food

Starbucks to Add a Spring in Your Step With Its Newest Menu

With spring officially here and warmer days ahead, Starbucks is celebrating the excitement of a new season in more ways than one — and we couldn’t be more happy!

Starbucks has been our go-to for years and this season, they are stepping up their game with a plethora of menu items we cannot wait to get a hold of.

After announcing its limited-edition pastel cups featuring whimsical illustrations inside blank white circles for the blossoming season, the Seattle-based coffeehouse just released a plethora of delicious new menu items, teas and a cold brew that is sure to satisfy your coffee and snack addiction this summer.

In honor of a new season and thanks to their consumers’ evolving tastes, Starbucks said in a press release that they are expanding their menu with new food items guaranteed to fuel the warmer days ahead.

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Unwinding with #OrvilleCWC This Winter: Review of ‘Caramel & White Cheddar Popcorn’

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Last month I was lucky enough to not only relax at home with family and friends for the holidays, but was given the opportunity to taste test the latest Orville Redenbacher creation treat care of Influenster Canada with the Orville Redenbacher VoxBox. As a huge fan of popcorn (and the beautiful city of Chicago), you can imagine my excitement when Orville’s latest concoction was a gourmet bag inspired by the famous “Chicago Mix,” featuring a blend of caramel and white cheddar popcorn.

I’ve tried plenty of popcorn companies and Orville is one I seriously love. The combo of sweet, buttery caramel and savory cheddar is very well done, and one that blends perfectly for a snack that is super addictive and the quintessential accent to your couch potato day. Throughout my journeys to the Midwest, the “Chicago Mix” has been a favorite among so many for the mere fact that the two very different flavors help to satiate two cravings at once. The two flavors together might sound a little awkward, but it’s totally awesome as the flavors play on the sweet and salty really well, with a sort of nutty finish. It’s super rich in its flavor, and the perfect accent to a lazy weekend with a Blue Moon or crisp rosé wine. I love that it was also a super fun treat for the holidays too! I can see this being passed around at parties or just a night in with movies.

I definitely recommend it, especially if you are looking for a great snack to complement your sweet tooth without over indulging. Orville Redenbacher’s Caramel and White Cheddar Gourmet Popcorn is now available at your local grocery store and totally ready to eat.

Have you tried any of the new Orville products? What were your thoughts? Share with me in the comments below.

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I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing (and tasting) purposes. Thank you, very much Influenster! Follow them on their social networks at TwitterFacebookPinterestInstagramGoogle+, and YouTube, for updates and how you can be part of the Influenster community!

Bar Guide: South Bend, Indiana

South Bend is the type of Midwestern city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re all dressed up or aiming for something more casual, this northern Indiana city’s growing nightlife has it all. You might not think it, but it’s definitely one that’s been thriving in recent years.

In addition to being a growing metropolitan city rich in history and a firm foodie scene, one of South Bend’s finest assets is its bar scene, thriving with some of the best pubs and dive bars in and around the city. From places that excel in serving their drinks straight up, to novel spots that throw in dancing or fantastic bar eats, we share some of the best bars in South Bend.

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Womanista: December 2016

womanista-logo01December was a crazy month, right? Well, actually all of 2016 was. But there were some really great things that came out of it and that’s the part we should focus on going ahead in this new year. We make our own path, so think positive and always be optimistic. I hope everyone had a relaxing Christmas and New Year’s holiday with their families.

If you didn’t notice already, Womanista has been undergoing some changes as we integrate our newest partner, Skinny Mom to the Womanista family and have now expanded with an entire wellness section. Be sure to check it out at Womanista.com. As it might be known too, I’ve been dabbling with content at the news desk, so be sure to check out that content here!

In the meantime, catch up on all the latest with seasonal content to childproofing how-to’s for your home, to how to balance chores with your partner and the biggest money mistakes you didn’t realize you’re making. Moreover, check out effective and smart ways to not only keep your new year’s resolutions, but also improve your (already) healthy (and sans free of infidelity) relationship. As it goes, here is a complete list of my contributions to the women’s lifestyle website for the month of December! Cheers.

Dec. 30, 2016: Childproofing How-To: Concentrate on 6 Areas of Your Home to Create a Safe Haven | While every parent hopes to keep their child safe, the biggest threat they meet with on a daily basis is lurking in their own homes. That totally includes the medicine cabinet, just about… {CONTINUE READING…}

Dec. 27, 2016: 6 of the Biggest Money Mistakes You Didn’t Realize You’re Making | Establishing a healthy relationship with our money is an essential part of having a happy financial future. What you do today can have a large effect on that future. {CONTINUE READING…}

Dec. 26, 2016: Use These Simple Steps to Effectively Balance Household Chores with Your Significant Other | Having a neat and tidy home is a dream come true for so many, but it’s a concept much easier said than done. Between taking out the trash, doing the laundry, and dusting every nook and cranny… {CONTINUE READING…}

Dec. 25, 2016: 10 of the Most Beautiful Christmas Trees in the US | Whether you’re looking for the best holiday town or just some creative inspiration this twinkling season, cities across the United States are lighting up with beautiful displays of Christmas trees to best showcase the yuletide spirit. {CONTINUE READING…}

Dec. 23, 2016: 8 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions | Brace yourself, Womanistas! New Year’s is fast approaching and with it comes that annual rhythm of resolutions we hope to maintain to ensure our next 12 months are better, healthier and less stressful. Oh, the possibilities! {CONTINUE READING…}

Dec. 19, 2016: 6 Exciting Jobs to Inspire Your Wanderlust | As far as the eye can see and well beyond the dusk, it’s evident we are true lovers of travel. From meeting people to indulging in the local fare and culture, we are nomads at heart, always seeking new experiences to quench our wanderlust. {CONTINUE READING…}

Dec. 18, 2016: How to Snap the Perfect Christmas Day Family Photo | The festive season is upon us, abounding with merry traditions and cheer! But between that holiday hustle of shopping and party planning, it can become a frenzied feat keeping up with our favorite traditions. {CONTINUE READING…}

Dec. 14, 2016:  20 Easy, Mouthwatering No-Bake Treats for Santa | Christmas is right around the corner and it’s pretty clear that our yuletide-inspired spirits are reaching new heights this season. Between all that shopping, festive home décor, and music that just speaks so deep to our soul, we are on a roll for a smooth and peaceful holiday. {CONTINUE READING…}

Dec. 12, 2016: Clever Ways to Make Potty Training More Fun for the Reluctant Toddler | Toilet training is not just a cause for celebration — it’s a major milestone in your toddler’s life. They’re finally getting out of those saggy diapers and… {CONTINUE READING…}

Dec. 11, 2016: Glam up the Season With These Beautiful Makeup Tutorials | Between all the decorating, holiday shopping and festive photoshoots, we might find ourselves a little short on time this season for that glamorous makeover at the salon or department store. {CONTINUE READING…}

Dec. 7, 2016: 7 Things Couples Should Do Together for a Healthy Relationship | Between boredom, cheating, loss of friendship, doubt and just sheer unhappiness, keeping that spark alive can be difficult when a relationship free of foibles goes awry. {CONTINUE READING…}

Dec. 4, 2016: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas With a Playlist of Holiday Songs to Last the Entire Season | Break out the hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies as you cozy up by the fireplace, because it’s the most wonderful time of the year. {CONTINUE READING…}

Bar Guide: Elkhart County, Indiana

There’s a lot to love about Indiana, but there’s even more to love about the heartiness and innovation of its northern regions. From small businesses making big waves with delicious restaurants and decadent dessert spots that capture our undivided attention, there’s no denying that with a fall chill in the air, it’s the perfect time to start warming up and hitting our favorite cocktail and bar spots.

Thanks to the beautiful charm of small towns like Goshen, Elkhart and Middlebury, it’s time to skip the metropolitan jungles of this beautiful state and tap into some of our favorite cities in northern Indiana that serve novel and classic drinks for those looking to indulge in a spot rich in history, arts and a vibrant foodie culture that is burgeoning.

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How Do You Know If You’re Eating Too Much Sugar?

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We add it to our coffee. It’s in our favorite, on-the-go breakfasts. We sprinkle it in baked goods and pastries. And it’s lurking deep within our favorite processed foods and drinks — like those delicious Frappuccinos! There’s no denying we really love sugar.

But while sugar makes life sweeter and summer all the more enjoyable, this excessive bad habit’s consumption rate is often swept under the radar. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports the average adult consumes about 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, while children consume on average an estimated 10 more. Though they don’t provide specific recommendations on how much we should consume a day, the American Heart Association suggests at least 9.5 teaspoons.

As one of the more dangerous substances we ingest on a daily basis, refined sugar is linked to a long list of ailments like obesity, hypertension, high blood pressure, acne, depression, mood swings and fatigue — just to name a few.

While slashing sugar from your diet can be tricky because it’s in literally everything, there’s no need for paranoia. Watch for dietary information on labels and choose more natural choices like stevia, honey, brown sugar or agave. But if you’re not feeling 100 percent or are experiencing oddities in your well-being, chances are you might be experiencing signs of over-consumption.

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Womanista: November 2016

womanista-logo01What a month November was! I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving with their family and friends. As we approach a new year, Womanista has been undergoing some changes as we integrate our newest partner, Skinny Mom to the Womanista family with a brand new look to our website! Be sure to check it out at Womanista.com.

In the meantime, catch up on all the latest from computer tricks to make you more productive, to styling that baby bump for winter and getting a head start on all that holiday shopping with Oprah. Plus, we explore the cutest and trendiest baby names of 2016! Did your baby’s name make the list? As it goes, here is a complete list of my contributions to the women’s lifestyle website for the month of November.

Nov. 30, 2016: Give the Gift of Memorable Experiences This Holiday Season | Today, an increasing number of people have started to gift experiences or their time as holiday gifts. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 28, 2016: 6 Easy Computer Tricks to Make Your Workday More Productive | There is no denying that a sizeable chunk of our day revolves around computers. Whether we work from home or in an office… {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 27, 2016: 25 Empowering Quotes from Brilliantly Inspiring Women | In a rapidly evolving culture that measures likeability and talent, we often overlook the importance of inspiration in our daily lives. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 23, 2016: The Best of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2016 | Shopping season is in full, festive swing this year and what better way to find the perfect, most inspired gift for that special someone than by turning to Oprah Winfrey for a little help. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 22, 2016: Reduce Travel Stress With 6 Easy Airport Hacks | Air travel can make even the most seasoned travelers tired, treading a weariness we most often associate only with the DMV. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 21, 2016: The Trendiest Baby Names of 2016 | If you’re expecting in the next few months, there’s no doubt you are currently looking for the perfect and most unique name for your little one. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 19, 2016: The Mom-to-Be’s Guide to Styling a Baby Bump for Fall and Winter | From temperature fluctuations to mood swings, looking for good maternity clothes doesn’t have to be stressful. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 15, 2016: The Thanksgiving Party Guide You Need for Easy Planning and Festive Memories | All the prep that goes into planning your Thanksgiving party every year can be a bit scary. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 14, 2016: Warm Fruit Crisps and Crumbles for Every Taste and Occasion | No matter the season, stone fruits are a beloved ingredient in so many delicious baked goods. From pies to pastries, we try our hardest… {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 11, 2016: 10 Impressively Mouthwatering Thanksgiving Appetizers | Thanksgiving is in two weeks and as you scramble to prepare the best menu of recent years, you need to consider the power of an appetizer. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 4, 2016: Easy Recipes for Quick and Tasty Microwave Meals | When you think of a microwave, you might look back to those college days of reheating home cooked meals or those small frozen dinners that helped you to pull an all-nighter. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 2, 2016: The Most Memorable CMA Moments of the Past 50 Years | After months of waiting, it’s finally here and we are so excited! Grab those cocktails, because tonight marks the 50th Annual CMA Awards celebrating half a century… {CONTINUE READING…}

Womanista: October 2016

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October was a crazy month (both work-wise and emotionally). While my editorial duties at Womanista have expanded more so since August and go beyond original content, I managed to contribute a few original articles in the course of these few weeks that focused on a wide range of subjects. From Halloween ideas for you and the family, to everything you need to know about mammograms, to the latest in health food trends like kañiwa and golden milk, here is a complete list of my contributions to the women’s lifestyle website for the month of October.

Oct. 28, 2016: 10 Easy and Adorable Trunk-or-Treat Ideas | If you’re still decorating your home in anticipation of all the kids ringing your doorbell, it’s time to take a break and put down those beautifully designed pumpkins… {CONTINUE READING…}

Oct. 24, 2016: It’s Not a Cold: What You Need to Know About Sinusitis | As autumn leaves drift around us, it’s no secret the holidays are right around the corner and with it comes colder temperatures perfect for our chunky sweater obsession. {CONTINUE READING…}

Oct. 18, 2016: The Breast Advice: Everything You Need to Know About Mammograms and Early Breast Cancer Detection | Every year, countless Americans and those around the world have endured the pain and hardships caused by cancer. {CONTINUE READING…}

Oct. 14, 2016: Forget Quinoa! Kañiwa is the Superfood You Need in Your Life | Just when we finally learn how to pronounce “quinoa,” another superfood makes its grand entrance into our life with halo-like qualities. {CONTINUE READING…}

Oct. 12, 2016: The Best Spooky Cocktails to Celebrate Halloween | Halloween is crawling up quickly this month and we’re super excited. From the costume planning for you and the kids, to the home decorating with mantels and pumpkins… {CONTINUE READING…}

Oct. 10, 2016: 10 Kid-Friendly and Healthy Lunch Box Ideas | Kids can be hard to please and incredibly fussy eaters — especially when it comes to packing them a healthy lunch. {CONTINUE READING…}

Oct. 4, 2016: Golden Milk: The Health Food Trend as Good as Gold | Golden Milk, also known as turmeric milk or “haldi ka doodh,” has been earning its spot among health-conscious drinks because of its incredible benefits… {CONTINUE READING…}

Oct. 1, 2016: Try These 10 Free Jack-O’-Lantern Templates | We are now just days away until Halloween and that means only one thing as you run to the pumpkin patches this month — time to carve up some creative jack-o’-lanterns! {CONTINUE READING…}