Cherri Megasko

Cherri Megasko

Cherri's passions are the environment, adventure travel and exotic foods. She recently moved to a Shenandoah Valley homestead where she lives with her husband, dogs, chickens and 12.6 acres of woodland creatures.

Through her writing, Cherri is able to share her passions with others in hopes to educate, enlighten and entertain.
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B.S.B.A. / Marketing, A.A.S./ Management, A.A.S. / Public Relations, A.S. / Environmental Science


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  • How to Ease the Stress of Selling a Home
    As a layperson who has sold four homes in the last eight years, I know how stressful selling a home can be. If you’re considering putting your home on the market, here are some tips that might help you dodge a few stress bullets along the way.
  • How Kicking My Diet Pepsi Habit Improved My Health
    I admit it – I was addicted to Diet Pepsi. At my worst I was guzzling more than 100 ounces a day. But then something clicked in my head. I realized that all this caffeine and artificial sweetener couldn’t possibly be good for my health.
  • The Cats of Kennedy Park - Miraflores, Peru
    In the center of Miraflores, Peru, stands Kennedy Park. In addition to its peaceful setting, it also offers … cats. In fact, about 80 stray cats make Parque Kennedy their home, where they are cared for by a small group of anonymous guardian angels.
  • Charitable Activities That Banish Boredom and Crush Cabin Fever
    Performing acts of charity when you’re bored or feeling blue can be the perfect prescription for getting all those feel-good vibes coursing through your veins again.
  • 10 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Health
    When dirt and grime accumulate in hard-to-reach or easy-to-forget spaces, allergens such as dust and mold can collect and cause significant health problems. Here are 10 places you may want to include in your spring cleaning routine this year.
  • Enjoy a Low-Carb Cinco De Mayo Feast
    Celebrating Cinco de Mayo can be a real challenge for anyone watching their carbs. But with a little forethought and pre-planning, you can prepare a Cinco de Mayo feast everyone will love – without all the carbs usually associated with Mexican food.
  • Turn Your Under-Stair Storage Space Into a Dry Goods Pantry
    Here are simple step-by-step instructions on how to turn your under-stair storage space into a dry goods pantry.
  • Grow a Window Box Salad Garden
    Growing a window box salad garden takes no more time than caring for regular houseplants. Here’s how.
  • Airplane Etiquette: Are You Flying Clueless?
    Many air travelers – regardless of their experience – could use a little refresher on airplane etiquette. Here are some do’s and don’ts on flying based on my experiences, observations, and traveling pet peeves.
  • Cooking in a Tagine
    A tagine is a two-piece cooking vessel made of clay and shaped like an inverted funnel. Typically associated with Moroccan cooking, the word “tagine” refers both to the cooking vessel itself as well as the food that’s cooked in it.
  • Collecting Sea Glass or Beach Glass
    Collecting sea glass is a popular hobby along seashores, lake shores and even river banks that have ample wave or current activity.
  • Can an Adult Dog Forget His Housetraining?
    Perhaps the most valuable training any dog gets in his lifetime is housebreaking. But unfortunately, housetraining is not like riding a bike – it can be forgotten. Here are some things that can cause a dog to abandon his housetraining.
  • Vacation Activity Safety in Developing Nations
    Lack of safety regulations in developing nations could compromise your safety while on vacation.
  • New River Dolphin Species Discovered in Brazil
    A new species of river dolphin has been discovered in Brazil. Inia araguaiaensis is the first new river dolphin species to be discovered since 1918.
  • How to Safely Put Your Dog on a Weight-Loss Diet
    Putting your overweight dog on a weight-loss diet can help improve his quality of life as well as his life span.
  • Moles Are Good for Your Yard and the Environment
    When most people think of moles, they think of a small rodent pest that eats gardens and destroys landscapes. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
  • Rain Gutter Greenhouse Gardening for Cold Weather Vegetables
    Whether you have a hobby greenhouse or are just looking for ways to save space outside, rain gutter gardening is an easy, inexpensive way to grow many shallow-rooted edibles.
  • Cooking with Leftovers: Chicken Chili Soup
    When I go shopping at the supermarket, I often make my protein decisions with leftovers in mind. A classic example of that is a whole roasting chicken whose leftovers can be turned into delicious Chicken Chili Soup. Here’s how.
  • First-Time International Traveler Tips
    International travel is something many people dream of, but for whatever reason they have just never taken the plunge. Here are a few tips to help prepare you for your first global adventure.
  • Cher’s Chicken Chili Soup
    This is a hearty soup that can easily be made from leftover chicken. It’s great as a main course or can be served as a side dish to any Mexican or Tex-Mex meal.
  • Mystery of Maasai Cattle Deaths
    As hundreds of Maasai cattle continue to die in Kenya, concerned environmentalists worry that drought may not be the only cause.
  • Touring the Kazuri Bead Factory in Karen, Kenya
    Visiting the Kazuri Bead Factory in Karen, Kenya, is an inspirational and motivating experience, proving there is hope for even the poorest and most repressed within developing societies around the globe.
  • Christmas Card Crazy
    This is a tongue-in-cheek poem about my obsession with sending and receiving Christmas Cards.
  • 10 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining
    Holiday parties are fun and festive, but hosting them can be stressful. If you enjoy showing off your hostessing skills but can do without the headaches, here are some tips to guide you through your seasonal soiree unscathed by the stress of entertaining.
  • Minimize Your Loss During Vacation Emergencies
    Life is unpredictable. It therefore stands to reason that emergencies can occur while on vacation just as easily as they can when we’re at home. Here are five vacation emergencies I have personally experienced and how I tried my best to minimize my loss.
  • Where to Go for Lunch in and Around Chandler, AZ
    If you’re like me, you enjoy trying out restaurants in a new city. On a recent trip to Chandler, AZ, I took advantage of all this upscale suburb of Phoenix had to offer. Here are some of my favorite lunch spots and why.
  • Tired of Turkey? Try These Alternative Main Courses for Thanksgiving Dinner
    If you're tired of the same old Thanksgiving menu, why not shake things up a bit with these alternative and daring Thanksgiving main courses?
  • How to Turn Your Thanksgiving Travel Into a Mini-Vacation
    Why not take advantage of the time and money you’re already spending and turn your holiday travel into a mini-vacation? Here are some tips on how you can do just that.
  • Culinary Vacations - Traveling to Eat Exotic or Local Foods
    On a recent trip to the Peruvian Amazon, one of my primary goals was to experience the local foods of the indigenous peoples. These tips helped ensure I was not disappointed.
  • Korean Soju - the Next Generation of Alcohol Trends in the U.S
    Korean culture is now becoming very en vogue in the U.S. In fact, Soju, a distilled Korean libation with 20 percent alcohol, is becoming so popular that it’s even sold at Dodger’s Stadium.
  • How to Avoid Post-Travel or Vacation Illness
    You don’t have to vacation in the jungle for your travel to pose health risks. Domestic travel, as well as that to any developed part of the world, can also result in illness. Why is post-travel illness so common and what can you do to help prevent it?
  • Halloween Fun - Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF
    Do you have a tween who is balancing the decision of whether or not to go Trick-or-Treating this year? A wonderful solution that satisfies the need for fun and also delivers an impressive level of mature service is to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF.
  • Heartburn-Friendly Finger Foods for Football Season
    One of the best things about football season is the game day bites. But for those who suffer from heartburn, cheesesteaks and onion rings can be a double-edged sword. Here are some tasty ways to celebrate the big game without paying the big price.
  • Fascinated by Fungi? Attend a Mushroom Foray
    Mushrooms have long been a subject of mystery and intrigue. While some are revered, many others are feared. Attending a mushroom foray is a great way to learn the difference.
  • I Hate Football
    This was a therapeutic writing exercise to help me cope with my hatred of football on television.
  • Budgeting Immunizations for Overseas Travel
    Depending on your travel destination, immunizations and malaria regimens can add several hundred dollars to the cost of a trip.
  • Hosting a Labor Day Party for Families
    Labor Day weekend is a great party opportunity. It’s also one of the last chances we’ll have for an outdoor get-together this season. If you’re thinking of rounding up the friends for one last summer blowout, here are some ideas to keep everyone happy.
  • Spice Up Your Labor Day Cookout with … Ramen Burgers?
    Ramen burgers are the hottest new trend in food, and they’re here just in time for your Labor Day cookout.
  • Where to Eat on Caye Caulker, Belize
    Caye Caulker, a small island off the north-central coast of Belize, offers many unique restaurants that deliver great food at outstanding values.
  • Why You Need to Sterilize Your Gear Before Traveling to the Rainforest
    The world’s rainforests exist within a delicate balance of nature. The slightest disruption to that balance can have severe consequences. Travelers should thoroughly clean and sanitize all clothing, footwear and equipment before entering the rainforest.
  • Pet Mantis Care: Tips for Beginners
    Most species of mantids can make excellent pets for animal lovers of all ages. The adults are easy to care for, and other than requiring live food, don’t need a lot of special equipment or supplies.
  • Ethnic Eats for $13 or Less in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
    Who says New York City has to be expensive? The next time you’re traveling to the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, check out these authentic ethnic restaurants that are light on the wallet without sacrificing taste.
  • The Tarragon Mantis
    As I was inspecting my herbs one day I found a mantis on my tarragon. Three days later, he was still there, patiently awaiting dinner. This is a poetic tribute to my little carnivore friend.
  • Is Huitlacoche – A.K.A. Corn Smut, Mexican Truffles – the Next Food Fad?
    If you’re not already familiar with huitlacoche – a fungus that grows on corn that is also known as corn smut – you might think of it as a fairly nasty dining option. But the Mexican culture has been enjoying this culinary delicacy for centuries.
  • Frozen Beer Foam Hottest New Trend in Ballpark Eats
    Frozen beer foam may just be the next new “hot” item at ballparks across the country.
  • Ramen: From Budget to Boutique
    Today you can find ramen shops dotting the streets of many larger cities, patronized by upscale foodies and budget-minded diners alike. Ramen has officially gone from budget to boutique!
  • 5 Reasons I Clean My House for the Housekeeper
    My husband and half my friends think I’m crazy. One morning a week I run around like a crazy woman cleaning my house. Why? Because the housekeeper could be there any minute!
  • Beat the Summer Heat - Go Hiking in the Forest
    A great way to beat the summertime heat is to go hiking in the forest where temperatures can be 15 to 20 degrees cooler. If you’re looking for a short, relatively easy hike with lots of variety, you might try Stony Man Trail in Shenandoah National Park.
  • Benefits of Foraging: Save Money, Get Fit and Be a Happier Person
    Foraging is an excellent activity that increases your knowledge, provides some exercise and gets you away from the computer and into the real world.
  • What to Do when You Find a Sick or Injured Wild Animal
    Whether you live way out in the boonies or in a crowded urban area, chances are at some point in your life you will encounter a sick or injured wild animal. Here are some tips that will help keep you and the animal as safe as possible.
  • 10 Tips to Thicken Soups and Stews
    It’s happened to all cooks. You throw together a soup or stew on the fly and it ends up being too soupy or thin. Now what do you do? Here are ten quick and easy ways to thicken a soup or stew that won’t compromise the textures of your finished dish.
  • Campfire Cooking with Pie Irons
    I love cooking over an open fire when we’re camping, but the time it takes to prep, cook and clean up keeps me from enjoying camp life. The perfect solution is to use pie irons as cooking utensils. It’s easy, fun and tastes wonderful!
  • Watermelon Oreos on “Eat an Oreo Day”
    June 19 is “Eat an Oreo Day.” The timing is just right for this summer’s limited edition flavor – Watermelon Oreos – that were released on June 10.
  • The Terrible Ts of Owning a Hedgehog – My Biggest Pet Mistake
    I love pets – the more exotic, the better. I have never once regretted my decision to bring a pet home … until now. Just two weeks ago I got an African pygmy hedgehog, and it was the biggest pet mistake of my life. Here’s why.
  • 5 Reasons a Clean House Makes Sense and Cents
    I like my house to be spotless, yet I am a terrible housekeeper. That juxtaposition has provided me with much insight over the years. Here’s why I believe keeping your house clean is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family.
  • Where Have All the Fireflies (Lightning Bugs) Gone?
    As a child one of my favorite summertime pastimes was catching fireflies. Not only was it inexpensive entertainment, it served as a science lesson as well. Today things are different for the firefly, as their numbers are decreasing across their range.
  • My Secret to Perfectly Peeled Hard-Boiled Eggs
    My daughter recently asked me how I get my hard-boiled eggs peeled so neatly without sacrificing half the egg in the process. I actually do have a secret that works almost every time – even with fresh-from-the-chicken eggs!
  • Reality TV Show Survivor is My Life Model
    I have been enthralled with the TV show “Survivor” since the very first episode. It not only entertains me, it provides me with lessons that help me outwit, outplay and outlast others in life.
  • After the Storm: Where Does All the Rubble Go?
    The May 20, 2013, EF-5 tornado that destroyed much of Moore, Okla., left in its wake a mass of rubble almost too enormous to fathom. Sometimes even before the initial shock is over the clean-up begins. But where does all the rubble go?
  • Helping Kids Understand and Observe Memorial Day
    On Memorial Day many of us fly flags or visit a cemetery to put fresh flowers on a loved one’s grave. But how do our children fit into those plans? Here are some activities you can use to help explain the significance of the day to your younger children
  • Memorial Day Yakitori Barbecue and Grill Cookout
    Nothing screams Memorial Day like a cookout. But how do you breathe new life into the same ole, same ole? Why not try something different by grilling up a Japanese yakitori buffet? It’s so simple you’ll wonder why you never tried this before!
  • Living Your Bucket List for an Awesome Life
    I would like to present a formula for living that has the potential to leave no adventure unfulfilled … no dream unrealized. I call it “Living My Bucket List.”
  • Driving for Pleasure - How Scenic Drives Impact Our Environment
    I just love to just jump in the car and take off for parts unknown. Scenic drives, historic parkways and backcountry loops have given me some of my most treasured travel memories. But how can I justify the environmental impact of driving for pleasure?
  • Crooked Carrots? Here’s How to Grow Them Straight
    Carrots are one of the most common vegetables grown by gardeners, yet they often provide some of the most disappointing results. Here are some options that allow most anyone the opportunity to grow perfect carrots.
  • Could You Be a Flexitarian? I Made the Switch
    Watch out vegans and vegetarians – there’s a new sheriff in town. It’s the “Flexitarian” – a person who goes meatless “most” of the time.
  • Fertilizing Your Organic Garden ... With Urine?
    If you’re growing an organic garden you know fertilizers can be expensive. But there is an organic fertilizer that’s not only affordable – it’s free! Urea, or urine, can boost your crop production by more than 25 percent.
  • Common Beginner Cooking Mistakes
    Every great cook had to start somewhere. Whether you’re 15 or 50, as a beginning cook you’ll have to climb the learning curve. But understanding these common mistakes will help you glide down the other side with a lot less effort.
  • 5-Minute Tricks to Attract Wildlife to Your Yard
    There are an infinite number of ways we can attract wildlife to our yards. Many require purchasing feeders, houses or special food. But there are also ways you can attract birds, rabbits and frogs without even having to leave your driveway.
  • 5 Lessons for Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors
    I’m just two weeks into my seed-starting process and I already have a list of things I’ll do differently next year. For those whose last frost is mid-May or later, there’s still time for you to learn from my mistakes.
  • The Compound "Interest" of Charity
    The phrase “charity begins at home” means something different to each of us. To me it exemplifies why charity is important, not only to the beneficiary, but to those who practice it as well.
  • International Vegetarian - Around the World with Chickpeas
    Chickpeas have been grown in Turkey for more than seven centuries. Today, more than 80 percent of the world’s chickpea crop comes from India. In addition to India, many cultures have developed their own special dishes around this versatile bean.
  • Make a Nesting Ball for Spring Birds
    You can get the whole family involved in helping out the birds this spring by making nesting balls out of materials you have laying around the house. It’s fun, easy and a great way to help teach kids about nature.
  • 5 Tips to Organize Your Move
    Moving is stressful and demanding. It can turn even the nicest of people into crazed maniacs. I’ve moved ten times in the last 12 years and have learned a few things along the way. Here are some tips to help you organize your move and save your sanity.
  • Hosting a Beer Tasting Party with Class
    If you prefer a six-pack of craft beer to a good bottle of wine, why not consider hosting a beer tasting party? Contrary to a frat house kegger, beer tastings can be chic and refined, and you shouldn’t have to collect cars keys at the end of the night.
  • 4 Healthy Strategies to Eat Less Meat
    People are vegetarians for lots of reasons. But while many of us empathize with their rationale, meat remains an important part of our diet. If you recognize the need to eat less meat but don’t see vegetarianism as an option, there are other alternatives.
  • March Madness Munchies - Top Seeded Favorites
    March Madness is just a few days away, so if you haven’t finalized your party plans, you need to get moving! ‘Still wondering what to serve your guests or take to the Brackets Pot Luck? Check out these favorites from March Madness fans across the country.
  • Danger in Your Dog’s Bowl – Pink Crud: Serratia Marcescens
    Have you noticed a pink film forming around your pet’s water dish? More than likely that’s Serratia marcescens, a bacterium of the Enterobacteriaceae family. This bacterium can be found naturally in water, soil, plants, and the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Managing Your Move with a Moving Company
    Moving is never fun. Sorting, purging and packing and then dealing with it on the other end is very stressful and expensive. Due to my husband’s job, I have moved 10 times in the last 12 years. Here are some valuable tips I have learned along the way.
  • Parenting Adult Children: Resolution for 2013
    Parenting doesn’t end when your kids go off to college or take their first professional job. The role you play in their lives is just as important, even though the impacts may be more subtle and the needs more veiled.
  • Hotel Guest Etiquette
    One thing that stands out while traveling is the condescending attitudes with respect to the housekeeping services of hotels. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many times I’ve heard, “That’s their job.” I’m here to tell you – No, it’s not!
  • 10 Quick Tips for Making Soup
    For most home cooks, shopping specifically for soup ingredients is rare. More often we are scouring the fridge and pantry for items we can throw in the pot. Here are some quick tips that will help save you time and money. And maybe a few calories as well!
  • Survival of the Buggiest
    Do you want to survive the Dec. 21, 2012 apocalypse? Eat live bugs.
  • Browning Before Braising…is it Really Necessary?
    As far back as I can remember, I have floured and browned my meat before braising it. I was always told that this “sealed in the juices” and thus, made the meat more tender and tasty. But is that really true?
  • U.S. Salt Marshes Are Disappearing – so What?
    Over the past 20 years, scientists have observed that many of our salt marshes are dying at an alarming rate. Although many theories have been considered, it wasn’t until recently that we had reliable scientific evidence for what might be the cause.
  • Fun Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Season with Your Grandkids
    The holiday season is the time of year when memories are made each and every day. Here are some great ways you can celebrate the holidays with your grandchildren to make memories that will last forever.
  • Celebrating Native Americana in Phoenix, Arizona
    Phoenix, Arizona, offers numerous opportunities to explore and experience Native American culture, history and art. Many museums, restaurants, and even accommodations are designed specifically around tribal life and times.
  • Mexican Pozole: Pork Shoulder, Chilies and Hominy Soup
    Pozole is a Mexican soup made of slow-cooked pork shoulder, chilies and white hominy. It’s garnished with bright, fresh aromatics with complementary flavors and textures. I’ve sampled it at many different restaurants, and have never been disappointed.
  • Best Shopping in Managua, Nicaragua – Robert Huembes Market
    The Robert Huembes Market is the second largest market in Managua. It’s a place where you can buy everything from Sunday dinner to Sunday dresses, and an excellent place to find inexpensive mementos and souvenirs.
  • Wintering Bald Eagles in Couer D'Alene, Idaho
    Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is best known for its 55 area lakes. These lakes and surrounding mountains provide the perfect backdrop for wintering bald eagles. In December 2011, 273 individual bald eagles were spotted in Couer d’Alene at the annual Eagle Watch.
  • 10 Can't-Miss Photo Ops with Your New Grandchild
    Learning that you are expecting a new grandchild is an incredible experience. Of all the things you might be tempted to buy, don’t forget a new camera! Here are ten can’t-miss photo opportunities you’ll want to capture during your grandbaby’s first year.
  • San Simeon, CA, and the Scenic Pacific Coast Highway
    A few years ago, my husband and I took a trip up the Pacific Coast Highway, where we discovered San Simeon, CA – a destination unto itself. Located between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Simeon offers history, opulence, and a wealth of natural beauty.
  • From Rags to Riches – How a Box of Rags Saved Me $665 in a Year
    A couple of years ago I got serious about living a more sustainable lifestyle. I started substituting reusable products for disposable ones. Housekeeping and personal hygiene were impacted the most and I was amazed by how much money I saved along the way.
  • How to Avoid Traveler’s Diarrhea
    Traveler’s diarrhea can ruin your vacation in just a matter of hours. Infectious organisms and contaminated food and water can all cause Montezuma’s Revenge. But there are things you can do before leaving that will lower your risk of falling ill.
  • Viagra Soup in Nicaragua – Are Aphrodisiacs for Real?
    On a recent trip to Nicaragua, I stopped in at a restaurant famous for exotic meats like armadillo and boa constrictor. They didn’t have any of their exotic meats that day, but they did have sopa Viagra, or “Viagra soup.” Are aphrodisiacs for real?
  • Delicious Soup when You’re Short on Time
    I take pride in the time and love I put into my homemade soups. But let’s face it. We don’t always have three hours to get dinner on the table. Here’s how I shortcut soups that still turn out delicious and satisfying.
  • Free Herb Garden Gifts – Planting it Forward
    Now’s the perfect time to propagate your perennial herbs for holiday gift-giving. Plant them in small pots and nurture them indoors until December. By then they will be the perfect size to give as gifts, and be ready to transplant outside by spring.
  • Wait! Do You Really Need that Straw?
    Every day throughout the world, hundreds of millions of plastic drinking straws are used for a mere few minutes and then discarded. The really sad thing is, they are purely a modern-day convenience and are totally unnecessary.
  • Junk Mail Awareness Week: October 1 - 7
    Junk mail: We can hardly say the words without grimacing. “Junk Mail Awareness Week” is just around the corner, October 1 through 7. Here are ways you can act now to be nearly junk mail-free in time to celebrate this special environmental week.
  • Quick and Easy Ways to “Fancy-Up” Dinner at Home
    Chances are you’re often throwing together dinner with few plans and little time. The result can be less than impressive. Here are some easy, inexpensive tips that can turn your leftovers into a memorable family dining experience.
  • San Diego Winter Vacation for Nature Enthusiasts
    If you’re a nature enthusiast who gets cabin fever during the winter months, San Diego may be the answer to your travel woes. San Diego offers world-class culture and gorgeous scenery to complement its ocean, mountain, and desert nature wonderlands.
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