Disney Dining With Allergies – Gluten Free, Nut, Latex, Shellfish…..

This is NOT A SPONSORED POST! My writing is based on personal experience, yours may differ, but this is what happened as we dined in Disney(Orlando)

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As my fan base knows my challenges of feeding my family run deep as I have a daughter with Crohn’s and a need for a completely Gluten-Free diet and a son who is allergic to almost everything.   [Read more...]

~Going Paperless For Tax Season ~ Change Now For Next Year

This is NOT A SPONSORED Post, but it is very great information! Thanks Jeff!

Hate the season or love it, tax season is in full swing. Many of us swear to make budget changes, file differently or make drastic cut backs so we don’t have to pay out what we pay, because tax season is no fun! I recently had the chance to exchange emails with Jeff Pickard, President and CEO of Lucion Technologies and got some of his insight on how to go paperless for tax season.

Did you ever notice how tax season can bring an endless influx and flow of both physical and digital documents.  The harder you try to to organize these various documents the more draining and frustrating it can be.   Going paperless can help you be less cluttered and be more environmentally friendly.

ME:  Please define paperless for my readers so we all have a better understanding of what paperless is.

JEFF: Going paperless typically means converting paper to digital and then managing and organizing your digital files on your computer rather than storing the paper documents in a box or filing cabinet. This is usually accomplished by scanning paper documents like letter, invoices, receipts, etc., into a digital file on your computer. The scanned digital file is usually in PDF format.
ME: What are the benefits of going paperless?
JEFF: Going paperless allows for easy access to your digital files. It also cuts down on all the paper clutter that seems to accumulate around the house or office. With the files being on your computer, you can easily email then to other people, or even make changes and edits to the documents.
ME:  If I go paperless can I actually still get physical copies of my paperwork?

JEFF:  You can still get access to your paperwork as long as you keep it around somewhere. If you get rid of the paper after you scan it to a digital file, then you need to ensure that digital file is being protected through a backup program. It is recommended that you keep your paper around in a box or something, until you get comfortable with the whole paperless concept.

 ME:  Is there a place we can store all the info that we have saved as paperless?
JEFF: When paper is converted to digital files, these files are stored on your computer. This means that your computer should have an easy-to-use software that can help you access, manage, and organize these file. This is what FileCenter does. It is also recommended that you have a backup program on your computer that backs up these files for added protection.

ME: Is there security in place for my paperless stored documents?
JEFF: FileCenter just helps you scan, organize, and manage your digital files. It does not backup the files. You’d need a separate software program to do that.

Hopefully this overview helps you understand the concept of paperless and might encourage you to try it out.  My personal thanks to Jeff for answering my very basic questions and offering his wonderful insight to my blog readers.

 

I Am Not Going Back! ~ Life Weighed In

*This is NOT A sponsored Post, It’s just me writing about me!

Life is selfie staring at you the time, what part are you going to Snap out of? 

The last 4 year battle has been with my health, weight and personal issues beyond the norm. I was a petite framed person for most of my life and a massive thyroid malfunction really messed my system up.  A thyroid is a funny thing and it can work against a body.  Had my mom not had Thyroid Cancer, I probably would not have had my thyroid checked and I might never have been able to work my weight back to me.  In addition to thyroid issues, 3 kids birthed, bad eating habits and a life that was relentless with a ‘black cloud’ just kept nailing my coffin.  I took a hammer and I thwarted those nails right back out of my coffin lid and I have been fighting back against whatever life has dished out. I look at life as a ‘selfie’ but I know I can crop, edit and change before it leads me down a path of destruction, from friendships to weight!

Things You May Not Know About Me

You read about me all the time, but how much do you really know? Did you know I have conquered depression, thyroid issues, weight gain(75+lbs), a life-altering death(in our very immediate family), and 2 out of 3 children with sicknesses (pre-cancer, crohn’s and what could be life-threatening allergies), in addition to 2 bullying situations so intense that I had to hire a lawyer and grab the help of a friend who fights against school districts? This 4 year battle has had me thrown into a tizzy each and every day and while I was constantly in fight or flight, life just began passing me by.

As for friendships, and doing the right thing, I gave up, because in friendship there never seems to be ONE formula that works. Each relationship needs something different, as sometimes you are the listener and other times you are the talker, which means you might be giving or receiving the friendship.  What takes me back is when people have taken, taken, taken and not given back, at some point you do run out of kindness.  No difference, from what I have learned is you can open your home and heart to friends and they often turn out to be ‘users’ that only needed a babysitter or a place to run when they could not stand their marriages.

Fight It Out No More – Food Then Everything Else

I refuse to let the situations get a  hold of me because that only makes me an ugly person inside and out and my largest, most sustaining change has been eating.  My mom used to make great meals that I could pack in and not gain a pound.  Getting married, working long hours, earning an additional Master’s Degree, having children and working led to chaotic eating, nibbling from kids plates and just general crappy dieting habits.  The change came a few years ago when I looked in the mirror and said, “oh my gosh – who is this person? She does not look like me? Who is in the mirror in my place?” I grabbed a Vegan Bible and read it cover to cover, converged into a Vegan diet, that eventually transitioned into a firm Vegetarian Diet and as a result I knocked off an initial 50 pounds plus.

No more McDonald’s,  and my big junk food treat….. a special coffee from my favorite coffee purveyor(no advertising here!). There are survival snacks, or foods that I could just not do without, so what else did I put in my super hammer that helped me move forward and thug those nails out of the coffin top? Brothers-All-Natural Dried Fruit Snacks.  These are my secret weapon and they continue to be.  Healthy eating with a satisfying crunch is what I get every time I open a bag of Brothers-All-Natural Fruit Snacks.  My reigning favorites are pineapple, and mango.  Mango is the newest release and it is just delicious.  These are not chewy like the a fruit chew, these are literally freeze-dried fruit in many different sizes and they pack a nice crunch.  They are not tart, not sweet but each bag offers me 2 full servings of fruit and a satisfying tang that answers that snacking need.  If I suck on these long enough they transition back to their original state. The Mango Fruit is so good in smoothies that I make or sometimes I just munch it on from the bag.

Everything Else

It’s not just about the eating, it is about attitude.  As women we all say, “women are so catty” and rather than dealing with it, I just have learned to distance myself from all the nonsense.  It is nice to make friends, but it nicer to not be involved in the battles that erupt, or the relationships that flounder because someone has hurt feelings over a comment.  If I withered up over comments that people have made about me, I would have been dead long ago.  Let it go.  There is nothing healthier in my mind than accepting self, enjoying your family, and being the person you want to be, not what everyone wants you to be. Some find that just trying to be themselves is harder than dieting, because they truly have lost track of who they are.  It’s true.  I can say that I know my path, my way and when I look back at people I have known, been friends with and the where I was to the where I am, I prefer now. I am here, happy, content, in charge of me, and making changes that make the difference in my life. I have lost my weight of both emotional scars and weight.  I have dropped off the ‘dead’ weight that was pulling me down and I consider that all an old chapter.  Life is short, roads are long, and they are what you pave.  I chose the path that is beneficial to making a difference and I am NEVER going back!

Green Beans, Lips, & A Chicken

*This is not a sponsored Post*

Where on earth do you read headliner like that? Green Beans, Lips and a Chicken? Do they have anything in common? Other than the fact that those were the features of Pittsburgh Frugal Mom TV this week, probably not! Chickens don’t use lip stain, nor do they eat green beans but they sure do drink wine!

Have you ever eaten a chicken that was infused with wine? You won’t believe how moist, tender and succulent a cooked chicken can be and it is all prepared in ONE Dish. That’s right, one step easy! You have to see this ceramic ware in order to understand, take a 1 minute peek at it here on My Chicken Drank The Wine.

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With life flying by at about 90 miles per hour, an easy side dish or main dish is a treasure as far as I am concerned and that makes the Mean Green Bean meal I have created perfect for any day of the week. This weekend if you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day you can add this green to your meal. Take a look at HOW TO prepare this meal on my easy Video here.

Getting ready to hit the bars this weekend? This lip stain, Lip Fixation from Jane Iredale will make your lips look fab and it will stay even after you quaff a few potations this weekend. See this video or the HOW TO with Lip Fixation.

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Have a great weekend, enjoy these tips, tricks, getting your Green on, staining your lips and letting your chicken drink that wine! Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Luck Of The Irish To You.

 

 

Everybody’s A Little Irish On St. Patty’s Day ~

*This is not a paid post* Enjoy Your Holiday Weekend. Want more great ideas? Follow Star 100.7 Friday morning and hear all things ‘green things in the Burg! This is part of our Frugal Fridays Series.

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Green is such a wonderful color to love and it is a popular color, perhaps given the up and coming holiday it is more popular than ever.  You can be green with envy, or love the green color of money, enjoy green monsters, green lollipops, green shamrocks, green Eggs n’ Ham(lol), green grapes, green hair or maybe even just the green of the St. Patrick’s Day.  Here are a few ideas for going green for this fabulous celebratory day, even if you are not Irish!

Foods, this ought to be easy, but did you ever start thinking of what foods you can make that are really green? If you are staying home with the kids and just celebrating, here are a few items you might try to make dinner a little more ‘green’ in color to celebrate the day of the Shamrock. How about smashed up potatoes with green onions through them or just food coloring those mashed potatoes(beware green teeth result).  Green Cabbage, Green peas, green asparagus, green cupcakes, green broccoli, green salads with green celery and green cucumbers.  Don’t forget about green dip for chips, just swirl in the food coloring and away you go! Milk shakes are always fun, just grab mint chocolate chip ice cream, toss it with some milk in the blender and a Green Shamrock Homemade Shake you have.  Don’t forget to deck the shake out it mint Oreo cookies to make it a truly Leprechaun friendly brew.  As for the adults in the crowd, brew that coffee and stir in Bailey’s Irish Cream, as it does not get more Irish than this.

Activities for kids and adults are often harder to conjure up, but this one will have those who have drank a bit too much happy to find, so Erin-Go-Seeking(lol, love my humor) and the little kids will love their golden finds because they are totally edible.  Get some Gold Chocolate Coins and if you have kids hide them(write a list of where you put them, because your celebration might include a libation and a moment of forgetfulness) the kids will love seeking the Leprechaun’s Gold.  As for the adults, if you are going out, or you are an establishment hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Party, get the gold chocolate coins, and hide them all over, including to the bottom of seats, adults love to play games and we love chocolate, why would we want the Leprechaun to hoard al that gold?

Office Snack.  Yes we adults love our day, so if we can’t drink our way through it, we can still eat our way through it at the office.  Try this great food that will have everyone sweetened up and looking for a cherry.

Green Pistachio Treat

Serving Size: 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Boxes Of INSTANT Pistachio Pudding (3 1/2 ounce packages)
  • 1 20 oz Can of Crushed Pineapple(leave juice in )
  • 1 Jar of Maraschino Cherries (drained)
  • 1 - bag of mini marshmallows
  • 2 - 12 oz containers of Cool Whip, Defrosted, Basic Flavor or Vanilla
  • 1 3/4 C Walnuts(optional)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix Cool Whips to the Pistachio Pudding(dry powder) and Pineapple with juice.
  2. Now add marshmallows and cherries and mix again.
  3. Once thoroughly mixed.
  4. Garnish top with a few cherries.
  5. Cover,
  6. Refrigerate and serve when ready.
  7. Makes 10-12 serives.

Notes

make sure to save a few cherries for garnish. If adding Walnuts add them in with the cherries and marshmallows.

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Face painting of shamrocks is fun and easy, turning beer into the color green and adding Irish Soda Bread is also an easy way to greet the day.  Don’t forget the fun dangling green necklaces that you can find at the dollar tree!

Here are a few fun Burg Things going on, make sure to confirm everything as these are just what I have found, but I can not confirm them for you. Sites are listed so you an check out the details.

Now let’s find a few fun things around the Burg For the Holiday so we can all turn Green for the day!

Blvd Of The Allies St. Patrick’s Day Parade runs from 10a – fire trucks, bands, horses and tons of fun for families

Here’s  A Deal you want to take advantage of : All Fridays In Month oF March at The Andy Warhol Museum from 5-10p are free Admission.

Have Fun for St Patrick’s day At Fifth Avenue Place - facepainting games and crafts with much more. See site for details.

 Happy St. Patrick’s Day, may you find that pot of gold, get yourself green and find the other side of the rainbow!