Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Camping Tips And Ideas

When I was younger I used to be a Civil War Reenactor.  One of the things I loved about reenacting besides the living history was the camping.  I was never a Boy Scout but I certainly loved camping ever since I was a kid and my grandfather gave me a boy scout tent.  I used to set it up in the backyard and play for hours.  Later, as a Civil War Reenactor the camping was quite a bit more rustic than the enclosed tents with bug screens and bright fluorescent lamps that people drag along on camping trips nowadays.  We slept in pup tents with open sides and on top of a gum blanket with a single wool blanket as our cover.  Not so bad in the summertime but cold as heck in the late fall at the Cedar Creek reenactment.

Now that my wife and I are set up in the USA I'd love to take up camping again as it is something that we couldn't do in the Philippines. They have parks over there but they lack the facilities that national parks have in the USA.  Here we can enjoy a wide vista of parks to camp in and it's certainly cheaper than staying in a hotel.  If you're new to camping then get involved, there's a wide variety of websites with Tips On Trips And Camps so you see how best to get started with a very rewarding hobby.  I'm not sure how my wife will like going out into the wild and "roughing" it for a weekend, but I am certainly excited to try.

BrSpiritus is the Sr. Editor of The Vintage Recipe Blog

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Crazy Over Peanut Butter

Who doesn't love peanut butter?  Peanut butter is everybody's favorite, with its creamy, crunchy and sweet taste, no one can't resist!  What is peanut butter?  It is a food paste made primarily from dry ground peanuts, it is mainly used as a sandwich spread.  It is very popular in North America, other part of the country and of course in the Philippines.  My husband's a peanut butter lover too, he loves to eat  peanut butter jelly, he can eat it until he get sick of it..  He told me its like a staple food for them, when he was young that's all they can afford to buy before, bread and peanut butter plus jelly so its like a meal for them already.  But unfortunately not for me, I think I'm not really a big fan of peanut butter its not that I don't like it, because I think I'm used to the peanut butter in the Philippines that its fresh, you can buy it after they made it so the taste is very simple and natural no other flavors but just peanut and its not so sweet too. And beside its very cheap its like a dollar for a small cup.  The only problem if you eat so much peanut butter is because its creamy so the oil from it can get you into trouble with all the calories and extra fat that your body doesn't need, of course we all know too much of a good thing is bad for us.  My husband is a little overweight so I always tell him not to eat a lot of peanut butter, of course he doesn't listen, its his favorite.  I keep looking around for a peanut butter alternative that is healthier but still taste like peanut butter, until I stumble upon this PB2. PB2 powder is a powdered peanut butter with lower carbohydrates and no chemicals.  It is healthier because 90 percent of fat is removed from the peanut, so the oil is squeezed out from the roasted peanut and what remain is a peanut powder that contains about 180 calories, compare to 250 calories from a regular peanut butter spread.  Time to go and head on to the grocery to try this PB2 powder and find out for myself if its worth a try and if my husband will love them too.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Home Loans

  Before we had our own apartment, me and my husband used to live with my father in-laws house. I wrote an article about it a couple of times here in my blog. It is a nice 3 bedroom house with a swimming pool, but I didn't have a chance to enjoy the pool when I first arrived here in the US because my husband decided to make it as a fish pond, due to the fact also that the pool got neglected. Anyhow my father in law first bought that house 20 years ago,with his wife and two daughters,until his two girls moved out and went to college and his wife moved out also after a couple of years. Until 2010, my husband come to a conclusion that he doesn't want to live in the Philippines anymore, and my father in law was so kind to let him stay on his house while waiting for me to finish the processing of my visa. Finally after 7 months of processing and a year and a half of not seeing each other, I got my visa and flew right away to the US. So from that time, we stayed in my father in-laws house for almost a year, it was so nice of him, he let us stay in his house for free of course beside the food and some basic commodities that's in our shoulder.

 At first we had a planned of buying the house, because that time my Father in-law still paying the mortgage and he said that the house is too big for him and too hard to maintain. But it turns out that we can't afford the monthly mortgage of the house so we ended up renting an apartment. We tried to apply for a house loan but we give up because its too complicated with all the paper works they want and you have to have a good credit score too. My father in-law seeks a lot of advice from his attorney on how to reverse his mortgage to be able to save his house and not declare bankruptcy, because his been paying the mortgage for 20 years and losing it is gonna break his heart, the house is part of his life, he had a lot of beautiful memories that I know he doesn't want to give up that house. Its just so sad that he can't find any way to get a loan or refinance it. If only we can help money wise but we are also poor, we just live as they say overhere "live paycheck to paycheck", just enough to pay the bills and have food in the table.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Valentine's Date Plan

Its February and that means Valentines Day is quickly approaching, me and my husband was planning to go somewhere else to celebrate Valentines Day to be different.  We want it to be simple and memorable and at the same time easy on our budget.  I wanted to go back in St. Augustine to spend our Valentines date over there again, yes we went there last year but did not really enjoy it a lot because it was not plan so well and it was just a short trip due to the reason that we have to work after that day.  That time we spend almost $200 just in one day, but I think its worth it because I love St. Augustine it remains me of Cebu one of the city in my home country.  I love their church and their restaurant, I just love the ambiance over there.  But then I also want to go to the beach, I really miss swimming and smell the ocean air that relaxes you.  Maybe we will go Daytona beach.  I heard their beaches are lovely and has pure white sand, unlike our beaches over here in Jacksonville its kinda filthy, I mean the water is fine I like it but the surroundings are messy garbage are everywhere and the sand is not white.  That's one of the thing I miss in the Philippines, our beautiful paradise like beaches.  Or I maybe its wise just to stay in the house, enjoy the air conditioning in the apartment, now that the weather is getting hotter and watch a movie all day and just have a simple candle light dinner .  What do you think?

It still depend on my husband if he agrees with me, I rather spend our Valentines day on the beach.  And I know now is a perfect time to go because the weather is not that cold  and not too hot either.
I also found a good deal on a dinner date for two on Valentines Day, I found it online and I think its a steal because its just $40 good for 2 person in an expensive french restaurant here in Jacksonville.  But I know were gonna pay more that, that's for sure, especially if its Valentine's were gonna go overboard with food and desserts. Now I'm confused which one to choose for our Valentine's date, I wanted it special and memorable but at the same time not expensive. Special because officially this would be our first Valentine's that were going to celebrate since I arrived here in the US, since last year we did not really celebrate it due to financial reason, so now that we both have a job we wanted to treat ourselves.  I think we both deserve it, especially my husband his been working a lot, between his job and picking me up after I work because I don't have  a license yet, I know his very tired at the end of the day that sometimes we argue because his tired and I'm tired but what important is we know deep in our heart we can't live without each other. 

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