Sweet, Salty and H2O

Sweet, Salty and H2O

Over the past few months I have received a few new fun products in the mail that I wanted to share with all of you!

The first new find comes from my friends over at Peanut Butter & Co. –> PS – There is still time to vote in the Pin-a-Pop Sweepstakes! More details can be found in this post!

I love using powdered peanut butter in my smoothies and my oatmeal when I really want to add concentrated peanut butter flavor. I usually buy PB2 brand, but I was pumped to know that PB & Co. is stepping into the powdered peanut butter market too with its Mighty Nut products.

Peanut Butter & Co. MightyNut Powdered Peanut Butter

From the company website: “To create each batch of Mighty Nut, we take quality USA grown peanuts, roast them, and press them to remove most of the fat.  What remains is protein, fiber and delicious peanut buttery taste.  Mighty Nut powdered peanut butter can be rehydrated and used as a spread or dip, or as an ingredient in baking, cooking or smoothies and it is available in four delightful varieties.”

PB & Co. Mighty Nut comes in four flavors – Original, Chocolate, Flax & Chia and Vanilla. I have only sampled the original and chocolate, but I am definitely intrigued by the vanilla flavor. However, I have to admit that the chocolate flavor was a little too sweet for me so I am thinking the plain peanut butter or flax and chia flavors would be more up my alley.

Since I have been a huge fan of salty chips and snacks this pregnancy, I jumped at the chance to try The Better Chip when an account manager from the company reached out to me. As my regular readers know, I have been going through family size bags of kettle cooked salt and vinegar potato chips this entire pregnancy, so I thought it would be a good idea to try something a little healthier – enter The Better Chip! These chips come in five flavors and my husband loves salty snacks as much as I do right now so I gave Tim the bags of Jalapenos and Chipotles, while I took the Fresh Corn, Spinach & Kale and Beets.

The Better Chip

I honestly think that my favorite flavor of the five was the Fresh Corn (I guess I am just simple!), followed surprisingly by the Beets flavor! Tim liked the Jalapenos flavor a lot too so I think I would have been a fan of that one as well. The Spinach & Kale flavor was just okay in my opinion, but it definitely tasted the healthiest so I wish it was my favorite! The ingredient list on all of the flavors is pretty short and simple, and although these chips can never be as healthy as the vegetables and spices they portray, they are still a pretty decent snack to grab when you’re craving something salty.

The last shipment I received was from a company called ZeroWater and they wanted to promote their promote their product the ZeroWater Portable tumbler, which I received in blue.

ZeroWater

I have always kept a Brita pitcher in my refrigerator, but I’ve never had a grab-and-go water bottle with a filter. I had really high hopes for this product and wanted to love it, but sadly I haven’t found myself taking it on the go very often. The reason for this is that the filter drains very, very slowly and since you can only fill it up about 1/3 of the way before waiting for the water to filter through, you can spend a ton of time waiting at the drinking fountain when out in public. I do however use it quite a bit at home since I have more time to wait. I will usually filled it up 1/3 of the way and then do something else, fill it up another 1/3 of the way, and on and on until my bottle is full. I do this because I love how the filtered water tastes, but I would much rather fill up a filtered pitcher at home and then fill up regular water bottles from there.

Just an FYI that I shared my concerns with ZeroWater and they let me know that the Tumbler does fill up slowly, but the pitcher is a better product for quicker filtration!

Conversation Time.

  • Tell me – What are some great new products you’ve tried lately? Any good recommendations for me?
  • If you could only pick one flavor of The Better Chip to try, which would you choose: Jalapenos, Chipotles, Fresh Corn, Spinach & Kale or Beets?
  • Are you a fan of Powdered Peanut Butter? What is your favorite way to put it to good use?
  • What is your favorite brand of water bottle?
Pregnancy Posts: Week 32

Pregnancy Posts: Week 32

Yesterday concluded Week 32 of pregnancy and I only have, give or take, about 49 days to go!

Pregnancy Week 32 Third Trimester

This past week has flown by and that is mostly due to being crazy busy. (Hello 50 hour work weeks in the third trimester!) With putting in long hours at work, getting up at 4:30am two to three times a week to work out, getting the house and nursery ready for baby, blogging when I can, working on a couple campaigns, going to school part time (I know, I am nuts!), and working on two side projects with amazing potential – I feel like my life is passing by in a blink of an eye. I am so excited to be going on vacation though for a week so that I can relax a little bit mentally and physically before baby arrives.

And although life is pretty hectic right now, I am definitely trying my best to rest when I can. When the alarm is set for 4:30 or my regular 5:30 wake up call that means 8:30pm bedtimes, and naps and sleeping in on the weekend to catch up on rest. Sometimes it is hard for me to nap because I feel like I am wasting my weekend away, but I sure have learned through pregnancy that rest and listening to your body is always a good idea.

This week baby boy has been moving and shaking like crazy. Sometimes at work while typing, I’ll look down and it literally looks like my belly is a bowl full of jelly. He creates crazy waves that run from one side to the other. Sometimes I actually get a little nauseated from the belly rolls – Does this happen to anyone else? – most of the time though it is just fun to watch him move and reassuring to know that he is still there and safe.

We have finally gotten started on nursery painting, but I am thinking we are going to still need to get new carpet. We were hoping that with a fresh coat of paint the rose-colored carpet would magically take on more of a tan appearance, but it’s looking like no such luck! As soon as we can get everything painted and the new carpet in I can get to work on my favorite parts, organizing and decorating!

Overall I have still been feeling pretty good! And I know this is not a real problem, but I am honestly getting extremely bored with my closet as it seems that only a few things fit and are actually still comfortable. I had a couple pairs of maternity work pants I would wear, but now they are just plain tight . I will basically be living in maxi dresses for the rest of the pregnancy, which is okay by me. You best believe I am ready for my pre-pregnancy wardrobe though! I miss my clothes and just being able to throw something on and head out the door without wondering if it’s shorter and tighter than the week before. I know it will take a bit until I fit back into my entire closet again, but I plan on just taking baby steps to get there – and will probably keep wearing my maternity maxi dresses until that day comes!

As far as eating goes, it has still been pretty normal compared to prior weeks, but I am noticing that I have been getting more heartburn and indigestion than before. I can’t pinpoint what is specifically irritating my stomach though because one day it will be after a salad, the next day pizza, and then the following day oatmeal. It’s so strange how there’s no pattern so it’s difficult to pick certain food items to stay away from eating.

Thankfully I felt perfectly fine though when we celebrated national ice cream day on Sunday with a $1.45 Graeter’s ice cream cone!

Graeter's Ice Cream - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

I gave my order for a single scoop of cookie dough while I waited outside with Tebow (who of course got a Frosty Paw!), but when my cone was given to me it was a double scoop. And that my friends is just another reason why I love my husband.

Since I will be gone on vacation, my next doctor’s appointment is August 3rd, which will put me just shy of a month to go! Other events on our calendar for August include our birthing class, a couple’s baby shower for friends of ours, a second baby shower of mine, maternity pictures, a spa day with my mom and my cousin’s little one’s first birthday. Needless to say, the rest of the summer will go just as fast as the first half.

Pregnancy Posts: Weeks 30-31

Pregnancy Posts: Weeks 30-31

Now that I am in the week ’30’s’ of this pregnancy, time is quickly passing by. We are pretty much booked every weekend for the rest of July and August – and then it’s officially time for baby! (Or, a little before then if he prefers… That would be A-Okay with his mom!)

Now is the start of the final countdown and we’re hustling to get everything done at our house that we had planned to complete before his arrival. A few things still on our to-do list include:

  • Painting, organizing and decorating the nursery (This one we really need to step-it-up on!)
  • Painting the hallway and foyer
  • Having the furnace and air conditioner checked and  tuned as needed
  • Calling our Internet Provider to have the router moved (Right now it’s in the baby’s nursery!)
  • Getting all of the carpet upstairs professionally cleaned (We have tile and hardwood downstairs)
  • Cleaning all the window blinds (This is something that has been on my to-do list for awhile and needs done!)
  • Cleaning and organizing the garage

Not sure when we are going to get all of this done, but we’re going to do our best! We did get the baby’s dresser last weekend, which was actually a floor model from Pottery Barn that’s in perfect shape. Our changing table topper wasn’t in stock though, but we ordered it and it should be arriving any day.

Another thing on my to-do list is to begin packing my hospital bag just in case. I have found a few lists on Pinterest (–> Follow Me!) that I really like, but they still seem maybe a little too much for me. I’m picking a few things from each post that fits me and my needs well to create a list of my own. I also read that it’s smart for the dad-to-be to have a hospital bag packed as well, so I will have to work on that too! Here are a few of the lists I am going to work off of to create my own:

Yesterday I had my 32 week check up with a Nurse Practitioner since my OB was out of town. I actually haven’t gained any weight since my last appointment at 28 weeks (still up 16 pounds), which really surprised me since he seems to be getting heavier and heavier each day. However, he must be growing as he should even if I didn’t gain any weight since I measured 31 weeks Monday, and four weeks ago at my previous appointment I measured 27 weeks.

I also had my TDAP shot Monday so my arm is still recovering. It reminds me of a of a flu shot vaccine, but just a bit longer of an injection and a little more painful the following days. It has been throbbing since Monday so I’ve been avoiding lifting my arm too high and have taken time off from any arm exercises at the gym until I’m feeling 100%.

Overall though I am still feeling pretty good being pregnant! There are days when I am definitely exhausted (I slept until 10:30 Sunday morning!), but I have also been working a lot so the extra fatigue makes sense. I think I’ve experienced a Braxton Hicks contraction or two, but I am not entirely sure. My favorite foods these past weeks have still been anything Mexican or Italian, kettle cooked salt and vinegar potato chips, and steak with baked potatoes topped with butter and sour cream.

Steak, Potato and Corn on the Cob

I’ve even had one or two ice cream cravings here and there – like this Birthday Cake Remix from Cold Stone!

Cold Stone Creamery Birthday Cake Remix

This past weekend we attended a breastfeeding class at the hospital and I learned so much! At first we went back and forth about whether it was worth going and we were a little apprehensive about spending 2 1/2 hours of our Saturday in a class, but now I am glad we went. Plus, as boring as a breastfeeding class can be, it actually kind of turned into a fun day date where we got to spend a lot of time together.  Our instructor really pushed the need for support in order for the mom to succeed at breastfeeding. I am so, so thankful to have a husband who came with me to class and is more than willing to support me in making this work however he can. Now I am no expert and absolutely don’t claim to be, but we learned a lot about the importance of ‘skin-to-skin’ contact, how to get the proper latch, how long to wait before pumping, and where to ask for help when needed. I am open to sharing more about what I learned if it interests anyone!

We also had our hospital tour while we were there, and I’m not going to lie, I felt a bit lightheaded being in that delivery room and knowing what will be happening the next time I’m there. As excited as I am for him to arrive, I still get a little sick to my stomach when anticipating labor and delivery. Thankfully I have an awesome OB and I love my hospital – the rooms are huge and super clean, the staff is friendly, and the maternity ward is incredibly quiet – at least it was on a Saturday afternoon! It actually felt pretty peaceful and relaxing so I think being in the environment where I’ll be delivering our son really helped in calming my nerves for the future a bit.

Conversation Time.

  • Moms and Moms-To-Be: What are the must haves for my hospital bag that I definitely want to include?
  • Did you take any classes on birthing/breastfeeding/etc. when you were expecting? Did you find these classes helpful when you took them?
I Need Your Help!

I Need Your Help!

Good morning and happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We had a great one at my house, but unfortunately it just went too fast – like every other weekend it seems. We didn’t do a whole lot except attend a breastfeeding class and maternity center tour at the hospital, slept until 10:30 (!) Sunday morning and did a little household cleaning, and went out for ice cream and ate our grilled dinner on the patio. After such a busy last few weekends it was nice to be home for the most part and to simply catch up on some sleep and time together.

So today I need your help! Remember this recipe post I shared for Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Popsicles?

Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Bars

Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Bars

Well, that recipe has been chosen for entry into the Peanut Butter & Co. Pin-a-Pop Sweepstakes!!

Here is where I need all of you: Like Peanut Butter & Co. on Facebook, visit this Facebook link to pin your favorite popsicle recipe and enter the sweepstakes to win a $500 gift card + a year’s supply of Peanut Butter & Co. Peanut Butter!! If you would like to vote for my recipe, choose the image  labeled ‘Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Pops by Happy Wife Healthy Life.’ The blogger whose popsicle recipe is pinned the most will win $500!

Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Bars

The contest runs today (July 13) through July 31 on PB & Co.’s Facebook Page. If you would like to participate, feel free to head over there now and start voting! I appreciate any help in getting the word out to vote!!

Baby Shower Invitations + Thank You Cards

Baby Shower Invitations + Thank You Cards

Thank you so much for all the kind words on my baby shower! My mom did such a wonderful job throwing the fun party and everything from the food to the tablescape to the theme was perfection in my eyes. It was such a beautiful day and I wish I could live it over and over again!

Another spectra of the shower that turned out pretty darn perfect as well were the paper goods. My mom asked for a few details of what I wanted for the shower, but the overall culmination of the day was all her. When I told her I wanted more of a neutral shower even though I already knew I knew I was having a boy, we started throwing around theme ideas that were a little less baby and a bit more grown up.

Neutral Baby Shower - White and Beige Linens, Chivari Chairs, Burlap Runner, Myrtle and Baby's Breath, Succulent Party Favors

We started looking for invitations with matching thank you cards that we both loved, and finally stopped the search when we found the perfect look from Minted. We chose the Floral Canopy Baby Shower Invitation and matching Thank You Cards in buttercup and they turned out gorgeous!

Neutral Baby Shower Invitations - Minted.com

These invitations are also what the cupcake and cake design was mimicked after! My mom gave the invitation to the bakery and they did an amazing job bringing the vision to life!

Neutral Baby Shower Cake - white and chocolate with buttercream icing

Neutral Baby Shower - Lemon Cupcakes with Buttercream Frositing

It was the perfect touch of neutral, rustic and floral for our theme. I am quite the sucker for matching my thank you cards to my invitations and I was happy to see that Minted had this option. One of the best wedding gifts I received was from my invitation designer, who also designed our table numbers, seating chart, programs, and more. Our wedding gift from her was the matching thank you cards to our invitations and I thought it was just the sweetest thing. She left the design in the simple ‘a’ icon she designed for the wedding and I still use those thank you cards to this day! Also, a family friend who hosted my bridal shower gave me thank you cards for the shower as my gift and it was such a great idea – so thoughtful and useful!

Neutral Baby Shower Invitations - Minted.com

Another aspect of Minted that I liked was having the ability to add recipient printed addresses right onto the envelope! My mom decided to go with this option for the invitations as it made getting the invites out quickly so much easier, and it turned out that this option was free when we ordered.

Neutral Baby Shower Invitations - Minted.com

Looking back now though I would have paid money for this option. It is wonderful too because Minted can store your addresses in its database so it’s easy to send out cards, invitations, thank you’s, and Christmas cards without having to round up all of your addresses again. Plus, it is easy to keep updates and easy to download in a spreadsheet as needed.

Neutral Baby Shower Invitations - Minted.com

My mom had her own address put on the back of the envelope as well to make mailing even easier and to match the front format. This was the only upgrade we made to the cards and it cost an additional $28, but was well worth it in our opinion.

Neutral Baby Shower Invitations - Minted.com

One thing to be aware of when ordering from Minted is that the cost of your cards can rise quickly if you get swept up in adding all the pretty and shiny extras! Here is how we saved a bit of money when ordering:

  • We skipped the premium paper at an additional $8-$25+ – trust me, the signature paper was plenty thick enough – almost like cardstock!
  • We kept the edges straight – adding a cut frame costs $18.75+ more!
  • The back of the card was left blank – again, adding designs to the back was another $18.75+!
  • We skipped the premium envelope – $5+!
  • We skipped the envelope liner – $25.25+!
  • We did add the $28 return address to the back of the envelopes, but you could skip this extra too if preferred.

If you add it up, all of the premium extras could set you back more than $120+ on top of the original cost of the cards! Plus, you go through all of these ‘extra’ decisions again with the thank you cards so obviously the cost could skyrocket. I just wanted to warn everyone to keep in mind if ordering from Minted! Choose the aspects that mean the most to you and skip the rest to save a little money.

Neutral Baby Shower Invitations - Minted.com

Also, in case anyone was wondering, my mom ordered the pretty stamps that matched the invitations from Zazzle! They were the perfect finishing touch.Neutral Baby Shower Invitations - Minted.com

Just a disclaimer that I was not compensated in any way by Minted for my review. I had a great experience with Minted and wanted to pass along my story in case anyone else wanted to order from there in the future!

Also, I can’t talk about invitations without thinking about my girlfriend Meghan! She is the designer and owner of Meg Morrow Fine Paper and Event Styling and she creates amazing invitations and wedding suites. You can order through her blog/website and feel free to check out her Etsy shop too!!