September 26

Try it Tuesday: Baked Spaghetti

This post contains affiliate links to make Baked Spaghetti. For disclaimer info, check out the Shameless Self Promotion Page. 

Underdogs, you know that I level with you about things, so you understand that I am poor! I try to make every single dollar stretch because I am a caregiver to two people, and every single day is unpredictable.  It’s hard to make a dollar when all ya want to do is holler! I am also one of the leaders for a youth group called Job Daughters International. To be specific, this particular group of girls is in Indiana, but they are all over the world like Girl Scouts. Kids get hungry, so we make sure they have dinner before any meeting or activities start. Sometimes, it’s hard to guess how many can make it and you end up getting a lot more food than mouths to feed, and you have leftovers. That’s when I go home with food I already made, but want to re-purpose  it into something new the next day. Today, I am trying baked spaghetti!

This is what I had in leftovers, and I added a few things to get my baked spaghetti. Here is my list of what you will need to make this version. Of course, you can use whatever leftovers that you have to help this process along and make a great lunch or dinner!

 

*Left over cooked Spaghetti. (The amount is your preference, but I would suggest to have at least half a box or more.)

* Left over pasta sauce. (The choice of variety is yours, I had Hunts garlic and onion.)

*Left over meatballs. (Either pre-made or homemade, but make they will need to be cooked before you start this dish.)

*Grated  or Shredded Cheese: (Your choice on the kind, and if you rather do it yourself or buy it in the store.)

*Pan: (I have smaller one that I got from Goodwill, and I am not sure on the size. It would fit a small cake very well.)

*Foil (Line the pan with foil to avoid harder clean up!)

*Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning, Salt, and Pepper. (This is your choice and can mix this up a bit for your own taste.)

*Spoon, Knife, and Mixing Bowl

I really like flavor and I know that I cooked for kids the night before. That means I didn’t use much seasoning. My baked spaghetti would be kind of bland if I didn’t take a lot of care to make it better. I mixed up small amounts of the pasta, sauce, meatballs and seasoning, one at a time and added it to the pan. After smoothing it out to make it even, I would repeat the mixing step until the pan was pretty full. It held a lot! I also want to point out that in order to attempt to stretch my dollar, I cut up the meatballs into small slivers and some chunks. I mixed those in with the mixture in an attempt to get as much meat coverage as possible in my baked spaghetti.

After I made my small batches and placed the spaghetti in the pan, I took 3 meatballs and sliced them up very thin. I put them all over the top like they were mini pepperonis. I then placed the bake spaghetti in an oven that was pre-heated to 450 degrees and set the timer for 20 minutes. After the timer went, I opened up the oven and took the pasta out. I sprinkled the shredded cheese all over the top of the pasta and placed back into the over for another 10 minutes. I also put in my homemade garlic bread on the bottom rack and let both cook.

The end result was pretty good. The contents were very hot, the cheese was melted perfectly, and the ratio of meat per bit was perfect. It was a great idea to make small batches, and to cut up the meatballs into small chunks. While I didn’t have a lot of meat to begin with, the small pieces made it seem as though I had a lot. I really liked how this turned out, and it was so simple! I am sure there are several variations that you could make with this being the base, but I am glad that I could make something so simple, yet different than what i ate the night before! I think you could mix in more cheese inside the bake itself, or you could add different kinds of meat or veggies as well. I give this a 4 out of 5 stars for my try it Tuesday Baked Spaghetti. I think I could have gotten more flavor with a few more seasoning, and I think some more cheese would have made it go from good to great.

 

What do you think? What is your favorite leftover meals? Leave your comments below!

September 26

Halloween Playlist

This post will contain affiliate links for your Halloween playlists. If you have questions, seek out the disclaimer on the Shameless Self Promotion Page.

 

As I write this blog about a Halloween playlist, keep in mind that it is September! It is not Christmas, yet I am hearing Christmas music as I walk through stores. There has already been decorations out for weeks,  and I find myself getting more and more annoyed about this each year. Halloween should not be glossed over. In fact, it is my favorite holiday, and it doesn’t even get to have it’s own holiday anymore. Instead, it’s just a placeholder for Christmas. It’s time to take back the all the holidays and stop letting Christmas be celebrated for six months out of the year in the orgies of corporate greed. Halloween  is fun, and I am not ready to hear Christmas music until it’s a lot closer to the actual date of December 25th, not anytime in September! To help you get into the Halloween mood, here is a Halloween playlist of songs for you enjoy!

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“The Monster Mash!” This is one of those oldie, but goodie songs that you hear your parents and maybe even grandparent’s talk about. It is a fun song from 1962, which has had a lot of versions. It’s super fun adventure of a mad scientist finding his monsters doing a dance. It has been in many movies, and TV shows, so many people are very familiar with this fun tune!  Monster Mash Cartoon

 

 

“Voodoo” by Godsmack. Oh my, if you don’t enjoy this song and it stirs something in you, then you aren’t human! The drums, the voice, it takes you to another world! This song came out in 1997, but has been used in countless films and shows. It can bring fear, and stir up some spirits! It’s an excellent song! If you can, find the long version that has the drum solo at the end.

 

 

“Living Dead Girl” by Rob Zombie. One of my favorite Rob Zombie songs, you can see why he has such a amazing taste for all things horror. If you have never seen the music video, it is a great throw back to silent movies and circus side shows. Take a look at it here: Living Dead Girl on YouTube

 

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“Dracula” By Rob Zombie. Another classic song from the 1990’s that makes you feel like it’s time for Halloween! Or makes you feel like you are ready to go jump into a mosh pit. “Dig through the ditches and burn through the witches,” is still one of the most repeated lyrics heard today. This video is like a trip down B movie hell. Dracula by Rob Zombie

 

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“Ghostbuster’s Theme” by Ray Parker Jr. I know this might be corny to some people, but seriously, who ya gonna call? If you grew up in the 1980’s or 1990’s, this song has been a staple in your life. When you get frustrated or worried that you have ghosts in your house, don’t you just wish that you could pick up the phone and call the Ghostbusters? I wish that I could! Because there is something strange, in the neighborhood!

 

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“Time Warp” Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack: What a classic song, with it’s own dance that almost anyone can do. It’s just a jump to the left, and a step to the right! I highly recommend using this song at any party and add to your Halloween Playlist because everyone in the room will join in! It’s fun, simple, and brings a lot of joy every single time!

 

 

“Sweet Transvestite” Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack: There is no other song that defines this movie, or even a whole bunch of people than the moment we meet Dr. Frankenfurter. This is the first time many people have seen a person on screen mess around with gender roles. It’s a powerful moment for many people, and a heck of a great song! Oh Rocky!

 

“The Addams Family” TV Theme Song. Get your hands ready to snap some fingers, because here comes the most well known theme song ever! The Addams Family is a TV show from the 1960’s and movies from the 1990’s about a rather strange, but loving family. They are anything but normal, but this is such a fun show and a very fun song! I would check out the TV show if you have never seen it before. Try it via Amazon Prime with your 30 day free trial here.

 

 

 

What about you? What are your favorite Halloween Songs? Give some Halloween Playlist examples in the comment section!

In the meantime, check out the banner below to get Amazon Prime Music for only$3.00 for 30 days!!!

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September 19

Try it Tuesday: Duncan Hines Mugs

This post contains affiliate links for Duncan Hines Mugs. For more information, check out the disclaimer on my Shameless Self Proton Page. 

It’s time to try something new, and  tonight it is Duncan Hines Mug! This is a one serving sweet treat made in a mug. I have tried these before on my own, but have never tried a pre-made package. This was on sale at Kroger for $2.99 for a package four in one box. I believe the normal price is about $4.00 so I thought it would be a good time to try this out. I have also tried out many Duncan Hines’ products before so I was excited to try this out. There were several options such as brownies, coffee cakes, cinnamon rolls, and the kind I tried which was chocolate muffin.

 

The process is very easy and it doesn’t require anymore than the mix, and water, so you won’t have use eggs or any sort of oil. That is really nice because if you are doing a DIY version, then you will need to have to use an egg and I feel for one mug desert, that is kind of a waste.  The directions called for dumping the contents into a mug. and adding 3 teaspoons of water. These alternative directions say to try tea instead, but I stuck with water. The directions say to make sure you scrape the bottom and I recommend cleaning off the sides before placing in the microwave. Those small parts can burn easily, so it is worth it to clean it off.

 

 

The directions for the Duncan Hines  Mug also call for you to microwave the product for a minute, or up to a minute and ten seconds. Of course, it varies by your microwave. I tried a minute but when I looked, the at the muffin, it was still kind of runny. I put it in for another 10 seconds, and it had gotten better, but it looked like it needed more time. After another ten seconds, it looked ready to go. I waited at least a full minute to eat because I know how hot these mugs can be sometimes. I then tried the muffin and here is what I thought of the product.

 

            

 

I made sure that the Duncan Hines Mug was cooled before attempting to eat it. I did not need a burned lip today! It smelled like a baked good, but I couldn’t distinguish an exact smell. I saw lots of mini chocolate chips, but I couldn’t taste them. What I tasted was an overwhelming amount of sweetness. It wasn’t flavored, just very sweet. I tried several more spoon fulls to see if it I was missing something. I actually started to get pretty thirsty because this muffin is very, very dry. I stopped and got a drink of water, and went back to trying the Duncan Hines Mug again. After another attempt, the muffin started to crumble a lot, and it was too much for me. It was way to sweet and had too little taste for me to like this product. I followed the directions on the box, so I don’t think I did anything wrong on my end. I am willing to try another, but this one is going into the trash. I am only going to try it to make sure that I didn’t make a mistake. However, I am skeptical about this product.

I am going to give Duncan Hines Mug a 1.5 out of 5 stars. The ease of making this product is what got the positive points. The taste was not good. The sweetness was too much, and I couldn’t taste any chocolate chips even though they were there. If this was a good product, then it wouldn’t cost too much per package to make at home. However, I would skip on this product and buy a different mix, purchase a muffin from a shop, or do the one mug muffin by using your own recipe. I was so thirty eating this muffin that I couldn’t enjoy the product at all. I am willing to try it again, but only because I want to make sure I did everything correctly.

 

What do you think? Have you tried Duncan Hines Mug before. Leave your comments below.

Check out my affiliate links in the meantime.

 


September 18

The Emoji Movie Captures Society Today

This post contains affiliate links for the Emoji Movie. 

I found myself at the Emoji Movie this weekend and I had a lot of thoughts about this cartoon. If you haven’t seen ts movie and want to, spoilers!  While it was adorable, and had some funny moments, I couldn’t help but to think how sad and technology obsessed that our society has become in today’s world. Who knew a kid’s cartoon about silly faces would actually make me more concerned for the future than how I felt before seeing the move. The Emoji Movie takes place in the world of a cell phone. Imagine that your cell phone is real and each app is a separate city or even country with their own rules and regulations. The Emoji live in the texting world, and work in an office with cubes. When the child who owns the phone picks an Emoji, then they are ready to work and the result is their famous faces appearing on the screen. The hero of the movie is Gene who is the “meh” Emoji. He has a horrible time being a “meh” face all of the time, despite the fact that he is supposed to only express one emotion at all times. Gene’s breaking the rules and expressing several emotions sets them down a path of destruction and chaos. It even gets several apps deleted resulting in the collapse of their world. Gene, leaves after getting into some trouble with his friend, Hi-5 to find Jailbreak, a hacker who can reprogram Gene to only have the one emotion he is supposed to!  Pretty heavy themes for such an innocent looking movie!

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Children having cell phones is a very controversial topic. Many of us understand that there is a very real problem with an addition to technology and cell phones are taking taking the place of personal relationships.  Children, on the other hand,  have a very hard time telling reality from make believe. We have all gone through it. Imagine growing up in the a world of manufacturing truths, and platforms where you can say or do anything and hide. We are giving this world to our kids, and now more than ever, it’s harder for adults to distinguish what is real in the news everyday. Imagine how hard it is for a child’s mind. Didn’t you think that Sesame Street was real and you could actually go visit? There are whole worlds inside of a cell phone, and many of them are very dangerous. It can be very dangerous to hand a child this technology and not keep it in check. No matter where you stand on this topic, we can all agree that the world online can be very dangerous, and it preys on children and the elderly.

Despite all of that, the Emoji Movie brings up a lot of interesting themes. The very fact that the Emoji’s in the movie have to remain only one emotion all of the time is very telling. These characters are literally living inside of a box and if they do anything that is out of character that means you are defective! That is very deep and could mean several things! This could be an illusion to mental illness, sexual orientation, or even just being an individual. Society tries to make you be one thing that fits perfectly inside a box. If you don’t act or think the way that you should, then it sends ripples through the everything. In the Emoji Movie, the first thing that happens when Gene “messes up his emotion,” several Emoji’s fall down and get bruised. His parents are watching and become embarrassed and everyone starts blaming him. This quickly goes to people labeling him as defective and needs to be erased to regain the order of their world.

This makes Gene and Hi-5, who is no longer a favorite and is suffering, sneak out and find the hacker Jailbreak who can help them both. As they weave through the phone and enter other app worlds, the leader is sending out bots to take care of them. This means they will be deleted. All the while, their whole world is in danger because Gene, Hi-5, and Jailbreak are interrupting other worlds and making the cell phone go off for the owner, a preteen. He sets up an appointment to have his entire phone cleared. The ripples of one changed emotion was so vast that it literally threatened their entire  existence. This made those is charge in the Emoji world, so desperate, that they are willing to kill to stop this from happening. Are they telling us that our emotions need to remain in check or they will destroy us?

While this movie is fun, every app that these three visit malfunctions. What does this mean? That anyone who is different who try to live their own life are actually causing havoc? While the movie ends in a happy way, it resolution is actually pretty dark. People come to accept that Gene is special and that they all should be popular. Jailbreak, who ran away, is right back where she started, and Gene is back in his cube. After their journey, they learned that different doesn’t mean defective, but why did they get put back in a box? Not everyone is going to be popular, and not everyone needs to be placed into a box. The rules of their world say this is how things should be, so the Emoji’s are supposed to be living in their tiny box. It is hard to be an individual or different when your goal is to right back to where you started and try to fit in. There is no real progress, and no real point. While Gene struggled to change, he eventually is okay with who he is after he finds that his Dad has suppressed the same defect. Hi-5 is more about his friends than being popular, and Jailbreak gave up her goals and all her hard work for love. I had some respect for this character when she walked away and said she was going on her own journey. But, she had fallen for Gene and left it all behind to follow him back to the very place she worked so hard to get away from.

So, the message of this movie is if you are different, then you could destroy the world you live in, and those around you. If you aren’t popular, then you need to try to make that your number one goal. If you are a woman who is excellent at her job, you will easily give up all your hard work and your own goals for love. This movie can be taken at face value, but it really has some very dark themes. A child having the internet at their hands is scary enough, but the lessons are very sad. Being different means you need to learn how to conform. Being a strong women only goes as far as your feelings, and being popular is a big goal. This movie can be very fun, but it made me sad and concerned for society. The Emoji Movie is very dark despite some very bright faces.

 

What do you think? Have you seen the Emoji Movie and do you think it’s dark, or super happy? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

 

September 17

Fear

Fear is kind of a funny thing. So many people have it, but fear is vastly different for every person. No two person will experience fear in the same way. What is fear? I used Bing to search the meaning of fear and it said it was “an unpleasant emotion that someone or something dangerous will happen. This could be a danger, pain, or even a threat.” That is such a small description for such a heavy word. People believe that fear is something that happens due to a dramatic event, or even due to something that happened during a past life. About half the world believes in some form of a past life. If you live in the United States, this is a very taboo subject that can be a hard thing to talk about. You may not be able to get much information about past lives, and if you do, you stand a very good chance of being laughed or given the standard eye roll. If you keep an open mind, you might be able to explain your fear by exploring your past life. Here are some examples of my own fear, and a possible connection with a past life.

To say that clowns scare me is a bit of an understatement. It is one of my biggest fears and it is something that I have lived with my entire life. For those who want to point out that in fifth grade, I dressed up for a clown for Halloween, I will say that you are only half right. I had a clown wig, but no makeup or the outfit. Taking about clowns gives me anxiety, and this isn’t helping me in the least. I know many people will try to blame my fear of clowns on the movie, “It,” or various other clown related terrible things that have been put out throughout the years. The truth is, my fear goes back to when I was a baby. My Mom can attest to the fact that I have been afraid of clowns since I was days old. How could a child with no information about clowns be so afraid? Could it be fear leftover from a past life issue? I think it could be.

I have tried to research the history of clowns before my fear took over and I felt like I was going to scream! Clowns have been around for a very long time. However, back in ancient Egypt and China, “clowns” were used in rituals. In Rome, clowns were used as an attempt to control people who were suffering from mental illness. They would dress people up who had mental illness and parade them around, and shout abuses. They would live a pretty awful life and spend a majority of their time getting beat, or forced to entertain. Could my fear of clowns stem back to a life that I once had in Rome? Anything is possible, but I still fear clowns. Like pretty badly, so I am not going to continue on with this part of the post any longer.

I also have a horrible fear of cars. I actually can’t drive. I understand how to drive, but my fear is so overwhelming that it is not safe for me to drive, or be on the road. I do have fear being a passenger as well, but I can tune out most of the time. To understand how bad this fear is for me, it’s something that ruins my life. I have tried many different approaches to help me live with my fear, but nothing has worked so far. This includes therapy, and several programs.  I am so afraid that I am going to hurt someone and I will never be able to live with myself. My fear of driving is so bad that I have lost jobs, and have lost many other chances for a good job with a better paycheck because I can’t drive.  Every time I am behind the wheel, the fear is enough to make me think I am going to have a full on heart attack. There is not a whole lot of logic behind this fear, because it’s always been there. Again, I have been fearful of cars since I was a child.

#notme

It isn’t a big leap to think that my fear of cars and driving could have come from a past life. It’s almost like I have a hint of a vision or a flashback. It’s like I have been in a car and caused an accident. I am so ashamed and afraid even though it was an accident, but I literally can’t live with myself. It is just a flash, but it’s so real that I honestly believe that this was something that happened to me in a past life, and I can’t get over it in this one. I think I am paying for whatever accident or event that happened to me before. I had a professional point out how much car and travel related things in my life. For example, my Dad worked for the department of transportation. My Mom and Grandma worked for a company that had the word Wagon in the title. She says that I am around so many things to do with cars because of a huge event that happened in my past life that I have buried.

If you think your fear comes from a past life, then how do you get over it? That’s another part of real fear, because I just don’t know. I think it’s healthy to try to explore a fear, especially when it is hurting your life. My fears are really hurting my life, and I try to come up with reasons why, and how to face them. Facing your fears will not make them go away. It will either help, or it will get a lot worse. But every time you try to understand your fear,and face them, you have won! Past lives are a very great thing to explore because it can teach you a lot about yourself and a lot about why you may act a certain way. Normally, I would write  a lot more about past lives and fear, but talking about my fears has given me some skipped heart beats! Just know that fear is real, and your past lives could be a key in unlocking your reasons.

 

Do you have any fears that you think could be linked to a past life? Leave your comments below!

September 14

Saved by the Bell Illuminate?

Post contains Affiliate Links: Featuring Saved by the Bell

“Saved by the Bell,” was a Saturday morning staple for so many people. It is a simple and innocent TV show that revolved around 6 friends, their antics at school, and their very zealous love lives. The show started off as an entirely different series called, “Good Morning, Miss Bliss,” with a few of the familiar players. That very quickly changed and morphed in the show called, “Saved by the Bell,” which moved from Indiana to Bay Side, California. They added new characters who had a lot more money, fashion sense, and even cell phones that literally no one had in those days due to the outrageous expenses. Zack Morris’ cell phone would have cost $4000 back in the 1990’s, and today it would have cost $10,000 for a single phone. That’s not even including the cost of the calls. Why am I bringing all this up?  This is setting up some crazy conspiracy theories about the show that you have to read! Of course the cause of all of this crazy stems from everyone’s favorite blame buzzword that no one actually knows anything about, the Illuminate.

“Good Morning, Miss Bliss,” took place in Indiana at a school called John F. Kennedy.  This was a simple school that had normal students and teachers. Most likely this school could be considered a middle school or a Jr. High School. The only characters who graduated from this series and made it into, “Saved by the Bell,” were Zack, Lisa, Screech, and Mr. Belding. While these shows pretend to have nothing to do with one another, these characters have the exact same names, and many of the sets used for the schools are exactly the same.  What’s the likelihood that 3 unrelated students and their principal from the same school would all leave at the same time, to only go to the same school several states away? It’s all due to to the Illuminati! Stay with me here because this revolves around the adults who all become very rich, have great jobs, and are generally doing well in life. For this theory, I want you to keep in mind that Zach Morris’ Dad is named Peter Morris in, “Good Morning, Miss Bliss.”  When the show changes to “Saved by the Bell,” his name is changed to Derek Morris. This may be confusing, but it’s all part of the theories! Remember, these are the same men.

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Peter Morris goes to a parent/teacher conference and has an instant attraction to Miss Bliss. If you recall, Zack’s parents are married in “Saved by the Bell,” so this would mean they were either separated at this time, or Peter was having an affair. Embarrassed and ashamed, they decide to get Peter and his family out of there and away from the situation that could have cost a teacher her job, and save Zack from having a terrible time at school when everyone found out. How could a very average man get enough money and backing to move his family to a much more expensive state? Peter and Miss Bliss used her educational ties and found the solution in the Illuminate. Peter Morris suddenly became a rich and powerful sales person working in electronics in “Saved by the Bell,” who could move his family to California.

I know you are asking, why would Lisa, Screech , and their families also move to California? If you recall, there was hints of a romantic relationship between Peter Morris and Mrs. Turtle, Lisa’s mother. Peter Morris obviously has a difficult time remaining faithful, but why move his mistress with him when he is leaving due to another affair? The school teacher wasn’t his true love, nor was his wife. However, he couldn’t leave without Mrs. Turtle. What about Screech? Screech was a genius. He was able to build computers and robots, which would be very useful. We never knew much about his parents, but one can assume Screech got his abilities from somewhere, and Peter Morris took advantage of both his love for Mrs. Turtle, and the abilities of the Power’s family and had them join the Illuminate and move to California with him. This would give both the Turtle and the Power’s family more opportunities than they would ever had in Indiana, so of course, they couldn’t turn down the offer.

But why would Peter change his name to Derek when they moved to California? I think the name could be a very simple explanation. In order to separate himself and his family from any hint of the affair with a teacher, Peter decided to start going by his middle name, Derek. This wouldn’t be a huge change since he is just going by his middle name, so his close friends could adjust quickly. He is now allowed to leave Peter behind, and take on the persona of Derek Morris. He became a very successful business person that cost him a good relationship with is son.  It is ironic that Derek Morris moved his family out of Indiana and a bad situation that he created to give his son a better life. The change from Peter to Derek lost some things in translation and instead of being a good Dad, he was a good provider. As he aged and got more and more involved in the illuminate, he became more resentful and on some level, blamed Zack for all his troubles. He might have also resented Zach for another reason that was in no way his fault.

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Why would Mr. Belding make the move to California as well? Peter Morris wasn’t the only person having an affair. That’s right, Melanie Morris, Zack’s Mom, was having an affair with Richard Belding! Both Derek and Melanie were in a loveless marriage, but they both loved their son. They didn’t have any other children that we know of for sure, so Zack was their life. They wouldn’t divorce for a various amount of reasons, but they both had affairs and the both knew of each other’s real loves in Mrs. Turtle and Mr. Belding. It was agreed that if Mrs. Turtle could follow them, then so could Mr. Belding! Why would the Illuminati want someone like Mr. Belding? If you recall, Mr. Belding had a brother named Ron. He appeared in one episode of “Saved by the Bell,” where he told the children adventure stories. Ron ran off after promising to take the students on a rafting trip, and he is never seen again. Ron appears to be an adventure seeking person who has done lots of amazing things! While we aren’t sure if this is all a lie or not, but there is some truth in every lie. What if it wasn’t Ron, but Richard who was the adventurous one who is actually like a Midwestern Indiana Jones? He was the one who ended up taking the kids on the rafting trip.  It’s such a great disguise to be a bumbling school principal but actually be in deep cover for the Illuminate! By the way, if you ever wondered why Mr. Belding had so much invested into Zach? There is a very simple answer for that as well. He thought Zack could be his son, and he wasn’t going to miss the chance to watch his child grown, even from the view of a very involved principal.

Each of these families benefited from the move to California. They had their children in a great and competitive school, and they were able to keep their children together with their good friends. They each seemed to live in great homes, in great neighborhoods. Each of the adults had good jobs. Lisa’s Mom worked at a hospital and was able to allow here child to have very expensive designer clothing. When Lisa graduated from High School, she was able to get into a very good fashion school which started Lisa on a great path. Screech, a very strange and awkward child was able to have several good friends, and even a girlfriend. He got the chance to be part of several school programs and clubs that he never would have been able to back in Indiana. He also got to go to college, but it is strange that someone so smart couldn’t get into Yale. Zack got into Yale, which is highly questionable. He had a perfect score on his SAT, which got him a free ticket into any school he wanted. However, he ended up at California University with Screech, Slater and Kelly.  This makes you wonder if Screech had the perfect score instead of Zack.

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Why would Zack turn down Yale and go to a state school instead? Yale is known for it’s Skull and Bones fraternity that has it’s own legends and connections to rich and powerful people. Zack was being prepped to attend Yale and then go into politics. Zack has a natural charm, and people not only listen to him, but they want to be just like him. The powers that be changed his average SAT scores and got him into Yale. Zack knew about what the adults in his life did, and rebelled! He went to another school and married Kelly against his Dad’s wishes. Derek Morris didn’t like Kelly because he couldn’t see his son with an average cheerleader, and believed she would hold him back! Zach didn’t want the life of his parents, and his friend’s parents. Zach wanted his own life!

Zach was  a good person. Even though he schemed and plotted, it normally centered around helping his friends. For example, Zach helped set up a sale to help Lisa raise money after she spent too much on her credit card. Zach also put on an act to help Slater stay in the school he loved instead of being transferred yet again. He held fundraisers to save The Max, and helped Jessie get help with her pill problem.   Remember, Derek  promised his son to the Illuminate, so Zack’s rebellion cost everyone  dearly. You can see in”Saved by the Bell, The College Years.” how the children’s lives seemed to be going in a downward spiral.  For example, both Kelly and Screech returned to work at Bay Side High School. Not as teachers, but as assistants. Little is known what happened to Zach and Kelly’s marriage or even what he was doing for a living.  It seems like once Zack rebelled, the lives of everyone in their circle slowly unraveled. Life did not turn out the way the parents wanted it to for their children. Their actions cost them more than their own souls, and helped shape the strange life of their kids! Who knows of these beloved characters would ever bounce back after some rough patches, or if they eventually follow the same footsteps as their parents.

What do you think? Do you think the parents from Saved by the Bell had a huge presence and involvement even though we hardly ever saw them on the show? Do you believe the Morris Illuminate theory? Leave your comments below, and check out my affiliate programs. Disclaimers for this can be found on my page, Shameless Self Promotion!

 

 

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September 12

Try it Tuesday: Caramel Macchiato

It might be the time of year for pumpkin spice, but I still loved the tried and true Caramel Macchiato! I tried 3 different kinds and compared them on price, taste, and how well the product matches an actual Caramel Macchiato. For those who don’t know, a Caramel Macchiato is a coffee drink that you can purchase in many coffee houses. It is a layered drink made with vanilla syrup on the bottom, followed by the milk. Then the espresso is added on top and not mixed but allowed to slowly drain into the rest of the coffee. The top is drizzled with a caramel sauce that also is not mixed into the drink. This drink can be served hot or iced, but it is not a flavor, nor is it mixed. For this post, I tried 3 different Caramel Macchiato from 3 different locations.

1. McDonald’s Caramel Macchiato Iced: $2.00

This is a brand new item on the McDonald’s menu. It is currently on special for a small size, hot or iced for $2.00. Right now, that is the price all day long, and not just during the happy hour between 2 and 5 PM at some locations. The size of the drink is 12 oz and I decided to try it on ice. I was very disappointed in this product. When they handed it to me, I asked if it was the right drink because they had clearly mixed it together. The cashier assured me it was their iced Caramel Macchiato and it was even labeled correctly. I took the drink and took a good look. There was the tiniest bit of caramel drizzle on the straw, so that means that there was an attempt to do something like an actual Caramel Macchiato. The drink was okay, if you were wanting an iced caramel latte. This was nowhere near the layered drink. The taste was okay, but again, it wasn’t the drink that was advertised. I haven’t gotten a second one, so I don’t know if anyone makes this drink the layered way, or if it is universally a mixed drink with some caramel sauce. The price was good, the taste was okay, but the way they made the drink was wrong. Because of all of this, I give the Caramel Macchiato a 1 out 5 stars.

 

2. Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Hot: $4.28

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Starbucks is famous for their Caramel Macchiato for a reason. They have done a very good job with the actual construction of the product and serving it as true to form as possible. It is very popular to not like Starbucks right now, even though their numbers sing a very different tune. I have worked for Starbucks in two different locations and situations and I honestly don’t mind them. If I did, I wouldn’t have worked there. Is it my favorite coffee, no, but it is good and I enjoy it like so many other people. So setting all that aside for those Starbucks haters out there, let’s go over the product. Here, you have the choice of the type of milk you would like to use unlike McDonald’s. You also have the choice to have sugar free. While I agree that the cost of this coffee is too much, I will still pay for time to time. (I also have ways to get free items, so stay tuned for an upcoming blog about how to get free Starbucks!) Very simply, the choice of your milk and if you can get sugar free puts this well before many other places. The taste is good, the construction is great, and the price is a bit too high for my taste. Because of this, I give the Starbucks Caramel Macchiato a 4 out 5 stars.

3. Homemade Caramel Macchiato: $ Under a dollar:

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While this is the most work, this might be the best and cheapest choice! Take a look at the end of the post to see some links to get these items. While the initial cost of these products could be considered high, each cup that you make will be cheaper than anything that you can purchase at any coffee shop. You also have the choice in your own milks, sugar free or regular, and even the type of espresso that you use for your drink. It may take some trial and error to make this at home, but as long as you take it slow, and don’t mix the product, you should eventually get a really good homemade Caramel Macchiato. Because of of the price, the taste, and how you can personalize your preference, this method needs to get a 5 out of 5 stars. You can make it best!

 

All in all, it is your choice on how to get your coffee. It’s most cost effective to make your own, but sometimes, it is nice to just get one made for you while you are on the go! I really didn’t like the McDonald’s coffee since it really wasn’t what was advertised. However, if you want an okay caramel latte, then this is a cheap choice at $2.00 and will give you some coffee for a decent price. I perfer the Starbucks version when you are going to purchase at a coffee shop since it is the closest to the correct way to make this coffee with so many steps. What do you think? What is your favorite Caramel Macchiato? Leave your comments below, and your photos of your home made ones!

 

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*Shopping list to make your homemade Caramel Macchiato:

September 5

Try it Tuesday: Koala’s Lotte

This post may contain affiliate ads. For more information, visit the shameless self promotion page for the disclaimers. 

Hello Underdogs, and welcome to another Try it Tuesday with Koala’s Lotte! First, I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day and were able to spend some quality time with loved ones doing something fun! I have been wanting to try out Koala’s Lotte for a while now. I have had a different version of this in China Town while I was in Chicago. I love trying out snacks and foods from around the world. I think one of the best ways to learn about other cultures is through food. I remember back in high school when my Spanish teachers Mrs. Harrison, and Mr. Martinez would bring food in to the class to share the cultural experience. I believe this helped us learn a lot. When I traveled to Mexico later on in my life, I had a nice understanding of the food and culture. It was really nice, so I encourage you to do the same thing! I know that Koala’s Lotte is an American version of a Japanese product. The reason I got these are simple, it was cheaper than the Japanese product. While this company is based out of Michigan, they do import ingredients from Japan.

 

If you have never tried Koala’s Lotte before, they are tiny cookies with a filling in the middle. They are in shape of a small Koala bear and have different pictures stamped on them doing various things. The filling in the middle is either chocolate, strawberry, matcha green tea, or chocolate banana flavor. The cookie is like a shortbread or even a sugar cookie. They come in a 1.45 oz box with a foil package in the middle. The package is very colorful and fun, with several games and even some trading cards when you open up the box. You can also feel good about your purchase since this company helps save Koalas in Australia. For more information about this, please check out their website here. http://koalasmarch-usa.com/save-the-koala/I purchased two flavors, the chocolate and the matcha green tea! Here is what I thought about these two!

 

The first Kola’s Lotte that I tried was the Matcha Green Tea. For those of you who don’t know about Matcha, it is a green powder traditionally used to  make tea. It comes in many different varieties but mostly you will see a light, and a dark powder. It has a very natural, almost earthy taste to it, and is pretty good for you. It can be considered an acquired taste, especially if you haven’t grown up with it. I really like Matcha, and got a real taste for it while I was working at Starbucks and made so many Green Tea Lattes that it really grew on me. I tried these out but was a bit hesitant  because I was not sure what they would taste like. However, I was very excited to find out!  I was a bit disappointed, however. When I took a bite, all I could taste was white chocolate, which is part of the filling in the middle of the cookie.  I couldn’t  taste any Matcha at all. It didn’t smell like Matcha either. The cookie is crunchy and sweet, but not overwhelming. The white chocolate is a nice match, but I wanted the flavor. After eating a few more, I started to get a hints of it.

I was pretty disappointed in this flavor. While you can taste the Matcha powder, it is very little. I would say if you have never tried Matcha before, then this could be a nice introduction to the flavor. In fact, I would recommend doing just that, and then move up with more flavor from there. Matcha can be an off putting flavor for some, and I think if you gave it a chance, you may actually enjoy it. This would be a 5 0ut of 5 for a matcha starter. For me personally, I give this a 2 out of 5 because the flavor was too muted for my personal taste. There was nothing wrong with this, as long as you are expecting a white chocolate flavor with a hint of Matcha.

The second Kola’s Lotte was the chocolate flavor. While it looks like it is milk chocolate on the package, it tastes like a darker chocolate. I tried to find out exactly what kind of chocolate was used, but came up empty. The first taste was a nice burst of chocolate. It also complimented the short bread flavor of the cookie. It’s not an overwhelming taste either. Since this is a chocolate flavor, I think it is pretty straight forward and pretty good. I give this a 4 out of 5 overall. I just was confused of the type of chocolate that they used.

Overall, these are nice snacks. Koala’s Lotte are bite sized treats that are good for a small snack, or even a desert. I love how cute these cookies are since they have so many designs on the face of them. It’s super cute! I love sweets, and these were a lot of fun! I would try the other flavors when I come across them in the store.They were fresh, and nothing tasted stale. None of the cookies were broken in either package either, which is a nice plus!  I don’t think there is anything wrong with trying out an American version of an international treat because it might be the only way for you to experience it. I also say when you are traveling, try version of an American treat there and see the difference. It might be really close or vastly different. It’s all part of the experience! I encourage everyone to try some international snacks and dishes whenever you can!

 

If you want to try Koala’s Lotte for yourself, follow these links to get your own!