Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Update About My Biolomix Blender, 2 Years Later

Literally 2 years ago I shared that I purchased a heavy duty blender from Aliexpress, a Vitamin knock off called the Biolomix blender. I shared a review of it not long after it arrived, but 2 years later, I still get questions about my blender, whether I still like it, whether it was worth the purchase, if I'd recommend it to others, etc...

Today, my friend Rachel asked me about my blender, which was perfect timing, considering that it is currently on my mind.

So, to put it short, do I still recommend this blender, now that I've had it for 2 years? Do I still think it was worth the money?

A reminder, it cost me $108.81 including shipping for the blender, two jars, a dry jar and a wet jar, and a tamper. The Vitamix equivalent would cost nearly 10 times that amount locally, and costs 4 times that in the US, from what I'm told.

The answer? A resounding yes. Yes I like it. Yes I still use it. Yes, I think it's worth it. Yes, you should get it.

But there are caveats.

Ready to Get On Board to Self Care? Here are Things You Can Gift Yourself

Self care is super important. Don't neglect yourself, thinking you aren't worth it, especially if you make sure that your family members get what they need. If you have decided that you want to do some self care, and your love language is gifts, show yourself some love by getting yourself something nice. Here's some ideas of how you can gift yourself. 

Often times we will give gifts to other people for their birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and during the holidays. It can be very rewarding giving gifts to your family and friends but sometimes you need to spend a little money on yourself, so you can be happy and enjoy life to the fullest. Self care products are some of the best gifts to get yourself because they will help with your overall well being and keep you healthy. If you are ready to get on board and learn about some of the best self care gifts then check out some of these great options.

How Blu Tack Saved Me Over $50 and Lots of Time

So a few months ago I shared how one of my plain toilet seats that came with my house broke, and I used the chance to update my toilet seats to something that is in line with the color scheme that I have for my bathrooms. I mentioned, though, that after they arrived I realized just how impossible it was for me to actually install it myself, due to the shape and size of one of the bathrooms, and my lack of dexterity for another.

I started installing the toilet seat in my bathroom, the one bathroom where my body actually fit, but because of my clumsiness and the need to get the different parts aligned exactly a specific way, I was having lots of problems.

I've included an image of instructions on how I was supposed to put it together.

As I mentioned in the previous post, it may seem pretty simple, but it was much more complicated than it sounded, specifically because I was working against gravity, and only had to do everything one handed because of the angle. I needed to somehow get piece number 2 to stay up while I put on the bolt, and oh, it doesn't show you the washer that needs to be there too. And that you need this "key" type thing to screw the bolt in under the toilet. And while I was fumbling around the first time, piece number one got lost, as did piece number two, falling into a crack between my toilet pipes and tiles, irretrievable unless I the tile to retrieve it.

But somehow I managed, sort of. I ended up adding an additional washer and using a piece from the toilet seat I just removed to get one of the screws on, and then was stuck with the other screw and hired a professional to come do it, and because he was already coming to my house to do something else, he ended up charging me $40 per toilet. But had he done just one, he would have charged more, because he takes a minimum charge per home visit.

Anyhow, I thought my toilet seat issues were done, but unfortunately the job I did screwing that one side in, with the missing pieces, really caused issues. It wasn't tight enough and it caused the bolt to slide around so much that it no longer held the toilet seat in place. The toilet seat refused to stay on the toilet, even though I kept hooking it back into the hooks. And then because of all the sliding around, different pieces from the seat broke off, and the lid separated from the seat. I had a fix it guy come to my house to fix something else and I asked him to take a look at my toilet seat and see how it can be fixed, and he told me that because too many pieces were missing, it wasn't fixable. (I finally found out what happened to the missing pieces- one of my kids flushed them down the toilet when they fell in.)  

Basically, every single time I'd use the toilet I'd get really irritated, because the seat had no cover and was floating on nothing and my bathroom became a source of frustration.

I decided to buy myself a new seat, found one that looked better quality than the one I had before, and today I arrived.

I nearly hired a professional to install it, and then I had an epiphany. Recently when shopping, I decided to pick up some Blu Tack aka sticky tack. Today, I realized that with some tack I could install the toilet seat myself, clumsy me, one handed and all!

Is Forex Trading Worth the Risk?

If you have money in savings, you might have thought to invest it and grow your money. There are many different ways to invest, and some of them are stocks, and others is forex trading. Both of them can be pretty risky, so this post sent in by reader Joel explains how Forex works and tackles whether or not it is worth the risk. At the end of the day, this is just my two cents- consider it a gamble, and don't invest money you can't afford to lose.

Forex trading allows for the exchange of international currencies, and like it's stock market counterpart, it is associated with a level of risk. A lot of speculation occurs within foreign currency exchange given its high level of volatility and liquidity, but this doesn't mean it doesn't have a place in your investment profile. If you're interested in reaching your investment goals and using Forex trading as a medium, you might be evaluating the risk and reward of these platforms.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Homemade Vegan Nasi Goreng Recipe, Delicious Indonesian Fried Rice, Gluten Free, Frugal, Paleo Option

Growing up, as far as I knew, there was one dish called fried rice. And it was made the way my dad made it. Rice. Veggies. Soy sauce, chicken broth, ginger, garlic, sugar, vinegar. That's it. And supposedly its origins were in China. But then I learned there are infinite varieties of fried rice, mostly Asian, oh, and on my trip to Greece this last summer, I found out there is also a Greek rice called "fried rice".

This type of fried rice, Nasi Goreng, is Indonesian in origin, though they do make it around the world, and it is a staple in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands. I only learned about it recently, when I saw someone say that it was her favorite dish, and looking it up, there are so many varieties of it, each recipe as different as the next. However, there were some things I noticed that made it different than the "standard" Chinese fried rice that I grew up in.

Number one, is the fish. Nasi Goreng nearly always has shrimp paste, and sweet soy sauce called kecap manis. Secondly, there are many varieties that have candlenuts in it. And then it often has ketchup or tomatoes in the sauce, and it also often has nutmeg and turmeric in it. (I thought to myself "why nutmeg?" but then saw a video on Indonesia where it explained that it is one of its national crops, so that started making sense to me.)

These flavors together sounded wacky and far fetched to me, to be honest. But if its such a common and popular food there and around the world, it must taste good. I already learned to overcome reluctance to put tomatoes with soy sauce (as I was taught as a kid) when I learned about Japanese yakisoba noodles, but still this combination threw me for a loop.

After having learned about the trick of putting ground nori in recipes instead of shellfish to give it a fishy taste for my laksa recipe, I decided to give it a try here.

I will admit, I was a little bit apprehensive about trying this out, so I made it when my kids were in bed and just a small enough batch for me, so that in case it didn't taste good, I wouldn't have a lot of waste.

But oh boy, my apprehension was for nothing. It tastes amazing and wonderful and I had enough left for my kids to try it and they were sad that there wasn't more and asked me to please make it again. Which I will, especially now that I overcame this hurdle and see just how delicious it can be.

Picking Up New Furniture To Liven Up A Room

Sometimes, for whatever reason, you need to change up how your home is. Some people think that you need to do an entire renovation to fix up your home. But sometimes just changing some furniture can make the entire environment look different. Here's some tips.

Of all the aspects of interior décor, furniture is among the most important ones. Your home’s curb appeal, functionality, and convenience largely depend on the pieces of furniture you choose to place in the various rooms. But just like anything else, furniture pieces succumb to wear and tear over the years, thus needing replacement. Also, it may reach a point where you decide it’s time to give your interior décor a major makeover. When moving to a new home (which may be bigger, smaller, or have a different décor design), the need to get new furniture may also arise. But sometimes you just feel that your old furniture makes your home look boring and you decide it’s time to liven the space up and give it a fresh new look. So how exactly should you choose furniture pieces for the various rooms? Here are some tips you want to read on the considerations you need to make when picking up new furniture to liven up a room.

Homemade Fish Free Curry Laksa Recipe -- Southeast Asian Spicy Noodle Soup, Allergy Friendly, Kosher, Vegan Option

It's a cold and stormy night, and tonight I found the thing that makes it all worth it- a delicious rich and spicy soup, perfect for a night such as this.

I'm the type of person that sees a picture of a food and can imagine what it'll taste like, and ends up craving it, just from a picture, despite never having tasted it beforehand. A few weeks ago I heard about laksa for the first time, a curried southeast Asian soup, popular in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand. I looked it up and found that it generally is made with shellfish, something that I personally don't eat, but did find a recipe for vegan laksa paste, the base for the soup. I literally had recipes for laksa sitting on my open tabs on my browser the entire time, so I wouldn't lose them, and to remind myself to make it, and finally tonight, after having been out in the cold rain and not having eaten the whole day, I decided to make it.

And it is superb. I combined a few different recipes, mainly this one and this one for the paste, and another one that I can't find for the soup, and the result is mouthwatering and scrumptious, perhaps my new favorite soup.

Oh, and it is also super easy to make, once you have the laksa paste. The laksa paste lasts a week in the fridge, but can be frozen as well. Or you can just buy it.

With the laksa paste, you can make a vegan soup or not- I made mine with chicken this time, but in the future plan on doing it vegan. And unlike most laksa recipes that have fish, this recipe works for people with allergies to fish and shellfish, as well as those who follow a kosher diet and don't mix meat and fish as found in many laksa recipes that aren't shellfish based. There's no nuts in this recipe, its gluten free, and I've included a soy free option so that this is free of the top 8 allergens, and the only common allergen in it is coconut. If you leave out the noodles, or use zoodles or spaghetti squash, this recipe is also paleo, and is low carb too.

Basically, this recipe is good for nearly anyone, as long as you enjoy delicious, spicy, and coconut. Highly, highly, highly recommended.

Oh, and lastly? I replaced all the hard to find or expensive ingredients with easier and cheaper ones, to keep down the cost. Still tastes awesome.

There are many different versions of laksa, but from what I see, this version is most similar to Cibinong laksa, from Indonesia.

P.S. If you're wondering what the taste is like, I do find a similarity between it and Thai green curry paste, with many of the same ingredients, but it definitely has differences, because the proportion of ingredients in the recipe are quite different.

Homemade Fish Free Curry Laksa Recipe -- Southeast Asian Spicy Noodle Soup, Allergy Friendly, Kosher, Vegan Option

Teaching Kids To Cook

My kids love cooking with me. They definitely enjoy it more than I enjoy them cooking with me, but I have them cook with me because despite the mess and the extra time, it teaches kids great skills, and I want my children to love and have the knowledge of cooking. Here's some tips from Nancy Evans on how to teach your children to cook.

Every parent wants to raise happy and healthy children. One of the best and most fun ways to ensure that your child is on the path to success is to ensure that they have a healthy diet. Eating healthy is not always easy with the many options to eat out and grab a quick bagged snack, but it can be. Children love to help their parents. One way that we can encourage healthy eating is to encourage them to help us cook.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Treating Myself For My Birthday

My 32 birthday is coming up. Exactly a month from yesterday. The holidays were really enjoyable together with my kids and friends, I had a great time, but I must admit, as a single mom, not in any relationship now, and without a close relationship with my family, the whole gifting thing was difficult for me. I got my kids gifts and we did fun things together, and even though we did a Secret Santa thing with the family and my son Ike got me something, it didn't fulfill my gifting desires. One of the hardest things about being a single mom, to be honest, is feeling like there's no one there to get me a gift, to think of me and say "Here, I thought of you and wanted you to have this".

A friend of mine just died and she was a single mom for many years, and one thing she taught me was that as a single parent, you need to celebrate on your own. Throw yourself a birthday bash, treat yourself to something beautiful, don't wait for someone "special" to arrive in your life and do it for you.

So I decided that for my birthday, I will make a fun celebration with my friends, and I will get myself a wonderful gift. So many times the gifts that I get myself, when I do get something, are super cheap and nothing special, or they are something that I need, which doesn't feel really like a gift. But this time, I'm going to tell myself "I am worthwhile" and "I'm allowed to spend money on myself" and not just look for something that is cheap, but something that is high quality, that I'll treasure.

One of the things I strongly considered was buying myself a pair of beautiful but dainty solid gold earrings, because nearly all the jewelry I have is cheap costume jewelry, other than a bracelet I got from Mike when we were engaged, and I do like high quality jewelry.

However, though this was a strong consideration of mine, I decided to nix this because my daughter, Rose, is always rifling through my jewelry and "borrowing" my earrings, and sometimes even breaking them. Beautiful jewelry for myself will have to wait until she is a little older and/or learns to not take my things without permission.

How to Increase Your Customer Volume Within a Short Span

People have all sorts of reasons to need to increase their income drastically. Do you have an unavoidable expense coming up? A new child? Are you getting divorced and switching to a single income family? Whatever the reason, it can be hard to find ways to make up the discrepancy in your current income and your desired one. Here's some ways that can help.

Whether fierce competition from other businesses in the industry has recently arisen or your company is relatively new, learning how to increase customer volume is imperative. In addition to encouraging more customers to shop with your business, you want to implement these changes as quickly as possible without compromising on service.

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