I swear I have shared this recipe on here before, but I can't for the life of me find it. And if I can't find it, how will you be able to find it? So I decided that I would just share it again. Plus, it's so good that it deserves another shout out.

Enter the Lazy Sunday Casserole. <---- Click for link


Best.meal.ever. Seriously.

The flavours are to die for and you just want to eat it all immediately. Which we most definitely did last night. It wasn't a full recipe though, so I'm trying not to feel to guilty for devouring it in one sitting.


The recipe actually calls for a bell pepper that I usually put in because it adds a burst of colour as well as a nice sweetness to the meal. But I froze all my ripe peppers yesterday morning, forgetting that this recipe called for them. Oops!

Once the veggies are cut up and spread in the pan, you pour the liquid and spices over the top of them all.


Oh I also don't put the fennel. Mostly because I don't know what it is. Anyone want to enlighten me?


Once you finish adding the liquid, cover the whole pan up with tin foil and put in the oven until veggies are fork tender. While that's cooking, lightly brown your sausage and then cut up into smaller chunks. My sausages are big, so I cut them into thirds.

After the veggies have cooked for the 45 minutes, add the sausages and balsamic vinegar to them and return to oven uncovered for another 30 minutes. I'm being pretty vague with my instructions because I'm just expecting you to click on the recipe link above and follow that one closely.


Her pictures of everything look way better too. I don't really care though, because mine still tasted awesome. Even if it didn't have any peppers.


So basically, this is the best meal ever. I'm salivating just looking at the pictures and remembering how good it tasted last night. We might just make it again for our company on Sunday. It is called Lazy Sunday Casserole after all.

Anyone make anything good this week? I'm always open to ideas and suggestions.

****************************************************************

Foodie Friday Mini Series, Take 2

Week 1: Banana Bread
Week 2: Butternut Squash Soup & Flat Bread 
Week 3: Nutty Chocolate Bark
Week 4: Lazy Sunday Casserole


So since our Plan A didn't work for us, we are now moving on to Plan B. As I mentioned in this post, we did a diagnostic monitoring cycle and a semen analysis for Dan.

First up, how cycle monitoring went. It was good but slightly stressful, mostly the getting up at crazy hours of the morning. 4am to be exact. The first two times we went in were both on Fridays so we opted to take the GO Train instead of battle the traffic.



We felt so out of place on the train full of commuters, wearing our jeans and running shoes, but it got us there quickly and we didn't really care what everyone else thought of us. Once we arrived at Union Station, we opted to walk the 1.5km up to our fertility clinic instead of battling the masses on the Subway.



The monitoring went relatively quickly each time, since all they really have to do is blood work and an ultrasound. But some mornings we waited longer than others, just due to the amount of people there.

We also took some time after some of the appointments to go geocaching. We learned cool stuff about the Old City Hall and also got to soak in some early morning sun. There's something special about a crisp fall morning.



So overall, the cycle monitoring experience was pretty good. Not my most favourite thing to do ever but still decent. It could have gone worse.

Now onto the results! We just had our follow up appointment yesterday so we haven't had much time to digest them all but are excited about our new plan.

For starters, Dan's semen analysis with DNA fragmentation results came back awesome. He has super swimmers, or as the doctor said "excellent" and "some of the best he's ever seen". So that was happy news that started our appointment off well.

On to the not as happy news, the monitoring showed that I have polycystic ovaries (but not PCOS). I'm still confused with this and haven't been able to find much info on Google. He explained it as my ovaries producing a follicle like normal but then it matures too quickly, which leads to a premature egg. According to all my hormone results, I move much too quickly to ovulation. The good thing about this diagnosis is that it can explain our losses and trouble getting pregnant now. Which is really nice to finally have a reason, even if it's not confirmed.

Moving on to the plan of attack. The protocol moving forward will be a medicated cycle with timed intercourse. To break it down a little more, here is what a cycle will look like.

Day 1: Start baby aspirin and call clinic to set up first appointment
Days 3: First monitoring appointment and pick up first medication, Letrozole
Day 3-7: Take Letrozole twice daily (Letrozole brings down estrogen levels and will hopefully let the egg mature better)
Day 8: Second monitoring appointment and then daily monitoring until the follicle is ready

Once the follicle is the right size, I will take my second drug, Ovidrel, to trigger ovulation. We will then be sent home for our timed intercourse. They will continue monitoring until ovulation is confirmed and then I will start progesterone, which I will stay on until a pregnancy is either confirmed or not.

If I am not pregnant, we will do this protocol for one more cycle before moving on to a similar one but with different meds.

So that is where we are at. We will be waiting a few months before starting this protocol, so we have some time to prepare ourselves for it, both emotionally and financially. Although we are very aware of how inexpensive it is here in Canada to do any sort of fertility treatments.

We are excited for this new plan and feeling good about our chances. We also love our clinic and doctor, which is a huge bonus. Hope you guys all enjoyed our over sharing post!

***Disclaimer***
We are choosing to be open about this part of our journey because we need the support and love from our friends and family as we move forward. I also want to help raise awareness of infertility and pregnancy loss, helping make it less of a taboo subject. If you are struggling with infertility or have experienced multiple losses like myself, please know you are not alone. This is a hard road to walk down but there are others who can come along you and support you. 

Having said that, it is NEVER appropriate to ask anyone (not just myself) about the status of a women's uterus. Do not ask if we are pregnant. We will choose who we will tell and when we will tell them if we are so blessed with another pregnancy. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers but will not be answering questions in regards to whether or not there is a baby growing inside of me. If you ask, be prepared for a snarky answer. Thank you!


Remember when I mentioned that with my cycle monitoring, I was planning on staying with a friend in Toronto for a few days to alleviate the stress of traveling during the week? Well I ended up ovulating early (seriously, more on that later this week, I promise) and didn't need to continue my daily treks to the fertility clinic after Thanksgiving Monday.

So I cancelled my plan to stay with my friend, as well as a dinner engagement with another friend, but opted on keeping one of the fun plans I had put in place for that week. My cousin Stacey had picked up tickets for us to go and be part of the audience for a filming of The Marilyn Denis Show!


So despite not having to go in for any more monitoring appointments, I woke up at 5am last Wednesday morning and made the journey to Toronto yet again. But this time it was for a more exciting reason than getting stabbed in the arm with a needle.


The show's theme was Facing Your Fears and it had three segments. The first part was about decorating your house for Halloween and one whole corner of the studio was decked out like someone's front yard.




It was pretty cool. Even if some of the decorations were a little creepy. Especially when they were fiddling with them trying to get them set up and one of the swinging pumpkin men lost his head but was still talking.

The next segment was a fear factor type thing which included four ladies from the audience going up and tasting some nasty food while blindfolded. Glad I wasn't one of them!



The third segment had a family therapist come in and talk about some tips on how to face your fears. And then it had a pretty cool finale that I'm going to keep a secret so that you have to go and watch the show. :) Which will be airing on October 28th. I'll return to this post later and share the link so that you can see me on TV!



It was really great to see Stacey, even if it was for a short time. And I plan on meeting up with her again, since I'll most definitely be returning to Toronto at some point in the near future.


It was a good day and a fun experience. Has anyone else ever been in the audience of a show? Or an extra on a movie set?Or am I the only celebrity? Kidding!


I've been trying to come up with better snack options for myself, something a little healthier than cookies or chips but that will also help me put on some weight. I've been talking to my sister Cora, who is a nutritionist, and she has been giving me some different ideas on yummy yet still sort of healthy snacks.

She suggested chocolate bark for a nice dessert and I immediately jumped on that idea.


I opted to use a variety of nuts, mostly because I'm trying to integrate more kinds into my diet and because I thought it would look nicer. I used almonds, peanuts, walnuts and brazil nuts.


For the chocolate, I used a mix of Camino bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate chips, about the equivalent of one full bag. I am so glad I discovered Camino chocolate chips.


Once the chocolate was melted nicely, I spread it on to a parchment lined cookie sheet. I do admit though, I may have spread it a little thin. But I don't mind, chocolate is chocolate.


I sprinkled my variety of nuts evenly over the chocolate and then spread a spoonful of chia seeds over that.


The next step involves patience, since you have to let it cool down in the fridge before tasting it. But fortunately for me, with my thin chocolate spread, it cooled down fast and was soon available for nibbling.


Once it's cooled, I broke it up into easier to grab pieces and put them all into a container. Now you can either keep them in the fridge or in a cool place in your kitchen. I opted for the fridge because I have the room and I prefer the taste of it cold.


So there you are, a super quick and easy snack that you can pretend is healthy due to the nuts and chia seeds. Have you ever made bark before? If so, what kind did you make?

****************************************************************

Foodie Friday Mini Series, Take 2

Week 1: Banana Bread
Week 2: Butternut Squash Soup & Flat Bread 
Week 3: Nutty Chocolate Bark


Move On is a book written for women who are struggling with letting go and dealing with the messes in their lives. Vicki wants us to face our messes and let God, with his mercy, help us move past them into a life of freedom and grace. Vicki uses a lot of her own life experiences as examples, which allows us to relate and know that we are not alone. Each chapter touches on a different "mess" and then gives practical advice on how to move forward from it, including a section of questions that are designed to help you dig deeper and work your way through it.

I found this book easy to read and relate to. With each chapter, I could see how I was struggling with certain areas in my own life and I found the questions to be a nice personal touch. Vicki writes in a way that makes you feel like you're having a conversation with her, not being lectured or told how to do something. She encouraged me as I read and it inspired me to deal with some of the messes in my life. She uses a lot of Bible verses to back up her points and draws attention to how we are supposed to learn how to face life's messes by seeing examples in Scripture. I would recommend this book to others and feel like I benefited from reading it.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLookBloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FederalTrade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


As I mentioned back at the beginning of October, we are currently doing a diagnostic cycle of cycle monitoring, which involves us traveling to Toronto regularly. We had to go every morning from Friday until Monday and it was brutal. And by brutal I mean getting up at 4am, to be out the door at 5am to be at our clinic by 7am. I realized how much I need my sleep these past few days and can't wait to be able to sleep in until my normal wake up time of 6:30am. Anyways, this post isn't about our cycle monitoring (more on that later this week), it's about our trip to the CN Tower!


The CN Tower is one of the main tourist attractions in Toronto and I had never been. It just never worked out for us to go, mainly because of weather. Last year for my birthday, we went to Toronto for the weekend and planned to go up the tower but couldn't due to high winds.


Fortunately for us, we had perfect weather on Saturday for at trip to the top. Since we were already in Toronto for a not so happy reason, we figured we'd make a date day of it and headed to the base of the CN Tower.


We got to the main floor of the tower and I ran around happily taking pictures of the incredible view. I knew Toronto was big but being up this high and not being able to see the end of it, I realized it's bigger than I ever thought!






I was having lots of fun until Dan brought me down to the glass floor. I am terrified of heights and yet he still dragged me out on to it. I was very brave and totally posed for a picture.


I never looked down though. I had my eyes closed tightly until it was time to be photographed and then I made Dan return to take me safely off.



He was able to sweet talk me back onto it for another picture, only this time I needed to put my head over the glass. I had to back up to the floor, sit down and then he basically pulled me into a lying down position. As you can see from the above picture, it didn't totally work.

Next stop was to go a bunch of floors up to the Skypod. I didn't actually realize what I was getting myself into until we got there though. Dan conveniently didn't tell me much about anything so that I couldn't chicken out.





The view was incredible from up there and Dan even got to see some people doing the Edgewalk (you know, where they walk around outside and lean over the edge, all while attached to cables). I, on the other hand, spent the entire time up in the Skypod plastered to the wall. Literally.


Overall though, it was an awesome experience and I'm so glad that I am now able to say I've been up the CN Tower and we totally lucked out on the perfect day for it.

It was also really nice to take a crappy reason for going to Toronto and turn it into a fun day. Good thing I have such an awesome husband to think up these fun things.

What was everyone else up to this past weekend? Other than turkey dinners that is.


I'm off to Toronto again at an ungodly hour so won't be putting up a "real" post today. It's also Canadian Thanksgiving so I can get away with it, since it's technically a holiday and I don't usually write much on holidays.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers near and far, I hope you enjoy (or have enjoyed) lots of turkey dinner this weekend.