Hello Bump: Episode 12 + Bonus with Melissa & Justin Gaston

150 150 Angela Lanter

This week we released two new episodes of Hello Bump Podcast.  Last week the highly anticipated Gender Reveal Episode went up, so if you don’t already know what we’re having, listen to this episode. 🙂

On Monday, Episode 12, which covered week 17 was released.  During our 17th week of pregnancy, we returned home to LA after over two weeks of vacation.  I was so sad to leave my favorite place on earth, 30A, but happy to see our sweet fur baby.

Hello Bump: Episode 12 + Bonus with Melissa & Justin Gaston Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Speaking of fur babies, I’ve had so many mothers tell me that before pregnancy their dogs were their babies, but they just basically forgot them after the baby came along.  Matt and I love Soka so much, that I can’t imagine us forgetting her…  Or her letting us forget her.  She’s a demanding little diva and she makes sure that you give her attention when she wants it.  I’m looking for a little feedback here from y’all.  Leave a comment below and let me know how your relationship with your pet was affected by baby’s arrival.

Also in this episode, Matt expresses his disdain (yet again) for my beloved pregnancy pillowMy snoogle has helped so much with my hip and lower back pain, and he gets that part of it.  It’s just that the pillow literally is the great divide in our bed, lol.  I also chatted about the compression socks I wore for flying and have had some requests for the link, so click here to see the socks I’m talking about.

I’ve also had multiple women reach out to me about Natural Calm this week and I chatted about it in detail in this episode.  I take 1.5 teaspoons every night mixed in water at bedtime, which my OB has approved.  I have experienced so many benefits from taking magnesium, that I can tell a difference on the days I forget to take it.

Listen to Episode 12 on iTunes, Stitcher or here:

Also, we released a special bonus episode with two of our dearest friends, Justin Gaston and Melissa Ordway-Gaston.  They’re also pregnant and due THE DAY AFTER us!  So crazy!!  It’s so fun having a girlfriend to experience everything right along with.  We text each other every couple of days with new symptoms, cravings and just pregnancy thoughts in general.

If you were a 90210 fan, then you will probably remember her as Sydney, Liam’s love interest from the last season.  She has also been on Young & the Restless for the past +5 years.  We met Justin and Melissa right before she booked 90210 and we chat about her being on the show.  Justin & I also chat about watching our spouses’ sex scenes and how we made light of the situation and ended up becoming great friends.  As a matter of fact, both Justin and Melissa were in our wedding. 🙂

Be sure to listen to their episode because their parenting journey is so special.  They have one 15 month old daughter, Olivia, who is adopted and they dive into their story about how this sweet little girl became a part of their little family.  For anyone that has been touched by adoption or is thinking about adoption, this episode is so special because of their openness to discuss their experience.

Listen to Justin and Melissa Gaston on Hello Bump:

Hello Bump: Episode 12 + Bonus with Melissa & Justin Gaston Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous


Crockpot Shrimp & Grits Recipe (Easy!)

150 150 Angela Lanter

I love my crockpot every day of the year…  But there’s just something about Fall and Winter that makes slow cooker meals even better.  I think it’s because most of the recipes I make in my crockpot are hearty and we crave hearty meals on cooler days.

Matt and I lived in New Orleans for six months in 2013 and during that time I fell in love with cajun food.  I’ve always loved Southern cooking because that what I grew up on, but cajun food wasn’t something I was really ever introduced to.  I grew up visiting my great Uncle Don in the New Orleans area, but I don’t specifically remember being introduced to cajun meals.

During our time in Nola, I quickly decided shrimp and grits were one of my favorite meals.  When done right, the dish is packed with flavor and leaves you only wanting more.  I never even attempted to make this dish at home, I was so intimidated by how flavorful my experiences have been with it.  My second trimester craving has been shrimp, so I decided to take a stab at making my own shrimp and grits and man they turned out amazing!

Crockpot Shrimp & Grits Recipe Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Before you comment about how pregnant women shouldn’t eat (cooked) shellfish, it’s simply not true.  My doctor approved my consumption of fully cooked shrimp and they’re packing some iodine which is great for baby’s development. 🙂

I originally followed this recipe I found on Pinterest.  I knew that mine would need a few extra ingredients and a little heat, so I adapted it to the below recipe.  This was so easy to make and the flavor was incredible!  Matt said multiple times how delicious it was and it had even more flavor when we warmed up the leftovers the next day.  I suggest serving this with some fresh cornbread.

Just a head’s up, this makes a lot of food.  You could easily feed 6-8 people with this recipe.

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 Cups Quick Cooking Grits
  • 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional; to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 Ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1 lb. Shrimp (I used frozen)
  • 1 lb. Andouille Sausage
  • 1 Bell Pepper; chopped
  • ½ cup Half and Half
  • ½ cup Milk


  1. Add melted butter to crockpot set to low heat. Combine broth, grits, seasonings, cheddar, parmesan and cream cheeses, sausage and bell pepper.
  2. Cook on low in slow cooker for 3 hours.  Stir and scrape sides approx. halfway through cook time to prevent grits from scorching.
  3. After 3 hours, add in shrimp, ½ cup half and half and ½ cup of milk.
  4. Cook for an additional hour on low. Again, stir halfway through to prevent scorching.
  5. Garnish with parsley, additional shredded cheese and/or parmesan cheese.

Leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite Fall crockpot meal is.  Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration- I’m pinning there daily!

PS- In case you were wondering, this is the model of Crockpot I use most often.  I have three different slow cookers, but this one is my favorite.  Also, this is my Instant Pot, which I talk about often on Insta-Stories.  It has a slow cooker function, but I haven’t tried it yet.  We love using our Instant Pot too, so check them out if you don’t already have one.

Crockpot Shrimp & Grits Recipe Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

This was so easy to make and the flavor was incredible! Matt said multiple times how delicious it was and it had even more flavor when we warmed up the leftovers the next day. I suggest serving this with some fresh cornbread. Just a head’s up, this makes a lot of food. You could easily feed 6-8 people with this recipe.

What to Buy (and NOT to Buy) at Trader Joe’s

150 150 Angela Lanter

I took to Instagram Stories a few weeks ago and mentioned I’ve been thinking about doing this post…  And the response was overwhelming.  SO many of you wanted to see my list of best and worst products from Trader Joe’s.  I’m an avid TJ’s shopper, so this post was a fun one for me to put together.

What to Buy at Trader Joe's Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

I snapped an iPhone shot of my shopping cart the other day at Trader Joe’s so you could see what a regular trip looks like for me.  Obviously, I don’t buy all healthy groceries there, I also love my snacks and cookies, lol.

Trader Joe's Shopping Cart Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Alright, let’s go {virtual} grocery shopping together!  I’m taking you through my favorite products department by department to keep this post as organized as possible.

What to Buy at Trader Joe’s:

Floral Department:  TJ’s is my go-to spot for flowers and not just during peony season…  Although, their peonies are the best!  They usually have a dozen roses in assorted colors for $6.99 at my local store and that price can’t be beat anywhere.  The price isn’t even the best reason to buy your flowers there, it’s how long they last.  I find that my roses last minimum 7 days, but sometimes even up to 14 days.  If you’d like to see a blog post about my flower buying tips and hacks for keeping them alive longer, leave a comment below and let me know.

What to Buy at Trader Joe's Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Produce:  TJ’s is my favorite place to buy produce because A) the prices are great and B) the quality is great.  My favorite produce to buy there is: berries, spinach, cooked lentils, cauliflower and broccoli “rice” and bell peppers.  We also love their bagged brussel sprouts and pre-packaged fresh asparagus.

I prefer buying bananas at TJ’s because you can buy them individually.  This works best for us because we only really like to buy 2 or 3 at a time.  I’m looking at two bananas going bad on my counter as I type this, which is what I get for buying a bunch lol.

As for the cauliflower or broccoli “rice,” these have quickly become a favorite rice alternative in our house.  It’s a great low carb option that is super tasty. Per health.com, “Cauliflower has 25 calories per cup vs. 218 for a cup of cooked brown rice. (And, if you’re watching carbs, cauliflower has 5g per cup vs. 46g for a cup of brown rice.)”  That’s a great reason to make the switch over to cauliflower rice!  Here’s how I prepare it:

Warm olive oil in pan over medium heat and add in cauliflower/broccoli rice.  Season with sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic powder and a pinch (or two) of crushed red pepper.  Once cooked through, serve immediately.

What to Buy at Trader Joe's Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Produce Pass:  Avocado prices tend to be higher than you’d expect.  Also, I’m not the biggest fan of their pre-made salads.

Bakery:  The only fresh bread I really love is their rosemary focaccia.  I haven’t bought this bread in a long time, but it warms so nicely and the flavor is amazing.

Deli/Refrigerated goods:  This is definitely my favorite store to buy cheese.  These are our favorites: Havarti with dill, organic pepper jack, shredded organic mozzarella cheese, Boursin, crumbled feta, goat cheese, and many more I can’t even think of right now.  I haven’t met a TJ cheese I didn’t love.  I did just see that they carry burrata and I don’t know how in the world I’ve missed that until now?

I swear by Trader Joe’s pizza sauce, but the kind in the refrigerated section near the cheeses, not the jarred.  It’s always fresh and lasts for weeks in your fridge.  It’s the perfect sauce: not too tangy and not too sweet.  We also love their whole wheat pizza dough in the bag.  You’ll find this right next to the refrigerated pizza sauce.  I have a special trick to making this dough…  I use a pizza stone that I heat up in the oven.  I toss the dough, put it on the stone, rub it with olive oil, sprinkle on Italian seasoning and bake for 10 minutes.  I take it out, rub the crust with olive oil again, then add topping and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  You get the perfect pizza every time using this method.

As you may know, the dips are right next to the cheeses in most TJ’s, but I typically pass on this section except for one item: Edamame Hummus.  Love this dip!  When I’m cutting back on soy, obviously I don’t buy it, but otherwise it’s super tasty and a fun twist on traditional hummus dips.

Matt loves their fresh hard-boiled peeled eggs just to have on hand for a quick protein boost.  I usually pick up my milk, eggs and yogurt at TJ’s too, the prices are lower than our local grocery store.

Meats:  I sometimes pick up organic chicken or lamb chops, but it’s not my sole purpose for my grocery trip.  I’d much rather make my meat purchases from our local butcher.  We’ve had two experiences where we got home and opened our fresh chicken only for it to be spoiled, so I purchase with caution.

Bakery Pass:  I’m not a fan of TJ’s English muffins, sliced breads, bagels or wraps.  They’re all just okay.  Whole Foods has the best English muffins in my opinion.  I’ve not tried all of their fresh baked sweets, but the ones I have tried have not been memorable.

Canned Foods/Rice/Pasta:  I buy all of my canned organic beans, tomatoes and stocks here.  I also purchase my almond milk and a lot of my baking products such as flour here.

I typically pass on the pasta and head straight for the rices.  My favorite rice products to buy are: 10 minute barley, 10 minute farro and Harvest Grains Blend.

Trader Joe's Shopping Cart Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

We have either Harvest Grains Blend, barley or farro at least once a week.  I love substituting barley or farro for rice in dishes such as taco bowls, for added nutritional value to the meal.

Another must buy in this aisle is their olive oil.  Our favorite is the Tunisian Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

What to Buy at Trader Joe's Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Snacks (non-frozen):  My favorite food life topic is snacks.  There are so many I love at TJ’s!  Here are the Lanter House favorites:

  • Oven Baked Cheese Bites
  • Toasted Coconut Cookie Thins
  • Partially Popped Popcorn
  • Speculoos Cookies
  • Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Roasted Seaweed Snack
  • Honey Butter Potato Chips
  • Soft baked Snickerdoodles
  • Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (Dare I say… Maybe even better than Reese’s!)
  • Kettle Corn
  • Chocolate Chip Brownie & Oat Bars (Great source of fiber!  Can’t eat while pregnant.)
  • Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Bites
  • Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

Snack Pass:  Cereal.  I’ve yet to try a cereal that I love enough to buy a second time.  I’m also not a huge fan of their tortilla chips.

Frozen Foods:  My favorite thing to stock up on while shopping at TJ’s is their frozen foods.  I love this department because it has such an awesome variety and such unique products that you really won’t find at your local supermarket.

What to Buy at Trader Joe's Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Here’s a list of my frozen food faves:

  • Turkey Meatballs (So easy to warm up and pair amazing with spaghetti squash.)
  • Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip (My blogger friend, Courtney, turned me onto this and I’ve eaten it twice this past week. Best dip, hands down.  Perfect for football season!)
  • Cauliflower Pizza Crust (Such a great los carb and healthy alternative for your pizza cravings!)
  • Organic Silver Dollar Pancakes
  • Tandoori Naan (Best naan ever!  Bakes in 2 minutes, no joke.)
  • Frozen Brown Rice/Quinoa
  • Turkey Burgers
  • Bambino Pizza Formaggio

What to Buy at Trader Joe's Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Frozen Food Pass:  I have a few in this category…  Mini Cinnamon Sugar Churros (tried to love them, but couldn’t), 5 Cheese Greek Spiral (I’m Greek.  I know a good filo dish and this isn’t one), Fully Cooked Falafel (too dry), Cauliflower and Broccoli Veggie Patties (just not a fan), Spring Rolls and Waffles.  There are other frozen items that I’ve tried through the years that were a total waste for us, but they’re just escaping me right now.  I’ll try to update this post with items on my next trip to the store.

What to Buy at Trader Joe's Angela Lanter Hello Gorgeous

Drinks:  Basically the only water we drink anymore is the TJ’s Alkaline Water + Electrolytes.  We buy this water by the case.  We’re big alkaline water drinkers, so this is the best bang for our buck that we’ve found to date.

Now I want to hear from you!  Did I miss a must-have from Trader Joe’s?  What are your favorite items to buy?  Leave your product suggestions in the comments below.


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