Monday, January 30, 2012

simple meals: pulled pork

Since this blog is called life, simply lived, I've been thinking about ways to tell you about the little things I do to make our house run more efficiently. I inevitably fail mightily in this and routinely end up making things wayyy more complicated than they need to be, but I'm a work in progress.

Lately we've been trying to simplify our meals. At one point in our marriage, we were eating out often - and it usually was because we did the 6pm stare into the pantry, starving, and had no idea what we could make with what we had on hand. In an effort to save money and my sanity, I've started making a meal plan for 2 weeks at a time. We don't stick to it too rigidly, but it does help us make our grocery list (since we know what we'll need for ingredients). Two working parents means our cooking time doesn't begin until 5:30 - so they have to be simple and delish.

Every week-ish, I'll share a super simple, super tasty recipe that we've tried and loved.

This first one is so good, and so easy. I even tried it out on my bff and her husband this weekend, and they said "yummmm!", so I'll take that as a good sign.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Sidetrack pulled pork

what you'll need:
pork roast (# of lbs depends on how many you're serving, 2-3lbs works for our family of 2 1/4 people (since j only has 4 teeth), with leftovers
root beer (12+ oz, depending on the size of your roast)
bbq sauce (1-2 bottles, depending on the size of your roast) my favorite is Sweet Baby Ray's, J's favorite is Cookies
hamburger buns

what you'll do:
Place the pork roast into your slow cooker. Add the root beer (it won't cover the roast, it should come 1-2" up the sides of the roast though). Cook on low for 6-10 hours (you can't mess it up). Remove the roast from the crock, cut off any fat. Discard the root beer from the crock. Chop/pull the pork and return it to the crock. Add bbq sauce (enough to make it stick together). Let it continue on low setting until it's hot and ready to eat. Serve on buns and enjoy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


B's at a funny age where he speaks clearly enough that we know what he means, but his words come out still accented by toddlerhood. A few of his words and conversations that I hope to never forget:

"wibbing room" (living room)


"pack pack" (his beloved backpack)


"oh my gunness!" (goodness, said at the most mundane things)


me: "B, where did you get that sweatshirt?"
B: "oh I just grabbed it from my hooker"
me: "your WHAT?"
B: "my hooker, in my cwoset"
(he meant hanger)


"woody 'da buzz" (his Buzz Lightyear doll - we don't even own Woody)


"ubben" (oven)


"dad! I went to the dennis with my mom!" (dentist)


B: "look! I have a free-wheeler!"
me: "hey that's a FOUR wheeler, not a three wheeler."
B: "yeah, a free-wheeler!"


his ABC's go something like:


[scene: watching Sportscenter]
B: "hey! it's puck!"
me: "you mean hockey?"
B: "no. puck!"

Friday, January 6, 2012


I'm not a huge fan of the word "resolution" because in my mind right next to it is "failure". I've never been one to set specific resolutions, and the ones I've set I certainly haven't kept. Even thinking about goal-setting seems a little... hollow to me - I think mainly because we've been preached at to "set goals!" since high school and I naturally want to run the other way if being forced to do something.

2012 feels different for some reason; I turn 30 this year, and I want to make it a memorable, progressive year. January has always felt like a blank slate to me - a chance to start fresh and be intentional about what we want to accomplish this year. Joey and I have talked about certain goals we want to accomplish for our family and ourselves this year, and we're writing them down to make it official.

1) We're running the Lincoln Half Marathon on May 6. In some ways this is such a foregone conclusion that it seems silly to make it a goal, but I suppose it should be. Why are we running a half marathon? Because we can? Because we're crazy? Because we want to. And we want to for different reasons. For me it seems like a bucket list item to accomplish, and why not do it now? The race always takes place on a Sunday, and a few years ago we drove by the runners on our way to church and I was teary from watching them run - I have no idea why it was such a strangely emotional thing for me. Joey wants to run to put another milestone on his amazing fitness journey - he wants to be able to call himself a runner.

So we're training, and we have been for three weeks now. Today is a day off, but yesterday and today we both ran 3.5 miles. It's actually not bad at all, the worst part is simply finding the time to do it - it's hard to sneak away from the boys one at a time to run, and it gets dark so early, and the weather could be questionable (oh but it's been gorgeous lately!). No excuses though, we haven't missed a training day yet and we don't plan to.

What keeps me going? The fact that I paid money to run 13.1 MILES in 4 months, and right now I can only do 3.5. If you want to run a 5k and you're sitting on the couch right now? Sign up for a 5k, I guarantee you it will get you out the door when you don't wanna.

2) We want to pay off all of our debt in 2012 except our house and my student loan. We've been at this Dave Ramsey thing (baby step 2!) for two years now and have managed to pay off a little over $21,000 of debt. This is a huge success considering that in that time, we've had a kid (and have 2 in daycare, oye), made big home improvements (roof, furnace, A/C, carpet, furniture) - but we've done those things without having to go into credit card debt again. Two thousand twelve (yes, I can't say twenty twelve, it gives me the heebies) is going to have to be a BIG, frugal year in order for us to accomplish this goal, but we're writing it down, so let's see if we can make it happen!

Other things I want to accomplish:
- Have you seen the commercial with the guy saying something to the effect of "get off the computer, the Internet will survive if you're not checking it every 30 seconds"? I feel like that sometimes. I'm either trying to stay caught up with email (personal, work, and ten tiny toes), completing design orders, checking facebook, etc. And all with the added convenience of being able to do it on my phone. I just want to be able to leave my phone on the kitchen counter for an afternoon and not feel like I'm missing a limb. I can do this.

- Pick up my crocheting hook, unpack my sewing machine, get back on pinterest, and find some projects!

- Now that I've said I want to break up with technology... I want to blog more. I love this little outlet and love that I'll hopefully be able to look back on this time in our lives and remember what was going on because right now it all seems like a blur.

- Dig into our family tree on a little more. I love genealogy. LOVE it. There are 693 people on our family tree, but there's some gaps to fill in.

Now that you know ours, what are YOUR goals for 2012?!