Five Delicious Things That You Can Make with Pumpkins {Besides Pumpkin Pie}

There are so many delicious things that you can make with fresh pumpkins that you might be bringing home from the store or the pumpkin patch, that you will almost want to try them all!

I don’t want this whole fall season to go past without expanding your mind to the endless possibilities of this interesting & delicate squash. Squash, yes that’s right, a pumpkin is actually no more than that. A pumpkin is a squash. While being made into a pumpkin pie is the most common use of it, there are lots of other delicious treats that both you and your family can enjoy, if you give them a try.

1. Roasted Pumpkin Spinach & Feta Salad

Source: Recipe Tin Eats

Check out this delicious Make-Ahead Roasted Pumpkin Spinach & Feta Salad by Recipe Tin Eats. It’s called make-ahead because you have to roast your pumpkin bites before adding them to the rest of the fresh ingredients in your salad.

Roasting fresh pumpkin in easy. You simply:

  • Clean the outside of your pumpkin
  • It is your preference whether or not you choose to remove the skin
  • Cut the pumpkin in half or initially into 4 large quarters
  • Remove the seeds and all of the stringy flesh with a large metal spoon
  • Unless you’re planning on consuming the seeds, you can dispose of all of the seeds and all of the inside stringy flesh
  • Cut into smaller 2-inch chunks
  • Place face down on a lightly greased baking sheet
  • Lightly season with sea salt & pepper
  • Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until tender

For this recipe, you’ll want to set your roasted pumpkin bites aside to cool before for adding to your salad, or else you will cause the spinach leaves to wilt.

2. Homemade Pumpkin Butter

Source: Bandingan.com

Looking for another delicious alternative for breakfasts in the fall (besides my Homemade Pumpkin Spice Pancakes Recipe), then try this Quick & Easy Pumpkin Butter Recipe by Bandigan. You can use one medium (up to 4 pounds) fresh pumpkin. You will want to remove the skin, pulp & seeds before you add this to the slow cooker with seasonings.

Pumpkin butter is delicious on toast, biscuits and even pancakes on a cold fall morning. I like to add a spoon or two to my homemade vanilla ice cream base mix to make a pumpkin spice flavored ice cream.

Once you get into the habit of bringing your pumpkin home, cutting it in half and baking it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, making up batches of homemade pumpkin butter is something that you can grow to love. It even makes a great gift to share with friends & neighbors. Should you choose to can your butter to preserve it, it will last even longer.

3. Oven Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Source: The Kitchn

I can remember being a kid in kindergarten, and it being fall and my kindergarden teachers roasting pumpkin seeds in the oven that we had in our classroom, and serving it to all of the little kids.

The were delicious, roasted and had a delicate taste.

They were dark green and they were crunchy.

We had to take the shells off of the pumpkin seeds in order to eat delicious seeds that were on the inside.

Not only were they a treat to eat, but I will never forget the process of them carving out the inside of the pumpkin because we were going to be making our very own roasted pumpkin seeds!

4. Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

Source: All Recipes

Now you can also make these cookies with either fresh pumpkin or canned pumpkin.

If making with fresh pumpkin then you definitely want to make sure that you’ve clean, cut and baked your pumpkin the day before. After you have removed the seeds and the pulp, you will bake your pumpkin and allow it to cool completely and then you can proceed with your recipe.

I have often (mainly with canned pumpkin but you can do the same with the same quantity of fresh pumpkin), cooked with pumpkin down in a little sauce pan before I’ve added it into my butter and spices etc. I don’t know that you have to cook down the canned pumpkin, since in a way, it has already been processed, but I like to.

5. Pumpkin Dump Cake

Source: Dinner at the Zoo

I am not a fan of recipes that include the word, “dump” anything, but this Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe by Sara from Dinner at the Zoo, has made a believer out of me!

Sara uses pumpkin pie filling to make this cake but you could also do the same if with fresh, pre-baked pumpkin. I would choose to go with a pumpkin pie pumpkin or a sugar pie pumpkin, like the one that we talked about in this post. All in all, hopefully we have explored a few different options of delicious things that you can make with the abundance of pumpkins that you’ll be seeing this fall. Remember, if you’re going to make a pie from a fresh pumpkin then you’ll want to go with a “sugar pie” pumpkin. If not, if you do not plan on carving every pumpkin that shows up on your front porch, you might want to try some of the recipes in this post.

I hope that I’ve inspired you to try something delicious!

Sincerely,

Things She Makes

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Now that it’s finally feeling like fall, it’s time to celebrate with pumpkin spice pancakes!

My kids LOVE this time of year. Why? Because they know a few things:

(1) It’s fall.

(2) Mama loves pumpkin.

(3) Mama loves decorating with pumpkins, seeing things with pumpkins, and making things with pumpkins.

(4) Mama is probably going to make some pumpkin pancakes.

And with that, they are right! I am going to make pumpkin pancakes, because I do love fall. I love the smell of all things fall, and pumpkins are right at the center of all of that.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you also know that I love all things, homemade & handmade. If you can DIY-it, then girl do it!

If you can find a recipe, and work at it, and work at it, until you can get it right, then the sense of accomplishment that you will feel in doing so, whatever it be, will be monumental.

So,

A lot like my homemade pancakes recipe this one starts with the same set of dry and wet ingredients + just add a little bit of canned pumpkin. Okay, so moment of truth:

Q: Can you make a pumpkin pie from one of the pumpkins that you find at the store or at a pumpkin patch?

A: Yes & no.

Yes you can make a pumpkin pie from a pumpkin that you find at the store or pick out at the pumpkin patch, but it’s got to be a “pie pumpkin” or a “sugar pie pumpkin”. (Look for the label or ask an associate before you buy it with making a pie out of it, in mind).

The sugar pie pumpkin is going to have the proper consistency for making pies with it, versus any old pumpkin that comes out of the pumpkin patch.

Different pumpkins are used for different things. Other than decorating, some make really good dried out gourds. Some are great for roasting in large chunks. Some are good for roasting the seeds. And some are good for making pies. If you want to make a pie, you’ll need a pie pumpkin or a sugar pie pumpkin. (We actually grew those one year. Fun fact 🙂

In addition to making up a batch of these yummy pumpkin pancakes, I almost never, ever, ever, ever, serve them without a doll-up of whipped cream and a little sugar pumpkin. Hey, that’s what makes them after all!

If you’re ready to bring a little bit of fall into your morning (& into your stomach-lol) then let’s get to it!

Homemade Pumpkin Pancakes

(Recipe by Things She Makes – October 5, 2019 * serves 6)

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup of all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

Wet Ingredients:

1 egg

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 cup of milk

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl with a whisk, combine all of the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg) and combine until completely smooth. *Note: If you choose to skip this step and throw everything in the bowl (wet and dry ingredients) and start mixing, then you are going to have a clumpy pancake mix. You’re welcome!

Add in all of your wet ingredients & to the dry mixture and blend again with your whisk until all completely smooth.

Pour 1/2 cup of the batter onto your pancake griddle or waffle iron, depending on the size of pancakes or waffles that you’d like to make and enjoy.

*Note: For the size of pancakes that I made in these pictures, I made them on a flat round griddle on the stovetop and I used 1/4 cup measurements of the batter for each one, because I wanted this perfect round size.

(They were DELISH btw……)

I hope that you enjoy. Let me know in the comments below how you served yours!

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Everything – This Week at Trader Joes

It’s coming up pumpkins spice everything this week at Trader Joes.

First of all, I am a big Trader Joe’s fan. Second, I am an even bigger fan of fall (pumpkins, leaves changing, cooler weather, hayrides, pumpkin breads, pumpkin lattes, you name it. If it is made with pumpkin, then count me in!).

So, yes, I am loving the flavors of fall. The cooler temperatures haven’t quite hit in yet, but the food sure has & Trader Joes apparently has it all.

(*This is not a sponsored post – btw.)

So I am loving all things Trader Joes & they especially have my number when I walk through the door and am bombarded with pumpkin jam, and pumpkin quick bread mixes, waffle mixes, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin sauce, pumpkin pop-tarts, pumpkin everything! They put it all right out front and in your face, and there is no shame in their game & you know what? I like that! “Do you vibe, attract your tribe” or “Live your vibe, attract your tribe.” I don’t know what the exact phrase is. I just know that Trader Joe’s has their dial set on pumpkin (Pumpkin Kringle’s even – Okay wait, did you buy one or two? I bought one but am thinking that I should have been added to the Kringle freezer-stocking club by buying a handful more than what was needed but……eh, I don’t know).

So what is your favorite pumpkin-spice thing? First of all:

Are you a pumpkin fan?

Do you like Trader Joe’s?

Do you hibernate until all things pumpkin have passed?

If not, then please do tell me what you’re loving right now, that is made with pumpkin.

Sending fall vibes……

}):({ Things She Makes

Gone Peach Picking: Peach Enchildas

It is my birthday this week & the one thing that I really, really wanted to do was..well it was two parts: (1) go peach picking and (2) make homemade peach enchiladas.

If you’ve never even heard of peach enchiladas, there’s a place down in South Carolina off of Highway 252 called, Mac Pride’s or MacLeod’s Peaches.

They are known for their peaches and peach enchiladas and a host of other things, but I had to have my own homemade peaches and peach enchiladas for my birthday & and I did! *happy dance*

I had never made my own peach enchiladas, but on top of that, a friend had given me this recipe years and years ago (actually 10 years ago, in 2009 to be exact). And I never made them.

He knew that I liked to cook and bake and so he said, “You’ve got to try and make these.” What intrigued me about this recipe was the fact that it was made with soda. I knew then that you had to add either 7up or Mountain Dew to this recipe to make it complete and I liked that. I kind of liked the idea of having to add soda to it. I don’t know why.

Anyways, it’s been years. We actually went to Mac’s Pride last year and had to get their peach enchiladas. So this year, I was making my own!

Here is the recipe that I used to make my enchiladas:

Peach Enchiladas

2 (8 oz cans) of crescent rolls

1 cup of butter

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

4 blanched peaches, cooled and quartered

12 oz. of Mountain Dew Soda

Directions:

Melt butter and then add cinnamon and sugar until blended and set aside.

Unroll crescent dough and place 1-2 peach quarters on each crescent.

Roll dough around the peach, the same way you roll the dough for the crescent shape.

Place in a 9 x 13 pan.

Pour the melted butter mixture over the rolls, then pour over with the Mountain Dew.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Bonus: Serve with homemade French vanilla ice cream or your favorite, good quality vanilla ice cream from the store.

Bon Appetit!

I absolutely LOVED making this recipe! And my kids loved going and picking their own peaches and making it too!

I Love Lemons: Leveled-Up Lemon-Crusted Chicken

Can I tell you how much my family loves this recipe?

Can I tell you how much when I dredge something, somethings in a certain order with the right flour-egg wash- and leveled up bread crumbs combo mix, I have them singing my praises?

Are you really trying to be here for something delicious?

Okay then, Betty, I’m going to need you to grab your apron, clear your kitchen counter, put your game face on and when anyone of your family walks past the kitchen & asks what’s for dinner, I just want you to quip back with up, “Level Up.” And when they say, “Whaaaat?” Just wink. That is all. Just a quick but sure wink back, because, “You got ‘dis”.

Now let’s get cooking.

Okay, first things first: Let’s pretend that you’ve never had a lesson in dredge or let’s say that you think the only way to fry chicken is to drop it in some plain flour and seasonings and then to drop it in frying oil. Let’s just say that’s where you’re coming from. Okay? Scrap that!

Because we’re in beast mode, you are going to need a dish or bowl for your flour and flavor mix, your egg wash, and then your bread crumb and more flavor mix. We’re talking levels…..levels of flavor!

Leveled-Up Lemon Crusted Chicken

Flour & flavor layer

2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 tsp of salt

1 tsp of pepper

2 tbsp of onion powder

1 tsp of chili powder

1 1/2 tsp of ground bay leaves

Egg wash layer

3 beaten eggs

Bread crumbs and more flavor layer

(If you have Panko bread crumbs on hand, use them. If not:)

1 1/2 cups of seasoned bread crumbs

1 tsp of chili powder

1 1/2 tbsp of lemon zest

(The lemon zest is your wild card here. If you’re making a recipe that lemon doesn’t go with, then omit that part).

2 boneless chicken breasts

Directions:

In a large dish or bowl, combine only the ingredients for your flour mix layer, and set aside.

In your next section of the station, beat three whole eggs and set aside. Specifically right next to flour mix, as seen above.

Next, combine only the ingredients for your bread crumbs and flavor and set them aside, keeping them in their separate bowl.

*Note: None of these separate ingredient bowls should be combine before we layer them on to our chicken breasts. The goal is to layer in the flavors. That is key!

What I like to do with my chicken breasts, since they are particularly thick, is to divide them. You can either pound them with a meat mallet and then make little slices, or divide them thickness-wise. The method there is up to you.

Once you have done that, you are going to heat half of cup of extra virgin olive oil into a large frying pan, and then add one cup of canola oil to it.

I usually let most of the olive oil cook off before adding the canola oil because I feel like the olive oil adds more flavor.

Once your pan is warm and ready to go, begin to dredge your meat and add it to the pan, one at a time.

Chicken is one of those meats that you want to make sure is completely done with no-pink in the middle before consuming. So don’t rush through this part of the process.

Drain your chicken cutlets on a plate lined with a couple of paper towels, and make sure that all of the excess oil has soaked onto the plate, and not into your food. 😉 Bonus points: I drizzle mine with a little bit of honey right after they’re done draining. Cover them if you’re not serving right away and….

Bon Appetit!

I promise you, that this is a recipe that your whole family will love!

I Love Lemons: Lemon Coconut Sorbet

I LOVE LEMONS. You could say that ten times over and I would never get tired of it. The other night, one of my little ones was watching a series of So Yummy videos and she came across this one particular video and said, “Mama, you have got to see this one.” As I looked on, I immediately thought, “A touch of lemon would be so great in this!” And with that, that idea for this recipe was born, but just a little bit different.

No-churn, churned, and hand-made ice creams are becoming popular. Homemade ice cream is my jam all day long! Like, give me the homemade hand-churned ice cream, day or not, and I am there for it!

The ingredients for this recipe were so simple, and yet so delicious. Plus doubling-up on the pure vanilla extract can help any recipe, any day….as long as it is a dessert recipe. So here goes:

Lemon Coconut Sorbet

Makes 5 1/2 cup servings

1 can of coconut milk

1/8 cup of lemon juice

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

3 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

Equipment:

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl with a whisk, stir to combine all four ingredients until completely smooth. *Note: The insert basket to your ice cream maker should be fully frozen 48 hours in advance of you making this treat.

With your ice cream maker set up, pour your ice cream mix into the maker.

Set to churn for 25-30 minutes or until completely thickened.

You can choose to enjoy your sorbet straight away or put it in an airtight container until you are ready for it.

Bon Appetit

I Love Lemons: Lemon Feta Salad

Let’s talk about lemons.

What do I love about lemons and food? The flavors are bold, bright and add just that right touch. When I was coming up with recipes to add to this series, my mind literally went off into so many directions, as I had so many realizations how far these lemon inspired flavors could go. This recipe however was unexpected. Why? Because I hate to the of un-cooked lemon slices in food. In my beverages is one thing, but it my food, it’s a totally different story, but this recipe just works!

Let me rewind it back a little to a time where I absolutely despised the thought of making a salad. To me, salads weren’t creative enough. They were too, “one note”. I couldn’t be more wrong about salads. Salads can be as creative as the creator is. Salads can be very unique. They can build upon a combination of a variety of lettuces, aromatics, they can be served hot, partially hot, or cold. They can be all raw, or partially cooked. They can contain any variety of lettuces, or no lettuces at all.

Salads truly are da bomb dot com and then some. Oh, at don’t talk about the dressing. Even the most base of salads can turn awesome with the right, “that’s really good, what is that” dressing to go with. Salads have truly become my thing because, I’ve learned how to work them. #key

So anyways, back to this creation. I needed something light to go on the side of our meal one night. And I know that I always usually have some sort of salad cheese on hand, (like a feta or gorgonzola). I usually also almost always have a dried fruit of some sort (ie. dried cranberries, candied ginger, etc.) So I thought to myself, how can we make this salad completely complex, and yet totally basic at the same time? Well, the lemon slices were totally my wild card. Boo-yeah!

Lemon Feta Salad

Author: Things She Makes

4 cups of fresh arugula

1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese

1 large lemon sliced and quartered (the bigger the lemon, the better)

1/2 cup of sweet and spicy candied pecans (Trader Joe’s)

1/4 cup of candied ginger, sliced

1/2 medium sized sweet onion, sliced

Directions:

Add pre-rinsed and dried arugula to a large serving bowl.

Add in sliced onion, candied ginger, feta, and spicy pecans, in that order.

Arrange lemon slices on top.

Your salad is complete.

*Note: That the lemons in this recipe are not just for decoration, but before each person starts to eat their salad, they should squeeze the juice from the lemons over their serving.

The juice from the lemon and the way that the individual layers from this salad are arranged will make it’s own “dressing”. It is so delicious! If you try this, I want to hear from you! I would like to know if you loved it as much as I do! 🙂

Bon Appetit!

I Love Lemons: Creamy Lemon Pie

I love lemons. I absolutely, 150% love lemons. Anyone that knows me, know that I love lemon cookies, I love lemon cakes, I love lemon colors, lemon scents, lemon décor. Add a lemon & I want a lemon. Lemons, lemons, lemons!

It’s hard to tell when my love affair for lemons first began.

For starters, when my husband and I were first engaged, I immediately when to my favorite bridal location’s website, and picked out a dress, that I just knew that I would love, & it featured none other than that bright, cheerful, awesome color….yellow.

So, what did we do? We coordinated everything in our wedding from the flowers, to the bride’s maid’s dresses, to the little row seating accents, to even the desserts (yes, the even the desserts table) to have touches of yellow.

What was on that dessert table, you ask? Everything lemon. One hundred and fifty-five percent, lemon everything: Lemon biscotti, lemon bars, lemon pound cakes, you name it. That one table in and of itself was themed with nothing but lemons!

You can imagine my delight when I see that all-things lemon are very much on the rise & trending. I love to stop and smell the lemons when I see them at the stores these days. Even the fake lemons, even though I know that the lemons are fake, I still want to stop and see them. Lol!

This continue love of lemons has me realizing that I need to devote a post to my citrus infatuation. And not just one post, but a series. Welcome to I Love Lemons & All Things Lemons. Creamy, crunchy, zesty, soft, scented, décor, printed, patterned – lemons.

A friend of mine had made a lemon soufflé many moons ago, that took me back to the days of my childhood with one bite. And though that moment itself was over ten years ago, I never forgot it. That is a long story, for another post, that I promise I will share.

Now onto this delicious pie of mine. I have a no-bake pie recipe that I have held on to and mastered for years. It’s a go-to recipe that’s easy to impress and quick to whip up. Everyone needs a recipe like that in my opinion. Everyone needs a handful of recipes that they can rock. My base pie recipe can be rocked by the novice & the expert in the baking world. This recipe though, got it’s glorification when I stumbled upon a trifle recipe that literally ruled my world from the first day that I made it, to the day that I made nine other revised versions of it. Also, another day for another post.

This pie is a cross between my, Rock-This B No-bake Cheesecake Pie (“b” is for “baby”) & my delicious lemon trifle cream filling which was the bases of my ten trifle recipes, which I will one day share with you!

My original no-bake pie recipe, is simple. All you need is:

No-Bake Plain Cheesecake

Makes 8 servings

1 graham cracker crust

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

8 oz of cream cheese (softened)

1/2 cup of lemon juice

1 can of cherry pie filling (optional)

In order to rock this pie all you need to do is:

Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature. In a large mixing bowl, with a hand mixer, blend ONLY the cream cheese and the sweetened condensed milk until silky and smooth.

Add the lemon juice to the cream mixture and beat on low until smooth.

Pour the filling into the graham cracker crust. Cover and refrigerate over for 8 hours or overnight. Cover with cherry or choice of pie filling as a topping and serve.

When you throw that thing down or a table, or add to the buffet that everyone is grabbing food from, just from the mere visualization of the cherries, people will want it. And if they don’t want it for the cherries, they’re sure ‘nough going to be back for seconds once they taste it, because the cherries are delicious & the cheesecake pie filling is smooth. It’s just a really, really good go-to. And since I’m the girl that likes to make all things herself (rather than using the no-bake cheesecake kit in the box to achieve this), this recipe has been my go-to for years. Easy to prepare. Easy to please. Easy to impress. All me.

For my creamy lemon pie, we step it up a notch. And we decorate that thing like we’re Joanna Gaines working in the Magnolia kitchen, except…..we’re not her and that is okay, but this pie is sure ‘gon sing!

Creamy Lemon {No-bake} Pie

Serves 8 – Author Things She Makes

June 13, 2019

(If we were really going to be boss-babes, then we’d be making our own crust, but we’re going to be part-boss & still rock it. Okay?)

1 deep dish pie crust

8oz of cream cheese, softened

4/5 of a can of sweetened condensed milk (pre-refrigerated 5-6 to additionally thicken it)

1/2 cup of lemon juice

1 1/2 cups of whipped cream

Garnish

1 cup of cool whip, thawed

3 beautiful lemon slices

3 medium-sized mint leaves (so don’t pick the largest leaves in the bunch, and don’t pick the tiniest ones either- 😉

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven for 350 degrees. Pre-bake your empty pie shell at that temperature for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside the pie shell to cool for 30 minutes or until cool to the touch.

Make the filling:

In a large mixing bowl and on low-speed, with a hand mixer, blend ONLY the cream cheese and the sweetened condensed milk until silky smooth. Add in the lemon juice and beat again until very smooth. With a spatula fold in the whipped cream.

The reason why you only want to blend the softened cream cheese & the sweetened condensed milk and not the softened cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and the lemon juice together at once, is because your allowing your cream cheese and your condensed milk to be perfectly smooth first. Should you choose to add in the lemon juice and do it all at once, you might end up with clumps of cream cheese, rather than a nice smooth mixture. And every cheesecake or cream pie, baked or not, deserves to be silky smooth.

Pour the filling into the pie crust, once the crust has cooled. Cover the pie and set in the refrigerator for 8 hours until firm.

When you are ready to serve the pie, remove from the fridge, garnish only the center 5 inches only with the thawed whipped topping. Arrange the three lemon slices in the middle, with the mint leaves as accents and you’re done.

Bon Appetit!

How What I Believed Changed {The Length of} My Labor & Childbirth

Every since about the week before Mother’s Day, there’s been this meme going around or a challenge, if you will, to the tune of, “In honor of Mother’s Day, tell us all about your labor with your child(ren)”.  As I am reading the posts of my friends, and posts of their friends that they’re commenting on & thinking about my own labor, I’ve come to realize something, two very BIG somethings, in the world of childbirth:

(1) I don’t know what it is to be in more of five hours of labor

and

(2) I don’t know what it is to push more than 15 minutes…..at all.  Like, not at all.

As I am reading the stories of others, they’re similar to everything that I’ve seen before: 10 + hours in labor and maybe an hour or two of pushing.  That’s standard.

What is also standard, especially for the first time mom is a 24-26 hour labor.  These are all very standard things.  I’ve never had that before.  Even with being induced with my first one, I went in on a Tuesday to be induced for labor and I had absolutely NO labor until I delivered our child early in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday, but I had absolutely no labor until 9:45pm on Wednesday evening. My active, “Honey, you better go get the nurse…” labor started right around 9:45pm (Wednesday) and the baby was born 3 hours and 8 minutes later at 12:53am.

My subsequent labors were the same.  Baby #2’s labor started early in the morning at 3:55am and I was delivered of child, a few hours later at 6:38am (the same morning).  Baby #3 had no active labor and no, inactive labor until 11:35pm and he arrived that same night at 1:22am in the morning.  My #3 was a little bit different, in that I went to the hospital earlier that morning because “I didn’t feel right”.  I asked my husband to meet me there and sure enough I was 8 centimeters dilated but with no labor, so they couldn’t send me home, but….I wasn’t in labor.  There was lots of walking the halls and hoping that I would be in labor but I was not.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to be induced and the labor did start on it’s own.  Long story short, what was so different about my labors & the labors and stories of so many other women that I hear from with hours & days in to deliver a baby?!  I think that it was my beliefs.

I 100% attribute my short labors, and subsequently short labors to my belief that you don’t have to take forever.  It does not have to be an all day thing and just because every other woman that you know has had a 24-26 hour (or more) labor doesn’t mean that you have to.

I took to reading books during my first pregnancy on painless childbirth.  I immediately began seeking that out because I wanted to know whether or not it was possible.  And I don’t mean with an epidural.  Not that there’s anything wrong with a woman that gets one, I just knew that that was not my lot in life, and it was not something that I wanted to do.  I believed that there might be a small chance possible that we could have a baby, and that it would not hurt.  Impossible?  Well, it didn’t happen with my first, it happened with my second.  More on that, later.

Anyhow, I sought about books about natural birth stories, and natural stories of labor from around the world and there was one common denominator – amongst women in other countries, birth was not feared.  If it’s something that is natural, that God created our bodies to do then why should it be?

Secondly, we set our intentions.  A couple of months before our baby was born, in the birthing class that we were taking, we were asked to go around the room, after a moment with our eyes closed and state our intentions of how long our birth would be.  Confidently, I said, “2-6 hours”.  Now, I was told, that aware from 4-14 hours was reasonable for a first-time mom, but I said, 2-6 hours and that’s what I got (3 + hours with 5 whole minutes of pushing)!

From that point forward, from having read and experienced that a monsturous labor didn’t have to be my norm, just because it was everyone else’s, I changed what I expected from labor and childbirth, I shut out people that had stories that supported otherwise & I have had nothing shy of short labors, and subsequently short ones, since my first one.  That is how my beliefs changed the length of my labors & childbirth!

xoxo

 Chemeeka 

Green Peach Banana Smoothie – {Thank you, Trader Joes!}


Ah….the start back of getting into the swing of things and acknowledging that we are officially, “back-to-school”, and “not-on-break”, it’s time to wake up and no longer sleeping in. I wasn’t ready for it. And I know….I’m acting like we went from summer to actually being, “back-to-school”, but…I…I…was there for it. I was there for the lazy mornings, low activity, no-schedules, let’s-just-have-fun, of it all. Coming back from spring break has honestly got me feeling like we’ve been hit with the clocks springing forward on us…again. But I am grateful…..

I’m grateful that we had our time away & grateful that we were officially, “off-of-the-clock” and for the fact that we played until we could not play anymore.

If the fact that I am not a morning person had anything to do with the fact that, well, wrapping my mind around a full-cooked breakfast at minutes to 6am just wasn’t happening, I was fit-to-be-tied, for sure.

I have been successful at making my kids at least half of their breakfasts. I am a big proponent of “scrambled eggs, plus…” It’s the way that I start their day, but unfortunately, I’ve only been waking up in time to catch the part that comes after the plus, lol! Bagels, French toast sticks, toast, English muffins…you get my point.

Once I have my little ones out of the door and ready to go, it usually takes me a good two hours to realize, “Um, I think that you need to eat.” After the laundry is going, the beds are made (hopefully) and the dishes are done, I finally start to come around on my own.

When I saw this nectar at Trader Joes, I was on it!

“Um, peach nectar? Yes, please!” And, “What can we have that with?” “Um, anything!”

I came up with this quick and delicious recipe to throw this nectar into that I loved, and something that held me over until lunch time, thank you very much!

Easy, simple, healthy….Count me in! Put my name down, and save me a seat, ’cause I’ll be there!

Green Peach Banana Smoothie

1 cup of Trader Joes Dixie Peach Nectar

1 small banana

1 cup of fresh spinach leaves

3-4 cups of ice

Directions:

Add the peach nectar, the banana and the spinach to your blender cup and add the ice last. (I always do this so that the ice does not end up at the top of the blender cup the furthest away from the blade-;-).

Pulse on medium to high until all of the items are smooth. Serve & enjoy immediately!

Just like that, I had a healthy breakfast that was going to get me through the morning. It wasn’t going to suffice as breakfast for my kids, but it will certainly work for me, until I get back into the swing of things.

Happy Blending!