Available Balance
Sometimes You Have To Work With What You Have
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Today, I thought I’d share the easiest way to make a meal. We all go to our cupboards, see what we have, yet end up going to the store to get something for dinner. Laziness? Maybe! Most likely, many people aren’t very food savvy.

Let’s face it we live in a fast-paced world. Time and time again people are making shortcuts to meet those challenges. But should you really take shortcuts with your health?

My photo today is a meal I just put in the slow cooker. It took a whole 10 minutes to prepare and it will be done in about 4 hours. Today, I’m making Cheesy Potatoes with Bacon and Green Onions.


I used everything I already had in the home.

Cheesy Potatoes with Bacon and Green Onions

(1) Bag of Yellow Potatoes
(Use what suits your families size. With 4 in my family, I used half a bag.)

(2) Olive Oil
(Just sprinkle it on.)

(3) Salt and Pepper

(4) Parsley
(You can use the flakes or fresh parsley. Remember use what you have.)

(5) Bacon
(I cut the bacon up because I’m adding three layers in the slow cooker.)

(6) Cheese
(Like the shredded cheese already in the bag. My girls use it for so much. But if you have a block of cheese go ahead and shred it up. And if you want to use two kinds.)

(7) Top with Green onions.
(Here’s a trick. Buy one thing of green onions from the store. Cut the bottom off. Put it in soil to grow or just a small glass and you’ve just saved money) I already had my green onions.
You’re going to repeat this two more times. (This will make a dinner dish but you can make less. Have it for a quick lunch or use it as a side dish. Whatever works for you.)

You’d be surprised by what you can make with what you already have in your cupboard. I hope you find this post inspiring. Let me know what you find in your cupboards.

Literacy Base – Writing Tips
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If you’re new to Literacy Base you may be thinking. “I don’t know where to start or what to write about but you know you want to be a part of it so you hit the ground running… Maybe you’ve been a part of the site for a while but are having difficulties, feel frustrated and it seems like it’s just not working out for you.

The big question is,”Will you still be here in 3 months time, 6 months, a year?”

Some people who joined LB were last active 10 months ago. We can’t be sure why they left but it is a good possibility it had something to do with low interaction, couldn’t find something to write about, loss of interest and so on.

If you really want to make this work for you, I’ve put together a few helpful easy tips that will turn you into a pro in no time.


Literacy Base – Writing Tips

1. Interaction is a MUST

(It’s so important to interact act with others and not just focus on the money making aspect of it all. There is no quick way to make money. It takes time, determination, and dedication.)

2. Pace Yourself

(Set a time frame that works for you and your followers will come. If you try doing it every day there are a few things that can happen, which is probably the same reason as those who were last active 10 months ago. By pacing yourself, you’ll find that your writing will improve and others will get the benefit of taking away something from your work)

3. Schedule Posts


Tuesday and Thursday Write a New Post.

Friday is Blog Day.

(By putting yourself on a set schedule you’ll find that in the long run, you can accomplish more.)

4. Brand Yourself

Become an LB Tech Writer, Home and Garden How-To Contributor.  Writing about what you know is the quickest way to gain credibility and followers.


(Branding oneself is a great way to gain more followers and it can really open doors for you in the writing world.)

5. Start a Group

(You might think starting a group just isn’t right for you. But everyone has experience in something and the ability to help others. You just need a little encouragement. In fact, people write volunteer services down all the time on their resume’s and employers really like to see people making an effort, a contribution.)

I hope you found this post helpful. Let me know how it works out for you. Have other tips that you find helpful? I’d love to hear about them.

Photo is an example of branding oneself.

Clean Up and Recovery, Stella

Stella hit us pretty hard. This was a historic blizzard that started locally around 2:55 a.m. on Tuesday morning. I know this because it’s part of my job. It was well into the night that I tracked the storm. Multiple reports came in from Pennsylvania around 2 a.m. that they were getting snow. Most were reporting light flurries, a few flakes.

As time past and Stella had yet to introduce herself to us, I focus radar in on the area to get a broad time frame when we might get hit. That’s when I saw it. Stella was tip toeing around us quietly with many unaware we were in the eye of the storm.

At 2:55 a.m. Stella hit and as I predicted, she hit with a steady flow of snow falling. We were covered in a matter of minutes. It was around 9 a.m. I took this photo that I’m sharing with you today. Conditions were a mess, schools closed, a travel ban was enforced, emergency teams were coming together because locally “no one could keep up”.

By 9 a.m. Tuesday morning we were roughly between 19 and 23 inches of snow. Stella was here to stay. It was a steady stream of snow with low visibility and I was out in the thick of it getting photos and video footage posting LIVE updates out on Twitter.

It wasn’t until mid-Thursday that the County-wide ban was officially removed. Some area schools opened which brought into question the safety of students. That’s when I got in touch with the Mayor Office,


“The National Guard is at present shoveling out fire hydrants which is our first priority.  Sidewalks are the responsibility of the individual homeowner, if you have a problem with an individual please let the Code Department know the specific address.  The School District makes their own decision on whether to open or close schools on their own.  Mayor Bertoni had requested not to have school today.”

I have to admit, I agreed with the Mayor. Sidewalks were untouched, unpassable and/or blocked off from students. This also led to a closer look at messages left for parents from local schools. In the message to parents, the school’s announced a 2-hour delay, asked parents NOT to drive students to school because of road condition and buses needing to get through. They also stressed that student walkers be “very very careful” coming into school because of all the snow and large piles.

Later on Thursday, the sun came out and it helped the area a great deal as well as the National Guard who had been called into the county and arrived late Wednesday night to help clean up. With a few areas still needing work, Friday was a major improvement over conditions on Thursday.

While the current forecast calls for another 2 – 4 inches of snow over the weekend. It doesn’t seem to be an issue. Roadways are wet, not snow covered and it doesn’t seem to be sticking. It’s 1:24 p.m. with current temperature at 32 F and our high for today was expected to be 33 F.

I’ll keep you posted as the clean up continues.