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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Family Fondue! 5 Cheese Fondue Recipe & Trudeau 24-pc. Set Review

Two of my best friends took me to Simply Fondue once in NY in 2011 and since then I loved it. Prior to that I never had a fondue night. Then one of these friends got me the kit as a housewarming gift in 2013. I don't use it all the time, but it's great for entertaining. I can't tell you all how much I love it! It's so low maintenance, easy to set up, and big enough for a family of four to six. All you need is the sterno gel that you scoop out and put in the bottom of the double boiler. Some people say it's hard to contain the temperature but I find that you just need to figure out how much water you'll need to put inside the boiler per the amount of chocolate or cheese you're melting. Also frequent stirring helps. You can add a drop of milk in your chocolate or cheese to keep it moist if you notice any thickening.

For the new year we made family goals and spending even more time together doing things as a family was one of them. We decided we'd do fondue nights, or even lunches. We loved the White Chocolate with strawberries and bananas. This makes for the most thoughtful and treasured housewarming gift you could give someone. I plan on buying 2 or 3 more sets for parties.



My Five Cheese Fondue Recipe

Ingredients: 

8 oz Four Cheese Mexican (shredded) 
2-3 oz Vermont sharp cheddar
2-3 dashes of garlic 
1/4 cup dry white wine 
2 dashed dried oregano and cayenne pepper 
1/4 cup whole milk 
2 tbs. grass-fed butter

Dippers: Organic Apples, Raw Organic Broccoli, French Bread, Chicken wings (optional) 

Mix all the ingredients in the bowl and stir. I put approx 2 cups of water in the boiler. This recipe will give you this much Cheese Fondue, you can eye-ball it and add more shredded cheese if needed: 

Enjoy!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

100 Reasons to Stay Alive

When life presents challenges, beats me up a little, pushes me around, and drowns me in the darkness of negativity, self-doubt, fear, and self-sabotage, I always think of death. It's the most natural thing to do when you feel like you don't have anything going for you or the future is uncertain. Every time you start to wonder what's the point, come back and read this list. Find the power within yourself to conquer your demons.

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Letter for All Husbands This Valentine's Day

Ladies, this is me speaking on your behalf. Email this article to your man even if all of it doesn't truly fit, the ideas are conversation openers. Get in the spirit of talking about your love and taking what you want.

Dear Husband,

What Girls Expect Vs What Actually Happens On Valentine’s Day
The dating phase up until the first three years of marriage has been amazing. I think back to how we matched clothing, and did all the cutesy things new couples do and I sometimes wonder were we naive back then? Or were we simply young and carefree? I know we've been married for X amount of years, and we see each other every single day when either of us is hauling our ass out of bed each morning up until we're taking our tired asses to bed at night. The sex is still hot, and the fire is still burning, it's just that this fire is no longer this thing that consumes us day and night like it did during the honeymoon phase. It's become a cozy fire in our fireplace that burns pretty high but sometimes low. We have to pay attention to it and add a few logs in there if we want it to keep burning.

I know things have been shifting and changing. Jobs have changed, dreams were being dreamt, and there has been several moves. The excitement of pregnancy tests arrived, our excitement and hopes continued to soar as the time went by. When each child was born we looked into each other's eyes mesmerized and in awe of the beauty we created. Occasions are coming and going, but even though we observe them, the sparkle and excitement of these occasions are becoming overshadowed by responsibilities, and daily burdens, which I wholeheartedly understand. You show you care when you help with the kids, you show your appreciation for me after we put the kids to bed, you show your love and dedication through your hard work  as it's become pretty clear you want to be the best damn provider you can be. It's just that on holidays like this, I can't help but want to be surprised, to be spoiled a little extra, to read something special, to be doted on just a tad more.

People say why do you need a holiday to tell people you love them? But if these people ever really struggled, and understood how the time flies by in our busy days, they would realize it's not even an afterthought when we just sacrificed our sleep to satisfy each other's sexual needs, or our need to talk to our heart's content on some days.

Valentine's Day has become too commercialized and focuses on expensive things. I think this is becoming a deterrent in creativity, and thought, especially with the way everyone brag-posts their gifts.

With that being said here are a few ideas of things you can do even on a budget:

  • Get a card and write something heartfelt. 
  • Ask me to make a wishlist of items ranging from $1-$300 or more, and pick up one or two things that falls in your budget. Use the list for occasions that will arise later on during the year, you've got a headstart in saving for it. 
  • Plan a romantic night. Let me tell you my fantasies. 
  • Come up with a menu and let's cook together. 
  • Buy me some of my favorite chocolates! 
  • Stuffed bears if I'm into that kinda thing. 
  • Pressed for time? A gift card to my favorite shop definitely shows some thought. 
  • Spoil me with some of your manly services... a massage, a foot rub, a romantic bath. 
  • Take me to get pampered a little; mani/pedi/facial 
  • Take me on a little shopping spree. 
  • Dinner at a fancy restaurant.
  • Flowers/Edible Arrangements. 1 Flower truly is okay.  
  • Plan for us to spend the day doing a fun activity together. It could be spent playing scrabble for all anyone cares, as long as we're creating moments/memories. 
  • A movie at home or in theaters. 
  • Focus on quality not quantity. 
  • Help with whatever's been stressing me out. 
  • Fix that something/do that task you said you would do.
  • Look on groupon.com for a deal on something cool/fun/new/interesting/thoughtful. 
Take me to a place I've never been before...even if it's just for a little while.


Sincerely yours truly....

Monday, February 9, 2015

Biryani & Tandoori Chicken Recipe

As promised here are the easy-peasy recipes!! I wish I could make these from scratch but since I'm West Indian not East Indian from India I rely heavily on these mixes and for the most part it gets the job done! 

Biryani 

Ingredients: 

Rice:
1 packet Sazon sprinkled all over the top of the: 
3.5 cups basmati rice (cooked set aside) 

Meat:
7-10 garlic cloves minced 
2 tbsp ground ginger 
1 cup plain yogurt
2 lbs meat of your choice (cut up/ washed/drained)
1 box of Shan's Pilau Biryani  Mughal Style Meat Pilaf.
1 cup water if using chicken
2 cups water if using lamb/beef 

Last:
1 large onion sliced
1 red bell pepper sliced

Steps: 

1) Cook Basmati rice according to directions. The rice should be tender but not too soft, a little olive oil sprinkled on top helps keep it's loose consistency.

2) Lay in a wide shallow tray to air out while the meat is cooking. Sprinkle the packet of sazon on top of it, but don't mix it yet.

3) Take your washed and cut up meat and put it in a pot for stew. Add a tablespoon of oil and add the rest of the meat ingredients above. Add the water last and cook covered on medium heat until meat is tender and stock left is about 1-1.5 cups. (Approx 15-30 mins)

4) Fry your onions and bell pepper slices in some oil. Don't overcook it, keep it a little crisp.

5) Take the meat mixture and evenly distribute on top of the rice. Mix it up a bit. Then add the onions and peppers sliced, mixing it evenly.

Tandoori Chicken 

I like to use legs because it's flavors soak in better. It's up to you if you'd like to use different pieces.

Ingredients:

8 Chicken Legs (washed/drained)
1 cup of yogurt
3 tbsp. Laxmi Tandoori Paste
1/2 tbsp. pink himalayan salt

Optional: butter, fresh lemon juice, and cilantro.

Steps: 

1) Make deep cuts/scores on the legs.

2) Mix the above ingredients together.

2) Refrigerate and let it marinate for 4-6 hours.

3) Bake covered at 350 degrees, for about an hour and half. After about an hour and 15 mins in, when it's cooked all the way through,  throw out some of the stock and put the oven on broil at 500 degrees. Uncover chicken after 10 mins, and then let it get browned to your liking.

4) When it's done brush butter on the chicken, sprinkle lemon juice, and freshly chopped onions and cilantro to top.


ENJOY!!! 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

9 Reasons Why You NEED a White-Board Today!

Personal Development Tip #1: Organization

Many times I've been asked "how do I stay organized, focused, motivated and or consistent?"

Organization is everything! For OCD people like myself (not clinically speaking) it's just a way of life, the minute I start to feel like everything is in complete disarray, I feel mentally blocked from completing simple day to day tasks, lethargy sets in, it's as if I'm in a daze. I don't like clutter. I love open space. In my home I have everything designated to different rooms.

Prior to moving to this home I didn't have the luxury of compartmentalizing things to areas, however I did make the best of our living space and consistently moved things around, threw things out that were of no use and optimized every aspect of home decor, for functionality and then comfort in that order. So if you're tight on space, you can still make it work no matter what.

All you need to start is a White Board! Big or small, whatever fits your budget. Every home should have an office space, or area dedicated to productivity, organization, learning/education, reading etc.

A white board will keep you:

  • On task: it keeps you focused because you will be listing things and checking them off.
  • Motivated: because you will see your goals daily, and know what you're working toward.
  • Reminded of deadlines, events, things that need to be done, for your home, for yourself, your business, and/or for your family.
  • Consistent: As long as you have the white board and make a habit of using it, you will be consistent in your actions.
  • Creative: All those bubble maps, flow charts, and venn diagrams used in elementary school couldn't have been all for nothing. Get your creative juices flowing using the white board. The more ideas you brew the more creative you can become. I probably have more thoughts than the average person does by 10 am. 
  • Educated: learning new things or teaching your kids can be easier and uses time more efficiently. The more you learn, the more you can grow. 
  • Wise: You ever try to make a really important decision? Important decisions usually weigh heavily on your heart and your mind and feel like a tug of war. People with these types of dilemma's say "it's simply not black and white". A white board would facilitate your decision making skills with the use of a pros and cons list. The pros and cons list never fails, because when you're done you'll have the answer staring at you in black and white.
  • Successful: This type of organization keeps you goal-oriented. Even if you fail at something, a habit like this will make you go back to the drawing board, and you will keep at it, ultimately perfecting your thoughts and actions daily.
  • Positive: The most important aspect of all. You will feel so good knowing that you're doing all you can do, and that will keep the positivity wheel spinning. Taking control of your thoughts and actions never felt so good. 

Take action and start investing in yourself now! If you already use a white-board please share with us what it's done for you in the comment box below. 


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Fast Dinner Idea: Spicy Jerk Chicken & Black Beans in a Pita Pocket Recipe



Whenever I don't feel like slaving away in the kitchen this is what I come up with. You can't go wrong. It takes roughly 30 mins if you count slicing the chicken, and chopping some onions, and tomatoes quickly. Since I rarely measure when I cook I will just tell you how many dashes of the spices. 


Spicy Jerk Chicken & Black Beans in a Pita Pocket Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 1-1.5 lbs boneless chicken thighs/breasts sliced and washed/drained. 
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 large tomato
  • Spices: 2-3 dashes each of cayenne pepper, chilli pepper, Adobo. 
  • 3 tablespoons Walkerswood jerk seasoning
  • Stonefire Mediterranean Whole Wheat Pita Pocket 
  • black beans (rinsed). 
  • mozzarella cheese block (sliced into 1 oz serving) 
  • cilantro for topping
Steps:

1) Mix: chicken, onions, spices and jerk seasoning in a bowl.
2) Add to pan with 1-2 tbsp. oil,  and add tomatoes. Cook for  about 15 mins, covered.
3) Add the can of black beans (rinsed).
4) Cook on high until the consistency is kinda dry (approx 5 mins). 
5) Break a pita in half. Put a slice of mozzarella and a spoon of chicken and beans inside. 
6) In another flat pan, you will lay it to toast a little to your liking. I like when the cheese melts, and the outside gets brown.  Just top with cilantro and enjoy!

If you don't feel like doing Pita Pockets, you can do any other wrap. I love this flatbread especially, which I toast on the stove, and rub a little coconut oil on before adding meat and toppings. 
Joseph's Flatbread Honey Wheat

Enjoy!!! 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Coochie Steam! Yep, a Steam Bath for your Vajayjay

This is becoming a hot topic, literally. A couple of days ago there were quite a few articles circulating the internet about it and I thought I should share my experience. So after I gave birth the first time, I went to my mom's house and she helped me take care of my daughter and myself. I spent the entire nine months researching and preparing for this baby, reading every single thing about birth, how to avoid an episiotomy, and tearing, and even drugs. When the time came I refused drugs until the very last moment. I was induced and the pitocin had my pain soaring. I had even walked over 20 laps in the halls with my drip, bounced on the birthing ball, pretty much anything to help my labor progress. When I had no more energy I opted for the epidural. When it was time to push I told the nurses I need to be upright and told them to bring the mirror. They argued that I can't be in such an upright position (sitting almost but reclined  like 45 degree angle
  \_ ). I said no way, I need to be like this, otherwise I'd be too far back, pushing into my butt, which is generally what causes tearing from all that I gathered in nine months of research. When my daughter was born five pushes later, I had a super small internal tear, and my perineum remained intact. Thank God I had followed my instincts and my intuition.

I tried to find a pic replicating the optimal position for minimal tearing, but this is what I was able to find. I guess this is always an optimal position to be in and easy to remember haha...

Now upon arriving at my mom's house, I thought I'd just have to rest and learn how to take care of my baby, after all she was only 5lbs 3oz. The next day she boiled water and explained that I needed to sit over the steam. Until that moment I was fully prepared for every step of pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum care, so naturally I was like "um what?" You can only imagine how insane I thought she was. I was the argumentative child, who questioned everything, and before I could Google this nonsense or ask what scientific evidence this coochie steam was based on, my mom shut me up quickly with the simple question: Would you rather be a pond or a lake?...





I'll take pond...thank you very much. I didn't ask anymore questions, ya don't need to tell me twice! I did it without anymore hesitation because I didn't wanna mess with what if's later on. If you've ever had the courage to take a look down there a day after giving birth you'd be surprised by what you'd see. I did the steam bath and the first time it was pretty hot and caused a little bleeding. I was told that it helps you expel whatever is left inside and help you heal faster, help shrink your uterus back to normal, and provide pain relief if there is any. Overall, I gave this steam bath a 10 out of 10. Not only did I see the amazing results aesthetically after I peered down there a week later, but I finished bleeding quite quickly.

The second time I gave birth I followed my intuition again, and within 5-6 pushes, I delivered my daughter without a single tear. I was unscathed entirely. Came home, did the steam bath again for a few days as well. Finished my postpartum bleeding in 6 days.

This remedy stems from the ancient Mayans and various indigenous peoples. To me it makes so much sense. I believe in ancient wisdom and consistently see western medicine slowly catching up to holistic remedies. West Indian people have done this practice for decades without medical intervention, so I put my faith into a practice that women who birthed ten or more babies have lived by. Depending on what your various women's issues are, there are different herbs that is added to the hot water and is said to help.

Disclaimer: This post is intended for educational purposes, and to share my knowledge of vaginal steams. You are welcome to try it at your own risk. Please consult your doctor, or holistic coach/certified herbalist if you have a serious condition or concerns.

Check out this video!


Birth Institute- Vaginal Steams: Forgotten Ancient Wisdom for Women's Healing

What Is Vaginal Detox And How To Do It At Home

What Is Vagina Steaming? I Tried This Gwyneth-Approved Procedure And Managed To Not Burn My Crotch (But Only Barely)

Gwyneth Paltrow says steam your vagina, an OB/GYN says don’t