Never Too Hot for the Crock Pot

Who says it’s too hot out to use the crock pot?

As someone who works full-time, the crock pot is something I depend on year-round.

I have a hard time relegating the slow cooker to the winter months when it allows me to come home to a no-fuss, already cooked dinner.

This evening dinner came together in a flash since I covered some chicken breasts in chicken broth and let them cook in the crock pot all day.

After forking the breast meat apart, Ryan and I covered the chicken in BBQ sauce and assembled our BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches to enjoy alongside roasted zucchini.

BBQ Pulled Chicken

Dinner is Served

Yum, Yum

Yet another slow cooker success!

I think an evening walk with the pup is in order tonight. Off to take Sadie for a stroll around the neighborhood.

See ya in the mornin’!

The Purple Pepper (+ Q&A!)

When I posted about my Farmers’ Market finds on Sunday morning, you guys seemed very interested in the purple pepper I nabbed!

Well, here it is, it all its glory!

Purple Pepper

It was a one-eyed, one-horned flyin’ purple people eater…” πŸ˜‰

Such a pretty pepper! When I spotted the pepper at the Farmers’ Market, I knew I had to give it a try. I love green and red peppers and the description said the purple pepper was a sweet bell pepper like the red and green varieties, so I had a feeling I would enjoy it.

Sliced Purple Pepper

I was surprised to see that the inside of the pepper was white! Crazy… and crazy delicious!

I enjoyed the pepper along with cucumber slices and a bagelwich made with avocado, Provolone cheese and spinach.

Avocado + Provolone

The Spread

Provolone & Avocado Bagelwich

I love this lunch. It was colorful, full of veggies and the addition of the avocado on my bagelwich made it seem a lil’ special. πŸ˜‰

Of Possible Interest

Q & A Time!!!

It’s time for another Q & A post! After this post, I’m almost all caught up! Woohoo!

As always, feel free to post any questions you may have on my Q & A page or click here to ask me an anonomyous question.

Heeere we gooooo! πŸ˜€

Have your periods ever been irregular due to how active you are?

No.

How many boyfriends did you have before Ryan? This is really random, but it just amazes me how perfect you two look for each other.

Before Ryan and I started dating I had one other serious boyfriend, who I dated for a little more than three years.

What do you eat before and after doing cardio or strength training?

On weekdays when I workout at 5:45 a.m., I typically workout on an empty stomach because I get serious cramps if I eat within an hour of working out (and I’m not about to get up at 4:45 a.m. just to eat). If I work out later in the day, I’ll usually eat something like an apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter or string cheese microwaved on a whole wheat tortilla (quesadilla-style).

My post-workout eats are almost always posted on the blog (my breakfast on the weekdays is the first thing I eat after working out). Typical post-workout meals include Greek yogurt with fruit, a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and banana or a smoothie made with fruit and protein powder.

Have you ever lost a significant amount of weight, or were you always this size growing up? You and you sister are so slim that I’m guessing you’ve never really had to lose 15 – 20 pounds?

I lost around 10 pounds about a year after I graduated from college. The weight loss occurred naturally (I didn’t count calories or change my exercise routine) and happened when I stopped eating Lean Cuisines and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all the time and discovered vegetables. I like to eat A LOT, and adding veggies to my lunches and dinners really helped fill me up on nutritious and voluminous foods, so I wasn’t starving an hour after eating.

Do you eat Larabars, Luna bars or Clif bars? If so what is your favorite flavor of each?

I am maybe the one person in the Blog World who doesn’t like Larabars all that much. I think they’re way overrated and they never leave me feeling satisfied (maybe it’s the lack of protein?).

I do like Luna bars (Lemon Zest & Nuts Over Chocolate are my favs) and Clif bars (Peanut Butter Pretzel & Mountain Mix are my favs) a lot! Their texture and flavors really appeal to me.

Random question: Do you make your bed in the morning?

Nope… Unless we have guests coming over.

How many magazines do you subscribe to?

I subscribe to Cooking Light, Clean Eating, Oxygen, OK! and O (the Oprah magazine).

Are you on Goodreads (goodreads.com)?

No, I never heard of it before this question, but the site seems awesome!

On average, how much do you spend on groceries per week?

My grocery bill is typically around $45 a week. Once a month or once every month and a half or so it’ll be significantly more when I run out of more expensive items like spices and cheese or pantry staples.

What kind of car do you drive? What was the first car you ever drove?

I’d rather not answer this question for safety purposes, but I drive an SUV and I LOOOOVE it. My first car was a teal 1994 Toyota Corolla that I loved with all of my heart. That car was the BEST! My sister got it after me and loved it as well.

What time do you usually wake up?

I wake up at 5:30 a.m. on most days. You may read about my morning routine here.

Do you think you’ll ever move away from Florida? If you could move anywhere for one year, where would it be?

I love Florida but I’m not so attached to the state that I would never move away. The thing that would really prevent me and Ryan from ever moving out of Florida is my family, his family and our jobs. That being said, if all things were perfect and our families would move with us, I could see us in North Carolina. We love all the parks, trails and mountains up there.

If I could move anywhere for a year, it would be to Hawaii. Please let me know if you would like to sponsor this endeavor. πŸ˜‰

What brand of sneakers do you wear? I’m looking to get a new pair and your blog has motivated me to get out there!

I run in Mizuno Wave Riders. You may see my post about them here.

Where do you buy Carba Nada pasta?

I buy Carba Nada pasta online at Netrition.com. The site has $5 flat rate shipping, so I usually buy a bunch of things at once to make the shipping cost worth the expense.

Hot Run, Cold Smoothie

Woo-wee!

This morning’s five mile run with Sadie was a toasty one!

5 Mile Stats

I’m not going to complain about the heat because I am too happy for negative thoughts, as today’s second attempt at running following my bruised heel also proved pain free! Woop woop! πŸ˜€

Since Florida heat doesn’t believe in dissipating throughout the night or in the early morning, I returned from my run looking awfully sweaty.

A cold breakfast was the only way to go.

Breakfast

This morning I busted out the blender to make myself a strawberry banana protein smoothie.

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

Into the blender went:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3/4 c. frozen strawberries
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 scoop All the Whey strawberry protein powder
  • Enough milk to get everything movin’

Spoonful of Yummy

J is for Julie!

Quite a few of you have asked about this fancy-schmancy “J” cup. It is made by Tervis Tumbler and you may find them at Bed Bath and Beyond. The cup is virtually indestructible and the double-insulated walls greatly reduce condensation which is perfect for when you make cold drinks on a hot day.

Topped with a Straw

I love drinking a ginormous smoothie after a sweaty run.

It’s just so darn refreshing!

Happy Birthday to My Mama!!!

Today is a big day in the world of PBF!

Today is my mom’s birthday!

Mother-Daughter Love

Happy birthday to the most amazing mother in the whole wide world.

So Much Love

She Makes Me Happy

Happy Girls

Smilin' Over a Homecooked Meal

My mother is truly a remarkable woman.

Happy birthday, Mama. I love so many things about you:

  • I love your unwavering optimism
  • I love how I can always go to you for love and support
  • I love how a bowl of your chicken noodle soup makes any sickness go away and any sad feelings subside
  • I love that you shoot a basketball “granny style”
  • I love how you always have a “Welcome Home Julie” sign on the door every time I come to visit
  • I love that you now include Ryan and Sadie on that sign
  • I love how you’re always up for anything
  • I love that you said that you were thinking of your granddog when your doctor told you to think of something that made you happy
  • I love how Aunt Laurie said she knew I was your daughter when she caught me eating cake for breakfast
  • I love how unbelievably loving, giving and caring you are
  • I love how strong you are and how you faced breast cancer with courage and a sense of hope and faith unmatched by anyone
  • I love you for being the woman I strive to be every day

I can’t wait to celebrate your special day with you soon!

In honor of my mom’s birthday, feel free to share something you love about your mother below!