Friday, July 13, 2018

#BaconWrappedAsparagus + New #GrillPan from Cavetools

 For some reason, I was craving some asparagus so I asked my husband to buy me a bunch  when he went the other day.  I have a new  grill pan  here that I have to review so I thought of  grilling these babies.  I normally bake it but since it is summer, mine as well cook it outside.

I was a little worried that the asparagus will  dry out in the grill but it was still  very juicy and  the smokiness flavor really rock this  dish.
 I am glad there is still an abundant supply of asparagus from the store.  I can't wait to start harvesting  mine from the backyard, few more years and I will have some.
I was gonna make mashed potatoes but since I  am grilling outside, I decided to make potato wedges sand grilled them too.  I seasoned them with brown sugar bourbon Grillmate spices mix.  
 I normally  do single  asparagus when I bake it but since I am grilling, I put three, it was perfect.  Just a little  tip for flavoring the asparagus, before you roll the bacon, add some  dill, it made the asparagus so flavorfull.
 I was worried that I cut the potatoes a little thicker so I pan-fried them  for few minutes before putting it on the grill.
 Both the potatoes and the asparagus  turn out delicious. A lot of fat from the bacon was rendered and it almost burn  it even on a very low  heat setting.  I had to turn it off and  put foil under the  grill pan  to  stop the flame.
 I really underestimated the  fats that will come out from the bacon.  I initially thought of laying aluminum foil under the grill pan but though I could clean it easy.   WRONG!!  So my new grill pan  has a burned  part  that I am trying to  remove.   I use to be able to remove burn  stuff like this with vinegar but it did not work this time.    Any  tips on how to efficiently  remove it  with  using an abrasive cleaning  material?
Anyway, I like this grill pan because it is heavy duty, you can really  utilize it  in grilling. You can buy this  grill pan directly at Cavetools website or via Amazon.  You can use this Cave Tools Coupon Code GRILLPAN15 for a  15% Off savings.  For grilling master out there, this is a must have.  You can use it in preparing bacon and eggs for breakfast which reminds me  that this would be great when  camping.  You can use it to grill your veggies, steaks, chicken, and pork.  Aside from the burning issue which is a mistake on my part, I really  love this  pan.  

Disclosure: The owner of this blog was NOT financially compensated to write this review.  I was provided with the complimentary product/s mentioned  for testing purposes and to help me  facilitate this review but  opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Tips for Buying Spices

Are you planning on having some of your friends and family members over to your house for a summer cookout? If this is the case, you will need to start thinking about how all of your food will be prepared. There are many different ways that this can be done. You might want to consider using some spices to liven up the flavor of various things like steak. You might have never used spices during your cooking. Therefore, you will need to find out some good places where spices can be purchased. Here are a few tips that will help you to acquire the spices you need to make delicious food for your guests.

1.  Go to restaurants in your area to find out which spices they are using
It would be in your best interests to seek out the advice of people in the restaurant industry. These people use spices every day of their lives. Therefore, they should be able to tell you about which spice brands are considered to be the best. You should be able to get some good ideas. Go to a variety of restaurants that serve different cuisines. You should do this because people from different cultures will not use spices the same way.

2. Talk to some of your friends and family members who like to prepare food.  
You will most likely have some people in your life who enjoy cooking. Seek out these people and get their opinions about the spices they think you should use for the meals you are going to be preparing. However, you should not simply write down the names of the spices they recommend to you. You should also find out the reason why they are recommending them. They might also be able to tell you where to buy a grilling spices gift set.

3.  Go online and see which spices are getting the best reviews.  

There are many cooking blogs and other sites you can use to read reviews of spices. These reviews will expose you to spices that you might have never heard of before. You will be able to get some advice about how to use these spices when cooking specific dishes.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Father's Day 2018 Feast

We celebrated Father's Day at home and my husband had a great time.  He  is a guy whose weakness is food so home cooked meals is always a  win for  him.   I   try my best to come up with  special dish during special occasion such as Father's Day.  
We started  our celebration last Saturday by making this salmon with brown butter tomato relish.  We ate it with brown rice.  This dish is very easy to make, all you need is salmon,  grape tomatoes, garlic, butter, parsley and seasoning.
My husband  is not very fond of seafood but if you cook it right, he would like it.  He liked this dish because of the flavorful garlic and tomato relish in it.  
I wish they would cook  during Mother's Day too s o we don't have to go out lol.  I hate going out during holiday because restaurants are always packed.   Anyway, yesterday, I finally able to use  the  content of Fuego Box.
 I mentioned that this box is part of the  gifts that we gave to my husband.  He was giggling when he opened it because  he doesn't cook  but I got him this.  He also knows that  these will be used  to make  tasty dishes sdo no complain there.  In reality, this  set is for me lol.
 The box  contained the  Hot Hive Spicy honey.  I used  two tablespoon of this for the BBQ sauce that  we made for the Pork BBQ we had  yesterday.
 This organic hot sauce, blend right in to the honey as part of the BBQ sauce.  My son said it's spicy but he doesn't like spicy food so I  I expected him to  say it.
 The jalapeño and garlic was a good marinating agent  together with crushed pineapple to the pork.  My marinade also include  the serrano sauce.  I was just testing what would taste good using these sauces and  seasoning.
 I also added  a tablespoon of this Fat Cat guajillo ghost sauce to the sauce.
 The result of this experiment using the Fuego box  sauce and seasoning was  awesome.  The meat was very tender and tasty.  The chard of the  grill on the meat  give it a  little crunch factor, it was really delicious!  Fuego Box offers monthly subscription for their products so if you are interested, you can just visit the link I  have provided above. 

Now, let's talk about  the vegetable that we prepared  with this dish. I always  try to incorporate  veggies in every meal that I cook at home so we could have a good balanced meal.   We used our new  stainless steel  vegetable grill basket from Cave Tools
You can find this  via  amazon and use VEGGIE15 coupon code for a 15% savings.  Here's what you can expect from this veggie grill basket.
  • Grilled Veggie Flavor - Unlike aluminum foil, your vegetable basket lets in all the delicious bbq flavors
  • Perfect Wok for Small Foods - Grilled Fruits, Vegetables, Shrimp, Meat, and any other food that would usually fall through the grill grates
  • Sleek Curved Handle Design - Never Drop Your Finished Veggies on the Floor Again
  • Convenient Side Dishes - No more pan frying your side dishes inside while cooking the entree out on the grill. With your new vegetable basket you can cook everything in one place
 I was gonna use it for the corn, remove it's skin and grill it but I remember that my husband doesn't like when corn is directly grilled because of the  burn marks.  I didn't want to boil the corn so I thought grilling it with skin on  would do the trick too and it did.  
 I grilled some broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots using the grill basket. 
 The BBQ on the stick  turn out so juicy and  delicious.
 The great thing about this grill basket is that you can even use it as a strainer for your   vegetable  or pasta so you can use it in multiple ways.
 I can't eat meat without rice so I also had  brown rice left over on my plate while they ate  BBQ and veggies.  We had this for  lunch after  the mass.
 I made this Greek Flatbread for dinner.  This Greek Flatbread was a  light dinner, perfect to have after a heavy lunch.  This has olives, feta cheese,  mozzarella,  pepper, and arugula.
 For dessert, we had mango and  strawberry cake.  They ate  cake, I ate mango lol.   The cake was store bought, I am not good in baking so I  rely  on commercially  made/baked dessert.

How about  you, where did you celebrate? 

Disclosure: The owner of this blog was NOT financially compensated to write this review.  I was provided with the complimentary product/s mentioned  for testing purposes and to help me  facilitate this review but  opinions are my own.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

4 Ways Parents Can Help their Kids through College Financially


Sending your kids through college isn’t cheap. Over 44 million Americans currently hold nearly $1.5 trillion in student debt, which means that roughly one in four adults in the United States are currently paying off student loans. That worked out at an average debt of $37,172 per student. Ouch.

As costs continue to rise, it is leading many parents to wonder how they can help their kids through college financially. There are several strategies for this depending on how involved you want to get, ranging from creating a college saving plan when they are still in diapers to using your own retirement funds to help ease the burden.

Here are four ways parents can help their kids through college financially.

Create a college saving plan
One of the easiest ways to help your kids pay for college is by setting up a saving plan early in their lives. You can do this through a 529 college saving plan, available in all 50 mainland states and the District of Columbia, or by simply putting away a certain amount of money per month into a separate account or trust fund. Even by putting as little away as $50 a month from when your kid turns two, you’ll have saved $9600 to help towards their college costs by the time they turn 18.

Apply for PLUS or private loans
Around 3.4 million Americans currently have Parent PLUS Loans which they use to help pay for college. These allow borrowers to loan an amount that is as high as the cost of tuition and are treated like basic federal loans, although they do have a higher interestrate of 7 percent. If you have a good credit rating, you can also apply for a private student loan from a private lender or bank which may have a lower interest rate.

Look at relevant grants and scholarships
Plenty of charities and foundations appreciate the financial burden of going to college and the way it can prove to be a barrier to those from less well-off families from entering further education. That’s why they offer bursaries and scholarships to ensure that gifted students from poorer backgrounds don’t miss out on college due to financial reasons. Look at the various scholarships and grants that could help your kids through college and encourage them to apply, such as the Shawn Carter Foundation which helps individuals facing socio-economic hardships further their education at post-secondary institutions.

Tap into your retirement plans
The average “gift” from a parent to their student when it comes to financing college studies is $10,147. A fair chunk of this comes from peoples tapping into their retirement plans in order to help their kids. For people under the age of 59, early withdrawal penalties don’t occur if you are using the money to help pay for college education although it is important to consider that you might then owe tax depending on whether it’s a traditional or Roth IRA and how much money you withdraw.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

How to Paint your Nails at Home like a Pro


Before  sharing the tips on how to  paint your nails at home like a pro, let me share this cake from my birthday last year.  I'll be 45 in few days, time flies when you are having  fun!  Thanks for my husband for making my life  awesome  despite of being so far away from my family.

When it comes to having your nails done, some people just won’t even entertain the idea of doing them themselves. However, with the proper savoir-faire and equipment, anyone can get professional results from home. Here are some few tips on   how to paint your nails at home like a pro.

Use Fresh Polish

If you want to know how to do your nails like a pro, know that the process starts by using fresh nail polish. You can tell nail polish is fresh because it is thin and easy to spread. If the nail polish is gloopy, that will carry over to the polish on the nail, as well. You could try to add nail polish thinner to the nail polish, but that could create other problems. Don’t use a polish that is streaky, either. If the polish is thick and heavy, the surest bet is to throw it out.

Start with a Base Coat

While applying a base coat takes some extra time, it will give the colored polish something to stick to and helps it last longer. This layer will protect the nails underneath from staining, as well. If you’re going to apply neon nail polish, apply white or opaque polish that matches your skin tone to make the neon color pop. This also makes the sheer neon polish look thicker.

Don’t Lay It on Fast or Thick

You only need three strokes to paint your nails. Each layer of nail polish needs to be thin and spread out. This prevents both caking and smudging. Another thing to do is to take your time. Wait for the first coat to dry before you apply the second one. By waiting for the first coat to dry, the second one will dry faster and thus won’t smudge. If you apply one or two very thick layers, they’ll never dry.

Have Quick Dry Coat on the Ready

Quick dry coats are essentially an extra coat of polish you put over the manicure job. This top coat protects the polish and refreshes its shine. The “quick dry” type of polish is recommended since it will dry in a few minutes, letting you get back to work in a matter of minutes without the risk of smudging. However, you don’t want to use quick dry nail polish when you’re doing the initial manicure since this can dry out your nails.

Use Cuticle Oil

Cuticle oil hydrates your cuticles. One trick the pros recommend is to apply cuticle oil over the nails after they’ve dried. Then, if they hit something, they’re less likely to nick. Don’t cut your cuticles. The only exception is if you have a hangnail, though the odds of this happening are reduced if you’re using moisturizer.

Click off the Excess

After you’ve worn nail polish for a few days, clip off the excess. That excess is the thin white line that forms at the edge of the nail. By removing this, you eliminate the part of the nail most likely to chip or already have chipped. Top the nail off with a new fresh top coat to keep the manicure looking new. If you need to file the nails, stroke the file in one direction so you don’t tear off the tip of the nail.

Conclusion

You can do your nails at home and have them come out looking as good as if they were done by the pros. Just make sure you follow these simple tips and you should be able to achieve a professional look for a fraction of the price.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Chipotle Experience at Hershey, PA

It's been three years since we visited Hershey, PA.  It was a fun time  especially for our children.  Our daughter's birthday is  on summer break so we always go on a road trip to places we have never been to instead of having a party.  I think it's a great way to celebrate.  
 Anyway, while we were there, we  tried  eating at Chipotle  one night because we have never been to one.  We don't have a Chipotle in our small city so it was a  great opportunity to try them.  My husband's  co-workers always rave about how good their food  selections are.
 The  employee looked at us kind of weird because we really didn't know what to order.  She then asked us if  that was our first time and we said yes and she giggled.
 I dunno if I am very picky with food but  their food did not impress me at all.  Event the kids  did not  like the food they ordered.  
 The ambiance was nice but the food experience itself isn't.  I'll give it a 2 out of 5 if I have to  rate them.  It's disappointing when you first try a place and  it doesn't meet your expectations.  I always shy away from trying eating at places that disappoints me at the first try even if it is on a different branch.   
 For Chipotle fans, you might dislike me of what I have said about them but I am just  stating my own experience and opinion.  Everybody has its own preferences and Chipotle is definitely not a place I will  eat again.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Career Opportunities For Psychologists


The stressful relationships, depressing routines and stringent work conditions have made the living standards miserable in the present-day world that brings forth the need of psychologists in any country. Psychologists play a pivotal role in helping people overcome mental illnesses and problems related to mental health. The work that psychologists offer is too important in a country like South Africa where one third of the population suffers from mental illnesses, as reported by The South African Depression and Anxiety Group. The figure represents the sick state of mental health in South Africa and the utmost importance of psychologists in South Africa.


What do Psychologists do?
Psychologists are non-medical doctors whose main purposes include accurately describing, explaining, predicting, and changing human behavior and mental processes to lift them up from the state of depression and mental illness. The field psychology is vast and the types of jobs depend upon the specialty chosen, theoretical orientation and the population. Clinical psychologists help people overcome problems that keep them away from leading happy, satisfied and prosperous lives. They offer various services like counselling, psychotherapy, personality tests and teaching in colleges and universities. To profess psychology, a bachelor’s degree is what psychologists start with.

Perks and Benefits of being a Psychologist
Clinical or counselling psychology is chosen depending on the interests of the individual. A master’s degree and/or a doctorate degree is further pursued for growth as an individual in the field. A psychologist for practicing psychology as directed by the states to anchor safety of its citizens needs a license. There are numerous opportunities available for the psychologists like – clinical psychology, psychoanalysts, marriage and family counsellors, industrial-organizational psychology, forensic psychology, licensed counselling, school psychology, child psychology, criminal psychology etc.

Psychologists in South Africa
To become a psychologist, substantial commitment of time is needed which can be rewarding and challenging career. The goals, the resources, and potential alternatives must be considered before opting psychology as a career. Different specialties in the field of psychology require different training and educational requirements. You can continue doing research in the field of psychology as well. Psychologists work in different working environments- workplaces ranging from a government hospital to rehabilitation centers to social service organizations.

Two-thirds of psychologists are self-employed and maintain a private practice. Psychologist hourly rate South Africa amounts to a huge sum. For the kind of work, they do they have an approximate salary of 250,139 rupees monthly or nearly 1000 rupees hourly in South Africa.

Psychology: A promising career
If your aim is to pursue psychology as your stream, you need to start the quest for a good research school, find the best for you, and apply for financial aid to make your education more affordable. Then learn about psychological behavior, people’s attitudes and make a better understanding of the subject with a public exposure. This can be a very promising career and the kind of jobs will be too satisfying. The society needs a lot of valuable of psychologists who can help people live prosperous and productive lives and you can be one such psychologist.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

4 Tips To Help You Cope With Coding and Medical Billing Training

While reading and browsing about these tips  to help cope with coding and medical billing training, I am thinking about  cheesecakes!  But since I am making the right choices on what to eat, I chose to nibble on some of  my trail mix.  If you are into coding and medical  billing training, continue to read down below.
One of the most promising professions currently is in the coding and medical billing category, which are related to the healthcare industry. If you have shown interest in taking a course in this field, then you have to prepare yourself to execute a balanced life at its respective school as well as your regular job. Remember that preparation for this field requires exceptional work ethic. The increasing scope of the medical billing skills is also because of the use of technology to generate patient records in healthcare centers. Thus, if you have chosen this training program, you will have to keep certain things in mind to manage your job and training simultaneously.

·         Be serious about your profession while training
You may be thinking of choosing this training while working simultaneously as a way of supporting your expenses. Therefore, you should never consider it a part-time profession as it is a relevant field involving exceptional accounting skills. Moreover, if you are going to take your profession seriously, you will excel in it. Your extra hard work to aid others and complete your assigned billing tasks will increase your reputation among other professionals at the center.

·         Develop your professional image
Your coding and medical billing program will also give you opportunities to interact with other professionals linked to fitness, wellness, and healthcare industries. These communication activities will help increase your professional reputation. Hence, you should strengthen your networking with them so that you can improve your chances in the future to brighten your career. Learn more about Medical Billing And Coding Schools to understand how you can enroll into one.

·         Creating a private and productive space for study at the school
Remember that such institutes are not like high schools. Therefore, you will have to alter your studying regimen. Coding and medical billing programs may require you to memorize and fathom various methods and codes. Hence, you will need to create a place to study privately. Select an area that is quiet so you can concentrate without interruption. Also, have good ambiance in the surrounding area for an improved experience. If you have to let your family and friends know for not disturbing you, then do it.

·         Create a systematic schedule
Creating a balance between your job, life, and training may require you to balance strategically. Your primary step needs to be managing the time skillfully so that you have time for all three activities to full extent. This also lets you decrease depression and anxiety due to the burden of work. Create space for your leisure activities so that you can reward yourself after a hectic working and training day. Furthermore, spare ample time for eating, sleeping to recharge your body for the next day.

Remember that education programs for adults are not the same as for high school students. Besides the studying part, you may have to work to meet your daily expenses. Using the above techniques will help you manage the schedule appropriately and give you the confidence you need. Reread the tips to follow them in your daily life.

Monday, May 21, 2018

HOW TO HAVE AN ENJOYABLE TRIP TRAVELLING WITH YOUR KIDS


Travelling with kids can be hectic and downright exhausting but not if you plan and prepare well. In fact, travelling with your kids could be the best trip ever if you put some little efforts towards it.
Kids being who they are require utmost care and you have to take extra steps in planning to make the trip most  enjoyable for both yourself and the kids.
Indian Echo Caverns

The best way to go about travelling with your kids is to involve them in the preparation stages of the trip so you can identify activities and locations that work best for everyone.

Choosing a location
You are at liberty to choose any location you want if you are travelling on your own but you have to be more considerate of your travel destinations when you have your kids involved.
Select a location that is child-friendly and safe and with activities that your kids will enjoy. In fact, involve your kids is choosing the destination while keeping in mind the financial implications of the decision.
Hershey PA

Do your research on the weather and possible health risks about the location so that it’s a destination everyone will have a great time in.

Planning your activities
Have an itinerary of the activities you are going to engage in for the duration of your trip. It should be a healthy of activities your kids like and your personal interests.

As much as you want to keep things spontaneous, kids get easily bored and might not be too enthusiastic about roaming around a city as you look for an attraction site. You don’t want to tag along kids who will be constantly complaining about boredom.

Do you research beforehand and know what will take place when and if some of the activities require you to be separated from your kids, have a trusted person to chaperone them until you reunite. Never leave your kids without adult supervision in a new city or country.

Preparation
How elaborate your preparation needs to be depends on whether you are travelling locally or abroad. For international travel, you will need to have your passports and visas processed before you leave but for local destinations it’s simpler.


Chinhae, South Korea


Pack enough clothes for your kids to wear not forgetting their favourite toys. Don’t make the luggage to big though. In fact, if you have older kids you can pack their stuff in backpacks and let them carry their own luggage.

You also need to book your hotels early enough from Secrethotels.Org especially during the peak season.

Health and safety
Get a doctor’s opinion if your child have an existing medical condition to assess if they can travel to your chosen destination. The last thing you want during your trip is a medical emergency.

More importantly, remember all the medications that you may need during your trip including insect repellents.

Put a small note with your mobile phone number in your child’s pocket in case they get lost and they need to contact you.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Celebratory Dinner At Olive Garden

It was past 8 pm when the graduation rites was finished.  We could have easily went out and eat but getting out of Duquesne parking garage was another story, it took forever.  We were stuck there for  almost 30 minutes trying to get out the campus.  We  were gonna  dine in to one of our favorite local restaurants but it was late already that we decided to  try the Olive Garden  in Robinson.

We have never  ate here before so we didn't know what to expect.  We thought that  they won't be packed because it was late but  they were full of  patrons when we got there.  The wait wasn't that long though and our server was really friendly.  She looked like she was tired  but she was still pleasant and helpful to us.  
The food was delicious, however, the portions are huge!  We had leftovers for the past couple of days in the fridge.  Surprisingly, the cost wasn't that much so we gave our  server a 20% tip for the great service she's rendered us.  Nothing beats  the feeling of happy customer when  the  establishment's employees are nice.

Katie, our server, even  offered to take our picture and she boxed the leftover food for us.  I wish all food servers are nice as hers.  Swipe over > to see all the photos below.

Add This

Bon Appetit!

This blog does not focus on food only but also include different kinds of spices that affects our lives. So hang in here and explore the world of fun with us. Please bear in mind that little bit of this and a little dash of that makes a Sumptuous Life!

About Me

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.