High Five for Friday

This has been a pretty exciting week.  Ups and downs, as usual.  🙂

1. On Sunday, I went berry picking with some girlfriend’s at one of the local farms that does a “You Pick, You Haul” deal.  It was SO MUCH FUN!  I now have more berries than I know what to do with.  And also a wicked sunburn…

2. It’ officially summer!  The hydrangea’s are popping!

3. Remember that berry picking adventure Sunday?  Yeah.  Fresh, homemade cherry pie.  Boo-yah.

4. My first teeny tiny baby tomato!

5.  And last, but by no means least!  I am SO EXCITED to announce that my seester is getting married!!!!  YAY!  I am so excited and beyond happy for Seester and S-man!  Congrats you two!  Hubs and I are so happy for you and send you all our love!

As always for H54F, linking up with Lauren Elizabeth.

 photo H54Fbutton-1_zpsa7aaa665.png

Coffee vs. Computer

Coffee and computers don’t mix…

I just wanted to make a quick post saying that I might be MIA for a bit.  My computer is currently out of commission and I don’t know when, or if, it will be up and running.  I have all kinds of fun things to post about, so please stay tuned!  I promise to be back in a flash!

If you are interested in what I’ll be up to during this interlude, please follow me on Facebook, where I will be sure to post status updates.

Thanks for your patience and support!

Ciao,
~jess~

High Five for Friday

Whew!  Where did this week go?  I can’t believe it’s Friday already!  This week seemed slow, but then I looked at the calendar and *poof* the week is at an end.

1. Hubs made homemade buffalo wings last weekend.  I am seriously obsessed with [his] wings.  Srsly.
2. Miss Mae and I played on Monday since I had skool off.  She always cracks me up with her enthusiasm for play time.  I think we could all take a lesson from The Dog’s Rule Book to Life.
3. I love when I have a long list of things that need to be done and I cross everything off.  Makes me happy!
4. I went to Home Depot and got myself some veggies.  My friend, Jess, has a lovely container garden she started from seedlings that’s really shaping up to be an epic endeavor.  This post inspired me to finally get off my tush and start planting.
5. It’s the Solstice today; my favorite day of the summer.  Happy Midsummer, everyone!  I’m off to a BBQ — the ultimate way to celebrate long days and warm nights.

Linking up with Lauren for H54F

 photo H54Fbutton-1_zpsa7aaa665.png

Pulled Pork Shoulder

P1030167-002

I have to admit something.  I haven’t been eating very well.  I would like to say it’s because I’m a busy little bee running around doing busy bee things, but it’s not.  If I take a good hard look at the last couple of days, weeks, — gah!  ok guys, months, it’s because I have been rather LAZY and slightly uninspired (unless it involves pie, soup, or comfort food).  But, as it usually goes, I’m feeling lethargic, foggy, (even more) lazy, and gross.  It’s time to get over myself and get back in the kitchen.

So, to kick off my return to healthy[er] eating I have made some super nummy shredded, slow-cooked, ridiculously good pork shoulder.  The beauty of this recipe is that it takes about 20 minutes of active time and is almost a “fix it and forget it” meal.  Also, it yields tons of leftovers (especially with the 10-lbs shoulder Hubs found at the store), so there is really no excuse for greasy, gross fast food (I’m looking at you Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich and delicious chocolate frosty!)

Unfortunately, I am not the creative mastermind behind the nums.  In fact, I can’t even take credit for finding this little gem of interweb goodness (thanks, C!).  What I can take credit for, though, is the rub I used, and the love I put in it.  Because, seriously, what’s good food without a little love to help season it?  Not good, that’s what.

In the highly unlikely event that she actually visits my tiny little piece of the webverse, I would like to give a special thanks to Michelle Tam from Nom Nom Paleo for the wonderful recipes and amazing inspiration to feed ourselves well.  Truly, her website is just as addictive as her pork shoulder.

Fair warning, this recipe is a two-day/over-night process.  Totally worth it.

To start things off, I rinsed the ridiculous 10 pound pork shoulder Hubs picked up at the grocery store and blotted it dry.  I mean, this thing was huge!  Next, I cross-hatched the fat cap (cut crisscrossed lines) and seasoned the shoulder liberally with my version of a 4-3-2-1 Basic Rub.

4-3-2-1 Basic Rub (or “Really, It’s That Easy” Rub)
*can be used for any meat

4 tbsp sweet paprika (next time I plan on using some smoked paprika… bet that’s nums)
3 tbsp salt (Kosher)
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp black pepper

*For Pulled/Shredded Pork:

~1/2 – 1 tbsp mustard powder
~1/2-1 tbsp ancho chili powder (replacing 1/2-1 tbsp of the paprika)

I set the shoulder on a plate and wrapped it in plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge to marinate overnight (or 12-24 hours).  In the morning I pulled it out and let it sit on the counter for about an hour and a half to bring it up to room temperature.

Now, this next step I have done two ways.  In the original recipe, Michelle set the shoulder on a bed of veggies on a baking sheet, which I have done here.

Bed of veg

Bed of veg

P1030155-001

The other way I have done it is in a roasting pan (the one with the raised wire rack) with veggies resting on the rack.  Either works.  I kept the veggies when I used the wire rack to lend the meat some flavor.  However, if you are using a wire rack, that is completely up to you since the purpose of the veggies is simply to raise the pork up out of the juices.

I set the shoulder in the oven pre-heated to 275° and left it alone for about 8 hours (plus maybe 15 minutes while we debated whether it was done… Hubs won and we pulled it out.  So glad we did!).  Smells. So. Yum.

Purrrrty Pork

Purrrrty Pork

Once I had driven myself and Miss Mae insane with the wonderful aroma wafting from the oven for a gazillion endless 8 hours, I took the shoulder out of the oven and let it cool for about 20 minutes.  Hubs, of course, burnt his tongue trying to beat me to the crunchy, flavor filled fat-cap goodness (ok, so not this time, but definitely last time!).

The meat was so tender, we just pulled it apart and put it in a bowl.  This night we had BBQ pulled pork with coleslaw.  I will probably be eating shredded pork “something” for lunch for the next week — maybe some carnitas with some kind of spicy sauce, or shredded pork-salad-sandwiches (like roast beef or chicken salad…), or just on top of some spinach.

P1030168-001

Yay for healthy, nummy eats!

Printable Recipes can be found here and here.  Again, the original recipe from Nom Nom Paleo can be found here.

Linking up with:

Stacy at Not Just a Housewife

 

 

 

 

 

Amanda at Ninth Street Notions

Ninth Street Notions

High Five for Friday

This week in a recap with Lauren Elizabeth and a HFFF link up:

1. I have joined Instagram.  I know, right?  Late bloomer much?  Of course my first subject was Miss Mae.  Her loves the turtle!
2. The lilies in the front yard finally bloomed!  They are such a deep, vibrant orange-y red… They remind me of my grams and make me smile.
3. Iced coffee and homework… this is what I do with the leftover morning pot.
4. Went shopping on Wednesday with the Bestie.  Colored jeans+nail polish=shopping win.  😉
5. CRA-A-AZY sky Thursday morning!  It got so dark it was almost night-like.  Thankfully I made it to class early with only minor water damage (pants were soaked, but the laptop was safe!).

Ciao,
~jess~

 photo H54Fbutton-1_zpsa7aaa665.png

7×7 Closet Remix

I have always been inspired by the various forms of “closet shopping” posts going around the blogosphere.  It’s wonderful to see real women creating real(ly cute) outfits from items they already own.  No need to go out and buy more stuff (although, who doesn’t like new stuff?) just to have a cute new outfit — just wear something you already have in a new way!

Just like everyone, though, I get into a closet rut.  I wear the same four t-shirts, the same two pairs of jeans, and the same pony-tail every day of the week for weeks on end.  In fact, I’m in one of those ruts now (minus my new summer shorts).  BORING!  So it’s time for new outfits…  With that in mind, I really try to go through my closet whenever I get an itch to go out and buy new stuff, because invariably there are several cute things in there that I have forgotten about.

Enter the 7×7 hosted by Putting Me Together and Ma Nouvelle Mode.  The rules are to pick seven items (including shoes) from your closet that you already own and remix them into seven distinct outfits.  It took me all weekend to think of my seven items (especially the shoes) and quite a few hours to think of all of the possible combinations I could come up with without giving up my personal style.  But here you are: my 7×7 Challenge:

My 7 Items:

6-001

1. Polka dot blouse — Target (b.c. it’s cute and it’s one of my favorites)
2. Chambray button up — Loft (b.c. it goes with everything, can be worn alone or as a completer)
3. Navy shorts — Old Navy (b.c. it’s finally getting summery outside)
4. White t-shirt — Target (b.c. it’s comfy)
5.  Tribal print dress — Target (b.c. I’m trying to get away from jeans all the time)
6. Skinny jeans — Dress Barn (b.c. I love jeans…)
7. Navy canvas wedges — DSW (b.c. I bought them a month ago and haven’t worn them yet)

My 7 Outfits:

7x7 Closet Remix

P1030092-001

Necklace — me
Earrings — Target
Belt — Target
Big Girl Bag (Coach Purse) — gift from Hubs

P1030095-001

Earrings — probably Claire’s…
Necklace and Belt — NY&Co

Favorite #1

Favorite #1

Earrings, Necklace, Bracelet — NY&Co
Big Girl Bag

P1030106-001

Earrings — NY&Co
Bracelet — Kohl’s
Purse — Target
Necklace — gift from Hubs

P1030111-001

Earrings, Long Necklace, Bracelet — NY&Co

P1030114-001

Earrings — NY&Co
Belt — Target
Scarf — gift from bestie

Favorite #2

Favorite #2

Earrings — Kohl’s
Belt — Target
Bracelet — NY&Co

From what I understand, accessories are not included in the count, so I mixed and matched..  As you can see, I have some favorites that I constantly rotate.


Whatever Works Wednesday link-up party on smalltownbigwardrobe.com

Photobucket

Also linking up with: *Sorry, I forgot to add these yesterday when I originally posted the 7×7*

Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy for the What I Wore link up
Alison at Get Your Pretty On for the I Feel Pretty link up
Catherine at Small Town, Big Wardrobe for the Whatever Work Wednesday link up
Sherry at The Life of the Party for the Fashion Informant Friday Link Up

How do you think I did?  What would your 7 Items be?  How do you shop your closet?  What are your favorite pieces on repeat?

Also, before I go, I’d like to give a little shout out to Hubs.  He took all of the photos.  Thanks for the help, Hubby!

Ciao,
~jess~