Chili “Pigs” in a Blanket

As a mom continuously on the search for exciting new recipes, with kids who are hungry every five minutes during the summer, I was pleased when I was scrolling through facebook for inspiration and saw a picture of something that even I would eat!

You guys already know the tradition here: Sundays are family days where we love to try something new for dinner and dessert! Summer time is no exception! What’s more traditional than chili dogs in the summer?

These were a hit with even my pickiest eater, so parents, please take note!

My husband had bought jalapeno cheddar sausage specifically for me (my taste buds thanked him) but I used regular Johnsonville brats for his and the kids’. The recipe that I saw said to use cheddar sticks and crescent rolls as well, but I decided to make this my own but using what I had – a can of jumbo biscuits and shredded cheddar.

14 oz can of chili
1 can of jumbo biscuits (Pillsbury or the off-brand, we used Safeway’s brand)
8 Brats or sausages
Shredded cheese (we used cheddar, but make it your own)
Butter

The directions are very simple:

  1. Preheat oven to 375, and spray oven safe glass container with Pam or whichever cooking spray you prefer
  2. Empty the chili into a pot and heat on the stove. Once it’s heated, pour it into the glass container
  3. Unroll the dough and flatten each biscuit. Pour a hefty amount of shredded cheese along the middle, followed by a brat or sausage, and wrap the dough around. Pinch the dough together, and then place seam-down atop the chili. Do this for the rest of your brats.
  4. Place the dish in the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until the dough looks golden brown, then smear the stick of butter atop the biscuit (add parsley or garlic powder to the butter and melt it prior to this as an option)
  5. It’s ready to eat. Enjoy!

If you make this or switch things up, be sure to take a picture and tag me here or on instagram (you can follow me here!) I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with. Have a wonderful summer, folks!

Next up, I’ll have a variety of “bombs” to drop on y’all! Stay tuned!

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SOUPer Simple Chicken & Dumpling Soup

It’s been a hot minute since I said I would post, so here we go! My dearest friend asked me for the recipe, and it lit the fire under my butt to actually do it. So yay, motivation.

I’m still getting the hang of using the crockpot, but I was so satisfied and actually surprised with how good this turned out. I’m not going to bore you guys with a long spiel about how much we loved it, you’re just going to have to try it out yourself!

Cook Time: 5 hours

Ingredients:

Two chicken breasts
A stalk of celery
A large carrot (or a handful of baby carrots, whatever you have around)
1 yellow onion
1 can of Pillsbury biscuit dough (or whichever brand you dig)
1 can of Cream of Chicken soup
32 oz container of Chicken broth
Salt/Pepper/Garlic Powder/Onion Powder

Directions:

  1. Season your chicken with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to your personal tastes (or your family’s personal taste). Then place the breasts into your crockpot and turn on HIGH
  2. Dump the entire content of Cream of chicken soup and chicken broth inside while you chop the veggies
  3. After you’ve chopped the celery, carrot, and onion, pour them in the crockpot and give it a little mix before leaving it for 3-4 hours
  4. After the 3-4 hours, your chicken is ready to shred, so pull it out and shred it on a separate plate. You’re going to dump the shredded chicken back in while you chop each biscuit dough into quarters
  5. Pour the quartered dough bits inside and leave for another hour on HIGH
  6. Your soup is ready, how easy was that?

If you plan on making this scrumptious soup, let me know or tag me in a photo of your food on instagram! Enjoy, folks!

Motherhood Depression

We’ve all heard of post-partum depression and while I’ve never dealt with that, I have dealt with depression my whole life, and depression as a result of being a mommy. Before you twist my words, let me explain what I mean by that.

Being a mom is already a taxing, and thankless job. Yes, I’m saying it is a job because it is hard work! When I became a mother for the first time, I was not together, my anxiety was absolutely through the roof, and I felt completely unprepared. It didn’t help that I was the almost on my own raising him. Point being, it’s work!

Lately there’ve been a few celebrity suicides in the news, and I think it’s important to point that out regardless if they’re parents or not, because the root cause of it is depression. Post partum depression is not uncommon – and if you’re dealing with that, I urge you to try your hardest to reach out.

I made a friend in the past couple months who I’ve gotten close to, and she’s a mom as well. One of the main things we’ve been able to bond over is depression. When you’re a mom, there’s a lot of judgment – not just from other parents, but of complete strangers, exes, exes’ new beaus, etc. It feels like the list goes on. It doesn’t matter what we do, someone is going to think we’re doing it wrong and that can weigh heavily on a parent.

Additionally, when you’re a working parent, it’s hard to find time to be active, keep up with household chores or repairs, keep the kids happy, socialize with your own friends, etc. All of those things can play a role in depression.

I know there are those who think depression is all in your head (um, yeah, that’s why it’s called a mental disorder), but if you see a friend who seems off, please reach out. Depression makes it very difficult for those suffering to reach out, so it’s important for us to help our loved ones!

Here are some helpful phone numbers, I urge you to copy and paste them if you know of anyone in need of help!

US Suicide Hotline 1-800-784-2433
NDMDA Depression Hotline – Support Group 800-826-3632
Suicide Prevention Services Crisis Hotline 800-784-2433
Suicide Prevention Services Depression Hotline 630-482-9696
Child Abuse Hotline – Support & Information 800-422-4453
Crisis Help Line – For Any Kind of Crisis 800-233-4357
Domestic & Teen Dating Violence (English & Spanish) 800-992-2600
Parental Stress Hotline – Help for Parents 800-632-8188
Runaway Hotline (All Calls are Confidential) 800-231-6946
Sexual Assault Hotline (24/7, English & Spanish) 800-223-5001
Suicide & Depression Hotline – Covenant House 800-999-9999
National Child Abuse Hotline 800-422-4453
National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE
National Domestic Violence Hotline (TDD) 800-787-3224
National Youth Crisis Hotline 800-448-4663

Bridal Boot Camp: Check In #2


What a long week it’s been! We spent the better part of the week at the hotel and it was an amazing change of scenery. Sometimes it’s good to get away from the monotony of every day life for a little reset.

We went swimming every single day (and a couple of nights as well), and we made some friends – I’ll have a vlog up for you guys later, I recorded a lot of videos. Despite my husband having to work still, even he felt like this was a nice getaway – he invited his coworkers over to grill and swim with us. This little staycation gave us a taste of what it’ll be like at our new house!

Now to the progress/setbacks:

Despite being out of the house, I still wanted to get my workouts in and eat as close to my “diet” as possible. I took measurements on Monday and noticed how my body has stayed within an inch or two of what those measurements were, for a few months with very minor fluctuations. My most successful month this year has been January because of how restricted my diet was – I don’t mean I wasn’t allowed good food, but I definitely limited myself to no outside food (no chips, no fast food, no added sugar, etc.).

I got my juices in each day – though I completely forgot my Greek yogurt at home, so it wasn’t as thick and smoothie-like. The groovy thing about the hotel was that it was fully furnished – no, I mean, FULLY furnished! Microwave, blender, washing machine and dryer… everything! We managed to stock up the fridge with tons of goodies for everyone, including some salads that my husband picked up on the way back from work!

As for my workouts. I did a little bit of everything, but I wanted to focus on my midsection a little more than everything else – so while I still did some simple arm and leg work, I worked on strengthening my core, and some back stretches as well.

My overall loss in the past week has been 3 inches! I’m quite proud of myself, I must say! Most of the loss came from my legs, but 1/2 an inch was around my hips so I’m pleased with that.

My back pain hasn’t entirely improved – it was good and then Thursday it was just awful, and after coming back to the house, the first morning felt better and it’s been downhill, so I’m going to try really hard to do at least 10 minutes of yoga + stretching twice a day. Fingers crossed and if you have any suggestions, please comment below!

All in all, a successful week and I hope to see more of that this summer. Let’s get to it!

 

Bridal Boot Camp: Check In #1 (oops)

We’re on a roll – much later than expected, but hey, we’re working on it. I’ve finally managed to measure myself this month (it’s been a lot busier than I could’ve predicted, but the boys have been having a blast).

In this post I mentioned to you what my plans were with diet and exercise. Back pain is still pretty bad, but it’s at least steadying and not getting worse. My diet has been pretty good, I’ve lost a teensy bit around my belly, a bit of a stubborn fat area.

My thinking was that I would just eat whatever I wanted on Sundays, and the rest of the week would be straddling the line between strict and intuitive. Well, it turns out aside from the mimosas I had with one of my lovely friends (still not too shabby), I ate intuitively! My stomach led me to say no to a bagel and cream cheese, but to have a strawberry kale smoothie instead. Dinner was hearty, but still pretty good all things considered!

I feel pretty confident with what this month can bring me, or what I can take from it, rather. I’m actually going to be taking a little vacation with the boys while the house is worked on, and I’m really excited for the change of scenery. We’re staying in the same city, but even still, it’s at least closer to civilization!

I’ll check in with you guys when I can and let’s hope for a groovy mini-vacay, and a spectacular, successful June!

The Perks of Mental Growth

I read a quote the other day from Dita von Teese and I absolutely loved it. I’ve seen it around for a few years now, but it’s just really starting to hit me on how accurate it is.

This just hits me on so many different levels. I try my best to be positive and send good vibes out into the world, but if I have a bad day or write something negative on my social media, there have been people who said I’m fake because of that.

A lot of what I do, I do it for myself, for my family, my friends. I don’t generally do things to get on anyone’s good side. I don’t feel like that’s necessary. If my energy attracts you, then great. If not, that’s fine too.

What I think a lot of folks have a hard time grasping is that you don’t need to be friends with everyone. There are people who don’t like Cassey Ho, who is sunshine in human form, because they think she’s fake. She’s human, and I’m sure she gets sad or mad sometimes, but that doesn’t mean all the times that she’s doing her blogilates she’s fake. She’s better at compartmentalizing those negative emotions.

I’m not saying you should be rude or mean, or even ignore those who you know don’t like you, or don’t want to be around you. That’s not necessary, you can still be cordial. But if there’s one piece of advice I can give to you guys, it’s not to compromise yourself to fit what you think others want from you. I’m sarcastic sometimes, I’m extremely positive sometimes, I’m a disciplinarian sometimes, etc. I’m not going to stop being me just because someone else doesn’t like me.

 

Bridal Bootcamp: June Edition

Y’all ready for this

Get it? See what I did there?

No but seriously, I’ve got 5 months until I walk down the metaphorical aisle and I want to look as badass as humanly possible, which means it might be time for a little diet switch. I’ve hit a plateau and it is not settling with me very well. Why would it? It’s a flippin plateau! The further along in this journey we go, the more plateaus we hit, that’s just the reality we face.

Before I talk about my health and fitness plans for this month, I need to talk to you guys about something and maybe one of you can offer some advice: My back pain (which may be a workout injury, or a bad mattress, or a number of things that I can’t diagnose) has gotten worse. I no longer sit much during the day and if I do, I’m extremely self-conscious of my posture for fear of back spasms. I thought getting a new mattress might help things but I don’t think that’s going to help. So I’m definitely going to take it easy on my workouts this month, on the off chance that it’s workout-injury related.

TO THE PLANS!

My meal plans are going to stay the same with regards to calories, but instead of just blindly looking around for the least carbs/most protein noms that we have I’m going to be drinking a juice (of my creation, recipes to follow if I can manage that), a protein shake, a salad, and an intuitive meal for dinner.

My workouts will be light and include more yoga (well, yoga in general because my yoga has been so bloody limited). Fingers crossed, I’d love to tone up but right now I need to heal my rebellious back!

I’ll check in with you guys on Monday!

 

Monday Check-In

Another Monday is upon us, which is the day of checking in, measuring and setting up another challenge!

This past week was pretty good! I had an issue that I’m still working on; being snack happy! However, I made some strides in not snacking too much and my measurement chart shows it!

I lost almost two inches over all, though I definitely gained muscle as well which is fantastic! I had loss in my hips (which is where my fat is most stubborn) and my calves – my legs and butt are showing some muscle growth, but my arms have stayed the same (another stubborn fat area).

A non scale victory that I achieved this week was getting closer to being confident in a bikini! One of my resolutions this year is to confidently wear a bikini by summer. Technically it’s Spring, so I’ve got time but I didn’t wear a shirt at the pool this weekend and even though I was very aware of my body, I managed to do it!

My challenge for this week is to meet my hydration goal – which is to drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water each day. It’s getting hot here in the desert which means I need to be ON TOP of my water intake!!

I challenge you guys to meet your minimum water intake goal this week! Let’s make it a good week, folks!

Measure In Monday!!

Another week done, and it happens to be that time of the month – too much information, right? I know, but I’m a no-holds barred kind of person… seriously, I feel bad for my kids because they’re going to be get sooooooo embarrassed when they’re old enough to understand that emotion.

But I did a lot of strength training this week and my muscles are definitely growing! I’ve switched up my routine, so Mondays are now my “off days”. Thursdays and Sundays are cardio/ab days, Tuesdays and Saturdays are leg days, and Wednesdays and Fridays are arm days!

Sundays are my “5k” days, but I think I mentioned it before, and it turns out that it’s longer than 5k… it’s probably closer to 4 miles. My fiance and I had one of our “we really need a tv show for these kinds of moments” conversations and I’ve convinced him to go out running with me, which will make it easier to determine exactly how far, thereby making my 5k time a little more accurate lol

I’m working on making more vegan friendly snacks and meals – I’ll have a recipe up later this week with a really good one (especially if you like a little kick, like myself). I give vegans so much credit, because I definitely did not last and it’s only been 9 days! I thought No Junk January was so much easier than this!

One last thing, I don’t think I’ll be posting regular videos on any of my channels, because this wedding and my writing is taking up most of my time – summer is going to be a huge challenge as well with all of the kids, but it takes a village.

That’s all I’ve got for you guys so I’ll see you next time! Have an awesome week!

 

Cowgirl Casserole

You’ve heard of cowboy casserole… or maybe you haven’t, I don’t know your life. But I’m here to tell you about COWGIRL CASSEROLE! It’s a bajillion times better, or at least my kids and fiance would tell you that.

COWGIRL CASSEROLE 2

This, my friends, is one of my proudest chef-ing moments. Now, I may be eating vegan-esque this month, but I haven’t posted in quite some time and again, I was incredibly proud of this.

The great thing about being a stay-at-home mom (besides the fun and proud, tear-inducing moments), is that you can experiment with crafts and recipes in your spare time, which is exactly what I did with this.

I love – you don’t even understand how much emphasis I put on that word in this very sentence – watching cooking, baking, and decorating videos, so I’m following a plethora of foodie type facebook pages (and instagrams and tumblrs). There was a post by Southern Cooking, I believe, on cowboy casserole. I didn’t have, nor did I want all of the ingredients it had listed, so I… improvised!

Now for the long awaited (and I try not to write an entire blog post before the actual recipe because who wants to scroll that far?) recipe:

COWGIRL CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

1lb Ground beef or turkey (I used the latter)
1 packet of Taco Seasoning
Plenty of Mexican cheese blend (seriously this depends on how cheesy you and your family like your food)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/2 a can of black beans
1/2 a can of sweet corn
A package of frozen tater tots

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees while you brown your ground meat, then add the black beans and corn
  2. Follow the directions on the seasoning packet – usually it will tell you to pour in 3/4 of a cup of water and the seasoning, then simmer
  3. After you’ve seasoned the meat, turn the stove down to low, and mix in the diced tomatos for no more than 5 minutes
  4. You can grease the pan if you like your food a little on the buttered side, but we didn’t, and we poured the mixture in
  5. Top the meat mixture with cheese and then place the frozen tater tots atop the mixure
  6. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, take the pan out and sprinkle it with a generous amount of cheese, and place the pan back into the oven for 5 more minutes
  7. Boom! Cowgirl Casserole! I strongly suggest adding jalapenos, habaneros, or even just sriracha sauce if you’re like me and need the heat. Otherwise it’s perfectly scrumptious with a dollop of sour cream on top!

If you end up making this dish, I’d LOVE to see your version of it. Please don’t hesitate to tag me in your posts! Have a delicious day, everyone!