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7.08.2014

All My Fault


The anxiety is overwhelming.  It feels like the life is literally being sucked out of me and I can feel the pressure over every inch of my body.  The worst is in my chest.  It feels like my soul is being crushed; which is funny, because that is exactly what anxiety is, it is soul crushing.  The worry is physically painful, and completely irrational.  Until you've been there, you really can't understand how the anxiety, worry, and pain can co-exist with knowing it is all irrational and not being able to do anything about it.

I try to breathe but the pressure is so intense. It's hard to do anything, to think about anything else. I try to distract myself but the thoughts are all consuming. Yet, life exists outside of my anxiety and life must go on.  The need to hide this from everyone else is almost as terrible and trying to do so just makes the feelings more intense.  I sit at my desk pretending that everything is ok.  Those around me go on with their day, oblivious to the pain flowing through my veins.

I try so hard to cope.  I try to rely on my faith. I try to pray, to trust. But even the strongest faith isn't enough. This fact makes me feel like less of a Christian. Why isn't my faith enough? I pray for healing, for peace. More often than not it doesn't come. I don't understand. Even some understanding would bring a little peace.

Eventually the feelings bubble over and those around me have to take the brunt of my feelings.  I say things that hurt those I love and, in doing so, hurt myself.  As much as I wish I had a choice whether I feel these things, I don't. However my loved ones do. And they can choose to leave. Sometimes they do and the pain my heart feels is unlike even the pain the anxiety causes.  So many ruined relationships, all my fault.

I know that I can't do it alone.  Those who have weathered the storm help just by still being around. Professionals help too. But their help pushes me to the depths of my emotions. Its hard to feel better. And it's easy to give up. But I know I can't. Sometimes I need the anxiety to remind me.  I just hope I don't ruin another relationship in the process of remembering how to cope.  Maybe one day, I'll find the one who will love me enough to stick around through the hard times, long enough to experience how truly beautiful the after can be.

6.30.2014

How To Grill The Best BBQ Ribs + Rub Recipe

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

One of my favorite parts of summer is firing up the grill and having a big cookout with friends!  With the 4th of July fast approaching, I wanted to create an all-American menu for a cookout on my favorite holiday!  I thought that BBQ ribs would be the perfect dish!

Having never cooked ribs before, I wanted to do a test run before the 4th of July.  I was a little intimidated by the thought of grilling ribs on a charcoal grill so I did a little research first!  The BBQ Pitmasters website was really helpful with some great grilling tips and recipes!

After I had done my research, I headed to Wal-Mart to pick up the new Smithfield All Natural Ribs.  I was really excited to try these because they are free from artificial ingredients, preservatives or added steroids or hormones and I'm always looking for ways to make my diet less processed and artificial.  While I was in the store, I noticed that Smithfield also offers an All Natural pork tenderloin which I can't wait to grill up next!  Make sure to print out your $1 off coupon here while supplies last.


Next I set out to recreate a delicious rub I had a few weeks ago.  The place that sells the rub is about 30 minutes from where I lived so I decided to try to make it myself instead of driving all the way out there!  Let me tell you, this rub was amazing!

THE BEST BBQ RUB

1/2 c. paprika
1/4 c. garlic powder
1/4 c. chili powder
3 tbsp. hickory salt
3 tbsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. white sugar
2 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. celery salt
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried thyme
3 tsp. cumin
3 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground allspice
2 tsp. ground ginger

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Makes about 2 cups.  Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months

After preparing the rub, I cleaned the ribs and removed the membrane along the bones.  I coated the ribs with some coconut oil and then slathered them in the rub.  I wrapped them in tin foil and let them refrigerate for 8 hours.

The next day I prepared the grill to smoke the ribs.  Like I said, I was a little intimidated by what I read online but it was so easy!  I got two aluminum pans and put one on the bottom grate to act as a drip pan and to keep the coals to one side.  I started the coals in the chimney and then added them to the bottom grate when they were ready.  I also added 4 chunks of hickory smoked wood.



On the top rack of the grill, I places the other aluminum pan directly above the coals and filled it with water.  The two slabs of ribs went on the other side above the drip pan.  It is very important that the ribs are not directly above the coals.

I "smoked" them for about 2 hours, flipping them every 30 minutes and refilling the pan with water as necessary.


They smelled so good!  I couldn't wait to slice them up and try them!  These Smithfield All Natural Ribs sure didn't disappoint!  They were so delicious!  The meat was so tender and fell right off the bone.  They were so moist that I didn't even need to add BBQ sauce, the rub provided plenty of flavor and they didn't need anything else.



They were both boyfriend and child approved which is a win in my book!  Smithfield "All Natural" ribs and this rub recipe will be the perfect addition to your backyard BBQ!

Make sure to come back later this week for more 4th of July cookout recipes!

6.20.2014

Father's Day Weekend 2014

A few months ago, my dad decided to book a trip to come to North Carolina and visit me for a weekend.  We decided on June 13-15 not even realizing that it was Father's Day weekend.  When I realized it, I knew that I wanted to plan a fun weekend for my dad.  I decided to throw a fun cook-out on Saturday.  I thought it would be a fun way for my dad to meet some of my friends (and some other special people) while enjoying our beautiful North Carolina weather.  It was a blast!  The food was great and the company was even greater!  I didn't get any pictures of me and my dad but here are some snapshots of the day!


  






















 The pups had a great time and were just so tuckered out!  They kept coming inside to hide from the kids and get a nap!  Guess they were hitting the beverages a little too hard!
{Don't worry, it was empty and washed out}