Eating Organically – Why It’s Worth The Extra Cost

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In recent years there has been a huge growth in the organic food industry, and companies who specialize in these types of foods, such as Whole Foods, have seen huge boosts in revenue (According to this article, the organic industry has seen a 30% growth in the past 5-6 years). People go crazy over organic foods, and some people won’t touch food if it doesn’t have the magic organic label. I’ve seen the whole “organic debate” first hand in my family. My mom is a health-obsessed organic supporter, who strictly believes that organic is better, no matter what. My dad is more skeptical and believes that organic foods aren’t necessarily worth the extra cost. To say they’ve gotten into a few friendly arguments over this would be an understatement, so I was curious enough to take to the internet to find out if there was any actual benefits from eating organically. Here’s what I found:


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Organic Foods Have More Antioxidants

According to this article, a new international study has suggested that organic foods actually contain more antioxidants than non-organic foods. In fact, the study found that organic foods contained 18-69% more antioxidants, especially the antioxidant polyphenolic, which has been proven to help prevent disease. Not only do organic foods have more antioxidants, but according to another study, the antioxidants have more of an effect when consumed through an organic food. This might be due to the fact that there are less foreign chemicals in organic items (ie. pesticides), which could interfere with the intake of antioxidants.


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Organic Foods Have Less Pesticides

Speaking of pesticides, organic foods also have significantly less of these than non-organic foods. Pesticides are used on traditional crops to keep the bugs from eating all the fresh fruit and vegetables. However, pesticides contain strong chemicals such as organophosphorus which can be detrimental to your health. According to this article, unnatural compounds such as organophosphorus have been linked to certain developmental disorders, such as ADHD and Autism. Thus, staying away from these chemicals is probably a good idea.


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Organic Foods are Good For Your Heart

A hallmark of organic meats is that the animals are grass fed, rather than being fed corn and other substances that they wouldn’t eat normally. This increased intake of grass increases the amount of CLA, or Conjugated Linoleic Acid (a heart-healthy fatty acid), that can be found in the animal. Thus, consuming organic meats increases the amount of CLA in our systems, which has numerous health benefits, including boosting cardiovascular protection.


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Organic Foods Have Less Antibiotics

People around the world take antibiotics every day to help fight off bacteria that cause several different illnesses and diseases. However, non-organic food farmers also feed their animals antibiotics to prevent them from getting diseases. This means that when we ingest non-organic meats, we are also ingesting antibiotics. This causes a sort-of “antibiotic overdose”, which causes are immune system to have to readjust as if it is fighting off an illness. Furthermore, this causes us to become more resistant to antibiotics (because we are adjusting to them so often), which means that when you need to take them for an actual illness, they may not work as well. This is a big reason why many people switch to organic foods, because organic farmers do not use antibiotics in their processes.


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So what’s the consensus?

Organic foods do have health benefits as shown above, but they are considerably more expensive, which is why many people shy away from eating organically. My opinion is that if you can afford it, try eating organically, because odds are you will ingest a lot less toxic chemicals that could harm your health. However, for poor college students such as myself, there are ways to work with non-organic foods to reduce the intake of chemicals. Washing and scrubbing your fruits and vegetables for example, can help reduce the amount of pesticides you ingest. There are sure to be more studies on the benefits of organic eating, so let the debate continue!

To learn more about the health benefits of organic foods, check out this website.

To check out some yummy organic recipes, click here!


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Favorite Website –

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One of my favorite lifestyle websites to peruse when I’m bored is because it has nearly all of my favorite things, all packed into one fantastic site. It has countless delicious recipes for all meals and all occasions, equipped with tantalizing pictures that are sure to make your mouth water. It also has tons of fun DIY tasks, from home décor, to jewelry and even pet toys. Basically, this is the type of website that you can get lost in for hours (and I definitely have), but it also provides you with information that is useful and easy to follow. Here are my favorite aspects of the website:


If you’re looking for quality recipes that produce great results, this website is the place to go. You can either browse through the different categories of recipes (Appetizers, Breakfast & Brunch, Salads, etc), or search with the search bar, but I guarantee you will find a recipe for whatever you are looking for.

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In addition, for each food dish there are multiple different recipes you can choose from, so there is an option that will suit anyone. The recipes all have simple directions, and some even have video tutorials, making them extremely easy to follow. I just made the 3 Ingredient Fettuccine Alfredo over spring break and it was absolutely delicious!


The DIY content on the website is also very creative and informative. There is DIY tasks for everything you can think of, and just browsing through them makes you want to complete them all! One of my favorite places to look is the “homekeeping multitaskers” section, which gives you simple household items and tells you a whole list of other ways to use them. For example, the simple toothpick can now be used to “Outline letters and designs on a cake before piping the icing. Clear the holes in a strainer or garlic press. Unclog the burners of a gas stove,” and more.

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Another reason I love this website so much is because it has a simple and attractive design that is very image based and easy to navigate. The tabs at the top and the search bar make it quick and easy to find whatever you’re looking for. In addition, all of the recipes and DIY projects are organized by picture, which allows you to see what the finished product will actually look like before you attempt to make them. The appearance of the website is also nice because there is enough white space that it doesn’t appear too cluttered or overwhelming. Overall, the website provides a nice user experience.

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The website is also very user driven and allows you to determine where you want the website to take you. For example, if you want to make something with spinach, then you can search spinach and you are posed with a variety of options. You can go to spinach dips, or spinach and vegetable pies, or even spinach juice recipes. I like that the website gives you the control to go where you want to go because it makes you feel like you’re creating the recipe/DIY project yourself. I also like that the social media icons are conveniently located on the page so that the content is easy to share with others.


If you’re looking for some great food inspiration or some creative project ideas than is the place to go! But be warned that it is very easy to get sucked in and you might not come back out for hours!

Happy Browsing Everyone!

Snacking Healthy…It is possible!


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I think we can all admit that eating healthy is hard. There are just too many foods that taste so good (ie. Oreo cookies), yet are bad for your body. The hardest part for me though, is snacking. As a college student, I am constantly snacking, whether it be while I’m studying, watching TV, or even when I’m just bored. It seems like I’ll have a full family size bag of Doritos one second, and the next they’re all gone, every last crumb. After a snacking session like this I often feel guilty and my stomach usually doesn’t feel so great from the onslaught of preservatives and fat I’ve put into my body. It is possible, however, to still munch on your snacks while being healthy. Here’s a list I’ve made of healthy snacks you can eat to satisfy every type of craving.

1.) The Salty Craving

This one is a big one for me since I am an absolute salt addict, but instead of reaching for that bag of potato chips, here are some healthier options.

-Kale Chips: Being the superfood that it is, kale is the perfect food to snack on, and kale chips are super easy to make. Just throw some olive oil and a sprinkle of salt on some fresh kale and bake it in the oven for 10 minutes, and voila, you’ve got a deliciously salty snack that you do not have to feel guilty about.

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-Air-popped popcorn: Popcorn is low in calorie and high in fiber, making it a great substitute for your salty craving. Just don’t add the butter and add a pinch of salt, and you have a healthy, guilt free snack.


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2.) The Sweet Craving

Put away the cookies and ice cream, because here’s some delicious snacks that make great substitutes when you’re craving something sweet.

-Yogurt Parfait: Take some Greek yogurt, top it with some organic granola, and add your favorite fruit to make a yummy and satisfying snack.


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-Frozen grapes: Pop your grapes in the freezer for a few hours and you’ve got a healthy snack that is just sweet enough to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. Grapes are also packed with antioxidants and can lower your levels of bad cholesterol.


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3.) The Chocolate Craving

Instead of reaching for your favorite candy bar, here’s some options to please all chocolate lovers.

-Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate that is more than 70 percent cacao is a great substitute for your traditional milk chocolate. With less fat and sugar, and high levels of antioxidants, dark chocolate makes a great healthy snack in moderation.



-Homemade hot-cocoa: Take some organic soy milk or almond milk, add two tablespoons of cocoa and a pinch of sugar and you have a deliciously warm beverage that will warm up your tummy and give you some extra calcium too.


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So next time you’re reaching for the chocolate chip cookies or Cheetos, try some of these options instead. I guarantee you’ll feel less guilty while eating them and your body will most definitely thank you later.

To see where I got a lot of my recipes and to find more healthy snack options check out these websites here and here.


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Happy Snacking Everyone!

Hot Yoga – The New Fitness Trend that has Everyone Heating Up


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When it comes to relaxing, one of my favorite ways to calm myself down and ease stress is by doing yoga. For hundreds of years, yoga has been used by different cultures to relax both the muscles and the mind. However, for fitness gurus the one downside of yoga is that it isn’t much of a workout. Doing a downward dog for 30 minutes isn’t exactly physically strenuous. Recently though, this has all changed with the expanding popularity of hot yoga – a type of yoga that not only relaxes the body and mind, but also burns calories.

Officially called “Bikram yoga,” hot yoga is a 90 minute program that consists of 26 different postures, all of which require well-controlled and forceful muscle contractions. The catch? This 90 minutes of yoga is spent in a room heated to 105°F with a humidity of 40 percent.


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If you aren’t a fan of sweating, hot yoga is definitely not for you, but the sweltering heat does have its many benefits.

  • First off, heavy sweating is said to help flush out toxins from the skin, which helps detoxify the body.
  • The intense heat relaxes the muscles and allows you to go more deeply and safely into the yoga positions.
  • The intense heat causes your heart rate to elevate, which makes your body work harder and gives you a better workout.
  • The heat also helps your body relax, helps improve your breathing, and forces you to focus your mind, which can give you a better overall yoga experience.

Sounds fantastic right? Even though hot yoga has its numerous benefits it also carries risks, including severe dehydration. It is recommended that if you are attending hot yoga, you drink A LOT of water throughout the day in anticipation (at least 2 liters). In addition, afterwards you should drink a fortified beverage such as Gatorade to replenish lost electrolytes.

Many celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna swear by hot yoga and its benefits, and if you can embrace the sweat, you can too. It’s basically like doing yoga on a very humid tropical island, right?

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Check out this website to see where I got a lot of my information and to learn more about the benefits of hot yoga.

Happy Relaxing Everyone!

JC Penney – The Teapot Crisis

Crises come in all different forms; some are big, some are small, but if they aren’t handled well any crisis, no matter the size, could damage a company’s reputation. In today’s world, social media is a huge component to crisis management, and if utilized correctly, it can benefit the company and help manage the crisis effectively. One example of a company that utilized social media to squash a crisis was JC Penney, when they had to deal with their teapot that bared a striking resemblance to Hitler.

How did it all began? According to this article, in 2013 a user on Reddit (a social bookmarking site) jokingly posted about this billboard of a teapot, saying it vaguely resembled Adolf Hitler.


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Even though it was a joke, the image quickly blew up and soon it was all over the internet. People from all around the world were talking about the seemingly offensive teapot. According to USA today, people were responding with messages such as “It’s easier to see Hitler than the kettle.” The Telegraph even tweeted a news article about it, which forced JC Penney to take action.


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Even though this “crisis” doesn’t seem like a big deal, JC Penney had to respond in order to preserve their reputation as a brand. They decided to respond via social media, since that was how the crisis all began. However, they had to wisely choose how to respond. On one hand, they did not want to take themselves too seriously since most people were talking about the teapot in a joking manner. However, if handled inappropriately, this small crisis could turn into a much bigger deal.

JC Penney thus responded to hundreds of tweets about the teapot with a light-hearted response that conveyed the message, while still being humorous. They also took the billboard of the teapot down.


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Did it solve the problem? Yes, it did. In fact, a few days after the social media storm, the teapot was sold out on the JC Penney website. According to USA Today, people were even selling the teapots on eBay, pricing them at over $200.

Thus, the crisis was averted and JC Penney could breathe easy. Their quick response helped turn the “crisis” into a non-issue, and they even had a rise in sales. What could they have done better? Perhaps they could have made more personalized messages to each user, but their strategy was effective too, as they were able to reach a large amount of people very quickly. Well done JC Penney!

But really…who knew a simple teapot could cause so much commotion?


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Jillian Michaels – Troubled Childhood to Fitness Guru…How did she do it?


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When I think about fitness, one of the first people who pops into my head is Jillian Michaels. Rising to fame as the strength coach on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, Michaels developed a reputation as a tough, no-nonsense type of person who wasn’t afraid to tell the contestants the truth about themselves (no matter how harsh). On the show, Michaels exuded such confidence, which she should have considering she was (and still is!) extremely in shape and successful. However, Michaels’ life wasn’t always so easy and she definitely had to work through some struggles to get to where she is today.

As a child, Michaels was plagued with constant psychological issues. Every night Michaels would have severe night terrors and would constantly wake up in a panic. According to, Michaels stated “I was a really disturbed kid. You know how kids have night terrors? Mine were really bad. I thought sharks were coming out of the drain in the bathtub. I couldn’t sleep at night, every night, waiting for aliens to come. I’m not kidding you: I. Was. Traumatized.”

Imagine this plaguing your thoughts every night? alien Not fun!

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At the age of 5, Michaels’ mother started her in therapy to help her with her issues. According to Michaels, the therapy was a big help and the night terrors started to diminish. In fact, Michaels still goes to therapy to this day because she believes it gives her the confidence to do what she loves!

However, night terrors weren’t the only issues Michaels faced in her childhood. She also suffered from emotional issues, including low self-esteem, which was made worse by the fact that her parents divorced when she was 12. To cope with her emotions, Michaels took comfort in food, which caused her to gain weight. By eighth grade, Michaels was 5’2’’ and 175 lbs. This did not bode well with middle school bullies (they’re the worst!), as they teased Michaels constantly.

“Once,” Michaels recalls on, “I was sitting at lunch and got surrounded by a bunch of kids who let me have it about how ugly I was—my unibrow, the size of my nose, the fat rolling over my jeans. It was pure hell. My mom had to pull me out and put me in another school.”


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Because of the constant bullying, Michaels wanted to take steps to redefine herself. She enrolled herself in martial arts classes which while being good exercise, also taught her to respect herself. By the age of 14, Michaels had regained control of her weight and had pushed away the bullies. Her life was starting to look up.

When Michaels was 17, her relationship with her mother became very strained, causing her mother to eventually kick Michaels out of the house. Now on her own, Michaels decided to attend California State University, while also bartending to support herself. Michaels finally got her big break in 2004, when she was cast in The Biggest Loser as a personal trainer. Although she developed the reputation as “the mean one” on the show, Michaels insists that it is all for motivation.

“I really don’t have a mean bone in my body!” said Michaels on “Do you know how easy it would be to tell people what they want to hear? It would be heaven! But, unfortunately, it doesn’t get the job done.”

Michaels success continued to grow, because in 2010 Michaels launched her own reality show on NBC entitled Losing It With Jillian (check out a clip here). Michaels also has published numerous bestselling books, has her own video work-out series, and even her own clothing line of work-out attire (purchase here). I would say her life is looking pretty good right now, and Michaels has definitely earned it all. However, she doesn’t want to stop there.

“I would like to win a Nobel Prize,” Michaels stated on “In a perfect world I’d like to get to that place where I walk away from everything. And then I can be pure Bill Gates. Cure smallpox. I want to turn around and be like, ‘I cured smallpox. How about those apples?’ You know what I mean? Or, like, ‘I reversed global warming. How ’bout that?'”

If anyone could change the world, it would be Michaels. With all the adversity she’s overcome, I’m confident Michaels could do just about anything.


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Check out more information on JIllian Michaels here & check out her website too!

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Kale


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This green leafy vegetable may seem boring, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Packed with nutrients, kale has quickly taken the world by storm and has become a “superfood” staple to healthy eaters around the world. Kale is the perfect veggie to throw in a smoothie or salad, and it is especially delicious when baked in the oven to make kale chips (recipe: With its popularity on the rise, here are 6 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about kale:

1.) It’s a powerhouse food in more ways than 1

Not only is kale packed with antioxidants, but one serving gives you more than 100% of your daily dose of vitamin A and vitamin K. Eating lots of kale can even lower your risk of developing certain cancers!

2.) Eating kale makes you happier

Kale is incredibly high in carotenoids, which are an antioxidant linked to optimism. So more kale = more happiness.

3.) Kale has been around for a long, long time

Although it has only recently become popular in the United States, kale has been in cultivation around the world for over 6,000 years. It was very popular in Europe during the Middle Ages and it arrived in the United States during the 17th century.

4.) Kale has saved lives

Because it is such a hearty vegetable and so easy to grow, kale might have saved lives in the United Kingdom during World War II since it was one of the few foods they could cultivate.

5.) We aren’t the first to be kale obsessed

Although celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie have been raving about the benefits of kale recently, Thomas Jefferson was actually one of the first to jump on the kale bandwagon. Apparently, Jefferson was kale crazy and grew several different types in his garden in the 1800’s.

6.) Kale is one of the few vegetables that actually enjoys the cold

Kale is not easily damaged by cold and continues to produce throughout the winter. The best time to harvest kale is actually after the first frost, as it is sweeter because some of the starches have turned to sugar.

Want to learn more about this amazing superfood? Check out these websites where I got most of my facts to learn more cool tidbits about kale!

All Hail the Amazing Kale!


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When it comes to healthier living, the hardest part for many people (myself included) is actually getting started. Changing your diet, your workout schedule, and your way of life in general can be difficult. The easiest way to get started is by taking baby steps, and by finding something or someone that inspires you to be healthier. The YouTube channel “Blogilates” ( provides both of these, and it is an amazing channel for those who are looking to take a small step in healthier living.

Cassey Ho, the creator of Blogilates, is an entrepreneur who created her own business revolving around fitness. She has her own Blog,, which is fantastic. On her blog, you can find links to all her YouTube videos, monthly calendars which tell you which workouts to do each day, healthy recipes, as well as before and after pictures of people who have participated in her fitness plans and have successfully lost weight. In addition, she has her own shop where she sells fitness apparel.

One aspect that makes her YouTube channel and blog so great is that they’re so interconnected. The calendars on her blog tell you what workouts you should do each day, and then you can find these easily on her YouTube channel. In addition, on her blog she lists her healthy recipes and provides her YouTube video which shows exactly how to make them.

Another reason why her YouTube channel is so great is because of her personality. Like I said earlier, trying to be healthy can be hard, but Cassey has an incredibly bubbly and encouraging personality which makes you feel like sticking with the workouts (even though they can be super difficult!). She looks like she genuinely has fun with her workouts and she makes each one unique and different, so the viewer never gets bored with her channel. Her recipes are also simple and easy to follow, and they are delicious. My favorite at the moment is her healthy pumpkin pie mud cake (

Her YouTube channel also divides all of her videos into specific playlists, so if you are looking for a specific type of workout or recipe, they are easy to find. For example, you can go to her ab workouts, leg workouts, beginner workouts, or her cheap clean eats videos. Everything is organized which makes her channel easy to navigate.

She has also created a great brand for herself using her YouTube channel. She has her signature “blogilates” logo in all of her videos (see the above photo), and the artwork in her thumbnails and banner are similar and are good reflections of her brand. All her thumbnails have bright colors, and big, bold fonts, which reflect her happy and strong personality, and make you want to click on the video.

Lastly, Cassey stays very connected with her viewers, which makes her YouTube channel even better. She consistently replies to comments on her videos and encourages discussions in the comments related to fitness and being healthy. She also asks her viewers in the comments what they want to see next, which shows that she cares about what the viewers want.

I strongly recommend Blogilates to anyone trying to get in shape. Her videos are great workouts (I did an extreme abs workout yesterday and I am REALLY SORE), but they make you feel good about yourself and they make you feel energized. So get your workout on!


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Favorite Magazine


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My favorite magazine at the moment is Cosmo, and although it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure, I think there are quite a few redeemable qualities about the magazine. Targeted at the 18-30 female demographic, the magazine does a great job of taking on issues that are relevant to people in that age group. The first thing that Cosmo does right to target its demographic is by its use of colors, fonts and images. Looking at the image I’ve posted above, you can see the use of very “girly” colors, such as pink and red, and the use of very curvy and cutesy fonts. In addition, the cover model is always a beautiful female dressed in impeccable clothes, which is sure to get a female’s attention. You can tell just by the cover that Cosmo is targeting young females, and that’s exactly what they want. They know their audience and they embrace it.

Furthermore, Cosmo uses celebrities to further target its demographic. The cover models are always gorgeous and very relevant celebrities that many females look up to as role models. Women such as Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna have all graced the cover and they are all celebrities that are admired by young females. Seeing one of these women on the cover grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read more, because young women not only want to learn more about these celebrities’ lives, but also want to be more like them (because they are fabulous).

Cosmo also targets its demographic by writing articles about relevant topics. Sometimes a girl just wants to read about the best hairstyles of 2014, or how to apply winged eyeliner, which is what Cosmo gives you. The magazine is very focused on love and sex as well, which are topics that many women of this age are concerned about. They can be somewhat awkward topics to address in public situations, so Cosmo gives women easy access to other women’s opinion on these issues.

Lastly, Cosmo does a good job at addressing the insecurities of women and making them less pronounced, which is another reason why they target their audience so well. Although Cosmo emphasizes being “sexy”, it also emphasizes loving yourself, and being healthy and happy in your own skin. Women are looking for a magazine that makes them feel better about themselves, not worse, and Cosmo often touches on being confident and secure with who you are.

All of these aspects account for Cosmo’s great success at targeting its demographic. It might not be an extremely deep or thought provoking reading, but it’s not trying to be. Cosmo is light and enjoyable, and as their slogan says, for the “Fun, Fearless Female.” It’s women writing for other women and that’s what makes it so relatable.

Read what you enjoy!


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Welcome to my lifestyle blog!

My name is Amanda, I’m a sophomore in college, and this is a blog about my sometimes extraordinary, yet completely ordinary life.  I believe every day is a new adventure, full of countless possibilities and opportunities (Cliche, I know. But it’s true!). I also believe that we tend to let life pass us by, taking the easy way out and avoiding risks at all costs.  All of us are guilty of this, including myself, but this year I made myself a promise. I promised to stop being a so-called “coaster” (As in “coasting through life”, not like a coaster for a glass. Easy mistake, I know.) and start being someone who really lives. I want to make each day unique, I want to make each day memorable, and most of all, I want to be inspired by the little things in life. In reality, you do only live once (or as the youth today say, “YOLO”), and I think we need to learn how to appreciate just how beautiful and precious life really is. I’m starting a journey toward a happier and healthier lifestyle, and this blog is the first stop on the long road ahead.  Feel free to join me as I document snippets from my daily life, from the food I’ve been eating (I’ve been really into kale lately), to how I cope with stress and anxiety (finals week was a rough one), I plan to disclose it all. This is a lifestyle blog about me. Some days it might be interesting, other days it might be weird, but regardless my goal is to make each day memorable.

Carpe diem, everyone.    carpediem*Image courtesy of