Jan 13, 2017

Tips to Celebrate Martin Luther King Day

1) Organize your workplace, school or community group. Maximize your impact by organizing a group to serve the community with an activity done at your own location in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Choose a local charity and determine the best way for your group to show support. Ideas include packing snack bags for after school programs, collecting coats and hats for a homeless shelter, planting trees, creating a mentoring program, or writing letters of support to our military abroad.

2) Teach your children. The kids are home from school. Remember, as a Day of Service MLK day is supposed to be "a day on, not a day off." Plan an activity of service and involve your children. Show by your example that volunteerism is important to your family and help to cultivate a new generation of compassionate, community- minded citizens.

3) Raise needed goods. Support a local charity with a drive for the goods they need to serve the community. An online YouGiveGoods drive is the new way to raise food and supplies for charity. You can set up your drive in a matter of minutes and have it underway in time for MLK Day this year. Then invite your online community via email and social media to support your cause by purchasing items that will ship to your selected charity. A YouGiveGoods drive builds up your community as it offers tangible aid to local charity and it provides a welcome opportunity for your friends and family to be part of this year's MLK Day.

4) Spread the message. Use social media (use hashtag #MLKDay) to share MLK's ideals and inspiring words. You will find his words to be stunningly timely and relevant in today's world. Forward this page, talk about what you will do in honor of MLK Day, and encourage your circle of friends to take action to support the community.

5) Commit to service in 2017. Use Martin Luther King's example to plan a 2017 where you take action. If you are unable to volunteer on January 16, simply spend some time researching, choose your charity, make that phone call and find out how you can best serve them in the future. Charities need help all year long!

Teaching Your Kids About Money

Do your kids know that money doesn’t grow on trees? Here are some helpful tips for each age group.

You don’t have to wait until your kids are teenagers. You can start talking to them about the basics of money as early as preschool. Here are some tips about how to talk to your kids about money at any age:


  • From ages three to five you can teach kids that money can be exchanged for things. Explain to them the difference between pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.
  • From ages five to nine you can start giving them an allowance. This is also a good time to explain bank accounts and what it means when a bank account earns interest.
  • From ages nine to 13 you can help them open a savings account. Encourage them to save their allowance towards a goal (a new toy or a DVD). You might even consider setting up a matching savings plan like most companies do with a 401(k). This is also a good time to start talking to them about the idea of keeping a minimum balance based on the savings account requirement. You can also introduce the concept of keeping savings in case of emergency. Even though they won’t need to pay for an emergency at such a young age, you can explain the importance of keeping a nest egg.
  • From ages 13 to 15 you can expand your children’s allowance to include more expensive items like clothes or gifts for friends. This is also a good time to introduce entrepreneurship. Encourage your kids to earn their own money with jobs for neighbors and friends.  Arrange for them to have an ATM card so they can withdraw money from their savings account.
  • From ages 15 to 18 and up you can help your children open a checking account with a debit card. Teach them how to manage their account online or with mobile banking. You can even go old school and show them how to use a check register. This is also a good time to talk fiscal responsibility about when they go off to college. Be very clear about what expenses you will pay for which ones they will cover.
Explaining money management to your kids can start out with something as simple as giving them an allowance. If you talk to them regularly, teach by your own fiscally responsible example and give them the right tools, you will do more than teach them about money basics. You will instill in them a respect for earning and saving money that will hopefully set them on a path to being financially independent and responsible in adulthood.

Jan 11, 2017

From My Kitchen- Caribbean Style Roasted Chicken Recipe

I have been getting so many nagging requests lately about posting my recipes on the blog from friends. I promised to do better this year and will be sharing more of my family favorite recipes and tips. I cooked a whole roasted chicken over the weekend and it was the best I've ever made. I didn't know I would end up sharing the recipe, so I have no step-by-step photos to share-- just the delicious end result. This chicken was full of Caribbean flavor and super juicy and tender.


Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, 5-8 pounds
one handful each of fresh cilantro and Italian parsley
One large green onion
3 cloves of fresh garlic
small piece of hot pepper like habanero or scotch bonnet (optional and highly recommended)
dried seasonings- here are my faves
*1/2 cup Mojo marinade

Helpful items: A large/wide bowl or glass dishware for marinating, a large baking sheet, parchment paper, aluminum foil

What to do:

Start with splitting your whole chicken down the back to remove backbone and excess fat. I prefer this method to get more even cooking and browning. Wash chicken with lime or lemon and pat dry with paper towels.  You will have to apply some pressure to get the breast to flatten a bit. Do not remove skin! Sprinkle chicken on both sides with your dried seasonings to your taste. In a blender or vegetable chopper, grind garlic, herbs, green onion and hot pepper with a small amount of water just enough to make a puree. Pour herb puree and mojo marinade all over, and leave chicken in the fridge for 2 hours or even overnight. Preheat oven at 385 degrees. Place chicken breast side up on pan lined with foil and parchment paper. Bake for around one hour depending on your oven. I use the convection setting on my oven for extra crispiness and deeper browning. If your wings start browning too quickly, you can wrap them loosely with foil and remove in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Let your chicken rest at least 15 minutes before cutting/carving.


Serve with your favorite side dishes. I recommend my favorite Guyanese cook-up rice to make this a real authentic Caribbean meal. My family raves over this chicken and an 8 pound bird was devoured in a couple days with no waste! Don't forget to Pin this recipe for later! Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.


*This post contains affiliate links. I posted the products in case you can't find them locally.  

Jan 10, 2017

The Fresh Market's Little Big Meal Program

I wanted to pass along these great deals for those who live near The Fresh Market

Available every day of the month, The Fresh Market offers shoppers convenient, grab-and-go solutions for preparing a home-cooked meal with its “Little Big Meal” program! Shoppers now have the answer to the perennial “What’s for dinner?” question at their fingertips.  With hand-picked ingredients and a simple recipe, Little Big Meal offers a quick and easy wholesome meal for four -- starting at just $10!  Shoppers may simply stop by the “Little Big Meal” display every day of the week to choose from a variety of ingredient options to prepare the perfect feast.

WHO: The Fresh Market, a specialty grocery retailer focused on providing fresh, delicious fare, locally sourced products, convenient meal solutions and an expanding selection of household items in an inviting atmosphere

WHAT/WHEN: January “Little Big Meal” Schedule

Visit your neighborhood The Fresh Market any day of the week in January to pick up the below convenient meal solutions:

January 4-10 – Stir Fry


January 11-17 – Meatloaf 


January 18-24 – Tacos
January 25-31 – Slow Cooker  
WHERE: The Fresh Market’s 177 store locations nationwide

For local store information, please visit: https://www.thefreshmarket.com/all-stores/

MORE INFO: For more information on the “Little Big Meal” program and this month’s options, please visit: http://www.thefreshmarket.com/view-specials/littlebigmeal

Be sure to follow The Fresh Market on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


About The Fresh Market, Inc.

Founded in 1982, The Fresh Market, Inc. is a specialty grocery retailer focused on providing an inviting atmosphere; fresh, delicious fare; convenient meal solutions; an expanding selection of household items; and a variety of products to help its shoppers live a healthy lifestyle. The company operates 177 stores in 24 states across the U.S. For more information, please visit www.thefreshmarket.com or follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Jan 6, 2017

Nursery Design Trends in 2017

If you are expecting a new baby and are currently trying to figure out a nursery theme or even find a starting place, check out the infographic below. It has a lot of great ideas as far as choosing colors and patterns. Get inspired!

Nursery Design Trends for 2017
Nursery Design Trends for 2017 by 76th & Newbury

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