Charlotte’s Birth Story

Charlotte and mommy 2

Charlotte just born

So in love…..

charlotte and mom

 

I can’t believe she is here after all these months, through getting so big due to extra fluid in the womb, sleepless nights, wondering if she will come early….if she will be the biggest baby ever….?

I had her 11/26/17 and she is the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world. Tiny or average size at 7.1 lbs and 19.5 inches long. I opened my eyes to this wide-eyed, calm as could be baby that I delivered naturally after my water leaking and having to force labor for the safety of the baby with pitocin. The contractions came on fiercely and strongly with almost no break. The silver lining….this little precious girl came to us in just about an hour and 8 minutes from start to finish. I know this because I texted a friend at 4:12 pm and was not in active labor. Charlotte Irene Carey was born just about an hour later at 5:20 pm. It was so fast and so incredible, so magical and unbelievable.

A few days leading up to her birth I asked her to send mommy a sign that she was clearly coming so that we could be at the hospital and not have an emergency situation. Because of my high fluid, there was a chance that if my water broke and gushed it could send her umbilical cord slipping through and out before she was all the way down and that would be bad if not at the hospital. I was convinced she would come early. Max was 1 week early and I was convinced she would be bigger than Max, being my second baby as they say they usually are.

Since starting to meditate in February of this year and getting pregnant in early March, I knew I was ready to do this birth naturally. I chose hypnobirthing as my method and I practiced the techniques and meditated sometimes 3 or sometimes 4 times a day for 9 months. I read my daily affirmation cards, read books, watched videos and absorbed it all. I took care of myself and only gained 21 pounds during pregnancy even though all throughout my pregnancy my belly was so big I constantly got asked if I was having twins. That was annoying. I really prepared and stayed calm and focused on this baby girl as much as I could to connect with her in the womb.

The sign she gave me came on the morning of the 26th when I noticed that my water may be leaking. Of course, you think, I will call the doctor and go all the way to the hospital to get checked and they will say, “sorry sweetie looks like you just peed yourself.” Therefore wasting a Sunday and going home with still no baby. She was due in 2 days and I knew they would induce me soon if I didn’t have her after 40 weeks but from Thanksgiving and the next few days, I knew inside she was getting ready and very close to coming. So we went in and brought our bags…..

My water was, in fact, leaking just a bit but enough that when they tested it they could prove that it was. Thank you, Charlotte for the sign! They admitted me and we hung out listening to my music, my birthing meditations, putting lavender oil on my wrist and neck. Talking to the nurses and giving them my birthing plan which was a one-pager that I found online written by a L & D nurse. The resident Doctor was impressed and loved it and already I felt like I was doing things right! Now, she warned me that when they start the pitocin it makes giving birth naturally that much harder so she wished me luck and said see ya later. She didn’t make it back until after the baby was born 🙂

Around 3 or so we started the pitocin. I wasn’t allowed out of bed because of the water breaking situation so I was afraid I would not be able to do the things that I had practiced like sitting, rolling, bouncing on the ball, squatting, walking around etc. I did not want to be bedridden! I wanted to be free! But, the answer was no. They gave me a peanut ball to lay on my side and wrap my legs around to open my pelvis. So, I had that which I loved and then eventually ended up wanting to chuck it across the room once the contractions started.

They tried to monitor the contractions and the baby, who was very active, but once that pitocin kicked in around 4:15 there was no getting that monitor on me. They were coming strong but the nurses only really had me to believe and they don’t know me so who was to say how dramatic I was being. They came, one after the other, stronger and faster and I barely could even do my breathing that I practiced. I did manage to do so for the first few but then all of a sudden I felt a kick or an electric shock inside that was, in fact, my water breaking. It felt like Charlotte kicked the hardest soccer ball into my goalie net womb. It was the strangest sensation and I asked the nurse what in the world was that. She said, “that’s your water breaking honey.” Wow. Ok. From that point on, it was relentless and by 5 pm I was pulling on Tim and screaming (calmly sort of) “she is coming! she is coming, get them, I know she is coming out of me!”….. is what I actually said. He went to the hallway to get them and to everyone’s disbelief they checked me and she was in fact coming and I was 10 cm. They were amazed at how fast because just 20 min earlier I was only 4 cm.

The bed dropped, the doctors and nurses came in and I pushed for what might have been 20 of those minutes. Again, texted my friend at 4:12 all was well. By 5 pm I am pushing this little angel out into this big world. It was so fast, so fierce and she was so amazing. I know my breathing beforehand helped me. I know the months of preparation helped me. Nothing could truly prepare me for that hour but I am so elated that I believed in myself and my strength to birth her that way. I was fully present. I felt EVERYTHING and it was AWESOME!!! I remember them cheering me on, I can still hear them in my head, total strangers helping and encouraging me to push her out. I felt like I was at a football game with actual cheerleaders around me. They were cheering and praising me after about how well I did and I was truly in shock over what just happened. They were saying how beautiful she was and I really felt like I accomplished the greatest thing in my life that day. I kept my eyes closed during those last few moments because I felt it was the only way I would get through it. They said, “open your eyes, she’s here!” I’ll never forget seeing how angelic she was and how amazing it was to see her for the first time. She was calm and graceful and I swear looked at me like wink-wink, we got this.  I’ll ever forget them cheering me on and all the positivity in the room!

Tim was wonderful, the hospital staff was amazing and supportive and everything happened just as it should. I truly believe we are meant to be. This little girl and I. Tim and I. The three of us and don’t even get me started on how loving Max is with her! This house is full of love. The four of us make perfect sense.

max and charlotte

We simply love her and I can’t wait to see what life lessons we will learn from being her parents. Everything is going great and we are settling into our new routine here. The universe has our back and I know we are on the right path.

Charlotte and mommy

She is officially 1 week old and thriving. I feel amazing and couldn’t be more grateful for this little blessing that has completed our little family. xo, Adrienne

1 week Charlotte

 

 

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Blessed

Feeling quite blessed over here nowadays. I’m having a baby! 19 weeks tomorrow and I wanted to write about this experience on my blog since I have shared so much other personal life experiences on here. It is time for my pregnancy blog. The baby has gone from a tiny poppy seed  to now the size of a mango, or a zesty zucchini or a throwback to the size of Nintendo game boy (says a nifty chart I found on Pinterest). So about 6 inches long and growing rapidly, constantly doubling in size! It’s truly a miracle what happens inside a woman’s body when they are pregnant. I realize it more and more with this pregnancy than I ever did with Max. My first pregnancy was basically 9 years ago. I was 28 when pregnant with him. I am 37 now. I feel in most ways younger and healthier than I did then. I wasn’t a very good eater or exerciser back then. I have had my moments, trust me, tired, emotional & moody but overall I feel great. I’m not scared and I am certainly not worried about all of those tiny details you do with your first. I am not even nervous about birth. Those are the things that are different. I am much more aware now that I have been through it I know it will just unfold and it will happen as God intends it to. And it will be completely amazing in every way.

pregnant 1

I am so glad that I found meditation right around the time I got pregnant actually. Just a few weeks before getting pregnant is when I started and I swear it helped me relax and get pregnant. It helped me through that 1st trimester when you are constantly worrying that the pregnancy will hold on and get through. In times of Max not sleeping through the night (not being able to figure out why and wanting to help him) when I desperately needed to sleep because I was so tired in early pregnancy. Not being able to go back with him for an x-ray or an MRI for his leg (once we figured out why) because of scans like that & babies in the belly don’t mix. Of course, all of this unfolding while I was still “secretly pregnant”. The point of this is that it helped me separate from Max and let him do these things on his own. Which is huge for us. I tend to baby him, hold on tight for dear life because I only see him 50% of the time. But this baby coming and him being older is all going to aid in me trusting him & letting go just a little. Funny how the timing of things unfold when you believe, like I do, in signs that the universe sends you exactly what you need when you need it. Maybe I need an 8-year difference in my kids? I don’t know but that is what is happening because that is how my life is unfolding and I trust that it’s just right. Perfect timing for me and my family.

I mean this kid is the definition of pure happiness. I learn so much from him! Sure, he gets sad or bothered from time to time but he is human. It’s part of the human experience to feel. Full leg cast in June-summertime-and he handled it amazingly. It has been such a joy to watch him react to me being pregnant. Shock and denial at first to naming the baby and putting his head to my belly and saying he can hear him or her in there and he can’t wait to teach the baby to be “awesome and handsome” just like him. It’s really that simple.

Max cast

Recently, my anxiety was at an all time high and I finally just broke. I was taking everything so seriously. Everything was so important to me. The smallest and the biggest things. I realized that I couldn’t keep going like this if I was going to be a great mom and wife. My blood pressure was rising. Things were happening around me that were out of my control and I wanted to control them so badly. I finally gave myself permission to stop caring essentially. It was a total relief and I can’t even explain how much of a weight has lifted. Trust me, I still care a lot about all of the things but at the rate I was going it was only leading to total devastation and I knew deep down I didn’t want that. So, one day, I told myself enough. And that was that. When other people tell you to relax and tell you don’t sweat the small stuff (*my mom since I was probably 16*) it’s just not the same. You have to hit the bottom and realize yourself how much useless pain and unhappiness you are causing yourself. Give it up. Come to the other side. It’s so chill here & everything is still okay.

I have been able to really let go of a lot of expectations and ideas on what life should be during these past 4 or 5 months. Going to therapy since November, not really regularly, but just once or twice a month has helped. I have learned so many things from Dr. E and have really been able to settle a lot of turmoil within myself as a result. So much of life is uncontrollable. Not just mine. Everyone has similar issues, worse issues. It’s how you deal daily that is going to make or break you for the amazing life that you deserve. That you deserved from the second you were born. All of us. All of us are so worthy from day one. Know that.

Deserve-what a word. I spent so much time thinking I didn’t deserve this baby. That I couldn’t or shouldn’t. My life is too messed up. How will I explain to this child that their brother isn’t here half the time? Explain to Max that this child gets to stay but he doesn’t. That their brother has a different dad. I just couldn’t even go there. I didn’t deserve it. I would only put pain and hardship on yet another human. I was unraveling and it wasn’t pretty. But then I realized that was all total BS (with the help of meditation & my therapist, family and friends). What matters to kids and to adults is happiness. Nothing else, not their so-called circumstances. Can you give them food, shelter and most of all LOVE? Then check mark, if this is something you want then you should do it. The rest truly doesn’t matter. It is not good or bad. It is nothing actually. Expectations are happiness killers and I no longer think that way. It was killing me. I finally got the courage to decide with Tim that this was something we really wanted so we started trying. When I took the test and saw the word “pregnant” all of those thoughts went away. I knew it was okay and it was going to be okay forever. We are about to bring more LOVE into this world and that cannot possibly be bad for anyone. Everything has felt aligned since then. The more I believe it the more it is true.

baby c 1st ultrasound

Baby C is coming and this is going to be an awesome new chapter for all of us and we are so excited! I am present. I am here living and enjoying this. I am not worried about the past or the future and it feels really good. Now, is the baby a boy or is the baby a girl? We will find out this Sunday with some surprise cupcakes with my parents. I am team healthy baby all the way but my intuition tells me there is a classic romantic boho chic, food & wellness loving little girl in there planning her outfits already 😉

xoxo,

Adrienne

 

10 Daily Defenses to Live Balanced

Before I started committing to meditating and to myself truly I realized that I would try but I didn’t have a true defense or a plan on how to achieve balance. I didn’t have the daily ways set up to make sure I would be okay.

Here are some of the things that I have been doing daily to ensure that I can combat the blues, the worry, the things in life that might stop me in my tracks from living a full & happy life:

  1. Stop & breathe purposefully throughout the day & especially in stressful situations
  2. Reading self-help books or books that help enlighten your mind or just for fun (less TV more reading)
  3. Meditate-2 times a day for 5 to 10 minutes each which helps you connect with yourself and feel peaceful and grateful
  4. Routine Sleep-8 hours from around the same time each night (11pm to 7am for me) and always think good thoughts before falling asleep so they can marinade in your sub-conscious all night
  5. Nutrition-smoothie with flaxseeds and smart choices with some fun indulgences (don’t stress out about and control strictly what you are eating)
  6. Movement of any kind for 20 min a day
  7. Connect with friends and family-talk on the phone or visit
  8. Sunshine-get outdoors if you can at least once a day even if the sun isn’t brightly shining
  9. Surround yourself with fresh flowers, plants or visual inspiration around the house or your workspace
  10. Cooking/baking or doing something creative that you like to do even just for a few minutes a day

I don’t do all of these every single day but I do most of them. They help keep me balanced. That is all I have been striving for, BALANCE. I am still working on it and always will be but now that I have a plan and some easy daily defenses to practice I am further along than ever before.

I hope some of these ideas help you to live a balanced life too! Come up with your own plan or build off of mine. Point is, have a plan and start practicing it!

xo,

Adrienne

thouhgtsrealdestiny

20/20/20 Movement & Meditation Challenge

You-are-enough

challenge

As many of you know I have started meditating and it is 100% changing my life! I thought it would be fun to do a little challenge involving moving our bodies and connecting with our minds. I know right away you are thinking you can’t meditate because that is literally what everyone says about it that hasn’t done it. I thought the same darn thing which is why it took me so long to finally try it. I am so glad that I did! I have without fail done some sort of meditation 1, 2 or 3 times a day since Feb 23rd of this year. I know that is less than a month but the fact that I have done it every single day says something.

It says that it works. That it is powerful and I am not having to force myself to do it. I want to do it because it is helping me feel so amazing and to feel connected! When have you ever heard someone say, “oh, I can’t believe I have to go meditate tonight”…..um never. So, trust me I really think you will benefit if you try this little 20-day challenge with me with movement & meditation together. Let’s start on Monday, March 20th, next week. I think this is going to work because of the 20/20 guideline. I will do the literal 20/20 split but if you are brand new to meditating then you can split it into a 5 min meditation in the morning, 30 minutes of movement at some point and finish with 5 more minutes of meditation at bedtime. Or try a 20 min walk, 10 minutes with weights and a 10-minute meditation. You get the point, break it up however you need to. Then as you get more comfortable with meditation you can do less movement and more meditation until you reach the balanced 20/20 split. Maybe by the end of the 20 days, you will feel comfortable spending 20 minutes connecting with your core being. That is my hope for all of you!

I have been so into meditating that I am not moving as much so this will work both ways. I will try to move more while you guys try something new in the meditating. Today I think I did a total of 40 or more minutes of meditating at two different times. This works and is basically a free miracle waiting for you to tap into. All you need to be happy is already inside of you. You just have to spend a little time devoted to accessing it. Everyone can benefit from meditating! All you have to do is stop and connect with yourself each & every day. You are so worth that and so much more! I have learned so much about myself, why I act a certain way in a particular situation, what triggers me, my relationship with my body and with food has changed. My self-esteem is up, I don’t fear or worry about certain things that I used to, I think more positively in general and most importantly I am able to let go of what doesn’t serve me. I am grateful for what my life looks like & how it got here. Thoughts can pass through me instead of taking up camp and staying inside of me, making feel and act certain ways. My boat cannot be rocked like it used to. Meditation gives you the strength to handle life like the rockstar that you really are!

I know on my facebook page I have been really enthusiastic about it so I shared a bunch of links to guided meditations that you can click on from there but I will list some here also. That is also the key to this. Beginners can really get started with this concept by listening to guided meditations. You lay down or sit with your eyes closed and listen to them guide you. You can do that! I promise!

Here are some links: This is Bex-she is one of my favorites to listen to

 

There are thousands of these on YouTube….you can search for what you need to focus on or just pick one randomly. It will be amazing!

I know we are all holding onto a lot that we don’t need to. I was especially. So much that wasn’t serving me, so much weighing me down mentally. I’ve decided that I am done with that. I feel so much better. So much more aware of what actually matters. I had tried to decide that in the past but I had no power, no defense to help me actually do it. That is what meditation is doing for me. It’s like I am wearing a coat of armor and nothing can shake me. I can outLove any of it. Problems will still come and go and still be there but you will be your own hero in every story.

I hope you will try this challenge because I see how powerful this is and would love if we as people struggled less and were able to love more. It starts with ourselves.

I will post a lot on facebook about the challenge included meditations and workouts so if you don’t follow me there consider doing that. You do not have to follow me, though, you can simply take this idea and make it and do it on your own privately. I cannot imagine a day without meditation in my life going forward. That is how strong this is. The real you is waiting! I know it!

xo, Adrienne

joycropped-live-a-little-more

 

Foil Pack Chicken Meals

foil pack chicken 1

Today, I am sharing two different ways to prepare chicken in a foil pack. I also did this with fresh cod, potatoes, onions, garlic, lemon and parsley on Friday night and it was easy & delicious too! These should take about 10 min to prep and 30 min to cook. If you are doing fish though I would turn the temp up and lessen the baking time. More like 15 min at 450 degrees.

*This first one has mostly ingredients from Trader Joe’s and the second from Aldi*

I used some of their frozen pearl onions, frozen tri-colored fire roasted onion & peppers and chicken but you can use whatever brands you have of course. I also used their red lentil pasta which I just adore. I am thinking Max (my 8-year-old son) would really like this meal even if he picked around the peppers and onions he would like the pasta and chicken.

For this recipe follow these few simple steps (makes 2 servings):

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Place a handful of pearl onions, frozen peppers on the bottom of a foil sheet

Place one piece chicken breast on top of the veggies (you can, of course, use fresh)

Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, paprika and chili powder to your liking. Add a tbsp of olive oil and spread with your hand over the chicken

Wrap the foil packet up tightly and place in oven for 30 to 40 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken

Cook pasta or rice to serve with it when finished. Sprinkle some shredded cheese or fresh herbs as well

foil pack chicken 2

For this one, I used some traditional Mediterranean ingredients

Most of these ingredients came from Aldi

To make this foil pack chicken (2 servings) follow these few easy steps:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Make a dressing with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp pesto (jarred from Aldi) and the juice from 1/2 lemon

Take 1/2 cup each of cherry tomatoes sliced in half, kalamata olives (jarred from Aldi) and sliced red onion divided into two portions on the bottom of each of the foil sheets. Also, add some minced garlic to your liking

Salt & pepper the chicken then place it on top of the tomato, onion & olive mix

Pour half of the dressing over each piece of chicken  & add a slice of lemon. Then wrap them up

Bake in oven for 30 to 40 minutes depending on their thickness

While that is baking make potatoes, rice, pasta or something to serve it over.

Put it over your carb and add fresh mozzarella (got from Aldi) or feta with some fresh chopped parsley

I hope you enjoy these foil pack chicken ideas and will give them a try with your own spin or use my versions for dinner soon! I really think the possibilities are endless here. It doesn’t matter where you get your ingredients. I just wanted to share that there are some amazing options at both Aldi and Trader Joe’s that I found and keep going back to, using them in different dishes and different ways. 

xo, Adrienne

KEFIR milk & Fruit Smoothie

kefir-3

Ingredients:

2 TBSP each: Hemp seeds, ground Flax seeds, oats

1 small ripe banana

small handful fresh or frozen strawberries

small handful fresh or frozen peaches

1 cup KEFIR plain unsweetened milk (found at Trader Joe’s. I can only find flavored versions at Aldi-FYI. I don’t want to use flavored as it has almost double the sugar content)

kefir-smoothie

After playing around with my new smoothie ingredients I have decided this is one of my favorite combos that I wanted to be sure to share with you. Find protein in the hemp seeds, oats and KEFIR milk. A really yummy sweetness from the peaches, especially, and the banana & strawberries. I also love it because it is fairly simple to make & doesn’t require a ton of ingredients. Great taste for kids too!

 

All that goodness in one drink!

Helpful hints: add a splash of water while blending if it seems too thick. I used frozen fruit which you can do or add ice in its place.

kefir-smoothie-2

I hope you will give it a try!

xo, Adrienne

Market Monday @ Trader Joe’s

Happy Monday! I am so excited to share a new post with you! The sun has been shining in Pittsburgh and I have been happy and more motivated to take care of myself! I also just got over the dreaded flu. I also have seasonal depression and it isn’t pretty. The sun makes me crave good for you food. It makes me want to take walks. It also makes me want to redecorate! More about that later….

For now, let’s check out what I bought today at Trader Joe’s. I love it there. I had several things on my list that I stuck to but also just got inspired and added more to the cart as I wandered around. I saw this bag of riced broccoli for example and thought about making some kind of tot, patty or nugget out of them one night for a Max dinner. I would like to say that I cook the same way regardless of who else is home but the fact is I cook three different ways. Myself, Max & I or the three of us. Tim travels, Max is at his dad’s house 50% of the time and then well there is always me. I am the only constant. So, when it’s just me I get more experimental. When it is the three of us I play it a little more safe. As in no quinoa-learned my lesson on that one recently! And when it is just Max and I we have a little more fun like waffles and smoothies or since I know he likes broccoli I can try things like I want to here. I will keep you all posted if anything good comes out of the riced broccoli experiment.

I also got the flatbread for me as something new to try for wraps with the lettuce, feta cheese & chicken. The top picture shows the chicken and dairy that I bought which includes some different Greek yogurts and something new I am going to try in my smoothies: kefir milk with 9 grams of protein per cup and it is packed with probiotics. I would say that beats almond milk. I am also going to add hemp seed as a protein source with 10 grams per 3 tablespoons. So from time to time, I will mix things up and hopefully start to slim back down to my recognizable self. Some other goodies include hummus and mini zucchinis, mushrooms for the chicken and quinoa bake I want to make tonight for myself.

tj-3

Recipe for the Baked Mushroom Chicken & Quinoa for One:

Pre-heat oven to 350 and place 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 cup liquid into a baking dish-I am using vegetable broth since I happen to have some

Add  1 cup sliced mushrooms and a tsp of butter and give it a stir

Place one chicken breast on top of quinoa mixture and top with some sliced onions, salt and pepper.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 min

Remove from oven and keep covered for 5 to 10 more min so the quinoa can do its thing (absorb the liquid)

Update after making it>>>I added a sprinkle of parsley & goat cheese for more flavor and color. I also used a printed plate as it makes it look more appealing! This made enough for me for dinner and a leftover lunch portion. Ok, you caught me, I also had a frozen garlic knot with it too-shhh! It’s fine. It is really easy to make and in a one pan dish so easy clean up as well. I hope you will try it soon.

tj-5

I will share a new smoothie recipe soon with the new ingredients that I purchased today for it including the kefir milk, hemp seeds and almond butter. I am thinking banana, frozen peaches, kefir, hemp, flax, almond butter, ice for one. For another, I will try spinach, banana, berries, hemp seeds, kefir, ice and almond butter.

Now about that decorating urge that I had now that the sun is actually shining through my windows…I already had the plant on the far right and have decorative rocks in that one that say “breathe” and “gratitude”. I purchased this one succulent and these tulips today at Trader Joe’s and yesterday I took out an old cubby shelf and replaced it with this amazingness that a friend gave me over the weekend. I also purchased a few new items yesterday to spruce things up like the Bless our Home and Welcome sign. A good reminder that we must surround ourselves with things that we love & inspire us. I know there are Legos on the bottom but my son loves Legos and I love him so I make it work. 😉

tj-2

tj-1

That’s it from me today! I hope this post gave you some good ideas to go out and buy some fresh groceries. Take the time to cook for yourself or whoever you have at your house. If you are like me, depending on the day…a table for 1, 2 or 3, it doesn’t matter. You are enough and you are worth the effort. Enjoy! xo, Adrienne

 

 

Pesto Chicken Lasagna

Hey all, I wanted to share my recipe for pesto chicken lasagna that I made this weekend. I will try to break it down by each layer to make it pretty simple. It is chicken based so it is protein packed. I went easy on the cheeses and used some Greek yogurt to add moisture and flavor as well.

First: here is everything that I used in this picture. I had boiled and shredded the chicken the day before.

  • 4 handfuls fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms & white onion with some EVOO
  • 1 15 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 medium chicken breast boiled and shredded
  • 4 medium stem tomatoes sliced and salt & peppered
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, 2 cups ricotta cheese & a blend of mozzarella, Gruyère & parmesan cheese….or whatever you have 😉 you don’t need that much
  • Homemade pesto or a small jar (about 8 or 10 oz.)
  • Lasagna noodles-I used 9/4 bottom then 3 and 3 for the next 2 layers
  • Seasonings like parsley, red pepper flakes, oregano & basil, salt & pepper

pesto-lasagna-1

Second:  cook your mushrooms, onions and warm half of the already cooked chicken in a skillet for about 15 min on medium heat with a little bit of olive oil. Then add half of the pesto and season with parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano to your liking. Meanwhile, boil your noodles according to package directions.

pesto-lasagna-2

Third: pre-heat your oven to 350 & begin your assembly line by having your tomatoes sliced and ready, your spinach close by, noodles, the other half of the shredded chicken mixed with the rest of the pesto and the 1 cup of Greek yogurt. Your can of fire roasted tomatoes ready with the liquid (don’t drain) and your 2 cups of ricotta cheese along with the shredded cheese options near by.

pesto-lasagna-3

To assemble:

  • Coat your pan with a spray or whatever non-stick option you like
  • Spread some fire roasted tomatoes and liquid on the bottom
  • Place 4 lasagna noodles overlapping each other’s edges just a bit
  • Place warm chicken & mushroom mixture on top
  • Add a layer of ricotta cheese and shredded Gruyère cheese
  • Then add a layer of spinach leaves and sliced tomatoes
  • Top that with 3 more noodles
  • Then the chicken, pesto and Greek yogurt mixture (this can be room temp)
  • The rest of the ricotta cheese and the shredded parmesan cheese
  • Another layer of spinach and sliced tomatoes
  • Finish with 3 more noodles, the rest of the liquid and diced fire roasted tomatoes and shredded mozzarella cheese

pesto-lasagna-4

Cover with foil and bake for 30 min in 350 degree oven, then remove foil and bake for another 25 to 30 min. Let cool for 30 min before cutting.

pesto-lasagna-6

I hope you will try this and I really hope you enjoy it!

xoxo, Adrienne

 

Market fresh ideas from me to you

 

Doesn’t that salad look fresh & satisfying? This post is for those of us that are running out of ideas and inspiration to answer the question, what should I eat this week? It’s fall here in Pittsburgh and I am pretty much pumpkined out except I did buy a batch of pumpkin bagels and I am not sorry about that because I also bought a bunch of really nutritious items as well. It’s about balance and I think this picture shows balance. Yes, bagels. Yes, pie. But look at all of those colors in the produce….

grocery-haul

I am going to share a few ideas I have to use up all of these goodies in this post. First, to get this out of the way. Carbs, we need them and I do not feel guilty about those bagels and the honey butter I bought along with it. In fact, I had one as soon as I got home from shopping. It was super satisfying and delicious of course. I plan on eating one each morning because I need food in the morning, lots of it if I am going to make it through the day without turning into a mommy monster or the hangriest lady at Target. I know you know what I mean. It will give me energy to work, mother, wife, think, exercise and function for the day.

bagel

 

I really wanted to make salad this week so I stocked up and made this huge chopped salad which I will share and bring some for dinner to my parents tonight (along with that pie) and I also made 4 small containers to store and grab. I made the dressing ahead of time too but kept it separate. I may add tuna, salmon or hard boiled eggs to these as well. Because I already have them on hand. Plus protein is important!

Dressing:

  • sunflower oil, olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, water, honey, mustard, garlic, ginger, salt & pepper

Salad:

  • Dice everything as small as you can-honey crisp apple, cucumber, bell pepper, celery, carrots, red onion, walnuts, dried cranberries, arugula, romaine & napa cabbage

salad-2

I will attempt this week a recipe that I saw on The Chew for apple stuffed acorn squash so that’s happening. I also want to make a mashed root veg out of the yams, baby reds (that I already have) and the parsnips. I will add some of that honey butter to both of these dishes. I also plan on having smoothies in the afternoon with the Greek yogurt that I have and those bananas once they ripen. Wednesday for dinner, Max and I are going to make mac n cheese and I still need to decide what I am going to do with that artichoke! Sometimes it’s fun to buy things without a plan. I was inspired by it at the store so I threw it in the basket. Suggestions welcome. The cottage cheese is a favorite pre-bed snack of mine. I add cinnamon and eat it out of the container. I also prepped some celery and carrots to dip in that hummus.  I will share the mashed root veg, the acorn squash and artichoke on Facebook when I make them this week. I hope this gave you some inspiring ideas to have fun with your food & change up your variety a little!

I am excited to eat these yummy foods this week that are healthy but also extremely tasty. Balance is the key so I encourage you to cook, I encourage you to move your body and I encourage you to be positive and happy. Life is hard, complicated, unfair and crazy unless you step back and realize it actually can be very simple! xoxoAdrienne

 

Oh, hello

Oh, hey all! It has been a while since I last wrote a post but I miss it as my creative outlet so today is the day! I have lots to share and I have been trying to figure out how and what  I want to say so here goes…..

First, it has been a great summer and oh ya we did get married in May! It was small & wonderful and a “perfect” day as one can imagine, of course, there was a catch. I truly wasn’t feeling great for months leading up to it and got sick the week before coughing my head off, lacking sleep etc. But I trucked on through and we had a magical day filled with smiles and tears as I teary eyed & choked through the “repeat after me” part. Tim, Max and I are an official family now and if you have been following me from the beginning you know what the past 7 years has held for me so let us all give a collective “ahhhh”, shall we? 😉

Here are 2 of my favorite pics from the day (photo cred KATHRYN D STUDIOS)

 

So fast forward through a leisurely park going and bike riding summer with Max and finally feeling better after I got a few issues taken care of. I am now no longer personal training but rather decided it was best for me to focus on myself and my family.  I was stressing too much with my own balance and well-being. I  needed to take a break and get re-focused. I know that some of you never struggle with weight or body image issues but for the ones that do it can take over your life and I want to help change that.

If you have noticed I have been sharing articles about the dangers and the pressures that come with being so focused on eating clean and scheduling your entire life around and feeling guilty and unworthy regarding working out. I was doing and feeling a lot of these things. Every day, I wasn’t good enough. Not worthy of even being a personal trainer or giving advice. I was obsessed with thinking the world would only accept a thin size 4 version of me and the truth is I didn’t want to maintain that nor should I have to in order to feel accepted. See the problem there? The point is I had to step away from it to create my own beauty, my own balance so that I can be a good advice giver and my own version of healthy for my own sake. Not selfish by the way. (That was just a note to me)

What I have learned through letting go of these ideas are that I can weigh any number on the scale. I can wear any size in my pants. I can have some or not that much muscle definition. None of it matters if I am not being my best self. What I discovered more than ever is I am my best, most confident, happiest self when I am drinking a beer with Tim, having pizza with Max, working out because I want to not because I have to. Cooking food that isn’t “bad” or “good” for me. Eating because that is what humans do to survive, they eat. What makes people feel good is when they move their body. Heavy, light, fast, slow, run, walk….It doesn’t matter. It will not make you better than anyone else. If you go for a walk or a run and you don’t track it on your Nike app did it really ever even happen? The answer is yes, it did.

I want to keep sharing recipes and motivation because these are my hobbies and nothing more. I recently said I was on an 8-week mission to do 4 workouts a week. That is loosely structured. I am not writing down what I did. I am simply writing DONE in my planner to show myself that I am sticking to a goal. Goals are ok. Frantic obsessions aren’t healthy habits. That is not me stepping back into my old ways. Trust me, I checked myself on that one. The only way for me to feel continuously good in spirit is to move my body. So it is more of a kickstart into regaining those habits so that I can FEEL my best. It does not determine how I will look. I will move my body and I will eat food. That is how much I am simplifying this.

I am working from home now so it is sometimes hard to find the motivation and some days I find it much easier to drink 2 cups of coffee & watch Live with Kelly and her co-host of the day. Generally, though that just doesn’t work for me. The lack of movement catches up to me and eventually my body always finds a way and finds the motivation. I am mostly focused on short 15 to 20 min workouts including warm up and cool down stretches. I am doing intense boxing workouts now with walks throughout the week. It’s working! I am able to manage and balance all aspects of my life. That is where the pot of gold is. I have found the balance. I am having fun. I don’t think I am fat (even though I weigh more than I have in a long time) and I don’t obsess over what I am eating. The stars have aligned. I am strong and not worried about that #. I am stronger than what anyone else’s idea of beautiful is.

I know a lot of you struggle to find the time, the motivation and the balance so my advice to you is to just let it all go for just a little and really think about your thoughts that you are having about yourself. Are you eating kale and going for runs to punish yourself because you think all your problems will go away if you do? The truth is we can do a lot more damage than good when we do things the extreme way. I am just urging you to be a little more gentle on yourself. Strive for love and balance and I bet you will also see the light just like I did.

I hope you find this helpful! I look forward to posting more often and connecting with you all again!

 

All my best, Adrienne