Kitchen Tip Friday: A new spin on tuna!

Happy Friday the 13th! I hope everyone is having a super day :).
Today is Kitchen Tip Friday! I want to share a simple recipe that I actually just made myself for lunch. I am not sure where I got it from but I have been using it for a while. And It is the only way I eat tuna now. ( I know this picture does not look appetizing at all. However, I am not a professional photographer by any means. Plus, it’s tuna. How great can you make it look? Trust me though on the taste!)

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You will need the following ingredients for this recipe:
1 can of chunk light tuna in water
dijon mustard
vinegar ( I use either white or white wine vinegar. It is your preference.)
After you open the tuna and put it in a bowl, use a fork to break it up. I then put in about a tablespoon of dijon mustard and mix it together. You can add more or less depending on what you like. Then I put in the vinegar. I would suggest starting with a little bit, mixing it up, and then tasting it to see if it needs more. I love a lot of vinegar so I use about 2 tablespoons.
I then like to chop up olives and put them in. If I have capers on hand I will put that in too. Cheese is good chopped up in this. You can really add anything you feel would go with it. I then put the tuna in a whole wheat wrap and there is lunch!
This is very easy and it eliminates the use of mayonnaise. I tend to stay away from mayo because of the ingredients and how bad it is for you all around. I hope your next lunch is yummy!
If you have any questions you can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Writing 101 Challenge

Another writing challenge. The power of words. It keeps me grounded in this hectic life. Let’s see how this one goes. Be honest. I’d like feedback on this. A writer should always be open to critiques.

Here is the challenge:

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

 

As I held my wife’s hand, I glanced over at a woman perched so elegantly on a park bench. She seemed so deep in thought. Her gray hair pulled tightly back in a bun. Her glasses rested at the end of her nose. As we passed by, our eyes locked. Those crystal blue eyes. Grandma. I hadn’t thought about her in so long. She had been gone for a few years now. What I would give to hear her laugh again. To receive one of her hugs. To hear her stories. To wear that small read sweater one more time for her. I tried to hold it together, however, that one lone tear slipped through. I suddenly felt my wife’s embrace. It was a knowing one. An embrace that let me know it was alright to have the memories. We hugged for what seemed an eternity. We then started up our walk. I glanced back to get one last look. The woman was gone. All that was left was a silver knitting needle glistening in the sun. Grandma.

My husband and I were enjoying one of our lovely walks in the park. It was such a lovely late afternoon stroll. The sky was a perfect blue and there was not a cloud in the sky. I was watching a man play fetch with his dog when my husband gripped my hand just a little bit tighter. I looked over and watched the single tear slide downward. I then caught a glimpse of the woman. The knitted red sweater. I embraced him for I knew it was too much. He was trying to be strong but it was difficult. His grandma gave us this beautiful day. She was definitely with us.

He was my pride. Me was my joy. He still is. My one and only grandchild. What a smart and handsome young man he has grown up to be. I watch him every day. I wonder if he notices. I hope he knows how much he means to me still. For all of eternity he is my precious little man. Our eyes locked. Does he recognize the eyes? I let out a gasp. I need to move on for today. Oh how I love my boy. I will leave a piece of me here so that he knows my love lives on forever. I love you.

 

I hope you all enjoyed it! :)

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Any type of mom is a wonderful mom!

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I know this is a topic that has been discussed consistently. However, when it comes to working moms and stay at home moms, my motto is: We all need to stick together!

The idea for today’s post came from this article. It is a letter from a stay at home mom to a working mom and then vice versa. Each letter had such a powerful message in it. The stigma of both types of moms needs to be eradicated. Mostly, people need to mind their own business.

I am a stay at home mom, by choice, and I cannot tell you the countless times I have had people say things to my face that make my blood boil. I do not know if they are said as a joke or they are serious. People need to think before they speak. No, I do not have time to get manicures and pedicures all the time (I just got one this weekend and it was the first time since December. No joke!). I do not have time to catch up on my DVR during the day (My DVR is actually at almost full capacity from not being able to watch my favorites). My house is not the tidiest (It is clean but there are certainly things everywhere). My time is very limited. It is all about my love!

Now, with that being said, I have been in the presence of women who are working moms and I have overheard people making comments about that. One of the classics is “Oh, don’t you hate leaving them with someone else all week long?”. The person asking the question has this look of sorrow on their face. Umm, I think working moms think this all the time. Why don’t you rub it in their face even more. (If you can’t guess, that was pure sarcasm.) Another one is “You must love being at work. At least you get some time to yourself.” While I am not saying this is a false statement, I am sure most working moms would rather be with their little ones. I heard this one time and I almost had to laugh because the person was dead serious:”At least you only have to spend a few hours being mommy. Then you get the rest of the night to yourself.”. Really? I stood there with my mouth open. How can anyone say that to a working mom? Unbelievable!

A common phrase comes to mind: Think before you speak. Everyone makes their own decision to be either a stay at home or a working mother. The rest of the world does not need to make their decision any harder than it has to be. To all of you moms, no matter what course in life you choose, you are doing a wonderful job. And your children will thank you one day for it. That is the only thing that matters.

A money saving tip

Happy Monday!

I mentioned in my post from Friday that I love olives, pickles, capers, etc. as a snack. I love the saltiness and pairing these with cheese just clinches the deal for me. Unfortunately, these items can be very pricey when bought off the shelves. I have priced a jar of capers at $9.99. And the jar is usually 3 ounces! Kalamata olives are pretty expensive as well. Pickles you can get at a decent price. However, most of the brands on the shelves use yellow dye to make the pickles look yellowish. FYI: cucumbers are not yellow. They use the dye to make it look better to the customer.

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I don’t know if I am just late to the game, but I found a cheaper way to enjoy these tasty treats. Last week I made a pizza that included kalamata olives, capers, feta cheese, and sundried tomatoes. Now, if I had bought each of these items in a jar it probably would have cost me close to $30 just to make one night’s dinner. We might as well go out and eat if I am going to spend that much. Then I stumbled across the barrels of olives and pickles at the supermarket. You measure out the amount that you want yourself. They sell these items for $7.99 a pound.

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The pickles were large, so I needed to use one of the larger containers. They cost $3.14! I then moved onto the olives and pitted (yes pitted is so much easier to buy!) kalamata olives cost just $3.12. And it was about a half a pound! I measured out about a half of a pound of capers and they were less than $3!

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I have never been so excited to find a money saving technique at the supermarket! I know I have read stories about how these barrels the foods are kept in are not extremely sanitary. However, I have seen these barrels being cleaned every time I frequent this store. Plus, I would be really disappointed if I found out otherwise :(.

I hope you enjoyed this money saving tip! Let me know how you save at the supermarket. Or anywhere as a matter of fact!

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Kitchen Tip Friday: Capers

Happy Friday!! You know what that means!! It’s Kitchen Tip Friday :).

Today’s post is not really a tip as it is an explanation. So here is my first question: Who likes capers? They are one of my favorite things to snack on. I can have pickles, olives, capers, and cheese as a snack. I love the saltiness and anything with vinegar is delicious in my book.

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Now, on to my next question: Has anyone ever thought about what a caper is? I eat them all the time and just recently I was looking at them. I realized I don’t even know what it is. Well, this article explains it all. In short, capers are pickled flower buds. Crazy huh?

You can read the article for more information on capers. They even give you some great ideas on how to use capers in your recipes. If you have never tried a caper, please do so. You don’t know what you are missing :).

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Summer TV here we come!

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Happy Thursday! ! Only one more day and then the weekend!
Who loves summer TV as much as I do? I am a glutton for those sappy and easy on the brain reality shows. Hell’s Kitchen is one of my favorites. The way Gordon Ramsay runs his kitchen is awesome! I always love his other shows Kitchen Nightmares and Hotel Hell.

It is sad to say, but I am hugely addicted to Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I know.  I know. I can hear the collective groans from across my readers. It really is such an annoying show to watch. But I can’t help it. I am sucked into their world every Sunday night for some reason. I guess old habits die hard.

Million Dollar Listing New York on Bravo is another favorite. Not only do I love seeing New York real estate at its finest, but I love the real estate agents. I love them all and Ryan and Luis are not bad to look at :).

Falling Skies on TNT comes back at the end of June. This show is good but so strange at the same time. I just want to know how this is all going to work out. Give it a try. You’ll see.

I can keep going on and on about the different summer shows that I watch. However, we would be here awhile. Here is a link to these shows and many others. I am sure this list doesn’t include everything ( I know my TLC shows are not included).

Oh, just one more referral before I go. A friend of mine is on the show called The People’s Couch. This show is  on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern Time on Bravo. I highly recommend it. It is quite funny and entertaining. You’ll thank me later on :).

Happy Summer TV Watching!

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Just a little R&R with the Great Wolf

Wow! It has been a while since my last post!  I hope everyone has been enjoying this gorgeous weather! The reason for my hiatus was a wonderful family trip!

Today I want to let you know of one of the best family vacation places I have ever been to. We took our little guy to The Great Wolf Lodge in Pennsylvania. There are 12 locations throughout the United States, so it is accessible to everyone. The Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor water park. I definitely recommend it for anyone with kids 15 and younger. Older teens and adults can go as well, however, it will probably hold the younger sets interest longer.

My first impression of The Great Wolf Lodge was how clean it is. Now, for fellow germ freaks, this is high on our list when choosing a place to vacation. I looked high and low and I could find very little dirt and just over all grossness. (One part that did bother me was walking barefoot in the pool area. That is my own problem, though, and not something I would attribute to the lodge. I need to get pool shoes next time!!)

If you have little ones between the ages of 1 and 10 then you should look no further because this is the place for you! There are so many activities to do with them during your stay. In the waterpark that I mentioned before there is a wave pool where waves are created every 5 minutes (if you stay near the “shore”, the waves are very minimal). They also have a lazy river, slides of different heights, and a kiddie spray pool that is no more than 2 feet deep. If you get tired of the waterpark, there are so many activities planned throughout the day. They have characters walk around the resort 3 times a day. In the lobby there are bingo games, balloon shape makers, and face painting 2 or 3 times a day. At night, the resort has a show with the main characters of the resort and a bed time story is read after the show. They have shows at 8 and 9 p.m.

The resort even has different level passes you can buy. These passes allow your little ones to enjoy all of the amenities of the resort at a lower cost to you! We got the Pup Pass, which is great for kids 5 and younger. My little one got to create his own stuffed Bear (think Build-A-Bear), we colored a T-shirt (and by we, I mean my husband and I). He also got a pair of goggles  and a few smaller treats. This was all for $39.99. I believe the bear alone was $39.99. So all in all, it was a great deal! They have more expensive passes and they are more ideal for the older set.

I have just one negative thing to say about this place. The price of food at the Loose Moose Cottage (basically their only restaurant to sit and eat) was pretty expensive. For the 3 of us to eat at the buffet style restaurant, it cost $60. That was definitely costly. I know food is pretty expensive at most resorts, so it is not like they are more expensive than other places. They are just too expensive for me :). The following night we found a Friendly’s a mile away and had breakfast and dinner there. They also have little places to get burgers, chicken fingers, and fries near the pools. We ordered that for lunch both days.

I hope you decide to spend a few days at a Great Wolf Lodge near you! I also recommend staying just 2 or 3 nights. It gives you a chance to see everything and not have a complete meltdown from your little ones! Comment or email me if you have any questions :).

Here are some pictures of the resort. Enjoy!

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“Diet” Coke….Misleading or truth?

I happen to come across a bottle of Diet Coke the other day. I am sure you are wondering what I was even doing by one of these. I was food shopping and I was curious to see what was in it. I can tell you with 100% honesty that I have only tried soda once in my life. That’s right, only once. And I can still remember the taste. It is engraved in my taste buds’ memories. It is certainly not a pleasant one at all.

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So here I was, looking at a Can of Diet Coke. Of course, my son thought it was something shiny to play with and wanted to shake it. That would have been hysterical. Anyway, I looked at the ingredients and it is so true: There is nothing natural about this product. Every single ingredient was unnatural.  I don’t even know what they are to tell you the truth. I guess it is up to everyone individually to decide whether they will drink it. But I am not sure how someone can drink something with chemicals.  Here are the ingredients:

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carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium citrate, natural flavors, citric acid, and caffeine.

 

I also found this article that breaks down what each ingredient means. Again, no one should be told what to drink. However, this is just disgusting to me. There is nothing “diet” about it and it surely is misleading with its claim of zero calories.

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Hopefully this will inform those who may not realize what they are drinking.

Here are some healthy alternatives to help kick the soda habit! Enjoy :).

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Another 50 word Challenge

These fiction in 50 words challenges are the best! Here is my latest from  The Bookshelf Gargoyle:

A picture is worth a thousand words. You must have heard a million. A sigh. Tears. A smile. Fear. Confusion. Pure joy. Do you ever wonder how it all turns out? Those words you heard were the beginnings of something. Do you ever wonder: What comes after all of this?

 

This was inspired from a picture I posted a few days ago. Here it is:

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Enjoy!

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

A wonderful way to remember our fallen heroes

I hope everyone had an amazing three day weekend with family and friends. If you had to wind up working, I hope it was as stress free as possible!

I came across this wonderful story on the news yesterday and wanted to share it with all of you. It was about a woman who lost her son overseas. He was a soldier for the United States. She created a teddy bear out of her son’s uniform as a reminder of him. She now makes these bears by hand for other families who have lost someone in battle. According to the site, the family members do not have to pay anything for the bears.

I saw this and was practically in tears. She says that it helps her overcome her grief of losing her son. And she gets to put a smile on someone else’s face who is going through a similar situation.  Talk about amazing!

Here’s to hoping this put a smile on your face. Share with your friends! It is such a great cause!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.