Friday, July 22, 2011

Natural pregnancy week by week : listening to your body~week 14

Hello dear,

I hope you all had a pleasant week, it's Friday but I have a busy week-end ahead of me...I hope to have the chance to relax tomorrow evening by watching a Movie in the park with some friends I haven't seen in a while.

Anyway, I just wanted to "chat with you" and share briefly how my pregnancy is going.
Today is week 14. If you read my previous article with the same title " Natural pregnancy week by week" I explained how my first doctor's visit went last week!

I had a pleasant and easy going week but Wednesday was a boring and slow day. I spent the majority of my day in bed. I felt so tired it was insane. I am not used to staying still but I am learning to LISTEN TO MY BODY. Thursday I was once again full of energy and got out of bed with a mind made up for productivity! By bedtime I was happy to have accomplished all that I had set to do.Today I am dragging again! I am doing better than I did on Wednesday but I am far from being as active as I want.

I am learning to rest because I have a lot of caring friends who are making sure that I take good care of myself and the baby! Talk about holding me accountable!
I don't like to be sick so I better learn to rest than exhaust myself and regret it. So... if you are pregnant and reading this, from one pregnant woman to another: take heed to sound advices, ask for help when you need help and 'obey' your body!

So I have been like a switch: one day on (full of energy) one day off (moderate-slow energy)!

Pregancy and exercising
I haven't been able to exercise much this week and haven't gone on any walk the whole week.  My left ankle has been hurting me and it's annoying! I had a foot injury last summer that totally slowed my activity level as far as running and exercising was concerned. My ankle was not fully healed when I resumed exercising (running and walking).  I did not run as intensely as I did before my ankle's injury but I managed to maintain a routine that helped me loose some of the weight gained during my injury.

The only form of exercise I have done this week is stretching and lifting some light weights. I also walked a little around some parking lots on days I was out and about!

Little update: 10:45pm I finally went on a walk, just 20 minutes. It was 9:45pm with my hubby by my side! It was so hot, not even a breeze, no breezy summer night (pouting face)...oh well!

Pregnancy and Supplements
I made a change in my supplements. I was doing some reading online 3 days ago and learned that Cod liver oil is not good during pregnancy because of the high dose of Vitamin A. So even though fish supplements can be beneficial, Cod liver oil is not good for pregnant women...livers actually have high level of vitamin A, I think that we are not even supposed to eat liver during pregnancy!

So that you know, I will post next week an article on seafood consumption during pregnancy and talk more about Vitamin A, mercury and other contaminants to be concerned about!

Eating right and weird pregnancy's dreams about food!
As far as my diet has been this week, most of my meals have been vegetarian meals. I actually had a dream on Monday about meat. I shared the dream with some friends/neighbors. We were meeting at the park one morning and talking about what we would get for lunch once we all get home. I had the tact of sharing the dream with them and one said that the dream was making her lose her appetite!  Ha ha ha!  I rarely eat meat but the dream just sealed the deal!
 I have been told that it happens to have crazy dreams about food when we are pregnant. Have you had crazy dreams about food?

Pregnancy's food cravings and aversions
Aside from my stronger aversion for meat at the moment, I don't have any particular aversion. I don't have any weird craving either! I do crave for tropical fruit juices like mango juice or ginger-pineapple juice so it's common to find me laboring in the kitchen on any given evening just making a batch of juice for the next days!

I have noticed that I enjoy cooking more and that my body craves more for vegetarian meals and for natural juices! I enjoyed them before but I seem to want more! So listening to my body as far as eating right is a blessing! I am just glad I don't crave for weird things or for sweets!

Occasional unhealthy food
Wednesday night I splurged on 2 honey buns. My hubby and I spent a little bit of time having a "late snack date" eating honey buns and drinking milk while chatting around 11pm. I haven't had any honey buns in over a year so I figured it would be fun to enjoy some that night.! I was breaking my "no late eating" rule but I figured it was worth it! When we are very disciplined about our diet it's okay to enjoy a 'forbidden' snack once in a while!Don't you think?

Pregnancy's morning sickness, nausea and vomittingI get asked a lot if I have any morning sickness or nausea. No! I have never had morning sickness, nausea or vomitting during any of my pregnancies. So week 14 of pregnancy #4, so far so good! No morking sickness, no nausea, no vomitting!Thank You God!

Learning to listen to my body is forcing me to take it easy, honestly the time resting is driving me nut! I spend that time going through some magazines, reading a bunch of health articles online, listening to some songs, writing some posts for next week ...yeah, I might be resting but that doesn't mean that I am doing 'nothing'!  My daughter has been playing some funny movies in my room (she enjoys her time doing things away from her brothers) and it was good to get some good laughs! I have also spent a lot of time mentally designing the future nursery and my new craft room! (See to know what I am talking about!) I had time to research some old songs. I 'found' a song I looooved during my childhood! 'Grovin' by UB 40. I was crazy about their voice when I was younger so I added some of their songs on the main music playlist on this blog! I did add a few other songs on the playlist today, hope you will enjoy them...

That's about it for the updates on week 14! Thanks for stopping by!
~Whether you are pregnant or not please keep in mind that listening to your body is very important! So take care of yourself!~

 Stay tuned for more updates, please share your own stories and talk to you soon!
 I added this song to my playlist today and I pray that life is wonderful to you...

Thanks to you all for your love and your support, to the pregnant women reading this: Happy pregnancy!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good eat: Homemade quick dinner : A vegetarian dish with mushroom and herb pasta dish

Hello dear!

Today I wanted to talk food! If you are a regular around here you already know that tasty food and meaningful eating is one of my passions (smiles)! So I simply wanted to end this week by sharing a simple dish that I find myself making quite often lately, and for good reasons!
1) My husband and children love it!
2) The ingredients can easily be "prepped" ahead of time!
3) Most of the ingredients can be precooked and refrigerated or even frozen!
4) Either I cook it from scratch or precook some ingredients, the dish is simple and quick to make!
5) The dish is versatile and can include any meat/seafood of your choice or nothing but herbs.
6) This dish is an excuse for me to use my fresh herbs and fill the house with the natural and wonderful aroma of nature's best culinary herbs!

The dish I am sharing was made with:
precooked pasta
1/2 pack of mushrooms
1/2 tomato
1/2 green pepper
some fresh and dried herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley,oregano,cilantro

Off to a great start: Culinary herbs from my kitchen garden!
I selected the following from my herb garden: Basil,thyme,rosemary,oregano. It always smells good when I chop them...
 I am getting things set up by having sort of a " Mise en place"! I have already washed my tomato and green pepper with a mixture of water and white vinegar. I actually rinsed my herbs with the same solution even though my herbs are from my own kitchen garden I still rinse everything! No E-coli in this kitchen because I am a stickler on rinsing everything I use! Even if what you purchase is prepackaged you should still rinse before cooking/eating because you don't know how well it was rinsed! Better safe than sorry!

I put a little bit of oil in the wok, once it's hot it's time for my mushrooms...

Oh...dear... it already smells so good around here....
Mushrooms and fresh herbs
 Under normal circumstances I would have added some fresh garlic, everything taste greater with garlic, if you ask me. I held off on the fresh garlic because I am pregnant and I am taking it easy on the strong flavors!
Mushrooms with herbs, green peppers, and tomatoes.

 I throw in the pasta, spice them with some more herbs and add a little bit of salt. I mix it all up and work it really good!
The herbs I selected are dried herbs from my spice cabinet that I also call my natural medicine cabinet. They are : dried parsley, Italian seasoning, dried oregano and dried basil, humm...the food looks so colorful and will taste pretty flavorful.

The pasta were precooked a few days before and refrigerated! Thankfully I saved time that night.
A few evenings prior to fixing this dish I actually fix the same dish with just a minor difference. Days before I used some precooked onions,mushrooms and green peppers.

 I did not add tomato to the dish on that night so I added some oil to the pasta as I was mixing my dried herbs. This time around, by having some tomato in it, it created some 'juice' to my dish and kept me from adding olive oil when mixing the dried herbs in.
Here, even though I saved time on the pasta, I still had to make everything else from scratch!

 Spicing things a little with a touch of chili pepper from my kitchen garden!

Chili pepper

Voila! Ready to chow! Like we say in French ..." Bon appetit"!

Mushrooms and pasta

Scrapping the wok for some leftovers....I want to cry...there's no more!
" C'etait trop bon" ( It was too good)

Try it and tell me what you think! There's nothing like some fresh herbs to take a simple dish to the next level!
Like I mentionned earlier, I fix some variations of that dish quite often for my husband and oldest son who love the fresh herbs in the pasta. Some days I add meat, or shrimp ,most days it's just herbs alone in the pasta. We rarely eat meat so we are cool with a pescetarian or vegetarian version! With the right seasonings the dish is still very tasty! I just use whatever ingredients I have and adapt my dish to what's available! I can do without any meat or seafood as long as I have the fresh and dried herbs! Thanks to my kitchen garden I no longer lack fresh herbs!

There was a time, years ago, when I would easily get  frustrated for not having any herbs while cooking. I would be cooking something and need some herbs for a dish but lacked the time to run to the store or would have to spend a lot to buy a bunch when all I need was a few leaves! Having a herb garden for the past 4 years have made cooking more fun and delightful! During the winter I cut most of my plants and freeze some herbs to make sure that I still have some to enjoy during the cold weather.

Do you have a simple mushroom and pasta recipe you would recommend? What's your favorite culinary herb?
Happy and healthy eating!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Eco-friendly living & Green decor~Ideas for natural decorating with baskets

Hello dear!

I hope all is well with you as you read this today! In a recent article I talked about simple ways to an eco-friendly lifestyle Today I want to talk about Green decor and share a gallery of pictures of some of my favorite items.

With all the interest nowadays in living an eco-friendly life and implementing Green concepts even in our decor I find that there's one element that make our decorating lives very simple and versatile. I am talking about...

Bolga Baskets
Yessss! Baskets!
I have noticed that no matter what our decorating skills are or no matter what our decor style is, baskets are the one thing that are always incorporated in our decor. We seem attracted to them, if not for their styles, for their purpose as superb organizing/storage items.

The Bolga baskets, (the first picture above), are nice for shopping but I can see them storing items in a guest bedroom, keep a few magazines tidy, host some children toys or hold some beach items etc. Well, there's no rules for using baskets! What I love about them is that they can so easily change functions.
One day they serve one purpose, another day the same basket can be used for something else! Not too many items can boast such versatility don't you think?

 ~Green fruit basket~
Having a fruit basket on a kitchen counter is not just pretty it's also a great reminder to eat healthy!
Fruit basket

 ~Green bathroom basket~
This basket below keep some bathroom items and my homemade bathroom cleaner (in the green spray bottle).  My Green bathroom cleaner has for ingredients water and white vinegar! Now that's truly eco-friendly!
Bathroom basket
 ~Green kitchen basket~
This tiny basket was hard for me to use until my middle son cleverly started using it to harvest some herbs each time I will send him to collect some  for cooking or for making teas!
Small basket!

I use baskets in my pantry to store cookies' packs, onions, potatoes, plantains bananas etc...

~Green treasure chest~

Storage basket a.k.a my treasure chest!

Baskets in form of trunks are probably one of my favorite type of baskets! I call them my treasure chests because I always keep very sentimental items in them, my favorite books and my jounals! Yeah that might not sound sentimental to you but I love books and there are some that I like going through very frequently so I keep them very accessible! I also love journaling in cute journals!I tend to buy them and just store them for future occasions or even as gifts! When you have a lot of books and/or journals, they can easily turn to clutter! I like to keep mine neatly organized...
Storage basket for journals!

Storage baskets a.k.a my treasure chests!

The baskets below are on my wishlist! They are sold at the World Market! I love the colors!

Below is a short video showing how versatile they are and how they fit in my personal life!


As you can see baskets are beautiful and resourceful and there's not just one way to use them!

~ Green gift baskets~
Baskets are not just great for storage and decorating, they are also awesome for giving!
We all love to receive a nice gift basket! I for one love to make them as well! It's great to make something special for others! Isn't it?
 I made the basket below on Valentine day for a customer! The wife was so excited! She said it was the best gift basket she ever received! Most items were secented with lavender and eucalyptus which are great for inducing relaxation. There were also little touches that make my giving meaningful!
The basket was truly loaded!!! Now here's a basket that's sure to remind you to just "Enjoy life and Chilllax as much as possible"! Please read this article for more pampering ideas ....
Pampering  basket "Just for you"!

That's it for today dear! Thanks for staying around and hope you enjoyed this post! If you are new here please join the circle of friends! It would be a pleasure to see you here and hear from you often!
So that was my spin on baskets! What about you? How do you use baskets in your daily life and in your decor? Happy Green decorating!