Love, Fun and Football

May 21, 2015

The Absolute Best Pulled Pork Recipe

I can take no credit for what I'm about to share with you- other than the fact that I'm married to the creator of this delicious recipe. Pulled pork is a regular menu item in our house and we've made it various ways but Jared has come up with THE winning recipe for it. It seriously is so good- and Cincinnati people? I swear he might have unlocked some secrets of Skyline Chili's recipe because it's got a similar taste, I kid you not.

So don't wait, save this, write it down, pin-it - whatever you need to do, don't lose this recipe! It might look like a long list of ingredients but most of them are spices/seasonings you'll already have.

Ingredients
2-3 lb pork shoulder (or tenderloin works too- we buy what's on sale!)
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp(ish) season salt
+ a dash of garlic salt
+ a dash or two of BBQ rub if you have a favorite

Coat all sides of the meat with a tablespoon or so of molasses. Mix allllllll those spices together and cover the pork. Add 1/2 cup water in the bottom of your crockpot, put the meat in and crockpot that sucker on high for 4 hours and ENJOY IT! It's just as good the next day too, if not better.
crockpot-pulled-pork

And as always, keep it classy and use leftover paper plates ;)

May 18, 2015

Life on Crutches

As I'm nearing the 4-week mark of life on crutches, I thought I'd share my "wisdom" with anyone else who might find themselves in the same predicament one day. There are so many things I never even considered until I started crutching around- so you're welcome for these ever-so-useful tips ;)
Me and my besties for 6-weeks :)

1. Your wardrobe will become very limited while on crutches. Flats at work and sneakers for the weekend are basically your options. Heels are obviously out and wearing flip-floppy sandals is like asking to trip on a rug and injure your non-injured body parts. Stick to the basics.

2. You cannot carry anything. Let that sink in. Your arms are now carrying you from place to place so dig into that donation box before it goes out and salvage a backpack from cheer camp circa 2004. You'll need it every day at work to store your normal purse stuff plus your lunch and water bottles.

3. Try your best to bring lunches to work that do not need to be heated up. Otherwise you'll have to reluctantly ask a coworker every day to come with you while you make your lunch and then have them carry it back to your desk for you. They say they are happy to help- but you're annoying yourself already so just don't do it. Stuff your lunch in the backpack and be on your merry way.

4. Oh yeah, back to that wardrobe thing. You also have to be very careful what kind of top you wear. Nothing stays in place- it's either riding up or flapping in the wind. Even the most conservative blouse will suddenly turn PG-13 when you're crutching around at work. Just that slight hunch you have and the swinging of the arms/crutches and you'll be hearing from HR before the day's over. Cardigans buttoned all the way up are your safest choice.

5. For some odd reason, strangers act like they have never seen a person use crutches before when they see you. They will stare at you like you're actually a transformer, not just a girl trying to use an ATM machine who happens to be using crutches. You can ignore them and carry on, but I prefer staring back and saying, "Hi. I'm on crutches!" and waiting until they feel awkward and turn away. (Yes, I actually did this once)

6. Grocery stores are your nightmare. This also relates back to limited wardrobe and not being able to carry anything. Bring a buddy. Expect it to take much longer than normal. Stock up so you don't have to break a sweat picking out produce again for another couple of weeks if possible.

7. You will feel like an absolute waste of life at home. It's tricky to get around your tri-level home and even tricker trying to clean a toilet or sink. Apologize constantly to your significant other for being a piece of crap and then buy them extra of their favorite ice cream. You know, when they take you grocery shopping.

8. Attempt to embrace it- because after all, you'll get a blog post out of this whole ordeal ;)

May 17, 2015

Clutter

I know I talk about decluttering a LOT on this blog, but it's because I always seem to be doing so much of it! You'd think with everything I've thrown out/donated in the past year we'd be down to nothing- but the truth is, bags of STUFF leave our house every single month still. Lisa shared a few articles on her blog last week all about Americans as consumers. Here's the article that really stood out to me, but if you don't have time to click over to it- here's what it boils down to- WE ALL HAVE TOO MUCH CRAP! Jared and I have only lived in this house for 4 years but it's disgusting how much stuff we have. Stuff that we forget about because it's crammed into a storage bin in a closet or stuff that we complain we have no place for, but yet never MAKE room for it by removing other items. 

My thoughts on clutter have definitely shifted in the past year. We have stopped holding onto a lot of things for their nostalgic reasons, and have let go of clothes that even though they were once a "favorite" -they're now worn out and just need pitched. It's such a freeing feeling. Piling stuff into donation boxes is truly therapeutic to me. I'm one of those people that feels overwhelmed by too much clutter, yet I often let it build up around me. As soon as a box of stuff leaves my house? I instantly feel less stressed. There's something to be said about that!

I think paying off our debt plays a part in how I feel about stuff and shopping in general now. When budgeting became a huge part of our lives and we knew every penny we had needed to go to our student loans, there was no excuse to shop- ever! I used to be way more tempted to shop. Changing seasons? I wanted new clothes. Going on vacation? I need a whole new wardrobe. Oh I don't have a silver necklace I love? Then I NEED one. No! No, no, no to all of that. I hardly ever have that urge to shop "just because" anymore and if it ever is something I feel like I need? I think it through, I comparison shop online and I really think about that decision. I never stop in at stores 'just because' or to kill time since I know it would just be a trap for me to spend money on something I don't need.

I don't think I'll ever become an actual minimalist, but it's something I strive to be more like, that's for sure. I only want to have clothes that I wear and love; I only want to keep the movies that are ones I'll watch time and time again. I don't want dozens of kitchen gadgets we only get out once a year. And I certainly don't want to add any impulse items into our house unless I've gotten rid of at least two boxes of them.

Did you know 1 in every 10 Americans rents an off-site storage location?! Because they don't have room for all the crap they've accumlated.... WOW! It seems overall our thoughts on needs vs. wants are so skewed and messed up. What about your thoughts on clutter? Some people like it, honestly. Some people can't stand any extra items in their house at all. I definitely fall in the middle but am pushing myself to continue minimizing my belongings- what about you?

May 14, 2015

Weekly Highlights

It feels like it's been taking me quite awhile to get out of the funk I've been in for the past month or so. When life gets hard and complicated it can take time to feel normal again. I just haven't really felt like myself lately, but this week has been really good. The best one I've had in awhile, in fact. Nothing out of this world or whatever- but just feeling happy and loved and content was a nice change of pace so I thought I'd share a few highlights of this past week with you all:

-- Getting dinner with some friends and eating out on the patio. I tried Firehouse Grill for the first time and I highly recommend it Cincinnati-area people. My food was delicious and everyone else's food looked great too so I need to go back and try more things! Their outdoor patio is huuuge and would make a great date-night spot all summer long.

-- Officially being halfway done with crutches. It's been a looooong 3 weeks, but knowing I'm halfway done -as long as I get good reports from the doctor- feels good. I am hopeful that a day without hip pain is coming soon.

-- Realizing vacation is almost here! We're headed to Hilton Head Island in a few weeks and I cannot wait to be back. It snuck up on me since we've had it planned for quite some time, but I'm excited now that it's right around the corner. My mom posted this photo on her Facebook page yesterday (because yes, she participates in every #TBT ;)) I was just 4 and it was our first family vacation to HHI.

-- Finalizing details for my 10-year class reunion. I've mentioned that I'm planning that whole shebang and it's been interesting, that's for sure. A few months ago I was stressing about it but everything is coming together nicely and I think I'm looking forward to it now. I go back and forth between being excited to see people from high school and being terrified of how they night will go. I will definitely be reporting back at the end of June ;)

-- FINALLY having a solution for all our blender bottles/water bottles. I can't stand the clutter that water bottles always make-- Do they go in a drawer? Do they go in a cabinet? Water bottles are one things I can't really get rid of, Jared and I use them constantly, everywhere. So let me introduce you to Zero G Storage, because if you love organization like I do, you need one of these bad boys. At least one!

They offer 2 different products which you can find on Amazon HERE and HERE. Plus- there are different sizes so you can store just about any "gear" you want with them. In a smaller house with an even smaller kitchen, Zero G has seriously helped us maximize space. Getting clutter off the counters or ground is a win-win-win for me! You can get 15% now through June 30th if you use promo code LOVEFUN1 on those links above. 


In addition to that Paul from Zero-G is very kindly offering one of his products to one of my readers.
Winner announced next Wednesday!
a Rafflecopter giveaway