National Margarita Day!

Just a quick post of dinner tonight.  It’s Friday during Lent, so no meat for us.  We had big ol’ salads made from romaine, black beans, a little brown rice, avocado, salsa, shredded cheese, and a bit of crushed up tortilla chips.  Along with that, we had MANGO MARGARITAS!!!  Happy Friday!

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Some Background Info

So I thought that I’d give a little more information about myself and my family, especially considering I only put up a tiny little blurb in the “about” section.  I have a Bachelors Degree in Mathematical Sciences and a Masters Degree in Mathematics Education.  I was a high school math teacher for 5 years and I can say “was” because I officially resigned this past week. When I had my daughter last April, my husband and I made the decision that I would take advantage of my contract and take a parental leave of absence for this school year.  By March 1, I had to let the district know whether or not I planned on returning, and we made the decision that I would stay home with Audrey.

When I was pregnant, I couldn’t wait to be able to resign and be home with my child.  I thought it would be nothing but happy feelings, but when I actually wrote my resignation letter and the good-bye email that I sent out to the staff, I surprised myself by feeling a bit sad.  I was anticipating resigning for so long, yet the time had finally come when I was closing the book on that part of my life.

With that being said, I am more than happy that I am able to stay home with my daughter and my future children, but it was not simply because we are “lucky.”  My husband and I have been planning on having kids together since before we were even married.  We knew we wanted a house and kids, and I knew that I wanted to stay home and be the one to raise my children.  So we made a lot of decisions, financial and otherwise, based on that.  We didn’t buy the most expensive house; in fact, we wouldn’t be in the neighborhood we are in had we not gotten our house as a short sale.  We saved a lot.  I taught an extra class or two at the community college.  We paid off our car loan and for a few years, only had one car (Marcus biked to work pretty much every. single. day.).  Shoot, we even had only internet service and watched TV online through Hulu and the network websites.  No Hulu Plus or Netflix accounts even.  And we waited.  We got married and didn’t start trying to have a baby until we knew we were ready — ready mentally and financially.  Add to that the fact that even now, as a “stay at home mom,” I teach a class at the community college and tutor several students throughout the week.   So, no, it wasn’t luck that let me stay home with my daughter; it was planning.

Yes, I understand that the last paragraph was a bit of a rant, but you wouldn’t believe how many times people say something along the lines of “Oh, you’re so lucky that you can do that!”  Sometimes it is said earnestly and sincerely, but sometimes I can hear that slight tinge in their voice that tells their real feelings.  I understand that some people just cannot be stay at home moms even if they wanted to, and I feel for those women, I know some of those women.  But I also know that some who say they can’t probably can, but are not willing to make some of the necessary sacrifices that go along with being a stay at home mom.  And guess what?  THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.  We all do what is best for ourselves and our families, and we shouldn’t have to face the constant judgement we do from our peers: other women.

Man, are we women hard on each other.  We are judgmental, pushy, bossy, and snobby.  And I include myself, even though I’d like to be able to say I’m above all that.  But let’s be real, I find myself critiquing THE MOM just as much as the next lady.  You know, THE MOM is the one who not only makes everything homemade, but only uses the purest ingredients.  Even though she makes all that, her kitchen is spotless, along with the rest of her house and family.  Her kids are perfectly well behaved and never throw temper tantrums, and her husband is as helpful and romantic as any leading many in the latest rom-com.  Well….I do make a lot of homemade food…but I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to cleaning, I suck as a homemaker, and the hubs is not quite the neatest person in the world.  Some days it bugs  me how much dust is all over the furniture and how my long hair and the dog’s hair sits in little clumps in the corners of the room.  I get a bit irritated at having to wash dishes about 52 times per day (yes, we do have a dishwasher, but not everything goes in there!), and I definitely don’t clean the bathroom as often as I should.  But eh, it’s alright.  My dirty house will be here tomorrow for me to clean.  So, to quote my good friend and neighbor, Mandi, rock on, THE MOM.  You’ve mastered something I have yet to do and just might never get around to doing.

Long post/rant DONE!  But P.S. stop on over to Mandi’s blog at mandishouse.blogspot.com for some good eats and fun treats!  She’s the one that inspired me to start a blog 🙂

Pork Tacos and Oatmeal

Not together, of course.  Yesterday morning, I threw a pork tenderloin in the crockpot in order to have a night off of cooking.  A good friend of ours, and Audrey’s godfather (we’ll call him The Godfather, though he’s not Italian), has now gotten me to cook pork on two occasions.  It’s not that I hate pork or anything, but we rarely cook it ’round these parts.

But anyways, I put a pork tenderloin in the crockpot with some fajitas seasonings (not the McCormick packet with all the corn syrup solids and coloring and stuff like that but actual spices: garlic, onion, cumin, black pepper, oregano, and cilantro).  Then I put about half a jar of salsa verde over it (a la The Godfather) and put it on low.  By 12:30 it was totally done and falling apart, so I shredded it up.

Here’s a side note.  I hate making crockpot recipes anymore!  Unless your meat is completely frozen, even on low, everything cooks in such a short amount of time!  If you leave it until you get home from work (i.e. dinnertime), everything has cooked itself to mush!  I suppose if my crockpot was from the 70’s it wouldn’t be like that, but we got ours as a wedding gift and it cooks much too fast.  While I was teaching, I didn’t trust leaving anything in it because I was afraid it would all be burnt by the time I got home.

But I digress.  I reheated the pork by dinner and we ate it on corn tortillas (yes, I know, unless it’s organic, all corn is GMO, but my husband LOVES corn tortillas, so I bought them for him in a moment of weakness) with some shredded lettuce, more salsa verde, and shredded cheese.  They were delicious!

While the pork was reheating, I made some (okay, a LOT) of oatmeal for the next few mornings.  I adapted it from Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptive Delicious, which has some great recipes (if a little bland), in my opinion.  With some tweaks, I’ve found my absolute favorite chicken soup recipe from her!  But that’s another post for another day 😉

So here’s the deal with the oatmeal.  The original recipe makes 2 servings, but I had to use such a small amount of pumpkin for it, so I increased the recipe to make, ahem, 12 servings.  Oh well:

Ingredients

One 15 oz can of pumpkin
6 cups milk (I used unsweetened almond and coconut milk)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup pure maple syrup or honey
6 cups old-fasioned oats
1/4 cup natural peanut butter

Mix the pumpkin, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup in a large pot.  Heat to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally.  Add the oats and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the oatmeal starts to thicken and the oats are cooked.  Add the peanut butter and stir to combine.

Divide oatmeal evenly into 12 containers, refrigerate, and enjoy for a while!

I ate my oatmeal this morning with a hard-boiled egg and my cup of coffee flavored with Coffee Mate’s Natural Bliss (sweet cream).  Yup, that’s right, I use actual cream (okay, milk, cream, and real sugar) in my coffee.  Because that’s how I roll.  But more on that another time.

First of Many..?

So I am very new to the whole world of blogging.  The idea of me writing almost journal-like entries with the intention that anyone would actually want to read it kind of baffles me.  But….I get kind of tired of posting pictures and comments on Facebook and I think that some people would probably appreciate that I find a different outlet for those things!

The whole concept of “clean eating” is something I’ve played around with for a while.  One website slowly permeated my thoughts: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com.  As my daughter got to the stage where I began feeding her real foods and not just bottles, I became increasingly aware of what I was putting in her growing body.  That, in turn, made me more aware of what my husband and I were putting in our bodies.  And so began the start of our journey into eating more and more whole foods and my love affair with the above mentioned site.

One thing you’ll note about my blog: I am no professional.  My pictures will be kind of crappy.  I won’t be consistent with new posts.  I’ll vent and and complain about what frustrates me and brag and wax on about how smart and wonderful my baby is, so much more smart and more wonderful than any other baby, of course.  Did I mention I’ll use quite a bit of sarcasm, too?

I don’t expect much of a following, and heck, I may do this for a bit and eventually forget about it.  Who knows when I’ll even tell anyone about this?  As I sit here trying to finish this post, I am continually being interrupted Audrey who decided to wake up a bit early from her morning nap in a very bad mood, which is highly unusual for her.  But, for now, this blog will serve as a sort of therapy for me: an outlet where I can voice my frustrations without being overly judged (and if I am, I’ll just delete your comment…so there!).

SOOO…with that, enjoy.