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I am really excited today because I get to share one of my favorite shortcut food products with you guys! I have been a fan of MorningStar Farms for years now. Their variety of veggie burgers have been a staple in my freezer and make for the perfect lunch and snacks! Although I am not a vegetarian, I do like to go meatless when I can and I love how easy MorningStar Farms makes this for me. I’m always in a rush out the door in the mornings and even when I’m working at home, I often need to eat a quick lunch so just having to go to the freezer is a lifesaver!
The other reason I love MorningStar Farms is because I can eat their products and am not left feeling guilty afterwards because they help me maintain a healthy-eating lifestyle.
One of my favorite products is the Original Sausage Patties. There are so many ways to use them up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Obviously, I use them the most for breakfast though and am sharing two of my favorite recipes today plus one more way you can incorporate them into your dinner!
Ok, so this post is going to be all over the place I fear, but it’s long overdue!
The First Trimester
I knew pretty quickly that I was pregnant. I’m always right on time (tmi?!) so when Aunt Flow didn’t show up on schedule, I took a test the next day. It said yes, but it was one of those ones with the plus sign and it wasn’t totally clear so I needed more convincing. We made a quick trip to Target and got three different tests (yes, three), got home, and then waited. It was the longest 3 minutes ever. We had all of the tests lined up in a row on the bathroom counter and just waited for an answer. After they all came up positive, we freaked out! Well at least I did. When you first learn that you are expecting, a lot of thoughts go through your mind: “I better call the doctor to make sure”, “what if the tests are all wrong?”, “should we tell our family?”, “when should we tell people?!” So many things. I figured we should first confirm what all the tests said. I got into the doctor’s office bright and early the next morning. They have you take a test there and then there is more waiting. When the nurse finally came in, she handed me a stack of papers about being pregnant, what to eat, what not to eat, medicines I could take, etc.. I was like, “So am I pregnant?!” I’m horrible at keeping a secret from family so after a quick chat with my husband, we decided to tell our parents right away. Lots of excitement and freaking out!
I would sum up for the first trimester with three words: Nausea, exhaustion, and fear. I know a lot of women suffer from horrible morning sickness in the first trimester and I consider myself pretty lucky because I only actually got sick once, but had all-day nausea from weeks 5-8 that was pretty debilitating for me. Going to work was really hard because I didn’t want to tell anybody yet, but I was feeling so horrible. I pretty much lived on chicken noodle soup, saltine crackers, and ginger ale. I had to have a stack of saltines next to my nightstand to munch on every morning before I started moving around and continued to eat them all throughout the day. I barely cooked anything. Blogging was also really tough. Luckily, I had a good build up of recipes saved so I tried to post when I could, but looking at photos of certain recipes totally grossed me out even though I know they were good recipes. I was also ridiculously exhausted to the point where I wasn’t sure how I was going to function at work.
We shared the big news in waves. Family obviously knew first along with a few close friends. I had to tell my boss at 6 weeks because the nausea was affecting my schedule at work and I didn’t want her to think I was slacking off. I wanted to wait until we were out of the first trimester to share the news with the rest of our friends and co-workers. I work with a bunch of fun ladies so once I hit 14 weeks, I brought in some cupcakes one day and told them that I brought them a treat for working so hard and put a bunch of these cupcakes on the table that had little babies on top.
I thought they would get it right away, but apparently they thought I was calling them a bunch of babies…sigh…that’s only slightly true, btw.
This week can be summed up with the following two words: baby registry. I cannot believe how overwhelming it is to put together a baby registry as a first time parent. I mean, I have a lot of experience with babies and children. I know all about their development as a developmental psychologist. But as far as which stroller is best or which type of bottle, it’s just too much. Why are there so many different types of bottles?! A lot of people say registering for a baby is so much fun, and while I can kind of understand that, I also just someone else do it for me or I just want to do it all while sitting on my couch. I owe you guys a big baby/pregnancy update so I promise to write one up this weekend!
Alright, enough about baby stuff. Let’s talk sweet potato fries (I know, what a strange transition…). I really don’t like to turn on the oven too much during this time of the year, but we love to do fancy sandwiches or burgers on Saturday nights and sweet potato fries just always seem like the perfect side dish! These fries are baked saving you both fat and calories, but there is no sacrifice in flavor! In fact, these guys are even more flavorful than regular fries thanks to the zesty spice mixture of chili powder and cumin with a pinch of cayenne!
It’s officially the worst time of year in Phoenix. It’s in the 110s and it’s so awful. It’s even more awful than normal when you are 6 months pregnant. I mean, I guess it could be worse. I could be 9 months pregnant, but it’s still bad! Pregnancy combined with the heat is really starting to drain me too. Going out and running errands is getting harder.
Pregnancy also means cutting out or cutting down on so many drinks. You have to watch out for caffeine so I haven’t been having really any coffee. I do have the occasional iced tea because I just need it in this weather! Then there is the no alcohol thing. I miss wine. I miss it so bad. Not that I was that big of a drinker, but I really want some dang wine! Oh, and fruity drinks too! It’s summer and cold and fruity drinks are a must! I’ve been drinking a ton of water, but sometimes water gets a little boring.
So homemade lemonade it is. While having too many sugary drinks is not good, making your own lemonade at home means you can control how much sugar goes in and don’t have to worry about any other weird ingredients. Just fruit, sugar, water, and lemons! I’ve made a lot of lemonade recipes now and today I’m all about the peaches. I’ve actually been ridiculously obsessed with peaches lately. I want them every day. So, why not put them in some lemonade?! My husband isn’t normally a big peach fan, but even he loved this version.
I just want to spend the rest of the summer indoors in the A/C and with a pitcher of peach lemonade!
Today we are talking all about lunch and how to pack it up and keep it fresh! As a food blogger, I am constantly wrapping and packaging up recipes. Our food storage cabinet is the stuff of nightmares. No matter how much time I spend organizing it, it’s a mess the next day. I go through a lot of food storage wrapping and containers every week since I work outside the house and have to pack my lunch.
I love using Glad products for my lunches and leftovers. They keep my food fresh and are easy to store and clean!
So here are some of my favorite tips for keeping your lunch fresh!
1. The first tip to keeping lunch nice and fresh is to keep it cool. I always have at least one item in my lunch bag that needs to be chilled. We do have a fridge in the office, but it’s kind of small so I hate stuffing all of my stuff in there. That’s where re-usable ice packs come in handy! I have a few that I constantly have in rotation in the fridge.
It rained yesterday. It was a miracle. It got all dark and there was thunder. I was all set on the couch with a blanket and the TV. And then it only lasted for about 10 minutes. Major sad face. Is it so much to ask for one afternoon of rain, Phoenix? Apparently it is. It is apparently monsoon season, but I’m not really seeing any monsoons, just some disgusting dust storms. Wahhhhh! I know, I have such problems in life.
Oh, We will be heading to Santa Fe this week for a work conference. I’ve never been so if any of you have any good restaurant recommendations, lemme hear them!
My name is Stephanie. I started this blog because I like to cook and I wanted a place where I could share my recipes with family and friends and improve my cooking skills. Why the name Eat. Drink. Love.? Well, I think this is what life is all about!