8 Fun Things To Help Kill Boredom At Home

When you’re bored at home and you can’t go out, or you can’t be bothered to go out, being able to kill boredom is key to not going stir crazy. If you need some inspiration, here are 8 fun things you can do to kill boredom at home. Take a look and see what you find:

Learn A Brand New Skill

Why not take this time at home to learn a brand new skill? There are so many ways you can do this, many of which are for free! You could take a look at tutorials on YouTube, sign up to SkillShare (they sometimes have a ridiculously cheap offer for 3 months membership and unlimited courses), or even use Udemy, where you pay per course. However, many courses on Udemy are free. You can learn just about anything you can think of; how to make jewelry, how to play an instrument, drawing, speaking another language – the list goes on!

Bake Some Sweet Stuff

The great thing about baking sweet stuff is that you can settle down with your cookies or cakes afterwards and indulge. You could decorate them in a really fun way and even give some to friends and family if you make lots of them and want to avoid a binge!

Binge Watch A Series/Films

Just because you don’t want to binge on cookies doesn’t mean you can’t binge on a series or some films! Apps like MovieBox APK are pretty good for this, but you’ll need to read a few reviews to make sure you find the right one for you. Many allow you to sync the programs you want to watch to other devices.

Try Some Upcycling

Upcycling is a super fun and creative way to bring life to an old piece of furniture. You could paint it a brand new colour, use stencils on it, add new hardware, and so much more. You could give it a subtle makeover or make it look completely different. There are tutorials online for this too if you need some help.

Write A Story

Do you come up with great ideas for stories but never do anything about them? Now’s your chance! Writing a story can help you to improve your writing skills, and you could even come up with something amazing. It’s up to you what you do with your story once you’re finished. You could share it on a site like Wattpad, where people read your stories chapter by chapter and give you feedback. People have even had offers from publishers this way! Just write, regardless of what you think it will turn out like.

Color Something In

Coloring isn’t just for kids. Adult coloring books can be really relaxing, almost like a form of meditation. If you don’t have a book, you could print something out.

Read Something

How about reading something? You could even try reading out loud if you have your family with you, and take it in turns to read chapters. People don’t do this enough these days, and it could be a great way for you all to enjoy a story together.

Make A Scrapbook

How about scrapbooking some of your favorite pictures and bits and bobs? You’ll be able to look back on your memories with a smile for years to come!

Stressed At College? Destress With One Of These Cool Activities

College life getting you down? If there is one thing that annoys all teens, it is the huge pile of work that they get given at college! Sure, doing it all to the best of your abilities is necessary if you want to go onto university and bag the job of your dreams once you graduate. But that is no reason to get super stressed and end up having a breakdown! Thankfully, there are plenty of activities and hobbies you can take up that will help you forget about all your college work. Here are some of the best that will help you to destress.

Start Learning An Instrument

Did you used to learn an instrument when you were a little kid? If so, you might still have it. Dig out your old flute or see about some piano tuning to get your Yamaha piano up to scratch, and see what you remember from your old music lessons! Even if you have never learned an instrument, it is never too late to start. Lots of scientific studies show that playing an instrument is a great way to calm down the brain and release some stress. Not only that, though, but it helps the brain develop, which can prepare it for all the knowledge you need to learn through university!

Get Into A Sport

Another great way to blow off some steam and distress is to exercise or play a sport. When you are out on the pitch, you will be so involved in the game that you will completely forget about all the essays and assignments you need to write. Another great reason to start playing sports and exercising is that your body will release lots of endorphins into the bloodstream. These are regarded as nature’s painkillers and can help to improve your mood and release any tension in the body.

Arts And Crafts

Instead of getting comfy on the sofa and turning on a friend, get comfy and have a go at knitting or some other fun arts and crafts. The repetitive motions that are necessary to complete many crafty activities are very soothing and therapeutic for the body. They are great at reducing any feelings of anxiousness that you might be feeling. Getting all snug under your favourite blanket will help you to get really relaxed as well!

Bake And Cook

Feeling peckish? Rather than nipping out to the shop to get a candy bar, you should think about baking yourself a healthy snack. This will do wonders for your diet, but it will also help you to destress. Just like with getting crafty, baking involves a lot of repetitive motions and actions that can help you soothe your stress. If you are feeling super stressed, have a go at baking a loaf of bread. You will find that punching the dough while you knead is a great way of getting all that stress out!

Don’t suffer from your stress at college – be sure to take up one of these fab relaxing activities!

How To Make the Perfect Bowl of Pasta

How To Make the Perfect Bowl of Pasta

How To Make the Perfect Bowl of Pasta

How To Make the Perfect Bowl of Pasta

Pasta is one of the staples of the American diet, but it need not taste like a staple.

“It is so much more than just grabbing a jar of generic sauce at the store, boiling some water and mixing it all up in a bowl,” said Dave Hirschkop, the namesake of the Dave’s Gourmet (www.davesgourmet.com) line of sauces and veteran pasta and sauce aficionado. “There are subtle secrets in every step of the process, from choosing the sauce, boiling the water, and plating the finished meal that can take an everyday dull meal and turn it into a gourmet dining experience.”

He should know. His sauces have been named tops in the industry by the Sofi Awards two years running, making him a recognized expert in designing the perfect bowl of pasta. His tips include:

  • Choosing the Pasta — If you want a great pasta experience, choose a variety of pasta that receives the sauce and spices well. Thinner more delicate shapes should pair with lighter thinner sauces.  Pick pasta made from durum wheat and a slightly rougher pasta or shaped pasta holds the sauce better.
  • Choosing the Sauce — Good marinara is made primarily from tomatoes, not tomato paste. If your sauce ingredients list paste, water or sugar as the first ingredient, then you need to put the jar down slowly and back away from it.  Some sauces make a better base so don’t be afraid to doctor it with meat, cheese, or fresh veggies.  Also, to keep your pasta love life interesting, experiment with different flavors of sauce (tomato cream, butternut, wild mushroom, etc.).
  • Boiling the Pasta – Use plenty of water, add salt to it, and never put dry pasta in the water until it has reached a rolling boil. Stir occasionally and, once the pasta nears the minimum cooking time on the package start tasting it. Take the pasta out when it is al dente or a little firm.  The pasta will continue to cook a little after you take it out.
  • Heating the Sauce – For an even more flavorful pasta dish take the pasta out of the water a few minutes early and let it finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Plating the Pasta – When you strain the pasta, do not run water over the pasta unless you are making a cold pasta salad.  Make sure to strain really well as nobody likes watery pasta. Place a ladle of sauce at the bottom of your serving bowl before dumping the cooked pasta in. Then, ladle generous amounts of sauce into the bowl, and toss the pasta so the sauce is evenly distributed. Then you can add extra sauce to each plate according to your dinner guests’ taste.  You might want to garnish each plate with some fresh basil or even parsley.  Freshly grated Parmesan or Parmesan Reggiano is a great touch and tasty.
  • Preparing the Bread – The bread is important, because at the end of the meal, a good textured bread can be used to soak up the excess sauce in the plate. To make the most of the bread, bake it for 6-8 minutes at 350 degrees. This will make for toasty nooks and crannies that will capture the sauce in your plate without letting the bread go limp or soggy.  Garlic bread can also be a delicious alternative.

“A great pasta meal is all about the details and the creative flair,” Dave added. “If you take care to pay attention to those details and put forth a tiny bit of extra effort, every pasta meal at home can be a gourmet meal you can be proud of.”

About Dave Hirschkop

Dave’s Gourmet (www.davesgourmet.com) is the result of Dave owning and managing a small restaurant near the University of Maryland, which taught him a lot about preparing food and satisfying customers. He uses that experience with Dave’s Gourmet, which after 18 years has grown into a maker of more than 70 award-winning gourmet food products.

Fruit ‘N Veggie Guide

Fruit ‘N Veggie Guide

Hungry-Girl.com has provided a round up of some great fruits and vegetables, and some interesting (and delicious) recipes for Spring!

‘Tis the season for springtime fruits ‘n veggies! Sure, you can get off-season produce year-round, but now is when these picks taste the best and are least expensive. So read up and veg out!

Artichokes

Don’t be scared of their seemingly impenetrable exterior — artichokes rock! Not only are they super-low in calories (about 60 calories a pop), but they also contain fiber, potassium, folate, magnesium, and vitamin C. Plus, new studies suggest they could be a good source of certain antioxidants that help keep your liver healthy.

Sassy ‘n Steamy Artichoke – Forget super-oily restaurant versions! This steamed ‘choke with a duo of guilt-free dipping sauces is the way to go!

Mangoes

When it comes to sweet, juicy, tropical fruit, mangoes are one of our top picks. In addition to being INSANELY delicious, they’re loaded with vitamin C. Plus, mangoes are a good source of fiber, vitamin A, and other antioxidants. And a cup has only about 100 calories! The only difficult part is removing the pit — if you have trouble, maybe invest in a mango splitter.

Crazy Calypso Salad – Chopped mango brightens up this fresh ‘n fabulous salad, which happens to contain another spring selection on this list… spinach!

Crazy-Delicious Caribbean Black Bean Broccoli Slaw – Adding mango to crunchy coleslaw? It’s so crazy, it works!

Asparagus

Here’s a real superstar of spring. Asparagus is great in that it tastes terrific, seems kinda fancy and special, AND is chock-full of nutrients. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, and it also contains folate, B vitamins, fiber, and other helpful stuff. Add in anti-inflammatory benefits and heart-healthy properties, and what more could you want? Eat this veggie — a serving of eight spears has only about 25 calories. Nice!

So-Fancy Fish Pack Protein and veggies, all wrapped up and ready to chew! Put that asparagus to good use, people…

Vampire-Proof Chicken ‘n Veggie PastaAnother tasty asparagus dish. And the portion size is LARGE!

Strawberries

It’s the start of strawberry season! Did you know that the world’s most popular berry is also high in vitamin C? A cup of the red berries meets the recommended daily value of vitamin C for less than 50 calories. Who doesn’t want to eat a cup of strawberries? (Okay, other than people who are allergic!) Another fun fact: Some say you can use a mixture of puréed strawberries and baking soda to whiten your teeth; you’ll probably want to brush away the seeds afterward though… (BTW, we have NOT tried this.)

Strawberry Short Stack – A breakfast that tastes like dessert kinda takes the edge off having to wake up in the morning.

Spinach

There’s a reason we need no excuse to sneak spinach into our recipes. Our pals at World’s Healthiest Foods rank the leafy green among their top picks for nutrient richness — it’s LOADED with iron, manganese, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E, and K. Plus, it’s super-yummy and easy to prepare. In a hurry? Eat it raw in a salad or cook just until wilted in a skillet with nonstick spray — consume a whopping 4 cups (measured raw) for under 30 calories. WOW!

Spinach, Tomato, Feta ‘n Egg Wrap Attack! – Eat your veggies all day long! This will start you off right

Takes-the-Cake Ziti Bake – Spinach makes another appearance in this intensely delicious, amazingly low-in-calories entrée!

Grapefruits

These giant citrus fruits have a long season, and we’re right in the middle of it! Fiber, vitamin C, and lycopene are just a few of the goodies that grapefruits bring to the table; they also rate highly in antioxidant activity and can help fight disease. (Heads up: Grapefruits have been found to interact with some prescription drugs, so do your research if you take any meds.) A standard-sized fruit has about 50 calories… Mmmmm!

Cool ‘n Creamy Fruit Soup – Yes, FRUIT SOUP! Don’t knock it ’til you spoon it…

Love at First Bite Red Velvet Cake

Love at First Bite Red Velvet Cake

From Gina Meyer’s Cookbook, “Love at First Bite, The Unofficial Twilight Cookbook”

Bake a delicious cake for your friends….they are sure to get fired up over this treat!

4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 ounce liquid red food coloring
3/4 cup water
1 yellow cake mix, with pudding in the mix
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter
4 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Directions: Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, mix cocoa powder,
red food coloring, and part of the water to form a paste. Next, add
all of the other ingredients except the white vinegar. Blend for 2 1/2
to 3 minutes with a mixer on medium speed. Then add the vinegar and
mix with a spatula. Pour the batter into a bunt or round cake pan, and
bake for approximately 35 minutes. This recipe can be made into
cupcakes as well.

Adorn each cupcake or the entire Red Velvet Cake with various
miniature die-cast Cullen cars, such as Carlisle’s Mercedes S55 AMG,
Rosalie’s red BMW M3, Edward’s silver Volvo S60R, Alice’s yellow
Porsche 911 Turbo, or Emmett’s Jeep Wrangler. A replica of Bella’s red
Chevy pickup truck could also be added.