Dear god it has been hot. It has been in the 90s all week, and the humidity has been high. It isn’t helping that I’ve been making BBQ sauce downstairs and it has been boiling/cooking down for the last 3 1/2 hours. Yup, that is what happens when you make BBQ sauce from fresh tomatoes. The plus is that I now have a bunch of sauce that I can freeze and pull out as I need it over the winter. But it is making my house really warm.
I noticed something I’ve stopped doing. I use to keep a log of all the produce I got from my CSA and made a list of meals I was making with it. For example I got 16+ lbs of tomatoes and only used 9 of those pounds for that BBQ sauce. More mind boggling is that for the average price of organic tomatoes is about $4 per pound, that makes my BBQ sauce $36 for 3 jars! I have to say the tomatoes alone is the main reason why my CSA pays for itself.
Farm Round Up:
What I got:
1 quart of purple tomatillos
1 quart of green beans
1/2 pint blackberries
1 large spaghetti squash
8 lbs slicing tomatoes (about 12)
8 lbs big ass cherry tomatoes (more like tennis tomatoes)
3 asian eggplant
3 bell peppers (2 green, 1 mostly red)
3 red italia peppers
2 poblano peppers
4 white onions (very small)
1 lb 4oz okra
What I’m cooking:
BBQ Sauce (9lbs of tomatoes cooked down and frozen for future use)
Tomatillo Coconut Ice Cream (working on a new recipe)
Black Bean & Tomatillo Soup (using a few tomatillos, more tomatoes, and a poblano pepper)
Bhindi Masala from Isa Does It (tomatoes and okra)
Black Bean Tacos with roasted peppers and fresh salsa (peppers and tomatoes)
Jajangmyeon Spaghetti Squash (spaghetti squash, older zucchini, and maybe peppers)
Eggplant Stir-Fry with Green Beans and Cashews (eggplant and green beans)
Maple Cupcakes for Jon’s Birthday (using absolutely no produce ^__~)
What really stinks is that I was originally planning on making some Nacho Tots with some peppers and maybe tomatillos on top. Then as I started to make this list I saw that I never wrote down the planned recipe for the eggplant and green beans. *cries* I keep seeing photos of roasted potatoes and french fries and have a weird desire for them. Actually, I’ve been really craving processed starchy comfort foods but keep knowing that I should really be eating all this great produce. *sigh* I guess I shouldn’t complain. We got 16lbs of organic tomatoes, which at retail prices would of been $64! Better start eating.
This is an interesting review of an old 70s book targeted for teenage girls. It talks about how much the sport of gymnastics have changed in pop culture and how the pressures on girls have changed. What I find funny is that the main character criticizes the Russian team for being TOO athletic, while today, Russian athletes have criticized the team USA for taking the grace out of the sport. I am all for taking some of the “dance” and “grace” aspects out of the sport, as they are starting to look a little silly. Don’t agree? Watch the men’s floor exercises and then watch the women’s. What is with all the these weird octopus arms ladies?
My work is a little weird. I work with two people who are pretty open about death. We have talked a few times about how we would like be buried. Yes, I know what I would like done with my dead body, and Jon knows this too. It is his fault for making me watch Six Feet Under and made me aware of the funeral business. I am not 100% what I want to have done, but I am considering donating my body to be a cadaver after reading this article.
This is a nice article talking about how the foster care system in the USA is broken and racially bias. They talk about Simone Biles because she was very lucky to be adopted by her Grandparents, as appose to being placed in the foster system. I’ve heard a lot of shady things about the foster system, and I remember reading a memoir about being placed in the system for school.
Totally a fluff piece but I am loving this. Offbeat Home features a house that is just so beyond matchy matchy. Would I want to decorate my house like this? Uh no. I actually was a little dizzy the day I read this post and just felt more sick from looking at all that pattern! But there is something admirable about being so over the top that it works.
It has happened guys- I am featuring a recipe on the blog! The last time I posted a recipe was in March– which I am a little shocked about. I thought my last recipe was from Vegan Mofo 2015. But part of me hiding away from recipe making has been because I’ve had a little mental block. When I first got pregnant I was just mentally and physically drained. Then when hunger started to kick in, I got pretty tired of sugar fast. Why? Sugar was in almost all snacks that were quick to eat on the go.
Snacking in a healthy manner can be hard. Especially since I have lots of specifics. I work in framing and it is important that my hands are clean. I work with lots of historical documents, works of art, and sometimes completely worthless junk. But something like an apple I have to sit down, eat, then wash my hands. Hummus and veggies? Oh please. Way too messy and time consuming! So I often will snack on a clif bar, crackers, or worse- candy. So I am constantly trying to think of something to eat that is dry but has no sugar.
So I started to think about zucchini bread. Most zucchini bread in the USA are sweet. I have even posted a chocolate zucchini muffin on the blog way back in the day. I searched high and low for zucchini quick breads, and usually found savory recipes that used yogurt or different types of cheeses in them. I made one since I had leftover yogurt. But, I wanted to make a recipe that didn’t need a “fake” vegan food. Plus, the recipe made a whole loaf, and I figured if you are making zucchini bread, it is probably summer, and you don’t want the oven on for an hour. Muffins it would be.
I think I made 3 different batches before nailing this recipe. The biggest problem was that the muffins were too dry. The flavors were always amazing. But it would be painful to eat, and crumbs would get all over the place.
So if you make these muffins, you can use cupcake lines if you are like me and are lazy about cleaning up. Or you can oil your muffin pans, which probably would give better results. Just make sure your muffins cool ALL THE WAY DOWN before taking off the cupcake liners. Otherwise they’ll just stick to the paper (ie. don’t do what I did for that photo. Wasn’t worth it for the sexy steam shot.)
Nutrition? Well, they are a great quick little snack. They are about 160 calories per muffin, and pack 5 grams of protein. If you used enriched all purpose flour and fortified nutritional yeast, the stats are pretty nice. 65% of B1, 54% of B2 (riboflavin), 30% B3 (Niacin), 45% of B6, 15% Folate, 7% Vitamin C, 17% Vitamin K, 10% calcium, and 8% of iron. You can see more of the stats here, I skipped the macros partly because it will be heavily influenced by what type of pesto you use. I used a avocado based pesto, so the fat content is different than the one I plugged into Cronometer (which is probably a traditional basil-olive oil based pesto)
So what makes these muffins so full of B vitamins? A mix of flours. I bought a bag of kamut/khorasan flour awhile ago since it was on sale. This isn’t gluten-free, but an older variety of wheat. Which kind-of means it is packing a lot of natural vitamins that have been lost with modern varieties. But it does have a certain texture so I mixed it with some regular whole wheat flour and all purpose flour. And help give a savory flour I also mixed in some chickpea flour which helped give a more complex nutritional profile as well. Truthfully I think the flour is more nutritious than the zucchini.
Two week later- finally sharing these photos. It has been a pretty long time since I’ve done a fashion post- and it probably has been because I have gotten a little lazy with my clothing choices. Or it might be because I haven’t expanded my closet much. Sure readers haven’t seen most of my clothing, but it seems less interesting to share something if I’ve worn it 30+ times.
But I’ve noticed there is very little posted on fashion blogs about maternity clothing. Probably because 1) You only look pregnant for a few short months. And 2) Pregnancy clothes are a little…. uh…. meh. Don’t get me wrong there are some super cute things out there, but modern pregnancy clothing is both vastly better and worse than older styles. The tent dress definitely suffered over the years.
I LOVE Rosemary’s Baby, especially the fashion. Rosemary wore pretty much nothing much swing or tent dresses, and they were so cute. I figured I would stock up on them and be fine for the rest of my pregnancy. Turns out no one really makes them. And when they do- they kind of miss some key points. Like the dress I bought recently from Maternal America. Sure it looks cute, but the darts, just don’t seem right.
So what makes an awesome tent dress? Well, in my opinion you need a cute statement at the neck line. It could be a cute peter pan collar, or in my case a big bow. The next tip are pleating the front of the dress. It gives a little room for expanding tummy, and you can even get an accordion fold going to make a bigger statement. And then my next tip, which is debatable- go bright. I think since there isn’t many pieces to the pattern you can really flaunt a bold pattern. Heck, Rosemary did it! In pigtails even!
I got this dress from Etsy and I am VERY happy with it. I only paid $35 with shipping and the quality is great. I see no wears or tears, and it does look like this an actual maternity dress. I even risked it all and washed it in the machine and I am wondering if the dress was brand spanking new because it shrunk just a little bit. But I actually prefer the new fit, so it all worked out perfectly in the end.
Alexa took these cute photos while we were walking around Asbury Park. They have some great murals on the boardwalk that really make the dress pop. And for the record- no I don’t actually wear tights during the summer. It just happen to be fairly cool that day (in the 70s) and I thought I could wear tights. Plus it meant wearing cute shoes that looked nice with the dress.
I’ve been dreaming about coming here. I am a little more inclined to visit Alexa and the “shore” during the off seasons- Fall, Winter, and Spring. I don’t like summer, and I don’t like traffic. But I do like Alexa and I do love food (Alexa’s Note: I’m so pleased to see that as much as Jen may “like” me she “LOVES” food. I’m feelin’ it.), so it is very frustrating when places are closed for the off season. This is one of those places. I’ve been wanting to check it out, but during the colder season the store doesn’t have as many hours.
Cookman Creamery isn’t 100% vegan. They carry regular old ice cream and vegan ice cream. And not just vanilla and chocolate, like good flavors. As you can see from the photo above, they have many flavors, and when we went there was a little more than usual. Heck they even have vegan soft serve in vanilla OR cookies and cream. Is this a vegan’s dream ice cream shop or what?
Our favorites? Well, Alexa got the Twisted Tree ice cream, which used ginger cookies from another local vegetarian/vegan cafe and restaurant Twisted Tree. We also tried the pistachio ice cream, which was yummy and super natural tasting. I am sure some people have had the problem where the pistachio flavor becomes so intense that it doesn’t quite taste, well, like pistachios. Alexa and I really loved the Blue Lavender ice cream, but I recently made purple basil ice cream, so I passed on it. I went for the balsamic strawberry ice cream (another favorite of Alexa’s). The balsamic flavor is very subtle, which I personally like a lot.
Their website says their ice cream base is coconut cream, which makes them super creamy and rich. Truthfully that is what I want in my ice cream when eating out. I don’t think I picked up on ANY coconut flavors in the ones we ate. But I am sure other ice creams like the Almond Joy and Pina Colada they will play up the coconut flavor. My only complaint, is that the vegan ice cream is a whole dollar extra compared to the normal ice cream. A little bit of a bummer, but still worth the price I think.
Alexa Here! I also love this place and luckily have been able to visit it somewhat regularly this season as opposed to last summer when I too dreamed of the establishment. Something I noted on when I went for the first time was all of the different flavors, like Jen mentioned. I expected some cookie-based flavors, but never thought of seeing something like the Blue Lavender or Strawberry Balsamic. I’m always adventurous when trying ice cream but honestly a little naive when it comes to the massive amount of (good) flavors there could possibly be. I also think Cookman Creamery tries to switch out different flavors depending on the week – I know that at one point they had a vegan matcha flavor but I haven’t come across it when I’ve visited so far and it honestly makes me cry inside. That being said, everything I’ve had so far is amazing.
Jen also mentioned the coconut cream base for all of their vegan flavors, and I think this is a huge benefit for their ice cream versus something you’d buy in a store. While the new vegan Ben & Jerry’s is very good they’re all almond milk based and you can definitely tell. As someone who is a connoisseur of vegan – and sometimes – non-vegan ice cream I can usually tell when it’s not a milk or cream based flavor, but with Cookman Creamery you wouldn’t even notice. I only say this because I could even convince someone who is a non-vegan to try some of these and they wouldn’t even have an excuse not to!
I think my only gripe about Cookman is that the prices are a bit high. I understand when you’re using vegan and ‘organic’ products that it’ll hike the cost up a bit more, but I almost can’t justify buying one of the pints of vegan ice cream from them because the pints run around $8.50, whereas I can go and buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or *insert vegan ice cream that can be found in Whole Foods/Wegman’s* for $3-$4 less. However, if that’s my only complaint then I would still consider it an amazing experience! The staff are all really nice and are very knowledgeable of the product, I recommend making the trip if you are in Asbury!
Hey guys! Another Sunday Reading list that didn’t get out for Sunday. Surprise! There are lots of reasons for this, the main two being really busy and then my husband had to work some over the weekend so I spent more of my free time looking up information about baby mattresses. Enthralling right? I know you are dying to know more about how to buy a baby mattress, but I won’t go into the those details today. I’ll just jump right into the posts. Oh, and for anyone who wants more food posts, there should be three restaurant reviews coming up and possible *crosses fingers* a recipe! Yeah, I think I might of finally nailed the savory zucchini muffin.
Oh, I am also curious, would you guys be interested if I wrote a series about framing? This blog has never been so much about DIY nor have I really talked much about my job as a framer. I mean, did any of your guys know that? I really don’t know how many times the word “framer” has been typed on this blog. XD I have been talking a lot with my bosses about how our customers are largely people who have had their parents teach them to go to custom framing shops, or serious art collectors. I might do a few posts about what to look for in a framer, how to do your own frames/shadow boxes, and how save money on framing.
I’m kind-of glad to be pregnant during the age of the internet since there are a growing numbers of personal blogs talking about the complications about pregnancy. I can also quickly google a bunch of wives tales like not raising your arms up too high because the umbilical cord will choke your baby. BTW that is total bullshit. Oddly Cosmopolitan (you know that magazine giving all those hot sex tips) wrote a pretty intense article about how little we treat postpartum injuries.
This is clearly a problem with the medical industry in general where we treat injuries with surgeries before doing physical therapies. What makes this case a little more interesting is that the side effects here might be so embarrassing that it would prevent women from seeking the help they need. Or they get dismissed as just normal post pregnancy stuff like Sayward from Bonzai Aphrodite has written about.
When you go vegan you get asked a lot of silly questions. You mean you don’t eat meat? Not even chicken? Well, what about fish? Reptiles? Bugs? Not even silk? When I get asked these questions I usually talk about poop coffee or kopi luwak. If you aren’t familiar it is an expensive coffee fruit that is eaten by the Asian Palm Civit (an animal in the Feliformia suborder aka related to cats, ferrets, weasels, hyenas, and meercats) then pooped out and brewed. It is a product that seems to not hurt the animal to get, I mean the civits aren’t needing that poop, right? But it is hard to find enough of this poop to fill a bag to sell. So people cram these animals into cages like how we cram chickens into cages. Pretty much, it is an example that if there is a market for it, the animals will get exploited.
I am glad that a news outlet is picking up this bit of information. But even the picture they used is pretty misleading. Most companies put the animals in worse conditions. Some companies outright lie and say they “forage” for the beans, which should be a big old red flag of bullshit- or civitshit.
I thought this article was pretty funny. It goes through all the details of Mr. Clinton’s outfit in the same way we talk about the First Lady’s outfits. And if you are like my husband who said “I don’t get it, what’s a pantsuit? Don’t all suits have pants?” well I read up a little bit of the history of the term “pantsuit.” The term was first used for little boys who would wear blazers with shorts. As that style started to go out of fashion, women started to work more white collar jobs. Traditionally women would wear suits composed of a blazer and skirt, but slowly started to wear pants instead of skirts. To make a distinction from the traditional “suit” (read: skirt) from the newer ones with pants, they called them pantsuits (since they were already in the English vernacular.) So yes, pantsuits are just suits with a name that is more fun to say.
Hands down my favorite part of the olympics is the women’s gymnastics. I loved it when I was a little girl and vaguely remember begging my mom to let me take up gymnastics. I wasn’t allowed to because of the whole stunts your growth thing, but I am sure a large portion was because of money. I remember always not wanting to go to my dance classes when I had them, sorry Mom for wasting your money! I did like the classes, I am just a little brat about time management ^__~. But there is something different about gymnastics than some of the other sports I liked to watch when younger like rhythmic gymnastics and ice skating- it’s the muscle.
Now that I am more about some light weight training (though I plan on amping up my game post baby) I have a lot more respect for these girls. I find myself like more sports like Football (er.. American Football), soccer, and yes, embarrassingly enough American Ninja Warrior. Heck, I’ve even started to get into watching the men’s gymnastics, even it means there aren’t any lamé or rhinestones on anything. WTF guys? Jazz it up a little!
What I don’t like about this article is that it doesn’t go too much in depth. You would think by the end of the article everything is perfect in the gymnastics world. Plus they criticize the femininity of the sport as being anti-feminist… which might be true for 2nd wave feminism. 3rd wave feminists would argue that the pink and sparkles aren’t preventing the girls from being their physical best, so therefore the only thing preventing their respect is that the idea that femininity is bad.
I will be rooting for team USA, duh. But I am pretty excited to see Oksana Chusovitina who qualified to compete for the vault exercise for Uzbekistan. This is her 7th Olympics, and she is 41 years old. There is also Cătălina Ponor (Romania) who is 28 and has qualified for beam. I am excited to see these older women compete.
I’ve been pretty proud of myself keeping up with working out. I have been working out 5 out of 7 days a week, and even thinking about upping my weights. And then I found out that Larisa Latynina competed in the olympics for gymnastics while pregnant. This chick won 4 gold medals while 4 months pregnant! Thanks lady for making me feel like a big bum.
I also need another sports bra which makes me want to cry. My super duper awesome Moving Comfort bra had the strap un-velcro during my run. If you are above a cup size C- I totally recommend investing in Moving Comfort. They are pricey ($50-75 retail) but I have never paid more than $30 for a bra. It all started when I bought one at a sidewalk sale for – wait for it – fifteen bucks. So now that I have to buy bigger sizes, shelling over $30 for an on sale bra is painful considering I paid $12 for my recent new bras (they were originally $40, I just rock at finding bras on sale.) So, point of this long winded section- I can only run once, wash my one sturdy enough bra, then run again. Luckily I can still use the cheapie bras for weight training.
Okay everyone here must think I am obsessed with clothes! And maybe I am, but I don’t know how many articles of clothing I bought last year. Not many. So being FORCED to buy clothes has been kind-of fun and exciting. I’ve been mentally mapping out things I want to make. For example I am still going make a dress from this pattern (or you can see an actual dress sewn from the pattern) but will wait till the end of August when we have the third floor set up for easy sewing.
I’ve bought quite a few new things now that my bump is starting to get too big for some of clothes- even the elastic-y stretchy clothes. I think I can make my goal of making it through the summer without having to buy shorts. I guess it helps that I have been buying some maternity dresses, which I think are more versitile since you can slap on some tights and a cardigan and boom! Your ready for winter. But the fall maternity clothes are being released and it is getting more so excited about cooler weather. I think this the first year I’ve been so excited about seasonal clothing.
Okay, so some people have noted (and I have noted) sometimes I feel like my tummy hasn’t grown much when I take the photos. But it certainly has, I mean look at my post from weeks 18-19 or the announcement my tummy is smaller back then. But here is the thing, I think I keep forgetting that I am still planking, running, and standing all day, keeping my core pretty engaged. If I think hard to relax all my muscles, my tummy G-R-O-W-S. This kind-of freaks Jon out a little when I do it in front of him. So if you are wondering why these photos look my tummy shrunk from my Thred Up/Swap review, it is because I forcing my tummy out for those photos to fill up the clothes.
And if you want a side by side comparison- here you go! I actually have to think pretty hard about relaxing my stomach muscles while standing, so I look pretty frumpy in the second photo. It’s kind-of a fun parlor trick, and I would like to think it is sort of like a mini roller coaster ride for the baby.
Come here only for the cute animal comparisons? Well, here you go. For week 20 the baby was about the size of an axolotl. If you are wondering what the heck that is, it is a Mexican salamander that never matures to it’s adult phase, or rarely at least. So they stay underwater all of their lives. They are originally from Lake Xochimilco located in Mexico City, but are now possibly extinct in the wild since the lake is continually shrinking. The axolotl is a cute looking guy, in a kind-of ugly way. Most photos you see of axolotls are ones raised in captivity, mostly being pale white/pink.
At week 21 the baby is about the size of a lesser weasel, or least weasel, or Mustela nivalis, or you know, just plain weasel. Weird little fact- did you know according to mythology, a weasel is the only animal that can kill a basilisk? If that sounds familiar it is because it was the monster in Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets. J.K. Rowling made her basilisk a giant snake not a big chicken-dragon-snake hybrid, so that is probably why Harry beat the basilisk not a weasel (spoilers- sort of.) Need more cute stuff? Here are photos of a weasel riding a bird, and various photos of weasels yawning.
Finally went for my first ultrasound and it took forever. I spent about an hour flopping around to get the baby to move in the direction the technician needed. Is that normal to take so long? We are planning to be surprised so we got photos of the baby’s top half. Little tip for anyone going for an ultrasound- wear workout leggings that go below the belly and wear sweat wicking undies. I keep forgetting how low the baby actually is, and our technician got that ultrasound jelly all over the place. It felt so icky until the stuff dried out.
To make the whole trip a little annoying is that we went at 5. Get there at 5, you go right into your appointment, but since I had a consultation after the ultrasound I had to wait as everyone made appointments after work. The ultrasound also messed up the usual flow of the appointment, so I spent about 45 minutes holding a cup of pee instead of the usual quick hand off. By the time we got into the consultation I was hungry and was plotting out which place would be the faster to grab food at. Luckily everything is peachy keen with the baby, nothing is showing up as unusual, and the baby is a healthy size.
Since we were so hungry, we headed out to a Chipotle on the way home, and it started to pour once we were inside. At some point we had to decide to sit around and wait till it stopped raining, or just drive in a big storm. We drove home when the storm “settled down.” It was still okay, the guy working there probably put just as much guac in my burrito as rice. Guac makes every situation okay.
I haven’t really had much to complain about. The first trimester had been much more notable than the past two months. I was tired, I had muscle pains (probably because my abs weren’t use to budging), acid reflux, tender breasts, all that fun stuff. The second trimester has been mostly centered around my nose acting like it is middle of winter. But recently I started to get calf cramps in the middle of the night. At first I thought I just ran too intensely, but then they would cramp up on rest days. I am trying hard not stretch in the middle of the night since that seems to trigger the cramping. But hey, I guess I shouldn’t complain right?
I really like reading posts that people do of “what I ate” posts, whether it is for the day, week, lately, whatever. I figured, some people are wondering what I pregnant vegan eats in a day, so I thought I would try really hard to take a photo of my food before gobbling it all up. And share some of the nutritional information.
Almost every single day has been a chocolate banana shake since I found out that I am pregnant. I was using spirulina (and chocolate) in the shake to up my iron, but the powder spirulina ended up being more expensive than the tablets, so I am making the switch. Which has been nice because I rarely have a “pure” chocolate shake. It’s always spirulina chocolate, fruit and chocolate, peanut butter and chocolate, etc. It’s made with soy milk, chia seeds, collard greens, some greens powder I got from Vegan Cuts, brown rice and pea protein.
Before heading to work I made myself a small iced cafe au lait. I had leftover coffee from Rook and added some soy milk since I keep hearing how I need so much calcium. So I figured why not? Snapped a quick picture next to the flowers at my work’s garden. It seems nice and quite but there was a lot of construction going on. My boss is building a deck for her backyard and is laying lots of new cement around the building, so today was a little crazy.
Since work was pretty all over the place, I didn’t even notice how hungry I was and had a late lunch. I had a green apple, which I always pre-chop and stashed in a Blue Avocado baggie. I love these reusable bag, because unlike Lunch Skins, these baggies have a zip seal so they are perfect for holding fruits and veggies. Sorry if I sound like they a sponsoring me, but I just really love these bags. Although if Blue Avocado approached me…. ^__~
Clearly I didn’t JUST eat an apple for lunch. I also had some leftover Dragon Noodle Salad from Isa Does It. Since rice noodles get hard the next day I ate it hot, and tossed in a few cherry tomatoes from my CSA since I wasn’t eating it over lettuce. It is by far NOT the most attractive dish to take a photo of, but it is pretty tasty. And I even got to use brown rice noodles, so I get a little credit for a whole grain right?
Then around three I was starting to get crabby, and was like “oh yeah, I’m hungry again.” Jon got me three months worth of Vegan Cuts boxes as birthday gift, joking that I would be a snacking monster. He was kind-of right. Each time I got one I took all the snacks and brought them into work to eat when I was running on empty. I picked this bar by Kutoa, and I’ve never had one before. It was pretty good, I liked how it wasn’t too sweet, and had some crunch from the chia seeds.
When I got home I went for two mile run (about 3o minutes) and was hot sweaty, and still hungry. I quickly gobbled up a black bean brownie from Minimalistic Baker and took a shower. This mostly was just to hold me off while I took a shower and finished up dinner.
So what’s for dinner? I prepped some pickled eggplant on Monday specifically for this Hummus Bowl dish. Jon and I aren’t big eggplant fans, but our CSA is kind-of having a weak year combined with they are transitioning from spring crops to summer crops. Every year it’s a little slim picking at this time, but this year seems notably bad. So I picked an eggplant, and figured I would try the pickling and roasting method. It has been… interesting? The whole bowl was a little too acidic overall, at least for acid reflux prone pregnant me. I made the hummus as instructed on the site, and tossed the couscous in some soy yogurt. Since I didn’t have any falafels, I used some frozen hemp beet burgers from Protein Ninja.
So what does all this food look like nutrition wise? Well, I do plan on eating more. I just haven’t picked out what yet. Bagel with tofutti cream cheese? Maybe. Homemade purple basil ice cream with blackberries? Very possible. Wegman brand oreos? Yeah, that might happen too. So some of the stats are wrong, I am probably adding another 300-400 calories to my day. Plus, I am not getting the specifics for the bar I ate, and I just used a generic hummus instead of plugging all the ingredients in Cronometer. It isn’t perfect guys. But it gives you a general idea of nutritional intake. I excluded the shot of protein because I hit 100% on all the specifics, BORING.
Clearly I am not quite hitting all the B Vitamins I need, but if I eat the bagel with tofutti cream cheese I’ll end up hitting all my nutritional requirements. I was low on iron today, because well, I am not including spirulina in my diet like I use to. I am waiting for my tablets to arrive in the mail. But if I eat a bagel, I should get 100%. I have hit my requirements for vitamin C and calcium which are also common things that people stress about with diets for pregnant women.
Also, take note that I am using Cronometer to track my nutritional intake. Their information is only so accurate. Some foods don’t have all the nutritional information available. I also selected an option that changes my nutritional requirements. It recommends I have a food intake of roughly 2,000 calories, and I usually ignore that suggestion and go for more.
I love clothing. I also love a deal, it is probably the most American thing about me. How much do I love a good deal? I had a dream that I was shopping for new maternity clothes and I found a great deal on a pack of 5 different colored tights for $7… AND it included a pair of gold tights. I was so sad when I woke up. Naturally the problem is that I know fast fashion is bad. It is bad for the environment, it is bad for human rights, and the clothes are usually crummy anyways.
Maternity clothing is particularly tricky. As with normal fashion, price doesn’t always mean better ethics, and besides that, can start to get insanely expensive. And according to many reviews, all clothing is made to be cheap and last only a few months, because well, women only wear them for a few months. Many people who avoid fast fashion but don’t have much cash tend to suggest shopping at thrift, second hand, and consignment shops. The problem is that maternity clothes rarely make it there, or last very long on the shelves. Luckily I found some online shops that specialize in second hand maternity clothing- Swap.com and Thred Up.
I know all readers aren’t pregnant. And heck, even if you are a mommy, pregnancy is such a short time period. So it is worth noting that both sites have more than just maternity clothing. Swap.com offer womens, mens, kids, baby, maternity, toys and games, baby gear, and DVDs and books on their website. Thred Up offers clothing mostly for women. Their main categories are women, designer, maternity, shoes, handbags, girls, boys, and basement (sort of the for sale/sold as is section.)
Hands down, overall Thred Up is most polished of both sites. Thred Up has a more polished look, listing, forms, the works. What they really have going for them is consistent photography. All of their pictures have the same pregnancy bumb torso, tilted more or less the same angle. They have special forms for skirts and jeans that do a great job showing how they look, which can be hard when laying out or on a rack because of the stretchy band.
Swap.com has a serious issue with photography. Some clothes are easy to figure out how they look, like men’s jeans. But other items could really use a body to drape over, particularly maternity clothing. There were many shirts that I couldn’t figure out what they looked like. Was it tight? Is a blouse? Some aren’t too bad, but others are just awful. Is it really that much more work to photograph everything on a mannequin? I feel like so many more items would sell if they were photographed properly.
Both websites DO have searches to narrow the selection, including sizes, brands, clothing types, etc. This makes life much easier when weeding out clothing you don’t want. Sadly, Swap.com falls a little short in this aspect too. There are lots of dupes, like they have H&M AND H&M Mama listed under brands. They have (no joke) the following tops- button down, button up, blouse, bodysuit, camisole, halter top, rugby shirt, shirt, sleeveless top, t-shirt, tank top, tankini, tube top, and tunic. It make browsing a little frustrating. I wish they had a tops section, that you could further narrow down. Some smaller brands weren’t too hard to find photos of to get an idea of what the overall piece will look like, so that was kind-of nice.
Mixed feelings. I think overall I liked the quality of the pieces that I got from Thred Up, but I also had a better knowledge of the brands I was getting. Gap, Motherhood Maternity, and Liz Lange/Target. Even with the nice photos, the end results were a little bit of a surprise, mostly just the long sleeved shirt I got. If I was trying it on in store I probably would of sized up.
I didn’t really LOVE what I got from Swap.com. Part of the problem WERE the photos. I felt a little ripped off that there wasn’t anything special about the pencils skirts I bought. One was longer than anticipated, but was also velvety, which was totally unexpected. This issue is equally hard to tell on Thred.com though. The dress I got was the biggest steal. I googled the designer to get a better look at the dress, loved it and though why not? It retails for $150, and I even found it on Zulily on sale for $65, so paying $27 was a STEAL. The fabric quality was great, the overall pattern design was lacking (mostly the boob darts that aren’t in the right place or cup size.)
It isn’t the fault of Swap.com, just something to be aware of. If I got it from Modcloth I could of read reviews, returned it easily, but these second hand shop have some stricter, not so friendly returns options. That being said, BY FAR Swap.com has the best returns options. I don’t plan on returning anything because I want to give these clothes another chance. They should still get the job done, and even though I already have a stretchy pencil skirt, I rather not stretch it out with my massive tummy.
I placed an order on Swap.com, then the next day placed an order on Thred Up. Both orders sent “shipped” emails on the same day. I got the Thred Up order first, the Swap.com the next day. One of my biggest pet peeves about online ordering is when companies send an email saying the package has been shipped, but they are sitting at the shop waiting for FedEx or UPS to pick up the boxes. I think this was the case with Swap.com. Overall though, Thred Up makes you feel like you getting a special boutique item as it comes in a pretty box, and it is all wrapped up nicely. Swap.com comes in a plastic bag, which isn’t bad, just not as pretty. Total vanity point.
Hmm… hard to decide. Overall things are much cheaper on Swap.com. The best way to look at it is to do a search filter for A Pea In a Pod, one of the most expensive but mainstream brand of maternity clothing. There were a few bizarrely cheap options on Thred Up, like a pair of wool pants for 99 cents. But once you get past those handful of sales, you will find that you can get the cheaper options for that brand on Swap.com.
That being said, OVERALL Thred Up is going to have more expensive and trendy brands. They have some brands that I liked but didn’t think I would be able to shell out cash for like Boob, Ingrid & Isabel, and Isabella Oliver. So if you are a fashion snob, you might like your pickings at Thred Up better. They have more formal wear and dresses I would consider wearing to a formal event like a wedding.
I spent $52 at Thred Up for a long sleeved shirt, a winter jacket, a light fall jacket, and a sweatshirt. I would say overall an awesome deal. I was even able to get VEGAN jackets, which can be hard. Both jackets were nice since I had no intention of buying a new one otherwise. Overall each item averaged at $13 per item. As for Swap, I paid $44 for two pencils skirts and a dress. If I didn’t get the dress, it would of been only about $8.50 per skirt, which I can’t really complain about. And as stated, the dress would of been originally $150, so I still got a great stinkin’ deal.
I haven’t tried to sell anything on either site, but it seems like Swap.com has a better deal. Thred Up says that they are likely to not use 40% of the items you send in. The items that they don’t sell, they supposedly sell to third parties that will recycle the fabric. They don’t mention, but I assume you don’t earn anything for these items. If you want to try and figure out how much your clothing would get, they have an Payout Estimator which shows that you get very little back for each item, unless they are high priced items naturally.
Swap.com will charge around $9 for you ship out your clothing to have it photographed, listed, etc. But overall, it you are going to earn more than Thred Up. Some shirts and cardigans might only earn you 50 cents on Thred Up, but each item on Swap will earn you $1.50 + 25% commission. If your item isn’t high enough standard, you have the option to pay for shipping to get them back, or you can donate the item. Clearly, if you want to clean out your closet Swap is the place to go.
Hard to choose. Thred Up is much more of a selective boutique. If you like high end clothing, you will end up finding more over there. That doesn’t mean that Swap doesn’t have some great deals (hey I saved $123 on a dress!) but I do think their clothing selection is a little…. uh… lame? They have some great clothing items, but they don’t weed out clothing that simply not stylish like Thred Up does. If you hop on out of maternity on Swap.com their selection gets much nicer. I probably will make monthly checks on both sites. Swap will probably just be for some basics, like pencil skirts and tee-shirts. While I probably will be eyeing up dresses and nicer items at Thred Up.
Another week has gone by and I feel like nothing has gotten done. I blame the weather. I’ve just been so unmotivated. I just want to stay glued to the first floor where the air is the coolest. At some point it will get cooler and I won’t have that excuse anymore. Bummer.
Actually my husband has been busy working on our new computer table. He and his Father have been working together on making a custom desk for our oddly shaped third floor (or rather our normal room with an oddly shaped exercise equipment). Our current desk is 43 inches (109 cm) by 20 inches (50 cm), and doesn’t have much space for our computer. The monitor takes up 25 inches, which is pretty much half the length of the desk top, leaving little room for office stuff. So we are making a desk that is 6 feet (72 inches/182 cm) by 24 inches (60 cm), so MUCH bigger. We are most likely to stain the desk, and are looking for some matching shelving so we can get a pinterest worthy work area (yeah right.) Naturally I will be making some posts about our home updates of our finally finished bedroom, office/workout room, and hopefully nursery. Why? Because I assume you guys are just as interested as I am about looking into other people’s homes, best part of looking for a new house btw.
Anyways, I forgot to post this yesterday, so I hope everyone enjoys these articles for the week.
I’ve written about CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) before, and if you aren’t familiar with the idea, I recommend you quickly read my post before this article. To do a quick summary, it is when the consumer has a direct connection with the farmer, and pretty much pays a share/pays up front for the produce for the year. This New York Times article talks about how the term CSA is being used in situations that is very far from the original definition. If you are thinking about joining a “CSA” it is important to read this article as it helps educate people about what they are actually signing up for.
I’ve been reading Hillary’s blog My Cat Loves Daiya for awhile now. She is very active on many vegan blogs, usually commenting under the name Vegan Peace. Basically, after a bunch of circumstances, Hillary found herself loosing her apartment, and having to share space with a person who doesn’t want to keep her cats around. She brought her cats to an animal shelter and is scrambling to find money for a new apartment (you know, down deposit, first and last months rent, all that stuff.) She has a great connection with her cats, and have been writing about them on her blog. Basically, she took in a stray cat who was pregnant, and kept all the kittens. If you have a few bucks spare, that would be great. Hillary has already been overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity.
I’ve got so many emotions about this. I love booze. I love the history and complexity of the flavors. I know so much about alcohol that I think many people who meet me think I drink often (not really, more like 3 drinks a week overall? usually less.) As a vegan, I get really annoyed by the government’s viewpoint that alcohol shouldn’t be required to list nutritional information as that would imply it is food. Well, that makes for a lot of confusion for people with dietary restrictions. I had a friend who was allergic to hops, and drinking new beers was a little bit of Russian roulette. But it seems that focus is just on calories, and I don’t like that. It really doesn’t paint a full picture of people are drinking, and unlike hard liquor, beers can have nutritional benefits. Am I saying you should have a beer just to get some b vitamins? No. But there is probably more in a beer than a Kool Aid.
And now for something fun and visually awesome. There is a short video of scientists filming different kind-of bubbles being popped with a high speed camera. Yeah I guess there are facts in there, but let’s face it- it is mostly just cool to watch.
Is it just me or does it look like my tummy hasn’t grown at all? I am thinking my boobs have matched my stomach growth and therefore looks like not much has been growing. I am also sure that my abs are contributing more to my tummy than I’d like to admit. The photo on the left is at 18 weeks, taken in the afternoon. The photo on the right was taken yesterday morning. I am pretty sure my tummy gets more food and my abs get tired at the end of the night from being engaged all day (from standing at work that is.)
Got my baby bargains book and what is the first thing I looked at? Tips for buying pregnancy clothing! Duh. And it has been interesting. I got my jeans from H&M and they were WAY too small. I keep forgetting they have smaller jeans than Target, and that my calves and quads are little bit larger than most people. BUT I’ve never had a hard time getting my ankles through a pair of jeans. That was all new. But luckily I had to return the jeans at my local H&M and it turns out that they sell Maternity clothes there! Whoo! The selection is REALLY small, but it should be fine if I need shirts or a second pair of jeans.
Other great finds? I found an American based company that sell Boob (yes that is the clothing brand) which specializes in ethical and sustainable clothing. Best is that they have clothes that are made for pregnancy AND nursing, so they get a longer wear time. ASOS sells maternity pencil skirts that look reasonably priced… which makes me excited! I also have been browsing formal maternity clothing, you know, just incase a friend has a shotgun wedding. I found THIS DRESS which is amazing! But seriously? $150 for a 100% polyester dress? On the other end of the spectrum I found a second hand clothing store that has a maternity filter. Downside? The photos are awful and it will be a little bit of a gamble of a buy.
I think Toulouse knows something is going on. She has been very social lately. If Jon and I are watching TV, she comes down and lays in front of the fan with us. If I am on the computer, she takes a nap in the office with me. Working out on the third floor? Who cares that it is the hottest room in the house! Toulouse is laying down watching me do squats. She has climbed on our bed one night, which she hasn’t done since the temperature has reached over 70 degrees.
Then it happened. One morning Toulouse jumped on my lap. She hasn’t done her morning snuggles with me in, well, maybe April or May. It use to be like clockwork. I finished making my shake, and then she would climb on my lap every Saturday and Sunday morning. I got excited because when the weather cools down again, my lap might be too full for her to lay on. She got some pets and started to purr… cue baby to start kicking. Either the kid loved the purring, or was hot and trying to kick the cat off. One of the two. Good news is that I can now officially tell the difference between gas and kicks.
I have been a bum in bed every morning. So I decided to try and do the Summer Shape Up Challenge that is run by Gina from Fitnessista. Week One was me remember how little I do squats lately and having my glutes (aka butt) being in pain most of the week. But now that week two is coming around, the sweat has been nice. This morning I ran for a solid 30 minutes, something I haven’t done in awhile, and clocked a pace of 13 min per mile. Okay sounds weak, but I was doing 14 1/2 minute miles earlier. Granted part of the reason for my faster pace is probably based around the awesome weather we had this morning.
Is just not wanting to cook a food aversion? I think saying craving or aversion is a little misleading. It is hot, and I don’t want to be in a kitchen. Bagels? Yes. Grilled cheese? I’ll deal with that. Stir-fry with rice? Way too much heat! Which stinks since I kind-of want high calorie foods that usually involve baking. Casseroles? Yes please. Oven fries? Sure but I don’t have any potatoes. Produce at my CSA is slowly turning into my more favorite foods, and I have been anticipating cantaloupe. Am I sharing? Hell no.
I burned a hole in my stash of ice cream from Trader Joe’s and it is making me very sad. I will probably try making some homemade ice cream this weekend now that I have space in my freezer. We got a pizza from Healthy Garden (I should really write a review soon for the site) and it really hit the spot. I’ve been kind-of pouting about tomato sauce from pizza places, and they got it right. Next time we might get a daiya covered pizza.
Parsnips? Sweet Potatoes? Who wrote these comparisons! Clearly someone who haven’t shopped at a farmer market or have grown their own vegetables! I am sitting here wondering what size my baby could possibly be, I can’t be the only one who has gotten a sweet potato that weighed a fraction of a pound and then get one that weights over two pounds. I feel like root vegetables vary the most in size! Never fear, my app says here that the baby is the size of a sugar glider! Much cuter, and I remember when I was little I wanted one as a pet so badly.
At week 19 the baby is the size of a four-toed hedgehog, specifically the species that has been domesticated for the pet trade. This means I have been looking up sickeningly cute photos of hedgehogs in ridiculous situations including Hedgy Potter, a hedgehog building a human snow man, a hedgehog drinking milk, hugging buddies, and a hedgehog getting stuck in morning traffic. Your welcome everyone.