Better than Take Out Fried Rice!

I always feel bad throwing out leftover cooked rice that as gotten hard. You know the type. Maybe you ordered take out and while leftovers for the next day seem fine, the rice is hard as a rock and no matter how much you microwave it, it never comes back to what it once was? This recipe uses that to make something absolutely delicious and once you prep everything it’s super easy to assemble. It easily serves four people and at 394 calories for a big bowl, this is a winning recipe for me.

I also used a little metal sakura flower cut out to make the bigger pieces of carrot look cute. This is a nice trick to try if you have little ones who are prone to not wanting to eat their veggies.

I found this recipe on Gimme Some Oven if you want to view the original recipe, and this post also contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one and purchase something, I get a small commission. Thank you! 😀 Read more

What I Think Everyone Needs to Know About College

NOT going to college was NOT an option for me in my home. I remember that my sisters and I were not allowed to pick the “Skip College and Go to Career” option when playing The Game of Life.

I think it’s absolutely wrong that most 18-year-olds are pressured with picking something they want to major in and do for the rest of their lives. Most people would not force their 18-year-old to marry in America. We’d tell them they’re too young, but when it comes to picking a career choice somehow it’s completely acceptable to think that a child understands enough about themselves to pick a career they’re going to want to wake up to every day.

Growing up I was really sheltered, REALLY REALLY SHELTERED. I was homeschooled, I didn’t have really any neighborhood friends (because I started getting picked on as to why I wasn’t allowed to go to a public school), and my only other form of social interaction with the outside world was my church….which isn’t the best example of what real life is like *thank God*. Being the oldest in my family, I didn’t have many years of play and was given a lot of responsibility. I helped my mother with her home daycare, I often was expected to teach myself in home school, I was asked to help my sisters, I was expected to do chores beyond what was normal because chores often tied in with the daycare. It was a lot for a kid. I didn’t have time to play really. I knew I liked art and writing, but beyond that, there wasn’t much exploration of my life unless it could be done in the confines of my home.

As graduation approached the pressure to chose a career was heavy and it caused me a lot of stress. I wanted to take a year off to just get my bearings, but my parents weren’t going to have anything of it. I was able to get into a University (with a scholarship), but I still had no idea what I wanted to major in *because I hadn’t gotten to understand what I even wanted in life*. My mother wanted me to be a doctor, but the truth is, I know for a fact that wouldn’t have made me happy. The pressure I felt between the desire to find something I loved and could live with as my major coupled with my parents pressuring me to be a doctor lead to some severe depression. I stopped going to class and eventually dropped out with the promise that I would eventually go back….12 years later that hasn’t happened.

I recently thought of going back to get a degree in psychology, only to find myself crying in my therapists office saying things like “This isn’t coming from a place of ‘I want a degree for me’ but rather to insulate myself from all the negative life things that may or may not happen in my life if I DON’T get a degree!”.

So what is my first piece of advice:

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Top 10 Sleep Tips from an Insomniac

Hello. My name is Heather…and I’m an insomniac. I have been since I was a baby. My mother told me stories of how she would check on me in the middle of the night and I’d just be sitting there not crying, or upset, but just ready to wake up at 2 am and start playing. She thought I would grow out of this, but that just never happened. I can recount numerous times as a child laying in my bed and watching the moon through my window blinds slowly move across the sky. My days were full of exhaustion but then at night, I was wide awake.

I started to see this as a serious problem in college. I couldn’t afford to see a professional doctor about it, so I started searching online on what I could do. Now, I’m about to be 35 and I’ve learned how to work with it. Sleepless nights still happen, but they are much rarer and when they come up I have ways of managing it. Hopefully, if you’re going through the same problems these tips will help you. As a disclaimer, I’m not a doctor and if you think this is medically related you should see a doctor. I’m just telling you what worked for me.

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Super Easy and Delicious Lemon Chicken Picatta

I am not a fan of chicken. I don’t know why, maybe because everything tastes like chicken, or because it’s one of the few animals in America where you can buy a whole one at the grocery store and disassemble it yourself which my mother often did and it freaked me out. Whatever the reason, it’s just not my favorite thing to eat. I mean I will, if that’s the only thing on the menu, but it’s not my first choices. All that to say, if I’m putting a chicken recipe on my blog, you better believe that I found it to be mind-blowing. So I am very happy to bring you this Easy Lemon Chicken Piccatta which I found on Chunky Chef.

The first thing going for this is that it’s a pasta recipe, and I’m a fan of all things carbs. The next thing is the spices that go into this chicken are delicious and lemony which is perfect for a summertime dish. Next, it uses capers which is a new food I realized I really enjoy, and it pairs extremely well with even a cheap bottle of chardonnay which is mostly what I get. Lastly, the leftovers even taste great! So this is an all-around win!

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What it’s Really Like to be a Blogger

Being a blogger is hard but very rewarding work! It’s a far cry from the movie Julie and Julia or Sex in the City where people just type happily away on their laptops. Blogging is like running a one-man magazine. Pictures have to be taken and edited properly. If I’m making a video that is also going to take a LOT of time. I’m busy from the time I get up, to the time I go to bed making sure my blog represents me well.

So before you start up your blog here are some snippets from my own life and what it’s been like so far as a professional blogger.

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How to make a Summer Cocktail Wreath!

If you’re looking for a fun and simple project to help you celebrate summer, then this might be for you!

When I think of Summer, I think of hot days, cold pools and sipping a nice mixed tropical drink (preferably the ones with the little umberrellas with fruit. Growing up in Florida this was easy to come by, but now I live in Massachusetts which means it’s cold at least six months out of the year!

Just because I’m not in the tropics doesn’t mean I can’t have fun and celebrate summer when it gets here. So this delightful cocktail umbrella wreath is perfect!

I’ve been seeing this circulate on Pinterest for a while now, and every year I promise myself I’m going to make it. This year, I made good on that promise. While it can be time-consuming to make, it’s also cheap and pretty relaxing. I was able to find all the materials either online, or I had them on hand anyway. The most time-consuming part was breaking down the umbrellas so that I could use them properly. While this was fun and fairly easy to make, I wouldn’t suggest it as a child’s project because you’ll need the use of a hot glue gun and scissors.

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Filed Under: DIY

My Top Ten Summer Self Care Tips

I’m one of those people who likes to have the house all open when it’s like 90 degrees out. For me, I know that I have at least 6 months of cool to frigidly cold weather waiting for me once fall starts, so I try to drink in as much of the heat as I can when it’s available. It also helps lift my mood considerably when it’s warm out.

My Self Care List is completely different from Winter to Summer. So here are my absolute must-haves to spoil myself. I’ve included affiliate links in case you want to add any of these ideas to your special summer and I earn a small commission if you decide to get anything. I’ve also included some affiliate links of things I think will help. If you click and buy something from them, I get a small commission. Thank you!

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Beach Bound Summer Nail Tutorial

I really love doing my own nails. I like the whole process of putting on something fun to watch and then buffing them and painting them. I also love doing nail art which means that I either have to shell out a lot of money at the nail salon, or I learn how to do it myself. I found Moyou London and their nail stamps and I’ve been a fan ever since. The plates are reusable, you can use your own nail polish (so long as it’s highly pigmented) and they’re always coming out with new stuff. I have several plates from them and consider it as self-imposed rest because I can’t do anything until my nails are dry.

Summertime is TONS of fun not just for the warm weather, but because you can use really bright fun colors for polishes. Today I’m going to show you how to get a fun summer look using a couple of techniques as well as a nail plate and stamp from Moyou, and you know it’s good because they’re not paying me to say anything. I am using some Amazon affiliate links which means if you like what you see and you click and buy from them, I get a small commission (thank you!).

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The Most Amazing Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Cream

I feel like seafood and summer go hand in hand. When I think of summer, I actually don’t think of burgers right away. Instead, I think of margaritas with fish and lemon, or shrimp and pasta. I also think of Mexican food which probably comes from my Florida roots. This recipe featured on the food blog Garnish with Lemon.

The recipe is fairly simple to make. The only thing that takes time is the sauce which needs to sit in the fridge for an hour, but that can be assembled early in the day and forgot about. I use frozen shrimp for convenience, but you can of course always use fresh. If you’re looking to bulk out your tacos a bit, I’d suggest cheese, and lettuce, though I personally think they taste great just as they are.

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Ultimate Packing List for Transatlantic Flights!

I have been on the other side of this planet twice so far. I’ve been to Japan, Malaysia and Australia (all beautiful countries by the way). I love traveling, but packing can be a real problem and I always feel like I’ve forgotten something, and then there are all those rules on what you can and can’t bring on a flight! I’m also not always able to access my carry on luggage so, I’ve thought of some ways to organize my luggage to make everything easy and accessible to me while on a flight.

Let’s talk about checked luggage first. Usually, this is one big bag. In here, you are going to want to pack all of your clothes, toiletries, your makeup, shoes, swimsuits, an empty purse. DO NOT pack your laptop. You’re not allowed to lock your baggage and with all those hands making sure it gets to your destination, I wouldn’t put anything in there, that I didn’t want to lose. Let me put it this way. If Kris Jenner can have things stolen from her suitcase on the way to Vienna, there’s no promise your stuff won’t get stolen too.

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