As a part of the new year, I wanted to start a new series based on some of the cheap and easy meals I’m preparing over here. As a new mom, you bet your ass I’ve been making super quick meals to get through the day. And not only do they have to be fast, but filling because I am nursing and I am definitely burning through energy to keep up with the demand (Willow is actually the very hungry caterpillar). But as much as I have to eat to keep up, I also have been feeling pretty sluggish with my diet, so I am definitely trying to eat more salads that pack on the protein. Both Joe and I are trying to eat better to get back into shape.
ALSO, I know that a lot of people have concerns when it comes to eating vegan or more plant-based. I think the top concerns and excuses that I usually get are “I don’t have time” or “It seems expensive.” But to be honest, 95% of what I eat will take me less than 20 minutes to prepare. I want to make it my mission to show you that these statements don’t have to be true. I believe that a lot of what I post proves both wrong. But as the new year has begun, now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your diet and give plants a shot. Less/no meat is cheap and easy, trust me. Tack on the fact that a lot of people resolute to be healthier, I thought this cheap and easy salad was the best recipe to kick this series off. I hope you appreciate it’s simplicity.
Living in New England, our winters are bone-chilling. This winter in particular has been much colder than recent years, and we’ve already had way more snow than last year. Willow and I have been staying indoors to keep cozy for the most part, but it’s nice to get out every once in a while. No one wants to go stir crazy, right?
Indoors or out, there are a ton of winter baby products that I’ve embraced to keep baby girl warm, snug, and comfortable. Here are some of my favorites for this cold and snowy season.
Hi guys — update! Being home with Willow has been so much fun. An adjustment, but still… I totally embraced it. Aside from snuggling, bonding, and caring for her, I’ve had more time to work on personal projects, catch up on tv, cooking, and cleaning – yes, cleaning. Working full-time definitely put a damper on my cleaning routine. I was always too tired to clean when getting home from work, and then I would sort of rush through it on the weekend to avoid being home all day. But now that I am home, it’s definitely been much easier keeping up with it and honestly, not as much of a burden.
But baby or no baby, I think that most of these tips will be helpful for anyone who wants some motivation in the cleaning department. Just sharing some of the things that help me keep a tidier home. At the very least, I hope it inspires you to get up and clean something, haha! Continue reading →
The thing is – newborns need very little. Aside from the diapers/wipes/car seat, I did find that some products I used much more than others, and they quickly became a part of our daily routine. I know this varies from baby-to-baby, so what works best for me may not necessarily be the best for your little one, but hey… maybe it will help you in some way. That’s my hope, anyway. :)
If you’ve been here for a while, you know I’m obsessed with baby names… even before having a baby. In particular, I am a sucker for earthy, nature-inspired names. While we won’t be having another baby for a while, that doesn’t stop me from dreaming up future names. We’ll most likely choose another nature name to go along with our Willow.
Earth, fire, air, and water – here are some of my favorite baby names inspired by the elements. Continue reading →
Over two months as a breastfeeding mama and there has been no shortage of good food over here. I am definitely hungrier than usual, but have been trying to eat as well as I can. Being home does make this tough… especially when it’s too easy to make a vegan mug cake. I find myself gravitating towards a lot of carbs, too. I think this is mostly because making pasta is quick and easy when I am so busy during the day taking care of Willow. But I’m not perfect. I’ve also been trying to make more salads and greens. Balance is a good thing, yeah? Anyways. You’re here for the food inspiration and ideas.
As always, follow along on Instagram for more plant-based food inspiration. xx
Before Willow arrived, I shared a post on what’s in our diaper bag. And I’ll be honest – A LOT has changed since then. I was carrying way too much. I also realized that the diaper bag I originally purchased was just no the one for me. It was a little too bulky. It also didn’t feel like “me” and I really didn’t want to lose that. If I am going to be carrying around this bag 24/7, I want it to be something I’m excited to carry!
Because honestly – bags that are marketed as diaper bags are nice, but not necessary. A big bag is all you need! Does it have pockets and compartments? Yes? It’ll probably work just fine! They also make awesome organizers for these things now, which can turn any bag into a diaper bag. I actually did buy this one, but ended up not even using it. It added more weight than anything else. The bag I ended up buying is not only my style and chic, it is light-weight, durable, and has awesome compartments! You can find the bag I use here and take a look. It has an outside pocket, pockets inside, and a zipper space in between both sides of the purse – I use one side for my items, the middle zippered compartment for clothes/cloths, and the other side for diapering needs. It both short and long shoulder-strap options (though I prefer the short shoulder one).
Everyone is different, but this is the bag that works for us. If you like actual diaper bags, that works, too. They just didn’t work for me! But anyways, onto what is inside the bag. It’s a bit minimal, but that is how I like it. I never need more than this.
I can’t believe it’s been over a month with Willow. She’s an actual angel, in case you were wondering. Ha! We’re already finding a pretty good groove (for now, anyways!) I’ve been able to get in the kitchen more to bake and make dinner for Joe, at least. It’s been so nice being able to do that… makes me feel awesome and you know, well-fed. I’ve definitely been more hungry as a breastfeeding mama, but continue to lose the baby weight. I ended up gaining 33 lbs this pregnancy and have already lost 20+ of it. Happy to be feeling myself – happiness all around, really. There are definitely days where I feel off (and irritated) – especially when she’s fussy (like yesterday) but today seems to be off to a good start. A vegetable soup is on the stove and I have a butternut squash in the oven. Small victories.
But anyways, here’s what I’ve been eating lately.
And as always, follow along on Instagram for more plant-based food inspiration. That’s where you’ll find me these days as I continue to soak up all the newborn moments. xx
I can’t tell you how happy I am to have gone through my very first pregnancy plant-based. Knowing that my Willow was literally powered by plants made me so happy. I felt great during my pregnancy for the most part (which you can read more details about in my first, second, and third trimester posts). Of course there were the typical aches and pains, but I always felt very healthy with no crazy issues. I gained exactly what I needed to gain and had nothing but good reports from my doctor with each visit. I’m very grateful to have been so lucky – and I do feel that eating vegan/plant-based contributed to much of this.
So many people – friends, family, and strangers – have been curious about my pregnancy and ask questions concerning my diet. Some people were skeptical and would make some unnecessary comments (to those people, I would kindly reply that I feel amazing and my doctor says I am doing great) but most were genuinely impressed. I’ve also connected with a lot of you on Instagram who were also going through a vegan or plant-based pregnancy, or were maybe interested in transitioning. I received so many questions through IG messages/chat and trust me, I would happily reply because I love talking about it!
At any rate, I am totally rambling, but the point is… I know a lot of people have questions and concerns or maybe just need some meal inspiration. I documented a lot of my pregnancy on here, so I want to compile all my posts in one spot. I hope that you find what you are looking for below – or comment and ask. We’re all different and may have different needs, but this is my personal experience and I hope that it inspires any else who may have an interest in a similar journey.