Review: Eggplant Garlic Spread

I have another Trader Joe’s winner here.  Well winner for me, my husband isn’t so much a fan to be honest but I guess that means more for me right!?

I’ve recently reignited my love for TJ’s eggplant garlic spread.  I actually bought two containers of it the other day just so I would have extra.  I absolutely love it on toast.  I was first introduced to it a few years ago when a friend (who is a vegan) made an app with it.  She spread it on toasted bread and topped it with black olives.  I’ve been hooked since.

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I love this spread on toast, crackers, and I think it would be excellent as a sauce for a flatbread.  It has a very unique, smooth and savory flavor to it.  I wouldn’t say you even need to be a fan of eggplant to enjoy it.

If you haven’t tried it yet I highly recommend you pick some up!

What I Hope Your Kids Know

Okay, so I realize I’m fairly new at this whole mom gig, but I have been teaching kids for quite some time.  I’ve worked with kids who have summer homes and I’ve worked with kids who have no home.  I’ve taught kids who receive free lunch and I’ve taught kids who have personal chefs at home.  I have kids whose parents were high school sweethearts and I have kids whose mother was killed by their father.

Despite all these differences, my hope for your kids is always the same.  As the mother of a baby, I look at him and I plan for how I can mold him into a happy and successful human being.  The following is what I think is most important from my perspective as a high school teacher.

I hope your kids know about money.

Of course I’m not saying share all your financial woes and personal finances with your kids, but they need to know the value of a dollar.  The word “expensive” should be a part of your child’s vocabulary.  They should know what that words means, whether something is expensive to you or not.  They should know when they have something that others don’t.  They should know they should not throw away new school supplies at the end of the year or destroy other’s property.  Even if you can afford it, please don’t just buy them random sh#t.  It does nothing for them.  Spend time with your kids.  When I ask student how their summer was they talk about what they did, not what they bought.

I hope your kids know their teachers don’t care about their grades, we care that they try.

When I was a kid I always assumed my teachers would be disappointed in me if I got a bad grade.  As a teacher today, nothing could be further from the truth.  While I might be disappointed for a kid if they bomb an exam, I am never disappointed in them as long as they tried.  What kills me is when a kid gives little to no effort.  Apathy gets me, and it doesn’t get you very far in life either.

I hope your kids know their are other options out there besides college.

I can write an eloquent five paragraph essay no problem.  I can’t fix a car.  I’ve had kids who can’t write a five paragraph essay if their life depended on it, but they can fix a car.  They could probably build a car if they had to.  Am I smarter than them?  Absolutely not.

I’m a huge fan of public schools, and I think we do an excellent job differentiating instruction, but we as a society need to start recognizing intelligence that is not based in a classroom.  We need to celebrate that everyone brings something different to the table. Some kids are going to be great writers, some can fix things, some have interpersonal intelligence, some are amazing artists…the list goes on.  If your kids can spend hours working taking something apart and putting it back together but struggles to compare and contrast the Articles of Confederation and Constitution, don’t make them feel as though they are lacking.  Celebrate their gifts.

I hope your kids know what basic manners are.

As someone who has worked in the service industry, I can tell you this makes a huge difference.  Plus when you are kind, people are more willing to help you and go out of their way for you.  It’s that simple.

I hope your kids know that they are special.

They’re not better than anyone else, but they have something special about them.  Whether it’s their quirky sense of humor, love of animals, or gift for writing.  There has been something I’ve appreciated about every student I have worked with, no matter how hard of a time they gave me.

I hope your kids know there is no job that is beneath them.

If there’s anything my generation can pass along to their kids it’s this.  Growing up we were taught that you get good grades, go to college and then get the job you want.  After that you can save up money, buy a house, have a car, go on vacation once in awhile and so on.  Yeah, not so much these days.  When I graduated in 2007, the job market was terrible.  For the first decade of my life after college I always had to work two jobs.  It took me a long time to get the teaching position I wanted.  I consider myself very fortunate to own a home and be able to take the summers off.  Over that ten years after I graduated college I cleaned some gross bathrooms and was talked down to a lot by people who thought they were better than me.  You are not better than anyone else.  Waiting tables, making coffee, cleaning, and so on is not beneath you.  Never ever judge someone by the work they do.

Well, that’s all I can think of for now…I know the minute I publish this I’ll come up with something else.  I know we all want the same for our kids, and sometimes in the hustle and bustle of our lives we lose track of what is really important.

 

Summer Update

So if you’re from Mass you know we’ve been living in basically the most uncomfortable hot yoga studio for the last week.  I don’t even want to think about our electric bill since we’ve been running the central air non stop.

It’s certainly thrown a wrench in my summer plans of getting out and walking with Soy Bean everyday.  It’s just too damn hot!

We’re due for some rain tomorrow and that should hopefully bring us some relief.  It’s been tough being cooped up indoors.  I’ve brought the boys outside a few times to play with the water table we bought SB for his birthday, but even that gets oppressive quickly.

It’s also preventing us from getting the dogs out, they venture out to go to the bathroom and that’s about it.  Daisy needs to lose a few pounds (just like her mom!), but that’s been tough between being stuck indoors and me wanting to spoil her with treats.

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She’s been adjusting wonderfully, however.  I wouldn’t even say she’s adjusting anymore.  She’s just here and she’s our dog.  She belongs here.

Soy Bean and I have been getting in our walks at Target which also equates to Mommy spending lots of $$$… I like say I’m a patron of Target.  We’ve managed to visit a few friends so far and have plans to see more.  We’re also looking forward to enjoying a summer near the coast.  For the last decade of my life, I’ve lived about an hour from the nearest beach.  Also, the hubs and I are starting to plan a special date night to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  I can’t believe we’ve only been married for three years and have known each other for four!

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I will honestly say, and I don’t mean to be divisive, but as someone how is a working mom but gets to spend a few months as a stay at home mom, I am finding being a SAHM a lot harder.  I can’t say I didn’t anticipate this but I’m surprised how tired I am at the end of the ay (even when a sneak in a nap with SB).  Hats off to all moms.  Seriously…