Friday, March 30, 2018

I Went From Having an Invisible Illness, Being Overweight, Depressed and Tired To Enjoying Robust Health!

Things I’m Afraid To Tell You 2.0

This was one of my most popular posts last year, and I’m filled with nervous excitement to list a few things that I’m afraid to tell you again. I am challenging myself to be vulnerable!

// I am constantly worried that my income stream is going to end.

This blog – and, naturally, you guys – have been so, so good to me. I am honestly quite shocked it is all still going! I have always imagined that a career as a blogger would look like a bell curve: climbing slowly year after year, peaking, and then declining slowly over time until the income stream dries up. For me, each year has been better than my last (financially speaking) and 2017 was amazing, my best year to date. But every January when budgets reset, I’m afraid and have a mild panic attack and wonder: “Will this be my first year on the downside?”

Six years ago, blog income was nearly all ad based. These days it’s about 20% ads and 80% sponsored/everything else. This is good because the potential to earn is higher, but it’s also much less predictable. Sometimes I create hypothetical budget spreadsheets to simulate what we would do if my income shrinks or if I gave up blogging altogether. Thankfully, we are a two-income household, and because I’m a planner, I have a good idea of changes we will make if that happens.

When I think about the fact that I have 20+ years until retirement (and that most people make their best money later in life), I wonder if this blog really will carry me through. I am someone who wants to work, so I can’t imagine myself not picking up a later-in-life career. I really have no idea what field I would jump into. I can see myself going full force into dietetics, creating some kind of social media/blog-related consulting job (such as blogging for a corporate company or helping businesses get going), or even working for Thomas’s company (I would love to crunch his numbers all day 🙂 ). I really wish I had a crystal ball to know what is going to happen! Hopefully KERF will last forever.

// Sometimes I eat fast food

I remember way back when I was blogging about my meals all the time people would ask me: “Are you ever tempted to just swing through a fast food place and eat a bunch of fries?” My answer was honest when I responded that fast food was not a temptation for me. Before becoming a mom, I was a lot pickier about food because I could be. My parents say that motherhood has mellowed me out, and it has. I choose my battles, and I just don’t really care to make food one of them.

So, when we’re on car trips, I get outnumbered by my parents and Mazen begging for a kids meal and we have ended up eating at fast food spots. And you know what? It’s been kind of fun (in that junky, french fry kind of way.) Twice have I taken Mazen to Chick-fil-A here in Cville. We have a brand new store, and honestly it doesn’t feel yucky at all. It’s clean with beautiful modern decor, and Mazen loves getting a kids meal. One time I got a Southwestern salad that was actually really good! Another time on a car trip I had a Bojangles ham biscuit that was amazing. We are definitely not making fast food a regular routine of ours, but considering I didn’t set foot in one for years, I am mellowing on that a bit.

// I had a miscarriage and don’t know how to write about it

Much to our surprise, we got pregnant on the first try. We were both shocked and so excited. I bought a book full of dad quotes, and with shaking hands, I presented it to Thomas after work. He ran around the room leaping with excitement. But I started having spotting early on, and then had a heavier bleeding scare that sent me to the doctor for blood work that showed my hCG levels were on the decline. We knew we were losing the baby, and about a week later I had a very heavy period. So much joy followed by so much sadness. That’s the short story.

Every time I’ve sat down to write about having a miscarriage I am a bag of mixed emotions. On the one hand, we were pregnant and we lost a teeny baby that we had created together. I felt all the sadness one would expect comes with dreaming about having a baby and then finding out that hope has ended. On the other hand, I was “only” a few weeks along, and we had warning signs, so we were mentally prepared the whole time. I never really had the opportunity to get that excited. I have friends who have had miscarriages at 10, 11, 12 weeks and beyond and know people who have lost babies in later trimesters (my mom being one) and at birth. I have blogger friends who have written beautiful posts about their losses. Every time I tried to write about mine, I felt embarrassed for both my lack of poetic writing and that I hadn’t had to endure the level of pain they had, both physically and emotionally, being so much farther along.

I wanted to share my miscarriage with you all because it is part of my life story, but I also knew the best way for me to share it would be short and sweet. We are ultimately thankful that we were able to conceive together so quickly and are hopeful that it will happen again soon. <3

The post Things I’m Afraid To Tell You 2.0 appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.



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Thursday, March 29, 2018

What I Ate Thursday – Including a Fun Happy Hour

Hi, guys!

I love a good “what I ate in a day” blog post because I love seeing what other people eat because it gives me ideas for my own meals and snacks. Truthfully, today wasn’t my most “perfect” day of eating, but that’s totally okay. Everyday doesn’t need to be perfectly curated and calculated to be healthy! With that, here’s a recap of my eats!

Post-workout: Iced coffee protein shake made with SFH Churro, collagen, and chocolate peanut milk. Mmm… it was so darn delicious!

Breakfast: Mango + Gold Milk Chia Parfait from Daily Harvest.

Snack: Two cookies, which were “recipe fails.” They were dry and crumbly, but they definitely tasted delicious!

Lunch: Shredded chicken thighs + butternut squash <— not the prettiest, but I threw this together in 2 minutes before I left the house this morning!

Happy hour: Wine + house potato chips with onion dip + an epic cheese plate!

Outfit details: Stripped sweatshirt just $34! // best jeans ever just $64! 

Last meal on earth: Cheese plate + wine! Anyone else? 🧀🍷 @scarletoaktavern #scarletoaktavern #lastmealonearth #cheeseplate
Dinner: Leftover cauliflower pizza + spinach salad with tahini dressing (from Trader Joe’s).

Question of the Day

What was the best thing you ate today?

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Thrift Meats That Can Match Expensive Cuts (and How to Cook Them)

Home Neat Home: Habits of Tidy People

Are you a tidy person with a dusty house? Are you a clean freak with a cluttered house? Or maybe your house is both messy and dirty – eek! It happens to us all sometimes.

Generally, I am a very tidy person who is only somewhat of a clean freak. I will tidy my heart out and not sit down until my house looks put together, but I get tired before I get to the dust in the corners or footprints across the kitchen floor and let those go. They don’t bother my brain like clutter does. And the dirt just. never. stops. coming. I feel like I can’t keep up with it as well as I can with clutter.

I came across this article online the other week and wanted to share to inspire some discussion: 5 Things People With Tidy Homes Don’t Do. (Sidebar: The Nesting Place kitchen – gaaahhhh! Love!)

Here are three of The Nester’s observations that I can totally relate to:

“Tidy people are in a constant state of low-grade tidying, I don’t even think they realize it.”

This made me laugh out loud. I am a self-proclaimed tidy person, and I am indeed constantly tidying. I don’t leave one room without picking up whatever I used while in the space.

When I wake up in the morning, I take anything on my nightstand (tea mug, magazine) back downstairs.

When I leave the living room, I give the pillows a chop and refold the blanket.

When I am done in the office, I close my computer, bring any water bottles or drinking glasses with me to the kitchen.

The kitchen is the spot where I have the hardest time keeping up – there are always dishes and crumbs!

“Tidy people do not watch Dancing With The Stars while there’s a sink full of dirty dishes sitting in the kitchen.”

Or The Bachelor. Or Survivor. This is true for me too, as I can’t sit down to relax at night until the whole house is tidy. Even a load of laundry still in progress is in the back of my mind! This is why doing low-grade tidying during the day leads to an easier night. It definitely helps to have a partner to tackle the kitchen after a big meal. I even have a hard time leaving a pan in the sink to soak because I like to start my mornings on as clean a slate as possible. If I leave a dish overnight, I start the day scrubbing. So, I avoid that whenever possible.

“Tidy people don’t over decorate.”

Y’all know I am always talking about minimalism and simplifying. This one is a bit harder for me to maintain because I live with someone else (my charming husband) who thinks that bare walls and surfaces looks too sparse. So it’s a balance, but I still try to err on the side of less.

Here are a few new ones from me:

Tidy people involve their children.

I would say that Mazen has generally nature/nurtured his way into a tidy personality. While he does make a mess sometimes and also sometimes refuses to clean up his toys, he generally understands that his toys live in his room and they need to end up back there by the end of the play session. I have always tried to set the example by helping him clean up one toy set before moving on to another. No, he’s not perfect, but on the spectrum of kids, he’s on the tidy side, and that helps keep our house from looking like one giant playroom.

Tidy people recognize life will trend towards chaos.

I am squeezing my brain to remember the definition of entropy from high school science class, so I had to look it up: “Gradual decline into disorder.” <— Yes, this. Your house will gradually get disorganized, even with tidying habits in place. Decluttering or organization days are not one-time events. They need to happen regularly so you stay on top of the s t u f f that comes into your house. Most of the time this isn’t even stuff I buy – it’s stuff that is given to me, brought home from school, comes in the mail, or is contributed by others, like gifts from grandparents. Stuff accumulates, and we need to regularly sort it all out. (One thing that drives me nuts: When you need a teaspoon of a spice and they don’t have it in the bulk bins so you have to buy a giant jar of it and now you have 100 jars of spices in your cabinet, most of which you will never use all of before they expire.)

Tidy people know that several smaller projects are easier to manage than one large one.

Whether we’re talking about laundry, running the dishwasher, or simply cleaning in general, when you let the project build up to a mountain, it’s going to take you so much longer to do. Part of what is so annoying about laundry and emptying the dishwasher (the two most common daily tasks that most people dislike) is the variety of pieces and all the sorting that must happen. Shirts, jammies, socks, underwear x3 people, for example. The smaller the load, the more like-with-like you put in, the less time it takes you to put away. So stay on top of it as best you can. Do one small load of laundry a day instead of spending all day Monday doing 5 loads. Do a dishwasher cycle each night (or each morning) and then empty it in 5 minutes or less rather than cramming three day’s worth in every single slot and running it 110% full. (Plus, dishes never get as clean that way. Trust me, I know.)

You guys are always a wealth of knowledge and advice. Do you relate to the Tidy People or are they alien to you? What are your tidy habits?

The post Home Neat Home: Habits of Tidy People appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.



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How To Cook Chickpeas In An Instant Pot

Ever wonder how to cook chickpeas in an Instant Pot?

Many of you out there have jumped onto the Instant Pot bandwagon, and for good reason!! These fabulous contraptions make cooking so much easier… Read more →



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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Cholesterol and Keto

My Meal Prep Rules of Thumb + Giveaway

Meal prep can feel like a super overwhelming and daunting task if it means spending all day in the kitchen. The last thing I want to have happen is my meal prep take over my entire Sunday! That’s supposed to be a relaxing day, right? Or better yet a “Sunday Funday”! All I know is that I do NOT want to waste my weekend cooking and stressing over weekday prep.

I’ve had plenty of practice over the years finding the best ways to be effective and efficient in my weekly meal prep. Really, truly, it’s totally do-able and can even be fun! So, over the next week, in honor of the CNC Nutrition Spring Nutrition Challenge Giveaway, I will be sharing a couple of posts outlining my favorite meal prep “rules of thumb” that help me whiz through my weekly prep. Try them out, and share which ones you personally love the most!

Tip #1: For roasted veggies, I use 2 tablespoons of oil/melted butter or ghee per tray (and as many veggies as will fit on it). Sometimes, I use my measuring spoons, but other times, I just wing it. I also highly recommend using a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. It makes clean-up so much easier!

Tip #2: Save time with pre-cut veggies, bagged frozen, or pre-washed greens. It might be a little bit more expensive, but time is money! And if those expensive shortcuts save me time and motivate me not to let them go to waste (and eat healthier!), it’s money well spent!

Tip #3: Chop, slice, mix, and prep everything you need for the week. I’ve found over the years that chopping takes up SO MUCH of my meal prep time. If I pre-chopped most of my veggies ahead of time, dinner comes together so much quicker on a busy weeknight. Plus, I hate wasting food (and time!), so I really have no excuse not to cook a healthy meal if the majority of the prep is already done.

Tip #4: Make a big batch of shredded chicken for the week. I love using my Instant Pot, but a crockpot or roasting in the oven will work, too. It’s such an easy addition for salad kits, stir-fries, quesadillas, store-bought sauces, and so much more! And if you ever make too much, you can totally throw it in a freezer bag and pull it out in a pinch.

Tip #5: Keep your freezer and pantry stocked with easy sources of protein, so you always have options ready to go. Some of my favorites: Meat from ButcherBox, canned salmon, frozen haddock fillets, frozen shrimp, Banza pasta, Greek yogurt, eggs (if you can tolerate), and quality deli meat. Cooking protein can often take some time, so keeping ready-to-go options on-hand makes meals come together much quicker.

Giveaway time!

As part of our CNC Spring Nutrition Challenge, anyone who registers before April 6, 2018 will be entered for a chance to win a set of my favorite silicon mats and glass food storage containers. I use these every week for meal prep, and they make the process so much easier! Once we receive your order, your name will go into the drawing!

 

Still on the fence about signing up for the CNC Spring Nutrition Challenge? Let’s chat! Book a 10-minute consultation with me by sending me a quick email (tina@carrotsncake.com) with your phone number and availability for a call. I would love to have you join, and I’m more than happy to answer your questions! 🙂

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Submit a Comment on the USDA Dietary Guidelines

New Finds

^^One of the prettiest Birchboxes to date! I am obsessed with this Love Beauty & Planet shampoo and conditioner they sent me. The smell! That long-lasting lipstick is pretty awesome too.

I stumbled upon this website advertising a new feminine product, which is one of my new finds this week. It’s kind of like a cross between the Diva Cup and the Nuvaring. I have loved using the Diva Cup, but there are a few drawbacks, such as the mess of re-using the cup and having to sanitize it. I like that Flex is tossable after use, but you can still wear it for a long time so you don’t need many per period. Has anyone tried this? I am planning to order a box!

Mazen loves his new bunny from Nona. He named him Frosty because he’s white like a snowman. Ours came from Personal Creations, and you can find similar ones all over Etsy. Just in time for Easter.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Speaking of Etsy, my mom has started selling her art there! You can see some her collection for sale, and she also takes custom orders.

I love her vision of “Two Friendly Sea Monsters and a Giant Flying Fish Escort the Ferry to Bald Head Island”

And “Pig Dreams of Life in a Castle Made of Mud.” These make great gifts for kids or nursery decor. : )

Speaking of worrying, now that the weather is warmer, I’ve been thinking about getting a GPS tracker for Mazen to wear when he plays in the neighborhood. We have 2 other families with kids, and they travel house to house in a pack, sometimes riding bikes within a perimeter defined by the adults. I spent a few hours one day researching these tracking devices, hoping to land on the best one and add it to my new finds, so I could give him a little all-American kid freedom while still knowing where he is at all times. This article has a great overview. Most of them were waaaay to expensive or required too much in a monthly monitoring fee ($30?!?!), but it seems that this one that Verizon carries called the GizmoPal 2 is actually not too bad – only $5 a month for the “phone” line and $75 for the watch plus $30 for activation. You can two-way call, track them via GPS, and get an alert if they cross a boundary. It seems like it’s perfect for kids Mazen’s age. It would be so nice to be able to make a quick call to the house up the block (without bothering the mom) and tell him to scoot home for dinner. I’m 75% sure I’m going to get it for him. Just wanted to see if any of you had tried it and had any thoughts?

And finally, I wanted to share how much we love our Social Print Studio square magnets! I get a set of 10 for $14 at least once a year, and my OCD self loves how they look in grid form 🙂

Thanks for watching reading!



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Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This recipe for the Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Lettuce Wraps is a favorite in our house. The sweet and savory flavor combination of honey, marinara sauce, and chili powder is pure perfection—and when wrapped in lettuce and paired with fresh cilantro and avocado, it can’t be beat. These lettuce wraps are perfect for a quick lunch, dinner, or snack!

And, bonus, the chicken is so simple to make. It’s cooked in a crockpot (or instant pot) and the marinade only requires three ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. It’s so easy to whip up a batch at the beginning of the week to use in lettuce wraps easily packed in storage containers for quick meals on the go.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 heads of Bibb or Boston lettuce (8-10 leaves)
  • 1 T chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small ripe avocado, pitted and cut into small chunks

Directions:

Combine marinara sauce, honey, and chili powder in a small bowl. Place chicken breasts in a crock-pot and then pour sauce all over. Cook on low for 4 hours. Once chicken is fully cooked, remove from the crock-pot / slow cooker and place on a plate, shred with a fork and place back inside the crock-pot with the sauce. Divide chicken into four portions and then divide between two lettuce leaves. Top with cilantro and avocado.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

5 Studies I’d Like to See

Carrot Cake Muffins

These carrot cake muffins make a fun breakfast or snack on the go, but you can also frost them like cupcakes to make a festive Easter treat! They’re gluten-free and have no added refined sugar, but are super moist and delicious. I can’t wait to bake another batch… they don’t last long in my house! 

These Carrot Cake Muffins are a great replacement for those heavily processed carrot cakes found in supermarket bakeries, which are loaded with sugar and additives.

For example, this is what you’ll find in the Carrot Cake from Walmart’s bakery…

Sugar, Carrots, Cream Cheese (Pasteurized Milk And Cream, Cheese Culture, Salt, Carob Bean Gum), Bleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Soybean Oil, Vegetable Shortening (Palm Oil, Soybean Oil, Mono- And Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, TBHQ and Citric Acid, Eggs, Pineapple, Pecans, Raisins, Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Butter Oil, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin, an Artificial Flavor), Modified Food Starch, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Salt, Baking Powder (Corn Starch, Bicarbonate of Soda, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Acid Phosphate of Calcium), White Syrup (White Syrup (Corn Syrup, Water, Fructose, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Natural Color (Glycerine Nd Beta Carotene), Yellow 5, Yellow 6.

Yikes. It’s really not worth your health to buy pre-made cakes like that. 

I like to use organic oat flour in my baking and it’s perfect in these muffins!

Oat flour is unrefined, full of fiber and compounds that help to reduce inflammation in the body. Oat flour is made from just 100% whole oats. In fact, if you can’t find oat flour at the store you can make your own by placing organic rolled oats in a food processor and pulsing until it has become a “flour-like” consistency. I also use almond flour in these muffins, but if you want the recipe to be nut-free, you can omit the almond flour and increase the oat flour to 2½ cups. They’ll be just as delicious!

Here are the step-by-step directions for making my Carrot Cake Muffins…

To get started, turn your oven on to preheat up to 350 degrees and get out a large mixing bowl. Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl (oat flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and ground cinnamon) and whisk it all together until well combined… 

Pull out a smaller mixing bowl and crack in one pastured egg. Or, you can use a “flax egg” to make it vegan. Simply mix together one tablespoon organic ground flaxseed with three tablespoons water (Let it sit for 15 minutes to thicken before using.)

Whisk in one mashed banana, half a cup of maple syrup, 3/4 cup almond or coconut milk, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. One quick way I use to mash the banana is by breaking it into chunks and placing it in a measuring cup. I then use a whisk to mash the banana down. Mix it all together well…

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix gently, just until combined…

Take about three medium sized carrots and shred them until you have 1¼ cups. Fold the carrots into the batter… 

Line a cupcake pan with liners and fill each cup until it’s about three-quarters of the way full…

Before I stuck them in the oven I topped each muffin with shredded coconut and pecans, but you can use any toppings you like. You can make a homemade streusel or top with cream cheese frosting after baking for a more decadent dessert. 

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I know once you smell ’em, you’re gonna be excited to take a bite, but it is best to let these muffins sit for a little while after taking out of the oven to cool completely so they don’t fall apart… don’t say I didn’t warn ya! 

Food Babe's Carrot Cake Muffins

 

Author:

Serves: 12

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups oat flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana, peeled and mashed
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup shredded carrots
  • Optional toppings: shredded coconut, chopped nuts

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the egg, banana, maple syrup, milk and vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently until combined. Fold in the carrots.
  5. Line a cupcake pan with liners and fill until ¾ full. Top with shredded coconut or chopped nuts, if using. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely. Enjoy!

Notes

**Please choose all organic ingredients if possible.**

3.4.3177

Are you going to enjoy these muffins for breakfast or frost them for a treat? Let me know in the comments! And, please share this recipe with your loved ones. 

Xo,

Vani

 

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Murphy’s Pug Couch

Hi, guys! Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a wonderful start! 🙂

This morning started bright and early at 4:45 AM. Instead of hitting the gym, I broke out my laptop and immediately got to work. Monday totally got away from me, so I attempted to make up for lost time. Holy inbox madness!

Quinn actually “slept in” until 6:45 AM, so I managed to sneak in a solid 2 hours of work before he woke up. Not too shabby! Once he was awake, I got us ready for the day, which, of course, always includes some sort of shenanigans. Please note his new favorite way to go down the basement stairs – hopping off the side! 🙂

I planned to go to CrossFit after dropping Quinn at school, so I made a blueberry waffle and topped it with some peanut butter so I had a little something in my stomach.

CrossFit was fun this morning. We started with Clean + Jerks. I worked my way up to #115 for the set of 5, and it surprisingly didn’t feel terrible. After messing up my back in December, I’ve taken it easy, but I’m slowly but surely starting to feel like my old self again in workouts.

I finished the WOD in 11:55, but, man, my HSPUs were ugly. They’re just not a movement I can do well. I started with one mat, moved to two mats, and then ended up doing Tiger Push-Ups for the rest of the reps. My arms were totally dead, but, honestly, the HSPUs were just not happening for me. Maybe getting them will be my goal for 2018, too? Apparently, I failed at achieving them in 2017! Oh, well. I’m just here to work out. 

After CrossFit, I swung by Coffee Shack for an iced coffee because we were all out at home and there was no way I was making it through the day on a single mini iced coffee. (My first of the day was a half pour with collagen and chocolate peanut milk.)

Important notices from Coffee Shack:

I snagged a donut sample while there. I mean, I needed carbs to refuel, right? 🙂

After that, I stopped by the post office to mail a bunch of goodies from my spring Beautycounter promo. FYI: It’s going on until the end of the month! 🙂

I arrived home to Murphy doing what he does best: Crushing the pillows on “his couch.” Well, technically, it’s a love seat, but its cushions are most definitely crushed.

This love seat has been through so much over years. Mal and I originally got it off Craigslist when we moved into our first apartment back in 2007. It actually came with a matching couch, and they were practically brand new.

The guy who sold them to us said they were only two months old, and the only reason he was selling them was because he and his girlfriend broke up. Hey, it was bad for them, but good for us! But I remember thinking maybe the set was bad luck, but 11 years later, the love seat is still kicking and has brought our family, especially Murphy, a whole lot of joy!

But, at the end of the day, the pug couch is absolutely disgusting. It’s typically covered in fur, smells bad, and the cushions are destroyed beyond repair. #puglife

And, at this point, Murphy is the only one who uses it, which usually involves perching himself up high enough to bark at the mailman and anyone who walks by our house. It’s kind of annoying and just another reason why we want to get rid of it.

Well, ok, we’re softies and just want our dog to be happy, so we’re in the market for another couch-like piece of furniture, so Murphy can still have “his spot” to continue his daily neighborhood watch. But, this time, we want to find a couch that’s easily cleanable (maybe leather?) or perhaps a wooden bench for the space. Even though Murphy’s barking drives us crazy sometimes, we still want him to be able to look at the window since he enjoys it so much.

FYI: Here are the details for the world map foam playmat. <— I get questions every time I share a photo of it, so I figured I’d share. It really is a fun addition to Quinn’s playroom! 🙂

Question of the Day

Any recommendations for us? Do you have an awesome couch or bench that might work for the space? 

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Episode 388 – Cavin Balaster – Severe TBI Recovery

Lemon Cream Hummus

This is the lemon cream hummus of your dreams. Bright, lemony, creamy, and a touch sweet. The star ingredients are lots of lemon, a few tablespoons of cream cheese, and honey!

I like my hummus heavy on the lemon and tahini. That combination of flavors reminds of me the best lemon tahini salad dressing they used to serve at Lu-e-g’s in my hometown when I was in high school. I gotta think of a way to replicate that dressing. Bring on all the lemons!

This is my trick for zesting and juicing. I use a wide microplane and zest on one side, then flip it over and juice through the other, catching all the seeds. (Here’s the new generation of the one I have.)

It’s wide enough to catch all the seeds, so you don’t have to fish them out of the lemon cream hummus or a bowl.

If you enjoy having raw garlic breath, feel free to use a clove or two of crushed raw garlic here. I prefer to use garlic powder because my breath stays nice and fresh. 🙂

The cream cheese is somewhat optional, but I do think it adds a creamier texture. Without it, use a little more tahini or oil.

I also love to add some warm water to my hummus, as I think it really helps smooth out the texture.

I smeared the hummus onto a bagel, topped with arugula, a squeeze of lemon, and drizzled with a bit more honey. A divine sweet-savory combination.

Lemon Cream Hummus

Yield 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Fresh pepper to taste

Instructions

Blend everything together in a food processor. Easy peasy!

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