Friday, December 30, 2011

Cooking New Recipes

Thanks to Roman May

Lately I’ve been getting really into cooking. I left my job to move to Irving with my boyfriend, and still haven’t found a job there. Coking helps keep me busy, and keep my boyfriend happy. I figure the least I can do if I’m home all day is have good dinners ready for him when he gets home after a long day of work. Sometimes I get my recipes from TV, but I almost always have to go to the internet to print them out so I can follow them in the kitchen. I also have an app on my phone that has some amazing recipes available. It really messes up my day when out internet connection goes out, because then I don’t have access to any of the recipes I use. I was so sick of our internet provider that I decided we had to make a change. I searched CLEAR internet Irving and found Clear. Since we changed our service we haven’t had any issues and I am so happy. Now my boyfriend has two things he owes me for: my cooking, and my will to change our internet service!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Only Child

Contribution by Saul Martin

As an only child I grew up with adults and I was always really keen on pleasing them. There was always someone around who knew more than me so I was really inquisitive and learned a lot from my elders at a really young age. When I started my own business at age 21 I knew there was something special about me – I had a real capacity for juggling a lot of things at once and really not having to worry about whether or not I knew what I was doing. I looked into vendors and taxes and merchant services all by myself and to this day I feel really good about being the kind of woman who can handle herself in any situation. I knew there was something I was always meant to do but you know, I guess I didn’t think it would be owning a kitchen store. Who would have ever guessed this would be my life’s calling – not me or anyone in my family I think…who can ask for anything more?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Get 30% off Norton Small Business Products NOW!!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Norton Small Business by Symantec. All opinions are 100% mine.

I read somewhere not too long ago that small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and that technology is the backbone of any small business. I couldn’t agree more. Looks like I am not alone on this thought. In a recent survey of small business owners, 28% identified technology as one of their top business priorities. That makes it approximately one in every three small business owner! Going along with that, did you know that almost six out of ten small business owners admitted to having experienced some sort of malware in the past three years and half of them had to pay an expert to resolve the problem?

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I can totally identify with that. As a blogger, I also see myself as a small business owner. I have lost track of the times when my computer was attacked by viruses or I have unintentionally picked up some sort of malware from surfing. Now, almost everything I do is on the computer. Apart from blogging, I also do my banking, pay my bills, shopping...pretty much everything else online. As you can see, my computer is not only used for entertainment purposes, but my identity and confidential information is on my computer. Now, that is something I wouldn’t want to risk being compromised from unsafe Internet searches.

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I am pretty sure many of you are like me too. We spend so much time and money trying to protect ourselves and family. We set up all types of home security systems and automobile security systems to protect ourselves and our families. Shouldn’t we want to protect our computers (basically our whole identity!) from harm too? Now you can! Norton Small Business by Symantec was launched this past September and I know that it’s the perfect solution to for all your internet security needs. With Norton 360 and Norton Internet Security 2012, you know that you are in safe hands. Don’t take my word for it. Check out Norton’s website to see what Norton has to offer you to help keep you safe on the Internet. While you are there, you could also get 30% off Norton Small Business Products now! Better hurry and take advantage of this great offer. Oh and once you have visited Norton’s website, don’t forget to share with me which Norton product would most benefit you the most and why!

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Kevin's 'Not So Secret' Roast Turkey Recipe

I really do not understand why people make it seem so difficult, when it comes to roasting a turkey. From the way people talk, I used to think that it must be really difficult to roast a turkey. It wasn't until Kevin showed me how it's done (about eight Thanksgivings ago, when we first started dating :P) did I realize that it's really not that difficult at all. Really, it's no rocket science. Anybody can do it. In our household, Kevin is the one in charge of making the turkey. So, here's Kevin's 'not so secret' (cos we are sharing it with all of you, right?) roast turkey recipe.
If you have a frozen turkey, the most important thing you need to do is to remember to thaw it! Leave it breast side up in the refrigerator, with the wrapper unopened. It takes approximately 1 day of thawing for every 4 lbs of turkey. Once it's fully thawed, you would want to remove the neck and giblets from inside the cavity of the turkey. Some people would use it to make gravy but we would just throw it away. Come on, we don't have time to make our own gravy. We would just get it from a bottle :P Alritey, so once you have removed the neck and giblets, rinse the turkey through cold water and pat it dry. Then, cut up some apples and stuff it into the cavity. Kevin would also sometimes use oranges and/or cranberries with the apples, it really depends on what we have available at that time.
Now, the secret weapon in making the perfect roast turkey - OVEN BAGS! I personally feel that oven bags are the best. They keep the turkey all moist, juicy and once it's done, the meat practically falls off the bone. So, just shake about one tablespoon of flour in the oven bag to coat it, set it in a roasting pan and place the turkey in the bag. Tie up the bag with the ties that comes with the oven bag and you are done! Make sure the bag doesn't touch the turkey, cos it might stick to it while roasting. Also, remember to poke some holes in the bag, to allow the steam to escape while roasting.
Then, pop it into a preheated 350F oven. It takes approximately 2 1/2 hours to roast a 12 - 16 lbs turkey. However, we are going to set the timer for 2 hours.
After two hours, its time to make the glaze. Combine brown sugar with any type of soda. We would usually use Sierra Mist, Sprite or Ginger Ale but any type of soda works. Slowly add in the brown sugar in the soda, while stirring, until it thickens (the consistency should somewhat be like BBQ sauce).
Once the glaze is done, it's time to remove the turkey from the oven. At this point, it's not fully cooked yet. Just cut open the oven bag and brush on the glaze. You gotta be really careful when you open the oven bag. It's really hot and you do not want to burn yourself from all the steam.
After glazing the turkey, cover the entire turkey with aluminum foil and pop it back into the oven for another hour or so.
You can remove the turkey from the oven after an hour to check it's internal temperature. If it hits 180F, you are good to go. If not, then just pop it back into the oven for another 15 - 20 mins. Once it's done, allow the turkey to rest for a bit and it's ready to be served! Now, that wasn't so difficult, was it?

Affordable & Stylish Eyeglasses from Zenni Optical

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Zenni Optical. All opinions are 100% mine.

Unbeknownst to many people, both Kevin and I need eyeglasses. However, it’s been ages since we wore any. A couple of weeks back, we decided to get our eyes tested again, just to see how bad our eyesight was. Let me tell you something, it’s bad! So, we started looking around to see where we could make some nice but yet affordable eyeglasses. We found out that eyeglasses don’t come cheap!

You can imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon Zenni Optical online. I have finally found what I was looking for. Not only do they offer cheap eyeglasses, but the eyeglasses available are really stylish and fashionable! That got me thinking, how is it possible that the eyeglasses from Zenni is so cheap, compared to the other places that I have been to? Is there something wrong with it? Well, not that all! It’s pretty simple, actually. Using the latest modern materials, manufacturing and marketing systems, Zenni Optical bring their product direct from their factories to you. This means, there are no middlemen, no retail overhead and practically no advertising budget. Also, they do not pay for or sell expensive (or even inexpensive) brand names. They only sell their own manufactured brand, ZENNI.

I also love how it’s so easy to navigate through their website. You can even upload a photo of yourself and ‘try’ out each and every pair of eyeglasses! You can also search for that perfect pair of eyeglasses by size, type, gender, style, color and so on. I had an awesome time just surfing around their website and ‘trying’ on various eyeglasses. I finally found the one that I totally love! It’s in red and black (both my favorite colors!) and it looks totally cool. What do you think?

This is current economy, every little bit of savings count. With the savings I get from Zenni, maybe I can use that money to back another pair of backup eyeglasses or maybe even sunglasses! It’s like getting two or even three pairs of eyeglasses for the price of one! I really do not understand why prescription eyeglasses are so expensive elsewhere. I would consider it a health item necessity for most wearers and I’m glad that Zenni Optical feels the same way. That is why they take considerable pride in being able to bring to all a very high quality product of great durability, safety and comfort at truly reasonable and affordable prices. Head over to Zenni Optical for stylish and affordable eyeglasses today!

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

How is everybody enjoying their Thanksgiving so far? We just had a yummy dinner, so our tummies are all full and we are just about ready to go into a turkey induced coma! Boy, thank God for elastic waistbands :P Kevin's mom is visiting us from Pittsburgh, so we made the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Contrary to popular believe, it's really not that difficult to make at all (compared to say, Chinese New Year dinner and stuff like that). Over the next few post, I will show you how to make a simple Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and green bean casserole. I know many young couples (like us!) who gets overly stressed out when they have to make a big dinner, be it Thanksgiving or Christmas. Let me tell you this. Chill, it's not that difficult! Once you break it down, it's becomes really really easy to make. Trust me! So, watch this space for the recipes. Til then....


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Café Well: The Social Network to get Well and Stay Well!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cafe Well. All opinions are 100% mine.

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I know many of us are always talking about living a healthier lifestyle but how many of us actually do something about it? We might try it for a couple of weeks but after a while, we would lose interest or motivation to continue. For those of you who know exactly what I am talking about, I have some news for you. Let me ask you this. How many of you have heard of Cafe Well? For those of you who have not, let me tell you about it. Caféwell is a social network that was created to provide a safe, secure and anonymous health care destination that connects you with other people who share your health care interests and needs. They understand how difficult the healthcare system is and they try to make it easy for all to understand. Not only that, the Caféwell Community is also there to help address your needs, from chronic condition support, to healthy lifestyle tips and challenges.

Among some of the exciting things happening in the Caféwell community is the Race to the Moon corporate wellness program. Hosted by CaféWell and sponsored by HealthAmerica, Race to the Moon represents a new breed of wellness program that is more fun, more rewarding and more effective for consumers. How so, you might ask? Well, this program works because it leverages the power and support of social networking with incentives and fun! Race to the Moon aims to get members more fit and active by walking or running through offering free wireless pedometers which tracks their steps and rewards them for milestones and total steps. Yes, we know that many companies already have corporate wellness programs, but how many of them actually work? Guess what? This does! In just under a month, the program has participants who have walked over 50 MILLION steps, and average 2.5 million steps a day!

After reading about the Race to the Moon, it got me thinking. It would be really cool if I were to create my own health challenge too. Of course I am not bold enough to come up with some unattainable. I believe in small steps. So, I would create the Walk More in a Day Challenge. We live on the 6th floor, so instead of taking the elevator, I would make it a point to use the stairs. I believe that’s a good start. Also, when we go grocery shopping or the mall, we would park further away from the entrance. By doing so, it ‘forces’ us to walk more. So, what would you do to stay healthy? Head over to the Caféwell website to get Well and stay Well today!

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spaghetti Hot Dogs

I found this fun and easy recipe online not too long ago and since it was Halloween (Yes, I knowwww! This is a very backdated post :P), I decided to try this recipe out. I must say that it was a hit! Everybody loves spaghetti and everybody loves hot dogs. So why not combine it together? For those of you with kids, I bet they will totally love it too! It's just fun to see spaghetti oozing out from hot dogs. I'm pretty sure this will get the mark of approval, even from the most fussy eater. So, here's how you make it.
When I say that it's an easy recipe, I am not kidding. It's really really easy to make. All you need is a box of spaghetti (you'll probably only need about half a box, if that), a pack of hot dogs and some pasta sauce.
Start off by cutting the hot dogs into smaller sections. If you like bigger pieces, you could also just cut the hot dogs into half. If you have smaller kids, you might want to cut it into quarters. It makes it easier for those tiny fingers.
Next, thread the spaghetti into the hot dogs. It's fairly easy to do. You can either thread it all the way through or you can just thread it half way. I tried both!
Now it's time to cook the spaghetti hot dogs! Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Then, just dump in the spaghetti hot dogs and allow it to cook until the spaghetti is al dente.
Once it's done, drain and its ready to be served. You can serve it with your favorite pasta sauce or eat it without any sauce. Some kids also like to dip it in ketchup. It's entirely up to you. Since it was Halloween, I drew on some eyes and mouth with a little mustard and the spaghetti hot dogs looks like little aliens, rising up from a sea of blood :P You should try this recipe, it's really easy to make and I'm pretty sure it will be a hit with the kids and even the not so little kids!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sign up for Schar Club and get FREE Ciabatta rolls!!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Schar. All opinions are 100% mine.

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These days, both Kevin and I have been trying to keep a healthier lifestyle. Apart from trying to exercise more, we also have started to watch what we eat. While looking for healthier alternatives to our regular diet, I found out that Schar, who is a leader in gluten-free foods, has recently just re-launched their gluten-free heat & serve items! This includes their Sub Sandwich rolls, Ciabatta rolls and Baguettes. I don’t know about you, but I am pretty excited because I know that these products will make it easier for Celiac and gluten-intolerant consumers to enjoy the foods they love without sacrificing the flavor.

Among all of the products, I am really eager to try out the Sub Sandwich rolls. Not only are they delicious, but they are also low fat, non-GMO and is an excellent source of fiber. Schar Sub Sandwich Rolls also comes individually wrapped in convenient two-packs for optimum freshness. I can just imaging making all kinds of sandwiches with them, be it a cold cut sandwich or a yummy hot meatball or chicken parm sandwich. Mmmm mmmmm yummy!

For those of you who would like to try out some of Schar’s products, boy, I got some news for you. For a limited time, Schar is providing free samples of the Ciabatta rolls to the first 2,000 Schar Club members who request them! That’s right, all you need to do is sign up for the Schar club. Once you have done that, you will see a column titled "toolbox" on the left hand side of the website. Then, look for the word "Giveaways" and click on that. From there, you will be taken to the page to order your free Ciabatta sample! Better hurry though, cos free sample kits will only be sent to the first 2,000 members that request them!

Being part of the Schar Club is an awesome thing. Apart from getting free product samples like the Ciabatta rolls and coupons, you will also get advice on how to live a gluten-free lifestyle. Indeed, Schar is really the gluten-free brand that cares for their consumers. So, what are you waiting for? Head over to Schar’s website and sign up to the Schar Club for your free sample today! Remember to come back and share with the rest of us what you made with your free sample or with any of the other yummy Schar’s products!

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stand Up For Family Comedy Special

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Family Insurance. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you were to ask me to name one thing that is most important to me, I would have to say – FAMILY. Growing up, some of my fondest memories are of big family dinners that we would have with the whole clan or the countless family vacations that we took. Our family pretty much did everything together, from playing sports, hanging out to watching television! I remember the whole family gathering around the television back in the 80s, watching sitcoms, almost every evening. Good clean comedy, suitable for the entire family. Unfortunately, good TV is hard to come by these days. All we see on TV these days are junk, filled with violence and sex.

Are you looking for some good clean comedy that is perfect for the entire family? Wholesome comedy for the family, about families! If you are, then you should totally check out American Family Insurance's Stand Up For Family Comedy Special! It’s the perfect stand-up comedy showcase that is designed for families of all ages to enjoy. Inspired by experiences from their own families, the performers offer their own perspectives on daily life with loved ones, finding the humor that we all can relate to.

When I went to check out some of the videos on the AmFam website, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud! They were all so funny and really, I could relate to almost every one! My favorite performer out of all of them would have to be Billy Bellamy. He is just so funny! I totally can relate to the video “Street Lights”. Back when I was growing up, it was safe to just go out to play! It doesn’t matter where we went, as long as we were back by the time street lights came on, then it would be fine. If not, oh boy, we would be in big trouble! So, if you want to check out those videos for yourself, head over to the AmFam website and I guarantee that you will be laughing til your sides hurt, in no time!

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Puppies vs. Babies: Which is cuter?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies. All opinions are 100% mine.


Alright folks, who is ready for a little dose of cuteness? Since the beginning of time, there are two things that never fail to bring a smile on your face and get awwwwwwwwwwws from everyone. I do not think anybody can disagree with me when I say that puppies and babies are the two cutest things on this planet! However, the age old question remains, which is cuter? Puppies or babies? Well America, you have a chance to play a part in putting this long lasting debate to rest. Puppies vs. Babies, who wins?

From now, up until November 23rd, there is a fun Puppies vs. Babies online contest going on that will put a rest to this ongoing feud and guess what? You get to be the judge! Hundreds of photos were received as part of the casting call and now, you get to vote. All you need to do is rate each photo, on a scale of 1 to 10. Then, the 16 photos with the highest vote would go to the next round and a winner for each category will be chosen. Ultimately, the two top contenders will face off and put this age old question to rest!

So, who will you vote for? Puppies or babies? Don’t get me wrong, I totally love puppies. Kevin and I would sometimes spend all afternoon on Animal Planet, just watching shows about puppies. They are just so cute! However, I think that babies win hands down! Nothing is cuter than chubby babies, cooing and making all types of gurgling sounds! Also, babies do not have stinky puppy breathe and they don’t nip at your heels! So, what about you? Who would you vote for? Leave me a comment to tell me who you are rooting for and don’t forget to head over to the website to cast your vote today!!

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Take the Sunkist® S’alternative Sodium Quiz today!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sunkist S’alternative. All opinions are 100% mine.


Let’s have a show of hands, how many of you actually bother about checking your sodium intake? I know many of us worry about the amount of calories, fats, carbs and even sugar that we consume, but many tend to forget about sodium. Did you know that most food include “hidden salts” that can be dangerous to your health? How much sodium are you consuming on a daily basis? Don’t know? Well, there is a way to find out. Take the Sodium Style Quiz from Sunkist on Facebook to find out where you fall on the sodium scale! That’s right; The Sunkist Sodium Quiz will tell you where you fall on the sodium scale based on your daily food choices. After you discover your sodium style, you can also invite your friends to take the fun and fast quiz to compare results!

I took The Sunkist Sodium Quiz and the sodium scale revealed that I am a Mover, Not A Salt Shaker! Wow, that’s really good to know. What about you? Are you Serial Salt Offender, Sodium Smarty or somewhere in between? No matter what your results is, taking the quiz will help you the quiz will help you be more salt savvy by teaching you all about Sunkist S’alternative! What’s that, you ask? Well, S’alternative is using fresh-squeezed Sunkist® lemons as a healthy sodium-free alternative to salt. By using Sunkist lemons as an alternative to salt, it can help reduce sodium, increase potassium and enhance the flavor of recipes. To get the ball rolling, let me share with you an awesome Sunkist® recipe that uses fresh Sunkist lemons.

Sunkist® Lemon Seafood Paella

Ingredients: (Makes 8 servings)

*1- 32 oz can low sodium vegetable broth

*1 cup dry white wine

*1 teaspoon saffron threads

*1lb. of firm, fresh pieces of whitefish such as tilapia, bass, halibut and swordfish, cut into 16-21 pieces

*1lb. or 16-21 mussels, cleaned and de-bearded

*1lb. or 16-21 medium sized clams, rinsed

*cup chopped fresh parsley

*3 Sunkist® lemons, zest and juice

*3 Tbsp. olive oil

*1 _ cups minced onion

*3 cloves garlic, minced

*teaspoon crushed red pepper

*3 cups uncooked short-grain rice such as Valencian, Arborio, or Calrose

*1 cup frozen green peas

*1- 8oz jar of sliced, roasted red peppers


• To prepare broth, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

• To prepare paella, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish pieces to pan and sauté 1 minute. Remove fish from pan, reserve and keep warm. Add onion to pan and sauté 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add rice and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, bring to a low boil and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

• Stir in the peas and red pepper slices. Add mussels and clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Stir in the reserved fish and chopped parsley and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and check for seasoning. Cover with a towel and let stand 10 minutes before stirring

Sunkist S'alternativ#3C3C25.doc

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Steam Team - Immediate Water Damage Assistance Anytime!!

Water damage. Don’t you just hate it? It’s such a pain when that happens to your property. The worst thing is, most of the time, you can’t even control it. Water damaged can be cause by all kinds of disasters, be it natural or disasters cause by negligence. Floods, fires, earthquakes, pipe breaks, hurricanes, tornadoes and rainstorms can all lead to the water damage of homes. Well, it’s not just home that are affected but also offices, factories, schools, stores and any other buildings.

When water damage happen, you would want help from people who understands that water damage restoration is an emergency business. You do not want to call someone who tells you he will be there in 2 or 3 days. I know exactly the people to call, if you water damage were to ever happen to you. The friendly folks at The Steam Team ( are dedicated to emergency service, 24 hours a day. That’s right, they are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days week. Armed with the latest products, procedures, and equipment, they strive to provide you emergency service that is aimed to preserve, protect and secure your property from further damage. Not only that, but they will also assist you in your flood damage insurance claim. They have a whole team of experience staff who can help answer any of your questions as well as work directly with insurance companies to help expedite the claim process. So, if water damage were to ever happen to you, call the right people. Call The Steam Team!

Pho Mac Vietnamese Restaurant - Staten Island, NY

We were driving through Staten Island the other day and decide to stop for dinner. It's probably like my fourth or fifth time in Staten Island, so I had no clue what's good to eat there. Kevin on the other hand works in Staten Island, so he was given the very important task of deciding where to go for dinner. He suggested a few places and we finally went with Pho Mac. He says that he would sometimes have lunch there (since it's rather near his office) and that it's pretty good. Sounds good!!
Parking at Pho Mac can be quite a challenge, especially during busy hours. We had to park at a side street about a block away from the restaurant because there was very limited street parking in front of it. The restaurant itself has two levels and since the lower level was full, our server brought us upstairs. The decor of the two levels were totally different! It seriously felt like two different restaurants! The lower level was pretty much your regular hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant, with basic tables and chairs and minimal decor. Upstairs was wayyyyy nicer. They had nice booths and really nice and rather upscale decor. The servers were all really friendly and they seem to know a lot of the customers (regulars I presume) on a personal level. One thing that kinda bothered me was that all of the servers were speaking in Cantonese. I knowwww, it's a little bit silly to assume that in order for the food to be authentic, the place should be run by Vietnamese instead of Chinese. However, it still made me go "Hmmmm? I wonder how authentic and good the food will be?" :P
We started off our dinner by sharing two appetizers. Of course, we had to order the Goi Cuon or better known as the Vietnamese Summer Roll ($4.75). It looked really yummy when they brought it out. However, when I took a bite, it was all rubbery. Something tells me that it was not freshly rolled upon order. I think it must have been sitting, pre rolled in the kitchen for quite a while. It wasn't flat out bad but I must also say that it wasn't really the best and freshest Goi Cuon I have had.
We also shared the Cha Gio (Vietnamese Spring Roll). It comes in three sizes, Small (2 rolls for $3.25), Medium (4 rolls for $5.50) and Large (8 rolls for $9.95). We ordered the small and boy, it was really SMALL. The rolls were tiny! However, what it lacked in size was made up for in the taste department. Those tiny spring rolls were delicioussssssssssss. Crispy on the outside and the filling was really very flavorful. At that point, I was kicking myself and regretting that we didn't order the medium instead :P
For my main, I tried the Pho Dac Biet with Bo Vien ($7.75). A huge yummy bowl of rice noodles with beef brisket, frank, omosa, tendon, eye of round and beef balls in a some piping hot beef soup. The soup was good but it wasn't great! Compared to the pho from other Vietnamese restaurants in the city as well as other parts of Northern NJ, I would have to say that this was just alright. I would eat it but there is really nothing to shout about.
Kevin had the Com Suon Bi Cha ($8.25). Grilled pork chop with shredded pork and crab patty, served on a plate of steaming white rice. I tried a little bit of everything and I must say that it was really really good. Totally love the grilled pork chop and crab patty, sooo yummmy! I must definitely remember to order this the next time I eat there. So, overall Pho Mac is a pretty decent place. The servers were really really friendly, prices were rather reasonable and the food wasn't too bad as well. No wonder Kevin and his colleagues likes heading out to Pho Mac for lunch! :D

Pho Mac - Staten Island, NY
1407 Richmond Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10314-1553
Tel:(718) 982-9292/8283

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Carbonite - Unlimited online backup that's completely automatic, secure, simple!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carbonite. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’m very all of you can agree with me that these days, our lives pretty much revolve around the computer. I don’t know about you, but I know I cannot survive without mine! It’s quite scary when you think about it. Almost everything I have is on my computer. Photographs from way back when Kevin and I were still in university to our wedding photos. Not to mention, thousands of vacation photos as well as photos of important events from our lives. Not only do I have tons of photos, I also have a really big collection of music that I have collected over the years. What about documents? Oh, don’t even get me started on that. Kevin and I have so many important documents from work and other places on the computer! Some things in live are replaceable but really, most of these photos and documents are not. It’s so scary to think that there is a chance I might lose all those files due to crashes, viruses, theft and accidental deletion. That is why, everybody tells me to backup. Yes, I know it’s important but I am always so lazy to manually back them up or I would be so busy, I tend to forgot. Who has time to actually back up manually each one of their documents and photos, right?

For those of you who are just like me, I got some news for you. Have you heard of Carbonite? Well, Carbonite is a computer backup up that works automatically and continually in the background. Founded in 2005, Carbonite has safely recover over 7 billion files that otherwise might have been lost forever! It’s easy, fast, and hassle-free to get your backed up files back. It’s really pretty amazing. What it does is that it works continually in the background, automatically backing up your files whenever your computer is connected to the internet. That’s right, it takes the worry out of backup by securely and automatically backing up the files on your PC or Mac to one of Carbonite’s highly secure, state-of-the-art data centers. Once your files are backed up by Carbonite, you can access them anytime, anywhere, from virtually any Internet connected device. This means you can access your backed up files from any computer or your mobile devices! All you need to do is download free mobile apps so that you can access, enjoy and share your files from your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android or Blackberry Smartphone! How cool is that?

You might be thinking to yourself, this sounds really awesome. I bet it’s really expensive too! Well, I got news for you. Unlimited backup for your PC or Mac, with anytime-anywhere-access is only $59 a year. Yup, it works out to less than $5 a month!! You can even try it free for 15 days and no credit card is required. After that, if you decide to buy (I am pretty sure you will!), you can even get two months for free! All you need to do is mention the offer code BLOGAD and that gets you two free months you’re your purchase. Carbonite is simply the best. It’s online backup that is completely automatic, secure, simple and unlimited. So, what more could a person ask for? Head over to Carbonite’s website and sign up today!

Carbonite Online Backup

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Straight Talk - No contracts, no surprise bills and no credit checks!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.

In today’s economy, every little bit of savings help. I mean, who doesn’t want to save money, right? For many families, it would mean just cutting back to the bare basics and letting go of some so called ‘luxuries’. Would you consider having a cell phone a luxury? I don’t know about you, but I really do not think so. It’s more of a necessity these days. However, what I really dislike about owning a cell phone is having to deal with the contracts and crazy monthly bills! I am sure you all know what I am talking about.

For those of you who are tired of all those (just like me!), boy, do I have some news for you! Have you heard of Straight Talk? With Straight Talk, there are no contracts, no surprise bills and no credit checks. I love the idea that I feel richer with Straight Talk because it cuts my cell phone bill in half! Contracts? Who cares about contracts? You have to be crazy to be on a contract these days when you can get everything you need without one. Not only that, but Straight Talk also has great nationwide coverage as well as excellent reception and connectivity. Just imagine how much money you could save with Straight Talk. Think of all the things you could go out and buy with that savings!

Straight talk has different types of monthly plans, designed especially to fit you and your needs. If you are a heavy phone user, then you should get the “All You Need Plan”. It provides heavy phone users with 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of web data. Unlimited Monthly service is only $45, and includes calls, text, picture messaging, and web. Imagine this. Unlimited calls, text, picture messaging and web for a whole year, for only $499.00! That’s right, for the whole year! Also, you are free from activation, reactivation, or termination fees and 411 calls are included at no extra charge. Have lots of friends overseas? With Straight Talk’s International Long Distance Service, you can call a friend anytime! What’s that, you might ask. Well, it is a flexible prepaid calling service that enables you to make international calls from your home, cell or office phone at low rates. For me, I totally love this! I can now spend hours talking to my mom and the rest of the family back home. Even my mom agrees that this is a good deal. After all, mom knows best!

What kind of phones is available with this? Good question. Well, let me assure you this. Straight Talk only uses trusted phone manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung. You could get amazing smart phones; touch screen phones, and app capable phones with features like voice navigation, camera, video recorder, music player, instant messaging, and Bluetooth® or you could just go with reconditioned phones with camera, mp3 player, mobile web access, and blue-tooth capability for as low as $10! The choice is entirely yours!

Sounds too good to be true? Well, don’t just take my word for it. Check out videos of testimonials from some real Straight Talk customers here, here, here, here and here! So, what are you waiting for? Head out to get your very own today. It’s everything you need and more!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The MyCAA program at Martinsburg Institute

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Martinsburg Institute. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’m sure many of you have friends who have spouses serving in the military or maybe you are a military wife yourself. I am not a military wife but I do have quite a lot of friends who are. Kevin has a cousin who is in the Army and I have some friends whose husbands are in the Army, Marines as well as Navy. It’s tough being a military wife. Apart from having to deal with your spouse being deployed for long periods of time, you have to run your household, take care of your kids and some even have their own jobs! You hardly have any time left for yourself by the end of the day! I know of many military wives who have talked about going back to school in order to get that certificate that they have been wanting for so long or to get that boost in their career. But really, how can one even find time to do so? They just don’t have the time to drop everything, just to go for classes. Also, what about finances?

If you are a military wife and are looking to go back to school, listen up. I got some news for you! Are you interested in training in Medical Billing and Coding or Electronic Health Records? Maybe Human Resource or Financial Management & Accounting? If so, Martinsburg Institute and their MyCAA program maybe the place for you! MyCAA (Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts) Spouse Tuition Assistance Program provides up to $4,000 of Financial Assistance for military spouses who are pursuing portable career. Everything comes on a laptop. This mean, it allows students to train at home or on the go. That’s right. You can train whenever you want to, when you are on the go! Waiting for your daughter to finish up her dance lessons or have some time in between hockey and football? Just turn on your laptop and start training for your future right on the spot! It's simple, flexible and portable! Training available through Martinsburg Institute is definitely a perfect fit for Military spouses.

Out of all of the programs offered by Martins Institute, I would be most interested in Financial Management and Accounting. What about you? What would you be interested in? For more information about the programs offered and help with getting started, please contact Kristina Berhenke at 760.808.2087. You can also visit for more information.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

TracFone - The least expensive way to own and use a cell phone in America!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone. All opinions are 100% mine.

These days, everybody has cell phones. Just talk a walk through your neighborhood and look around. I am very sure you can see a whole bunch of people talking on cell phones, texting, surfing and maybe even playing games on their cell phone. It’s just so convenient to have; it is fast become a necessity in our modern society. As much as we all love cell phones and how it has become a part of our daily lives, there is something we all hate. Cell phone bills! Don’t you hate the unpredictable cell phone bills and the fact that you are always bound by contracts? Most families I know can only afford cell phones for themselves. Now that summer is in full swing, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could get low cost cell phones for all your kids. It would be the perfect way to stay in touch. Maybe you don’t have kids but you are struggling to find a cell phone for yourself that is affordable this summer? Well, I have news for you. TracFone is here to help!

Did you know that TracFone offers the least expensive way to own and use a cell phone in America? That’s right; there are no contracts, credit checks, activation charges or cancellation fees to worry about. In short, no surprises! Not only that, but it also has great nationwide coverage and excellent reception as well connectivity. Sounds awesome but you must be wondering, what type of phones does it come with? Well, the choice is really up to you. They offer all types of brand name phones from leading manufacturers like Motorola, Kyocera, LG, Nokia and Samsung. You could go with simple "Candy Bar" phones with simple calling and texting capabilities for under $10.00 or you could get the Bluetooth®-enabled "Smart" phones. Those phones have so many features like camera/video recorder, web access, app capabilities, mp3 player, and full QWERTY keyboard. All that for only $29.99! See what real TracFone customers have to say about the phone choices that are available. You could also check out some YouTube videos by clicking here and here.

Sounds good right? What about the monthly plans, you might ask. Well, it’s really simple actually. Just pay as you go online or with cards available at thousands of retail stores across the country. You can choose monthly plans with 200 minutes for under $30.00 or and as low as $9.99 for 50 minutes. There is also 1 year service cards that gives you so much more. Receive double minutes for the life of your TracFone, and 800 minutes, for only $119.00! Also, “Double minutes for the life of your phone” is a feature that can be purchased separately for only $19.99, but some phones include it! What’s important is, you will not be getting any surprises in your monthly bill, at the end of each period! Just ask any of these real TracFone customers, they know!

TracFone is the only wireless service that allows you to call internationally, for the same price as any other call! That’s right. You can call over 60 international destinations directly from your TracFone at no extra cost! With the International Neighbors program, you can also provide your family and friends in Mexico or Canada a local phone number in those countries to reach you at your TracFone in the U.S. How cool is that?

It really cannot get any better than this. Just check out what real TracFone customers have to say about the convenience, reliability and coverage of TracFone and hurry up and get one for yourself today!!

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Forgotten Taste Famous Pierogies - Wexford, PA

When Kevin and I were back in Pittsburgh two weeks ago, we made our rounds to check out all of the "Pittsburgh" food that we miss so much. Primanti Bros, Eat' N Park, Tokyo Sushi and Buffet (I know, this isn't exactly Pittsburgh food but I love the sushi there!) get the idea. Another thing that I really really miss from Western PA is pierogies! Boy, I used to look forward to "Pierogies Night" every Wednesday at the dining hall, back when we were still in college. It was so so so gooooooood! If there is a type of food that you MUST try while you are in Pittsburgh (apart from Primantis, of course!), it has to be pierogies! You can be sure that people from da Burgh take their pierogies seriously. They even have pierogie races during inning breaks at the Pirates games!! Sooooo, naturally we must not leave Pittsburgh before getting our hands on some yummy pierogies.
Pierogies Plus is probably one of the more popular pierogie shops in Pittsburgh, known for their authentic, made from scratch pierogies. Kevin wasn't really in the mood to drive all the way to McKees Rocks just for pierogies so I tried to google for somewhere nearer. I then found Forgotten Taste. They claim to have the best pierogies in all of Southern PA, so we decided to give it a try. They have three outlets around the greater Pittsburgh area and we went to the one in Wexford. Since it was located at the strip mall at the Village at Pine, there were ample free parking right at it's doorstep. Please note that the signboard of their shop doesn't say "Forgotten Taste" but just plain "Pierogies" in bold red. I guess they know what they are famous for!
The store isn't really all that large. You just have to walk up to the counter and order whatever that you want. Then, you can either grab a table (there are not that many though) and wait for them to bring up your food to you or you can just wait (if you are getting it to go). Most of the food are pre cooked, so it doesn't take long at all. What I like about the place is how they have pictures of everything on their menu, hanging up on the wall. This way, you know exactly what you will be getting. Since Kevin's mom was back home and we needed to get lunch for her too, we ordered our food to go.
Both Kevin and his mom each got the Meal #6 ($6.69). One Stuffed Pepper with Tomato Sauce, Haluski and four pieces of Potato & Cheese Pierogies with butter and onions. The Smoked Polish Keilbasa ($3.49) that you see in the picture is actually half of what we ordered from the a la carte menu. As you can see from the menu, most of the food from Pittsburgh has Polish/Czech/Eastern European influence. You might be wondering why. Well, in the later half of the 1800s, large numbers of Polish immigrants settled in Pittsburgh due to the steel industry. I am guessing that it must have started from then. In case you didn't know, Kevin's ancestors (from his dad's side) probably came to America right about then too.
I ordered the Meal #3 ($6.99) which was one Stuffed Cabbage with Tomato Sauce, Haluski and four pieces of Potato & Cheese Pierogies with butter and onions. Also, you can see the other half of the Polish Keilbasa that I was sharing with Kevin in the picture. I must say that I really enjoyed my meal. The stuffed cabbage was really good and so was the Haluski. Oh, for those of you who don't know, Haluski is actually thick soft noodles made from flour, egg and water. It is then boiled, rolled in oil or butter and then served with vegetables or meat. The Haluski that we had was served with cabbage.
Since this was a pierogies place, we HAD to order more pierogies. Four pieces each just wasn't enough! So, we ordered an extra half dozen of Beef and Mushroom Pierogies ($5.90). You could either get it with the traditional butter and onions, with tomato sauce or you could get it deep fried. Also, if you are planning to keep it for another day, you could buy them frozen. Apart from Beef and Mushroom, they also have a whole lot of other different fillings. You can check it out here. I must say that the pierogies from Forgotten Taste is really really good. We must remember to head out there again the next time we are back in Pittsburgh. Oh, and if you are planning to do so, you might want to head out there on Mondays and Wednesdays. They are currently having a promotion where all meals are just $4.99 on Mon and Wed!!

Forgotten Taste Famous Pierogies
11978 Route 19 Village at Pine,
Wexford, PA, 15090
Tel: (724)940 2277

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tell us your dreams and stand a chance to win $10,000!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of UPromise. All opinions are 100% mine.

You know how I have always say that we would always try to give our readers a heads up if we know of some interesting promotions, sweepstakes or contest? Boy, do we have something exciting to share with all of you today. I know most of the readers of this blog are parents, so here’s a little something for you guys that might change the future of your children.

As parents, you always want the best for your children. I am very sure that every parent’s dreams that their children would be able make it to college one day. Over the years, Upromise members have received more than $600 million in college savings through their rewards program. Guess what? Today, it wants to celebrate all of the ways it has helped to fuel those sparks that made children into the people they are today and the adults they will become tomorrow. That’s right. Upromise is celebrating its 10th Anniversary and they are giving away $20,000 to users who share a story that tells how a parent has supported a child's dream!

How can you participate in this sweepstake? It’s really simple actually. I am sure all of you have a dream for the future of your children. Well, Upromise want you to share that dream. Just by doing so, you will receive an opportunity to win one of the (10) $1,000 cash prizes or the grand prize worth $10,000! All you need to do is head over to to submit your entry. Your entry must be 500 words or less. With that, you will get your chance to win $1,000 in their weekly drawing. Then, vote for your favorite dreams by selecting "Like." The entry with the most votes by September 29th wins a grand prize of $10,000! You can get the full list of Upromises’s dream wall official rules at their website.

So, what is your dream for your children? For me, my dream is that every child should have the opportunity to go to their college of choice, study in a field that they are really interested in and have an equal opportunity to pursue their dreams. Finances (or the lack of it) should not get in the way of a child reaching their dreams. Most importantly, I dream that every child should graduate college debt free. Nothing is worse than starting your life as an adult with a huge loan to carry and worry about. So, what is your dream for your children? Share it on the dream wall as well as with the rest of us here. Who knows, you might even win $10,000!!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

All you can eat crayfish @ IKEA on Aug 19th!!

Before I say anything else, I just want to state that this is not a paid post and I am not being compensated in any way by IKEA. I was surfing through IKEA's website the other day and came to know about this promotion. It sounds like an awesome deal, so I figured I'll share it with all of you. In honor of their Swedish roots, IKEA would hold a "kraftskiva" (crayfish party) sometime in August every year. This year, it will be on the 19th of August, in all IKEAs nationwide. For those of you who don't know (myself included!), the "kraftskiva" is one of the most important social events in Sweden. Friends would gather to feast on crayfish while partying the night away. From what I understand, this is a very popular event and tickets run out pretty fast. So, Kevin and I decided to drive out to IKEA to get ourselves 2 tickets before they are all gone.

For only $9.99, you get an adult ticket and that gets you entrance as well as unlimited crayfish (as well as other food items) to the Crayfish Party. Kids only pay $2.49! Check out the menu for the all you can eat buffet below.

Tossed green salad
Cucumber salad
Hard boiled eggs with mayo and shrimp
Shelled on prawns with cocktail sauce
NAJAD salmon with horseradish or mustard sauce

Crispbread, Criprolls, Dinner rolls
Assorted Swedish cheese
Meatballs with Lingonberries
Mashed Potatoes
Boiled Dill New Potatoes

Assorted Swedish desserts and cookies
Coffee, tea and fountain beverages

Not bad for $9.99, right? We have gotten tickets for the Crayfish Party at the IKEA in Port Elizabeth, NJ. If any of you are planning to be there, drop us a line. We'll see you there!! Now, let's get this crayfish party started!! Woot woot!!!

Finding the right dentist just got easier!

I don't know about you, but I have never been a big fan of dentists. Ever since I was a kid, I never liked my annual dental check ups. I don't know why, maybe it was the scary sounds from the equipment/dental tools but yeah, I would always dread going to the dentist. As I grew older, those visits to the dentist's office became less and less frequent. Up until about two years ago, I held my own personal record of not stepping into a dental office for close to 6 years! Everybody says that I am just being silly and really, there is nothing scary about visiting the dentist. No matter what everybody told me, I still didn't want to break down to make an appointment to see a dentist.

One day, about two years ago, I was drinking an ice cold soda and I suddenly felt a very sharp pain on my top left wisdom tooth. From that moment on, the pain increased to a point where it was unbearable. Not only did my tooth hurt but the entire side of my face! At that point, I knew I had to go to see the dentist, whether I liked it or not. Now, here's the tricky part. Both Kevin and I are not from New Jersey and we really didn't know of any dentist from around here. Sure, we could look up the yellow pages and just randomly call one to make an appointment but how would we know if he/she is reputable and good? Since I am really terrified of dentists to begin with, I really wanted to find somebody who knows what he/she is doing. Looking for a good dentist that fits you isn't easy at all. If only we knew about back then.

Smile Generation connects you to reputable dentists who are dedicated to their work. Approved Smile Generation offices are private dental practices with integrated specialties that include orthodontists, endodontists, oral surgeons, general and family dentists. All you need to do is go online and enter in your zip code to find an approved dentist near you. You can even book an appointment online or you could call their 1-800 number to book an appointment over the phone. Not only can you search for dentists on the website but you can also look for special offers and print out coupons for all kinds of dental treatments. So, if you are looking for the perfect dentist that fits your needs, head over to Smile Generation today! Oh, and just in case you are wondering, I have fully gotten over my fear of dentists. You are right, dentists are not so scary after all!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mandy's Pizza - Pittsburgh, PA

Kev and I were back in Pittsburgh for the whole of last week. In fact, it was a little more than a week. It's been a while since we had the opportunity to be back in Pittsburgh for such an extended period of time (it would usually be just for the weekend or 4 days, at the most), so it was good meeting up with friends and family. We also had the opportunity to head out some of our favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh as well as check out a few new ones. Over the next few posts, I will share with you some of the new places that we checked out during our week in Pittsburgh.
There is a pizza shop just down the road from Kevin's parents house in Westview. We have driven by it countless times and every time we drove by, I would say that we should check it out someday. I know, there are many other things that we can check out while we are in Pittsburgh and really, Pittsburgh is not exactly known for their pizza. After all, we are currently living in a city that is known for their awesome pizza. Why should we want to eat pizza while we were in Pittsburgh? Well, what caught my attention was a huge sign saying that Mandy's has the largest and best pizza in Pittsburgh. In fact, they have won a whole lot of awards as proof of their awesomeness. Now, when somebody claims that they have the best of something, I would really want to go check them out, just to see if they really do measure up. Soooooo, we stopped by one day to carryout a pizza and some wings.
All the pizzas in Mandy's are Gluten-Free/Allergen-Free. From their website and menu, I found out that they came out with a proprietary recipe that is Wheat-Free, Milk-Free, Nut-Free and Corn Free. Now, we don't really care much about all this but I am sure they are a lot of people out there who do. What is most important to us is, the taste! Their menu is rather large and there were quite a lot of traditional as well as signature pizzas to choose from. We finally went with a large Philly Steak Pizza ($16.49). Just look at it! Cheddar sauce, shaved sirloin, fried mushroom, onions, green peppers and premium blend pizza cheese. If that is not fattening enough, they topped all of that off with french fries!! One word - WOW! How does one even come up with that? They must be sitting around one day and decided that pizza in general is not fattening enough, they MUST do something else to bring it over the top. So, hey, why not? Lets top it off with some greasy fries! :P As fattening as it sounds, I must say that, it really tasted AWESOME! The toppings all just came together and the dough was nice and baked to perfection. Really really good!
We also ordered half a dozen of Monster Wings ($7.99). Monster Wings...really? How big are they? Well, Mandy's claim that they serve the largest wings in town. Guess what? They ARE huge! Look at that...none of those tiny dry stuff. The wings from Mandy's are huge and juicy! They are also not 'cut' into drummets and wings, you actually get the WHOLE wing! They come in 10 different flavors and we went with the Honey Mustard. Mmmm mmmmmm goood! Both the pizza and wings hit a home run, in my books. Apart from pizzas and wings, they also serve salads, hoagies, gyros, calzones, Italian dinners as well as desserts. We will definitely stop by again to check out the other items on the menu the next time we are back in Pittsburgh.

Mandy's Pizza - Pittsburgh,PA
512 Perry Hwy
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
Tel: (412)931 1120