May 202013

Wedding season is approaching. And if you happen to be the bride and groom – or the parents of either – you just know there are so many things to think about. So many costs involved. There are many ways that one can cut costs if you’re on a tight budget – one of those being cutting the cost of the bridal bouquets and other flower arrangements.

When I got married I opted for my bouquet to be of silk flowers while the rest of the wedding party, the flowers for the church, and reception hall being real flowers. For me – my silk arrangement was a matter of having a keepsake but I really love fresh flowers. However, there wasn’t a whole lot of money to spend on my wedding so we had to be creative, cut corners, and make compromises.

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Mar 052013

How to Convert Recipes for the Slow Cooker

There are just a few simple steps to consider when you want to convert recipes for the slow cooker that you’d traditionally would cook on your stovetop or in the oven.

In order to convert a recipe for slow cooker cooking the recipe has to contain some type of liquid – water, broth, wine, canned soup, or a sauce.


  • Cut the amount of liquid in half
  • Calculate the cooking time based on – One (1) hour in the oven equals eight (8) hours on low in the slow cooker or four (4) hours on high.

When nearing the time of the dish being done:

  • If you think there is too much liquid – remove the cover and turn the slow cooker up to high.
  • If you want to make or add a sauce, add sour cream, or cheese – now would be the time to do it.

Did you know?

  • A slow cooker’s low heat setting is approx. 200° F (95° C)
  • A slow cooker’s high heat setting  is approx. 300° F (150°C)
  • Frozen meat can go right from the freezer to the slow cooker.  Just remember to increase the cooking time.  The reason for browning meats is to seal in flavor and give the meat a more appetizing look after it’s done cooking – something that I never do (shame on me, but I’m totally okay with not doing it).  Personally, I can’t be bothered with browning my meats.
  • Tougher cuts of meat come out really tender in the slow cooker, such as beef stew meat and tougher steaks (use in stroganoffs or even beef stew).

Do you like to use a slow cooker?  What is your favorite dish to make?

Oct 022012

Is your wall on Facebook missing posts that you normally see from your favorite bloggers? Other Pages?

Facebook is at it again!  Is your wall on Facebook missing posts that you used to see?  Here’s why –  now you need to subscribe to ‘Interests’ to keep seeing those posts. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on giveaways, tips and lots of fun from your favorite deal bloggers, special needs bloggers – any blogger – says Facebook!

Here’s how to subscribe:

Facebook Missing Posts

Click to ENLARGE

Christmas is coming and there will be lots of giveaways you don’t want to miss out on; amongst all the other informative posts your favorite bloggers write for you, and giveaways they offer all year long.  Log in to Facebook now and Subscribe to your interests  – BEFORE you forget 🙂

Aug 282012
Publish to G+ via Hootsuite

This simple tutorial will show you how to auto publish blog posts to Google Plus (G+) via Hootsuite.

I am really bad about getting my posts over to my G+ wall.  You have no idea as to how glad I am that I found that I can actually have my posts fed to my wall via Hootsuite.  Setting it up wasn’t hard at all.

Follow the steps below and you’ll be on your way to auto publishing your blog posts too!

  • Log in to your Hootsuite account.
  • Now you will need to add G+ to your dashboard.  Simply click on ‘Add Another Social Network’.  If by chance you have your settings set where you’ve asked not to see this screen anymore – you can still access the screen by clicking on the little ‘house’ under your avatar on the toolbar on the left of the page.

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Jun 192012
lasagna noodles

One of my most favorite dishes is lasagna BUT I always hated to parboil the noodles.  Luckily for me, long before

lasagna noodles

No need to boil OR use the no boil noodles

the no boil lasagna noodles came out on the market, I learned of a way to make my lasagna without having to parboil the noodles. Till this day, I will not spend the extra money on the no boil noodles – that just isn’t necessary.  You can do the same too.

If you’re building a lasagna using a 9×13 pan you’ll need to use an additional cup of sauce.  If you prefer your lasagna to be saucier – then you’ll need to use at least two cups, or thin the sauce with water.  I prefer not to thin the sauce with water as I make my own sauce and I want that Italian flavor to be full.  The reason for the extra sauce is because the noodles will pull the liquid from the sauce to aid in cooking them.

Now all you have to do is build your lasagna.  Start building it  by layering extra sauce on the bottom of the pan – not all of it, but about a third of it.  Then continue to layer your ingredients adding extra sauce to each layer.  When you’ve completely built your lasagna cover it tightly with foil(very important) and put it in the oven to bake.  I also spray the foil with a non-stick spray.  You will need to let it bake an additional 15-30 minutes longer than normal.  Once it comes out of the oven I always let mine stand a few minutes before I uncover it.  I then remove the cover and serve.

I’ve never had any trouble with the noodles not cooking.  I have however made the mistake of not using enough  sauce but that was my own fault.  That time – I decided I was going to make this HUGE pan of lasagna and didn’t have enough sauce to start out with.  A lesson learned.

May 082012

The Avengers broke box office records this past weekend in the U.S. bringing in $207.4 million during their 3-day opening. That kind of money talk is almost enough to sway me into getting a mfa degree so that I can start working in the entertainment industry!  With this in mind, kids are bound to be asking for their parents to throw an Avengers Superheros Party for their birthday or just because. To help you out, here a few tips and suggestions on how to throw an Avengers Superhero Party courtesy of Ms. Ricky Eisen, Founder and President of Events and Celebrations.

May 012012

Backing up your computer, if you value what’s on it such as documents and pictures, should be a top priority of yours. There are several ways to do this yourself or by utilizing an online backup service.  As with anything, there are pros and cons of online backup services but I do believe they are well worth it in the long run.

One never knows when the time will come that their computer will crash – and trust me – it will crash – right down to the hard drive.  Of course, the power supply can die, motherboards can fry, and disk drives can fail – at the most inopportune time.  This, I’ve learned this the hard way.

When one seriously sits down and thinks about the best way to back up their computer – it’s really a no brainer that an online computer backup service is the best for several reasons:

  • Backing up to CD’s/DVD’s can be expensive if you have a lot of files.  Not to mention that these backup medias can be scratched and storing them takes up space.
  • Flash drives – they are nice if you need something handy, but these too can fail and only have a certain shelf life depending on the brand and the way it’s used.
  • External hard drives – these too will eventually fail.  And what if this fails before your internal hard drive does?  Now you’ve got to get another before the internal hard drive decides it’s gonna die.  These also require you to place what data you want on it – taking up your time.
  • In laptops, external hard drives drain the battery.

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Apr 242012

After a two year operation called Operation Ghost Click, the FBI arrested six Estonian nationals back in November, and charged them with fraud.  These individuals are accused of infecting computers worldwide with malware called DNS Changer. The thieves used the access to direct users to their own servers and manipulate advertising.  This created $14 million in illegal income.  NASA and government computers were amongst the infected, amongst millions of others.

The problem – the FBI believes approximately 350,000 computers are still infected with this malware with roughly 85,000 being computers in the United States.  If yours is one that is infected and you don’t remove the malware – you will lose your internet access come July.

The FBI has created a site where you can check to see if your computer infected.  The results will either show an image with a green background if your computer is okay and should a red image appear then you will be directed to information on how to remove the malware.

Check your computer now at



Apr 172012

I’ve been refilling my printer’s ink cartridges for a long time now.  It’s very much a cost saving method compared to purchasing new cartridges every time I run out of ink.  I’ve refilled Lexmar, Brother, Epson and HP printer cartridges with complete success.  One of the kits I use is the one to the right.  One can buy ink for their specific make and model – but since I have more than one printer, I opt for the universal kits. 

Some printer companies have come out with cartridges that idealistically, they were hoping one wouldn’t be able to refill; however someone outsmarted the companies and created a special tool, so that the level of ink can be reset once it has been refilled.  You can either buy the tool or alternatively, buy a new set of generic refillable cartridges for your printer for very little money (I’ve found them on Ebay) and then refill those cartridges.  

I’m forever running out of black ink before any other color is close to running out.  Therefore, I always make sure that I have lots of black ink on hand.  Not only that, but a lot of the new printers won’t operate if one color is out.  This happened with an Epson printer I have – which I refilled and got it humming again, but I didn’t realize that was the reason the darn thing wouldn’t print the first time it happened!

The only drawback I’ve found to refilling the cartridges yourself is that it can be a tad bit messy. Make sure you have paper towels handy. Rubber gloves help save the hands.  Of course, you may be a lot more careful and have a lot more patience than I do for this kind of stuff – thus not making such a mess.  I can live with the mess I create knowing how much money it saves me.

This is the link to the kit I use –  Universal Inkjet Refill Kit Color – 1 kit – $8.58 – A whole lot of bang for the buck 🙂


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