Monday, May 14, 2012

New Beginnings

I've got those back-to-school butterflies in my stomach this morning.  For the first time in a loooong time, it's my "first day of school"!  I'll be taking online classes for the next year, and I'm excited and nervous at the same time {normal emotions for the start of a new school year, and the start of a new adventure}.

I'll tell you what I'm studying eventually.  I don't like to get too far ahead of myself and start counting my chickens before they've hatched, so I tend to keep things like this to myself for a while.  I'd rather get acclimated with  my school work and the subject matter first, and then start letting people in on what it is I'm up to.  My own mother doesn't even know I'm taking classes ~  that's how private I am!  My husband, my older brother, my dad and my stepmom are the only people I've clued in to what I'm doing.  My best friend does know I'm starting classes, but I haven't gone into details with her about what I'm studying.

I am super excited to begin this new chapter in my life.  I'm hoping to make positive changes both personally and professionally; get out of my current dead-end job; go into business for myself; and actually like going to work.  Sound too good to be true?  I don't think it is ~ I think the key to happiness, in life and in work, is to figure out what you love to do.  No matter how passionate you are about your job, there will always be bad days ~ you just have to find something where the bad days aren't so bad, and the good days more than make up for them.  Some people know what their passion is before they've left high school; a few more have it figured out by the time they graduate college.  I think most of us need more time than that, even, to figure out what we want to be "when we grow up" ~ and a lot of people never really figure it out!  And it's okay to take the time you need to figure out who you want to be, and to change your mind a lot ~ if you stop changing and growing as a person, you stop living.

So, my pencils may not be sharpened {this is the new millennium ~ classes are on my iPad!}, I'm not bedecked in head-to-toe new school clothes {yoga pants and a tank top, if you really want to know}, and I'm not climbing those giant school-bus steps {why are those steps so big?  Kids have such little legs!}, but it's back-to-school for me nonetheless.  I just know this year is going to be a fantastic one for me, and eventually you're all going to benefit from it too. 

Roll call!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Yummy, Salty, Crunchy...and Healthy! Snack

I've been making these Garlic Parmesan Roasted Chickpeas from Sugar-Free Mom for a few months now.  They are such a yummy, crunchy snack, and they're a cinch to whip up.  No preservatives or artificial ingredients here, and they satisfy your salty snack cravings {well, they satisfy mine anyway!}.  Last night I was flipping through a magazine that listed some Dr. Oz health tips ~ and his tip for a healthy snack?  Roasted chickpeas!  If it's good enough for Dr. Oz, it must be good enough for all of us, so I knew I had to pass along this recipe.

You might have to play around a bit with the cooking time of the chickpeas ~ 60 minutes was just a tad too long in my oven, but 45 and 50 minutes left the beans without enough "crunch".  {Tasty nonetheless, though}.  I'm thinking 55 minutes next time will be just perfect.

There's little danger of these yummies hanging out on your shelf for too long {they're addictive!}, but if you don't gobble them all in a day or two, they will get a bit softer over time.

The roasted chickpeas I'm nibbling on as I type this!

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Chickpeas
2      cans {15.5 oz each} garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2   cup grated Parmesan cheese
1      tsp minced garlic {or more, to taste}
1      Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2   tsp salt
        pepper, to taste

Drain the beans and rinse them well.  Lay them on paper towels to dry for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a bowl, mix together oil, garlic, salt and cheese until crumbly and oil is absorbed.  Add beans to bowl and toss to coat with mixture.

Lay beans on a baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes {until golden and crispy}.


For nutritional information or to see Sugar-Free Mom's original post, click here.