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First things first:  How pretty is this Ball glass chandelier?


It’s hanging in the middle of Fern (the newest Charlotte vegetarian restaurant – we went last night), and is just a perfect balance between classy and rustic.   I want to make one!


Secondly, we spent the afternoon doing inventory at the clinic.  We keep a lot of supplements in-stock and had to count up and tally everything for end-of-year tax purposes.  We’d both been dreading this task for weeks but it wasn’t so bad with two people.  Teamwork, yo.

photo 2

After inventory, I went on a 3.0 mile walk today that left me feeling absolutely pooped.  Maybe it was the weather? It is bitterly cold in Charlotte right now.


Dinner was a winner!


I made an Indian-inspired dish with this yummy sauce.  I am actually not a huge fan of bell peppers and thought I wouldn’t like this sauce, but it was great.  Very, very flavorful.


And dinner itself was super easy.  I defrosted from frozen brown rice, steamed some mixed greens (here’s how), fried some mushrooms, and cracked open a can of chickpeas.  I combined everything in a wok on the stovetop and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.  Dinner in 15 minutes – can’t beat that.


And for dessert:

photo (79)

So, in my quest for a better night’s sleep, my doctor (and many other people) recommended that I drink a glass of milk before bed (hence, the ice cream – I can justify that, right?  Kidding…).  I decided to do a little investigating because I wanted to know if soy milk would have the same impact.


Fun facts:


  • People think that warm milk helps you sleep because of tryptophan, the same thing in turkey that apparently makes you sleepy.  (Source)
  • However, to actually have an impact, tryptophan must cross the blood-brain barrier, which it cannot do effectively in the presence of amino acids in protein-rich foods (like milk or turkey).  Furthermore, the amount of tryptophan in milk (and turkey) is very small.  (Source)
  • Therefore, researchers theorize that people get sleepy after drinking water milk simply because it subconsciously reminds them of infancy.  (Source)


Off to drink warm… something!



  • K January 4, 2012, 9:46 pm

    My parents were committed warm milk drinkers and I remember that it was my job to pour the milk into the pot or cups for the microwave after I said goodnight. I loved that it was one small thing I could do for my parents who worked so, so hard. I actually took up milk drinking during my second trimester to help with my sleep as well. I have a mix of 1/2 almond and 1/2 regular organic dairy milk, and though I don’t normally really “do” dairy, this warm drink really agrees with me! Sometimes I add a small drizzle of really good honey…it’s heavenly. I’m sure, though, that anything warm will do 🙂 I don’t know that it’s necessarily the drink, but having a denouement kind of routine certainly helps. While I drink my treat in bed, the husband reads out loud to the babe. It’s lovely.

    • Caitlin January 5, 2012, 10:18 am

      Oooh your mix sounds tasty. I need to try that.

  • Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner January 4, 2012, 9:49 pm

    I love drinking a cup of mint tea before bed. I think it is the warmth–it’s really soothing and relaxing!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) January 4, 2012, 9:51 pm

    I would think the warmth would be soothing, but other than that, I can’t see why it would help. For me, it would not have a good effect. We got flannel sheets yesterday and I slept soooo well last night. I’m so looking forward to getting back in those sheets tonight! Sleep well Caitlin!

  • Christine @ BookishlyB January 4, 2012, 10:02 pm

    I love those mason jars- those sorts of fixtures are all over pinterest right now. I wish I was a crafty, DIY kinda girl.

  • megan January 4, 2012, 10:06 pm

    My friendly Colleen made one of those chandeliers and it is gorgeous! Took a lot of electrical work though.

    • Caitlin January 5, 2012, 10:41 am

      Oh how awesome! Tell her i loved them!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 4, 2012, 10:44 pm

    Even if it doesn’t really help you sleep, at least ice cream is delicious!

  • Amy January 4, 2012, 11:00 pm

    I read somewhere recently that the warm milk thing is really about the temperature—the whole “getting sleepy” process involves a drop in body temperature, which signals that it’s time to go to sleep. Drinking a warm beverage enhances that process; you get all warm and cozy inside, and then as you cool down, you get sleepy. I don’t know how true it is (or if I’m remembering it exactly right), but it makes sense!

  • Maria January 4, 2012, 11:03 pm

    I’ve had problems sleeping lately and chocolate almond milk heated up does the trick for me right before bed.

  • Carin January 4, 2012, 11:03 pm

    Your dinner looks yummy and really warming – we’re in the middle of a summer heatwave here so it’s a seared tofu thai salad for us tonight!

    Can’t really give you any positive advice on the sleep front – I slept really badly during my first pregnancy and even though the kids sleep through the night now, 5 years on I’ve rarely woken up feeling properly rested and great. I think there’s a residual tiredness thing that just takes over… either that or I’m just getting old.

    You haven’t mentioned leg cramps yet, which was definitely the WORST thing about pregnancy as far as I’m concerned. In the third trimester, I often woke up in excruciating pain and my hub had to massage my calves (hard to reach when the bump is large and you’re in agony!). Apparently it’s to do with a build up of lactic acid (?) when you’re not moving as much in your sleep… anyway, it’s AWFUL! Hope you avoid it!

    • Caitlin January 5, 2012, 10:45 am

      I have that!!!! I couldn’t figure out what was causing it. It sucks.

      • Julia January 5, 2012, 1:40 pm

        My first pregnancy I slept like a rock. I agree with Carin on the sleeping thing. Maybe as parents we get so used to waking up with our kids that minor disturbances get the best of us. I’m sorry about the leg cramps. I had back spasms at night. :o( The baby will be SO worth it.

  • Elisse January 4, 2012, 11:17 pm

    Drinking anything before bed just makes me have to pee!

    A few years ago, I was having serious trouble sleeping. Two things helped. The first was listening to some mellow music (I liked Sufjan Stevens). I normally cannot sleep with music playing, but I think some background noise helped me relax. A white noise machine might work too.

    The other thing that I swear worked was doing yoga. After about a week of yoga classes I was already sleeping better.

    Good Luck!!

  • Tee @ She Writes, Bites, and Window Shops January 5, 2012, 12:05 am

    Hahaha, I love that your “glass of milk” before bed was ice cream. That’s totally something I would justify too!

  • Laura @ She Eats Well January 5, 2012, 12:08 am

    Ok. Now I really, really want some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Phish Food flavor.

    I don’t think I could down a glass of milk (even if it was almond milk) before bed time. I agree with others who have suggested tea, but only a few sips! Or else I’ll be up all night with my tiny bladder…! I suppose what is most important is finding what works for you though!

  • Khushboo January 5, 2012, 12:28 am

    I’ve been having warm choc milk before bed and it knocks me out…could be coincidence but I’m going to pretend it makes all the difference and keep sipping!

  • Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine January 5, 2012, 1:49 am

    That’s so interesting! I also wondered if my grandma was really telling the truth 😛

  • Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous January 5, 2012, 7:01 am

    Thanks for doing that research…very interesting!

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) January 5, 2012, 7:17 am

    I was struggling to sleep well a few months ago and my dr. said it was totally safe to drink the Celestial Seasonings Sleepy-time tea before bed. It worked like a charm for me! I enjoy it most with a tad bit of honey.

  • Gracie January 5, 2012, 7:38 am

    I have to inventory my pharmacy once a year, plus an additional controlled substance inventory. That majorly sucks because all the schedule II narcotics require exact counts (for other drugs we estimate open bottles as half-full). It takes forever and always ends up being on a busy day!

  • Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny January 5, 2012, 7:49 am

    Here’s to 3 mile-pregnant walks! I took one Wednesday with G.

    Interesting facts about Milk and Turnkey. I assume then that everyone passes out on Thanksgiving purely because they’re overstuffed? 😉

  • Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny January 5, 2012, 7:50 am

    Oh, and I LOVE that chandelier!!

  • Marci January 5, 2012, 8:19 am

    I think a glass of anything would make me pee even more. I sometimes have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep but then the next night is better. I try reading, listening to piano music, tv, counting backwards.

  • Kath January 5, 2012, 9:24 am

    Matt can teach you to make a ball jar lamp!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife January 5, 2012, 9:31 am

    Yep, I’ve heard that research before too–funny how we all get sucked into things. Hah.

    LOVE the ice cream idea 😉

  • faith January 5, 2012, 9:39 am

    I drink a calcium and magnesium drink before bed nearly every night and it helps a lot with my sleep. There’s more info here http://www.betterway2health.com/CALM-magnesium.htm

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 5, 2012, 10:11 am

    I always have a cup of tea in bed while I’m reading!

  • Sara January 5, 2012, 10:43 am

    I was meaning to comment about this sleep issue! I have trouble sleeping too, and one thing that works for me is switching where my head is on the bed. Basically, I will lay the opposite way on the bed with my head by my hubby’s feet, and my feet by his head.

    I think one of my sleep issues is that the mattress just won’t feel comfy anymore, so when I switch sides, it feels like a whole new bed! I can usually fall asleep fairly quickly after doing it! Also works well since the husband can snore sometimes, and this way, the snores aren’t directly in my ear!

  • Kim @ Wonderings January 5, 2012, 10:59 am

    Saw this chandelier on Pinterest. I would love to do this if I had a kitchen island. You could even swish dye around in them for a cool effect!

  • Jennifer January 5, 2012, 11:09 am

    My understanding of the tryptophan / sleep relationship is that tryptophan an amino acids used in the creation of melatonin in our bodies (the chemical that induces sleepiness). So while it doesn’t actually make us sleepy, it leads to the creation of a compound that does.

    But that’s just my wiki-fed understanding.

  • Brigid January 5, 2012, 12:52 pm

    Um, I definitely have to make that chandelier. I’m totally in love!

    That’s interesting about the tryptophan. I love drinking hot tea before bed (anything herbal). I don’t know if it’s the warmth exactly, though I know it aids in digestion, but something about the ritual of brewing it and sitting down with my fancy tea cup makes me feel relaxed and centered. It’s almost like meditation. Plus, it’s one of my favorite routines to share with my love. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 🙂

  • Julia January 5, 2012, 1:38 pm

    I have noticed two things with pregnancy – this is my second – 1) Normal physical activity makes me instantly sleep. 2) Eating too much makes me instantly sleep.

    Craziness. Pregnancy is prep for when you have a baby and have little sleep/have to learn to delegate, give up things, and prioritize. So any crazy symptoms are good preparatory things!

  • Amber K January 5, 2012, 1:47 pm

    Yeah the tryptophan thing always confused me. But maybe it’s because I don’t drink milk or eat meat, so I don’t really pay attention to any of the myths or truths about it. Hope the ice cream helped 🙂

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats January 5, 2012, 2:05 pm

    I love that chandelier! It’s gorgeous!

  • jen January 5, 2012, 2:09 pm

    i love that chandelier! so cool! on a side note, i am so jealous that you say “Fern (the newest Charlotte vegetarian restaurant)”. i live in RI, where there is ONE veg place in the WHOLE STATE and its roughly the sizew of my one bedroom apartment and its always packed. i was ranting on the lack of veg restaurants this very morning, so its funny you mentioned that!

  • Kayla January 5, 2012, 3:03 pm

    I must have that Ball Jar chandelier! I am in love.

  • Sophie @ threetimesf January 14, 2012, 3:52 pm

    I’d love to make my own chandalier, but wouldn’t you be constantly terrified of something falling on your head?!

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