boy: a noise with dirt on it

a mommy-friend of mine invited the boys and i to toddler story time at a local library recently.  actually, she invited us weeks ago but i finally got it together enough on my end so that we could attend. it was a morning event so i got up super-duper early just to ensure we’d make it. a lil late, but we made it.  i feel like i have to start getting everybody ready like 3 hours before we have to be somewhere, seriously.  and when we are rarely making good time, Chiso suddenly has to go go to the restroom as i am loading up the car or Dego throws up on us.  never fails!  but hey, we made it AND we even got a nice breakfast in!

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i had egg whites with black pepper, mozzarella almond cheese, a little homemade guacamole, low-fat turkey sausage, and french toast with strawberries!  big breakfast to support my activity levels these days which includes hitting the weights again, nursing around the clock, and keeping up with my 3 yr old. among other things.

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Chiso has requested pancakes for like 2 weeks straight now. maybe even longer than that.  so made him some sprinkled with mini chocolate chips, sugar-free syrup, and a little fat-free Redi Whip.

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our boys warmed right on up to each other and enjoyed the crafting, songs, and puppet show.

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 Maranda is a mom of 3 boys herself so i know she feels my pain can relate to life with these little knuckleheads!

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 our first official outing together.  we did it!! we’re pros now. i actually avoided leaving the house with both boys for the longest…but the saying is true. ‘ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it.’ after that? piece of cake! for the most part. thinking, i.e. worrying, about every single thing that could go wrong is no way to live. i’ve learned to be prepared, prayerful, and cautious, not crazy.  Chiso’s independence could not have come at a better time though. for him to be able to get in and out of the car himself, clean up his toys and messes, retrieve and/or throw away Dego’s diapers, and turn on the bathroom light so i don’t have to get up lol helps out big time. sigh…no more baby Chiso!

just another one of those bittersweet mommy moments.

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well all that fun didn’t result in a nap at our house, but Chiso enjoyed himself and has asked to go back countless times now. Maranda is a pro at finding free & fun stuff to do around our city, and i recently came across Houston on the Cheap with even more ideas galore.  check it!
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i got to bed way too late so my early gym date was definitely out this morning. i hit the streets for some sprints once Sonny got home instead. i haven’t run full speed in almost a year and i’m sure i’ll pay for it tomorrow and the next day!  i did ladders:

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i started slow and only went ‘down’ the ladder from 5 to 1.  that was all i had, woof.  also, here are two foodie items being adding back into my diet that i’ve posted about before: almond cheese (gotta cut down on the dairy cause of bloating) and calorie-free Grey Poupon mild & creamy mustard. i got great feedback via Instagram about Daiya vegan cheese so i’m gonna step out and try that brand next.

Q: what have you tripped over that wasn’t even worth tripping over once you did it?

le

zucchini pepperoni pizza poppers

Bey and J are performing in Houston tonight and guess who’s going!??!?! all of Houston!!!  except us. we’re at home eating zucchini pizzas and staring at each other.

IMG_20140718_174525these healthy, light snacks are bursting with Italian, cheesy goodness and make THE perfect party appetizers by the way! you just need to serve them immediately while they are hot and bubbling. else, the cheese hardens up. but i can eat cheese at any temperature. especially burnt cheese. yummy.

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Zucchini Pepperoni Pizza Poppers

the stuff:

  • 2 raw zucchini, coined 1/2 in thick
  • 1/3 cup homemade marinara
  • 1/4 cup turkey pepperoni rounds, chopped
  • no stick cooking spray
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice (vegan, dairy-free, cheddar, monterey  jack, pepperjack, mozzarella, etc.)

do this:

  1. wrap a large flat baking plan with foil and coat with no-stick cooking spray and set your oven broiler to high
  2. heat a large griddle to med-high heat  (i made pancakes for breakfast and the griddle was already out but you can use a very large skillet too) and coat it with no-stick cooking spray
  3. place as many zucchini coins flat on the griddle as possible and cook for 1 minute (you may have to work in batches)
  4. flip the coins over and cook for an additional minute
  5. transfer the cooked coins to the baking sheet lined with foil
  6. dab some marinara sauce on the top of each coin and using the back of a small spoon, spread mixture out
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  8.  sprinkle a few shreds of cheese on top of the sauce
  9.  sprinkle some chopped turkey pepperoni on top of the cheese
  10. place entire pan in your oven as close to the broiler flames as you can get and cook for approx. 5 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbly
  11. sprinkle with Italian seasoning. done.

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s/n: if you have more zucchini to use up, see if you can stretch your ingredients even further as you might have sauce/cheese, etc. left over.

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 i upgraded my fry cutter!  this is the Deluxe Fry Cutter from Bed Bath & Beyond and i got it for 13 bucks after using the 5 bucks off coupon that comes in the snail mail flyer.  great, affordable investment.  the only thing i did have to do first is peel the potato, then slice it in half.  the device only opens so wide, so you might have to cut the ends off to make it fit.  other than that, no microwaving needed before cutting!  sign up for their ads directly on their website to get their coupons.

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what a big helper! not just in the kitchen with me but with his little brother as well which is a huge answered prayer. many have asked how the transition with the boys has been and i can honestly say smooth.  putting Dego’s dirty diapers in the diaper genie for me is exciting to him. yeah, i’m milking that for as long as he lets me.

also, these are the delish, Spicy Smoky Sweet Potato Fries from my ebook!

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WHY didn’t i think of this sooner… Quest Bars help out big time with my sweet toof.  i really i only get them when i go to my gym, so now that i’m going almost regularly the bars are making appearances again. THIS time though, i’m going to GNC and buying an entire box. can’t keep buying them for 3 bucks at a time, pretty stupid and not cost-effective.  20g protein, 17g fiber, 170-180 cals. coconut cashew is one of my fave flavors! .

didn’t get to have my early gym rendezvous this morning so i went power walking this evening.

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 i strapped down the girls with two sports bras and hit the bricks.  let me tell you how much i appreciate working my back 2 or more times a week when i was preggo! the weight of these boobs right now….. whew.

le

bam bam bam

after three big events three saturdays in a row:

brother’s wedding

Chiso’s birthday party

my baby shower

and birthday parties, graduations, etc. sprinkled in between, i’m ready to sit down and just be pregnant.  i don’t even know how to do that but i’ve got 2.5 weeks left to figure it out.  and as soon as i do, Odego will just be like ‘OOOOOH NO YA DON’T’, so it’s whatever!  just taking this thing one day at a time and enjoying solo time with my 1st born until … it’s time.  i gave today my best shot and ended up in Ikea pricing bunk beds with Chiso. and hey, i got this blog post in and even started packing my hospital bag, so i’d say it was a pretty productive day.

this past sunday was baby shower day! been looking forward to it ever since my sister-in-love Michelle offered to host one for me.  it’s no secret that we’re having another boy, and i saved so many of Chiso’s things (mainly clothes) that i didn’t even consider having another shower.  however, God knew what we forgot we needed and provided for us, as He promised.

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after church and a family workout sunday morning, i went and got jazzy to the best of my abilities to celebrate this little ball of energy in my tummy.  bring on the belly rubs!!!!!!

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the braids are back and so is the high bun! normally after 1 or 2 stores, i’m DONE with clothes shopping for the day, but i have my go-to dress places and usually find something super quick. sooo, imagine  how disappointed i was to walk into the Houston Galleria to find both Zara AND French Connection UK….closed!? (fyi Zara will reopen in October but i needed them RIGHT THEN!!!). wasted gas indeed. the next day i tried again closer to home and was ELATED to have found this coral Calvin Klein number in the first department store i visited.  that never happens. ok, not to me. i paired it with my nude Steve Madden pumps, some gold jewelry from Forever 21, and got up outta there.

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i appreciate and humbly thank each and every woman who came to celebrate with me.  the Egwuatus take what we can get during the week, but sunday is family day for us. (and sometimes you just want to have a day to do your OWN thing, especially if your work week begins on the following day…i get it!) so when i have to be away from my boys for any reason, i’m always anxious to get right back to them. which means i understand completely when people shift their schedules and take time out of their day to come support, spend time with, and even bring unrequested gifts to and for someone else…. it means absolutely EVERYTHING to me.

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   i thank my family, friends, & Sorors for simply being there. and for those belly rubs!!!!

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a special, heartfelt thank you and BRAVO to my hostesses who did an amazing job putting everything together. my sisters:  Michelle, Ogechi, and Kara!

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 aaand, i especially appreciated the gifts given to our 1st born, Chiso. how thoughtful!  just WOW. blessed beyond measure and i just want to thank God as it is all because of Him. all of it.

thanks for reading! 9 month update post coming right up.

le

P.S. YEP, i put my cooking classes on hold in prep for those 3 big weekends and since Odego will be here super soon, the classes will be back when i am! for now, let the hardcore nesting resume.

He is Risen!

Easter reminds us that there is an end to the suffering and a purpose in the pain.

Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

He triumphed over evil.

And He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

HE IS RISEN!

Risen

 Easter came and went and so did my window to type this post :o .

we spent our entire Easter weekend with FAMILY. my amazing cousins came over to hang out that saturday and you already know burgers were on the menu with toppings galore.  i had such a fun time just talking, eating, and laughing my face off with them about any and everything.  we hadn’t all gotten together since Thanksgiving of last year which is so unlike our fam.

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there it is.  the platter that made us late for church.  i envisioned cooking this up in my mind all morning while laying in bed…even had a couple of dreams about it while drifting in and out of sleep.  what i should have done was just GET UP cause when i went down to the kitchen we had absolutely no bread :/ .  so i jumped in the car (headscarf, glasses, pj’s – yeah, i took it there) just to get a loaf of bread. i know.  at least i didn’t see anybody i knew. that’s always next.

Nature’s Own whole wheat french toast, Applegate Apple & Chicken breakfast sausage links, scrambled eggs, and fresh berries. to-go :P

we went to see some of my younger cousins perform in an Easter play at my aunt’s church, then headed to dinner at her home which is always a treat. always.

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 Easter eats!  there was so much to choose from but here a few shots of some of what i had:

a big, fresh, veggie salad, fruit & dip, tortilla chips and  chunky shrimp salsa, and a plate of my mom’s chocolate chip cookies.

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and then we got down to BIDNESS. 
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go, Chiso, GO!!!!

happy belated Easter to you and yours <3

Q: what’s your family’s Easter tradition?

le

bok bok bok! healthy, homemade chicken nuggets

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after a fantastic early morning church service that concentrated on faithfulness to your spouse, i got crackin’ on meal prep right away.  i roasted some asparagus (seasoned with Weber Zesty Lemon blend) and some red bell peppers (seasoned with Weber Smoky Mesquite) in the oven on 400 degrees for 17-20 minutes or so. for our protein, i made something i will be making more often, especially for Chiso since he loves’em.

the coating for this recipe stemmed from the Fit Sticks recipe in my first ebook!  anytime Chiso eats and asks for more of something homemade i have to shout it from the roof tops!

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healthy, whole wheat, tender, baked, HOMEMADE CHICKEN NUGGETS!

i went a lil’ crazy and made them 3 ways: baked nuggets, and pan seared & grilled strips.

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the coating can easily be gluten-free if you use gluten-free bread to make your breadcrumbs.  i used toasted Sara Lee 45 Calories & Delicious multigrain wheat bread.  a few pulses in the food processor and that’s it!

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healthy homemade chicken nuggets 

the stuff:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 + 2 tbsp cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 heaping tbsp of your fave no-salt seasoning (lemon pepper, cajun, bbq, etc)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

do this:

  1. set oven to 450 degrees.
  2. cut chicken into desired shapes and coat with olive oil.
  3. spread a layer of foil across a large baking pan and coat it with no-stick cooking spray.
  4. add all dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl; blend well.
  5. in a large tupperware container with a lid, add in a few raw chicken pieces with a few spoonfuls of breading and SHAKE!  (or you could spread out some breading on a plate and dredge the chicken pieces until fully coated but this way was easier and not as messy AND Chiso had fun doing all the shaking :lol: )
  6. space the nuggets out across your baking sheet and bake for 17-20 minutes. (high heat & 4-5 min on each side if grilling, and 7-10 min on each side if pan searing or until done in the center.)
  7. let them cool, then whip out the dipping sauces! we used honey mustard, Weber all natural Buzz’n Honey bbq sauce, and dijon mustard.

i know i cut strips with some of my chicken, but i used 4 large breasts total.  you can cut at least 40 nuggets alone from 4 breasts though.  stats per nugget (using 40 ct):

35 cals,  1g carb, 2g fat, 3g protein

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then we had a biggest belly contest! happy sunday family funday!

le

friday fun – what NOT to say to a preggo woman

it’s fridaaaaaaay!

 i subbed a 10am Total Conditioning class (it’s now called Total Conditioning Extreme or TCX)  for a Lifetime Fitness instructor friend this morning and it was AWESOME teaching my fave class ever in the real day time, lol!  it’s still dark when my tuesday and thursday classes are over at 6:30am. i had so much more energy too since i’m unable to drink coffee in the early mornings anymore :lol:

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a 6 month sweaty mess.

soooo since my little man and i were in the area, we hit up Ruggles Green for lunch and ordered what we always order:

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the Atlantic Salmon Salad for me, a fire-grilled cheese pizza for him (he couldn’t wait for the pic but at least he prayed first) and some organic roasted butternut squash that i’m hoping Chiso will eat a spoonful of ONE day!! until then i’ll gladly continue to kill it myself. i’m enjoying this solo time with Chi as much as possible before baby #2 arrives in less than 4 months. 4 months. whoa.

for kicks:

stuff not to say to or ask a preggo woman!

  1. wow, you sure were hungry! translation: you just ate enough to feed a small city. of Jabba the Hutts.
  2. omg are there twins in there?! translation: you’re huge.  however far along you are.
  3. sleep all you can — NOW. well thanks for the reminder!
  4. do twins run in your family? translation: did you use fertility drugs? does it matter?
  5. how much have you gained so far? i personally don’t mind this one and will share that unknown number just before i deliver.
  6. if cavewomen gave birth without drugs so can you. it’s a personal choice.
  7. can i rub your belly? some people don’t even ask! another one that doesn’t bother me one bit. #imatroll #rubmybelly #itsalllove
  8. i was ripped from end to end. omg! i had an episiotomy too but i would never be that graphic and scare another mom-to-be, ROTFL
  9. are you still with the father? really, REALLY personal… like best friend personal. however if they’re your BFF then they should already know that answer :shock:
  10. Moooooooo. 

comment below and add to the list!

le

vday >weekend< recap

that’s right, weekend! not just one day to celebrate V-day for us this year. a big, grateful thank you to our default babysitters, i.e., my parents :lol:

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i woke up and made some cliché Valentine’s Day themed food porn before heading out to do my Friday cardio.  they are just my oatbran banana pancakes with a little bit of unsweetened cocoa powder, stevia, melted semi chocolate chip drizzle on top with strawberries on the side. scrumptious!

after a full week of weightlifting i took it easy and did 45 min of elliptical,

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and 15 minutes of stairmaster (i repeated the chart above 3 times through).  kept my heart rate between 140-150.  you can turn this into an interval workout by switching the speed from 60 – 90 every minute.

before dropping the little guy off, we had a family lunch date at Perry’s Steakhouse.

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i always hate to have to send plates back to the kitchen cause i don’t like giving our waiter /waitress a hard time ( and especially if i’m REALLY hungry) but this time i just rolled with it and split my way
overdressed house salad with Sonny. that was followed by the grilled salmon, whipped potatoes and seasonal veggies.

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later that evening we exchanged some gifts, headed out to see About Last Night, and had a super late 10:30pm dinner at 52 Seasons.

i received some hand-made chocolate covered strawberries (impressive ;) ) and i found the cutest gifts at Urban Outfitters: a Sriracha water bottle (he eats this stuff with every meal, haha) and a ’50 things i love about you’ fill-in-the-blank flip book.  

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that’s it. just one sample question :lol:

*****

we were in the car a while sunday and we heard Beyoncè and Jay-Z’s ‘On The Run’ 53 times and i am really feeling it. especially her words in the very beginning:

‘who wants that perfect love story anyway, anyway…cliché, cliché, cliché, cliche…’

 after church we ended up on campus at our alma mater before heading to pick up Mr. Chiso. even though things are different physically around campus, being there always reminds me of our perfectly imperfect, almost 15 year-long, roller coaster of a love story.  visiting our old stomping grounds is a nostalgic experience, and this was an ideal weekend to reflect back on how much we have grown together.

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 we ended up eating dinner at our old dorm.  really, Sonny had already paid (it’s buffet style and you pay before you go in) and i didn’t want to ruin the moment so i sucked it up and threw this together at the salad bar.  the nutritional stats were displayed right next to each food item to my surprise (go UH!) and at 130 cals per slice, i couldn’t pass up getting two servings of that cheese pizza. baby’s request of course!!!

hope you had an awesome and hopefully long holiday weekend yourself.

Q: what’s the most unusual or original Valentine’s gift you’ve ever received or given?

le