Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls

23 Oct

Do you say kaa-rahh-mell or kar-muhl ? Either way, this sugary dessert item has recently regained popularity in combination with salt. I love sweet and salty, in fact I often crave it. I find it calms 2 beasts in one shot, it achieves true satisfaction. Yummm…

Righto. My sister loves popcorn quite a bit. She especially loves adding flavours to it; white cheddar, sour cream, chocolate and so on. A couple of years ago, I received a photo from her via whatsapp. It was a plastic crate not unlike those cupcakes and muffins are sold in, but this one housed popcorn balls. They were massive, covered in drizzled chocolate both dark and white and topped with the tiniest chocolate wafers (think super mini candy melts). They looked delicious. And they were expensive. I mean like unreasonably so.  Needless to say she never bought them. Since then I kept telling myself I should have a go at making popcorn balls. And that day finally came.

Like so many things I make , I initially wing it. I don’t look up recipes BEFORE I attempt something,  that’s not hardcore. So this is my way of making popcorn balls and I am well aware that there may be far more effective ways but this one was fairly simple and very affordable so keep on reading.

In this recipe I use marshmallow as the binding ingredient similarly to making a rice crispy treat and I also make my own caramel to top them with.

1) Popcorn  (plain, air popped)- 4 cups (popped)

2) Marshmallows- 1 cup

3) Granulated sugar-1 cip

4) Heavy cream/evaporated milk- 1/3 cup

5) Salt (preferably large crystals)

6) Spices- I used cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin spice ( why not)

6.5) Patience


1) Pop popcorn and set aside.

Air popped popcorn 
2) Dissolve sugar in approximately 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil in a saucepan then add milk/cream and allow to boil for a few more mintes. – It won’t be as dark or as thick when you first make it. It needs time to cool.
Note : My caramel measurements were fairly arbitrary as I was experimenting,  however you may vary your measurements depending on how thick or how runny you want your caramel. You can also just melt down caramel candy🙂

Evaporated milk and granulated sugar 

Bring sugar to a boil

Completed caramel
3) Melt Marshmallows in microwave in 15 second intervals until soft and goopy. 

Marshmallows,  salt and spices 
4) Combine marshmallow, popcorn and spices together.

Mixture of ingredients 
5) Let the mixture sit for approximately 30 minutes. (Trust me it saves you a few grey hairs) The marshmallow begins to set up a but and the mixture is way easier to handle cimparted with when it’s very warm and the marshmallow is stringy and sticks to everything. 
6) Mold into balls the size you desire and let firm up for a few hours (at least 2) in the fridge.

Popcorn balls
7) Once firm, take caramel mixture and Drizzle over the balls. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt. Let firm up overnight.


Finished product 
These were moorish. This recipe made eight balls approximately 3 inches diameter. Popcorn is extremely inexpensive and the remainder of ingredients are likely found in your cupboard making this an affordable treat for a movie night or other get together. The caramel combined with salt creates a complex flavour that foodies will love but is so tasty that everyone else will adore.

I hope you try these out and habe an awesome day!


Champagne mouth but Prosecco pocket- Fine dining on a budget

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So the saying goes :”champagne mouth and beer pocket” or in my homeland  Barbados : ” champagne mouth and mauby pocket”. Mauby is a drink made from the bark of the tree with the same name. It is fairly popular throughoutthe Caribbean and like beer, is very inexpensive compared to champagne.   I drink neither beer nor mauby, but I do drink Prosecco which I often refer to as Champagne’s cheaper Italian cousin so this is the drink I use for comparison.  

I digress…

The point I’m making is this post is about enjoying something very pricey without spending all your savings at once.
A couple nights ago I had dinner with family and friends at a fairly upscale osteria. The ambience was gorgeous with glass light shades housing Edison bulbs and tall glass vases with sheaths of wheat inside them not to mention an open faced floor to ceiling shelf housing an eclectic array of items from metal colanders to cook books reflecting the Italian cuisine they serve.

As we sipped and supped, and believe you me, we did, I thought to myself about the fact that I love food and love fine dining but my entire life mantra is to stick to a budget. I basically assessed the entire experience along with other previous similar ones and came up with some tips that a budget savvy individual might want to use.

The point of living life on a budget isn’t to always choose the cheapest option and deny yourself of enjoyable,  meaningful experiences but rather to achieve what you want in the most cost effective way.
1) Eat the bread

Most dine-in restaurants will offer a complimentary bread basket. It can be as basic as sliced french bread or as varied as olive bread, cheese crusted bread etc. A few restaurants will devitae from bread and offer things like popcorn. But the point is…EAT IT. 

Many times most persons will nibble at a piece and leave the rest behind, hoping not to ruin their appetite with empty calories but trust me the bread will fill you up and decrease the need for extra food. You may be able to skip an appetizer or avoid having to order a soup or salad if you fill up on that bread.

Olive bread- came with balsamic  vinegar and olive oil to dip.

2) Make the most of appetizers

If you decide to order appetizers this can be where more savings come in. Most appetizer servings are now as large or in some cases larger than mains. You may want to order an appetizer and eat it as your main since it will be cheaper.

Another benifit to appetizers is the ability to share. For example out dinner party was comprised of eight persons and we had 3 appetizers between us. The combination of the bread and the appetizers left most of us almost full.

Tempura fried portobello mushrooms

Bruschetta with: tomato, prosciutto and pear with gorgonzola cheese

Tagliere with Prosciutto, salami, olives and cheeses.

3) Share your food

This was touched on in the previous tip but to reiterate the point, ordering something that can be spread among two or more persons is almost always more cost effective. This means selecting dishes that are easily shared such as pizza or large pasta dishes.


Seafood soup, easy to share 



4) Have water

Just like the bread basket, most respectable restaurants offer complimentary,  refillable glasses of water. DRINK IT! Ordering a fountain drink or juice will cost you especially if you go through more than one drink per meal. Just stick to the water.
5) Order the bottle

Most “fancy” meals are never complete without a glass of wine. We all know the alcohol sold in restaurants is always ridiculously marked up, however the wine gets cheaper with increased volume. If eight persons were to order a glass of wine each, it would have easily added up to more than an entire bottle from which you can get multiple servings.


6) Skip dessert

This is not a hard and fast rule (none of these are). If for example the restaurant is known for it’s desserts then it’s different, or if you are like my close friend Mark and totally addicted to sweet treats then go ahead. 

I personally have found that no matter how good a restaurant is, the desserts are often just okay. There are usually limited to just 4 or 5 options and it’s either some kind of cake or some kind of ice cream. When I go to a fine dining restaurant I am going for the appetizers and mains. If I want desserts I go to a bakery.

Dessert- Ice cream with espresso 
I hope my tips are useful to anyone planning a fine dining dinner experience and I hope you have an awesome day! 

Potato Soup

5 Oct

English potatoes and french bread

As the end of the year draws closer I am always more inclined to eat/make heartier foods; roasted meals, denser salads and thick flavourful soups.I suppose it’s because that’s what  all those home and lifestyle magazines splash on their covers-it’s all subliminal. ..
Anyway,  today I am sharing a recipe that was born out of desperation for something to eat back when I was a student. I remember mixing it up pretty much out of the blue and my flatmates and I completely demolished it. This is only the second time I have done it since then and I can barely remember what I put in it, so we’ll see where this goes. I have also paired it with some garlic bread.


1) Potatoes (I used Irish/English)- 450grams/1.1lb

2) Milk (I use Almond milk )- 3 cups

3) Cream cheese-  150g/4.5oz

4) Seasonings -black pepper, rosemary, basil, red pepper  and oregano flakes. 

5) Blender/nutribullet 

6) 2.8L/3 quart saucepan 


Prep -step: Remove cream cheese from fridge and allow to soften.

1) Bring water in saucepan to a boil then add potatoes (skin on)
2) Remove from pan allow to cool off (I pour off the hot water and add fresh cool water to expedite this) then peel.

Boiled and peeled potatoes

3) Mash potato along with cream cheese and seasonings- I added my seasoning to taste.

Softened cream cheese

4) Add the almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer) and blend until preferred consistency – I like mine smooth.
Plate and serve!
This can make about  4-6 servings (250mls or 8.5 oz each) but would also be excellent as appetizer shots.

To go along with this delectable soup I made an old faithful : garlic bread. Growing up we always had garlic bread with any kind of Italian style dinner (mostly lasagne and spaghetti ) and it is one of the first things I learned how to make. It is the combination of some firm (1-2 day old) French bread and garlic butter. My mother once told me people made it because their bread was going stale but they didn’t want to waste it. I don’t know if that’s true or not as she can sometimes tell tall tales…Hello mummy;) but it can be a good way to salvage bread that’s about to go.



1) French bread(a.k.a baguette)- I used about 1/3 of a loaf  which was about 12 inches of bread.

2) Butter- approximately 3 tbsp

3) Garlic clove

4) Seasonings/spices- black pepper,  garlic powder,  oregano.

1) Slice bread at a diagonal going about 7/8 way through so that the bread is held together just along the bottom.

Sliced bread
2)Dice garlic clove then  mix together with butter and seasonings.

Butter and seasonings 

Butter mixture 
3) Using a bread knife, place butter mixture between each slice and then over the top of the bread- you likely won’t need all the butter mixture so save it for later. 

Bread with garlic butter mixture
4) Place in foil with top exposed and bake until golden.

In foil 


Once done separate and enjoy! 

Finished garlic bread
This potato soup is creamy and tasty. The cream cheese makes it smooth and more full bodied while the natural potato flavour keeps it earthy. The golden garlic bread has a crispy outer ring with a moist garlicky centre. They go well together but stand alone as well.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe and try it out for yourself. Have an awesome day!

Potato Soup and Garlic bread

Drugstore Makeup Review-Maybelline Fit Me Stick Foundation

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Today I will be reviewing a drugstore find : The Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free + Balance Foundation stick . As I mentioned in my previous post “How to start a Drugstore Makeup Collection ” I am a recent drugstore makeup convert. I have been so impressed with the improved formulas and expanded lines and I am excited to try out anything they churn out these days.

Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free +Balance Foundation stick 

Foundation Sticks

Foundation sticks are becoming increasingly popular. Company after company are adding them to their repetoire from high end names like Anastasia Beverly Hills and Hourglass to out more affordable ones like NYX and of course Maybelline. The stick foundation is touted to be great for combination to oily skin and good for blending.
Maybelline Foundation Stick

This Maybelline Fit me foundation stick boasts to be shine free thanks to an antii-shine core in the centre of the stick. It comes in eight shades which go from ivory to coconut which is a nice deep shade and goes for under $10 US for a 0.32 Oz stick.

Foundation Stick with “shine free” core


The packaging is fairly basic, in what looks like a chubby black lipstick container with the signature “Fit Me” lettering .

The stick itself has an obvious lighter coloured core which is meant to be the shine fee aspect of the formula. I’m not sure why this couldn’t just have been incorporated into the overall stick but it’s neither here nor there to be honest.

The foundation is easy to apply, it’s creamy and can be put on in large swipes. It is easily blended with a brush. I saw some users were saying that blending sponges do not work well with stick formulas so I didn’t try.

It blends like a dream. It gives medium coverage and to be honest looks like a second more flawless skin. It also feels very lightweight. 

I chose to set mine with the Maybelline Fit me pressed powder as I was also trying this product for the first time.

Maybelline Fit Me Set +Smooth Pressed Powder 

I wore it for 4 hours on a fairly warm relaxed evening and found that it stayed put. I didn’t get oily or cakey in any way. I cannot say what would happen if it was worn for longer or if you were very active. I suspect you might have some breakdown and movement however because the foundation just sits on the skin.
Overall Impression 


Easy to apply and blend

Easy to travel with

Keeps you shine free (combined with setting powder)


Cost: similar cost of drugstore liquid foundations but for what appears to be a good deal less product (difficult to compare volume and weight ) . Additionally the stick seems to wear down pretty quickly.

Not suitable for all skin types- stick foundations are recommended for oily to combination skin not so much for normal to dry, although I personallybelieve anyone can use them.

Limited shades- I think they could have not only added some darker shades but added some more in between the lighter ones.
I am overall pleased with this purchase. I still remain more of a liquid foundation girl myself but I think this is a cool version to try that’s great to travel with and easy to use.

I hope this review will help anyone considering dipping into the sea of stick foundations. Have an awesome day!

Outlet Mall Shopping- Is it worth it?

28 Sep

Saks off 5th Avenue bag filled with outlet purchases.

I love to shop. I also love a bargin. I am the prime candidate for outlet mall shopping: I get my fix but for less and that makes me feel so satisfied.



It’s no secret that outlet malls have become increasingly popular. The mere fact that there are now entire malls dedicated to it is testimony to this. You go out to these clusters of high end stores and pick over their merchandise which you purchase for a fraction of the price. You walk away feeling smug because you’ve one upped everyone paying full price in the department stores, you’ve really stuck it to the “man”. Until someone tells you that your purchases aren’t the REAL thing but rather lower quality knock off.

This is a not so well known claim : that many outlet stores indeed manufacture lower quality items under their brand and sell them at “discounted” prices tricking us fools into thinking we’ve found the deal of the century when in fact we’ve been scammed.

I said this is a not so well known claim, because assuming it was common knowledge,  outlet malls wouldn’t be as packed and bustling as they often are (I would know as I  frequent them myself)

Outlet Origins

Let’s examine this by starting from where else?  The beginning.  The concept of the outlet mall bagan a few decades ago, right around the same time consumerism became a way of life. Big department stores and clothing brands wouldn’t sell all their merchandise for one reason or another and it would be scooped up from all the different branches and sent to one obscure warehouse where they were sold off for next to nothing . This was the time of innocence for the outlet store. If you wanted this kind of bargin you had to be willing to drive to this location and sift through the good the bad and the ugly to get that steal of a deal.

Awakening Evil 

This was a great thing. Companies got to recoup some money on their items and consumers got their bargin. As one would imagine something like this would eventually gain popularity. Why pay $200 for a jacket now when you could get it for $20 next year this time? Well it would seem that the volume of customers hungry for a bargin became too tempting for some companies to ignore. The rumor is that companies, realising the kind of profit they could turn started making cheaper items and selling them at low cost. The consumers were still happy. They got theit brand name bags and shoes and still had money left over to go out. The companies were very happy. They made more profit.

Dawn of Enlightenment 

Somewhere, someone, some years ago realised this wasn’t making sense. They figured that companies stood to profit way more by passing off lower quality items as reduced price items and making a killing. What started as a very quiet unsure whisper is now more of a murmur and it’s getting louder. There are many people who state it as fact that all outlet stores are selling “fake” items.


There is little concrete evidence widely available to lowly  consumers such as myself to say if this is all true or not. So let’s look at this:

Is it Possible? 

Absolutely. The goal of any business no matter size or shape is to make a profit. As much of it as possible.  According to  information  (cannot attest to the validity) some companies make as much as 60% of their revenue off outlet sales. Unfortunately and it’s quite easy to see how companies might opt to do this.

Is it Wrong?

This is where it gets sticky. Is it wrong for a company to make a slightly lower quality item (still good quality mind you) and sell it at a more affordable price? NO. In fact many companies do a similar thing. For example PINK is a more affordable line in VS aimed at teenagers and girls in their early 20s. Old Navy is like a cheaper (more fun, less preppy) version of The  Gap which is the little sister of the more sophisticated Banana Republic. All three have the same ownership with some very similar designs and likely produced in the same factory, yet they have three distinct price points.

However, what IS WRONG is cheating people. Most persons belive that outlet stores are still what they began as. A place where unsold and unwanted high end merchandise goes to retire. The fact that massive billion dollar companies would market their items as one thing when in fact they are something else, is loathesome, and this is what stings most people.

How do they get away with it?

1) Put simply, a lot of people just don’t know. Everyone doesn’t read fashion blogs and consumer reports. A lot of people just want a nice handbag at a great price and they aren’t out looking to see if they’re being swindled. 

2) The clientele is different. I am not saying there isn’t overlap but often the person who will drive all the way to an outlet mall and rifle through the wrong sized clothing for hours on end to pay 1/3 the price for a belt or coat probably isn’t floating around department stores buying what they have there. If you cater to an entirely different clientele who probably has zero idea what the “original” item really looks like and how much it costs then you can get away with it.

Do all companies do this? 

Since I can’t be 100 % sure any companies do this, I can’t say all do. But it’s hardly likely that from the hundreds of brands who own outlet stores every single one is mass producing lower quality items to pass on to unknowing consumers. It isnt impossible though. I personally believe some do and some don’t. 

Does it matter?

It all depends. To answer this question we have to inflect a bit. Why do we want these items in the first place? Why are we so excited to fork over $200 (still a significant amount of money) for a piece of cloth or a hunk of leather? There are two main answers.

1) It’s all in the name. We want that brand name or famous logo splashed across our belongings. Retail companies realise this and appeal to our vanity by mass producing this stuff so we can pay for their name. 

2) Quality. This is something  we look for and expect when we pay a certain price or see a certain name. It’s meant to justify the price.  A lot of these brands are known for their high quality, hand made items which unfortunately isn’t the case if it’s mass produced.

But as I alluded to earlier, many of these companies make both their retail and outlet items in the same factories and they have similar designs. The retail item might have a better quality fabric or use a more expensive zip, buckle etc. So no the two items will not be the exact same thing and yes one will be of higher quality than the other but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a good quality item. Think of it as a way to own something from a brand you like but within your budget. Remember you get what you pay for.

How do I shop at outlet malls?

Here are a few tips if you are thinking of doing some outlet shopping with all this information in mind. No one tip is foolproof and can guarantee you won’t be duped but if you keep them all in the back of your head you should be able to maneuver the malls with success.

1) Decide if it matters and how much.

 After all I’ve just said some people won’t care and that’s fine. For some, like myself I have no problem buying a slightly lower quality shirt but I want a top quality bag so I chose wisely. If you are so paralysed with fear of getting low quality “knock offs” then outlet shopping is not for you. 
2) Ask an employee

It’s so crazy, it just might work. While some employees might flat out lie in hopes of getting commission from a sale (this happened to me but not at an outlet) many others won’t.  There is a good chance the company isn’t going to tell them to lie, they probably just hope you don’t ask.

3) Check the tag

A trick I was taught was to look at the tag. If it gives one price listed as retail price with the price they are offering below it or stuck on as a price sticker then it likely did come from a retail store.

4) Become familiar with the retail versions

If you are  considering buying a pair of leather boots from X brand, go into one of their regular stores or go online and see what the stuff looks like. If the boots at the outlet look similar but not quite the same and is in the outlet at the same time it’s in retail then it probably is made for outlet. Conversely if you see a pair that you know for a fact was advertised two seasons ago then you can assume this is the real deal.

5) Pay attention to detail 

It was pointed out to me once that the outlet version of a particular brand had a slight difference in the tag. That’s the only place you could really tell but there it was. Sometimes they it’s the type of hardware used, a different shade of a particular colour etc. 

6) Observe…

The volume of clothing and how much of each thing there is. If there are disproportionate numbers of  the same style in different colours and sizes that’s a sign thsee are leftover retail items. Whereas if the number of each style of item is voluminous as in the hundreds that’s a clue it was probably mass produced just for the outlet.


7) If it seems too good to be true…

You know the rest of that saying. If an item normally retails for $2000 and it’s selling for $150, it’s not the same item. The only caveat is if it is severely damaged something you would be obviously aware of.
How can you own high end/luxury items for less?

So if you are no longer convinced that you can trust an outlet store but you want to own some higher end items. I have 2 pieces of advice:

1) Save up

Good old fashioned setting money aside until you have enough for the item you really want. That way when you purchase you know you have made an investment in what you really want. 

2) Sale

Wait for the brand or department store to put on a sale and get the same item for less. Yes this means you may have 

I hope this was helpful for the next time you go outlet shopping. Have an awesome day! 

Pumpkin- 3 ways

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Pumkin squash


It’s that time of year everyone,; where pumpkins are abundant both in our decor and our pallets. I personally am a pretty hardcore pumpkin lover (pre PSL craze). It’s affordable, nutritious and very versitile as I will demonstrate with these three recipes.

Each of these recipes can be eaten at a different course throughout dinner if you wish and two stand alone as great appetizers for entertaining. 


This soup is totally on trend now. There isn’t a cocktail menu that doesn’t offer some version of pumkin soup, often with ginger ,but it was really my mother who I first got this recipe from as she has been making this concoction for years. Let us proceed.


1)Pumpkin- 300g/11oz/0.6lbs

2)Ginger-approximately 1/4 cup shredded (more if you want a bigger ginger punch)

3)Seasonings-I used salt and black pepper but you can use whatever you wish.

4)Belender/nutribullet/food processor 


1) Cut pumpkin into small pieces, leaving the skin on.

Cubed pumpkin

2) Bring water to a rolling boil in a saucepan and add pumpkin and cook.

Boiling pumpkin 

3) Once cooked, remove from stove and allow to cool before removing the skin (it will be much easier now)
4) Place into blender and add ginger and seasonings along with some water (add a few tablespoons at a time ) then blend until smooth and soup like.

Pureed Pumpkin

5) Pour into shot glasses or bowls and serve!

Pumpkin ginger soup

This tastes just as you might imagine. Thick and creamy with a spicy pop from the ginger. This is a beautiful soup without ginger as well. This recipe makes 2 small (appetizer )  bowls or about 12 shots of the soup.


This is a dish I’ve eaten for many years but never had a name for it so I made this up. It’s basically doing what you might do to potatoes if you were making mashed potatoes.


1) Pumpkin – 300g /11oz/0.6lbs

2) 1/4 cup sugar- I used coconut sugar but any brown sugar will do.

3) Seasonings- garlic powder, black pepper and salt (you can add whatever you want)

4) Blender/Food Processor /nutribullet (optional)


Repeat steps 1-3 for the soup.

4) Mash the pumpkin using a fork or mashing tool.

Mashed pumpkin 
5) Add sugar and seasonings and mix.

Pumpkin, sugar and seasonings
6) This step is optional of you want a very smooth uniform consistency;  place in your blender for only a few seconds to make it smoother but not liquified.
7) Plate and garnish.

Pumpkin mash
This is a nice alternative to mashed potatoes and a great way to incorporate a healthy nutrient rich food. If you want to make it healthier you can nix the sugar. It won’t be the same but it’s still good. This recipe makes 2 servings.


This recipe is the piece de resistance of the entire post. This sweet treat is a family favourite and anyone from my homeland of Barbados knows these very well. Pumpkin fritters are basically like egg less pumpkin pancakes or pumkin donut holes, that’s the best way I can describe them. Let us begin.


1) Pumpkin -300g /11oz/0.6lbs

2) 1/2 cup brown sugar

3) 1 cup milk (I used almond milk)

4) 1 cup flour

5) 1 tsp vanilla extract 

6) 1/2 tsp cinnamon -I mixed mine with ground nutmeg

7) Confectioners sugar mixed with cinnamon  (for coating)

8) Blender /nutribullet /food processor  (optional )


1) Cube and peel pumpkin 

2) Place pumpkin, a few chunks at a time into your food processor and chop. ALTERNATELY, grate pumpkin- this is far more time consuming and labour intensive but works just the same.

3) Add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix.

Ingredients in bowl


4) This step is optional. At this point the mixture will be lumpy which is alright but if like me you prefer it a bit smoother then add to the blender for a few seconds until it reaches you preferred consistency. 

NOTE: This worked for these measurements, but for me each time I make it, it’s differnt, I suppose it depends alot on the pumpkin itself, so if you find its too think add a bit more milk, small amounts at a time and if it’s too runny add a bit more flour.
5) Heat oil in saucepan and add approximately a tablespoon full of batter at a time- this is all dependent on the size you want. I wanted them to be small enough to eat in 2 or 3 bites. The batter should sink to the bottom of the pan immediately then easily rise up to the top of the oil, you may have to give the fritters a nudge with your fork.

6) Remove from oil and dry once golden brown in colour.

 At this point you can just eat them, especially if you’re having them with your breakfast but I decided to do a bit more so they are even more delicious .

7) Toss in mixture of confectioners sugar and cinnamon. 

8) Plate and serve.

Pumpkin fritters 
I do not have words to accurately describe how delicious a well made pumpkin fritter tastes. Nothing will do them justice. They are sweet and flavourful thanks to the spices. The pumkin makes them dense and adds that distinct pumpkin flavour that nothing can quite imitate. The dusting of sugar on top makes them even tastier. And the smell is so good. These are excellent appetizers for a dinner party, a great side for brunch or just a nice sweet, semi- healthy snack.
I hope you enjoyed these recipes, thank you for reading and have an awesome day! 

Travel Tips- Visiting a Museum

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Outside museum in Costa Rica


I love museums. I think they are an excellent way to learn alot about a particular country or region or art style in a short space of time. I can’t think of any major trip I’ve taken where I didn’t visit at least one local museum. A museum is a great way to spend a morning or while away an afternoon. It’s chill, entertaining and pretty cheap compared with other tourist activities.
Here are some tips I have if you’re thinking of visiting a museum on your next trip.
1) Decide to go

Museums are one of the most budget friendly vacation activities for the following reasons: 

Many museums charge no fee or a very nominal fee asking only for a donation,  so if you only have $5 to spare that’s usually okay.

A lot of museums offer discounted fees to various persons e.g. students, teachers, senior citizens. 

Many museums offer discounted fees after a particular time e.g The Museum of Art and Design in Manhatten offers “pay what you wish” after 6pm on Thursdays.

2) Research


Museums come in all shapes and sizes. There are massive national museums, art museums, fashion museums, military museums etc. Spend a little QT with google and tailor your selection to your interests so you don’t waste time, money and energy.

Temporary Exhibits 

Many museums have exhibits that last for only a few weeks or months. They’re often interactive and very in depth. It might be worthwhile chosing a museum with a temporary exhibit you might be interested in. A few years ago I visited a temporary exhibit at Museum of Natural History in NY  (my absolute favorite in the world). It was based on using more natural foods and it was outstanding. I got to sample a lot of different foods especially honeys, there was one with elderflower and to this day I’ve never had another opportunity to taste elderflower honey, so I’m glad I went then.

Other Activities 

Most museums have a calender of events for the upcoming month and even year which include exhibits as well as other events like musical performances, films or even workshops often for small additional fees.

Display from Temporary exhibit in Gold Museum in Costa Rica

Statue in museum

3) Pack Light

This is standard travel advice.You’ll likely be on your feet for quite a few hours .Some museums will make you put your bags away allowing only phones and purses. However, if they don’t , you won’t want need to lug around all your belongings at once. So pack minimal items keeping the load down.
4)  Eat before you go

Or after you leave. The truth is that most museum restaurants or cafés are exceptionally overpriced. Now if you specifically want to eat at the museum by all means go ahead but there is a pretty good chance you’ll be paying double the amount for the same wrap or salad you could get from a cafe around the corner.
5) Caution in the Gift shop

This is a sure way to have your money sucked .Gift shops are bright and shiny and make you feel encouraged to buy. Either set a spending limit e.g no more than $30 or decide precisely what you want e.g a commemorative book and stick to it.

I hope these little tips encourage you to visit a museum on your next trip. They really are enjoyable places and you can feel your mind expanding. Happy Travels and have an awesome day!  

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