Lifestyle * Travel * Food

May 31, 2017

Celebrate Your Graduate Safely: Tips on Hosting a Foodborne Illness-Free Party

The final exams are taken, the diploma is framed and the cap is thrown in the air. Now it’s time to celebrate your graduate’s latest major life milestone! For those hosting large parties, preparing large amounts of food for friends and family is hard enough but ensuring food is safe and pathogen free can be downright stressful.


"Hosting parties take a great deal of work and we often focus so much on preparing and serving food in a timely fashion that we don’t think about preparing and serving food safely," says Deirdre Schlunegger, CEO of Stop Foodborne Illness , a national, nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens. To help ensure you are serving food that won’t spread foodborne illness, Stop has put together a list of food safety tips to help party hosts put out their best and safest food when celebrating their graduates.

For hosting a party, Stop Foodborne Illness suggests:

  • Have a plan! Cooking such an important meal for a large gathering of friends and family can be stressful and lead to subpar approaches to handling food. Think about your refrigerator, freezer and oven space, and how you'll manage to keep hot foods at 140 degrees or higher and cold foods at 40 degrees or below. If you need to use coolers, make sure you have plenty of clean ice. Whatever you do, don’t rely on the natural outdoor or indoor temperatures to keep foods at proper temperature!
  • Wash your hands. When preparing food, Stop Foodborne Illness emphasizes the importance of washing your hands thoroughly and keeping all surfaces you’re working on clean.
  • Wash produce. Stop Foodborne Illness recommends washing even prepackaged greens, to minimize potential bacterial contamination.
  • Keep cooking surfaces clean and sanitized. Preparing raw meat and poultry on the same surfaces as food that does not get cooked could lead to cross-contamination. Make sure kitchen counters, sponges, cutting boards, and knives are all well-scrubbed.
  • Defrost Safely. Properly defrost meat by allocating 24 hours per 5 pounds to defrost in the refrigerator. If you need to defrost quicker, place the meat a large bowl filled with cold water and change the cold water bath every 30 minutes.
  • Cook to proper temperature. And use a thermometer to ensure food has been cooked enough to kill bacteria. Find out more with this safe food temperature guide.
  • Food brought by party guests. While help is always appreciated, remind guests to transport cold foods in a cooler below 40 F and bring hot foods in an insulated carrier to ensure the temperature stays at or above 140 F. Prepared foods must be refrigerated or thrown out after two hours.
  • Refrigerate leftovers. Many people don’t think twice about leaving food out on the counter all day. Two hours is the limit. Allowing food to sit out longer is one of the easiest food safety mistakes to make since food left in the danger zone—above 40 degrees and below 140 degrees–facilitates bacterial growth. To avoid this, Stop recommends storing leftovers in 2-inch deep, shallow containers within two hours of serving.

Remember, practicing safe cooking procedures is not just for the host. For those attending graduation parties as guests, bring dishes, not pathogens. Here are a few things guests can do to help prevent the spread of foodborne illness:

  • Wash your hands. Even if you don’t prepare food you should still wash your hands before you eat.
  • Pack hot foods while hot. If you’re preparing a hot dish at home and bringing it to the party, pack it right away! Don’t wait for hot foods to cool down before packing. If you reheat at the party, remember to check the temperature with a thermometer.

About Stop Foodborne Illness
Stop Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens by advocating for sound public policies, building public awareness and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. For more food safety tips please visit www.STOPfoodborneillness.org/awareness/. If you think you have been sickened from food , contact your local health professional. You may subscribe to receive Stop Foodborne Illness e-Alerts and eNews here: www.STOPfoodborneillness.org/take-action/sign-up-for-e-alerts/ and follow their news at their newsroom here: http://www.newsline360.com/stopfoodborneillness.
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May 29, 2017

Low-Carb Italian Zucchini Boats

If you are like me, you probably have about 50 links on Facebook you saved of recipe or exercise videos that caught your eye. You tell yourself you will try that amazing ab and butt workout or will bake that triple chocolate ganache brownie cake. Am I right? Of course I am! I think Facebook sends me bi-weekly reminders that tell me I have saved links to look at. 

Recently I saw a recipe floating around Facebook for Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats and it really caught my attention. This time it was only saved for one week instead of 6 months. Today was finally the day I would try it. I followed the recipe for the most part, but tweaked it to my taste. First, here is the original recipe from Valerie's Kitchen. 


I omitted the extra flesh that was scraped out of the zucchini as well as the panko bread crumbs at the end. Also, I used a 4-cheese pasta sauce instead of marinara like the recipe stated. I put my own favorite seasonings including some extra hot pepper and let me tell you, this one is a winner! It was so full of flavor and good texture. I like the fact that you top it with the cheeses at the end so that it doesn't get too gooey or lose it's cheesiness (if that makes sense).



My husband does not like zucchini at all. He will tolerate trying one or two slices in a stir-fry, but still never actually liked it. He is currently practicing a lower carb lifestyle and I begged him to try it. He started with half of one "boat" and soon went back to the kitchen for the other half. He was so shocked that he really liked it. I was super shocked myself! I think it was because the zucchini was still pretty firm that he enjoyed it. If it was squooshy, he would not touch it. 

I did notice that if you reheat any of the leftovers that they become a whole lot softer. I think I will bake for 5-8 minutes less next time. One of my blog friends mentioned that her mother makes these with eggplant. I will definitely have to try that in the future. If you are looking for a delicious dinner idea (especially if you are doing LCHF), you must try this one!

Thanks for stopping by 💓
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May 26, 2017

Replenish Your Aging Skin With DerMend Mature Skin Solutions

Although I have been blessed with good genes, there are some things that are inevitable. You can have the best genes on the planet, but you will age along the way. Of course aging is an absolute blessing and I'm sure we all desire to live a long life. I have noticed so many changes in myself ever since I hit 40. One thing that is really starting to show is a difference in my skin. My face still maintains its firmness and shows little signs of wrinkles. I think that because I wear a daily sunscreen on my face year 'round, it has halted the normal aging process. The rest of my body is a different story.

My arms and legs seem to be less radiant like it was in my 20's or 30's. I feel like I have tried every product there is! I even did the whole coconut oil thing and feel like it made my skin more dry and scaly looking. I was recently introduced to the DerMend line of skincare products made specifically for aging skin for the over 40 crowd. I was low-key sad at first, but realized that having skincare products targeted to help specific issues is not a bad thing.


Here is a little info on each product:

DerMend Moisturizing Anti-Itch Lotion
If you suffer from frequent itchy, dry mature skin, use this gentle moisturizing lotion to relieve the itch effectively with its safe, steroid-free formula. The formula goes on easily and absorbs instantly. It is recommended to use up to 3 or 4 times a day. I guess if you suffer from very dry, itchy, sensitive skin this would make sense to have to use it more than once. I find that 1-2 times works for me. It really feels like smooth with no stickiness whatsoever. It is unscented which is good. Most scented products are very drying to skin. It retails for $19.99 for an 8-ounce bottle.


DerMend Moisturizing Bruise Formula Cream
If you experience chronic, frequent bruising, use this cream to help improve the appearance of bruises and replenish your skin’s protective barrier. This cream is super emollient, while keeping your skin feeling smooth and not sticky. It feels like you have a protective barrier on your skin in a good way. You have to be careful using this product if you are going to be exposed to the sun since it contains alpha hydroxy acid. It retails for $29.99 for a 4.5 ounce tube.


DerMend Fragile Skin Moisturizing Formula Cream
If your skin is thin, crepey and damages easily, use this cream to help restore, rejuvenate and repair thin, fragile skin. As we mature, our skin loses elasticity. Many factors, including repeated sun damage, cause elastin and collagen under the skin’s surface to break down. The protective fatty layer of tissue also depletes, making skin much thinner and more fragile. This can cause skin to tear easily and also appear wrinkled or crepey, especially areas that have been exposed to the elements more frequently.

DerMend Fragile Skin Moisturizing Formula Cream provides targeted care to help restore thin, fragile skin with rejuvenating ingredients and enriching moisturizers. It retails for $29.99 for a 4.5 ounce tube.


You can find these DerMend Mature Skin Solutions products at CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Meijer locations nationwide. You can also grab a coupon here while supplies last. If you or a loved one have concerns about aging skin, be sure to check out these resources full of valuable information. Also, be sure to "like" DerMend on Facebook for the latest product offerings and skin care tips.

Many thanks for DerMend for providing these products for review. As always, all opinions are mine.
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May 25, 2017

Tips for Choosing a POS System Best Fit for Your Business

With the wide variety of POS systems available for businesses, it is important to choose the one that best fits your business needs. Take a look at some tips for choosing the right system for your business so you can move forward with confidence.


Reputation of Provider
It is very important to be sure that the provider you choose for your POS system has a good and trustworthy reputation. One sure way to find out whether or not you can trust the provider is to check with the Better Business Bureau, read reviews from other customers, or talk to those customers first hand to find out more about their experiences with the provider. When doing your research on providers, keep in mind their grade from the BBB, as well as how they treated or supported the other customers who have used them as well. This will give you a better idea of whether or not the provider is the best choice for your business.

Support Options
Another tip when choosing a point of sale system for your business is to find out what type of support is offered from the provider. It is important to choose a system and a provider that will offer support when needed after the sale is complete. Some information to gather when searching for your system and provider is whether or not they offer one on one training, if they offer training materials or instruction manuals, and if they offer technical support once the setup is complete and for the life of the system’s use. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a problem you can‘t solve and have no support offered from the provider.

Performance
Another factor to consider when choosing a POS system or merchant services credit card machine is the performance factor. Be sure to choose a system that offers you the full capabilities that you are looking for, no matter the cost. This will be essential to the functionality of your business in the future. Performance and quality of the POS system is what will keep your business running smoothly.

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The Fresh Market’s grab-and-go “Little Big Meal” program for June 2017

The Fresh Market makes dining at home delicious and affordable with inspiring meal solutions each week.

WHAT/WHEN: The Fresh Market is taking the guesswork out of preparing a deliciously different meal each week with its “Little Big Meal” program.  Available at all of the grocer’s 175 stores nationwide, the grab-and-go meals offer satisfying solutions to the perennial “What’s for dinner?” question.  Guests may simply stop by the “Little Big Meal” display every day of the week to choose from a variety of fresh ingredient options to help make every day eating nothing short of extraordinary.

Each “Little Big Meal” recipe is tastefully curated with the finest quality, hand-picked ingredients of the season and offers a quick and easy wholesome meal for four – available throughout the month for $25 or less!  Guests can visit The Fresh Market any day of the week in June to pick up the following simple and delicious meals:


May 31-June 6 – Roasted Chicken Roll Ups ($20)
The Fresh Market’s Roasted Chicken Roll Ups with Vegetables are available in four flavor-packed combinations –parmesan, portabella, venezia and cordon bleu. The meal also comes with a roasting kit including farm-fresh broccoli, red potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini and thyme. To round out the delectable dinner, choose between pesto or honey-lemon bowtie salad and a variety of freshly baked, eight-count cookies from the bakery for dessert.

June 7-13 – Summer Pasta ($25)
Choose between the finest quality of sirloin steak, chicken strips, shrimp or portabella mushroom caps for The Fresh Market’s Summer Pasta Little Big Meal. Round out the recipe with a primavera vegetable kit and a choice between four varieties of Garofalo noodles. Top off the seasonal pasta with Brianna’s asiago Caesar, buttermilk ranch, Dijon honey mustard, ginger mandarin or poppy seed dressing. The meal also includes crusty Italiano bread and a choice between 12 flavors of Graeters ice cream.


June 14-20 – Chicken on the Grill ($20)
Fire up the grill for The Fresh Market’s Chicken on the Grill Little Big Meal! Choose between all-natural marinated chicken cutlets with teriyaki, barbeque or Anything Goes sauce to cook alongside The Fresh Market’s hand-picked vegetable grilling kit. Round out the meal with Lundberg’s organic Spanish rice or basil bell pepper, rosemary or Spanish style quinoa and rice mix. As a sweet treat, choose between lemon, fudge or cream cheese brownie bars.

June 21-27 – Kabobs ($25)
Select from The Fresh Market’s hand-picked kabob ingredients to cook up barbeque or teriyaki pork or chicken skewers accompanied by seasonal vegetable or tropical fruit skewers. The meal also comes with pita pocket bread, a Mediterranean pasta salad and a choice between five Yasso Greek yogurt bars. Perfect for any porch-side night, The Fresh Market’s Little Big Meal Kabobs are bursting with flavor – without the stress or mess!  

WHERE: The Fresh Market’s 175 store locations nationwide

For local store information, please visit thefreshmarket.com/your-market/store-locator.

MORE INFO: For more information on the “Little Big Meals” program, ingredients and recipe ideas, please visit thefreshmarket.com/specials/little-big-meal and follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
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May 23, 2017

Can A Person Die From Too Much Caffeine?

Too much caffeine caused the death of a 16-year-old high school student from South Carolina who collapsed during class last month, according to the county coroner. Davis Allen Cripe died from a caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia. During an arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the body, and lack of blood flow affects the brain, heart and other organs. The teen consumed three caffeine-laced drinks -- a cafe latte, large Diet Mountain Dew and an energy drink -- in a two-hour period before collapsing in his classroom at Spring Hill High School on April 26, Watts said. (Source: CNN) So where does this tragic news leave adult java lovers?


How much caffeine can I drink a day?

"Most people can safely take in about 400 milligrams of caffeine daily or about 4 cups of coffee," says Dr. Christopher Calapai D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine. He adds that, “the limit varies from person to person.” It’s difficult to assign an exact amount for everyone because people can have different sensitivities or reactions to caffeine based on age, medical history, and tolerance. However, there is enough research available to make a recommendation based on an individual’s weight.

To keep it safe, health experts recommend a maximum daily dose of 400 mg. To see what this means for you, check out the caffeine in some of these common drinks:

Starbucks Coffee (16 fl oz): 320 mg caffeine
5-hour energy (1.93 fl oz): 207 mg caffeine
Dunkin Donuts regular (16 fl oz): 203 mg caffeine
Starbucks Latte (16 fl oz): 150 mg caffeine
Coffee, brewed (8 fl oz): 133 mg caffeine
Red Bull Energy Shot (2 fl oz): 80 mg caffeine
Red Bull (8 fl oz): 80 mg caffeine
Tea (8 fl oz): 53 mg caffeine

But how, exactly, can the world's most popular drug kill?

Like other stimulants, caffeine raises blood pressure, boosts heart rate and temporarily shrinks blood vessels. Dr. Calapai explains that, “In excess, the effects can be deadly by causing a heart attack, stroke or other cardio-vascular-related problem. Researchers think daily caffeine intake can increase the risk of coronary heart disease, but the results so far have been inconclusive.”

It’s also important to realize that medical conditions can affect sensitivity to caffeine. “If you have anxiety, panic disorder, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure, diabetes, take medication or have any sort of medical condition, then you may tolerate less caffeine and should speak to a doctor,” says Dr. Calapai.

There are “caffeine overdose symptoms” that are important to watch for. These include:

Jitters, Restlessness, and Nervousness
Increased heartbeat
Nausea
Anxiety
Heart palpitations (cardiac arrhythmia)
Insomnia
Sweating
Dizziness
Vomiting
Cardiac arrest

This guest article is from: Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed as the "The Stem Cell Guru" by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer's, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson's. He has worked with Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Fox series Gotham's, Donal Logue; he was a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via twitter @drcalapai or at www.drcal.net

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May 22, 2017

Natural stimulants: How to Feel Alert and Fabulous sans Coffee

The mere mention of the word “coffee” is enough to jolt me awake. Just kidding! How I wish that’s for real, but here I am sipping my third cup. I must admit that there were nights when I lose sleep thinking over how I can ditch my caffeine habit. I drink more coffee as I haven’t slept much the night before. Then the next day I’ll be too sleepy, so I’ll bring crank up my coffee just a bit. The cycle goes on and it’s so pathetic! Sounds like you?

Caffeine Junkie Anonymous

Coffee is life. You are not your usual self until you gulped your morning cup. But what if you are taking in too much? How will you know that you are suffering from caffeine addiction? Your coffee habit is ruining your life if you were having bouts of insomnia, irritability, anxiety, nervousness, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, headaches and occasional migraines.

You have already built-up caffeine tolerance, so there is days when you’ll reach for your third, fourth or fifth cup. You are rushing the day, but there are just moments when you are feeling so tired. You might have already tried other caffeine-containing beverages such as energy drinks and cocktails. You even tried to cut back your coffee intake, only to get attacked by a headache the next hour. Sounds like an addict in coffee withdrawal? Since this is also my dilemma, let me share how I worked around my caffeine habit.

Natural Ways to Feel Awake without Coffee

Addiction treatment experts might say that the first step to healing is admitting that you have a problem. OK, you are hooked on caffeine, so it’s not that big of a problem, you are right. Our “addiction” is not as severe as say, drugs or alcohol or sex but hey, it’s still addiction! Our chronic caffeine habit will put us at a greater risk of having brittle bones and heart disease later in life. We must cut back on coffee before it’s too late. How?


1. Plan and sleep
It’s possible to plan your day so you can have more sleep hours. There are days when I just go bum all day only to hurry up and finish my to-do at night. It’s not healthy. It’s super stressful. Don’t cram your activities; instead, plan it. Coffee might make you work fast, but it won’t help if you are inefficient. Plan your day, maximize your hours and get some sleep.

2. Drink water
Before you go about and reach for another cup, drink first at least two large glasses of water. Why water you might ask? Well, you are feeling sleepy but it might also because you are dehydrated. Clogged body equals to fuzzy brain. Drink water to flush out all those toxins. Don’t drink soda as caffeine is usually included on most sodas. Your brain is made of 73-77% water so just a glass of water every two hours during working hours is enough to keep you on your toes and awake.


3. Eat green
Meat can weigh you down. Meat can make you sleepy and less attentive. If you are particular about your brain health, I suggest that you go vegan. If that is not possible, set aside a few days as no-meat days. Eat light, don’t stuff yourself too much. Eat in such a way that you are neither feeling full or hungry. Minimize sugar intake as it can only make you crash and burn in a few hours. Eat a light lunch and munch on small snacks such as apples, nuts, carrots, celery, sweet potato and salad.

4. Drink tea
If you can’t take coffee, go for green tea instead. Green tea has natural caffeine that can make you calm and awake. Tea is effective in keeping you focused without tiring you out.


5. Buy a small cup
The best way to cut back on caffeine intake is to buy a small mug. Water down your coffee gradually and use sugar sparingly. This is also the reason why fitness experts may sometimes advise us to eat meals on a smaller plate.

6. Keep calm
Maintaining ideal temperature can significantly affect an individual’s performance. The summer heat can make us feel sleepy so better invest in a good air conditioner. Turn on the lights and crank up your AC for the sake of productivity.

7. Take small breaks
Stretch your muscles throughout the day. Walk around the office after every hour of intense computer activity. Chew gum during your most sleepy time of the day. Do some jumping jack and jog in place. If you are barely holding up your eyelids, walk a bit around the office. You can also do some eye exercises to keep your eyes awake and alert.


8. Listen to music
An excellent way to keep your blood pumping is the listen to some upbeat music. Avoid sweet songs as they can just lull you to sleep.

Conclusion
If you find yourself reaching for coffee throughout your working day and if you use coffee to feel motivated, then you have a problem. If the challenges of your work are not enough to keep you awake daily, then you don’t need a cup but rather a new job!

Thanks to Sarah M. for this guest article
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May 20, 2017

How Quickly Does A Tulip Poplar Grow Yearly?

Lately, we have been in a planting frenzy over at the Ismail home. We had all of our old, overgrown trees removed about two years ago. It was both a smart and dumb move at the same time. You see, we didn't think ahead about the fact that we would have zero shade in the hot summer months. Since having the trees removed, we have replanted new ones. We did a ton of research beforehand to ensure we got what would work for our zone and hopefully grow quickly enough to enjoy the shade before we become senior citizens.

One of the dozens of trees we decided on was the Tulip Poplar. We purchased two of them, one locally and the other from on online nursery located in our state. This tulip tree pictured below was planted late last summer and started off between 2-3 feet in height. So far since the spring completely sprung, it is now at 5 feet tall and climbing! There is still a lot of time left in the growing season so we are hoping for another few feet. This tree and the other one we bought seem to be growing overnight. I have read reviews where some people said they saw 8-10 feet of growth each year.


As you can see, the leaves are huge and they grow in dense clusters. When I was researching this tree, some people said the leaves get as large as full-size dinner plates. This is a good sign that in time, it will provide tremendous amounts of shade here in the 'Famously Hot' city of Columbia.


Something we learned along the way is to be super careful when watering your tulip poplar. You can't over-water, because it will completely drown out the roots and kill the tree. Ask me how I know this *ahem*. We only give it water once a week if it has not rained and the temperatures are over 90°. Also, we put down some fertilizer pre-spring and will probably do it again later on in the summer. The birds seem to be enjoying the trees and love to retreat from the heat among the dense foliage. Next up will be a couple bird baths to place next to each of our poplars. 

I'll be sharing more about our gardening adventures and some lawn care tips in upcoming posts. In the meantime, I'd love to know what you have planted this year. Do you have any wishlist plants or trees you would like to get in the future? Please share in the comments. Have a great weekend! 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links
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May 15, 2017

Get Your #myKuplove 25¢ Drink Refills At Circle K Southeast Stores All Summer Long (Giveaway)

***CLOSED*** Winner is Stephanie D. Congratulations!
Today's post is brought to you by Circle K

Today, May 15th, kicks off the new myKup (formerly known as the Roo Cup) summer promotion. Right now at participating Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina Circle K stores, you can purchase a myKup for $7.99 and get drink refills for only 25¢ all summer long through Labor Day!



You can choose from the variety of fountain or frozen drinks and beat the heat this summer. This is such a great deal and with so many Circle K locations around, you can quench your thirst as often as you please for a super low price. With the end of the school year here, a myKup would make the perfect end-of-the-year gift for your child's teacher.


Are you on Instagram? Right now, Circle K is running a fun giveaway for their beloved fans. To enter, all you have to do is post a photo showing how you enjoy myKup on Instagram with the #myKuplove hashtag. Five random winners will receive two myKups with free refills all summer long, and two $100 Circle K gift cards. Be sure to follow Circle K Southeast on Instagram and Facebook. You can also find Circle K locations here.

Additionally, Mom Files is offering a giveaway bag for one lucky reader to win. The prize is a Circle K reusable bag, a myKup, branded swag, and one $25 AMEX gift card so you can get your 25¢ drink refills all summer long. Enter below....

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and will end on May 30, 2017. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Please be sure to read Rafflecopter rules and participants must have a valid email address to claim prize. Have fun and good luck!
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May 14, 2017

Stay-at-home Jobs – Some People Love Them, Some Don’t (Guest Post)

Working from home is a subject that is met with both positivity and negativity for different reasons. While some believe that it is a great thing that people are able in this day and age to complete their work duties from the comfort of their own homes, other consider that this is not a beneficial thing due to the fact that it brings with it some disadvantages.  Both sides could be considered correct depending on which you choose to lean on. However, it wouldn’t hurt to have some arguments for both for and against working from home. Many people want to learn more about what it means to work from home and they would surely love a couple of reasons for which it’s a good or bad idea. If you’ve already decided that you want to work from home you can try this out.


Let’s go on and see what the disadvantages are. We’re starting with the negative aspects then hop over to the pluses to see which side makes a better point. In the end you can draw a line and decide whether or not a stay-at-home job would suit you.
  • You don’t get to chat with your office friends if you work from home. If that’s something you like doing, this may be considered a downside
  • You have to constantly find the willpower to start work each day since there’s no schedule to tell you that you have to start at a precise hour
  • It can be challenging to maintain the same work ethic when there is no one around to correct you or your work
  • Speaking of correcting work, your boss won’t see how hard you are in fact working and will only judge you based on your number, so if you don’t put out the same performance each day he’ll think you’re slacking
  • You have to re-arrange a significant deal of space in your home to accommodate your home office especially if you have a lot of things that you need around you for work

Now that we’ve seen what the downsides are to working from home, let’s take a look at the positive aspects.
  • You can save up a lot of money on gas and other expenses that come up when you have to commute to work
  • You get to spend more time home with your family and also take care of the household more since you can set your own schedule to a certain degree
  • You can work without distractions like office chatter and commit fully to your tasks for the day
  • You can sleep in more since you don’t have to wake up as early to get to the workplace
  • You can wear whatever you want and sit in whichever position you see fit so that you are in your most comfortable state
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May 10, 2017

Are HIIT Workouts Really Effective?

Have you heard of HIIT workouts? HIIT actually stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It is basically a very high intensity workout that gives super short breaks in between each exercise. I have accepted that I will probably never weigh 115 pounds again and have come to embrace my womanly body. My issue is tightening it up! I was introduced to Blast3Fitness.com and decided to give it a go.

Get this, their HIIT sessions are only 3 minutes long! The warm-up is 3 minutes, so if you have 6 minutes (which we all do), you can fit in a really good workout. I have to say, be prepared to feel muscles you didn't know existed. WOW. Below is the warm-up video that I highly recommend you start with.



Once you do the warm-up, you will be ready for a Blast3 session. I really like this one below although I had to improvise a bit. I have to do my press-ups against the wall so I don't mess up my knees. I still get the same effect though.



I noticed that I felt really good after doing the exercises. It was maybe 20 minutes later that my arms and legs felt like jelly. I could feel the muscles in my thighs, abs, back, and arms burn so I feel like I did it correctly. I really love the Blast3 exercise videos and have vowed to make sure I get one or two in each day. I usually hate it when those super-workout-I-run-marathons-for-breakfast people say there is no excuse not to exercise. I admit, with something this convenient, you really do not have an excuse. You can do these exercises just about anywhere. All you need is a yoga mat and minimal space. Perfect for even the busiest person! Don't forget that your health is your wealth.

This is not a sponsored post. I simply wanted to share my experience so far and I will update you all in about a month with my progress. If you are looking into a quick daily fitness routine, I highly suggest Blast3Fitness.com. Thanks for stopping by today 💓
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May 9, 2017

$20 Little Big Meals From The Fresh Market

Cook up convenience with The Fresh Market’s grab-and-go “Little Big Meal” program. The specialty grocer makes dining at home delicious and affordable with inspiring meal solutions each week.

The Fresh Market is a specialty grocer focused on providing fresh, delicious food with friendly service in a warm and inviting atmosphere. From seasonally fresh produce to exceptional quality meat and seafood, signature baked goods and thousands of organic options; The Fresh Market is dedicated to offering guests the most delicious ingredients and inspiring meal solutions.

WHAT/WHEN: The Fresh Market is taking the guesswork out of preparing a deliciously different meal each week with its “Little Big Meal” program.  Available at all of the grocer’s 174 stores nationwide, the grab-and-go meals offer satisfying solutions to the perennial “What’s for dinner?” question.  Guests may simply stop by the “Little Big Meal” display every day of the week to choose from a variety of fresh ingredient options to help make every day eating nothing short of extraordinary.

Each “Little Big Meal” recipe is tastefully curated with the finest quality, hand-picked ingredients of the season and offers a quick and easy wholesome meal for four – available throughout the month for $20 or less!  Guests can visit The Fresh Market any day of the week in May to pick up the below simple and delicious meals:


Now through May 9 – Fajitas ($20)
Add some sizzle to dinner time with The Fresh Market’s Fajita Little Big Meal! Choose from fresh, seasonal ingredients to tastefully master steak or veggie fajitas. Also included in the meal, guests can choose from a side of refried, Cuban or chipotle beans! For an extra twist on this foodie favorite, The Fresh Market suggests whipping up its avocado crema recipe to dollop on top (not included in the Little Big Meal; recipe available at thefreshmarket.com).


May 10-16 – Salads ($20)
Toss the traditional salad recipe out the window, and explore the fresh and delicious Little Big Meal Salads from The Fresh Market! Choose from premium ingredients to make sirloin steak salad with blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette; shrimp and feta salad with mango coconut dressing or grilled chicken and vegetable salad with parmesan and Meyer lemon poppy seed dressing. Guests will also receive a side of sourdough rolls to top off the meal!


May 17-23 – Grilling Meal ($20)
It’s time to fire up the grill! The Fresh Market’s Grilling Little Big Meal will help guests gear up their palates for the summer season ahead with hand-picked, fresh ingredients to grill pork and chicken skewers and vegetables. To sweeten up the deal, guests can also choose between a cherry, apple, peach or blueberry pie for dessert.


May 24-30 – Burgers ($20)
The Fresh Market’s Burger Little Big Meal is packed with the fresh ingredients necessary to craft four, juicy patties on gourmet brioche buns! Choose from high-quality ingredients to make a classic burger, or a portabella burger with roasted red peppers and pesto mayo. Complete the meal with crisp corn and either macaroni or potato salad – all included for only $20!
                             
WHERE: The Fresh Market’s 174 store locations nationwide

For local store information, please visit thefreshmarket.com/your-market/store-locator.

MORE INFO: For more information on the “Little Big Meals” program, ingredients and recipe ideas, please visit thefreshmarket.com/specials/little-big-meal and follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
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