Willow Nina

Our sweet sunshine girl has catapulted herself into the world! I can’t even begin to describe what this last week has felt like. It is truly indescribable, as cliche as it sounds.

Willow Nina was born on September 14th at 10:01 PM, coming in at 7 lbs 9 oz, 20 inches. Dark hair, doe eyes, and the sweetest button nose, she’s the perfect blend of her mom and dad. We’re absolutely smitten and have never felt anything like this. Neither of us were ready for the surge of emotion and love in the moment you meet your baby.

As you can imagine, this week has been a whirlwind and extremely overwhelming (in a good way). So, a short and sweet post for now – birth story to come!

Thank you to all who have expressed their excitement and well wishes. The love and support means the world to us. Very excited to share more soon! xx Bianca, Joe, and Willow

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My Third Trimester Recap

My Third Trimester

I can’t believe I am actually sitting here writing this… this pregnancy FLEW BY. I feel like a lot of women say that it dragged, but not for me. Maybe it’s because the summer always flies by usually? I’m definitely not complaining – because oh man, I cannot wait to meet this sweet girl.

So here we are – a third trimester recap!

Also before getting into the rest of this post, I want to say that this is going to be one of my last post for a bit. I am going to take the time to focus all my energy on my beautiful girl and the first few months of motherhood. There may be a post here and there (especially if I am feeling inspired – trust me!) but nothing consistent or forced. I plan on being back full-time in the New Year (or at least 2-3 posts per week). If anything, I may try to keep up with the “what I’ve been eating” posts during this time because they are easy enough and I enjoy compiling those. They seem to be popular, too! Plus breast-feeding will mean A LOT of food for mama.

Regardless, I will be actively posting on Instagram and keeping up over there! So please follow me there for food posts, baby updates, and more. Then come January 2018, I’ll have lots of posts with musings and new insight on plant-based/vegetarian parenting and life with a newborn. I’m already counting down the days until I’ll be back. I’m going to miss being on here regularly, but I do think this is for the best. I want to make the very most of the days to come! And I know that I will come back inspired as ever.

So again, please connect with me on Instagram. I’d love to have you there while I’m temporarily absent from here. I’m so grateful for all of you. Thank you for following my journey. xx
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Pregnant Vegan Meals - Third Trimester

What I’ve Been Eating Lately [Vegan Pregnancy – Third Trimester]

Home stretch over here! This may be my last vegan pregnancy food post for a bit, so there’s lots after the cut. I am hoping that once I find my groove when she gets here, I’ll start taking photos and posting my food while being a breastfeeding mama. Keep an eye out for that!

And as always, follow along on Instagram for more plant-based food inspiration.
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Stocking Up Before Baby: The Essentials List

Stocking Up for Baby: Our Essentials

Happy Monday, friends! Wow, what a weekend. I thought I was nesting before… but it reached a whole new level during week 37. Joe and I both cleaned from top to bottom on Saturday (he even organized outdoor equipment and did yard work). I watched a ton of YouTube cleaning videos for inspiration and motivation – I find that it always helps (one of my favorites here). As if that wasn’t enough, I’ve also been dealing with some pregnancy insomnia and was up at 3AM on Sunday. I could not get back to sleep for the life of me, so I got up and reorganized the entire bathroom and all the closets in our house. I even ventured into the basement and put together a stockpile of things to get rid of to reduce clutter. I feel crazy, but it was so satisfying.

Aside from the crazy cleaning, we’ve also been stocking up slowly each week on pantry and household items to avoid running out of things anytime soon in the near future. I know I’ll want to be cozy at home with baby for a bit without having to run to the store. I mean sure, we may not get everything and will have to go out for a few things, but so much can be bought in bulk beforehand.

We have a ton of shelving space in our basement, which we designated to lots of extra canned good, paper goods, etc. I feel really good about it! Hey, anything that gives you extra peace of mind before such a huge life change, right?
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Vegan Pregnancy Burrito Bowl

Vegan Burrito Bowl Inspiration

I debated on posting this recipe after I shared on IG because it isn’t exactly a recipe… but inspiration for sure. But I thought oh what the hell, this is a space for inspiration anyways and I always appreciate easy meals to make. This has been a staple during my pregnancy because not only is it minimal energy but puts a dent in my protein intake for the day and ups the folate factor (yes, there is a real nice heaping handful of spinach under all that good stuff!) If you are also enjoying a plant-based pregnancy, I hope you’re excited about this. If you are not pregnant or plant-based or anything of the like, I still think you’ll appreciate because it’s just delicious. Really hope you guys don’t mind me pointing out the pregnancy stuff here and there in recipes – it’s just what I am currently living, so hey. I have to say it!

The very best (though, not the healthy) part of this is the vegan ranch sauce that I’ve been hooked on. I can’t stop making or eating it to save my life.
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Inside My Minimalist Hospital Bag

Inside My Minimalist Hospital Bag

Just another month to go over here! But, I slowly began tossing items into my hospital bag a month or so ago. After watching countless hospital bag videos on YouTube and scouring all Mommy blogs, I finally think I have everything that I feel necessary for me. I tried to pack as light as possible (forgoing items that the hospital will provide) but I’ll have to do a recap once I actually see what I used and what I didn’t. Should be interesting!

Whether you are also an expecting mama, planning on having kids, or just interested or nosey, this post is for you. Just a quick peek into what I’ve been focusing on! This bag is only for mama and baby (dad’s will be his own situation).
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Caramel Date Smoothie for Pregnancy

Caramel Date Smoothie for Pregnancy

Anyone else here a huge fan of dates? These babies were life-changing once I gave them a shot. I started by using them in smoothies for natural sweetness. I’m also a huge fan of making my own date syrup to use in homemade applesauce in the fall (so good – you need to try!) Eventually, I got to a point where I started using it to make frozen candies, caramel dip for fruit, and then just eating them plain with a big dollop of peanut butter. YUM. There’s so much you can do, and so many reasons why you should be including them in your diet.

Yes, dates are high in sugar, but they provide a ton of energy and benefits – especially during pregnancy. I’ve gotten into a habit of checking on foods and their benefits during pregnancy over the past 8 months and I was really excited to hear how glorious dates are.

Fast forward to now… ready to pop and bring my sunshine girl into the world. Dates may help ease and shorten labor – really? Sold. Of course, I am not a doctor and do not know if this is true (can anyone attest to this claim?) but I’m down to do whatever may help. Enter the caramel date smoothie.

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Baby Girl Jungle Nursery Tour

Nesting: Our Nursery Tour

I’m soooo excited to finally be sharing this post! I was really dragging on taking photos (some are not the best quality, but I tried my best with the lighting). But finally, here we are. The room is ready and I’m pretty much losing my mind over seeing her sweet little face. Only a few more weeks!

So… I don’t really know what to call the theme? It’s sort of all the things I love… animals, flowers, bright colors, etc. I guess you could say it is a girly version of a jungle or Lion King theme, maybe? Whatever it is, it is bright, colorful, and airy and just makes me so happy. I find myself just sitting in here and looking around, soaking it up. It’s my favorite room in the house.

I’ll try and share as much detail as to where I got some of the sweet products and decor, too. So without any other introduction, welcome to our nursery!
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Pregnant Vegan Meals - Third Trimester

What I’ve Been Eating Lately [Vegan Pregnancy – Third Trimester]

Lots of calcium, protein, and as much nutrients as I can get as I come in on the home stretch. I can’t believe we’re in the single digits for weeks left in this pregnancy. I’d say I’ve eaten pretty well (with the exception of the first trimester… that really sucked). If you’re interested in seeing past food posts during this pregnancy, you can browse them all here.

As always, follow along on Instagram for more plant-based food inspiration.
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Pregnancy Protein Smoothie: Chocolate PB + Banana

Pregnancy Protein Smoothie: Chocolate PB + Banana

Another day, another smoothie recipe. I know these are simple, but if I can help someone nail a high-protein breakfast/snack, then hey. I know I am always searching and sifting through vegan recipes with extra protein (pregnant or not!)

This one gets bonus points for tasting like dessert. Chocolate peanut butter pie-like. I’ve had a major sweet tooth during this pregnancy, so I’ve been opting for lots of fruit, smoothies, date candies, etc. I did cave and ate a ton of vegan cake, but I’m only human!! This at least is full of much-needed nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It’s good stuff!

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