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Friday, September 30, 2016

12 Apple Inspired Dinners

It is time to head to the orchard and harvest plenty of
beautiful apples! I will,of course, make apple crisps, pies, and even applesauce, but this year, my mind is going to dinner inspiration instead of just desserts!

I found 12 awesome apple inspired dinners that I will certainly be making after my trips to the orchard! From slaws to salads and so many other dishes that there has to be something on this list for everyone!

Why not add an apple to dinner? You know what they say about keeping the doctor away and all!



Which of these recipes will you try first? The apple chicken salad sounds perfect for a picnic dinner amidst the crunchy leaves. If you have a recipe that puts apples in your dinner I would love to hear about it!

My weekend Gateway at the Island!

My weekend Gateway at the Island!


With our unplanned weekend getaways, we just have one small hand luggage to carry ensuring that it doesn’t get heavy. The situation at times gets a bit tricky because we do not really know what the weather was going to be like and what clothes to carry.

I recently come back from a weekend away in Osea Island, and this was undoubted a very lucky trip for me!

The Island is about two hours ride from Central London, where I put up. Since we rode in motorbikes I could accommodate just one hand luggage with me.

With hand luggage, the space get very limited so it’s best to pack items that can be worn with a couple of different outfits.

I picked with me a pair of denim shorts that will go with any top or could also be worn over the top of a bikini.
I also took with me, a couple of bright tank tops and one white crop top. I picked a black midi skirt, which I thought would be great for evenings when it gets bit cooler and I could pair it up with the white crop top!

After spending an entire day having fun around the beaches. I quietly sneaked into my cot in the afternoon to indulge in some time alone. I logged into this site and started playing bingo games at GameVillage Bingo. Surprisingly, I won a Full-House of £50 and we went for a bit of shopping in the evening where I got myself a very cute bright blue flip-flops which was perfect for walking around the town!





Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How to Choose a Great Real Estate Broker

When it comes to buying into real estate, I have always found it imperative that you use a broker, these companies are dedicated to finding you the best deals, negotiating the best prices and working hard to manage your assets. Unfortunately, as with any industry, there are plenty of sharks out there who solely concentrate on how much commission they can make, they will treat you with a wink and a smile until the deal is done and then drop you like a bad habit once they have cash on their hip. Naturally, you need to avoid these people and find good quality brokers who look after both their interests and yours, usually these are one and the same. In order to find a great broker here are some tips that you can follow.

Check out the Reviews

Never have reviews been so important in so many industries as they are right now, and brokerage firms are no different. In todays world of social media, more people are talking to each other than ever before and businesses can even collapse through the power of the internet, this is why reading reviews can be so important when deciding upon a broker. I use a firm called Welfont for my property deals and can honestly say that the Welfont reviews that I read were absolutely correct, they are industry experts who give me complete service, work hard to make me money, get me great deals and I have a great relationship with my property manager. I chose this firm based on their feedback and it paid off, you should employ the same approach.

Meetings

Whilst the internet is brilliant for reading reviews about firms, it can be manipulated by businesses to make them appear better than they are. In order to avoid falling for this, I would urge you to meet with as many firms as you have time for. After reading reviews, you will be able to quickly ascertain how good the broker is during a meeting, ask yourself if the people you are speaking to really want to look after your needs and requirements, what kind of questions do they ask? Are they prepared to listen? Do they have good industry standing? There is nothing wrong with meeting with 5 or 6 brokers to help you make a decision.



Speak to Prospective Neighbors



Speaking of reviews, it is far more likely that people will take to the internet to leave reviews about bad experiences that they have had as opposed to good ones. If you have already found the property that you wish to buy then speak to the people in the houses or properties nearby to find out which broker they used and how their experience was. What you often find is that good brokers generally have something of a monopoly of certain areas, owing to their strong relationships and trust within the area, getting feedback from your soon-to-be neighbors is a great way to help you find the best broker for your deal.

What Careers are There for Intelligent Minds

Being an intelligent person comes with a little bit of added pressure, it seems foolish to have the gift of intelligence and not use it to forge a successful career. The career that you choose should match your abilities and your characteristics and you should be constantly striving to learn more and harness your intelligence. When it comes to deciding on a career choice you need to be as well informed as possible about what different careers will offer you in order to see if they will be the right fit for you. Those amongst you with natural-born intelligence should be looking into the following careers, professions that require high intelligence and a thirst for knowledge.

Lawyer

Being a lawyer is exclusively for those with the intelligence to do so and those who are prepared to work incredibly hard to achieve their goals. The first step on the path to becoming a great lawyer is to gain a position in a top law school, you should be looking to follow in the footsteps of people like JD Dukes and attend law schools like Duke University, Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. Being a lawyer requires hard work and dedication as well as the ability to ingest great amounts of knowledge. If you have an intelligent mind then being a lawyer is for you.



Doctor

In order to be a doctor you need to study hard for many years and attain the highest grades possible to be successful, you will need to learn highly technical knowledge about the human body and be able to apply your knowledge in your practice. Doctors face daily challenges that question their abilities and their intelligence and you need to be at the top of your game if you wish to succeed. Being a doctor is also about keeping on top of advancements in the medical field and having the ability to retain great amounts of knowledge in your mind.

Teacher

Teaching is one of the noblest professions that there is, using your intelligence to inspire and shape the minds of the future in order to help them realize their great potential. In order to be a teacher or lecturer, you must display high levels of intelligence and find a specific field for you to exercise it. Whilst it may not always be one of the highest paid positions, being a teacher is incredibly rewarding and will give you a wonderful amount of job satisfaction. Some of the greatest minds over the years in all fields of academia have also been outstanding teachers, Plato, Darwin, and Einstein to name just a few and a career in teaching would be a great way to utilize your intelligence. After graduating from college you need to study for a teaching diploma before you can start teaching, if you wish to go on to be a university lecturer, a higher paid and more specific field then you will need to achieve a doctorate from college to give you the best chance.

Some of the Stranger Positions within the Entertainment Business

The entertainment industry is one of the widest industries in the world. It surrounds everything that entertains people, which goes from clowns at children parties to blockbuster movies. This is why, when you start looking at entertainment industry programs, you will quickly notice that you will have to choose a specialization sooner or later. This can be a difficult choice to make. You may, for instance, have a good singing voice, but are you really good enough to be the next Beyonce? And even if you are, do you have the right contacts to make it in that world? Most people who seriously want to get into the entertainment industry choose something that has more transferable skills, which they can also use in other fields. But if you really aren’t sure, then you may want to take a look at some of the industry’s strangest jobs to give you an idea of what really is available.


Mimes
Have you ever seen a mime? It is one of the most popular types of street arts around, and one that has made France famous. Mimes can stand still for extended periods of time, which is why they often depict human statutes. Others impersonate other people, or move like robots. Mimes, however, are always completely quiet. Put together, you need quite a few skills to be a good mime. You have to stay in the exact same position, sometimes for hours at a time, while people will do everything to throw you off guard. What you also may not know is that these people earn a whole lot of money!
Animal Trainers
Most of us know animal trainers from the old zoos, where they would make lions jump through flaming hoops, and make elephants sit on a tiny stool. Since programs like America’s Got Talent, however, animal training for other animals, such as dogs, has become a lot more popular. We seem to enjoy watching dogs do funny tricks, and trainers are often invited to private parties, special shows, and mall performances.
Human Billboards
This is perhaps not the most glamorous of jobs, but one that has allowed many an actor to pay the rent and put food on the table. Human billboards are literally walking advertisements. They often dress up in a costume that is linked to whatever they are advertising, and it is their role to attract people to the business that they work for. This is an incredibly difficult job, particularly because it is very hard to stay friendly and motivated.
Online Poker
Last but not least, there is online poker. Professional poker playing is perhaps nothing new, but doing this online certainly is. Of course, to become involved in this, you need a lot of luck and perhaps quite a bit of capital behind you. But the idea that online poker players would one day become a form of entertainment was unheard of, but it has now become a reality nevertheless.

Two Recognized Standards of Practice When Using Mayo Stands

In order to make sure that surgical procedures are always safe, all the needed equipment, supplies, and instruments should be provided to the CST (Certified Surgical Technologist) in order for them to prepare the sterile field. They should have sufficient mayo stands in place to facilitate this. Furthermore, they must follow the next two standards of practice at all time.
Mayo Stands and Standards of Practice
A CST should first make sure that the equipment, supplies, and instruments match those requested by the surgeons. This is a standard of practice that, unfortunately, is often forgotten. Surgeons often have their own preferences, which is why they have “preference cards” and these should be adhered to in order to maintain the safety of the patient. Furthermore, the tools should all be placed on mayo stands as per the request of the surgical team.
Second Standard of Practice
All equipment and furniture in the operating room has to be positioned and grouped before sterile items should be opened. This means that:
The CTS has to make sure that all equipment is present in the OR first, including the mayo stands.
That any unnecessary equipment and furniture is away from the OR.
All specialty and electronic equipment is tested to make sure it works before a procedure actually begins.
All suction liners are in the canister, and the suction tubing should be properly connected to the vacuum outlet on the wall.
A standalone suction system should be ready for the anesthesiologist.


Next, furniture has to be positioned and grouped properly. This means that:
All furniture that will be draped sterilely, including the mayo stands, are organized and grouped together. These items should be as far away from the door as possible, which is the idea sterile field.
The furniture that should be included and setup in the sterile field must be at least 12 to 18 inches from any wall, as well as from any equipment or furniture that isn’t sterile.
Any furniture that is not part of the sterile field, such as trash hampers, linen, sitting stools, and kick and sponge buckets, is away from the sterile field, but also away from traffic patterns.
A biohazard bag should be placed inside the trash and linen hampers.
An impervious biohazard bag should line all sponge buckets.
Next, the OR table has to be positioned. Again, the surgeon should have indicated what their personal preference is. This is generally in relation to the OR lights.
The anesthesiologist should have indicated what their preference is in terms of where their equipment is positioned. They will provide details that relate to the positioning of the operating table itself.
Next, a clean sheet for lifting, as well as covers for the arm board, should be positioned ready on the operating table. Similarly, the safety strap has to be positioned in the right position for added safety and security at all times.

Monday, September 26, 2016

No More Convenience Food: Master Homemade Meals Today!

This post contains affiliate links.

Most people don't tend to link the words 'cooking' and 'convenience' together at all. In fact, many of us would go so far as to say that cooking is an inconvenience to most of our lives. It takes time, it's messy, and with other family responsibilities at hand it often just doesn't seem worth the hassle. But neglecting your ability to cook fresh, homemade meals can have a severe impact on your family life and health. The notion of eating together as a family is something that is quickly being wiped from our societies - so many families are not spending time together as they once did. From a health angle, relying on takeout and microwave meals instead of home cooked ones can lead to weight gain throughout the whole family and general ill health. But what do you do if you still really don't think you have the time or skill to cook healthy meals for you family? Think again - as long as you know a few easy hacks, cooking doesn't need to be the inconvenience you thought it was.


Image source

Batch cook

Consider how you currently prepare a meal. Do you cook just what is needed for that one evening? Or even worse, do you throw away any excess food that doesn't need to be plated up right there and then? Cooking in batches - making more than you need - is a great way to prepare meals in advance and to save your future self time. For example, if you are making something simple like a homemade pasta sauce, and the recipe says it's for three people - simply double the quantities of all the ingredients you use. That way, you immediately have another portion to serve to your family the following night. Or, you can freeze it for up to three months.

Better appliances

You can't be expected to work miracles in the kitchen if the equipment you are working with simply isn't up to par. If it takes you ages to heat up your stove, or if you oven simply doesn't cater for a family of four, you might want to think about investing in some new cookware. For example,  this 4 rack bradley smoker enables you to cook multiple cuts of meat (or other food) in it at once. So even if you have fussy kids on your hands, you can still get a good meal on the table for each of them within an hour.


Image source

Better utensils

The same ethos goes for your kitchen utensils as well. Chopping vegetables with a blunt knife is painstaking and you are actually much more likely to hurt yourself with one. Re-stock your kitchen with a bunch of utensils that will save you time and money in the long run. Another great example of this is a crock pot, as that way you can simply put all your ingredients in there in the morning, and you will have a hearty family meal waiting for you to serve up in the evening.
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Underwear Training with Harper & Easy Ups

This post has been sponsored by  Iconnect and Pampers but all opinions are my own.

It seems like only yesterday I was preparing to meet her; my belly bulged and my body ached, my bags were packed. Somehow, she is turning 3. Her hair is long and golden blonde; her legs are long and for an almost 3 year old she is tall. She knows her colors, her shapes, her ABC's and she can count to 12. She is  ready to say bye bye to diapers and is quick to announce when she needs to go pee.

We have been using Pampers Easy Ups with Harper because they are easy for her to pull up and down whenever she needs to hit the potty. I love that the sides are secure and don't have velcro to hold them together, with a little one that might need to pull her big girl pants up and down a few times before changing that is important to me.



Harper got incredibly excited to see Dora on her Easy Ups! She could hardly wait to get her easy up on and her diaper off after spying the package and I knew right away that this adventure in underwear training was going to go well, with that kind of enthusiasm, it had to!


I have a few tips to share with other moms who are potty training, I have used both of these with my kids with stellar results.

1) Make sure you have potty chairs available to your child. One potty is not enough, we have a 2 story home, so I have 2 pottys per floor available. If she needs to go, I want her to be able to go! 

2) Praise the child when she goes to the potty! We give high fives and fist bumps every time she goes. We might be high-fiving 15 times a day, but it gets excited!

3) Use a product designed with your little one in mind, like Pampers Easy Ups.

4) Let her pick out her own panties as a motivator. 

5) Don't stress. Accidents happen. Every child develops differently and when the time is right, your little one will start consistently using the potty. The best thing you can do is to be positive about the potty for your little one.


If your little one is ready to begin working towards the milestone of underwear training, you won't want to miss this chance to print a $2 coupon for your Easy Ups purchase!




I also want to give you a chance to win an Underwear Training Prize pack that includes:

  • $50 AMEX Card
  • Pampers Easy Ups
  • Ilana Wile's book, "The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting"
This giveaway ends on 10/4 and is open to US residents 18+.




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Friday, September 23, 2016

Saturday 323 - 327

You guys... I have the best intentions with this series, I really do. I want to share my life with you while leaving a documentation for my kids of how we spent our time when they were little, but the summer is the worst time for me to even think about Saturday. Everyday feels like Saturday when the whole family is on summer break.

On Saturday 323, we went to the Lincoln Highway Buyway Yard Sales in Upper Sandusky. We brought home assorted junk like a mini pie making machine, an ice cream machine, toys, dishes for the blog and etc.
It stormed on the way home, so we got drenched. That after the heat of the day was enough to do all 4 of us in!

On Saturday 324 we didn't do anything exciting. We got up early, we played. Same old weekend in the summer song and dance.

On Saturday #325 we went to the Lego Brick Universe Convention in Columbus. The kids and I took a long mall walk that day, as we kind of love doing that. We noshed at A&W Rootbeer for dinner. Again, it rained. But we were lucky to take in the Topiary Park before the storm moved in also.


On Saturday #326, it was the first weekend after my husband was back to work. We were getting ready for Rolfie to start school also, so that weekend was spent gathering supplies and trying to soak in the last moments of summer.

Saturday 327, Harper woke everyone up at 2:20 am, Rolf was unable to sleep after that. He insisted that we get up at 3 am. I was a bear. I refused to cook breakfast that early. I handed over the remote, took the lightsabers away and dozed on the sofa til 6 am. We did nothing all day. We made some crafts, I cleaned up a million and three messes. Harper and I stayed home as the boys were to a viewing the night sky event.

So, we are back in school now. Weekends are growing more precious as our only family time without the rush of school. Hopefully this series will become more interesting for you guys at some point. Harp and Rolf, when you read back on this as adults, I know... our Saturdays have been lame. Love you!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dream Frenz Giveaway

This review was made possible by iConnect and Dream Frenz.  I was provided product and compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.”

We like to travel as a family, but there is one thing that takes a lot of pleasure from the adventure for me... packing all of that stuff a family needs. With little kids, it seems that they need a lot of stuff on even the shortest trip. My son wants to pack at least 900 action figures, legos and of course all of the special soft things that make him comfortable. My daughter, babies, barbies and stuffed things, plus a pillow she favors. We almost need a second car exclusively to haul kid stuff on any trip we take.

We got to try out Dream Frenz, and let me tell you, these are awesome for traveling families! Let me tell you more. Dream Frenz are a pillow toy for rest, travel or play and take the place of all those stuffed animals, toys, dolls and pillows that you usually pack on a family vacation. With big heads and tiny bodies that tuck inside, Dream Frenz make a wonderful comfort toy and the perfect gift for birthdays or holidays.



When I gave Rolfie his awesome new pillow, toy and comfort item all in one, he was pretty pleased. He loved the tiny body and giant head that Marlin has. He said, "This is funny and cute Mommy!" I asked him if hugging Marlin might make sleeping a little easier on the nights that he is missing Mommy, he said, "Yea, it might..." after careful consideration.



Dream Frenz are pretty cute. You can find them only at Walmart and there are several adorable options to choose from. I am sure your kids will adore a few of the Dream Frenz. Moms, you will also love that this is the perfect multi-tasking item for your family adventures. It is a pillow and a friend to play with too!

If you feel lucky you can enter to win a Dream Frenz! This giveaway ends on Sept. 27th.


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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Jay Franco Spiderman Fun for My Daughter!

This conversation has been sponsored in product of payment. However, all opinions are my own.

My daughter Harper has a hard time keeping her blankets on her bed. Several times a night she will wake up and cry, "Mommy! I am cold!", or, "Help me!!" It always revolves around those blankets working their way down and her losing them.

When I heard we were going to get to try a  Zippy Sack in the Jay Franco Spiderman theme, I knew this was going to be a product that helped Harper sleep better, and for that matter me too. Let me tell you a little more about this innovative product for kids.





ZippySack is a fleece blanket that fits on a bed just like a fitted sheet. It stays in place and keeps kids warm all night. In the morning, just zip and flip and the bed is made in seconds!




Harper is a big Spiderman fan, but I didn't know how she would feel about adding A ZippySack to her bed. I thought she might be turned off the idea of it, but she literally squealed with delight at the sight of her Jay Franco Zippy Sack.




The fun didn't stop there for Harper she also got an awesome Spiderman plush pillow buddy toy and a hooded towel in the same theme. She was really impressed with a touch of Superhero fun in her room.




You can find these awesome Jay Franco items on Amazon or instore at Walmart locations. If you have a little one that loses blankets, fusses over making beds or just needs a touch of fun in their room, this is the line to look into! We have been very impressed with our Spiderman Jay Franco items and I know your family will be too.

If you feel lucky, enter to win these items!!





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Friday, September 16, 2016

Grilled Chicken: 10 Delicious Ways

Fall might be here, but in my mind, that makes it the ideal time of year to fire up the grill! There is something special about gathering outdoors on a crisp evening and chowing down on some grilled chicken that I can't resist!

If you feel the same way about fall grilling you won't want to miss these 10 recipes! Of course, you could always bookmark or pin this recipe for future reference when the weather better suits you for grilling!





Which of these grilled chicken recipes do you think you will make first? I think the Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken sounds pretty fantastic! If you have a grilled chicken recipe that you often go to when you need an awesome dinner, I would love to hear about it!
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Jalapeno Popper Spread

Creamy and spreadable, this Jalapeno Popper Spread recipe comes together easily, adds the perfect touch of heat to the cool creaminess of the cheese and best of all... it has bacon in it!



You guys, there are some things in this life that are made for one reason only, to enjoy. On my list of things one is meant to enjoy, no arguments you will find cream cheese, jalapeno peppers, and bacon, as well as the good stuff like puppy breath, the softness of tissues and a luxury pillows.




If there are things meant to enjoy in life, is it wrong to want to enjoy them at the same time? Is it crazy to snuggle a puppy chilling on a luxury pillow with a soft tissue at your disposal? Nah... not crazy, unless you mean crazy awesome. So, why not take a few favorite foods and combine them into one awesome spread to serve at your next party?


This is so easy and yummy that you might want to make a double batch if you are tailgating. It will go fast!
You can serve it with a nice bread, any kind of crackers, or if you thin it down a little, you could use this as a dip!

Ingredients
2 Jalapeno Peppers
6 ounces of softened cream cheese
4 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese
4 ounces of real bacon bits

Remove the seeds from your peppers and chop them.



Add to the cream cheese.
Add shredded cheese.



Add bacon.
Mix well, with a fork until well blended.



Serve with crackers or on bread. This also makes a delicious addition to just about any sandwich you might make!


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Don't Let Debt Overwhelm Your Family: Read This



This post contains affiliate links.
Wikimedia
Debt is hardly the first thing a family needs. These days, finances are becoming more and more of a worry for American families. Debt is alarmingly common these days. While there are some good aspects of debt, and it doesn’t always mean that the economy in danger, it’s still rather alarming to know that as many as 80% of American adults are in debt. Imagine what those statistics are going to look like after a few more years’ worth of college students enter the “real world” with all that student debt!


If you’re in debt, things may not be as bad as they appear right now. There are a lot of ways in which debt can be made a lot less overwhelming - and, if you’ve got a family to look out for, this is incredibly important. Assuming that bankruptcy isn’t an option for you, we’re going to take a quick look at some of the ways in which you can ease the stress that debt can place on your family.




Get advice from the experts


A financial advisor doesn’t usually seem like a smart option to a lot of people. After all, financial advisors aren’t exactly free - and, at that, they’re not exactly cheap! Still, there’s no doubt that the right financial advisor can give you some brilliant advice that makes everything much easier to handle.


Because you have quite a few options when it comes to easing your debt, it’s important that you figure out which one will work best for your family. A financial advisor has the smarts and the tools to properly assess your situation and figure out how you can emerge from this process in good financial health.




Look into consolidation


One of the leading reasons that debt often becomes so overwhelming for people isn’t necessarily the sheer size of the amount owed. It’s the amount of institutions that one person can owe money to!


Debt consolidation is a process that has helped a lot of families in these sorts of situations. To put it briefly, debt consolidation does what it says on the tin - it brings all your disparate debts together into one debt that you then owe to a single company.There are fees, of course, but it can make everything much easier to deal with. Sometimes, it can even work out cheaper in the long run. Read more about debt consolidation over at LendingTree.




Settlement


Although debt settlement sounds relatively easy, it’s not a path that a lot of families want to go down. It doesn’t exactly leave you without a hit to your credit score. Still, it’s an option that is often overlooked, despite how much it can help families in debt.

When you settle a debt, you’re essentially formally announcing to the lending company that you’re unable to pay the full amount back to them. You’ll then negotiate with a representative of that company. (This is where a professional financial expert can come in very handy!) You’ll agree to new terms of payment, as well as a new payment amount. A lot of families don’t consider settlement precisely because of this negotiation part - they assume that creditors aren’t going to be very kind about things. But you may be surprised at how understanding people in this industry can be.