Monthly Archives: March 2012

Gas on the Rise

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There is no doubt about it, gas prices are on the rise.  The national average gas price has increased $0.12 in the past 2 weeks and it is not going down anytime soon. We can point fingers and blame whomever we choose but the fact of the matter is the price of gas isn’t going to decrease anytime  soon.  Although not everyone has the ability to drive, the high cost of gas is still effecting them.  Bus and cab fares must continue to increase in order to keep business.   As much as I wish I could help with this crisis, I can’t, but I am able to provide some easy ways to help reduce spending on fuel in this year.

  • CARPOOL- Don’t have 2-4 different drivers all going to the same place.  If going out to dinner with a group of friends meet at a central location, throw in for gas, designate a driver, and all ride in one vehicle. Another suggestion is a friend at work who lives in your area and take turns driving to work.
  • WALK- Don’t rely on your car because you are lazy. If you need  just a couple of items, and the grocery store is within a mile from your house, walk. Not only is it saving money on gas, but also allowing you to get a little exercise while running your normal errands.
  • SHOP-  Groceries stores such as BiLo and Lowes Food reward their customers for shopping at their stores.  The money spent at these grocery stores contribute to the amount taken off per gallon at the gas station. The rules and regulations vary depending on the store, but this is a great way to save at the pump.
  • RESEARCH- Don’t just go to the first gas station you see.  Search websites such as gasbuddy.com for the cheapest rates in your area.
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Goof Troop

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In case you didn’t know it is officially ok to be a goof ball. Today is national Goof Off Day!! I wouldn’t suggest doing anything too crazy at work or school because I’d hate to be the reason you get fired, I’m simply making you aware that if you have nothing going on on this beautiful day, do something goofy! I tried to trace the orgin of this exclustive holiday but no results lead me to believe someone constantly on the go decided they needed a break. I am a working young woman and can sometimes I get so boggled down in work, chores, and other daily duties, I find it difficult to make time to let loose. Today I’m making it a point to do something out of the ordinary. Go on dance in the mirror or sing as loud as you can until  your lungs can’t take anymore, this is your one day embrace it.

Keep the Love Alive

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“To know when to go away and when to come closer is the key to any lasting relationship. ” ~Doménico Cieri Estrada

Although the thought of romance is appealing, it is not always easy. Relationships are like anything else good in life, they take work. Everything is all glitz and glamour in the beginning, but as you get to know one another that can slowly change. Not to say people don’t care about each other it’s just that each person have found pet peeves in each other.  I did some research on relationships on WebMd to see what are some common problems and how to solve them….

1. Communication

  • Make time  to speak with each other
  •  Go in public if you know you are unable to communicate in an adult manner
  • Set rules (ex. no yelling) before you speak
  • Always listen to each other

2. Money

  • Change your lifestyle if it isn’t within your budget
  • Create a budget and delegate specific financial responsibilities to each other
  • Be honest about spending and do not blame on each other

3. Sex

  • Evaluate each other’s wants and desires and plan for it
  • See a therapist
  • Be spontaneous

4. Trust

  • Be on consistent, on time, and fair
  • Do what you say you will but do not overeact when things go wrong
  • Be aware of each other’s feelings
  • Call to say you are running late

5. Prioritizing

  • Plan date night with each other
  • Respect each other
  • Bring back old times by doing things you did in the beginning of your relationship

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

Ingredients:
2 pounds strawberries
12 ounces of your favorite chocolate
(semisweet, milk, dark)
6 ounces white chocolate (optional)

 

Instructions:
1. Strawberries need to be at room temperature. Wash and dry strawberries. It is important that strawberries are totally dry.

2. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.

3. Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave.

4. Hold onto stem of a strawberry. Dip strawberry into the melted chocolate. Swirl to coat all sides of the strawberry. Hold strawberry above melted chocolate. Swirl and shake to remove excess chocolate.

5. Lay strawberry on the waxed paper. Repeat with all of the strawberries.

6. If desired – Melt white chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave. Dip a fork into the melted white chocolate. Swirl onto the chocolate strawberries to make a swirly design on both sides of each strawberry.

7. Keep strawberries at room temperature. They should be served within 8 hours. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Leftovers can be eaten the next day, but the chocolate will start to separate from the strawberries after being cooled.


Change with the Season

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 Today is officially the last day of winter. Time to greet the season with a little clean up.

Nothing is more exciting  to me than packing up all my scarves, boots, and sweaters  and getting out my cute summer dresses, flip-flops, and tank tops. A rule of thumb that helps me do this efficiently is as I go through my closet, I think back to the summer before and if I didn’t wear it then chances are it’s time to go. Sometimes my friends and I even get together with trash bags full of clothes and a bottle of wine and exchange outfits. With the clothes we have left over we either donate them or drop them off at the local Goodwill. It’s always fun to get to together with the girls and leave with a new wardrobe.

Another one of my favorite things about the shift to spring is giving my apartment a new look. I typically make a weekend of it. As I  clean every inch of my home, I love to rearrange my furniture.  Adding cute plants, pictures, and rugs are a great way to refresh your home just in time for spring. Places like eSalerugs.com and Ikea always have awesome deals.

These are just a couple of  fun things I like to do to transition into a  refreshing new season.

“Spring is nature’s way of saying let’s party” – Robin Williams

Spring Break

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One thing students look for each year is Spring Break! A full week of no classes is a great way for students to regroup, get out of town, and spend some extra time with friends and family. It is a reminder of how close to the finish line is in their academic carrer. Many of my own spring break vacations included me, friends, the beach, and a small amount of cash I earned from my part-time job. My parents always worried when we piled up and headed to the coast.  Luckily we were a smart group of kids who always came home safely with nothing but a ton of pictures and great memories. Spring Break isn’t about spending more money on the vacation than your college tuition, it’s about having fun and having a week away from the books. Keep in mind to be responsible, have fun, and relax.

Here are some ways to have save a little cash while enjoying your week off of school….

Go somewhere close

Instead of flying or driving somewhere far, decide on somewhere close. If you  live near a big city, there are plenty of tourist attractions you have probably  never seen. Spend your week as a tourist in your own town. If you are having  trouble finding things to do, ask your city’s visitor bureau for a list of  attractions. Try hitting all of the bars in one day, it’s much harder than you’d  think.

Find student discounts

Student discounts are abundant during spring break, especially in locations  that get a heavy influx of college students. When deciding on a place, call  around and ask what kind of discounts they offer.

Get the best price

Groupon and Living Social have been featuring a high number of vacation  getaway packages for 50-75% off. If you missed a great deal, you can always  check Lifesta for daily deals that have already passed. Also compare travel  sites if you need a flight, hotel and/or rental car.

Alternative sleeping arrangements

Housing costs are usually the highest expense when planning a vacation. Even  low-rated motels can charge over $100 per night in popular spring break locales  so find a cheaper alternative. If you’re going to the beach, you can usually  camp in a tent or you car for a small fee or even free. State parks also offer  cheap or free camping, whether it’s in a tent, your car or a big RV. Speaking of  RV, ask your grandparents if you can borrow theirs – maybe they’ll trust you  enough to let you take it.

Load up on restaurant coupons

Scour the web for coupons and gift certificates. Restaurant.com offers great  promotions all the time to get a $25 gift certificate for $2 instead of the  normal $10. Stock up on these and you can still eat out and drink for cheap.

Read more at ThatCollegeKid.com http://thatcollegekid.com/spring-break-on-a-budget/#ixzz1pVIuMjP6

Gone Green

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St. Patrick’s Day is approaching so throw on your green.  St. Patrick’s day began as a Catholic holiday in Ireland but has transformed into an excuse for people all over the world to celebrate. Italians are known for their 8 hours of pub crawling, Japanese celebrate with parades, and Americans get pinched for not wearing green.  Whether chowing down on corn beef and cabbage or sipping on  green beer, make this a St. Patty’s Day to remember!!

Corn Beef and Cabbage is a classic Irish dish. Most people serve it on a platter or as a Sandwich but have you ever thought to make a soup? Check out this twist on the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage found on http://www.foodnetwork.com.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

Picture of Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup Recipe

Ingredients

Per serving: Calories 352; Fat 11 g (Saturated 6 g); Cholesterol 38 mg; Sodium 349 mg; Carbohydrate 50 g; Fiber 9 g; Protein 16 g

  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 3 stalks celery, quartered
  • 3 medium carrots, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 4 cups chopped green cabbage (about 1/4 medium head)
  • 1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1/4 pound corned beef, cut into thin strips (use leftovers or deli meat)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

Pulse the onion, celery and carrots in a food processor until they are pea-size pieces. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, celery and carrots and the allspice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer the tomatoes to the pot and add the beef broth, cabbage, potatoes, barley and 4 cups water; cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes and barley are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the corned beef and season with salt and pepper.

Per serving: Calories 352; Fat 11 g (Saturated 6 g); Cholesterol 38 mg; Sodium 349 mg; Carbohydrate 50 g; Fiber 9 g; Protein 16 g

Patio Party

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As we say good-bye to winter and hello to warmer weather, let’s take it to the patio!  Whether reading a magazine or hosting a-cook out, create an ambience that is inviting.  Let’s face it, cute  outdoor furniture is easy to find, but a a cute rug to match can be difficult. Wooden rugs are a great way to add to the decor of an outdoor area.  eSalerugs.com has a great selection of rugs to put on the porch.  Let eSalerugs.com prepare your patio for the summer.