Thursday, April 20, 2017

Have a Blast with Blast Box ( Review + Giveaway)

Have a blast on game night! With Blast Box from Zing you never know who will be the next to create a bang, in this exploding balloon, suspense, and strategy game.

Blast Box Game
Perfect for kids and adults, as I too had a lot of fun with this game, Blast Box comes complete with 1 Blast Box, 1 hammer, 100 balloons, 1 balloon pump, 30 plastic pins, 1 spinner and 20 easy tie balloon clips.

Game-play starts by inflating one balloon per player (2-4 players), place the balloons under the “Blast Box” and take your chance spinning the spinner (or use the free Blast Box app, available on iOS and Andriod and loaded with fun trivia questions) to determine how many pins to hammer into box. The next move depends on you, as you try to strategically hammer in your pin without popping a balloon. If you should hear a blast, well, you’re out! Be the last remaining player and win.

This game is quite literally a blast. My 17 year old and 3 year old had an equally good time playing. And with the added twist of trivia via the Blast Box app, this is a great game for family game night or game night with friends.

The game pins are plastic. I had no issue letting my three year old choose his pins and hammering them into the box, though the game is recommended for ages 4+. The balloon pump was really simple to use as well. Game setup took maybe 2 minutes.

I love a game that produces laughter, enjoyment, and suspense. There is nothing better than watching the kids’ giggle, when mom hears a pop and jumps back. What can I say, even tucked away in a box the noise from a popping balloon still gets me!

Find Blast Box availible now from for the SRP of $19.99. 
And don't forget to capture all the fun and share it using hashtag #BalloonBlastChallenge

Win It: Make your next game an exploding good time! Enter below to win Blast Box by Zing! 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How to Train for your Ideal Job

It is common knowledge that the best jobs require significant knowledge of the subject area before you can competently perform the work involved. Though it is possible to gain this knowledge through experience alone, it will take an extremely long time, which is why a lot of people choose to intensely train for their ideal job. 

Whether this training takes place across a number of months or a number of years, intensely focusing on learning more about a subject is the best way to prepare for your ideal job.

How training prepares you for a job

It is a mistake to think that training is only about the accumulation of knowledge. For example, postgraduate degree programs are intended not only to build your knowledge but also to teach you analytical skills and the ability to explain your point of view confidently. Training programs often include practical elements where you have the opportunity to put into practice what you have learned.

Often the indirect learning experience does the most to prepare you. It is a rounded understanding of subject areas and related fields that separates a person who has simply learned through experience, and someone who has intensely studied. This well rounded effect is also seen in the way networking with fellow students adds additional life experience, with the added benefit of having contacts in place when you are working in your ideal job.

The different types of training

Most training programs have a formal aspect that can range from some formal academic training in an apprenticeship program through to a multi-year formal academic degree. Apprenticeships are appropriate for certain jobs that rely extensively on practical applications. For example, mechanics and technicians typically train via apprenticeship programs as these skills are best learnt by actually doing the job.

In contrast, many jobs require formal academic study. Practicing law for example requires awareness of multitudes of actual laws and the legal decisions surrounding them, which can only be built up via many years of intense study. Lawyers therefore typically complete degree programs over a number of years, capped off by studying for professional examinations. In fact many of the best jobs involve sitting professionals examinations to some degree so that the relevant professional body can accredit you.

Training while you lead a busy life

People with busy lives can find the prospect of formally training for a job very daunting. If you have family responsibilities including kids to take care of, the idea of taking several years out to attend university is far fetched, however, there are ways around this problem. Online learning is one option – you can complete a postgraduate nurse practitioner degree or degree in accounting purely by studying online, without the need for attending inconvenient evening or weekend classes.

Training providers understand people have busy lives, so where practical, personal training is essential think about signing up for a program with classes spaced at convenient intervals – once a week, for example. Many parents look at changing careers so there are training options that are flexible and understanding of your needs.

Finding a job once you’re trained

They key to making sure you start working straight after your training is completed is to start job hunting before your training program is complete. If you are doing an online master’s degree, start contacting employers in your final semester and let them know what your achievements are to date. It is common for employers to make a job offer conditional on graduation.

Another excellent way to secure a job once you are finished with training is to find temporary work or, if practical, an internship while you are busy training. Apprenticeships are helpful here, as you will already be working for an employer, contributing to their bottom line throughout your training. Employers are known for from a pool of interns.

The benefits of training

There are few top jobs you can get based on experience alone. Most people enjoying successful careers have undergone periods of intensive training to get where they are. Formal training helps you on many levels, teaching you how to commit to a project through to its completion and helping you build the capacity to learn and understand.

Successfully completing the right training course will open a world of opportunities. If you time your training, job experience and employment applications correctly you could easily step into a top job straight after completing your study program, enjoying higher pay and better job satisfaction.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Ultimate Guide To A Cracking Egg Salad

Egg salad makes an amazing lunch or dinner if you’re trying to get more goodness into your diet. Eggs are packed with healthy fats and protein, and the salad part, well that kind of explains itself! You might like to mix yours with mayo and then pile it on your favorite bread - it may not be so healthy this way, but it’s still a delicious snack. If you use a lighter mayo and whole grain bread, then it definitely isn’t so bad. Choosing to keep your eggs simple and adding veg to create a salad plate will ensure you get lots of good stuff in your system. This post will give you tips and ideas for both!

Some might think that egg salad is boring, but there’s absolutely no reason it should be boring when you use a few of the tips in this guide. You’ll find awesome tips and some great recipes so next time you feel like a healthy meal, you can knock one of these up in no time! Read on if you’re interested...


Tips To Help You Create The Perfect Egg Salad
Let’s start by taking a look at the tips that will help you to create the perfect egg salad:

Get Your Eggs Right
A good egg salad always starts with the best eggs money can buy. Preferably, these will be farm fresh eggs with bright orange yolks, so look for those if possible. Any eggs can work, but cheaper eggs from caged hens will not be as delicious or look as good. That’s a fact!
That being said,, how you prepare them is super important too. Never do the standard 10 minute boil unless you want a dry and chalky egg. This is where many people go wrong right from the get go! Instead, pull it out after 8-9 minutes and then plunge it in ice cold water.
This will give you a brighter egg, making your egg salad look more attractive on your plate. Not only that, the taste and texture will be so much better too! Try it for yourself and see. If you want more tips, you can look at blog posts like How to Make the Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs - MyGreatRecipes to help you boil to perfection.

You can also consider steaming your eggs if you prefer; some consider this method to be better, but it’s all down to the individual. Try them both and see how you feel. Once you know how to prepare eggs properly for your salad, you need to think about chopping and seasoning them correctly. Let’s talk more about this!

Chopping Your Eggs
Chopping your eggs won’t affect the flavor, but it’ll definitely change the texture and how your food looks. People eat with their eyes just as much as anything else, so if you're making this meal for others too make sure you focus on this step.

You’ll find that slicing the eggs into quarters if you like a chunky egg salad is a good idea, but it depends on the size of your egg. You can also roughly mash them if you prefer a rougher, more creamy texture. You will get different textures depending on if you mash it all together or you separate the whites and the yolks first. Again, you should experiment with this and see what you like best!  

Seasoning Your Eggs
You absolutely must salt your eggs or they just won’t reach their full potential in the salad. Sea salt is best. Pepper is recommended too, but add it to your tastes so it isn’t overpowering.
From then it can be up to you to experiment to see what you like on your eggs. Chives can add a nice bite without too much. Shallots are possible but they can be too overpowering in the flavors. Celery can bring a great flavor and texture; it adds a wonderful crunch. Tip: mince it! Dill can give a great herby flavor too. Adding fresh lemon juice will add a bright flavor and acidity. You have many options!  

Dressing Your Eggs
Dressing your eggs is down to personal preference. If you love mayonnaise with them like most people, then you’ll probably need to use more than you think to get a nice texture. You can also add a small amount of dijon mustard and a dollop of horseradish if you really want to go all out with your flavor. It makes the world’s biggest difference.  

Mixing Your Eggs
If you’re using sauce and seasonings, then you will want to mix everything together properly to ensure an even flavor and texture. Make sure you do this gently and slowly. You can then taste to ensure you have the perfect flavor and go back and add more of what you like. Just don’t go OTT!


The Egg Salad Bagel
Now you’ve made your egg salad, how about making an egg salad bagel? You can use a regular or toasted bagel, and adding a ripe tomato and some cucumber will make it taste fresh and delicious.

The Egg Salad Sandwich
The egg salad sandwich is a classic, and for good reason! Instead of using plain bread, toast your chosen bread in a frying pan with a little butter and olive oil. This will give it a much better texture and flavor than the toaster or grill. You’ll never want to buy an egg salad sandwich from the store or cafe ever again when you can make them this yummy at home!

Anchovy Egg Salad
If you ever needed proof that egg salad wasn’t boring, this is it! This recipe is healthy and so tasty. It’s high in protein and fat, and low in carbs too. It makes the perfect light lunch!

To prepare you’ll need:
  • Around 4 quality anchovies in oil. Ideally from a sustainable source.
  • Half a lemon.
  • Half a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley.
  • Half a bunch of fresh chives.
  • 1 dried red chilli.
  • 4 large free-range eggs.
  • 2 round lettuces.
  • 1 red chicory.
  • 1 white chicory.
  • 1 x 20 g punnet cress.
For your homemade salad cream:
  • Half a clove of garlic.
  • Two teaspoons Dijon mustard.
  • Two tablespoons cider vinegar.
  • Six tablespoons rapeseed oil.
  • Three tablespoons buttermilk.
To prepare the salad:
  • Start by halving your anchovies lengthways, and then put them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the anchovy oil. Add lemon zest and juice.
  • Finely chop your parsley leaves and chives. And a little of these to your bowl and then put to one side.
  • Using another bowl, peel and crush the garlic. Whisk together the rest of your salad cream ingredients. Taste the mixture to make sure it’s just right and then put to one side.
  • Make your own delicious chilli salt by mashing your dried chilli and three tablespoons of sea salt in a pestle and mortar (or whatever you can use). Put to one side.
  • Start boiling your eggs in salted water for about 6-8 minutes depending on the texture you want, and then place in cool water until you can pick them up. Peel your eggs and then put them to one side.
  • Take your round lettuces and pick the inner leaves. Slice your chicory bases and separate the leaves. Grab your serving platter and arrange in way that’s pleasing to the eye.
  • Sprinkle over the parsley and chives that you have left, add the cress, and then chop your eggs the way you like and place them on top. You can have them or quarter them.
  • Add your chilli salt how you like it and then your anchovies. Drizzle over a small amount of anchovy marinade for extra flavor.
  • Serve the salad and don’t forget to place your homemade salad cream on the side. Enjoy!

New Potato Egg Salad
This salad is another option when you want something healthy, filling, and delicious!

You’ll need:
  • Hot, boiled new potatoes
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • A handful of chopped parsley
  • A hard boiled egg or two
  • A bag of wild rocket
  • Diced cucumber

To prepare the salad:
  • Toss your freshly boiled potatoes with olive oil, lemon juice, and parsley. Make sure they are evenly coated.
  • Leave your potatoes to cool. Once cool, toss with your eggs. Quarter the eggs first for the best look and texture.
  • Toss in your wild rocket leaves, and then add as much cucumber as you like before serving.

As this salad is the perfect base for just about anything, you can experiment with it. If you’d like to make this recipe a little more filling, you can add some avocado, olives, or spinach depending on your tastes. You could even add a drizzle of lemon juice. If you like, try serving with cous cous and pine nuts. A little crusty bread on the side will go a long way too. Don’t forget your salt and pepper on the salad as before to get the best flavor!

These ideas are an eggcellent way to ensure you’re getting more goodness into your diet. Enjoy and leave your thoughts below!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Making Spring Cleaning a Fun Family Event

Kids Cleaning
Deep cleaning your home for spring is a necessary task, albeit a less than pleasant one. During the winter months when your home has been shuttered against the cold air and snow dirt, dust, mold, and other not-so-savory items build up in carpets, settle on surfaces, and the whole mess needs to go.

Depending on the size of your home and the furniture inside it, spring cleaning can be a simple affair or one that might make you want to tear your hair out and wonder why you even have a home anyway. Ancient peoples did okay in caves and rudimentary shelters didn’t they?

But when it comes down to it there’s nothing more satisfying than having a fresh, clean home when spring comes around. And the most satisfying part? We’re going to show you how to get your kids into the cleaning spirit as well.

Explain Why Spring Cleaning Is Different From Regular Cleaning

For most kids the idea of cleaning ranks right up there with a visit to the dentist. The day-to-day maintenance of their rooms or other chores they’re assigned are not met with great enthusiasm, but the thought of a top-to-bottom deep clean might have them on the phone with grandma suggesting an impromptu visit.

One way to make this pill easier to swallow is to tell them that this is a family project and everyone needs to chip in. Hint that there might be some surprises along the way, maybe bribe them with a pizza delivery during a lunch break, and be sure to let them know how wonderful the house will feel and look when it’s all done.

Spring Cleaning with kids tips
Give Your Kids Their Own Cleaning Tools

While it might be cute and a little funny to watch a 5-year-old try to wield a tall broom, in the end you know there will be no dirt in the dustpan and you’re likely to have a frustrated child on your hands. Child-sized brooms, mops, dustpans, sponges, and more can be found at most retailers and they come in fun colors and prints. If the inevitable bickering begins over who gets the polka dot set, then let your kids draw from a hat to see who gets what.

You can also use small spray bottles filled with vinegar and water or other child-safe cleaning solution so they can spray and wipe to their heart’s content. Be sure to only fill the bottle halfway so they don’t waste too much and maybe send the family dog to the neighbor’s house.

Kids might not know that spring cleaning doesn’t include the dog and a vinegary pup is the last thing you want in your newly cleaned home.

Donate Everything You Can

Kids may balk a bit about giving up that bike they’ve clearly outgrown so now is the time to tell them about all the benefits of charitable donation. They might not understand the financial benefits you’ll reap by donating that old boat that’s been stuck in the garage for years, but they’ll probably understand that their outgrown coat can keep another child warm next winter.

Since donation items need to be boxed anyway, make it a little more fun by allowing your child to decorate their donation box with markers, stickers, or whatever they please. This can help make the whole idea of sifting through their dresser drawers a lot more fun. Additionally, when it’s time to deliver the box to the charity of your choice they can show off their creative skills as well as know they’ve done something nice for others.
Spring cleaning, fall cleaning, or any type of cleaning is not something your kids are going to attack with gusto and glee. However, it’s important to be clear about your expectations, make those expectations age appropriate, and make it as fun and easy as possible to meet those expectations.

While you might find that you end up doing most of the work, have to drop what you’re doing because one child just can’t decide what to give away, or to break up squabbles, the end result is the same. Your windows will sparkle, your floors will shine, the fresh breezes from the open windows will banish the winter funk, and you can relax at the end of the day knowing that you got your kids on board with spring cleaning.

Well, mostly on board. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

4 Common Myths about Health Insurance

With the increased chatter amongst the population about waiting lists and the inability to book a visit to the doctor without a month’s wait comes a reasonable way to mitigate such headaches. Trouble is that, as with anything, the lack of knowledge on a topic can be off-putting to most. For example, a topic such as private health care is not meant to be scary or stress-inducing. In fact, it is supposed to do the opposite. Private healthcare is in place to give society a sense of peace and security in regards to receiving proper attention when ill or injured. There are many myths and misconceptions circulating about healthcare. This article will help to dispel the misinformation that often clouds one’s perception on the topic.

I’m healthy and do not need to spend money on extra coverage.
Many believe that although healthy, or even young and directly out of university, that they do not need to consider investing in additional health insurance coverage. They believe that the chances of falling ill or getting injured are slim and therefore the topic is never even broached. When one does not plan for the future, unfortunately, when tomorrow does arrive or something does happen that one was not expecting, the lack of preparation can only add to the exasperation and helplessness one feels because of their failure to plan ahead. It is a myth that it is not necessary to invest in health coverage if you are healthy. Planning ahead for your future just in case something were to happen can be a huge relief if you do fall ill or get injured. In addition, living on a daily basis with the comfort of having insurance in the back of your mind is easy and affordable. 

I will never use the private health insurance.
Another misconception is that many believe they will never use their health insurance coverage if they do choose to invest in a private policy. The only way you wouldn’t use your coverage is if you did not know what the plan entailed or included. It is important to take some time and read your policy and be aware of all the intricacies. There may be items covered that you are unaware of. Based on your budget, you can customize your policy to include items you may need such as psychiatric care or even dental care. 

Too expensive. Many believe that private healthcare is too expensive for them to afford. With the cost of living expenses going up on an annual basis as well as petrol, automobile costs, and other bills that are on the rise, people worry that health care premiums are a cost that is too far out of reach. In reality, it is possible to choose the amount of coverage that will work best for your needs and budget. 

Waste of money. The truth is that insurance is more than just a policy. It provides a sense of peace and security knowing that no matter what ailment plagues you or injuries you may be susceptible to, you have a level of coverage that may not be available to you if you didn’t invest in private healthcare. This guide will help you understand what is included in your policy and how to utilize the healthcare plan to the fullest.