I decided to repost this Slow Cooked Lamb Riblets Recipe because it didn’t receive the recognition that I think it deserved when it was first appeared last year.
Besides it would make a perfect weekend meal and a great change from all that leftover turkey from last week – which by the way should have all been eaten or trashed by now.
For this post, I had just recorded my first #BrunchwithBlakePeriscope broadcast, however, it is no longer available. Which is why I now only livestreamed on Facebook because the videos last forever as well as the videos on my YouTube channel which I need to get back to making.
This Crock Pot recipe was made with Lamb Riblets which are smaller than lamb ribs and they were purchased at Shoprite. I have found Shoprite to have the best variety of meats especially cuts of lamb, but feel free to shop around.
Lamb is such a versatile meat and we actually prefer it to beef even though we don’t eat much red meat at all.
Most people prefer to bake lamb in the oven however, I wanted to try slow cooking them and was glad because they turned out to be very tender – fall off the bone tender and very tasty too!
Lamb is also a cleaner cut of meat, healthier than beef and leaner but less flavorful so you can choose any type of sauce or marinade as it will not overpower it.
2 packages of Lamb Riblets
1 bottle of Marinade
1/2 cup onions – diced
1 cup carrots – matchstick style
Brush each lamb riblet with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you can also sprinkle any additional seasoning as preferred. Place 1 entire package of riblets into the Crock Pot, cover with half of the diced onions and carrot sticks, then add the second pack and cover with remaining onions and carrots.
Pour entire bottle of marinade of your choice, I used Delmonico’s Restaurant Spiced Apple.
Cover and slow cook on low for 6 hour or on high for 4 hours.
Serve with your favorite starch, over rice or noodles and of course with a fresh vegetable, I chose Kale. As a side note: you can use Slow Cooker bags for easier cleanup, however, I prefer to spray the inside with a Cooking Spray or you can use a paper towel to wipe the inside with a vegetable or canola oil.
Can you believe it, this is the last day of November! All the leaves have fallen from our trees which hasn’t made hubby too happy and there is less sunshine during the day which make my evening commute much worse.
Winter will be here and soon I’ll be wrapped in hats, scarves and gloves but until then I am still wrapped in sweaters and shawls.
As you can see, I was not wearing pantyhose or tights in these pics, however, since then have pulled them out and started wearing them because it got really chilly last week.
Speaking of last week, it was a very busy one because in addition to getting ready for Thanksgiving, I conducted a Basic Blogging Workshop at the Bear Library, and then presented a “Social Media for Personal and Professional Networking” Workshop for IAAP Administrators in Dover both of which were awesome.
Thanksgiving was nice, Malik came home Tuesday and I prepared a nice dinner for my mini men and hubby and we had more than enough to eat. The No Thaw Jennie-O Cajun Turkey was amazing and very easy to cook, from the freezer to the oven to the table in four hours. After dinner, I spent several hours pulling out winter sweaters, ironing and gathering items to be donated to the Salvation Army.
Not one who likes wearing winter coats, I do however, love this shawl because it’s large enough to be wrapped in total warmth and it matches perfectly with these suede fringed booties. If you remember, I purchased these booties from TJ Maxx for a Cowboy outfit and they are very comfy and cute – what do you think?
Last minute I changed from the shawl and booties and decided to wear this oversized, thrifted sweater with these Cognac color pumps to work instead. I also have these Fioni pumps in black purchased at a BOGO sale last month at Payless. I received several compliments from a few ladies in the office which made me feel pretty good.
This is not a “You Choose the Shoes” post, but I am going to ask, which pair would you have worn with this outfit?
Two Saturdays ago on a brisk, beautiful Autumn day I drove to Wilmington, to 7th and Jefferson Streets to support my “adopted son” on his Mural Dedication. “The Divine Mind” which as you can see is a 60 square foot masterpiece painted on the side of a multi-story house.
Terrance Vann is a local fine artist and illustrator who started sketching and drawing at a very young age. He is a graduate of the Cab Calloway School for the Arts and studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York as well as at the Art Institute in Philadelphia.
Not knowing at the time that he was an artist I was impressed with not only his ability to command the podium when asking each of the panelist pre-written questions; but with following up with un-rehearsed, insightful and in-depth commentaries regarding each of our businesses.
The following evening at the second Entrepreneurship Workshop he brought in one of his paintings, The Divine Mind and it was amazing. I labeled him a “Millennial in Motion” and asked if I could cover one of his events for my blog. Below are a few of the other pieces that were on display at the Art Loop in Wilmington which you can read more about HERE
Terrance sports a hairstyle which was similar to own son’s and when he told me how his mom first reacted, which was the same as my reaction, I started calling him my “adopted son”.
“The Divine Mind” Mural Dedication started a little after 2:00 pm with a welcome from Dr. Carrie Gray, Managing Director, Wilmington Renaissance Corporation followed by remarks from Terrance. If you are following me on Facebook, you can see the full live feed from the event.
There were several members of the community in attendance and because it was a bright beautiful day it made for a larger crowd. DJ Ryan Foxx played in the background and a performance from Kae Hock had the audience clapping in unity – something that we desperately need these days – UNITY
On the inside of the programs there was a black and white version of The Divine Mind and markers were available for the young crowd to create their own masterpieces.
Closing remarks were made by Laura Semmelroth, Creative District Strategist followed by cake which made the day even sweeter.
You can find and follow Terrance on his social media platforms:
Instagram – @terranceism
Facebook – terrancevann
Website – terranceism.bigcartel.com
Stay tuned for more great things coming from this “Millennial in Motion” as I will be interviewing him on this Sunday’s Podcast – Social Media Sunday with the Delaware Blogger on BlogTalkRadio/AAUTeenTalk
The following is the Press Release of the Event
WILMINGTON ARTIST UNVEILS 60 SQ. FT. MURAL, INSPIRES COMMUNITY
Terrance Vann completes mural inspired by his most well-known painting entitled “Divine Minds”
WILMINGTON, DE (November 17, 2016) – Terrance Vann, an up-and-coming artist well known in Wilmington, DE with growing national buzz, recently debuted his greatest work yet- a 60 square foot mural of his painting “Divine Minds.” The dedication took place on November 12, 2016 at the mural site of 7th and Jefferson Streets (Wilmington, DE).
Over 100 community members, public figures and supporters from the tristate area gathered to commemorate the monumental work standing at 34 feet tall and 33 feet wide with a 20-foot glass mosaic crown. The program included a performance by hip-hop artist Kae Hock, music by DJ Ryan Foxx and a community coloring session where community members created their own “Divine Minds” inspired work. Notable speakers included Delaware State Senator Robert Marshall, Carrie Gray of the Wilmington Renaissance Corporation’s Creative District and the Lead Artist himself.
“This is really a dream come true. I’ve been sketching and drawing my whole life, so the fact that something like this is here and will be in the city for a long time is something I only dreamed about” Vann said. “That’s what I really want this mural to be, a testament to dreams becoming a reality.” Senator Robert Marshall followed saying, “What impresses me the most is the symbolic message the mural offers us…and all the young kids that live in this neighborhood. The message is that no zip code should dictate the outcome of your future, and that every kid who lives in this neighborhood should have the opportunity to reach their best and brightest talents.”
Vann was selected by a juried panel of artists and community leaders to be Lead Artist on the project, which was the largest of a series of projects developed as part of the Creative District’s 7th Street Arts Bridge. Vann worked under the mentorship of renowned muralist Eric Okdeh of the internationally recognized Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and hopes to complete more mural projects in the future.
About Terrance Vann
Terrance Vann is a fine artist and illustrator based in Wilmington, Delaware. Terrance studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and at the Art Institute in Philadelphia where he developed as a designer and graphic artist, in addition to being a painter and illustrator. Terrance’s first solo exhibition was in February 2015, and since then he has pursued art as his full-time career, showing and selling his work throughout the East Coast. Through various community art initiatives, Terrance works to promote a creative culture in his native city and beyond by engaging all people, especially youth, in creative expression. Terrance’s work is vividly colorful and is inspired by friends, family, love and observations of inner city life. To view Terrance’s work, visit www.terranceism.bigcartel.com.
Get on your Mark, Get Ready, Get Set Go > this is the week that it all begins!
Thanksgiving preparations, Christmas shopping, then New Year’s Eve celebrations. There may be a nip in the air here in the MidAtlantic Area, but there are also some heated emotions and high anxiety brewing the closer we get to the holidays.
Before you begin to get yourself too stressed, check out these 10 Tips to help you de-stress during the holidays. Leave a few of your own in the comments section as we can all benefit from having a happy and stress-free holiday season.
10 Tips to Help You De-Stress During the Holidays
Take a bath, add some Epsom salts to help ease aches and pains and to soothe your mind and body. Try using a lavender scent salt which will provide a calming aroma.
Sleep is the most important stress reducer to keep us healthy and relaxed. Don’t let your To-Do list cause you to lose sleep, stay in bed a bit later or go to bed a bit earlier then rise and shine rested and less stressed.
ENJOY THE MOMENT
Slow down and enjoy the little moments around you. Enjoy and appreciate God’s Gifts; a sunrise, a sunset, trees blowing in the wind or snow flakes falling, slow down and enjoy the moment.
Learn to say, “no” and don’t try to attend every meeting or event invite that pops into your email box or on your Facebook timeline.
Clear your mind by clearing the clutter from your closet, desk or dresser drawers. Pull out a drawer and sit on the sofa or bed to remove and discard old papers, socks or items that you no longer use. You will feel better the next time you open that drawer and are able to find exactly what you need without digging through the mess.
Make and take some time alone to re-center yourself. Sit in a quiet dark corner of your home or apartment or even on the floor of your walk-in closet to pray, mediate and breath deeply.
Put on your favorite music then dance or jog in place or run around the house or up and down the steps. Dance like no one is looking to boost your endorphins.
Laughter is a great way to reduce stress hormone levels, leaving you recharged and refocused. Turn on the television, your computer or Tablet and watch re-runs of old shows like “Everyone Loves Raymond”, “I Love Lucy” or “Everybody Hates Chris”
Unplug and give your mind a rest from electronic and digital media then pick up a book or a magazine. Curl up and relax with a good story or a “rag mag” that is for “entertainment purposes only” and enjoy the stress-free read.
SERVE UP FAMILY, FOOD AND FUN
Buffet and Potluck meals are more fun and social than traditional sit-down meals. Ask family and friends to bring a dish and purchase pre-made items to cut down on your time in the kitchen. Let everyone relax and eat as they please then tell some jokes, play games or just catnap the rest of the day away.
How do you reduce stress during the holidays?
Cut down on time and stress in the kitchen with a Jennie-O frozen, No Thaw Turkey. It goes from freezer to oven to perfect on your table!
Disclosure: I am a member of the Jennie-O Switch Circle. All opinions are my own.
As a blogger I have had an opportunity to review several Subscription Boxes throughout the years, some were FREE and other’s were those that I had to pay a monthly fee.
On the Podcast a few weeks ago, I interviewed Yolanda Kennedy, owner of Blissful Crate a subscription box for moms and babies, you can check out the interview here.
Today more than ever consumers are dollar-conscious, and budget savvy thanks to social media. We want to know if we’ll like something before committing to a purchase which is why samples are so popular in those big box stores like Costco and BJ’s. While the idea of sampling is hardly new, the concept of putting your brand inside a box is.
This business concept is a two-pronged approach – 1) provide customers with products they’ll enjoy while using a fresh, direct-to-consumer platform 2) market products nationally without ever having to leave your home or office.
There are literally subscription boxes for everything from cosmetics from Birchbox to dog related products from Barkbox.
For the entrepreneurs who’ve started these sample subscription services the business model provides a steady and predictable revenue stream. Inventory management is not a huge problem, and the cost of goods is minimal as the samples are usually subsidized by the manufacturers. Many of these manufacturers may even pay you for including their products in your subscription boxes.
Manufacturers and big brands understand that sample products in a subscription box can lead to conversion to full size purchases. They can measure this with specially coded coupons or offers placed inside the box that recipients can later use in stores for purchasing regular sizes, or to order online on the brand’s website, this is a win-win for everyone.
10 Social Media Tips to Market Your Subscription Box
Most subscription boxes are business-to-consumer, so Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are usually good starting points. Think about your target audience’s age and demographics and what social media are they already using then head over there.
Tell Family & Friends
Ask your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, sorority, fraternity, church members everyone about your new subscription box and if they aren’t interested, perhaps they will tell others who are. Make sure to have a sample box with you to show and tell – of course non-perishable items
Follow your niche
This is one of the easiest ways to find customers, use your social media accounts that your target customer is already following. Make sure to follow your followers and their followers as well.
Encourage your fans to share photos
Remind your subscribers to share with a custom hashtag printed directly on your subscription box. Selfie contests and subscriber discount programs are fun, especially during the holidays.
Get influencers to share your subscription box.
Send complimentary boxes to bloggers popular with your target audience. Even if they don’t give you a glowing review, you’re increasing awareness of your brand among people likely to buy. Bloggers are always sharing on social media platforms so you are increasing your own social shares.
A ‘Try Before You Buy’ promotion to targeted followers and especially influencers in the industry or niche. Google them to get on the radar of product review bloggers especially those who host link parties.
The beauty of a subscription box is that you always have new surprises to share each month. While your subscribers are waiting for their next box, use this opportunity to tease what’s coming up. By offering these sneak peeks, you’re providing extra value to your followers.
Pay attention to what’s working and try new things
Get creative and create media like videos, Infographics, Livestreams and Flipgrams. Experimenting with different posts is what will keep you ahead of your competitors.
We have all heard the phrase ‘Content is King’ then let your customers wear the crown! Creating a blog that will appeal and resonate with your target audience, and then sharing across your social media networks is exactly how you will organically build a loyal community around your business.
Once you have those followers on board you can aim to convert them into paying customers. Additionally, Blogging also works wonders for your SEO if you do it right. If you can rank high in Google’s search results for those targeted keywords you could be getting a bunch of organic traffic and customers too.
Build Your Email List
Email marketing is one of the most valuable channels in the game. Having an email list of thousands of targeted customers who have all shown an interest in your product means that you can instantly contact them to promote your products. Imagine sending out an email to 10,000 potential customers telling them about your new product line. The results can be sensational and it is all free.
Everyone has an email address and the sooner you start collecting them the better you will be placed in the future. Offer visitors an incentive for signing up. Perhaps a free trial, a coupon code offer, or a newsletter update to receive your awesome blog content. Mailchimp and MadMimi are useful tools to use to store your email list and to then create an email campaign or monthly newsletters with updates that you want to send to your followers.
These are just a few marketing tips to get your subscription box business off the ground and if you have others, please leave a comment below.
These are the Subscription Boxes that I have tried:
Rocksbox is a monthly subscription box for jewelry rental. You will receive 3 pieces of hand-selected jewelry in every box. Wear them for as long as you like and then return them in a pre-paid shipping envelope to swap them out for a new set. I tried a Trial subscription to Rocksbox for 3 months and you can check out my blog and YouTube Channel to see the pieces. The jewelry was nice for special occasions, but if you could see my collection you would definitely agree along with hubby that the last thing I need is another pair of earrings!
PinchMe.com after you answer a series of questions about your household and shopping habits in the Member Profile. they will offer samples just for you. Every Tuesday they announce new products and you can pick the samples you want to try, they are actual samples not large products but they go quickly. Once you’ve had a chance to try your samples, you will complete a short feedback survey to tell them what you think of the samples. You don’t have to be a blogger to sign up.
Influenster.com is free to join, they ship out thousands of exclusive VoxBoxes every month from brands you know for FREE and you share your thoughts, pics, videos, on social media platforms as well as complete a questionnaire. The more you participate the more VoxBoxes you are chosen for and they have some great items. The more social you are the better chance you are chosen for some big VoxBox containing a wide variety of products from beauty products, to candy and food.
Graze is a mini-snack subscription box that sends a customized selection of treats weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. They offer over 100 different snacks that you can rate online, which, over time, helps tailor your subscription to your particular snacking preferences. (Regularly $11.99 for 8 snacks per box). The snacks were good and they were perfect for the 3:00 snack attack at work, but was a bit costly for the small snacks so I cancelled my subscription.
Target Beauty Box first started out FREE with a few samples but now it’s a paid subscription which varies and averages about $7. Target releases new beauty boxes about every other month, and they sell out within hours because they are good! The value is always great and they come with Target coupons, with a good mix of samples and full-size items. I need to check them out again.
Remember to check out my YouTube Channel to see the actual unboxing of these subscription boxes and subscribe so you will be notified when I have new ones to share.
Well I did it, I finally cleaned out my walk in closet…well at least the the top right half of it…don’t judge, I’m getting there! Anywho, in doing so I realized that I don’t have as many long sleeve dresses as I need for Autumn, but instead of buying or thrifting more, I am going to simply wear a sweater or in this case a denim jacket over them.
It was the first day of the work week so I grabbed this denim jacket which has been hanging in my coat closet for over 5 years to wear over this cap sleeve blue dress. This was one of the summer dresses that I had purchased from Ross, do you remember? You know the saying, “everything old is new again”, well you can definitely say that about this jacket as evidenced by the animal print around the collar and sleeves.
So along with my standby animal print peep-toe shoes which was an obvious choice they made the outfit complete, what do you think? Oh, and the necklace was also thrifted new from Goodwill.
On Casual Friday, which as you know is the only day that I wear pants or jeans to work also included denim, or Chambray as some may call it. This chambray shirt has Avon embroidered on it, so I covered it with this long duster which was thrifted from Goodwill a few years ago. Wearing it along with my black jegging jeans from Walmart and clunky shoes from Kmart, I was comfy casual on a Friday.
Do you any denim clothing other than jeans? I have a few more denim shirts so you will see them in another outfit of the day post.
These clunky, chunky shoes are so comfy – what do you think?
You do remember how innocently it all started out. At first you were just writing a few hobby posts every week no big deal, a time filler just having fun. Then you started getting followers who began to comment and so you started to take blogging a little more seriously. Your audience was growing and so was your attention to them…your virtual family and friends.
Perhaps after a few months you started to get the kids involved, asking them to pose and then asking hubby to take pictures of you with them in the store, the park or at the beach. He reluctantly obliged but never understood why he nor the kids could eat anything that was on the platter before you took a picture trying to capture the perfect “Hero Shot”. You set the table with fancy utensils, napkins, flowers and props for the blog post telling the family to dish out their meal from the pots sitting on the stove.
Then you start doing sponsored posts, sometimes getting a few hundred dollars deposited into your Paypal account or getting free products that the kids could use and free tickets to an event or for a weekend getaway that hubby enjoyed.
You became obsessed with seeking bigger pay days signing up for even more sponsored posts. You take pictures at sunrise, at sunset, in the rain and snow while on vacation and sometimes even at work. Selfies are taken in department store dressing rooms and out on the floor, with every purchase becoming part of an OOTD post and using hashtags for even more recognition.
You’re signing up at even more blogging community sites, submitting pitches for product reviews and adding more and more to your content calendar. Your photography skills are improving and your posting dates outnumber doctor and dental appointments highlighted on the family’s calendar. You become more selfish with your time especially if you also have a job outside of the home.
You can’t go anywhere without taking pictures and you began to schedule and attend events only if they are opportunities for a blog post including the kid’s school field trips. Leaving your business cards everywhere, on the grocery store and church bulletin boards, on the counters at the local liquor stores and blogging becomes more of an obsession.
After homework with the kids and dinner with the family, hubby heads to bed while you toil away on your laptop until the wee hours of the morning. Your sex life begins to wane because hubby can’t keep his eyes open until all hours of the night as you edit and re-edit the perfect post.
Every shopping experience turns into an opportunity to promote a new product or service and you are proud to admit that you are a blogger with a major following on all your social media platforms. An expert in the field either as a Lifestyle Blogger, Foodie Blogger, Travel Blogger or Blogger Blogger.
You are constantly reading Social Media Examiner, other blogs, joining link parties, upping your video game and enjoying every moment of it, however, hubby has been put on the back burner and your relationship is strained.
He doesn’t understand why you have to attend a blogging event every week and why you can’t just sit and watch television without your Laptop or Smartphone, constantly checking Facebook stats, Twitter and Google Analytics.
You want him to understand and you need him to know that blogging has become part of your life and you want him to become a part of it as well…but will he ever?
Are you allowing your virtual life to overtake your real life…and will blogging break up your marriage?
Last month I had an opportunity to present Blogging for Small Business at the 2016 eCommerce Sales and Marketing Workshop, which was sponsored by the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) and Downtown Delaware held at DelTech in Dover, DE.
As an attendee at the 2015 eCommerce Sales and Marketing Workshop I knew that I wanted to come back as a presenter. Especially since Blogging has become an integral social media platform for small business owners it was a natural fit for me to present. #DelawareBlogger
The eCommerce Sales and Marketing Workshop is a FREE 2 Day training program, however, small business owners must submit an application and commit to attending both days in order to be accepted. The eCommerce training covers an array of topics including Instagram, Facebook 101, Legal and Taxes, Reputation Marketing, Loans and Grants and Branding Your Business.
The courses were designed to assist participants in establishing their eCommerce business or supplementing their current sales practices. Designed for entrepreneurs, innovators and small business owners including non-profits looking to start or expand a business online.
The eCommerce training is for beginning and advanced entrepreneurs that desire to start or expand a business selling products and/or services via the internet. Most of the eCommerce participants have an existing Delaware-based business and were looking to enhance their business through the use of social media tools.
Continental Breakfast was available prior to the 9:00 am start of the workshop and my presentation was on Day 2. I had the honor and privilege to follow one of the Social Media Icons, Darnyelle Jervey, CEO, of Incredible One Enterprises. Every time I attend one of her conferences or listen to any of her many YouTube videos I walk away with more knowledge as was the case at this year’s eCommerce Workshop.I wish to thank Ken Anderson and Diane Laird for giving me the opportunity to present at this years eCommerce Workshop and do hope that the attendees walked away with more knowledge on why they should start a blog for their business.
Check out this YouTube Video which covers the first half of my presentation and if you would like a full copy of the slides, please sign up for my Newsletter and it will sent it to you.
Well here we are again edging closer to the cold winter winds, so the time has come to say, “so long to short sleeves” This is the last time that I’ll be wearing a short sleeve dress to work without a cardigan or blazer. If you remember, this was actually the dress I wore to the Bloggers Night at the Grub Burger Bar.
My open toe shoes are also going to be packed up and replaced with tights, booties and boots. As much as I love the heat of the summer, I must admit that I am looking forward to the shorter and colder days of December.
I was trying to remember where I purchased this little black dress and then remembered that it was one of several that I had purchased to wear to my grandmother’s funeral in 2009. I am not sure if I wore it or chose instead to wear a blue one which was her favorite color. The Ethnic necklace with matching earrings were purchased several years before at a boutique in Wilmington.
These are my favorite peep-toe pumps; Jessica Simpson animal print that were purchased at a Consignment Shop in West Chester, PA. The purse is an Avon Accessory.
Hubby took a vacation trip to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic two few weeks ago, and for some strange reason I couldn’t sleep alone so I was up late way too late writing blog posts, including this one.
Now that he is back, I am sleeping like a baby and am very happy to have him home safe and sound. I am glad that he had an opportunity to get away and take some time to himself. After all he deserved it after the cancer diagnosis and the chemo treatments he underwent last year.
I am in the process of re-branding my business and my blog, so stay tuned for more exciting changes other than the obvious name change from DeDivahDeals to DelBlogger.
Speaking of staying tuned, don’t forget to follow me on AAU Teen Talk Radio on Blog Talk Radio – Social Media Sunday with the Delaware Blogger Sunday evenings at 6 pm and if you miss them, make sure to listen to the rebroadcast as it helps me with my ratings.