Recipes To Be Pinterested In

It’s hard to come up with your own creative and healthy recipes, but that doesn’t mean eating ice cream for dinner (again) is really justifiable.

Using one of humankind’s most helpful creations, Pinterest, here are some easy and delicious recipes for all of your cravings. As a bonus, all of these recipes come from websites loaded with other great options that you might be interested in!

First things first, you crave ice cream, I crave ice cream, seriously, why can’t we just have ice cream? Whatsgabbycooking.com has heard our stomachs rumbling and has given us “Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream.” This recipe is super delicious, and only takes 5 minutes to make. All you need is peaches, canola oil, and vanilla ice cream. It’ll give you a fix for your sweet tooth, with the addition of a serving of fruit, part of your daily “Strive for 5″ (fruits and vegetables). If, by chance you aren’t an ice cream lover, swap the ice cream out for some frozen vanilla yogurt.

Check out the recipe here.

When cooking just isn’t an option, salads can be an easy and refreshing choice. Greenkitchenstories.com has a wide and unique variety of salad recipes to choose from.  To mix it up, try their “Mango & Walnut Salad” recipe. This salad is made with arugula, mango, avocado, sprouts, walnuts, and walnut dressing. This salad has pretty much everything you could ask for in a meal. It provides you with leafy greens, fruit, protein from the nuts, and healthy fats from the avocado, and the walnut dressing is homemade. The recipe is also super easy to follow, but, if you’re a bit picky about your dressing try a lite alternative, like a lite balsamic vinaigrette.

Check out the recipe here.

If your idea of cooking is boiling water, this recipe is right up your alley. Tastwiththeeyes.com has a section devoted to heart healthy recipes, and its “Spinach and Chickpea in a Bengali Mustard Sauce” is both healthy and delicious.  The recipe calls for spinach, chickpeas, rice, olive oil, mustard seeds, and a few other spices. Warning: you will have to sauté the spinach and chickpeas in oil, but this is only one step up from boiling water, so give it a try. This recipe is a great way to incorporate spinach into your diet, especially if you can’t stand the taste of raw spinach; spinach is a great source of potassium and iron, which does you wonders! 

Check out the recipe here.

Ever notice how many random pieces of produce you have left in your fridge at the end of the week? Well, thediva-dish.com noticed and came up with a great solution with the “Clean Out Your Fridge Pasta Sauce” recipe. This recipe is a bit lengthier, depending how many leftover vegetables you have, but it is a fun and flavorful way to clean out your fridge. Plus, the more vegetables you add, the better. Homemade vegetable pasta sauce is a great way to get in all those vegetables you are supposed to eat each day. Try canning some of the sauce and save it for later in the week.

Check out the recipe here.

These recipes are healthy and delicious, but there is no need to stop here. There are many more salad, main course, and dessert recipes on these sites, so try some of their other options for a little variety in your diet!


Quotespiration: Dream Chasing

Words have a powerful way of changing our outlook, inspiring us to do something, or pushing us to go after our dreams. They can help mold and expand our potential, and help us develop passions we never thought we had.

We hear words every single day of our lives, but sometimes we don’t really listen to what they’re saying. We’re so used to hearing them that the message behind each one or their meanings can become lost. They are our foundation, and are what builds us up each and every day.  Words help us create our own style, voice, and give us strength to help spread the word of what we’re all about.

Whether it’s by our words or someone else’s, we realize that words not only inspire us, but motivate us too. There are words and phrases that can help lift us up on a bad day, make us laugh when we are feeling down, or inspire us to follow our dreams. There are even words out there to describe each and every one of us: You are all beautiful, intelligent, bold dreamers. Take each of those words for what they are. Let them sink in as you read them and settle into who you believe you truly are. Find a word that fits you. You are happy, positive, daring, silly, curious, kind.

“Quotespiration” encourages us to chase our dreams. Each of us has a dream that we want to make a reality one day.  Sometimes the journey of making that happen can be a tough one, but when it is, just take a moment to reassure yourself by reading these inspirational quotes — which are all fit to help you follow your dreams. Just believe that you are wonderful, extraordinary, unique, and creative and that your dreams will be a reality. Read on, and get ready to get inspired!






Keep on dreaming!


It’s Ugly Sweater Season!

Fall is flying by, and before we know it it’ll be time for holiday parties and winter shindigs. When it comes time for the first ugly sweater party of the season, you no longer have to scour through aisles and aisles of clothing at the thrift shop. boohoo.com has just released a bunch of cute holiday sweaters that are affordable and stylish. Ya know, as stylish as a gaudy holiday sweater can be. Check out some of our favorites below:

azz27448_red_xl_2Ida Brushed Snowflake Jumper

azz23885_green_default_xl_2Ruby Reindeer Christmas Jumper

azz23330_black_default_xl_2Ria Reverse Knit Snowflake Jumper

azz23883_green_default_xl_2Rowde Christmas Jumper

azz21233_navy_default_xl_2Ella Prancing Reindeers Xmas Jumper

azz23887_blue_default_xl_2Jaimie Snowman Pom Pom Jumper

azz24155_red_default_xl_2Festa Ladies Jumper With Motif

azz19627_green_default_xl_2Happy Holla Dayz Christmas Jumper

Thanks to boohoo you can get a feminine fitting holiday sweater that isn’t 17-years-old with hole in the armpit. Ditch the thrift shop and start the holiday season in style by rocking the cutest ugly sweaters out there!

While you’re at it: if you need new going out gear, boohoo is offering 24% off their cute clubwear and party-perfect clothing when you use the code GLITTER at checkout.


We Don’t Care Who Out of the Woods Is About


As soon as I found out that Taylor Swift’s new song Out Of The Woods from her upcoming album 1989, came out this week, I quickly Googled it to take a listen. All I found were articles talking about which celebrity ex-boyfriend it may be about. I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that this was what all the magazines were concentrating on.

I do understand the curiosity of wanting to know who a song might be about—especially with someone like Taylor, who is known to be very open and explicit about who she writes her songs about. But I feel like this takes away from the song, and it makes me wonder whether people are actually interested in the music or just the gossip.

I am not going to lie, I do believe Taylor has helped a lot with this every time she takes out a new song. She has always been known in the past to either give out a bunch of hints or just blatantly tell us who her songs are about.  I am not saying this is a bad thing, but I am not saying it’s a good thing either, because now the first question people ask whenever she comes out with a new song is: “Which guy is this one about?” And they will then write about that, instead of about the actual quality of the song.


The song, which was written with Jack Antonoff — from the band FUN — is actually quite amazing and definitely wasn’t what I was expecting! Honestly, it had an 80’s vibe to it, and Taylor’s vocals just shined right through. When talking about the song, Taylor said she wanted people to feel the emotions she was going through, and I have to say, she definitely succeeded in doing that.

I do believe the story of the song is important, and that it makes the record. And I completely admire Taylor for being so honest with her lyrics and telling these amazing stories. I just wish the media would stop concentrating on the subject of the song and actually concentrate on the amazing writing and production of the song. But for now, I’ll just keep replaying Out Of The Woods until the entire album comes out on October 27th.

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Don’t Buy It – DIY Your Favorite Snacks!

Grocery stores can be both the pinnacle and the pitfall of convenience – it is so easy to just grab your favorite foods and go. But sometimes these snacks can get expensive, and who has the money to splurge on these foods every single week? Plus, packaged snacks can contain all sorts of wacky ingredients that aren’t so good for you. Consider this fun alternative to buying all your favorite snacks — try making your own! You’d be surprised at how easy it can be to make some of them. Plus, making these goods at home will give you a fun activity to take on with your friends, a learning experience in the kitchen, or just the simple knowledge of knowing exactly what’s going into your food.


These fruit-and-nut bars come in a variety of dessert flavors. If you’ve ever checked out the ingredients label on the packages, you may have noticed that the ingredients in the bars are all familiar and pronounceable. It’s easy to make your own: buy nuts (such as almonds or cashews), buy dates, and any flavorings (try an extract, like lemon or vanilla, or even throw some coca powder in). Blend your ingredients in a food processor, then mold into bars!


Blend a frozen banana, some low-fat milk, and whatever mix-ins you would like! Some suggestions for mix-ins: add an Oreo or two to make a cookies and cream milkshake, throw in some sugar-free vanilla pudding mix and sprinkles for cake batter, or simply opt for some cocoa powder and vanilla extract for a sweet and simple chocolate shake.

Kale chips

Pre-packaged kale chips from grocery stores have way too many unnecessary ingredients! Instead, purchase kale next time you go food shopping and make your own. Wash and thoroughly dry the leaves, then spread them on a sheet pan.  Next, drizzle the leaves with olive oil and any seasonings you want. Lastly, bake them until the leaves become crispy chips. Try sprinkling some vinegar on your leaves too, for a healthy spin on the well-loved oil and vinegar chips.

Peanut butter

You’d be surprised how different natural peanut butter tastes in comparison to peanut butters that contain some strange ingredients, such as hydrogenated oil. After a while of trying a more natural type of nut butter, you’ll be hooked on both the taste and the health benefits. And, luckily, making your own peanut butter couldn’t be easier. Blend some peanuts and salt in a food processor until you’ve reached your desired smoothness. Then, spread onto whatever your heart desires!

Buying the ingredients to make your own versions of your favorite snacks can seriously save you money in the long run. Additionally, you can be assured that the food you’re eating contains only good-for-you ingredients. Chances are, these homemade products will taste better anyway!


The Impact of Technology on Children

I have worked as a nanny for many years and it is incredible to me the changes I have noticed around children’s play behavior and toys. Technology is changing every day– better operating systems, better designs and better devices come into the market so quickly it’s impossible to keep up, and the way children are getting used to it is astonishing.

I have witnessed a 2-year-old handle an iPad better than me, and I am not kidding. Even though I am currently pursuing a degree in media studies, I have yet to catch up with all technological developments. I do not own a smartphone, and my laptop is rather old. So when I started my job as a nanny three years ago, my mind was practically blown when I witnessed the 2-year-old twins I watch turn on their iPad, put in the code, play games, and take pictures.

There are nonetheless many issues that arise when children get accustomed to technology at such an early age. Yes, they are developing skills children of my generation didn’t get to develop that early on, but they are also in jeopardy of losing other skills that are critical to a child’s development.

It starts becoming a problem when children, mesmerized by these screens, will not react to anything but the activity and entertainment the screen provides. They are hypnotized to the extent that one can no longer communicate with the child while he/she is using the device. And, it’s not just tablets, most adults actually own smartphones nowadays, and I have witnessed that whenever an adult takes out his or her phone, a child in the room will run toward it and try and get it from the adult.

Some studies suggest that the increase in technology surrounding us and children actually increases the child’s “technological intelligence,” which is important to the society of growing technology that we live in today. Others suggest quite the opposite.

There are suggestions that the early use of technology can actually reduce a child’s ability to think creatively. And as far as I could tell at work, I noticed that as I would try to play board games and make believe with them, the twins would be occupied playing a dinosaur shooting game on their iPads. Yes, their iPads. At age two, both of them owned their own iPads.

I think time will tell what effects these technological developments really have on the brains, intelligence, and creativity of children.

Personally, I can’t imagine how drawing a picture on an iPad with your finger is better for a child than using a crayon, and feeling its weight and impact on the paper. There is a strong opposition, but also a strong pro-technology stance by parents for children out there. In the end, every parent has to make their own choice whether or not to raise their children with or without tablets.

Vivian Nunez

Cover Girl Vivian Nunez Talks Mentorships, Personal Strength, and Dealing with Grief

Just looking at a person won’t tell you everything you need to know about them. You won’t know what they’re like, what they’ve been through, or what they’re doing now. You can make assumptions, sure, but that’s not going to tell you what you want or need to know, or even what you should know.

Meet Vivian Nunez, our latest Cover Girl Next Door. Looking at Vivian, you’ll see a beautiful, funny, happy girl (which is what she is). But underneath that happy exterior, you’ll find someone who has struggled with a lot in the past, and is still struggling. You’ll find someone who has had to be brave and who acts much older than her 21 years. You’ll find someone who has pushed past her hardships and is more motivated and more intelligent than half the people you know; you’ll find someone whose heart is big and whose future is bright.

Vivian was born in New York City, the daughter of a single mom. She went to private schools during her adolescent years, most notably St. Jean Baptiste High School. Her mother died when she was ten-years-old, and she was then raised by her grandmother. Both her mother and her grandmother served as her biggest role models. In middle school she had to deal with the fact that she was known as the kid whose parent had died. When attending St. Jean Baptiste, she was sponsored and mentored so that she could continue her education, and also joined an Ambassadors program where she gave tours, which she especially valued.  Being in high school and a part of the Ambassador’s Program redefined Vivian as a person: “It made me not just the kid that had lost a parent, it made me just ‘Vivian.’ I let people in on what my history was little by little, as opposed to just telling them right away that I had lost my mom, and that really made a difference for me. I was able to grow on my own.”

Photo courtesy of Vivian Nunez

Photo courtesy of Vivian Nunez

After graduating as salutatorian and receiving a Women of Personal Strength and Courage award, Vivian went on to study at Baruch College, where she majored in Digital Marketing and minored in Journalism. Studying at Baruch made her realize her passion for social media.  “I love social media because I love how you’re literally a click away from connecting with someone across the world.  When you use that kind of power to connect people to really important causes, it makes a huge difference,” she says.

As a motivated student and a go-getter, throughout college Vivian held internship positions at The College Crush as a virtual intern, Boy Meets Girl as a social media intern, She’s the First as a development intern, J-14 as an editorial intern, and finally, Cosmopolitan Magazine. She also received the New York Women in Communications Hearst Scholarship, where she was able to finance her last year of college and received an internship at Seventeen Magazine, becoming close and developing a mentor-peer relationship with the editorial team.

Inspired by the impact social media can have, Vivian became a part of She’s the First, an organization that sponsors and mentors children in third world countries. “She’s the First is something really close to my heart because I was sponsored throughout high school and I know the difference someone paying your tuition makes, and I also know what it’s like to have a mentor through those really formative years, and that’s what they do,” says Vivian. Through She’s the First, Vivian met one of her personal mentors, Christen Brandt. About Christen, Vivian says: “Christen is so honest and motivated. She wants to change the world, and she knows she can. She’s humble and she changes people’s lives one person at a time and I think it’s so amazing.”

November of her senior year at college, Vivian’s grandmother became very ill and was going in and out of the hospital. “Christen is someone that I leaned on a lot during that time, and she gave me a few ideas to help me get through it all. One of her ideas was writing, and writing a lot, and it’s something that I still do. She also told me to start something that could buddy up teens that were grieving like me, and I was like no, I’m not going to do that, it’s so much work,” says Vivian about Christen’s suggestion. This past March, Vivian’s grandmother passed away, forcing her to face the reality of adulthood. She turned to her friends for backup: “I texted friends who had gone through what I was going through already, and because they had gone through it, it made a huge difference for me. It helped me get through it. It’s also something about how, even when I got back to college, one of my friends had lost his dad, and he knew that I didn’t need to talk, he would just sit with me in silence. That’s not something that you would know to do unless you had gone through it.”

Photo courtesy of Vivian Nunez

Photo courtesy of Vivian Nunez

Inspired by Christen’s kind words and ideas, her love of social media and motivated by the death of her grandmother and support of her friends, Vivian decided to do something. She created her own website called Too Damn Young, a resource and online community for teens and young adults who have lost a loved one, are grieving, and are trying to find somewhere to belong as they go through it all.

Vivian was able to relate her own personal experiences in creating Too Damn Young, and aims for it to be a resource that people who are going through something similar can relate to as well. “It’s bad enough losing someone at a young age who you really love. It’s even worse, on top of that, to think that you’re the only one,” Vivian explains about the site. “We have articles and different personal essays on how personal grieving is and how it’s a really unique process, so everyone goes through it very differently. One of the main things that we try to do on the website is have as many voices as possible since it is such a personal experience. Everyone goes through it differently, so we want everyone to relate to something.” The easily relatable nature of the site is definitely due to the variety of voices and stories that many people have contributed to create a welcoming online community.

Vivian says that the most rewarding part of Too Damn Young are the people that e-mail her and tell her how much the site has helped them. They tell her that Too Damn Young and its articles are what they really need during their time of grieving, and has not only given them an outlet but makes them feel as if they’re not alone. “It’s one of those things that make me want to cry because I’m helping them, but in a lot of ways Too Damn Young is something that I need too right now. It’s that something that I’m creating has the potential to help others, and it’s very moving. It’s inspiring and makes me want to keep on doing this and not stop,” she says about the feedback.

Photo courtesy of Vivian Nunez

Not only is Too Damn Young a source of inspiration and a community for grieving teenagers and young adults, it’s also been majorly impactful on Vivian’s life and taught her a lot about herself. “I’ve learned how to be braver because of Too Damn Young. I’ve learned what strength is. I’ve always been strong, I think, but not the kind of strong I am now.  The kind of strong that I was before was being someone who had to hold everything on my shoulders by myself. The kind of strong I am now is someone who isn’t afraid to ask for help. I think that’s something that I’ll always be thankful for, no matter where Too Damn Young ends up.” Vivian has always been strong, but now she can be responsible and strong for herself while still asking for help from others.

When asked about the future of Too Damn Young, Vivian said: “I hope that people will be able to carry on talking about grief and loss, because when it happens for people as teens and young adults, it’s such a formative time in our lives, and we’re really just trying to figure out who we are, and if you can’t figure out who you are in the context of a loss then it’s going to be even harder to figure out who you are outside of it.”

Vivian’s real-life experiences and struggles have not only made her the person she is today, but make her down-to-earth, and allow her to help people in the best way she knows how. She is a beautiful, strong person inside and out.

You can follow Vivian on Twitter @vivnunez and Too Damn Young @2DamnYoung.


The Alternate Ending To ‘Titanic’ Is Really, Really Awful

‘Titanic’ is one of my favorite movies of all time. I rejoiced when it became available on Netflix Instant Stream, and I bawl every time I watch it — which includes many more times than I’d care to admit.

Now, I’ve had my own share of qualms with the ending to ‘Titanic.’ The hopeless romantic in me wishes that Jack and/or Rose would’ve used their critical thinking skills and realized they both could’ve fit on the raft. Or that they could have at least alternated taking shifts between the raft and in the water. That way, Jack and Rose would have lived happily ever and I’d be crying tears of joy, not grief, when Celine Dion begins singing “My Heart Will Go On” and the credits start to roll. But, I’m not James Cameron, my cinematic opinions are essentially irrelevant, and therefore my rants about saving Jack Dawson are in vain.

Back to the point. Although the alternate ending to ‘Titanic’ has been around for years, it is ferociously infiltrating the interwebs all of a sudden. And I think it’s safe to say that the general consensus is: the alternate ending is really, really awful. LIke, terrible. I-didn’t-know-James-Cameron-could-create-something-this-cringeworthy bad.

Instead of the classic ending, where Rose finishes her story, goes to the edge of the ship, and nostalgically throws the Heart of the Ocean in the sea without anything knowing, Rose decides to give a cliche speech about materialism and “making each day count.” While the underlying message is great, the delivery just seemed worn out and more forced than the movie’s original ending. There’s really nothing more to say other than the fact that it’s all types of mediocre.

But hey, maybe you’ll disagree and think that the alternate ending is the best thing since sliced bread. Either way, you can watch it below and decide for yourself:

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Yarncrafting Is Good For Your Health

Playing around with yarn isn’t only for people over 50. A few skeins of yarn can be whipped into a stunning accessory for your Fall ready outfit or for a homemade housewarming gift. The colors and textures of yarn are so extensive that your choice of projects will be limitless. Yarncrafting no doubt creates beautiful pieces and its healing capabilities are a spectacular bonus. Check out some of the health benefits of crafting with yarn:

Ditch boredom eating We all have moments where we graze because we simply have nothing else to occupy our time. A yarn project such as any one of the thousand free patterns from Lion Brand Yarn can keep our minds busy and refrain us from straying to the fridge or pantry.

Alleviates depression Alleviation of depression is the most commonly reported and studied benefit of yarncrafting. A blog post found in Lion Brand Notebook shared this hobby releases serotonin, a naturally occurring antidepressant. A new learned stitch or a completed project can add a great boost of confidence to the new yarn crafter.

De­‐stress during midterm and final’s weekThis time of the school year is especially stressful for students no matter how hard one studies. Instead of meeting at the local pub for a high calorie alcoholic beverage or appetizer when you’ve reached your cramming for finals breaking point why not pick up that crochet cowl you’ve been dying to finish so you can wear it with your skinny jeans and brown leather boots? Your skinny jeans will thank you.

Meet new friends Adding a pair of knitting needles or a crochet hook can create opportunities to expand your group of friends. There are many yarn and craft stores that offer knitting and crochet classes and meet up groups where new friends can weave beautiful fibers together. It is incredible how a common hobby can instantly spark a connection between two strangers.

The next time you find yourself near a craft or hobby store be daring and stop in. You just might find yourself at home among the rows and rows of beautiful balls of yarn. This heartwarming hobby can be just what you need to keep the pounds off, perk up, destress and meet new friends.

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Why There’s Absolutely Nothing Okay With Mocking Amanda Bynes

Today is World Mental Health Day. Yet, based on the comments floating around the Twitterverse, you’d never guess. People are having a field day mocking Amanda Bynes, particularly after her most recent tweets accusing her father of physical and sexual assault.


Shortly after this string of tweets, Amanda’s mother, Lynn,  released a statement that refuted the claims entirely. Apparently, Rick and Lynn Bynes were on their way to New York to pick Amanda up and encourage her to seek further treatment. Currently, celebrity news outlets are saying that Amanda is MIA.

Most recently Amanda fired off a new tweet, saying that the original allegations weren’t true and that a microchip in her brain made her say these things.

While all this is unfolding, I’ve seen incessant tweets about wanting to grab popcorn to eat while this unfolds, calling her a trainwreck, and downright laughing at what Amanda is saying. Not only are these rude, crass, and lazy jokes — they’re also incredibly ignorant.

There are two potential scenarios that I can envision as causing these tweets, and they’re both devastating. (Note: this is total speculation.) The first is that, as heartbreaking as it may be, Amanda’s allegations may be true. We will never know what went on behind closed doors in Amanda’s house as a child, and just like with many cases of sexual assault, it ends up being one person’s word against another’s. Did Rick Bynes fondle himself in front of Amanda? Did he try and have sex with her? I think we’re all on the same page hoping that the answer to that question is a big, fat “NO.” However, we don’t know for sure, and belittling the emotions, fear, and pain of someone who was potentially sexually assaulted is not okay. You wouldn’t laugh at a friend who was assaulted by a parent (or anyone for that matter); why would you laugh at Amanda?

The other scenario that could be possible is that the circumstances of Amanda’s potential diagnoses could be causing these strong thoughts of situations that did not occur. I do not wish to pry into the intimate details of Amanda’s health, and I do know that her and her family have refuted certain claims of a mental illness diagnosis. So I won’t try to pseudo-diagnose her and say what could be going through Amanda’s head, but what I will say is that there are a number of potential health issues that could be causing these thoughts and erratic behaviors. And no matter what Amanda’s medical files may say, there’s one thing that is certain: her struggles are not a laughing matter.

As media consumers and creators, we are only promoting destruction and negativity by making light of a person’s highly personal and highly serious hardships as if they are a laughing matter. It continues to astonish me that just because people are in the public eye, we feel entitled to bash them and mock them in a way that many of us would never do in person.

Amanda Bynes doesn’t deserve degrading headlines, misguided tweets, or to be taunted by the mainstream media and its consumers. She deserves compassion, empathy, and support. It is not our business to know the most private matters and potential tragedies of her life, but it is our duty to be a responsible audience and end the barrage of awful, cruel, and just downright dumb comments.

Statistically speaking, it is highly likely that each and every one of us knows someone who has been sexually assaulted and/or is suffering from a mental illness — whether we are aware of it or not. If we wouldn’t mock our siblings, our cousins, our best friends, our classmates, our professors, or our neighbors, why would we mock Amanda Bynes? It’s time to stop acting as if her tweets are some comedic treat and start having a heart. In honor of Amanda Bynes, in honor of the hundreds of thousands of sexual assault victims each year, in honor of one-in-four adults who experience mental illness each year, and in honor of each other — because no one deserves to be mocked for coping with adversity.

ED NOTE: Many of Amanda’s tweets have now been deleted.

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Eliminating misinformation and promoting miss information.