One Week 1800 Calorie Meal Plan 3.31.16

So, we decided to do a weekly meal plan again this week. I think I stick better to my meal plan when we have a shorter time (though we actually already switched Thursday and Friday). We’ve decided that grocery shopping is now to be done on Wednesdays. Sprouts has double ad days on Wednesdays. 

  Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Breakfast Cheerios and Milk (350) Cheerios and Milk (350) French Toast – 2 slices and apple slices (380) + syrup + chocolate milk (150) Monkey Bread (half recipe) (515) + Apple slices (80) 1 cup cheerios + 1 cup milk (200) + coup of canteloupe (100)


1 cup canteloupe (100), 1 cup cottage cheese (180), brioche toast and cream cheese or butter (350) Cheerios and milk (350) + 1 cup cantaloupe (100)
Lunch 2 Tablespoons peanut butter and apple slices (280), ham and cheese croissant (400) Ham and cheese croissant (400), 1 apple (80), 1 sliced cucumber (15) Leftover chicken thigh, quinoa and carrots (451) 1 sliced cucumber (15), 1 banana (100), peanut butter (200) Ham and cheese croissant (400) + 1 cucumber (15) Leftover taquitos (792)


Leftover Pork chops and stuff (389)
Dinner with rice (565) and quinoa + cooked carrots (451) (512) Pork Chops + canned green beans + mashed potatoes (500) with sour cream in corn tortillas (792) – five taquitos with ¼ cup sour cream (550) Date Night
Snack 1 cup cottage cheese (180), 1 banana (100) 1 cup chocolate milk (150), 1 cup cantaloupe (100) 1 cup canteloupe (100) 1 cup cottage cheese (180) Apple Slices and Peanut Butter (280) 1 sliced apple (80) 1 sliced apple (80), ½ cup cottage cheese (90)
Total Cal: 1875 1546 + Ice Cream! 1593 + syrup 1570+ dessert 1787 1772


1009 + date night



The Best Pregnancy (and swollen foot) Shoes

So, I know I’m only 7 months pregnant and maybe I shouldn’t be recommending things for pregnancy but, I have a load of experience with swollen feet. I have this disease called Lymphodemia where the lymph system doesn’t work quite right in my body. Basically it shows primarily in my left foot and it shows by swelling. Lots of it. Certain friends in high school named it (and me by proxy) Godzilla because of how big it would get. In summation, I have a lot (8 years or so) of experience with swollen feet.

I got used to accommodating my foot. I buy larger shoe sizes for boots and during the summer I mostly stick to my flip flops. The problem lay when it was too hot for boots but flip flops were not acceptable. During those times I would just suck it up and stuff my foot into ballet flats that cut into my skin (if I bought them bigger they just fell off).

Anyways, fast forward to last year during my internship. I interned at a child development center and one of the requirements was closed toed flat shoes. I wore tennis shoes often and ballet flats when I wasn’t in the classrooms. However, one lovely day I was playing with Wheatley in a field in front of our apartment and fell into a divot and sprained my ankle. Very badly. When I say badly, I mean my ankle swelled to the size of a softball (no exaggeration) and almost down to my heel. I wish I had a picture but, it was really gross looking. None of my flats had enough support to wear with my ankle the way it was and my tennis shoes cut into my swollen ankle rather painfully.


So what do I recommend for extremely swollen feet?

Shoes made out of elastic.

I didn’t even know elastic shoes existed but, we took the trek down to the BX (Base Exchange for you non-military brats) and looked at the shoes with the budget of “I’m in constant pain, fix it.” Luckily, we actually found shoes, the Sugarfoot Twisted, for a great price: $14.99 (the website has them for $16.98) .

Enlarged product view

They fit around my softball-sized ankle and have really great support in them. Unfortunately, they do not sell them anymore (probably because they aren’t the cutest on the market) but, I found these from Amazon that look pretty similar and even cuter.

I wear them whenever it is warm enough to not be in boots. They swell with my bloated pregnancy/lymphodemic feet and are so cozy!

What did you do to help make your pregnancy more comfortable? What products to do swear by?




Book Reviews and a Garden Update

So, I mentioned a couple of posts ago that one of my goals was to read 20 books this year. I’m still working on The Explorer’s Guild but, I’ve read a couple of others in the meantime.

As Sisters in Zion 

Pages: 80

Genre: LDS Biography

Review: I really enjoyed this book. It was perfect for an afternoon read. It is about the woman, Emily Hill, who wrote the lyrics to the song “As Sisters in Zion.” It tells the story of her and her sister’s conversion to the LDS church and subsequent moving to America and joining the pioneers in their trek west. It is a short summation of their lives but the succinctness made it an easy read. I do wish it had been a little more in-depth, but Debbie Christensen might’ve shared all she knew.

Recommend: Yes, good to buy and good to check-out at the library

Marriage isn’t For You: It’s for the One You Love

Pages: 20 (I don’t know if I can actually count this as a book)

Genre: Self-Help Relationships

Review: This was a cute little story about a father’s advice to his son before his marriage. I really liked the advice given and thought that the pictures in the book (of Seth Adam Smith and his wife) really added to the message.

Recommend: Yes, but check-out at the library

Pregnancy: The Beginners Guide

Pages: 245

Genre: Woman’s Health

Review: This is my favorite non-textbook pregnancy book (Infancy by Alan Fogel is my favorite one but, it covers from pregnancy to 3 years and it is a textbook so, it’s really an unfair comparison). I love the infographics and how easy the book is to read. It really breaks down what a pregnant woman wants to know in simple terms. My favorite part is that every month has a two page “Dad’s Survival Guide.” Mr. B is always bothered that anything pregnancy (and weddings but, I think he’s over that now) seem to completely ignore the father (though he does easily acknowledge that mom’s need more information, he just thinks dad’s need info too). I agree with him and want him to be able to prepare through my pregnancy too. The book includes month-by-month information, natural and non-natural birthing options, pregnancy exercises, and newborn information. It is packed with the little tidbits that sometimes get lost in the slew of pregnancy information.

Recommend: For first-time parents YES! For 2nd (or more) parents, maybe, the information might be repetitive.

Have you read any of these books? Do you recommend them?



As a side note, our strawberries are flowering!


This post contains affiliated links. You don’t pay more, but I can make money if you purchase through these links.



3/11/16 – 3/18/16 Meal Plan

This week we decided to do a one week meal plan and see how that worked out. We’ve always had a bit of trouble sticking to the meal plan by the end of the second week. We get lazy and want to eat based on our mood. So, a one week meal plan it is.

We also shopped at Sprouts in addition to Smiths this week and it was GREAT! The produce was so affordable. We’ll be shopping at Sprouts from now on for most of our produce unless there is a sale at Smiths.

Here is this weeks meal plan:


Here are the links to the dinner recipes:







In case you were wondering, Monday was Pi, we had to have pie… or cheescake that appears as pie.



My “Running List”

So, I wanted to share our successes of this past week but, you first have to know the background a little.

I have a constant, what I call, “running list” of things that we need/want eventually. This is so that when I see a good deal, I can jump on it! We make sure to pre-budget for these opportunities so it doesn’t hurt us. Most months we don’t buy anything off the list so we just save what we budgeted for a future month of good deals (like this month!). Here’s the list:

  • Matching side tables
  • TV wall mount (before Little C is big enough to crawl and pull up and take our current TV down)
  • Bread Maker
  • Stroller
  • Bouncer/Swing
  • Baby Bath
  • Diapers
  • Candles
  • Rocking Chair
  • Oval Casserole Dish and Top
  • Christmas Presents (I’m one of those people with a present cupboard that I keep throughout the year)
  • Real Leather Jacket

Anyways, my sister introduced me Facebook Yard Sale sites last month and they are terribly awesome. Basically on the Facebook search you type in “My City Buy/Sell/Trade” or “My City Yard Sale” or the like until you find one (or multiple in your city). I am on one for our city and one for the city right next to us and while they have been super useful, I probably need to slow down because I’ve bought three things in the past two weeks.

Here are the three things I’ve crossed off our list:


Hamilton Beach Breadmaker
We got this for $20 bucks. The lady said she used it twice before realizing bread making was not for her. After looking at it, I’d have to say I believe her. It goes for around $50 new and had really great reviews. We got it tonight so, tomorrow I’ll make my first loaf. I’m so excited!

TV Wall Mount:

42" TV with wall mount
Mr. B is playing with his new toy. We got the TV with the wall mount for $150. It’s 42″ and goes up to 1080 p (at least that is what Mr. B tells me, I don’t really know nor care what that means… I just care that it’s a TV my baby can’t pull over). We’ll sell our old TV too to help pay for the new one.

Babytrend Stroller:

Babytrend Stroller
We bought this for $60 and new it would go for $150. I love that it has a parent tray thing (is there a proper name for this?), but my favorite is how far the canopy goes. When pulled down all the way, there is only about 6 inches between the tray and the canopy. So much sun coverage! Mr. B likes that it is gender neutral and tall enough for him to push comfortably (he’s 6’2″ y’all, finding things tall enough is not an easy feat). I’ll write a full review after I’ve had  a chance to use it with the baby.

Do you keep a list like me? Is it in your head, on your phone, on a piece of paper? Have you used a yard sale page before? Do you like them?



Fitness during Pregnancy

I’ve had a pretty fun past few days. We planted the garden on Saturday and then it snowed Sunday! Really? It was 74 last week. Then I was sick Sunday night… and Monday night. I think Little C rolls on or into my stomach and makes me want to puke. I just remind myself I am so very grateful for this baby.

Onto the article of the day. I thought I’d continue the health theme and share a paper I wrote about a year ago for my Pregnancy and Infancy class at BYU (please don’t plagiarize it but honestly, I wouldn’t know either way, it’s just bad form).

Here is a quick summary for those who aren’t interested in the academia speak:

There are tons of benefits for both the mother and child if a woman exercises while she is pregnant. Any amount of exercise is good but, it is generally recommended to switch to low impact workouts or, if you weren’t active before, to slowly start an exercise program with guidance from your doctor.

So, what are the benefits you may ask? First of all shorter labor. Women who worked out had an average of 30 minutes less of labor. Now, that’s not huge, but I bet during labor it’d be pretty nice. You’re also less likely to have a c-section. I don’t know how many of you that’s encouraging to, but I don’t want to have a c-section so I’ll offer it as incentive. There are the benefits during labor, but there’s also benefits during pregnancy and postpartum. You’ll have less weight gain during pregnancy (obviously), but you’ll also (statistically) retain less weight postpartum! Maybe I’m vain, but I like the idea of that. The final benefit mommies is that exercise reduces negative emotions (like anxiety or depression), just like they do before you’re pregnant!

What about your darling baby who is the whole point of the debacle? Guess what? You get to start taking care of him/her before they come. So, if you work out, your baby should have a higher placental weight. To contrast that, low placental weight is associated with blood problems and smaller than average children. The baby will also be at a lower risk for pre-term birth (why this is bad?).  Yeah exercise!

Here are my favorite pregnancy exercise videos to give you some encouragement:

I didn’t work out the first two months of my pregnancy but, around the third I started feeling better and started doing 10 minute workout videos every night. During month 5 I moved up to 20 minute workout videos. This isn’t a lot but, it wears me out.

So, tell me gals, what do you do to keep fit during pregnancy?




Below is my entire paper for more info:

The Benefits of Exercise during Pregnancy


            The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states, in the absence of either medical or obstetric complications, 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day on most, if not all, days of the week is recommended for pregnant women” (Women’s Health Care Physicians, 2009, line 6 – 8). But, what are the benefits for pregnant women who exercise? This paper explains the mental and physical benefit to mothers as well as the benefits for babies if a women exercises while pregnant.

Synthesized Review of Literature

Benefits to Mother

Delivery Outcomes

Labor is a very difficult and painful time for women and many women would love to shorten their labor times. Ghodsi, Asltoghiri, and Hajiloomohajerani (2011) found that women who completed light intensity training three times a week for 30 to 45 minutes had shorter first stage labor times. There was not a large difference however. Women who trained had between 4.18 hours to 6.9 hours of labor whereas non-training women had labor between 4.7 hours and 7.5 hours of labor. There was no difference in second stage labor times. However, with thirty minutes less time in first stage labor, one may presume that a mother would have more energy to complete second stage labor. More research is needed to see if more exercise, such as the amount the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends, will lead to wider differences in labor times.

Women that are active are also less likely to have a cesarean section. Price, Amini, and Kappeler found that only 6% of their subjects that were active had cesarean section compared to 32% of the women in their control group (2012, p. 2267) Cesarean sections are invasive and also lead to longer recovery times and thus are a detriment to mothers.

Mental and Physical Benefits

There are many benefits to the mental and physical state of the mother, if the mother exercises during pregnancy. Haakstad and Bo (2011) found that not only did women who participated in an exercise program gain less weight during pregnancy but they also had significantly lower weight retention postpartum. This is both a physical benefit, for obvious reasons, and a mental benefit for women who place value on being a certain weight and bouncing back from their pregnancy weight quickly. This study also studied an exercise program that had less than the recommended amount of exercise. This study’s program consisted of aerobic exercise for 60 minutes twice a week. More research is needed to see if the benefits continue with more exercise.

Furthermore, Guszkowska, Langwald, and Sempolska compared exercise to relaxation techniques and showed that both resulted in, “the emotional state of pregnant women improve[ing]” (2013, p. 129). However, there were notable differences in the way each variable affected the women. Guszkowska, Langwald, and Sempolska state:

Relaxation caused a distinct decrease of negative emotional states – anxiety and tense arousal and an increase of hedonic tone – while energetic arousal did not increase. In the physical exercise group, the decrease in anxiety and tension was smaller, the increase in pleasure feeling was not as distinctive, but the increase in energetic arousal was more significant …Therefore, physical exercise seems to be less effective in reducing negative emotional states than relaxation sessions, but more successful in increasing positive states. (2013, p.129)

Women that have anxiety and depression benefit more from relaxation techniques because of the decrease in negative emotions but also benefit from exercise as a way of lowering the amount of anxiety and depression they feel while raising their energy levels. Women who feel lethargic and exhausted during pregnancy benefit most from exercise because they feel “a surge of vitality, vigour and vital energy” (Guszkowska, Langwald, and Sempolska, 2013, p. 130). Thus women who exercise during pregnancy, contrary to what one would suppose, feel more energized rather than more fatigued.

Benefits to Baby

Many women are more concerned about how their actions during pregnancy will affect their baby more than themselves. Exercise during pregnancy also benefits the baby. Firstly, Price, Amini, and Kappeler found that, “[a]lthough the exercise regimen was vigorous enough to improve fitness, it had no adverse effect on overall pregnancy length, fetal birth weight, Apgar scores, or placenta weight compared with sedentary controls” (2012, p. 2267). Thus, women seeking to change from a sedentary lifestyle to an active lifestyle during pregnancy can do so without risking harm to their baby. Price, Amini, and Kappeler furthered their research by stating, “placenta weight was slightly higher in the active group, consistent with evidence that exercise augments placental growth during early and mid pregnancy” (2012, p.2267).  Low placental weight is associated with short umbilical cord length and velamentous cord insertion (McNamara, Hutcheon, Platt, Benjamin, and Kramer, 2014, p. 102). It is also associated with “high hemoglobin values in neonates and lower-than-expected body size in later childhood” (Naeye, 1987, p.387)

Other findings suggest that maternal exercise while pregnant decreases the risk of pre-term delivery. Guendelman, Pearl, Kosa, Graham, Abrams, and Kharrazi found that, “each incremental hour per week of moderate exercise during the second trimester was associated with a reduced risk of PTD. Furthermore, the benefits of moderate exercise appeared strongest for those with a pre-pregnancy BMI C 24 kg/m2” (2013, p.726). While exercise benefits babies from all mothers, mothers were overweight before pregnancy benefit even more than those that had normal weight. Owe, Stigum, Nystad, and Bo’s findings also support this claim. They found that engaging in regular exercise during pregnancy shifts the GA distribution slightly upward resulting in a moderately reduced risk of preterm births and a few more postterm births  (2012, p.1072)


            It is evident that exercise is beneficial for both a pregnant woman and perinatal baby. There

are multiple applications for this research.
Delivery Outcomes for Mother
Mothers that are at risk for long labors and cesarean sections would benefit from exercise

(Ghodsi, Asltoghiri, and Hajiloomohajerani, 2011 and Price, Amini, and Kappeler, 2012). Labor is

generally a long an arduous process and any woman would benefit from shortening it. However, first

time mothers, who generally have longer labors, will benefit from the shortening the most Long

labors can lead to exhaustion and necessitate non-natural labors in mothers that wish to have natural

labors. Doctors, midwives, and birthing class instructors can also this as an incentive to mothers to

exercise. One of the most dreaded parts of pregnancy is the long labor. Pregnant women that are not

encouraged to exercise by the other benefits noted may exercise to reduce their own pain.
 Mental and Physical Benefits to Mother
Pregnant women can benefit physically and mentally from exercise and relaxation training

(Guszkowska, Langwald, and Sempolska, 2013). Birthing class teachers can learn from this research

and encourage or implement exercise and relaxation training to lower stress levels. Doctors that are

treating clinically depressed or anxious mothers should encourage and teach relaxation techniques

and/or exercise either as an alternative to medication or in conjunction with lower medication dosage

depending on the severity of the depression and anxiety and the type of medication the mother is

taking. Stress during pregnancy can result in low birth weight or preterm delivery which leads to

possible negative outcomes for the infant, so, it is important to decrease stress for pregnant women.

The encouraged exercise and resulting invigoration is also beneficial for women who feel extremely

lethargic, which is common during pregnancy.

Women can encourage themselves to participate in exercise programs by committing to work

out with a pregnant friend or their partner. There are also many gyms that offer pregnancy work-out
classes that women can participate in and gain not only the benefits mentioned here of exercise but

also the benefits of having an emotional support group.

Benefits to Baby

Babies benefit from having healthy and happy mothers, which exercise during pregnancy adds to. But, babies also benefit physically from their mother exercising. Pregnant women who exercise at least one hour a week decrease their risk of preterm delivery (Guendelman, Pearl, Kosa, Graham, Abrams, and Kharrazi, 2012). “This modest amount of exercise seems clinically important given that women are mainly sedentary and PTD remains a leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality” (Guendelman, Pearl, Kosa, Graham, Abrams, and Kharrazi, 2012, p.726). Furthermore, according to the Mayo Clinic, preterm delivery can cause breathing problems, heart problems, brain problems, temperature control problems, gastrointestinal problems, blood problems, metabolism problems, immune system problems, cerebral palsy, impaired cognitive skills, vision problems, hearing problems, dental problems, behavioral and psychological problems, or other chronic health issues (2014). By exercising a woman can decrease the chances that her child will suffer from these because of their decreased chance of preterm delivery.


Numerous studies show that exercise during pregnancy is beneficial to both mother anc child (Ghodsi, Asltoghiri, and Hajiloomohajerani, 2011, Guendelman, Pearl, Kosa, Graham, Abrams, and Kharrazi, 2013, Guszkowska, Langwald, and Sempolska, 2013, Haakstad and Bø, 2011, Owe, Stigum, Nystad, and Bø, 2012, Price, Amini, and Kappeler, 2012). Doctors, midwives, and birthing instructors should all encourage exercise to those women who are able to do so. Pregnant women should understand the benefits of exercising during pregnancy and not believe in the myth that exercise hurts infants.


Ghodsi, Z., Asltoghiri, M., & Hajiloomohajerani, M. (2011). Exercise and pregnancy: Duration of labor stages and Perinea tear rates. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 31, 441-445. Retrieved March 8, 2015, from

Guendelman, S., Pearl, M., Kosa, J. L., Graham, S., Abrams, B., & Kharrazi, M. (2013). Association between preterm delivery and pre-pregnancy body mass (BMI), exercise and sleep during pregnancy among working women in Southern California. Maternal And Child Health Journal, 17(4), 723-731. doi:10.1007/s10995-012-1052-5

Guszkowska, M., Langwald, M., & Sempolska, K. (2013). Influence of a relaxation session and an exercise class on emotional states in pregnant women. Journal of Reproductive And Infant Psychology, 31(2), 121-133. doi:10.1080/02646838.2013.784897

Haakstad, L. H., & Bø, K. (2011). Effect of regular exercise on prevention of excessive weight gain in pregnancy: A randomised controlled trial. The European Journal Of Contraception And Reproductive Health Care, 16(2), 116-125. doi:10.3109/13625187.2011.560307

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, November 27). Premature Birth: Complications. Retrieved March 9, 2015, from

McNamara, H., Hutcheon, J. A., Platt, R. W., Benjamin, A., & Kramer, M. S. (2014). Risk Factors for High and Low Placental Weight. Paediatric & Perinatal Epidemiology, 28(2), 97-105. doi:10.1111/ppe.12104

Naeye, R. (1987). Do placental weights have clinical significance? Human Pathology, 387-391.

Owe, K., Stigum, H., Nystad, W., & Bø, K. (2012). Does Exercise during Pregnancy Affect Gestational lenght at Birth. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 44(6), 1067-1074. Retrieved March 8, 2015, from OvidSP.

Price, B., Amini, S., & Kappeler, K. (2012). Exercise in Pregnancy: Effect on Fitness and Obstetric Outcomes—A Randomized Trial. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 44(12), 2263-2269. Retrieved March 7, 2015, from OvidSP.

Women’s Health Care Physicians. (2009, January 1). Retrieved March 7, 2015, from

Our Family Garden

I mentioned a couple of days ago that we were going to start a garden, well today is the day!

Balcony Gardening
We wanted Wheatley to pose for the camera. He sat obediently but, stared at Mr. B instead of the camera.

This year, we did not start mid-July like last year (in our defense, we moved the first week of July and didn’t want to move plants). Those plants died a horrific death, but this year we got a early start and we talked to the ‘experts’ at our local gardening store (not home depot, they didn’t know anything). The lady at Schmidt’s (which is conveniently a 5 minute walk for us and allows Wheatley to go inside, which he loved) was so helpful and informative. We started with 3 sprouts of spinach and 4 sprouts of strawberries, at her recommendation. Apparently spinach likes chillier whether and strawberries don’t care. We also skipped the Miracle-Gro soil; she said it was the worst and never yielded good veggies. We also have basil and cilantro seeds. We used the pots we got last year but, this year we checked for drainage. That turned out to be a good choice because apparently with the pots we have you have to poke the drainage holes out… which we didn’t do last year. Fail.

Isn’t our little watering can cute? It’s from the dollar section of target. Every other watering can we looked at seemed to only be fillable by hose… which we don’t have.

What’s growing in your garden?