Thursday, September 30, 2010

BBQ Pork Ribs

It is still rainy up here in the the Northeast. Nothing is better than busting out the crock pot on a day like this.
My mom has a cookbook full of easy crock pot recipes. After buying some boneless pork loin ribs, I wasn't sure what to do with them, until she gave me this super easy recipe!
Crock pot BBQ Pork Ribs
3 to 4 lbs. of pork ribs (I only had a little over 1 pound and it worked fine.)
1 Onion
2 cups of BBQ Sauce (I used one bottle of Sweet Baby Rays, it wasn't a full two cups, but it worked fine.)
2 TBSP of lemon juice
Put all in a crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours.
Ta-da! You are done!
The only bad part about this recipe is that it isn't very Weight Watchers friendly (for half the portion it is 16 points. YIKES!) But, I had the points left over so I was alright.
I also made some Zatarain's dirty rice and some broccoli. It was about 19 points for the whole thing.
The meal was pretty cheap. The pork was about $4, the rice was $1 the broccoli was $1 and the BBQ sauce was free. So all in all $6 for the both of us, it wasn't a bad deal.
Happy Cooking!

Attention Local Moms

I saw a yard sign advertising an annual Kids Sale and I thought I would look into it. Turns out starting tomorrow and running all weekend there is going to be a sale of gently used children's toys (indoor and outdoor), clothing, shoes, maternity clothes and other baby and kids related items.

It starts at 4pm to 9pm Friday, 9am to 5pm Saturday and 10am to 2pm Sunday at the Fayette County Fair Grounds in the Youth Building.

Here is a list, directly from their website as to what are accepted and not accepted in the sale:

Accepted Items


Boys and Girls size newborn to Junior/Preteen size 5 (see tagging your items for sizing)
Special Occasion clothing (Christmas dresses-Fall Sale only, Easter dresses-Spring Sale)
Children's "dress up" costumes
Clothing Accessories: hairbows, belts/ties, girls purses, hats, socks
Swimwear (Spring Sale only)
Dancewear and gymnastics outfits
Halloween costumes (Fall Sale only)
Shoes (no adult shoes - only accepting up to Youth Size 5, only 0 through 13 and 1through 5)
Dance shoes
Maternity Clothing (must be in excellent condition and current styles & season only)

Nursery Furniture: (must be clean)

Cribs (Check for RECALLS, must be assembled on the sale floor, by you)
Changing Tables
Toddler Beds
Portable Cribs and Pack and Plays (must be assembled on the sale floor, by you)
Nursery decor
Crib mattresses

Infant Accessories:

Feeding: Bottles (no nipples), utensils, dishes, bibs, burp cloths, breast pumps,
receiving blankets
nursing pillows and covers
high chairs
table boosters
bouncy seats
walkers, swings, exer-saucers
baby carriers and slings
Safety: baby monitors, gates, bed rails

Books, Electronic Games, Videos and DVDs:
*movies must be originals not copies and no "R" or "Mature" rated movies or games
*movies must be in original covers or sleeve's
*must have working batteries and / or chargers for Electronic Games. It is for your benefit that
we require working batteries. Shoppers can see that the item actually works giving them the
confidence to buy it. You can buy inexpensive batteries at the $ stores. Remember, the better
you display your items = better sales for you!

Toys / Games: all in working order, no missing pieces and must have working batteries included
The battery rule is for your benefit. It allows the shoppers to see that your item
works, giving them the confidence to buy it. Again, inexpensive batteries can be
purchased at the $ stores.

Outdoor Toys
Bikes and Riding Toys (batteries must be charged before drop off)
play kitchens
art desks
train tables, train sets
sports equipment: skates, balls, bats, tees, gloves, helmets
Puzzles (must have all pieces)
Board Games (must have all pieces)
Doll houses, furniture, clothing etc.
Building Toys (blocks, lego, Lincoln logs)
Push and Pull toys
Crib toys
Learning toys
Hot Wheels, Matchbox
Action heros
Toy boxes, storage units

Unaccepted items

NOthing that has been recalled or is unsafe (this is the consignor's responsibility to check)
NO car seats (except those included with travel systems - waiver must be signed)
NO potty seats
NO diaper pails or genies
NO booster seats for car
NO nipples, pacifiers or teething rings unless in new unopened package
NO underwear
NO clothing with stains, tears or pet hair
NO broken items or items with missing parts / pieces
NO stuffed animals (unless battery operated)
NO computers
NO children's jewelry
NO video or computer games marked "Mature" or R-rated
NO trinket toys such as happy meal toys

It seems like it will be a pretty interesting event. Parking is free and so is admission.

Since Kev is off tomorrow, and I love a good deal I think I am dragging him to check it out Friday when it opens. You never know what you will find!!!

Here is a link to the page that has all of the information:

Happy bargain hunting!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pay it Forward

Like I had stated yesterday, I was super excited to receive an award for my blog. After spending some time thinking, I came up with two ladies who I would really like to pass the award to.

In no particular order:

The first is to Kathie at Just a Happy Housewife. I really enjoy reading her blogs about her two fur-babies and also about her spreading information about animal awareness. I also enjoy reading the different surveys she does. Even though, she already has this award, I just wanted to share her blog with you.

The second person is Lis of An American Girl in Bristol. What I love about Lis's blog is that she is very honest and shares her struggles with us readers. This takes a lot of guts, and I am so grateful that she does share.

These two bloggers have really put a lot of time and effort into the blogs, and I want to thank them for doing so.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Insert Happy Dance Here

After I have been complaining about my gloomy day, a little ray of sunshine has made it so much better!

Thanks to Endy Daniel, the author of Endy Cooks & Eats an awesome blog that I really enjoy reading, and you should check it out, I have received my second blog award!!!!!

I am super excited, because it is always nice to know that there are people who are actually reading my blog and are fans of it!!

Because I am a firm beliver in "paying it forward" I want to pass along this award to some blogs that I really enjoy reading.

So tomorrow, keep an eye out to see who the award recipents are!!!

Rain Rain Go Away

What is it about a rainy day that makes one feel really unproductive? As I sit here typing this, the weather has decided to catch up with the calender and realize that it is autumn. The skies are really cloudy and there is a cold chill in the air being carried into our house through an open window.

Because of the threatening skies, I was unable to go for my morning walk both yesterday and today, and I feel surprisingly sluggish because of it.

Even our cats seem to be affected by the weather. Anna is taking her mid-morning nap on top of this big soft teddy bear that we bought her when she was a little kitten. Finnegan is napping in the middle of our bed. Normally at this time of the morning, they are pretty active and chasing each other around the house.

I need to go and get "up and at 'em" because I still have to finish Kev's anniversary gift (which is only eight days away) plus I have not finished crocheting the Dr. Who that I was making in honor of starting to watch the series. Even though, I wasn't too thrilled about watching Dr. Who, because Sci-fi really isn't my thing and the episodes kind of reminded me of Power Rangers, I am surprisingly enjoying it.

The basement project is coming along well. The one side where my pantry is going to be has the studs in place and I have been working on putting the shelving together. So I am happy that progress is being made because I am starting to run out of room for my surplus items.

I did our weekly shopping yesterday, and my mom went to help me since it was raining and Kev was working a later shift. I did pretty good. I spent about $57 and saved $62 so it was pretty even. For that price I scored some more expensive items like boneless pork ribs, a roasting chicken, two Johnson & Johnson vapor baths, Always products and four boxes of cereal plus a lot of other items.

Well, now Finnegan has woken up and decided that it would be fun to attack my chair and run away and come back and do the same over again. I guess this means he wants attention, so I better go see that he doesn't get into trouble.

Here's hoping that you have sunny skies in your neck of the woods!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy (Sort of) First Day of Fall

I really love Fall! I know I have probably written this before, but I really love it!

Each year, the Hubby and I go to haunted house attractions, decorate the house for Fall and enjoy hot apple cider.

For the past couple of years, I have been asking Kev to go apple picking. After years of us never being able to go because we never could find the time, or we just kept on putting it off, we finally went this year!

It was really a lot of fun and it was an absolutely beautiful day!

We even came across our friend "the woolly worm" who let us know that it looks like it is going to be a pretty mild Winter. (Here's hoping!)

Kev thought the apples looked so good, that he decided to test them out right in the orchard!

I guess he needed his strength to help carry all of the apples that we picked.

Once we got them home, we dumped all 65 apples into the sink to wash them.

Then I enjoyed an apple the best way possible, with a little bit of peanut butter.

I wanted to make apple butter yesterday, but I forgot I needed brown sugar. Luckily I was able to grab some when I was out this morning and I am in the process of reducing the apple puree.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

What a Great Deal

I found this really awesome deal through Hip2Save and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Lowes has these great Britta Slim Water Pitchers for around $9 (where I live they were $9.77). There is a $7/1 Coupon which would make the pitchers only $2.77. What a great price!!!

These would be perfect to use at home, or to give as a wedding, house warming or even baby gift!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chinese Noodles for the Soul

Today is just a soggy and gloomy day.

We needed the rain because our grass was all brown, and when we would walk in the yard we were kicking up dust. (No joke.)

But, that still doesn't make it any less gloomy.

Plus, Kev's parents closed the pool yesterday and our deck furniture is in storage, so it really feels like summer is over.

The perfect remedy for today's depressing weather was some quick, fast and easy home cooking.

One of my favorite meals to make comes from this amazing blog called Cheeky Kitchen. She has some amazing recipes that you should check out sometime.

This particular recipe I like to call "Cheeky Kitchen Chinese Noodles."

You will need:

1 pack of chicken flavored Ramen Noodles
1 pack of beef flavored Ramen Noodles
1 bag of frozen stir-fry veggies
Olive Oil
Sesame Oil
Sesame Seeds (Optional)

1. Boil water on the stove just like you would for pasta. (I am usually a "water salter" for pasta, but for this recipe I don't recommend doing so.) Also, start thawing your frozen veggies.

2. Drop in your Ramen Noodles and place the flavor packets to the side.

3. It doesn't take very long to cook the noodles, so once they are done drop them into a colander and run cool water over them to stop the cooking process.

4. Return the pot back to the burner and put it on simmer.

5. Add some olive oil, sesame oil, the two favor packets, garlic and sesame seeds. (I don't have any exact measurements for this because I just put in enough oil so it will cover the veggies. The rest of the seasoning is a matter of taste.)

6. Add your thawed frozen veggies into the pot and cover them with your marinade.

7. Toss in the noodles and mix everything really well.

8. Plate your food and toss on some extra sesame seeds for an authentic Chinese Take Out look.

Ta-da, you have a yummy meal that is easy on your piggy bank and your waistline!

The total cost of the meal: $2.53

Amount of Weight Watcher points: 6

You can also add chicken, steak, shrimp, tofu or any kind of protein. I like to keep it light, so I only go with the veggies.

Also, this recipe is really only for two people, so if you are feeding more than that, figure on one pack of Ramen per person and one bag of frozen veggies can feed two people.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Peanut Butter Cups A' La Weight Watchers scale and I have been having a battle all week long.
I told my husband not to be surprised if he comes home and sees the scale in the middle of the yard because I have gone "Office Space" on it.

I know it is not completly the scale's falt, but what's so fun about blamming myself?

Last week when I want to my Weight Watchers meeting, they had this wonderful recipe for low calorie, low fat and low points peanut butter cups.

I was a little skeptical at first, because I love peanut butter cups and feel that they belong in a food group all their own, but I do have to say they turned out quite tasty.

The best part about the recipe, is that it is easy to make and only requires three ingredients!!

You will need:

8 oz. of Fat Free Cool Whip

1/3 Cup reduced fat creamy peanut butter

1/4 Cup Reduced Sugar or Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup (To be honest, I think sugar free chocolate syrup tastes like motor oil, and the difference between the SF and Regular really isn't that much, so if you want to get regular you can.)

Combine the peanut butter with only 1 cup of Cool Whip in a bowl. Mix well. Then fold the remainder of the Cool Whip until well mixed.

Using foil cupcake holders, drop about 1 to 2 Tablespoons of the mixture in each cupcake holder.

Put a little chocolate syrup on top. (Learn from my mistake, if you use SF syrup it will come out faster than you think.)

Pop these bad boys into the freezer.

Once frozen take out of the cupcake holders and put them in a baggie.

Keep frozen until ready to eat.

This recipe will make 12 peanut butter cups. Each cup is 2 points.

Of course this isn't as good as the real thing, but it is pretty darn close!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

'Cause I'm a W-O-M-A-N

Since Labor Day has officially come and gone, it was time to pack away the summer decorations and bring out my plethora of pumpkins, ghosts and fall decorations to put out around the house. We have TONS of fall decorations because it is my favorite season!

There is just something about the clean and crisp clear days, putting a fire in the fireplace and snuggling under a blanket that just makes me feel so cozy.

Another great thing about fall is that all of the summer clothes on go on clearance and you can get some great deals!!!

Last week I had scored some clothes for our cruise for around 85% off the original price. I even got the hubby some great shorts and shirts for just $6.60! You can't beat that!!

In my attempt to score some great end of summer items, I have tried to find some bathing suits that I could snag at a great price.

Being that I am curvy, finding a bathing suit that offers, coverage, "support" and doesn't look like it belongs in the retirement home, can sometimes be difficult. Finding a bathing suit at the end of the season is even more difficult.

I knew nothing would be left in the stores at this point, so I decided to go to the trusted Internet. I have had great success finding clothes around the web before, so I thought I might be lucky this time.

So far, no such luck. Since a lot of the swimsuits are sold as tops and bottoms separately, for a lot of the suits, only the bottom is left. (That is not going to do me any good, especially on a Disney Cruise.)

I decided to check out Macy's website because I have had pretty good luck at finding things in their stores and thought it would be the same online.

They did have a few cute suits, but one suit in particular made me refuse to buy any kind of swimsuit from their store every again.

Let me show you the photo.

In my opinion, this photo is picture proof of what is wrong with today's idea of beauty in main stream culture.

This woman in the photo, if not photoshopped, is only a small percent of what women throughout the world look like. The average woman is a size 14, where this model probably would have room in a size 0. Also, why even have a size 0? Why pick a number that represents nothing, and therefore should not be a size?

It is photos like this that cause 6th grade girls to go on crash diets, for women to look in the mirror and think they are not good enough, and even cause some women to starve themselves to death.

When is the fashion industry and retailers going to realize that it is alright to have a little bit or even a lot of curve? That women who are buying the clothing, want to see what someone, who looks like them, would look like in the clothing.

If you are disgusted with the way the industry is going, then I encourage you to email, write or even call retailers and tell them what you think. No change can be made if we are not willing to take the first step.

by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Where did August Go?

I cannot believe that the date of this blog is going to be Sept. 2. Where did the summer go? But, to tell the truth I am ready to say farewell to the 90 degree + hot days of summer and hello to the crisp autumn mornings and warm apple cider drinking weather.

I love fall, it is my favorite season, and I always look forward to it. It is just the season that follows afterward that I really dread. If we could go from December to April, I would be happier than Snookie in a pickle factory!

However, that is not the case and I must suffer for three months.

The main problem for me during winter, is I get this feeling of isolation. Because the roads are bad, and I work from home, I don't really go anywhere. For several days, I am stuck at home with the cats, bored out of my skull. Thank God for the Internet so I can have some kind of access to the outside world.

I am hoping to try and stave off this feeling of isolation by possibly finding something fun to do outside of the house. I started looking for volunteer opportunities, choirs to join and even Scrabble Clubs, but I really didn't find anything.

The Scrabble Club meets Monday evening, so that isn't good because I want to spend time with Kev when he is home. Same thing with the choir in the evening, plus when it is winter, I really don't want to have to drive at night. (I know I sound like a senior citizen.)

So I guess my search will continue. Hopefully I will find something.

But, before I get ahead of myself, there is still one more summery rite of passage that needs to happen before Old Man Winter peeks around the corner: Labor Day.

We really don't have any plans for the holiday weekend that is quickly approaching.

Saturday morning, after we return from our usual Saturday morning breakfast at our usual Saturday morning breakfast spot, we are going to move some boxes from our basement to our shed that we just built. Once these boxes are moved, that means we can start finishing the basement, which includes the first part of the remodeling project: my pantry. I am so excited to get a place where I can store my surplice grocery bargains. Our hall closet and kitchen cabinets are starting to overflow.

After our hard work of box moving, we are planning on visiting our friends Megan and Steve to meet their two new kitties and grab some Ethiopian food in East Liberty.

Meg and I are also planning on checking out some bridesmaid dresses for our friend Kira's upcoming wedding in January. I love playing "dress up" so this should be a lot of fun!

Sunday, I think we are just going to take it easy and enjoy the day, and on Monday Kev has to work the early shift and I have to cover an event for the paper in the morning.

What are your plans for the upcoming holiday?