Monday, May 30, 2022

Top Resources to Help You On Your Journey to Becoming a Chef

I love cooking. One of my biggest joys in life is making good food and watching people enjoy it. If my life had gone differently, like if I wasn't a single mom of 4 dealing with disabilities, I would have thought about pursuing becoming a chef, so I could make money from what I love, but alas. If you're someone who dreams about becoming a chef, here are some resources to check out.

There are many people who dream of having the opportunity to take their passion for food and cooking and turn it into a career. Becoming a chef is no easy journey, however, and isn’t one that should be started on a whim.

The simple fact is that the culinary world is one that is filled with a great deal of competition. Many talented chefs are all vying for the top positions at the best restaurants around. Moreover, many people have the desire to be able to start their very one restaurant one day. This is arguably one of the more challenging routes to go when you want to have a career as a chef.

That being said, with the right amount of dedication and work, you can end up as a successful chef. You should look to make use of any and all resources that you have at your disposal as you seek to develop your skills and find your way as a chef.

With that in mind, here are some of the top resources that can help you along on your journey to becoming a successful chef.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Common Mistakes That Are Made When Selling Your Home

I don't ever want to move out of the house that I own, but for those that are selling their home, here are some important mistakes to avoid to have the sale be as successful as possible. 

There’s a lot to keep in mind when you’re planning to sell your home and a lot of concerns as to whether or not you’re making the right decisions along the way.

Real Estate Broker companies like the team at Compass work with agents to help make your selling process as personalized and smooth-sailing as possible, and there’s more info available if you’re eager to sell your home without making some unforeseen mistakes due to inexperience.

In the meantime, avoiding these other common mistakes below is essential if you want to sell your home quickly and with as few problems as possible.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Penniless Dad's "Moussaka" Recipe - AKA Leftover Surprise

Apologies for all the food purists out there, as this is by far a really non traditional version of moussaka, a dish traditionally eaten in the Middle East and the Balkans. The most well known version of moussaka is the Greek one, made with layers of eggplant, ground meat (generally lamb) in tomato sauce, and topped with a bechamel sauce. However, there are many other versions of moussaka around the world, and this recipe actually does fit into the loose definition of moussaka, which is either eggplant (generally) or potatoes (in the Balkans), tomato sauce, sometimes meat, sometimes cheese, with many different variations. So even though none is actually like how my father makes it, the name is still technically correct.

I was cleaning out my fridge the other day and while deciding what things there were too far gone and needed tossing, and what could still be used, and I saw the following:

Leftovers from an antipasti platter I made, mostly roasted eggplant, and a tiny bit of zucchini and peppers. Hot dogs. Leftovers from a whole chicken that I cooked, plus some mushrooms and potatoes, and an open can of tomato paste.

As looked at those things, what immediately struck me was how this was literally the base of what my father would use to make what he'd call moussaka. But it really just was a way that he used up leftover chicken or turkey. As a kid I had no idea that it was that, and I loved it so much that one year on my birthday, when we would get to decide what would be for dinner, I asked for moussaka, and my father, bemused, obliged. I actually wrote about this once, over 10 years ago here on this blog, but who actually is reading posts that old, and I was a much worse blogger then than I am now, so here it is.

This recipe is allergy friendly, and free of all the common allergens such as gluten, dairy, or eggs, unlike many moussaka recipes. Feel free to play around with this recipe, since the point is to use up leftovers. I used mushrooms, a bit of zucchini and pepper, but feel free to add other vegetables if you want. Eggplant is necessary to make it moussaka (in my opinion) and I never do it without hot dogs, but the point is to take this idea and use up your leftovers in a way that appeals to you and yours. Be creative, have fun, and minimize waste. (I took the potatoes that were with my chicken and mushrooms and turned them into revamped mashed potatoes.)

Penniless Dad's "Moussaka" Recipe - AKA Leftover Surprise

Thursday, May 26, 2022

5 Frugal Tips for Moms and Dads

Looking for some ways to save money that work for parents? Here are some tips to consider.

Living within your means is one of the secrets to managing your finances. With prices constantly on the rise, it’s never been more important to make your bank account balance. Below we look at five things you can do to help keep your finances in check and to spend less than you earn.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

8 Ways To Succeed As A Video Content Creator on Instagram

If you're looking for ways to earn money, Instagram is a way to aid in that. Video is a media that can be very engaging, and if you make good content, it can be a great way to get clients for your business. But to do that, you need to have a successful video platform, such as an Instagram account. Here are some things you can do to help succeed as a video creator on Instagram.

Even though Instagram had been widely popular before it was bought by Facebook, combining it with the world's largest social media platform made it a force to be reckoned with. With over 1 billion monthly active users, the platform has become a favorite site for advertisers from all industries and regions of the world. Instagram is used by both local family-owned businesses and big corporations to promote their products and services, and it works brilliantly.

While images are great for promoting your business, don't underestimate the power of video. An Instagram video marketing strategy that is well-thought-out can help you increase your reach, engagement, and brand visibility. Not sure how to succeed as a video content creator on Instagram. Don't worry we have noted down all the tips and tricks for you in this blog.

My Mental Health Journey's Story

Me cuddling with my dog on the floor, to help cheer me up, during a bad depressive episode

In addition to being Ehlers Danlos Awareness Month, May is Mental Health Awareness Month, where people try to bring these stories to light to reduce stigma. So I wanted to tell you about my story. (PS for those who are saying to be careful with sharing this, my ex and his lawyer know all about this already as does social services and fortunately, it hasn't been able to hurt me.) Warning- I will be talking about some triggering stuff.

I had a pretty miserable childhood. I dealt with a lot of abuse at home, physically, verbally and emotionally, was bullied in school, etc. I had a lot of sadness and hopelessness in me but tried to be positive. At the age of 14 things reached a point that completely broke me and I just couldn't anymore. I was angry at God, angry at the religious community I was a part of and the world and was super depressed, started hanging out with the wrong crowd, and started getting myself into trouble. Someone special came into my life and accepted me as I was, gave me hope that things didn't have to be so bad, and I decided to try to fix up my life and give my community and society another chance.

My family moved to abroad when I was 16 and I was totally heartbroken, and it wasn't an easy year for me. I was also pretty miserable in addition to feeling very lost spiritually and didn't have any good friends. I was sent to a therapist by my head of my school but after once I never went back.

The next year back in the US I found myself religiously and discovered a religious movement and it's approach to being happy and making yourself happy and I decided that, while I knew I had a depressive nature, I'd shove it down and make the decision to  force myself to be happy all the time since that is the "correct thing to do". I tried therapy, knowing that I'd gone through tremendous abuse. But because of the "I'll force myself to be happy" I was in such denial that I never mentioned to the therapist about the abuse I went through and gave up after four sessions.

I got married very young because I desperately wanted someone to love me, afraid everyone would leave me like I felt everyone did to me in the past, and pressured him into marrying me. And it was a bad marriage from the start. But I was in a new community in a new country and I wanted to make friends and felt that no one would want to be friends with someone who was a mopey miserable mess and didn't want to be a "depressive person" so I decided to shove it all down. "So I'm a depressive person by nature, doesn't mean I need to feel depressed. I just need to avoid those thoughts and be positive."

Monday, May 23, 2022

Here’s Why You Should Pick Up Baking!

I love cooking. Baking I'm ok with, but my biggest love is really cooking. If you aren't a baker, here are some reasons from a reader why you might want to start baking- there are so many benefits!


I love baking. Many people don’t trust me when I say that I’m an emotional baker, because to many others who haven’t baked, baking seems like this whole process and ordeal. I like to liken it to art. While some people find painting or watercolor to be their solace from stress, the creation aspect is the same through baking; putting your effort and practice into finally making something you can share with people is a reward in itself.

I am an emotional baker in the sense when I feel sad or mad or even when I am very excited, my first instinct goes toward flour and dough. I put that apron on and suddenly am in this flow state of bliss. Whether it’s the process of rolling, kneading, or taste-testing my own baked creations, there are very many joys to be had in baking.

Over time, as I have moved between baking in a studio, to a bakery, to just home baking, I’ve realized there are many benefits to be had with home baking also. Without further ado, here are a few reasons I have found for you to pick up baking as a hobby.

Friday, May 20, 2022

How To Deal With Noisy Neighbors

Have you ever had noisy neighbors? Or have you ever been the noisy neighbors? I actually had a sitution where I was both, somehow. Years ago I was living on the second floor in an apartment building, with a backyard. I babysat kids during the day, and my downstairs neighbors was angry at me because she felt the kids were making too much noise... in the middle of the day. She got mad if the kids would go out and play with me in my backyard, because she wanted to be able to have her windows open and not hear children, so decided to blast music at really high decibels out her window to drown us out. Yet in the middle of the night she and her daughter stopped us from sleeping because of their 2 am screaming matches. It was such a pleasure to move away from her. If you are dealing with noisy neighbors, here are some things you might do to make things better.

Had enough of your noisy neighbors? There are a few things that you can do to finally get some peace and quiet. Below are just a few solutions for dealing with noisy neighbors.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Gluten Free Egg Free Chicken Schnitzel Recipe - Allergy Friendly Fried Breaded Chicken Cutlets

Schnitzel. It has many names and variations around the world, as well as many different ways to eat it. But one thing they all have in common- dip it in egg then breadcrumbs and then fry. That's all very well and good, but what about people who can't eat gluten? Ok, gluten free breadcrumbs or something like that. But no egg? That is harder. No gluten or egg? You're up a creek without a paddle. Or not.

I figured out how to make schnitzel without using egg or gluten! It was honestly hard to figure out, because the standard egg replacement didn't cause the coating to stick onto the meat, and even once I figured out how to do it, when I tried skipping a step it also failed. So this is how I suggest you make it, without any variations, because otherwise I can't guarantee it'll work. 

This makes terrific flavorful schnitzel that the gluten and egg eaters will eat happily because it tastes just as good as the standard schnitzel.

I make my schnitzel with chicken, but you can make it with any other meat, whether turkey, beef, pork, etc... just follow the same method and it'll be fine. I use vegetable oil for mine, instead of the clarified butter used for traditional Weiner schnitzel, which makes mine good for people with dairy sensitivities as well.

There is a little bit you can play around with when it comes to this recipe. The actual liquids used don't matter so much; feel free to change them up to suit your taste. The point is just to add flavor to the meat. Options of liquids/wet things you can use are limitless, but some examples are: 

  • sweet chili sauce
  • ketchup
  • jam
  • teriyaki
  • pickle juice
  • salad dressing
  • maple syrup
  • almond milk
  • wine
  • orange juice
  • mustard
  • beer (keep this gluten free)
When it comes to the crumbs used for the coating, you can use anything gluten free (or gluten if you don't need to keep this gluten free) that is either savory or not too sweet that crumble. I use my food processor or grain container of my blender to make these things into crumbs. Even when they're stale or very crumbly its totally fine like this. Examples of things I've used or have eaten as coatings are (I will not be labeling these as gluten free- make sure to use gluten free versions of the following):
  • Pretzels (everything seasoning pretzels are the best)
  • Crackers
  • Breadsticks
  • Leftover bread (gluten free bread that is no longer fresh and doesn't taste so great anymore- into the blender you go!)
  • Cornflakes (even honey nut cornflakes taste good here!)
  • Chex or other not too sweet cereal
  • Tortillas
  • Almond flour (I tried making schnitzel with coconut flour- was not a hit with my kids)
As for seasoning for the crumbs, it depends on how flavorful the crumbs start out. Any of the following can work for your seasoning, but add a little at a time and taste- and you can because there's no raw meat at this point- and adjust:
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Ok fine, I don't have any other ideas here because my creativity is shot because it is too late at night for me to be writing... and because I usually just add most of my seasoning via the liquids, but add whatever spices you like, go ahead!
  • Sesame seeds. Yes, not spices. Yes I like adding them to my crumbs. So shoot me. 
Basically, follow the procedure. The rest of the details are up to you. I just wrote exactly how I made mine this last time I did it (because all the other times I didn't write down measurements) but from here you can let your imagination run wild.

Gluten Free Egg Free Chicken Schnitzel Recipe - Allergy Friendly Fried Breaded Chicken Cutlets

Monday, May 16, 2022

Taking Your Child To Their First Hearing Test

I got my daughter evaluated and one of the things they noticed is that her auditory processing isn't so great. Before labeling her with an auditory processing disorder, I need to take her for a hearing test. Fortunately I got this information from a reader on things I and other people should know before taking a kid to a hearing test.

Hearing and ear health are really important concerns in anyone’s life, but especially so for young children where everything can be a problem that becomes bigger and bigger if you are not careful about it. If you are keen to make sure that you are keeping on top of your child’s hearing health, one of the things you’ll need to do is to take them to a hearing test every now and then. If you have their first hearing test coming up and you are concerned about what to do about it or how to approach it, there are a few things to bear in mind. Let’s take a look.

Friday, May 13, 2022

6 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

I recently was rejected when I applied for a credit card with benefits that I really wanted to have. I applied every few months as was recommended and each time was turned down. Finally, I found out that my country recently implemented a credit score, and mine was bad because of things that happened over the course of my divorce a few years ago. This really is frustrating and I'm looking at ways to improve my credit score. Those aren't going to be the same things as for people in the US, but if you have a problem with a bad credit score, read on for tips on how to improve yours.

It’s important to maintain a decent credit score for several reasons. A good credit score offers a lowered interest rate, premium credit cards, and great loan products. But with a below-average credit score, you might not qualify for such benefits.

Though there are finance companies that issue loans to such credit holders, you’re still a flight risk to any mainstream lender. For instance, when you’re seeking a car loan. Though there are many car finance companies for bad credit cardholders, it’s always better to aim toward a good credit score.

If you’re looking to boost your score, there are a few solutions—even when you’re knee-deep in debt. But you can’t rebuild your credit profile overnight. Follow these simple steps to improve your credit score in the safest way possible.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

My Latest Scratch and Dent Grocery Haul

I had a rented a car the other day and needed to do some errands including buying some things, and I had a few choice of places to buy those things and decided to pick the place with a scratch and dent store so I could hit two birds with one stone- get frugal stuff, without hurting my body in the process. I'm glad I went, because I got some great deals. Total for this shop was just $53.42. If I had bought this shop at a regular grocery store it would have cost at least $135!

So, what did I buy?

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Adapting Your Life to a New Arrival

If you're new to motherhood, the transition might be a bit challenging. Here are some tips to help smooth the transition and help you adapt better to motherhood.

Pregnancy is a long process that takes a lot of change on a physical and personal level. When you prepare for a new baby, you have to make changes to your self-care routine, the clothes you wear, how you arrange your home, how you approach work and so much more. Most parents spend a long time focusing on preparing for their new arrival and accommodating these changes. So, you might think that once your little one has arrived, everything will settle down and be catered to. But this is rarely the case. Welcoming a child into the family often comes with all sorts of unforeseen lifestyle changes and you’ll find yourself constantly adapting to meet their needs. But what are some key areas you can focus on when it comes to changing your lifestyle and routine to meet your new arrival’s needs? Here are some suggestions that can come in pretty useful.

Monday, May 9, 2022

6 Ways To Save Money On Baby Clothes

Baby clothes are really cute and adorable, teeny tiny pants and shirts and socks... but they're also often ridiculously priced. Especially since babies get their clothes dirty quickly and they change sizes so frequently, you end up needing a lot of baby clothes which is generally pricy. Here are some ways you can keep down those costs.

The first year of a baby is a period of incredible growth. In their first six months, babies' birth weight can be double and by the end of their first year, they’ll triple their weight.

As a new parent, the arrival of your baby can be both exciting and financially draining. You’ll have to pay for hospital delivery costs, which might hurt your wallet. More so, you have to prepare for the needs of your infant so your child can grow properly.

In this article, you’ll learn six surefire strategies for saving money on baby clothes.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

My Life with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome

As I was filling out the paperwork for my disability hearing, I had a hard time answering some of the questions. "How long have you had this issue?" and it wanted me to put in a start date. Except how do I even answer that? I've only known that I had Ehlers Danlos Syndrome less than 2 years, but I've definitely had it my whole life.

Since May is Ehlers Danlos and Hypermobile Spectrum Disorder Awareness Month, I thought I'd talk about Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and how it affects my life. 

What is EDS?

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is an inherited connective tissue disorder, and since our bodies have connective tissue nearly everywhere, it affects the body in so many different ways. Named after scientists Edvrd Ehlers and Henri Alexandre Danlos, who first described this in the early 1900s, EDS is actually a collection of disorders that affect connective tissues. There currently are 13 known types (other than an extremely rare variant discovered in 2018 with only four individuals so far diagnosed with it), and of them, all but one can currently be diagnosed via genetic testing. The last one, Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, the one I have, they haven't yet discovered the gene or genes responsible, so it is diagnosed via clinical observations. 

Top 8 Bad Financial Habits to Break to Fight Debt

It's rough to be in debt, but in order to get out of debt, there are some habits that have to first be broken. Read on to see which ones.

Debt is a scary thing. It can feel like you're swimming in it, and no matter how hard you try to get out, you just can't. You may be wondering how you got into this mess in the first place. The truth is, it could be any number of things. But more often than not, bad financial habits are to blame.

Do you struggle to balance making monthly payments and saving money for the future? Have you found yourself researching consumer proposal v bankruptcy and other debt solutions? If so, then this article is for you.

If you're ready to break free from debt and get your finances back on track, read on for the top habits you should break now.

Let's Look at Some of the Most Popular Coffee Flavours

I used to hate coffee. Then I started liking it and then I loved it. Then I needed to stop drinking coffee because it gave me anxiety and now I miss it. I love vanilla coffee the best, but now I just enjoy the smell when my sons drink it. Here's some more info about other flavors of coffee that you might like. 

While the conventional taste of ground coffee beans will always trump its rivals, there is no denying that many people opt for flavoured coffee.

If you landed on this post, you're likely to be among the more adventurous coffee drinkers out there. You might even consider yourself an avid drinker of flavoured coffees.

If this sounds like you, then you may also be aware that platforms like Glasshouse Mountain Coffee remain the best providers of coffee information.

Barring the likes of them, in terms of coffee flavours, we've gone ahead and done a lot of the hard work for you.

Let's take a look at some of the most popular coffee flavours you can get your hands on.

Luxuriously Frugal Mother's Day Celebration


As a single mom without a spouse to do something nice for me for Mother's Day or to encourage my kids to do the same, and as someone with a non existent/terrible relationship with her mom, Mother's Day is a challenging day for me. I have another single mom friend in the exact same circumstances, and we decided that for Mother's day we would celebrate our motherhood, because it deserves to be celebrated, even if it means treating ourselves.

We ended up having quite a luxurious day, and at the same time, it was pretty frugal! Of course, it didn't cost nothing, but for what we did, it definitely was quite impressive how little we paid for how much and how fancy our celebration was.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

How To Make A Claim Against Someone Else's Car Insurance

Hopefully your car will stay whole and in great shape, but accidents happen, and when it is someone else's fault, you shouldn't need to shoulder the financial burden yourself. If someone else damages your car, here's how you can make a claim against their insurance.

A breezy, balmy drive to your office or perhaps a restaurant on weekends could become one of the worst days of your life. While your driving skills and expertise are enough to make sure you never hit another bumper, You can't say the same for other drivers. So what if someone just hits your car and entirely remodels the shape of it? The best way to manage it is by claiming someone else’s car insurance. And here’s how to do it.

While the process of claiming someone else’s car insurance is very simple, the other processes and factors that are needed before you file the claim make this process a very complicated mess. We’ll guide you through the entire process, taking into account all the possibilities so that you can be well prepared. First, let’s get some basics cleared out of the way.

Monday, May 2, 2022

7 Steps to Find a Balance Between Work and Family

A work-life balance is really hard to accomplish. If you're looking for some suggestions as to how to do this better, read for some tips from a reader.

Balancing work and family life can be a challenge for anyone. Both spheres of life are important and it is tricky to find time for each. It can be especially difficult for professionals who try to work from home because in such a case the boundaries are even more diluted.

It is all about prioritizing time and energy. This balance doesn’t always mean spending equal time on both, but rather making it matter anyway. Priorities might change with time, and one should be able to adjust the balance accordingly.

We’ve gathered the 7 best tips on how to achieve a healthy balance with help from Jooble experts and are ready to share them.

Applying for Disability

I had a long and exhausting day yesterday. No, it wasn't a day traipsing around in the hot sun on lots of errands carrying heavy bags. It was a day entirely at home, but no less exhausting.

I've got a bunch of different health issues. And I've been planning on applying for disability because of them for a while, since they really affect my ability to function and also cost me a lot of money as well. For the past year or so, I've been going from doctor appointment to doctor appointment, specialist to specialist, test to test, trying to figure out what is going on with my body and hopefully try to help it as well. And while I was there, I also got paperwork from the doctors with my medical issues so I can submit them for my disability claim. Some of the doctors I knew wouldn't be able to do anything for me, but just having them write what my issues are giving me more records to put in my disability claim, making it more likely for me to be approved.

The list of doctors/medical professionals I've been to since starting this process are: