Thursday, June 22, 2017

#Recipe Parmesan Chicken Yum!

Hey neighbors!

Recently, while the girls were gone on a trip, I made some Parmesan Chicken for just my husband and myself.  It turned out really well, so I thought I would share it here with you.  It was very simple to make and looks like you put a lot of time into it.

I started with two chicken breasts.

Pre-heat oven to 350.  In a small dish, large enough to put one piece of chicken breast in, I mixed up a few eggs.  In another dish the same size I mixed Parmesan Cheese, some garlic salt, and a small amount of an Italian Seasoning.

First step was to roll the chicken breast around in the eggs until it was covered on all sides.  Next roll the chicken in your Parmesan mixture, until well coated.  Place the chicken breast in a baking dish, I sprayed my with a non-stick spray.

Place your chicken in the pre-heated oven.  I baked mine for approx. 1 hour.  Base the time needed to cook on the size of the chicken breast.

Once your chicken is baked through, spoon some spaghetti sauce over the parmesan crusted chicken until covered as desired.  I smothered mine.  Next sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top and place back in the oven long enough to melt the cheese.

Remove from oven, add your side dish and serve.

Ingredient List
Chicken Breasts
Eggs -for 2 good size pieces of chicken I used 3 eggs
Parmesan Cheese
Garlic Salt
Italian Seasoning
Spaghetti Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese

My husband LOVED it.  I thought it came out pretty good too!  And, yes, we ate on paper plates!  We will be making it again soon!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Puppy Love: Caring For Your Pooch As He Ages!

They say that a dog is for life, and they couldn’t be more right. As any good owner knows, when you decide to bring a pooch (or any pet for that matter) into your family, they are part of your family for life. Some dog owners dump their pets as they get older and replace them with younger models, which is just awful. If you decide to take on a dog, you do so for life - you agree to take care of him through the good and the bad. This means understanding the importance of giving your dog plenty of love as he gets older, as well as providing him with the care that he needs.
With that in mind, the question is, how do you care for an aging dog? For everything that you need to know, read on.

Schedule regular check-ups with your vet
As dogs get older, they become more prone to a whole range of health problems. That's why regular check-ups with your vet are so important. Older dogs are at risk of gum disease and other oral problems, arthritis, kidney problems, eye problems, diabetes, and a whole range of other health complaints, which is why regular check-ups are so vital. Because the earlier a health problem is spotted, the easier it should be to treat.
Feed your pooch high-quality food
A lot of people don’t realize it, but what a dog eats has a big impact on their health, especially as they get older. That’s why it becomes even more important as your dog ages to feed him high-quality food. As well as picking food that is vet-approved, it’s also important to take your dog’s general health into consideration, as there are certain foods made for helping to manage different health conditions.
Ensure your dog is getting plenty of exercise
Even as your dog gets older, he still needs to get plenty of exercise. To help your dog to remain lean and to keep his joints and muscles healthy, make sure to exercise him regularly. When it comes to how many walks a day he needs and how long they should be, this will depend on the breed of dog. Smaller dogs tend to need less exercise, while larger dog breeds tend to need more daily exercise to remain healthy. While it is a good idea to exercise your dog regularly, what you don’t want to do is overdo it. For those walks when it all gets too much for your pooch, a pet stroller can come in handy. To determine which the best pet strollers are, go online and have a browse at all the options, to see which sounds like the best fit for your dog’s needs.
Give your pooch plenty of toys
There’s a common misconception that older dogs don’t like to play when actually that isn’t the case. To keep your dog occupied, make sure that he has plenty of toys to play with. From soft toys to balls, provide your dog with a selection of different toys to play with - he will be happier for it.

So there you have it, a guide to how to look after your pooch as he ages.

5 Cardinal Rules To Obey When Hosting Guests

People tend to experience a mix of emotions when it comes to hosting houseguests.

It’s good to be able to share your home with people you care about. It’s nice to be able to show off all the hard work you have done on the interior, and to receive people’s comments and feedback. It’s lovely to be able to sit together with friends and family, talking into the small hours without having to worry about closing time or organizing a designated driver. Those are all positive things.

On the other hand…

It’s difficult to cope with the feeling that your space is not yours anymore. It’s hard to have to tiptoe around your own home, especially if you get up earlier in the morning than your guests do. It can be exhausting having to cope with different requests for food, drinks, and sleeping arrangements. It can be stressful being responsible for the comfort of other people, especially when you care very much about their well-being.

So - bit of a mixed bag really!

Entertaining guests might have its stressful side, but for the most part, it can and should be enjoyable. To ensure things go as smoothly as possible the next time you play host, you just need to follow five simple rules…

Rule #1 - Bite Your Tongue

One of the toughest parts of hosting guests are those inevitable moments when it feels like tempers may flare. This can and does happen, especially if they are going to be staying with you for an extended period of time. As you’re all crowded into the same space, the lack of privacy and constant interaction can mean that eventually personalities begin to grate against one another.

However, arguments achieve nothing. It’s sometimes said that arguments allow you to vent frustrations so that you can return to an even keel, but this isn’t always the case. It’s a rather destructive way of venting frustration; it’s far healthier to just try and take some time apart so you can calm down.

As the host, it’s your responsibility - even moreso than the guests - to maintain a sense of peace and calm. So if they say or do something that annoys you, you’re going to have to bite your tongue. Take a minute to yourself in private and repeat the mantra to yourself that they will be gone soon and you’ll have your house back to yourself.

Is this easy? No - sometimes, it’s only when quasi-living with someone that you realize they have flaws and faults that have a propensity to drive you insane. However, you’ll just make life awkward for yourself if you allow yourself to snap - so learn to bend instead.

Rule #2 - Don’t Underestimate Comfort

The one thing guaranteed to put almost anyone in a bad mood is not having slept well. We’re all cranky when we’re tired or have spent the night tossing and turning, and your guests will be no different.

That’s why - for the sake of household harmony if nothing else - it’s worth making sure their sleeping arrangements are as comfortable as possible. If you’re short on space, you might find yourself rationalizing things you know - deep down - aren’t really okay. You will shrug and say the sofa will do for one night, or notice the guest pillows are a little deflated but, hey, it’s not like they’re going to be on them for long…

Shortcutting like this will inevitably lead to problems. It could lead to arguments as a result of sleep deprivation, but it could also just make you seem like a real bad hostess. So take some time to ensure you do the best with what you have available when it comes to where your guests will sleep.

That’s not to say that you immediately have to go out and spend a fortune on new furniture, or build an extension to hold a luxury guest room! Realistically, you should just ensure what you have available is as nice as can be. Are your guests going to have to spend the night on the couch? Fine - needs must and all, but make their stay better by providing Egyptian sheets and fluffy pillows to help soothe the inconvenience. Or, if the mattress on the guest bed is looking a little worse for wear, you could invest in a mattress topper that can provide a bit more support. These are simple fixes that won’t cost you a fortune, but could make everyone feel a lot happier.

Rule #3 - Be Specific On Food

When shopping for food for people you don’t usually buy for, you can find yourself whirling in circles as you try to cover everyone’s different likes and dislikes. As well as being irritating, this can also be very expensive.

That’s why it makes sense for everyone to agree to a planned menu (or at least that you’re going to go out for meals) prior to their trip. This is easily enough co-ordinated with a few emails. Be sure that you ask if anyone has any dietary restrictions; these are things you have to avoid for the sake of your guests’ health. Then you can ask for preferences or just an idea of things they don’t like.

It’s always worth having a couple of frozen pizzas in the freezer, just in case something you come up with is not to someone’s taste. Of course, you want your guests to feel welcome, but that doesn’t mean you have to slave over a personal a la carté menu every single evening. There has to be a limit, so working off a set plan - with a few back-ups in case someone objects - is by far the best way of managing everything.

Rule #4 - Set A “Wake Up” Time

As alluded to earlier, one of the most difficult things about having guests is that you feel like your house is no longer your own. If you’re struggling with insomnia, you don’t feel you quite have the freedom to go and watch TV for a half hour the way you usually would, because you don’t want to disturb your guests. That’s reasonable; that’s being a good, considerate host.

However, if you get up early in the morning to prepare for the day, then you shouldn’t feel the need to tiptoe around. That’s why it makes sense to always agree a specific “wake up” time with everyone, after which the noise in the house can proceed as it normally would. This is especially true if you’re going to be going out to work while hosting guests; you can’t compromise your ability to be on time just to allow them to have a lie in.

Agreeing this beforehand is a sensible idea even if you’re not working while they stay. You don’t want to find you (or them!) lingering around of a morning, wondering when the other party is going to get up and start the day. An agreed time means that you avoid all these potential issues, so it’s well worth taking the time to do it.

Rule #5 - No Go Zones

While to an extent hosting guests is all about opening up your home to share with others, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon all pretense of privacy for the duration of their stay. We all have areas of our house we’d rather not share - our bedroom for one - and that’s why it’s worth establishing “no go” areas.

While it might work fine on paper, doing this can be a little bit tricky. For one thing, in a way, it presumes that your guests are going to try and nosy through your house, poking into every room. That’s how they will feel when you ward them off a specific area; it could immediately make them mutter “I wasn’t going to do that anyway” - and then everything is just awkward.

So how do you balance the need for “no go” zones without actually having to have a conversation about them? Locks.

Unless you live in a mansion with a thousand bedrooms, installed locks on the rooms you don’t want to be ventured into by guests is the easiest way to manage this issue. For one thing, they’re not going to know that you installed the locks specifically for their visit. They might just assume that the doors have always been like that.

Secondly, it’s relatively inexpensive to do. With the locks installed, you have clear boundaries of where it is and isn’t okay for guests to venture in your home. This should make you feel more relaxed, and you don’t have to deal with the awkwardness of the conversation.

Hosting guests is rarely easy, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a living nightmare. Follow the steps above, outline clear borders, and ensure they know how you expect them to behave in your home. If they do, then you will have the freedom and space to dedicate yourself to making sure their stay is a pleasant one and their needs are met. Happy hosting!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

5 Tips For When You’re Moving To a New City For Work

There’s nothing quite as exciting as being offered a new job in an entirely new city. Unfortunately, this excitement is divided into the good and bad. On the one hand, you’ve got a job that must have interested you enough to accept it. On the other hand,’re moving to a city, and there’s always a risk attached to that. Below, we outline five ways you can make your move a success. Throw in a bit of luck, and it might be the best decision you ever made!

Cost of Living

First thing’s first: you need to know how much the cost of living is in the city you are going to move to. If you’re moving from a small country town to a big city, then you’ll already know it’s going to be more expensive; but it’s important you know specifically how much more expensive. Doing so will enable you to figure out how much rent you can afford, whether you’ll be able to have a car or will have to only use public transport, and so on.

Finding the Right Place

You probably don’t know the city that you’re going to live in very well, but you’ll have to understand it a little if you’re going to find a place to live. Speak to the other employees at the company where you will work, and see where they live or ask where they would recommend. Also, make use of the information found at online rental sites., for instance, let’s would-be renters browse apartments by their requirements, such as apartments for business professionals, value seekers, and so on. If possible, it’s a good idea to spend some time in the neighborhood you will live in before committing to the place.

For the Family

You might not be the only one moving. If you have a family, then do some research to see how they’ll fit into their new surroundings. Of course, things like schools and jobs are important, but you should also look at the fun things they might like to do. The move will go much smoother for everyone if they’re excited about getting to their new home.

Give Yourself Time

Time and patience are the key when it comes to moving to a new city. You need to give yourself plenty of time before the move to take care of everything, including finding somewhere to live and transporting your belongings from your current home to the new. And then you need patience when you arrive: it’ll take a while for your new city to feel like home, and you might have to wait a while before you feel comfortable.

Throw Yourself into the Life

It won’t all be easy, but you can make it easier by having a positive attitude and throwing yourself into your life in your new city. Hit the tourist sights, go to social events, and treat the move like an adventure. The longer you are there, the more comfortable you will feel.

Eeeek! Animals In The Attic

For many homeowners, this is their worst nightmare. They hate the idea that one day they could venture up into the attic and find something living there. This could be anything from a bird that has built a nice little nest to a bat hanging in the rafters. It could even be a squirrel or some other pest that has crawled over your roof. But before we get into what you need to do about this situation, you have to consider how it happened in the first place. By doing this, you should be able to avoid ever encountering this possibility again.
The Access Point
The access point is typically going to be a hole in the roof. Now, you might say, how could there possibly be a hole in my roof without me realizing it. Well, you would certainly be surprised. A hole in the roof might be the result of a storm. If you don’t get a roof inspection after a storm has passed, there could be serious, severe damage that you haven’t spotted at all. Think about it, how often do you check your roof for issues?

The other possibility is that you knew about the hole and did nothing. You should always use a local roofer to repair the hole, particularly if it’s large enough for an animal to fly through. You might think that means quite a large hole, but it doesn’t have to. You’d be surprised how small a hole can be for an animal to squeeze in.
The Signs

You might be wondering about the signs that there’s an animal living in your roof. Well, you probably won’t see it fly in and out unless you’re very lucky. You might not even see it when you’re up in the attic. An animal won’t typically build it’s home in a place that will be easy to spot. But, you could certainly hear it. For instance, if there’s a bird's nest up there, there will also be chicks, and they tend to tweet. Other animals might scratch on the wood and don’t forget that most are nocturnal. So, late at night if you hear movement above you, it probably means you have a house guest.
Getting Rid Of The Animal
It’s important to be as humane as possible when removing an animal from your home. As such, it is best to call in the expert to complete the job for you, rather than doing it yourself. If only for the reason that approaching an animal, any animal can be quite dangerous if you don’t have the right training.

Of course, it’s possible that the animal is in a place that isn’t accessible to you and in some places it’s even illegal to disturb an active birds nest! Thus, you may want to leave well alone and just let the bird live there until it’s ready to move on. Or, you can wait until breeding time is over, just after September, and complete the repairs, blocking the animals from coming back.
The main thing to remember here is that while noise is annoying, typically an animal like this nesting in your attic isn’t a major issue. But you can still prevent it by keeping your roof in fantastic condition.

How To Make Your Garden Come Alive

If you love your garden, but you feel like there is something missing - now is the time to do something about it. It isn't always easy to maintain a garden, especially if it's fully overgrown like a jungle. Don't let this dishearten you, just because it will take a little more time than you had hoped - doesn't mean it's not worth it.
The sooner you clean your garden up - the sooner you can start adding the special touches that will make it come alive.
Here's what you need to do.

Maples, amongst other varieties of Japanese trees, are a magical way to add movement to your backyard (if you have the space that is!) They have been shaped, twisted, distorted and blown by the wind over hundreds of years, which gives them each that unique look.
Although you can order these online, it wouldn't be wise - it's a lot better to buy them from professionals who have handpicked each tree. It may cost more, but it will save you a lot of money in the future because you won't have to be cashing out on qualified pruners and shapers every other week.

Wooden decking
Wood is a lovely feature to add to a garden because it's sticking to the natural elements while adding something new. If there's an area that you sit in regularly - maybe even host barbecues there - then some decking would work just perfect.
There are so many different types of wood out there you will be spoilt for choice. Beech, mahogany, cherry, oak and more. So decide on the shade and style you would like, then you could add some small features to match. When dealing with wood, you should take appropriate action so it gets all the love it needs. Sites like have a range of organic products to oil, cream and wax your wood so it stays looking as good as new.

If you want your garden to have that wow factor, then add a striking piece of art. This can be anything from a sculpture to a water fountain.
If you're interested in a unique sculpture, then instead of shopping at your commercial mall - go to local stores that make handmade pieces. Sure, they may cost a little more, but you know that they have been made with absolute love and care, and no two pieces are identical. It's also nice to support a local artist instead of just giving your money to a shop assistant.
Water features are another beautiful thing to add because not only is it creating a visual stimulant, but you are welcoming more wildlife to your garden like pretty little birds, honey bees, and even dragonflies if you get lucky!

Now you have some ideas, think of what you would like to add to your garden. Remember that this is your sanctuary, and it's somewhere you want to feel calm and relaxed in, so bear this in mind when coming up with those special touches to add.

You'll find your family and friends wanting to visit more often just so they can sit in your garden and have a break.

Monday, June 19, 2017

DIY Crafts That You Can Do To Spruce Up Your Home

If your home needs sprucing up a little, but you're tired of all the commercially styled things out there for sale, then why not take it amongst yourself to create your own interesting pieces? Items that nobody else will have in the world because it's been uniquely put together by you.
Here are some ideas to get your mind flowing.

There are so many fascinating ways you can make light shades and holders. You can use virtually anything you have lying around your home. A good place to look is in the recycling. Plastic and cardboard are great to cut up into pieces and stick back together in an intricate way, in order to make patterns. You can make a light shade out of plastic spoons or folded up card, and the results are incredible, leaving your wall painted in shadows!
If you are a candle lover, then glass bottles and jars work wonderfully with a flame. Decorate a mason jar with paint, leaving out some areas. When you place a candle inside, you will see how the light breaks through the gaps you left, leaving a magical glow. These work wonders in a garden too, as well as any room.

Art structure
If you fancy your hand at sculpting, now's a better time than any to explore. Whatever medium you would like to work with, it's important to familiarize yourself with it and get a full understanding of how to manipulate it. If you wanted to work with metal, for example, you will need to have all the suitable welding supplies that give you the ability to heat it up, bend it and cut it however you see fit.
Your sculpture doesn't necessarily have to look like anything in particular. You can just class it as an abstract piece, and then people can interpret it however they want!

If you consider yourself a bit of an artist, then why not whip out the paints and choose your canvas? This could be a literal canvas, or you could use a wall instead. It's your house, so if you want to go wild on the boring wall in your living room - go for it!
If you want something quite detailed, you may want to plan a little beforehand on a smaller scale, like in a sketch pad. Then once you know how you're going to proceed, you can do so for real.
If you prefer not to plan, that's fine too. Let go and see what your creative juices allow you to do. Put on some inspiring music, clear your mind and paint a whole new world.

Now you have some ideas; you can start thinking about what you'd like to do. Remember, there are no restrictions because it's your home and you can do what you like. So do some research, browse through more ideas and then start experimenting.

You may end up making a deliciously stunning wooden chair, that catches the eye of someone, and they commission you to make them something! - Who knows where this could go…