It’s baaack!

That’s right. My now somewhat annual 30 day yoga challenge has returned! This is when I challenge myself to practice yoga for at least 20 minutes a day and document it in someway. Last time I did the challenge, the documentation was to take a picture of a pose AND blog about each practice. I’m under no illusions that that’s going to happen this time around, so I altered the challenge a bit. Starting today look for semi-regular posts about my yoga practice.

To ease into this (and, yes, I did have a yoga practice today), I wanted to share my home yoga “studio.” It’s in our guest room/office/yoga studio and I kind of love it. So much, in fact, that when Garfield (that’s what we’re calling new baby right now) arrives, she and Stella will be sharing a room just so I don’t have to give up my Martha space. There’s nothing fancy about this space. It’s just tidy and has enough room for me to roll and my mat and practice in peace.

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Is it spring already?

I can’t believe it’s already the middle of March! Time really got away from me this winter and, at least according to Mother Nature today, it’s almost spring. It’s sunny and warm (almost 70!) here today, so S. and I took Baby S and the dogs to the park. Here’s how it went down…

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Baby S. was initially not super excited about the park…

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But later she was so excited she fell asleep in the ergo.

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Oh well. The bear dogs were excited enough for all of us!

Hope you’re enjoying your almost spring Saturday as well!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

A few weeks ago, I found a butternut squash in my fridge. You’re probably wondering how one buys a squash and then forgets that it exists. Well… butternut squash keep basically forever in the fridge and it was waaaaaay in the back. So, yeah. I bought it god knows when and forgot about it. Of course, when I found it, I had to use it immediately since I didn’t know how old it was. I wasn’t sure, at first, what I was going to make, but then the crazy pregnancy brain kicked in and butternut squash mac and cheese was born.

I know (after googling it last night) that there a ton of recipes for butternut squash mac and cheese out there, but I didn’t use any of those. I made up my own recipe, which I’ll replicate as much as possible here.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

1.  8 0z whole wheat shells

2. 1 cup fat free milk

3. 1 small-ish butternut squash (roasted)

4. 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

5. 1/4-1/2 cup shredded parmasean cheese

6.1/4 – 1/2 cup shredded mozzerella cheese

7. 1/4 tsp dry mustard

8. 1 spring fresh rosemary (about 3-4 inches long)

9. 1/4 tsp Italian spice mix

10. salt and pepper to taste

11. bread crumbs

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375 F

2. Peel, seed, and chop squash.

3. Toss squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

4. place squash on sheet pan and roast in oven for about 20 minutes (until its tender).

While the squash is roasting, start on the cheese sauce and pasta…

5. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

6. Heat the milk and spices until it simmers (keep an eye on it.. don’t scald the milk!)

7. Remove milk and spice mixture from heat.

8. Add all the cheeses into the milk/spice mix and stir until melted.

9. Add the roasted squash to the milk/spice/cheese mix and stir until combined (try to squish the squash a little).

10. Mix the pasta into the squash/sauce mix

11. Pour the mix into a casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs.

12. Bake at 375F until breadcrumbs are brown and cheese sauce is slightly bubbly.

I know this is my own creation and I’m probably a little biased, but this was really good. As proof that it not just pregnancy appetite  and/or bias talking, S. thought it was good too. This wasn’t the quickest dish ever, but it wasn’t that time consuming either. I estimate maybe 40 minutes start to finish, so it’s a pretty doable  weeknight meal (with a nice side salad).

Enjoy!

30-day Yoga Challenge: Day 2

Last night, I completed day 2 of the 30-day yoga challenge. I did it even though I was tired and a little cranky and I had a headache and my throat was scratchy (yay fall allergies!). And you know what? It was pretty fabulous.

Sukhasana. With a bear dog in the background.

Because I felt pretty physically down yesterday, I didn’t plan this practice out at all. I just did what felt right. And what felt right was a LOT of hip openers, tons of down-dogs,  and a few mild twists. Instead of my normal savasana, I ended with leg up the wall pose (I have no idea what the yoga name for that is). I’ve always really liked that pose, but it has just felt fabulous during pregnancy.

Even though this is only day 6 of continuous practice for me (I’ve been practicing daily since last Friday, but didn’t decide to start the challenge until Wednesday), I’m definitely feeling the benefits already. My back pain is less constant and my stress levels are definitely decreasing.

Stay tuned for tomorrow.

P.S. If you want to join in the challenge, just let me know in the comments and link up!

This is not a real post…

Happy weekend, everyone!

If you’ve been following me on twitter, you know that I’ve been in the midst of what can only be described as hell week. If you haven’t been following me on twitter… well, that’s about all you need to know. The week was hellish and now its over!

Anyway, I was planning to celebrate this glorious Saturday by doing a pumpkin spice creamer recipe post (because, apparently, I love all things pumpkin these days). BUT when I got home last night (after a four hour long road trip in the rain and 5 hours of meetings), I found this:

Let me explain. We got a new-to-us fridge yesterday (Thanks, Mom!) and my husband decided to go ahead and run a water line to said new fridge so the ice maker would work. Apparently to do that he had to empty every single cabinet in the kitchen. And then he left to go to a bachelor party without putting it away.

Now. I’m not trying to be ungrateful here because the new fridge and ice-maker and the cold filtered water is awesome. BUT. C’mon, man. Seriously?

So, instead of writing a super-awesome-amazing blog post, I’ll be embarking on Kitchen Reorganization 2012 today. Yay.

Anyway. The point of all of that explanation is this: Since I now have plans other than making and blogging my new pumpkin spice creamer recipe, check out this pumpkin spice latte recipe I made about this time last year. It’s fantastic!

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love baking in the fall. Especially cookies. Especially cookies that taste like fall. That’s why when I saw a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies on pinterest, I knew I had to try it.

 

I made these on Saturday night and I have to say they taste absolutely delicious. I followed the recipe from skinnytaste.com exactly, so just pop over there and give it a try. Oops. Just kidding. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I don’t own a silicone baking liner thingy, so I used parchment paper instead. But other than that, I completely followed it.

Now that I have made the recipe as written once, I think I’ll make it again soon and make some alterations. I’m not sure what alterations yet; maybe more pumpkin and less butter? See, the cookies came out a bit too chewy for my taste. I mean, that didn’t stop me from eating a TON of them, but I prefer my cookies as bit less… cake-y.

 

Any suggestions?

Baby Knitting!

Remember how I just started my first baby project? Yeah. I already finished it!

And, I’m so excited! It’s so cute and little.

This pattern was very easy, didn’t use up all of that particular yarn, and was, obviously, quick. In fact, this was so easy I’ll probably make a duplicate hat with the extra yarn. Check out my ravelry project page for more details.

After this, I’m really getting starting on some Christmas knitting. More on that later…