Total Basset Case

Apr 19, 2018

Life Lately

Oh hey look, here I am.  I promise I haven't forgotten about this space but you know, life gets in the way.  Also I have another project I am working on that is taking a lot of my time.  I am not ready to spill my guts yet but I am so excited about it and cannot wait to share it with you! I will need your help once the cat is out of the bag so get ready!

Otherwise here is what has been going on in our life:
If you saw my Insta you saw that Mister and I went camping last weekend.  Yes, me, went camping.  We love love love our church and church community and they have land that they do camps on every so often.  Last weekend was 'Couples Camp' and at first I told Mister NO WAY.  However, over time I came around to the idea and I am SO glad I did.  We had a fabulous weekend, so much goodness.  Even when we woke up in the middle of the night to rain in our tent :(  

Little Mister spent the weekend with Nanny and they had a ball! They went to gymnastics and played, played, played.

A few weekends ago some of my best girlfriends came into town and LM had a weekend long play date with his aunts and birthday buddy Edie.  They weren't planned to be so close in age but LM and Edie are only a few days apart and so fun to watch together.
Friends of ours moved (major sad face) but they gifted LM their slide and he has been in heaven.  He is constantly chanting 'outside outside! slide slide!'.  When he's not sliding he's really into picking up rocks.  My mom tells me that from about age 2 on I always had a rock in my pocket every time she did laundry so it's only fitting he loves rocks.  

I think those are the only major things going on in our life!
We are still LOVING our insta pot and keeping up our Whole30 diet in an 80/20 aspect.  We need our wine and Diet Coke but otherwise we are doing a pretty good job sticking to it.

What's going on in your life?!

Mar 22, 2018

18 Months!

LM is 18 months old!
We are so proud of him!  He is becoming such a sweet little man.  So funny and silly all the time.
Everyday is more and more fun with him.  Recently he is talking up a storm.  He has 20+ words at the moment and is exceptional at repeating.  Most importantly, he's started saying 'mama' more and more often.  And it's my favorite thing in the world.  He says 'hi dog' and 'hi dad' alllll the time which are also adorable.  He is a true little boy and very obsessed with balls.  He says 'Baalllll?' as a question and statement all in one.  I love it.
His is also very obsessed with blueberries and hearing him say 'blueberry' is so cute.
He is a busy, busy man.  He does not stop moving. All day long.  Until he crashes.
Our sitter will tell us that sometimes she finds him taking a quick power nap on the floor in the middle of the other kids playing.
He goes goes goes until the moment he's in bed and then crashes.  

We recently enrolled him in a gymnastics class and he's loving it!  They have little miniature gymnastic equipment (bars, beams, rings, etc) and they work on different skills, singing and a very light curriculum.

He is a very curious soul and loves to wander around when we're outside and just take it all in.  We were at the park recently and he spent a good 30 minutes just walking back and forth on the trail investigating everything around him.
 We recently introduced him to Elmo before bed while he has his milk and he is starting to enjoy it.  He says 'ELMO' as soon as we put jammies on and head for milk and the sofa.  He has yet to be a big tv kid (which is 100000% okay with us) but I think Elmo may be becoming a favorite.
At his 18 month check up he was 22.6lbs and 31".  He is built just like his papa...tall, long and lean.  Knock on wood he is a very good eater! He will eat anything we put in front of him.  When he's getting teeth (working on #s 15 and 16 right now!) in he is a little more picky but otherwise he's a good eater. I'm pretty sure if we would let him survive on blueberries, bananas, carrots and green beans he would.  And the occasional cheese stick because who doesn't love cheese sticks?

Mar 6, 2018

Whole30: Round 2

Whole30 seems to be all the rage lately and it's for a good reason.
We did our first round of Whole30 back in October and while it has it challenging moments, it is TOTALLY doable and totally worth it.
As the founder says, cancer is hard...Whole30 is not hard.
We recently listened to Jen Hatmaker (LOVE her, please go read her books and listen to her podcasts if you aren't already) interview Melissa Hartwig, founder of Whole30 and it was enough to make us want to do it again. 

If you are new to Whole30, in short it is a program that strips away sugar, grains, alcohol, dairy and MSG from your diet in order to get your body in check.  
We originally did Whole30 in the fall as a reset for our bodies and our systems and it worked.  While the program isn't focused on losing weight, I did not hate the fact that I lost 12lbs over the course of the 30 days.  The literature is careful not to call Whole30 a 'diet' and that's true.  Within the approved foods, there is no limit to the amount that you can eat.

I've talked before how I have some (annoying) belly issues (in short, my body is allergic to sugar and can't process it well) and that leads to a lot of bloating and digestive issues.  Unfortunately, sugar is in LITERALLY everything, so many things you wouldn't even think it is.  So while Whole30 can be on the verge of boring, the program works really well for my system.

The founder of Whole30 makes it a point to encourage trying Whole30 for 30 days and then slowly reintroduce the foods you eliminated back in and seeing how your body reacts.  Whole365 should not be a thing...for one, I think you would lose your mind.  Two, mama needs her glass of wine and some cheese every once in a while.  While not on Whole30 I like to employ the 80/20 rule.  Good food in 80% of the time and the not so good stuff 20% of the time.  For me that 20% is usually Diet Coke, red wine, fries and cheese.  Again, all of those things have sugar and my body will surely tell me about it.

Since we've completed one round of Whole30 I thought I would share my favorites with you guys.
I will say, that in general we eat pretty 'clean' so I didn't see an excessive change in our grocery bill or what we were buying.  
The #1 piece of advice I have is to plan and prep.  I usually use Sundays to prep and cook roasted veggies, spaghetti squash and chicken.  I've been doing chicken in our Instant Pot and we also make a big batch of scrambled eggs to have throughout the week. 

Whole30 Favorites:
Rx Bars (any of the fruit ones)
Kind Pressed Bars
Larabars (fruit flavors)
Dried mango, pineapple, banana (Trader Joes has the best)
Roasted potatoes (we slice them thin, season with garlic salt and roast at 425 for 25 minutes)
Apples with almond/cashew butter
Roasted veggies
Aidels/Applegate sausages
EGGS (so many eggs)
Flavored seltzer water (coconut is my favorite)
Tessamaes dressings
Nutpod creamer
Lean beef burgers with avocado 
Sweet potatoes

There are TONS of easy and yummy Whole30 recipes out there.  I will say we struggle most with snacks.  We are used to having portable snacks and carrying around half a chicken breast isn't the easiest thing.  Nor is surviving on Rx bars, mostly because we would run out of money.

So here we go again...wish us luck! If you have any questions, just ask! I am no expert but have ton a bit of research and enjoy talking about it!

Feb 14, 2018

5 Dinners You Can Make in Less than 30 Minutes

First off, Happy Valentines Day!!

I don't know about you, but we are always on the hunt for quick, healthy, yummy dinners.
My mom recently gave us a Crock Pot Pressure Cooker (their version of the Instant Pot) and that magical gem has answered a lot of our prayers.
We use that guy at least twice a week and the meals usually make enough for at least one night of leftovers.  That is a win for this mama.

Another very large bonus of the Pot is that you can cook fresh or frozen meat, both in a very short amount of time.

I cannot get over how quickly the Pot cooks and how easy it is.
I will say there is a learning curve to get the hang of it and the valve system but it is very doable.  Once you follow the directions and use it once or twice it all makes sense. 
Always remember (like a Crock Pot) it always needs a little water/liquid, usually at least 1/2 cup.
And! This is very important, always use a spatula to release the valve, do not burn yourself!

I have a million recipes pinned that I want to try but for today here are 5 that can get you dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes (some less than 10!)

I can't be for certain but I think this might be my favorite recipe that we've made.  We subbed out lasagna noodles for gluten free spaghetti noodles.  This made a TON and was a winner with the whole family. 
LM devoured it.  Thankfully this meal coincided with bath night.
Not to mention, it was ready in under 20 minutes.

We've made this chili mac twice now and have loved it each time.  From the moment you grab the items from the pantry to the time your timer goes off, this whole meal is ready in under 10 minutes.  If that doesn't scream perfect for busy week nights I am not sure what does.  This chili mac is so comforting and yummy. 
I think next time we may add another can of beans or ground turkey to increase the protein.
3. Chicken Breasts
We make chicken in the oven every single week for our lunches.  This past weekend we tried making it the Pot and it was so easy!  I added about a cup of chicken broth, garlic and some seasonings.  The chicken was done in about 20 minutes and very tender! 
While that is cooking you can easily cook some rice, roast some veggies or sweet potatoes for a side and dinner is done.  And healthy! 
I also saw a recipe that calls for pineapple juice instead of chicken broth...I can't wait to try that!
4. Taco Meat
This one is great for those nights when you forgot to take the ground beef/turkey out of the freezer.  Simply place the frozen (or fresh) meat with a packet (or homemade) taco seasoning and in about 15 minutes you have taco meat ready for tacos, nachos, burrito bowls or anything that your heart desires.
Talk about winter comfort food, this guy fits the bill.
And for a bonus recipe, we were with some friends this weekend (the one who really talked me into wanting a Pot) and they made the quickest, cheesiest, creamiest mac and cheese.  It was ready in less than 20!
The recipes you can make in the Pot are endless too! Yogurt, hard boiled eggs, cake, desserts, rice...and the list goes on!  Thankfully Pinterest is currently a treasure trove of recipes, ideas and tips on how to use the Pot.  

I have seen a few people say they were afraid to use/attempt to operate theirs and to that I say 'go for it!'  I promise it will change your dinner game and free up your evenings by getting dinner on the table MUCH quicker and clean up is a breeze!  

Let me know if you have any questions or please share your favorite recipes with me!

Feb 8, 2018

Winter Book Review

I've managed to plow through some books lately and wanted to share a couple good ones with you.
As I mentioned yesterday, I am in the midst of listening to 'Of Mess and Moxie'.
I am currently reading 'The Rules Do Not Apply', I am not far enough in to give an update but the reviews are good! 

Seven Days of Us was a quick, easy read that I enjoyed quite well.  It follows one family as they are quarantined in their house for seven days to make sure their daughter has not brought home a dangerous disease from her time doing mission work.  The whole book reminded me of an updated version of Love Actually meets The Family Stone.  

I would give 'Before We Were Yours' a solid 3.75/5.  I did really enjoy this book and thought it was very interesting but there is an element of sadness to it and I wasn't the hugest fan of that.  
The story follows a family of children as they are stolen and placed into various homes as well as the Tennessee Children's Home.  The other side of the story is a curious female who begins to investigate the history of her family and how they were involved.  

I love all things Lauren Graham and loved listening to her memoir 'Talking As Fast As I Can' was no different.  I listen to a lot of book tapes but I especially enjoy when the author reads them.  Lauren is fabulous to listen to, hilarious and provided quite a few anecdotes and stories about Gilmore Girls.  
I loved that book so much I immediately downloaded 'Someday, Someday Maybe' - her first fiction piece.  It is loosely based on her life and how she became involved in acting.  Again, a winner.  

'Me & Emma' was a very quick read with quite the interesting twist at the end.  I will admit, a few times during the book I kept wondering where it was going.  However it is one of those reads that right at the end it all comes together and makes sense.  

I've also had a couple duds lately as well.  A few I pushed through (mainly 'One of the Boys') and a few I just did not finish because I couldn't.  I enjoyed Kevin Kwan's first 2 books but could not get through 'Rich People Problems'- it seemed too all over the place.  

What have you been reading and what should I put on my list next?
If you aren't already, feel free to follow me on Goodreads, I love to keep track of my books and 'to read' list on there.