Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pork in Evaporated Milk

Running out of ideas on what to cook, I turned to DH and ask him for his input. He surfed around a bit and picked a few dishes that got his saliva going. This is one of them: Pork in evaporated milk. This recipe comes from House of Annie. Here is her original recipe.

It was very easy to cook. I had all the ingredients on hand already. My curry plant came in very handy. It was super yummy and my family enjoyed it.

For your convenience, here is the recipe. Almost the same as Annie except I used pork belly and omitted the cili padi (bird's eye chilli). The photo of her dish looks better than mine too :)

  • Pork belly 
  • Corn starch
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Curry leaves
  • 1/2 can evaporated milk
  • Chicken bullion
  • Sugar

  • Flavor the pork with some salt and pepper.
    Then mix the pork with some corn starch. Let it sit for about 30min - 1 hour.
  • Fry the pork in some oil until cooked. 
  • Put the pork aside.

Now to make the sauce.
  • In some oil, fry the shallots, garlic, and curry leaves (if you like, this is where you add the chilli too). Fry till fragrant.
  • Put the pork back into the wok and mix everything around. 
  • After a few minutes, pour in the evaporated milk.
  • Add the sugar and chicken bullion.
  • I added a little bit of water because I know my kids love gravy. 
  • Turn down the fire and let it simmer. Maybe for another 15- 20 minutes so the pork gets a bit tender. 

Okay, enjoy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What Online Course Would You Take?

There is no end to learning. Education is a lifelong pursuit. I'm sure you've heard these sayings before.

I was very happy when I finally graduated from university. I was happy I didn't have to take any more exams. If I had to do university all over again, I would definitely chose a different field of study. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology but I have not done anything related to it. I don't think I gained any skills either. All I learned were the theories and didn't do much practical work. I don't remember much what I learned in the classes. However, I know I improved in my writing because I had to write lots and lots of research papers.
I think online degree programs in music would be very beneficial to me now. So many parents want their children to learn music. Music teachers can really earn a good living. I was looking around for a music teacher and the fees really made my jaw drop.

It is not that difficult to get a degree or certification these days. In today's tech world, you can easily sign up for online courses. Not needing to attend classes physically makes this the ideal solution for people who:
  • don't have the funds to travel far or overseas to attend university
  • are working but want to upgrade their skills by taking work-related courses so they can advance their carrier
  • can only do studies part-time
  • who are busy taking care of a young family but also want to pursue an education
  • want to take courses for personal interests during their free time

You might wonder if these online degrees are legitimate or a scam? Yes, that is one thing you have to be careful about.
  • Make sure the college or university is accredited
  • Check to see if the credits you earned are transferable
  • Make sure they have a legitimate phone number
  • If it is too good to be true, it probably is. If you don't have to work much for it, you better think twice.
  • Do they withhold information until after you pay? Legitimate programs will provide you as much information as possible so you can make a wise decision.
  • Check the legitimacy of the program with The Database of Accredited Post-secondary Institutions and Programs or the Better Business Bureau

As convenient as online education is, I believe that physically attending a university is an unforgettable experience. The social aspect of university life should not be missed (if you can help it). However, if you've already been there and done that, online courses is a good option for furthering education.

If you have a soon-to-be college bound child, you can use the Federal Student Aid College Finder to help you choose a university that fits your needs.

So, if you could take a course online, what would you learn?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tips for your toddler's birthday bash

(ARA) - From gifts to games to yummy treats, toddlers love their birthday celebrations. Planning the perfect party doesn't have to be stressful. You too can throw a memorable bash that will have both you and your toddler jumping for joy.

"This September, Memorex and 'Yo Gabba Gabba!' are throwing a nationwide birthday party for families in celebration of Memorex's 50th year in business," says Erica Danielski, Memorex global brand manager. "To prepare, we've been talking to parents around the country about their toddler-tested tips for a successful birthday party. These are some of the greatest, most unexpected suggestions from parents who know how to throw a great toddler birthday bash. As you plan your toddler's next birthday party, keep these pointers in mind."

* Have a plan, but be willing to let go of it almost immediately. Toddler birthday parties are fun, chaotic and filled with the unexpected. If something unplanned happens, go with the flow. Being flexible means being fun and by doing so, you'll ensure all guests, including yourself, are having a great time.

* Don't underestimate the impact of an inexpensive theme. You don't need to invest hundreds of dollars in a character-driven birthday theme for toddlers to have a great time. Something as simple as a yellow-themed birthday - with everyone showing up in yellow outfits and presents wrapped in yellow wrapping paper - will be a hit among toddlers, who are just learning about the colors of the rainbow.

* Be prepared for picture overload. Make sure to bring extra camera batteries, a battery charger and extra memory cards. Unplanned photos can create the best memories and you won't want to miss a single photo opportunity. Also designate a photographer for the event other than yourself - a family member or close friend will be able to wander throughout the party to get the best photos while you continue to entertain your guests.

* Consider a location outside of the home. Rather than stressing about the mess, take the party outside of your home. Consider having your party at a location such as your local children's museum or indoor playground. Hosting the party in a venue where you don't have to worry about the pre- or post-party mess, will save you time, money and stress.

* Don't just entertain the toddlers. Your party guests aren't just your toddlers' playmates. Remember to plan for parents and older siblings who will be tagging along. Offer activities and food for guests of all ages. Kids usually turn their noses up at any pizza that isn't plain cheese, so order a few pies with unique toppings for the adults. Also, consider pulling out the lawn games for some outdoor party fun.

* Turn the party favor into an activity. Today's toddlers expect a birthday party favor - so why not turn this into an activity for your guests? A birthday-themed arts and crafts project, such as decorating a tiara or superhero cape, will keep toddlers entertained … for at least 15 minutes. After the items have dried, you can send your guests home with a playful keepsake.

* Plan activities that get kids moving. Toddlers are like little bottles of energy just waiting to burst… but if you plan activities that will get the kids moving, you can help them expend some of that energy. The Memorex PartyCube Sound System is perfect for birthday party games, such as musical chairs. It is great-sounding, durable enough to withstand toddler bumps, and features a rechargeable battery for six hours of continuous tunes.

For more information on Memorex's 50th birthday celebration - including the Yo Gabba Gabba! It's Time to Dance! Birthday Party being hosted on Ustream Sept. 9 - visit the Memorex Facebook Fan Page or

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Animated Books For Young Kids

Looking for something fun and educational on the net for your young ones? Check out Howard B. Wigglebottom. You'll find free animated books, lessons and songs.

They have messages like learning to listen, listening to your heart, telling the truth, how to deal with anger, violence and bullies. These are important living skills. Really cute stuff and I'm sure your kids will enjoy it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Help your children eat fresh and healthy foods throughout the school year

(ARA) - When the school year starts, it's harder to make sure your children are eating well. Between the morning rush, quick school lunches and after-school snacks, it's easy to lose track of whether or not your kids are eating healthy meals.

Make sure everything your kids need is right in the kitchen. Having a large capacity refrigerator that's fully stocked with fresh and easy-to-prepare foods can help you counter unhealthy lunches and snacking from the get go. One LG French door three-door refrigerator, for example, has a 31 cubic foot capacity, enough room for 51 gallons of milk if you were so inclined. With that much storage space, you won't have to worry about skimping on healthy lunch food or snacks ... or your children leaving your refrigerator empty after they come home from school everyday.

Kimberly Nies, home economist for LG Electronics USA, suggests some tips to encourage your children to eat healthy during the busy school year.

Keep fresh ingredients

Make sure the foods you store in your kitchen are fresh. The average household throws away about $500 worth of spoiled foods that were forgotten or lost in the back of the refrigerator each year. Some refrigerators like one from LG help keep food fresh longer using a system to maintain the temperature and humidity at the best levels.

Bring lunch

Ask your kids to help you make their lunch either the night before, or in the morning before they take off for school. Present them with several options for sandwich materials including whole-grain breads, cold cut meats, cheese or even egg or chicken salad. Soon they'll be able to craft their own healthy and delicious lunch all by themselves. Fresh carrots and apples add crunch and healthy fun to their lunch.

Make healthy foods accessible

Keep your cupboards and refrigerator organized so your children can find and easily reach healthy options, Nies suggests. Many refrigerators have crisper systems with separate drawers for storing fruits, veggies and even ready-to-eat snacks. "After a long day of school, even teens have a hard time turning down veggies with tasty dips when they're right at their fingertips," she says.

Make fun snacks

When grocery shopping each week, make sure you load your list up with fun, snack-friendly ingredients. For example, "Ants on a Log" are a popular treat for kids. And they're versatile, so your children can develop the recipe to perfectly suit their tastes. Check out Nies's easy recipe below:

Ants on a Log

Suggested ingredients:

Celery or carrots, cleaned and cut into 4- or 5-inch sticks. For the carrots, cut the sticks in half the long way as well.

Peanut butter or cream cheese

Raisins or nuts of any variety


To make it safer and easier for your children, precut all the carrots and celery ahead of time so they aren't handling any sharp knives. Spread the peanut butter or cream cheese along the length of the celery or carrot sticks. Line up the raisins or nuts, as if they were marching across the log.

Other good snack ideas include peanut butter and crackers, fresh fruit, cheese curds or string cheese and even a bowl of shelled nuts.

Keep hydrated

When your children are involved in physical activities, you're going to need to make sure your fridge is stocked with plenty of rehydrating options. Sports drinks and flavored waters are good options, but so is plain chilled water. The LG refrigerators have a tall water dispenser on the door that can accommodate just about any size container so your daughter can quickly and easily fill up her water jug as she's running out the door for practice.

"Help your children continue to eat healthy once the school year starts by encouraging their healthy eating right at home," Nies says.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Teaching Your Kids To Play The Piano

We recently bought a 2nd hand piano because my girl seems very interested in learning to play. Before getting the piano, she was tinkling on my mom's keyboard. I've thought her to read the notes, so she is quite okay in playing. Initially, she just played with her right hand. Eventually, I took out my old piano books and encouraged her to play with both hands. She is better than me in one aspect: After playing the piece using the notes, she will commit the song to memory and play without the notes. That is one thing I cannot do.

Now that we've got the piano, the other 2 boys also will go over and tinkle about. So far all they play is Old McDonald Had A Farm, the chiming of the clock and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. I'm trying to get D1 to learn to read notes. We're going bonkers with Old McDonald Had A Farm :)

I've opted not to send the kids to a piano teacher or music school. They just want to play for fun and I don't want to kill their passion with music exams. We will see how it goes a few years down the road. Plus, piano lessons these days are quadruple the price what my mom used to pay for my piano lessons. Just checking around, the average price now is about RM80-RM100 for beginners. I have 3 kids, that's too much money for me. I learned until Grade 5. I think I can teach my kids a little bit.

Anyway, I found some great stuff online. If you want to teach your kids to play the piano, you might find these helpful.
I know there are more cool stuff out there to help our kids learn music. I'll keep this list updated as I go along. I'm also enjoying my piano playing once again. Haven't been playing for so many years.
Before I go, enjoy the magic of Jon Schmidt. He truly is a one of a kind pianist. Very inspiring.

This piece is called All Of Me and it was this piece that I was introduced to his music. I fell in love with it straightaway. Hope you like it too. Watch for the part where he uses his whole arm to play.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chee Cheong Fun

Some days I don't feel like doing much cooking. Ever had one of those days? Heheheh.

Well, I've found a good way to get around those days. My mom introduced me to a lady who makes "Chee Cheong Fun" at home. So we buy from her like wholesale. We call her the day before to put in our order and then I'll collect from her the next morning.

For my family, I normally order 70 pieces of Chee Cheong Fun and that is for 2 meals. Then I'll go to the market to get the other stuff like fish ball, quails eggs. ladies finger (okra), tau foo etc.... The last 2 times I had this dish, I couldn't find the stall that makes the Yong Tau Foo stuff. I was going to the wrong part of the market. Now I know where it is. In the S'ban market, it is upstairs near the florist. Oh, don't go there on Tuesday coz' they're not opened.

Too increase the flavor of the Chee Cheong Fun, it is best to fry some garlic and shallots in oil and add that to the dish.

The lady that sells the Chee Cheong Fun lives in Taman Dusun Nyior. Email me if you need her number. She also gives the sauce and sesame seeds.

What are some dishes you do on days you want to have easy cooking?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Prep kids for school success with healthy lunches

(ARA) - As the new school year begins, parents have a lot on their minds - supplies to buy, extracurricular activities to plan, and, of course, preparing kids to be successful in the classroom.

According to recent research, healthy lunches are an essential tool in a student's ability to learn effectively. In fact, studies show kids who eat healthy breakfasts and lunches have better cognitive function, improved performance in the classroom and miss fewer classes.

Parents concerned about the quality of the food their kids are consuming have a simple solution: prepare healthy options at home. While a good, balanced breakfast is easier to execute on your home turf, pulling together and sending a bag lunch proves a bit more challenging.

To boost your kids' learning potential at school, keep these tips in mind as you pack their lunches:

  • Consult the new food guidelines. The pyramid is out and the plate is in - the USDA reintroduced its nutrition guidelines as MyPlate, which is designed to be easier for both kids and parents to read. Consult it to determine how much of each food group your kids should be eating - for example, it's recommended that half of your "plate" should consist of fruits and vegetables.

  • Keep it kid-friendly. Health benefits can be a hard sell with children - they're more interested in whether something looks and tastes appealing. Small portions perfect for little hands have instant appeal, and even more so when filled with a healthy treat. Tree Top's apple sauce and 100 percent juice apple juice boxes, made from 100 percent American apples, are easy to slip into a lunch bag and are a smart way to help your kids get their necessary fruit servings.

  • Make it whole. Grains are a necessity in your kids' diets, but it's essential that they're getting the healthiest kind: whole grains. An increasing number of products offer whole grains that appeal to kids. They might be added to kids' favorite cereals or used in pasta, but to most people's palates, the difference is nearly indistinguishable.

  • Know what to cut. Too much sodium, sugar and saturated fat can add up to an unhealthy diet for your kids. If you're using pre-packaged food for their lunches, check the label to make sure that you're choosing options that are low in sodium.  Also try to avoid foods and snacks that are rich in sugar and fat but without much nutritional value, such as cakes, cookies and candy. Instead, look for naturally sweet and tasty foods and juices that appeal to kids.
Starting your children's day with a healthy breakfast will help them perform well during the first hours of the school day. But to maintain kids' healthy learning habits, a nutritionally rich lunch - packed by you - is the key to finishing the day on a good note.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What's Going On???

Funny things have been happening lately. In chinese, we would say "Suey" meaning bad luck.
  • About 2 weeks ago, D1 experience very bad pain in his abdomen. Took him to the government clinic and they said it was gastric.
  • Last week, D1 had fever for one night. Then he had rashes the next day which lasted for about 4 days. I thought he was having an allergy, so I took him to the g'ment clinic. They took his blood sample to test for denggi. Thank goodness it was negative. However, the doctor felt that there was a possibility it was too early for the denggi to be detected in his blood, since his fever was only 2 days. So she asked that we come back 3 days later for another blood test. When we went back, they took his temperature and it was 38'C. I didn't think it was right because I know he wasn't having any fever. A mother knows! So the doctor send me back to the nurses who took the temperature and asked that they use the thermometer instead of the forehead strip. Well, the thermometer measured his temperature at 37.2'C. No fever. The nurses put the strip to his forehead again. It showed 38'C. They tried the thermometer again: 37'C. So how? Fever or no fever? Doctor also not sure how to diagnose. In the end, we decided that antibiotics was not necessary and since his rashes had pretty much subsided, we were just going to let it be. Oh, and the denggi blood test was again negative.
  • After D1, K1 got fever.
  • After K1 got fever, grandma got fever and flu. Then it was my turn.
  • Day before yesterday, we took the car to the workshop. They were suppose to change the brake fluid reservoir because it was leaking. We have waited for the spare part for 1 month. They were suppose to sms us when the spare part arrived. We called them twice. Each time they would say "we'll check and call you back". They never called back. So we decided to just make another appointment because the car seems to have another problem. After 4 hours in the workshop, the car is done BUT they still can't change the brake fluid reservoir because they ordered the wrong spare part. So we have to wait again. My DH really, really, really, doesn't like EON now and vows never to buy a Proton again. Terrible service.
  • Yesterday, one tyre was punctured. Probably got the nail at the workshop.
  • Yesterday, I had a call from K1's teacher. This is what he said "Your daughter fell down and may have fractured her leg. Can you please come and get her?" Thankfully, it was just a slight sprain. Phew! Apparently her bag was too heavy and she lost her balance going down the stairs. Took her to the Chinese sinseh and got scolding for not knowing how to speak chinese and not teaching my children to speak chinese either.
  • Last night, D1 got those terrible abdominal pains again. He was already sleeping but woke up crying. Took him to the hospital and we ended up staying a night. Why does the hospital wards have to be sooooooo freeeeezing cold? Plus, it is almost impossible to sleep on a plastic chair. 
These are just a few "crazy" things happening the last few days. Something is not right! We've never had these kind of problems before moving back here. Are we jinxed in Seremban? Or maybe it's the new piano we just got? Feng shui no good? I don't know.

All I can say is..... WHAT'S GOING ON??????

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rambutan, Oh Rambutan

Rambutans, rambutans, oh how I love rambutans!
I remember growing up, our house had a rambutan tree. When it was fruiting season, definitely I would brave the mosquitoes and spend many happy moments "harvesting" the fruits. I always got scolding from my mom coz' the rambutans would not have a chance to turn truly red.  I also always ended up with a cough.

Now that I've moved back to my mom's house, I have a rambutan tree again. However, I don't think it is the same tree. I believe my mom got rid of that one and planted another one. I'm not sure about that. Hmmm... will have to check with her tomorrow. Anyway, all those rambutans you see in the picture above is NOT from my tree. My tree is just beginning to flower. These rambutans are from a neighbor's house. They gave us permission to do a bit of harvesting. These ones are the yellow rambutans.

We've been having quite a few rambutan feasts the last few weeks. AND the best part is, IT's FREE. Nowadays, a small bunch will cost you something like RM5.

A few days ago, we went to another neighbor's house to harvest rambutans. No need permission coz' it's an abandon house. Well... actually I was kinda scared that we might bump into or disturb our invisible neighbors there. You know what I mean? Well, we tried not to stay too long.

Anyway, I look forward to my tree bearing fruits. I'll have to fight the squirrels and birds though. Oh, and we are all coughing now. Sigh!

Yummy, juicy, sweet rambutans

My son loves taking pictures of birds. He caught a bunch of long tailed parakeets having a rambutan feast.

What is your favorite fruit?

Monday, August 08, 2011

Tips to prep your kids for the school year

(ARA) - Summer vacation will end soon, which means the school bell will soon ring. Your kids probably have mixed feelings about going back to school - excitement to see friends and participate in fun school activities again, and dread that the lazy hours of summer are almost over.

Whether they're ready for it or not, getting kids prepared for the school year doesn't have to be a lot of work. Here are some tips to help find the best deals on supplies and prepare them for the first day back:

  • Tackle the school supply list early. Review everything you already have on hand, and then create a list of the materials your children need for the entire year. Take advantage of back-to-school sales and coupons, and don't be afraid to shop online. A site like consolidates thousands of online coupons  and discounts in one easy-to-use place. You can find coupon codes for everything from kids clothing to the pencils and folders they'll need for classes.
  • Exercise their brains. Studies have shown brain drain frequently happens during the summer months, causing kids to have to relearn material when they return to school in the fall. If you haven't encouraged your children to keep their brains active with reading, mind puzzles and other fun mental exercises this summer, start now to help them get a jumpstart before classes begin.
  • Plan social activities. It's been a long summer, and your children have plenty of stories  to share with their friends. Help ease kids into the school year in by organizing social activities with your children's fellow classmates. Make sure you take them to meet the teacher before the first day of class.
  • Set a school day schedule. Start waking the family up earlier in the mornings - especially if you have older children who like to sleep in. Establishing a school day schedule before the year starts will help everyone manage the first day rush and chaos with less stress and anxiety.

Before you know it, you'll be packing lunch boxes and backpacks and kissing your children goodbye as they board the bus or enter the school building. But you'll know that you've done everything you can to prepare them well for the first day back at school.

Friday, August 05, 2011

My Easy Peasy Spaghetti

My daughter absolutely loves spaghetti. Well, this is how I do my easy peasy but very tasty spaghetti.

Ingredients include garlic, carrot and big onions (diced), tomato (cut into big chunks),1 can of button mushroom (sliced) and 400gm of minced beef.

After stir frying all the above ingredients, it is time to add in the sauce. This is the easy part. Just need a can opener to open the cans: Prego Cheese and Herbs (cheese here is very expensive, so this is a good option), Tomato Puree and Prego Traditional Spaghetti sauce. Add a little water so it is not too thick.

Oh, forgot to mention that I made some "white sauce" in the beginning. Here's how to make a basic white sauce:
In a pan, melt 2 thsp butter. Add in 2 tbsp flour. Sprinkle in the salt and some pepper. Pour in the milk, cook and stir until semi- thick and bubbly. I usually cook this first and put aside. I will then add it into the "red sauce". The spaghetti sauce will then be more like an orangey color rather than a bright red.

Whalla! Yummy spaghetti ready to be devoured.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Homeschool Curriculum on Sale: Up To 75% Off

CurrClick is having their "Back To Homeschool Sale" now.You'll find discounts up to 75% off. The sale is on until 25 August 2011.

This is the time to save money buying homeschool curriculum for your children. I've already bought some for my kids. Some stuff were free.

Here is a list of things I currently got and the price I got it at:
  • The Seven Continents - Speedy Geography - $0.50 (This is now on sale for $0.25)
    It includes vocabulary words, fill-in-the-blanks, fact cards, diagrams (labeled & blank), mazes, and website links.
  • The Five Oceans - Speedy Geography - $0.50 (This is now on sale for $0.25)
    Learn more about the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Southern and Arctic oceans.
  • Hummingbird Copywork & Fun! - $0.50 (This is now on sale for $0.25)
    Got this because my boy has become a bird enthusiast.
  • Human Body Copywork & Fun! Volume 1 - $0.50 (This is now on sale for $0.25)
    My girl also wanted copywork like the Hummingbird exercise I got for my son. She chose this topic.
  • What Did You Say? Bookmarks Freebie! #1 - Free
    Making bookmarks is one thing my kids like to do.
  • Clouds Mini Helper  - Free
    Very simple lesson on types of clouds.
  • Sayings & Phrases #1-10 [BUNDLE] - $3.00
    This is a bundle of 10 lessons. Each lesson covers 5 sayings. Children learn sayings and phrases such as "Turn over a new leaf", "Get a taste of your own medicine", "The early bird gets the worm" etc...
I figured I could spare some money from my paypal. Afterall, it is for my kids' education. I'm actually very happy. For a few dollars, I got quite a lot of stuff. AND what I buy for the older kids, I can keep and reuse it  for the younger kids. My kids are happy too. They quite enjoy the materials I bought.

There's lots of choices and I'm sure you'll find something fun for your kids to do, not forgetting educational of course. So take a look and don't miss out on this great sale. Just click on my affiliate link below to access all that wonderful discounts.


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Homeschool Planning Tips

If you want to raise your chances of successfully homeschooling your children, planning is essential. Here are some homeschooling tips to help you:
  • Prepare a study area
    If you can, dedicate a whole room in your house to be their "classroom". If not, create a space in your dining room or living room. Make sure that there's minimal distraction. 
  • Create a goal and devise some motivations
    Create goals first. Determine what it is you want your children (and also yourself) to achieve. Doing so will keep you focused and inspired. With the goals, you will also have a better idea of how and what you want to teach.
  • Schedule
    Life is easier when everyone has a schedule to follow. When planning out your time, consider when in the day you and your children are most productive. Don't teach in the afternoon if you find that you are normally low in energy then. You must find the best time where you can give your best and your children can give you their attention and eagerness.
  • Prepare a budget
    Decide how much you are going to spend on home schooling materials. Many times we get carried away and end up overindulging ourselves with books and materials.
If you're going to homeschool, it is best to have a plan. You can use The 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner to help you. You'll find forms and organizational tools to help you juggle your homeschooling, chores and maybe even a home business.

There's also the 2011-12 Student Schoolhouse Planners for your kids (kindergarten to high school ages). These planners are available on CD or in E-Book format!

Click the affiliate banner below to access the planners.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

$10 Off When You Buy This Easy Scrapbooking Software

My Memories Suite is an easy to use digital scrapbook software that I use often. Well, they've given me a special coupon code to share with my readers in US and Canada (yea, sorry folks living in other parts of the world).

With this code you get $10 off when you buy their software which is the My Memories Suite v2. So instead of $39.97, you just pay $29.97.

PLUS, you also get another $10 store credit that you can use to buy downloads. That's a total value of $20 when you use my coupon code.

So, what's the coupon code? Copy and paste.

How to get to their website? Just click my affiliate link below:
#1 Rated Digital Scrapbooking Software!

Here's an example of what I did with this digital scrapbook software.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Five time-saving tips to get ready to go back to school

(ARA) - Summer trips are wrapping up and kids are counting down the days until they have to go back to school. With many parents weighed down by worries about escalating back-to-school costs, brushing up on tips and tricks for making the summer-to-school transition smoother will be helpful for the entire family.

In fact, a recent survey by Bing and Impulse found that 52 percent of parents are the most concerned with the price of school supplies. To save time, money, and lighten up the mood, try implementing these tips from Lisa Gurry, a past recipient of Working Mother Magazine's Mom of the Year award.

"These simple tricks can make the back-to-school transition go from stressful to stress-free," Gurry says.
  • Shop early: Schools often provide a long and daunting list of required school supplies. Don't try to buy everything in one day. Rather, be open to grabbing items you see on sale while out and about throughout the summer. Use local coupon-finding tools, like Bing for Mobile Deals on to find daily deals on all the supplies you're looking for.
  • Get (cleverly) organized: Reduce the amount of time you spend running around the house looking for the keys, backpack, and lunch boxes by picking a location for each item. Try leaving your keys in the fridge with your lunchbox so you'll never forget the lunch again.
  • Pack a healthy lunch and freeze a few dinners: Make sure to pack healthy lunches for your children that will help protect their immune systems and energy levels during the new transition. Great lunch options include chicken wraps and strawberry and cream cheese sandwiches. Another great idea is to prepare a few healthy dinners in advance and freeze them so you'll have one less thing to worry about. Check out for healthy dinner recipes like chicken noodle soup.
  • Get advice: Don't forget to use your network of friends to find the best deals. Share your shopping list with your friends using Bing Shopping and get advice from your trusted friends about what they think are the best purchases.
  • Routines rule: Nothing causes more stress or confusion than an inconsistent schedule. Create a schedule early on and make sure you stick to it. Try to re-establish the bedtime and mealtime routines at least one week before school starts to prepare your children in advance.

Going back to school doesn't have to be a stressful experience. With a few simple tips, you can make back-to-school transition more efficient, less of a hassle and even easier on your wallet.