I wrote this when I was working, and Alex talked me out of posting for the simple fact that, if anyone I worked with were to somehow find my blog and read it, it could stir the pot. So here it is, it was 2 measly months into my job.

I guess I was content in my simple little world, living on a budget and being with my crazy and difficult kids.  it’s that saying that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.  don’t get me wrong, I like working and bring in the dinero, but I just didn’t realize that I hadn’t faced the world in such a long time.  Are people really that evil?  How desperate is the person that can’t just be happy with what they’ve got?  they have to meddle and poke and tease like we are in the 1st grade.  Less than 2 months and I feel myself in such a somber mood after coming home from work today.  I already didn’t feel good, so it was a the little things that got me hurt.  I thought I was really tough, but I guess over the past 3 years being Susie homemaker I lost that skin, all I had left were some mom gloves and pretty words.  That’s fine, it’ll come back, I am good at being angry when I want to be.  but I don’t want to be, at least not that often, it never feels good afterward like being happy does.  it never hit home how judgmental people could be with just a simple look, as it has now that I am outside of my bubble.  Suck it up, I know, but it is so much easier said than done on days like today.  my child-like side that everyone has, says “it’s not fair,” and the woman in me says, “show em what you’ve got, and don’t back down, and don’t ever turn your back.”  I really am a genuinely happy and honest, and nice person, but nice doesn’t always cut, it, and I have been through enough in my short life to know that, I choose when to be tough and when to be sensitive most the time, I guess it is just harder than I though after being away from the real people for so long.  And church doesn’t count either, because most people aren’t the way they are in church. 

Are you pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down??? I used to think that being a mom was harder than being an employee…but I think I might change my perspective on that one.  Being a mom, and working, and coming home after dealing with the “real world” is harder than being a SAHM will ever be.  No offense to any of you reading this…don’t forget that I was there for 3 years.

 

So, there you have it.  Before I built my “skin” back up.  And it happened fast, which I won’t say I am proud of. It’s oddly unsurprising, but annoying, how a place like where I worked can change you in an instant.  NO MATTER how hard you try, it changes SOME part of you.  I am slowly but surely getting back to ME.  I am enjoying being at home.  In fact, my hubby smiled at me at the dinner table tonight after a hard, late day at work and commented after something he had told me, “besides, I like having you home.  I missed it and you have some kids to teach come September.  I love you.”  It sounds simple, but of course the way he said it, and the way I heard it, was calming and sweet and made my heart melt. 

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I’ve been eating, a lot.  Heaping amounts of really bad-for-you food.  Unwise, I know.  It’s all in my head.  I have somehow convinced myself that food makes me happy.  Which is far from the truth.  It’s like I am constantly thinking I better eat this because it might be the last time I ever eat it again…or something along those lines.  Well, I have been eating, reading, studying, cleaning, crafting, and all that great stuff.  I have been hitting the books for my business class, and trying to get prepared for next week when I go back to work.  I say back to work like I had a career before or something. When I was pregnant with the twins, I worked at Target…yes the big red dot.  It was oh so glamorous working there, people that work there really do thing they are something special.  Like, what, it’s a step up from Walmart and you think you’re high class?  HaHaHa.  It was a job…before that I was a waitress.  I liked it much better. But, somehow living in a larger town made it harder to find a job.  I’m not really sure how that works out.  Well, next week I start a full time job for far more than minimum wage.  God has really blessed me with this job.  It’s funny, he gave me all the time I needed to become comfortable with the idea of going back to work, which came in stages, and then the second I was ready, he offered me an amazing opportunity. 

 

Well……I guess that’s all for now, If I think of anything else I let you know.  I have been oh so absent and a horrible blogger.  Mostly because I was dodging you, all of you, I saw you coming around the corner and I ran….so so so far away. I didn’t want you to know I never actually started my juice fast with a fighting chance.  There you have it.  I failed and have been trying to pick myself back up again.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  Until next time…Adios!

Email me with questions, comments, or suggestions @ bananasblog@hotmail.com

I have an addiction to food.  I am not being melodramatic either…it really is true.  It’s an obsession.  An addiction that I can and will compare to that of a substance abuser.  My drug of choice is not for recreational use alone; I am a habitual eater.  Now, if you know me, I love to bake, and I love to cook.  There are many things I love to do, but I do not think I would ever give up baking and cooking.  I love discovering new recipes, and marveling in the joy of a new taste or look of something edible.  I eat a lot.  I eat to take place of things I need to get done. For example…you know those pictures on your wall that need dusting?  I will go to the fridge and kill time before having to do such a thing by snacking.  I say to myself, “Hmmm, what’s in the fridge that I can eat?”  And while I have had many healthful foods that were delicious and satisfying, we can all agree that the most delicious foods are the most unhealthy ones.  Because for me, it just begins with a thought in my head that the texture, the taste, the savoring will be so fantastic.  I then act on that thought like a bad Lifetime movie that you know is a waste of time, only to feel regret, guilt, sadness, and FATNESS afterward.  It is a bad cycle.  I hope that you are taking me seriously, because while I do like to use words to bring laughter to a situation, my ordeal is really no laughing matter.  Food is truly my minds enemy.  It appeals to all of my senses.

So, this past July I began a juice fast.  Actually, my idea was to do a two day juice fast over the weekend to kick off my “Extreme Fat Smash” diet.  The spiritual growth I felt over those two days left such a lasting affect on my heart and soul that I decided to continue my fast.  I had no end date set in stone, only until I felt it was the right time to let go.  By day five, I felt this overwhelming fear that had I stopped, I would never overcome my need to feed an addiction that was so difficult to face, so I continued on. (I apologize for my abundance of run-on sentences. They are also something I love, which is why I am not so sure I could ever prosper as an English teacher).  This juice fast lasted for ten days.  I felt wonderful.  I felt more energy then I had since I was 15.  I felt clean, renewed, and closer to God then ever.  He was my strength through this feat.  One task that I thoroughly enjoyed was baking and cooking while on my fast, (not it the first few days).  After about the third day of my fast I was on a cooking and baking frenzy.  I enjoyed all of the smells I encountered, and had absolutely no desire or intentions to taste anything of which I created. I made breads, cupcakes, pies, cookies, panini’s, steaks, side dishes galore, chicken, fish, and more.  Every meal was fresh, and cooked, and there was a treat every day.  I ate none of it, and I enjoyed all of this time in my little kitchen more than I ever have.  I mean, I was like a mad woman, All of this made me crazy with laughter! I lost 16 pounds in those ten days.

I ended my fast by eating raw foods for a few days, and then some Vegan foods.  For the following month and a half I incorporated raw and Vegan foods into my diet, a long with continuing to drink a spinach/fruit juice and banana smoothie most mornings with the kids.

The past 3 weeks have been a downhill battle, all at my own fault. I have basically been on a binge.  I did a two day water fast 2 weeks ago to find my center and find my way past the barrier I was feeling was blocking me from truly being as close to the Lord as I wanted to be.  After that I felt great, that wall was gone…and then 3 days later I started my downhill battle with food yet again.  I went to the gym with Alex last week after not having gone for a long while.  I felt yucky and disappointed with myself that I let all of my hard work go to waste.  Being determined is not always easy.  It seems easy enough while the task is in your mind, but once you set out into the real world it becomes tremendously difficult.  So, on Wednesday I decided to begin a juice, fruit, and veggie fast.  I thought I would do this for about 10 days, go onto just a juicing, and then a water fast, and sort of cycle my way around back to raw foods and vegan incorporation.

Time for Truth:

I cannot lie to you, and being honest with myself is hard enough.  My fear for disappointment is greater when I think of all of the people I tell, which is why not many people usually know I am fasting.  Yes, sometimes the truth can hurt.  Here goes:

I had a teaspoon of Peanut Butter last night.  And another this morning.  Ok… TWICE today, once this morning and once like, oh I don’t know, about a half hour ago.  I was tempting myself.  I was ridiculously and foolishly skimming over all of the delicious recipes and photos on Food Gawker, and came across a recipe for fried green tomatoes with buttermilk-lime dressing on EzraPoundCake.com.  My oh my…I’m sure there will be a post on that later.  Anyhow, after commenting on how dangerous I was being while fasting and viewing all of these recipes, Rebecca, the writer of that blog replied asking if I would be blogging about my adventures with juice fasting.  So you can thank her for this post about my  honesty and dismay at my lack of effort.

Time for more truth:

Rebecca, as simple as her question was, presented me with some enlightenment as I guess you could call it.  At first I thought…haha NO!  I would not post on my adventures with juice fasting.  First of all, it does say in the bible not to brag of your fasting…although I do believe I am far from bragging.  I thought about it, and decided to post.  Posting about my issue will hold me accountable.  Fasting is not easy, and maybe by blogging about it, I can accomplish the goals I have set out to accomplish.  Also, maybe I can encourage you, my readers to do the same.  Fasting brings something into your life that cannot be explained in words.  I want to do the following through juice fasting:

1. Have a relationship with the Lord indescribable to anyone on this great green earth.

2. Reach my goal of losing my remaining 37 pounds.

3. Become fit, and energetic and positive.

4. Enjoy baking and cooking for the rest of my life like I did in my last 7 days of fasting the first time around.

Third times a charm right?  So, I will do my best at updating you.  I am starting a water fast for tomorrow and Sunday.  And Monday will be the charmer…I will juice my heart out. :)  I hope to inspire you while on this journey.

Feel free to ask ANY questions, leave me ANY comments, or email me at BananasBlog.@hotmail.com.  Thank you! I hope to hear from you soon.

Rachel <3

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Last weekend was lots of relaxing fun.  Alex took me and the kids hiking in the mountains and to the “river” or “crick” as I like to call it.  I love being able to get out to nature, I just wish it was a little closer so we could do it more often.  The kids loved it, sort of.  They loved hiking, but they were acting like pansies when it came to the water and sand in their shoes.  HAHA.  It was nice to get up there because this summer was pretty uneventful compared to others.  We did a lot of sitting around.  With gas prices the way they were, and my truck being a gas guzzler…we didn’t go far that often.  Thank goodness for air conditioning!

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So, I am not so good at keeping up with my blog am I?  Before I know it, the weekend is over, I am knee deep in laundry (one pile clean, and the other dirty), it’s the middle of the week and I have still not updated.  School started last week, my new job is creeping up on me soon…and life just happens.  But, I committed to this blog not so long ago, and I promise you-my readers, that I will be more consistent.  “Consistency” that seems to be a word brought up in my life too often.   It’s my downfall, I am inconsistent.  But I am trying so hard to change that.  More from me later.  This blog post is quite a mess…I apologize.

Please subscribe to my post or email me for updates.  Also, email me if you have any suggestions or questions.  Thank you!

Bananablog@hotmail.com

Hello everyone! Sorry it has been a few days.  This last weekend was awesome!  We got to stay home with Alex all weekend, and this has not happened in at least 4 months.  I planned all of our meals so that I wouldn’t have to hear a thousand times, “What’s for lunch??? What’s for dinner??? I’m hungry again, what’s for my second dinner???”  LOL.  So, my favorite highlights of the weekend were the fruit salad, the quiche and the “play dough.”

We’ll start with the fruit salad.  This is not your traditional fruit salad, and there are two ways I make it.

Way #1

2 Cubed Mangos

2 Cubed Apples

1/2 to 1 cup of Black Berries

Handful of finely Chopped Mint

1/4 of a squeezed Lemon

Mix it up in a medium sized bowl and serve!

Way #2, which is how I made it this weekend and was a totally different flavor, but equally simple and delicious.

2 Cubed Pears

2 Cubed Peaches

1 Cubed Apple

About a handful of Strawberries-Cubed

Handful of finely Chopped Mint

Mix it all up in a medium sized bowl and enjoy the fresh taste of summer.

Please don’t leave out the mint, it is really what makes the “Ooh and Aahh, and Mmmm.”

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Spinach, Zucchini, and Tomato Quiche

Next we have our quiche.  This was my first time making quiche, but I have always loved it.  I followed a pastry recipe I already had, and then winged it from there. Here’s what I got, and what I got was delicious!

Flaky Butter Pastry:

2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 cup of Chilled Butter, cubed

1/2 cup of Iced Water

In a mixer, combine the flour and the salt.  Slowly add the butter in until the mixture resembles crumbs.

Stir in the water until dough forms a ball.

Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.  Well, I popped mine in the freezer for about 1/2 an hour while I prepared the rest of the ingredients and it worked just fine.

While the dough is getting chilly, move on to sautéing the following ingredients:

2 Zucchinis

2 Tomatoes

1 10 oz bag of Spinach

1/4  Cup of finely chopped Chives.  (I used the dehydrated ones because I had them on hand already).

1/2 Cup of Whipped Cream Cheese

1 1/2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1 1/2 Cups Shredded Colby Jack Cheese

Cover the pan in olive oil and begin with the zucchini, then add the tomatoes and the chives.

Slowly add the spinach by the handful, covering the pan in between to thoroughly steam the spinach.

Once all of the spinach is cooked, begin added the cheeses, starting with the whipped cream cheese, until everything is melted in one big sloppy hot mess. :)

Turn off the heat, and set aside.

Now, Whisk together the following:

6 Large Eggs

1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk

2 tsp. Garlic Salt

2 tsp. Onion Powder

2 tsp. Pepper

Set aside

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Take out the pastry from the freezer, or fridge.  On a floured surface, roll out the dough to fit a 13x9x2 inch baking dish.

Cover the entire dish in butter or margarine so the pastry doesn’t stick to the pan.

Lay out the rolled pastry in the dish and pinch all of the sides under, as if to form a barrier at the rim of the dish.

I had left over dough, so I rolled it out and used tiny star cookie cutters to top the quiche.

In the dish, add all of the ingredients and slightly mix together.

Pop it in the oven for 40-50 minutes.

Here’s what it will look like about an 1 hour later, with 10 minutes cooling time and 5 hungry people.

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I made this for breakfast and had it done by 9:30 am, so you can do it, YES YOU CAN!  I think by 10:45 only half was left, and by 9 PM, about 2 large pieces remained.

Home Made Play Dough

I got this recipe for play dough from the Family Fun Web site and it worked out great.

CRAFT MATERIALS:
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Food coloring, optional

Time needed: Under 1 Hour

1. Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture holds together (keep mixing or it will stick to the bottom of the pan).
2. When the clay is cool enough to touch, your child can knead it on a floured board.

When you are done playing with it, store it in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator.  It should last a couple of weeks.

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DSCN3322Who is this guy???  Oh it’s Hulk Hogan.  Wait, no, it’s my husband, that’s right!

Well, this is all the fun we had with our clay.  We made kittens, gnomes, and mustaches.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Email me at Bananasblog@hotmail.com regarding updates, questions, or ideas.  Thanks for reading!

The night before last I was looking at foodgawker.com and saw some corn fritters, so I decided to take a stab at em.  I didn’t use a real recipe, I just sort of made it up as I went.  Here is what I got.

2 Cans of Whole Kernel Corn

1 Egg

1/2 Cup Yellow Cornmeal

3 Heaping Tbs. White Flour

4 Tbs. Milk

A couple sprinkles of Garlic Salt

A couple sprinkles of Onion Powder

A couple sprinkles of Pepper

Drain the corn first, then add to a large bowl.  Mix all of the ingredients together, except the milk.  Slowly add the milk as needed for consistency.  The corn batter should stick together slightly.

Heat a skillet with 1/2 margarine and 1/2 vegetable oil.

Use a heaping table spoon of batter for each cake, and flatten once in skillet.  Cook until each side is golden brown.

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They were delicious, and definitely worth the calories.

I love southern cooking, it really keeps the fat in there. :)

Here’s how they should look:

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If you try my recipe, let me know how you like it, or any of my recipes for that matter.

And, if you have any recipes of your own for this, or anything else you’d like me to try out, Send me an email at BananasBlog@hotmail.com

I hope to hear from you (whoever “you” are) soon.

Really, really, soon, because NO ONE has emailed me yet, and I am starting to wonder if I am “blogging” to myself? I sure hope not!

I made a batch of these suckers…they’re really just chocolate chip cookies with sprinkles, two kinds!  Because I love sprinkles and so do the kiddies.

Let me tell you a little bit about my husband, Alex.  A cookie has to be perfect for him to eat more than the one he is tasting for your pleasing.  His cookies have to be perfect.  Perfectly baked, perfectly textured.  So, I am always trying new cookie recipes, and so far there are only two that he loves, these and another recipe that I conjured up—-more to come later on that, the recipe list for that is a blog all in itself.  So, needless to say, I sent him to work with a bag for the shop, and he ate the whole thing himself through out the day.  It made me proud. :)

So here is the recipe:

2 1/4 Cups Flour

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Cup Butter (Please, Oh Please, do not use margarine when baking, I don’t care if your mother says its ok).

3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar (Another note, use brand name sugar, it really does make a difference, especially when it’s powdered).

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar (Especially when it’s brown too).

4 Tsp. Vanilla Extract (I know it seems like a lot, and most recipes only call for one, but I really think vanilla extract rocks and you should use as much as you want).

2 Large Eggs

2 Cups Chocolate Chips

1 Cup Sprinkles (the rectangle ones, not the dots, use those for the topping).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Cream butter and sugars, and add the eggs one at a time.

Add together all other dry ingredients.

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.

Lastly add the sprinkles and the chocolate chips and mix well.

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Measure by heaping tablespoons and drop on an ungreased baking sheet, I like to use non stick foil to cover the sheets for easy cleanup.

Sprinkle with dot sprinkles.

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies…it all depends on how big or small you make your cookies.

Enjoy!  Isabella did!

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