Good Morning :)

I have finally applied for my diploma (who would have thought after graduating I would have to apply and pay $150) and I am registered to take the professional knowledge state test Feb 10. Pray for me, send positive vibes, whatever you do I need all the positivity I can get! I have the study guide and they recommend studying two hours a day. That is totally do able. I love teaching I really do but I can’t help that I have other thoughts swarming my head. What thoughts you ask? Thoughts of giving young children holistic teaching and learning so they have a solid foundation when they enter kindergarten. I have been in the preschool environment for 14 years so maybe it is habit? But I have always wanted to have a house with a decent amount of land so I can have an addition on my house or a preschool, a garden, small farm, and a wonderful place for the children to play. I am very eclectic in my teaching philosophies. I love the different theories because they can work together and provide the best environment for a child to learn and grow. I have always loved Howard Gardner and Abraham Maslow’s theories. I think our education system needs to take a step back and see what we have done to the classrooms and see where we can change it for the better.

The things learned in preschool/prek will help a child when they are in elementary school. For example, if a teacher has a sorting activity it helps the child learn how to classify objects. That is something that is needed as they are in school. I hear a lot of teacher say how the fine motor skills in their students are very poor. In preschool the children should be doing many activities that strengthen the fine motor skills. The reason I want a preschool addition on my house is because it creates a homey feel, the land is important for the children to learn, explore, and discover. They need to be out in nature! If there are animals around they can learn so much (they would not be allowed by them without supervision). Think of all the great things they would learn by planting food and flower gardens! Then to take the food and make yummy food with it or make beautiful flowers arrangements in the school.

This is my struggle. I am not financially ready to take on such endeavors but I’ve had that dream in my head and heart for a long time.

I joined Forks Over Knives meal planner and I am so happy I did because it really helps me. I made a menu for the whole month for myself and the rest of the family. I found a recipe on SkinnyTaste.com quinoa enchilada casserole OMG ya’ll it was so good!! I over course add to it because I just like to put more flavor in my food but it made a lot of food for me. I had it for lunch the next day and I still have plenty. I am hoping my family will come on board with this healthy lifestyle.

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Giving Up Meat

I have always known that we are what we eat. I know many years ago when Native Americans killed their animals for food it was said that they thanked the animal for giving their life for food. Different religions require an animal to be treated and slaughtered a certain way; in Judaism it’s Kosher and in Muslim it’s Halal. How can an animal that has not been treated and fed properly provide proper nourishment to our bodies? All that negativity and stress is in the meat. When I eat meat from a store that has a factory farm of animals I am contributing to that mistreatment. I have organizations on my Facebook like The Gentle Barn and The Farm Sanctuary that rescue animals. The Gentle Barn since I have been following them have opened rescues in Tennessee and now in Missouri. Did you hear about the six cows that escaped from the slaughter house back in April or May from St. Louis Missouri? The Gentle Barn rescued them and have purchased land to start a Gentle Barn Missouri. One of the cows had to be put down because of injuries they feel might have already been there at the time they escaped, they named him Spirit.

I have been dealing with different health issues and feel part of my healing will come from cleansing my body. In order to cleanse my body I am going to fill it with fresh foods. I will continue to listen to my body and make sure I am giving it what it needs. I have been using organic household and beauty products as much as possible. I have a lot of essential oils from Young Living and DoTerra. I use them on my body and on my house. I have to be careful because I have cats and I have read that diffusing them in the air might not be good for them so I only do it in a room that is closed off to them and only I go into. I haven’t had any meat since Tuesday and I have to say I do see a difference in my energy level. I have been watching videos from The Raw Boy, Fully Raw Christina, Rawvanna, and others, as well as reading The Medical Medium’s books (he promotes vegan raw and cooked). If I want to see change in the world I have to make those changes as well. So I saved recipes and made out a meal plan for the week. I don’t think my family will join me on this journey and that’s ok. If and when they are ready they will do it.

OH!!! I found out I have 2 baby birds in my hanging plant that is on my patio. They are so darn cute!!! I see mom flying in and out of there feeding them it is so precious.

 

 

Michael Todd Organics

Over the past six months I have been trying out Michael Todd’s facial cleansers and other products. I have to say I love it! I have tried the set for mature skin and the one for dry skin. The avocado and mango facial mask is awesome; it smells great and the way it brightened and moisturized my face was beautiful. Then when I applied the citrus cream moisturizer it has a lemon smell and is very hydrating as well. Michael Todd came out with a Knu anti aging face lift cream, I have to say I really like that too. Overall I am very impressed with the way my skin is looking these days.

It seems like after awhile my skin does have the vibrant glow so I change up products and it seems to kick it back in gear. The price for the set is $85 which is not bad with all the product you get with it. check it out for yourselves!!!

I also bought Extra Virgin cookbook. I love watching the cooking show and have tried some of the recipes available on the cooking channel website but this cookbook is beautiful and has some delicious recipes. I love how simple some of them are and gets me back to my Italian roots. It brings back many wonderful memories I have of my nana’s cooking.

Antipasti stuffed chicken

I made antipasti stuffed chicken and wanted to share the recipe, just go here http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/antipasti-stuffed-chicken.html. It is so good!!! My son said he wants it for his birthday dinner 🙂 . I mentioned in another post how I am getting back to my roots and trying different Italian dishes whether from my family or others. This recipe is a keeper.

My home is a comedy club!

Holy humidity! Going outside is not fun. My air conditioning in my car is not working, so driving my son to Jiu Jitsu is going to be hot. Dinner last night was totally yum! I made picadillo. I have frozen sofrito so I pulled out enough to equal 1/4 cup. I chopped up a quarter of a yellow bell pepper, and a small carrot. They were added to the turkey meat as I was browning it. I am trying to add more vegetables to my meals so I decided to get some frozen chopped spinach and throw in about 3 tablespoons. I love the tanginess green olives give the meat, but my husband and son complain when I chop them up. To be kind I left the olives whole. Do you know they still complained??? Hello not having them in there makes a difference in the flavor, pick the darn things out and hush! Seriously, why do they have to mess with my cooking? I have been Pepsi free since the very beginning of May so now I am going to try to stop drinking coffee. My youngest daughter doesn’t think I will do it. She says I love the taste too much. Yes that is true and I only have 1 cup a day, however, I want to keep the acid in my body as low as possible and for other health reasons.

I have a week off from school, I have to get the financial stuff fixed before I can start the next two classes. I have to say I am not too sad about this. I think having a week off will give me a bit of a breather. My grand niece is three weeks old today, she is beautiful!! She reminds me so much of her mama. It seems like yesterday I was helping my sister take care of her. I told my oldest she needs to step it up my grandma clock is ticking!!! She thinks I’m crazy, she’s right but that’s not the point. In fact I had to tell her it’s time to take control of her life and live it, not go through the motions. She should be having all kinds of fun discovering herself and spreading her wings. At least she has a boyfriend, they have been together for 4 1/2 months. It won’t surprise me if they end up married. Do you ever get a feeling about a couple? I get that about them. You see, my daughter has been her own worst enemy. She has kept herself bottled up in a shell and because of it she has missed out on a lot of fun things in life. Oh and it has messed with her self esteem. My daughter is a HUGE over thinker!! I tell you what, I love her so very much, but there are times I bust out laughing when she is on her spazz mode. My youngest daughter now understands what I have gone through, she told me the other day, “Mom, I’m about to smack D, did you drop her on her head?” LOL no I did not drop her on her head, she was a preemie and there was a possibility she had a seizure when she was 2 weeks old so they put her on Phenobarbital for like 5 months. I think it stunted her emotional growth!!! I promise you, I have my own comedy club right here in my home. Anyway, so yes I think my daughter and her bf are good for each other. It’s kinda funny that her bf has dyslexia just like my son and she understands her brother much better now. I am also seeing the shell slowly peeling away, when her boyfriend is being a brat, my daughter’s feistiness is coming out. Poor dude doesn’t know what he’s getting into because she at times sounds just like me LOL.

I think I need to read Kristen Ashley’s new book, heck I don’t even remember the name of it. I try to take time to read something other than psychology or continuing education for my preschool certification, but that doesn’t always work. Or I am catching up on my continuing education for preschool.

I have been using just plain ol coconut oil on my skin after a shower. My skin is feeling softer!! Added bonus is coconut oil protects the skin from the sun. I have been out in the sun a lot so this is a good thing.

Time to go do something productive. Be Blessed 🙂

Pasta, Italian sausage, and veggies

I am really trying to stay organized with school, family, work, and life in general. I finished my health and wellness and communications class. I am sad that the health and wellness  is done. That class really opened my eyes and brought my understanding to a deeper level. I have moved on the intro to psychology and media and American culture. The work load with these two classes is more than any of my other classes. I have my planner full of what needs to be done each day for school. The hubby and I have Google calendar on our phones so it is synced up and we can know what each other’s schedules are like. I have a template of time slots so I have a bunch of copies so every night I look at my school planner and Google calendar to plan my day accordingly. I have cleaning, menu planning, exercise, you name it I put it down. I find it keeps me on track. The next 4 weeks I have lots of school work! If I have a lot of school work I do not want to plan a meal that takes too long. I have 2 weeks so far planned. Tonight I made a Pasta, Italian Sausage with veggies yum!

  • 12 oz Rotini or penne pasta
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing
  • 1 medium head escarole, rinsed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water. Reserve 1 cup water
before draining.While pasta water boils, heat a large non-stick
skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil; when hot add onions,
peppers, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook about 4-5 minutes. Add sausage breaking it up about 6-7 minutes. Add escarole, cover and cook 2 minutes; remove the cover,
stir and cook about 3 more minutes or until wilted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.Add cooked pasta, red pepper flakes, reserved water and Parmigiano
Reggiano, toss well and transfer to a large serving bowl. Serve immediately.

I used chopped spinach instead of escarole and it was still yummy!!!

I have to get back to my psychology reading, so I better end this for now. Be blessed my friends!!

 

Tried a new recipe

I was on Pinterest and I saw this recipe called Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole.  I remember My Aunt Stella telling me years ago how Pa loved to eat rice with meat sauce. I thought that was odd but after having this dish I totally understand. It is delicious!! It reminds me of lasagna. Everyone in my family had seconds 🙂 When I made the recipe I tweaked it a  bit. There was no garlic in the sauce. I’m sorry that is a sin!! To add a bit more umf to it I also took some carrots juice, about a 1/4 cup red bell pepper, and a handful of spinach blended it up and added it to the sauce. My middle child is so anti veggie it is really very sad. She got her veggies today :). I do not add all the tomato sauce to the meat mixture I  put in about 20 oz and the rest will be saved for the rice

2 cups long grain rice

4 cups water

3 sweet Italian sausage links, casing removed

10 oz ground turkey

1/4 cup minced onion

salt and pepper

5 oz frozen peas

29oz tomato sauce

1/3 cup egg beaters or egg whites

1/2 cup pecorino romano (I used a lil more)

cooking spray

4 tbsp. seasoned bread crumbs divided

1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

cook rice in water according to package directions. Set aside to cool

Meanwhile, sauté sausage, meat, and onion until browned.  Season with salt and pepper. Here is where I also added onion and garlic powder. Then add peas and 16 oz tomato sauce. simmer on low about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven 400. In a large bowl combine rice, romano, eggs, and 9 oz tomato sauce and mix well. Rice should be a bit sticky

Spray a 9×12 casserole dish with cooking spray, making sure to spray the sides too. Add 2 tbsp. breadcrumbs to the dish and roll around to  coat the bottom and sides.

Take half of the rice mixture and cover the bottom of the dish and up the side; press to form the bottom layer

add half the meat sauce

sprinkle with mozzarella top with remaining rice and press until even. Top with remaining meat sauce, remaining 2 tbsp. breadcrumbs, and remaining mozzarella.

Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes. Cut into 8 pieces.

one serving is 367 calories, fat 9.5g, carb 46g, fiber 2, protein 21g

Try it you won’t be sorry!!! Oh…I also made a salad to go with it.