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Sunday, January 26

Monday Meal Planning: Whole 30 Week 5 Meal Plan

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The final week of our January Whole30 is here! It's safe to say that I have definitely learned a thing or two about the way I look at meals and the way certain foods* affect me. I am looking forward to another week of good, clean food for both me and the little guy still residing in my belly. It feels so good to be giving him the nutrition he needs -- a practice I look forward to continuing once he's eating real food himself. 

I have to admit that these last few weeks of pregnancy are finding me pretty tuckered out and with a bit less pep in my step. That being said, I've relied on frozen meals from November and December and am repeating recipes that are easy {but delicious} or that are super husband-friendly. The meal plan and recipes can be found here

Here's to another week of clean eating and continuing these new habits long after the Whole30 is through!

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*Since husband and I started our Whole30 early, we decided to allow ourselves dairy this past weekend as our super generous friends threw us a couples baby shower. I honestly thought that I tolerated dairy well, but after not having it at all for 30 days, then having it in bulk {read: delicious gluten-free pizza} it left me with a serious migraine. Let's just say that Saturday night was really rough for me. And now I am back on the no-dairy train... indefinitely.

Tuesday, January 21

Baby Talk // Birth Announcements

Since we didn't send out announcements that we were expecting a little addition to our family, we have decided to send birth announcements to our close family and friends. {This year our Christmas card somewhat pulled double duty, breaking the tiny news to those who hadn't yet heard.} I absolutely love getting announcements from my friends and leave them on our refrigerator indefinitely, so sharing our news with loved ones is important to us. From what I hear, we will have plenty of pictures to choose from since we will be snapping away his first weeks of life. I plan on having K shoot some pictures of the little man, and we may even hire someone to do a short family session. Either way, here are a few of the announcements I've liked thus far.

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Did you send out birth announcements? If so, what site did you use to design them?
Suggestions are more than welcome!


copyright Hiking in Stilettos 

Sunday, January 19

Monday Meal Planning: Whole 30 Week 4 Meal Plan

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How was week three of the Whole30? Nothing terribly exciting to report here. Just some long work days and an overcooked beef roast. {I made the mistake of cooking it in a slow cooker overnight, which left it warming all. night. long. Needless to say, it was a bit tough. Lesson learned.} Other than that, just starting to get a bit antsy that we are less than eight weeks from our due date. When did that happen?

Oh, and I ran out of gas Wednesday morning... on my way to the gas station {and then the doctor}... and my sister had to come help me... and the gas can was broken so the nozzle wouldn't work... and we didn't have a funnel... and then a kind soul took pity on us and helped us use an empty water bottle as a funnel...
Oy. #thankGodforsisters #neveragain

Here is this week's meal plan, if you choose to follow along!
I don't know about you, but we have really been enjoying soup for breakfast these last few weeks. It's warm and comforting and also filling and oh so healthy. 

Here's to another successful week!

copyright Hiking in Stilettos 

Thursday, January 16

Baby Talk // Nursery Inspiration

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I am finally at that point with this pregnancy where I am getting really excited about the reality of this little man. It's not that I've had a difficult time or anything, it just seemed like 32 weeks would never. get. here. But here we are... just 8 weeks away from the due date! So, naturally, I've started taking an active role in prepping and decorating the nursery. Here are some of my inspirations {all pinned here} and a few of the things I've collected thus far. 

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Thus far....
The color palate is grey, white and natural woods with pops of turquoise and blue. Luckily, we were handed down a white crib and glider, and my mom loving purchased us a white mid-century vintage dresser for a changing table. My sweet mother also helped me pick out fabric and is having the glider cushions recovered, and she gave me my grandmother's vintage foot stool, which we are recovering as well. I found a set of vintage grey lockers ages ago at an antique store and bought them to use as office storage. I also already had a vintage metal table, which I recently spray painted grey to match the lockers. I picked up a couple vintage locker baskets at an antique store to use for storage. {Pictures coming soon!}

I purchased this print from Joni Lay, except she was kind enough to custom make it with a different background. I chose a lovely blue and  turquoise mountain and pine tree scene that she had used for her advent prints. I framed it in a barn wood frame and hung it above the crib. It's perfect. I also hung some of K's vintage wooden arrows {you can find them at antique stores or on etsy} to add to the adventure/western/outdoorsy theme we have going. I made the adventure print myself and used a gold frame that we already had. My mom gifted me the glittery deer, and the gold antlers are Threshold from Target. I also really love this courage print by Joni Lay and hope to incorporate it in the nursery as well! For the crib bedding, we are using organic cotton sheets from Burts Bees Baby and this amazing Pendleton crib blanket

I will share some {non-Instagram} pictures soon! I should be getting the recovered cushions back this weekend and will take some photos then.


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Wednesday, January 15

Tuesday, January 14

Rainy Day Sausage & Vegetable Bake

Some days require an easy meal. It's just that simple. So this past Saturday, after a big breakfast, a morning of cleaning up the house and running errands in the cold drizzle of rain, making dinner was the last thing I wanted to do. Inspired by this recipe, I created a more paleo-friendly sausage and vegetable bake.

You will need:
about 1lb of sausage links of your preference
(I used chicken sausage. Whole Foods is a great source to find sugar-free, quality sausage)
3 small to medium rutabagas
1 large or two small zucchini
3 to 4 carrots 
1 medium onion (red or sweet, your preference)
2 to 3 cloves of roasted garlic
(Raw garlic will work just fine as well. I just love the taste of roasted garlic, and it's so easy to use.)
Optional: 1 to 2 medium sweet potatoes 
3 tsp homemade ranch seasoning
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
(I have tried this recipe, leaving out the saltines, and this recipe, leaving out the buttermilk)
sea salt & pepper to taste 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and cut all vegetables into wedges. I left my zucchini in pretty large circular chunks because they have a higher water content and will cook faster than the root vegetables. Place cut vegetables into a oven safe baking dish. Now, whisk the ranch seasoning into the olive oil and add in the roasted garlic cloves, smashing them up against the side of the bowl to mix in well. Pour 3/4 of the oil and seasoning mixture over the vegetables and stir them around to make sure they are evenly coated. Slice the sausages into three sections each and arrange in the vegetable mixture. Pour or brush remaining oil and seasoning mixture onto sausages and sprinkle the entire thing with salt and pepper. Bake for a total of 50-60 minutes, turning sausages half way through the cooking time. 

And there you have a relatively painless* but healthy dinner option for your rainy Saturday!

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*Disclaimer: K really liked this dish, but I honestly had a difficult time eating it. We used to grill these sausages regularly and top with homemade honey mustard.... but that was pre-pregnancy. And even though I've come a long way from my early food aversions and constant nausea {hello weeks 6-20}, I just couldn't stomach the sausages. The vegetables were delicious, but I had to find protein elsewhere that evening. I'm really hoping that I'll be able to stomach this meal after the little guy makes his appearance!

Sunday, January 12

Monday Meal Planning: Whole30 Week 3 Meal Plan

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How was week two? Not gonna lie. This week left me pretty exhausted and at my wits end by Friday afternoon. I think it was a combination of pregnancy, sugar cravings and feeling absolutely heartbroken for those around me. So K and I decided to get out of the house on Friday. We didn't go anywhere fabulous, just the local Longhorns. K ordered salmon and I ordered steak. We each had a baked sweet potato with cinnamon and a garden salad (no cheese or croutons!) with balsamic vinaigrette. While we didn't eat anything that wasn't paleo, I am sure the marinade on our meat and the dressing weren't strict Whole30 (probably some honey or other sweetener). But you know what? We wanted to celebrate life, spend time with each other and not cook another meal, so we did. And sometimes you just need to get out of the house, right?

I honestly spent most of the weekend in the house. Cooking and prepping meals in the kitchen, cleaning and organizing the living room, putting bedding on the crib and hanging things in little bean's room. This week will be long, but I am looking forward to having delicious, healthy meals. 

Find the menu and recipe links here.
Here's to another successful week of the January Whole30!

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Tuesday, January 7

Hen Party

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Since husband and I eat eggs regularly we decided last fall that we wanted to have our own chickens. After a bit of research, we found some locally and started building our coop. Since it's early days, the coop has come a long way, but we are still improving it. The original design cost us under $50 since we used a lot of material we already had. But with all the cold weather and wind, we have decided to spend little more time and money on making the girls a better home and are in the process of remodeling their coop. 

We plan to create a new coop and run off of the side of our existing shed. We will use treated siding that is weather proof (unlike the plywood) and attach a dog kennel that we already have to use as a run. We also already have some tin roofing and will purchase a couple more pieces to allow for a roof over the run as well. We have an old ladder and perches that we currently use, so those will go in the new coop, too. Our nesting boxes are made of plywood, but you can easily use anything for a nesting box! We plan to add a couple windows to the front of the coop, which are easy to find at thrift stores, but we happen to have a two old ones that we can use. The final touch will be a red lamp to promote egg laying during the winter months and will provide a little heat for the cold winter days. {We have actually already added the light to the current coop since it's been so bitter cold at night. We turn it off during the day when it's a bit warmer.}

Currently we have three chickens -- a Buff Orpington and two Araucanas. Interestingly, the Araucanas are Easter egg layers, meaning they lay teal or pink eggs. We lucked out and got one that lays teal and one that lays a pale pink egg. They all taste the same, but it's a fun conversation piece and they look great sitting on the counter! And after our new coop is complete, we plan to get two more ladies.

We feed them traditional food which does contain wheat and corn, but we also give them plenty of greens and vegetable and fruit scraps. They spend a lot of time scratching around in our yard, so they get plenty of protein. We are researching making our own food which would be free of grains, but it may not be very realistic given the fact that we don't have access to some of the ingredients. I'll keep you posted on what we find out.

Do you have backyard chickens? If so, any words of wisdom or funny stories?

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Sunday, January 5

Monday Meal Planning: Whole30 Week 2 Recipes

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How was the first week of your Whole30? 

Ours went pretty well, with the only stumbling block being me not eating quite enough. There were a couple times this week that I was absolutely starving in the afternoons. I've realized that for me, eating three meals plus two snacks is going to be key. Being seven months pregnant and having a short torso means that eating larger meals makes me pretty uncomfortable, so snacks it is. I've revamped our snack options for this coming week to include more foods that are calorie dense and contain good fats -- hard boiled eggs with avocado and paleo mayonnaise, veggie sticks with mayo or sunflower seed butter.

Here is the list of meals and recipes for week two of the January Whole30. You can also find the shopping list here. I included a list of pantry staples on this shopping list because I realized that there were a few things last week that we used but didn't need to buy at the store. I also want to point out that I buy all of our meat on sale and store it in the freezer, even it we don't "need" it. It really does save us money, and if you are making 90-100% of your meals at home, you won't have a freezer full of meat for long.

Also, on the topic of fruit. I limit myself to one apple and 1/2 to 1 other serving of fruit per day. This includes any fruits that you put in a breakfast hash or salad. While it is technically paleo and Whole30-approved, you don't want to go too crazy on the fruit since it is sugar (albeit natural). 

Happy Whole30 Week 2!

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