Sunday, June 29, 2014

Grilled Lemon Chicken Recipe

The 3-day July 4th holiday weekend is just around the corner. Many of us will be attending parties, backyard barbecues and area events to celebrate our nation's independence. One of the things that is always on our menu when we host a barbecue party here at our home is chicken. With that said, I am always looking for different ways to prepare the chicken and this recipe looks like a keeper!

The recipe and photo is courtesy of Maria Zoitas, creator of Maria's Homemade prepared foods sold exclusively at Westside Market NYC. Looks delicious!!! Thanks Maria!

Grilled Lemon Chicken Recipe

½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup soy sauce
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken cutlets

1.Combine lemon juice, soy sauce, ginger, and black pepper in large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken. Seal bag, then toss several times to coat chicken. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for 20 minutes to 2 hours.

2.Preheat outdoor grill for medium-high heat, or heat grill pan on stove until hot.

3.Remove chicken from bag, discarding marinade.

4.Grill chicken 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with grilled or steamed vegetables.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mandarin Café Iced Coffee Recipe

Now that summer has officially kicked into high gear I have found myself enjoying more iced coffee than ever. Let's face it, on some days it is just way too hot outside to enjoy our favorite coffee the traditional way. I was never an iced coffee drinker until last year and now...I find that I drink it pretty regularly. Do you enjoy iced coffee? If so, how do you like to prepare it? I love mandarin oranges so I will have to give this recipe a try.

This gourmet iced coffee recipe is courtesy of the great folks at RealBeanz.
Mandarin Cafe Iced Coffee Recipe

· 3 oz. RealBeanz Dark Roast with Coconut Water
· 1 ½ oz. white rum
· ½ oz. orange or tangerine liquor
· Tangerine slices

In a shaker, combine ice, RealBeanz, orange liqour and rum. Shake and pour into glass. Squeeze two tangerine slices into the drink and place one slice on rim of the glass for garnish.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Grilled Balsamic & Ginger Glazed Plums Recipe

The July 4th holiday is coming up next weekend and I am pretty excited for it to arrive. This year we will be hosting a backyard barbecue and are expecting over 25 guests! We plan on grilling up a feast for all that will be here!

One of the things I love about celebrating our National Independence Day is getting together with all of our friends and family. Our lives are so busy these days, we look for every opportunity that we can get to visit with one another!
The following recipe and photograph is courtesy of eMeals. The recipe makes 6 hearty servings. Looks like the perfect grilled dessert to me!!!

Balsamic & Ginger Glazed Plums Recipe

• ½ cup balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 ½ tablespoons ground ginger
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 tablespoon orange juice
• ½ teaspoon orange zest
• Pinch salt
• 6 firm, ripe plums
• 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, minced (optional)
• Vanilla ice cream (optional)


1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a small pan.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 to 7 minutes, or until it reaches a syrupy consistency.
3. Cut plums in half and remove the pits.
4. In a large bowl, gently toss plum halves with balsamic syrup to coat.
5. Place plums, cuts side down, on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill over medium heat about 5 minutes.
6. Serve warm with crystallized ginger and/or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

7 Summer Date Ideas That Won't Break the Bank

Summer is a great time of the year to get out & about and enjoy some time with your significant other. In my case, that would happen to be my husband and after 29 years of marriage...we still have weekly date nights! Yes, that's right, weekly date nights! I think having these date nights is why our marriage has been so successful.

If you are dating or married and looking to have some fun date nights, here is a great article on "date ideas" that won't cost you a fortune! My favorite on Kendal's list is #1...especially if its a romantic picnic for two on my favorite beach!

7 Summer Date Ideas That Won't Break the Bank

Whether you're seeing someone new or spending time with your longtime partner, summer offers up a great opportunity to mix up your dating routine. It's easy to let the sunshine and good times get the better of your budget, however, with weekly happy hours and weekend adventures among the endless opportunities to spend money.

Happily, there's no need fork over top dollar for fun when the season offers so many frugal and even free opportunities for canoodling. Consider these six summer date ideas that won't break the bank.

1. Picnics
Munching on cheese and crackers, clinking glasses of wine and enjoying a serene spot in your community is a pretty romantic way to spend a summer evening. Google "picnic areas" in your city for location ideas, and check out The Date Report's recommendations for 25 Romantic Little Foods to Bring on a Picnic Date.

2. Concerts & Festivals
Hitting up summer concerts is one of the best ways to spend time with your special someone. While events featuring big-name headliners can require deep pockets, summer concerts hosted by communities often have free admission. City festivals may require a $5 to $15 entrance fee, but provide such complimentary diversions as booth browsing, improv shows and people watching. Of course, splurging on a funnel cake or fried oreos won't put you out, either.

3. Local Dining Specials
Most cities offer a lifestyle circular featuring local events, attractions and dining specials. Before you schedule your next date, peruse your city's circular and plan an evening starting with happy hour, discount dinner fare and a free local activity. Exploring your city together can be a fun way to learn about one another's interests and local knowledge.

4. City and Company Tours
The warm weather makes it easy to create a date on the fly just by exploring your city. Many communities offer First Friday Art Walks or some variation thereof, where local art galleries keep their doors open later for visitors to peruse their works and chat with artists. If your community has local breweries, distilleries or wineries, schedule a tour and enjoy learning about the process of making your favorite adult beverage.

5. Volunteer Opportunities
Doing something together in the service of others can make for a rewarding experience. Identify your shared passions and causes and look for opportunities through In addition to visiting with seniors at your local nursing home or helping out at the soup kitchen, you can also help build walking and hiking trails or contribute to a Habitat for Humanity build. The options are endless and the rewards are limitless.

6. Movie Discount Days
Skip the Friday night openers in favor of midweek showtimes. Many theaters offer matinee pricing all day during off-peak days, typically Tuesday or Wednesday. Check your local theaters' website for more details or call the box office for more information. Since concessions will likely eat up your ticket savings, download the free Coupon Sherpa mobile app to your smartphone for instant access to deals like $3 off popcorn from Regal Cinemas.

7. Kids Activities
When was the last time you played miniature golf or or did donuts in a go-kart? Sometimes the best dates are the simplest ones, so channel your inner child and challenge your date to a round of bumper cars or air hockey. Indulge in cheap pizza, hot dogs and ice cream and share your favorite memories of childhood. Complicated? No. Memorable? Definitely!

Kendal Perez is a frugal blogger who helps fellow shopaholics find hassle-free ways to save money. As the Marketing Manager for Kinoli Inc., site manager for a family of money-saving websites, Kendal has the resources to be an extreme couponer but prefers a less complicated approach to staying in-budget. Kendal has been quoted in such media outlets as People StyleWatch, CNN Money, FOX, ABC, NPR and Kiplinger Personal Finance. For savings tips and more information, visit

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mango Summer Tango Cocktail Recipe

Summer is now here and things have been really heating up here on the north east coast! Along with the intensive summer heat we have been getting we have been suffering with dreadful humidity too! After a long hard week working, I have been enjoying my weekends here at home with family and friends.

Next week we are planning a little summer party and will be having 12 guests over for dinner and drinks. We will be having a huge spread of food and some backyard games for our guests to enjoy. Even though it is hot and sticky outside, we still enjoy being out there and enjoying the sunshine.

The great folks over at Three Olives sent over this delicious looking recipe and I wanted to share it with all of you. I am going to whip up several next week during our little party to serve to my guests.

Mango Summer Tango Cocktail Recipe

2 parts Three Olives Mango Vodka
2 parts lemonade
1 part club soda

Mix all ingredients into a rocks glass filled with ice & stir. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Disclosure: The photo and recipe is courtesy of Three Olives. You must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcohol. Please drink responsibly.

Expressing Your Talents with the Vesta Talent Agency

This post brought to you by Overnight Reputation. All opinions are 100% mine.

How many of you consider yourselves to be talented? If so, what is your talent? For me personally, I am no actor but I would love to be an extra on the hit TV Show The Walking Dead as a zombie! I have been practicing my zombie moves for a few years and it's my favorite TV show.

If you have any dreams of being a TV actor, movie actor, musician or even if you are a sport's athlete you need a good talent agency to represent you. One such agency is the Vesta Talent Agency that is located in Torrance, California. Prime location for all of you who live in CA. or who will be visiting the area. They are part of the licensed Association of Talent very reputable in their field.

Movie acting is something I thought about when I was younger but now that I am dream has pased. With that said, I am a HUGE movie & TV fan and some of my favorite actors are: Harrison Ford, Norman Reedus, Jim Fitzpatrick, Andrew Lincoln, Mark Walhberg, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, etc. I am all about action movies and military flicks. I am not into comedy features or shows at all. Do you have any favorite actors or actresses? If so, who?

While you are hear, head on over to the Vesta Talent Agency and take a look around. They have a lot of information on their site to helps those who are interested in the business. Hey, you never know, maybe you will see me playing a zombie on the hit TV show The Walking Dead sometime!

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Beautiful Iris in Bloom - Flower Gardening

Two years ago my husband and I received several mature Iris plants to plant in our gardens. Our neighbors were moving out at the time and the new ones moving in were tearing up the yard and giving away all of these beautiful garden plants.

We got about 10 Iris' from them 2 years ago and planted them right away. Last year only two of them bloomed so we decided to really fertilize them good last Fall and early Spring and wow...what a difference that has made!

Right now all 10 of my plants are blooming and they are just beautiful! I want to get some more but in a deep purple or pink color if I can find them. The peach color is beautiful but I need to add some darker colors to my flower beds. 
The one thing we did learn about the Iris is that they enjoy a lot of sun. Matter of fact, the ones that we have in partial sun/partial shade are doing okay...but not fantastic (we are going to move them). The ones we have in a mostly sun area are doing fabulously! They are large, bright and very colorful looking.

They are great lining the edge of your sidewalk, fencing area or plant them around one of the sides of your house that gets a lot of sunshine. I just love how large (tall) they are and they really stand out among all of the flowers and flowering bushes we have near them. Beautiful!

If you love gardening, you can find some additional gardening posts right here on my blog in the gardening category and I will be posting a lot more. As I learn new things and things come in bloom or in-season, I will be posting about them. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

DIY Gourmet Coffee Recipes from KRUPS

As soon as my alarm clock goes off and I get out of bed...I got some type of coffee or espresso brewing. I simply can NOT start my day without having at least two cups of coffee in the morning. On some days I will drink several cups during the day and after a stressful day, I unwind with a cup of decaf before going to bed.

Several years ago I wasted a LOT of money by visiting various local coffee shops and spending a lot of money on over-priced gourmet coffee. Over the years...I realized I can save a lot of money by making it myself at home.

Today, I am sharing with all of you several gourmet coffee recipes that you can make at home by the great folks over at KRUPS. Trust me, KRUPS knows coffee and these recipes look absolutely delicious. I am looking forward to trying them!

6 oz sparkling water
2 tsp agave
Ristretto espresso
6 fresh pressed green grapes

PREPARATION: Press grapes through a strainer to get fresh grape juice. Mix agave into the grape juice. Add one ristretto extraction. Top off with ice and sparkling water.

1 tsp orange zest
A tiny sprig of rosemary
1 Tbsp simple syrup
Cocktail shaker

PREPARATION: Put syrup, zest and rosemary leaves in the bottom of a cup. Pull espresso on top. Stir and add to a cocktail shaker packed with ice. Shake vigorously and strain

10g Hops (Citra or Nelson varieties)
Soda Siphon with chargers
1 1/2 Tbsp Honey

PREPARTION: Take 10g of hops (something clean & crisp, like Citra or nelson), let it sit in 400 ml of warm water for 10 minutes. Strain out hops. Put the hops infused water in a soda siphon and charge. Pull the espresso over the honey, mix until they are incorporated. Add ice. Top off with carbonated hops infusio.

Recipes were made with: As the only manual espresso machine on the market with an automatic tamping system, the KRUPS Precise Tamp Espresso Machine is the perfect machine to help create flavorful summer beverages.To guarantee a perfect cup every time, this machine takes care of the tricky task of tamping the ground beans. Just insert the port filter under the tamping hand and tiny teeth on the tamping hand help the machine determine the precise pressure needed for the perfect espresso.

Disclosure: Recipes and photos are courtesy of KRUPS.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Growing Blueberries at Home

Blueberries on Bush
We moved into our new home 1 1/2 years ago and were pleasantly surprised to find 5 wild raspberry bushes on our property. We love fresh raspberries but we love fresh blueberries even more! After enjoying a fabulous crop of wild raspberries last year...we decided to go ahead and plant two blueberry bushes this year.

In late April we obtained two 2 year old blueberry bushes and planted them in our backyard about 3 feet a part. Once we planted them, we fertilized them, watered them and pruned them according to the instructions that came along with them.

The instructions stated that we wouldn't get any blueberries this year but would see them during the third year (next year). Well, those instructions were WRONG! Just 3 weeks ago we went out and saw that they were flowering and guess what? Now we have several unripe blueberries growing on our bushes!!!
blueberry bush
Please ignore the "weeds" you see in the photo above as we have had a lot of rain and the weeds got a little out of control. Matter of fact, as I type this hubby is outside taking care of those weeds for me. What a great guy he is!

In a few weeks I will make another post to let you all know how our blueberry bushes are doing but I can tell you...we are super excited that both bushes are doing so well. We only expect to get a handful or two of fresh blueberries and trust me, we will totally enjoy them!

I am already dreaming about homemade blueberry pies, bread, muffins, jam, jelly and of cream! Yay!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Shoes - A Buying Guide for Smarter Shopping

I love shoes...I mean really, What woman doesn't love going out and shopping for the perfect pair of shoes to go with her new outfit? To wear to work? For date night? Come on now, admit it, we all look for every excuse in the book to go out and buy a new pair of shoes!

Recently this article was sent over to me to share with all of my lifestyle blog readers and I found it to be full of great information for those of us who are always buying shoes and who want a great deal. Heck, I am always looking for ways to save money when I shop! The article is below...enjoy!
It's official, ladies: our love of shoes is costing us a fortune. According to a recent survey, the average woman spends over $20,000 on shoes in her adult lifetime. What's more, nearly $4,000 of that is spent on shoes that don't fit or are only worn once.

This breaks down to an average of four new pairs of shoes each year, which isn't all that astonishing. However, over 50 percent of the 2,000 women surveyed said they owned at least one pair of shoes they'd never worn, citing discomfort and lack of the right occasion as reasons. Now that's something to be concerned about. Before you buy your next pair of must-haves, consider this buying guide from a self-diagnosed shoe-aholic and never make a bad footwear purchase again!

Find a Proper Fit
My husband spent many years working for his grandparents' shoe store and helped a number of "Cinderellas," young women who insisted they were a size 6 when really they were closer to a size 9. They'd rather purchase ill-fitting shoes than acknowledge their true foot size. While this is an extreme example, it underlines the importance of proper fit. Whether you're shopping for running shoes or sexy slingbacks, make sure you buy the right size and know it can vary by brand.

Consider Comfort
The phrase "killer heels" has a double meaning and we all know what it is. Yes, they look amazing, but your feet are blistered or there's an aching knot in your arch. At some point you have to make comfort a priority, even if that means paying a bit more for quality shoes. They'll save you money in the long run because you'll wear them more often, whereas a painful pair of shoes will only see the light of day a few times.

Try Inserts
Some clothing items aren't perfect off the rack and require a little tailoring to look just right. The same goes for shoes, which is why inserts can be helpful. Dr. Scholl's has in-store kiosks located in CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid and other retail outlets to help you find the right custom-fit inserts for your needs. You can also buy standard inserts to make your shoes more supportive. To save on this expense, check out their list of coupons to print before you buy!

Shop Discount
Shopping the shoe department at Macy's or Nordstrom will quickly clear out your bank account if you're not careful. Instead, shop discount retailers like Nordstrom Rack, Marshall's, TJMaxx and even Ross for name-brand styles at cut-rate prices. You can also search for discounts using your smartphone with apps like Coupon Sherpa, which currently features savings at Lord & Taylor (20% off), Off Broadway Shoes ($15 off $69.99) and many more.

Resell for Cash
The reason women buy shoes they only wear once? Weddings. Bridesmaids have to buy a specific pair of lime satin pumps even if they wouldn't be caught dead in them any other day. Instead of wasting space in your closet, sell these shoes for cash. Tradesy is a great online consignment store with a section dedicated to used wedding items, including shoes. You can also try your luck on eBay or at your local consignment store.

Get Sneaky with Savings
In addition to coupons and in-store promotions, you can save money on your next pair of shoes by stocking up on discount gift cards. Sites like offer gift cards for less than face value to department stores and shoe stores like DSW, Payless and Shoe Carnival. Currently, you can score DSW gift cards for up to 15-percent off, while Payless cards can be purchased for over 20-percent off.

Upcycle Your Style
Instead of tossing out that old pair of pumps you never wear, consider upcycling them with some DIY embellishments. A metallic cap toe or all-over glitter can quickly turn drab to fab with a little crafting and patience. Pinterest is brimming with ideas and tutorials, but this roundup of 15 ideas from Fancy Life Corner offers a great starting point for your creative session.

Kendal Perez is a frugal blogger who helps fellow shopaholics find hassle-free ways to save money. As the Marketing Manager for Kinoli Inc., site manager for a family of money-saving websites, Kendal has the resources to be an extreme couponer but prefers a less complicated approach to staying in-budget. Kendal has been quoted in such media outlets as People StyleWatch, CNN Money, FOX, ABC, NPR and Kiplinger Personal Finance. For savings tips and more information, visit

Monday, June 2, 2014

Strawberry Baked French Toast Recipe

I love making a good homemade breakfast for my family every morning so that they get a great start to their day. With that said, I sometimes get very busy & pressed for time so I look for make-ahead breakfast recipes to get me through those times.

The great folks over at eMeals sent over this recipe for Make-Ahead Strawberry Baked French Toast which looks absolutely delicious and very easy to make!
Strawberry Baked French Toast Recipe

• Strawberries:
• ½ pint container strawberries, diced
• ⅓ cup sugar
• Filling:
• ½- 12 oz loaf French bread, cut in 2” cubes
• 4 eggs
• 1½ cups milk
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon salt
• Topping:
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon
• 2 tablespoons sugar

Toss together strawberries and ⅓ cup sugar in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Place bread cubes tightly in a single layer in the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine eggs, milk, 2 teaspoons sugar, vanilla and salt, and whisk until well blended. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until set in center. Remove dish from oven, and brush melted butter over top. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Return to oven for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm, topped with strawberries.

Disclosure: This recipe and photo is courtesy of eMeals.