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You have a few extremely busy days ahead of you with not much time to even think about dinner. Never fear! If you have a slow-cooker with a timer, here are 3 crockpot recipe must-haves that will make dinner on hectic days a little easier.

If you don’t have a slow-cooker, they are worth the investment and highly recommended. They come in assorted sizes and some are more advanced than others. For a busy adult who has long days, I would suggest a cooker with a timer. That way, if you are out of the house for longer than eight hours, your food won’t overcook.

  1. Chicken Tacos- Serves 4-6, costs under $10 and the prep is only 10 minutes!

What you need:

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed
  • 1 chopped white onion
  • 1 can of corn (drained)
  • 1 can of black beans (drained)
  • 1 can of tomatoes and green chilis (drained)
  • 1 pack of taco seasoning
  • Hard or soft taco shells OR lettuce leaves for a carb-free taco
  • Sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa and whatever you want as a topping


Add chicken, onion, corn, beans, tomatoes w/ green chilis and taco seasoning to the slow-cooker. Stir well and set on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. You can crush up taco shells and serve as a taco salad, have regular tacos on shells or leaves of lettuce. Top with fat-free sour cream, cheese and anything else you want. Add a little salsa on the side and voila.

  1. Pork Roast Dinner- Serves 6-8, costs under $20 and the prep is 15 minutes!

What you need:

  • 3 lb pork loin roast
  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 1lb bag of red potatoes (cut into fourths)
  • 1 small white onion (cut into slices)
  • 1 stalk of celery (cut into chunks)
  • 2 cups of beef flavored broth
  • ½ teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried sage


Place the roast in the center of the slow-cooker and the veggies around the roast. Pour broth in and add the thyme and sage. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.

  1. Cream Cheese Chicken Chili– Heads up that this is a high calorie one because of the cream cheese, so not an all-the-timer. It serves 4-6, costs under $15 (without the cost for seasonings. However, you can find some at Aldi for a dollar or so each) and the prep is less than 5 minutes!

What you need:

  • 2 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can of Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 can of corn (undrained)
  • 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 package of Ranch dressing powder mix
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 8ounce package of cream cheese


Put the chicken in the crockpot. Top with the tomatoes, undrained corn, the drained and rinsed beans, ranch dressing powder mix, cumin, onion and chili powders. Stir to combine the ingredients and top with the cream cheese. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Eat as a chili, serve over rice or in shells, or have with tortilla chips as a dip!

These can be tailored to your liking. Also, to save on your prep time, feel free to try chicken that is already cubed for the tacos, a roast “kit” that contains the roast and veggies if you see one at your grocer, or 4 cans of chicken for the chili. Crock pot recipes are time savers so be sure to check out places like Pinterest to add to your crockpot collection. Enjoy!

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The A,B,C’s to Balancing a Checkbook

Untitled design(15)Balancing a checkbook is crucial in making sure you don’t spend more than you have which leads to an expensive lesson. It also helps track your spending and help you maintain your budget. Here’s the A, B, C’s to balancing a checkbook.

The Transaction Ledger

When you receive your checks, you will have a couple of blank ledgers. The ledgers have columns for:

  1. Check number
  2. Date of transactions
  • Description of purchase or deposit
  1. Amount of check, withdrawal or purchase
  2. Deposit amount
  3. Balance after the transaction line item

If you don’t have a ledger, create one. This is where you will record everything; every deposit, check, withdrawal or purchase. Start with a beginning balance (or your opening balance if it’s a new account) and as you make transactions, subtract from or add to your balance (which will show at the end of the line).

If one thing is missed, it could throw your account off. The last thing you want is a bounced check (ex: You write a $95 check, but only have $90 in the account when the payee tries to clear the check through your bank. It is returned to you as insufficient.) If a check bounces, you will be charged an insufficient funds fee (This fee usually ranges between $25-$50 per check) from the bank, and in most cases, a fee from the payee.

Sometimes your bank may allow a check or transaction to clear, putting your balance in a negative state. Although they are saving you from the embarrassment of a bounced check and potentially extra fees from the payee, the bank will still charge you an insufficient funds fee. Now your account has a negative balance and that means a daily fee charged to you from your bank for the length of time your account remains negative.

Obviously, these fees can add up and create a financial hole that is tough to get out of when you are already struggling financially.

*Extra Tip* If available, when setting up your checking account, ask about overdraft protection. 

Online Banking

Managing your bank finances and transactions is also made easier with online banking. Every bank at this point should offer this, so make sure to get the login information and set it up. Banks will more than likely have an app you can download for mobile banking as well.

With online banking, it gives you instant access to transactions; helping you keep track and compare everything to your own records, recall a check to view if you forgot to write it down and gives you quicker response time to unrecognizable charges and report possible bank fraud.

*Extra Tip* As you go through your transactions online, put an X next to the transactions and checks in your ledger once they have cleared.

Banks are different with how they display balances and charge fees; some banks may show a transaction on the online banking, but the balance doesn’t reflect due to the transaction still pending. This could lead to you thinking you have more available than you actually do.

Make sure to ask around to find the most trusted and customer-friendly banks in your area. Also, don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions when setting up the account. There is no such thing as too many questions, especially when dealing with your finances.

So, shop around, ask questions and keep good transaction records. You will do just fine.


You met someone at work or school recently who is so much like you. You have the same sense of humor, like the same music and have the same interests. For some, it’s awkward going from work associates or school peers to hanging out afterwards. There are so many people we know of, but how do you know if you are actual friends rather than just friends on FB? Here are 5 tips to know if you have crossed over to being besties.

  1. You go to the bathroom and get ready together so you can continue your very detailed conversation. What happens in the bathroom, stays in the bathroom. You also go so far as sharing text messages from your mister so you can get her BFF analysis and breakdown—what he probably meant, was he angry, etc.
  2. Hanging out on the weekends is a given. Where she is, you are. There is always an inside joke or two around that have you both rolling, while everyone else is left to wonder what they missed.
  3. You take turns in the mirror doing your hair and make-up together, following it up with a selfie where you both look good and choose a filter that enhances you both.
  4. You become an added member of her family and vice-versa. You both go to crazy family events and you don’t even worry about it because she loves you and can deal with family drama and all your baggage. Also, the first person called when there is exciting news—her—rather than family.
  5. You can tell her literally anything. Things involving your bathroom visits, periods, that you have gone a week without washing your hair, whatevs. Dry shampooing it like a boss? Now that’s a secret between you two and since she’s your BFF, she ain’t tellin. You can also PMS on her like a champ and she will just call you out on it, you will cry an apology and then the both of you will eat ice cream together while watching the Notebook—and crying.

Describe anyone? Let’s show some love for those friends that have your back.