Monday, December 26, 2011

Easiest Christmas Recipe

I wanted to come up with a new easy recipe for Christmas this year. Pinterest helped me find it, with my twist of course.


Snyder's Pretzel Snaps
White melting chocolate


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lay the pretzels flat on a baking sheet

Place one unwrapped Rolo on each pretzel and place in the oven for 3-5 minutes
Press a pecan onto each slightly melted Rolo.
Then place in the fridge while you melt a small amount of white chocolate.

Then drizzle the white chocolate onto the Turtles. Store in the fridge and make sure to take them out at least 20 minutes before serving.

Forgot to take a picture of the final product so I borrowed this one so you could get the idea.


Hope everyone had a very happy holiday, and your New Year is filled with lots of love and joy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pinterest~Bucket List

Another reason I love Pinterest, My Bucket List

It's fun to add things to it.  If you want an invite to Pinterest I'll send you one,  just comment below with your email address.

Some of the things to add;

                                                There are so many to choose from, have fun!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Miss my Friend

15 years ago today I lost my best friend. It was an awful thing for my 11 year old self to go through, and a very tough loss for everyone. I miss my friend Ashley to pieces. Every year for the last 14 years I was able to leave a pinwheel for my friend and one for her sister. This year I had to work all day and wasn't able to make to the cemetary. I just wanted to put it out there that I love you Ash, and miss you dearly.

Ashley Nicole Ramirez 7-2-1986 to 12-8-1996
Chelsey Nikel Ramirez 2-17-1993 to 12-8-1996

Thursday, December 1, 2011

18 Months

Well today marks the beginning of month 18 when it comes to us trying to conceive. (2 years without Birth Control) I realize it isn't all that long, but our dream of being parents seems like an uphill battle at this point. We are trying to stay positive, and understand that God is the only one who knows when the right time will be for us. We've made a plan, and are ready to get started with some new treatment options. We are both working on getting ourselves healthy, and taking things one day at a time. I love having my husband by my side, and spending time with him. We are trying not to dwell on what's missing in our lives, but appreciate all the good things that we have. I'm not saying it's not hard, but just that it doesn't help me to be bitter and jealous.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I had a very happy Thanksgiving. Food, family, and fun what more could you ask for? Happy Thanksgiving to all, I am thankful for all my blog readers today and always :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oh the places I'd go...

Work has been great! But I could really use a vacation. For J and I to just go away together would be sublime! We may take a trip this coming spring, but trying to save for a house and possibly IVF we try to be careful with our money. So I've just been dreaming of the places that we'd love to go to. Hopefully we can cross them off our bucket list in the not too distant future.

Punta Cana, DR Excellence Resort

Costa Rica

Milan, Italy (Where my family is from)

Turks and Caicos


Somewhere in Spain; would like to see the Esquivias Castle

When I'm ready to go back to Mexico I'd love to actually see Tulum

I just want to stay in an over water bungalow so Bora Bora, Tahiti, or Fiji would be awesome!


Would Love to do this. All the monuments, museums, and FOOD! I would need at least a month ;)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for my amazing friends. My friends are there to laugh with me and cry with me. I really appreciate the love and support I feel from my friends. I love you all :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Things I love right now...

What I'm loving right now

I always seem to find things I don't exactly need while browsing the aisles of Target. A few weeks ago I grabbed a pair of Mossimo Jeggings. I loved them so much I went back and got another pair in a different wash. They are comfortable, cute, and are easy to stuff into boots.

Pinterest is my new favorite obbssesion. It is a great website that let's you pin your favorite websites, pictures, quotes, recipes, ideas, the list could go on & on. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. If you want an invite leave a comment with your email and I'd be happy to invite you so you can get addicted too :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm especially thankful for my Mother. My Mom is an amazing woman, an unbelievably good friend, and one of the most selfless people that I know. I am proud to be her daughter. She has had a stressful time in her life, and may even need a hysterectomy to relieve her recent unbearable pain. I want her to know that she is always in my thoughts and prayers and I love her more than words could ever express. Thank you God for blessing me with the world's best Mom!! :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Protein Packed "Frosty"

Want to indulge in a Wendy's Frosty, without all the guilt?

First you'll need to make your own sweetened condensed milk

1 (12 oz) can evaporated skim milk
1 1/2 c nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 c Splenda
In large bowl, combine all ingredients thoroughly. Refrigerate.

This recipe makes more than you'll need but it keeps well in the refrigerator.

Ok now to make the Frosty

You will need 6oz of the "sweetened" condensed milk
8oz of sugar free Cool Whip or a similar brand
1/2 gallon of low-fat milk
2 tbsp of sugar free chocolate syrup
1-2 scoop(s) of your favorite protein powder

Mix all ingredients in an ice cream maker for about 30 minutes.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday

It is November, and of course I'm grateful all year long but I like to share what I'm thankful for especially this time of year.

I have so very much that I am blessed with but today I am especially grateful for my husband, and every little second we get to spend together. He is my rock, my best friend, and an all-around amazing husband. The last few months have been tough for us both, but he is always there to listen, and just let me vent or cry.  He is even going for his SA tomorrow and I know he is dreading it. He is the best man I could have ever asked for to be by my side.  I love you J, thank you for marrying me :) 

1Chronicles 16:34 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

What are you Thankful for?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies

It's that time of year, the time for all things pumpkin & fall. This recipe was adapted from my friend Julie. I usually make them using her recipe and they are always a huge hit! But this year I wanted to make a few changes and I tried to make them a little bit healthier.


1 Egg
2 1/2 Cups Organic Whole Wheat Flour
2 Cups Splenda (or one cup white sugar 1 cup Splenda)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup grass fed organic butter
1 cup organic pureed pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla

Icing Ingredients
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c powdered sugar
1 c Splenda
2 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp grass fed butter
1 tbsp sugar free maple syrup


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside
Cream together Splenda and butter. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla to butter mixture. Mix in the dry ingredients.

Drop cookies by tablespoonfuls (works best with a cookie scoop) flatten slightly. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven.
While baking mix all ingredients for the icing. While the cookies are cooling drizzle icing with a fork.

These cookies are slightly cakey and can be turned into whoopie pies by placing cream cheese frosting sandwiched in between two cookies.


DX: Infertility

Photo Credit: Stacy Lynn Baum

On Friday I had my annual physical and pap appointment with my primary Doctor. We went over lab work, my recent weight loss, and of course the fact that J and I have been trying to get pregnant for 16 months, with one loss under our belt. At the end of our talk my Doctor handed me a persciption for J's Semen Analysis and she thought a sonohystogram would be beneficial for me. I took the Rx, thanked her and went on my way. When I got in my car I took a look at the Rx that she gave me while I sat in my car and there is was in the right hand corner Dx: Infertility. I'm not sure why I got so upset because I've tried my hardest to stay strong and positive. We knew at the beginning of this journey that it would be long, I thought I prepared myself for this. I know what I've been diagnosed with it, but seeing it there in black in white made me sad. I started crying, and not just a few tears but actual full blown ugly crying. I really hope no one saw me, because I probably would have freaked them out. I realize that we are not the only ones going through this, but at that moment I felt selfish, angry, and hurt all at once. I was in need of a reality check! 
I've had sometime to think about it and that isn't me I'm not an angry or selfish person. I'm still allowing myself to be hurt because that is only natural, but I've decided to have hope & faith again.  My body may be broken, but I'm not unfixable. I have support in my husband, and my friends. Even my Mom is there for me to vent or cry to now. I'm glad I have places to go and not feel judged, but loved. I have hope that one day we will have our take home baby.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Things I love right now...

I realized looking at my last few posts that my blog was getting depressing. So I wanted a happy blog :)
Things I am loving right now...

Boot Weather, yay!! Even though my husband cringes when I wear them, I LOVE them!

New Fall Shows

Missoni for Target

I got a cute pair of shoes, and a weekender bag, both are super cute!

Fall Foods & Smells fall is my favorite season, I just love everything about it.

My Mom's DELICIOUS cookies

Watching College Football, epecially SJSU #31 AKA my cousin Keith Smith!

Friday, October 14, 2011

First Post on the new blog :)

Ok well it's really just the same blog, I just wanted a new url. Hope you all changed over your google readers and you follow me too :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Trying to conceive Tips, Tricks, and The Infertility Basics

A friend of mine created a blog about Infertility Basics. I thought I'd share some of her info along with some tips and tricks I've learned in the last 16 months.

First let's start off with some acronyms so that way your not confused by this post and many others.

ART - assisted reproductive technology
BBT - basal body temperature/thermometer
BCP - birth control pills
BFN/BFP - big fat negative/positive
b/w- blood work
CD - cycle day
CM - cervical mucous
DPO - days past ovulation
DX - diagnosis
E2 - Estradiol (basically your follie growing hormone)
ED- Erectile Dysfunction
Endo - endometriosis
EOD- Every other day
ER/ET - egg retrieval/transfer
FF - fertiliy friend -
FMU - first morning urine
Follie - Follicles (basically your eggs - or what your eggs grow in - kind of...)
FSH - follicle stimulating hormone
HCG - basically the pregnancy hormone - will be given as a trigger for ovulation
HOM - high order multiples
HPT - home pregnancy test
HSG - Hysterosalpingogram
IF - infertility
IUI - intra-uternine insemination
IVF - in vitro fertilization
LAP - laparoscopy
LP/LPD - luteal phase/ LP defect
MFI - male factor infertility
MH- My Husband
O - Ovulation
OBGYN/GYN - Obstetrician/Gyno (aka your girly bits dr)
OHSS - Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
OOP - out of pocket (aka your insurance company is screwing you royally)
OPK - ovulation predictor (kit)
PCOS - polycystic ovarian syndrome
PN- Prenatal Vitamin
RE - reproductive endocrinologist (aka a fertility specialist)
SA - semen analysis
SHG - Sonohysterogram
TCOYF - Taking Charge of Your Fertility (an AWESOME book)
TI - Timed intercourse
U/S - ultrasound

Trying to Conceive Tips
(Obvs I am not pregnant yet so these are not get pregnant quick tips but just some things to help you understand your fertility, and some helpful advice I've learned a long the way.)

When I started TTC I started taking a prenatal vitamin, I think a multi-vitamin is always a good idea so just change your Multi to a PN.

Find out when you are ovulating 
  • Chart your Basal Body Temperature (you can purchase a cheap BB Thermometer from Walmart) Make sure you take your temperature at the same time every morning and after at least 3 hours of solid sleep. My favorite website to chart your BBT is Fertility Friend. They make it easy and have lots of lessons to help you understand your body better.
  • Use Ovulation predictor tests. You can purchase ovulation tests in bulk online to make it more affordable. Ovulation kits measure the amount of Lutenizing Hormone in your body. Right before you ovulate your body releases a large amount of LH. The test kits are easy to use. They are very similar to a pregnancy test. You will have a reference line and then a sample line to compare that to. Once you show a positive test for ovulation you should have intercourse within twenty-four hours.
  • Watching your body's signs of ovulation check your CM and look for EW and Watery CM. FF can help teach you how to check your cervical position as well as your cervical mucus.
  • Read TCOYF to learn more about your body, ovulation, and fertility
Sex Timing
  • A lot of people suggest every other day sex around ovulation time. Other's say Every day sex. Really as long as you have sex 1+ times around ovulation you have a shot! MH and I have always tried to keep sex fun and not make it about making a baby (even though it really is) so we have sex when we want to. It usually is about EOD anyway so that works for us.
Different things I've heard about
  • PreSeed is a great fertility friendly lubricant
  • The Husband can eat pineapple core before sex and the wife can eat it after ovulation to help with implantation
  • The wife can drink Pomegranate juice or Green Tea
  • Remain lying down 20 mins after well TI. Go to the restroom after that! ;)
  • I know this is a hard one but try to not stress about TTC
  • Another hard one but losing weight (if you need to) can't hurt  
  •  I've read that Wheat germ can help to "normalize" your cycles
  • Watch the Great Sperm Race  


If a year or 12 cycles passes (6 months 35+) and you are not pregnant yet you can start testing to see if there is an underlying problem. In our case we knew that I have PCOS, but we did some additional testing to check to see if any other problems were occurring. (Most Testing & Treatment information from Slick)

If you think you need testing, I'd see how much your OBGYN is willing to work with you. I would first ask for CD3 b/w, 7DPO b/w, and an u/s. All of these things can be done within the same cycle. CD3 b/w can typically be done on CD2-4, so if CD3 falls on a weekend, you should be able to work something out. Now with 7DPO b/w, do NOT let your OBGYN or one of the nurses confuse this with CD21 b/w. CD21 b/w is only useful if you O'd on CD14. The only way for you to CONFIRM ovulation is by charting your BBT ( is a great website for this). OPK's do NOT confirm ovulation and most RE's are not satisfied with only that information. Your blood work will be checking your hormone levels, thyriod, blood sugars, etc. The u/s will check for any major uterine abnormalities and the overall look of your ovaries.

If you want a SA (semen analysis) can also be done this cycle. I would make sure to do this before any more invasive tests are ordered for you as this test is SOOOO easy and relatively cheap OOP.

Ok, so those tests came back. Now, if you're still not pregnant (and if it's been a year of well timed sex), then get thee to a RE!!! Once there, they'll probably take the reigns but if not, ask for a HSG or SHG next.(have you noticed that I haven't mentioned treatments yet...yes, that was on purpose - no treatments should have been ordered yet) This will show a more in depth look of your uterus and check to see if your tubes are all clear.
If this comes back clear, then it's likely treatments will start... (see next section for more info)

The next step in testing is a LAP. This is a diagnostic surgery. It's very simple in surgery terms and most women have easy recoveries. Little cameras will be inserted through small incisions in your belly and they'll look around. This is the only way to definitively diagnose endo and other issues. It will also give them a look at other organs around the uterus and inside.

Sometimes your doctor, whether new or old, might order repeats of tests. This is especially true of shady SA's. If you get bad results with those a repeat will almost always be ordered a few months down the road.


Now you're in the treatment phase. Treatment will depend greatly on your diagnosis. Some people only require simple treatments and some will skip straight to IVF. It really just depends.

One of the most simple treatments is a medicated cycle with TI. Common medications for first cycles are Clomid and Femara. Here is the protocol that should be followed for almost any medicated cycle:

CD3: baseline u/s and b/w - this will be a check to make sure you don't have any cysts, your lining is appropriately thin, your blood flow to your uterus is good and your hormone levels are where they should be.

CD10-12: Follie check & b/w - this will check to see how and if your follies are growing and to make sure you aren't over responding (OHSS)

Then you'll go in every few days or so until you have mature follies. Then your RE will either instruct you on when to have sex or give you a trigger shot (to give yourself at home) so you'll O 36 hours later and know when exactly to have sex.

7DPO: this will be to check your progesterone levels. If your progesterone is too low, then you cannot sustain a pregnancy and then you might be put onto prog. supplements.

This monitoring might seem extreme but it is so so SOOOOO important. I don't know why anyone would want to risk their reproductive health when there are options to help. Many fertility medications (like Clomid) can be very dangerous. It can cause horrible cysts, thinned uterine lining which may be permanent, HOM (wanna be the next Kate+8?) and other awful side effects.

Ok, so you tried a few cycles of TI and it didn't work. The next step would be medicated cycle + IUI. You will follow the same protocol up until the sex part and then instead your husband will go give a sample about an hour before you go in to be sperminated. May the sperm be with you. There are varying levels of IUI protocol's. After Clomid/Femara there are then FSH injects. These increase the odds of pregnancy but then also increase the odds of HOM. They're also like liquid gold as the medications can cost thousands of dollars each cycle.
Next, if you and your RE feel that IUI isn't working and they want to go to the next step, that would be IVF. IVF is very invasive and very expensive. You will inject yourself at home (with similar drugs or the same drugs) as you used in an injects cycle. When your follies are ready you'll then go in for an egg retrieval. This is where your RE goes in and removes your eggs - as many mature ones as they can. This might be 20 or it might be 3. Of course higher numbers mean more chances but there are no guarantees. After the eggs are retrieved, they will be sperminated by your RE with your husband's sperm. They will then closely monitor your new embryos. Depending on the quality of your embryos that were fertilized (if any) they will transfer them back in 3 or 5 days after (I've also heard of day 6 transfers). Now, make sure you have a responsible doctor and only transfer 1 or 2 (mayyyybe 3). Don't go Octomom on us and transfer 10, mmmkay?

Now, that was an extremely sugarcoated version of IVF. It's painful, emotional, expensive, and hard. I've never been in that situation but know a few people that have been through it.

These are general estimates based on my own personal experiences as well what I've heard from friends and patients

Medicated + TI: $500-1,000
Medicated + IUI: $700-1500
Injects + IUI: $1000-3000
IVF: $9,000+ (each time)
FET: 3,000+

I hope this information was helpful to someone, and at least informative to any others wanting to learn more about Fertility.


    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    A Song for me

    I seriously think Carrie Underwood wrote the song "So Small" just for me. Ok maybe not really, but the words just speak to me. I was driving home from a crappy day and I said out loud "God I need a good song please" So Small was the next song on the radio. I fell in love.  I thought I'd share in case someone else needs an uplifting song today. Enjoy :)

    What you got if you ain't got love?
    The kind that you just wanna give away
    It's okay to open up
    Go ahead and let the light shine through

    I know it's hard on a rainy day
    You wanna shut the world out
    And just be left alone
    But don't run out on your faith

    'Cause sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
    Is just a grain of sand
    And what you've been out there searching for forever
    Is in your hands

    And when you figure out
    Love is all that matters after all
    It sure makes everything else
    Seem so small

    It's so easy to get lost inside
    A problem that seems so big at the time
    It's like a river that's so wide
    It swallows you whole

    While you're sitting around thinking 'bout what you can't change
    [ From: ]
    And worrying about all the wrong things
    Time's flying by, moving so fast
    You better make it count 'cause you can't get it back

    Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
    Is just a grain of sand
    And what you've been out there searching for forever
    Is in your hands

    Oh, and when you figure out
    Love is all that matters after all
    It sure makes everything else
    Seem so small!

    Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
    Is just a grain of sand
    And what you've been out there searching for forever
    Is in your hands

    And then you figure out
    Love is all that matters after all
    It sure makes everything else
    Oh, it sure makes everything else
    Seem so small

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    September is PCOS Awareness Month

    What would u do if u had a life changing condition that could make dreams of parenthood disappear? what would u do if you had a life changing condition that turned your life upside down? Thousands of women have to deal with this every day - its called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) 10-15% of females have this condition which can cause many other conditions such as Infertility, Diabetes, Endometrial Cancer, and Heart problems to name but a few. September is PCOS awareness month! Help get the awareness out there ♥

    Photo Credit ~ Cafe Press

    I found this video on you tube, it made me cry. 

    Friday, August 26, 2011

    Third times the charm?

    One can only hope! Yesterday was cycle day 1 and even though I was upset, today I have hope, and determination to go through another cycle, and make this one it! We will start our 3rd round of clomid tomorrow, and use an hCG trigger shot this time around. I hope lucky month 15 is it for us, but if it isn't I want to promise myself that I won't let this consume me. I have so much going for me and so much to be grateful for, I can't let trying to conceive rule my life and emotions.

    “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.” Proverbs 3:4-5

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    Three years ago today

    A Honeymoon is supposed to be a fun relaxing time that you spend with your new spouse. Our Honeymoon didn't go exactly as we had planned. Three years ago Josue and I went on our honeymoon to the Riviera Maya, Mexico. On August 7th 2008 we went on a tour to Tulum, Mexico to see the ruins but we never made it.  Our tour bus driver fell asleep at the wheel and we crashed. It was scary and unreal. Two people passed and many others were severely hurt. I remember "coming to" hearing Josue call my name. He had been thrown to the back of the bus and I was slammed up against a broken window. We were stuck inside the bus for at least 30 minutes but it felt like an eternity. There was blood everyone and the man behind us couldn't find his wife. I remember feeling numb, but scared. Then a man started yelling "she's going to die" over and over again in reference to his Fiance. Josue calmed him down and we tied off her bleeding leg with a shoe lace.  When help finally came we got out of there and helped others to the ambulance. I had a piece of glass removed from my leg but other than bumps, bruises, and scrapes we were ok. Josue was amazing he helped translate for the people who didn't speak Spanish. He was there for me because I was shaking and crying. Now looking back it makes me realize what a stong man I married, and much I love him.
    We were  taken back to our hotel and I remember thinking I was going to die because I felt so strange inside I thought I was for sure having internal bleeding. Once the strange feeling subsided and I saw a Doctor I felt a little better. Josue and I were given some muscle relaxers because the whip lash was terrible and I was given some antibiotic for my gash. We tried to use the next few days to relax and heal but it was hard, and we were both so glad to leave.
    When we got home I was different. I was so grateful to be alive and praising God for choosing the seats he did for us. I couldn't imagine losing Josue, or him losing me. But I felt guilty, and sad all the time. I hurt inside and had horrible night terrors. It started to be hard for me to hide my feelings and Josue started to notice. He urged me to talk to him, but always said I was fine. Months went by and I didn't feel any better. I finally saw a Doctor and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Survivors Guilt. I saw a therapist and started to take some medications. It was then I realized I had a problem, and needed to work through it. In all honesty I think what helped me the most was opening up about the accident. I started by telling God, then Josue and my Mom,  I went further and explained how I felt to my friends. Being open about my feelings helped me tremendously. I would never be able to explain the accident if it hadn't been for my healing. I have so much gratitude and feel so blessed now, and when I think of this day three years ago I can't smile, but I can feel good about God's choice to keep me and my husband alive. I'm still afraid of buses, and I'm not sure if I will ever like them or feel completley safe on one, but I've ridden one and I'm ok. 

                                                                         After the accident

    He is always there for me to lean on

    The Newspaper article