Cravings, Baked Goods & A Trip to TC!

Hey everyone!! I figured I would do a hodge-podge type post of all the miscellaneous happenings from the end of February into March. I have quite the random spread for you today!

The evening of February 18th, I had to have my (pregnancy safe) sushi fix. I got all fully cooked sushi that were made fresh that day (one is vegetable and the rest are various California rolls with cooked crab). It really hit the spot.

My whole pregnancy I thought I would want sushi (mainly the raw stuff) after delivery as my first big meal- but I think that’s changed!! I have wanted nothing more than a big ol’ deli sandwich with tons of meat and cheese from Jimmy John’s. I told Deej he’s on JJ duty- Priorities, priorities!

Saturday, February 19th, was a very productive day for both of us. We got a lot done around the house and work-related stuff accomplished too. Moose caught up on enough sleep for the three, well technically four ;)), of us.

That day, I was craving some Panera. I got their green goddess salad as well as their turkey chili and added some cheese on top. This was all soo good! I also live for those baguettes.

Side note: We were having a discussion with a group of friends the other day, and a lot of people apparently don’t like Panera in general! I didn’t know this was a possibly commonly felt sentiment? I do think it can be overpriced, but I also think the food is pretty good/it has good options when you need something quick. Curious your thoughts on it!

Sunday, February 20th, we went to our nephew’s basketball game.

It was adorable watching this age group play! He did really well too- lotsa assists and even had a basket! He was so selfless with the ball. He made us all proud, but especially his Uncle DJ who played through college.

That afternoon we took Moose for a walk before getting back to the work grind.

Monday, February 21st, I woke up feeling a bit under the weather with a cold. After a day of tomato soup & grilled cheese I felt a little better. I feel like I really turned the corner a few days later.

I tried to get outside for some fresh air that week and keep up with my walks. I remember on this walk in particular it felt like spring really may be approaching! It was a tad warmer than usual, the snow was melting into the side of the sidewalks, and the sun was out in all its glory. Could it be we survived our first Ohio winter since being back? (Spoiler alert: Despite my naïveté optimism, we still had a couple months of winter left considering it just snowed a few days ago in April, loll).

February 22nd, I received a Babylist box for creating a registry. I loved using Babylist because you can add anything from any store on it.

I was impressed with all the little samples of things that came in here- bottles, belly butter, diapers, lotion, fridababy products, a Burt’s Bees newborn onesie, coupons and even more I’m sure I’m forgetting!

February 24th we took off on our Charleston trip documented here, here and here 🙂

March 3rd, I had a hair appointment scheduled at Agape Organic Salon and Spa. I drove a little further since this place uses all organic products and no harsh chemicals. I hadn’t had my hair touched up since August 2021, so it was time. (Of course, I made sure with my OB it truly was safe before going).  The stylist did a great job- she did as little as possible just to blend some of the balayage and stayed away from my scalp. I was shocked how I didn’t smell any fumes while she did my hair compared to the usual stuff used. The final result was super subtle, natural, blended & exactly what I was hoping for. Thinking I can probably go another six months at least without getting it done again!

March 4th, we ordered Piada Italian Street Food for dinner. DJ always gets their carbonara which is incredible, and this time he got it with their hot fried chicken. He also tried their lobster bisque which was yummy too. (Can you tell I sampled a little bit of everything he ordered?). I was craving veggies, so I got the create your own salad with a side of their basil pesto and green harissa. Also, a must order every time is the parmesan piada stick. It’s so goood. And their brownies are deliciously dense & fudgy too!

March 5th, we ran errands around town. We took Moose man with us because we knew all the driving would likely make him tired, and a tired Moose is a good Moose 😉

That day, we did have a bit of a scare. Baby girl was active enough in the morning (she met her kick count, but maybe wasn’t as active as usual- although she does have the occasional quieter day). That afternoon, DJ and I went on a long walk enjoying the beautiful day, and when we got back from the walk I didn’t feel her move hardly at all for a couple hours except for a bout of hiccups. I started to panic when all the normal tricks to get her to move weren’t working. I called my OB, and he said the hiccups were reassuring, but to do kick counts again and come in if she didn’t meet them. We were due to babysit my niece and nephew around that time, so we zipped over their house, and I filled in my sister-in-law on what was going on. She gave me some orange juice she had on hand, and I started the new round of kick counts. I knew DJ could hold down the fort if I needed to go to triage. Thankfully after about 20/30 mins, she started moving again, she met her kicks, and my niece even got to feel her move ❤️. It was so scary, but I was/am so relieved she is ok! The next few days after that she was more active than ever, so I think she was just resting up.

Once I was reassured all was ok, I was able to really enjoy and be present for that time with Kate and Will <3. We missed Jack, but he was busy at the Monsters Game representing the Boy Scouts on the rink during halftime!

We had the best time with them!

On Sunday, March 6th, I drove to Medina for a maternity shoot that was more intimate, focused on documenting my pregnant belly <3. This was one of the greatest experiences, and I highly encourage any pregnant momma to do it! I felt really empowered during the shoot, and I will absolutely treasure these pictures forever! Shout out to my photographer, Rachael, who made me so comfortable and knew just how to capture this special time.

That evening was gorgeous, so we took Moose out for a walk taking advantage of every second of daylight.

By this point in the day, I was ravenous. DJ had already enjoyed some leftovers for dinner, but I was ready to chow down on something specific- gyros. I wanted the usual lamb gyro, but the veggie one looked delicious too- so naturally I ordered both… and a side of jojos. It was all so good. 

I had a little leftover the next day, so at least I got two meals out of being indecisive, hah.

March 8th, I started meal prepping for the postpartum period. I try to make one crockpot meal to freeze per week. So far I have about six in the freezer. If you have any freezable meals that you love, please send them my way!

March 8th and 9th, Moose and I got lotsa walking in!

Here is post-walk with his sleepy head on the pregnancy pillow.

The afternoon of March 9th I got an exciting delivery! Allie over at Living My Full Life has an awesome blog and Etsy shop, Braid Bakery.  When I saw she was selling the most eye-catching Easter chocolate covered Oreos, I had to get some. When I was checking out, I also threw in some gluten free brownies and she generously gifted some of her granola.

We were blown away by how good this all was! She is so incredibly talented!

That afternoon, I met up with my friend, Kaitlyn, in downtown Hudson at the cutest little coffee shop, Heartwood Coffee Roasters.

It was a gorgeous afternoon, even if a little chilly, so I grabbed some hot tea, and we ventured back outside to walk around downtown Hudson. Also, I have to come back here to try some of these baked goods! I have my eye on those croissants.

The walk was filled with lots of sunshine and wonderful, soul-fueling conversation 💕.

I worked on Thursday and then headed out on Friday, March 11th, to Traverse City to see my grandparents. I almost missed my connection due to my first flight being significantly delayed, and I had my first Braxton Hicks contraction while trying to speed walk/sprint to the gate- no fun! But I made it!

Anyway, I wish DJ could have joined, but unfortunately it was tough to schedule with work. It had been wayyy too long since I’d seen my grandparents, and I knew this was probably my last weekend I could travel while pregnant. They are living in a new residential home that is just perfect for them, and I was excited to see it in person. And I was also thrilled, of course, to see them in person and for them to see me pregnant 💕.

It was so wonderful to be reunited. They were so sweet with the baby and talked to her a lot through the weekend.

That evening they gave me a tour of the building, we played a couple rounds of pool and had dinner in the beautiful dining room.

They both are way better at pool than I am and easily beat me, haha.

When I left later that evening, I realized I could probably eat a whole other dinner after the long day of travel! I ended up going to Poppycocks (a family and local favorite) to pick up some food and took it back to the hotel with me (usually I’d stay with my Aunt & Uncle, but they were on a road trip).

I couldn’t believe how much of an appetite I still had- I chowed down on some pita, a roasted veggie platter, hummus and bread while watching an episode of Married at First Sight. It really hit the spot! Also that show is nuts, and I love it.

I returned to my G & Gs in the morning for breakfast bright and early. It was such a yummy breakfast, and we felt fueled up for the day.

After breakfast, my Grandpa and I dueled off in several rounds of pool. And of course, he won most of them.

We had lunch in the dining room and then drove to the mall. I thought it would be so special for them to help me pick out a couple outfits for baby girl 💕.

It was so adorable watching them dote over the clothes and take their time making a decision of what they wanted for their great-granddaughter <3. Makes me all emotional just thinking about it!

They settled on these adorable gems below! My grandma chose the pink set and my grandpa chose the overalls and sweatshirt. He said they both spoke him, so of course, we had to get both 🙂

I can’t wait for them to see her in these outfits!

We did some grocery shopping in the afternoon and then got ready for dinner.

That evening, we had plans to go out on the town! We had reservations at Artisan located inside the Delamar Hotel on the water in downtown TC.

We had an early reservation, so it was fairly empty when we arrived, but it filled up quickly! The interior was stunning.

Artisan is a fairly new restaurant (I believe late summer/fall of 2021), and my G & G had never been.  They kept saying how amazed they were with the renovations since they’d last been, and they even ran into a couple friends.

We started out with some hearty and delish bread & butter.

And I managed to sneak in a photo of these two cuties!!

To our delight, it was actually restaurant week- so we were able to try a bunch of menu items at a great price.

For starters, we enjoyed this brilliant presentation of roasted crudités with hummus, pomegranate, and kale pistou.

My G & G both tried some of the butternut squash bisque and didn’t leave a drop behind.

For our mains, I had their roasted chicken which was beyond good.

They both had their steak for restaurant week & raved about how great all the food was.

Oh, but it didn’t stop there. Included in the restaurant week menu was dessert! We tried two- the butterscotch bread pudding & salted caramel cheesecake.

I think the pictures speak to just how delicious these desserts were!

After dinner, we said our goodbyes (which was soo difficult), and then I had my flight out early that next morning. It was a short trip, but one chock full of amazing memories with them!

My grandma also sent us home with some sweet cards <3.

On the plane ride home I read as much as possible out of Newborn 101. I know there is no real way to truly prepare to be a parent, and you have to be able to be flexible, but reading and absorbing some info gives me a touch of confidence having a general framework to work within. This book is also full of awesome tips & suggestions!

I couldn’t wait to see Mr. Moose and DJ, but I already missed my grandparents so much. And that wraps up through March 13th!

Thanks for reading, and next up I’ll share about the baby shower!



25 thoughts on “Cravings, Baked Goods & A Trip to TC!

  1. How lovely! I smiled so much at the picture of you and your Grandparents, it sounds like a heart warming, soul nourishing, beautiful and fulfilling trip! Lots of love your way beautiful <3 xxx thanks for being the bright inspirational light that you are in the world!

  2. Your grandpa’s eyes are mesmerizing!
    My dad considers Panera Bread “overpriced hospital food” and honestly, he’s got a point, but it’s still tasty! Every once in a while I get a hankerin’ for their broccoli and cheddar soup or their pecan braids–so good.

    1. Aw, I agree- he does have some beautiful blue eyes!!

      Okay I am cracking up because that is EXACTLY what one of our friends said pretty much verbatim about it being like hospital food!!! I do love their soups though too- and I haven’t tried a pecan braid, but will have to soon 😋

  3. Such a fun time with plenty of amazing food! Baby girl is eating super well! I have been right there with you on feeilng nervous about Ansley’s movements, but *just* as you said, it seems she was resting. Then she would come back strong. My practice said that kick counts are not well-founded in the scientific literature, so because they just made me anxious, I never got into the habit of them. But I certainly have paid attention to her routines. Today she has been really rolling and moving a great deal!

    That is so precious and sweet that you got to see your grandparents!! I wish mine were here to meet their great-granddaughter. Definitely treasure those memories.

    Girlfriend, your meal-prep is so impressive! I have yet to make anything, but I planned to make a batch of baked oatmeal, muffin frittatas, and maybe one other item for the freezer, But we have limited space. A friend advised purchasing a tray of fruits and vegetables as well as an assortment tray of cheese, so I will be doing that for sure! Then we’ll wing it as best we can with a few go-to meals.

    I hope you’re having an awesome week!

    1. That is really interesting about kick counts not being well founded, but I believe it! When I was in school doing my rotation for OB, I’m pretty sure we didn’t learn about kick counts, and the preceptor I was with didn’t enforce them either. I’m curious to look into the literature more now ! But yes, they can definitely create anxiety even if she’s just having a rest day!

      Ohhh your meal prep plan sounds amazing! I want to make all that now too 😋 that is super smart about the fruit, veggie and cheese tray. Definitely going to do that!

      Hope you are having a great start to your week too, friend! Home stretch 🙌🏻

      1. Kaci’s practice still advised kick counts, but my doctor never asks! She just inquires about Ansley’s overall activity & movements. If you look into them, let me know what you discover!

        I hope you enjoy these foods too! I stocked up at Kroger yesterday (saving over $50 in the process 🥳), & I’m excited to meal prep this Saturday!

        Homestretch, & I cannot believe it!

  4. Wow, I really have been away from blogging for too long… Congrats to you. How exciting for you. I’m glad you got the opportunity to visit your grandparents and let them spoil you and your little lady too. As for Panera, we used to like it a lot and went every few weeks, then they changed quite a few things on their menu and we never go now. We will pop in from time to time to get bagels, but never think to go there for lunch or dinner anymore

    1. Hi Lori!! So good to hear from ya😊

      Aw thank you!! It’s so sweet how they are with her 🥺 I can’t wait for them to meet her!

      Oh that makes sense! I think I do remember when their menu had an overhaul. They do have good bagels! Their baked good section is always pretty decent in general at least. So funny how polarizing Panera can be, I had no idea 😄

      Thanks for stopping in!! Hope you are doing so well!

  5. Fun post! So happy you had such a beautiful visit with your grandparents! They are fabulous! Lots and lots of delectable food showcased here! Laura and I used to go to Panera all the time, now we go to First Watch. But I’m not sure why we drifted away from Panera. I’m getting so excited about Babycakes!

    1. They truly are fabulous 🥰 I look up to them lots!

      Oh First Watch definitely beats Panera far and away!! Oh man, now I have a craving for it 😂 I may need to door dash some first watch today considering I’m feeling a little too lazy to drive out in this snow- snow in April 🥲 lol.

      Can’t wait for you to meet her 🤗💕

  6. Don’t even get me started on people that don’t like Panera! I do not understand them at all and I seriously wonder why I am friends with them. I used to go all the time in L.A. but unfortunately, there isn’t one anywhere near my Mom’s house here in Arkansas so do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had Panera? 5 1/2 years. Think about that. In a 5 1/2 year time period, your daughter will be born and probably in Kindygarten. My favorites were the chicken-strawberry-poppy seed salad and broccoli cheese soup. I don’t know that I ever got anything else from there, but I keep seeing ads for their new chicken sandwiches and I’m dying to try them. As for bagels, I always got the cinnamon crunch or whatever it’s called. Sigh… I love and miss you, Panera!

    Who knew you had to do a kick count on a baby and that you can’t eat raw sushi? What about Japanese women can they eat raw sushi? Is this strictly an American pregnancy no-no?

    Your grandparents are TOO cute and they were taking that baby clothes shopping VERY SERIOUSLY. They made some very cute selections and I know you will be SURE to send them pictures of the baby in the outfits they selected for her because it is VERY DISAPPOINTING to buy baby clothes and then the mother doesn’t put the baby in those clothes because she personally doesn’t like those clothes. Fine…it’s her baby, but it still hurts. Who knew she hated the Lakers so much she would refuse to put Lakers socks on her baby’s feet??? People should just put the baby in the clothes, snap a picture, send it to the person and then they are free to give the clothes to Goodwill or return them or whatever. We just want to see the baby in the clothes for a minute. And of course in the case of grandparents, the baby should be wearing the clothes they picked out when the baby goes to visit them. That’s my childless opinion anyway. lol

    Those Oreos you got from Etsy are so pretty! So it’s safe to buy food products from strangers on Etsy? I’ve been to afraid to. How do I know if their kitchen is clean? Do they get inspected by official health inspectors?

    That baby in striped pajamas is adorable!

    Moose is so cute with his wrinkly forehead.

    I want to go to Poppycocks but I would not want to sit at that table in the front window.

    Do you have any interesting tidbits to share from Newborn 101?

    1. Haha!!! Oh I am laughing right now! Your comments are the best 🤣 It’s so funny to me how polarizing Panera is- I also thought it was generally liked, but apparently not?! Glad you are team Panera too ☺️ But so crazy it’s been that long 😭 A full kindygarten age since you’ve had it- not right! But don’t worry, I’ll eat enough for the both of us!! Especially that cinnamon crunch bagel! They are delicious!!!

      So interestingly, my OB did give me the green light to eat sushi, but gave me tons of tips to eat it safely- I just avoided the raw stuff to be extra safe, even though he was cool with it. I know every OB has different feelings on it though. One of those controversial things. But great point about people that eat it as part of their usual diet!

      Hahah oh no, that is sad about the Lakers socks! I’ll absolutely be sending them a picture, do not worry 😄

      I totally trust Allie, and I know her personally, so this is a little different- but I have ordered cake pops from a total stranger before on Etsy, and I guess I didn’t really think about it 😅 My safety town training failing me. But we’re still standing so I guess all was well! Lol

      Haha I would not want to sit in that front window either- like a fish bowl! I am not a cute eater either so I’d be pretty self conscious 🤣

      Ohh yes!!! I actually took 18 pages of notes on a word document from Newborn 101 😂 There were a lot of great tidbits- I think one that comes to mind is babies initially are attracted to sharp contrast rather than muted colors- so I bought some high contrast books for infants and a mobile that is high contrast too!

      1. Now see, that’s another reason why it’s a good thing I never had kids. I would be SO MAD that it would be better for Baby to have sharp contrast mobiles and things when MOMMY likes traditional baby pastels. Hahahahahahaha.

  7. May is creeping ever closer. I believe the first post I read of yours was when you were climbing the sand dunes with your sister while visiting your grandparents. How happy they were to see and dote on you and their future great-granddaughter!

    1. Aww yes I think it was!! You have such a great memory. It’s wild we are less than a month from our due date- where has the time gone?! Aww yes they were so sweet with her already 🥺 warmed my heart!!!

      1. I do remember the post – you were scrambling up the dunes. Time flies by so quickly Mackenzie – before you know it, you will be holding onto your daughter’s hand and climbing up those same dunes. I’m looking forward to seeing the baby pictures.

  8. LOVED everything about this post. The time spent with your grandparents was so heart warming to see and read about. SO excited for all of you for your baby girl to arrive soon! She is truly already loved tremendously.

    Your food posts are alwasy so amazing!

    I was never a Panera person until recently relocating to Florida, and we go ALL.THE.TIME for lunch to have thier asian chicken salad. Yummie and love the light dressing, chicken and YES the bread!

    1. Aww thank you, Donna!! I’m really happy to hear you enjoyed this post ☺️.

      Ohhh I haven’t had their Asian Chicken Salad- but that sounds really tasty!! Going to have to try that soon 🙂 Thanks for reading!!

  9. Loving this recap and seeing your cravings throughout pregnancy. It’s totally different for everyone lol.

    How sweet you got to see your grandparents and that they picked out outfits 😭😭😭 so heartwarming!

    I’m also glad that pregnancy scare turned out okay. I remember constantly thinking how my son was doing when he didn’t move at all because he was always active lol.

    Your due date is so close! So exciting!

    1. Hi Rossy!! Aw thanks for reading, girlfriend ! Aren’t pregnancy cravings just wild?! I never knew I’d become a full on carnivore again after not eating meat for so many years 😂

      It was so so special they were able to pick out those outfits 🥺 I treasure them!!

      Yess I am always so on alert about her movements. I’ve gotten better about not freaking out right away, but it can be so scary!

      It really is! They think she’s going to come earlier than my due date too! Ready for her any day now 🙂

      1. Do you think you’ll go back on your regular diet after a while? My diet changed somewhat after pregnancy, like I could no longer tolerate some foods LOL.

        I’m so happy that she’s finally here! I was so incredibly excited when I got your picture 😀

      2. At this point I actually don’t think so!! I still crave and want meat like I did while I was pregnant , it’s the craziest thing. Prior to pregnancy I didn’t genuinely like the taste of it!!

        Awww thanks, Rossy 🥰

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