Summer 2014 has officially begun! Last summer, we jammed to songs like “We Can’t Stop,” “Blurred Lines,” and “Get Lucky” all summer long. Now the time has come to choose a new song as the “official” song of the summer. A summer anthem must be catchy, upbeat, and exciting. Many songs have the potential to become THE summer track, but a majority of music-lovers have narrowed the search down. Below is a list of the top 10 tunes to get you in the mood for some summer fun! Which of these songs do you think should be the summer 2014 anthem?
As the sunshine and humidity take over, there's no better way to stay energized than these 3 Do It Yourself snacks. For the quick cool-off snack in between running errands, we have the frozen greek yogurt and pomegranate cubes. Need an on-the-go breakfast? These no-bake granola bars are easy to make, healthy for your body and great for a quick boost! And an easy anytime snack, frozen fruit dipped in chocolate.
1. Frozen Greek Yogurt Pom Squares
First, you will need 2 cups of 2% Greek yogurt. This is a personal preference, so pick whatever! You'll also need 1 cup powdered sugar (also known as confectinoary sugar in different packaging). And, about 2 pomegranates. You can substitute the pom seeds for anything else you'd like to add, but these are small and easy to throw in the mix. You'll also need ice cube trays for easy, no-cut cubes as a finished product.
When you have all of your ingredients together, combine them in a bowl and mix until creamy. Toss in the pom seeds and mix well. Pour the batter into ice cube trays and place trays in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours. When they're ready, just pop them out of the trays and enjoy!
2. No-Bake Granola Bars
For these bars, you will need these ingredients:
2 cups old fashioned oats
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup agave
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
dark chocolate chips
If you have an allergy to anything in this mixture, these ingredients are easily replacable with other things! And, for a better crunch to the granola bars, bake the almonds, coconut and oats on a cookie sheet for a few minutes until lightly brown and toasted.
Over the stove in a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, agave, coconut oil, vanilla and salt. Mix these ingredients until all of the brown sugar disolves. Add the toasted mixture from previously into this stove mix, and coat the oat clusters well. Pour this combined mixture into a brownie pan, and let cool completely before cutting into bars. For an extra sweet-treat, heat and drizzle spoonfuls of Nutella on top of the bars!
3. Frozen Dipped Fruit
For this snack, find any fruit of preference (mandarin oranges, apple slices and banana pieces seem to work best!) and slice them or peel them into pieces. In a double boiler on the stove, melt any kind of chocolate until smooth. Dip half of the fruit pieces in the chocoloate and lay on a prepared, wax-coated sheet. You can add coconut sprinkles, nuts, or anything on top of the melted chocolate. Freeze until solid and enjoy!
This recipe allows for lots of flexibility and creativity, so don't feel restricted!
Contrary to popular stereotype, Buffalo is not always snow and ice. Though summertime seems to come and go all too quickly, the few months of sunshine we’re blessed with are actually near perfect. With daytime temperatures generally falling in the 70s and 80s, it’s never too hot. Adequate rainfall that peaks in the overnight hours is also optimal. Unlike in the south, Western New York’s comfortable climate allows its inhabitants to genuinely enjoy the outdoors—and that’s something we certainly never take for granted.
2. The Waterfront
Foreigners always seem shocked to learn that Buffalo is surrounded by water. Nestled along the Niagara River between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario lies the City of Good Neighbors. A few minutes up the river, you’ll find the great Niagara Falls and its corresponding tourist attractions. In addition, let’s not forget the historic Erie Canal which meets the River between downtown Buffalo and the Falls. Whether you own a boat or simply appreciate the view, with so much available to us, it’s easy to get out and enjoy Western New York’s beautiful waters.
3. Outdoor Recreation
As well as the exciting activities that take place on the water, the Buffalo-Niagara region is home to a number of bike paths, hiking trails, and other areas designated for outdoor recreation. Did you know Delaware Park was designed by the same two men credited for Central Park in Manhattan?!
4. The Music Scene
Excited for Dave Matthew's annual show at Darien Lake? Or simply looking to enjoy a cheap night night out with your friends? Between First Niagara Center, Canalside, and Artpark, we've got performances to satisfy everyone. There are also many smaller venues hosting some great shows this year! The Fray will be playing at Gratwick Park in North Tonawanda on July 27th —definitely something to check out.
Canal Fest, Italian Fest, Wing Fest—the list is never-ending. We've got a lot going on here in Western New York, and in true Buffalonian fashion, we're proud of it. Whether you're sampling fine dining at the Taste of Buffalo or exploring your artistic side at the Elmwood Festival of the Arts, there's always some sort of celebration happening. How wonderful is it to live in a place so lively?
6. The Wineries
Located along the lower Niagara River one can find the Niagara Wine Trail. These wineries offer a diverse selection of wines to serve all tastes. Regarded as an up-and-coming region, the Niagara Wine Trail is the perfect adventure for a multitude of occasions.
7. The Transit Drive-In
With around 360 drive-in movie theaters left across the US, the communal experience previous generations were once accustomed to has now become a rarity. Not to worry though, because Western New York has kept the tradition going strong! Looking to enjoy a night under the stars? The Transit Drive-In has got you covered. With double-features offered every night, it's a steal compared to your average movie theater. Not only that, but Tuesdays are retro movie night! They cover all your favorites from The Goonies and Jurassic Park, to Dirty Dancing and Stand By Me. My suggestion—follow @TransitDriveIn on Twitter for the latest updates on exciting events. You won't be disappointed.
Sure, we all say we're working towards those 'summer bodies' while we're at school. But what's the occasional mile here or there going towards? Goals are the biggest thing. To successfully set yourself up for a fit and toned summer, set a goal for yourself. Want to strengthen your core? Or increase flexibility? These are all achievable things that anyone can do, and with a few simple steps! Take the steps in the right direction to a fun and fit summer, starting with the basics:
1. Sneakers: To start any kind of training, make sure you're in the right pair of sneakers. Each pair is composed for different strengths and weaknesses. Some have more stability in the arches for support ad pronation (over rotation of the foot while walking or running), some have more cushioning for alleviating heel pressure or even have additinoal purposes to allow for transitioning to cross training. My suggestion is to go to a specialized store to find what your fit and need is, and then shop around for a brand you like that carries what your feet require. I'm biased towards Asics, but it's all personal preference!
2. Attire: As cliche as it may be, the running 'look' does not a runner make. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that you're ready to sweat in! There's no special type of clothing that will make you perform better, run faster, or lift more. There's clothing that have moisture wicking abililties, or other added features that will help maintain comfort while working out. Again, it's more of a personal preference than anything, simple athletic shorts and cotton t's will do the trick just fine!
3. Hydrate: The big rule, is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! No matter how much physical activity you're planning on participating in per day, your body must be prepped and able to perform without dehydrating. Your muscles need to be functioning to their peak ability to perform at their best, especially for training purposes. Before working out, depending on what you will be doing, a minimum of 32 oz. should be consumed within the hour and a half leading up to working out. Hydrate in between exercise, and replenish after as well. About 64 oz. should be consumed post-workout to replenish and continue to hydrate for the rest of the day. In addition to hydrating, consuming small meals will benefit your workouts. Eat a small meal with protein an hour and a half prior to working out, and small snacks throughout if needed. Things like nuts and dried fruit are perfect for boosting energy and regulating metabolism. And as always, carbohydrates are the best for prepping for long endurance workouts two days in advance!
These few tips are the basics for starting any kind of training, no matter how intensive. Every new beginning comes from somewhere, and these three tips will prepare you for anything that will kick start summer in a fit and fun way!
The Class of 2014 will be graduating high school within these next few weeks! Before you leave for college in the fall, take time to appreciate these every day luxuries.
#1: Home cooking This goes without saying…the worst part about going away to school is eating the dining hall food. While most college campuses provide a couple of different dining halls, there isn’t much variety among them. If you want to purchase your own food to cook in the tiny kitchens, that’s not always a bad idea. Grocery shopping can add up, so beware!