Friday, December 13, 2019

Getting Ready To Ski in Bulgaria- Day 3 Part 1

Skiing. I love it. I love winter, to be honest, love the snow, and all winter sports that I've tried. Growing up, I went skiing a few times, and got pretty good at it pretty quickly. The first time I skied, I started off on the beginner slope, then went to level 1 and then level 2 slopes all in one day (with level 3 being the highest). Then I went skiing with a youth group again. But then didn't ski for years, until 2 years ago, when I went skiing with some family members for one day in my country.

When I bought tickets to Bulgaria with my family, I looked into what Bulgarian tourism is well known for, I found out that skiing is a common reason why people visit the country. (That and casinos.) That definitely piqued my interest, because skiing! But our visit was planned from December 9 to 16, and I could not find out if that was late enough in the season for there to be skiing.

I asked my kids if they'd be interested in skiing while in Bulgaria, and they all were.

Are Frozen Donor Eggs the Affordable Infertility Treatment You Need?

As someone who always wanted children, I know I am blessed that I had four kids already at a young age, no infertility issues, no miscarriages, etc... But I know for many people, including many of my friends this doesn't happen nearly as easily, and infertility treatments can cause tremendous amounts of financial stress. A reader sent in this post, with information about a specific type of fertility treatment, that may be more affordable if you're looking to conceive. 

For many of us, our parents taught us the value of a dollar at a young age. They explained how to save our money and why we should do it: cars, homes, or “a rainy day” as the adage goes. However, all the money-saving strategies in the world can’t prepare most people for the cost of infertility treatment.

When you’re desperate to have a child, it can feel shameful to even think about the financial aspect. Unfortunately, possible treatments can be expensive and aren’t usually covered by insurance.
If you’re looking for the most reliable and affordable treatment, your best bet could be frozen donor egg IVF.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Day 2 of Our Family Trip in Bulgaria -- Lots and Lots of Fun

When I wrote up about my first day in Bulgaria with my kids, I mentioned how many things went not as planned, and how I learned my lesson about needing to tailor my trip to my kids taste and needs and be extremely, extremely flexible. I must admit that in the past, when I saw people taking their kids on trips abroad and then taking them to places like the zoo while there, I didn't see the point at all, since you could go to the zoo locally, and isn't the whole point of traveling to see new and different things?

However, I'm learning that my kids like the experience of going abroad, and even going to supermarkets and walking around is enough exploring of other places, but they would almost rather do things that are geared to kids, even if they aren't unique to those places.

So today, I did that. Friends recommended that I look into fun for the kids, even if its not location specific, because things are so cheap here that I can do them for a fraction of the price as back home.

The first thing we did this morning, after getting up and out early before we had to start paying for parking near our AirBnB was filling the phone plan on my son's phone so we'd be able to pay for parking via SMS in the paid parking areas.

Then we tried to go ice skating. Locally its hard to find ice skating, and when you can, it is very expensive. So why not here? Only the place we went to try and visit wasn't open until later on in December, so that was a bummer.

Flexibility, flexibility.

Moving To London? Here Are Some Ways To Live Cheap In London

I loved my visit to London, it was amazing. Here's a post from reader Tom about how to live in London on a budget, but to be honest, most of these tips also apply to those visiting. Hope you like these tips.

Living in London is a dream, but it comes with a price and a very expensive one at that. We all know that London is probably one of the most expensive cities and building a life without a strong financial job can be very difficult. Even if you have landed a job in London, it’s important to live on a budget during the initial months until you save enough money for future luxuries. And if your salary scale is less than the average amount paid in London, it is necessary to skimp on money until you get a higher paying job.

To ease your stress, we have a few suggestions on how to live cheaply in London while moving.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Day 1 in Bulgaria with My Family- A Day Full of Lessons

Today was... a day full of lessons. All sorts of lessons. About interesting things and frustrated things, and while I would love to say it was an amazing, tremendous, stupendous day, to be honest, more than anything today I felt frustration. However, out of all that frustration came lessons, and with those lessons hopefully ideas on how to improve things for the future.

The lesson that started the day was about Bulgarian parking... which I must say, is quite ridiculous.

Last night as I got my rental car from the company, I asked them what the parking rules were. They told me that there were green zones and blue zones that cost money, and other places were free. Locally, we have something like that also. Blue and white striped curbs is for pay, and red and white striped is illegal to park, and non marked are free.

So last night when I pulled up to where we were staying, I saw many cars parked, and grey and white striped poles, so figured that it was fine to park there.

Only this morning, when I got out, there was this boot on my car. Ha. Guess I couldn't park there after all?

6 Tips to Get a Car Loan with Poor Credit

I actually have no credit in America. (It's something I'm working on.) So if I'd wanted to get myself a car but didn't have the cash, I would probably have difficulty getting a loan. Fortunately, here's some tips from reader Jim on how to manage if you're in such a situation.

Driving your own car is by far one of the most convenient modes of transportation. However, getting a car loan with a poor credit standing may prove to be a challenging feat. Nevertheless, here are some tips to help you get your dream car, even with a poor credit.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Arrived in Bulgaria... At Long Last!

Today was quite a long day, I must say.

Last night, I stayed up relatively late getting last minute packing and preparation done for our family's trip to Bulgaria, and this morning we all were out the door and on the bus at 6:30.

To get to our destination, we had many legs of our journey, as there was no direct bus to where we needed to go.

First we took a bus to the nearest city, from where we were to catch a bus to another big city, and from there, catch a 3 hour bus ride to the airport.

How to Seamlessly Make the Move to Canada

As an American expat, I've often wondered if I wanted to stay living where I am now, or maybe move somewhere else. Friends of mine have talked about emigrating to Canada, because of how awesome it is. For those of you who are considering a move to Canada, here's some tips from a reader on how you'd go about doing that.

America’s neighbor to the north features both big cities like Vancouver and Toronto, remote areas like the Yukon Province, the French-speaking province of Quebec and the breathtaking oceanfront regions of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Indeed, individuals and families interested in moving to Canada have many choices when it comes to deciding where they want to live. However, those wanting to establish permanent residency in Canada or become full-fledged Canadian citizens must follow a basic set of rules and guidelines.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Facing Fatherhood For The First Time

Though most of my readership is female, I know there are definitely some men reading this too! If you're becoming a father soon, here's some tips for you from reader George to help with your transition.

Having your first baby will change your life forever. Fathers expect to have wonderful moments with their first newborn child, but they should be prepared for equally terrifying ones, too. The good news is, with emotional support and proper planning, you can manage this life-changing event with your partner.

Easy One Pot Baked Chicken and Rice Dish Recipe, Stuffing Inspired, Gluten Free and Allergy Friendly

Ever have a time where you have to feed your family, want it to be a nice well rounded meal with protein, carbs, and veggies, but you simply don't have time to be making many different things at once? That's when one pot meals come into play, but the best type of one pot meal is the kind that you throw together in minutes, and then toss into the oven, only to forget about it until its cooked.

I have made chicken and rice baked together in the oven, but the recipes I made had soup mix in it, something I'd prefer to avoid, and they also didn't have any vegetables in them, so they weren't completely a one pot full meal. This version, inspired by the flavors of stuffing, or traditional Southern dressing, was one I recently made. I placed the vegetables in sections, so that way my picky kids wouldn't complain. One section for the carrots, one for the zucchini, and one for the celery. But feel free to mix them all together if you aren't dealing with picky kids like I am.
Unlike other times I've made such a dish, because of the vegetables the chicken wasn't buried in the rice, so it stayed on top and was crispy, and it was the best version of this type of dish I ever had.

That said, my kids weren't huge fans of the sage, and I tried to do a short cut and skip peeling the carrots for this recipe, so that added a bit of bitterness that otherwise would have not been there.
Next time, because of my kids preferences, I plan on playing around with the spices and veggies- I'm thinking green beans, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. But this version is definitely great.

Easy One Pot Baked Chicken and Rice Dish Recipe, Stuffing Inspired, Gluten Free and Allergy Friendly

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