Sunday, February 15, 2015

Product Review: Seeds of Change - Tikka Masala Indian Simmer Sauce

Through I received a coupon for Seeds of Change products and as a lover of Indian food and all things curry, I selected the mild tomato-and-onion Tikka Masala. Below you can see how easy and especially quickly I was able to fix a healthy, but tasty lunch. The simmering sauce gives the dish an authentic Indian flavor and I do not have to worry about getting the spices right. I was able to provide for a healthy lunch in less than 15 minutes prep-time and then letting the crockpot do the rest. The meal turned out tasty and all I had to do was fix some regular rice to go with the curry chicken stew.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - taking Chicken breast cubed and browning it in a crock pot with the simmer sauce

copyright Durhamonthecheap - starts smelling good, Tikka Masala gives the chicken instant flavor

copyright Durhamonthecheap -adding some frozen veggies to keep it healthy for a quick lunch

copyright Durhamonthecheap -some white rice and the crockpot stew for an authentic curry dish!
 Disclaimer: I received a free product coupon for a Seeds of Change product courtesy of in exchange for a sampling and an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Book Review: Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told by Scott Turansky Scott and Joanne Miller

This is an interesting book. While it is titled as a Christian book on parenting, the references to religion and the bible are more cursory than I expected. The messages told in the book and the examples given can be applied to any parent trying to rear a child to become an independent person that sticks to the right path. The right path is one that I would describe as not seeking trouble, staying out of prison and using common sense. Yes, this book will also want the child to believe in God and learn lessons from the bible, but again, this part of the message should not distract from the fact that lessons taught in this book are solid and generally applicable.

I read with great interest the chapter on conscience. Conscience is not really a religious component, but should be part of any adult's behavior that is part of a larger society, in which not his or her own self-interest rules the day. The lessons taught in this book on conscience made sense because every parent knows that they cannot supervise their child 24x7 and as kids grow older, parents need to let go. Yet, every parent still wants to ensure that their child will behave and that they as parents not received the dreaded phone call about their child having gotten into trouble. Teaching your child instinctive boundaries, commons sense and being able to tell good from bad are all part of this letting go and trusting your child to have a conscience that will lead them on the right path.
Yes, there are references to the God and the bible, but overall the advice provided in this book is helpful to every parent.I would recommend this book to my friends, even if they do not go to church every Sunday because I feel that at its core, the messages taught in this book are sound.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not bee influenced by a third party.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Crowdtap party: Splenda party - cooking and baking lighter in the kitchen with Splenda

Thanks to Crowdtap and Splenda, I was able to host a party at which I served Splenda-incorporating cookies and also showcase the different products that Splenda is now making available for baking and cooking with less calories. Splenda is now selling brown sugar blend, baking blend and sugar substitute. I love the fact that a brown sugar substitute is now available through Splenda because I love to bake with brown sugar and I cannot really tell the difference in flavor between Splenda and regular brown sugar.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - thumbs up from me for the great Splenda sugar substitutes!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - cookies with Splenda Baking Blend!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - thanks Crowdtap and Splenda!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - coupons and cookies (made with Splenda of course!)

copyright Durhamonthecheap - so much stuff and so little time to try it all out, Thanks Splenda!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - aprons, jumping ropes and so much more from Splenda!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - late to the party and still happy about the Splenda goodies!
Thanks again to Splenda for providing me with these supplies for a fantastic party. The goodies were great, everyone in my group loves to bake and so the measuring spoons, aprons and spatulas were very, very welcome. Thanks again Crowdtap and Splenda!

Disclaimer: I received a free party pack courtesy of Crowdtap and Splenda in exchange for hosting a party and reviewing items provided in the party pack. The opinion expressed in the post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Crowdtap party: Football Sunday with Weight Watchers

Through I received a party pack to host a superbowl party courtesy of Weightwatchers. The party pack was awesome. It included recipe booklets, party decorations such as napkins, garlands, table football game and then cute plastic helmets and foam fingers. My favorite parts were the football-shaped chip and dip dish and the referee napkins and football plates and cups - really cute and they made it easy to throw a football themed party.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - ready to start the Turkey chili - healthy and tasty with lots of spicy ingredients

copyright Durhamonthecheap -starting the prep by browning the turkey and onions

copyright Durhamonthecheap - - full pt of chili, just some frozen veggies from the garden for some more spice

copyright Durhamonthecheap -voila! low fat sour cream and baked crackers for a tasty and healthy dish!

copyright Durhamonthecheap -ready for the guests at home!

copyright Durhamonthecheap -table is set - who says good food cannot be healthy!

copyright Durhamonthecheap -after party at work - these things were bog hits, everyone grabbed them for the grandkids

copyright Durhamonthecheap -the recipe books were great, healthy and tasty recipes - what is not to like!
So because the party pack was so awesome and contained so many good items to share, I decided to throw two parties. I had one at home and then another at work. Both parties were fun to have and the one at work involved just some healthy snacks, but the recipe booklets from WeightWatchers were are definite hit and as you can see, the football gadgets included were welcome. it does help that we work in an area in which two of the three major college sports teams have blue in their colors, so the foam fingers will definitely be used at home games - more viewing time for WeightWatchers. The football helmets, while maybe a little bit small for some of the adults, will be brought home for the grandkids - boys and girls alike. As you can see from the picture, everyone had a great time!

Disclaimer: I received a free party pack courtesy of Crowdtap and WeighWatchers in exchange for hosting a party and reviewing items provided in the party pack. The opinion expressed in the post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Product review: - serving small landlords with background checks for prospective tenants

If you are in my position, you will regularly have to perform background checks on potential tenants. Usually, the fee is being charged to the tenant, but the price charged can vary significantly and you do not want to miss out on potentially good candidates by charging a significantly higher rate for background checks than competitors.

Recently, I came across a service called Tenantify, which is hosted at This is a reasonably priced service that performs financial and job history background checks for $10 each or a combination of both for $15. They do not collect SSNs from applicants, which is often a roadblock to people concerned with identity theft. The company does not store sensitive information on their systems either.

The prices charged are lower than other services I have used and that will give some landlords a competitive advantage since potential applicants will look at the background check fee as money that is nonrefundable and must be added to the price charged for the initial payment. Since this also includes the deposit, cash-strapped tenant applicants will look at background check fees as an item that they can save money on and here $20 can make a potential difference. I have seen some services charge in excess of $40 for background checks and often these services require disclosure of the SSN, which is associated with the risk of data breaches since you do not know how securely this information is being handled.

Using a secure API from a partner company, Tenantify can verify banking information without storing any sensitive information. And employment history is verified using official sources and in addition to a phone call with the listed employer. This process will reduce for you as the landlord the risk of the applicant walking away instead of making an offer since the combined price of $15 for employment and income verification is very reasonable. In addition, the Privacy Policy by Tenantify clearly states that the only information collected is limited to the information needed to perform the selected type of background check.

So the next time, you need a background check on a potential tenant, why not give Tenantify a try?

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I received financial compensation in return for a review of the service. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.