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Straights - Delicious, Chic and Unforgettable.

by Heather Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Easy

Recently I did a press trip to Houston sponsored through the GoHouston! As always all opinions are my own.

While on our amazing trip to Houston we were invited to dine at STRAITS Restaurant.

STRAITS menu unites the four major culinary influences of Singapore-Malaysia/Indonesia, Chinese, Indian and Nonya

I wasn't familiar with the cuisine from Singapore and I was afraid it wouldn't be quite to my liking. Wow if I had only known how narrow minded and wrong I was.

If it weren't for this opportunity, my husband and I on our own probably would have chosen a different restaurant and missed out on such a wonderful dining experience.

As soon as we walked in we were greeted by an incredibly friendly staff and seated outside in one of their lovely cabanas.

The air was a perfect temperature and City Centre had live music across the way... it was starting to feel like a scene from a romantic movie.

My husband and I looked at the menu for a few minutes, but we were stuck between a few different options.

Vladimir our waiter suggested we choose the Tender Braised Asian Pork Pot Roast with Chinese Spinach & Pineapple Chutney.

To say "he knew what he was talking about" would be an understatement, but before I get ahead of myself I can't forget to tell you about the Roti Prata.

I can't believe I have been missing out on this my whole life. Do you see those crispy layers? That's heaven somewhere in the middle there.

It's no secret that I am a carb fan, but this is on a whole other level that any other bread, pastry I have ever had.

The Roti Prata comes with a curry that is also top notch, and you don't want to miss it.

I loved this so much that I have now found a recipe online and plan on making this at home.

Unfortunately we don't have a STRAITS Restaurant in Utah or you would find me there every week eating one of these.

I will be sure to let you know how my homemade version turns out.

This was our main course; the Tender Braised Asian Pork Pot Roast with Chinese Spinach & Pineapple Chutney. My mouth is watering just thinking about it right now.

Doesn't it look amazing, my pictures don't even do it justice. The combination of the Chutney and the Pot Roast flavors were heavenly.

I swear they must have had this baby roasting all day, because it was a challenge for it not to melt before it even hit my tongue.

I have never had such succulent and soft pork.

And if you are looking to spend a little less, they encourage ordering dishes to share; family style.

My husband and I shared this, and it was definitely enough for the both of us.

Don't skimp out on dessert! Your sweet tooth will never forgive you...

CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE - I savored every last bite. The perfect complement to an amazing dinner.

Slightly crunchy outer shell and rich warm chocolate on the inside that comes pouring out once you dig in for that first bite.

If you prefer something with less chocolate (I will try not to judge) you could try the Cheesecake Egg Rolls, like my husband did.

Super moist and rich cheesecake filling wrapped up and dusted with sugar.

I would highly recommend sitting outside, I don't want to sound really old lol, but the music inside was really loud and nothing beats eating incredible food out in the fresh air.

To give you an idea of how friendly they are STRAITS, the manager John came over to our table to make sure we were enjoying our meal, not because I was doing a review on the food, but because it's what he does.

He lives for this restaurant and he genuinely wants to make sure every customer is happy, but this motto doesn't stop at the Houston location this is a huge part of the STRAITS every day.

STRAITS is owned and operated by noted restaurateur, Chris Yeo. “It has always been my dream to have a restaurant to make people happy! Food is my passion and through food I make people smile!” he says.

STRAITS Restaurant Group strives to leave a memorable impression by meeting every guest’s individual needs through great food, environment and genuine service.

Few people know that Chris Yeo began his career as a hairdresser and was once more familiar with cutting hair than steaming dumplings.

Had he not given up his blow-dryer for butane burners, foodies across the country wouldn’t have him to thank for bringing authentic yet modern Singaporean and Chinese cuisine to today’s dining landscape.

So if you happen to be near or pass by Straits Restaurant take a lesson from me; step inside, meet some incredibly friendly people and open your palate to some of the best cuisine you will ever have.

You can also check out their Facebook page for all their latest events and news.

Mama

Disclaimer

Summer Cooking With Guy Fieri Sausage! #CookingWithGuyFieri

by Heather Monday, May 4, 2015

“I participated in a Influencer Activation for Guy Fieri Sausage. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

With summertime right around the corner I find myself looking for any way out of having to make my kitchen hotter than it already is. When I want full bellies, great food and less heat inside the house I turn on the grill! I’d be lying though if I said I only grill because of the heat… the truth is I don’t need an excuse to grill. I am that crazy neighbor out using her grill when it’s 20 degrees outside, desperately praying that the propane tank hasn’t frozen up.

Nothing makes me more excited for summer than firing up the grill. A huge grill favorite around our house is burgers and brats; as soon as they start sizzling mouths start watering. Unfortunately if you lean on the grill to bring all the flavor you will end up with some pretty bland sausage. You need sausage that bring home spectacular flavors, and Guy Fieri has some that will definitely turn up the heat for your next meal. With flavor packed combos like Fajita Seasoned Chicken Sausages and Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese Pork Sausages you can’t go wrong.

Having a BBQ? Toss these on babies on the grill and wow friends and family. In our house buns are for burgers, but sausages were meant for something better especially these beauties! One of my favorite dishes is this Grilled Summer Sausage casserole. You can heat this up really quick in the oven, a skillet or on the grill. 

Grilled Summer Sausage casserole:

One package of Guy Fieri Italian sausage 

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

½ cup medium onion, diced

4 asparagus stalks

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon Oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tsp garlic

1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then into pieces

1 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise and then into pieces

1 red, yellow or green pepper cut into strips

Instructions - 

Grill:

If grilling put all ingredients minus your sausage into a foil package and grill for about 20 minutes. Grill your sausage separately to the directions on the package and dice up and mix in with the rest of the ingredients when done grilling and serve. 

Stovetop:

Dice up the sausage sauté in a large frying pan with onions and butter, toss all other ingredients in and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. 

Oven:

Toss all ingredients in a casserole dish mix together and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes on 350.  

You see that?! That's yummy goodness oozing out. YUMMY! I promise this will be a huge crowd pleaser recipe and guests will be begging for seconds. 

If you are planning a BBQ or just need some kitchen relief be sure to head over to Walmart and grab some Guy Fieri sausage for a quick, easy, and flavorful meal. 

Each package of Guy Fieri Sausage comes with 4 links, each 3 oz. in weight! 

Stay connected with Guy Fieri here: 

Website: http://www.guyfieri.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GuyFieri

Twitter: https://twitter.com/guyfieri

Mama

Disclaimer

6 top reasons why the HP Envy Touchsmart should be your next laptop #AMDFX

by Heather Thursday, April 30, 2015

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

It’s becoming commonplace that most households have a laptop and it’s no secret why, the portability makes it ideal for a busy family that can’t always be grounded to one room. Whether you have teens that want to play games, smaller kids that want to watch a movie or you need to get work done a laptop is a great asset for any family. When choosing a laptop though it can get confusing which ones will give you more for your money.  One great option that has everything a busy tech family could ever need is the AMD FX APU – HP Envy Touchsmart Laptop and below are my top 5 reasons why it should be your next laptop! 

#1. Performance: The HP Envy Touchsmart has extreme performance with a powerful mobile processor to deliver exceptional Gaming and Entertainment experience. A slow performing laptop will not only be incredibly frustrating, but also make it impossible to play games or watch movies without issues. The HP Envy Touchsmart is equipped with AMD’s most powerful mobile processor and is sure to be able to handle any entertainment needs.  

#2. Graphics: You know you can’t go wrong when a laptop has award winning graphics and that’s what you will get with the HP Envy Touchsmart. 

#3. Weight: Now normally this isn’t even a factor with a PC, but when you get a laptop weight is huge! (or should I say small) You don’t want to feel like you are dragging around a rock.  I love a good arm workout, but not from my laptop. You need something light and portable and with the HP Envy Touchsmart weighing in at just 6.1 lbs. it will easily be portable. 

#4. Sound quality: Now this one is more of a personal preference, but if you are going to have a laptop with killer graphics and performance I believe you need an amazing sound system to round it off.  With built-in dual speakers with a subwoofer you will have rich audio and deep base for all your games, movies and more. 

#5. Touch Screen: It used to be that you were forced to choose either a laptop or a tablet, but now you can get both rolled into one device.  I love the touch screen! It makes simple little tasks so much easier and you don’t always have to have a mouse around. Touch, tap, glide and make the most of Windows 8. 

And last but not least…

#6. Sleek “Wow Factor”: I know what you’re saying… “What does this have to do with how well it works?” It doesn’t, I know it’s superficial, but you are going to be staring at this thing day in and day out. You want a sleek beautiful laptop that you are proud to show off and for this reason and all the ones above you are going to want and need the HP Envy Touchsmart.

Head over here to Best Buy check it all out!  

Free Shipping

on orders $35 and up

Free Store Pickup

Pick up your order in as little as 45 minutes 

Mama

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Creating Genuine Family Memories with Panasonic's Home Team

by Heather Tuesday, April 28, 2015

As we get older we start to realize the most important thing in this world is family. Those precious moments of quality time spent with those we love are priceless. Unfortunately, life gets complicated and the time we have to just sit down with extended family members seems to get shorter and shorter and sometimes the miles between your family and other family members is just too much to visit on a regular basis. 

My kids are old enough now to know and recognize all of their family members and also realize when they miss certain extended family members that live far away. I can count on, at least once a week, hearing, “When are we going to see grandma and grandpa again?” Grandkids and grandparents have a bond that thrives off of quality time spent together, but what do you do when you live too far away or there just isn’t enough time for constant visits? I run into this problem all the time. I want my kids to see their grandparents on a regular basis, but it just isn’t practical all the time. Occasionally we will do video chats so they can at least see each other, but it isn’t quite the same as doing actual activities and having fun together, and I find myself steering the conversation because little kids don’t quite always know what to talk about on the phone.

So how can we get quality time with those we love that can’t be directly with us? Panasonic has a solution for that very problem, and they have now introduced Home Team app. Not only can you stay in touch with loved ones near and far but you can also engage in activities like reading stories and playing games that will only help to strengthen the bond you have together. 

My little girl loves playing games with grandma and grandpa and now she can play games with them anytime she wants. We also do homeschooling and there are many learning games on Home Team so grandparents can see and be a part of their grandkids learning. 

Home Team doesn’t just have to be for the grandparents either, I went out of town recently for a press trip and was able to still continue our kids bedtime routine by reading books, asking them about their day and doing hugs and kisses (through the screen lol). My kids were able to feel like I was still a part of their day even though I was far away. Having the ability to stay in touch with them like that was priceless to me. I love my job and I love exploring new places and trying out new things, but a lot of the time I can’t take my kiddos with me and I miss them so much! Home Team gives me the ability to be as close as I can with my family when I am out of town. 

This amazing app would also be so cool for moms or dads that work outside of the home. Why not play a little game of Tic-Tac-Toe or read a book to your kids on your lunch break?! If work is getting you down, playing a game or just checking in with your family and seeing them would definitely brighten your day. 

If you want to create lasting fun memories with family members near and far be sure to check out Panasonic’s Home Team. You can try it out here 30 days for FREE!! (no credit card required) And for more ways to bring you family closer check out some great tips and ideas here! 

Mama

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What's Your AWAY? Go RVing This Summer! Plus Enter To Win A FREE TRIP!!

by Heather Thursday, April 2, 2015

Weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer and that means just one thing to me... it's time to get away! No I'm not trying to flee my home, warm weather makes me want to travel and see new and exciting places. One of my favorite means of travel is by RV there's nothing else like it. Being out on the open road with all the necessities you could ever need right behind you is one of the most freeing traveling experiences you can have. Our family has seen Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Acadia National Park, The Mall of America and so much more thanks to RV travel!

If you are considering traveling by RV this summer here is a list of my top 3 favorite destinations and I also have a great treat for you at the end of this post so be sure to read through! Smile

#1 Yellowstone 

This wouldn't be a great list without one of my favorite places on it! On our last trip there we spent nine days soaking up all that Yellowstone has to offer and it was a fantastic trip. It was the first time our kids had seen so much wildlife and they were talking about it for weeks afterward. I can't even begin to express how great it was doing the trip in an RV. We were able to spend a whole day at Yellowstone Lake and didn't have to leave to eat or rest and we just hosed the kids down afterward with the outdoor shower on our RV. The difference between a trip we did a couple of years earlier when we stayed at a hotel and drove through with a car and the same trip in an RV was a huge difference.

The trip with the RV was a million times more relaxing and fun! And the conveniences can't be beat, while visiting one of the hot springs my little girl needed a restroom and as we came up to the one located where we were stopped; there was not only one of the biggest lines for a porta-potty I had seen in a long time, but also a smell that was worse than any of the stinkpots in the park. We were saved by our wonderful RV and all I could think is how bad I felt for the visitors that were in cars and didn't have nice facilities to use. It sounds weird, but when traveling with kids you will be so glad you have a bathroom with you constantly in your RV! Traveling through Yellowstone in a RV is a must! 

#2 Yosemite, California

Yosemite has always been a great travel destination, its beauty is unmatched and has had tourists flocking there all year round. This isn't a hotel destination, when visiting Yosemite you want to be out soaking up the beauty as much as possible and the best way to do that is by RV. With the highest waterfall in North America, the granite dome, El Captain (an amazing vertical rock formation) and beautiful valleys with rivers, lakes and more what's not to love? And visiting it all in an RV is a truly unique experience. To be able to pull up to all that beauty and instantly have a picnic, take a hike or go rock climbing is amazing. You can go here to find some great RV campsites in the park and here to check out some great RVing tips from the experts at Go RVing. 

#3 The Mall of America or any other amusement park

This would definitely be my kids favorite and probably not what you were expecting to see on this list. I think a lot of travelers have a hard time thinking outside of the box when it comes to RV travel, but RV travel doesn't have to be restricted to National Parks and it would be a little sad if it were. The best thing about an RV is it's endless possibilities and the positives it can bring to any vacation anywhere across the country. Those "positives" make a trip to a theme park not only bearable for mom and dad, but survivable! If you have been to a theme park with your kiddos you know how fast you can get worn down and how hard it can be to keep your sanity. With that in mind I was concerned how well it would go when we recently took our kiddos to the Mall of America. If you haven't been there it is amazing!! It's not your grandma's mall that's for sure.

With an amusement park, a climbing course, an aquarium, a Barbie Dreamhouse and more it was a little overwhelming and a lot to fit into one day. After a whole morning of rides with the kids and more pink than I have seen in my whole life the kids and I were more than ready for a little nap, but my husband had plans to see a Spiderman movie in a D-box that makes you feel like you are a part of the movie. Normally it would be a nightmare trying to figure out how we could get back to the hotel while he went to his movie, but that was exactly why we took an RV. The three of us were able to take a much needed little break in the RV and it was a lifesaver to keep us energized and ready to get back to all the fun later in the afternoon. An RV really is the only way to go when visiting a theme park or an amusement park.

I can't even count how many times it would have been amazing to have an RV to retreat to while visiting one of the many theme parks we went to in Orlando. I've seen it all over the faces of so many parents too, that look of just needing a little break from all the chaos! So next time you think about doing a theme park vacation for the family remember that RVing is the way to go! 

Those are just my top three, but there is so much more to explore with an RV and so many amazing destinations! Be sure to check out another favorite; traveling through New England in the Fall! And for even more ideas head over here to discover 10 mustā€see outdoor vacation spots for families.

If you now are anxious to get started on your own RV adventure you won't want to miss this amazing Go RVing Giveaway!!! 

Head over here  and submit a short paragraph of no more than 300 words about an ideal away experience along with your name, email and mailing address.  

o Sweepstakes begins on 4/1/15 on 5/30/15.  

o Grand Prize Winner receives a trip for four (4) to one of 3 

vacation destinations as selected by the Winner for 6 days/5 

nights of their choice.  

o The first Two Thousand Five Hundred (2,500) entrants will 

receive a Scholastic book! 

Be sure to hurry and get those entries in! 

Mama

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