Caffeine

So I’ve never been much of a coffee person. At least not a habitual drinker. I partake in coffee for the sake of socialization. I’m a social drinker. I certainly enjoy a Mocha Frappachino or a cafe mocha every now and then.

That being said, I’ve never experienced much of a reaction to caffeine. Never in all my 27 years have I noticed it making me more alert or keeping me awake at night (or any time of day for that matter).

Until last night.

I suppose I miraculously discovered the magical threshold. Turns out I’d just never tried drinking enough coffee. Or enough on an empty stomach. Or enough while pregnant? There could be all kinds of contributing factors, but all I know is, after having a medium Frappe Mocha from McDonald’s (which honestly looked to me like it should have been called a large – what was that like 4 cups worth? At least 3…) around 4 pm, I could not for the life of me turn my brain off come 11, 12, 1 in the morning. I started to really worry that I was somehow starting to develop insomnia (which I’ve heard from friends can be really annoying and sometimes scary). I lay on this side, I switched to that side, I sat on the rocker, I turned on the AC, I turned off the AC, I took a break and browsed my phone for 10 minutes, then tried it all again, all to no avail. My mind was racing a thousand miles an hour. On top of that, my baby was excitedly performing a full on acrobatic routine in my belly. I started to worry that I had really messed him up… And then my worry continued on to other things…if I was really prepared for labor and delivery, if I would be strong enough, if I would have him prematurely, if something would be wrong with him, if something is wrong with me, Can I handle 3 kids? What am I gonna do? What if they all fight every night and NO ONE. EVER. sleeps?!! Luckily, as if on cue, my son woke up and came to my room and lay next to me. That was actually surprisingly comforting. Kind of snapped me out of my little panic attack. I held his hand and my anxiety dissipated. Of course I still couldn’t sleep… and just as I was finally drifting off a while later, his sister came to join us (*sigh… what else is new…), which woke me up again and got me started again on this seemingly endless cycle. I think I ended up actually falling asleep around 3 or something. Got a good 3 and a half hours in! Hooray!

All in all, a learning experience. I FINALLY get what all the fuss is about! I finally understand how powerful caffeine is and how it affects people. I’ve also resolved to NEVER do that to myself again.

Note: Before you pounce on me, I know it’s not advisable to have that much caffeine on any given day while pregnant (I repeat; I did not know this medium would be such a large medium…). Up to this point, I have strictly abided by my midwives’ recommendations of no more than 2 cups of coffee a day, and I very rarely even have that. Caffeine from chocolate? Well, that’s another story…

Other note: If you think that cup is as funny as I think it is, you can find it here.

My Philosophy: When you have nothing else to write about, write about Chocolate

Being the sugary goodness connoseuir that I am, I think it’s only fair that I share some of my infinite wisdom with my beloved readers. The fourteen (hard as I tried, I couldn’t narrow it down to ten) best (not surprisingly mostly all chocolate) desserts on the planet:

1. Pecan pie and apple pie by my aunt C (homemade ALWAYS makes the top of the list!)



2. Chocolate chip cookies by my uncle J – top secret recipe (wondering what I have to do to get it out of him!)


3. Tiramisu by my sister in law H


4. Manner Original Neapolitan Wafers (to DIE for Viennese hazelnut chocolate cookies which if you haven’t tried, you absolutely MUST. I think they may actually warrant a trip to Europe, however, you can also find them for a hiked up price on Amazon or an international food market someplace)


5. Coldstone Founder’s Favorite (this founder clearly knows what’s good). Sweet cream ice cream chock full of pecans, brownie bits, chocolate syrup, and caramel syrup. My mouth is watering talking about it… 


6. Ferrero rochers (I mean I hate to be so predictable but I think we can all agree)


7. Glutino gluten free chocolate covered pretzels (where my gluten free folk at?)


8. Godiva everything (practically)


9. Lindt Lindor “Irresistibly Smooth” dark chocolate truffles (though nearly ALL the flavors I’ve tried are pretty darn irresistible!)


10. Those big variety boxes of “specialty”  European chocolate cookies that I’ve seen anywhere from BJs to my local Chinese supermarket 


11. Pepperidge Farm Geneva Dinstinctive cookies (ooh, not just any cookies, distinctive cookies)


12. Entenmann’s rich frosted doughnuts (you may recall). Oh great, they spell them “donuts”. *facepalm


13. Nutella (something about hazelnut with chocolate! Those Europeans know what they’re doing!)


So I first found this image, and then I found this one:


and I thought Thaaat’s more like it 😉 (Found this pic at divyakumar.com – pretty hilarious blog by the way)

14. Riesen chocolates


And that, my friends, concludes my list of all time best (mostly chocolate) sweet tooth satiators! Hope you enjoyed! Comment below if you think I left out something really crucial!

Healthy Snacking

So, I’m finally realizing, in my old age, that 

HUMMUS

is actually freaking amazing.

Anyone ever make their own? I have GOT to try. I used to turn my nose up at hummus without giving it much of a chance, but this past year, I tried some Tribe Lemon Focaccia with carrots (has to be carrots!) and I gave it enough of a chance…to where I fell in love 😍. To my horror, the local grocery stores I checked didn’t offer Lemon Foccaccia. So, like their website instructs, I emailed Tribe to let them know! I am happy to report that Tribe customer service agents are super cool! They apologized for my distress, suggested I talk to the managers of the stores, and mailed me a ONE FREE Hummus pack coupon! WHAT!! 

So, I decided to try their regular ol’ “classic”. Not as exciting as Lemon Focaccia, but still delicious! I’m currently furiously cutting up a whole bag of carrots. Another element of inspiration is that I’m now getting tons of extra wholesome veggies! My eyes are gonna be amazing! (I hope my skin doesn’t turn orange. As soon as I see a sign of that, I will slow down.)


Another GREAT way to get your veggies in is with Lipton or Knorr (I’ve found them to be equally delicious) spinach dip. It’s essentially mayo, sour cream, spinach (I personally prefer to leave out the water chestnuts), and an intoxicating mix of heavenly spices. I still stick to carrots with this dip, but I’m sure everyone likes different veggies.


Happy (healthy) snacking!