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Not fail at gardening, you will not! With these amazing ways, you will get to enjoy your garden this season!

Since 2014 I decided that I wanted to start a garden and grow my own food. I was full force into my frugal journey and gardening was my next home adventure.

Gardening was something I decided to do because I wanted to save money on groceries, I wanted to get a little bit of self-sufficiency.

Keep in mind that I've never grown anything in my life. My grandparents in Puerto Rico grew a majority of their own food, but we never managed to pay attention to that.

Starting a garden was something that I wanted to do and set my mind to do that year.

What I didn't anticipate was how much I was going to love it.

I loved how much money I saved.

I loved that these delicious vegetables tasted even better than store bought.

Not only did my garden brought me joy, it brought others joy as well.

The benefits of gardening are amazing, and even as a beginner gardener, I was able to enjoy my garden to the fullest.

I'm not going to lie and say that I wasn't worried that I was going to end up killing my plants.

Before starting my garden last year, I did my research. I Googled a lot about gardening, but still, I was afraid that I was going to fail miserably when it came to my garden.

Did I make some beginner gardening mistakes?

Absolutely, and I'm pretty sure that I will make some beginner gardener mistakes this year too!

That doesn't mean that I will not try it again. For that reason alone, I wrote this post How Not To Fail At Gardening, to helps us beginner gardeners to successfully grow our gardens this year without fear.

How Not To Fail At Gardening Create a gardening plan for beginner gardeners

If this is your first year at attempting to grow something green, then you need to start your gardening plans. Write what you want and start researching.

Stick to small

As much as we imagine our beautiful gardens to be and how many vegetables we want, the reality is that we need to stick to starting a small garden.

Gardening requires work, and if you don't have space nor the time to invest in a big garden, I suggest you start small.

Research what you want to plant

Don't plant plants that require a lot of work. Each plant requires different care. They require different amounts of sunlight and different temperatures. Some plants are great for summer, and others for fall. Not sure what to plant as a beginner gardener?

Start with these:

  • Lettuce – I planted a few of these last year and throughout the season. I followed the instructions on the seed packet and did extremely good with them. I have to admit that nothing beats a fresh salad from the garden.
  • Peppers – Again, I grew pepper plants last year and did very well. This is something that if I can do, anyone else can.
  • Tomatoes – I was impressed with the number of tomatoes we harvested last year. We even made homemade tomato sauce.
  • Herbs – I have to group this because I bought my herbs from the Dollar Tree, and that was the best investment ever.
Location, location, LOCATION!

If you want your garden to thrive, you must know where to set it. First, let me just say that you need to place your garden where it can be seen. Out of sight, out of mind.

You need to make sure you tend to your garden, remove any weeds, and pest regularly. Also, remember that depending on what you're planting, sunlight and the amount it gets is important. Placing your garden where the sun doesn't shine (LOL – grow up!), will not help your plants.

Another important thing to remember when setting your garden, make sure you are close to water. Don't place your garden in the back of the house, and your hose is in the front of the house. This will make for hard work my friend.

Learn about companion planting 

I learned about companion planting my first year of gardening and honestly, I didn't know about this at all. Thanks to planning and researching, I was so glad I did. Companion planting means growing plants together that are alike or are a benefit to each other.

Because we are beginner gardeners, companion planting may sound complicated, but thanks to the internet, we are able to find charts that show us and informs us about which plant goes with who and why.

For this reason, I found this great reference guide for companion planting to help you with your garden. You can check it out here. This is very important information to know before you start planting your garden.

Gardening is such a great thing to do and I encourage you to at least start small. Gardening saves you money, it's good for you and your family. With these tips, you can succeed at starting your own garden for the first time.

To help you get started with your gardening adventure and help you not fail this season we are offering a free gardening course for beginners. To get this email course simply sign up using your email address!

When it comes to gardening, what other helpful tips do you have to not fail at gardening?

Love gardening posts? Check these posts out:

Click the image and grab your download.

The post 5 Ways To Not Fail At Gardening This Season appeared first on My Stay At Home Adventures.

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You are going to save time and money with these everyday kitchen saving tips.

We love to save money, and when it comes to the time we spend in the kitchen, we love to cut it down as well.

I enjoy my home adventures, but that doesn’t mean it revolves around spending tons of money and time in the kitchen.

I love to cook, and when we have gatherings, we love to gather around the kitchen.

Since becoming a stay at home mom, I have to admit that my everyday life in the kitchen has evolved, and today I want to share my everyday kitchen saving tips to help you as well!

It is no secret that I love to live below my means, save money, and spend time with my family.

It is a passion of mine, and as my family continues to grow, finding ways to save time in the kitchen and enjoy more time with my family is a priority.

From getting dinner on the table to cooking and cleaning, my kitchen can basically suck up my time.

The truth is that having a routine can help you and below I will show you my kitchen saving tips that will help you as well so you can spend more time with your family.

8 Simple Everyday Kitchen Saving Tips That Works! Meal Plan

One essential kitchen saving tip is to have a meal plan for each day of the week.

You see having a meal plan has worked for not just myself, but for many other families for many years.

Why?

Because meal plans help to save money and reduce the time you spent in the kitchen.

How?

Below are a few reasons how a weekly meal plan helps:

Follow these steps and you will see a reduction in your grocery budget:

Create a meal plan using your store ads.

Use coupons to save money on items in your menu plan.

Create a shopping list with items on your menu plan and create a shopping list.

Use money saving apps when you go shopping to save even more money.

If you need more tips check out this guide to easy meal prepping for more tips.

Freezer Cooking

What is freezer cooking?

Freezer cooking is freezing a meal and/or ingredients for the future. By doing this, you will save time in the kitchen. To do this, you can:

  • Double a cooking batch
  • Doing it in bulk
  • Freezing leftovers

Again, this will save you time in the kitchen and will save you money. There are also plenty of foods that you can freeze to help you save time and money as well.

Stock your freezer

Having your freezer full goes hand in hand with freezer cooking and having a well stocked up freezer is a helpful kitchen saving tip I follow.

Having a stocked up freezer allows me to know what meal is going to be cooked by knowing what items I have in my freezer. Having an empty freezer means trips to the stores.

Check out My FreezEasy to help you stock your freezer!

Stock up your pantry

Buying items on sales, using coupons, and using money-saving apps allow us to stock up our pantry essentials with things our family uses.

Having your pantry full of the essentials you need cuts down on time because you don’t have to go to the store and money because you stock up when the items are on sale.

Prep your dinner ahead

There are many ways you can prepare your dinner ahead during the day. You can start during the morning and start cutting vegetables in the morning and have your seasoning set out aside. When it is time making dinner, you will have what you need available for you.

Use simple recipes

Another common kitchen saving tip is to create simple recipes for your family. You will find fast and delicious recipes that the family will enjoy that are so simple to create.

Meals like:

  • One pot recipes
  • Using the slow cooker
  • Some soups recipes
  • Some pasta recipes

Meals that are so simple and delicious and won’t make you spend so much time in the kitchen.

Use the internet

The internet is your friend and full of information that will help you reduce the time and money you spend in the kitchen.

Look for recipes and resources that will help you save money and cut the time you and your family spend in the kitchen.

Clean as you go

You will be surprised how many people don’t clean as they go, and for this task, having the right tools for the job makes cleaning and picking up my kitchen a smooth one.

Cleaning as you prepare your meals will help you reduce the time you spend in the kitchen.

Having good quality products to maintain the everyday cleaning of your kitchen is essential as well.

Who wants to spend more time in the kitchen and using products that just don’t work nor do they work fast enough.

Taking out the trash requires for us to have good quality kitchen trash bags. There is nothing more we dislike than taking our kitchen trash out and having a bag tear open or for the trash odor to overwhelm the entire house.

Using a good cleaner that will get the job done will cut down on the time you spend cleaning.

Your time in the kitchen doesn’t have to be dreaded nor long. By simply following this daily kitchen saving tips you will be able to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your family.

Remember that planning, keeping stock, and using quality products to keep your everyday kitchen routine going will lead to less time in the kitchen.

What other tips do you have to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with the family?

The post 8 Simple Everyday Kitchen Saving Tips That Works! appeared first on My Stay At Home Adventures.

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This Arroz con Gandules Instant Pot Recipe is amazing and so easy to make your family is going to love it, so let's begin, shall we?

It is so full of flavor, and you are going to learn why many Puerto Ricans enjoying eating this delicious recipe.

What I love about this Instant Pot Arroz con Gandules recipe is that it is an easy meal and when I’m busy all I have to do is add the ingredients and let my instant cooker do the rest.

Now, this feeds our family of 6 so keep that in mind if you are using a Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker this will work too.

We have one too!

Back to this recipe.

Gandules are pigeon peas, and you can use your favorite brand, for this recipe we used Goya.

For this recipe, you are going to need Sofrito and Sazon, and if you don’t have sofrito you can find the recipe here or purchase it!

This is going to give it that flavor you find when you eat authentic Puerto Rican Arroz con Gandules.

How to Make Instant Pot Arroz con Gandules

Here’s how to make this Arroz con Gandules Instant Pot.

Hit Sauté button and add olive oil, sofrito, olives, tomato sauce, Sazon and cook for about 3 minutes until everything is blended well.

Add the gandules and saute for another minute or two.

Add the chicken broth, salt and pepper (to taste), and rice and stir. There's nothing wrong with tasting your rice right now before you seal it and cook it. That way you will know if you want to add more salt and pepper.

Cancel Sauté

Hit rice 12 minutes.

Your Arroz con Ganudes is ready to serve!

You can serve this with:

Instant Pot Carne Guisada / Puerto Rican Beef Stew Recipe

Instant Pot Instant Pot Arroz con Gandules

Instant Pot Arroz con Gandules – Rice with Pigeon Peas
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 1 (15 oz) can of gandules (pigeon peas)
  • 1 Packet of sazon – We used Goya
  • 4 ounces of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of olives
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions

Hit Sauté button and add olive oil, sofrito, olives, tomato sauce, sazon and cook for about 3 minutes until everything is blended well.

Add the gandules and sauté for another minute or two.

Add the chicken broth and rice and stir

Cancel Sauté

Hit rice 12 minutes.

Serve

Notes
You can use water instead of chicken brother. 

You can use chicken bourbon.

You can skip the olives if you don't like them.

You can add red peppers if you want.

Ready to make this Instant Pot Arroz con Gandules? Here's the recipe card with the exact measurements.

The post Arroz con Gandules Instant Pot Recipe appeared first on My Stay At Home Adventures.

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We know we need to save and manage money, right?

But having a low income is impossible, right?

Wrong!

Let's talk how we save and manage money on a low income and how it is possible to do it.

Yes, you can save and manage your money, and all you have to do is keep on reading to learn how.

It’s difficult to think that someday you will save for a rainy day when you can’t seem to get ahead financially.

We don’t make enough money; our finances need some help.

The thought of saving and managing our money seems like something that will never happen.

The good news is that saving and managing money on a low income is possible.

Many people do it and live comfortably; you can too.

Now before we continue let’s make one point clear.

We are not talking about poverty; we are talking having a low income. Before you go down to the comments and make some ignorant statement, you need to understand that there is a big difference in what I’m about to say.

Another fact is that having a low income that may seem high to you might be considered low depending on where you live in the United States.

Now back to the article.

It takes time and a reality check to realize that we can save and manage our money, no matter the income.

Check out these money articles:

If you are wondering how you can save money and manage your money, I got some helpful tips for you.

Many years ago when I was a single mom who was having such a hard time saving and managing my money, I decided that I needed to open a saving account and have a small amount set aside from my primary account.

During that time I had a broke mindset and just couldn’t seem to get my finances together. I knew this and I wanted to make a change, so I started small.

I got paid every two weeks and every Friday, I would transfer $20 into this savings account. It wasn’t much, but it worked. I started to save money little by little.

After years of trial and error, I was able to learn how to manage my money. Finally, the sad part was that I was making WAY more money all those years ago, and yet, I was broke.

I thought that by making more money, I wouldn’t be broke, and that just wasn’t true.

Learning to save and manage your finances is possible and can be done regardless of income. I was still broke when I was making good money years ago; now that we make much less money, we are still able to save a lot of money and manage it correctly.

It IS possible to save and manage money, regardless of incomes.

How To Save and Manage Money On A Low Income (No Excuses) Create a budget

To start, you need a budget, my friend!

If you have a family, you need a family budget, my friend!

How are you supposed to track your money if you don’t know where it's going?

Without a budget, you won’t be able to manage your money, or save money. The first thing you must do to take control of your finances its to gather all your expenses and income and create a budget.

Check out these posts:

Live below your means

Let’s be real here for a minute and ask yourself this question, are you living below your means?

Are you spending less or equal the amount of money you are making each month?

If you are using credit card debt, loans, and tapping into your saving account, you are living above your means.

Living above your means, you are spending more than what your income is, and this is where things go wrong.

Something that everyone must learn to do regardless of income size is to keep your spending below your means.

Never live above your income. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

Write everything down

Writing down everything that has affects your finances is essential. Always keep an inventory of your food, your money, and your monthly events.

When you start writing things down, it will give you a perspective of things; it will also help you create a plan and be prepared financially.

Always be honest

We are not perfect.

We know this.

It is why we aren’t able to manage our money sometimes. We have to make sure we account for everything we do.

Don’t make excuses, start working on staying active and developing a wealthy mindset.

To start managing your money better, you must be honest with yourself and accept responsibility for your finances.

Avoid using credit cards or borrowing money

You want to break this credit card cycle as soon as possible. Let's be clear for a minute; credit cards are not emergency funds. They are not!

If you can’t pay your credit cards on time, then you have to stop using them until you get your financial situation under control.

Don't add to your financial stress by growing your credit card debt. Avoid using credit cards or asking for money and start using the next tip.

Stick to a cash-only budget 

To prevent you from overspending, please stick to a cash-only budget.

Whether you like it or not, a cash budget will help you stick to your budget and save money if you follow it correctly.

Start using the cash envelope system until you get a good feel for managing your finances. Believe me, it works!

Using cash only and following the cash system will help you save money.

Take any extra money you save and put it away

There are so many ways you can make extra cash on the side regardless of income.

Do not spend any money you save, just put it away. If you use coupons and you save money, put it away and save it. This is the beginning of how you start saving money.

Below are rebate apps that will help you save and make money:

You didn’t use any money-earning apps when you went shopping. Apps such as:

You can also use these companies to earn gift cards for your favorite stores.

You can also try these online survey companies too:

Sell unwanted items

If you sell items that you no longer need, either save that money or pay your debt with it.

Reduce your house bills

Find ways to save on your utilities to help you reduce your monthly bills. Take that money saved and put it away.

Find ways to make some extra money on the side

The possibilities of making some extra money are endless. From using Swagbucks, to earning gift cards, to doing online surveys.

With these tips, you can’t fail to save and manage your money the correct way. Always remember that you have to do what works for you financially. Now, the harder you work to achieve your financial goals, the more successful you will be.

Always take a positive outlook and have the responsibility to continue handling your finances the responsible way. It doesn’t matter how low or big your income is. How you manage it, is the key to success.

How have you successfully saved and managed your money? Please share it with us.

The post 10 Ways To Save and Manage Money On a Low Income appeared first on My Stay At Home Adventures.

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Receiving a tax refund this year? Then this post is for you.

Let's face it, some of us dread tax season, and others love it. I know I used to love getting my federal tax refund because I “needed” the money.

I would look forward to that federal tax refund so bad, it was sad. With my broke mindset, and a large sum of money, this equaled disaster.

Before I got wiser, each year I would waste my federal tax refund on things I can't even remember. Instead of getting better each year I seemed to make the same mistakes every year with my tax check

I learned that there are things you shouldn't do with your income tax.

And if you are struggling financially and want to take control of your finances then you should seriously continue to read.

Obviously, depending on your financial mess, a good plan and a budget will help you with your finances. This means that you should have a plan, and a budget, for your income tax refund if you want to stretch your tax refund.

Many people don't receive a significant income tax refund, and believe it or not; they are OK with that.

But let's  see if this sounds familiar?

If you are receiving a large federal tax refund, and in a few months you are back to struggling financially, you need to evaluate yourself and your finances.

Below you will find things that you shouldn't spend your federal tax refund on. If you are receiving an income tax refund, and you are having financial struggles, then this post will help you and guide you to on your financial journey.

What You Shouldn't Do With Your Income Tax Refund Pay to have your federal tax refund overnight

I know you need this money or think you do. Paying a crazy amount of money to get your money a few days earlier is simply a waste of YOUR money.

You are paying a 3rd party a huge amount of money to get your hand on this money. The reality is that you could get your refund a few days later. If you waited months for income tax season, why can't you wait a few more weeks?

Go on a shopping spree

This is a disaster and a fast way of simply wasting your income tax refund away. You want a tattoo or a pair of Jordan's, all because you got this large sum of money.

Why?

Why do you think you need this if you were complaining about being broke a few days ago?

This is not a need, and thinking you deserve it will only give you instant gratification. At the moment you received your income tax, you needed all those things you bought today?

Probably not, but because you have money, you did, which is why you are struggling financially in the first place. You are overspending your money on things you are not going even to remember.

Use it as a down payment for a vehicle

If you are struggling with your finances, what makes you think you are going to be able to afford car payments, insurance, and any other expense that comes with being a car owner.

Check out these related posts:

You have put all your eggs in one basket when you do this; you're not leaving yourself room for cushion.

As much as you want that car, stop and plan it carefully. Are you REALLY thinking this clearly, maybe you can find a better alternative for a vehicle that doesn't include giving all your tax refund to the dealership?

Paying for things you have been struggling with all year round

If you are behind on your bills (this include cable/satellite) and you use your income tax to pay this bill, think about it this way; yes, pay all your late bills, but are you going to able to pay for things that are not really a necessity like cable/satellite?

Why purchase a subscription for something that you won't be able to afford in the future. In this situation, paying your late bills is very important, then evaluate if this will be a wise choice to keep if you are struggling financially.

Conclusion

The point of this post is not to make anyone feel bad, but to help stretch your tax refund. Use that refund to benefit you financially. You love that feeling of having money.

Isn't it a great feeling?

Now imagine having that feeling last longer. Knowing that you have money saved, and your finances under control are the best feelings in the world.

You want a tattoo or a pair of nice sneakers, work hard for it. Create a budget and reward yourself that way.

You can stop being broke all the time, start by fixing that broke mindset we have been living with for many years. When you receive your income tax refund, don't think of what I can do with this money today, but how much this money will benefit my family and me in the future.

To help you stretch your tax refund click the image and get this Stretch Your Tax Refund planner for free.

Your turn: What other ways should you not spend your federal tax refund?

The post 4 Things You Shouldn’t Do With Your Federal Tax Refund appeared first on My Stay At Home Adventures.

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How safe are your kids at home? Home safety is no simple matter. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among children and teens in the United States.

A lot of these accidents occur at home, but it’s crucial to emphasize that they are preventable. As a parent, you play an important role in keeping your child safe. Here are 9 home security measures that you should teach your children.

9 Home Security Measures You Should Teach Your Kids
  1. Making emergency phone calls

Teaching kids how to make emergency phone calls is a crucial life skill. Whether it’s 911, a neighbor or you, it’s important that you teach your kids how to call for each type of emergency.

Kids can feel more safe and confident when they know how to react correctly to emergencies such as fire, burglary, cuts, falls, and poisoning. Ensure that you write a list of emergency situations and the corresponding number and response.

It would also be helpful if you provide your kids a short script for emergency phone calls. The contact list should be easily visible to your kids. Consider placing it in different areas of your home, such as beside the landline, their bedroom, and kitchen.

  1. Safeguarding the doors, including how to talk to strangers

Doors are one of the most vulnerable areas for kids. Your children should be trained to keep doors locked at all times. Advise them to not open the door to anyone unless with your permission.

Your kids must know proper communication with strangers at the door. Remember that burglars often disguise themselves as solicitors in order to fish for information about your home security.

In the event that your kid is home alone, it’s crucial that they indicate to strangers that you’re in the shower or talking with someone on the phone. Installing a peephole for your kids can also be useful as they will be less tempted to open the door to see who’s outside.

  1. Operating the alarm system

Having a home security system installed is one of the best investments for your kids’ safety. However, it’s essential that your kids understand how to operate the system.

Arming and disarming the system are important maneuvers to teach your children, as well as activating the siren and managing basic functions.

A user-friendly device like the DSC Power series security system can be a huge advantage. It has an LCD touchscreen many kids will find easy to operate.

Bolster your home security system with devices that allow remote controlling and communicators. These will enable you to keep in touch with your kids even while you’re away.

  1. Eliminating the risk of poisoning and choking

Parents and guardians must protect children against the serious risk of poisoning and choking at home. A lot of children are lured by potentially hazardous items that they may mistake for food.

Medicine bottles, for example, can attract children and should be kept properly. Remind your children to keep off small enclosed spaces such as the dishwasher and cupboards.

Teach your kids to sit while eating and to chew their food thoroughly. Clean up after your kids have eaten, checking the floor for dropped foods that can be choking hazards.

  1. Maintaining safety in the yard and pool

The yard and the pool are fun areas for many kids. However, they can be extremely dangerous especially for young children.

Drowning is a common accident in many homes with a pool. Educate your children about pool safety and first-aid.

If you have active and curious toddlers, consider installing pool covers. Sharp tools for the yard like clippers and hedge trimmers should be in a locked shed or closet. Also, make sure that there are no toxic plants on your property.

  1. Why you should practice security scenarios with your kids

A great way to teach kids about home security is through role-playing. Role-playing different security scenarios with your kids will help prepare them for actual emergencies.

Practice at different parts of the house. This will give your children practical experience in case of a real-life crisis at home.

The important thing is that you train your kids with emergency strategies for occasions such as a home invasion, power outage, and natural calamities.

Giving your kids, a strong foundation of safety preparedness will empower them to be responsible and capable at all times.

  1. Establish protection against falls

Your home is where your kids should feel they can comfortably roam around. But how do you prevent them from falling and hitting their heads?

Orient your children about danger zones in the house such as open windows and stairs. Tell them to use handrails when using the stairs and to avoid running near tables and corners.

  1. Shielding your kids from the dangerous online world

In this age when many kids have easy access to Internet-connected devices, online safety should be an urgent consideration.

With so many predators and criminals roaming freely on cyberspace, it’s important that you educate your children about the dangers online. Never assume that your kids are simply playing games on their mini gadget.

Check out these related posts:

A lot of kids nowadays use social media despite the age limitation of sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. While banning social media use among your kids is an option, it can also be helpful if you instill within them practical information about maintaining privacy and safety online.

Teach them to avoid posting their location and giving personal information to people who message them.

  1. Preventing damage and fatalities due to fire

Home fires can cost you your property and your child’s life. For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in crucial areas such as the kitchen and bedroom.

Teach your kids to never play with matches and lighters, and be strict in keeping these items away from them. Create and practice a fire emergency plan with two or more exits.

Conclusion

It’s important to teach children about home security to build their confidence and adeptness. Strengthening your child’s sense of home security is vital in preventing injury and fatality.

When your kids play an active role in creating a safe environment, you can be less worried about their security even when you’re not home.

Your turn: In your opinion what should parents be teaching their kids about home security?

About the author:

John Levi Cuyoca enjoys doing community outreach and promote kids’ education. John believes that influencing kids might create a positive change in our society He also loves to eat, play basketball, and to travel.

The post 9 Home Security Measures You Should Teach Your Kids appeared first on My Stay At Home Adventures.

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Love to cook? Grow some fresh culinary herbs, my friends.

If you love the taste of fresh herbs in your meal then growing your herbs is for you. What’s even sweeter is that its good for your wallet too.

The truth is that enjoying fresh culinary herbs in your favorite dishes is the best thing ever.

But the reality is that purchasing fresh herbs can add up and might be expensive if you are buying them at your local grocery store.

What happens if your favorite herb is not in season?

Would you settle for dry herbs instead?

The good news is that you don’t have to settle for the dry counterparts of your favorite herbs.

The solution is simple, grow them.

And if you are going to come up with the excuse that you don’t have the space to grow culinary herbs I will tell you that you are wrong.

You see, you don’t need tons of space to grow herbs.

What’s even better is that you can grow your fresh herbs all year long!

You don’t have to grow a full-scale garden. You don’t have to be a gardener either!

Growing your culinary herbs don’t require any of these things, and if you want to get the most out of your money, then the perfect solution is to grow your favorite herbs.

Today you will learn how you can grow four easy-to-use and versatile herbs that will make your favorite meal taste so delicious and will help you save money.

You will learn how to select a versatile option that will go together with a diverse selection of recipes!

But before we begin let’s talk about what we use to help us grow our favorite culinary herbs inside, shall we?

For quite some time I have been a big fan of AeroGardens and all year round we grow our favorite herbs indoors.

We also use mason jars to grow our sweet basil year-round too!

Honestly, it doesn’t require much work and having these herbs accessible helps us save money.

Ok, back to these four easy-to-grow and versatile herbs I want you to grow today.

The following list of easy-to-grow culinary herbs can help you get started.

4 Easy-to-Grow and Versatile Herbs Cilantro

Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs to grow in our home year round. You see with our Latin recipes; cilantro is one of the key staples when we cook.

When we make either basic sofrito or Puerto Rican sofrito, cilantro is one of the ingredients.

If Mexican cuisine is a favorite, then growing this herb should be a priority!  Fresh cilantro to your favorite Mexican salsa and you can also add them to your favorite green salad recipe.

Check out these gardening posts:

Do you marinade your meat? Then Cilantro will be good to grow and add to your favorite marinaded recipe.

Now how do we grow cilantro?

You can use grow cilantro by purchasing seeds from your favorite store. Seeds are not even that expensive, and you can also find them at your local dollar store.

When the plant is growing, you can extend the life of your Cilantro plant by plucking down and keeping it in a cooler area.

Now no matter what the plant will eventually “bolt” to a form of lacy flowers that will create seeds. You can then harvest this seeds, and you can lightly toast them

This coriander is more mellow in flavor than its fresh counterpart and a nice complement to other recipes.

Basil

Basil is a very popular herb and one that is so versatile and super easy to grow. Seriously, anyone can grow basil. ANYONE!

All you need is a small pot and a location with a lot of lights, like a sunny windowsill.

Like I mentioned before we grow basil year round and it is not hard to grow at all.

During gardening season, pairing a fresh juicy tomato with fresh mozzarella and freshly picked basil is the most fantastic thing you can eat.

Use your favorite balsamic dressing, extra virgin oil and salt and pepper, and you got yourself a delicious entrée.

Check out these mouthwatering basil and fresh tomato recipes:

You can also create delicious and fresh pesto recipes as well. You can find delicious pesto recipes below:

Black basils are mainly used in Italian and Asian dishes. Black basil leaves are purple and have a slightly spicy flavor compared to regular basil. You can use black basil in vinegar, salads, and oil.

Now to our next herbs.

Rosemary

Rosemary herbs can be started from seeds, but honestly, you can find a small plant easier from the local farmer’s market, hardware retailers, and local garden center.

During the winter you can bring your rosemary plant inside but must keep them next to a sunny window and moist.

If you live in the northern hemisphere, you can provide sun via a southern exposure window, and your rosemary plant will thank you!

Rosemary is good for marinades such as roasted chicken, pork, and beef. Seriously, have you smelled how delicious roasted potatoes with rosemary? Your welcome!

Here are some delicious recipes you can use fresh rosemary.

  1. Homemade Focaccia Bread
  2. Roasted Potatoes with Fresh Rosemary
  3. Rosemary And Garlic Roast Beef

Another plus of growing rosemary for beginners is that it’s a pretty plant and looks great.

You can even use it as a holiday decoration just add some Christmas ornament, and there you go! Rosemary plants can make lovely gifts too.

Thyme

What is thyme?

Thyme is an herb that it is easy to grow if you are a beginner gardener. You will find thyme in many dishes including stews, soups, and meat-based meals.

Outdoors you can plant thyme along with the edges of walkway and steps once people rub against it it will release a beautiful aroma!

It has a beautiful growth habit that makes it ideal in pots next to taller herbs like rosemary.

Now if you do use thyme for your landscape do not use those plants for cooking, especially if you are a pet owner.

Grow lemon thyme to add an unexpected hint of citrus flavor to your dishes.

Conclusion

As a beginner gardener, you are going to make some beginner gardener mistakes, and that’s OK!

These four culinary herbs are so easy to grow you and as you can see you can grow them year-round and with limited space.

You will reduce the cost of buying thee herbs in store, but most importantly your meals are going to have a delicious fresh taste.

 Your turn: What are your favorite culinary herbs to grow and what would you recommend beginners?

The post 4 Easy-to-Grow Culinary Herbs Ideal for Beginners appeared first on My Stay At Home Adventures.

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How to Raise Mentally Strong Kids

Childhood is the time for having fun and living life without the burden of financial and other everyday responsibilities, so what could a child possibly have to worry about?

This is perhaps one of the most common misconceptions people have about children and a result many suffer from the effects of stress in silence and grow ill-equipped to deal with the real world.

The reality is that childhood is not free from worry; in fact, a study carried in Australia back in 2015 indicated that up to 1 in 5 children worried the majority of the time. Subjects most likely to invoke worry in kids including family and the future.

And as you can probably imagine other common themes included bullying, friends and school.

Not only do the above findings highlight that worrying is a real problem among kids, but the study also highlighted that most of those surveyed said they were unlikely to talk about these worries with others.

The major reason why kids seem to be reluctant to discuss their worries with loved ones is fear of embarrassment. So not only are kids experiencing the aches of worrying in silence, but they’re also unwilling to seek help.

So what can you do?

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that facing barriers and navigating the normal stresses and strains of life are something that all children must face.

However, the essential message here is that they must have the necessary coping strategies in their cache to allow them to deal with stress in a healthy and positive way.

Here are some strategies to help you and your child approach stress the right way:

Recognize the Signs of Stress

Although all kids can experience stress of some sort, it’s more likely that they will experience more stress as they grow and have to experience more of everyday life. This includes school, socializing and health check-ups to name a few.

It’s a wise idea to learn how to recognize certain stress triggers in your child, that way you can pinpoint exactly where the issues lie and how to deal with them most effectively.

Therefore, as yourself, what causes your child stress?  Every child is different, so this could include social situations, visits to the dentist or simply being in a new environment.

Once you know their triggers, you can help them mentally prepare themselves prior to the situation. The key here is not to completely avoid the situation but help them adjust accordingly.

Common signs of stress in kids include sweating, increased heart rate, blushing and an attempt to avoid whatever it is that may cause stress and worry.

Being aware of when your child is showing signs of stress can really help you identify the problem and help guide them through the situation.

4 Tips To How to Raise Mentally Strong Kids Strategies to Help Kids Deal with Stress

There are many strategies you can employ to help your child handle their thoughts and feelings. The one you use will largely depend on the specific circumstance, however, here are some of the most common techniques you can employ in a wide range of situations:

#1 Changing Thoughts

When we experience stress it is usually caused by some underlying thought process and kids are no different. A great technique is termed “reframing,” which teaches you to see things from another perspective instead of always prophesying doom.

In order to practice reframing with your child follow these steps:

  • First, ask them how they are feeling about the triggering situation and ask them to describe their thoughts. You can easily do this by asking them to write them on a piece of paper.
  • Explain to them that it’s perfectly normal to have these thoughts, but that doesn’t always mean that they are true – it’s important for us to challenge them.
  • Explain that there is always a chance that the opposite perspective is true – you can easily illustrate this using a coin, showing two sides – heads and tales. Explain that when we have negative thoughts, it’s important to frame them to be able to see the other side.
#2 Breathing Exercises

When we get stressed, our breathing changes, typically becoming shallower and often it can be accompanied by other physical symptoms such as a fast heart rate.

Kids feel these too and so learning how to deal with them in a logical way can really help them feel in control of the situation and ease the feelings associated with stress.

Teach this exercise to help:

  • Tell your child to inhale deeply through their nostrils. Explain that this needs to be done slowly and to imagine that their lungs are filling as an inflating tire would do if you were pumping it up.
  • Once they are full of air, ask them to hold it for a brief moment.
  • Instruct them to breathe out via their mouth slowly and as they do their abdomen should go back to its normal state.
  • Repeat as necessary and bear in mind that they should stand up straight and do it calmly and slowly. This is a great exercise they can do to help them find calm during even the most stressful of times.
#3 Prepare them to Deal with Mistakes

Often kids become stressed due to fears about making mistakes. Make sure to reassure them that they are not expected to be right all the time, but to simply try their best. As SeriousParenting underscores, self-confidence in children comes from having confidence in one’s own abilities, which in turn affects how people behave and ultimately impacts their happiness.

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Even though kids need to learn how to make successful choices and be aware of their abilities, it’s also important that they learn how to deal with making bad ones and the consequences that may result.

Explain to your children that making bad decisions is a normal part of life and everyone does it. Lead by example and demonstrate how they can recover from poor decisions by apologizing and then moving on and learning from them.

#4 Proper Sleep is Essential

A good night’s sleep is essential for minimizing stress. When we are tired our energy levels are low, we are unable to think as we normally would and the slightest annoyance can feel much worse than it is in reality. Not only that, but sleep is essential for good academic performance.

In order to ensure your child’s getting adequate sleep, analyze their sleeping routine. Ideally, a child should get around 10 hours sleep on average, but this varies greatly depending on their age range – this is a great resource for checking how much sleep your child needs.

It’s always worth emphasizing the importance of sleep to your child, as it helps them understand its importance. In addition, it’s important to create an environment that will encourage a good night’s sleep. For example, make their bedrooms electronic device free, which means no TV, tablets or computers of any kind.

Conclusion

Childhood stress is a reality that can be tackled with proper awareness and employment of the right strategies. Therefore, ensure you become as competent as possible at recognizing the signs of stress so you can help your child navigate through their trials and tribulations with ease and comfort.

Your turn: What do you think about these 4 tips to help you raise mentally strong kids? What would you add? About the Author

Jude McClean is a father of two boys, business owner and like to help others develop their kids in a positive and proactive way! You can visit Jude at Serious Parenting.

More related topics:

Are Your Kids Entitled or Accountable?

The post 4 Tips To How to Raise Mentally Strong Kids (That you can do everyday) appeared first on My Stay At Home Adventures.

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This recipe was sponsored by Tropical Cheese and all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Can we talk about another Puerto Rican inspired soup recipe today? GOOD!

Let’s begin.

It’s cold, and this winter has reminded us how brutal winter can be after a few years of warmer winter weather.

Of course, to keep warm, we enjoy a good bowl of soup and just warms your soul.

Today, you are going to learn how to make a Puerto Rican inspired sweet Potato and Tomato soup with Tropical Cheese Queso Blanco.

Now, this soup is so simple and tasty that anyone can make.

It also has sweet corn, and before I continue, I wanted to talk about the cheese we use in this recipe.

Tropical Queso Blanco is the cheese we used in this delicious Potato and Tomato soup and the reason why is because is a brand and product that my family enjoys for many years.

If you haven’t tried Tropical Queso Blanco, you are missing out!

The creamy, mild tasting white cheese is very popular with not just us Puerto Ricans, but Dominicans, and other parts of Central and South America.

If you have enjoyed guava paste with cheese, I am pretty sure you enjoyed it with Tropical Cheese Queso Blanco.

This cheese can be enjoyed with fruits such as pineapple, mango, and kiwi. Add Tropical Cheese Queso Blanco to salami, crackers, and olive, and you will have a delicious and tasty appetizer.

You can even slice it up and enjoy it in a sandwich.

Now since this cheese doesn’t melt, we shredded it and added it to the soup, which provides an amazing taste and texture.

My parents enjoy Tropical Cheese Queso Blanco with their coffee each morning too!

I already explained about this queso blanco, and the truth is that you can also enjoy Tropical Cheese Queso Blanco with fresh tomato, basil and crackers.

Now think of this soup like that!

We use our favorite pressure cooker to create this recipe but this recipe can also be created without it.

Simply sauté the ingredients in a pot over medium heat and add the rest of the ingredients (except milk and cheese) for about 12-15 minutes.

Cook until potatoes are done and add the milk and cheese at the end.

Now for the instant pot or electric pressure cooker direction.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onions, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of dry parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of fresh basil, chopped (you can use dry basil to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (you can use low sodium)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with basil garlic and oregano
  • 1 can of sweet corn (optional)
  • 4 cups of diced potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole milk or cream
  • ½ cup of shredded Tropical Queso Blanco (or you can add more to taste)

Directions:

Set your favorite electrical pressure cooker to Sauté.

Add butter, onions, dry parsley, garlic, and stir for about 5 minutes.

Add basil, salt, and pepper and stir for about 3 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onions, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of dry parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of fresh basil, chopped (you can use dry basil to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (you can use low sodium)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with basil garlic and oregano
  • 1 can of sweet corn (optional)
  • 4 cups of diced potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole milk or cream
  • ½ cup of shredded Tropical Queso Blanco (or you can add more to taste)

Directions:

Set your favorite electrical pressure cooker to Sauté.

Add butter, onions, dry parsley, garlic, and stir for about 5 minutes.

Add basil, salt, and pepper and stir for about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, sweet corn, and potatoes.

Turn off Sauté and press Soup 15 minutes.

When the soup is done, add the milk and cheese and stir.

Serve and add more cheese!

Enjoy.

This sopitas are perfect for cold winter nights!

Hope you enjoy this light and simple Sopa de Papas y Tomatoes!

SOPAS DE PAPAS Y TOMATE/TOMATO AND POTATO SOUP WITH TROPICAL QUESO BLANCO
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onions, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of dry parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of fresh basil, chopped (you can use dry basil to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (you can use low sodium)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with basil garlic and oregano
  • 1 can of sweet corn (optional)
  • 4 cups of diced potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole milk or cream
  • ½ cup of shredded Tropical Queso Blanco (or you can add more to taste)
Instructions

Set your favorite electrical pressure cooker to Sauté.

Add butter, onions, dry parsley, garlic, and stir for about 5 minutes.

Add basil, salt, and pepper and stir for about 3 minutes.

The post Sopas de Papas y Tomate/Tomato and Potato Soup With Tropical Queso Blanco appeared first on My Stay At Home Adventures.

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Love Puerto Rican Rice? I got a new recipe that is super easy and delicious to make. This Puerto Rican Rice with Spam or Arroz con Jamonilla is a delicious meal that you can create with your Instant Pot.

Now, this Instant Pot Spanish Rice with Spam can be made in a Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker too!

If you don’t like Spam may I suggest trying chicken instead? Check out this Instant Pot Spanish Rice with Chicken / Arroz Junto con Pollo!

But for us that love Spam this rice is going to be what you are going to enjoy this evening.

And guess what?

It doesn’t take long to make at all!

Check out these recipes:

For this recipe, you are going to need Sofrito and Sazon, and if you don’t have sofrito you can find the recipe here or purchase it!

Instant Pot Spanish Rice with Spam/ Arroz con Jamonilla

I wanted to keep this recipe super simple because some of us are super busy and don’t want to spend time in the kitchen.

About the rice we use.

Earthly Grains Long Grain White Rice is the rice we used, and you can find it at your local Aldi.

Ingredients

so what are the ingredients?

  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoon of Sofrito and you can find the recipe here or purchase it!
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz. Can of Tomato Sause
  • 1 packet of Sazon
  • 4 cups of water or Chicken broth if you prefer
  • 4 cups of rice
Directions

Hit Saute and add olive, oil sofrito, tomato sauce, sazon and salt and pepper to taste and saute for about 5 minutes until everything is blended in.

Seriously the smell alone is going to be amazing.

Stop

Press the rice button for 12 minutes.

Natural release.

Serve.

Instant Pot Spanish Rice with Spam/ Arroz con Jamonilla
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoon of Sofrito and you can find the recipe hereor purchase it!
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz. Can of Tomato Sause
  • 1 packet of Sazon
  • 4 cups of water or Chicken broth if you prefer
  • 4 cups of rice
Instructions
  • Hit Saute and add olive, oil sofrito, tomato sauce, sazon and salt and pepper to taste and saute for about 5 minutes until everything is blended in.
  • Stop
  • Hit Rice 12 minutes.
  • Natural release.

The post Instant Pot Spanish Rice with Spam/ Arroz con Jamonilla appeared first on My Stay At Home Adventures.

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