RAPA scrapple

Welcome to another episode of “Things I Like.”

I know, I know, it’s been forever since I’ve done one. This time I’m featuring scrapple. More specifically I’m featuring RAPA brand scrapple.

I know this sounds crazy but I literally crave the stuff. I know not many of y’all have heard of scrapple and there are probably not many of y’all that even really like sausage but this stuff is seriously delicious.

My mother’s family is from the Philadelphia area, Ambler specifically, so scrapple is a part of our tradition. Scrapple is pretty much like any other breakfast sausage in that it’s made from the left-overs. Sliced and fried so it’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, scrapple brings back such wonderful childhood memories. The pork gives it a unique flavor profile and not everyone is a fan but if you try it I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

Here’s my little disclaimer… I can only recommend RAPA brand scrapple. Habbersett and others are just not the same. Call me a purist but I want the good stuff. Every once in a blue moon you can find scrapple down here (usually in Publix) but it’s never RAPA brand. Therefore, it’s a treat we request from our family to bring when they’re headed south. Either that, or you must place your order online.

So, have you ever tried scrapple? What are your thoughts on breakfast sausage, in general? Next time you’re in the mid-Atlantic region and a restaurant has it on their menu I would encourage you to try some scrapple… and if you feel so inclined… send me some!

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New Year – New Goals

Hello everyone and I hope that you’ve had a wonderful extended holiday. Craig and I were able to spend some time with our family and were able to start on yet another construction project so I’d say it was a pretty good holiday in my book. I’m back today with a post on, what else, new year goal setting.

January is typically a time of year in which we take a moment to reflect on the past year, the good and the bad, and make new goals for the coming year. I’ve decided to set 5 goals for the year 2015. I feel that by keeping these goals broad I’m better able to make them a reality. I know myself and I know that I routinely fail. Instead of focusing on the challenges negatively I’m going to use them to my advantage. So, here goes:

  1. Focus on Christ – First, and foremost, I plan on really renewing my relationship with Christ. Through daily reading, my small group, and church attendance I hope to make some new habits that have a life long effect. Starting this month I have been daily reading in an app called She Reads Truth. This app makes it super easy to stay in the word on a daily basis and it has a wonderful graphic at the end of each reading to share through social media as a way to hold yourself better accountable and to share God’s goodness and grace. I really enjoy the format and I pray to make this become habit. In addition to She Reads Truth, I’m leading my small group (aka Life Group) in the Beth Moore study of Esther. This is a study I have done before years ago and I’m looking forward to doing again with my group. I pray that God uses me for these women and their hope in Him. Also, I’m still involved in the Disciple study that goes through May this year so I’ve got a lot of ways to really make my relationship with Christ more intentional.
  2. Nurture Relationships – I feel like this goal really goes along well with my number one goal this year. In 2015 I really want to work more on strengthening my relationships with my husband, my family, and even more so, my friends. It is so easy to get caught up in daily life that I let my relationships fall by the wayside. Like I mentioned with my first goal, being more intentional means that I’m really making time for what is important. Last year, the deaths of both of my fathers really brought home the importance of relationships. I’m going to work harder on strengthening my relationship with my husband by daily making time for his needs. Whether it is as simple as being more diligent with my cleaning or making more time for physical affection, I plan on making him a priority. I want to be sure that we are setting ourselves up for success with a long and healthy marriage. In addition, Craig and I have talked at length about focusing on our friendships this year and making time to clear our schedule for our friends. We can get so busy at times that we’ve gone a whole month and haven’t spent time with anyone but ourselves. Well, this year we want to change. I want to make sure to take more time for my mom this year and I want to visit my grandparents more. Hopefully this goal will make a lasting change in our lives.
  3. Healthy Living – This past December I started taking classes at my local Pure Barre and I’ve really enjoyed the workout it gives me. I’m enjoying the classes and their varied but yet consistent nature. In addition to remaining in a workout routine for 2015 I am going to continue my healthy living by really working on my diet. I’ve decided this year that I will no longer be drinking soda (specifically dark soda). I know that if I eliminate Coca Cola Classic completely from my diet I will need something to wean me off it’s deliciousness so if I find myself somewhere (like a drive through) where I feel the need to order a soda I will order a Sprite. If y’all know me it’s how much I love a good Coke. The real thing … no diet! I drink them rarely because we don’t keep soda in the house. We know how bad sodas are for you so we treat them as special occasion drinks. With that being said, this year I plan on eliminating them entirely. Craig and I are going to try and get pregnant this year so my health is even more important now. We already do a pretty good job with our health but I plan on stepping it up with diet and exercise and regularly taking my prenatal vitamins.
  4. Better my Budget – Okay, so this is a tough one. This year I’m really going to work on my saving and spending habits. I like to think that Craig and I are pretty good at this already (at least he is) but I know that with a baby coming we really need to step up our game. I’m one of those people who really HATE to budget. Not that I can’t live with a budget, just that I hate tracking and dealing with all the math! It’s easy for me because Craig and I took a look at expenses and we have put me on a cash diet to keep my spending in check but I still find times that I’m swiping my Amex or not really knowing what I’ve spent my money on that past month. This year I want to be more conscious of the whole process and to be more active in pursuing better spending habits. We want to make sure we’re setting ourselves up financially in the best possible way, especially with a future child in the picture. Seeing as my husband is an accountant this goal is a very real one for us.
  5. Personal Development – Finally, I really want to work on myself both professionally and personally. I don’t have time to re-enroll in graduate school this year but that doesn’t mean I can’t make time to pick up Fluenz again. I want to keep my brain sharp and focus on that passion I have for life-long learning. I hope to make more time this year to really keep my mind active and engaged and less focused on trivial pursuits. I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook that could be better used by completing a Spanish lesson or even just reading a good book! Also, I want to make more time for this blog. I find that writing is a good outlet for me and I like to share my life with y’all. It’s not a matter of finding time but of making time. This year I want to really make more time for the things that make me a better person and this is a good place to start.

So, what about y’all. What are your goals for this year? Do you have any do-overs from last year that you’d like another shot at? Are you setting just one big goal or many small goals? I’d love to know what’s in store for you for 2015!

MissCaron

Champions

Hey y’all… I’m doing another episode of “Things I Like” and today I’m featuring Chobani Champions. I know, I know, it’s a kids yogurt. I get that. However, much like some grown adults like kids chewable vitamins, I like this kids Greek yogurt.

One of my biggest complaints with yogurt is the fruit. I know, sounds dumb, but I don’t like whole pieces of fruit in something that’s supposed to be creamy. It’s weird. I have a friend that mixes granola in her yogurt and I tried it and I just can’t do that either.

I think it’s the cold factor. I mean, I like fruit cobbler and I like oatmeal. I just can’t do something cold with lumps. SO, I’m left with very few choices in the yogurt aisle. Enter: Chobani Champions.

Both Greek yogurt and regular yogurt are low in calories and packed with calcium and live bacterial cultures which makes them an essential part of a balanced diet. However, Greek yogurt, in roughly the same amount of calories, has half the sugar and almost double the protein of regular yogurt.

Craig eats regular Fage (pronounced “fa-yeh”) and it’s just too plain for me. I love that the Champions are blended well and yet are still yummy. I get the packs and bring them to work and that is my 10 am snack. It works well, keeps my digestive track normal, and tastes great.

Not that I have to mention this… but I am in no way compensated for my thoughts on the “Things I Like” but I just feel the need to share with you and I do so on this here blog.

Hope everyone is having a great week! 🙂

Green Goodness®

Hey y’all! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I was off for four days because the University decided to be nice to us and give us the Thursday and Friday of Spring Break off work without having to use our Annual Leave. YAY! So, I spent some much needed time at the beach and with friends and just really tried to relax.

My birthday is next week and I’ll be 32 years old. I know that doesn’t sound very old to some people but as a person who has never been married, has no children, and is still in the same place in my life (for the past 10 years)… it feels old to me. Also, being on the beach made me really more conscious of the need to get my butt in shape! Right now, as part of Lent, my church is fasting on Monday’s. I wasn’t able to truly fast last week because we had a work retreat so I’m starting fresh today. I thought, also, that I would extend a modified fast through the entire week as a way to detox in preparation for my upcoming birthday festivities.

Last night in my ladies small group I mentioned how I have been drinking this green smoothie mix that looks GROSS but actually tastes really good. It is filling enough and has enough fruits and veggies that it helps to make a fast bearable. I know that traditionally you should be fasting with nothing but water but I’m slightly hypoglycemic among other issues so I know that realistically if I’m going to make this work I’m going to set a goal to only have a liquid diet.

On Monday’s I’m going to have just the smoothies and obviously my morning coffee and then after sundown I’ll eat a small dinner. The rest of this week I’m going to do the smoothie thing but I think I’ll also allow for a small healthy lunch and some yogurt and/or grapes. We’ll see how I feel. I’m being realistic and not trying to starve myself but to truly detox my body from the unhealthy eating I’ve been doing lately (so much so that my face is breaking out… YUCK). Here’s the information about the smoothie in case you’re interested…

“Bolthouse Farms® Green Goodness® starts with wheat grass, spirulina, spinach and blue-green algae. We add apples, kiwis, mangos, bananas, pineapples and dragon fruit to make it a good source of iron and Vitamin B6, naturally rich in Vitamins A, C, and B12, and packed with powerful phytonutrients found in nature’s most nutritious greens.”

  • Blend of 8 delicious juices/purees.
  • Packed with 14 powerful nutrients delivering unmatched healthy green phytonutrients.
  • No preservatives and nothing artificial.
  • Flash pasteurized and cold-filled for longer shelf life and superior nutrition.
  • 100% Juice, 100% Natural and no sugar added.

So there you have it… my good friend, Gretchen, introduced me to the stuff and when I have the courage I buy some. It looks gross but if you just close your eyes it actually tastes pretty good!

My Favorites…

Christmas edition.

Y’all… I know I’m going overboard on the Christmas stuff but I just absolutely love this holiday so much and I’d totally be that crazy lady who leaves her Christmas tree up all year if I could get away with it. But, y’all, I can’t get away with it. I already start listening to the music in October each year and no I don’t subject it to those around me. I listen to regular music when I’m in the car with other people, etc. I just can’t get enough of everything surrounding this holiday.

So, today I’m going to list all my favorite versions of Christmas songs. As much as I like all the different groups and their different takes on the songs featured… these are my favorites.

What are yours? 🙂

White ChristmasThe Drifters

Some Children See HimJames Taylor

(Everybody’s Waiting for) The Man With The BagKay Starr

Have Yourself A Merry Little ChristmasJudy Garland

What Child Is This/The Holly And The IvyBing Crosby

I’ll Be Home For ChristmasJosh Groban

The Christmas SongNat King Cole

12 Days of ChristmasJohn Denver and The Muppets

Jingle Bell Cha ChaPearl Bailey

Jingle BellsBing Crosby with The Andrews Sisters

Rockin Around The Christmas TreeBrenda Lee

Winter WonderlandElla Fitzgerald

Santa BabyEartha Kitt

Christmas Time Is HereVince Guaraldi

Let It SnowMichael Buble

Santa Claus Is Coming To TownJohnny Mercer

Christmas WaltzThe Carpenters

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)Darlene Love

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa ClausThe Jackson 5

(There’s No Place Like) Home For The HolidaysPerry Como

Honorable mention: I also dearly love the Barbra Streisand version of Jingle Bells. Gotta love when Jews rock some Christmas music!

So, come on folks, share with me your favs and don’t forget to tell me why!