Florals and Pastels from Pink Blush

I’ve partnered up with Pink Blush to share some of my favorite styles today! Pink Blush is a fun, trendy online boutique that have popular seasonal must-haves and an adorable maternity line- which I wish I knew about when I was pregnant!

Although, to be honest it is a little refreshing not having to wear maternity clothes- I mean as much as I loved being pregnant it’s nice to have more of a variety now without that bump! But now I have a different issue, I constantly have to think of nursing friendly clothes. Especially after some experiences of leaving the house for the day without a nursing top/dress I had to pay the consequence of being in a hot car or in the ladies room for up to an hour. It wasn’t fun. But the beauty of breastfeeding is you can feed anywhere.

So, I picked out two of my favorite styles now: floral print and a baby blue pastel dress.

Also not mention, I am looooving this off the shoulder look. It’s so flattering and can be dressed up and dressed down. And how darling is this print? Florals are so lovely and are perfect for any occasion.

Scoll down to see how I styled my favorite looks this season.

 

I adore pastels this season. To be honest, I never thought I’d pick out this color but when I did and put it on, I discovered a whole new world of color! Now I have a baby blue dress to match my baby blue-eyed baby. 🙂

Stay tuned if you want to see more of my looks from Pink Blush. I can’t wait to style more of my favorite summer looks!

I.P. XO

My First Month of Motherhood

So here I am looking back on my first month of motherhood. Where did one month go? It literally felt like yesterday when we got home from the hospital and settled our little Evalyn Mae in our home.

Life now revolves around her. And we don’t mind one bit. Even through the sleepless nights, I can happily say I have been enjoying every bit of motherhood. She may not be as responsive with her facial expressions or emotions towards me (and us) but I know there is a bond, with every touch. She knows me. She feels me, and most importantly, she is fully dependent on me. How amazing! I will love her forever.

As I recollected this past month, I thought it would be helpful to share what has worked for me, and the baby. As expected there was an adjusting period for the first couple weeks finding what worked for Evy and what didn’t. I know it’s trial and error for the first couple months, and what works for one baby- may not necessarily work for another. But if your baby falls in the more same category as mine, maybe these tips will be helpful. And if you have any tips to share, please comment below, or send me an email. As always, I love hearing from you guys! 🙂

12 Things I Learned From My First Month Of Motherhood

  1. Prenatal Vitamins: I didn’t know this until some friends and my doctor recommended it. Because I breastfeed, it’s extremely important to continually nourish my body with essential vitamins/minerals. I guess I’m doing something right because during our 1 week check up with the baby, the pediatrician surprisingly asked if I was feeding my baby breastmilk with a combination of formula because she had gained 8oz in the first week (which is apparently unheard of)! Well, I have to give most of the credit to these vitamins, along with all the kale salads I’ve been eating, he he. This is the one I use.
  2. Iron and Magnesium supplements: I stopped taking my iron supplements for the first half of the month because I was out- and then started experiencing extreme fatigue (more than usual), body aches, and weakness. Iron is essential because you lose blood during delivery and up to a month after. Iron really helps with restoring your red blood cell count, so I started taking it again and the 3 am wake up calls aren’t as bad as they used to be. To help with the body aches, I also took magnesium about 3-4 times a week. (But as always consult your doctor first) this is just what worked for me. I take this Iron and Magnesium supplement.
  3. Witch hazel: Like most women, I also had hemorrhoids (Ewww, I know) for a couple weeks after. I was taking a prescribed stool softener, which really helped, but during that 2 weeks, every bowel movement was extremely uncomfortable. Instead of buying witch hazel pads, I simply use cosmetic face pads and put witch hazel on it to give instant and continual relief to the area. Sorry for being so descriptive lol- just wanna help a sister out! 😉
  4. Postpartum waist belt: Okay I don’t know where I would be without this…umm..well I guess still looking 6 months pregnant, ha! Unless you’re one of those girls who bounce back instantly- like in 2 days and look like you never had a baby- then you may want to give this belt a try. Especially since I had a c-section, my body will take longer to recover than if I had a natural birth. (If you want to read my birthing story, check it out here.) Some girls wear it religiously- like 24 hours a day, but I wear it a good 10-12 hours a day and I’ve seen drastic results. AND unlike most belts, which are expensive, mine was only $14, you can find it here.
  5. Nursing Bras: I’ve already talked about these bras during my pregnancy, but I want to mention them again because 9 months later and I’m still wearing them! They are super comfortable, hold their shape and are great quality for the price! (which are only $25 for 3) A pregnancy and PP must have. Find them here.
  6. Evenflo Pivot Travel System Stroller: There is soo many strollers out there! I spent a lot of time trying to find the best one for my liking. I was looking for style, functionality, quality, longevity, all at a good price. A lot to ask for, huh? No, not necessary. I found this awesome stroller for only $299- which is on sale now for $239 BTW. And the best thing about this one is that it goes from newborn to 5 years old. Also, it comes with a car seat! It really doesn’t get better than that.
  7. Birthing Robe: This is not necessarily called a “birthing robe” but I like to refer to mine as one because I wanted something chic and functional at the hospital after I delivered and for when I had visitors. This robe (find it here) was perfect! Not only did it look like a dress, but it was super comfortable, stylish and perfect for nursing and when we had visitors at home and the hospital. It’s so easy to throw on, the look is effortless, and I feel like a goddess wearing it at home, he he. I highly recommend it for you new mamas! Also, find out more similar styles here.
  8. Wipe warmer: Now on to the baby…after having Evy home for a week, we felt so bad to see her cry every time we changed her diaper. So we decided to get a wipe warmer, and although crying is a normal pattern for newborns while being changed or bathed- we found this still helped a lot.
  9. Goats milk soap bar and brush: I love bath time- but Evy totally hates it. She cries the entire time (poor thing). But I’m loving this goats milk bar of soap (which I got from a friend) that I use for her body/hair wash. It’s all natural and does not irritate the skin- you can find a similar one here. Also, because my baby has so much hair, I love using this goat’s hair brush on the daily which is gentle and perfect for tender scalps. This one is my favorite. 
  10. Vitamin D drops for baby: I had no idea this was necessary because I thought breastmilk had all the essentials. But apparently, breastmilk feed babies miss out on Vitamin D because it is not present in breastmilk (even if the mother takes a Vit D supplement). So my pediatrician highly recommending and I didn’t want to take any risks because I know how vital Vit D is for bone growth and development. I did my research and came across the most natural supplement I could find. Find it here.
  11. Leaky Tear Duct Remedy: Let me just say how amazing breastmilk is. It’s loaded with all the good stuff- all by Gods design. A week after Evy was born she had a leaky tear duct. Being a mom for the first time I was so worried it was a serious infection, but I was assured it was easily treated by breastmilk. (I got this information from relatives). I simply put some of my breastmilk on a cotton pad and applied it to the eye as many times as needed. The leaky duct was gone within a day! Now I wonder what else breastmilk is good for…
  12. Comforting a crying baby: I discovered this on my own while trying whatever it took to comfort my baby to sleep. Whenever Ev was in a half awake-half asleep mode and would wake up a little fussy- this was the best time for it! I would place my hand on her chest and say “shhhhhhhhhh” quietly until she would fall back asleep. This usually took 5 minutes at times, but surprisingly it would work…most of the time! And this was a lifesaver cause I didn’t have to pick her up and go through the change/feed/hold routine to pet her down again. I know the warmth of my hand, and my voice comforts her to make her feel safe and loved.

I hope all you mamas enjoy this time as much as I do. It all goes by so quickly. Instead of looking forward to the next stage where a baby will learn how to sleep, or learn to be potty trained, or are more independent- enjoy today! I am learning to cherish every moment, even in the tiredness, because I will never have the moment again. Children are truly a gift from the Lord. 🙂

P.S. I ADORE this robe. If you want to find more similar styles, check out the links below!

Pinterest.com/RobeSilkandmore
instagram.com/RobesBySilkandmore
Twitter.com/RobeSilkandmore
Facebook.com/RobesBySilkandmore


I have linked the listed items below↓

 

The Birth Story Of Evalyn Mae Petz

People say that life will never be the same once you have a child- everything will change, but in the best way possible.

Our sweet little Evalyn Mae Petz was born May 13, 2017, weighing 7 pounds 15 ounces, and 21 inches in length. This little bundle of joy came 10 days early, but we sure didn’t mind.

It was a Wednesday night. I was relaxing in bed when I realized that I hadn’t felt the baby move for over a few hours. Which was very odd because she was very active…all the time! My husband said not to worry, and after thinking I was being a little paranoid, we decided not to worry. But I knew in my gut that something wasn’t right (mama instincts kicking in)! So, the next morning, I woke up to find no movement again. I waited a little longer, and then a little more longer. And after desperately trying to find an answer on Google (which was even more misleading), and asking around, I decided to call my doctor. After explaining my situation, the nurse sounded a little concerned and suggested I have a cold cup of water with ice, and lay on my back to see if the baby will move. It took about 2 minutes (which felt like an eternity) until I finally felt a sharp kick, “THANK GOD!” I cried out. But after a while, I felt nothing again. It was terrifying. So I called the doctor’s office back, and they suggested I came in right away for some vitals testing. It was at this moment, everything changed…

With my head spinning with frustration and anxiety, I grabbed my (half packed) hospital bag and bolted out the door with my husband. All I could think of in those moments was about the safety of my baby. I remember crying and praying that the Lord would protect this sweet child in me, on the whole ride to the hospital. And He did.

When we got to the hospital, I was taken into a triage room in order for the nurses to take my vitals. They quickly set me up and started whispering and mumbling under their breaths, which was very concerning. “What is it?”, “what’s wrong?”,” is everything ok?”… is all I could repeat. Then they quickly set me up with oxygen and an IV because the baby had an deceleration in heart rate. At that moment I broke down in tears. How could this be happening? But the nurses reassured me saying that everything was going to be ok because it was only a 3-minute slow down in heart rate.

After waiting for 4 hours, the doctor finally came in. He advised us that he was concerned about the lack of fetal movement and the 3 minute drop in heart rate. He continued to say that since I was 38 weeks at that point, there was no reason to send me back home. So he advised that being induced (the next day) would be my safest option. We prayed and trusted his judgment. And it was at that point we realized we were not leaving this hospital without a baby! I could hardly wait… until I reminded myself of the birth pains I would have to experience before.

So, the following day I was induced. I twiddled my fingers and slept for half the day with no progress. Even though I had contractions 3-5 minutes apart, I felt nothing. The nurses kept asking, “did you feel that one?” And I always responded, “nope.” I almost started to think this would be a piece of cake, ha!

Once again, the doctor came in, to check the progress and with only being 0.5cm dilated, he decided to stop the induction, and start again the following day.

At 2 am the next morning I was induced. I didn’t have many expectations for this day either, but boy was I wrong…

I started feeling different. My contractions started to get closer, but I still didn’t feel much pain. I was a little confused? So my husband (who was sleeping on the pull-out hospital couch beside me) woke up and decided to go home quickly to grab a few more last minute things, and freshen up. I didn’t think anything would change any time soon, so I didn’t mind. Ummm, nope! One hour after he left I started feeling excruciating pain! It was as if someone pricked me with needles all of a sudden. Every moment was unbearable, and then…water. Lots of water. Everywhere. I quickly called for the nurse in a panic! She hurried over and confirmed that my water broke. And at that time, I gave in and wanted the epidural. The anesthesiologist was there within 10 minutes. I had no regrets getting the epi ’cause the pain was getting worse and worse with every contraction. And where was my husband?  Taking his time of course, not thinking it would happen this quickly. He wasn’t there to witness any of this, but was around for all the waiting time, funny how life works, huh? He was well on his way after I sent him a few messages with caps locks, ha! He felt really bad, but I was so happy to have him there with me again. My legs started to get numb instantly (which was a terrible feeling), and I started dilating about 1 cm every hour. This was happening!

Finally, it was time to push. The epidural was administered, I had my husband by my side, and I was excited to meet this baby!

But one hour passed, and nothing. Two hours passed, and the baby barely moved. By 2.5 hours, I started experiencing excruciating back pain! I can’t describe this pain, all I can say is that it was worse than any of my contractions, I felt every ache and with every push, it only got worse. After 4 hours of pushing I was done. I threw up a few times, cried out of back pain, and had no more physical strength in my body. It was at that moment the Doctor determined that the baby was occipito-posterior (OP) position. Meaning, the baby is head down but facing the wrong way–the stomach. This was the reason for prolonged delivery and the severe back pain I experienced. The doctor made it clear there was no way I was delivering this baby naturally. It was like trying to, “fit a square pig through a round hole,” in his own words lol. The nurses began preparing me for a c-section. I sure didn’t mind at that point. I finally understood the meaning of exhaustion.

A minute later, they quickly put me on a mobile bed and rushed me to the operating room. This is when the extreme anxiety kicked in. This room was set up like a scene from Grey’s Anatomy. Everyone was moving quickly, and quietly to prepare everything for the surgery. And all I could think of was PAIN! My lower back was still in agony. The anesthesiologist asked if I wanted a higher dose, and I screamed YES! My whole body was shaking (to what seemed like a seizure to me) from all the medication. I couldn’t help but think when all of this would be over. Never was I in such distress. Then they began. The Doctor, scalpel in hand, began cutting my stomach open. I screamed out, “I can feel that!!!!”. The anesthesiologist immediately increased the dose, and in seconds I was sleepier than sleepy. Then all the beeping noises and my husband’s supportive words became faint sounds…and I began drifting into a state of an unknown with weird dreams. I actually thought I was dead. The pain was gone, but the dreams were so vivid…but I was just in a very deep anesthesia-induced sleep!

From what I recall, suddenly (which felt like 10 seconds to me), I was awakened to monitors beeping, and a baby’s cry. I was so drowsy from the heavy sedation I could barely keep my eyes open. My body shaking. What was going on? What happened? Where is my baby? Was all I could think of. Until I started crying out, “My baby? Where is my baby?” And there she was. In my husband’s arms, as he gently passed her to me. This little human who was in me was finally in this world. I so badly wanted to be fully awake for this moment, and the moment that I missed when she was delivered, that I couldn’t hold back the tears. As my husband and the nurse tried to comfort me, they placed my little Evalyn on my chest (I needed support because my body was shaking from the meds) all I could recall was tears of joy, and the repetition of, “my baby, oh my baby.” She immediately latched on to feed, as if she already knew I was her source of nourishment and warmth. It was in that moment that I forgot all my troubles. All the agony of that traumatic experience vanished. It was worth it. She was worth it.

Moments later the doctor confirmed his initial suspicion; that she was indeed OP positioned, and because she was, the baby’s head simply did not fit into the birth canal…and very rarely can a woman actually deliver an OP-positioned baby naturally. When the baby is faced upward (posterior), the mother is forced to push the biggest circumference of the baby’s head through her canal. And because the top of the head enters the pelvis first, the head of the baby is the largest at that point and is extremely difficult to push through. Trying to do so with the help of birthing assistance devices like a vacuum, or tongs, would have lead to severe complications to the baby: internal bleeding, brain damage, and more due to the force applied to the baby’s tender head. Back to the story…As I look at my sweet Evalyn and think of all those possible factors, I can’t help but tear up knowing all of the “what-ifs ” and “could haves” that could have happened. And seeing how perfect every feature and part of her body is leaves me amazed. The Lord preserved and protected her. He answered our prayers and kept her safe. My heart rejoices in knowing that, and seeing the miracle of life right before my eyes, from my own body. This whole process, the wonder of procreation, so normal and natural, yet miraculous nonetheless unfolded little by little. From conception–to nine months of pregnancy–to labor–to May 13, 2017, to birth. And now I have this little human in my arms to hold...my heart is so full. 

P.S. Thank you for all of you who prayed for us at the time. Although it was a traumatic experience, I felt peace and comfort in a time of distress. 

I.P. XO

The Gentleman’s Accessory

Sebastian Petz, Guest writer for Oh La Crème de la Crème (I mean Femme) Blog

There are many men’s fashion trends today in western culture. The common thread with all is that they often involve a heavy adornment of jewelry. Leather-ish or bead-type jewelry on the wrist; bulky leather bracelets and necklaces, often cleated with metal studs or spikes; eye-blindingly bright blinged-out necklaces, bracelets, earrings, finger-rings, and even grills. But a true gentleman wears only one accessory—the watch. And because he only has one accessory to adorn himself with, selecting precisely the right watch to complete his look as the icing on the cake, is of utmost importance.

If you read any of the leading men’s fashion magazines such as GQ or Esquire, you’ll be well aware of their shared philosophy of a gentleman: the suit, the shoes, the watch, and the cut—the last category is a double entendre that encompasses both the hair cut (head and facial) and the suit-cut, each essential marks of a gentleman which I’ll address in a later post.

Back to the watch...today’s featured look is the Dark Sandalwood & Burgundy Conway Series by JORD Watches. JORD has pioneered a new niche within the luxury watches market–natural wood band, frame, and bezel construction. At first glance, the prospect of wood on a watch that’s not your grandfather [clock] seems odd. But upon closer inspection and especially after physically handling and putting it on, it’s fashion and elegance are undeniable! The dark coloration of the sandalwood is dressed-up neatly with three brushed black stainless lines linking it together.

The burgundy face makes the brown and red hues of the sandalwood pop nicely into focus, making the watch the ideal accessory for any navy blue, burgundy, gray, black, or brown themed outfits. In this post, I’m showcasing how well this watch complements a matte gray trouser, pink button-up with white polka dots, and brown suede belt and shoes.

Personally, I’ve always preferred the round face and dial style watches in favor of the square or rectangular. In this Conway Series, JORD has achieved the perfect balance between the size and style of the round face and the width and style of the band—the face to band ratio is immaculate! A feat that is rare among most watchmakers, and in my case, makes the watch appear custom-made (and sized) for my wrist.

The 3-dial chronograph on the face is a classic feature that in combination with the white dial adds enough character to make the watch stand out, without making it appear too busy or overly decorated.

Contemporary and modern home architecture is proof that wood and metal go together like Batman & Robin—Starsky & Hutch—Bacon & Eggs—Peanut Butter & Jelly—Cookies & Milk—Spaghetti & Meatball—you get the picture!

So, in the same way, that wood is the contemporary home decorator’s choice complimentary material for metal and steel design, this watch is fast becoming my go-to accessory for all my sleek neo-classic gentleman looks.

I look forward to bolstering my collection with more of the latest and greatest timepieces from JORD soon!

ENTER THE CONTEST (CLOSED)

Now you have the chance to get your hands on one of these unique JORD wood watches! Simply scroll down and click on the link to enter!
The contest will close June 4th at 11:59pm. Winner receives $100 E Gift Code. All other entrants receive a $25 E Gift Code. The $100 and $25 Gift Codes will expire July 31st, 2017.

  

// CONTEST //

Enter here, for a chance to win $100 towards your JORD watch.

P.S. with Fathers Day just around the corner, JORD watches would make a perfect gift! But if you’re feeling a little selfish… I won’t judge. 😉

The contest will close June 4th at 11:59pm. Winner receives $100 E Gift Code. All other entrants receive a $25 E Gift Code. The $100 and $25 Gift Codes will expire July 31st, 2017.

–Ina Petz xox0

DIY Baby Closet/Storage Space

Today I am sharing a DIY closet storage for babies/kids. I found this DIY system can be very helpful for those of you (like me) who may have limited space and/or are looking for a budget-friendly alternative to a closet/storage system. Our current situation is that we live in a tight-knit, one bedroom apartment in LA. It’s super cute, cozy, has a beautiful balcony view, but I don’t know how long we can manage here with a little baby. Gotta love LA for being so cramped for space (rolling my eyes). Annnnyways, in the meantime, I really needed to improvise with what I was going to do with all of my baby-to-be’s adorable clothes and accessories. We literally have ONE mid-sized closet, and that’s it. So after endless pinning, and searching for inspiration, ideas starting clicking in my head. One by one. I quickly got online and started searching Amazon and IKEA for things that I thought would work best. Next, I made a day trip to IKEA (so fun!) and after getting everything I didn’t need, I found items that worked perfectly with what I had in mind. Other ideas really started to flow into place after that, and I must say, I was very impressed with the final result. DIY projects can be sooo fun at times. 🙂

Have a look at what I paired up to make this DIY project work, at least for our space. Also, I have attached some links/pictures that will help you come up with ideas, or the direct links of the items I found, if you were wondering where to purchase them.

Oh, and I am so happy this project came together quickly since I’m on a short timeline here… less than two weeks away from my delivery date! tick-tock. 

2 IKEA bookshelves used to organize and hold these items. See direct link below.

2 storage inserts used to hang clothes and hold blankets. See link below.

Oh, heyyyyy Miss. Sophie. Apparently, this tether is magic for babies. We shall see…

Shoe rack? Nope. I used a pot lid organizer from IKEA as a baby shoe rack. Link below.

Finally, I used glass cylinder vases to display these adorable hair bows!

They didn’t wrap around as nicely as I thought they would, so for easy access, I pinned them with hair clips.

Ta-da!

IKEA storage systems:

Shop related items:

You have to check out Fawn Hill Co baby accessories. They are made of natural materials, and are absolutely adorable! I love the prints and feel of these styles. Also, these storage baskets are simply perfect. Click below for direct links, or check out more of their unique items here! I can’t wait to use them on my little babe.

 

 

 

One Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope it’s been a happy one so far. I know it’s a little late in the day for posting this recipe, but I’ve had a list of things to get done on my to-do list. I always set so many goals for Mondays only to realize I only get about half way through the list. Can anyone else relate? Ugh…

Well as you know, I am continuing the freezer-friendly meals series, and today I am starting this week off with another favorite for us, Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta. And not to forget to mention the bonus, “one pot” preparation that makes this meal an easy and less messy situation (yay!). Honestly, I was never a fan of spicy foods, but this Cajun kick is perfect for me, along with the hot Italian sausage. Although I have to mention, I think I’m over exaggerating on the word “spicy”, I have a pretty low tolerance, so for many people, it really wouldn’t be considered “spicy”. 😛 It may be an overwhelming mouthful, but it’s so savory, it’ll have you go back for seconds. My husband and I sure did.

Pasta is sooo easy to freeze and freezes quite nicely if you ask me. So that’s why I thought it would be perfect to add to the list. This portion will make about 10 servings, so it can easily be divided into two meals. So freeze up, and enjoy making this easy, quick (under 30 minutes), one-pot goodness.

See freezer instructions in the recipe below.

Note:

If you just came across this recipe and realized your taste buds are watering for this meal, but you seem to be out of Cajun season, don’t fret! I’ve got you covered. I once had the same dilemma, I realized I was totally out of Cajun seasoning and didn’t want to settle for anything else for dinner, so I made my own Cajun mix! Easy-breezy.

For this portion, you’ll need the following amount each seasoning to make your own…

Homemade Cajun Mix:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

 

One Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 raw hot or mild Italian sausage links, cut up
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of milk (any %)
  • 1 pound of dried penne pasta
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning* (see note)
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of parsley, minced

Instructions

  1. Begin by frying the onion, and garlic in olive oil until translucent with a large cooking pot.
  2. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper and brown in butter over medium high heat.
  3. Add sausage and continue to cook until browned.
  4. Add chicken broth, heavy cream, milk, lemon juice, dried pasta and cajun seasoning to pot.
  5. Stir together and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
  6. Reduce heat to low and let cook covered for 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  7. Remove pot from heat and stir in parmesan cheese.
  8. Stir in chopped parsley and sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese to taste.
  9. Enjoy!
  10. *Freezer-friendly: divide portions into desired freezer safe trays, and place in freezer. Once ready to use, thaw for 1 hour, sprinkle with parmesan and place in oven at 375 F for about 30-40 minutes.
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Beef Pork Sausage Shepherds Pie

Hey everyone!

I’m excited to share that I am starting a new series on the blog today! With only 2 1/2 weeks to go in my pregnancy, I thought I’d share some of my favourite frozen meal recipes!

Since we moved away from home for my husband, Sebastian’s masters program, we are away from all of our dear family and friends. Although I have a great community of friends at my church that are willing to help, I thought it would be best to be prepared for the first few weeks…at least. Since I am a first time mom, I have noooo idea what to expect (even though I’ve heard so many stories and suggestions). I think motherhood- especially for the first time around, is just something you have to go through yourself in order to really understand and explerience.

So I thought if I could make some frozen meals, it would be very helpful, especially since my husband is not to handy in the kitchen, he he. I mean, we could have eggs and peanut better toast for days… but I rather not, haha! AND not to say he isn’t helpful- he could always go out and grab something, but I know we would both appreciate a good home cooked meal. I mean, who wouldn’t?!

Whether you’re expecting your first baby, or second, or third… or not expecting at all, I am sure you’ll find these recipes handy! I know some people like to make/prepare all their frozen meals at a time, but that sounds like wayyyy to many dishes for me in one day. I like to spread it out throughout my week. I made double the portions, had some for dinner with night, and the other portion I froze. I found it easier and more enjoyable this way. Plus, there is no way my feet would be able to take all the pressure of standing up for hours on end in the kitchen! I would have probably gone into labour… lol!

I will try to post about 2-3 recipes for the next couple weeks (unless I deliver early!). All of which have been tested and true. If you want to follow along, make sure you subscribe, and stock up on a few supplies; mainly aluminum trays or tupperwear and labels for storing in the freezer. I like using aluminum trays because after being thawed, they can easily be thrown in the oven, and thrown out into the garbage. No mess, no clean up, no effort. Now that’s my kinda thing. 😉

The first recipe I wanted to share is one of our favorites… Shepherd’s pie! Mmmm mmm mm. I feel like shepherd’s pie doesn’t get enough recognition, a lot of people think this dish is boring, but it’s really not! Especially when it’s done right.

Follow along to see what makes shepherds pie so special for us.

*Remember this is for a double portion, meaning there will be enough for 2- 9 inch pie dishes. Don’t feel like making twice the amount? Simply cut the ingredients in half!

Freezing instructions: this will apply for most of my upcoming freezer meals (unless suggested otherwise)- after placing divided portion into a freezer safe tray/container, make sure to seal with cover or aluminum foil. Label with date, name and instructions. I have listed the freezer instructions on the recipe. Scroll down to access recipe. 

Beef Pork Sausage Shepherds Pie

   

 

Beef Pork Sausage Shepherds Pie

Ingredients

    Meat mixture:
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 5 garlic gloves
  • 1 cup frozen vegtable mixture (peas, corn, carrots)
  • 1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 pieces Italian sausage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic seasoning
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp parsley seasoning
  • 1 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Potatoes:
  • 8-10 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup of cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 5 cloves of roasted garlic (see instructions below)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese for topping

Instructions

    Potatoes:
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash, add listed ingredients and set aside.
  2. Roasted Garlic:
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.) While oven is preheating, prepare roasted garlic by placing 5 cloves of garlic onto a piece of aluminum foil with 1 tsp olive oil. Wrap up the foil, and place in oven for about 15-20 minutes. Add into potatoe mixture.
  4. Meat Mixture:
  5. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until clear. Add ground beef and sausage, cook until well browned.
  6. Then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add spices. Next, add tomato paste, sour cream, lemon juice and beef broth. Finally add in the frozen vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Spread the meat mixture in an even layer on the bottom of 2 pie dishes.
  8. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. Freezing instructions: divide portions into freezer safe Pie tray. Place lid/cover and label with title, instructions and date. Once ready for use, let meal thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
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Tiffany Rose Maternity Dresses Review

Hey Friends 🙂

I’ve been a little MIA on the blog lately because I haven’t been up for too much these past couple weeks…ugh! With only 3 1/2 weeks to go, I haven’t been able to keep up with my usual routine. Although, these days seem to be passing by faster than I can count!  I guess this is the only time I’m my life when I would prefer time to pass quickly, since most days it is a struggle to get out of bed. Oh, the joys of the last trimester. The stories are true. And the excitement is unbearable!

I am planning on sharing some exciting posts in the next few weeks (unless I delivery early ah!) on sharing my guide to meal planning, baby and diaper/hospital bag essentials, along with a birthing story after my delivery. Don’t forget to subscribe. 🙂 I love hearing from you and staying connected! ♥

Today I am sharing some beautiful items from Tiffany Rose– a clothing line designed and made in Britain. I love that their selection is based on stylish formal wear- from bridal, party, to every day wear that has a beautiful elegant touch… not to forget to mention that many of their items are nursing friendly too! Also, they have a “red carpet” collection that is just fabulous. Head on over to their website to check out which celebrities and well known TV hosts who styled these lovely dresses.

I loved styling the Anna Shift Dress (on sale now), Imogen Shift dress, along with the Alana maxi (which is also on sale). I can honestly say that I loved the fit, quality, and material of these dresses. No cheap see-through material! Check out how I styled them below, and make sure to head over to Tiffany Rose Maternity site, and Instagram for their Spring sale on now!

Alana Shift Dress:

Shop (click to find out where to buy this item):

Imogen Dress:

Shop:

Alana Maxi Dress:

Shop:

Happy Fri-yay!

♥ I.P.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Favourite Asos Maternity Dresses

Finally in the home stretch…33 weeks pregnant and 6 weeks to go (from my due date)! It’s just so hard to believe and I feel like a scatter brain with all the “have-to’s” and things on my mind in order to prepare for this little one. I keep saying, “yah, I’ll do that next week.” But time is slipping away and I need to get all of my preparations in order. 🙂

I have had the privilege of working with some wonderful maternity brands through out my pregnancy. One of my favourites was ASOS maternity. I’m sure you have seen many of my instagram pictures tagged with their items. They seriously have the cutest dresses! I have been living in them for most of my pregnancy. Forget pants! All I wanted to wear was something comfortable, yet stylish. Plus, I feel so feminine wearing dresses. And there is nothing more refreshing than looking feminine when most days feeling it is not an option. Ha!

I have put together a list of my favourite ASOS martetnity dresses. Some of which I have styled, and if you keep scrolling, you’ll see some of my favourite latest recommendations. I was so tempted to buy more, but at this point I have wayyyy to many dresses, and seeing that I only have 6 weeks to go, I think I’ll make it through with all the pretty dresses I have so far. 🙂

I loved talking about this ASOS dress in one of my latest post, you can find out more here!

These dresses are so lovely and stylish, AND the prices are amazing (especially since they are on sale now)! Although they currently have limited sizes, I found that it was easy to get them altered in order to not miss out on these awesome prices and styles. 🙂 OR you can check out ASOS’s latest styles that I ADORE.♥

Being pregnant is so much fun, don’t ‘cha agree?

(Click on the picture and you’ll be directly linked to the page)

xox. IP

 

Perfect Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting With Almond Milk

Happy Friday!

I love sharing my favourite dessert recipes on Fridays- it really does seem like a suitable day seeing that the weekend is upon us, and it’s time to celebrate with guilt free cheat days, savouring delectable desserts! Are you with me?

So today I finally decided to share this wonderful pipe-able cream cheese frosting with a touch of almond milk, that is perfect on/in …everything. Cupcakes, cakes, cinnamon rolls, macarons, filling, pizza (just kidding) well you get the point. And the best part is…its pipe-able and fail proof. That means, it will stay firm, and won’t melt at room temperature like most cream cheese frostings do. I was inspired to post this cause I went through sooooo many trial and errors with different cream cheese frostings that I have tried. Let’s just say there were a lot more errors than expected. I really wanted to come up with a go-to cream cheese frosting that I could wipe up in seconds. So I finally came up with a recipe that turned out wonderful every time! However if cream cheese frosting isn’t your thing, try my mascarpone cream cheese icing. It’s a slight alternative, airy, and very light. But if you want a nice thick, smooth traditional cream cheese frosting, keep reading.

After making my favourite red velvet cupcakes with this delightful cream cheese frosting for recent events, and get-togethers, I have been asked to share this recipe because it became a little popular. This past week I ended up making a cake, and instead of using buttercream, I decided to ice the cake with this smooth cream cheese frosting. It was a total hit. AND the best part was that the icing held its shape the whole time. I didn’t even have to worry. Also, I have to mention that I much prefer a cream cheese icing than buttercream. But that’s just me.

Step-By-Step ⇓

Follow along to achieve the perfect pipeable-firm cream cheese frosting, and make sure you scroll at the bottom for the full recipe, and helpful tips. 

This is a paddle attachment. Read more information on why I use and recommend it for this recipe (although a regular whisk tip will still do the job).

Step 1: beat the butter until fluffy and light. Depending on your mixer, this should take about 2-3 minutes on medium speed.

Step 2: Add the cream cheese and mix again only until combined. Then add the remaining ingredients. Your outcome should look like this picture below: firm and thick, ready for piping.

The final product will look smooth, and thick. Make super you mix thoroughly to ensure the perfect outcome. Oh, and don’t forget to taste-test. 😉


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes/Alternatives:  

  • I like to use a paddle attachment when making most of my baking and frostings. It helps cream the ingredients together more efficiently by allowing enough air to pass through the batter. It’s kinda technical, but it really is used for the best outcome in your batter/frosting. Although a whisk attachment will do the job too.
  • Over mixing will cause the texture to go soft and it will not have a desired pipe-able outcome. However if over mixing does occur, quickly pipe your dessert, then immediately place them in the fridge- the icing will be just fine after sitting for about 20 minutes or so.
  • Butter: “room temperature” or “softened” means that the butter should be soft enough to pass the “poke test”. This means, when you poke your finger into it, there should be a indent. If you didn’t get the chance to keep your butter out, then cut it into cubes, place in the microwave for 10 second intervals…keep an eye on it at all times! It won’t take long to melt.
  • Salted vs. unsalted butter: I like to used salted for my frosting because I find it gives a good balanced taste. But, you can definitely use unsalted butter too.
  • Icing sugar: I used 2 1/2 cups. In the recipe I mentioned 2-3 cups. That is because some of you may like it a little sweeter, or you may need to thicken up the texture.
  • Almond milk: I love using a tad because it really does make a difference in taste as opposed to regular milk (which will work too). Again, you can add another tsp if the texture is a little too thick for your liking.

Perfect Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting With Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 8oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup salted butter, room temp, or see note
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar (see note)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tsp almond milk (as needed see note)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (see note), cream the softened butter until light and fluffy (see picture).
  2. Add cream cheese and continue to mix just until combined.
  3. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, always making sure to scrap the sides of the bowl, making sure not to over mix.
  4. Pour the vanilla and 2 tsp of almond milk evenly over the frosting and mix slowly to combine.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl then mix on high for about 10 seconds.
  6. Test the consistency of the frosting, if it is too thick add another teaspoon of almond milk and mix only until incorporated, if it is too runny, you can add a little more icing sugar. Make sure the ingredients are fully combined yet, do not over mix. See notes for more details.
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