Quick & Easy Shrimp Stew

It’s no secret that I love food. It’s even hard to tell that I love to eat. (I so love to eat!) And a lot of nights when I’m super tied up with the kids and don’t want to cook the same things over and over again, I try to think of something different with the ingredients I already have. (Because once I’m in the house, I’m in and I’m not leaving!)

So, it’s Tuesday and we already did spaghetti, already had pizza, didn’t want a sandwich, OMG what are we going to do? At the end of the day when it’s dinner time, guess who does the decision mainly fall on? If you guessed me, you are so right. But I’m not complaining because I actually do enjoy cooking. (Sometimes.)

I love to make up food that actually turn out good and taste good. (Especially for my step-sons because I don’t want them to feel like they will starve when they are with us.) Yeah, I know I can be a little dramatic. It’s stressful being a step parent but I’ll get into that some other time. *nervous laugh*

Anyway, I’m looking through all cupboards of the kitchen trying to figure out something quick but good and filling. In the midst of brainstorming, I just so happened to look up at an old “fishbowl” glass I got from our honeymoon in New Orleans. The first thing that came to mind was how good their gumbo is. OMG, I seriously never had such good food! (& drinks- haha)

It would be wonderful to have a big bowl of gumbo.

One tiny problem.

I don’t know how to make gumbo. Even looking up recipes for it online, I didn’t have all the ingredients to make it. Crap! Now what?

I came across a bag of frozen shrimp and some Mexican rice and thought, “This could be good”.

Then I kind of lost track of what I was thinking about at the moment and went towards a Chili route. So, I got a can of kidney beans, tomato sauce, cayenne pepper, black peppercorn…

So, I took a chance and threw everything into a pot and it came out lovely!

No, really, it did. My stepson liked it. I was surprised because I thought it was going to be a mess! 20171106_203349

Ok, now I’m finally going to tell you how I made it. But first, the ingredients!

First, I cooked the rice. The directions on the bag say bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. I put an extra cup in. (so 3 cups).  It’s obviously too much water but previously cooking this rice, I always end up adding more water anyway. So, while the rice is boiling for about 5 mins, reduce heat to medium heat and stir occasionally.
Have shrimp thawed out or sitting in warm water in a bowl thawing while you are cooking the rice. (saves time and it doesn’t take long to thaw.)

Chop up the whole potatoes a little before you put it in the rice.

Then add corn, beans and tomato sauce to the pot. Still stirring occasionally, add just a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. (A little goes a long way, trust me. Unless you love spicy, have at it! ) Add a little pepper to taste.

Now, it’s time to simmer. Just for about 10 mins, covered until beans and potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally. 20171106_203429

And that’s it! All done! Trust me, it’s good and goes great with crackers! It’s a perfect meal for a chilly night at home or a filling meal that doesn’t need any sides. Whenever I make this again, I will probably add some chopped bell peppers to it. (I love bell peppers!)

Try it and tell me what you think! It’s delicious and I’m sure you won’t regret it.

Until next time, stay spicy! 😉

The pros and cons of dating an older man

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I’ve been asked time and time again, “why do you date older men?” And I used to get a little offended because I’m thinking, “how dare they be so bold!” Honestly, I’ve learned to appreciate the straight-forward questions from friends and strangers alike. It’s our human nature to be curious about things we don’t understand and it’s not always coming from a judging standpoint. (Though, I do get a lot of judging questions as well.) Since I’ve been married, no one has asked me that anymore. I guess they figured something worked?

Since I’ve been married, no one has asked me that anymore. Those questions turned into “How much older is he than you?” or “What would you say are the pros and cons of dating an older man?”

I guess they figured something worked? Hince, why I’m typing this post!
First of all, older doesn’t mean old! Dating older men used to be the norm for those in classic old days then somewhere in time when women starting getting rights and making their own decisions, it slowed down. Now, dating older men seem to be coming back again (I think?)  Why go after a guy who didn’t even go to the same high school as you, or if he did, it was in a way different time. Or someone who is working in his career for the last 5 years while you’re still working on graduating college.

Now, for some people they ask “Why go after a guy who didn’t even go to the same high school as you, or if he did, it was in a way different time”. Or someone who is working in his career for the last 5 years while you’re still working on graduating college.
Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But that’s not the only thing. It’s all about perspective and what you are looking for in a mate. This is all from my personal experience and my own opinion. Of course, it varies from guy to guy. Not all men are the same and not all older men are mature.
Before I get into the pros and cons, I would like to explain why I always dated older guys. No, it wasn’t that I pinpointed every older guy I saw and was instantly interested because he was older. Somehow, that’s how things always seemed to work out. I would meet a guy who’s my age or younger and would be suddenly turned off by something silly like him drawing pictures of male parts on things or not holding the door open for me or asking me why don’t I wear high fashion name brand clothing. Maybe I was a bit old fashioned (I always admired the men in the 1920s. They seem like they were such gentlemen!) I don’t know.
I’ve had way more in common with older men, believe it or not. I usually lucked out on not getting a total jerk for a guy. This is not saying I have not encountered jerks. They all were “lessons” up to my final boyfriend who became my husband.

I’ve met older men who meant me no good and just wanted what I had physically to offer instead of trying to build something solid. Sometimes, they would think that you are just a young girl who doesn’t know much about life and try to get over on you. Maybe being with a younger girl somehow boosts their egos and make them feel like they “still got it”. Those are the ones you have to look out for!

On another side, I’ve met older guys who genuinely just liked the way I made them feel. For example, everything wasn’t so serious and uptight. We can relax and have fun and maybe I reminded them of their good days they took for granted?

Of course, older guys do know just what to say to get you to be like “Awww!! He is so sweet!” That’s if they have learned anything.

Now, before you go thinking that I’ve been with all these guys, it really hasn’t been that many. I do learn from other people in my social circle as well. And being in college, you have a lot of time to meet a lot of people.

Ok, let’s get cracking on this list! Here are my Pros and Cons of dating older men!

Pro:  Older guys generally been through life long enough to experience things and learn from them. 

What I mean by this is, they have a general idea of how women work and think. Depending on how he’s been raised, older guys tend to be more gentlemen-like. They tend to be more patient and understanding. A lot of times with that, they tend to be more laid back. Instead of going out clubbing or bar hopping, they prefer to have a dinner and drinks or stay at home. Or anything that isn’t jumping around in a mosh pit! This is of course if we are speaking of an older guy who isn’t stuck in his bachelor days mode and still like going to clubs.

Pro: They don’t like to play games. 

Now, this can be both. I say this because some people love to “play games” and I’m not talking about board games or video games. I’m talking about the old fashion cat and mouse game we all tend to play in the beginning of any new relationship. Some like to play it cool and not let all their “assess” show until later on when everyone is comfortable. Well, from what I’ve learned, older guys prefer to put everything on the table. No surprises. What you see is what you get. That can be a great thing! You’ll always know what’s going on and where they are coming from. Though, if you are the type to try to make him jealous when you guys have an argument or if you choose to ignore his calls because he didn’t text you “Goodmorning” after a what you thought was a great date, then you are in for a surprise! Not saying he will get mad and blow up but they don’t like all that stuff and can you blame them? They’ve been there and done that and that’s usually something they did not enjoy. Plus, they know what you’re up to. They know you’re just trying to make them sweat or want attention. Best thing to do is be upfront and tell them what you’re thinking or feeling. It will make things so much easier.

Pro: They know what they want.

After lots of relationships and flings, you’d think a guy would know what he likes and don’t like about a woman he’s interested in. Most of the time, they do and if you are what he’s interested in, you’ve already gotten past the hard part (and that’s wondering if he really likes you.) Think about it. He could have someone else, anyone else but for some reason, he’s talking to you. Especially if he’s an attractive man of high demand from other women. So, if he is all over you, he wants you. Believe him. (unless he’s the player type, then that’s another story).

Pro: Security.

With a lot of older men that are well set in their careers and figured out what they want in life, you will find that being their partner offers security. Some men, however, do not want to just completely take care of you and you do nothing at all. That’s not a partnership. On a flipside, there are a few who do feel that they are the man so that means they take care of financial responsibilities. As I said above, be upfront with expectations from the beginning. Another security older men offer is being secure in always having someone who has your back. Someone who understands commitment and isn’t afraid of it or think they are going to miss out on the next biggest things because they know what is important. (I guess, that whole 80/20 rule comes to play.) And they usually want to make you happy so in addition to doing things like getting your hair done, expect practical gifts that you need versus want. For example, your printer broke and you need it for work, guess what you’re getting for your birthday!



Con: Most men never really grow up.

This is so not a diss towards older guys or guys period but come on, I’ve seen and heard time and time again about how guys tend to still do things they did as kids or still laugh at fart jokes. Or want you to take care of them and us as wives, why not? They take care of us, so why not take care of them? And what about the guys who don’t like going to the doctor? Yes, it’s like having another kid that you have to schedule appointments and drag to the doctor!

Con: They usually have a “messy ex” somewhere. 

We all make stupid decisions. This means that somewhere in their lifetime, they have run across another female counterpart who got the best of them without good intentions. It happens to everyone (unless you don’t date) and some people don’t learn their lessons or it takes them a while. I’m also not saying that women don’t have a messy ex somewhere or another but this post is about dating older men so it’s all about ….men! They will always fall for a girl (usually in their younger years) based on looks or if they are heartbroken and trying to move on or just plain promiscuous. Why is this a Con? Well, because sometimes the ex flares up again and sometimes causes problems between you and your guy. IF he is a mature older guy, he would be able to keep it from becoming a huge problem. Like I said, they usually don’t like drama and that’s why the messy ex is an ex!

Con: Women around his age will hate you.

This is not saying that ALL his friends that are women or just women around him will hate you, but it’s very close. I have come across some women who seem to be upset that we were together, not because I have personally done something to them. It was because they either wanted him for themselves or upset thinking that he must be going through a midlife crisis and left someone his age and had to be a sugar daddy. That’s not always the case but you do have some people who are jealous or judgemental or just plain negative. You have to ignore them and just be happy with your life with your guy. Think about it from their point of view. You’re with a man who is established, what could you possibly have to offer that he would really want other than being a trophy piece? Some people think when you’re with someone you’re supposed to grow old with them and that’s impossible if you’re with someone halfway to the grave than you are.  Newsflash! People are living longer now! I have noticed that’s one of the reasons that people feel you shouldn’t date older than 3-5 years.

Con: It will be hard to hang out with each other’s friends.

You ever went on double dates with friends and it was fun because everyone was synced one way or another? Yea, it kind of gets awkward here. Let’s say his friends are more laid back and married. Your friends are still in their wild/don’t care stage, still want to go to the club or the hip places. Where is the middle ground there? His friends are going to look at your friends like wild teenagers and your friends are going to look at them like stiff old people. Not saying you can’t have some friends that are into what you like or around the same age but its kind of hard. I’ve found myself making friends with other kid’s parents and a lot of times they are between my age and my husband’s age which works. Plus, I’m not much of a party-harder anyway.



With my experience, dating older taught me a lot about myself and even inspired me to do better in my life as far as in what I want out of life. For me, I always had a goal for the things I wanted to do and so far, I have accomplished most of them. There’s always going to be new things I want to do and try and sometimes it can be hard to try new things that you both haven’t done yet. We still have fun and still explore and learn new things all the time and we don’t let many or any in our personal life especially those who aren’t contributing anything that is helping. I know it sounds mean but it’s a lot less stressful keeping opinionated people out of your business instead of telling them everything that goes wrong.

Bottomline: Do what makes you feel happy. Simple. Don’t worry about what other people think. It’s so not unheard of for younger girls to date older men and someone is always going to have something to say. Be stronger than their words. They aren’t the ones who are going to have to live with the guy after all.

Until next time, love hard! 🙂