Monday, July 30, 2012


While time seemed to go ever so slowly at first, I can't believe how close we're getting to the end.  It's a bit shocking really.
And I'm sure the closer it gets the more I'll be wanting it to go faster.  With the excitement of Desmond entering the world, and things getting more and more uncomfortable.  But we'll see.  Right now I'm still feeling great.  Tired a lot, but I've just been pushing through.  I still don't like naps, unless they're absolutely necessary, and I'll admit, there's been a few days where they were!
I'll spare you the details, cause no one likes for people to see their ugly side, but the worse thing from this week was my emotions.  All I can say is I have a gracious and loving husband.  I don't like the ups and downs that have come this week, but it's helped us to practice our forgiveness and patience with each other.  More so the patience from him, and the asking of forgiveness from me.  So here's to choosing to have better days.
Other than that, I feel like this has been a really fun time in my pregnancy as I can feel Desmond more and more.  No more little jabs.  These are stomach shaking movements we're talking about now.  Even Jordan made comment to how much he can feel him moving.  It's definitely more often and for longer periods of time, and I still love it.
I go in for another doctor's appointment on Thursday and I have a lot of questions that need some answers.  We need to start making sure we're fully ready for what's coming.  Things are gonna start happening soon enough.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Life in 3D

Well this might be the coolest post yet in all of my pregnancy!  Things just keep getting better and better with each new week.  It was so exciting to find out we were expecting.  Then we got to see Aqua Baby for the first time as a little sprout just starting out.  We found out the identity and named our little boy.  I remember those first few flutters, and then seeing Jordan's face when he got to feel him for the first time.  But today we really got to see him!  3D technology is amazing!!
With each sonogram before I squinted and smiled at the blobs dancing on the screen and marveled at how that was inside me.  I tried to make out as best I could all of the things they were telling me they were seeing, but I mostly just took their word for it.  But this.  This was different.  I could see his little face and I fell in love even more.
I can only imagine what joy and overwhelming delight enters a parent's heart the first time they actually see their baby for the first time, and then to hold it.  I really can't wait for that day to come now!  So without further adieu I introduce you to Little Desmond Nisly:
He was moving around so much when we first got to the place and then we were stuck waiting.  I was beginning to worry we would have another repeat on our hands of our little mister not cooperating.  I was ushered into the awkward room and within seconds we saw his face on the big screen!  He was sleepy but awake, but was getting quite annoyed with our intrusion into his space.
The blob you see by his chin is the umbilical cord, which apparently he was using as a chew toy!  Should I be worried!?  Son...don't you know this is the source of your life!  Jordan assured me he would not chew through it, unless of course he already has teeth!  Terrifying!  Don't tell me stuff like that.  Hopefully he learns to leave well enough alone for a big longer!  You still have a few more weeks in there little boy.
Look at those pouty little lips!  AGH!  So cute.  Ok so now the question again...Who does he look like?  Let's revisit Little Jor-Jor and Little Nikki:
I know he'll be the best mix of both of us!  I can't stop staring at his cute little face.  He's perfect!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Peachy Keen

Though Fall is my favorite season, I think summer is second best.  I seriously hate the heat, but I love everything else that comes with this time of the year.  Lately I've really been missing being outside and all of the activities that once accompanied my summer months.  Bike rides with my family, camping and bonfires, running where there are trees and fresh cut grass, and probably at the top of the list---fresh summer fruits and vegetables from the farmer's market.
I've been craving all things summer.  And what better fruit to celebrate these mid summer months with than peaches!?
I splurged and picked up a couple from the grocery store the other day and knew just what I was going to do with them.  I've never been much of a pie person, but lately flaky crusts and syrupy fruit sound like the perfect combination.  On the 4th I attempted some Apple-Berry Hand Pies, but I didn't think they were quite recipe worthy.  I was still on the search.  And then Pinterest saved my life, again.

That's where this beauty comes in:
Yeah!  See what I mean about that flaky crust and syrupy fruit!?  Perfection!  I adapted it from this recipe, giving it my own personal touch.  There's was a bit more "prim and proper" so along with veganizing this recipe, I also made it more rustic.  Being more rustic gave me liberty to not only adjust the flavors, but make it more natural.  Basically it gave the excuse to not have to be so perfect with it.
Rustic Peach Galette 


1 1/4 cup spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp. raw sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 oz. (1/2 cup, 1 stick, 8 TBS.) vegan butter, cut into small cubes
4-6 TBS. ice water

2 large yellow peaches, pitted & sliced into 1/4-1/2 in. slices (which is what they advised, but I only had the white variety)
3 TBS. raw sugar
1 TBS. flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
dash of cardamom
dash of nutmeg

Egg Wash for coating crust:
1 TBS. cornstarch
1/2 TBS. water

A Sprinkling of Coarse Sugar

1.  In a food processor pulse the flour, sugar and salt just a few times to combine it.  Next, add the cubes of butter and pulse 8 times.  You still want to see little specks of butter, but nothing larger than pea size.  Now pour in water 1-2 TBS. at a time pulsing between each one, until the dough just begins to clump.  Remove from work bowl and place on a sheet of wax paper forming into a disk.  The key here is to not handle the dough too much or over work it.  Now wrap it up and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

2.  Preheat oven to 425 and cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or baking mat, then set aside.  Place peach slices in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar, flour, vanilla & almond extract, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg.  Gently toss around with a fork to ensure everything gets well coated.

3.  In a small bowl mix together cornstarch and water for egg wash and set aside.

4.  On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to about a 12 inch diameter.  Then gently pick it up and place on a prepared cookie sheet.

5.  Now arrange peach slices in an overlapping single layer in the center of the dough leaving a consistent amount of dough.

6.  Fold the outer edges of dough over the filling.  Use a pastry brush to coat the exposed dough with egg wash, and then sprinkle with coarse sugar.

7.  Place in the oven and cook for about 15-25 minutes, until nicely browned.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheet over a rack for about 15 minutes.

This is also a recipe that will make your house smell absolutely delicious.  Inhaling never smelled so good!  As you can see I opted for a spelt crust, which made it a bit earthier.  It also helped to uphold and balance out those spices I added in as well.  And I didn't find that using the white peaches made this recipe any less satisfying.  It was a scrumptious balance of sweet and spicy all at the same time.  And I love how the peaches were enveloped in caramelly goodness.
I let it cool just enough to not scald my tongue on any bubbling goo.  You could pair it with vanilla ice-cream if you wanted, but I thought it stood well alone.  But maybe that's because I wasn't waiting around for any ice-cream...
I could definitely use a few friends around with this whole baking kick I've been on, as my husband is not really a fan of desserts.  When I showed him the pictures of what I was going to make and asked him if he'd eat any, he replied with. "Yeah if it had cheese and sauce on it instead."  Pizza never escapes his mind.  Oh the fridge it will go.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Easy as Apple...Sauce!

Between Pinterest and all of the cookbooks and lose papers flooding my kitchen I have more recipes than I will probably ever get a chance to make.  I love to try new things.  Some are quite successful and should be made over and over again, while others leave me in a disastrous kitchen with a disappointing mess.  Unfortunately I'm not always good at remembering what becomes our family favorites.  I'm trying to get better at it.  And I'm hoping this will be a place to help me do that.  Maybe you'll even find something you enjoy to add to your recipe box.

So here we go.  Let's start with something basic, simple, and easy that has no excuse to ever be store bought again.
I'm a firm believer that everything tastes better homemade.  And while people's lives are really busy and convenience always seems to rule out, I'm trying to embrace the time I have at home and provide the best way I know how and that is through my kitchen.  Maybe things won't always be this way, but I hope to always find a balance in the chaos and business of life to continue to make wholesome, love filled, meals for my family.
Applesauce is one of the easiest things to make.  It just requires a few minutes of your time, but once completed the possibilities of what to do with it are endless.  Let's get to the recipe and then we'll talk about it's many uses.

4 apples, peeled, cored and cubed
3/4 cup of water 
1 tsp. cinnamon

In a saucepan, combine water, prepared apples, and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.  Allow to cool just a bit and then blend all of the contents of your pot in a blender. 

For thicker applesauce you can vary the amount of water.  If you want your applesauce to have some chunks, simply use a potato masher to reach desired consistency.

And that's it!  See--so easy!  (Makes about 3 1/2 cups)

Now some people add lots of sugar, which I find to be completely unnecessary!  I like to taste what I'm eating and find that the apples are sweet enough without added sugar.  I wanted this batch to be nice and smooth because I have some plans of baking with it.  It can also be used to replace oil, which I did just the other day in a chocolate cake I made.  It's an amazing ingredient to have on hand and it freezes well too.  So double or triple your recipe to ensure you'll always have some on reserve for when you need it.  Your house will also smell amazing!  An added bonus.  
I also like to eat it for a healthy snack, crumbling up a few graham crackers and throwing in some crushed walnuts.  A friendly way to satisfy that sweet tooth with sabotaging your day. 
I think this is also a good way to get me going on that homemade baby food which I plan on doing, obviously a bit further down the road.  I hope to make Desmond a little foodie too.  He better not be picky if he wants to make it in this house! 
So do yourself a favor a spend a few extra minutes whipping up this applesauce.  You won't be sorry you did.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wise Up Baby

Up until this point it seems like things have been pretty slow going, but according to my sources, we're heading into a growth spurt.  It's taken a while for Desmond to get to the size he is, and he's always measured small, but from here on out he'll be fattening up.  Let's just hope it's more him than me! =)  
I've been trying my hardest to maintain my weight but it's been difficult.  We're still moving almost everyday, I've missed a few days here and there, but for the most part I've been consistent.  I just wanted to be this super fit Mom since I worked so hard to lose all of my weight before having him, but I've had to readjust my expectations a bit.  And I'm pretty ok with that...well most days.  But I'm pretty set on us being a healthy active family.  No exceptions there!   
I'm still trying to educate myself as well and get mentally prepared for taking care of a new person.  Some friends of ours sent along their copy of Baby Wise in the big box we got from home and I've already started diving into it.  It's been both beneficial and enlightening thus far and I'm excited to keep reading on.  I'll let you know more about my thoughts the deeper I get into it.  But it's definitely time to wise up!  
But as we're heading to the end more fears of actually giving birth are starting to creep in.  Why should I be worried though???  I mean there's nearly 7 billion people on this planet, so it should be pretty easy right?  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Good News / Bad News

My doctor's appointment went well today.  We heard Desmond's heart beat once again and everything checked out consistent as always.  We headed over to the mall for the afternoon and while we were there we thought we'd just inquire about sonograms again.  I was so excited to see that the 3D sonograms were just about the same price as the normal ones, so after walking around and looking at baby stuff for a while I finally convinced Jordan to go back and see what our little guy looked like.  We got in with no waiting and I was so excited to see him on the big screen again.  Excited until all we could see was the back of his head.  He was sound asleep and wanted to be left alone.  We poked and prodded and jiggled him around but he was having none of it.  But we decided to look at the positive side of things...

Good news:
  He's a sound sleeper.
  We were able to see confidentially that he's still 100% boy.
  All of his limbs we there and she said his spine looked really good.
  We could see him breathing and he looked so peaceful.
  We have another chance to try again scheduled for Monday.

Bad News:
  He wouldn't let us see his face and he kept his back to us the whole time.
  He seems to have a strong will.  This is the second time we've tried to check him out and he says no.
  We have to wait until Monday to try again.

And wouldn't you know it, as soon as we left I could feel him doing jumping jacks in there.  It's like he knew all along what he was doing.  That little stinker.  But all was not lost.  We each picked out some little clothes for him, because we still absolutely love and adore him even if he doesn't cooperate with us.

And Hers:

I think our personalities are clearly displayed in our choices.  He's gonna be the cutest little fella. And we resisted buying so much more.  There's plenty of spoiling to be rationed out.

But we did snag a few plain onesies to add some of our own creativity to.  I have some fun little projects planned!

But little Desmond...come Monday you better be on your best behavior!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Time Keeps Marching On

Week 30.  Which means only 10 weeks left.  The last week that we are in double digits of weeks left until Desmond comes.  Well, that is if all goes according to the 40 week rule.  At this point I'm open to whatever.  I've already seen that there is so much that is unpredictable in being pregnant.  So I'm not counting on anything.  
I think it's definitely been easier to distinguish that I am pregnant and not just packing on the pounds.  Maybe that wasn't so obvious a few weeks ago, but the bump is definitely there now. I still can't imagine what my stomach will look like in the end.  Maybe it won't be that big...though I already feel huge.  I'm definitely going to give myself a break upon his arrival...but then it's time to get back to work.  Insanity here I come.  Also, if anyone wants to get that for me I'd be forever grateful!  =)  People like to tell you you're getting bigger, so they should like to help you get back in shape too.  Why are there no registries for that!?
I think it finally has caught up to me that we're having a baby.  I know...I'm just slow.  We made the decision to use cloth diapers and I wanted to make sure I got all of my research in before I added them to my registry.  I finally got there today, and all of the sudden it just hit me.  Why diapers made everything feel more real than a crib sitting in his soon to be room did, I don't know.  But it did.  I guess I was thinking about what it would be like to cloth him and change him and I just realized...HE'S ALMOST HERE!  We have another doctor's appointment on Thursday and then after that I go every two weeks.  Which means more frequent visits, because we are nearing the end.  The days feel so long sometimes but the weeks are really just flying by.
I've been anxious off and on this whole pregnancy, but I'm just getting really excited to meet our little boy.  I feel like with each new week I get more and more ready for him.  I have loads of friends who have given birth over the past few months and some that are really getting close and with each one my heart skips a bit and I can't wait until it's our turn.  Your Mommy and Daddy love you Desmond!

And just to leave you with a fun one...

This is when Jordan started channeling Austin Powers and of course I obliged...we try to make the photo shoots fun and sometimes I let down my guard and let you in on the silliness too.  We're pretty ridiculous and nerdy folk.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Christmas in July

We've been waiting for over 50 days for a box.  A box that contained all kinds of goodies from home.  Stuff we had been collecting and saving up for and stuff my parents were sending our way.  And it finally came!!!  I guess it was good timing really.  It was a good pick me up after our friends left.
 I waited all day for Jordan to come home from work with it!  I was so excited when he came through the door!
And we wasted no time getting it open.  Lining everything up on the counter to see what all we had gotten!
Don't mind the water bottles and other drinks.  They were already crowding the counter.
It's funny some of the things you get excited about.  Like face wash.  I have a hard time finding it here without added whitening agents.  And in this hot climate Dry Idea deodorant is a must!  =)  Things to make my own laundry detergent with.  As well as smells that remind us of home.  And who doesn't love new shoes!!!
Don't let the bump fool you.  I by no means have tiny feet.  They are an 11!!  Which is why I was excited for this box.  Shoes are always hard for me to find, and these boat shoes have been my favorite for a while.
Nothing like adding a little sparkle to your life.  Yes they are shimmery and gold!  And yes they're perfect!  Pay no attention to the mesquite bites and sock lines! 
But I especially love these vintage inspired t-straps!  Can't wait to wear these out on the town.  I think we need a date night my dear Mr.

THANKS AGAIN MOM AND DAD!!!  You're the best.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Montana Meets Manila

As I said in my last post we've had a busy few weeks, but this last one was quite welcomed.  Nothing like some friends from home to help pick you up and keep you going.  We loved having Karson and Josh around for the week and loved showing them this new place we call home.
We laughed a ton and had great conversation and I tried to give them as much boy time as possible.  I did get to join them for a day around the city and it was fun to see it all again with new eyes.  It made me fall in love with this place all over again.
The sun was bright and hot, but that wasn't going to stop us.
We took the LRT and headed deeper into the city.
Taking them to Quiapo Church, Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, (you can read more about it if you follow the link) one of the most popular churches in the Philippines.  We wanted to give them an idea of the Catholic influence here in the country.  It's quite a sobering place.
It was then time for lunch and Jordan wanted them to experience more Filipino culture at a local fast food restaurant called Mang Inasal.  Lunch was pretty much just some meat and all the rice they wanted, which is what makes this place so popular.  He even showed them how to eat with their hands.  I enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich I brought along.  =)
 We headed back to the train station a rode back a few stops to hit up Rizal Park.
It was fun being a tourist for the day and capturing things that have become so much of everyday life.  This guy on the bus was yelling at me to take his picture and thanked me after I did.  I'm probably now fulfilling his wishes by adding it to the world wide web for all of my followers to see.  I love how happy the people are here.
Rizal Park was huge and there was tons to see.  Like this statue of Lapu Lapu, a ruler who was resistant to the Spanish colonization.
And of course much of the park is dedicated to Jose P. Rizal, a national hero who was a prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era and was eventually executed.
It was a fun day of commuting and sightseeing, especially having our friends in tow.  We were so blessed to have them come and visit and loved every minute with them here.  I think they left loving the Philippines just as much as we do.