Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

{photo via The Petersen Post}

I don't know if you celebrate Halloween or not, but we do enjoy taking kids to trick or treat, decorating pumpkins and eating candy corn!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

FAIL | Ironing Bedroom Curtains

Not long after hubby & I moved into our new house I was hanging curtains...I had these pink curtains from who knows where in my sewing stuff and thought they would look pretty good with our current bedroom wallpaper. They do match nicely, but they were a pain to hang. Not only did I have to wash these curtains and wait for them to dry, but I also had to iron out all the terrible wrinkles they had in them. Each panel took about 30 minutes to finish. It was a HUGE pain, but they looked pretty great when I got them hung up.... Until I stepped back and noticed:

One panel was about a foot shorter than the other!! I didn't know that in the 4 or 5 sets there were different lengths in panels. I was SO mad! I had just spent the last 30 minutes ironing something (by the way, I HATE ironing!) only to discover the work had been for nothing.

Fortunately I found another panel which was the longer length (what I had aimed for originally) and got that ironed up... 30+ minutes later I got the result I was originally working for:

Two curtains of the same length, perfectly ironed and hung on the rod. I was really glad to get this project finished...and though this wasn't a complete fail I thought it would be interesting to share. I thought hubby would have something to say about me hanging the pink curtains in our bedroom because he sure had something to say about the pink lamp I had in our apartment living room, but he didn't have much to say about them... I did tell him they were temporary until we got around to redecorating our first room re-do project in our house is the baby's room. I don't know where we'll go from there, but I'm sure I'll be sharing lots of photos when we get the baby's room finished up!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Prego With Style | Denim & Boots

{photos taken by the hubby}
We are 28 weeks pregnant here.
28 weeks was Oct. 22nd.

Back in May when hubby & I were in vacation in Mississippi I was thrift shopping with his cousin & a friend and found this really nice long brown skirt. I didn't try it on when I found it because it was cotton and stretchy and I wasn't worried about the waistband area fitting. Well, when I got home-home (to my house) I figured out the skirt was a terribly awkward length: just above my ankles. I was upset that it didn't fit right so I threw it in a pile of clothes to fix and forgot about it…until last month. I was digging through that pile of clothes in desperation because none of my skirts were fitting and I needed something comfy. I found the awful brown skirt and decided it needed some quick work. A few cuts and a new hem later I had an adorable knee-length brown skirt which I love wearing! It’s super comfortable and even though it’s not a maternity skirt I’m just glad it fits decently.

Denim Jacket: Old Navy Maternity (thrifted!)
Peach Tank: Wal-Mart (clearance)
Brown Skirt: thrifted in Mississippi.
Boots: Free from friend!

While thrift shopping at the local Goodwill I found the most adorable denim jacket. What is even better than finding the jacket is the fact that it’s Old Navy AND maternity! The sleeves fit me a little tight when I wear it over a shirt that has sleeves, but it’s not so uncomfortable that I won’t wear it. I have really enjoyed having this piece of clothing…and it even buttons up over my baby belly! At least for now. :)

With the cold weather we've been having (upper-40's to mid-60's) I've found that wearing flip flops is no longer possible. These were my primary go-to shoes ALL spring and summer and now that it's cold my feet just can't handle being in them outside. I was given a really old pair of boots earlier this summer and they have become one of my favorite shoes to wear this fall. They fit with my thick cozy socks on so my feet stay really warm and they look cute! I get a compliment on them every time I wear them out.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall In Oklahoma

This past week I was going through a bunch of old photos on my external hard drive. I was looking for photos I’d taken for blog posts but never ended up writing. Turns out there were TONS! Among the blog post photos were lots of photos of my friends from Oklahoma. I really miss them! I thought I’d share a pic of a fall scene from Oklahoma on Highway 9 with you because I miss my home town and friends.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

This is a new recipe for Blue Eyed Beauty Blog. I just created it not even two weeks ago and am really excited to share it with you all! We were planning our last camping trip for the season and I decided that muffins would be something easy to bring with us to have for breakfast. With it being fall I decided to make pumpkin muffins. I didn't have internet or an actual pumpkin recipe so here is what I came up with...and boy were they tasty!

3 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 Tablespoon nutmeg
2 Tablespoons blackstrap molasses
2 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup oil
1 15oz. can pumpkin

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add in the molasses, eggs, milk, oil and pumpkin. Stir until everything is mixed well.
4. Grease your muffin pans. Using a 1/4 cup, put batter into 24 cups.
5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

This Post Was Shared!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Prego With Style | 5 Sources for Cute Fall Maternity Style

Today I thought I would do something a little different: share inspiration for fall maternity style. I never thought it would be so hard to 'dress the bump', but honestly you don't think about clothing when you first find out you're pregnant because your body hasn't changed that much. Now that I'm in the third trimester I'm finding it more and more difficult to keep 'the bump' covered. Thanks to Pinterest I was able to find a lot of really cute ideas. I've pinned a lot to my board Pregnancy. I've shared some of the Fall style ideas here.

{photo Still Being Molly}

I love this outfit because it looks totally comfortable and really do-able. I'm guessing it's a maxi skirt, with layered maternity shirts and, of course, a cute denim jacket to top it off! I LOVE it! Molly has some really awesome (and SUPER CUTE) maternity outfits for the second trimester which you can find here. Also check out the label Maternity Style on her blog for even more fun pics and ideas.

{photo via My Chic Bump}

I really love this combo of cotton dress & cute sleeveless cardigan with boots. It looks nice, but comfortable as well! Be sure to check out the Lookbook for other clothing ideas for multiple seasons.

{photo via Along Abbey Road}

This is another fine example of a cotton dress as a fall outfit. Love her accessories of scarf and ankle boots! Abbey has a lot of other cute ideas using fun colors and styles for both summer & fall months, be sure to check those out here.

{photo via Sparkling Footsteps}

I love how Lynzy has paired her floral print dress with a leather jacket and fringe boots! The boots aren't really my style, but they look super cute with this outfit. I think in later fall months an outfit like this would have to be worn with tights or leggings so my legs wouldn't freeze!

{photo via The Freckled Fox}

Lately stripes are a huge thing I just want really bad...maybe cuz they look cute on pregnant women? Who knows... either way, I like striped things and I think this shirt is adorable! There's lots of outfit potential with something like that in your maternity collection. Check out Emily's Maternity Series for more cute outfit ideas!

Well there you have five new places to look for inspiration in the maternity style department. I'm always looking for inspiration even though I rarely go out. It's always fun to see how other people are 'dressing their bump'. Check out my few outfit posts in the maternity department here.

Do you have fall maternity style ideas?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fresh Cilantro Lime Salsa


6-8 tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 jalapeno
1 bunch of cilantro
1 lime
½ or 1 teaspoon salt

1. On a cutting board core all of the tomatoes and cut into four pieces. Cut open jalapeno and take out seeds (unless you like it spicy, seeds are what make the food spicy). Peel the outer skin off the garlic. Rinse the cilantro and have chop off the stems just above the band so mostly leafy stuff is left. Slice lime in half.
2. In a food processor blend one or two pieces of tomato. Add in garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro. Squeeze in the juice from the lime. Blend. Add a few more pieces of tomato if needed to make everything blend well. Add in salt.
3. Put the rest of the tomatoes in the food processor and do a few quick pulses…enough to chop the tomatoes, but not turn them into sauce.
4. Serve right away or refrigerate and serve chilled with tortilla chips or other Mexican foods.

Be sure that this salsa is stored in the fridge once you’re finished eating on it (and if there’s any left!). I usually try to use it up within a few days or a week at most…thus the reason the amounts of food aren't really big in the ingredient list.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Date Night | Card Games In Bed

To have a date night doesn't mean you have to go outside of your home. On many occasions Autry & I have a date night in and they are quite fun. Over the summer Autry worked a shift where he would get home around 11:30 or 12 at night. Many times we were both tired and didn't really feel up to doing much but still wanted to spend time together. The solution? Play a few rounds of a favorite card game while laying on our bed.

Some games you can play with a deck of cards:

2 Man Spades
Go Fish
Crazy 8's

Of course don't limit yourself to a deck of cards...
Here are some other two player card game ideas:

Phase 10

WalMart usually has odd card games you can pick up for around $5 a set. Rules & Cards included. Just an idea if you're feeling adventurous and want to try something new!

We've also done nights where we play a board game together.
Here are a few ideas:

Candy Land

There are a lot of board games out there so pick your favorite and start your stay in date night!

Our favorites are Rummy, Phase 10 and Scrabble.

What are your favorite games to play together?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

FAIL | Sourdough Starter, Round 2

The nasty weevil type bugs who raided my
second attempt at sourdough starter.

As a few of you might remember, I attempted making sourdough starter earlier this year. It was a huge fail. I couldn't get the mixture to bubble and the container I first started it out in was much too small to hold the growing mixture…I just didn't know that until after it overflowed! You can read more about that first sourdough starter making experience here.

One day I was looking through one of my cookbooks and stumbled across a sourdough starter recipe. I thought I would be brave enough to give the stuff a second try. After all, some things just take more than one shot before you get the hang of it! I didn't get around to doing anything with the recipe for almost a week, but I had it on my to-do list and finally I took the time to do it. This would be my second experience in sourdough making.

The sourdough starter before it was raided by the bugs.

The recipe was really simple and getting everything all mixed together took no time at all. Before long the mix was bubbly and looking like it was supposed to. Because I now have a screened in back porch I thought it would be a good idea to set the sourdough out there to make. It was quite a bit warmer than anywhere in my dining room or kitchen so I thought perhaps it would do better out there. And for the first two days it did…but on the third day we had problems: little weevil looking bugs were swimming in the starter!!! I was SO mad. The starter looked great, but I wasn't about to just spoon those critters out and keep going! How gross would that be?

So the starter was brought in the house and dumped out. I cleaned up everything and got ready to start on round three. Which I still haven't started... This time the starter will be staying IN the house! I really hope that the third time will be the last time I have to attempt making this stuff! It was supposed to be an easy follow-the-steps-and-have-great-bread-soon-after thing and it’s not been going that way at all.

On the first fail I learned that using a bigger container to start out is much better than going too small and having to transfer. This second time I've learned that putting sourdough starter on the back porch, even though it's enclosed, is a bad idea. Hopefully the third time will be it and we'll finally have a positive experience in sourdough making to share!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cooking For 2 | Waffles & Syrup

One thing I love is breakfast! It’s the first meal of the day and usually it’s one of the tastier meals too. Autry, on the other hand, doesn't like to eat breakfast so ‘cooking for 2’ at breakfast usually ends up being me cooking for myself. Sometimes he will eat something I make up for breakfast, but that is rare. Today’s recipe is perfect for two people though and even if you’re just by yourself there isn't so much leftover that you wouldn't be able to eat it in the following two or three mornings!

Servings depend on the size of your waffle maker.
I got about 10 individual waffles from this recipe on mine.

1 ¾ cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups milk
½ cup oil

1. Plug in your waffle maker and get it warming up.
2. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour and baking powder. Make a well in the center of dry mixture and set aside.
3. In another mixing bowl beat the eggs. Stir in the milk and oil.
4. Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and stir really well.
5. Use a small measuring cup, pour batter into your waffle maker. Close the lid and cook for as long as the machine takes. Most of them have a light that comes on when the waffles are ready.
6. Serve the waffles on plates with fresh fruit, butter, syrup, or any other topping you’d like!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Prego With Style | Denim & A Purple Maxi Skirt

In the past few weeks I really haven't tried to dress up much when I go out. I usually do casual and comfy outfits and sometimes that's really hard to do when you have to be out in public. The outfit I'm sharing with you today is one I sort of wore one day when I spent the day with a friend. On that day I actually had on a black cardigan and my favorite black sandals from Payless, but in the photo I'm sporting the new maternity denim jacket I bought earlier that day and I'm barefoot. It was still a cute outfit though so I thought I'd share anyway.

Maternity Denim Jacket: Old Navy (via a thrift store!).
Aqua tank: Wal-Mart ($3 clearance rack).
Purple maternity Maxi Skirt: Old Navy (clearance rack).
Shoes: I wore sandals earlier that day.

We're 24 weeks here! Quite a bump starting to show.

I did a simple side pony tail with the bit of hair wrapped around the hair tie to hide it and secured with a small hair clip. I wasn't feeling very creative that day. I had a doctor appointment which is why I dressed up more than usual. This outfit was very comfortable though. I love the new denim jacket! It will be fun to wear throughout this fall season!

And in case you think I look tired here, I am. I found out later that same day that the reason is I'm slightly anemic--lacking iron--and thus the reason I've been lacking energy to do anything above normal daily activities like getting up and fixing food to eat, etc.

What fall maternity outfit ideas do you have?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pregnancy & Iron

Something I've noticed in this last trimester of pregnancy is that I feel a LOT more tired than I did during the first and second trimesters. At my latest doctor visit they ran some blood tests (which had already been scheduled) and as it turns out I actually AM anemic--lacking iron--so the past few weeks I've been feeling tired have been legit. I did start taking an iron pill on top of the prenatal vitamin I was previously taking, but as of yet I can't really tell a difference in the way I feel. On top of taking the iron supplement I've been working on eating more foods which are high in iron.

Click on chart to enlarge.
{photo via whfoods}

In college I took classes on health & nutrition and had to write several papers on both topics. One of my Go To sites for finding info about different foods was The chart just above shows several different vegetables & beans which are high in iron. I personally prefer Lentils, Spinach, Olives & Navy Beans from all the items listed there.

A sandwich in the making: lots of green leaf lettuce and spinach for iron!

Spinach & I have shared many days together in recent weeks. I do not like spinach because it has a horrible taste and when it sits too long in the fridge it starts to get a little slimy (solution: eat the spinach before it has time to go that far!). However, it's one of the things on that list of foods high in iron that isn't too hard to add to other foods and that's why I eat it. Many times when I make something and add spinach I can hardly tell it's's only when I try to eat it by itself or in salad that I can't stand it!

Macaroni n' Cheese w/Spinach is a new recipe on Blue Eyed Beauty Blog.

Some ideas for adding spinach to your diet:

--Throw a handful (or more!) in a fruit smoothie *see more on smoothies below*.
--Add spinach to your pizza and zap in the oven or microwave to 'wilt' it.
--Add spinach to your sandwich at lunch.
--Put some spinach in your salad for extra greens.
--Cook some spinach in your macaroni n cheese (a food I've craved constantly throughout this pregnancy).

Button-Up Chili is a Blue Eyed Beauty Blog Recipe.
It has Navy Beans in the ingredient list.

Beans are a lot less painful to eat in the taste bud department because you can do so much with them and add different flavors or spices to make them tasty. I personally like to use a mix of pinto/kidney beans with navy beans to make a chili. My favorite and most easy chili recipe is Button-Up Chili which has no spices and is super easy to fix. The lack of spices is also great for me right now since I've been experiencing heart burn when eating foods with heavy spicing...and chili is usually a heavily spiced food. With the fall and winter months ahead I have a feeling I will be making this quite regularly!

A fruit smoothie with spinach added.

One last way I like to get a lot of vitamins in during the day is to make myself a smoothie. I have 4 ingredients which go in all my smoothies and then other optional ingredients which I change up so that they're not always the same exact flavor. The four main ingredients I like to use are: 1) plain yogurt, 2) raw spinach, 3) 1/4 cup of cranberry juice, and 4) a banana. The interchangeable ingredients range from frozen strawberries, peaches, & blueberries to fresh strawberries, grapes, blueberries and other fruits. I usually like to use apple juice to blend everything together but occasionally I will use orange or grape to change things up a bit. Another thing I like to do is make up 1/2 cup of oatmeal with 1/2 cup of water in the microwave. Once that is cooked I add it to my smoothie to make it more filling and for extra fiber, etc. (Read more about oats from whfoods here.) Smoothies are a great way to hide the flavor of spinach and I've slowly been able to work from a few leaves to two handful's in my almost daily drink!

What are ways you add Iron to your diet?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Words On Sunday | Blessed Things

{photo via Pinterest}

I think this is a really beautiful thought and something that should be considered more. Many people go through rough times or hard times and become broken either in heart, spirit or both, but if you let God be apart of your healing you will get so much farther than you will ever get on your own.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Cooking For 2 | Perfect Grilled Cheese

My hubby makes one mean grilled cheese sandwich and no matter how hard I try I just can’t make them as good as he does. There must be some secret to it that he didn't tell me…but at least I can make a decent sandwich and that's what I'm sharing with you today! If hubby is around he usually will make the grilled cheese, but when he’s not I’m left to fend for myself. Here is how we make our grilled cheese sandwiches.

This recipe makes 4 sandwiches.

4-8 slices of cheese*
8 slices of bread

1. Put a medium skillet on the stove. I suggest not raising the heat above 4 on the knob. I usually cook these between 2-3 on the knob to keep them from burning.
2. Butter both sides of two pieces of bread. (See notes.)
3. Put the two buttered pieces of bread in the hot skillet. Let them cook for almost a minute. Check the side on the bottom to make sure it’s not cooking too much. When they’re just starting to brown, flip the bread over.
4. Put your slice or slices of cheese on one piece of the browned bread. Put the browned part of the second piece on top. Cover the skillet with a lid. Let the sandwich sit for not quite a minute. Check often to make sure the toast isn't burning.
5. Flip the sandwich over, cover and cook for almost a minute more.
6. Remove the sandwich and put on a plate to eat. These are best when they’re hot.
7. Repeat steps 2-6 for the following 3 sandwiches.

*If you like a lot of cheese you might want two slices per sandwich, otherwise just do one slice.

*If you like a little crunch to your toast, pop the bread in the toaster before buttering, otherwise use un-toasted bread.

Friday, October 11, 2013

DIY "I'm Thankful" Jar

Last Fall I put together a Fall Bucket List and item #22 was "Start an 'I'm Thankful' Jar to read on Thanksgiving Day." I was guest posting on Blissful & Domestic Blog in November and ended up sharing today's tutorial over there, but this is a new year so I thought I'd share it hear this time because the idea was so well liked at our house. As I did with many of the completed items from my Fall Bucket List I wrote a post about The Thankful Jar and shared some of the things people wrote that they were thankful for.

What You Need
A quart-size mason jar
Fun piece of paper for front of jar
5-8 pieces of copy paper for the 'thankful' notes
A sharpie or other marker
Masking tape
Scissors or paper cutter
A pen for people to write the notes with

1. Make sure the jar is clean! Mine was washed a few days before I started the project so it was ready to use.

2. Cut out your fun piece of paper for the front of the jar. I did a 3 inch by 2 1/2 inch wide piece for my jar. Write the words "I'm Thankful' on the front of the paper. I used a fun paper punch to add some 'spice' to the corners. This project is totally customize-able so have fun with it! Use masking tape to secure the paper onto one side of the jar.

3. Next cut the copy paper into square like shapes for people/your children/family to write what they are most thankful for. I did squares that were 3 inches by 3 inches or close to that. Mine are nowhere near perfect since I just eyeballed it with the paper cutter. After all, you're only writing on the paper, reading it in a few weeks and later throwing them away so it wont matter if it's a perfect square or not.

4. If you want you could write "I'm thankful for..." as a prompt on the pieces of paper. I did this for one and left the rest blank and it worked fine just like that.

5. Set your decorated jar, the pieces of paper, and a pen in an easy to get to place. Explain to everyone the purpose of the jar (to share things you are currently thankful for) and make sure everyone gets a turn to put at least one thing they're thankful for in the jar by the time Thanksgiving comes around! You can have them write their names too or you can all try to guess who wrote what things when you read them on Thanksgiving day.
To see some examples of things our family wrote on papers for our Thankful Jar last year check out this post.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fail | 4th of July Cream Cheese Pie

This year I was really excited about the 4th of July. It's one of my favorite holidays and I was in the mood to make holiday themed food. One of those items was a Blueberry & Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie. Unfortunately something went wrong in the ingredients and all I got was a bunch of runny soup instead of an actual pie. It had a great taste, but not a great texture or look. This may or may not be something I attempt again. We shall see!

Because the pie looked so horrible after I cut it I didn't even bother taking any photos of the not finished project. The pie wasn't wasted since we did eat it, but it wasn't the best. This photo was taken during the putting together of the pie. I was really excited about making it and really wish it had turned out better.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Macaroni n' Cheese w/ Spinach

One thing I really don't like, but happen to have to eat right now is spinach. It has a lot of iron and other good things in it. Unfortunately I just recently discovered that I'm slightly anemic and in need of more iron. This has to do with the pregnancy and hopefully after the baby's born I'll get back to my normal self, but until then I've been adding spinach to food like crazy… Here’s one example I thought I’d share with you since it has turned out quite tasty.

1 box Kraft macaroni n cheese
Water for boiling noodles
2 Tablespoons butter
1 pkg. Kraft cheese mix (comes with box)
1/3 cup milk
Fresh spinach

Optional Ingredients
Ranch dressing

1. Bring a half a pot of water to boil on the stove.
2. Add in the uncooked noodles and set a 7 minute timer (time is important to get the noodles cooked to perfect softness & texture).
3. When the timer goes off, drain the water from the noodles and put back in pot.
4. Add in butter and stir until it is completely melted.
5. Stir in the cheese mix and milk.
6. Put the food back on the burner on medium/low heat (4-5).
7. Add in your handful(s) of fresh spinach and stir until they're somewhat covered by the noodles.
8. Cover the pot with a lid and set a 3 minute timer. Halfway through the time, stir the pasta again to keep it from sticking (if you need more milk you might add it here).
9. When the timer goes off you should have limp spinach in your pasta. Serve onto a plate or in a bowl and enjoy!

Macaroni n' Cheese w/Spinach with the add in's of black pepper,
salt and ranch dressing.

I like to add a little salt, black pepper and about a tablespoon of ranch dressing to my serving for extra flavor. This is not something I do every time I eat mac n' cheese, but it is one way I've tried to add spinach to my diet to where it's not quite so gross. Mac n' cheese is something I've craved this whole pregnancy so that's why I chose to add spinach to it.

I have a post coming out 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Prego With Style | Comfortable & Covered

Around 20 weeks (which would've been the last week of August) I started having trouble with my regular shirts and tanks fitting and/or covering my belly. As you can see from the photo below the baby bump is starting to show quite nicely and as this is now mid-October it's grown even more since the photo was taken. Before I was pregnant I would usually wear a size medium in tanks and some fitted t-shirts and I'd wear a small in the casual t-shirts (aka the non-fitted kind such as men wear). For the most part I was able to wear these throughout the first trimester of my pregnancy and even into part of the second trimester too.

Near the halfway point (which is usually around 20 weeks) I started to have a little baby belly pooching out from the baby growing. Many of my tanks and size small t-shirts were no longer fitting and/or covering my full belly. This was becoming a problem so I started checking thrift stores and WalMart for larger shirts. Finding "maternity" clothes was and is a lot harder than I ever expected. Fortunately I remembered something one of my once pregnant friends had said, "I usually shop for larger sizes in regular clothing when I can't find maternity." This has helped me a TON.

In the past few months (and weeks) I have created a small collection of clothing items (shirts and tanks mostly) which are sizes large and extra large. Since about 20 weeks I've been able to wear a size large tank and it's covers my belly really well without riding up (a problem I was having with size medium tanks). The extra large shirts are still really big on me right now so I haven't been wearing them, but I have a feeling they'll come in handy during the last few weeks of my pregnancy when my belly will probably be quite huge!

I have found a few actual maternity items at our near-by thrift store. Shirts are more difficult to find than skirts/pants since many of them are styles I don't want to wear (like the cross-over tops). For now I stick with loose fitting shirts with a comfortable fitting tank underneath and this has worked well. I have found several maternity skirts which are heavenly! I did not realize how much I was missing out by trying to make non-maternity skirts work instead of investing in a few real maternity skirts. Maternity skirts are made to be a little shorter in the front so you can wear the band under the bulk of your baby belly. I've found this to be extremely comfortable as I don't like any added pressure around my belly right now anyway. Not only that, but wearing regular skirts under your belly does cause them to hang lower in the front than it does in the back and this can look quite goofy on some skirt styles.

Now I did mention shopping for maternity pants above and as many of you know I wear skirts so you might find that confusing... I have been looking for a pair or several pairs of maternity pants so I can change them into maternity skirts. I have yet to actually make a denim maternity skirt, but I have a pair I plan to use eventually for that. I also have a pair of regular pants which I may eventually try to change into a denim maternity skirt as well... My creative juices in the sewing department have been shot down by the huge lack of energy and motivation though so I haven't started on this project yet. I will say that the Knee-Length Denim Skirt w/Ruffle I made last summer has served me pretty well for the first part of my pregnancy...up until about 20 weeks. One day I went to put it on and it had a little over an inch of a gap between each side of the buttons so it has joined the side of my closet where all my pre-pregnancy clothes are hanging out for now. I desperately miss having a denim skirt in my pregnancy clothing options because it really gives me a lot of outfit options on days I don't feel like dressing up.

So basically my whole point in writing this long post is to say that when you're pregnant and having trouble finding actual maternity clothes, don't despair! Buy slightly bigger sizes and layer up! I have found a few really nice things at thrift stores (though not much...but if it's comfy you can always wear the same things multiple days or whatever works for you). I did find a few nice maternity shirts at Old Navy in the clearance section which I LOVE. They're made especially for your growing belly and when I got to 20+ weeks they really have helped me with outfits on days when I have to go out of the house.

I don't have a lot of actual 'maternity' clothes (3 skirts, 2 shirts to be exact), but the ones I have are much more comfortable than wearing regular clothes...even the ones in larger sizes. I still plan to hopefully make myself a denim maternity skirt (at least one if nothing else before this pregnancy is over!) and if I come across any winter maternity clothes I'll probably pick up a few things there as well, but for the next few months the few things I have along with some of my pre-maternity sweaters should probably get me through most of the fall months even though I probably won't be able to get them buttoned.

Hopefully this post might help you out in shopping for maternity clothes. I know it's not exactly an easy process especially if you're not wanting to spend a lot of money on new clothes you'll only wear for a few months or if you're shopping at thrift stores where you never know what you'll find, but it should give you some hope & ideas. Because I'm home most of the time I don't really do a lot of outfit posts, but I have shared a few which you can find under the Prego With Style label. At home I wear whatever is comfortable because it's usually just me or me and hubby, going out usually requires more decent clothing than just a tank top and sweat pants and many times I don't feel well or necessarily like the outfit enough to share it here on the blog.

What are your comfortable & covered clothing ideas?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Canning Apple Pie Filling

This year, since moving, I have been able to home can several different things. Not all of those experiences haven’t been fantastic, but some have been really great! So far I've made strawberry jam, blueberry syrup (it was supposed to be jam, but it didn't about the explosion incident here), homemade salsa, and now I'm canning apple pie filling!

One batch of pie filling cooking on the stove!

Because I'm super partial to my own apple pie recipe I went with that vs. one of the recipes which came with the apple pie canning recipes I looked up. This only allowed me to make enough to fill 2 quart size jars or 4 pint size jars at one time though so that was kind of a pain…but I think it’ll be worth it. I processed each jar of apple pie filling for 30 minutes in boiling water, set them on the counter to cool & seal, and then labeled them with the date before storing them in my pantry. I’m really excited about having the pie filling on my shelves!

One really big thing you’ll want to note before canning apple pie filling is that you do want to leave a good bit of space at the top of the jars you fill so that once the hot water bath process is completed and the jars are out on the counter they will seal. If you fill them too full the liquid mixture will overflow and cause the jars to not seal. If/when this happens you have to re-clean off the edges of the jars, wash the lids and re-process in a hot water bath...all of which can be quite a pain!

First Apple Pie of 2013!

I did end up baking an Apple Pie earlier this apple season and it was to die for! I've started using all brown sugar in my recipe instead of white sugar. This gives a caramel like taste to the pies and I LOVE it! Last year I shared the Grandma Karon's Apple Pie's basically the same thing as in the photo above except now I like to use 1/2 cup of brown sugar instead of the 1/2 cup of white sugar on the ingredients list.

I gave away two jars of the pie filling. One went to my grandparents. My Papa asked me where I learned how to make such yummy pie filling and my Great Mary told me the apples tasted great on homemade biscuits too! This is definitely something I will be doing again next year as I am a huge fan of apple pie filling!

I've added this post to my Real Food Journey label since the apples came off the tree in my back yard and I used regular ingredients to make the pie filling. Home canning is a great way to preserve real foods.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Words On Sunday | Advice From A Tree


I saw this 'advice from a tree' thing somewhere recently and thought it was really awesome. I used a photo of a tree from our own backyard at sunset and added the text to it. I really love these words! A lot of them are things I do or say so I thought that was extra neat.

Can you think of any other sayings from a tree?