A Daily lifestyle website. Sharing the latest products on the market, Parenting stories, travel guides, and destination information you can use! Along my travels, I became a Certified Food judge so you can also enjoy Food related posts!

April 1, 2020

How to Make a Potato Tower

Last year this sweet looking tower produced enough potatoes to last us all Summer & Fall!
What you will need:
Poles ( you can use anything but I used plastic poles)
Hammer
Something to till the ground
Weed mesh or plastic netting
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March 27, 2020

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Movie Review

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Lucasfilm and director J.J. Abrams’ riveting, inspiring conclusion of the seminal Skywalker saga, arrives on Digital March 17 and Blu-ray March 31. The in-home release comes with over two hours of bonus material, including a feature-length, making-of documentary and behind-the-scenes access to the cast and filmmakers who brought the epic scenes and characters to life!

We have been extremely excited to add this to our Star Wars collection! We may have a few Jedi in our family ;). As a child I grew up watching these movies with my family and now I get to share the same experiences with my son. Since we live in New York, Social distancing has become the norm here. We are on day 8!! Watching this movie was a great way to combat the rainy weather and fall back in love with the Series.
**This is a Collaboration with Disney. I received a copy of the movie to help facilitate my review. I was in no way required to express a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
Bonus features include*:
  • The Skywalker Legacy – The story lives forever in this feature-length documentary that charts the making of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
  • Pasaana Pursuit: Creating the Speeder Chase – Dive into the making of the movie’s epic landspeeder chase and discover how this spectacular sequence was brought to the screen.
  • Aliens in the Desert – See what it took to create the Pasaana desert scenes, from the sheer scale and complexity of the shoot to its colorful details.
  • D-O: Key to the Past – Explore the ship that connects Rey to the mystery of her missing parents and get to know the galaxy’s newest, irresistible droid.
  • Warwick & Son – Warwick Davis, who played Wicket in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, dons the Ewok costume once more; this time joined by his son Harrison.
  • Cast of Creatures – The team behind the film’s memorable creatures reveal the puppetry, makeup, prosthetics and digital magic that bring them to life!
Digital Exclusive:
  • The Maestro’s Finale – Composer John Williams reflects on his body of work for the Star Wars saga and shares insights on scoring Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
* Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer.
In celebration of the release, The Art of Fatherhood has created a step-by-step guide to creating your own X-Wing, the perfect activity to do with your kids while practicing social distancing!
Our thoughts on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker:
It is a long movie but packed FULL of action! I would suggest brushing up on previous movies to get a real handle on characters discussed in this film. I found myself questioning who was mentioned but luckily my son remembers ALL characters so help really helped me with that.
I would say it has strong fighting scenes, subtle love hints and overall was a produced well. The special effects were rather fun to see as the years develop in technologies. I would recommend this movie if you love the series like we do!
What is your favorite Star Wars movie thus far??
Who is your favorite character??

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March 25, 2020

Fight Cabin Fever with the Indoor Game: ProjeX™

 We are in the thick of Social Distancing after our school closed almost 8 days ago! Currently, they are set to stay closed until at least April 20th, 2020. Having said that we have a lot of inside the house time on our hands! New York weather is funny because it still has yet to really warm up! Averaging in the 30s along with snow flurries pretty regularly! What do you do when you are cooped up days on end? Stock up on games!!

let me introduce you to ProjeX™ which features a five game and three skill level activity you can do INDOORS.  A "beginner" setting accommodates even the youngest players in the room.  Play solo, head-to-head, or team up in "Co-Op" mode, which lets two players combine scores.  Best of all, an unlimited number of players can join the fun. 
 **I received a free product to review. I was not required to write a positive review . The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
The portable, battery-operated projector includes two blasters, which are stored right on the unit, a built-in LED scoreboard, and a place to keep image slides. ProjeX is battery-powered so it can go wherever you go – inside or out. Play on any blank wall, your garage door – even the side of your house!
SET UP is easy as follows:
  1. Install three “AA” alkaline batteries.
  1. Set ProjeX on a low table, with the projector aimed at the wall. The projector should be 5 feet from the wall.
  1. Slide an image slide into the image slot, rounded side up (if it doesn’t fit, it’s backwards).  Blue = easy, red = medium, white = difficult
  1. Plug in both blasters.  Then, if you’re playing solo, unplug one.
  1. Press the red power button. You have 45 seconds to adjust the focus.
  1. Press the red button again to select game 1-5.
  1. Press the blue button to select your level – beginner, advanced or expert.
  1. To start playing solo or head-to-head, load your blaster by sliding the button on the top. Each reload gives you 6 shots. You can reload at any time.
  1. To start a Co-Op game, where you combine your scores, both players must hold the trigger while they reload.
If you do not plug in your blasters before pressing the red “Power On” button, you may hear a buzzer sound.  If this happens, you may need to reinstall your batteries to reset your machine.
 While recommended for children 6+, ProjeX™ is great for any age child, as well as adults.  Retailing for $49.99, the game can be purchased at Target, Walmart and www.ProjeXGame.com.
Interested in WINNING one a ProjeX™ game console?? 
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March 23, 2020

Spring Roll Recipe

From classic spring rolls to fresh rolls I love eating these. I was especially excited when I realized just how easy they were to make at home!

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March 13, 2020

A Day Around Seneca Lake, NY

There are moments when you wake up in a hotel and just feel so at home. After a wonderful stay at Grist Iron Lodge, I felt this way. I woke up to a wonderful view overlook the Seneca Lake and vineyards. I just wanted to share my day after this experience because I know many of you travel to this area. You may not know some of these great activities and places to visit! After a hearty breakfast at the Grist Iron we started our day off early.
Driving into town I seem to always pass Hector Falls. I do not believe I have ever written about it but had to mention it. If you have the time stop and snap a few photos in front of this waterfall. DO IT! It is so captivating it is worth the time! I will say it is on a busy road, so often times I stand on the opposite side of the road and zoom in to get great shots like the one pictured above!
I have mentioned the Watkins Glen State Park but for so many great reasons, I have to AGAIN! With 19 waterfalls, Olympic sized swimming pool, hiking trails there is so much to take in and see. I also love visiting in the different seasons because everything looks and feels different. Walk under, around and next these wonderful creations of nature.
A fellow writer friend of mine, Erin from World Wanderer suggested yoga while we were visiting. I would never have thought to do such things but it was a wonderful way to start our day off!
Since we were blessed with wonderful weather we took to the Seneca Lake. Every time I visit the area I spend time on the Lake. It really pulls the area together and there is so much you can do. From boating, a schooner trip, paddle boarding you name it, just get you butt out on the water and enjoy it!
Visit some local businesses while in town. We stopped into a Creamery and just explored the farm. I find learning where our food comes from and really immersing yourself in the process helps you enjoy the products more!
Taking that a step further we also visited Distilleries and wineries. The Wine trail is such a significant part of this area, why not enjoy it? If you are interested in these trails check out how I “Drank My Way through the Finger Lakes!”
Another great reason I loved my stay at the Grist Iron was the brewery on the property. After a wonderful day of exploration we could retire to our rooms. Draw a bath put on some comfy clothes and walk to the brewery for some beverages. My time spent in the Seneca Lake region has grown considerably this year. I have learned so much about the area and really enjoyed my stays while in town. I cannot help but share them with all of you in hopes you too will visit and share in my excitement!
Have you ever traveled here? 
If so what places do you enjoy? 
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March 9, 2020

10 Things your Garden Needs this Spring

I miss my garden now that is covered in snow...but that is NOT stopping my planning for this years garden! I have already started my seedlings and charting for where I will put my new plants.
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February 28, 2020

Our Stay-cation at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Western New York

If you followed my travels last May, you might have read about my Empire State Road trip. We traveled through the beautiful Chautauqua, NY area and stayed at the newly built Harbor Hotel! Ever since I have wanted to return and spend more time at this luxurious place. Since my birthday falls in the winter months we rarely get to travel, due to harsh Winter conditions.
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February 25, 2020

What to Look for When Buying Nonstick Cookware

Sure, being a good cook and having high-quality ingredients are a big part of what makes a meal delicious. However, right along with the quality of the cook and the food, the tools you use in the process can have a huge say-so on the overall potential of your finished result. When it comes to cookware, of course, nonstick is almost always a sure bet.

This post was in collaboration with Calphalon. All opinions are 100% my own.

Unfortunately, choosing the right nonstick cookware for your home kitchen can be quite difficult. There are nonstick cookware options at many different price points, from many different brands, and of varying quality and look/feel. With all these options out there, it can be overwhelming just knowing where to begin.

But no worries—we’re here to help. To aid you as you begin your search for better kitchen tools, here’s a quick guide on what to look for when buying nonstick pans for the kitchen. You’ll see that as long as you know what to look for, choosing the best nonstick pan is a piece of cake...or perfect balsamic chicken. Let’s dig in.
1: Proper Coating

You’ve probably heard the news about the cancer-causing nonstick coating that was used for quite some time. However, the good news is that most
nonstick cookware—if not all nonstick cookware—are no longer made perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is the cancer-causing substance. Just make sure that you see “PFOA-free” on the packaging or on the cookware itself when you search for it.

Nowadays, there are two primary types of nonstick coatings used for cookware. The first (and the most popular) is Teflon (or PTFE), which is a water-repellent coating. This can be found commonly—from T-fal, Calphalon to All-Clad.

The second type is called ceramic. However, it’s actually a silica-based gel instead, like Scanpan, GreenPan and Zwilling. While both are proven to be safe and effective in the kitchen, Teflon pan is reported by thousands of users to last longer in comparison to ceramic.
2: Affordable Price

When it comes to kitchen cookware, the concept of getting what you pay for is almost always true. Sure, you can save money initially by purchasing cheap cookware. However, you’ll most likely have to replace it sooner than later, costing you even more money and hassle over time.

You don’t have to opt for the most expensive options, either. The thing is, even the most premium of nonstick cookware is bound to wear and tear as the coating begins to peel off. Instead, purchase nonstick cookware that
comes at middle-of-the-road pricing. They will last a bit longer than cheap versions and will serve you better in your cooking endeavors.

3: Quality Material

Most nonstick cookware is made of one of two materials: either aluminum or stainless-steel tri-ply. When it comes to quality and performance in cooking, stainless-steel tri-ply cookware offers more even heating to ensure your meals are cooked thoroughly. However, they are usually heavier and more pricey in comparison.

On the other hand, aluminum cookware tends to heat up more quickly but is not the best for an even distribution of heat. Furthermore, aluminum cookware can’t be used with induction burners so if you have these burner-types, opt for stainless-steel tri-ply instead.
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February 24, 2020

Caramelized Onion and Apple Ciabatta Sandwich

 Caramelized Onion and Apple Ciabatta Sandwich 
Every day my spouse and I sneak a little lunch date into our rather busy work schedules. Sometimes we go out to eat, grab take out or make lunch at home. I run out of ideas so I opted to activate our Home Chef account for some inspiration! I love the quality of the ingredients and the recipe ideas. This particular lunch idea is an inspired recipe with our own twist. I hope you enjoy it!! If you are interested in Home Chef I will leave you my referral links, which scores you a $30 credit off your first purchase! The best part...they delivery everything you need right to your door, no grocery shopping required! You can easily pause or deactivate your account like we do and nothing is charged!
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9 Ways to Paying off Debt

I am sure by all of the travel I post on social media you would assume my family is well off. I wish I could say we are millionaires but that just is not the case. Honestly, just a hard working couple raising our son. When I was younger I came from a very poor family. My mother, was the Queen of saving money and pinching every penny we had! I learned so many great money saving tricks from her that I thought I would start sharing them. Many of us want to pay off our debts but it can be so overwhelming you might not even know where to start (have a mentor like, Jason Vanclef)
Sponsored post in collaboration with Jason Vanclef.
1. Know how much you owe! Knowing how much you owe can help you figure out what needs your immediate attention. I classify these to: Mortgage, utilities, Water/Gas, Vehicle for work purposes, Kid/YOUR needs, Food and Insurances.

2. Start making meals at home! I would wager you probably eat out during the week. I understand as a busy Mom, I myself, eat out to get to all of our commitments on time. I also enjoy a night off from making dinner. This can get rather expensive! If you grabbed a $2-4 coffee every morning it adds up. You think you DESERVE that for your all your hard work. On some levels I agree BUT if you are serious about saving money and or paying off debt this is NOT a need based expenditure! Besides that is a $1,092 ($3 x 7 days a week x 52 weeks a year) a year habit! 

3. Sell your never worn or out grown kids clothing. You can sell any clothing that is in good condition really. So many great online places can help you with this. Ebay, Swap.com, Thredup and Esty to name a few! Sell a few jackets just laying around for $20-50 (depending on brands) each. Jeans and tops can be $5-15 each. Together you can surely get a few hundred dollars for clothing you no longer wear or have out grown.
4. Eliminate the Clutter! Over the years I have just flat out realized I have hoarding tendencies. I save things, I have no intention of ever using, reading, seeing or playing with again. I used to collect things but I had no where to store them. After going through my rooms I realized I could sell several items for someone to use/love instead of letting them to continue to collect dust! So many apps (Letgo) are out there to help you with this. Join Facebook garage sale sites even to get rid of some of your household items you no longer want. 

5. Break up your bill payments. I find this to really help you feel less overwhelmed. If you only get paid every other week break up your payments. An example would be rent, say you owe $300. Instead of coming up with that in one paycheck break it up between two (Every other week pay $150).  

6. Car pool or have pot luck dinners. So many people want to save money why not branch out to others? I love getting a bunch of families together and saving money together! If you only have to make one dish to pass it really helps save and lessons the time in the kitchen. Not really your thing how about sharing rides to work? Still not comfortable? Try riding a bike to work or the store or even walking. This save wear on your vehicles and gives you exercise!
7. Start getting crafty. I make my sons birthday party decor, invitations and games. You can see a few examples here. Sign up for HP instant Ink and they send you printer ink in the mail at a fraction of the price. Because of this I can print invites, photos, signs you name it! This is also great for gift ideas as well. I save SO much money on stationary and party stuff just by doing it myself. 

8. Find events that are less expensive. I LOVE going to concerts but they can be so overpriced! I find sites like Groupon or Living Social are lifesavers! They sell tickets at a fraction of the price including vacations!!

9. Send something in. If you have racked up credit card payments or have medical bills the key is to be honest. Many agencies will work with you you send them something. Payments can be arranged as low as $5 a week! Pay a little at a time might take a while but it will keep them at bay and you less stressed. 
Do you have debt you want to pay off (have a mentor like, Jason Vanclef)?
How do you pay off debt you have??
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February 21, 2020

7 Ways to Enjoy Miami, FL

Spanning for two plus miles along Miami southeastern tip, this stretch of beach is graced with turquoise waves and white sand. Northerners like myself flock to it as an escape from the harsh winter weather. There are many things to see, experience, taste and enjoy whilst here! 
Let's explore a few:
1. Take a cruise. The Miami Port is filled with different cruise-lines for every type of family and vacation. I just got off the Fathom Impact cruise to the Dominican Republic. They combine giving back activities with tropical excursions. It was such a life-changing trip that I would highly recommend it! If you are looking for other options check out, Carnival, Norwegian and Disney cruise lines! Each house different places to travel, experiences and on board fun.
2. Enjoy the beach. My hotel, Stanton South Beach, had beach access directly connected to it. I could use an umbrella, beach towel and enjoy the sand from only a few steps from my room. Build sand castles, fly kites, catch waves and just overall enjoy the sun. Just remember to wear and reapply sunscreen because temperatures can get up into the 90s plus quickly!
3. Talk a walk. I found so many great street art murals, statues and fascinating things to capture while in town. Vibrant artistic colors are all around the beach front and in the city. A few places even host walking tours you can enjoy! Just grab your camera and have a little photo stroll!
4. Visit Vizcaya Museum and Garden! If you only hit the beach and this you will NOT be disappointed. Enjoy this historic landmark that takes you back in time to 1910! Each room is detailed, designed and full of rich history to absorb. The gardens outside are breath taking to say the very least. Each sea formed statue greets you in as the flowers and landscape captivates you. Complete with a garden maze, grotto and lovely cafe! Here's a tip: TRY the chocolate chip cookies in the cafe, to date, the best that has ever graced my cookie loving pallet!
5. Stay close to the beach. One big "problem" in Miami, is parking. The rates vary from place to place but average around $4 an hour. I suggest staying in a hotel close to the beach and take advantage of valet parking.Staying in the Stanton South Beach was so convenient! I enjoyed the luxury penthouse, with a panoramic view of Miami city and beach. Everything I needed was within walking distance without paying heavy parking fees. Great for families, couples or solo travelers! Another great tip: enjoy the rewards program and have access to daily breakfast, snack, drinks and outdoor patios.
6. Try new foods. Miami is graced with so many wonderful food possibilities. Enjoy food-chains or go out of your comfort zone and ask a local for recommendations. I had the pleasure of doing this and enjoyed Pizza Rustica! It was by far a personal favorite while in town and relatively inexpensive for the serving size given.
7. Be adventurous. Enjoy a day snorkeling, wind sailing, sail fishing, deep sea fishing, paddle boarding and more. The coast is lined with fun excursions for any type of family or friend group. I enjoyed snorkeling for the first time and it was truly a wonderful experience that I cannot wait to do again! 
Have you ever traveled here? 
If so what places did you enjoy? 
I would love them to add them to my next trip; just leave me a comment below!
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February 13, 2020

Keeping Romance alive in a Marriage

Marriage has had a bad rap in the years it has been a "thing"? When I was growing up everyone was married and they liked it. You aspired to meet that special someone and settle down with them. Girls dreamed of planning a big ol' wedding! As, I grew older I realized that life is not so easy and things can really stand in your way. You may not meet that special someone right away. You may have to survive a few bad apples until you find "the one". I was one of the lucky one's, I met my spouse at age 25 and have been happily married for almost 8 years! 
Does that mean our life is easy? That it has been sunshine and roses ever since we got married? Ha, NO! It has been some of the most trying times, in my life. If I had told my spouse what we would endure in our first four years, I wonder if they would have signed up so enthusiastically? Ok, they would but I have to wonder is THIS why marriages do not last? I'm from a generation of "instant gratification". Marriage, ladies and gents, it's WORK, work, WORK, work. Enjoy some tips on how to keep the romance alive in your marriage or relationship, blow:
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February 10, 2020

Copycat Chipotle Bowl Recipe

 We LOVE Chipotle but sadly there is not one close to where we live.  I have to get extra crafty and make my own Copycat Chipotle Bowl Recipe!!
What you will need:
Steak (cut into small squares)
Corn
Pinto Beans
Pico de gallo salsa (or any kind you enjoy)
Lettuce
Cilantro
Cooked rice
Cheese
Sour cream (optional)
 Mix the Corn and Cilantro together and heat in microwave. I also heat up the Pinto Beans until they are soft.
Cook steak squares the way you like them. I suggest around Medium!
 Mix all ingredients together and stir.
 Top with sour cream.
 Serve & enjoy!
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