Blackened Catfish Recipe

This is a simple quick meal for the family. If you season just one side of the fish you can save the left over seasoning, or if you have more than 4-5 fillets this will easily still work just season one side if you use more than the pounds that’s called for. I made this with pan seared asparagus, just place a tablespoon of butter in a skillet ( cast iron is best)  melt the butter on medium high heat keep  it that warm and toss the asparagus in. You want to keep the greens moving so it won’t burn, it will turn a real nice bright green and go tender when finished. Sprinkle with pepper then transfer to plate. It will only take 5-10 minutes not even sometimes depends on how thick the asparagus is.
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What To Do In San Francisco with Kids

When visiting the famous “City by the Bay”, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the variety of activities and dining options that you will be presented with.  Everything you see looks like fun, all the food smells amazing- so if you only have a few days or week, where are the best places to spend your time and money on your family vacation?

If you like to take a tour of the city you are visiting, let me suggest the Ride the Ducks Tour. This is a chain that can be found in several states, with San Fransisco being one of the newest places to tour on an amphibious WW II DUKW.  Yes, this is definitely “touristy”- and it’s also extremely family friendly, and a good way to see the sites of the city in a way that adults will enjoy and kids will love.  The DUK Captain (yes, your knowledgeable, often funny guide and driver is certified by the US Coast Guard, you are in good hands) knows the city inside and out, and will not only point out landmarks, but also fun spots you might like and good places to eat or shop.  They also let the kids have a turn driving the DUK while it’s in “boat mode” in the bay, which will thrill them.  Since they “guarantee” they are “cheaper then other” sites in San Francisco, you won’t spend as much to see and do what you’d like to.

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You and your family will see the best of San Francisco from land and water. Get up close and personal with the iconic Bay Bridge, float by Alcatraz, see Fisherman’s Wharf, roll through Chinatown, wave at cafe patrons in North Beach (San Francisco’s answer to New York City’s “Little Italy”), as well as taking in great views of the city skyline.

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To see as much as you can for as little as you are able spend, continue saving by purchasing a San Francisco CityPASS.  Available for $84, the pass gives you access to many of the most popular sites in the city, as well as 7-Day unlimited-use Cable Car and Muni transportation pass to help you get around.  If you don’t have a car, this is the best way to get from place to place.  If you have a car with you, be aware that most venues require payment for parking, and many of them are none too inexpensive.  You could rack up the price of the pass in a day or two very easily.

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Another spot included in the CityPASS booklet is the famous California Academy of Sciences ,where you can climb into the treetops of a man-made rainforest to see life on literally all levels, see what it feels like to be in an earthquake, check out eggs that are bigger then your kids, view the bones that show the evolution from ape to human, and see a rare Albino Alligator (Claude, in case you’d like to get formal).

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Also included in your pass is the Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure, which gives you a tour of the city via boat.  See the sights from the inside or outside of the boat, which ventures out several times a day.  This hour long tour is scenic and narrated (so that you know exactly what it is that you are seeing) and available in 9 languages via audio tour as well. The children will love being on a boat as they cruise past the Pier 39 sea lions, which are a must see for any visitor to the city.  You can also see them on land when you visit the pier later on (and make sure you take a spin on the merry go round).
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Hasselback Baguette

Yield: 3-4 servings



2 Tbsp oil

1 small red onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

½ tsp dried basil

¼ tsp kosher salt

  • pinch coarse black pepper

1 (24-in) baguette

  • shredded cheese


3 long wooden skewers



1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add pepper and sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Season with basil, salt, and pepper.

3. Cut off the ends of the baguette; discard ends or reserve for another purpose. Slice baguette into 1 ½ inch thick slices (you should have about 15 slices). Slit each slice through the top, leaving the lower end uncut.
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It’s Raining Super-Men

Disclosure: The below was provided for me in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and honest. I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC Guidelines. Please see “Disclose” tab for more information.

The little, plastic kind- sorry ladies.  While that may be bad news if you are shopping for a husband, it’s great news if you are shopping for a son, nephew, or superhero loving child.  There are toys to go with movie blockbusters, TV shows, cartoons, and even a few just because.  What’s hotter then a superhero, really?  For kids, I mean.  Toys. Totally.


Why is it so many superheros seem to have multiple personality disorders?  They want to save the world, they are distraught and angry, they are filled with angst, they feel responsible, they feel lonely, they push people away, they cling to friends, they occasionally go off the rails (I’m looking at you, Spiderman) etc etc etc.  Now, you can intentionally confuse your superheros- well, those in the Marvel Universe, anyway- by mashing them up with other heroes and villains.  Take the head of Iron Man, the body of Thor, the legs of Hulk, and the arms of Dr. Doom and make your own super-confused-super-humans.  Actually, maybe it IS a good way to shop for a man….Well, there you go.  Fun for kids, for fun superhero enthusiasts, and fun for mom.  What’s not to love?  Prices range from $10 – $20 on, also available in most stores that sell toys.

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Got a kid who is really into Power Rangers?  Or perhaps just waxing nostalgic yourself.  The Power Rangers have morphed through more sets of super-rangers since it’s origins in 1992 then I care to shake a stick at, were I inclined to shake sticks.  (19 seasons and nearly 100 Rangers total later, the show is still going strong.)  My little brother watched the original Rangers back in the stone age when I was a kid, and I once dressed up as “Tommy, the Green Ranger” at a birthday party which confused all the kids at the McDonalds I was working at, since Tommy is not really a girl.  Hey- I was the only one short enough to fit into the costume on that shift that day.  The Power Rangers are an institution, and going nowhere. They are still making movies and TV episodes, and my son and his friends look forward to the new toys as much as my little brother did a thousand years ago.  So, what’s new in Power Rangers?  The Legacy MegaZord is a return to the original, after celebrating 20 years of Power Rangers saving the world.  This latest Megazord has all the original details from the first toy, but improves it with diecast metal pieces for durability. It comes with a Ranger Key that can be used to open it’s chest. Good for collectors and fans of the current show alike. The Mystic Dragon Zord and Green Ranger set is also inspired by past seasons, and connects to other parts of the Zord Builder collection.   Any 4 inch figure or Power Ranger Key can work with the Dragon Zord, and it comes with one Power Ranger Key as well as the Green Ranger.  The Legacy Megazord and Mystic Dragon Zord can be used together. Roughly $35 and $16 depending on your place of purchase.
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The New Southern Table by Brys Stephens


I was sent this book for the purposes of this review. Although I was sent this book for free, all opinions are my own.

I was absolutely intrigued by the book, The New Southern Table by Brys Stephens. Being that I am from the Northwest and have always lived in this region, I do not know much about southern food traditions. I have never let Okra touch my lips and only in the past few years have I gotten very adventurous at all with my pallet.

The New Southern Table looks at traditional southern ingredients such as peaches, okra, greens and “flips” them. They are made in not traditional ways in order to create a whole new desire for the staple ingredients in the southern part of the US.
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Newborn Photography Tips for Parents

There are few experiences in life that eclipse the miracle of birth, so it’s understandable that parents want to commemorate every moment. While some new moms are not very keen on the idea of having a video camera in the delivery room, capturing every second of the event, most parents agree that snapping pics after the fact is desirable. And if you’re like most parents, you’re going to take plenty of photos once you bring baby home. After all, you want to make sure you don’t miss a single first, and you’re likely keen to send pics to family and friends that are eager to get a gander at your newborn. But you don’t necessarily want to take a million pictures of a fussy infant; you want pictures that show what a perfect little angel your baby is. So here are just a few tips that can help to ensure you get the beautiful photos of your newborn that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

1. Pick your moments. If you want to get the best photos, you need to catch your baby in the right mood. And most infants are better behaved when they’re neither tired nor hungry. The obvious solution is to click away while your baby is sleeping, capturing adorable photos of your newborn in repose. But if you don’t want to rouse him, you really can’t move him around. And frankly, you
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Disney Magical World Nintendo 3DS

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There is a recent trend in video games called life simulations. These games are a sort of role playing game light. Where players build / upkeep something then are rewarded for it while also helping other characters with various jobs/quests.  The game play is easy going and relaxing and moves as quickly as you’d like it to.
One of the most recent additions to this genre is Disney Magical World. This game takes the genre of life simulation and throws a whole lot of charm and Disney magic to bring a new world to life. The game starts out with you selecting your character’s appearance. This can either be created in game or through the usage of your Mii avatar associated with your 3DS.

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As the game progresses and more quests are done more customization is further and further unlocked with your character, their personal space and your cafe which is run by your character in game. The game takes familiar characters like Goofy, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and brings them to life as new friend who need help and also patrons of your cafe. There is nothing as interesting as watching Goofy eat pastries in your cafe. Some examples of the help character need are: collecting items, completing a specific set of directions,putting on the right article of clothing and getting complemented on it or as simple as fishing.
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5 Benefits of Swimming Lessons for Young Children

prinny the swimming cat

Swimming is an essential skill for people to learn, no matter their age. Often, the best time to teach swim skills is when a child is young. Swimming lessons ensure that they learn in a safe, friendly, encouraging environment. Here are 5 benefits of teaching young children to swim through swimming lessons.

1. Safety. Knowing how to swim is very important when it comes to safety. Your child will likely be near water at one point or another. Even if they aren’t swimming, they risk slipping or being pushed into water. In case of this kind of situation, your child will know how to swim and stay afloat if they have taken swim lessons. This can give you peace of mind knowing they will be more likely to avoid a serious situation like drowning. In addition, many kids who don’t know how to swim and aren’t being supervised have been known to get into water to play with other kids. If they don’t know how to swim and enter deeper waters, they could easily panic and risk their lives. Although these are worst case scenarios, it is important that you prepare your child for encounters with water so they can participate in water activities safely with friends.


2. Fun and recreational. Swimming is also really fun! It gives kids time to be outdoors and away from their video games doing something active. They will be able to use up their energy while playing games, swimming different strokes, participating in Marco Polo and much more! This is a great summer activity to stay cool and refreshed as well.
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