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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Recipe with Sargento Ultra Thin Cheese

I'm in Love!....with cheese

So for a while now I have been avoiding cheese/dairy products. I have been trying to watch my caloric intake and for a while I was tyring to determine a possible food allergy.
I'm so glad those days are over.
I love cheese and I think I forgot how much.
I was the queen of grilled cheese sandwiches in college.
Enter Sargento Ultra Thin cheese....
I found this lovely recipe on Pinterest and thought I would give it a spin.
Its rather simple....
  1. Low calorie bread
  2. 1-2 slices of Ultra Thin Sargento Cheese
  3. A few slices of avocado
  4. A few ounces of sliced turkey
  5. Spray of olive oil cooking spray
  6. A skillet
  7. A few minutes
  8. Voila yummy turkey, avocado, cheddar grilled cheese sandwich
I used mustard as a dipping sauce and found that I didn't need it with all the flavor this sandwich gave me. Thank you Sargento for bringing cheese back into my life.

The thirst is real!

The thirst

An epidemic that seems to be spreading fast. Where a male or female does anything for a the opposite sex because they are yearning for attention or sex. Only way to be cured is to get what they are desperately needing. Seems incurable tho..
If you are unfamiliar with "the thirst" don't worry so was I until it happened to me.
As you know if you have read me before I have been single for most of the last decade, I sound older when I say that :). This has resulted in more frequent inquires about why I am single, a push from others to go on dates more often, more weddings and couplings of my friends, and an increased feeling of aloneness.
I have always been the type of person to keep a small circle of friends and to keep myself very busy with work, educational attainment, and hobbies. At some point since I moved to a new town and moved away from the familiar my usual methods of keeping my mind occupied have faded away. So when I am home on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night and all of my 5 friends are busy living popping social lives I have too much time to think about how alone I am.
This has resulted in some very desperate things on my part which I have to beg myself forgiveness for. These things have included texting a guy who is obviously not interested in me (evidenced by his no longer calling, skyping, or texting me daily as per usual), calling up random people I associated with that obviously are not thinking of me, and a general perking up when any attractive man appears in my field of vision.
I have to do better.
So this Sunday I did a DIY project to update some new pieces of furniture that I acquired. I realized how much I enjoy creating, painting, and rocking out and singing badly. I also went on a date with a guy I usually would not have. I enjoyed myself and did not think about marrying him (too many times). Hey I'm a work in progress.
I am also doing a bible study regarding Love, Romance, and Marriage and it made me wonder if thirst is necessarily a bad thing. Jesus wants us to love others as he loved us. He wants us to be self sacrificing for the love of others. I don't believe that it is unreasonable to desire to have someone in my life that I want to tell "I love you". While I can see how being thirsty could be a turn off, it is also human nature. If no one loves a child that child will always seek love and have issues relating to others as they grow. If no one loves the dog you bring home you are likely to see many poor behaviors out of fear and a desire to be wanted.
Why then do people shame you for wanting something we are made to desire? Human life is all about building and nurturing relationships. Babies are born from people with relationships. Babies are needed to continue all life (with the exception of those self impregnating creatures out there).
So my plan henceforth is to continue to embrace my thirst, God wants me happy and coupled to give and receive love to the person he created for me. But in my thirst I will not (Okay I will try not to) harm myself in the process, i.e reaching out to old flames, or almost flames, expressing my feelings to someone who is emotional delayed (more than once), or have crazy hopes for someone I barely know.
I will also continue my thirst in regard to professional and educational attainment. I have already learned to love me. I want to learn to love others fully and in a manner befitting a queen.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Sargento Ultra Thin Vox Box from Influenster

Cheese Please!

 I was one of the lucky folks in the Influenster Nation to be chosen for a Sargento Ultra Thin Vox Box. I knew that when my box arrived it would not actually include cheese but that it would contain a voucher for the cheese and a gift. I was happily surprised by the adorable lunch kit that you see below. I went to my local grocer (Walmart this trip) and made the difficult decision of which ONE cheese I would get. I went with Mild Cheddar as it is one flavor that I consistently like.
When I got it home I decided to make a turkey, cheese, spinach tortilla wrap with mustard. I love Sargento products already because they are actual cheese products and you can taste the difference. I also found that the taste of the cheese was great and I felt less guilty eating it because each slice is only 45 calories. I found this more intriguing because it is not made with low calorie milk but by making the slices thinner than others.

Future cheese plans

I have not purchased more of the cheese as of yet, a girl can only eat so much in a week. I do plan to purchase this brand and flavor when I want cheese in the future. I plan to make some grilled cheese sandwiches with avocado this weekend. I also will remake the turkey/cheese wrap as well.
I am very excited that I was chosen for my first Vox Box so soon and I think it was quite apropos that it was cheese, given my love for it.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Magnificence of the Social Work Profession -

Please take the time to read this great poem. Today marks the last day of National Social Work Month. I have spent time attending trainings (increasing my competency), Advocating for policies (fighting against social injustice), educating future social workers, celebrating the social workers I work along side, giving away two self care packets to those in the field, and assessing my own self care practices. I have really enjoyed this month celebrating myself and others. I feel especially in a profession that often is not understood it is important to really participate in those Nationally recognized dates.

The Magnificence of the Social Work Profession -

Friday, March 14, 2014

The hope of something new

There are times when things seem to be meant to be or more than a coincidence. There are some people that you meet that just seem like they were supposed to be in your life all along.

I have finally identified what I enjoy most about the first few interactions with a new potential romantic relationship.
How great does it feel that someone sees you and decides that they want you in their life....if only for a short time.
How wonderful is it to have someone actually listen to the story of your life for the first time and want to know more.
It feels even better for that person to then comment that you are a "cool person".
At times you can take the people in your life for granted because it has typically been many moons since they initially decided "Hey I want you to stick around in my life indefinitely". You take for granted that every day/ every interaction they decide that yes they want to keep on knowing you.
I am in awe of the fact that every day a select few people on this earth make the decision to actively foster a relationship with me simply because I am worth of their love and attention.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Social Work the Protected Title

As a social worker I feel a great amount of pride about what I do, but that doesn't make me a social worker. I often hear people describe the profession of social work with a job description. That's like saying a doctor is someone who listens to your lungs and looks down your throat. Though those are things a doctor may do as part of an exam, those things do not make one a doctor. In the same thought a social worker is not someone who assists with food stamps, or works at CPS. Though social workers can hold positions doing those things that is just the job.
Let me explain. Social work is a protected title much like a doctor, nurse, or attorney. To call oneself a social worker requires a license in social work, to get a license in social work you must have a degree in social work from an accredited university. So if you work at the food stamp office and have a degree in English you are a person who works in the social services industry but NOT a social worker. See this from the State Board of Social Work Examiners
   Licensure is required if you identify yourself as a social worker by using titles initials that create the impression that you are qualified or authorized to practice social work. This includes using any title containing the words "Social Worker" or initials such as LSW, or LMSW. The board may impose a civil or administrative penalty of not less then $250.00 or more then $5000.00 per day for each day an unlicensed individual holds them selves out to be a social worker.
 You are exempt from licensure if you do not represent yourself to the public - directly or indirectly - as a social worker and do not use any name, title, or designation indicating authorization to practice social work. More Here
There was once a time when many of the social services jobs that now employee those without social work licenses, required that employees be social workers. I believe this has something to do with the public belief that those are "social work" jobs. When I tell people that I am a social worker I often here "So you help people apply for food stamps/Medicaid/Medicare/TANF?" or " Oh so you are mean and make people fill out forms" or  "Oh  you take people's children away?". These are jobs that social worker's can do but not things we are necessarily taught to do in our degree programs. I believe I spent one or two days in undergrad on how to assist people with applications for public assistance. That was several years ago before everything was computerized, when I help clients with forms now I simply read the application and assist the client in answering what is asked. I also was not taught how to take people's children away. I was taught how to assess family functioning, to acknowledge child development including warning signs of delay, I was taught the etiology of mental illness and who this affects, I was also taught the demographics of which people abuse their children, I was taught methods of rebuilding families, ways to navigate systems, ways to pull communities together, how to affect change and assess for a client's willingness to do so, I was taught about chemical dependency, empathy, grief, therapy, and so many other things.
So forgive me if I stand up for my profession.
I am a social worker because I have the education, training, experience, and ethics to call myself a social worker. As a licensed social worker my clients can rest assured that if I do not follow my ethical code and for example talk about their situation to others without their express consent, I could face severe repercussions. If I fail to follow the Values and Ethics of my profession I could be fined, lose my license, be put on probation, or a combination of those three, as well as other sanctions. I am forbidden from having dual relationships with my clients or in having a personal relationship with them following our work together under many circumstances.  Ethical Code
I am also required by my licensure to maintain a certain degree of education as long as I am a practicing social worker. This means I must continue to learn and grow professionally so that I can use the most up to date knowledge in helping my clients. This includes ongoing training in ethics which helps protect clients.
Though I did work at CPS that did not make me a social worker, in fact many things I did at CPS were not in line with what my social worker brain would have had me do. I am a case manager now, but I am a social work case manager. I function out of a social work framework, I pull upon theories and evidence when I work with my clients. In a few years when I am done with clinical supervision I will work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Meaning that I have the professional skill to offer psychotherapy to my chosen client population.
A part of being a social worker is advocacy: for human rights, clients, and the social worker profession. For that reason I felt it was necessary to clarify these things here. I am a proud social worker and I want others to know what a social worker is and what they can do.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Why I'm a jaded single lady

*Warning* sarcasm and cynicism below

So...I have been without a relationship (that has lasted longer than 2 months) for the past 6 years. I have really gotten used to being single but it is not really what I wanted for my life. I have been wondering lately if I want to be married with kids because that is what I am supposed to want or if it is because that is truly what I want for myself. Any time I even mention accepting that I may be single for life there is never a shortage of women that chime in shaming me for not having faith. I think it goes back to what Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche says in Flawless by Beyoncé. We are taught that women must strive for marriage and careers/success come second to that. I agree that the same pressure is not put on men. Its more than a little annoying that people feel it is necessary to shame me for not thinking that marriage is in the cards for me. I agree that God has all power and control and a plan for my life. I don't know what that is, neither does any other woman I encounter. So how do they know it is not possible that I am meant to be single? did I get here? First let's start with the most recent dating disappointment. I went out with a friend after a dance event. I was having fun dancing and enjoying myself. A very personable man comes up and talks to me and because I am trying to up my flirt game I flirted with him. We danced and joked and were as my bestie would say boo'd up for a while. He asked for my number and I faked jealousy when he appeared to be flirting with other girls. When I didn't hear from him the next two days I was cool with that, it was just fun to be engaged for a night. Then in typical 30+ fashion he contacted me after two days. We had cute text conversations and I was excited to have a conversation with a man that didn't make me want to throw up a little in my mouth (I get so tired of repeating myself with the online dating I have been attempting). I mean he had everything: a good vocabulary, he could dance, and he was the type that could sale you a mink coat in the middle of Texas summer. Then the red flag was thrown he said "look I will never make a promise to you I can't keep. I promise to tell you anything you ask." Now if you have never been completely kept in the dark by a dog of a man this may not seem like that bad of a thing to say but I saw it for what it was. He was laying the foundation to tell me later down the road that I should have asked him a certain something and because I didn't ask he didn't lie. So I did a little research- his Facebook was squeaky clean, then I searched for his name which revealed a honeymoon registry, which led to another Facebook search, which led to a wife who only 3 months ago had a baby. REALLY!?!?

Its not much of a loss for me but just thinking that this is why I am single...even the married guys are no good. Don't believe me? I know a married man that I have known for a while that offered a few years ago to father a child with me, the old fashioned way, and yes he was married at the time. This is the third married man that has seemed not to care about his wife while trying to woo me. And trust me I am not the type to give off the vibe that I would be cool with that. There have also been some less "violent" offenders: I talked to a guy on a dating site about my back and other things and the last comment from him was "well I guess you won't be having any good sex soon". The guy who took me out and argued with me about everything (such as the viability of Chinese food the next day) and ignored me (asked me questions I had literally just answered). The guys who I have known for years that will not talk to me for months on end and then reappear and expect that I have missed them, they get upset if I don't remember their birthdays or don't smile when they call.

I really feel like the world has become a place where we expect everything for nothing. Which translates into spoiled teens, women, and men. There is no longer a need to work for anything, if a man takes you out he doesn't have to be a gentlemen just show up and be prepared to receive. If a man has mistreated you in the past, all he has to do is not talk to you after the event for a year. By doing this he insures that when he does call you he can pretend to not know why you stopped talking and profess how much he has missed you, because you obviously feel the same. Imagine putting a book down and picking it back up where you left it and beginning to read again, women are just like that right?

My first relationship really laid the foundation for this. It was very traumatic and very public, he started the cheating. And not just an ordinary cheat, he cheated with my best friend who then stopped talking to me with no explanation for the next three years in high school. Every significant relationship I have had with a boy/man has involved me being cheated on. The last relationship I was in ended basically because my boyfriend was afraid of being dumped. So though I always pictured myself married with two children now all I can see is a child and a dog.

It may be wrong to be cynical but that is like telling a former CPS worker that children don't get abused everyday. I know that is a lie.

At this point my plan is to just try to enjoy the short period of dating when I enjoy talking to guys. The precedent has been so far that I will talk with them for a few days and either: they will stop communicating with me when I am not immediately available for a date; they say something offensive and I stop communicating with them; we go on a date and it goes no where; or we go on a date and I end up with a person that randomly texts me for months after that I no longer actually date.

With Valentine's day coming up (used to be my favorite holiday, the past 6 years it has been the most painful day of the year) I plan to love myself. I will don a saccharinely sweet outfit, treat myself to a date, and buy myself the gift I really want. What could be so wrong with that?