Ribs, Who Knew They Could Be So Easy

Chase loves ribs, but I have never made them because for some reason I had in my head that they were super complicated to make!  Good thing Chase’s dad was bragging about the ribs his mom made one night because I decided to ask her what the secret was.  Turns out you can cook ribs in the crockpot on low all day and they turn out very tender and moist with hardly any work.  Really! It doesn’t get much easier than that.

I placed a rack of pork ribs in my crockpot and covered them with water.  I then cooked them on low all day while I was at work.  When I got off work I drained all the water out of the crockpot and covered the ribs with some BBQ sauce.  I then cooked on high for about 30 minutes while I made some corn muffins and green beans to round out our meal!  Anything that can lessen my time cooking once I get home from work is a winner in my book!

Quick Fruit Salad

Last Thursday while I was shopping in Harris Teeter I saw that they had both blueberries and strawberries on sale.  I love fruit and thought that I could use these plus blackberries to make a quick fruit salad!

 

Quick Fruit Salad:

  • 1 container blueberries
  • 1 container blackberries
  • 1 container strawberries
  • 1 package Jello instant pudding mix, vanilla flavored
  1. Rinse all fruit and quarter the strawberries
  2. Add fruit to a large bowl
  3. Sprinkle the instant pudding mix over the top of the fruit (the plain mix NOT prepared) to lightly cover
  4. Mix well
  5. Cover and refrigerate to allow time for the pudding mix to combine with the fruit juices to create a sweet tasting dressing for the fruit salad

**I think if there had been more fruit juices in my fruit salad it would have worked just a tad bit better, but it was still delicious!

I can’t wait to try this idea with other fruits as well

 

Preparing For The Week Ahead

Last night as I was browsing through Pinterest I saw a pin that caught my eye.  It was titled “9 things you should do every weekend to RESET for a fresh, smooth week” and I was definitely intrigued.  I whole-heartedly agree with Blair that doing a little planning and prepping on Sunday can make the coming week much better.  Today our pharmacy hours change and while I am looking forward to getting off at 7pm during the week my whole schedule changes (and will change again at the end of August when my new staff pharmacist starts).  This week I work Monday-Wednesday and then Friday-Monday meaning Thursday is my only day off out of 8 days so I know I need to be prepared and ready to take on the week.

Thanks to Blair’s post here are some things I will accomplish today:

  1. Wash my sheets and make my bed
  2. Do laundry and choose outfits for the week
  3. Prepare breakfast and lunch for Monday
  4. Empty all the trashcans
  5. Wipe down the bathroom and kitchen & tidy the rest of the house
  6. Restock the fridge/pantry

In regards to restocking the fridge and pantry I have also decided on some quick dinners to make when I get home from work:

  • Monday: to celebrate Brixx’s 16th anniversary they are doing a BOGO sale so I think we will go out to eat tonight
  • Tuesday: taco tuesday!!
  • Wednesday: spaghetti (using half the browned meat from Tuesday night)
  • Thursday: **I’m off work today so I plan on making mini meat loafs, twice baked potatoes, and a veggie

Hopefully between all these little tasks and errands we can go enjoy our new pool that just opened!!

 

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Restaurant Review: The Quiet Pint

Last night our neighbor across the hall, Skylar, and his friend Landon stopped by to see what Chase and I were doing for dinner.  We didn’t have plans so we all decided to head out and grab a bite to eat.  I was off work yesterday so the extent of my activity had consisted of the gym and a quick run to Wal-Mart so I was still sporting some pretty sweet gym attire, but no one seemed to mind too much.  Skylar had tried a new place called The Quiet Pint over near Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center so we decided to give it a try!

Even though we ended up getting there about 745pm on a Friday night we were able to find parking quickly and didn’t even have to wait for a table.  The inside is quite small and kind of feels like the tables are smushed together in some areas, which isn’t too bad until you have to ask an entire side of a table to get up so you can use the restroom.  All the tables were high which was fine with me, but Chase said he kept leaning back forgetting there was no back.  They did have a great craft beer selection both on draft and in the bottle/can.  I tried the Sierra Nevada Summerfest which was on special and actually really good!

The menu looked super exciting and I was having a hard time decided what to get.  I finally decided on a burger topped with pimento cheese and hand cut fries for my side.  Chase got the classic macaroni and cheese for his meal.  Unfortunately the food was just ok, nothing special, and definitely not what I was expecting.  My burger kind of seemed like a frozen patty that didn’t have too much taste, but also seemed kind of greasy which was weird.  The fries were over cooked to the point that every bite tasted burnt so I just left them alone.  Chase’s mac and cheese was ok, but again didn’t quite live up to my expectations from reading the menu.

After we ate we ended up moving to the bar to have another couple of drinks.  The bar is nice and roomy with 4 good size TVs to watch.  The only thing I didn’t like was that I was on the end of the bar so I couldn’t really hear any of the conversation.  The name may have quiet in it, but let me just say it was loud in there!

I would definitely go back for drinks, but I think I will probably pass on the food in the future.

Looking Back

It had been quite awhile since I posted last week so I decided to look through my blog Thursday evening to refresh myself on what I had posted and boy was some of it eye-opening!  Remember those “life changes” I was striving to make and how proud I was of myself when I started?  Well, I think it is time to re-visit those.  My original post listed the life changes I hoped to adopt to make myself a better person and then I broke them down to be a little more manageable here.  With everything that has been going on in my life I pretty much fell off the wagon with all of these and now it is time to hop back on!!

Life Change 1: Wear my FitBit Flex Daily (goal of 10,000 steps daily):

Time to dust this off and charge it up! I plan to charge it today and wear it to work tomorrow.  I haven’t worn my fitbit since starting at Target so I am interested to see how active I am there.

Life Change 2: Track Using MyFitnessPal Daily:

While I definitely think it is a good thing that I have been cooking a lot more lately, it is harder for me to track (mainly because it takes a few more seconds to do—which is NOT a good excuse).  I definitely find it encouraging to have a visual representation of my day so I just need to do it.  Pre-planning will also help make this easier.  So far today I have tracked my breakfast :)

Life Change 3: Eat More Whole Foods/Eat Less Processed Foods:

For me, this is a constant struggle and I am sure it always will be.  I try to make good choices when it just involves me, but when I am cooking at home for me and Chase I don’t always follow this rule.  Plus there is definitely a difference and “his and hers” snacks in our house.  I have recently been really looking at foods to check out ingredients and that is always eye opening.  I need to continue to focus on my individual meals and make changes at home when possible.

Life Change 4: Cook more/including meal prep to be prepared at work:

I talked about this last week in regards to my changing schedule at work.  I know I will have to make this a priority so that I do not slack off when I get off work at 7.  While planning is key it is also going to be important to prep ahead when I can!  I began working on a “new” Pinterest board  for some quick and easy dinners last Thursday to get my ideas flowing!  I also plan to use Sunday afternoon/evening to make my plan for next week!

Life Change 5: Live in the moment–enjoy every single day:

It is so easy to find yourself looking forward to something; whether it be a vacation, holiday, or just the weekend.  It is ok to look forward to exciting things, but don’t forget to enjoy your time in the present.  I think my life is pretty awesome right now and I plan to enjoy it all I can!  A good way to remember this is my daily gratitude post.

  • Thursday August 24, 2014: I was able to look at the first pictures I took with my new camera and I was pleasantly surprised!  I am loving my new camera so far!
  • Friday August 25, 2014: I was able to meet with my new staff pharmacist and I am excited for new changes.
  • Saturday August 26, 2014: Chase and I had a date night at one of our favorite Greek restaurants, Athenas.
  • Sunday August 27, 2014: I got two compliments on my watch at work, which let to two different, but great conversations with my guests at work.
  • Monday August 28, 2014: I had a super productive day at work and was able to take advantage of our last day of overlap to step out and grab lunch!

 

I plan to enjoy the nice weather this afternoon!  I can’t believe that it is 74 degrees at 11:15am in July!  Hopefully I can take some pictures and practice more.  You know what they say–practice makes perfect!!

Speaking of practice here are a few pictures I took yesterday evening.  I tried to focus more on exposure and was happy to see they looked much better when I viewed them on my laptop this morning.

Neighbors

Neighbors

from the porch

Focus on shirt and background is out of focus

Focus on shirt and background is out of focus

focus on background and shirt is out of focus

focus on background and shirt is out of focus

 

An Oldie But A Goodie

As I was trying to decide what to cook for dinner this week while I am off work I decided to go for an oldie, but a goodie.  Pork chops, macaroni and cheese, and asparagus!!  Of course, in keeping up with the oldie theme I decided to use Shake and Bake for the pork chops.  Every time I go to buy Shake and Bake I can’t help but thinking “its Shake and Bake and I helped!”  I said that last night as I was cooking dinner and Chase looked at me like I was crazy haha.

There is not a lot to say about this casual dinner except that sometimes the oldest recipes are the best and just seem to hit the spot!

I also took some time yesterday afternoon (before I went to Zumba!) to mess around with my new camera.  I wish Chase had been here to take a picture of me sitting on the couch with my camera, camera manual, iPad to look at tutorials online, and what I am sure was a look of utter confusion on my face.  I found lots of helpful information online and just decided to start trying things out.  Trust me I deleted a lot more pictures that I kept.

This morning I downloaded the pictures I took yesterday to my computer (and deleted a lot more along the way).  I downloaded the Google program, Picasa, to use to make any minor edits I might want to after seeing good reviews online.  I noticed as I was looking at my pictures that a lot seem to be underexposed (too dark), which I sort of realized while taking them because there is a scale on my camera to serve as a guide and I did see it on the under exposed side.  I know it is because most of the pictures I took were inside in our kitchen which has absolutely zero natural light.   I made a few minor corrections to help with the contrast of the photos, but definitely look forward to getting more practice.

 

Willow Tree Angel of Spring 7.23.14

One of my first pictures

Apples 7.23.14

A basket of apples

Asparagus 7.23.14

Asparagus for dinner

porkchops 7.23.14

Pork Chops

Boiling Water 7.23.14

Boiling water for pasta (messing with shutter speed)

cupcake 7.23.14

Tasty treat

 Dinner 7.23.14

The finished product!!

Hello again!

So I have been neglecting this blog for the past month and I have really missed it!  I started a new job at the beginning of May and started at my new store in June and I am happy to report that things are going GREAT AND I TRULY LOVE IT!!

This week is my last week of having 2 days off in a row so I am trying to savor it.  We will be switching to optimized hours at the beginning of August, which means my schedule will be changing some.  Even though my schedule will be changing, I am looking forward to working 10 hour days during the week, because I think 2 extra hours in the evening will really make a difference.

There are a few things I would like to get done before working all weekend:

  • Finish my grocery list and head to the grocery store
  • Do some research on crockpot meals and quick fix dinners and compile a list to use when I get off work at 7
  • Work out today and tomorrow (Zumba today at 4:30 and Zumba toning tomorrow at 4:30) NO EXCUSES
  • I got a new DSLR camera so I plan on spending some time playing with it and doing more research because it is a lot to learn!
  • Sign up for Flickr for photo sharing (general photography)

Have a wonderful day!!!