Life Lately: Third Trimester

life lately - third trimester

Hi, friends! What’s new with you? I’m roughly 10 weeks away from my due date…eek! Of course we have all sorts of things to do before the baby comes, but I’m not terribly stressed since we already have most of the essentials and Amazon Prime can deliver diapers in two days ;)

One of the more critical things we need to do is move Monica into the other bedroom and eventually move her to a big girl bed. I’m a little intimidated by the whole process since she isn’t crawling out of her crib right now. At least we know the new baby will sleep in our bedroom in a pack and play for the first three or four months! If nothing else, we’ll move Monica into her new room in her crib and then transition to a big girl bed before the baby needs the crib. Any words of advice for a successful transition?

I also had the one hour glucose screening, which I passed! Thank goodness! I’m not sure if I could handle a summer without ice cream!

On the flip side, the doctor told me during my 28 week appointment I’m slightly anemic. I checked the symptoms with Dr. Google and it makes more sense that I was feeling extra tired. Sure chasing a toddler while pregnant will do that, but it seemed worse than expected. So now I’m taking iron supplements in addition to my prenatal vitamins. And you know what? It might just be the placebo effect, but I feel a bit less tired these past few days.

I would also like to send a “thank you” note to Sephora for selling $12 eye shadow (Romantic Comedy is my current color of choice)! This is quite possibly the fastest I’ve ever replaced an eye shadow as I’m “sharing” mine with a certain toddler.

In business-y news, Brightwater Financial is up and running and the first newsletter went out yesterday! Here’s the link if you’re interested in subscribing.

Finally, I recently completed Hilary Rushford’s Instagram with Intention course. So informative! Sure, Instagram is a slightly guilty pleasure and beautiful escape from reality, but it’s also a great way to grow a business. Are you on Instagram? You can find me @FiscallyChic and @BrightwaterFin.

Other than that, we have some friends visiting from St. Louis this weekend and we’ll probably be spending an excessive amount of time outside. I may or may not be camped out by the baby pool with a faux-jito (mojito sans rum) or La Croix in hand :)

Launching Brightwater Financial

Hi, friends! I hope you weren’t hit too hard by the post-holiday weekend slump. At least now that we made it to Wednesday, we’re that much closer to the weekend! Woo!

As for me, this is an exciting week since I finally launched my fee-only financial planning firm Brightwater Financial! I started hinting at this new venture maybe 6 months ago, but it’s been on my mind for a bit longer than that considering I started Fiscally Chic in 2010 (what?!!).

Brightwater Financial website launch

So if you’re interested in planning for a brighter financial future, I’d love to work with you! And whether you have a baby on the way or are thinking about growing your family, here’s where to get my guide to preparing financially for a baby.

Thanks so much for your support over the years and I’d love for you to check out the site and blog! You can also find Brightwater Financial on Twitter and Instagram @BrightwaterFin. See you there!

Carne Asada Quinoa Bowl

Carne Asada Quinoa Bowl

Dinnertime (ok, most meals) with a toddler can be a crap shoot, hence the introduction of toddler tapas. The meal they devoured this week might be thrown on the floor when it’s offered again two weeks later. And of course some meals are better than others depending on how other meals went during the day, how active we were before dinner, how many snacks were eaten, etc.

And let’s not forget that getting dinner ready with a toddler presents its own unique challenges. If we’re cooking dinner during the week, it better take less than 30 minutes to cook and it most likely includes an ingredient Monica will usually eat (pasta, chicken, salmon, rice, quinoa). Preparations and seasonings will vary, but we can at least point out the familiar ingredient. And yes, sometimes we add extra cheese. And yes, sometimes we sneak in a few veggies. Fruit is usually a no-brainer success, so we save that towards the end of the meal to help round out dinner.

Carne Asada Bowl

One meal that has been a surprising hit is this carne asada quinoa bowl. This dish was created to get us out of a pasta rut and I’ve cooked it a slightly different way and with a few different ingredients each time. It uses premarinated carne asada beef from Trader Joe’s (this recipe also sounds tasty if you don’t have a TJ’s nearby). And the quinoa is usually ready to go in 15 minutes. So while the quinoa is cooking, you can cook the beef and chop up the other ingredients.

Yes, the quinoa can be a bit messy, but it’s totally worth it considering it’s a complete protein. That also means this dish is vegetarian-friendly if you serve the beef separately and use water or vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock.


Vegetarian Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Carne Asada Quinoa Bowls
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ onion (red, yellow, or white)
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of 1 or 2 limes
  • Olive oil
  • 1 package of Trader Joe's carne asada beef (approx. 1 - 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 avocado
  • Extra chopped cilantro to garnish
  1. Rinse 1 cup quinoa with water. Combine quinoa and chicken broth in medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 to 15 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
  3. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.
  4. While quinoa is cooking, chop tomato, garlic, onion, and cilantro. Put in bowl, mix, and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze in the lime juice, mix, and refrigerate.
  5. Pour some olive oil in a pan and heat to medium-high
  6. Cook the beef all the way through, a few minutes on each side.
  7. One the quinoa is cooked, add to the tomato mixture.
  8. Slice carne asada and serve over quinoa
  9. Top with sliced or diced avocado
  10. Garnish with additional cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice
The raw garlic contributes some heat, but feel free to add chopped jalepeno or serrano peppers if you prefer something spicier.
If you want to sneak in some extra veggies, I once used kale in place of the cilantro. Nobody could tell the difference!
The dish can be made vegetarian-friendly by cooking the quinoa with water or vegetable stock.

Carne Asada Quinoa Bowl Collage

toddler tapas birthday dinner 2

Toddler Tapas

Eleven summers ago, I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. One thing I brought back with me is an appreciation of sangria and tapas. Every so often we’ll have dinner at a Spanish restaurant or, even less often, make paella for dinner. And lately, we’ve been trying to be better about only buying the groceries we…

Read More »

maternity stitch fix review

Maternity Stitch Fix Review #1

Hi friends! I just wrapped up my first maternity Stitch Fix (affiliate link!) and thought you might want to see how everything worked out. I received a Stitch Fix gift card from John’s sisters as a birthday present. This was shortly after Stitch Fix announced they now carry maternity clothes, so I was beyond excited…

Read More »

Monica's 2nd birthday Collage

Happy 2nd Birthday, Monica!

Today is Monica’s second birthday and I can’t help but feel a little extra mushy. This little girl made us parents and in a few months, she’ll be a big sister. As a bit of a numbers nerd, she turns 24 months old when I’m 24 weeks pregnant. While there have been some challenging moments as…

Read More »

hot pink dress

Pregnancy, Self Confidence, and a Hot Pink Dress

Over Memorial Day weekend, I was feeling a bit down about my maternity wardrobe. Monica was born on June 8, so I didn’t need very many warm weather clothes while pregnant with her. I think 95% of my maternity wardrobe is either black, black and white, gray, gray and black, or navy, which sometimes feels a little too…

Read More »

are cloth diapers right for your family

Are Cloth Diapers Right for your Family?

Now that we’re expecting baby #2 (and I’ve given myself permission to blog more about personal, creative, and mommy-type subjects) I have a backlog of posts just waiting to be finished. One such post is about our experience with cloth diapers. When I was pregnant with Monica, I had all the best intentions to cloth diaper. They can…

Read More »

Birthday flowering tree

Life Lately: 20 Weeks!

We made it! It’s Friday! Our routines were a little off-kilter this week between my 20 week ultrasound (everything looks good! and the baby’s heartbeat sounds like someone running a treadmill!) and Monica catching a 24 hour stomach bug. So to say that we’re looking forward to a weekend of relaxing and playing at the park…

Read More »

saving a cracked makeup compact

How to Save a Broken Makeup Compact

Monica is now at the age when she likes to imitate everything that we do. This includes trying to put on makeup while I’m getting ready in the morning. Most mornings I hold her and explain my morning routine: swipe on some toner, lotion on my face, concealer, foundation, blush, eye shadow, and mascara. For a…

Read More »

Big Sister Collage

Here we go again!

If my sporadic blog posts haven’t already given away, we’re expecting Baby #2 this September! Just like my pregnancy with Monica, we’re excited and a little nervous about what a new baby means for our family. Right now, I’m 18 weeks along and the baby is the size of a bell pepper. For the sake of remembering…

Read More »

where to get rid of stuff

Where to get rid of stuff

I don’t know about you, but the return of Spring usually brings along the spring cleaning bug. But beyond the usual suspects like Craigslist, Goodwill, Salvation Army, eBay, and local recycling and trash pickup, where can you get rid of your unwanted stuff? First, Donation Town is a great resource for connecting with local charities…

Read More »

Life Lately Spring Collage

Life Lately: Spring

Friends! Has it really been over a month since my last post? I knew things were a little hectic with my job, in addition to spending lots of quality time with a toddler, but I didn’t think it was that long. I started to miss it. And when John shared this article from Crain’s Chicago Business featuring…

Read More »