Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Picky Pantry: Chicken Quinoa

My husband likes to think he would anything but the truth is, he won't (shhhh...don't tell him that though!) Fruit? Not unless it is pureed into a smoothie. Veggies? Not unless they are pulverized and hidden in something else...like mashed potatoes. Its a crap shoot each time I take a chance that he will like the new recipe I am making for dinner. I can only imagine that he is cringing on the other side of the phone when he calls me on his way home from work, starving of course, asking me what's for dinner and I excitedly tell him "something new." Ugh...better have plan B ready.

I was searching for easy quinoa recipes (yep, he loves quinoa) and came across this one from Allrecipes:

Ingredients

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup quinoa
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1.5 pound ground chicken
10 ounce can Rotel 


  1. Bring chicken broth and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic in hot oil until onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add ground chicken and break into small pieces while cooking until completely browned, 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir cooked quinoa and diced tomatoes into the chicken mixture; bring to a simmer and cook long enough for the flavors to meld, about 10 minutes more.

To my surprise, hubby gave it a glowing review! 

Thanks for reading,
Kara

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Struggling

Since my last post about 6 months ago, I have been desperately trying to get back into blogging. I am struggling with things like "what content can I post that people will be interested in? What direction is this blog heading in? Who really cares what I am posting? Is the content relevant or relatable?" Even as I sit and type out THIS post, it has taken me 11 days to finish it.

I have spent the last nine months trying to figure out this new life; I am still the same person as before but just a better version. Balancing work, family and home has its challenges but hubby and I have done a pretty decent job of figuring out how to make things work for now...until it changes all over again! The love and support from friends and family has helped us along the way but the #1 thing that has made it all possible is having open communication about everything. As long as we are reading from the same chapter in the same book, we are going to be ok.

With that being said, I am planning to breathe some new life into My Life in the Curvy Lane by adding some new subjects to post on including cooking for the picky eater and new mom product reviews. I hope this will give me the push I need to get this blog going again. To those who have been supporting me along the way, I thank you.

Here are just a few things I have experienced nine months into parenthood:
  • I never realized how much time I wasted on things that really don't matter. 
  • I learned who my true friends were before, during and after pregnancy. Some shocked me; some did not.
  • Poop comes in pretty much every color of the rainbow and I celebrate each one of them.
  • Vomit CAN fly. I can also catch puke...in my hands...without spilling it.
  • I appreciate any amount of time I can nap even if it is 4 minutes.
  • I have mastered the art of the 90-second shower. Thank goodness for short hair.
  • Curbing my potty mouth has been difficult but I am trying…hard.
  • Shoe shopping has been taken to a whole other level when buying shoes for my daughter.
  • Seeing my baby smile is a feeling like no other.
  • I wear my scar and stretch marks proudly…in my tankini. Hello beach!
  • With each new day, I love my husband more than I did the day before.

Though some days I feel like she looks, I am jazzed about my blog once more...


Thank you for reading,
Kara

Saturday, February 14, 2015

An open letter to the general public and cashier at Target

For the past few months, I have not had the motivation to blog. I think this situation has given me a jump start. I hate to have to start back up blogging with such a rant but…well…it is what it is: 

Is this your first? How old are you? Are you going to have any more?? What I would really like to say is "what the fuck is wrong with you" but I can't…at least not right now. Who knows what the next time will bring...

Why would you, a complete stranger, ask me that? You don't know me or my situation. Were you ever inside my body? Do you know what it was like to hurt so badly because you could not give your husband a child? Do you know what countless bottles of cough medicine tasted like because an old wives tale said it would help you conceive? Have you ever stood against a wall on your head to ensure the sperm would travel where it needed to go? How about elevating your legs until they went numb because someone said that method worked for them? Spending a boatload of money on countless herbal pills, teas and supplements with no results and sometimes a very upset stomach and headache...

Do you know how painful it was each month to go through stage IV endometriosis and be told there is a very high chance you will never have a baby unless you spend $25k on IVF with no guarantee it will even work? If you do, I feel for you. If you don't, mind your business. My family and friends have been the most loving and supportive people throughout this event and have NEVER asked me this question yet a stranger feels it is ok to ask such a personal and intrusive question?

Now that the long answer is out there, here is the short answer: I am not sure if we will have another baby. Now stop fucking asking me.

Eva at 3 months

I wish everyone could experience the complete joy I felt the moment I became a parent. Sadly, I know that is not possible for everyone. At the end of the day when I am alone with my thoughts, I quietly say a prayer for all of those who struggle with infertility. Those who are repeatedly told "nothing is wrong with you" but cannot seem to get pregnant and leave the doctors office without answers. Couples who have broken up over infertility.  Women who feel "less of a woman" because they cannot get pregnant. I feel for all of you…I truly do.

Thanks for reading (and letting me rant),
Kara

Monday, December 29, 2014

I officially gave up breastfeeding today...

…and I am OK with it. I tried. I really did.

Eva was born on 10/30 and I was already mentally prepared to make her a 100% breast fed baby. When my colostrum came in the next day, the nurse came into my room to show me how Eva needed to latch on. It is not as easy as I thought. You just put them on your breast and away they go, right? WRONG. I did "ok" the days I was in the hospital. It was painful but I kept remembering the women who told me to "keep going, it will get better and your nips will toughen up." I also kept thinking about the incredible health benefits to breast milk. These were the thoughts that kept me going…for the time being.

As the first few days at home went on, breastfeeding didn't get better and my nips were a cracked bloody mess. I would cringe each time I identified her "hungry cry" and tried my best to calm down. The main problem is that my anatomy is not the best suited for breastfeeding. You know those woman with nips an inch long and just fit perfectly into their baby's mouth? That isn't me nor was there any chance it would be me...I hated it every second of this. I even tried a nipple shield but felt like a Fembot…just a lot less sexy.

Courtesy of www.sodahead.com

After what I feel was one of the worst weeks of my life, I spent day #7 crying all day at home. I called my cousin's wife who is a certified lactation nurse. She rushed over to my house and found me in tears. She is a no-bullshit kind of person (which I appreciate) and before you know it, she was flinging my boobs around and popping my nips into Eva's mouth with ease. It seemed to be going ok but as soon as she left, I was back to having trouble again. In tears again and close to a mental breakdown, a friend called me and talked me off the ledge. Am I a bad Mom? Will my daughter hate me? Will I be judged and criticized because I can't do this?

I am not one to loathe in self pity so I quickly got over this; shut the fuck up Kara. What is your problem?. Do you think you are the only woman on planet Earth who cannot breast feed? Still craving the benefits for my daughter to be fed breast milk, I found a solution. GO GET A PUMP! That's a great idea! 

I sent my Mom up to Buy Buy Baby to pick up a manual breast pump since I had to wait for my insurance to approve my request for an electric pump. As soon as she came home, I ripped that box open and pumped away. Sweet relief all the way around. I dumped the breast milk into a bottle and my little Eva went to town! Once I got the electric pump in the mail, I was able to pump out the milk a lot more frequent and quicker...

I called my pediatrician for some advice on supplementing breast milk with formula. I was able to pump around 4-5 ounces at one time but felt she wasn't getting enough. I also wanted to start stock piling up for when I returned to work. The pediatrician gave me the ok to supplement with Enfamil Newborn formula. I had some already in the house…thanks goodness. Things were going super until about 3 weeks in…then my milk production seemed to slow down a lot.

I tried Fenugreek herbs. I tried the teas. I massaged my boobs. I bought "booby tubes." I took warm showers and baths. I pumped so often I felt like a cow hooked up to a milking machine. Nothing seemed to get the milk production going again like it was the first few weeks. 

Over the past month, I have been trying to pump as much as I could. After each session, I would be lucky if I was about to get 1 ounce out. Slowly, I have been stopping the pumping sessions in preparation to halt breast feeding altogether. 

As of today, I have made the decision to stop breastfeeding altogether. I am at peace and 100% comfortable with my decision. As long as she is happy and healthy, I will no longer question my decision. I will no longer beat myself up. I will no longer care what anyone thinks about it (especially the people who DON'T have children that like to give advice). 

Eva is now 8 weeks old and is one awesome kid…


Thanks for reading,
Kara


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Paula Deen's Corn Casserole

Looking for something super simple and fool-proof to make? I make this as often as I can and people love it! Thanks Paula Deen!

CORN CASSEROLERecipe by Paula Deen

4 ratings
EASYLevel
55 MIN10 Prep + 45 Cook
6 - 8Servings
$/Serving

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14 3/4 oz) can cream-style corn
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 (8 oz) package corn muffin mix
  • medium cheddar cheese, shredded

Preparation

In a large bowl, stir together the two cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream and butter. Pour into a greased casserole. Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Top with generous amount of cheddar cheese and return to oven for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

www.pauladeen.com/corn-casserole

Thanks for reading,
Kara

My Life in the Curvy Lane

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