First Trimester Pregnancy Recap & Must Haves

I am so happy & relieved to be past the first trimester of my first pregnancy!  It was a physical, mental, and emotional rollercoaster- but I made it to the other side, and our baby is healthy.  That's all I can ask for!  We have our anatomy scan in July & will find out the gender- I cannot wait!

Now seemed like the best time to take a pause and reflect on the first trimester.  I'm 16 weeks as of today (and as of these pictures!), but this post will be all about weeks 1-12.  I used your questions to format this post- so I hope you find it helpful or at least interesting!  I'm so happy to have you all along for this journey with us.

You all know I'm far from an expert on this topic, but I'm learning as I go and happy to share what I've done & what I've experienced so far!  Pregnancy is so personal to every individual woman, and no two pregnancies are the same.  Keep that in mind, and take my two cents for just that- my opinion.

Crispy Instant Pot Carnitas | PALEO, Whole30

Confession:  I've been known to hoard away meat in the freezer when it's a cut I'm not *exactly* sure what to do with.  To be honest, it's why I switched our monthly ButcherBox delivery from the pre-selected options to the custom box:  to avoid anything random that would end up hiding in the way back of the freezer.

One big goal I have with my blog is to demystify every cut I've ever not known what to do with.  That way, no matter what I find for a good deal- I've got a go to recipe that I know I can count on (no more hiding).

Homemade Collagen Cashew Milk | PALEO, Whole30

Although I do indulge in cow's dairy from time to time (read: gluten free pizza), I do try my best to avoid it on a regular basis.  For me, I notice more allergy symptoms and more skin issues when I have it- both of which are not worth it in my book!

I stick to coconut and nut milks.  Coconut is my favorite for a sweeter taste, and is easily masked in super-savory and spicy dishes.  But sometimes I crave that more mild, creamy flavor- and that's when I head for the cashew milk.  Almond milk has always tasted a little off to me, but cashews are just so naturally creamy and rich- I think they are just perfect for making dairy-free milks!

Buffalo Chicken & Vegetable Casserole | PALEO, Whole30

After all of these years and all of the recipes, one dish meals still are (and probably always will be) my very favorite.  This one actually uses a skillet first to pre-cook the veggies and get some golden brown color on the chicken.  But the rest of the magic is done ALL in the oven- in one big casserole dish.

Combine the whole one dish meal thing with a creamy, Whole30 compliant buffalo sauce and tons of veggies!?  This is an all-in-one meal that I'm already dying to make again!

Strawberry Cheesecake Cookie Bars | PALEO

I'm not gonna lie you guys, Fall is my favorite season.  But as soon as I get a taste of my first ultra-ripe strawberry of the year, Summer doesn't look so bad.  And to be honest- I kind of crave the slow, warm days- especially after a long school year!

Speaking of school years... this one was my last!  And I can't believe I'm actually saying that!  It's been a year of big changes so far:  marriage, pregnancy, and now leaving my full-time super stable speech therapy job to pursue my dreams from home:  with all things "just Jessie B"!