Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to School Basics

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Brita for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Fall is approaching! This year is really flying by, much like last year. Does anyone else have that feeling, or is it just because so much is changing in my life?

I graduated from Harvard! I moved to NYC! I'm a working adult now!

Anyway, the year flew by and the approach of fall means that it's back to school season.

Okay, so not for me. But I love back to school!

Back to school is awesome. What's one major reason why?

Back to school shopping.

Guys, I had SO much fun with school supplies. There's pink glitter stationery, awesome pens, cool tech, and everything for the dorm room.

If you're just starting college and don't know what the must-haves are, here's a short list of the absolute essentials:

1) A Full-Length Mirror

I didn't have one for a month last year (senior year). WHAT. Obviously that's a necessity for a fashion-forward college student!

2) A Brita® Pitcher

Brita® Pitchers are available at Target and they're not too pricey, but super convenient. You can fill them up in your bathroom and refill whenever you need more water! It's great, because it's way more eco-friendly than bottled water - not to mention way cheaper in the course of a semester.

Water is important for everyone, including college students, because staying hydrated keeps your brain working optimally, your body functioning properly, your energy levels up, and your skin looking great.

Hey! That's important! There are so many functions in college.

3) A fan.

Most dorms, unless you're living somewhere super posh, don't have A/C. Trust me, there will be nights when you will melt if you don't have a good fan.

My freshman year fall was particularly bad, several of my friends and I camped out in the Science Center some nights for the A/C!

4) A snack stash.

All-nighters require fuel and dining halls often lock up at night, even the cereal and milk sections. Since you'er not home with a 24/7 kitchen, be sure to keep some snacks for when you really need that extra energy.

Great snacks to have in your stash include: granola bars, protein bars, cereals you can eat out of the box, trail mix, dried fruit, chocolate (for that time of the month), and whatever other shelf-stable snacks you love!

5) More underwear than you think you'll need.

Sometimes laundry just doesn't happen - welcome to reading period and final's week. So that you don't find yourself in the awkward position of wearing swimsuits to class.
Besides, awesome excuse to go wild at Victoria's Secret.

Shopping spree!

What are your back to school essentials for college?

Do you like back to school or the end of the school year better?

Are you still in school? If not, are you considering going back to school for another degree at some point?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, August 24, 2014

YourTea Review: Digestive Help

I love NYC and living in NYC and food in NYC - but NYC life doesn't always love me back. Between late nights, early mornings, takeout, meals out, and brushes with food poisoning, my digestive system doesn't always love my new city life.

This cool Australian tea company, Your Tea, offered to let me try their digestive tea! They ship all over the world, with very reasonable shipping rates to the USA, and focus on natural tea blends (non-laxative, there's no senna) to help bring your body back into balance for optimal health and well-being.

Of course I wanted to give them a go!

The box is already very inviting and the cute pink exterior made it acceptable to have out on my desk in my room - I didn't feel that it was an eyesore and having it in plain sight made it easy to remember to drink my tea.

My tea with my NYC view!
You're supposed to drink a cup three times a day, about 30 minutes before or after a meal, for optimal effect on regulating your digestion.

I didn't follow timing to the letter, as it generally ended up being more like an hour, but I till felt the effects!

Beyond the fact that it actually worked, making me feel less bloated and experience stomach discomfort and cramps and pains less often, even while eating out the same amount, it was also really convenient.

I know loose leaf tea is great and all, but tea bags will always win for convenience. And hot pink tea bags are a double-win.

I felt better, the products are all-natural, and while my batch contained gluten (I don't have celiac's disease, so that's totally fine) they also offer gluten-free teas. There's something for everyone!

I'm very glad that I tried them - I have already ordered more tea, because it's just too helpful not to have on hand!

Even if digestion isn't your difficulty, I recommend checking them out. They have a variety of different teas with different goals for both men and women, so you're quite likely o find something that might help you!

Do you live in a city or the country?

What is/would be the hardest part about living in a big city for you?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Recipe Review: New York Cheesecake

I visited home for a long weekend at the beginning of the month (guys, how is it already August?) and my mom really likes cheesecake, so I decided to make a cheesecake for my AWESOME mom!

We didn't have any graham crackers in the house, so I used Sandy's recipe for a New York Cheesecake that doesn't have a graham cracker crust!

Of course, I made some alterations. Following recipes to the letter? Generally not my thing, I like mixing things up! Here's my version of her recipe:

New York Cheesecake
Makes 1 10-inch springform pan

The throwback Harvard 'H' is unnecessary, unless you're as ridiculous as me

* 1.5 c. all-purpose flour
* 1/3 c. sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/2 c. margarine
* 2.5 lb cream cheese, softened (5 8oz cream cheese packets)
* 1.75 c. white sugar
* 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
 * 5 eggs
* 2 egg yolks
* 0.25 c. heavy whipping cream

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly oil a 10" springform pan. 

2) Combine the first four ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Spread to the edges of the springform pan. Prick all over with a fork.

3) Bake the crust for 15 minutes at 400F. Allow to cool while you make the filling.

4) Increase the oven temperature to 475F.

5) Make the filling by combining all remaining ingredients except the cream in a large bowl and mixing thoroughly.

6) Add the cream and mix only enough to combine.

7) Pour evenly over the crust.

8) Bake at 475F for 10 minutes. 

9) Reduce temperature to 225F and continue to bake for 70-75 minutes, until set. 

10) Cool, then refrigerate overnight. Open the springform before you cut and serve!


What's your favorite dessert?

Do you like plain or flavored (ie: cappucino, peppermint, chocolate, etc.) cheesecake better?

Do you follow recipes or alter them?

Stumble Me, Please!