Wednesday, February 29, 2012

pregnancy meal plan

Six Easy Steps to Create Your Plate

It's simple and effective for both managing diabetes and losing weight. Creating your plate let's you still choose the foods you want, but changes the portion sizes so you are getting larger portions of non-starchy vegetables and a smaller portion of starchy foods. When you are ready, you can try new foods within each food category.
Try these six simple steps to get started:
Using your dinner plate, put a line down the middle of the plate.
  1. Then on one side, cut it again so you will have 3 sections on your plate.
  2. Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables such as:
    1. spinach, carrots, lettuce, greens, cabbage, bok choy
    2. green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes,
    3. vegetable juice, salsa, onion, cucumber, beets, okra,
    4. mushrooms, peppers, turnip
  3. Now in one of the small sections, put starchy foods such as:
    1. whole grain breads, such as whole wheat or rye
    2. whole grain, high-fiber cereal
    3. cooked cereal such as oatmeal, grits, hominy, or cream of wheat
    4. rice, pasta, dal, tortillas
    5. cooked beans and peas, such as pinto beans or black-eyed peas
    6. potatoes, green peas, corn, lima beans, sweet potatoes, winter squash
    7. low-fat crackers and snack chips, pretzels, and fat-free popcorn
  4. And then on the other small section, put your meat or meat substitutes such as:
    1. chicken or turkey without the skin
    2. fish such as tuna, salmon, cod, or catfish
    3. other seafood such as shrimp, clams, oysters, crab, or mussels
    4. lean cuts of beef and pork such as sirloin or pork loin
    5. tofu, eggs, low-fat cheese
  5. Add an 8 oz glass of non-fat or low-fat milk. If you don’t drink milk, you can add another small serving of carb such as a 6 oz. container of light yogurt or a small roll.
    1. And a piece of fruit or a 1/2 cup fruit salad and you have your meal planned. Examples are fresh, frozen, or canned in juice or frozen in light syrup or freshfruit.


Your plate will look different at breakfast but the idea is the same. If you use a plate or bowl for breakfast, keep your portions small. Use half your plate for starchy foods. You can ad fruit in the small part and a meat or meat substitute in the other.

Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan for Pregnant Women

Here’s a possible gestational diabetes meal plan for a single day.
• One egg
• One slice whole wheat bread or a quarter of a bagel
• Half cup of canned or fresh fruit
• Skim milk.
(mid-morning / mid-afternoon)
• One slice of whole-wheat bread
• Tbsp of peanut butter
• Quarter cup of fruit
• Skim milk 
• Half of a bagel
• Half a cup of canned or fresh fruit
• Skim milk
• Two small cookies
• 6 oz. baked chicken
• 1 cup rice
• Half cup diced tomato
• Half cut lightly fried zucchini
• Skim milk
Most women cope reasonably well with the disease by using a gestational diabetes meal plan, but others are prescribed drugs and even insulin. Many women’s comments reflect more anxiety about possible problems than the problems themselves. Some women, when prescribed drugs or insulin, report the “feel as though [they] have failed” even though they’ve followed through on dietary treatments.
Although many variations in treatment are common, a gestational diabetes meal plan will produce good outcomes for most women.

Here is what a diabetic diet menu plan should look like:
For breakfast you can have:
1 or 2 slices of whole wheat bread (toasted), or an English muffin
1 egg or 1/4 cup of low-fat cottage cheese
half a cup of oatmeal
half a cup of skim milk, tea, coffee or water
half a banana or 1 small orange
1 spoon of margarine
The lunch meal should contain more calories and can consist of:
1 cup of vegetable soup
1 sandwich made of 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 1 ounce of turkey and 1 ounce of low-fat cheese/ chicken /fish / turkey (meat should not be fried)
Vegetables, green salad, or fruits
Coffee, tea or water
Diabetic Diet Meal Plan and Recipes
Diabetic diet meal plan chart by the American Diabetes Association
For dinner:
boiled chicken breast
2/3 cup brown rice or 1/2 cup boiled carrots
Tossed salad with low-fat dressing
You also need to have two snacks a day (so, in the end, you will sum up five meals):
1 cup of low fat milk or light yogurt
½ cup of cheese or 1 small fruit
2 cups of popcorn with no fats or chocolate pudding artificially sweetened

Useful Tips and Facts About a Diabetic Diet Meal Plan

You should have 2 or three hours between meals.
Take five meals a day at the same hours.
Be careful about the quantity of every food you eat and about the number of calories you ingest.
Adapt the diabetic diet meal plan to your personal needs, according to your doctor’s instructions. You may need a 1800 calorie diabetic diet meal plan or a 1200 calorie diabetic diet meal plan, based on your weight and the type of diabetes you have.
A healthy diet should include non-starchy vegetables, fruits, dairy, meat, heart-healthy oils and grain.
Tips for Managing Your Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan
"Your best meal choices are a balance of lean protein, carbohydrates, and a small amount of fat. We recommend that about 50 percent of your total calories come from carbohydrates," says Kelly O'Connor, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. You should try to limit your calories from fats to fewer than 30 percent of your total daily calories from your gestational diabetes meal plan. Examples of healthy between-meal snacks would be a small amount of carbohydrate with some lean protein, such as crackers with low-fat cheese, low-fat cottage cheese with half a cup of fruit, or a slice of whole-grain bread with some peanut butter.
"The American Dietetic Association's exchange lists are a good reference for serving sizes, carbohydrate counts, protein counts, and fat grams," adds McDonald.
Other tips include:
  • Stick to your schedule. "Skipping meals or snacks can cause blood sugar to drop," warns McDonald. When your blood sugar drops too low, you may feel light-headed or weak. If you go out to eat, maintain your same schedule and call ahead so you don't get stuck waiting for a table when you should be eating.
  • Eat smaller. "It is better to eat smaller, more frequent meals instead of larger, infrequent meals so that your insulin response is not overwhelmed," advises McDonald.
  • Mix up your food sources. "Carbohydrates should not be eaten alone because they can cause a quick spike in blood sugar that is often followed by a crash," McDonald says. "The absorption of carbohydrates can be slowed down by eating them with protein."
  • Avoid carbohydrate surges. McDonald advises avoiding sauces, fruit juices, and sweetened drinks that can give you a carbohydrate rush. "One rule we usually use is that during gestational diabetes a woman should have only a very small amount of fruit or fruit juice in the morning. These are quite concentrated sources of carbohydrates and research has indicated that they are best metabolized later in the day," adds O'Connor.
  • Check up on yourself. Checking your blood sugars before a meal and then again one to two hours after a meal can help you tell if you have taken in too many carbohydrates, says O'Connor. "This gives you some feedback and can help you adjust your portions better."
If you have gestational diabetes, when you eat is also important. "I often use the example of a wood stove," says O'Connor. "If you want to have nice, steady heat throughout the day, you would put in a few logs every hour. You don't want the fire to go out or to have huge flames. The same holds true for your blood sugars. You want to put in the same amount of carbohydrate fuel every few hours. This also helps a pregnant woman feel less fatigued during the day."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Miss Mustard Seed: Slipcover Video Tutorial

Custom Slip cover Video Tutorial by Miss Mustard Seed (   - Pt. 1: Piping   - Pt. 2: Cutting Fabric   - Pt. 3: Positioning and Pinning   - Pt. 4: Wings, Arms, and Back   - Pt. 5: Apron   - Pt. 6: Skirt, Cushion, Final Tips

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Made it on Monday: Freezer Meals!

Make Ahead Meals -or- Cooking Once A Month

I have ten meals sitting in my freezer right now, four more in a crock pot cooling in the fridge waiting to be packaged and frozen, and the meat for three more just needing to be prepared. It’s a pretty wonderful feeling.
Once I found out I was pregnant I knew I needed to get on making some freezer meals. Morning sickness hit me hard with Jace, and the yuckies didn’t go away until well into my second trimester. I honestly would rather go through labor than morning sickness. And I had a long, hard, 34 hour labor experience (19 of those hours being without an epidural). I figured I’d have until eight weeks along before this baby started making its presence known in the worst way possible (which I am very thankful for… after all, it means this little one inside of me is alive and growing). But this time around it hit at 6 weeks. And it hit hard. But purchased groceries sitting in my fridge not wanting to be spoiled were a great motivation to get off the couch.
All that to say, if I could pull off fourteen meals in one afternoon (with plenty of breaks throughout the cooking), I’d say this is a pretty manageable project to take on!
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I did a lot of reading up prior to making my menu and shopping list. I found The Test Kitchen of Mellisa Fallis’ post about freezer crock pot meals to be the most helpful. Each meal I make is intended to feed three people for dinner (and we’re big eaters in the Nelson household) with leftovers for my husband’s lunch the next day. My plan was to make 2 each of: Healthy BBQ Chicken andTeriyaki Chicken. 1 of Honey Sauced Chicken. Each of these will be later thawed and then cooked in the crock pot. Also in the plan was soups in the crock pot that will just need to be thawed and reheated later on—three meals each of: Taco Soup and Chicken Vegetable Soup (recipes below). My last two meals were chicken enchiladas (although I actually made three, one was for dinner tonight).
I started by boiling chicken breasts in broth and seasonings to be shredded later for the enchiladas. Once I got that going on a back burner, I browned hamburger for the taco soup. While it was browning I started chopping all the fresh produce. (In the picture above you’ll see my final preparations of: red peppers, green peppers, zucchini, garlic, red onion, yellow onions, red potatoes, and chicken.) Once the hamburger was browned, I put the taco soup in one crock pot.
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I then got all my zip lock bags labeled for what would go in them, the date and cooking instructions.
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Then it was simply assembling the ingredients in each bag. I saved the chicken to be added last. Once these bags were in the freezer, I cut up the chicken for the vegetable soup and got it cooking in another crock pot.
2012-02-13 009
And finally came the best part—the enchiladas! I love the sight and smell of simmering onions.
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One pan of enchiladas went in the oven while the other two were put together in aluminum pans (I look forward to the lack of dishes the day we eat these!).
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They were topped off with foil and the instructions written on them. The taco soup was done before the chicken and vegetable, so it was cooled by the time I headed to bed and I just spooned it into three zip locks and stuck them in the freezer. The chicken and vegetable went into the fridge and I’ll take care of it in the morning. I plan on making Cheez-it chicken strips to also freeze tomorrow.
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And ah, the carnage. My sweet husband did the dishes for me, which was wonderful!
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Jace was quite the audience in his jammies (yes, it’s 5 pm and he’s still in his jammies with crazy bed head and munching on crackers). Poor kid, he kept thinking the onions were apples and didn’t understand why I wouldn’t give him a slice.
Jeanette’s Taco Soup (I doubled this recipe to make as much as I did)
-1 lb Hamburger
-2 cans crushed tomatoes
-1 can tomato sauce
-1 can black beans (including sauce/juice stuff)
-1 can red kidney beans (including liquid)
-1 packet ranch dressing mix
-1 packet taco seasoning mix
-Corn (I love it with corn, but didn’t have room in the crock pot this time)
-1 TBS onion powder
Brown hamburger, combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Aunt Cola’s Enchiladas (which I tripled to make as much as I did)
-2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
-1 onion
-1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
-1 cup sour cream
-1 cup cheddar cheese
-1 cup mozzarella cheese
-1 can crushed tomatoes with green chilies
Sautee onions (I used a little butter for this part) until tender. Turn off heat and stir in cream of chicken soup, sour cream and 3/4 cup cheddar and 3/4 cup mozzarella (I actually just used a pre-shredded pack of chedder/jack) and can of tomatoes (I was out of this and sometimes find the chilies too hot, so I just added a can of tomato sauce, which a whole can would probably only work with the tripling size, and a few splashes of hot sauce). Smear some of the sauce on the bottom of your pan, then put 3 TBSP of the sauce and 1/3 cup chicken in each tortilla, roll, and place in pan seam side down. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown.
Chicken and Vegetable Soup (which I doubled)
-1 can tomato soup
-1 can tomato sauce
-Chicken broth
-2 zucchinis, diced
-small bag of frozen mixed veggies
-1 clove garlic
-2 chicken breasts, raw, cubed
-Onion powder
Mix all ingredients in crock pot and add chicken broth until you get to the consistency of broth you like for your soup. I use about a TBSP onion powder and a lot of basil, but really, just add whichever spices you think sound good. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. If you don’t like your zucchini as well done, just add it for the last hour or so.
Cheez-It Chicken (My all time favorite dinner growing up.)
-4 chicken breasts
-1-2 cups Cheez-Its, crushed
-1 tsp Garlic Powder
-1 tsp Onion Powder
-Butter, melted
In a zip lock bag combine crackers and seasonings. Dip chicken in butter and then shake in cracker mixture until well coated. When cooking right away, top chicken in pan with remaining cracker mixture and bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until cooked through. If planning on freezing, slice chicken into 1 inch thick strips prior to coating. Flash freeze on parchment paper on cookie sheet and then combine in zip lock bag. Bake without thawing at 350 for 3o minutes or until cooked through.
*And, in case you’re wondering, I spent a little less than $140 between Walmart and Costco for all of the food to make 17 meals for 4 people and have lots of cheese, tortillas and sour cream left over.*

cleaning list from brown paper packages

 I'm one of those crazy people that likes to clean, and I really love a clean house.  There's something about an orderly home that creates a calming atmosphere, and I find that I can manage the rest of my life so much better if my house is clean.

 I'm a big believer in "maintenance" cleaning, as opposed to cleaning for hours on one day of the week or before visitors are due to arrive.  It's much easier for me to fit in chores around my schedule during the day whenever I can, and it also allows for our house to stay clean as possible with five kiddos and seven people running around.

I'm also a list girl, and so keeping a cleaning checklist just makes sense, and helps me to keep track of things that need to be done not just daily, but weekly and monthly. (I also have quarterly and annual lists.)  This list can be printed out and laminated, and hung on the fridge or other prominent spot.  It could also be placed in a frame, and items crossed off with a dry erase marker.

How does it work?  I have certain chores that I do everyday, and work WONDERS to keep my home looking and feeling clean.  I fit them in when I can during the day, depending on my schedule. For example, I fold laundry each night after my kids are in bed while I catch up on my favorite shows, then I put it away in the morning.  It's a nightly ritual, but it's the way I can keep up with the 15-18 loads I do per week. I greatly believe that these daily chores are at the crux of success--do these, and you'll find yourself with more time overall, not less. Oh, and my kids do help with these chores...but that's a topic for another day.  :)


1.  Make beds

It's the first thing I do in the morning--I don't leave my room until it's done.  Having all the beds made is one of the best ways to keep rooms looking tidy, and it always makes me feel better to have it done.

2.  Wipe down bathrooms

I keep Clorox bathroom wipes and Windex in each bathroom, and it takes less than one minute to wipe down the counters and clean the mirror each day when we're finished getting ready.  Doing this daily will greatly reduce the amount of time it will take to deep clean the bathrooms--which I do weekly.

3.  Sweep after each meal

My husband says that I'm really married to the broom, and he probably has a point.  I sweep after each meal, and as needed throughout the day.  This is another chore that only takes a minute, but has a great impact.

4.  Dishes/dishwasher

We turn on the dishwasher at night, and put them away in the morning, which ensures that my sink can stay empty all day long.  

5.  Wipe down kitchen counters after each meal

Clean counters = clean kitchen.  When counters are crumb and clutter free, it sets the tone for the whole space.  It makes it easier to cook, do homework, and all the other things that go on in the busiest part of the house. I also wipe down all appliances (especially the fridge) after each meal--since I have stainless steel, this is a big deal for me!

6.  Laundry

I like doing laundry everyday, as opposed to doing it on one day of the week--and I've always done it this way, even before I had to do as many loads as I do now.  Laundry can quickly feel overwhelming, and when I saw a lot of piles, it makes me crazy. It also keeps my laundry room more orderly and organized, and it's easier to keep track of clothing.  I don't assign certain loads on certain days, except towels and sheets, because I just do them as they need to be done.  I could talk for days about laundry, but I'll spare you. Lol.

7. Vacuum main floor

We spend the majority of our time on the main floor, and I vacuum it each night after the kids are in bed.  It takes less than 10 minutes, and  No toys are kept in my kids' upstairs bedrooms, so they aren't up there until it's time to sleep, which means I can get away with vacuuming only once a week on the upstairs level.

8.  Open/file mail and school papers

Oh, how paper can quickly take over our lives!  Staying on top of it is the key, so each day go through mail and school papers and file them where they go.  Controlling paper clutter will make a HUGE difference in both appearance, and as a time saver...since you won't have to look for anything!

9.  Entire house pickup

I pick up the house throughout the entire day, but before bed, the whole house gets a once-over.  House rules call for rooms and playroom being clean before dinner, so it's really just the family room that requires the picking up before bed.  If you can set aside 10 minutes each night to pick up your entire house, it will greatly reduce and diminish things from just piling up.  This is where having a place for everything makes a huge difference, and it will go so much faster! 


I fit these chores in as I can during the week, and I usually choose a few each day to tackle.  It changes from week to week, as does my schedule, and I like the flexibility of being able to switch things around as needed.
  • vacuum whole house
  • vacuum under couch cushions, ceiling corners
  • dust
  • mop all floors
  • wash sheets & towels
  • empty trashes
  • wipe down kitchen cabinets
  • clean glass
  • deep clean bathrooms (toilet, tub, shower, floors, drawers & cabinets)
  • kitchen (microwave, stove burners, drawers)
  • wipe down kitchen chairs


I make a plan for these items, because they take a little more time to accomplish than many of the daily chores.

  • vacuum out and clean windowsills (when you open the window--that part between the inside & outside)
  • dust ceiling fans and ledges
  • wipe down vents (on walls and in floors)
  • clean fridge and freezer
  • wipe down doors and doorknobs
  • wipe down switch plates
  • cycle clean washing machine and dishwasher
  • clean oven
  • clean out garbage cans
  • sweep out garage
  • wash bed quilts/comforters
Keeping cleaners and rags accessible are a must.  Find a place for them on each level of your home, and it will be that much easier!  I have a cupboard in my laundry room for lower level cleaning, and in my bathroom cupboard for upper level cleaning.  I also keep stacks of rags along with the cleaners, so it's all there together.  To keep all the rags straight, I only use white rags for cleaning (they can be bleached), and colored rags for the kitchen.  When it's time to fold and put away, it's easy to know where they go!


There you go!  Hopefully some of the tips will help you on your journey to a clean and organized home.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

home made taco seasoning from

Homemade Taco Seasoning

(The ingredient list below should make enough for about 5 to 6 lbs of meat… maybe more?)
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
3 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper

Monday, February 13, 2012

liquid detergent from

I have heard about how easy and how economical homemade laundry soap was to make, but until I started seeking out recipes, I really had no idea HOW easy and HOW economical it would be.
These are the ingredients you’ll need:
20-Mule Team Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap.
I found all of the items at Kroger.  I looked at Wal-Mart, but was unable to find them.  I also heard that you could get the bar soap and the washing soda at Ace Hardware.
I paid $1.29 for the soap and $2.79 for the washing soda.  Note, this is not baking soda.  The Borax I already had, but it costs about $3.00.
There are 5 ounces of washing soda in each batch of laundry detergent – so, a 55 ounce box will make you 11 batches.  Which means that I paid $0.25 for washing soda for one batch of detergent.
There are 3.5 ounces of Borax in each batch of laundry detergent – so, a 76-ounce box will give you just over 21 batches.  Which means I paid about $0.14 for Borax for one batch of detergent.
Each bar will make 2 batches.  Which means I paid $0.65 for the soap for one batch of detergent.
This batch will wash 64 regular loads of laundry, or 128 HE loads.  I paid $1.06 for a batch to wash 64 regular loads of laundry, or 128 HE loads.
SERIOUSLY economical.
You’ll also need a bucket that is at least 3 gallons and has a lid and a large pot that will hold at least 10 cups of water.
Here’s how to make it:
Grate half of the bar of Fels-Naptha soap (some recipes I read also said you could use a whole bar of Ivory soap in lieu of the Fels-Naptha soap)
Add the soap to a pot with 10 cups of water.  Heat until the soap dissolves.
Add ½ cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.
Add ½ cup of 20 Mule Team Borax.
Stir until dissolved.
Pour 1 gallon plus 6 cups (22 cups) of cold water into your bucket.
Add the soap mixture.
Stir until well mixed.
Cover.  Let sit for 24 hours.
Use ½ cup per load (¼ cup for HE washers)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Upcycle Tie Necklace with Green Eggs and Ham

And, here are your supplies

{thrifted tie, suit button (or anything you'd like to use), scissors, pins, needle and thread}

STEP ONE: Lay out your tie, and start folding and pining in a manner that's pleasing to you. 

STEP TWO: Lay it around your neck and add or remove folds to get the length you want.  Keep in mind you'll want to be able to have the necklace slip on and off your head after the button is sewn down.

STEP THREE: Take your needle and thread and tack down the folds from the back side of the necklace.

STEP FOUR: Place your button or accent piece and stitch down.

STEP FIVE: Enjoy your great necklace!!!

And, just to let you cool cats know, I still have my very first giveaway going on.  But, you need to hurry over because your chances to enter will end Sunday, April 17th with the winner announced April 18th.