My New Favorite BBQ Sauce {GIVEAWAY!}

Happy Memorial Day to you all! We remember all of the heroes who have served and who are actively serving for our country. They are the reason we are free. God bless each and every one of them and their loved ones. Their bravery should never go unnoticed.

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Switching gears….

Did you know that May is National Barbecue Month?! Austin, Texas-based Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q reached out to me to see if I would like to help them celebrate the kickoff of BBQ season. Of course I would! We are all about BBQ’ing all year round over here.

Craft-made Stubb’s, the leader in authentic BBQ sauces, rubs and marinades, is the only nationally available BBQ sauce brand (available in 85% grocery stores) to carry the Gluten-Free Organization Certification seal and contain no high fructose corn syrup (the first ingredient in most national BBQ sauce brands.) The company is also working with the Non-GMO Project to verify its line!

I have seen Stubb’s sauce on the shelves but have always reached for the brands I recognize, not even minding the label very often which is something I normally read! After buying the Stubb’s sauce and comparing the labels between the two, my mind was blown. I am convinced I will never buy any other brand. Besides the above mentioned nutritional details, Stubb’s BBQ sauce also has HALF of the sugar grams in their sauce! I mean comparing 16 grams to 8 grams! That’s a lot!

Stubb’s offers a variety of bar-b-q sauces, marinades, liquid smokes, rubs, cooking sauces, anytime sauces, and more.

So far I’ve only tried three of their products, but I am THRILLED to have learned about this brand and can’t wait to try more!

STUBBS BBQ

Along with providing coupons for me to try out their products, Stubb’s also sent me a bunch of great recipes to try! I decided to try their Cowboy Burger recipe first which included Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite BBQ sauce, their Beef Marinated, Mesquite Liquid Smoke, and Beef Rub.

Here is the recipe!

Stubb’s Cowboy Burger

Ingredients

2.5 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite Bar-B-Q Sauce
2 Tbsp. Stubb’s Beef Marinade
1/4 tsp. Stubb’s Mesquite Liquid Smoke (optional)
1 tsp Stubb’s Beef Rub
1 large yellow onion, cut into slices
Shredded cheddar cheese
Bacon slices, cooked crisp
Onion Rolls or Hamburger Buns
Toppings of your choice

Cooking Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, Bar-B-Q sauce, Stubb’s Beef Marinade, liquid smoke (optional) and Stubb’s Beef Spice Rub. Use your hands to mix well. Once combined, separate the mixture to make six patties. Make a slight indent with your thumb in middle of each patty to keep it from swelling while on the grill.

Prepare your grill for direct medium-heat cooking. Lightly oil the grates and place your burger on the grill, indent side up. Cook burgers for 12-14 minutes or until preferred doneness (160°F) turning once during cooking. While burgers are cooking, add the onion slices to the grill and cook until lightly charred and soft, turning once. Also toast the buns.

To serve, top burgers with Bar-B-Q sauce, bacon, grilled onion and shredded cheese. Add additional toppings to your liking.

TIP: To cook the bacon for this burger, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay bacon on top. Cook in a preheated oven at 375°F for 15-20 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to cool.

STUBBS BBQ

K, so I forgot the bacon but would you believe that I hardly even missed it?! This burger packs SO much flavor! I was so excited about it I repeatedly said to Dana, “omg this is so good” and snuck in bites of extra burger once I was done with mine.

And another confession, when I thawed out the ground beef from the freezer, I accidentally grabbed one pack of ground chicken and one pack of ground beef. I realized it once I was pouring the sauces on the meat. I made sure to cook the burgers to well-done because of this.

It’s okay though because they turned out GREAT. The burgers just shrunk more than usual. They started off the size of this sandwich bun, and ended up like this…

STUBBS BBQ

 

STUBBS BBQ

STUBBS BBQ

I savored every bite of this baby.

STUBBS BBQ    STUBBS BBQ

 

YUM! I’m not kidding I am CRAZY about this flavor! No more boring burgers this summer!!!

Do you want to try Stubb’s sauce for your next BBQ?! Here’s your chance to win some coupons for free Stubb’s products!

To enter to win, write a comment on this post telling me your favorite summer BBQ foods. Bonus points if you share this post on Facebook or Twitter (make sure and comment on this post if you do so to get an extra entry!).

Giveaway will close Thursday, May 28th at 9 pm central time. I will choose one winner on Friday May 29th!

Let’s hear it!

One Lucky Mama

The perfect Mother’s Day weekend…

On Saturday we went to Bode’s swim lessons and then for a family 3.5 mile run around a nearby lake. The weather was so beautiful which made for a very enjoyable run. I am very excited to get back into running shape. I want to add a half mile on to each week and build up my endurance slowly but surely!

After our run we went and got our BOGO Caribou coffee. They offered BOGO on both May 9th and 10th so of course I had to take them up on that offer both days!

Hubby made us some BLT’s for lunch!

blt

Bode and I watched Dana mow the yard. Bode really liked watching him walk back and forth!

For dinner we grilled up some steaks from our local co-op, red potatoes with onions, and broccoli. Seriously so good. BTW right now I have a little man grabbing at the computer so I need to hurry this post up!

steak

On Mother’s Day (Sunday), Dana got me Caribou and doughnuts in the morning while I was feeding the baby! Have I mentioned how much I now love doughnuts? It all started during pregnancy and it’s a love that hasn’t left. That and burgers!

caribou coffee and doughnut

I was royally spoiled by my family. It’s fun being a mama on Mother’s Day!! Have you all tried the strawberry shortcake Larabars? I am super excited to try them!

Mothers day treats

Sunday night we celebrated my dad’s birthday along with Mother’s Day and I made one of my “famous” ice cream cakes! Caramel chocolate ice cream, Oreos and hot fudge in the center, topped with more ice cream, Oreos and sprinkles of course! So pretty and very tasty! All for under $10!

ice cream cake

The festivities continued into Monday…just how I like it! We celebrated with Dana’s parents and had pizza and pie!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I am one lucky mama.

I am linking up with Becky today!

My To-Do List

Oh well hello!

I can’t believe how fast time goes by without me saying ‘hey’ to you all on here! When people say life gets busy once kids are involved, they aren’t kidding. I LOVE it, I just haven’t been very motivated to write on the ol’ blog.

As far as recipe sharing goes, I don’t have much to offer. I’ve been pretty lame with our meals. Besides that, if I do make something completely delicious, I never write down the ingredients! I’m hoping as time marches on, I will be able to get back into that again.

from scratch

My little sweet man is now six months old. WHAT?! How did that happen! He is very interested in food and I am offering a mix of the “baby led weaning” route and offering solid foods as well as offering soft foods like ground oatmeal with breastmilk and applesauce. His #1 is still breastmilk and this mama is very proud of it. I worked darn hard to make that happen.

He is now sitting up on his own. He loves going for runs and walks in his stroller, blowing bubbles, swimming, standing (with our help of course), giggling, sticking his tongue out, jumping, putting his toes in his mouth. He is a joy!

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The purpose of this post is for me to put together a list of to-do items I want to tackle at one point or another! These are not my typical daily items to-do items like fold the laundry, get the diaper bag ready for daycare, etc. These are fun ones; some that need to happen very soon, others that can wait.

I want to make:

1. Homemade sunscreen with carrot seed oil! I’m planning on using this recipe I think…http://www.mommypotamus.com/how-to-make-non-toxic-homemade-sunscreen/

2. More bibs! I have really been into making baby bibs. They are super easy and I have been up-cycling old t-shirts!

3. Lavender lemon sugar hand scrub! Yum!

4. These chicken bombs! http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-bombs-499604

chicken bombs

5. A hair appointment. K this list is kind of random but my hair is getting very long! Most days I end up putting it back in a bun or a braid because someone’s little paws like to pull all my hairs out! I want to keep it long but I do need a little trim.

Image-1

6. Sign up for a race! I’m thinking a 10k.

Lastly, I Need To…

7. Start packing! We are MOVING! We bought a new house and will be building just about 15 minutes from where we are now! Our new home will be built by the fall so we will be living with family for the summer! We are VERY excited!

That’s it for now. That’s a hefty list given that I’m lucky to get a shower in on most days. :wink:

I’ll leave you with this…

motherhood

#truth

I hope you are all well!

What are some of your FUN To-Do DIY projects??!

Friday Favs: Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Happy Friday! Little man could wake up from his nap at any moment but I really wanted to get this post out so I’m making it snappy!! I noticed the theme of this post is chocolate and peanut butter…it doesn’t get much better!

FRIDAY FAVS! Linking up with my lady, Katie!

1. Shrimp, veggie, and black bean noodle fresh spring rolls. Inside the roll: black bean noodles (from Costco), carrots, green onions, cucumber, shrimp and basil. The best part of this whole plate: the peanut sauce! 

shrimp spring rolls

2. This trio of oils to help me fight through seasonal allergies…allergy trio young living

3. Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse pie made by yours truly for Easter. I used this recipe: Chocolate Bottomed Peanut Butter Pie and used almond milk instead of cow’s milk because that’s what I had on hand. This pie did not disappoint!peanut butter chocolate pie

4. Thieves household cleaner. We use this to clean our entire house! Chemical-free is the way to be. I love love the cinnamon smell!thieves cleaner

5. This snack mix from my Easter basket that I demolished in less than 48 hours. My favorite part was the large M & M eggs of course!snack mix

6. Watching Bode grow and develop such a fun personality! He is giggling so much and snickering and nothing makes me happier than hearing those sweet little sounds!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Ham, Bacon & Potato Soup

What oh what to do with those delicious Easter leftovers from yesterday’s celebrations? Make some soup of course!

Ham, bacon, potato, veggies…..you know you want to.

ham bacon and potato soup   ham bacon and potato soup

I whipped this together in about 45 minutes and was SO pleased with the end result!

After I snapped these photos I sprinkled a generous handful of cheddar cheese on top so that it melted into this perfect bowl of soup. Um, YUM!

Recipe adapted/inspired from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cheesy-ham-chowder

Ham, Bacon & Potato Soup
Print
Serves: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 5 pieces of bacon (I used turkey bacon)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 1½ cups potato, chopped into about 1 inch pieces
  • ½ cup corn
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup ham, diced
  • cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • green onions, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon until crispy using your preferred method. I cooked mine on the stove top in a large pan. Remove from heat once cooked through. Let cool. Once cool, chop into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. In that same pan, saute onion, carrots, and celery in butter. Cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.
  3. Add potato, corn, chicken broth, water, and black pepper to the pan. Simmer for 25 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Add cooked ham and cooked bacon to the pan. Stir. Let simmer for 10 more minutes.
  5. Serve hot with cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions (all optional).

Go get busy in the kitchen.

Pumping Breastmilk While Traveling Without Baby (Stress-Free)

This post is still food related, just in the form of food for baby: breastmilk! I have been through quite the whirlwind of a breastfeeding journey. I would love to share that story some day but first I want to share my experience with pumping breastmilk on a vacation to the Bahamas without baby in tow. I learned a lot in planning and executing and would love to help anyone else who may be planning to travel away from baby!

I bet you didn’t even know I went to the Bahamas huh? We went for a few days while little Bode stayed with Grandma and Grandpa. Saying good-bye obviously brought me to tears but I was still able to enjoy myself while we were there. How could I not with these views?

bahamas bahamas

And these chocolates waiting for us in our room…

bahamas

And this handsome husband…

bahamas

And swimming with the dolphins!

bahamas

Ok, back on subject now. Pumping while traveling away from baby.

Now, mind you, I am someone who really doesn’t mind nursing in public with a cover on. I realize some people aren’t comfortable with this and that is okay. But you know what, we all eat in public, and baby needs to eat too!

Pumping while traveling away from baby took some planning. I needed to figure out how I would pump with the flying and travel time, what I would do with the milk once it was pumped, how I would get it home, etc.

In my carry-on bag:

  • Breastpump including all of the parts
  • Covers for the pumped milk in medela bottles
  • Quick clean wipes (Medela makes these to use when you don’t have access to water to clean your parts)
  • Gallon ziploc bag for the used pump parts after they were cleaned
  • Nursing cover
  • Pump bra
  • Breast pads
  • Breastmilk storage bags (used while at the resort, not on the flight)

What I wore:

On the way out, I made sure to wear something that I could easily slide down inconspicuously underneath the nursing cover. I wore a maxi skirt, a tank top and nursing bra with a cardigan. A nursing tank would be great too. On the way home I managed with a different t-shirt and it worked out ok because I knew I didn’t have to pump in flight.

Pumping on the Plane:

Did you know most planes have electric outlets by the seats? I learned that on this trip (hubby told me ahead of time). You can use them to charge your phone, laptop, or for a breastpump!

When it came time to pump, I got my pump all plugged in, grabbed the pump parts, draped the nursing cover over my head, put on the pumping bra, got all set up with the pump parts, plugged her in and turned on the pump! The plane’s white noise is so loud that no one even heard the “wee-wop” of the pump!

Once I was done pumping, I casually cleaned up. I took off the pump parts and the nursing bra, situated my clothes, took off the nursing cover, put the covers on the medela milk bottles, cleaned the pump parts, turned off the pump and put everything away.

TA DA! It can be done!

On the way home I pumped in the airport in the Bahamas. Unlike other airports, there was nowhere private for me to pump (that I knew of anyway) so I plunked myself down in a quiet area of the airport and did my thing. There was one older lady walking laps and she gave me a weird look—I gave her a weird look right back. :wink: Kidding. Kinda. I don’t care.

pumping airport

Storing Pumped Milk

Before we arrived at our resort, we contacted them and asked for a room with a fridge. This was arranged and all of my pumped milk went into the fridge. We were only staying at the resort for three days so the plan was to refrigerate the milk for those few days and then freeze it when I got home. Otherwise if I were to freeze it at the resort, and then if it were to thaw in flight, I would have to use it within 24 hours “technically.” The milk can be refrigerated fresh for five days. Another huge time saver was I bought some medela pump bags that attach right to the pump so you don’t have to worry about pumping into the bottle and then pouring into the bags to refrigerate or freeze.

Getting the Milk Home

Again, some pre-planning involved here. I bought a little collapsible cooler and brought it along. Right before we left for our flight home, I double checked that all of the pumped milk bags were sealed tightly, placed them upright in the cooler bag and headed to the airport. Once we were at the airport, we had a bartender fill up a ziploc bag (one we provided) with ice. We placed the bag of ice on the milk. This kept the milk cold and at safe temperatures all the way home! Once we arrived home, we froze the milk!

Ta da…again, it can be done!

Other Thoughts

  • When we got to the resort, our room wasn’t ready. At this point it had been about six hours since I had last pumped, and I was getting uncomfortable. I was bummed that the resort didn’t offer me a space to pump when I asked them. I did bring a manual breastpump and in hindsight I should have just gone somewhere and used that but manual breastpumps really suck. HA! But it is good to have it along in case of emergencies.
  • On vacation, it is easy to get dehydrated. Make sure you are drinking PLENTY of WATER!
  • If you are going to enjoy a Bahama mama, make sure you plan it out accordingly with when you will be pumping. Ex: pump and then enjoy soon after.

Did I miss anything? Let me know!

This may all seem like a lot of work, but in all honesty, it wasn’t that bad. If it’s worth it to you, you will make it work!

If you have any questions fee free to email me at beautifullynutty@gmail.com. Obviously I’m no expert, but I did do it once and feel pretty good about what I learned! I would love to help others be successful with this and make it as stress-free as possible!

I Wish Someone Would Have Warned Me…

I am feeling incredibly warm and fuzzy (and emotional) after reading a post written by Jen Hatmaker titled, “I Wish Someone Would Have Warned Me About All These Big Feelings.”

Link: http://community.today.com/parentingteam/post/i-wish-someone-wouldve-warned-me-about-these-big-feelings

She puts into words how it feels to be a mom and describes the way we feel about our kids.

The love that we have for our children is a love that we could never imagine in our wildest dreams. It’s a kind of love that almost scares you because it is so BIG and it is the best thing in the world. You can’t ever imagine the thought of loving your child more than you already do and then you wake up the next day, and see that sweet smile, and you realize that you love them even MORE than you did yesterday. How is that possible? The heart is capable of so much love. How can one little human have so much power over a person?

I don’t need to add much more because her article speaks for itself. Please read it!

I love my little Bode with all of my heart and soul.

How to Make State Canvas Art

A lovely friend of mine wanted me to share how I made this little beauty…

minnesota state art

And I’m not about to let her down, so here it goes!

How to Make Canvas State Art:

1. I went to the craft store and bought:

  • A white canvas: choose whatever size works best for your space
  • A piece of heavier duty gold glitter paper
  • Navy blue spray paint
  • Red puffy paint
  • Super glue

2. At home, I sprayed the canvas (outside) covering the surface completely. I let it dry and did a second coat. Again, let dry.

3. Meanwhile, google your state and print out it’s shape. I had to copy and paste mine into a word document and then enlarge it to get the size I wanted. Once printed, carefully cut out the paper state.

4. Lay the cut out state onto the backside of your glitter paper (making sure that the state will be the correct way, glitter side up once cut out; this means the state needs to be backwards when traced on the back of the glitter paper. Think about it). Use a pencil to trace the state. Carefully cut it out.

5. Once canvas is completely dried, carefully super glue the glitter state onto the center of the canvas.

6. Use puffy paint to draw a heart where your home city lies!

7. Hang art where you desire and enjoy!

Imperfections are not a big deal! They give the art more character. :wink:

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Soft Serve with Almond Breeze

Thank you for all of the love on my last post. It means so much to us. Each day is getting a little bit easier but I still find myself doing things like closing the bathroom door when we leave the house (so he doesn’t sneak in and raid the garbage) and waiting for his howl when the UPS guy comes by. It will take a long time to get used to not having our big guy around. Forever loved and remembered.

moose

 

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On a different note…

I teamed up with Blue Diamond Almond Breeze and whipped up an incredibly delicious (and healthy) dessert or snack!

I’ve mentioned it before and I will mention it again: Banana Soft Serve. This time I added cocoa powder and peanut butter to create Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Soft Serve!!

chocolate peanut butter banana soft serve

This is the EASIEST dessert ever!

All you need is:

  • frozen bananas (about one medium or large banana per person)
  • A few splashes of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 scoop of peanut butter (I generally use Smuckers Natural but used Smart Balance this time)
  • 1 heaping spoonful of cocoa powder (add more or less to your liking)
  • Optional: vanilla wafers and sprinkles to top the creamy soft serve

almond breeze banana soft serve

In your blender, blend bananas, almond milk, cocoa powder, and peanut butter until smooth and creamy.

banana soft serve

banana soft serve

Serve it up and eat right away! Feel free to top the creamy soft serve with vanilla wafers, fresh berries, sprinkles, chocolate chips, whipped cream, or whatever you have around!

Smooth and creamy and such a naturally sweet little dessert!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

The Best Pup Ever

This past week, we lost our little fur baby way too early at just 7 young years. Moose passed suddenly from a massive tumor that had been growing around his spleen, under his rib cage. He showed no signs of pain or change. Dana and I were away on vacation when he passed and the vet said that was his gift to us; that we didn’t have to see him suffer at all. We got to see him as our happy big bear.

I never allowed myself to think much about what it would be like when he was gone, and now that I’m living it, it is so much harder than I could have even imagined. He was such a huge part of our lives and a loving member of our family. Everything we do reminds us of him. We keep thinking he is going to come running around the corner with one of his toys or greeting us when we get home from grocery shopping. It’s so strange not letting him outside, petting him as he goes by, and having him always by our side.

We miss him so dearly. He was seriously the best dog ever. His biggest fault was that he gave too many kisses. He was such a lover.

We will forever remember and love you our big Moosebear. I hope you are enjoying endless peanut butter, glorious runs, and lots of puppy friends in heaven. Thank you for all of the great memories!

moose and dana moose kisses for moose Moose polar dash 2013 moose moose and melanie moose moose