Tuesday, November 25, 2014

no sugar added slow cooker apple butter + a giveaway...


Oh man am I excited about today's recipe, guys. 

Not only is this something I've been wanting to make for a very long time (seriously...how have I not made apple butter yet?!) but it uses some super amazing ingredients AND is cooked in a slow cooker! Score! I love things that are easy to prep, use high quality ingredients, go into the slow cooker and I barely need to attend to. Slow cookers are where it's at, friends. They do all the work for you and allow you to create some magical foods without all the fuss.

My grandmother used to make apple butter all the time. She had the most delicious apple trees in her front yard and when they were filled to the brim with tart and sweet apples, she'd pick a bunch (trying to get to them before those pesky birds) and make a batch or two of apple butter. I remember loving that! So wish I had her recipe- it was amazing!

It's about time I have a little recipe of my own! My husband and I love this stuff so much and usually just end up buying a few jars from Oak Glen or wherever else to enjoy during the fall. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

baby update // 26 weeks...


Hey friends! Happy Friday! Well, well, well, here we are at week 26. Crazy, right? This pregnancy is pretty much just flying by. It makes me super excited, scared, and relieved all at once! Such a mess of emotions over here. 

Kind of a weird veggie/fruit- but Baby Main is the length of a cucumber now! 13" long from head to foot! Wow! He can also hear noises outside of my tummy, decipher between my voice and then "others", is swallowing, practicing "breathing", has his fingerprints all developed and has a sense of touch! One of my books said if I could see in my tummy, I might catch him sucking his thumb or playing with the umbilical cord. How cute is that?

WEEK

26

EATING
All the sugary and carb-a-licious things! No joke, it's all I want. Everyday is a struggle to choose an apple or some yogurt, or a scrambled egg over 2 dozen cookies dripping in caramel sauce. Oh and Thanksgiving is coming up....oh dear. 

DRINKING
Decaf coffee with unsweetened almond milk and this homemade pumpkin spice syrup in the mornings, chai tea or lime water all the ding dong rest of the day. Also, more almond milk or regular milk at night if I notice I haven't reached my daily calcium requirement. 

OH! And Trader Joe's Sipping Chocolate before bed....holy cow, guys....holy cow. 

READING

Same thing as usual EXCEPT, as we get closer and fun pressies start arriving, I've been spending more time than I ever imagined reading all the booklets that come with things! Like the 20 page manual for our really, really confusing car seat! Yay!

WANTING
My round ligament and pelvic pain to let up. What I thought was a pulled inner thigh muscle turns out to be round ligament pain and boy is it a PAIN. Started about 3 or so weeks into my 2nd trimester and hasn't let up yet. Some days are thankfully better than others, but sheesh it's hard. Hard to walk, turn in bed, lift my legs, etc. The doctor said it could let up in the third trimester, so I'm hoping it does! I will say though, that the really neat thing is the Lord has given me amazing peace to go through this little trial! Although I'm in pain and really not able to work out as much as I used to or would like to...I'm not pulling my hair out or crying in a corner. I'm sucking it up, giving it to Him, trusting in His will, and trying to move on.

PRAYING FOR
See above :) 

SLEEPING
Pretty much the same. Between my bladder, my hips and joints hurting, and this round ligament pain, I'm up about every 2 hours to either pee, turn to the other side, or both. 

WEARING
Tight things because they make me feel less "large". Then as soon as I come home it's jammie-time. Also, all the slip on shoes. Because gone are the days of gracefully bending over and putting/tying them on myself. Tried wearing a strapless bra the other day. NEVER AGAIN. Most uncomfortable item of clothing ever. Haha.

FEELING
Really good aside from that round ligament. Happy, healthy, excited, peaceful, settled, and just plain great-o-la. Also, I'm finally accepting that I'm pregnant ;) No more weird, out of body, denial thing going on. It was weird. I'm totally enjoying this stage. Enjoying his new movements. Can decipher between a kick (or punch), a general toss around and hiccups. Plus Bill can feel (and see) him all the time, which of course is the best thing! Foods taste good, smells smell good and I'm not as exhausted as I was my first trimester. Just don't have me do anything other than sit and chat with ya...I'll tucker out like a 3 year old in no time flat! :)

LOVING
Late night kicks and movements. It's like my own special time with Baby Main. Everyone's asleep, I'm still and quiet...and he'll just go to town. I love it! I'll usually just lay there, rub my belly, place a hand whenever he's most active, or pray for him and life. It's a pretty awesome time.

Dress // Old Navy

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ridiculously easy bruschetta spaghetti squash...


My husband and I cannot get enough of this dish.

Actually, we can't get enough of the autumnal squashes right now! Obsessed with them! Bring on the acorn, spaghetti, butternut and delicatata squashes!! Bring them all to me! Any who...this dish is so good and so easy that we honestly eat it about once a week. It's in our repertoire of "meatless" meals, so when we're trying to eat a bit healthier or need a quick(ish) dish, this one is a go-to. Actually to be honest, we've even fried a couple of eggs and topped the whole thing with them a few times, for that extra protein boost. SO good!

I personally love making this so often because 1. it literally uses 3 stinkin' ingredients, 2. if I know the upcoming week is going to be a busy one, I'll roast the squash days ahead and make this dish even easier for those late nights when we "need food quick!" and 3. it really is pretty good for you, pretty cheap to make AND makes a whole lotta food. 

Plus, it's grain, gluten and dairy (if you take out the cheese) free and can be easily made paleo for those of you needing that. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

12 thanksgiving pie recipes ideas...


Making your own pie this Thanksgiving shouldn't be a hassle or a stressor. Even if you're not the most experienced baker, you can still show up to your family get together with a delicious homemade treat. 

These recipes go from super duper simple to a little more involved, so choose according to your liking. You can also alter some; for example- want to do the pear cream pie but fanning the pears out makes your nervous? No sweat! Just throw those pear babies in the crust. Want to make the sweet potato pie but that star crust topping has got you freaking out? Leave it off! Short on time? Buy a pre made crust and just make the filling! 

No need to head out to your local bakery this year- here are 12 yummy and easy pie recipes you can make for your family!


Friday, November 14, 2014

6th anniversaries // oak glen...


How fun are anniversaries? 

I mean really. Aren't they kind of the best day ever? It's like you and your spouse's own little lovey dovey day. Your own Valentine's Day! A whole 24 hours where you can be as cheesy and silly and whatever else, as you darn well please. Bill and I LOVE when our anniversary rolls around. We make or buy Etsy cards, fill it with the sappiest words ever, make delicious breakfast for each other (this year it was Coriander Lattes and Norwegian Rømmegrot), and spoil each other rotten. It's also always in November- which means it's FALL! Plus, it's a day where it's just him and I. Oh, also...a day filled with more delightful food is always involved. 

If you're a long time reader of SLBS, you may already know that we also adore heading out of town for the day to a little town in the San Bernardino mountains- Oak Glen. We did it for our 3rd anniversary and sadly, haven't been back since! Shoot how did that happen?? We used to go every single year. Why do we love Oak Glen so much? Well, it's a 5 mile stretch of road around a little mountain FILLED with mom and pop apple orchards and little shops! Apple pies, tarts, ice cream, jam, butters, shakes, donuts...I mean, it's practically apple heaven. Every fall we used to go just to get our fill of all things apple!

Gosh I love looking at those 3rd anniversary pictures! Goodness how things have changed in three wonderful years. I also love the stark weather difference! It was SO cold the last time we were up and this particular weekend was boiling hot! Same weekend, same day...but like night and day!

There's also the belly. 

If you're ever wanting to get out of Los Angeles for the day, this is a great place to visit!