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Wordless Wednesday - Pretty Bird

I came across this little guy fishing on the beach, he didn't even care that I was there snapping away.

Save Big on Travel, Without Sacrificing a Great Vacation

Travelling, alone, as a couple, or as a family has a unique ability to open our eyes, and our hearts to new sights, sounds, and experiences.  It also has the unique ability to open and empty our wallets! It dosn't have to though. With a little preparation travel on budget is entirely possible.

Plan Ahead
Spend a bit of time researching your destination, find out when peak and off seasons are, you can save thousands just by changing the dates of your stay a few weeks.   Keep your eye open for deals, you may find that some destinations ( like disney) have a pretty reliable schedule for discounts.

Use Credit and Loyalty Cards to Your Advantage
There are people who literally travel the world for free, because they know how to maximize their reward card. Take advantage of sign up bonuses and special events, and if you really want to get the most out of your miles, arrange to have your bills be paid from your credit card automatically, its amazing how quickly your points can add up

Be Flexible

There are many cost effective alternatives almost anywhere you travel.  Avoid he pricey all inclusive and rent a house or condo, websites such as can take a lot of the guess work out of finding places to stay. 
Take the same approach with your food, go off the main tourist strip and eat where the locals eat, not only will you save a ton of money, you'll probably experience the local culture in a much more intimate way.

Avoid the Group Tours
a lot of the time you can take public transit, and pay your own way in for a quarter of the cost the tour companies are going to charge you.  Take a look at the local attractions before you leave and you may even be bale to buy tickets online at even greater discounts.  My family was able to buy four tickets to a popular Cancun area nature attraction for less than what the resort was charging for one ticket.

Save on Water
One simple way that we have found to save money, and stay hydrated, is to make sure we always have our reusable water bottles with us.  A water bottle at a tourist attraction can cost up to $5, multiply that by 4 people, several times a day, and you're spending a small fortune on water alone.  By bringing our own water with us, we save money, and stay hydrated.

Do you have nay tips to save money on your family vacations? Share them in the comments below.

Spiced Coffee Steak Rub #HavaJava

I recently posted an amazing recipe for Coffee Crusted Grilled Mahi Mahi, made with SingleJo Coffee's fabulous espresso. 
Single Joe is best known for their aromatic K-cups, that feature less material making for "Less Waste and More Taste", but you should try their whole bean coffee, its just as fabulous!  The espresso used in these two recipes is part of their Club Coffee line, and it is definitely yummy.
I'm a pretty big fan of coffee, I love to drink it hot or cold, I LOVE it frozen, and I love to cook and bake with it.  There are so many ways you can incorporate coffee into food, but most people when using coffee as an ingredient, cook something sweet. 
I like to be different.
Most people don't automatically think of meat in combination with coffee, but it really is a great combination.  Coffee, when cooked has a nutty earthy flavor that really lends well itself to a savory dish.
Today I want to share with you a bolder flavor than what I shared previously.  This steak rub has a definite kick to it that you're going to love. 

Espresso Steak Rub

2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1.5 Tbsp finely ground espresso
1 Tbsp dry mustard
2 Tsp Chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
.5 tsp cayenne

Mix all ingredients together and rub all over your favorite steak cut.  Let it sit unrefrigerated for ten minutes and grill to perfection ( for me that's nice and rare, which for the steak pictured was about three minutes per side)

I hope you enjoy this as much as me and my family did.  Id love to hear from you, how do you like to incorporate coffee into your cooking and baking? Let me know in the comments.

Imagination Movers Are Back in Blue #IMCanadaTour

Grab your wobble goggles and scribble sticks, the movers are coming to town!

We are big Imagination Movers fans in the Modern Housewife family, Its one of the shows that both my girls can agree on, and even the baby loves the songs.  They love to watch it, and they love to play it, not a day goes by that we don't experience at least one "Idea Emergency", and I love the ingenious solutions my girls come up with to solve the latest crises.

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I First Started Blogging

5 things i wish i knew when i first started blogging
Over the past few years, blogging has evolved from personal journals to big business, and the way we blog has undergone so many changes and evolutions that its barely recognizable from the simple online journals it began as.  I started my first blog many years ago, and through trial and error, there are a few things Ive learned that make my blogging life much easier and more efficient.  Here are a few things that I wish every new blogger could know.

Coffee Crusted Mahi Mahi #HavaJava

I may have mentioned this before, but I have a little obsession with coffee.
As a mom, I don't get a lot of sleep, or a lot of downtime, so I make it a priority to start my morning with a few quiet moments and a hot cup of coffee or two before the kids wake up and chaos reigns again.  Of course, I also have a second coffee before lunch, and a frozen coffee mid afternoon, and some mocha scented fro-yo as a treat after dinner.....