she’s coming…

Sandy is still ~150 miles away from hitting us, the moon tide has yet to come, and our area already looks like its seen far better days

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hang in there north easters!

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dog shaming

~*friday funnies*~

dog shaming is making its way through the net like a wildfire… how could it not though?! these clips are hysterical and 100% relatable if you have your own mischievousness mutt at home! or two

HAPPY FRIDAY!

spud stud

i thought id tried every variation under the sun of cooking a potato… until i stumbled across a couple of recipes for hasselback potatoes!

they seemed kind of like a mix between a baked potato and scalloped potatoes. top em’ with some bacon bits and you could serve these babies up as your main course. they have the looks of being prepared by a skilled hand, but a pair of chopsticks will have you mastering this recipe in no time

HASSELBACK POTATOES

Ingredients:
russet potatoes, thoroughly rinsed
olive oil
bread crumbs (i used a GF version)
shredded cheese (i used daiya rice shreds)

Directions:
1) Heat oven to 450*. Place chopsticks on a cutting board on either side of the potato and cut thin slices all the way down the length of the potato. Be careful to not cut all of the way through it!

2) Place potatoes in a roasting pan coated with a thin layer of olive oil. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes and bake for about 45 minutes.

3) Once they’re done, remove the pan from the oven. Mix some cheese, olive oil and breadcrumbs in a bowl (enough to cover however many potatoes you’re cooking) and spread onto potatoes, making sure to get the mixture into the cracks. Top with some salt and pepper and place the pan back in the oven until the cheese is melted.

~*ENJOY*~

squash nut – part deux

“master of trickery” should be added to my list of qualifications :0)

i felt like a food ninja the other night by hiding the spaghetti squash from the veggie-hating hubster… i was quasi successful

JC: what’s for dinner?
M: pork chops and potato pancakes
JC: ooh, sounds good

…about an hour later…

JC: umm, these don’t look like regular potato pancakes
M: did i say potato? i meant squash (insert devilish grin here)
JC: what a shocker

he DID eat them, some of them, not quite like the good ol’ fashioned potato pancakes, but a fun twist on the traditional dish! these had a nice little zing to them from the jalapeno and ginger. i changed up this recipe to make it allergy free

SPICED SQUASH PANCAKES

Ingredients:
1 T. olive oil
3 shallots, minced
2 small jalapenos, seeded and minced
3 T. minced peeled fresh ginger
3/4 t. ground cumin
3/4 t. ground coriander
salt and pepper
3 c. roasted spaghetti squash, patted dry
2 eggs worth of egg replacer
1/4 c. GF flour

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 275* degrees. In a large nonstick skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots, jalapenos, and ginger, then cook until softened. Stir in the cumin and coriander to cook for a minute, then season with salt and pepper and let it cool slightly.

2) Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the squash, eggs and flour. Heat skillet to medium heat and cook batter in 1/4 cupfuls until golden brown. Transfer these to the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the batter.

~*ENJOY*~

the great debate

politics will NOT be the topic of discussion here – breathe easy readers :0)

paint colors on the other hand…

i need YOUR feedback! there is a creative standstill going on in our house over which color to paint the nursery.

i had this room picked out as my initial inspiration piece:

then found some fun with the aqua/yellow scheme:

inspiration pieces aside – i’m going for something fun, gender neutral, but not with the traditional “nursery” vibe to it… i’m planning on putting up a white chair rail with the above and below color options of:

the first column is option A = calypso and cote d’azur. the second column is option B = aqua-sphere and tranquil aqua. the last column is option C = hazel and drizzle.

the hubster is leaning more towards option C with the muted/calm nature tones with yellow/terracotta/coral accents, i’m digging option A with the vibrant/joyful under the sea tones using yellow and magenta accents. option B has the same colors as this brochure that i saw in the paint store, but once i got it on our walls it kinda looked more like a rainy day vs happy baby room = out of the running:

option D is to use the upper colors of option A’s paint swatch with yellow and coral/pink accents:

blue bauble and slick blue

so – what do you think?!
should i head back to the drawing board and find a happy medium between option A and option C?
are you digging JC’s choice with option C or are Mel’s wild side with option A?!
then there’s the added twist of option D?

i’ve never had such a hard time picking a paint color before. this is actually the first time ive ever come home with samples to put up on the wall!

decisions… decisions… 

squash nut – part 1

i’ve had four medium sized butternut squashes from the garden patiently waiting in my garage for the past couple of months to be used in the perfect recipe. i knew i wanted to make some sort of soup once the “soup season” was upon us

this weekend turned out to be a soup-makin-kinda-saturday-afternoon. i found this recipe and altered it a bit – of course.

a little bit of slicing and dicing for the prep work. boil, simmer, then blend. this soup came together so simply and has such a warm your bones kinda taste to it. def adding this one to the archives for future use!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Ingredients:
2 T. olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 c. cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen
1 to 2 inches freshly grated ginger (depends on your liking)
1/2 t. chopped fresh thyme
4 c. low sodium chicken (or veggie) broth
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Directions:
1) Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add the carrots, celery and onion. Cook until the veggies begin to soften and the onions turn translucent.

2) Stir in the squash, ginger, thyme, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the squash is fork tender – about 30 minutes.

3) Use an immersion blender (or traditional blender once cooled) to puree the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.

~*ENJOY*~

check out the RECIPES page for more tasty bits of fall goodness

halfway there

“it ain’t over til the fat lady sings”, but since i’ve officially hit my halfway mark, i figured i’d share the news on my adventure thus far

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Hungry for Living is growing again – outwards that is – a baby GIRL is cooking in mama’s oven!

she will be making her grand entrance into the world in the beginning of march :0)

~~*~~

since i reached out to the internet (amongst family members and friends) for answers, advice, and information through much of my journey so far, i wanted to share some things i have learned along the way, some life changing experiences i have gone through, and my plan for the second half of this beautiful trip we like to refer to as a FRIGGEN MIRACLE!

***warning: whats to come is lengthy and will most likely jerk some tears***

so here goes nothin!

towards the middle of last year the hubster and i decided that once the new year hit we were going to ‘start trying’… which btw i have come to laugh at this term ‘trying’… you’re quite frankly either doing it or you’re not!

off the BC pill for three solid months, our planets aligned and nature took its course – the seed was planted. i remember running a 10 mile race around st. patty’s day in preparation for my half marathon. the whole race i just didn’t feel like me. i was more tired than i should have been despite the proper fueling i knew i got and had this vague sense of awareness that something was just kind of off inside of me. well, low and behold a few days later the dipstick told me it’s tale, the truth was in the cross-hairs. i was indeed pregnant.

the joyous news spread throughout our family and closest friends. brain gears started daydreaming of times to come. doctor’s appointments were scheduled. THIS was what we had been waiting these past couple of months for.

when i was walking into my first doctor’s appointment, things just clicked for me with how REAL this moment felt. before that i just felt like a big kid, in a big kids body, doing adult like things. not now though, “i am going to be a MOM”, is all i can remember thinking at the time.

questions were asked. information was provided. blood tests were performed. and follow up appointments were made. i was cruisin’…

it was a friday afternoon, thankfully, while i was at work and got my first “oh shit” moment. on one unlucky trip to the bathroom (pardon the TMI-ness of all of this), the scene of red set off alarms in me that turned my dark side on to dreading the worst. like any person this day in age i went back to my desk and hit the net looking for answers, comfort, advice, anything to tell me that what i thought was happening really wasn’t happening after all.

as the night progressed and the symptoms got worse, reality began to set in. i remember feeling like a walking zombie of emotions that weekend, and for a long while….
bone crippling sadness, room flooding tears, anger, HATE, shame, confusion, self-pity, doubt….

a simple blood test the following monday and the truth was in the numbers – “blighted ovum” is what the nurse told me over the phone. “so a miscarriage?”, i replied. “yes dear, that’s what we call it”… but you know what, i was okay with this. i knew it was something that could happen, and i had the weekend to ‘get over it’, right?!

that was until i went over to my boss’s desk to confirm the news.
i broke down. HARD.
like my heart had just been ripped out of my chest.
thrown on the ground. stomped on. put through a food processor. then fed to the rats on the subway track.

WHY?
why why why why why why w.h.y.

the truth is, there really is no reason why. don’t even go looking for it. i did, and i am still waiting to find it.

family and friends reached out in the tenderest of ways that they could with love, support, kind words and prayers; and i thank them all deeply from the bottom of my heart for being there for me and my husband in one of our darkest times.

it really is time that heals though, each day does get a little better. that and some good wine, a nice long run, and LOTS of distractions.
and ya know what? i’m really never going to fully get over this. but i dont think we are meant to either. just like with many other challenges in life, we experience, we learn and we grow.

so we tried again, once my body had time to heal and the doctor said it was okay. i have to thank my lucky stars to be so blessed in the manner that i actually CAN get pregnant, after going through the MC, the stories start coming out of the woodwork, and man, does everyone have their story!

the second time around, the seed took again. the appointments were made. but the joyous news was not spread. we were a little nervous about it all, understandably so, and decided to hold off on sharing this ginormous secret until i hit 12 weeks and the MC risk lowered.

and thankfully we did. “your numbers aren’t doubling like they should be” was the phone call i got from that same saintly nurse, after three doctors visits and three rounds of blood work. WHAT?! to the net i went again. ‘non doubling hCG levels’ was the search i put in and 1 out of the 1000’s of answers i found said there was hope… and i clung with all of my godforsaken might to that.

off to the reproductive endocrinologist i went. doubtful, but keeping in mind that anything can happen. “it looks like there’s something growing in there but i wouldn’t get your hopes up, these things usually don’t work out” can you just tell me it’s okay to go home and drown out my sorrow with a bottle of vodka – PLEASE?! my healing heart was still so raw, i didn’t know if i could do this again.

i didn’t succumb to the bottle though. i thought good thoughts, prayed, and did my best to take care of my body and this hope growing inside of me. at week 11, after weekly ultrasounds to check on the baby’s progress i was cleared to go back to my OB’s care… we beat the odds, again – this baby has one tenacious little soul!!

the next week was the nuchal translucency test when the hubster came along to see the baby for the first time – one proud papa – and that afternoon we smiled some sweet, sweet grins and spread our news that miracles really do happen.

has the fat lady sung yet?

i found out at 16 weeks i had placenta previa. why i hadn’t learned by that point to STOP going to the internet for information is beyond me! i sat in the parking lot of the hospital balling my eyes out after reading some articles online about it. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! is all i remember thinking. preterm labor, bleeding out, blood transfusions, possible death…

‘call mom’ is what i should have done right away. yes, i am 28 years old and i still call my mom and dad for advice, and i’m very proud of that :0) she carried me for 8 months with placenta previa until the placenta moved into position, just like they say it does 90% of the time, and i popped out the good ol’ fashioned way.

“you can do anything you put your mind to”
i sat for 15 minutes a night for the next two weeks using my mind and breathing to WILL my placenta into the proper position. why? because there is not a single other thing one can do about the situation, so i might as well turn to willpower. and at my 18 week ultrasound the surprised tech told me it really did move, i was now at marginal/partial previa.

two more weeks of brain powering my placenta into moving and it’s still working. at the 20 week anatomy scan today, all of the body parts are growing how they should be, and the placenta is continuing to move.

like i said at the beginning of this VERY LONG heartfelt post, “it ain’t over til the fat lady sings”. we know there are still many things that can pop up in both pregnancy and life that we’ll have to tackle when that time comes, but for now were relishing in the joy of welcoming our baby girl into this world.

i am halfway there and looking forward to the second half. a wise woman advised me “you’re no longer training for races, you’re training for child birth” and that is exactly how i am looking at this all. i have pushed my body and mind to levels i never fathomed i could achieve once i began training for triathlons and half marathons… so i’m looking at this childbirth thing in the same light.

get back to me in March about the whole ‘child raising’ thing – one step at a time!!

~~*~~

***this is just my tale. i have been putting off writing about any of this for quite some time now, i never really knew how to go about it all… my heart needed to write this – to take another step in healing, to spread my experience and findings, to help the seeking souls who may be experiencing a similar situation. if i hadn’t stumbled upon the few and far between comments i read on the net telling about their fortunate outcome to their tales, i would have thrown in the white flag long ago, and i thank those brave women for telling their stories***

~Mel