This is a go-to salad when I’m on Weight Watchers. It’s super easy and tasts great. I love buffalo sauce and it gives me my fix.

This salad was sort of a pantry-party salad yesterday because I threw in leftover potatoes since they needed to get eaten. I actually really enjoyed the texture the potatoes added to the salad and of course who doesn’t love some carbs with your salad.

Buffalo “chik patty” salad

Ingredients

1 Morning Star Chik Patty
1 roma tomato, chopped
5-7 baby carrots, chopped
1/2 cup roasted red potatoes, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
Couple handfuls of salad mix (I used an organic spring mix)
2 tablespoons light ranch dressing
1 tablespoon Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce

Preparation

Microwave the chik patty according to package instructions and cut into small squares. Add the Franks sauce and toss to coat. On a large plate add the salad mix, veggies and chik patty. Top with ranch dressing.

Total Weight Watchers Points Plus = approximately 12-13. To reduce the points omit the cheese and potatoes (cuts the points in half). I can eat a bit more (ok a lot more actually) points each day because I’m breastfeeding so I’ve been able to add cheese to things I otherwise wouldn’t.

Enjoy!

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My baby girl turned one month last Friday! I was hoping to get a post up sooner but we have been BUSY. Now that the weather is so nice and Juliet is a little older, we have been taking her out and about. Bringing her out is easy. She is such a good baby. I keep holding my breath thinking, any day now, she is going to turn into a huge spazz baby. But it hasn’t happened yet. I think she just has her daddy’s laid back disposition.

She is so much fun.  I love her silly facial expressions when she’s awake and alert and also her sweet, peaceful look when she’s sleeping.  Her lips get pouty and full when she’s asleep and I just stare and stare at her. 

Juliet has started getting pretty strong and moves her neck/head from side and side and can hold it up for moments at a time.  She doesn’t like tummy time too much and she actually rolled over about a few days ago.  I told Erik that was an anomoly and it probably won’t happen again for a while, babies don’t usually roll over until at least 4 months (right?).  She is still quite an eater but we are continuing to work on technique (isn’t it weird that there is proper technique to breastfeeding? I had no idea).  I love seeing Juliet gain weight and I think to myself proudly, I am helping her to grow! 

And though Juliet is more alert and active my favorite pasttime continues to be sitting with her quietly and snuggling, as I hear the phase when they love to lie on your chest is fleeting, so I take advantage of doing it every minute I can.

Like I mentioned, we have been busy!  But with a baby it’s a different kind of busy.  We have a lot of family time.  St. Patrick’s Day couldn’t be more different now that Juliet is here.  Without a baby, we probably would have been downtown St. Paul drinking green beer (well, Erik for sure would have been).  This year we went to my parent’s house to celebrate with my siblings.  It was a lot of fun, just a different kind of fun!
Yes we dressed a very non-Irish little girl up for St. Patrick’s Day.
I whipped up some green, festive non-alchoholic beverages that had Sierra Mist, limeade and lime.
They were super refreshing and more than once I thought to myself how they would have been great with vodka 🙂
There is nothing wrong with store-bought cupcakes and cookies!  Weight Watchers starts today so I loaded up on sweets as though I’ll never eat them again.
Not pictured, my sister and her husband made a delicious Shepherd’s Pie.

And of course, grandma and grandpa can’t get enough of Juliet and she loves spending time with them. Saturday was the third time we saw grandma last week!

We are looking forward to another week on maternity leave, it is supposed to rain a bit all week so we may be having lazy days on the couch, which is fine with me after such a busy weekend.  I hope you all enjoyed your weekend, did you do anything crazy for St. Paddy’s Day??

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Yesterday the weather was in the 70’s in Minnesota. It was glorious. I went for a walk in the Moby during the day with Juliet and then Erik and I grilled out, just the three of us. It was one of the best evenings I’ve had in a while.
I drank a glass of cab while Erik grilled. 
Kody kitty sunned himself on the porch while we ate.
We kept the meal very simple and had brats with sauerkraut, roasted red potatoes and corn. Juliet had milk 🙂

Love Minnesota spring, I feel so lucky to be on maternity leave right now!!!

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{Photo credits: Martha Stewart}

It really feels like spring in MN. I enjoyed the mid 60 degree weather with my mom, niece Chloe and Juliet on a lovely walk yesterday. Today is going to be in the mid-70’s. These lemony cakes remind me of something I’d serve for a spring dinner party or lunch.

I’d love to eat cake every day for the rest of my life.

But let’s get real. I have 10 more pounds to lose from pregnancy and another 5 after that (that I should have lost before getting pregnant). I’m starting Weight Watchers on Monday. I wanted to give myself a whole month after having Juliet to not give a damn about what I ate. And I haven’t (given a damn). Not that I’ve been feasting on french fries and pizza but I’ve had cupcakes and chips a few times without thinking twice about it.

WW will be interesting. It’s been about a year since I’ve been on any serious sort of diet. But it’s time. Mostly just time to get as healthy as can be. And I need to get my ass in shape, too. Did I mention that during the walk with Juliet last weekend I had to stop and catch my breath? Yikes!

Now back to the cake talk, because I still have a 5 more days before WW begins.  I’m sure I won’t have time to bake a cake, but perhaps I’ll scour a local bakery for lemony treats.  In the event you do have the time, check out these recipes and let me know how they turn out!

Lemon cake
White Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd Filling

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Last weekend was nothing short of amazing. With a baby there is a new kind of amazing.

Amazing because of firsts.

Amazing because of precious time spent with good friends.

Amazing because of an almost 5-hour stint of sleep!

Amazing because I drank a mimosa 🙂

My weekend:

Good friends Kristin and Tim came over on Saturday with brunch.  Kristin made a delicious hashbrown, veggie quiche, bacon and she brought HUGE buttery croissants from a local bakery.  I forgot to take photos, unfortunately, but we had a great time visiting with them.

On Sunday Emily, Shannon and Natasha came over with brunch as well.  We had mimosas, coffee, quiche, a beautiful fruit salad and the most amazing blueberry coffee cake.  I hadn’t seen these gals in about a month and a half and it was an awesome time. 

Don’t be intimidated by coffee cake, it’s really quite simple to make and so, so good (Emily introduced me to this recipe).  Check out the recipe here
Lunds carries delicious quiche pre-made.  Keeps things easy and quick! 
My sister, Kat, came over on Friday afternoon and we checked out local cupcake shop, Sweet Bebe Cakes.  I bought 6 cupcakes, this one was vanilla with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream.  So moist and tasty.  I still have my sweet cravings for sure.
The weather this weekend was insanely gorgeous, the mid 60 degree temps broke records and felt so damn warm.  We took Juliet out for her first ever walk.  She was very alert/awake the whole time…taking everything in.  We purchased that Quinny Buzz stroller used from a coworker and it worked quite well (I was worried I didn’t like it because it’s heavy and hard to fold down, still is hard to fold, but it rides very smooth).  Erik loves it. 
And finally, a photo of Erik and I snuggling our sweet baby. There was a LOT of that going on last weekend. Don’t mind me…that’s no make-up and super funky hair!

I hope you enjoyed your weekends as much I did!

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Juliet is 3 weeks today! Time is flying by, which surprises me because I thought the days would feel longer. We haven’t gone out much (yet) because I’m avoiding crowds the best I can until Juliet is a bit older (we’ll probably start going out in another week or two).

Our time is spent hanging out at home all day, mostly in the living room and nursery.  We take naps (well, I try to nap when she does but it rarely happens), breastfeed a lot, and our latest favorite past time is hanging out in the Moby wrap. The Moby allows me to hold Juliet close all day while she naps or is awake but I have two hands to do things like eat!

Juliet is more alert these days and a bit more fussy (to be expected now that she’s out of her super sleepy phase).  We have gotten a couple 3-4 hour stretches of sleep in at night which feels amazing, but besides that she is still eating every 2-3 hours (more like every 2 hours at night).  We’ve seen a lactation consultant twice since being home from the hospital and Juliet is doing amazing at breastfeeding (lactation consultants are a new mom’s dream, so helpful and supportive).  She is gaining weight like a champ and is beginning to sport a double chin and chubby cheeks that I kiss all day long.

I wanted to include some of my favorite baby items that I can’t live without right now:

Burp cloths – we have these placed all over the house so they’re always within an arm’s reach.  You can never have too many.  We are super lucky and received tons of hand made burp cloths as gifts. 

The Moby Wrap – I adore this!  The lactation consultant showed me how to wrap it and now I’m obsessed.  I want to carry Juliet around in this thing until she’s 18!

Any and all breastfeeding supplies – including my breast pump, drying rack, bottle cleaning brush, storage bags, etc.  These things are not exciting but are invaluable. 

Pacifiers – I was told by a lactation consultatnt (the one that taught the breastfeeding class I took) not to introduce a pacifier until at least a month.  Um…that sooo didn’t happen.  We gave her one around a week and a half.  My friend Mel is a pediatrician and actually recommended giving her one early on.  Babies need to suck to be soothed. Juliet likes her paci, but we try to only give it to her around nap time, night time and if she is being super fussy.

Couple questions for all you moms:

Juliet doesn’t like sleeping in her pack n play (we have it right next to our bed in our room).  She prefers to be held to sleep or to sleep in bed with us).  I know bed-sharing is supposedly a no-no (I would do it in a second every night while she is an infant if it wasn’t considered unsafe) and I need my girlie to sleep better at night.  Do any of you use the Fischer Price Rock N Play Sleeper?  I’ve read mixed reviews on Amazon (some saying it contributes to flat head, scary!) but moms on The Bump swear by it.  Or how about the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper?  I’m thinking the co-sleeper would be best because she would be closer to me but it’s really not that much different than having the pack n play next to my bed. 

What do you think is my best option?  Oh and I realize Juliet is still super young and her sleeping patterns/needs are pretty normal.  I just want her to be as comfortable as possible and am considering other options then the pack n play. 

And finally I wanted to let you all know that after talking with a bunch of friends and receiving comments/email advice, I probably will not be starting a separate mom/baby blog.  Instead I’ll be incorporating that content into Eat Drink Pretty.  It won’t be constant, but probably on Thursdays for sure (Juliet was born on a Thursday and I’ll be doing weekly updates).  Everyone thought, and ultimately I agreed, that there is no way I’d have time to maintain two blogs and also work full-time (which I’ll be doing after maternity leave is over).  I hope my regular readers won’t mind this additional content and if so, I would simply recommend avoiding my blog on Thursdays. 

And lastly, big thanks to Liz and Nicole for the cute hat and ruffly diaper cover that Juliet is modeling in her photos.  So cute!

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