06/24/17

6 years

2191 days since we met, and every day is better than the last…

One of our first dates in 2011

Happy first date anniversary, husband! This life together is just everything.

 

xoxo

06/20/17

Easy oven baked ribs

I can’t recall the first time I had ribs. 
But I remember NOT liking them.

I’m not much of a “eating meat off the bone” kind of lady, so gnawing on chicken wings, T-bone steaks, and ribs just isn’t my thing.

But then, I decided to play around with making a version at home and that’s when these delicious, tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs came into my life. 

And I was forever changed. 

These ribs are totally fool-proof, can be whipped up on a slow-paced Sunday afternoon, and are definitely a crowd-pleasing dish. You can serve the alongside a dollop of potato salad, or remove from the bone and serve over a bowl of creamy polenta. Mmmmmmmmm……..

The best news? If you omit any bbq sauce, these ribs are Paleo and low carb! Here’s the recipe! 

Foolproof ribs
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 hr 30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 full rack of pork baby back ribs
  2. 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  3. 2 tbsp. sea salt
  4. 1 tbsp. black pepper
  5. 1 tsp. red pepper flake (optional if you don't like heat)
  6. 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  7. 1 tbsp. onion powder
  8. 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  9. 1 tsp. chipotle powder
  10. 1 tbsp. liquid smoke
  11. the juice of 1 lime
  12. **Optional- your favorite bbq sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250(F).
For the rub
  1. Combine all of the seasonings together with the liquid smoke, lime juice, and coconut sugar. Mix with a fork until well combined. Set aside.
Prep the ribs
  1. On the back of the ribs there is a thin membrane to remove before cooking. I usually run a sharp knife down the enter length of the back of the ribs, then use a spoon to tuck under the white membrane and peel off. I usually use a knife to pry up a corner of the membrane, then I just pull it down the entire length of the ribs. It's ok if it tears, just find a new spot and repeat the spoon method again until it's all removed.
  2. When the membrane is removed, rinse the ribs and pat dry.
  3. Massage the rub on the front and back of the ribs. Wrap loosely but completely in foil, place on a sheet tray and bake at 275 for 3 hours. No peeking!
  4. At 3 hours, unwrap the ribs and turn up the oven to 350. Bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes. **If you like your ribs saucy, this would be the time to baste your ribs with your favorite bbq sauce.
  5. Finish outside on the grill to ensure a crispy exterior, or broil an additional 5 minutes on high heat watching carefully not to burn the ribs. Enjoy!
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06/19/17

Currently: June edition

Hi friends! June has been a super busy and eventful month so far, and we’re only halfway through! 

First things first… wedding pictures have arrived and I am completely in L-O-V-E all over again!

Goodness, gracious. Kristen Marie Photography is incredibly talented, right? Swoon! Don’t worry- I’ll be sharing more later on this week. 🙂

Last week I was in Chicago for work and Brian flew up to spend a long weekend with me after my work retreat concluded. It was the perfect weekend getaway and we totally made the most of those three days! Not only did we see the sights of Chicago, but we also caught a Cub’s game AND a Dave & Tim concert! My favorite part of the weekend was definitely going to Wrigley. 

I grew up a baseball fan because my grandfather, Aurelio (Abuelito) was a fan. He taught me the rules, who to root for and why, and how to fall in love with the game. We’d play catch and home run derby at Horizon Park and I learned to love to play the game too. He was a HUGE fan of the Yankees, the Braves, and Cubs. I have fond memories of sitting on the recliners of my grandparent’s house watching the Cubbies play on WGN. Abuelito taught me all of the names of the players, and how to read the stats. We would sit and cheer on Sandberg, Maddux, Dawson, and Grace while snacking on Bugles and Yoo-hoo. We collected baseball cards and Starting Line-Ups, and drove to Fulton County Stadium as often as we could to watch the Braves. He DREAMED of coming to Wrigley one day. To sing along with Harry Caray and admire the Ivy. He never got the chance to, but I hope, in some way, he is here with me today (that’s him in the picture on my phone). As I sat on those historic seats, all that I kept thinking in my head was “I made it to Wrigley, Abuelito!”

Last week I also wrapped up promoting an amazing event with Scotties Tissues

Back for their 4th year, Scotties Facial Tissues partnered with animal rescue organization up and down the east coast in an effort to get eligible cats and kittens into loving adoptive homes. Each organization – The Animal Protective Foundation (Albany, NY), Boston MSPCA (Boston, MA), and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (Tampa, FL) all received $5,000 each to go towards the re-homing of cats. 

I’m SO happy to report that during that event over 400 cats and kittens have gone into loving forever homes! Thanks to all of my fabulous Orangespoken readers who helped to share the event details. We couldn’t have done it without you! And congratulations to Gina M.! You won a $25 Amazon gift card and a Scotties tissue care package for helping to spread the word! Check your email for more details 🙂

And last but not least… a little confession time! 

No, no, I’m not recreating a Mrs. Doubtfire scene… just trying out a new-to-me skin product! Here’s my confession: I don’t have a skincare regimen. Call it lazy (or call it cheap!), this is just not an area I have prioritized. My go-to has been washing my face with soap or body wash, then slapping on a layer of BB cream with sunscreen or tinted moisturizer before heading out the door. As I approach my 38th trip around the sun next week, I decided to dive in and start taking better care of my skin. After chatting with my friend Mary Kay by Loren, she helped me choose the perfect Mary Kay products for my dry/normal skin. For $45 I purchased the botanicals kit (pictured on the left below) which includes a foaming cleanser, mud mask (pictured above), a refreshing serum, and a daily cream! She also gave me samples of their Timewise kit to try out (aimed at preventing or addressing imperfections and damage from the sun or aging). I love that a small amount of each of the products goes such a long way too! I decided to go ahead and take her 21 day skincare challenge as a birthday gift for myself this year.

Loren has some AMAZING deals going on right now if you’re looking to try out a skincare kit for 21 days! You can receive the Botanicals kit I purchased for $45 ($58 retail), the Clearproof acne kit for $40 ($45 retail), The Timewise Miracle Anti-aging set for $82 ($95 retail), or the Timewise Repair and Reverse set for $185 ($205 retail). All you have to do is choose the skincare line that fits your needs, purchase it at the discounted price, use the products for 21 days (twice a day), take a before and after picture, and leave Loren a review on her Facebook page once the challenge is done! The best news? Your products will last long after the 21 days is through! 

On and here’s my post-mask face. 😉 So fresh and so clean clean. 

So what’s new with you, friends? 

 

06/12/17

How to make a healthy bowl for dinner!

Out of all the searches that drive readers to my blog, the top search phrase has always been “healthy cooking for beginners” (click here for my healthy cooking 101 post!).

I get a LOT of questions about how to meal plan, how to shop and how to cook. I’ve had people tell me that their eating habits are horrible because they “can’t cook”, and resort to pre-packaged foods, fast food and dining out. I’ve heard this on the blog, social media and even in person. 

Well, I’m here to tell you that healthy cooking is EASY. No seriously, I promise! It all comes down to confidence, planning, effort, and resilience! Continue reading

06/1/17

Tampa Cat Adoption event w/ Scotties! #Giveaway

I grew up being a dog owner. 
And we had a LOT of them: Sugar, Coach, Chloe, Claire, and Shadow (who is still here with us today!).
From the day I was born, a dog was part of our family and so owning (and loving!) a cat was never on my radar. 
 
It wasn’t until I moved in with my (now) husband, that I became a cat owner. It started as just something I would try because Brian loved cats and always had one growing up. I was hesitant, but decided to give it a shot. 
One cat turned into two cats, and now, I feel like I can call myself a tried-and-true real life cat person! 

Continue reading

05/29/17

Chipotle sweet potato fries with Chimichurri aioli

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope you are having a restful long weekend celebrating with family and friends, and remembering those who lost their lives for the freedom to do so. <3

Whether you are looking for something to whip up this afternoon to go alongside your grilled burgers or steaks, or if you would like to bookmark this recipe for the future, these sweet potato fries are going to be a HIT whenever you make them!

They are spicy and flavorful and are a perfect, PERFECT match to my cool chimichurri aioli dipping sauce. 

Not a fan of spice? Feel free to half the amount of chipotle or cayenne pepper in the coating. They will still be delicious! Continue reading

05/25/17

Stretching and Massage with DeepRecovery.com (#giveaway)

Disclaimer: I’m not a physical fitness expert, so please consult your doctor prior to starting any form of physical exercise or change to your diet and/or lifestyle. 

Stretching is NOT something I’m good at. 

Let me rephrase- I know how to stretch, but I don’t always dedicate the time and effort to stretch!

Why? Who knows. Sometimes I forget, sometimes I feel like it’s too time consuming. Sometimes I feel like it HURTS and so I avoid it (hello foam rolling and deep tissue massage!). But I NEED to make a better effort to work on flexibility and healing every day.  Continue reading

03/25/17

So much to say!

Hey Friends! 

Boy have I missed blogging on the regular. Life has been jam-packed with awesomeness and once the glitter settles at the end of April, I will reconnect by sharing stories, recipes and more! 

And, of course the 4-1-1 on all things WEDDING!  Continue reading

02/14/17

What matters most

Have you ever felt invisible?

Like people were looking right through you- eyes piercing past you to the other side as if though something better, more interesting, more important was there beyond you.

And I’m not just referencing people we pass by on the sidewalk, or those we sit by on the bus or see at the grocery store as we’re stocking our carts. I’m also talking about people you come in contact with every single day. Your co-workers, acquaintances, friends, and yes, even family members. Continue reading