So I thought that I would take a few minutes to put down on this blog some thoughts that I have been having about my eating style.  In alignment with what I am teaching in my US History courses I have showed Food Inc, an amazing documentary about our food industry.  I watched it before but having to watch it several times a day has really gotten my attention.  I think I need to pay more attention to what I eat and where it comes from.  I am always "watching what I eat" but a lot of times I am looking to save a buck and not thinking about the quality or where my food comes from.

Papa Hunt and I decided that we need to start getting our meat from the local butcher who raises the meat before he sells it in his shop (god bless rural New England where you can look out and see next month's meat in the fields).  Some people would think this is gross but for me it means I know I am getting good quality food.  Yet, for me this doens't seem like enough.  I have been seriously considering becoming a vegetarin (and due to my dairy intolerance technically I would be vegan).

For me this has been a hard thing to think about my family is a family of meat eaters and I am not on some big mission here to change them or anyone else other than myself.  I have always done werid eating things in terms of loosing weight but trying to eat clean has gotten me to realize that eating is more than how many calories we take in, it is what and when we are eating.  This leads me to think more and more about eliminating meat from my diet.

The big question then is how...I don't have the time nor the funds to make two meals one for me and one of the the rest of the family. So my thought is this.  Over the next few months I am going to slowly begin to limit the amount of meat I eat.  I am going to cook more vegetarian meals for the family, get them into the habit of eating more meatless meals (which is good for everyone's health).  Then if I feel that is working maybe over the summer when I have the time to experiment more with cooking I will cut back more and maybe eliminate meat.

Its weird though, I can't honestly say I know 100 percent why I feel that I should cut back on meat. Part of it is healthy, part of it is knowing I will heat healthier which will led to weight loss, part of it an enviornmental/animal thing.  I just sort of feel this is right.  For a long time I have not done what I feel I should because I didn't trust myself....so I figure try it out see how it goes and go from there.

Also, those of you who know me don't panic that I am going to be one of those "Vegan People" not the above I am not making some big political statement I am just trying it out.

What are your thoughts? Anyone a Vegetarian?  Vegan?  Hard core meat eater who will never give up the burger?
So I have sort of been floundering as I mentioned in Friday's post. Well now that life has started to settle down (or more realistically I have begun to get used to these large bumps in the road) I feel that now is the time to start putting the focus back on me.  I have a goal to be at my pre pregnancy weight or as close to as I can by my birthday.  Then after that I will set a new goal. So on twitter one of the gals I follow posted about a new challenge going on.  I thought, what the hell why not join up so I did.  So as of Sunday am I am part of the challenge.  This week's goal is to get 30min of exercise a day (which will be tough because I have a ton of meetings and after school stuff this week) but I am going to try to do it.  Even if it means me and turbo jam spend some quality time in the basement!  I need to start realizing that I am going to have to give up some of my precious time after the kids go to bed to put to exercise.  Oh well the nails and knitting will just have to get put on the back burner for a wee bit while I get this weight thing under control.   So as the challenge progresses I will keep you all posted.  If you want to check it out, check out Dacia's site which is where this challenge is originating.  


I haven't done this in awhile so here goes...also don't forget to check out the original Friday Confessional over at Dandelion Wishes.

I Confess-
I have gained six pounds with the holidays and haven't take it off yet

This six pounds haunts me because it means that I back that much farther from my goals

I Confess-
Although it haunts me it isn't enough for me to get my booty in gear..I was too stressed and overwhelmed with my dad being sick, and work, and my hubby not doing well with his depression that something had to give and that was weight watchers and counting points.

I Confess-
I haven't been trying hard enough but think I have finally gotten back to being in the correct mindset. I have decided to give up all sugar for lent and really make an effort to detox myself over the next forty days. 

I Confess-
This loosing weight business post babies and the second time around sucks ass.  I wish it was easy, I wish it was...but its not.  It just sucks big ass balls and that is all there is too it. 

I Confess-
I don't know if I am ready yet to do all the hard work I need.  Maybe I need to get some life stuff sorted out first. 

Someone out there must have known me because a few weeks ago I was offered coupons to try Crazy Cuizine's Orange Chicken.  If anyone knows me they know I am a Chinese food freak.  I will opt for that nine out of ten times when asked what I want to eat (the other one thing I would choose over Chinese would be dessert).  So as soon as I got my coupon for a free box in the mail I went out hunting for them.

I was able to find them at my local BJ's and when I asked one of the workers if they carried the brand the women could not stop raving about all the different types especially the orange chicken.

So I got this glorious box home and figured I should flip this bad boy over and see what kind of damage this food was going to do....and honestly It was as horrific as I was expecting.  Now mind you as good as it is you can't be eating this everyday otherwise....I see weight gain in your future.  But is most likely not as bad as if you got the same orange chicken from your local take out place.

So this past weekend I was in a pinch for something for lunch and I had orange chicken on the brain.  So I made half of the box up.  Super easy, throw it in the oven cook away then nuke the sauce and toss. OMG did my house smell good. Plus they did something with the better to make is extra crispy when it was cooked, in a way that most frozen and breaded chicken isn't.  It was a huge hit, in fact Papa H barley left me any!

I decided to put my over some salad rather than with rice (trying to be at least somewhat healthy) and it was a suggestion on the box.  It was heaven.  Saucy little chicken bites over baby greens.  No dressing needed.  Only problem I totally want to hit up the other half of that box in my freezer!  I am saving them though because I think that they would make a great appetizer for an upcoming party.  So if you have a chance and you see these little gems at the store, why not pick up a fun change of pace and get some chinese take out from your freezer case!
Those who know me know I can't shut up....so here is an attempt at wordless Wednesday

How I spent my very short February Vacation

                            Enjoying My Kids!

Painting Pottery

Shoe Shopping

Snuggling (and playing with our phones mine and Josie with a Mickey Mouse cell)

I have been a reading fool lately, mainly due to really good books.  Over the last two weeks I was given the opportunity to review the historical fiction novel called "The Whip" by Karen Kondazian an award winning theatre actress.  For this book being Kondazian's debut novel it was a great one. 

The novel is based on the true story of Charlotte "Charley" Parkhurst.  I agreed to review this book because I wanted to start reading more historical fiction and more non fiction.  I honestly wondered what could an author write about a stage coach driver that I could actually be interested in.  Well, it was fascinating.  Not only did the book look into the early years of Charlotte and her years in an orphanage in Rhode Island and how she came to be a whip (stage coach driver).  Not only did this book explore larger themes like societal roles of women in the 1800's but also the racial tensions, poor conditions of children, gender identity, and the wild west all rolled into one. 

This was an well written story with lots of great details and well developed characters that sucked you into the story.  For me the one thing that struck me the most was that this was a real story.  Of course I know that is was historical fiction yet, to keep reflecting back on that the facts of Charley's life were real was what made this story so gripping.

Overall I would give this book four stars, the two reasons for it not being five stars is simply because I know that not everyone would really like this type of book and there were a few story lines and characters I would have like to be discusses more.  Then again if those things were explored this book would not have been 289 pages it would have been 489.
Again I have been lucky enough to be given a copy of a cookbook to review for my blog.  This time I was asked to read a speciality cookbook called "The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook".  This book not only has a ton of great recipes for those who need or want to go Gluten Free, it goes over the benefits of going Gluten Free.  It also spends part of the book talking about how to have a good diet while being Gluten free as well as various tips and techniques for living a Gluten Free lifestyle. 

Although I was expecting more pictures (I love a cookbook with lots of good pictures)it makes up for that with tips and suggestions in each section.  For example is the sauces section it goes over the different types of sauces along with a standard base to use in many of their recipes. 

I think that this would be a great book for those who are just starting out living a Gluten free lifestyle.  Also, this book is truly for the beginning cook and it goes over in the most basic of cooking techniques.  From this book I plan to make the Quinoa Black Bean salad and I will be posting pics back here on Mommyetc once I get my lazy bum to the store.  Again if you are living Gluten free or plan to go Gluten free this cookbook is a great starter recipe. 
First and foremost to the ten or so people who read my blog-Happy Valentine's day!!!  I hope your day is filled with love...from a spouse, significant other, children, friends, or furry ones!

So I wasn't going write about this but then I realized most people who read my blog have no idea about my favorite Valentine's day.  Papa Hunt and I had been dating for several years and had agreed to keep Valentine's day small that year.  We both were in our first year of teaching and barely had any money.  We decided on a nice dinner out and cards.  I broke the rule by getting him his favorite Jelly beans but I figured I would one up him on Valentine's day!  When you are 22, the holiday is sort of childish like that.

Well Papa Hunt would have non of that.  He went all out.  He decided to get flowers, and a huge box.  He covered that huge box in red paper and decided to hide in it to surprise me.  So when I opened the door to his apartment I saw the box and thought ohhhh how sweet...he wrapped himself up and he is my V-day present.  He totally won in the best gift contest...but wait

When I pulled off the top of the box, he had slit the sides so that the sides of the box would open and he was there in shit and tie on one knee with an engagement ring on his hand....oh yeah that is right.  Papa Hunt spares no expense nor does he follow the only a card rule!!!!  It was so sweet, so thoughtful, and still gets me a bit misty thinking of it!  Oh and lets just say my bag of Jelly Belly's lacked a little something in comparison. 

So that is my favorite V-day memory what are yours!  Or better yet do you have a disaster V-day story?
Disclaimer-I wrote this when I was pissed off the other day and needed to vent.  Figured even though I am not angry and more that I should still post it.

I am not perfect-Yet I always wish that I was

If I was perfect maybe life would be easier
If I was perfect I would make more money and be able to save it better
If I was perfect I would cook amazingly healthy meals that everyone loves on a shoestring budget
If I was perfect the house would always be clean and everything would be in its place-Including my hair
If I was perfect our kids would always be well behaved, never make a mess, and speak in soft voices because I am that good of a mother
If I was perfect my body would stay the same In some places and get super skinny in others
If I was perfect our life might be different-but I am not

I am messy, I am disorganized, I am forgetful

But I am a damn good mom, friend, and teacher who loves with all of her heart and believes in the best of people even to a fault

I am complicated, I am sleep deprived, I am cranky, I am stressed

But I find the joy in an many little and crazy things as possible, even laughing when I should be crying

I am dramatic, I am funny, I am snarky


And maybe, just maybe that is what perfect is

Despite things being crazy at home I have been reading.  Although not as much as I would like and only at night before bed, but I have been reading.  A few months ago Papa Hunt read the first book in the Hunger Games Trilogy and couldn't stop talking about how amazing it was.  When he discussed them with me I thought...ugh science fiction.  Yet, he swore up and down that I would love them so I indulged him and began reading this beloved series of his.....well hot damn he was right (here is where I would want me to tell all my readers that he is always right so I should know by now that he is always right).  Well anyways.....

It was so friggin good.  I mean I stayed up to one o'clock during Christmas vacation to finish the first one and the next night immediately started reading the second one.  They are that good.  Not only are the characters so well written, you find yourself deeply caring about them. You are find that you are invested in them and experience the ups and downs of their lives with them.  Without giving away too much of the book it is set in a world where we are now broken up into districts with one Capital District in charge.  Each year to remind the districts of the war and how they lost each of the districts must supply one male and one female teenager to be brought to the Capital to compete in a death match with the other districts children.  The winner of this competition not only gets a lot of honor but they will bring much needed food and supplies back to their district. 

I loved this because you find yourself connecting with the main character Katniss, her family, and the love triangle that she gets herself into.  In fact those who have read the books start getting geeky like those who love twilight with team Jacob and team Edward.  Except with the Hunger Games its Team Peeta and Team Gale (for the record I was team Gale for two books then firmly moved into team Peeta for the third). 

These books are a quick great read and I would suggest them to anyone....my only two complaints about them is in the third book there are two deaths which I did not feel were given adequate print time considering who they were.  The second complaint I do not feel that these books were young adult.  I think the would be great for high school kids, but for middle school I think the subjects that are dealt with are a bit too heavy. 

If you haven't already go buy these books and read them....Have you left yet???