging in!

Oriental One Pot 

No Yolks Broad Egg Noodles
  • Egg Noodles (I use the No Yolk brand, and only half a bag = 6oz)
  • 32 Oz Low Sodium Chicken Broth (4 cups)
  • 2-3 Cups Water (depends on how strong a Chicken flavor you want)
  • 2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Fish Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Lime Juice (about 3 limes) 
  • Lee Kum Kee Minced Ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons Ginger (you can peel or chop, or you can buy jar of already minced ginger, easy to find at an Oriental Market/Store) and/or 2 Cloves Garlic - Minced (this is where having a garlic press comes in handy)
  • 1 Package of Extra Firm Tofu (drain out of water, dab with paper towel to get rid of as much water as possible, and cut into cubes)
  • 3-4 Green Onions 
  • 3-4 Baby Bok Choy (wash and pull off leaves)
  • 1 Package Imitation Crab or Lobster Meat (The kind I get comes in an 8 oz package, but you can use however much you want! You can also use shrimp instead!)
  • 1 Cup Spinach (wash and cut off stems)
Squid Brand Fish Sauce
First, you are going to pour the chicken broth and water into a stock pot or the biggest pot you have. Bring to boil, then add in the egg noodles. Add in all the liquid ingredients (sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice, fish sauce). Mix together, then add in the ginger and garlic. Finally, add everything else to the pot and stir. Cook until noodles are done according to the package or to your liking. Removed from heat and serve! Store leftovers in the fridge.

Most of the ingredients can be found in the Asian section at your grocery store, but I highly recommend finding your local Asian store to find what you need. They have more options and usually better prices. 

I'll admit this recipe looks a bit overwhelming, but many of the ingredients are optional. It's a one pot, which is what makes it simple, you just add whatever you want to it! You can ditch the soy sauce if you want less sodium (just because you are trying for a girl doesn't mean you have to go completely salt-free!). Lime juice is optional, you can even just cut up a lime and add a wedge to your bowl. 

Also pretty much everything after ginger/garlic on the list is optional since it won't take away from the flavor of the soup, but those items are good for the girl diet. However, you can choose not to use tofu and just use crab meat or vice verse, or maybe not use either and throw in something else like chicken or shrimp. You can also eliminate the bok choy and add more spinach, etc.

This one is pretty much a make it your own. I tend to use what I have on hand, but for posting on here, I included the best foods for conceiving a girl (which are also the foods I am mostly using now). I have added shiitake mushrooms, and I have used broccoli in the past since I didn't have spinach or bok choy on hand, so feel free to play around with this one! (that is if you aren't trying for a girl, if you are, you might want to stick to the foods listed above since they are a good source of calcium and magnesium!)

Pesto Pasta

  • 1 Box of Angel Hair Pasta (or spaghetti or bow ties or penne, etc - your favorite pasta noodle)
  • 1 Cup Spinach/Baby Spinach (or you can use kale)
  • 1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves (grow your own!)
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil (again use the good organic stuff)
  • 1/3 Cup Pine Nuts
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan  Cheese
L'Estornell Organic Extra 
Virgin Olive Oil

Cook pasta according to the box. While pasta is cooking, grab your food processor and start making the pesto. 

First, pulse the spinach and basil till all chopped up, add in pine nuts, pulse a few more times, then add in the garlic and Parmesan cheese, pulse a few more times, finally, while your food processor is running on the lowest speed, slowly and steadily pour in the olive oil. 

Once it is all mixed in, you are done! Just add the pesto to your pasta and enjoy! You can even mix in some shrimp or chicken. 


Tofu Stir Fry

Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 Package of Extra Firm Tofu (drain out of water, dab with paper towel to get rid of as much water as possible, and cut into cubes)
  • 3-4 Green Onions
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil or Olive Oil
  • Sesame Seeds for Topping (optional)
  • 1/4 Cup Hoisin Sauce 
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Low Sodium Soy Sauce 
  • 2-3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Minced Ginger (optional)
  • 2-3 Bok Choy (can use spinach instead)
  • Rice (I usually make 2 cups in my rice cooker and save the leftovers for later)
In a bowl stir together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and garlic. Set aside.

In a skillet or wok heat oil over medium heat. Add in tofu cubes in a single layer, cook without stirring for about 5 minutes, then turn them and brown the other side for a few more minutes.

Pour your sauce mixture over your tofu and lower the heat. Let simmer for a few minutes (if needed, add more hoisin sauce). Then add in your bok choy or spinach and cook until tender (don't let it sit too long or your veggies will shrivel!).

Serve with rice and enjoy!

Really Simple Meals

These are recipes I don't feel the need to give the ingredients or instructions since they are pretty simple and you can easily find them yourself.
  • Blueberry (or raspberry) Pancakes and Scrambled Eggs
  • Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sandwich
  • Salad (great way to get your greens in - kale, spinach, etc, can add chicken or shrimp, cheese, etc!)
  • Tuna Sandwich (mix tuna with mayo, I like to also add in relish)
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on Pixabay.

August 14, 2015

Shutterfly, Inc. Review

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Any purchase you make using these links supports this site.

Shutterfly, Inc. consists of Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, Wedding Paper Divas', This Life, My Publisher, and Borrow Lenses.

I have personally used Shutterfly many, many times and love it! They have the best deals and offer matte prints for way less than Target or Walgreens, and they do a great job! I have never been disappointed in the quality of the photos.

I have also ordered personalized photo mugs, magnets, coasters, and mouse pads as gifts for family. 

My parents love the mugs I got them for Father's and Mother's Day. For Christmas last year I had gotten my parents coasters with pictures of their cat on them. The quality was better than expected and they loved them. 

I also got my dad a mouse pad for my dad's birthday since he said he needed a new one. Now he tells me he would like another for Christmas! The quality of mouse-pads is amazing. I even got one for myself, featuring our dog, Lexie (see image below)!



Shutterfly has yet to disappoint me. If anything, I wish they had more products! They always have deals so I never pay full price for anything. I love when they offer free prints or a free personalized item of choice! 

I have also used Wedding Paper Divas' free wedding website. They have many layouts to choose from and it was super simple and easy to use! It was nice to have a site for people to RSVP on and be able to find information about the wedding.
Free Wedding Website from Wedding Paper Divas

I have not used any of the other companies part of Shutterfly, Inc., but would love to try Tiny Prints for invitations as they allow for online RSVPS! 

From what I have seen from Shutterfly, I would not be hesitant to order from any of their other brands. The quality and prices are just amazing!


UPDATE

Since making this post, I have made three Shutterfly photo books and they are stunning! I wish I had started making them sooner. I have posted a preview below of Elsa's baby book so you can see how beautiful these books are!


August 7, 2015

Why Breast Isn't Always Best

No babies here yet, but I do not plan on breastfeeding. I plan to exclusively pump, at least for a few weeks, if it does not work out, then we will switch to formula.

Now, this decision did not just happen overnight, I was pretty sure since high school that I was not going to breastfeed. At the time I was planning on formula because I did not know breast pumps existed, but now that I do know about breast pumps, I would like to try pumping.

Why do I not want to breastfeed? For me, it is just inconvenient as it forces all the work on the mother, which does not sound pleasant, and it just, overall, does not appeal to me.

I love the idea of my husband being able to feed the child so he can bond with the baby and he likes that idea too. From what I have heard and read from others, it is pretty hard for a dad to bond with the baby when it is either sleeping or attached to mom's bosom. By using a bottle, they get a chance to hold and feed the baby. I also do not want to deal with the pain and sore, cracked, bleeding nipples. I do not want to have a baby stuck to me 24/7.

Also after reading "Babyproofing Your Marriage" it seems breastfeeding would be problematic. The book mentions splitting up the chores fairly, taking turns sleeping instead of both being up, etc, all of which is hard if the woman is stuck with being the sole milk provider.

I hate the idea of not getting eight hours of sleep. I need my sleep in order to be a sane person. By bottle feeding, my husband and I can split up baby watching and sleep, at least while he is on paternity leave. He gets the night and I plan on splitting mine, so four hours before he goes to bed and then when he wakes up, I get four more hours (since I plan on pumping, I can't really sleep eight hours straight anyway because I would have to get up in the middle of the night to pump). This way when he goes back to work, his sleep schedule isn't completely out of whack and we both get a decent amount of sleep for a few weeks.

Now, this is assuming I am able to produce a decent supply of breast milk and that pumping works for us, if not, we will use formula and I will not feel guilty. I was a formula fed baby, my sister was a formula fed baby, and we both turned out just fine (my mother couldn't produce enough breast milk, so she had to use formula).

Breastfeeding is great and all, but it angers me how many women out there who breastfeed judge women who use formula or think it is the end of the world when they find out they can not breastfeed, like all of a sudden they are the worst mother on planet earth, when that is not the case!

Breastfeeding is not for everyone and not everyone can breastfeed. Some babies are born with tongue ties and other issues and can not be breastfed. Some women have medical conditions, like breast cancer, and can not breastfeed. Some women do not produce enough milk, and some women just do not want to breastfeed and that is their decision.

Sure breast milk has all sorts of great benefits and I will not deny that it is better than formula, but if formula was so bad, wouldn't a lot of those babies be dead by now? If formula is so bad, why am I still alive and well? Formula may not be better, but it is the next best thing, and I am living proof that you can still be healthy even if you were formula fed.

Breast is best ONLY when it works for the mom and the baby. The most important thing is that your baby gets fed, which is why I believe fed is best.


Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on Pixabay.

August 6, 2015

Introducing Modcloth's 1st Ever Namesake Label

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Any purchase you make using these links supports this site.

"Introducing ModCloth, the online shop's first-ever namesake label, inspired by you! To create this line of versatile tops, bottoms, cardigans, coats, and of course, beautiful dresses, the folks at ModCloth looked to your feedback to determine all the must-have details (say hello to pockets and luxe linings!), pored over popular trends on Style Gallery, and did three times the typical amount of fittings to ensure a fabulous, consistent fit. Shop the gorgeous looks now!"

I am a huge fan of ModCloth! Not only do they have adorable clothing, but the cutest knickknacks! If you are a fan of vintage and one of the kind items, this is the store for you!