Memorial Day BBQ

While playing The Sims I have tried to throw many different parties and was extremely unsuccessful.  You have different tasks that you must complete in order to get a gold star for your party and move on to the next party level.  That is A L O T of work!  You have to be a good host.  You have to get everyone eating food at the same time.  You have to have entertainment.  You have to have everyone mingling.  When you break it down, the Sims is just preparing you for real life (grownup) parties.


So, I love any reason to have a BBQ and invite everyone over.  So now that Memorial Day is literally right around the corner the time has come for another BBQ!

You don’t have to get too festive in your decorating, but I like to come up with a few things at least!  So for this BBQ we will go red, white and blue colored theme.  Any reason to celebrate ‘Merica!

When I think of a BBQ I think of hotdogs, hamburgers, baked beans, deviled eggs, cookies etc… It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be good. Thank you for all the prepping Sims!


Hosting:

You want to be a good host and make sure that your house is inviting!  Clean up, make space available for people to mingle in different locations and offer refreshments and food.  You want your guests to feel comfortable in your environment (especially people that do not normally come over).

Food:

I think this is the most important part of the party.  You can win anyone over with good food!  I like to make sure that you have plenty of easy finger foods that do not require a lot of work.  You want people to have a good time and socialize while they are eating.  You don’t want to have a sit down dinner that requires them to be at a table. Hot dogs and hamburgers are a grab and go necessity for any BBQ.  They are easily customizable and require minimum work on your behalf.  Since we are going with the red, white and blue theme I decided to throw a couple of themed foods in there as well.

  • Pretzel sticks dipped in white chocolate and themed sprinkles.
  • American flag brownie dessert with vanilla frosting, blueberries and strawberries
  • Red, white and blue deviled eggs
  • Red White and Blue Pasta Salad
  • Pico (Red and White) with blue corn tortilla chips

     

I got these plastic star shaped bowls from Target for $9.  I will definitely be using them again for other parties.  I thought they were an easy and cheap addition for the Red, White and Blue theme!

Entertainment:

You want people to have things to do while at your house.  Eating is a good first step, but you will want to go a step farther.  We set up corn hole, ladder ball and had the dart board up in the garage.  Since most of our friends have kids, I set up a movie inside for them to watch and get out of the sun for a little break now and then!

So now that the BBQ was over, I must say it was a success.  Wish I would have taken some more pictures, but I just didn’t have time!  Too busy hosting!  What’s the next holiday that I can start planning for?  4th of July? Labor Day?

Love,

Bri

Typical Day in the Life of Me (Bri)!

Everyone’s days are different starting from the moment you wake up.

Personally I wake up revved and ready to go, but I am a morning person.  I usually wake up 5 minutes before my 6:00 alarm goes off.  I jump out of bed and immediately turn off my alarm.  I can tell you something I am not though… I AM NOT A SNOOZER.  People that snooze DRIVE me nuts!!!  My husband is a snoozer.  I have friends that are snoozers and I just don’t get it!

Although my weekends are very different the below is a look at my typical weekday!

6:00-7:00 AM I get up, shower and get myself completely ready for work. Once I am ready I get my daughter dressed and ready and we are out of the door by 7:05 AM.

7:05-7:10 AM I drop my daughter off at daycare and then head to work.

7:30 AM I get my work day started with a cup of coffee that consists of a French vanilla K-cup, 2 truvia packets and some Walden Farms French Vanilla Creamer (non dairy, zero calorie, sugar free)

8:30-9:00 AM I usually eat some kind of healthy protein/granola bar for breakfast.  Today I chose a blueberry Oatmega bar.  I have never had the blueberry flavor and I must say this was delicious!  It tasted like a blueberry muffin! 

9:00-11:30 AM I try to drink about 20-25 ounces of water before lunch.

12:00 PM is finally lunch time!  I am lucky if I make it until noon.  I am usually ready to eat at 11:00. So today I had sweet potatoes, eggs and turkey sausage topped with homemade pico. Yum!  Also drink another 15-20 ounces of water with lunch!

4:30 PM I am out the door and on to some kind of adventure.  Today is a gym day!  

4:45-6:00 PM I will spend this time running and doing some kind of weight training.  It is not a typical workout and I usually do whatever I am in the mood for, but I like it and it gives me the results that I want.  I will try to drink another 20 ounces of water after my workout!

You might already know this about me, but if not here you go…I get bored doing the same things over and over.  It absolutely kills me.  I can’t do rep after rep.  I have to change it up, ALOT!

6:15 PM time to go home and have dinner.  Usually this consists of me drinking a juice and eating another protein bar.  Sometimes I will actually make dinner, but not tonight!  Suja Berry Goodness FTW (For the win). 

6:45-9:00 PM This is my time to get my stuff situated for the next day and plan my work outfit.  I will also clean up, watch a movie, hang with the munchkin, write my blog, etc…Tonight I caught about 2 episodes of Supernatural (Season 3). Again drink another 20 ounces of water!

So as you can see I lead a pretty boring life. Nothing to crazy during the week!  The weekends are a little more adventurous!  

I always talk about how I hate to do the same thing over and over again, but honestly this is basically me monday through friday.  I even eat the same foods!  I am a walking contradiction, who am I kidding!

Have a great night!

Love,

Bri

 

Zucchini Spaghetti and Homemade Marinara

So eating healthy is not always easy.  Let’s be brutally honest.  IT IS DOWN RIGHT HARD AND IT SUCKS.   Well I found a great recipe that is healthy and will appeal to just about anyone!  WIN-WIN…

So zucchini spaghetti was never my idea of a good meal.  It actually sounded horrible, but I decided to give it a try a couple of months ago when I was juicing and trying to eat less meat.  This is a great recipe for anyone that is a vegetarian or vegan, simply don’t add meat to their plates!  Easy Peasy!

So tonight I had another couple that was coming over and giving it a try with us (even though we have already had it before).  Now her boyfriend is a H U G E meat and potatoes guy, but really what guy isn’t? So needless to say he was not overly thrilled by having to eat a plate full of vegetables!

So this recipe is very simple.  

Grocery List for 4 people



5-6 medium to large zucchini

3-4 medium to large tomatoes

Garlic

2 sweet onions

Italian seasoning of some kind

Some kind of meat if you have meat lovers in your group (I will be making chicken and meatballs tonight to go with the spaghetti)


I start off by cleaning off all of my veggies and then get out my Veggetti.  If you don’t have one of these then you should go out and buy one.  They are amazing and cheap!  You will stick all of your zucchini in the veggetti and spin until they are all spiraled.  Then you sit them off to the side until you are almost done cooking your marinara.  


Next you will dice all the onions and about 2 cloves of garlic and place them in a skillet on medium heat with some olive oil.  Cook them for about 5 minutes while you are dicing up all of your tomatoes.  Mix all the tomatoes into the onions and garlic.  You will let this simmer and cook down for about 10-15 minutes.  Then put it into a baking dish and put it into a 400 degree oven to finish cooking for about 20 minutes.

Now get your steamer ready.  The zucchini takes about 5 minutes to cook/get warm so cook it accordingly!

Now that everything is cooked you will make your plate and enjoy because it is a healthy and wonderful meal! 

So after everyone ate the food, the consensus was that it was good.  Actually I got 3 goods and 1 “not to bad if you eat a meatball with it”.  So basically 4 YAY’s…  Definitely going to be making it again in the future! 

Love,

Bri

 

Four Fun Fact Friday

Got this idea from a fellow blogger named Meg.  So I figured I would give it a whirl!

 

Four names people call me other than my real name: 


  1. B
  2. Bri (real name is actually Brianna!)
  3. Breezy
  4. Bri Chi

Four Jobs I’ve Had: 


  1. Cashier at a Food Lion grocery store (Got to start somewhere!)
  2. Receptionist at a Plastic Surgeons office
  3. Server/Bartender while in college (still one of my favorite and oddly least favorite jobs that I have had to date)
  4. Drug Rep- by far my favorite job.  So much freedom to work when you want.  I loved getting to meet so many different people (mainly doctors and nurses but that’s okay). Shout out to my Rockin’ Raleigh team!

Four Movies I’ve Watched More Than Once: 


  1. Harry Potter…”There will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”  The right thing to do in this instance is watch Harry Potter as much as possible.
  2. Back to the Future- McFly…I literally have Marty and his DeLorean sitting on my desk!  True Story!
  3. Dirty Dancing- What girl/woman hasn’t watched this movie 1000 times?  This one should be an obvious answer!
  4.  Dumb and Dumber- the original was the best.  Old school Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are untouchable.     

Samsonite... I was way off

Four Books Or Authors I’d Recommend: 


  1. Christina Lauren- This is a joint team that writes some amazing books.  They have some great Erotic/Romance novels as well as some pretty awesome supernatural ones as well.
  2. The Diary of Anne Frank- I know that this is a book that children usually read in middle school, but I love this book.  I have a cop that I got when I was 13 and it is falling apart because I have read it so many times.  Such a compelling story of a truly amazing little girl.
  3. Colleen Hoover is another good one for me.  I have written a couple of different blog reviews on her books.  I only have a couple left that she has written that I have not read yet, but they are on my list!
  4. Harry Potter- I know I have said it before but I will say it again.  I am obsessed.  Every time I read these books I find something I missed previously or I feel a different way than I did the first time I read them.  They are a very easy read and a must have on your bookshelf.

Four Places I’ve Lived: 


  1. Honolulu, Hawaii- Born and raised.  I know I know.  I am so lucky.  Blah blah blah.  I miss it everyday.  I wish I could move back.  Maybe we will get lucky with some special orders one day!
  2. Virginia Beach, Virginia- I went to high school here.  I hated living in VA when I was there, but now that I am gone I actually miss it.  Always want what you can’t have!
  3. San Diego, California
  4. Shreveport, Louisiana- When we got stationed here 5 years ago, my husband sent me a text message that said we are moving to LA.  I literally could not contain my excitement.  I was moving back to CALI…  except I didn’t realize it for about 10 minutes that he meant Louisiana.  Joke was on me…

Four Places I’ve Visited: 


  1. Niagara Falls- Took a road trip with my coach and his daughter when I was a teenager and it was a blast.  Maid of the Mist for the win!
  2. Virgin Islands- Cruising to some of the most beautiful beach around is not a bad gig.  If you ever get the chance, TAKE IT!
  3. Mexico- We went zip lining through the Mexican Jungle in Puerto Vallarta and it was breathtaking!  It definitely put me out of my comfort zone, but was so worth it.
  4. Washington DC- This is a must see for everyone.  There is so much to do in this town and most of it is free!  I could spend days upon weeks just museum hopping and still not see everything!

Four Things I’d Rather Be Doing Right Now: 


  1. Sitting on a beach drinking a Corona.
  2. Sitting by the pool and relaxing.
  3. Travelling through Europe
  4. Gambling at a casino

Four foods I don’t like:


  1. Peas- “I Hate Peas”  Heath Ledger’s answer in 10 Things I Hate About You was pretty spot on.  I cannot stand peas!
  2. Brussel Sprouts
  3. Green Beans
  4. Cheese- I have already been told I am un-American for this one multiple times.  I H A T E the smell of cheese.  It totally grosses me out.  So I will pass!

Four of my favorite foods: 


  1. Pizza- Most amazing food out there if you ask me.  You can have plain pizza, white pizza, meat pizza, veggie pizza, deep dish, thick crust, thin crust, gluten free, etc. etc. etc.  There are literally never ending choices when it comes to pizza!
  2. Chocolate pudding pie- I will eat an entire pie if I make one (which I don’t do very often).
  3. Asian food- any Asian food of any kind actually, but if I had to pinpoint my absolute favorite I would say LUMPIA.  If you are Filipino and know how to make Lumpia and you want to send me some, I will not say no, I will happily give you my address and pay for shipping!  Just a thought!
  4. White Sticky Rice- I guess this kind of falls under Asian food, but I am putting it in its own category because that is how much I love it.  I could literally eat this every meal or every day!

Four Shows I Watch: 


  1. Supernatural-  I never got around to watching it when it first started so now I am trying to catch up.  I finally just made it to season 3 and now I see what all the fuss has been about!  Wow..  Team Sam Winchester all day long!
  2. House of Cards- Something about Kevin Spacey in this show is so mesmerizing and hot!  All that power.  All the corruption.  No one could have a played a better Frank Underwood!
  3. I am a sucker for the housewives of anywhere.  Beverly Hills.  New York.  Orange County. I love them all and they are my guilty pleasure and I don’t care who knows it.  Hello my name is Bri and I am obsessed with the housewives!  Okay that sounded better in my head and way less creepy!  Oh well.
  4. Big Bang Theory- Probably because I can relate so much to this show.  I love all the geeky talk and the nerdiness that comes out.  Plus it has a catchy intro song!

Our whole universe was in a hot dense state, then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started wait…The earth began to cool, the autotrophs began to drool, neanderthals developed tools, we built a wall (we built the pyramids)… Maths, science, history, unravelling the mysteries that all started with the Big Bang. 

Four Things I’m Looking Forward To This Year: 


  1. Kindergarten- My daughter starts Kindergarten this fall and I am so happy and absolutely terrified at the same time.  I am looking forward to it, but I know once it gets here I will be dreading it 100%!
  2. Seattle- Going to visit my dad this summer and I can’t wait.  it has been almost 3 years since I have been to Seattle and that is 2 Years 11 Months and 364 days too long!
  3. Football Season- Let’s be honest.  I am looking forward to football season every year.  GO PATRIOTS!
  4. My hair finally growing back out so I can do more fun things with it!  I always cut my hair and then immediately wish that I didn’t!  Ever happen to anyone else?

Four Things I’m Always Saying: 


  1. Okie Dokie (not spelled Okey Dokey)
  2. Mother Trucker… Needs no explanation! 
  3. Because I said So… When you have a child this is uttered around the clock!
  4. Song Lyrics- I listen to music all day and night… Literally.  I can not get enough music.  I will just bust out in song and randomly dance for not reason at all!

 

So this is a little bit more about me.  Do you feel like you know me now?  Are we friends?  I would love to see what some of your favorite or most hated things are.  Post below!

Love,

Bri

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Who doesn’t love cheese?  Well I for one am not a huge cheese fan… I know, I know.  I am un-american.   I just don’t like it very much.  I will eat it, in certain forms, but just not very often!  My husband and all my friends however L O V E cheese.  So therefore I make cheesy treats and cheesy food quite often which brings me to my next recipe… Baked Mac and Cheese.

I have tried making this recipe with lots of different variations.  I have made it with and without bacon, with and without roasted jalapenos, with and without shredded chicken and I have made it with probably 20 different variations of cheese.  All of them were a success, so it just kind of depends on what you are in the mood for.  Here is the general recipe.


1 1/2-ish box of penne pasta noodles

5-ish cups of cheese (mixture of Colby, Monterrey Jack, Mozzarella and Romano) but you can change the cheese to your liking

3-4-ish  cups of milk

3/4-1-ish cup of butter

salt and pepper to taste

2/3 cups-ish of bread crumbs


Pick a pasta.  For the sake of this recipe I used penne noodles, but you can use elbow, macaroni, bow tie, etc…

Boil the pasta until it is al dente.  Take it out and then set it aside.  In a pot you will mix milk, cheese, butter, salt and pepper and melt cheese completely.

Once the mixture is complete pour it on top of the noodles in a baking dish.  Then top with extra cheese and breadcrumbs.  This would also be the step that you would add in bacon, cooked chicken or veggie (ie. broccoli).  Then place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

Easy. Simple. Delicious!

Enjoy!

Love,

Bri

Rainbow Juices

Juicing is a great way to get your daily vegetables and fruits, without having to eat multiple plates of them in a day.  Did you know that the average 30 year old female (that is me) should be eating 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 – 3 cups of vegetables a day?  That is almost 5 cups  in a day of just fruits and vegetables.  Maybe that doesn’t seem like a lot to some of you.  Maybe some of you eat all of your daily recommended values of all the food you are required to eat…  GOOD FOR YOU if you fall into that category!  I however do not fall into that category.

I am kind of a picky eater. Basically I have 3 food groups that I enjoy… Meats… Potatoes…. Sweets…  I have gotten better over the years, but I am still just not a huge vegetable fan.  Juicing was perfect for me to get all my nutrients that I was not getting from the lack of vegetable variety in my diet.  The only vegetables  I did eat were salads (lettuce), tomatoes (does salsa count?), zucchini/squash, carrots and potatoes.  That’s it.  I didn’t like to branch out.  I don’t like the texture of most vegetables and I never developed a taste for the rest of them.

So back to juicing.  When looking for recipes I found a ton that had some weird or gross things in them; kale, sweet potato, beets, broccoli, avocado, brussel sprouts.  GROSS…

Needless to say I was going to have to modify these recipes before I went into this juice cleanse!  So below are a few of my favorite recipes!  Enjoy!


Rainbo(aka Brown)

1 Granny Smith Apple

5 Carrots

1 Cucumber

1 Ginger Root Thumb

1 Lemon

1 Pear

3 Spinach

 

Sunset

2 Golden Delicious Apples

1 Beet Root

1 Carrot

1 Orange (peeled)

1 Sweet Potato (peeled)

 

Creamsicle

2 Granny Smith Apple

3 Celery Stalks

1 Orange (peeled)

2 Pears

1 Sweet Potato (peeled)


To take it even a little farther, I was counting my calories as well when I did this juice cleanse.  Do you know how hard it is to count the calories of a juice?  Impossible.  Well, impossible until I found a nifty little calculator online.  You put in the whole fruits and vegetables that you used and it spits out what the juice portion of it would be.  Hopefully this will help save you some time! Juicing calorie counter.

Love,

Bri