Thursday, July 26, 2012


Welcome to Midwest Girl! Take a chance to read the About Midwest Girl  tab at the top and get to know me a little bit. I’m just getting this blog going so it may look a little bit different each time you come back, until I get it just how I want it to be. Let’s not waste anymore time….

I thought I was going to get to sign my new teaching contract today for the Eau Claire Area School District, but it turned out just to be HR paperwork. Background check, check. Internet Policy, check. Payroll form. CHECK in the bank$! I’ll be back for more paperwork once I get approved by the board.

Some how I knew I needed to get a tiger hawk in on my first post!
I’ll start my fifth year of teaching in August as an elementary special education teacher. After graduating in December 2006 from the amazing University of Iowa I spent my first year and a half subbing (including 3 long term positions) in Minnesota. The 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 school years were spent working at HLWW Middle School as a special education teacher.

Wasn't my class in Bangkok adorable?! They were pretty smart too! This was taken on Loy Krathong, the Thai New Year where everyone wore traditional clothing.  

The 2010/2011 and the beginning part of the 2011 year was when I did a 180 and taught 4/5 year old kindergarten at a small international school in Bangkok, Thailand. Floods came to Thailand though, so we moved back to the US where I began subbing in Wisconsin. One long term turned summer school position in Mondovi, WI, 3 interviews with different schools, 2 job offers, and 1 acceptance later I have a job!!! Can I get a hallelujah?

One of the best parts of my day today was dinner. ..Tonight for dinner I made an amazing summer salad. Not just any salad, but "The Best Salad EVER"~my husband Greg . I know avocadoes are not in season right now (are they ever in season in WI?) but I'll probably be making this one all year: Avocado and Mandarin Orange Salad. Greg and I eat it as a meal.  Recipe is first then some pictures incase the title doesn’t make you hungry enough…

Avocado and Mandarin Orange Salad
*From my mother in law, Cathy who got it via her sister Aunt Barb

*Put everything together and mix!
½ bag fresh baby spinach chopped
½ bag of iceberg lettuce or any other mix chopped
1 small to medium red onion sliced thin
1 large can mandarin oranges, drained
½ lb(9 slices) bacon, cooked and crumbled (turkey bacon is good too!)
Slivered almonds, toasted
1-2 avocados, sliced into chunks
Romano or Parmesan Cheese

*Combine everything and whisk together.
*I always double up this recipe so I can have extra on hand and because Greg and I eat this every week right now.

¾ C Canola oil or olive oil
¼ C White wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2-3 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp dry mustard
1/3 C sugar
½ tsp salt

In the summer I like to get all the ingredients chopped up and ready to go for later assembly. The lime juice bottle is filled with the dressing! Everything can go into the fridge and be taken out right before dinner!

When it's dinner time I dump in the oranges, then the avocado and red onion.

Next comes the chopped turkey bacon (already had on hand) and then top with some Parmesan (do you know why spell checker capitalizes this? ) cheese! So hard not to nibble on thiswhile I was waiting for Greg to get home from his bike ride.

Don't forget the toasted almonds and the dressing for the table. Our meal was rounded out with some delicious sweet corn and a glass of milk.  Seriously this is one of the best salads ever!

I hope you enjoyed this first post. More to come next week! I'm off for a bike ride, then packing for my weekend in IOWA! 

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