Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

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I read a lot of magazines, to the tune of 10 a month. Since their publishers seem bent on excluding me from the e-version because I have an iPhone not an iPad, I am forced to use an old fashioned system to flag the articles I like. Because 10 monthly subscriptions can pile up in your magazine rack rater quickly, I usually fold over the page for an item I want to go back to, and then tear out the page when I’m done reading the issue. Then I can recycle the rest of the magazine and put the loose pages in a folder.

Some magazines have made it even a step easier including great stickers like the Bieber ones you see here that make it easy to call out the items you love. And as a side bonus, everyone in the subway is jealous of your cool page markers.

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Jennifer Aniston Reveals Engagement Ring

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As you may have noticed if you read my old blog (in these posts here and here), I am a big Jennifer Aniston fan. She won me over as Rachel in Friends, and I have loved her in everything she has done (even the bad movies) ever since. If I had to pick sides in the Brad and Angelina and Jen love triangle, I would always take hers. Naturally I was psyched when girlfriend got engaged to her handsome boyfriend Justin Theroux in August. Now that she’s revealed her GIANT engagement ring, I’m even happier. Go Jennifer.

Hilarious Blog Alert

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Your mid-to-late 20’s are a weird time in a gal’s life. It’s when you still feel like you really just graduated college, but strangely enough you and all the people around you are starting to do really adult things.

Fully support themselves with no help from mom and dad! Buy and care for pets! Purchase homes and cars! Get engaged and hitched! Have babies! They’re all wonderful experiences in the journey of “growing up,” but it’s an odd period of I feel old, but really really young at the same time.

People always say that weddings and babies are a domino effect. One person walks down the aisle and suddenly 12 of her closest friends are doing it too. I can vouch for this. I attended 8 weddings last year. A friend of mine attended 9 this year. I can honestly say I am truly happy for all my friends and family and honored that they wanted me to be a part of their celebrations of love.

But sometimes? That business can be exhausting, and expensive, and wear down even the most loving and loyal friend. Enter this hilarious blog. Just when you’re ready to poke your eyes out after hand gluing individual sequins to that last bachelorette party invitation , here’s a little comic relief.

And for all my married friends let’s just laugh about the ridiculousness of growing up. Check it out here: http://myfriendsaremarried.tumblr.com/

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ERIN Dressy Down Parka

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Adding to the list of things I want, but will likely never splurge on, I found this Brocade Parka in the September Issue of Lucky magazine. It is the PERFECT coat, part of the ERIN by Erin Fetherston collection. It’s stuffed full of down, so it will keep you warm all winter long, but without the I’m wearing a sleeping bag look that so many have. It eliminates the dilemma of whether to wear your fancy coat and freeze for a nice night out on the town, or wear the down in a style that is far too casual for your outfit. The floral brocade and button over zip closure dress up what in shape would be a very casual parka. Love. Now, if only it came in more colors and for a few hundred dollars less.

Baby Animals + You = More Productivity

 

The Washington Post had to go and tell the world my secret to productivity all of these years. My whole life, I’ve been accomplishing a lot at a fast pace. When people inquire about how I get so much done, I just chalk it up to my natural impatience, and craving to just get it done and over with already. I’ve left out my secret weapon (though anyone who reads this may have already guessed): cute animals. I have a calendar with them on it, and follow a couple blogs that update their posts daily. I find it improves my day and my mood to take a couple minutes to look at a soft, adorable, baby creature, and now research confirms that it improves my productivity too (who knew?).

A study conducted by a research team at Hiroshima University had students look at images of baby animals before attempting a variety of tasks. In comparison with students who viewed a picture of an adult animal or a pleasing food, the baby animal group outperformed. Productivity was better for both genders, across all image viewing groups. What causes this effect you might ask? Well, as of now, researchers are not exactly sure, but they have a few theories. First, seeing baby animals invokes reflexes of communicating with or caring for baby animals. This can lead to increased vigilance, slower, more methodical movements, and increased attentiveness to protect against potential threats. These results combined = better productivity.

So, there you have it, a daily excuse to check out my collection of cute things here, or to peruse others here and here and here and here. You’re welcome.

Spice Up Your Popcorn (Literally)

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I’ve always liked popcorn. Some of my first childhood memories with friends are laughing about the gross orange buttery film that gets on the top of your hand when you eat the prepackaged kind. But for the most part, I was an air popped girl. My mom had a popcorn maker, and was convinced that microwave popcorn was full of dangerous chemicals (turns out she was right!). She would pop up huge bowls drenched in butter and salt for slumber party snacks and rented movies. I’ve always kept it pretty simple with popcorn, butter, salt, a little pepper or adobo spice, and potentially some cheese was about as inspired as I got.

And then I went to the Hester St. Fair one weekend, and sampled some of Cultured Confections designer popcorn. They had crumb cake popcorn with REAL crumb cake chopped up and mixed in; there was baklava with deconstructed filo dough and nuts tossed among the kernels. Then I read about Jessica Quirk of What I Wore’s Herbes De Provence popcorn on her lifestyle blog That’s Quirky. She tossed it Herbes de Provence (rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, fennel seed) infused olive oil and spice mix.

It got me thinking, why not swap in oil for butter, and try out some different herbs? I’d already used seasoned salt once when I was out of the regular kind, and liked how it turned out. It just so happened the next time I was craving a bowl of popcorn, the only cheese I had in the fridge was crumbled feta. I figured now was my chance, and mixed it up with some dill, salt, pepper and olive oil, and tossed it well with the corn to coat. The result? Delicious Mediterranean popcorn.

Then I picked up this month’s issue of Women’s Health Magazine, and discovered that not only is it delicious, popcorn is actually a pretty healthy snack. Three-cups popped has only 100 calories, as much fiber as a cup of cooked brown rice, and more antioxidants than a day’s servings of fruits and veggies. As a bonus, the article had even more ideas for spicing up this movie snack staple. All mixtures call for 3 cups of air popped corn tossed together with the ingredients to coat evenly.

Rosemary Parmesan

· 1 tsp olive oil

· 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

· 1 tsp grated parmesan

Pina Colada

· 1 tsp extra-virgin coconut oil melted

· 1 finely chopped ring of dried pineapple

· 2 tsp sweetened coconut flakes

Curry Chipotle

· 1 ½ tsp canola oil heated, and whisked with spices until bubbly

· ½ tsp curry powder

· ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle or chili powder

· 1/8 tsp salt

Lemon Dill

· 1 tsp olive oil

· 1 tsp oregano

· ½ tsp dill

· ½ tsp lemon zest

· 1/8 tsp salt

Sugar ‘n’ Spice

· 1 tsp flaxseed oil

· 1 tsp powdered sugar

· ½ tsp cinnamon

· ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

· 1/8 tsp salt

Cran-Chocolate

· 1 tbsp dark chocolate melted

· 2 tbsp dried cranberries

· 1/8 tsp salt