Thursday, August 27, 2009

Save the Tortillas ~ Woman Owned Business needs our help!

Calling all woman, there is a business owner that needs our help in Florida.  Her name is Tammy Young.  She started the company La Bonita Ole with $13,000 of her own money 17 years ago. She makes up less than 1% of the woman-owned businesses in the U.S. However, she is in jeapordy of losing her company to the bank even though she has done everything by the book.

Tammy has striven over the years to make the best tortillas outside of Mexico. In 2008, her company was forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy to satisfy lenders in the current credit climate. The move allowed La Bonita Ole to reorganize, continue paying its bills, meeting the payroll, and producing tortillas for you to enjoy. In fact, they are among a small percentage of viable companies in bankruptcy that are successful. However, the situation has become critical. SunTrust Bank may move to sell the company. We are a solid and profitable business in a growing industry. Under the present management. La Bonita Ole should continue making the best tortillas you have ever tasted.

So, how can you help Tammy out?  Well, just sign this petition & support her company by buying her tortillas.  

La Bonita Ole was kind enough to send me a sampling of their tortillas to try out and consider writing about her cause.  I was sent a few different varieties.  We already ate through them all, so I'm not 100% sure of the exact names.  I was sent a basic tortilla, wheat, tomato & corn. 

Let me tell you, they are SO good.  I think these were our biggest taste test, I tried them, both my girls, my dad & even my brother tried them.  My tween and dad liked the tomato flavor the best.  I liked the regular the best, but they were all quite good.

My kids, dad & brother ate a chicken wrap.  They used breaded frozen chicken strips cut up, lettuce, tomato, cheese & dressing.  My tween loved it so much, she ate them for several days in a row in both the tomato flavor and the wheat.  My dad also ate several, and I believe my youngest daughter ate a few as well.  They also used the wheat for tacos/burritos.  I was impressed because my kids barely ever eat tacos, but they were begging for more that night & we actually ran out of food (normally have left overs).

The great thing about tortillas is there are so many things you can do with them.  They aren't just for tacos and burritos.  You can do chicken wraps like we did or other meats.  They are also great for kids school lunches!

Here are some recipes from the website ~

Curry and Chutney Chicken Wraps

3 split (1 1/2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups of low-fat mayonnaise
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chutney (recommended: Major Gray’s or Spicy Major Gray’s)
3.5 tablespoons indian curry powder
1 cup medium-diced celery (2 stalks)
1 red onion julienned or chopped finely
1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews, chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped finely
6 Tamxicos Whole Wheat tortillas
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil. Scatter julienned red onions on and around the chicken. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until slightly cooled. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred the chicken in pieces.
For the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, wine, chutney, curry powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a food processor. Process until smooth.
Combine the chicken with dressing enough to moisten. Add the celery, scallions, and raisins, and mix well. Refrigerate for two hours to allow the flavors to blend. Add the cashews and the chopped cilantro to the chicken.
Fill the center of each tortilla with the chicken mixture. Fold the 2 sides of the tortilla over the filling so that the sides overlap. Roll the tortilla from bottom to top, and cut in half diagonally

Basil-Tomato Tortilla Pizza

* 1 Tamxicos flour tortilla (any flavor works here)
* Preheat oven to 400 degrees
* Brush 1tsp olive oil evenly on top of the tortilla
* Spread 1/4 cup of fresh grated mozzarella cheese evenly onto tortilla
* Sprinkle 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese (reggiano preferably)
* Place circular slices of fresh tomato onto pizza
* Place on sheet pan and bake until golden brown on top for 8 minutes
* Allow to cool for 1 minute, tear two large fresh basil leaves on top of tomatoes, cut into triangles and serve
Feel free to use your imagination for toppings. These make amazing appetizers!

Be sure to take a moment to sign the petition.  You can also follow Save the Tortilla on twitter and facebook.

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Author Guest Post ~ Eddie Godshalk

Seven False Assumptions – That Caused the Housing Crisis

False Assumption 1: Real Estate Has Always Gone Up in Value, Thus It Will Continue to Go Up in Value Real estate prices in the United States have historically been on an upward trend, rising on average 1.6 percent in real terms between 1970 and 2005. However, this does not mean that prices increased every year in that period and by the same percentage in all locations within the country. For instance, between 1990 and 1995, inflation-adjusted prices of homes in the United States declined by 1.1 percent. If any individual purchased a house for residence or investment in that period and sold it before the market recovered, he or she may have realized a capital loss on that property because prices declined.

Moreover, the claim that real estate has always gone up in value, and thus it will continue to do so is a generalization that may not necessarily apply to specific localities. Real estate markets are local markets, in which any market’s stability and growth are affected by location-specific factors that influence supply and demand and therefore home values. Consider, for instance, the recent spurt in foreclosures, which has had a disproportionately heavy toll on real estate markets in, say, California and Nevada. An increased supply of distressed properties in those markets lead to large drops in home prices. However, foreclosure activity within each state may be concentrated in specific local communities, such as the Silicon Valley in California, which has seen a surge in unemployment.

Furthermore, there are over 1,200 Census Block Groups or hyper local markets in Silicon Valley. Income ranges from under $20,000 to over $400,000, prices range from under $100,000 to over $2,000,000, and the number of Short Sales ranges from near zero, to over 20% for some Census Block Groups. In addition, the medians are not correlated to the ranges, and the medians have changed over 8% since the yearly data was published by the free vendors that many sources quote.

Thus, any such local markets, including that in the Silicon Valley, CA, may have seen larger declines in home values than the state of California as a whole. Besides, these precipitous declines in California or Nevada may be taking place against home price increases in other parts of the United States. One example is Cambridge, MA, which recorded a 16 per cent annual increase in prices last year.

The Home Value Predictor™ ™ integrates various local market data into a model that forecasts price movements down to the level of a particular local community. Its broad and block-level market forecasts thus help avoid making investment decisions based on generalizations about real estate prices for the nation as a whole or for any particular local market.

Eddie Godshalk author of “The Missing Keys to Thriving in Any Real Estate Market” reveals the information that was missing, that caused the housing and financial crisis. There are over 350,000 markets in the US. Have you ever wondered where to find current local information?

The current housing crisis is caused by a lack of quality relevant local information and a lack of due diligence on loans and loan packages (MBS). Can the sub-prime housing market crash occur again in your town? Noted Real Estate author, analyst and lecturer Eddie Godshalk, fore-warns that the answer is yes, because the loan approval process is currently encapsulated with only a few profiles of three to six month old data. There is no consolidation of local meaningful data to mitigate risk. “To conduct meaningful real estate due diligence, you need to know how one block compares to another block and the surrounding blocks and use updated current information,” states Eddie Godshalk, Author of The Missing Keys to Thriving in Any Real Estate Market and CEO of Silicon Valley, based Value Predictor, LLC.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pinecone is looking for families to join the panel

I've decided to get rid of my Getting free from debt blog and just post deals, etc here since this is a product review blog.  I just have to much going on.  I had planned on blogging about budgets, finances, shopping deals, drugstore & coupon deals + ways of making money online.  I never really got to that point, but maybe I will here?

Anyways, one of my favorite survey companies is Pinecone research.  They are hard to get into, you basically have to find a banner somewhere.  They are currently accepting families into the program.  You can sign up here.  It is a referral link, but I do not get anything for it.  It is only because I'm a member in good standing.

I have received many products to test out + you get paid for every qualified survey.  Right now it is $3 + a chance to win a contest.  Everything you do is confidential, so I can't talk about what I have tested, but I have been very happy in the program. 

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lunch Solutions for the Entire Family

School is starting soon, some areas have already started. Lunch is on the brain. The thing is though, it isn't just kids packing a lunch. With the economy, many families are brown bagging it to work as well.

American adults carried 8.5 billion lunches from home in 2007, according to NPD Group research, the most recent figure available. That number has surely climbed since the economy has headed south.

With the average packed lunch costing $3.25 [1], compared to eating lunch out at $8 to $10, there’s big savings by the end of a month’s worth of lunches.

When making lunches for your kids or yourself ~ Reaching for unhealthy solutions – such as highly processed products – now takes the same amount of time as reaching for healthier options from the fresh produce department.

Earthbound Farm has a spate of easy lunch solutions for health- and eco-conscious bagged lunch packers no matter where they eat their mid-day meal – from pre-school to the corner office. These lunch options are certified organic, fresh and ready to drop in a bag, bento box, tote or briefcase:

* Organic Apple Slices – These fresh, crunchy apple slices are the perfect size and ready to eat. (5 2oz bags for $3.99)
* Organic Mini-Peeled Carrots snack pack – (10 2oz bags for $2.99)
* Organic Carrot Dippers with Ranch Dressing – This perfect combination will help sneak in that serving of veggies at lunch (3 packs for $2.89)
* Grab & Go Salads: Caesar Salad, Mixed Baby Greens or Baby Spinach Kits ($3.69 a box and includes salad, dressing, topping, fork and the clamshell package can be used as a bowl)
* Organic Raisin snack packs – A sweet treat in a little box (6 1.5oz boxes for $2.99)

I was sent the Organic Apple slices and the Organic carrots to try out. It worked out nicely because I was able to grab a package to take with me when I worked the baseball games (raising money for dance). They were pre-packaged and sealed, so I could bring them into the baseball park. They were a great portion size, and the best part ~ super yummy & healthy!!!

I also let my kiddos have some. They loved the apple slices, and the girls quickly finished off my package. They said, just like McDonalds. Always a plus with kids right. I had read a study awhile back that if you put healthy food in McDonalds take out bag for your toddler they will eat more vs. the kids that had a plate of healthy food. Isn't that funny. If you ever struggle with feeding veggies, try using a McDonalds bag I guess.

Anyways, the Earthbound Farms products are found at your local grocery store, are affordable, easy to pack, organic and great tasting.

[1] The Journal Star. 4/29/09:

** I was not paid for this review. I was sent apple slices and carrots to test out. I was not required to post this review. This review is my opinion only. **

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hellmann's Sandwich Swap 'n' Share

Hellmann's® and Best Foods® Mayonnaise has teamed up with musician and actor Billy Ray Cyrus to encourage people of all ages to celebrate their favorite childhood ritual (swapping sandwiches at school lunch) and join the virtual Sandwich Swap 'n' Share program to raise money for Feeding America®, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity.

For every sandwich created as part of the virtual Sandwich Swap 'n' Share program on, Hellmann's® and Best Foods® will donate 7 lunches[1] to Feeding America®.

This is a really fun & free to you way to support a great charity. Please take a moment to stop over to Hellmann's facebook page. Making a sandwich is really easy, you just allow the application then either build your own or have Hellmann's build one for you.

Comment here if you do!!! I'm a fan, are you?

[1] 7 lunches equals a $1 donation Hellmann's® will make to Feeding America® to provide meals to Americans at risk of hunger. Up to 700,000 lunches.

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TV Store Online Halloween Costume Giveaway

I didn't realize that the sold a huge line of Halloween costumes until recently. They are the place to go if yo...