Five on Friday!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Hello and Happy Friday! The holiday on Monday has completely thrown me off this week and I feel like today is only Thursday, especially since I have to work tomorrow, but never the less, it actually is Friday so let's get to it!


ONE.
Firmoo glasses.



A couple weeks ago I was contacted by Firmoo to see if I would like to try out some of their glasses. I, of course, jumped at the opportunity especially since I've been wanting to get some new glasses. (Fun fact : I wear contacts because I HATE glasses normally. But I always like to have glasses on hand "just in case"). It was time for me to go get my eyes checked anyways so I booked my appointment, checked my prescription, and came home to order some new glasses. My favorite part of the whole Firmoo experience was the fact that you could "try on" the glasses before you bought them. This was especially important to me since I was buying glasses online - something that I would be wearing on my face, something that I couldn't try on in person. So I uploaded my best selfie and started trying all the glasses on. I eventually came across these and loved them. I could tell from the picture that they would fit my face well and when I got them in the mail, I was reassured that I made the right choice. While I'm definitely not a glasses person, I was pleasantly surprised how much I really liked these glasses and the fact that they actually make me want to wear glasses more often!

If you'd like to try Firmoo for yourself, click here to get a great discount off your first pair of frames site wide (new customers only)!

Disclaimer : I was compensated with free glasses in exchange for this review but that is the only compensation I was given.  All opinions expressed are my own.


TWO.
Winesicles.


Yes please! Amanda posted about these winesicles the other day and my gosh, I couldn't wait to get myself some popsicle makers and try these! I think they are definitely going to be on the agenda in the coming weekends!


THREE.
ThredUP Score!


I usually shop thredUP for clothes for Mason. Honestly, rarely do I even look for things for me let alone find anything for myself when I do look. I had just received notification that a bag I had sent in had been processed and I had a pretty good credit to my account, so what did I do? I shopped! (duh!). I headed to the boys section, added a bunch to my cart for Mason and was about to check out when it told me that I only needed like $5 more before I got free shipping. I couldn't find anything else for Mason so I decided to look for things for me. Since I start my new job next week and our dress code is basically whatever is comfortable, I'm on the hunt for some new jeans. Before kids and before the husband, I used to splurge on expensive jeans (read : sevens, citizens of humanity, hudson, joe's jeans, etc). But since having Mason (and getting married), I've reigned in my spending habits on myself and gotten Levi's at Kohl's on sale. But since I was on thredUP, I decided to see what kind of jean deals they had. And boy am I glad I did! They have all kinds of nice, expensive jean brands for GREAT deals! I had no idea what size I was in the jeans anymore (after having Mason... things don't fit the same), so I guessed on the size and figured if they didn't fit, then I would just send them back in my next bag to sell. But lo and behold, they fit PERFECTLY! Well perfectly in the waist. The length was a little short so I'm guessing the person who had them before me hemmed them, but I think I can make do and make them into capris or something because seriously $35.99 for 7 for all mankind jeans is INCREDIBLE. Now I'm on the hunt for more!

If you haven't tried thredUP before, I highly recommend it! (check out my review on them here) If you're interested in trying for the first time, click here! I'll get a shop credit and you'll get some amazing deals!


FOUR.
Summer Reading Challenge.


If you're looking for a fun challenge for your kids this summer, please join CourtneyStephanie and I for our summer reading challenge! It's a great way to encourage your kids to read over the summer! I, for one, am pretty excited to take Mason to the library for the first time to let him pick out some books for us to read together!


FIVE.
Target Gift Card Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And in case you missed it on Monday, I'm co-hosting a super awesome giveaway for a $30 gift card to Target (I mean, who doesn't love Target??). Don't forget to enter! The giveaway is open through May 31, 2015 at midnight central time so there's still plenty of time to enter to win!


Happy Friday!


The Guys Behind the Blog // May Edition.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A couple months ago, I found out through Crystal that Betsy from Heavens to Betsy has this super cool series called The Guys Behind the Blog. Unfortunately it was a little too late to join for March but  I joined in April and have been ever since! While I do talk about Seth often, I don't really know if you all know him very well. Enter : this series. Every month Betsy has different prompts that the guys behind the blog answer.



So, here we go! Here are May's questions.

1 // What is your favorite family tradition?

BBQ-ing with family.


2 // Who's your male celebrity crush?

Seth : MALE celebrity crush??? (thinking... thinking... thinking...) A few minutes later... I've got it! Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone. He's dreamy and he can cook for me. Him or Michael Simon.

Me : Not bad, not bad. I would agree with that one!


3 // What song best sums you up?

"Take Me Out to the Ball Game". I love baseball. I love going to the games. I love playing it. I love watching it on TV.


4 // What three things do you think of the most each day?

Mason, Liz, Work.


5 // What is your most embarrassing memory?

Seth : Growing up, I was a total klutz so I always seemed to get hurt a lot. A LOT. As someone who performed in musical theater and in choir, I wasn't afraid of being in front of an audience. But I always seemed to hurt myself in front of an audience, which I found to be embarrassing. I hurt myself so much so that my mom was on a first name basis with the school nurse and I'm pretty sure the nurse might have even had her number on speed dial. 
I once popped my hip out while running on a treadmill. While it was healing, I was at school one day in PE class. Since I hurt my hip, I couldn't sit down while they were taking role, so I was standing. Then all of a sudden a fight broke out in front of me. There was a lot of pushing and since I couldn't move very fast, all of a sudden, the next thing I knew, a guy being pushed into me and I fell to the ground and my hip popped out again.

Me : That's not funny! That's sad!

Seth : That might be sad, but I seriously got hurt A LOT. I was playing baseball one day and got hit in the face by the baseball and busted my nose open. I was walking on the black top during recess and I didn't see a ball rolling and I stepped on it and fell face first on the ground and busted my nose open. We lived on a huge hill when I was in elementary school and I was riding my bike down the hill to school one day when these two huge dogs started barking and running down someone's driveway straight at me and scared the cr*p out of me. I took my eyes off the rode and ran my bike into a light pole and I flew over the handle bars...

Me : (insert me laughing hysterically and feeling bad for laughing so hard) You ran into a pole? You should have started with that story!

Seth : Like I said... I got hurt a lot.



And there you have it!

You can find April's post here

Thanks for playing along again, Seth!


C U R R E N T L Y // What's Up Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015



I had so much fun with my last C U R R E N T L Y post that I wanted to do another (I don't know why it took me so long to jump on the bandwagon the first time!). But for this one, I thought I would switch it up a bit and join Sheaffer and Shay and link up with their What's Up Wednesday series.


What we're eating this week...

A wide variety of things! Sunday we had Panini Cafe for dinner with family. Monday we had a BBQ for Memorial Day at Papa's house. Tuesday - Friday I work late. Tuesday we bought a pizza from our local pizza joint called 'The Pizza Shack' since I was at work and Seth went to the 4th class in an autism series that we're going to and Papa watched Mason. Wednesday (today) we're having an Adell's sausage stir fry with veggies and rice. Thursday is chicken tacos with rice and beans. Friday is a new recipe I found on Pinterest for orzo pasta with asparagus. And Saturday is still TBD.

We don't usually eat out so much... that's just how this week fell.

What I'm reminiscing about...
My BOY MOMS series! I was writing a guest post for someone last weekend and mentioned the series and couldn't believe that it was over a year that I started that series. Even though I'm not actively posting guest posts every week anymore, I'd still definitely love to feature more boy moms! So if you, or someone you know, is a boy mom and would like to guest post, please contact me! You don't solely have to be a boy mom either, but the post will focus on the boy mom aspect of motherhood.

What I'm loving...

The fact that I gave myself a free manicure the other day. On the flip side, what I'm not loving... the fact that I am HORRIBLE at giving myself a manicure and nail polish ends up ALL OVER my fingers and hands. Anyone else? I always wonder how people give themselves the perfect manicure at home while mine looks like a 3 year old painted my nails... (ps I was thisclose to taking a picture of my messy nails to share but then chickened out, but trust me, it was BAD)

What we've been up to...

Honestly, a whole lot of nothing. Or at least that's how it feels. Last weekend was relatively uneventful, which is not always a bad thing, but I just felt so lazy. The weather has been kinda crummy lately and it just makes me feel like staying home and being cozy inside. I always love a weekend with no plans, a weekend to hang around the house, but this past weekend just kinda felt like a waste. And I HATE that. My summer goal is to do something fun at least one day a weekend (even if it just means going to the park - doesn't have to cost money) especially since the other day is usually spent running errands.

What I'm dreading...


Saying good bye to some people who I've known and worked with for the past six years...

see : what I'm doing this weekend.

What I'm working on...

I feel like about 800 things at once! Isn't that how it always is with moms? I read something somewhere that said a moms brain is like having your computer with 20 tabs open at once. Whoever said that... ain't that the truth!

What I'm excited about...


My new job!

see : what I'm doing this weekend.

What I'm watching/reading...

Totally loving The Bachelorette and Master Chef!

What I'm listening to...

I'm currently loving Blake Shelton's song "Sangria"!



What I'm wearing...

The weather has been crazy here lately! I thought this was California and it was supposed to be sunny and 75 all the time, but apparently California decided to change it up a bit. It's been cold (for us) and kinda dreary and kind of depressing lately. I'm ready for the sun to come back this weekend!

So, long story short, I've been wearing lots of pants, long sleeve sweaters and scarves. Mason's been wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and a sweatshirt/sweater. And Seth... has been wearing his go-to outfit of jeans and a short sleeve work shirt. Things are getting crazy up in here! :)

What I'm doing this weekend...

Saturday, May 30th is my last day at the bookstore! Crazy and bittersweet. A couple weeks ago, I found a new job and instead of putting in the typical two week notice, I gave three, since the semester was ending and buyback/rental check-in was coming as well as graduation. I've worked at the bookstore for six years so it's super bittersweet to be leaving. I'm going to miss so many of my co-workers but know this is the right opportunity for our family right now. Without giving away too many details (because this is the internet after all), I will be a vendor relations/customer service manager for a family run business. Job responsibilities will include vendor relations and customer service (obviously) as well as some sales and marketing. I'm really excited! This new job will give me more flexibility, a raise, and a better work environment. I start next Monday and am excited to see where this job can take me!

What I'm looking forward to next month...

Starting my new job. Father's Day. Celebrating my friend Vickie's birthday. Celebrating my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's anniversary. Hopefully actually going on a date night (where did May go and how did we not plan better??). And much more!

What else is new...

Not too much going on here, but I did want to mention that if you missed my announcement for our summer reading challenge as well as a really fun giveaway from Monday, pop on over and check it out!


Happy Wednesday!







Mason's IKEA Picture Ledge Book Shelves

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Speaking of reading yesterday, I've been meaning to post about these books shelves for F.O.R.E.V.E.R. I'm ashamed to say I started this post MONTHS ago and just now got around to posting it. #bloggerfail

Anyway, here we are!

I got lots of questions back at Christmas time when I posted this picture of Mason's 25 Days of Christmas Books.


So I wanted to share a little bit about Mason's book shelf.

Honestly, it was SO easy and I LOVE the way it looks! It is my favorite thing in Mason's room. I love that the books are at his height and he can get down whatever book he wants to look at/read. An added plus is that it also it makes for nice decoration and fills the wall.

The ledges are from IKEA and they come in black and white. Each color comes in two sizes. The ones we have hanging in Mason's room are the longer ones and are no longer available at the store or online (boo!). We bought them a good four or five years ago and it looks like they discontinued that size. BUT I will tell you that we also have many of each of the other sizes (the long and the short) and we LOVE them. So I think you can make any size work.

My sister-in-law recently bought some of the longer size of the white ones and hung them in my niece's play room and they look amazing. So I definitely think no matter what size or color you get, they will look great and be fully functional.

So, without further ado, here is how his room looks during non-holiday times, or 11 months out of the year.








And just for fun, in case you think my kid is super neat and the photos above are how his room usually looks...


I actually witnessed this happening the other day. I put the books up and just as I was almost done... Mason sticks his arm behind the top row and knocks 10 books off. Then a few more and a few more and does the same to the bottom row. Oh, Mason, it's a good thing you're so cute... =P



Announcing... a Summer Reading Challenge + 2 Giveaways!

Monday, May 25, 2015

We are big fans of reading around here. The whole family - although mom is more fond of reading magazines and blogs rather than books - oops! It is also something we want to continuously nourish in Mason. In the past few weeks even, I've noticed him gravitating more towards picking up a book and "reading" it more than he did in the past. He has his favorite little spot on the stairs to read. He grabs his book, heads on up, sits down, and starts flipping through the book. It's the sweetest thing.

That being said Stephanie, Courtney and I came up with a Summer Reading Challenge for the kiddos. Nothing high maintenance, but a fun way to mimic summer reading programs that start up once you get in school. Sometimes we could all use a little motivation to go out and find new books.




The challenge is 12 weeks long with the goal being a new book every week - it runs from June 1st to August 20th. Every three weeks there will be a link up to share how the challenge is going, which new books you've been reading, how you've liked them, and any activities you came up with to go along with them, etc etc - the options are endless! The link up dates are: June 18th, July 9th, July 30th, and August 20th.

You can snag the graphic below to keep track of your progress or brainstorm what books you and your child might want to read. I mean, who doesn't enjoy checking off things from a list?



We've even come up with some themes that you can pick from to add a little bit more fun to the challenge each week. You absolutely do not have to pick books based on these themes or any themes at all. It is just an extra little something to add to your reading goals if you so choose.


And, at the end of it all there will be a 'hooray you've completed the challenge' giveaway! A little something for mom and a little something for the kiddo - you just need to have joined in on the Summer Reading Challenge and linked up at least once to be eligible. Easy peasy!

And that's all there is to it. We'd love for you to read with us this summer!

Happy reading!





***

Now I know I mentioned in the title of this post that there were 2 giveaways, so you're probably wondering where the other one is. Well look no further!

The first giveaway is the one I mentioned above. That is the one that I am hosting with Courtney (from Sweet Turtle Soup) and Stephanie that you can enter into at the end of the summer after the summer reading challenge is over. Only criteria is that you must have linked up with us at least once during the challenge. Super easy!

The second giveaway is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT and is being hosted by me, Courtney (from A+ Life) and Whitney and has nothing to do at all with reading. Have I confused you yet?

Enter below for a chance to win a $30 gift card to Target! And who doesn't love a gift card to Target? Giveaway runs from 7am Central time on Monday, May 25, 2015 to midnight Central time on May 31, 2015 and the winner will be contacted by Courtney (A+ Life).

Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Five on Friday!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Last Friday's post was quite heavy for a Friday. But it was something I've been wanting to share for a while, I just didn't know when. And then was perfect. I'm seriously still blown away by the amazing, wonderful, caring, loving comments that everyone left. This community never ceases to amaze me. And while that letter to Mason was important and I am so glad I shared it, I wanted to come back today with my regular, light hearted, Five on Friday fun.


ONE.
Food Holidays Calendar.


An American Food Holiday Calendar. I mean, really, who knew such a thing existed? Apparently there is a different food holiday for every day of the year. I mean, I'm not mad, any excuse to celebrate and eat is a good reason in my book! I might have spent wayyyyy too much time going through all the days and making note in my calendar so I don't forget good ones like National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day from last Friday.


TWO.
LaCroix water.



I've been OBSESSED with this stuff lately! My old favorite was cran-raspberry but my new favorite is this one : orange! I get bored with plain water and love that this water is flavored and fizzy (and whole30 approved!). I wish it was on sale more often because I want to try all the flavors!


THREE.
The Bachelorette.

Every season I say that I'm not going to watch anymore and every season I'm sucked back in. It's a totally guilty pleasure and I just can't help myself! Makes Mondays that much more bearable :)
Anyone else watching??


FOUR.
New Clothes.

I've been in the market for some new clothes lately but I'm having the hardest time finding anything I like. I want something fitted but not too tight. Something loose but not too boxy. Something reasonably priced (or on sale!) and not too expensive. Something nice but not too fancy (and toddler proof). Something short sleeve and good for summer. I've literally had the same outfits on repeat for the past couple weeks (and someone said something yesterday - oops!) so I thought I would add a couple new items to the rotation. I'm kinda liking this tank top from Loft. It's simple but fun and looks perfect for summer but I don't know!
Help! Mamas, where do you like to shop?


FIVE.
Natives.


My mother-in-law got Mason come of these shoes last week and I was skeptical. I'd heard about how they were so awesome, but I was worried Mr. Big Foot's foot wouldn't fit into them as his feet are kind of wide. BUT lo and behold, they fit! I think my search for the perfect sandal for summer might be over. Though these aren't really sandals so I think I may still be able to justify a sandal purchase...


Happy Friday and happy long weekend!




[It's the Little Things] Exploring in Your Own Backyard

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I use the term 'backyard' loosely seeing as how we don't really have a backyard, but we do have a nice patch of grass off to the side kinda near our carport... it's hard to explain, so hopefully you get the idea.

Anyway, we came home from running errands and Costco the other day and were unloading the car when Mason decided he wanted to go exploring. Usually I am wanting to go inside and sit down and relax when we get home (or have lunch on this particular day) and whenever Mason runs off (in the wrong direction), I just go grab him and bring him inside. And he's usually fine with it.

But on this day, I decided to let him be and see what he would do. So I let Seth do the heavy lifting and bring all the groceries inside and I wandered off to follow Mason. We literally were out there for almost 30 minutes when Seth texted me to find out where we went.

There really are no words needed when you are watching your kids explore so I will let the pictures do the talking for themselves.



Sometimes you just need to let your kids be kids and let them explore the great outdoors.

#letthembelittle


[Autism Diagnosis] Thoughts and Feelings from a Mother with a Child with Autism

Monday, May 18, 2015

First off, before I say anything else, I just want to THANK EVERYONE for their overwhelming love and support and encouragement for our family. The overwhelming outpouring of love was, well, overwhelming. I cannot thank you all enough and I can't even find the right words to say, but THANK YOU. Seriously, it means the world to know that you all are in our corner, fighting right along side with us to find the best for Mason.

***

I'll be honest. I cried my eyes out while I wrote Friday's post. I cried and I typed and I wiped the tears so I could type some more. I didn't really know what I was writing, but I wanted to get my thoughts on 'paper'. Writing helps me. I have the hardest time expressing myself verbally sometimes and am so much better writing it down. When I initially sat down to write the post, I just wanted to get my ideas down and then I figured I would go back and alter it and proof read. But when I proof read it, I thought it was perfect. There wasn't one thing I wanted to add or change.

So, how am I really doing? I'm not sure. Like I said. This diagnosis doesn't define Mason. He is the same sweet, caring, loving boy that he was the day before he was diagnosed. We don't treat him any differently (as we should). On that day, we were given a piece to the 'Mason puzzle' and a tool to help us help him. I know this isn't a death sentence. He is not sick. But, I'm only human and I'll be brutally honest, I can't help but think "why me?" "why us?" "why Mason?". I'm sure someone somewhere thinks we can handle this and I know we can, but I still wonder, why. I think that is a normal question to ask. I mean it can be applicable for anything. It is common for people to wonder why.

When I was pregnant, everything was great. Everyday was rainbows and unicorns and I was in heaven knowing that come July 2012, I was welcoming a beautiful baby boy. Mason was born and I was instantly in love. My motherly instincts came in right away and I knew what he needed and what to do. I was in love. He was perfect.

He had silent reflux and it was hard. I couldn't breastfeed. Things weren't going quite how I imagined.  I'd read books, blogs, and magazines and the way things were going wasn't how I pictured my maternity leave going. It was harder than I thought. But things got better, I eventually went back to work, and we fell into a routine. Milestones were met, milestones weren't met, but we didn't think anything was wrong. Boys are just slower, right?

But time proved that that's not totally true. Sometimes boys aren't just slow, sometimes kids need help. And here we are. Many tests and evaluations later and we have determined that Mason has autism. I struggle with how much of our story I want to share on the internet, for all to read. How much is too much? BUT at the same time, finding blogs with moms with kid's with autism, moms who are honest and who share about their story have been SO helpful to me. I've found two (one with help! Thank you Laureen!) that hit so, so close to home. I cried while reading their stories. How did they know how I feel? Are they in my head?

Day to day, I am fine. I am ok with the diagnosis, I had already thought it was coming. But in all reality, I was hoping I was wrong. Nobody wants anything to be wrong with their child, no matter how big or small. Nobody wants to be told, by a doctor, that their kid will need extra help.

Now I know I am skipping from steps 1-100 to step 101 but I can't help but think of the future. Will Mason need to be in special education classes? Can he be in mainstream classes? How will that effect him? How will that effect the others? Will he need an aide to be with him? How will others react? How will others treat him? (<-- that's the BIGGEST question for me. and the one that makes me cry the most when I think about it.)

I would give ANYTHING to be there to be able to protect him. ANYTHING. But I know he will need to stand up for himself.

Like I said, I've skipped way past steps 1-100 and have gone straight to 101 and don't even know if any of this will happen. Only time will tell. And I know I need to let time run it's course, but it's SO hard not to think of all the 'what ifs' and what will happen to your child. I want to protect him so bad. I want to make it ok. I want to make it good. I know it will crush me to my core if he comes home from school one day to tell me that a mean kid made fun of him.

Parenting. All the emotions. All of the time.



A Letter to My Son with Autism

Friday, May 15, 2015

Dear Mason,

A little over a month ago, on Thursday, April 9, 2015, you were diagnosed with autism. Even though we had had some suspicions for a while, to hear the doctor say "Mason has autism" and to see the ADOS report say "diagnosis : autism" struck me hard. We thought you aced the test with flying colors and we were going to be wrong. We just knew that the doctor was going to tell us that you were fine and it was all a big mistake. I knew I had overreacted. But I wasn't wrong.

I was overwhelmed with all of the information that I was given. I didn't know where to go or where to start. Our world had just been rattled and I didn't know where to go from there. I thank my lucky stars that we have such a wonderful person in our life who could help us, who had been through the same thing. I talked to her on the phone for over an hour that night, picking her brain, asking her questions, hearing her story. She helped me in ways I can't even thank her enough for. I didn't cry. I was optimistic. We can do this.

We told our family all we knew and could comprehend. I don't want this to be a secret. This is a part of you. You are a part of us. We will get through this together.

People keep asking me and your dad if we are ok, and to be honest, I think we are. I know we are. You are no different today than you were on April 8. Nothing has changed except we were given more tools to help you thrive and grow.

Then the other day I stumbled across this post and she said everything I was thinking. Reading that post made me cry. I couldn't believe that someone had put into words exactly what I was feeling and thinking.

Your life today, as a newly diagnosed child with autism, will be very different than your life in a few years. Early intervention is key and I am so happy that we were able to get this diagnosis now, while you're two, rather than many years down the road. I see how well you respond to your speech classes and how much of a sponge your little brain is. I know this early diagnosis will only benefit you as you learn and grow in the coming years. And right now, there are still so many unknowns. We are still waiting to go to your follow up ENT appointment in June. Who knows, maybe he will still see fluid, you will get tubes, and your speech will take off. Maybe the fact that your hearing is muffled due to the fluid and minor hearing loss causes you to be so focused on one toy that you don't hear the sounds of other toys making noise in the background. Maybe once you can hear better, you will stop putting everything (non-food related) in your mouth and you can fully experience toys and writing utensils with all of your senses. I know this diagnosis is just one part of the puzzle. And there are so many that are still missing. In due time, we will see and learn more and as we learn more, the puzzle might change.


This diagnosis does not define you. You are still the same sweet, loving, caring, amazing little boy that we've always known. You are friendly, you are outgoing, you are fearless. You are a joy to be around. And your dad and I... we will make sure we give you every tool you need to grow, learn, and thrive. I can't wait to enroll you in kindergarten and cry my eyes out that my little boy is growing up too fast. I can't wait to see you make your first science fair project. I can't wait to see you play sports. I can't wait to see you graduate high school and to help you move into a dorm at college and then really cry my eyes out that my little boy really is ALL grown up. And furthermore, I can't wait to meet the girl you know you are going to marry and then walk you down the aisle to wait for her. One day (long, LONG from now), you will make me a Grandma and make me the happiest I've ever been to hold a baby since July 18, 2012, the day you were born.

I never thought of myself as a parent of a child with special needs. But here we are, here I am. A parent of a child with autism. And while that might be true and we might have some hurdles we need to jump over, you, your dad, and I are no different than we were on April 8. And I intend to treat you exactly the same way I did on that day from this day forward. I am constantly in awe and inspired by you. You make me want to be a better mama. I love you more with every day that passes.

Love always and forever,
Your mama

[Recipe Share] St. Louis Style Pork Ribs with Asian Ginger Marinade

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media®  Smithfield® and Farmland®, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #GetUpandGrill #GetFiredUpGrilling http://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH

I mentioned in yesterday's post that we had some AMAZING ribs with our Mother's Day dinner. They were seriously SO GOOD that I wanted to share the recipe with you.

**

I also think I mentioned last week that last Wednesday I randomly had off from work. It was GLORIOUS. A mommy mental health day if you will. I know that sounds awful, that I enjoyed a day by myself, away from my family, but hey, every once in a while, a mama needs a day of rest. So, what's a girl to do when she has a day off all by herself? Shop of course! A new Walmart opened nearby my house about a year ago and I'd been wanting to check it out. People always talk about what a good deal they got there, but before now, there wasn't really one convenient or close to home, so I just never went. Then when this one opened, it was SO CROWDED looking in the parking lot (when I would go to my beloved Starbucks drive thru I would notice) so I never went in but one time. Evidently, the people I talked to were right, good deals. So when I had a random weekday off, I thought I would try it again. And it was much, much less crowded than the weekend day I went. A girl could get used to having Wednesdays off.

Anyway, long story short, I went in for a few things and found these ribs. I like ribs. I've had them a few times at Lucille's and our friend Matt made some delicious ones a couple months ago. But I never found them at the grocery store, so I kind of forgot about them. Until I heard that Walmart carried some. So, on my day off, I headed over there, found them, and grabbed them. Apparently I live under a rock because the rib section was packed with people and they were all looking at these Farmland ribs. Now I don't know a whole lot about meat, that's usually Seth's area of expertise, but these St. Louis style ribs looked pretty good to me.

These Farmland Extra Tender St. Louis Style Pork Spareribs were some of the best ribs I've ever eaten. Seth would say that is due to his excellent grilling techniques, and while I'm sure that had something to do with it, the meat was just that good. No joke, everyone was devouring the ribs and asking "where did you get these?! they are DELICIOUS." And Seth would say "Liz got them at Walmart" and they would all turn and look at me like I lived on Mars.

But let me start from the beginning. The marinade. I told Seth he was in charge of making the marinade for these ribs and that he needed to do some research. I immediately opened Pinterest for him to search and explained to him how to use it and he says "wouldn't google work just as well?" Touché, Seth, touché. I suppose google would work just as well, though, personally, I think my way was better. Anyway, he ended up finding an Asian ginger marinade that he used as his base and then altered it based on what we had on hand. And, I mean, really, anything that has brown sugar in the recipe has GOT to be good, right? Right.

It all started on Friday night when Seth made the marinade and started the rib prep for Sunday. As much as raw meat grosses me out, these things were looking pretty good already. He poured the marinade over the ribs and wrapped them up and put them in the fridge until Sunday.



ORIGINAL RECIPE // allrecipes.com Asian ginger marinade

INGREDIENTS:

-- 1/3 cup soy sauce (we substituted the teriyaki aminos since we had some leftover from our whole30 and it was gluten free for Seth's mom)
-- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
-- 2 tablespoons honey (we used brown sugar instead)
-- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
-- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
-- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
-- 1 tablespoon chopped green onion or shallot (we used green onion)
-- 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds
-- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:
1. Whisk together soy sauce (teriyaki aminos), rice vinegar, honey (brown sugar), sesame oil, garlic, ginger, green onion, sesame seeds, and pepper until the honey (brown sugar) has dissolved.



It's really that easy!

Seth wrapped up the tin foil and covered the ribs and stuck the tray in the fridge until Sunday. The ribs marinated away in that delicious brown sugar mixture and were ready to go come Sunday!

Sunday I headed out for my massage and mani/pedi around 11am, Seth and Mason headed out to run some errands and then back for Mason to nap and for Seth to start the ribs. He decided to use these instructions for cooking the ribs on our gas grill but found that there were lots of instructions for cooking your ribs inside in the oven if it is not quite grilling weather where you live.

I came home from my massage and mani/pedi to the house smelling FANTASTIC. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it smelled like something I had eaten before, and it smelled amazing. And I was pretty bummed that it was only 3:30pm and I had to wait until at least 6pm to eat.

Shortly after I got home, Papa came over and commented on how good the house was smelling. I finished getting ready for dinner, we played with Mason, we had some appetizers, and around 5:30pm, our family came over for dinner. Around 6pm, everything was done. We had tri tip, chicken, and ribs as our main dish...





... but the ribs were BY FAR the hit of the night. I mean, I'll let this pan speak for itself.



Thankfully I started off with two because if I had only taken one, I would have been out of luck for seconds! The meat was so perfectly cooked that it just fell off the bones as you tried to pick it up. No joke, I CANNOT wait to pick up more of these ribs. They be my new Saturday night dinner go-to.

We paired our main dishes with parmesan zucchini and corn and crusted new potatoes which were a nice compliment to the ribs.



If you're in the market for ribs, I HIGHLY recommend these Farmland Extra Tender St. Louis Style Pork Spareribs. They were not only some of the best ribs I've ever eaten, but THE best ribs I've ever eaten. And even better? They are available at Walmart. 

If you're in the market for a marinade for your own meat, I also HIGHLY recommend this recipe. Trust me. You won't be disappointed. However, if this marinade is not your thing, I'd definitely recommend that you visit the Get Fired Up Grilling website www.getfiredupgrilling.com for additional recipes and tips from BBQ Pitmasters Moe Cason and Tuffy Stone. Also enter to win a trip to the American Royal BBQ contest and other great grilling prizes! The options are endless.

Happy Grilling!




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