Monday, October 5, 2015

Baked Apple Bowl

Baked Apple Bowl |

Most of the time I crave a substantial breakfast to get me through the morning. But every once in awhile I want something a little lighter. This delicious Baked Apple Bowl is perfect for those days. While I enjoyed it as a healthy breakfast topped with Greek yogurt, you could easily top it with whipped cream or ice cream and have a delicious and decadent dessert. It has all the flavor of a delicious baked apple straight out of the oven but the convenience of taking only minutes to make in the microwave. With raisins for added sweetness, walnuts for some crunch, and the warmth of cinnamon, this is a perfect dish for fall--or any time of year!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Lovely Links 10.04.2015

I apologize for being a couple of days late with this Lovely Links post. Hope you're having a great weekend!

Lovely Links 10/04/2015 | Seriously Lovely

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pregnancy: Week 19

Week 19:

Baby: The size of a mango, about 6 inches long and 8.5 ounces. Baby is covered in vernix caseosa to protect him/her from getting water-logged in the amniotic fluid. Baby's legs have gotten longer, and his/her nerves are developing, allowing for purposeful movement.

Monday, September 28, 2015

October Weekly Slow Cooker Challenge

October Weekly Slow Cooker Challenge | Seriously Lovely

When I made my Slow Cooker Sauerkraut Pork and Potatoes recipe a couple of weeks ago, I was reminded of how easy and convenient slow cookers are. And yet I can go months without using mine. Since the cooler weather makes this a perfect time of year to do more slow cooking, I decided to set myself a little challenge and see if I can get in the habit of using my slow cooker more.

So for the month of October, I've challenged myself to make at least one slow cooker meal each week. Now that's only four meals for the whole month, so I think hope this challenge will be an easy one to meet. Here are some of the recipes I'm thinking about making this month (you can find these and more slow cooker recipes on my "Slow Cooking" board on Pinterest):

Friday, September 25, 2015

Lovely Links 09.25.2015

So today my husband and I celebrate 10 wonderful years of marriage--Happy Anniversary, Matt! And Happy Friday to everyone else. :)

Lovely Links 09.25.2015 | Seriously Lovely

This Slow Cooker Beef Sirloin Tips and Gravy recipe sounds delicious and perfect for this time of year! (

I really liked this article about one simple rule to follow to have a green(er) pregnancy. (

An Epic Avocado Sandwich that has my mouth watering. (

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pregnancy: Week 18

Week 18:

Pregnancy: Week 18 | Seriously Lovely Blog

I'm officially four months pregnant! The fifth month begins!

Baby: The size of a sweet potato (sounds so much better than last week's sweet onion or turnip!), about 6 inches long and 7 ounces. Myelin is forming on the baby's nerves, which are developing rapidly now, and his/her ears are in place, although they stick out a bit. Baby is yawning and moving a lot more now too.

Weight: Finally gained a pound, putting me at -1 pound overall for the pregnancy.

Maternity Clothes: Yes and no. Sometimes I just want to be comfortable, so I'm reaching for maternity items, other times I'm grateful I can still squeeze into my pre-pregnancy clothes and determined to wear them as long as I can! I ordered more clothes from Kohl's thanks to a great coupon, and I can't wait to see how they turn out. Interestingly, when I first got pregnant my mom told me she didn't start wearing maternity until her fifth month and I couldn't picture that being possible for me...but it turned out to be right on!

Boy or Girl: A few more weeks of wondering!

Cravings: Chocolate and peanut butter (I've been feeling pretty stressed out at work) and sweets in general. I ate Skittles for the first time in years, lol. Other than that I'm still on the meat and veggies train. Also, I'm not sure this counts as a craving or aversion or what, but after years of preferring to drink my water at room temperature thanks to having sensitive teeth, I suddenly cannot drink it unless it's icy cold. My husband is thrilled because I'm finally keeping our water carafe in the fridge, where he's claimed it's belonged all this time, lol.

Aversions: Definitely avoiding Mexican spices and foods still. I can eat raw tomatoes but have a terrible time with any kind of tomato sauce. And now I'm avoiding room temperature beverages too.

Exercise: I finally managed to keep better track of this so I could be more specific about it. As you can see, I didn't do much over the weekend because I was just sooooo tired. I definitely felt like I needed sleep and rest more than exercise, but by Monday I was ready for a full-on workout again!

Symptoms: Lots of fatigue, lots of heartburn. Nausea and gagginess made a major comeback here and there. Also, I keep forgetting to mention that I've been experiencing shortness of breath quite a bit. This has been coming and going since very early in my pregnancy and I have a tendency to forget about it when I'm not experiencing it.

Anything Noteworthy: The fluttery feelings are getting stronger and sometimes feel more like swirls, like the baby's doing somersaults. I think I'm starting to have some round ligament pain too, although I'm getting more of an achy sensation rather than sharp pains.

What to Look Forward to Next Week: I have a doctor's appointment and I'm looking forward to hearing baby's heartbeat again! Also, my husband and I are celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. Even though we'll be having a much more low-key anniversary than we originally planned I'm still excited about that!

Did you experience any weird changes during pregnancy like my sudden switch from room temperature to cold water? 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pregnancy: First Trimester Favorites

I had kind of a hard time coming up with this list. I felt so miserable much of the first trimester that I really didn't have any favorite snacks or remedies, I didn't need to start wearing any maternity clothes, and several of the books I read freaked me out more than anything else. But there were a few things that did help me make my way through those early weeks, so I thought I'd share them here.

Books & Pregnancy Planner

First Trimester Favorites |

As I mentioned, some of the books I brought home from the library just stressed me out with their dire predictions. The ones I actually appreciated during those first weeks were the more matter-of-fact books with helpful updates about baby's development and the changes I could expect with my own body. 

  • Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy - I feel like this is chock full of useful information and helpful charts.
  • Babycenter Pregnancy: From Preconception to Birth - This has really nice weekly updates about the baby's development as well as how your body is changing along the way.
  • The New Pregnancy Bible - The weekly updates are shorter but I like the foldout chart of how a pregnancy progresses.
  • The Natural Pregnancy Book - This is a nice resource if you prefer a more natural approach.
  • Great Expectations: Pregnancy Journal and Planner - A friend of mine recently had a baby and I remembered seeing this planner in the pregnancy section way back when I was shopping for a gift for her. It was one of the first things I bought when I found out I was pregnant and I love it. I find myself using it a lot more than I even anticipated. It has room to jot down weekly notes about nutrition, exercise, symptoms, and dreams, as well as pages for writing down questions for each doctor's appointment and the doctor's answer, a section for keeping track of gifts, and lots more. I highly recommend this if you're looking for a pregnancy planner!


A friend recommended the Glow Nuture app for tracking symptoms and getting updates about the baby's development and I really like it. It's hard to remember exactly when some symptoms start and end, so I like having a handy way to keep track on my iPad. I also check out the articles on the WebMd Pregnancy App and the What to Expect App, but I only track my symptoms on Glow Nurture.


In many ways I found blogs to be better resources than books. They're written by regular women so they tend to be more down-to-earth and realistic, plus you get a wide range of experiences depending on how many you read. I bookmarked the pregnancy pages of my favorites and each week I read their post from when they were at the same point in their pregnancy. Here are my favorites:
First Trimester Favorites |

I've been in the process of switching over a lot of my health and beauty products to cleaner versions anyway, but there were a few things that I immediately wanted to replace when I found out I was pregnant. I mostly went with Burt's Bees products since they're available at the grocery store and I trust the brand:

Belly Armor

image via Belly Armor
One of the things I researched when I first found out I was pregnant was whether wifi was safe for pregnant women. There are a lot of mixed views on this out there. I decided it was going to be pretty impossible to avoid wifi altogether, but did find a company that produces products you can wear or use to help block wifi and emf from the womb. This may be overkill, but since I spend a lot of time sitting with an ipad in my lap, I like the idea of being able to drape this Belly Blanket over my belly for some protection. (And this does block the wifi signal to my iPad--I tested it.)

So there you have it, my First Trimester Favorites! If you're just starting out on your own pregnancy journey, I hope you find something that might help you out. You can read about my first trimester in my Recap post and more about my pregnancy by clicking here or on Pregnancy at the top of the page.

What were your first trimester must-haves? Did you use any of the same products that I did? Any suggestions for things I should check out in my second trimester?