APPLICANT #23: Tara O'Hara

Tara O'Hara is a mother from Lake Stevens, Washington.

Here is Tara's video application:

Here is Tara's current situation:

"I am a stay at home Mother looking to connect with other moms to figure this thing called life out, or at least get to next weekend!"

Here is Tara's blog post:

"I don’t know about very many of you, but if your like me, you found yourself staying at home, because with the rising costs of transportation and child care and lets face it everything else it just made sense! Or Maybe you planned it that way, you waited to have children until  you could "afford" to stay home, and you have had a full career and now you are faced with the endlessness inside your own four walls!

So you have made this choice to stay home, but what in the world do you make for dinner?

My mom worked full time when I was growing up, she was a single mother and had three kids to raise, so DUH she had to! But I wasn’t the only one whose mother worked, even my friends whose parents were still together, their mothers worked also. In fact  I only new a handful of mothers that stayed home.  Long gone are the day’s when entire street of people were at home with their children, and you traded ideas about what to make for dinner that evening, and left your kids playing with the neighbors while you ran to the store to get some groceries!

Do you even know your neighbors now a days? If you know them would you trust them?  It seems so long ago that ladies would sit around drinking coffee and trying to decide how to get grass stains out of jeans!

That is what I am about! I want to know how to survive this staying at home business when the status quo is to work!

I want to first tackle What to make for dinner! 

I have been a stay at home mom for a year now, with that in mind—I use to hate cooking, but I think that was because I didn’t know what I was doing—I started selling an at home product of kitchen supplies about six months ago, and lets face it I wasn’t any good! However I learned to follow recipes (novel I know) but no one I new followed recipes, at least not that I saw, so I thought that in order to be a good cook you just thought these things up overtime—WRONG!

My best friend now is my small collection of various cookbooks- I like to sit down with them once a week and make a meal plan—Before I forget:

RULE #1: HAVE A MEAL PLAN- make it before your grocery shopping/errand day so that you can get all the necessary ingredients to make what it is!

RULE #2: Have 3 meals that you eat every week no matter what (makes those days when you can’t think anymore SO MUCH easier, plus it is easier to teach your children how to cook meals that you have rehearsed)

RULE #3: Try something new—and WARN your family!

So what do you make for dinner? Casseroles are nice because the usually take a minimal amount of time to put together, you can use up those leftovers that we rarely eat. Thay require the dirtying of fewer dishes, and once prepared they don’t require additional work! I am a big fan of these on my cleaning days.

The crock pot—I have also a roasting pan for my oven that I have recently fell in love with that I use similarly to my crock pot. So for those days that I am going to be around the house but perhaps working on other things—projects for school, sewing for Halloween or whatever task that I could easily get consumed in, I plan a meal that will cook for about 3 hours in the oven or 4 hours in the crock pot! I have found that this helps relieve stress, when my husband gets home and the house has exploded with whatever I happen to be working on! He gets a whiff of dinner and I get a kiss (and a clean this up before I get back down stairs wink!)

I have found that there are TONS of things that you make in these, from meatloaf to chicken and dumplings!  And many that freeze well, so I make enough so that I can freeze a smaller meal for those days that parts of the family are missing—myself or my children (makes it easy for the husband to think of what’s for dinner on those nights that I leave him).

I would love to hear some of your favorite recipes and even if we aren’t neighbors we can sit around and share our favorites! Until Next time TTFN! Ta Ta for NOW.

Tara"

The Verity Mom Team