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9 Tips to Save on Holiday ShoppingFeatured

Between navigating stores, searching for items at the top of wish lists and preparing for inevitable delays and last-minute requests, shopping for the holidays can make the most wonderful time of the year one of the most stressful times as well. Even though the holidays seem to creep up faster and faster every year, and inflation adds an additional worry, there is still hope for your budget this season. To help reduce stress and avoid overspending on gifts, consider these money-saving tips from Regina Conway, consumer expert for Slickdeals, a one-of-a-kind online community of shoppers working together to shop smarter and save more. Avoid procrastinating. Due to shifting shopping habits, there may be excess inventory in certain categories such as home goods. While it’s possible categories with extra inventory may see deep discounts later in the holiday season, don’t expect every item you want to be available at the last minute. Set your budget with hidden costs in mind. When setting budgets, many people stop at the number they think they’ll spend on gifts alone. Make sure to factor in additional costs such as child or pet care services, shipping fees and travel costs so there are no surprises. Tap…

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in Featured, Food & Drinks, SoCal Trends

Post-Thanksgiving Tips & TricksFeatured

We all know that Thanksgiving comes with all the yummy family-favorite recipes that include lots of sugar and carbohydrates. For some, this is more calories than you eat in a week you will consume in one day. While one day of overindulgence isn’t too disruptive if you get back on track the following day, but it can cause some digestion issues the night of and the morning after. Here are some tips and tricks that I often recommend following just prior to going to bed and first thing in the morning. 1.    Thanksgiving evening you might feel a little thirsty. This is due to the salt that is added to the food. In addition, it could also be related to any alcohol that you consumed. Your body is reacting to dehydration. So, drink some water before you go to bed. I would suggest lemon water. Lemon water has a natural acidity to it which helps remove fatty acids in the system and create balance during digestion. Also, continuing to drink water throughout the day, and reducing drinks that create dehydration (coffee, tea, or other energy drinks) will help. This brings us to my second tip.  2.    Let’s talk about why you might be…

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Health Conscious Winter Recipe
March 22, 2020
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in Food & Drinks

Healthier Green Beans Almondine RecipeFeatured

Green Beans Almondine is simply green beans dressed in butter, almonds, and a squeeze of lemon. Sometimes I add garlic or shallots to the beans, but it’s also good without. This is a side dish at most Thanksgiving tables. Its quick and easy and I have a bit of a twist to keep it healthier and use the calories elsewhere. With Thanksgiving being one of the biggest meals of the year with lots of carbs and sweet treats, green beans are the perfect low carb side because, not only are they are low in carbohydrates, they are high in fiber. In fact, 1 cup of raw green beans (4 ounces) has 8 grams total carbs and 4 grams fiber for a net carb count of 4 grams. Prep Work Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with avocado oil.  Preheat oven to 400 F  Ingredients 1 pound trimmed green beans 2 tablespoons oil  1/2 cup flaked or slivered almonds (reserve half for just before serving)  1 tbsp lemon juice cracked pepper to taste sea salt to taste Optional (either, not both) 1 tbsp shallots, minced 1 clove garlic, minced Instructions Wash and trim the green beans, cutting on an angle for a cleaner look. If using garlic or shallots, mince. Roll the lemon…

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in Food & Drinks, Things To Do
Health Conscious Winter Recipe
March 22, 2020
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in Food & Drinks

Not Your Average Apple PieFeatured

When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of Apple Pie!!! What I found I like about the pie is the apples – so one year, an idea popped in my head.  What if I made extra apples for me and ate them separately?  I could still have some whip cream on top and by eliminating the crust, I would save the calories. That was nine years ago, and it’s still the way I prefer to eat my apple pie – without the crust!  So, if you want a healthy yet sweet way to use apples and if you don’t want to make an apple pie or applesauce… how about this Healthy Cinnamon Apple recipe!  I found this recipe years ago but have changed it over the years because I like more nutmeg and clove flavoring and I reduce the allspice. Ingredients 4-5 pounds apples cored and sliced (not too thin, or they will break up.  I like to cut each apple into 8 wedges) 2 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice 1/4 cup sugar-free sweetener or honey 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon allspice 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon clove (optional) 2-3 teaspoons arrowroot or organic cornstarch or…

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in Featured, Pets & Wildlife, Things To Do

Camping With Your KiddosFeatured

By Maria del Cisne Vital   Camping is a great way to teach your kids the importance of the outdoors and to spend some quality time together. Ditch the technology, take in your surroundings, and become one with nature at these kid-friendly SoCal camping spots:   Black Rock Campground in Joshua Tree National Park One of two camping sites that can be reserved at Joshua Tree, Black Rock is a great place for family camping because of its beauty and accessibility. It is located on the edge of the park, and it lies within one of the thickest Joshua tree forests. It is ideal for RV camping, but also has amenities (showers and laundry) within five miles. Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive desert tortoise and other desert creatures! Waking up for an early morning hike will be a truly breath-taking experience for the whole family as you watch the sun rise over the desert. https://www.recreation.gov/camping/black-rock-campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70953   Crystal Cove State Park’s Moro Campground Who needs a white noise app when you can get the real thing at Moro Campground? Fall asleep and wake up to the beautiful sounds of the Pacific at this campground. You can enjoy the beauty…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Family Fun, Things To Do

Stress Less on Your Next Family VacationFeatured

A vacation is all about getting away and taking a break from the pressures of daily life. Some smart planning and the use of handy travel apps can help ensure your next adventure is a stress-free success. Create a Travel Buffer When booking your trip, plan an extra day or two on the front and back ends of your travel itinerary. This provides you with optimal time to finalize preparations, organize your packing and avoid last-minute scrambles. On the return trip, the added day gives you some cushion so you don’t have to stress about getting back to work if there are travel delays. You’ll also have a chance to unpack, unwind and settle back into your home before diving back into your daily grind. Get Smart About Saving One easy way to take the stress out of vacation planning is to use digital resources to save time and money. An option like a sightseeing pass from Go City offers savings on attractions and activities. A single pass grants access to multiple iconic landmarks and unmissable experiences in more than 25 cities across four continents. For example, in San Antonio you can take advantage of a Natural Bridge Caverns discovery…

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