The Top Texas Destinations to Fulfill Your Taste Buds

No one makes ’em bigger–or better–than Texas! And that goes double for the Lone Star state’s delicious cuisine. When traveling through or camping in the large state, there are a number of Texas destinations you’ll want to stop by to sample everything it has to offer.

Such notable Texas destinations for great food range from the urban cities to the rural southeast part of the state.

Central Texas

Central Texas is the home of the “Texas Trinity”: ribs, sausage, and brisket. Ribs come in either full-size spare ribs (which come from pork) or big beef ribs. Texas sausage is usually made of beef, but sometimes you’ll find it made of pork.

The Texas Trinity formed way back in the 19th century when Czech and German immigrants made their way to the center of the state. Both Czech and German cultures are noted for their love of meat, so it’s only natural that their mingling would lead to new meat creations.

Specifically, the Texas Trinity is the result of the two cultures finding new ways to preserve and recycle leftover meat. Some immigrants smoked it inside enclosed brick smokers while others ground it up to produce new sausage.

East Texas

Hot links, an east Texas delicacy, came to be in 1897 in Pittsburg, TX. That year, butcher Charlie Hasselbach sought a way to efficiently recycle scrap pieces of meat such as cheeks and tongue. He ended up grinding them into a paste which he then molded into raw hot links.

The original hot links took a hit of water and binder as well as some spice to mask any “outdated” flavor. Today, Texas hot links are made with fresh meat and sold at a myriad of different restaurants, stands, and food trucks.

In addition to hot links, you’ll find a great deal of Cajun food in east Texas (specifically southeast Texas). That area of the state’s close proximity to Louisiana has caused it to adopt some of the Pelican state’s cuisine.

The most noteworthy Louisiana-Texas crossover food is crawfish. Crawfish is a staple at mud festivals and other popular Texas events.

The Gulf Area

Without a doubt, the most popular food found along the Gulf coast in Texas is oysters.

While not as popular as east or west coast oysters, a true Texan appreciates oysters from the Gulf. They’re best eaten in-season when they’re plumper and sweeter.

South Texas

Much like southeast Texas has adopted some of its neighbor Louisiana’s delicacies, Mexico has influenced its neighbor south Texas’s cuisine.

Mexican staples such as tacos, fajitas, and the like first became popular in the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio. Their popularity has since spread north to Austin and beyond, though, so you don’t need to learn how to make migas or any other ingredient to enjoy them!

Other Texas Destinations For Delicious Food

Texas is a huge state, and the number of amazing delicacies that it offers is endless. If you know of any other great Texas destinations for excellent cuisine, feel free to comment below or shoot me a line!

6 Essential Dental Care Tips for Healthy Teeth

dental tipsAs a mom, you know just how difficult it can be to find the time for self-care.

Between making meals, keeping your kids from breaking everything in your home, and coordinating carpool with that weird mom on your block, you barely have time to think!

However, self-care is essential — not just for your sanity, but so you can set a great example for your children.

One of the easiest and most basic forms of self-care? Good oral hygiene.

You might think you’re taking good care of your teeth. But how can you be sure?

Read our list of these dental tips to find out — and be sure to share them with your kids!

1. Make Sure You’re Brushing Correctly

Pretty much everyone (thankfully) is aware that they need to brush their teeth a minimum of two times a day.

But are you actually brushing the correct way?

To make sure you’re getting the most out of your brushing experience, position your brush at about a 45-degree angle. This way, when you brush, you’ll clean both the teeth and the gums.

Also, resist the temptation to move your brush only from side to side.

Instead, aim to make small circular motions with your brush, which will help to knock more plaque and debris loose.

Also, make sure you replace your toothbrush at least every three months.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to brush your tongue! In fact, your tongue is where the worst-smelling bacteria in your mouth live. You can invest in a tongue scraper, but a simple toothbrush will do the job just as well.

2. Try A Waterpik

We know that many of you likely aren’t too thrilled with the prospect of flossing your teeth every day.

However, even if it’s uncomfortable, it’s also incredibly important.

It stops plaque from building up, cleans areas your toothbrush can’t always get to and can help to prevent periodontal disease. If you just can’t stand the string version, try a Waterpik instead.

Waterpiks can help you to clean the areas around braces and other orthodontic work and offer a deeper clean than flossing alone.

3. Know What To Avoid

If you want your teeth to stay looking beautiful (and working perfectly) there are a few things you need to stay away from.

The number-one thing to avoid?

Smoking and tobacco. This isn’t just a dental tip — it’s a health tip, too.

First of all, it turns your teeth an unsightly yellow shade and can cause your gums to deteriorate quickly.

According to research compiled by the American Dental Association, smoking can also lead to:

  • Complications after dental procedures/surgery
  • Gum disease
  • Cancer in the mouth
  • A weakened sense of taste
  • Stains on the tongue

In short, if you aren’t smoking, don’t pick up the habit, and if you are, look into ways to quit.

But avoiding tobacco isn’t the only thing to remove from your lifestyle on this list of dental tips.

You should also aim to reduce your intake of sugary sodas, coffee, and (unfortunately for all the wine moms out there) alcohol. This is because all of these drinks contain high amounts of phosphorus.

Over time, this can actually lower your overall levels of calcium, which can weaken your teeth. Plus, the corn syrup in sodas can lead to tooth discoloration. Cut back on these drinks, and try to brush your teeth immediately afterward.

4. Get Regular Dental Checkups

We know that not a lot of people like going to the dentist. Some may even experience great anxiety before an appointment.

Take steps to calm yourself down, like learning as much as possible about your procedures and even bringing a friend to your appointment. Colgate’s website also has lots of information about what you can expect to go on during your dental appointment.

Also, you’ll feel a lot better when you find a dentist you know you can trust. You can learn a lot about a dental practice from its website.

For example, Forest Park Dental dentists include an introductory video on their homepage, clearly display their contact information, and include customer reviews on their website.

Remember that not all dental problems are visible to the naked eye — much less to someone who isn’t a professional.

Whether the appointment is for you or your child, you need to make sure you visit the dentist at least once every six months to stop any problems from getting worse.

5. Choose The Right Mouthwash…

Next up on our list of dental tips?

Make sure you’re using a mouthwash that’s doing more than just freshening your breath.

When you’re selecting your mouthwash, look for options that contain chlorine dioxide. Listerine is a great example.

This is because the agents in these mouthwashes actually help to eliminate the bacteria in your mouth while assisting in strengthening your teeth.

6. And Pick The Right Toothpaste!

Just like mouthwashes, not all toothpaste is created equal.

When you’re shopping for your next tube, make sure you look for one that has the ADA seal on it. This means that the manufacturers have followed regulations put in place by the American Dental Association.

In addition to helping you to clean your teeth more thoroughly, this seal means that the amount of fluoride in the toothpaste has been regulated.

Embrace Your Pearly Whites With These Dental Tips

Thanks to these dental tips, you’re ready to take your oral hygiene to the next level.

One final tip?

Always make sure that you supervise the brushing and flossing of your children. Consider setting up a rewards system or tracking their brushing with a sticker chart.

Explain to them that taking care of their teeth now will help them to avoid serious problems in the future!

Looking for more tips on how to be the best mom you can be? Need advice on how to find coupons for that ADA-approved toothpaste we mentioned here?

Check out our website to find the best deals for exactly what you’re looking for. Be sure to spend some time on our blog to get access to the latest parenting hacks and money-saving deals.

Now, it’s time to book your dental checkup!

How To Save Money On Health Care When You’re Uninsured

Have you recently found yourself without health insurance? You’re not alone: 11.7% of Americans are currently without health care insurance.

And that number is growing, up from a low of 10.9% in 2016.

Why?

Rising premiums can make health insurance out of reach for many, and some people prefer to take the penalty rather than pay for expensive insurance they rarely use.

Even those with insurance sometimes go without health care. 25% of Americans say that either they or someone in their home has gone without medical care because it’s too expensive.

But health care is so important. What can you do if you’re insured but find yourself in need of care? Read on for four money-saving tips.

1. Find a Direct Primary Care Provider

Even without insurance, you don’t have to go without basic health care! Direct primary care providers (also sometimes cash-only providers) are a great option. They provide both primary and preventative care for cash–some don’t even accept insurance!

Some cash-only clinics are run like urgent care clinics, where you pay a set fee per visit. Others offer a sort of subscription plan, where you pay a monthly fee (usually less than $50) and can receive an unlimited amount of primary/preventative care.

2. Use Urgent Care Clinics

If you need to be seen immediately (assuming it’s not an emergency), and you can’t get in with a primary care provider, look for urgent care clinics in your area. There are likely several to choose from.

An urgent care clinic is most certainly going to be cheaper and faster than an emergency room, but they have a lot of the same equipment available for screening and testing.

3. Don’t be Afraid to Price Shop

This tip may seem strange or intimidating if you are used to having insurance. With health insurance, you rarely ask about costs since you know what your out-of-pocket payments are.

When you’re uninsured, however, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask about costs ahead of time. Call around and ask for prices from multiple providers.

And don’t beat around the bush: Let them know you are insured. For example, if you’re looking to get a vasectomy, call several clinics and simply ask “How much does a vasectomy cost without insurance?”

4. Negotiate Your Bills

If you do end up in the emergency room or hospital, and you weren’t able to use the above tips, don’t despair. You can negotiate your medical bills after you receive them. Insurance companies do it all the time!

Many hospitals and doctors will provide a discount to patients who pay in cash. And even if they don’t, or if the total is too high for you to pay all at once, you can often still negotiate your bill down and set up a reasonable payment plan.

Saving Money on Health Care Is Not the Only Way

Now that you’ve got the scoop on how to save money on care while uninsured, you may be wondering what else you can do to keep dollars in your pocket while protecting your health.

One of the absolute best ways to maintain your health (along with your wealth) is to be proactive about it! That means having a healthy lifestyle, which includes maintaining a good diet and getting plenty of exercise.

If you’d like more information on staying healthy and wealthy, check out our health and fitness blog for more tips and ideas.

Making Music and Money By Teaching Piano From Home

Teaching piano form home isn’t as hard as you may think. Even if you’re not an accomplished musician, you can easily line up a few students to start teaching. Plus, you get to work in the comfort of your own home.

This earns you a nice income of about $35.49 an hour.

You get to flaunt your skills while helping others and earning cash. What could be better than that?

And it’s easier than you think. Teaching piano from home requires little effort but comes with big rewards.

Ready to start making money? Here we go!

What You Need to Start Teaching Piano From Home

There isn’t much required to get started. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, this is a great way to work from home. Here’s what is needed.

Experience

This one is obvious but you don’t need to be classically trained to teach. If you start out by teaching little kids, there isn’t much experience needed.

You need to know how to read music and learn the basics. This can be easily researched on the internet.

A Piano

Another obvious one but sometimes people think keyboards will suffice. They don’t.

You need to teach your students how to get a feel for an actual piano. This will also allow them to start gaining strength in their fingers.

Training Books

These are good to keep on hand for both you and the students. You can lend it to them to study overnight so they’ll be prepared for the next day.

A Quiet Space

Your students will want a quiet place to practice. You don’t need a fancy studio as a guest room or a clean garage will work.

Chatalbash piano teachers created their own home studios to get the job done. This proves you don’t need to rent out a tiny apartment or music studio to get started.

Create a Business Plan

While you are teaching piano from home, it’s still good to write up a business plan. This will help you keep on track with your goals.

You’ll want to include your business concept. Are you set on teaching children or do you want college students?

What about your competition? You’ll need to know how many others are teaching piano as well. You’re not only competing against other at-home teachers but institutions too.

Set Up Payment Terms

You want to get paid for your hard work, right? The first mistake work-from-home people make is that they’re too flexible with getting paid.

You need to set strict payment guidelines to ensure you’re getting what you’re worth. You can have students pay for a group of lessons or on a weekly or monthly basis.

Don’t worry so much about pleasing the students with your pricing. If they want the best, they’ll pay for it.

Promote Your Business

You can’t get students by sitting at home hoping someone will come knocking on your door. Take your business to the streets by handing out flyers or putting an ad on social media.

Once you have a few students, don’t forget to book more lessons for them. That loyalty is what you’ll need to stay afloat. Don’t think of it as pressuring them; if they loved your teaching style, they’ll be more than happy to sign up again.

Wrapping Up

Teaching piano is a great and rewarding experience. And making a little cash on the side doesn’t hurt either.

You don’t need expensive equipment or years of knowledge. All it takes is willpower and ambition.

Looking for more ways to earn money while working from home? Check out our most recent blog posts!

5 Workouts for Moms to Do at Home

Trying to get healthy but can’t seem to find the time or money to go to the gym?

Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to stay healthy by exercising in your own home.

This article will break down the top 5 workouts for moms to do at home.

1) Fitness Blender

“Fitness Blender” is a website run by a married couple, Kelly and Daniel, which offers hundreds of free workout videos.

Not only are you saving the hassle of having to leave the house to go to the gym, but you’re also saving the money you would spend on a membership.

Fitness Blender offers exercise videos for all exercise goals. They offer strength training for all muscle groups. They also have workouts that require little to no equipment.

2) Yoga Videos

Yoga is one of the most relaxing workouts for moms.

It is a common misconception that yoga is easy and doesn’t give you a good workout, this is not the case! Yoga can help tremendously in your quest to build muscle and increase flexibility.

Plus, yoga clears your mind. When you’re a new mom sometimes all you need is a few minutes of relaxation, and a yoga video can offer that to you.

3) Bodyweight Strength Training

There’s no need to go out and buy a bunch of elaborate workout equipment. Everything you need is already with you.

Do a total body strength training routine with no equipment for a great workout.

Be sure to hit all of your muscle groups, don’t fall into the trap of ignoring your upper body. Good upper body strength exercises include pushups, tricep dips, and pull-ups.

After your strength routine, it’s important to refuel your muscles. Try these Sportsfuel bodybuilding supplements to give your body the vitamins and protein it needs to recover.

4) Mini Trampoline Workout

Bouncing on a trampoline is a great way to relieve stress and feel like a kid again.

Miniature trampolines can be bought online or in store for an inexpensive price. Jumping is one of the best aerobic workouts for your whole body.

Plus, your kids will love to use it once you’re done.

5) Treadmill Incline Workout

Have a treadmill but despise running? Try a walking incline workout instead.

Simply step on your treadmill and crank the incline up high and power walk on it. This workout is incredible for your legs and glutes and will get you a good sweat quickly.

Enjoy These Workouts for Moms

As a mother, we understand that it’s sometimes hard to take time for you.

You’re conditioned to always sacrifice what you need for what your child needs.

However, your health is very important if you want to be there for your child long term. These home workouts for moms will help you stay healthy and more alert all day long.

If you have any questions for this article or want to contact us for any reason, please do so here.

5 Beauty Options to Help You Discover Your Perfect Look

Your alarm goes off. It’s 7 am. You pull yourself out of bed and into the bathroom, turn on the light, and find a monster staring back at you: puffy eyes with bags underneath, hair going every which way, and blemishes on your cheeks.

It’s your morning nightmare. But how can you fix it? You can’t afford to spend $15,000 over a lifetime like everyone else.

That’s where we come in.

We’re gonna go from head to toe and show you five different beauty options you can use to get that head-turning look you crave without draining your bank account.

Your Hair

To begin, let’s start at the top. Your hair frames your face and accentuates features such as your eyes and your smile. But long hair can be difficult to tame, much less style.

So cut it.

That’s right, cut it. Shorter hair is easier to maintain, quick to style, and will put you on the cutting edge of the fashion scene. Every celebrity from Emma Stone to J. Law is rocking the bob. Why not you?

With short hair, even dreaded bed head can be used to your advantage. You can hit the town looking like a rock star for free, no gel required.

Your Eyes

They’re the windows to your soul. You don’t want to fog them up with clumpy lashes up top or bags below.

Keep things simple. Smoky eyes are great for dates, but if you’re just running errands or going to the office, you might want to use one of our more practical beauty options.

You can use a neutral kajal combined with liquid eyeliner for some quick magic or an eyelash curler and light mascara, to make your eyes pop. Either way, you’ll look fierce.

Your Face

Sometimes it’s the hardest thing to work with. From blemishes, acne scars, and fine lines you can end up with a lot to do. Fortunately, we have some simple solutions.

BB cream works wonders covering minor blemishes, and it’ll help keep your skin healthy too. For more troublesome spots, combine it with a concealer to get that even tone.

(If you need more help, check out what Atlanta Face and Body has to offer.)

Lastly, don’t forget the blush. While a whole rainbow of colors exists to choose from, pick something close to your skin tone or a neutral color. You’ll look awake (even if you’re not) and your skin will glow.

Your Smile

It’s your greatest asset. So’s coffee. Often, we’re nothing without either.

Unfortunately, coffee and great looking teeth don’t go together. Dark pigments from coffee embed themselves in tooth enamel and turn your teeth yellow. Gross!

The solution? A quick trip to Walgreens.

Whitening toothpaste that contains hydrogen peroxide gel can lift stains with repeated use and brighten your smile.

Of course, there’s more to your smile than just teeth. Dull lips can turn heads away from you just as fast as a coffee-stained grin.

You could get collagen injections from a doctor, but that’s painful and can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000. Yikes!

Thankfully, you can get full lips without surgery by using temporary solutions such as plump cream or micro-injection plumpers.

Your Clothes

Let’s face it, you want to look your best, but sometimes your wardrobe lets you down. As much as you might want to raid the mall on a shopping spree, you just don’t have the money.

Consider accessorizing your outfit to spice up your look. During autumn and winter, rock a lightweight scarf and knit beanie to add flair with a pinch of cute. When the temperature warms up, trade in that beanie for a wide-brimmed hat and don a pair of sunglasses to stay in the shade and be cool.

Want More Beauty Options?

Yeah, we thought you might.

While these options are easy to use, maybe some of you out there want more, such as hair coloring tips or how to get that perfect tan. Maybe some of you want to know how you can save time and money on other things besides fashion.

We’ve got all that and more. Check out our website for more articles and don’t miss out on our freebies and giveaways.

5 Unique Small Business Ideas for Women

Many of us dream of becoming our own boss. That’s probably why there are 28 million small business owners in the US.

From freelancing to tutoring, there are many opportunities available for the business-savvy woman.

Maybe you want to turn a beloved hobby into a business. Or maybe you’re researching the trendiest small business ideas for women.

Whatever the case, we’re here to provide some inspiration. Here are five small business ideas for women you’re sure to love.

5 Small Business Ideas for Women

1. Online Consignment Shop

If you’re in a position to open a brick-and-mortar store, that’s fantastic. Even if you aren’t, the digital age has enabled anyone to open their own “storefront.”

Vintage clothes are a huge trend right now, and shoppers are always looking for a bargain. Collect clean, gently used consignment items and display them on an attractive website.

A big benefit of running a consignment shop is that you don’t pay for the inventory until it’s sold. This makes it an ideal startup for those with limited funds.

2. College Planning Consultant

Do you love kids? Are you good with numbers? If so, you could become a college planning consultant.

You’ll become an expert in financial aid, college selection, and the application process. You’ll stay up-to-date on the latest scholarships and financial aid packages so you can advise parents.

Once your knowledge base is complete, you can market your services to local high schools, libraries, and universities.

3. Custom Gift Baskets

If you’ve got a decorative flair, custom gift baskets could be your calling.

People order gift baskets for a wide range of events, from holiday parties to baby showers. Creating unique baskets for each occasion requires ingenuity and design skills.

Tap into your creative side by designing beautiful gift baskets with attractive packaging. Photograph them and advertise your services on a website or through printed brochures. You could also sell your baskets in local shops and corporate offices.

4. Mobile Spa

Do you have a background in hair, nails, massage, or body treatments? If so, why not bring that spa experience to your clients’ homes or offices?

Since there’s no storefront to maintain, setting up a mobile spa requires little startup capital. Market your services to working professionals, elderly ones, or others who may be housebound.

Increase your revenue by offering spa accessories like herbal neck wraps or skin care products. If you want to keep up with the latest trends, you could become a leafbuyer and offer hemp-based health products. (Make sure it’s legal in your state!)

5. Pet Adoption Service

If you’re an animal lover, you could start your own pet adoption service. You may choose to foster pets yourself, or you could create a website or app to connect pets with people.

Users can enter information about their ideal pet, and you can make recommendations based on available animals in your area. Then you can set up a meet-and-greet to see if it’s a good match.

Of course, you’ll want to screen and approve all users beforehand to ensure the animals are going to a good home.

Final Thoughts on Small Business

These are just a few of endless small business ideas for women.

Now that you have an idea in mind, it’s time to turn that idea into reality. The first thing you’ll need for your new business is a custom logo.

Click here to learn how to create a free, professional-looking logo.