Lily Grace Sparks | Bump Date 1-20 Weeks

Greetings Everyone!

My creativity and energy has truly been down lately.  I had all good intentions of documenting this pregnancy a lot better than I have.  So I decided that I would sum up the first half (I can’t believe we are already past the halfway point as I am 21 weeks and 1 day when I am writing this) of our pregnancy.  So much has happened since finding out October 19th that our little one was on its way!

Descriptions start from top left and go straight across:

1| A new adventure begins, 2| A little poppy seed, 3 + 4 | Telling Jason he is going to be a daddy, 5| Telling my parents and grandparents, 6,7,9 | Telling Jason’s family, 8| Telling brother and his fiance, 10| Telling Mason and Payton they will have a new cousin, 11| Green Smoothies and Salads are my jam, 12| Trying on a dress for a future event had to wear a fake bump, 13| My mom and dad are stoked for their first grandbaby, 14| Baby is Facebook official, 15| Second sonogram, no longer a bean but a human been, 16| First Family Christmas Picture, 17| First baby gift crochet booties ornament and crochet hat, 15| First Christmas gift from Uncle Tay-Tay and Aunt Lee-Lee, 16| 2018 is going to be the best year yet, 17| Hello BUMP, 18| Let us introduce you to our daughter to be, Lily Grace Sparks, 19| Starting the nursery, 20| Watching the Olympics with my bump buddy, 21+22| Gender reveal to family

My Weeks 1-20 Weeks Bump Date

When is your due date? July 1st, 2018!  The countdown has officially begun to D-day!

How big is baby? We have gone from a poppy seed to a bok choy since yesterday.

Boy or girl? GIRL!!!! We are tickled pink! She is going to be a daddy’s girl for sure.

Do you have a name picked out? Lily Grace Sparks!

How are you feeling?  I went from being nauseous 24/7 in the first trimester to just being tired with the occasional bursts of energy now in the second trimester.  I am starting to have trouble sleeping due to growing bump and joint pain in hips and knees.

Food cravings? I started out craving salad and green smoothies.  But now its fresh fruit and protein.  I occasionally want a chicken sandwich but other than that nothing weird or serious cravings.

Feeling movement?  She is a little wiggle worm.  I feel her in the mornings when I eat breakfast, at lunch, and at dinner.  Apparently she is a foodie like her mama.  I also feel her late in the evening when she is getting settled for the night I imagine.  She is also a zombie like her mommy in the mornings as we had a hard time at the anatomy scan getting all the details cause she wouldn’t move lol.

Maternity clothes?  Being that I am a curvy gal my clothes are loose fitting anyways so as far as shirts go I am still wearing my own clothes.  However I have dealt with tons of bloating early on that made my old pants extremely uncomfortable.  I have been rocking the same pair of maternity jeans from the get go.  I am planning on wearing breathable maxi dresses as it gets warmer to survive the heat.

Sleep?  I can’t get enough if that is what you are asking.  Being a very active person before  I usually didn’t need a nap to get through the day but now I take multiple small naps throughout the day.  I am now going to bed about 8 or 9pm and will wait to the very last minute to wake up to get ready for work.  Naps are my new best friend.  Jason has become an expert in tucking me into bed to night.  Bless him.

Anything you’re nervous about? My anxiety has tried to get the best of me lately. And in fact it did when I had extra stress on me.  I made the decision early on to go off my anxiety meds cause it was best for Lily.  But now I am seeing an amazing counselor who has taught me techniques on how to shut my inner chat girl in my noggin that just loves to spew negativity.  These techniques will help me through the rest of my pregnancy, through labor, postpartum, and later to Lily so that she can have control over her life and emotions.  But most importantly,  I am lucky to have such a wonderful partner in Jason who has loved me through all the hormonal craziness, crankiness, and me constantly apologizing for being such a hormonal, hateful, crazy woman.  Who he assures me I am not its all in my head.  God bless him.

We are so ready to get started on the nursery and to continue to see our daughter at appointments and to notice her growing bigger and bigger everyday as I continue to get bigger everyday! 

Until next time keep creating sparks of love, life, and happiness!!

God Bless,

Laura  

Meal Planning with Home Chef

Happy New Year Everyone!!

For those who have followed this blog for a while know that I am a huge foodie!  Nothing has changed since becoming pregnant other than I have to eat more often and I am exhausted and have had a hard time cooking home cooked meals for Jason and I because I am so freaking tired.  Cooking for me is a form of therapy and me time.  My love of Food Network has turned into an obsession.  I draw great inspiration from watching my favorite cooking shows and competitions.  The idea of having to go to the grocery store and then home to meal plan on a Saturday morning did not sound like my cup of tea.  So enters Home Chef and all my healthy meal planning foodie mama needs are now met.  Home Chef provides you with fresh ingredients from their community of trusted suppliers, source locally when possible, and  partners with sustainability practices they believe in.  Each week, they send perfectly portioned ingredients with recipes, so you never waste food. They even organize ingredients by recipe, making life just a little bit easier.

The Home Chef box is lined with recycled, compostable, biodegradable textile fibers. Ice packs inside cool your box and keep your ingredients fresh.  So you can reuse if you are purging your home per a new years resolution or use it in your compost bin which we have.

Their recipes are super easy to follow and usually take no longer than 30-40 mins to fix and I love using the prepackaged bags as my little garbage bag so clean up is super easy as well.  The other little OCD detail that I love is that each recipe card has holes punched in it.  I cannot wait to create a notebook with my Home Chef recipes.

Another reason I love Home Chef is because it is budget friendly!  For the amount I would spend going out to eat for lunch would be more than what I paid for 6 amazing lunches.  I order the 3 meals for the week for 2 people and I get 6 meals out of the order.  Jason is a picky eater so these recipes are not his idea of a good meal.  Being the foodie I am I love variety.  So I cook a lot of the same things for supper. But with Home Chef I get my foodie fix!  Variety is the spice of life after all right?

At the beginning of each week I will be sharing with you my newest Home Chef order and how they play into our meals for the week.

Meal Plan | January 15- January 21

Breakfasts: Avocado Toast (current craving), fruit, and maybe some greek yogurt.

Lunches: Salmon Tacos, Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl, and Bucatini all’Amatriciana

Dinners: Pizza Monday, Pork Chops and Mashed Potatoes, Easy Cheese Lasagna, BBQ Chicken and Mac and Cheese

Snacks: Oranges, Apples, Pears, and cheese and crackers.

 

So if you are interested in giving a meal delivery service give Home Chef a try!  Get $30 off Home Chef! https://www.homechef.com/invite/J0J06h5g0okW

Until next time keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness!

God Bless,

Laura

Baby Sparks Bump Update | 7 Weeks

Greetings Everyone!

As you can see from the photo nothing is slowing down at the Sparks’ house!  We are so thrilled to announce that God willing we will be welcoming our first child in July!  So in order to document this new adventure and keep out of town friends and family updated I will be doing the ever popular bump dates or bump updates.  So without further adieu lets get to our first bumpdate!

My 7 week bump update:

When is your due date? July 1st, 2018- but we have been told with first babies they tend to go late rather than on time.  So we might have a fourth of July baby.

How big is baby? According to my Ovia app he/she is the size of a raspberry.

Boy or girl? Not sure yet but we plan to find out and then reveal at a gender reveal party.

Do you have a name picked out? We have names roughly picked out but we don’t want to reveal them just yet.

How are you feeling?  GREEN lol.  I can happily say that I am not nauseous 24/7 anymore like I was when I got back from our cruise and for the first 4 weeks.  However I quickly realized that eating small meals or grazing on tiny snacks all day keeps the green away.

Food cravings? SALAD, SALAD, SALAD with a dash of anything flavored lemon.  I am starting to want more variety of foods and for the most part they are healthy which is helping me keep my weight gain at a super healthy level!

Feeling movement?  Nope nothing yet.  But I can’t wait!!!

Maternity clothes?  Being that I am a curvy gal my clothes are loose fitting anyways so as far as shirts go I am still wearing my own clothes.  However I have dealt with tons of bloating early on that made my old pants extremely uncomfortable.  So I have already purchased my first pair of maternity jeans which are absolutely magical lol.

Sleep?  I can’t get enough if that is what you are asking.  Being a very active person I usually don’t need a nap to get through the day but now I take multiple small naps throughout the day.  I am now going to bed about 8 or 9pm and will wait to the very last minute to wake up to get ready for work.  Naps are my new best friend.  Jason has become an expert in tucking me into bed to night.  Bless him.

Anything you’re nervous about? My anxiety has tried to get the best of me lately.  However one thing that I have found extremely interesting is how in tuned to my body I am now.  So I can easily practice meditation and deep breathing to calm myself down.  I think I have the normal anxieties that a first time mommy does.  But I am lucky to have such a wonderful partner in Jason who has loved me through all the hormonal craziness, crankiness, and me constantly apologizing for being such a hormonal, hateful, crazy woman.  Who he assures me I am not its all in my head.  God bless him.

We had a wonderful first appointment and everything looks good and I quote, ” You have a beautiful sonogram picture.”  So we are on our way folks!  Looking forward to updating you on this adventure and the diy’s and such that we are so stinking excited to start working on. 

Until next time keep creating sparks of love, life, and happiness!!

God Bless,

Laura  

Blogging For Books | Spice Roasted Chickpeas

Greetings Everyone!

Today post is brought to you by Blogging for Books!  Blogging for Books is a website that sends bloggers FREE books for their review!

So today we are reviewing and sharing a recipe from Food With Friends: The Art of Simple Gathering by Leela Cyd.  If I were going to plan an amazing fancy dinner night this book is perfect.  But for my style of cooking doesn’t really compute with the recipes in this book.  But with that being said the recipes look absolutely fabulous!! And today I am sharing with you one of the recipes, Spice Roasted Chickpeas! Now did change up the ingredients to work with what I already had in my spice rack.  So lets get started!

INGREDIENTS

Garbanzo Beans

Salt and Pepper

Pampered Chef Three Onion Rub

Paprika

Cumin

Olive Oil

 

INSTRUCTIONS

OPEN- and drain chickpeas

DRIZZLE- olive oil to chickpeas

SPRINKLE- all of your seasonings

MIX- until all of the ingredients are incorporated

POUR- chickpeas onto a baking sheet

ROAST- at 400 degrees for 30 mins

EAT- self explainatory

If you want to get in on the Blogging for Books scene, just click the link and sign up today.  But if you don’t have a blog you might want to get that first!

Thanks for visiting our little creative space.  We will see you on the next post but until then keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness.

God Bless,

Laura

Purple Pork Salad

Hello Beautiful People!

Today’s recipe is my Purple Pork Salad!  Now while I might not be the best at coming up with names for recipes.  I am an expert at making a fridge cleaning salad.  What is a fridge cleaning salad you ask?  It’s when you need to clean out the fridge and use leftovers and produce before it goes bad.

Purple Pork Salad

Ingredients:

  • Leftover pork chop
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Pickled Beets
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

  • Add all of your ingredients to the bowl
  • Use Pampered Chef Salad Choppers to chop up all the ingredients
  • Dress with balsamic dressing, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds
  • Enjoy!

Do you ever make clean out the fridge meals?  If so share the recipe of one of your favorites down below! 

Until next time keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness!

God Bless,

Laura

Sparks Of Love | Wedding Day

Greetings Everyone!

Laura Sparks here!  Yes Sparks, cause Jason and I have been married for almost 3 weeks now and I couldn’t be happier!

Our wedding day was absolutely perfect and today I just want to share some of my favorite pictures from the ceremony!  I am so excited cause we are already cooking up some great posts and youtube videos to share with you all.  So make sure you subscribe and check out our social media links at the top of the page for updates, posts, and behind the scenes!

All the credit goes to the fabulous Cierra Stamey of Sweet Louise Photography!  Check her out today!

 

Check back in for more posts and life updates in the next few weeks!  Until then keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness.

God Bless,

Mrs. Sparks

Motivational Monday | Green Goodness

Good Morning Beautiful People!

Our wedding is officially 12 days away!!  GASP IT’S NEXT WEEK!

So in order to make sure that I did not get too overwhelmed I stepped away from the blog and our Youtube channel for a bit because I have had my hands full with all of the creative bits and bobs for our wedding which I cannot wait to share with you!  However with that said I am so excited to begin making regular youtube videos and blog posts, starting in October, because I am going to turn all of my creative focus to our blog and Youtube channel!  We have new schedules for both.


Our new blog schedule will stay the same with the following posts:

Monday-Motivational Monday- health and meal planning

Wednesday– New Recipe Post

Friday– DIY Video


Our new YOUTUBE CHANNEL SCHEDULE-

Sunday-Plan with Me- Planning in my Mini Happy Planner

Monday– New Recipe

Wednesday– Memory Plan with Me- Planning in my Happy Planner Memory Planner

Friday– DIY Video- Organizational, crafting, decor, etc.


So now that all of the housekeeping is taking care of I am going to share with you my newest obsession!!  For the past week and today I have been having an AMAZING Green Smoothie for Breakfast.  And after posting it on my Snapchat I was asked to make a recipe post for this fabulous smoothie by the fabulous Grace Bollinger!  So darling Grace here is your recipe request fulfilled:

Green Goodness Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of frozen mango (or fruit of your choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chia and flax seed
  • 1 scoop of green powder

  • Plenty of water- (add amounts depending on how thick or thin you want your smoothie)
  • Splash of orange juice

Instructions:

  • Dump it all in and take it for a spin!
  • Add it to your Mason Jar
  • Enjoy!

Let us know if you make the smoothie by snapping a pic and tagging us on instagram at @creatingsparksblog.  Until next time keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness!

 

God Bless,

Laura

 

 

 

Currently | Wedding Planning Survival Mode

Currently I’m… holding onto whatever sanity I have left to finish planning our wedding.

Catching up… on cleaning my house.  Cause who has time to clean while planning a wedding?

Reading…  again…who has time to read a book while planning a wedding?

Eating… Tons and tons of chicken lettuce wraps.  I love changing up the flavors!

Feeling… super excited, happy, anxious, and ready all at the same time.

Enjoying… this time with Jason and getting closer to family members as we work on wedding plans

Missing… my Nanny and Aunt Ann wishing they were here to celebrate our special day.

Looking forward too… our wedding and camping at Camp Grier.

Buying… tons of crafting supplies to plan and start memory planning.  It is truly my new obsession.

Watching… Disjointed and waiting for Will and Grace to return!

Thankful for… Jason who keeps me sane and picks me up when planning gets to much.  He is the best and I can’t wait to be his wife.

What is going on in your life currently?! Comment down below!

xoxo,

Laura

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Happy Wednesday Beautiful People,

Today’s recipe is one of my all time favorite things to make for make ahead lunches, Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.  With this recipe you are getting a two for one deal.  Because I am stuffing these sweet taters with spinach, cooked cabbage (from my daddy’s garden), and Gary’s Slop recipe (one of Jason’s dad’s recipes).  So I guess you could say this recipe is brought to you by the love and help of two amazing men and dads! Without further ado lets get cooking!


Ingredients

Sweet Potatoes

Red Cabbage

Spinach

Gary’s Slop- Saute ground beef with sliced onion and a tablespoon of italian seasoning, drain, add 1 can of Hunts tomato sauce, a shake of Worcestershire sauce, and a few squirts of yellow mustard.

Can of chili beans- add to slop recipe

Tools

Cutting Board (Pampered Chef)

Chef Knife (Pampered Chef)

Baking Pans

Instructions

Wash and pierce sweet potatoes and place on baking dishes

 

Chop and saute red cabbage

Cook sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until fork tender.  Allow to cook and package up for weekly lunches or serve right way.


What are your favorite breakfast foods or recipes?  Share them in the comments below.

Until next time keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness.

God Bless,

Laura

Motivational Monday | Sunshine Bath Bombs

 

Happy Monday Beautiful People,

It’s time for another motivational monday post.  One thing that I have found to be true is that you cannot take care of others unless you take care of yourself first.  Taking time for self care is essential in achieving your goals as well as allowing you to take care of others to the best of your ability.  You can find some ideas on how to create your self care routine by checking out my Self Care Routine Post.  One of my favorite ways to decompress is to take a bath, especially since I have my new bath buddy!  Water has always been a way to reset for me.  From taking a bath, swimming, sitting in the ocean, or standing out in the rain; water is so healing for me.  So today I am sharing with you my latest bath bomb recipe to make create some sunshine in your life.  Make sure you check out my meals and exercise goals for the week as well as leave some comments down below!


 

Stress Relief Bath Bombs

Basic Bath Balm Ingredients:

1 cup citric acid- (You can find it on Amazon or if you don’t want to wait find it in the canning section aisle at the grocery store)

1 cup baking soda

½ cup cornstarch

½ cup melted coconut oil ( Don’t use fractionated coconut oil)

8-10 drops of essential oil(s) (I am using tangerine, lemongrass, and lime from Eden’s Garden)

Silicone molds or paper cupcake liners

Food coloring (optional)

In a  bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients (citric acid, baking soda, and cornstarch) and set aside.  I am using the bowl from the Pampered Chef Kids Baking Set

 

If you’re using food coloring, now would be the time to add it into the dry ingredients. Just know it will clump up and you will need to use your hands or a spoon to break up the food coloring clumps.

 

Next add your essential oils to the mixture

 

Melt your coconut oil in a microwave safe measuring cup in 10 second increments.  Pour the oil mixture into your dry ingredients.  If you pour too quickly, the liquid will create a reaction with the citric acid.

 

Use your hands or spoon to knead everything together inside of the bowl until your ingredients start to clump together. You will know you are ready to start molding your mixture when it feels like the texture of wet sand.

 

Scoop the mixture into your papered muffin tin.  The back of a spoon works perfectly to press your mixture in place.

 

Let your bath bombs dry for at least 24 hours, use them in the bath right away or pack them in a cute container and use for decoration until your next spa night.


Meals

Breakfast– Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Sandwiches and Banana (Recipe can be found HERE)

Lunch– Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Recipe coming Wednesday)

Snacks– Greek Key Lime Yogurt, Celery and Hummus, Apples, Applesauce

Dinner Options– Tacos, Egg Salad Sandwiches, Potluck, Birthday Dinner at Kobe’s, Leftovers

 

Exercise– 10,000 steps per day, Yoga, theatre choreography rehearsals.

Personal Development/Self Care– Meditation, Daily Bible Devotional, Coloring and or Painting.


 

Please me know if you create these!  Or if you would like to have more bath bomb recipes!

Until next time remember to keep creating sparks of life, love, and happiness.

God Bless,

Laura